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Self Health Newsletter August 2014
Summer Herbs
This month, I thought we would focus on the pleasures of summer with a study of some of the herbs that might be found in and around your yard which can be useful as food and medicine. There is a delicious recipe for the use of dandelion greens and a cooling drink made with Lemon Balm. And if you desire to know more about how to use herbs, there will be a seminar in October. Check the web site at Southeast Wise Woman.
Also, for this issue we want to look at Type 2 diabetes and some possibility for help with herbs.
History Of Herbs
Many herbs we use today were cultivated in the Middle East. We find some on the first documents in Babylon on herbal remedies around 2000 B.C. India, China, and Egypt shared knowledge through trading.
Ancient Greece built upon the knowledge and added greatly to it. Hippocrates, “Father of Medicine,” taught his students about 400 B.C. the value of herbs in easing pain and curing disease.
The Romans had vast knowledge of herbs to heal sickness and maintain good health. They carried seeds and plants wherever they went to cultivate and use. During the 400 years of Roman occupation, over 200 herb seeds and plants became naturalized and now grow wild.
Many early settlers of America brought knowledge and plants with them. Native Americans showed the new inhabitants which indigenous plants had culinary and medicinal value. Native Americans thought medicinal plants were the gateway to the spirit world and their healing properties.
With the rise of pharmaceuticals, scientists were able to isolate the chemical substances of plants and learn how to synthesize their properties. Now many are turning back to natural herbs as a result of bulk processing and preservatives that have dulled the palate. Today we realize how valuable herbs can be for restoring and rebuilding the body.
Lemon Balm- Melissa officinalis-a tea helps with headaches, fevers, colds and insomnia and a mild sedative.
Recipe- put into a gallon of good water with a few slices of cucumber with a handful of lemon balm. I drink this all the time. It is so cooling!
Dandelion-It is reported to have been used as far back as Atlantis for liver and kidney and liver disorders, gall bladder and bladder ailments. Here is a wonderful dip made from dandelion leaves from Corinna’s corner at Southeast Wise Women. You may also like to attend the conference on October if you want to know more about herbs.
Wild Mint-Mentha canadensis-American Indians used the leaf tea for fevers, colds, sore throats, gas, colic, indigestion, headaches, and diarrhea. I have been using mint in my hibiscus tea for lowering blood Pressure. Steep hibiscus flowers with mint and add natural pure maple syrup to taste.
Hyssop-hyssopus officinalis-used in early days for purification but was discovered as a healing agent for wounds as protection against infection and promoting healing. It was discovered that mold growing on the hyssop leaves was a natural penicillin.
Echinacea-purpora It has been used in more than 200 pharmaceutical preparations. The Native Americans used it more than any other plant group; anything from Snakebites, to toothaches, to colds. It has cortisone activity; also insecticidal and bacterial and immune stimulation.
Diabetes is the condition where is too much Blood Glucose (sugar) not being metabolized by our cells for energy. The pancreas puts out enough insulin, but the body is resistant. In the Journal for Agricultural and Food chemistry (JAFC) and the University of Illinois along with the (USDA) have taken a closer look at Oregano, Rosemary, and Marjoram Greenhouse grown in relation with Type 2 Diabetes. There seems to be superior inhibitors of PTP1B, an enzyme that when reduced or eliminated, helps enhance insulin signaling and tolerance. It improves the body’s intake of sugar and helped block storage of triglycerides. This is promising.
It seems that in some cases of Type 2 Diabetes, a diet rich in vitamin D and trace minerals is important. Getting off processed foods and liquid sugar so prevalent in our All American way of life would greatly improve your life, whether you are a borderline diabetic or not. I find eating fresh fruits and vegetables, some meat, fish, or poultry, organic or home grown will work wonders in energy levels. I have proved this for myself. Try to only have “junk food” occasionally.
I hope you enjoy the rest of summer discovering the power of the plants all around you. It is eye opening to discover the many thousands of medicinal plants all around just waiting to naturally help us.
Until next time! Many Blessings and I hope to see you soon!
Mary Pritchard, ND, CNC
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White Wolf  •  109 Mallard Dr.  •  Lynchburg, VA 24503

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