Hi, lovely Vicki!!

First of all, I would like to thank you for the wonderful, wonderful reading you gave me and my sisters yesterday. It was incredible!!! You came out with the correct names from the very beginning, identifying correctly my brother from the start, also my cousins, my grandmother, my father, Leilanita’s ex, Miguel, my brother’s friend who built a lovely urn for him in just one night, the horrible person who was by my brother’s side for 20 years, his name, his hometown, even his plane! and on top of it, even the coquis who accompanies all of us at night, most specially my brother in Vieques!!!!

No words, Vicki, no words!!!

My sister Iris was with my sister Pilar, who doesn’t believe in life after death, and told me that she was so emotional and surprised by all the names you mentioned, the circumstances and all, that she was crying all the time. There is absolutely no doubt that Eli was there, absolutely none. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Big hugs and you’re incredibly awesome!!!

Hugs and kisses,
Leilani
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Herb of the Month: Verbena Officinalis

Compared with its flashy garden verbena cousins, common vervain (Verbena Officinalis) is an unprepossessing plain Jane. You may know it for keeping Vampires free to walk in the sunlight if you are a fan of the CW’S Vampire Diaries. It has also been an herb that was used for magic and religion. There is no herb in the garden more worthy of attention, for this simple plant without fragrance, without an outer look of power, without a flower of significance, was singled out from among all other plants and herbs as the most sacred of the growing things of earth between the Pillars of Hercules and the roots of the Caucasus.

Vervain is one of some 250 species of annuals, herbaceous perennials, and sub shrubs in the genus Verbena. Although most members of the genus are native to tropical and subtropical America, vervain is native to southern Europe; it probably came to North America with the early English settlers.

The loosely branched stems are stiff, erect, and four angled. They may grow to 2 and 1/2 feet tall. The leaves opposite and rough in texture, are of three types. Those lowest on the stem are coarsely toothed and stalked; those in the middle, also stalked, are oval and deeply lobed or cut; while the leaves highest on the stem are oval or linear, stalk less, and irregularly toothed.

From early summer through early fall, tiny purplish flowers occur in narrow spikes at the tips of the stems or in the leaf axils. Only a few flowers are open at any time. They are insect pollinated. The dry fruits contain four nut lets that are dispersed by ants. Vervain is hardy in Zones 4 through 8. It is a great plant in the landscaping area. And is easy to start from seed.

You may know other family members more readily in the garden such as blue, an American native, and has been used for both food and medicine. Lemon vervain is another name for the familiar fragrant herb lemon verbena. Chaste tree, used to treat gynecological disorders, Aztec sweet herb and Mexican oregano are other herbal relatives.

Vervain’s reputation as a sacred plant dates at least to ancient Egypt, where is was thought to have sprung from the tears of the goddess Isis as she mourned the death of the god Osiris. It was also sacred to the Persians, Druids, and worshippers of Thor in Scandinavia. The Greeks called it hierobotane, “holy plant;” the Roman version of the name was herbal sacra. Both used the altars of the temples; the generic name Ver-bena “leafy branch,” alludes to this practice. Legend has it that vervain was also used to stanch the bleeding of Christ’s wounds on the cross; the herb is sometimes known as herb-on-the-cross. During the Middle Ages, vervain was an ingredient of magicians and witches potions, but common folk could
use it for protection, as Gertrude Foster notes in Herbs for Every Garden (1966): “Vervain and Dill/ Hinder witches from their will.” It was also highly re-guarded as an aphrodisiac, earning it the name herbal veneris, “herb of love.”

Uses

Vervain is one of the classical medicinal herbs; it has been used to treat practically every known disorder from snakebite, nervous disorders, and headaches to “pain in the secret parts.” A medieval cure for a throat tumor called for tying part of a vervain root around the throat and drying the rest over a fire. As the fire shriveled the root, the tumor would shrivel, too, or so the theory went.

James A. Duke’s Photochemical and Ethno botanical Databases list more than fifty medical conditions for which vervain has been used, but it has never been proven effective in alleviating them. In China, vervain has been used experimentally to treat malaria, blood flukes, coughs and inflammation. It is suspected of poisoning cattle in Australia, and touching it can cause dermatitis in humans. The common name vervain is believed to come from the Celtic words fer, “to remove,” and faen, “stone,” in reference to its reputation for curing kidney stones. A 1994 study of vervain and six other herbs traditionally used to prevent and treat kidney stones did find some beneficial effects, but the researchers concluded that more effectible and equally innocuous substitutes are well known.

The delicate young leaves may be par-boiled and eaten or brewed into a tea. A big batch of tea added to your bathwater is supposed to be soothing. The flowers may be made into wine, used as a garnish, or, as they do in Turkey, used to flavor salt. The seeds of blue vervain may be roasted and ground for use in fried cakes.

Or plant some vervain to keep the pigeons and turkeys happy. Two more commoon names, pigeon grass and turkey grass, commemorate these birds’ attraction to the herb, but both names have also been applied to other plants.

Growing It

In Europe, vervain is found growing wild in well drained or dry alkaline soil or in sun or half shade. Vervain is not choosey about soil but likes a sunny place. It’s advised to plant them well back in the border, planting them in a close growing line, and facing them with some shorter and compact perennial.

Vervain reseeds readily. The Druids advised gathering plants when neither the sun nor the moon is in the sky and leaving honey combs on the ground in exchange for the harvest.

Sources

Goodwin Creek Gardens. Article provided by The Herb Companion Magazine.

