One thing I found out quickly when I started studying herbal household remedies was that just about none of them is compatible with a modern busy lifestyle. If you spend most of your days out and about primarily, you will look for a pill to combat whatever symptoms you might have so that you can go to work or cope with your daily routine even though you are actually sick.
So if you are interested in other ways of healing than what the pharmaceutical industry has to offer, one thing you need is time. If you have a headache, even migraines, you can take a pill (or several), or you can apply the inside of a banana peel to your neck or forehead. Both can ease your pain, but I guess you wouldn’t feel comfortable walking into the office holding a banana peel to your forehead. If you have arthritis, you might want to apply a potato poultice or cabbage leaves to your aching joints to be more comfortable, but you wouldn’t want to go shopping or pick up your child from school with a poultice strapped to your shoulder or cabbage leaves on your hands.
You get the idea: Herbal household remedies take time. A potato poultice, for example, should remain on for about three and a half hours. Now think how much good it would do you if you were to just recline some place with a cup of tea at your elbow and a good book, and a perfect excuse not to rush around because your potato poultice has to stay on for such-and-such a time. The same counts for other remedies: In order to apply them or for them to be effective, they have to be combined with a degree of relaxation. I used to go to a doctor whose primary advice for people with a cold was to drink a lot of water or herbal tea, get a lot of fresh air, inhale the steam of hot salt water to clear the nasal passages and sinuses, and to get a lot of rest. No pills, no salves, no creams, nothing. Just a week off work and the above advice.
So let me invite you during these shortest days of the year around the Winter Solstice to consider how you spend your time. You only have this one body to live in, and it deserves a certain amount of consideration. Besides, pondering how we spend the time we are given might also lead to some New Year’s resolutions worth making.
It’s worth your time.
Disclaimer: The author is not an medical professional, nutritionist, or dietitian. Content on this website is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for legal or medical advice, or medical treatment or diagnosis. Consult your health care provider if you are experiencing any symptoms and before using any herbal product or beginning a new health regimen. When wildcrafting or foraging for plants, do so ethically; be accompanied by an expert; and always have absolute certainty of plant identification before using or consuming any herbs. By using any or all of this information, you do so at your own risk. Any application of the material provided is at the reader’s discretion and is his or her sole responsibility.