Monthly Archives: September 2008

The Five Most Important Things You Need to Know About Herbs

Hey — I promised you this blog a while ago. There are the five, but I still maintain it’s the 6th that’s most important. The blog I put up first when I should have put up this one.

You’ve heard about how herbs are powerful and beneficial and you want to know more.  Here are the five most important things you need to know about herbs:

1:  Parsley and basil are not herbs.  Well, parsley and basil are herbs, but they’re not the only herbs.  When we talk about herbs and herbal medicine, we’re talking about any plant or part of a plant that can be used to benefit health.  Ginger roots, aloe leaves, bark of the huge rainforest tree pau d’arco, and elder berries all can be used for therapeutic purposes and qualify as “herbs.”  More than 2,000 herbs are used medicinally today, all over the world.   

2:  Herbs have been safely used for thousands of years to improve health and heal disease.  Through observation and trial and error, cultures all over the world have gathered a vast body of knowledge regarding the power of herbs to create health.  Much of this information has been passed down to us through Western Herbalism, Ayurvedic Herbalism, and Traditional Chinese Medicine.  About 80 % of the world’s population still use herbal remedies as part or even all of their primary health care. While the properties of herbs have been studied by scientists for hundreds of years, indigenous cultures continue to pass along invaluable herbal knowledge from one generation to the next. It includes which parts of plants are beneficial and how to prepare them; whether to boil, steep, or crush, to access their medicinal properties. 

3.  Herbs are used to improve almost any area of health. This includes everything from mood swings to blood pressure, from exhaustion to lactation.  For example, aloe gel is used to heal sunburn; St. John’s Wort is used to treat minor depression; ginger can reduce pregnancy-related nausea; and chasteberry can reduce menstrual problems.  A typical herb book will list hundreds of conditions that herbs can treat.

4.  Many of our prescription drugs are based on herbal substances.  For example, ephedra is an herb that has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat respiratory problems.  Ephedrine is the active ingredient in ephedra, and ephedrine is the basis for many commercial pharmaceutical products medicating asthma and other respiratory problems.  In addition, approximately 25% of prescription drugs used today has an herbal component. Many of our cancer, heart and other wonder drugs are originally from herbs, especially rainforest herbs. 

5.  Herbs are safe.  But don’t confuse safe with harmless.   Bread, chicken, and mushrooms are also safe—if the bread is not moldy, the chicken is not spoiled, and the mushrooms are not gathered ignorantly off the forest floor.  When you take herbal supplements, be sure to know what you’re doing.  Talk to your doctor and understand that herbal remedies may interfere with prescription drugs.  This doesn’t mean herbs are dangerous—it just means they do in fact, affect your body.  Since you’re taking herbs to help you heal , it is good indeed that they impact your body.

This is just a general primer on herbs.  If you’re interested in taking herbal supplements, there are many sites available for learning about specific ailments and the herbs that help them.  Both alternative and conventional medicine sites can give you information.  Just remember: herbs can help you; do your research; and talk to your doctor.  Don’t earn herbs a bad rap!  When herbs are taken properly for the power they hold, they just may make you feel better than you’ve ever felt in your life.

 

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Herbal remedies should be safe and work too!

A friend recently got The Lion’s Roar and raised the issue of safety. I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating. Herbs are powerful agents. That’w why they’ve been used around the world for thousands of years. That’s why they are the basis for many of our western pharmaceuticals. It’s why plants in completely unconnected parts of the world with similar chemical structures are used for the same conditions. They work and they work well.

That should not be confused with their having no drug interactions, nor should it be confused with irresponsible consumerism.  So when Kev asked about potential drug interactions with medicines he was taking I was glad. He will double check with his doctor, of course. 

Anyway, what struck me about this asthma and upper respiratory remedy was the amazingly high level of safety and overall health benefits. 

Bottom line was this: the worst any of these herbs do is strengthen the heart muscle, lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels and thin the blood.  Duuh.

Potential drug interaction is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just not an area where you want any surprises! If you’re already on high blood pressure medication it might be good to have a natural remedy that has been scientifically proven to do the same thing.  To do that, you need to be working in conjunction with your doctor for sure, and perhaps other health care professionals as well. And you personally need to stay informed and act accordingly.

Natural health care, handled properly can sometimes take a village. 

 

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The sixth most important thing about herbs that should really be first

I just wrote an article about the top five things people should know about herbs. I’ll put it up on the web site soon, but since it was kind of generic I went easy. What I really should have said was that there’s one really really important thing to know about herbs. I’ll try to get this into a brief sound byte but that may go up in smoke.

About 5 years ago I was seriously ill. I needed to take allopathic medicine that helped save my life. But in order for the (truly wonderful) medicine (for which I shall always be grateful) to not eat the lining of my stomach, weaken my immune system and make me generally weak and miserable I needed to take a bunch of other stuff. And guess what it was? OK, softball… Of course it was herbal supplements. Not only. I also drank herbal teas. And took amino acids that occur naturally in our bodies.  I went to acupuncture and got healing massages. I topped it off with hypnotherapy to heal old mental scars.  

