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Self-Doctoring: Chassidy Fitkin
Chassidy Fitkin is learning to be a herbalist. She continues her diary of discovery as she dumps the MD and learns about natural remedies This week, she will conquer, you guessed it, a headcold:

“This is the first time in my life I’ve been excited about being sick. What better way to know if my herbal remedies work than to try them on myself!?

I have a headcold that started with a sore throat but quickly just turned into congestion, runny nose, and cough. I have a recipe I tried that is outstanding and has kept me from resorting back to the common over the counter stuff that always made me feel out of my head. First, I have to say that it’s not likely you will have these herbs on hand because I did order them. But if your looking to grow, make peppermint one of the first herbs you plant!!

The first night with a sore throat, I had tea made of slippery elm bark and honey. The taste was nothing I would ever crave but made my throat feel a lot better. When we make tea, we boil the water first, then pour it on top of the herbs in a glass container, and cover. I have found that only a tsp of the herb works well, as I didn’t want to go overboard. I let mine sit for 15 minutes, then strain it through a very small strainer- the kind that looks like metal mesh (a coffee filter worked just as well). The slippery elm goes from tree bark to a strange texture that reminded me of the gel that comes out of an aloe plant.

I strained that off but I’ve since thought that part may help soothe the throat even more. The next day I added a tsp of peppermint herb to the slippery elm and found that to be the perfect remedy for my cold. It made me sweat a little at first and then I felt ten times better. Sweating is your body’s way of releasing toxins through your pores, so if your finicky about it your going to have to get past it. A tbsp of raw organic honey makes the tea just right. I’ve been making three cups a day, and this has been the best thing for me.

Also, I tried an infusion of rose hips, made basically the same way except I left it all night, and strained it the next morning. Rose hips have a lot more vitamin C than an orange and I wanted to boost my immune system. However, I only had a few rosehips and though the infusion did seem to help, I want to try again when I have more to work with.

My echinacea tincture isn’t finished yet or that would have been the first thing I turned to. Echinacea is known to boost the immune system also, and seems to have a great reputation for it. The tincture takes six weeks at least to complete and mine is two weeks away from being ready, I will write about it when I have been able to try it. Echinacea’s history drew me in as there was a story of a traveling man who sold it after a getting snake-bitten, and surviving. I’m not sure of the truth in that story but that is what brought the herb to attention. After which, there were people claiming that it cured ailments that were unresponsive to other treatments.It may have been the story that really got my attention though, I am fascinated by gypsy type life styles- whith all the traveling. Back to the echinacea, taken at the beginning of the flu is known to help your immune system in getting prepared for it, and who likes the flu? The thing of it is, if your body can fight off a sickness itself, with a little boost to the immune system, that is way to go.

I also want to add that this is my personal view on things and not meant to be taken in place of advice from your doctor. It’s my journey towards what is best for my family that I am sharing, not medical advice. There, that’s my disclaimer.

The next time I can write I will tell you about the home-made flea spray I put on my dog and by then I should be able to work on the arthritus oil/rub I’ve been wanting to get to.

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12 Responses to “Chassidy gets a Headcold”

  1. john moloc

    Just to be clear, sweating is not your body’s way of releasing toxins, it’s purpose is thermoregulation; keeping control of your body temperature

    Reply
  2. granolaeeter

    Sore throat – make a tea from licorice root and sip slowly to let the licorice come in contact with inflamed areas. Important – licorice root is contraindicated with many perscription drugs – this is not a placebo so do the research before using. I have used it and given it to my children for over 30 years. Also has benefits for women during menstruation.

    Reply
  3. Michael

    Try oil of oregano (carvacrol oil) mixed with a little water (gargle, swallow, gargle a second time, swallow) the next time you get a sore throat or a hint of a cold coming on

    Reply
  4. Natalie

    So the very best herbal remedy for colds and flus is simply this. Chop up onions and mix with homey. This will keep really nicely in the freezer. Sounds awful and tastes hideous, but the honey infused with onion hits the spot every time.

    Reply
  5. Barbara

    Since I have been using pretty much herbs for medicinal purposes, seriously its been years since having to go to a MD. Every day it is “Thieves and bee pollen for me, It works!

