Archive | March, 2011

Can Herbs Cure Sinusitis?

sinusitis-pain1When a sinus infection attacks, it can linger for weeks and not only cause physical symptoms, but emotional distress. Faced with a flood of over the counter medications, many consumers are opting for herbal remedies to treat sinusitis.

It’s more than just a runny nose or a headache that won’t go away. When sinusitis strikes, your entire body is fatigued and it seems as if it’s a common cold that you can’t get rid of. In reality, your sinuses are in need of an herbal treatment to repair the damage being done to your body and set you on a path to wellness.

The National Center for Health Statistics says that sinusitis is the single most common disorder affecting American today. Herbal remedies treat the symptoms, including congestion, headaches, and pressure in the head.

Unlike a viral or bacterial infection, sinusitis just means that your sinuses are inflamed. Herbs can help cause the sinuses to return to normal quicker, since many sinus infections last for three months or longer.

Doctors will generally prescribe antibiotics, but they do nothing to prepare the body against a recurring attack. Plus, they tend to compromise the amount of good bacteria living in your sinuses to help ward off infection. Herbs, on the other hand, provide a natural balance to your body and enable it to get stronger and fight off infection for good.

The key to beating and keeping sinus infections at bay is to get your immune system healthy. Echinacea is one herbal immune booster that helps with inflammation and protects your mucus membranes from being pierced by infectious bacteria. A single capsule of 150-300 mg or 1 teaspoon fluid extract mixed with 1 cup of water is sufficient to treat your sinuses.

Goldenseal is another natural herbal remedy used to treat sinus infections. Its immune-enhancing properties help with the natural flow of mucus, helping your body get rid of toxins that are slowing you down. You can start treatment with a 250-500 mg capsule or 1 teaspoon of fluid extract combined with a cup of water.

Two other herbs commonly used to treat sinus infections are nettle and licorice, using the same doses as in Goldenseal treatments. Regardless of which herb you use to treat your own sinus infection, make sure you take every available precaution to fortify your immune system so that your body has it in it to fight off infection the next time it’s faced with an unfriendly bacterial infection.

Posted in Herbal Treatments0 Comments

How Our Ancestors Introduced Herbal Remedies to the Modern World

medicinal-herbs

Without herbal medicine, modern medicine would not be in the advanced stage that it is. Our species has relied on plants for thousands of years – not only for nutrition, but to ease ailments that develop within our minds and bodies.

The parts of an herb have helped us survive disease and pestilence and contributed to our survival for as long as humans have existed. Over time, we have learned which herbs and parts of a plant provide value to our lives and which have the potential to cause damage.

We know that our ancestors used herbal remedies because archeologists have unearthed evidence that they used plant-based treatments all over the world. What’s intriguing is that cultures on a global scale, which had no known contact with one another, all used herbal remedies in much the same way – testing and tracking what worked and what didn’t in the herbal world of remedies.

As time proved some assumptions correct, our ancestors passed the teachings about herbal treatments down through familial lineage. They also created texts to help others study and learn about the techniques used in taking a natural approach to healing.

It was from our ancestral roots that modern-day pharmaceutical companies derived their synthetic drugs today. They work to try to recreate the natural effects herbal treatments deliver to the human body, sometimes succeeding and often failing. Aspiring, for example, was created as a replica of the substance found in willow bark that provides a natural pain reliever.

Botanical treatments do not provide the same side effects that synthetic drugs do, which accounts for the reason why many modern-day consumers are steering away from man-made compounds and concentrating on the return to their roots of herbal remedies and natural treatments. When our ancestors began cultivating plants for their own use, they included herbal gardens that provided immediate access to particular plants they found soothing for their ailments, including aloe, peppermint, mustard, and more.

As the cultures began to merge throughout the years and travelers started exploring the world, ideas were exchanged and treatments one culture found useful were now in the hands of another culture who previously didn’t have access to such findings or even the plants themselves, before trade.

Herbs were so important to our ancestors that they became a part of religious rituals and were highly valued. Today, not only do consumers see the significance in promoting herbal treatments, but doctors are aligning with this way of thinking as well.

