Archive for Natural Alternatives

Burdock

Photo from Wikipedia

In traditional herbal texts, burdock root is described as a “blood purifier” or “alterative,” and was believed to clear the bloodstream of toxins.

It was used both internally and externally for eczema and psoriasis, as well as to treat painful joints and as a diuretic. In traditional Chinese medicine, burdock root in combination with other herbs is used to treat sore throats, tonsillitis, colds, and even measles. It is eaten as a vegetable in Japan and elsewhere.

Burdock root has become popular as part of a tea to treat cancer.  Burdock’s use against cancer goes down through the centuries and has been used as a tumor treatment in Russia, China, India and the Americas. In the United States, it was an ingredient in the popular but highly controversial Hoxsey Cancer Formula, an alternative therapy marketed from the 1930s to the 1950s by ex-coal-miner Harry Hoxsey. Read More→

Aloe – Special Precautions!

Friday, September 5th, 2014
Aloe

Photo from Wikipedia

The thick, juicy leaves of Aloe contain two distinct products used medicinally and are important to be distinguished for the purposes of caution and to avoid confusion.

  1. a thin clear gel or mucilage that oozes from the middle of a broken leaf.
  2. a bitter latex, referred to as aloe vera juice, derived from the cells just under the surface of the leaf.

Their compositions and uses differ.  The active ingredient in the gel is mucopolysaccharides.  The latex provides anthraquinone derivatives, mostly in the form of aloins, with smaller amounts of hydroxyaloins, aloe-emodin, and aloeresins.

The gel is used topically on wounds and burns to help them heal more rapidly. Taken internally, it is considered a general tonic. Unfortunately, separation of the gel from the latex for commercial preparations is often incomplete, and the gel may end up with some laxative action due to inadvertent inclusion of latex. Read More→

Gentian Root

Coutesy of Wikipedia

Gentian root and other highly bitter plants have been used for centuries in Europe as digestive aids (the well-known Swedish bitters often contain gentian). Other folk uses included topical use on skin tumors, decreasing fevers, and treatment of diarrhea. Its ability to increase digestive function, including production of stomach acid, has been validated in modern times.

Gentian root contains some of the most bitter substances known, particularly the glycosides gentiopicrin and amarogentin. The taste of these can be detected even when diluted 50,000 times. Besides stimulating secretion of saliva in the mouth and hydrochloric acid in the stomach, gentiopicrin may protect the liver.

Gentian root is also considered useful for poor appetite and indigestion according to the German government’s Commission E monograph.

Here is what Wikipedia reports: Read More→

Black Cohosh for Menopause ReliefIn Europe, black cohosh is used to relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, headaches, psychological difficulties, and associated weight gain. It is also reputed to be helpful for premenstrual problems and painful menstrual cramps.

Native Americans prized black cohosh and used it for a variety of purposes. The settlers learned about it from the Indians, but by the middle of the nineteenth century it was renowned as being helpful for women’s problems, and other uses were more or less forgotten.

Effect of Black Cohosh is Impressive

Read More→

Improve Your Memory – Naturally

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Gingko BilobaIt can happen to the best of us — at any age!

Sometimes when I’m concentrating on writing or designing a web page, I’ll decide to go get something… a glass of tea, a piece of fruit. I’ll get up from my desk and start walking only to stop and wonder what the heck I was going to get (or do). LOL.

If there are times when that happens to you, or you put your glasses down somewhere, only to spend an inordinate amount of time looking for them later, you know what I’m talking about.

Our brain cells are supposed to help us remember where we’ve been, where we’ve put things and names associated with the faces of people we meet.

Unfortunately, our memory can let us down by losing the ability to communicate properly. There are certain strategies that we can incorporate to “train” our minds – such as paying closer attention to what we’re doing at all times or repeating information (a name, for example) over and over until we’ve got it memorized.

Our diets may be the cause of not being able to remember even the most mundane information. Memory boosters in the form of dietary supplements can help fill in those nutrients that we’re not getting in our diets and help drive out memory loss.

Smart Nutrients for Boosting Your Brain Power

There are boosters are sometimes called “smart nutrients” and can be found at your local health food store.  Below are some of the smart nutrients that work best to restore your memory:

  • Choline and DMAE (Dinethylaminoethanol)
    These nutrients are the building blocks of the brain. Fish, eggs, liver, soy, peanuts (and other types of nuts) are especially high in choline. DMAE is also found in fish and helps your concentration ability.
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  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Glutamine
    When you combine these nutrients, you’ll have an antioxidant that acts as an energy booster for the brain, plus a memory advocate that can balance the all-important neurotransmitters, necessary for enhanced memory performance.
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  • Ginkgo (Ginkgo Biloba)
    Also acts as an antioxidant for the brain, improves circulation, boosts energy, memory and concentration. Ginkgo is also excellent for treating conditions that affect us as we age including tinnitus and poor blood circulation.
    Learn more about Ginkgo here >>

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  • Vitamins and Minerals
    There is a variety of vitamins and mineral supplements that you can take to increase your memory skills. These include all B vitamins and minerals, which contain niacin, folic acid and pyridoxine. Vitamin B12 is especially helpful in building nerve cells that help us with mental alertness.

Most of us would like to have better concentration and remembering skills. But most of us practice a diet lacking in the nutrients we need. Do your own research to find out which nutrients you may be missing and try supplements for awhile to jump-start your brain cells.

How about you?

Does boosting your memory sound like a good idea to you?
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Natural Hair CareNatural and beautiful hair. That’s what I wanted! But my quest for the perfect hair care products was a long and frustrating one.  It wasn’t until I started using natural products and homemade herbal infused products that I found the secret to healing my damaged hair.

If you’re longing for the gorgeous, shiny, bouncy hair like what’s portrayed on television commercials for hair products, you’ve probably run into the same problem.  I don’t recommend rushing out to buy all those products. I have wasted a lot of money that way.  I as usually very disappointed when I tried them with few exceptions.  And when I did find something, it was discontinued shortly afterwards. I have no idea why!

But don’t despair! You can get the look you want from natural products that cost less and perform better. First, you have to understand the structure of your hair and how both internal and external factors can affect the way it appears.

A healthy diet and adequate exercise will bring circulation to your scalp and is one of the best things you can do to keep your hair healthy and shining. External factors such as sun and harsh chemicals contained in products used to color your hair can also dry out your hair and make it dull and listless.

Chemicals contained in most commercial shampoos and conditioners can also affect your hair negatively. Here are some natural methods for cleaning, conditioning and general care of your hair that should bring it back to a lush, manageable state:

  • Use natural-ingredient shampoos – Look for shampoos that contain chamomile, lemon verbena, seaweed extract, rosemary, keratin, tea tree oil and plant proteins. Stay away from products that contain harsh cleansers that may cause lots of suds and bubbles, but are damaging to your hair.
  • Condition with natural remedies – Jojoba oil, aloe and henna are just a few herbal remedies that can condition your hair without leaving it oily and limp.
  • Use a brush made from boar bristles. They’re natural and will help lubricate your hair using the natural oils that come from your scalp. Never brush your hair while it’s still wet. Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair and wait until it’s partially dry before using the brush.
  • Dry your hair on the lowest setting of a blow dryer. Heat tends to dry your hair, and sprays, styling mousse, and gels that have alcohol only make it worse. If you can get away without blow drying your hair, all the better! For curling irons, get a “teflon” one. They seem to be gentler on your hair.
  • If your hair has been damaged from sun and too much processing, repair it by using deep conditioners made from botanicals. Look for “leave-in” conditioners – they tend to repair the damage much more quickly.

If you color your hair, ask the colorist if there is a product that will prepare your hair for touch ups or overall coloring. Using the products as recommended will also help to avoid damage.

If you liked this article and want to see more, visit our virtual Herbal Spa >>

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