Tag Archive | medicine

Spring Allergies – UGH

I really dislike it! I want to get busy outside and get things cleaned inside, but I am stuck holding a tissue box in one hand and holding a tissue to my nose with the other! Not to mention clogged and itchy ears, voraciously itchy throat and intensely bothersome itchy, watery eyes! However there is a relief, and it is not found packaged in a big pharma bottle! Or prescribed by a doctor. Before we get to the allergy helps, lets learn what is going on to cause allergies in the first place.

We hear a lot about histamines and rightly so! These chemical substances are the key star player in what we know as allergies and allergic reactions. So just what exactly are histamines anyway? And how do they cause all this trouble?

First note that the immune system is involved in recognizing “invaders”, seeking them out to destroy them, keeping our internal environment healthy and functioning at its best. Histamines are a tiny fraction of the immune response inside the body. They are involved in 23 known different physiological functions! We have all had to deal with the affects of histamines at one time or another. The stuffy nose that accompanies the common cold, or the swelling of a banged knee, also the red soreness form a cut on the hand. These all begin with histamines. They are pretty powerful chemicals!

Histamine actions:
Histamines seek out certain receptor cites on cells in different areas of the body! They are produced in response to a “foreign” substance, such as pathogens (germs, bacteria). Sometimes pollen or insect venom is mistaken by the immune system as an invading pathogen.The histamine receptor types have been categorized: H1, H2, H3, and H4.
H1 Receptor:
Are specific to smooth muscles on vascular endothelial cells, in the heart, and in CNS (Central Nervous System). Anti-histamines act on these receptor cites. ( anti-allergy drugs)

H2 receptor:
Found in smooth muscle of stomach – the gastric parietal cells involved in acidity of the stomach.

h3 Receptor:
Found in the central nervous system and somewhat in the PNS (Peripheral Nervous System). They regulate the amount of histamine and other chemical neurotransmitters. They are thought to play a role in satiety.

H4 Receptor:
Located in bone Marrow and white blood cells – regulates neutrophils (most abundant of the white blood cells – a “first responder” of inflammatory cells that move to an area of injury. You best know it as the yellowish/whitish color of pus.) released from the bone marrow.

Functions of histamines:
1. Is a chemical neurotransmitter ( a neurotransmitter is a chemical messenger that helps signals pass between 2 neurons in the nervous system. This happens countless times in succession between countless neurons. But the end result of all this transmitting activity is the specific reactions specific to a certain type of neurotransmitter that is passed.)
2. Seek out certain receptor cites in different areas of the body
3. Cause inflammation by making smooth muscles ( as found inside sinuses) to constrict and relax letting the blood vessels enlarge. This is vasodilation.
4. Induces the secretion of fluid at the site of infection on injury-swelling! Hello runny nose!
5. Aids in the stimulation of certain macrophages and the helper T-cell responses. (helping the immune system with production of antibodies, ironic, huh?)
6. Helps induce the production of stomach acid.
7. Has a role in sleep/wake-up cycle, helping our bodies to be awake and alert. This is why the amount of histamine is closely regulated inside the body and the amounts meticulously kept
in balance.

Histamines cause small blood vessels to enlarge and the smooth muscles to constrict- such as in our airways and digestive tract. Can also cause hives known as a allergic response.
How an allergic response happens:
1. An allergen (dust, pollen, venom of bees, etc.) is introduced to the internal environment and is attracted to the lymphocyte, or B-cell.
2. Antibodies called immunoglobulin E (or IgE) are made and are attached to mast cells- mast cells have histamines.
3. When the foreign protein allergen is again introduced internally to the waiting mast cells with their  antibodies (IeG), the antibodies attract the protein part of the “invader” and a reaction happens
that destroys the mast cells.
4. Histamine is one element released from the destroyed mast cells. In a situation where a harmful bacteria or virus is the offender, great, all is going according to design and, health is regained. But when the whole reaction happens because “pollen” is mistaken as harmful, bad symptoms we all hate are cascaded on an person who is allergic, such as myself!  These can include:
-itching: body, eyes, ears, nose
-running sinuses
-anaphylactic shock: cell fluids being deposited into the tissue of the throat so fast, swelling to the degree of suffocation!

 Four types of allergens:
1. Injectants- injected through the skin by stings
2. Contactants- irritants to the skin by detergents, plants (poison ivy), cosmetics and so on
3. Inhalants- enter when we breathe, things such as pollen, dust, pet dander
4. Ingestants- food allergies, main ones being peanuts, milk, eggs.
All thanks to an overzealous immune response and histamines!

