After some procrastination, I have booked the hall, made the poster and we are set to go. Sunday, November 23 kicks off the series of monthly classes at the Rupert Community Centre – Sunday afternoons, 2 – 4 pm. And what more appropriate topic to start with, than Herbs for Colds and Flu? As the season approaches, many people are thinking about prevention, which is always the best place to start. We’ll look at both herbs and nutrients to help the body adapt to stress, build a strong immune system and help prevent the development of illness. But even with everything in place, flu and colds cannot always be avoided – and many of us would rather treat symptoms gently than resort to medications that mask symptoms but do nothing to accelerate healing. In this class, we will cover various strategies for managing cold and flu symptoms, and how to tailor what you choose to use according to symptoms. (Example; that dry, non-productive scratchy cough needs a different set of herbs than does the cold damp variety.)
Beautiful Marshmallow roots, Althea officinalis – dried and used for soothing mucilage, part of a formula for sore throats and hot, scratchy cough.
We’ll talk about the specific actions of individual herbs, how to prepare them (tea, infusion/decoction, tincture, elixir, pastilles, honeys and oxymels,syrups, steams to relieve sinus congestion, and salve for aching muscles and sore inflamed lungs.)
We’ll look at the difference between immune stimulation – the ever popular echinacea is not the only herb that can do this! and when to use a more balancing, modulating approach – hint: at the onset of a fever, during a fever and in recovery all can be considered stages that require specific strategies. Some herbs should not be given at all during fevers – and some folks should not have immune stimulants at all.
Boneset, Eupatorium perfoliatum, grows all around this region, is easily identified, and one of our most important herbs for addressing the aches and pains that accompany the flu
We’ve all heard of echinacea, ginger and garlic, lemon and zinc, for colds and flu – but what about elderberry? Osha and Usnea, Mullein, Wild cherry, Hyssop,Licorice, Horehound, Monarda, Boneset, Elecampane? The amazing and abundant Alder tree, whose inner bark has long been a go-to for folk herbalists, for it’s incredible antimicrobial and lymphatic action? Perhaps you have seen these herbs but aren’t sure how to use them. Did you know that the resin from our beautiful local conifers can form the basis for the most amazing chest rub? After this class,you will come away with a greatly expanded repertoire of options.
Several species of Alder grow locally; we will delve into Tree Medicine in a future class – how and when to harvest, prepare and use local trees from Alder and Birch to all the glorious Conifers.
We’ll sample several of my own recipes, many made from wildcrafted herbs of this region; all time-honoured and prepared with care by yours truly. 🙂
You’ll go home with recipe cards, classnotes and several samples of tea blends, steam blends,three kinds of Fire Cider, and my favorite concoctions for all kinds of winter blues (reishi/maple syrup truffles, anyone?)
Elderberries, rosehips, elecampane root, monarda blossoms, mallow root, cinnamon, licorice, fennel seed, and a little echinacea in one of my favorite coldweather blends.
All in all, a beautiful and nourishing way to spend a Sunday, learning the magic of regional herbs, and preparing for the season ahead. Cost is sliding scale, 10 – 25$, no supplies needed, but you will want a notebook and pen.
Hope to see you there!