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Saturday, May 13, 2017

HELP YOUR BODY'S CIRCADIAN RHYTHM

Much more goes on within our bodies during the 24 hour time cycle than we are aware of. There are clear patterns of brain wave activity, hormone production, cell regeneration and other biological activities linked to your daily living cycle. These patterns (rhythms) have a direct link to light and are found in most living things.  The rhythms are called "Circadian rhythms", and they affect us physically, mentally, and emotionally, including our sleeping and eating patterns. There is a natural ebb and flow in our energy throughout the day that is oftentimes controlled by the pineal gland (an area in the brain that responds to light and dark).

In Chinese medicine it is referred to as the body-energy clock, where Qi (energy) moves in two hour intervals through the body organ system. During sleep, the Qi is drawn inward to restore the body and during the day the Qi moves outward to assist in the bodily functions such as digestion and elimination.

Lungs are at their peak in the early morning, which is why it is best to schedule exercise at that time of day rather than later. Also active in the morning hours is the large intestine. 

The liver is at its peak between 1 am - 3 am which is the time when we are most often in our deepest sleep and the body and mind is the calmest.The liver stores and cleanses blood as well as hormones and our emotions.
 
This is why even a one-hour-shift of sleep has impact on us physically and mentally. It is important for our health to choose lifestyle habits that help us synchronize our body systems to the ebb and flow of energy.
 Tips for keeping or resetting the body clock to be in the flow of the natural rhythm of the body are:
  1. Follow the sun ~ In the morning open the shades and let the light in. This will help you get moving in the morning. Get as much light during the day as possible. At night as you are bringing your energy down ready for sleep, dim the lights. Try to keep out light in the room you sleep in, as much as possible.
  2. Adjust your activity levels ~ Make the morning hours your most active times. Wind down and take it easy the closer it gets to sleep time - - including usage of electronics. Read, write or do other calming activities just before lights out.
  3. Adjust meal schedule ~Eat your largest meals during the morning and afternoon when your digestive organs are functioning at their peak. Eating a big meal before bed often leaves you with a heavy feeling and it makes the body work harder during its resting time.
  4. Adjust your mind ~ Don’t sleep in even if you are up late. There really is no catching up on sleep. The body functions better when we stick with a habitual schedule as much as possible. If getting up in the dark is required for your work, use bright lighting as you prepare your day. If you have to sleep while it is still light, block out as much light as possible.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017




Folk Method for Solar-Infused Oils

Use the SUN to naturally infuse oil with the goodness of herbs! 


1. Place herbs in a clean, dry quart jar. It is recommended to use DRY herbs but if you desire fresh herbs, wilt them first for 12 hours to remove the moisture (too much water will cause your oil to go rancid), cut into small pieces, and crush with a mortal and pestle before adding to the jar. You can skip this step if your herbs are dried.

2. Fill remaining space in jar with oil, making sure to cover herbs by at least 1”. If your herbs soak up all of the oil, then pour more on top to ensure that the herbs are well covered.
3. Stir well and cap the jar tightly.
4. Place the jar in a sunny and warm windowsill. Shake once or more per day. You can also cover the jar with a brown paper bag if you prefer that to direct sunlight. 
5. After 2-3 weeks, strain the herbs out of the oil using a cheesecloth or an herb strainer. Make sure and squeeze out every precious drop of oil!
6. Pour into glass bottles and store in a cool dark place. The oil should keep for at least a year. Vitamin E oil may be added and used as a preservative.
 

Skin-Healing Salve Recipe

(Prep:  Infuse dried or fresh Calendula and Chamomile in Olive Oil)



3 ounces of Calendula and Chamomile infused oil (see above instructions).
1/2 ounce pure beeswax
15 drops lavender essential oil
3 (1-ounce) salve jars

1. Slowly heat infused oil in a saucepan to about 100 degrees.
2. Chop or grate the beeswax and gradually stir it into hot oil.
3. Once beeswax is melted, remove from heat and stir in essential oil.
4. Pour hot salve into 1-ounce jars and let cool. Cap jars and store at room temperature.
 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Honey, Sage and Cayenne Extract for Sore Throats and Upper Respiratory Infections



Ingredients
• 1 ounce dried sage leaf
• Pinch of cayenne
• 3 cups cold water
• Honey (made by bees in your area)
• Juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

