Welcome to my blog!!! It's been a number of years since I started this blog. Not only do I have hopes of teaching the masses, I too, have learned a lot! There's always new & updated information in the herbal & essential oil worlds. I have lots to say on many subjects including herbs, essential oils, nutrition, supplements, different modalities of healing and just a little bit of everything!! Maybe in reading my blogs, just one person will come away with a bit of knowledge that they might be able to help themselves or another human being, I would consider that to be a great blessing.....

Over the years I have had businesses. It seems I can't get away from seeing if a certain herb or e.o. can help a fellow human and that's usually how it starts. So again as I am in AZ, part time anyway, I was asked again if I would be interested in starting another herbal biz!! So we now have Herbs 4 Health!! Numerous herbal blends....single essential oils...essential oil blends....supplements....tinctures all to help the body to heal itself.

The information in these blogs is not meant in any way shape or form to plagiarize, for I have never said this is all MY work. It is a compilation of reputable informative websites, my 'go to' books I have always depended upon & my own knowledge. I gather & put together information to help people learn & this way they can come back here to help remind themselves of said information instead of 'where oh where did I find that on the world wide web'. Seems to me it's just better & easier.

DISCLAIMER: This information does not diagnose, treat or heal any type illness or disease.






















Monday, March 26, 2018

More Tincture Info....

Menstruums: There are three basic menstruums, mediums or solvents used to extract the chemical compounds of herbs into tinctures: alcohol, glycerin, and vinegar. Alcohol is the most used because it can extract fats, resins, waxes,most alkaloids, and some of the volatile oils, as well as many other plant compounds. For centuries, tinctures have been used in many systems of integrative medicine. Water is also necessary to extract the water soluble plant chemicals. Using an 80 to 100 proof alcohol such as vodka, brandy and gin provides the alcohol-water ratio you need without having to add anything. If pure grain alcohol, AKA everclear (190 proof) is used, water will have to be added. Don't use city tap water that contains chlorine, use either distilled or pure spring water.

Herbs: Either fresh or dried finely chopped herbs can be used. Use of one pint of menstruum to two ounces of dried herbs, or about two handfuls of fresh.
The important thing is to completely cover the herbs, leaving a couple of extra inches of liquid about the herbs to allow for swelling as the herbs absorb the liquid. Leave some headroom in the jar. If using vinegar, warm first before pouring it over the herbs.

Procedure for making an easy tincture:

     1. Place chopped herbs in a glass jar, labeled with the current date and name of the herb
     2. Add sufficient liquid menstruum/medium to completely cover the herb
     3. Cap with a tight fitting lid, put the jar in a dark place at room temperature, and shake at least once daily.
    4. After 4 to 6 weeks, strain the contents through several layers of cheesecloth, if needed. Roots don't usually need any type of filter.
    5. Store in a labeled, amber glass bottle away from light and heat.

For stronger tinctures a suggested time can be 4 to 6 weeks. The duration depends on the mixture and on your patience, in time you will develop your own style. I keep mine out on a counter, but not in direct sunlight so I don't forget the shake the jars twice daily. Tinctures will keep for years! Only 3 drops is equal to a cup of herbal tea, it's that potent. The recommended dosage is anywhere from 20-60 drops 3x/day.

Alcohol has mostly displaced vinegar as a menstruum for making liquid herbal extracts/tinctures, as it is far more efficient in extracting and preserving the medicinal properties of herbs. Vinegar is however passable medium and useful in cases where you wish to avoid alcohol. When used in conjunction with alcohol, vinegar can sometimes assist in the extraction of alkaloid (base) substances from herbs. Such an extract containing both vinegar and alcohol is known as an acetous tincture. IMHO, alcohol is just a better medium.

