Whole Body Liquid Detox
For Your Bathwater
Detoxing may intrigue you if you experience regular constipation, carry excess body weight, feel tired constantly or want to remove toxins from your body.
This type of detoxing allows your body to flush out toxins that enter your body through chemically altered foods, environmental pollution and pesticides.
How it came about:
Through meditation with my loving and powerful spirits. Just as I was shown, with the "CLEAR & GO" and "PENDULUM CLEARING" spray's, that I make.
I have always used essential oils, stones and flower essences, which provide us with some amazing and natural pulling properties.
How to use:
It's so easy...Just drop a small capful into your bathwater (doesn't matter the size tub) and relax for up to 20 minutes. Enjoy a herbal tea, water or refreshing coconut water afterwards.
What it is good for:
Use "Magical cleanse" to cleanse, purify and recharge your bodies systems.
It has a much stronger pulling power than clay.
Think about all the toxins, chemicals, impurities we come in contact with everyday.
Here is just a few:
Prescription drugs, over the counter drugs and illegal drugs
From the stuff we put in our body to stuff we put on our body, the list goes on...
It isn’t hard to imagine that you’d need to clean your systems weekly.
Our bodies systems can just get overloaded. I run into people all the time, who simply just over-do it with detox programs and end up just going backwards. I have my clients doing one clay bath or one magical cleanse weekly...that's it.
Imagine how restored, rejuvenated and regenerated, you could feel , by just simplifiy your detoxing progam, with such a powerful, easy to use cleanse.
A body detox may help "jump-start" a weight loss program or a healthier way of life.
Your body naturally detoxifies itself by passing blood and wastes through your liver and kidneys.
During and after following a relaxing, detoxing bath, you may experience increased energy and improved focus.
What’s in it?
•Therapeutic grade Young Living Essential Oils
•Flower, Tree, Plant Essences
•Crystal Gemstones, rocks, stones, Essences
•LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!
As with any detox program, it may cause unwanted side effects, if done too often, causing nausea, fatigue or dizziness.
.I strongly recommend only doing 1- bath a week, as the Magical Cleanse is powerful and concentrated.
There is enough in this small 1/2 oz .bottle, for over 10 baths!
One capful per bath.
IMPORTANT: Magical cleanse is not a substitute for medical treatment from appropriate professionals and would be considered "alternative"
or "complementary" to the healing arts that are licensed in the United States.
sometimes called marigold
Product Notes: Calendula flowers have a slightly bitter and somewhat salty flavor, and a sweet, sharp, buttery aroma.
Calendula has been used an herbal remedy and as coloring and flavoring for food in Central and Southern Europe since the 1100s. Commonly known there as marigold, calendula is an annual flower native to the northern Mediterranean countries. It's well known for its skin-soothing properties — this gentle herb is used as an ingredient in all types of skin care preparations, including salves, body washes, creams, ointments and lotions.
To use calendula in medicinal recipes, you often must start with an infused oil. This oil can then be blended into creams and salves for topical use.
Calendula Infused Oil
- Wash one cup fresh calendula petals. Chop coarsely and put in a small saucepan.
- Just cover calendula with vegetable or olive oil and heat over very low heat for two hours, stirring occasionally. You only want to warm the petals to release their oils.
- Allow to cool and pour into glass jars. Place in a dark, cool area for a week. Then strain mixture into a new jar. Store in a cool, dark location.
You can also put fresh petals in a jar of oil in the sun for two weeks to create a solar-infused oil. Make sure the jar is tightly covered and strain the oil after those two weeks. For a stronger infusion, add more flowers to strained oil and let sit in the sun for two more weeks. Strain and store.
NOW TO THE SALVE....
- Blend four parts infused oil and one part melted bees wax. You may adjust the amount of oil and beeswax to create the consistency you want. salves are made by adding ¼ cup of beeswax to one cup of infused oil. Heat until the beeswax has melted.
- Pour into a wide jar and cover. This mixture will thicken into a salve that you can use for burns and abrasions. It is also useful for diaper rash and other skin ailments.
The Plant: Calendula is valued both as a natural remedy and as a colorful garden flower. This two-foot-tall, hardy annual can grow quite bushy, and its large, two- to three-inch flowers (which range from yellow to bright orange in color) are attractive additions to borders. Calendula blooms continuously throughout the winter in warmer climates and throughout the summer in the north. Cooler temperatures and picking the flowers promotes more flowering, while high heat in summer will stress the plant and stop flowering.
