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Daily Herbal Habit #5 Cooking with Herbs

Herbs are such a diverse plant, you can do so much with them whether you are drinking herbs, such as I covered in my last blog post, or eating them – as I will cover in this one. Either way, you reap the benefits and taste through using our herbal allies.

Magic aren’t they, our most lovely green garden companions. In this post, I am going to both introduce you to a few of my favourite herbs and finish by sharing a few quick and easy recipes.

Current Food Climate

Now, if you go into your average cafe or lunch spot, you’ll notice that herbs are under-utilised.  You may also notice this in ready meals that you purchase from the supermarket.  Instead, to compensate or add flavour, food manufacturers tend to add sugar/ salts to food.

This is beneficial for their bottom line, as sugar tricks the brains receptors into thinking you’re still hungry –  resulting in you buying and eating more. Now while this is financially good for the manufacturers, it’s at all good for your health, not only does it affect your brain, research has shown that sugar is highly addictive and literally stupefying.

In the last few years, there has also been a commercial push of the ‘Low fat’ trend. However most low fat foods are highly processed and harder for our body to digest and break down.

To eat healthily, it’s best to ditch the food that has been processed, such as low-fat or meals that are full of sugar/glucose/additives. Eat real food that is as close to its natural state as possible, by doing this we reap the nutrient energy and rewards.

Many people that switch to a natural diet worry that their food will be bland, yet if you are looking for flavour, the healthiest alternative is to use herbs!  On top tantalising your taste buds they are also known to be full of nutrients, vitamins and additional benefits that you won’t find in sugar, flavours or additives.

A few herbs and their Superpowers

Here are a few of my favourite herbs and their benefits (for the benefits of Rosemary, Parsley, Thyme and Sage please see my previous blog post).

Spearmint

Spearmint

Peppermint/Spearmint: These two herbs are related and have similar properties. Each can be used to help; fresh breath, digestive system, cramps, gas, colic, irritated bowel, headaches, and pain. They are antioxidant and have trace elements of vitamin A, B, C as well as copper and potassium.

Dill: Has a rich history, used as a painkiller by the early Egyptians, with a Norse name meaning ‘to soothe. It’s a valuable stomach remedy for calming the nerves, cramps, stomach and digestion. It is also antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. As for vitamins and minerals, it has; vitamin A and C, iron, and manganese

Coriander (Cilantro): Used for thousands of years and mainly classed as an aphrodisiac – this may explain why you’d be feeling a little extra saucy after some Mexican food. It is also, however, great for bloating, cramps, spasms, nervous tension, stomach issues lowering cholesterol and managing blood sugar levels.  It is also rich in Vitamin C and K,  protein, and trace elements of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, thiamin, niacin and carotene.

Cardamom Seeds: One of the oldest spices in the world, especially popular in Asia, where it’s used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat asthma, bronchitis and kidney stones. In China, it’s used as a tonic and for urinary issues. It is an antioxidant, detoxifier and is noted also for providing relief for indigestion, cramps, and gas.  It is full of vitamin and minerals, most notably Vitamin C, iron, niacin, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc.

Sweet Basil: Once used by the ancient Romans to relieve gas, as a diuretic, counteract poisoning, and stimulate breast milk. No wonder it can be found in so many Italian dishes. Of course, some of this is true as it kills intestinal worms, relieves digestive issues, cramps, nausea and vomiting. As it has a mildly sedative action it can be used to address irritability, anxiety, fatigue, and depression. It’s an antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-cancer and has vitamin A, K, and C, as well as the mineral manganese.

Garlic: Its benefits are so powerful it can even stop a vampire in its tracks. It’s an antibiotic, anti-diabetic, expels worms, lowers blood pressure and reduces blood clotting. It has vitamins A, B, C, E and the mineral Selenium.  And is especially good for Cold and flu remedies, circulation issues and infections. To make the most of its super powers, be sure to eat it raw!

These magical herbs pack a nifty nutritional punch, as well as an amazing amount of flavour.  So you have two solid reasons to introduce fresh herbs into the garden if you are not growing them already as well as into your cooking.

