Thursday, June 12, 2008


Because I have a very painful, swollen lymph node in my neck, just under my left earlobe, I'm thinking about alteratives and ways to get my blood tidied up. Alterative herbs stimulate, tone, and regulate eliminative organs (kidneys, lungs, liver, bowels, lymphatic system), and are fundamentally blood-cleansers. They normally have a slower action, needing two to three months of continuous administration to really do their job. Using them with another herb which targets a specific eliminative organ can speed things up a bit. There are a lot of alterative herbs out there, but here are some of my favorites:

I'm drinking Stinging Nettle Infusion for extra nutrition and waste elimination. Nettle has iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, vitamins C, A, K, and more. It tastes like, well, to be fair I'm going say try it and see what you think. I drink mine with unsweetened cranberry juice.

My yard is a big salad right now of plantain and dandelion. I went out this morning and picked a bag full for salads, soups, tea, and general munching.

Garlic! How can you not love it? It's very easy to grow and incredibly versatile. I use it in everything from ear oil to flea repellent. I'm eating it in/on almost everything right now. I also love to soak 4-5 crushed garlic cloves in raw honey for 2-4 hours and take a spoonful every half hour or so for throat pain.

Not only is it growing in our pasture, but since I decided to stop mowing down into the dry creekbed in front of my house, I've discovered I have yellow dock growing there, too! Woo Hoo! The root is considered to be the most medicinally active part, but I like to use the whole plant as an infusion or chopped into soup. Yellow dock is a fantastic alterative which is often combined with dandelion. It stimulates the liver and also happens to be a long-term immune response enhancer.

I might go into further detail on these herbs later.

I'm not an "herbal cure-all" advocate (I'm actually an active protestor against it), so let's see what else I can do:

Hydration, hydration, hydration. Plenty of clean water every day. Check!

Diet. Well, maybe not so great for the past week. I snuck a Mtn Dew and and a handful of Doritos Monday. Not a death sentence, but not good, either. I've been getting plenty of leafy greens because my kale, collards, and mustard are all up and waiting patiently for me in the garden, and my lettuce and spinach are still holding on for dear life. I also made a huge pot of chicken soup stuffed with fresh veggies and a ton of kale yesterday to get me through the weekend. I always need to incorporate more nourishing herbs, cooked veggies, and whole grains into my diet.

Exercise. I was doing fair to poorly with this to begin with, and then along came my crud. Now there is NONE. Nada. I feel like crap and don't want to. I normally spend a lot of time outside in my garden and hiking around in the woods, but I need a more structured exercise routine to achieve and maintain optimum health. I have no excuses. It's simply something I have to work on.

Rest. This is so very important but difficult to do whilst wearing a fashionable 33 lb, almost-three-year-old girl wrapped around your head and neck. I'm tired and not convinced I will ever have four or more uninterrupted hours of sleep again.

Hopefully I'll feel much better come Monday.

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