Commercial Herbal Extracts: It is important to understand the labels on commercial extracts. The information should always include the ratio of herb to the medium, the percent of alcohol content along with a complete list of ingredients, and instructions for storage and use. This is not a place you want to shop for bargins. Only buy proven brands you trust.
Strength is expressed in a ratio. Preserving the full range of medicinal properties often depends on using fresh plant material. Extracts made from fresh herbs generally use equal parts of plant matter to solvent, resulting in a ratio of 1:1. Dried herbs are more concentrated and the ratios range from 1:2 to 1:4.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

My Interview with "Being Aunt Debbie:"!!!

This was one of my happiest moments when my BFF asked me for an interview about essential oils. I never thought anything like that could happen to ME!! She was actually the 2nd person to want to interview me as Cinnamon Moon of Two Moons Talking had me on her show a while back!! I thought I would re-publish the interview from an up & coming famous  blogger "Being Aunt Debbie"!!!

An Interview With An Aromatherapist

Back in the early 2000’s, I became friends with a great lady who was the owner of a little online business called Mystick Scents. I started by purchasing products from her for my own use and for my little online business called Scents Essential. We became fast friends and in 2006 she sold her business to me! I merged the two businesses together and kept the Mystick Scents name.
I had learned a great deal about aromatherapy and how to make lotions and creams, body sprays, bath salts, etc., from this woman, my mentor, and friend. Eventually, I started to venture out into creating my own recipes. It was a great experience! But, my physical health was slowly on the decline and I had to close Mystick Scents in 2010.
Becky and I are still friends; besties if you will. She now owns a business called Herbs 4 Health. She writes a blog and has a Facebook page. She has been forever trying to educate the public about essential oils and aromatherapy. I thought an interview would be a fabulous idea! (Links are located at the end of the interview for your convenience.) Enjoy!
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Becky, can you start by telling my readers about yourself, your specializations, and where you can be found for more information?
I am certified in both herbal medicine and in aromatherapy. I am also known as Herbmama. The business I own is Herbs 4 Health and I also have a blog called Herbmama’s Words. I can be found on Facebook along with the business and blog.

What is an aromatherapist?
An aromatherapist is one that is educated in and uses essential oils to help improve one’s health whether it be physical, emotional or psychological.

What exactly is aromatherapy? 
Aromatherapy uses plant materials & aromatic plant oils, AKA essential oils and other aroma compounds for improving health, psychological or emotional well-being.

What or who inspired you to go into this field and when did you get started? 
The quest for knowledge in this field happened when I had a bath/body biz called Mystick Scents. Then I became a sponge and just had to know more & more which led to my certification.

How are essential oils used? 
Essential oils can be used via inhalation, topically and internally — the later only by a trained aromatherapist as it can be dangerous.

How are essential oils extracted from plants? 
There are basically 2 methods for extraction: the distillation process where the plant material is heated and then the water/oils are separated. Any by-product from such is sold off. Then there is cold pressed which is exactly what you think it is….peelings from the citrus are pressed to get the oils.

How do people know the best method for using essential oils? 
A lot of people don’t know, which is why they can get into trouble. The best way to find out is to ask, not just assume you already know. You might have an essential oil that can cause more issues than what you started with.

How do they work? 
Essential oils can actually change brain chemistry. They can work on what the body needs at a particular time. They are a type of fat or oil so they can easily get into the body’s cells to do the work. Although we aren’t allowed to say…they can heal. They are anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal so they can work on those types of maladies.

Can they be used straight on your skin? 
It’s not advisable to use essential oils straight out of the bottle. Only lavender is gentle enough for some. Always dilute and do a patch test if you are new to essential oils or a particular oil.

What is a carrier oil? 
A carrier oil is an oil one mixes with essential oils to apply topically to the skin. Some examples are sweet almond, jojoba, fractionated coconut oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil.

How do you know you’re buying quality essential oils? 
One has to find a reputable essential oil supplier with learned knowledge so you know what you are looking for and who you can trust. So many are adulterated now which means other chemical components have been added to dilute the healthful benefits of the essential oils and the body can’t synthesize chemicals. Once you find a good company, there is a way to test to see if your essential oil has been adulterated. Place 1 drop on a piece of paper and let it evaporate. If there is no residue and no oily stain then they are pure.

