The Blog

Benefits of Plantain

  Not the Plantain you were thinking of?

This is the herb plantain, not the fruit that you might commonly see in the grocery store.  Plantain has been used for hundreds of years by the American Indians and many before them.  It has been shown to have a therapeutic action in cases of poisonous bites and stings, skin inflammation, eczema, minor wounds, cuts, scratches, burns, poison ivy and bruises.  It is also known to be one of the best herbs for blood poisoning; reducing the swelling and assistance in healing a limb where dangerous poisons may have made amputation imminent.  I was recently up in Pennsylvania and New York and this grows so wildly that it is annoying for many who desire "the perfect lawn".  If you are fortunate to have it growing wild, you can just crush up some leaves and put it on the effected area as a poultice to heal.  I make an Herbal Healing Salve that has Plantain in it and it is such a hit in our home that we have 3 open jars at all times; in the bathroom, in the kitchen and my daughter has one in her room. 

Does anyone have stories of using Plantain for their family?  Please share in the comments section.

Experiencing Hair Loss?

Hair Loss?

There are many possible reasons for experiencing Hair Loss.  Genetics, hormonal imbalances, degenerative diets and lifestyles could all be reasons.  The blood needs to be clean and healthy to carry in nutrition and carry away waste from our scalp.  Some suggestions include drinking a lot of water, eating a wholesome diet, exercise and get some fresh air daily.  Bayberry is an herb that has shown to be beneficial as well.  I suggest making a decoction with Bayberry Herb and rub into your scalp at night, wash off in the morning.  Repeat this process nightly as needed.  Another suggestion to get nutrients to the scalp is to do a "3-Oil Massage" to the Scalp.  Castor oil for 2 nights massaged into the scalp, followed by olive oil the next 2 nights and then wheat germ oil the last 2 nights followed by a night of rest.  Repeat this process as needed. 

Have you tried natural ways to help reverse Hair Loss?  Please share in the comments.

Are you eating a SAD breakfast?

  Does your breakfast look like this? 

Are you eating a Standard American Diet (SAD)?

When an American sits down to a typical breakfast, chances are they are eating bug spray, weed killer, an embalming agent and arsenic.  It's not a joke!  Favorite foods such as fruits, cereal, milk and toast may contain traces of lethal compounds.  Many of these poisons could accumulatie in your body and potentially cause disease.  The body is composed of more than 30 elements and when you eat devitalized foods, not only could you be poisoning your human tissue but there could be a huge shortage of the important elements and may be a major cause of many ailments. 

It's time to EAT RESPONSIBLY!  Read labels, find out where your vegetables, fruits and animal protein are coming from, buy local and know the farms you are buying from.  I encourage you to get involved in your local food co-op or buying club.  Better yet, plant your own garden and reap the rewards of less stress and a healthier body.

I would love to hear your comments on how to avoid these devitalized foods...please leave a comment and share.

Experiencing Difficulty with Blood Sugar Regulation?

Have you gotten the diagnosis? 

Are you insulin-dependent?

Let's get this out of the way first...is there a magic pill? NO

Is it possible that adult-onset diabetes can be reversed? YES

High Blood Sugar may be controllable but it takes a strong commitment to change your life-style.  It can be devastating because it affects every system in the body which is why it is worth it to do whatever you can to help yourself.

Changing your diet, getting enough exercise and getting to your normal body weight will probably be enough to correct the situation.  However, if you are insulin-dependent, it is going to take a lot more to obtain your health goal. 

Using herbs to support your pancreas, liver, adrenal glands and bowels may be a good place to start...some of these herbs might include licorice root, golden seal, uva ursi, cayenne, cedar berries, mullein, barberry bark, wild yam root, fennel seed, ginger root, peppermint leaf, eleuthero, gota kola, hawthorne berries, lobelia, cascara sagrada and raspberry leaf.  If it were me, I would do a mild herbal cleanse once a month until I obtained a normal, healthy weight and my blood sugar was shown to be in the normal range.  Organic flaxseed oil taken daily has been shown to decrease blood levels of tryglycerides, decrease potent inflammatory mediators, decrease risk of atherosclerosis, increase favorable fatty acids (HDL) and get blood platelet aggregation to levels of healthy control.  Wheat grass juice, 2-4 oz. per day may help to alkalize and nourish the entire body. 

Eating Nutrient Dense Foods - this is the most important suggestion that I have.  I would stop eating white flour, sugar, bread, pasta, processed foods, fried foods and "junk" foods.  Additionally, I would stop drinking the soda and juices made with sugars, additives and juice concentrates.  So what can I eat?  Fresh vegetables, lots of them both RAW and slightly cooked.  1-2 servings of fresh fruit per day and juicing is good but be sure to make your blend at least 3/4ths vegetable and 1/4th fruit...all fresh and organic or local with no pesticides.  Good animal protein is great for you...I would suggest staying away from animals that are injected with antibiotics and hormones.  I like to buy animal protein that is grass-fed, humanely raised, no antibiotics and free-range.  If you enjoy eating grains, experiment with quinoa, millet, wild rice, amaranth.  Here is a list of suggested foods and herbs/spices you can cook with that can by of great help in lowering blood sugar levels.  Cinnamon, green beans, fenugreek, chicory, bay leaf, onions, garlic, turmeric, vinegar, almonds, blueberries, buckwheat, cloves, and prunes.  Eating on a regular schedule and not skipping meals has shown to be beneficial.

