Two weeks ago, I went to “ritual” at my holistic healers house.
As she poured our tea—an herbal concoction of her own—she said “If you aren’t already drinking nettles you should be.”
We went through a guided meditation, lighting up our chakras along the way. We spoke to our great mother of intuitions. She spoke back. At times it was powerful, at times unnerving, but I learned that if I asked, and had the patience to listen, she would answer. I hadn’t spoke to her in a while and I think she was glad that I called. We were all assured that even when we’re not in constant communion with her, she is always there.
After this magical night, the thing that stayed with me the most was “If you’re not already drinking nettles, you should be.”
Four days later, my homeboy fell ill. Tylenol, Halls, sleep, bitch, repeat. One week later, and he’s still sick, and now a little miserable at having missed two summer weekends. I take action. Off I go, a superhero of sorts, to the bulk food store to save the day.
Me: “Excuse me, my homeboy has fallen ill. Can you recommend some herbs I can brew up to help him feel better? I hear nettles are a good place to start.”
Crotchety Cashier: Blank stare. “There’s a whole section of teas over there, grab one that says ‘good for colds.'”
Me: Ignore answer. Off to the herb section.
I start racking my brain trying to remember all I’ve read in the past about herbal immunity boosters. I start with the nettles, a couple of scoops. I saw someone write about bee pollen the other day, so in the bag it goes. Raspberry Leaf, yup that sounds good. Hibiscus, I always see hibiscus in tea—bag it up. Peppermint, my gramma loves peppermint tea and she’s old and wise. In goes the peppermint.
I’m walking to the cashier, when a lovely maiden/eavesdropper says “I overheard you asking about some healing herbs for your homeboy. May I suggest fenugreek. It’s a blood cleaner and great for phlegm and mucus. It’s not in the herb section. It’s over there by the spices. Godspeed, super healer.”
On my way up to the register, I grab some fenugreek. I now have the perfect concoction.
Here’s how it goes:
~ put on a pot of water and bring it to a boil
~ add in the herbs, about half a teaspoon of each into three cups of water
~ simmer concoction for 10 minutes, then strain into cups. Toss leftovers in the fridge for some super healing on ice.
Drink. If you make a funny face, add some honey.
Healing Herbs for Happy Homies
Nettles: anti-inflammatory (helping symptoms of arthritis), anti-asthmatic (helping clear bronchial and nasal passages), contains natural antihistamines (great for helping with hay fever and allergies), assists body in detoxification of chemicals and heavy metals
Bee Pollen: helps to lower blood pressure, treat chronic fatigue, even out hormonal imbalances, reduce inflammation from arthritis, lower stress levels, improve immune function, fight allergies, aid in weight control
Raspberry Leaf: can be used to treat sore throat, oral cavity irritation and gum disease, skin irritation and acne, diarrhea and inflammation of the intestine, flu, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, fever and rubella.
Hibiscus: good for fevers and hot flashes, vitamin C and antioxidants, dandruff, acne, high blood pressure, weight loss, high cholesterol and heart disease.
Peppermint: heals colds and flu, skin irritation, bad breath, headaches, digestion.
Fenugreek: used to balance cholesterol, treat diabetes and lower blood sugar levels, ease skin inflammation, ease heartburn and acid reflux, help with fever, cleanse blood.
Which herbs keep you happy and healthy? Any recommendations to help put a smile on my homeboy’s face?
Editor: Kate Bartolotta