Tasty Herb Recipes

Here a few great tasting recipes that are made with these beneficial herbs:

Wild Rice Salad:
Cook up some Wild Rice, with a few cardamom pods (I open these up and take the seeds out).  Add whatever salad items you have in the fridge at the time: Celery, Cucumber, tomato, and red bell pepper.  For the herbs, you can add either Dill / Coriander.  Finish off with some quality Olive oil and spritz of Braggs if needed.

Watermelon Salad
Chop up watermelon; mix with finely chopped Basil and Balsamic vinegar.

Fruit Salad:
Cut up whatever fruit you have available, make dressing from cut up mint/ spearmint and passion-fruit to cover rest of fruit and mix well.

Cold Pea Soup

Cold Pea Soup

Cold Pea Soup (this is what I live on in the Australian heat)
Cup of frozen peas, few leaves of Spearmint, a few slices of onion, half an avocado, cup and half of almond milk and a grind of Himalayan rock salt + Black pepper.  Blend ingredients in food processor and enjoy!  (it’s like a healthy pea avocado ice cream).

Scrambled eggs
Are easy to make, and always super delicious with any herbs, my favourites to add are either Garlic/ Rosemary/ Sage/ Thyme/ or Chives.

Scrambled Tofu
Sauté some onion, mushroom, Garlic and red pepper slices, once browned add the broken up tofu (just crumble in chunks with hands), add Turmeric, curry powder, cumin and Braggs amino acids.  Cook until the colour and flavour has gone into the tofu. Finish it off with add a handful of Coriander, cook an extra minute and presto.

Salad with Roast Vegetables
Roast whatever you enjoy and have available sweet potato, pumpkin, onion, Garlic, mushroom, carrot, potatoes, peppers etc.  Be sure to cover in a good dash of olive oil, Rosemary, thyme and a grind of Himalayan rock salt + Black pepper. Prepare a Green salad with Green leaves of choice, celery, cucumber and a few slices of avocado. Top with the Roast vegetables can further add a sprinkle of feta/ pumpkin seeds, Braggs and Olive oil as needed.

In summary

Rosemary

Rosemary

These are just a few of the basics, just have a play around – and next time you are cooking, what herbs can you add to bring some extra flavour to the dish? Taking your average meal from ordinary to extraordinary!

If you have a stellar recipe or tips to share I’d love to hear them, the only thing I like as much as cooking is the eating – and always happy to try a new recipe!

 

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Looking for answers? Easily found, inside each of us..

I am not sure if you like me are looking for answers? I know for myself I am forever chasing the truth, answers, the why – what – where – how and when…. It’s never ending really.

Lately I’ve been a little lost, preoccupied with an ever-growing and never- ending to do list (it seems to propagate itself gorging on the crumbs of my diminishing memory).

On top of this the rather than the age of information, I feel we live in a world of dis-information, so I’ve been trying to use discernment as well as my curiosity for truth, to search for those ‘the answers’ – yes there we have it again more questions and answers.

And I am left feel I’ve been churning around on a hamster wheel going faster and faster; reading 10 webpages at once, reading 8 books, listening to 4 podcasts, watching youtube, gaiatv, printing off to do lists and really going no where at an ever increasing speed….

Is anyone else feeling it? Are you also running in circles?

Time is flying by, holly molly it’s now 2017 – what happened to 2014, 15 and 16…..  and still I am going around in circles.  If anyone has managed to catapult free of the wheel and fly of into a happily ever after, please let me know…..

Yesterday though, I was meditating – and the little (actually large – but little, in that I am able to ignore it) voice deep inside me was laughing.  Laughing at all my every crazy comical effort’s to find the answers, running as fast and far and wide as I can.

And yet, there they are – peacefully waiting – inside of me. They are not coming in an email, or there on the web, there maybe regurgitated parts of it in a few select books –very rarely you’ll come across a hint, a seed but mostly,  you won’t be told by others, definitely most unlikely place to find them is on TV or in a newspaper.

The answers, their there, inside you – yours, uniquely for you, totally free – exceptionally patient and ready for you to stop. Be quiet. Be open. Acknowledge/ hear and see them.

The Answers are/ were/ will be there – they’ve never been anywhere else. We often, in this crazy dazy upside down society, DON’T get taught where to look, nevertheless it’s like magic, their hidden in the most obvious yet unexpected of places, right inside you.

