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Saturday, August 20, 2005

FORMS OF HERBS

The goal of the herbalist is to release the volatile oils, antibiotics, aromatics, and other healing chemicals contained by the herb. Herbs can be prepared in a variety of forms depending on their purpose. This techniques include
Juice squeezed from herbs.
Mashing herbs into a paste.
Decoction or extracting the active ingredients by boiling down the herb in water.
Hot infusion (like hot tea)- Herb is steeped in hot water.
Cold infusion (like sun tea) - Herb is steeped in cold water.
Herbs ground into a powder and used as such or as compressed into a pill.
Herbal wine made by adding the herb to water and sugar and letting it ferment.
Tincture, made by combining ground herbs with alcohol, glycerin or vinegar and used internally.
Liniment - Made like a tincture except it is used externally.
Salves and ointments made by adding herbs to a medium such as petroleum jelly.
Syrups - Made by adding herb to a medium such as honey, sugar or glycerin.
Poultice - Herb is applied directly to a wound or body part and held in place with a cloth.
Herbal Oil - Usually made with common base oil, such as olive, almond, grape seed, or sesame oils. The herb is allowed to sit in the oil for a week. It is strained and bottledose. More on this article from http://www.holistic-online.com/Herbal-Med/hol_herb-forms.htm

Friday, August 19, 2005

BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY

There are many things you can do to help boost your immune system. Not only will this increase your resistance to minor ailments and allergies, it can also improve your general health and well being.

(1)Stop smoking.
(2)Decrease intake of junk and processed foods and increase intake of fresh fruit and vegetables and wholegrains for lots of immune boosting nutrients. For more information, have a look at Nutrition.
(3)Cut down on tea, coffee and alcohol. Replace them with lots of good quality water, fruit juices and herbal teas.
(4)Take regular exercise to stimulate circulation.
(5)Get sufficient sleep in a well-ventilated room.
(6)Get regular sunshine and fresh air.
(7)Practise stress management and relaxation.
(8)Allow time for leisure pursuits.
(9)Only take medicinal drugs such as antibiotics when absolutely necessary.
(10)Avoid recreational drugs, which may suppress immune function.
(11)Use immune-boosting herbs such as echinacea and astragalus at first sign of symptoms (don't take these continuously, though, as they'll lose their effectiveness).
(12)Use nutrients such as selenium, vitamins A, C and E (antioxidant and protect against damage from free radicals), zinc and magnesium (protect against colds).

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

NATURAL HERBS FOR PROSTATE HEALTH

More than 50% of men over the age of 40 will experience some type of prostate health problem. The primary condition these main face is prostate enlargement, which can inhibit urination and sexual performance and in some cases cause very severe pain. While some occurrences of prostate enlargement may actually be the result of tumor formation and prostate cancer, in many instances, prostate enlargement is simply the result of poor nutrition and too little exercise. Conventional treatment for severe cases of prostate enlargement often involves surgery to remove a section of the prostate. Since the prostate is closely connected to a network of nerve endings critical to sexual function, surgery is known to cause injury to those nerves, rendering men impotent. Another more recent conventional treatment for prostate enlargement is Proscar, a drug that inhibits natural hormonal systems and inhibits the production of specific enzymes that cause prostate enlargement. While the drug has been proven to be effective, one of the side effects is difficulty in getting an erection.
While the scientific evidence is still inconclusive, many studies support the use of natural herbs for treating and even preventing this condition. The three primary herbs are Saw Palmetto, Pygeum and Pumpkin Seed . More on this article from http://www.arrowroot.com/prostatehealth.asp?REFERER=marchemail

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

HEALTH AND HERBS

Health is the physical condition of living being ,
concentrating on human being "a healthy living is a
happy living ". Health is a major factor which
determines how far and how well human can carry on
with life .
Herbs are plants containing many nutrients and
phytochemicals, providing an array of health benefits.
They have been known for centuries, but are now
becoming the basics of many modern medicines. Herbs
are not really intended to replace the orthodox
medicine , herbs treatment will not normally produce
adverse effect . However , due to difference in our
body chemistry/chemical reaction amongst individuals
there are exceptions, so the potential for doing good
seems greater than that for doing harm.
ALADELOBA OLUWAFEMI
femofng@yahoo.co.uk

