By Cheyenne Buckingham, Photos by Rachel Joy Baransi
Aniko Zala of Wild Origins in Columbus has a mission to help others reconnect with the legacy of plants as medicine through her workshops and, of course, her products. As winter approaches, the need for herbal remedies heightens due to the abundance of viruses that develop during the cooler weather. Not to mention, skin looses its moisture and smoothness when the air is dry. And of course, winter tends to cause a case of cabin fever with a side of the blues. Thankfully, Aniko has got some tips on how to ward off these bothersome winter setbacks.
“I have two absolute favorite things for winter care, one of them is Fire Cider, which you make like a tincture,” says Aniko.
10 chopped cloves of organic garlic
1 medium organic onion
¼ teaspoon of organic cayenne powder
1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
½ cup of freshly grated organic horseradish root
2 tablespoons of dried rosemary leaves
2 chopped organic jalapeño peppers
½ cup of freshly grated ginger root
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
Raw local honey to taste
Organic apple cider vinegar
Place all ingredients into a jar of warm organic apple cider vinegar, covering the herbs completely with at least two inches of apple cider vinegar over the herbs, and let it steep for one month. Make sure to keep it out of the sun, and after a month, remove the spices and use the liquid as a preventative tonic.
Aniko says that it will stimulate the immune system and fend off colds. Just a shot of the remedy per day should suffice as a preventative. It you’re already sick, though, several shots should be taken throughout the day to ensure recovery. It also makes for a wonderful salad dressing, as well.
Aniko doesn’t use commercial lotions anymore because a lot of them contain some form of alcohol, which dries out skin in the long-term. Instead, she opts for coconut oil, which she uses in her body cream along with Shea butter and a little bit of beeswax. She also infuses it with calendula, which is a skin-soothing herb, and essential oils.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Lemon Balm is a type of mint that Aniko abides by to maintain mental wellbeing in the winter. It can be grown it in a pot or in a garden, but beware, like any mint it will take over so it’s best to grow it in its own space. It’s a gentle nervous-system tonic, which means children can take it, as well.
“You can just eat a couple of leaves and it will help with uplifting your spirit, or you can just make a tea regularly,” says Aniko.