One of the biggest challenges that organic gardeners have long faced is invasive pests, which as you may well know tend to target food crops that have not been treated with toxic pesticides. But maintaining a truly organic garden is not an impossible task, especially if you are willing to take the time to employ some tried and true methods of deterring pests without chemicals. Continue reading
… this herb, commonly used for culinary seasoning, could be the key to successfully treating strep throat?
Sage is an herb that most of us know best for its distinct and delicious flavor in everything from sausage to sauces to stuffing. Less well known, Continue reading
The beauty of the natural world extends far beyond just the aesthetic characteristics that make plants and shrubs visually appealing. Some of the most powerful healing and immune-boosting agents in existence can actually be found growing unassumingly in fields, forests, and jungles around the world — Continue reading
Indigestion is an ultra-common problem, but the good news is there is small treasure trove of herbal cures waiting for you. Here is a story on the six health secrets for evading the pain of “dyspepsia,” also known as indigestion.
1. Artichoke Leaf
This is your best herbal remedy for indigestion of no specific cause. It’s the kind that just happens. Artichoke is a mild bitter that has been shown time and again to be useful for indigestion. The active ingredient for this purpose is cynarin, Continue reading
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is on the rise. It is one of the worst things that can strike your lungs, a nasty combination of bronchitis and emphysema. Caused mostly by smoking (and, to a lesser extent, air pollution and genetics), COPD begins as the former. The first word in the term underlines its inherent danger, as “chronic” means long-lasting and recurring. Continue reading
Lavender essential oils have been used in European hospitals, mainly France, for treating burns. But that is not the only application of lavender that has proven itself. Insomnia and anxiety relief are the most common uses aside from burns.
The herb’s Latin title is Lavandula angustifolia, more commonly known as English or garden lavender. It grows abundantly in fields along the Mediterranean shores of Europe, mostly France. You may have noticed those fields as visual subjects from some famous artists.
It’s commonly sold and used as an essential oil for aromatherapy or made into a tea from the lavender leaves. The oil can be applied to the skin for transdermal absorption. Continue reading
The government and pharmaceutical companies relentlessly promote flu shots every year, insisting that supposedly “high risk” groups like pregnant women, children less than 5 years of age (especially under the age of 2) and everyone over age 50 should be vaccinated. But there are serious questions about the advisability of these shots. In some cases, a flu shot may interfere with immunity rather than boost it.
Safety and Efficacy
In recent years, medical experts around the world have questioned the conventional wisdom that argues in favor of flu vaccines. One researcher who reviewed the studies on influenza vaccines concluded in an article published in British Medical Journal that their effectiveness cannot be confirmed. He also observed that there is inadequate research to demonstrate vaccination safety, stating, “The large gap between policy and what the data tell us (when rigorously assembled and evaluated) is surprising.”
Childhood Flu Vaccine Inhibits Development of T-Cells Continue reading
Although some people already use the popular herb rosemary for seasoning their meat, this combination may become more common in the near future as food manufacturers respond to consumer demand for more natural products.
Currently, two of the most common additives used to preserve meat are BHT and BHA. But studies have linked BHA with cancer and BHT with hyperactivity, causing some consumers to avoid products containing them (read ingredients labels to find out if they’re in the foods you buy).
In a 2006 study, essential oils of rosemary and sage performed better at preventing oxidative decay and preventing loss of polyunsaturated fatty acids in meat than a combination of BHA and BHT. This means rosemary oil and sage oil Continue reading
Essential oils have been used for centuries in ceremonies and for general health. Today, the use of essential oils for massage and in baths is both pleasurable and soothing. The oils are also widely used to improve health. However, essential oils are highly potent and can cause side effects if used incorrectly. Precautions should be followed to ensure safe handling and use of essential oils.
Safe use of essential oils
Keep essential oils out of reach of children and use them with great care. Use a weaker dilution on children as their bodies are smaller and their skin is more sensitive.
Essential oils are volatile Continue reading
Petrochemicals cause cancer. They are also hormone disruptors, capable of contributing to hormone imbalances and premature puberty in children. We are all exposed to these chemicals every day, but we can also limit our exposure by taking simple measures in our daily lives. Some products, like air pollutants, are not in our control. However, there are many household items including the foods we eat and the fumes we breathe that may include hidden petrochemicals.
Children are especially susceptible to these carcinogens. It is estimated that children have at least three times the risk factor of adults for the development of cancer from these chemicals. Children’s relatively undeveloped livers are less effective in the metabolism of toxic chemicals. And small children Continue reading
There are lots of ways to discourage the biting and stinging instincts of insects. Wearing DEET-based repellents, lighting citronella candles, and spraying essential oils like lavender and eucalyptus mixed with water all help. So does swearing off perfume and scented body lotions. But inevitably, we get bit or stung. When it happens to you this summer, consider these ways of relieving the itch, swelling, and sting.
