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.

 

 


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

 


Essiac Tea Immortal 8 Herbs

This recipe was given to Renee Caisse from the  Ojibwa / Ojibwa Tribe (North American Indian tribe from Canada). Essiac is Caisse spelt backwards.  Renee Caisse set up a clinic in Canada to help cancer patients. This remedy originally consisted of 4 original herbs. Later…4 more herbs were added.

This powerful mixture of 8 medicinal herbs has the potential ability to assist in the healing of  people with a variety illnesses including, Chronic Fatigue, Diabetes, chronic inflammation, supports the immune system, promotes detoxification.

I became interested in Essiac Tea as a treatment for arthritis, but after some research I found the combination of herbs is known to help various other ailments with (word of mouth) good results. I only just purchased the tea…and as yet…I have to test it for myself so I cannot give testimony of its healing abilities, as yet. I will post results as I experience them.

The 8-Herbs:

Blessed Thistle:  Widely used to treat liver and gallbladder diseases. Aids in digestive problems and has anti-inflammatory characteristics.

Burdock Root:  Blood purifier, nutritive liver tonic, and mild diuretic. Burdock Root is one of those rare herbs that stimulate lymphatic drainage and detoxification.

Kelp:  An amazing marine plant and a concentrated source of minerals, including: iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron. Kelp is a nutrient dense source of iodine which is crucial in the production of thyroid hormones.

Red Clover:  A source of many important nutrients, including: calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C…but first and formost a blood purifier. It is also one of the richest sources of isoflavones…water-soluble chemicals that act like estrogens.

Sheep Sorrel:  Sheep Sorrel’s action is diuretic, refrigerant and diaphoretic, and the juice extracted from the fresh plant is of use in urinary and kidney diseases. Sheep Sorrel contains a rich source of oxalic acid, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, phosphorous, beta carotene, and vitamin C. Be aware: oxalic acid can be harmful in large doses.

Slippery Elm Bark:  Contains nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and C. It regulates the colon, easing both constipation and diarrhea and has a soothing action on the digestive lining. It is also effective  as a cough remedy…soothing sore throats and coughs due to upper respiratory ailments.

Turkish Rhubarb Root:  This a detoxifying herb…famous for its healing abilities. Rhubarb root purges the body of bile, parasites, and stagnating food in the digestive tract by stimulating the gall duct to expel toxic waste matter.  It has proven effective in alleviating chronic liver problems due to its liver cleansing properties.

Watercress: A nutrient rich plant growing in slow moving water. It contains more Vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more folate than bananas. It also contains Vitamin A, B6, B12, magnesium and phosphorus. Its high antioxidant content may lower the risk of chronic diseases.

Consumers who are not battling illness might use the tea as a detoxifying elixir in less potent doses.

 

 

 

 


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.


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


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.

 


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.