So lest you think I only believe in herbs, you see I’m willing to reach across the aisle and use other modalities. As long as they’re natural. And that’s my point. A plant is a living being. It’s in balance with itself and nature. When used properly it offers its wonderful qualities to us — in balance. Not in bit and pieces, not one saponin or alkoloid at a time. 

There it is. And here’s the sound byte, the sixth most important thing about herbs that should really be first: Plants are good for you. They heal, they work, they bring back balance. 

P.S. to the sound byte: There is a place for western medicine. It’s just that the place is not everywhere and all the time.

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5 easy ways to get slim and stay slim!

Yes, weight control without dieting!  No diets at all? How is that possible! Well, have you tried dieting? If you’ve tried one diet you’ve probably tried many diets. Perhaps you’ve tried other means of weight control. If you’re like most of us who want to lose weight, you’ve probably tried workouts, fads, supplements and diets over and over and still the weight keeps coming back.  If that’s your story it puts you in the 98 percent tile of people who have tried diets. Once you get that diets won’t work because they don’t get to the root of the problem you can begin to find alternatives to diets. Learn alternatives to dieting and you can find easy ways to keep the weight off now, tomorrow and forever.

Let’s start with five simple things you can do:

1. STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP. Stop it right now. Every time you look in the mirror and tell yourself: “My belly is disgusting,” or “OMG, that’s a triple chin!” you reinforce exactly that image of yourself. It’s like feeding a monster. With each meal of negative self-talk it gets stronger.

2. MAKE NICE. Use self-talk to your advantage. You know you talk to yourself anyway. Change the words to ones that make you feel good instead of bad. Every time that voice creeps in override it with the opposite. “My belly is round and soft.” “I love my face!”

3. TRUST IN REPETITION. Use repetition to help you meet your goals. You may find yourself doubting your ‘opposite speak’ technique. That’s not because it’s false, it’s because it’s new. How many times did you use the nasty stuff? Keep at it over and over until it feels right. Because eventually it must — that’s the power of repetition.

4. IMAGINE YOUR GOALS IN DETAIL. In place of negative self-talk use positive images over and over to clarify, crystallize and reinforce your weight goals. Imagine little details. Imagine them with each of your senses. Allow yourself to get excited. Actually force yourself to get excited! That’s how you you make it real to yourself.

5. ENJOY WHAT YOU EAT. Wow. Point 5 and I’m finally mentioning food. But only to encourage you to allow yourself to thoroughly savor every bite.  Fact is, if you’ve dieted you already know what’s good for you and what isn’t. Now sit comfortably, eat slowly, chew well, and enjoy, knowing what you’re doing is good for you. You probably haven’t done that in a long, long time.

For more tips on health, check out www.OnePlanetHerbs.com

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The Beginning of OnePlanet Herbs

It just occurs to me, so many months into my business — OnePlanet Herbs (www.OnePlanetHerbs.com) — that I never mentioned how it started. It came to me as a dream in the middle of the night. I had been struggling to put all the pieces of my interests, knowledge and  experience together into something I’d want to do forever. In waking time all I was getting was frustrated.

Then this idea hit. It brought together my love of plants, of herbs, of the rainforest, my years of trial and error and of study, my work in sustainability, and my business and writing experience.  I went to sleep wondering, jeeezzz, what next; woke up one complete person with a plan, a company-to-be, and ready to roll! I woke with images of baby boomers and younger  It brought together my love of plants, of herbs, of the rainforest, my years of trial and error and of study, and my business and writing experience. There I was, one complete person ready to roll.

When I woke I had images of baby boomers and other discovering brand new and powerful herbs. Of helping people cope with pain from sore joints and arthritis in a natural way. What became Leaping Lizard was a way to help my sister who I had watched swallow pills and suffer with arthritic pain for years. That was a very personal search for me.

And so many of my friends telling me they were tired and needed more energy — that became Sloth-No-More. Or totally stressed out and couldn’t sleep … yay for Mellow Monkey.

And so it went. After months of uncertainty, it just rolled itself out in front of me.  After months of uncertainty, it just rolled itself out in front of me. I felt so lucky. Then I remembered how much went into that moment and my buddy Joe’s favorite quote floated up: “The harder you work, the luckier you get!”

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Rainforest Herbs Promote Stress-free Relaxation

It’s often said that misery loves company. But if you have ever experienced anxiety, stress, sleep problems or insomnia, you’ve probably noticed only the misery and felt no company at all. In which case it might surprise you to learn that millions of people suffer from anxiety, sleep problems and insomnia.  Anti-anxiety medications and sleeping agents are among the leading prescriptions in industrialized nations around the world.  These prescriptions don’t come alone. They come with serious warnings about possible side effects and the potential for addiction.  

