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, August 9, 2021

Is MSG Dangerous????

MSG is short for monosodium glutamate as most of us already know. It is a common food additive that enhances flavor. It's a big controversial subject & most government sources, including the FDA, say it's safe. So let's see what we can do to wade through the information that's out there.

MSG is derived from the amino acid glutamate, which is a type of protein & is normally found in fruits & veggies. It is one of the most abundant amino acids in nature. The body uses it & needs it too. It is a non-essential amino acid which means your body can make it. It's found in nearly all foods & provides several functions to the human body. They combine sodium & glutamic acid, also known as sodium salt. This acid is made by fermenting starches, but there is no chemical difference between the glutamic acid in MSG & in natural foods. BUT the glutamic acid in MSG may be easier for the body to absorb because it's not bound inside big protein molecules that the body needs to break down. Glutamic acid functions as a neuro-transmitter in the brain. It stimulates nerve cells to help relay it's signal. 

It is true that increased levels of glutamate activity can cause harm & large doses can raise blood levels of glutamate. However, dietary glutamate shouldn't have much effect on the brain as it can't cross the blood-brain barrier. Some claim that MSG leads to excessive glutamate in the brain & excessive nerve cell stimulation. This is why it's labeled as an excitotoxin. So far, no compelling evidence has been found that MSG can act as an excitotoxin when consumed in normal amounts. Eating large amounts of MSG can cause the glutamate to cross that blood-brain barrier, interacting with neurons to cause swelling & cell death.

The big factor here is that MSG is found in so many unhealthy processed foods that lack essential nutrients for the body. Since it's processed in the body very differently, it's believed this fast increase is what causes the side effects. It is claimed to cause: free radical formation, metabolic syndrome, asthma, flushing, headaches, brain damage, high blood pressure, hives, burning sensations in the mouth, head & neck & even cancer. It's also traditionally found in Asian foods.

It's because of the synthetic manipulation & processing of glutamate which produces a form not found in nature. Recreating a product of nature tends to have less than desirable results as we all know. 

Are you highly sensitive? Go to msgmyth.com to get all the other names it goes by as they continue to sneak it into our food systems.



Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Remember Goldenseal????


Do you remember goldenseal??? Well it's still around & the research on it has been quite astounding for all it's capabilities. Back in the day, it became very popular after rumors spread that taking it can help block a positive test for illegal drugs....as it were, there was no scientific evidence to prove this. Due to it's over harvesting, it almost became extinct & was the reason prices sky rocketed on it. But it is still one of the top selling herbal products in the U.S..

This amazing herb goes back to the NA times when they used it for many issues like respiratory, digestive, earaches, eye complaints, liver & even heart issues. 

Goldenseal's latin name...'Hydrastis Canadensis' . The root & rhizome are the most wanted as they have a rich chemical composition. The alkaloids that are most beneficial are berberine, canadine & hydrastine which are most responsible for the health benefits. It's also known as orange root, yellow root or yellow puccoon. It's a perennial herb that belongs to the buttercup family.

The taste & smell are unpleasant & even acrid, yet considered a super herb by many. It is considered a trophorestorative, whish is a nutritive restorer. It's loaded with essential minerals & vitamins like iron, calcium, maganese & vitamins A, C, E & B complex just to name a few. It also contains chlorogenic acid, which contain the same health benefits that are found in coffee & teas. It's also a bitter, so it's good for digestive issues.

So let's get on with how it can help the body. It can boost the immune system, help fight cancer, it's an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, appetite stimulant, a natural anti-biotic, an astringent & an anti-inflammatory. It soothes & loosens up mucous membranes. Has been known to be effective against MRSA, candida, pink eye, high blood pressure, a tonic for the heart, shingles & can even reduce bad cholesterol. It's an antioxidant & an anti-fungal. It can help with warts, cold sores, and is a diuretic. It can be made into a mouthwash to help with gum issues. Can be made into a douche to help with yeast infections too. It can help with parasite issues & some STD's. It's also a blood cleanser and an anti-tumor. Goldenseal can also inhibit the growth of H. pylori, which is a type of bacteria which can lead to ulcers & more. Only small amounts are needed for most treatments. 

