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Archive for the ‘Natural Holistic Remedies’ Category

12 Plants Native Americans Used to Cure EVERYTHING (From joint pain to cancer)

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.

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Photo by Candice Collins

Article From : http://healthycures.org/plants-for-healing

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 spleens
  • hemorrhoids
  • inflamed tonsils
  • menstrual bleeding
  • 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

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!

Blackberry

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.

To see full article read:

http://healthycures.org/plants-for-healing

Also more information by WHITE WOLF PACK

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.

 

 

How to shop for organic beauty products

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.

Read the rest if this great article here. 

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Clean your home green while saving lots of green

We all want the best for our families…what’s good for the environment, our budget, and for our health. Using eco-friendly natural cleansers is a great way to go green. Here are some great tips:

 

 

This was previously published at Yahoo Voices in 2009, but since that site is now closed, I’m sharing the full article in it’s entirety here:

 

We are all making a difference by taking care of our surroundings, and choosing to live ‘greener’ or at least more ‘eco-friendly’. We are teaching our children who will in turn teach their children. And who wouldn’t want to do that? Especially when we are able to do these things without breaking the bank.

I for one, am constantly on the lookout for natural products that don’t cost a fortune. It’s tough being green because all the “organic” and “natural” products are always twice the price of their synthetic counterparts (which is just backwards). But I’ve found a way to clean green without spending too much green.

Making natural cleaners and organic home products is not only fun, but really easy. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of knowing you’ve done something good for yourself, your family and future generations. Who knew cleaning naturally could be so rewarding and at the same time so much fun?

Natural Floor Cleaner

When we had our new Pergo floors installed, the salesman gave me this great recipe for homemade floor cleaner. He told me how great it had worked on his own wood flooring. And since then, I’ve used nothing else. Of course I tweaked the recipe a bit by adding pure essential oils for all their added benefits.
This fantastic floor cleaner can be used on everything from ceramic tile to Pergo, from natural wood to linoleum, it works brilliantly, better than the brand name cleansers– and safer too.

Just find a 16 oz. spray bottle, you can find one at the dollar store (or use a sanitized recycled one).
Fill the 16 oz. spray bottle with:

  • 1/3 distilled water,
  • 1/3 distilled white vinegar,
  • and 1/3 alcohol

Rubbing alcohol works fine, but better still would be grain alcohol for a less ether smell.
Add about 2-3 drops of natural liquid Castile soap, or liquid dish soap, and about 25 drops of pure essential oils such as; Lavender, Grapefruit, Tangerine, Rosemary, Lemon or Orange essential oil.
Shake well before each use.

To Use: Spray small sections of floor from about 18 in. away, and clean as you go (works best if you spray and let sit for about 30 sec. to a minute). For tougher spots, spray and let sit for 1 minute and re-spray right before cleaning. Smells great! Cleans great! And best of all it doesn’t hurt you, your family or your environment! This bottle usually lasts me about a month or so and is so cost effective; you’ll never have to purchase one of those expensive brands ever again.

 

Air Freshener

To make this eco-friendly air-freshener, just add distilled water to a spray bottle, a few other easy ingredients, and add 30-40 drops of your favorite/favorites essential oils from the following list:

The essential oils are listed in descending order of anti-bacterial/antiseptic qualities (approx.), as well as other suggested e.o.s for a nice air freshener;

Thyme, Tea Tree, Clove, Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon,
and Lavender, Sandalwood, Orange, Grapefruit, Tangerine, Geranium, Rose, Jasmine, Neroli.

Each one is excellent for purifying and cleaning the air. You may choose a combination of your favorites, or use only one of them. It won’t really matter, they all work brilliantly.

Just dissolve 30-40 drops of your chosen essential oils into 10 ml of grain alcohol (not isopropyl, something like Everclear or other neutral grain spirit );

or you can also use 10ml of mentholated spirits instead.

Add that mixture to approx. 500 ml (16 ounces) of distilled water.

