Vinegar – Medicine from the Pantry

September 20th, 2009 § 4 comments § permalink

oxymelEven herbalists can get into a rut. We don’t see little bottles of vinegar extractions lining shelves at health food/herb stores, so we generally don’t make them at home, either. Vinegar, being made from and levitra next day delivery still containing plant matter, naturally decomposes over time. Vinegar tinctures last about 2 years, while alcohol preparations last almost indefinitely. As James Green reiterates, when we are making herbs at home, we generally do so in small batches so there is http://logos.com.uy/generic-levitra-effective no particular reason we should not employ vinegar tinctures on a more regular basis.

For years, vinegar was the official menstrum in mainstream pharmacy. Then in the early 1900′s it was replaced by ethyl alcohol. At that time, medicine was quite heroic, and using the strongest, biggest and baddest (because they were sometimes toxic) medicines and treatments was the norm. It was all but goodbye to food-based menstrums like vinegar, alcohol, honey and sugar, and oils as medical knowledge was becoming possessed by the recommended site buy levitra online without a prescription “official” medical community.

Green reminds us that when herbal medicine experienced a resurgence in the 1960′s – 1970′s, the budding herbalists took on on line pharmacy where the 1920′s pharmacopoeia left off; that is with using strong alcohol extractions rather than using food-based menstrums. Not to say that alcoholic tinctures are a bad thing; just that herbalists may have overlooked viable options.

More non-alcoholic medicine-making appeals to innermeangirl.com me on many levels, least of not for the fact that grain alcohol is ordering viagra overnight delivery'>ordering viagra overnight delivery not widely available (I have to drive to Wisconsin to get it, as it is not sold in Minnesota) and is more costly than even the most expensive bottle of http://mvcpop.com/viagra-sales apple cider vinegar. Many households have vinegar on hand anyways, so it’s truly medicine from the pantry.

Back to vinegar. Look on the bottle of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, and you will find a paragraph of vinegars’ health benefits and history of use. It has been along for, well, as long as anyone can remember. It was used by Hippocrates, Galen, and steeped in uses by common people though the ages.  Green sums up vinegar’s benefits (179):

  • Pure vinegar is non-toxic and can be tolerated by everyone, young and old
  • It is a digestive tonic, helps regulates the acid/alkaline balance
  • High in minerals (dilute or add honey to make it go down smoother for daily use)
  • Non-alcoholic, for those who want/need a break from traditional tinctures

Medicinally, vinegar is warming but still has an refridgerant effect as it evaporates off the ordering cialis overnight delivery'>ordering cialis overnight delivery skin, quells thirst and levitra info promotes saliva. Green says it has a quality that “alleviates restlessness”, as well as “promotes secretions of the kidneys and respiratory mucous membranes” (181). Topically, vinegar is antiseptic and astringent so use for deodorant, to relieve inflammation, itching, allergic rashes and sunburn. Rosemary Gladstar once joked that her grandfather said her grandmother smelled like a salad dressing from slathering olive oil on her skin and using vinegar hair rinses. Indeed, it is cleansing, toning and conditioning to the skin and hair.

Vinegar combines with other herbs that augment the medicinal attributes it already has. Add to where to buy cialis'>where to buy cialis it expectorant herbs, or astringents for internal or external use. A bit of cayenne makes vinegar a wonderful liniment for aches and pains. Where vinegar really shines as a menstrum is for extracting alkaloids, which water and very good site prescription levitra alcohol do not do as well. When alkaloid-containing herbs (lobelia, goldenseal, bloodroot, black walnut are a few) are macerated in vinegar, the acetic acid from the vinegar causes an alkaloid salt to be formed, making it readily available (179).

Although I have tried oxymels, I figured it was high time to make one for my household. Oxymels are a mixture of vinegar and honey, combining sweet and sour to create an invigorating and balanced blend. The simplest type of oxymels is by stirring a tablespoon of viagra viagra'>viagra viagra vinegar in a tablespoon of honey, then diluted in a cup of warm water. This simple remedy is known to balance the acid-alkaline balance in the body and is employed as a daily tonic. Here is the oxymel that I made, from I recipe I wrote down from a 2006 lecture:

oxymel-herbsTeresa Broadwine’s Onion Thyme Oxymel (with my own addition of anise)

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 16 0z apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T thyme
  • 2 T fennel seeds
  • 2 T anise seeds
  • 2 T oregano
  • 2 cups honey

Bring all but the honey to a boil, then simmer covered for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly, strain and press herbs, and add honey while it is still warm. When would one take this oxymel? You guessed it: cold and flu season, especially for chest colds of all kinds. I added the look there viagra online pharmacy anise to assist the herbs in expectoration; it’s one of my favorites for thinning and viagra mail order'>viagra mail order bringing up congesting phlegm.

There are endless varieties of oxymels, so add in herbs that suit your individual needs. The above recipe could replace onions with garlic for extra anti-microbial action, or an addition of black peppercorns and mustard seeds for more warming actions (as vinegar is cooling, see ). James Green says that the basic ratio of vinegar to honey is roughly 1:3, or 1 cup vinegar to 3/4 pounds honey, although I have had some with equal parts honey to vinegar and they seemed to generica cialis work just fine. Perhaps the larger amount of viagra viva honey serves for added preservation.

