​Also known as pot marigold or poet's marigold, calendula is different than the common marigold that's usually seen in gardens. Unlike the common marigold calendula is edible and has very little scent. During medieval time in England the calendula herb was commonly used in stews, syrups, and breads. Calendula is also rather easy to start from seed and is able to adapt to many growing conditions making it an ideal herb to grow. The herb is found in many gardens all over the world for subarctic to tropic regions. Now let's take a look at the key medicinal uses that make calendula such a prized herb to have.


Peppermint is a great herb to have when it come to combating the flu and colds. Peppermint has the ability to alleviate the symptoms of a sore throat by cooling and soothing the pain, this is due to the menthol that is found inside of peppermint. Make a tea with some peppermint and add a little honey with lemon, it's a great way to reduce the symptoms of a sore throat. If your sinuses are congested try adding some peppermint oil right into your humidifier (the ones with the medicine chamber).
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Astragalus is one of the most popular herbs in the traditional Chinese medicine system. It has been in use for over 2000 years. This herb is most often used as a diuretic and for lowering high blood pressure. Many people use it to treat upper respiratory infections as well as the common cold, as it seems to increase the production of white blood cells. Traditionally, this astragalus has also been used to increase energy, strengthen the immune system, treat excessive sweating, ulcers and diarrhea.
The most significant use of cinnamon is to treat diabetes, take 1 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon daily to help level out blood sugar levels. Capsules of cinnamon can also be found the dosage varies but generally 1-6 grams of cinnamon capsules per day spaced out is a good amount. A nice little way to substitute cinnamon sugar would be to combine one cinnamon stick freshly ground with 6 teaspoons of stevia. This is great for adding to toast, oatmeal or fruit.

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Kemmerich, B., Eberhardt, R., & Stammer, H. (2006). Efficacy and tolerability of a fluid extract combination of thyme herb and ivy leaves and matched placebo in adults suffering from acute bronchitis with productive cough: A prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial [Abstract]. Arzneimittelforschung, 56(9), 652–660. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17063641
I can’t say how underrated steam is when it comes to anything dealing with a cough, cold, or congestion. Not only does the steam quite literally loosen mucous and phlegm, almost immediately, but you can add numerous essential oils that will impart wonderful healing benefits. These benefits (anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory etc.) do become airborne, so you inhale them while you breathe in the steam. For this particular blend I’ve included both tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil, which can help soothe and open your airways as well as help fight off bacteria or a virus.

​Another well know spice in the kitchen cinnamon is also known for it's medicinal properties. While not really an herb I still think it's important to list it in our list of herbs and their uses. Cinnamon actually comes from the inner bark of a tree in the laurel family. It's been used for centuries and was a hot commodity for trade in ancient times. In fact during the first century A.D. in Rome cinnamon was 15 times more expensive than silver. The Chinese were probably the first to use cinnamon as a medicinal herb and used it to treat fevers, and diarrhea. In more modern times cinnamon has been found to stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetics, as it has an insulin kind of effect.

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