Monday, March 11, 2019

Peppermint Leaf - Uses In Chinese Medicine



Latin Name - Mentha x piperita

pharmaceutical name : folium menthae piperitae 

Parts Used - Leaf

Functions And Indications

Promotes sweating, dispels wind cold and opens the sinuses, relieves pain and congestion.

External wind cold- sneezing, fatigue, headache, chills, possible feverishness and cold and flu onset.

Head damp cold and lung wind cold - sinus congestion and pain, sneezing coughing and watery nasal discharge, chilliness - acute sinusitis, rhinitis, otitis, laryngitis and bronchitis.

Stimulates digestion, promotes secretion, reduces liver congestion and relieves gas, settles the stomach and stops vomiting, reduces infection and clears parasites.

Gallbladder and stomach Qi stagnation - ingestion, growling stomach, gas, appetite loss, biliary, gastric, and pancreatic dyspepsia

Liver Qi stagnation - sever frontal or occipital headache, indigestion, nausea, abdominal and right flank pain and distension, liver congestion and chronic hepatitis.

Nausea and vomiting from stomach Qi reflux.

Viral and bacterial infection.
Peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis.

Intestinal parasites - scabies, ringworm.

Circulates the Qi, releases constraint and relieves pain.

Intestines Qi constraint - painful and gassy digestion with cramps, worse with stress.

Gallbladder/gallstone colic.

Uterus Qi constraint - painful menses with clots and cramps.

Spasmodic dysmenorrhea.
Migraine, headache.
Neuralgia, sciatica.

Stimulates and balances the nerves,relieves dizziness and benefits vision.

Liver yang rising (liver/endocrine disharmony) - dizziness, headache and tremors.

Dizziness, concentration loss, vertigo, coma.

Hypotension.

Vision imparment.

Stops lactation and reduces breast congestion.

Excessive lactation - for weaning.

Curtailed or congested breast milk.

Reduces inflammation, relieves pain and itching, repels insects.

Skin inflammation and pruritus, burns, scalds, acne, boils and eczema.

Rheumatic pain, fibromialgie, toothache, pruritus.

Mosquito and gnat repellent.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Catnip Leaf - How It Is Used In Chinese Medicine



Catnip is one of the five herbs that I use most.

It is part of the formula used to make my winter herbal syrup.

From a Chinese medicine view point it is one of the herbs used to promote sweating and dispel wind heat.

This would make a lot of sense to all of us who know about Catnip`s ability to lower fever, as well as with runny nose and cough.

The functions and indications which I will get to shortly are the same as those traditional Western Herbalism (like myself) will recognize. But the additional aspects from the treatment prospective of Chinese herbal therapy will be very useful for those who treat using the five element philosophy.

A short introduction for the herb is appropriate.

Botanical Name - Nepeta cataria

Parts Used - leaf of the herb

Functions and Indications

Promotes sweating, dispels wind heat and reduces fever; promotes eruptions opens the sinuses and relieves pain.
external wind heat/cold: headache, sore throat, chills and/or feverishness, sneezing, unrest.

even though I did take two semesters in Chinese medicine I can not remember all the connection but from my experience with the herb this all sounds very logical. It is a very calming herb and I wonder if that would have to do with its ability to help calm a lot of headaches. Calming would also sound like an aspect of dispelling wind heat.

Head damp heat/cold: congested painful head and sinuses, nasal discharge.

The ability  Catnip to help with nasal discharge is one of the more important reasons I add it to my winter formula.

Circulates the Qi releases constraint and promotes rest

Qi constraint with nerve excess: emotional and mental tension, unrest.

intestines Qi constraint: abdominal pains, flatulence, indigestion

This again makes perfect sense because Catnip is known as a stomachtic herb and a carminative herb.

Reduces inflammation and benefits the skin - Catnip is known to be an anti-inflammatory.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Phytotherapy - Properties



How Herbs Work

These are the therapeutic properties of medicinal herbs.

I really thought that I had written a post listing these off but it seems that I was mistaken.

I am actually trying to put together an app that will make it easy to search through an herbal library so I need to have these all listed out well.

Analgesic - pain reliever

Anti-inflammatory

Antiarrhythmic - prevents irregular palpitations of the heart

Antibacterial

Antidepressant

Antifungal

Antiparasitic

Antimigraine

Antineoplasmic - Anti cancer

Antiviral

Cardiotonic

Expectorant, mucolytic

Dermatologic

Diuretic

Gastrointestinal

Muscle relaxant

Stimulant 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Chew Your Grape Seeds

Chew Those Grape Seeds
 Yeah I know it doesn’t taste good, but those seeds are packed with some of the best anti oxidants out there.
 Just yesterday I picked up a bunch of juicy looking red grapes at the super market. For some reason just from the way they looked I could tell they were not the seedless ones. 