So this week, the top and only thing on my ‘to do’ list in very big text, is the advice:  ‘Stop, Breath, BE!  Know & Remember’.  So I’ve stepped off the hamster wheel for now, made myself a lovely cup of tea, sitting down and feeling the essence, the energy and answers of life and living.

It’s here, it’s me…..  Just have to remember to BE!

p.s.  it’s you too!!!! So remember to just stop and ‘BE’ a little this week.
If you are not sure about how, check out and look into: Eckhart Tolle/ Mindfullness

p.s.s. This is a little off topic as it’s not herb related, however as it is related to being, sanity and mental well being, I figured it deserved a spot on the blog.

p.s.s.s Although perhaps you are not looking for answers, in which case this whole post may be completely irrelevant – I just want to let you know for all other issues/ problems, Wayfarer’s Magic Comfrey Ointment works a treat ;-)  Go Comfrey!!!

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Wayfarers Magic: All Purpose Comfrey Ointment

Comfrey Plant

Comfrey Plant

So once upon a time, I was busy travelling around Australia, when I had the opportunity to spend some time on a Comfrey Farm on French Island.  And it was here that I learnt, saw and experienced first hand many of the benefits of comfrey. From being used in permaculture as a companion plant or fertiliser to brewing ointments that relieved me of my long-standing RSI (repetitive strain injury), insect bites, calluses and muscle strain (yes, farm work is hard).

I literally saw bruises, strains and muscles heal overnight and the more I read the research I realised how miraculous this plant was, and I was surprised at how little was known or published about it.

As I left the farm, I was enthralled and went on to study more herblore to better understand what else would relieve Arthritis, which my mother has, as well as keep my own RSI and varicose veins at bay.  In an all natural – ‘no need to see a doctor kind of way’.  I also researched the essential oils, as well as the properties of Cocoa and Shea Butter, all which make up the

As well as this I researched the essential oils, as well as the properties of Cocoa and Shea Butter, all which make up the Wayfarer’s Magic: Comfrey Ointment product that I have today.

Comfrey is much more than just a traveller’s talisman. Hence I’ve given the Wayfarer’s Magic: Comfrey Ointment the term ‘All-purpose’, this is largely thanks to my own testing of it on everything and anything that might come up.

I’ve relieved and helped heal my aching and tired Muscles, Insect bites, Burns, RSI, Varicose Vein and Trauma injuries. When I fell off my bike I raced (well ok, cried all the way home) covered the injuries with Comfrey and the next day I had no pain or swelling at all.   When I’d splashed boiling oil onto my wrist – I was dreading the blisters and scars it might leave as my skin turned a shocking red, I quickly

One day, I accidentally splashed boiling oil onto my wrist, I was dreading the blisters as I saw the skin starting to swell, and scars it might leave, I quickly slathered on the comfrey ointment, intermittently exchanging it with a cooling leaf of Aloe vera for half an hour – covered again it in comfrey, before applying a bandage and cooling pack. The next morning there was no sign I’d been burnt – not the slightest of marks.  This to me gives new meaning to the term ‘All Purpose’.

Wayfarers Magic: Comfrey Ointment

Wayfarers Magic: Comfrey Ointment

The biggest thrill for me  is seeing and hearing the stories from people who have bought and are using the ointment, telling me of their relief from Arthritis, Back pain, Fractures, Broken bones, Tennis elbow, RSI, Plantar Fasciitis. One lady uses it as a hand cream saying she loved it as it felt great and significantly reduced her age spots. Another told me that it’s provided relief from Psoriasis, (to heal psoriasis the diet and stress management also needs to be addressed), it can calm the pain, irritation and inflammation of the skin.

I also have to give each herb in the Wayfarer’s Magic: Comfrey Ointment some deep love and appreciation, while Comfrey is just magic; there are some other key players I’d also like to introduce you to, as my Comfrey Base blend also consists of:

