I have been interested in medicine and properties of herbs all my adult life. Here are some of my recipes.




This is sweet, warming and energising tea.  These amounts will make fairly large quantity you can drink during the day.


Add about 2 litres of warm water to a small handful of Rose hips (Rosa canina), broken  to pieces, a small handful of Schizandra berries (Schizandra chinensis), a few small chopped pieces of Liquorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), and some Raisins.  It is a good idea to rinse the herbs beforehand. Bring to the boil, cover, and simmer gently for 10 minutes.   Add two Cinnamon sticks (Cinnamomum verum), broken to pieces, and simmer for another couple of minutes.  Leave covered for a while, then enjoy.


COLDS AND FLU TEA (viral infections)


I usually manage to shake off a cold before I get to the bottom of the teapot!

Add one litre of boiling water to ½-1 teaspoonful of dried and ground Ginger (Zingiber officinale), 1 teaspoonful of powdered Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) and 1 teaspoonful of loose Green tea.  Leave to infuse for five minutes.  Drink slowly, as the tea will be fairly hot (I mean the taste, not just the temperature) but try to drink all the quantity within one hour and as hot as possible.   




SWEET DREAMS (restful sleep and vivid dreams)


This remedy will ensure refreshing night sleep.  It was also designed to bring vivid dreams in your sleep – which is especially important for people who like to rely on their intuition.  Take the remedy one hour before going to bed.  The full effect will be seen in a few nights.

Pour 200ml boiling water over 2 teaspoonfuls of Cocoa powder, 1 level teaspoonful of dried and ground Gotu Kola leaves (Hydrocotyle asiatica), 1 level teaspoonful of dried and ground Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and 1-2 teaspoonfuls of Sugar (optional).  Leave to infuse for 10-15 min, stir and drink all of it, including the grounds (it is not as bad as it sounds).  Take 50-100 mg of Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) along with this drink.









This herbal remedy strengthens memory and learning capacity.  It improves circulation and mood, and generally revitalises body and mind.  I find that combining these two herbs makes them more effective.  Always label your herbal remedies.

*Put some dried Gingko leaves (Gingko biloba) in a jar, cover well with vodka or pure Alcohol and leave for four weeks.  Every few days shake the jar vigorously.  Strain and discard the herbs.

* Meanwhile in the same way prepare some Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) tincture.

* Combine both tinctures in a bottle, approximately 1:1.


To use, pour ½ -1 teaspoonful of the remedy in a cup of hot water, stir and leave for a few minutes.  This will allow most of the alcohol to evaporate.  Take the remedy 2-3 times a day, preferably on an empty stomach.  These herbs are not harmful or toxic so you can carefully experiment with the dosage.  But please have in mind the alcohol in this remedy.  Generally, for long term treatment smaller doses are advised.  If quicker results are sought then larger doses would be more appropriate.





This recipe is not mine; it is a folk remedy for gallstones.  I found it in an old Russian book.  It helped my father to avoid an operation on the gallbladder so I included it here for somebody else to try and possibly benefit from it.

In a cup, mix 2 tablespoons of Olive oil (preferably extra virgin) and the juice of ½ a Lemon.  Drink this on empty stomach every morning and wait for at least 30 min before having breakfast.  Few weeks of treatment are usually sufficient in most cases.  If the condition is serious enough gradually increase the amount of olive oil and lemon juice every day.

The diet should include plenty of fresh fruit (with the exception of plums) and vegetables, little fat other then olive oil, and almost no sugar or alcohol.  Gallstones are extremely common but they have symptoms only in a small percentage of cases.  I think it is a good idea for most middle-aged people to do this treatment for a couple of weeks once or twice a year in order to minimise chances of getting into trouble.  It is easy and quite tasty, and even if there are no gallstones to treat, your digestion, gallbladder and liver will thank you for that.




LEG AND FEET LOTION (circulation and varicose veins)


My mother says that this lotion provides more relief then gels and creams for the same purpose currently on the market.  All amounts are approximate.


Mix well:

Distilled Witch Hazel        (Hamamelis virginiana)         100ml

Horse Chestnut tincture   (Aesculus hippocastanum)        50ml

Glycerine                                 30ml

Cypress essential oil              30 drops

Mint essential oil                  30 drops

Lemon essential oil              30 drops

A small piece of camphor block (optional)


Omit the lemon essential oil if your legs are going to be exposed to the sun.  Mix in a spray bottle and apply 1-3 times daily or as needed.  However, full effect will be seen with regular application.   Shake before use.









Marigold is a first choice herb for skin complaints and cider vinegar has a number of healing properties on its own.   This lotion is very effective in cases of dermatitis, eczema, itching skin, fungal infections, insect bites, varicose veins, inflamed skin, and dandruff.

