Monday, May 28, 2012

The Herbs I want to use.

Now is the time to start thinking about what I may need both for the coming summer and winter. Which conditions may I need to treat? Which herbs do I need to dry, which oils should I be making, which flower waters, tinctures or vinegars can I make fresh now? What would be good to make just for the fun of it?

St John's Wort

Back and shoulder pain:
St John's Wort oil


Thyme tincture

Stress, Anxiety:
Catnip tincture

Hay fever
Nettle tincture

Stomach ache:
Mint, Chamomile, Lemon balm and Thyme syrup

Sore trouth:
Sage and Thyme syrup

Increase resistance:
Elderberries syrup

Elderflower and Sage syrup

Cough syrup:
Ribwort syrup

Wounds and scratches:
St John's Wort, Thyme and Rosemary ointment

Dry chapped skin
Calendula ointment

Comfrey ointment

For the fun
Dandelion syrup
Shampoo & Conditioner
Chive oil for the kitchen

For making the infused oils, I'll dry all the herbs, to avoid mold.
For the tinctures I'll use fresh herbs.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

May task list.

Theoretical task: The reproductive system Year 1: Research the human reproductive system, either male or female. If studying female anatomy and physiology, choose either a) age 15-45 or b)45 +. Consider which herbs can be useful during your chosen age group looking at (i) herbs for fertility and PMS or (ii) menopause. Consider which herbs can be used across all age groups.

Female Reproductive System Produces eggs (ova) Secretes sex hormones Receives the male spermatazoa during Protects and nourishes the fertilized egg until it is fully developed Delivers fetus through birth canal Provides nourishment to the baby through milk secreted by mammary glands in the breast.

Menopause is the physiological cessation of menstrual cycles associated with advancing age. Menopause is sometimes referred to as "the change of life" or climacteric. Menopause occurs as the ovaries stop producing estrogen, causing the reproductive system to gradually shut down. As the body adapts to the changing levels of natural hormones, vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes and palpitations, psychological symptoms such as increased depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings and lack of concentration, and atrophic symptoms such as vaginal dryness and urgency of urination appear. Together with these symptoms, the woman may also have increasingly scanty and erratic menstrual periods. Technically, menopause refers to the cessation of menses; the gradual process through which this occurs, which typically takes a year but may last as little as six months or more than five years, is known as climacteric. A natural or physiological menopause is that which occurs as a part of a woman's normal aging process. However, menopause can be surgically induced by such procedures as hysterectomy. The average onset of menopause is 50.5 years, but some women enter menopause at a younger age, especially if they have suffered from cancer or another serious illness and undergone chemotherapy. Premature menopause is defined as menopause occurring before the age of 40, and occurs in 1% of women. Other causes of premature menopause include autoimmune disorders, thyroid disease, and diabetes mellitus. Premature menopause is diagnosed by measuring the levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). The levels of these hormones will be higher if menopause has occurred. Rates of premature menopause have been found to be significantly higher in both fraternal and identical twins; approximately 5% of twins reach menopause before the age of 40. The reasons for this are not completely understood. Post-menopausal women are at increased risk of osteoporosis.

Night sweats - how to help yourself
There are a number of factors that can make the problem of night sweats worse:

It is obvious that night sweats are made worse in a warm bedroom. Turn off the central heating, open the window and bring out the lighter duvet
Night sweats can be triggered by sudden changes in temperature
Avoid hot drinks, caffeine and red wine at night
Avoid chocolate, refined or spicy foods
Avoid becoming dehydrated by drinking plenty of water
Smoking can make night sweats worse
Emotional upset and stress increases adrenaline levels, making your sweat glands work harder
Using an extract of sage such as Sage tablets can provide relief from excessive sweating and night sweats

Perimenopause refers to the time preceding menopause, during which the production of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone diminish and become more irregular. During this period fertility diminishes. Menopause is arbitrarily defined as a minimum of twelve months without menstruation. Perimenopause can begin as early as age 35, although it usually begins much later. It can last for a few months or for several years. The duration of perimenopause cannot be predicted in advance.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) It is common for women to experience some discomfort in the days leading up to their periods. PMS usually is at its worst the seven days before a period starts and can continue through the end of the period. PMS includes both physical and emotional symptoms: acne, bloating, fatigue, backaches, sore breasts, headaches, constipation, diarrhea, food cravings, depression, irritability, difficulty concentrating or handling stress.

Recommended Herbs For Infertility
Red Clover Blossom,is a most useful herb in transforming infertility and problems with endometriosis. This herb is very valuable to the uterus due to it's high vitamin and protein content. It is also high in calcium and magnesium which relax the nervous system and help promote fertility.

