Posts tagged ‘Health’

November 28, 2014

Chaste tree berries are a Woman’s Best Friend

Chaste tree berries Vitex L. look like light grey brown wrinkled peppercorn fruit or allspice. These berries also have the same spicy, warm and pungent qualities like peppercorns, but taste more bitter in flavour, not hot. They are not sweet like blueberry fruit, they were used more like cracked pepper spice.

This very popular berry is native to the Mediterranean and has a long history of being used to regulate sex organ functions. Chastetree berry has both relaxant and stimulating actions that normalize and restore.
It is a pituitary and ovary tonic that balances all conditions of the Female reproductive system including PMS, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menopause and infertility.

Chaste tree berry regulates hormonal balance and ovary function through the action of the female hormones: estrogen and progesterone; although primarily progesterone.
The pituitary gland gets stimulated to increase or decrease progesterone or estriol levels.

It therefore treats progesterone deficient conditions, such as: osteoporosis, fibroids or fibrocystic Breasts, along with other female complaints.

The reproductive restoration is also due to a dopamine action that reduces prolactin release.

It reduces male hormones and has been called monks pepper or cloister berry, because it was popular among monks, or men of the cloth to help temper sexual desires. It was used as an anaphrodisiac to treat sexual overstimulation and to curb nymphomania.
When given to nuns however, it turned out to be a female fertility tonic and aphrodisiac.

It is also a good herb for the digestive system, treating poor digestion or liver function, which may be contributing to female reproductive conditions.

It is best taken in a tincture, the long infusion tea needs to be mixed with some better tasting herbs. Also mix in other female friendly herbs in the tincture like mother wort to create a formulation.

There are also two Asian Vitex species used in Chinese medicine: Mu Jing-five leaf chaste tree berry and Man Zing Zi- Seashore chaste tree berry that are used in the same way. They all share the same bitter pungent taste, having the same essential oil constituents and flavonoids, and are used also for rheumatic and arthritic conditions.

Common Name Chastetree berries aka monk’s pepper, Chaste Lamb
Latin Name Vitex agnus-castus
Family Verbenaceae (Vervain)
Parts Used Perennial shrub mature fruit/berries picked in the Fall
Target Organs Female reproductive, urogenital, intestines, liver, pituitary, sinews,
Common Uses Pituitary Ovary Tonic
Female reproductive: PMS, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menopause, infertility in women, hormonal imbalance, imbalance of ovary function, fibroids, swollen Breasts, withdrawn,
premature ejaculation, sexual overstimulation, sexual disinterest, progesterone deficiency,
Stimulates circulation, chills, painful joints, muscle tension, osteoporosis, fatigue,
Stimulates digestion, liver congestion, indigestion, fluid congestion,
Properties Bitter pungent, drying, regulating, anti-inflammatory (local, systemic) general antispasmodic (digestive, uterine) anxiolytic, astringent, analgesic, anti-androgenic (reduces male hormones) warming carminative, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, bitter digestive tonic stimulant, emmenagogue tonic, nervine, relaxant, female reproductive tonic, tranquilizer, uterine relaxant, ovarian tonic, pituitary tonic, progesterone, aphrodisiac/anaphrodisiac, 
Constituents Essential oil,
Flavonoids: casticin, isovitexin, orientin; 
Iridoid glycosides: aucbin, agnoside
Cautions mild remedy- Do not use during pregnancy or lactation
Dosage Tincture: 1-3ml Tea: long infusion 4-10g
July 31, 2014

Ten Things NOT to Say to People Who Have Cancer

Ten Things NOT to Say to People Who Have Cancer

These are real actual things people have said to cancer patients.

1. Don’t ask cancer patients if they are going to lose their hair, it is upsetting and misguided. Cancer doesn’t make you lose your hair, chemotherapy does. There are many types of cancer, which are treated in different ways, and it doesn’t necessarily involve chemotherapy or hair loss.

2. Don’t blame a person for not going to the doctor sooner, and say it is their own fault for not looking after themselves. We live in a toxic society, illness happens to everyone. Illness is a defined human trait that no one escapes from, no matter how healthy we think we are and how often we go to the doctor.

3. Don’t blame a person for getting cancer because of their lifestyle habits. Some people who smoke get lung cancer, others don’t, but it is always unfairly assumed that they are smokers. While it is not a healthy habit it is still misguided to blame people at a time when they need the most compassion and understanding.

4. Don’t say that they have negative or bad karma, and that they must have done something bad, if not in this life, then in a past life. Saying to them that they must really be unbalanced and harbour dark energy is unhelpful, or that they must think really negative thoughts to get cancer and must be vengeful, or unforgiving.