1. Combine sage and cayenne with water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is reduced by half.
2. Let cool enough that you can work with it. Strain liquid and press sage to extract as much liquid as possible.
3. Add honey, to taste, and lemon juice. Store in refrigerator and take 1 tablespoon or more often as needed at the onset of sore throat or upper respiratory infection.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Homemade Herbal Cough Drops
Powdered herbs
1 cup sugar, or honey
1/3 cup light corn syrup, or honey
1 1/2 cups water
Powdered sugar, for easy handling

1. Steep your preferred soothing herbs in 1 1/2 cups of water to make a tea.
2. Mix sugar and corn syrup with tea. Cook over low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved and mixture boils.
3. Continue boiling without stirring until the mixture begins to crystallize; reduce heat. Wash away crystals from the side of your pan with a damp cloth.
4. Remove from the heat after a few minutes. Drop some of the mixture from the tip of a spoon onto a greased surface. Allow to harden and cool completely before removing. Roll the candies in powdered sugar and wrap in waxed paper for storage.

LUNG HEALTH with SOOTHING HERBS

One of the most common medical conditions treated by primary care physicians is SINUSITIS, an infection of the sinus cavities.  SINUSITIS affects more than 14 percent of the population and accounts for more than $2 billion in annual health-care costs. If we add up all the other respiratory diagnoses, such as BRONCHITIS, ATHSMA and LUNG CANCER, it is obvious that conditions of the lungs and sinuses make up a pretty large chunk of the health problems people face.

Learning About the Lungs

Our lungs are the site of gas exchange: They are how we extract oxygen, required by every cell every minute, from the air we inhale and infuse it into the bloodstream. In the course of a single day, we inhale an amazing 8,000 to 9,000 liters of air. The air then meets the 8,000 to 10,000 liters of blood pumped through the pulmonary artery.

Although the lungs are located deep inside the chest, they are actually a continuation of the skin membrane that has folded into the lining of the respiratory cavity. As such, they share a common characteristic with external organs: They are constantly exposed to the world outside. With each breath, myriad alien substances enter the lungs — pollen, dust, microbes, animal dander, tobacco smoke and air pollution.

Natural medicines for the lungs are plentiful, but prevention (i.e. avoiding smoking) is the key. If you have a history of lung weakness, add a daily dose of a general lung tonic herbs and notice just how many fewer lung-related health issues you face.  Remember the old Chinese saying: “Treating a disease that is underway is like trying to make weapons while a war is already occurring.

Common Lung Problems

The skin, digestive tract and urinary tract share similarities with the lungs, so remedies for these organ systems often overlap with lung remedies. The skin, digestive tract and urinary tract are lined with mucous membranes. These membranes tend to get inflamed and to have problems with fluid flow — too much or too little — across the membrane. So it is with the lungs. Common respiratory problems include bronchitis or asthma, caused by inflammation; congestion or pneumonia, caused by too much fluid (mucus or sputum); and irritated tissue or unproductive cough, caused by too little fluid.

WET, PRODUCTIVE COUGHS produce lots of phlegm. If the phlegm is clear, chances are you’ve got a common cold. But darker yellow or green phlegm may signal a bacterial infection. A dry, or unproductive, barking cough brings up little mucus.

BRONCHITIS is an inflammation of the bronchial passages. As the irritated membrane swells, it narrows and shuts off the airways, bringing coughing spells, thick phlegm and breathlessness. In most cases the infection is viral, but sometimes it is caused by bacteria.

COUGHING, SNEEZING and POSTNASAL DRIP are reflex actions the body carries out to rid itself of irritants. As aggravating as these symptoms can be, they aren’t diseases in and of themselves, although they might be symptoms of more serious conditions.  A note of caution: See your doctor if your sore throat or fever lasts longer than 48 hours, or if you experience swelling or pain around the eyes, a headache, a dry cough and/or discharge from the nose. You might need antibiotics.

Natural medicine does very well with many respiratory ailments. THE LUNGS HAVE THE ABILLITY TO HEAL QUICKLY. After 10 to 15 years, an ex-smoker’s risk of premature death comes close to that of a person who has never smoked. The lungs have the richest blood and oxygen supply. If the tissues get what they need, they respond marvelously.

­Tonic Lung Herbs

Lung herbs are mild and well suited to making into teas.
The average dose for these teas is :
2-3 ounces of dry herb, brewed, daily, for acute symptoms
1ounce for maintenance.

