Monday, November 23, 2009

Got Flu?

With all this crazy changing weather, its not unusual to find a few people coming down with the dreaded lurgy...aka the flu!

Now if you are very norty like moi, you will drink copious amounts of hot coffee (in my case, double strength). Now this is not really good for you, but coffee is good for flu and does help if you drink it straight away.

A much gentler and better remedy however, is this.....

Take equal amounts (about 1 teaspoon each) of dried herbs....

Elder Flower

Steep in hot water, then add honey and drink. This remedy works best if you take it straight away when you feel the symptoms coming on. If you already have the flu, you can still drink it but will need to drink it often and at night add some Cayenne pepper to make you sweat it out. Yarrow tends to have that effect anyway so don't be too concerned if you can't stand the Cayenne.

Whenever I get sick, I tend to follow my instincts and add whatever I feel my body needs. Recently I felt the flu coming on and had a very sore throat. I made a mix of Yarrow, Chamomile and honey. Drank about two cups before bed and woke up fine the next day. All symptoms gone.

Now of course chicken soup and the good old fashioned honey and lemon works too! It just takes a little longer to take effect. I remember my grandma feeding me very hot lemon and honey water just before bed when I was a child. It does make you sweat out the germs and the honey of course has many healing benefits.

The problem with flu is that it tends to dehydrate you, even if you do not sweat. A good way to re-hydrate is to drink some of that Lemon Balm tea I posted about the other day. It is full of vitamin C and helps. However, any fluids help. Soup, juice or even water. The more you drink the quicker you get better.

Now having said that, I have just been informed my little man is feeling sick. Must go and make him some tea!

Have a great day all! Hugs and smoochies xoxoxx

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lemon Balm - (Melissa Officinalis)- Anti-viral - CURE ALL

When I first discovered Lemon Balm, I had no idea of its medicinal value. I had literally walked through the nursery picking up herbs and asking in my head...Yes or No! This one was a definite YES. I took it home, planted it and pretty much admired how easily it grew and enjoyed the wonderful aroma it emitted when the breeze passed by.

For two years it pretty much took care of itself and I only once had the urge to use it as a poultice for a cold sore. (Intuitively at the time). I often thought about drying some and using it like potpourri as the smell is just divine. I remember sitting by it outside and feeling really happy when enjoying the aroma as it floated by. Not unusual though! I always feel happy when my garden is blooming and I have a chance to just "sit" out there!

So, as I mentioned before, quite a few people I know both personally and in the blogsphere, have all been suffering from anxiety, depression or other related ailments. And lately this wonder herb has been on my mind a lot for some reason. OK, its been a bit more than on my mind. It actually got to the point where I suffered a bit too much anxiety myself this week. Not sure why or where it came from but after almost allowing myself to have a full blown panic attack last night, I decided it was about time I addressed this post. So I finally took the time out to research it a little more and came up with some rather interesting results. There are so many things it is useful for, that this post might go on forever. So I will give it to you it basic point form.

  • Helps with digestion.
  • Strong Anti-depressant (Can also assist with dyspepsia that is associated with anxiety)
  • Calms nerves (butterfly's in the tummy)
  • Breathe freshener (hehe! could not resist throwing that one in! Personally I prefer Fennel!)
  • Contains vitamins A, B and C

A little exert, from the book " How I can use Herbs in my daily life?" by Isabella Shippard.......

Lemon Balm has featured for: Flatulence, colic, poor digestion, vomiting, headaches, migraines, to ease griping pains, ulcers, nervous upset, nervous heart disorders, mood swings, gout, Arthritis, loss of bladder control, vertigo, herpes, fevers, diabetes, bronchial catarrh, influenza, coughs, colds, female complaints and uterine pain, menstrual irregularity and infertility, insomnia, senility, reducing high temperatures, Alzheimer's disease, palpitations and heart disease, shingles, high blood pressure, candida, cancer, and to help stimulate the spleen, thyroid *, pancreas, kidneys, liver and gall bladder.

(* Lemon Balm may interfere with thyroid treatment...DO NOT take this herb if you are taking any thyroid hormones!)

Externally, leaves can be used for insect bites, cuts, boils, shingles, cold sores, to stop bleeding, and sun spots.

Lemon Balm is recommended as a calming tea for the nervous system and is safe for all ages, it is even used to soothe crying babies.

DOSE: For Tea, steep 1 heaped teaspoon of chopped fresh leaves to 1 cup of boiling water, in a covered container (important as we don't want the volatile oils to escape). Drink 2-3 cups daily!

