Wednesday, May 29, 2019

LEMON EUCALYPTUS: Essential Oil of the Month

Lemon Eucalyptus, also known as Eucalyptus citriodora, is a tall tree from northeastern Australia. The essential oil (the refined version of which is sometimes called PMD) comes from the lemon-scented leaves and twigs. It is used as an alternative to toxic insect repellents, working to mask the cues mosquitoes use to locate their target. A recent study published by NPR states that NMSU researchers found that a product containing oil of lemon eucalyptus was about as effective and as long lasting as products containing DEET. Lemon Eucalyptus oil can also be diluted and applied topically to prevent deer tick bites. It is useful in treating muscle spasms, osteoarthritis and other joint pain and even toenail fungus. When added to a chest rub, it can relieve congestion. It is also antiviral and can be used to treat cold sores.

YARROW: Herb of the Month

“Flow on for ever, Yarrow Stream! 
Fulfill thy pensive duty,
Well pleased that future Bards should chant
For simple hearts thy beauty”
-William Wordsworth

Yarrow is an aromatic and hardy perennial plant that grows in the eastern and central parts of the US. You have probably seen yarrow and not known it. It is sometimes confused with Queen Anne's Lace, though it's feathery leaves give it away. It is a medicinal plant that has been used since ancient times as a remedy for physical, spiritual and emotional conditions. Its history of worldwide medicinal use and in folklore is very rich- a whole book could easily be written about yarrow. It has been used as medicine from China to ancient Greece to India. Medicinally, it is very valuable. It has numerous beneficial properties and can help with anything from colds and flu to digestive complaints to nosebleeds and varicose veins.

Yarrow is a wonderful ally for colds and flu, as it is a diaphoretic- an herb that induces sweating. This is useful when attempting to bring down a fever. It can relieve sore throats and is an immune stimulant. Yarrow's scientific name, achillea millefolium, is said to be derived from the name of the Greek hero Achilles, who was said to have an affinity for the herb and use it to heal his wounded soldiers. It is a styptic- an astringent herb that is used to stop bleeding. It can be used as a remedy for the circulatory system for moving stagnant blood, as well as helping with blood clots. It can tone blood vessels and help to lower high blood pressure by improving blood flow.

Yarrow is probably one of the most popular herbs for its folklore and history with divination. Spiritually, in ancient China, yarrow stalks were used as part of a divination ritual. Researching the folklore of it, one is overwhelmed with the depth of yarrow's history. Magically, it is used to manage the energetic flow in the body- much like it's medicinal use of managing the blood flow.

Yarrow is a great plant to grow in one's garden because it attracts beneficial insects such as bees, wasps and butterflies. It also strengthens and protects other plants around it from disease because of the secretions that come from its roots! It can also help to keep unwanted pests away due to its potent aromatic essential oil.

Yarrow Natural Insect Repellent

Gather enough yarrow leaves and flowers to fit snugly in a jar.
Chop them up and put them in the jar.
Pour in vodka to the top of the jar.
Shake it every day for a first week.
Strain after 2 to 6 weeks.
Pour desired amount into a spray bottle and add catnip and lavender essential oils.
Note: There is a rare possibility that yarrow may cause photodermatitis in sensitive individuals. If you have sensitive skin, it would be best to test this bug spray on a small area. (The area needs to receive sunlight to see if there is a reaction.)

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Solar Crystal Grid for Energy, Renewal & Creative Incentive

"I am positively empowered and successful in all my ventures."
Citrine: Regenerative energy; promotes confidence, abundance & sense of possibility.
Carnelian: Bolsters confidence; enhances passion, dispels fear
Sunstone: Connection to light; facilitates self-empowerment
Topaz: Enhances creativity; manifestation
Tiger's Eye: Personal power; promotes clear intentions
Rainbow Obsidian: Journey through darkness into Light; recovery from emotional wounds
Quartz Crystal: Balances & amplifies energy; transmutes negative into positive
Pyrite: Brings Sun energy into physical body
Copper: Stimulates flow of energy; increases self-esteem

by Kellea Devies

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Stocking an Herbal First Aid Kit: Bites, Stings & Splinters

If you are curious about herbal first aid but don't know where to begin, start slowly by stocking your medicine chest with a few basic herbal products used to treat minor injuries. The herbs suggested for first aid are safe & effective and generally cause few side effects. As with any medicine, though, you should keep these remedies out of reach of children.
While nature provides a variety of bugs to pester us, she also supplies herbs to stop the itching and swelling of those bug's bites and stings. There are many herbs that stop itching and reduce swelling, but my favorite is lavender which not only smells great but also reduces the risk of infection. Try this Insect Bite Oil:
1 teaspoon lavender essential oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Combine the two oils and dab the mixture directly on the bite as needed. Caution: Keep Insect Bite Oil away from your eyes.
For more severe stings and bites of bees, wasps, ticks and spiders, combine lavender with echinacea and bentonite clay into a poultice. The clay pulls the poisonous material to the skin's surface and keeps it from spreading. (Reminder: restrict activity for at least 20 minutes to prevent the poisons from circulating through the bloodstream). Echinacea lessens any allergic response that might occur. Remember, however, that allergic reactions can have serious consequences. If you know someone is allergic to a particular insect, do not depend solely on herbal first aid- seek immediate medical attention. Wheezing, swelling and hives are all indications of a serious problem.

by Judy Burger

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Book Spotlight: Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child

Aromatherapy taps the healing potential of Earth's ancient medicines, the essential oils that give plants their scent. Powerful yet safe, aromatherapy is a sound way to treat everything from diaper rash to asthma to self-esteem troubles in children. Many complaints such as aches and coughs that might otherwise have to wait for a visit to the doctor can be addressed immediately at home using the healing power of nature.This book will appeal to every parent who thinks proactively about their children's long-term physical and mental health. Valerie Ann Worwood offers an array of scientifically proven remedies, along with complete charts of essential oils and instructions for aromatherapeutic massage. Other chapters describe how aromatherapy can benefit seriously ill children when used in conjunction with Western medicine.

CITRINE: Gemstone of the Month

"Natural Citrine carries a powerful frequency that allows for the clearing and strengthening of the manifestation channel and one's personal will. Its purifying properties come from its natural Smoky Quartz energy, combined with the stimulating Fire element energy it carries. The phantoms that often appear in Natural Citrine allow one to connect to one's Higher Self, so one can focus on manifesting those creations most aligned with one's highest good." -The Book of Stones