Posted in Featured0 Comments

What You Need to Know Before You Buy Herbs for Your Health

chocolate_mint

Although widely touted as a healthy alternative to synthetic pharmaceuticals, herbal treatments must be used with caution and by someone who knows what they’re doing. You want to be knowledgeable about what you put into (or on) your body before you ingest a dangerous amount of an herb you’re not familiar with.

Many companies sell herbs off the Internet without any verifiable way to back up their claims or even that you’re receiving the kind of herb you’re investing in. You want to only buy from a reputable company that delivers herbs you can trust.

Make sure you’re working toward preventative health, and not simply treatments or cures for diseases or ailments you encounter from time to time. Herbal medicine works best when you try to maintain a balance within your body, not when you seek out help solely to fix an immediate problem.

Whenever you buy herbs, you want to know what the plant does and how much you can safely consume of it. If you’re on any other medications, you’ll want to check with your physician first to determine if you’ll have any unsafe interaction between the natural and synthetic medications.

Many herbal distributors will put directions for use on the packages, but some do not. Make sure you have valid information before you ingest or apply any herb without understanding its effects and dosage. You can usually find ample amounts of information about an herb’s abilities online, so be sure you order the right herb for the right ailment.

Whenever you start taking an herb for the first time, you’ll want to use precaution and start with smaller doses until you make sure you’re not going to have an allergic reaction, just as you could any synthetic medication. Start with a test sample and then if all goes well, increase it to the recommended dose.

Some people hope to avoid going to a doctor and instead treat all of their ailments – from the insignificant to the serious – using herbal remedies. It’s always best to consult your doctor before you begin using herbal treatments whether alone or in conjunction with other medications he or she prescribes.

Posted in Featured0 Comments

The Special Health Benefits of Green Tea

fpx206062

Green tea has been around a long time. It’s been used by the ancient Chinese for many medicinal purposes for about 4,000 years. It’s been used in their culture for just about everything – including depression!

Modern-day scientists have studied green tea and reported a possible linkage with the reduction of chances for people to contract some types of cancers, along with positive effects on our bodies like increasing our energy levels.

Green tea has been linked to helping eliminate our chances of contracting other diseases as well, such as cardiovascular disease and arthritis – and it can even help lower our cholesterol levels.

Using green tea can help with our minor aches and pains like headaches and joint pain. Green tea contains catechin polyphenols, which are believed to be the ingredients that give us all of these wondrous health benefits.

The polyphenols are found in the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant, which is then ground up and made into our green tea. These polyphenols are thought to inhibit the cancer cells from growing to form the many types of cancer we see today, without damaging any tissues in the process.

Polyphenols are considered to be very powerful ant-oxidants, which promote healthier body processes. It’s also known for helping some people lose weight, by increasing your energy levels and promoting a healthier rate of calorie burning within your body.

It’s an all-natural answer to your diet program without the side effects of controversial supplemental diet pills. Drinking green tea is a natural, safe way to provide these health benefits, but it’s not a replacement for regular health checkups with your doctor.

Continue to see your doctors, but give your body a little added benefit of a healthy lifestyle in addition to your checkups. It may be linked to providing natural treatments for some ailments and lessens the chance for others, but don’t forego your physicians’ prescribed treatment plan.

It may lessen your chances for diseases, but it’s not a miracle cure for everything. Use it to enhance your treatment plans. Green tea can also provide you with a healthier oral hygiene regimen.

It helps prevent plaque from forming, while keeping bacteria under control so it doesn’t get out of hand and cause halitosis problems. With all of the reports of harmful effects that some treatments cause, green tea is an attractive option.

The only harmful effect it can cause is from the caffeine you consume with it, but if you choose a decaffeinated version, the effects are minimized. If you want to keep your body truly healthy, give green tea a try. The ancient Chinese did – and they used it for almost all of their medicinal needs.

Posted in Herbal Teas0 Comments

What Are the Different Ways Herbs Can Be Prepared?

herbal

If you’re a follower of natural medicine, then you’ve undoubtedly been confused at some point about the different ways herbs can be prepared for your use in treating certain ailments or disease. There are many ways herbs can be prepared for your use.

