Garden Remedies by Juan Jardinero
“Nature… she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole”
Traditional plant-based medicine evolved from societies experimenting and finding healthcare solutions within their immediate environment. The need for free, available medicine led people of all cultures to seek basically in their backyard for herbs. Probably through trial and error, that might have even led to severe diarrheas and death, people were able to definitively identify certain plants with healing properties and which are now proven remedies and available to purchase anywhere. Some of the most common plants used in plant-based medicine are: Chamomile, Echinacea, lavender, lemon balm, Rosemary, lemon grass and peppermint.
Here are a few very basic teas, syrups and even a potpourri you can make at home to help with coughs and colds, stomach aches and pesky fruit flies.
Chamomile Syrup (manzanilla easily found in the local markets).
Ingredients: 4 handfuls of chamomile flower heads — 4 cups of water — 2 ½ cups of sugar or 1 cup of honey
- Bring the chamomile and the water to a boil, cover, and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
- Reduce it by simmering for another 20 minutes with the lid off.
- Add the sugar/honey and simmer and stir for a few more minutes until the mixture looks like syrup. Don’t boil rapidly.
- Strain through a mesh sieve and then pour it into a sterilized bottle, seal with a cork.
Use: 2 to 4 tsp. 3 to6 times a day
Fig + Rosemary Tea
Ingredients: 1 handful of fig leaves — 3 cuttings of rosemary — 5 cups of water — 4 tsps. of honey.
- Bring the fig leaves to a boil and let them simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the Rosemary.
- Add the honey and simmer and stir for a few more minutes.
- Strain out the fig leaves and rosemary.
Use: Enjoy sipping 3 to 4 cups a day.
Ingredients: 2 tbsp. dried rosemary leaves – 2 tbsp. dried wormwood leaves – 2 tbsp. dried sage leaves.
- Strip the leaves from the plants and crush them finely.
- Mix together in a shallow bowl and leave in a warm place to encourage the oils to vaporize.
The strong smell will deter flying pest and protect yourself from bites and stings. Drying your own fresh leaves will produce a more aromatic mix.
Ingredients: 1bottle of good quality wine – 5 springs of fresh rosemary.
Bruise the rosemary and place in the bottle or wine. Recork and shake every day for two weeks. Drink one small glass daily after dinner. Rosemary is called the “herb of remembrance” and has traditionally been used to improve memory. For this memory boosting tonic it’s best to use French or California wine for their higher alcohol content. Perhaps this will allow you to remember what happened the night before when you drank all that wine.