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Volume III
December 23, 2011

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

The Gentle Healing of Eucalyptus

By Patty Liston

The last thing any of us want during the festivities of Christmas and Hanakah is a sore throat, hacking cough, or congestian. However, there is plenty of all three of these problems to go around. Hopefully we are all proping up our immune systems by taking extra vitamin C, watching our sugar intake, and getting extra rest. (I know: the last 2 suggestions would make anyone laugh, but try we must!)

Should you or someone you know start to get a case of the sniffels, using eucalyptus leaves or oils can be a great natural and effective alternative to other drugs. Dried eucalyptus leaves are not only useful for treating respiratory problems, congestion, coughs, sinusitis and sore throats, they are also a natural antibacterial.

There are few trees that are as fast growing and smell as wonderful as the eucalyptus tree. A tree native to Australia and used by the Aborigines to reduce fevers, control coughs and relieve arthritis and skin sores, the eucalyptus came to Europe sometime during the nineteenth century.

•  Put a small handful of whole leaves or a small amount of natural

eucalyptus oil into boiling water. Drinking this "tea" can help soothe sore throats, colds and even the flu.

•  Breathe in the steam to break up congestion.

•  Use a good eucalyptus oil and rub a few drops as needed on chest or throat

•  A good oil contains 100% pure eucalyptus or at least 55% eucalyptol. Go to a good health food store and have someone help you find what you need.

A word of caution: If you suffer from gastrointestinal or liver disorders, or if you are pregnant, do not take eucalyptus internally. Do not use more than 1/2 teaspoon per cup of water as having too much may cause diarrhea or nausea.

To make eucalyptus tea, pour 1 cup of boiled water over up to 1/2 teaspoon of the dried eucalyptus leaves, which can be found at most health-food stores. Cover and steep for 10 minutes; strain. Sweeten with honey, to taste. You can drink up to 2 - 3 cups a day.

Herbal Tea Recipe for Asthma & Bronchitis

1 1/2 ounce dried eucalyptus leaves
1 ounce dried coltsfoot leaves
1 ounce dried thyme leaves

Use one teaspoon of this herbal mixture per cup of boiling water. Make this tea mixture to help open a tight respiratory tract and congested lungs. The herbal ingredients in this tea are known for their antipasmodic and disinfectant properties.

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Eucalyptus Tea Recipe for Head Colds

1/2 ounce dried eucalyptus leaves
1 ounce dried peppermint leaves
1/2 ounce dried chamomile flowers

Use 1 teaspoon of this herbal mixture per cup of boiling water. Sweeten with honey to taste. These herbs are prescribed for their decongestant and expectorant effects. Eucalyptus is antiseptic, as well, and is very helpful for a head cold, sinus congestion and the flu.

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