Here’s to your Health!

Here’s to Your Health!


Herbs of the Month – Dealing with Burns

This Summer, as in most, we are all aware of sun burns and the dangers they can cause, as well as the risk factors for developing Skin Cancer. But other burns as well occur due to our love of grilling out, fireworks, and one of my favorites, my fire pit. Even the most careful of individuals can develop a burn or be subjected to one.

Here are some remedies to ease your pain and help in healing. If the burn is severe, please call your doctor immediately or head to your closest emergency room. These remedies are in no way to be used without a doctor’s supervision and are not intended to take the place of a doctor’s advice and treatment. Always seek the advice of your medical professional before using any herbal remedies as they can interfere with medications that your presently take. I am a doctor of Natural Remedies, however I cannot prescribe, I can only suggest, and my suggestions are in no way to replace that of a Medical Doctor.

My husband is not a fan of herbal medicine. Often times he would rather see his doctor and take what they prescribe then what I may suggest. My common suggestions and medicines being herbal concoctions and healing with soups and vegetables that I make. However, he never lets me get low on my aloe vera plant that I have had for years, and still uses it’s soothing jell when he gets a burn from the woodstove. My daughter is also a fan of aloe for burns, but uses a jell that is bottled and from our local pharmacy. It is a great soother of sunburns on feet and ankles and the pads of your pets feet from hot pavement.

Burns Come in 3 Degrees of Severity

First degree burns injure only the outermost layer of skin. An ordinary sunburn, for example, is a first degree burn. When a burn develops blisters, the injury has penetrated deeper into the skin, and you have a very painful second degree burn. The third degree is the worst type of burn. Oddly it is not painful at all. It’s due to the injury penetrating so deeply that it destroys the nerves that transmit pain signals to the brain. Third degree burns are medical emergencies that always require professional care, and in most cases, a stay in the hospital. Also any second degree burn that covers an area larger than a quarter should be seen by your doctor.

For first and second degree burns, smaller than a quarter treatment at home is possible. As stated above, aloe vera is one of the best remedies and has been used since ancient times. But it’s not just a folk remedy. Studies have now shown that aloe helps in relieving the burns acquired by radiation in the treatment of cancer, other types of wounds and frostbite. Aloe increases the amount of blood flowing to the areas burned which brings more of the body’s healing resources to the area where they are needed. In addition, aloe reduces redness and swelling, as well as has antibacterial properties and anti-fungal which may help in preventing infection.

Aloe belongs in every kitchen, the place where most burns happen. That is my own personal opinion, and has been used for ailments since biblical times.

A few other options for burns are echinacea, many people who know herbs know this is also referred to as Purple Cone Flower. If I get a burn, I take out my tincture, or make myself a tea and drink one to two teaspoons. It can stimulate your immune response, reducing inflammation. Remember, this herb can cause your tongue to go numb temporarily, which is why it is good for sore throats, but it’s harmless. Take a few drops on the burn daily to keep from infection. Garlic is also helpful when applied directly to the burn, to help keep infection at bay. Lavender is excellent as well at easing the pain of a burn. All of these are wonderful in treating a mild burn and soothing the pain. If you have questions on treating a burn, you can always give us a call, and if the burn is severe – do not wait, but call your doctor or seek medical attention without delay.

Here’s to your health for a Happy Fourth of July, and to a burn free summer!
Vicki

Nature’s Pharmacy

Allergy Season is here!

Allergy season is here, but don’t let a stuffy nose and itchy eyes keep you house bound during these warm Spring and Summer months. Nature has remedies for these!

While there are many over the counter remedies for allergies, nature has just as many with fewer side effects. To be effective, begin trying different types at least 6 weeks prior to your seasonal allergy complaints. Here are just a few that might be beneficial. Please note: always seek medical advice before trying anything new. And do not stop taking your medications without seeing your doctor first. These are suggestions and should in no way be taken as medical advice.

