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.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

UVA URSI for UTI's!!!

Uva ursi or bearberry is an antibacterial, astringent & a diuretic. It contains a considerable amount of tannins, roughly about 40%, making it one of natures most powerful astringents available.

The definition of an astringent is: a substance able to contract or constrict cell walls & bodily tissues.

This powerful herb is a specialist in infections and inflammation of the urinary tract. It contains an assortment of chemical compounds, especially arbutin...which is an active component against many of the pathogens commonly found in UTI's! Uva ursi is more effective when the urine is alkaline, so do not take it with cranberry juice which makes the urine acidic and the 2 could counteract each other.

Uva ursi should be reserved when quick intervention is needed. It should not be taken for extended periods and not for those with kidney disease. It has been known to reverse urinary tract infections as it increases renal circulation and stimulates tubular function.

The substance arbutin is converted in the urine to hydroquinone, a urinary antiseptic. It literally flushes out the kidneys. If you use it regularly, you will need to replenish your potassium, which can be lost when you lose fluid. So a dandelion tincture would be a great benefit to that. The hydroquinone which is derived from the arbutin and methykrbutm are powerful anti-bacterial agents and are thought to be responsible for it's ability to treat UTI's.

A week's (7 days) use of Uva ursi should be more than enough time to knock out the menacing infection. After symptoms have subsided, switch to blueberries & cranberries (and not the sugary stuff)!!

It traditionally was used for the treatment of bladder & kidney infections and kidney stones. It was also recommended for treatment of bronchitis. Arbutin is also known to have antimicrobial activity against E. coli.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Adaptogens -- What are they and how do they work???

More and more people say that adaptogenic herbs help with stress....but there is so much more to them that that simple statement. Adaptogens actually help the entire body. These specialiazed herbs seem to know what to do to which parts of the body to help it heal.

So here is the low down on how exactly they think they work. Researchers aren't completely clear on how they do their job and how they help us cope with stress. When we are stressed, the hypothalamus gland releases a chemical which triggers anxiety. This chemical travels to the pituitary gland which then releases it's own hormone into the bloodstream, promoting a surge of cortisol -- which is THE stress hormone.

Constantly releasing those 2 chemicals/hormones takes a toll on the body and makes us feel chronically stressed and leads to 'burn out'. Therefore to lower the stress and fight fatigue, we must reduce the amounts of those 2 hormones and that is where adaptogens come in to play. They act like a thermostat, normalizing body imbalances and they inhibit the release of those 2 hormones and cortisol to help calm us down, but boosts our energy at the same time. Over time, stress can have adverse affects on our health, as we all know. But theses herbs help us to cope with the physicial and emotional stress while giving us a subtle boost in mental clarity and physical endurance.

They are also used to improve the overall health system of the adrenals. The adrenals are in charge of managing our bodies' hormonal response to stress. But they can also fight fatigue, anxiety and help the body utilize oxygen more efficiently.

It's really all about balance and those adaptogens help us to keep things in balance & help to restore said balance. That's quite a bit for one herb to do, wouldn't you say??

There are many adaptogens around, but we will only go into a few....

*Asian Ginseng or Panax Ginseng -- has been shown to support physical eundurance and mental clarity. It contains antioxidant properties to help strengthen our immune system.

*Holy Basil -- known in India as the 'elixir or anti-aging herb'. It can help us to relax and enhance the body's natural response to stress.

*Ashwagandha -- tis a timeless herb in Ayurvedic medicine. It can help increase energy, endurance & longevity.

*Astragalus -- it strengthens the body's immune system and our internal organs over time. A known cancer fighter.

*Licorice Root -- supports & protects the adrenals. Regulates hormone production.

*Rhodiola rosea -- acts like a thermostat for our hormones, particularly cortisol. It can raise or lower the cortisol in our bodies as needed which is critical for homeostasis.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Herbs Can BE Antibiotics....

Antibiotics were originally developed from naturally occurring sources. Plants have antibiotic substances serving a beneficial roll around their root systems. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria...(everything has something that wants to eat it). Many common foods & herbs...and some not so common...act as antibiotics such as honey, garlic, onions, licorice root, ginger, sage & many others.

MedicineNet.com defines an antibiotic as: 'A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. Originally an antibiotic was a substance produced by one microorganism that selectively inhibits the grown of another. Synthetic antibiotics usually chemically related to natural antibiotics, have since been produced that accomplish comparable tasks'.

