To Your Health

I don't currently have professional health care coverage. I look forward to having it again someday soon-- but right now, I've elected to find ways to take control of my own physical health. And it's working a lot better than I expected.

The simplest cure-all I've found is tea. Yes. Tea. You see, I read in my woman's herbal and nutritional healing books, and I find an herb that sounds right, and that is indicated for something that I know I'm having issues with. Take sleep or allergies for examples.

I make Stinging Nettle Tea for my hay fever symptoms every morning. I boil water (with a little Echinacea root in it if I've been doing too much and feel run-down) and then I put it into my tea pot, where I've put a teaspoon of dried nettle, a quarter-teaspoon of dried green tea leaves (hey, it IS morning, and I don't drink coffee), and some dried peppermint for flavor, good breath, and digestion. I let the tea sit, covered, for 10-30 minutes (depends on if I'm showering while I wait or rushing around like a lunatic trying to fit everything in and not be late to work). then I pour it through a strainer into my tea mug, and it's usually cool enough by then to just start drinking. I try to have a second cup of a similar mixture (without the green tea, maybe add some other herbs for fun and profit) later in the morning or just after lunch.

Then, I have trouble winding down from my busy hectic day and going to bed. So I make tea. It gets hot in the summer, so I often don't even bother boiling the water for my evening cup. I just let the herbs I've selected sit in the cold water a bit longer than usual (20-40 minutes) before I strain and drink it. I often select a mix of dried Melissa (Lemon Balm), Comfrey, Calendula, and maybe some Jasmine flowers or Chamomile to sweeten it up. Very calming.

I've got herbs I can throw in to deal with a headache or a head cold. I have dried tea herbs to treat anemia and bloating and... well, I feel like the small act of brewing my own teas has given me some really great ways to maintain my optimal health from day to day. And it's nice to not be worried about "when is it bad enough to go to the doctor and get HELP!?" Instead, I think preventative maintenance, and I tweak my tea intake every day to deal with what that day may bring, or DID bring.

I'm using those same herbs, and what I've learned about their applications in traditional and scientific medicine, to make ointments for the smaller injuries-- pulled muscles, scraped knuckles, bug bites and minor rashes, razor blade cuts, dry cracked skin-- that happen day to day. I feel like I've taken charge of my health in a very basic and fundamental way. Scientific medicine and hospitals and MD's are important-- don't get me wrong-- but now I know I have them for backup on the big issues-- setting a broken bone or treating a systemic illness-- and there are still things I can do for myself to heal should those challenges come my way.

It's liberating in a strange way-- both psychologically and physically. I don't have to wait to gain easement. I don't have to hope someone else guesses right about what my body needs. I don't have to convince some stranger that there is something that NEEDS treatment, and I don't have to worry that I'm being over medicated because there is no follow up with the doctor once the meds are prescribed.

There is always something-- however small-- that we can do to take personal responsibility for our own health and well-being. Even when our primary care is being undertaken by someone else.
Be well.

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