Tag Archives: health

About the Moon, Gardening and Herbs

It’s half term and we’ve been blessed with a (considerably) good weather so it means one thing… gardening!

Along with DS1 and DS2 we’ve cleaned the greenhouses inside and out and set them up and ready for planting!

But what shall we plant first? Having had a look through the lunar calendar, today was showing up as the most beneficial time to plant seeds which will yield a crop of flowers. Did you ever use a lunar calendar? I remember my grandmother used to have one on her kitchen wall. She’d look through it whilst planning all of her gardening activities. It was natural for me to carry it on!

Not going to lie, I tried rebelling for a year or two, thinking that I can sow seeds whenever it took my fancy, but having radishes developing beautiful leaves instead of a root certainly isn’t something I would want to risk happening again, so off I went to the old and tried ways.

So… what’s the trick about the lunar calendar?

moon-1859616_1920Well, it uses the Moon phases to determine whether it is a good time to replant any seedlings or plant any seeds and, if it is, whether the planted seeds will develop an abundance of leaves (like my radishes.. ahem), flowers or roots! In addition, it gives hints when it’s the best time to use fertilizers, water plants, collect crops or prepare preserves.

You might have heard about how the Moon affects the rhythms of the Nature, influencing tides as well as our biological clocks and behavior. Why would it be any different for plants?

So… back to the subject. What did we plant?

DS2 got some coneflower seeds from school and was ever so eager to plant them ever since he brought them home so that’s what we had to start with.

That left me and DS1 with some herbal seeds. His first choice was to plant Borage. Did you know that Borage is herbal medicine?

Let’s have a closer look:borage.jpg

Borage, (Borago officinalis) is a much undervalued herb. Known mostly for its culinary uses since its cucumber-tasting leaves were often added to salads and drinks, its medicinal properties are very often overlooked… and they shouldn’t! As well as using Borage leaves in our summer salads, we will be making some tinctures which can be used as adrenal tonics, indispensible in times of heightened stress, anxiety or depression. Borage tincture works very well in exhaustion experienced by women going through menopause as well as new Mums who want a boost in their energy and milk supply.

The second set of seeds DS1 chose was Feverfew. Now, I’m sure this is an herb everyone is accustomed with!

Feverfew (Tanacetum Parthenium) is well known for its anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antihistamine action. feverfew-8173_1920.jpg
It’s most commonly used as a migraine prophylaxis (when taken daily) as well as treatment. Feverfew as the ability to reduce blood flow to the brain and was proven to reduce the occurrence and severity of migraines. It’s also useful in cases of Rheumatoid arthritis where it centres its action on the white blood cells, reducing the inflammatory response of the system. Its action is similar to the pharmaceutical drug Celebrex. I think that, depending on the yield, we will be making some tinctures as well as leaving some of the herb to dry so it can be taken as a decoction or infusion.

We have plenty more herbs to plant but, although I took my time checking the lunar calendar, I forgot to check if we have enough compost!

 

 

 

The Importance of Balance

When you think about it, everything in this world is depending on balance in order to work properly.

Plants need different types of mineral compounds in order to thrive; if you continuously feed them too much or too little water or plant them in a deficient soil, they will develop diseases or die.

Animals which are deprived of their habitat or fed inadequately suffer greatly and can develop diseases.

We are no different!

The same rules apply to our bodies: when we are out of balance emotionally, we often suffer from physical symptoms (psychosomatic, as doctors like to call them) like cramps or headaches; or mental ones, where we can experience difficulty concentrating or remembering things.

Likewise, when we suffer from a physical illness, our mental and emotional wellbeing is affected!

Why would you need separate medications for gastric ulcer, anxiety and IBS? It’s a chain reaction stemming from the same internal imbalance. Wouldn’t it be better to address it at its root cause and, instead of just soothing the outwards symptoms, resolve them permanently?

All systems in our bodies rely on a harmonious balance in order to work to their full potential.
This is why homeopathic treatment takes into consideration the whole person, not just their arthritis, fibromylagia or depression.
Homeopath looks behind the symptoms and their descriptions in order to find a pattern of suffering which is unique for all of us and this is what he bases his prescription on.

Would you like to know what homeopathy could do to help you?
Why not give us a call on 07913902229 or message us to book your free 15 minute introductory skype or telephone consultation?

Croupy cough

 

Croup is a type of a viral laryngitis caused by a parainfluenza virus (yes, the same family as the Flu) which tends to affect children under the age of 5, especially those suffering from asthma, hay fever or any other allergies.

Croup is characterised by a hollow, barking cough, hoarseness and noisy breathing. It can be accompanied by a fever, restlessness and vomiting (usually as a result of cough).

What often starts off as an ordinary cold quickly turns into series of anxiety-filled sleepless nights, as that’s when the coughing and gagging attacks usually appear.

If you ever witnessed your child sitting up bolt straight at midnight, coughing without end, you will know what I mean- how it feels when your heart fills with dread, trying to calculate whether it would be quicker to put them in the car and go to A&E or call for an ambulance? Can they breathe between the coughing spells? Are they done coughing? Are they okay now? Will they start again in 5 minutes? When croup hits the household, there is no chance for a restful sleep!

