Fo-Ti a.k.a. Ho She Wu

Fo-Ti aka Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum multiflorum syn. Fallopia multiflorum ) is a trailing vine with small heart-shaped leaves native to China but also growing in Japan ,Taiwan and in areas of North Carolina. Western Herbalists call it “Fo-Ti” in Asia it is referred to as “Ho She Wu or Ho Shou Wu” which literally means “black haired Mr. He”.

In Chinese Medicine, the unprocessed root- referred to as “white fo-ti”- is sometimes used as a mild laxative and as a blood detoxifier. The processed root- referred to as “red fo-ti” is what is typically found in the US- is commonly used to strengthen the blood; tonify the liver & kidneys and as an overall vitality tonic.  Fo-Ti has a warming energy with a bitter , slightly sweet & acrid taste.

The Chinese name for Fo-Ti, seen as either- Ho Shou Wu or Ho She Wu- is named after a Tang dynasty man who was reputably cured from infertility by taking Fo-Ti. His long life, thick black hair and vitality has been believed to be attributed to this herb. Chinese legends boasts that when Fo-Ti is taken for one year-the 50-year-old root restores black hair; the 150-year-old root causes new teeth to grow in the elderly and the 300-year-old root yields earthly mortality.  Chung Yun, a famous Chinese Herbalist, supposedly lived to be 256 years old, was taking Fo-Ti on a daily basis.

So as far as current scientific studies are concerned, it has been shown that large doses taken over a long period of time can improve immunity and may decrease cholesterol levels. Unproven, at least scientifically, is that Fo-Ti has been used successfully in Chinese Medicine for thousands of years as an immune enhancing herb, as a longevity tonic and  for numerous sexual dysfunctions (erectile dysfunction & infertility). Western Herbalists suggest it’s use as a rejuvenating tonic helping to restore energy & vigor; prematurely gray hair, senility, angina and as a strengthener for the blood, adrenals, liver and kidneys. Fo-Ti may also be helpful for those battling anorexia or drug addictions; dizziness / blurred vision and insomnia.

The daily dose of Fo-Ti ranges from 4-8 grams or 1 – 1 ½ teaspoons or 4-5 500 mg of capsules 2-3 times a day. Doses higher than 15mg can cause numbness in arms and legs. If you do not like taking capsules, the powdered herb can be added into smoothies, yogurt or other foods/liquids.

As with all herbs, there may be interactions with specific medications. Check with your doctor or pharmacist prior to taking. Or you can consult with an herbalist, like myself to see if this is an herb that may benefit you.

This article is for educational purposes only, not intended to treat or diagnosis any disease. The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA.

References:

University of Michigan http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2092003

The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra. 1998. Pocket Books, New York.

The Herbs of Life by Lesley Tierra. 1997.  The Crossing Press, Freedom, CA.

Prescriptions for Herbal Healing by Phyllis A. Balch.2012 2nd Edition, Avery. New York.

HerbWisdom.com http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-fo-ti-root.html

How to Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking may be one of the hardest things you may do in your life. I have smoked cigarettes off and on for over 20 years.  Vaping was an alternative, until I learned all the potential problems people have been having- popcorn lung, batteries exploding, etc. So quitting was my solution.

I decided to write this in hopes of helping those who really want to quit smoking nicotine products.  As an Herbalist, I feel it’s important that I practice what I preach and to use my herbal remedies to keep myself healthy. I smoked to relieve anxiety, plus I liked the habit of smoking.  So I developed a 2 Step – Stop Smoking Natural Remedy that includes an herbal tea and a tincture (extract). This program has helped me to quit, and I hope this also works for you!

Smoker’s Tea is a blend of herbs that helps curb cravings, as well as promote lung tissue healing. I made two versions of this tea- regular and menthol – to satisfy your taste buds. Drink several cups a day, especially during the first week, continuing for several weeks or until you feel that your lungs have detoxified enough. Herbs in this blend are Lobelia (acts as a nicotine replacement in your brain), Mullein & Honeysuckle (lung tissue healers), Linden (for taste, good for headaches), Skullcap & Oat Straw (nerve relaxers). This makes for a pleasant tasting tea, and for those that like menthol, I also have a version that includes mint.
smokers.edge.1The Smokers Edge Extract is a synergistic blend of herbs extracted into alcohol. This mixture contains Lobelia (for nicotine withdrawal), Skullcap & Oat Straw (to calm nerves), Mullein (for lung tissue) and Licorice (for liver detoxification). This extract can be used as needed, when cravings hit, squirt ¼ dropper full into your mouth for fast absorption or you can add into a liquid and drink it diluted (avoid touching your mouth with the dropper, as this may add bacteria into the product). The first three days will be the hardest so make sure you have this with you to relieve stressful times and when you feel that you really need a cigarette. As the days go by, you may not need this as often and you may only use the extract as you need it.