Don’t you feel like an expert on histamines now? So you are now asking, what can I do to relieve this whole mishap in the Spring, Summer, and Fall? One word, LOVE! No, just kidding, love cures a lot of things and may help, but lets get real here…

Local Bee Pollen:
Begin taking in January or February, before any plants are Springing back and growing again. It must be local so it contains the pollen that you will be subjected to when the plants get in gear and the wind blows in you the face. Ask around and locate a local bee keeper. Orchards sometimes carry local bee products.

Stinging Nettle for Allergies?
Internally has been used for hundreds of years for painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia. The tea is a perfect, easy way to take stinging nettle. It’s an herb noted for its anti-histamine effect. An infusion is easy to make. Dr. James Duke recommends nettles for allergies, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, baldness, bladder infection, bronchitis, bursitis, cough, gingivitis, gout, hives, kidney stones, laryngitis, MS, PMS, enlarged prostate (roots), and tendonitis. The miracle of nettles is provided by readily assimilable  calcium, silica, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, iodine, silicon, sulfur, chlorophyll,l tannin, Vitamin C, beta carotene,  B complex vitamins, and amino acids (protein).  Quite a complete list for nutrition I would say!!

Dr. Christopher has a capsule called ImmuCalm.  It contains marshmallow root and astragalus. These two herbs calm the immune system while supporting and strengthening it at the same time, I know it sounds weird, but that’s the way of herbs.  I have used them with great success.  You can order them at http://www.mynaturalmarket.com.

Love life and breathe deep,


Word of the Week

It’s Monday again, and just so you know there are only 13 more Mondays in 2013!!!!  Boy where has the time got to?  Well for today anyway here is a word for your pleasure?… or consideration?… or just because.

ALTERATIVE \ˈȯl-tə-ˌrāt-iv, -rət-\

Definition – a tonifying herb that restores proper body function and vitality to the blood by correcting impure conditions and improving its composition.  Essentially meaning an herb that is tonic to the blood.  Sometimes old herbals refer to alteratives and blood “sweeteners” or blood “purifiers”.

Blood is actually a liquid tissue and has specific functions in the body.  So any herb with an alterative action will help correct  and improve the function of the blood itself.  Impurities often occur due to a malfunctioning of the organs of elimination. We have four primary eliminative channels: the bowel, the kidneys, the lungs, and the skin.  Before an herbalist suggests an alterative, they need to know which organs are involved  in causing the constipation of the blood.  Some alteratives are stimulating and toing, and some are relaxing.

Some of the best used alteratives are Echinacea, Burdock root, Chaparral, Garlic, Plantain, Red Clover, Sarsaparilla, Sassafras, Golden Seal, Nettles, and Yellow Dock.

Stinging nettle

Stinging nettle

I have used all of these in herbal tea, capsules, tinctures, and fomentations with excellent success.  Red Clover is a sweet tasting tea and easy to grow and dry for later use.  Employ alteratives for any infection, blood poisoning, animal bites, anemia, ulcers, inflammation, cancers, or malfunctioning organs.

Red clover

Yellow Dock is a super blood builder, and loaded with lots of iron, sometimes as much as 40%!

English: Rumex crispus, Polygonaceae, Curly Do...

English: Rumex crispus, Polygonaceae, Curly Do…
Yellow Dock

Love Life and Breathe Deep, Angela

I did not die, I just took an Extremely long vacation from the computer:)

I know it has been quite a while since I have shared with you all! Life has definitely been happening around this household. My husband quit his sorta secure job to be his own boss, and the most exiting part is that all of our children are employed by the business!! He started a roofing/construction company named, you guessed it – Specker Construction. I have been busy too. In the spring my Dad had bypass surgery, so I was at their home quite a bit helping Mom with whatever needed to be done. Growing a garden and putting up the produce takes massive time slots from ones life. Please don’t show me another tomato or green bean for a while:) Giving classes several times this summer, and I still have one to give this Saturday, has also taken a lot of time. Then more recently, my Dad went back into the hospital, ICU to be exact, for …. well we don’t know what happened to him. Doctors are intelligent people, but what they don’t know is whole lot more than what they do know. So after 7 days, 3 rounds of different antibiotics, being poked dozens of times he was released weaker and more worn out than when he sought their help. I have him taking flax seed oil, spirulina, cayenne, and lots of good food. The physical therapist comes several times a week to walk with him and give him some exercise.