The terminology may be confusing, but the processes are simple and allow you to enhance your herbal experience in any way you see fit. Depending on which methods you use in herbal preparation, you may need a scale, blender, (or grinder), glassware you can heat, enamel pots and double boilers that don’t contain aluminum or copper, cheesecloth, a strainer, wooden spoons, and jars with lids.

The first method is an herbal bath. Hydrotherapy is an important aspect of naturopathic medicine. Primarily used for topical diseases, such as skin disorders, herbal baths can be made by adding large amounts of an herb to a cloth bag and submerging it in the bath to mix with the water.

An infusion is another way to consume herbs. Similar to a tea, you pour a pint of boiling water over an ounce of the herb and steep for approximately ten minutes. A cold extract is prepared with cold water, when you add two ounces of herbs to the water and let it sit for up to twelve hours before drinking. A decoction is best used with bitter herbs, so that you can just boil the plant and strain it into a cup for consumption.

If you need to take the herb in powder form, you’ll need to pulverize it using a blender or mortar and pestle. After breaking the herb up into smaller parts, you continue grinding it until it’s in powder form and can be added to foods, drinks, and soups.

Once you have the powder, you can create a tincture by mixing four ounces of the herb to two and a half cups 60-proof alcohol. After the mixture sits in a warm environment for fourteen days, it can be strained and added to water as a tea mixture, or consumer straight.

Sometimes an herb needs to be used topically. Ointments and creams can be created by making adding one part herbal powder to four pars petroleum jelly. If you want to save it for continued use, be sure to add some gum benzoin to each ounce.

If you need a compress of the herb, then soak a cloth in the infusion and apply it to the distressed area. You can create both hot and cold herbal compresses, depending on what the recipe calls for. A poultice is similar to a compress, but instead of using a liquid infusion, you would use mashed up parts of the herb and apply it in a gauze bandage directly to the affected area.

Posted in Herbal Preparations0 Comments

If Bad Breath Plagues You, Try Tea!

chinese-black-tea-2

Are you one of those people plagued by a nasty halitosis problem? If you are, then you know how hard it is to get rid of it and how embarrassing it can be. You may have tried the over the counter products that didn’t work for you or just made your mouth feel like cotton.

One little known fact for those who suffer from bad breath is that tea can help. Tea is an all-natural way to rid yourself of the bad breath blues and it enables you to face the world again without worrying that your breath will drive others away.

You no longer have to put up with cotton mouth again or give your money away for something that doesn’t work. Bad breath occurs when bacteria rapidly grows on the surface of your tongue or hides in gum pockets.

The bacteria then gives off a sulfurous-like odor that gives you what’s known as halitosis or bad breath. Most over the counter products try to cover the smell, which is why they fail to work.

In order to rid yourself of the halitosis problem, the bacteria itself would need to be taken care of. Black tea is known to help control plaque within the mouth, which would normally cause the bacteria to grow.

Without the plaque, bacteria are kept under control, thereby keeping bad breath problems at bay. Studies show that the polyphenols found in some teas helps keep the foul odor bacteria from forming.

By drinking some tea regularly, you can help keep bad breath and plaque under control and also reduce the amounts of colds, throat infections and even dental problems you endure.

What better way to do this than to do it with tea, which happens to be an all-natural product that has no harmful side effects linked to it? Not only that, but it assists with so many other things that help our body stay healthy longer.

Why take handfuls of supplements and over the counter products to stay healthy, when you can just drink some tea to help almost all of the problems the supplements and products supposedly help control after it’s too late.

Tea isn’t meant to replace your normal healthy regimen – like brushing your teeth daily. It’s only meant to work with your oral hygiene routine to produce a better, healthier mouth.

It works in between the brushing times to eliminate bacteria and plaque from forming on the teeth when you can’t brush. Eliminate bad breath problems and get those nasty oral bacteria under control before they end up embarrassing you with their foul smelling odor.

