Sunday, October 18, 2009

Eye of Newt, 3 spider legs and a full moon

Or a cup of tea- Not many appreciate the fact herbs have been around back when Hypocrites was forming the medical community rules and guidelines. Often in todays fast paced, high stressed lifestyle we run to the over the counter quick fixes and ignore the time tested herbal alternatives. Heck, I am an herbalist and even i will offer cough medicine this time of year when one of my kids wakes me up in the middle of the night coughing. Though when I was a little girl my mother would offer me lemon and honey tea--perhaps with some catnip in it as well. I remember how soothing and pleasant the honey and lemon would taste with the warm water, the honey would be thick with granulated pieces that would crunch in my mouth and scratch my itchy throat as it went down to my belly. The cup of tea would soothe my spirit as well as my sore throat--and the healing properties in the local honey along with the vitamins in the lemon would set to work in my immune system. The catnip would soothe my need to cough and allow me to return to my sleep.

Now, I love our earth and I love science--this is why my professional and personal passions are total wellness. I know when we combined our thoughts of wellness to the right scientific measures we are 13 steps ahead of those over-the-counter quick "fixes". Very similar to the common sense of washing our hands to prevent the spread of the cold and flu viruses which seem to jump from person to person so quickly during the cold winter months. Benjamin Franklin is given credit for the quote "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" and I think we need to consider what he meant by this. Waking up at 2 a.m. to a coughing child--that needs a cure, right? We need the child to sleep well, we need the child to return to a healthy state, right? However, what if we offered that soothing cup of catnip tea before bed? Perhaps as a nightly routine when colds and flu are upon us--soothing warm tea and a bedtime story. We would save the time it takes in lost sleep preparing the tea and soothing the child back to bed. This is also what I love about herbal therapies, in some regards the safety of them offers such a convenient healthy way of prevention! We can't just offer to our children cold medicine each evening just in case the may succumb to the viruses that are inside of them laying in wait. That would be more potential for harm than it would be for good. To the contrary, catnip is non habit forming, the fresh leaves contain vitamins A,B and C--all immune supporting vitamins. The plant contains minerals like calcium and zinc both shown to improve your state of health as well as iron which is needed by everyone as well. How many vitamins and minerals does the average over the counter child's cold remedy contain? Yeah--exactly.
So, next time you walk by your catnip plant outside, grab some leaves to prepare some tea. No catnip plant? That is OK, you can order some! This is the ounce of prevention you need to have in your cupboards during the cold season so your family, including your little ones, are not down and out.

How to Prepare Catnip Tea
Boil 1 cup of water.
In a tea cup of your choice add 1 teaspoon dried mint, pour boiled water over the herb and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain out the herb and add the juice of 1/2 a lemon as well as 1 tsp raw organic honey. Stir and sip while still warm.

***Pregnant and nursing mothers should avoid catnip. Nursing fathers should probably also avoid it--just on the side of caution ;)***

-Maureen Jeanson CMH, cPT

1 comment:

Alan J. Sault MD said...

Good to know that other people are presenting healthy choices to the public. Thankyou, Holistic MD Alan Sault