Types of Herbs

Herbs are natures’ larder of healing substances. They have been used for centuries and are once again becoming popular because of their gentle action on our bodies with none of the side effects often found in the chemicals of modern drugs. Science shows us that these herbal power-healers can help ease pain, prevent Alzheimer’s, and ward off cancer and heart disease. Though herbs have been used for hundreds of years to heal, scientists are finally starting to substantiate these plants’ abilities to alleviate arthritis pain, reduce high blood sugar and cholesterol, and help with many other conditions. They’re even discovering amazing new powers in the best healing herbs, such as the ability to kill cancer cells and help problem drinkers curb their alcohol intake.There are times when it might be smarter to use an herbal remedy than a pharmaceutical. For example, sometimes an herb offers a safer alternative. Take chamomile: The flowers have been used for centuries as a gentle calmative for young and old alike. It’s non-habit-forming and well tolerated, and a study sponsored by the University of Michigan found that chamomile extract had roughly the same efficacy as many prescription sleeping medications when given to adults with insomnia. Calendula (marigold) flowers contain antiseptic, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that promote healing. Comfrey leaf and root, sometimes called knitbone, has been valued for many years for its wonderful ability to promote the repair of wounds, ulcers and broken bones. The ancients knew all about these remedies and we are gradually going back to these pearls of nature that heal without any of the side effects often seen with the chemically produced remedies.

Acai Berry Powder
Acai berry powder 1

Acai Berry Powder. Acai (ah-sigh-EE) berries are a grape-like fruit native to the rain-forests of South America. They are harvested from acai palm trees. The taste of acai berries has been described as a blend of chocolate and berries, with a slight metallic aftertaste. Acai berries have been called a super-food, with benefits ranging from improved skin appearance to weight loss, but not all of these claims are supported by evidence.

Age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease have no cure, but research suggests that diets rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory polyphenolic compounds may lower the risk of these diseases. Acai is incredibly rich in antioxidants, boasting three times the amount found in blueberries. Specifically, the antioxidant anthocyanin, which is abundant in acai berries, may lower oxidative stress and inflammation, promoting brain health. Anthocyanins also have been shown to enhance and improve memory. They are thought to work by inhibiting neuro-transmitters, activating synaptic signaling, and improving blood flow to the brain. One study has found that regular consumption of anthocyanins can reduce the risk of heart attack by 32 percent in young and middle-aged women. The fiber and heart-healthy fats in acai also support heart health. Heart-healthy fats increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol and decrease LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative and Health (NCCIH) note that consuming acai berries may help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels in people with excess weight. Anthocyanins have been observed to engage in anti-carcinogenic activities, although the exact mechanisms are unknown.

Add acai powder to oats, cereal or homemade granola bars. It is also easy to top it with a large dollop of yoghurt mixed in with a teaspoon of acai berry powder. Also smoothies may be made using this powder.

Since fresh acai berries have a short shelf life, they're mainly exported and widely available in three main forms — purées, powders and juices. The juice is loaded with antioxidants, but it's also the highest in sugar and lacking in fiber. Although, if filtered, the juice may contain fewer antioxidants. The powder delivers the most concentrated amount of nutrients, giving you fiber and fat, as well as plant compounds. Keep in mind that if you're buying it as a pre-processed product, check the ingredient label and make sure it doesn't have added ingredients. The recommended dosage of powdered acai is one ounce of powder mixed with ten to twelve ounces of water taken once or twice daily.

Acai berry can interact with pain killers and non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and aleve. Never combine Acai berries with other antioxidant supplements without your doctor’s knowledge. Some people who are affected by pollen allergies may have trouble with Acai products. Always Thoroughly research any new herb you are thinking of using and if taking prescribed drugs have a chat to your doctor first.

Agrimony
agrimony3

Agrimony is a great help for anyone with skin troubles and can also be used for the relief of asthma, bronchial troubles and rheumatism. Combines with equal parts of raspberry leaf will stop diarrhoea. Historically it has been used to treat liver problems and poisoning. Taken internally, agrimony makes an excellent digestive remedy. The tannins also protect the lining of the digestive tract from irritation and inflammation and so is useful in conditions such as

  • gastritis
  • colitis
  • and peptic ulcers.
It also has a diuretic action and so cleanses the system of toxins. As a gargle it helps sore throats and it makes a good eyewash for sore eyes. Anglo-Saxons used the leaves of this herb to help stop bleeding and heal wounds. Chinese medicine often used Agrimony to treat menstrual difficulties and during the middle ages this herb was used frequently as a sleep aid. In North America agrimony was used for a variety of ailments by Native Americans and up until the late 19th century it was used throughout Europe and North America to treat
  • skin conditions
  • coughs
  • sore throats
  • and diarrhea.

Today modern day wiccans often place leaves of the plant in pillowcases to ensure a good night's sleep.

Agrimony is used for sore throat, upset stomach, mild diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diabetes, gallbladder disorders, fluid retention, cancer, tuberculosis, bleeding, corns, and warts; and as a gargle, heart tonic, sedative, and antihistamine. Agrimony is applied directly to the skin as a mild drying agent (astringent)because of its tannins, and for mild skin redness and swelling (inflammation). Some chemicals taken from agrimony are used to fight viruses.

The most impressive health benefits of agrimony include its ability to reduce inflammation, improve digestive functions, improve bladder control, lessen menstrual issues, clear up skin issues, detoxify the body, and boost hair and nail health. In ancient times, agrimony was often used in various brews, solutions, and tonics. The leaves and flowers contain a unique chemical composition that can act on the body as a detoxifying, astringent, coagulating, and anti-inflammatory substance. For this reason, it has been used in the direct or secondary treatment of a wide variety of ailments over time. One of the most well-known uses of agrimony is as a coagulant that can reduce bleeding in the body and help heal wounds. While menstruation isn’t a “wound”, per se, agrimony can be administered orally to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding and reduce inflammation to make those difficult periods a bit more tolerable. As an anti-inflammatory agent, agrimony has often been used to eliminate digestive and gastrointestinal issues, particularly diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. By reducing irritation and inflammation in the membranes and tissues of the gut, it can significantly soothe the stomach. In a similar way as reducing inflammation in the gut, agrimony is also widely used to improve respiratory conditions that may involve inflammation, such as sore throats, chronic coughing, bronchitis, and other sinus issues. For colds, coughs, and flu, it can be an effective way to speed up the recovery and healing process. The astringent quality of agrimony is said to make bladder control easier. Since it is non-toxic and has shown no signs of having negative effects on health, it is being given to children for generations with no side effects or issues. When you are suffering from blemishes, pimples, rashes, acne, psoriasis, eczema, or any other skin condition, you can topically apply agrimony to the affected area and it can help to alleviate the issue. It can also be taken orally for the same effect. It works on irritation as well as blood eruptions that happen beneath the skin, like blotching and easy bruising due to its astringent properties. Agrimony’s active ingredients, such as thiamin, quercitrin, and catechins, have been directly linked to liver and gallbladder health. By optimizing the function of the liver and gallbladder, the body can more easily eliminate toxins that have built up, thereby preventing more serious health issues and promoting overall metabolic efficiency. Silicic acid is also found in agrimony. This unique compound is known to significantly boost the strength, appearance, and overall health of the nails and hair, preventing easy breakage or a dull appearance.

In moderate amounts, agrimony is not known as a toxic or allergenic substance for people of all ages. However, due to its astringent properties that help treat so many conditions, this can also exacerbate constipation, so use with caution. Always consult a doctor before adding new herbal remedies to your daily or weekly health regimen. ALWAYS research your herb thoroughly before using.

The tea has a unique lemon taste, although it is quite mild and blends well with other floral or citrus flavors. It can be made in a number of ways, and in the brewing process, some people use the leaves, stems, and any other above-ground part of the plant. Step 1 – Add 1 teaspoon of agrimony tea leaves to a teacup. Step 2 – Boil a pot of water, then remove from heat. Step 3 – Pour hot water over the tea leaves and allow to steep for 4-6 minutes. Step 4 – The longer the tea steeps, the stronger it will be. Despite the benefits, there are some side effects of agrimony tea that one should consider, such as complications with pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as constipation, bleeding disorders, hypoglycemia, and irritation on the skin. Most of these side effects can be avoided by drinking the tea in moderation, although allergic reactions do occur. When first drinking agrimony tea, brew it weakly and pay attention to your body’s reaction before making it a regular part of your health routine. If required add a tablespoon of honey which makes it especially healthy, and maybe a slice of lemon. Enjoy.

Aloes

Our aloes powder is comprised of the thickened dried juice of the leaves of some species of Aloe, especially those of Aloe ferox and hybrids. Aloe ferox (also known as cape aloe or bitter aloe) is renowned for its remarkable natural colon cleansing benefits. As an effective natural laxative and colon cleanser, it is probably the strongest of the colon stimulating herbs. Compared to the more widely known Aloe vera, Aloe ferox produces 20 times more bitter sap and has higher nutrient concentrations. Aloe is used mainly to make bitter aloes for laxative purposes and sometimes to treat arthritis and is being studied for use with IBS. Cape aloe is a bitter tasting herb that was once used by South African tribes as a purgative and laxative, they taught the use of the herb to the European settlers and by the mid-18th century the herb was being imported into Europe and used as a medicine.

The plant was traditionally gathered by cutting the fleshy leaves and hanging them over a large pot, the gel-like sap from the leaves dripped into the pot and was dried, upon drying the sap crystallised turning into resinous lumps which were then ground down to powder.

Aloes powder can be added to compresses and cold poultices to soothe
  • burns
  • scalds
  • and sunburnt skin
  • It can also be added to salves and creams for the skin where astringency is required.
Researchers are studying oral aloe as a type 2 diabetes treatment because of its ability to lower blood sugar. It also is used in lung cancer prevention and for soothing symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Numerous scientific studies on aloe gel are demonstrating its
  • analgesic
  • anti-inflammatory
  • wound healing
  • immune modulating
  • and anti-tumor activities
  • as well as antiviral
  • antibacterial
  • antifungal
  • and antiviral properties.
The aloe juice has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides while demonstrating anti-diabetic activity.

Aniseed also called Anise
Aniseed 2nd photo

Aniseed also called Anise, Latin Name: Pimpinella anisum syn. Anisum odoratum, Anisum officinale, Anisum officinarum, Anisum vulgare.Plant Family: Apiaceae. Aniseed is an herbaceous annual plant native to the eastern Mediterranean, western Asia and North Africa that grows between 60-100cm in height. Add aniseed to sweet and savoury breads, cakes and biscuits. The seeds can also be sugar coated and eaten at the end of a meal and eaten as a digestive, a tea can be made from the seed and taken for a similar purpose. Add small quantities of ground aniseed to sausage, burger and roasts where you wish to impart a mild anise flavour.

Pimpinella anisumis a plant that hails from the same family as carrots, celery and parsley. It can grow up to 3 feet (1 meter) tall and produces flowers and a small white fruit known as anise seed. Anise has a distinct, licorice-like taste and is often used to add flavor to desserts and drinks. It’s also known for its powerful health-promoting properties and acts as a natural remedy for a wide variety of ailments.

Though anise seed is used in relatively small amounts, it packs a good amount of several important micro-nutrients into each serving. In particular, anise seed is rich in iron, which is vital for the production of healthy blood cells in your body. It also contains a small amount of manganese, a key mineral that acts as an antioxidant and is necessary for metabolism and development.

Depression is a common yet debilitating condition that affects up to 25% of women and 12% of men around the world. Interestingly, some research has found that anise seed may help treat depression. One study showed that anise seed extract exhibited powerful antidepressant properties in mice and was as effective as a common prescription medication used to treat depression.

Stomach ulcers, also called gastric ulcers, are a painful sore that forms in the lining of your stomach, causing symptoms like indigestion, nausea and a burning sensation in your chest. Though traditional treatment typically involves the use of medications to decrease the production of stomach acid, preliminary research suggests that anise seed could help prevent stomach ulcers and reduce symptoms.

Test-tube studies show that anise seed and its components may decrease the growth of certain strains of fungi and bacteria. Anethole, the active ingredient in anise seed, inhibits bacterial growth as well.

Anise seed is thought to mimic the effects of estrogen in your body, potentially reducing symptoms of menopause. Some of the compounds in anise seed may also help prevent bone loss, one of the hallmark symptoms of menopause that occurs as a result of declining estrogen levels in your body.

Some research indicates that anethole, the active ingredient in anise seed, may keep blood sugar levels in check when paired with a healthy diet.

Animal and test-tube studies have found that anise seed is high in antioxidants and can reduce inflammation to help prevent chronic disease.

Most people can safely consume anise without the risk of adverse side effects. However, it could trigger an allergic reaction, especially if you’re allergic to plants in the same family — such as fennel, celery, parsley or dill. Additionally, anise’s estrogen-mimicking properties could worsen symptoms of hormone-sensitive conditions, like breast cancer or endometriosis. Always thoroughly research any new herb you are considering using and book an appointment with your healthcare provider particularly if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking prescribed drugs.

Anise seed is a powerful plant that is rich in many nutrients and boasts a wide array of health benefits. It has anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and may fight stomach ulcers, keep blood sugar levels in check and reduce symptoms of depression and menopause. Combined with a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle, anise seed could improve several aspects of your health.

If you like the taste of licorice - you will like the taste of anise as well. The seeds make a sweet cup of hot tea that clears any stuffiness upon sipping it. Add about a teaspoon of dried aniseed to a mug of boiled water, steep for 10 minutes or longer. Strain and enjoy hot or at room temperature. You could add a stick of cinnamon and a slice of lemon if liked. Honey shouldn't be necessary as it is already quite sweet. You could also partner it with fennel. It can also be served iced. You can add mint and a pinch of cardamom powder (or 2 green cardamom pods). Add some black tea and some milk for a refreshing chai.

Ashwagandha Root Powder
Ashwagandha root powder 2

Ashwagandha Root Powder, also known as Indian Ginseng, Poison Gooseberry, Winter Cherry, Withania Root,plant species Solanaceae, latin name Withania somniferum syn Withania somnifera. Ashwagandha is native to India and can also be found growing in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, it grows as a shrub to a height of between 35–75 cm, it has a central stem with branches that radiate out from the stem in a star like pattern, the stems are covered with a dense coating of woolly filament like ‘hairs’. The flowers are small and green at first changing to white, the ripe fruit is reddy-orange.

A small amount of the powder can be added to hot milk before bedtime; it can also be added to smoothies and shakes. A poultice can be made from the powder to help soothe ulcerated wounds.

Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb. It’s classified as an adaptogen, meaning that it can help your body manage stress. Ashwagandha also provides numerous other benefits for your body and brain. For example, it can boost brain function, lower blood sugar and cortisol levels, and help fight symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  • Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda, a form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing. It has been used for over 3,000 years to relieve stress, increase energy levels, and improve concentration. "Ashwagandha" is Sanskrit for "smell of the horse," which refers to both its unique smell and ability to increase strength. Extracts of powder from the plant's root or leaves are used to treat a variety of conditions. Many of its health benefits are attributed to its high concentration of withanolides, which have been shown to fight inflammation and tumor growth.
  • Limited evidence suggests that ashwagandha reduces blood sugar levels through its effects on insulin secretion and sensitivity.
  • Animal and test-tube studies have shown that withaferin, a bioactive compound in ashwagandha, promotes the death of tumor cells by the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) inside cancer cells, disrupting their function. Second, it may cause cancer cells to become less resistant to apoptosis and may be effective against several types of cancer.
  • Cortisol is known as a stress hormone given that your adrenal glands release it in response to stress, as well as when your blood sugar levels get too low. Unfortunately, in some cases, cortisol levels may become chronically elevated, which can lead to high blood sugar levels and increased fat storage in the abdomen. Ashwagandha supplements may help lower cortisol levels in chronically stressed individuals.
  • Ashwagandha is perhaps best known for its ability to reduce stress. Researchers have reported that it blocked the stress pathway in the brains of rats by regulating chemical signaling in the nervous system. Also, several controlled human studies have shown that it can reduce symptoms in people with stress and anxiety disorders.
  • Although it hasn't been thoroughly studied, a few studies suggest ashwagandha may help alleviate depression.
  • Ashwagandha has been shown to increase muscle mass, reduce body fat, and increase strength in men.
  • Ashwagandha has been shown to increase natural killer cell activity and decrease markers of inflammation.
  • Ashwagandha may help reduce the risk of heart disease by decreasing cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Although ashwagandha has traditionally been used to boost memory in Ayurvedic medicine, only a small amount of human research has been conducted in this area. Research has shown that it promotes antioxidant activity that protects nerve cells from harmful free radicals. In one study, rats with epilepsy that were treated with ashwagandha had nearly a complete reversal of spatial memory impairment. This was likely caused by a reduction in oxidative stress. ashwagandha may mitigate memory and brain function problems caused by injury or disease and may improve brain function, memory, reaction time, and the ability to perform tasks.

Ashwagandha is a safe supplement for most people, although its long-term effects are unknown.However, certain individuals should not take it, including pregnant and breastfeeding women. People with autoimmune diseases should also avoid ashwagandha unless authorized by a healthcare provider. This includes people with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and type 1 diabetes.Additionally, those on medication for thyroid disease should be careful when taking ashwagandha, as it may increase thyroid hormone levels in some people.It may also decrease blood sugar and blood pressure levels, so medication dosages may need to be adjusted if you take it.

As with all herbs, thoroughly research any new herb you are thinking of taking, and if using prescribed drugs have a chat to your healthcare professional first.

The lowest effective dose recorded is 300-500 mg daily. Again, it’s best taken consistently and will work better the longer you take it over time. The therapeutic dose is 6,000 mg per day, divided into three doses of 2,000 mg. Take it with meals or in a shake, ideally in the morning. In Ayurveda medicine, practitioners give ashwagandha tonics to everyone from the very young to the middle-aged to the elderly to increase longevity.

In Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is a rasayana, or a plant that promotes longevity, vitality and happiness. Rasayanas are traditionally given to small children and the elderly as a tonic to support overall well-being. The root is often dried and ground, then given as a powder mixed with ghee, honey and milk. (Ashwagandha can have a bitter taste.) This warm beverage is often consumed before bedtime.

Basil Culinary Herb Tea
Basil 1 the loose herb

Basil Culinary Herb Tea. Ocimum basilicum, Plant Family: Lamiaceae. Other Names: Common Basil, Sweet Basil, Saint Joseph's Wort. One of the oldest herbs known to the mankind, basil's healing and healthful properties have been the most treasured knowledge across the world. Closer to home, basil is revered for its strong medicinal and healing properties. Basil is a highly aromatic, annual bushy herb native to Southern Asia, now grown in many temperate countries around the world. It grows to a height of 30-60 cm dependent on the variety and has square stems, and oval, toothed, glossy leaves, which are dark green in colour. Although some varieties such as Purple Ruffles can have a wavy edge and reddish-purple colouring. The small, two-lipped flowers present in whorls and are white to pale lilac in colour. Basil contains vitamins A & C and is rich in calcium and iron. Most often associated with Italian food and in particular pesto, basil has many other culinary uses, it partners well with tomatoes in all forms, add dried basil to stuffing’s, salad dressings, soups, stews, casseroles, sprinkle on pizza, pasta, omelettes and cheese dishes. Basil can also be used in sweet recipes for biscuits and cakes. In the bath it is refreshing and stimulating, and good for oily skin. It is included in a bath soak for problem skin. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help with a wide range of skin problems including acne.The leaves can be added to a mixed flower, herb and spice potpourri, and to a mixed herb bag that will bring the freshness of the outdoors indoors.

The scientific name of the basil commonly purchased for cooking is Ocimum basilicum (abbreviated O. basilicum). It has a licorice-clove flavor. Because basil is generally used in small quantities, the only substantial nutrient it provides is vitamin K. Basil also supplies plant compounds, which contribute aroma, flavor and health benefits. Basil is not only a popular folk remedy for ailments like nausea and bug bites but also widely utilized in traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and other holistic medicine systems. Some studies in people suggest benefits for blood sugar and stress, though more research is necessary. The leaves of the fragrant basil herb have been used to

  • soothe nerves and sharpen memory
  • ease fever
  • calm coughs
  • and relieve sore throat
  • It is full of flavonoids, which help protect human cells from damage
  • Orientin and vicenin are both plentiful in the popular basil, and both help protect chromosomes and cells from the damage caused by oxygen and radiation
  • Also rich in nutrients, it has plenty of the anti-oxidant vitamin A, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. These all help the human body regulate cholesterol levels and relax blood vessels
  • It is packed with eugenol, which has a strong anti-inflammatory effect. This explains why it has been used in many cultures to ease the pain of inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis
    • Basil complements other herbs and spices such as garlic, marjoram, mustard, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, rosemary and sage.

      Basil is generally safe when consumed in small amounts, but a few precautions are warranted. Basil leaves are high in vitamin K, which helps blood clot. High intakes could interfere with blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin. Always thoroughly research any new herb you are considering using, and if taking prescribed drugs, have a chat with your GP first.

      Making homemade basil tea is a super easy and handy way to get more of this herb into your diet. With its host of health benefits and one the most popular and used ingredients in the world, this is definitely something we all should enjoy more. Making your own is very quick and simple to do, and in just minutes you'll be enjoying a super healthy herbal tea with all the vitality and well-being uses that come along with it! Add a tablespoon of dried basil leaves (or a handful of fresh) and 2 teaspoons of green tea to a tea infuser of cafetiere. Pour on 2 cups of water that has just come to the boil. Stir and steep for 5-7 minutes. Then strain and add a teaspoon of honey and a slice of lemon if liked.

Blackcurrant Leaves rich in Vitamin C
blackcurrant leaves 4

Blackcurrant Leaves rich in Vitamin C. Black currant (Ribes nigrum), sometimes known as blackcurrant, is a woody shrub native to Europe and Asia. Although this currant plant is grown for its small black berries, it is also highly valued for the leaves, which are said to have great value as a medicinal herb. It is believed that blackcurrant leaves

  • Boosts the immune system
  • Reduces joint or muscle pain and inflammation
  • Decreases the buildup of plaque in the heart
  • Increases blood flow throughout the body
  • Improves eye function, including night vision
  • Is of benefit to the kidneys, spleen, pancreas and liver
  • Improves lung function
  • Helps with sore throat and hoarseness
  • Relieves diarrhea
  • Eases coughs and colds
  • Stimulates appetite and digestion
  • Treats bladder stones
  • and urinary tract infections

Black currant leaves are rich in vitamin C. They also contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which may improve the immune system; and anthocyanins, chemicals known to have antioxidant properties.

Although the leaves are safe when used in reasonable quantities, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk to their doctor before using the plant medicinally. Always thoroughly any new herb you are thinking of using and if taking prescribed drugs have a chat to your GP first.

The easiest and most effective way to use herbal black currant leaf is to brew the leaves into tea. To make herbal black currant leaf tea, place a spoonful of chopped leaves in a cup, then fill the cup with boiling water. Let the tea stand for 15 to 20 minutes, then pour it through a strainer. Drink the tea hot or chill it and serve it with ice. If you prefer sweeter tea, add a little honey or other sweetener. I also add a slice of lemon. Black currant leaf tea can also be used as a mouthwash.

