Native to Europe, Asia and North America over 100 varieties of Yarrow grow worldwide today. It is one of the most adaptable and incredibly hardy plants alive and has survived on this planet for thousands of years. Pollen believed to be from the Yarrow plant was found during an excavation of a 40,000-60,000-year old Neanderthal tomb. From the Trojan War to the American Civil War, Yarrow has been effective in treating and healing wounds.

NATURE’S CREATION YARROW

Plant of Defence

Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)

Botanical Name: Achillea millefolium

Planets: Venus, moon

Element: Water

 

Today herbalists and homeopaths focus on the anti-inflammatory properties of the herb. Yarrow also contains Sesquiterpene lactones. Sesquiterpenes are characteristic of the Compositae family and their anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and anti-cancer effects have been clinically tested and well documented.

Many Native Americans tribes considered Yarrow to be an all-purpose, “life medicine”. They utilized it for pain relief and chewed the root as a cure for toothaches and mouth sores. It was consumed as a tea to reduce fever and aid in sleep. Yarrow contains a source of salicin. When salicin is converted to salicylic acid in the body, the effect is similar to today’s synthetic aspirin. This may account for the ability to successfully treat fevers and reduce pain.

Insight: The energy of Yarrow is harmonizing and balancing especially when connected to conflicting disturbances and emotions. If you are experiencing a sense of vulnerability then Yarrow comes to you to protect and support you.


Radium Weed

Botanical Name: Euphorbia peplus. Radium weed…also known as petty spurge, milkweed or cancer weed. This annual garden weed is common throughout Australia. It has branched stems and alternate oval leaves. The small, yellow flowers are inconspicuous and grow out the middle of the leaves.

When I was taking a Herbal Medicine class twenty years ago I was introduced to Radium Weed. One of the other students had a wart and our teacher demonstrated the technique of harvesting and treating the wart with Radium Weed. By the end of the 9-week course, the wart had festered, scabbed and was completely gone. I learned that, if used appropriately and carefully, Radium Weed could be an extremely useful treatment.

It has long been used successfully as a traditional remedy for common skin lesions…one that has been passed down through generations.  Radium Weed has been used for the treatment of warts, corns and skin cancers. The milky sap can be applied to warts and sunspots for 2-4 days. Just a drop of the sap (no more) is all that is needed on the area to be treated. The site will fester and be quite unsightly, followed by a scab, then fresh pink skin. Fresh aloe gel can be applied to aid healing.

Milkweed produces a milky sap which contains chemicals that can control cell growth and death (apoptosis). The active ingredient in the sap is a diterpene ester called ingenol mebutate. The sap extract works by activating an enzyme called protein kinase C which triggers controlled cell suicide. A recent study has shown that this herb has treatment potential for non-melanoma skin cancer. Early results are favourable with basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.  An Australian company called Peplin Biotech is conducting research and developing a gel from the sap of Euphorbia peplus as a simple topical treatment for certain skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. According to Peplin Biotech, the sap penetrates the skin and destroys the malignant tissue.

Radium weed is one of the most promising and so far successful home remedy treatments for skin cancer. Treatment is a drop of sap from the plant directly on skin cancers. For the best and safest results, it is advisable to obtain the seeds from an experienced organic gardener or a plant nursery and grow your own plants. Wild harvesting can be very dangerous, even if it only from the next door neighbour’s garden.

Radium Weed has a serious side.

Care must be used not to allow the sap onto unaffected skin or anywhere near the eyes. THIS IS IMPORTANT. The eye can be affected more seriously by inflammation because it is easily scarred and cause loss and clarity of vision. It is toxic if ingested and will cause blistering wherever it is applied.

Self Treatment Advice

There are a few points that need to be applied when using the raw sap.
1. When plucking the stems to extract sap, choose the small stems first.
2. Wear gloves and do not allow the sap to get onto your fingers or on the lips or eyes.
3. Apply the sap only to the most prominent and specific tissue only.

  1. Do not over treat. Once or twice per day is more than enough.

Last, but not least, seeing a doctor or alternative healthcare specialist before self-treating is always recommended.


Ashwagandha (Withania) is one of the most valuable herbs in the Ayurvedic medical system.  It is not just a herb for stress relief; it is also beneficial in helping to keep one healthy, young and mentally sound. Those who take Ashwagandha, even after just a few days, become aware of increased energy, a feeling of internal warmth, wellbeing and overall balance.

The therapeutic qualities of Ashwagandha are well recognised in Ayurvedic traditional Indian medicine. Dating back an estimated 5,000-10,000 years, Ayurveda is widely believed to be the oldest known system of health care. Buddha (born c. 550 bc) was a devotee of Ayurveda. Ayurvedic practitioners value Ashwagandha as an important medicinal plant. They regard it as a rasayana herb … indicating that it strengthens, rejuvenates and invigorates. It is an adaptogen that works to normalise physiological function by acting on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the neuroendocrine system to control stress and regulate body processes. Ashwagandha has “middle note” or neutral action, which means it can be warming as well as cooling, depending on the condition. According to Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwagandha simultaneously balances the nervous system (vata = air) and the musculoskeletal system (kapha = earth, water) while it increases heat (pitta) in the body. As a result, it improves memory, counteracts the effects of stress and calms the mind. (See the Information and Reference Guide in Nature’s Creation book for a more in-depth explanation of Ayurveda.)

Ayurveda is India’s 5000-year old medical science of life, health, and longevity. According to Ayurveda, there is no separation between body, mind, and consciousness. Therefore, the concepts of health and disease must address all of these aspects.


We can all help the earth and make changes to live a sustainable lifestyle.

The outer environment is in danger from global warming, pollution, and myriad chemicals. As our toxic outer world spins out of control we become aware of the environmental dangers of disturbed emotions, disease, negative and aggressive thinking.

Permaculture (the word, coined by Bill Mollison…meaning permanent agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people — providing food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.

