colcan littleRelieve Sinus Congestion


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We purposely do not show any graphics of the plants we're discussing. It is your responsibility to be sure you have identified them correctly! This is particularly important during the season when there are no flowers present, which normally aid in identification.

It is your health, so be sure you know what you're doing!

See also the comments on using common sense below!

colcan littleTansy  - Tanacetum vulgare



Tansy is warm and somewhat damp and is effective against all humors which well up and over. Anyone who has a head cold and coughs because of it, should eat some tansy, either in soups or cake or with meat or any (other) way. It will suppress the humors so that they won't get the upper hand and thus they will diminish. ...

Hildegard of Bingen, from Physica

This perennial seems to grow well in all temperate zones and should be easy to recognize by its clusters of small yellow 'button' flowers, without any petals.
The plant itself will grow to about 1 - 3 feet tall with a strong stem and finely divided leaves.

colcan littleUsage

As Hildegard recommends, it is best to eat the leaves along with something else. They do have a very strong and distinctive smell, as well as a not altogether bad taste, but it is much easier to chew and swallow them along with some bread or other food. The younger and fresher the leaves, the easier they are to chew. With age the central ribs get tough and woody. Thus it is best to strip the softer parts from the main leaf stem.
For winter use, I do chop up a handful of fresh leaves in the spring and cover them with liquid honey, stir it well and then store the mixture in a the tightly covered jar in the fridge. I make several fresh batches every spring for myself and the family.
I've found that Tansy is mostly helpful in clearing the congestion in the nose and sinuses. It does not always prevent the watering of the eyes in head colds, but it definitely helps you breath better.
Jack Daniel is claimed to have liked his whisky with crushed tansy. In fact, Hildegard also recommends tansy as an relief for digestive problems.
While tansy does contain thujone, which in large quantities can be poisonous, it's taste is so strong that one would unlikely eat enough to cause problems. I've not been able to find information on what level of thujone might be present in tansy nor what amounts would cause problems.
If you are curious, you'll find information aplenty on the internet about the many foods and spices which also contain thujone - safe levels obviously.
Follow this link for more information on thujone

     Common Sense: When you are new to such herbal remedies, it is best to initially test them only in very small amounts, to be sure it does not cause you any problems and to eliminate any possibility of allergies and such.
It goes without saying that the plant material should be organically grown and clean and free of all fertilizer and pesticides - if you do use them. Otherwise wash and clean everything thoroughly! 

Know the plants : Before using any plant material, be absolutely sure that you have identified the plant correctly, especially during the season when flowers are not present!

If in doubt, try a very small piece at first.

  Plant Pests: Tansy is bothered by very few pest, and is considered a weed in some places. If you do have problems finding or identifying it, you'd best search the internet.