Dr Akilah El – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah El

Category Archives: herbs

10 Herbal Teas You Should Keep in Your Kitchen Cabinet

Kitchen_CabinetBy Daisy Luther

When you’re sick, little is more comforting than holding a steaming mug of fragrant tea in both hands, warming your face with the hot steam. Somehow, no matter how rotten you felt before, you instantly feel just a tiny bit better.

Whether you are lucky enough to grow your own tea herbs, you purchase loose teas, or you use tea bags, your cabinet is not complete without the following ingredients. These teas are delicious and beneficial, with many different healing qualities. Just like band-aids, antibiotic cream, or aspirin, these items are vital additions to your pantry, allowing you to dispense a hot, steaming, fragrant cup of nurturing in as little time as it takes you to boil water.

There are many different herbs from around the world that have wonderful healing properties. I’ve concentrated this list on ones that can be easily acquired and stored, or which can be easily grown in a backyard garden or a sunny window.

1. Mint

Mint tea is the classic herbal tea. Mint is an ingredient in many different commercial tea blends and is much-loved for its refreshing fragrance.

Growing it:

Mint is an herb that doesn’t just grow easily – it can quickly overtake your garden! For this reason, it is recommended to grow mint in either a container or its own bed. There are many varieties of mint and the healing properties are similar. Whether you grow peppermint or spearmint, the active component is menthol.

Caution:

If you suffer from acid reflux, mint tea may worsen your symptoms. Mint has antispasmodic properties.

Mint tea can be used to:

Reduce congestion in a cold or flu sufferer.
Reduce pain and bloating from gas.
Reduce cramping from diarrhea.
Act as a mild expectorant for a chest cold or bronchitis.
Induce sweating, the body’s natural cooling mechanism. This is a natural way to reduce a fever.
Relieve nausea without vomiting.

2. Ginger

This homely root is an ingredient in many natural cough, cold, and nausea treatments. Instead of giving your child gingerale when they are suffering from an upset stomach (and all of the HFCS and artificial flavors that come in it) brew up a nice cup of ginger tea sweetened with honey for a real dose of soothing ginger!

Growing it:

Ginger is a tropical plant that is not difficult to grow indoors. It requires excellent soil, warmth, humidity, and filtered sunlight.

Caution:

It’s not recommended to exceed 4 grams of ginger per day – components in the herb can cause irritation of the mouth, heartburn and diarrhea if taken in excess.

Ginger tea can be used to:

Reduce nausea.
Prevent or treat motion sickness.
Warm the body of someone suffering from chills.
Induce sweating to break a fever.
Soothe a sore throat.

3. Chamomile

Chamomile tea should be steeped a little longer than other herbal teas in order to get all of the medicinal benefits. This soothing, slightly apple-flavored tea has mild sedative properties. The petals of the tiny flowers are where the medicinal values lie.

Growing it:

Chamomile is easy to grow from seeds. Start them in the late winter and transfer outdoors when the risk of frost has passed. Once the plants are well established, chamomile can thrive with little water during hot weather. When buying your seeds, note that German chamomile is an annual and Roman chamomile is a perennial.

Caution:

Chamomile tea should be avoided by people who take blood thinners. As well, those who suffer from ragweed allergies may also have an allergic reaction to chamomile, as the two plants are related.

Chamomile tea can be used to:

Relieve anxiety
Induce sleep
Soothe mild nausea and indigestion
Relieve a cough from throat irritation

4. Cinnamon

AspoonCinnamonCinnamon doesn’t just smell like a holiday in a cup, it is anti-bacterial, antiviral, and antifungal, making it an excellent all-around remedy for whatever ails you. Cinnamon is a wonderful source of immune-boosting antioxidants.

Growing it:

Cinnamon is the fragrant bark of a tropical evergreen tree which is surprisingly easy to grow indoors in large pots.

Try this delicious winter beverage:

1-1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder or a cinnamon stick
1 tea bag
honey to taste
Almond Milk to taste
Stir cinnamon powder well into boiling water and steep for 8 minutes. Add a tea bag and steep for 2 more minutes. Stir in honey and warm milk.