Fill a small jar with Marigold petals (Calendula Officinalis).  Heat some Cider vinegarbut do not boil.  Pour the hot liquid over the petals, filling the jar with vinegar.   All petals should be covered.  Close tightly and leave for 2-3 days to infuse or until the petals become transparent.  Strain, discard the petals and use the liquid for external application.  If the lotion is used for fungal infections, dermatitis or dandruff, it should be applied regularly until the condition has cleared completely.




Crush some clean Plantain leaves (Plantago major) and make them into a paste.  Mix with some Honey (unpasteurised), apply to the wound, cover with gaze and nylon, and then fasten.  Fresh, lightly crushed Plantain leaves (Plantago major) can be used on their own in emergencies.  They are easy to find along the country roads. 

Serious injuries need doctor’s attention.




Another excellent herb for wounds is Marigold (Calendula Officinalis).  The active ingredients are in the petals  – the brighter the colour, the better.  Marigold stops bleeding, prevents and fights infection and bruising, and helps the skin to heal faster with little scarring.

 Marigold tincture is very effective on small wounds, such as accidental cuts.  Apply the tincture on a cotton pad (cotton wool must never be used for dressings), cover the wound with it, then fasten - not too tight, allowing the skin underneath to breathe.  To make the tincture, fill a small jar with dry petals and cover with vodka.  Leave for 3 or 4 weeks, shaking every now and then, then strain, discard the petals and use the liquid.

Alcohol should not be used over a large area of damaged skin, so larger wounds should be covered with gaze soaked in some freshly prepared strong Marigold infusion.  To make the infusion pour a cup of boiling water over a small handful of petals and leave to cool. The dressing should be changed several times a day.  This treatment is also very good for burns – in this case the solution should be ice cold. 

Serious injuries need doctor’s attention.



Marigold (Calendula Officinalis)





Good quality, organic and unpasteurised Honey has strong antiseptic and healing properties and makes a good dressing for small wounds on its own.  But do not expect that from the honey you buy from the supermarket.  During the WWI a mixture of unpasteurised Honey and Cod Liver Oil or Fish oil was widely used as a dressing.


Serious injuries need doctor’s attention.







HANGOVER (liver)


By far, the best prevention of hangover is to go easy on alcohol in the first place!


If it happens anyway, a good herb to rely on is Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum).  Have some high-strength capsules or tablets ready at home and take plenty of them during the evening, before going to bed, and on the next day.  Milk Thistle cleanses and protects the liver, apart from having antioxidant properties.  It has no side effects and it is not toxic.  In addition, drink lots of water and supplement your diet with vitamins C, E and B complex.  It is also wise to take some Milk Thistle along with any other toxic substances, such as some strong medicines.

COUGH AND SORE THROAT SYRUP (lungs and throat)


This is a very effective combination of immune-enhancing, antiseptic and demulcent herbs for all respiratory infections.  Hot taste, but full of flavour.


Add about 1 litre (or just enough water to cover all the herbs well) of warm, filtered water to two shredded pieces of fresh Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and a small handful of each of the following herbs:

Echinacea root (Echinacea purpurea)

Astragal root (Astragalus memranaceus)

Liquorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis)

All herbs should be finely chopped or shredded.  Bring to the boil, cover, and simmer gently for 30 minutes.  Add two tablespoonfuls of Clove buds (Eugenia caryophyllata),simmer for 1 more minute, then leave covered for a few hours to cool down completely.  Strain the herbs, thoroughly squeezing them out, and measure the liquid.  To this strong decoction add the same quantity of real, unpasteurised Honey, and half of this quantity - Brandy (for example if the liquid is 500ml - 500ml honey and 250ml brandy) and stir.  Store the syrup in glass bottles in a cool place or in the fridge.

 Take 1-2 tablespoonfuls of the syrup after meals, 3 or 4 times a day.  Take the remedy slowly, keeping it around the throat for a while before swallowing.  Liquorice, taken for long periods or in large amounts may increase blood pressure and cause water retention, although in this particular recipe the Astragal root should counterbalance this effect.  You can remove the hot taste by omitting the Ginger and Cloves but the original recipe will be more effective and will keep longer.  The same goes for brandy.



FRUIT FAST (general health)

Regular, short fruit fasts are very good for the health.  They cleanse, balance and rejuvenate the whole body but are especially beneficial in cases of high blood pressure, liver disease, kidney disease, arthritis, skin complaints, digestive complaints, some hormonal imbalances, lack of energy, depression, water retention etc.  I have to say that if you have a serious medical condition, you need to check with your doctor first.  Fruit fasts also make it a lot easier to break an addiction, such as to coffee or cigarettes, and to start generally to eat healthier.  Only fruit, herbal teas and water are allowed during the fast.  In Preparing Yourself for Energy Work, Fruit Fast is described in more detail.




