Sage

April 3, 2017

SAGE

Common sage (Salvia officinalis) is a perennial, evergreen dwarf shrub, which can grow up to 2 feet, and is characterized by woody stems, purple/blue flowers, and grey/green leaves. It is part of the mint family, Lamiaceae and is native to the Mediterranean and the Balkan region (a peninsula and cultural area in South-eastern Europe). The botanical name, Salvia, is derived from the Latin word salvere which means ‘to be saved’. Sage was a sacred ceremonial herb of the Romans, being associated with immortality, and was used by the Greeks as a ‘coronary herb’ because it flushed disease from the body and relieved strain on the heart. In the Middle Ages sage was ingested as a tea to treat colds, fevers, memory and concentration loss, inflammations, ulcers, and many other ailments. There are approximately 8 different types of sage, each differing in appearance and use. These are:

  • Garden sage (Salvia officinalis): This is the most common type of sage, and is used for cooking, tea brewing, decoration, and medicinal use
  • Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans): This variety of sage has tubular red flowers and is used mainly for medicinal purposes
  • Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia): This type has silver/grey leaves, and produces small, blue/purple tubular fl

March 20, 2017

ARNICA

(Arnica montana)   Arnica is a genus of perennial, herbaceous plants in the sunflower family, which is native to the mountainous regions of Europe and Southern Russia. It has also been known to grow in parts of North America and Canada. This herb is also known by the names of Mountain Tobacco, and Leopard’s bane and Wolfsbane. Another herb, Aconite/Monkshood is also known as Wolfsbane. It was used by Swiss mountain guides to prevent fatigue when chewed and was also used as a substitute for tobacco. Arnica montana has been used for medicinal purposes since the 1500’s, and is still popular today. It grows to approximately 1 – 2 feet, has yellow flowers with an orange centre, and has an appearance similar to that of daisies. The stems and leaves of these plants are bright green and hairy, which is the reason for its original Greek name Arni, meaning ‘lamb’ (in reference to the plants soft leaves). The main part of this plant used for medicinal purposes are the flowers, but the roots and rhizomes (continuous horizontal underground stem) are often utilized as well.  

HEALTH BENEFITS OF ARNICA:

  • Reduces inflammation: This is due to the presence of helenalin, a sesquiterpene lactone that is highly effective as an anti-inflammatory agent. It is therefore effective for treating bruises, sprai

November 14, 2016

Depression is a serious condition that affects physical and mental health. It is more than just a bad mood, but rather a mixture of intense feelings of moodiness, sadness, and emptiness that lasts for long periods of time (often for months and years). Studies have found that women are twice as likely to develop clinical depression in their lifetime. These increased risks are mainly due to hormonal changes present during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. These statistics are imperfect though, due to the fact that the majority of men suffering from depression are less likely to seek help or discuss their situation.

TYPES OF DEPRESSION:

* Major depression: This is the most common form of depression, often being called clinical depression, or just simply, depression. The symptoms involve low moods, loss of interest in regular activities, inability to concentrate, fatigue, and mood swings amongst other symptoms (see below). This form of depression occurs most days and lasts for over 2 weeks   * Melancholia: This is a form of depression, where many, or most of the physical symptoms are present, along with the emotional symptoms. It is usually a biologic or genetic based condition and can have a unipolar or bipolar course   * Psychotic depression: This is the least common form of depression

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

October 31, 2016

  Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that is caused by the immune system attacking healthy cells and tissues. The immune system produces excessive amounts of antibodies compared to a normal person, and these antibodies can attach themselves to various bodily structures, causing inflammation and pain as a result.   This disease is quite rare and affects women more than men. Women of childbearing age are also more commonly affected. Statistically, Lupus affects over 20, 000 Australians, and 90% of those affected are women aged 15–45.   For the full article go to Lupus

July 11, 2016

    St John’s Wort (hypericum perforatum): This herb has been used since the renaissance as an antidepressant. It is effective in treating other mental and sleeping disorders. This herb treats depression by preventing nerve cells in the brain from reabsorbing serotonin, or by reducing levels of protein in the immune system. In studies St John’s Wort is hardly ever less effective than any over the counter prescription medications. Some side effects include: dry mouth, dizziness, increased sensitivity to sunlight, gastrointestinal distress, and fatigue. Caution: do not use this herb with other drugs, alcohol, or other therapeutic drugs/herbs. Do not give to children or use when pregnant or breast feeding.

