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.

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.

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

How to Naturally Boost your Immune System – Using Herbs and a little Common Sense

An efficient and balanced immune system is the key to maintaining good health. It immune-tri-systemprotects us from diseases, allergies and slows down the aging process.

A strong immune system depends upon:

Nutrition feeding your body a healthy, well balanced diet . 

Energyregular exercise and massage

Attitude a positive attitude, good mental health

immune-bodyOur immune system is made up of a team of organs working together mainly made up of the skin, bloodstream, digestive and lymphatic systems.

  • Skin helps our immune system by acting as a huge detox organ eliminating toxins and impurities from our bodies.
  • Blood and circulatory system helps are immunity by cycling out wastes from the blood into the digestion and lymphatic systems for proper elimination.
  • Digestive system is a complex system that involves our stomach, large and small intestine, gallbladder, pancreas and liver.  Inside the lining of our intestines contains good bacteria that helps us digest waste and boost our immunity.  Adding a probiotic supplement or a yogurt to your diet keeps up the good flora population.
  • Lymphatic system is a network made up of lymph nodes and vessels, the spleen and thymus gland that produce lymphocytes which destroy and eliminate invaders.

What contributes to sickness? Unhealthy lifestyles, poor health habits and toxic environmental conditions can compromise and weaken our immune system leaving us susceptible to infection.

Immune system enemies are:
-poor nutrition-low vitamins A & C levels in the body
-stressful lifestyles
-lack of sleep
-smoking
-excess alcohol, caffeine, drugs, sugar, food additives, pesticides and pollutions.

cold-and-flu-season-300x240The signs of low or imbalanced immunity are apparent in those that are excessive or frequently sick. Chronic illness can cause allergies, food intolerances, auto immunity, digestive problems, fatigue, soreness & poor skin.

We can boost our immunity by adding healthy foods, herbs & teas to our diet & healthy lifestyle habits.

Eating a Healthy Diet. Eat foods high in vitamins A, B complex, C and E; high in SpicesZinc, Calcium and Selenium, green leafy veggies and berries. You don’t have to rely solely on vitamin supplements. Herbs are food and contain many vitamins and minerals. Acerola & Rose Hips are high in vitamin C. Barley & Wheat grass powders are a great protein source packed with nutrients and can be added into smoothies. Green Tea, Green Rooibos, Hemp Seeds are power packed with antioxidants and vitamins.

Good personal hygiene habits.  They are very important in preventing and spreading disease. Wash your hands regularly, especially after using the bathroom, handling raw meat or animals/pets.

Clean environment.  Keep living areas cleaned regularly, keep dust levels down.  Clean kitchen and bathrooms regularly. Keep both lids of the toilet down when not in use. Store tooth brushes in the medicine cabinet or in a drawer.Keep work place spaces, desks, and your telephone, cleaned regularly-especially if others share it.  Viruses and parasites can live for several hours on non-living objects.

laughing-animals-13Healthy Outlook. Have a Positive outlook on life. Laugh, and laugh a lot! Spend good times with friends and loved ones.

Prevention. Enjoy life in moderation. Practicing preventative health habits can be free and in most cases herbal remedies and teas are less expensive and better for you than over the counter pharmaceuticals.

 

Herbs for Colds and Flu

cold_and_flu_virus_compositeThe Common Cold is a minor viral infection usually caused by a type of Rhinovirus. Typical Symptoms are sore throat, headache, cough, congested head & sinus/nasal, watery discharge, sneezing, low grade fever & muscle aches & soreness and general weakness & low energy.

The Fluis a viral respiratory infection, caused by a type of influenza virus; may be a type A or B strain if from an animal. The Symptoms are the same as for colds, except more sudden & more severe.Know when to see a Doctor!*

Bacterial          Infection                vs.             Viral               Infection

Local to area                                     Widespread/systemic

Stays where initiated                          Spreads  all  over

Short high fever                                Persistent low grade fever

Mucous  is thick,sticky&colored                         Thin,    clear   mucous

Difference-cold-flu

TreatingColds/Flu

Those more susceptible to colds/flu: smoke,high stress levels, chronic lung illness &people with decreased immunity.

1.Treat Symptoms-Drink teas & use steam aromatherapy. Take baths with essential oils and Himalayan pink salt (see blog) or Epsom salts.

2.Increase Immunity. Increase your Vitamin C intake (dont take EFAs during colds/flu); take immune enhancing herbs as teas, tinctures or capsules. Dress warmly.  See my blog on How to Enhancing your Immune System.

3.Flush Out Mucous. Chicken soup really works, feed a cold starve a fever. Drink fluids & herbal teas (avoid sugar). Dont suppress coughs,use expectorants. Flush used tissues into toilet, avoid spreading to others-stay home if you are contagious.

PRE-CAUTIONS: Dont give aspirin to children showing viral infections, as this could develop into Reye Syndrome which is potentially fatal.

 cold-and-flu-season-300x240See a Doctor if you are experiencing*:

  • Heavy Chest congestion or Wheezing (could develop into severe illness).
  • Persistent Fevers above 102?F for more than 3days.

