Welcome to my blog!!! I have been an herbalist & an aromatherapist for over 20 years!! My blog is over 10 years old & there are over 100 informative blogs here. Not only do I have hopes of teaching the masses, I too, have learned a lot during my research on different topics! There's always new & updated information in the herbal & essential oil worlds. There are blogs on 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 several businesses. It seems I can't get away from seeing if a certain herb or essential oil can help a fellow human and that's usually how it starts. I am now in Arizona and I was asked again if I would be interested in starting another herbal business!! We now have Herbs 4 Health!! Providing numerous herbs....herbal blends....single essential oils...essential oil blends....minerals....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: All the information in these blogs do not diagnose, treat or heal any type illness or disease.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Helpful Herbs for Fibromyalgia....

In a recent magazine article I came upon this very informative article & thought I would share it since I seem to know a lot of people with this 'condition'. Now while these herbs won't necessarily cure, they could help with the symptoms of this exhausting disease. Of course taking the 2 more targeted drugs: Lyrica & Cymbalta along with pain relievers & antidepressants more & more are trying to find better avenues which can include: nutrition, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage & biofeedback.

So the top 10 herbs that could help are:

Ashwagandha: an adaptogen & it's key ability is to soothe frayed nerves & reduce spasms & inflammation.

Chamomile: we all know what a soothing herb this can be & a mild sedative in it's own right, but it also has anti-spasmodic properties.

Devil's Claw: native to southern Africa...the roots are used in medicinal preparations. it's an anti-inflammatory & has been found useful in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatic-type pain, neck & back pain, osteoarthritis & also tendonitis.

Echinacea: boosts the immune system and helps to reduce inflammation.

Elderberry: a powerful diaphoretic which means it induces sweating, thereby reducing fevers. It's a potent immune-system booster & very beneficial during the flu season.

Eleuthero: formerly called Siberian ginseng, it is actually NOT in the Panax ginseng family. The root, stem & bark are used in herbal medicine. It is an adaptogen and helps to increase endurance & stamina while also strengthening the immune system. It also acts as a nervine to help treat insomnia and frequent nighttime wake-ups. Some herbalists may also recommend it for chronic fatigue, immune deficiency & adrenal fatigue.

Licorice Root: another adaptogen & it helps by reducing inflammation and relieving adrenal exhaustion, depression, lethargy  & fatigue. It also reduces excessive immune-system response which can lead to inflammation. If you have HBP, kidney issues or take prescriptions, check with your doctor first.

Milky Oats: these are extracted from the immature seed of the common oat, which is the same as your basic oatmeal, which fills with white "milk" for one week out of the growing cycle. But they serve as an excellent tonic for the entire nervous system, helping to restore frayed nerves & provide a sense of calm & tranquility. It is especially helpful for those who suffer from chronic fatigue, panic disorders, depression & insomnia.

Valerian: this one is a very strong sedative with pain-relieving actions. It is very useful for those suffering from stress, insomnia, pain from muscle spasms, tension, headaches & other similar issues. If you feel greater agitation after taking it, then of course discontinue taking it.

Willow Bark: the bark of this tree contains salicin which is the pain-reliever pharmaceutical companies extract for their aspirin. But unlike theirs, this will not cause gastrointestinal issues.

As with any of these, check with your doctor first, if you are so inclined.

Dandelion and it's benefits!

We all know about the weed we once tried to get rid of on our lawns....many of us now think of it differently & know how beneficial it can be to our health! That IS IF we aren't too late & poured too many pesticides & poisons on them in recent years. All parts of the dandelion are great for us!!!!

They are extremely high in Vit. A, B6, B3, B9, B12, C, D & K and high in the minerals calcium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, iron, manganese & potassium!!!!

Helps lower blood pressure.

A mild laxative for constipation symptoms.

Contains the antioxidant luteolin (a citrus bio-flavonoid)

Stimulates urinary function to help flush out toxins from the kidneys

Promotes optimal digestive function.

Supports normal bile production.

Nourishes and boosts overall liver (hepatic) performance.

Serves to protect the liver from damage.

Helps to reduce cholesterol.

Helps with a sluggish digestive system, because of the bitters, so that the body can remove toxins & other waste quicker, as a result the liver doesn't have to work as hard.

Helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels.

Blood purifier according to folk medicine.

Great source of potassium.

Helps to regulate and normalize hormone production.

Fact: the greens of the dandelion plant provide 535% of the recommended daily value of Vit. K which may be the most important source of any other plant-based food to strengthen bones, but may also play a role in fighting Alzheimer's disease by limiting neuron damage to the brain. Dandelion greens also give the body 112% of the min. requirements of Vit. A, an antioxidant carotenoid which is particularly good for the skin, mucous membranes & vision.

There is also evidence dandelion greens might prove helpful in treating AIDS & herpes. The roots show an ever-increasing possibility in the fight against cancer! New studies have shown that it selectively kills only cancer cells as opposed to radiation & chemo which kills healthy cells too! During chemo, it can help support the liver & kidneys, boost the immune system, help to detoxify, can help with nausea & mouth sores.

However, dandelion can interfere with some prescriptions & that is called contraindications...SO if you are taking lithium, quinolones or have allergies to the leaf or have endocrine impairment, do not take the leaves or any part of the plant until it has been discussed with your doctor.

Benefits of Maca Root....

Do you find yourself wanting more coffee for the caffeine during the day?? Why not try maca instead? This is a root from Peru...a tuber, like a potato and offers an amazing energy boost for those with low energy. Unlike coffee though, maca offers energy to the body in a non-caffeinated way.

