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Monday, December 12, 2011

Digestive Herbs

Herbs can influence digestion in several ways.  Many culinary herbs we use today are thought of as adding flavor but their original inclusion was due to their affect on digestion.
The use of herbs in cooking is usually due to what is termed a carminative effect that their volatile oils have.  Volatile, or essential oils is what give these herbs their flavor and aroma.  Carminatives tend to stimulate digestion and dispel gas, and some can even relieve spasms.  Common carminatives include fennel, dill, ginger, peppermint and cardamom.  Many times if these herbs arent used in cooking, they are introduced afterwards as teas or other alcoholic drinks.
Another way herbs influence digestion is through adding the flavor of Bitter.  The bitter flavor is often ignored in the U.S. and instead sweet, salty and sour is found.  A bitter, as simple as it is, can cause a multitude of effects on the digestive tract, causing a hormonal cascade which results in movement in the digestive tract.  Many of the carminative herbs mentioned before are also slightly bitter.  Bitters tend to drain and move things out of the digestive tract.  as well as stimulating secretions.  Common bitters include dark leafy greens, dandelion, artichoke leaf, and Oregon grape or the Southwest alternative to Oregon Grape, Agarita.
Herbs sometimes contain mucilage causing a demulcent effect in the digestive tract.  The mucilage is slimy and can act to soothe and coat the stomach and intestines.  Mucilage is found in things like flax seeds, marshmallow, and aloe.
Herbs can contain prebiotic and probiotic substances and some can act as antacids.   Some can do very specific things or many complex effects throughout the system.  How the herbs acts depends on so many different things from quality, to dosage, duration of time the herb is used and the body constitution of the person taking the herbs.  Unlike drugs, herbs they are much more personalized in who does best with what for how long.  It is also a common belief among herbalists that whole herbs are best, and splitting them into phytochemicals--similiar to drugs only asks for more side effects to occur.  The herbs come in a complex package of phytochemicals for a reason and have evolved that way for millenia.  If we are lucky we can tap into their offerings, and trigger healing responses or, just better digestion following meals.  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Case Study for the AHG Professional Application Process Nicole Telkes, Practicing Herbalist Austin Texas



In memory of Juliette De Barclay Levy


This case study is offered not only as an example of successful use of holistic therapeutics for pets with extreme injuries but as a guide for others that need help learning how to care for disabled pets or those with chronic illness.  Note Nov 2011.  Mocha is still doing well!


 Well-loved 7 year old healthy dog named Mocha was hit by car Dec 20, 2007. She sustained major injuries which eventually led to major paralysis.  She was  not only able to heal what was thought to be an incurable secondary infection that led to paralysis but then 6 months after healing she began to regain motor function.  Mocha began walking again in March 2009, a year after she was left completely paralyzed in her hind legs.   This is her story of healing herself with some help from her human friends..



Description of initial trauma
Well loved dog was hit leaving lacerations all over her body, broken jaw, and her front right leg crushed.  Minor fracture in spine missed, leading to spine collapsing and cracking completely and rendering dog paralyzed in hind legs.  Secondary infections followed eventually leading to MRSA inside the spine.  Dog was given a 30% chance of making it thru surgery.
Medical History and explanation of emergency medicine for initial trauma

Well loved dog had prior history of demodectic mange as puppy which cleared.  Dog is spayed.  Flea allergy. 
Following accident, well loved dog was immediately put on heavy medication to ease pain and infection.  Veterinarian strongly recommended antibiotics, pain meds, and steroids.  Initial healing was interrupted by spinal collapse.  Paralysis led to a uti from catheter, and on to which led to MRSA(antibiotic resistant staph) crossing the blood barrier into the spinal column.  In total, the well loved dog went through 3 surgeries.  Well loved dog began to lose weight and long term steroid use led to degeneration of muscles.  Antibiotics that were used had chance of causing aplastic anemia. 

