herbs

Lemon Balm: An Often Ignored Healing Herb

Source:  Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Lemon balm contains within it the virtues of a dozen other plants.
— St. Hildegard of Bingen

Lemon balm is a perennial herb from the mint family. The leaves, which have a mild lemon aroma, are used to make medicine. The use of lemon balm goes back thousands of years to the time of the ancient Romans and Greeks. One of its first recorded uses was as a wine infused liniment. Dioscorides a Greek physician, pharmacologist, and botanist practicing in the 1st century in Rome, mentions its use in this way, and it was also employed in this same manner in Ayurvedic medicine. St. Hildegard of Bingen, an herbalist and nun born in 1098 C.E. in present day Germany said, “Lemon balm contains within it the virtues of a dozen other plants.” According to Nicholas Culpepper (a botanist, avid astrologer, physician, herbalist, and author of the Complete Herbal, written in 1653), said dried lemon balm may be made into a fine 'electuary' with honey. He wrote that it was ruled by the planet Jupiter and associated with the zodiac sign of Cancer, therefore having an association with the water element and thus an effect on emotions.

Lemon balm was traditionally used to uplift the spirits. In an ancient text of the Middle East recounting Azerbaijani folk medicine practices called the Tibbname, a bath in lemon balm tea was believed to support heart health and to promote healthy skin. It was a common practice to apply lemon balm externally or to take internally for its relaxing effects.

When Candace did her herbal training many years ago lemon balm was considered to be a nice herb to use in tea but not thought to have many medicinal uses. Her eyes were opened when she read Anthony William’s book Life Changing Foods. He considers lemon balm to be an herb that has many wonderful medicinal qualities especially for calming the nerves — especially those involved indigestion.

Digestive issues can stem from nerve endings that have become hypersensitive around the digestive organs. Nerves play a role in much of the digestive distress we have in our lives. For instance, inflamed phrenic nerves which control the diaphragm and therefore influence the stomach and the vagus nerve which run through the diaphragm and govern the stomach and digestions are sometimes behind digestive sensitivities as are nerves that connect the spine and digestive tract. If your stomach or intestines are irritated for no identifiable reason, it is usually due to sensitive nerves. One common occurrence is that a food (even something that is easy to digest, rubs against the lining of the intestinal tract which causes someone with sensitive nerves to feel discomfort. Nerve sensitivity can also trigger symptoms such as nausea, loss of appetite, and a sudden urgency to eliminate when nervous.

Lemon balm is a gift from God and Mother Nature to deal with our frazzling world. Lemon balm has soothing properties which come from bioactive phytochemicals such as undiscovered alkaloids that calm the nerve receptors at the digestive tract so that the nerves become less sensitized and inflammation reduces. Lemon balm doesn’t stop there as it is a heal-all herb with high contribution factor to almost every part of the body. Extremely high in tract minerals such as boron, manganese, copper, chromium, molybdenum, selenium and iron. Lemon Balm also has large amounts of micromineral silica. Plus, it’s a B12 conserving herb which means that it monitors your stores of this vitamin and keeps your body from using it all up.

Lemon balm is antiparasitic, antiviral, and antibacterial throughout the body. It fights Epstein Barr virus, shingles and other herpetic viruses such as HHV-6. It is an amazing herb for tonsillitis which is inflammation caused by strep throat. Plus, lemon balm detoxifies the liver, spleen and kidneys and helps reduce bladder inflammation so great for cystitis and urinary tract infections.

It treats the following issues: bladder, kidney and urinary issues, hypertension, Epstein Barr, mono, staph infections, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, ear infections, ear  problems, hiatal hernia, neuropathy, ringworm, adrenal fatigue, migraines, ADHD, strep throat, autism, Lyme, ALS, herpes, rosacea, PCOS and Menières disease. The symptoms it treats are loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, anxiousness, nervous stomach, hot flashes, night sweats, frozen shoulder, gastritis, trace mineral deficiencies, tooth pain, seizures, brain inflammation.

When you are talking about Lemon Balm in the essential oil world, it’s actually bottled as Melissa officinalis. It received the name “Melissa” because of its sweet, fresh, citrus-like fragrance, which was known to attract bees (Melissa is Greek for “honey bee”). As one of doTerra’s rarest and most expensive oils at $153 per 5 millileters, Melissa has a wide range of health benefits and uses. Melissa is used as a flavor in teas and ice cream as well as with some fish dishes. Because of its positive effect on mood, Melissa has long been used to calm feelings of tension and nervousness. Diffusing Melissa at night can help initiate a restful sleep environment and promote emotional well-being. Melissa may also help to support a healthy immune system.

  • Diffuse at night or rub on forehead, shoulders, or chest to help lessen feelings of stress and promote emotional well-being.

  • Diffuse to create a relaxing environment that encourages a restful night’s sleep.

  • Add to moisturizer or a spray bottle with water and spritz on face to rejuvenate skin and refresh the mind.

  • As with many essential oils, there is a possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.

Disclaimer

Please note that HealingLifeWisdom does NOT provide any medical advice and all content provided is for informational purposes only; this website is in no way a substitute for medical advice from a licensed professional.

The information provided here should in no way, shape or form take the place of medical advice; always seek medical advice from a chosen professional concerning your health prior to making any changes in your diet, lifestyle, supplementation or other similar habits, and from any secondary resources or links found on this site.

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Herbal Alternatives to Antibiotics

Photo by  Christin Hume  on  Unsplash

Click to listen to Tiffany and Candace talk about this topic on a recent HealingLifeWisdom podcast.

by Candace Liccione

In my local book club, we recently read a book about the discovery of penicillin during WWII and the information was fascinating. The subject came up again at a recent book club meeting and I realized that people don’t know much about antibiotics but do know they aren’t as effective as they were. I thought it would be great to discuss this issue so everyone knows how all this works. There is a great book by Stephen Harrod Buhner titled Herbal Antibiotics that was recently featured in The Herb Companion Magazine that I found to be a great reference for information.

Antibiotics came into great use in the 1950’s and 1960’s and the medical establishment felt that these new antibiotics would virtually eliminate infectious disease in our lives. In spite of the optimism of the time, by 1976 infectious disease was already on the rise. By 1997 it had become so bad that 3 million people a year in the US were being admitted to hospitals with difficult-to-treat antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. Many people came to the hospitals for other reasons but ended up catching an infection in the hospital. The number of people who die from hospital acquired infections is more than 100,000 a year. That makes it the fourth leading cause of death in the US. The period once called the “Age of Miracle Drugs” is dead.

New antibiotics have been discovered daily for years and it seemed that these drugs were the answer to the problem. As early as 1929 Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin, warned that numerous bacteria were already resistant. In 1945 we were warned that improper use of penicillin would lead to the development of resistant bacteria. Then, just 14% of staph bacteria were resistant to penicillin. By 1953, 64% to 80% of the bacteria had become resistant. Resistance to tetracycline and erythromycin was also being reported. In 1995 an incredible 95% of staph was resistant to penicillin. The first severe outbreak of MRSA occurred in 1968 and eventually the MRSA strains became resistant to all clinically available antibiotics. Now resistant strains are common throughout the world’s population.

What people don’t realize is that all life on Earth is highly intelligent and adaptable. Bacteria are the oldest forms of life on earth and they have learned well how to respond to threats to their well being. The world is filled with antibacterial substances, most produced by other bacteria, as well as fungi and plants. To survive, bacteria learned how to respond to those substances.