What’s the difference between therapeutic grade and manufacturer’s grade essential oils? 
There really isn’t a thing as manufacturer’s grade as you say. There is food grade which is different than therapeutic grade. Therapeutic grade can be a relative term as ALL non-adulterated essential oils are therapeutic in their own right. A lot of companies say therapeutic as a marketing ploy. Food grade essential oils are diluted with additives to sell to the food or perfume industry.

How should we store our essential oils? 
Essential oils should be stored in air-tight dark colored glass bottles away from heat and direct light. The more you open them, the faster they can go bad and evaporate.

Some people/companies suggest taking essential oils internally. Is that really safe? 
NO! It’s not safe in my opinion. There are essential oils that can be ingested but only with advice and guidance from a qualified aromatherapist. No way should they be taken full strength as the molecules are too strong for the sensitive tissues internally. There have been (reports of) damage done to esophageal tissues, organs and stomach tissues from essential oils.

 Are essential oils safe for kids and pets? 
There are some essential oils safe for pets but that should be done through research and usually on a case by case basis. One e.o. for a dog or cat may not be ok for another breed for example. Kids…generally, yes but further dilution should be done before and of course the child’s weight/age have to be factored in. There are aromatherapists out there that only treat animals though.

Are essential oils really better/more effective than conventional treatments? 
Essential oils are better than conventional, in my opinion. They are powerful and natural. But that question is really hard to answer so I don’t get myself into hot water with certain government agencies if you know what I mean. 

Can you boost your immunity with essential oils? 
Oh yes, the body’s immune system can be greatly enhanced and boosted with essential oils!

What’s the biggest mistake you see people making concerning essential oils? 
Ingesting them and applying them without proper dilution. Thinking they know it all with like 5 minutes of experience.

Which 5 essential oils are the best to get started with, to always have on hand?
One’s basic ‘medicine cabinet’ should include lavender, peppermint, tea tree, rosemary, and lemon.

What is an essential oil ‘blend’?
A blend is more than one essential oil together with a carrier oil that helps a specific problem whether it be physical or emotional.

Is there a blend or blends that we should always have on hand? 
Oh I think so, yes. Blends for colds, flu, pain issues, things like that.

What’s the most common way people are using essential oils? 
Topically, diffusers and in the bath.

What do you enjoy the most about working with essential oils? 
Mostly I enjoy developing the blends I guess!! Sniffing them as I put them together, figuring out which oil would be best to use, knowing it can possibly help the next person who uses that blend.

How do you use essential oils in your own life? 
I use them for health prevention, to help boost my immune system, as a perfume, in bathing, at times in cleaning too.

What are your favorite essential oils/blends? 
My favorites are the Krud Kicker, my Taurus ‘perfume’ blend, the memory oil. I like them all pretty much. If the blends don’t smell ‘attractive’ people won’t use them.

What do you think scares people the most about essential oils? 
That they know little to nothing about them and that is THE greatest obstacle…educating the public!

What advice would you give someone considering a career in aromatherapy? 
Don’t try to learn or memorize ALL the essential oils, there are far too many. pick a few you want to start with and learn all you can about those. When you are ready, add slowly to your repertoire.

And my last question…. Is there ONE tip you would like to give my readers?
Don’t judge essential oils without learning just a little about them. Try them. They come from plants, trees, barks, roots, flowers, so how bad can they be for our health??!!
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I hope you’ve enjoyed my interview with Becky (Herbmama) and that you feel you’ve learned a little about essential oils. For more information go to Herbs 4 Health on facebook or Herbmama's Words on Facebook.