Tomatoes!!This is a 6 foot table!!

My grandkids are such a joy to my husband and me. We love having them over to spend time with them. Seeing them grow is a miracle unto which I wasn’t focused on with my own children. I guess that is why grandparents are special, they are experienced, wiser, and less stressed.  Notice I am speaking of myself too, ha ha!

So here I am in September of 2013 blogging after a long and busy absence. I plan to actively post now. We purchased a new computer for the business, our old one being more than 6 years old and irritatingly slow. WOW!! What a difference it is to have a new, fast, sophisticated piece of electronic equipment!! I actually enjoy typing now!

I’ll leave you with one herb to have on hand this winter – Red Raspberry. It is one of the first herbs I use in a cold/flu, icky sick tea. Red raspberry cleanses the mucous membranes of the alimentary tract. The actions are astringent, tonic, stimulant, alterative, stomachic, antiemetic, parturient, cathartic, antiseptic, and ant abortive. It contains alpha carotene, alpha tocopherol, ascorbic acid, boron, calcium, chromium, manganese, niacin, pectin, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, fiber, iron, magnesium, malic acid, selenium, silica, thiamin, and zinc.

Raspberry (red)

Uses for Red Raspberry: constipation, nausea diarrhea, dysentery, diabetes, pregnancy, uterine hemorrhage, parturition, uterine cramps, labor pains, cholera infantum, hemorrhoids, vomiting, colds, fevers, intestinal flu, bowel complaint, thrush, sore mouth, ulcers, and wounds. So you can see why it is such a great herb to use, and it makes a real tasty tea.

As always, Love Life and Breathe Deep,


Time, Love, Life

purple crocuses with closed bloom Français : D...

purple crocuses with closed bloom Français : Des crocus violets, avec leurs fleurs fermées. Italiano: Infiorescenze chiuse di piante del genere Crocus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy Spring to all! It has been such a long time since I shared that I feel like the long-lost relative no-one sees or talks to. But a lot of things have been happening! After the holidays, we have worked on the basement. We have not touched the stacks of boxes since we moved, soooo there was a lot of going through stuff and more stuff and yet more stuff. Time is an odd thing to me, we use it up and wonder where it goes. We spend time planning how and where we use our time. We even plan who we pass the time with. Sometimes we just don’t think about time as it is going by, or time seems to drag on and on, and other instances time does not move fast enough for us. Time is a resource that all of us, no matter where we live, what work we do, how much money we possess, have the same amount of in each day. We can’t buy more of it, or get rid of it. We can however share what time we have with whom and where we list. And rarely do we keep time to ourselves, unless you live alone with no-one else in your life. I think of the movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks. He was totally alone for years (I forget how many, 4 or 6 maybe?). However, even then he was still connected to the rest of the world because he was aware and knew of their existence. We are all connected that way. It is a spiritual connection. We feel elated when we learn of someone’s triumph over a trial, and we feel grief when we learn of someone’s strife and devastation.  I believe this is what is meant by the statement “the love of our fellow-man”.

Love is a very peculiar thing too.  It is only seen with our eyes by the writings of people who feel it, or by the actions of someone exhibiting it.  Naturally we would admit that it can be spoken, and it can.  “I love you” is the quintessential catch phrase for Valentine’s Day.  Love can have an actual physical effect on our bodies namely our heart, the symbol of love.  I am reminded of the phrase “It breaks my heart”.  Love is powerful.  The scriptures explain love in the term “charity”, saying “… charity is the pure love of Christ…”  and in I Corinthians 13:4-8 we  read “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemlly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things.  Charity never faileth…” .  Love of our fellow man is the true motivation behind every good deed, and it emanates from the heart. We feel good when we act out of love for one another.