Shake well to mix (and be sure to shake before each use)

Spray wherever you want a fresh scent while cleaning the air.

Be sure to always label your bottles. I use a Sharpie and write “Shake & Spray Air Freshener” and the ‘scent’ I’ve used so I won’t forget to shake the contents each time and with a glance see the ingredients clearly. It helps to add the date as well so you know when to make a fresh bottle. It’s best to discard unused portions after a month or so and start fresh.

 

Natural All Purpose Cleaner

I use this all purpose cleaner on almost everything except the floors. It works just as good as the more expensive natural brands.

  • 2 teaspoons borax
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap
  • 2 cups hot water
  • Optional essential oil blend (lavender, orange, lemon or whatever scent you like) approx. 5-25 drops

Combine the washing soda, borax, and soap in a spray bottle. Pour in the hot water (it will dissolve the minerals), screw on the lid, and shake to completely blend and dissolve. Just spray and wipe away. For tough to clean surfaces, leave it on for a few minutes before wiping it off.

Shake well before each use.

Storage: Leave in a labeled spray bottle w/date, use in one month.

 

Soft Scrub Cleaner

This great cleaner is especially good for those glass top stoves, and is so simple to make you probably have these everyday items in your kitchen handy enough to make this whenever needed.
This scrub can be used on the bathtub, sinks, shower, even delicate marble or Formica counter tops. Just use ½ cup baking soda with enough liquid soap (organic castile soap is the best) to make a frosting like consistency. You can add 5 to 10 drops of an antibacterial essential oil, such as lavender, lemon, or orange (optional of course, but I think it adds more benefits– like orange oil with its awesome grease cutting properties).
Scoop your soft scrub mixture onto the surface that you want cleaned with a sponge, then scrub, wash, and rinse. Make only as much as you will use at the time as this recipe will dry out in a short time.
Mold Cleaner / Inhibitor: Tea Tree Treasure;

This mixture can last for months and is super easy to make. Just add 2 tsp. of Tea Tree Oil (5ml = 1 tsp) to 2 cups water (16 ounces = 480ml); Shake well before use and spray on problem areas. Do not Rinse. The strong odor will dissipate in a day or so. Store in a cool dry place with an appropriate label.

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I hope you find many wonderful uses for these natural recipes in your ‘green’ home. Try them once, and see how much you save…you’ll go back to these recipes again and again after you realize they work just as good if not better than their more expensive counterparts. Plus, isn’t it great knowing you’re doing something good for future generations by helping to keep our world beautiful instead of adding more pollutants and toxins?

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Sources;

Amazon
Neutral grain spirit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral_grain_spirit

Mountain Rose Herbs essential oils/affiliate
http://www.organicreverence.com/id6.html

http://reviews.ebay.com/How-To-Make-Your-Own-Organic-Pergo-Floor-Cleaner_W0QQugidZ10000000006170856

 

Clean Your Home “Green” While Saving Lots of Green

How to Make Environmentally Friendly Laundry Detergent, Air Fresheners & Other Household Cleaners

How to MAKE YOUR OWN “Green” LAUNDRY DETERGENT
This is really much easier than you think, it works great, will be gentler on the environment (and your septic system), and will save you money.

With this recipe, you’ll only be spending about $0.01 – $0.02 per load of wash. Wow, huh?
First, gather your ingredients for the 1:1:1 ratio of; borax, powdered soap and washing soda (not baking soda).

You can get the inexpensive unscented or hypoallergenic soap (comes in a pack of three) and grate it into a fine powder (this is the most time consuming part of the whole recipe but quite worth it).

Then mix everything together and scent the soap powder with a few drops of the essential oil of your choice. You can use whichever one(s) you want. I like to change it up and use different scents / essential oils everytime;

Like- lavender and vanilla,

or tangerine and grapefruit,

or jasmine and lemon…whatever you like.

Just make sure to not over-do the scenting with essential oils. Use less than you think you’ll need, adding only a drop or two at a time and mixing well.

