Mint (Mentha)

September 17, 2017

THE MINT FAMILY:

Mentha, commonly known as mint, is a genus of plants in the Lamiaceae family. There are a number of different species of mint, along with many hybrids, due to the natural occurrence of cross-breeding between species. Mint plants are aromatic, mainly perennial herbs with highly fragrant, toothed, opposing leaves, and tiny white, pink, or purple flowers, arranged in clusters forming whorls or a spike. Many characteristics of the mint plant can vary with differing species, but will always be characterized by a square stem. The colour of the leaves can vary from a dark green to grey, purple, blue, and even pale yellow. These plants can often grow up to about 2 – 3 feet tall, and will commonly spread out along the ground. Mint plants produce a fruit called a nutlet which contains 1 to 4 seeds. Propagation is considered an easier form of reproduction for mint. The volatile oils which are extracted from the plant are found in resinous dots located in the leaves and stems. The name Mentha is derived from the Greek word minthe, personified in Greek mythology as Minthe, a naiad who was transformed into a mint plant by Persephone when she tried to seduce Hades. The mint plant originated in Europe, Asia, North America, Australia, and Africa, but has been widely distributed throughout the temperate areas of the world, a

May 15, 2017

MAGNETITE Magnetite is one of the three common naturally occurring types of iron oxides. This mineral is what you would call ferromagnetic, meaning the opposing magnetic moments of the atoms are uneven, and, as a result, spontaneous magnetism occurs. This is why magnetite is attracted to magnets and can even be magnetized to become a magnet itself. Commonly known as Lodestone, this rock is the only naturally occurring mineral that is a natural magnet. Magnetite is often used as an indicator mineral for certain ore deposits, particularly those from hydrothermal vents. It is also used for catalysis in the industrial synthesis of ammonia, as a coating for industrial steam boilers due to its stability at high temperatures, and used to absorb arsenic (III) and arsenic (V) from water.   PHYSICAL PROPERTIES: Chemical Composition: (Fe²⁺Fe₂³⁺O₄) Lustre: metallic or dull Hardness: 5.5 – 6.5 Colour: Black   HEALING PROPERTIES:

  • Releases stress
  • Grounds and energizes
  • Aids with meditation
  • Balances
  • Has anti inflammatory properties
  • Relieves muscle aches and pains
  • Aids with asthma
  • Improves the blood and the circulatory system
  • Beneficial for the skin and hair

  CHAKRA: Root chakra   CAUTION: Pregnant women and people with pacemakers or defi

April 28, 2017

GINGER

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering plant that is popularly used as a spice or medicinal herb. This plant grows about a metre tall, with narrow green leaves and yellow flowers that originated in the tropical rainforest of Southern Asia. This herb no longer grows wild but is commonly found in India. Indian ginger also has the largest amount of genetic variation. Ginger was exported to Europe in the first century AD and was used extensively by the Romans. The rhizome (root cluster) is the main part of the plant that is harvested and used.  

HEALTH BENEFITS:

  • Stimulates the production of saliva, making swallowing easier
  • Alleviates nausea caused by seasickness/ motion sickness, morning sickness, and chemotherapy
  • Powerful antioxidant
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Alleviates arthritis
  • Decreases the risk of cancer and destroys ovarian and colon cancer cells
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Aids digestion
  • Aids with heartburn and acid reflux
  • Eases headaches and sore throats
  • Helps with the cold or flu
  • Aids with asthma, bronchitis, coughs, and other lung/throat disorders
  • Alleviates colic, loss of appetite, heart palpitations, and diarrhoea
  • Reduces menstrual pain
  • May lower cholesterol levels

December 27, 2016

Eucalyptus commonly known as ‘Gum Trees’, these essential parts of Australian culture belong to a diverse genus of flowering plants and shrubs called the Myrtaceae family. There are almost 900 species of eucalypts, with the majority found in Australia and the rest found worldwide in temperate, tropical climates.  

HEALTH BENEFITS OF EUCALYPTUS OIL:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antibacterial and therefore prevents infections
  • Antifungal
  • Antiseptic, therefore heals wounds, ulcers, burns, cuts, and abrasions
  • Used to treat herpes, acne, chicken pox, and other skin infections
  • Aids with stress and anxiety
  • Relieves itchiness from insect bites/stings
  • Aids with stomach problems as its vermifugal properties cause it to remove intestinal germs
  • Relieves pain
  • Treats fevers by lowering body temperature
  • Treats respiratory conditions such as colds, coughs, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, and sinusitis
  • Aids with the removal of mucus from the lungs
  • Alleviates arthritis symptoms due to its anti-inflammatory and pain relieving qualities
  • Works as a stimulant by relieving mental exhaustion
  • Improves and stimulates the immune system
  • Improves oral health by preventing cavities, dental plaque, and other infections
  • Aids with diabe

November 9, 2016

HAY FEVER

Scientifically known as Allergic Rhinitis, hay-fever affects about 1 in 5 people in Australia, and roughly 500 million people worldwide. It is defined as an allergy that affects the nose, and occurs when the insides of the nose become inflamed due to the over sensitised immune system reacting to certain substances which the body sees as a threat. This swelling is due to the release of histamines and other chemicals in the body. The majority of hay fever sufferers have found that their condition is worse at night. This is because night time is the worst time for pollen levels, or because the pillow on which they sleep may be full of dust mites (approximately 50 000 dust mites live in the average pillow). Hay fever can trigger asthma attacks as the level of inflammatory chemicals released from hay fever reactions increases, and causes muscle spasms and swelling in wider ranging mucous membranes.  

