Purple Herbal

Sharing My Passion For Nature With The World

8 Foods That Fight Wrinkles


I read this article on the Huffington Post this morning, and thought I’d share. In my Face Masks for All Skin Types article, I mention half of these foods as being good for face masks.  I’ve seen how well they work at diminishing wrinkles on a surface level. Eating them and having them work from the inside out is another great strategy :)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/11/anti-aging-foods_n_4419906.html

Herbs for Women


Herbs have been used by women for thousands of years to help relieve female ailments like PMS, excessive uterine bleeding, scant or irregular periods, menopausal symptoms, infertility, and other issues.

The following herbs are useful for women who wish to treat these conditions naturally:

Agrimony (water)

agrimony

This herb is useful for menstrual problems, especially when there is excessive bleeding from the uterus.

The dosage, taken as an infusion, is 1 oz of of herb to 2 cups of water.  This can be 3 – 4 times daily

 

 

Black cohosh

black cohoshBlack cohosh is a useful herb for women going through menopause, who want an alternative to hormone therapy. Symptoms like headaches, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood changes are remedied with this herb.

This herb is best taken as a tincture, 20-40 drops in water 3 times a day. A tea can be made with 1 oz. of the dried root brought to boil in 5 cups of water. Let is simmer for 20 – 30 minutes than drink one cup three times daily.

Long term use of this herb, more than 6 months, is not recommended.

Chaste tree

chaste treeChaste tree is used for treating the symptoms of PMS and for bleeding irregularities of the uterus, like frequent or heavy bleeding. It can also help with infertility, prevent miscarriage, and increase the production of breast milk. It helps to regulate the hormone levels in women.

It is best used in tincture form. 30 – 50 drops 3 times daily is recommended.

Usually, it takes 3 menstrual cycles for this herb to take effect, so please be patient with it.

Cinnamon 

cinnamonCinnamon can be taken to reduce pain and excessive bleeding (from fibroids and endometriosis) during menstruation.

One teaspoon per day of powdered root can be taken, or 50 drops of tincture in water.

 

 

Dong quai

dong quaiDong quai helps relieve PMS, irregular periods, cramps, and menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.

40 – 80 drops of tincture in some water 3 times a day is the recommended dosage.

Or a tea made with one teaspoon of herb in one cup of water, brought to boil and simmered for 5 – 10 minutes can be taken.

Lady’s mantle

lady's mantleLady’s mantle is mainly used for excessive menstruation.

A tea made with 1 oz. of herb to 2 cups of water should be taken in 2 oz. doses. It can also be inserted into the vagina as a douche.

 

 

Licorice

licoriceLicorice is useful when wanting to treat symptoms of menopause like mood swings , hot flashes, and the balancing of hormones. It’s anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties make it useful for helping to relieve symptoms of PMS – nausea, bloating, painful cramps, and breast tenderness.

It’s even useful in treating herpes because of it’s anti-viral properties.

One teaspoon of herb boiled or 50 drops of tincture in one cup of water can be taken three times daily.

Motherwort

motherwortAs the name suggests, this herb is incredibly useful for mothers and women alike. It helps to regulate the circulation during menopause, so heart palpitations are eased. It is a mild sedative, and induces tranquility and reduces anxiety. It also helps regulate menstruation, eases painful periods, and induces delayed periods.

One to two teaspoons of the herb in one cup of water can be made into a tea, taken with lemon and honey. Drink up to two cups daily, one tablespoon at a time.

50 drops of tincture twice a day can be taken in place of the tea.

Raspberry leaf

redraspberryRaspberry leaf tea is a wonderful tonic for women. It can be taken during pregnancy, to help with childbirth, as it is extremely safe and nourishes the system. It increases fertility, eases painful menstruation and tones the muscles of the uterus. It reduces morning sickness, prevents miscarriage, and eases pain during and after labor. It also increases the milk supply of women. It is high in iron, calcium, vitamin E, and vitamin C.

One teaspoon of herb in one cup of water can be taken 3 times daily.

Sage

sageThe botanical name for sage is salvia, which is Latin for “to save” or “to heal.” Sage is used for uterine bleeding and painful cramps. It has high levels of calcium and antioxidants.