Blue Mallow

Blue Mallow tea is useful for inflammations of the mucous membranes throughout the body such as bladder, mouth and gastro-intestinal tract and so is of use against

  • gastritis
  • ulcers
  • and phlegm related problems:
  • - bronchitis
  • coughs hoarseness
  • laryngitis
  • and tonsillitus.
It makes a good eyewash and used in the bath cures skin rashes, boils and ulcers and when included in poultices because of its astringent properties helps
  • psoriasis
  • weeping eczema
  • insect bites
  • and wounds.
Used externally, it is an emollient and demulcent that softens tissue and soothes damaged or inflamed surfaces, including
  • dry hands
  • sunburn
  • and nappy rash.
Blue Mallow promotes spiritual healing and peace. It can be incorporated into a dream pillow for soothing of nightmares or drunk as a tea or added to a bath to soften one's character. A nice Venus or Dark of the Moon ink can be made from blue mallow. Avoid ingesting if suffering from Gall Stones.In previous centuries, Blue Mallow Flower Tea promoted spiritual healing and peace. Blue Mallow Flower Tea is cooling and soothing and has traditionally been used as poultice on the belly to ease internal aches or against the stings of Martial insects. Boil Blue Mallow Flower with a bit of honey to make a gargle for sore throat. According to the herbs history, it was once a remedy for epilepsy long time ago.

Blue Mallow Flowers
Blue mallow 2

Blue Mallow Flowers. Use in a potpourri blend or as part of an environmentally friendly confetti, sleep pillows and scented sachets. Even a bowl of these pleasing blue flowers can bring you pleasure. Malva sylvestris L. Sterile blue group. Plant Family: Malavacea. Other Names: Common Mallow, Cheeses, Creeping Charlie. A decoction of the flowers can be added to lotions and creams for the skin where emollient properties are required. Flowers can also be used as to make a liquid that can be used as a pH indicator for alkalies.

For centuries Blue Mallow Flowers were laid down in front of dwellings or worn as a garland for Mayday/Beltane celebrations in England. The flower has a long Wiccan association. Culpeper considered this a Venus herb, and wrote of it as “beneficial for love magick, but is also useful in Water magick.”These flowers do not have a fragrance. Blue Mallow Flowers aid and promote spiritual healing and peace. They can be incorporated into a dream pillow for soothing of nightmares or drunk as a tea or added to a bath to soften the skin ( and your character!!). A very becoming and pleasing Venus or Dark of the Moon ink can be made from Blue Mallow Flowers.

This herb is cooling and demulcent and has traditionally been used as a poultice on the stomach to ease internal aches or against the stings of small insects. Some of the most impressive health benefits of Malva sylvestris includes its ability to

  • speed wound healing
  • protect against infection
  • reduce inflammation
  • reduce signs of aging
  • improve respiratory health
  • optimize digestive functions
  • improve sleep
  • and treat headaches.

The flowers which have more mucilage than the leaves and are very good mixed with eucalyptus in a sweetened tea for coughs or boiled with some honey to make a gargle for sore throat. It was once considered a remedy for epilepsy. A complex polysaccharide in the herb known as arabino-galactose may have immune-stimulant properties. Mallow flower contains a mucus-like substance that protects and soothes the throat and mouth. Taking mallow flower syrup might make it easier for people who are constipated to pass stools. But more research is needed to confirm. Also useful for wound healing.

Always please thoroughly research any new herb you are considering using, and if pregnant, breastfeeding or taking prescribed drugs have a talk to your midwife or doctor first.

To make a cup of tea, Steep a tablespoon of blue mallow flowers in boiling water for 2 minutes, swilling them around. Strain and add a teaspoon of honey if liked and a slice of fresh lemon.

Burdock Root Diuretic Digestive Aid
Burdock Root 2

Burdock Root Diuretic Digestive Aid. Latin Name: Arctium lappa syn., Plant Family: Asteraceae. Greater Burdock is a biennial plant that reaches a height of up to 2 metres, and is native to Europe and Asia; it can also be found growing in the United States. It has large, alternating, heart shaped leaves that attach to the stem. All parts of this herb are used in one way or another, the dried root is one of the ingredients in the classic drink Dandelion & Burdock. The fresh root is crisp and has a sweet mild flavour and has been eaten as a vegetable since the middle ages. The stems can be boiled and served as a vegetable, they are also pickled and served as a condiment. Burdock root is a vegetable that’s native to northern Asia and Europe, though it now grows in the United States, too. The deep roots of the burdock plant are very long and either brown or nearly black on the outside.Burdock root has been used for centuries in holistic medicine to treat a variety of different conditions. Traditionally, it was most commonly used as a diuretic and a digestive aid. Now, researchers have discovered numerous potential uses and health benefits for burdock root. These benefits may be extensive enough to warrant using burdock root as a complementary treatment for certain conditions.

It’s a powerhouse of antioxidants and removes toxins from the blood, one of the most common traditional uses for burdock root. Burdock root, as it turns out, may not only purify the blood:It may also inhibit certain types of cancer. significantly interfering with cancer cell growth. Another traditional use of burdock root is as an aphrodisiac. Burdock root has also long been used to treat skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and eczema. The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of the root can help resolve skin issues when it’s applied topically to the skin. It can also help treat topical burns. Reducing wrinkles: Burdock root contains antioxidants quercetin, luteolin, and phenolic acids, which fight free radicals and combat the signs of aging. One study found that cream containing burdock root extract helped reduce the appearance of skin wrinkles. Improving hair: Phytosterols in burdock root are believed to boost scalp and hair health, relieve dandruff, and improve hair follicles to prevent hair loss and improve thickness. Eliminating excess water weight: Burdock root is used in traditional Chinese medicine as a diuretic to promote urination and sweating. There is limited scientific evidence to support this claim, however.

Burdock root tea has traditionally been used as a decongestant and expectorant for colds and cough. While the science is limited on this, burdock does contain vitamin C, which is shown to boost the immune system; some research has also shown that it has antibacterial properties.

There’s limited or no research available on the pediatric uses of burdock root, and its safety hasn’t been studied in children. Because of this, you should never give your child burdock root unless under the supervision of a doctor. Never collect it from the wild. The Burdock plant resembles belladonna nightshade plants, which are highly toxic. They often grow together. If you’re taking burdock supplements, take small doses only in moderation. More research is needed to determine the safety of the supplement. Burdock root is a natural diuretic, so you shouldn’t take it if you’re dehydrated. You also shouldn’t take it if you’re also taking other diuretics or water pills, as it can increase dehydration.If you’re allergic to chrysanthemums or daisies, you may be at an increased risk of having an allergic reaction to burdock root and should avoid it.Pregnant women or women trying to become pregnant shouldn’t take burdock root or supplements. Always thoroughly research any new herbs you are thinking of taking and if using prescribed drugs have a chat with your GP first.

Burdock root can be consumed safely in moderation, and you can safely drink one cup of burdock tea a day.

To make a cup of burdock tea, place about 1 tsp. dried burdock root in a teacup, pour approximately 7 ounces of hot or boiling spring or filtered water over the herbs, and let it steep for at least 1 minute and a maximum of 20 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea. Strain the loose pieces and enjoy. To make iced burdock tea at home, add two teaspoons of dried root to cold water. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes or for as long as desired. To make a tonic tea, mix 1 tsp dried burdock root, 1 tsp dried dandelion root, 2 dried red clover flowers and Dried peppermint leaves to taste, add a mug of boiling water, steep for 30 minutes, strain and enjoy maybe with a slice of lemon and a teaspoon of honey. This tea helps to stimulate the kidney and liver functions and can possibly help to treat acne and eczema. Burdock root can also be added to broths and stews.

Buddha is recorded as saying, “It confers life and beauty, ease and strength; it dispels hunger, thirst, and wind; it cleanses the bladder; it digests food.”

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Calendula (Marigold)
marigold flowers july 2016

Calendula (marigold) flowers contain

  • antiseptic
  • anti-fungal
  • and antibacterial
properties that promote healing. They can be made into a compress for burns, scalds or stings, used in the treatment of varicose veins, chilblains and impetigo and a cold infusion may be used as an eyewash to treat conjunctivitis and it also treats thrush.

Marigold Flowers ( or pot marigold ) have been used to treat
  • blepharitis
  • eczema
  • gastritis
  • minor burns including sunburns
  • warts
  • and minor injuries such as sprains and wounds.

Calendula flowers have been considered beneficial in reducing inflammation, wound healing, and used as an antiseptic. Calendula has been used to treat a variety of skin diseases and has been seen effective in treatment of skin ulcerations and eczema.

If taken internally through a tea, it has been used for treatment of stomach ulcers, and inflammation.

Calendula has been effective in treating juvenile acne and dry phthiriasis. It has also been used to treat cramps, coughs, and snake bites. An infusion of the dried flowers is employed in fevers, as it gently promotes perspiration and throws out any eruption. Marigold flowers are most often in demand for children's ailments.

It has also been used to treat cramps, coughs, and snake bites. Calendula has a high content of flavonoids, chemicals that act as anti-oxidants in the body. Anti-oxidants are thought to protect body cells from damage caused by a chemical process called oxidation. Oxidation produces oxygen free radicals, natural chemicals that may suppress immune function.Calendula has been considered beneficial in reducing inflammation and promoting wound healing.

Chamomile
chamomile

Chamomilehas a powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory effect. It is useful as a gargle for mouth ulcers and as an eye wash. A few drops of the oil added to the bath will soothe overwrought nerves, ensuring a good nights sleep. It can be used in all stress related problems, particularly

  • acid indigestion
  • colic
  • abdominal pain
  • peptic ulcers
  • wind
  • diarrhoea
  • and constipation
  • It is well known for calming restless babies prone to colic, teething and sleeping problems. It is useful as a pain relief in cases of

    • headache
    • neuralgia
    • toothache
    • aches & pains of flu
    • arthritis
    • and gout
    • It relieves period pain and premenstrual headaches.

    Chamomile is used as the final rinse for fair hair and the flowers added to pot pourri and herb pillows.

    Chamomile has been used for centuries in teas as a mild, relaxing sleep aid, treatment for fevers, colds, stomach ailments, and as an anti-inflammatory, and may be used internally or externally.

    As a tea, to be used for

    • lumbago
    • rheumatic problems
    • and rashes.

    As a salve, used for

    • hemorrhoids
    • and wounds.
    As a vapor, be used to
    • alleviate cold symptoms or asthma

    • Relieve restlessness, teething problems, and colic in children
    • Relieve allergies, much as an antihistamine would
    • Aids in digestion when taken as a tea after meals
    • Relieve morning sickness during pregnancy
    • Speed healing of skin ulcers, wounds, or burns
    • Treat gastritis and ulcerative colitis
    • Reduce inflammation
    • and facilitate bowel movement without acting directly as a purgative
    • Can be used as a wash or compress for skin problems and inflammations, including inflammations of mucous tissue
    • Promotes general relaxation and relieve stress. (Animal studies show that chamomile contains substances that act on the same parts of the brain and nervous system as anti-anxiety drugs.)
    • Never stop taking prescription medications, however, without consulting your doctor.
    • Controls insomnia. Chamomile's mildly sedating and muscle-relaxing effects may help those who suffer from insomnia to fall asleep more easily
    • Treats diverticular disease, irritable bowel problems and various gastrointestinal complaints
    • Chamomile's reported anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic actions relax the smooth muscles lining the stomach and intestine. The herb may therefore help to relieve nausea, heartburn, and stress-related flatulence
    • It may also be useful in the treatment of diverticular disorders and inflammatory bowel conditions such as Krohn's disease
    • Soothes skin rashes (including eczema), minor burns and sunburn.
    • Used as a lotion or added in oil form to a cool bath, chamomile may ease the itching of eczema and other rashes and reduces skin inflammation. It may also speed healing and prevent bacterial infection
    • Treats eye inflammation and infection. Cooled chamomile tea can be used in a compress to help soothe tired, irritated eyes and it may even help treat conjunctivitis
    • Heals mouth sores and prevent gum disease. A chamomile mouthwash may help soothe mouth inflammations and keep gums healthy
    • Reduces menstrual cramps. Chamomile's believed ability to relax the smooth muscles of the uterus helps ease the discomfort of menstrual cramping.

Clary Sage

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) has been esteemed for centuries for its healing powers. A first rate remedy as a hot infusion for colds, combined with cider vinegar and used as a gargle for sore throats, laryngitis and tonsillitus. It is also beneficial for infected gums and mouth ulcers. It makes a good relaxant and nerve tonic and is recommended in stress related problems such as

  • headaches
  • insomnia
  • and indigestion.
It:
  • relieves pain
  • and eases colic
  • period pains
  • and contractions during childbirth.
It has a strengthening action
  • reducing tiredness and exhaustion
  • and lifts depression particularly after childbirth.
  • It is beneficial to the chest, and so for asthma and harsh irritating coughs and also for excessive perspiration – helpful for hot flushes during menopause. It makes a soothing lotion for the eyes. Don’t confuse clary sage with sage leaf (Salvia officinalis). A close relative of the common garden sage, the clary sage is a perennial herb that grows from May to September. When converted into an essential oil, clary sage provides outstanding benefits for
    • your eyes
    • nervous system
    • digestion
    • and kidneys.
    Although it doesn’t come cheap, it’s still worth using due to its many positive health effects. Apart from treating eye health-related problems, clary sage oil is also used to calm the nervous system, especially during times of stress, depression, and insomnia. Clary sage essential oil can help relieve
    • headaches
    • back pain
    • muscle stiffness
    • and cramps.
    It can help reduce blood pressure by relaxing the arteries, and may decrease your risk of heart problems.Clary sage is believed to stimulate hair growth. The essential oil can also limit the sebum produced in scalp and treat dandruff. Clary sage oil regulates oil production and reduces inflammation that contributes to dermatitis. It is found in many herbal personal care products like facial cleansers.

    Comfrey Leaf

    Comfrey leaf and roots, sometimes called knitbone, has been valued for many years for its wonderful ability to promote the repair of wounds, ulcers and broken bones. Used externally it is a good first aid treatment for healing cuts & wounds, burns & scalds, sores & ulcers. I have made an ointment with it using petroleum jelly which heals those painful splits at the corner of fingers.

    The leaf made into a tea treats inflamed, ulcerated digestive tracts and coughs. The herb contains allantoin, a cell proliferant that speeds up the natural replacement of body cells. This means that it will promote the swift healing of damaged or injured tissues, as well as maintaining cell growth and preventing diseases.

    Comfrey has been used to treat a wide variety of ailments ranging from

    • bronchial problems (taken internally)
    • broken bones
    • sprains
    • arthritis
    • gastric and varicose ulcers
    • severe burns
    • acne and other skin conditions.

    It is also said to have bone and teeth building properties in children, and have value in treating many 'female disorders'.

    Use comfrey roots for topical teas and salves. You also can use the raw root topically. While teas are easy to prepare, comfrey is a bit tricky to make into homemade salves; it tends to mold. Apply cold grated comfrey root or a cloth soaked in cool comfrey tea to sunburns or other minor burns. Apply comfrey poultices to wounds.

    Comfrey is safe to use topically, even on infants, the elderly, or pregnant women.

    Comfrey Root
    comfrey-root-dec-16

    Comfrey roots, sometimes called knitbone, has been valued for many years for its wonderful ability to promote the repair of wounds, ulcers and broken bones. You can use the leaf and the root, fresh or dried. It is

    • Demulcent
    • mildly astringent
    • and expectorant.
    As the plant abounds in mucilage, it is frequently given whenever a mucilaginous medicine is required and has been used like Marshmallow for intestinal troubles. It is very similar in its emollient action to Marshmallow, but in many cases is even preferred to it and is an ingredient in a large number of herbal preparations.
    • It forms a gentle remedy in cases of
    • diarrhoea
    • and dysentery.
    • A decoction is made by boiling 1/2 to 1 OZ. of crushed root in 1 quart of water or milk, which is taken in wineglassful doses, frequently.

      For its demulcent action it has long been employed domestically in lung troubles and also for quinsy and whooping-cough. The root is more effectual than the leaves and is the part usually used in cases of coughs. It is highly esteemed for all pulmonary complaints, consumption and bleeding of the lungs.

      A strong decoction, or tea, is recommended in cases of internal haemorrhage, whether from the lungs, stomach, bowels or from bleeding piles -to be taken every two hours till the haemorrhage ceases, in severe cases, a teaspoonful of Witch Hazel extract being added to the Comfrey root tea.

      A modern medicinal tincture, employed by homoeopaths, is made from the root with spirits of wine, 10 drops in a tablespoonful of water being administered several times a day.

      Comfrey contains a special substance called allantoin, which is a cell proliferative. In other words, it makes cells grow faster. This is one of the reasons why comfrey-treated bones knit so fast, wounds mend so quickly and burns heal with such little scarring.

      Use comfrey roots for topical teas and salves. You also can use the raw root topically. While teas are easy to prepare, comfrey is a bit tricky to make into homemade salves; it tends to mold. Apply cold grated comfrey root or a cloth soaked in cool comfrey tea to sunburns or other minor burns. Apply comfrey poultices to wounds. Comfrey is safe to use topically, even on infants, the elderly, or pregnant women.

      Comfrey root has been used since Roman times, dating back thousands of years. This herb has been utilized in folk medicine throughout Europe and North America and has been widely cultivated as a garden medicinal specifically for its reputation for healing various internal and external wounds. Traditionally in Europe, the root was used in cases of sprains or strains or broken bones. Due to the roots high mucilage content, it was often utilized in the same way as marshmallow root. Dried root as a salve, fresh or dried root as a poultice. Dried root infused in carrier oil for topical use. Make a paste with a little water and use for stubborn wounds and bleeding piles. Infuse in hot oil to use on arthritic joints, bruises, sprains, other knocks and inflamed bunions. Make a tincture to apply to acne. Dissolve in hot water to use for bed sores and the like, and varicose ulcers.

    Coriander aka Cilantro aka Chinese parsley
    Coriander 5

    Coriander is an herb that’s commonly used to flavor international dishes. It comes from the Coriandrum sativum plant and is related to parsley, carrots, and celery. In the United States, Coriandrum sativum seeds are called coriander, while its leaves are called cilantro. In other parts of the world, they’re called coriander seeds and coriander leaves. The plant is also known as Chinese parsley. Many people use coriander in dishes like soups and salsas, as well as Indian, Middle Eastern, and Asian meals like curries and masalas. Coriander leaves are often used whole, whereas the seeds are used dried or ground.

    • Coriander may lower blood sugar by activating certain enzymes. In fact, it’s powerful enough that people with low blood sugar should use it cautiously.
    • Coriander is full of antioxidants that demonstrate immune-boosting, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects.
    • Coriander may protect your heart by lowering blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol. A spice-rich diet appears to be associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
    • The antioxidants in coriander may reduce brain inflammation, improve memory, and reduce anxiety symptoms, though more research is needed.
    • Coriander may reduce unpleasant digestive symptoms like bloating and discomfort often experienced by people with IBS. It may also boost appetite among some people.
    • Coriander exhibits antimicrobial effects that may help fight food-borne illnesses and pathogens like Salmonella.
    • It contains antioxidants that may protect your skin from aging and sun damage. It may also help treat mild skin rashes.
    • All parts of the Coriandrum sativum plant are edible, but its seeds and leaves taste very different. While coriander seeds have an earthy flavor, the leaves are pungent and citrus-like — though some people find that they taste like soap.Whole seeds can be added to baked goods, pickled vegetables, rubs, roasted vegetables, and cooked lentil dishes. Warming them releases their aroma, following which they can be ground for use in pastes and doughs. Meanwhile, coriander leaves — also called cilantro — are best to garnish soup or use in cold pasta salads, lentils, fresh tomato salsa, or Thai noodle dishes. You can also purée them with garlic, peanuts, coconut milk, and lemon juice to make a paste for burritos, salsa, or marinades.
    • Some breast-feeding women use coriander to increase milk flow.

    Keep in mind that many of the above studies use concentrated extracts, making it difficult to know how much coriander seeds or leaves you would need to eat to reap the same benefits.

    However, due to its potency, it could also give you some negative reactions, depending on the amount you consume. ALWAYS thoroughly research any new herb you are thinking of using and if pregnant or taking prescribed drugs have a chat to your GP first.

    Cilantro tea is a healthy and refreshing drink that’s incredibly easy to make. It’s a great summertime drink, and perfect if you have some leftover cilantro to use up. This cilantro tea is made really easy by adding fresh or dried cilantro to boiled hot water. If using dried cilantro, you will need a tea leaf infuser to avoid drinking the little dry leaves. Add a slice of lemon and a teaspoon or so of honey. Serve leftover tea cold with added ice cubes, or reheat it before serving.

    Cornflower Petals
    Cornflower petals 1

    Cornflower Petals - Centaurea cyanus. Plant Family: Asteraceae. Cornflowers petals can be added to potpourri to add a bright splash of colour or to decorative papers, pressed flower decorations, soaps and cosmetics, as a component in environmentally friendly confetti. Use in a healthy tea blend to add colour, in bath salts, and all kinds of crafts.

    The dried flowers are used to make medicine. People take cornflower tea to treat

    • fever
    • constipation
    • water retention
    • and chest congestion.
    They also take it as a
    • tonic
    • bitter herb
    • and liver and gallbladder stimulant.
    Women take it for menstrual disorders and vaginal yeast infections. Some people apply cornflower directly to the eye for irritation or discomfort. More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of cornflower for these uses.

    Cornflower is LIKELY SAFE when used to color herbal teas. There isn't enough information to know if cornflower is safe for use as a medicine. Cornflower may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If pregnant or breastfeeding, or are taking prescribed drugs, book an appointment to have a chat with your midwife or healthcare provider before using. Always thoroughly research any new herb you are considering using.

    For a cornflower blossom tea, 1-2 teaspoons of cornflower petals are poured with 250ml/8.5 fl oz of hot water and allowed to steep for 10 minutes. The cornflower blossom tea has a floral-bitter taste. Add a teaspoon of local honey and a slice of lemon if liked.

    Cowslip Flowers

    Cowslip Flowers can be used internally as a relaxing and sedative remedy for nervous tension, anxiety, insomnia and as a general tonic for the nervous system. It is excellent used in cases of stress related headaches, muscular aches and pains, and nerve pains, and is reputed to lift the spirits and dispel depression.

    Taken hot, cowslip tea relieves fevers and has a decongestant and expectorant action and so is a good remedy for colds, flu, sore throats, coughs and catarrh. Cowslip roots have an anti-inflammatory action useful when treating arthritis and gout. The flowers and leaves are rich in beta carotene and vitamin C, both of which are strong antioxidants that help the body in many ways by strengthening the immune system. They can also help in lowering cholesterol levels, thereby increasing heart health. Cowslip flowers and leaves are also rich in potassium, calcium, sodium and salicylates.

    Against wounds a macerated mixture made from cowslip flowers is especially effective. Cowslip tea is a sure way of strengthening the nervous system and heart; it can effectively alleviate headaches and also has a noticeable effect over the myocardium and the tendency towards apoplexy. This herb is also used in cosmetics, by being an ingredient in many face creams due to its regenerating effects. Moreover it can be used externally in warm poultices applied on painful areas because of its calming nature.

