Grow Your Own Medicine Pantry! A fresh twist on eating locally.
By now, most of us embrace the benefits of “eating locally”. Fresher, juicier, and more nutritious food? What’s not to love? Besides that, the less handling our food requires, the less risks for contamination. Even though it’s not all of the time, it’s definitely satisfying whenever we do eat from our local producers. Yet for some reason, we’re not thinking that way when it comes to our medicine. Why aren’t we trying to include some local options in our medicine as well?
Nothing’s more local than your own back yard!
Medicine can definitely be found in places other than the pharmacy. Many cultures use local leaves, flowers and seeds for their medicinal benefits. A typical way to ingest them is in the form of teas and tonics. By extracting their restorative properties, we can find relief from many types of conditions. This includes the common ailment known as My-to-do-list-makes-me-exhausted’itis.
This form of medicine promotes the body’s ability to heal itself. It also connects perfectly with our philosophy at Pendotion™ .
What’s in your pantry?
Herbs are the kind of house-guest we all want. They are delightful, low-maintenance, and they take up very little of our personal space. You can grow them on a window sill, in a container, or plant them in the garden. Fresh herbs can also be preserved for future use by drying, freezing, or infusing them with other ingredients such as honey. They’re also the perfect foundation for creating your medicine pantry.
Don’t worry if you’re less DIY (do-it-yourself), and more DIFM (do-it-for-me). At the end of this post, we’ve listed a fantastic source for plants, herbs, and seeds to get you started right away.
Now here are 3 simple recipes that will inspire you to grow your own medicine:
Floral Fever Tea
- Combine 1/3 teaspoon each of dried yarrow flower, catnip flower, and elder flower in a mug.
- Pour 1 cup of boiling water on top.
- Cover for 10 – 20 minutes.
- Strain flowers before drinking.
In the west, our instinct is to “break” the fever. However, keep in mind that a fever means that your immune system is working. Some herbs can help your body work through low to medium grade fevers in adults. They are called diaphoretics. These herbs will warm you up, open your pores, and promote sweating. This helps to eliminate toxins and creates the perfect environment for your immune cells to fight infection.
*For high grade fevers, or for children, or even if you’re just worried, it’s recommended that you seek medical attention.
The herbal blend of sage, oregano, and thyme is great for sinus congestion and sore throats. Add a teaspoon of each to a cup of boiled water, and leave covered for 15 minutes for a simple tea.
You can also combine them with chopped garlic and preserve it in honey for powerful addition to your medicine pantry. Just add 1-2 tablespoons to a cup of hot water when needed. How simple is that?!!
To get all the health benefits of this preserve, use locally-sourced, organic honey. Otherwise, you might be drinking high-fructose corn syrup pretending to be real honey.
Ayurvedic 3 Seed Digestive Tea
Enjoy this next blend as a tonic that uses seeds instead of herbs. It’s perfect if you don’t have any herbs yet. Sip on it as a refreshing pick-me-up, or between meals to help with digestion.
You’ll need one teaspoon each of cumin, fennel, and coriander seeds.
- Boil six cups of water in a pot on the stove.
- Add the seeds to the pot and reduce the water to a simmer.
- Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes depending upon how strong you like it.
- Cool, then strain through a fine metal strainer into a glass jar or bottle
- Store in the refrigerator.
Some people say this drink reminds them of Mexican food. You can add a bit of honey to sweeten this spicy blend.
Super Easy Way to Get Started
Speaking of friendly… Thanks to Cindy Ouellette. She’s the editor and photographer for Richters Herbs FaceBook page and graciously offered the pictures posted here. It was a pleasure to chat with her. Thanks Cindy!
Richters Herbs is located just north of Toronto, Ontario, so definitely visit them if you can. They also ship most of their products to anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. (I love ordering online with them.)
If you’re looking for some personalized help, then chat with Richters’ very own herb expert, Koidu Sulev! You’ll find her in their retail store every Wednesday, from 9:00am – 4:00pm (Mar 21- June 27). If you can’t visit Koidu, you can always send her your inquiries here:https://www.richters.com/show.cgi…
Koidu grew up in Sweden, where her interest in herbs was sparked as a young child on her aunt’s farm. As an adult, Koidu earned her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree in Sweden, at the Royal Pharmaceutical Institute in Stockholm, which requires knowledge of herbs for medical preparations.
Here we GROW again!
If you’re new to gardening, then remember to have fun! Hopefully this post inspires you to create your own medicine pantry. Also, both new and seasoned gardeners can find themselves in awkward positions for long periods of time. Be sure to undo any aches and stiffness with Pendotion’s effective method of movement.
Just because you’re standing still right now, that doesn’t mean you’re not on a journey! – Charlene Sullivan