Herbal remedies – herbal blends, lotions and infusions
Other ways to use your herbal blends
We have looked briefly at herbal teas as infusions (or tisanes) for wonderful simple kitchen tonics, however, there are dozens of other methods of applying herbs including ointments, creams, compresses, poultices, liniments and oils.
Herbal baths for baby and you
Never overlook the therapeutic benefit of a good soak, allowing the plant oils to be absorbed by the skin as well as being inhaled. It is believed that essential oils specifically send messages via the brain to help balance the body. Remedies don’t have to take the conventional route to have an effect.
Most of us have heard of at least one of the reputed benefits of chamomile and lavender. Both are commonly used with children or adults to help with sleep, upset tummies and much more. Rosemary baths are used to help blood circulation; lime flower baths can be used to help children sleep; and clary sage is stocked in some maternity wards to help with labour contractions. Keep in mind that if you are using a pure essential oil you should use about one drop per 100ml of water.
Some simple ways to infuse a bath:
Hang a muslin bag full of fresh herbs under the hot water tap when running a bath, then pop the bag into the bath. An easy and beautiful infusion.
You can also make a strong herbal infusion and add some to the bath.
A muslin ball full of porridge oats is fabulous for skin irritations and reputed to be wonderful for eczema; you can squeeze the oats through the ball and a wonderful creamy lather is produced that can be directly applied to irritated skin. Porridge is also good to eat – specifically for nerves!
hand and footbaths
Massage is a very ancient form of healing; the French herbalist Maurice Mességué used massage to assist poor circulation, as well as cold and damp illnesses. Baby massage has become very popular: it’s reputed to improve sleep (who would say no to that), digestion, mood and much more. You’re likely to find classes at your local community college and possibly your child health centre.
For more information see Pregnancy.
Written and complied by medical herbalist Maxine White from Health Action, with commentary from nutritionist Leanne Cooper (Sneakys)
Medical Herbalist; Lecturer Medicine in the Kitchen
Dip.WH; BwHM; mNHAA; mANTA; mATMS
This tip sheet is not designed to replace medical advice or contradict it. Always seek medical advice if experiencing an ongoing complaint or worsening condition.
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