    Cut Angelica Root Culinary & Healing
    Angelica root 5

    Cut Angelica Root Culinary & Healing. Angelica archangelica, syn. Archangelica officinalis. Plant Family: Apiaceae. Aka Holy Ghost Root & Archangel Root. The name Archangelica is supposed to come from the Greek word “arkhangelos”, the name of Angel Gabriel who according to myth revealed its use in medicine. The roots of Angelica are long, twisted, thick and fleshy, with many fine rootlets coming off the main root; the roots of each plant can weigh up to as much as 1.3kg and have a characteristic musk-like scent. The root is prized for its aromatic properties and is used in incense and in the perfumery industry. It is one of the ingredients of several French liqueurs including absinthe and can be used as a substitute for juniper berries when making gin. It can also be used as a fixative in pot-pourri.

    Angelica is recommended by many modern as well as ancient writers for use in skin care.

    • Angelica contains nutrients, such as antioxidants, vitamins, valeric acid, volatile oils and many others, which are helpful for the natural treatment of various skin conditions.
    • It relieves pain and swelling.
    • It eases PMS symptoms, using angelica can prove to be a blessing for women suffering from menstrual cramps. It helps to balance the level of hormones, which in turn provides relief from severe pains.
    • Mouth sores can be reduced by proper use of Angelica herb. It has antimicrobial properties that helps to get rid of the microbes that causes sores in the mouth.
    • Because of its bactericide properties it heals a sore throat. You can just chew an angelica stem, but because it is bitter, gargle with a tea made from the dried root with a little honey in it.
    • Angelica herb helps women's reproductive health.
    • Regular use of angelica herb can help with hair loss. Use cold herb tea as a final rinse. The Vitamin E content stimulates circulation of oxygen in the blood of the scalp and encourages the regeneration of damaged hair cells.
    • A cup of angelica tea prior to sleep has been found to help insomnia and giving a restful night's sleep.
    • Angelica plant can cure Dyspepsia that which shows as heartburn, too much gas, and tummy bloating. This herbaceous plant is considered to have flatus-relieving constituents, which facilitates alleviation of gas and puffiness. The pulp of the root can be used as a medicine for digestion; as a result, consuming it as recommended can be beneficial to keep your digestive tract functioning properly.
    • Angelica herb can help reduce anxiety. Sip a lovely cup of angelica root tea and relax.It will help to release the stress in the brain and reduces anxiety.
    • It is a very traditional process to use this herb normalise blood pressure.
    • A bath can be prepared by adding 2 cups of Angelica infusion to the warm water. Coconut oil can also be added for obtaining the best results. Having this bath relieves inflammation, softens the skin and helps to treat eczema.
    • Tea prepared from the dried leaves and roots may perhaps stimulate appetite.
    • The oil that is extracted from angelica herb is perfect to release the stress from muscles and thus reduces the ache. Either add a tea to your bath or some dried root humg in a muslin bag over the hot tap as you run your bath.

    There are innumerable Ayurvedic health benefits of Angelica. Also there are many historical uses and benefits of Angelica. Infusions made from the leaves and roots of the angelica plant can help in the treatment of depression by triggering the production of mood enhancing chemicals in the brain. Angelica tea is used as tonic, used to restore vigour and vitality after sickness. It can be especially beneficial for arthritis. And of course it also has culinary uses.

    To make Angelica tea or decoction, boil a teaspoon of dried root for 10 minutes. Let it steep and strain. Store in a glass jar for later consumption. Drink 1 cup after meals or three times a day. You can add other herbs or honey to improve the efficacy and taste.

    Angelica should not be used by pregnant women or nursing mothers. Avoid using angelica root concurrently with warfarin. If you are taking prescribed drugs or have any ongoing health problems, please talk to your healthcare provider first. Always thoroughly research any new herb you are thinking of using. Do your homework.

    Dandelion

    Dandelion tea tastes good (especially with a sweetener like honey or sugar—or, a good taste with a no-carbohydrate choice, like xylitol). It benefits your health (in fact, it’s very good for you)—as health enthusiasts world wide can attest for this delicious herbal remedy. Dandelion forms a prime medical ingredient in over half the phytonutrient blends on the market (weight loss, rejuvenation, detoxification; digestive, liver, kidney, & skin supplements). It aids in digestion, and functions well to relieve digestive disorders like constipation and diarrhea. It works really well to purify the blood and cleanse the system. It enhances detoxification, by stimulating urination and, in addition, by replacing the potassium lost in that process. Dandelion tea is one of the most effective herbs for getting the bloat out and helping relieve water retention. Dandelion has specific action in

    • reducing inflammation of the gall bladder and of the bile duct
    • and for rheumatism and arthritis
    • It improves the function of and maintains optimum liver, kidney, pancreas, spleen, stomach, and gall bladder functions
    • Dandelion tea helps in treating chronic hepatitis and jaundice disorders
    • and encourages healing of damaged tissues caused by alcohol liver disease
    • It helps reduce high cholesterol
    • it contains antioxidants that help your body fight off toxic bacteria and viruses
    • Dandelion tea helps with weight control—especially with weight loss.
    Dandelion actively fights disease—and helps
  • the body heal
  • helps boost immunity
  • and combat cancer, heart disease, and age-related memory loss.
  • Dandelion aids health maintenance for people suffering from Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes. Dandelion tea transfers magnificent amounts of minerals and vitamins: A, C, D, E, & B complex, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, choline, and boron, etc. when infused in hot water. Dandelion tea as a face wash cleanses complexion, improves skin clarity. It makes a great bath addition, especially when made from older, stronger (tougher) leaves. Composting spent dandelion tea blossoms, leaves, and/or roots, after drinking your dandelion tea, improves soil composition. What's not to love?!!!!!

    Devils Claw Root Powder

    Devils claw contains a chemical known as Harpagoside. This chemical has been linked to having anti-inflammatory and pain relieving actions. Among native South African tribes, devils claw root was once used to treat a variety of problems including headaches, fever and rheumatic pain. Veterinary herbalists use this herb as an anti-inflammatory and as a means of offering pain relief to horses; it has also been added to ointments and creams to ease skin rashes. In western medicine, devil's claw is mainly used for

    • joint pain, such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout
    • soft tissue pain, particularly lower back pain
    • and to reduce menopausal symptoms.
    It is also thought to be helpful in treating
    • loss of appetite
    • dyspeptic complaints
    • and in supportive therapy for bone and joint disorders and pain.
    Devils Claw acts as
    • a stimulating appetizer
    • helps with the digestive system [heartburn, peptic ulcers, constipation]
    • hypertension
    • and raised cholesterol.
    It is used to treat diseases of
    • the gall bladder
    • kidneys
    • liver
    • pancreas
    • small joints
    • and TB.
    Externally the ointment can heal
    • ulcers
    • boils
    • sores
    • and wounds.
    Devil’s claw is useful against
    • “hardening of the arteries" (atherosclerosis)
    • arthritis
    • gout
    • muscle pain (myalgia)
    • back pain
    • tendonitis
    • chest pain
    • gastrointestinal (GI) upset or heart burn
    • fever

    • and migraine headache.
    It is also used for
    • difficulties in childbirth
    • menstrual problems
    • allergic reactions
    • loss of appetite
    • and kidney and bladder disease.

    Echinacea

    Echinacea purpurea is the most effective detoxicant for the

    • circulatory
    • lymphatic
    • and respiratory systems.
    It is used widely in Ayurvedic medicine. It is an adaptogen, alterative, antiseptic, mild antibiotic, depurative, digestive and immuno-stimulant. Echinacea is primarily known for its immune system boosting properties. This showy perennial was used by the Native Americans and adopted by the early settlers as a medicine. Members of the medical profession in early America relied heavily on echinacea, but it fell from favor with the advent of pharmaceutical medicine and antibiotics. Many physicians are rediscovering the benefits of echinacea. Many forms of echinacea are available to choose from; Long used for infectious diseases and poor immune function, echinacea extractions also are used today to help treat
    • influenza
    • colds
    • chronic fatigue syndrome
    • and AIDS.
    It does so by increasing the activity of white blood cells, raising the level of interferon, and stimulating blood cells to engulf invading microbes. Echinacea also increases the production of substances the body produces naturally to fight cancers and disease. Besides its use as an immune stimulant, echinacea is recommended for individuals with recurring skin lesions, such as boils, and as a tonic to improve the liver's ability to reduce the effects of environmental toxins. Echinacea is used by people today for:
    • acid indigestion
    • ADHD
    • CFS
    • dizziness
    • genital herpes
    • gum disease
    • migraines
    • pain relief
    • rheumatism
    • septicemia
    • the flu
    • tonsillitis
    • urinary tract infections
    • and yeast infections.

    Elderberries
    Elderberries 4
    Elderberries - Sambucus nigra, plant family name: Adoxaceae. Other names: Black Elder, Common Elder, Pipe Tree, Bore Tree, Bour Tree, Lady Ellhorn, Whistle Tree, Old Lady. Its history dates as far back as 400 BC, and Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine,” called the elder tree his “medicine chest.” In folk medicine today, the elderberry is widely considered one of the world’s most healing plants.

    It is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 4–6 m (rarely to 10 m) tall. The bark, light grey when young, changes to a coarse grey outer bark with lengthwise furrowing.

    The berries are used to make cordials, jams and jellies; they can even be used as a substitute for currants when baking. They make excellent wine and can be used to make a traditional drink called a rob which is a soothing and pleasant to drink hot during the colder months of the year.

    Do not consume raw; elderberries should be cooked at a minimum of 80°c for at least 10 minutes before use. Consumption is not recommended during pregnancy and by children under 18 years of age. Always thoroughly research any new herb you are going to take and if you are taking prescribed drugs, have a chat with your doctor first.

    The berries and flowers of elderberry are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that may boost your immune system. They can help tame inflammation, lessen stress, and help protect your heart, too. Some experts recommend elderberry to help prevent and ease cold and flu symptoms. It’s also been used as a treatment for:

    • Constipation
    • Joint and muscle pain
    • Infections that affect how you breathe
    • Headaches
    • Fever
    • Kidney problems
    • Epilepsy
    • Minor skin conditions
    • Stress
    • HIV
    • and AIDS

    Elderberry syrup can be made with dried elderberries, Combine 2 cups of dried elderberries with 4 cups of cold distilled water in a heavy saucepan. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat, and cook uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove from the heat and let steep for 1 hour. Strain mixture into a large measuring cup covered with cheesecloth, reserving liquid and discarding the used berries. Allow the syrup to cool, then stir in 1 cup of honey. Pour mixture into a sterilized container. Seal and store in the refrigerator for up to three months.

    Elderberry Tea is a delicious and immune boosting tea that’s made with dried elderberries, cinnamon, ginger, and honey. This healthy tea can strengthen the immune system and fight off a cold or flu. Here is a simple and easy recipe that shows how you can make this natural remedy tea at home! Just add 2 mugs of water, 2 tablespoons dried elderberries, a cinnamon stick, and 2 ginger slices in a pot, and bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat and cover the pot, simmering for 20 minutes. Strain out the elderberries and ginger. Remember NOT to add raw honey with the other ingredients at the beginning, as the high temperature will destroy many great nutrients of the raw honey. After straining, it’s important to press the elderberries to release more juices. You’ll be surprised to see how much more liquid you can get by doing so. Once your tea is not too hot, add raw honey and maybe a slice of lemon according to taste. If you make extra elderberry tea, you can let them cool down, and store in jars in the refrigerator. Serve them with ice for elderberry ice tea. Yumm.

    Elderflowers for Health and Enjoyment
    Elderflowers 1

    Elderflowers for Health and Enjoyment. Elderflower is the flower of the Elder or Alder tree. It is useful for swollen sinuses (sinusitis), colds, influenza (flu), swine flu, bronchitis, diabetes, and constipation. It is also used to increase urine production (as a diuretic), to increase sweating (as a diaphoretic), and to stop bleeding.

    Elderflower is also used as a gargle and mouthwash for coughs, colds, hoarseness (laryngitis), flu, and shortness of breath. It is used on the skin for joint pain (rheumatism), and pain and swelling (inflammation). Some people put elderflower in the eyes for red eyes. In combination with gentian root, verbena, cowslip flower, and sorrel, elderflower is used for maintaining healthy sinuses and treating sinusitis. It is also useful combined with senna to treat constipation. In foods and beverages, elderflower is used as a flavoring component. In manufacturing, elderflower extracts are used in perfumes. Elderflower water is used in eye and skin lotions.

    Elderflower is LIKELY SAFE when used in amounts found in foods. Elderflower is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when used in small amounts as part of a combination product containing elderflower, sorrel, gentian root, verbena, and cowslip flower (SinuComp, Sinupret). There isn't enough information to know if elderflower is safe when used in medicinal amounts other than as part of the combination product. The combination product can cause digestive system upset and occasionally allergic skin rash. There is a concern that elderflower might lower blood sugar levels. If taken with diabetes medications, it might make blood sugar levels go too low. We always advise you to thoroughly research any new herb you are thinking of using and if pregnant, breast-feeding or taking a prescription drug, book an appointment with your midwife or GP.

    Dried elderflowers are an old home remedy for common cold. To make elderflower tea, put 1 tablespoon dried elderflowers in a cup and fill up with boiling water. Let steep for 7 to 10 minutes. Strain and sweeten with honey to taste. To make elderflower cordial: Bring 2 cups of water and 2 cups of castor sugar to a boil over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let this simple syrup cool. Slice a lemon and place in a seal-able glass jar along with quarter cup of elderflowers and 1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid and cooled sugar syrup. Shake well and put in the fridge for a minimum of 24 hours, preferably 72 hours. Strain your cordial through cheesecloth into your desired container, pressing down to extract all the liquid. Store in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator for up to three months. If you like, use oranges or grapefruit instead of lemons, or substitute honey or agave nectar for the sugar. This mixture is concentrated and non-alcoholic, but you can combine it with vodka or pear eau de vie for an impromptu liqueur.

    Eucalyptus Leaves
    eucalypyus leaves
    Eucalyptus Leaves are from an evergreen tree native to Australia and Tasmania. It is also called a Gum Tree. It has been a traditional Australian aboriginal medicine for centuries, the aborigines called it ‘Kino’ they first used it to treat headaches, fevers and colds, then they began to use it as a poultice for festering wounds, inflammations and rheumatism. All species have leaves that are covered in oil glands, from which the majority of the health benefits are derived. It wasn’t until the late 18th to early 19th century that eucalyptus and its benefits were first brought to Europe when a French botanist, for Jacques de Labillardière, collected specimens in Tasmania in 1799. When it first reached European shores it was known as ‘Sydney Peppermint’. Eucalyptus was first used as an antiseptic by surgeons in the early 19th century; it was used during operations and for cleaning rooms and equipment. The leaves can be used to flavour lozenges and sweets for sore throats, they can also be used for their insect repellent properties in sachets and pot pourri, a decoction of the leaves can be added to hot water to clean surfaces and floors. The powdered leaf can be used as a natural insecticide in the garden. Add the leaves to baths to help ease the systems of colds and flu. A decoction can be added to liniments and rubs for easing painful joints and gardening aches. Some of the best health benefits of eucalyptus includes its ability to
    • boost respiratory health
    • strengthen the immune system
    • protect skin health
    • ease tension and anxiety
    • lower blood sugar
    • eliminate inflammation
    • and fight against bacterial infection.
    Eucalyptus tea is very popular for curing a range of medical conditions, and the leaves themselves are important sources of food for certain animal species in Australia and New Zealand, koalas being the most well-known consumers.
    • Eucalyptus leaves and oil have been used for generations as a cure-all for respiratory issues, particularly in removing catarrh from the respiratory tracts. The active ingredients in eucalyptus leaves act as expectorants, helping to remove excess phlegm and mucus from the sinuses and respiratory tracts, eliminating the natural environment for bacteria and other pathogens to multiply and spread. In terms of bronchitis, the common cold, and even flu symptoms, eucalyptus leaves and extracts are often recommended for people looking for herbal or natural remedies for those common conditions.
    • The powerful effects of eucalyptus tea are widely studied, and aside from its direct impact on the respiratory system, eucalyptus is recommended to protect the body from a wide variety of bacterial infections, including E. coli and candida albicans, the latter of which can cause yeast infections. If your immune system is compromised by another illness or as the result of an injury or fatigue, eucalyptus tea can act as a natural booster for your immunity
    • When people begin to feel the pressure of the modern world mounting, so many people turn to pharmaceutical solutions, but there are a wide range of other natural remedies, including eucalyptus. The natural sedative and soothing effects of eucalyptus can be employed for many reasons, but its tea is specifically recommended for those suffering from chronic stress. Stress hormones in the body can wreak havoc on your metabolism and general health, so reducing those potentially dangerous stress hormones and easing mental tension can be a wonderful side effect of a well-brewed cup of eucalyptus tea
    • The natural antibacterial properties of eucalyptus make it ideal for protecting skin health as well. Rubbing its leaves on the skin can work as a quick fix, but drinking eucalyptus tea or utilizing eucalyptus oil on irritated or infected skin works much faster and more effectively. However, it is important to note that eucalyptus oil is extremely strong and can be toxic if consumed in its undiluted form. Always use carrier oils and avoid consumption when using eucalyptus oil on the skin
    • Although the exact chemical pathway is unknown, research has shown that brewing eucalyptus leaves into tea can be an effective preventative measure or treatment for diabetes. Whether you have already developed the condition or are actively establishing a lifestyle to prevent the onset of diabetes, drinking 1-2 cups of eucalyptus tea each day can be a great strategy. It is recommended to speak to your doctor before utilizing it in this way, as the blood sugar-lowering ability of the tea can be dangerous depending on what type of diabetes you have or are at risk for
    • Eucalyptus is a natural anti-inflammatory substance, so consuming its tea can do everything from ease aches and pains to protect the heart. Eucalyptus tea is often recommended for people who suffer from asthma, as well as arthritis and chronic muscle strain. If you suffer a mild injury, drink some eucalyptus tea and watch the pain fade away. By reducing inflammation in the blood vessels and arteries, it can also protect heart health and decrease the likelihood of developing atherosclerosis, thereby protecting you from heart attacks and strokes
    To make eucalyptus tea, steep half a teaspoon in hot water for 15 minutes, then strain and reheat if necessary. Sweeten with honey. While the tea is considered safe, dosage should always be carefully monitored. Caution: If you suffer from gastrointestinal or liver disorders, or if you are pregnant, do not take eucalyptus internally. As always, research your herb thoroughly before using it.

    Bronchitisor Sinus congestion can be eased by inhaling the steam from eucalyptus tea. Pour 1 quart of boiling water over 1 tablespoon of dried eucalyptus leaves., cover to seal in the volatile oil, and steep for 5 minutes. Drape a towel over your head and shoulders to form a tent over the tea. close your eyes and for 10 minutes, breathe in the steam. Use this facial steam daily until your symptoms abate. Caution: Do not leave young children unattended with the hot tea! For sore throats make a cup of healing eucalyptus tea from equal parts of dried eucalyptus leaves and dried calendula flowers. The tannins in eucalyptus help reduce inflammation while calendula soothes. Let the tea cool, and then use it as a gargle 2 - 3 times a day until symptoms subside. Eucalyptus Tea Recipe for Head Colds: 1/2 ounce dried eucalyptus leaves; 1 ounce dried peppermint leaves; 1/2 ounce dried chamomile flowers. Use 1 teaspoon of this herbal mixture per cup of boiling water. Sweeten with honey to taste. These herbs are prescribed for their decongestant and expectorant effects. Eucalyptus is antiseptic, as well, and is very helpful for a head cold, sinus congestion and the flu.
    Feverfew
    feverfew

    Feverfew's leaves have taken on a life of their own as a popular herbal remedy, used to soothe migraines, joint inflammation and more. It is used to relieve headaches, particularly vascular headaches such as migraines and may relieve premenstrual headaches, which often are due to fluid retention and hormonal effects. Some physicians recommend feverfew to relieve menstrual cramps and to facilitate delivery of the placenta following childbirth. It is also reported to reduce fever and inflammation in joints and tissues. The main constituent of feverfew, parthenolide, has been credited with inhibiting the release of serotonin, histamine, and other inflammatory substances that make blood vessels spasm and become inflamed. Feverfew has also been used for centuries for arthritis. Feverfew is an excellent insect repellent and can also be used to treat insect bites. Historically Feverfew was used to treat a number of external ailments including

    • scabies
    • fleas
    • and lice,
    when applied as a lotion.

    Feverfew is also used for

    • fever
    • irregular menstrual periods
    • arthritis
    • a skin disorder called psoriasis
    • allergies
    • asthma
    • ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
    • dizziness
    • and nausea
    • and vomiting.
    Some people use feverfew for difficulty getting pregnant or fathering a child (infertility). It is also used for
    • “tired blood” (anemia)
    • cancer
    • common cold
    • earache
    • liver disease
    • prevention of miscarriage
    • muscular tension
    • bone disorders
    • swollen feet
    • diarrhea
    • upset stomach
    • and intestinal gas.
    Feverfew is sometimes applied directly to the gums for toothaches or to the skin to kill germs.

    Gentian Root Digestive Health
    Gentian Root 1

    Gentian Root Digestive Health. This is the yellow gentian - Gentiana lutea. Gentian root, is considered the king of the bitter herbs with many health benefits. In tests, it was found that the bitter taste from Gentian can still be perceived even when diluted down to 1 part in 12,000. Hildegard von Bingen described the medicinal use of gentian “who has fever in the stomach, often drinks powdered gentian in warm wine and his stomach is cleansed of fever”. After Hildegard, in 1551, the German botanist and physician Hieronymus Bock described yellow gentian as the most important and most common healing root for stomach disorders.Gentian is used for digestion problems such as loss of appetite, fullness, intestinal gas, diarrhea, gastritis, heartburn, and vomiting. It is also used for fever, hysteria, and high blood pressure. It is said that during the reign of King Gentius, Illyria was devastated by the plague. So great was the mortality among his subjects, the pious king appointed a season of fasting and prayed that if he shot an arrow into the air, the gods would direct its descent, guiding it to a herb possessed of sufficient virtue to arrest the course of the disease. The king shot the arrow and it fell to the root of a plant which, when tested, was found to possess the most astonishing curative powers, and did much to lessen the ravages of the plague. The plant from that time on became known as the Gentian, in honor of the good king, whose supplications brought about the divine manifestation of its medicinal properties. Gentian has a long and esteemed history of traditional use, primarily as a digestive aid and to strengthen the digestive system. The ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Arab physicians all used Gentian Root as a herbal medicine, it was especially indicated for health issues where a weakened digestive system was involved. Gentian Root is also popular in Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Indian healing system of Ayurveda, where it is commonly used to treat liver disorders, support detoxification and to stimulate the digestive system.