Garlic

You won’t be shocked that garlic is a preferred source for me, I cook with it almost daily. I marry it into almost all of my vegetarian dishes, as well as use it in hot water for oncoming cold and flu. Garlic and the other herbs I will list are useful because of high concentrates of compounds such as quercitin, which is very high in anti- inflammatory. If you have allergies, adding generous amounts of these foods (onions too), to your menu can be beneficial.

Stinging Nettle

This herb has shown promise with nasal congestion, cough, chest congestion, asthma and other respiratory issues.

Chamomile

This lovely little herb has been shown when used as an oil, can be very effective when massaged onto hives and allergic skin reactions. However use caution if you wish to try this in tea form, as anyone with hay fever can have an adverse reaction to this plant. Chamomile is a part of the rag weed plant, and many people are allergic to this. The first time you use Chamomile watch very closely for reactions. And again check with your doctor before using any new medicines.

Feverfew

Many will note that fever few is wonderful at alleviating migraines, but it is also useful in treating allergies. This herb should only be used when others have failed. Pregnant and nursing women should not use fever few as it can cross into an unborn child and a mother’s milk. Again, please not, herbs are medicine. All medications you presently take should never be stopped randomly. And adding anything new to your regime should be done only with the advice of your doctor.

Wishing you all a sneeze free, breathe easy, Spring and Summer. And for any information of herbal use you can always send an email.

Love and light,
Vicki

Herb of the Month: Artichoke Extract

Artichoke Extract for Cholesterol, Gas Woes (The Doctor’s Prescription For Healthy Living) Number 7
By Gary Ross, M.D.

The ancient doctors knew what modern science has confirmed: enhancing and rebalancing the body’s bile secretions is essential for the treatment of heart and vessels-as well as dyspepsia, or indigestion, including gastric acid reflux. Researchers have found as early as the middle ages that people were using this medicinal plant for liver health and its influence on bile formation.

Artichoke extract’s benefits are very powerful on cholesterol levels . At least 6 clinical studies attest to its potent balancing effects on the body’s cholesterol. In 1995 European doctors showed within two hours artichoke extract caused a significant drop in cholesterol biosynthesis in cultured human cells.

How to Obtain Artichoke Extract: Most good Health Food stores provide different brands. Enzymatic Therapy is the brand that was recommended in this article.

Smart Shoppers Tip: You might think you could eat enough fresh artichoke to satisfy your requirements daily for artichoke, but medical evidence shows that neither the fresh plant material nor isolated cynarin achieve the potency of the extract. Please consult your health care practitioner before taking any new supplements or before discontinuing any medications.

Happy July!
Vicki

Herb of the Month: The Onion

WELCOME NOVEMBER

Welcome November, and the cold and flu season has already begun here in New England, and for me, right here in my own home. This Herb Of The Month is a short but very true story on the wonderful onion, and its properties that fight not only bacteria and viruses, but it does a great job of cleaning the air. I have used onions for years, and in this little tale below, it lists yet another purpose for this versatile vegetable.

A friend of mine told me a story about how when he was a kid he was in the hospital and near dying. His Italian/African grandmother came to the hospital to see him and after hearing the diagnosis, put herself to work. She demanded a bag of onions, fresh from the garden, be brought to her immediately, as well as a fresh, clean pair of white socks. Once delivered, she sliced the onion in half placing one slice in one sock and the other, then placing them on her grandsons feet. The next morning when her grandson awoke, she removed the socks. The slices of onion were completely black, but more importantly, her grandson’s fever, the fever that was taking his young life, was gone.

Keep reading, another story follows!

In 1919, when the flu killed 40 million people, there was a doctor that left the ravaged death of the cities and towns, where death had filled the air. He was searching for anything that could help his patients to survive this plague that was what seemed to only gain strength. As he drove further into the farm lands, he was surprised to see children out playing, families working their fields. All without illness of any kind. Surprised and shocked, he followed these farms and their families, finding that upon entering their homes everyone was healthy! When the farmers were asked what they were doing differently, their wives replied that they had placed unpeeled onions in dishes around the house. The doctor requested one of these onions, and upon bringing it back to his lab, placed it under his microscope, to his surprise he found the influenza bacteria covering the onion. The Onion had absorbed the bacteria, and therefore the farmers families were kept healthy.