Assessment
Due to extremity of situation, herbs and other holistic protocols were employed in conjunction with western emergency medicine. Holistic strategy was to stabilize dog with specialized diet, additional supplementation, and massage.  Adjunct herbal therapies were given to kill infection, tonify various body systems, and calm.  The key methods in assisting her were to do deep immune building to foster strength to heal, and keep system eliminating well.

Later, herbal therapies moved into rebuilding and strengthening neural pathways and regular bodywork.  One major motivator in her rehab was a cat next door I call “Rehab kitty” she would try to chase.  “Rehab kitty” has since moved on since mocha began walking and no longer comes into the backyard.

Formulation and Protocols used

Please see attached sheet for protocols used. 

Time Line of Recovery
Dec 20: Mocha goes to the emergency room and is stabilized after
              being hit by a car
Dec 21: Mocha is tranferred to surgery and receives 8 pins in her leg, 6 staples
              on her side and her lower law is wired together.
Dec 22 Mocha comes home, but has to be carried out to pee and poo, and is on
              a bunch of pills
Jan 4 Mocha is recovering well and she gets her bandage off her leg. Her jaw surgery
              may not hold so she may still lose her lower canine but the vet
              decides to wait to see if it may still take. She is sore but improving.
              Her pins require daily cleaning and she is still on a pain pill
Jan 10 Mocha looks extra tired and can't get up. She is shivering. We carry her
              out to pee. She curls up in the sun and goes to sleep. The next
              thing we know she is sitting up, panting and feverish. She can't
              move. We take her to the vet immediately. She is diagnosed with
              a back injury.
Jan 11 After a bunch of procedures it is determined that surgery is not the best
              option. She has a subluxation/collapsed disc. She is put under observation
              at the ICU for the weekend.
 Jan 12 Mocha is on morphine and groggy but eats wet food from our hands and whines
              when we leave. She is given a prognosis of an 80% success rate if
              she is kenneled for 10 weeks. We will have to express her urine
              from her kennel for awhile.
MAJOR HERBAL PROTOCOLS AND ADDITIONAL SUPPLEMENTATION BEGAN HERE
 Jan 14 Mocha comes home on horse tranquilizers. It sucks. She is a zombie. We
              wait for them to wear off. She cannot hold her head up.
  Jan 16 The tranquilizers have worn off. She is perking up and eating and drinking. We have
              to pick her up to take her outside. She cannot stand up but she
              is in better spirits. Her ribs are very crunchy
 Jan 17 She put  a little weight on her back legs today. She is also being defiant.
              That is a good sign that she is coming back into herself
 February: Mocha is acting tired, she is in more pain and has a low grade fever.
              We take her in and a urinary tract infection is discovered. She
              also seems to have a lot of pain around her injury at the spine
  Mid-February: Mocha is diagnosed with a potential MRSA infection in her spine
              and urinary tract. Her front leg isn't healing due to the extended
              prednisone use and she is losing sensation in her back leg
  Late Feb, a last ditch effort is made to save mocha with a very risky spinal surgery.
              She is given a 30% prognosis of making it.. She makes it through
              surgery but we aren't sure if the antibiotic we are giving her is
              going to even touch the infection. She comes home looking like Frankenstein
 March Mocha is doing fairly well. She is better but still in a lot of pain and
              paralyzed in the back legs. She requires around the clock care.
              We are pretty exhausted at this point. She is getting a little bit
              of pain sensation in her legs and tail but unable to move them.
April. Mocha is turning around. It turned out a UTI infection was complicating
              the situation. We treated her with more yucky antibiotics and her
              spirits greatly changed. She began to get a little perkier. She
              is now paralyzed but the pain is beginning to subside. She receives
              acupuncture and begins to sleep through the night for the first time in 2 months.
              We find a used wheelchair on craigslist and it comes in the mail.
              She DOES NOT like it.
Late April. Mocha barks at another dog for the first time in 4 months, then for the
              first time in 2 months she wags her tail!!! She starts to wag more
              and more. She walk herself with sling support 1/4 of a mile. She
              begins rehab at the pet rehab department
May Mocha is  now in the midst of 3X a week rehab donated by the surgery department
              of Central Texas Veterinary Specialty Hospital. She is practicing
              on her newly healed front paw, getting strength back in her front
              end. In, fact she scooched herself Eddie Murphy Trading Spaces style
              to her dog Bowl one morning before we were awake to get water.
May 4 Mocha learns  to use her wheelchair thanx to the rehab department. She tools around
              for 20 minutes with her tail wagging. She is off most of her meds
              and supplements.
            Summer: Mocha
              is has her ups and downs. Her leg that was broken in 6 places is
              sore a lot but she is tooling around quite well on her chair. Some
              days are better than others. Overall, her spirit is coming back
              a little more everyday. Its a different life but we are very happy
              to have her with us. 
MAJOR PROTOCOLS SCALED BACK BUT I KEEP HER ON WOOD BETONY (STACHYS SP) TINCTURE 1 DROPPERFUL 2X A DAY AND 1 FISH OIL GEL CAP A DAY


