Sunday, May 20, 2012

Get well soon....

Well it seems that the virus that has threatened all week finally arrived last night. Both kids are feeling pretty awful today with sore throats and blocked noses. I feel guilty, but I have to admit that our first virus of the season has me a tiny bit excited. You see, I have been stockpiling herbs in my apothecary drawer for the last few months ready for when winter hit and now I get to try out my potions on my unsuspecting children! I haven't had to break out the Coltsfoot or the White Horehound yet but I'm ready for the first hint of a cough.



In February I made some herb infused honey for sore throats using lemon balm and thyme. After 3 months it smells and tastes delicious. A tablespoon in hot water is just the right thing for a raw throat. Making this is as easy as buying some good quality honey and stirring in some chopped herbs. Make sure they're completely covered by honey and seal. You should leave it for at least two weeks before eating or infusing in hot water.

Natural Vapour Rub Salve



I'm not a fan of petroleum based ointments like Vicks for children so as winter approaches I make my own version. This is an almond oil base to which I've added essential oils of peppermint, eucalyptus, and wintergreen. A small amount of beeswax is melted into the oil so that it sets as a thick salve that melts onto the skin. It smells great and it's soft and gentle.

Full of Goodies Smoothie


I did plan to make this and take a photo for you but with the kids unwell I ran out of time, so here's a nice picture of some raspberries instead!

My kids love smoothies and I find them one of the best ways to get "goodies" into children. When there are viruses around I give the kids one of these smoothies once a day:

1 ripe frozen banana (defrosted a bit)
1 handful of berries - usually blueberries or raspberries from the freezer
2 tablespoons of live yoghurt
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of kefir milk - you could omit or use probiotic powder
1/2 tsp Vitamin C powder
1 Psyllium husk capsule broken open (the casing discarded)
1/2 tsp Slippery Elm powder
Rice milk or almond milk - enough to get a good consistency

Blend everything together until smooth. Makes enough for two good sized servings.

Now a bit about the ingredients:
Berries - The berries add a nice flavour and colour to the smoothie and contain a good dose of Vitamin C and antioxidants.
Yoghurt and Kefir - I'm only just learning about kefir milk and growing my own kefir scoby but what I'm reading is really exciting. It's like a home made probiotic boost with awesome good bacteria for the gut. We have huge gut issues in our family so I'm keen to incorporate kefir into our diet. To learn more about kefir try reading What is Kefir.
Vitamin C powder - I like the powder form because only a pinch in a glass of juice is enough for kids and it's not sitting around in their teeth like chewable tablets.
Psyllium Husk - A great source of gluten free fibre with benefits for colon cleansing and bowel regulation.
Slippery Elm powder - One of my favourite herbal remedies. It create mucous in the gut so it's incredibly soothing for people with irritable bowels or stomach issues. It's also good for sore throats because it forms a  coating.

If you're interested in natural health I encourage you to google the ingredients in the recipe further, I'm not a naturopath or a herbalist so the descriptions above should be taken as my opinion only.

Get Well Soon Soup

I love old recipes and cough and cold remedies that have stood the test of time. This is a version of Jewish Chicken Soup that I make whenever anyone is feeling poorly. It feels and tastes so good to drink I can almost feel myself getting better with each sip.


Ingredients:

Chicken necks, wings, and/or carcasses (pref organic)
1/4 Celery - leaves and stalks chopped roughly
1 Onion
Garlic - around 4 - 5 cloves
1 Carrot
1 Parsnip
Herbs - I use thyme, parsley, sage
Water
Salt

In a large stockpot fry off the chicken bits with the onion, garlic, and a little oil. Once they're lightly browned add the rest of the ingredients roughly chopped and cover well with water. Sprinkle some salt over and bring to the boil. Reduce to a slow simmer for 1 - 2 hours checking to see if you need to top up the water. Every now and again I give the chicken pieces a pummel with a wooden spoon to break up the bones.


Strain and enjoy. You can make dumplings to go with this but that's difficult with us being egg and gluten free so we usually have some toast on the side instead.

Wishing you a lovely (healthy) Sunday

x Bec

3 comments:

  1. I love the honey and 'vicks' substitute! I would love to get into making stuff like that! I bought the Grow Your Own Drugs book with that intention a while back but I haven't yet done it. With winter here in full force and coughs and colds going through the family I'll have to get onto it!

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  2. I am very interested in your thyme/lemon balm honey. But I have a few questions.
    1: are you using fresh or dried herbs
    2: do you, or are you able to strain the herbs out of the honey after a few weeks? if so, how do you do it?
    Thank you for the recipe, I really want to try it.
    Dori

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dori

      I used fresh herbs from my garden which I washed, patted dry with a cloth then chopped up. I've left the herbs in my honey (it's been about 6 months since I made it and it's still fine) but you could strain them out using a cheesecloth or piece of muslin if you wanted to. We use a tablespoon in some hot water for a sore throat. It's also great eaten just how it is (herbs included) if you have a raw throat. Make sure you completely cover your herbs in honey so that they're preserved. They'll float to the top eventually, just give it a stir before you use it. Hope that helps and have fun making your herbal honey!

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