Cinnamon tea can be used to:

Increase blood flow and improve circulation
Reduce nausea
Ease stomach discomfort, bloating, gas and indigestion
Warm the body of someone suffering from chills
Soothe a sore throat
Reduce cold symptoms

5. Lemongrass

Lemongrass is another herb that is loaded with healing properties. The spiky, easy-to-grow plant has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, and antifungal properties, making it helpful in treating a plethora of ailments.

Growing it:

You can actually root the lemongrass that you buy at the grocery store to start your own patio lemongrass farm. It grows beautifully in a large pot, making it a good herb for the apartment windowsill farmer to cultivate. It can be grown year-round indoors.

Lemongrass tea can help to:

aid in digestion.
calm nervous disorders and anxiety.
aid in the treatment of high blood pressure if a daily cup is enjoyed.
dilate blood vessels and improve circulation.
act as a mild diuretic to reduce fluid retention.

6. Echinacea

This lovely flowering plant is probably the pinnacle of herbal preventatives. Echinacea is not only anti-bacterial, it stimulates the body’s immune system to fight off bacterial and viral attacks. The medicinal properties are in the leaves and the purple flowers.

Growing it:

Echinacea is also known as the “purple coneflower”. The plant has deep taproots and is somewhat drought resistant. It is a perennial. Sow seeds outdoors in the early spring before the last frost. These plants like full sun and they don’t like too much moisture.

Echinacea tea can help to:

enhance the immune system.
relieve pain.
reduce inflammation.
provide antioxidant effects.
shorten illness time for sufferers of the common cold.

Rose_hip_glassJar7. Rosehip

Rosehip makes a tart, tangy pink-colored tea. Rosehip is from the seed-filled pod at the base of a rose blossom, giving you a practical reason to have more rose bushes in your garden. It mixes well and enhances the flavor of any berry or fruit-flavored tea.

Rosehip tea can help to:

provide a nutritional supplement of Vitamin C.
improve adrenal function.
boost the immune system.
provide minerals such as calcium, iron, silicon, selenium, natural sodium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus and zinc.
increase energy.
heal tissues and cells.

8. Blackberry leaf

Dried blackberry leaves give a luscious fruity flavor when steeped in boiling water. Not only are they the basis of many delicious teas, they are loaded with a beneficial component called tannins. (Bonus tip: add a blackberry leaf to a jar of pickles when canning – the tannin helps to keep the pickles crisp.)

Caution:

Excess consumption of blackberry leaves (or anything containing tannins) can cause liver damage.

Blackberry leaf tea can help to:

provide vitamin C.
treat diarrhea.
reduce pain and inflammation from sore throats.
provide an antibacterial effect against H pylori, the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers.
provide immune-boosting antioxidants.
provide high levels of salicylic acid, which gives them similar properties to aspirin, such as pain relief and fever relief.
reduce inflammation of the gums.

9. Clove

Cloves are a wonderful addition to herbal tea just for the taste. Not only is the flavor delicious, but cloves have been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. The multipurpose little seed packs a mighty punch with its antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Growing it:

Cloves are the dried buds of a flowering evergreen tree that is native to Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar. They are generally imported and, unfortunately, are not easy to cultivate in other climates or greenhouse atmospheres.

Caution:

In high amounts cloves can cause liver damage, blood in the urine, diarrhea, nausea, and dizziness.

Clove tea can help to:

provide pain relief – it is a powerful analgesic.
break up mucous and work as an expectorant.
provide a fragrant decongestant in a steaming cup of tea.
treat strep throat or tonsillitis – it relieves pain and provides a wash of antiviral and antibacterial components.

10. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm, also known as Bee Balm, was first recorded to have been used by the ancient Greeks as an overall tonic for good health. It is an ingredient in the old world Carmelite water, a recipe created by Carmelite nuns in the early 1600s to treat headaches. (The traditional mixture also contained coriander, lemon-peel, nutmeg, and angelica root.)

