Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Herbalist Is Not A Doctor.

A herbalist is not a doctor.
While many herbalist are very well qualified to help in any dis-ease situation they are not doctors.
As an Herbalist I prefer that a person has a diagnosis from a doctor.
So many dis-eases have similar symptoms.
While I am trained to understand what each body system does and how it works,it is easier for me if I have a diagnosis from a good Doc.
I can help someone in a much more effective manner with a good diagnosis.
When I have a good diagnosis then I can begin to work in a much more precise way.
There is a place in the world for the allopathic regular Docs.
The first question I ask someone when they come to me is:
"Have you seen a Doctor?"
If the answer is no,then I ask if and when they are going to see one.
If the answer is I cannot afford one or no I am not going to a doctor ....
I tell them that I will see what I can do but my job would be much easier if I had a diagnosis.
The reason being is I do not have the equipment or the tools to give a proper diagnosis.
Tools like blood-work,urine tests ect. are very important and give much information about a persons health.
I also tell them that if their condition changes for the worse or they are not better in 3 days then they are to see a Doc.
I will not continue to help someone who will not go see a Doctor unless it is against their religious beliefs to do so, or they have honestly tried and they could not afford the Doc and have refused to go to the emergency room.
I have had a person show up at my door with severe doubling over stomach pain.
I told that person to go to the emergency room and he actually got mad.
I am not a doctor nor do I pretend to be one.
I can help a person restore their health with holistic methods and protocol.
It is much easier and I can be more effective if I have a diagnosis of the specific condition they are dealing with.
A doctors diagnosis will always give me a clue as to what is going on in a very specific ,in-depth way within the body.
A diagnosis lets me know what body system is most out of line.
I can create an individual health restoring program for that person, that will support the body system most in need at the time.
Once I have done that I can go from there.
So if you are really feeling unwell, please see a doc and get a diagnosis before you go see an herbalist.

Anti-Inflammatory Herbs

Many dis-eases are caused by chronic body inflammatory problems. Herbs are often used in therapies and formulas to help get rid of chronic body inflammation.
I just got through reading an article on these "anti-inflammatory" herbs on a well known social networking site.
These herbs are
Cinnamon
Garlic
Turmeric
Basil
Rosemary
Cloves
Parsley
Chives
Cardamon
Ginger
The article suggested sprinkling these herbs on your food. The writer alluded that by doing the herbal food sprinkling often,one would help their chronic conditions.
Conditions like Cancer,Arthritis,Asthma and other chronic dis-eases.
The article did not go into any other thing regarding health.

I take exception to this alluding for two reasons.
Number 1
Once the body is in a chronic inflammatory condition therapeutic doses of a herb are required and one is not going to get this by sprinkling some of these herbs on your food once in awhile.
This is not to say that sprinkling any of these herbs on your food is not helpful.
Any herb when used can be helpful but if it is not continuous or the dosage is not correct, it will do one little good regarding reducing inflammation in the body.
Number 2
Chronic inflammation of the body can be caused by any number of reasons,not the least of which is an inappropriate diet.Another reason of chronic dis-eases like arthritis is immune system problems which can be brought on by inadequate nutrition among other things.
So again I say that while these herbs can be used for many health restoring benefits if the cause is not addressed one will have to use them forever and that is not herbal wisdom healing.
That is treating a condition in an allopathic way not in a holistic way. That is not what Creator gave us wisdom to use herbs for. Herbs are to help restore a bodies balance,and be for use when needed in a dis-ease.
Herbs were not meant to alleviate symptoms with out addressing the cause.
Herbs have primary and secondary uses.
The primary use of many herbs in the above list is not controlling inflammation and would be used by me in a secondary position in a herbal formula for reducing chronic body inflammation.
Turmeric, and Basil are the only two I see up there that could be used in the primary place as a anti-inflammatory.
Primary in the herb world means that this herb specifically is used for this problem.
Secondary place is a herb that enhances the primary or works with the primary to handle a set of symptoms while other healing therapies are at work .
Herbs are a tool to be used in the healing processes or in restoring the body balance.
In a chronic inflammation condition, Herbs would be used,relaxing techniques would be used,food intake would be looked at, nutritional elements would be added, medications would be looked at for herb incompatibility, Mental and emotional states would be looked at and body cleansing would be looked at as well. So has you can see restoring health is a process.
By all means enjoy those herbs that you put on your foods but please don't be led into thinking that all one has to do is sprinkle herbs on your food to address,
chronic body inflammation causes and symptoms.

