Oregano and All is Well

Welcome to the newest issue of Natural Insight!

Natural Insight to Herbs

OREGANO - If you have a patch of oregano in the garden you're probably wondering what to do with all that fresh herb. You sure don't need that much for cooking since a little bit goes a long way to adding flavor to any tomato dish. Here's a couple options:

Make a Tincture - A tincture or extract is a great way to preserve your oregano (or any mint) for several years. A tincture is an herb steeped for several weeks in vodka for several weeks. This is very easy to do and you can find complete instructions for making it here.

So what do you do with an oregano tincture? Many things! You can use it as a seasoning, a topical antiseptic for insect bites and small cuts, plus it has a plethora of medicinal properties. You can use it to fight viral infections, such as colds or flu, bacterial infections (you can use topically for athletes foot, ringworm, candida), parasites, pain and inflammation, respiratory illness like bronchitis and whooping cough (it's a natural anti-spasmodic), digestive problems and even tooth pain and infection. A typical tincture dose would be 15 - 30 drops 3 times a day but every body is different so you can play with this. And if you really love the taste of oregano you could add a short teaspoon of oregano tincture to a cup of hot water and have oregano tea though I would much prefer to use a peppermint tincture if I'm going to drink something for pleasure!

Natural Insect Repellent - Oregano and most of the mint family are natural insect repellents so if the mosquitoes are bugging you grab a handful of fresh oregano and rub unto your skin. You might smell like a pizza but it's better than smelling like deet!

Natural Insight for Kids

You can introduce young and old children to the plant world by teaching them to use plantain. Plantain is one of the best remedies I've ever found for healing insect bites and stings. Plantain grows everywhere and is probably abundant in your lawn right now. Simply help the kids to identify the plant (Pics and info here), crush the leaves between two rocks or use your hands to get the plant juices flowing then apply to the bite or sting. The poultice should be held in place for at least several minutes and if they're impatient you can always use a band aid to keep it on. You'll be amazed yourself at how well this works and very empowering for kids! Oh yeah, you can also tincture plantain and have it on hand all the time.

Natural Insight for Health

Did you know cherries help prevent the crystallization of uric acid? Uric acid is your nemesis if you suffer from arthritis or gout. Eating 10 - 15 cherries a day can bring great relief! If cherries aren't in season try natural, unsweetened cherry juice. You can also buy concentrated cherry juice at your local co-op or health food store. Worth a try, don't you think?

Natural Insight for Pets

I'm sure you've heard that Valerian root is a great herb to relieve stress and anxiety in humans but it works great for pets also. My dog is terrified of thunderstorms and I've even resorted to prescribed drugs from the vet even though I hated to. We've had a lot of storms this season and after trying Valerian root tincture on him I'll never use anything else! He's about 23 pounds and 4 drops of the tincture keeps him from panting and trembling excessively. Herbs are amazing!

Natural Insight for the Mind

No matter how dedicated we are to being positive and happy there's times when those dreadful, negative, worrisome thoughts sneak in and try to take over. They snake around your head and try to jump in at any opportunity. As soon as I realize my thinking has taken a downward slide I use three words. ALL IS WELL! Whether I say this out loud or very loudly with my internal voice it somehow helps to chase those negative thoughts away and has a calming effect on my mind. If this sounds corny to you that's OK because it works for me. You don't have to tell anyone you do this just don't yell "All is Well" in a public place unless you want to attract alot of attention!

Until next time,


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