5. Don’t tell them to just think happy thoughts because negativity will do more harm. People are allowed to feel what they want to feel. It is unhealthy to suppress emotions. Expressing all emotions is natural and therapeutic. Don’t placate and pretend everything is happy when clearly it isn’t, it’s ignoring the issue. Don’t deny people their feelings just because you can’t handle the upset.

6. Don’t tell them to keep it a secret or tell them not to tell anyone like it is something to be ashamed about. It is a personal matter whether someone wants to share their health issues or not. If they do share it with you, it means they need your support, understanding and empathy during a difficult time.

7. Don’t ask if it’s okay to smoke cigarettes around a person diagnosed with cancer while you light up a cigarette anyway. Or give excuses like it should be fine because you are by an open window, or wave your arms around and act like it is clearing the second-hand smoke. Minimizing toxicity during this critical time is paramount. This should be a no-brainer.

8. Don’t think that god quotes like “God only gives us what we can handle,” or “it’s just gods plan” are well meaning. It implies that you don’t have faith or are not spiritual if we question.

9. Don’t say they should pray if they are not religious or spiritual, it is misguided if they do not believe in the power of prayer. Although some people may find other people praying for them helpful not everybody does.

10. Don’t ask them to run or walk a marathon for a cancer charity event or to donate money towards cancer causes, unless it is their idea. Otherwise it preys upon people during a vulnerable time.

These prevalent attitudes and reactions to people with cancer in society may be well intended, but they really are a way for people to distance themselves from pain and illness. It is a misguided self-protective mechanism that is really mean-spirited and lacks empathy in a time when support and understanding are important. Blame blocks healing and isn’t helpful.

What would you want someone to say to you if it was you?

February 6, 2014

The Differences Between a Common Cold, Flu and Allergies

There are many subsets and variables of viral infections that play havoc with our system. The virus strains have an ability to adapt and evolve, which means that a vaccine cannot be made for the common cold.

A flu vaccine is produced using the influenza virus that causes the flu. Flu strains are predicted every year because the virus adapts and evolves into different strains and needs to be reformulated for the yearly vaccine. Getting a vaccine is not a guaranteed treatment prevention program. The vaccine is incubated in eggs, so avoid if an egg allergy is present.

Antibiotics only treat bacteria infections, not viruses or viral infections. Overuse abuse of antibiotics is leading to the production of “super-flu” strains, which is a major threat. Proper identification of whether you have a virus or bacterial infection is important for correct treatment.

Germs are spread by coughing, sneezing or hand to hand contact in close proximity and can live on surfaces for long periods of time waiting to be picked up. Frequent hand washing can cut risk along with breaking habits like touching your face a lot and biting your nails.
Read blog on DIY natural cleaning products that will kill 100% of germs –

Invading forces trigger symptoms, which is the way our immune system fights off the germs. Mucus production traps infection, coughing and sneezing tries to expel them, and fever triggers healing mechanisms. Immunity plays a big role in our susceptibility and determines how well we fight off these foreign invaders. Everyone’s immune system is different and varies as much as the virus. Some people have autoimmune disorders and are more prone to getting sick, and others are just surrounded by lots of at risk groups like children. Children will typically get up to 9 colds a year and adults get 1-3; any more than this is a sign that your immune system needs extra help.

Strengthening the immune system requires all around proper nutrition, good quality sleep, sufficient exercise and successful stress management strategies.
Allergies will erode immunity and lead to autoimmune disorders, a myriad of other illnesses and possibly death, so it is important to eliminate allergens. The hard part is finding out what you are allergic to and then trying to stay away from it.

Both the cold and flu virus are more prominent in the winter time, or when people spend more time indoors with each other and is typically not a “season.” It was first thought that allergies were caused by nature, but it didn’t explain why people suffer from allergies in the winter time. Allergy season is typically spring and fall, but depends on specific allergens. Anyone can be allergic to anything, but it is all a sign the immune system and the body needs a boost. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Take time out to take extra care of yourself.

If a cold lasts longer than a week to ten days it is probably a bacterial infection like strep. If it lasts longer than a month it is more likely allergies.