Antibiotic resistance is a genetic trait, like brown hair or green eyes, but unlike these traits, antibiotic resistance transfers very quickly between one bacteria and another. Scientists are still trying to figure out how bacteria communicate with each other at extremely rapid rates.

Herbal antibiotics are different from pharmaceutical antibiotics. Many pharmaceutical antibiotics are isolated chemical constituents. They are one compound/one chemical -- penicillin is penicillin, tetracycline is tetracycline and so on. This makes it easier for bacteria to adapt & counteract. Herbs are much more complicated, for instance garlic has over 33 sulfur compounds, 17 amino acids and a dozen other compounds. Yarrow over 120 identified compounds. With plants, the whole appears to be more than the sum of its parts. Because of this, the different compounds work together, often to produce better than expected results.

Drug based antibiotics really should only be used for life threatening situations, or as a last resort...in my humble opinion. Even a short course of antibiotics can lead to resistant bacterial populations taking up residence in the gut that persist for up to 4 yrs. -- maybe even longer. Gut flora does not quickly return to normal after a round of antibiotics. So again, something to consider since over 75% of one's immune system is in your gut!

Some of the top antibiotic herbs I have found are: garlic, ginger, goldenseal, echinacea, clove, cinnamon, oregano, usnea, uva ursi & grapefruit seed extract. I am sure there are more, but in the different sources I checked out, these were the ones they all seem to agree upon.

Just remember too, you shouldn't take the antibiotic herbs indefinitely, the usual time is 7 days on, 2 days off. As with many herbs you don't have to wait 2-4 hours to do your next dose....

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Quality of Essential Oils

The quality and authenticity of the essential oils we utilize are the very heart and foundation of aromatherapy. This article was written as not so much a definitive answer to discerning quality, but rather to raise some valuable points of reference. The questions "how do I know where to buy high quality essential oils?" or "where do I find high quality therapeutic grade essential oils?". This difficulty arises mostly from the clever marketing that happens in the essential oil market and the fact that not a company out there claims to sell low quality or adulterated essential oils, after all, how could they do so and still have sales??

Therapeutic grade: for some you need to keep an open and willing mind. I understand completely how contentious the issue of quality is. The term therapeutic grade didn't even arise until the 90's and did not exist prior to that time. It was invented by some very clever marketers who wanted people to believe that there were somehow therapeutic grade essential oils and then all others. The main companies marketing this concept also wanted individuals to believe that they and they alone somehow had the only therapeutic grade e.o.'s on the market...(as if the market had somehow not existed until they existed).

After the concept of 'therapeutic grade' entered the market other companies quickly joined in, saying that they too offered "therapeutic grade'. Today, just about every company selling essential oils states that their e.o.'s are of 'therapeutic grade'. With the concept of 'therapeutic grade', also known as grade A, came other grades such as grade B, C and so on. The point here is that some clever marketers were absolutely successful in their aspirations to get the word 'therapeutic grade' into the mainstream of the aromatherapy industry. In doing a search and NOPE, not one company out there claiming to sell grade B, C or D essential oils and not a one selling non-therapeutic grade. Very suspicious wouldn't you say?

The truth is, there is no such thing as 'therapeutic grade' or grade B, C or D in a sense that some organization or higher power has bestowed on an essential oil line. A grading system simply does not exist for e.o.'s. It is a product of marketing and marketing alone. Unfortunately many aromatherapists have become unwitting victims of a marketing ploy by essential oil traders that advertise 'approved' essential oils of 'therapeutic grade'. Let us be quite clear on this -- there is no such thing as a 'therapeutic grade' essential oil and no quality standards for the authentication of e.o.'s specifically exist in aromatherapy.

I think most of us, professionals & home users alike are just seeking genuine and authentic, plant derived, preferably organic or wild crafted, unadulterated essential oils. Finding them and knowing what to look for is a challenge, particularly given the power of marketing. So what do these terms mean: according to the Oxford English Dictionary....Genuine: 1. truly what it is said to be; authentic. 2. sincere; honest. Authentic: of undisputed origin; genuine. So a genuine e.o. means it is completely unaltered and an authentic e.o. means it is from a specified plant only. Which brings us to plant derived: essential oils used in aromatherapy should all be extracted from a specified plant species.

