Is Borax Toxic?

I’ve been hearing about Borax recently and the connection between Borax and a treatment for arthritis. I’ve always regarded Borax as an additive to washing powder…not as a medicinal product for arthritis. I began to dig more deeply and do some research and I read the article below by Dawn Gifford (creator of Small Footprint Family). Her article answered all my questions and I found it informative. When I wrote my book, Nature’s Creation – Knowledge & Guidance through Healing Plants, I was adamant about advising my readers to always check with their doctor or Naturopath before self-treating. If you are considering taking Boron internally I feel this advice is important.

Article by Dawn Gifford

Many people are concerned about whether borax is a safe chemical. There are many sites on the internet claiming it is toxic. I disagree with these sites and believe that borax is as safe for household use as table salt or washing soda—in other words, the dose makes the poison. Here’s why…

History of Borax

Humans have mined and used borax (also known as sodium tetraborate) since its discovery in Persia more than 4,000 years ago. Borax is a naturally occurring mineral found in concentration in dried salt lake beds, and consists of water, sodium, boron and oxygen. That’s it. The main areas where borax is mined today are in Turkey and California.

Boron is an essential trace mineral nutrient required for many functions in the body, like rebuilding bone and teeth, hormone regulation, absorption and metabolism of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, and maintaining communication between your cells.

In fact, boron is as essential for the parathyroid gland as iodine is for the thyroid.

Boron is ubiquitous in soil and water, and is required for plant growth. Diets with a fair amount of fruit and vegetables provide about 2 to 5 mg of boron per day, but this also depends on the region where the food was grown and how it was grown.

The Evidence on Borax

All of the studies that showed evidence of possible hormone disruption in animals either used ridiculously high doses of borax (many grams delivered intravenously), or they conflated borax with boric acid, which is NOT the same stuff.

Borax (sodium tetraborate) is used in the process of making boric acid, but there is a tremendous chemical difference between the two. Many of the studies used to demonstrate the alleged danger of borax often used boric acid instead, or were ambiguous about which was used.

Boric acid is toxic at far lower doses than borax, so any study that isn’t clear about which of the two is used for the data should not be considered credible. (This includes the EWG data.)

Borax can be toxic at the high doses used in animal studies. It has this effect at high doses is because it is essentially an overdose of the element boron. Iron, zinc and calcium are required by the body too, but an overdose of any of these will also send you to the hospital, or even kill you!

However, adults would never ingest anything even close to the amount of borax required to do harm—unless they worked unprotected for years in a borax mine or packaging factory. However, you will want to keep your small children and pets out of the borax, just as you would keep them away from the chewable vitamins. An overdose of boron can be as dangerous as an overdose of zinc or iron, especially for small bodies.

Borax is officially classified as non-carcinogenic and a mild skin irritant. The high alkalinity of borax (pH 9.5) is what causes skin irritation, which is the same reason that washing soda and even baking soda cause skin irritation, too. The alkaline pH of borax, washing soda and baking soda is what softens the water, and makes it possible for them to clean your clothes.

There are also several studies in the ToxNet database that show borax is only a very mild lung irritant and causes no lasting damage. If ingested, it is quickly excreted in the urine. In addition, it does not really penetrate the skin well, and is not bio-accumulative.

Finally, the Material Safety Data Sheet lists borax as a health hazard of 1—the same as baking soda and salt. In other words, borax is toxic in the same way that salt is toxic (Actually ounce for ounce, salt is more toxic): A small amount can do great things; a huge amount will kill you and other living things.

You wouldn’t want to ingest large amounts of salt or baking soda, inhale them, or rub them in your eyes. Borax is no different.

Uses for Borax

Borax is used in laundry detergents, hair potions and skin lotions. Like diatomaceous earth, it also can help kill fleas and dust mites in your carpet by dehydrating them. It is also used as a safer ant and cockroach killer.

Borax is also naturally anti-fungal and anti-viral (but not anti-bacterial), and—here’s the neat part—through a chemical reaction with water, borax produces hydrogen peroxide (the main ingredient in OxyClean) to brighten and sanitize your clothes.

Because borax is made of just sodium, oxygen, hydrogen and boron, many people even ingest small amounts of borax mixed in water to self-treat various health conditions that supplemental boron can really help, like arthritis, fluoride detoxification, osteoporosisprostate cancer, menopausal symptoms, psoriasis, and candida.

