Schisandra Berry

Have you heard of schisandra berry? I had not. I learned about this medicinal berry, used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, in Liver Rescue, by Anthony William. Anthony included schisandra berry in his most recent book because its powerful antioxidants protect the liver.

There are other amazing benefits as well.

Schisandra Berry

What is Schisandra Berry?

Schisandra…Schisandra chinensis…has been used for thousands of years along with other ancient herbs like ginseng, goji berry and reishi. In the 1960s it was recognized as an “adaptogen agent”, following the discovery that the berry helps fight adrenal fatigue, heart disease and the negative effects of stress.

Schisandra’s name comes from the fact that the berries have a unique taste. They contain five distinct flavors: bitter, sweet, sour, salty and hot. That’s why schisdanra is often called “the five-flavored berry.” In traditional Chinese medicine, the flavors are important for understanding the way schisandra works. It’s said that the five flavors represent five elements that work in multiple meridians within the body to restore health.

This complex herb is high in vitamins C and E, and a host of phytochemicals.

Schisandra Berry

Schisandra Berry

Health Benefits of Schisandra Berry

The powerful antioxidants in schisandra berry promotes health in the following ways.

• Increases the liver’s adaptogenic abilities and protects liver cells from excess adrenaline damage and toxin overload. Helps increase oxygen to the liver and reduces toxic liver heat.

• Fights free radical damage and lowers inflammation. Lowering inflammation reduces the risk for diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. It halts hardening of the arteries, balances blood sugar and brings the body into balance.

• Supports the adrenals, which helps the body deal with the effects of stress.

• Eases stomach disorders and ulcers. Helps to heal a fatty liver.

• Protects the skin from the damaging effects of wind, sun exposure, allergic reactions, dermatitis, environmental stress and toxin accumulation.

• Improves mental clarity and function. Protects against neurological and psychiatric disorders, including neurosis, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, alcoholism and Alzheimer’s.

Schisandra Berry

How to Use Schisandra Berry

Schisandra is available in a variety of forms. It can be purchased as a tincture, powder or capsule. Dried berries can be brewed to make a healing tea.

Add 2 – 3 teaspoons of dried schisandra berries to a cup of very hot water. Steep 15 – 30 minutes. Add other health boosters such as ginger, turmeric, cinnamon or licorice root.

You can order schisandra berry products below.

Schisandra Berry

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Oregon Grape Root Benefits

Oregon grape root is a flowering perennial, related to the barberry plant. I learned about this herb in Liver Rescue, by Anthony William. Join me in discovering the healing benefits this plant offers, naturally.

Oregon Grape Root Benefits

Oregon Grape Root Info & Nutrition

Oregon grape is native to western North America and it is especially prevalent in the Pacific Northwest, as the name suggests. The herb is bushy, with shiny holly-like leaves. It is commonly found in mountainous regions and adapts more easily to its environment than the barberry herb does.

The plant reaches two to six feet in height and produces small blackish-blue berries that resemble tiny grapes. Oregon grape berries are edible but not palatable, possessing an intensely tart flavor. It’s the golden yellow root that’s used medicinally. The herb is often substituted for goldenseal, as the two have similar properties.

Like goldenseal, the Oregon grape plant contains the same powerful alkaloid, berberine, making it an herbal antibiotic.

Oregon Grape Root Benefits

Benefits of Oregon Grape Root

Include this supplemental herb in the diet to receive these healing benefits:

• Improves liver health by killing viruses and bacteria inside the liver and preventing them from invading the heart. Oregon grape root improves bile production and reduces pathogenic activity in the intestinal tract, which allows nutrients to be absorbed better.

• Heals skin irritations and conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

• Strengthens bone marrow and assists chemotherapy and radiation patients in their recovery.

• Soothes the digestive tract. The bitterness of this herb has a positive effect on the digestive system. It soothes and sedates the smooth muscles lining the digestive tract. Because it stimulates the flow of bile as well, the herb’s properties loosen wastes in the intestines and help prevent a myriad of complications such as constipation, stomach cramps, diverticulosis, hemorrhoids, gallbladder disease, and irritable bowel syndrome.