We have a love for our families that is special too.  And that is where much of my time has been spent lately.  My father began to have chest pain in the latter part of February.  For 2 weeks he could not walk very far or do the work he had been used to doing on the house my parents are building.  He went to his doctor and was then sent to a cardiologist.  Well without going into tidbit info, he had an angiogram, which showed  his main left coronary artery was 99% blocked!!!  We were all shocked and dismayed.  He was taken by ambulance about 4 hours after this to another hospital where he was informed he needed bypass surgery – now – right now – this instant!  My dad was scared, very scared.  We all were of course.  But there was a glitch we learned we had to deal with.  Since he had just had the angiogram a few hours earlier, which included my dad taking some blood thinners in case a stint could be employed to “fix” his possible blockage, the surgeon said my dad would bleed, a lot!  And he would need a lot of blood platelet transfusions, like around 20!!!  Well as you can imagine this news put us all over the cliff with fear.  Life is so dear, and yet until you’re faced with the immediate loss of it, I am afraid we think little about it.  Life is fragile and strong.  Everything wans to live.  Plants, animals, and people fight to stay alive.  And yet sometimes life is taken in an instant without notice.  My dad is a religious man and a deacon in the church.  He was surrounded by several family members (his er room was actually full), and as my uncle, who is an elder, was about to do an administration my dad asked his nurses if they would like to stay and join in the prayer.  I will never forget this moment, it is indelible in my memory, here was this tall, large, older man, in a hospital bed in an ER room with gadgets hooked up to him, he is visually scared, and somewhat out of breath, and as he begins to speak, all is quiet and still.  He tells the nurses exactly what is about to happen, how this elder was going to anoint his head with consecrated oil and lay his hands on his head and pray for him and the doctors as we are instructed in James chapter 5:14 – “Is any sick among you?  let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; And the prayer of faith shall save the sick…”. When he finished he was calmer and everyone else was too.  The prayer was said while those all around stood linked hand in hand, tears came and peace came too.  After the prayer, the surgeon came in and the nurses began their prep work, we gave our kisses and hugs, and began to transfer ourselves to the waiting room.  Someone asked my dad how long the surgery would be and his reply was “It depends  on how sharp the doctor’s knife is”, he was doing better, still nervous, but better.

We waited five hours.  Around 2:30 in the morning, the surgeon comes out with amazing news.  NO bleeding!!!!!  Only 1 unit of blood needed to be used.  The operation went wonderful, the veins used to do the bypass were in super shape and he only needed 2 bypasses not the 3 or 4 suspected.  He came home a few days later, and I was there every day helping any way I could.  Time seemed to not exist those days and weeks I spent going to city to the hospital and then over to Mom and Dad’s.  But life and love were both there, reminding me of what’s truly important, what really matters.

My dad is doing great and getting around more and more.  He is still healing, physically and mentally, but each day he is pressing forward.  I told him he has to stay around and get better so he can teach his great-grandsons how to fish:).

Life, love, and time: what strange things we all have and how often do we really contemplate them?  I mention two of the three in every post I publish, at the end. I urge whoever took the time to spend reading what I share to:

Love Life & Breathe Deep,


Word Of The Week

This week’s word is yet another “action” given to herbal medicine:  NERVINE.

A nervine in simple terms is any substance that is nourishing and calming to the nerves.  Their function is to feed, regulate, strengthen, and rehabilitate the nerves cells.  There are tonic and relaxant nervines which lessen the aberration, irritability, or pain in the nerves.   An herbalist believes that drugs should never be used to stimulate the nerves. This is because this form of stimulation is irritating to the nerve fiber itself and counterproductive to improving nerve fiber function.  Nerves are in essence live electrical wires with electrical impulses running through them at all times.  Our brains gather information from these nerve impulses and react instantly, an amazing creation we are.  Without going into the Nervous System fully, (that is another post 🙂 ), just know that many problems arise from the nerves being shorted out, frayed, malnourished, or stimulated too much.

The two main categories of nervines as I mentioned are tonic and relaxants.  Let’s look at some of each.

Tonic nervines strengthen and nourish tissue thus supporting organ and body functions.  And that’s what Vitalistic herbalists want, to support and help the function of the body.  Some tonic herbs are:  Oats, yes regular oatmeal not instant, oat straw, damiana, blue vervain, skullcap, and wood betony.




English: Wood Betony (Stachys officinalis ) An...

wood betony

Relaxant nervines lower the functional activity of the nerves engendering a calming effect.  I can hear you now “You said herbalists support the function of the body!”  That is absolutely right. There are times, whether due to malnourishment, over stimulation, or emotional upset, when the body is functioning too high.  And in the case of nerves – pain is produced, and no one wants to be in pain. So sedatives are a great way to alleviate the pain while nervine herbs along with other herbs work to nourish and cleanse to help bring back healthy functioning tissue.  Pain is our bodies’ number one way of telling us something is wrong.  If we simply take a pain reliever, the actual problem is ignored.  Because we feel better, we continue with movement that further damages tissue and the drug used can debilitate tissue to the point of damage for life.  Some relaxant herbs are:  Black cohosh, bugleweed, chamomile, catnip, cramp bark, hops, lady’s slipper, lobelia, peppermint, skullcap, and valerian.