The bacteria in our bodies are friendly, mutualistic bacteria. They take up all the space on and in our bodies on which bacteria can grow. By doing so they leave no room for other less benign bacteria to live. All of our co-evolutionary bacteria generate antibiotic substances that kill off other, less friendly bacteria. As we grow, regular exposure to pathogenic bacteria teaches our bodies and the symbiotic bacteria how to respond to disease organisms.

It is clear now that antibiotics aren’t going to be used any less and in fact they are being used more. Humans as a species has never really been known for doing the sensible thing before it is too late. So, we will stop using antibiotics only when they truly fail to work.

Did you know that there are herbal antibiotics to treat antibiotic resistant organisms? There are three categories:

  • Systemic antibacterial

  • Localized antibacterial

  • Synergistic herbs

    Systemic antibacterial are spread by the blood stream throughout the body affecting every cell and organ. These herbs are reportedly good for treating infections such as MRSA that have spread throughout the body and are not responding to multiple antibiotic protocols.  The following herbs (except artemisia) are herbs that we are not familiar with in the US:

  • Cryptolepis (cryptolepis sanguinolenta) used to treat malaria in Africa - is antibacterial and antiprotozoal

  • Sida (sida acuta) aka broom weed from Australia, Central American and Mexico

  • Alchornea (alchornea cordifolia) is a tropical tree from Africa

  • Bidens (bidens pilosa) considered a nasty weed that could save your life - aka shepherds needles and is grown in Africa, US and Asia

  • Artemisia (artemisia annua) aka sweet wormwood

Non-systemic herbs are those that do not spread easily through the body and are limited in movement. Because they do not easily cross membranes, they are good for GI tract and urinary tracts and for external infections. These kinds of herbs are useful for infection such as E. coli, salmonella or cholera or for infected skin wounds that refuse to heal.

  • American goldenseal

  • Juniper

  • Usnea (oosnea)  

  • Honey

Facilitative or synergistic herbs are plants that facilitate the action of other plants. They either enhance the action of the antibacterial being used or affect the bacteria so the antibacterial is more effective. Most plants contain both antibiotic substance and a potent synergist.

  • Licorice (glycyrrhiza glabra and g. Uralensis)

  • Ginger (zingiber officinale)

  • Black pepper (piper nigrum and P. longum)

There are many, many herbs that have antibacterial actions. This is just a list that this author suggests.

Essential Oils for Alternatives to Antibiotics

It's quite likely that whether you visit your doctor for back pain, anxiety or an ingrown toenail, you won't leave without a prescription of some kind. Cold and flu symptoms are among the most common reasons why people visit their doctors and, often, antibiotics are the go-to remedy. Repeatedly taking antibiotics causes major problems, and as overuse of this type of medication, both in the health care setting and in industrial agriculture, has resulted in increased resistance.

As Cari Romm recently reported in The Atlantic, livestock consume up to 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the U.S., and the amount actually jumped by 16 percent between 2009 and 2012, according to a recent FDA report. This rampant use of the drugs has led to “superbugs” that are becoming increasingly resistant to the antibiotics that are used to treat not just farm animals, but humans as well.

Researchers have also directly compared the effects of commonly used antibiotics with those of various essential oils. One such study, from the March 2012 issue of the Journal of Animal Science, found that rosemary and oregano oils resulted in the same amount of growth in chickens as the antibiotic avilamycin, and that the oils killed bacteria, too. Additional findings have shown that essential oils help reduce salmonella in chickens, and another study found that a blend of several oils can limit the spread of salmonella among animals. One of the co-authors of that study, Dr. Charles Hofacre, a professor at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine, says it’s such a new area of research that they don’t yet know exactly how the essential oils work, but “there is some strong evidence that they are functioning by both an antibacterial action in the intestine and also some have an effect to stimulate the intestinal cells ability to recover from disease more quickly–either by local immunity or helping keep the intestinal cells themselves healthier.”

DrAxe.Com has a list of 4 antibacterial essential oils that he recommends. Head on over to his blog post to read all the details on these oils:

1. Cinnamon Oil

2. Thyme Oil

3. Oregano Oil

4. Tea Tree Oil

Dr. Axe recommends mixing one of these oils, or a combination, with one teaspoon of Manuka honey and/or coconut oil and applying topically to the affected area. You can even combine one drop each of oregano oil, cinnamon and thyme with Manuka honey and take it as a tonic, though we always suggest you ensure that you’re fully educated about all oils before ingesting them, especially if you have a medical condition or are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Ultimately, what’s great about these oils is that they’re more gentle on the gut lining and can be used for short periods internally, and longer externally, as long as your doctor approves and you don’t have any negative reaction to them.

Many of Dr. Axe’s patients have great results against bacterial infections when working with a protocol that includes antibacterial essential oils, bone broth and probiotics. In his post, he has a recipe for Antibacterial Super Tonic which includes essential oils of oregano, ginger, peppermint, grapefruit, cinnamon and thyme. You can the full recipe link in his blog post.

Disclaimer

Please note that HealingLifeWisdom does NOT provide any medical advice and all content provided is for informational purposes only; this website is in no way a substitute for medical advice from a licensed professional.

The information provided here should in no way, shape or form take the place of medical advice; always seek medical advice from a chosen professional concerning your health prior to making any changes in your diet, lifestyle, supplementation or other similar habits, and from any secondary resources or links found on this site.

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5 Herbs You Should Know About

Click to listen to Tiffany and Candace talk about this topic on recent HealingLifeWisdom podcast.

by Candace Liccione

I want to talk about five of the popular herbs that you might consider adding to your daily life. Some might be familiar and some you may have never heard about. Most people want a magic pill that works in an hour and you don’t have to make any changes in your life or your diet. It would be nice if it worked that way, but it doesn’t. If you have health issues, you really need to make changes in all parts of your life. You should factor into your healing plan - working on your emotional issues, changing problem areas in your personal life, your work life, your diet, and your lack of exercise.

Herbs are wonderful to soothe many of our health challenges. They say that there is an herb on earth for every health problem. Food and herbs act as a messenger to your genes. Food and herbs are medicine for your body, mind and spirit.  Adding herbs to your life is very healthy! Herbs however, work slowly and take time. Did you know that every major ailment has a specific natural food or herb prescription that can reverse its course. Your body can heal itself if you give it a chance and the right food. It may take 3+ months or more for you to see results as you go herbal, but it is so worth it. Keep in mind that herbs don’t have the side effects like pharmaceuticals do. And herbs are very affordable and you can even grow some herbs at home in your garden.

Emotional healing is also very important as you begin your healing journey. You have to work on all aspects of yourself including the body, mind and spirit. You also need to examine your diet. You are what you eat. You are actually what you eat, digest, absorb and eliminate! So many of us have not been educated to understand that what we put into your body runs our body. So, if you have health issues, your body is not getting what it needs to run properly. Adding herbs to your life and your food has many advantages to give your body the vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other natural ingredients that can support you on your healing path.

Cats Claw

First off let me introduce you to cats claw. It’s an herb that most people have never heard of.  Cats claw is an herb that can alleviate almost any symptom from neurological to digestive. Pathogens such as bacteria cannot become resistant to it like they can with antibiotics. It is great for getting rid of parasites, fighting viruses, ridding the body of strep. Good against all kinds of cancer, Lyme, ALS, MS, UTIs, herpes, vitiligo, sleep disorders. Don’t use if pregnant or trying to conceive. Use only non-alcoholic tincture as alcohol cancels out the effects of the herb. Cats claw is a wonderful tea but is available in supplements and as a tincture.