The parts of the plant used are the flower heads — harvested while they are in full bloom — or the petals (ligulate florets), which are removed from the receptacle after harvesting.
Calendula flowers open in the morning and close in the late afternoon. They are of the highest quality when harvested late morning after the dew is dried off of the flowers — this is when the resin content is at its highest. When handpicking calendula, the flowers' dark tacky resin clings noticeably to the fingers.
Calendula has anti-inflammatory effects when it is used topically and it is also a potent antioxidant. Because of its antiviral and antibacterial qualities, it is also useful in treating minor wounds and abrasions.
The petals of calendula are often added to salads as well. Their bright orange color is an attractive contrast to salad green and their slightly bitter flavor compliments the other vegetables.
When cooked, the flavor mellows. Calendula can be used much like saffron by adding it to rice and pasta dishes.ds, main course dishes, and even dessert.
Calendula tea is easy to make. Simply put a couple of teaspoons of calendula petals in an infuser and pour a cup of boiling water over it. Allow to steep for at least 10 minutes.
Sweeten if desired and drink for minor digestive irritation or use the tea as a wash for minor wounds.
There are two methods of making soap.
'Cold process' is the term used to describe the traditional method of soap making and this is when oils such as palm or coconut oil are mixed with an alkaline solution and this reaction causes the oils to saponify and form soap. This is actually relatively easy to do at home, a new type of soap making known as 'melt and pour' has made making soap at home much more accessible.
Melt and pour soaps are blocks of glycerin soap base that can be melted down in a domestic kitchen, have fragrances and other additives included and then poured into molds to set. Melt and pour soaps come in clear and opaque form and there is now an organic version. These work extremely well with calendula petals. This is very straightforward to do, simply add some petals before pouring the melted soap into molds and stir them in well.
Constituents of Note: There are a number of potentially significant constituents in calendula. Triterpene glycosides (guercetin, isohamnetin), triterpene alcohols and triterpene saponins are major components. Carotenoids including beta-carotene, lycopene, violaxanthin and lutein are responsible for the color of the flowers and for the use of calendula as a food coloring. Other constituents include a small amount of essential oil (60% alpha-cardinal), flavonoids (narcissan) and a bitter principle (calendnin).
Quality: Marigold flowers have a slightly bitter and somewhat salty flavor and a sweet, sharp, buttery aroma. Not more than 2% other plant parts should be present — including sepals and the fruits (seeds).
Whole flowers (with the receptacle) should be carefully inspected to make sure they are properly dried as the receptacle dries much slower than the petals and can cause mold problems.
Calendula flower petals do not have this problem.
Good quality dried flowers have a slightly oily feel to them when rubbed between the fingers.
The flowers quickly fade when exposed to light, so they should always be stored in dark conditions. They also readily absorb moisture, which degrades the flowers, so calendula needs airtight storage, especially in humid conditions.
While both the whole calendula flowers and calendula petals are used interchangeably, the petals are considered superior for use in most applications.
Between single-petaled, double-petaled, yellow-colored and orange-colored varieties, there is not, as of yet, consensus on which is the best — or even if one type is better than another.
Herbs have to be considered outstanding in at least two of three categories—medicinal, culinary or decorative.
Calendula is outstanding in all three categories and well deserving of the title.
Many herb organizations, herb companies, retail stories and herb societies recognize the herb of the year and support public education on the chosen herb, throughout the year.
Directions: To make calendula skin care oil, place one cup of calendula flower petals (petals are better than whole flowers for this use) in a non-reactive container such as a glass jar. Cover with one cup of vegetable oil (a high quality oil such as extra-virgin olive oil or almond oil makes a good base), stir well, adding more oil if needed to keep the calendula completely submerged and the jar full.
To extract using the sun, place container in a bag or box to keep out the sunlight, then place in the sun for a week. Stir contents daily. Or alternately, put calendula and oil in a crock pot or other thermostatically controlled container. Keep crock pot on the warm setting, stirring several times a day, making sure the mixture does not get too hot (over 110 F.) and replacing oil as needed. When the oil takes on the color and aroma of the calendula (about a week), strain out all of the flowers, squeezing them well to remove as much of the oil as possible. Place in a glass jar and let stand for a few days to let any sediment remaining in the calendula oil fall to the bottom of the jar. Draw oil off the sediment and store in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep in a cool, dark place. Use the oil as a massage, skin care oil or as a base for salves. Adding a little vitamin E to the finished calendula flower oil will help increase its shelf life. Scenting the calendula oil with synergistic essential oils such as lavender and geranium enhances the benefits of the calendula oil.