IMPORTANCE OF HERBS WITH DIET

From ancient times herbs had been used for medicinal
and culinary purposes. In recent times both these
practices have been sadly neglected. The truth is that
if only a relatively small amount of fresh herbs are
eaten every day, they can play an important part in
the daily diet and contribute greatly towards your
general health.Herbs contain nutritional substances
which are beneficial to health and can have as
profound an effect on the person eating the food, as
they have on the flavour and aroma of the food itself.
When used to flavour food, herbs compliment and
enhance the flavour of the food, making the food more
enjoyable.Digestion depends to a large extent upon the
palate, the sense of smell and the enjoyment of food.
Food that smells and tastes good make the saliva in
the mouth begin to flow, which helps in the
mastication of that food. Good food can also provide a
relaxed frame of body and mind, which is also helpful
to the digestion of the food.Herbs are also employed
as substitutes for ingredients that are not allowed in
some diets. Celery, thyme and marjoram are used in
salt-reduced or salt-free diets, often altogether
replacing the need for salt. Nasturtium, savory and
basil can be used as a substitute for pepper.
From ancient times herbs had been used for medicinal
and culinary purposes. In recent times both these
practices have been sadly neglected. The truth is that
if only a relatively small amount of fresh herbs are
eaten every day, they can play an important part in
the daily diet and contribute greatly towards your
general health.Herbs contain nutritional substances
which are beneficial to health and can have as
profound an effect on the person eating the food, as
they have on the flavour and aroma of the food itself.
When used to flavour food, herbs compliment and
enhance the flavour of the food, making the food more
enjoyable.Digestion depends to a large extent upon the
palate, the sense of smell and the enjoyment of food.
Food that smells and tastes good make the saliva in
the mouth begin to flow, which helps in the
mastication of that food. Good food can also provide a
relaxed frame of body and mind, which is also helpful
to the digestion of the food.Herbs are also employed
as substitutes for ingredients that are not allowed in
some diets. Celery, thyme and marjoram are used in
salt-reduced or salt-free diets, often altogether
replacing the need for salt. Nasturtium, savory and
basil can be used as a substitute for pepper.

HOW TO USE HERBS

Follow this tips when buying your chosen herbal
remedies"
Make sure they're in clearly labelled containers from
reputable suppliers. Always check for the percentage
of active ingredient on the labels. If there isn't one
listed, the supplement isn't likely to be effective.
Look for the words 'standardised extract' on the
label, which guarantees the potency of the active
ingredients

"Herbs can be taking in the following form"
Infusion - leaves or flowers steeped in water to make
a herbal tea.
Decoction - bark, twigs or roots simmered or boiled in
water.
Tincture - herb soaked in alcohol and water for a
specific length of time.
Extracts - parts of the herb dried and powdered, or
oils extracted, and made into tablets or capsules.
Creams or ointments - herb combined with oils, fats
and water.
Poultices - mixture of fresh dried or powdered herbs
applied directly to a wound or problem area.
Compress - cloth soaked in a water-based herbal
preparation and applied to an affected area.
Oils - herb infused in hot or cold oil over time.
To determine dosage, check recommended levels on the
product and follow them carefully or consult a
practitioner for advice. Also check to see whether the
herb should be taken before or with food.
Herb effects may be altered if combined with
prescription drugs. Always consult a practitioner for
advice if you're already taking medication.
Many herbs shouldn't be taken while pregnant or
breastfeeding. See the contraindications for each herb
for further information.
for continuation on this article visit
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/healthy_living

BENEFITS OF HERBS

(1) RAISES ENERGY LEVEL OF THE BODY: Herbs gives more
energy to the body for good health.
(2) STIMULATES BODY IMMUNE SYSTEM : Herbs boost the
body cells in fighting bacterials .
(3) NORMALIZES BODY FUNCTION : Herbs regulate the
gland to function normally .

