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Sister Lotus

Herbal Self Care Products & Services

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Herbs for Sore Throats

Posted on September 28, 2011 at 5:29 PM Comments comments ()
HERBS FOR SORE THROATS

It's that time of the season when the temperatures are quite erratic, our clothing choices may not be warm enough for the cooler temperatures, our lives speed up after the lazy summer season, & the resulting stress can weaken our immune systems quite dramatically.  Fall colds are very common & they often begin with the feeling of knives in the throat.  Often, if we address the symptoms at this stage with herbs, healing foods/drinks, & rest, we can stop them from going any further. 

OIL OF OREGANO:  This is a commercial product found in health food stores.  It is made with a specific wild species of oregano- not the common garden variety- in a base of olive oil.  It is on the expensive side but a little goes a long way.  The dosage is usually 1-5 drops 3 x day.  Since it is very strong & spicy, my favourite way to take the drops is on a spoonful of honey, which is also soothing to the throat.  Oil of Oregano is the very best natural antibiotic product with which I have worked.


SLIPPERY ELM:  This plant is one of the "demulcent" herbs, meaning it forms a gluey coating that soothes inflamed tissues.  Slippery Elm can be purchased in its bulk powder form.  There are many on-line recipes for making your own lozenges with the powder, or you can buy them pre-made at health food stores. 

SAGE:  Ever had laryngitis?  Herbalist David Hoffmann recommends gargling with Common Garden Sage:  "Put 2 tblsps. of Sage leaves into 500 ml cold water & bring to a boil.  Cover it & let it infuse for a further 10 minutes.  Reheat the mixture whenever needed & gargle often". 

HERBS FOR THE MAMA TO BE

Posted on June 15, 2011 at 12:11 PM Comments comments ()
HERBS FOR THE MAMA TO BE
By Angie Jenkins, Wolfville's Belly Dancing Herbalist

Is it just me or are there pregnant goddesses everywhere lately??!!  The following herbs are ones that can generally used by women throughout pregnancy to tone, nourish, & relax, & to help promote a happy childbirthing experience & ample breast milk for the new babe.  I have chosen the ones below because of their accessibility (either native plants which can be wild-crafted or are very easy to grow in Nova Scotian gardens).  As a safety precaution, please check first with your health care provider before using any herbal medicines. 

Raspberry Leaf
Strengthens & tones the uterus, contains "fragrine" which encourages the uterus to contract more effectively during labouring, may ease morning sickness, is a pleasant tasting tea. 

Nettle (aka Stinging Nettle) Leaf 
Is an excellent source of plant-based iron, improves the quantity & quality of breast milk, may reduce hemorrhoids, may slow down postpartum bleeding, may help slough off excess weight after the baby is born, may be eaten as a green or prepared as a tea.

Partridge Berry (aka Squaw Vine) Leaf 
Was first used by Native American women who had previously experienced difficult childbirths, strengthens & tones the uterus, is commonly found in our forests!



Lemon Balm Leaf 
Is a relaxing nervine for stressful pregnancies, aids digestion & eases some cases of morning sickness, has gentle anti-depressant properties for melancholic days, makes a delicious hot or cold tea.




If you would like more specific info on how to use the above herbs, please contact me through: www.sisterlotus.com
or call 680-8839.  Also, I am at the Wolfville Farmer's Market every Saturday & am available for quick questions.  If you are in need of a Complete Health Programme created for you, please see my "Consultations" page on my website. 

HERB OF THE WEEK: NETTLE!

Posted on May 3, 2011 at 6:06 PM Comments comments ()
HERB OF THE WEEK:  NETTLE!
By Angie "Oriana" Jenkins, B.A., Wolfville's Belly Dancing Herbalist

Nettle (or "stinging nettle" as it is also known) is popping out of the ground & wants you to celebrate spring!  Though its stings may be intimidating to some, nettle is an amazing plant which can be used as a food, medicine, cosmetic, & material fibre.  When harvesting & handling the plant, be sure to wear protective gloves.  If you happen to get stung regardless, look nearby for Yellow Dock leaves.  Add moisture to the Yellow Dock & place over the sting & you will soon feel relief.  Remember this old saying:  "Nettle in, Dock out!"

