Throughout history, before medicine and, indeed, during the development of the practice of Medicine, people discovered and used Herbs for healing purposes. Many of our modern “miracle” medicines are merely retooled herbal recipes. Most medicines, in fact, are originally modeled on the properties of plants and herbs. Until they are reformulated into chemicals which make it easier to handle and mass produce, these medicines are nothing more than natures green stuff.
I have made many homemade variations of medicines using herbs. Most of them are easy recipes with simple ingredients but work wonderfully well. I want to share with you some of the more elegant and useful of these recipes. Today, I will start with homemade herbal remedies for Arthritis and Bursitis. Yes, I know these are serious and painful illnesses and we should not fool around with any “snake oil” recipes. But I have arthritis, a very painful version of two kinds, in fact, and many of these recipes have had a positive and curative effect. So I want to share them with you today.
Let’s start with a Celery Seed Infusion. This is a powerful infusion of many healthful herbs but it is not all hard to make. First of all, you must obtain Celery seeds from the grocery spice rack. Then you should find a health food store or natural foods market and go there to get fresh Dandelion Root and dried Devils Claw. If you have Dandelion weeds growing in your yard, you can yank them up and use their roots! Take all this stuff home and set it out until you are ready to go to work.
In order to begin making this recipe, you will bring two cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan. After it starts boiling, add one whole fresh Dandelion Root. Allow it to boil for 10-15 minutes or just long enough for the root to get soft. Toss in one teaspoon of Celery Seeds and allow to boil for another 10 minutes. Toss in the Devils Claw and remove the pan immediately from the heat
Now cover the pan and allow the herbs to simmer in the hot water. This is called “infusing” and you should let it go on for another 10 minutes or so, or until the water has begun to cool. After it has cooled down but not yet cold, strain out all of the herbs through a colander, saving the liquid. Then restrain this liquid again, through a cheesecloth, to make sure all of the stems, sticks and seeds have been removed.
You will drink a coffee cup (4 oz) full of this liquid, reheated or cold, up to 3 times a day. Do not drink more than 4 oz at a time and do not overdose at more than 3 times a day. In a few days, you will feel less arthritic pain and inflammation.
Now let’s make a great homemade linament that makes Biofreeze and Icy Hot look commonplace! Let’s really get those joints cooling down. To get started making this oil, head out to your local health food store, herbs supply store or natural foods market. There you should get 8 ounces of fresh Wintergreen leaves and stems. In leiu of Wintergreen, you may get Peppermint. But only if they just don’t have Wintergreen! Also buy a bottle of Almond or Grapeseed Oil. Now you’re ready! Yes, it is this simple
Put two cups of the oil in a saucepan and let it start boiling. Don’t boil it too hard. It’s too hard if it roils, curls, smokes or starts to evaporate rapidly. Once boiling, add in the 8 ounces of mint. Let it boil for a few minutes (and only a FEW minutes) and then lower the heat to LOW. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. Leave the cover on, remove the pot from the heat and allow it to “infuse” for another 10 minutes or so, or until the pot begins to cool. When the liquid is warm, strain the oil through a sieve or colander to remove the mint leaves. Once the oil is clear, store it any container of your choosing. Rub this oil directly onto sore joints & muscles. You won’t be buying any more store stuff once you get this recipe right!!
Now let’s make a Cayenne Pepper compress that works as good as Ben Gay. Another simple recipe with awesome results! First of all, obtain dry or fresh Cayenne Peppers. Once you have the Peppers, dry or fresh, cut them or shake them into a tablespoon measure. Start 1 cup of water boiling on the stove and toss in the tablespoon of fresh or dried Peppers. Reduce the heat IMMEDIATELY; the moment the Peppers hit the water. Remove from the heat entirely after a few minutes and then cover the pot. Simmer it for another 10 or 15 minutes.
At this time, the water should begin to look red or brown. Once cooled, dip a towel, cloth or rag into the water and press it into your sore joint or muscle. It should be intensely warming and soothing.
PLEASE NOTE: If you find the compress too intense, if it feels like it’s burning or flaming your skin, then you should add more fresh water to the liquid and reboil it until the color lightens a little. You can test it this way, adding water and lightening the color until it suits you. Once you find how much water it takes, then you can start with that amount next time and have the right mix for you. Like I said, this recipe makes Ben Gay seem commonplace!
Now let’s make a massage oil that is designed especially to heal Arthritis. There are a few more expensive ingredients in this recipe than the others but it is well worth the cost. The end result is luxurious and magical.
You will need to return to your health food store or natural foods market. There you will purchase 2 bottles of oil: Choose Avacado, Grapeseed, Almond or Jojoba, mix or match. You will also buy the following essential oils: Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Juniper and Thyme. This will be a Rosemary based massage oil that will have you rubbing yourself with true delight!
Mix together 2 fluid ounces of the oil you chose, either mix two different oils or only one. It’s your choice. My favorite mix is Grapeseed and Avacado. Talk about luxury! Mix these oils in a bowl or other container. Now, add in the essential oils this way: 6 drops of Eucalyptus and 6 drops of Thyme oils followed by 8 drops each of Juniper and Rosemary. Stir or shake these oils all together until they are well blended. I like to put them all together in a bottle or cruet and shake them. This bottle can then serve as their container. Store this oil away from light or heat. Do not refrigerate! Your medicine cabinet is a perfect place. Take it out and use it as you would any massage oil whenever you need it. You will love it!
And then, last but not least, is a little sandwich you should eat to help your inflammation and hot joints. The most cooling herb on the planet is Feverfew. It is well known in herbal medicine as the herbal aspirin, like White Willow. It will bring down a fever, hence it’s common name. Obtain Feverfew from a health food store, a herb garden, a nursery or grow it yourself. Take the leaves and put them on bread with any condiment of your choosing. They don’t taste like much more than lettuce. Eat this sandwich at least once a day until your hot joints and inflammation disappear.
Enjoy these great herbal remedies and come back next week for more of my great recipes!!