January Newsletter 2009

Hi Everyone!
It's me again, Vanessa, Herbal Haven's resident Medical Herbalist, standing in for Lorraine while she takes a well-deserved break.

Well, to start with, a very Happy New Year to you all.

As I sit here writing, we are blessed with a sunny but bitterly cold day after a fresh morning of snow and sleet. As I'm pondering on what to include in January's newsletter, it seemed only fitting that I should come up with some offerings to soften the harsh tail of Winter.

Yarrow, Peppermint and Elderflower is a traditional blend of herbs used by many herbalists. It is most valuable taken as a hot tea. On the first signs of a cold, whether a sore throat or a shivery chill, brew up 2 tsps for 10 mins. Ideally, fill up a flask and drink this throughout the day. 3-4 cups is a good amount. Yarrow and Elderflower are excellent diaphoretics (sweat producing) plants. They help the body to cool down by perspiring and this is enhanced by the inclusion of the Peppermint. This tea blend is very useful to manage cold symptoms however, if your symptoms persist, you need to contact your medical herbalist or health care provider.

Mustard foot baths are wonderful for this time of year, when the circulation needs a helping hand. The heat of the mustard helps to increase the blood flow and therefore warmth to the area. Heat enough water to coer your ankles in a bowl of water. Add a tblsp of mustard powder and stir until dissolved. Sit with your feet in the warm water for about 20 mins, then dry off but keep the warmth going with a good pair of socks.

Thyme and Liquorice syrup is an excellent remedy for a productive, chesty cough. Thyme and liquorice have traditionally been used on the respiratory system. They provide relief by soothing irritation of the mucous membranes, increasing expectoration and are good antiseptics. This is a deliciously thick, tasty syrup which is ideal for kids and adults alike. Again, if the cough persists, please get it checked out by a medical herbalist or your health care provider.

If nothing else make yourselves an enjoyable hot lemon and ginger tea. But use the real ingredients! Squeese half a lemon and grate half a tsp of fresh ginger into a cup. Add hot water and drink. This has lots of useful vitamin C and the warming ginger to perk you up. I hope you enjoy it.

You can purchase both the Yarrow, Peppermint & Elderflower tea blend and the Thyme & Liquorice syrup from the Medicinal section on the website.

Have a very happy and healthy year.

That's all for now.

Vanessa