Springtime means it’s time to include nettle in each jar of iced tea I brew. It helps keep hay fever at bay. And time to chop fresh mint, dandelion, and cilantro in salads. I’m convinced it does wonders to keep our sinuses clear when we cut and stack hay. And time to make our food hotter with garlic, onions and all kinds of peppers. Even the most persnickety eater around here eats most of the concoctions I make.
My remedies work like a charm (the scary incantation sort of charm). I’m one of those loony natural healing people. I have jars brimming with healing herbs I’ve grown and dried, bottles of homemade tinctures, and perhaps most frightening—concoctions in which ingredients like reishi mushrooms and schizandra berries float. I’ve discovered that healing doesn’t lie in any of these substances, it lies in my family’s strong dislike of being dosed with them. Perhaps they have indistinct baby memories of crushed garlic and mullein oil in their tiny ears as ear infection remedies or perhaps they’re just afraid of what else I might do. They know any cough or sniff will doom them to my ministrations.
My approach is beginning to seem a bit less loony. Mild over-the-counter painkillers are linked to hearing loss and liver damage. Cough syrups are useless. Antidepressants (now prescribed in record numbers) are ineffectual for most people with mild or serious depression. And those handy meds for “acid stomach” are linked to dementia and osteoporosis.
My family may be onto something by avoiding my remedies. Now if all of us can just do better avoiding conventional remedies unless we really, really need them. So drink herb tea, eat fresh salad and open the window. It’s spring!