 

 

 

 

Permaculture studies and applies holistic solutions that are applicable in rural and urban contexts at any scale. It is a multidisciplinary toolbox including organics, agriculture, water harvesting and hydrology, energy (solar, wind and hydropower), natural building, forestry, waste management, animal systems, aquaculture, appropriate technology, economics and community development.

 

The philosophy behind permaculture is one of working with, rather than against, nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless action; of looking at systems in all their functions, rather than asking only one yield of them; and allowing systems to demonstrate their own evolution.

We can all do our part in helping the earth and becoming self-sufficient…one step at a time. Looking at installing solar, wind or hydropower, growing our own veggies, building earth-friendly houses, putting in water tanks to catch rainwater are just a few ways we can become sustainable.

Below is useful information put together by the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage. Becoming sustainable begins with the home.

What impact does your home have on our environment?

If each of us aims to run a sustainable household, which means thinking about the type and amount of resources we use, how we recycle and dispose of materials, the steps we take to manage and conserve the natural environment we all depend on, we are not only conserving energy, we are saving money too.

Little things like changing to a water-efficient showerhead can save hundreds of litres of water a year, and stop your dollars going down the drain.

If we build houses that are well insulated and designed, then it will cost less to heat and cool them. If we consider our purchases carefully, a lot less waste will end up as landfill and pollution. Every year, each Australian generates, on average, more than 2000kg of rubbish; in NSW alone, we throw away $2.5 billion worth of edible food a year.

Water usage remains a key environmental concern and there are many ways to use it sparingly, without compromising on comfort. Whether it’s fixing a leaking tap or installing a household greywater system, every little bit helps.

Lots of little actions by lots of people can help turn things around. We have compiled some simple steps and actions you can take:

Save energy

Tips to improve your  with better heatingcoolinghot waterinsulation and lighting.

Be water-wise

Save water in the home and garden.

Smarter choices

Choose more water/ energy efficient appliances and compare the running costs of different models.

Recycling and waste 

Avoid, reduce, reuse and recycle waste by living sustainably.

_____________________________

Anahata Yoga Retreat holds Permaculture Design Courses yearly. www.anahata-retreat.org.nz

Nature’s Creation – Knowledge & Guidance through Healing Plants book and cards. www.naturescreation.biz


CHAKRAS

The word chakra (correctly pronounced chuck-ra) is defined as a wheel or vortex of energy. There are seven primary chakras in the human body’s energetic system. They are situated in the spinal cord and represent different energy levels at well-defined areas along a specifically defined flow. In yogic terms, the vital energy that flows through these seven main energy centres energises the body and balances the physical, mental and emotional states of being. Known as “windows to the soul” … the chakras provide subtle connections into soul consciousness.

An Overview of the Chakras*

Each chakra relates to a particular gland of the endocrine system and each has been given a “trigger point” in the front of the body, which, when concentrated on, helps to awaken the corresponding chakra. The trigger points are in the front because it is easier to concentrate on them than the corresponding places in the spine. There is a direct connection via various minor nadis (energy channels) between the trigger points and the chakras. Each chakra is also associated with an element.

Mooladhara, the base or root chakra, is related to
the element earth, as it is in the most gross part
of the body. It has four petals and its colour is deep red. It is said to be the seat of the sleeping kundalini (potential force of the body). The trigger point is the cervix in women and the perineum in men.

Swadhisthana, the sacral chakra (located at the coccyx at the base of the spine) is traditionally associated with the unconscious mind. Its colour is vermilion and it has six petals arranged symmetrically around the centre. The element of this chakra is water. Its trigger point is located in the front of the body at the level of the pubic bone, and it is linked to the ovaries and testes.

Manipura, the solar plexus chakra, is the centre of heat in the body, and according to many it is the main reservoir of prana. Its colour is bright yellow, its element is fire, and it is associated with the vital heat, the fire of digestion and energy. Manipura has 10 petals. Its trigger point is the navel, and it is linked to the pancreas and spleen.

Anahata is the seat of unstruck sound … the sound of the celestial realm. It is the heart chakra, the centre of spiritual love. Its colour is blue and it has 12 petals. Its element is air. The trigger point is at the level of the heart behind the breastbone. Anahata is linked to the thymus gland.

Vishuddhi, the throat chakra, is regarded as the centre of purification of various secretions in the body. It is visualised as a violet coloured lotus with 16 petals. Its element is ether-space, subtler than air. The trigger point is at the base of the throat where there is a small depression. Vishuddhi is linked to the thyroid, parathyroid and hypothalamus glands.

Ajna is known as the third eye, the centre of intuition, the guru chakra or the command chakra. It is said that when ajna chakra is awakened, the practitioner can view events on different planes of consciousness with complete awareness. Its colour is silver blue and it has two petals. It is situated at the top of the spinal cord, the point where the nadis ida, pingala and sushumna merge. (See below for an explanation of the nadis.) From ajna these three nadis travel as one up to the next chakra. The trigger point of ajna is situated at the eyebrow centre, where Indian women as well as many Hindu Brahmins make a red mark.

Sahasrara, the crown chakra, is the most subtle of the chakras. It is visualised in meditation as a shining red lotus with an infinite number of petals, or 1,000 as its name suggests … sahasrara means a thousand. In the physical body its location is at the crown of the head, and it is linked to the pituitary gland. Sahasrara has no element. It symbolises the threshold between the physical realm of space and time, and the transcendental realm beyond. This realm of space is beyond normal physical laws, and the practitioner who awakens this chakra experiences a state of mind that is indescribable in terms of emotions, thoughts or feelings.

Bindu visarga, at the back of the head, is considered one of the most important chakras in kundalini and kriya yoga. Inner sounds manifest in this chakra due to the movement of pranic energy. It has no petals and its symbol is a tiny crescent moon on a clear night. Bindu visarga is considered the source of creation and beyond the realm of all conventional experience; therefore very little has been written about it. The trigger point is the small depression at the back of the head, where Brahmins traditionally wear a tuft of hair. Its element is ether. Bindu is not connected to the physical body but to the energy body, so it is not associated with the endrocrine system as such.

