Allergy Relief for All Budgets

Spring is here, and with it comes gorgeous weather, bright flowers bursting from the once frozen ground, in addition to allergy season. Say goodbye to sneezing, itching, congestion and runny noses because the Community Pharmacy staff has compiled a list of our favorite natural allergy relief remedies accessible for all budgets!

See something you love that you just have to have,or want to learn more about? Give us a call/email, or just come on visit us!

Relief for under $10.00

bulk-herbs-organic-stinging-nettle

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is the first herb many alternative practitioners suggest to their patients who are suffering from allergic reactions, particularly puffy eyes and rhinitis. Nettle leaves are rich in quercetin and other antioxidant bioflavanoids, which help restore balance to the immune response. We have  freeze-dried capsules, tincture, and bulk dried nettles available.

 

 

elder

Elderflower–   Elderflower pleases our senses with its whimsical spray of tiny white flowers and intoxicating aroma.  Elderflower has been traditionally used as effective herb for supporting healthy eyes, nose, lungs and sinuses.  What a relief! Another of elderflower’s benefits includes helping maintain some of the body’s natural eliminatory systems.  

 

 

 

image6BioAllers® is a unique brand of products that treats allergy symptoms with homeopathic prepared allergens which work with the immune system to treat allergy symptoms at their source. We carry outdoor allergy, indoor allergy, pet dander allergy, tree pollen allergy, and many more of their products.

Relief For Under $15.00

 

image1Neti Pot – When inhaled, airborne allergens enter our sinus passages and irritate our delicate mucous membranes, thereby triggering a histamine reaction from our immune system. One or two sinus rinses daily with warm salt water can wash away pollen from nasal passages and soothe swollen and irritated sinuses.

 

image4Allerblast from Urban Moonshine
***Currently on sale through April!***
 Aller-Blast calls on Reishi mushroom for its outstanding ability to maintain a balanced immune response. It also contains Artichoke leaf whose bitterness is vital for supporting the healthy liver function of eliminating toxins which can add to allergy symptoms. 

 

 

Relief For Around $20.00

 

allergy_alleraid1Oregon’s Wild Harvest Alleraid Alleraid contains freeze-dried nettles, quercetin, N-acetyl Cysteine (NAC), and vitamin A. Research suggests that Quercetin inhibits the production of histamines in the body. Querctin combined with vitamin C boost quercetins anti-inflammatory effects. NAC aids in the ability to break down mucous.  All ingredients possess antioxidant activities.

 

 

 

image3Gaia Allergy Turmeric Supreme ***Currently On Sale through April**

This herbal formula contains Turmeric, Black Pepper, and quercetin, all promote a healthy response to occasional environmental irritants. Quercetin has been studied for its support of occasional normal histamine response. Black Pepper increases absorption and bio-availability of curcumins which help reduce inflammation.

Happy Holidays, Happy Gut – Better Digestion

Digest your best

Many people suffer from everyday digestion problems such as gas, bloating, stomach pain, constipation, heartburn, and fatigue after eating. Here are some ideas to help prevent some of these common digestion issues.

Digestive enzymes are proteins, meaning they are large molecules made up of long chains of smaller molecules called amino acids. Our body produces enzymes in the pancreas and secretes them as needed into the digestive tract. Enzymes break carbohydrates into pieces called monosaccharides, proteins into amino acids, and fats into fatty acids and glycerol. The three main digestive enzymes are amylase, protease and lipase.

Amylase breaks down carbohydrates, including whole grains, white flours, sugars and starchy vegetables. Amylase is found in pancreatic and intestinal juices, but is also found in your saliva. This means that the digestive process of carbohydrates actually begins in the mouth, making chewing your food thoroughly important.

Protease digests protein. The proper digestion of protein is vital. Undigested protein particles can pass through your intestinal wall and end up in your bloodstream. This process is called “leaky gut syndrome” and can cause allergic reactions ranging from fever to abdominal pain. Proper absorption of protein is needed for energy and the rebuilding of muscle and tissue.

Lipase allows your body to properly digest fat, and is found in many foods that contain fat. Choosing the right healthy fats allows your body to burn fat more efficiently. Your body needs the lipase produced in your pancreas and stomach, as well as lipase from food sources, in order to optimally utilize the nutrients from the fat you eat.

