Anxious Herbs

Anxiety is another issue I have struggled with. There are a myriad of medical descriptions of what anxiety, ‘mediacally looks like’. I am not going to focus on that too much, the NHS has a good general information page on this if you would like to know about it further. Essentially what anxiety boils down to is a fear of fear itself. A vicious cycle which once you are in it, it’s very hard to break. Several years ago I was given a book on Anxiety and Panic by Dr. Claire Weaks. This literally transformed my life. Once I understood what was happening, I could begin to live with it and maybe one day control it. I am not afraid.

Accepting troubles

Since then I have also been storing up some herbal wisdom to help with anxiety and stress. These are my top tips:

1) The trusty Bach Rescue Remedy. As you drop it on your tongue breath in for 7….and out for 11. A neat rhyme and very soothing.

2) Valerian Root. Used for centuries as a cure for insomnia. A tea at the end of the day or after a stressful event is wondrous.

3)Kava. I first had this in Fiji several years ago. It’s hard to get hold of here in the UK and if you find it , it tends to be in ‘party packs’. If anyone knows of a wholefood store stocking it please let me know!

4) Passion Flower. In tea and tinctures. Traditionally used after seizures to calm the body. It is in most ‘calming teas’.

5)Hops, in a tea mixed with passion flower and valerian.

6) Lavender. Helps breathing, encourages rest and sleep and contains anti-bacterial properties. It is commonly used in aromatherapy for stress.

7) Catnip, stimulates the nervous system, balances the mind and encourages rest.

Finally, for any herbalists reading this I am sure many people would wonder why I have left Chamomile out. Chamomile is lovely and many people use it regularly, but I find it gives me a headache. I don’t know why- if anyone has any theories I’d love to know more about it!

Herbal helpers

 

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Taking Charge

I was more than a little sceptical about the healing powers of Amber. It made some sense that it contains succinic acid, the same ingredient used in ibuprofen and therefore holds the potential to act in a similar way. The basis for my scepticism was the fact that Amber is a substance that has lain on the earth for countless Milena, it has been subject to immense heat and power, rolled through glaciers and pummelled by tsunami’s, with that in mind what difference would its proximity to my skin have on its ability to release succinic acid?

Despite this I decided to treat myself too a raw Baltic Amber bracelet. It is a beautiful thing and we all deserve some beauty! Since it’s arrival I have worn in night and day for the past two weeks. In the shower I soak it in the warm water and use it to massage my spine, in the water the amber becomes much softer, feeling almost pliable and holds alot of heat.

I have been TOTALLY STUNNED with the results! From almost the moment I started wearing it I have generally been feeling much better. Showers have been easier, the watery amber incredibly soothing, I have slept better. The pain is less intense and I haven’t had any petit-mal for a while either!

Perhaps it is merely a Placebo, but as I had such little faith in it and was so skeptical I find that hard to believe. I have been ‘resting’ continuously for over a month now, so I am sure that’s contributing. I have also been Oil Pulling for several weeks now too and I think that must be helping too. At the end of the day, even if it’s a placebo, if it works, as it seems to be, who cares?!

My point in this blog post is to illustrate the fact that I believe that there are four things which are currently contributing the most to my health:

  1. Food –  sources of: iron, omega-3, vitamin c, magnesium
  2. Amber
  3. Oil Pulling
  4. Rest

All of these are things which I have researched myself. It is true that Doctors have mentioned Rest to me in passing, as an after thought, no one has come up with any ideas on what this might look like or what exactly Rest means, that is something I’ve done myself. It is an empowering thought that I have taken charge of my own health in this way. I am in charge of my life, my body, I have not sat back and taken advice only from The Pharmaceutical Experts. No one can know your body like you do.

I hope my blog will inspire others to be less skeptical, to try things that consultant’s don’t tell them about and mostly to LISTEN to themselves. When you find something that works for you, celebrate it, cherish it. It is an amazing accomplishment!

Sit, be sill and listen. Rumi.

Sit, be sill and listen. Rumi.

 

 

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Helpful Herbs

A quick blog found on another great herbal blog on 20, affordable ways to relieve pain that you probably have lurking in your kitchen. A blog to remind myself as much as anyone else that there are things we can do to help that are, easy, cheap and accessible!