• Fights infections resistant to antibiotics, such as MRSA. Oregon grape root is effective in treating eye infections, skin wounds and urinary tract infections.

Oregon Grape Root Benefits

Using Oregon Grape Root

As a supplement Oregon grape root can be purchased dried to brew tea, and in tincture and capsule form. Use in the same way as goldenseal, for a couple of weeks at a time, with at least three weeks between use.

Order Oregon grape root supplements through the links below.

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Goldenseal Health Benefits

Although I’ve only recently discovered the healing properties of Goldenseal, this plant is one of the top selling medicinal herbs in the United States.

Native Americans used it for years as a treatment for skin disorders. Goldenseal is now appreciated for a variety of health boosting reasons.

Goldenseal Health Benefits

What is Goldenseal?

This perennial herb is a member of the Buttercup family. The sprawling plants grow low to the ground, preferring rich shady soil in the forests of North America. Goldenseal’s name comes from the yellow-gold scars that form on the base of a stem when it gets broken. The scars resemble a gold wax letter seal, hence the name.

The plants have fuzzy stems with five to seven jagged, lobed leaves. Its small white flowers turn into raspberry-like red berries. Goldenseal roots are bright yellow or brown, twisted, and have a sharp, bitter taste.

The underground stems and roots of the herbaceous plant are dried and used to make teas, tinctures and capsules. Goldenseal’s powerful healing benefits are due to the alkaloids berberine, canadine and hydrastine. These phytochemicals produce an astringent effect on mucous membranes, reduce disease-causing inflammation and have antiseptic properties.

Goldenseal Health Benefits

Goldenseal Benefits

Include this herb in the diet for these healing benefits:

• Liver health. Destroys pathogens, both bacterial and viral, in the liver. Goldenseal expels bacterial debris, viral byproducts, neurotoxins and other pathogenic wastes. It also benefits the nearby lymphatic system.

• Natural antibiotic and immune booster. When combined with echinacea, Goldenseal enhances immunity by increasing antigen-specific antibody production. This powerful duo is a natural bronchitis remedy and aids in the fight against allergies, cold and flu.

• Fights cancer. The berberine in Goldenseal has been found to induce cell cycle death in cancer cells in multiple studies. Berberine also shows promise in destroying tumor cells.

• Improves digestive health. The herb’s bitterness stimulates appetite, aids digestion and encourages bile secretion. The berberine in Goldenseal relieves bacterial diarrhea and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) symptoms.

It also helps to heal gastritis, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, constipation and hemorrhoids. Goldenseal inhibits the growth of H. pylori, a type of bacteria that can cause gastritis, ulcers and stomach cancer.

• Heals mouth disorders. A tea can be made from the herb and used as a mouthwash to heal sore throats, gum irritation, and canker sores while reducing inflammation and bacteria in the mouth.

• Protects heart health. The berberine in Goldenseal helps to treat arrhythmias and congestive heart failure. It improves heart function and health in general by lowering bad cholesterol.

• Heals skin ailments. Thanks to its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, Goldenseal is effective against acne, eczema, dry skin and psoriasis. It can even help eliminate dandruff.

Goldenseal Health Benefits

How to Use Goldenseal

The herb is available dried for teas, in tincture form and as capsules. Look for Goldenseal products in health stores and health conscious grocery stores or purchase online. See links below.

To brew tea, add 1 – 2 teaspoons of dried Goldenseal to one cup of hot water. Cover cup and let tea steep for 15 minutes. Add raw honey to sweeten, if desired.

It is recommended that use of this herbal supplement not exceed three weeks at a time. Use for up to three weeks and then take a break of at least two weeks between uses.

Check out my new Amazon Storefront, for Goldenseal and other supplements and products. Or order Goldenseal by clicking links below.

