Thyme, Honey: 4 Methods to Make Sore Throat/Cough Remedy, Mullein & Garlic Oil for Earache/Swimmer's Ear & Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth
I finally got in the last of the gardening: that's right, I harvested Tansy! Ha ha!
She was the last plant left outside and I was waiting for her to flower. This morning, when I awoke, I could see her on the balcony from outside my bedroom window.
It was time, she told me.
I noticed that some of her leaves had yellowed and some of her flowers were still in bud form, although a few had gone into flower. The yellow flowers are rather nondescript, they look like yellow buttons (hence her nickname, Golden Buttons) but it's going to be interesting using her as cinnamon substitute! She's considered a bit toxic, sort of like cinnamon or nutmeg or clove: a teaspoon or less, easy does it!
I got 2 Mint and 1 Thyme plant from the health food store. Oh boy, were they all root bound, poor them! From the one Thyme, I divided her into 4 new plants, and gave all the plants, including the 2 Mints, a good haircut.
I decided to get some new plants after having to oust out several infected plants (such as Nettle and Chickweed) onto the cold balcony because of Fungus Gnats and White Flies.
I must say that Diatomaceous Earth works wonders! I sprinkled it on top of the soil and even on the leaves of the plants.
I see a few gnats flying around here and there, but much less than before. It's a great anti-fungal that even us humans (yes, you and me) can take for parasites and candida.
Have I tried it?
The taste is not that great, best mixed in with a smoothie or juice to hide the taste, but it DOES help. Follow the instructions on the package: 1 tsp daily for 1 week or 10 days, then take 5 days off, then upgrade to 1 TBsp for the next 10 days. Take 5 days off, then continue @ 1 TBsp or do 2-3 Tbsp. You want to follow this 10 days on/5 days off schedule because many parasites follow this growth cycle. On the 5 days off, they are making babies and laying their eggs, and on the 10 days on you are doing the treatment with all kinds of anti-parasitic herbs!
You stop when your symptoms of gas, bloating, etc. stop. This can take up to 9 cycles and -of course- means you are following an anti-parasite/candida diet, as well as taking other measures, such as Wormwood, Black Walnut, garlic and doing enemas/colonics or herbs that flush those bugs out (like psyllium or bentonite clay or both or...).
OK, got carried away with those bugs, but they can be awfully pesky!!
Back on track: wanted to share a few recipes, no foraging today, but might go for Wild Grapes & Burdock roots later this week:
Anti-Cough & Sore Throat Thyme Honey (4 methods)
Method 1 Fresh Honey Infusion: Place FRESH Thyme leaves in a mason jar, rather loosely packed. How much thyme you have determines the size of the jar (1 cup, 2 cups, 4 cups etc). Add in a thick honey, and stir to coat the leaves. Add in more honey and stir to coat again. Pour more honey to the top of the jar, place on lid and screw cap and let sit 4-6 weeks. Strain out honey using a fine mesh sieve. You can use any jar (clear glass or amber) and keep in the cupboard.
Method 2 Dried Honey Infusion: Same as in Method 1, only now use 1-2 Tbsp DRIED Thyme for every 1 cup of thick honey. Let infuse for minimum 5 days (very mild) up to 4-6 weeks (now there's the potency we want!).
The difference in the methods? Using Fresh herbs makes the honey runny. Using dried herbs is preferred by some to lessen the occurrence of botulism.
Either way: add 1-2 tsp of honey to a warm cup of water and drink to help soothe dry cough and sore throat.
Method 3 Tea Infusion + Honey: Make an infusion with Thyme leaves: place 1/2 oz Fresh thyme leaves in a 2 cup mason jar, then pour boiling water to the top. Put on lid and screw cap and let sit 4-8 hrs. Strain. Add in 1 cup thick honey and stir to combine. Yes, it will be runny, honey ;P But that's just fine, that's OK! Store in the fridge for up to 2 months. To use: 1-2 tsp in a cup of warm water as needed, to soothe a sore throat and ease dry lungs/coughing.
