soursop natural cure for cancer

Soursop

Soursop has a huge benefit in the prevention and cure of cancer.

soursop natural cure for cancerFor prevention, it is advisable to eat or drink fruit juice.  For healing, boil 10 pieces of old soursop leaves (dark green) into 3 cups of boiling water and continue to evaporate and water is left 1 cup only. Give the one cup of water to patients 2 times per day . After drinking, the body feels the effects of heat, similar to the effects of chemotherapy. Some patients have seen results within 2 weeks in reducing their cancers.

Soursop leaves are natures chemotherapy but  even more powerful because soursop leaves as herbal material only kill cells that grow abnormally and allow cells to grow normally. While synthetic chemical chemotherapy has the effect of killing some normal cells.

 

herbal medicine

What is herbal medicine

herbal medicineHerbal medicine is the use of different plants to facilitate a healing response from the body to alleviate the symptoms and to address the cause of disease. It has been used for thousands of years, long before the invention of pharmaceutical drugs. It is still currently the major form of health care for around 80% of the world’s population. Herbal medicine has been scientifically proven to work for many medically diagnosed conditions. It is highly effective and is generally safer than its pharmaceutical counterparts. Professionally prescribed herbal medicines are generally non toxic and rarely have side effects. Alternative health medicine are gentler on the body, and usually have fewer side effects. Some reasons for this are that the herbal tinctures used in alternative health remedies work gradually. Pharmaceutical drugs lack the natural ingredients. They often contain toxins and have serious side effects. Many prescriptions have only a few years of research and use. We do not know the long term effects, dangers and how they are changing out bodies and our world.

Why You Should Consider Natural Health and Herbal Remedies

At the present time we have become more aware of the stresses we live with and what makes us ill. Many of us want to take a greater and more active role in our own health care. The basic principle is that we have tremendous innate healing abilities, and our systems will always attempt to overcome an illness and restore balance to our body.

The more you give your body the opportunity to be healthy, the easier it will be for your body to get rid of the toxins you come in contact with. How do you do this? With Natural Health and Herbal Remedies!

mastitis infected plugged duct

Mastitis – Infected Duct Natural Treatments

mastitis infected plugged ductMastitis is a condition that results when a plugged duct becomes infected, the breast swells due to a bacteria that enters through tinny cracks on the nipples. The breast infected with mastitis becomes red and painful with pus secretion, other symptoms are fever, fatigue, vomiting or nausea.

Natural non-antibiotic Mastitis treatments

  • Take poke roots this helps mastitis. Use under doctor supervision.
  • Queen’s delight clears congestion of lymphatic vessels, stimulates white blood cells to react to infection.
  • Place hot towels on the breast or run hot water over them in the shower.
  • Elder is used to reduce swelling of breast infected with mastitis.
  • Rest as much as you can.
  • Drink lots of water or alfalfa juice.
  • Take mom’s and baby’s clothes off, get into bed and nurse, nurse, nurse (mastitis appears to be the body’s way of telling mom to SLOW DOWN). Get as much rest as possible.
  • Between feedings, use a cold compress on the breast to help with any inflammation. Some moms use hot compresses directly before nursing, but others prefer to stick to the cold. Compresses/poultices that can be helpful:
  • Make a rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) infusion: to make an infusion, add 2-4 teaspoons of fresh or dried rosemary to a cup of boiling water. Infuse (steep) for 10 minutes, then strain.
  • Use a fenugreek seed poultice;
  • Make a dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) compress: boil about an ounce of minced dandelion root in two to three cups of water until only half the liquid remains; use compresses of the resulting brew.
  • When your baby nurses on the affected side (use that side first), massage the breast towards the nipple. Massage the breast often during feedings and between feedings to help loosen the plugged area.
  • If there is a fever, mom can take
    • Raw garlic – At least 2-3 raw cloves per day, 4-5 cloves a day if possible. Chop a clove into 5 or 6 pieces and then swallow the pieces whole like pills. Raw garlic acts as a broad-spectrum antibiotic, without the added antibiotic side effects of the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, or the development of yeast infections or thrush. The antimicrobial property in garlic, allicin, is very sensitive to heat and is destroyed when cooked. In order for it to work, it needs to be raw. Swallowing the cloves with orange juice helps with the taste for some. Allicin is also what gives garlic its pungent odor, so the deodorized garlic capsules that some companies offer are essentially useless, if they are being taken for the antimicrobial properties. However, deodorized garlic is still beneficial for its blood pressure reducing properties and for stimulating the immune system.
    • Tincture of echinacea, 3-4 times/day
    • Tincture of Oregon grape root, 3-4 times a day
    • Vitamin C (3000-5000 mg/day megadose)
    • Another option: Mix a dropperful of echinacea tincture, three cloves of raw garlic and four to six ounces of carrot juice in a blender and drink the mixture every two hours.
  • A very warm shower can help – let the water just run over your breast.
  • You can also take ibuprofen, which will help with inflammation and pain.
  • If the mastitis does not improve or gets worse after using this treatment for 24-48 hours, contact your doctor – you may need antibiotic treatment
Causes-Of-Vaginal-Itching

Vaginal Itch natural remedies

Causes-Of-Vaginal-ItchingMost women are bothered at one time or another by vaginitis — the itching, burning, pain, and discharge that comes with a vaginal yeast infection. Yeast infections can be caused by a number of organisms, many of which inhabit the healthy vagina. One of the most common causes of vaginitis is the fungus Candida albicans. The annoying symptoms can include itching, discharge that has a “baked bread” odor, and reddening of the labia and, in some cases, the upper thigh.

What is Vaginal Itch?

Vaginal itching is a bothersome problem where the external skin of the vagina, labia and vulva becomes tingly and irritated and often leads to the desire to scratch. This is a distressing problem for many women, especially if it becomes a chronic condition, and it can cause much discomfort.

What Causes Vaginal Itch?

Many women immediately attribute vaginal itching to yet another bout of vaginal thrush and immediately seek over-the-counter thrush creams for relief. However, there are a number of causes for external vaginal itching, and while yeast infections are a common cause, there are many others that should be considered.

Help for Vaginal Itch

Natural Remedies

There are a number of natural herbal and homeopathic ingredients which can have a very soothing affect, while also helping to address some of the possible causes of vaginal itching. Kreosotum is an example of one such ingredient as it has been shown to reduce and stop itchiness, while also helping to treat vaginal thrush, one of the most common causes of vaginal itching.

Some effective natural cure for vaginal itching are:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: It is suggested that natural apple cider vinegar can inhibit the growth of yeast by killing them. This can help in giving relief from vaginal itching. You can dilute 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a cup of warm water. You may apply this mixture as a topical wash in the vagina and on the vulva.
  • Garlic: Experts suggest that the potent antifungal property of garlic can help in destroying yeast, thereby treating vaginal itching. For this, you may crush a whole garlic clove and mix some water into it. Drink the mixture several times a day for few days till your symptom is gone.
  • Yogurt: The acidophilus and bifidus bacteria contained in yogurt can help in killing yeast. This remedie may help in treating vaginal itching. Using a plastic tampoon applicator or your finger you may insert some plain yogurt into your vagina.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk is considered effective in arresting the growth of yeast infection. This can help in treating vaginal itching. You can smear the vaginal area with some buttermilk or you can drink 2 glasses of buttermilk everyday.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar with Yogurt: You can prepare a douche by adding ¼ cup of yogurt and 4 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in one liter of warm water. You may lie on a towel on your back and douche gently.
  • Merc sol: which is especially useful when vaginal itching is accompanied by offensive discharges and is very useful at soothing itching and burning of the vaginal area.
  • Lycopodium is also an excellent ingredient for soothing itching, redness and irritation, while also addressing thrush, especially when it is caused by stress.
  • Calc carb helps to treat itchy and irritable skin and is excellent at soothing a bout of vaginitis.
  • Sepia is also very beneficial at soothing itchiness, reducing discharge and inflammation, while easing the irritability often associated with vaginal infections.

Tips for Vaginal Itching

  • Avoid bubble baths and scented sanitary towels
  • Do not use spermicidal gels
  • Do not douche and never use soap to wash your vagina. This causes irritation and kills healthy bacteria, allowing bad bacteria to grow. Rather, wash with warm water.
  • Let your vagina breathe by wearing only cotton underwear and if possible do not sleep with underwear at all until the itching has subsided.
  • Avoid sex until any suspected infection has cleared. In addition, always use a condom to prevent STD infections.
  • Use a natural lubricant if intercourse is painful or if you suffer from vaginal dryness.

Young girls should learn to practice good feminine hygiene. This means washing hands before and after going to the toilet and always wiping from front to back to avoid bacteria from the rectum coming in contact with the vaginal area.

Visit your doctor if itching persists to determine the underlying cause as some causes of vaginal itching can be serious. If left untreated certain viruses and bacteria may cause fertility complications.

If a sexually transmitted disease is the cause, then make sure your partner is also treated. Failure to treat both with mean the infection will come back.

Common causes of vaginal itching include:

Stress can increase the likelihood of developing an infection and it can make feminine itch worse or cause recurring vaginal itching.

Yeast infections or thrush, most commonly caused by the fungal organism Candida albicans. A yeast infection is generally accompanied by white curd-like discharge and can be brought on by antibiotics, birth control pills, pregnancy, menstruation, condom use, sexual intercourse, diabetes, and a weakened immune system.

Menopause causes a drop in estrogen, which often results in a thinning of the vaginal wall and less lubrication which can lead to vaginal itching.
Dry Skin is a common problem. Skin needs moisture in order to stay supple, and retaining moisture becomes difficult the older you get.

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease and is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. Different strains of Chlamydia cause genital, eye, lymph node, and respiratory infections

Vaginitis is an inflammation or infection of the vagina and/or vulva and is often accompanied by discharge and vaginal odor. Vaginitis can be caused by a variety of other infections including bacteria, viruses and sexually transmitted diseases.
Chemical irritants, such as washing detergents, fabric softeners, feminine sprays, scented sanitary towels, ointments, creams, douches, and contraceptive foams or gels.
Vaginal Itch in Children and Babies

Vaginal itching in babies is oftentimes a symptom of yeast diaper rash. Leaving a child in their diaper for extended periods of time, allows Candida to grow due to the warm moist environment. Rarely does the rash go beyond the edges of the diaper; however, it can make the vagina itch, especially in the folds of skin where fungus can easily inhabit.