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The Spice of a Healthy Life: Cinnamon

This familiar spice has been used for centuries, medicinally and in the kitchen. The scent of cinnamon evokes happy feelings of warmth and home. And, as it turns out, this feel good spice promotes health and wellness also.

The Spice of a Healthy Life Cinnamon

What is Cinnamon?

Cinnamon comes from a type of tree, and the unique smell, color and flavor of the spice is a result of the oils within the tree. The health benefits of cinnamon come from the bark of the tree. This bark contains several special compounds which are responsible for its many health-promoting properties, including cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid and cinnamate.

The cinnamon tree is grown around the world with at least 250 species identified so far. However, there are two main types of cinnamon spice used today: Ceylon cinnamon, which is less common and sometimes labeled as true or real cinnamon, and Cassia cinnamon, which is more widely available and most often used.

The Spice of a Healthy Life Cinnamon

Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Cinnamon supplies a wide variety of nutrients and it is especially rich in fiber, manganese, calcium, iron and vitamin K. It also contains trace amounts of vitamins A, B6, C and E, and minerals such as phosphorus, sodium, potassium and zinc.

Health benefits include:

• High in antioxidants, which reduces free radical damage and slows the aging process.

• Prevents oxidative stress and nitric oxide build up in the blood, lowering the risks for brain disorders, cancer and heart disease.

• Relieves inflammation, which helps lower the risk of cognitive decline and reduces pain, muscle soreness and age related stiffness.

• Reduces high cholesterol and triglyceride levels and high blood pressure to keep the heart healthy and strong and lower the risk for strokes. Cinnamon is a helpful blood coagulant and can stop excess bleeding by helping the body to form blood clots. It also increases circulation and improves tissue repair, which may be especially helpful for regenerating heart tissue in order to help fight heart attacks, heart disease and stroke.

• Lowers blood sugar levels and improves sensitivity to insulin, which helps transport sugar from the bloodstream to the tissues to keep blood sugar levels balanced.

• Aids against the development of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

• Protects against DNA damage, cell mutation and cancerous tumor growth, especially in the colon.

• Boosts the immune system and fights against infections and viruses.

• Protects against certain strains of bacteria that cause bad breath, tooth decay, cavities and mouth infections.

• The powerful antifungal properties in cinnamon can be effective in treating and preventing Candida overgrowth in the digestive tract.

• Its antibiotic and antimicrobial properties help protect the skin from irritation, rashes, allergic reactions and infection.

• Cinnamon’s multitude of beneficial compounds help fight common allergy symptoms by reducing inflammation and fighting histamine reactions.

The Spice of a Healthy Life Cinnamon

How to Use Cinnamon

There are many ways to include cinnamon in the diet. Dried powdered cinnamon can be added to many recipes and drinks or sprinkled onto organic oatmeal or freshly sliced fruit. Cinnamon sticks flavor drinks such as hot apple cider. The bark is an ingredient in many health boosting teas and cinnamon is available in essential oil form as well.

Cinnamon should not be overused, especially the cassia variety. Taken in moderation, however, this powerful spice brings health and wellness into our lives.

My favorite way to include cinnamon this time of year is in hot apple cider and warm turmeric tea, made with almond coconut milk. Fall is all about bringing warmth and coziness into our homes. Cinnamon is an incredible way to spice up life.

The Spice of a Healthy Life Cinnamon

Hibiscus Tea

I was reminded recently about the powerful health benefits of hibiscus. There are hundreds of species of this herbal flower however Hibiscus sabdariffa is most commonly used to make hibiscus tea. As I happened to have a container of dried hibiscus, I’ve enjoyed refreshing cups of hot tea this week and renewed my appreciation for this healing plant.

Hibiscus Tea

What is Hibiscus?

This herbaceous plant is a member of the flowering mallow family. Also known as a rose mallow, the hibiscus plant produces showy flowers in a range of colors and can be either an annual or a perennial, depending on location.