  • Yarrow: The lovely herbs claim to fame was that Achilles reputedly used it to heal his wounds after battle, with the nickname of ‘nosebleed’, for you guessed it stopping nosebleeds.  No doubt thanks to it’s anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and astringent properties.
  • Burdock: Is one of the most detoxifying herbs, and has both Antiseptic and antibiotic qualities. Particularly renowned for skin problems such as acne, eczema and psoriasis for it’s calming and detoxing effects. Also has been proven to reduce the signs of ageing as it also supports the cell rejuvenation.
  • Devils Claw: has been used to provide relief internally and externally for Gout, Arthritis both rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis as well as Swollen inflamed joints. And externally for Boils, Skin sores and Skin cancer.
  • Horsetail: Has incredibly high silica content it is also reputed to speed up the repair of damaged tissue and skin elasticity, providing relief and healing of arthritic problems, eczema, psoriasis, sprains and fractures.
  • Calendula:  Another amazing little herb that is a must in any herbal medicine cabinet. It is an ideal remedy for inflamed skin, and has soothing, healing and antiseptic properties. Traditionally used to speed up the healing of or sooth; cuts, scrapes inflamed skin, sunburn and minor burns.
  • Essential Oils that I’ve chosen (Frankincense, Juniper, Cedar wood, Rosemary, Bergamot, Clary Sageand Lavender) are all beneficial for the skin in that they protect, embalm, disinfect sooth, calm, moisturise and are both anti-spasmodic and anti inflammatory.
Comfrey Leaf

Comfrey leaf

Together this blend of organic herbs and healing local beeswax and organic Cocoa and Shea butter,  works to provide relief on all levels be it as a simple nourishing hand cream to speeding up the recover of a traumatic injury or irritated inflated skin or joints – it supports the bodies natural healing process.

I always suggest it best to apply a few times during the day, and especially at night before going to sleep. This is the 8 hours our body uses to heal itself and I believe these herbs work with our body while it’s sleeping to hasten the healing process.

Click here to learn more or try the Wayfarers Magic’: Comfrey Ointment, and use the discount code allpurpose when checking out for a 20% discount valid until the end of January 2017.

“I have been using the Comfrey Ointment for my Plantar Fasciitis for over 7 weeks now, together with the ice packs, stretches and massaging the ointment in both morning and night. My doctor told me it would be a long healing process that could take up to 2 years. I’ve had it since the beginning of October and now in mid-January all the pain, symptoms and discomforts have disappeared. I am normally very suspicious about this claims or testimonials, however this comfrey ointment has certainly worked miracles for me.”

ineke
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Top 5 ways to support Arthritis Naturally

Yes, it’s ironic, that I’d be writing about Natural Arthritis Prevention and management when my “Wayfarer’s Magic: Comfrey Ointment”, provides relief to Arthritis.

Yet,  I’d prefer to prevent Arthritis than manage the symptoms of it. Wouldn’t we all prefer a happy pain-free world for everyone at whatever age?

As Hippocrates, once said ‘Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food’, and there was never truer words spoken. And it’s these words that play in my mind as I continually educate myself on good health and well-being.

Friday Bingo

Friday Bingo

When I volunteered at an aged care home in Buenos Aires, I was in charge of Friday’s bingo and had the honour of meeting Betty* (* name has been changed to protect the not so innocent).  Betty had been married, must’ve and still was a stunner – she captured my imagination with the stories of the wild escapades of her youth.  Sure, skinny dipping in the river with a bunch of girlfriends might not be shocking now, it certainly was back in the 1930’s.

Betty had been married, must’ve and still was a stunner – she captured my imagination with the stories of the wild escapades of her youth.  Sure, skinny dipping in the river with a bunch of girlfriends might not be shocking now, it certainly was back in the 1930’s.

She was independent, strong and positive, the only thing that bothered her was her Rheumatoid Arthritis. She often spoke of her inability to hold a pen to write to her 3 grandchildren living in the USA, and wasn’t able to knit as she’d done all her life.

I wish I knew more about Arthritis then, and if she were still around this is the advice I’d be giving her:

Manage and Prevent Arthritis by following these simple steps:

  1. Keep hydrated, drink water – this is what keeps the fluid in our body well oiled, and rids our body of waste products that otherwise contribute to the Arthritic inflammation.
  2. TurmericEat beneficial spices such as Turmeric to your diet wherever you can, this earlier post explains how. Ginger also calms inflammations as does Cinnamon.
  3. Make sure you are getting your Omega 3-6-9, either through eating Fish, Flaxseed/ Olive Oil or Udo’s 3-6-9 Oil which is the best oil for all three Omegas.
  4. Eat enough veggies & Fruit: Preferably organic or home grown, especially berries for antioxidants, citrus fruit or kiwi for vitamin C, broccoli, dark green veggies as well as squash, carrots and apricots:
    • – Organic is preferred, as it is free of chemical pesticides, it also has more nutrients and minerals from the soil for our body so it can more readily renew our cellar tissue.
  5. Avoid Coffee, Alcohol, Smoking, food additives and Sugar-
    – These either stop the nutrients you need from being absorbed in your body, which you need for cell renewal, or they directly help to cause the inflammation.