    Reply
  6. Josh

    Hey, may i bother you a moment to ask a bit of advise?
    First let me give you a little back story so you can underastand my situation.
    I’m a 30 year old single male living in Callifornia. I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere Texas. We raised all our own meat and veggies. Hunting and fishing was an everday thing in our home. We really did live years in the past. Wood burning stoves to heat and cook with, water coolers instead of heat and air. We ran a fire wood company and a fishing and hunting guide service. By the time I was say 6 or 7 I could clean any animal. We were surrounded by horse ranches and our farm provided most of the food for all the surrounding ranches. It was a very close knit comunity. Sadly though, it is long gone. Eradicated in the name of progress. :( One of my favorite rabit hunting fields is now a water treatment plant. I wish the world could see where I grew up. It was so amazingly beautiful! like that you might read in an old western dime book or something. Just perfect.
    Anyway, I grew up, ran full speed into the world. Tried my hand as a professional fighter, a pro bull rider, among other things. Nowthing however seemed to really fit me. Now, I’m a professional artist. Ive also found my roots again. I wouldnt really call myself a naturalist but I ahve gotten back to a place where I love and understand nature. I spend almost as much time hiking or camping as I do actually around others. I have grown to almost loath the city life. I really need to go back to the way I grew up. Its what I want more than anything.
    Ive been trying, to no avail, to find others who feel as I do, others either doing or planning to do as I plan. I want to find a group of people living in a comunity farm setting. Something far away from the fast paced ubertechno world. I want to live in a home that doesnt even have a TV, I dont want to even own a phone anymore. I want to wake up every day to work in the fields, take care of the animals. I want to work with a comunity to be completely and totally self sustaining. I want to step back in tinme to a simpler and more beautifully natural way of life. the way we were ment to be. I want to be a part of something real. I want to be a part of a comunity that I can give all taht I have and to love and be loved. To get all the destractions of modern life out of the way so we can build real true relationships with our earth and each other.
    I have a great deal of skills to offer a group of people. I am an artist by trade but I can do anything at all. As I said I grew up a farmer adn those skills are invaluable for sure. Also, I am a very good hunter, tracker and fisherman. I am a good carpenter, i can weld. I am versed in three different martial arts, though I admittedly dont know how that would help in a farm comunity. And also I am a survivalist. I enjoy trecking into the wilderness with very little and simply finding my way. Its primally beautiful.
    Anyway, I’m rambling on now. Here is what Im asking. How can I go about finding what I am looking for? Ive given great thought to simply buying a horse and mule and heading out to live alone but I know that I want to be with others. I do greatly enjoy my solitude but I have so many skills to offer others and a need to help. I want to be a part of something more than myself. I want to live in a self sustaining comunity. How do I find it? Ive left posts on here but It doesnt seem to get me anywhere. Now I’m getting spam. I just want to meet som good hearted people who feel as I do. Suggestions?
    Thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.
    PS. I enjoy your posts, I have very little knowledge of plants. Funny story actually. Not long ago I was camping and ate what I thought was wild cucumber. NOT! I sware it was acid! lol tasted amazing though :)

    Josh
    arringtonj36@yahoo.com

    Reply
  7. Cheri

    I haven’t taken the time to raise my own herbs, but another herb for your cold/flu arsenal is Elderberry. The history as I recall reading it is that the Romanians have used it for years as a cold & allergy remedy. If you are taking the capsule type you can purchase it at most vitamin type supply stores but you have to be careful to buy Elderberry Extract (not leaves & berries). Two capsules 3 or 4 times a day dries up the sinus drainage & relieves the sinus & throat inflamation. This effect doesn’t happen with the first dose, however about the 3rd dose you start feeling relief. There are none of the “fuzzy-head” feelings that you get from typical cold remedy antihistamine based meds. It doesn’t upset the stomach, so you don’t have to worry about taking it on a full stomach. However, people with plant allergies should be careful about all herbs, be sensible when you choose your herbal remedies.

    Reply
  8. chassidy

    I’m so happy to hear you are inspired! Your definitely on the right teach with your diet. The person who commented on doctor Christopher’s website is right, great stuff there!

    Reply
  9. wayne

    Echinacea… I’m a firm believer in its power against colds. When I was in USAF I worked with this civilian guy who was like the Typhoid Mary of the common cold. He could pass his nasty cold on to me within 15 minutes! Then I bought a jar of echinacea and started taking a capsule at the first tingle in my nostrils. Not only did it work great at greatly shortening the cold’s duration, I didn’t have any colds at all for 5 years after leaving the Air Force.
    When I see “reports” on the TV news channels saying echinacea is ineffective, I wonder why… maybe because certain sponsors want it that way?

    Reply
  10. Jeff Bullard

    The more you believe in your herbs, the more they will help you. Seriously. The placebo effect and a positive spirit are powerful.

    My “natural remedy” is a good pale ale made from cascade hops or a lager made from noble hops, or a thick porter made from malted barley. Those are herbs, right?

    Take two twelve-ounce servings each evening with a meal and eat plenty of garlic and jalepenos and cook with olive oil. Those are my herbal choices and I haven’t been sick in over 20 years. Cheers! And keep your spirits up, that’s a powerful force for good health.

    Reply
  11. Carol

    I think it’s cayenne you want to keep on hand for heart attacks. Check out Dr. Christopher’s site for good articles.

    Reply
  12. diamongirl76

    Chassidy, I have ALWAYS wanted to pursue herbalism, I’ve dabbled a little here and there, but you have inspired me to finally do it! My hubby recently had a heart attack completely out of nowhere, we eat healthy, grow a lot of our own food organically, we’re active and yet sometimes these things can still happen. We’re not really the pill popping kind of people, as many others are, and so the amount of medications and crap they’ve given him over these weeks has just astounded me. They give him one med and then they give him another for the side effects, I am so glad and thankful he’s alive, but I want to learn all I can to avoid this scenario from happening again.

    Reply

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