I’ve decided to write short reviews on books I’ve recently finished and liked.
The Wild Medicine Solution
Guido Mase’s excellent book provides valuable information about a couple of aromatic (Peppermint, Lemon Balm, Linden, Ginger, Garlic); tonic (Chocolate(?), Astralagus, Red Reishi, Hawthorn) and bitter herbs (Wormwood, Dandelion, Burdock, Yellow Dock), however it also contains a lot of (to me seemingly random but in-depth) scientific information about different subjects. It is not an easy read for those only interested in getting to know a couple of useful herbs and begin their herbal journey, but an excellent read for those with a little more scientific background interested in medicinal herbs. I liked that he involved some historical background of certain herbs, it was pretty entertaining, but the pharmacological approach here and there was a little bit overwhelming to me. I also loved to read about his connection to Italy and his Italian heritage. The recipes are very basic compared to other authors (Rosemary Gladstar, James Green etc). I felt that the info about the specific herbs wasn’t very detailed compared to other (to me less important) things like Heart Rate Variability or DNA structure.
07.01.-02. – bowel cleanse
To empty the bowels completely, drink a cup of laxative tea, using either senna or alder buckthorn bark tea or any other herbal laxative tea that you know will completely empty your bowels.
07.03 – 07.18: build your immune system
Drink one cup of Thyme or St. John’s wort tea every morning. You may alternate the two teas.
07.19 strenghten your glands
One cup of Lady’s Bedstraw tea in the morning.
07.20 – 07.31 strengthen reproductive organs
Gyorgy Szabo recommends drinking 1 cup of yarrow tea every third day during this period. Add 1 teaspoonful of yarrow to a cup of hot water, let it steep for 5 minutes. This is good for all women over 14 years of age. During this time a yarrow sitz bath is also recommended. To make this you’ll need about 5 quarts of tea, adding 1 tablespoonful of yarrow to every quart of water. Let it steep, strain and add to bath water. Keep water below the level of the heart.
Smallflower or Hairy Willowherb (Epilobium parviflorum) tea is recommended for men 14 years or older, but especially recommended for men over 50. Drink one cup of this tea every third day. It is a specific for a specific for benign prostatic hyperplasia and a mild diuretic.
I wanted to post this for some weeks now, but I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write until tonight.
I often meet people wondering about the beneficial herbs/herbal teas that may help maintain longevity and good health on the long run, how they should be combined, what’s a safe regimen etc. As far as I know, there is no such “herbal calendar” in the US yet, but I do know about a respected and experienced herbalist (Gyorgy Szabo) in Hungary who shared the list of herbs for health maintenance for every month. It is the very list that he used for himself for the past couple of decades and he is strong and in good health today, at 81. These are his recommendations for April:
1st of April, to prevent bacterial infections
Drink one cup of some mint tea. It may be spearmint, peppermint, or something else that you prefer from the mint family.
from 04.02 to 04.14, to calm and relieve generic nervous tension
The first week, drink one cup of St John’s Wort tea every second night before bed. The following week switch to drinking a cup of lemongrass tea in the same rythm.
on 04.15, to strenghten glandular system
One cup of Cleavers tea during the day
from 04.16 to 04.30, to cleanse the lungs and the airways
Drink a cup of tea of the following mixture every third day before dinner:
1 part Plantain, 1 part Coltsfoot, 1 part Lungwort, 1/2 part Mullein Flower mixed
For one cup of tea, use 3gr/1tsp of herbs in one cup of water.
I will add the recommendations for May in the next few weeks, stay tuned! If you have your own “calendar of herbal teas” for the different seasons, please share.
Any questions, please ask!
I visited my favorite used book store over the weekend and I came across this great book, Food as Medicine by Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD. The first chapters discuss fruits and vegetables and their phytochemical compounds and the physiological effects of these compounds on the human body. This book sparked my interest in cruciferous vegetables and I wanted to share what I learnt so far.
Sulforaphane is the most sought after component of Broccoli with proven anti-cancer effects
Cruciferous vegetables – for example cauliflower, cabbage, cress, bok choy, broccoli – are considered “health foods”, but not everyone knows why. These vegetables are generally high in vitamin C and soluble fiber and contain multiple nutrients and phytochemicals with possible anticancer properties. These effects have been attributed to the activity of isothiocyanates that are converted from their inactive precursors, glucosinolates.