I will try to schedule an appointment within the next couple of months. In the meantime, does Vicki have any books or know of any books that address animals crossing over? My 20 year old daughter had to put her cat down after having her for 16 years. My daughter is devastated. I told her we will be united with our animals and love ones once we crossover. Of course hearing things from your parents doesn’t carry as much weight as hearing it from another source. So I am hoping you can recommend a book that can help ease some of her pain. Thank you so much for your understanding.
Vickie

~~~~~

Not precisely, but all souls cross over, and the best book about past lives and reincarnation, which animals as well as all things that live do go through is “Many Lives, Many Masters” by Dr. Brian Weiss. I would pick that up and she will get a very strong sense of relief.
In light,
Vicki

~~~~~

I actually do have this book and we did read the section on animals. About 12 years ago I saw you at a school in Old Orchard Beach. I was lucky enough to have you call my number. The very first thing you said to me was, “who just lost a dog?”. And my dog had just been hit by a car. You told me that I didn’t brush my dogs very much but my mother does. I asked you what type of dogs and you said “Shelties”. Well that of course blew me away because you confirmed that my mother had crossed and the exact type of dogs I had. And I do have two Shelties on the other side. I also saw you at a hotel in Kennebunkport and a couple of years later my brother and I had a private visit with you. So of course you were the first person I thought of and I did reminded my daughter what you had told me. You are amazing and not just because of your gift but because of how you share that gift with others and the peace you bring them. Thank you.
Vickie

Hello Vicki,

It was great to see you, it’s been a while. Our group is keeping me so very busy. I just wanted to say I loved your show and how you work to give messages. You could easily be a stand up comic as well, love it very much. You make people feel very at ease. I was amazed at how many people at your show, it’s the first time I had ever been to something like this. I have seen tv shows like this but never in person. We have some in our group who kept asking me about you and your events. They know I know you and have had readings but I had no idea about your events. This time when they asked me I decided to go, so now I can tell them about your show. I really love how you make it very uplifting and inspiring for those who go to your show.

Hey the 3 people who I sat with all live very close to us. How cool was that? We were able to talk and share our experiences.

It was great to see you and I loved your event.

Hey, if you ever decide to have a side job as a stand up comic let me know I will buy a ticket, you are very good.

Great show, loved it very much.

Take care and God Bless,
Guy

Herb of the Month: Poor Appetite?

Herbs that can increase a poor appetite are catnip, fennel seed, ginger root, ginseng, gota kola, papaya leaves, peppermint leaves, and/or saw palmetto berries. Caution: Do not use ginseng if you have high blood pressure.

Okay, yes, there are herbs that do increase your appetite, but let’s take a look at why you may have a Poor Appetite and how we can treat it.

First

Always see your primary care practitioner, doctor and/or Nutritionist, and do not substitute these treatments for other medications that have been prescribed for you. You always need to speak with your doctor first before adding anything new. Just because herbs are natural doesn’t mean they are not medicine.

Poor Appetite

A poor appetite is not a disorder in itself, but more than likely an issue pertaining to something else. Emotional issues such as depression, stress, illness and trauma can cause appetites to be weakened or non-existent. There are controllable things such as the use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs, than can also increase the no desire to eat. Lastly, an underlying sickness may be the culprit. Heavy metal poisoning or nutritional deficiencies my be involved.

To stimulate a poor appetite – try using the herbs listed above, one at a time, to see if one will work. Do not try all of them at the same time. You may not need them.

Recommendations

To get the protein and calories you need, drink 3 or more cups per day of skim milk. This can be in the form of Soy, Almond and all other types of milk, especially if you suffer from a lactose intolerance. Use a carob-based milk, it gives you more of a feeling of being a treat but without all of the added sugars and lactose.

Yogurt mixed with fruit for shakes gives some added protein as well as some essential Pro-Biotic, very essential to your stomach and entire bodies disease fighting center. Eat cold cereals, preferably whole grain cereals, as well as breads and rolls. The denser the food, the better the nutrional value.

Use cream soups, again nut milks can be used rather than heavy cream to bring out a richer broth. These are better for nourishing you, than clear broths. They are also higher in protein, which is the foundation to building strong muscles.

Between meals, snack on foods such as avocados, banana soy pudding, cheeses (lactose free cheeses work too), chicken, and no more than twice a week, tuna. Turkey, nuts and nut butters, along with hot cereals do wonders to keep you satisfied, but also build good strong muscle and bone health. In addition to promoting weight gain, these foods are easy to digest and contain the good fatty acids your body needs as well as the additional probiotics (friendly bacteria).

Because you are trying to gain weight it’s best to avoid any beverages prior to eating your meal. This gives the feeling of being full. With a poor appetite, we are trying to build this up. To lose weight, you can eat this way. But with much less and having water
before, during and after a meal is wonderful.

Supplements are essential to most people, but those with a poor appetite are at greater risk of illness. These supplements can help build your immune system back to good health. B Vitamins increase appetite.

Try eating small quantities of food at frequent intervals through out the day rather than 2 or 3 larger meals. Just the sight of a large meal can be a turn off for those suffering with poor appetite. Smaller frequent meals may be better tolerated, with a gradual increase in the volume of food.

Exercise

If possible, but avoid strenuous exercise as it will delete the
calories you are trying to build back into your diet. Walking, yoga, and moderate paced activity is best to increase the appetite. Exercise also helps the body to break down the nutrients in a better way. If you smoke, quit! Smoking decreases appetite. When trying to stimulate the appetite, consider the surroundings of your meal. Are they tolerable to the tastes? Are they appealing to your taste buds? Your surroundings are just as important to the food you put in your body. If you experience a significant loss of appetite, see your physician to rule out any underlying physical problems.

Something to Consider

To stimulate a poor appetite, the diet must be individualized according to the person’s tolerances and tastes. There are many products on the market that can be helpful for people with appetite and weight problems. They are often found in the health food stores.

If you have any health questions, please submit them here and I will be happy to answer them the best I can.

To your health!

In light,
Vicki