Alternatively, vaginal itch may be caused by a reaction to soaps, dyes, or perfumes. When bathing your child, make sure you use chemical free soaps and wash their clothes in chemical free detergent.

For older children who aren’t quite aware on how to clean their bodies properly, vaginal itching may be a sign of poor wiping or toilet paper stuck in the folds of the skin of the vagina. Lastly, adolescent girls who are just starting to reach puberty may be suffering from a yeast infection; at this point it is imperative for young girls to have a clear understanding of proper hygiene.

Astragalus-canadensis-Canadian-Milk-Vetch-flowers-01

Milk Vetch

milk vetchThe astragalus (Milk Vetch) plant is frequently used in Chinese medicine. There are a large number of varieties of the astragalus plant, but two are important in Chinese medicine: Astragalus membranaceus andAstragalus mongholicus. Other names for astragalus include bei qi, huang qi, ogi, hwanggi, locoweed and milk vetch.

A large genus of about 3,000 species of herbs and small shrubs, belonging to the legume family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. The genus is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Milk vetch contains fatty oil, vitamin A, alkaloids, flavonoids, phenols, tannins, proteins, amino acids, elements like selenium, copper, zinc, manganese, iron, magnesium, chromium, calcium, and so on. Seeds are rich in oil, which accounts for about 5% of the seed weight and contains at least 14 kinds of fatty acids, including heptenoic acid, myristic acid, pentadecanoic acid, hexadecanoic acid (palmitic acid), oleic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, linoleyl acid, arachidic acid, lignoceric acid, behenic acid, and more. And the unsaturated fatty acids account for about 40% in total acids. Besides, it still contains β-sitosterol, many amino acids, etc.

Queen’s delight Herbal Information

Queen’s delight (Stillingia sylvatica) is a plant. The root is used as medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, people take queen’s delight to treat liver disease,gallbladder disorders, skin diseases, constipation, bronchitis, and hoarseness (laryngitis). It is also used to cause vomiting and as a “blood purifier.”

Some people apply queen’s delight directly to the affected area to treat skin diseases and hemorrhoids.

Stillingia is of value in the treatment of chronic exudative skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, and is specifically indicated where there is lymphatic involvement. Treatment is likely to be fairly long-term. It is also used to treat bronchitic congestion and laryngitis, especially when accompanied by loss of voice (laryngismus stridulus); it may also be used to treat croup when the cough is harsh (the herb helps promote the flow of saliva). It will help to relieve constipation and, as an astringent, it is particularly of benefit for haemorrhoids.

Stillingia is a perennial in the family Euphorbiaceae, growing up to 1.5m tall in acid and sandy soils in the southern United States of Florida, Virginia and Texas. It has alternate leathery, sessile leaves and a terminal spike of yellow flowers. The fruit is a three-lobed capsule. The root is unearthed after flowering in July.

The genus is named after Dr. Benjamin Stillingfleet. The leaves have spots on them reminiscent of the lesions of syphilis, and this may have inspired people to use this herb to treat syphilis. It was also used to help people detoxify after being treated with mercury for syphilis.

Parts Used: Root, fresh root.

Properties:

  • alterative: an agent capable of favorably altering or changing unhealthy conditions of the body and tending to restore normal bodily function, usually by improving nutrition in small doses
  • antispasmodic
  • astringent
  • cathartic
  • circulatory
  • dermatological agent
  • diaphoretic
  • diuretic: an agent that increases the volume and flow of urine which cleanses the urinary system
  • emetic: an agent that causes vomiting in large doses
  • expectorant: an agent that promotes the discharge of mucous and secretions from the respiratory passages
  • laxative: an agent promoting evacuation of the bowels; a mild purgative
  • purgative in large doses
  • sialagogue: an agent that stimulates the secretion of saliva
  • stimulant
  • tonic: an agent that tones, strengthens and invigorates organs or the entire organism giving a feeling of well-being

Uses:

  • Acne
  • Boils
  • Bronchitis
  • Constipation
  • Cough
  • Cutaneous eruptions
  • Dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Enlarged Lymph
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Laryngiti
  • Laryngismus stridulus
  • Leukorrhea
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatism
  • Scrofula
  • Smoker’s cough
  • Syphilis

How is it taken:

Tea, Tincture, Capsules.

  • Dried root: 1-2g or by decoction
  • Liquid Extract: 1:1 in 25% alcohol, 0.5-2ml
  • Tincture: 1:5 in 45% alcohol, 1-4ml

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil, diterpene esters (prostatin, gnidilatin), alkaloid (stillingine), cyanogenic glycosides, calcium oxalate, tannin, resin (sylvacrol). Volatile oil (up to 4%), acrid resin (sylvacrol), acrid fixed oil, tannins (10-12%), calcium oxalate, cyanogenic glycosides, starch

Side effects and risk

Large doses are emetic and purgative. Avoid during pregnancy, and avoid using fresh root. Large doses of Stillingia can irritate the skin and mucous membranes, and it is a powerful sternutatory herb. It can also be cathartic and emetic and should always be used with care. It should not be stored for more than two years. Stillingia was once thought to be a reliable cure for syphilis (which it is not), the decoction being used to treat continuing pain and ulceration after mercurial treatment.

Other Names

  • Queen’s root, yawroot, cockup hat, marcory, silver root, silver leaf, pavil

breastfeeding natural remedies and Breast milk production

Breast Feeding Remedies

Throughout your pregnancy, you probably imagined how wonderful the breast-feeding experience would be for both you and your baby. All you could think about was looking down into that tiny, trusting face and feeling the closeness between you and this new little being. So naturally, when it finally came time to put baby to breast, you were excited. But now, you’re in agony. Your nipples may be painful, cracked, and bleeding (See below) or perhaps your breasts are uncomfortably swollen (See below). The milk may not flow when you need it to and may seem to flow uncontrollably when you most wish it wouldn’t (like when you’re standing in line at the grocery store or sitting at a dinner party).

So where are those tender, happy moments you’ve seen in the magazine and television advertisements? Well, hang in there. Those moments do happen, just not always right away. The problem is, many mothers give up breast-feeding in frustration because they don’t realize that things will get better with time and practice. They also don’t realize there are steps they can take to decrease breast-feeding discomfort and increase nursing success. This article will give you the helpful nursing home remedies that can make breast-feeding a rewarding and comfortable experience for you and your baby. Before we begin, we should examine the sources of breast-feeding discomfort.

Breast-feeding is the act of naturally feeding an infant with milk produced in the mother’s breast. This has great deal of benefits for the baby not only breast milk is healthier but the action of feeding the child is a moment of love in which the baby learns to bond, smell, and caress with his or her mother as she gives nourishment and affection.

Without a doubt breast milk is the best food for a newborn, nothing comes even closer to provide all the nutrients that the baby will need later in life. Breast milk is much easier to digest then any formula in the market, at the same time it provides protection against infections, prevents future food allergies, helps the growth of healthy teeth, and most important it improves brain development. Studies had shown that breast-fed babies are more intelligent than formula fed babies.

Increasing breast milk production

Milk production is a demand & supply process. If you need to increase milk supply, it’s important to understand how milk is made – understanding this will help you to do the right things to increase production.

To speed milk production and increase overall milk supply, the key is to remove more milk from the breast and to do this frequently, so that less milk accumulates in the breast between feedings. Many herbs have traditionally been used to encourage the production of breast milk. These include Fennel, Aniseed (Anise), Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle.  Herb teas are the easiest ways to use Fennel and Aniseed. Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek are rather bitter to take as tea; capsules are available.  Fenugreek can stimulate the womb so do not take it during pregnancy; more than 100g (3 ounces!) daily can cause digestive upset. Sage has been traditionally used to dry up milk, at time of weaning.

Increasing your milk supply

Is your milk supply really low? First of all, is your milk supply really low? Often, mothers think that their milk supply is low when it really isn’t. If your baby is gaining weight well on breastmilk alone, then you do nothave a problem with milk supply. It’s important to note that the feel of the breast, the behavior of your baby, the frequency of nursing, the sensation of let-down, or the amount you pump are not valid ways to determine if you have enough milk for your baby.


What if you’re not quite sure about baby’s current weight gain (perhaps baby hasn’t had a weight check lately)? If baby is having an adequate number of wet and dirty diapers then the following things do NOT mean that you have a low milk supply:

Breast Milk Increasing Herbs

Nettle

Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica) has been shown to enrich the milk, and increase milk flow. It has been traditionally used as a tonic to restore women’s energy following childbirth. Nettle is considered safe in pregnancy and breastfeeding.  It is available as loose tea or teabags, and has a pleasant ‘green’ taste. Don’t make it too strong if you are not used to it. You can make your own with fresh unpolluted nettle tops, one to a mug.  Nettle is also available as capsules.

Agnus Castus

This is a widely useful herb for so many female problems, including fertility, menstrual and pre-menstrual problems, and thrush. See the reference at Women’s Health.

Agnus Castus acts on two hormones, progesterone and prolactin. During breastfeeding, prolactin encourages milk production. Agnus Castus is well recognised in Europe as a galactogogue – a herb to promote breast milk. One study shows Agnus Castus increasing milk production by up to three times that of control group, after 20 days of use.

Warnings: Not to be taken during pregnancy. Agnus Castus appears suitable for long term use at normal doses. Avoid with any progesterone drug, contraceptive pill or HRT. Agnus Castus may aggravate spasmodic dysmenorrhoea (menstrual cramps) if not associated with PMS. Caution with dopamine antagonist drugs.