 

Tips to Help You Quit:

  • A week or so before you decide to quit, change some of your smoking habits- change brands, times that you like to smoke, etc. This helps to prepare your brain for change.
  • Make your decision to quit a conscious one. You need to be ready to harness your willpower, not deplete your self-control.
  • Use behavior modification tools- keep your hands and mouth busy. Chew gum, drink water through a straw, suck on hard candy or mints or try keeping a toothpick in your mouth. My favorite is flavored sunflower seeds (spicy ones are yummy!)- keep a wad in your mouth, eat the seeds, and play with the shells inside your mouth. This really helps me to keep my mouth busy and takes my mind off of wanting to smoke.
  • Fighting Anxiety- try Yoga, Meditation, Anti-Anxiety Herbs (Try my Relax Remedy) and one of my favorites is to color in my adult coloring books- there are many on the market and it’s “in” right now. Coloring my mandala images really helps me with my anxiety and keeps my mind off of smoking.
  • If you fail: try, try again! It may take several attempts to quit for good. Don’t beat yourself up if you cheat!
  • Place a photo or other memento on the frig, bathroom mirror or other place you frequent of a family member, spouse, child, etc. that you want to quit for. Your love for them may help give you the dedication you need to quit!

Good Luck to you! If you try my products and let me know how they work for you, I would appreciate the feedback. Kerri Bailey herbelements@gmail.com Find them locally at Ubi’s www.Ubistacoma.com  or order them online at http://blog.thepondpad.com/products/?vxcat=15

Disclaimer: The information in this article is for educational purposes only. The statements made in this post have not been evaluated by the FDA. Consult with your medical professional or herbalist whenever necessary. Not all herbs are appropriate for everyone, especially if you are pregnant/breast feeding or have specific medical issues.

Muira Puama

2015-02-28 15.04.40Muira Puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides) is a South American herb often referred to as “the Viagra of the Amazons”. It has been traditionally used by natives for centuries as an energy tonic, general health remedy, aphrodisiac and to improve sexual dysfunctions.  This herb works well for men for Erectile Dysfunction, increase sex hormone production and possibly to increase size &/or performance. For women, Muira Puama can enhance orgasms, increase sexual desire and fertility.

Muira Puama’s short term herbal actions work by increasing blood flow in the pelvic areas in both men and woman and with long term use actually enhances sex hormone production. The roots have been studied by the UCLA School of Medicine showing a significant improvement in both sexual desire and erectile dysfunction.

This may be a great herb for you to try if you need to:

  • Increase Energy Levels
  • Decrease Stress
  • Enhance Libido
  • Increase Fertility Hormones
  • PMS and Menstrual Cramp Remedy
  • Tonify Nerves and Muscles
  • Improve Gastrointestinal Functions

Muira Puama also known as “potency wood” has few side effects, unlike its counterpart- Yohimbe.  The root and bark is primarily used in teas, although the capsules and extracts maybe more effective.

Combine Muira Puama powder with Catuaba Bark powder in capsules for increased energy, increased libido & erections and enhance mood (central nervous system stimulant). Body Builders- this may be a great combination to help naturally increase muscle mass and testosterone levels without the use of synthetic hormones.

As an extract use Muira Puama alone, or combine with Ginkgo for increased neuromuscular function, reduce anxiety and to improve sexual performance & libido.

As a tea, combine Muira Puama with herbs with similar action like Rhemania Root, Ginger Root and/or Sarsparilla Bark for a tasty energy tea and overall health enhancer.

If you plan to use this herb for fertility, remember that you must discontinue its use at the first sign of pregnancy.

 

If you are not interested in making your own blend, then try one of Herbal Elements formulations- Fertilli-Tea aka 2nd Chakra Tea, Energy Extract and Body Boner Capsules, custom formulas are also available.

Herbal Classes

 

Herbal  Classes April & May 2016 through Free University…check it out at freeunw.com

Here are free classes offered by Kerri Bailey- those interested in the Herbal Program, please visit- Herbal Elements Academy for more information.

herbal-encapsulatedClass:      Herbal Nutrition I- “Nature’s Vitamins”

Dates:     April 26th & 30th

Time:      11:00am-12:00pm

Most people may think of herbs as medicine, but herbs are also food! They are “nature’s whole food vitamins” better than any synthetic, generic vitamin found on drugstore shelves. Learn which herbs contain high levels of vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients essential for proper nutrition and how you can incorporate these into your diet. 