One trick is to let it set over night and give it a sniff the next morning so it has time to permeate the whole batch. Never use essential oils directly on the skin and test patch for allergies first. You’ll find that you use a lot less than you think you’ll need. Just remember less is more!

TO USE:

You only need to use about one tablespoon of this homemade laundry soap mixture per load. It cleans clothes really well and it’s an all around winner.

It’s best to add detergent to the water before you add the clothes so the powder is fully dissolved. You don’t want to end up with soap spots on your clothes!

Congratulations! You just ‘greened’ your laundry and saved a bunch of $$$!!!

You are a fabulous frugalista!!!

 

 

Depressed? Try these natural serotonin boosters

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 

depression, anxiety and how nature’s gifts can help with these issues. 

Be sure to read this first if you’re new to using essential oils.

I also found another great checklist of nature’s seratonin boosters.. See this one for more on the subject.   increase seratonin with these natural remedies

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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 yellowstar2000@yahoo.com for more info. 😊

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Essential oils: JUST THE ESSENTIALS

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”!)

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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.

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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.)

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Essential oils are today’s natural miracle remedies… yet the practice of using essential oils has been around for thousands of years.

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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.

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For those that want to jump right in, here’s a must-read: CAUTIONS, WARNINGS AND USAGES for e.o.s

Also, be sure to see my RECOMMENDED READING list

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:
yellowstar2000@yahoo.com
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.

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#FYI:
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.

Here are some things I’ve found::

Best lavender essential oils and where to find them

Helpful suggestions on Essential oils and specific uses as well as truth about Therapeutic essential oils.

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Thanks for reading!!

I hope you find many uses for nature’s little wonders to bring health and happiness into your lives.

How to feel better by breathing

Happy December angels!  8dd5782846607393551a19ee09a96b8f

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. womansea

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.

The following is from his website:

Three Breathing Exercises

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.
Exercise 1:

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.

Exercise 3:
Breath Counting

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.”
Try to do 10 minutes of this form of meditation.

🙂

Thanks Dr. Weil, and thank YOU, for reading. To learn more about Dr. Weil and his suggestions for better health, go to his website.

Top 10 Natural Remedies for Menopause and Andropause

Wait..we know about Menopause, but what’s Andropause?

top 10 natural remedies for menopause and 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.

So Andopause is just the male version of Menopause…(who made that name up, I don’t have a clue).  Here’s a side note from Wikipedia about it: ——>

The term “symptomatic late onset hypogonadism” (or “SLOH”) is sometimes considered to refer to the same condition as the word “andropause”.[34][35]

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[36] (in contrast to the more abrupt change associated with menopause.[37]) 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.[38]

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.

360wellnesslab.com

#2: Flaxseed

Ok, now for some better news for those that don’t enjoy hearing about what you can’t have, or tired of the negatives associated with menopause and andropause. Susan Moores, (a registered dietitian) says, “Flaxseed falls in the same camp as soy for the phytoestrogens”. One study by the Mayo Clinic found flaxseed could reduce hot flashes as much as 50%. (Men can get hot flashes too).

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..flaxseed oil flowers for health text

#3:Black Cohosh

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.

#4:Wild Yam

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.

#6 Chasteberry; Chasteberry fruit extract (Vitex Agnus-astus)

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.

#7 Xiao Yao San (Rambling Powder)

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)

#8 Probiotics

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:

#10 Try Alternative Therapies

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
  • Oat Straw
  • Dong Quai (Chinese Angelica)
  • Red Clover
  • 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

Damaina is legal to grow, buy, sell, own, and use in most places. However it is restricted in Louisiana as of 2005.

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.

Oatstraw:

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.

Wild Yam:

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:

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.

Resources and More Reading:

Essential Oils and natural remedies for Menopause

Mark Hyman, MD article

natural approach to male menopause:

Herbal supplement guide/ damiana

chinese herbs damiana;

Wild Yam

massage oil recipe to help with menopause or andropause

essential oils to add to your bath for menopause or andropause

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