Several species are widely cultivated as ornamental plants. The tea made from hibiscus flowers is known by many names around the world and can be served hot or cold. The beverage is known for its deep red color, tart flavor, and high vitamin C content.

Hibiscus Tea

Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea

There are many known healing benefits associated with hibiscus tea.

• Rich in powerful antioxidants, the tea helps to prevent damage and disease caused by the buildup of free radicals.

• Contains hibiscus protocatechuic acid which has anti-tumor properties. Research suggests that hibiscus slows down the growth of cancerous cells by inducing apoptosis, commonly known as programmed cell death.

• Boosts and supports the immune system by providing anti-inflammatory properties.

• Rejuvenates the liver and helps to treat liver disease.

• Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.

• Lowers the absorption of starch and glucose which may aid weight loss.

• Relieves cramps and menstrual pain. It helps to restore hormonal balance as well, which can reduce the symptoms of menstruation like mood swings, depression, and overeating.

• Satiates thirst and improves digestion.

• Calms the nervous system, and helps to reduce anxiety and depression by creating a relaxed sensation in the mind and body.

**Do not drink hibiscus tea while pregnant or if low pressure is a problem.

How to Prepare Hibiscus Tea

The tea is easy to prepare. Steep 2 – 3 teaspoons of dried hibiscus in very hot water for 15 minutes. The tea is a beautiful deep magenta color and has a tart taste similar to cranberry juice. Sweeten with raw organic honey if desired.

The tea can be chilled after brewing and served over ice for a thirst quenching cold drink as well. Add lemon or lime juice and a spoonful of honey. I appreciate sour and tart flavors more than sweet, so I don’t add honey to my tea. I love iced hibiscus tea with just fresh lemon juice added.

Dried hibiscus can be purchased at health food stores or health conscious grocery stores, or ordered by clicking the link below. Hibiscus tea bags are available as well.

I’ve just enjoyed a cup of hot hibiscus tea as I wrote about its health benefits!

Hibiscus Tea

Order dried hibiscus below.

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Calendula

This beautiful flowering plant has been used for centuries for ornamental, culinary and medicinal purposes. Calendula, also known as pot marigold, is a powerful anti-inflammatory and one of the strongest antiviral herbs.

Calendula

What is Calendula?

This flowering annual originated in western Europe, southeastern Asia and the Mediterranean. It’s commonly found in home gardens throughout the world today and easily blooms and thrives wherever it’s planted. The orange-yellow petals of the flowers are used medicinally, both externally and internally.

These petals contain high levels of antioxidants in the form of carotenoids and flavonoids. Calendula contains both lutein and beta-carotene, which the body absorbs and converts into vitamin A. The flowers also contain fatty acids and they are rich in oxygenated oils.

Calendula

Health Benefits of Calendula

• Powerful anti-inflammatory properties make it a potent remedy for issues such diaper rash, dermatitis, ear infections, ulcers and sore throats.

• Prevents and relaxes muscle spasms and cramps.

• In studies done for slow-healing wounds it was found that using calendula-based gels and topical ointments helped speed up recovery rate and healing. Even more impressive, it increases blood flow and oxygen to wounds and infected areas, which helps the body grow new tissue.

• Contains antimicrobial and antiviral compounds, making calendula effective in fighting pathogens, candida and antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.

• Helps reduce gum inflammation and fights against gingivitis, cavities and plaque. Its astringent properties fight mouth bacteria and promote a healthy oral environment.

• Calendula improves skin firmness and hydration, creating a more youthful appearance.

• Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, calendula can help fight against cancer and irritation due to treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.

Calendula

How to Use Calendula

The herb can be purchased in capsule, tincture, oil, lotion or ointment form. The petals can also be purchased dried, to brew tea.

This bright plant is extremely easy to grow. Sow seeds onto prepped ground in the garden or into containers. The herb will bloom all summer. Collect fresh flowers for use in salads or to brew a flavorful tea.

