Tag Archives: common cold

rosa canina

Roses: The Medicinal Properties Of This Highly Popular and Romantic Flower

rosa caninaThe rose – it’s the most commonly purchased flower, typically given during special times – anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, etc. Not sure what it looks like?

How To Identify The Rose

The family of roses has flowers with open petals shaped like cups and thorns along the branches/stems. On some rose species, thorns are found on underneath the leaves. The key action of them is astringent, which means the tissues contract. This aspect can be found in both the rose’s leaves and petals.

During the warmer seasons of the year, the rose is dotted with red oval-shaped fruit. This “fruit” can be both eaten and used for medicinal purposes.

Now, most commonly seen rose is the dog rose (wild rose); it’s the one most people see when they walk around the neighborhood.

As a child, you may have seen rosehips. In fact, you might have used the seeds as itching powder. This reason is that the seeds are a powerful irritant. Thus, when the hips are being processed, the skin should not be constantly exposed to them. The hips can easily be cut in half, seeds removed and keep the flesh for either them to be dried or processed further. Now, you can eat the outer red, fleshy section of the rose as well as the petals.

How To Create Syrup From Rosehips For Medicinal Purposes

rosehipsIf you plan on using the rosehips for medicinal purposes, put them into a syrup concoction. Of course, the key issue in creating syrup is to have sterilized containers that are well-sealed. Rosehips have less sugar than what’s in jams and, if it’s not properly prepared, it will ferment.

What are the steps to create syrup from the rosehips?

  1. Crush them so that water can touch the flesh while ensuring the seeds are kept away.
  2. Use water to cover them and simmer until the hips become soft.
  3. Using a cloth, strain the juice. Whatever you do, do not squeeze the cloth. If you do, the syrup will turn cloudy.
  4. Throw in sugar, just half a kilo per one liter of juice.
  5. Simmer until sugar is completely dissolved.
  6. Allow to cool

If it’s overcooked, it will change into jelly. Now, there are some recipes where the water will re-cover the hips, allowing more juice to be extracted. This is then put into sterilized bottles. Be sure you boil the containers for 15 minutes and allow them to drain. Be sure you leave a two and half centimeter gap when you fill it up.

Now, screw the lids on, undo it by half a turn and place it in a pan of water. Slowly bring it to a boil and boil for up to 30 minutes. When cool, tighten. If it’s not sealed properly, use wax to cover it.

How Are Rosehips Used For Medicinal Purposes

For hundreds of years, the syrup has been used to prevent colds and flus. It wasn’t until recently that scientists learned that Vitamin C was the rosehip’s active ingredient.

Rosehips also have the astringent action, which can be used in treating gums that are bleeding. You can use the petals a survival plaster – lick and apply on a cut and it’ll stop bleeding. Oil can also be made from the petals. Many worthwhile uses for it include antidepressants and aphrodisiacs. Thus, if you feel blue during the winter season, it’s time to use rose oil. However, it’s costly so keep that in mind.

Other worthwhile uses include using the rose stem’s outside fiber to make a cordage material. But, don’t forget to remove the thorns.

Related Articles

 

Improving Your Sense of Smell is a Real Possibility

Improving Your Sense of Smell is a Real Possibility

Believe it or not, but you are actually able to work on improving your sense of smell and this is something that is often quite surprising to people. It can of course be useful in a number of situations and the following are a number of things that you can start doing straight away in order to start working on developing this particular sense.

The first thing you need to do is actually pay attention to your sense of smell as the more you use it the more trained your nose will become. Learn to identify things just by their smell and one particular exercise that is worth trying is to be blindfolded and work out what an item is just by smelling it.

Bloodhund na krajowej wystawie w Rybniku - Kam...
Bloodhound (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One exercise you should try to do in order to improve the sense is to pay attention to how cats and dogs sniff as they tend to use a series of short sniffs rather than a prolonged one and this is something that we often do ourselves. By taking their approach you will slowly increase your ability to actually pick up a scent much more easily, but do not expect to be turned into a bloodhound.

Pay attention to your environment as this is going to make a difference when it comes to your ability to pick up a scent. Look at using a humidifier in a room as the more moisture there is in the air the more moisture in your nose. This then means it is going to be more receptive to a scent; however, do not do this if there is a bad smell around as prolonged exposure to a bad smell is only going to numb the sense over time.

