Here’s to your Health!

Here’s to Your Health!


Herb of the Month – Question about Insomnia

Question from Janet

I have chronic insomnia. Working nights is my profession, so sleep during the day is critical to me. I wake up every hour. Sometimes the total sleep without interruption is about 3-4 hours. I don’t want to take the narcotic types of medicines. Please Dr. Vicki what can I take that is natural and give me the sleep I need??

Response from Vicki

Hi Janet,

I’m assuming that you watch your diet in as far as you are not ingesting any stimulants such as caffeine (tea, coffee, chocolate), or colas, and that you are eating small fat free, non spicy meals for your evening meal.

Chamomile, valerian, passionflowers are all good relaxants, are available in liquid format, and can be mixed. Particularly good sedatives are Valerian and Hoops. Hops are known to be so sedating that it must not be taken in depression, as is can lower the mood. Watching your dosage so that you do not exceed the recommended daily dosage on the tinctures you purchase, you are best to take a dose an hour before bedtime, one as you are getting into bed, and another if you wake up a few hours later. Once your body has settled into the routine, you will probably be able to decrease the dosage. Lavender is also very relaxing. You could try bathing an hour before bedtime with a few drops of the essential oil.

Note: This is in no way to replace a doctor’s advice. Please see your health care provider before trying any herbal remedy. We are not responsible for any effects or injuries that may come from this advice.

Happy Healing!
Dr. Vicki Monroe

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