Growing it:

Lemon balm is easy to grow and produces throughout the summer. The more you harvest, the more it produces. It is perennial in warmer climates. Lemon balm like rich moist soil with organic compost and partial shade in the hottest part of the day. It is another one of those herbs that can take over a garden, so plant it in a confined area.

Lemon balm tea can help to:

fight off viruses – it was used historically against shingles, mumps, and cold sores.
calm anxiety and nervousness.
aid in sleep.
aid the digestive system by reducing spasms and quelling heartburn.
reduce nausea.
What do you keep in your herbal medicine cabinet? Why is it an important natural remedy for you? Please share in the comments section below!

A Last Word

Be prepared by keeping the above ingredients close at hand, and be self-sufficient by producing as many as possible for yourself – which is always the best way to make sure that the items were grown using safe, organic methods. Considering that we most often turn to herbal teas for healing purposes, it’s especially important to purchase or grow organic herbs for this purpose. If your leaves are bathed in pesticide and then you add them to boiling water, instead of healing goodness, you are steeping toxins.

When making tea for medicinal purposes, be sure to steep the tea in a teapot with a lid, or to cover your mug while the herbs are steeping. This helps to make a more potent brew by keeping all of the healing oils in the tea, instead of allowing them to drift into the room. Most herbs should be steeped for about 10 minutes for maximum results.

About the author: Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter or visit The Organic Prepper.

The Quick Guide to Herbal Remedies – eBook

by Dr. Akilah El

by Dr. Akilah El

I am very excited to share with you my quick and easy to use herbal remedy guide. My quick guide to herbal remedies book is a comprehensive alternative health resource providing information on a variety of natural remedies, nutritional healing foods, as well as the deficiencies associated with each dis-ease or illness.

Please use this book as a reference guide for future use. Feel free to share this with your family and friends. SPREAD THE WORD!!!

 

 

Click the link below to get your free copy NOW!

 http://www.celestialhealing.net/audiofiles/ebook_page.htm

Herbs for Arthritis Relief

herbs5509by David Novak

More than 50 million Americans suffer from arthritis, but it remains an often misunderstood disease, according to the Arthritis Foundation of America. Arthritis is not a single disease, but it covers over 100 medical conditions that affects the musculoskeletal system, particularly the joints. One in every five American adults have been diagnosed with arthritis and it is not just a disease of old age.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly two-thirds of adults with arthritis are under the age of 65, and this includes children as well. Because it covers more than 100 conditions, arthritis management and prevention differs depending on the specific condition. Some people choose to rely on conventional medicine and therapy, while others opt for safer alternative medicine, specifically with the use of herbs in their diet, which have been shown to provide various arthritic benefits. Here are several herbs that are found to be effective in relieving arthritis symptoms:

Ginger
Ginger is a widely-known herb used in traditional medicine in alleviating arthritis pain. It is native to southeastern Asia, where it is prized for its culinary and medicinal properties. Ginger contains a very potent anti-inflammatory compound called gingerol, which helps in reducing pain and improve the patient’s mobility. It inhibits arachidonic acid metabolism, which is responsible for inducing anti-inflammatory action. Ginger is one of the safest alternative treatment for arthritis because it has no adverse side effect, and it’s relatively safe. Suggested dosage for ginger is 500 mg, up to four times a day for inflammation.

Turmeric
Turmeric, derived from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, has a peppery, bitter flavor and a mild fragrance. It is known as one of the main spices used in making curry dishes, and has been widely used for its healing benefits and as a textile dye. Turmeric has potent but safe anti-inflammatory properties that can be beneficial in relieving arthritis. It contains curcumin, which is comparable to potent drugs and over-the-counter anti inflammatory agents when it comes to effectiveness in reducing inflammation. Suggested dosage for turmeric is 1-3 grams per day in divided doses.

Green tea
Green tea comes from the evergreen tree, and is known to be the least processed among other teas, thus it provides more antioxidants that helps in fighting off free radicals. The antioxidant polyphenol is the active ingredient in green tea, which is effective in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It also has an anti-inflammatory substance called EGCG that halts arthritis development. A cup of green tea contains 20-35 mg of EGCG, which is the highest antioxidant activity of all the green tea catechins.

Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera leaves produce a gel-like substance that contains sterols, which has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. It helps by reducing joint pain and inflammation, making it an effective treatment for arthritis. Regular intake and application of aloe vera juice and gel are needed to maximize the benefits it provided.

Bromelain
Bromelain is a complex mixture of substances found in the stem and fruit of the pineapple plant. It is an effective remedy in relieving arthritis pain and reducing inflammation, especially if combined with rutin and trypsin. It also helps in improving knee function for arthritic patients. Bromelain is considered safe if taken in appropriate amounts; however, moderate side-effects occur if taken with certain medications such as amoxicillin and antibiotics. It is best to consult your doctor before taking bromelain. The suggested dosage is 250-500 mg up to three times a day.

Boswellia
Boswellia is a herb that originates in India, but it can now be found in other parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It has been widely-used in Ayurvedic medicine because of its numerous health benefits. Boswellic acids are the active ingredients found in boswellia, which aid in blocking chemical reactions responsible for inducing inflammation. Though research proving its effectivity is limited, many arthritic patients confirm that it brings significant pain relief and improved functionality. Boswellia can be taken in pill form and should not be taken for more than 8-12 weeks unless prescribed by a qualified health practitioner.

Willow bark
Willow bark comes from several varieties of the willow tree — like black willow, crack pillow and white willow. The medicinal use of willow bark has been recognized throughout history. It helps in relieving fever, common cold, muscle pain, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Willow bark contains salicin, which is converted by the body into a chemical substance called salicylic acid. This substance helps in reducing the production of certain prostaglandins, which helps in easing pain and discomfort brought on by joint inflammation. Willow bark should be used with caution since it can interact with medications that slow blood clotting, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

David_NovakDavid Novak’s byline has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world.  He’s an avid health enthusiast, and frequently is featured in regional and national health publications. He is also a weekly writer for Healthline.  To view his other stories on Healthline, visit http://www.healthline.com/.  

Creating a Healing Garden – 9 Healing Herbs You Can Grow Yourself

By Gaye Levy

Herbs have been used for centuries to sooth and to heal.  According to Wikipedia:

Herbs have long been used as the basis of traditional Chinese herbal medicine, with usage dating as far back as the first century CE and before. Medicinal use of herbs in Western cultures has its roots in the Hippocratic (Greek) elemental healing system, based on a quaternary elemental healing metaphor.

With such a long history of use, herbs most certainly have a place in the survival garden. With that in mind, today I offer a few suggestions to get you started in creating your own healing garden.

Healing Herbs for the Healing Garden

Basil:  People don’t usually think of basil as a healing herb and yet traditionally, it is called the “king of herbs”.  It is used medicinally as a natural anti-inflammatory and is thought to have mild antiseptic functions. Some healing uses are for flatulence, lack off appetite, nausea and cuts and scrapes.

It is also superb on spaghetti and in pesto but then you already knew that.  Basil is an annual plant so you will have to start anew each year.

German Chamomile:  Chamomile is one of the most popular herbs in the Western world.  Its flower heads are commonly used for infusions, teas and slaves.  These in turn can be used to treat indigestion, anxiety and skin inflammations.  As a tea, it serves as a mild sedative to help with sleep.

Feverfew:  This perennial is a member of the sunflower family and has been used for centuries in European folk medicine as a remedy for headaches, arthritis, and fevers. The name feverfew comes from a Latin word meaning “fever reducer.”

It’s  many uses include easing headache pains – especially migraines.  This is done by chewing on the leaves.  A tea made from the leaves and flowers is said to relieve the symptoms of arthritis.

Lemon Balm:  Lemon balm is a member of the mint family.  Considered a calming herb, it has been used as far back as the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion.  Even before the Middle Ages, lemon balm was steeped in wine to lift the spirits, help heal wounds, and treat venomous insect bites and stings.