Probiotics are living organisms. They are typically bacterial, but there are also some yeast species that function as probiotics. They can assist in vitamin and mineral absorption, alleviate lactose intolerance, and produce vitamin K. They do not, however, break down the food molecules we absorb.

Lactobacillus is one of the most common probiotics. It’s the one you’ll find in yogurt and other fermented foods. Different strains can potentially alleviate diarrhea and may help with people who can’t digest lactose, the sugar in milk.

Bifidobacterium may help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Bitters people often shy away from bitter foods; however, bitters perform a valuable function. Bitter greens, for instance, stimulate digestion. They prompt the body to release more digestive juices such as hydrochloric acid in the stomach and digestive enzymes from the pancreas. Bitter foods also stimulate the gallbladder to contract and release bile, which helps break fatty foods into small enough particles that enzymes can easily finish breaking them apart for absorption. This is important because fats carry essential fatty acids, such as heart-healthy omega-3s, along with fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K and carotenoids such as beta-carotene.

A bitters formula may be an infusion, tincture, or distillation (usually in some type of spirits) of aromatic herbs, barks, fruits, and roots. Bitters have a range of medicinal qualities, but the primary effect is to improve digestion. This occurs predominantly through enhanced production of digestive enzymes, by nutritive support of the epithelial lining of the GI tract, and by reducing intestinal irritation and inflammation.

Bitter digestive stimulants include angelica, dandelion, burdock, and yarrow. Dandelion is perhaps the most popular digestive aid in this lineup. Juniper is not considered a bitter herb, but its’ aromatic properties increase hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach.

Carminatives soothe the gut wall, ease griping pains and reduce the production of gas in the digestive tract. This is usually due to the presence of volatile oils, which have anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and mildly anti-microbial effect upon the lining of the alimentary canal. Culinary herbs like dill, fennel and ginger not only add taste to foods but also alleviate gas, bloating and indigestion.

Rosemary has been utilized for stomach problems such as dyspepsia, stomach cramps, bloating and constipation. It stimulates circulation, improving blood flow, and has been used as an appetite stimulant.. Rosemary has also traditionally been used for headaches, nervous exhaustion, memory and concentration.

Ginger is a digestive stimulant which increases salivary and gastric secretions. It can be used to reduce flatulence and nausea, cramping of the stomach and bowels, as well as menstrual cramping. It can be used in the treatment of motion sickness, and can also help to reduce morning sickness. The fresh root contains enzymes which enhance digestion.

Antispasmodic herbs reduce muscle tension. Herbs with this action can relieve stomach spasms and intestinal cramps. A warm cup of chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, peppermint, or fennel tea will help to alleviate cramping.

Peppermint is used for digestive problems including heartburn, nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), cramps of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract and bile ducts, upset stomach, diarrhea, bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine, and gas. Enteric coated peppermint capsules are used for lower GI cramping.

Chamomile contains fairly strong antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory constituents.

Community Pharmacy has a vast array of herbs and products for digestive health from companies such as Enzymatic Therapy, Florajen, Megafood and Enzymedica. Come visit either location and speak with one of our many helpful supplement workers!

By Flormaria Erazo Zurita

Cooperator, Community Pharmacy

Edited by Andrea Robinson

Harness the strength of the Tiger!

Ever had an achy back or sore muscles from overworking yourself in the yard or exercising? Looking for relief without long term effects? There are several options from rubs to patches and sprays to give you relief. For slight muscle aches and joints aches try our original Tiger Balm. Camphor and menthol create a cooling and tingling sensation that soothes the pain as well as increasing blood flow to help the area heal faster. Try our Red Extra Strength Tiger Balm when you are in need of a heating sensation. This formula also has the added benefit of clove oil which is both numbing and smells great. Want the benefits of a balm without the worry of getting oil everywhere? No problem, Tiger Balm also comes in a patch that you can wear under clothes and lasts for hours.

When you’re looking for stronger pain relief for deeper muscle aches or back pain try one of our many liniment sprays. An ingredient that you may see in liniments and rubs is capsicum. You may recognize capsicum as chili powder. It causes a hot sensation on the skin and when used in a liniment form, with an alcohol or witch hazel base, the warming sensation penetrates through the skin directly into the muscle. Capsicum contains the chemical capsaicin which stimulates the nerves and then ‘overrides’ the pain signals being transmitted by the nerves.