Ginger

Photo by  Dominik Martin  on  Unsplash

Ginger is an herb most people are familiar with but think it is only for digestive issues. It is the ultimate antispasmodic herb. It calms an upset stomach and relaxes other areas of tension for up to 12 hours. It is reportedly good for stress related illness like adrenal fatigue, acid reflux, sleep apnea, spastic bladder, insomnia.  Also great for tension headaches, is anti-viral, antibacterial, anti-parasitic. It is reportedly good for pancreatitis, gallstones, adrenal fatigue, thyroid disease, eczema, psoriasis, anxiety, all kinds of cancer, celiac, chronic sinusitis, lymphedema, lupus and shingles. Acts as a tonic for muscles and organs telling the body it can let go and that everything is under control. Helps relieve tension headaches, flush excess lactic acid from muscle tissue out of the body and not just from exercise but also from stress. Ginger has 30 amino acids, 60 trace minerals, 500 enzymes and co enzymes. It is great for stress assistance, DNA reconstruction, enhancement of the body’s production of B12. Ginger can be eaten with food and as a tea.

Turmeric

Photo by  Taylor Kiser  on  Unsplash

Turmeric is the herb that is very familiar to most people as it has been the popular herb in the past couple of years. It is good for our entire wellbeing. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and is great for lupus. Note that inflammation in chronic illness is due to the body’s immune response to a foreign presence such as a virus so turmeric is great for anything in the body that is inflamed and causing pain. It is good for increasing blood supply to areas of the body that need enhanced circulation. It is great for the cardiovascular system, lowers bad cholesterol raises good cholesterol, helps inhibit tumors, cysts and helps prevent many cancers especially skin cancer. Take as a spice in your food, as tea, juiced or as a supplement.

Chaga

Another herb that most people have never heard about is Chaga mushroom. I first learned about Chaga through Anthony William Medical Medium. Chaga is not really a mushroom but a pre-mushroom growth. It has immune system enhancing nutrients to battle toxins, viruses and bacteria. It strengthens red blood cells and bone marrow, balances blood platelets, great tonic for entire body, good against all kinds of cancer. Regulates blood sugar and boosts adrenals. Good for autoimmune disease, Lyme, MS, ALS, carpal tunnel, bursitis, fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, psoriasis, eczema, Epstein Barr, migraines, electromagnetic hypersensitivity, celiac and rosacea.  Take as a tea in powder form or add to smoothies.

Nettle

Photo by  Paul M  on  Unsplash

Photo by Paul M on Unsplash

Another herb that people have probably heard about is nettle. It is usually considered to be a female herb as it is wonderful for women’s reproductive health issues. Low hormone test results often mean that the adrenals are either overactive or underactive. Great for adrenal glands and other members of the endocrine system. But it also is wonderful for stress, is anti-inflammatory for your tired organs, rids the body of excess estrogen that come from plastics and pesticides, is bone building and bone protecting as it is rich in silica. Nettle has 40 trace minerals and is a potent pain reliever. Good for urinary tract issues, reproductive cancers, Epstein Barr virus, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic stress, laryngitis, eczema, psoriasis, depression, auto immune diseases, anxiety & bladder prolapse. Nettle is wonderful as tea.

Disclaimer

Please note that HealingLifeWisdom does NOT provide any medical advice and all content provided is for informational purposes only; this website is in no way a substitute for medical advice from a licensed professional.

The information provided here should in no way, shape or form take the place of medical advice; always seek medical advice from a chosen professional concerning your health prior to making any changes in your diet, lifestyle, supplementation or other similar habits, and from any secondary resources or links found on this site.

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Newsworthy: Week of 4/14/19

10 Ideas for Changing Your Life



by Tiffany Windsor and Candace Liccione

Candace and I have been supporting women’s wellness for the past 30+ years and so we decided to share the top 10 issues that we are repeatedly asked about. They aren’t in any particular order and aren’t really steps but we hope they bring you awareness of some of the issues that may be holding you back in truly enjoying your life everyday.

Emotional Issues

This is the key to healing mind and body and spirit so you can identify your core issue(s) and start to work on healing. There are many paths to healing. At the core of health issues is an emotional issue or issues. We all have a core emotional issue in our life. Usually your emotional issue stems from your childhood. The problem is that people don’t know that their emotional issues, thoughts, and feelings are the beginnings of their health problems. Western medicine addresses only the symptoms and ignores the body, mind and spirit connection. We medicate our symptoms but never delve deeper into what’s causing them.

The best way to start looking at your emotional issues is to check out either Louise Hay’s book “Heal Your Body” or Inna Segals book “The Secret Language of your Body”. These books list the emotional issues behind different symptoms and disease. We create the situations in our lives, and we need to heal them. Your body is a mirror of your inner thoughts and beliefs. You need to look at when your symptoms started. What was going on in your life when the symptom started because the symptoms are the outer effect of what was happening. Was there a death in the family, family or job issues, relationship issues, illness in the family, or money problems? How do you heal yourself? You start over and reassess everything in your life. How do you talk to yourself - is it positive or negative? Your body is your state of mind. Every time you open your mouth you talk about your health. Start hearing what you are saying. Things like “he is such a pain in my neck” or “that person makes my head ache”. Your body hears every word you say and then acts upon your thoughts and words. Your body doesn’t know if you are kidding or not serious. It just follows what you tell it.

One way to find out your core issue is to fill out a Bach Flower Essence questionnaire. Candace works with Bach Flower Essences and makes custom remedies for people from the answers on their questionnaire. The answers you give on this questionnaire help you to discover your core issue. Once you know your issue you can start to work on healing yourself. What YOU think is your issue is probably not your key issue.

Eliminate Stress

Yeah, like that’s easy! Of course, you have to slow down, unwind and allow space for healing. But what does this mean? We found some great information online at Conscious Lifestyle Magazine. For instance, how stress affects the body. You know when you are feeling stress, but how does it actually affect you? The sudden flood of adrenaline and other hormones causes changes in the body that include: increase in the heart rate and blood pressure, dilation of the pupils to take in as much light as possible, constriction of the veins to send more blood to major muscle groups, tensing of the muscles involved in running or fighting - that is that fight or flight instinct, increase in blood glucose to provide more energy, relaxation of the smooth muscles to allow more oxygen to the lungs, shutting down of the non-essential systems (like digestion and immune system) to allow more energy to the emergency functions. These are really interesting insights to how your body is affected by stress.

Our lifestyle definitely plays an enormous role. Dietary stress is common with our modern eating habits of eating fast foods, skipping meals, drinking excessive caffeine or alcohol, and eating refined sugars and flour. Environmental stressors? Well, we also don’t know how toxic our air and water may be for us. We have little to no idea how we are affected by electromagnetic pollution from our modern technology, such as TVs, computers, electric wires, cell phones, iPads, and the Smart Meters on our homes. How many of us make it a priority to spend time in nature to offset these lifestyle or environmental stressors?  Lifestyle - we have control of what we eat and how much we exercise, dance, listen to music, spend time with loved ones, and spend time in nature.  Nutrition - we can change our diet from the standard American processed diet to one that is more natural and nutritious. The healthiest diet is one of whole, fresh (unprocessed) foods, preferably organic. When we eat, we need to be relaxed. We certainly don’t need to be eating fast food on the run.

