This morning, I went for a walk in the upper pasture with our dog Wilkie and our puppy Gilly. There is a pleasure in seeing how nature turns to autumn--dried poke berries, an old passion fruit left clinging to the vine, seeds dropping off a withered, brown stalk. The cool, moist morning air felt good in my lungs and on my face. It has been a busy week, and the walk in pasture gentled my heart and reminded me of the joy in simply being. To my dogs, it was better than Christmas morning.
As I walked through the pasture, I thought of how our different coughs can be like the weather. Some are cool and damp like this morning. Others are feverish, dry, and constricted like a sharp desert sand storm. In the past several years, I have come to appreciate how coughs differ and how individualizing herbal formulas for each cough yields success beyond what can be found in many over-the-counter formulas. What type of herbal cough syrup would a cough like today's weather need? Ginger and cinnamon chips could offer warmth. Maybe I would add some members of the mint family for their drying and warming properties--horehound and hyssop, but easy on the horehound as it can truly be bitter. Perhaps a gentle touch of elecampane for the same purpose. Like the puppy, add a little sweetness with fennel to make the formula more palatable.
Does it sound complicated? It's not really. The basics of syrup making can be easily learned and then knowledge of seven to nine herbs can get you far in this process. Not to mention, it is fun! Are you intrigued? Then, I warmly invite you to join us on Saturday, November 7th for a class on "Herbal Cough Syrups & Understanding Western Herbal Medicine." In this class you will have the opportunity to make and experience the difference in various cough syrup recipes. We will also discuss how to formulate your own cough syrup formulas and learn nine basic respiratory herbs. We'll look at the science of these herbs as well as the older herbal literature to understand how to individualize your formulas. At the end of the class, you will get to take home an extensive handout and your homemade herbal cough syrup. For more information on how to sign up, please visit my events page.