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Coffee: Awakening the Mind

Coffee: Awakening The Mind

My family camps with a big group of people every year. Each person contributes in some way to make the experience safe and fun. My donation seems to be that of “camp nurse”. I bring my tote full of bandages, aspirin and herbs. I pass out aloe for sunburns and calendula salve for bug bites. It is good to feel needed. One morning, I woke up and realized that I was the patient. I was groggy and unfocused. My sinuses were inflamed. I was clearing my throat from the the phlegm. I needed a little boost.
Every morning, one of our fellow campers, Alan, fires up the propane stove and cheerfully brews a warm pot of coffee. He also offers hot water for tea and dishes when the need arises.
I sat miserably in my camp chair weeding through my first aid kit for something to clear my head. I drank a cup of water and stared at it in disappointment. I could not even think my way through a simple problem like sinusitis. I was a mess.
The scent of coffee caught my attention. It was exactly what my body needed. I asked Alan for a cup of his light roast which he gladly provided. I hovered over the cup for a minute breathing in the vapors. It was a makeshift herbal steam. I wiped my nose with tissue.
The first sip went down smoothly. The astringency of the coffee in addition to its warmth cleared my throat. The antioxidant-rich chlorogenic acids were up to the task of bringing down the inflammation that had just started to effect my sinuses. One cup was all I needed and all I wanted. Too much coffee would make the symptoms worse. It can, in fact, cause headaches rather than treat them. This morning I just needed a temporary lift to get me activated.
I could feel the caffeine jump starting my system. The grogginess slipped away and I was back to my old self in return to normal. Now I could think my way through the first kit to grab the tinctures that I needed to recharge my immune system and properly defeat the sinusitis. I noticed a couple of tinctures that I could combine from my limited selection. The acid in the coffee had awaken my digestive juices. I could even summon the energy to make myself a healthy breakfast.
I thanked Alan for his help. He just smiled and shrugged. He started another pot of coffee on the camp stove for the next group of campers. He had no idea he was brewing up anther pot of medicine but he certainly did his job well. He certainly made a happy patient out of me.

Sue Sierralupe

Sue Sierralupé is a Certified Master Herbalist, Master Gardener and Sustainable Landscape Specialist. She is the clinic manager and lead herbalist at Occupy Medical clinic. Sue is author of The Pocket Herbal: Medicinal Plants that Changed the World and co-author of The Practical Herbalist Herbal Folios series. Follow her blog at Herbalism Manifesto for commentary on herbs, parenting, nutrition and a whole lot more.

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