 

Although many people rely on them to relieve stress, anxiety, sleep problems and insomnia, others are seeking alternative solutions.  No prescription or herbal remedy substitutes for good diet, exercise and stress-free living. That said, we all need help sometimes! That’s why more and more people like you are turning to natural ways to relieve stress-related problems.

 

Dynamic well-balanced formula to support stress-free relaxation

 

Mellow Monkey has been specially formulated to target the physiology of stress and combat it in a healthy, balanced way. Mellow Monkey helps with stress, anxiety, sleep problems and insomnia. It promotes relaxation, rest, deep sleep and well-being.

 

Some of the plants included in Mellow Monkey have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving qualities. This additional benefit is intentional. We are sometimes nervous or unable to take proper relaxation or sleep because of generalized discomfort or pain, yet don’t recognize it for what it is. When our bodies are relaxed and comfortable our minds have the opportunity to let go of the stresses and tensions of daily life.

 

Mellow Monkey combines well-documented rainforest herbs with both a long history of indigenous use and much research from western science.

 

Mellow Monkey supports relaxation, combats nervousness and anxiety and promotes a natural peaceful sleep: all the benefits without harmful side effects or risk of dependency.  With OnePlanet Herb’s special blend of rainforest herbs, stress and anxiety can bre smoothed away helping you feel focused and good again. 

 

The Importance of Reducing Anxiety, Stress, Sleep Problems and Insomnia

 

It is not uncommon for these conditions to travel together and become a package deal of unpleasantness.  Over time this can wreak havoc on our physical, emotional and mental states. 

 

Many people find that even small life-style changes can lead to big changes. Sometimes just a little more fresh air and a little less of stressful situations can add up to big changes. Mellow Monkey is a  support in making change big and small. We all deserve the opportunity to fully enjoy life. Mellow Monkey is a great way to turn things around – get the company without the misery. 

 

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Herbal remedy relieves asthma and upper respiratory conditions

Herbal remedy relieves asthma and upper respiratory conditions

Ever tried to breathe through a straw? If you are one of the lucky ones who has never experienced an asthma attack or serious upper respiratory problem you probably haven’t even thought about it. I’ve spoken to enough sufferers to know how bad it is. Witnessing my young child having an asthmatic reaction to an allergen ranks high on the list of things not to experience if you have any choice in the matter. When it comes to those we love we rarely have the luxury to choose.

Asthma statistics according to the experts (you may want to skip this if you get upset easily)

Perhaps, like me, you already know asthma affects way too many people. Additionally it is on the rise and is supported by poor indoor quality, air pollution, poverty and inadequate health care. But according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (http://www.aafa.org) the stats are staggering:

  • Asthma affects an estimated 20 million people
  • A full 50% of asthma cases are “allergic-asthma.”
  • Since the early ‘80s the number of asthma sufferers has been on the increase across every age, sex and racial group.
  • Asthma accounts for one-quarter of all emergency room visits in the U.S. each year — 2 million.
  • It also accounts for more than 10 million outpatient visits and 500,000 hospitalizations
  • Asthma is the most common chronic condition among children. It accounts for more lost school days than any other single reason.
  • The annual cost of asthma is estimated to be nearly $18 billion.

If you have asthma make sure you consult a physician… and then

Need I state that anyone with asthma should consult a medical doctor and follow their doctor’s recommendations? That much is obvious. But what if you are looking for more natural support?

I would like to offer a solution for additional symptomatic relief that is helping many asthma sufferers. The Lion’s Roar is an herbal blend of rainforest herbs that have a long tradition of use to diminish the symptoms of asthma. The herbs support the upper respiratory system both in the short and long-term.

Scientific validation of asthma relief

One of the merits of rainforest herbs is the amount of scientific research on them. Western pharmaceutical companies devote a great deal of time and money to understand rainforest plants and isolate important components. One such herb is amor seco.

As an aside, some years ago I had a strong allergic reaction to a wasp sting and didn’t realize it for a while. Don’t ask. Anyway, I was on the verge of anaphylactic shock before the doc slapped my arm enough to be able to shoot medicine into my fast disappearing vein. All’s well that ends well, but it was of personal interest to me that amor seco studies also reported anti-anaphylactic activity against many known allergy-causing substances.

I said it was of interest – not a substitute for proper medical care. DO NOT MESS AROUND WITH ALLERGIES AND POSSIBLE ANAPHYLAXIS. As a total believer in herbs I say loud and clear: Dial 911 immediately if you have an allergic reaction.

The herbs in The Lion’s Roar combine to provide relief from upper respiratory and bronchial problems including asthma.

    These wonderful and beneficial herbs have conveniently been formulated into one ideal product – The Lion’s Roar. Offering a natural support for asthma and other respiratory problems, The Lion’s Roar makes a great addition to nature’s medicine chest. (pardon the pun).

     

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