I add drops of calendula essential oil to the skin serum that I make, to improve skin texture and firmness. And calendula tea goes into my afternoon tea rotation during the summer months.

I appreciate this versatile herb. It is a staple of my apothecary garden, and my skin care.

Calendula

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Tips for Avoiding Seasonal Allergies, Naturally

As the seasons shift, we enjoy the changes that accompany them: clothing appropriate for the weather, holidays to look forward to, and a landscape that adapts to more sunlight or less and fluctuating temperatures.

Spring and fall are favorite seasons for many people, except for one thing. Seasonal allergies.

I suffered from severe allergies all my adult life. In the fall and spring, I stocked up on over the counter decongestants, allergy relief meds and ibuprofen. Often my eyes became so irritated I could not wear contact lenses. And cough drops? I carried bags of those at all times to help stifle sudden coughing fits.

Thankfully, allergies are in my past. I’ve “weathered” the changing of the seasons the last three years without trepidation, because I’ve implemented the following tips for avoiding seasonal allergies, naturally.

Tips for Avoiding Seasonal Allergies Naturally

 

What causes allergies?

Allergies occur when the body reacts or shows sensitivity to an antigen. During spring and fall, one in five people show a heightened sensitivity to pollen, mold and fungus spores and in the fall, ragweed. The body’s response can range from mild sniffles, itchy eyes and a dry cough, to skin rashes and hives, sinus congestion, runny nose, headaches and respiratory distress.

Allergy symptoms occur when the body responds to allergens by producing a chemical called histamine, which works to counteract the allergen. The immune system causes the allergic reactions by producing immunoglobulin antibodies that result in widespread symptoms.

Tips for Avoiding Seasonal Allergies Naturally

Eliminate Foods that Create Inflammation

Lessening and ultimately avoiding seasonal allergies is a two step process: eliminate foods that weaken the immune system and then support the immune system so it can work properly.

A healthy immune system can handle allergens without creating symptoms in the body. An immune system that is already overwhelmed by a body fighting inflammation and viruses can’t handle anything more.

These foods cause inflammation in the body and should be avoided, especially during allergy season:

  • eggs
  • gluten
  • canola oil
  • soy
  • corn
  • dairy products
  • MSG

Dairy products create mucus in the body. Continuing to consume dairy products while fighting allergies is akin to throwing gasoline on a fire. Eggs, all eggs, feed viruses in the body such as Epstein Barr and strep, which weaken the immune system and create inflammation by way of their toxic wastes.

Strengthen the Immune System

Eliminating inflammation-causing foods allows the immune system to quiet down. Eating nutrient rich, alkalizing foods strengthens the immune system, allowing it to handle allergens when they invade the body, without creating symptoms.

Include as many of these foods as possible, daily:

  • wild blueberries
  • lemon/limes
  • celery
  • garlic
  • sweet potatoes
  • leafy greens
  • cruciferous veggies such as cauliflower and broccoli
  • onions
  • oranges
  • cranberries
  • raw local honey

Buy wild blueberries frozen and add to fruit smoothies. Sip on lemon or lime water first thing in the morning. For an additional boost, have a second glass of lemon/lime water in the evening. Before breakfast sip on the miracle drink, celery juice. (Read more about why celery juice is so good for the body.) Add extra garlic to recipes.

Raw honey is crucial in the fight against seasonal allergies. It needs to be purchased locally. Bees carry local pollen. Consuming it in the honey helps the body to build up a resistance to pollens. Replace cow’s milk with coconut or almond milk in recipes and drinks.

Tips to Avoid Seasonal Allergies Naturally

Supplements to Support the Immune System

Finally, support the immune system with these health boosting supplements:

  • turmeric
  • nettle
  • Ester C
  • elderberry syrup

Turmeric is one of the most powerful inflammation fighters available. Take it in capsule form or create Turmeric Milk, made with coconut milk, to sip on at night.