A gentle but powerful herb, calendula flowers can used on damaged, sensitive, chafed or irritated skin. Calendula is often combined with other herbs such as comfrey leaf, aloes, St. John’s wort and lavender flowers.
In foods, calendula petals are sometimes used as a substitute for saffron, to provide a similar color to saffron and somewhat mimic the rich flavor of saffron. The spicy flavor of calendula is used to season baked goods such as breads and cakes, egg dishes, soups and fish and to decorate desserts.
Of gourmet interest are such treats as calendula butter, calendula vinegar and calendula salad dressing.
Historically calendula was also used to color butter and cheese.
Another great recipe.....
Have a backyard bed of marigolds? Share some with guests the next time you entertain by adding them to a cream cheese dip. It's a surprisingly delicious appetizer.
MARIGOLD CHEESE DIP
8 Servings Prep: 10 min. + chilling
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced chives
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh savory
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh marigold petals
- Assorted crackers
- In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, salt and
- pepper until smooth. Stir in the chives, savory and marigold petals.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve with crackers.
- Yield: 2 cups.
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (2 tablespoons) equals 160 calories, 15 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 51 mg cholesterol, 173 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 3 g protein.
Calendula flowers are an ingredient in hair rinses, shampoos, shaving creams and deodorants. In shampoo and hair rinse, calendula is added to formulas made for light-colored hair as it helps to brighten blonde or red hair. A dye for fabric can also be extracted from the flowers.
Caution/Safety: The Botanical Safety Handbook* classifies Calendula as:Class:1 herbs which can be safely consumed when used appropriately Per the German Commission E Monograph** for calendula flower, there are no known contraindications, side effects or drug interactions. People who are allergic or sensitive to other members of the Asteraceae family, such as daisies or ragweed, should exercise caution until they have established they do not have a reaction to calendula flowers.
No doctor or machine knows your body as well as you do. According to the AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY, "Most breast lumps are found by women themselves and most lumps are not cancer."
Many women do not do breast exams because they do not want to know if there is a lump. This does not make the lump go away, and it does not make a lump benign (not cancerous).
HOW TO DO A BREAST EXAM
#1. Lie down and put a pillow under you right shoulder. Place your right arm behind your head.
#2. Use the finger pads (the top third of every finger) of your three middle fingers on your left hand to feel for lumps or thickening.
#3. Press firmly enough to know how your breast feels. Learn what your breast feels like most of the time (the breasts tend to change slightly during various times during your cycle).
Note: a firm ridge in the lower curve of each breast is normal.
#4. The best time to do a breast self-exam is right after your period, when your breast are not tender or swollen. If you do not have regular periods or sometimes skip a month, do it on the same day every month.
#5. Move around the breast in a set way. You can choose any of the following patterns.
(A) Walk your fingers in a circular motion much like marking out a bulls eye.
(B) Walk your fingers up and down in a line.
(C) Walk you fingers in a wedge pattern starting at the nipple and going back and forth like marking out cutting a pie.
#6. Gently squeeze the nipple to check for any discharge such as: blood, lymph fluid or pus.
#7. Now examine your left breast in the same fashion using the right hand's finger pads.
#8. If you find any change (not just a lump), the AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY suggest that you see your doctor right away.
There is no one better way, but you should do it the same way every time.
Make sure that you have examined every portion of the breast.
Do it monthly so you will remember how your breast should feel.
FOR ADDED SAFETY
You should also check your breast while standing in front of a mirror right after you do your breast self-exam each month.
For mirror examination put your hands over your head
See if there are any changes in the way your breasts look such as: The basic shape of one breast compared to the other, dimpling of the skin, changes in the nipple, or redness or swelling. Then put your hands on your hips
and exam in the same fashion.
You might also want to do a breast self-exam while you're in the shower. Your soapy hands will glide over the wet skin making it easy to check how your breasts feel.
WHAT IF I FIND A LUMP?
Most lumps are not cancerous. However, I would treat all lumps as being potentially malignant (cancerous).
Many cancerous tumors are self contained and are in a type of sealed pack. If a biopsy is done while the tumor is still in the patient and it ismalignant some of the cancer can escape into the circulatory system and can then spread.
If a doctor wants to do a biopsy, insist that he removes it intact and then cut into it once it is out of the body.