Stress is the sugar of the soul. It wrecks your health from the inside out.
— Dr. Will Cole

Instead of grabbing for prescriptions to manage your stress, have you thought about natural strategies and techniques for stress management? When you are stressed, what remedies do you reach for? Is it prescriptions which can have many side effects? Why not try some natural remedies including homeopathy? We talked about about homeopathy in a recent podcast but here are some of the specific remedies for stress. Ignatia is used for anxiety, Natrem Muriaticum for grief, or maybe Chamomilla for anxiety, especially with stomach symptoms and irritability.

You can also try herbs for preventing and treating stress. Dr. Bonnie McLean, who wrote the article for Conscious Lifestyle Magazine has some great information on herbs. Tonic herbs are considered super-nutrients. They improve physiological functioning and a sense of well-being and boost energy. Here are some herbs Dr. McLean uses for natural stress relief; these are usually found in capsule, tablet, powder, tea, and tincture form and they include ashwagandha, maca, chamomille, passiflor (passion flower), hops, and valerian. By the way, Candace has these herbs available at her store and she also does mail order.

A great go-to for stress relief and Tiffany’s first choice is aromatherapy and essential oils. Aromas stimulate our sense of smell. They are perceived through the olfactory nerve, located very near the limbic center of the brain, which is the hub for the body’s stress alarm system. We can use scents, such as essential oils for stress management. Some essential oils that are considered to be adaptogens (help the body/mind stay in balance and thus provide ways to reduce stress) are: Lavender—soothes and balances the body, Cedarwood—stimulates the limbic region of the brain, especially the pineal gland, which releases melatonin, Roman Chamomile—calms the central nervous system, Neroli—considered to strengthen and stabilize the emotions and encourage confidence and a sense of peace, Valerian—commonly used in sleep remedies. (The aroma is unpleasant, usually described as smelling like dirty feet.), Sandalwood—balances and stabilizes the mind and helps to release negative emotions, Orange—has an antidepressant effect, Jasmine—considered to have a relaxing as well as an antidepressant effect, Frankincense—considered a “spiritual oil” that has an antidepressant and anti-anxiety effect by stimulating parts of the limbic system, including the hypothalmus, pineal gland, and pituitary gland, Ylang ylang—considered a “spiritual” oil, believed to filter out negative energy and help with focus and confidence. Tiffany is a doTerra wellness advocate and she is happy to help you select the right essential oils.

Flower Essences - These remedies are natural and gentle. Prepared from the flowers of wild plants, bushes, or trees, they are prescribed according to one’s mood and state of mind. They are based on the theory that a mind in disharmony is the primary cause of disease and that it will hinder recovery from an illness. Emotions such as fear or worry can deplete an individual’s vitality, causing the body to lose its natural resistance to infection and disease. The original flower essences were created by Dr. Edward Bach, if you live outside the US, you may pronounce his name as Dr. “Batch”. Some great choices for stress management are:  Rescue Remedy—stress, trauma, shock, Star of Bethlehem—shock, Aspen—anxiety and fear, Rock Rose, Mimulus, Cherry Plum, and Red Chestnut—fear, Sweet chestnut—mental anguish, Mustard, Gentian, Gorse, and Wild Rose—depression. To summarize, dig deep to find the emotional cause of your stress and support yourself with natural remedies. Candace can really help you as she provides flower essence consultations that are life changing!

Let go of the drama

Let go of drama and people who are not healthy for you. There is so much drama in our world today. Drama in your family life, work life and then there is the constant drama that comes from all of our electronic media – TV, cell phone, reality shows and social media. You are surrounded by drama all the time and we have gotten used to it and many people are addicted to it. Candace hears people in her shop talk about the reality shows they watch, and they discuss with one another the drama that goes on in those shows. They don’t understand that the producers of those shows make sure there is lots of drama by having the situations partially or fully scripted. They don’t see that it isn’t real. Those shows would be very boring if they were depicting real life.

We need to release all drama in our lives whether real or fake. Drama isn’t healthy for you. It raises your anxiety and adrenaline levels. Add rest, relaxation, sometimes just sitting quietly, being okay not doing stuff every minute.  Stop – go out in nature, listen to music, talk to your family and friends, nuture your inner spiritual, add joy to life and have fun and laugh.

Drama is another aspect of your health issues. Contemplate living with less drama, less stuff, and less turmoil. It is time to release all the unnecessary stuff in your life, unhealthy attachments, negative emotions and negative people and toxic entertainment.

In the past, our family got caught up in a lot of drama and for us, reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz helped to eliminate the drama from our lives. Once we realized that we would not, should not, take anything personally, it was really easy to shift out of engaging in and perpetuating the drama.

Eat Well

We’ve talked about this for weeks on end. It’s really important to let go of food that is not healthy. If you are not nourishing yourself, you can feel the effects of fatigue, depression, digestion issues, fluctuation in blood sugar levels, brain function, stress on your heart, kidneys and liver, bloating and puffiness, high blood pressure, the list goes on and on. Don’t know where to start? Get Anthony William’s Liver Rescue book. So many health issues relate to the liver and it’s easy to start making changes to your food to help bring you back into balance. So EAT WELL!

Exercise that beautiful body and mind

You will feel better on all levels. Most people know that they should be exercising in some way, but they just don’t want to or don’t realize how important exercising is for their health. We are too sedentary. You need to move your body, your muscles, your arms, yours legs and feet. If you move your body, it works better on all levels. It really helps your digestion and elimination systems, your heart, your lungs and the entire body. We all know this, but most people aren’t doing it. No one is asking you to go run a marathon or something on that level (but if that’s your vision - we say GO FOR IT!). Just start by getting off the couch, put your phone down and start walking, join a yoga or aerobics class, dance or find a way that gets your body moving. And make sure that you exercise your mind by reading uplifting books.

I watched my mother and my mother-in-law stop moving as they aged. Neither of them had health issues but they allowed their body and especially their legs no exercise. They both ended up living a long time and had trouble walking and had to use a walker because they didn’t exercise. Their lives could have been so much richer and fuller if they could have gotten around better. I joined a gym 20 years ago and it was hard at first to make myself go and work out. Now it’s just part of my life and I feel so much better for it. I see people in the gym who are in their 80’s and 90’s still working out and enjoying more.
— Candace Liccione

Find an exercise that works for you. Yoga is Candace’s exercise of choice. She has been doing it for 20 years. It is so good on so many levels -- it lubricates your joints, it’s really great for balance as you strengthen all your muscles and you aren’t afraid of falling as you age, as it supports great flexibility. There are all kinds of yoga so you can find a kind that works with your body.

Walking is another great exercise. You can walk anywhere – on your street, at the mall or just around your yard. Walking is good for your body as well as your mind. Water aerobics is also wonderful exercise especially if you have body issues that don’t let you jump around. If you have bad knees, or hips or foot or ankle problems then water aerobics would be wonderful for those issues.

Be natural in your healing

We talked about this in step #2 for stress. For other disease - or as we call dis-ease or ill at ease, why not try natural remedies first before going to invasive measures. People have successfully been treating minor ailments like cuts, sniffles, dry skin, head aches, stuffiness, bloating, heartburn since the beginning of time, right? Grit.com has a great list of natural remedies.