ELECAMPANE ROOT (Inula helenium) is warming for a cold, wet cough; it doesn’t suppress the cough but increases expectoration. It is specific for treating irritating bronchial coughs, especially in children. Revered in Ayurveda as a rejuvenative tonic for the lungs, elecampane reduces excess chronic mucus in the respiratory tract and nourishes lung tissue. Elecampane also may be used for asthma and bronchitis. British herbalists use it for bronchial catarrh, chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis, pneumoconiosis, silicosis, pertussis, emphysema and chronic cough in the elderly. Recent scientific studies have confirmed the antimicrobial properties of elecampane.

COLTSFOOT FLOWER (Tussilago farfara) is an ancient European herb Roman soldiers used when they were posted to foreign lands. An excellent lung tonic, it supports lung and bronchial tissue, and is useful for colds, flu, asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia. It’s a cooling expectorant that liquefies mucus, suppresses cough and also is a long-term respiratory builder. Excellent for cool, wet, endless springtime climates such as Oregon.
MULLEIN (Verbascum spp.) is a common wildflower that grows almost anywhere. You likely have seen it growing along the roadside. Mullein is an expectorant and demulcent herb, and also might have antiviral properties. Mullein has a high mucilage content. Its effects also may be from the mucus-loosening saponins it contains. Use hot mullein tea for coughs, sore throats and other respiratory irritations. Mullein rarely produces striking effects, but it can soothe a sore throat and bring temporary relief. Mullein can be more effective when combined with herbs with similar properties, such as yerba santa leaf (Eriodictyon californicum) and elecampane root.

LICORICE ROOT (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is another good choice as a long-term lung builder. A lung tonic with adrenal effects (it contains compounds similar to the adrenal cortical hormones), in the short term licorice root is an expectorant. Use it for a sore or dry throat, 5 to 7 grams daily as a tea, for as long as needed (usually about four weeks). Avoid the herb if you’re pregnant or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or a condition of the liver, heart or kidneys.

Stop the Coughing with These Herbs

OSHA ROOT (Ligusticum porteri) grows in the high altitudes in the Southwest and Rocky Mountain states. It’s a traditional American Indian remedy for use at the first sign of a respiratory infection. The herb has antimicrobial and expectorant properties. (Because osha is at risk of becoming endangered, be sure to check labels and purchase from cultivated, rather than wildcrafted, sources.)

LIGUSTICUM, Szechuan lovage root (Ligusticum wallichii), is a useful remedy in Chinese medicine. Most scientific studies of Ligusticum have focused on the Chinese species, but the plants are so similar that we probably can assume their effects are comparable. It’s clear that the herb contains anti-inflammatory ingredients. A 1994 Chinese study showed that this herb helps reduce respiratory inflammation, also reducing bronchial spasm and improving lung function. Chinese research also indicates that Szechuan lovage root can relax smooth muscle tissue and inhibit the growth of various bacteria. Take 15 grams daily, as a tea.
 
WILD CHERRY BARK (Prunus serotina)  If you have ever wondered why cough syrup is so often cherry flavored, you learned that the bark of the native North American herb wild cherry was the absolute standby for coughs in times past. The bark has a pleasant cherry taste when prepared as a tea. The plant contains cyanogenic glycosides, especially prunasin; once metabolized in the body, these glycosides suppress spasms in the smooth muscles lining the bronchioles, providing cough relief.
SLIPPERY ELM (Ulmus rubra) is native to North America. Slippery elm bark is another mucilage-containing, throat-soothing medicine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has deemed the herb a safe, effective cough soother. Take 2 ounces (dry weight) of slippery elm as a tea daily. Commercial slippery elm lozenges also are available and can be used throughout the day.

MARSHMALLOW ROOT (Althaea officinalis) has been used medicinally since ancient Greece, and Roman physicians suggested it for irritated tissues. The root contains very high levels of mucilage and quells irritation and associated dry cough, according to European authorities. Take 2 ounces (dry weight) of marshmallow as a tea daily.

Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, a frequent contributor to Herbs for Health, is an adjunct faculty member in the botanical medicine department of Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

EMOTIONAL WELLNESS ESSENTIAL OILS - CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY!

Essential oils are able to enter receptor sites in our bodies (inhaling into the limbic system, topica application through the skin,  or even ingested) to reduce the hyper-sensitive states that we often live in. Essential oils communicate with our cells, just like the peptides that our bodies produce for emotional wellness and hormone balance.  Drugs don’t actually have the ability to help our bodies produce the peptides of well-being, they just shut down the body’s awareness that we are depressed, angry or stressed, plus they can also create destructive side effects.  A healthy diet, rich in good amino acids and B complex vitamins is foundational to emotional wellness. 