Liniments are a good choice for deeper muscle pain and for more intense pain. There are many herbs such as Arnica and St. John’s Wort that are also used in conjunction with capsicum or camphor to heal the underlying injury causing pain. The first use of capsicum may cause a short term increase in pain which usually decreases after the first use. As with any natural or chemical treatment, if pain continues to increase or you have any skin reactions, discontinue use immediately.

By Lance Holm.
Edited Flormaria Erazo
Cooperator, Community Pharmacy

Calendula!

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is a cheery orange, sometimes yellow, member of the Asteraceae family that is used for healing burns and wounds, moving lymph, and stimulating bile production. This annual is native to the Mediterranean region yet widely cultivated for its medicinal properties. Its uplifting color makes a great addition to your windowsill or flower garden. The flower petals are a bright and tasty addition to salads. The leaves are also edible, albeit resinous and slightly bitter in taste. In days past it was used as ‘the poor man’s saffron’ as a way to impart color and flavor to some foods, such as soups and rice.

Calendula flowers are used in salves, lotions, and cosmetics for their anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and toning qualities. The flowers are also infused (tea) and tinctured (alcohol extract) to be used internally and topically. Calendula is a key addition to your herbal first-aid kit as it has an affinity for quickly healing burns, cuts and scrapes. It stimulates cell regeneration and inhibits infection and scarring in surface wounds including acne and rashes. It has been used traditionally for stomach ulcers, conjunctivitis, and liver complaints.

Calendula has no known drug interactions or contraindications. Rare allergic reactions are possible in those with a sensitivity to chamomile, feverfew, ragweed, or dandelion pollen. Avoid internal use during early pregnancy due to traditional use as an emmenagogue (uterine stimulant).

Our resident redhead recommends using Calendula for those who have had too much fun in the sun. Combine equal parts rose water, witch hazel extract, aloe vera gel, and strong Calendula infusion (let it cool before combining). Add ~20-30 drops lavender essential oil for each ounce of fluid. Store in a spritzer bottle in the fridge and spray generously and frequently on the skin after excessive sun exposure. This will help cool, tone and rehydrate the skin.

Calendula FlowersBy Andrea Robinson
Cooperator, Community Pharmacy
Edited by Flormaria Erazo

For more information about Calendula please visit the link below:
http://blog.chestnutherbs.com/calendula-sunshine-incarnate-an-edible-and-medicinal-flower

Chia Seeds!

chiaCh-ch-ch Chia! Remember those old Chia Pet commercials? Who knew back then that I could have been eating those dang seeds instead of making a huge mess in Moms’ kitchen and then waiting an eternity for my tiny Chia Teddy Bear to grow some green fur? Well, unbeknownst to me at the time, Chia has been a staple food source for thousands of years in mesoamerica. High in essential fatty acids, proteins and minerals, Chia can truly be considered a superfood. Other great benefits to this tiny little powerhouse are lower blood pressure in hypertensive individuals, lower serum triglycerides and increased HDL cholesterol and even helping those with Sucrose-induced Insulin Resistance!

Geez! How much of this wonder seed do I need to get these benefits and is it gonna kill my pocketbook? You may ask. Well never fear. Chia seeds are pretty darn inexpensive compared to other superfoods. At the time of writing our bulk herb section has them at $1.60 an ounces (price . A mere pittance and as little as 2 tablespoons a day in a glass of water is enough to get the goods. Chia is also very versatile in a culinary sense. With an almost nonexistent flavor, it’s a great thickening agent for smoothies, makes amazing puddings and breads and can even be sprinkled over your favorite greens or vegetables! And it also looks pretty cute grown out, anthropomorphized and sitting on your windowsill.

Public Relations Team
Community Pharmacy

Flawless Face Tips

I’m going to lots of holiday parties and I want my skin to look flawless. Any ideas?