(Okay, as I had not tried this before, I took the liberty of steeping some this morning myself! I found it quite weak and would probably make it a little stronger for myself. It tastes very mildly of lemon so pleasant to drink! You can add honey to sweeten but I did not find it needed any sweetening at all. I had a slight headache which has cleared nicely! I intend to take it for a week and see how it goes. I have enlisted another guinea pig to try it out too, one who happens to be suffering from depression/anxiety and who is not taking any other meds. We will call this person Lucy for future reference. If you also decide to give it a go, please let me know your results as well. This one is new to me so I would love to hear if it works on a larger scale. Keeping in mind you need to take it for at least two weeks to get full benefits.)

You can serve this tea chilled and mixed with apple juice to stressed children or teenagers. (The apple is mainly for taste). You can also give them the normal tea. Its is quite safe.

For depression you can mix equal amounts of lemon balm, lemon verbena, lemon grass, and a slice of lemon. (Sniff deeply the vapour rising from the tea and then drink) OR you can just drink the lemon balm tea several times a day.

Obviously, if the tea does not agree with you. Don't drink it. And if you are taking any medications, please consult your doctor first.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Herbal Lore

A few years ago now, something strange happened to me. I was feeling extremely despondent, lethargic and pretty much run down. (I know, I know..large family and all..its going to happen occasionally). But anyway, I became quite frustrated with myself.

I was standing at the kitchen sink one day and pretty much reached meltdown stage. I raged in my head and even despaired, "What the hell is wrong with me?" Immediately, the word "Potassium" popped into my head. I was a little shocked to say the least. Firstly, as it was not a word that I would think about anyway. Secondly, I wondered where on earth it had come from. And thirdly, (Karisma hangs head in shame) I had no idea what it was.

Now it was not the first time something like this had happened to me, but it was the first time it related to myself and the first time I got such a specific answer. So anyway, I googled Potassium and found that I could get it in Bananas or Potatoes. But I would have to eat an awful lot of them to help me at all. So I visited the local health store and purchased some pills. Amazingly, it helped and after a few months I had the urge to stop taking them and I was fine.

I found that I was able to "ask" for others as well and learned quite a bit about herbs in the process. I would sometimes doubt myself as certain websites would say one thing and others the opposite. I began to research more and more and even started growing a lot of my own herbs at home. I began using more and more fresh herbs rather than the store bought ones and drying the excess ones as well for later use. Mostly herbs I would use in the kitchen but also medicinal herbs. I bought many books to compare notes and managed to find one very special book that goes into far much more detail and covers many many more herbs and foods which are vital in healing.

Of course I kept this pretty much to myself. It sounds a little crazy right? But crazy or not, I have learned over the past few years, that if I do not listen to myself and trust in my instinct, things go wrong. So crazy or not, these days I do exactly that.

There are three herbs that I would recommend everyone either grow in your own garden or keep dry on hand. And they are Yarrow, Chamomile and Lemon Balm. For various reasons, all three of these herbs have popped up on a regular basis and have worked amazingly well. Yarrow was one that I had never heard of before that came into my head for someone else. I researched it extensively as I was very dubious. Now I am so happy that I did.

So why am I telling you this? Well, because this week I have been very drawn to my Lemon Balm. It has for some reason, grown very big and strong this year and seems to be reaching out to me as I walk past it. I had learned a bit about its properties before but had forgotten about it. It was one of the herbs I initially planted for some unknown reason when choosing my original herb garden. I knew we needed it, but not why!

I have been pondering on several people in particular and quite a lot of people in general that all seem to be suffering from the same ailment these days. Not so much asking how to help them as they have not asked me to, but wondering why its happening and what could be done about it as a whole. So rather than offer these herbal remedies up to anyone in particular. I figured I would just post some of what I have learned about each herb once a week and let you all make the decision whether to try it or not for yourselves. Starting with remedies that I have tried and that have worked for me.

I will also aim to add links to sites I have found accurate and useful and tell you where to buy that book I mentioned. Thus far it is the best book with far much more information on herbs than any other I have come across and I have bought or borrowed many from the library over the past few years. Anyway I will try and post about Lemon Balm later today. Im off for a bike ride this morning!

Hugs and smoochies xxoxox

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Flight to Freedom - Written June 11, 2008

Theres a fire burning in my soul.
Its yearning to break free.
With words and pictures on my mind,
And sounds that only, speak to me!

And while I try to fathom why...
you watch me silently.
Beyond the veil that most can't breach
You hear my silent plea!

A purple whirlpool from my dreams.
Surrounding me in blue.
Begins my journey to your world.
A journey that is true!

