health · herbs · medical formulas · preparedness · self-reliance · Thinking ahead

The Incredible, Edible, Goldenrod

When It finally happens;

For post-disaster radiation damage or severe case of UV sun exposure, this yellow darling can’t be beat. Goldenrod (Solidago spp.) was one of the first plants to make a come back around the devastated grounds near Chernobyl in the late 80’s, early 1990’s. In my area Goldenrod thrives in sandy or dry soils, along thicket borders, in open wooded areas or running wild in open fields on sunny rolling hillsides. Most everyone I know sees only an invasive weed, but we know better.

There are some 125 species of Goldenrods that grow in this country. All are native, most are found in the East.  A few Goldenrods have adapted to marshes, sandy beaches, deserts, and mountain areas. Most of this family of daisies are between 2 and 4 feet tall.100_2904

Now, let me set the record straight right off the bat. Goldenrod does not cause hay fever. Their pollen is too heavy to be carried by the wind.  A lighter colored, (greenish) Ragweed which blooms at the same time is the culprit for running noses and itchy eyes.

September is prime gathering time here in the Upper Peninsula when the blooms are beautifully yellow, fragrant and loaded with bees, butterflies, and bugs. To harvest, cut it about 18 inches long and bring to the house. Hang it upside down in a well ventilated room to dry or if you are in a hurry, place clean goldenrod on a cookie sheet and put in a gas oven and let the pilot light do the work. It is ready for storage or tincture when the leaves are dry and crispy.  Read more;  https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/how-to-dry- herbs/

This beautiful golden plant is so misunderstood by the general public and often ignored in the herbal community because it is just so abundant.  Here at Handy Granny’s place, we use the leaves and flowers for teas, tinctures, or alcohol extract. Warm sweet goldenrod tea helps the body rid itself of mucus troubles such as Rhinitis and Sinusitis and slows or relieves  Menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding.) Oh, did I mention, it makes a warm golden color when used for died fabrics and wools too.

Goldenrod, leaves and flowers make an aromatic beverage on it’s own but it also helps improve the flavor of nasty tasting remedies and other medicinal preparations. Chop the dried goldenrod flower, stem and leaves into pretty small pieces, place 1 tsp. into your tea strainer and put into your favorite cup. Pour boiled water into the cup over the herb and let steep for about 5 minutes. Remove the herb and drink. You can take 1 or 2 cups a day until any of the above mentioned symptoms are relieved, or just because you like it mixed with other herbs.

This is a very good herb to use for UTI’s, edema, acute anuria and kidney-related skin disorders. It works well in formulas for all sorts of kidney and bladder conditions.

I will tell you for sure, that goldenrod will be in my post disaster first aid kit as a tincture and for use as a tea.

Read more;  

https://jonbarron.org/herbal-library/herbs/goldenrod

http://www.susunweed.com/Article_Glorious-Goldenrod.htm

http://www.pixiespocket.com/2013/10/lets-talk-about-goldenrod.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

health · herbs · homesteading · medical formulas · self-reliance

Home Made Herbal Beverages

fall harvest of herbs 9-2015 003

Freeze watch for this county is no longer in effect. Freeze warning is now in effect until 9 AM tomorrow morning. “But it is only September!” I protest rather loudly.

There is just nothing humanly possible that can be done about it, so I run myself ragged today harvesting all that I can from the garden and herb beds. The squash and pumpkins are just starting to ripen with many more coming on. Pepper plants loaded with blossoms and bees dancing from one flower to the next choreographed like a fine ballet.
“What a shame. A garden full of beautiful plants so close to being fully mature, simply wasted.” Again I protest, a little softer this time.
“I so enjoyed stepping out the back door and doing my grocery shopping for the evening meal among the well manicured rows of colorful produce. “In the early morning hours of twilight, without forte or celebration, all the hard work and joy of this years garden comes to an end. It is truly a sad moment.” I think to myself.

