This month we are privileged to share from the notes of Dr. Kirk, N.D. on the naturopathic use of herbs for healing and for wonderful healing teas as she presented to our garden club.
Herbal Waters and Sun Teas
These are the easiest to make and the options are endless. The first step is to learn the medicinal qualities of a handful of culinary and garden herbs. We will learn a few simple herbs you can grow in a kitchen garden, potted, or inside. Pick the herbs you like to grow and use in recipes.
Here are a few obvious ones to start with:
Basil Leaf Stomach cramps, intestinal gas, mild carminative, fluid retention and edema, immune system, parasites
Uva Ursi Also known as Kinnikinnick, tonifying and soothing for the bladder and kidney, UTI’s.
Wormwood leaf Digestive spasms, worms and parasites, inflammation of the gall bladder; strong bitter.
Mint Calming and soothing for the digestive tract, cooling, mild carminative (relieves flatulence)
Lemon Balm leaf Calming, anti-anxiety, nervine, settles the digestive tract
Marshmallow Root Soothes mucus membranes, cough, canker sores, bladder issues, digestive irritation, diarrhea
Parsley leaf Nutritive, high in minerals, mild to moderate diuretic action
Lavender flowers Calming, nervine, acts directly on the nervous system, digestive tract, bladder
Ginger root Carminative, immune system, encourages fever for viral illnesses
Rose Hips Petals: nervine, relaxing, great for stress headaches, nausea
Hips: improves immune system, very high in vitamin C
Chamomile Nervine; however, when steeped long and strong, becomes a stimulant and powerful digestive ;bitter
Buchu African plant, excellent for urinary tract, so add some dried cranberry to tea
Many of these can be grown from cuttings, rooting easily in water or soil. At the end of the season, start some cuttings to have kitchen herbs all winter long.
Basic recipe for herb waters
In a quart or half gallon jar, place a few 6” sprigs of herb like mint, basil, parsley, or marshmallow. Add 3-4 slices of fruit orange, lemon, lime, pina. Fill jar with water, and set in sun or shade for a few hours.
This extraction will have a gentler yet more profound medicinal effect than steeped teas.
Tried and true herbal and fruit combinations
Pina-mint Digestive, anti-oxidant, refreshing, somewhat stimulating
Basil-lemon Refreshing, cooling, mild diuretic
Lavender-rose petal Good night sleep and rest
Hibiscus-clove Lowers blood pressure, anti-oxidant
Ginger-Orange Increases immunity, anti-inflammatory, colds, flu
Chamomile-lavender-lemon-ginger Settles all that is wrong
Fresh herbs work a little differently from harvested, processed, or dried herbs. Like fresh fruits and vegetables, the active constituents and nutrients of fresh herbs are more readily available. If using dried herbs, steep in a small amount of hot water first, then add fruit and allow to steep at room temp.
Commercial medicinal teas by brand
Choice — most are organic; they make combinations that are condition-specifics.
Traditional Medicinals — have been around a long time, but are not always organic.
Tulsi — offer western and Ayur-Vedic herbs, usually organic.
Note—Add fruit to commercial teas to lighten and enliven the flavors.
About Dr. Kirk
Dr. Kirk, N.D. has an amazing knowledge in both the field of Naturopathic Medicine and the inner workings of the body, mind, and soul. With 25 years of experience in the use of homeopathy, botanical medicine, nutrition, and mental-emotional aspects of health and disease, Dr. Kirk assists people in weaving a tapestry of modalities into a workable treatment plan leading to a life of vibrant health and a deeper understanding of the Self. If you want to avoid side effects of conventional medicine and get great result using traditional medicine, consult with her. Her on-line consultation is a welcome addition to her many patients who live all over the world.