Flaxseed Oil,has wonderful benefits for men and women trying to conceive. Flax Seed Oil contains omega-6 and omega-9 essential fatty acids, B vitamins, potassium, lecithin, magnesium, fibre, protein, zinc and is considered to be nature's richest source of omega-3 fatty acids. Nearly every system in the body can benefit from flax seed oil's natural properties including the reproductive system. For women, it help stabilize a woman's estrogen-progesterone, improve uterine function and thus treat fertility problems. Flaxseed oil is a great herbal supplement to consider taking when trying to promote fertility.

Dong Quai,is extremely popular with women in Asian societies. It has been used as a health tonic for many generations. In particular, dong quai has been used for the health of the reproductive system in females by regulating menstrual cycles and improving the overall health of the uterus. Women with endometriosis find significant relief of their pain when taking dong quai, especially when mixed with the herb chasteberry, black cohosh or ginseng.

Chasteberry, also well known as Vitex is a very popular fertility herb made popular by the Europeans. Chasteberry is often used to regulate hormonal imbalances and can be especially beneficial when dealing with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOC). If you are dealing with irregular menstrual cycles, acne, excess hair growth or weight gain in addition to infertility, this herb for infertility is recommended to help regulate ovulation and overall hormonal balance.

Red Raspberry Leaf has a highly nutritive ingredient which aids in its ability to tone the uterus and muscles of the pelvic region. Red Raspberry is a powerful fertility-promoting herb, especially when used in combination with Peppermint which has the added benefit of serving as a sexual stimulant!

Fennel ,works as an aphrodisiac for women. The key to its reputation as an aphrodisiac lies in the fact that the plant contains compounds that are similar to the female hormone estrogen. This estrogen-like substance (phytoestrogen) is know to boost the female libido, alleviate several types of gynaecological disorders, encourage menstruation for women suffering irregular periods and help PMS-related symptoms. Besides working to enhance a your libido, fennel is packed with valuable nutrients essential for building up immunity and the proper functioning of all systems of the body including the sex organs.

In addition to the herbs mentioned above, Nettle Leaves, False Unicorn Root, Green Tea, Black Cohosh, Evening Primrose Oil and Ginseng are herbs also used for infertility issues.

Practical Task: Preserving your herbs Now is the time to start thinking about what you may need both for the coming summer and winter. Which conditions may you need to treat? What would be good to make just for the fun of it? Which herbs to you need to dry, which oils should you be making, which flower waters, tinctures or vinegars can you make fresh now?

Your herbal ally Continue with your tasks as set out last month.

Seasonal task Make a dogrose petal and leaf vinegar and/or elixir. Gather rose petals to dry and to make tincture. Make as many different elderflower products as you can. (eg dried, fritters, double infused oil, cordial, water, tincture, elixir, honey, vinegar and champagne!)

Observational task Notice which plants around you are flowering. Choose somewhere with a large patch of flowers e.g. bush/tree etc. Count how many different insects spend time with the flowers. Identify as many different species of bees as you can. How do they gather the nectar and pollen? Where do they enter the flower?

A blog article I wanted to share.

Learning about our plants around us that are being bottled for commercial uses of healing

I have this article from

"Like so much in this consumerist society, it is easy to ignore the connections between a bottle on a shelf in some store and a living, growing plant out in the world somewhere. It can be hard to know if the plant grows a mile away or on another continent. There is much to be said for reconnecting, for educating ourselves about the herbs we use and gathering our own medicine when we can. That's how we will be able to build a whole new system of healing--one that can support our movement away from the corporate power structure that medicine has become."

When I was last sick, I was just getting into (and still am) the studies of Plants and Herbs I was finding on my own Land -- and since I didn't know much yet of what is growing here and still learning about what is and each of their Medicinal Properties, I wanted to purchase something that I heard was good for building my Immunity System back up while at the same time using the old-fashioned remedies I'd grown up with from my mother for helping to aide in keeping the buggies away.

I'd seen many times the plant of Echinacea, and had been doing a little research on it since I didn't have any growing on my and or close by -- and decided to purchase a bottle of its capsules. I used them regularly for about 7 days, and noticed the changes and aide it helped in ailing me back to my healthy non-sick being again.

It had done wonders for me! And I was thinking about afterwards how many of these Commercial Bottles of this plant there were for sale in stores -- then how many of these precious plants in the world where the substances came from were used in creating this medicine, which obviously, there are a whole heck of a lot of Echinacea flowers used in making this product!

I thought to myself, well, since this has worked for me in healing myself back to health, it would be a good time in starting to learn again more intensively about it -- and look into growing it on my OWN LAND since there are no Echinacea around me. Not only would I learn about its preservalence, but it would in turn bring natural beauty to the Land itself, and only be harvested and needed in times where it could be useful in having on-hand with other medicines I've made from the plants/herbs in my yard.

Blessings and Love to my friend, dear Susan Ventura, for bringing this site back to my attention again...bonus! There are a lot of good reading and information for those who haven't seen this site before, and the articles are substantially a great learning tool for those in the Bioregional Field of Animism. May the learning and living of plants and herbs live on!!!

)O( Indigenous Shamanic Winds xo