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.
GINGKO AND ROSEMARY REMEDY (memory)
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.
OLIVE OIL AND LEMON JUICE DRINK (gallstones)
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.
Distilled Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) 100ml
Horse Chestnut tincture (Aesculus hippocastanum) 50ml
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 AND CIDER VINEGAR LOTION (skin)
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.
WOUND DRESSING (skin)
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.
WOUND DRESSING II (skin)
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.
WOUND DRESSING III (skin)
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.
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)
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)
Shake before use.
ASTRAGALUS SOUP (immunity)
PEPPERMINT OIL FOR HEADACHES
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.
JUICE AND OLIVE OIL REMEDY (kidneys)
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.