As with many other herbs in your healing garden, lemon balm promotes relaxation and a sense of calm.

Parsley:  While not one of my favorites, there is nothing like a sprig of parsley to take away bad breath.  It is no wonder that this biennial (meaning it lives for two years) is used to decorate and garnish plates in the fanciest of restaurants.

When brewed as a tea, parsley can help supplement iron in a person’s diet, particularly for those who are anemic. Drinking parsley tea also boosts energy and overall circulation of the body, and helps battle fatigue from lack of iron.  Other uses?  Parsley tea  fights gas and flatulence in the belly, kidney infections, and bladder infections.  It can also be an effective diuretic.

Sage:  Did you know that the genus name for sage is “salvia” which means “to heal”? In the first century C.E. Greek physician Dioscorides reported that sage stopped bleeding of wounds and cleaned ulcers and sores. He also recommended sage juice in warm water for hoarseness and cough.

In modern times, a sage tea is used to sooth mouth, throat and gum inflammations.  This is because sage has excellent antibacterial and astringent properties.

Thyme:  Back during medieval times, thyme was given to knights before going in to battle.  The purpose was to infuse this manly man with vigor and courage.

These days, thyme used to relieve coughs, congestion, indigestion and gas.  This perennial is rich in thymol, a strong antiseptic, making thyme highly desirable in the treatment of wounds and even fungus infections.  Thyme is a perennial that does well, even in cooler, Pacific Northwest climates.

Rosemary:  Long ago, rosemary was known as ‘the herb of remembrance.’ Even today, in places like Australia and New Zealand, it is used as a symbol of remembrance since it is known to help sharpen mental clarity and stimulate brain function. You might recall that many statues of the ancient Greeks and Romans show men wearing sprigs of rosemary on their heads – signifying mental acuity.

The needles of the delightfully fragrant rosemary plant can be used in a tea to treat digestive problems.  The same tea can also be used as an expectorant and as a relaxing beverage that is helpful for headaches.  Other healing uses include improving  memory, relieving muscle pain and spasms, stimulating hair growth, and supporting the circulatory and nervous systems.

Lavender:  I saved my personal favorite for last. Of course it helps that I have an abundant amount of fragrant lavender in my yard.

A tea made from lavender has many uses with one of the foremost being it’s ability to have a calming effect on a person’s mind and body. To that end, lavender can promote a sense of well-being and alleviate stress. It is also useful for dealing with various gastrointestinal issues such as upset stomachs and and flatulence.

Because it is a strong antiseptic, lavender tea, when applied topically, can help heal cuts, wounds and sores. It can also be used to mitigate bad breath.

How to Make an Herbal Tea

The process of making a pot of herbal tea is in itself healing.  Perhaps that has something to do with the proactive effort involved in doing something positive for one’s own self and well-being.  And luckily, brewing an herbal tea is easy.

To make an herbal tea, first bring some cool water to a boil.  While waiting for the water to boil, fetch a non-mental container that will be used to brew the tea.  A quart mason jar works nicely or this purpose.  You do not want to use a metal container since the metal may interfere with the purity and taste of the tea.

Add 2 tablespoons of fresh (or 1 tablespoon of dried herb or crushed seed) to the empty pot or jar for each cup of water.  Then, and this is the important part, add an extra 2 tablespoons of fresh (or 1 tablespoon of dried) herbs “for the pot.”  So, for example, if you are making 2 cups of hot tea, you would use 6 tablespoons of fresh herbs or 3 tablespoons of dried herbs.

Pour the boiling water over the herbs and let them steep, covered, for about 5 minutes give or take.  There is no  exact time since everyone’s strength preference is difference.  When ready, strain the herbs and pour the tea into a cup.  At this point you may want to garnish your heavenly – and healing – cup of tea with honey, citrus fruits or addition herb springs.

For iced tea, increase the quantity of herbs in the basic recipe by 1 1/2 to allow for dilution from the melting ice.