Take one teaspoon of herb in one cups of water and drink 2 -3 cups daily. Add honey to make it more palatable.

Yarrow

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYarrow is an anti-spasmodic, so it useful in treating menstrual cramps and endometriosis. It tones the uterus and reduces heavy menstrual bleeding.

One teaspoon of herb in one cup of water, drank 3 -4 times daily, is the recommended dosage

Hibiscus Tea (Agua de Jamaica)


hibiscus Besides being stunning to look at, hibiscus flowers can be made into a healthy and delicious herbal tea. The deep red color of the tea indicates that it is packed full of vitamins and minerals.  Hibiscus is especially high in vitamin C and acts as a natural diuretic. There is a 2008 study that shows drinking hibiscus tea helps lower blood pressure.

Known as Jamaica (ha-mike-ah) flowers in Central and South America, Agua de Jamaica, is a popular refreshing drink that is usually served cold. Hibiscus is steeped in sugar water, sometimes with ginger. After it is chilled, lime and/or a little rum may be added as well.

I made my own version of Agua de Jamaica tonight and swear I felt my cheeks get rosier from drinking it’s rich red nourishment. It is thought that foods that are dark red in color work as potent blood purifiers. Cherries, cranberries, and pomegranates also fall into this category.

jamaicatea

Here is the recipe that I used to make Agua de Jamaica:

Ingredients:

5 cups of water

Heaping 1/2 cup of dried hibiscus flowers

1/4 cup organic cane sugar or honey

Directions:

Heat water and sugar in large sauce pan and bring to a boil.

Turn off heat and add hibiscus flowers to water mixture.

Cover and let steep for 20 minutes. 

Strain tea into pitcher. Pour over ice. 

Place pitcher in refrigerator to chill.

This version of Agua de Jamaica is not as sweet as some other Jamaica teas I have tried, but I prefer my tea to be more on the tart side. If you like your tea sweet, add more sugar to taste. Sugar may be omitted altogether from this recipe, if desired.

Warm hibiscus tea is very soothing to drink, so don’t forget to have a cup or two before placing the tea in fridge or pouring over ice.

Fire Cider for Cold and Flu Season


Tonight, I’m making Fire Cider: a fiery blend of garlic, onions, horseradish, ginger, turmeric, and cayenne steeped in apple cider vinegar that people have used for hundreds of years to ward off colds and the flu.

This powerful health tonic taken internally has an incredible warming effect on the body. The circulatory system is stimulated, as well as the digestive system. This promotes sweating, which releases toxins. Fire cider is also an expectorant, so it clears up congestion. Needless to say, it is a very useful remedy to have at home for colds and the flu.

How to Make Fire Cider:

1. Assemble ingredients.

Here is what I used to make my fire cider:

1/2  large onion chopped

Whole head of garlic peeled and chopped

1/2 cup of grated fresh ginger

1/4 cup of grated fresh horseradish

2 tbsp. of powdered turmeric

1 tsp. powdered cayenne

2. Chop/Grate ingredients.

Chopped half of my onion and about to chop the garlic.

Ready to grate the ginger.

About to grate the horseradish.

Everything is ready to go!

3. Put all of the ingredients into a jar.
I used a 2 quart jar.

4. Pour in apple cider vinegar.

5. Cover jar and let sit in a cool, dark place for 3-4 weeks.

Once my fire cider has sat for a month, I will strain it into a bottle and add 1/2 cup of honey to taste.

Proper dosage is to drink one teaspoon per hour at first onset of symptoms until symptoms subside. Or drink 1 tsp. daily to prevent illness.

Herbs for Bone and Muscle Repair


After having one of the most painful surgeries, the Nuss Procedure for pectus excavatum 2 years ago, I needed to find herbs that would help my bones and muscles repair themselves from the trauma of having my rib cage bent from a concave position to straight across.

Herbs that speed up bone repair are comfrey, nettle, oat straw, and horsetail.

Comfrey

Comfrey is an herb that will actually help both bone and muscle repair, as it contains allantoin. Because there is some controversy as to whether comfrey is safe to ingest, it is suggested to use it as a poultice. To make a poultice, take powdered comfrey leaves and mix with water to make a paste. Apply the paste to the affected area. Leave on until dried. Rinse. Putting the paste inside cheesecloth will help make this a less messy process. A comfrey infused oil can also be used as a massage oil. Or comfrey tincture can be rubbed directly into the skin.

