When you’re looking for a good Flu Remedy, Chamomile doesn’t usually come up, but it should. Chamomile is one of those often overlooked, unsung heroes of the herbal world. In eras past, we often used it to quiet colicky children. Chamomile is expert at helping ease upset tummies and fussiness, including the kind of irritability that comes with teething and growth spurts. It works in adults, too. The favored quote in modern herbalism to describe chamomile is that it’s for “fussy babies of any age,” according to Matthew Wood. He’s really right about that!
Just as the summer’s sun was coming to the end of its growth cycle, an odd and rather unpleasant illness came knocking on my door. It began with signs of heat: a red and inflamed tongue with a white to light yellow coating and scalloping at the sides, redness and tenderness through the whole mouth, night sweats centered on the liver area, irritability, and poor digestion including intermittent diarrhea. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, I think it would have been described as liver heat, maybe even stagnant liver heat. From an Ayurvedic perspective, it was as if Pitta was bogged down by too much Kapha.
From my perspective, it was just plain irritating. First, it set my hubby off. We tried a heat-quenching flu remedy, but it was almost time for our annual Solstice gathering, and he was too busy to take his herbs. It passed, eventually. I wasn’t patient or willing to suffer through like my man had. I was downright cross with the whole situation…and that’s why I decided to include chamomile in my formula.
Chamomile is a soothing, cooling flower that helps gently dry excess moisture from the system, poised to be a perfect flu remedy herb. My mouth was sensitive and prickly, as if I’d burned my tongue, cheeks, and gums, making me quite cross. I had a heated, cranky disposition, which fit Matthew Wood’s adage perfectly. Beyond that, my digestive system was feeling upset – I’d feel hungry, eat, then feel as if my meal was a brick in my stomach, plus I had intermittent diarrhea. All in all, it seemed to me chamomile best aligned with the digestive and heat aspects of my experience.
My formula included a bit of Yarrow, Calendula, Dandelion, and Red Clover alongside the chamomile with two drops of Red Root tincture to top it off. My thinking was I needed to move the lymph and heat along while I dried up the dampness. In addition, I omitted wheat and dairy from my diet and drank a ton of water to help my body best eliminate the dampness. I got extra rest, including a few mid-afternoon naps, and remembered to get my body moving each day.
Ultimately, the tea helped a lot. While my hubby suffered for a good two weeks, I was ill for only about a week. And, my symptoms were less severe than were his. I have a feeling the dandelion, yarrow, and chamomile were the keys to helping this formula work so effectively, although I am also quite sure the others were valuable supporting players.
Chamomile and Yarrow Heat-Beating Flu Remedy
Here’s the formula for the fly remedy I used to to dry excess damp and clear heat from my digestive system.
Ingredients for Chamomile-Yarrow Flu Remedy
- 1 part Chamomile flowers, dried
- 1 part Calendula flowers, dried
- 1 part Yarrow flowers, dried
- 1 part Dandelion leaves, dried
- 1 part Red Clover flowers, dried
- 2 drops Red Root tincture per cup brewed
- Kettle, mug, and tea strainer for brewing tea
- Glass jar with lid for storing tea blend
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Label and pen
Instructions for Chamomile-Yarrow Flu Remedy
- Measure the dried herbs into a mixing bowl.
- Gently mix the dried herbs well, taking care to not break the plant parts down.
- Transfer the dried herbs into a glass jar with a secure lid for storage.
- Label the jar.
Use: Brewing Your Chamomile-Yarrow Flu Remedy
Steep 1 tbsp of blend per 8 oz cup of boiling water. Add 2 drops Red Root tincture. Cover and let steep for at least 10 minutes. Strain and cool as much as desired to make the infusion drinkable. Sip through out the day. This blend can be made cold infusion style, too.
- “Chamomile: A Herbal Medicine of the Past with Bright Future” by Janmejai K. Shrivastava, Eswar Shankar, Sanjay Gupta
- The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicines by Matthew Wood
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