Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Herbs for the Nervous System

I went to a great presentation by the Gulf Coast Herb Society today.  It was a presentation by Sharon Murphy on Herbs for the Nervous System.  Sharon, from New Orleans,  has used whole herbs, tinctures and teas for her own healing and is sharing it with others.  She is such sweet lady, and gets very animated when she talks about the power of these simple plants.  Sharon brought in some of her own herbs which she grows in pots on her back porch and told us about the ones she grows in her garden.  When asked why she brought a Ginger plant, she said, "It's not a plant for the nervous system, she just wanted to come along!"  I love how she personalizes her herbs by calling them "she". :)

Here is a quick summary of what I learned.
- Most herbs heal more than one part of the body which is why you don't get a straight answer as to what herb to use for what ailment.
- There is a consensus as to what herb to use for a given situation.
- Herbs for the nervous system are catorgorized in 3 ways:
  1.  Nervine tonics - Good for balancing and healing nerve issues.  If you are anxious it calms you, if depressed and foggy it give you energy and focus.  Damiana, Skullcap, Vervain, Wood Betony, Motherwort and Oat grass.  These herbs are described as giving you a warm hug when you drink the whole plant as a tea. 
  2. Relaxants - These are herbs that primarily provide calm and relaxation.  Black Cohash, Chamomile, Hops, St Johnswort, Skullcap, Valarian, Yanglang
  3. Stimulants - These herbs stimulate and bring you clarity and focus.  Kola nut, Coffee, Mate tea, Black tea, Guarana, clary sage and rosemary. 

Stress and inflammation turns on disease in the body! 
Herbs to consume in food or tea on a daily basis are: siberian ginseng, skullcap, oats and ashwaghanda.  I know that ashwaghanda helps your body slow the production of cortisol in your body which tenses your muscles in preparation for "fight or flight" stress situations.
Other ways to reduce stress and cortisol levels in your body: vitamins C+B complex and relaxation exercises.

Anxiety is a type of stress. 
- A good formula for anxiety is equal parts valerian and skullcap.

- Bach's Rescue Remedy is a great fast acting anti-anxiety remedy. 
One to two drops under the tongue can stop a panic attack.
Rock Rose - for terror and panic
Impatiens - for irritation and impatience
Clematis - for inattentiveness and to counteract faintness
Star of Bethlehem - for shock
Cherry Plum - for irrational thoughts and lack of self control

Let me know if you want to know more about what I learned.  Also the Gulf Coast Herb Society meets monthly on the second Wednesday of each month.  If you are interested in attending please let me know!

Valerian

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Less pain using nutrition and essential oils

Are you experiencing aches and pains from overuse,
osteoporosis or arthritis?  These tips below may be helpful for you.  They helped my mom!

My main reason to get the oils was for my mom.  She is 85 and doing fairly well, but is slowed down by some aches and pains each day.   She has mild osteoporosis and arthritis.  Together we lowered her blood pressure and increased her circulation by changing her diet.  Over the course of a year she stopped eating processed foods and drinks, added more steamed veggies, whole grains, hormone free meats and decreased her sugar.  She is amazed how she no longer needs Ensure, cookies and candy each day and best of all no blood pressure medication! 
She still suffers from aches and pains in her joints and body. One reason was not enough vitamin D.  So she upped her dosage and felt better.  She was getting leg cramps at night so she started measuring her water. She has a 1 liter bottle that she refills each morning and afternoon.  She knows if she drinks the 2 liters (she's tiny, only 5ft 110 lbs) that she will not get leg cramps.    She then started drinking apple cider vinegar each day.  The apple cider vinegar reduces inflammation in the body and improves circulation.  This also helped, but she was still suffering from "old age aches" and would take Tylenol.  This is when Lisa introduced me to essential oils. 
We got my mom the Aroma touch blend for her joints and the Deep blue blend for muscle aches.  At first the oils were too hot for her skin.  Even though these blends have coconut oil in them, it was not enough for her.  So she diluted them down with coconut oil or almond oil.  After one application she noticed a difference!   She has continued with the oils for a couple months now and no longer has to dilute them with other oils.  She now associates the smell of the oils with relaxation which is also very powerful.

Wintergreen is found in the Deep Blue blend. (Wintergreen, camphor, peppermint, blue tansy, blue chamomile, helichrysum and osmanthus.)   Even Wintergreen oil alone works well on aches and pains by increasing the blood flow to the area and providing a cool sensation on the skin.  
Aroma touch uses the power of Peppermint along with Cypress, Marjoram, Grapefruit, Basil and Lavender.  

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