    A healthy digestive system is the cornerstone of overall vibrant health. Throughout history it has been widely known that bitter herbs support this important bodily process, and Gentian Root is one of the top bitter herbs used to stimulate the production of saliva, bile and stomach acids. It is widely used in digestive tonics, such as angostura bitters, which are taken before a meal. Gentian works on the stomach, liver and gall bladder – organs which each play a part in the digestive process. This root’s digestive benefits are in part attributed to the phytochemical amarogentin, which is mainly responsible for the bitter taste. It is believed that bitters such as Gentian work by stimulating the mouth’s taste receptors. When bitters hit the tongue the saliva glands produce more saliva (the first element of digestion), which informs the digestive tract to release digestive enzymes that help to break down food. Gentian also stimulates bile production, which aids in the digestion and absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins in the small intestine.

    As in the past, in modern herbalism Gentian is considered a powerful protector and ally to the liver. It supports the overall function of the liver and gallbladder and blends well with other liver protective herbs.Gentian stimulates the production of bile, which not only helps to promote digestion; it prevents a sluggish liver by preventing the accumulation of waste and speeding up the digestion of proteins and fats. This in turn can help to allay the sense of fatigue that can be felt after consuming a heavy meal. As a liver protective agent, Gentian has been observed to increase levels of reduced glutathione (GSH), catalase, superoxide dismutase and GSH peroxidase in various settings of toxin-induced oxidative damage.

    Whilst inflammation is a valid response by the body in its quest to heal itself, persistent low-level inflammation is becoming increasingly known as one of the root causes of most disease. Gentian Root contains several constituents with anti-inflammatory properties: secoiridoidal, iridoid glycosides, gentiopicroside, xanthones, polyphenols and flavones, which are of particular benefit to the cardiovascular, respiratory and digestive systems. The anti-inflammatory properties of Gentian also make it useful in wound healing. It soothes inflamed tissues and has anti-bacterial and ant-microbial actions and improves blood flow to damaged tissue, speeding up the healing time.Finally, the active compounds of Gentian not only lower inflammation, they can provide relief from pain by positively modulating pain pathways in the brain.

    In addition to the benefits of bitters for digestive health, research shows that gentian ingredients can loosen blocked mucus from the airways. For this reason, root extracts are also used to treat inflammation of the nose, throat and bronchi, such as sinusitis. In monastic medicine and klosterheilkunde, yellow gentian is mainly used to treat mild cases of fatigue, weight, anaemia and lack of appetite in convalescence, fever, gout, malaria, intestinal parasites and alcoholism.

    Gentian Root Powder can be taken 1 - 2 grams before a meal, or as recommended by a Herbal Practitioner. Or make a Gentian Root Tea - Combine half a teaspoon (1 gram) of dried gentian root with 150 millilitres of boiling water and allow 5 to 10 minutes to steep. To prepare cold: add half a teaspoon of gentian root (1 gram) to 2 glasses of water, allow 8 hours to steep, and drink the extract 30 minutes before meals.

    Gentian seems to be safe for most people when taken by mouth in small amounts, but if pregnant or lactating, or taking prescribed drugs, a talk with your midwife or GP would be sensible. Always Thoroughly research any new herb you are thinking of using.

    Ginkgo Biloba or Maidenhair
    gingko-tree

    Ginkgo biloba, also known as the maidenhair tree, is one of the oldest species of trees on the planet. The tree is considered to be a "living fossil", meaning that it has continued to survive even after major extinction events. Ginkgo trees have very unique properties - they are capable of growing more than 130 feet and can live for over one thousand years. In fact, there are some trees in China are said to be over 2,500 years old. The plant has a number of therapeutic properties and contains high levels of flavonoids and terpenoids, these are antioxidants that provide protection against oxidative cell damage from harmful free radicals. Over recent years, ginkgo supplements have become increasingly popular - they are currently among the top-selling herbal medications. Researchers believe that ginkgo improves cognitive function because it promotes good blood circulation in the brain and protects it from neuronal damage. It also has a beneficial effect on chilblains again because of its ability to promote good circulation. Ginkgo may also help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. Ginkgo biloba was first used for its medicinal properties in Ancient China. The Chinese took ginkgo for its claimed cognitive benefits and to alleviate symptoms of asthma, they also ate ginkgo nuts because of their "strengthening" properties. other traditional uses of ginkgo biloba include:

    • Preventing bed wetting
    • Increasing sexual energy
    • Soothe bladder irritation
    • Treating intestinal worms
    • and Treating gonorrhea.
    Caution: Patients with blood circulation disorders or individuals on anticoagulants, such as aspirin, are at risk of experiencing undesirable effects after taking ginkgo. In addition, if you are on antidepressants you are strongly advised not to take ginkgo as it inhibits monoamine oxidase, reducing the effectiveness of the medications (such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and monoamine oxidase inhibitors). As always thoroughly research your herb before using it!

    There are various conditions where Ginkgo has been used to help, showing beneficial effects in all, these are;

    • Arterial circulatory problems - This condition can cause blood clots and stop or restrict the blood flow to important parts of the body and organs like the heart. Ginkgo can help to stop blood clots forming and help to keep a healthy circulation system
    • Cerebral atherosclerosis - This condition is when there is hardening and blockages of the arteries. Ginkgo can help to relieve these symptoms by softening the arteries and helping to unblock the blood vessels
    • Cerebral edema - This condition is where the body tissue contains a high amount of fluid. This condition can affect the vessels, and Ginkgo can help to relieve this fluid tension in the blood vessels
    • Impairment to memory/ability to concentrate - Ginkgo has been noted in some clinical trials to aid memory. There has been extensive research on this factor, but many people try taking Ginkgo to try and help aid their memory. It helps to increase the blood flow to the brain which is usually the common cause for brain and memory conditions
    • Arterial obstruction - Ginkgo helps to restore the natural blood flow in blocked arteries. It is used widely used to help treat conditions where this appears, and studies have shown positive effects that Ginkgo has had as a treatment
    • Reynard's disease - This condition is when the hands and feet are exposed to the cold and can not warm back up again. This is because the blood vessels are not flowing properly to these extremities. Ginkgo can help to restore the proper blood flow which helps the hands and feet to recover from the cold, helping relieve the symptoms of Reynard's such as pins and needles and numbness
    • Alzheimer's disease - This disease takes away the ability for the person to do every day things. People can lose their memory through this disease, and is a degenerative disease. Ginkgo has been used to help the symptoms of this condition, helping to aid alertness and memory
    • Vertigo - Ginkgo has also had positive effects on helping people who suffer from vertigo, by relieving the dizziness, and nausea.
    Suggested Dosage Ginkgo Biloba powder- Take 3 to 5 grams, 1/2 to 1 teaspoons up to three times a day Use mixed with juice or milk.

    Golden Rod

    Golden Rod 125g has astringent and diuretic properties and can be taken internally against diarrhoea as well as urinary infections and stones. Because of the diuretic effect, it reduces toxins in the body which helps to relieve arthritis and gout.

    Taken as a hot tea it will bring down fevers and help clear catarrh as well as relieving colic, nausea and period pains. A cold compress on fresh wounds will help because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

    Native Americans used golden rod as a lotion for bee stings.

    Goldenrod is used to

    • reduce pain and swelling (inflammation)
    • as a diuretic to increase urine flow
    • and to stop muscle spasms
    • also useful in joint pain (rheumatism)
    • as well as eczema and other skin conditions
    Goldenrod is also useful in the treatment of
    • diabetes
    • enlargement of the liver
    • haemarroids
    • internal bleeding
    • hay fever
    • asthma
    • and an enlarged prostate.

    Goldenrod is used as a mouth rinse for inflammation of the mouth and throat, and it is also applied directly to the skin to improve wound healing.

    Goldenrod contains chemicals that increase urine flow and have anti-swelling (anti-inflammatory) effects.

    It helps with
    • bladder infections
    • kidney stones
    • seasonal allergies (allergic rhinitis)
    • arthritis
    • a tasty tea high in antioxidants
    • bleeding disorders
    • fevers
    • bleeding
    • diarrhoea
    • fungal infections
    • venous insufficiency
    • and oedema.

    Green Tea
    green tea new

    Green Tea - It is suggested that green tea has diverse health benefits as

    • an astringent
    • antioxidant
    • cardiotonic
    • diuretic
    • stimulant
    • and virucide.
    It has been used as a medicine for thousands of years to treat everything from headaches to depression, originating in China but widely used throughout Asia this beverage has a multitude of uses from lowering blood pressure to preventing cancer.
    • Weight Loss - Green tea increases the metabolism
    • In diabetes, green tea apparently helps regulate glucose levels slowing the rise of blood sugar after eating. This can prevent high insulin spikes and resulting fat storage
    • It is also useful in flatulence
    • regulating the body temperature and blood sugar
    • as a digestive
    • and to improve mental processes.
    In traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, green tea has been used to treat
    • asthma
    • angina pectoris
    • peripheral vascular disease
    • and coronary artery disease.
    The tea may be useful in lowering LDL (bad cholesterol] and raising HDL [good cholesterol]. Recently it has been used to protect skin from sun damage because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. Green tea is also thought to protect the liver against alcohol and may aid Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis and because of the way it regulates glucose in the body, diabetes. It should not be taken by those with caffeine intolerance and pregnant ladies or those breastfeeding. To sum up
    • compounds in Green Tea can improve Brain Function and Make You Smarter
    • Green Tea Increases Fat Burning and Improves Physical Performance
    • Antioxidants in Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Various Types of Cancer
    • Green Tea May Protect Your Brain in Old Age, Lowering Your Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
    • Green Tea Can Kill Bacteria, Which Improves Dental Health and Lowers Your Risk of Infection
    • Green Tea May Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
    • Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight and Lower Your Risk of Becoming Obese
    • Green Tea May Decrease Your Risk of Dying and Help You Live Longer
    • and it tastes good too!!!

    Ground Ivy
    Ground Ivy 1

    Ground Ivy - Latin Name: Glechoma hederacea syn. Nepeta glechoma, Nepeta hederacea, Calamintha hederacea, Chamaecissos hederaceus. Plant Family: Lamiaceae. Other Names: Ground-Ivy, Alehoof, Gill-Over-The-Ground, Creeping Charlie, Haymaids, Tunhoof, Hedgemaids & Catsfoot.

    This perennial, creeping herb is native to Europe and western Asia and can also now be found in North America. It grows to around 15cm in height and can form dense carpets on the ground. Its leaves are 2-3cm in diameter, reniform (kidney or fan shaped), opposite and apple green in colour, stems are square a characteristic of many members of the Lamiaceae (mint) family. It’s tubular, lipped flowers are pale lilac to blue-violet, the plant gives off a faint minty scent. The young leaves can be eaten in salads; a refreshing tea can also be made from the leaves.

    The word ‘Glechoma’ was derived from ‘glechon’, which is Greek for mint or thyme. ‘Hederaceae’ is Latin meaning ‘ivy-like’ and probably refers to either the leaf shape or creeping habit of the weed. It has several medicinal uses, and is used as a salad green in many countries. Ground Ivy has been used medicinally for centuries, and for the Angelo-Saxons it was appreciated as a flavouring, clarifier, and preservative for beer.

    • Ground Ivy is useful in cases like colic, gas, heartburn, diarrhoea etc. Ground ivy infusion is also used as an herbal remedy for colic in babies. It can be used to solve digestive issues in children just like the herb Catnip.
    • Ground ivy is used for treating medical conditions related to the ears, nose and throat (ENT issues). As a traditional medicine, Ground ivy tea is used to treat cold symptoms, allergic rhinitis, bronchitis, asthma, ear infection, sinus infection, chest congestion, sore throat and for drying up nasal secretions & phlegm. It is also used to bring down fever. It is often combined with other herbs and used as a snuff or is stuffed into the nostrils to solve a headache.
    • Historically, ground ivy was used in tea form to cool and heal the eyes. Herbal tea made from Ground ivy is called gill tea and is considered an all-purpose herbal formula. Ground ivy infusion is used as a wash to help with sore eyes, black eyes, watery eyes, itchiness, spots, cataracts, inflammation of the eyes and poor eye sight.
    • Ground ivy has diuretic actions and can be beneficial against kidney related issues like slow urine and burning sensation while passing urine. It is also related with the treatment of stones in the urinary tract.
    • Ground ivy is considered an excellent poultice for treating skin related infections and abscesses. The herbal infusion can be applied to oily skin and can also close pores.
    • The herb is also used as a liver tonic and speeds the healing of bruises and black eyes
    • Combined with Yarrow or Chamomile Flowers it is said to make an excellent poultice for abscesses and tumours.

    Add 1 tblsp of dried herb to half cup of boiling water and steep for 10 minutes. Take half cup a day to cure liver disorders. Alternately steep 2 tsp. of fresh or dried herb in 1 cup water for 10 min. flavour with peppermint or honey to taste take in half cup doses twice a day.

    It’s unsafe to use ground ivy if you are pregnant. It could cause a miscarriage. It’s also best to avoid ground ivy if you are breast-feeding, or if you are suffering from kidney disease. Always thoroughly research any new herb you are considering using. If you are taking prescribed drugs or have ongoing medical problems, discuss with your medical practitioner first.

    Heather Flowers Nature’s Gift
    Heather Flowers 1

    Heather Flowers Nature's Gift. Calluna vulgaris. Plant Family: Ericaceae. The dried heather flowers can be added to potpourri to add a bright splash of bright colour and to decorative papers and to decorate soaps and cosmetics. Use on their own as a natural alternative to confetti, or mix with rose petals, lavender buds and cornflower petals. A decoction of the flowers can be added to lotions, creams and salves for the skin where an antiseptic action is required. Flowers can also be used in a poultice to ease chilblains.

    Heather is taken as a tea for kidney and lower urinary tract conditions, prostate enlargement, fluid retention, gout, arthritis, sleep disorders, breathing problems, cough, and colds. They also take it for digestive disorders such as diarrhea, spasms, and stomach pain (colic), and for diseases of the liver and gallbladder. It is sometimes used to cause sweating. In combination with other herbs, heather is used for treating diabetes, menstrual discomfort, menopause, and nervous exhaustion. Other uses include stimulation of digestion and regulation of the circulatory system. Some people add heather to bathwater for treating wounds. There's not enough information available to say How it works, it just does.

    Heather tea benefits a variety of functions in the body, and is an excellent way of cleansing toxins from organs and relieving inflammatory pains. The many heather tea benefits are provided by the active ingredients, which include types of quercetin, dihydroxychromone, flavonoids and tannin. As an ancient folk remedy among northern European countries, heather tea has likely been utilized for medicinal purposes for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The tea has been reported to alleviate certain inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, while also improving symptoms of gout and cystitis. It wasn’t until the modern age that researchers could more accurately pinpoint the therapeutic properties of the plant, and determine additional uses as a natural health therapy. The heather tea benefits perhaps most widely recognized are its effects as a bladder and gastro-intestinal cleanser. From the treatment of bladder, kidney, and liver infections to the potential natural removal of parasites, heather tea has a strong cleansing effect on the body. Upon the onset of such an infection, it’s recommended to steep 3 cups of heather tea per day until the infection goes away. Heather tea may not only slow the progression of such infections, but also assist with overall bodily health by helping to remove the buildup of toxins in various organs, therefore potentially preventing other diseases further down the road.

    These detoxification properties have made heather tea into a favorite among natural health experts who specialize in colonic cleansing. However, be cautious about taking excess amounts of the tea. In fact, it’s only recommended to drink heather tea during the course of an infection, as excessive use is known to cause side effects, including potential liver damage. If you are taking other medications, especially drugs related to the urinary and gastro-intestinal tract, then it’s especially important that you speak to a doctor familiar with natural health practices for expert guidance before beginning treatment. Always thoroughly research any new herb you are considering using, and if pregnant, breastfeeding or taking prescribed drugs, book an appointment with your healthcare professional first.

    This Heather Flower Tea is the perfect herbal hot tea drink for Winter time or any time of the year when you find yourself in need of restoration. The tea that dried heather flowers makes is strong and very “herbal” and this is what makes it so good when one is in need of strong cup of tea. You will need 2 tablespoons heather flowers, 2 cups hot water, honey, optional, lemon slices, optional. Bring the water to a boil and pour over heather flowers in a cafetiere or tea infuser. Allow to steep for about 10 minutes, strain and pour into a mug with a teaspoon of honey if liked and a slice of fresh lemon. It is recommended to have no more than 1-2 cups of heather flower tea at a time because too much can cause liver damage.

    Herbal Teas
    Chamomile-Tea
    Herbal Teas.

    Herbal tea can be made with fresh or dried flowers, leaves, seeds or roots, generally by pouring boiling water over the plant parts and letting them steep for a few minutes. Seeds and roots can also be boiled on a stove. The herbal tea is then strained and sweetened if so desired, preferably with honey.

    Herbal teas have been used medicinally for centuries, particularly by Native Americans, the Egyptians and the Chinese. Herbs have been our companions for ages. They have healed, soothed pain and improved well-being for many centuries before tea leaves and coffee tree beans were discovered. Although we cannot deny the progress in modern medicine, herbs are still very valuable remedies for many ailments. They are caffeine-free, can take away headaches, can be anti-inflammatory, strengthen tissue cells found all over the body, and so protects the body from ageing, protect from external pollutants, are great tonics, help in skin conditions, ulcers, lower bad and increase good cholesterol, and many more benefits.

    Horsetail
    horsetail-nov-2016

    Horsetail is useful if you have brittle finger nails, nose bleeds or earache and makes an excellent eye wash. It is a store house of vitamins and minerals and so makes a tonic for general debility and the tea enriches the blood and revitalises lifeless hair. Its astringent properties strengthen the walls of veins, tightening up varicose veins and helps guard against fatty deposits in the arteries.

    Make a decoction of 50g herb to 1.5 pints of water boiled for 20 minutes and soak nails in it to harden them.

    Horsetail is an astringent herb and has a diuretic action. It has an affinity for the urinary tract where it can be used to

    • sooth inflammation
    • haemorrhaging
    • cystic ulceration
    • ulcers
    • cystitis
    • and to treat infections.

    • It is considered a specific remedy in cases of inflammation or benign enlargement of the prostate gland
    • and is also used to quicken the removal of kidney stones.

    Its toning and astringent action make it of value in the treatment of incontinence and bed-wetting in children.

    It may be applied to such conditions as
    • urethritis
    • or cystitis with haematuria
    • reducing haemorrhage
    • and healing wounds thanks to the high silica content.

    This local astringent and anti-haemorrhagic effect explains the application of horsetail to such conditions as bleeding from the mouth, nose and vagina, its use to check diarrhoea, dysentery and bleeding from the bowel, and for slow-healing wounds, chilblains and conjunctivitis.

    The horsetail constitutes one of the most diuretic species in all the plants. As a diuretic it is particularly suited to metabolic or hormonal oedema during the menopause. The diuretic action is thought to be due partly to the flavonoids and saponins.

    It may be taken internally to stop

    • bleeding from ulcers
    • or curb heavy menstrual bleeding.

    It may also be used as a gargle and mouth rinse for sore throat and bleeding gums or mouth ulcers.

    Externally it is a vulnerary and may also be applied as

    • a compress to fractures and sprains
    • wounds
    • sores
    • skin problems
    • and a gargle for mouth and gum inflammations.

    Icelandic Moss
    Icelandic Moss 2

    Iceland moss is a lichen. Lichens consist of algae and fungus growing together in a mutually helpful relationship. Lichens draw their nutrients from the environment and are easily contaminated. They grow well in Iceland because it is one of the least polluted countries in the world. Most of the lichens in Europe were contaminated by the fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident, but Iceland received much less radioactivity, and the lichens were relatively safe.

    Iceland moss is used for treating

    • irritation of the mouth and throat
    • loss of appetite
    • common cold
    • dry cough
    • bronchitis
    • indigestion
    • fevers
    • lung disease
    • kidney and bladder complaints
    • and the tendency toward infection.

    Some people apply Iceland moss directly to poorly healing wounds.

    In foods, Iceland moss is used as an emergency food source in Iceland, a highly nutritious food source. The lichens were prepared in a number of ways ranging from Iceland Moss milk, Iceland Moss porridge and breads to offal dishes and to make tea. Icelandic Moss was and still is a valuable food source for reindeer, caribou, musk oxen and moose. In manufacturing, Iceland moss is used as a flavoring in alcoholic beverages.

    The working of this Icelandic moss seems to be in the soothing action it has and it might also reduce the growth of bacteria. It is thought that Icelanders have been using Icelandic Moss since the time of settlement in 874. The first mention of Iceland moss use in Iceland is in Jónsbók (Book of Laws) from 1281, which states that it is forbidden to trespass on other farms to pick lichens. The Icelandic sagas also contain references to lichen picking expeditions where women and children went up on horseback into the mountains to pick it, with one adult man in attendance for supervision.They slept in tents and packed the lichen in skin bags - Icelandic Moss was a life-saver in hard times. Since grain growing in Iceland never took off due to the unsuitable climate and terrain, moss was their staple. The more moss that was growing on a persons property, the more valuable the land was considered.

    Thought to be the very first lichen used as food by humans, Icelandic Moss is one of forty species of Cetraria. It has been used in European folk medicine for centuries, primarily as a remedy for coughs and other ailments of the respiratory system. It was also traditionally used as a galactagogue - a herb that stimulates milk flow in breastfeeding mothers. Whilst it grows in many alpine areas of the Northern Hemisphere, it is most famous for growing abundantly on the mineral-rich volcanic soil, in the pure, unpolluted air of the ancient lava fields in Iceland.

    Icelandic Moss has a beneficial use against coughs, colds and bronchitis, and is also powerfully antibiotic, containing usnic acid and other lichen acids that combat bacteria and viruses. Icelandic Moss is classed as a bitter herb – it stimulates digestive enzymes and enhances the body’s ability to absorb nutrients whilst it is in itself a highly nutritious food. So is very important to digestive health.

    Icelandic Moss tea is made by pouring 1 cup of boiling water over 1–2 tsp of powdered Iceland Moss. The mixture is covered and steeped for 10–15 minutes. Honey can be added to the tea to sweeten and enhance its healing properties.

    Ladies bedstraw

    Ladies bedstraw, commonly called clivers, cleavers or goosegrass, may be used in many nervous conditions and makes an excellent cleansing remedy to remove toxins and to reduce heat and inflammation.

    It has diuretic properties and helps improve lymphatic circulation which makes it efficient for

    • fluid retention
    • skin problems including eczema, psoriasis, acne, boils
    • urinary infections & stones
    • arthritis
    • and gout.

    Its cooling effect reduces fevers and helps to resolve infections such as measles and chickenpox as well as inflammatory problems like arthritis and cystitis. It improves digestion and stimulates the liver. Its main claim to fame has been its role as an effective green medicine in cases of skin conditions, such as psoriasis, and as a successful diuretic.

    A tea prepared from this herb helps

    • detoxify the liver
    • kidneys
    • spleen
    • and pancreas.

    Once used to stop bleeding, this plant medicine contains an ingredient used in dicouramil, a drug employed to stop blood clotting. Lady's Bedstraw is considered to be very useful in treatment of bladder and kidney stones, and in cystitis. The frothy, yellow flowers of Lady's Bedstraw scent the air of our grasslands, chalk downlands, meadows, heaths and sand dunes with honey. The stems can be so dense with flowers that they carpet the grass with yellow from June to September. Dried, this flower has the scent of new-mown hay, and its name is probably derived from the tradition of stuffing straw mattresses with it, particularly those of women about to give birth.The first-century Greek physician Dioscorides prescribed an ointment of bedstraw to treat burns, and the seventeenth-century English herbalist Culpeper found it useful for treating children’s skin disorders.

