Senna Uses and Cautions

Senna is one of the most widely known and misused herbs on the market. Also known as Cassia, Senna alexandria is a very efficient and strong laxative used in many cultures for hundreds of years for occasional bouts of constipation. The seed pods are use medicinally as a tea for Irritable Bowel or applied externally to hemorrhoids (shrinks tissue) or other weeping skin eruptions. The leaves as far too strong and are not approved for use by the FDA and the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) warns against long-term use of senna leaf.

My concern with the over use of Senna lies in the rush to loose weight too quickly which pushes some people to misuse laxatives as a dieting tool. Laxatives should be taken for Continue reading

Elder Berry & Flower

Elderberry with Flowers

Elder has more folklore associated with it than most any other European herb. In rural England, it was thought dangerous to cut the branches, as it was believed that the plant was inhabited by the Elder Mother. To avoid her wrath, woodcutters and herbalists would recite a rhyme prior to harvesting to appease the goddess.

The most commonly available species of elder is Sambucus nigra or European Elder. In the PNW, we have two native species, Sambucus cerulea, Blue Elderberry and S. racemosa, Red Elderberry. The Blue Elder species has be used medicinally by native peoples for influenza and arthritis for hundreds of years. The Red Elderberry is considered toxic, especially the fresh berries.

Elderberry and Elder Flower are both used similarly medicinally for Continue reading

10 Reasons to Take Herbs

1. Plants have always been the primary medicine for people. Many herbs are still used today as they were thousands of years ago. Herbs have many advantages over pharmaceuticals and posses attributes that man-made drugs never will.

2. Plants contain hundreds of compounds that work together in a complex synergistic effect destroying pathogens, promoting healing and nourishing the body. The chemistries of herbs are too highly complex to build resistance from pathogens. Drugs are a “silver bullet” or single active chemical, targeting one region and eventually leading to resistance.

3. Herbs are Inexpensive. Compared to pharmaceuticals, herbs are very inexpensive and very readily available. Many can even be grown in containers, in your garden or inside your home.

4.Herbs are generally Safe. The side effects of herbs are of no comparison to the potential harmful effects of pharmaceuticals. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the fourth leading cause of death in America is caused by adverse drug reactions. Properly used herbal medicines cause very few side effects. Exercise caution when taking herbs in combination with pharmaceuticals. Consult with a professional Herbalist or other qualified health care practitioner and your physician whenever needed.

5. Herbs are Food. Herbs can provide us with nutrients like food does, as well as vitamins and minerals. These plant based phytonutrients are absorbed and utilized in our bodies much more efficiently than commercially made vitamins.

6. Herbs can be Taken in Many Forms. You can cook and bake with fresh and dried herbs. Herbs also can be consumed as teas, extracts and in encapsulated formulas. Herbs can be applied to the skin in creams, sprays, washes, oils and in baths. There is always a way to take herbs that fit your lifestyle, time and budget!

7. Herbs are a natural renewable resource. Plants grown using organic methods and limited harsh pesticides don’t cause the severe pollution caused by the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals.

8. Herbal information is practically free. Knowledge is Power, so learn about herbs, and how you can improve and maintain your health for life. Remember to be cautious and smart about the information you read about on the internet. Do not believe all you hear and read, even if the information is from famous Doctors on TV. Anyone paid for endorsements may influence you to buy their products and may not have your best interest in mind.

9. Herbs are readily available. There are local herb stores as well as many internet sources for good quality herbs. Look for products that are local, fair trade and organic.

10.  Right Herb, Right Remedy© blog.thepondpad.com . There is an Herb for Every Remedy and a Remedy for every Herb. Have you wondered why some herbs work for some people and not for others? Herbs have an “energy” to them, they range from warm, neutral to cool. As individuals we also have an energetic tendency based on our body type. We then match up the right herb with the right remedy based on energetics. Our goal is to balance, nourish and feed the body’s systems to prevent and eliminate disease.

We are what we eat, as the old saying goes. Be aware of what you

  • Ingest (eat, consume, drink)
  • Apply (personal care products, clothes you wear)
  • Use (detergents, pesticides, plastics).

Read labels and remember just because a product says it is Natural or Organic doesn’t really mean that is truly is.

Kerri Bailey, C.H.,B .S.

The following article is for educational purposes and not intended for diagnosis.  Always consult your health practitioner when needed

 

 

 

 

Fantastic Fennel

 Fennel is native to the Mediterranean where it was cultivated by the ancient Romans and is now one of the most important herb crops in Europe. It was also well known to the Ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Chinese for its aromatic fruits and succulent, edible shoots & root. In medieval times, Fennel was used with St. John’s Wort to protect one from witchcraft as bundles were hung over doors on Midsummer’s Eve to warn off evil spirits. The young shoots and root were eaten as a vegetable and the seeds used as a condiment. The tea made from the seed was given for respiratory and digestive complaints and Continue reading

Take the Sting out of Nettles

There are many species of Nettles growing in temperate regions throughout the world. The most popular used-Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)- is a perennial that grows up to 3′ tall found in moist, shaded areas. The stinging hairs found on it’s stems are activated by touch, causing the sting and ironically, the juice of the nettle plant is it’s own remedy.

Nettles have many nutritional and medicianal uses. The young leaves can be eaten as a salad green or cooked as a vegetable. They are rich in vital nutrients including vitamins A, C and D, calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Medicinally, the leaves and root are used for Continue reading