Aloe Vera Cream Delays Development of Radiation-induced Dermatitis in Patients with Head and Neck Cancers

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Treatments for head and neck cancers include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, used either alone or in combination. Used to treat inoperable tumors, radiotherapy can cause radiation-induced dermatitis, which is treated with steroidal, nonsteroidal, and metallic topical medications. Researchers have studied the use of skin care products containing aloe vera (Aloe vera, Asphodelaceae) in patients undergoing radiotherapy. Aloe vera has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and researched for its use in treating a variety of skin ailments including eczema, psoriasis, burns, wounds, and ultraviolet (UV)-induced skin erythema. These authors conducted a single-center, investigator-blinded, randomized, clinical study to evaluate the efficacy of a topical aloe vera-based cream (AVC) in preventing radiation-induced dermatitis in patients undergoing therapeutic radiation for head and neck cancers.

The study was conducted between July 2012 and December 2012 in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Mangalore Institute of Oncology in Pumpwell, Mangalore, India. Eligible patients were…

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Sacred Tree Profile: White Pine’s Medicine, Magic, Mythology, and Meanings

The Druid's Garden

White Pine Towering in a Conifer Forest at Parker Dam State Park, PA White Pine Towering in a Conifer Forest at Parker Dam State Park, PA

In the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) legend, there was a terrible conflict between five different nations of people. This conflict was rooted in cycles of pain, revenge, and chaos. A messenger of peace sent from the Great Spirit, the “Peacemaker,” sought to unite the five warring tribes. After convincing them to unite, they came together to make peace, but they still carried their weapons. The Peacemaker uprooted a White Pine tree and had them throw all of their weapons into the hole. He then replanted the tree, and the underground waters carried away the weapons. On the tree, the needles grew in clusters of five, to represent the five nations who came to find peace. The roots of the tree spread out in four directions, to the north, south, east and west; the roots are called the roots…

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Medicinal Herb: Desert Lavender

Good Witches Homestead

Hyptis emoryi

FLOWERS

Violet up to 1 inch wide and in clusters.

DESCRIPTION

Medium to tall, cold tender, perennial shrub, found in the southwestern United States of Arizona, Nevada, California, and northwestern Mexico in Sonora and Baja California.

HABITAT

Dry washes, and on rocky slopes, up to 3000 feet in elevation. It is evergreen or cold deciduous, depending upon its location.

REGION DESERTS

The Southwestern United States of Arizona, Nevada, California, and northwestern Mexico in Sonora and Baja California.

desert lavender

Energetics: Cooling, calming, stimulating

Actions: Bitter, astringent, aromatic, diaphoretic, antimicrobial, styptic

Wound healing. Hyptis makes a top-notch wound wash (strong decoction) or applied to bleeding wounds in infused oil or salve form. I’ve used it for various wounds over the years (often combined with white sage), and it is effective not only in stopping the bleeding but because it is also strongly antimicrobial, it helps prevent infection. It’s proven useful as…

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Medicinal Herb: Passiflora {Homeopathy}

Good Witches Homestead

Passiflora incarnata

The homeopathic remedy passiflora is obtained from the herb called Passiflora incarnata, which is also known as purple passion flower, maypop, true passion flower, wild passion vine and wild apricot. Passiflora incarnata is a perennial vine having a climbing or sprawling stems and grows quite rapidly. Belonging to the genus Passiflora, Passiflora incarnata or the maypop bears big and elaborate flowers having outstanding styles and stamens. Passiflora incarnata is considered to be among the most resilient species of passion flower and is a very common wildflower in the southern regions of the United States. The Cherokee, Native Americans who historically settled in the southeastern regions of the United States, of Tennessee region called this herb Ocoee and is the State Wildflower of Tennessee.

The long and trailing stems of passion flower are found in two forms – smooth or covered with fine hairs (pubescent) and have several tendrils. The plant…

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Mouse-ear {Hieracium pilosella syn. Pilosella officinarum}

Good Witches Homestead

Also, Known As:

  • Felon Herb
  • Hawkweed
  • Mouse-ear
  • Pilosella

Mouse-ear (botanical name Hieracium pilosella) is a perennially plant that grows up to a height of anything between three and 15 inches. Mouse-ear is a creeping herb that usually grows like a carpet on crawling runners, every one of which takes the form of a basal rosette of oval-shaped leaves. Mouse-ear bears green leaves having white bristles on the upper side and white or gray-green color relatively softer bristles on the under side. The herb bears vivid yellow to orange-yellow flower heads that look like dandelions during the period between May and September. These flower heads appear solitarily on stalks without leaves. The entire plant, barring the flowering parts, is swathed with glandular bristles, which are generally white, but occasionally reddish when growing on the stems. The rose-shaped arrangement (rosette) of the leaves are complete, varying from sharp to blunt, and they vary…