 

Cannabis vs CBD

The key to understanding the truth about cannabis oil uses is to learn what hemp is compared to marijuana, which are both made up of the Cannabis sativa plant.
  • Marijuana is a breed of the Cannabis plant that contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrated in the buds, which is the chemical that produces the psychotropic effects that gets people “high.”
  • Hemp is also a breed of the Cannabis plant, but is bred without THC-containing plants. It is farmed for its height due to the usefulness of its stalks and is rich in cannabidiol (CBD), which is the “major nonpsychoactive component of Cannabis sativa.
  • Both have a rich history and are praised for their practical utility, particularly their medicinal benefits.
The breeding practices and utilization of the plant actually determine which term we should use. Meaning this: Marijuana is the correct term to use when describing a Cannabis plant that is bred for its medicinal or recreational use. It is known for it psychotropic effects due to the high amounts of THC that are extracted from the resinous glands (known as trichomes). Cannabis plants engineered as marijuana (not hemp) contain levels of THC ranging from 3% – 15% while plants grown for industrial hemp contain less than 1%. There 3 primary ways marijuana is cultivated and manufactured:
  1. Herbal – consisting of the dried flowering tops and leaves.
  2. Resin – compressed solid made from the resinous parts of the plant
  3. “Oil” – which is actually a solvent extract of cannabis
Hemp, on the other hand, is the proper term to use for Cannabis strains that have been cultivated for its fiber and/or seeds, which are used to make a wide variety of products. Cannabis grown this way contains trace amounts of THC and CBD, which has been shown to block the effects of THC on the nervous system. It has been suggested that “low THC levels and high CBD levels in hemp plants negate any psychoactive effects.”
Products made from industrial hemp are supposed to contain less than 0.3% THC, which is the legal amount to buy, consume, sell and ship the product. This 0.3% is the standard to distinguish between what is classified as “hemp” and what is classified as “marijuana,” but there has been some concerns that the amount of THC in hemp seeds and other consumables are not consistent. This is why organizations like the Weston A Price Foundation strongly recommend caution when eating hemp seeds.

Cannabis Oil Uses: What It Is & What It Isn't!

First off, so-called “Cannabis oil” is not an essential oil and the name is misleading. Here's the low-down:
  • Hemp oil is readily available online as a food product and praised for its 1:1 omega-3/omega-6 ratio. It is made from hemp.
  • CBD oil (also known as (“CBD hemp oil”) contains high levels of cannabidiol (CBD) and low THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) levels, which is regarded as medicinal, but not psychotropic. It is also made from hemp.
  • Cannabis oil is essentially an extract or absolute and is typically taken orally – ingesting a few drops several times per day. It is made from marijuana.
From what we can tell – although this conclusion is mostly based off of personal reports and not clinical trials – conventional Cannabis oil (being rich in THC) gets people “high,” whereas CBD oil cannot.

Cannabis Oil Uses – Absolutes & Extracts not Essential Oils

So, what is cannabis oil? This is where things get really fuzzy. I'm sure you've seen the term “Cannabis oil” being thrown around the Internet the last few years. Heralded to cure everything from cancer to glaucoma, activists are using research and countless miracle testimonials to convince legislatures nationwide to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. One of the reasons why we're hearing so much about Cannabis oil is because of Rick Simpson. In 2003 Rick utilized a homemade Cannabis concoction as a cure for skin cancer. He shared his success with his doctors and some cancer organizations, but no one paid attention to his story. His reaction is somewhat intriguing as he responded by growing his own plants and produced his own Cannabis extract, calling it “Cannabis oil.” Giving it away for free to people in need, he reports healing over 5,000 people with this medicine. The confusion enters the scene here because Rick didn't make Cannabis oil, he made a Cannabis extract or an absolute. Big difference!

Technically-speaking, regardless if we're talking about conventional “Cannabis oil” or CBD oil, both are extracts or absolutes, NOT essential oils. So, referring to them as “oils” is misleading. To clarify...essential oils today are manufactured primarily through steam distillation or expression (“cold-pressing”). Another technique is referred to as solvent extraction.