If he refuses, find a good doctor who will listen to and respects his patients.
If it is proven that the tumor is cancerous
I would get 2 doctors' opinions and two natural health practitioners' opinions and study out the next course of action.
WHAT IMPROVES THE HEALTH OF THE BREAST?
Vitamin E with Selenium
is important to the breast. Many women have taken approximately 1200 IU.
to help reduce or prevent soreness or fibroid cysts. Vitamin E aids in immune function and normalizing hormonal production.
Eating fruits and vegetables can help you get enough vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium into your diet.
Vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium all act as antioxidants, which can protect your cell membranes and DNA from damage. These important nutrients can be found in many foods and eating a balanced, healthy diet can help you make sure you are getting enough of each. Vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium can be found in many fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin important for good health. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects vitamin A, vitamin C as well as important fatty acids, which are important components of your cell membranes. According to J. Anderson, professor of food and nutrition at Colorado State University, good sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils, leafy green vegetables, nuts, whole-grain products and egg yolks. As with vitamin C, if you eat a well-balanced, healthy diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables, your diet will contain adequate amounts of vitamin E.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, selenium is an essential mineral that, when combined with vitamin E, acts as a powerful antioxidant, which protects your DNA from damage from free radicals. Selenium also helps with your thyroid health and is important for your immune system. Good dietary sources of selenium include fish, such as tuna and halibut, garlic, whole grains and shellfish. Because selenium is destroyed when foods containing it are processed, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends regularly eating whole, unprocessed foods. Most adults need approximately 55 micrograms of selenium to meet the recommended dietary allowance.
A good balance of estrogen and progesterone is important for the maintenance of breast tissue.
Exercise keeps the lymphatic system working efficiently.
A properly fitted bra is essential for lymphatic draining.
There is a very close correlation between the health of the liver
and the health of the breast.
One of the many functions of the liver is to discard mutated or used hormones including estrogen. It is believed by many that it is not estrogen but rather mutated estrogen that feeds abnormal growths in the breast, cervix, uterus and ovaries.
Possible indication of liver involvement would be poor ability to sleep at night and poor night vision.In addition for women, clotty or heavy periods and/or tender breast.
WHAT IS DETRIMENTAL TO THE HEALTH OF THE BREAST?
A high fat diet is associated with breast cancer.
Underarm deodorants keep toxins in and the limited lymphatics in the area, are kept too busy cleansing debris to nourish the breast tissue properly.
Caffeine from coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate are noted to cause or at least contribute to fibroid cysts of the breast.
SUPPLEMENTS FOR THE BREAST
Although total fitness is the best defense for preventing abnormal growths of any kind there are certain herbs or combinations that have been used quite successfully for enhancing the health and healing of the breast.
- Saw Palmettohas historically been used for sore breast and increasing breast size
- Sage and Parsley will help dry up breast milk after weaning a child
- Onion Poultice, All cell detox and Lymph cleanse for infected breast
- Liver Cleanse historically used to help nutritionally support the liver
- There is an herbal combo called Breast Assure, which woman just rave about which can be taken on a regular basis as a preventative as well as for breast problems
Ultrasound to the breast, is THE most efficient way of detecting tumors and cysts.
Never rely solely on mammograms.
|Natural Insect Repellents
How to Repel Insects Naturally!
Did you know that Catnip Oil spray is reported to be ten times more effective than DEET (the unsavory toluene based chemical used in commercial insect sprays)?
With rising concerns about the toxicity of conventional flea and tick control, some pet owners are looking for natural alternatives:
Rose Geranium. Rose Geranium has been used as an extremely potent repellent for ticks. Rose Geranium can be applied directly to your dog's collar, or try the following blend as a tick repellent for both you and your dog: 20 drops of Rose Geranium Oil, 3 drops of Citronella Oil and Bay Leaf Tincture in 10 ounces of water. Spray this on your dog, your dog's bed, your clothes, and exposed areas.
- Catnip Oil spray. Reported to be ten times more effective than DEET (the toluene based chemical used in commercial insect sprays), Taos Herb Company's Catnip Oil Spray is an all natural alternative for pesky insects.
- Neem Oil has been used as a mosquito, flea, and tick repellent.
Put a bit of neem oil on your hands and rub it all over your dog's coat. It's a great conditioner and gives her coat a beautiful shine, and it also keeps away fleas, ticks (to some extent), mites, mosquitoes and other biting critters.