The Nadis

The body contains approximately 72,000 nadis transmitting the life-force known as Prana. Like the Chinese meridians, the nadis constitute channels of flow of subtle vital force connected to the chakra system.

The three major energy channels or NADIS are known as the Sushumna, Ida & Pingala. They ensure a healthy flow of prana energy through the chakra system.

  • Ida Nadi (on the left side) is the channel that gives energy to our emotional aspect
  • Pingala Nadi (on the right side) is the channel that gives energy to our action aspect
  • Sushumna Nadi (in the centre) is the channel of evolution.

 

Chakra Awareness and Activation 

Asanas (postures), pranayama (breath work), meditations and chanting of mantras all relate to the chakras in some way. These practices can be used as a focus to activate specific chakras, depending on which practices you choose. Many yoga teachers, especially in the Satyananda tradition, focus on chakra awareness in their regular or more advanced yoga classes or guide students appropriately. One suggested practice is Surya Namaskara (Salute to the Sun), which consists of 12 postures that address the whole body. Each posture relates to a specific chakra and can be performed (with practise) with chakra awareness.

Guided meditations, chanting and yoga classes that focus on the chakras are available on CDs from Anahata Yoga Retreat in New Zealand. www.anahata-retreat.org.nz

Take from: Nature’s Creation – Knowledge & Guidance through Healing Plants – www.naturescreation.biz


 NATURE’S CREATION TURMERIC

Family: Zingiberaceae

Plant of Veracity

Botanical Name: Curcuma longa

Planet: Mars, associated with Jupiter

Element: Fire

Known as Indian saffron, Turmeric has been used historically as a component of Indian Ayurvedic medicine since 1900 BCE to treat a wide variety of ailments. It is one of the most important herbs ever discovered.  Native to India and Southern Asia, few plants possess such a wide spectrum of qualities and medicinal uses as Turmeric.  Use of this brilliant, versatile herb for myriad ailments dates back thousands of years.  It is most renowned as an effective and powerful anti-inflammatory that compares to many of the popular pharmaceutical medicines and has proven successful in the treatment of some of the most debilitating ailments today including: arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, liver disease and kidney and urinary tract infections…to name but a few of its healing abilities.

Turmeric is a leafy plant similar in appearance to its relative, ginger. The healing properties of Turmeric lie in the golden fingerlike stalk, or rhizome. It has occupied the shelves of every Indian kitchen for the last 6000 years and is commonly found in Indian curries, giving the food its familiar golden orange colour. It is often substituted in cooking for the more costly saffron.  In the 13th century, Marco Polo praised the spice and marveled at its likeness to saffron. It has always been considered a sacred and auspicious herb in Indian culture and its value likely extends back to ancient indigenous peoples of India.

Nowadays, Turmeric is grown widely throughout the tropics. It was thought to be cultivated first as a dye and then became a valued condiment and medicinal herb. Research is ongoing to prove scientifically what the ancient people of India have known for centuries: that Turmeric is one of the most powerful plants on the planet.  It has been worshipped and revered for thousands of years and one of the most significant players in the prevention of serious disease still today. Turmeric has been studied for thousands of years in the ancient Indian medicine of Ayurveda,.

Dr. David Frawley, Ayurvedic doctor and director of the American Institute for Vedic Studies notes, “If I had only a single herb to depend upon for all possible health and dietary needs, I would without much hesitation choose the Indian spice turmeric.” Ayurvedic science is based on the principle of preventing diseases. Turmeric finds its place in almost all Ayurvedic preparations related to liver and skin disorders.  In Sanskrit and Hindi Turmeric has acquired many names such as, haridra, kanchani, and gauri.  These names date back to the Vedic culture and refer to the “one who is golden coloured” or “the golden Goddess” as Turmeric is known in India.

The Vedic culture existed in the Saraswati Valley from approximately 4500-1800BC. The Vedic people worshipped the solar system and Surya, the sun. Turmeric was very sacred in the Vedic culture, due to its golden yellow colour that represented the sun.  They believed it had special protective properties.  Many of these ancient practices and beliefs still survive today.  The Vedic people believed that Turmeric contained the energy of the Divine Mother, and helped to grant prosperity and cleanse the chakras (energy centers in the body).  Today, Hindus still consider Turmeric to have auspicious qualities and use it in many sacred ceremonies. It is commonly made into a paste and applied to the forehead (ajna chakra or third eye) during devotional ceremonies such as yajna (sacred fire ceremony for purification).  The yajna exemplifies the unity of God and humanity and Turmeric is often used to decorate the vedi (the alter for the fire). Turmeric is also associated with fertility and prosperity, and brings good luck if applied to a bride’s face and body, as part of the ritual purification before a wedding.

In India, Turmeric is considered the standard anti-inflammatory.  It also has a special action to help the entire Gastro-Intestinal system by increasing intestinal flora and generating healthy digestion.  It is added to the food, not just for flavour but also for medicinal purposes.  In Ayurveda, Turmeric is believed to balance the three doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha or biological energies in the body). The literal meaning of doshas is “that which contaminates is called dosha.” Therefore the doshas may be considered the disease-causing agents in the body. Imbalance of vata, pitta and kapha doshas cause disease in the body.  Ayurvedic doctors use Turmeric as a medicine in the form of fresh juice, tea, tinctures or powder.  It is often used topically as a cream, lotion or ointment.  The principle organs that Turmeric deals with are the skin, heart, liver and lungs. It has proven effective as an analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour, anti-allergenic, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, stimulant, and vulnerary. Carminatives also tend to increase absorption and nurture the intestinal flora.  Modern science is beginning to recognize and understand the amazing healing qualities of Turmeric and much research is currently being conducted.