Stinging nettle naturally controls histamine. Take it in capsule form or, even better, purchase dried leaves to brew tea. The hot drink soothes the throat while delivering healing to the body.

Ester C is a powerful form of vitamin C, taken in capsule form. Elderberry syrup boosts the immune system, relieves cold and allergy symptoms, and calms a cough.

Tips for Avoiding Seasonal Allergies

 

Daily Regimen to Avoid Allergy Symptoms

Prepare for allergy season a month before spring or fall officially begins by doing the following daily:

  • Avoid inflammation causing foods
  • Eat immune boosting, alkalizing and anti-inflammatory foods, as many as possible
  • Take turmeric and Ester C capsules (follow dosage instructions on the bottle) or drink a cup of turmeric milk
  • Take a spoonful of raw organic honey, locally produced, and a spoonful of elderberry syrup (I buy unsweetened syrup)
  • Drink at least one cup of nettle tea, or take a nettle capsule

After many years of losing allergy battles, it feels so incredibly good to know that I can enjoy spring and fall without misery, and without the use of drugs. I am avoiding seasonal allergies naturally. Food is my medicine. And I am the victor.

Tips for Avoiding Seasonal Allergies Naturally

 

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Cilantro Lemongrass Sauce

I enjoy making my own dressings and sauces to dress up freshly prepared foods. My lemongrass plant has supplied me abundantly with leaves for hot and cold teas. I searched for a simple sauce recipe that used this fragrant herb as an ingredient. I found one that I adapted slightly that combines lemongrass with fresh cilantro, creating a flavorful sauce that makes a wonderful accompaniment for veggies.

Cilantro Lemongrass Sauce

Cilantro Lemongrass Sauce

1 tablespoon ginger, minced or finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 large bunch fresh cilantro

1 1/2 tablespoons dried or fresh lemongrass, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce or sugar free sriracha sauce

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup light olive oil, extra virgin

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1/3 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender, blending until smooth. Makes about 1 1/2 cups of sauce. Store in refrigerator.

Cilantro Lemongrass Sauce

I snipped fresh lemongrass from the herb garden for this easy to make sauce. The consistency is thin enough to serve as a pesto with gluten free pasta. It also makes a delicious dipping sauce for nori wrapped veggie roles or fresh cut up veggies.

Today I drizzled cilantro lemongrass sauce over a veggie bowl that included half a baked potato, chopped tomatoes fresh on my garden, and avocado slices. The tangy lemony herb combined with the rich distinctive flavor of cilantro was so good. This simple sauce is already a favorite.

Cilantro Lemongrass Sauce

Lemongrass Benefits

Lemongrass is an aromatic herb in the grass family. Originally native to India, today this plant can be found in gardens around the world. This coarse grass, which grows to a height of three feet, is a perennial in tropical areas. In less warm climates it must be planted annually. The herb has been used medicinally for centuries, and for good reason. Lemongrass has many health benefits.

Lemongrass Benefits

Lemongrass is full of essential nutrients including vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and C. It’s also high in minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, zinc and iron, which are all required for the healthy functioning of the human body.

The herb contains antioxidants, flavonoids and phenolic compounds. The main component of lemongrass is lemonal or citral, which supplies anti-fungal and anti-microbial qualities, while also providing its distinctive lemony smell.

Lemongrass Benefits

The health benefits of lemongrass include lowering cholesterol, detoxing the kidneys and liver, reducing uric acid, supporting the digestive system and inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.

Lemongrass also inhibits the formation of biofilm (bacteria that sticks together and then adheres to other surfaces) throughout the body, helps to heal gastric ulcers, and stimulates bowel function. Its antibacterial properties fight against pathogens such as H. pylori and E. coli in the digestive tract.

This herb calms muscles and nerves, helping the body to relax into sleep while increasing the duration of sleep. It helps to heal coughs and colds, lowers fevers, and reduces aches and pains including headaches, migraines, backaches, muscle spasms and cramps.