I raise my life up to the sun-
I beg you, set me free.
Through your warmth and ambiance...
Release this pent up energy!

Beware this day, my dragon comes,
Be watchful for her birth!
A burning flame will be undone,
unleashed for all its worth!

The spirit wolf my guardian.
The eagle who is me.
Together climb this mountain,
To forever set me free!


Friday, November 13, 2009

Just Imagine....

You were born as a tree.......

Starting out as a little seed, lovingly planted....or inadvertently dropped by someone who may have been careless. Nature takes its course anyway and there you are, encased in the warm damp earth, nice and could stay there if you wanted, after all.... nothing can hurt you, but as nature planned, you wonder if there is something better out there.... curiosity gets the better of you!

Something warm and intriguing reaches down from above, enticing you to feel its love. You slowly begin to reach out. Its not easy. You sprout, small buds, you stretch with all your might and finally one day, you break through the surface and feel the warm rays of sunshine. Its a little daunting at first, but the sun coaxes you out with promises of what may be and you take the plunge!

At first you have no idea of the dangers you will face, what you will learn, the challenges you will happen upon. You are innocent and unaware of anything but the suns warmth. You are weak and unprotected. If you are lucky, the one that planted you will protect you, nurture you with water, food and love. You will grow strong roots and begin to grow tall. You will stretch your branches towards the sun's warmth and embrace what is so easily yours.

If you are not so lucky, you may struggle to keep your hold to the earth. You may suffer but you will soon learn to fend for yourself.

You will learn there are many dangers to be watchful for. Father sun is not always so loving. Sometimes he is rather harsh. Sometimes there is no water, no food. You face many dangers under this sun. Dehydration, famine, wind, storms, disease, and many many predators that may just eat you or trample upon you or pull you from the ground as though you are nothing. This world is a scary place!

From instinct your soft stem becomes hard and you grow stronger, it may take a little longer than if you had been nurtured by that loving hand. But alone through pure will, you still make it and soon enough you start to grow many branches, reaching out to learn more. Your leaves burst forth, seeking for knowledge. You grow big and strong. With each leaf, you grow a new understanding of this big world and hope that you find your place in the scheme of things.

Again if you are one of the lucky ones you will stay healthy and bear fruit. This fruit will be collected and replanted to extend your family. Hopefully, your knowledge will be passed down, building a firm foundation and more strong trees. You will be at peace with who you are and your purpose on this planet. Because you know, you are good and you are taking your place in the cycle of things that are meant to be.

But life is generally never that simple. Perhaps you will get sick. Perhaps you will bear too many leaves and they may weigh you down, making it hard to cope. You may struggle to hold up your branches and eventually they may break. You may become so laden down that you lose them all and become bare. You may even give up and simply die.

Now you could keep struggling until this happens or you could make the decision to drop some of those leaves, starting with the ones that are withered. Letting them fall to the ground as lessons well learned. You could take from them the knowledge that you have gained and use it to strengthen your roots, mixing them well with the earth to sustain and feed you. Leaving room for new growth. Helping you to grow even bigger and stronger until you are able to support yourself and understand that everything happens for a reason, that every hardship you come across and conquer makes you the tree you are meant to be.

You would cast aside the broken branches you no longer require. Throw your seeds to the wind where they, like you will regrow. A forest will be born. You will stand together and protect each other. You will thrive together.

If you were a tree, you would accept this as the way of things. Being a part of mother natures plan would come naturally to you. As humans we could learn an awful lot from a tree, if only we would listen.


If you have somehow found your way here already! Welcome! I am in the process of setting up this little corner as a space to write down things I would probably not share on my regular family blog. Some of the stuff that goes on in my head on a daily basis that I may or maynot have had the time to write down.

If you know me already, you also know that my life if very full and hectic. I am on the go 99% of the time with little time to take out for quiet time or to stop and breathe as I like to call it. So writing can be a challenge for sure. Just getting here this morning to write this down has taken me hours. I have been interrupted no less than 10 times by children wanting or needing something, relatives dropping by, being distracted when I noticed the floor needed a clean (so I stopped to vaccuum), making a start on ridding myself of excess books that have somehow taken over the house, lifes little dramas in general and then I remembered what I was doing and tried once again!

I probably will not post here as often as my other blog but hope to find time to as much as I can. I may write something meaningful at times or NOT! It may just be a random thought for the day.

Life can be so confusing at times for most of us. But we learn so much every day. This blog is intended to share some of my thoughts, lessons I have learned, things I wonder about and maybe some of my mad dreams which currently I keep on a private space. Lets just see where it takes us.

Namaste and Blessings to all. Mwah xxxx