Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lungs - Sunday, June 26, 2011

The respiratory system takes in oxygen and expels carbon-dioxide. Hooray for Oxygen, CO2 exchange. We want to keep our mucosa happy as it does a lot for us including; lubrication, immunity, removal of dust and pollen, pH balance, moisture removal, etc. 

Mullein is a very important respiratory herb and it is easily grown. !DO NOT confuse with Foxglove! The leaf can be used to make tea or tincture and should be used in all respiratory blends. The leaves are covered with tiny hairs that can be irritating if not strained well when making tea. The flowers are great used in a night-time blend or spasmodic blend. The root can be used along side keggles for bladder toning.
The respiratory system is so important yet so many of us are doing the opposite of helping our lungs, along living in this toxic air polluted world, we are smoking cigarettes! Quitting smoking is different for everyone and one plan to quit isn’t going to work for everyone. Each individual can make a plan that is tailored to his/her needs.
This may be a spiritual process, it may involve going to cold turkey, or changing up daily habits, nicotine replacement, or...? I am unable to write about this very much at this time. If you like to quit smoking, I’d like to try and help.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Beach! - Saturday, June 25, 2011

Today we went to Hug Point State Park and to Neahkahnie Mountain. The weather was perfect today and it felt good to put my feet on the sand and wander in the amazing ocean. 

We learned about the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) or Carrot Family; with the flowers in umbel or compound umbels, the stems tent to be ribbed and hallow and have sheathing petioles. 
Plants in the Umbel family look much a like and with two of the deadliest plants in our area, Water Hemlock and Poison Hemlock, being in this family. Much further training is required before considering harvest.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I am making tincture - Tuesday, June 21, 2011

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
  • 66%; Jovial Garden; Everclear
  • fresh flowering heads

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Kidneys - Sunday, June 5, 2011

We have two kidneys that are located in the mid-lower back area. The kidneys, unlike the liver, do not regenerate. People have had near death experiences related to the kidneys. Kidney infections can be serious and need medical attention. 
The kidney works with the liver providing balance to fluids, pH, and salt by processing and filtering the blood. It’s important to drink plenty of water and urinate as needed. Eating plenty of seeds including pumpkin and watermelon and eating celery, carrots and asparagus can be helpful.
The kidney’s dislikes include; lack of water, lack of urination, lots of caffeine or alcohol, NSAIDs, chlorine, unbuffered vitamin C, a unhappy liver, excess oxalic acid (spinach and beet greens), or high amounts of essential oils.
It is important to support the kidneys when you treat the liver, after alcohol or NSAID use, after a lot of pool or hot tub use, etc...
Two important herbs in assisting the kidneys include Corn Silk and Marshmallow.
Corn Silk (Zea Mays)  is the silky yellow that surrounds corn. It is a gentle herb that can be used in a tincture or dried and used for tea. Corn Silk is soothing to the urethra, kidneys and bladder.
Use any part of the Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) plant; the root, leaf or flower. The root is best for the kidneys; the mucilaginous carbohydrate chains are re-concentrated in the urinary tract acting as a topical agent.
Other kidney herbs include: Dandelion leaf, Cleavers, Nettles, Parsley, Horsetail, and Queen of the Meadow. 

Dandelion leaf is a great diuretic used a lot in high blood pressure where the body is keeping too much water. High blood pressure should alway be monitored by a health care professional. Generally diuretics leach potassium but Dandelion actually replenished the body’s potassium.
Cleavers can be juiced into a smoothy and used for ulcerations of the mouth, stomach or topically. Nettles are also a great diuretic. Parsley, an awesome kitchen herb, is a diuretic that contain tons of minerals. Horsetail is a kidney structure tonic, is high in minerals and regenerates connective tissue. (be picky upon harvest; Horsetail absorbs toxin easily)
What is a UTI? UTI stands for urinary tract infection and nobody wants one of these as they accompany urgency, pain, burning and if not treated properly can move up the ureters to the kidneys causing kidney infections which can become a medical emergency.
UTIs are more common in female anatomy due to a shorter urethra. It is important to practice good hygiene including: wiping front to back, wearing cotton/breathable underwear, urinating before and after sex, support good bacteria, not consuming too much protein, consuming less sugar, using organic cotton for menstrual needs, etc.
Some things that may aggravate an UTI include, birth control/hormones, antibiotics, vaginal doosh, perfumes near genital area including scented toilet paper. A note on dooshing, mostly it’s a bad idea but if needed, a better option includes calendula or vinegar doosh. 
Support your urinary system during a UTI!
  • drink lots of water (supports and flushes)
  • unsweetened cranberry juice or blueberry juice
  • eat lightly (less protein which is taxing to the kidneys)
  • support skin secretions
  • soothing tea butt-bath with demulcent herbs including: marshmallow, corn silk, comfrey and oatmeal
  • pour warm water on genitals while urinating
  • no sex (keep clean and use mouthwash to avoid passing UTI on to partner) 
  • no lubricant (lubricant glycerin aggravates UTI and feeds bacteria)
Red Flags! include; fever, back pain, vomiting, kidney bruising, extreme pain. Get medical attention!! A.S.A.P.
Helpful herbs in treating urinary tract issues include: Uva-Ursi (short-term), Pipsissewa (over harvested; do not use), Pyrola, Blueberry, Manzanita, Madrone, Grindelia, and Juniper. Each of these herbs needs to be researched prior to use; I am not familiar with their use.
I am making tincture:
Nettles (Urtica dioica)
  • 50%; People’s Coop bulk; Everclear
  • dried leaves