Lobelia oxymel – from Dr. William Cook  for dry, irritable coughs, lung congestion

  • dried lobelia herb
  • apple cider vinegar
  • honey

Place lobelia (preferably dried) in a jar and cover with apple cider vinegar and steep for 2 weeks. Strain, mix with honey in the proportion of ¾ pound honey to 1 cup vinegar. Place in a water bath, until the mixture is like thin molasses, bottle and refrigerate (246). As you can see, there are no set measurements for materials, so adjust quantities to your needs. Dose as needed for coughs.

Jam’s Green’s Poison Oak Lotion

  • 1 part mugwort
  • 1 part horsetail
  • apple cider vinegar
  • salt

Make a strong decoction of 1 part mugwort and 1 part horsetail. To 2 parts of this liquid, add 1 part apple cider vinegar. Add 1 tablespoon salt per cup, bottle, label, and store in the fridge. Apply externally often (184).

For more info on oxymels, visit The Medicine Woman’s Roots, this site, and the Art of Drink, which give a recipe for switchel.

Referances:

Green, James.

Broadwine, Teresa.

Aromatic Digestives & Carminatives

December 13th, 2007 § 1 comment § permalink

What is a bitter user to do http://cerensansal.com/cheap-viagra-online-prescription when she realizes they are too cold for her? Reach for the warm side of digestive remedies!

Aromatic digestives are to be used for cold conditions, along with “circulatory stimulants as wells as ‘warming’ expectorants” for congestive dyspepsia, gas and belching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and colic, often with a white slippery or sticky coat on the tongue, depressed circulation, copious urine, respiratory congestion, and arthritis as seen in cold-dampness affecting the digestion (Mills 423-4, 430). Both bitters and aromatic digestives stimulate the cost of cialis'>cost of cialis appetite, and act on http://www.thegreatdisplaycompany.com/online-viagra assimilation of food in the digestive track, both work on “dampness” (cold-damp and levitra canada online pharmacy damp-heat, respectively).

Carminatives are rich in volatile oils, relax the stomach thus relieving gas, and stimulate peristalsis of matthewbietz.org the digestive system. In some herbals carminatives and aromatics are grouped together. Both contain herbs that have strong yet pleasant tastes and odors, and are used to “flavor” and “warm up” medicinal blends. No wonder I like to add cinnamon and cardamom to practically every herbal formula! And no wonder that most of these are used as culinary herbs the world ’round. Below are some common aromatics and carminatives.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a great illustration of a warming carminative which “harmonizes digestive functions” including digestive weakness (even debility with anorexia), gas, belching, and basically any epigastric problem that is relieved with pressure or heat (425).

Another common example is cardamom (Amomum cardamomum), with it’s strong warming action on “congestive digestion with abdominal pain and distention, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting” (427). When fatigue and viagra delivered overnight'>viagra delivered overnight weakness seem related to http://www.sthelenas1712.org/herbal-cialis poor food assimilation, cardamom is indicated because it is thoroughly warming without being too stimulating (which can further weaken the person). Mills says it has traditionally been used in difficulties during pregnancy due to digestion and weakness.

    Angelica (Angelica archangelica) illustrates that carminatives/aromatics can be effective in respiratory  congestion.  Mills ventures to say that “there is probably no better convalescent remedy in the Western materia medica” (412). Its not a far-off statement when one considers that angelica not only warms the digestion, soothes intestinal overactivity, stimulates appetite (useful for anorexia), but is also an expectorant for coughs and bronchitis (Hoffmann, 175). I use the tincture when my chest is purchase of cialis'>purchase of cialis sore during a cold, with or without a cough. It seems to relieve the tension not by relaxation but by the warming sensation.

    Warmer yet than angelica is cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum). In Chinese formulas, one use ofCinnamon cinnamon is to warm the mafc.ca interior, which is a different than a diaphoretic. It is both carminative and astringent due to tannins, so it can be used for tonifying the digestion and “as a symptomatic treatment for diarrhea” (Mills 413). Like angelica, it can be used for feverish conditions, and at the start of a chest cold (with fresh ginger) to prevent chest infections (413).

    Dill‘s (Anethum graveolens) anti-spasmodic action makes it an excellent choice for colic in children. It has starred in my Gripe Waters over the years. Also has been the supporting actor in formulas that increase breast milk flow.

    Anise (Pimpinella anisum) is also anti-spasmodic an aromatic like dill, and is also an expectorant. Use it with colic and gas, as well as in irritable coughs and bronchitis (Hoffmann 176). In Indian restaurants you may find candied anise and fennel seeds to snack on after-meal–especially useful when you ate too much creamy masala.

    Ginger (Zingiber officinale), a known soothing carminative with diaphoretic and stimulant properties, promotes circulation, warms the chills, promotes perspiration during fevers and http://www.tk-encasa.fr/viagra-50mg soothes upset stomachs. Keep on hand flu season. Wonderfully effective for reversing phlegm conditions and coughs–use with garlic (Mills 420),

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