Donna Easto, C.H., H.C., M.H., Certified Herbal Educator
We are creatures of water. Most of our tissues and organs hold more than 70% water. It’s nature’s elixir for keeping mind and body healthy. Water replenishes the body with fluids and minerals. It detoxifies and cleanses; its capacity to heal has been recognized for millennia. This article covers some of the reasons why drinking ample water is important. It also provides suggestions on adding tinctures to your glass of water.
- Cartilage found in our joints and spine is about 80% water – it only makes sense to keep your cartilage hydrated.
- Blood’s more than 90% water and carries oxygen throughout your body. A lack of water can cause your blood to thicken, increasing blood pressure.
- Your brain needs water; dehydration can lead to difficulties with thinking and reasoning.
- Water regulates your body temperature.
- Your bowels need water; dehydration results in constipation and an acidic stomach.
- Minerals and nutrients dissolve in water, making them available to your body.
- Your kidneys need water to regulate your bodily fluids; kidney stones are just one problem that results from insufficient water.
- Drinking adequate water will help prevent urinary tract infections, and help treat an existing one.
In an ideal world, we’d all be drinking pure, natural spring water. However, it’s not an ideal world; untreated water these days might be contaminated water. Additionally, water in plastic bottles is an environmental nightmare: It’s been estimated that in the year 2050 there will be more plastic than fishes in the sea.”1 It’s up to you to decide what type of water you want to drink; however, an effective water filtration system at home can take out the chemicals and heavy metals that might be present in your water supply. And, reusable water bottles go a long way to saving the world from drowning in plastic.
Herbal teas are lovely, and a great way to get more water into your body. However, there are times when brewing and steeping and sipping simply require too much time and space. Adding tinctures is a quick way to get the herbs and the water you need. Following is a short list of tinctures for a variety of health indications. Tinctures are dietary supplements in a concentrated, shelf-stable, and liquid form. They can be taken straight by the dropper, but I prefer diluting them in room temperature water.
|Anxious/Tired & Wired?||4-10 ml total per day of Ashwagandha Root tincture **+|
|Exhaustion?||2-16 ml of Eleuthero Root tincture per day up to 1 month|
|Nervous/Insomnia?||2-4 ml of Catnip Leaf tincture 3x/day|
|Depression/Hot Flashes/Headaches?||2-4 ml of Lemon Balm Leaf tincture 2-3xday (Lemon Balm may also improve alertness, making it a possible choice for exam day.)|
|Memory difficulties?||2-4 ml 3x/day of Rosemary leaf liquid extract **|
|Nauseous/Vomiting?||1-2 ml of Black Horehound Herb tincture 3x/day|
|Irritable/Mentally Exhuasted?||2-4 ml of Blue Vervain Herb tincture|
|Headache/Sleepless/Pelvic Pain?||1-4 ml of Chamomile Flower tincture|
|Abdominal Pain/Restless Legs?||3-10 ml total per day of Cramp Bark Root tincture|
|Digestion – Bitter Tonic? (not if gallbladder obstruction and obstructive ileus present) Bitters are best taken shortly before or after meals.||5-10 ml total per day of Dandelion Root tincture|
COMING UP: a few favourite herbal tea recipes
1Study by Science Magazine, 2019
**Not in pregnancy
+ possible additive effects with sedative herbs and medications, in excessive doses possible respiratory depression