As the name suggests, this mudra increases our knowledge and improves memory and concentration. It stimulates the pituitary and endocrine glands and also helps with insomnia.
Description: You will often see this mudra used during meditation. Touch the tip of your thumb against the tip of the index finger. The other three fingers are stretched out, but can also remain slightly bend if that feels more free for you.
Other Instructions: You can do this mudra any time of the day, but morning might be the most beneficial. It can be practiced in standing, sitting or even lying down.
2. Vayu Mudra – Mudra of Air
This mudra releases excess air from the stomach and can be beneficial for people suffering from chronic rheumatic conditions, arthritis, gout, Parkinson’s disease, paralysis and cervical spondylitis.
Description: There are three bones in each of the fingers called the phalanges (thumb only has two).Fold your index finger and place the base of your thumb against its distal phalanx (the bone close to the tip of the finger). The thumb comes over the index finger, and you should feel slight pressure. The other three fingers remain as stretched as possible.
Other Instructions: This mudra can be practiced any time of the day, on a full or empty stomach. To relieve the pain, hold it for 45 minutes and do it regularly. Once you achieve the desired benefits, you should stop with it as prolonged use can cause an imbalance in the body.
3. Prithvi Mudra – Mudra of Earth
This mudra is particularly beneficial when you are feeling exhausted and stressed out. It improves blood circulation naturally and reduces weakness as well as helps with the digestion system.
Description: In this mudra, the tip of the ring finger and the tip of your thumb touch. Press the tips together while the other three fingers remain as extended as possible.
Other Instructions: Preferably, perform this mudra in the morning, but other times of the day work, too.
4. Agni Mudra – Mudra of Fire
Agni mudra can also be called Surya Mudra (Mudra of the Sun). It stimulates the thyroid gland and deals with digestion, weight problems, and anxiety.
Directions: Bend your ring finger and press the base of your thumb against its second phalanx. The other fingers remain stretched out.
Other Instructions: This mudra should be practiced only in the mornings, on an empty stomach and in a sitting position. You should hold it for 5 to 15 minutes, twice daily. If you are feeling very weak, avoid this posture. Also, don’t overdo it in hot weather.
5. Varun Mudra – Mudra of Water
This simple mudra helps to regulate fluids in the body and is known for its beneficial effects on the skin. It moistens the skin as well as makes you glow.
I love finding health articles that center around natural or healing with nature’s cures.
This wonderful and informative article is one you’ll come back to again and again for all its great tips and useful health ephemera gathered from some of nature’s biggest fans; Native American medicine people of the Cherokee tribe.
The Native American tribe Cherokee is indigenous to the Southeastern United States. This tribe believed that they have been given a gift by the Creator which enabled them to understand and use medicinal herbs.
They believed and used the benefits of nature’s pharmacy. Moreover, as plants can become scarce over time, they had a unique gathering method and they picked every third plant they found and thus made sure that they will leave sufficient to continue to propagate.
However, the following 12 plants were used by this tribe in the treatment of almost every single illness and health condition. However, before we explain their properties, we must warn you that they can be quite strong and dangerous if not used properly.
Keep in mind that the Cherokee healers were experienced as they had centuries of practice. Furthermore, it is of high importance to understand their value as powerful natural medications, so you should be gentle when scavenging them.
These are the natural plants that provide amazing health benefits:
Big Stretch (Wild Ginger)
This tribe believed that the mild tea from the root of wild ginger stimulates digestion, and treats the upset stomach, colic, and intestinal gas. Also, the strong tea from the root of wild ginger can eliminate secretion from the lungs.
Another Native American tribe, The Meskwaki, cured earaches by using crushed, steeped stems of wild ginger. The rootstocks can replace regular ginger and flowers as flavoring for numerous recipes you prepare.
Hummingbird Blossom (Buck Brush)
The Cherokee used this medicinal plant to treat mouth and throat issues, inflammation, cysts, and fibroid tumors, and it has been found to regulate high blood pressure and treat lymphatic blockages.
The Cherokee usually used it as a diuretic to stimulate the function of the kidneys, as well as in the case of:
enlarged lymph nodes
The Cherokee would steep the leave and flowers in a boiling water for 5 minutes and then consumed it warm in order to obtain best results.
Pull Out a Sticker (Greenbriar)
This plant’s roots are rich in starch, which is full of calories, but has a strange flavor. The stems and leaves are high in numerous minerals and vitamins. As it has a rubbery texture, you can use its roots like potatoes.
This plant has been used as a mild diuretic in the case of urinary infections and to purify the blood. Its bark and leaves have also been used for the preparation of an ointment which heals burns and minor sores.
Its leaves can be added to tea in order to treat arthritis, and the berries can be either consumed raw, or made into jam.
Mint is extremely popular nowadays, and it is often consumed in the form of a tea. However, only a few know that it has strong antioxidant properties and that it is high in vitamin C, A, fiber, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
It has been used by the Cherokee to improve digestion, and its leaves were made into ointments, crushed and applied as cold compresses, or added to baths in order to treat skin itchiness.
Moreover, its leaves and stems were also used as a treatment for high blood pressure. You can also prepare a mint water to treat your cracked nipples while breastfeeding!
This has been the most popular medicine in the case of an upset stomach, but it also has numerous other uses. It can be used to relieve bleeding gums if you chew the leaves.
You can make a cough syrup by preparing a decoction from the roots, sweetened with maple syrup or honey. The strong tea from its root reduces the swelling of the joints and tissues.
These delicious berries are rich in important nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin K, riboflavin, thiamine, folate, and niacin, as well as potassium, zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorous. Furthermore, they are abundant in essential amino acids and dietary fiber.
The Cherokee have been gifted by the Creator with an understanding of the gathering, use and preservation of medicinal herbs. The Cherokee believe that these plants were put on this earth to provide not only healing methods, but preventative measures, as well.