Method 4 Thyme Oxymel (oxymel = acid + honey):
This method takes longer but boasts using probiotic-rich apple cider vinegar (ACV).
Place FRESH chopped thyme in a mason jar (size depends on how much herb you have) and pour equal* amounts of apple cider vinegar (ACV) with "mother" AND honey over the thyme to the top of the jar. Place on lid and screw cap and let sit 4-6 weeks. Strain.
*You can also try using 3 parts ACV + 1 part honey.
* You can also try using 1 part ACV + 3 parts honey.
To use: you mix this with oil and use as a medicinal dressing over salads, take 1 -2 tsp straight up as needed, OR add 1-2 tsp in a cup of warm water OR even add 1-2 tsp to a cup of warm soup...as you prefer.
Note: everyone has their own preference when it comes to honey. Clover and wildflowers are rather neutral, but go with what you like (e.g. I'm rather partial to the more expensive but wonderful manuka honey!).
Note: You can use these SAME 4 methods with OTHER herbs.
Rosemary, oregano, mullein, garlic, elecampagne & elderberry. You can use 1 herb (also called using a Simple) or go for a combination of herbs. These herbs are pretty common for helping with sniffles, runnys, achoos and other cold and flu symptoms.
A second recipe I wanted to share has to do with swimmer's ear. Yes, it's true: I got swimmer's ear from being in the shower! I thought it nothing at first, just water in the ear, but then it persisted.
What did I turn to?
My first thought was Mullein flowers, but I had none on hand. It's exceptionally rare that I get an ear infection, which is why I don't make my own Mullein oil.
My second thought was Garlic oil, which is easy to make in a pinch.
Here are 2 recipes you can use for swimmer's ear (whether from the pool or the shower) or earache:
Mullein Oil Ears Be Good
Fill a mason jar with Mullein flowers. Mullein flowers have a special way of growing, FYI. First, the flowers at the bottom of the stalk start blooming. Then the flowers continue to open at the middle of the stalk and then at the top of the stalk. Let's just say that the flowers all take their time blooming ;)
What that means is that you start collecting flowers as they flower/open. Good news: Mullein often grows with her other Mullein sisters (meaning you'll often find more than 1 growing together or not far away). Since the flowers open at different times, no worries: put however many flowers you have in a mason jar and cover with olive oil. Place on lid and screw cap and let sit in the cupboard. As you get more flowers, just add them to the jar and add more oil to make sure that the flowers stay coated in the oil. When your jar is full, let it sit 4-6 weeks, then strain and store in dark amber bottles. To use: gently warm the oil first. Lie down on a bed on the side opposite the infected ear. Place several drops in your ear and wait 10-20 minutes. Put a cotton ball on the ear and go about your business. You can also let the oil drain out of the ear as well. You can repeat this process 2-3 x a day. Stop if it's not helping and switch to another remedy (there are many out there, from using ACV to using a hair blow dryer to colloidal silver).
Peel and chop the cloves of 1 bulb of garlic and place in a crockpot or double boiler. Cover the chopped garlic with olive oil. Warm the oil gently on low for 1 - 2 hours, making sure the oil does NOT boil. Let the oil sit 8 hours or overnight. Strain out the garlic and store in a dark bottle. Use similarly as with the Mullein oil.
Note: I like to keep this oil in the fridge, then warm it when I need it.
Bonus: Since this is garlic-infused oil, it can also double and be used to make...ta-dah, garlic bread!! Even in the fridge, the oil doesn't harden (as olive oil is wont to do), but that's OK: simply drizzle over warmed up bread and enjoy!! Sure, you can also drizzle the oil first and then warm up the bread in the oven ;P You can also add the garlic oil to soups and stews or even pair this oil with ACV and pour over salads. YUMMERS! :)
Hope you've enjoyed all the great recipes, sunshine! I sure have :)
Ps. Keep you posted on any future foraging adventures, BUT IF NOT, look out for other great Wildcrafting Recipes!!!
Curiosity Got The Cat: