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).”              

/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}

-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. 

www.naturescreation.biz

.


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.


Milk Thistle

St Mary’s thistle or milk thistle (Silybum marianum) has been famous as a liver herb for thousands of years and promoted for its liver-protecting effects..  Milk thistle is distinguished by the large glossy leaves with creamy-white variegations around the veins. Tradition says that the variegations originated from the milk of the Virgin which once fell upon the plant.

The main active ingredient in milk thistle is the high amount of silymarin.  Modern research shows that St Mary’s thistle has a truly remarkable ability to both regenerate damaged liver cells. It has been widely used for liver and gallbladder diseases including hepatitis, cirrhosis (of the liver), gallstones and jaundice. The silymarin extracted from milk thistle has proven` to have antioxidant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

Milk thistle or St. Mary’s Thistle (Silybum marianum)  should not be confused with Holy or Blessed Thistle (Cnicus benedictus).

It is a different species with different medicinal properties. Blessed Thistle is not edible, whereas, Milk Thistle is edible and used by foragers as ‘bush food’.

 Blessed Thistle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is said to have obtained its name from its high reputation as a heal-all, being supposed even to cure the plague. The name derived from the Benedictine Monks during the Middle Ages… who used it as a cure-all during the bubonic plague that struck Europe and Asia in the mid-1300s.

Blessed thistle was traditionally used in bitter tonics to stimulate appetite and digestion, among other potential uses. Today it is commonly brewed as a tea, or in dietary supplements (usually in capsule form), in herbal tinctures and extracts.

Blessed thistle contains tannins, which are water-soluble polyphenols that help protect the body against oxidation and support healthy digestion; whereas, milk thistle contains silymarin, a popular ingredient in herbal supplements used to support liver health.

 

 


The Breath – Our Life Force

How does the Breath Effect our Overall Health?

The breath is an integral part of our overall health and the most vital process of the body. The breath is our life force and influences the activities of each and every cell, and most importantly, is intimately linked with the performance of the brain. Breathing is generally an unconscious action of the body, controlled by the brain stem. Most of us are not aware of our breath, how we breathe and how the breath affects our body, our overall balance, our wellbeing and our mind. However, breathing is one of the few bodily functions which can be controlled consciously. The breath is the link between the conscious and the unconscious mind.

We take a breath approximately 17,000-30,000 times per day. Most people breathe incorrectly, using only a small part of their lung capacity. Their breathing is then generally shallow, depriving the body of oxygen and life force (prana) essential to good health. Abdominal breathing is the most natural and efficient way to breathe. Once this technique becomes part of daily life, you will notice a great improvement in the state of physical and mental wellbeing.

Pranayama is the conscious awareness of breath: the life force that both energises, balances and relaxes the body. The term is derived from the Sanskrit word, prana, meaning “life force,” and ayama, meaning “extension or control.” Pranayama is an integral part of yoga. The controlled breathing enables both the rhythm of performing yoga poses and relaxing the mind for meditation.

Firstly, it is important is to learn how to breathe correctly. I had a friend who used to stick post-it notes all around her apartment with the word, “Breathe” as a reminder to breathe correctly. Abdominal breathing is the most natural and efficient way to breathe. Once abdominal breathing becomes part of daily life, there is a great improvement in the state of physical and mental wellbeing.

Abdominal Breathing – Pranayama…is natural and easy to learn.

Lie on the floor or sit in a chair and relax completely. Feel the breath flow naturally in and out through the nostrils. Allow the breath to flow in through the nostrils and down to the abdomen. Notice the abdomen move upward on inhalation and downward on exhalation. You can place a hand on the abdomen to feel the correct movement.

As a yoga teacher, one Pranayama practice I include at the end of every class is Nadi Shodhana Pranayama or Alternate Nostril Breathing. The practice of Nadi Shodhana (purification of the nadis or energy channels) clears pranic blockages and balances all of our 72,000 nadis or energy channels in our body. Nadi Shodhana balances the whole body, induces tranquillity, clarity of thought and concentration.  It increases vitality and lowers levels of stress and anxiety.  It is a simple practice and takes only a few minutes and can be done daily.

It is best to seek out a good yoga class that includes Pranayama and Nadi Shodhana to learn how to do the practice correctly. It involves a hand mudra…the placement of the hand in a specific position and using a controlled breath through the nostrils.

Below are instructions on how to perform basic Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing).

Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) Practice

Sit in a comfortable position…spine upright, straight and relaxed. Bring the tip of the index finger and the tip of the thumb on the left hand together and place the left hand on the thigh either palm up (Chin Mudra) or down (Jnana Mudra). Concentrate on the normal abdominal breathing for a few minutes…slowly breathing down to the navel and back up.

  • Lift the right hand, place the index finger and middle finger at the eyebrow centre (Pranayama Mudra).
  • Close the right nostril gently with the thumb.
  • Breathe in slowly, gently but deeply through the left nostril visualising the breath flowing through the eyebrow centre. Do not force the breath.
  • Gently close the left nostril… open the right nostril and breathe out through the right.
  • Keeping the left nostril gently closed breathe back in through the right nostril…closing the right nostril…opening the left.
  • Bring the breath through the eyebrow centre and back out through the left. This is one round.

Repeat the round 5 – 7 times.

Hand Mudras

The Sanskrit word mudra is translated as ‘gesture’. Mudras are a combination of subtle physical movements which alter mood, attitude, and perception and deepen awareness and concentration.

 

URL link for a video and short instruction on Nadi Shodhana.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apLOi3y0iyA

URL link to an informative article on the breath and the link between the conscious and unconscious mind. http://www.thehealersjournal.com/2012/10/03/breath-is-the-link-between-the-conscious-and-unconscious-mind/

www.naturescreation.biz


I went to bed last night with a scratchy throat…the kind you get when you feel like you may be coming down with something but no real specific symptoms…more a feeling of unbalance and exhaustion. This morning I was aware of the same feeling so I took some immune strengthening herbs.

I stopped by the Organic shop on my way home from the grocery store to pick up a couple of dry herbs. I walked in and I was immediately drawn to the liquid Echinacea supplement. Echinacea is best known for its positive effect on the immune system. Herbalists regard Echinacea as one of the best antibiotics and blood purifiers…activating the immune system, and helping to resist disease.

I returned home and decided to draw one of the Insight cards from my book, Nature’s Creation – Knowledge and Guidance through Healing Plants. Synchronicity. I was a bit taken back when I drew the Echinacea card and immediately connected with the message this plant was sharing with me. I was not coming down with something but my immune system was definitely out of balance. The Insight message below rang clear and true.

Insight…quoted from the book.

“If you have drawn the Echinacea card today it is time to pay more attention to your physical needs, especially your immune system. You may be under stress at home or at work or you may have had some physical or emotional trauma recently. It could be that you are not aware of the stress you have taken on. The effects of stress or trauma may be underlying and not obvious; however, if the stress isn’t recognised it may manifest in an immune-related illness. The fact that you have chosen this card at this time is an indication that you are likely holding on to stress in some way, consciously or unconsciously.

The power of Echinacea will enable you to look within and re-connect with your intuition to bring to the surface any underlying stress. In order to release the stress you must be able to take responsibility for everything that occurs in your life without blame. By acknowledging the stress you are then able to release it fully and once again feel your inner strength and calm return. This will bring balance back to your immune system with a renewed feeling of wholeness, freedom and inner peace”.

I had an “ah ha” moment. I knew exactly what was causing this imbalance and how to change it. As the author of this book, I had to remind myself that I too need a refresher course on the power of medicinal plants and how to once again, “stop and smell the roses” (or the Echinacea).


If you waking up after a good sleep still feeling tired or constantly struggling with fatigue, or if you feel like you’re never able to catch up on sleep, this could be a warning sign that you have some level of adrenal fatigue or ‘burnout’. Feeling overwhelmed, stressed and anxious can be a sign of adrenal fatigue also, as well as a cause.

Adrenal burnout is not uncommon as most of us have experienced it at one time or another. People under stress from working long hours, eating poorly, skipping meals, lack of sleep or relaxation time are considered at high risk of developing adrenal exhaustion at some stage. Pain and chronic inflammation are also indicators. Cortisol levels become depleted due to long-term periods of stress. Cortisol is the hormone involved in the regulation of metabolism in the cells and helps us regulate stress within the body.

Effects of Adrenal Fatigue:

  • Sleep quality – still feeling constantly tired after what feels like a good night’s sleep.
  • Depression, foggy mind and memory problems.
  • Muscle and joint function.
  • Weight gain and inability to lose weight – when cortisol is out of balance the body will store fat rather than burn it for fuel.
  • Hormonal imbalances.
  • Thyroid function.
  • Digestive/gut problems – manifesting as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), indigestion, heartburn or intestinal parasites.
  • Immune function
  • Skin regeneration and premature aging
  • Bone health

What can we do to maintain healthy adrenals?