Many plants have disappeared throughout the years or have become extremely scarce. Because of this, we recommend extreme care in gathering wild herbs and other plants. The old ones taught that when you gather, only pick or dig every third plant you find. This will ensure that enough specimens remain to continue propagation.
Many traditionalists carry on the practice of asking the plant’s permission to be gathered, and leave a small gift of thanks. This can be a small bead or other such item. It is also recommended by Cherokee traditionalists that should you find a wild crop of useful herbs, do not share its location unless it is to a person very close to you. This will ensure that large numbers of people do not clean out an entire wild crop in a short time.
Additional information regarding the gathering, usage and application of medicinal herbs can be found by talking to the elders of a Cherokee family. Many of these people will still recall some of the home remedies that their families used, as well as provide information on herbs which they themselves use.
One of the herbs known the longest time for soothing stomach problems is the blackberry. Using a strong tea from the roots is helpful is reducing and soothing swollen tissues and joints. An infusion from the leaves is also used as a tonic for stimulating the entire system. A decoction from the roots, sweetened with sugar or honey, makes a syrup used for an expectorant. It is also healing for sore throats and gums. The leaves can also be chewed fresh to soothe bleeding gums. The Cherokee historically use the tea for curing diarrhea.
Cherokee healers use a mild tea made from small pieces of black gum bark and twigs to relieve chest pains. Hummingbird Blossom (Buck Brush) is used by Cherokee healers by making a weak decoction of the roots for a diuretic that stimulates kidney function.
Cat Tail (Cattail) is not a healing agent, but is used for preventative medicine. It is an easily digestible food helpful for recovering from illness, as it is bland. Most all parts of the plant, except for the mature leaves and the seed head, are edible. Due to wide-spread growing areas, it is a reliable food source all across America. The root has a very high starch content, and can be gathered at any time. Preparation is very similar to potatoes, and can be mashed, boiled, or even mixed with other foods. The male plant provides a pollen that is a wonderful source for protein. You can add it as a supplement to other kinds of flour when making breads.
A decoction of the small roots of Pull Out a Sticker (Greenbrier) is useful as a blood purifier. It is also a mild diuretic. Some healers make a salve from the leaves and bark, mixed with hog lard, and apply to minor sores, scalds and burns. Some Cherokee healers also use the root tea for arthritis.
I found a wonderful article today I had to share. So many of us want natural and organic products, but how do we know they are what they say they are?
First it comes down to research. Yup. Do your homework, on the company, on the ingredients, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
This will give you more answers than you probably even wanted to know.
Ask the same questions about natural and organic ingredients that go into personal skin care as you would food. How are these ingredients grown and prepared? Are they grown using the best sustainable practices? What happens when they come out of the ground to be made into skincare products?
Here’s more of a snippet from the article:
If you believe that eating whole, natural, organic, unprocessed food is healthier for you than chemically laden, highly processed, genetically-modified foods, can you make the same assumption about beauty and personal care products? The answer, of course, is yes.
When you realize that the skin is the body’s largest—and most highly permeable—organ, it is easy to understand that it needs healthy nourishment, too. Yet are all natural and organic products equal? The answer is in the journey from the ground to your skin. To make astute choices, it is vital to know what happens along the way.
How are natural and organic ingredients grown and harvested?
Have you ever asked yourself why the best olive oil you have ever tasted holds that place in your taste bud hall of fame? It is likely extra virgin olive oil with the right acidity from a protected region in Italy where the olives are cold pressed and respectfully seduced to give up their precious juices to maintain nutritional content and flavor. It is because the Italian climate, soil and environmental conditions there are conducive to the healthiest, strongest olive trees.
These trees are natural and not forced to grow in an environment that needs to be supported by mass agricultural techniques to yield the largest crop, with no consideration to the quality of the produce. I like to buy food that is in season and is sourced from a region where it does not have to be artificially supported via synthetic and artificial means to produce.
Like olive oil, not all natural and organic ingredients are of the same quality. It is like orange juice made from concentrate versus freshly squeezed. It is a cup of tea’s first distillation from a tea bag versus the second or third cup made from that bag.
The same can be said about the origins of quality natural and organic skin care products.
Too many times we hear, see and experience sadness, depression, and anxiety in our society. Many suffer terribly with these maladies and I wish I could help each and everyone…even if it’s only one soul that finds a smile in nature to ease some of their sorrow.
More and more these days, plants are finding a medicinal purpose in our lives, people like natural cures rather than subjecting themselves to harsh man-made chemicals and pills.
Essential oils like Citrus oils are happy and bright. I’ve written a lot on the subject of
And try these essential oil blends to brighten your life:
..💖Love was created by ROCKY MOUNTAIN OILS... it’s such a joyful scent and is reminiscent of my YELLOWSTAR ESSENTIALS blend, though mine has the addition of Roman chamomile, and Tunisian neroli …wearing it or inhaling it brings back memories of being loved, being held, and sharing loving times and feelings. 💖
It’s very calming and helps overcome depression. This blend will help you deal with stress and other nervous conditions. Use when you are treating anxiety and overwhelming negative emotions. It especially helps you forgive others.💖
It also helps you overcome grief and let go of negative experiences. When there is overwhelming grief, the adenoids and the adrenals shut down, this blend may help open these glands so you can get control of the grief instead of it controlling you.
💖Scent: Love has a soothing, subtle scent to it, with fruity overtones and warm undertones that make you smile.
💖Ingredients: Essential oils of: Lemon, Orange, Geranium, Bergamot, Red Mandarin, Ylang Ylang Extra, and Turkish Rose, Roman Chamomile and Tunisian Neroli in a base of Fractionated Coconut Oil.
💖Caution: This blend contains photosensitive oils (may cause dark spots on the skin if the applied area is exposed to the direct sunlight). So stay out of sunlight for 2-3 hours after application.
Contains 66% Fractionated Coconut Oil (FCO).
Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. 😊
I found some information today I thought you might like to know…
Did you know Americans spent over $374 BILLION dollars in healthcare in 2014?
Per person, we spend 40% more than any other nation. And if you take into account the entire medical industry the number is simply staggering: $3.8 Trillion dollars. (Yes, that’s with a “T”!)
That’s more than the entire Gross Domestic Product for 87% of the countries of the world! And yet, despite spending all that money, America is still ranked 17th in terms of quality of health.
So why am I bringing this up? After all, you’re here to learn about essential oils, right?
I bring these figures up because if you’re like the majority of Americans, you know (deep down inside) that there is a better way to health. A more natural way to health.
The Most Powerful Forms Of Healing Are Found Right Here On God’s Green Earth.
Mother Nature knows more than humans will ever know. And she provides everything we could ever need to maintain vibrant health well into our mature years.
And I don’t care what the “officials” say – something made from chemicals in a lab will never work better than what Mother Nature can come up with. The irony is… most of the treatments are created in a lab today is just trying to duplicate what Nature already does.
So why do companies spend decades… and billions of dollars… doing this? Simple: You can’t patent a plant or natural process. And if you can’t patent it… you can’t make money!
(Heaven forbid they spend all that money to actually make peoples lives easier and more pain free.)
Essential oils are today’s natural miracle remedies… yet the practice of using essential oils has been around for thousands of years.
In fact, using essential oils dates back to the ancient Egyptians. And in many ancient texts the oils were often referred to as “nectar of the Gods.”
There are also over 500 references to essential oils in the Bible. Obviously these miracles of Mother Nature were highly revered by Ancient Man.
When I first learned about Essential Oils my first thought was “how could something so simple actually improve my health?”
But as I did more research and learned how they really work, I was amazed.
Because lately I’ve seen a lot of articles popping up on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites talking about them and a lot of the information is, how do I say this politely… scary!
Not to mention it’s not very accurate.
So the purpose of this site is to share with you information on Essential Oils that can help you make wise choices.
Especially as you start to incorporate them into your life to improve your health and well being.
If you are already familiar with them, then you also know, we are forever learning about their wonders.
I’ve been working with essential oils for over 20 years and still learn something new everyday.
Or if you’d like to know how much essential oil to add to a bath, spray or cleaner, here’s an article about DILUTION RATIOS AND BLENDS
If you’re wondering about a specific malady or issue, type keywords into the search box at the top right of this blog, and you should get some answers.
If there isn’t anything on your issues, feel free to email me at:
with INQUIRY in the subject line.
Be aware of the quality of essential oils you are purchasing. It truly makes a difference… especially if you’re using them for health purposes.
If the oil is really cheap, there’s a reason for that. Just do your research before buying. And don’t be afraid to ask them lots of questions.
Did you know 5% of all essential oils are made for the food and fragrance industry?
There are hundreds of compounds in just one essential oil, but not all oils are used for healing purposes.
The fragrance industry is only interested in pleasant aromas. In a lab they remove only those parts of the oil that give the arona profile and they throw the rest out.
The food industry only want the elements that lend good flavor. So lab technicians remove only selections that taste like mint, peppermint, cinnamon, etc., and use small amounts to flavor the things they make. Most of the total healing natural elements are completely removed.
In pure, high quality essential oils, all of the compounds are left in tact so that you can experience the fully health benefits that Mother Nature intended.
We all know spring is a time for new beginnings, sprucing up, new growth, and renewal. But, not everyone is jumping with boundless joy everyday.
Sometimes we just don’t feel we have the energy to do that.
It could be that we are depressed, or hurting inside. Maybe it’s a darkness that won’t seem to leave, or a painful memory that won’t go away. Whatever it is that is bringing us down; we may just need a helping hand.
Sometimes we all need a bit of a boost to help get us going, or someone to tell us everything is going to be OK.
Sometimes spiritual guidance can get us through really tough times.
And sometimes we just need a really big hug.
One of the best poems I’ve ever read does just that;
Rumi embraces our souls,
gives us wings to fly,
and gives us the courage to try.
Know that you are truly loved…<3…<3…<3
The Guesthouse by Rumi
Here’s a little wisdom from the great Persian poet Rumi.
This being human is a guesthouse
Every morning a new arrival
A joy, a depression, a meanness
Some momentary awareness
Comes as an unexpected visitor
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows
Who violently sweep your house
Empty of its furniture
Still treat each guest honorably
He may be cleaning you out
For some new delight!
The dark thought, the shame, the malice
Meet them at the door laughing
And invite them in
Be grateful for whoever comes
Because each has been sent
As a guide from the beyond
Translated by Coleman Barks
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi) was a 13th century Persian muslim poet, jurist, and theologian. His name literally means “Majesty of Religion”. He was born in Balkh (now part of Afghanistan) and died in present-day Turkey. His works are widely read in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and are in translation in Turkey, Azerbaijan, the U.S., and South Asia. He lived most of his life in, and produced his works under, the Seljuk Empire. Rumi’s importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders.
I can’t believe it’s that time again. I know I say it every year, but truly, time is speeding up more and more each instance I look at the calendar on December 1.
It seems to fly by faster and faster… I mean, geez, at this rate, before I’m 60 time will be going so fast I’ll probably be making Christmas cookies on Easter! lol.
At any rate, it’s likely, and most probable that we all will get a little stressed out during the holidays.
This is some of the best and most manageable advice from a trusted source, that we could all use to help with a variety of life issues, like;
give us a boost of energy when needed instead of grabbing a cup of coffee,
or to relax when stressed or if feeling panicky and/or anxious,
even for digestive disorders… (uhhh…especially after Thanksgiving, and pretty much during the entire holiday season)…ummmyeah.
And it’s all based on one of the most natural things we do all the time –mostly without even a thought about it — Breathing.
Yes, it’s just breathing. But it’s the way we do it that can have the desired effect. These breathing exercises will help a variety of issues.
And what’s better, these techniques will not only help during the holidays, but all year through.
It’s from Dr. Weil, and I, for one, trust Dr. Weil’s advice.
Dr. Weil is a well known Harvard trained physician, and successful author, spokesperson, and broadly described “guru” for holistic health and integrative medicine, he’s well trusted in the medical community and has some excellent advice for more natural therapies.
Since breathing is something we can control and regulate, it is a useful tool for achieving a relaxed and clear state of mind. I recommend three breathing exercises to help relax and reduce stress:
The Stimulating Breath, The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise (also called the Relaxing Breath), and Breath Counting.
Try each of these breathing techniques and see how they affect your stress and anxiety levels.
The Stimulating Breath (also called the Bellows Breath)
The Stimulating Breath is adapted from yogic breathing techniques. Its aim is to raise vital energy and increase alertness.
Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Your breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. This is a noisy breathing exercise.
Try for three in-and-out breath cycles per second. This produces a quick movement of the diaphragm, suggesting a bellows. Breathe normally after each cycle.
Do not do for more than 15 seconds on your first try. Each time you practice the Stimulating Breath, you can increase your time by five seconds or so, until you reach a full minute.
If done properly, you may feel invigorated, comparable to the heightened awareness you feel after a good workout. You should feel the effort at the back of the neck, the diaphragm, the chest and the abdomen. Try this diaphragmatic breathing exercise the next time you need an energy boost and feel yourself reaching for a cup of coffee.
Exercise 2: The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise
This breathing exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
Hold your breath for a count of seven.
Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.
This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do not be concerned; it will pass.
Once you develop this technique by practicing it every day, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens – before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. This exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.
If you want to get a feel for this challenging work, try your hand at breath counting, a deceptively simple technique much used in Zen practice.
Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to influence it. Ideally it will be quiet and slow, but depth and rhythm may vary.
To begin the exercise, count “one” to yourself as you exhale.
The next time you exhale, count “two,” and so on up to “five.”
Then begin a new cycle, counting “one” on the next exhalation.
Never count higher than “five,” and count only when you exhale. You will know your attention has wandered when you find yourself up to “eight,” “12,” even “19.”
Wait..we know about Menopause, but what’s Andropause?
As with female menopause, the underlying cause of andropause is the decrease in production of naturally occurring hormones within the body. Age takes its toll on everyone, and a decrease in hormone production over time is common to both men and women. Testosterone levels in men begin to decrease as early as age 30, and continue to decline at an estimated 1% per year through the age of 50 and above. Same with progesterone levels in women.
The term “symptomatic late onset hypogonadism” (or “SLOH”) is sometimes considered to refer to the same condition as the word “andropause”.
Some researchers prefer the term “androgen deficiency of the aging male” (“ADAM”), to more accurately reflect the fact that the loss of testosterone production is gradual and asymptotic (in contrast to the more abrupt change associated with menopause.) The “D” is sometimes given as “decline” instead of “deficiency”. In some contexts, the term “partial androgen deficiency in aging males” (“PADAM”) is used instead.
OK…back to the task at hand.
We all know that sugar, caffeine, alcohol, stress, and lack of exercise all contribute to worsening symptoms of menopause, PMS, Andropause and almost every other health issue. I never said it was easy, but hey, it must be said—it’s the truth.
But there is some good news, it doesn’t have to be all bad. Read on for more natural remedies to help both women and men with menopause or andropause.
#1 : Exercise
Alright, I know I’ve already mentioned it, but c’mon….it’s really the best thing you could do for yourself, no matter your age or affliction. As with almost every natural remedies list I’ve ever seen, this one too begins with the number one health booster—> exercise.
No one wants to hear it, and most don’t do it enough. But if you’re looking to get healthy or reduce issues with your body, movement is key. Exercise gets things moving again. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do as long as your body gets warmed up, with a raise in your heartbeat for at least 20 min., and a cool down period at least 5 days a week. Just do what you love, whether it’s walking, dancing, hiking, swimming, some kind of sport…whatever. Just check with your doctor first. Exercise is vital to life. You stop moving, you stop living.
Flax seeds contain lignans that help balance hormone metabolism and block the negative effects of excess estrogens. Not only is flaxseed good for hormone balancing from phytoestrogens, it also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can aid in mood stabilization, and is excellent for heart health, skin, nails, and hair. A must-have in your health arsenal.
Eating flaxseeds also increases fiber in your diet which is a great thing, but make sure to also get lots of fiber from vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains. Two tablespoons of ground flax seeds a day are especially helpful in correcting constipation and balancing hormones. Put them in a shake or sprinkle them on salads or food. If you can’t have them or don’t like them take a supplement. I found some great Flaxseed oil with Omega 3 6 9 at Amazon for a great price..
Another great supplement in your herbal arsenal –>Black Cohosh’s effects were first discovered by Native Americans. From its introduction to early settlers until today, Black Cohosh remains a popular and effective supplement for a variety of hormonal problems.Two German studies have shown black cohosh to be effective in reducing hot flashes, according to A.D.A.M. One study in particular showed 80 percent of women saw a decrease in hot flashes while using black cohosh. However, no long-term studies have been done and there have been reports of side-effects including upset stomach and low blood pressure, caution the experts at Harvard Medical School.
Some women apply wild yam creams to the skin to reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. “Skin creams that contain extracts of Mexican wild yams have been widely promoted for natural menopause relief for years,” says Harvard Medical School. However, because of variation among products and the individual nature of skin’s responsiveness, this method is not recommended by the North American Menopause Society, says Harvard. There’s no safety data on this hormone, Dr. Richardson cautions. Learn more about the risks and benefits here.
Dr. John R. Lee has observed that natural Mexican wild yam cream gives great relief to men with prostate problems. Their nightly visits to the bathroom ceased, and their energy levels went up. Animal studies have corroborated these results, and studies with humans are on the way.
Wild yam is a plant. It contains a chemical, diosgenin, which can be made in the laboratory into various steroids, such as estrogen and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). The root and the bulb of the plant are used as a source of diosgenin, which is prepared as an “extract,” a liquid that contains concentrated diosgenin.
There are over 600 species of wild yam. Some species are grown specifically as a source of diosgenin for laboratories to use in making steroids. These species are generally not eaten due to a bitter flavor. Only about 12 of the 600 species are considered edible.
Diosgenin or wild yam is often promoted as a “natural alterative” to estrogen therapy, so you will see it used for estrogen replacement therapy, vaginal dryness in older women, PMS (premenstrual syndrome), menstrual cramps, weak bones (osteoporosis), increasing energy and sexual drive in men and women, and breast enlargement. Wild yam does seem to have some estrogen-like activity, but it is not actually converted into estrogen in the body. It takes a laboratory to do that.
Similarly, you will also see wild yam and diosgenin promoted as a “natural DHEA.” This is because in the laboratory DHEA is made from diosgenin, but this chemical reaction is not believed to occur in the human body. So taking wild yam extract will not increase DHEA levels in people. Individuals who are interested in taking DHEA should avoid wild yam products labeled as “natural DHEA.” Wild yam is also used for treating a disorder of the intestines called diverticulosis, gallbladder pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and for increasing energy.
#5: Less Dairy (I know…ugh!)
We know that sugar, caffeine, alcohol, stress, and lack of exercise all contribute to worsening PMS, and menopause. It is also true that dairy consumption can worsen hormonal imbalances because of all the hormones in milk. But note that Calcium and Vitamin D supplements are especially important for women.
Chasteberry fruit extract (Vitex Agnus-astus) can help balance the hormones released by the pituitary gland that control your overall hormone function. Studies of over 5,000 women have found it effective. Take 100 mg twice a day of a 10:1 extract.
Chinese herbal formulas may also help. One of the most effective is Xiao Yao San, or Rambling Powder. It contains: Bupleurum Root (Bupleurum chinense), Chinese Peony Root (Paeonia lactiflora), Dong Quai Root (Angelica sinensis), Bai-Zhu Atractylodes Root (Atractylodes macrocephala), Poria Sclerotium (Poria cocos), Ginger Rhizome (Zingiber officinale), Chinese Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza uralensis),and Chinese Mint Leaf (Mentha haplocalyx)
Replacing healthy bacteria in the gut also helps normalize hormones and hormone metabolism. Take 5 to 10 billion live organisms in a daily probiotic supplement.
Beneficial flora metabolize and recycle hormones, including estrogen, thyroid hormones, and phytoestrogens from food sources, which can help offset symptoms of menopause, PMS and perimenopause. In this way, they help maintain proper hormonal balance, and may protect bone and breast health as well. There is evidence that some probiotics may have anti-tumor, anticancer effects by helping us metabolize specific food components (like antioxidants and flavonoids) into useable forms.
#9 Eliminate or Lessen Stress!
Stress is a nasty detriment to you health, no matter your stage in life. And whether you are juggling with home issues, financial issues, family issues, menopause, andropause or just life; dealing with stress is critical. Try destressing your life as much as you are able at least once per day. These techniques and others can help balance hormones.Try these methods:
Therapies such as acupuncture and homeopathy as well as essential oils may help. One clinical trial showed that individualized homeopathy is effective in treating PMS. Others work well for menopause and andropause as well as many other health issues. Five homeopathic medicines were used for women with menopause or PMS: Lachesis, Natrum muriaticum, Nux vomica, Pulsatilla, and Sepia Talk to your homeopathic doctor for more info.
Supplement superstars for menopause, andropause and PMS:
Magnesium citrate or glycinate — Take 400 to 600 mg a day. (men and women)
Calcium citrate — Take 600 mg a day.(men and women)
Vitamin B6 — Take 50 to 100 mg a day along with 800 mcg of folate and 1,000 mcg of vitamin B12. (men and women)
Evening primrose oil — Take two 500mg capsules twice a day.(women)
EPA/DHA (omega 3 fats) — Take 1,000 mg once or twice a day.(men and women)
Taurine — Take 500 mg a day to help liver detoxification. (men and women)
A good daily multivitamin (men and women)
Vitamin E; There has been a study, which showed a slight effect in decreasing hot flashes for women using vitamin E, says Dr. Marcie Richardson. Along with reducing hot flashes vitamin E may carry with it extra benefits, such as fending off macular degeneration, lowering blood pressure, and slowing the aging of cells and tissues according to A.D.A.M.
For intractable cases of menopause, or PMS, occasionally use topical, natural bioidentical progesterone in the last two weeks of the menstrual cycle. The usual dose is 1/2 tsp (20 to 40 mg) applied at night to thin skin areas for the last two weeks of the menstrual cycle (or when it would have been for menopause).
Other herbal supplements that may help with menopause:
Damainia (Turnera diffusa or Turnera aphrodisiaca)-see below
Dong Quai (Chinese Angelica)
Dandelion root- Dandelion root can help with liver detoxification and works as a diuretic.
Isoflavones from soy, red clover, or kudzu root improve estrogen detoxification by boosting the activity of specific detox enzymes. They can be taken as supplements or consumed in the diet.
Damiana (Turnera diffusa or Turnera aphrodisiaca) is a woody plant with several stems that grows in hot and humid parts of Mexico, Central and South America. It can also be found under such names as “herba de la pastora,” “Mexican damiana,” and “old woman’s broom”. Having been first introduced in the USA in 1874, Damiana herb has a long and interesting history of use in the folk medicine. Damiana has been long used as a relaxant and aphrodisiac. Native Mexican Indians were known to drink sweetened Damiana tea and it is believed to be one of the original ingredients of margaritas.
The use of Damiana as an aphrodisiac has continued into modern times. In fact, recent studies have shown that it does cause an increase of sexual activity in rats, though it has yet to be scientifically tested on humans. Damiana is used both for its libido stimulating effects as well as for the somewhat narcotic effect it causes. The effect of the tea is believed to be similar to the high obtained from smoking marijuana but milder.
The indigenous population praises the plant for its antidepressant, diuretic, tonic, hypoglycemic, and antibacterial properties. Ancient Mayas and Aztecs used Damiana as a general tonic to improve health condition.
Ancient people thought that Damiana was effective in raising libido, calming nerves and relieving depression and anxiety. They smoked plant’s leaves to relax. Smoking Damiana is practiced even nowadays. Some researchers say that the effect from smoking the herb’s leaves on human brains is similar to the influence of cannabis.
It is interesting to note that boosting sexual desire is not the only property of Damiana. Native tribes also use it to treat constipation and digestive problems, as well as gastric ulcers, menstrual irregularities, and bed-wetting. Although it is widely used, scientific support for the benefits of this herb are lacking.
Chemical structure of Damiana is rather complicated. The herb is rich in many active components that account for its main medicinal uses and applications. One of the main constituents is volatile oil that is found in the leaves of Damiana. This oil consists of at least 20 elements, including 1.8-cineole, p-cymene, alpha- and beta-pinene, thymol, alpha-copaene, and calamene. The leaves are also a source of flavonoids, tannins, damianin, beta-sitosterol, arbutin.
Damiana can affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar carefully. Damiana is not recommended for people with diabetes, a history of breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or other psychiatric disorders. It should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor before using any herbal supplement to see if it interferes with any medication you take.
Oat Straw ranks among the most important restoratives for conditions of the central nervous system. Because of its selective action upon the nervous structure which supplies the reproductive organs, it will be found to allay nervous excitement, nervous palpitation of the heart, insomnia and mental weakness. It has been shown to have a positive effect upon male impotence.
Research indicates that Wild Yam is a powerful alternative medicine containing many steroidal saponins, mainly Dioscin which is widely used to manufacture progesterone and other steroid drugs used as contraceptives and in the treatment of various disorders of the genitary organs as well as in other diseases such as asthma and arthritis. Other constituents Phytosterols (beta-sitosterol), alkaloids and Tannins make this plant useful as an antiinflammatory, antispasmodic, cholagogue, diaphoretic and vasodilator. A decoction of the root is used to alleviate many of the symptoms of menopause and PMS such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, and vaginal dryness. It is also used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, gall bladder complaints, spasmodic cramps, painful menstruation, and in small doses is especially helpful in treating the nausea of pregnant women.
Red clover is often used to reduce vaginal dryness and decrease hot flashes. The effectiveness of red clover is thought to be due to a plant-chemical, isoflavones, which has an estrogen-like effect in the body. However, according to Harvard Medical School, research results have been disappointing. Two studies published in the journal ‘Menopause’ found that women fared no better with red clover than a placebo for both hot flashes and vaginal dryness.
Just recently a good friend of mine came down with shingles. Aww man, I feel so bad for her. It must be horrible, and I wish there was more I could do for her to ease her suffering, so it prompted me to look it up in my article list. Sure enough, I found it was one of my orphaned articles from the old Yahoo Contributor Network / Associated Content library. I’m going to pass is on to her and hopefully have enough ingredients to make her my relief spray. She’s at the doc’s now, and hopefully they’ll give her something to alleviate the horrible symptoms.
Anyway, here’s the article from 2009 in it’s entirety:
There are so many natural and holistic remedies for all types of maladies these days that it is difficult to weed through all the bad or mis-information strewn across the web. This series of articles, “Natural Holistic Remedies” will address only the tried and true remedies and natural therapies, either through personal experience or gathered from trusted sources. I’ve been studying these types of holistic cures and aids for over over 20 years and have discovered many new concepts as well as debunking some older (and some newer ones too).
General Shingles Information
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection of the nerve roots. Shingles affects the nerve endings in the skin and results in pain and a rash. Shingles affects 750,000 Americans annually. It can strike at any age but is most common in people older than 40.
Possible Causes of Shingles
Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox When a person has chicken pox, it lives dormant in the body. If it becomes active, it results in a case of the shingles, not another bout of the chicken pox. Approximately 90 percent of people who have chicken pox are at risk of developing shingles. Stress, cancer, use of anti-cancer drugs, spinal cord injuries, the common cold and immune system problems can trigger shingles. People who have never contracted chicken pox have very little chance of developing shingles.
Possible Symptoms of Shingles
The first signs of shingles appear as three or four days of chills, fever, body aches and sometimes pain in the affected area. Then tiny blisters with red rims appear, along with extreme pain and sensitivity at the site. Other symptoms of shingles include fatigue, numbness, depression, tingling, shooting pains, swollen lymph nodes, headache and fever. This phase usually lasts one week to 10 days, when the blisters dry up and fall off. In most cases, shingles lasts a few weeks, but some people can experience pain for months.
Possible Lifestyle Changes for Shingles
There is no way to prevent shingles, but people can avoid getting chicken pox by being immunized with the vermicelli vaccine. People who have never had chicken pox should avoid contact with anyone who has the disease. Avoid contact with anyone with shingles because the fluid from the blisters is extremely contagious. Pregnant women, infants, children and anyone with immune deficiencies should not be in contact with anyone with chicken pox or shingles. Also, things like meditation, Yoga, Pilates, or any naturally calming practices will help keep shingles to a minimum as stress makes shingles worse. Try to keep stress and anxiety to a minimum, whatever works for you!
Personal Experience: Shingles “Natural Remedy” Skeptics
If you’ve ever had shingles before, you know the pain that can be associated with it. Both a cousin and a friend of mine came down with shingles and were both in serious enough pain to ask me for help. While one was very skeptic of “natural cures”, the other was right away willing to try my natural remedy. Needless to say, after making them my “Shingles Relief Spray” and advising them of some dietary adjustments, they are both believers and ask me for all kinds of natural cures and advice now.
Beneficial Dietary & Herbal Aids
L-Lysine is important for healing and for fighting the virus that causes shingles.
Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids aids in fighting the shingles virus.
Vitamin B Complex is needed for nerve health and to counteract deficiencies.