Other remedies for increasing milk production

  • Your baby nurses frequently. Breastmilk is digested quickly (usually in 1.5-2 hours), so breastfed babies need to eat more often than formula-fed babies. Many babies have a strong need to suck. Also, babies often need continuous contact with mom in order to feel secure. All these things are normal, and you cannot spoil your baby by meeting these needs.
  • Your baby suddenly increases the frequency and/or length of nursings. This is often a growth spurt. The baby nurses more (this usually lasts a few days to a week), which increases your milk supply. Don’t offer baby supplements when this happens: supplementing will inform your body that the baby doesn’t need the extra milk, and your supply will drop.
  • Your baby nurses more often and is fussy in the evening.
  • Your baby doesn’t nurse as long as she did previously. As babies get older and better at nursing, they become more efficient at extracting milk.
  • Your baby is fussy. Many babies have a fussy time of day – often in the evening. Some babies are fussy much of the time. This can have many reasons, and sometimes the fussiness goes away before you find the reason.
  • Your baby guzzles down a bottle of formula or expressed milk after nursing. Many babies will willingly take a bottle even after they have a full feeding at the breast. Read more here from board-certified lactation consultant Kathy Kuhn about why baby may do this and how this can affect milk supply. Of course, if you regularly supplement baby after nursing, your milk supply will drop.
  • Your breasts don’t leak milk, or only leak a little, or stop leaking. Leaking has nothing to do with your milk supply. It often stops after your milk supply has adjusted to your baby’s needs.
  • Your breasts suddenly seem softer. Again, this normally happens after your milk supply has adjusted to your baby’s needs.
  • You never feel a let-down sensation, or it doesn’t seem as strong as before. Some women never feel a let-down. This has nothing to do with milk supply.
  • You get very little or no milk when you pump. The amount of milk that you can pump is not an accurate measure of your milk supply. A baby with a healthy suck milks your breast much more efficiently than any pump. Also, pumping is an acquired skill (different than nursing), and can be very dependent on the type of pump. Some women who have abundant milk supplies are unable to get any milk when they pump. In addition, it is very common and normal for pumping output to decrease over time.

Things that can help increase your milk supply:

  • Make sure that baby is nursing efficiently. This is the “remove more milk” part of increasing milk production. If milk is not effectively removed from the breast, then mom’s milk supply decreases. If positioning and latch are “off” then baby is probably not transferring milk efficiently. A sleepy baby, use of nipple shields or various health or anatomical problems in baby can also interfere with baby’s ability to transfer milk. For a baby who is not nursing efficiently, trying to adequately empty milk from the breast is like trying to empty a swimming pool through a drinking straw – it can take forever. Inefficient milk transfer can lead to baby not getting enough milk or needing to nurse almost constantly to get enough milk. If baby is not transferring milk well, then it is important for mom to express milk after and/or between nursings to maintain milk supply while the breastfeeding problems are being addressed.
  • Nurse frequently, and for as long as your baby is actively nursing. Remember – you want to remove more milk from the breasts and do this frequently. If baby is having weight gain problems, aim to nurse at least every 1.5-2 hours during the day and at least every 3 hours at night.
  • Take a nursing vacation. Take baby to bed with you for 2-3 days, and do nothing but nurse (frequently!) and rest (well, you can eat too!).
  • Offer both sides at each feeding. Let baby finish the first side, then offer the second side.
  • Switch nurse. Switch sides 3 or more times during each feeding, every time that baby falls asleep, switches to “comfort” sucking, or loses interest. Use each side at least twice per feeding. Use breast compression to keep baby feeding longer. For good instructions on how to do this, see Dr. Jack Newman’s Protocol to manage breastmilk intake. This can be particularly helpful for sleepy or distractible babies.
  • Avoid pacifiers and bottles. All of baby’s sucking needs should be met at the breast (see above). If a temporary supplement is medically required, it can be given with a nursing supplementer or by spoon, cup or dropper.
  • Give baby only breastmilk. Avoid all solids, water, and formula if baby is younger than six months, and consider decreasing solids if baby is older. If you are using more than a few ounces of formula per day, wean from the supplements gradually to “challenge” your breasts to produce more milk.
  • Take care of mom. Rest. Sleep when baby sleeps. Relax. Drink liquids to thirst (don’t force liquids – drinking extra water does not increase supply), and eat a reasonably well-balanced diet.
  • Consider pumping. Adding pumping sessions after or between nursing sessions can be very helpful – pumping is very important when baby is not nursing efficiently or frequently enough, and can speed things up in all situations. Your aim in pumping is to remove more milk from the breasts and/or to increase frequency of breast emptying. When pumping to increase milk supply, to ensure that the pump removes an optimum amount of milk from the breast, keep pumping for 2-5 minutes after the last drops of milk. However, adding even a short pumping session (increasing frequency but perhaps not removing milk thoroughly) is helpful.
  • Eat alfalfa or take it in capsules, it stimulates lactation, improves quality and quantity of milk.
  • Chaste tree Increases flow of milk, by affecting pituitary’s prolactin secretion.
  • Chinese use a herb called codonopsis to increase lactation and strengthen the blood.
  • Goat’s rue this herb has been used by midwives for hundreds of years to improve breast milk production by as much as 50%.
  • Vervain encourages milk secretion and flow, it also increases absorption of nutrients from food and helps with postpartum depression.
  • Medical studies have shown bovine colostrum to be identical to human colostrum in composition. Colostrum is the milk secreted for a few days after birth. It is characterized by a high protein and immune body content. Colostrum has been shown to stimulate normal growth, regeneration and accelerated repair of aged or injured muscle, skin collagen, bone, cartilage and nerve tissues. Colostrum helps build lean muscle and helps stimulate the body to burn fat. Research has shown that colostrum has powerful natural immune and growth factors. Colostrum helps combat disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses, yeast and parasites. Research has shown that bovine colostrum is easily assimilated by humans and is up to 40 times richer in immune factors than human colostrum. It is very important that the highest quality Bovine Colostrum is taken.

Potential causes of low milk supply or low quality

Low quality of milk can be cause by medications or a poor diet, many antibiotics contaminate the milk and a diet high in caffeine may cause colics and sleeping problems. For the baby it is very important that the the mother keeps eating a well balance diet after giving birth, and preferably foods with no traces of pesticides these poisons become highly concentrated in the milk.

The use of a breast pump may inhibit the production of milk, lowering the amount available to the baby, this gives the false idea that the infant should be change to formula in order for him to be satisfied, when in fact the problem is the quantity of milk that the mother is producing. Home remedies can help with both of these common problems

These things can cause or contribute to a low milk supply:

  • Supplementing. Nursing is a supply & demand process. Milk is produced as your baby nurses, and the amount that she nurses lets your body know how much milk is required. Every bottle (of formula, juice or water) that your baby gets means that your body gets the signal to produce that much less milk.
  • Nipple confusion. A bottle requires a different type of sucking than nursing, and it is easier for your baby to extract milk from a bottle. As a result, giving a bottle can either cause your baby to have problems sucking properly at the breast, or can result in baby preferring the constant faster flow of the bottle.
  • Pacifiers can cause nipple confusion. They can also significantly reduce the amount of time your baby spends at the breast, which may cause your milk supply to drop.
  • Nipple shields can lead to nipple confusion (See Above). They can also reduce the stimulation to your nipple or interfere with milk transfer, which can interfere with the supply-demand cycle.
  • Scheduled feedings interfere with the supply & demand cycle of milk production and can lead to a reduced supply, sometimes several months later rather than immediately. Nurse your baby whenever she is hungry.
  • Sleepy baby. For the first few weeks, some babies are very sleepy and only demand to nurse infrequently and for short periods. Until baby wakes up and begins to demand regular nursing, nurse baby at least every two hours during the day and at least every 4 hours at night to establish your milk supply.
  • Cutting short the length of nursings. Stopping a feeding before your baby ends the feeding herself can interfere with the supply-demand cycle. Also, your milk increases in fat contentlater into a feeding, which helps baby gain weight and last longer between feedings.
  • Offering only one breast per feeding. This is fine if your milk supply is well-established and your baby is gaining weight well. If you’re trying to increase your milk supply, let baby finish the first side, then offer the second side.
  • Health or anatomical problems with baby can prevent baby from removing milk adequately from the breast, thus decreasing milk supply.

Breast-feeding pain

Pain in the fleshy part of the breast, on the other hand, is most often caused by engorgement of the breast with milk. This is most likely to occur during the first few days after your milk comes, before your body has a chance to adjust its milk production to the needs of your baby. Initially, a woman’s body makes enough milk for twins, but then gradually changes its milk production based on the amount of milk regularly removed from the breasts. So if you are nursing only one baby, your body gradually lowers the amount of milk it produces to match the amount consumed by the single baby.

Engorgement (See Below) can also occur any time the amount of milk produced exceeds your baby’s ability to siphon it off, such as when the baby’s appetite is diminished due to illness. Mild cases can even occur between feedings, especially if feedings are spaced several hours apart or if a feeding is unexpectedly delayed. Fortunately, no matter the cause, the engorgement will naturally resolve itself within a few days if not sooner (as long as you don’t do anything that encourages your body to make too much milk).

To prevent discomfort from turning you off to breast-feeding, it helps to keep in mind that breast-feeding is a learned skill, and you’ll need time, practice, and patience to make it a comfortable, successful experience. It’s also important to remember that the early days of nursing may leave your breasts a bit tender and sore, but pain, cracking, blistering, or bleeding means there’s a problem that needs to be solved. Fortunately, most breast-feeding problems can be remedied, and the pain either alleviated or prevented, with some fairly simple adjustments.

Sore nipples

The most frequent causes of sore nipples are incorrect positioning at the breast and suction trauma. During the first two to four days after birth, the mother’s nipples may feel tender at the beginning of a feeding as the baby’s early suckling stretches her nipple and areolar tissue far back into his mouth. If a baby is positioned well at the breast, this temporary tenderness usually diminishes once the milk lets down, and disappears completely within a day or two.

When helping a mother to overcome nipple pain caused by improper positioning, Leaders need to ask the mother about both the position of the nipple in the baby’s mouth and the position of the baby’s body in relation to his mother’s body. A poorly latched baby may pinch off the nipple to protect his airway from a forceful milk-ejection reflex. Sometimes a baby will pinch the nipple or irritate it due to a short frenulum, short tongue, small mouth, receding chin, a high palate, or other anatomical condition

Pain in the nipple, for example, is most often caused by the baby latching on to the nipple incorrectly. Nipple discomfort can also result from a certain fashion choice and therefore tends to be more prevalent in American women: Women in the United States are more likely to wear bras, which protect the delicate nipples and leave them more sensitive to the friction and exposure that comes with breast-feeding. In contrast, many foreign women go braless much or all of the time and often sunbathe in the nude, which gradually toughen the nipples. As a result, they experience less discomfort when they begin nursing a child. Preexisting conditions, such as inverted nipples or nipple sensitivity that developed during the pregnancy, can also lead to breast-feeding discomfort.