Research in the latter half of the 20th century has identified the compound curcumin as responsible for most of the biological activity of Turmeric.  Curcumin is one of three curcuminoids in Turmeric and responsible for the bright yellow colour.  The other two are demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Curcumin has known antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal actions.  Turmeric has hundreds of molecular constituents, each with a variety of biological activities. In one database it was noted that Turmeric contains over 326 known biological activities. At least 20 molecules have anti-biotic properties, 14 that are known cancer preventatives, 12 that are anti-tumor, 12 are anti-inflammatory and at least 10 different anti-oxidants. Rudolf Steiner once identified Turmeric as having a “magnetic nature”, meaning that it literally attracts illness out of the body and therefore eliminates toxins in a most comprehensive way.

As indicated in current statistics the molecule, NF-Kappa B is responsible for 98% of all diseases.  NF-Kappa B is a powerful protein that promotes abnormal inflammatory response in the body. Excess of this molecule can lead to cancer, arthritis, and a wide range of other diseases. Studies show that curcumin subdues NF-Kappa B, indicating that it may work to prevent many of the diseases inflicting the world today.  According to Dr. Bjarat Aggarwal, from the Jawaharial Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore, India, “We have not found a single cancer on which curcumin does not work”.  Recent research also suggests that Turmeric may play a vital role in fighting HIV/AIDS, particularly HIV, Type 1.  In a recent study at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre, when scientists “fed” curcumin to HIV-infected cells in the laboratory, the virus stopped replicating. Turmeric also protects the liver from toxins and pathogens. It is known to both destroy toxins in the liver, and to rebuild the liver after a toxic attack.

Parts Used Medicinally

Dried rhizome

Remedies:

Taken as a tincture or pill-form to treat specific issues or powdered rhizome added to food.

NoteNo major side effects have been reported in the medical literature, however as with all medicines, Turmeric should not be taken long term unless directed by health professional. 

Insight (the lesson that Turmeric teaches)    

Astrologically, Turmeric is associated with the most beneficial of all planets, Jupiter.  The main significant function of Jupiter is that it initiates life on earth by stimulating the Sun. It is therefore, an integral part of many sacred Vedic rituals connected to the sun and fire ceremony. Jupiter, by nature is the most brilliant and all-embracing planet and is known as Guru, meaning “remover of darkness” in Sanskrit.  According to Hindu mythology, Jupiter is the planet of bravery, audacity, power, hard work, liveliness, knowledge and speech and signifies good luck and good fortune.  It is considered a dignified and positive planet and represents wisdom. It is a planet of freedom, tolerance and plenty.  Jupiter rules the blood circulation, liver, thighs and fat in the body. If Jupiter is strong, it supports the immune system. If it is weak, it raises problems like arthritis, jaundice, weak liver and pancreas and diseases associated with the respiratory system. 

Due to their close association with each other, Turmeric and Jupiter together have great power and work as a team to benefit overall health and vitality and support the body systems. Turmeric is the warrior herb…it is veracious in destroying the enemy within on all levels.  It is diligent in eliminating the demons that cause disease in the body and a world-class herb with amazing purifying qualities.  If Turmeric has manifested into your life today, it is letting you know that you have the full support of perhaps the most beneficial, miraculous healing herb available. 

Receiving the Turmeric card may be an indication that your digestive system needs balancing.  It is possible that too much fire is present in the intestinal tract and affecting the liver and other related organs.  On the other hand, it may also be a reminder that it is time to look towards bringing balance into the spiritual side of your life; a time to cleanse and purify the body, mind and emotions. One of the most powerful ways of purification and transformation is fire. In ancient and modern Yogic tradition the fire ceremony (or havan) is believed to be cleansing, not only for the body, mind and emotions of those present, but also the whole area around the fire pit and environment within several kilometres of the havan.  Fire is also known to raise awareness and accelerate spiritual growth. Turmeric is used in various ways in the havan ceremony.  Many yogis today practice what is called Agni Hotra.  It is a specific fire ritual performed daily with miraculous results. The ash from these fires is considered sacred and used in meditation, sprinkled on gardens, placed in temples.  Many traditional ashrams (yoga centres) today practice havan (see index for information).

To support you on all levels, use Turmeric in every day cooking to detoxify the liver, lower cholesterol, remove skin related problems, fight allergies and stimulate digestion.

“There is never any end
There are always new sounds to imagine
New feelings to get at
And always there is a need to keep purifying these needs and sounds
So that we can really see what we’ve discovered in its pure state
So we can see more clearly what we are
In that way, we can give those who listen to the essence
The best of what we are”

˜John Coltrane˜

©


Aspartame: What are the Pros?

For so many years, this sugar alternative has been extensively promoted as the vigorous substitute to regular sugar because of many advantages such as:

Has power overweight: This synthetic sugar is well thought out as non-nutritive meaning the calorie present in this sugar is insignificant hence adding almost no calories. Aspartame is 150 to 200 times sweeter than usual sugar this just a fraction is required for the preferred sweetness, this makes the best option to avoid weight gain, reduce the intake of calorie and lose weight. But, some research recommends that consuming aspartame consumer could result in weight gain, even the basis remains unknown.

Avoidance and managing diabetes: Aspartame, first of foremost contains amino acids, which are phenylalanine and aspartate which is not a carbohydrate. So, it is improbable to boost the level of blood sugar without compromising the sweetness of your beverage and food. This makes this sugar alternative a great alternative to usual sugar for those suffering diabetes.

Prevent Dental Cavities: Not like usual sugar, this synthetic sweetener doesn’t enhance the chance of having tooth decay.

Aspartame: What are the cons?

Aspartame is one of the most controversial artificial sweeteners. There are numerous websites, books, and articles stating various reasons why aspartame should not be consumed. Some site studies to support their theories while others base their claims on industry-related conspiracies. One fact is that aspartame does get metabolized, meaning that it doesn’t get excreted in the same form that it is when ingested. This is the reason why it can’t be consumed by people with the metabolism disorder PKU. The following is a summary of some of the controversial dangers of consuming aspartame.

