Linden Leaf and Flower for Head Colds, Aches, Dry Skin, Sleep, and More

You know those head colds where it starts off with your nose running like a faucet and uncontrollable sneezing?  And then once that stops, your nasal passages just swell up and seal shut,  but your nose continues to run and drip down the back of your throat?  Yeah.  I had one of those last week.  I don’t think I ever ran a fever, but I did feel a bit worn down and lethargic for a day or so.  It was fairly mild, as colds go, but that nose thing was very distressing.

Honey, Lemon, Ginger teaI was on vacation, so had limited herbal remedies on hand.  I started taking Airborne. I also made myself a soothing cup of honey, ginger, and lemon tea (boiled water poured over chopped fresh ginger, a spoonful of honey, and a squeeze of lemon).  Later I made a hot toddy, and wow, that was potent!  (1/4C each of of whiskey and fresh lemon juice heated, plus 1/4C honey.)  Tasty, instant warmth, a pleasant buzz, and peaceful sleep shortly thereafter.  Although these remedies were comforting, they were only temporarily.

The swollen shut, runny nose continued, but I was on the mend the next day and felt much better, plus we were heading home.  As soon as I got home I started looking through my herbs for another remedy to treat the stuffy, drippy nose.

Linden Leaf and Flower TeaEnter Linden Tea!

It is an incredible feeling when you ingest an herb that seems as if it was made just for you.  It totally matches your constitution, relieves the imbalances causing your symptoms, almost makes you feel more like yourself than you did before.  Incredible!

I chose this herb because of its moistening and anti-inflammatory properties, both of which I thought would be a good match for my currently dry winter constitution. Plus it was listed in numerous information resources as a good cold remedy.

This tea almost instantly moistened and reduced the inflammation in the hot, swollen tissues of my sinuses, while simultaneously tightening the tissues and stopping the leaky, drippy mucous. Half way through the first cup I realized I could actually breathe through my nose!!!  And it wasn’t dripping!  It also induced the most lovely relaxation, ahhhh.  The relaxation was very similar to what I get when I drink Chamomile tea. This herb actually reminds me a lot of Chamomile.

Also soothes dry, itchy skin, gut inflammation, and musculoskeletal pain

Coincidentally, I also had a couple of other nagging issues that were relieved with the Linden Tea.  I have been experiencing a tender tummy lately, and achy joints and muscles,  probably due to some gut inflammation. This problem completely cleared up the day after drinking the Linden tea, and I awoke with absolutely no stomach pain and no musculoskeletal pain.  I was astounded to feel so good after having spent months in some degree of pain.

I also had begun to develop extremely dry skin this winter, which was quite different from my usual oily skin type.  I had a particularly nagging spot under my chin that itched and was extremely wrinkled. In fact, I was noticing a lot more wrinkles on my face in general. I had attributed the change to perimenopause and changing hormones.  However, after drinking the Linden Tea, I noticed a distinct change in the softness of that patch on my chin, and it wasn’t itching.  I was intrigued to say the least!

After doing some additional research on Linden, I decided to switch up the daily nourishing infusion I had been drinking to include some Linden, since it seemed to be so good for my current constitution.  My latest infusion recipe includes a base of Oat Straw, with some Violet Leaf, Red Clover, and LINDEN!  I have so far had one quart of this infusion over two days time, and that itchy patch on my chin has completely cleared up, my skin is softer and less dry (less wrinkles too!), and my body continues to be pain free.  I have also slept easily and all through the night, when I had been averaging only 5 or 6 hours and waking frequently.

Had I had a fever, or more chest congestion with this cold, I think I may have mixed it with Yarrow and Mullien.  As it was, I only seemed to need the Linden.

In my research, I learned that Linden is also considered a tonic for the heart – some consider it second only to Hawthorne.  Additionally, there is quite a bit of spiritual lore related to this magnificent tree. Read more about the medicinal and spiritual properties of this herb from the links at the bottom of the article.

Some Personal Lore

When I was a child, my grandmother lived on Linden Street. In the front yard was a large Linden tree with low enough branches that I and my cousins could climb into it when we played all sorts of fun games, like hide-and-seek for one.  Sometimes we played “house” and one branch would be the  kitchen, and the other the living room; our bikes were our cars when we had to go to work.  It made a fine place to sit with a book on a lazy afternoon, also.

There are  Linden trees where I live now, too.  I smell them every year when they bloom.  This is the year I will spend time getting to know her better.  And I need an Ogham stick from her wood!  Lot’s more to learn, and I’m sure I will be writing about her often.

More information:

http://www.methowvalleyherbs.com/2011/09/lovely-linden.html

http://www.herbalsafety.utep.edu/herbs-pdfs/lindentree.pdf 

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/linden

http://urbanherbology.org/2011/06/26/lime-nllinden-for-magical-midsummer-happiness/

http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail309.php

Tasty Magnesium Rich Herbal Infusion

I’ve been showing signs of magnesium deficiency, so I made a magnesium-rich herbal infusion, steeped over night.  It’s really tasty!