Posted in Herbal Treatments0 Comments

Many Herbs Are Being Used to Treat Arthritis

medicinal

For many men and women, arthritis is a life-altering disease. Swelling of the joints, which causes stiffness and pain, isn’t reserved for the over 60 crowd – it also affects many children in the world, which is why herbal remedies are gaining in popularity.

Alfalfa is commonly used for arthritic treatment, because the tea remedy is effective when taken for two to three weeks with a seven to ten day break between consumption.

The herb Angelica is another arthritis treatment because it contains anti-inflammatory constituents and muscle relaxants as well as natural pain-relievers. This herb is used in a tea concoction as well, with the same frequency and breaks as the alfalfa remedy.

Black cohosh, an American Indian herb used in the treatment of arthritis symptoms, has qualities similar to aspirin as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-spasm constituents.

Boswellia, yet another herb used to treat arthritis, is similar to an over the counter or prescription-level non-steroid anti-inflammatory. It’s better than synthetic drugs, however, because it doesn’t give the user ulcers after long-term use.

Believe it or not, celery is another plant that can be used to treat arthritis. The celery seeds and other portions of the plant contain over 25anti-inflammatory compounds, as well as providing massive amounts of potassium, which is important because a deficiency in potassium is often a culprit of arthritic pain.

If celery isn’t your cup of tea, then how about using the herb Devil’s claw or even Epsom salt? Both have anti-inflammatory properties and can help alleviate swelling and pain, symptoms especially aggravating to someone suffering from the affliction.

There are many other herbs that contribute to arthritic treatment, such as feverfew, ginger, American ginseng, hop tea, licorice, mustard plaster, oregano, pineapple, red pepper, rosemary, sesame seeds, stinging nettle, turmeric, wild cucumber bark, wild yam, willow, wintergreen, and yucca.

Some of these herbs are used topically, as the minerals are absorbed into the skin, while others are ingested internally for maximum benefits. As with all medications or treatment, you should consult your doctor before taking herbs, especially if you’re already on other medications prescribed by your doctor.

Posted in Herbal Treatments0 Comments

Chinese Insight Into the World of Herbal Medicine

chineseherbs
Of our earliest ancestors, the Chinese have made it a point to incorporate nature’s garden into the world of medicine more than any other culture, still adhering to the mindset of the importance of herbs to this day.

Although many cultures have traditionally used seeds and plant parts in their remedies, China has alleviated ailments using herbs since around 5,000 BC. Having amassed this knowledge for thousands of years, the Chinese have mastered the art of cultivating herbs for medicinal purposes and other cultures look to them for insight into how a diagnosis can be treated through the use of herbs.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is heavily relied on throughout the world by everyone from the common consumer to specialists in every field of medicine. The Chinese developed their system of medicine and herbal remedies to cater to the yin and yang principle, where the body should be in perfect balance and herbs deliver harmony to the person taking them.

Instead of treating one symptom, as is commonly done in the Western world of modern medicine Chinese herbal remedies seek to get the body back into a natural state of balance so that healing can occur and any imbalances are eliminated. In conjunction with herbs, the Chinese also incorporate acupuncture, massage, and a healthy diet into the concept of harmony for healing purposes.

One Chinese Emperor is credited with the launch of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Emperor Shen Nong (2697 BC) began personally tasting and testing various plants and their parts to see how it would affect his body and could help others with ailments such as circulation improvements and urinary infections.

Later on in history, Emperor Huang Ti developed what is now the world’s oldest medical textbook, called Nei Ching, which translates into Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Internal Medicine. Many doctors on a global scale still refer to this text today for herbal insight.

Although Western medicine has had an influence over Chinese medicine in the modern world, Traditional Chinese Medicine retains its strong influence as a powerful way to combine herbal treatment and technology.

The Chinese strongly believe that your mind and body must be in sync to avoid illness, which is why they have mental health tied into herbal remedies. Western medicine separates the two into different categories, treating the mind separate from the body. However, Chinese herbal remedies are now being used to treat mental disorders, such as depression in the Western World.

Posted in Chinese Herbs0 Comments

Dandelion – More Than Just a Common Weed

dandelion-flower

Its name originated out of the fact that some believe its leaves resembled the tooth of a lion, but for years the Dandelion has done more than just help bees make honey. While its juices are bitter, many animals consume the plant for various reasons, including its ability to stimulate milk production.