Common Cold
Caused by corona virus, adenovirus and subset variants

Upper respiratory
Runny nose, congestion, sore throat
Sometimes low grade fever
If a cold lasts longer than a week to ten days it is probably a bacteria infection like strep

Caused by influenza virus and subsets

More body aches, joint pain
Digestive disturbances especially in children diarrhea, vomiting
More lower respiratory ailments
Lung infections
Coughing, breathing problems, hacking
May lead to pneumonia and possibly death
Lasts longer

If symptoms last any longer than a month then it is more likely allergies
Allergies present more itchy throat and eyes, sinus issues, congested or runny nose,
sometimes coughing

Essential oils like eucalyptus, tea tree, and other tree oils have typically been used to treat colds and kill germs that are even airborne. Herbs and essential oils work on so many levels that germs can’t easily adapt, and are still the best treatment and prevention.


Article about how overuse and abuse of antibiotics is leading to superbugs

July 15, 2013

Keep Cool in the Summer Heat with Herbs and Essential Oils

imageThere are many essential oils and herbs that help to cool the body down when feeling too hot and sweaty, but the best known one is peppermint.

See my blog about the many medicinal uses and cautions of peppermint –

The mint family lowers body temperature which is good to help cool off in the summer heat, but there are other essential oils and herbs besides peppermint that lower body temperature including spearmint, lemon balm, lavender, eucalyptus, chamomile, geranium, rose, frankincense, comfrey and borage to name a few.


Ways to Keep Cool with Herbs

1. Drink iced herbal infusions. Use peppermint, chamomile iced tea or use flavours of your choice to create your own recipes that help cool the body.
I love mints like peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, bee balm mixed with rose petals.

See my blog about herbal infusions and floral waters –

Put a drop of organic peppermint essential oil in drinks

2. Eat mints and cooling herbs as food.
Experiment with many culinary herbal delights incorporating these cooling herbs as delicious food.

3. Make an essential oil spray or spritzer to cool down your body, and spray linens and rooms as well. See my blog on how to make DIY body spray and there is a cooling peppermint spray recipe here->

4. Soak your feet and ankles or hands and wrists in cool herbal infused water or add your choice of cooling Essential oils
See my blog about Bath Recipes –

Soak a cloth or bandana in a cool herbal infusion and wear around your neck, this will cool main arteries and veins.

5. Make a massage oil blend using a carrier oil and some cooling essential oils. Use coconut oil it lowers body temperature and cools the body as well and is great to quench dryness.

Peppermint is so cooling it may cause hypothermia in the bath so caution is advised using that method to cool off. See more of the uses and cautions of peppermint essential oil here –

Enjoy the summer here in the North!


July 11, 2013

DIY no-‘poo alternative shampoos & conditioners

Earth Elixir:

This is almost exactly what I was about to post! I have been experimenting with alternatives to shampoo and love the no poo idea! I love the soapwort mixed with argan and jojoba oils but the clay is my favourite and of course I always mix in essential oils or herbal teas. I am just about to try the soap nuts with shikakai and I am sure I will love it too and so will my hair. Try the way of no poo today!

Originally posted on almost exactly:

as we know, no-‘poo can be pretty difficult to master. i did “no-‘poo week” in hopes i’d help a lot of people. but there’s still one huge thing i wanted to address & publish…

diy natural shampoos and conditioners

for some people, baking soda/acv isn’t the route to go. neither is castile soap. but what do you do when those no-‘poo methods don’t work for your hair, but you don’t wanna go low-‘poo?

try these homemade alternatives i’ve gathered up! these do require more time, but you should be washing your hair much less, so no big deal, right? :)

as with any no-‘poo/low-‘poo method, there is a transition period when you first switch from regular shampoo/conditioner. and with these following recipes, using hair products is not advised since there’s nothing in these mixes that will clean the products back out of your hair.

also, these methods won’t lather (unless you add soapwort)…

View original 1,017 more words

June 6, 2013

Healing Properties of Peppermint Herb



Peppermint is best known for its beneficial effects on the digestive system and strengthening action on the stomach and liver.

It calms and relaxes smooth muscles and eases stomach pain, indigestion and nausea.

Its analgesic properties bring pain relief to headaches and all kinds of cramps.

Peppermint is widely used as a flavouring agent in food and cosmetics like shampoo.

Peppermint is a hybrid perennial herb which grows up to 30-90 cm tall. The stems are erect and square-shaped like most mint plants, and it has creeping root stocks called ‘stolons’ that grow rapidly. The leaves are sharply toothed, pointed, and in midsummer dense clusters of tiny pink-purple flowers appear. Mints prefer moist shade with partial sun.

It is invasive and spreads quickly so it is best grown in pots if you don’t want it taking over.