As a food, it makes an incredible steamed green resembling the flavour of spinach.  Once steamed, there is no longer a sting so don't fret!  Try it in soup, spanikopitas, or even lasagna. Susun Weed, in her book
Healing Wise, dedicates a whole chapter to nettle with an abundance of fun recipes to try.  This plant is a rich source of iron, calcium sulfur, B complex vitamins, & other nutrients.

Medicinally, nettle leaf is a specific for many female ailments.  In menstruating women, it will curb profuse blood flow while providing the lost iron.  Pregnant women benefit from the consumption of nettle as their need for calcium & iron increases.  Traditionally, the plant was administered by midwives to women who were at risk of hemorrhage in the last trimester of pregnancy.  After babies are born, mothers can continue to include nettle in the diet in order to improve the quantity & quality of breast milk.  By acting as a mild diuretic, it will also help her to slough off excess pounds she may have gained during pregnancy.  All genders will notice this common beauty herb will have a beneficial effect on the hair, skin, & nails when taken internally as tea, capsules, or tincture or when used topically in the form of a hair rinse, cream, or ointment.  As allergy season begins to hit, remember that this plant has an anti-histamine effect & is one step in lessening common hayfever symptoms.  Men are commonly prescribed nettle root by herbalists for prostate issues. 

One of my early teachers taught me how to make nettle string.  What a time-consuming activity!  During the world wars, when Germany was cut off from cotton sources, uniforms were made from the fibers of this very durable plant. 

So, go get your gloves on!  Eat, drink, & make string!

Wild Spring Herbs!

Posted on March 28, 2011 at 11:25 AM Comments comments ()
WILD SPRING HERBS

Here is a list of wild herbs to start looking for very soon!

Coltsfoot
*Flowers will appear first, followed by leaves later on in the season (hence one of its names, Son-Before-the- Father"),
*Is a wonderful medicine for the lungs

Dandelion:
*Very recognizable to most
*The root is a potent liver tonic while the leaves are great for the kidneys
*The flowers are used to make dandelion wine

Horsetail
*Contains silica which is known to be the beauty mineral for hair, skin, & nails
*Is a tonic to the genito-urinary system





Wild Violet:
*Has edible flowers
*Can be used internally & externally for many types of skin ailments


Nettles: 
 *Though they sting when touched, they     can be steamed into a very delicious food
                                  *Contains a high amount of iron & other
                                   nutrients    
                                  *May improve the quality & quantity of
                                  a new mother's breast milk    

To learn more about the culinary & medicinal uses of these plants, please join me for a "Wild Spring Herbs" Workshop at Avalon Gardens at 1199 Russia Rd. in Black Rock (contact me for more directions).  Sunday, May 1, 2011, 12-2 pm.  Cost:  $20.  To register:  680-8839, [email protected], www.sisterlotus.com (Pay Pal available).  



ANGIE'S HERB PICKS FOR THE UPCOMING GARDENING SEASON

Posted on March 8, 2011 at 2:02 PM Comments comments ()
Purple Hollyhock:  stunningly beautiful, has edible flowers that grace the top of a cake quite nicely
Tulsi (aka Holy or Sacred Basil):  much easier to grow than regular basil, has strong medicinal properties, revered in India by the spiritual community
Nasturtium:  super easy to grow & germinates quickly, has bright cheery flowers that are spicy & delicious in salads, leaves are also edible
Red Bergamot:  has hot pink flowers that smell & taste gorgeous, leaves & flowers may be added to black tea to give an earl grey-like flavour
Horehound:  leaves have a very interesting texture, can be made into delicious lozenges to treat coughs
Luffa:  yes, like the sponges!  A friend of mine successfully grew & dried her own luffas & they look just like store-bought ones!
Chocolate Mint:  need I say more??
Nigella:  very easy to grow, has very beautiful alien-like blue flowers that can be dried & applied to herbal wreaths, has edible seeds
Perilla (aka Shiso or Japanese Basil):  easy to grow, a delicious addition to sushi & salads, an often effective treatment for seasonal allergies

Happy Seed Hunting! 


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