Due to it's high cost, some products claiming to contain goldenseal may contain Chinese gold thread, oregon grape root, barberry, yellow root or Chinese goldenseal all which contain berberine, but not hydrastine or canadine. So make sure you read your labels carefully. 

The dosage recommendations are .5-10 grams of the powder daily. Liquid extract should be limited to 40 drops in 2 oz. of water or juice 3-5 times daily. So, yes, small amounts. 

Goldenseal should not be given to children or infants. There are no known drug interactions. Pregnant & nursing mothers should avoid it as well. 


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Medicinal Mushrooms


Lately our fungus friends have been in the spotlight more than normal. Research has shown they are huge in the fight against cancer & other illnesses.

Touted as a super food they produce Vit. B & D that most plants lack. They are low in calories & sodium with good amounts of protein which include soluble & insoluble fiber. They are loaded with fungal polysaccharides & immunomodulating properties which affects the functioning of the immune system. Fungi are more related to animals than plants and are considered intelligent. Mushrooms can't product energy from sunlight as plants do. Instead, they use enzymes to break down organic matter into their natural environment. They turn dead organic into carbs, proteins & cellulose. 

Of course, for best results one should eat a variety of them daily....tea, dehydrate, tinctures, foods....anyway to get more of them in YOU!!! Oyster, shitake & maitake can be eaten fresh. Others such as reishi need to be made into a tea or soup because of it's bitterness. All mushrooms can be dried & crushed into a powder & can be taken in capsule form. It's recommended you take the mushrooms with Vit. C. It seems the Vit. C helps increase the body's absorption rate for polysaccharides.

Mushrooms are anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial & high in anti-oxidants. They contain a lot of beta glucan which stimulates the immune system. They can contain 50 or more polysaccharides across different varieties. Shrooms can fight cancer, leukemia, tumors, boosts the immune system....from the common cold to HIV. They help regulate anti-body production, increase DNA/RNA in bone marrow. Promote heart health. Help to lower cholesterol & inflammation. Improve energy levels. Reduce lactic acid. They help to improve brain health: focusing, cognitive functions. Cause production of nerve growth factors. They can help to lower & regular blood sugar levels & increase sensitivity of insulin receptors.

The top 8 mushrooms I found in my research are: 

Reishi: Have the most medicinal uses & the longest history. The red reishi is thought to be the most potent & effective. This mushroom should be used in soups or teas or can be dried & turned into powder form or an extract.

Chaga: Grown exclusively on birch trees & can look like charcoal, inside this fungi is a bright orange color. 

Turkey Tail: A "shelf" mushroom that are colorful & fan shaped so they look like a spread out turkey's tail. Quite common, they can be found in almost any forest.

Maitake: Nicknamed hen of the woods. Unlike some others on this list, these taste great, have a good texture & a mild flavor.

Lion's Mane: These grow very large & the taste is similar to lobster. It tastes great & when cut open is similar to the texture of cauliflower. 

Cordyceps: If you can get past the fact that this grows from mummified bugs, it's got some fantastic health benefits.

Shitake: Now these you have probably seen in the supermarkets. Goes great in soups or stir frys. A major ingredient in them called lentinan is so potent, it's now the 3rd most prescribed anti-cancer drug in the world.

Oyster: Packed full of vitamins & minerals, they are more than just great food additives.

As always speak with your doctor before starting any type of a medicinal mushroom. They can interfere with existing meds you might be taking for cholesterol or blood pressure. Do NOT consume those you find in the woods, etc. unless you know what you are doing. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Surprising benefits of Licorice Root



Licorice root is one of the world's oldest herbal remedies. It's mostly found in Europe, Asia & the Mediterranean. You might be more familiar with it as the candy. The Latin name Glychrrhiza glabra is the most common variety. Glychrrhiza translates to "sweet root" & is 30-50 times sweeter than white cane sugar. Today, it's sweet flavor is mimicked by anise seed. Authentic licorice is more commonly known as "black licorice". 

