Store Bought Vegetables and Herbs to Regrow at Home

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  • Gardening is a healthy activity you may start without visiting your garden store or sprouting seeds; carrots, garlic, lettuce and multiple herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme and basil all may be regrown from organic produce you purchase at the store
  • Ginger is a tropical plant that may do well outdoors during the summer heat but will appreciate being brought inside when the temperatures drop; split a ginger root from the store and plant in well-composted soil, keeping it moist but not water-logged. Ginger may help stabilize blood sugar, normalize blood pressure and promote healthy aging
  • Just one head of garlic may produce enough garlic to feed your family for a season; separate and plant the large cloves in fertile soil during the fall months so the plant puts down roots before winter. One clove will produce a new head of garlic; people have used garlic for centuries to add flavor to foods, boost immunity and as an anti-inflammatory agent
  • Herbs grow well in the ground and all year indoors in containers. Start basil, rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano by stripping the lower leaves of a tender stem and placing them in water until they root; transplant to soil and watch your healthy herb garden grow

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Top anti-inflammatory foods and supplements

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Chronic inflammation is a hallmark of virtually all disease, including cancer, obesity and heart disease. Your diet plays a significant if not primary role as it can either trigger or prevent inflammation
  • Leafy greens, berries and mushrooms are potent anti-inflammatory foods. People with autoimmune diseases may want to limit vegetables high in lectins, though, as they may cause more problems than they solve
  • Traditionally fermented and cultured foods are anti-inflammatory staples that work their “magic” by optimizing your gut flora. Examples include kefir, yogurt, natto, kimchee, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, olives and other fermented vegetables
  • Marine-based omega-3 fats found in fatty cold-water fish that are low in environmental toxins are important anti-inflammatories that are particularly crucial for brain and heart health
  • Other anti-inflammatory foods and supplements include green tea, spices such as cloves, ginger, rosemary and turmeric, herbal remedies such as white willow bark, maritime pine bark and Cat’s claw, and supplements such as resveratrol, curcumin, capsaicin, vitamin D, zinc and SAM-e

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Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods, Herbs, and Spices

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Aromatherapy Tips

aroWhen I was in high school, I took an entrepreneurship class. For the final project, my partner and I had to construct a business proposal and present it to the class and some guest judges.

My partner’s mother, a psychiatrist, suggested we Continue reading

Treating Strep Throat with Sage

Did You Know…

… 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

Five Powerful Herbal Tinctures to Boost your Immune System

tinctureThe 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

Rosemary Oil Can Be Used as a Natural Meat Preservative

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

Homeopathic and Natural Treatments Can Help Modify Addictive Behavior

An addiction can be described as a craving for or dependence on a substance, usually alcohol, nicotine or drugs. Addictions to physical substances should always be treated by a registered practitioner. This article examines some of the natural, alternative remedies that may be prescribed by a homeopathic or naturopathic practitioner.

Homeopathic treatments for addictions

Homeopathic treatment is constitutional, or tailored, to specific needs. Some treatments a homeopath may prescribe include:

Nux vomica helps to overcome a craving for cigarettes.

Kali phos, said to strengthen the nervous system, makes it easier for a person to give up an addiction.

Arsenicum is usually given for anxiety, restlessness and fears.

Absinthium is sometimes given to addicts who are depressed,  Continue reading

Sage is an Anti-Aging Anti-Oxidant which also Boost Memory Recall

Sage is a wonderful herb that can add flavor to soups, salad dressings and juices. The herb also has anti-inflammatory and powerful memory enhancing qualities. In trials, even small amounts of sage have been shown to significantly boost memory recall. It’s also been known since 2003 that the root of the Danshen or Chinese sage contains compounds that are very similar to the drugs used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, which makes it a safer alternative. The herb has also been used for over 1,000 years to treat other brain related problems. Sage has even been found to improve the interconnectivity of the different parts of the brain, which should be important for everyone, with Alzheimer’s or not.

One of sage’s anti-oxidants, carnosic acid, can even cross the blood brain barrier to halt free radical damage in the brain. The same anti-oxidant increases our own production of glutathione,  Continue reading

Home Remedies Series – Amnesia

Amnesia treatment using Rosemary

The most remarkable remedy for loss of memory or forgetfulness is the use of the herb rosemary, botanically known as Romarinus officinalis. Rosemary has long been regarded as a herb for remembrance. In ancient times, the Greeks and the Romans prepared fragrant distilled water from the flowers of this plant and inhaled the odour so that ‘the evils were destroyed from the mind and the memory no longer played tricks.’ Rosemary is considered to be an antidote for mental fatigue and forgetfulness. A tea made from this herb, taken once or twice a day, is a refreshing drink and an effective natural remedy for enhancing mental agility.

Amnesia treatment using Brahmi Booti

Another herb useful in amnesia is perennail booti, botanically known as Bacopa scrophulariaceae. About seven grams of this herb should be dried in the shade and ground in water, along with seven kernels of almonds and half a gram of pepper. This mixture should be strained and sweetened with twenty-five gm of sugar. It should be drunk every morning for a fortnight on an empty stomach.