Apart from training your nose you should also try to avoid eating as much food that results in you creating more mucus as this will impair the sense and make it harder to distinguish different smells. This makes sense as you will have already noticed how things change when you have a head cold and this is due to congestion in the membranes of the nose which has an impact on the sense. Look at, therefore, cutting down on the amount of dairy products you eat, including ice cream and cheese as they can really promote a more stuffy sensation in your nose.

When looking at buying food try to use your nose more than your eyes so if you are walking past the bakery work out the bread that smells the most appealing and then look at sniffing out items that would go best with it. By doing this you are actually buying items your body is craving and it also strengthens the connection between smell and taste and you will be aware of how different food can be when your nose is blocked up. By understanding, and working on, the link between the two you can actually improve both senses at the same time with both being heightened as a result.

One pretty obvious way to improve the sense is to avoid any substance that has been shown to impair it in some way. Smoking is one thing to look at avoiding as is drinking as much alcohol due to the well known fact that as your blood alcohol levels begin to rise your ability to smell things decreases. Do also be warned that some medicine, especially that for colds, can also make a difference so do look for those items that contain a decongestant.

Finally, a lack of sense of smell, which has the medical term Hyposmia, can sometimes be attributed to low levels of zinc in your diet. You should, therefore, look at getting some more either through a supplement that you can take every day or by eating foods that are known to be high in the mineral. This means eating the likes of lentils, oysters, and pecans to name only a few examples or if you are taking the supplements, then try to make sure you are getting around 7mg of zinc per day.

So by doing the exercises mentioned above you should find that your sense of smell will start to improve. It does require some work, and for you to continue doing it, but you will begin to notice a gradual difference and will probably wish you had started the exercises earlier in life.

Ginger - Zingiber officinale

The Powerful Healing Properties of Ginger

English: A Ginger Plant (Zingiber officinale)....
Ginger Plant (Zingiber officinale). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is probably one of the most favorite cooking ingredients and medicines in the world. Ginger is a perennial herb that originates from China and India. For centuries, Asians having been using ginger root in cook and for therapeutic purposes. Asia, Australia, Jamaica, South America and the United States are some of the countries where different varieties of ginger are cultivated.

The ginger plant has delicate green leaves that resemble baby spinach, which are eaten in salads, but the true benefits of ginger come from the roots of the plant, known as rhizomes.

Health Properties of Ginger

  1. When it comes to aid digesting, ginger is probably the best herb because it has antispasmodic or carminative properties. Proteins are broken down by ginger, getting rid of bloating and gas from the intestines and stomach. It also helps the stomach digest fatty foods as well.
  2. As a result of the warming quality of ginger, circulation is improved and stimulated, and the muscles surrounding blood vessels are relaxed. This way, the flow blood throughout the body is facilitated.
  3. There is a lot of evidence that motion sickness can be prevented and treated with ginger, since the stomach is relaxed and the feeling of nausea is relieved by it.
  4. It has been demonstrated by studies that the absorption of cholesterol in the blood and liver is reduced by ginger, thus cholesterol levels are lowered. The levels of bad or LDL cholesterol in the body can be reduced with its extract and the risk of the development of heart disease is also reduced this way.
  5. The secretion of mucus can be stimulated by consuming ginger, which can soothe scratchiness in the throat and relieve cough.
  6. Ginger contains anti-fungal, anti-toxic and anti-viral properties, so it can be used to prevent and treat common cold.
  7. Ginger can help treat allergies because it acts as an antihistamine.
  8. Ginger can be used for the treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and a variety of other muscular disorders because anti-inflammatory properties are displayed by it. The biosynthesis of prostaglandins, which is the main cause of inflammation, is inhibited by the chemical components of ginger.
  9. Since the secretion of mucus is promoted by ginger, ginger protects the stomach from the development of ulcers.
  10. Along with lowering cholesterol, the formation of blood clots is also prevented by it.
  11. Minor burns and skin irritations can be immediately relieved by applying fresh ginger juice.
  12. Arthritic pain can be reduced by applying ginger oil.
  13. Ginger oil also refreshes the mind, so it is used in saloons and spas.

How to use ginger?

Ingwer (Zingiber officinale)
Ingwer (Zingiber officinale) (Photo credit: blumenbiene)

To benefit from the health properties of ginger, fresh ginger should be chosen over dried ginger. Not only does fresh ginger taste superior, but it contains higher levels of its anti-inflammatory compound and gingerol. Fresh ginger is usually free of mold, with a smooth, fresh skin and with fewer joints and twists as possible.

Young and mature are the two forms of ginger that are generally available. The skin of mature ginger is tougher and needs to be peeled, while the skin of young ginger does not have to be peeled. Ginger can be julienne, minced or sliced. Ginger can also be brewed as a tea.