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Tags: broccoli, broccoli and breast cancer, broccoli and prostate cancer, cabbage, cancer, cruciferous vegetables, glucosides, prostate cancer, sprouts, sulforaphane, vitamin C
I received my order of organic Turkey Tail mushrooms from Fungi Perfecti today. It took a couple of days for this package to get here, but after all -spending the weekend at the UPS warehouse- it looks healhty!
just got this organic Turkey Tail mushroom today
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Tags: Bastyr Magazine, Bastyr University, breast cancer, cancer, Cynthia Wenner, Fungi Perfecti, Growing Turkey Tail, immune system, LLC, Natural Killer Cells, NIH, PSK, Turkey Tail, Turkey Tail Mushroom, Underground Health Reporter, UPS
My Favorite: Dr. Christopher’s Gum and Tooth Powder recipe
For severe cases place this powder combination between the lips and gums (up and lower) around entire tooth area and leave on all night, six nights a week (as well as brushing regularly) until improvement is evident. Then continue on with regular tooth brushing with this herbal food combination.
3 parts oak bark
1 part oat straw
6 parts comfrey root
3 parts horsetail grass
one part lobelia
one part cloves
3 parts peppermint
(powdered stevia – optional)
Chose a measuring device like a tsp, tbs, tea cup, cup, bowl etc depending on how much herbs you have and how much formula you are making and combine them all into a bowl and then bottle it. I would buy cut and sifted herbs if you have a vitamix to powder them or maybe a mortar and pestle or hammer to crush them over powdered as the powdered lose the volatile herbs but you might want powdered. It is up to you I guess..then apply between gums and teeth and leave on overnight 6 days a week, one day off and then repeat. Also herbs work best if used 6 weeks on and one week off.
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Tags: cinnamon, clove, comfrey, diy recipe, Echinacea Tincture, food, herbal tooth paste, herbal tooth powder, horsetail, inflammation, inflammed gums, Note Dropperful, Oak Gall, oral hygiene, recipe, tea, teeth, tooth, Tooth Gum Oil
Chronic Aphtosis and Sodium Lauryl Sulface
It is also called Aphta and Chronic aphtosis. Normally you should not experience a mouth ulcer very often, but if you do (like I did for a while), there may be something in your toothpaste triggering this unpleasant response in your body.
First I thought it was something with my teeth, throat, immune system or the food I am eating… But after being in a foreign country for a few weeks and returning to my old toothpaste back home, it flared up in an hour. So I realized the inevitable toothpaste-mouth ulcer connection right there and then. I started researching and surprisingly, I am not the only one affected. For most sensitive people Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is causing similar issues.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a highly effective surfactant and is used in any task requiring the removal of oily stains and residues. For example, it is found in higher concentrations with industrial products including engine degreasers, floor cleaners, and car wash soaps. It is found in toothpastes, shampoos, shaving foams, and bubble bath formulations in part for its thickening effect and its ability to create a lather.
So what can you do?
Switch to a toothpaste that is free of SLS. I am currently using Herbal Tooth & Gum Powder from dr. Christopher and for me it is wonderful. You can also make your own toothpaste – more details in the following post.
Tags: cinnamon, detergent, Echinacea Tincture, food, Forever Aloe, horsetail, immune system, mouth ulcer, Note Dropperful, Oak Gall, recipe, SLS, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, tea, teeth, tooth, Tooth Gum Oil
What is an adaptogen?
Reversing the signs of aging is a most discussed topic these days in the United States. Aging however is a natural process, depending on balance of metabolic actions in the body. Anabolic processes tend toward “building up” organs and tissues, so increasing anabolic functions is key to effectively start re-building strength and stamina and to delay the signs of aging.
An adaptogen is a metabolic regulator which increases our ability to adapt to environmental factors, and to avoid damage from stress. Adaptogens are known for their wide spectrum tonic properties, that are not specific to any of the organ systems. They help our body to deal with daily stress on all levels: be it physical, emotional and psychical. Adaptogenic herbs exert a normalizing influence on the body, neither over-stimulating nor inhibiting normal body function, but rather enforcing a generalized tonifying effect. Adaptogens help to protect our energy sources from depletion, thus working as tonics in times of fatigue and stress.
So adaptogens in general are non-toxic substances used to build up strength after a long illness, during recovery from a chronic disease or as a long term measure to supplement and nourish a stress-sensitive individual.