But I have already gotten my self used to chewing the seeds despite the bitter taste. 

Here is a list of some of the health benefits of Grape Seed Extract:
•    Healing wounds
•    Anti candida
•    Preventing skin cancer 
•    Cardiovascular benefits 
•    Preventing cognitive decline 
How does it work?

So grape seeds contain a number of oils including omega 3 and vitamin A. in addition to these they have other phytochemicals, if you are really interested on reading about the entire chemistry here is a great article. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4988453/   

There is some thing beautiful about the bitter sweet super healthy grape thing that is just so holistic. 



Saturday, February 3, 2018

Fox Glove And Seal-Headed Men



What is he talking about?

Ok let me explain. 

I was thinking that I have not written in a while for this here blog and I really was racking my brain for something new to write about. 

So I thought to myself, there must an herb that is not commonly used that I have never written about. After studying and working with herbs for so many years there had to be at least one medicinal plant that I can think of which is out of the ordinary and that I didn’t write about yet. 

And foxglove “Digitalis Purpurea” is what came to mind. The reason I thought about it was because of its being mentioned in the book “The Mammoth Hunters” by Jean M. Auel. 

For those of you who don’t know the book it the third in a series known as the earths children. And its all about prehistoric man, its considered a historical fiction. 

I actually only read the first and third books of the series, but I really would like to get my hands on the rest of them and to read them as well. 

Anyway I had heard that she had really researched these books and even went to some of the archeological sights to make the historical parts of the book as real as possible. 

What does this all have to do with a seal-headed man you are asking?

I am getting to there, be patient just a bit longer. 

I wanted to read a little about Jeans research to see if I could find out some thing about how the prehistoric people used plant medicine, so of course I started searching the internet. 

But what I came across was the findings of the Cosquer Cave off the coast of France. I allow myself to say off the coast and not on the coast because the entrance to the cave is under more than 100 feet of ocean water. Inside of the cave are something like 177 pieces of prehistoric art. On of the things mentioned is a depiction of a seal-headed man. 

The seal-headed man thing makes me think about the idea that you can see all over the internet these days, which claims the we humans are a genetic combination of earthling and extra terrestrials. 

Not a topic that I was planning on ever getting into here but if you like it you are sure to find plenty to read online. 

Anyhow back to fox glove.

Digitalis I one of those plant medicines that have become a full blown western pharmaceutical for the treatment of certain hart problems.  

Because it is so powerful and possibly dangerous it is very rarely used today by herbalist. But still it goes to prove one of the points that I am always trying to make, plant medicine is not just some sort of folk remedy but a tried and tested science. 

A seal-headed man? Cool. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Is It Healthier To Be A Vegetarian?

Is It Healthier To Be A Vegetarian?

So this has been a question that has come up many times when I am talking to people about healthy eating habits. 

The truth is that I truly believe that us humans are meant to be omnivores, meaning to eat both meat and plant foods. 

I do think that most people, especially in the western world, are eating to much meat and not enough plant foods. It could be that somewhere along the evolutionary line (you know if you believe in evolution) we started eating meat because of the lack of plant food during certain seasons.

The fact that the iron from red meat is better absorbed than that from vegetables is always a big point in my argument. But also the latest studies concerning omega 3. 

But as I was saying overall the western diet is unquestionably overdoing the meat thing. 

Anyway here is an article from Harvard medical school which brakes it all down very nicely.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/becoming-a-vegetarian?utm_source=delivra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=GB20180110-Vitamins&utm_id=770388&dlv-ga-memberid=29317922&mid=29317922&ml=770388 

Of course you can draw your own opinion after reading it. 


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Herbal Remedies For Cats

So I have written one post in the past about natural remedies for pets, when my sister in laws dog had gotten bit while they were by us for the weekend. 

Also in the past I have had great success treating my cats eye infections with chamomile tea.

But in the past few days our cat has gotten a cold and my son who is really attached to our pets really wants me to take her to the vet. 

The truth is that we are on a tight budget right now and the vet is not covered by our medical insurance. 

So I did a bit of online research and what I really understood is simple, I am going to try to treat my cats cold the same way I would treat a persons cold, I just need to adjust the method used to give her the remedies.

My plan is to make the same winter tea that I use for children.

Chamomile
Catnip
Yarrow
Elder
Linden 

Mix it with some chicken or tuna fish, not sugar and water like I do for the kids.

Also I want to get some good essential oils in her system. So my plan is to get her into a small bathroom and steam the place up, and then add the oils to some steaming water.

I think that that should do the trick, I will write a follow up post and let you know.