What can you do if your child develops croup?

Majority of cases see an improvement on contact with humid air, so you can try to sit 20 minutes in a steamy bathroom or wrap up and go outside where the air is cool and fresh.

I have some good news for you- homeopathy is very effective when it comes to dealing with croup!

The treatment is usually dependent on the stage of the croup:

  • whether it is treated at its very first signs, i.e. there is a sudden onset and all the symptoms common to cold are also present
  • if it’s already well established, i.e. where the fever has gone but the nightly attacks of coughing have come on in a full swing
  • or if it’s almost gone but there are some troublesome symptoms, like weakness, remaining cough or hoarseness which does not seem to go away.

Whilst most of cases of croup are mild, there are cases where the cough causes distress and breathing problems. Such cases need urgent medical attention!

Although croup is considered as an acute illness, in order to develop it in the first place, there needs to be a weakness present, a peculiar susceptibility.

Why is it that some children tend to suffer from croup multiple times through the years and some don’t experience it at all? How can we explain it within communities and families, where we come to contact with the same viruses, yet not all of us succumb to them, and even if we do, we are affected by them to a different degree?

This is what homeopathy deals with at its best- not only dealing with the problem through prescription of a therapeutic remedy, but at addressing the root cause, the inner weakness which allowed for it to happen.

If you are interested in how homeopathic approach could help you and your family, contact us to book your 15 minute FREE introductory skype call.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive degenerative disorder which affects the neurons responsible for motor skills; resulting in shaking, difficulty with walking, movement and coordination.

Harmonious work of the nervous system depends upon the balanced action and information exchange between its cells (neurons). Neurons use special messenger molecules, called neurotransmitters, in order to rely information between each other. So far we have discovered over 200 neurotransmitters, but for the purpose of this blog, we will focus on only on 1 them:

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for relay of messages from one neuron to another. It’s a body-made opiate which is very closely connected to adrenaline and noradrenaline.

Some call it the ‘sex, drugs and rock & roll’ of all chemical messengers as dopamine is responsible for regulation of experiences of PREDICTED pleasure, love, lust, and happiness. Its influence on our emotions if far greater than that of serotonin itself!

That’s not all! Dopamine is also responsible for relay of impulses responsible for the start of movement.

In Parkinson’s Disease, the brain cells within the substantia nigra- area responsible for production of dopamine, noradrenaline and 20% of serotonin- are degenerating and, subsequently, cease to produce optimal amounts of dopamine. Without dopamine, neurons are unable to transmit messages efficiently.

Once the dopamine levels drop below 80%, we start getting some very characteristic symptoms, like:

  • Tremor, usually starting in one of the hands and affecting one side of the body; PD tremors are more noticeable during rest and tend to reduce with movement
  • Slowing down of all body movements, which can lead to occasional drooling
  • Rigidity and lack of stability- which leads to characteristic stooped posture and dragging of feet in later stages of the disease

There are no clear links indicating the cause of Parkinson’s although some research is pointing towards cumulative effect of exposure to chemicals and heavy metals as well as oxidative stress.

The treatment in mainstream medicine revolves around controlling and slowing down the progression of the disease.

Homeopathy and Herbal Medicine have their own options which can either aid the mainstream therapy in reduction of unpleasant side-effects or be used on their own, as a a complete mode of treatment in their own right.

Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is a member of the Zingiberaceae family, just like ginger!

It’s a perennial herb native to India, from where it has spread to be known all over the world both as a medicinal herb and a popular spice.

In Ayurvedic medicine, Turmeric is considered as a cleanser of the whole body and used specifically in the treatment of inflammation, wounds and skin ulcers, itching, gastric complaints, ringworm and colic.

Curcumin, one of Turmeric’s main chemical components, has  strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and cancer-fighting properties.

The main uses of Turmeric in herbal medicine include:

  • Arthritis: turmeric has been shown to be just as effective as hydrocortisone in treatment of acute joint pain (but without any troublesome side-effects!) as well as help reduce the need for other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like paracetamol or ibuprofen.

 

  • Artherosclerosis: Curcumin deactivates platelet-activating factors (PAF) and in turn lowers the formation of cholesterol into plaques.

 

  • Cancer: through deactivation of PAF, Curcumin stops the formation of new blood vessels within tumours, preventing them from spreading throughout the body. It also stimulates production of B and T cells as well as prevents damage caused by certain chemotherapy drugs.

 

  • Cataracts: Curcumin has stronger anti-oxidative action than vit E, it can prevent cross-linking of the protein within the lens which leads to cataracts.

 

  • Ulcerative colitis: Turmeric has been used for gastric discomforts for thousands of years. One of studies shown that 2g of Curcumin per day yields more positive effects than the standard treatment with sulfasalazine or mesalamine, as well as improves the overall clinical sore for the disease and occurrence of relapses.

 

Turmeric can have an impact on the heart tissue, gallbladder, liver and fertility. It can also reduce the effectiveness of certain chemotherapy drugs.

If you are not sure if Turmeric would be a suitable option for you, consult a herbalist.

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