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lily Family & Orchid Family - Wednesday, June 1, 2011

  • 3 sepals
  • 3 petals
    • (6 tepals; sepals and petals are identical)
  • 6 stamens (3 may be lacking anthers)
  • superior ovary
Edible members of this family include; onions, garlic, leek (Allium genus) and asparagus. 
(Elpel, Pojar)
  • 3 sepals (one usually modified)
  • 3 petals (lower petal modified into a lip)
    • sometimes with an extending spur
  • inferior ovary
  • 1 to 2 stamens combined with the pistil into a column
Orchids have established an intimate relationship between their roots and the fungi growing in the soil.
The Orchid family is the biggest family of flowering plants.
Vanilla flavoring is extracted from the immature pods of Vanilla planifolia.
(Elpel, Pojar)

Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium, M. nervosa, M. spp. (a.k.a. Berberis spp.), Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Homework includes selecting a liver herb that I would like to use for one week, three times per day. Research regarding dosing must be done selecting three different book sources.
Common Name: Oregon Grape
Latin Name: Mahonia (Berberis) aquifolium
Plant Family: Barberry Family
Dosage suggestions & sources:
Herb Pharm tincture bottle: Two to four times per day take 30 to 40 drops in a little water.
Foundation of Health - Healing with Herbs & Foods: 20 to 40 drops (1 dropperful) morning and evening is a maintenance dose, while a dropperful morning, afternoon and evening is a mild therapeutic dose. (Hobbs)
Herbal Medicine - From the Heart of the Earth: 10 to 60 drops 1-4 times per day. (Tilgner)
Form in which I will be taking the herb: tincture of young lateral roots
Day one: Monday, 5/23/2011; I have diagnosed myself with strep throat, as it hurts too bad to swallow and my tonsils are covered in white nasty. This started on Saturday afternoon, and today I’ve been drinking garlic tea with cayenne and honey. I’ve also been taking Immune Defense Tonic, a compound tincture from Herb Pharm that contains Echinacea root, Astragalus root, Reishi mushroom, Schisandra berry and Prickly Ash bark. 
Starting this morning I have decided to gargle this tincture along with Oregon Grape tincture also from Herb Pharm. This gargling was decided by myself and I have not read about anyone else doing this. The numbing effect is quite nice.
Yesterday I slept most of the day away, did not eat much and mostly drank a tun of tea. Today I stood home from work to continue healing and with wonderful results; 90% of the white on my tonsils has cleared away and the sore throat has dissipated almost completely. 
I will continue taking the Oregon Grape tincture for the next 7 days.
Day two: Tuesday 5/24/2011; My throat is 100% better today. I feel great and full of energy. Also, I have gotten my appetite back.
Day three: Wednesday 5/25/2011; I feel quite good. I haven’t noticed any difference in my digestion. 
Day four: Thursday 5/26/ 2011; I really love Oregon Grape. I am so amazed at how quickly my strep went away and how well I have healed. This is much different from being a kid and getting so sick for at least a week and having to be on anti-biotics. This time I have taken probiotics and I feel so good about this.
Day five: Friday 5/27/2011; My body feels good and I feel like I have plenty of energy.
Day six: Saturday 5/28/2011; I forgot to take my Oregon Grape as often today because I was busy, busy filling my brain at Medic Training. I feel good overall just tired from a late evening.
Day seven: Sunday 5/29/2011; I feel itchy! I’ve felt itchy for days but hadn’t really thought of mentioning it. There doesn’t seem to be a rash; my entire torso itches. It’s a light itch the worsens with scratching.
Day ten: Wednesday 6/1/2011; I am still itchy and haven’t been taking Oregon Grape so luckily it doesn’t seem that I have an allergy to Oregon Grape, Hooray! I have a crazy appetite the last couple of days. Perhaps making up from not eating much while I was sick or maybe something to do with not taking Oregon Grape any longer and my digestion is wonky. Guess time will tell...