The Super Foods

There has been a huge interest in the commercial markets regarding Acai Berries.
(yes this is my favorite super food)

It is my favorite because it has all the important stuff in it.
When I say important stuff I am referring to the amino acids and essential fatty acids. The essential fatty acids are more commonly known as the good fats.Without the good fats your cells cannot function properly to uptake nutrition or get rid of cellular wastes. Amino acids are the building blocks of all life.

Whole foods are important and getting ones nutrition from foods instead of a pill is very important. Our bodies were designed to eat whole foods.
The nutrition in whole foods is put together in such a way that all the nutrition elements present in any food are there in a synergistic way, The nutritional elements in a food are in perfect balance with each other.
This means that each vitamin and mineral in a food is there to help the body use all the nutrition in a food.

An example of this is Calcium, For proper utilization by the body of Calcium several other minerals need to be in place,one is Magnesium the other is Manganese,so one can take all the calcium one wants in pill form, but unless those other two minerals are there in a synergistic way the Calcium will not do one much good.
Spinach and turnip greens are an excellent example of high calcium content with the synergistic naturally occurring elements for your body to use in a holistic way.
It all has to do with the way the cells in the body take in nutrition from the blood.

So back to Super foods.


The Super-Food List

All edible dark berries and fruit
(Acai is at the top of the list for most nutritional elements)
Pomegranates
Beans,lentils
A variety of Whole grains,
Sprouts,seeds,nuts
The blue green algaes,
Organic greens such has spinach,turnip,kale,
Royal bee pollen
honey

Vitamin Pills are a very poor substitute for healthy food.(In cases where a person has issues with absorbing nutrition from food- such as Crohn's disease- then a liquid or sub-lingual multi-vitamin and mineral supplement would be the way to go.)
Other wise EAT Real, Fresh as possible, Food! That is one of the most important thing one can do to stay healthy or restore health. Another vital element for restoring body health is enzymes. Enzymes come from raw live food like FRESH homemade juices and sprouts. Food fresh from your or your neighbors garden when possible. Last but not least keep the healthy flora of your stomach and intestinal tract renewed. A little known fact is that every time one takes anti-biotics for something you must replace the friendly bacteria in your stomach and intestines. There are all kinds of products out there to do that. This friendly bacteria is another vital element for your bodies overall health and assists in food breakdown so that your body can absorb the nutrition in the foods you eat.
The reason Acai Berries are my personal choice is because of the Amino and fatty acids Acai contains, B vitamins,Calcium and other minerals. It also contains many other elements that support your good health.
Acai Berries have the strongest concentration of antioxidants known.
The Natives of the Amazon Rain Forest have used this berry for healing and good health for a long time.
By taking Acai in combination with other whole foods like wheat grass,royal bee jelly,organic honey, or a blue green algae like Spirulina one has a healthy whole food diet supplement with all of the necessary elements for proper nutrition.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Antioxidants

I agree with what this person is placing forth ...so I could either rewrite it in my own words or just post it here as info .
Posting it as info is easier,less time consuming and saves me the trouble of rewriting.
So here it is .
I also agree with the liquid Vitamins but personally prefer a wholistic super food kinda thing like Acai Berries,(Acai berries contain all the elements that are discussed as healthy and inportant for health) but that is just me.
An upcoming post will be about the many different superfoods that are out there besides Acai and why a vitamin pill is not the best way to go.
Meanwhile read, learn and enjoy.


Medicine for the People

By Harvey Walks with Hawks Doyle


Antioxidants



Antioxidants, air, moisture, and light combined oxidizes a car or anything made of metal. In time the chrome will rust away. This destruction process is called oxidation.

