When my mother ran her shop, I would tag along and follow in her footsteps as she busied herself with healing all kinds of illnesses. At that age, I didn't fully understand the importance of herbal medicine. I would just scurry over to a jar full of dried and fragrant herbs whenever she pointed to it, and bring it back to her, happy with myself for helping in something that felt so magical and mysterious.
As the years went by, the fragrant herbs started to have names, and their appearance became familiar. Soon, Instead of my mother reaching up to the cabinet to pull down teas and tinctures whenever I was sick, it was me. In the winter, when sickness was running rampant in my school, she would watch over my shoulder with a proud smile while I mixed together the herbs that we had foraged in the summer.
People asked her constantly to make a tea to help with cold and flu, and so she did. The Cold and Flu tisane is packed full of antiviral and antibacterial herbs, each with a different function and purpose for boosting your immune system to fight against sickness.
Here are the top 5 herbs used in this blend:
Tulsi, or the Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), is revered in India and in Ayurvedic medicine for its medicinal properties, more specifically its ability to boost immunity. Tulsi is an adaptogen, making it a powerful aid to people suffering from adrenal fatigue, and helps the body to adapt to its surroundings. In this case, it helps the body fight against illness. We grow the Tulsi used in this tea in Pemberton B.C.
Another powerful herb used in this tea is Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). Yarrow is a bitter as well as a diaphoretic, meaning it is good for digestion and promotes sweating. Yarrow is a common plant found in BC, and the rest of the world. Yarrow more specifically opens pores to sweat & help break fevers. The Yarrow used in the tisane was foraged by us in the spring to fall.
The well known and beloved, Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale). Need I say anymore! Ginger has always been the first anyone reaches to for all kinds of ailments. Ginger is Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and soothes nausea.
Marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis) has demulcent qualities, which soothe the mucous membranes and calm the respiratory system. Marshmallow is also anti-inflammatory, great for soothing sore throats.
Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) contains citral, a component that is rich with antiviral and antifungal properties, and on top of that it is a calmative. Exactly what we need for fighting sickness!
In short, this tea is full of calming, cleansing and healing herbs. All harvested with care, for the plant as well as for the habitat. My mother taught me that respecting the plant and the forest, is just as important as respecting your next door neighbor. Living on this earth comes with the responsibility of treating it was the same respect, and generosity that it gives us. If we continue to take without giving back, there will be nothing left. But if we take only what we need, and nurture the rest, we will live in harmony.
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The waysides are unfurling beautifully with red flowering currants, Salmonberry flowers and Elderberry shrubs. Elder is awakening from her slumber in fragrant, pollen-rich bundles of blossoms.
Forager & Herbalist
Spring Tips foraging of Douglas Fir ( Pseudotsuga Menziesii) arrived at last to replenish my winter tarnished body and soul.
Licorice mint Moss? Whistler woman forages along the Sea-to-Sky corridor to create teas and sodas.
"What's cool about Whistler is that ... in every direction you can find a forest service road and you're out in the forest; you're in the mountains ... it's very beautiful, [and] there's a lot of variety of things that grow at different elevations."
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