Yes, I would also gift Betty a jar of my “Wayfarers Magic: Comfrey Ointment”, as an adventurous traveller I have no doubt she’d have loved the name and the opportunity to use it.

More than that, I’d have like to see her on a healthier diet that was able to manage/prevent the pain caused to her by Arthritis. If nothing else so she’d be able to write her grandchildren without needing to dictate her innermost thoughts and affections for them through another.

Highly recommend this book if you’d like to know more: The Autoimmune Fix

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Herbal Habit #3 Turmeric

Turmeric is beyond beneficial, and something that I attempt to work into my diet at every possibility. This is due to its active constituent, Curcumin. Research has shown that Curcumin is beneficial as a;

  • Anti-oxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory:
  • Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis & Osteoarthritis
  • Antiviral
  • Prevention of Blood Clotting
  • Anti-depressant
  • Destroyer of cancer cells
  • Regulator of both Blood sugar + Cholesterol

Wow,  now that is a pretty amazing herb….

Did you know, heating it, with a bit of black pepper that its power goes up over 2000%? This, and eating it with protein increases its bioavailability, that is the means that the ability the body has to absorb all the benefits of Turmeric.

I do believe those curry eating Indians are on to something!  Indians have also been using Turmeric in Ayurveda medicine for thousands of years – and it is only now taking the Western world by storm.

As soon as I realised the benefits of turmeric, I started looking for the best ways to integrate it into my diet. I prefer natural intake of nutrients over supplements.  It took some time, yet it’s now become an integral part of my diet. Here are a few of my favourite ways to use it;

I keep a jar of ready to go Turmeric (heated Turmeric with a pinch of cracked black pepper) in my spice cabinet. Ready to add to:
Cold_recipe

  • Smoothies
  • Coconut/ Olive oil salad dressing
  • Scrambled eggs or tofu
  • Sprinkled on an avocado
  • In my morning hot water with lemon, honey
  • Ginger + Turmeric Tea

Coconut Fried Kale
½ bunch of chopped Organic Kale
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp Shredded Coconut (sugarless)
3 tbsp Pumpkin seeds
1 tsp Nutritional Yeast (the yeast I use is listed here)
1 tsp Turmeric + pepper
Heat oil in a skillet, add the turmeric + yeast, throw in the kale and fry a little – add more yeast or turmeric as required.  Brown, until soft and a bit crispy, stir in the shredded coconut. Serve with topped pumpkin seeds.

And my all time favourite recipe:

Golden Turmeric Milk
2/3 cup organic almond milk
1/3 cup coconut cream
½ tsp Turmeric + black pepper
Plus a dash of Ginger powder, Cardamom seeds/ powder, Anise Star, Cloves, Nutmeg and Cinnamon. Heat for 5-10 mins on a low heat.  Take off the heat, stir in some raw honey and serve.

Super delicious! Healthy and easy to make.

EternalSerenity004It’s also fabulous for the skin as it’s both nourishing and gives the skin a healthy glow. Which is why I add a few drops of Turmeric Essential Oil to my Eternal Serenity Face Oil.

So give it a try by adding Turmeric to your diet. If you do choose to use supplements, please buy them with the black pepper added, and take when eating protein for the best absorption.

If you buy the herb itself please buy the organic variety, fresh or from a health store near you, or online Australian Shops such as:
Doorstep Organics
Santos Organics
Honest to Goodness

If you’d like to research it further, please check out these resources:

Health Ambition
University of Maryland Medical Centre
Dr Axe
Banyan Botanicals 

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Let’s live a Long Life with Good Health

Me, I’d rather have quality over quantity – I’d rather live to be 60 and have a full healthy life than to 100 and spend most of it in care – however it’s not either / or, I believe you can have both.  The healthy decisions I make now are largely driven by my desire to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible, for an optimal long healthy + happy life :)  Why not….