The leaves have anti-microbial benefits and have been proven to be effective in fighting off bacteria such as candida & staph. They have found 100s of various components in the root & over 150 more in the Chinese variety.

Rich in flavonoids, anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories, stilbenoids (phytochemicals) & coumarins. Contains triterpenoids, which usually contain steroidal substances. 

One has probably seen the term 'glycyrrhizin' removed on bottles of the herbs, etc. Actually, it's triterpenoid glycyrrhizin. Because of extended use, this particular compound can increase blood pressure, cause kidney or liver issues & can cause issues with pregnant women.

Licorice root can help with pain relief, PMS, menopause, coughs, sore throat, immune system, adrenal fatigue, leaky gut, heartburn or acid reflux. It's an anti-spasmodic, has an estrogen-like effect & is good for hot flashes. 

The triterpenoid content is anti-viral, so it can help with HIV, flu, hepatitis & the immune system. 

Glycyrrhizin contains over 300 compounds and some are potent in anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories & anti-microbials. It can help with peptic ulcers, bronchitis, hepatitis C, asthma, congestion, strep throat, skin infections, respiratory & digestive issues & gum disease. 

Choose glycyrrhizin free as that component is responsible for all the side effects. The promise of a potent cancer fighter is quickly coming to the front lines. 

Do not take long term. Never consume if have kidney or liver disease or if pregnant. Limit to 1-10 mg/day to limit the glycyrrhizin. One should only take it for about 4-6 weeks with a break thereafter.



 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Hypo Thyroid vs Hyper Thyroid

 



Such confusion in this area. I've done some research and tried to clear it up a little bit,
at least in my mind & hopefully in yours as well. 

The thyroid produces T3 & T4 hormones. Too much thyroid hormone in the body is called thyrotoxicosis. Some thyroid conditions are looked at as auto-immune disorders, which continues to rise. So in these cases, the immune system attacks the thyroid. 1 in 10 are diagnosed with a thyroid disorder. Many thyroid issues also test positive for heavy metal toxicity & are suspected at causing imbalances. Cilantro can detoxify the body of heavy metals. To make it more confusing, one thyroid issue can mimic the other such as with Hashimoto's or Grave's disease.

The most common treatment for underactive thyroid is synthroid, a synthetic chemical version of the hormone. It's also given to people who have had radioactive iodine which is used to destroy the thyroid gland. The Armour Nature-Throidthyroid for hypothyroid, beta blockers & antithyroid meds for hyperthyroid patients come with an abundance of side effects. The prescription tapazole stops the thyroid from making the hormone. 

So which one, if any, do you have??? Let's see what the symptoms are for each.....

Hyperthyroidism (overactive) or Grave's Disease. Produces too much hormone and can lead to the following: sleep issues, hair changes, unexplained or rapid weight loss, tremors, racing heart rate, sensitivity to hot temps, excessive sweating, diarrhea, anxiety & irritability

Hypothyroidism (underactive) or Hashimoto's Disease. This one doesn't produce enough of the hormone and can lead to the following symptoms: excessive fatigue, unexplained or rapid weight gain, muscle cramps, slow heart rate, sensitive to cold temps, constipation, depression, brain fog, decreased memory, nail issues, muscle weakness, thinning hair, achiness & menstrual or fertility issues. 

There are a plethora of symptoms for each one of these imbalances, did we ever think it could be that 
many? Do any of those sound familiar to how YOU been feeling lately?? 

Healthy nutrition, lemon water, essential oils, detoxing your environment, avoid foods that can cause inflammation, get good sleep, know your body, track your intake of iodine, stay moving....keep as active as possible & try consulting a natural health professional. These few ideas and more can help manage the symptoms of an imbalanced thyroid. 

Here's some essential oils that can help with this too: frankincense, geranium, roman chamomile, ginger, lemon, cilantro & tangerine. 



Monday, June 14, 2021

Patchouli....Remember When????

