Herbal Pharmacy – 13

dried basil

First Aid From the Kitchen

Not everyone has a medicinal pharmacy at their fingertips, but just about everyone has a kitchen. And, generally, this kitchen is filled with herbs and spices. Many of our favorite herbs come into the house via the kitchen door.

Basil has anti-spasmodic properties that make it useful for headaches. Lemon, cinnamon and lime basil are often used to treat insomnia and nervous indigestion. For minor kitchen burns, including steam burns, mix 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil with a few drops of organic honey to make a thick paste. Apply gently to the burn and place a gauze pad over the basil-honey ointment. Leave the gauze in place for an hour or so, then rinse the area in cold water. Repeat if necessary.

Chives are similar to garlic, but without the overwhelming flavor. People who are sensitive to garlic can enjoy the medicinal benefits of chives. They have antiseptic properties and help in the digestion of rich and fatty foods. Next time you’re preparing baked potatoes or homemade soups, sprinkle a teaspoon or two over the potatoes or stir the chives into soup.

Peppermint to the rescue! Shorter days and lack of sunshine often results in mid-afternoon fatigue. Mint with its fresh, crisp scent boosts the brain’s production of energizing beta waves. Take a deep whiff of fresh peppermint leaves or brew yourself a cup of peppermint tea while relaxing. You’ll feel refreshed.

Bergamot chases away early morning “fog” — as you inhale the spicy-citrus aroma of bergamot oil. To start the day off right, put 10 drops of the oil on a damp washcloth and lay it on the shower floor, out of the way of the shower stream. As you take a hot shower, the oil will dissipate into the steam. Instant aromatherapy!

Garlic delivers sulfur compounds that boost immunity by up to 40%. Don’t care for fresh garlic? Try garlic tablets, the odor free kind. Check with your health care provider before taking any supplements.

Ginger may help reduce headaches brought on by atmospheric pressure. Cold and low humidity can trigger headaches. Breathe in ginger’s spicy scent by sniffing ginger essential oil or sipping a cup of fresh ginger tea. Slice 3 rounds of peeled ginger, add it to a mug, then pour boiling water over the ginger. Steep 3 minutes and sip the tea slowly.

Lavender. Fill a spray bottle with distilled water and add 20 drops of lavender essential oil. Shake well before using. Lavender has proven relaxing powers, improving sleep by 20%. Spritz the spray around the bedroom 30 minutes before turning in for the night. Sweet dreams.

Vanilla. Dab a drop or 2 of vanilla extract on your wrist, rub in gently. Sniff your wrist several times each day and the scent will promote feelings of tranquility.

Coconut oil to the rescue. It helps erase fine lines and plump up dry skin. Coconut oil nourishes and revitalizes dry winter skin. Apply lightly before before going outdoors in winter.

Blessed be, sweet ones.

— Meadow Walker

Image courtesy of TheSpruceEats.com.

 

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