Plants that Heal

Quick guide to different popular herbs and their uses.
Angus Castus
This lovely fragrant herd with a small lilac flower that can be found flowering in the summer months. Used widely by the ancient Greeks women healers used spicy seeds for this plant for a wide range of ailments.
Today this herb is used as a remedy for PMT and menstrual problems.
Recommended for balancing out female hormones helping with problems such as anxiety, tenderness, bloating, headache and fatigue can also help with irregular periods.
When using for Menopause symptoms it can help with night sweats, hot flushes and fatigue.

Aloe Vera
This is a green cactus like plant that is very easy to grow, it derives from the lily family. The interior of the chunky leaves are full of a gooey healing gel containing natural emollients, anti inflammatory compounds and magnesium lactate. It helps to calm wounds and promotes healing, for minor burns, sunburn minor cuts. It can also be helpful with major skin complaints such as acne, eczema, psoriasis. It call also be taken internally and has been thought to help with arthritis, diabetes and ulsters though none of the research has been confirmed on
these claims.

Arnica
This plant has a bright yellow daisy like flower and has lots of active ingredients including – helenalin and dihydrohelenalin which possesses a slight anti inflammatory and mild analgesic effect, most likely because
of the sesquicentennial lac tones. Arnica can be used externally as a treatment for acne, boils, bruises, rashes, sprains, pains, and other wounds.

Calendula
With a bright orange flower the Calendula plant is very distinctive also know as pot marigolds. Also known for its healing properties, can be used on minor wounds gum and tooth infections and consumed externally for bladder infections.

Chamomile
A small daisy like flower Chamomile is used medically against sore stomach and IBS as a gentle sleep aid. With its calming properties it can be used to aid stress ,nervousness and stress

Cranberry
This delicious tangy tasting berry with a rich red colour is well known for its healing property. It helps to keep infections at bay in particular the urinary tract.

Echinacea
This is one of the few remedies advertised in the BMJ with its purple cone shaped flower The plants have large showy heads of composite flowers, blooming from early to late summer. This can be used to combat cold and flu symptoms and to boost your immune system.

Evening Primrose
These small dainty yellow flowers open on a warm summer evening and release a wonderful calming aroma. Its rich in the omega & fatty acid gammalinolenic acid ( GLA ). many conditions seem to respond well to does of the oil. Premenstrual pain, eczema and arthritic pain. It can also help promote healthy skin, hair and nails.

Fever Few
This weed like small daisy flower is perennial and white. It has been popular for use with headaches, fevers and womb complaints.

Garlic
This strong smelling bulb like plant has been used in many counties for medicinal purposes throughout the ages. Can be used for fungal infections such as athletes foot, to help lower high blood pressure and cholesterol and will help fight off cold and flu symptoms.

Ginger
This spicy root can be found in 50% of herbal remedies found today. Helps to combat nausea and when chewed raw numbs the mouth from toothache. Why not try it in tea to combat bloating and flatulent problems.

Goldenseal
Also known as orange root this plant comes from the perennial daisy family, a looks like a small shooting star. Now an endangered species remedies are cultivated from cultivated plants.

Good for stomach complaints such as diarrhoea and stimulates the appetite has been used for eczema, canker sores infected wounds and inflammation. It contains an anti- inflammatory action that can reduce the congestion when suffering from flu and cold like symptoms.

Lavender
This sweet smelling purple or blue flower can been seen in most English gardens. Is known for its calming qualities good for anxiety and insomnia. Why not try lavender oil on those nasty head lice.

Licorice root
Do not confuse the herbal remedy licorice root with the licorice confectionery, which as a rule contains very little licorice. Can be used for coughs and a mild laxative

Milk Thistle
This pretty looking thistle has be used for many years as hangover cure for many years back to the ancient Roman times. Can be used as a vegetable it contains silymarin.

Peppermint
It is well know to be given mints after dinner as a digestive aid and to sweeten the breath. There are more than 30 specimens of mint but peppermint has the strongest flavour and smell. Its easy to grow and has a wonderful aroma it can also be used tfor insect bites, nettle rash.

St Johns Wort
This is a shrubby plant with yellow flowers you can find it growing wild in most countries. This small star shaped plant has be used to treat a number of conditions, most famous for those connected anxiety and depression. Also used in creams for sciatica, sprains and cramps.

Valerian
This amazing plant has a vibrant red flower head, with tall gangly stems. It has a distinctive smell often compared to dirty socks, were as we humans may turn up our noses animals love it and it has been know to bate traps. It is often referred to as natures tranquilliser it can also be used to stenghen the heart and reduce high blood pressure.

Witch Hazel
Hamamelis, commonly known as witch hazel, produces delicate blooms with intoxicating scent in the depths of winter. Ribbon petals are tucked in knobbly clusters of plump buds along naked branches, in a range of citrus shades. Can be used for bad breath, bruises and oily skin.