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Medicinal Herb: Partridgeberry

Good Witches Homestead

My botany professors first introduced me to partridgeberry, and with excitement, I recognized the scientific name as a medicinal from one of my herbal books. This was back in the late 70’s when the modern herbal literature was scanty, computers were not in my reality, and I still had yet to meet a herbalist in the flesh. I would learn a plant in school and then ride my horse home to devour any information I could find on the medicinal uses of that plant. Partridgeberry and I became quick friends, as it would accompany me on my stream-side explorations and canoe rides. I spent a lot of time in the woods by myself at that time and relished the relationships with my newfound and cherished plant allies. These relationships were the threads that wove me into the interconnected majestic quilt of biodiversity and Gaian consciousness. I began to gain a…

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Medicinal Herb: Bearberry

Good Witches Homestead

Arctostaphylos uva ursi or Arbutus uva ursi

Also, Known As:

  • Arberry
  • Bearberry
  • Bear’s-grape
  • Crowberry
  • Foxberry
  • Hog Cranberry
  • Kinnikinnick
  • Mealberry
  • Mountain Box
  • Mountain Cranberry
  • Red Bearberry
  • Sagackhomi
  • Sandberry
  • Upland Cranberry
  • Uva Ursi

The uva ursi herb, which is more commonly known as the bearberry is a small and evergreen shrub belonging to the plant order: Ericaceae. Bearberry is found growing mostly in sandy and gravel-rich as well as dry soils, large populations can be found in many parts of continental Europe and in some areas along the northern regions of the continental U.S. – the plant grows well in dry soils and grows at an optimal rate in soils composed mostly of sand and gravel. Morphologically, the shrub can be distinguished by the presence of a long and solitary fibrous main root that radiates out several buried and prostrate stems in different directions, out of these prostate roots, raise the main aerial…

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Medicinal Herb: Pipsissewa

Good Witches Homestead

Chimaphila umbellata

Also, Known As:

  • Butter Winter
  • Ground Holly
  • King’s Cure
  • Love in Winter
  • Pipsissewa
  • Princes pine
  • Pyrola Umbellata
  • Rheumatism Weed

Pipsissewa is a petite evergreen herb that grows perennially and up to a height of 3 inches to 10 inches. Plants of this species produce glossy, vividly green, jagged leaves that emerge in order of whorls the length of the stem. Pipsissewa bears tiny flowers whose color range from white to pink and they blossom during July and August. The flowers of pipsissewa are clustered at the apex of a straight stalk. When the leaves of this herb are crushed, they exude a strange flavor which is sweetish and astringent and also has a pleasingly bitter taste.

The herb derives its name from the Cree (a native tribe of Canada) term ‘pipsisikweu’ which translated into English literally means ‘it breaks into small pieces’. This name of the plant is…

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Medicinal Herb: Motherwort {Leonurus cardiaca}

Good Witches Homestead

Also, Known As:

  • Lion’s Ear
  • Lion’s Tail
  • Lion’s Tart
  • Motherwort

Although motherwort is indigenous to Europe, over the years, the plant has acclimatized itself to the different conditions all over North America. Presently, motherwort is found in the terrain ranging from Nova Scotia to Montreal and southern parts of North America to Texas and North Carolina. The plant thrives best in vacant plots and other wastelands.

The motherwort is a perpetual plant often growing up to a height of five feet. The herb bears leaves that are hairy and have an unkempt and disheveled look and often resembles the tail of a lion. Owing to the leaves’ appearance to the lion’s tail, the herb is also known by other common nicknames like lion’s ear, lion’s tart and of course, lion’s tail. Each leaf of motherwort comprises three hemispheres that are shaped like javelins. The herb bears pink, white or purple…

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Medicinal Herb: Marshmallow

Good Witches Homestead

Althaea Officinalis

Also, Known As:

  • Althaea
  • Marshmallow
  • Mortification Root
  • Sweetweed

Found growing in abundance in moist and wet places all over the world, marshmallow is a perennial aromatic herb that is sometimes found to grow up to four feet in height. While the herb can be found growing in plenty in the wild, it is also cultivated commercially for medicinal use. The root of the plant is white in color and tastes sweet similar to the parsnip (a long tapering cream-colored root cooked and consumed as a vegetable). However, unlike the parsnip, marshmallow roots contain plenty of mucilage (a gummy substance secreted by some plants containing protein and carbohydrates). The plant has numerous branch-less stems that are woolly or covered with long, soft, white hairs. The marshmallow stems bear serrate (edged with indentations or with projections that resemble the teeth of a saw) and pubescent (covered with down or fine hair) leaves…

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