Cracked nipples can develop when the baby is being position wrongly or by using damp breast pads. The nipple becomes irritated, red, and painful in some cases bleeding may develop.

  • Calendula cream will soothe and encourage the healing of cracked nipples and is safe for the baby to swallow.
  • Chamomilla helps heal cracked nipples.
  • Pulsatilla helps heal cracked nipples.

Tea bags: There are better ways to heal sore nipples. Warm water dips (or saline dips), breastmilk, medical-grade lanolin (Lansinoh, etc.) and hydrogel dressings are more commonly used to treat sore nipples. Any time that mom has sore nipples, the cause of the soreness should also be addressed. Studies are conflicting on whether tea bags are helpful for reducing the pain of sore nipples (Riordan 2005). The tannic acid in the tea (which has astrigent qualities) can cause drying and cracking (Lawrence 2005), and anecdotal evidence suggests that some babies do not suck as well after tea bags have been used. In some locations, wet tea bags remain a popular folk remedy for the treatment of nipple pain. They are inexpensive and can be found in most homes, making them easily accessible at the onset of difficulties. They may be soothing because of the moist warmth. Tea bags have been the subject of a number of studies; they appear neither to prevent nor reduce nipple soreness (Lavergne 1997). Furthermore, the tannic acid in the tea can act as an astringent causing drying and cracking, rather than healing.

Breast Engorgement

Breast engorgement is a very common problem that start affecting the mother in the first two or three weeks after delivery and is more annoying to women with poor skin elasticity. Engorgement is due to milk excessively filling the breast together with blood and fluid retention in the same area.

Usually the breast feels full, hard, tight, tender, painful,  hot to the touch and a fever may develop, the baby may have a hard time to latch on and suck.

  • Take a handful of Confrey leaves and steam them for a few minutes wrapped in a gauze and placed on the breast is very helpful relieving engorgement.
  • Soak a towel in hot water and place it on the breast ten minutes before feeding.
  • Poke roots reduce swollen breast and pain. Use under doctor supervision.
  • Elder is used to reduce swelling of engorged breast.
  • Chamomile help control inflamed breast.
  • Give your baby frequent feeds on both breast 10 to 15 minutes each.

Plugged duct

This is a problem that occurs when the baby does not empty the breast completely on each feeding, the milk remaining in the duct hardens and blocks the duct eventually plugging it. Tight bras can cause plugged ducts as well. If the breast feels sore it might be a sign of plugged ducts. A plugged duct should be taking care of as soon as possible, if not so it can develop into Mastitis.

  • Castor oil helps with inflammation and pain.
  • Elder is used to reduce swelling of plugged breast ducts.
  • Queen’s delight Clears congestion of lymphatic vessels, stimulates white blood cells to react to infection.
  • Check your nipples every day, if you see dry milk on them or dark dots remove them with a cotton and warm water and feed your child as soon as possible from that breast.
  • Place the baby in different positions every time, this will ensure that all ducts are being used.

yellow dock root

Yellow Dock Root

images (6)Researchers believe Yellow Dock herbal extract usage may inhibit several types of bacteria including salmonella, escherichia and staphylococcus because the herb contains several antimicrobial agents. Organic Yellow Dock Root is widely regarded as a powerful astringent, detoxifier, and purifier. When flushing out your endocrine organs, you need an effective supplement that is safe and also provides time-proven benefits.

Yellow Dock Root, also known as Rumex crispus, Curly Dock, Yellow Dock, Sour Dock, Narrow Dock, sometimes as “narrow-leaved dock” and ambiguously as “garden patience”, is a perennial flowering plant in the family Polygonaceae, native to Europe and Western Asia. The mature plant is a reddish brown colour, and produces a stalk that grows to about 1 m high. It has smooth leaves shooting off from a largebasal rosette, with distinctive waved or curled edges. On the stalk flowers and seeds are produced in clusters on branched stems, with the largest cluster being found at the apex. The seeds are shiny, brown and encased in the calyx of the flower that produced them. This casing enables the seeds to float on water and get caught in wool and animal fur, and this helps the seeds to spread to new locations. The root-structure is a large, yellow, forking taproot. Curled Dock grows in roadsides, all types of fields, and low-maintenance crops. It prefers rich, moist and heavy soils

The leaves of the plant can be boiled and eaten as a vegetable, but the root is the part of the plant with medicinal properties. Yellow dock supplements are available as capsules, tea, tincture, and dried bulk herb.

Some ready-made preparations are available that combine yellow dock with other cleansing herbs such as burdock and red clover.

Historically the herb has been used for external applications such as a poultice for boils and burns, as it can reduce irritation and inflammation. It is a natural remedy for the sting inflicted by nettles.

The health benefits of yellow dock root include:

  • Reducing vaginal / feminine oder.
  • Yellow dock root extract can be a useful remedy for those who regularly suffer from yeast or urinary tract infections.
  • Removing toxins from the blood. It can be used to help with conditions such as anemia.
  • Cleansing the digestive system.
  • Encouraging production of bile to help to break down fats in the system.
  • Improving flow and production of digestive juices.
  • Assist with water retention, constipation, and the removal of toxins from the body.
  • It has a high iron content and is readily absorbed into the blood stream.
  • Yellow dock herb helps to improve the functioning of some of the major organs of the body such as the liver by removing toxins and other waste products. It can be used as part of a liver detoxifying regime. In the nineteenth century, yellow dock was recommended for jaundice sufferers.
  • Yellow dock reduces inflammation in the digestive system, which will help to keep it functioning properly.
  • Removal of toxins can help with some related symptoms such as headaches and mental fatigue. Conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can also benefit from the use of yellow dock herb.
  • Yellow dock tea has some expectorant properties and therefore can relieve symptoms of colds and other bronchial disorders.
  • The anti-inflammatory properties of yellow dock herb can help with arthritis and rheumatism.

Nutrients in Yellow Dock Root:

  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Oxalates
  • Tannins
  • Phosphorus
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C


WARNINGS

  • The leaves should be avoided as they are toxic and if consumed, can lead to death.
  • Pregnant women should not use yellow dock root without medical supervision.
  • Some users may find that yellow dock causes diarrhea. This is due to the detoxifying effect working too quickly. If users experience any pain, vomiting, or nausea, a qualified medical practitioner should be consulted
  • Those who are on medication for controlling calcium in the blood or taking a diuretic should avoid using yellow dock. Those who have kidney or liver problems should not take yellow dock, as it may aggravate existing conditions.
  • Excess use can lead to calcium deficiency in the blood. Symptoms such as confusion, fatigue, seizures, and mouth numbness should be reported to a medical professional.

Dosage

Yellow Dock Dosage for Consumption: Three cups of (750 ml) of extracted yellow dock may be drunk each day. A tea can be made by boiling 1 – 2 teaspoons (5 – 10 grams) of root in two cups (500 ml) of water (or 1 ounce dried root in 1 – pint of water 9) for ten minutes. 6 Yellow Duck tea tastes bitter sweet. 15 Also, a tincture of yellow dock, 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon (1 – 2 ml) three times per day can be used. 6 “Syrup can be made by boiling 1/2 lb. of the crushed root in 1 pint of syrup and is taken in teaspoon of doses 3 or 4 times a day.” Besides consumption use, yellow dock can be used as an ointment made with the root simmered in oil and applied to skin ulcers, hard tumors, and eruptive skin diseases.

Vaginal Odor

Vaginal odor is caused by too much ‘bad’ bacteria replacing the ‘good’ bacteria in your vagina that’s needed to balance it out.  A vaginal discharge is symptomatic of bacterial vaginosis. It is caused due to an overgrowth of the normal bacteria in the vagina. It is important to note that this condition is not usually spread through sexual intercourse. There is a possibility that you are affected by bacterial vaginosis if you notice a change in the amount and appearance of vaginal discharge, accompanied with a foul odor.

There are many natural remedies that have been used by women around the world for 1000s of years you can try.  Most women will find relief from this home remedies.

Do NOT use store bought douches, they can make matters worse. They contain chemicals that can make the order worse.  You’re dealing with a very delicate area, you just need to re-balance it.

Balsamic Vinegar and honey: Try this old world remedy.  Mix balsamic vinegar and  honey along with a teaspoon of whisky  and heat for 1 min.. Rub on and leave sitting for 15 min.

Grape seed: A douche made up of water into which one teaspoon of grape seed extract is mixed will help balance the bacteria causing the order.

Femdophilus: Some women claim this will cure the problem in one night. Visit your health food store or a pharmacy that carries refrigerated probiotic pills. Look for a product called ‘Femdophilus.   Instruction usually call for you to take the pill orally.  Instead of swallowing it try like a suppository while you’re sleeping. You don’t need to insert it very deeply. You will need to wear a pad. All symptoms should be gone in the morning. Keep some of the pills on hand for when your immune system is down, which is when you’ll be likely to get a re-occurence. You should be clear for months with just or two treatments, though!

Guava: The tender leaves of guava are helpful in the treatment of this disease. A mixture of the leaves should be used as a douche.

Lime: Pour a small about of lime juice on your vagina.  Massage it around the tissues.  Wait about 30min before bathing and squeeze one lime into a half litre of water and douch with it believe it works like magic and see the result in 21 day! Due to the acidic in the lime it helps destroy and bacteria and restores the acidic lost in the vagina

Tea tree oil and Epsom salt: Try 5 or 6 drops of pure tea tree oil, and a half cup of Epsom salt. Pour it into a bath, and have a nice soak. Don’t rub it in or anything, just let it sit for about thirty minutes. Then, you can wash up regularly (no vaginal soap for this day) and continue about your day. After a few baths, the odor is gone!