The Final Word

In reading about these herbs, you may have noticed that many are reputed to have the same or similar healing qualities.  Do they work?  I can personally vouch for Rosemary and Lavender which I have used as both a tea and as an essential oil.  I leave it up to you though, to be the final judge.

One thing that is true is that with a little time and for a nominal cost, you can grow the makings for healing teas, infusions and balms in your own garden. Add a dose of sun and some rich pitting soil and you will be set to go.  Just keep in mind that while perennial plants will flourish over the winter and will be there for you the following spring, annual plants must be reseeded or restarted every year.

If you would like to learn more about the healing properties of various herbs, the University of Maryland Medical Center has an excellent web site with a lot of useful information about herbs and other alternative medicine topics.  Click on “herbs” then scroll down the right to the particular herb you would like to learn about.

Also note this disclaimer:  I am not a doctor and anything I write should not be construed as medical advice.  If you have a serious condition, consult a physician or nurse practitioner if one is available.  And if not, consult a reliable reference such as my favorite, The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Gaye

About the Author

Gaye Levy lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable, self-reliant and stylish lifestyle through emergency preparation and disaster planning. She does this through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com, an online preparedness blog that provides lifestyle tools, tips, and thoughts to guide you through the back door of life in the 21st century. With an emphasis on prepping and survival, she writes about and shares practical, thoughtful, and inspirational tools for survival in uncertain times.

Backdoor Survival is currently listed on the Survival Top 50. In addition, Gaye is a frequent guest on the Preparedness Radio Network and the soon to be author of a book on 21st century preparedness. Also known as SuvivalWoman, Gaye  speaks her mind and delivers her message with optimism and grace, regardless of mayhem swirling around us.

You can find Gaye through her website at Backdoor Survival, or the Backdoor Survival Page on Facebook, and as Survival Woman on Twitter.

The Benefits of Red Clover

Often times we don’t realize that much of the natural world around us offers fabulous means to cure and correct a lot of problems and conditions that are there. Understanding one of these substances like the red clover flower will really open your eyes to the possibility of natural health and well being in your life. There are many red clover benefits that you should know of. There have been much research done which has identified that this is one substance that can significantly boost your immune system and cleanses the body well. You will find that there are many benefits to this plant.

The edible flower is slightly sweet one and you can pull out petals and add them to the salad that you make. It is a nice way to add some flavor to summer iced tea. It has been traditionally used to help in cases of cancer and known to have significant benefits in strengthening the immune system. It is also effective in treating respiratory system problems and congestion in many cases. Resin in the plant is what contributes to red clover benefits in this case, which is warm, expectorating and has antimicrobial action on the body and the person.

Here are 10 Benefits of Red Clover

Red clover is a plant that grows in wild meadows, which animals graze on. It is also used for medicinal purposes because of the many reported red clover benefits. The red flowers of the red clover plant are dried and utilized as an herbal supplement due to their high concentration of chromium, niacin, thiamine, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, potassium and red clover isoflavones. This makes red clover a useful treatment for many common health conditions. If you are interested in adding a red clover supplement to your health routine, read over this list of top ten red clover benefits:

1. The isoflavones found in red clover may help to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind).

2. Red clover is a traditional method of treatment for cough in children.

3. Because of its estrogen-like properties, red clover tea may offer relieve for symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes.

4. Blood-flow appears to be improved by red clover, which acts by thinning the blood and preventing blood clots.

5. Studies on menopausal women who take red clover show that the red clover benefits arterial strength and flexibility.

6. Red clover herb extend to the bones, too. Studies show that red clover may increase bone density and slow bone loss in menopausal women.

7. The use of red clover to reverse and/or slow cancer has a long history, and studies show supportive evidence of red clover’s effectiveness as a supplemental cancer therapy. However, because of its estrogen-like qualities, red clover should not be used in the case of breast cancer.

8. Red clover extract side effects are rare and mild, and generally do not occur in users who take it on a short term (less than one year) basis.

9. Ointments made from red clover can be spread on the skin to relieve skin rashes, inflammations and irritations.

10. Red clover comes in several forms for easy consumption.

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