If you grow herbs in your garden, then you have a powerful resource at your fingertips.
Herbal teas are bioavailable meaning they are absorbed quickly and your body responds to them immediately.
I love ‘Botanical Simplicity’ which is a term I use for growing and using our herbal allies straight from the garden. When you have established plants then you can harvest and store for the times when they are not actively growing.
If you want to keep your immunity up here are my Top Three Herbs that will do this.
My favourite variety is Pizza Thyme (thymus nummilarus) as it has high levels of thymol which gives it the antiseptic action. Use to gargle for a sore throat, drink to break up mucus and phlegm and as a bath infusion for coughs and colds.
Echinacea purpurea is an incredible herb to boost the immune response in the body. It can be used as a tea or make a tincture with the upper flowering parts and alcohol (vodka works fine).
Chop up the flowers and leaves and pack them in a jar and cover with the vodka. Leave at least two weeks in a dark place and shake every day or two to encourage the healing properties to transfer to the alcohol.
Strain and store in amber bottles and take a few drops when you feel your immune system needs a helping hand.
Rosehips from the rugose variety or dog rose (the wild one you often see on the roadside) have lots of Vitamin C. Please don’t pick rosehips from bushes growing on a busy road as the car emissions will be on the plants. Quiet country roads are ok or grow a bush in your garden.
My favourite thing to do at this time of year is to pick the ripe rosehips before the birds get them. Then chop them up and cover with a light runny honey. Simmer slowly to allow the Vitamin C to transfer into the honey. Do not do this with open windows or the bees may smell the warm honey and come and investigate!
Strain the honey and bottle and you have delicious Vitamin C rich honey to give to the family in their herb teas or straight off the spoon. I was brought up with rosehip syrup which was yum but was made with sugar.
Now is a great time to start planning to have a family herbal pharmacy in your garden.
You get the benefits of gardening as well as the healthy remedies.
- By Lynn Kirkland, Founder & Herbalist