Pour 10 oz. of organic jojoba oil or organic aloe vera gel through the funnel into a spray bottle. The jojoba oil or aloe vera gel serves as a base to dilute the neem oil. Pour 1/2 oz. of organic neem oil through the funnel into the bottle. Shake the natural neem tick repellent before each use. Spray it lightly onto the fur of pets, avoiding the face, once every two weeks. Apply the neem oil liberally onto your skin before hiking or going into wooded areas.
Neem Oil for Landscaping
Neem oil is an organic pest control remedy that is simple and effective on controlling repels aphids, thrips or whitefly. The greatest benefit of using neem oil is that it doesn’t harm beneficial insects: Butterflies, earthworms, and bees all help plants pollinate and absorb nutrients.
Oil of Citronella has been used for over 50 years as an insect repellent and as an animal repellent
Citronella, Lemongrass, Cedarwood, Garlic and Cinnamon oils have traditionally been applied externally to exposed neck, ankles, and hands to discourage biting gnats.
- Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus has been used as a mosquito repellent in Europe, Latin America, and Australia and in Asia since the 1980s. It's pleasant smell and feel on the skin make it preferable mosquito protection to those with sensitive skin and irritable olfactory senses.
- mosquito repellents with oil of lemon eucalyptus are much less harsh on the skin compared to mosquito repellents containing DEET.
Use as a bug repellent for stinging or biting bugs.
Natural Jungle Juice Recipe
A blend of essential oils of clove, peppermint, and lemon.
Tested in the jungles of cambodia and Brazil, Jungle Juice has been shown to be effective for up to six hours against mosquitoes, flies, ticks and gnats, including the Brazilian sand fly. It contains no citronella oil and has a pleasant, spicy aroma.
All Purpose Insect/Tick Repellent Spray Recipe:
Basic Essential Oil Repellent Recipe
10 to 25 drops essential oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (olive oil is fine)
1 tablespoon aloe vera gel (optional)
Combine the ingredients in a glass jar. Shake to blend. Dab a few drops on your skin or clothing.
Note: Dilute, Dilute, Dilute
Essential Oils are very concentrated and must be used carefully. Some essential oils can aggravate the skin. Undiluted essential oil of pennyroyal and cinnamon oil can be dangerous to pets.
Animals can have a severe allergic or toxic reaction to many products. Exercise caution when making choices for your pets (and you). Cats may not tolerate all essential oils. Some companies adding essential oils to their products are using perfume quality essential oils, not therapeutic grade.
If you have any questions, please consult your Veterinarian before using essential oils on your pets.
Fleas are small insects that parasitise the coats of a wide range of domestic animal species including cats, dogs, rabbits, horses, poultry, humans and rats and which survive by feeding on the blood of their . In appearance they are small (about 1 - 2.5mm in length, depending on the flea species) and yellowish to dark brown in color depending on whether they have recently fed or not (the abdomen of an engorged flea swells and appears paler brown in colour than that of an unfed flea - see the cat fleas pictures in the next section). Unlike ticks, mites or lice, which have a dorso-ventrally flattened, pancake-like shape (they look as though they have been squashed from above), fleas' bodies are flattened laterally such that their shape from the front appears tall and narrow (they look as though they have been squashed between two objects located on either side of them).
Like most other insects, fleas have three main body parts: a head, a thorax and an abdomen and, like most other insects, fleas have six legs (three on each side) that originate from the mid-section of the body (thorax). Unlike many other insects, fleas have no wings and do not fly. Perhaps to compensate for this inability to fly, the back legs of the flea are very highly developed (long and strong) compared to their other four legs and are designed for jumping. Fleas move from host to host and from host to environment to host by jumping through the air. The flea's back legs are also designed to propel the flea forwards through the animal's fur at high speed, which helps the insect parasite to evade the teeth and claws of the animal host as it attempts to remove the flea through biting, chewing and scratching activities. With the exception of the stick fast or stick tight flea, Echidnophaga (section 5), which establishes a blood-feeding position on the host (often on thinly furred or feathered regions like the legs, belly, neck, eyelids and ears) and remains there, most flea species are very mobile and are usually only seen by pet owners as brief glimpses of something brown scurrying slickly through the animal's hairs.
