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

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

January 3, 2017

FIBROMYALGIA

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain, stiffness, and tenderness throughout the body, often accompanied by fatigue and emotional distress. Symptoms of fibromyalgia may vary in severity, and many disappear for extended periods of time, even for years. Fibromyalgia is often considered an arthritis related condition, but is not a form of arthritis as it does not cause inflammation or damage to the joints, muscles, or other tissues.   This condition affects 2 – 8% of people, mainly women in middle adulthood, but men and adolescents have been known to develop it too.   The cause of fibromyalgia is not yet known, but it appears to be a problem with the brain rather than the muscles and bones, where the brain of someone with fibromyalgia is more sensitive to certain external stimuli which normal people are not, and treats them as pain. Therefore the pain experienced in sufferers originates from the brain and not in the muscles or bones.

SYMPTOMS:

  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Sleep problems and disturbances
  • Stiffness, particularly in the morning
  • Emotional distress, anxiety, and depression
  • Increased responsiveness to stimuli such as heat, cold, light, and loud noises
  • Ir

July 7, 2016
  • Tulsi or Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum): Holy basil is a powerful antioxidant. It also has strong antibacterial, antifungal, and anti inflammatory properties. This herb is used to treat anxiety and stress due to its ability to decrease the body’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It is also an adaptogen, which means it will not alter mood, but rather helps the body function optimally during times of stress. Holy basil is also used to treat: the common cold, flu, asthma, bronchitis, headaches, stomach upsets, fever, heart disease, and tuberculosis. Studies suggest it may also be effective in treating certain types of cancer.
March 13, 2016

LAVENDER Scientifically known as Lavandula, the name comes from the Latin root name lavare which means ‘to wash’. Lavender is native to the Old World (Africa, Europe, and Asia). Due to its Mediterranean origins, lavender plants prefer hot summers and dry winters. These plants do not do well with humidity. There are four main types of lavender. These are:

  • English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): Known as true lavender, this is usually the variety used in making potpourri and oils
  • Italian lavender (Lavandula stoechas): Identified by two brightly coloured ‘wings’ at the top of each flower
  • French lavender (Lavandula dentata): Identified by grey green serrated leaves and a flat, furry, spiked purple flower
  • Winged lavender (Lavandula Sidonie): Identified by ferny foliage and forked flowers

  Lavender has long been used for its aromatic and healing properties. In the medieval times it was thought to ward off evil spirits. Medicinally, lavender is used as a relaxant, an antibacterial agent, and as a sensory stimulant. It is also used to treat a range of ailments including: insomnia, anxiety, stress, indigestion, alopecia (hair loss), headaches, nervous disorders, exhaustion, infections, acne and eczema, and joint and muscle pain.   Forms of lavender av

January 9, 2016

Scientifically known as Cymbopogan citrates, lemongrass is a herb that is used for its culinary and medicinal uses.       USES:

  • Pesticide/insect repellent
  • Antifungal/antibacterial
  • The oil is used to treat ringworm
  • Used to treat fever by inducing sweating
  • Calm upset stomachs/diarrhoea
  • Alleviates headaches
  • Treats lice, athlete’s foot, and scabies
  • Alleviates cold symptoms
  • Perfumes and soaps
  • Aids with insomnia
  • Powerful antioxidant
  • Aids with stress and anxiety
  • Relieves muscle pains
  • Anti inflammatory
  • Good source of vitamins A and C, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and manganese
  • Some studies say lemongrass has anti-cancer properties
  • Aids with arthritis and gout
  • Used to treat skin problems such as acne

   CAUTION: Undiluted lemongrass oil can cause skin irritation, rashes, and burning sensations. Not recommended for children, pregnant women, and nursing women. People with liver or kidney disease should consult a doctor before using this herb.   REFERENCES: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/lemongrass.html , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

December 9, 2015

An imbalance in your gut flora can lead to an overgrowth of a yeast called candida (Candida albicans), a type of fungus that lives naturally within the human body and aids digestion and nutrient absorption.  When your candida levels are out of balance, the organism is kept in check by your good bacteria.  If your microflora is imbalanced, however, candida can becore destructive, breaking down the wall of the intestine and penetrating into the bloodstream, thereby releasing toxic by-products into your body that can cause a raft of debilitating symptoms.  If you have an autoimmune problem there’s a good chance you have an imbalance in your gut microflora and an overgrowth of yeast in your body.  

Ten Common Candida Symptoms

  1. Chronic fatigue, lethargy, brain fog
  2. Muscle and joint pain and fibromyalgia
  3. Skin and nail fungal infections, athlete’s foot or toenail fungus
  4. Oral and vaginal thrush, urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching
  5. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and digestive disturbances, such as bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhoea, and new sensitivities to foods eaten regularly
  6. Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma and multiple sclerosis
  7. Inability to concentrate, disorientation, poor memory,