Water, water and more water...it is recommended that women drink (10-12) 8 oz. glasses of water daily and men 12-16 glasses of water daily...I suggest "clean" water. 

Externally I would use salves or liniments made with cayenne and/or St. John's wort.  These can be applied regularly and can aid troublesome areas.

If you enjoy using Pure Essential Oils, my favorite blend is mixing 10 drops of juniper, 10 drops of geranium and 10 drops of helichrysum into 1/2 oz. of a carrier oil or massage oil base.  Massage on the areas that are tingling or numb daily.  For more information on Pure Essential Oils, please contact me directly at Jennifer@TheHerbalCabinet.com

Lastly, exercise is a necessity...try to get some form of exercise daily.

Are there other natural methods that have helped you?  Please tell us by using comments.

Notes on Herbs:

*Licorice Root - do not take if you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, high blood pressure or an estrogen-sensitive disorder such as breast cancer or endometriosis.

 

Inflammation in Your Joints?

How did this happen?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common disorders in the world - nearly everyone has some degree of it by age 60.  It results from wear and tear on joints, injury, inherited defect in the protein that forms cartilage, obesity, bone deformities, gout, rheumatoid arthritis and Paget's disease can all be contributing factors.  OA primarily affects the synovial pads that line the bones within the joint.  Over time, stress breaks down collagen, a protein found in the pads.  With age, the ability to produce new collagen decreases.  As the pads wear away, the bones rub together, causing pain and inflammation.

Food vs. Conventional Medicines?

Conventional treatment depend on a variety of prescription medications...possibly for the rest of your life!

Herbs and Nutrition, this is the "food" part, may not only relieve joint inflammation, but has shown to be beneficial to many for the rest of their lives!

Tell me more about the "Food" part...

If I was experiencing joint inflammation, I would eat a diet rich in organic or locally grown vegetables and fruit (fresh only, not canned or frozen).  I would avoid aspartame, eat foods rich in vitamin K such as alfalfa, blackstrap molasses and dark green leafy vegetables, fresh pineapple (not frozen or canned), reduce the amount of bad fat in mydiet (I like olive oil, coconut oil and grass-fed butter), limit or eliminate dairy, eat animal protein from sustainable sources, i.e., grass-fed, no antibiotics, fish from safe waters, humanely raised pork, etc., reduce or avoid coffee, reduce citrus fruit consumption, reduce salt intake, eliminate tobacco and ELIMIATE EVERYTHING CONTAINING SUGAR - this takes out the entire middle of the grocery store.  This is what I would do!

Some beneficial herbs may include; alfalfa, ashwagandha, black cohosh, cat's claw, cayenne, chaparral, copaiba, devil's claw, ginger, hawthorn, primrose, turmeric, willow bark, yucca.

Water...Water...and more Water.  Distilled water is believed by many to be best for joint inflammation because it may assist in cleaning out the inorganic minerals and other deposits in the joints which might be causing the problem.  The recommended daily intake is 3 quarts a day for women and 1 gallon per day for men.

Instead of eating my vitamins and minerals, can I take supplements?

Eating fresh, organic or locally grown vegetables and fruits are your BEST source for vitamins and minerals.  However, it is nearly impossible with today's state of the soil, growing conditions, etc. to obtain "optimal" levels of nutrients you need on a daily basis.  Please contact me directly at Jennifer@TheHerbalCabinet.com to learn more about Whole Food supplements with no synthetics, no additives or fillers. 

So if I do all of this, do I have to Exercise?

Yes! Swimming in particular has shown great benefits for those with joint inflammation.  I suggest avoiding the high-impact aerobic activities that place much stress on joints when experiencing acute levels of inflammation.  However, lifting weights and resistance training has been shown to be beneficial, long-term. 

Other Therapies to Consider:

Castor oil compresses over the affected joints or painful tissues work well for many.  Yoga, Tai Chi and Meditation are also favorites of mine.

Special Note about Herbs:

Cat's Claw - do not take if you are currently taking insulin.
Chaparral - sensitizes the skin, therefore, use sunscreen when outdoors.
Yucca - contains natural steroids and has been shown to reduce inflammation in the joints.
Devil's Claw - can slow the heartbeat, therefore, avoid this herb if you have congestive heart failure.
Turmeric - many people find this to be more effective than some prescription medication due to its high levels of COX-2 inhibitors.