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Feb 03

Common Cold and Flu Season…

Posted on February 3, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Craig Jacobson

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Healthy at home pic.jpgWinter is here in full force and with all of us cooped up together it should be a great year for colds and flu.  Since doctors can’t do a lot for these illnesses, do we go to the store to find something to ease our coughing and stuffiness or do we reach for echinacea, ginger, and oil of oregano?  More and more people are choosing a more natural approach.  Before there was the practice of medicine, there were herbs.  Dating as far back as 5,000 years, there were many ancient cultures, including the Sumerians, Greeks, Egyptians, and Chinese, that wrote about plants and their medical uses.  As the field of medicine developed, so did man-made medicines, and so did the list of side effects .  Quite often a person must choose between their illness and the side effects of the medicine for their illness.  For that reason, many people are choosing to go back to natural remedies.  The remedies are for a lot more than just colds or the flu.  Right now I am patiently waiting for the new book, Healthy at Home: get well and stay well without prescriptions.  The author of this book is both a doctor and a highly respected herbalist who is a frequent guest on NPR’s, The People’s Pharmacy.  For other good books on this topic you might want to look at: Herbal Remedies: dozens of safe, effective treatments to grow and make, Herbal Remedies, Herbal remedies for Dummies, The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, The Essential Herbal for Natural Health Prescription for Herbal Healing, Prescription for Herbal Healing, Natural Remedies for Healthy Living, The Woman’s book of Healing Herbs, Wisconsin Medicinal Herbs, Nature’s Medicines, The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook, The Natural Medicine ChestHerbal Medicine, The Healing Power of Herbs, and National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs.

herbal remedies pic.jpgWhat’s great about these books is that they go beyond just listing the different herbs that can help you.  They also give information on such things as safety ratings, traditional use, research on the item, dosage, how it’s best taken, and if there are any cautions to be used.  Natural Remedies for Healthy Living even has a section on herbal cosmetics.

If you think that this is something you want to try you may want to take this one step farther and grow your own herbs.  Now would be the perfect time to plan a herb garden.  At the library, we have just the books to show you how:  Growing and Using Herbs in the Midwest, The Herb Society of America New Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses, Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, and The Herb Bible.  These books give details on such information as cultivation, propagation, hardiness, properties, parts used, medicinal uses, and culinary uses.

Good reading and good health to you.