Amnesia treatment using Sage

The herb sage has also been found beneficial in the treatment of a weak memory or loss of memory. It acts on the cortex of the brain, mitigates mental exhaustion and strengthens the ability to concentrate. A tea prepared from dried sage leaves can be used regularly for this purpose.

Amnesia treatment using Almonds

Almonds are very valuable for restoring a poor memory caused by brain weakness. They contain unique properties to remove brain debility and to strengthen the brain. Almonds preserve the vitality of the brain and cure ailments originating from nervous disorders. Ten to twelve almonds should be immersed in water overnight and their outer skin removed. They should then be made into a fine paste and taken, mixed with one teaspoonful of butter or even alone. Inhaling ten to fifteen drops of almond oil through the nose, morning and evening, is also beneficial in the treatment of brain weakness.

Amnesia treatment using Walnuts

Walnut is another unique dry fruit valuable in countering brain weakness. About twenty grams of walnuts should be taken every day. The value of walnuts is enhanced if they are taken with figs or raisins in a proportion of ten gram each, everyday.

Amnesia treatment using Apples

Apples are useful in amnesia. The various chemical substances contained in this fruit such as vitamin B1, phosphorus, and potassium help in the synthesis of glutamic acid. This acid controls the wear and tear of nerve cells. Eating an apple a day with one tea-spoon of honey and one cup of milk is beneficial in the treatment of loss of memory and mental irritability. It acts as an effective nerve tonic and recharges the nerves with new energy and life.

Amnesia treatment using Other Fruits

All fruits which are rich in phosphorus are valuable mitigators of amnesia, as they invigorate the brain cells and tissues. Apart from apples, almonds, and walnuts, which have been discussed earlier, other phosphorus-rich fruits are figs, grapes, oranges, and dates. Their intake is highly beneficial in loss of memory due to brain debility.

Amnesia treatment using Cumin Seeds

The use of cumin seeds is another valuable remedy for amnesia or dullness of memory. Three grams of black cumin seeds should be mixed with two teaspoonfuls of pure honey and taken once a day, preferably, in the morning.

Amnesia treatment using Black Pepper

Five seeds of finely ground black pepper, mixed with one teaspoon of honey are also beneficial in the treatment of this condition. This preparation should be taken both in the morning and evening.

What is Shamanic Smudging?

Virtual stimuli and anxiety

Shamanic smudging or just smudging is an age-old tribal tradition which has been used for centuries to create harmony and peace. There are many different shamanic smudging ceremonies, and different tribes use a variety of herbs for smudging.

To define it more clearly, shamanic smudging is the burning of herbs or incense for cleansing, purification, protection of physical and spiritual bodies, banishment of negative energies and creation of sacred space. You can use smudge sticks (herbs that are tied into a bundle for easier handling), braided herbs and botanicals (like sweetgrass) or loose herbs (burned on charcoal or mugwort, or in a firepit). Shamanic smudging releases the energy and fragrance of the herbs and botanicals so they can heal, cleanse and purify.

Smudging Four Directions

In many traditions, shamanic smudging involves a four directions ceremony or prayer, which sends specific kinds of smoke or prayers into the four directions. Different tribes have different smudging prayers that program the smoke to do a specific action, such as cleansing or aiding in divination.

In general, shamanic smudging can be used in daily life for practical purposes: to restore physical, mental and emotional balance; to shield against negative energies; to cleanse yourself, your magickal tools and your space; and to restore you sacred space.

You can burn these common smudging herbs singly or in combination with each other. One good combination that covers all four magical elements of air, fire, water and earth is pine resin and sage (either desert sage or white broadleaf sage). This combination is appropriate for general use, cleansing, ceremony and ritual.

When to Smudge Yourself

Smudging yourself on a daily basis can be very helpful in keeping yourself balanced and maintaining a peaceful state of being. However, you should definitely use shamanic smudging techniques when youíve been around people who are ill, depressed, fearful, angry or generally emotionally unbalanced; before meditating to create a calm state of being; when youíre feeling blue or depressed; or when youíve been under a lot of stress.

Smudging yourself is easy. If you’re using a smudge stick, light the smudge stick on a candle flame. Hold the stick in the flame until there is a lot of smoke and the stick is burning well (that ís why a candle is better than a matchóit can take a while to get the stick really smoking). Using a feather (or feather fan) or your hand, gently fan the smoke onto your body, starting at the top of the body and moving downward. Get the back of your body as best you can (it is often easier to use a smudge pot and loose herbs for this). When you’re done, inhale a little of the smoke (just a little!) to purify your insides.

If you’re using a smudge pot or firebowl and loose herbs, light the herbs (using self-lighting charcoal, not the barbeque kind!) until it is smoking well. Then, put the firebowl on the ground and stand over it with your legs spread and feet on either side. Weave back and forth in the smoke until you have been thoroughly cleansed. Clothing is optional for this approach, and smudging in the nude is recommended for a more thorough cleansing. Again, when you’re done, inhale a little of the smoke to purify your insides. People often feel more relaxed, lighter and brighter after smudging.

If you’re going to use the smudge smoke during meditation, use a charcoal burner or firebowl, light the herbs and enjoy the scent and smoke as you meditate. Meditating with these herbs often produces a deeper and longer-lasting state of relaxation and contemplation.