Fall 2008: Mocha is in her wheelchair and we notice her back legs are beginning to move. 

Winter 2008: mocha tried to stand up on her back legs, does so and then falls over.  She feels me pinch her back feet and pulls away from the sensation.  The vet doesn’t believe me.  I go back to the pet acupuncturist and keep up her protocols.  She gets another UTI and takes an antibiotic again.  She is not able to clean herself

Spring 2009: Mocha is now walking a ¼ mile by herself without a wheelchair.  She can walk herself outside to relieve herself and she chases cats again
ALL HERBAL PROTOCOLS END EXCEPT FOR REGULAR FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTATION

Summer 2009 Mocha may have hurt herself.  Her left leg is not responding as well so I change her protocol again and put her on supplements.  Another acupuncture appointment is being scheduled
PROTOCOL #2 SEE SECOND SHEET

Evaluation and Special Notes on Caring for Pets:

Mocha is now happy and healthy.  She has regained about 50% use of her back legs and she can wag her tail.  She goes on a short walk everyday and no longer needs our assistance.  Long term care will be needed to prevent UTI’s and stagnation due less movement.  Rehab continues through walking, swimming, supplementation, and massage. 

Because animals cant tell you when they are in pain or how much pain it makes treatment difficult.  Pets also respond differently to herbs and they must be administered in different fashions.  In this situation it is imperative to begin to really read your pets body language, which most of the time is very subtle any change in behavior of lack of interest in eating can signal something is not right. 



Food is very important.  When mocha was very ill I made her homemade dog food, as I did when she was a puppy and had demodectic mange. 
A simple recipe for homemade food is roughly:
50% cooked grains(rice, barley, quinoa etc…no wheat)
20% veggies raw—shredded or chopped in
30% animal protein—it is supposed to be more but affordability makes this difficult.
I also added nutritional yeast and a tspn of yogurt or probiotic powder
I make a batch that was about 1-2 weeks worth and put it  in the freezer, defrosting 3 days at a time. 
When she was very ill with MRSA I added raw liver.
She is now on a NO GRAIN commercial formula.  Both my dogs poo about ½ as much on the no grain formula and have had no digestive problems.  These foods are more expensive but they eat and poo less.  Homemade is best but can get overwhelming

Pet acupuncture and chiropractic treatments from  Dr Van Winkle, helped a lot.  I took Mocha for just a few sessions and immediately saw changes in her behavior as well as improvement in the movement of her limbs

MRSA Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body. It's tougher to treat than most strains of staphylococcus aureus -- or staph -- because it's resistant to some commonly used antibiotics.(definition from WebMD).  MRSA is spreading rapidly in veterinarian clinics, one reason being that humans are taking less precaution than at a regualar health clinic with regards to hygiene and transferring it to the animals.  MRSA is extremely painful and very difficult to treat once it gets into the bloodstream and into deeper layer of tissue.  Barberry is used as an adjunct therapy in many hospitals in Europe(Michael Moore) when treating staph.  I took this idea and ran with it, using our native species, Berberis trifoliolata as an adjunct therapy when Mocha was fighting the bugAs in a regular human hospital, vets will take on no liability for secondary infections caught at the veterinary hospital…….