Zinc enhances immunity and protects against infection.
Calcium and Magnesium for nerve function and healing.
Garlic is excellent for building the immune system.
SAMe aids in reducing pain and inflammation.
Cayenne relieves pain and aids healing.
Lemon Balm – This lemon scented herb helps the body fight viruses.
Licorice – The licorice has virus-fighting ingredients that can inhibit the herpes simplex virus. It appears to interfere with the growth of the virus. It also fights inflammation and can be used instead of products containing cortisone without the side effects. Taken internally, it can be used as a tea and is often blended with other herbs for taste. Do not take for longer than 6 weeks at a time, and do not take licorice if you have high blood pressure or a history of heart disease.
Alfalfa and Dandelion promotes healing.
Baikal Skullcap – This is an herb that has been used since ancient times in China. It fights bacteria and infections, so it is helpful in treating shingles as well as many other conditions. Used topically, you can make a paste using the ground root mixed with water. Apply the paste to the affected areas as needed.
Astragalus Root and Echinacea boosts immune function.
Bi phaya yaw (Clinacanthus nutans)- an herb used in traditional Thai medicine, has been shown in clinical studies to shorten the time it takes to recover from shingles in some cases. It is applied in cream form.
Olive leaf extract aids in fighting the virus of shingles. Eat plenty of foods that contain vitamin B6, including bananas, nuts, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
A combination of oat straw, St. John’s wort, and skullcap helps to reduce stress and itching. Mix equal amounts of oat straw, St. John’s wort, and skullcap tinctures together, and take one teaspoon of this mixture four times daily.
Ingredients: Aloe vera, Jojoba Oil and Sunflower oil, Ravensara Ravensara aromatica, Tea Tree Melaleuca alternifolia, Lavender Lavandula augustifolia, Bergamot Citrus bergamia, Thyme Thymus vulgaris ct linalol, German Chamomile Matricaria recutita, Clary Sage Salvia sclarea, Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis, Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus, Oregano Origanum vulgare, and other natural essential oils.
For external use only. Avoid contact with eyes. If condition worsens or persists for more than seven days, discontinue use and consult a physician. May cause an allergic reaction in some individuals with sensitive skin; test on small area before use. If severe irritation occurs, discontinue use immediately and consult a physician. Do not apply to wounds or broken skin. Do not bandage tightly. Keep this and all drugs out of the reach of children. In case of accidental ingestion contact a Poison Control Center or physician immediately. Do not get on clothing. As with any drug, if you are pregnant or nursing a baby, seek the advice of a health professional before using this product.
traditional medicines for those that are looking for
a natural alternative.
If you suffer from travel sickness,
headaches or migraines,
queasiness, fear of flying, jet lag,
insect bites and/or sun burns,
read on to find essential oil remedies that help with those maladies.
Original article published 2008 on Associated Content- posted here in full..Enjoy! Hope these tips help you on your next trip!
Aromatherapy can be a very helpful companion when embarking upon a long journey, or even just a short trip, and may even effectively replace some other traditional medicines for those that are looking for a natural alternative. While traveling may be a part of our work and our play, for those that suffer from travel-troubles it can be a nightmare. If you suffer from travel sickness, headaches or migraines, queasiness, fear of flying, jet lag, insect bites and sun burns, here you will find essential oil remedies to help with those maladies. I’ve also included a recipe for a massage blend to keep deep vein thrombosis at bay, as well.
Important Notes for Using Essential Oils; Dilutions and Usage of Essential Oils:
Always dilute essential oils, as they are very potent and too concentrated to use undiluted on the skin. To use essential oils in a massage, use the following dilutions:
For most people ages 12-65 add no more than 20 drops of your chosen essential oil(s) per ounce of carrier oils.
For those aged 4-6 or those over age 65, do not use more than 10 drops per ounce of carrier, and those aged 1-4, no more than 5 drops per ounce of carrier of safe essential oils.
For pregnant women or babies, only minute quantities of safe essential oils should be used. For instance, only 1-4 drops of essential oils should be used per ounce of carrier.
NOTE: Only Tea Tree, Lavender, Roman Chamomile 3%, Dill, and Mandarin (be careful of phototoxicity with citrus oils), as well as Eucalyptus Smithii (the mildest of all the Eucalyptus’) are safe for children and the elderly, and are the only essential oils that should be used on pregnant women, or children under 4 years old.
Here’s how to make your own natural travel kit with essential oils:
First, gather ingredients. Here’s a list of essential oils and items you’ll need;
Peppermint essential oil (peppermint supreme is best)
Lavender (French Lavender is best),
Ginger Root essential oil,
Eucalyptus Globulus (or Eucalyptus Smithii if using on children) essential oil,
Geranium essential oil,
Cypress essential oil (French Cypress is best),
Chamomile (Roman Chamomile 3% is best as it is less expensive than pure and is already diluted),
Grapeseed oil (or other carrier oil such as sweet almond, fractionated coconut, olive, sunflower, or mixture of carrier oils),
Aloe Vera liquid or gel (for insect bite relief roll-on)
3.4 oz. (100ml) spray bottle (for sunburn relief spray), and
3.4 oz. (100ml) plastic disc top bottle (for massage blend).
Small roll-on bottle for insect bite relief blend. I found a package of 12 roll-on bottles in 5ml size on amazon here.
Both types of empty bottles (spray bottles and massage blend bottles) can be purchased at Walmart or Dollar Tree, and Mountain Rose Herbs is a great place for essential oils and carriers . An easy way to label the aromatherapy inhalers is to write the title on a small piece of paper (about 1/2 in. by 1.5 in. will fit most inhalers), and cover the label with clear tape to prevent water ruining the label. Then attach the label to the inhaler with more clear tape. I use clear shipping tape, as it is wide enough to cover the label and reach over the edges, so it sticks to the label and the inhaler. Same goes for the massage bottle label, except for the size of the paper.
