The Elder Mother’s Pantry: A Bioregional Herbal Materia Medica for Influenza and Other Cold-Weather Ailments

The Elder Mother’s Pantry: A Bioregional Herbal Materia Medica for Influenza and Other Cold-Weather Ailments

As the colder weather begins to move into the northerly reaches and higher eleveations of the Western hemisphere, there’s been much talk of this year’s especially virulent strains of cold and flu. The most important action you can take this is preventative in nature, including ingesting plenty of fermented foods and bone broth, getting your Vitamin D, being sure to make time for rest and keeping a good stock of immune tonic herbs on hand. For this post though, I’ll be speaking specifically of bioregional herbs that can be allied with in the actual treatment of already present cold or flu. I have striven to create a simple, accessible, energetics-based materia medica based in your backyard rather than an expensive herb catalog. I’ll be dividing up my...

Guest Post by Karen Vaughan: Two Different Types of Flu

Below is a guest post by Brooklyn Herbalist/Acupuncturist Karen Vaughan on two different kinds of flu and two different types of treatment. This was originally posted on Facebook by Karen and I found it so interesting I asked her for permission to reprint it here. There’s been a polarity in the reactions to the H1N1 flu, from hysteria to complete cynicism and denial. Personally, I don’t think either approach is useful at all. I am also of the opinion that cytokine storm and the different kinds of flu are certainly worth understanding (not to mention fascinating to anyone interested in health and the human body), if not for the present, then for the future. Wherever you stand on the issue, I hope you enjoy Karen’s intelligent exploration of the...

Avoiding the The Cytokine Storm and Swine Flu Panic

First of all, don’t buy the media generated hysteria because all that adrenalin is just really bad for your immune system. I’m totally not to going to write a full explanation of the Swine Flu virus because lord knows there’s plenty of that online already. Suffice to say the current fears result from a Swine Flu (there’s been lots of Swine flus) variation that contains genetic material from swine, avian and human strains of flu. It is now confirmed to be able to spread from human to human and it is a descendant of the dreaded 1918 pandemic flu (which, contrary to common belief, was so deadly not because of the flu itself but because of the strep infection that accompanied it as well as some of the very inappropriate treatments used at that...

Top 7 Backpack Remedies: Plant Allies for the Trail & Road

Top 7 Backpack Remedies: Plant Allies for the Trail & Road

My sweet friend, fellow herbalist, sister wild woman and student, Ananda Wilson, just did a lovely post over on her blog that’s inspired me to do something similar. I don’t have any cool little tincture wraps like she does, but I definitely have a set of my top 7 backpack remedies (that’s 6 tinctures plus a salve). I really did try to match Ananda’s wonderfully efficient number of five, but dammit, I just couldn’t do it. Now, any first aid kit is going to adapt to a given situation, grow according to need and vary wildly depending on the bioregion of the person creating it. With that in mind, this post isn’t an attempt at prescribing a perfect med kit. Instead, it’s just a description of the 7 herbal preparations...

A General Guide to Creating an Effective Pain Liniment or Salve

A General Guide to Creating an Effective Pain Liniment or Salve

That’s 8 yr. old Rhiannon sitting on a rock ledge looking out at the budding Cottonwood trees, one of my favorite pain salve ingredients. ~ Pain salves are used for a wide variety of purposes, but are most commonly applied to sore and often inflamed joints and muscles. This pain and inflammation can stem from many sources, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, old injuries, myriad chronic diseases that result in systemic inflammation (including many auto-immune diseases and some viruses such as Hep C) as well as acute trauma to some part of the body. With the exception of an acute injury, most of these disorders are symptoms of other underlying issues. With this in mind, realize that using a pain salve as a bandaid for your discomfort rather than addressing...

Primal Eating – Ramblings & Resources

I’ve been fiddling around with ways of eating for a long time now, with occasional ventures into the extreme (vegetarian for seven years and nearly two years of raw foods, for example) and sometimes trying to finagle my way back to “normal” eating (that would be the kind that includes bread and cereal, a complete and utter failure, I might mention). The most successful route by far, has been when I do a basic “paleo” type of diet (and for your information, my blood type is A+, which really makes me think very little of the blood type diet), that includes lots of wild (or grassfed, when I can get it) meat, eggs, veggies/greens and happy fats (lard, coconut oil, palm oil, sometimes butter, nuts) as well as moderate amounts of fruit,...