Friday, February 13, 2009

Thyme Honey How To

Hi. So I am a bit nervous about this, but here goes nothing. Be kind to me please I have no acting experience or video editing know how.

Tell me what you think.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thyme and all its lovelyness

Thyme is one of my favorite herbs. It is such a favorite I picked it to be my personal plant which I lovingly tended for a year and journaled about it for a school project. Thyme or Thymus vulgaris is a low growing ground cover that can be found most anywhere in the world, though (according to Culpeper) originated in india. Thyme loves the sun, but stays low to the ground for extra warmth, it is often wise to plant a rock next to a thyme plant to keep it warm. Despite this Thyme is extremely hardy and will last far into the winter in most climates and can be harvested most times of the year. (unless of course it is buried beneath 4 feet of never melting snow like here in Spokane).

Thyme always makes me happy to look at and its scent is wonderful and can sometimes be overwhelming if there is enough of it. Thyme is said in folklore to give one courage and I always feel more able to accomplish things after a cup or two under my belt. Laying in a bed of thyme is supposed to bring fairy's visiting your dreams. I suspect you would have pretty vivid dreams laying in this highly aromatic plant.

Thyme is warming and I often drink it in the winter when I feel chilled or sick. One strong cup of the stuff can warm cold extremities and can even induce sweating and break a fever if used in a bath. (If I have a fever I sometimes drink one cup of thyme tea and also infuse a hot bath with thyme to get my fever to break) Thyme is specific to the lungs. It aids in breaking up and moving mucous, and also aids is the healing of the lungs after infection or damage from smoking.

Thyme is also known for curing headaches and even helps migraines with the aid of rosemary. For headaches make a thyme vinegar and rub on your temples.

Like other plants in the mint family this herb is also associated with digestive health and is used for upset stomach, gas and even the expulsion of worms.

Thyme has a lovely taste, spicey, earthy and minty. Added to honey it makes a wonderful wintertime remedy for cough and other respiratory ailments it has a uniquely wonderful flavor. Just take a jar full of thyme (fresh) and pour honey over it. Make sure you keep a chopstick next to the jar and push the thyme under the honey level for it will keep rising in the jar. Leave this for six weeks and then strain. You can use the honey before six weeks just be sure to keep the level of honey above the thyme. The thyme will thin the honey quite a bit, but the results are amazing and will last for as long as you need. You can then add the thyme honey to your tea or just take it by the spoonful. I find it can also make a lovely spice if you use this instead of sugar to things like muffins.

Herbal Rituals, by Judith Berger
Culpeper's Complete Herbal, Culpeper

Monday, February 9, 2009

February Maladies

The grey daze of January is over. I didn't weather this one particularly well and for the first week of february was sick with a rather nasty rhino-virus. I am thinking the fact that I got sick is due not just to the fact that my husband is a teacher and brings home bugs, but because of February's quixotic nature. Let me explain. February is the month for awakenings, for false spring, for warmer weather (relatively), for the desire to move outside after being huddled inside for what seems like an eternity. Everyone is now outside running around and passing germs that we had been keeping to ourselves for awhile. Contrary to popular belief early spring is the most viral time of year, not in the deep dark winter of December and January, but the more thawed, wet muddy times of year. So while Punxatawni Phil may have seen his shadow its warm enough in our spring hungry minds to go out and catch a cold.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Midnight Concoctions

So I woke yesterday morning at around 2am or so and my throat was killing me, my tonsils swollen and hard. I really don't enjoy being sick, and in the last few years my throat has been the hot spot for ailments. I had one naturapath tell me its because I never speak up for myself so I tend to shove my stress into my vocal area. Whether that is true or not (I tend to like it for its poetic ring of half truth) I once more am fighting a throat bug and hoping strongly that it isn't strep and will not live long enough to become so. So immediately after feeling this throat monster rearing its ugly head I got up and concocted the "Get out of my throat you bastard bug" tea.

Here is what I think I remember putting in said tea. I vaguely remember telling Sean that it actually tasted good at the time, but sick people are not objective about medicine tasting good. (and I cannot imagine that these ingredients would make the most lovely flavor, but you never know!)

Ginger root (driver, heating, and specific to healing throat ailments)
Calendula petals (lymphogogue)
Valerian (I also had a seriously torked back at the time which is why I chose the muscle relaxant and sedative aspect of this)
Elder flower (febrifuge and antiviral agent)
Sage (astringent, aromatic -opens passages ways, antibacterial, warming)
Oregon Grape root (antibacterial, antiviral)
and an astringent tea blend with rose petals, white oak, blackberry leaf, and more sage in it (to tighten the mucous membranes in my throat. ) I have no idea the measurements because I threw it together in the dark (impressive no?) but it was generally equal parts. Oh and a bag of echinacea tea. I let it steep for ten minutes and then spent another ten minutes attempting to guzzle it but being forced to sip due to its extreme temperature. Felt better afterwards and fell right asleep.

When I woke my throat was still sore of course, but the tonsils were less hardened which is good. I then spent the rest of the day watching movies and guzzling in round robin style, Traditional Medicinal teas, Throat Coat, Echinacea with elder and breathe easy. I think I went through ten tea bags today. I also procured some of the Throat Coat Lozenges that I love so much and pack a powerful punch and relieve the throaty angst.

My throat is less sore, I can drink cold water now (which I couldn't touch all day without agony) My nose is now acting up, sneezing and general snottiness, but I think its a good sign that I am pushing this thing out of me now.