Sunday, October 31, 2010
Dawn is the owner of Seattle Hill Soap Company and formulates natural and safe soaps and skin care items that are enhanced by herbs, botanicals, or clays. You can find Seattle Hill Soap Company at www.seattlehillsoaps.com.
Patchouli is a bushy plant with large, soft and furry leaves. It’s native to Malaysia but is now cultivated in a number of southeastern Asian countries. Its essential oil can range from light golden-brown to dark amber-brown, depending on the type of metal used in the distillation. Like wine, patchouli gets better with age. Some suppliers will hold back their premium lots, age it just like a wine, then sell it as premium oil. The fragrance, although difficult to describe, is earthy, musty, pungent and very strong. Patchouli’s fragrance can be very off-putting to some, but it is very alluring to others. My personal experience is that people either love it or hate it. I have many customers that buy my patchouli soap simply because they love its fragrance and for no other reason. Although it is known to be an aphrodisiac, I’m sure its effectiveness would be suspect if one thought it stank.
( Relax with a patchouli-infused foot soak. )
Photo by Sam Ley/Courtesy Flickr
The skin benefits of patchouli oil are plentiful. It regenerates skin cells, which makes it useful for hastening the healing of wounds and to fade scars. It tightens and tones sagging skin. Because of patchouli’s anti-inflammatory properties, it can calm skin problems such as sunburn, acne, eczema and other forms of dermatitis. It regulates sebum production and helps treat acne and dandruff. The fungicidal properties make it appropriate for combating athlete’s foot, jock itch and fungal problems of the skin such as Candida. It soothes and smoothes cracked skin and is said to be beneficial for helping brittle and weak nails. Patchouli is also known to be an antidepressant and helps treat anxiety, nervous disorders and other stress-related conditions.
Never use patchouli essential oil neat (without diluting.) There are many applications in which you can use patchouli oil: skin balms, skin oils (macadamia and emu are a couple of my favorites), soaps, lotions and bath salts are a few. My best advice is that you use patchouli sparingly. It is quite strong and a little goes a very long way.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Randy Buresh (Registered Nurse and Herbalist), is the co-owner and founder of Oregon’s Wild Harvest. Oregon’s Wild Harvest grows, harvests and produces their own medicinal herbal products, many of which use the herbs grown on their certified Biodynamic® and Organic farm in Sandy, Oregon. www.oregonswildharvest.com
Open a bottle of fresh fenugreek and the smell is distinctive: maple abounds! Fenugreek is among the best-selling herbs in the United States, and it has been for many years. Commonly used by nursing mothers, fenugreek is widely known for its lactation support—its ability to increase milk flow.
Fenugreek originates from India and northern Africa, and has a long history of medicinal and culinary use. Medicinal applications of fenugreek were documented in ancient Egypt, where it was used for embalming mummies.
Fenugreek has historically been valued across many cultures and eras. As an aid to increasing milk flow, fenugreek has been historically valued across many cultures and eras, from the relatively recent use by wet nurses in the southern United States to other cultures such as Sudan, Egypt, Iraq and Argentina. In India, once a child has been born, women are encouraged to eat fenugreek seeds as a supplement to encourage the healthy flow of milk.The benefits of fenugreek in breastfeeding likely stem from the diosgenin in its seeds, a compound similar to estrogen. As such, it increases milk production and stimulates breast tissue.Fenugreek also contains a gumming substance called mucilage. When mixed with water mucilage expands and becomes gelatinous, and effectively soothes irritated tissues, making fenugreek an effective aid for digestion.
It’s an herb with a story—and many helpful uses. That's why fenugreek is Oregon Wild Harvests' herb of the month.
Friday, October 29, 2010
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Beautiful striped mesa on the horizon.
Photo by Erin McIntosh Fragrant sagebrush and junipers ornamented the majestic red and orange painted mesas that welcomed us on Friday morning. We settled into our adobe dwellings, which softened harmoniously
against the exquisite ochre terrain, and prepared for the weekend’s promise. An extraordinary medley of teachers, including Rosemary Gladstar, Paul Bergner, Matthew Wood, Phyllis Light and many others, had traveled from all corners of the country to share their wisdom with eager attendees. The days would surely be steeped in diverse tradition, innovation and revelry.
Oregon herbalist Howie Brounstein’s hilarious skullcap lecture.
Photo by Erin McIntosh Classes gathered under towering cottonwoods and beautiful wooden pavilions. Around the ceremonial fire pit, Kiva Rose and Jim McDonald led a fascinating discussion of plant energetics and intuitive herbalism through the exploration of aromatics, flavor and form. Howie Brounstein’s lecture on the benefits of skullcap, a nutritive and calming herb, had an unexpected effect on the crowd, instigating thunderous spells of uproarious laughter that could be heard echoing well down the trail! Through powerful anecdotes and cautious guidance, Charles Garcia taught techniques for safely distributing basic herbal formulas like teas, salves and medicinal syrups to help nourish and heal the homeless in our neighborhoods. All the sessions were thought-provoking and deeply stirring.
Discovering the high desert flora during 7Song’s plant walk.
Photos by Erin McIntosh Touring the high desert flora during 7Song’s sunny plant walk was another highlight. Punctuated by lovely botanical language and cleverly crafted mnemonic jokes, 7Song helped us identify the fruiting cholla cacti, vibrant orange globe mallows, tumbleweeds and flame colored Castillejas. Mimi Hernandez’s class on Appalachia’s wild mountain roots boasted a mesmerizing assortment of freshly harvested specimens. During her talk, we examined mammoth poke roots, knobby black cohosh, spindly blue cohosh and fleshy bloodroot that oozed gorgeously when snapped open. We were also treated to sassafras, yellowroot, stoneroot and a trove of wild-crafted tinctures for sampling.
Studying freshly harvested bloodroot.
Photo by Erin McIntosh After spending the hot southwestern days immersed in plant talk, a brilliant waxing moon lured us to the awaiting nighttime festivities. Rosemary Gladstar blessed the gathering with an impassioned call to steward our wild medicinal plants by spreading their seeds in our gardens. Her extraordinary work with the United Plant Savers was met with immense gratitude from all in attendance. Soon, storytelling by a spirited Jesse Wolf Hardin was in full swing as Rising Appalachia strummed their twinkling banjos and flamenco dancers swirled with grace around the stage. The colorful congregation of plant teachers, performers and attendees bounced and swayed as the poetry and rhythms inspired buoyancy.
Rising Appalachia singing a Bulgarian lullaby.
Photo by Erin McIntosh Sunday afternoon of the conference was anchored by an impressive panel of speakers who possess over 200 years of combined experience in herbal studies. The honored teachers shared their unique voices to weave a collective image of what they envision grassroots herbalism will become. At the heart of their dream was hope that humanity will allow the plants around us to be our teachers and that we will fearlessly use the knowledge we gain to enrich and empower our communities. I cannot imagine a more proper finale to this potent, surprising and beautiful weekend amongst herb loving friends in the New Mexican wilds.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a degenerative disease which affects your bones and makes them thin and brittle which increases risks of a fracture. It involves reduction of the BMD or
Monday, October 25, 2010
Deficiency of Vitamin D
Vitamin D has a significant role to play in ensuring a healthy life. Deficit of this nutrient can have
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Why is getting tested important?
Lack of vitamin D is now known to be the cause of many complicated diseases;
Monday, October 11, 2010
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