Class:      Herbal Nutrition II – “How to Make an Herbal Supplement”

Dates:     May 3rd & 7th Time:      11:00-11:45am

This is the second half of Herbal Nutrition- it is recommended that you take both. Learn how to make your own herbal formula using ground herbs to target specific health issues and increase your daily nutritional intake. Herbs & Supplies can be purchased after class, but is optional.  Allow extra time after class if you make your own formula with help from instructor.

echinacea-purpleClass:      Organic Herbal Gardening

Dates:     April 12th & 16th Time: 11:00am-12:00pm

Location: Tacoma         

There are hundreds of herbs that can be successfully grown here in the PNW.  Growing your own herbs has its own reward. Not only can you have fresh herbs at your convenience, you benefit the environment by providing food and shelter for beneficial insects. Learn how to grow herbs & edible flowers, regardless of space, using organic methods. One session

 

Class:      Herbal Detox

Dates:     April 19th & 23rd

Time:  11:00-11:45am

We are all exposed to toxins on a daily basis from our environment, workplace, personal care products and the foods and drinks we add into our bodies. From time to time, depending upon your lifestyle and level of exposure, our bodies need detoxification. Learn how to safely detox, using herbs and other natural substances. Create your own detox program. Herbal Elements will provide free samples of detox products.  One session

 

chakra.man.triangleClass:      Chakra Connections

Dates:     Tuesday- April 5th & May 10th Saturday- April 9th & May 14th 2016

 Time: 11am-12pm (4-5-16, 5-10-16)  4pm-5pm (4-9-16, 5-14-16)

Location:   Tacoma       

Chakras are our bodies inner energy centers that help us function on all levels. When we work with our Chakras we help to heal emotional wounds and physical ailments that lead to inner peace. This class covers the basics of the 7 main Chakras and how to work with them using crystal chakra kits, essential oils and herbs. Chakra Kits, Essential Oil Blends and Chakra EBook will be available for sale after the class for those interested.  One session.

 

Free Classes are available through Free University in Tacoma, WA

Check it out @ www.freeunw.com 

to sign up for a class:
@ herbelements@gmail.com     ????

Herbal Certification Course

• Herbal Program Online-coming soon, we are working out the details.

Complete course work for Herbalists with written lessons
and hands on projects.

  Herbal Classes Details

• Ayurvedic Herbs-  Find out what’s your “Dosha” or body type, and how to use herbs according to their energetics. An introduction to  Ayurvedic Herbs and East Indian Medicine. 
• Chakra Connections-  
Chakra is Sanskrit for “spinning energy wheels”. Learn   the basics of the seven major chakras and how they relate   to our body, mind and spirit. Unblock the stagnant and
slow down the overactive. (Optional Class)
• Chinese Herbs– How to blend Chinese Herbal Formulas, and an introduction to Chinese Herbs and Traditional Chinese medicine philosophy. 
• Choosing Herbs that Work For You- 
Selecting herbs and preparing formulas made easy. Learn the basics on how to choose herbs and the best way to prepare them- Right Herb, Right Remedy!
• Edible Gardens-  In our climate, it is possible to have a year round garden with cool and warm season vegetables and other edible landscape plants. Learn how to grow your own food and herbs organically in large and small spaces.
• Herbal Kitchen and Tea Garden- 
There are so many culinary and medicinal herbs and plants that can be grown here in the PNW suitable for landscape, garden and containers. Learn how to care, use and design with edible plants & herbs.
• Native American Herbs- Learn about Local and Native American Herbs, Medicinal Practices and where to find them.
• Using Herbs at Home-  
How to cook, prepare and be creative with herbs. Ideas for gifts for friends & family.

Instructor: Kerri Bailey has been teaching classes at local Community Centers, Nurseries & Herb Stores in Seattle / Tacoma areas since 1999. She specializes in Herbal Medicine, Organic Gardening, Ponds and Water Gardens.