Yellow dock RootThis  herb is admired as an natural remedy for the treatment of Vaginitis.{read more}

Yogurt: You can add yogurt to your diet and use it on tampons to help with Vaginitis.  Yogurt is known to be an effective natural remedy for getting rid of vaginal discharge and odor. Yogurt contains ‘probiotic’ or good bacteria that help in eliminating the bad bacteria. You can include yogurt in your diet in order to get rid of the problem. You can also use a tampon dipped in yogurt too, as it is also known to give good results.  Women will also make a tray of yogurt and sit in it.


Morning Sickness Remedies

Besides natural herbs and vitamins that you can take to help your body adjust to being pregnant.  You can also learn to adjust to the miracle.

“Morning sickness” is a misnomer. (In fact, the technical medical term is “nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.”) For some pregnant women, the symptoms are worse in the morning and ease up over the course of the day, but they can strike at any time and, for most women, last all day long. The intensity of symptoms can vary from woman to woman, too.

Allow yourself plenty of time to get out of bed. If you usually get up at 6:00 a.m. set your alarm for 5:00 a.m. It is a good idea to keep a stash of crackers or dry cereal by your bed, so you can put something in your stomach as soon as you wake up. Get out of bed slowly as you start your day.

Some time proven herbs and vitamins:

  • L-Methionine:  Inhibits nausea. Hinders toxemia in pregnancy.
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): Inhibits nausea. Caution: Do not take this combination longer than needed. Use for a maximum of 6 weeks.
  • Magnesium:  Inhibits nausea. Caution: Do not take this combination longer than needed. Use for a maximum of 6 weeks.
  • Ginger
  • Limons
  • Catnip
  • Dandelion
  • Peppermint
  • Acupressure: Pressing an acupuncture point (pericardium point six) on your wrist may help to relieve your nausea. You can buy wristbands which help you to apply this pressure. Make sure that the button in the band is placed on the acupuncture point. To locate this:
  • Use one hand on the inside of your opposite wrist, measuring up three finger widths from the crease between your hand and arm.
  • At the point where your third finger is, lift the pressure off until you are just touching the skin and feel lightly for a slight dip. Press into this dip quite deeply and it will feel bruised.
  • Place the button on the wristbands at this precise tender point on both wrists.

Put the bands on first thing in the morning before you get out of bed.

When you experience a wave of nausea, press on the button on each wrist about 20 to 30 times at one second intervals. If you forget your wristbands, you can simply press on these two points, or ask someone to do it for you on both wrists at the same time.


goldenseal-photo

Goldenseal Review

goldenseal-photoThis popular North American herb grows wild in moist mountainous woodland areas. Its long history of use among North Americans flourished after the Civil War as it was an ingredient in many patent medicines. It has been collected to the point of near extinction. Its supplies are diminishing making herbal supplements costly. It is used in many combination formulas and is reported to enhance the potency of other herbs. Preparations have been marketed for the treatment of menstrual disorders, urinary infections, rheumatic and muscular pain and as an antispasmodic. The active ingredients are the alkaloids hydrastine and berberine. Similar in action, they destroy many types of bacterial and viral infections. These alkaloids can also reduce gastric inflammation and relieve congestion. Berberine is a bitter that aids digestion and that has a sedative action on the central nervous system. It works wonders in combination with Echinacea, particularly at the onset of cold and flu symptoms, especially coughs and sore throats. Goldenseal, Echinacea and Zinc lozenges should be in every medicine cabinet. It is a cure-all type of herb that strengthens the immune system, acts as an antibiotic, has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, potentiates insulin, and cleanses vital organs. It promotes the functioning capacity of the heart, the lymphatic and respiratory system, the liver, the spleen, the pancreas, and the colon. Taken internally, it increases digestive secretions, astringes the mucous membranes that line the gut, and checks inflammation. It also aids digestion by promoting the production of saliva, bile, and other digestive enzymes. In addition it may control heavy menstrual and postpartum bleeding by means of its astringent action. As a dilute infusion, it can be used as an eyewash and as a mouthwash for gum disease, and canker sores. It is also an effective wash or douche for yeast infections. External applications have been used in the treatment of skin disorders such as psoriasis, eczema, athlete’s foot, herpes, and ringworm. Part Used: Whole root. Available in bulk, capsules, and tincture. Common Use: Treatment of any infection, inflammation and congestion of lungs, throat and sinuses. Famous for use in treatment of cold and flu. A potent remedy for disorders of the stomach and intestines such as irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, ulcers, and gastritis and internal parasites. Care: Perennial. Grows best in humid regions with rich humus soil and in shady areas. Cautions: The use of very large doses can or extended use is not suggested. Not for use during pregnancy or by children under two. Children and older adults should take smaller doses.

Research

  • Few studies have been published on goldenseal’s safety and effectiveness, and there is little scientific evidence to support using it for any health problem.
  • Clinical studies on a compound found in goldenseal, berberine, suggest that the compound may be beneficial for certain infections—such as those that cause some types of diarrhea, as well as some eye infections. However, goldenseal preparations contain only a small amount of berberine, so it is difficult to extend the evidence about the effectiveness of berberine to goldenseal.
  • NCCAM is funding research on goldenseal, including studies of antibacterial mechanisms and potential cholesterol-lowering effects. NCCAM is also funding development of research-grade goldenseal, to facilitate clinical studies.

History of Goldenseal

Western knowledge of goldenseal begins about 200 years ago. Benjamin Smith Barton’s Essays Towards a Materia Medica of the United States (published in three parts from 1798 to 1804) is one of the first sources of information on goldenseal. In the first part of his Essays in 1798 he observed that the Cherokee used it as a folk cancer remedy, which is also one of the earliest observations of the occurrence and treatment of cancer among American Indian groups. An important historical use of goldenseal root is as an eye wash for various eye problems, such as conjunctivitis. In the third part of his Essays (1804), Barton notes use as a bitter tonic (in “spirituous infusion”) and as a wash for eye inflammations in a cold water infusion. “The Hydrastis is a popular remedy in some parts of the United States, ” he observed nearly two hundred years ago. Use of goldenseal arises from American Indian usage. The Cherokee used the roots as a wash for local inflammations, a decoction for general debility, dyspepsia, and to improve appetite. The Iroquois used a decoction of the root for whooping cough, diarrhea, liver disease, fever, sour stomach, flatulence, pneumonia, and, with whiskey, for heart trouble. By the late 1700s, it was popularly used as a bitter stomach digestive (to help stimulate digestion and improve appetite), to treat skin inflammations, and those of the eyes. It was also used for inflammation of the mucous membranes of the throat and digestive system. It’s popularity as an “herbal antibiotic” has continued to the present day, despite the fact that there has been little scientific research on the plant. Those who know it by reputation, however, swear by its use. Unfortunately, one aspect of goldenseal that has driven the market in recent years is the notion that goldenseal will somehow affect the outcome of urinalysis for drug testing. This practice is a part of American folk culture, evolving from a novel by pharmacist John Uri Lloyd. Stringtown on the Pike, the most popular of his eight novels, was published in 1900. In the plot goldenseal bitters are erroneously mistaken for strychnine in a chemical test by an “expert” chemical witness in a murder trial. The accused murderer is convicted on the testimony, though the stomach of the deceased did not contain strychnine at all, but goldenseal, from the victim’s morning habit of drinking digestive bitters. As a result, goldenseal became a part of American folklore associated with chemical testing errors. It has been used on occasions in this century to an attempt to mask the use of morphine in race horses (without success). Because of the practice of ingesting goldenseal to affect the outcome of drug testing, some drug testing labs are now testing for presence of goldenseal in urinalysis. If this use of goldenseal subsided, it would return to a more rational place in herbal medicine as an antiinflammatory and antibiotic.

The Goldenseal Trade

Since herbs began to become popular again, from the 1970s onward, goldenseal has been among the most popular Native American herbs. It has been estimated that upwards of 250,000 pounds of goldenseal root is sold each year. Since herbs have made the jump from the health and natural food market to the mass market in the 1990s, goldenseal demand has increased dramatically. Most goldenseal is wild-harvested. Since demand has skyrocketed (and supplies dwindle) the price of goldenseal skyrockets too. On the wholesale level, in the early 1990s, goldenseal root could be purchased for as little as $8.00 to $11.00 a pound when purchasing large quantities. Last year it shot up to over $30.00 a pound. Now wholesale prices of goldenseal have topped $100.00 a pound. Botanists know the plant as Hydrastis canadensis. It is a member of the buttercup family that occurs in rich woods in the eastern deciduous forest. Goldenseal occurs from Vermont to Minnesota, south to Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas. As early as 1884, John Uri Lloyd and Curtis Gates Lloyd noted dramatic declines in wild populations, to an extent as a result of root harvest, but more so as the result of habitat loss through deforestation. While over-harvesting has been blamed for supply shortages, the Lloyd brothers paint a complex picture of economic and social reasons for periodic shortages providing arguments indicating that decrease in areas or populations is not necessarily accompanied by a decreased supply. They noted that historically, poorer classes of people collected the roots during times of economic hardship. Being a minor commodity, factors would arise that would consume the entire supply in one season, causing shortages and a rise in price (such as we see today). The following season, a glut in the market would occur, and prices would drop. Collectors, they note, then turn their attention to other substances or pursuits. The price then stabilizes, but stocks are exhausted, and then, as the Lloyds put it, “history repeats itself.” This same pattern actually occurred with Echinacea angustifolia wild-harvested roots in the 1996 season. Roots started out at a price of upwards of $30.00 per pound. More root was harvested then could be sold, and the price dropped to as low as $12.00 per pound. It’s a matter of supply and demand. Given the market scarcity of goldenseal coupled with high prices, some have said that goldenseal is becoming “endangered.” Unfortunately, the word “endangered” which should be reserved for species in imminent danger of extinction, is thrown about as an ambiguous word applied to any plant for which there are conservation concerns. According to Chris Robbins, a biologist formerly with TRAFFIC North America, an arm of the World Wildlife Fund, the term endangered is over-used and inappropriately used in many contexts. Robbins notes that for plant materials entering commercial trade, to determine its status of how it is surviving, especially if a wild-harvested species, you have to look at numerous variables. You have to look at the extent in international and domestic trade. You need a series of data on the volume in trade, along with distribution, status in cultivation, and in the wild, of course, how does the plant reproduce, and other ecological and biological factors that might have an impact on its capacity to survive. The World Wildlife’s Fund TRAFFIC North America is actively involved in monitoring and policing the United States activity in the international trade of plants under the provisions of an international treaty known as CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). The U.S. is a signatory nation. CITES (signed by over 160 countries) is the international treaty which controls trade in natural objects with commercial value. Animal or plant parts in CITES Appendix 1, such as elephant ivory, are illegal in international trade. The international trade of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is regulated under the provisions of CITES which regulates trade through permit requirements for imports, exports, and re-exports of listed species. American Ginseng is listed in CITES Appendix II, controlling and monitoring its trade “in order to avoid utilization incompatible with [its] survival.” Harvest and commerce are regulated and restricted both jointly and separately by state agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the United States Department of Agriculture. In the case of plants like American ginseng, this creates a paper trail to help better determine trade statistics, and develop biological data on the plant. WWF’s TRAFFIC North America formally petitioned the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in 1997 to propose goldenseal under the provisions of the CITES treaty as an “Appendix II” listing, after finding that over 20,000 lbs of goldenseal were exported between 1990 and June, 1996. The petition was passed which meant from September 18, 1997 on, goldenseal exports are regulated under the CITES treaty. Goldenseal is not endangered. However, the large increase in demand, has highlighted the need for more information on the plant’s distribution, biology, reproduction, and ultimately the need to develop commercially cultivated supplies of the herb to provide a growing domestic and international market.