July 5, 2016

    There are many health benefits of practicing yoga. Not only does it decrease stress, but increases fitness, flexibility, and strength, while reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and high blood pressure. It can also help to alleviate other conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.   The three main components of yoga are: Poses: a series of movements designed to increase your strength, concentration, and flexibility Breathing: which helps control your body and quieten your mind Meditation and relaxation: this component helps you learn to be more aware in the present moment   Yoga helps to relieve both physical and mental stresses. The stretching incorporated into yoga routines helps to relieve tension in the body, particularly in the neck, shoulders, and back. Yoga also eases emotional stress due to the fact that the concentration required to maintain the poses, forces us to be in the present, while thinking about stressful situations is often set in the future or even the past.   Linked are some yoga poses that are particularly efficient in aiding with stress: http://www.yogajournal.com/category/poses/yoga-by-benefit/stress/   REFERENCES: , , , , , , , , , ,

July 3, 2016

Diamond is the hardest mineral in the world, with a hardness of 10 on Moh’s hardness scale. Diamond is composed completely of carbon atoms arranged in a strong crystal lattice. It is so hard because the carbon atoms are bonded together via extremely strong covalent bonds. There are usually hardly any impurities in diamond due to the rigidity of its lattice, but when there is nitrogen or boron present, the diamond will turn yellow or blue respectively.   Diamond is formed at extremely high pressures and temperatures deep under the Earth’s surface. This depth usually varies between 140 – 190 kilometres into the Earth’s mantle. Minerals containing carbon, provide the source material, and the diamond crystal will grow over a time period of 1 billion to 3.3 billion years. The diamond will then be brought to the surface by violent volcanic eruptions, and the magma (containing the diamond) will cool and solidify into rocks known as kimberlites and lamproites.   Diamond is u

March 17, 2016

Most gemstones have stress relieving qualities whether they balance the emotions, bring problems to the surface, relieve negative energies, lighten the mood of the wearer, or calms the mind.  

The most effective gemstones to use for relieving stress as a whole are:

 

  • Amethyst: Calms harsh emotions and brings stability
  • Clear quartz: Releases blocked emotions and aids with clarity of thought. This stone is very calming
  • Labradorite: Calms an over active mind
  • Fluorite: Neutralizes negative energies and stress
  • Moonstone: Soothes emotional instability and stabilizes the emotions
  • Aquamarine: An extremely calming stone, aquamarine reduces stress and quietens the mind
  • Malachite: Absorbs negative energies and balances mood swings
  • Rose quartz: Alleviates emotional stress, particularly to do with love and relationships
  • Smoky quartz: A powerful detoxifier, smoky quartz neutralizes negative energies while bringing calmness and lifting stress, anxiety, and depression

Other crystals that have more specific healing properties relating to stress include:

 

  • Tourmaline: A str

March 15, 2016

 

Definition: Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.

 

Stress occurs when the brain releases chemicals which cause an increase in energy and strength. This can be helpful in physical situations but when the stress is emotional, this release of chemicals is detrimental because there is no outlet for this extra energy and strength. These chemicals are: adrenaline (the fight or flight hormone), cortisole, and norepinephrine (similar to adrenaline, with the main intent to cause awareness).

  Stress can be a good motivator, but it can become harmful if it becomes excessive and begins to interfere with normal, everyday life.      

There are three main types of stress. These are: acute stress, episodic acute stress, and chronic stress.

  Acute stress: This stress is usually a brief event and is often due to an impending deadline, performance, or a traumatic event.  

Episodic acute stress: This occurs when people have to deal with acute stress repeatedly. This often occurs when a traumatic event happens and is followed by more stress inducing events. These people have the tendency to believe that, if something can go wrong, it w