Posts Tagged ‘rose hips’

I began giving the girls their cough medicine. The house was cough free for about a week.

Then the weather changed again and the next thing I knew, I had a fever and was coughing. I got rid of my cough in three days by resting all weekend and drinking a cup of mullein infusion with a dropperful of echinacea tincture every two hours. I was thrilled.

But then Serene started coughing again. And then, so did Joy-Shanti. Buoyed by my own healing, I decided to take matters back into my own hands. I wanted my girls to experience something beyond the quick fixes that medicines sometimes bring. I was confident I had something in my kitchen to bring their little bodies back in balance.

The first thing I did was something Robin, my herbal teacher, had suggested earlier. She noted that I might be less overwhelmed caring for the girls if I wrote down everything I did to treat them.

I also realized that I needed to be more centered to be effective. Fear had driven some of my actions the first time around. Fear and feeling like I had to have all the answers. So I took a deep breath and decided on this treatment:

  • A ginger foot bath followed by garlic and goldenseal sock treatment
  • 1 teaspoon Chestall (homeopathic cough syrup) every two hours with 2-4 drops elecampane tincture
  • 15-17 drops hyssop tincture
  • mullein and echinacea tea every two hours
  • frequent vitamin c powder drinks

This treatment worked very well for Serene. In four days her cough vanished and she was back to her old tricks.

But not Joy-Shanti. Her cough got worse. She began having fevers every other day. Just when I thought she was on the road to recovery she’d cough more, get a fever and refuse to eat or drink much of anything. I made a syrup and I consulted Robin.

Robin suggested plantain, elder berry, elder flower and catnip. She also asked if I was giving Joy-Shanti a high enough dose of echinacea.  I went back to the drawing board.  As I did I gave thanks for the  biggest realization of this experience:  I have a community of people I can call on when I don’t know what to do. I don’t have to come up with all the answers alone. Knowing that centered me more deeply.

  • 1 dropperful of plantain tincture
  • 1 dropperful of elderflower tincture
  • 1 dropperful of Herb Pharm immune defense tincture
  • 1 dropperful hyssop tincture
  • 3/4 tablespoon elderberry glycerite (Joy-Shanti delights in elderberry)
  • 3-4 drops elecampane tincture in three tablespoons of rose hip, violet,echinacea, mullein, dandelion leaf syrup.

I gave Joy-Shanti these plant medicines three times a day and saw immediate improvement. No more fevers. Within seven days  there was no trace of the cough either.

I learned so much from this experience.

  1. You can be using the right herbs in the wrong dosages
  2. Writing things down takes lots of pressure off of a caregiver,
  3. Having one highly skilled herbalist to talk to about what you are doing can mean the difference between a trip to the emergency room or one to the kitchen cabinet
  4. There are times when it is absolutely appropriate to consult a doctor and  YOU will know when/if that time arises.

I saw a doctor during Joy-Shanti’s healing process when I learned her symptoms–particularly the off and on fevers– could be a sign of pneumonia. It turned out her lungs were all clear so I continued my herbal course of treatment. Keep in mind that in order to give effective herbal treatments, we need to know as much as possible about what is going on.

The other thing I gained an appreciation for is just how much we are taking on when we decide to be the primary healers in our families. There were many times during this experience when I was tired, frustrated, confused, searching.  I understood the urge to turn to someone else and say “fix this, please.” This situation reminded me that the path to healing can be a winding one. Compassion for ourselves and the people we are trying to assist is key.

And this is the thing I love learning and leraning and learning again: herbs work! There are so many gifts in the plant world. Nature is writing us prescriptions every day. I am so glad I am learning to hear.

What lessons have you learned from a particularly difficult healing situation? Please share.

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Lovely Rose by Suzanne Fiore

I believe everybody can use some rose in their lives.  I used to underestimate this famed flower, I thought she was pretty but didn’t realize what a powerful plant ally she could be. Rose’s fruit is packed with vitamins and her petals can work wonders on our hearts, livers, kidneys and reproductive systems. Who knew?!