    Ladies Mantle
    ladys-mantle-herb

    Lady's Mantle is found both in the wild and in cultivated gardens. It has a time honored traditional use as a woman's healing herb. It contains salicylic acid and has sedative properties that help to alleviate cramps and painful menstruation. Ladies Mantle has astringent and styptic properties, on account of the tannin it contains. It has a 'drying and binding character', according to the old herbals expressed and was traditionally considered one of the best vulneraries or wound herbs. Cuts, scrapes, and burns can be treated with skin washes of lady's mantle to prevent infection.

    For centuries, European women have been using lady's mantle tea – a caffeine-free tisane made by infusing dried leaves of the Alchemilla vulgaris or related species – to relieve menstrual cramps and to treat sore throats. In Arab countries, this antioxidant-rich herbal infusion has traditionally been used to promote weight loss and to reduce inflammation and gastrointestinal pain. In recent years the scientific community has shown interest in the potential health benefits of lady's mantle tea, and some of the traditional medicinal uses of this herb have in fact been substantiated by scientific studies. If you ask a herbalist about the health benefits of lady's mantle tea, you will likely hear something about the use of lady's mantle as a natural remedy for menstrual problems or other hormone-dependent conditions affecting women. In herbalism, lady's mantle is commonly used to prevent and treat menstrual cramps, excessive menstrual bleeding, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids. Proponents of herbal and folk remedies may also recommend lady's mantle tea for muscle spasms, diarrhea, nausea and certain gastrointestinal disorders.

    Lady’s mantle is a powerful female herb for anytime during a women’s reproductive life. It helps relieve mild aches and pains during menstruation, with a tea or tincture able to stop spotting between periods and lessening excessive menstrual bleeding. Lady’s mantle has astringent qualities so it is useful for loose stools, and shrinking sores in one’s mouth or skin. Lady’s mantle is also helpful for the menopausal years, easing those troubling symptoms due to its astringent and anti-inflammatory actions. Deb Soule (1998) suggests that a tea of lady’s mantle and raspberry leaves taken daily for 3 weeks is helpful for a prolapsed uterus. De Bairacli Levy (1973) was well aware of lady’s mantle as a female tonic and remedy for the “organs of generation.” She writes that lady’s mantle is used to cure barrenness (infertility) and restore normal menstruation, as well as to treat heart ailments and diabetes. Though, perhaps, left to folklore, there is still much left to say about this plant if only we continue to explore its powers!

    To make your uterus happy brew a tea with 1tsp to 1 tablespoon of this herbal mixture: 1/2 cup lady’s mantle 1/2 cup red raspberry leaf and 1/4 cup lemon balm (you can add more to taste). Steep a tablespoon of herbs in a generous cup of hot water for about 5-10 minutes and strain. Begin drinking the tea about a week before you are expecting your period. If you have problems with heavy cramping, try drinking a cup (warm or iced) every day of the month.:)

    Lemon balm

    Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and is considered a calming herb. This herb is also known as Melissa officinalis, and it has been used for centuries to reduce anxiety, promote sleep and improve symptoms of indigestion. Lemon balm has been researched by experts and found to offer many great health benefits

    Lemon balm was once used to relieve headaches and to ease toothache. In the Middle Ages, Lemon Balm was often steeped in wine to help boost the spirits, today it is still one of the ingredients in Benedictine, as well as many other liqueurs, cordials and digestive drinks and is known to be anti-depressive. It is a soothing and nourishing tea, caffeine free, with a pleasant, sweetly, mild citrus flavour and a delightful aroma, which is ideal as a pre-bedtime drink. To make a cup of lemon balm tea add 1-2g of the tea to a teapot or infuser - depending on how strong you like your tea – and pour over enough fresh boiling water as required. Strain into a cup, sweeten with honey and serve. Serve without milk. Lemon balm tea can also be served chilled like iced tea. A good tea to ease exam nerves. The tea can also be used to make syrup, jam, jelly and alcoholic beverages. Lemon balm is also

    • antihistamine
    • antiviral
    • anti-stress
    • antiflatulant
    • a febrifuge
    • mild tranquiliser
    • and a nerve relaxant
    • and is useful in the treatment of
    • migraine
    • dizziness
    • nervous stomach
    • lack of energy
    • insomnia
    • urinary infection
    • and nervous excitability.
    Lemon Balm is easily grown in the garden although it tends to become invasive so pot grown may be better. Pick 3 or 4 leaves to make the tea as above. Needs no sweetening. The insect-repellant essential oils lemon balm contains include citronella and monoterpenaldehydes citral A and B. The caffeic and rosmarinic acids in lemon balm offer profound antibacterial and antiviral properties when taken in both oral and topical forms. Topical lemon balm has been shown to reduce redness and itching from infections and eczema. These acids are particularly effective against strep throat, mumps and herpes among other things. The recommended dosage for the powder is 300-500 mg taken three times daily or as needed.As always with herbs - research your herb thoroughly before using it. Lemon balm is not to be used in high amounts (trace amounts are ok) in pregnant women and individuals taking the thyroid medication thyroxine. Also, caution should be used when giving oral treatments to infants and children. Breastfeeding women should also avoid taking large clinical doses of lemon balm as well.

    Lemon Verbena

    Lemon Verbena tea is mildly antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and astringent, making the tea a good addition to homemade skin and hair cosmetics. Add to baths to help wake you up. Lemon verbena tea is a pleasant caffeine free tea substitute which has a delightful citrusy aroma and flavour. To make a mug of tea see lemon balm tea. The tea can be used to flavour syrups, jellies, puddings and confectionary. An infusion of the tea can also be added to the bath water and to homemade hair rinses. Lemon verbena has been used for a variety of ailments including

    • relief of digestive tract spasms
    • reduction of fever
    • strengthening of the nervous system
    • stress relief
    • and as an anti-spasmodic and expectorant.
    Lemon verbena has the ability to help break down cellulite, as well as to exert a soothing, healing and toning effect on the skin. It makes a delicious tea and can be drunk anytime as it is relaxing and soothing. Lemon verbena tea is believed to help regulate the menstrual cycle and assist with symptoms of PMS. Lemon verbena essential oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory, fever reducer and sedative. It is generally inhaled for
    • stress
    • insomnia
    • depression
    • and nervous fatigue.
    Lemon verbena essential oil has also proven beneficial during an asthmatic crisis. Due to its strong antiviral properties, lemon verbena essential oil can be applied directly to a cold sore to reduce pain and symptoms.

    Lemon Verbena Digestive Insomnia
    Lemon Verbena 1

    Lemon Verbena Digestive Insomnia. Lemon verbena is used for digestive disorders including

    • indigestion
    • gas
    • colic
    • diarrhea
    • and constipation./li>
    It is also used for
    • agitation
    • joint pain
    • insomnia
    • asthma
    • colds
    • fever
    • hemorrhoids
    • varicose veins
    • skin conditions
    • and chills.

    Lemon verbena is an amazing and often underrated herb that's highly valued for its therapeutic and health benefits. It also has a wonderful lemony aroma and refreshing flavour. Typical uses of lemon verbena are as a herb or for steeping to make a delicious lemon flavoured herbal tea.

    In the kitchen, lemon verbena is known to be used in sweet cocktails and iced teas, as well as a garnish for salads and fruit cups. It’s also an ingredient in dessert recipes such as cookies, ice cream, puddings and jellies. Since the herb is so potent a little goes a long way in recipes. It also makes a great hot tea on its own or in a mix with other herbs. Lemon verbena’s fresh citrus scent has even led to its inclusion in fragrances and scented sachets.

    Lemon verbena has been used for centuries, if not millennia. There's is a long history of its use in traditional medicine for treating

    • colds
    • fever
    • anxiety
    • indigestion
    • spasms
    • and insomnia
    It is also popular as an infusion for boosting the immune system and a natural aid for weight loss.

    The lemon verbena plant is a woody shrub with lance-shaped, light green leaves and small white or lilac flowers. A fully grown shrub can reach up to 2-3 metres high. When bruised, the leaves release a powerful lemony scent, from which its name is derived. Scientifically, it's known as Aloysia citrodora or (confusingly) also Lippia citriodora or Aloysia triphylla. The multiple scientific names are due to several reclassifications over the course of history. Of the more popular lemon-scented herbs, lemon verbena is probably the lesser known. Both lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and lemongrass (Cymbopogon) are more popular but not because they are necessarily better. A properly cultivated lemon verbena generally has a stronger lemony flavour and aroma than lemon balm or lemongrass. Although native to South America, lemon verbena has been cultivated in Europe for centuries. Nowadays, lemon verbena is widely cultivated, mostly for its oil (used in cosmetics and candles) and for consumption as a herbal tea.

    Lemon verbena makes a deliciously refreshing and balmy infusion. It's soothing and relaxing, naturally caffeine free and full of health-boosting properties.The infusion is made by steeping fresh or dried lemon verbena leaves for about five minutes. Always use freshly boiled water. Fresh water is important as this helps extract the best flavour. However, the primary factor affecting flavour and aroma is the leaf quality.

    There is a long history of lemon verbena consumption in South America. It is believed that, in ancient times, the Incas were the first who discovered its beneficial properties. Lemon verbena is still widely used as a traditional medicine these days. Many academic studies have been undertaken to evaluate lemon verbena. These show that lemon verbena possesses several beneficial properties, including antioxidant, anti-anxiety, and anti-inflammatory effects.The studies also validate the majority of traditional therapeutic and health-boosting claims. However, more work still remains to completely understand the exact workings – particularly regarding the potential synergistic effects of the various biological components. It is a useful herb to use for a detox & for its immunity boosting properties.

    As an aid to natural slimming, it has been shown to suppress the appetite, helping curb those irresistible cravings for snacks or sweets. Drinking lemon verbena tea between meals can, therefore, help you stick to your diet and achieve your weight-loss goals. In addition to the natural appetite suppressing property, which prevents overeating, lemon verbena tea also promotes the burning of fat, stimulates the breakdown of cellulite, and regulates the metabolism.

    Lemon verbena makes a soothing and relaxing infusion. Finding time for yourself to enjoy a delicious cup of tea relieves tension and helps reduce stress. But the components in lemon verbena give an extra boost as they have a mildly calming effect on the nervous system and help relieve muscle tension. These calming and tension releasing properties aid in reducing nerves, anxiety, and stress. Studies have indicated that verbascoside, a biological component in the lemon verbena leaf, is the main ingredient responsible for the stress and anxiety reducing properties.

    Many take advantage of lemon verbena's calming effects as an aid to sleep disorders such as insomnia. The same properties that help reduce tension and stress can calm the body and mind and help one prepare for a good night’s sleep. Lemon verbena is also rich in melatonin, a hormone in our bodies that increases as night approaches. Its production is stimulated by darkness and causes you to become sleepy. Drinking lemon verbena tea is a natural way to help increase the amount of melatonin in your body. Lemon verbena's ability to soothe and relax, its rich melatonin content, and lack of caffeine make it an ideal evening drink. It can help one to wind down, relax the body, and calm the mind for easing into a restful night's sleep.

    In many cultures, lemon verbena tea has historically been used to promote digestion. Similar to other herbs renowned for their beneficial digestive properties, lemon verbena can soothe your tummy, through its antispasmodic qualities. This means it calms the gastrointestinal tract. By doing so, it can help reduce symptoms from, for example, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), indigestion, cramping, or bloating. This allows the digestive tract to function as intended.‎

    The biological components in lemon verbena have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidant properties of the plant are also beneficial for reducing the inflammatory effects of oxidative elements.This ability of lemon verbena to contain and reduce inflammation could, for example, help ease joint pain or other inflammatory induced ailments.

    Studies have shown the unique qualities of lemon verbena can prevent muscle damage in athletes when taken as a pre-workout supplement. It is lemon verbena's antioxidant properties combined with its ability to suppress inflammation that have been linked to damage prevention and repair of muscle tissue. What's more, taking lemon verbena as a pre-workout supplement has been shown to not inhibit the growth or development of muscle.

    It has been scientifically proven that lemon verbena contains biologically active substances with antipyretic properties, i.e., substances that reduce fever. Therefore, it is no surprise that in South American folk medicine, lemon verbena has a long history as a trusted herb for reducing fevers. Lemon verbena's ability to reduce fevers along with its restorative and antioxidant properties, make it an excellent tea for naturally combating a high temperature and kick-starting recovery.

    The final health benefit of lemon verbena is its property as a natural expectorant. An expectorant helps loosen up mucus and phlegm, clearing congestion in the respiratory tracts.

    Marigold Flowers
    marigold flowers july 2016
    Marigold Flowers are also known as Calendula. See Calendula in the Herbal Information Pages for details of its uses.
    Marshmallow Flowers

    Marshmallow. Because of its high mucilage content, it soothes or cures

    • inflammation
    • ulcers
    • sore throats
    • and the pain of cystitis.
    Infuse the leaves or flowers to make a gargle. An infusion of the root is useful for coughs, diarrhoea and insomnia. Marshmallow is useful in the treatment of dry coughs because of its antitussive, mucilaginous, and antibacterial properties, and prevents further irritation.. More recently, marshmallow has been used to treat certain digestive disorders, including:
    • heartburn
    • indigestion
    • ulcerative colitis
    • stomach ulcers
    • and Chroane's disease.
    The mechanism by which it soothes sore throats applies to gastrointestinal mucosa as well and regular consumption of marshmallow can help with the pain of ulcerative colitis and Chroane's, and prevent stomach ulcers from perforation. Marshmallow extract is sometimes added to creams and used to treat inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema and contact dermatitis. Additional uses are currently being investigated. There is tentative evidence that marshmallow may also help with respiratory disorders such as asthma. Researchers may soon test marshmallow as a natural alternative to blood sugar management in diabetes. All of the mallows bear lovely but short-lasting blossoms with thin, moist petals that become sticky if crushed. Althea is from the Greek althino, meaning "I cure." It is so named because mallow has been used medicinally for centuries. The Greeks used marshmallow to treat
    • wounds
    • toothaches
    • coughing
    • and insect stings.
    The Romans valued marshmallow roots and leaves for their laxative properties. Mallow is mentioned by Hippocrates and Culpepper in their herbal treatises. The confection marshmallows are so named because they were originally flavored with the roots of this herb.

    Marshmallow Leaves
    marshmallow leaves july 2016

    Marshmallow is most commonly used to ease sore throats and dry coughs. The Marshmallow plant, especially the leaves and roots, contains polysaccharides that have antitussive, mucilaginous, and antibacterial properties. Because of this, marshmallow has a soothing effect on inflamed membranes in the mouth and throat when ingested orally, specifically a sore throat. The antitussive properties help reduce dry coughing and prevent further irritation.More recently, marshmallow has been used to treat certain digestive disorders, including heartburn, indigestion, ulcerative colitis, stomach ulcers and Crohn's disease. The mechanism by which it soothes sore throats applies to gastrointestinal mucosa as well and regular consumption of marshmallow can help with the pain of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's, and prevent stomach ulcers from perforation. Marshmallow extract is sometimes added to creams and used to treat inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema and contact dermatitis. Additional uses are currently being investigated. Marshmallow may be a helpful aid to radiologic esophageal examination. There is tentative evidence that marshmallow may also help with respiratory disorders such as asthma. Researchers may soon test marshmallow as a natural alternative to blood sugar management in diabetes. The roots and leaves of the marshmallow are the parts most commonly used medicinally. Marshmallow can be commonly found in the form of tinctures, capsules and tea. The preferred form and dosage depends on the specific ailment being treated. For stomach ulcers and indigestion, tea works well. Pre-made teas can be purchased or tea can be made by using two to five teaspoons of either powdered root or dried leaves and and boiling them in five ounces of water. Tea containing both powdered root and dry leaves appears to be most effective.

    Mate Tea

    Primarily, Yerba Mate serves as a great substitute for coffee by providing great levels of energy without causing the usual jitteriness and thus reducing the amount coffee you are used to drinking. It helps to keep you alert and suppresses your appetite yet provides your body with all the nutrients needed to sustain life including 24 vitamins and minerals and 15 amino acids. If that is not enough for you, here are just a few of the documented health benefits of Yerba-Mate Tea:

    • Great Diet Aid
    • Increases Focus
    • Increases Strength
    • Energy, and Endurance
    • Reduces Blood Pressure
    • Reduces Cholesterol
    • Reduces Fatigue
    • Contains Antioxidants
    • Contains 15 Amino Acids
    • Contains 24 Vitamins and Minerals
    • Strengthens the Immune System
    • Best natural remedy for constipation by softening the faecal mass
    • Increases Creativity
    • Rejuvenates
    • Breaks Down Fat (Lipolytic)
    • Balances Sleep Patterns
    • Increases Libido
    • Delivers Oxygen to the Heart and Lungs During Exercise
    • Diuretic
    • Is a Whole Body Tonic.
    Yerba Mate, an invigorator of the mind and body, a natural source of nutrition, and a health promoter par excellence, deserves the attention of every person interested in optimum health. Mate tea was introduced to colonizing and modern civilizations by the primitive Guarani Indians of Paraguay and Argentina and has seemingly always been the most common ingredient in household cures of the Guarani. In modern Argentina and Paraguay, however, Mate tea has become almost pathologically ritualized in a manner reminiscent of coffee and tea abuse in Western and Eastern countries. Among the native Guarani, on the other hand, the natural use of Mate for healthful purposes has persisted. They use it to
    • boost immunity
    • cleanse and detoxify the blood
    • tone the nervous system
    • restore youthful hair color
    • retard aging
    • combat fatigue
    • stimulate the mind
    • control the appetite
    • reduce the effects of debilitating disease
    • reduce stress
    • and eliminate insomnia.
    Mate (flex paraguariensis) is an evergreen member of the holly family. It grows wild in Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Brazil, but is most abundant in Paraguay where it is also cultivated.

    Milk Thistle Seeds
    Milk Thistle Seeds 1

    Milk Thistle Seeds. Silybum marianum syn. Carduus lactifolius, Carduus marianus, Centaurea dalmatica, Mariana lacteal. Plant Family: AsteraceaeOther Names: Marian Thistle, Mary Thistle, Our Lady's Thistle, Lady's Thistle, Dappled Thistle, Thistle Finch.

    Native to the Mediterranean this biennial herb can also be found growing throughout Europe and has settled itself into Californian and Australian landscapes. The seeds also called achene’s, are produced when the flowers fade, the unprocessed ripe seed have fine white silky hairs attached, which help the seed to float on the breeze to disperse to new areas like the seed of the dandelion. The processed seeds are light brown and approximately 3-5m in length. The roasted seed has been used as a substitute for coffee; the whole seeds can also be added to breads, biscuits and cereal bars. Oil is extracted from the seeds and used in the cosmetics industry for adding to skin creams and lotions. Originally, the tea was used to treat liver ailments and snake bites, but was later used to treat skin rashes, kidney disease, and spleen problems. Due to its gentle reaction on the skin, milk thistle tea mixtures or extracts are often used in modern beauty care products.

    Milk thistle seeds can be used as part of a detox tea. The active ingredient in milk thistle is called silymarin. It is mainly used to treat liver problems, but some people claim it can lower cholesterol and help manage type 2 diabetes. Milk thistle is a flowering plant that comes from the same family of plants as the daisy. It grows in Mediterranean countries and is used to make natural remedies.

    • Milk thistle may help to promote healthy skin. A 2015 study found that milk thistle helped improve inflammatory skin conditions when applied to the skin of mice. Milk thistle was also found to have antioxidant and anti-ageing effects on human skin cells in a laboratory environment in another study.
    • Initial animal research conducted in 2016 found that silymarin caused weight loss in mice that were fed a diet intended to cause weight gain. This suggests milk thistle may be beneficial for those looking to lose weight. More research into the effects of milk thistle on weight loss in humans is needed to confirm this, however.
    • Milk thistle may play an essential role in supporting bone health. A 2013 study found that milk thistle helped to prevent bone loss. The study looked specifically at bone loss caused by a deficiency in oestrogen. It is not yet clear whether milk thistle is equally beneficial for bone loss with a different cause. Further studies are needed before it is safe to conclude that milk thistle supports bone health in humans.
    • A 2015 study found that milk thistle increased resistance to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a potential cause of Alzheimer’s disease. In this way, milk thistle may help improve cognition and treat degenerative conditions that affect the mind. Again more research on humans is needed.
    • Milk thistle may help strengthen a person’s immune response and help them fight off infection. A 2016 study on an animal model found that milk thistle extract improved the immunity when consumed. An older study found that milk thistle extract had a positive effect on immune response in humans.
    Milk thistle tea is quick and easy to make, and the primary way folks use this wild edible plant for its proclaimed natural medicinal properties.To make the tea: 1 tablespoon milk thistle seeds fresh loose, dried, or powdered; 1 teaspoon honey; 1 cup water; 1 teaspoon whole milk optional, but does make it creamier. Steep for about 5 minutes then strain. If drinking milk thistle tea, it is best to limit intake to 6 cups a day. When allowed to cool to at least room temperature, milk thistle tea with honey (omit the milk) can be used as a wound wash, skin rash or boil treatment.

    As with any natural remedy, people should discuss using milk thistle with a doctor before taking it. Always thoroughly research any new herb you are considering taking. And if pregnant, breastfeeding or taking prescription drugs, please talk to your healthcare provider first. Milk thistle may interact with some medications. This is of particular concern if a person is already receiving treatment for liver conditions. Because milk thistle is related to ragweed, folks who suffer from related allergies should not consume this wild edible plant or items made from it. The milk thistle can mimic the way oestrogen functions in the body, and could cause complications or ill effects on women who have endometriosis, breast cancer, fibroid tumours, or uterine cancer.

    Nettle
    stinging-nettles[1]

    The stinging nettle, Latin name Urtica dioica, has been used medicinally since at least 3 B.C. The plant can be eaten in a salad or cooked into soup, extracted with alcohol to make a tincture, or dried and taken in capsules or made into a tea. Traditional herbalism recognizes several uses of nettle tea. The plant has few known side effects, but as with any medicinal preparation, consult a health care practitioner before adding nettles to your diet or treatment plan. Nettle Tea is a great tonic and the leaves can be sprinkled into soups and broths to increase their dietary fibre and mineral content. Nettle tea can also be made as an infusion to flavour beer, wine and soup. In the 19th century, nettle seeds were taken to relieve goiter and treat thyroid symptoms. Today the main use of nettle seed tea is to relieve itching and swelling in skin infections and rejuvenate dry skin. The tea is brewed, cooled and applied topically as a rinse to the affected area. Or used to make a natural insecticide and mineral rich plant food for the garden. When used as a hair rinse it can be beneficial to dandruff prone hair and for strengthening weak and brittle hair. Nettles are

    • a blood tonic
    • hypoglycaemic
    • antiseptic
    • diuretic
    • expectorant
    • ypotensive
    • circulatory stimulant
    • anti-rheumatic
    • strengthens natural resistance
    • anti-haemorrhagic
    • and eliminates uric acid from the body.

