Time to prepare for winter (cough, cough)

Yes, it’s that time of the year. And as winter arrives suddenly in Bashewa (I always look for autumn but seem to miss it, other than the cosmos in Garstfontein Road and the Golden Amber trees changing colour), we need to prepare ourselves very quickly for the colds and flu’s.
What better way to do this than with nature’s medicine chest?

There are two plants in my garden that has a lot of power in this regard: My humble garlic (Allium Sativum) and my Cone Flower (Echinacea pupurea).

garlic1. Garlic
Even Louis Pasteur documented the anti-bacterial properties of garlic in 1858.
Garlic has been used in many cultures to treat diarrhea, coughs and colds and heart conditions.
(It does have some side effects, though, as those among us with sensitive noses may agree).
Garlic has been proven to be very effective in preventing colds and coughs.
How to use:
As it is a delicious culinary herb, the best way too take it is in food.
As cooking does lessen the effect of the garlic severely, the best way to take it is like a capsule, popping a whole clove in your mouth and swallowing it.
for the less adventurous, crushing it in olive oil and adding lemon and using as a salad dressing is the better way.
Remember, the effects of the fat bulbs of “Chinese garlic” (Allium Tuberosum) are not the same as Allium Sativum. (Especially if you want to pop one in your mouth and swallow it – you could choke to death!)
Then you also get
echinacea2. Echinacea (Cone flower) Russian garlic or Elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum) which is actually a family member of leeks. Delicious, if you can find it, but not really garlic at all.

Other than being a very attractive feature plant in my herb garden, this is a giant amongst medicinal herbs. It is one of the most studied herbs in science. Interestingly, the studies do not prove that echinacea can prevent you from getting a cold. It is curative, and can cut the effect of the cold down as well as the duration of the cold.
How to use:
Steep 1 or 2 teaspoons of echinacea leaves or flowers in 1 cup of boiling water.
Alternatively boil one teaspoon of root 1 one or two cups of water for 10 minutes.
Sweeten with honey and enjoy!

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