Handicapped Pets Website is an excellent resource for folks dealing with disabled pets http://handicappedpets.com/
Not only did I find a used wheelchair for mocha for 1/3 the price of a new one, but they also have discussions and forums to help you with everything with expressing the bladder to discussion forums on a wide range of ailments









Unique ways to give herbs to pets:
How do you know whether or not to give something to a pet and in what does?
I always drop test my pets before dosing according to bodyweight.  It works out to around 7 drops per 12 pds of weight of tincture.  Water extractions are around 1.5 tblspn per 12 pds of weight. 
Not everybody’s dog will take supplements well.  A few dog friendly ways to give supplements include:
Making meat broth infusions or decoctions of supplements, and then turning those into ice cubes to add to food.  This is a really good menstruum for pets just out of surgery.  My dog would not drink water when she was going through surgeries but would drink beef broth, which I snuck other things into….
If a pill is necessary, ghee is a good medium, it also nourished the nervous system.
To help with upset bellies, frozen yogurt or a tspn of yogurt in food works well.

Thoughts on pain
I thought a lot about whether or not to give the wide range of pain pills to my dog.  I really had to evaluate whether they helped or not.  I am very much against using steroids.  I used them anyway against my better judgement and now really wish I had insisted on taking her off of them after a week or two.  The longterm use was overkill on the vets part and I think led her depressed immune system getting ravaged and leading to MRSA.  Fear based decisions are always prominent when dealing with emergency medical situations.  Remember to listen to your gut no matter what.   The hard part of pet pain is evaluating the situation when something cant tell you how it feels.  At one point I decided, enough with the meds, I will just do herbs.  After carefully watching her, my partner and I decided to put her back on the pain meds.  We weren’t sure but she seemed to be more responsive ON pain meds and more apathetic off of them.  What I have learned most is that pets will NOT complain.  Some may briefly, but it is VERY difficult to tell how much they are hurting.  I feel that it is better to have them on low dose pain meds with some skullcap(skullcap with pain meds strategy in humans according to Adam Sellers) than on just herbs.  One example of how little pets complain just hit home yesterday when one of my friends next door neighbors was abusing an animal with neglect and it literally laid down and died from the pain rather than complain thru whimpering and crying. 

When do you stop trying
Well, most of us stop because of financial constraints or because the animal is going thru too much trauma.  I wasn’t ever sure until Mocha was declared infection free that we were doing the “RIGHT” thing.  I really wanted to do what was best for her. I also felt like it wasn’t fair to allow a hit and run be her last life memory.   .  At one point I even contacted pet psychic to see if she could offer any insight.  I slept with her and watched her closely.  One of my good friends is disabled, and her advice to me is that if it was time to put her down, I would know.  I never did “know” so I kept trying.  I felt that Mocha kept trying and as long as she did, my partner and I did. Luckily I had an empty credit card and refused to look at the balance as we okd surgeries and vet visits.  I felt like her life was more important than debt, and like one of my friends said “lots of people go into debt for stupid stuff, at least you did it to save something’s life”.  I ended up starting a fund for her and a bunch of friends donated what they could.  I looked all over for funding but will tell you firsthand, don’t count on any organization helping My vet clinic ended up donating all of her rehab and call her super Mocha.  She is the inspiration to many others who aren’t sure about whether or not to keep trying. 
Mocha on her first walk in over a year on a road trip to West Texas March 2009

Resources
Pet Remedies 
YouTube Videos showing recovery http://www.youtube.com/user/stikitheclown
March 2009
mocha 2009
Mocha 2011-sunbathing and wise--she is now 10- turning 11