    Nigella Seeds Nigella sativa
    Nigella 1 seeds
    Nigella Seeds Nigella sativa. Plant Family: Ranunculaceae. Other Names: Black Seed, Black Onion Seed, Black Cumin Seed. Also known as kalonji, it belongs to the buttercup family of flowering plants. Nigella seed comes from an annual flowering herb, native to south and southwest Asia and is now found growing throughout the Mediterranean. It grows to a height of 20–30 cm and has upright, branching stems. The herb has two kinds of leaves; the lower leaves are small and petiole, whilst the upper leaves are linear, finely divided, bright green in colour and approximately 6-10cm in length. The 5 petaled flowers grow terminally on each branch of the stem, and are white in colour. The seed head is a capsule, comprised of 5 ‘compartments’ each compartment contains numerous white seeds approximately 3mm in length, that ripen to black when exposed to the air, the seeds are 3 sided with ridged edges.

    Nigella seeds can be added to curries, soups and casseroles, they have a nutty, mildly peppery taste with a slightly cumin like edge, dry roasting the seeds prior to cooking with them enhances the flavour of the seed. Nigella is a key ingredient in the Bengali spice blend known as panch phora or panch puran. Sprinkle the seeds over dahl, bread, savoury muffins and flatbreads, stir into rice and grain dishes, pickles, chutneys and scrambled eggs and omelettes.

    Can be used in a diuretic tea blend. It has diuretic, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, anticancer and immunomodulatory, analgesic, antimicrobial, anthelmintics, analgesics and anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic, bronchodilator, gastroprotective, hepatoprotective, renal protective and antioxidant properties. The seeds of N. sativa are widely used in the treatment of various diseases like

    • bronchitis
    • asthma
    • diarrhea
    • rheumatism
    • and skin disorders.

    It is also used as
    • liver tonic
    • digestive
    • anti-diarrheal
    • appetite stimulant
    • emmenagogue
    • to increase milk production in nursing mothers
    • to fight parasitic infections
    • and to support immune system.

    Most of the therapeutic properties of this plant are due to the presence of thymoquinone (TQ) which is a major active chemical component of the essential oil.

    N. sativa has been traditionally used for the treatment of a variety of disorders, diseases and conditions pertaining to respiratory system, digestive tract, kidney and liver function, cardio vascular system and immune system support, as well as for general well-being. Black seeds and their oil have a long history of folklore usage in Indian and Arabian civilization as food and medicine. The seeds have been traditionally used in Southeast Asian and the Middle East countries for the treatment of several diseases and ailments including asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism and related inflammatory diseases. Its many uses have earned Nigella the Arabic approbation ‘Habbatul barakah’, meaning the seed of blessing.

    Effects: Antibacterial; Anti-fungal; Anti-schistosomiasis; Antioxidant; Anti-diabetic; Anticancer; Anti-inflammatory and analgesic; Immuno-modulatory; Cardiovascular; Gastro-protective; Hepato-protective; Nephro-protective; Pulmonary-protective & anti-asthmatic; Testicular-protective; Neuro-pharmacolgical; Anticonvulsant; and more.

    Applying kalonji may cause contact dermatitis in some people. Test-tube and animal studies have shown that it may also influence blood clotting and possibly slow down uterine contractions during pregnancy. May interfere with some prescribed drugs, so book an appointment with your GP before use, especially if pregnant or breastfeeding. Thoroughly research any new herb you are considering using.

    With a bitter taste that is described as a mix between oregano and onions, it is often found in Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisines. It’s usually lightly toasted and then ground or used whole to add flavor to bread or curry dishes. Some people also eat the seeds raw or mix them with honey or water. They can also be added to oatmeal, smoothies or yogurt.

    To make a tea, crush a tablespoon of nigella in a mortar and pestle; doesn't have to be too fine, you just want to release the essential oils. Place them in an infuser, Pour a cup of almost boiling water over and allow to steep 8 to 10 minutes. Strain, Flavor with milk (cow or soya), cream, honey or vanilla as desired. Add a couple of cloves or a star anise if liked. Another alternative addition is A few pieces of cinnamon to taste and a cardamom pod.

    Olive Leaves anti-inflammatory Heart Health
    Olive Leaves 1

    Olive Leaves anti-inflammatory Heart Health. The first formal medical mention of the olive leaf occurred about 150 years ago - an account describing its ability to cure severe cases of fever and malaria. In 1854, the Pharmaceutical Journal contained a report by David Hanbury that included this simple healing recipe: "Boil a handful of leaves in a quart of water down to half its original volume. Then administer the liquid in the amount of a wine glass every 3 - 4 hours until the fever is cured." The Olive Leaf was so important to the Ancient Egyptians that they regarded it as a symbol of heavenly power. Not only did they extract the oil to mummify their kings, it was used as a powerful defender against a wide variety of maladies too. This tree was so important it was referred to as the “Tree of Life” in the bible, held in such high esteem that Moses is said to have excluded olive tree growers from military service. In the early 1900’s scientists isolated a bitter compound, “oleuropein”, that was thought to give the olive tree its disease resistance. And so through the later 1900’s oleuropein was found to lower blood pressure in animals, increase blood flow in the coronary arteries, relieve arrhythmia and prevent internal muscle spasms.

    For Heart Health: The first way Olive Leaf can benefit the heart is by its ability to foster significant drops in elevated blood pressure – extracts have been shown to both prevent and treat high blood pressure. Secondly, Olive Leaf supports arterial health – the endothelial cells that line the arterial walls play a key role in maintaining blood flow and pressure, with endothelial dysfunction being one of the earliest stages of hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Olive Leaf can fight endothelial dysfunction on many levels; This powerful leaf also has multi-targeted anti-inflammatory effects which may help to prevent the oxidisation of LDL cholesterol which can damage arteries and, again, lead to atherosclerosis. Finally, polyphenol compounds found in olive leaves have been shown to help directly prevent the formation of arterial plaques (and thereby reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke)in two ways. First, they reduce the production and activity of a series of “adhesion molecules.” These substances cause white blood cells and platelets to stick to arterial walls, resulting in early plaque formation. Second, they reduce platelet aggregation (clumping) by multiple mechanisms, which in turn reduces the risk that tiny clots will form at sites of plaque to produce a stroke or heart attack.

    For Diabetes: Researchers from the University of Auckland have discovered extract of this leaf has the ability to decrease insulin resistance and increase the production of insulin by the pancreas. This effect is due to the olive leaf’s hypoglycaemic properties (lowers blood sugar in the body), and its ability to control blood glucose levels. The polyphenols in this leaf play a vital role in delaying the production of sugar, which is the pre-cursor to inflammatory diseases such as diabetes.

    The Immune system: Olive leaves have been traditionally used for centuries to support the immune system, maintain overall good health and to relieve symptoms of coughs, colds and flu. It has five times (400%) more antioxidant power than the equivalent amount of Vitamin C. The Olive Leaf also has anti-viral properties with research showing that extracts can effectively fight against a number of disease causing microbes. These powerful compounds destroy invading organisms and don’t allow viruses to replicate and cause infection.

    Olive leaves are also anti-fungal and can help with bone health

    Olive Leaf Tea: Use 30g of Olive Leaf per litre of water then boil until the water reduces to half the amount. Drink up to 2 cups per day - one in the morning and one in the evening. Can be drunk hot or iced with a slice of lemon.

    Olive Leaf Powder can be added to smoothies, encapsulated or mixed with a little water or juice. A typical dosage of Olive Leaf is one to two grams of powdered leaf up to three times per day.

    Pau D’arco Herb Wound Healing
    Pau D'arco 4

    Pau D'arco Herb Wound Healing, weight loss, skin and digestive health. Tabebuia impetiginosa syn. Tabebuia avellanedae. Plant Family: Bignoniaceae. Other Names: Trumpet Tree, Bow Tree. Pau d’arco is an evergreen tree in warm climates and deciduous in cold climates, native to South America which reaches a height of between 25-30 metres. The leaves are elliptically lanceolate, opposite and palmately compound with finely toothed edges. Dark to olive green in colour and 5-10cm in length. The flowers are tubular, with pink or magenta corolla and approximately 5-8cm in length.

    It has been used for centuries by South America Indians, as well as the ancient Incas and Aztecs to treat external wounds. The Guarani tribe revered the wood of the tree for making the bows they used to hunt; they called the tree Tajy which means ‘vigour’, a property that they hoped would transfer to the wielder of the bow when hunting. Extracts are added to ointments and salves to treat external wounds. An infusion of pau d’arco bark can be used as an insecticidal spray in the garden. The wood is naturally repellent to insects.

    Pau d’arco is a dietary supplement made from the inner bark of several species of Tabebuia trees that grow in Central and South America. Also known as taheebo or lapacho, pau d’arco has long been used to treat a range of ailments. As a supplement, it’s marketed to reduce inflammation and promote weight loss. Can be used in a de-tox tea and in a de-tox bath soak.

    Its incredibly dense and rot-resistant wood is used by native peoples to make hunting bows. What’s more, tribes have long used its inner bark as a treatment for stomach, skin, and inflammatory conditions. Research suggests that pau d’arco extract has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. While the exact mechanism remains unknown, pau d’arco is thought to inhibit the processes bacteria and fungi need to produce oxygen and energy. Pau d’arco extract is believed to inhibit inflammation — your body’s natural response to injury. While low levels of inflammation are beneficial, chronic inflammation is thought to lead to diseases, such as cancer, obesity, and heart disease, and may help treat inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis, which causes swelling, pain, and stiffness in your joints. Pau d’arco may aid weight loss by inhibiting dietary fat absorption. However, this may come with a number of side effects — and human research is needed. Traditionally, 2–3 teaspoons (10–15 grams) of the bark is simmered in water for 15 minutes and consumed as a tea 3 times per day. But the beneficial compounds believed to give pau d’arco its effects are poorly extracted in water.

    Due to a lack of human studies, the overall safety of pau d’arco is largely unknown. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or are taking prescribed drugs particularly blood thinning drugs, have a chat to your healthcare provider first.

    Put 2 teaspoons of bark into 4 cups of boiling water. Let the bark sit in the boiling water for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the bark cool for at least 1 hour. Strain the water. Drink tea in small portions throughout the day, or use tea water for external use and vaginal thrush.

    Plantain

    Plantain is found in most gardens, and is beloved of tortoises. Historically it is famous as a wound healer and antidote to poisons. The Greeks and Romans used it for skin infections and was a folk remedy for toothache and earache. Taken internally, plantain has a soothing action particularly in the respiratory, digestive and urinary systems relieving irritated and inflamed conditions such as colitis, gastritus, bronchitis, harsh coughs and cystitis. It has an astringent action, stemming bleeding and encouraging healing internally and externally and is excellent taken for diarrhoea and catarrh. It can be taken for colds, sinus congestion and allergic conditions such as hayfever and asthma. It is antiseptic, cleansing and a good expectorant. Externally the fresh leaf applied to nettle, bee stings, mosquito & flea bites will bring relief. Legend has it that Alexander the Great discovered it and brought it with him back to Europe in 327 BCE. It has been referred to as the Whiteman’s Foot by Native Americans, as wherever they went, it seemed to spring up. Native Americans used plantain leaves to relieve the pain of bee stings and insect bites, stop the itching of poison ivy and other allergic rashes, and promote healing in sores and bruises. Plantain tea can be used as a mouthwash to help heal and prevent sores in the mouth, and as an expectorant. Most recently, plantain is being marketed as a stop smoking aid! It has been used as a panacea in some Native American cultures and with some very good reasons. Many of its active constituents show antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, as well as being anti-inflammatory and antitoxic. The leaves, shredded or chewed, are a traditional treatment for insect and animal bites and the antibacterial action helps prevent infection and the anti-inflammatory helps to relieve pain, burning, and itching. There is some investigation ongoing to study its affects on lowering blood sugar. And to help get Cholesterol to healthy Levels. To sum up, plantain is useful:

    • To aid those with Diabetes
    • For Hemorrhoid relief
    • To help relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    • To help calm the bowels during Constipation or Diarrhea
    • To sooth kidney and bladder problems and to aid with Bladder infection
    • ITIs and similar problems
    • It is safe to use for children
    • For indigestion and ulcers.
    Plantain leaf is also very soothing on external inflammation
    • Bites
    • Stings
    • Rashes
    • Eczema
    • Psoriasis
    • Burns
    • Cuts
    • Yeast infections
    • and Varicose Veins.

    Raspberry Leaf

    Raspberry leaf tea , not to be confused with raspberry fruit tea, is a pleasant caffeine free tea substitute which has a rich, green, mild, fruity aroma and flavour. It makes a soothing and nourishing tea which is ideal as a pre-bedtime drink. To make a cup of raspberry leaf tea add 1-2g of the tea to a teapot or infuser - depending on how strong you like your tea – and pour over enough fresh boiling water as required. Strain into a cup, sweeten with honey and serve. Serve without milk. Raspberry leaf tea can be added to creams, lotions and balms for the skin where astringency is required, and can help to tone and firm the skin, it can also be used to fragrance shampoos, soaps and bathing products and to temporary darken the hair in a similar way to rosemary and sage. Warning: This tea should be used with care during pregnancy. Used in the last 3 months of pregnancy, raspberry leaves helps tone the uterine and pelvic muscles to prepare for childbirth. Taken afterwards, they stimulate the flow of breast milk and speeds healing of the womb and helps combat anaemia. The idea is not so much to speed up your labour, but to help it to progress at a nice, steady pace. Raspberry leaves make an astringent tonic, is antispasmodic and can be useful in relieving painful and profuse bleeding with menstruation. Also useful with

    • mouth ulcers
    • sore throat
    • tonsillitis
    • and sickness and nausea of pregnancy
    • Can be used as an eye douche for conjunctivitis.

    Red Clover Blossoms – menopause, bones, cardiovascular
    red clover flowers 1

    Red Clover Blossoms - menopause, bones, cardiovascular.

    Red clover is used for symptoms of menopause, weak and brittle bones, high levels of cholesterol, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. Can be used as a component of a de-tox tea, an aromatherapy bath soak, or even as part of a mixed flower potpourri. In foods and beverages, red clover is used as a flavoring ingredient.

    Red clover contains chemicals called phytoestrogens that are similar to the hormone estrogen. Might be useful for Cardiovascular health, menopause, and osteoporosis. Red clover may also have blood-thinning properties, which keeps blood clots from forming. It appears to improve blood flow. Researchers think that isoflavones, like those found in red clover, might help reduce symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats, because of their estrogen-like effects.Traditionally, red clover ointments have been applied to the skin to treat psoriasis, eczema, and other rashes. Red clover has also been used as a cough remedy for children. More recently, studies have shown that women using red clover may experience psychological benefits.

    Dried herb (used for tea): 1 to 2 tsp dried flowers or flowering tops steeped in 8 oz. hot water for 1/2 hour; drink 2 to 3 cups daily.

    No serious side effects have been reported in people taking red clover for up to 1 year. General side effects may include headache, nausea, and rash. However, animals that graze on large amounts of red clover have become infertile. People who have been diagnosed with breast cancer should not use red clover without discussing it with their physician. Red clover may increase the risk of bleeding, particularly in those people who are taking blood-thinning medications. Pregnant and lactating women should not use red clover. Red clover may increase the effects of estrogen, affecting hormone replacement therapy, and birth control pills. As always, thoroughly research any new herb you are considering using, and if pregnant or lactating, or taking prescribed drugs, have a chat with your healthcare professional first.

    Red Leaf Sage

    According to medical herbalists, the Red Leaf Sage is the preferred medicinal variety. Research has suggested that the presence of a volatile oil in sage is largely responsible for most of its therapeutic properties, especially its antiseptic, astringent and relaxing actions. This also gives sage an oestrogenic action which is partly responsible for hormonal effects, such as reducing breast-milk production. red sage can

    • Improve irregular and scanty periods
    • Promote stronger menstrual flow
    • Reduce sweating, especially during the menopause
    • Reduces hot flushes and generally help the body to adjust to hormonal changes
    Red sage:
    • Relieves sore throats, taken internally and used as a very effective gargle
    • Encourages the healing process, especially for mouth ulcers, sore gums and external wounds in general
    • Aids digestion. Sage acts as a digestive tonic helping to stimulate or soothe the digestive tract
    • As a nerve tonic, helps to both calm and stimulate the nervous system
    • Is useful for stings and bites, especially if the fresh leaves are rubbed onto the affected area
    • Was traditionally used to help asthma
    • the dried leaves are often used in herbal smoking mixtures
    • Can alleviate mild diarrhoea, because of its astringent (drying) properties

    For an Infusion: Half – 1 teaspoon dried red sage herb to each cup boiling water, infuse 15 mins. Half – 1 cup three times daily or used as a gargle and mouthwash as often as required.; Tincture: 30-60 drops, in water or juice three times daily. Capsules: Powdered herb min 325mg, 1-4 capsules three times daily.

    Do not take red sage during pregnancy, or while breast-feeding as it reduces milk production. It would be wise to avoid it when taking any other product or drug which affects the female Hormone System – such as HRT or the contraceptive pill.

    Rooibos Tea
    rooibos-1

    Health benefits of red rooibos tea include its use as a cure for

    • nagging headaches
    • insomnia
    • asthma
    • eczema
    • bone weakness
    • hypertension
    • allergies
    • and premature aging.
    The tea is absolutely free from caffeine content and is also low in tannins. You can enjoy the refreshing beverage all day long with no possible side effects. Drinking rooibos tea can further ease severe stomach cramps, as well as bring relief to asthma and other related conditions. It also boosts the immune system of the human body. The health benefits of red rooibos tea are abundant. This form of tea has traditionally been popular due to its great taste and unique color, while also boosting the health of the body. Rooibos tea or red tea is a medicinal, herbal beverage that is acquired from the Aspalathus linearis bush plant that is found in South Africa. According to the South African Rooibos Council, rooibos is not a true tea, but an herb. The fermented tea is red in color.Its medicinal attributes have been confirmed by The US Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC, which has affirmed that red rooibos tea is capable of reducing cancer, heart disease, premature aging and other serious conditions. Red rooibos tea is one of the best health drinks or beverages for those who care about their health and fitness.

    Rooibos contains polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimutagenic qualities. Aspalathin and nothofagin are two other vital antioxidants that rooibos tea contains, making this a great beverage to boost your immune system and protect your body against all types of diseases and conditions. Rooibos tea is completely caffeine-free, therefore it is recommended by doctors for patients suffering from insomnia. A cup of rooibos beverage just before going to bed can help you sleep better, and by removing caffeine from your diet, you can also improve your stress levels, mood, and heart health. Rooibos tea is known to relieve
    • stress
    • nervous tension
    • and hypertensive conditions.
    Hypertension is more commonly known as high blood pressure, and rooibos tea is known as a brochodilator, which not only relieves respiratory conditions, but generally reduces blood pressure, which can lead to dangerous cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and atherosclerosis. Red rooibos tea is rich in calcium, manganese and fluoride minerals that assist in maintaining good bone structure and stronger teeth. By increasing the bio-availability of minerals in your system, you can reduce your chances of developing conditions like
    • arthritis
    • osteoporosis
    • and chronic joint pain.
    Rooibos tea can be useful for small children who suffer from colic or stomach pains. You may add some sweetened milk to the tea to improve the flavor and make it more palatable. This is actually what first began rooibos tea as a well-known health aid. Various South African women claimed that this plant was very soothing for their colicky infant.

    Aspalathin is one of the rare antioxidants that are found in rooibos tea, and it has a number of unique qualities. It can help to balance blood sugar, improve insulin resistance, improve the glucose absorption by muscles, and boosts the insulin secretion from the pancreas. This all results in an ideal defensive shield against developing type II Diabetes, one of the most widespread and dangerous conditions that is currently sweeping the world. By balancing blood sugar, rooibos tea can also protect people that already have diabetes by preventing the spikes and drops of blood sugar that are so detrimental to their overall health.

    You can also try applying some red tea powder directly to the skin to relieve acne, pimples, sunburns or related skin conditions. Alpha-hydroxy acids are not found naturally from too many sources, but in terms of cosmetic products, it has become very popular. Even people with kidney stone problems can drink as much red rooibos tea as they want as there is no oxalic acid in the beverage. The tea is rich in antispasmodic agents, which can ease severe stomach cramps and abdominal pains. This is mainly due to the activation of K+ (potassium ions) in the body without antagonizing the activities of Calcium. Together, this can reduce the presence of hyperactivity in the gastrointestinal tract, preventing diarrhea and other intestinal issues. In many parts of South Africa, red tea is used as an effective curative to treat allergies like eczema, hay fever and allergy-related bronchitis. It has anti-inflammatory qualities, thanks to its phenolic content, and this is why it is also prescribed for asthma and topical allergic reactions of various types throughout the body. The antioxidants present in rooibos tea slow down the human aging process and they also boost the strength of the immune system.

    Red rooibos tea is an excellent thirst quencher and does wonders for active people like professional athletes, hyperactive children and those who travel often, whether for pleasure or business. Most people prefer to drink rooibos tea in its natural form without any sweeteners, and those who simply want a refreshing drink without a caffeine boost, rooibos is the ideal choice.

    If we have whetted your appetite for Rooibos Tea find out more from the South African Rooibos Council.

    However Since rooibos is so powerful, it can interfere with treatments for various conditions, including chemotherapy for cancer patients. Also, rooibos has shown estrogenic activities in certain studies, so it might not be a good idea to use if you have a hormone-sensitive cancer like breast cancer. Finally, if you have existing kidney or liver conditions, rooibos might be more harmful than helpful. It should be used as a preventative measure for these conditions, not a cure.
    Rose Hip

    A Rose hip is the fruit of a rose. The wild dog rose is the type of rose most often cultivated for their hips. The fruit acids and pectin in rose hip tea is a mild diuretic and laxative. It is used to improve, and relieve the symptoms of kidney disorders, or to help in the case of mild constipation. Rosehip tea provides comparatively high levels of phenolic and flavonoid antioxidants, according to Cornell University. Of 17 herbs evaluated in a study, rosehip was among the top, along with chamomile, hawthorn, lemon verbena and green tea. Rosehip tea may offer benefits for treatment of inflammatory diseases such as osteoarthritis, according to a study published in the July 2012 issue of the journal "Australian Family Physician". Rosehip is also safer than conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in that it is gentle on the digestive tract and does not increase the risk for ulcer. Rosehip also lacks blood thinning effects. Rose hip has been widely acclaimed to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Regular consumption helps to increase mobility by 20 to 25%. It decreases pain and improves the overall mood of the patients. People treated with rose hip experienced a significant reduction in pain, stiffness and joint inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of rose hips are useful in the treatment of patients suffering from knee or hip arthritis. Vitamin C in rose hips has been proven to lessen respiratory issues and prevent asthma. Rose hip rich diet also reduces wheezing symptoms in children and aids in treating asthma, chronic cough, shortness of breath and even runny nose. The presence of several vitamins and minerals in rosehip also helps to boost immunity and lessens the duration of cold. Antioxidants present in rose hip also help to reduce cholesterol level in a person. Millions of people suffer from cholesterol problems which can lead to dangerous consequences. Doctors always recommend dietary changes for people who want to reduce cholesterol. It is advisable to drink rose hip tea if you suffer from cholesterol problems. It is particularly helpful for those people who abstain from taking medication. Rosehip helps to prevent heart diseases in obese people in that it elevates systolic blood pressure. Rose hips contain a variety of antioxidants like carotenoids, flavonoids, and polyphenols and so on. These antioxidants help to prevent cancer and other cardiovascular diseases. Rose hip is a powerful and effective antioxidant that protects our body from free radicals that cause oxidative stress, or ”cellular rust” that can lead to a host of severe medical conditions. Diabetic patients can also benefit from Rose hip as it helps to regulate sugar levels to reduce the risk of getting diabetes and improves the symptoms of existing cases. Supplementing rose hip powders forces glucose in the body cells where it protects against many complications of diabetes. The fruit acids and pectin present in rose hip has diuretic and laxative properties. It is used to improve and relieve the symptoms of kidney disorders and helps to cure constipation. Iron in rosehips produces red blood cells which oxygenates the body that is lost during menstruation. Vitamin C makes iron absorption easy making it a helpful ally for the overall health. Rose hip is used to treat stomach disorders which includes

    • stomach spasm
    • stomach acid deficiency
    • prevents stomach irritation and ulcers.
    It is best used as a stomach tonic for intestinal diseases. Rosehip is also used to treat stomach disorders like
    • diarrhoea
    • constipation
    • gallstones
    • gall bladder ailments
    • gout
    • and urinary tract infections.
    Rose hip is also beneficial for the immune system. It helps to prevent infections from both bacterial and viral infections. It wards off infections which can lead to viral fever, by increasing immune function during exhaustion, increasing blood flow in the limbs, increasing urine flow and quenching thirst. A word of caution: Do not boil rosehips in water as it destroys Vitamin C content. Consult a physician or a nutritionist before consuming rosehip tea, in case you are taking prescribed medicine.

