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Category: Herbal Remedies

Herbal remedies that we can make at home are becoming more and more popular, and I've certainly dabbled with a few, having a long connection to herbs and supplements as well as natural living.

Recipes in Herbal Remedies

Cough it Up Expectorant

My husband seemed to have a constant cough at one time, and I wanted to concoct something that would bring up phlegm if coughs needed to be productive, but otherwise, if there was nothing to bring up, I wanted it to calm coughs (Lobelia). When I first developed this recipe, all these ingredients were much easier to find at the local Coop in bulk, but that has changed, so if you try to make this, use what you can find. The major constituents were what I used more of, and I used various essential oils and cinnamon mainly to make it taste better.

Cinnamint Itchy Heat Rash Powder

This might be similar to the Gold Bond "Medicated" body powder, except that it uses starch, not talc. It's a bit clumpy, which is unusual in a body powder--instead of dusting it over, one has to take a bit in the hand and rub it in--but oh, how cooling it is! I'm loving it, and it has a wonderful smell, too. The cinnamon in it is good for inflammation (and turns it this tan color, incidentally), and the menthol is for cooling. The tea tree oil makes it anti-fungal as well. Note that this powder would be a bit intense at first for under-arms, but after a while, it calms down. Menthol is around 1.64%. This powder will also initially make the skin more red, even though it feels cooling. If you have some zinc oxide powder, you could add that as well for even more anti-fungal properties.

Analgesic Muscle Balm

I wanted this to be something like Tiger Balm, but with better base ingredients (ie NOT petroleum or mineral oil). The menthol (an extract of mint) gives it a cooling effect, the wintergreen an analgesic one, and the cinnamon helps potentiate the other ingredients. Camphor is also penetrating, and clove is good for slightly numbing dental stuff, so I thought it could help here, too! In any case, this balm smells wonderful, and is solid in a warm house. Time will tell how long it is shelf stable.

Xylitol Cough Drops

These actually may not make as good cough drops as breath mints, as they still dissolve quicker than commercial cough drops, but these are still quite strong, and very tasty! I made them with xylitol to make them sugar free. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, and has calories, but does not impact the pancreas and so is safe for diabetics. Technically, it can crystallize without getting to high temperatures, but in this case, I was mixing liquids and oils with it, and the higher temperatures make these turn out harder, so they don't dissolve as quickly as they otherwise would.

Cocoa Body Butter

This is made of primarily cocoa butter, which is emollient and nutritious for the skin. This lotion is especially useful in cold weather, for rubbing into the skin after a shower, or into chapped hands and feet. Rich and luxurious, it can seem a little greasy at first, but quickly absorbs, leaving skin soft. I use it even for my lips, and since it's all natural and all edible, it could be used as a natural lube, as well! But cocoa butter is a bit rich for the face, so use this lotion everywhere else your skin needs moisturizing. It will be very firm in cold weather and soft in warm weather, and should melt around 78 - 80F degrees, so in summer, store it in a cooler place if possible (but not the fridge, unless you're keeping it for a long time).

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