Lemongrass Benefits

Lemongrass stimulates the brain and helps combat convulsions, nervousness, vertigo, and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It boosts the immune system, helps in strengthening skin tissue, protects cells from free radicals, cleanses the spleen, and stimulates the regeneration of cells.

Finally, lemongrass treats edema, helping the body eliminate excess fluid by cleansing lymphatic congestion.

Lemongrass is extremely easy to grow in the garden or in containers. I add a plant or two every spring to my herb garden and snip the ends of the grass blades to brew lemongrass tea. The herb may be purchased dried as well. Lemongrass can also be added to soups and sauces. I found a cilantro lemongrass dressing recipe that I am excited to try.

The flavor of lemongrass is very similar to lemon balm, and both make a refreshing hot or cold drink. Lemongrass tea is included in my rotation of herbal teas. Although I enjoy it as an afternoon tea, it is especially soothing in the evening before bedtime.

I am, in fact, enjoying a freshly brewed cup of lemongrass tea as I write this post. I know it is already sending healing benefits through my body.

Lemongrass Benefits

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Chamomile Benefits

I have associated chamomile with relaxation and a good night’s sleep. The dried flower from this healing herb makes a soothing and delicious hot tea. However chamomile, used medicinally since ancient times, has many healing benefits beyond creating drowsiness.

Chamomile Benefits

Chamomile is a member of the aster family. Two types of chamomile are commonly used for their healing benefits, the German and Roman varieties. Chamomile tea is beneficial as a sleep aid which is especially helpful for those who suffer with insomnia, sleep disturbances, a racing mind, or high anxiety and stress. However, chamomile also has other significant healing properties such as the ability to soothe a disturbed digestive system by easing flatulence, stomach aches, ulcers, and cramping, and by aiding in overall digestion and elimination.

The herb also helps to relieve bronchial and sinus congestion, calm anxiety and panic attacks, decrease menstrual cramping, ease muscle spasms, lower blood sugar, fight cancer and reduce migraine pain. Chamomile tea’s anti-inflammatory properties make it beneficial for reducing swelling associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other auto-immune diseases. Chamomile tea cleanses the liver and kidneys by stimulating them to purge out toxins and eliminate them from the system.

Chamomile Benefits

Chamomile has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties making it especially helpful in fighting against colds, flus, infections, and even Candida. Chamomile tea is excellent for children as it can calm colicky infants and teething babies as well as soothe children that are irritable, cranky, and restless. Its mild flavor is often accepted and enjoyed by children especially when sweetened with honey. As a topical remedy, cooled chamomile tea can be applied to the skin to help soothe rashes, chickenpox, psoriasis, eczema, and burns, including sunburns.

Chamomile tea can also help to relieve eye fatigue and dark circles. Apply a cooled tea bag to the eyes for five minutes at night as a gentle and effective compress. Chamomile and peppermint tea are often used in combination due to their synergistic properties to help the body cleanse, relax, and heal. (Info from the Medical Medium blog. Check it out HERE)

Chamomile Benefits

For the first time I am growing German chamomile in my herb garden this summer. My intention is to keep adding healing herbs each year, until I truly do have a complete apothecary garden available for use. Today I snipped fresh chamomile flowers to combine with dried chamomile that I had on hand. I added three teaspoons of the dried herb and a small handful of fresh blossoms to two cups of boiling water and let it steep for 15 minutes. Chamomile has a delicate floral scent and flavor. I don’t add honey. However, I am looking forward to trying out herbal combinations, such as chamomile and mint, chamomile and lavender or chamomile and lemon grass.

On this rainy day, with mild thunderstorms rolling through the area, a cup of hot chamomile tea was the perfect afternoon soother. I included a couple of homemade sugar free, gluten free cookies made from three simple ingredients, to tea time. Watch for that recipe Tuesday.

I’m sipping chamomile tea, nibbling on a cookie, and feeling grateful for the healing benefits that plants provide. This is bliss.

Chamomile Benefits