Her Classes, EBooks and Videos will be available online this Spring 2016. Check out www.HerbalElementsAcademy.com for more details

Free University  www.FreeUNW.com

 

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Herbal Consultations

Mini Herbal Consultation For those with One or Two Conditions $20

  •   Herbal Assessment– 15 minute In Person or Symptom Questionnaire
  •  Custom Blended Herbal Remedy Includes 2 oz of Tea (Organic, Loose tea) or 1 oz Herbal Powder Blast .  Refills $15

Online Instructions

  1. Purchase Mini Herbal Consultation in Shopping Cart
  2. An assessment will be emailed to you
  3. Fill out the information completely and email back
  4. Your answers and Remedy will be shipped to you

In Person Instructions

  1. Email to set an appointment
  2. In person appointments or phone appointments are local to Puget Sound WA area- The Pond Pad, Ubi’s Cafe or other prearranged location
  3. Fill out information sent to you.
  4. Your assessment will be discussed. Your remedy will be given to you or available for pick up.

Water Gardening Consultations and Pond Cleaning

Water Garden Consultations & Pond Cleaning

Inquire at thepondpad@gmail.com

We have been cleaning ponds for over 10 years and take the utmost care of your fish and plants while maintaining the integrity of your pond. Rates depend upon the size of your pond, location, debris content and how many fish you may have. Treatments are added, but continued use of beneficial bacteria and “earth friendly algaecides” is recommended. Organic Treatment Programs are available.

If you only need a Consultation, then we can help there as well. Rates depend upon your location and project expectations. Just give us an email or find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thepondpad

Water Gardening and Pond Classes coming soon through Herbal Elements Academy

Classes will be available at The Pond Pad.com on:

• Water Garden Plants
• Fish Care
• Pond Cleaning and Maintenance

See our blog and article section for additional
information.
 email… Pond Pad   to sign up for a class
Class in the garden.

Pond Pad (1)

 

Herbal Sprays

Herbal Energy Sprays

Fabulous fragrances for energy balance, skin refreshers and first aid. Works to calm the senses while relieving skin eruptions, rashes & blemishes.. We only use natural, plant based ingredients in our herbal sprays, always free of harsh chemicals, synthetic additives & preservatives. Available in several scents, with Custom Blends and Private Labeling as options.

Made with Herbal Elements Herbal Extracts, Herbal Elements Gem Elixir Water, Mtn Rose Essential Oils & Castille Soap (as a surfactant). To Order online– Products Page  http://blog.thepondpad.com/products/ or  find them locally in Tacoma, WA at Ubi’s Cafe -Ubiquitous Journey- www.ubjourney.com.

          All Natural –  Vegan –  GMO-Free   Our Products have been tested on humans.

bug.away.spray

 

Bug Away Spray– Use as an insect repellent, on clothes and skin. Apply as needed. Made with natural plant essential oils- Citronella, Lavender, Lemon, Cedarwood & Lemongrass; and Herbal Elements Catnip & Rose Geranium herbal extracts.

 

 

Floral Herbfloral.herbal.sprayal Spray– Fresh Flower scent, reminiscence of a field of blooming Roses. Made with Lavender, Hyssop & Lemongrass essential oils; Rose, Geranium & Lavender Extracts;       Rose Hydrosol and Gem Elixir.

Natural alternative perfume that’s beneficial too! Heal your skin while you scent.

 

 

Lavender Herbal Spray- Our most popular….Fresh lavender departs it’s healing scent lavender.herbal.sprayperfect for all ages and pets. Calms, centers and relieves, acts as a “rescue remedy”.  Use for rashes, burns and other skin eruptions. Wonderful fragrance to scent linens, pet beds and shoes. Made with Lavender Extract, Essential Oils & Gem Elixir.

Gentle, yet effective for all ages- young & old, two & four legged.

 

 

sacred.sage.spraySacred Sage Herbal Spray- Our second most popular….Earthy Sage is an evolved scent charge
d with balancing energy for protection and clearing. Also fantastic for relieving more stubborn skin issues, yeasty rashes and minor fungal infections.

Herbal Rescue Spray– For first aid care, fungal issues and acne. Use as needed while you have flair ups, or as a preventative. Made with Herbal Extracts; Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Lemongrass & Tea Tree Essential Oils; and Gem Elixir.

 


Forest.spice.sprayForest Spice-
Step into the PNW woods with Douglas Fir and Cedar Wood scented with spicy extracts of Allspice, Cinnamon & Clove. Great for Men as an after shave spray. Use as a room & fabric scent, perfect for the holiday season. Spray on pine cones to reuse year after year.

A Seasonal favorite for Men!

 

 

Vanilla Svanilla.spice.spraypice- Sweet Vanilla spiced with Cinnamon and earthly Peru Balsam. Made with Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon & Peru Balsam Essential Oils, and Gem Elixir. 

Ladies love this sweet and spicy scent!

We are continuously striving to create new scents available seasonally, mirroring what’s in bloom in the moment. Let us know what you think at herbelements@gmail.com

At Herbal Elements, we believe in living by the seasons!

