I have been stuck home for the last two weeks with three sick children, with varying degrees of fever/tummy disorder/sore throat/coughs and general exhaustion... I'm not the most Homespun of mums and am wonderfully attentive on day one, day two often I get a little cabin fever but by week two I'm climbing the walls. ok yeah they ARE sick, but the long term recovery whine certainly got me reaching for some herbal help for my own protection...Green Tea is so calming, even though it contains caffeine it also contains Theanine, which help reduce anxiety and supports the bodies production of all four calming and happy neurotransmitters. Combine that with plenty of spring greens from the garden-alkalysing- and some Magnesium, and I am one peaceful nurse!

Not so the ratbags, sorry little darlings, apart from arguing over who is reading which book and whether we watch a vampire series or a dolphin series to pass the time. Getting herbs into them is always fun!! My kids are 12 and 9yrs(twin girls) and they have been sucking up fish oil and echinacea and vitamin c for their whole lives, but they are still infuriatingly suspicious when I approach with spoon and bottle. Oh yeah, when they are all sweet and soft and loving, it's "mum, it's so awesome I can trust you to give me medicine that is good for me". But when illness descends and I say no to sugar, then it's a different story. Did you know that each time you eat a spoon of sugar, your immune system is suppressed?...

So, the sore throat was lucky, she got propolis and manuka honey (NO FAIR say the rest) The cough got a rich elixir with Thyme, Grindelia, Mullein, Aniseed and warm water and a chest rub to loosen the phlegm...well after the first spoon, she was unconvinced by my "it's delicious isn't it" positive reinfocement. A simple method of bribery with spoons of manuka honey and that hurdle was heroically negotiated. Ok I hear you saying, doesn't honey have the same effect as sugar? Well limited amounts of raw Manuka Honey have health benefits over and about the fructose content - about 53%, so in my opinion, it's a beneficial treat for sick kids and is a wholefood, not a processed empty calorie.

The tummy disorder was way more complex. My son had been dry retching for two weeks with no obvious illness. His tummy muscles were sore and his head pounded. We tried a wonderful Slippery Elm, Withania and Cinnamon powder drink, mixed into milk, to soothe his stomach lining. It helped, he liked it (bonus), but the retching continued. We tried anti-acid tablets fromEethical Nutrients with Calcium Carbonate and Meadowsweet, the best herb for balancing the acid production of the stomach...symptoms eased but did not decline. I was this close to cutting his emo pre teen hair, convinced he was eating it...but in the end I went to the doctor. (yes doctors are very useful and helpful in certain contexts and I nurture a supportive relationship with our local medical centres) Well, we had a breakthrough, was post nasal drip from a slight cold irritating his gag reflex We tried a mucous reducing blend, and from dose 1, all symptoms declined and vanished!! Yay, he was up and annoying his sisters within 24 hours. Result.

So they are all back to school and the emotional swings and roundabouts of playground culture... I am back to my working life, well working with herbs, not so hard work really lol. And helping people acheive wellness? That is a blessing.

In conclusion I think my daughter is right, it is awesome to be a herbal mum, if I can't always play imaginary games with pet puppies, at least I can feed them wholesome foods and heal them naturally. What a gift..

Blessed Be Helen