So this brings me to the latest book I am reading the The Autoimmune Fix, by Tom O’Bryan – and I started out thinking that I don’t have an Auto-immune disease so it wasn’t relevant to me. However it is, as its full of factual information on how our body works and how and why it starts to degenerate – and then how we can stop that happening.  And Auto-immune is broader than you think, it’s anytime your immune system jumps into action, when it doesn’t really need to – and simplified if it is always in affect it can lead to gluten intolerance, headaches, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and even cancer.  So being pro-active with what my body needs now, could keep this body suit and brain in an optimal state of being for longer and further – which sounds good to me.

A few action steps I’m already taking is to have introduced pro-biotic foods into my diet, think fermented foods, and cut out dairy and gluten while adding some healthy fat, think coconut oil, nuts and avocados.  And I am only part way through the book, so I will keep you up-to-date on that.

I do know as times being health can feel like an effort a cost etc., however I also know that our body and good health is worth it and priceless! We, You and me are worth it.  And it’s only a week and my energy is up, the blobby fat around my middle is falling away and brain is clearing out of it’s foggy existence, and I am ready to roar.

Some of this information as it’s all quite new, and rocks the status quo a little in that as it’s based on a healthier diets which big pharma doesn’t For those interested, Tom O’Bryan is hosting a series of interviews of medical experts discussing all of this in the Betrayal Series click here, sign up it’s free and starts today. 

The Autoimmune Fix: How to Stop the Hidden Autoimmune Damage That Keeps You Sick, Fat, and Tired Before It Turns Into Disease. Book Can be found here…..

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More good news about Comfrey

comfreyLet’s be honest there can never be enough good said about this most humble of plants, however I am always thrilled to read and share good news that I find. And this latest one that I stumbled upon is from the Online Chiropractic community website, and it shares some great research results.

Before I get onto that I will add, that I personally believe that while I am not at all a fan of big pharma the fact that Merck has added comfrey into its back pain remedy cream after, this in turn has lead to further research especially in Germany the home of Merck.  Of course I wish educational/ research centres would do more study of the benefits of plants, especially whole plants – however the funding at this point isn’t there to do so. I am appreciative though that right now there are people out there studying up on Comfrey – and even more appreciative that it’s being recommended as a healthy (side effect free) remedy to  Chiropractors, to assist in the healing and relief of their patients. As the article, written by Holly Lucille, which can be found here states:

Why Topical comfrey deserves a spot in your chiropractic practice:

Aside from soothing inflammation, comfrey treats many conditions life can throw your way, including open wounds, muscle pain, and knee and ankle sprains and strains.

Topical comfrey in practice

In a controlled, double-blind, randomised, multi-center study after using comfrey, patients suffering from acute ankle sprain and pain saw a 50- percent reduction of pain in just three days.

In another study, bruised and sprained knees were treated with Trauma comfrey cream within 12 hours of the injury. Intensive treatment with comfrey and gauze wrapping was performed for four days. By that stage, pain and swelling had dropped considerably. At day seven, no patients reported any knee pain while at rest, and most were completely pain-free by day 10. All were pain free by day 14.

None of the patients noted any reddening, itching, or dry skin. The study author noted that the quick drop in pain levels allowed the patients to move their knees sooner, diminishing the possibility of further muscle damage due to immobility.

Trauma comfrey has also been tested for safety with children. In a German study, 386 children between the ages of 3 and 12 who had suffered bruises, sprains, strains, and muscle pain from playing sports were treated with Trauma comfrey. It was found to be effective for 90 percent of participants and, importantly, there were no adverse reactions or effects reported.

Healing compounds

Why does it work so well? There are three compounds that provide major healing power in this type of comfrey: allantoin, choline, and rosamarinic acid. Each one facilitates the healing process in its own way.

Allantoin boosts the rebuilding of cells and regenerates damaged tissue.

Choline helps injured blood vessels and nerve endings recover faster.

Rosmarinic acid fights inflammation and reduces cell damage.