Dosing: Herbs for Dogs

Dogs metabolize meds faster, so therefore I have started with higher dosing of herbs with my animals and am having better results with symptoms being alleviated.
The standard dosage for humans is 30 drops of tincture for 50 pounds of body weight.  I now dose my dogs with 60 drops of tincture for every 50 pounds of body weight.  I also have upped the broths and powders to higher doses based on their faster metabolisms.
As my dogs age, I add most of their supplements into either oil, butter, or a little raw meat treat---

Make sure their food is grain free.  Raw food is obviously the first choice, and homemade second.
If that is cost prohibitive, then at least get grain free and add supplementation.

Inflammation: LOTS of fish oil supplementation
Kidneys: Cranberry Powder in meat---

It is not worth buying dog food with supplementation added.  Thats like buying a Pepsi products that has herbs and hoping that its therapeutic.


Monday, September 26, 2011

We're the Ones

This was shared with me at a full moon spring equinox gathering this year.  The words keep echoing in my head and have ever since I heard this read.  I thought I would post it for folks

You have been telling the people that
this is the Eleventh Hour
Now you must go back and tell the people
that this is The Hour
And there are things to be considered:
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your Water?
Know your garden
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
This could be a good time!

There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are
those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold onto the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart, and
they will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination.
The Elders say that we must let go of the shore, push
off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes
open, and our heads above the water.

See who is in there with you and celebrate.

At this time in history, we are to take nothing
personally.  Least of all, ourselves.
For the moment we do, our spiritual growth
and journey comes to a halt.  The time of the
lone wolf is over.  Gather yourselves!
Banish the word "struggle" from your attitude
and your vocabulary.

All that we do now must be done in a sacred
manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we've been waiting for.

-The Elders
Oraibi, Arizona
The Hopi Nation 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lungfire Seasonal Remedy

In celebration of the recent cold front, I went to sleep with all the windows in my home open.  In Central Texas, the brutal heat had finally broke and I was looking forward to a couple of nice cool evenings to enjoy.  Unfortunately,  our area was plagued with massive wildfires in the wake of the cold front(brought on from the winds of a nearby hurricane which ironically gave us no moisture).  I woke up several times in the night with phlegm, worried that I was coming down with something.  In the morning, a haze filled the air.  Here is a photo to give you an idea of the extent of the damage There was no doubting the smell, fire.  As one woman said "Should we be wearing masks?  I bet this is what hell must smell like".  We were thick with smoke all over Austin.   Today was the day I was creating a seasonal support syrup to help people transition out of the blazing hot summer and lend a hand to their taxed out kidneys.  The syrup was going to be a base of wild Texas prickly pear tunas, wild Texas mulberry leaf and berries, peaches from my home garden, and a few added extracts.  The seasonal support syrup deserves its own post, so I will let you read more about it there. After experiencing the very toxic smelling and irritating air, I decided to make part of the base into a seasonal lung support formula.  I added into the base extracts of Mullein , Cordyceps, Gumweed, and Bee Balm.
Prickly Pears, Mulberries and Peaches are cooling and moistening.  The prickly pears and mulberries are added support to the kidneys and blood sugar imbalances(though this being a syrup makes that use questionable).  Thankfully, Kiva rose had already written up some ideas for supporting the lungs after wildfires, since she had experienced some recently where she lives in New Mexico.  After looking at her post here http://bearmedicineherbals.com/smoke.html  I got some more ideas for my own remedy.
Cordyceps, a mushroom(ish) extract, was added in because it also strengthens the kidneys and lungs.  It is gently tonifying and nourishes your vital essence, oftentimes it has been used therapeutically as an endurance remedy.
Mullein is one of my first go to's for lung support.  It enlivens the lungs yet relaxes them at the same time.  Mullein is soothing and gently astringent.  I use it in lung remedies to make sure and direct other herbs.  As soon as I take it, I can feel it center in on the lungs.   It is a specific for dry coughs, especially when used in syrup form.
Gumweed, I added this in to complement Mullein and add in some extra "oomph" so that any particulates from the wildfires could be more easily expelled.  Grindelia can relax the respiratory tract, lessening coughs, and also create a situation where when you do cough us is more productive.
Bee Balm is an herb that quells the fire.  It does so by drawing the fire out to the surface and allowing it to burn itself out more quickly.   For sore throats, there is no plant I can think of I would rather use.  As much as Mullein centers on the lungs, I feel Bee Balm centers on the throat.

