Friday, October 16, 2009
Preparing for Winter Colds/Flu: Yarrow and Boneset
Every fall, I always gather, dry, and tincture these two herbs and pray that we won't need them. Boneset (above) and Yarrow (below) are two of my favorite herbs to use in tea or tincture form for colds/flues. Boneset is helpful for that awful achy feeling -- you know where even your big toe hurts. Easy to recognize out in the field because it looks like the stems have been pushed up through the leaves. Boneset, Eupatorium perfoliatum, will also help to induce sweating in addition to helping with the aches and pains of a flu.
Yarrow, Achillea millefolium, is useful for treating severe colds and for ending fevers. It is a strong diaphoretic (promotes sweating).
To prepare mix 1/2 oz of each herb boneset and yarrow and steep covered in 1 pint of water. Drink it as warm as you can in 4 oz doses. Sweeten with honey if you like. Also, add some peppermint for additional flavor.
It's like carrying an umbrella. If you have some on hand-- you won't need it! But if you do need it -- you'll be glad you had it on hand!