Signed, Festive in Franklin

Dear Festive,
Tis the season for socializing, but dry winter air can really sap the life from your skin. Fortunately I have some recipes that will leave you glowing like a Christmas tree for less than the price of an eggnog latte.
If you have a few minutes and a food processor, you can make this facial mask adapted from wholeliving.com. Papaya and yogurt help dissolve dull skin, and honey helps retain moisture.
1/2 cup diced papaya
1 tbsp. plain yogurt
1 tsp. honey
Combine ingredients in food processor until smooth. Apply mixture to clean skin and leave on for 8-10 minutes. Rinse, pat dry, and finish with a gentle moisturizer. For an even easier but still effective mask, omit papaya and mix yogurt and honey in a bowl. No food processor required!
I also like this recipe from realsimple.com. Spirulina is rich in antioxidants, banana helps moisturize, and lemon juice brightens the skin.
1/2 tsp. spirulina powder
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Whisk ingredients together and apply a thin layer to face. Leave on for 15 minutes then rinse with cool water. Don’t use more than the suggested amount of lemon juice, as it can be irritating.
If you’d like to use a facial mask but would rather not make your own, I highly recommend Evan Healy’s Green Tea Clay. This deeply cleansing mask draws impurities to the surface, and the clay stimulates blood flow to leave you looking like you just stepped out of the spa. I also love Even-Tone Brightening Serum by Suki; used regularly, it really works to fade spots, scars, and discolorations.

Get Crafty: Healthful Homemade Holidays

by Day Host-Jablonski

With a few weeks remaining until the holiday season is in full swing, now is a perfect time to create the fresh and fragrant homemade gifts you will bring to this season’s potlucks, parties, and homecomings. It’s a time for gratitude and celebration – of family, food, and good health!

Holiday Party Mocktail Syrups
The complex flavors and digestive benefits of craft cocktails are also an open invitation to those of us who look for nonalcoholic beverages. These flavorful and festive herbal syrups can be brewed in an afternoon. Blended into sparkling water, fruit juices and hot tea or coffee, they transform dull draughts into drinkable delicacies. You may want to make a double batch – every time I bring these to potlucks, I come home with empty bottles!
Rosemary Tangerine Syrup
2 6-inch sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 C water
2 C sugar
zest of 4 tangerines
Add zest and sprigs to water in a non-reactive pot over medium high heat. When water starts boiling, add sugar and stir until dissolved and syrup begins to thicken. Remove from heat, cover, and steep 2 hours. Strain out solids and store in a clean bottle. Makes 1 quart. Try 1-2 tablespoons in a glass of sparkling water.
Rose & Spice Syrup
¼ C cardamom pods (slightly crushed)
2 cinnamon sticks
6 cloves
½ C rose petals
2 C water
2 C sugar
Add spices to water in a non-reactive pot over medium high heat. When water starts boiling, add sugar and stir until dissolved and syrup begins to thicken. Remove from heat, cover, and steep 1 hour. Then add roses and steep another ½ hour. Strain out solids and store in a clean bottle. Makes 1 quart. Try 1-2 tablespoons in a cup of coffee or black tea.

Home Aromatherapy Sprays and Diffusion
Walking into a good-smelling house is always a pleasure, and especially so when the smells remind us of holiday celebrations! These essential oil blends smell beautiful, are antimicrobial to help clear the air during cold & flu season, and inspire good cheer. Each of these recipes makes a milliliter of aromatherapy blend. For diffusion, add 10 drops of your blend to the reservoir of a nebulizer and run 30-60 minutes per room. To make a home scent spray, add 20 drops to 2 ounces of distilled water in a spray bottle made of dark (amber or cobalt) glass.
Deep Breath Aromatherapy Blend
12 drops douglas fir essential oil (eo)
8 drops eucalyptus radiata eo
2 drops peppermint eo
8 drops spike lavender eo
Holiday Health Aromatherapy Blend
4 drops cinnamon leaf eo
8 drops clove bud eo
6 drops oregano eo
10 drops sweet orange eo

Gifts of Glowing Skin
Homemade body care gifts are my favorites to give, as they are the perfect practical luxury – fresh, useful, and custom-created for those you love. Cleansing scrubs are excellent for our dry Midwest winters: nourishing oils keep skin soft, while detoxifying salts and exfoliants polish away dry skin.
Squeaky Clean Scrub
1 C fine sea salt
1/2 C almond oil
1/8 C unscented liquid castile soap
4 drops lemongrass eo
4 drops tea tree eo
Combine salt and oil and mix well. Add soap and essential oils, blending gently to prevent clumping or froth. This scrub is gently antimicrobial, making it perfect for cold & flu season. It rinses cleanly away and is very moisturizing – try it in the shower, or beside the sink as a hand wash. Makes 12 ounces.
Everything Nice Scrub
1 C fine sea salt
1 C sugar
2 T grapeseed oil
3 drops vanilla eo
7 drops lemon eo
2 drops cinnamon eo
1 drop ylang-ylang eo
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Store in a jar with a tight lid to preserve scents. This is a sweetly scented, lightly moisturizing scrub that can be used in the shower or bath. Makes 16 oz. Will keep 6 months in a sealed jar.