Part of my symptoms are related to the peri menopause I’m sure, but I suspect magnesium deficiency is at the root of it. I’m having a lot of fatigue, grumpiness, digestive issues, muscle spasms, tingling in my hands some times, occasional heart flutters…

And it seems the worse I feel the less likely I am to take care of myself properly. WHY do I put off taking care of myself?

So I made this herbal infusion. It is mostly oatstraw and horsetail for the magnesium and other minerals that support healthy connective tissue and nervous system, a little nettles for kidney support, and some licorice root and ginger for flavor as well as liver and digestive support.

It’s really good!  To me anyway. Maybe because I need these particular herbs right now.  If you make this and it doesn’t taste good to you consider that one or more of the herbs may not be right for you at this time.

After just one glass, I swear I feel better already!

Here is how I made it.

This much Oatstraw
This much Oatstraw
This much Horsetail
This much Horsetail
About half as much Nettles
About half as much Nettles
Three slices fresh ginger, chopped
Three slices fresh ginger, chopped
One piece Licorice Root, broken up
One piece Licorice Root, broken up
Put in a french press and pour boiling water over the herbs. Let steep over night.
Put in a french press and pour boiling water over the herbs. Let steep over night.

 

Then enjoy a cup or two over ice the next couple of days! Keep refrigerated after you steep it and it should be good for about 2 days.

More information…

http://www.susunweed.com/How_to_make_Infusions.htm

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/01/19/magnesium-deficiency.aspx?x_cid=20150119_nonlead1_magnesium-deficiency_facebookdoc

 

 

Winter Nourishing Herbal Infusion

My new favorite winter nourishing herbal infusion is a combination of equal parts violet leaf and linden flowers, with a hefty pinch of nettle seeds. Pour a quart of boiling water over, seal, and let sit for 4 hours or more. Strain and drink. Yumm!!!

Nourishing herbal infusionThis blend is addressing my winter constitutional dryness beautifully, moistening up those mucous membranes, easing digestion, helping to purify the blood, and nourishing my kidneys and adrenals, which tend to be weak. Plus I think it tastes really, really good. I’m loving it!

What are your favorite winter infusion and tea blends?

Nettle Infusion for Energy and Nourishment

Need an energy pick-me-up? Try Nettles! 

Susun Weed says that nettle infusion is an excellent nourisher of the kidneys and adrenals and will banish water retention so it doesn’t return.  I’ve read that it is also an excellent uterine tonic — with regular use it will banish PMS, reduce heavy bleeding, and eliminate cramps! Wow.

Nettles is a nourishing herb, which means it can be taken like food, every day if necessary.  It contains tons of vitamins and minerals and is just good for you, like any deep green vegetable. Instructions for making an infusion are at the bottom of this page.

I have personally tried nettle infusion as a tonic, and I can attest to the fact that it did increase my energy and caused the swelling from retained fluid in my ankles to go down, almost immediately.  However, I really did not like the taste of nettles and so did not continue drinking it long enough to experience some of the long term effects.  It has a very earthy aroma and taste, very “loamy.”  It is deep dark green like spinach broth.  Even though I felt immediately wonderful when I drank it, getting it down the hatch was something I had to make myself do.  Consequently, I have tended to avoid it since that first attempt.

Recently, however, I decided to give it another try.   This time when I made it, it tasted soooo much better!  Many natural healers and herbalists advocate the idea that if something doesn’t taste good to you, that maybe you should listen to your body and not have it.  I think the body is very wise in knowing what it needs and that there is a lot of truth to that approach.  Since I loved it so much this time and I couldn’t drink enough of it, maybe this was the right time for me.  I have decided to continue with it for a while to see what long term benefits come of it.  Besides my body wisdom, I think another reason it tasted better was because the dried herb I used this time was much fresher than what I had used initially.  

I also started my husband on nettle infusion at the same time as me.  In fact, my trying to help him is what inspired me to give it another go in the first place.  My husband is a diabetic, and has also been experience a lot of anxiety attacks lately.  I have read that anxiety with no real environmental danger could be a sign that the adrenal glands are stressed.  Since he is a diabetic, I know that one of the complications of that condition can be stressed kidneys, and since the adrenals are so near to and work so closely with the kidneys, nettles came to mind as the perfect nourishment he might be needing.  He is on pharmaceuticals for his diabetes, but any nourishment he takes in addition to that can only help and not hurt. Nettles is a nourishing herb and there are no side effects when you use nourishing herbs.  It is just as safe as eating spinach for dinner.

How to make nettle infusion

Put one handful of dried nettle in a quart jar, pour boiling water over, stir, and pour again to fill the jar.  Cover tightly and let sit for 4-8 hours.  Pour the infusion through a strainer to filter out the herb.  Drink the liquid freely, either hot or cold, but be sure to use it up within a couple of days, or it may spoil. If it bubbles or smells funny, it is probably spoiled. Give the spent herb back to mother earth — just sprinkle it around in your garden or yard. Use spoiled infusion to water your house plants.  It makes an excellent fertilizer.

Variations:

Add peppermint to the brew.  Gives a pleasant minty taste!  This is my favorite way.

Some like to mix the infusion 1/2 and 1/2 with juice

Some add salt and/or miso, to make it taste more like a spinach broth

Others add honey and/ or cinnamon

Try your own variations!