Maca is nutritionally dense & considered a super food by some. It contains high amounts of minerals, vitamins, enzymes & all of the essential amino acids. Maca root is rich in the b-vitamins, which are the energy vitamins. It also contains high levels of bioavailable calcium & magnesium.

The great thing about maca that I am really impressed with is the fact that it helps to balance our hormones. Due to an over abundance of environmental estrogens, most people's hormones are a bit out of whack. Maca stimulates and nourishes the hypothalamus & pituitary glands which are the "master glands" of the body. These glands actually regulate the other glands, so when in balance they can bring balance to the adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, ovarian & testicular glands!!

Instead of providing actual hormones to the body, maca works as an adaptogen which means that it responds to whatever the body needs at any given moment. If you are producing too much of a particular hormone, maca will regulate the production downward. However if you are producing too little, it will regular the production upwards.

Hormones regulate many things including mood, growth, sexual development, tissue function...but they also play a pivitol role in many diseases, like cancer & depression. It has shown to be beneficial for hormonal problems such as PMS, menopause, hot flashes, libido problems & sexual functions. It has been nicknamed "nature's Viagra".

You can sprinkle it over your food, you can add it to smoothies, it's great on bananas or you can also take it in capsule form. Recommended amounts are 1/2 tsp/day & work yourself up to 1 tsp/day over the course of a week...or...900 mg/day. If you are taking it daily, it's best to take a day off from it weekly.

Maca is a food staple in Peru & as of latest research, there are no known effects of toxicity. However we are all different & some may experience adverse effects when they start taking it. If you are pregnant or nursing, one should avoid it. If you are allergic to veggies like broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, etc. you should avoid it. If you are taking anticoagulants or birth control, stimulants or have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or cancer of the breast or prostate, you should avoid taking it.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Milk Thistle for your Liver & more!

The liver is an important organ in your body that performs many essential functions & when it becomes inflamed or damaged, serious issues can arise. Severe inflammation to the liver can lead to poor health and interrupt systems to the rest of your body. But it is the only regenerative organ in the body as well. The liver processes everything you eat or drink. Of course organic food is best, but if you can’t always get organic, try to limit your intake of processed or fried foods. If you eat a lot of fructose or trans fats, this could cause what they call a fatty liver disease or hepatitis. Try eating sulfur rich foods like garlic, raw vegetables on a daily basis if you can. By eating these raw veggies, you are helping your body to remove toxins, not just in your liver, but also in the digestive tract because of the fiber content and that also can help to reduce the stress on your liver. Alcohol can damage your liver cells, which can lead to a fatty liver, inflammation & hepatitis. If your liver is already damaged, then even a small amount of alcohol can cause further damage. Try to use natural products for your body & home to help reduce the stress on the liver. Prescriptions can cause major damage to the liver, so be extra careful if you are on a lots of those…try to eat healthy, avoid alcohol & take some good supplements like milk thistle which can effectively repair liver damage & prevent further inflammation and can also help you manage the stresses everyday life can put upon this miraculous organ.

Milk thistle’s therapeutic effects work on the liver & gallbladder and have been known for more than 2000 years. Even some ancient philosophers praised it’s effectiveness in detoxifying the liver. The main component of this plant/herb is silymarin which is the substance that protects the liver cells. it consists of flavonoids that can nurture the liver like no other with milk thistle's antioxidant powers, it can help keep the liver healthy & strong & even help to restore it! (the NA are still using it today to treat boils & skin diseases) There are many studies showing milk thistle's protective properties against the damaging effects of alcohol, toxins, drugs & viruses. This is especially useful for people taking antidepressants, anti-psychotics & acetaminophen (tylenol and the like) which are all known to cause serious damage to the liver. Many herbalists recommend this herb to help the liver & support it! The silymarin content in this plant is more potent than the vitamins C & E!!

It is the seeds themselves from the flowering plant that offer such medicinal value to us humans. each full-grown plant can produce abt 6,000 seeds! and even these days medical science has proven there is some truth behind the usefulness of this plant where the liver is concerned!!

Now those with severe liver disease or cirrhosis can't be cured with this, but it sure can help. But those with mild liver disease, viral hepatitis, particularly hepatitis C...milk thistle has shown to be very effective in treating as it improves the liver enzyme activity & overall liver function!

Soo...recent studies have found that among helping the liver...milk thistle also can be effective on different types of cancer & has been proven that is helps patients that are also on chemical therapy as it helps it be less toxic to the liver. It can also help in slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells. but alas, it has not been approved by the FDA to be used as a cancer treatment.

Milk thistle can help with high cholesterol as it can help lower the LDL levels.

It can also help with heart disease...because as it lowers the LDL bad cholesterol, that can decrease your risk heart attacks & strokes.

They have also found that milk thistle can help with diabetes in combination with other traditional remedies. This herb helps to regulate blood sugar levels & is said to be effective in improving sensitivity to insulin.

Now other benefits of milk thistle are secondary because as your liver gets better, so do a lot of other health issues you might have. For instance skin issues...as toxins clear out of your system, so skin problems would clear up. Some say milk thistle even helps with menopause symptoms.

For some people it can cause some negative side effects, but it is usually safe to take up to 41 months...41 months?!! Some side effects could be diarrhea, but that is rare along with nausea, bloating, etc. If you have ragweed allergies, it could cause a rash. Milk thistle could mimic estrogen effects, so if you have fibroid tumors or endometriosis, you should avoid it or if you have ovarian, breast or uterine cancers, consult with your dr. first. And of course if you add it to your regime for blood sugar issues, make sure you keep an eye on your blood sugar levels.

The recommended dosage of this would be 200 mg 2-3 times a day, so the herb contains approx. 70% of that wonderous component silymarin!!