SYMPTOMS:

  • Mucous discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Itchiness
  • Congestion and blocked nose
  • Eye irritation
  • Watery eyes
  • Sinus pain
  • Throat itchiness
  • Snoring
  • Headaches

 

CAUSES:

  • Pollen (particularly grass pollen)
  • Dust
  • Dander
  • Mould
  • Dust mites
  • Fungal spores
  • Smoke

November 4, 2016

CHAMOMILE

This herb has been used for centuries to calm the nerves and induce sleep. It is from a daisy-like family of plants called Asteraceae, and while there are many different types of chamomile, the most common are German Chamomile (Marticaria recutita), and Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). Chamomile is known to be used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, and was also popular throughout the middle ages.

HEALTH BENEFITS:

  • Calms the nerves
  • Reduces internal inflammation
  • Reduces bloating and flatulence
  • Aids with teething pain
  • Reduces nasal congestion
  • Soothes skin irritations such as eczema, and psoriasis
  • Alleviates menstrual cramps
  • Aids with sleep
  • Reduces fever
  • Treats colds

January 30, 2016

ANISE Also called aniseed, this herb is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae (carrot, celery, or parsley family). This plant is native to the Eastern Mediterranean region, and Southwest Asia. It was first cultivated in Egypt and the Middle East and was brought across to Europe for its medicinal purposes. It is used nowadays: to flavour liquor, culinary uses (mainly teas and confectionary), and in herbal medicine.   HEALTH BENEFITS:

  • Used to treat toothaches
  • Aids breathing, relieves pain, and eases thirst
  • It is an antispasmodic/Expectorant, meaning it treats involuntary muscle spasms and coughs (by helping bring up mucus and other material from the lungs, bronchi, and trachea)
  • Decreases bloating and aids with digestion
  • Also used to treat gas, colic, and rheumatism
  • Is an antibacterial and antifungal
  • Invokes an estrogenic effect which promotes breast milk production in nursing mothers
  • Used as a diuretic to increase urine flow
  • Is an appetite stimulant
  • Is an aphrodisiac
  • Has been used to treat migraines
  • Alleviates lice, scabies and, psoriasis
  • This herb also treats anxiety and nervousness
  • Has also been used in the treatment of seizures, asthma, and insomnia
  • Anise is a good source of iron, magnesium, calcium, manganese, zi

January 7, 2016

Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs that help to suppress the immune system. These drugs are effective in treating many ailments, particularly autoimmune diseases, and have been used effectively for many years.   Corticosteroids (cortisol, corticosterone, cortisone, and aldosterone) are produced naturally in the body by the Cortex, which is the outer portion of the adrenal gland, and can be broken down into two categories:

  1. Glucocorticoids: These act to supress the immune system and lessen inflammation, while also assisting in the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins
  2. Mineralocorticoids: These regulate the balance of salt and water in the body

  Synthetic corticosteroids mimic the actions of naturally occurring corticosteroids, and are often used as a replacement in people with dysfunctional adrenal glands which are unable to produce adequate amounts of the chemicals. Systemic corticosteroids refer to corticosteroids given orally, or via injection, and distributed throughout the body. These do not include corticosteroids used in the eyes, ears, nose, on the skin, or that are inhaled.   Examples of synthetic corticosteroids:

  • Betamethasone
  • Budesonide
  • Cortisone
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Prednisone
  • Prednisolone
  • Triamcinolone
  • Methylprednisol

December 27, 2015

Massage Oils –

  Some essential oils are very toxic and should only be used internally on the advice of a qualified aroma therapist or naturopath.   Many of the oils are unsuitable to use if certain conditions exist, such as epilepsy or pregnancy.  Please note the caution contained at the end of each relevant entry.  

Peppermint (Mentha pipereita)

  MASSAGE APPLICATIONS: Asthma, bronchitis, colds, flu and fever. Collic, indigestion, nausea. Fainting, headache, mental fatigue, nervous stress, palpitations. Bad breath. Muscular pain, neuralgia. CAUTION: Use in smaller quantities than other oils – 1% is plenty.  Never use during pregnancy  

Spearmint (Mentha spicata)

  MASSAGE APPLICATIONS:  The properties and uses of spearmint are similar to those of peppermint but  are less powerful, making the oil more suitable for children.