Fourth Quarter Blog Recap
October 7, 2019—Straight Answers on Breast Cancer
Claudia Harsh, MD, an expert in the field of women’s medicine, answers questions about the connection between menopause and breast cancer.
October 14, 2019—Great Answers on Breast Cancer Prevention
Once again Dr. Harsh offers thoughtful answers to some of the most pressing questions women have regarding breast cancer.
October 21, 2019—Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall
Two glasses of wine a day may lead to a greater chance of contracting breast cancer, especially in women with a family history of the disease. The good news? Exercise lowers the odds!
October 28, 2019 Foods as Prevention in Stopping Breast Cancer
Regular, focused exercise is the number one breast cancer risk reducer, but making friends with vegetables and cutting back on red meat and processed foods come in second and third.
November 4, 2019 Keeping Your Balance
Keeping your balance throughout your life is an empowering –and do-able goal.
November 11, 2019–Great Remedies For Winter Illnesses
Cold and flu season is one time where non-pharmaceutical remedies excel at bolstering the immune system to efficiently squash symptoms before they evolve into a serious illness. Adding more Vitamin C, D, and zinc to your daily regimen strengthens your immune system and may help you avoid that nasty cold.
November 18, 2019: Raising Our Awareness to Help Prevent
Exercise, proper diet and rest, social connections, and lowered stress all play huge roles in lowering one’s propensity for developing Alzheimer’s. Learning to play an instrument shows promise, as well.
November 25, 2019 A Gratitude Attitude is Where It’s At
Embracing gratitude makes people physically, socially, and psychologically healthier. Grateful people feel less stress, less anxiety, greater life satisfaction, and better sleep—especially in combination with my Gratitude Meditation: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/gratitude-meditation/id461484572
December 2, 2019–Great Remedies for Winter Illnesses
Herbs and dietary supplements — one area where non-pharmaceutical remedies excel at bolstering the immune system to efficiently squash symptoms before they evolve into a serious illness. The qualities of Vitamin C, zinc, and Vitamin D are covered in this post.
December 9, 2019–Get Hygge, Be Happier!
Hygge, pronounced “hoo-gah” is a Danish term defined as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” (The Little Book of Hygge). This superior Scandinavian practice has no direct translation in English, but “cozy and comfy” comes close. Find time, especially during busy holiday seasons, to recharge, reflect, reorient, and revive, in other words, find time to hygge!
December 16, 2019—Some Ideas for Bringing In 2020
The year 2020 seems especially auspicious, being the sequential year of the century, and the beginning of a new decade. I offer a winning, triple-play suggestion to bring in the New Year—combining exercise, a personal commitment to oneself, and being fully present.
December 23, 2019—A Plan for 2020
Regular exercise boosts our testosterone, lengthens our telomeres, and helps our adrenals make more estrogen. These actions allow our brains to fire on all fronts and our memory banks to stay as crisp as a cracker. They also give us a greater sense of well-being, help us feel less irritable and more balanced, and contribute to our sexual comfort and desire. Move it to keep it should be our theme for 2020!
December 30, 2019—Fourth Quarter Recap
Fourth Quarter Blog Recap
I began my studies of herbal remedies back in the early 1970’s when I was in middle school. Back then, I read everything in print, and started my own herbal remedy library. (To be followed by my supplements library when I was diagnosed with endometriosis at twenty-two.) My first, and many of my second-wave baby boomer readers will recall those years where all of us in America were initially exposed to the power of herbs–both in the kitchen and in the medicine cabinet. I remember buying fresh herbs for the first time at the farmer’s market, putting them on my bathroom window sill, and lovingly tending them like a mama hen looking after her chicks.
Soon my mother and I were replacing the dried herbs—the only way I knew herbs existed — with my fresh sprigs in recipe after recipe from Joy of Cooking. In my bathroom laboratory I created beauty potions and medicinal remedies that actually worked. I was hooked! Fast forward four plus decades, I am still using some of my recipes. Here, I pass on my tried and true ones, and a few I learned about more recently.