Use eucalyptus to clear a stuffy nose - a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a humidifier or diffuser will help clear a stuffy nose. The minty essential oil helps loosen up mucus and reduce swelling.  Honey for a sore throat - a spoonful of raw honey will instantly help ease a sore throat. As an added bonus, it will also help quell coughing fits. Mix a tablespoon of honey with a squeeze of lemon in a warm cup of water for a soothing drink. Honey for minor scratches - honey is a natural antibiotic. Applying it to minor wounds can help prevent infection and help a wound heal faster. Basil for bug bites - did you know that  a bit of crushed basil on a mosquito bite will help relieve the itchiness. Plus, it smells much better than anything from a bottle. Apple cider vinegar for bloating, diabetes, and heartburn - organic apple cider vinegar has a host of benefits, from relieving bloating to preventing diabetes to helping those with heartburn.  Calm nausea with ginger - an upset stomach can be helped with ginger. Ginger can also help with sea-sickness. You can buy an all-natural tea with ginger, or keep a piece of fresh ginger in your fridge (or freezer to make it last longer), and then just shave off a few pieces to add to hot water. Steep for 5 to 15 minutes before drinking. Lessen heartburn with baking soda - a touch of baking soda in a glass of water will clear late-night heartburn up in no time. Just be sure not to use too much, or you’ll be burping instead!  Keep bugs away with peppermint - you don’t have to pile on a chemical bug spray to keep annoying pests away. Place a few drops of peppermint essential oil into witch hazel or water and spray when needed. Just make sure to avoid your eyes! Peppermint for headaches - in either tea or as an essential oil, peppermint is a great way to relieve a tension headache. The cooling effect can be very effective at giving you a bit of stress relief, too.  

Chamomile for Sleeplessness - chamomile is great for promoting relaxation and preparing you for sleep. A cup of chamomile tea is a great way to get ready for bed.  Baking soda for bee stings - Make a paste with baking soda and water, and rub it on the sting. The pain will stop instantly! Lavender for restless leg syndrome - do your legs and feet start to bug you at night? Rub a few drops of lavender essential oil on the areas of your legs that hurt (such as the ankle). Lavender is also known to help relieve anxiety, so it’s a great way to get your mind ready for a calm, restful sleep. Marshmallow root for irritation and sore throats - it has been been used for moer than 2,000 years to calm irritation and help with sore throats. It helps moisten and reduce swelling in mucus membranes throughout the body, and reduces irritation as a result. Green tea for the jitters - green tea is known to help relieve anxiety and lower blood sugar, especially when you drink it regularly. However, it does have caffeine in it, so if you are sensitive to caffeine, try drinking it before noon. Reduce a fever with linden flower tea - a cup of tea can help calm a low-grade fever and give everyone the rest they need. Remember, a fever is your body doing its work to fight off some type of infection. [Because we’re not in the medical field, we’re required to remind you to go to your doctor if the fever gets too high!] Tea Tree Oil for minor infections - for minor skin infections, try combining one drop tea tree essential oil (also known as Melaleuca) into five drops of coconut oil. Rub together and apply to infected spot twice a day. Here’s something new we learned from Grit.com - Thyme for snoring - while thyme has many antibacterial health benefits, a drop mixed with a few drops of coconut oil can be a quick remedy for someone who snores. Lightly rub some of the mixed oil to the bottom of your big toe before you go to bed. Or you can diffuse thyme in your bedroom a half-hour before you go to sleep. Turmeric, Willow Bark, or Cat’s Claw for arthritis - all are known for helping calm inflammation. Instead of taking aspirin, use one of these natural remedies to help arthritis. From this list, Tiffany’s daily wellness cabinet includes: honey, apple cider vinegar, ginger, peppermint, lavender, tea tree oil and turmeric.

No. 7: Know that you are here for a purpose.

Know that you are here for a purpose and discover your purpose and pursue it. We are all here for a reason. We have a purpose. Many people probably don’t even think they have a purpose. You need to be doing something for your spirit in your life. It can be joining a church, a group of people who like what you like to do, a group that helps others – children and animals. You need to feed your spirit.

REDUCE electronic dependence

This is so challenging but it’s important to start spending less time on the computer, phone and computer games. As Tiffany mentioned a few weeks ago, she made the commitment to herself to leave her phone outside the bedroom every night. Cell phones expose us to a form of electromagnetic radiation called radiofrequency (RF) energy. Scientists have suspected that this radiation might increase the risk of brain cell damage leading to tumors, and in 1995 they found this to be the case in rats. Most studies since then have failed to show a similar correlation in humans and last December the Danish Cancer Society released results from a 29-year study that found no solid association between increasing cell phone use and brain tumors.

Personally, I just don’t believe that there is not an association to RF energy being harmful to our body. About 35 years ago, I was subjected to RF poisoning when it was finally discovered that my office was right above the electrical room for the 6 story building I was managing. I know what it feels like to be sensitive to RF energy. Granted, I assume that our cellphones emit just a fraction of what I experienced but how long each day, that multiplies into each year, that multiplies into each decade are you spending on your electronics?
— Tiffany Windsor

We get it... our work requires us to be at the computer, use wifi, use cellphones but try to be aware of the choices to make to minimize exposure.  Use a headset or speakerphone - there is no reliable data that exists on the upper limit of safe talk time, but corded headsets can reduce potential risk. These emit much less RF energy, and allow you to move the phone away from your body. One study shows that using a headset lowers radiation exposure eightfold. Keep your phone out of your pocket - a study published in the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery linked cell phone radiation to decreased bone density in the pelvis, and a 2008 study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic found that it lowers fertility in men. Limit children's use - kids have a thinner skull, and their brains are still developing—which may make them more vulnerable to any potential harmful effects of RF radiation. Stop talking while driving - In addition to creating a potentially deadly distraction, using your phone in the car forces your cell signal to jump between wireless towers. Since RF is highest when a connection with a tower is first established, talking while traveling can increase exposure. We did not know that.  Don't chat with a poor signal. The harder your phone has to work to get reception, the more radiation it emits. We didn’t know that either. This is also the reason apparently you should avoid using so-called radiation shields (the shiny stickers that claim to block radiation); allegedly they actually force the phone to transmit at a higher power. Don't wear wireless headsets as if they were jewelry - earpieces don't emit as much radiation as a phone, but they release some—even after your call ends. Remove the device from your ear between conversations.

Gather with people of like mind

Gather with people of like mind. Express your creativity. Creativity is therapeutic. Join into something that is in-person. Too many people have social media as their main way of interacting with others. You need to gather in person with people who enjoy what you like. When you join in person you get a much deeper connection as you can read their body language, hear the emotion in their words, connect with them face-to-face. Creativity is really important for all of us. We all have a need to be creative in some way in our lives. Creativity is so therapeutic. Candace has creativity and wellness classes at her Wye River Designs shop and people come to spend many hours creating with her. She gets to know people in depth, and in conversation, they naturally share their issues and concerns. You would be amazed at the informal group therapy that goes on as people open up and discuss all kinds of issues. At her shop, they all help each other discussing whatever the group wants to talk about. The groups spend a lot of time educating each other on wellness as people are always discussing health issues and Candace and everyone in the discussion assists them in thinking about making better choices by sharing their own journeys to wellness.

Allow yourself to have fun and live with joy!

