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Growing up in Kansas with a stern Baptist grandmother I had a lot of early experience with home remedies. Returning from a grandma visit to jeering siblings I often had garlic breath and sported flaky baking soda poultices. I found Grandmother fascinating and diligently followed her around her cobwebby basement checking out shelves full of mysterious liniments, syrups and salves.
There are many home remedies, passed down from generation to generation, that are surprisingly effective and inexpensive. As an herbalist I used recipes for maladies ranging from plantar warts to sore throats. There is such a feeling of accomplishment and independence when you can soothe discomforts with homemade concoctions. Here are two to try.
Sage tea is an excellent remedy for sore throats. To 2 tbs of dried, culinary sage leaves add 2 cups of boiling water and let steep, covered, for 10 minutes. Strain and have with some honey or agave and a slice of lemon.
Try an oatmeal bath for irritated, inflamed skin. Take a clean cotton sock and fill with a ½ cup of plain oatmeal. Place the open sock over the bath faucet and secure with a heavy rubber band, the kind used on produce. Start the water slowly and as the sock gets wet increase the pressure. Once in your bath, remove the sock, knot it and sponge over your skin. Rinse before getting out. Very soothing.
Join herbalist and Denver Botanic Garden's popular instructor, Susan Evans, to discover numerous ways you can tend to a myriad of ailments - all with ingredients you most likely have around your house! Check out Folk Remedies and Kitchen Cures (Wednesday, February 19, 6-8 p.m.) and discover centuries old cures and partake in a delicious immune strengthening soup and herb biscuits. Light dinner, recipes and handout provided.
Guest Blogger: Susan Evans
Susan Evans, the founder of Chrysalis Herbs, has been cultivating and working with herbs for more than 20 years. She managed garden centers and greenhouses in Denver before starting her own organic landscaping business, Flowerscapes, which she owned and operated for twelve years. She has worked as a master gardener and volunteer naturalist for Jefferson County, Colorado.
She has a certificate in Advanced Clinical Herbalism from the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies in Boulder with over 1,500 hours of clinical study and experience in the uses of medicinal plants. After attaining her certification in Clinical Herbalism in 1997, she founded Chrysalis Herbs. Since that time she has devoted herself to sharing her love and knowledge of herbs and gardening, helping people to reconnect with the beauty and healing aspects of the natural world.