So this naturally leads into unadulterated: no additives, no extenders, no price reducing ingredients, no nothing except what was there after distillation or expression. The main concerns with adulterated essential oils include the potential interference with components of the natural oil and this may affect synergy and the expected physiological and psychophysiological activities of the oils and 2. toxicity implications of the adulterants. Hence adulterated e.o.'s can reduce the therapeutic benefits of treatment, increase the likelihood of adverse reactions and potentially introduce toxic compounds into the body. So now that we basically know what we are looking for, let's list the qualities to look for in a supplier:

I want a supplier:
* who is dedicated to supplying essential oils to the aromatherapy practitioner market and educated public
* that is on the small size and not a large corporation
* owned by an aromatherapy practitioner or essential oil specialist
* who has relations with his/her distillers, if possible
* who can readily supply a batch-specific MS/GC spec report on each e.o. it sells
* readily able to provide a MSDS as needed
* who has a strong unquestioned noncontroversial reputation in the field
* who has preferably been in the field for a number of years and is well known to other aromatherapy practitioners and/or educators

If you have found a supplier that fulfills the above criteria or at least the vast majority, then one can at least begin with the idea that the e.o. you have purchased is of higher quality than those sold at grocery stores or in the mass market or by a large corporation.

You also want included on each essential oil you purchase: common name, latin name (exact genus & species), country of origin, part of plant processed, type of extraction (distillation or expression), how it was grown (organic, wild-crafted, traditional).

FYI this article has been edited for purposes of educating the public. It was originally written for NAHA.ORG. by Jade Shutes. She is the author of "Aromatherapy For Bodyworkers". She is the owner & director of education for the East-West School for Herbal & Aromatic Studies, among other titles & works she has accomplished

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Do you know about MCTs???

 “MCTs” are medium-chain triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acid that has numerous health benefits, ranging from improved cognitive function to better weight management. Coconut oil is one great source of MCTs — roughly 62 percent to 65 percent of the fatty acids in coconut oil are MCTs — but recently more concentrated “MCT oil” has also been growing in popularity.
MCTs, also called “MCFAs” for medium-chain fatty acids, are believed to be largely missing from the diets of people eating “standard Western” diets, most likely because the public has been led to believe that all forms of saturated fats are potentially harmful. However, recent research has shown a lot of evidence about the real truth regarding saturated fats.

We now know that ideally MCT oils like coconut oil should actually be consumed every day. Certain saturated fats, especially MCTs and other healthy fats found in things like coconut oil or grass-fed beef, are in fact easier to digest than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) and might even have more benefits related to heart health, obesity prevention and brain health, too.
In fact, traditional populations living in tropical areas have been consuming saturated fats, including sources of MCTs like coconuts, for thousands of years without any ill effects — so consider the idea that a low-fat diet is “healthy” to be one of the biggest nutrition lies there ever was!
Aside from coconut oil, smaller amounts of MCTs can also be found in certain other foods with saturated fats, including butter (especially butter from grass-fed cows), cheeses, whole milk, palm oil & full-fat yogurt.

FYI: Palm oil is a controversial source of MCTs, not because it’s bad for your body, but because there are major issues involved in the process of procuring this oil. These include deforestation, loss of wildlife diversity and unethical treatment of workers.

What Makes MCT Oils So Special?

MCTs get their name because of the length of their chemical structure. All types of fatty acids are made up of strings of connected carbon and hydrogen. Fats are categorized by how many carbons they have: short-chain fats (like butyric acid) have fewer than six carbons, medium-chain fats have between six to 12 carbons and long-chain fats (like omega-3s) have between 13–21.
What makes MCTs a top source of essential healthy fats? Medium-chain fats are digested easily and sent directly to your liver, where they have a thermogenic effect and the ability to positively alter your metabolism. This is one reason why many people claim that MCTs, including coconut oil, are burned by the body for energy, or “fuel,” instead of being stored as fat.
Compared to longer-chain fats, MCTs are absorbed more easily since there’s less work for the body to do breaking apart carbon bonds. MCTs are smaller, so they can permeate our cell membranes more easily and don’t require that we use special enzymes in order for our bodies to utilize them.
MCTs and saturated fats are good for you in other ways, too: They reduce the risks of low-fat diets, and they’re supportive of your gut environment, especially since they have the capability to combat harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Additionally, MCTs contain antioxidant properties, which is why coconut oil has far-reaching inflammatory benefits that have led it to be used to treat dozens of health problems in folk medicine for centuries.

Medium-chain fatty acids can be beneficial for:
  • Maintain a healthy weight — since they make you feel full
  • Specifically reduce stored body fat — since they also raise your metabolic function
  • Have more energy
  • Think more clearly
  • Experience better digestion
  • Balance hormone levels
  • Improve your mood
  • Fight bacterial infection and viruses
  • Absorb fat-soluble nutrients from various foods