Flea eggs are shiny, white, ovoid eggs, about 0.5mm in length. They hatch to produce grub-like flea larvae that are about 2.5mm long (depending on species). These larval fleas look like tiny white caterpillars (they move like grubs or caterpillars do too) with a black centre or core that is located acentrally, towards the head-end of the larva. Under the microscope, this black core is actually bright red and constitutes the larval stomach, which is full of digesting blood from its diet. Flea pupae or cocoons are rarely seen by owners because they are located in the pet's bedding or elsewhere in the environment (e.g. pupal fleas in the carpet), not on the pet itself. The silky cocoons are sticky and rapidly become covered in dust granules and dirt debris from the environment, making them virtually unrecognisable to owners. They just look like small balls of dirt.
Types of Ticks
Both tick types bite hosts and suck their blood. Hard ticks pass from one stageof development to another following each blood meal.
Hard ticks undergo distinct larval, nymphal and adult stages. Soft ticks undergo a series of molts and feed more often than hard ticks.
The blacklegged tick is also known as the deer tick. Young deer ticks are active in spring and early summer, while adults are active in spring and fall. These ticks are known to be vectors of Lyme disease.
Few animals on Earth evoke the antipathy that mosquitoes do.
Their itchy, irritating bites and nearly ubiquitous presence can ruin a backyard barbecue or a hike in the woods. They have an uncanny ability to sense our murderous intentions, taking flight and disappearing milliseconds before a fatal swat. And in our bedrooms, the persistent, whiny hum of their buzzing wings can wake the soundest of sleepers.
Beyond the nuisance factor, mosquitoes are carriers, or vectors, for some of humanity’s most deadly illnesses, and they are public enemy number one in the fight against global infectious disease. Mosquito-borne diseases cause millions of deaths worldwide every year with a disproportionate effect on children and the elderly in developing countries.
There are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes, but the members of three bear primary responsibility for the spread of human diseases. Anopheles mosquitoes are the only species known to carry malaria. They also transmit filariasis (also called elephantiasis) and encephalitis. Culex mosquitoes carry encephalitis, filariasis, and .West Nile Virus And Aedes mosquitoes, of which the voracious Asian tiger is a member, carry yellow fever, dengue, and encephalitis.
Mosquitoes use exhaled carbon dioxide, body odors and temperature, and movement to home in on their victims. Only female mosquitoes have the mouth parts necessary for sucking blood. When biting with their proboscis, they stab two tubes into the skin: one to inject an enzyme that inhibits ; blood clotting ,the other to suck blood into their bodies. They use the blood not for their own nourishment but as a source of protein for their eggs. For food, both males and females eat nectar and other plant sugars.
Mosquitoes transmit disease in a variety of ways. In the case of malaria, parasites attach themselves to the gut of a female mosquito and enter a host as she feeds. In other cases, such as yellow fever and dengue, a virus enters the mosquito as it feeds on an infected human and is transmitted via the mosquito’s saliva to a subsequent victim.
The only silver lining to that cloud of mosquitoes in your garden is that they are a reliable source of food for thousands of animals, including birds, bats, dragonflies, and frogs. In addition, humans are actually not the first choice for most mosquitoes looking for a meal. They usually prefer horses, cattle, and birds.All mosquitoes need water to breed, so eradication and population-control efforts usually involve removal or treatment of standing water sources. Insecticide spraying to kill adult mosquitoes is also widespread. However, global efforts to stop the spread of mosquitoes are having little effect, and many scientists think global warming will likely increase their number and range.
Relax with Chamomile
Chamomile is a friendly, down-to-earth sort of plant, with many applications.
German v. Roman Chamomile
German chamomile has been classified by botanists as Matricaria recutital, M. recutita, Chamomilla recutita and Matricaria chamomilla, while Roman chamomile has been classified both as Anthemis nobilis and Chamaemelum nobile. Roman is the common chamomile of England; it was first dubbed Roman chamomile in 1598, when the plant grew abundantly near Rome. It’s an aromatic perennial that creeps along the ground, reaching only about one foot in height. (As a matter of fact, the name chamomile comes from the Greek chamos (ground) and melos (apple), a reference to its mildly apple scent. German chamomile is a sweet-scented annual that grows to about 2 1/2 feet in height. While in England Roman chamomile is preferred, in Europe and the U.S. the German is more popular. There are genetic and chemical differences between the two chamomiles, but both are widely cultivated in Europe and America, and they are similarly used in beauty products, tinctures, extracts, salves and compresses. Chamomile tea is enjoyed alone or in tea blends. In fact, according to one estimate, over one million cups of chamomile tea are drunk worldwide every day!