For more information, studies and side notes please go to the original article that can be found here:

Why topical comfrey deserves a spot in your chiropractic practice

Comfrey Ointment

Wayfarers Magic: Comfrey Ointment

Ah, I love Comfrey – don’t you!  what a great article, and I do wish that more chiropractors or physiotherapists would look to natural solutions to provide relief and a speedier recovery… Natural herbs, with no side effects are out there, available and ready to be of service to us, all we need to do is ask.

If you are interested in my Comfrey Ointment: Wayfarers Magic – made using all organic and natural ingredients, you can find it in my shop here.

 

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The Benefits of Essential Oils

I know I tend to go on about Comfrey, yet there are also other ingredients that rock, and these are Essential Oils.

If I went into all the benefits of Essential Oils I might be here all day, there is quiet a few though.  Essential oils are not to be confused with perfumed oils, which just smell lovely – these super stars are made by almost capturing the pure essence of the plant and hence their magic.  This means they also capture the many many healing properties of the plants, which we can in turn benefit from by either using them through their aroma such as in aromatherapy or by using with a carrier oil/base directly on the skin itself.

These can easily be used everyday for a multitude of uses; If you have a trouble sleeping try lavender, nauseous try a bit of ginger,  in enhance your brain power and memory try rosemary, tea tree oil works a treat on athlete’s foot and grapefruit is uplifting and brings joy….

These oils have been used and highly valued for thousands of years, from Egyptians used Frankincense, cedar and myrrh as part of the mummification process for their ability to preserve and embalm. They were also used in Persia, Greece, India and China –  and that legacy carries on today in our uses of the oils, be it in products, perfumes, aromatherapy massages and air vaporisers.

Here are some of the benefits of just a few of the key Essential Oils I use;

Eternal Serenity Face Oil: EternalSerenity001

Bergamot Essential Oil support the bodies healing it helps to reduce the feeling of pain, works with the skins pigmentation and melanin to even the tone, and it has both a calming effect on the nerves.

Palma Rosa is a very gentle on the skin, yet has a powerhouse of properties, it promotes the growth of new and old skin cell renewal and rejuvenation all while it helps to repair any damage. And on top of this it is hydrating, in how it supports the skin tissues retain their moisture especially good on cracked dry skin, all while it’s lovely scent is uplifting and calming.

Neroli Essential Oil has many benefits, it cares for the skin making it smooth, glowing and helps it to maintain the right moisture and oil balance.  On top of this is supports tissue regeneration and is a powerful anti-depressant, so it cheers up your spirit as well as your skin.

Wayfarers Magic, Comfrey Ointment;

Frankincense Oil promotes the regeneration of new skin cells and increases the health of the existing cells and tissue, it is known for its astringent properties which tone and life the skin, contracting the muscles and reducing the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks and scars. It also helps to relieve pain relating to rheumatism and arthritis, and acts as a coagulant, helping to stop bleeding from wounds and cuts.

Juniper Oil has the qualities of being an Antiseptic, Antirheumatic improving blood circulation, Antispasmodic assisting in the relief of cramps and pain, Astringent, Carminative, Depurative in how it purifies, Diuretic, Stimulant in supporting cellular healing, Tonic – in how it tones and the skin. Lastly it is also a vulnerary which means it supports wounds and cuts, and skin heal faster while keeping them protected against further infections.

Comfrey Body OilThe ability of Rosemary Essential Oil to relieve pain has resulted in its extensive use in treating headaches, muscle pains, rheumatism and arthritis. It is also anti-inflammatory qualities as well, which makes it very good for relieving the pain from sprains and joint aches. It is also known to stimulate blood circulation, which can relieve pain and also aid in coagulation of wounds for faster healing.

Bedouin’s Charm Body/ Bath Oil;

Grapefruit Essential Oil has a great many uses, it’s especially good for the skin due to it’s properties as an Antioxidant, Tonic, Stimulant (Energising), Antidepressant. It also works as a Diuretic and Lymphatic, of which the last two also makes it a great detoxifier of the skin and body.

“This is my first time using a body oil and I LOVE IT. It is a treat to the body and senses -- feels great on the skin and smells delicious. As it is important to know what I'm applying on my skin and then washing out into the environment, this body oil is made of natural ingredients and I appreciate that. I look forward to pampering my skin daily now after a shower. Thanks, Michelle”.