Chamomile (Photo credit: Lynne Hand)

Headaches, stress, anxiety, depression, pms, hyperactivity, insomnia, MS, and shingles are some ailments that have been helped by the use of a nervine or a combo of nervines, anti-spasmodic and/or demulcent herbs.  Do your research to find what combo is best for you.

Love life and breathe deep,


12 Systems: #1 – Integumentary System

This is the first of 12 posts dedicated to our bodies.  I really believe that if we know how something works, then we gain a deeper understanding and respect for it.  The “something” for this post is our own bodies.  We all go about our day doing what we do, thinking how to get our daily chores done, hardly noticing what our bodies do for us.  What a shame this is, and I am just as guilty as anyone. Usually when we feel aches or pains, or have an injury do we stop and think, what is going on here, and give our bodies a second thought.  But then I discovered the wonder and awe of the human body and its intricate workings.  Learning is so great – how else do we grow I’d like to ask??  So I am sharing with you some neat things about – us!

I bet for some of you this is the first time you have ever heard of the Integumentary System. The word integument means “covering”.  In short the integumentary sys. is the system dealing with the skin.  “Oh, ok”, I can hear you say it now.  But, don’t think erroneously that it is simple and easy.  As you are about to learn, the skin is deeper than you realize.  Ever had a splinter and think, “How can this hurt so bad, it isn’t that deep?”.  Here goes . . .

The skin is composed of two main layers: the epidermis and the dermis.

The layers of the epidermis (left). Melanocyte...

The layers of the epidermis (left). Melanocytes (rlght), located in the bottom epidermal layer, produce melanin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The epidermis has the outer layer that we see.  It also has two main layers referred to as strata, and is made entirely of squamous epithelial cells.  There are no blood vessels in the epidermis, it  is nourished by capillaries in the dermis.  Outer skin cells are constantly being worn off.  This is called exfoliation, a term we are familiar with.  Since epithelial cells are always being lost, new ones are always being formed in the lowest layer, called the stratum basale.  The stratum basale is the layer closest to the dermis and is therefore closer to nourishment the capillaries provide.  An upward pushing toward the surface against older cells happens as the new epithelial cells are produced.  This is why a splinter will “work its way out”.  The outer most layer is called the stratum corneum.  By the time these older dead cells have made it to the stratum corneum they have a different look and structure than when they were first formed.  The protein keratin will have replaced the cytoplasm, making the cell thicker and tougher.  They lay flat together and form the protective substance we know as skin.  FYI, some cells in the deepest layer of the epidermis produce melanin.  Melanin is what makes the skin turn tan when sunlight hits it to protect us from burning our skin.  Sunlight is a very healthy component in a natural health plan.  The sun does not cause cancer, we do. As one of the important eliminative channels our bodies have, the skin helps rid the system of toxins.  If we, by clogging the skin up,  are blocking this natural process form taking place we cause a build-up of toxic matter. Then we go to the beach. . . get sunburned . . . and  well, our bodies  can take only so much.  The sun will ripen cancerous cells, not cause them. Allowing a bad sunburn causes damage to skin  cells, and our bodies’ response to fixing those damaged cells is sometimes one of the glitches cancer evolves from.  Well onward.

Anatomy of the human skin with English languag...

Anatomy of the human skin with English language labels. Arabic language description translated by: Tarawneh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The next layer is the dermis.  The dermis has blood vessels, capillaries, nerves, elastic connective tissue, sweat glands (eliminative organs), oil glands, hair follicles, touch and pressure receptors, and muscle fibers .  Wow, there is a lot going on in the dermis!

On average the dermis is 1.0 – 2.0 mm  thick.  Some thinner areas as around the eyelids, the dermis is 0.5 mm thick, and some thicker areas as the soles of the feet can be up to 3.0 mm thick.  The elastic connective tissue grants the skin incredible flexibility.  Think of how much the skin can stretch  out, as when a woman is pregnant.