Yohimbe

Yohimbe Information

yohimbine  YohimbeYohimbe is used to arouse sexual excitement, for erectile dysfunction (ED), sexual problems caused by medications for depression called selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and general sexual problems in both men and women. It is also used for athletic performance, weight loss, exhaustion, chest pain, high blood pressure, low blood pressure that occurs when standing up, diabetic nerve pain, and for depression along with certain other medications. There is evidence from many studies that the active ingredient, yohimbine, can improve sexual problems associated with this class of medications used for depression. However, this benefit has not been described specifically for the yohimbe bark

If you suffer from low libido, yohimbine may help you regain sexual interest. However, the research for this use is limited and of poor quality, so NIH advises that more study is necessary before the agency makes a recommendation for this use. Existing studies focus on yohimbine hydrochloride, with women taking 5.4 mg three times daily to increase libido, according to NIH. Yohimbine increases blood flow to your genital region via your nervous system, according to Dr. Ray Sahelian of Los Angeles, nationally known medical writer and author of “Natural Sex Boosters.”

The exact mechanism by which yohimbine helps sexual function is not clear. Two effects of yohimbine that likely contribute to its improvement of sexual function are:

Blocking of presynaptic alpha-2 adrenergic receptors These are the receptors that the neurotransmitter norepinephrine uses as it moves through nerve cells to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. When these receptors are blocked, the parasympathetic nervous system will dominate. One of the effects of the parasympathetic system is to increase blood flow to the penis. This aids the development and maintenance of an erection.

Side Effects

Yohimbine has significant side effects, such as anxiety reactions. According to the Mayo Clinic, yohimbine can be dangerous if used in excessive amounts. Higher doses of oral yohimbine may create numerous side effects, such as rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, overstimulation, insomnia and/or sleeplessness. Some effects in rare cases were panic attacks, hallucinations, headaches, dizziness, and skin flushing. More serious adverse effects may include seizures and renal failure. Yohimbine should not be consumed by anyone with liver, kidney, heart disease, or a psychological disorder. The therapeutic index of yohimbine is quite low; the range between an effective dose and a dangerous dose is very narrow.  This may also lead to precipitation of panic disorder type reactions. Yohimbine in combination with modafinil is frequently associated with nausea, dangerous acute rapid heart beat, and acute increased blood pressure. Yohimbine exhibits some degree of MAOI activity while modafinil has been shown to increase levels of various monamines, and therefore could result in severe risk of dangerous side effects.

Source: Yohimbe is the name of an evergreen tree that is found in Zaire, Cameroon, and Gabon. The bark of yohimbe contains a chemical called yohimbine, which is used to make medicine.


White Willow Bark Information

White willow bark is one of the oldest home analgesics, dating back to 500 b.c. in China. Modern research confirms old-time wisdom, showing it helps back, osteoarthritic and nerve pains. Willow bark contains apigenin, salicin and salicylic acid, which provide anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-neuralgic actions. At the end of a four-week study of 210 individuals suffering from back pain, reported in the American Journal of Medicine in 2000, 39 percent of those who had received 240 mg of salicin daily were essentially pain-free, compared to 6 percent of those given a placebo.

White willow bark is an anti-inflammatory agent and a pain reliever, perfect for PMS. The problem with aspirin is that it is about as tough on your stomach as it is on pain. Aspirin damages the sensitive lining of your stomach, especially when your stomach is empty. On the other hand, natural remedies like wild willow are much gentler on your body. Specifically, the salicin in wild willow bark is metabolized to salicylic acid after it hits your stomach. So, you avoid the pain of the acid interacting directly with your stomach lining.


Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, white willow bark also works well with other herbs.  Wild yam, black cohosh and damiana have all been proven to complement wild willow bark’s natural wonders, as each of these herbs act as a soothing anti-inflammatory as well.

Individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip also are helped. Willow bark can be purchased as standardized extracts and teas. If you have access to white willow and wish to make your own, collect bark from a twig (never the main trunk). Use about 2 teaspoons of bark to a cup of water, boil, simmer for 10 minutes and cool slightly. Because salicin concentration is low and widely variable in willow bark, you may need several cups to obtain the equivalent of two standard aspirin tablets. A word of caution: Willow should not be given to children, due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome, nor used by individuals with aspirin allergies, bleeding disorders, or liver or kidney disease. Willow may interact adversely with blood-thinning medications and other anti-inflammatory drugs. Also, willow tends not to irritate the stomach in the short term, but long-term use can be problematic.

velvet deer antler

Velvet Deer Antler

Deer antlers grow at incredible speed and, after several weeks, as the antlers reach their final size, the cartilage within them gradually converts into bone. In the final process, the antler’s blood supply and nerves are lost. When the antlers have fully hardened, the stags rub them against trees or rocks to remove the skin that remains. As a result of this rubbing, the deer develop sharp bony weapons for combat against threats to their harem of females during the autumn rut or mating season.

Each Spring the antler cycle begins anew and the skin around the pedicle expands and grows, initiating new antler growth. The hard antler from the previous season is cast off and the growth of the new season’s velvet crop begins. It is then that the velvet is harvested for its medicinal and performance qualities.

When the velvet deer antler has been removed, it is allowed to cool on tilted racks just before being frozen. It is then ready to be processed. If it is removed at the right time, while still in the cartilaginous state, almost all of the antler can be used for medicinal purposes.

The use of velvet antler was scientifically supported in compliance with FDA regulations for its beneficial effects in treating arthritis. Other therapeutically valuable actions include immune stimulation, antiaging, protective and rejuvenating effects, and beneficial effects in blood and circulation.   A recent study used 2 to 6 capsules containing 215 mg of deer velvet per day.

Benefits Of Velvet Deer Antler

Reports from the Orient, Russia, and New Zealand indicate that velvet deer antler has been used for centuries to control blood pressure, increase hemoglobin levels, increase lung efficiency, improve recuperation from exertion, improve muscle tone and glandular functions, sharpen mental alertness, relieve the inflammation of arthritis, and heal stomach ulcers.

Chinese herbal doctors use deer antler as a balancing agent for the endocrine system and in the treatment of penile erection dysfunction in men. Oriental physicians claim it is especially beneficial for men suffering from enlarged prostate glands and watery semen. Oddly enough, velvet deer antler has also been used in the treatment of menstrual disorders. It contains both male and female hormones In addition to cartilage components, enzymes, minerals, vitamins, anti-inflammatory prostaglandins and, in particular, IGF-1 (insulin- like growth factor)

How Much Deer Antler Velvet Should I Take

It is critical that one takes a minimum of 500 mgs daily to achieve optimal effect & benefit.  Note:  1 milligram = 1,000,000 Nano grams.  Many Igf-1 and deer antler velvet products use Nano grams as their measure, which ultimately misleads the customer to see high ingredient content.  If a measure of Nano grams is noted in the ingredient content there is only trace elements of said ingredient.  This in turn will not yield optimal results.  500 mgs is the optimal daily dose for best results. Contraindications have not yet been identified with deer velvet. Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.

History Of Medicinal Use

The first documented evidence of the use of velvet deer antler as a medicine was found on a silk scroll recovered from a Han tomb in the Human Province in China. The scroll is believed to be about 2,000 years old and recommends medical treatments and prescriptions for 52 different diseases using deer antler.

Velvet deer antler product called Pantocrine is manufactured by a Russian state pharmaceutical company to assist in the treatment of many different medical conditions (in hospitals) in which post-operative recovery of patients is a key factor. Velvet deer antler has become an elite medicinal food in Asia, New Zealand, and Korea – the world’s largest consumer of the product.

Oriental Medicine

The most important animal in oriental medicine is the deer because it is the animal with the most Yang energy. Dr. Peter Yoon of Seoul, Korea claims that velvet deer antler is especially important in increasing the quality and quantity of blood production in the treatment of kidney disorders, anemia, high blood pressure, and even the elevation of low blood pressure.

Dr. Yoon and other doctors use velvet deer antler to treat impotence in men. Dr. Lee Sangin of Kyung Hee University in South Korea uses velvet deer antler to treat infertility in women and for liver problems and high cholesterol in both sexes. The medicinal use of velvet deer antler has been going on for 2,000 years, but it is only recently that scientific evidence has been developed to document its health benefits.

Growth Hormone Factors

In scientific studies analyzing the medical properties of velvet doer antler, Dr. Peter Fennessy, General Manager of the Invermay Research Center in pncOtago, New Zealand found that antler extracts improved cell growth and also produced anti-tumor and anti-viral effects. During an investigation into the factors that make antlers grow, the fInvermay group measured a natural hormone factor called “Insulin-like Growth Factor-1″ or “IGF-1″ High levels of IGF-1 were found in deer blood during the antler growth period as well as IGF-1 receptors in the antlers. Dr. Fennessey’s team also discovered that the IGF-1 and IGF-2 (a related hormone) promoted growth in laboratory cell lines from mice.’


