A Few Herbal Extracts for Winter Health:
Astragalus is called an immune tonic herb. The root is the part used of this Asian plant that is seldom grown in Vermont. Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests using it as a preventive rather than in the throes of illness. Popularity among alternative practitioners has led some VT herbalists to grow it here.
Black Cherry a native tree has a traditional and current use as a cough suppressant. The inner bark, a very thin green layer called the cambium is the part used. Usually herbalists get this when a branch breaks or a tree is limbed. This is one of my personal favorites for a nagging cough that tickles, itches and keeps you from sleeping well. We think that a compound in the cambium numbs the itchiness in ones throat temporarily allowing you to go longer without coughing. This helps with sleep and healing.
Boneset is a common wild perennial plant. There are many folk uses. The one that is still well accepted among herbalists is as a comforting herb for someone experiencing a fever. Herbal wisdom is that it makes a fever come to completion faster. This is not a medical claim but it has a long history of use.
Chaga is a hard bodied mushroom that grows predominantly on birch trees. Herbalists have used this as a medicinal for ages and it has been gaining more mainstream popularity over the last 5-10 years. Generally we call it an immune tonic with an affinity for the lungs. There has been recent research on compounds in Chaga with good results. Some local individuals have reported positive outcomes of serious health conditions after using Chaga as part of a health improvement regimen.
Remember, these are just a few of the many herbs, in this case just the beginning of my alphabetical list. Please stop by the Giving Tree Botanicals table if you are in Montpelier VT on a market day or contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.