Order products at: http://blog.thepondpad.com/products/

 

How to take Herbs

Herbs-Organic-CosmeticOne of the most common questions I get as an herbalist is, How do you take herbs? Great question that has many answers.  The 3 most common ways we use herbs is

1. Cooking with Herbs. Add fresh and dried herbs to raw and cooked foods, drinks and baked goods. Add fresh herbs to towards the end of cooked foods, dried herbs in the middle of cooking.  Use 1/2 the amount of dried herbs that would use fresh herbs.

herbal-encapsulated2. Ingesting Herbs in Capsules, Extracts / Tinctures and Teas.  Powdered herbs can be added to smoothies or  taken in gelatin capsules.  Extracts and tinctures are herbs in a liquid form, usually alcohol based.  Teas are made with leaves, bark, roots and flowers.  Loose leaf teas are better quality than bagged varieties.  Make sure you use organic, “fair trade” (ethically farmed) herbs and high quality black, green, red and white teas.

medicine-bottle3. Applying Herbs Topically.  This would include lotions, creams, ointments, balms, and sprays that can be applied to the skin for fragrance and healing.  An essential oil is the concentrated volatile and aromatic liquid form of an herb obtained by distillation.  Use these with another carrier oil such as olive oil or sunflower oil for massage and for healing.  Add a few drops of essential oils to your bath.

Herbs can take time to work, so don’t get frustrated.  Be patient and diligent.

If you have questions about using herbs, stop by and see me  Ubi’s www.ubjourney.com or email me at herbal.elements@yahoo.com

Nutmeg

nutmeg.flowerNutmeg is an ancient spice and medicine used in the Middle East since 700AD and later by the Europeans in the middle ages.  It is now a common household spice that comes from the Myristica fragrans tree from the Indonesian Banda Islands- or Spice Islands.

The “nut” is an apricot-like fruit kernel dried and ground into a powder or made into an oil.  Make sure you use a quality nutmegpowdered form that is not irradiated or from BWP (broken-wormy-punky) nuts and purchase from a reputable source. The freshly grated powder is the best, freshest form.

Nutmeg as a spice used in baking, cooking, teas & drinks and combines well with Cinnamon, Cloves and Ginger and also produces the spice “mace”.  Mace is the red membrane (arial) that covers the seed and is used similarly nutmeg_plant_macewith a less sweet but more delicate of a flavor than nutmeg.

Traditionally, Nutmeg powder has been used in herbal medicine for digestion (flatulence), nervousness/anxiety and for colds & flu as it breaks up chest congestion.  It can be taken in pill, tea or tincture form, alone or combined with other herbs.  The essential oil has many external uses from arthritis, exhaustion, rheumatism / joints, stimulant and as an aphrodisiac.  It blends well with other essential oils like Coriander, Clary Sage & Lavender and is a fixative for citrus oils.

Use nutmeg in small amounts and excersize caution and moderation as it can have mild hallucinogenic effects.  Women who may be pregnant or lactating should avoid Nutmegnutmeg.

The following information is for education purposes and not for self diagnosis. Always consult with your healthcare professional when needed.

Carminative Clove

SONY DSCOne of the first globally traded spice, Cloves, are still widely used and cultivated worldwide. Cloves are the unopened pink flower buds of the evergreen clove tree- Syzygium aromaticum-native to Malucca Islands (one of the Spice Islands).

Over the course of the centuries, cloves have been used for a variety of ailments, as a breath freshener and of clovetree3course as a spice for cooking and baking.  It has a warm, sweet and aromatic taste used for ginger bread, pumpkin pie & baked ham but they can also make a wonderful addition to split pea and bean soups, baked beans and chili. Cloves are an excellent source of manganese, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium & dietary fiber.

clove_1One of the most stimulating & carminative of the aromatic herbs, Cloves have a long use for nausea, flatulence, indigestion (dyspepsia), anti-inflammatory and used to assist the action of other herbs. It is still used today to treat tooth infections and tooth pain and a mild anaesthetic as well as an anti-bacterial agent used in over the counter mouth washes and throat sprays.

Cloves are available whole, chopped or in powdered form and as an essential oil. The oil is commonly used  directly on the gums and should be diluted with a carrier oil when applied to the skin.  Not recommended taken undiluted in high doses as it can cause vomiting, seizures and liver/kidney damage or for children.  Those with clotting problems or with liver or kidney disorders should avoid cloves.

The following information is for educational purposes and not for self diagnosis.  Always consult with your health care professional whenever needed.