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Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is for Oregon Grape


A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
O is for Oregon 
Grape

Long before
pioneers
travelled the
Oregon
Trail, American
Indians used
Oregon Grape
plant for food
and medicine.




The active ingredient that makes this herb
an effective remedy is an alkaloid called
berberine. This powerful substance is
found in other healing herbs, such as
Goldenseal.  It was in the official
pharmacopea until 1950. After WW2
when the chemical companies began
their lofty ascent, most of the herbs
were removed from the
pharmacopea.

Medical Uses:
Helps bile fuction for the liver,
purifies the spleen and blood,  useful for
topical skin treatment when made into a
salve.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for Nettles


A-Z Challenge
My theme is herbs
N is for Nettles

Traces of Nettles
being used for
medicine has
been found through
out history.  Yet....
the FDA lists Nettles
as an herb of
"Undefined Safety."

It's often known
as "stinging
nettles" because
it leaves your skin
stinging with little
bumps if you come in contact with it. I've gathered
Nettles since I was a young child, dried it and
used it in a tea. It likes a rich soil so it is often
found at the edge of gardens. I used to find it
behind the chicken coop where the chicken
manure enriched the garden. My grandmother
taught me how to cut it...... with scissors and
always wearing gloves. Then drop it into a
basket and you won't get stung.

The list of medical uses is very long and
I always had my own dried stash.

I'll list a few medical uses: An astringent
and diuretic. Mixed with alfalfa and red
clover, the recipe makes a glorious
mineralizing tea and is extra protection
against osteoporosis.  Nettles leaves are
a substantial nutritional supplement and
is a lot more sensible than dried pond scum
or dehydrated grass juice like barley or wheat.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for Mistletoe


A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
M is for Mistletoe

Mistletoe has a
more lofty purpose
than enticing a
holiday kiss.

This is a
parasetic plant
that thrives on
Juniper trees in
the U.S.

Some of it's many medical uses include lowering blood pressure.
It's a relaxant, an immune stimulant and anti-cancer herb.  It's
also used in treatment of lungs, ovarian and other cancerous
 tumors. It's quite effective after radiation treatment in
re-establishing the immune system.

Mistletoe is also terrific for migraines and considered one
of the best non-addictive tranquillizers in the herb
kingdom.

Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for Lobelia


A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
L is for Lobelia

In it's herbal form,
many say that
Lobelia doesn't
belong on the
home medicine
shelf, as all
parts of the
plant contain
toxins.

American
Indians first
introduced
Lobelia to the
settlers. In fact
the Shakers packaged it for sale overseas.
Similar to Tobacco, it is sold over the counter to help
people stop smoking.

It is often known by other names, as "Red Lobelia,"
Cardinal Flower, Indian Tobacco, "Eyebright."

Lobelia is an effective emetic but I believe that is
when you just step over the line into pushing more
poison onto the body than it can tolerate.  In one way
the older herbalist still believe that...... something
akin to homeopathy. But where homeopathy is
"like cures like," the lobelia cure is more like
"puke your brains out" and then take some more
Lobelia. I mostly follow the older herbalists but
on Lobelia, I'm not quite sure where I stand.  I've
probably crossed the line many times in my
zeal for self-healing and I'm still ticking.

If you stay within the limit of good judgement,
here are other medical uses:  treating lung
disorders, angina, asthma, cough suppressant,
a sedative as it lessens pain.

It's rather mysterious as an herb but I've
always been drawn to it.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

K is for Kava Kava


A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
K is for Kava Kava

Kava Kava comes
from the root of
Piper Methysticum
a member of the
black pepper
family. It is
native in the
South Pacific
Islands.

The plant is
ground and
pulverized and
made into a
cocktail.  It is a depressant  but it's not fermented,
doesn't contain alcohol and is neither an opiate or
hallucinogen. It doesn't seem to be addictive, either.

Medical Use:
Kava is used for anxiety, depression,  muscle
spasms, pain, psychosis and seizures.

Long term use may cause side effects.

Friday, April 11, 2014

J is for Jimsonweed


A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs.
J is for Jimsonweed

Jimsonweed is
poisonous
and should not be
ingested or smoked.
Even brushing
against it will
irritate the skin.
In America, it
was controlled
by shamans and
medicine men. Don't ever use or inhale the fumes if you have
glaucoma.......unlike Cannabis plant, which lowers the pressures
of glaucoma.

Medical Use:
Jimsonweed is grown commercially, as the active principles
are extracted for carefully controlled doses. The plant contains
some scopolamine and the flower is almost identical.  If any-
one remembers I wrote a post on the scopolamine tree from
Colombia that was used by the CIA and KGB. The plant
has the power to make a person perform crimes, even kill
when a mind-control suggestion is given. Jimsonweed
has some of this potential.

As a controlled substance, it relieves the spasms of
bronchial asthma and painful joints.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I is for Irish Moss


A-Z Challenge
My theme is herbs
I is for Irish Moss

The term Irish Moss
usually refers to a
seaweed (Chondrus
crispus) herb that
can be collected
at low tide on
the rocky
Atlantic coast-
line of NW
Europe and Canada.  (Not to be confused with the garden plant,
 also of the same name).

I order the fresh moss because of it's mucilaginous content.  It
takes a couple of days to go through the process of washing but
then I mix it in a blender and refrigerate it where it will stay
fresh for 2 to 3 weeks. It's wonderfully healthy to use as a
thickner for smoothies, gravies, puddings, etc.

Irish moss has become associated with the Irish potato
famine. The moss was consumed by desperate people in
order to ward off starvation and met with amazing results.
Not only did they manage to keep from starving, they were
supplied with minerals .

Medicinal  uses:  The herb is used for the common cold .
as it is very soothing to throat,  lungs and bronchites
and any time there is a call for a soothing gentle healing.
It's also soothing to ulcers. It can act as a blood
thinner so do not take it if you are on coumadin.  Irish
Moss can treat the thyroid with it's iodine content.