I love these stories, as they prove to me what I learned years ago. Having had a very bad cold virus running through my own home, I remembered the Onion remedy. As the virus hit a new family member each day, I began putting onions throughout the house, limiting my families cold symptoms as well as the virus itself. I have since purchased several pounds of onions for the winter, to keep them healthy. It’s just a simple easy trick that can help your family stay healthier all year.

Onions and garlic were also used during the Black Plague, when placed around the rooms of the people, it saved many lives. The powerful antibacterial and microbial properties having stood the test of time. Enjoy your November, and have some onion soup; keep your insides healthy too!

Cheers!
Vicki

‘Tis The Season For Allergies!

We often think of Allergies as a Spring and Summer issue, but Fall and Winter can be equally rough for allergies, and if you are like me, I have indoor/outdoor allergies that afflict me all year around. Now that Fall has arrived in New England I thought I would write about the different types of allergies and what you may be able to use to help in the caring of them. An allergy is an inappropriate response by the body’s immune system to a substance that is not normally harmful. The immune system is the highly complex defense mechanism that helps us to combat infection. It does this by identifying “foreign invaders” and mobilizing the body’s white blood cells to fight them. In some people the immune system wrongly identifies a nontoxic substance as an invader, and the white blood cells overreact and do more damage to the body than the invader. This, the allergic reaction, becomes a disease in itself. Common responses are nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, itching, hives, and other skin rashes, headache and fatigue.

Allergens can cause an array of allergic reactions, and anything can cause a reaction to the right host. The most common are pollen, dust, certain metals, (nickel) being the most prominent, some cosmetics, lanolin, animal hair, insect venom, some common drugs (penicillin and aspirin), some food additives (benzoic acid and sulfur dioxide) and chemicals found in soap and washing detergents. Many people are allergic to mold. Molds are microscopic living organisms, neither animal nor insect, that thrive where no other life form can. Molds live throughout the house, under sinks and in bathrooms, basements, along with refrigerators and any other damp, dark place. They also thrive in the air, in the soil, on dead leaves, and on other organic material. They may be destructive but they can be beneficial. They help to make cheese, fertilize gardens, and speed decaying of garbage and fallen leaves. Penicillin is made from mold.

Mold spores are carried by the wind and are most active in the Summer and Fall months. In warm climates they thrive year round. Cutting grass, harvesting crops, or walking through tall vegetation can provoke an a reaction. Foods can also cause allergic reactions. Some of the most common are chocolate, dairy products, eggs, shellfish, strawberries, and wheat. Food intolerance is not the same thing. A person with a food intolerance is unable to digest and process the food correctly, usually due to lack of certain enzyme or enzymes. Some allergic reactions to food can occur as soon as the item is ingested and are much easier to identify and eliminate from the diet. A delayed reaction is harder to identify. Any irritating cough or tickle in the throat may be a sign of food allergy. Allergies do run in families, and it is also believed that babies who are not breast fed are more likely to develop allergies. There may be an emotional cause to the problem as well; stress and anger, especially if the immune system is not functioning properly, are contributing factors.

Food Allergy Self Test

If you suspect that you are allergic to specific food, a simple test can help you determine if you are correct. By recording your pulse rate after consuming the suspected food you can reveal if you are having an allergic reaction. Simply sit down, relax your body, deep breathing, and a calming sound can help. Then with a second hand watch count the number of beats in a sixty second period. A normal pulse is reads between 52 and 70. After consuming the food you are testing, waiting fifteen minutes and retake your pulse. If it has increased more than 10 beats, remove it from your diet for one month. Once you discover the culprit you can then speak to your doctor or a Natural Health Care provider about medications or supplements that can help you with your food or seasonal allergies. ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TRYING ANY SUPPLEMENTS OF ANY KIND.

This is not too take the place of a doctor’s advice. Always seek medical care before trying anything new. Courtesy of PRESCRIPTIONS FOR NUTRITIONAL HEALING.