For humans, the benefits derived from the Dandelion are quite different. Some people do blanche the leaves and use them in salads, or eat them on sandwiches and in soups, but the plant also serves some medicinal needs.

Both the root and leaves of the Dandelion are used as an alternative to man-made prescriptions. The most powerful portion of the Dandelion is the milky white juice found within the root itself.

Dandelion has been harvested for centuries and is often most effective when the weed is in its infancy. It was first used as a medicinal treatment in the tenth century, when it was first used to treat liver ailments. Dandelion’s used to stimulate the entire system, but primarily focuses on the needs of the urinary tract.

Aside from the liver, Dandelion is also consumed for kidney disorders. While it can be taken in straight high doses without being poisonous, Dandelion is usually mixed with other agents in patent medicines and herbal treatments alike.

People who have chronic liver complaints over time often find relief in taking a soup made from Dandelion roots harvested at a young age. It’s said to provide a slight laxative effect and helps aid digestion when you have an upset stomach.

Dandelion has been used successfully in the treatment of gallstones and has also been found safe to give to children. The weed is given to those suffering eczema and other topical diseases and has even been known to remove warts when the juice of the stalk is applied as a topical treatment to the affected area.

A Dandelion tea is used to treat various urinary ailments. A single ounce of the juice is mixed with boiling water and then sweetened with honey before being served. The frequency and doses of how much Dandelion is consumed depends on the type of disease you’re treating.

For instance, to treat piles, you would take three wine glassfuls of Dandelion concoction per day, but for a liver and kidney treatment, you would only need to take 1 teaspoonful of a concoction three times a day.

Using Dandelion to resolve your medical issues is a great alternative to depending on high-priced prescriptions, but it’s always best to check with your doctor and make sure it’s suitable for your needs.

Posted in Herbal Treatments0 Comments

Using Tea to Shed Pounds

weightloss

Tea is known for its wondrous ability to help reduce stress and decrease a person’s chance for heart disease, but can it help us lose weight? Actually, studies show that it can help us shed some of those unwanted pounds.

Tea is a natural way to boost your energy without the need for any harmful medications or supplemental drugs. Your energy level goes up, enabling you to exercise more, which in turn enables you to burn off those fat calories.

Tea has also been shown to increase the metabolic rate at which the body naturally burns off the fat calories to shed extra pounds. Studies show that tea can burn off about 80 calories a day in addition to a good exercise regimen.

Green tea is thought to contain flavonoids, which enhance the body’s use of a hormone called norepinephrine. It’s though that the hormone encourages the body’s metabolic rate for burning of the fat calories.

Studies also show that green tea contains an extract that enhances fat oxidation speed. These tests results are based on an average consumption of 3-5 cups of green tea a day.

This was compared to a group that received a placebo product, which didn’t report any difference in increased energy. Adding tea to your diet program is an excellent choice for those who want to lose weight but fear the harmful effects that diet pills and powders are known for.

Tea provides them with increased energy without needing a steroidal product.
You’re providing your body with much more than just increased energy by drinking tea. Tea also provides you with a strengthened immune system, it helps alleviate some arthritis symptoms and can even decrease your chances of developing cancer.

Your body also gets the water it needs – all by just drinking a few cups of tea a day. It isn’t recommended that you drink too much tea with caffeine, though. A little doesn’t normally hurt, but if caffeine isn’t on your diet plan or you just don’t want to put your body at risk with caffeine, and then just use decaffeinated tea.

Tea is an all-natural way to shed those few extra pounds without causing any harm to your body with diet pills, which don’t always work anyway. Some of those pills have been linked to addictions and heart problems, but tea has been proven to be safe for use in any diet program.

Give it a try the next time you want to lose a few pounds. Challenge yourself to do it safely and naturally and see just how much weight you can shed by adding a few cups of tea to your diet instead of sodas and other high-calorie drinks.

Posted in Featured, Herbal Teas0 Comments

Page 1 of 212