Industry conspiracies: Conflicts of interest in the studies performed on aspartame and the way in which its approval was obtained is an ongoing controversy. Dr. Robert Walton surveyed the studies of aspartame in the peer-reviewed medical literature. He states that of the 166 studies felt to have relevance for questions of human safety, 74 had Nutrasweet industry (those who make aspartame) related funding and 92 were independently funded. One hundred percent of the research performed by the company who makes aspartame confirmed aspartame’s safety, whereas 92% of the independently funded research found problems with consuming aspartame. Other reports of federal employees working for the companies responsible for the testing and distribution of aspartame are cited on all of the sites and books opposing the use of aspartame.

Aspartame disease: H.J. Roberts, MD, coined the term “aspartame disease” in a book filled with over 1,000 pages of information about the negative health consequences of ingesting aspartame. Dr. Roberts reports that by 1998, aspartame products were the cause of 80% of complaints to the FDA about food additives. Some of these symptoms include headachedizziness, change in mood, vomiting or nauseaabdominal pain, and cramps, change in vision, diarrhea, seizures/convulsions, memory loss, and fatigue. Along with these symptoms, links to aspartame are made for fibromyalgia symptoms, spasms, shooting pains, numbness in your legs, cramps, tinnitusjoint pain, unexplainable depression, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, blurred visionmultiple sclerosis, systemic lupus, and various cancers. While the FDA has assured us that the research does not show any adverse health complications from aspartame, there has been some evidence to suggest that some of the following symptoms can be related to aspartame.

Headaches: One study confirmed that individuals with self-reported headaches after the ingestion of aspartame were indeed susceptible to headaches due to aspartame. Three randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled studies with more than 200 adult migraine sufferers showed that headaches were more frequent and more severe in the aspartame-treated group.

Depression: In a study of the effect of aspartame on 40 patients with depression, the study was cut short due to the severity of reactions within the first 13 patients tested. The outcome showed that individuals with mood disorders were particularly sensitive to aspartame and recommended that it be avoided by them.

Cancer: In an initial study, 12 rats out of 320 developed malignant brain tumors after receiving aspartame in an FDA trial. There have been other studies to both support and contradict this finding. A recent study, conducted by Italian and French researchers indicates there is no association between low-calorie sweeteners and cancer. The researchers evaluated a variety of studies between the years of 1991 and 2004. These studies assessed the relationship between low-calorie sweeteners and many cancers, including oral and pharynx, esophagus, colon, rectum, larynx, breast, ovary, prostate, and renal cell carcinomas. The researchers examined the eating habits of more than 7,000 men and women in their middle ages (mainly 55 years and over). Based on the data evaluated, there was no evidence that saccharin or other sweeteners (mainly aspartame) increase the risk of cancer at several common sites in humans. The debate continues while more research is conducted.

Increased hunger: A study done with 14 dieters comparing the effects of aspartame-sweetened and sucrose-sweetened soft drinks on food intake and appetite ratings found that substituting diet drinks for sucrose-sweetened ones did not reduce total calorie intake and may even have resulted in a higher intake on subsequent days. In another study of 42 males given aspartame in diet lemonade versus sucrose-sweetened lemonade, there was no increase in hunger ratings or food intake with the diet group. Weight loss results from consuming fewer calories than your body needs. When you replace a caloric beverage with a noncaloric beverage, you will be saving calories and could lose weight if it is enough calories to put you in a negative balance. For aspartame to increase weight, there would have to be something else going on. There is not enough research to determine if something does exist so the jury is still out on this one.


Taken from Nature’s Creation – Knowledge & Guidance through Healing Plants Book & Cards – Information & Reference Guide 

Explanation of the Electrical System in the Body and How Flower Essences Work  by Perelandra – Centre for Nature Research (www.perelandra-ltd.com) 

THE HUMAN BODY HAS WITHIN and surrounding it an electrical network. When we experience health, this electrical network is balanced and fully connected. When something in our life or environment threatens that balance, the electrical system responds by either short-circuiting or overloading. That imbalance in the electrical system immediately impacts the central nervous system. The body then goes into high gear in an effort to correct the imbalance. If our body does not succeed, we physically manifest the imbalance. We get a cold or a headache or our allergy pops up again or another migraine belts us. Or we get back pain or our neck goes out. Or we become seriously ill. Perelandra Essences work directly with both the electrical and the central nervous systems. By taking the correct essences, we immediately balance the electrical system, stabilize the nervous system and stop the domino effect that leads to illness.

Nature’s Creation – How to Make Flower Essences

Flower essences can be used as a means of self-transformation and healing.  Each plant creates a particular vibration and the healing works on its own precise vibrational level.  Flower essences are extremely safe for everyone, including children and pets, with absolutely no toxic effects or contraindications.  They are also very easy to make.  You may wish to make your own essence from a specific plant.

You will need:

  • small clear glass bowls, one for each flower type
  • purified or spring water
  • filter paper for straining – unbleached coffee filter papers or cheesecloth
  • scissors or knife for cutting off flower heads
  • glass jug
  • brandy for preserving the finished essence, or vinegar if you do not wish to use alcohol
  • small funnel (preferably glass or stainless steel)
  • large bottle with dropper top for mother essence
  • smaller bottles with dropper tops for stock bottles
  • labels and pen

All the items should be very clean and the glassware sterilised.

