The darkening days nearly always herald a change in our health as we get used to less sunlight and prepare (hopefully) for a period of slower living and restful evenings. Here are a few simple remedies that you can make and store in the kitchen in readiness for the inevitable chill, sniffle and cough.
Onion & Garlic Syrup
Ingredients: Raw onion, Raw garlic, Local Honey or Rapadura raw sugar
Finely chop and mix onion and garlic.
In a glass jar, alternate layers of onion/garlic mix and sugar or honey.
Having a 'helper' is optional…!
Watch while the juices from the bulbs mix with the sugar to produce a deep
brown liquid. Allow to rest for 1-2 weeks. Drain off the syrup and store in an airtight dark glass bottle.
Or if you are brave enough, eat whole.
Take at least one teaspoon everyday to help prevent colds and coughs, or add to hot water with a pinch of cayenne and a squeeze of lemon – it'll certainly revive you!
Garlic contains amino acids, iodine, selenium, sulphur, volatile oils, B group vitamins and other minerals. It shares similar properties with Onion as an antibiotic, antibacterial and viral, antiseptic, anti spasmodic, diaphoretic (increases perspiration), antihistamine, and expectorant (loosening catarrh and phlegm). Unfortunately, it's the smelly constituents that are the therapeutically active ones, but chewing on fresh Parsley can help towards neutralizing the odour on the breath – and this means you'll be getting a high natural source of vitamin C and iron too.
Onion contains vitamins, allicin (the aromatic compound like Garlic) volatile oils and other plant sterols. It was held on high esteem by Galen and Hippocrates. As well as the actions mentioned above, it is anti inflammatory, hypoglycaemic, hypotensive and diuretic.
Rapadura Sugar is a wholefood sugar, the dehydrated juice of the organic sugar cane containing the molasses and trace elements.
Honey is one of the most healing substances on the planet (bless the bees… Natural Beekeeping Trust). Pre-digested and processed by bees from the nectar of flowers, it posesses an ethereal quality that enhances its healing power and is a source of a great many vitamins and minerals. A natural bacteriostatic (inhibits growth of bacteria) and bactericide. It has an alkaline action in the body. Wonderfully soothing for dry coughs, sore throats, inflammations and infections.
So if you have a glut of onion and garlic like we did from the allotment, put it to another good use this winter...
Happy Herbaling! ...Coming in the next post...Winter Tonic Wine...