Guest series by Steph Mullis of Holistic Medicinals
Our collective and individual life experiences have all drastically changed in the past few weeks. Many of us are now isolated at home in our own individual groups and families facing evolving relationship dynamics, global heaviness and shifting work patterns (or even unemployment) all on our own. The shifts have come quickly. Community structures we relied on were taken away from us overnight forcing many of us to reevaluate what community means and revise the ways we are able to access it.
For me, the isolation has been a huge reminder of the importance of self-sustainability. There is great power in having basic knowledge of health, wellness and plant medicine so that we have the ability to take care of ourselves when the need arises. In some ways, I see this pandemic as an opportunity to remember that power and all the ways we can utilize nature’s medicines to care for ourselves.
I am thankful that so many people are embracing the power of self-sustainability and natural medicine during this COVID-19 panic. I have watched many of my favorite online herb suppliers sell out of product and others temporarily shut down orders because they can’t keep up with the demand. However, I have also witnessed fearful individuals searching for the “best” natural remedy while feeling lost and hopeless. With supplies running low and herb gardens in the Midwest not yet in bloom, my intuition keeps reminding me:
The best herbs for the condition at hand are always the herbs you currently have access to.
As I look through the herbs that I saved from the season prior, I see many herbs beneficial for respiratory health. I see mullein, hyssop, thyme, sage, yarrow, tumeric and ginger; all plants that are either easy to grow or easy to find. I can’t cure myself of COVID-19 (if I were to fall ill) or even prevent myself from getting it through herbal remedies, but I CAN nurture and strengthen my body to be able to fight harder against it. I can create a blend with these herbs to strengthen all parts of me with a focus on my respiratory system.
The Respiratory Tea Blend I made earlier this week with herbs I had on hand was created to support against COVID-19 using the information I know about the disease paired with my own knowledge of herbal medicine. I know that some infections are warm and some are cold. I know that some infections affect only a certain part of an organ system and others can affect the entire system. COVID-19 often affects the entire respiratory tract and has an affinity for cold and dry environments. This means it’s beneficial to approach this disease primarily with warm and moistening herbs to create a non-ideal living environment for the virus. My blend included two base herbs and three aromatic herbs. I’ve detailed the blend below so you can see the uses and energetics of each herb.
RESPIRATORY TEA BLEND
Base herbs: Primary lung tonics that are popularly used to strengthen a weak chest and normalize lung function.
- Mullein: A cooling herb useful in most conditions regarding the respiratory tract such as congestion, dry and sore throat, cough, asthma, inflammation of the trachea, and has mild calming effects.
- Hyssop: A cooling and calming herb containing volatile oils with a wide array of uses. Often used for coughs, colds, bronchitis, excessive mucus production, anxiety and hysteria.
Aromatic herbs: Aromamatic herbs contain volatile oils which are fantastic at breaking up congestion to get things moving in the respiratory tract.
- Thyme: A hot and drying herb commonly used for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Beneficial for sore throats, laryngitis, tonsillitis, intense coughs and asthma.
- Sage: A cool and moistening herb that is also commonly used for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Beneficial for easing coughs, sore throat, congestion, and infections.
- Yarrow: A truly amazing herb that can be both cooling and warming depending on what your body needs in the moment. This herb is a favorite for supporting the fever process, fighting infections, relieving pain and reducing inflammation.
In addition to focusing on certain areas of concern in our bodies, it is also important during this time to continue to nourish our bodies and support our immune system broadly. We can do this through the food we eat: consuming a wide variety of minerals and nutrients each day. We can limit processed foods, sugars, and foods sprayed with chemicals.
We can try our best to get quality sleep, reduce stress, get plenty of fresh air and try to spend at least 15 minutes in the sun each day. We can also utilize adaptogens in the form of tinctures. Using Tulsi, Ashwagandha, Echinacea, Ginseng, or Borage daily is an incredibly convenient, economical and sustainable way to support our bodies. Our health is determined by the decisions we make every day and nature has supplied us with incredible amounts of medicine.
Stay healthy my friends, and also stay tuned for a GIVEAWAY of natural medicines The Leek & The Carrot and I will be announcing this weekend!
This is part four in a series written by friend, farmer and herbalist Stephanie Mullis of Holistic Medicinals. Interested in her first post and journey into herbs? Check out our introduction to her series.