When we are young, we have a relatively healthy concentration of human growth hormone. In our teenage years, most of us are slim and lean, with low body fat and good musculature. The reason human growth hormone generates lean body mass is its influence on IGF-1. As we age, our growth hormone levels decrease along with IGF-1, which causes muscular atrophy. Velvet deer antler is a natural source of growth factors, which can improve muscular development.

Accelerated Wound Healing

Scientists can only speculate about Dr. Fennessey’s findings, which may explain (to some degree) the anabolic properties of velvet deer antler. If there are high concentrations of hormone like substances in blood, tissues, and bone, accelerated tissue repair after trauma such as intense exercise can be induced by velvet deer antler. But the most important consideration is the cartilaginous concentration of the antler itself. Researchers such as Dr. John F. Prudden discovered (more than 35 years ago) that cartilage contains an element called N-Acetyl-Glucosamine, which has been demonstrated to accelerate wound healing significantly.2~5

Cartilage also contains glycosaminoglycans, the up-regulators of cartilage production and turnover.6-7 It is also a very powerful regulator. of synoviocytes, which regulate the integrity of the joint fluid.8-9 Perhaps this is the primary reason that arthritics are helped so much by shark cartilage and velvet deer antler.

In 1974, two Russian doctors found that Pantocrine (the Soviet version of velvet deer antler) improved the performance of average, healthy sportsmen (athletes). Unadministered athletes on the exercise cycle performed 15 kg/m of dynamic work, whereas those given Pantocrine increased dramatically to 74 kg/m of dynamic work. This is truly a remarkable increase in performance. Another Russian scientist, Dr. Taney, showed in 1964 that the mental capacity of young men (as indicated by a mathematical test) improved significantly following the administration of velvet deer antler.10

Another ingredient found in velvet deer antler cartilage is Chondroitin Sulfate A, an extremely powerful anti-inflammatory agent shown by Dr. Lester Morrison (over 10 years ago) to reverse atherosclerosis and dramatically improve circulation. Dr. Morrison conducted a six year study demonstrating that Chondroitin Sulfate A reduces the incidence of fatal heart attacks and strokes by more than 400%!

Modulating The Immune System

One of the most important discoveries about cartilage in the last 30 years comes from the work of Dr. Arthur Johnson of the University of Minnesota in Duluth. Dr. Johnson discovered that cartilage contains a small molecular weight protein which has the unique ability to modulate the immune system. This means that, if the immune system is depressed, this particular protein can dramatically improve it. And, if the immune system is overactive, it can reduce its activity until it reaches the normal range. Velvet deer antler has been shown to be capable of modulating the immune system.

Dr. Koltun’s Findings

For twelve years, Dr. Arkady Koltun, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of the Medical Committee for the Russian Bodybuilding Federation, conducted research into anabolic agents that can improve performance, strength, and musculature in Russian athletes. In studies with Russian kayakers, weigh/lifters, bodybuilders, and power lifters, Dr. Koltun found that velvet deer antle is myotropic (increases muscular strength). He also found that it has powerful neurotropic (nerve strengthening) properties and is beneficial in treating infectious diseases, fatigue, and hypertension.

Dr. Koltun revealed that Pantocrine has induced significant increases in endurance in his athletes. After using Pantocrlne in the pre-Olympic festival in Russia, two of Dr. Koltuns’ top kayakers and a world-recordholder in canoeing achieved remarkably improved results. These sportsmen not only stabilized their racing time one week before competition, but dramatically increased their speed in rowing. All received gold medals and established new world records. Dr. Koltun went on to describe an interesting phenomenon that occurs in athletes that are overtrained, even in young athletes. He explained that when athletes train too hard they develop an electrolyte imbalance in the heart muscle, in which there is a loss of recovery and endurance. He calls this condition “Myocardial Dystrophy”and explained that electrocardiograms show dysphasic and extreme negative T-wave readings, which is an image of ventricular repolarization of the cardiac ventricles.

Improving Recovery Time

Dr. Koltun contends that sportsmen (and women) with myocardial dystrophy have a problem with myocardial repolarization and that this, in turn, significantly limits their performance. But there is a good prognosis for them if they lay off their training activity for two weeks. When Pantocrine was given along with inosine and vitamin B-6, he was able to decrease the time of recovery to ten days. In other words, the athletes’ recovery time was dramatically reduced. This allowed the athletes to participate in many competitions, with short recuperation periods in between.

Dr. Koltun also mentioned that one of the most significant attributes of velvet deer antler is the discovery of Dr. Ivan Kinia, who co-authored several studies from the Siberian institution known as Blagoveshemska in 1989. It was shown that among the main bioactive substances in deer antler are the anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, which are especially effective in people who suffer from arthritis.

Toxicology

Toxicity studies of deer antler powder in rats demonstrated no mortality or adverse events on a short term basis.

Deer antlers are the only mammalian bone structures to regenerate completely every year. Deer antler velvet is the epidermis covering the inner structure of the growing bone and cartilage, which develops into antlers.  This tissue grows each spring on male Cervus sp . (North American elk and red deer) and should be removed by a veterinarian or certified farmer. The ethics, including use of local anesthetics, and procedures of harvesting antler velvet have been reported.  Velvet yield depends on several factors, including season, parasites, or injury.  After removal of the deer velvet, it is collected and then frozen or dried prior to its manufacture into various “medicinal” forms including powders, extracts, teas, capsules, and tablets. Each part of elk velvet contains varying compounds, but the deer antler velvet contains the largest concentrations of those found to be beneficial. (Antler also has been sold by the slice). Heating during processing may reduce or destroy the purported beneficial effects of velvet antler. Various preparation methods, including freeze-drying and non-heat-producing methods have been reported.

Ten dogs were examined before and after injections of deer antler extract. While heart rate, general cardiac output, pulse pressure, and arterial pressure were not effected, stroke volume was consistently increased in a significant manner during observation of the animals under study. Talk about a virility factor! In babies and young children, velvet deer antler has been known to strengthen a faint heart sound and a weak pulse as well as elevating low blood pressure (Chang 1986). Indeed, when researchers in China added velvet deer antler to the diet of mice, there was an invigorating effect. Protein and RNA levels were increased in the rodents’ livers, offering strong evidence that their overall liver function was increased in a positive manner (Wang 1990). Velvet deer antler may also be able to ease the degeneration of connective tissue as the body grows older. Research has shown that disorders of sugar metabolism have an important role in rheumatic and degenerative joint diseases. Usually, corticosteroids as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are given to arthritis patients. However, there are side effects that accompany these drugs, including ulcers and immune impairment. Yet, Z.Q. Zhang published evidence in 1994 that deer antler has strong anti-inflammatory tendencies–without the negative side effects of traditional anti-arthritis medicine! German research has also supported that key components such as glucosamine sulfate, glucuronic acid, and glycosarninoglycan in deer antler have an anti-inflammatory effect on cartilage and body tissue (Setnik 1001). More arthritis research is needed, but the evidence is intriguing. Antler extracts may one day become accepted in the West as an alternative treatment for degenerative joint and cartilage conditions. Aging does not have to be dreaded. Velvet deer antler is a potent anti-aging medicine that I have begun to recommend to clients. I’ll provide further updates in a future report. If you start using velvet deer antler, please let me know how it has helped you. Write to me in care of the Journal of Longevity Research.

valerian root

Valerian Information

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)  is most commonly used for sleep disorders, especially the inability to sleep (insomnia). It is frequently combined with hops, lemon balm, or other herbs that also cause drowsiness. Some people who are trying to withdraw from the use of “sleeping pills” use valerian to help them sleep after they have tapered the dose of the sleeping pill. There is some scientific evidence that valerian works for sleep disorders, although not all studies are positive. 

Valerian seems to act like a sedative on the brain and nervous system.works as an antispasmodic, relieving menstrual cramps by relaxing smooth muscles. It is quite effective for cramps, particularly when taken in fairly large doses, especially when blended with cramp bark (50-50). This time-honored herb is of additional benefit as it is an excellent nervine and helps allay emotional stress and nervousness which sometimes occur before the menstrual cycle.

How to take Valerian

Valerian is usually taken an hour before bedtime. It takes about two to three weeks to work and shouldn’t be used for more than three months at a time. Side effects of valerian may include mild indigestion, headache, palpitations, and dizziness. Although valerian tea and liquid extracts are available, most people don’t like the smell of valerian and prefer taking the capsule form.

Valerian shouldn’t be taken with many medications, especially those that depress the central nervous system, such as sedatives and antihistamines. Valerian shouldn’t be taken with alcohol, before or after surgery, or by people with liver disease. It should not be used before driving or operating machinery.

Valerian is also used for conditions connected to anxiety and psychological stress including nervous asthma, hysterical states, excitability, fear of illness (hypochondria), headaches, migraine, and stomach upset.

Dosage: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the tincture; it may be taken in 1/2 teaspoon doses every 2-3 hours until cramping subsides.

What is the history behind it?

For thousands of years, the Chinese, Greeks, Romans, and Indians have used valerian as a mild sedative. The origin of the word “pew” is said to come from the foul odor of the valerian root, which a first century AD Roman physician, Dioscorides, called phu. In the mid-1800s in the United States, the Shakers began growing valerian and other herbs to market to doctors and pharmacists in America and Europe. Valerian is sometimes used to flavor foods and drinks such as root beer.


