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Do-It-Yourself Medicine

Cold & flu season. Yup, it’s here. That doesn’t mean you need to feel the pangs of unfortunate winter illness! Here at Moon Valley Farm we like to nourish you year-round, and that means in the winter too! Hence, we came up with this short list of our favorite homemade, DIY remedies that come straight from our fields to your kitchen and medicine cabinet.

Fire Cider

Fire cider is the perfect way to use your Moon Valley Farm ginger root and honey (not to mention turmeric and galangal if you feel like it).This folk remedy has been enjoyed as a healthful tonic by herbalists in the know for quite some time. Fire cider is aptly named for the warming and spicy additions that it commonly contains like ginger, spicy chili peppers and cinnamon sticks. You can also include garlic, onion, herbs (like rosemary and thyme) and warm spices like clove and allspice. The most basic fire cider recipes include apple cider vinegar, ginger, spicy chili peppers and honey. To make your own fire cider, simply place your desired roots, herbs and spices in a clean glass quart jar and cover with enough apple cider vinegar to submerge the ingredients. Keep the jar in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks, then strain the ingredients and reserve the liquid. Add 1 tablespoon of honey to the strained cider, dissolve, and there you have it! Store your fire cider in a glass jar in the fridge and take 1 oz to fend off illness when you start to feel run down. You can also take fire cider daily as a preventive for common colds and winter illnesses. Fire cider keeps almost indefinitely in the refrigerator, but traditionalists recommend consuming your batch by the end of the cold weather season, and making a fresh, new batch each winter. This mixture is both probiotic and highly antimicrobial (be sure to use unpasteurized apple cider vinegar for the best effects).

Herbal Teas & Tisanes

Although herbal tea is a common phrase in the U.S., tea purists will insist that any brew made from herbs, spices and flowers is actually a tisane. Why? Well, strictly speaking, the resulting infusion is not made from the leaves of Camelia sinensis (aka “tea”). Fun facts aside, we don’t mind a bit what you like to call what’s in your cup. However, we do strongly encourage you to try brewing up our organically-grown herbs for their potential healthful benefits (and delicious flavors). Our top picks for tisane-worthy herbs?

  • Raspberry leaf

  • Passion flower

  • Mint

  • Lemon balm

  • Holy basil

  • Anise hyssop

There is great literature and research available on the potential benefits of different herbal teas...sounds like great winter reading to us!

Tinctures & Extracts

CBD. No, we don’t grow that on the farm. BUT, given the rise in CBD’s popularity the words tincture and extract have seen quite an uptick in their everyday usage. Why the spotlight on these plant preparations? Well, simply put, once a plant is made into either of these elixirs the potency of its active agents is increased. The benefits of these preparations go well beyond hemp. Tinctures and extracts have been used for thousands of years. Perhaps one of the most simple extracts is oil of oregano. This highly potent oil is well-loved by herbalists and has significant antimicrobial properties. Tinctures and extracts can be easy to make and require few ingredients. When making tinctures and extracts we recommend using only high-quality, organic distilled spirits and food-grade oils; and that you reference an established herbalist guidebook for directions and recipes. Some of our favorite herbs to make tinctures and extracts from are:

  • Lavender

  • Thyme

  • Rosemary

  • Yarrow

  • Comfrey

Of course, it goes without saying that anyone with a medical condition or who is pregnant or breastfeeding, should both do their research and consult a healthcare professional before taking any herbal remedy. What DIY folk medicines are your favorite? Let us know on Facebook , Instagram or in person wherever we sling produce!

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