Health Benefits of Butterbur

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Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Butterbur has a plant extract used in alternative remedies. But what are its health benefits and are there any risks involved in using it?

Butterbur comes from a shrub that grows in Europe, Asia, and parts of North America, and is available as a natural remedy in many health food stores and pharmacies. It is most commonly used to treat migraines and hay fever, although it has a number of other potential uses.

What is butterbur?

Butterbur plant and flower.Butterbur extract comes from the bulb, leaf, and roots of the plant.

The proper name for the butterbur plant is petasites hybridus. It grows best in wet marshland, damp forest soil, or on riverbanks.

The name butterbur is thought to come from the fact that its large leaves were traditionally used to wrap butter and stop it from melting in summer.

Butterbur extract is taken from the leaf, roots, or bulb of the plant.

The use…

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Analysis of Helichrysum (Immortelle) Chemistry, Antioxidant Activity, and Chemotaxonomy

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Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Traditionally, helichrysum (immortelle; Helichrysum italicum, Asteraceae) has been used for the treatment of scars and cuts, as well as used as a liver stimulant and diuretic. The essential oil of helichrysum has been found to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, fungicidal, and astringent effects. As an emollient and fragrance in the cosmetic and perfume industry, the chemical composition of helichrysum essential oil has been somewhat characterized. The aim of this study was to further characterize the chemical content and antioxidant activity of helichrysum aerial parts and to assess the chemotaxonomy of the H. italicum taxa.

The flowering aerial parts of helichrysum (H. italicum ssp. italicum) were collected in May 2011, near Valdanos, Montenegro. The air-dried aerial parts of the plant were extracted with 45% ethanol and dried. The air-dried flowering upper parts of helichrysum were submitted to hydrodistillation to produce the essential oil.

The essential oil was characterized by…

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Fall Allergies ~ An Herbal Approach

Good Witches Homestead

Seasonal allergies can really get you down, and over-the-counter meds can knock you out. Try these natural herbal remedies to soothe pollen induced headaches, scratchy throats, chapped skin, and more.

allergy-teaAs allergy sufferers, we’re acutely aware of seasonal changes in air quality. Earth’s reawakening in spring brings us welcome warmth, but it also delivers not-so-welcome tree pollen. Summer’s riot of plant bounty includes grasses and the associated output of pollen. Fall has its own offenders in the form of ragweed pollen and mold from fallen leaves.

If you’re an allergy sufferer, you may be thinking about closing the shutters and latching the door. Venturing out into this minefield of airborne plant pollens can feel treacherous. Fortunately, Mother Nature has provided us with a phyto-pharmacy that can help carry you comfortably through each season.

What’s an Allergy?

Seasonal allergies are common, affecting more than 35 million people in the United States and…

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Herbs To Have In Your Medicine Cabinet This Fall

Good Witches Homestead

It’s the time of year, where more often than not we are turning to our medicine cupboard to support our bodies and our families. An abundance of tea herbs, honey, and lemon, fresh herbs like ginger, turmeric, cayenne, and garlic are all great to have on hand throughout the winter. A few herbal tinctures also play useful roles and are key ingredients in the medicine cabinet.

elderflowerElderberry | Elderberry is an excellent superfood-like ally safe to take in large quantities. With elderberry and plenty of rest, our body’s natural response kicks in–that’s why elderberry syrups and tea have long been used to help support optimal immune function. All these amazing herbs come in handy when our resources are low: elderberry helps our body maintain its normal immune response. Because it’s so much like food, it’s incredibly safe for kids, and happens to taste divine when combined with honey–hence the elderberry syrup! This one…

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Health and Beauty Benefits of Grapeseed Oil

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Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Fast facts on grapeseed oil. Here are some key points about grapeseed oil. More detail is in the main article.

  • Grapeseed oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids.
  • The oil can be used in hair and on the skin as part of your beauty regimen.
  • Buy expeller- or cold-pressed oil for use in the kitchen.

Grapeseed oil is a byproduct of winemaking. After the wine is made by pressing grapes, grape seeds are left behind. Grapeseed oil is extracted from these leftover grape seeds. Grapeseed oil is used as a natural beauty product. It’s also marketed as a healthy alternative to vegetable oil.

Is grapeseed oil safe to consume?