Each of the accessory structures performs an important job.  Blood vessels and capillaries bring nutrients and oxygen to the area.  Hair follicles are the root source of growing hair, which  covers most of the skin surface.  Oil glands secrete sebum that keeps the hair soft, pliable, and waterproof.  Sweat glands secrete dissolved salts, water, urea, uric acid and other wastes.  This is what categorizes them as excretory organs.  We have an average of 2 million sweat glands, can you imagine that?? Keep them open and working.  When  we use greasy lotions, sunblock, deodorant, or a detergent soap, we clog the openings – pores – and trap toxins in.  This is obviously not a good thing!  Nerves, pressure and touch receptors allow us our sense of touch.  We feel pressure, pain, temperature changes, and touching because of the nerves present in the dermis.  Muscle fibers in the dermis can contract causing wrinkling of the skin. This is a simplified explanation of the specific components of the dermis, I am not writing a textbook after all, just giving basic info:).

If you have read much about how I, as a Vitalistic Herbalist, view the body, you know I teach you to support the function of the body with natural elements.  The Integumentary system has specific functions it performs for us every moment of every day.  There are four main functions of the skin:

  • Protection against infections from pathogens
  • Protection against dehydration
  • Regulation of body temperature
  • Collection of sensory information

These are important for our everyday health and vitality.  You can place some of the most awful pathogens directly on the skin surface and you will not get sick.  The outer layer of skin cells are tightly fitted together and their outward growth motion removes them in the process of exfoliation.  The oil glands help to keep moisture inside by making the surface of the skin waterproof.  Pour some water on your arm and see it shed right off, I bet you never thought  you had this in common with an arctic seal or any water animal!  This is one the body’s ways to help keep a steady temperature.  The evaporation of sweat cools the body.  The skin also radiates body heat out to be dissipated to the surrounding air.  Blood vessels make this happen by their dilating action, bringing more blood to the surface.  To keep heat in the blood vessels will contract, reducing blood flow and heat loss.  Our brains detect sensory information through nerve impulses that begin in the dermis.  Nerve endings are all over and throughout the skin to help us “feel” our way through every day.  We know if we cut ourselves, or stubbed our toe, or hugged someone we love, or got to close to the stove burner, or scratched an irritating itchy nose, or enjoyed popping bubble wrap!!  Isn’t our skin great!!!!

Some  other noteworthy activities of the skin include helping absorb sunlight so our bodies can manufacture vitamin D, and absorbing herbal essences via poultices, fomentations, or ointments.  (some drugs can be absorbed too, smokers patches, or estrogen  creams etc.)

Oh my  I have typed over 1200 words and I really have just given you a tiny glimpse into the wonders of the skin!  But, I hope I have inspired you to give your skin a little more thought and concern today.  What we eat and drink also determine how healthy our skin is.  If we use  pure natural soaps and deodorants our skin will thank us and perform superbly.

Aloe vera in garden .....Lô Hội, Nha Đam trồng...

Some herbs great for the skin: aloe vera, chickweed, comfrey, red clover, plantain, calendula, and oak bark to name a few.

Love life and breathe deep,


Word of the Week

Word of the Week (even though it is not a Monday :))

I have to post when I have time; and between a new grand baby, I have two now!!, starting my garden seed, and putting up shelves in the basement, I have not had much of that precious commodity – time.  However some blogging is better than none, I guess.

Anyway the word I have chosen this week is: ANTIVENOMOUS

Definition:  herbs used as antidotes to animal, vegetable, and mineral poisons.

Many  herbs have this action.  Some are:  Beth Root, Black Cohosh, Blood Root, Borage, Chaparral, Cornflower, Echinacea, Elecampane, Fennel, Garden Carrot, Garlic, Gentain, Hyssop, Juniper berry, Lobelia, Calendula, Olive oil, Plantain, Rue, Sassafras bark, Scullcap, Slippery Elm, Sundew, Sweet Basil seeds, White oak, Wood betony, and Wormwood.


Plantain (Photo credit: katlupe)

Some that I put to use frequently are garlic, hyssop, slippery elm, calendula, and plantain.  Plantain is a powerful drawing herb.   Plantain is one of those broadleaf  “weeds” that many try to extirpate from their yards, which is sad because it is quite a wonderful healer to the body.  I use it fresh, frozen in paste form, and in ointments.

Antivenomous herbs can be used when stung by any insect, dog bites, snake bites, infected lacerations or wounds, septicemia (blood poisoning), gang green, boils, and acne.  Poultices, ointments, fomentations, or bathes are excellent ways to apply an antivenomous herb.

This is great info to have.  Every time I am outdoors, whether at a park, campground, or visiting someone, I locate patches of plantain and commit the spot to memory.  That way I am ready to harvest at a moments notice!!

Be prepared!

Love life and Breathe deep,