Ask the Experts
Chamomile seems so soothing. Will a chamomile bath help a sunburn?
Yes, that’s a great idea. But for even more real relief, soak a tablespoon of chamomile flowers in 2 tablespoons of witch hazel for ten minutes, then strain. Add a teaspoon of honey. Dab onto the sunburn. Rinse off after 15 minutes or so.
I’ve heard of people having allergic reactions to chamomile. How common is this?
Allergic reactions to chamomile are rare, but possible. If you’re allergic to ragweed, aster and chrysanthemums (members of the Asteraceae family), it’s possible that you may also react to chamomile. (If taken internally, you might have some bronchial constriction, and if used topically, you might have a skin reaction.) Often when people have allergic reactions to chamomile, though, the plants are not true chamomile, but one of a number of “mayweeds” or other plants that are commonly called chamomile. If you grow your own true chamomile or purchase it from a company that positively identifies the plant, you’re much less likely to have problems with chamomile allergies.
To moisturize and cleanse your skin, place a handful of chamomile flowers in a large bowl. Add boiling water, then lean over the bowl, with a towel draped over your head. Steam for about ten minutes, then rinse with warm, then cool water. Other good additions include rosemary, sage, rose petals, and mint.
A pair of chamomile teabags (fill your own muslin bags with chamomile flowers) that have been steeped make soothing eye compresses. Simply place the warm or cool bags on your eyes while you lie down for about 15 minutes.
After Peter Rabbit’s exploits in Mr. McGregor’s garden, “His mother put him to bed and made some camomile tea; and she gave a dose of it to Peter.” —The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. The pretty little chamomile flower is renowned for its ability to soothe and relax. That’s why it’s a favorite in bedtime baths and teas. Another way to put chamomile to calming use is to mix it into potpourri blends, sachets, and sleep pillows.
Mix first five ingredients together in a glass bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the orris root with the coriander. Add the lavender oil and stir. Combine the orris root mixture with the dried flowers and leaves and mix well. Place the mixture in a covered glass container for about a month, then use in potpourri bowls or sachets. Refresh the potpourri with a drop or two of oil every so often. To use the potpourri in a sleep pillow, simply sew a fabric pillowcase the desired size. Wrap the finished potpourri in cotton batting, if you’d like the pillow to be soft, and then stuff into the pillow. Sew the open end closed. Place in a plastic bag for about 24 hours, before using, to strengthen the scent.
Soften and brighten light-colored hair with a chamomile rinse. Simmer four tablespoons chamomile flowers in two cups of water for about half an hour. (Cover the pot to avoid evaporation.) Pour rinse through hair after shampooing. Catch the rinse in a bucket and re-apply several times, if you like. For enhanced lightening, add a tablespoon of lemon juice to your chamomile rinse. (If you use the lemon, follow with a plain water rinse.)
Fill a tea ball or muslin bag with chamomile flowers. Place it under the running tub faucet when you draw a bath. The herb will moisturize and relax. Add elder flowers, mullein flowers, rose petals, lavender flowers and/or linden flowers to enhance your experience.
If you don’t have time for a full-body soak, draw a chamomile foot bath (simply add an infusion, or strong tea, of chamomile to a basin of warm water).
Minty Fresh PeppermintPeppermint Teas
A powerhouse in the world of herbal teas, peppermint partners well with a wide variety of other herbs (raspberry, rosehips, lemongrass, ginger—you name it) for tea blends. Delicious hot or iced, it has an uncanny ability to both refresh and calm
. Peppermint tea freshens the breath and is traditionally served after meals. It’s been relied upon for centuries to address a wide variety of ailments. (The herb first appeared in the London Pharmacopoeia in 1721.)
Is delicious when combined with other beverages like fruit juices and sparkling water. (Peppermint ice cubes are a fun way to add subtle flavor to drinks, too.) And be sure to try it in hot cocoa. Simply steep the leaves in the hot water or milk before adding to the cocoa.
Pampering with Peppermint
Your toiletry cabinet likely contains something (shampoo, soap, toothpaste) with the cool scent and cleansing properties of peppermint. Peppermint oil is drying, but the leaf is an emollient. Try it in facial toners, masks, and steams; hair rinses; tooth powders and mouthwashes; baths and lotions. (Some people are sensitive to peppermint, so test a batch of your product first on a small area on the inside of your arm.)
