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

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

April 17, 2017

Glycine max, commonly known as soybean or soya bean, is part of the legume family, and native to East Asia. It is grown for its edible bean which has high levels of protein and has a wide variety of uses. Soybeans have only been introduced to the Western world since the 20th century, and are a relatively easy to grow and hardy plant, due to their adaptation to a variety of soils and climates. The most common type of soybean is a yellow colour, but rarer varieties can come in black, brown, or green colours. Some uses for this bean include: animal feed (defatted soybean meal), meat and dairy substitutes, industrial products such as lubricants, plastics, and waxes, and the production of foods such as soy vegetable oil, soy milk, tofu, tofu skin, soy sauce, fermented bean paste, natto, and tempeh. Any given area of land planted with soybeans can produce more protein than land planted with other crops, or especially, meat animals.   FOR: The soybean is:

  • High in fibre
  • High in protein
  • High in phytoestrogens
  • High in antioxidants
  • Low in saturated fa

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.