Common Name

Peppermint herb


Latin Name

Mentha x piperita
Family Lamiaceae(Mint Family)
Parts Used Perennial- herb picked all season
Target Organs Digestion, Nervous System, Liver/gallbladder, Stomach, Respiratory, Muscular
Common Uses Digestion: Fortifies liver, stomach, and intestines. Stomach upset, gastritis, indigestion, nausea, colitis, Crohn’s, relaxing digestive, infection, inflammation

Respiratory: infections, bronchitis, sinusitis, cooling, colds, flu, coughs, nasal catarrh, pain,

Nervous: migraines, headaches, stress tension, itching,

Muscular: relaxes smooth muscle, arthritis, neuralgia, aches and pain, sciatica, bruises, inflammation

Properties Analgesic, antiallergenic, antibacterial, anticatarrhal, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, anti-emetic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory (local, systemic), antiseptic, anti-galactagogue antispasmodic (digestive, general, respiratory), antiviral, anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, carminative, cholagogue, choleretic, decongestant, diaphoretic, relaxing expectorant, febrifuge, nervine relaxant, stomachic, tonic tranquilizer, vasodilator, vulnerary.


Constituents Essential Oil: 2%

Monoterpene alcohol: Menthol 30-70%,

Ketone: menthone,


Esters: methyl acetate,

Oxide: 1, 8 cineole

Monoterpenes: menthene, phellandrene, azulene, limonene, pinene

Other: tannins, bitter

Cautions Medium strength: Do not use with epilepsy, convulsions, during pregnancy, breastfeeding, dry conditions, gastric hyperacidity or with children under the age of two. Older children, seniors take breaks. Essential oil: Do not store with homeopathic remedies. Do not use in a bath, it may cause hypothermia.
Dosage Tincture: 1-4ml

Tea: 1-2 tsp. infuse 10-15 minutes

April 29, 2013

Tips for Getting Summer Body Ready



1. Accept yourself. We are all imperfectly perfect and perfectly imperfect, just accept all the things that you think are flaws. The mirror reflects the whole picture. What parts are you concentrating on? Are you fixated on a mole or wrinkle while not getting any exercise? Focus your awareness and free yourself from self-criticism while still taking proper self-care. Don’t hold yourself to others ideals about what they think beauty is. Everyone has natural beauty.
2. Stop caring what other people might think about you. True happiness is to be yourself away from the negative constraints and limits of others. True freedom is not letting others weigh you down with their Issues. Surround yourself with positive people who not only accept you for who you are, but encourage and support you.
3. Become immune to criticism. Look behind where the criticism is coming from and what is motivating it. Realize their fixation on weight, a mole or wrinkle is their body issue and it has nothing to do with you. Realize this is their projection and don’t take it personally. Some people just want to feel superior at any cost. Wear your stretch marks from having children like a badge of honour, some women can’t experience the miracle of giving birth. Women are not dolls. Everyone has wrinkles, stretch marks, cellulite, moles, so remember be kind to each other we are all human.
4. Eat a diet high in natural organic plant-based foods and avoid gluten, refined sugar, processed fake ingredients and unnatural foods. Eat food as medicine and you will look and feel great!
5. Stay consistently active for healthy mind and body balance. Do yoga, bike, walk in nature, dance or join a sports team or group to help encourage you. You will be more motivated if you are having fun and have other people around you that are enjoying it too. You don’t have to be “beach bikini summer body” ready to enjoy the beach! Being active on the beach creates “beach bodies.”

You are now bathing suit summer body ready! Go out and enjoy yourself!

April 23, 2013

Gravel root/Joe-Pye Herb and Root

1. Spotted-joe-pye-weed, Aug 24 2003

Joe-pye or Gravel Root (Eupatorium purpureum) is related to the north american species boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) and chinese orchid grass (Eupatorium Pei Lan). Sometimes Gravel root is called purple boneset, but do not confuse the two, they are related, but are different species. Gravel root grows in moist conditions like boneset does, but Gravel root is best known for its use as a urinary tonic, and boneset for its amazing ability to treat fevers.

Joe pye regulates fluid metabolism and addresses toxicity by moving it out of the kidney, bladder, urinary system. It has pain-relieving and cooling properties, making it good to use for urinary infections and painful urination. It is also used to harmonize the reproductive system for both sexes.