Go Vegan – say no to heart-attacks and arthritis

Daily Mail: A gluten-free, vegan diet could work wonders in keeping you healthy.
Lowering levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol by avoiding all animal products also boosts the bodies’ natural antibodies which together could lower the risk of heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

“Doctors at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm gave 30 patients with rheumatoid arthritis a vegan an gluten-free diet and 28 a non-vegan diet for at least three months.

The vegan diet contained vegetables, root vegetables, nuts, fruits, buckwheat, millet, corn, rice and sunflower seeds and omitted gluten – which can be found in a wide range of products including cakes, biscuits, pasta, beer and bread. The non-vegan diet was made up from all food groups.”

Results showed a decrease in cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol LDL, an increase in antibodies, and a reduction in Body Mass Index.

See also Gluten-free shopping on GoodnessDirect

Harsh cleaning products! Mothers stick to the natural ones.

Pregnant mothers who use a lot of household cleaning products may increase the risk of their child developing asthma.

Researchers found a link between high exposure to everyday products, such as bleach, window cleaning chemicals, air fresheners & aerosols, in women during pregnancy or shortly after birth & wheezing & asthma in their children.

Children exposed to these had up to 41% increase in the risk by age 7 & had slightly lower than normal lung function. Experts looked at over 7,000 families & the results are published in ‘European Respiratory Journal.’ Previous research suggests fumes called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) could be responsible. The latest study was headed by Dr. John Henderson, an expert in paediatric respiratory medicine at Bristol Uni. He said children from cleaner homes might be more likely to develop asthma which may be due to the irritant effects of the chemicals, which may cause inflammation of the airways leading to the development of asthma. Over 1.4 million UK children have asthma. Rates have risen 4-fold since the 1970s.

Let natural cleaning materials be the future. Better for us and our planet.

Broccoli stopping aging now too?

Daily Mail: Broccoli is well known for it’s anti-cancer abilities but now has reported to possible help slow aging too.

New research shows that sulforaphane which is found in broccoli activates antioxidant genes and enzymes in immune cells.

Oxidative damage is thought to be the main cause of aging. Antioxidants prevent free radicals (supercharged oxygen) from causing this damage.

“In particular, our study shows that a chemical present in broccoli is capable of stimulating a wide range of antioxidant defence pathways and may be able to interfere with the age-related decline in immune function.”

Fresh organic broccoli at GoodnessDirect.

Greed in the name of Green

Washington Post: A great article on the issue of consuming and basically how “being Green”, like eating healthly, starts off well but soon becomes a fashion statement and ethically the opposite.
The concept of Green is about using less/spending less, consuming less.

As green becomes more fashionable, green becomes a conscience-free way to spend all your “disposable” income and feel good about yourself. This misses the point entirely – we’re supposed to consume LESS to help the planet, not spend more that we were anyway but only on “green” items.

Congregation of the Church of the Holy Organic, let us buy.

Let us buy Anna Sova Luxury Organics Turkish towels, 900 grams per square meter, $58 apiece. Let us buy the eco-friendly 600-thread-count bed sheets, milled in Switzerland with U.S. cotton, $570 for queen-size.

Let us purge our closets of those sinful synthetics, purify ourselves in the flame of the soy candle at the altar of the immaculate Earth Weave rug, and let us buy, buy, buy until we are whipped into a beatific froth of free-range fulfillment.

And let us never consider the other organic option — not buying — because the new green consumer wants to consume, to be more celadon than emerald, in the right color family but muted, without all the hand-me-down baby clothes and out-of-date carpet.

Greed In the Name Of Green

See also a similar but gadget/tech based version – http://blog.fuchsiashock.co.uk/2008/03/greed-in-name-of-green.html

Campaigning to turn tap water green

In a bid to change the social status of bottled water, campaigns are running to convince people to switch to tap water, rather than bottled water, to help spare the environment since the production of bottled water produces a lot of extra carbon emissions.
Britons drink 3 billion bottles a year, of which half are shipped or flown to the UK, even though in taste tests, tap water rates as well, if not better, than some bottled water.
Restaurants have also found to charge up to £3.50 for a bottle and are often reluctant to offer tap water.

The Evening Standard in particular is running a campaign to change the social status of tap water and make drinking tap water as socially unacceptable as smoking.

In further support, “only tap water will be served at (Prime Minister) Gordon Brown’s Cabinet sessions and during official business” it has been announced.

Energy saving tips

CommandN give some good energy saving tips for the eco-conscious geek in their latest episode.

To summarise:
1. Check device energy consumption before buying
2. Use energy savings settings (sleep, etc.)
3. Desktops use 10x the energy of laptops!
4. Turn off computers when not being used for several hours
5. Turn off monitors when not being used for more than a few minutes
6. Only turn on equipment when you actually need to use it
7. Use Print Previews to error check before printing
8. Turn off ALL office equipment at the end of the day/week

See the latest episode for the full details of these.