Women's Herbs

20 Natural Painkillers in your kitchen:

Ginger (add to 1-2 teaspoons daily to diet for general muscle pain)
Cloves (chewed gently for toothache / gum inflammation)
Apple Cider Vinegar (1tbsp mixed with water before meals for heartburn)
Garlic (made into a special oil for earache – recipe at the original article)
Cherries (joint pain, headaches – 1 bowl per day)
Oily fish (Salmon, tuna, sardines, trout, mackerel, herring – intestinal inflammation – 18oz per week)
Yogurt (PMS – 2 cups per day)
Turmeric (chronic pain – 1/4 teaspoon per day)
Oats (endometrial pain – they are gluten free)
Salt (hot, salty foot baths for ingrown toenails – 1tsp per cup of water – 20 mins twice daily)
Pineapple (stomach bloating, gas – 1 cup of fresh pineapple)
Peppermint (add a few drops of the essential oil to bath for sore muscles)
Grapes (back pain – 1 heaping cup per day)
Water (general injury pain, helps wash away the pain-triggering histamine – 8 x 8 ounce glasses per day)
Horseradish (sinus pain – 1 teaspoon twice daily)
Blueberries (bladder / urinary tract infections – 1 cup daily)
Raw Honey (topical application 4 times daily for cold sores / canker sores) (see also our special report on raw honey)
Flax (breast pain – 3 tablespoons daily – must be ground or seeds will pass right through!)
Coffee (migraines – caffeine stimulates the stomach to absorb pain meds better)
Tomato Juice (leg cramps – tomato juice is rich in potassium – 10oz daily

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Herbs for Health

In my continuing search for a healthier, painfree body. I have come across lots of herbs that consultants again don’t tell you about  and I thought I’d share a few of the best here.

I think it is so sad and somewhat alarming that we have largely lost this ancient knowledge of plants. That if we are sick we lie prone, starring into the faceless pharmaceutical companies as if they will certainly save us. Before the days of the NHS, people couldn’t afford ‘ready-made’ medicine, healing herby knowledge was passed down, often mother to daughter. People managed well enough. I think children should be taught these things, what happens when the pharmacies shut their doors? Will people know where to look for Willow Bark? and once found, what to do with it? I hardly do, but I at least want to learn.

Herbal heals

credit: www.yogalifestyle.com

A one stop shop for herbs: 55 Best Herbal Remedies – of note to me is the Papaya for back pain.

Not really a herb… but Magnesium is something I’ve been reading more and more about in helping deal with debilitating pain. It is the 11th most abundant element by mass in the human body and is considered essential to all cells of every known living organisms! Natural magnesium in soil is being depleted, due to over farming and pesticides which kill the microorganisms in the soil and intereupt the creation of magnesium in our food. As well as eating foods containing magnesium, we can also absorb it through our skin. The Ocean is another source of magnesium and trace minerals, so swimming in the sea (if you’re brace in the UK) has huge health benefits!

All these herbs and minerals are all very well, but unless you are a very skilled forager, with time, knowledge and energy to look for them, it is likely you will head to a Health Store or Herbalist to buy them, probably at vast expense as the NHS does not provide access to remedies. Therefore, as well as looking for info on the remedies themselves I am also keen to find wasy to make them myself or access them.

I came across a great blog on how to make your own Magnesium Oil by WellnessMama 

Here are her steps- I can’t wait to try it!

What you need:

  •  1/2 cup Magnesium Chloride Flakes
  • 1/2 cup distilled water
  • a glass bowl or glass measuring cup
  • A glass spray bottle (plastic will work too)

What to do:

Boil the distilled water. It is important to use distilled to extend the shelf life of the mixture. Put the Magnesium Chloride Flakes in the glass bowl or measuring cup and the pour the bowling water over it.

Stir well until completely dissolved. Let cool completely and store in the spray bottle. Can be stored at room temperature for at least six months. I keep in my bathroom to use daily.

To Use:

Spray on arms, legs and stomach daily. I use 10-20 sprays per day. It will tingle on the skin the first few times it is used, and this is normal. It should fade after a few applications, but you can dilute with more water if it bothers you too much.

You can leave on the skin or wash off after 20-30 minutes. I usually apply after a shower and then use coconut oil or a lotion bar to moisturize about 5 minutes later.

Infact I think I have a bit of Blog-Crush – a BLUSH on WellnessMama! There are a host of natural remedies there and awesome pain relieving ideas. Check out the Pain Relief Lotion Bars! Think I’ll be making some of those too!

DIY-Natural-Pain-Relief-Lotion-Bars

credit: Wellness Mama

 

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