Take advantage of ginger

Ginger is used as a flavoring for various culinary preparations and so, this is the most common way of having ginger and benefiting from its health properties. Ginger can be used to prepare ginger ale, ginger beer, gingerbread, ginger biscuits, ginger cake, ginger cookies, ginger tea and a lot more. Thus, ginger is one of the most renowned herbs with some remarkable health properties, and above all, it is easy to find and easy to consume.

Health Benefits Of Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of a native Australian plant. The reason for it’s name is that for generations before Westeners arrived the local aboriginal peoples were using the plant as an alternative to tea, where they found that the infusion produced was helpful for soothing sore throats and colds.

Like so many “herbal remedies”, studies have indeed found medically-relevant benefits to using tea tree oil – most notably it’s ability to fight micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. Infact, the anti-septic nature of the oil perfectly explains how it was able to help sore throats by not only providing a gentle soothing to the afflicted area but also in killing the bateria that were causing the problem in the first place.

These days tea tree oil is most commonly bought bottled rather than in plant form and is generally applied externally. Bearing in mind the nature of the oil, and it’s proven effects, tea tree oil can be beneficial in many health problems caused by microbes.

One perfect example is in the fight against fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm where regular topical application of the oil can fight the spread of the infection as well as rapidly bringing the overall effects to an end.

Tea tree oil has also been used for generations to clean wounds. In the case of scrapes and cuts, whilst the oil may sting a little, it’s been shown to kill of any micro-organisms that have gained entry. In this way teat tree may well prevent infection as well as speed up healing.

Twice-daily application of tea tree oil is a common and effective solution to acne and juvenile zits. Whilst it is unlikely to eliminate the problem all together, as part of your skin-care regime it can assist in soothing the skin, removing dirt from pores and, most importantly of all, reducing the inflammation that causes spots in the first place making for clearer and more comfortable skin.

Warts are caused by an infection of the HPV virus and in some cases it appears that the anti-septic properties of tea tree may help in killing off the virus and encouraging the now unwanted wart to drop off. The general advice on how to remove warts with tea tree oil is to apply a decent volume of the thick oil at night, before covering the area with a bandaid or bandage in order to prevent it drying out. Over a few weeks of treatment many people see significant improvements in the size and number of their warts.

Lastly it’s worth mentioning that the strong eucalyptus smell of the tea tree oil can he helpful for relieving the congestion experienced with colds and flu. By dabbing a little of the oil on a handkerchief or the pillow, or adding it to boiling water and inhaling the fumes, most people find their nose clears rapidly and they are able to breathe normally for a period of time.

 

This article was submitted by Richard Adams who writes extensively about wart control solutions and cryotherapy.

Cold Season

What NOT To Do During Cold And Flu Season

While this article is called what NOT to do, I will be offering a plethora of what TO DO.

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be sick every single season, when others cruise through? It’s not just because they are lucky, it’s because of the old survival rule ‘Be Prepared’

 

DON’Ts –

  1. Don’t “starve a fever and feed a cold” – don’t do either. Instead, drink a lot of water, preferably warm as it helps to soothe mucous membranes. Drink fresh juices – get yourself a juicer so you can do this at least once a day. Raw foods are proven immune strengtheners. Eat healthy – I know we all want to comfort eat but that is damaging and can in fact just start a downward spiral.
  2. Hot milk
    Hot milk (Photo credit: anasararojas)

    Don’t drink sugary or milky warm drinks – this increases acidity, which puts you in the sick room in the first place. It also increases mucous which you don’t want. Constant aggravation of your nervous system and digestive system will only aggravate your respiratory system. Instead, drink lots of warm water infused with beneficial herbs such as nasturtium thyme, sage, chamomile, mint and Himalayan salt. It replaces valuable electrolytes as well as soothing airways and flushing out toxins.

