Illness is the teacher

I can attest to the truth of these words. A few years back an elder Ojibwe friend told me this. Margaret was a wise woman who spoke volumes in short bursts of wisdom, which I absorbed.

I  have COPD and my lungs and bronchial tubes are at a risk when I catch cold or flu. Since January 1, I have had two bouts of chronic bronchitis. Both times I needed antibiotics for five days. I am on a five day regiment now.

I believe in complimentary medicine. I know that some seeds, herbs and plants are good for treating respiratory ailment.

Come spring, I will transplant more woodland medicinal plants in the woods that my family owns in Fitchburg, MA.

Today, I am making a tea with fresh anise seed (breaks up bronchial mucus.)  I added dried peppermint( energizer), Throat Coat tea by Traditional Medicinals.

I learned about the benefits of slippery elm bark, cinnamon bark, wild cherry bark and fennel seeds and they are some of the ingredients that make up Throat Coat tea.

After I let the tea come to a boiling point, I turn stove off and let the concoction sit for a least five minutes.

I strain the tea and pour the ingredients into a tall drinking container. Before I add the tea, I squeeze a lemon slice and honey into the drinking container first. I remember my grandmother making hot fresh squeezed lemon and honey as a drink. It helped me sweat out a cold.

I guess I can call this experiment a COPD herbal tea that I am documenting. Let’s see how it goes…………..



Join us for the upcoming Wellness Fair and Farmers Market at the Lac Courte Oreilles Convention Center at the Casino in Hayward, WI tomorrow, September 30, 2010 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Baby pumpkin
Baby pumpkin

  We will display native crops that we grew at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in the summer of 2010. There will be pumpkins and squash.

Happy Tonics will be shucking Hidatsa beans for winter soup and packaging some for our online store at

We will also be packaging our organic herbal teas and culinary herbs that will be available shortly online.

Chive herb butter is delicious

Chives attract pollinators to the garden

I am reading a book The Complete Book of Herbs by Emma Callery.  I made lemon-chive butter and it was absolutely delicious.

Recipe:  Squeeze a slice of lemon or lime into a bowl with 1/4 pound of butter.  Let it sit until butter is softened to room temperature.  Then add fresh snipped chives from the garden.  Use scissors rather than a knife.  Mix it well and refrigerate.  

The softened herb butter can be transferred to a piece of freezer paper or plastic wrap and rolled into a log shape.  I didn’t have either. Instead I transferred the herb butter to the pretty small container.  It is fabulous on dark forest bread. 

Creamy butter with chives
Creamy butter with chives


Eggs cooked in chive butter
Eggs cooked in chive butter

  Other recipes include a dab of herb butter to make scrambled egg or cheese souffle, on baked potatoes with sour cream dressing.  The herb butter can be used when cooking chops or steak. 

Free range farm fresh eggs
Free range farm fresh eggs

Flowers can be snipped, pulled apart and added to salads.  Use flowers in soup. 

Medicinally the leaves are slightly antiseptic and are said to be used to relieve rheumatism.