Pour a cup of boiling water over about a ¼ cup or 2–3T of fresh leaves which have been torn into pieces. Steep for 5 minutes or until the liquid is pale greenish yellow in colour, then strain. Herbal teas can be sweetened with a little honey; a slice of lemon can also enhance the flavour. These are best made fresh every day.
GARGLES AND MOUTHWASHES
Make as for tea but a little stronger, using more leaves, then dilute. Repeat treatment every four hours.
For a steam inhalant heat the above tea or gargles in a wide bowl. Place your face over the bowl, cover your head with a towel and breathe in the vapours. You can also add a few drops of commercial oil to the bowl of water.
Warm the contents of a tub of aqueous cream or Vaseline (if you don’t mind its oiliness), over a low heat. Stir in chopped herbs (or the chopped stalks, flowers and leaves of calendula), using 1 part herbs to 3 parts cream. Warm gently for 15 minutes. Leave to stand for 24 hours. Reheat until runny enough to strain through a muslin cloth then squeeze into clean, warmed wide-mouthed sterilised, glass jars. As aqueous cream has a shelf life, keep it refrigerated.
*Although natural, herbal remedies can be toxic. Use them with caution. Children and pregnant women should be particularly careful.