Let me assure you that the difference between essential oils, extracts or absolutes is not merely semantical. Each contain different chemical compositions, which means they all have different effects on the body, and each have different safety concerns

Cannabis Oil Uses – Chemical Composition

In the 2013, the journal Cannabinoids published a full report on the chemical constituency of 5 different preparations of cannabis extract based off of the following solvents: ethanol, naphtha, petroleum ether, and olive oil. Here are the main takeaways directly from the article: (4)
  • Most extracts contained only a small proportion of THC (5-10% of total THCA + THC content).
  • A notable exception was the naphtha extract, which was found to contain 33% of total THCA + THC content present in the form of THC.
  • The major components present in the cannabis material used were the monoterpenes beta-pinene, myrcene, beta- phellandrene, cis-ocimene, terpinolene and terpineol, and the sesquiterpenes beta-caryophyllene, humulene, delta-guaiene, gamma-cadinene, eudesma-3,7(11)-diene and elemene.
  • The extraction solvents showed comparable efficiency for extracting terpenes, with the notable exception of naphtha. While this solvent generally extracted terpenes less efficiently than the other solvents, several terpenes could not be detected at all in the naphtha extract.
  • The use of olive oil as extraction solvent was found to be most beneficial based on the fact that it extracted higher amounts of terpenes than the other solvents/methods, especially when using an extended heating time.
  • Treatment of the ethanolic extract with activated charcoal, intended to remove chlorophyll, resulted in a considerable reduction of cannabinoid content.
  • Pure ethanol efficiently extracts chlorophyll from cannabis, which will give the final extract a distinct green colour, and often unpleasant taste. Removing chlorophyll by filtering the ethanol extract over activated charcoal was found to be very effective, but it also removed a large proportion of cannabinoids and terpenes, and is therefore not advised.
As an added note, the study was clear to state that, “All the solvent components should be considered harmful and flammable, and some of them, such as hexane and benzene, may be neurotoxic. Both naphtha and petroleum ether are considered potential cancer hazards according to their respective Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) provided by manufacturers. Moreover, products sold as naphtha may contain added impurities (e.g. to increase stability) which may have harmful properties of their own.”

Cannabis Oil Uses – Using Cannabis Oil As Medicine

In the words of a 2007 article in the journal Dialogues in Clinical Neurosciences, “Despite the mild addiction to cannabis and the possible enhancement of addiction to other substances of abuse, when combined with cannabis, the therapeutic value of cannabinoids is too high to be put aside.” Modern research shows that the compounds in Cannabis can:
  • Reduce pain (analgesia).
  • Help reduce side-effects related to chemotherapy in cancer patients (especially pain and vomiting).
  • Reduce muscle spasms and neurological overactivity in MS and cerebral palsy patients.
  • Help reduce ocular pressure in glaucoma patients.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Relieve symptoms of asthma, constipation, depression, epilepsy and insomnia.
The reason why Cannabis is such an effective healing agent is because it contains “an enormous variety of chemicals. Some of the 483 compounds identified are unique to Cannabis, for example, the more than 60 cannabinoids, whereas the terpenes, with about 140 members forming the most abundant class, are widespread in the plant kingdom.”
Regarding cannabinoids, they are “a class of diverse chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors in cells that repress neurotransmitter release in the brain.” Essentially, THCpotently activates the G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptor CB1 and also modulates the cannabinoid receptor CB2.” Few substances on the planet can do this.

Cannabis Oil Uses – A Note About Cancer

There are several blog posts out there that have gone viral sharing 42 Medical Studies that Prove Cannabis Can Cure Cancer and other similar topics. One thing is clear: THC and other cannabinoids have been shown to inhibit tumour growth and angiogenesis in animal and human in vitro (cells in a petri dish) studies. However, the antitumoral effect of cannabinoids hasn't been tested on humans to a great extent, and we need to be careful not to jump to any premature conclusions. Otherwise, we'll start see reports that Cannabis can cure everything but death!
The list is promising and should give researchers and legislatures reason to investigate the effect(s) that Cannabis can have as a natural cancer solution. Take note though that several studies report non-psychotropic effects when THC was administered to cancer patients. This should be of particular interest to people who are against Cannabis because of its ability to get people “high.”

This article has been edited and originally from a larger, more indepth article written by Dr. Eric Z