(4) VERY NUTRITUIONAL:Herbs are has vitamins and
nutrient that nourish and build the body.

HERB PROPERTIES

To use herbs within the scope of Chinese Herbology,
one must first understand the properties (the
personality which dictates how an herb will function)
of each herb beyond the scope of its category.
Properties are tastes, temperatures, and qualities of
an herb. The possible tastes are sweet, sour, bitter,
pungent, bland, salty, astringent, and aromatic. It
may have other qualities such as toxic. The possible
temperatures are cool, cold, warm, neutral, and hot.

It is very important to understand that herbs do not
possess one quality. They are most always a
combination of properties and temperatures and may
reach one to as many as twelve organ systems. These
combinations of qualities give each herb their
character, and if you understand the functions behind
the properties, than you can surmise what an herb is
capable of before even becoming acquainted with it.
Learning to combine the appropriate formula for each
patient is a medical art which takes years to develop.
A tremendous amount of respect should be given to
those who do it well. More on this from
http://www.orientalmedicine.com/herb_properties.

SAFETY

Just because a herb is natural doesn't mean it’s safe.
Some plants are highly toxic if taken in large
dosages, or may have side effects when combined with
other herbs or medicines.

It’s vital that your practitioner is well trained in
the effects and indications for each herb, so always
ask about qualifications. If he or she trained abroad
- in China, for example - it may be difficult to
assess their qualifications and competence. In such
cases, it's best to use only those practitioners who
are registered members of one of the professional
associations or check the experiences of other
patients. If you're taking any prescribed conventional
medication, always inform your practitioner and doctor
before taking any herbal medicines.

Poor-quality herbs may contain contaminants or only
small amounts of the active ingredient, so always ask
your practitioner for assurances on safety and
quality. He or she should be able to tell you the name
of the supplier and all products should be clearly
labelled in English. Ideally, they will also have a
batch number. This usually means the product has been
checked for quality and ensures it can be traced back
to source if there are any problems.

If you’re buying your own herbs or supplements, only
use reputable suppliers that carry out regular quality
controls (this is usually specified in their
literature or you can ask).

The standards of herbal medicine training and supplies
are becoming increasingly stringent to ensure safety
and quality. Many codes of practice and conduct are
already in place, although at this time they're mainly
voluntary.

Conservation can be an issue. Certain oriental herbal
formulations may contain animal products taken from
protected species. Always ask about ingredients and
refuse any animal products if you have any cause for
concern. Mre on this article can be gotten from
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/healthy_living/complementary_medicine

HEALING WITH HERBS

Today, 80% of the world's population rely entirely on
plant medicine, and its popularity is being rapidly
revived in the west.

A long history of traditional herbal practice together
with modern scientific research has created a greater
confidence in the effectiveness of herbal medicine.
Whole plant remedies are used both internally and
externally to treat various aliments, with emphasis on
enhancing the body's own recuperative powers.
Herbs can be used to treat many of the conditions that
patients might take to their doctor, from skin
problems and digestive disorders, to gynaecological
complaints and problems with the heart and
circulation.

Stress related conditions also respond well to the
healing properties of herbs. A qualified herbalist
will take the time to treat the patient as a whole,
while knowing when a condition is best referred to a
doctor or another therapist.
The consultation
The first consultation usually takes around one hour.
During this time all aspects of the patient's health
are explored to build a complete picture of the person
as a whole.

In this way it is then possible to find and treat the
underlying cause of the problem presented, rather than
the symptoms alone. This is known as the holistic
approach.
Following the consultation, the patient is prescribed
an individual blend of herbal tinctures to take on a
daily basis. Regular follow-up visits, usually about
half an hour in duration, are arranged to monitor
progress of the treatment.

The length of the course of treatment depends on the
condition and the patient's responsiveness to
medication, but usually lasts around three months. for
continuation on this article and other interested
advice phoebesamson@tiscali.co.uk
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Phoebe Sampson BSc. MNIMH

A fully qualified herbalist, having studied with the
College of Phytotherapy, and achieved a BSc in Herbal
Medicine.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cornwall/lifestyle/stories/jan_2005/herbal_mediicine.