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Home » Wellbeing

Weeds as Medicines – by Dunedin naturopath Francisca Griffin

Submitted by on March 26, 2016 – 4:00 am

Francisca GriffinListen to the Access Radio Internet Pod Cast here.

This week I talked about using weeds as medicines – have a listen, via the link above.

Disclaimer! Please, do be aware that weed medicine as well as being very effective, can be harmful if used incorrectly or in vast quantities! If you are on any medications or supplements or herbal medicines, consult your healthcare professional before ingesting.

here are some recipes for you:

Calendula officinalis 

Tincture of Calendula 

Collect your Calendula flowers in the morning, after any dew has evaporated, Dry these 40-50 orange flowers in the shade, or on a very low setting in a dehydrator.

Put in a clean jar big enough to hold them, and top up with brandy or vodka. Leave in a dark place for about 6 weeks, shaking occasionally. Decant the resulting liquid, and keep in an amber or blue bottle in a cupboard.

You now have a marvellous antiseptic, add 5 ml (a teaspoon) to 1/2 cup of warm water.

Lemon Balm/ Melissa officinalis

Lemon Balm Sorbet
Serves 6
Ingredients:
4 cups water
Handful of fresh lemon balm
Juice of 2 oranges
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest, finely grated or minced
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
Directions:
Place all ingredients in a large pan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring often, to dissolve the sugar.
Remove pan from the heat and cover. Steep lemon balm for 10 minutes.
Remove lid and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Strain the liquid and discard the leaves.
Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.
Serve immediately or freeze in an airtight container.

Yarrow/ Achillea millefolium

Yarrow tea is a diaphoretic – it will make you sweat –  sip a cup to break a fever. Similarly, you can use a pot full in a bath to do the same, it is safe to give to children, of course in smaller doses than an adult will use. I have seen it work very effectively on hangovers too! (same principle as a fever)
it’s a decongestant, and an expectorant – you could add it to a cold mixture that also contains Viola:

Heartsease, or wild pansy;  Viola tricolor

Viola is used primarily for skin conditions, and is particularly good for children. Use it as a compress, gather a good handful of the flowers and stalks and place on muslin on the skin, put another layer of muslin on top, lastly a very warm wrung out cloth. Leave til cooled, and repeat as necessary.
It is also taken as a tea for these conditions.
remember to brew in a ceramic or glass teapot.

Thyme/thymus vulgaris

Thyme is antifungal, a strong tea can be used in a foot bath as a soak for athletes foot. Not too hot now!

Why don’t you make some Manuka honey infused with Thyme? gather a couple of big handfuls of Thyme, bruise them so as to release the oils, place in a wide mouth jar and pour in slightly warmed (to make it runny) Manuka honey. Leave to steep somewhere warm for 4 to 6 weeks, you’ll know it’s ready when you can taste the Thyme in the honey. A teaspoon in a hot lemon drink is perfect for those colds/coughs in the winter.

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