You know, I should be used to it by now. We only have about a 112 day window to grow our vegetables in the center of Michigans’ Upper Peninsula. The maples are already about 70% color right now, with brilliant orange, yellow and reds. Falling leaves cover my car. An occasional bird, not from this area, stops by the feeder for a quick bite on his way south. I just heard a group of coyotes yipping from off in the distance. I feel helpless as I know old man Frost has his hands around the throat of my living garden.  I’m already missing the intoxicating pine fragrance delivered to our senses by summers soft warm evening breeze. Nothing says relaxing like leaning back in your favorite chair out on the deck and taking in a spectacular sunset, all while sipping your favorite iced tea. It’s simply hard to give up.

Which finally brings me to the point of this post, home made herbal tea and other drinks. As I scurry around gathering everything that I can, herbal combinations for our winter beverages play repeatedly in my brain. God, in all his infinite wisdom, gave us such wonderful natural flavors and prominently placed taste buds to distinguish them. And you can’t beat the cost, free!

Long before we moved to the U.P. we lived in farm country in Northern Indiana where many sects of Amish live and farm. Amish women shared their herb tea recipes freely, so I learned much from my Amish sisters. There are herbal switchels, teas, special drinks and medical teas, just to name a few. One is only limited by ones imagination.

How to Make an Herbal Tea

Herbal tea is an acquired taste. We are conditioned from birth to food additives and sweeteners that when given a naturally sweetened beverage, it is often distasteful at first. However, there is a personal reward when a natural tea product eventually becomes preferred. You know you are doing the body good.

Start with filtered water. I prefer distilled water. Some times you can find a quality bottled water that will suit you. Using city tap water that is often chlorinated, or/and fluoridated will corrupt the flavor of your natural drink. Select your tea (bag or bulk) and load it into your favorite cup. Heat the water until almost a boil and pour over your tea. Cover the cup for a few minutes and let steep from 3 to 10 minutes depending on what your tea requires.

The picture below is a mesh tea ball for use with bulk tea.

mesh tea ball

Let’s start you out with one of my favorites

Evening relaxer (for kicking back on the deck and watching the sunset)

1 part peppermint leaves
1/2 part chamomile leaves and flowers
1/2 part licorice root
1/4 part hops
1/4 valerian root

Mix all the herbs in a larger mason jar. Take one teaspoon full and put into a cup with hot water. Steep for about 3 minutes and enjoy.

Summer time herbade

1/2 cup lemon balm
1/2 cup peppermint, minced
1/2 lemon juice or rhubarb juice (they taste the same when used in beverages and cooking)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey or sugar

Combine all the ingredients with another 1/2 of water and let stand for an hour. The lemon balm and mint can be whirled briefly in a blender, with water.
This can be strained, and diluted with ice water. For something different, add gingerale instead of water.

Hay-time Switchel (Switchel originated in Nova Scotia, it is a tangy, flavorful beverage rich in minerals and is good for the digestion)

1/2 cup Braggs apple cider vinegar
1/4 molasses
1/2 cup honey or brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 oatmeal, optional
Add all the ingredients and fill to 2 quarts with water. Mix well and refrigerate overnight. Serve cold or with ice.

Kids better-than-koolaid beverage

I really, really hated all the sugar and food colorings in those tiny packages of Kool-Aid from the late 70’s when my own kids were little. So I made my own.

Start with about 2 quarts of raspberries. Heat up about 2 quarts of water to near boiling. Pour the water over the raspberries and set aside for a few hours. Next mash the berries and strain. Add a little sugar, honey or Stevia to taste and chill. There are no artificial ingredients in this drink. Whats more is that this mixture will make excellent popsicles.

If fresh raspberries are unavailable, the next best thing is to purchase raspberry zinger tea at the grocery store. Make two quarts of it following package directions. Add a little sweetener and chill.

Well, I’m sad to say the Ice Man cometh. We had our killing frost over night.First Frost-Freeze of 2015 003
So I’m out to dig roots next. My list gets longer every year. This year I’m collecting;
Burdock root (to use in my tinctures. Works wonder on staph infections, impetigo, and obstinate ulcerations of the skin.)