Rose petals are astringent and help tone both the male and female reproductive systems. (Flower of love, indeed!) Chinese herbalists use rose buds to help women with menstrual pain and irregular moon cycles. This makes sense because menstrual cramps are often related to imbalances in the liver and rose petals are slightly bitter which usually signals an herb that supports the liver.

I drank rose petal infusion recently at the beginning of a cold that was threatening to become pretty nasty. I had tightness in my chest, a cough and a sore throat. After a few cups of infusion, the tightness in my chest was gone. It turns out that roses are traditionally used for that!

I recently gave a cup and a half of rose to a family member suffering from a bad case of diarrhea. He called the next day to thank me as it had completely cleared up.

The color of a rose petal infusion is gorgeous and just watching those petals dance around the mason jar is relaxing. I have included rose flower essence in a spirit lifting tincture and in medicines meant to soothe jangled nerves.

Haiku for Roses

Roses have taught me
it’s fine to have thorns. All bright
blossoms need limits

Roses are a fabulous spirit medicine and have much to teach us about the interplay of beauty and boundaries.  They can help to open the lines of heart to heart communication. I almost always serve rose at gatherings of friends. One of my most profound experiences with rose was being in a difficult conversation with my partner that went more and more smoothly as we drank rose petal infusion. (I’m not kidding) Maybe it is because roses work on the physical heart and the nervous system, maybe it is because they contain something beyond science that helps us see each other with greater compassion.

I’m sure you know this, but I will write it anyway: sitting in a rose petal bath is a relaxing, sensual experience. These strong, gorgeous flowers remind me to take a moment in the swirl of my days to get back to my center. They remind me to take care of myself. Something about rose helps me relax, focus and recognize the good in my day.

Rose Hips by Carolyn Rasmussen

Roses Have Hips For a Reason

Oh, about that cold I used rose petal infusion to work through: I might have never caught that cold had I been using rose hips! The fruit of the rose is packed with vitamin C, bioflavonoids, carotenes, and B complex which are all great for the immune system. Rose hips are well known for their ability to keep colds and flus at bay.  I have started adding them to my family’s fall/winter infusions.

Gail faith Edwards writes that the “Nutrients (protein, phosphorus, sodium, selenium) in rose hips make them especially nourishing to the brain and are an important addition to the diet of any child needing assistance with focus, concentration.”

Roses deserve their reputation as the Queen of cosmetics (rosewater is also wonderful for cuts, scrapes and burns). Think inner and outer beauty. These flowers belong to the lovely Oshun who is often shown looking into a mirror. What is she looking at? Is she simply checking her hair or is she showing us something about self-reflection and self-love? My friend, Ina, who is a fabulous midwife and herbalist,  said it beautifully “Roses heal anything that attacks the dignity of women.”

Gorgeous rose has powerful medicine for all of us. She has definitely taught me that if I am willing to embark on the journey, rose will take me wherever it is my soul truly needs to go.

Rose petal elixir

Take enough fresh roses –wild or organic— to fill a glass jar of your choice. Put the flowers in the jar. Cover the flowers with brandy. Add honey. Let this mixture sit for six weeks or more. Enjoy! I have also made this elixir with a combination of fresh pink and dried red roses. It was heavenly and it helped heal a sore throat.

Rose petal infusion

Put a handful of dried roses in a half gallon mason jar and fill the jar to the top with just boiled water. Don’t let this sit longer than an hour and 15 minutes.

(If you want to get fancy you can also try rose with lemongrass, rose with lemon balm, rose with ginger or rose with lavender.  Steep lavender for 15 minutes tops.)

Rose hip honey

Take fresh rose hips, crush them and put them in a jar. Cover them with honey and let the mixture sit for six weeks.

Wild roses

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