Welcome to my blog!!! I have been an herbalist & an aromatherapist for over 20 years!! My blog is over 8 years old & there are over 100 informative blogs here. Everything from herbs to some personal blogs. 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. So now, I am in Arizona, 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

Tinctures Tried & True

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

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