1. Spotted-joe-pye-weed, Aug.24 03Spotted Joe-pye (Eupatorium maculatum)

1. Spotted-joe-pye-weed, August 24 03         Spotted Joe-pye herb growing in Canada.

Common   Name  Joe Pye / Gravel root
Latin Name  Eupatorium   maculatum/ purpureum
Family Asteraceae
Parts Used perennial herb   blooms summer, harvest top part  summer   later part/fall root
Target Organs Urinary,   prostate, reproductive
Common Uses Urinary system: all   urinary prostate conditions, prostate urinary tonic, gout, rheumatism,   urinary incontinence, stones, oedema,    cystitis,Reproductive tonic: both sexes, delayed irregular
Properties prostate urinary   tonic, diuretic, antiseptic, antilithic, relaxant, anaesthetic, astringent,   antirheumatic
Constituents .07% volatile   oil, resin, yellow flavonoids: euparin, eupatorin; oleoresin eupurpurin,   saponins, tannins, essential oil, calcium oxalate, albuminoids, wax
Cautions mild remedy use   caution with dryness present, best used with urinary demulcents
Dosage Tincture:  2-4 mls take formulationRoot decoction   6-12g: 1-2 tsp 10 min
April 19, 2013

Greater Celandine Herb

herba 006Greater Celandine is a very hardy perennial that likes moist woodlands and transition areas. It is a native to subarctic Eurasia and became established throughout Eastern North America.

I grew Celandine from seed and transplanted it in the garden, not knowing what an aggressive invasive it was, but it is pretty and definitely shade tolerant.

I have lots of celandine medicine now after “weeding” a little. The stems ooze a yellow latex that stains. The latex is used to get rid of warts, and treats any skin conditions, injuries or infections.  Harvest the top 50% just before, or when it flowers in May or June, or use the leaves anytime. It is a potentizing herb that is best used in an herbal formulation mixed with demulcents and soothing herbs to counter any skin, mucus membrane irritations. Caution is strongly advised.

Common Name  Celandine (Greater) herb/ flowers/ root
Latin Name  Chelidonium majus
Family Papaveraceae (Poppy)
Parts Used Perennial – herb/ flower- May- June root-fall
Target Organs Digestion, liver/gallbladder, spleen,
Common Uses Liver/ gallbladder: infections, gallstones, spasms, jaundice, hepatitis,  Digestive conditions : IBS, constipation, digestive disturbances,Spleen conditions: dysfunction digestion

 Skin/Immune: infections, skin conditions, spasms, warts, rhematic conditions, cancer (especially skin, stomach, colon, liver)

Secondary use for soft tissue injuries and coughs

Properties antineoplastic, anodyne, analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antihepatotoxic, hepatic, bronchodilator, stimulating cardiac, diaphoretic, hypotensive, immune stimulant, narcotic, pancreatic, sedative, spleenic, uterine stimulant, vulnerary,  diuretic, antispasmodic, purgative, anti-inflammatory, depurative, appetite stimulant, laxative, cholagogue, purgative, 
Constituents Isoquinoline alkaloids: chelidonine, sanuinarine, berberine,  allocryptopine, sparteine, stylopine, chelamine, magnoflorine, crytopine, chelerythine, protopine, coptisine; organic acids: chelidonic, malic, citric acid, flavonoids, essential oil, saponins, proteolytic acid, carotenoids, latex,
Cautions Do not use in pregnancy, lactation or for infants. Fresh herb may cause irritations to mucus membranes. Large doses may cause vomiting and diarrhea. Berberine can cause depressed heart function and chronic low pressure with long term use. Dried herb has less caution, but fresh is best used in a formulation up to 25% with combined demulcents. Do not exceed 2-3 month use.
Dosage Formulation Tincture: 2-4ml              Dried  Tea: 2 tsp 10 min
April 12, 2013

How to Treat a Bee Sting Naturally

Treating Ant, Bee Stings Naturally 


Remove stinger if present. Baking soda neutralizes the formic acid of the sting. An acid and a base neutralize and balance each other. Formic acid is present in bee stings, ant bites and stinging nettle stings.

Peppermint essential oil will help ease pain and inflammation while providing antiseptic action along with baking soda to balance the ph level. Lavender and tea tree essential oil work well too.


Mix 2 drops of Peppermint, or Tea tree, Lavender essential oil

with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and enough water or witch hazel to form a paste.

You can add a bit of white clay if available, it help absorbs toxicity.

***If a bee sting allergy is present go to a hospital immediately, anaphylactic shock can be fatal.

Ants usually bite and don’t leave a stinger like a bee does, but if it does leave a stinger in, remove it as fast as you can no matter how! And then treat it with this baking soda recipe as fast as you can. It is important to remain calm. Put baking soda on right away while creating essential oil baking soda paste.

bee copy


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