All in all you've got a nice seasonal, bioregional blend of herbs and berries.  Want some?  We'll be at the Hope Farmers Market in East Austin or email me at wildflowerschoolherbs@gmail.com

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Uterine Fibroids: A holistic approach

What are they?   Fibroids are noncancerous growths beginning on muscle tissue that can get larger or decrease in size over time most often found in women of childbearing age.  Some signs and symptoms include abnormal or heavy bleeding and pain, a sense of fullness or pressure in the womb and sometimes you can even see the abdomen become a bit distended.  Uterine fibroids, according to allopathic medicine are caused from an overproduction of estrogen in the body, or excessive amounts in the body.  In allopathic medicine they are usually "controlled" with hormonal drugs or with surgery.  In holistic medicine, these growth indicate an imbalance.  The imbalance may be from hormone levels, dietary influences, elimination blockages or a combination of these things.

What to do about fibroids: Ultimately you need to make an educated decision about your own situation and come from a place of strength, not fear.  Fear will land you immediately to allopathic methods of suppression or slicing.  Susun Weed has a great lecture she's given on the levels of healing, I encourage you to go through all of your options, this is my interpretation 7-8 years later of her lecture, these are in order of their level of invasiveness:
0 Serenity medicine--Do nothing--many illnesses work themselves out
1 Story Medicine--Tell people about your situation and get opinions--several
2 Energy Medicine:  Flower Essences, Reiki, Etc that can shift your vital energy without actually the nutritional or chemical makeup of your body
3 Food Medicine:  Eating well and balanced for your body.  Eliminating things that cause imbalance or inflammation.  Adding the proper nutrition and even adding some dietary supplementation in at therapeutic levels
4 Sedate or Stimulate: Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Homeopathy, and other therapies like Massage, Yoga, Mayan Abdominal Massage, Chi Nei Tsung
5 Suppression:  Steroids, Antibiotics or extremely high amounts of herbal substances acting like drugs--or drop dosage herbs that act like drugs
6 Surgery and other Invasive procedures.  Keep in mind once you open the body up you can't go back.  It doesnt like being sliced into and being exposed to the outside world.  This is where secondary infections and other problems can come in.  Sometimes surgery is necessary, but in this scale of invasiveness, it is a last resort, not one of the first ones.
Please do not go immediately onto the internet and do research unless you know where to do research.  You can look at the student section of my website and I have put together a list of places to do herbal research on the internet at www.wildflowerherbschool.com/students.htm
 Most articles you will "google" on the internet about your condition and what to do about it site each other and have a limited amount of information available to you.  I encourage you to go see a Herbalist, Naturopath, Traditional Chinese Medicine Pracitioner, Ayurvedic Practitioner, or Homeopathic Pracitioner in your area.  Be sure to research and ask people their background and philosophy of practice.  You may or may not be a match for them.  In the realm of holistic medicine, you have lots of choices and I truly believe taking back some of the control over your health includes choosing practitioners you enjoy and have some common ground with--be responsible to yourself before you put your health in someone else's hands.  Sometimes this can seem expensive, but try surgery....even with insurance.........I think you'll find that seeing a holistic practitioner regularly is far less expensive in the long run. To truly heal from any illness usually takes a support team made up of practitioners, family, and friends.