Health benefits of adaptogens
Adaptogens are tonics for the body and can be taken for every day for overall health and energy. Adaptogens can increase the effectiveness of antibiotics, anxiolytics (anxiety relief), antidepressants and blood sugar lowering agents. Most of them have a long, recorded history in traditional chinese and ayurvedic medicine.
Things to consider when using adaptogenic herbs
One of the greatest problems in the modern use of adaptogens is how they help us push beyond normal stress capacity and they become yet another way to speed us towards burnout. This is a suppressive method and it’s not recommended. Get plenty of sleep and try to find some time for yourself to unwind and help your body to restore itself.
10 important adaptogenic herbs
American ginseng – Mild CNS stimulant and nourishing for the nervous system
Ashwagandha – Antioxidant, antihistamine, anti-inflammatory
Asian Ginseng – Stimulating adaptogen for adrenal exhaustion
Astagalus – Immune and heart tonic
Cordyceps – Lung and kindey tonic, immune amphoteric
Eleuthero – Immune tonic, adrenal tonic, antifatigue and performance enhancer
He shou wu – Supports male reproductive function
Holy Basil – Supports normal cortisol and blood sugar levels
Reishi – Immune amphoteric, calms the mind
Shatavari – Female reproductive tonic, immune and lung tonic
In my next post I will discuss adaptogens specific for anxiety and depression in more detail.
David Winston: Adaptogens, Herbs for strength, stamina and stress relief
Bear Medicine Herbals: Terms of the Trade: Adaptogen
Tags: adrenal burnout, American Ginseng, anxiety, Ashwagandha Antioxidant, Astagalus Immune, blood sugar, Cordyceps Lung, David Winston Adaptogens, depression, Eleuthero Immune, fatigue, Holy Basil Supports, Reishi Immune, rejuvenation with herbs, Shatavari Female, stamina, strength, stress, tonic, United States
Ear infections were the number one illness responsible for nearly 7% of all pediatric visits in 2007 between January and September. (1) In a recent clinical study researchers found that antibiotics are effective in most cases of ear infections caused by bacteria. But only 1 out of 5 children with ear infections needs antibiotics to clear an ear infection. In 4 out of 5 children, ear infections clear on their own.(2)
WebMD states that antibiotics will not be effective if the ear infection is caused by a virus. Waiting before starting an antibiotic can save your child from taking medicine that he or she doesn’t need. (3)
The American Academy of Pediatrics is also suggesting the watchful waiting approach – where the parent keeps an eye on the child in case of worsening while treating the illness at home.(4)
To read more about ear infections in general, visit the NIDCD site.
Herbal home remedies for ear infections
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Tags: AOM, echinacea, flu, garlic, Garlic Mullein Oil, Herbal Conference, Hot Salt Mitten, infections, inflammation, Lavender Oil, Mimi Hernandez, MS, NIDCD, Pediatric News, Southeast Women, Traci Picard, Traci Picard Ear
How to stop nasty vomiting when a child can’t even hold water down?
My 4 year old daughter became ill recently due to stomach flu. She could not hold anything down, not even water. After she emptied her stomach completely and the situation did not resolve itself (sometimes it does), I gave her a little teaspoonful of honey – I remembered Juliette talking about how honey soothes the upset stomach but I never tried it. I used raw organic honey and to my surprise, it worked like a charm… My daughter seemed to get better quickly and she took one more little teaspoonful of honey and 10 minutes later she was ready to drink some warm chamomile tea with honey and ground nutmeg. And it did not come back! For the slight diarrhea that followed I made her some Raspberry leaf tea (which is a great tasting astringent, even kids love it), Carob balls and Slippery Elm balls.
I always use organic, raw honey, hopefully you can buy something similar locally. Slippery Elm is available on amazon or from Mountain Rose Herbs.
Foods to eat after diarrhea
Throughout my childhood the first food I got after recovering from stomach flu was baked (and salted) potatoes along with chamomile tea. Chamomile is a great anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory and the taste isn’t too bad either if you don’t make the tea too strong. Cooked carrots, mashed potatoes, white rice, bananas and cooked apples are also mild enough on your recovering digestive tract. If you feel up to eating solid foods, soups containing bland vegetables and/or chicken breast can add helpful nutrients and protein, which supports lean tissue repair and energy.
Tags: astringent, carob balls, diarrhea, digestive upset, flu, Mountain Rose Herbs, Slippery Elm, stomach, stomach flu, tea, vomiting