Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tincture series, Congestion

It's the time of year right now for colds.  With the change of seasons conditions seems even more ripe for congestion.  For many congestion then leads to sinus, nausea (from drainage into the stomach) and even throat irritation.

This winter we've been using a tincture for congestion that I brewed in the fall to have on hand for the seemingly inevitable winter colds and congestion.  How did I decide what to put in my tincture?  I ALWAYS research.  A site I highly recommend is herb info .  I like it because it has an index where you can click on the herb you're looking for and each herb has all the information you need to decide if it's what you want laid out in the same format.

With my printouts from this site I created a binder.  I simply cut and paste each herb I grow or have purchased and three hole punch it into a binder (I am a homeschool mom after all!)  When I cut and paste I have begun to be very careful to make sure I get any warning information, even if I feel it doesn't pertain to me.  For instance, "don't use when nursing" doesn't pertain to me but more and more now I'm having friends call and ask about a specific herb and at my fingertips I can read them what it says.  That warning might pertain to them.

Now I must say, I'm "just" a mom.  I'm not a Dr., herbalist or had any training.  YOU need to decide what is right for you and your family.  These are just my experiences and what I've learned.

So, back to the congestion tincture...what's in it?

Garlic, Horseradish, Eucalyptus, Thyme, Peppermint, Peppercorns, Borage, Mullein and Blackberry.  I used about 1 tsp of horseradish, peppercorns and garlic and about 1/3 cup of each of the leafy herbs fresh and torn up.  You can use dried or fresh.  Since I did it in the fall the herbs were all fresh from the garden except for the Eucalyptus which I purchased.

To make the tincture, you know what to do...if not got to the yarrow blog for a step by step.  I made this one the exact same way.

For dosage you need to again do what you feel is best.  I start with 3 droppers full (they fill about 1/2 way when you squeeze) at least 3 times a day.  I have upped that if it's not relieving.  Typically about 15 minutes after I take it I can feel some relief.  If I get congested again I just take another dose.  My biggest problem usually is forgetting to take it because it's helping and then in the evening realizing I'm stuffed again because I haven't taken it since morning.  Usually a few days to maybe a week (if I'm remembering to take it) and I'm good to go.  The herb info site I mentioned above also has suggested dosage information.
My labeled Congestion tincture

There are other things you may find else where listed as "good" for congestion but one of my motives is to use what I can grow.  I tend not to use many items that I have to buy.  With that said there are a few things that I find so useful, easy to obtain and inexpensive that I do buy them from Bulk herb and have them on hand.  One of these is Eucalyptus.

Eucalyptus is excellent for clearing you out.  If you are really congested try placing some Eucalyptus and Sage in a pan of water and bring to a boil.  Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool enough so that you can stand placing your head over it and breathing the steam.  Put a towel over your head as you lean over the pot and capture the steam to breathe.  Be sure to let it cool enough so you don't burn yourself.  I try to make myself do this as long as I can stand (10 minutes if I can) and it clear you out for a few hours.  This is my cure for sinus congestion by the way.  Works fabulously for me!

So what's next?  Sore throat you say?  Stay tuned by signing up at right to "follow" the blog so you don't miss out.

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