    Rosemary for remembrance
    rosemary 1 fine cut herb

    Rosemary for remembrance. Latin Name: Rosmarinus officinalisPlant Family: LamiaceaeOther Names: Compass Weed, Dew of the Sea, Elf Leaf, Sea Dew, Roses of Mary. Rosemary is an evergreen shrubby herb, native to the Mediterranean which grows to a height of 2 metres. The needle like leaves are dark green in colour on the upper surface and have a downy coating making them look greyish green on the underside, they are 2-4cm in length.The 2-lipped flowers are small and blue in colour and grow in clusters in the leaf axils and are approximately 1cm in length.

    Rosemary can be used in savoury and sweet recipes, try rosemary and lemon cake or adding some dried rosemary to shortbread with a little grated orange rind. Rosemary compliments chicken, fish and lamb dishes and enhances the flavour of tomato based soups and sauces; it also makes an excellent herbal vinegar and oil for adding to salad dressings and marinades.

    Rosemary is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, along with many other herbs, such as oregano, thyme, basil, and lavender.The herb not only tastes good in culinary dishes, such as rosemary chicken and lamb, but it is also a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin B-6. The herb has been hailed since ancient times for its medicinal properties. Rosemary was traditionally used to help alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, boost the immune and circulatory system, and promote hair growth.

    • Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which play an important role in neutralizing harmful particles called free radicals, which are thought to help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation.
    • In Europe, rosemary is often used to help treat indigestion.
    • It is thought that the aroma from rosemary can improve a person’s concentration, performance, speed, and accuracy and, to a lesser extent, their mood.
    • Scientists have found that rosemary may also be good for your brain. Rosemary contains an ingredient called carnosic acid, which can fight off damage by free radicals in the brain. Rosemary appears to be protective against brain damage and might improve recovery.
    • Some studies have suggested that rosemary may significantly help prevent brain aging. The therapeutic ability of rosemary for prevention of Alzheimer’s shows promise, but more studies are needed.

    Rosemary is usually safe when taken in low doses. However, extremely large doses can trigger serious side effects, although this is rare. Side effects include:
    • vomiting
    • spasms
    • coma
    • pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs)
    • High doses of rosemary may cause miscarriage; therefore it is not advisable for pregnant women to take any supplemental rosemary.

    Always thoroughly research any new herb you are thinking of using and if pregnant, breastfeeding or taking prescribed drugs, book an appointment with your healthcare provider.

    There are many health benefits of rosemary tea, so it’s a great beverage to be drinking. Steep 2-3 teaspoons of rosemary in 2 cups of just off the boil water for about 5 minutes or longer. The longer you leave it, the stronger the tea will be (Too long will make it bitter). Add a spoon of honey and a slice of lemon if liked. Rosemary blends well with other herbal teas such as lavender or thyme. You can also add some ginger to help with indigestion, or how about some mint or basil for added goodness and a bit of a zing.

    Sage Greek for Healing Cooking
    Sage 2

    Sage Greek for Healing Cooking. Salvia triloba syn. Salvia fruticosa. Plant Family: Lamiaceae. Also known as Greek sage, common sage, garden sage. It belongs to the mint family, alongside other herbs like oregano, rosemary, basil and thyme. Greek sage is a perennial shrubby herb, native to the eastern Mediterranean, including Turkey, Greece, the Canary Islands and North Africa. It grows to a height of 60cm rising to 90cm when the plant is in flower. The stems and leaves have a downy coating of fine hairs, the leaves are opposite, entire, tri-lobed and glaucous green in colour, the downy coatings give the leaves a silvery-grey colouring. The 2-lipped flowers rise in whorls on flower stalks approximately 30cm above the leaves and are pale lilac to deep lilac in colour and 1.3cm in length. Greek sage has a subtler flavour and aroma to Common Sage (Salvia officinalis).Sage contains a naturally occurring source of salicylates and is best avoided by people eating a salicylate free diet. Sage adds a special flavour to biscuits or scones, as well as bread. It is most famed for sage and onion stuffing which accompanies chicken, turkey and roast pork. Try dusting a pork roast with dried sage before roasting. When roasting chicken or turkey, use your fingers to gently separate the skin from the breast meat, and then rub a little sage butter on the breast and under the skin. Pat down the skin, then roast and enjoy.

    Not only does sage smell and taste good - it does you good as well. Sage has a strong aroma and earthy flavor, which is why it’s typically used in small amounts. Even so, it’s packed with a variety of important nutrients and compounds. Sage is also used as a natural cleaning agent, pesticide and ritual object in spiritual sage burning or smudging.

    • Sage packs a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6 and K.
    • It is loaded with Antioxidants which are molecules that help fortify your body’s defenses, neutralizing potentially harmful free radicals that are linked to chronic diseases. One study found that drinking 1 cup (240 ml) of sage tea twice daily significantly increased antioxidant defenses.
    • It also lowered both total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol, as well as raised “good” HDL cholesterol.
    • Sage has antimicrobial effects, which can neutralize microbes that promote dental plaque.In one study, a sage-based mouthwash was shown to effectively kill the Streptococcus mutans bacteria, which is notorious for causing dental cavities.
    • Sage may also treat throat infections, dental abscesses, infected gums and mouth ulcers. However, more human research is needed to make comprehensive recommendations.
    • During menopause, your body experiences a natural decline in the hormone estrogen. This can cause a wide range of unpleasant symptoms. Symptoms include hot flushes, excessive sweating, vaginal dryness and irritability. Common sage was traditionally used to reduce menopause symptoms. It’s believed that compounds in sage have estrogen-like properties, allowing them to bind to certain receptors in your brain to help improve memory and treat hot flushes and excessive sweating. In one study, daily use of a sage supplement significantly reduced the number and intensity of hot flushes over eight weeks.
    • The leaves of common sage have been used traditionally as a remedy against diabetes. Human and animal research indicates that it may help lower blood sugar levels.
    • Sage can help support your brain and memory in several ways.For one, it’s loaded with compounds that can act as antioxidants, which have been shown to buffer your brain’s defense system. It also appears to halt the breakdown of the chemical messenger acetylcholine (ACH), which has a role in memory. ACH levels appear to fall in Alzheimer's disease. In healthy adults, sage was shown to improve memory in low doses. Higher doses also elevated mood and increased alertness, calmness and contentedness.
    • Sage has been linked to other potential health benefits, such as relieving diarrhea, supporting bone health and combating skin aging.

    Dried sage is often preferred by cooks and comes ground, rubbed or in whole leaves. Here are some ways you can use dried sage: As a rub for meats. As a seasoning for roasted vegetables. Combined with mashed potatoes or squash for a more earthy flavor. Or as a healthy herb tea.

    Sage is safe to eat and has no reported side effects, though consuming sage essential oils or too much sage tea may be linked to adverse effects. But to be on the safe side, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking prescribed drugs, have a chat to your healthcare provider first. Always thoroughly research any new herb you are thinking of using.

    To make a lovely cup of sage tea, pour a cup of just off the boil water onto a teaspoon of dried sage ( a tablespoon if using fresh sage), allow to steep for 5 minutes, strain and add a teaspoon of honey if liked and a slice of fresh lemon. It may also be drunk cold with ice. It also combines well with mint leaves, and feel free to add a cinnamon stick or even a few cloves or star anise.

    Saw Palmetto

    Saw Palmetto is a remarkable herb for both men and women and is used by natural health practitioners to treat a variety of ailments such as

    • testicular inflammation
    • urinary tract inflammation
    • coughs
    • and respiratory congestion
    • It is also used to strengthen the thyroid gland
    • balance the metabolism
    • stimulate appetite
    • and aid digestion.
    This wonderful herb is becoming famous for its uses in
    • hair restoration
    • prostate health
    • sexual vigour
    • breast enhancement
    • and as a nutritive tonic.
    Saw Palmetto is a powerful herbal remedy, used primarily to relieve symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate: not only does it strengthen the reproductive system, but by regulating the sex hormones, it may improve a person’s vitality and sex drive. Renowned for its positive effects in the treatment of
    • colds
    • asthma
    • and lung conditions
    • Saw Palmetto is also a tonic for stimulating the appetite
    • relieving fatigue
    • and restoring hair loss.
    Equally, this remarkable herb can nourish the urinary tract and kidneys, boost energy, and stabilise emotions. It is known that Native Americans regularly consumed both fresh and dried Saw Palmetto berries as a tonic. They had probably seen animals eat the fruit and then tried it for themselves. Native Americans did not only use Saw Palmetto medicinally; tannin from the stems was employed to cure hides, while the leaves and branches were utilised to make items such as baskets, brooms and hats. The berries, although usually known for their treatment of conditions suffered by men, were historically used to treat women too. In particular, they were taken to alleviate
    • painful periods
    • and infertility
    • They were also prescribed to stimulate the growth of under-developed breasts and to increase the amount of milk produced by nursing mothers.
    Historically, the berries have also been used as a bronchial expectorant and tonic, as well as an appetite stimulant and an anti-inflammatory agent.

    Sheep’s Sorrel
    Sheep's Sorrel 4
    Sheep's Sorrel. Rumex acetosella syn. Acetosella vulgaris. Plant Family: Polygonaceae. Other Names: Common Sheep Sorrel, Sheep Sorrell, Red Sorrel, Sour Weed, Field Sorrel, Meadow Sorrel, Red Top Sorrel, Sour Grass.

    Sheep’s sorrel is an herbaceous perennial plant native to most of the temperate regions of the world. It reaches a height of 30-45cm and has slender upright stems that are tinged red. The leaves are approximately 3-5cm in length, basal, alternate and arrow-shaped, and bright ‘spring’ green in colour. The flowers display in upright panicles of many 6-sepaled reddish inflorescences approximately 2mm in diameter, clustered on slender stalks that branch off the main stem.Brief History: The genus name ‘rumex’ derives from the Latin word ‘rumo’ which means ‘to suck’ and is said to refer to a use the romans put sheeps sorrel to, the sucked the leaves to extract the juice to quench their thirst. Sheep’s sorrel featured on the daily menus of the Romans in the 4th century, when it was used as a green vegetable, which is also said to have been a favourite vegetable of Henry VIII. The tart ‘acidic’ juice from the plant was used to curdle milk. Culpeper says of sheep’s sorrel ‘They are of great use against scurvy if eaten as a spring salad; and the juice is frequently taken among other antiscorbutic juices.’

    The leaves can be used to thicken soups and stews and as a vegetarian curdling agent when making cheese. Juice from the plant can be used to remove rust from metal and mould stains on fabrics such as linen. A dark green to brown dye can be obtained from the roots, which doesn’t require any mordant.

    Tannin and rumicin, the main components of sheep sorrel, are highly therapeutic. It is a member of the buckwheat family, and is quite common in the northern hemisphere. It is a perennial herb that sprouts from a spreading rhizome. As the plant exhibits

    • antibiotic
    • anti-inflammatory
    • antioxidant
    • and diuretic properties
    it offers several health benefits. Sheep sorrel root powder is also used to prepare a herbal tea. The herb has a long history of medicinal use, but it remained relatively unknown until dietary supplements containing it were introduced by Essiac Products Inc.

    Sheep sorrel can be used to

    • strengthen the immune system and fight cancer. The antioxidants in the herb help cancel the effects of free radicals in the body. Thus, they help boost the immune system.
    • The tea prepared from the leaves of the plant helps kill intestinal worms or parasites. Thus, it helps improve the function of the digestive system. The tea contains certain chemicals that are toxic to worms.
    • The tea prepared from the leaves and twigs of the plant exhibits mild diuretic properties. It helps increase the urine flow. Thus, it acts as a detoxifying agent and promotes fast expulsion of toxins. This helps improve functioning of various organs and systems in the body.
    • The anthraquinones present in the herb enhance muscular activity. They bring about an increase in the fluid that is secreted in intestines. All these activities help the food move smoothly through the digestive tract. Therefore, regular consumption of the weed can help prevent constipation.
    • The herb acts as a good astringent, as it promotes tightening or constriction of soft organic tissues in the body. The high tannin content is responsible for this. So, it is used to treat diarrhoea or heavy menstrual bleeding.
    • The tea exhibits antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, it is used to treat various conditions, like fevers, scurvy, and inflammatory conditions like sinusitis. Tannins present in the herb help lower sinus pressure and inflammation of the nasal passages and respiratory tract. They have a drying effect, and they help reduce mucus production. Thus, they help relieve annoying sinusitis symptoms. The antibacterial compound ‘rumicin’ present in the leaves helps kill bacteria like Escherichia, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus. Thus, the herb minimizes the chances of infection. As a home remedy, it is used to treat viral infections too. Topical application of the tea, tincture, or poultice helps curb the growth of cysts or tumours, and helps alleviate the symptoms of irritating skin conditions like eczema, rashes, and herpes.
    • Certain elements like beta carotene present in the herb help slow down the process of ageing. They also prevent macular degeneration related to ageing.

    Excessive consumption of the herb can create a laxative effect. Diarrhoea can lead to loss of nutrients present in the body. Always thoroughly research any new herb you are thinking of using. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or using prescribed drugs, have a chat with your healthcare provider first. As it contains oxalic acid, it may not be safe for children. Those diagnosed with rheumatism, kidney stones, arthritis, high acidity, etc., should stay away from this herb.

    To brew some sorrel and mint tea, place a teaspoon of sorrel leaves and a teaspoon of dried mint leaves in a tea pot. Cover with boiling water and let it steep for ten minutes. Drink hot or cold. This tea contains vitamins which will combat intestinal worms, kidney stones and hepatitis. Besides that it's very good, especially if sweetened with one teaspoon of honey to each cup of tea.

    Siberian Ginseng
    siberian-ginseng-powder

    For thousands of years, Chinese physicians have been using Siberian ginseng (also called eleuthero) as a general health restorative, to reduce stress and improve well-being. In the twentieth century, Russian scientists “rediscovered” Siberian ginseng. After extensive clinical trials, they dubbed this herb an adaptogen, meaning it enhances the resilience and efficiency of the entire body. It’s also quite safe, an important attribute of any adaptogen. Siberian ginseng contains remarkable compounds that favorably affect the adrenal glands, the small glands that rest atop the kidneys and secrete stress-fighting hormones. Taking the herb is believed to boost the body’s capacity to handle physical stresses ranging from heat exposure to extreme exertion. Resistance to disease increases as well. So does one’s overall energy level. It relieves chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Because Siberian ginseng bolsters the adrenal glands, it’s worth trying, to relieve the exhaustion and muscle pain associated with these energy-depleting conditions. It is believed to increase male and female fertility and reduce male impotence by supporting healthy uterine function, relieves menstrual disorders and menopausal symptoms. Siberian ginseng may increase mental alertness, particularly in the early stages of Alzheimer, the herb’s ability to boost the transmission of nerve impulses may also enhance memory. Historically, the Chinese have found Siberian ginseng to be effective in suppressing colds and flu. The herb’s immune-enhancing powers may play a role. In addition to being used as an adaptogen, Siberian ginseng is used for conditions of the heart and blood vessels such as

    • high blood pressure
    • low blood pressure
    • hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
    • and rheumatic heart disease.
    If taking high blood pressure medications (anti-hypertensives), do not take Siberian ginseng.

    Skullcap Herbal Nerve Tea
    small flowering willow herb dec 16

    Skullcap Herbal Nerve Tea. Scutellaria laterfolia syn. Cassida lateriflora. Plant Family: Lamiaceae. Other names: American Skullcap, Mad-dog Skullcap, Quaker Bonnet, Blue Pimpernel. Skullcap is a hardy perennial herb native to North America and Canada. It grows to a height of 60-80cm. The leaves are 2-7cm in length, opposite, cordately ovate and bright green in colour with scalloped edges and a short leaf stalk. The flowers grow in racemes from the leaf axils of the upper part of the plant, they are hooded, 2-lipped and lavender-blue in colour.

    Skullcap can be drunk as a tea or tisane. It's thought that American skullcap positively impacts mood and reduces anxiety by stimulating gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that helps calm nerves. Notably, this plant was used in traditional medicine practices as a sedative and treatment for conditions like insomnia and anxiety.

    Various parts of skullcaps, such as their roots and leaves, have been used in traditional Chinese and Native American medicine to treat a variety of ailments, ranging from diarrhea to chronic pain. Skullcap was used by some Native American tribes as an emmenagogue to bring young girls into womanhood. It was also traditionally used to bring on visions (in large doses) during spiritual ceremonies. It was once used as a treatment for rabies and schizophrenia (hence the names maddog skullcap, maddog weed, and mad weed.)

    Today, this plant is purported to provide an array of health benefits, from boosting heart health to relieving anxiety. American skullcap has been shown to boost mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety. Both American and Chinese skullcap contain an array of beneficial plant compounds, including antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory effects and protect your cells from damage caused by molecules called free radicals. Oxidative stress, which results from an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants, is linked to a number of chronic conditions, such as certain cancers and heart disease. Some test-tube studies suggest that American skullcap may have neuroprotective properties, potentially safeguarding against diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Skullcap is gaining some recognition as an alternative treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD/ADD). This plant is sometimes used to treat the symptoms associated with anorexia nervosa, fibromyalgia and even mild Tourette’s syndrome. Skullcap is also used as a herbal treatment for asthma and as a hiccup and hangover remedy.

    People with conditions that impact liver function should avoid this plant altogether. Chinese skullcap has also been associated with lung complications, and other types — including the American variety — may cause side effects like irregular heartbeat, tics, anxiety, drowsiness, and mental confusion in some people. ALWAYS research any new herb Thoroughly and if pregnant, breastfeeding or taking prescribed drugs, book an appointment with your midwife or GP first.

    Doses of skullcap generally range from 1–2 grams per day, usually in divided doses. To make a tea, put a tablespoon of herb in a tea infuser (I use a cafetiere)or fill an empty teabag etc. Add 2 cups of just off the boil water and steep for 10 minutes. Add a teaspoon of honey and enjoy.

    Slippery Elm

    Slippery Elm(Ulmus fulva) has been used as an herbal remedy in North America for centuries. Native Americans used it in healing salves for

    • wounds
    • boils
    • ulcers
    • burns
    • and skin inflammation.
    Slippery elm contains mucilage, a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. It coats and soothes the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines. It also contains antioxidants that help relieve inflammatory bowel conditions. Slippery elm also causes reflux stimulation of nerve endings in the gastrointestinal tract leading to increased mucus secretion which may protect the gastrointestinal tract against ulcers and excess acidity. So it is thought that slippery elm is useful in relieving:
    • sore throat
    • Coughs
    • Gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD)
    • Crohn's disease
    • ulcerative colitis
    • Diarrhea
    • wounds
    • burns
    • boils
    • psoriasis
    • and other skin conditions (external).
    Slippery elm is a tree. The inner bark (not the whole bark) is used as medicine. People take slippery elm for
    • colic
    • constipation
    • hemorrhoids
    • bladder and urinary tract infections
    • syphilis
    • herpes
    • and for expelling tapeworms.
    It is also used for
    • protecting against stomach and duodenal ulcers
    • for colitis
    • diverticulitis
    • GI inflammation
    • and too much stomach acid.
    Slippery elm is applied to the skin for
    • wounds
    • burns
    • gout
    • rheumatism
    • cold sores
    • boils
    • abscesses
    • ulcers
    • toothaches
    • sore throat
    • and as a lubricant to ease labor.
    In manufacturing, slippery elm is used in some baby foods and adult nutritionals, and in some oral lozenges used for soothing throat pain.

    Small Flowering Willow Herb

    The roots and leaves have demulcent, tonic and astringent properties. It can be used in prostate problems, bladder problems and bed-wetting. It can also be used to help

    • cystitus
    • urinary infections
    • diarrhoea
    • mouth ulcers
    • and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

    Topically, the herb can be used as a soothing, cleansing and healing agent to treat minor burns, skin rashes, ulcers and many other skin irritaions and afflictions.

    Small Flowered Willow-herb has been used for years in Europe for the treatment of Prostate Disease which includes Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, Prostatitis (usually a bacterial infection of the prostate) and Prostate Cancer. Many studies have been completed which showed Small Flowered Willow-herb can reduce prostate size, reduce inflammation, relieve prostatitis and improve sexual function.

    Willow Herb had been traditionally used in treatments of numerous other conditions
    • gastrointestinal disorders
    • kidney and bladder disorders
    • rectal bleeding
    • menstrual disorders.

    Now, after thorough researches, Willow Herb has been recognized as a powerful herb against bladder and kidney ailments, various urinary tract disturbances and especially helpful in cases of prostate disorders. Tea made from the Willow herb can be a very beneficial treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia. It has also been useful in controlling urinary incontinence in both men and women. Made into an ointment, it can soothe skin problems in children.

    Spearmint
    peppermint
    Spearmint, also known as Fish Mint, Garden Mint,green mint or menthe verte. Mentha spicata syn. Mentha viridis. Plant Family: Lamiaceae. Mint is a hardy herbaceous perennial, native to Europe and southwest Asia and now found cultivated in North America and most temperate regions across the globe. Mint has a variety of uses in both sweet and savoury dishes; it is a common flavouring in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking where it is used in salads, teas, chutneys, relishes and sauces. Mint has a distinctive, refreshing flavour that is particularly pleasant in summer drinks, soups and salads, and classic mint sauce.