Valerian root (Usually made into a tincture but works well when used as a tea or decoction. Valerian is used as a sedative and helps to induce sleep. The herb also can reduce stress, nervousness, and irritability.)

Comfrey root (Made into a tincture, also, helps to speed healing of cuts, ulcerations, bruises, broken bones, pulled muscles and ligaments and sprains.)

Horseradish root (A horseradish tincture acts to open sinus passages. Combined with other tinctures, Horseradish is useful in treating upper respiratory complaints, sinus infections and the common cold. It also works wonders fro treating urinary tract infections, rheumatism and gout.)

Echinacea root (This one I dry, it can be used in a tincture form, but I like it in a tea. Echinacea is wonderful for giving a boost to the immune system. It helps increase the overall resistance to disease. Works great as an anti-inflammatory treatment for infected wounds. Beware, it is rare but allergic reactions have been recorded with the use of this herb.)

Well, that ‘s it for now, I need to go get started. Got lots to do today! Talk to ya again soon.

health · herbs · medical formulas · preparedness · self-reliance

The Doctor of the Future Will Give No Medicine

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
—-THOMAS A. EDISON

I recently sought help from a Naturopath for a digestion problem which not only aggravated my stomach and caused constipation. Of course, the body being a closed system, the constipation left me almost bedridden at times with great headaches. I was up for something different as my regular physician had me go through 5 different expensive tests and couldn’t find anything that was causing my complaint.

I found a Naturopathic doctor in a neighboring state but had to wait 3 full months for the appointment because so many others had the same idea as me. She was that full. This dear doctor actually, spends time with each patient because she is not under the 6 minute rule per patient of Obamacare.
My Naturopathic doctor has helped me tremendously using ancient Chinese acupuncture and a combination of herbal mixes to gently nudge the body into a healing mode.  While these methods are working their magic my Naturopathic Doctor teaches me the proper care of the body.  It is now up to the me to see to it that I do the work necessary to heal my complaints.  It’s a joint effort that allows me control of my own health. I like that.

My complaint seems trivial compared to others with life threatening illnesses and diseases. In the state of Michigan and Wisconsin she is not allowed to diagnose your condition but simply suggest a course of action, she is an educator. True Naturopathic healthcare has been terribly propagandized, often being ostracized by people who don’t know what a Naturopath really does and by western medicine in general fearful that western medicine is failing the general public and pharmaceutical companies could loose $$$$.
A Naturopathic Doctor is a doctor first and foremost.  Years of doctor studies at accredited schools and residency at a hospital or other medical facility they choose to leave the cut it out, burn it out, pharmaceutical kingdom and point their studies toward other avenues. A study of Naturopathy has it’s own extensive requirements, much like someone choosing to move into the chiropractic practice.   My particular Naturopath has hospital privileges at our community hospital and while under her care she ordered up a blood test for me. We suspected along with my digestion problem that my thyroid may be out of whack. (Turned out she was right, my numbers were a little on the pale side. The link is a profile of my Naturopath and her accomplishments and credits ; http://www.radiantnaturalhealthclinic.com/Home_Page.html  I’m sure she wouldn’t mind)

I really didn’t know what to expect from a Doctor that offers you a natural healing alternative when I first made the choice to go see her. I came away with an understanding that the body wants to be healthy, it is designed to be healthy.  I already knew the drugs you get from your pharmacist are poisons to the body and very rarely cure anything. They generally mask the very symptoms that are the body’s signal of something wrong, and often create another set of problems. Severally ill patients in a conventional medicine are prescribed pills and treatments which cause a set of conditions that often require more pills to offset the agony directly caused by the first round of medication. Then the patient dies, leaving an opening for the next severely ill patsy. Before you send me a nasty comment, think about the last person that you knew that had cancer. This dear person received drugs, more drugs, and possible some surgery, right? After a course of treatment dear person is said to be cancer free! Only, 5, 6, or 7 years later the cancer returns with a vengeance. Another course of drugs, which cause a reaction which more drugs are given. Then dear person dies anyway. What a win, win for the pharmaceutical and cancer centers. Next! Dear patient is never told that drugs and Chemo deplete the body of all nutrients while killing the immune system which now needs to be replenished.