Joy is the answer for living a healthy, happy life. Jude Bijou at mindbodygreen.com describes joy as an emotion and emotions are wordless. They're pure physical sensations in our bodies. We express the emotion of joy in many physical ways. As Judy explains, for example, we jump for joy when we win a hard-fought competition, or we double over in uncontrollable laughter when someone relates a hilarious story. We squeal with delight after getting a surprise gift, and whoop and holler exuberantly when we hear fantastic news. We feel buoyant and jubilant on beautiful day. When we feel joy, we feel great about ourselves. We feel confident, powerful, capable, lovable and fulfilled. These are all good reasons to experience more joy

Undertake a challenging activity with a commitment to mastering it. Think of a project you've wanted to accomplish, whether it's creating a small flower garden in your yard, learning how to give your car a tuneup, or mastering the tango. The process of setting a goal, learning the necessary steps to achieve it, and giving it your best until you've mastered it will generate high self-esteem and pride. Those are feelings associated with joy. Actively seek joy through inspiration. Engage in an activity that's pleasurable and feels like play.

Jude also suggests that you deal with the sadness that blocks joy. When we feel sad, it isn't possible to also feel bubbly and exhilarated. In a place that feels safe and private, constructively express your sadness by allowing yourself to cry. While crying, acknowledge your hurts and losses. Don't indulge any negative thoughts about yourself. Just keep telling yourself, "I'm fine. It's okay to cry. I just feel sad." You'll immediately feel washed clean — even joyful. Honor yourself consciously and frequently. Give yourself a break from the day-to-day world. Nurture yourself. Set up a time, just for you, when you can disconnect from daily responsibilities and get away from the noise, stimulation, and demands of your world.

Joy comes easily when we focus on our own needs in a caring and loving way. Get a massage. Close the door, put your feet up, and watch the world outside your window. Take a nap. These kinds of activities replenish us and give our body and soul a chance to feel pure joy. Remind yourself: My job is to take care of myself.  Say the word often and contemplate its meaning. Notice how your body feels when you say the word JOY! Think about what joy means to you. Be as specific as possible, imagining the feeling of joy, the images it conjures up, perhaps even the people and situations who trigger joy. Sign off your emails with the word joy. Paint the word on a smooth rock and keep it on your desk. More joy will rise up if you simply invite it to do so.

Also at the mindbodygreen.com article, there is a quick self-quiz that we found really interesting! You’ll find that link on our blog post.

Here’s to your wellness!


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Newsworthy: Week of 3/10/19

Natural Alternatives to Western Medicine



by Candace Liccione and Tiffany Windsor

So many people have turned their healthcare over to western medicine and have little or no knowledge that there are alternative choices that have been around for thousands of years. If you’re dissatisfied with the choices that have been presented to you through western medicine, you might find these other natural healing choices very interesting.  This list is not meant to be comprehensive in any way but rather a list of alternative choices that we have tried over the past 30+ years.

Herbs

Herbs have been used for thousands of years and only fell out of popularity with the introduction of pharmaceuticals in the last 50-70 years. Herbs are the basis of Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and herbalism today.  Herbs are natural, full of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals needed for good health. Herbs are medicine and very good medicine, very safe medicine without side effects. We became so used to a magic pill that worked fast and you didn’t have to make any life style changes. Modern pharmaceuticals have their origins in herbal medicine and to this day some drugs are still extracted as fractionate/isolate compounds.  The pharmaceutical today have many side effects and some aren’t even effective anymore. As we realize this, we have turned back to herbal medicines. They say there is an herb growing somewhere on earth for every disease.

Aromatherapy

Another alternative choice is aromatherapy. Plant extracts have been used for thousands of years for their exquisite aromas and natural healing benefits. By harnessing their therapeutic properties, aromatherapy works to improve our physical, mental and emotional well being. Inhaling the aromas from essential oils can stimulate areas of your limbic system, which is a part of your brain that plays a role in emotions, behaviors, sense of smell and long-term memory. Interestingly, the limbic system is heavily involved in forming memories. This can partly explain why familiar smells can trigger memories or emotions.The limbic system also plays a role in controlling some unconscious physiological functions, such as breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. Some people claim that essential oils can exert a physical effect on your body in this way. I [Tiffany] am a doTerra wellness advocate and I can tell you, essential oils have changed my life and many of my customers. What’s really exciting is that doTERRA announced a new integrative healthcare model which will provide invaluable real-world data and expand the possibilities for scientific research, as well as opportunities to publish and share this information on a larger scale. Through their new clinics,  healthcare professionals will be on the front-line of the most cutting edge essential oil research, helping to develop evidence-based clinical and personal usage models.

So, have you ever enjoyed the scent of a rose, well...you’ve experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils. These naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. Essential oils give plants their distinctive smells and essential oils protect plants and play a role in plant pollination. In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and their beautiful fragrance, essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health-care practices.

But what exactly is a volatile aromatic compound? In short, these compounds are small organic molecules that tend to change quickly from their solid or liquid state to a gas at room temperature. They are called volatile because they change state quickly. When you first open a bottle of essential oil, you instantly notice that the aroma is potent and you can smell it typically even from some distance. The physical and chemical properties of the VAC’s that compose essential oils allow them to quickly move through the air and directly interact with the olfactory sensors in your nose. Such unique properties make essential oils ideal for aromatherapy – using these compounds from plants to help maintain a healthy mind and body – as well as other applications. The type of VAC compounds present in an essential oil determines both the oil’s aroma and the benefits it offers. There is a complete science to how essential oils work with our bodies based on their chemical composition. Over 3,000 varieties of volatile aromatic compounds have been identified to date. The nature of an essential oil varies from plant to plant, within botanical families, and from species to species. The delicate ratio of aromatic constituents found in any given essential oil are what make it unique and give it specific benefits. Esssential oils can be used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used as single essential oils or in complex essential oil blends depending on user experience and desired benefit. They can be mixed with carrier oils such as coconut oil to apply to the body and they can be used in a diffuser.

Chinese Medicine - Acupuncture 

Chinese medicine is a complete system of medicine that combines the use of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, acupressure and massage. Health is thought to depend on the balanced flow of energy or qi through the body. Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine that originated in China over 5,000 years ago. It is based on the belief that living beings have a vital energy, called “qi” that circulates through 12 invisible energy lines known as meridians on the body. Each meridian is associated with a different organ system. An imbalance in the flow of qi throughout a meridian is how disease begins. Acupuncturists insert needles into specified points along meridian lines to influence and restore balance to the flow of qi. There are over 1,000 acupuncture points on the body. Acupuncture stimulates the release of pain reducing endorphins. Acupuncture influences the release of neurotransmitters, substances that transmit nerve impulses to the brain. Acupuncture influences the autonomic nervous system, acupuncture stimulates circulation. Acupuncture influences the electrical currents of the body.

Conditions treated by acupuncture include migraines, tension headache, sinusitis, common cold, addictions, quitting smoking, trigeminal neuralgia, Meniere’s disease, sciatica, arthritis, menstrual cramps, fibromyalgia, low back pain, asthma, weight loss, infertility.