  1. Choose a nice sunny day to make your essences.  Go out early to observe freshly opened flowers.
  2. Have in mind what flower(s) you wish to use.  Walk in meditation through the garden or around the property.  Allow the energy of a particular plant to draw you to it.
  3. Begin with one type of flower.  Fill a small glass bowl with spring water and place on the ground in the sun.
  4. Consciously connect with your intended flower.  Once you feel a connection, ask permission to use the flower … then carefully snip off enough flower heads to cover the surface of the water in the bowl.
  5. Leave the essence to develop in the sun.  The sun’s rays help the energy signature of the flower move into the water.
  6. It is best if left in the sun for three to four hours.  You will intuitively know when it is ready, or check with kinesiology or a pendulum to be sure.
  7. Strain off the water from the flowers into a jug using filter paper or cheesecloth.
  8. Using the funnel, decant into the larger bottle, filling it two-thirds full, then add approximately 20% brandy (30% vinegar) to preserve the essence.  This is the MOTHER ESSENCE.      Made with care and kept in a cool place it will last at least two years.
  9. Cap the bottle and write a label with the date and type of flower.
  10. ACTIVATE the essence by tapping the bottle 30 times on the palm of your hand.
  11. The mother essence can then be diluted to make ‘stock’ bottles:  Fill one of the smaller clean bottles with brandy.  Just two or three drops of the mother essence added to the stock bottle will carry the energy signature throughout the contents.  In this way, your mother essence will last an extremely long time.  Most essences on sale in shops are stock bottle strength.

The flower essence can be taken by adding a couple of drops to a glass of water, or add a few drops to a bottle of water to sip throughout the day.  Be sure to activate the essence before using each time by tapping the bottom of the stock bottle 9 times or so on the palm of your hand.

Essences can be made with crystals in the same way.  Make sure that the crystal is well cleaned, physically and energetically, non-toxic and will not dissolve in water.

Note:  For endangered species of flowers, use this method:  Hold a bowl containing purified water under the flower head on the plant.  Using a dropper or clean spoon … drop water onto the flower … allowing it to run through the flower head and drip into the bowl … then continue by following the directions above.  This is an accepted method that will still capture the essence and energy of the plant and make a potent flower essence.

An excellent YouTube video, “How to Make Flower Essences,” is at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6NYNgcfXNU


 

Suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has always been a difficult one to determine the cause and diagnose. However, in a groundbreaking study by Dr. W. Ian Lipkin at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health found that people with Chronic Fatigue have different bacteria in their intestines than healthier people. Dr. Lipkin isn’t certain or clear as to whether the differences in gut bacteria are just a sign of Chronic Fatigue or part of the cause. But…he believes that gut bacteria could be tied to the severity of the disease and may help with diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Lipkin has identified a distinct set of bacteria in 21 people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome who also had irritable bowel syndrome…conditions that often occur together. His study, accepted for publication in the journal ‘Microbiome’ also links both diseases to changes in body processes influenced by gut microbes.

Sourced from: Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health website.


From: Nature’s Creation – Knowledge & Guidance through Healing Plants – Book and Cards

All the plants mentioned below are available in good health food stores.

Antibiotics have become one of the most over-prescribed “medicines” today. As a result, people have damaged their digestive systems and ironically, have lowered their natural immunity to all types of infections in the future. Attack infections with powerful natural antibiotics such as Echinacea and Golden Seal. These two can be taken together.

 

1. Echinacea

Purple coneflower or Echinacea is indigenous to North America.  Well known and extensively used by the Native Americans of the Great Plains, Echinacea became one of the most important medicinal healing plants for all tribes in the areas where various species flourished.  A debt of gratitude is felt towards the Native American healers who introduced the settlers to the healing wonders of this incredible herb.  Word of Echinacea’s healing properties soon reached Europe and the rest of the world, and it has since been widely researched and utilised.

Today Echinacea is best known for its positive effect on the immune system.  It is a mucilaginous herb with cool energy, which means it removes heat from the body, such as the heat of infection. 

Echinacea is considered beneficial for almost all infectious conditions, including upper respiratory infections, common cold, flu, and staph and strep infections.  Herbalists regard Echinacea as one of the best antibiotics and blood purifiers.  It assists in resistance to disease by activating the immune system.  Research shows Echinacea to be successful in inhibiting tumour growth in rats and confirms it aids in the production of interferon, which increases antiviral activity.  As a homeopathic remedy Echinacea is used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome (ME), indigestion, gastroenteritis and weight loss.  Echinacea has also been successful in treating arthritis.

Parts Used Medicinally

The root, fresh or dried, of either Echinacea angustifolia or Echinacea purpurea is mainly used.  A tingling sensation is experienced when the root is chewed indicating the strength of Echinacea’s healing abilities. 

·       The root can be dried and taken by capsule as an immune stimulant. 

·       It can be made into a tincture to treat infections

·       A decoction can be used as a gargle for throat infections.

 

2.  Golden Seal

“I remember a young woman near Pineville, Missouri, who was very ill indeed.  The local M.D. said that she had Bright’s disease and held little hope for her recovery.  One of this woman’s male relatives searched the hills for days and finally dug up a root which seemed to do her more good than any of the doctor’s prescriptions.  She was still alive several years later, apparently much improved in health.  I interviewed the man who found the magic root.  He boasted that he had cured the woman ‘after all the doctors done given her up’ but refused to tell me the name of the root that did the business.  A doctor who saw the stuff, however, told me that it looked to him like yellow-root, by which he meant goldenseal (Hydrastis).”              

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-Ozark Magic and Folklore, by Vance Randolph-

Goldenseal is a folk medicine staple.  Mainly valued for its root, Goldenseal was used and recognised by physicians from the time of the American pioneer settlers until 1955, when synthetic drugs appeared on the market and began to replace herbal medications.The early settlers learnt the virtues of Goldenseal from the Native Americans, who used the herb medicinally as an antibiotic and antiseptic and prized the roots as a stain and dye.

Commonly known as orangeroot, Goldenseal is characterised by its yellow rootstock.  It is a striking perennial woodland herb in the buttercup or crowfoot family, indigenous to the moist mountainous woodland areas of the North American continent.The Goldenseal plant is native only to the eastern-central United States and southeastern Canada and requires a specific growing environment.  Because it is very difficult to grow if conditions are not suitable and exact, it is generally not a traditional medicine elsewhere in the world.