My mother thought me always to have a large pot of growing Aloe at home.  Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) contains a clear gel inside its thick leaves that has a dramatic ability to heal wounds, ulcers and burns.  This gel can be applied to the skin on its own as a first aid remedy for scalds, grazes, sunburn and small wounds.  The plant is soothing, cooling, antiseptic and astringent, and will speed healing of almost any skin condition.  To collect the gel, simply break off a leaf and split open. 

This recipe contains also additional healing and beautifying ingredients, making it a truly wonderful toner, aftershave for sensitive skin, or remedy.  It will make the skin clearer, brighter and more resilient.  Make small amounts in one go and use quickly.

Mix well in a small bottle:

Aloe Vera clear gel
or freshly squeezed juice
 from the leaves        10ml

Chamomile Water or Rose Water                   20ml

Marigold tincture                                     3-5 drops

Grape seed extract (liquid)                       3-5 drops

Shake before use.

ASTRAGALUS SOUP   (immunity)

A soup that is tasty, immune-enhancing, nourishing, and easy to digest.  Astragalus root (Astragalus membranaceus) is a famous Chinese tonic, helping to strengthen the immune system, counteracting tiredness and lack of appetite.  This recipe makes a great food for anyone struggling with infections, chronic fatigue, allergies or cancer, recovering from illness, or simply wanting to enhance their immunity.  Astragalus is also soothing and healing for stomach ulcers.

Put a handful of chopped Astragalus root in a middle-sized pan, filled with water.  Bring to the boil and simmer for one hour.  Strain, discard the root and use the liquid as a base to prepare the soup, adding a small handful of Rice, a few chopped Shiitake mushrooms and a couple of Bay leaves.  Some ten minutes later add a small Carrot and a small Onion, chopped.  When the vegetables are almost cooked, add a handful of frozen, peeled Prawns, chopped Celery leaves and Parsley and simmer for one more minute.  Serve each portion with a teaspoonful of Fish oil or cod liver oil on top.

This soup should be taken every day for serious conditions.  Astragalus root is the most important ingredient in it, so you can allow yourself to be somewhat adventurous with the rest, for variety.  However, all ingredients here have been carefully chosen for their specific healing properties.



Some common types of headaches, such as tension headaches, may be easily relieved by Peppermint essential oil.

Rub briskly some pure Peppermint essential oil into your forehead and temples where the pain is felt.  It should feel intensely “cold” at the beginning.  In addition, inhale deeply the aroma of Peppermint oil through you nose a few times.  The headache should be gone quite soon.



PINE TOPS (immunity, infections)

Tender light green tops of the pine twigs are used medicinally in this traditional Bulgarian recipe for making Pine Honey.  It works great for respiratory infections, weak immunity and fatigue.

Simmer gently 40 Pine Tops with 1 kg of Sugar over low heat as if preparing jam or preserve.  Keep the pan covered.  After an hour or two remove from the heat.  When the honey has cooled a bit, strain it and discard the pine tops and needles. Take a   teaspoon before eating.

Another way to use pine tops is to make a healing syrup.  Place the tops in a jar, cover them in brandy and keep them there for about a month, shaking from time to time.  Strain, discard the tops and mix the liquid with the same amount of honey.  Take a teaspoon before eating.


Here is a suggestion for a natural way to cleanse you teeth.  I have a friend, a yogi in his eighties, who uses this method exclusively, but still it is better not to clean your teeth in this way often, especially if you eat a lot of carbohydrates and cooked foods.  However, it is good to have in mind this idea just in case you want to clean your teeth but happen not to have a toothbrush with you.

In old times, people used to use sticks of young twigs as toothbrushes - they chewed well one end, then used the chewed end as a brush to massage their gums and clean their teeth, and after that chewed a clean part of the twig as a bubblegum.  I guess that any kind of twig that is not too hard and slightly antibacterial would do.  In the same way sticks of liquorice root were used.


This interesting recipe for removing kidney stones has been given to me by a friend.  Although I have heard some almost miraculous stories about it, please note that I do not know personally anyone who has used it.  Still, it sounds safe and easy enough to be given a try.  Beforehand, you must make sure that the stones are still small, in order to avoid obstruction.  The whole treatment takes only one day.

Prepare 750ml of fresh Cabbage juice, without using the outer leaves.  Mix the juice with 250ml Olive oil in a large bottle and shake well before each use.  Keep this mixture cool and drink 200ml of it every 2 hours.  Along with the treatment drink a lot of water, at least two litres during that day.  You should not eat anything else but I suppose that some fruit would not do any harm.  Also, the recipe requires you to shake your body as much as possible on that day, for example jumping, dancing, going down stairs, etc.



(C) 2003-2007, Veronica Verai