Homeopathy

Homeopathy is based on the theory that if large doses of a substance cause symptoms of illness in a healthy person, very small doses of the same substance can treat the symptoms by stimulating the body’s self-healing abilities. Homeopathic remedies are typically small vials of tiny white pellets that are usually made from plant, animal or mineral extracts. The original extract is diluted many times using a method called potentization until there are few molecules of the original substance in the remedy. In homeopathy the more a substance has been diluted, the more potent it is thought to be. Homeopathy is considered to be a safe, gentle, and natural system of healing that works with your body to relieve symptoms, restore itself, and improve your overall health. It is considered extremely safe to use, even with very small children and pets, has none of the side effects of many traditional medications, is very affordable, is made from natural substances, and is FDA regulated. It can be used to treat acute illnesses like colds, ear infections, migraines, and sore throats as well as chronic conditions such as asthma, depression, autism and arthritis. Although homeopathic remedies are derived from natural substances, homeopathy should not be confused with herbal medicine, Chinese medicine, or other types of natural medicines. It is its own, unique therapeutic system. So what is homeopathy’s history? The Law of Similars has been documented since at least the time of Hippocrates (ca. 400 B.C.), but it is Samuel Hahnemann who lived from 1755-1843, who was a German doctor and chemist, who is credited with founding homeopathy. He discovered the truth of the Law of Similars by testing small doses of medicine on himself. By 1900, about twenty percent of doctors in the United States were homeopaths, but due to various political and social changes, homeopathy became relatively unknown in the US until recently. There is wider acceptance of homeopathy in such countries as France, Germany, Mexico, Argentina, India and Great Britain. In fact, the family doctor to England's Queen Elizabeth is a homeopathic physician. In fact, the World Health Organization estimate that it is currently practiced by over 500 million people worldwide. My [Tiffany] first introduction into homeopathy was when I was going to have some minor surgery over 25 years ago and my doctor recommended Arnica. I had never heard of it and it worked beautifully to minimize my bruising. I also used it in conjunction with a recent emergency tooth extraction and I had no pain or bruising. By the way, I also used Frankincense essential oil and the dentist was amazed at how fast I healed.

Bach Flower Essences

Bach flower Essences were developed by Dr. Edward Bach, a physician who felt that his patients weren’t getting better with conventional medicine and he felt that he should treat the person not the disease. His understanding was that disease resulted from inner disharmony, negative beliefs and feelings that manifested on the physical level.  The 38 Bach flower essences create a therapeutic connection between the material and the spiritual domains of life, helping us access the inner guidance needed to navigate through a crisis. Bach flower essences work on emotional issues and are based on the principles of homeopathy. Most people are familiar with Bach Rescue Remedy which is a remedy used if you are experiencing a crisis or having an issue that upsets you, a car accident, illness, you have a bad dream, trouble at work and many more of the small and large crisis’s in life. You can fill out a Bach flower essence questionnaire and have a custom remedy made from the information obtained from the questionnaire. I do Bach Flower custom remedies and consultations at my shop. Tiffany and I have used Bach remedies for many, many years and found them to be so helpful when we have health issues. I always have Rescue Remedy nearby for when I need it.   We were raised by a Mother who believed in the power of positive thinking and when we were sick, she always asked us what our bad thought was. So, we learned as children to check in with our emotions to see where our thinking was off and to deal with the emotions in our lives to heal our illness.

Ayurvedic Medicine

Ayurvedic medicine or Ayurveda for short is one of the world's oldest holistic “whole-body” healing systems. It was developed more than 3,000 years ago in India. It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Its main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease. But treatments may be geared toward specific health problems. In the United States, it’s considered a form of complementary and alternative medicine. Those who practice Ayurveda believe every person is made of five basic elements found in the universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth. These combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works.

The vata dosha is a combination of space and air. It controls movement and is responsible for basic body processes such as breathing, cell division and circulation. Vata body areas are the large intestine, pelvis, bones, skin, ears and thighs. People with vata as their main dosha are believed to be quick thinking, thin and fast and are susceptible to anxiety, dry skin and constipation.

The pitta dosha combines fire and water. It is thought to control hormones and the digestive system. Pitta body areas are the small intestines, stomach, sweat glands, skin, blood and eyes. People with pitta as their primary dosha are thought to have a fiery personality, oily skin and are susceptible to heart disease, stomach ulcers, inflammation, heartburn and arthritis.

The kapha (“koffa”) dosha represents the elements of water and earth. Kapha is believed to be responsible for strength, immunity and growth. Kapha body areas are the chest, lungs, and spinal fluid. People with kapha as their main dosha are thought to be calm, have a solid body frame and are susceptible to diabetes, obesity, sinus congestion and gallbladder problems.

It is believed through Ayurveda that everyone inherits a unique mix of the three doshas. But one is usually stronger than the others. Each one controls a different body function. It’s believed that your chances of getting sick -- and the health issues you develop -- are linked to the balance of your doshas. In Ayurveda, as I’ve explained, doshas account for some of our individual differences.

An imbalanced dosha is believed to interrupt the natural flow of prana or vital energy. The disrupted energy flow is then thought to impair digestion and allow the buildup of body waste which further impairs energy and digestion. An Ayurvedic practitioner will create a treatment plan specifically designed for you. They’ll take into account your unique physical and emotional makeup, your primary life force, and the balance between all three of these elements.

The goal of treatment is to cleanse your body of undigested food, which can stay in your body and lead to illness. The cleansing process—called “pancha-karma”— is designed to reduce your symptoms and restore harmony and balance. To achieve this, an Ayurvedic practitioner might rely on blood purification, massage, oils, herbs, and enemas or laxatives. When my [Tiffany] body has felt really unbalanced in the past, I have worked with some wonderful ayurveda practitioners to help get me back on track.

Muscle Testing

Muscle testing is based on the theory that muscles and organs are connected by blood vessels or energetically, and that weakness in certain muscles is a sign of illness or imbalance in the corresponding organ or body system.  Applied muscle testing is also used to detect sensitivities or intolerance to food and other substances. Muscle testing is done by asking a person to resist the pressure they apply against a limb. The substance being tested can be placed on the person tongue if it is food or skin or is placed in a container and held against the person’s body. Changes in muscle strength with and without the substance are noted and muscle weakness is a sign that the person has a sensitivity to that substance. (Aura Soma)

Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic doctors are commonly referred to as general practitioners of the complementary and alternative health care world. Did you know that a minimum of 7 years post-secondary education is required to become a naturopathic doctor? Most NDs first complete a four year Bachelors degree in the arts or sciences, and then the required four-years at an accredited naturopathic medical college. Students must then pass comprehensive licensing exams in order to be registered to practice.They are trained in herbal medicine, acupuncture, clinical nutrition, dietary supplements, homeopathy, hydrotherapy and physical examination, Lab test or other diagnostic tests. They are also concerned with diet, Lifestyle and environment and mind, body and spirit. Naturopathic medicine is based on the following principles – the healing power of nature, the belief that the body has the ability to heal itself. They believe in educating their patient. Naturopathic doctors believe in no harm, they treat the causes of disease not the symptoms. Each person’s treatment is individualized in that takes into consideration all the presenting symptoms and causative factors and the belief that prevention is the best medicine for good health. When I first made the switch from western medicine back in 1999, I visited several naturopathic doctors and loved how they take body, mind and spirit into consideration for recommending their treatments.