Powerful bactericidal and antiviral activity has been discovered in Goldenseal during clinical research.  These properties make the herbal remedy useful for a wide range of infections.  Goldenseal ‘s natural antibiotic properties have been utilised by Native Americans for centuries – internally for respiratory infections, liver problems, and digestive complaints, and externally for wounds, skin disorders and eyewash.  Goldenseal is recognised today as a potent herbal antibiotic and immune system enhancer.  It stimulates the immune system to quickly identify and destroy pathogens, and if used early enough it is effective for nearly all kinds of bacterial infection.

Important to note:  Goldenseal is such a strong antibacterial that it kills almost all bacteria it contacts, including beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract (a similar action to antibiotics). Therefore, after a therapy of Goldenseal (or antibiotics), it is wise to take an L. acidophilus treatment in order to recolonise the gastrointestinal tract and replenish the beneficial flora.   Be aware that Goldenseal is also believed to interfere with vitamin B absorption if taken long term.  It is best if Goldenseal is used for short periods of time.  A continuous dosage exceeding three weeks is not advisable, and a break of at least two weeks is a must during the dosage regimen.

Parts Used Medicinally

·       Primarily the rhizome (root)

·       4-6 grams of powdered goldenseal root in pill or capsule form is the normal daily dose for most patients.

·       For infections and ulcers of the mouth, apply a poultice or tincture made from the root.

·       For sore throats, prepare a decoction and gargle 50 ml 3-4 times a day.

·       As an eyewash, use the contents of one capsule with three ounces of purified water.

Note:  Taken together Goldenseal and Echinacea are highly beneficial.  They become a dynamic wide-spectrum antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal, and strengthen the entire immune system.  Consult a herbalist or naturopath for advice before using.

 3.  Feverfew

This underrated herb is native to northern Europe, Feverfew is now common in many countries throughout the world.  The English common name, Feverfew, is derived from the Latin febrifuga, meaning ‘febrifuge’ – a medicine or treatment capable of reducing fever.

According to well-respected English herbalist and physician John Gerard (1545-1612), Feverfew is “very good for them that are giddy in the head.”  In the time of Gerard, Feverfew was most renowned as a successful cure for headache.  As the name suggests it is also an excellent treatment for fevers and can be used to lower the temperature and cool the body.  However, as other herbal medicines were developed, Feverfew lost some of its popularity over the years

All but forgotten, Feverfew regained popularity in 1978 when a British newspaper printed an article about a woman who claimed it had cured her migraines. This claim created interest in doing research on the herb.  In 1985 the well-respected British Medical Journal reported on studies showing that extracts of parthenolide (sesquiterpene lactone) in Feverfew inhibited the release of prostaglandins, inflammatory substances thought to play a role in the onset of migraines and also connected to rheumatoid arthritis.  The research indicated that Feverfew is an effective remedy in preventing migraines or lessening their severity.  Since then, other studies have shown Feverfew to be effective as a preventative for migraines in 80 percent of cases.  In his book The Family Herbal, published a century after Gerard’s time, author Sir John Hill wrote, “In the worst headache this herb exceeds whatever else is known.” 

Feverfew has been found to be more successful if taken over a period of time.  Statistics show that in the United States alone approximately ten million people suffer from migraines and thirty million from arthritis.

Parts Used Medicinally

Flowers

·       Harvest in summer and dry.

·       For nervousness or pain, prepare an infusion of the flowers and allow to cool.

Leaves

Contain parthenolide, the key constituent used in the treatment of headaches and migraines.

·       For migraine prevention, two or three leaves can be eaten or made into a tea.  Best with other food.  Adults can take this dosage up to three to four times a day.

Tincture – five drops of prepared tincture in water three times a day for prevention of migraines and chronic headaches.

Caution:  Fresh leaves have been known to cause mouth ulcers.  Always check with a naturopath or herbalist for contraindications and directions before taking any medication.  

 

4.  Nettle

Tender-handed stroke a nettle

And it stings you for your pains;

Grasp it like a man of mettle,

And it soft as silk remains.              

— Aaron Hill (1685-1750)

Nettle is as well known for its sting as for its medicinal benefits.  Commonly nicknamed stinging Nettle, this hardy perennial is one of the most undervalued plants despite its long history as a home herbal remedy and nutritious green.

Nettle grows in most temperate regions of the world. It is said that first-century Greek physician Dioscorides had several uses for Nettle:  the chopped fresh leaves to cover septic wounds, the cooked leaves mixed with myrrh to stimulate menstruation and the juice to stop nosebleeds.  Today Nettle is used for both its medicinal and nutritional value.

Medicinally, the constituents of the whole plant can be utilised to treat asthma and dandruff, as a diuretic and as a stimulating tonic.  Nettle is also excellent in the treatment of anemia, excessive menstruation, hemorrhoids, arthritis, rheumatism and skin conditions, especially eczema and burns.  Being stung by Nettle regularly while gardening is believed to give protection in later life against arthritis and rheumatism.  Native Americans used Nettle tea as an aid in pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing. Research in the United States, Germany, and Japan shows the root of Nettle to be beneficial in the treatment of enlarged prostate.

An infusion of Nettle is used as a cleansing tonic and blood purifier for hay fever, arthritis and anaemia.  Nettle tea also cures diseases and inflammations of the urinary system.  It has a slightly laxative effect and is recommended in remedies for eliminating toxins and purifying the system.  Treatment with Nettle teafor diseases of the liver and spleen will last for a number of weeks.  The tea can also be of great help to those who suffer from diabetes because it acts specifically to lower glycaemic response and decrease blood sugar levels.