Nettle

Nettle, oat straw, and horsetail can easily be made into a nourishing tea that one can drink every day. They are all very high in vitamins and minerals (calcium, silica, and manganese to name a few), just what the body needs to repair bone.

Oat straw

Oat straw contains high amounts of calcium and is calming to the emotions and nerves.

Horsetail

With horsetail, make sure to purchase the Equisetum arvense variety. It is not recommended that a person drink horsetail for long periods of time. So, drink it with the nettle and oat straw for a month, then stop for a month, then drink it for a month, etc…

Herbs for muscle recovery are burdock and kava root, turmeric, and arnica.

Burdock

Burdock root detoxifies the liver and minimizes the creation of lactic acid which speeds up muscle recovery.

Kava

Kava root also blocks lactic acid from forming and is a great stress reliever. It has a very calming effect on the mind and body. Like horsetail, kava should not be used for extended periods of time. On one month off the next, etc…

Turmeric

Turmeric is a powerful herb that has been found to repair damaged muscles and reduce pain and inflammation because of the curcumin it contains. It can easily be added to the diet. It is a very popular herb in Indian cooking.

Arnica

Arnica, usually found in cream or gel form, is applied topically to the skin. It reduces muscle aches and soreness as well as inflammation.

Diet, etc…

Bones need a lot of calcium, and believe it or not dairy is not the optimal way to get calcium into the body. Herbs like oat straw, see above, contain a lot of calcium but one can also eat fish (salmon and sardines with bones), yogurt, parsley, watercress, and sesame seeds.

Watercress

To help the calcium get absorbed magnesium is needed, which one can get from eating fresh fruits like apples, bananas, and avocados.

Oatmeal contains lots of silica.

Also, make sure to get lots sunlight for vitamin D. One of my favorite past times is laying in the sun and catching some rays. After my surgery, I found the warm energy of the sun to be invigorating and rejuvenating to both mind and body. Exactly what I needed to recover.

Amazing Apricot Kernel Oil


It’s summer time and since I love being out in the sun, my skin and hair need extra moisturizing to maintain a healthy glow. I decided to introduce apricot kernel oil into my beauty regimen, because it is an extremely nourishing and restorative natural cold pressed oil.

Rich in essential fatty acids along with a high vitamin A, C, and E content, apricot kernel oil soothes skin and reduces wrinkles by increasing skin’s elasticity. It’s moisturizing and conditioning qualities make dry hair super sexy and glossy. The best thing about AKO is it’s mild enough to be used on all skin types. Also, it absorbs quickly and does not leave an oily residue.

Apply the oil to your face and body after bathing or showering for beautiful, glowing skin. While hair is still wet, rub a few drops through those tresses with your fingertips and don’t forget about your scalp. See for yourself how great your skin and hair can look after a few treatments!

Hollywood, Grapeseed Oil, and Flawless Skin


The DailyMail recently wrote an article about Hollywood actress Emma Stone’s supermarket beauty secret for flawless skin. The actress made it known that she uses grapeseed oil several times daily to keep her complexion smooth and blemish free.

At $3 a bottle, grape seed oil is a very inexpensive moisturizing option, especially for someone who could buy any cream or lotion that she wanted. Considering, though, that most moisturizers on the market are laden with chemicals and petroleum by-products, Stone has made a wise decision in choosing this gentle oil for her delicate porcelain visage. Stone revealed that because of her sensitive skin, it is one of the few products she can actually use on her skin without irriation.

Grapeseed oil is an extremely effective moisturizer. Light and odorless, it is great for sensitive skin, but works well on all skin types. Oily and acne prone skin especially love grapeseed oil, because it does not clog pores.

Made from grape seeds that are discarded in the wine making process, grapeseed oil contains more omega-6 fatty acids than most other oils. Not only is it in high demand in the cosmetic industry, makes a fantastic massage carrier oil, but grapeseed oil is also an exceptional oil to cook with. It has a very high smoke point which makes it preferable to use over other oils when cooking at high temperatures.

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