Recipes for Natural Travel Kit:
Sunburn relief spray – For the 3.4 oz (100ml) bottle
1 oz Aloe Vera Gel
2 oz purified water
20 drops Lavender essential oil
10 drops Vitamin E Oil (or 2-3 Vit. E oil caplets)
10 drops Peppermint essential oil
15 drops Roman Chamomile 3% essential oil
Mix, and shake well before each use. Spray over affected area whenever needed.
Here are a few extra tips to help heal sunburn quickly: Drink plenty of water, stay out of the sun until the sunburn completely heals, and avoid drinking any alcohol–because alcohol dehydrates you and your body needs water to repair the damaged skin. Also, wear loose natural clothing like light cottons, or silks.
Insect bite relief– For the 5ml roll-on bottle
25 drops of Lavender essential oil
20 drops of Tea Tree essential oil
50 drops of Aloe Vera liquid (or thinned-out aloe gel)
Add ingredients to roll-on bottle, shake well. Replace roller ball and cap. Roll directly on the bite to relieve itching as well as promote healing.
Jet lag aromatherapy inhaler
2 drops Peppermint essential oil
2 drops Geranium or Rose Geranium essential oil
Open the inhaler; add the drops of essential oils on the cotton filter. Place the cotton filter in the inhaler tube and close the bottom. Be sure to mark the inhaler so you know what’s inside. Inhale gently whenever needed. Here are a few extra tips for naturally preventing jet lag: Make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, no alcoholic or caffeinated drinks. Try ordering a ginger ale or a water when you are flying. Also, for some, taking two capsules of ginger before flying really helps. Also make sure to keep moving, it isn’t helpful to stay stagnant the whole trip. If you can’t walk around, just do some simple exercises while sitting. Try some leg raises, palm contractions, or roll your ankles and feet in circles with your legs stretched out as far as they can. Also be sure to eat healthy meals on time, don’t skip any meals.
Aromatherapy inhaler and massage oil recipe for migraines, stress headache, nausea and depression
2 drops Roman Chamomile
4 drops Lavender
2 drops Peppermint
Make an aromatherapy inhaler by opening the empty inhaler, adding the drops to the filter, replacing filter, and closing the inhaler tube. You can take this with you on any trip because of its small size. Be sure to mark the inhaler so you know what’s inside. You can also make a massage oil by adding these oils to a carrier. To make this into a massage oil in the 3.4 oz (100ml) bottle, use 30 drops Lavender, 15 drops R.Chamomile, and 15 drops Peppermint essential oils to 3 oz. of carrier like Grapeseed oil. Shake well, and be sure to add a label to the bottle or inhaler, so you always know what’s inside. To use the massage oil, shake well, and massage about 1 tsp. of the blend into the mastoids behind the ear, as well as the temples (being careful not to get any in the eyes). You may also massage over the abdominal/naval area if you wish. Do this hourly. You can also place a warm compress over the stomach after the oils are applied. Use the inhaler 4-6 times per hour, or as needed.
Travel sickness aromatherapy inhaler
If you get travel sickness when you fly, or when on a cruise ship, make an aromatherapy inhaler and gently inhale before and during your trip. This will help to calm and relax you, inside and out, whenever you feel ill from traveling. This blend is also good for stress when dealing with flight turbulence.
4 drops of Peppermint
4 drops of Lavender
To make the aromatherapy travel sickness inhaler open the inhaler; add the drops of essential oils on the cotton filter, then put the cotton filter back in the inhaler tube and close the bottom. Be sure to mark the inhaler so you know what’s inside. Inhale gently whenever needed.
Travel queasiness aromatherapy inhaler
If you are prone to your stomach leaping, turning and churning during a flight, make this blend for your inhaler as it really helps with queasiness. This blend is also good for stress when dealing with flight turbulence.
6 drops of Ginger
2 drops of Peppermint
To make the aromatherapy queasiness inhaler open the inhaler; add the drops of essential oils on the cotton filter, then put the cotton filter back in the inhaler tube and close the bottom. Be sure to mark the inhaler so you know what’s inside. Inhale gently to help settle your stomach.
Fear of flying aromatherapy inhaler
This blend is perfect for those who suffer from fear of flying. Inhale for a few minutes before takeoff, and again during the flight.
4 drops of Chamomile Roman 3%
2 drops of Lavender
To make the aromatherapy fear of flying inhaler open the inhaler; add the drops of essential oils on the cotton filter, then put the cotton filter back in the inhaler tube and close the bottom. Be sure to mark the inhaler so you know what’s inside. Inhale gently whenever needed. The calming properties of these oils will help you relax the entire flight.
Combine all ingredients in the disc-top bottle and shake well before use. Apply to the skin by pouring out about 1 tabelspoon in your palm, rubbing palms together to warm oil, and gently massaging your legs. Here are a few other tips for preventing deep vein thrombosis:
Try to move as often as possible during long trips to prevent deep vein thrombosis from occurring, (which is caused by blood clots forming in the legs due to the lack of movement). Exercise your lower calf muscles if you’ll be sitting a long time. Whenever possible, get up and walk around. If you can’t get up to walk around, try raising and lowering your heels while keeping your toes on the floor, then raising your toes while your heels are on the floor.
Extra Notes on Essential Oils for Travel:
Peppermint, Ginger, and Lavender essential oils are the best for relieving nausea, motion sickness, or just feeling queasy. Keep these close at hand for trips.
Lavender is one of those essential oils that you should always have for a multitude of purposes, as it can be used for almost anything because of it being a natural balancer,
Also, Rosemary, Peppermint, and Grapefruit are great for an invigorating blend that stimulates physical and mental energy.
Cypress essential oil is also great for cellulite, varicose veins, water retention, stress, nervous tension, menstrual problems, as well as a good anti-inflammatory.
Ginger essential oil is also useful for treating rheumatism, arthritis, nausea, hangovers, colds and flu, congestion, coughs, sinusitis, cramps, chills, fever, bruising, sore throat and diarrhea.