  3. Don’t sit indoors in warm rooms 24/7 – this actually allows the bugs to grow due to increased humidity. If you are suffering a fever, by all means rug up and warm your body but the fresh air outside is far more beneficial. As is the great big free Vitamin D machine – sunshine. Don’t cover up, don’t block out the sun’s rays. Considering we need a few hours a day to absorb sufficient D, many of us are lacking. And considering asthma is linked to a D deficiency, it explains why lots of kids and even adults suffer with asthma so frequently.
  4. Don’t just use mentholated rub on your chest or neck. Don’t laugh but the best place to use it is on the soles of your feet. I am not joking. If you cough, it will actually stop it faster than any cough medicine. For kids, rub it on before bed and cover feet with socks. It works. Of course, try and find a non-petroleum jelly based rub – there are many based on safer gels.
  5. Don’t share your germs! Don’t go to work, don’t send your kids to school or daycare, don’t cough in public and don’t cough into your hands. Each of these things will spread sickness faster than anything else. I personally get angry when I am forced to share the germs of others. I don’t share mine and I appreciate others offering the same respect.
  6. Don’t try and work it out of you. Think about the animals in the wild. When they are sick, they sleep and even hibernate. Sometimes they eat plants for instinctive healing, but most of all they sleep. We need to learn to do the same. If your body is telling you it is too tired or weak to work, listen. Go to bed, sleep it off. You’d do the same for a hangover or late night, and they are self inflicted. If your body speaks, just allow yourself to listen it. Rather than drag an illness out or make it worse (no, you can’t sweat it out by overburdening it) you may just find you cut the duration.
  7. Don’t just let your body suffer. That is one of the worst things you can do and I am amazed at the number of so-called experts who will advise you to do this very thing. The body cannot heal well while it is under duress. If a cut is inflamed and you irritate it, will it heal? The same can be said for any inflammatory illness. Soothe it with analgesia – that can range from willowbark and feverfew to a special paracetamol/codeine formulation.
  8. Don’t ignore it hoping it will go away. All you are doing is putting off the inevitable and inviting more chronic illness. I have lost count of the number of chronically unwell people who begin with “I thought it was just a cold and that it would go away.”

So what can you do?

Well, apart from what has been written above, there is a LOT you can do.

  1. A herbal ‘antibiotic’– of which there are many. Most will contain echinacea and garlic – funny enough, most doctors will say not to waste your time, yet studies have proven that in contagious disease, including drug-resistant strains, that herbal medicine is far more effective than any drug on the market. And with far less side effects. These herb-biotics can range from basic herbs to Chinese herbs (free of questionable and cruelly-derived animal ingredients) and can be in tablet or tonic forms. The taste does take some getting used to but in my house at least, the kids love the taste.

    An Ikea garlic press, with pressed garlic.
    pressed garlic (source: wikipedia)
  2. Steaming and nasal washing – using neti pots, steam machines, even a hot shower – these all serve to clean and soothe the mucous membranes and actually speed healing.
  3. Look at your lifestyle and diet. If you find yourself getting repeated coughs, colds and flus, it is no coincidence. Overhaul your diet – include raw and fresh food, lots of water and remove all the usual triggers of ill health – wheat, yeast, sugar, dairy and meat. See these foods as a rare treat. If you have detrimental habits/addictions you may have to ask yourself what is more important.
  4. Hot baths (hydrotherapy). You may not believe this but if you run a hot bath and add a tablespoon each of powdered ginger, Epsom Salts and Bicarb, you will draw and ‘break’ the virus. Try it – it works. The same therapy is safe for all ages.
  5. Orange, pear, appleIncrease antioxidant intake. Fresh, raw juices – cucumber, celery, carrot, apple, orange, berry, cabbage, kale, spinach. The benefits of these foods raw, are far too numerous to mention. Studies have shown that antioxidant intake is better than just about any other option – A, C, E, curcuminoids (turmeric etc), pine bark extract, olive leaf extract, etc – all not only fight the virus but knock off free radicals and soothe tissues.
  6. Foot soaks. Foot spas or even a bucket of hot water with Epsom Salts, Eucalyptus and other essential oils will draw out toxins and warm the body.
  7. Washing – both your body and surroundings. You need to wash away the toxins that build up at least once every two days (if you are very unwell). Your clothing and bedding will need regular cleaning and disinfecting with a healthy option such as eucalyptus, lavender or tea tree oil.
  8. Excrete – no joke. There are herbs that help with expectoration (coughing up of mucous), diaphoresis (sweating), urination (flushing through the kidneys) and bowel evacuation which needs to be kept frequent in order to prevent stagnant build up and weakened processes. See my other articles on such herbs – it’s worth it for everyone to either have a little herb garden or a store of them in the pantry.

 

Be pro-active this season. If you are already unwell, please take the steps necessary to get well. If you are not yet affected, please take the steps to build your immunity and make your environment one that discourages poor immunity. Don’t ignore it hoping it will go away. All you are doing is putting off the inevitable and inviting more chronic illness. I have lost count of the number of chronically unwell people who begin with “I thought it was just a cold and that it would go away.”