 


This timeless aromatic plant is believed to come from a Hindi word meaning 'to scent'. The leaves were used to protect fabrics when they were shipped from the East during the 1800's. There are three species of patchouli: Pogostemon cablin, Pogostemon heyneanus & Pogostemun hortensis. The 'cablin' one is the most popular & is the one cultivated for it's essential oil. It's therapeutic qualities are superior to the other two. It's part of the mint family & only the leaves are used. The scent is a warm, musky, deep woody scent. It is of course associated with the hippie culture way back when, but has been in use since the 1800's, especially in Europe. 

It's indispensable to the fragrance industry. It's derived through steam distillation from the leaves. There are so many more benefits to it than I ever thought. I just love it's scent!!!

Patchouli is anti-microbial & research shows it's effective against 2 strains of the Staph family & 1 from the Salmonella family. It's an anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, antiseptic & a mild sedative. 

It's a great anti-oxidant especially where skin is concerned & is great for many skin conditions such as dermatitis, acne, dry & cracked skin. It's an insecticide & repellant for house flies, mosquitoes, termites & urban ants.

It can help with stress, anxiety & mental clarity. It can boost mood especially in dementia patients. Relieves depression, controls appetite, can help with grounding & balancing.

Patchouli blends well with other resins and floral essential oils. Never use it undiluted.

Don't use if you are taking blood thinners, have a bleeding disorder or have recently or will have surgery. 


Poppy....yes Poppy!!!!

 



This awesome poppy is the state flower of California & it's the first to blossom in the spring time!! It's not the poppy you think it is. It's a beautiful, medicinal flower that can help with many ailments. 

The alkaloids in this poppy product a milder effect than opiates and are non-addictive with no dis-orienting side effects. Research has shown it contains a plethora of benefits. The medicinal applications today are largely due to its original uses by the Native Americans. 

California poppy is a super nervine, which means it helps the whole nervous system, and a trophorestorative, which promotes nutrition uptake at the cellular level. It helps to  relieve peripheral nerve pain, can help with sciatica & shingle pain, intestinal spasms, menstrual cramping, hypertension & nervous palpitations surrounding the heart. 

It's a mild sedative, an anti-fungal, sleep aid & pain reliever. It can help with nervous disorders, headaches, back pain, arthritis, restless leg syndrome, muscle relaxer, anti-spasmodic, anxiety & diseases of the bladder & liver....but more research is needed in those two areas.

This poppy is non-addictive & non-narcotic. It can be safe & gentle for children. 

Stop using it at least two weeks prior to surgery. Do not use if pregnant or breast feeding. Do not take  for extended periods of time. 




Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Cinnamon....the Spice!!!




Cinnamon has been used as a medicine by the Chinese & Ayurvedic people for thousands of years. The benefits from this simple inexpensive spice are enormous. It used to be more valuable than gold, because of it's healing & preservative properties. It's mentioned in the Bible numerous times & the ancient Egyptians used it as a perfuming agent in their embalming ceremonies over 4,000 years ago.

There are 2 basic types of cinnamon: ceylon & cassia. Ceylon is known as the true cinnamon while cassia is the more common variety, but still referred to as cinnamon. Cassia is a darker brown-red  in color with thicker sticks & a rougher texture than ceylon. After it gets extracted, it's dried, then strips are formed that curl into the rolls you are used to seeing. The rolls are then ground up to make the powder form. Roughly 95% of its oil is cinnamaldehyde, which gives the cassia cinnamon a strong flavor. Cassia contains a significant amount of coumarin, which is believed to be harmful in large amounts. This type of cinnamon is cheaper, but more widely used. 

Cinnamon outranks the superfoods such as garlic & oregano, maybe even turmeric! It can be used as a natural food preservative. 

It can help with blood pressure, heart disease & it's been shown to significantly increase sensitivity to the hormone insulin. If one is diabetic, you can take 1/2 - 2 tsp. of cinnamon daily to help lower your glucose levels. 

Studies show it can help with Alzheimer's & Parkinson, but that area needs more research. It can, however inhibit the growth of bacteria including listeria & salmonella. 

Cinnamon is anti-viral, an analgesic, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, it can stabalize blood sugar, is a digestive aid, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, rich in anti-oxidants & can even help to reduce cholesterol.

All in all this seems to be a pretty potent spice to add to anyone's daily diet, don't ya think???