 Dietary Changes:  Industrially produced meats, eggs, and dairy have abnormally high amounts of estrogen, since the animals are routinely given estrogen(amongst other drugs) to boost production(thanks Chanchal Cabrera).  Eliminate all of it from your diet.  Yet another reason to buy from the farmers market!
Inflammatory foods like gluten (wheat and other grains), sugar, dairy--ah yes here it is again, and it also makes elimination harder.  Eliminate it.
Refined carbs and deep fried foods, caffeine, SOY, and alcohol...yup eliminate it.
Taking things out is going to make what you put in work better.

Dr Tori Hudson, ND also says:
Saturated fats, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and junk foods are presumably problematic in two main ways:
  1. they interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize estradiol to estrone to estriol, and
  2. some of these foods are deficient in vitamin B or interfere with B-vitamin metabolism. If B vitamins are lacking in the diet, the liver is missing some of the raw materials it needs to carry out its metabolic processes and regulate estrogen levels.

Nutritional Supplementation to consider:  According to Chanchal Cabrera: B Complex, Vit E, Vit C and Lipotropic Factors ,may be helpful see article here: http://medherb.com/Therapeutics/Female_-__Holistic_Treatment_of_Fibroids_.htm

Herbs to research:  Raspberry Leaf(Rubus idaeus), Lady's Mantle(Alchemilla vulgaris), Ginger(Zingiber officinalis), Yarrow(Achillea millefolium), Wild Yam(Dioscorea vilosa)White Dead Nettle(Lamium alba)  Cinnamon(Cinnamonum spp) Vitex(Vitex agnus-castus) and Dandelion Root(Taraxacum officinale)

This list does not mean  to go out and buy all of these herbs and take them.  A skilled holistic practitioner will look at your constitution(body type) and blend together something that works best for your body.  OTC herbal supplements may help somewhat, but they are generally designed as kitchen sink remedies, where the company puts in anything that may influence the body towards better balance and that you will recognize one or more of the herbs and buy it.  I would not recommend buying premade formulas without having a skilled practitioner you trust decide if they are helpful.  Quality considerations are a big factor.  If you want herbs to work, get them from herbalists, not large herb companies that are now owned by pharmaceutical companies(surprise!).

In general, drinking gentle, nutritive teas that are slightly astringent like
Raspberry leaf(Rubus idaeus), 
Lady's Mantle herb(Alchemilla vulgaris)
and Nettles Leaf(Urtica dioica)
will most likely be beneficial in most situations for those that have fibroids.  Herbs that influence our hormones or shift our bodies to eliminate things better should be taken with care and other supervision so that changes in pathology can be monitored.   A general detoxification and liver herb that can be taken regularly to make sure you are eliminating estrogens and other things that can influence the growth of fibroids is
Dandelion Root(Taraxacum officinale).  This can cause pretty sudden shifts in body chemistry, menstrual flow, and elimination so again please make sure and find a trusted herbal practitioner that can monitor you.

Applying castor oil packs by rubbing castor oil onto the womb and covering with a hot towel covered by plastic wrap or wool to keep it warm for about 20 min 1-2 times a day is another general remedy you can do prior  or while eeing a practitioner.


Cod Liver Oil:  Omega 3s are Anti-inflammatory and regulating to our bodies, therapeutic doses of these will most likely have beneficial effects for those with fibroids


My experience:  I have worked with a few clients with fibroids and the greatest changes came from dietary shifts.   Herbs alone may help the body but unless the client in question makes major dietary, emotional work,  and lifestyle shifts, I have found it difficult to affect change and see them shrink.  I have found that in order for most major shifts to happen, the client MUST have regular check ins with a practitioner--like every 2 weeks so that they can be kept on track with diet and lifestyle and be held accountable at check ins.  Eliminating is harder than putting things into the mix.