Geranium is an“All is well” essential oil, and definitely a first choice for easing anxiety and depression.  It is balancing and uplifting, with a tonifying and energizing effect on the psyche. It calms the adrenal cortex when 3-4 drops are applied (at waistline, just above kidney area), then rub below the nose and inhale deeply.  It is excellent for balancing female complaints and has some hormone-balancing effects, helping PMS, hot flashes and infertility.  Rub 1 drop under each ankle bone am and pm (inside and outside = 4 drops total) 2 times per day. It can quickly stop bleeding from cuts and wounds, and when used in a compress can assist with bruises, broken capillaries, edema, circulation issues, cellulite and skin congestion.  Geranium heals wounds – emotionally and physically.

Bergamot  a powerful essential oil for emotional uplift – and in the essential oil world, we call it “Nature’s Prozac”.  It helps people who are stuck in grief from a terrible loss (such as losing someone we love, etc).  It is light, it is gentle, and a premium grade Bergamot is bergaptene-free to protect from sun-darkening of the skin so it can be used directly on the skin undiluted (neat).  To make a spray mister, add 10-15 drops in a 2 oz mister and fill with distilled water.  It will kill germs in the air, and will help the heart to stay open and to get beyond the grief as you breathe it in.  Apply Bergamot on the heart area neat (2-4 drops) as needed during the day or at bedtime, or several times daily.  Its color is light green when it is a pure, high-quality oil.  Bergamot works well for all emotional imbalances so make sure to smell it deeply, as it works through the amygdala gland in the brain!

Neroli essential oil is from the orange blossom, and is one of the 3-Queens of essential oils!   Neroli is a tonic for the nervous system, and is good for very deep emotional pain, working like Rose essential oil (which is very costly).  It is also a very spiritual oil that helps people who have lost joy, to get out of hopeless places, into hope again.  It is desirable as a beautiful skin oil that stimulates new cell growth, while regenerating aging skin.  It can be added to olive, jojoba or grapeseed oil to make the skin youthful and healthy!  Neroli is wonderful to add to a cup of Dead Sea Salts or Epsom (magnesium) salt in the bathtub and to have an emotionally-uplifting bath with its anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects.  For PMS use 7 drops Neroli in 3 T. honey seven days prior to onset of menstruation.  It is helpful for people who have become thin-skinned, helps to strengthens the inner-will, and helps with test-anxiety (2 drops essential oil in ½ t. honey 3 x daily).  The same dosage helps control chronic diarrhea.

 Orange essential oil helps bring out the positive inner child in each of us - when we just feel like we are not having any fun in life.  Orange is helpful to bring optimism.  It is beautiful in the diffuser to uplift the emotions in the air as it is breathed in, and it blends well with Lemon, Pink Grapefruit, and even Cinnamon and Clove for the Holiday blues.  It has a cleansing effect on the body tissues and can be put into water as a drink to both uplift the spirits and to reduce dehydration.  It is also wonderful with Neroli added to it – 3 drops each with some honey, to reduce obesity and water retention.  Orange can be skin darkening when the skin is exposed to the sun, so it is best applied to areas of the body that are covered.

Frankincense essential oil has a powerful positive effect on the nervous system, as well as is anti-carcinogenic and wound-healing.  It heals wounds emotionally and physically.  It is very conducive to prayer and meditation, as it has the ability to slow down the mortal brain, open the spiritual brain, and deepen the breath.  It is anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, reduces nervous tension and reduces stress response.  Many people use 2-3 drops under their tongue to help them replace depression medications (use only premium, therapeutic grade).  It encourages tranquility, insight, and helps us to find our spiritual self.  Apply on the crown of the head, on the big toes, on the heart area, and on the back of the neck.  Tastes bitter, due to the tannins, but some people crave it.