Valerian side effects & risks

  • Lactating mothers and pregnant women should not take Valerian root in tea or supplement form.
  • Those suffering from liver disease should not take this herb.
  • Valerian root should not be consumed in tandem or alongside antianxiety medication.
  • Valerian root should not be consumed along with sedatives or anesthesia.
  • Valerian root should never be had with alcohol or drugs.
  • Infants and young children should not be given this herb.
  • If prescribed other medications, a doctor should be consulted to the use and intake of Valerian root by a patient.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Valerian might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking valerian along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking valerian, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some medications changed by the liver include:

  • lovastatin (Mevacor)
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • itraconazole (Sporanox)
  • fexofenadine (Allegra)
  • triazolam (Halcion)

Common names:

All-Heal, Amantilla, Baldrian, Baldrianwurzel, Belgium Valerian, Common Valerian, Fragrant Valerian, Garden Heliotrope, Garden Valerian, Grande Valériane, Guérit Tout, Herbe à la Femme Meurtrie, Herbe aux Chats, Herbe aux Coupures, Herbe de Notre-Dame, Herbe de Saint-Georges, Herbe du Loup, Indian Valerian, Mexican Valerian, Pacific Valerian, Rhizome de Valériane, Tagar, Tagar-Ganthoda, Tagara, Valeriana, Valeriana angustifolia, Valeriana edulis, Valeriana jatamansii, Valeriana officinalis, Valeriana Pseudofficinalis, Valeriana Rhizome, Valeriana sitchensis, Valeriana wallichii, Valerianae Radix, Valeriane, Valériane, Valériane à Petites Feuilles, Valériane Africaine, Valériane Celtique, Valériane Commune, Valériane de Belgique, Valériane des Collines, Valériane Dioïque, Valériane du Jardin, Valériane Indienne, Valériane Mexicaine, Valériane Officinale, Valériane Sauvage.

St John Wort

St. John’s Wort Information

St. John’s wort is a plant with yellow flowers that has been used for centuries for health purposes, such as for depression and anxiety. This fact sheet answers some frequently asked questions about St. John’s wort and depression, and summarizes what the science says about its effectiveness and the research being done.

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), when taken long-term, functions as an antidepressant herb without the adverse side effects often associated with pharmaceutical drugs. Take up to 1 tsp of the liquid tincture 2-3 x daily. Start taking the herb a week before the onset of menstruation, so it has time to begin working.

Additional categories of herbs which are crucial to the treatment of premenstrual syndrome include liver-regulating herbs, blood tonifying herbs, and vital energy herbs.

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a long-living plant with yellow flowers whose medicinal uses were first recorded in ancient Greece. It contains many chemical compounds. Some are believed to be the active ingredients that produce the herb’s effects, including the compounds hypericin and hyperforin.

How these compounds actually work is not yet fully understood, but several theories have been suggested. Preliminary studies suggest that St. John’s wort might work by preventing nerve cells in the brain from reabsorbing the chemical messenger serotonin, or by reducing levels of a protein involved in the body’s immune system functioning.

St. John’s wort has been used over the centuries for mental conditions, nerve pain, and a wide variety of other health conditions. Today, St. John’s wort is used for anxiety, mild to moderate depression, and sleep disorders.

St. Johns wort appears to boost levels of the brain chemical serotonin, which effects the emotions. The herb seems so promising as a natural antidepressant that the National Institutes of Health(NIH) in Washington, D.C,. began a major study in 1997 to investigate its effectiveness.

St. John’s wort doesn’t appear to interact with most conventional drugs (except for antidepressants), many older people on complex medication regimens may be able to benefit from it.

In Germany, where doctors routinely prescribe herbal remedies, St. John’s wort is the most common form of antidepressant, more widely used than the drugs Prozac or Zoloft because it has far fewer side effects.

The herb is even being investigated as a treatment for panic attacks and general anxiety.


Relieve mild to moderate depression

Careful analysis of 23 different studies of St. John’s wort concluded that the herb works as well as antidepressant drugs. And it helps promote sound sleep,

St. John’s wort is particularly beneficial for those who suffer fatigue, low energy, or insomnia as a result of depression. Many studies have found St. John’s wort as effective as conventional antidepressants in relieving severe depression in adults.

The herb may also aid in treating depressive elements of chronic fatigue syndrome and seasonal affective disorder (also known as SAD or “wintertime blues”), a type of depression linked to the shortage of daylight in the fall and winter.

In Europe, St. John’s wort is widely prescribed for depression. In the United States, there is public interest in St. John’s wort as a treatment for depression, but it is not a prescription medicine.

Scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of St. John’s wort for depression is inconsistent. An analysis of the results of 37 clinical trials concluded that St. John’s wort may have only minimal beneficial effects on major depression. However, the analysis also found that St. John’s wort may benefit people with minor depression; these benefits may be similar to those from standard antidepressants. Overall, St. John’s wort appeared to produce fewer side effects than some standard antidepressants.

One of the studies included in the analysis was cofunded by NCCAM and two other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—the National Institute of Mental Health and the Office of Dietary Supplements. This study found that St. John’s wort was no more effective than placebo in treating major depression of moderate severity. However, the antidepressant sertraline, used in one arm of the study, also showed little difference from placebo.

Shatavari Roots

Shatavari Information

Shatavari, or shatawari, comes from the Ayurvedic tradition of healing. Shatavari is a traditional Ayurvedic antispasmodic; an aphrodisiac, demulcent, digestive, diuretic, galactogogue, and is often used for infertility and for women’s health.  Also known as “hundred husbands” for its beneficial effects in women and reproductive function, shatavari is also very popular as a galactogogue in India and China. Shatavari is considered to rejuvenate female function and is used for infertility. One older study found that shatavari “increased the weight of mammary tissue and milk yield in estrogen-primed rats” while inhibiting involution of glandular tissue and maintaining milk secretion, while another found shatavari to increase milk production in buffaloes. In contrast, a more recent human study reached the conclusion that it had no real effect (baseline prolactin levels in both groups declined at the same postpartum rate) even though the mothers using shatavari had a greater decrease in necessary supplemental milk for their babies at the end of the study than did mothers who took a placebo.  Shatavari is also know as: Asparagus racemosus, Catavari, Satavari, Shaqaqule Hindi, Songga Langit.

Shatavari contains  beneficial steroidal saponins & glycosides (shatavarin, sarasapogenin, diosgenin), isoflavones, mucilage, alkaloids, asparagamine, sistosterol.

The name Shatavari is from an Indian word meaning “a woman who has a hundred husbands”. It is used as a menstrual regulator, to help prevent miscarriage, for menopausal symptoms with hot flushes, irritability, irregular memory and dryness, for lactation, loss of libido, infertility, as an aphrodisiac, and for the female reproductive organs Shatavari is also used as a tonic for circulatory, digestive and respiratory organs, ulcers, bronchial infections, diarrhoea, rheumatism, diabetes, bleeding ulcers, gastritis, Crohn’s disease, dysentery with bleeding, dry cough, sore throat, inflammation in the lungs due to dryness and heat, male fertility and impotence, building body mass and muscle tissue, nourishing the blood, the immune system, calming the nerves, and insomnia. Externally it is used to treat stiffness in the joints.  The root, rhizomes and stem all have healing properties.


It is often used as  infusion or a tincture. The fresh root is often candied or made into preserves to give it a sugary sweet flavor.

Precautions

Consult with a physician before using if pregnant or nursing.

Raspberry leaf

Raspberry leaf Information

Raspberry leaf (Rubus species) is a member of the Rosaceae family. The leaves are rich in the important minerals calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Raspberry leaves have been regarded as a universal herb for women. They have been introduced to young girls beginning their menses as a welcome ritual to help them through their changes. Raspberry leaves can help alleviate menstrual cramps, reduce erratic food cravings, and curb excessive bleeding.

Raspberry leaf tea has long been used to increase fertility. Pregnant women in China, Europe, and North and South America have all used this herb as a tea for a wide range of female health concerns. Even pregnant cats have been known to seek out the leaves and eat them!

When used during pregnancy, raspberry leaves help to relieve morning sickness, prevent spotting, and improve blood quality thus preventing anemia.

Besides being consumed regularly during pregnancy, women often drink raspberry tea during labor. This is because raspberry leaves contain an alkaloid called fragarine, which is said to make labor easier due to its effectiveness as a tonic for the pelvic muscles and uterus.

When taken after birthing, raspberry tea facilitates placental delivery, helps decrease uterine swelling, and helps prevent postpartum bleeding. Drinking raspberry tea until the time of birthing is so nutritious, it helps to ensure that the colostrum (the first breast milk) will be especially rich. However, it is not used excessively during lactation due to its astringent properties that can decrease milk supply.

When menopausal women use raspberry leaf, it helps promote healthy uterine tone and minimize hot flashes.

Henry Box, an English Quaker herbalist, said, “A tea made from red raspberry leaves is the best gift God gave to women.” Now, that might be exaggerating things a bit, but it does show great appreciation for such a versatile herb.


Pregnancy Symptom Remedies.

If you are pregnant, consult your doctor before trying any herbal remedy. Many women swear by two herbs for a healthy pregnancy: stinging nettle and raspberry leaf.

Stinging nettle is worth growing or foraging for a healthy pregnancy.

Stinging Nettle: Nettle is very high in vitamins and minerals, so it adds a good shot of additional nutrition to the diet — important especially during pregnancy.

Raspberry Leaf: Raspberry leaf tea is traditionally drunk during the last trimester to help prepare the uterus for the work of childbirth and help reduce labor pains. { read more }

Consider making a pregnancy tea from nettle, raspberry leaf, and mint.

Nettle is often considered to be a weed, but it is well worth growing for tea. Be careful: it’s called “stinging nettle” for a reason — brush your arm across just one of its leaves and you’ll know why. It’s best to grow nettle where you can keep it away from kids for exactly this reason. Depending on where you live, you may not have to grow it. It can be foraged in many areas. Though it’s not a fun plant to harvest, once brewed or cooked, it loses all of its sting.

If you are growing red raspberries for the fruit, you already have the leaves you need.

Herbs to Reduce Nausea

 

Mint is easy to grow, and a great nausea reliever.

Nausea can be a problem during both pregnancy and menstruation. There are two herbs in particular that are great to brew as teas.

Ginger: Make a ginger tea, or find or make a good natural source of ginger ale and drink as necessary to reduce nausea.

Mint: Mint tea (one tablespoon of fresh mint leaves steeped in boiling water for fifteen minutes) is a great nausea reducer. If you are pregnant, steer clear of peppermint. It’s just too strong, and can make you feel worse than you already did. Spearmint, apple mint, or any of the other fruit-scented mints work very well.