I do not recommend supplementing with borax because it’s very hard to regulate the dose, and you don’t want to overdo it. Use a high-quality boron supplement instead.

For external use, you should use the same precautions (gloves, dust mask or bandana) with borax that they would use around any dusty substance, like washing soda, bentonite clay, diatomaceous earth, or powdered soap. (Heck, even flour or powdered sugar would be irritating if inhaled!)

So, Is Borax Toxic?

In sum, borax is wholly natural and has no inherently toxic ingredients. It doesn’t cause cancer, accumulate in the body or in nature, or absorb through the skin.

Because the dose makes the poison, borax is not harmful to the body or the environment with normal, external usage any more than salt or baking soda is. In fact, the largest borax (borate) mine in the world—found in Boron, California—is considered to be one of the most ecologically sound and environmentally sustainable mines in the United States.

I consider borax a safe, effective cleaner, and I will continue to use it in my household green cleaning and safer pest control.


How does stress impact our health?

Often we aren’t aware that we are stressed as we go about our daily life. All those niggly things like, getting to work or an appointment on time, financial stress, a pileup of emails to answer, picking up children from school on time and trying to fit everything on your list into one day. Stress response is a normal function for our bodies and we definitely do need it in certain circumstances, however, being constantly stressed is not healthy and it’s making us sick.

Physical, chemical or emotional stress can unbalance the brain and the body and activate the Sympathetic Nervous System…our fight and flight system that enables us to manage our external environment and perceived threats. If our Sympathetic Nervous System is continually activated the shut-down button gets stuck on fast forward and our immune system becomes weakened. When the immune system is compromised we become susceptible to disease, infection and cancer. According to Bruce Lipton (an internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirit), “Over 90% of disease and illness today is based on lifestyle and stress, not genetics,”

According to Dr. Josh Axe (doctor of chiropractic, certified doctor of natural medicine and clinical nutritionist)…there are three ways our bodies can be stressed.

PHYSICAL: this can be a trauma, injury, accident or fall

CHEMICAL: this includes flu, bacterial infection, hangovers and unbalanced blood sugar levels

EMOTIONAL: this is the fear-inducing situations, perceived pressure at work or financially, family tragedies.

Stress influences all the organs in the body and directly affects the gut. Changing our diet is important, however, learning how to manage stress and our emotions is critical.

The brain and the gut are closely connected and communicate with each other. When you experience chronic stress, your brain goes into fight or flight mode, causing your digestion and blood flow in the gut to slow down, the muscles that push along waste and bacteria to freeze up, and the secretions for digestion to decrease. All of these stress responses equal a poorly functioning gut! Take care of your gut health by coping with stress through breath work, yoga, meditation, therapy, time in the outdoors and the countless other stress reduction techniques available to you.

 

https://www.naturescreation.biz/blog/entry/gut-brain-connection/

https://www.anahata-retreat.org.nz/


A member of the rose family with over 1,000 species worldwide, identification of Hawthorn confuses even some of the most experienced botanists. This is partly due to the fact that the different species hybridize (cross-pollinate) very easily. However…the chemical profiles of Hawthorn found in all areas worldwide appear to be identical.

Hawthorn acts on the body by lowering the blood pressure and having a positive effect on the functioning of the heart. The effectiveness of Hawthorn in the treatment of chronic heart conditions has been confirmed in a number of clinical trials…most noteworthy was a 1994 trial in Germany. The ability of Hawthorn to improve heart rate and lower blood pressure was clearly documented in patients.

Drawing the Hawthorn Insight card (the lesson that the plant teaches) that accompanies the Nature’s Creation book is an indication that the heart is involved in some way. This could mean an obstacle or difficulty arising in the affairs of the heart or it may relate to an imbalance or block in the heart energy.

The yogic practice of Pranayama (breath work) is wonderful for clearing an imbalance in heart energy and bringing balance and clarity to the body on all levels. Practices suggested: Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (energy network purification) and Bhramari Pranayama (humming bee breath). These practices are detailed in the book under the Information and Reference Guide and can be done daily.