My naturopath assisted and encouraged me in helping my body’s own healing. I now feel great! Also, I personally discovered that when you give the body the proper stuff, the human body will miraculously take care of the rest. It has been designed to be healthy.  We know this, all of us, but the western medical octopus has too much to loose. In my humble opinion and to my knowledge, only in rare cases do pharmaceutical drugs make a difference or actually cure an illness, the exception, maybe being antibiotics for infectious diseases.

6 principles of Naturopathy
The man is not sick because he has and illness, the man has an illness because he is sick. An Old Chinese Proverb

 

Another healing tool that I am currently investigating is the Rife machine. Many years ago and man by the name of Royal Raymond RifeRoyal Rife discovered he could kill bacteria with sound frequencies.  The earths vibrational frequency is 7.83 hz or it used to be. Some are measuring a sight increase in earths resonance. There are a boat load of people who swear the Rife generator has healed their illness and others  who claim “Quack” status. As far as I’m concerned, the jury is still out.

The claimed physic Sylvia Brown wrote in one of her books that in the future our healthcare would be provided by natural wellness centers because of the circumstances that will change on the earth and in the human condition. I think we are leaning that way right now.

health · herbs · medical formulas · religion · self-reliance

The Origin of Disease and Medicine

I just had to share this wonderful story passed on to the author while interviewing several Native American Shaman in the late 1800’s. His goal was to preserve, as much as possible, a written record of the original Indian way of life; their culture, religion and Shamanic practices. Here is an Indian account of how disease and medicine first came to the human people, in their own words.

Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee
by James Mooney
1891

http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/cher/sfoc/index.htm

As the medical formulas are first in number and importance it may be well, for the better understanding of the theory involved, to give the Cherokee account of

THE ORIGIN OF DISEASE AND MEDICINE.

In the old days quadrupeds, birds, fishes, and insects could all talk, and they and the human race lived together in peace and friendship. But as time went on the people increased so rapidly that their settlements spread over the whole earth and the poor animals found themselves beginning to be cramped for room. This was bad enough, but to add to their misfortunes man invented bows, knives, blowguns, spears, and hooks, and began to slaughter the larger animals, birds and fishes for the sake of their flesh or their skins, while the smaller creatures, such as the frogs and worms, were crushed and trodden upon without mercy, out of pure carelessness or contempt. In. this state of affairs the animals resolved to consult upon measures for their common safety.

The bears were the first to meet in council in their townhouse in Kuwa’hï, the “Mulberry Place,”[1] and the old White Bear chief presided.

[1. One of the high peaks of the Smoky Mountains, on the Tennessee line, near Clingman’s Dome.]

p. 320

After each in turn had made complaint against the way in which man killed their friends, devoured their flesh and used their skins for his own adornment, it was unanimously decided to begin war at once against the human race. Some one asked what weapons man used to accomplish their destruction. “Bows and arrows, of course,” cried all the bears in chorus. “And what are they made of?” was the next question. “The bow of wood and the string of our own entrails,” replied one of the bears. It was then proposed that they make a bow and some arrows and see if they could not turn man’s weapons against himself. So one bear got a nice piece of locust wood and another sacrificed himself for the good of the rest in order to furnish a piece of his entrails for the string. But when everything was ready and the first bear stepped up to make the trial it was found that in letting the arrow fly after drawing back the bow, his long claws caught the string and spoiled the shot. This was annoying, but another suggested that he could overcome the difficulty by cutting his claws, which was accordingly done, and on a second trial it was found that the arrow went straight to the mark. But here the chief, the old White Bear, interposed and said that it was necessary that they should have long claws in order to be able to climb trees. “One of us has already died to furnish the bowstring, and if we now cut off our claws we shall all have to starve together. It is better to trust to the teeth and claws which nature has given us, for it is evident that man’s weapons were not intended for us.”