Make your own TLC blend by combining equal drops of essential oils of Tangerine, Orange, Grapefruit pink, Ylang Ylang, Rose, and Rosewood.  This blend helps with nurturing - -  feeling the safety and love of a mother, as well as helping us to be able to nurture others.  It helps overcome grief, loss, depression, anxiousness, self-doubt, fear of the unknown, and helps us to feel peace.  Apply liberally at bedtime, but during the daytime use, make sure to use it in areas of the body that are not exposed to the sun, as the citrus oils in the blend can be skin-darkening when the skin is in the sun.  Wonderfully cleansing (both the air and the emotions) when adding 9 drops in a diffuser and diffused into a room.  Helpful when applied to the bottoms of the feet, especially the big toes, then hold fingers under nose and inhale deeply.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

CHARCOAL - THE GREAT PURIFIER AND DETOXIFIER

Look at the remains of a campfire that used wood from oak, elm or ash trees.  It would appear that the logs had been completely consumed by the fire and there was nothing further to use. Yet that plant (that herb) is born again as CHARCOAL with new attributes. 
 
Purifying Water:  When camping, good water may be hard to find, but by adding a chunk of charcoal - from your campfire into a pot of boiling water it will make the water safe to drink. Do NOT use a commercial briquette such as Kingsford -  that is pressed together with chemicals!

For treating little ones with diarrhea mix charcoal powder with bananas.

Charcoal may be given internally to detoxify and cleanse the body - as it has the ability to adsorb most drugs, excess cholesterol and triglycerides.  Most people put it into capsules, or buy capsules from a health food store.

Charcoal is rated Category I, safe and effective by the FDA for acute, toxic poisoning. Virtually every hospital across the country has charcoal on hand to deal with drug overdoses, food poisoning and other poisoning from toxic substances. Charcoal is superior to anything else for poisoning and this is proven by clinical evidence.  Time is of the essence when it comes to poisoning, and activated charcoal is more likely to reduce poison absorption if given within an hour of ingesting a poison.

Charcoal effectively neutralizes Prozac, acetaminophen, caffeine, strychnine, morphine, nicotine and aspirin.  However, it works poorly (or not at all) for strong acids and bases, alcohols and hydrocarbons such as petroleum distillates like gasoline, paint thinner and cleaning fluids.

What is commonly called stomach flu is technically not the flu.  Rather in most cases it is gastroenteritis which is an acute inflammation of the lining of the stomach. This calls for a charcoal slurry.

Charcoal is neither absorbed nor metabolized by the body but the charcoal adsorbs toxins before these poisons are able to compete with oxygen and nutrients that were trying to pass through the cell membrane. Instead of absorbing essential food elements, charcoal removes toxins that are competing with nutrients for intestinal and cellular absorption thereby promoting efficient nutrient uptake. 

Charcoal may also be used externally in poultices. The human skin has the amazing ability to allow the transfer of liquids and gases through its permeable membrane. By the application of moist charcoal compresses and poultices bacteria and poisons are drawn through the skin into the charcoal. Poultices have been found to be effective for itchy skin, infections, gangrenous ulcers, insect bites and stings. That includes the bites from brown recluse spiders, rattlesnakes, scorpions and ants.

Charcoal poultices have also been found good for the pain associated with sore throats, earaches, toothaches, irritated eyes, sprains, inflammations and bruises. Any area that is red, painful, swollen and hot responds to charcoal.  Pain produced by cancer, whether in the bone, abdomen or elsewhere, may be controlled with a charcoal poultice.

The combination of flaxseed and charcoal is one popular way to make a poultice. Flaxseed, when powdered or boiled, acts as a binder for the charcoal - and Flaxseed has its own healing virtues. A poultice can also be made with just plain water, K-Y Jelly, hand lotion or herbs such as Hops, Slippery Elm or Golden Seal.

Charcoal is also used for:
  • Purification processes, respirators, air conditioning systems and in the clean-up of waste gases. 
  • Cleaning soil of contaminants and as a soil conditioner.
  • A substitute for lime because of its high pot ash content. 
  • In a toolbox to help keep tools dry and rust-free. 
  • In the house where there is a problem with odor, mildew or mold - inhibiting bacterial andviral growth.
  • Treating nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and controlling flatulence.
  • An adjuvant to taking herbs (Works well in conjunction with herbs)..
  • Whitening teeth, helping infected gums and toothache
When you are concerned about what remedy will work and what will not that there is no worry of compounding problems with charcoal as there is with most drugs. Charcoal powder acts like a sponge to quickly eliminate most toxins from the body allowing the body to better handle the much lower amounts of toxins which remain.

While charcoal may greatly benefit some as a general detoxifier for a couple of months, it is not meant to be taken as a daily supplement. It helps to restore health if used along with good health practices and a nutritional diet.

Much of the information for this article came from Charcoal Remedies.com by John Dinsley
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