 

Try to avoid mucous increasing foods, sugar, dairy products & EFA supplements (oil holds virus in mucous) during the flu.

Be active during a cold to move the mucous out of the body and feed that cold.For the Flu,rest is best and starve a fever.

 

echinacea-purpleHerbs that are Immunity Boosters Astragulus (longterm), Cayenne, Cinnamon, Echinacea (shortterm), Eleuthero,Garlic & Onions,Licorice, Olive Leaf (long term), Pau DArco, Reishi, Shitake & Maitake Mushrooms, Thyme, Usnea

 

Herbs for Sinus & Fevers Boneset, Chamomile, Chinese Chrysanthemum, Elderflower, Ephedra (use with caution), Honeysuckle Flower, Nettle, Peppermint,  Sage, Spearmint, RoseHip, Yarrow

 

tea-pot-steaming

Herbs for Lungs & Sore Throat Angelica, Anise, Catnip, Coltsfoot, Elecampane, Fenugreek, Ginger, Goldenrod, Horehound, Lemon Balm, Lungwort, Mullein, Pleurisy Root,  Schisandra, Violets, Wild Cherry Bark

Essential Oils Cypress, Eucalyptus

Try my tea and capsule formulas to help build your immune system and help find colds.  Find them in my ApothoKerri section on http://blog.thepondpad.com  I also make customized formulas

References:

PDR for Herbal Medicine

The Complete German Commission E Monographs

The Herbs of Life by Lesley Tierra

Holistic Herbal by David Hoffman

Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine by Michael Murray

Prescription for Herbal Healing by Phyllis A. Balch

Herbal Defense by Robyn Landis & Karta Khalsa

Questions? Just ask at:

blog.thepondpad.comemail:herbalelements@comcast.net

Disclaimer: The following information is intended for educational purposes. Always consult with your health care professional when needed.

 

How to Boost our Immune System

An efficient and balanced immune system is the key to maintaining good health. It protects us from diseases, allergies and slows down the aging process. Our immune system is like a team of organs working together mainly made up of the skin, bloodstream, digestive and lymphatic systems. The Lymphatic system is a network made up of lymph nodes and vessels, the spleen and thymus gland that produce lymphocytes which destroy and eliminate invaders.

Unhealthy lifestyles, poor health habits and toxic environmental conditions can compromise and weaken our immune system leaving us susceptible to infection. Immune system enemies are: poor nutrition-low vitamins A & C levels in the body, stressful lifestyles, lack of sleep, smoking, excess alcohol, caffeine, drugs, sugar, food additives, pesticides and pollutions. The signs of low or imbalanced immunity are those that Continue reading

Herbs for Weight Loss

One of our most popular requests is for information on herbs for weight loss.  With the pressure to be thin coming from many sources, we should always keep our focus on achieving and maintaining a weight that optimizes our proper health. There is 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

 

 

 

 

Making Your Own Encapsulated Herbal Formula

Making your own encapsulated formula is a easy way to take herbs on a daily basis for both healing and as “food”. Herbs are not only medicinal, they are also nutritive providing our bodies with vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

Generally, we take encapsulated herbs that are:

  1. either bitter tasting or mucilaginous
  2. need to be taken for a long period of time
  3. herbs that should be taken in small amounts.

Mild herbs that require large doses are not good choices for a formula, they may be better taken as a tea.

Choosing your formula should not intimidate you. Single herbs or combinations of up to 3-5 herbs work best. If there are too many herbs in your formula you will not get an effective medicinal dose. Choose one or 2 that are your “main” herbs and then another couple as “assisting” herbs. For example, a great formula for arthritis could be Tumeric and Ashwaganda as the main herbs for their anti-inflammatory actions, assisting with Gotu Kola for tissue regeneration and Triphala as a general tonic good for all body systems. For each ounce of powdered herbal formula, mix .3 oz Tumeric, .3 oz Ashwaganda, .2oz Gotu Kola and .2 oz Triphala as a recipe for your formula combination.

What you need to encapsulate your formula are:

  1. your herbal formula- dried, ground, good quality herbs
  2. gelatin capsules-either small “0” or larger “00”
  3. bowl and spoon to mix herbs
  4. capping machine (optional, saves time)

Mix your formula well with a spoon inside a clean glass bowl or deep dish. Separate gel capsules into two parts, fill both ends of the capsule with your powdered herbs. Pack them firmly until they are almost full. Carefully join the two ends closing the capsule. Encapsulate herbs by hand can be a bit time consuming. Using a capsule machine with speed up the process, is easy to use and will save you money in the long run.

Take your formula with meals and drink plenty of tea or water to wash them down and help dissolve the capsules. The typical dose is 2 capsules, three times daily. The actual dose may vary depending on the herbs used and the condition being treated.

If you need help, customized formulations can be blended based on your body type and medical issues. For additional information and to purchase herbs, capsules and capping machines please visit blog.thepondpad.com or email me at herbalelements@comcast.net

If you are local, stop by Ubiquitous Journey in Puyallup, WA 253.445-6128 www.ubjourney.com

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