To explain it this way, remove the antioxidant coating from an apple by peeling away its skin and exposing the insides of the apple to the air. It will spoil quickly. Pour lemon juice, which contains antioxidants, on the exposed apple and it will delay it from spoiling.

If you look around, we as humans have skin, trees have bark, animals have skin, even thicker than humans, and anything you see on Mother Earth has a protective area to cover itself. This is Mother Earth's way of protecting our species, plants, animals and any other life on this planet. The Great Spirit (Creator) knew in infinite wisdom that we would be destroying ourselves as soon as we gained the knowledge to do so. We are a planet of destruction. Knowledge and progress is destroying the human race and all of its inhabitants. Mother Earth cries out for mercy but we do not hear her call. We continually destroy her daily. In destroying her then we are destroying our selves. We are part of the web of life as stated by Chief Seattle.

All living cells must breathe oxygen. A by-product of cellular respiration is the production of a small number of toxic oxygen molecules called "free radicals". These are atoms that are missing an electron. So they go searching to steal electrons from nearby atoms and in doing so destroy cells and tissues. An antioxidant stops the damaging free radical and oxygen molecules. So as long as antioxidants, the "rust removers" of living cells, are abundant, oxidation will not destroy tissues and promote disease. Scientists estimate that the genetic material (DNA) inside living cells in the human body is being hit by 10,000 "free radicals" bullets each day. An antioxidant-rich diet and food supplements are likely to be needed to protect our genes.

The human body has an elaborate antioxidant system to protect itself. The system which you could call a team can be likened to a football team. If you recall a defensive team has some big lineman who are the front line against the opponent, backed up by the linebackers and then by safety men.

The antioxidant team in your body works the same way. The first line of defense is the antioxidants. There are three glutathione, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalyses. The linebackers or second line of defense are vitamins A, C, D and E. The third line of defense is the carotenoids, the bioflavonoid, and coenzyme Q10 (needed daily). Each antioxidant can become oxidized themselves. Fortunately, other antioxidants come along and donate electrons to re-activate them.

So antioxidants exist in two forms, their active (reduced) or oxidized form. Antioxidants whirl through living tissues, reactivating each other. Vitamins A, C, and E protect each other in a circular fashion. Vitamin A regenerates vitamin C, vitamin C regenerate’s vitamin E, and vitamin E regenerates vitamin A. The antioxidant system has other backup systems. For instance, beta carotene coverts to vitamin A in the liver, so it is a back up to vitamin A. Bioflavonoid enhance and prolong the antioxidant action of vitamin C and coenzyme Q10 works in place of vitamin E when vitamin E levels are low. Multivitamins should be formulated the way nature has arranged the antioxidant defense force in an "Antioxidant Vine or Tree".

If any portion of this antioxidant defense force is missing a health problem may result. Without having a selection of antioxidants to protect them, living tissues perish. Just like the football team those lines up without all its players on the field. If there is a deficiency of just one antioxidant the opponent will find this weakness and capitalize on it and use the lack of it to make you sick. It all about checks and balances. Just like life if you aren’t in balance then you are out of balance spiritually, physically, and mentally.

Have you noticed that I continually use the word "supplement"? It is a very careful choice of words. Never forget that vitamin pills are a supplement to a healthy diet, not a replacement for it. Nutritionists accurately advise the public to rely on plants foods, the five daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, to supply the variety of nutrients required for health. You can also get a lot of nutrients from herbal teas. We know that the best-made pills can never supply the hundreds of natural antioxidants and other nutrients found in plant foods or herbal teas. For example, there are over 200 carotenoid pigments found in plant foods in miniscule amounts. It would be impossible to provide them all in vitamins supplements. However, with so few adults consuming the five servings of plant foods daily, a well designed multivitamin pill becomes a reality against premature aging and disease.