“Heart intuition or intelligence brings the freedom and power to accomplish what the mind, even with all the disciplines or affirmations in the world, cannot do if it’s out of sync with the heart” –Doc Childre and Howard Martin–

Nature’s Creation – Knowledge & Guidance through Healing Plants

www.naturescreation.biz


Do we all have the power within us to totally let go of all the old “programs” and “belief systems” that control our lives?  Are our bodies simply able to heal themselves…physically, mentally and emotionally once we drop those old belief systems and old stories?

My friend Vicki and I lived in New Zealand in a small town at the top of the south island. We spent a great deal of time together studying medicinal herbs with an amazing teacher. As an offshoot of our herbal studies, we discovered the world of Nature Intelligence…working co-creatively with Nature in our gardens and everyday life…out of which evolved my book, Nature’s Creation – Knowledge & Guidance through Healing Plants. But, that’s another story.

We both moved back to Australia over a decade ago and although we didn’t see each other often, we stayed in touch from a distance. Vicki decided to throw caution to the wind, pack up and leave her home south of Sydney.  She put a post on Facebook letting friends know she was open to housesitting. Synchronicity came into both our lives. I noticed her post immediately and booked her in for 5 weeks in June/July when I head to Europe (Scotland, Norway & Iceland)…but that too is another story.

It turns out that I was invited to go to Sydney recently for my cousin’s 70th birthday party and Vicki was on her way up north to Queensland…so stopping in Byron Bay for 4 days worked perfectly for her to come and housesit.

I have a small but lovable dog, however, Vicki has never had much involvement with dogs but she was willing to babysit Kashi (or maybe it was the other way around). Let me put the record straight. Kashi has always followed me everywhere and is always right by my feet or close by. He sleeps in my room on his bed every night and literally is my shadow.

Three weeks ago Vicki arrived. Instantly, Kashi deserted me and began to follow Vicki everywhere. Now, let me tell you, I was dumbfounded. I’ve had this dog for 5+ years and he has never instantly deserted me for another person, especially one who virtually ignored him, other than a pat or two to say hello.

That night we went out for dinner and Vicki was telling me about how she had changed her life. I’m not sure I can fully explain what she told me as I’m still attempting to understand the concept and incorporate it into my life. I’m a beginner but here is a brief synopsis. Believe me, there is way more to it than I can explain at this time as this has been part of Vicki’s life for several years now and has transformed her in every way.

It is all about knowing the body has the innate ability to heal itself in every way. It is about letting go of all the old programs & belief systems around what we’ve been told all our lives and believe as true…those programs that are ingrained in our minds and belief systems. It’s about knowing that many of these old programs don’t serve us and knowing/believing that we are able to change this… totally letting go of these old programs.  It’s about coming to a place of health, peace, happiness, balance and without stress.

I don’t proclaim to know very much about this process…yet! But…I do know that Vicki’s energy has changed and her life now flows. She is content and happy and not affected by negative things going on around her or old belief systems. However…what made me a believer is my trusty dog, Kashi. He literally deserted me to be right by Vicki and her balanced, peaceful energy. She didn’t do anything to encourage him. It was his choice. Animals will choose to be around pure, balanced energy and this was a light bulb moment for me.

Part of the synchronicity of what I’ve discovered is that I’m being led down this path almost on a daily basis in myriad ways…either via Facebook or through word of mouth. I continue to have “Ah Ha” moments. Recently, I discovered a preview of a new doco on my Facebook page. The doco is called, HEAL. It just happens to be showing at the Pighouse Flicks in Byron Bay…so I went to see it last week. The documentary revolves around the question, “Can the human body heal itself by changing one’s perspective?”

By the way…Vicki had not heard about the Heal doco until I emailed her the link just a few days ago.

Here is the link to Heal preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ffp-4tityDE


 

 

 

 

 


Natures Creation

NATURE’S CREATION – Knowledge & Guidance through Healing Plants – Book & Cards

A wonderful book and card set for those who are passionate about medicinal plants. Use the book and cards to learn about over 40 medicinal plants, their history, myths and, most importantly, their healing properties. Discover how to utilise the plants’ medicinal qualities through a variety of herbal preparations. Tinctures, decoctions, flower essences, essential oils and herbal teas can be powerful tools in healing on all levels…physical, mental and emotional.

Each card has also been designed to provide insight and to aid in recognising an issue and facilitating its release or simply in using a particular plant for personal support. Choose a card daily or whenever you need guidance and support. Browse the corresponding chapter to get a feeling for the plant and what it’s offering you and to reflect on the gentle lesson it teaches.

Many of the insights in the book embrace spiritual practices for personal growth and balance. Yoga, meditation, fire ceremony and other modalities can be used to strengthen the plants’ healing abilities and assist in transforming, aligning and bringing balance.

Check out the book/cards set. The perfect Christmas gift!

Buy the book/cards on the website: www.naturescreation.biz

 


I’m beginning to gather my annual and perennial medicinal herbs to plant out in my garden and/or in pots. In the photo above (left) I have comfrey, viola, calendula, mint varieties, Herb Robert, yacon, and nasturtiums ready to plant. In the pots, I have strawberries and lavender. Below are pictures of my herb garden, comfrey, and Herb Robert.

I like to plant mint and comfrey in pots as both of these species can take over the garden very quickly if left to their own devices. Comfrey will re-grow from the most minuscule piece of root left under the earth. A trick I’ve used in the past is to plant them in good sized pots, dig a hole in my garden and put the whole pot, with the plant potted inside into the hole. This method prevents the roots from escaping and the plant taking over the garden. They then become part of the herb garden and stay within their boundaries.

My little herb garden has been fertilised, mulched and left over winter. It’s now ready to plant out. This garden gets lots of sun in the summer so I have another little garden space for shade-loving plants like Herb Robert (above). My climate is sub-tropical, therefore the herbs I’m planting grow well in this climate. It is best to do some planning and figure out which plants will be happy planted in your garden bed and which ones would prefer a pot outside or even inside on the kitchen windowsill. I planted my lavender in a pot so I can control how much water it gets. Lavender does not particularly like the humid, sub-tropical climate or wet feet. My strawberries are in pots on the edge of my garden bed as strawberries are another plant that spreads rapidly and takes over. I only have a small herb garden so I have to plan it out well. I like to have a low maintenance, easy to manage garden. Everything comes down to how much space is available in your garden and what you choose to plant. It is important not to overcrowd the garden and to leave space for each plant to stay healthy and to grow to its optimum size…especially if you are using the plant medicinally.

Companion planting is also something I like to do. I know that nasturtiums and calendula like kale so I will plant a few kale plants with them. I’ve learned that kale isn’t keen on strawberries so I will keep the strawberry pots well away from the kale. Mint is good around cabbage and tomatoes but not parsley or chamomile. Lemon balm is often called bee balm as it attracts bees that pollinate other plants in the garden. Check out companion planting as a diverse mix of plants that are compatible makes for a healthy and beautiful herb garden.

Nature’s Creation Book and Cards have lots of good information about many of the available herbs and how to use them medicinally. www.naturescreation.biz

 


Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum) or Saint Robert’s Herb is a European woodland geranium with an extremely long history as a valuable medicinal herb. It had all but disappeared from medicinal herb gardens. However, with its amazing healing qualities, this little herb is making a well-deserved comeback.

Very little information is written on Herb Robert’s healing constituents but this special plant has repeated time and time again, that it has supreme therapeutic qualities. It has proven that it has the capabilities to enhance the immune system. Research has established that the source of germanium in Herb Robert is a beneficial element in the body…having the ability to make oxygen available to the cells. This ability gives the body the opportunity to fight disease enabling the cells to regenerate and heal quickly. Free radicals cause a lack of oxygen in the cells and disease such as cancer can manifest.

Germanium’s outstanding effects on the immune system have been well documented in medical journals. As an adaptogen herb, it increases the body’s resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety, and fatigue. Adaptogens generally work by strengthening the immune system, nervous system and/or glandular system…helping to boost, balance and normalise functions in the body. Herb Robert has earned a reputation as a cure for cancer with testimonials to back up the claims.

This is a herb that can be of great benefit and used daily. The plant provides vitamins A and C, as well as B. It is full of minerals such as iron, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, and calcium. Fresh leaves and flowers can be steeped to make a tea or dried and stored to use throughout the winter months as a tea or tossed into salads as a nutrient booster. The root can also be dried and used.

 


If we can do one thing to benefit our overall well-being we should focus on maintaining vigorous gut health. I ended up with fairly severe gut issues because I ignored the obvious signs of food intolerances and allergies. I continued eating gluten loaded food (because I love crispy French bread) and dairy until my gut said, “NO MORE!” I began to listen after I was tested for food intolerances and allergies and clearly explained the dire consequences of continuing to eat these foods.  Most of us have an idea of what foods our gut likes and deep down we know which ones we are intolerant of. However, we tend to ignore the signs because we love our food and we really don’t want (or know how) to change anything.  I was aware I had gut issues with certain foods but I didn’t realise how much damage I was creating by continuing to eat these foods. When I developed arthritis along with my gut issues, I decided it was time to get to the root cause and make whatever changes necessary.

Researchers have discovered that a lesser known nervous system in our guts (our “second brain”) communicates with the brain in our head. Together, “our two brains” play a key role in certain diseases in our bodies and overall health.

If you have been having gut issues for a while and none of the recommendations below help, I suggest you look into having food intolerance and allergy testing. I recommend going to a Naturopath or Integrative MD to find out your options. Also, look into having an analysis that will identify parasites, abnormal bacteria, yeasts and other gastrointestinal issues, which will help you create a supplement plan.

Excerpts from Kris Carr’s – 7 Ways to Improve Gut Health

Your gut holds trillions of bacteria that help process your food, produce nutrients, and fight disease. In fact, there are ten times more bacteria in your gut than cells in your entire body! Balanced gut bacteria is fundamental to overall health. Since what you eat, drink and think affects the environment in your gut. Your daily choices play a critical role in whether those trillion plus bacteria help or hinder your wellbeing.

But when the harmful bacteria stage a revolt, all hell breaks loose. They totally gum up the works and cause painful problems like inflammation and infection, which can then lead to health issues such as constipation, candida, allergies, arthritis, headaches, depression, autoimmune diseases and more.

Medications (especially antibiotics and antacids), environmental toxins and chemicals, stress and illness greatly affect the ratio of good to bad bacteria. When bacteria is wiped out indiscriminately, the good guys get mowed down, giving the bad guys a chance to increase their ranks. Hello, chronic health issues.

The food you eat also affects the ratio of good to bad bacteria. Everything you consume is processed and either absorbed into your body or eliminated via your gut. Your gut completes the amazing task of digesting your food and pulling the nutrients, vitamins and minerals out of the food so that they can be absorbed into your bloodstream.

Your gut is a major component of your immune system.

Did you know that about 60-70% of your immune system lives in your gut?

Gut

Meet your GALT, also know as gut-associated lymphoid tissue. Your GALT lies just below the mucosal lining of the gut wall. It’s very thin (only one cell thick!), and most importantly — it’s integral to your immune system. The GALT contains specialized immune structures called Peyer’s patches that are filled with immune cells, such as B cells and T cells, which are responsible for recognizing and neutralizing harmful bacteria. When pathogenic bacteria visits your gut via food or your environment, the Peyer’s patches trigger your immune response to prevent them from passing through the gut wall.

Another way your gut protects you from infection and disease is through an abundance of healthy bacteria.

To keep harmful bacteria from overthrowing your gut, healthy bacteria need to thrive and cover your gut wall — the only thing standing between everything inside your gut and your bloodstream. It helps to imagine that your gut wall is a parking lot. There are a limited number of “parking spots” along your gut wall. You want good bacteria parked in those spaces so bad bacteria is crowded out. Keep those spaces filled by adopting the following gut health.

Now that you know how important your gut health is to your overall wellbeing, how can you take care of your spectacular gut?

 1. Take a probiotic supplement: A daily probiotic supplement will help boost the good bacteria in your gut, keeping the bad guys under control, boosting your immune system and easing digestive issues. This is especially helpful when you’re taking a medication, such as an antibiotic that has wiped out a large amount of gut bacteria. Any health food shop can recommend a probiotic.

2. Eat probiotic whole foods: You can also eat whole foods that are fermented and contain large amounts of good bacteria. Sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, microalgae and coconut kefir are fantastic plant-based probiotic-rich foods. When looking for probiotic-rich foods, avoid vinegar-based and/or pasteurized varieties, since these elements kill good bacteria. You want to pick up (or make!) lacto-fermented probiotic foods (FYI–this is a plant-friendly approach, no whey is necessary). If you’re interested in making your own probiotic foods, Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz is a popular book on the subject. Word to the wise: Get educated on fermenting at home before diving in–it can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing!

 3. Eat prebiotic whole foods: Certain foods feed and support the growth of good bacteria. By eating more whole, plant-based, fibre-filled foods, you’re fuelling the bacteria that support your health. Raw onions, garlic, dandelion greens, artichokes, and bananas are some of the best prebiotic foods to add to your diet.

 4. Eat regularly, but not constantly (eat your last meal of the day preferably before 6pm): To give your gut a chance to clean up and clear out bacteria and waste, it needs a rest from digestion. Every 90 minutes to two hours, the smooth muscle in your intestines move and groove to keep bacteria and waste truckin’ through your digestive tract. But this process is put on hold every time you eat. Can you see why snacking constantly slows down digestion and contributes to bacterial overgrowth? I’m not saying that you need to fast for long periods — eating regularly helps prevent constipation and bloating — but it’s best to take breaks between meals.

 5. Stay hydrated: A good rule of thumb for staying hydrated is drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day. For example, if you weigh 130 pounds, you should drink about 65 ounces of water. That’s about eight 8-ounce glasses of water. Your gut needs water to keep bacteria and waste moving through your digestive system, which will help prevent constipation and bloating. When you’re dehydrated, these issues can throw off the balance of bacteria in your gut and lead to inflammation. Give your gut a hand and drink more H2O!

 6. Cut out refined sugar and processed foods: When you consume processed, sugar-laden, refined foods, you’re giving bad bacteria an all-you-can-eat buffet, which increases the likelihood of developing gut issues and associated illnesses.

7. Reduce stress:  The brain and the gut are closely connected and communicate with each other. When you experience chronic stress, your brain goes into fight or flight mode, causing your digestion and blood flow in the gut to slow down, the muscles that push along waste and bacteria to freeze up and the secretions for digestion to decrease. All of these stress responses equal a poorly functioning gut! Take care of your gut health by coping with stress through breath work, yoga, meditation, therapy, time in the outdoors and the countless other stress reduction techniques available to you.


When British explorer, Captain Cook landed in Botany Bay, Australia in 1770 the Gwyeagal people inhabited the land around Botany Bay at that time. The Aboriginal people had a deep knowledge of native edible and medicinal plants passed down from generation to generation over thousands of years. They shared some of their secret knowledge with Captain Cook and his party, including botanist, Joseph Banks. The British spent a great deal of time studying and experimenting with the native botanicals. Melaleuca alternifolia and Melaleuca quinquenervia were amongst the plants studied and sketched by botanist, Joseph Banks.

Approximately 230 species of Melaleuca are indigenous to Australia and vary, depending on the species, from small shrubs to 30 metre tall trees. Melaleuca alternifolia is indigenous to northern New South Wales and Queensland and now most of the commercial Tea Tree comes from this region and this species. Melaleuca quinquenervia is indigenous to the East coast of New South Wales and Queensland usually along watercourses and swamps.

Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia) are members of the Myrtaceae plant family and are related to myrtle, clove, and eucalyptus. Although in the same family Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) should not be confused with Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia). Tea Tree has needle-like leaves whilst Niaouli is commonly known as broadleaf paperbark. However, both varieties have strong medicinal qualities and similar chemical properties. Tea tree oil has highly effective antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. It is great for acne, athlete’s foot, contact dermatitis or head lice.

The Aboriginal people of Australia had multiple uses for Melaleuca quinquenervia. The bark was peeled off in layers and is used for shelter, bedding, containers, storing and cooking food, fire tinder, watercraft, fish traps and wrapping the deceased. In traditional medicine, an infusion from leaves was drunk, inhaled or used for bathing to treat coughs, colds, congestion, headache, fever, and influenza. Today…Melaleuca quinquenervia is known for its strong antiseptic and stimulating qualities. It is still extensively used to clear infections such as bronchitis, catarrh, and sinus, as well as acne, boils, burns, ulcers and cuts. It is known for its analgesic, antiseptic, bactericide, insecticide, decongestant and ability to treat intestinal worms.


 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˜

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