    11 Surprising Benefits of Spearmint Tea and Essential Oil

    • Good for Digestive Upsets. Spearmint is commonly used to help relieve symptoms of indigestion, nausea, vomiting and gas
    • High in Antioxidants
    • May Aid Women With Hormone Imbalances
    • May Reduce Facial Hair in Women
    • May Improve Memory
    • Fights Bacterial Infections
    • May Lower Blood Sugar
    • May Help Reduce Stress.

    Spearmint has a pleasantly sweet taste and is frequently used to flavor toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gum and candy. One common way to enjoy this herb is brewed into a tea, which can be made from either fresh or dried leaves. It has no caffeine but is naturally invigorating due to it’s flavor and natural “chill” from the menthol, making it perfect for a good start in the morning or an afternoon pick-me-up. This lack of caffeine also makes it perfect for an evening or pre-bedtime tea. It’s also great for after meals to aid digestion. It helps to sooth upset tummies and calm nausea as well. Mint tea also helps many pregnant women, especially helping with morning sickness during the first trimester. Please, please ask your midwife or GP before using if pregnant or breast feeding. Measure about one tablespoon per cup (if the leaves are pretty much whole) or one teaspoon per cup (if the leaves are broken up a lot) and steep in freshly boiled water for five to ten minutes. Strain and if required add a teaspoon of honey and a slice of lemon. For a super relaxing tea, mix half a cup of mint leaves with 2-3 tablespoons lavender. Store in a clean, dry jar and use as above. ....and breathe!!!! aaahh. Moroccan Mint tea: mix 1/2 cup Gunpowder green tea, 1/3 cup dried mint and 1/4 cup lemon verbena. Serve with ample sugar or honey if desired. How about a lemony twist with masses of healthy properties: 1/2 cup dried mint, 1/2 cup dried lemon balm, 1/2 cup dried lemongrass, (optional) a dash of dried lemon zest. Try this tea with a wedge of fresh lemon for extra flavor. As a tummy soother: Mint is famed for its ability to soothe many a stomach ailment. In fact, along with fennel, ginger and other stomach-supporters, it's one of the highest recommended herbs for digestion. Here's how to get your own batch ready for any time you might need it: 1 cup dried mint, 1/4 cup fennel seeds, (optional) 1/8 cup finely chopped dried ginger. Add honey for extra yumminess and benefits. For a floral twist combine mint with rosehips and hibiscus--two especially sweet-tart flowers that balance out the fresh flavor of mint nicely. 1/2 cup dried mint leaves, 1/2 cup dried rosehips, 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers and (I know I'm a bore) a teaspoon of honey and a slice of lemon. Beautifully fruity and floral. Nettle leaf and raspberry leaf have both been shown to aid in deeply nourishing pregnant women and in reducing problems that can occur during pregnancy and labor. Mix 4 cups dried raspberry leaf, 1 cup dried nettle leaves, 1/2 cup dried mint. Enjoy with organic honey or other sweeteners if desired. Unless your herbalist says otherwise, drink this blend for three weeks, then switch to a variation without nettles for three weeks. (While safe for pregnancy, nettles are quite strong, and many herbalists recommend taking a break between extended uses.) Two mixes that are great for colds, sore throats, and fevers. Steep for longer than most brews--10 to 20 minutes is ideal: 1/2 cup dried mint and 1/2 cup dried sage leaf. OR: 1/2 cup dried mint, 1/4 cup dried yarrow leaves (or leaves and flowers), 1/4 cup dried elderflower blossoms. For sore throats and coughs, add a little honey (preferably organic, local honey). A slice of fresh lemon will help as well.

    Always be sure to research thoroughly any new herbs you are going to take and if using prescribed drugs have a chat to your GP first.

    Spirulina
    spirulina-powder

    This blue-green algae is a freshwater plant that is now one of the most researched, and most talked about superfoods today. Grown around the world from Mexico to Africa to even Hawaii, spirulina is renowned for its intense flavor and even more powerful nutrition profile! Our powder comes from India. It is so dark green it looks black in the photograph. Whether you are taking it as part of your 'clean' food diet plan, as a healthy extra to your normal diet or if you need to improve your immune system - eyes - joint health - or for a detox - etc etc, you will find Spirulina your best friend.

    Spirulina often gets mis-classified as an herb because of its amazing health promoting properties, but it's actually a bacteria, or a blue-green algae that's found in pristine freshwater lakes, ponds, and rivers. It is most commonly recognized as one of the world's most nutritionally complete superfoods, as it offers health benefits to practically every organ and bodily function.

    • Spirulina has long been revered for its ability to strengthen the immune system. Because it actively promotes cell regeneration, it helps wounds heal quicker, and makes recovery from illnesses occur faster. Spirulina fortifies one's immune system, leaving the person less likely to experience colds, flus, and other contractible illnesses
    • Spirulina is an excellent supplement for those looking to improve their eye health. This blue-green algae is very rich in vitamin A, and this vitamin is exceptionally important for healthy eyes
    • Spirulina is one of the leading sources of Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents in nature. GLA is also particularly beneficial to women, as it can ease the symptoms of PMS. Gram per gram, it also has 26-times the calcium of milk, making it an excellent nutritional supplement for pregnant women
    • Spirulina eases the passage of waste through the digestive system, thereby reducing stress on the entire system. It also promotes healthy bacteria in the digestive system, and helps to improve the absorption of dietary nutrients
    • Spirulina has a very high concentration of chlorophyll, one of nature's most powerful detoxifying agents. It has been shown to be effective at helping remove toxins from the blood, and it binds to heavy metals and radioactive isotopes, making it very beneficial for those undergoing radioactive therapy
    • Spirulina is very high in bio-available iron, making it beneficial to those with anemia or pregnancy, with reduced risk of constipation
    • Spirulina is a good source of vitamins B-1(thiamine), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3(nicotinamide), B-6 (pyridoxine), B-9 (folic acid), B-12 (cobalamin), vitamin E, and vitamin K1 and K2
    • It is also a source of potassium, chromium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc
    • It has four times the antioxidant ability of blueberries
    • Spirulina is a good source of protein: gram per gram more so than beef, poultry, fish, and soybeans.
    Given the support that spirulina can lend to nearly every biological process, almost anyone can benefit from taking it. Spirulina can also be particularly valuable to special populations in need of an energy boost, including pregnant women, the elderly, and menstruating women. Mix with 8 or more oz of water, juice or your favorite smoothie. Refrigerate after opening to maximize freshness.

    You may take Spirulina Powder as a supplement in your nutrition but it is a different supplement from others which are mainly extracts from other foods, this is a complete food. As any natural food you can't answer exactly how much is enough or from which Spirulina Dosage and above is dangerous. As any food either is meat or vegetable or fruit you can't say exactly how much is enough and when it is getting dangerous. For example, how many apples you can eat in one day without jeopardize your health? The same apply to Spirulina, probably you won't have any problem as much Spirulina as you eat. As any food you eat for the first time, it is better to start small and see if you have any side effects. This rule apply to all the foods you are eating for first time, not just Spirulina. Some people are allergic to sea food or almonds, the same apply to Spirulina. Don't start taking 4 tablespoons a day when you have never eat Spirulina before. Take 1 tablespoon per day for a week and when you see that you don't have any side effects start increasing the daily dosage.

    • 1 teaspoon powder = 2 grams
    • 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons
    • 1 tablespoon powder = 6 grams
    • It is better to use a digital kitchen scale once so you are sure about how much grams is one of yours tablespoons.
    Aim for 1 tablespoon a day for normal use and 2-3 tablespoons if you are taking it for a health problem. You can even make a face mask to improve your skin!

    St. Johns Wort

    In Europe in the middle-ages, St. Johns wort was seen as a magical herb that could keep away apparitions and demons. It has been used medicinally as a wound healer for centuries. The leaves and flowers can be used to make a tea or tisane. The St John's Wort flowers if infused in oil turn the oil red, the oil can be used to make soothing salves and creams for the skin. The herb was once hung over doorways to ward off evil spirits or burned to protect and sanctify an area. St. John's wort has a number of uses. It has been used to

    • relieve muscle problems and to ease muscle injuries
    • it also reduces swelling
    • and is used in certain herbal remedies to treat depression and anxiety.
    St. John's wort has long been used medicinally as an anti-inflammatory for strains, sprains, and contusions. It also has been used to treat
    • muscular spasms
    • cramps
    • and tension that results in muscular spasms.
    St. John's wort preparations may be ingested for internal bruising and inflammation or following a traumatic injury to the external muscles and skin. The oil is also useful when applied to wounds and bruises or rubbed onto strains, sprains, or varicose veins.

    When rubbed onto the belly and breasts during pregnancy, the oil may also help prevent stretch marks. Topical application is useful to treat hemorrhoids and aching, swollen veins that can occur during pregnancy.

    St. John's wort is reported to relieve anxiety and tension and to act as an antidepressant and is useful for pelvic pain and cramping. According to the 1983 British Pharmacopoeia, St. John's wort is specifically indicated for "menopausal neuroses": Many women who experience anxiety, depression, and other emotional disturbances during menopause may benefit from this herb's use.

    This medicine is a traditional herbal medicine which helps relieve low mood and anxiety. It contains a mixture of ingredients which help relieve these symptoms.

    St John's Wort should not be taken if using prescribed medicines for anxiety or depression.
    Tea Tree Oil
    tea-tree

    Tea tree oil is very important in the health of the immune system, as it acts as a immuno-stimulant and increases the body's ability to fight off any infections, while it also is used to revive the mind and body after shock. The world over, this oil is used with great effectiveness to ward of infections of any kind, and it is active in all three varieties of infectious organisms: bacteria, fungi and viruses. Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the tea tree. The tea tree was named by eighteenth century sailors, who made tea that smelled like nutmeg from the leaves of the tree growing on the swampy southeast Australian coast. Do not confuse the tea tree with the unrelated common tea plant that is used to make black and green teas. Tea tree oil is applied to the skin (used topically) for

    • infections such as acne
    • fungal infections of the nail (onychomycosis)
    • lice
    • scabies
    • athlete’s foot (tinea pedis)
    • and ringworm.
    It is also used topically as a local antiseptic for
    • cuts and abrasions
    • for burns
    • insect bites and stings
    • boils
    • vaginal infections
    • recurrent herpes labialis
    • toothache
    • infections of the mouth and nose
    • sore throat
    • and for ear infections such as otitis media and otitis externa.
    Some people add it to bath water to treat cough, bronchial congestion, and pulmonary inflammation.

    Violet Herb or Hearts-Ease or Viola tricolor
    Violet Herb 1

    Violet Herb or Hearts-Ease or Viola tricolor, plant family Violaceae, also known as love-in-idleness, wild pansy and Herb Trinity. V. tricolor has a long history of use in herbalism and folk medicine, both for epilepsy, skin diseases and eczema, and for respiratory problems such as bronchitis, asthma, and cold symptoms. It is also a diuretic, leading to its traditional use for rheumatism and cystitis. In modern herbalism it is seen as a purifying herb and is taken internally in the treatment of skin complaints such as eczema. Being expectorant, it is used in the treatment of various chest complaints such as bronchitis and whooping cough, whilst its diuretic action makes it useful for treating rheumatism, cystitis and difficulty in passing urine. It is also used as an ointment for treating eczema and other skin complaints and is also useful in cases of rheumatism, bed-wetting etc. Violet leaves contain a good bit of mucilage, or soluble fiber, and thus are helpful in lowering cholesterol levels, and is also helpful in restoring healthy populations of intestinal flora, as beneficial bacteria feed off of this type of fiber. The leaves are high in Vitamins A and C, and rutin, which is a glycoside of the flavonoid quercetin. Rutin has been shown in animal and in vitro studies to be anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and blood thinning, and can be used as a remedy for hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Violet is cooling and moistening and is used internally as a blood cleanser and lymphatic stimulant. It is taken as a tea or syrup, but remember that the dried herb should only be consumed after infusion in boiling water.

    Heartsease is used in the cosmetics industry as a skin softener and in products that require soothing properties. A tisane can be made from the leaves and flowers and dyes can be obtained giving different shades of green dependent on the mordant used. Violet has a rich tradition in Europe, where it has been used for centuries as a pulmonary remedy for dry hacking cough. It is often recommended for bronchitis and whooping cough, along with the roots of marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra). Violet can also be used as a tonic for chronically swollen lymph nodes. As with many other herbs with an action on the lymphatic system, it has a long tradition of use in the treatment of cancer.

    Topically, violet is used as a poultice, compress, infused oil and salve in the treatment of dry or chafed skin, abrasions, insect bites, eczema, varicose veins and hemorrhoids. It is cooling, soothing and anti-inflammatory.

    To make hearts-ease tea, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tsp - 1 tblsp dried herb. Cover and infuse for 5 to 15 minutes. Strain and if desired add a teaspoon of honey, except if using for stomach problems when it should remain bitter. Sip your cup of natures blessings.

    Avoid use if asthmatic and thoroughly research any new herb you are about to use. If taking prescribed drugs, have a chat with your GP before using.

    Walnut Leaves

    The high concentration of tannins in the leaves account for most of its properties. They tighten and constrict tissues and so protect areas of skin and controls inflammation and itching. Topical formulations can control excessive sweating of the hands and feet, and is

    • antibacterial
    • anti-parasitic
    • and has insect repelling properties.
    It may be used for
    • diarrhoea
    • digestive tract inflammation
    • and intestinal worms
    • It is also used as a blood purifier.

    Topical formulations of walnut leaf are popular treatments for mild and superficial eczema and in France in particular, the leaf is often applied to sunburns and to scalp that is peeling and itching from dandruff. The herb is useful for a host of other mild skin disorders as well. According to researchers, walnut leaves even have

    • bacteria-killing
    • anti-parasitic
    • and insect-repelling properties.

    This largely confirms long-held folk beliefs about the healing qualities of the leaf. An intriguing survey of older farmers and shepherds in central Italy, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 1999, found that walnut leaf was one of the local plants most frequently used for repelling insects and treating parasitic infections on the skin.

    Typically, the walnut leaves (not the nuts themselves) are dried and chopped before boiling them to make a very strong tea (decoction). Once cooled, the tea is used in compresses, rinses, and other formulations that can be applied to the skin. It can also be added to bath water. To make a decoction (boiled tea), use 1.5 ounces of dried, cut-up leaf per 1 cup (8 ounces) of water; bring the mixture to a boil in a small pot and simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool before using it in compresses and other topical formulations, or in soaks.

    White Willow Bark
    white-willow-bark

    Also known as Pussy Willow and Tree of Enchantment, around 400 B.C. Hippocrates the Greek physician was prescribing the use of white willow bark to reduce pain and fever. It fell out of use until it was 'rediscovered' in the 18th century, and further research in the 19th century successfully isolated salicin from the bark, a pain relieving and fever reducing naturally occurring chemical which was eventually synthesised and became the drug we know as aspirin today. It can be used to make a tea or tisane, although the flavour can be rather bitter. White willow appears to bring pain relief more slowly than aspirin, but its effects may last longer.

    Willow bark is used to ease pain and reduce inflammation. Researchers believe that the chemical salicin, found in willow bark, is responsible for these effects. However, studies show several other components of willow bark, including plant chemicals called polyphenols and flavonoids, have antioxidant, fever-reducing, antiseptic, and immune-boosting properties. Some studies show willow is as effective as aspirin for reducing pain and inflammation (but not fever), and at a much lower dose. Scientists think that may be due to other compounds in the herb. Studies suggest that willow bark may be useful for

    • Headaches
    • Low back pain
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Menstrual cramps
    • Fever
    • Flu
    • Tendonitis
    • and Bursitis

    Talk to your doctor before taking willow bark if you take any other medications, herbs, or supplements.

    It is recommended that one drink 3 to 4 cups of this tea to benefit from its use. Start by adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of white willow bark to 8 ounces of water. Allow this to boil for about 5 to 10 minutes. Once it has boiled, turn off the heat and allow it to steep between 20 and 30 minutes. You will notice the herbs drop down to the bottom of the pan and the tea is taking on a beautiful red color. Once the bark is done steeping, strain the bark out and compost it. A coffee filter or mesh strainer will do the trick.White willow bark does have a strong flavor and truly tastes like the bark of a tree so add a few cinnamon sticks to the boil and honey to your cup for flavor. If you have any medical conditions, please consult your doctor prior to trying white willow bark tea. It should be avoided by anyone under two, if you are pregnant, nursing, have flu or chickenpox, or on blood thinners. Always be sure to research the possible side effects of any herb before beginning its use.

    Wormwood
    blackcurrant leaves 4

    Wormwood also called Absinthe, Latin Name: Artemisia absinthium syn. Absinthium officinale. Plant Family: Asteraceae. Wormwood is an herbaceous perennial herb native to Europe now found growing in central Asia and parts of the USA that grows to a height of 1 metre. It has erect, branching stems which are silver green in colour and have a fine downy coating. The leaves are deeply lobed with 3-5 divisions of feathery leaflets, entire leaf is 5-12cm in length, greyish-green on the upper side and paler almost silvery-green on the underside, with the same downy coating as the stems.

    Wormwood is used for various digestion problems such as

    • loss of appetite

      upset stomach

    • gall bladder disease
    • and intestinal spasms.

    Wormwood is also used to treat

    • fever
    • liver disease
    • depression
    • muscle pain
    • memory loss
    • and worm infections
    • to increase sexual desire
    • as a tonic
    • and to stimulate sweating
    • Wormwood is used for Crohn's disease
    • and a kidney disorder called IgA nephropathy.

    Wormwood is a bitter herb and is used in Swedish Bitters. Wormwood is used in some alcoholic beverages. Vermouth, for example, is a wine beverage flavored with extracts of wormwood. Absinthe is another well-known alcoholic beverage made with wormwood. It is an emerald-green alcoholic drink that is prepared from wormwood oil, often along with other dried herbs such as anise and fennel. Absinthe was popularized by famous artists and writers such as Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, Manet, van Gogh, Picasso, Hemingway, and Oscar Wilde. It is now banned in many countries, including the U.S. But it is still allowed in European Union countries as long as the thujone content is less than 35 mg/kg. Thujone is a potentially poisonous chemical found in wormwood. Distilling wormwood in alcohol increases the thujone concentration.

    Wormwood oil contains the chemical thujone, which excites the central nervous system. However, it can also cause seizures and other adverse effects. Other chemicals in wormwood might decrease inflammation (swelling).

    Wormwood is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in the amounts commonly found in food and beverages, including bitters and vermouth, as long as these products are thujone-free. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin as ointment. Wormwood that contains thujone is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when it is taken by mouth or used on the skin. As with all herbs THOROUGHLY research any new herbs used and if taking prescribed drugs, have a chat to your GP first. Do not use if pregnant or breast feeding, of if allergic to ragweed and related plants, have Kidney disorders, or if suffering from epilepsy or seizures. It is also not recommended for children and adolescents under the age of 18.

    The wormwood plant has played a central role in natural medicine and holistic healing for a long time. Because of the numerous wormwood benefits, healers considered it to be a universal cure throughout the Middle Ages. The bitter and aromatic properties of wormwood are why it has historically been used in alcoholic beverages such as absinthe, vermouth, and even as a substitute for hops in beer. In Hildegard medicine, wormwood is used primarily for its bitterness and aroma to help fortify digestion and relieve gastric pain. In high doses, thujone (present in wormwood) may result in physiological responses such as muscle spasms and seizures. Other side-effects from high doses include: Excitability; Restlessness; Cognitive Impairment; Thirst; Numbness in limbs; Hallucinations & Disorientation. Folklore prescribes wormwood for general deficiencies in digestive juices and malaise. There is some research that indicates that wormwood benefits include easing the symptoms of crohn’s disease as well as small intestine bacterial overgrowth or SIBO. In addition, you can also use a wormwood tincture externally for wound cleansing and treating insect bites. Other wormwood benefits include: Anti-inflammatory; Anti-pyretic (fever reducer); Chemotherapeutic (kills cancer cells); Anti-microbial & Anti-fungal (kills bacteria, viruses, and funguses); Anti-parasitic (kills parasites).

    You can prepare wormwood as tea or tincture. The best way for you to experience the wormwood benefits covered above is to start with dried wormwood. You can find wormwood essential oil, but wormwood oil is often too strong for most wormwood tea or wormwood tincture preparations. So you should not ingest pure essential oils of wormwood. In fact, this is true for most essential oils. Wormwood tea (“artemisia tea”) is a great natural remedy for digestive issues, low energy, or as a cleanse. If you think you have been exposed to a parasite, you can also use strong wormwood tea to kill any parasites in your system. To make wormwood tea: combine 1/2 to one (1) teaspoon of dried wormwood herb per 6-8 ounces of water and steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Start with a short steeping time (1 minute and increase up to 5-10 minutes maximum) to avoid that the tea becomes too bitter. You can drink a freshly prepared cup of warm wormwood tea a maximum three times a day – half an hour before meals if you lack or to regulate appetite, half an hour after meals if you have digestive problems. The daily dosage is a maximum of three grams of wormwood herb. With wormwood tea and tincture (in the recommended dosage), the body is not supplied with thujone in a toxic dose. Nevertheless, as a precaution (and always when using medicinal plants), the medicinal plant should not be used internally for a longer period of time, in the case of wormwood tea not more than two weeks. When used and dosed as directed, there are no known side effects for wormwood tea.

    “Drink the fresh wormwood with cooked wine and honey every third day while fasting from May to October. It checks a person’s melancholy, clears the eyes, strengthens the heart, does not allow the lungs to become ill, warms the stomach, purges the intestines, and makes good digestion possible.” – Hildegard of Bingen, Physica, Cap. 109.

    Yarrow

    Yarrow is one of the best known herbal remedies for fevers. Used as a hot infusion, it will induce sweats that cools fevers and expels toxins. Used as a poultice it heals wounds and as a decoction for chapped skin and rashes, and as a mouthwash for inflamed gums. One small leaf will speed decomposition of a wheelbarrow full of raw compost. It is

    • antiseptic
    • anti-inflammatory
    • and astringent.
    It regulates the menstrual cycle and is a nerve tonic. It makes a good circulatory remedy and helps to lower blood pressure. Native Americans used yarrow for
    • wounds
    • infections
    • and bleeding.
    Chinese medicine gives it praise for the ability to affect the
    • kidney
    • spleen
    • liver
    • and energy channels throughout the body.
    Animal studies have also shown support for the use of yarrow in cleansing wounds and controlling the bleeding of wounds, cuts and abrasions. Many times yarrow is categorized as a uterine tonic, which supports the circulation in the uterine. Many studies show that it helps the uterine by improving the tone, increasing menstrual flow and reducing spasms in the uterine. Yarrow has an antiseptic action. The bitter parts and fatty acids encourage bile flow out of the gallbladder, known as the cholagogue effect. The free-flowing action improves digestion and prevents gallstones from forming. Yarrow contains a drying effect and seems to improve coughs and sinus infections with sputum formation. Very helpful with allergies where nasal secretions and watery eyes are caused by moulds, dust, pollen and dander. Yarrow is used to aid in healing skin conditions, such as eczema. The essential oils are used and rubbed onto the affected area. The oil found in the yarrow has been used to treat arthritis.
    • Expectorant
    • Helps to cure colds
    • Promotes digestion
    • Helps in the secretion of enzymes and digestive juice
    • and increases appetite; both help in digestion.

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