Resources 
http://www.fibroidnetworkonline.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=26
http://www.ultimatehealing.com/uterinefibroids.html
http://www.menopause-metamorphosis.com/An_Article-fibroids.htm
http://www.tcmpage.com/hp_uterine_fibroid.html
http://www.fibroidnetworkonline.com/modules.php?name=Web_Links&l_op=viewlink&cid=67
http://drtorihudson.com/articles/uterine-fibroids-womens-health-update/

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

You are what you eat: Educate Yourself Here on Food and Recipes


Basic Guidelines: Do not eat things out of boxes or cans.  Eat as fresh as possible.  If you must eat something out of a box or can, make sure it is not a processed food.  Eat fresh, simple, proteins, vegetables ad libum and whole fats.  Do not eat things that have been broken apart into partial foods--like low fat, or pasteurized.  Eat raw, organic, pesticide free whole foods.  Go light on grain.  If you eat grains, eat unprocessed whole grains. Strive to have about 5 colors of food on your plate except for white.  Stay away from the whites: white flour, white sugar, potatoes, etc.
Where to find healthy fresh, local food:

Websites and Recipe Sites for Gluten Free, Healthy Whole Foods Cooking and Living

http://www.helpguide.org/life/healthy_eating_diet.htm

http://www.omgallergyfree.com/

Congee Recipes
Kitchari and Dosha Balancing Recipes

http://www.sproutedkitchen.com/

http://overgrowthesystem.com/
Michael Pollan's Food Rules



10 Books/CookBooks to check out!


Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats


Food Related Documentaries I recommend (great to have the whole family watch after Thanksgiving Dinner)


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Peach Remedy for Summer SAD in Texas


My peach tree has had quite a productive year.  I am a busy little bee collecting peaches and peach leaves for use in various concoctions.  Thanks to Matthew Wood for opening me to the world of Peach Leaf as a remedy.  You can read more from him here http://www.woodherbs.com/Peach.html
This year, as I went through all the various ways to prepare peaches, I came up with a cordial that has a dual purpose.  A common preparation of peaches is canning Peaches in brandy.  I love using peach leaf........... so what I did to put a spin on this recipe was to create a brandy peach cordial(with honey)and then pack in peach leaf and mimosa blossoms.  Why Mimosa?
Mimosa Flower and bark is a remedy in Traditional Chinese Medicine, that a student of mine who was trained in TC Medicine brought to me in a tincture swap.  TCM uses the blossoms to nourish the "shen" or "spirit".  I found from my first drop of the blossom glycerite I was hooked.  Not only do the blossoms taste exquisite but they immediately lifted my spirits.  I felt lighter and more at peace.  I have to say that the only thing that taste nearly is good was............peach leaf!  The two tastes together are phenomenal, like a kind of honey floral, cherry taste.  After a month or so the peaches can be eaten out of the brandy and eventually the brandy strained off for use as a cooling remedy for our Summer heat which often causes a summer version of SAD.  Texas gets hot.  Not just a little hot but so hot that day after day of 100+ weather can create a fried and depressed kind of angst, especially around August in these parts.   I have found that a little bit of peach leaf and mimosa blossom can't gently ease the feeling of being "fried" and cool core temperature while the mimosa blossom subtly lifts the spirits.  The combination is a great little remedy for Texas Summer SAD(Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

HorMoans Spray

We just finished concocting our newest brew for our women's health line, Hormoans.  This spray smells great and does the job.  Not only do the herbs we used have a regulatory effect on hormones, but are well known calming herbs and antimicrobial, making this a spray for 101 purposes.  We combined fresh White Sage Leaf with Native Pennyroyal, Wild Yarrow, and a couple of drops of Lavender and Clary Sage Essential Oil.

I like to use it to help me feel less cranky and irritated by others.   I have seen it successfully quell a hot flash and it is safe to spray on a wound to help prevent infection or kill germs.  The Yarrow in the spray helps to stop bleeding as well.  Check it out, it will soon be available online. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Love Potion #13 is Brewing!

An annual tradition.  Organic Chocolate, Local Honey, Damiana, Rose Petals, Oat Grass and other herbal aphrodisiacs infused into a nice Irish Whiskey.  Sip.  Sip a little more and enjoy!