Juanita

 

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Daily Herbal Habits #2 Lavender Oil

lavender-botanical-print-graphicsfairy-smYet another Herbal addiction/ or confession to make I can hardly think of going to sleep without dabbing some of this oil on my wrists.  It’s such magic – it’s relaxing and is one of those rituals that gives the day a perfect end, and that calming smell to the room before wafting off to sleep.

On top of this, Lavender Essential oil has a lot of benefits, you can use on cramped muscles as it’s anti-spasmodic, it a repellent for moths (which is why it can be found in most potpourri sachets for your wardrobe), it can be used to clean (the name comes from the Latin verb: Lavare, which means to clean), it calms the nerves, helps get rid of headaches, and even works as an anti-depressant.  There really isn’t much that it can’t do.

It’s history is rich and deep, used by the Romans, Arabs, Greeks and through the ages, it was noted by Pliny the Elder. Can you believe King Charles VI of France had his seat cushions stuffed with lavender. And in 16th century France lavender was regarded so good against infection thanks to it’s antiseptic and anti-fungal qualities that glove makers who were licensed to perfume their wares with lavender with the idea of escaping cholera.

 

So now you can see why I always keep some next my bed, with me when I am travelling… and use it in my products. It can be found in my Wayfarers Ointment, and my Eternal Serenity Face Oil.

You can find easily locally, I highly recommend getting from Health and Happiness, a lovely local Australia supplier.
If you live outside of Australia, best place is iHerb Here.

 

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Daily Herbal Habit #1, Yerba Mate

mateleaf

Yerba Mate Plant

I don’t just use herbs in my Shepherd’s Alchemy products; I also have a range of herbs that I use daily for good health that I’d like to share.

These are herbs and health tips that picked up from my wanderings around the globe that I’ve integrated into my daily habits and rituals.  Not everything turns into a habit, sometimes I try something and it doesn’t really do it for me, so I drop it.  I continually redefine my healthy herbal habits – using what works best for me.

One of my favourite herbal habits is one that I picked up in Argentina. ‘Yerba mate’ the ‘drink of the gods’ named so as apparently a white bearded foreigner /god (perhaps the same Quezequatal who introduced other Ancient South American civilisations to Pyramids and sky charts) introduced them to Yerba mater and taught them how to chop, dry and drink this tea.  He told them it would quell hungry and allow them to work all day. And hence it is both a great ritual in the way you drink it, a special gourd, as well as a great health tonic.

It has a great list of benefits:

  • Increases Energy
  • Mental Stimulant: Keeps you alert and mentally agile
  • Decreases Appetite/ great for weight management
  • Laxative/ keeps you regular
  • Antioxidant
  • Strengthens the heart
  • Lowers the bad Cholesterol
  • Fights Cancerous cells
  • Boosts the immune System
  • Full of vitamins: A. C, E, B-1, B-2 and B

While it’s an acquired taste due to its bitterness, I love it.  Even the ritual of drinking it out of a gourd, which gets me some strange glances here in Australia.  Of course, in Argentina and Uruguay, it’s the order of the day. In Southern Latin America, it also has a real social aspect,  you’ll often find people in parks, beaches or even while visiting friends sharing a yerba mate with some lively banter.

Yerba_mateYet the benefits exist no matter how, where or with whom you drink it, I see most health food shops even sell it in tea bags now, which makes it more convenient.  I highly recommend you give it a try.

I personally buy it from Chili Mojo, a store local in Adelaide, who specialise in some of the best sauces and Latin food you can find in Australia.  If in Australia, this is the best online shop to buy it in.

From Gaucho Gourmet: The Plant is called Yerba Mate (flex paraguariensis) and is an member of the holly family. And is classified as aromatic, stimulant, bitter, aperient (laxative), astringent, diuretic, purgative, sudorific (sweat inducing), and febrifuge (fever reducing). It also contains  carotene, vitamins A. C, E, B-1, B-2 and B-complex, riboflavin; nicotinic acid; pantothenic acid, biotin, magnesium; calcium; iron; sodium; potassium; manganese, silicon, phosphates, sulfur; hydrochloric acid, chlorophyll, choline, and inositol. In 1964 one group of from the Pasteur Institute and the Paris Scientific Society said that Mate contains practically all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life.

Sources & Further Reading:
Gaucho Gourmet
Be Brain Fit