Nutritionally, Nettle is high in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamins A and C, iron, silica and potassium.  Throughout history, it has been used as a nourishing tonic and a valuable addition to the diet.  Good gloves must be used for harvesting in summer.  Thoroughly drying or cooking the leaves neutralises the sting and makes them safe to eat.  Young leaves can be added to soups or stews.  Nettles have been used in making beer and cheese while the flax-like fibre in the stems makes excellent string and cloth and good quality paper. Nettle is an excellent companion plant in orchards and improves the health of fruit trees.

Parts Used Medicinally

Aerial parts – leaves

·       Steam as a nutritious vegetable.

·       Infusion (tea):  Use as a general tonic.  To retain the active substances, steep fresh or dried leaves in boiled water.

·       Ointment:  for skin problems such as eczema

Root

·       Tincture:  for allergies and skin conditions

·       Capsules:  for heavy menstruation

Infusion: similar properties to saw palmetto for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate in men)

 

5.  Tulsi

Native to India, Tulsi has been praised in Indian scriptures and lore since the time of the early Vedas in the second millennium BC.

In the wild, Tulsi is an annual plant, but it can be kept as a short-lived perennial by trimming before it forms seeds.  It is closely related to the annual culinary herb sweet basil.  With its remarkable heritage, restorative powers and stress relieving properties, Tulsi has been revered in India for over five thousand years as a healing herb for body, mind, and spirit.  This most sacred of all plants, worshipped in Hindu temples as a living goddess, has earned the title Queen of Herbs.  A Hindu household is considered incomplete without a Tulsi plant in the courtyard, as it is believed to have a sacred aura and provide divine protection.  According to scientists, the place where Tulsi is planted becomes pollution free.

It might be easier to list what Tulsi cannot do.  This miraculous plant has so many medicinal virtues that a whole book could be written about its healing power.  Tulsi is one of the most important plants in Ayurvedic medicine, a five-thousand-year-old healing science that goes hand in hand with yogic philosophy.  It has the ability to regulate and balance all three doshas (body and mind types), creating purity and lightness in the entire body.  Traditionally Tulsi was used to stimulate and boost the immune system.  Its purifying action, cleansing the respiratory tract of toxins and congestion, has a significant effect in the treatment of colds and flu.  Its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are valuable in the management of arthritis pain.

Western medicine uses the term adaptogen for herbs like Tulsi that help to balance, normalise, strengthen and protect functions in the body.  Results of modern studies of Tulsi show that it …

·       is effective in treating a range of medical conditions from diabetes to cancer; 

·       neutralises free radicals and inhibits the production of inflammatory prostaglandins;

·       is similar to antidepressant medication in its effect on the neurochemistry of the brain;

·       protects against damage caused by toxic chemicals in the blood;

·       limits damage from cancer radiation therapy and protects the heart from damage caused by the chemotherapy drug adriamycin; and

·       substantially lowers blood sugar levels in diabetics who are non-insulin dependent.

The nutritional and pharmacological properties of whole herbs in their natural form, as they have been traditionally used, result from synergistic interactions of many different active phytochemicals.  Consequently the overall effects of Tulsi, like those of other herbs, cannot be fully duplicated with isolated compounds or extracts.  Because of Tulsi’s inherent botanical and biochemical complexity, its standardisation has so far eluded modern science.  Perhaps best known of the many active compounds that have been identified and extracted are eugenol (an essential oil) and ursolic acid.  Although Tulsi is recognised as a general vitaliser that increases physical endurance, it contains no caffeine or other stimulants. 

Parts Used Medicinally

Leaves and aerial parts

·       Juice:  for skin infections and eczema

·       Decoction (tea):  immune system boost, tonic for fevers and colds

·       Capsules:  300-600 mg dried leaves as preventative therapy, 600-1800 mg as curative therapy

6. Turmeric

Turmeric has been used and studied in Indian Ayurvedic medicine since about 1900 BC.  Native to India and southern Asia, it is one of the most important herbs ever discovered for preventing disease and treating a wide variety of ailments.  Few plants possess such a wide spectrum of qualities and medicinal uses as Turmeric.  It is most renowned as an effective and powerful anti-inflammatory that compares to many popular pharmaceutical medicines.  Turmeric also finds its place in almost all Ayurvedic preparations related to liver and skin disorders.  It has proven successful in the treatment of some of the most debilitating ailments today, including arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, kidney and urinary tract infections … to name but a few of its healing abilities.

In India Turmeric is considered the standard anti-inflammatory.  The principal organs it deals with are the skin, heart, liver and lungs.  It also nurtures the entire gastrointestinal system and generates healthy digestion by increasing the intestinal flora, the bio-availability of nutrients and the stomach’s ability to withstand digestive acids. It is added to food not just for flavour but also for medicinal purposes.

Modern science is beginning to recognise and understand the amazing healing qualities of Turmeric and much research is currently being conducted.

Research in the latter half of the 20th century identified the compound curcumin as responsible for most of the biological activity of Turmeric.  Curcumin is one of three curcuminoids in Turmeric that produce its bright yellow colour. While curcumin alone has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal actions, Turmeric has hundreds of other molecular constituents, each with a variety of beneficial effects.  One database noted that Turmeric initiates over 326 known biological activities.  At least 20 of its molecules have antibiotic properties, 14 are known cancer preventatives, 12 are anti-tumour, 12 are anti-inflammatory and at least 10 are antioxidants. Turmeric also protects the liver from toxins and pathogens.  It is known to both destroy toxins in the liver and rebuild the liver after a toxic attack.

Rudolf Steiner once identified Turmeric as having a “magnetic nature,” meaning that it literally attracts illness out of the body and comprehensively eliminates toxins.

Parts Used Medicinally

Dried rhizome

·       Take as a tincture or in pill form to treat specific issues.

·       As a preventative, add the powdered rhizome to food.

Note:  No major side effects have been reported in the medical literature, however as with all medicines, Turmeric should not be taken long term unless directed by health professional. 

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