Reflexology

Reflexology is a form of body work that focuses primarily on the feet. The underlying theory behind reflexology is there are “reflex” areas on the feet and hands that correspond to specific organs, glands, and other parts of the body. For example: the tips of the toes reflect the head, the heart and chest are around the ball of the foot, the liver, pancreas and kidney are in the arch of the foot, low back and intestines are towards the heel. It is believed that certain areas on the feet and hand are linked to other areas and organs of the body. Practitioners believe that applying pressure to these reflex areas can promote health in the corresponding organ through energetic pathways.  Reflexology is used to relieve stress, stress-related conditions, tension headaches, reduces pain, soothes tired feet, insomnia, arthritis, hormonal imbalances, sports injuries, menstrual disorders, digestive problems, constipation, and back pain. [Note from Tiffany: One of the best bodywork sessions that I have ever had was when I was on a juice retreat in New Mexico and I laid back in a zero gravity chair and had a reflexology session. By just working on the meridians in my feet, she was able to move so many blocks and it was soooo healing!]

Reiki

Reiki is a spiritual healing art with its roots in Japanese origin. The word Reiki comes from the Japanese word (Rei) which means “Universal Life” and (Ki) or “chi”  which means “Energy”. Reiki is not affiliated with any particular religion or religious practice. It is not massage nor is it based on belief or suggestion. It is a subtle and effective form of energy work using spiritually guided life force energy. Reiki is the life energy that flows through all living things. Reiki Practitioners understand that everyone has the ability to connect with their own healing energy and use it to strengthen energy in themselves and help others. It is believed that a person’s “chi” or energy should be strong and free flowing. When this is true, a person’s body and mind is in a positive state of health. When the energy becomes weak or blocked it could lead to symptoms of physical or emotional imbalance. A Reiki session can help ease tension and stress and can help support the body to facilitate an environment for healing on all levels – physical, mental, and emotional. A session is pleasant and relaxing and is often utilized for one’s personal wellness. Reiki is believed to have been associated with Mikao Usui who is credited with rediscovering the root system now called Reiki. His tradition and methods were passed through several grandmasters of Reiki. Today, Reiki takes many forms, however, The Usui System of Natural Healing is still the form most widely practiced. Practitioners and Master Teachers are trained through an initiation process where Masters pass on their knowledge and expertise to their students.

Reiki sessions usually involve the person lying down, and the reiki practitioner places his or her hands on or above various parts of the body. The practitioner channels life force energy to the person to replenish and rebalance areas of the body that are depleted. Reiki is used for a variety of health issues such as chronic pain, stress, recovery from surgery, side effects of chemotherapy or radiation for cancer, improving immunity and a sense of well-being. I personally became really interested in Reiki over 30 years ago when Candace first introduced me and over a course of 3 years, I became attuned to what is called the Master level and I started a Reiki group who volunteered at local clinics. I have to tell you that when I started, Reiki was definitely not as widely accepted as it is today. I was so excited to see when it became more accepted into mainstream alternative healing and many nurses now bring it to their patients. What I love about Reiki is that you can give it to yourself and you can feel the warmth of the healing energy radiating through your hands.

Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup is very popular recently. Elderberry syrup is used for colds and upper respiratory symptoms by reducing mucous secretions, may fight swelling of respiratory passage, soothes coughs, boosts immunity, for flu symptoms, is a source of Vitamin A and C, bioflavonoids, decrease length and severity of the flu symptoms like fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches and fatigue. A study shows the patients given elderberry syrup recovered an average of 4 days faster from the flu. Here is a recipe to make your own elderberry syrup or you can buy a bottle of elderberry syrup from your local health food store.

This recipe comes the Mountain Rose Herb website.

2 cups dried elderberries

4 cups distilled water

2-3 teaspoons organic dried ginger root

1 organic cinnamon stick

1 cup raw local honey (or maple syrup. You can double the sweetener to increase shelf life)

1 cup vodka or brandy (this is totally optional – it is used to extend shelf life. If you don’t use alcohol it is best to store syrup in refrigerator. Do not add honey to this recipe if it will be given to a child under one year old. Use maple syrup to replace the honey.

Combine berries and herbs (not the honey) in cold water in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow herb to simmer 30-40 minutes. Remove from heat and steep one hour. Strain berries and herbs using a funnel under laid with doubled cheese cloth or undyed muslin bag and squeeze out liquid and discard herbs. Once cooled to just above room temp add the honey or maple syrup and stir. Add alcohol if you wish at this point and stir. Bottle in sterilized bottle.

Disclaimer

Please note that HealingLifeWisdom does NOT provide any medical advice and all content provided is for informational purposes only; this website is in no way a substitute for medical advice from a licensed professional.

The information provided here should in no way, shape or form take the place of medical advice; always seek medical advice from a chosen professional concerning your health prior to making any changes in your diet, lifestyle, supplementation or other similar habits, and from any secondary resources or links found on this site.

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Dandelion: Pesky Weed or Medicinal Herb?

Photo by  Keegan Houser  on  Unsplash

by Candace Liccione

Dandelion is considered by most people to be a really pesky weed but that could not be further from the truth. Dandelion is one of the most nutrient dense and highly medicinal wild weeds. Dandelions have been used by humans for food for much of recorded history. Dandelions are nutritious and very medicinal. Until the mid-1800’s, dandelions were encouraged to grow in people’s backyards so they could be easily harvested for treating a variety of ailments.

After a long winter of no fresh food, the dandelion with its high vitamin and mineral content, was a wonderful spring tonic for the body. Dandelion can strengthen the liver, the gallbladder, helps get rid of gall stones, strengthens bones & teeth, reduce joint stiffness, lowers uric acid and blood cholesterol levels and promotes good digestion. Dandelion is also a diuretic, laxative, a potassium source, liver tonic, general tonic, good for muscular rheumatism and is anti-inflammatory. Dandelions are also good for the bladder, spleen, pancreas, stomach and intestines. It is recommended for stressed out, internally sluggish and sedentary people.

The entire dandelion plant is medicinal. Dandelion leaves are wonderful in salads, soups or sautéed or steamed. They taste like chicory or endive, with an intense heartiness overlying a bitter tinge. The leaves are more nutritious than anything you can buy. They’re higher in beta-carotene than carrots, the iron and calcium content is phenomenal, greater than spinach, loaded with vitamins, biotin, inositol, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. The flowers contain vitamins A, B12, anti- oxidants and have mild anti-inflammatory properties.

Dandelion leaves are wonderful for the kidneys. They are a gentle but effective diuretic relieving water retention and bloating and toning the kidneys. Dandelion root is also a really great liver tonic. It stimulates the liver and gallbladder to release bile, relieves stagnation, and encourages healthy digestion. There is research going on now with highly preliminary evidence that suggests that dandelion root offers chemotherapy-like effects with a high degree of safety and fewer side effects than conventional drugs. It appears to kill off cancer cells without harming the healthy ones. The leaves and roots are wonderful as a tonic tea or added to other tea blends.

As you learn more about how good dandelions are for what ails you, be more respectful as you see all those dandelions popping up in your yard this spring. Collect dandelion leaves in early spring, when they are the tastiest, before the flowers appear. You can harvest them again in late fall.

Disclaimer

Please note that HealingLifeWisdom does NOT provide any medical advice and all content provided is for informational purposes only; this website is in no way a substitute for medical advice from a licensed professional.

The information provided here should in no way, shape or form take the place of medical advice; always seek medical advice from a chosen professional concerning your health prior to making any changes in your diet, lifestyle, supplementation or other similar habits, and from any secondary resources or links found on this site.

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