Most of us think of baths as bedtime rituals, but a morning bath is a great way to start the day. (You can prepare the herbal “tea” the night before.) For an evening bath, substitute elder flowers and chamomile for the lavender and rosemary. Combine 1 tablespoon each: lavender, rosemary, and peppermint in a medium-size bowl. Pour 1 quart of boiling water over the herbs and steep for 20 minutes. Strain. Add to bathwater.
Cooking with Peppermint
You might be surprised at how versatile peppermint is in
the kitchen. Try it in:
- Fruit salads, green salads, and salad dressings
- Egg dishes, like frittatas, omelets, and quiche
- Sauces for grains, pasta and veggies
- Soups, such as bean, beef, and fish soups and stews
- Vegetables, especially peas and carrots, green beans, spinach, potatoes, and squash
- Yogurt dishes, like raitas
- Jellies and jams
- Side salads, like tabouleh, cucumber, and carrot salads
- Sandwich salads, such as chicken salad and egg salad
- Desserts, like custard, ice cream, chocolate candies and pudding, fruit pies and pound cake
It’s fun when peppermint shows up unexpectedly, as in this easy eggplant dish. Peppermint is the perfect foil for other—hot and spicy—seasonings.
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add eggplant and sauté for five minutes. Add bell pepper and continue to sauté until both the eggplant and pepper are softened and nicely browned. Add peppermint and spices. Cook, stirring gently, for another 5 minutes. ~ 4 servings
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Ask the Experts
Is there a difference in mints?
Yes; “mint” doesn’t necessarily mean “peppermint.” In fact, there are over two dozen species of mints, each with its own subtle or obvious distinction. (Square stems are characteristic of the entire mint family.) Spearmint, perhaps the next most familiar mint, is a bit milder than peppermint when it comes to taste. Other mints you may come across include the citrusy /lavender bergamot mint, the variegated ginger mint, and the mildly flavored pineapple mint.
Most of my recipes call for fresh mint. Can I substitute dried peppermint?
Well, it doesn’t make an attractive garnish for a mint julep, but because dried peppermint retains the plant’s essential oils nicely, it stands in just fine for the fresh herb in most recipes. If your recipe calls for fresh peppermint, substitute one third the amount of dried.
Is it true that peppermint deters pests?
As a matter of fact, it is. Mice, in particular, don’t appreciate the scent of peppermint. To deter them, simply sprinkle some peppermint leaf where you think they might scurry. Or dab a little peppermint essential oil on cotton balls and then place the balls strategically around the house. Crush some dried leaves and place them in potpourris or sachets around your home to deter flies.
While most of us think of oregano as a spice used in Italian food and on pizza, oregano touts many health benefits you may not know of.
Ready for the list of nutrients oregano contains? Here we go: vitamins A and C, niacin, manganese, boron, copper, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium. Not only that, but oregano has the highest antioxidant count of any herb, and four times as much as blueberries.
Oregano is also helpful as an antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, digestive aid, and joint health aid..
Oregano means “mountain joy” and is a wonderfully aromatic, flavorful herb popularly used in Spanish and Mediterranean cooking. Oregano also goes by the name marjoram (though it is not to be confused with sweet marjoram). Oregano adds depth and savor to any dish, but goes particularly well with tomatoes, eggplant, and any meat. Sprinkle some in your scrambled eggs or salad dressings, too.
Oregano is a rich natural source of vitamin K, an important vitamin that is often overlooked.
Did you know that oregano has anti-bacterial properties? You can find oregano oil in many specialty and health food shops for this very reason. Oregano contains thymol and carvacrol, two oils which have remarkable bacteria-fighting power. In fact, researchers recently discovered that oregano is a better treatment for giardia than the prescription drug commonly prescribed to treat the illness.
Thymol and an acid called rosmarinic are potent antioxidants that oregano offers. Ready for a surprise? Research shows that “…On a per gram fresh weight basis, oregano has demonstrated 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges and 4 times more than blueberries.”
Oregano is high in iron, manganese, and other important minerals for health. It’s one of the healthiest and tastiest herbs you can try, so if you haven’t stopped reading yet to run out and buy some, scoot!
Oregano is rich in fiber (the amount is similar to chicory). Fiber is necessary to provide bulk for better elimination.
When buying oregano, it’s best to purchase fresh leaves instead of the dried variety. Yes, a little shakity-shake is easier and more convenient, but you also miss out on those beneficial anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant oils. Fresh oregano is pretty inexpensive. In fact, it’s very easy to grow yourself!
Oregano is a natural source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Does it get any better?