Seasonal Perfumes
In addition to smelling fantastic and keeping seasonal bugs at bay, the aromatherapy of essential oils can lift our emotions, boost our confidence and put a smile on our faces. Positive scent associations can help build happy memories and allow us to be more fully present for moments of joy and caring. Wreathe yourself in beautiful scents and carry the holiday spirit with you!
Chocolate Box Perfume Oil
12 drops cocoa absolute eo
10 drops vanilla eo
12 drops cedar eo
12 drops rose geranium eo
6 drops sandalwood eo
8 drops clove eo
2 tsp jojoba oil
This is a sensuous sugar & spice perfume for anyone with a serious sweet tooth. Combine essential oils in a 10 ml glass bottle, preferably one with a roller-ball applicator tip. Fill with jojoba oil, shake well. Let infuse for 3-7 days so scents mature, then apply to pulse points and enjoy!
Woodland Spirit Cologne
2 drops patchouli eo
8 drops atlas cedar wood eo
6 drops douglas fir eo
6 drops wild scotch pine eo
4 drops cinnamon leaf eo
3 T (1 ½ oz) 100 proof vodka
distilled water
This is a fresh and wild spray for men, women, and magical creatures of all kinds. Combine essential oils in a 2 oz (60 ml) dark glass spray bottle. Add vodka, cap tightly and shake, then top off with distilled water. Let infuse 3-7 days for scent to mature. Shake well before spraying onto pulse points.

Happy holidays – may your skin be soft and your home always smell wonderful!

Day Host-Jablonski is a radical perfumer, medicine maker and long-time ingredients nerd. She is grateful for her years of writing for Infused, and to everyone who’s helped her get crafty!

Ginger Root!

how-to-peel-chop-grate-ginger-verticalGinger Root (Zingiber officinale) is well known as a remedy for travel sickness, nausea and indigestion and is used for wind, colic, irritable bowel, loss of appetite, chills, cold, flu, poor circulation, menstrual cramps, dyspepsia (bloating, heartburn, flatulence), indigestion and gastrointestinal problems such as gas and stomach cramps. Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb and there has been much recent interest in its use for joint problems. It has also been indicated for arthritis, fevers, headaches, toothaches, coughs, bronchitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, to ease tendonitis, lower cholesterol and blood-pressure and aid in preventing internal blood clots.

Share by outreach@communitypharmacy.coop
Public Relations Team
Community Pharmacy

Ask Kitty Magoo: Gentle Exfoliation

Dear Kitty,

Is it possible to exfoliate my face gently? Most scrubs and peels are too harsh for my skin.

Signed,
Sensitive in Seneca

Dear Sensitive,

When done correctly, exfoliation, or the removal of dead cells from the outermost epidermal layer, helps keep pores clear and skin looking fresh and radiant. Unfortunately, many exfoliating products actually do more harm than good.

Exfoliation can be done two ways: mechanically, with a scrub that buffs away dead skin cells, or chemically, with a peel or mask that dissolves them. The problem with many scrubs is that they rely on sharp material like walnut shells, which cause tiny little tears in your skin, to exfoliate. Ouch!

Chemical exfoliation may be even more damaging to sensitive skin, as the acids commonly used in peels and masks (alpha hydroxy, beta hydroxy, glycolic, etc.) can cause burning and redness, not to mention thinning of the epidermis over time.

According to aesthetician Evan Healy, founder of the Evan Healy line of holistic skin care products, it is possible to effectively exfoliate without the use of rough scrubs or acid-based peels. She recommends natural clay, a “universally skin-friendly material” that “acts to effectively draw impurities out of tiny dermal pores and absorb excess oil and dead cells” without disrupting the skin’s protective layer. Healy adds that clay can also “refine skin texture, minimizing the appearance of large pores.” Bonus!

The Evan Healy line features two wonderful clay masks, and you can also make your own. Just mix a teaspoon of dry clay (sold by the ounce at Community Pharmacy) with enough of any liquid (water, hydrosol, milk, etc.) to form a paste. Apply the mixture to your face using your fingers or a brush. Relax for ten minutes or so, then rinse. Smooth! You can also experiment with adding other ingredients, like essential oils or honey, to your mask. The gentle exfoliation possibilities are endless and your skin will thank you!

Meow!