Natural remedies are far better than other remedies that have all the side effects that you have to contend with. The recommended daily allowance is obsolete. What weak vitamins do provide is the recommended daily allowance, now recognized as outdated by many nutritionists. If you are a growing child, pregnant or lactating, under physical or emotional stress, participate in regular physical exercise, smoke tobacco, consume alcohol, are exposed to toxic chemicals, have a chronic health problem like diabetes or high blood pressure, take certain medications, regularly consume fast foods or junk foods, or over age 70, then you will need to consume more than the recommended daily allowance.

Athletes, exercisers, untold millions, exercise produces more oxidation within body; countered by antioxidants. Heart Disease patients: 50 + Million. Vitamin E may be beneficial. Hypertensive patients: 43 million, 500 mg vitamin C daily reduces blood pressure similar to drugs. Diabetics: 15.7 million 400 units of vitamin E has protective effect. Hospitalized: 33 million hospitalized have increased need for antioxidant nutrients. Pregnant and lactating females: 4 million. US women give birth annually; off spring must obtain nutrients from mother. Fertile women require folic acid before conception to prevent birth defects. Tobacco Smokers: 66 million: One cigarette takes 11 minutes from your life. One pack of cigarettes takes 3 hours and 40 minutes from your life. Smokers require 25 mg vitamin C for each cigarette smoked. Retirees at risk for cataracts: 34 million. 10 year users of 250 mg vitamin C have 45-83% reduction in risk. Everyone should be on a good multivitamin so that they can have a healthy body. Preferably a liquid vitamin because the body can assimilate it better than pill or capsule form. When taking vitamins or herbs always read the instructions on the label for instructions.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mullein


Another one of my most favorite herbs.
It grows wild around here.
I collect the leaves all year long during it's growing season.
I just make sure that if I am gathering this plant in the wild that I am sure it is not in a place that has been pesticided.
Mullein has many wonderful healing qualities.
I use this herb in all congestive mucus conditions.
It thins the mucus so the body can expel it easier.
Used in conjunction with an expectorant herb such has hyssop,horehound,or catnip it will clear the lungs better that any cough syrup in my opinion.
Mullein also has mild antibiotic,antiviral,properties.
It has soothing skin healing properties as well.
In alternative medicine treatments mullein is used for people with COPD,asthma,emphysema,bronchitis, colds, and flu's.
Has far as I am concerned it is a must have for any herbalist.
Mullen oil has been used by many as an earache remedy but I have never used it for this.
I use mullein in all of my cold and flu teas.
It is a mild tasting herb with a very light smell.
Mullein is a gift from Mother Earth for all of those people who have congestive mucus conditions. I could not get through one winter with out this herb.
Mullein is available in many different forms from loose herb to tea.
Has far as I know I have seen no allergic reactions or sensitivity to this herb. always test for reactions first if you have never used it before.
See blog post on Chamomile for info on testing yourself for reactions.

Echinacea


This herb has probably become the most well known of herbs recently.
It is in almost every herb blend one buys for anything.
Commonly known as Purple Coneflower this jewel of the herb family can be found in many gardens around the world.
While many people sell Echinacea leaves as Echinacea....
Echinacea leaves are rarely used by an herbalist,
It is Echinacea root that has been traditionally used for centuries by Native Americans and herbalist as a healing aid.
It is easy to tell the difference between leaves and root in capsule form.
Leaves are dark green, the root is almost an olive drab green,
Has I keep repeating fresh herb is important.
Fresh Echinacea root will actually have a mild numb the tongue feeling, and is bitter.
To avoid guessing I usually buy this herb in tincture form or I buy it fresh from my herbal supplier.
Echinacea primary function is to stimulate the immune system.
So if you have an overactive immune system disorder,(such has Lupus,or MS)or are severely allergic to ragweed ,one might not want to ingest this herb.
Traditionally Echinacea has been used to help combat a cold or flu virus.
It will also help in bacterial infections in the same manner.
The way this herb works is by stimulating the bodies immune system response to combat the invader.
Echinacea does not directly kill a virus or a bacteria.
This is why when studies are done on this herb they report that Echinacea does not affect a cold virus.
It's not supposed to.
Echinacea also has many topical uses for wounds and insect bites as well.
Echinacea is a very useful herb.
I find it works best with a cold or flu if taken at the first signs of an infection.
I continue to take Echinacea for ten days.
I have found that it works by reducing the severity and duration of the cold or flu.
Echinacea is a pulse herb which means on for ten days, off for three to seven days.
Echinacea can be taken for longer than this with out harmful side effects but works best as descibed above.
It is a wonderful addition to any garden,( I grow it in mine) and a must have in any herbalist garden.

