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 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.

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/

 

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.

 

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

Lovely Linden Flower

Linden (Tilia cordata), also referred to as Basswood in America or Lime Tree in Europe, is a widely used herb native to North America and Europe. It is a small to large tree often planted as an ornamental with heart shaped leaves and whitish yellow fragrant flowers that appear in mid- late summer.

The use of Linden began in medieval Europe as a remedy for colds, scratchy throat, flu Continue reading

Savory Sage

Native to the Mediterranean, Garden or Purple Sage (Salvia officinalis) is one of over 500 species of Salvia used throughout the world for culinary, medicinal and/or cultivation purposes. The botanical name Salvia means “to cure” in Latin , a clue to it’s medicinal importance. Sage was traditionally used to flavor meats, ease sore throats and as a wound healer. It is an easy to grow shrubby perennial with thick greenish gray aromatic leaves bearing whorls of purplish flowers in the spring.

Sage is a classic remedy for soothing inflammations of the mouth, throat and skin. It’s antiseptic, astringent and relaxing actions calms the nervous and digestive systems easing indigestion, Continue reading