It’s summer, so if you’re outdoors there is no escaping at least an occasional mosquito bite and the itch and swelling it brings. Lots of anti-itch creams are available over the counter, and if you’re really bothered you can get a stronger one with a prescription. Antihistamines also help stop the itch, but make sure it’s an oral medication, warns Dr. Leslie Baumann in her Skin Guru blog on Yahoo!Health. Topical antihistamine lotions can actually make things worse by causing an allergic reaction on skin that is already sensitive, she says.
Also, consider taking licorice, sold as an oral supplement and topical lotion and shown in studies to have cortisone-like effects, she says. Plus, it has the added bonus of being a sunburn soother. Continue reading
The combination of honey and cinnamon has been used in both oriental and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known to mankind and honey’s popularity has continued throughout history. The two ingredients with unique healing abilities have a long history as a home remedy. Cinnamon’s essential oils and honey’s enzyme that produces hydrogen peroxide qualify the two “anti-microbial” foods with the ability to help stop the growth of bacteria as well as fungi. Both are used not just as a beverage flavoring and medicine, but also as an embalming agent and are used as alternatives to traditional food preservatives due to their effective antimicrobial properties. People have claimed that the mixture Continue reading
The health benefits of Mullein Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties like analgesic, anti inflammatory, anti septic, disinfectant, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, relaxant and tranquilizing.
Common Mullein or Verbascum Thapsus and Wavy Leaf Mullein or Verbascum Sinuatum, as they are botanically known, both used to extract the essential oil. The former one is more preferred for extracting oil. The Essential Oil is extracted by steam distillation of its leaves and flowers. The Mullein is distributed all over Europe, South and Central America and temperate zones of Asia. The essential oil contains coumarin, rotenone, and tannin, triterpene saponins like verbascosaponin, mucilage, aucubin, catalpol, flavonoids and phenolic acids. From very old time, Mullein was famous as Candlewick as it as actually used to make candlewicks.
Later on, its medicinal uses took over its other uses. Let us see what those medicinal uses are.
* Analgesic: The analgesic property Continue reading
Extracted from flax seeds, flax seed oil acts as a light carrier oil for skin products.
Homemade skincare remedies allow you to take control of the ingredients you use and put on your skin. Whether you have dry skin conditions–like psoriasis and eczema–or acne and oily skin conditions, the way you formulate your skincare remedies makes a difference. One vital ingredient in skincare is flax seed oil, a versatile carrier oil. Using flax seed oil in homemade skincare remedies proves to be quite easy.
Things you’ll Need: Continue reading
Researchers from Greece presented hopeful findings this week in the fight against drug-resistant bacteria superbugs at the Society for General Microbiology’s spring meeting. Essential oils could be a cheap and effective alternative to antibiotics.
Researchers from the Technological Educational Institute of Ionian Islands tested the antimicrobial activity of eight plant essential oils. They found that the oils of thyme and cinnamon were particularly effective against a range of Staphylococcus species. In fact, thyme oil was the most effective essential oil tested, able to almost completely eliminate bacteria within 60 minutes.
“Not only are essential oils a cheap and effective treatment option for antibiotic-resistant strains, but decreased use of antibiotics will help minimize the risk of new strains of antibiotic resistant micro-organisms emerging,” said Professor Yiannis Samaras, one of the study authors. “The oils – or their active ingredients – could easily be incorporated into antimicrobial creams or gels for external application.” The researchers also proposed that the oils could be used in food packaging to replace synthetic chemical preservatives.
Essential oils are aromatic oily liquids obtained from plant materials, including flowers, buds, seeds, leaves, and roots. There are about 3000 known and have been used for hundreds of years for their therapeutic properties. Australian aborigines, for example, have used tea tree oil to treat colds, sore throats, skin infections and insect bites.
In 2006, Indian researchers published a study in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal that evaluated the antibacterial activity of 21 plant essential oils against six bacterial species. Nineteen of those showed positive results against one or more strains. These researchers also found cinnamon oil to be very promising even at low concentrations. Other essential oils with positive results included clove, geranium, lemon, lime, orange, and rosemary oils. Those least effective were aniseed, eucalyptus, and camphor oils.
Thyme oil is a reddish-brown/amber-colored oil that is extracted from the fresh or partly dried flowering tops and leaves of the evergreen thyme shrub. One potential downside to using this oil in anti-microbial creams is that its phenolic properties can irritate mucus membranes and cause skin irritation.
Cinnamon oil, when applied topically, is generally safe, but can cause allergic reaction in some. A product called “Thieves Oil”, a combination of cinnamon bark, clove, lemon, eucalyptus and rosemary, was studied in 1997 by researchers at Weber State University and found to have positive results against multiple bacteria after only 10 minutes of exposure. Dr. Lawrence Rosen MD, a pediatrician who has been featured in the New York Times and on NBC News, has offered a “recipe” for a home-made essential oil hand sanitizer featuring cinnamon oil.