  •  Drink green juice daily
  • Eat loads of vegetables, especially spinach, kale, and broccoli. These are great for the adrenal glands, along with seaweed. Seaweed contains iodine and other minerals that can support the adrenals and help normalize elevated adrenal secretion.
  • Reduce stress…take up yoga. Learn to meditate and breathe correctly.
  • · Adaptogenic herbs such as tulsi, ashwagandha, licorice root, and ginseng are all excellent in supporting healthy adrenal function as they increase the bodies resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety and fatigue. Adaptogens generally work by strengthening the immune and nervous systems…helping to balance and normalise functions in the body.
  • Avoid: caffeine, dairy, alcohol, gluten, soy, and sugar as much as possible

You can read about these adaptogenic medicinal herbs in Nature’s Creation – Knowledge & Guidance through Healing Plants book/cards. Instructions for a yogic guided meditation called Yoga Nidra and Pranayama (breath balancing exercises) are also in the book. I recommend both these practices daily to assist in health and wellness and bringing a feeling of relaxation and peace to the body.


THIS EARTH IS PRECIOUS – Thought to be part of a speech by “Chief Seattle” 1854

Whether these words are actually from a speech by Chief Seattle or not is of no consequence. The meaning behind the words is as powerful and valid today as it was in 1854. I wonder if humanity will ever listen to the call for help from Mother Nature and the Earth …or will we wait until it’s too late to make sustainable changes.

Every part of the earth is sacred to my people.

Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red man. The rivers are our brothers, they quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes, and feed our children.

The white man’s dead forget the country of their birth when they go to walk among the stars. Our dead never forget this beautiful earth, for it is the mother of the red man.

We are part of the earth, and it is part of us.

The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers.

The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and man…all belong to the same family.

We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs.

Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. This we know. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. All things are connected.

Nature’s Creation – Knowledge & Guidance through Healing


Classified as a bitter herb with cool energy, Dandelion is one of the most nutrient-rich plants in nature.  All parts of the plant are edible.  The young leaves can be steamed or eaten raw in salads, the flowers made into tasty wine and the roots can be eaten as a vegetable or made into a nutritious coffee substitute.

The root of the Dandelion contains beneficial sources of vitamins A, C, and D as well as B-complex.  It also contains the minerals zinc, iron, and potassium.  Dandelion root provides a high antioxidant value to the diet.  Traditionally Herbalists have used Dandelion to enhance the body’s eliminative and detoxifying functions.  It is a powerful tonic for liver dysfunction, purifying the blood, treatment of anemia, constipation, rheumatism, gallbladder problems, inflammatory skin conditions, gout and a successful treatment for high blood pressure by eliminating excess fluids from the system.  All parts of Dandelion contain strong, natural, diuretic properties.

Chicory has been cultivated for thousands of years. It resembles Dandelion in its deep taproot and both Dandelion and Chicory have many of the same medicinal properties. Together, the dried root of both plants can be chopped and roasted to make a herbal coffee substitute.

Lately, I’ve been drawn to Dandelion/Chicory coffee…whether my body is telling me I need it medicinally or because I’m just loving the taste of the drink…or maybe both reasons. I’m not sure. I’ve been drinking it as a hot coffee substitute drink and an iced drink in the summer. It’s my new favourite drink.

 

 

 

 

Here’s my recipe: For a hot drink

  1. One heaping teaspoon roasted Dandelion & Chicory root in a mug
  2. Add boiling water to fill the mug about 1/3 full
  3. Stir and steep for 5-10 minutes
  4. Add honey to taste
  5. Add some almond or soymilk to fill the mug

Then: Pour through a fine strainer into a small pot and reheat.

For an iced drink:

  1. Follow steps 1 through 5
  2. Then: Pour into a large, tall glass and add almond or soymilk to fill the glass ¾ full.
  3. Add 2-3 tablespoons of vanilla coconut ice cream or any preferred vanilla ice cream.

As the ice cream melts, the drink becomes smooth and creamy. Stir and enjoy.

Note: You can find Roasted Dandelion or Roasted Dandelion/Chicory root in most Health Food Stores sold as a coffee substitute.


What is the difference between a seed and a grain? This a confusing question to most people. You might ask, “Isn’t a grain just a seed”? A grain is a seed, however, there is a big difference between the two especially in the way they both affect our health and how our bodies process them.

Seeds: We refer to seeds directly, such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and sesame seeds. A seed is defined as an embryonic plant covered in a seed coat, often containing nutrients and of high nutritional value. Seeds also tend to have a wider variety of nutrients in them compared to grains, e.g. chia seeds are full of nutrients like omega fats, saturated and monounsaturated fats, protein, plenty of fibre and considered a whole food.

Seeds such as Flaxseeds, Chia seeds, Hemp seeds, Sesame seeds, Pumpkin seeds and Sunflower seeds are so nutrient-dense you don’t have to eat a lot of them. Seeds contain all the biological materials necessary for the development of complex plants. For this reason, they are extremely nutritious and medicinal. They are a good source of fibre and contain healthy monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Grains:

A grain is a type of small edible fruit, usually hard on the outside, harvested from grassy crops. Grains such as wheat, oats, and grasses generally grow in big clumps on a plant and rely on the wind and weather to disperse them. In fact, they are not designed to be eaten by humans in their raw state and need to go through processing (milling or cooking, etc.). Grains have a limited range of nutrients and are carbohydrate based.

 Ancient Grains verses Modern Wheat – Taken from,  The History of How Wheat Became Toxic – Maninis Gluten Free Blog by Donna Collins, July 5, 2011.

“Modern wheat has had a very long history of hybridization, starting with ancestral grasses in the wild and also occurring naturally in farmers’ fields in antiquity. Humans have continued the process chemically in the last century, and especially during the last 50 years in order to increase yields, resist fungal diseases and pest attacks, improve ease of mechanical harvesting and meet rigorous demands of industrial milling and mechanized baking methods. Transgenic wheat varieties via GMO technology are now waiting in the wings for their debut, albeit to an unexpectedly (at least to Monsanto) hostile audience both at home and abroad.

But even before these latest GMO changes, it appears that recent forced and accelerated hybridizations have changed wheat nutritionally in ways that no one seems to have considered, while research into the health effects of these transformations has barely begun. It is through the story of modern wheat’s pedigree, some of which is still disputed by archaeobotanists, that some light can be shed upon gluten intolerance and celiac disease.

Among the early grasses that produced nourishing food for people are the species of Triticum. Within this species, the einkorn, emmer and spelt groups all had a common ancestor about 10,000 years ago. Wild and cultivated einkorn are classified as diploid by plant geneticists; that is, their DNA contains two sets of chromosomes. Einkorn was widely distributed throughout the Near East, Transcaucasia, the Mediterranean region, southwestern Europe and the Balkans, and evidence of wild einkorn harvest remains have been dated in the late Palaeolithic and early Mesolithic Ages (16,000-15,000 BCE). Cultivated einkorn continued to be a popular food crop during the Neolithic and early Bronze Ages (10,000-4,000 BCE) until finally giving way to emmer wheat in the mid-Bronze Age. Einkorn cultivation continued from the Bronze Age until the last century in isolated regions within France, India, Italy, Turkey, and Yugoslavia. A nutritious grain with high levels of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals, einkorn excelled at growing in cool environments and in marginal agricultural zones such as the thin soils of mountainsides”.

Some health experts believe that it is the consumption of modern wheat and other grains, especially those sprayed withpesticides, (including herbicidesfungicidesinsecticides) that are responsible for a significant amount of illness, obesity, and suffering in humans today. Gluten is just one culprit. A few of the common illnesses linked to grains include Chrohn’s and Celiac disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other digestive disorders. Consuming grains can also increase the chances of developing diabetes and even worsen brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well as all autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

 Nuts: Almonds, pecans, cashews, and walnuts are the seeds produced by a tree. Most contain large amounts of protein, as well as calcium, vitamin E and some, provide selenium. Nuts are classed as seeds and they also have a good range of nutrients. Almonds, brazil, cashew, macadamia, pine nuts and walnuts all have high nutrient value. These are all digested far easier than grains and provide far more nutrients. Activating nuts and seeds by soaking in water overnight then dehydrating them (drying them out in a dehydrator or warm oven) unlocks the nutrients and makes them easier to digest.


Extensive research demonstrates that medicinal mushrooms can boost the body’s immune function. One such study showed how some mushrooms can promote immunity by increasing production of antivirals. These proteins help the body to defend and repair itself. The “immune stimulating” property is gaining a great deal of attention due to the fact that medicinal mushrooms can increase the body’s own defenses.

Polysaccharides are polymeric carbohydrate molecules (compounds) that can help cellular structure and support the immune system and increase immunity. Polysaccharides, peptidoglycans, and triterpenes are three major physiologically active constituents in medicinal mushrooms. Whether fighting cancer or fighting a common cold, a boost in your immunity can help your body to effectively defend itself.

The Power of Medicinal Mushrooms

In recent years, medicinal plants have gained more and more attention with Medical Practitioners, Naturopaths, and Herbalists. Medicinal mushrooms have escalated to the top of the list due to scientific backup. Medicinal mushrooms all contain polysaccharides that give the mushrooms an advantage over other microorganisms by discouraging the competitive organisms, and at the same time, having a profound effect on the body. Evidence shows that they have a strong effect on the immune system by warding off viruses, bacterial infections and they have a beneficial effect on fungal infections such as candida. The history of medicinal mushrooms goes back thousands of years.

Medicine – Ancient and Modern

The medicinal uses of mushrooms go back to Neolithic period in history. The oldest human mummy, dating back 4,000 years ago, was found with Piptoporus betulinus (Birch Polypore)– in his medicine kit, a mushroom used for its antibiotic properties and as a natural parasite killer, still in use today.

Archaeological evidence indicates that man has used the Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma) for over 7000 years.  In ancient times, this little mushroom was considered to be so auspicious that reference to its medicinal superiority is highlighted in the Chinese Materia Medica, the oldest Oriental medical text compiled during the Han Dynasty between 300B.C. and 200A.D. from information passed down verbally through countless generations. Now accepted as being the original textbook of Oriental medical science, it described and classified 365 herbs into three categories…superior, average and fair. Out of 120 medicines that this ancient text lists as superior, Reishi mushroom is ranked number one.  Reishi mushrooms were regarded in China as the “Elixir of Life”. Today they are still used to boost energy, help the body resist disease and stress and promote longevity. Due to its rarity in nature, Reishi was once available only to Asian royalty and the wealthy until the late 20th century.  The mushroom was crowned by Chinese Emperors as the “King of Herbs” and believed to bring Imperial Chi or the life force that would create an eternal dynasty.

Historically, many cultures, such as Egyptian, Greek, and Roman have recorded use of medicinal mushrooms as a highly valued tonic and often reserved for sacred ritual as well as for health and wellbeing.

Medicinal Mushrooms List: The top 8 you need to know about:

Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) – Chaga is a type of fungus. It mainly grows on the outside of birch trees in very cold climates. Chaga mushrooms grow wild in places like Siberia, northern Canada, Alaska, and some northern areas of the continental United States.

 

 

 

Cordyceps (cordyceps sinensis)  – Cordyceps has been described as a medicine in old Chinese medical books and Tibetan medicine. This species is found only on the Tibetan Plateau is a rare combination of a caterpillar and a fungus and found at altitudes above 4500m in Sikkim. This fungus is known for its unique way of reproducing. It develops inside insect larvae, killing and mummifying the remains before popping out of the ground as a fruiting body.

 

 

Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) – Lion’s Mane belongs to the tooth fungus group. Native to America, Europe, and Asia is can be identified by its long spines, its appearance on hardwoods and its tendency to grow a single clump of dangling spines.

 

 

 

 

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) – Rishi is extremely scarce in its natural environment, Ganoderma lucidum is only found growing on two out of 10,000 species of mountain wild plum trees. The wild plum grows in dense, humid, high mountain rain forests of Asia.  In 1972 the Japanese perfected the commercial growing of Ganoderma lucidum in a controlled organic environment.

 

 

 

 

Maitake (Grifola frondosa) – Mitake is native to China, the northeastern part of Japan and North America. It is prized in traditional Chinese and Japanese herbology as a medicinal mushroom.

 

 

 

 

 

Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) – Shiitake is native to East Asia and considered a medicinal mushroom of traditional medicine. It grows in groups on the decaying wood of deciduous trees.

 

 

 

 

 

Poria (Wolfiporia extensa also known as Poriae cocos) – Poria is very popular in traditional Chinese medicine for making formulas that tonify the spleen and kidney, and in prescriptions that are used to remove excess dampness. Its country of origin is southwest China.

 

 

 

 

Agaricus (Agaricus blazei ) – Agaricus blazei Murrill is a mushroom originally native to a small village, name Piedade, in the highland areas of Atlantic forest in a mountain town in Brazil.

 

 

Together, these eight medicinal mushrooms make a very powerful blend and deliver superior immunity, advanced hormonal adaptability and a tonic for the nervous and immune systems.

 Nature’s Creation – Knowledge & Guidance through Healing Cards – www.naturescreation.biz