Lavender


This is one of my favorite herbs.
I grow it in my herb garden.
This is also a very lovely aromatic potted plant.
If you live in the southern planting zones 7 or 8 this plant will survive outside and come back every year.
I highly recommend that you purchase lavender as a plant instead of trying to grow it from seed unless you have already grown it from seed before.
Lavender will tolerate many different soil conditions.
The only rule I have found is it doesn't like to live in soil that stays damp.
It doesn't like total shade either but it will do well in an area that has partial sun for a few hours during the day.
It has been drought tolerant and heat tolerant.
I bought two small lavender plants three years ago.
They have grown into beautiful plants.
Lavender is a most useful herb.
I use it for so many herbal recipes.
I make massage oils with lavender or add it to other herbs used for liniments, add this plant to my herbal bath blends,use it in tea blends.
I also use lavender for aromatherapy,salves,etc.
It also makes a wonderful dried aromatic flower arrangement.
You can use the flowers or the leaves but the flowers are the most well known.
The helpful healing properties of lavender have been used for thousands of years.
It is one of the most well documented herbs.
Lavender is a anti-spasmodic which means it is useful for muscle spasms.
It is an antidepressant,which is why it is often used in aromatherapy.
Lavender is often a key herbal ingredient in relaxing herb teas.
Lavender has antibiotic properties and the essential oil of Lavender is often used as a healing agent for wounds,insect bites, and burns.
By using the massage oil recipe given in the article on Chamomile you can use this oil for most of the things stated above.
By adding Arnica herb to this massage oil recipe(half arnica,half lavender) you get an excellent sore pulled muscle, or healing bruises aid.
As always if you are buying Lavender has a dried herb make sure it is fresh.
It is easy to tell if the lavender you are buying is fresh.
Lavender has a Very Potent, extra strong, scent.
If you purchace Lavender as a herb from a supplier it is usually very inexpensive.
My herb supplier for what I do not grow myself.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Chamomile


A wonderful herb.
If you have ragweed or severe pollon allergies not so wonderful for you.
Always test a herb that you have never used before with a skin patch test.
Go here for how to test yourself for a herbal allergy.
(Read the artcle titled "It's Natural it Won't Harm Me !")
Chamomile is a mild calming herb.
It is an excellent tea for an upset stomach brought on by nerves and disagreeable food. (if you prefer your tea sweet I suggest honey or Stevia)
It also helps a mild to moderate case of the upset nerves from everyday stresses.
A cup of Chamomile tea is legendary for it's soothing and calming properties.
It makes a wonderful soothing massage oil or skin smoothing oil.
To make your own you will need a glass(No plastic) quart jar with a lid.
Cheesecloth for straining
1/2 ounce of Chamomile (or if you are allergic to ragweed substitute Chamomile with another herb like Lavender)
6 ounces of olive oil-( I used an 8 oz bottle of olive oil and added a little extra herb)
Place the 1/2 ounce of Chamomile in the quart jar
add the 6 ounces of olive oil.
Place lid on jar tightly and place in a warm bright sunny location for 3 days.
on fourth day strain the oil and herb mix through the cheesecloth.
Recapture the oil and place in a bottle for use. Date and label the bottle.
This is a wonderful healing massage oil.
You can add essential oils or make this massage oil with any kind of herbs.
Some people like to use or add Lavender essential oil or use the above recipe substituting Lavender for Chamomile.
You can use both herbs as a blend by using 1/4 ounce of each herb to make the half ounce.
I personally love this massage oil and so does my family.
You can also grow your own Chamomile and Lavender if you are into plants.
That way you always have a supply of this wonderful smelling beautifully flowering herb and most importantly you know it is fresh.