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Cold and Flu Comforts

You were so alert: you took your Echinacea & zinc lozenges dutifully when your office mate came to work sneezing, but you still came down with that persistent cold. Yes, cold and flu period is upon us again. Even though you’re feeling unhappy, there are a few things you can do to make manually more comfortable and perhaps speed the healing process.

Our first advice for sick and achy folks is to take a pampering bath like the very old-fashioned yet extremely effective Dr. Singha’s Mustard Bath. This formula will sweat out any fever and truly warm you to your bones. (It works particularly well if you get under the covers as soon as you get out of the tub.) Or try the highly aromatic peppermint and eucalyptus bath gel from Olbas, which is enormous for clearing out congestion. Nature’s Acres, a locally owned and operated company, makes a beautiful bath called Tonic which features a blend of eucalyptus, sage and thyme: expectorant, anti-microbial and anti-viral herbs. Many people pledge by German company Herbaflor’s Eucalyptus or Peppermint bubble baths and still buy them as gifts for loved ones.

If you have the power, you can make your own healing bath blend. One of our preferred recipes was created by Greta Breedlove, author of The Herbal Home Spa.

Healing Salt Crystals
1 cup borax
2 cups Epsom salt
1/2 cup coarse sea salt
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup white clay
1/2 cup dried powdered herb (we recommend ginger)
10 drops essential oil (we recommend eucalyptus)

Mix all together in a big bowl with a wire whisk. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your healing bath concoction per tub full of hot-as-you-can-stand-it water. Soak for at least twenty minutes. Towel dry, put on your flannel jammies and edge into bed for a good night’s sleep. You’ll feel much better in the morning.

Even if you’re not in the humor for a bath, you can still reap the benefits of essential oils with an herbal steam. Use two to three drops of your preferred essential oils per quart of boiling water. Pour water into a bowl, add essential oils and place your face over the bowl with a towel draped over your head. (It’s a good idea to keep your eyes closed, because necessary oils can be irritating.) Inhale deeply for as long as you contentedly can. Essential oils of rosemary and thyme are good choices for serving to break up congestion and loosen coughs.

Another way to knowledge the healing benefits of essential oils is to use a diffuser. Wyndemere glass and metal diffusers are good-looking to look at and work magnificently well. Just fill the glass bowl with water and place a tea light candle beneath it. Light the candle, wait a few minutes for the water to humid up, and add two or three drops of necessary oil; the heated water releases the aroma of the oil into the room. Sampler’s Sinus Oil blend is a good choice for soothing and opening up suffering sinuses.

To spread healing warmth all through the body, try a good cup of hot tea. Of the companies that propose tea blends in bags, Yogi Tea is one of our favorites. Try their Cold Season or Echinacea Immune Support blends. These teas taste huge and help your body do battle with winter virus beasties. We also extremely recommend Rishi tea -- the Milwaukee-based company has created several of the finest blends we have ever tasted. Their Fire tea, which has been hailed by numerous co-workers as miraculous, contains Korean red ginseng, Chinese licorice, star anise, black peppercorns and rare essential oils. In addition to being tremendously tasty, Fire tea is very energizing and warming. Or try the Berry Immune tea by Living Earth Herbs. It contains elderberry, Hawthorne and astragalus, so it’s a great anti-viral in addition to being tasty! If you’d like to make your own tea blend, Community Pharmacy sells more 200 herbs in bulk. Mullein, elecampane and yerba santa are excellent plants for helping to cure and clear the lungs. Adding wild cherry bark to your formula will help to calm a cough. Peppermint will aid in clearing the lungs and sinuses as well as provide a refreshing taste to your cold ‘n’ flu tea blend.

After your bath, while sipping on a hot cup of tea, we propose you snuggle up with a Dreamtime pillow. Their plush velvet body and neck wraps hold clove, cinnamon and eucalyptus, and they can be heated to help ease aching muscles. Dreamtimes also make one of the most luxurious products we’ve seen -- foot cozies! These slippers are microwaveable and perfumed with aromatic herbs that rouse circulation to warm up cold footsies.

Few things are additional comforting to a sick body than a bowl of steaming hot soup. Since adding medicinal plants to your food is a huge way to boost immunity, try this formula from Smart Medicine for Healthier Living by Janet Zand.

Astragalus & Vegetable Immune-Boosting Soup

1-2 astragalus root strips
1 piece burdock root
1/4 to 1 inch piece fresh ginger root
10 cups water
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon sage
6 cups vegetables cut into bite-sized pieces (excellent choices are broccoli, cauliflower, celery, green pepper, potatoes, squash, string beans or zucchini)

In a stainless steel pot, bubble the astragalus and burdock in the water with the thyme and sage for thirty minutes. Strain the herbs and use the resulting tea as a potage for the soup. Add the vegetables and barley to the broth and cook. Allow to boil slowly for one hour. Serve warm. You can strain the soup and eat it as a soup or eat it unstrained. Makes about six servings.

Note: If you desire, you can add all the ingredients at one time and take the astragalus and burdock out after the soup is done, before serving. This results in an additional strongly-flavored and medicinal soup.

We hope you stay fit all winter long, but if you do find manually with the sniffles, come visit us at Community Pharmacy. We have many extra ideas on how to make your sick time more comfortable and how to make your strong time more decadent.


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