‘There is something going around’ and it has landed here in full force! Not completely sure if it entered through the shop maybe on a dollar bill or perhaps it worked its way in through the Early Learning program 2 year old Cedar goes too.  I did notice a lot of moist looking noses there…..  But in any case the bug is here and we’ve all been affected by it in varying degrees. It’s times like these when we realize the importance of staying well with herbs.

Little Cedar got the worst of it.   We harvested some herbs from the garden for him to play with in the bathtub.   We used fragrant and relaxing bath herbs of sage, thyme, lavender, and rosemary to help open his sinus and help give a more restful night sleep.   We also added a small amount of peppermint oil to the cool mist vaporizer in his room.  To do this we put 5 drops of peppermint oil in scant 1/8 c vodka and add that to the water in the vaporizer.  Oil and water don’t mix but oil and alcohol will, then of course, alcohol and water mixes.   Peppermint oil helps to clear sinus and lung congestion, relieves headaches and is mildly antiviral and antibacterial.  On top of all that it smells good too!

Mom was next and immediately began pounding the Echinacea tincture for any acute viral or bacterial infection and Astragulus to strengthen the immune reservoir. I also always take some Elecampane whenever a cough is present.  As much as I hate the taste it is an ideal antiseptic expectorant.  I take all three in alcohol extract form in a small shot glass of juice or water and shoot it right down.  I do this 6-7 times a day when I am under the weather.

Five year old Angelica’s immune system has fought like a champ!   She has fared the best and her favorite cold remedy is lots of Chamomile tea just like Peter Rabbit! Angelica also loves Elderberry Syrup to support her immune system.  We make our own by simmering the elder berries in water for close to an hour and then straining and adding local honey to taste.  Take a shot glass full daily as a preventative.  Her daddy is fighting off a sore throat and he loves sage honey to soothe the throat and crystallized ginger for his stomach.    We also keep some boneset and yarrow in our winter flu arsenal.  Boneset is also an immune stimulant and the tea helps when ‘everything hurts’.  Yarrow is our favorite to increase perspiration and help to ‘break the fever’.  We also use sautéed onions on top of the chest to break congestion on the chest.

Here is the recipe: Simply sauté four onions and two garlic cloves until translucent and then put half of them in some cheesecloth or muslin and allow to rest on the effected area: lungs, kidneys. Cool first if necessary.   Always best not to burn your victim err I mean patient.    To the other half of the sautéed onions and garlic, add some green pepper, basil, oregano, and rosemary, then add chicken cut into 1” pieces and tomatoes. Continue to cook, stirring frequently.   That’s for dinner! Staying well with herbs can be delicious as well as healthy.


Susanna Reppert Brill is a 6th generation herbalist and the owner of The Rosemary House in Mechanicsburg, PA.  She tends to her shop, her gardens and to her family!

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