A Guide to Herbal Teas, Infusions, and Decoctions

by Emily Light

Herbal teas are one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to support your body and warm up in cold weather. As you prepare your herbal remedy, your energy and intention will be incorporated into the medicine; being a part of this process creates a highly therapeutic product.

A few different methods (tea, infusion, and decoction) can be used to make water extractions of herbs. These methods differ according to the part of the plant used and the length of steeping time. Leaves, flowers, and seeds require a shorter steep, while roots and barks need a longer one. Herbs contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as other beneficial compounds. The appropriate steeping time ensures adequate extraction of herbal constituents.

There are a few things you can do to help create the perfect herbal water extraction.
1. If using chlorinated or unfiltered water, boil it for ten minutes to help reduce impurities. Boiling the water in a non-metallic pot is ideal to prevent leaching. (Aluminum pots are the worst in this respect.)
2. Make sure to always cover the jar you use for steeping to prevent compounds from escaping in the steam or reacting with oxygen.
3. To strain your preparation, use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
4. Herbal water extractions should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within 24-48 hours.
5. Last but certainly not least, be sure to delight in Mother Nature’s gift of nourishment while enjoying your extraction.

Teas
Of the extraction methods, tea is most expedient, requiring a steeping time of 10 to 20 minutes. The herb-to-water ratio when preparing tea is one tablespoon dried herb to one cup of water. (If you’re using fresh herbs, double the amount.) Herbs rich in volatile oils like peppermint and sage as well as delicate flowers such as chamomile and calendula are the best choices for this short-steep extraction method.

Infusions
The infusion method of water extraction is useful for seeds, flowers, leaves, and stems. Seeds should be steeped for 30 minutes with an herb-to-water ratio of one tablespoon seeds to one cup of water. Leaves and heartier flowers like hibiscus should steep for four hours.

Decoctions
Roots such as ginger and barks like pau d’arco are very dense. Therefore, they require the decoction method of water extraction, which calls for eight hours of steeping time.
Although water extraction methods typically need hot water, some plants are better suited to cold water. These include herbs like marshmallow root and slippery elm bark that are rich in mucilage. Cold water can be used in infusions and decoctions but is not appropriate for the tea method of extraction.

Once you know how to properly prepare water extractions, the possibilities are endless in terms of all the different herbal remedies you can make. No matter what result you’re hoping for, there is probably an herb that can help you achieve it. The following is a list of some of my favorite extractions.

Astragalus root helps to strengthen many body systems, including the immune, respiratory, and digestive systems. It aids in building resistance to infection and increasing vigor. Astragalus root can be taken as a daily tonic and should be decocted for eight hours.

Oatstraw is a superb nervous system and adrenal tonic. It supports the body by providing essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins and substantial amounts of calcium and magnesium. When consumed on a regular basis, oatstraw can help reverse the effects of adrenal fatigue and nervous system exhaustion. It should be infused for four hours.

Blackberry leaf is a time-tested remedy. For many years parents have relied on the astringent qualities of these leaves to help diminish their children’s diarrhea. Tannin is the constituent responsible for the leaf’s astringent action; the longer the leaves are steeped, the more tannins will be present in the extraction. To provide fast relief, make a batch of tea by steeping the leaves for 20 minutes and administer immediately. In the meantime, prepare an infusion for later, letting the leaves steep for four hours.
Two parts of the dandelion plant are used in herbal medicine. The leaves are an ideal diuretic in that they are very effective but also replenish the body’s store of potassium, an electrolyte commonly depleted by diuretics. Dandelion root is used as a bitter digestive aid because it stimulates bile production. It also supports liver and spleen function. Dandelion leaves should be infused for four hours while the root should be decocted for eight.

Peppermint leaf is a premier digestive aid that’s quite useful in addressing gastrointestinal conditions like indigestion, flatulence, cramping, and constipation. Peppermint leaf is also a circulatory stimulant. Because of its many wonderful properties, peppermint leaf is the third-most widely consumed tea in the world! It can be steeped for anywhere from ten minutes to four hours.

These are but a few of the hundreds of options for medicinal herbal water extractions. Try some of these but also feel free to experiment! As with any medicine, always check with your doctor or practioner before using herbal remedies.

For more information:
The Herbal Medicine-Makers Handbook by James Green
The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra, L.Ac, O.M.D.
Healing Wise by Susun Weed
Emily Light is an herbalist and yoga instructor living in Portland, OR.