Winter time is a season that many gardeners don’t look forward to because it means that they won’t be outside digging in the dirt and enjoying the sunshine, and to top it all off, there’s the fact that when the temperatures drop, there’s plenty of winter ailments you’ve got to deal with, too. This winter blend your love for gardening with your desire to find more natural treatments for the cough and colds that hold you back. Here are some natural remedies for winter illnesses that you can concoct using medicinal herbs.
There are a huge number of medicinal herbs that you can use to create remedies for your illness symptoms, and the best part is, that you can often find a blend of herbs that not only helps you to feel better, but tastes great, too.
Chamomile – aids in digestion and sleep problems
Sage – calms an upset stomach, gas, and soothes sore throats
Dandelion – helps to cleanse your system and aids with upset stomach and intestinal gas
Clover – can help with coughs
Mint – useful for colds, bloating, gas, and sore throats
Parsley – soothes sore throat and mouth and helps with bad breath
Lavender – helps stop headaches, insomnia, and gives a calming feeling
Elder flower – useful for colds and fevers
Each of these herbs offers its own unique purpose and taste. You can experiment with different variations of your favorites to find that perfect tea to help your specific problem. For instance, when dealing with a cold, a lavender and mint infused tea might be just what you need to get some rest. You don’t need a fancy brewing setup to get the benefit of these herbs either. You can make your own tea bags using a variety of items already in your home, from tin foil to cheese cloth or coffee filters, and instructions found online. Just place some dried or fresh herbs into the sachet, and let it sit in boiling water for about five minutes.
After it brews, you can add some honey or other sweetener if you find your tea is too bitter for your tastes. Honey is an excellent choice as it has its own health benefits. It can be great for soothing a sore throat and cough all on its own. However, please keep in mind that children under the age of two shouldn’t be given honey.
Natural Vapor Rub
Commercial vapor rub uses a petroleum jelly, and for many, this doesn’t sound very appealing to rub on their skin. An alternative, natural solution can be made using a few basic ingredients and some essential oils made from herbs. This requires a half cup of an oil base like almond, olive, or coconut oil. You’ll also need about two tablespoons of beeswax pastilles, too. For the essential oils, you will need about 10 to 20 drops of eucalyptus, cinnamon/and or clove, rosemary, and peppermint. If making this for babies or small children, you’ll want to use eucalyptus and fir oils instead
Melt the beeswax and the oil in a double boiler first. Then, add in your essential oils. Use about 10 drops of rosemary and cinnamon/clove oil and about 20 drops of eucalyptus and peppermint. If you’re making this to use on babies or small children, only use about four drops each of eucalyptus oil and fir oil. Stir the mixture well, and pour it into proper containers to store. Small mason jars, tins, baby food jars, and even empty lip balm tubes can work for this purpose.
Another boon from your garden that you can use to deal with winter ailments is barley water. There’s nothing worse than dealing with an upset stomach and no appetite while knowing you’ve got to keep something down. Barley water might be exactly what you need in this case.
Bail two tablespoons of barley in about a pint and a half of water. Let continue for about five minutes before taking it off the heat and straining out the barley. Serve the water warm in a mug. If taste is an issue, you can add some honey and/or lemon juice for an improvement and added health benefits.
While aloe vera isn’t an herb, this medicinal plant has been used for centuries for a wide variety of conditions. In the wintertime, there’s nothing worse than dealing with dry skin as a result of drier air. Having an aloe vera plant is perfect for helping your skin cope with the colder temperatures and the way that the wind can strip the moisture right out.
A Word of Caution
When it comes to using natural remedies, especially when using it to help children feel better, it’s always good to consult with a pediatrician or other qualified health care personnel beforehand. This is especially true if you’re using herbs and essential oils that you’ve purchased rather than grown yourself.
Enjoy a winter of using natural remedies that you can gather from your garden. You can even start your own windowsill herb garden to grow a few of these plants during the cold months to suit your needs. This can be a fun way to enjoy your favorite hobby while knowing exactly where your medicine is coming from. Not to mention, these are just a few of the different natural remedies that can be used to help make your winter a little less miserable. The sky's the limit!