There exists a doctor’s bag full of non-allopathic (non-pharmaceutical), deeply researched, offerings to help shorten the duration of illnesses and speed us back to glowing health. Since respiratory infections effecting the sinuses, bronchial areas, and lungs, seem to be the most common areas of the body to succumb to illness, we will focus on remedies to help heal these areas. The multi-layer benefits of using complementary medicine is that other parts of the body get a boost as well from the remedies, so we get extra healing and protection all in one! These are recipes which have been around for years, decades, and even centuries, in some cases, and have helped heal the body with time-proven solutions.
One important thing is the dosage. Most of us are used to the dosage of pharmaceuticals: One three times a day; two twice a day, etc. In complementary and herbal medicine, dosage is much more frequent. In so many cases, more times used/administered, but not more medicine, is better. Some of the frequencies may seem like a lot, so I wanted to make that clear.
Before you begin:
- Run the jar(s) you will use (I like Mason or Ball jars) with new lids, through the hottest cycle in the dishwasher, let dry completely
- Wash and let the herbs dry completely before making recipes (damp herbs will mold)
It Usual Begins with a Sore Throat
You know the feeling: hurts a little to swallow, your head starts to feel just a little stuffy or light. Start immediately with a Sage Leaf Gargle*. Sage is a powerful antiseptic for internal and topical use. Recommended usage: gargle every 1 to 2 hours. Swish and spit.
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 teaspoons fresh or dried sage leaves
- ¼ ounce salt
- Pour the boiling water over the sage, cover and steep for 20 minutes.
- Strain and add the salt. Gargle as needed. Store in the refrigerator for a couple of days
Also high on the list of other medicinal uses for sage is Sage Honey**. This honey is also a powerful remedy for sore throats.
- Fresh sage to fill ½ the
Local, raw honey to fill the jar to the brim
- Chop your fresh sage up as fine as you can and add it to the jar until it fills up about half way.
- Cover the jar with a lid and allow to sit in a cool, dark, dry place for 2-4 weeks.
- Take one teaspoon every 1-2 hours until sore throat lessens.
Turn jar upside down regularly to keep herbs well mixed
If You Come Down with a Cold or Cold with Cough
There are a couple of items you should always have in your medicine cabinet: Black Elderberry Syrup/Extract and Thyme Syrup***. Elderberry syrup is great for colds, influenza, and even fever. It is carried at health stores. Purchase a product containing 5,000-6,000 mg of black elderberry fruit in the extract. Keep the fresh thyme syrup in the fridge.
- 4 cups water
- 4 ounces Lemon thyme leaf (or plain thyme)–fresh is best, but dried will work
- 1 cup raw, organic honey
- 1/4 cup brandy, optional (works as a preservative)
- Put thyme and water in a pan over low heat. Cover with a lid left slightly ajar, simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 45 minutes.
- Strain the liquid and discard the herbs. When mixture is just warm, add the honey and brandy (if using). Whisk until smooth. Transfer to a glass jar and store in the fridge for up to four weeks (without brandy) or four months (with brandy).
- Take 1-2 tablespoons every 2-3 hours to help get the gunk out
Oregano de la Sierra, also called Wild Oregano, or Bee Balm is also an important herb to aid healing when a cold or cough strikes. The recipe for Oregano Honey is simple to make:
- Pack a Mason jar with fresh oregano
- Cover completely with local honey and let sit for 2 weeks
- Can be added to tea, or just taken by spoon
- Take one teaspoon every 1-2 hours
Two additional outstanding remedies for winter illnesses like colds and coughs are Echinacea and ginger.
The wise folks suggest Echinacea within 72 hours of coming down with a cold or cough, when the herb is most effective at eliminating viral and bacterial infections. ONE NOTE: DO NOT take Echinacea for the flu, as it can make it worse.
Last is one of my favorites, ginger. This Ginger Syrup is a snap to make, works wonders when you feel yourself coming down with a cold or have a chill. It helps kill viruses that can lead to an upper respiratory infection, helps soothe and shrink swollen nasal passages, and calms a sore throat.
- Chop a 3 inch piece of fresh ginger.
- Add to 1/2 cup of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 cups of boiling water.
- Stir well and then cover it with plastic wrap for about 10 minutes.
- Strain and drink 1-3 times a day
With your fridge and cabinet stocked with these powerful healing tools you’ll be ready for anything Old Man Winter throws at you–including snowballs!
Until next time… Be Well and Be Vibrant!
Always check with your health care provider for any contraindications.
A version of these recipes is found here: