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Herbal Sunscreens - The Future?

With the sun finally making an appearance, I wanted to see if plants can be used to protect us against the sun’s rays.  How can we tap into the properties that a plant has to protect itself from the sun?Whilst moderate exposure to the sun is beneficial to our health & wellbeing and triggers vitamin D production, excessive UV radiation can cause sunburn, premature ageing & skin cancers and suppress our immune systems.There is growing interest in the use of herbs to protect against damaging...

June 2, 2021

Benefits of Lemon Balm

Harvesting some lemon balm today, lovely used fresh as an infusion. I’m letting mine cool for a refreshing drink Lemon Balm benefits: Reduces tension, anxiety & agitation Antiviral against herpes simplex Volatile oils are antibacterial, antifungal & antihistamine Helpful in irregular & painful periods, PMS & menopausal depression Thyroid inhibitory effect (avoid with thyroid drugs) May be useful in prevention & treatment of Alzeheimer’s due to it’s ability to inhibit acetylcholinesterase ...

June 2, 2021

Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis) - known as the “Caterpillar fungus”

A unique species in the medicinal mushroom family, it grows on an insect host rather than a plant. Originally thought to be a parasitic relationship, in some cases it seems to be also beneficial to the moth larvae it grows on - they obtain energy from the cordyceps to give them a selective advantage, particularly useful in extreme environments such as the high Tibetan plateau. The vast majority of cordyceps available today is cultivated on non-insect, grain-based substrates so suitable for veget...

June 1, 2021

Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) - “known as the fragrant mushroom”

I can’t help but think of the Outkast song Roses ...I know you’d like to think your shiitake don’t stink Shiitake mushrooms have been used as medicinal food in Asian Countries for thousands of years. As well as having a delicious rich, savoury taste, they are packed with nutrients. High levels of B vitamins and 18 amino acids (including the essential ones that we can’t make ourselves) to maintain muscle tissue and keep a healthy balance of feel-good neurochemicals. Not to mention m...

May 13, 2021

Medicinal Mushrooms - Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)

A beautiful and delicious mushroom, known as a nootropic (a substance that enhances cognition, memory & facilitates learning). ‘Nature’s Nutrient for Neurons’ Memory loss - stimulates production of nerve growth factor (NGF) - lower levels have been linked to early stages of Alzeheimer’s & dementia Cognitive support - protects brain cells, improves memory & promotes creation of neurons, powerful antioxidant & anti-inflammatory properties Menopausal symptoms - can help with sleep disturban...

May 6, 2021

Earth Day

“Sustainability - the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance” (Dictionary.com)I have a deep connection to plants and the environment and strongly believe in being sustainable in my day to day life.  As herbalists we need to be mindful of where and how we source herbs, not to overharvest or use endangered plants, to ensure the long-term viability of our plants for food and health.Let us all take ...

April 22, 2021

Turmeric Face Mask

Turmeric has amazing healing properties and has been used for at least 6000 years in India both internally and externally; Indian brides have long used it head to toe to brighten skin before their weddingsAnti-bacterial properties help manage breakouts & acne Strong anti-oxidant properties balances sebum secretion and aids cleaning out poresAnti-inflammatory properties soothe redness...

April 21, 2021

Herb of the month - Dandelion

The whole plant is useful both as food and medicine!Root - stimulates and decongests liver, encourages digestion by stimulating bile production to breakdown fats.  Tender roots can be chopped and added to stir fry or is delicious pickled. Leaves - source of vitamins A, C, B complex, Potassium, iron, calcium & trace minerals; mild diuretic may help water retention & hypertension.  Add to salads or steam - serve with drizzled olive oil and lemon juice (and some optional feta cheese - yum...

April 12, 2021

Wellness Reminder: Breathe

Slow abdominal breathing stimulates the vagus nerve which can reduce stress, anxiety, anger, inflammation and improve digestion by activating the relaxation responseSit or lie down, place one hand on belly and other on your chestTake a deep breath in through nose for 4 counts and let belly push out your hand, your chest should not moveHold at top of breath for 1 to 7 counts (however long feels comfortable)Breathe out to the count of 8, try to get all the air out of lungs by time reach 8Repeat 3 ...

April 8, 2021

Spring is here..and so are the itchy red eyes, runny noses & constant sneezes

We long for the warmer weather after the winter months but with that comes the dreaded hay fever season.  Allergies affect many of us and often the only option is to use antihistamines but there are ways to help naturally, there are herbs that specifically balance the immune system, reduce histamine levels, ease itching and relieve that constant runny nose.Elderflower (Sambucus nigra) - stop the mucus!Nettle (Urtica dioica) - natural antihistamine, detoxifierReishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucid...

March 25, 2021

My great great grandmother was known as the “Welsh Witch”

You could say herbalism runs in my blood, my great great grandmother was known as the “Welsh Witch”, the people of the mining town, where she lived in the Welsh valleys, would visit her for help with various ailments. I come from a science background having completed a Masters in Analytical Chemistry – no, I don’t know why either! Except now I do, it has been one of the steppingstones on my journey to be a naturopath and herbalist. To be able to understand plant chemistry has enabled me ...

February 1, 2021

What is Herbal Medicine?

Herbal medicine has been used worldwide for millennia and is still used by 80% of world’s population. “It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has”  Hippocrates, “The Father of Modern Medicine” was an herbalist and advocated the healing power of nature. Almost one-fourth of pharmaceutical drugs are derived from botanicals e.g. aspirin from willow; levodopa for Parkinson’s from broad beans; digoxin from digitalis t...

January 26, 2021 Posts 1-12 of 12 | Page