No one could suggest any better plan, so the old chief dismissed the council and the bears dispersed to their forest haunts without having concerted any means for preventing the increase of the human race. Had the result of the council been otherwise, we should now be at war with the bears, but as it is the hunter does not even ask the bear’s pardon when he kills one.

The deer next held a council under their chief, the Little Deer, and after some deliberation resolved to inflict rheumatism upon every hunter who should kill one of their number, unless he took care to ask their pardon for the offense. They sent notice of their decision to the nearest settlement of Indians and told them at the same time how to make propitiation when necessity forced them to kill one of the deer tribe. Now, whenever the hunter brings down a deer, the Little Deer, who is swift as the wind and can not be wounded, runs quickly up to the spot and bending over the blood stains asks the spirit of the deer if it has heard the prayer of the hunter for pardon. If the reply be “Yes” all is well and the Little Deer goes on his way, but if the reply be in the negative he follows on the trail of the hunter, guided by the drops of blood on the ground, until he arrives at the cabin in the settlement, when the Little Deer enters invisibly and strikes the neglectful hunter with rheumatism, so that

p. 321

he, is rendered on the instant a helpless cripple. No hunter who has regard for his health ever fails to ask pardon of the deer for killing it, although some who have not learned the proper formula may attempt to turn aside the Little Deer from his pursuit by building a fire behind them in the trail.

Next came the fishes and reptiles, who had their own grievances against humanity. They held a joint council and determined to make their victims dream of snakes twining about them in slimy folds and blowing their fetid breath in their faces, or to make them dream of eating raw or decaying fish, so that they would lose appetite, sicken, and die. Thus it is that snake and fish dreams are accounted for.

Finally the birds, insects, and smaller animals came together for a like purpose, and the Grubworm presided over the deliberations. It was decided that each in turn should express an opinion and then vote on the question as to whether or not man should be deemed guilty. Seven votes were to be sufficient to condemn him. One after another denounced man’s cruelty and injustice toward the other animals and voted in favor of his death. The Frog (walâ’sï) spoke first and said: “We must do something to check the increase of the race or people will become so numerous that we shall be crowded from off the earth. See how man has kicked me about because I’m ugly, as he says, until my back is covered with sores;” and here he showed the spots on his skin. Next came the Bird (tsi’skwa; no particular species is indicated), who condemned man because “he burns my feet off,” alluding to the way in which the hunter barbecues birds by impaling them on a stick set over the fire, so that their feathers and tender feet are singed and burned. Others followed in the same strain. The Ground Squirrel alone ventured to say a word in behalf of man, who seldom hurt him because he was so small; but this so enraged the others that they fell upon the Ground Squirrel and tore him with their teeth and claws, and the stripes remain on his back to this day.

The assembly then began to devise and name various diseases, one after another, and had not their invention finally failed them not one of the human race would have been able to survive. The Grubworm in his place of honor hailed each new malady with delight, until at last they had reached the end of the list, when some one suggested that it be arranged so that menstruation should sometimes prove fatal to woman. On this he rose up in his place and cried: “Wata’n! Thanks! I’m glad some of them will die, for they are getting so thick that they tread on me.” He fairly shook with joy at the thought, so that he fell over backward and could not get on his feet again, but had to wriggle off on his back, as the Grubworm has done ever since.

When the plants, who were friendly to man, heard what had been

p. 322

done by the animals, they determined to defeat their evil designs. Each tree, shrub, and herb, down even to the grasses and mosses, agreed to furnish a remedy for some one of the diseases named, and each said: “I shall appear to help man when he calls upon me in his need.” Thus did medicine originate, and the plants, every one of which has its use if we only knew it, furnish the antidote to counteract the evil wrought by the revengeful animals. When the doctor is in doubt what treatment to apply for the relief of a patient, the spirit of the plant suggests to him the proper remedy.

Next: Theory of Disease–Animals, Ghosts, Witches