The health benefits of grapeseed oil are controversial. Part of this controversy is because of how the oil is processed. Most commercially available grapeseed oil is made using chemical solvents like hexane. Hexane is classified as an air pollutant and neurotoxin.

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Ozark Encyclopedia – G – Ginseng

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Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Ginseng – Panax quinquefolius

Parts used: root

Traditional uses: Root used for headache, colic, colds, as an expectorant. Chewed for thrush. Decoction used for palsy and vertigo. Poultice applied to wounds and bleeding cuts. Decoction used as a febrifuge. General tonic.

“In China, both varieties are used particularly for dyspepsia, vomiting and nervous disorders. A decoction of 1/2 oz. of the root, boiled in tea or soup and taken every morning, is commonly held a remedy for consumption and other diseases. In Western medicine, it is considered a mild stomachic tonic and stimulant, useful in loss of appetite and in digestive affections that arise from mental and nervous exhaustion.” ~Grieve MH

*** Cautions: Plant is listed as “vulnerable” and may be illegal to gather in your area outside of a certain season. Ginseng gathering is legal in Arkansas, but the plant is hard to find and has almost been…

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Color Energy & Color Therapy

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Good Witches Homestead

Color, or colour as much of the world spells it, is well known to affect us in many ways. In the modern world, it is commonly used to influence us in advertising, decorating, and dress. Color is also used for alternative healing to affect our personal energies and chakras and to stimulate those energies to heal.

Each color has its own light frequency or energy. Color therapy is when the vibrations of light are used to stimulate healing. This can be done by using colored lights, colored crystals, color meditation, colors of environment and adornment, and other means in these writings on color, the properties are shown for each color are written in a sort of shorthand. Positive properties listed are properties where the color is said to enhance those properties or qualities. Negative properties listed are properties where the color is said to decrease or negate those properties. For…

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WHAT IS A HIMALAYAN SALT LAMP?

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Good Witches Homestead

You may have heard of Himalayan salt lamps before or maybe you even own one. Either way, you have probably already seen one because they have become immensely popular these days.

They don’t just provide soothing low lighting, they also offer several health benefits. They can help clean the air we breathe, hence overall improving our health and well-being most especially our sense of peace and happiness.

Although anyone and everyone can benefit from it, a Himalayan salt lamp is especially beneficial for people suffering from certain respiratory issues or allergies. It’s definitely a great add-on for one’s overall personal well-being and worth having around the house, clinic, lounge, and even in the office.

WHAT IS A HIMALAYAN SALT LAMP?

The Himalayan salt lamp is a type of lamp that is made mainly from a chunk of Himalayan salt (the sizes of which vary). The inside of the salt chunk…

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Poison Ivy Remedy: Jewelweed Infused Witch Hazel

The Druid's Garden

Jewelweed and Poison Ivy Like Each Other A Lot Jewelweed and Poison Ivy Like Each Other A Lot

As I spend copious time in the outdoors, I often end up covered with poison ivy at least once or twice in the summer.I happen to like poison ivy as a plant a lot–she is beautiful, she is powerful, and she teaches us awareness (more on her soon).    But the contact dermatitis that I get from her on a regular basis kind of sucks.  Given that, I have a simple recipe that I make and keep on my shelf that seeks the healing power of two other plants: witch hazel and jewelweed.  This jewelweed infused witch hazel is a great remedy for poison ivy and clears it up very quickly.

If you can’t find jewelweed, I believe this recipe would be fairly effective with plantain or chickweed.  But Jewelweed is really the best.

Harvesting Jewelweed

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)…

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Turmeric Powder Tincture 

The Heathen Homesteader

When I first met my now husband he introduced me to herbs to help with skin issues. He suffered a skin injury that required almost a year of medical attention but wanted to help his skin in any way he could. So he looked to herbs. The best way to get the herbs he chose to help in his opinion was to ingest them. Now we use many of the herbs he loved in our food and tisanes frequently. Turmeric is one we go through a lot of. It helps with inflammation and many skin issues are the product of other health problems such as this. Check out the link at the end of this post for more in depth information.

When a neighbor/friend asked if I wanted her bag of turmeric she didn’t like (it has a peppery taste that isn’t appetizing to some) I started brewing up ideas…

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