Teas and Bees

September 08, 2016

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Does LOOSE-LEAF TEA Top TEA BAGS for Flavor & Health Benefits?

At first thought, a tea bag spells convenience. Oh yes, one may say that they don’t have enough time to make a proper herbal infusion. Or, the thought may not have even crossed your mind. Allow me, an herbalist (who has made and drank many herbal tea formulas), to share my 25 plus years experience on this topic.

Bodum Travel PressIf you enjoy herbal infusions as much as I do, you may as well go all the way and soak it loose! A proper steeping vessel, such as a French Press, makes it super easy and much more beneficial for your health. You simply measure 2 tbsp. of your loose leaf blend of choice into the press, and pour 16oz. of just boiled water over the herbs. Cover and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes. Decant by pressing the herbs to the bottom and pouring into your favorite mug or to go cup. There you have it, a brew chocked full of readily available vitamins and minerals, plus full bodied flavor.

When you consume herbal teas this way, 4 to 5 times weekly for 6 to 8 weeks, you will experience a tonifying effect to the organ systems of the body. It works much like super nutritious food would, yet without taxing the digestive system, as the nutrients are readily absorbed into the blood stream. So easy and so satisfying! In our house, we love the ritual of nourishing and nurturing ourselves in this way. At the moment, our daughter enjoys a blend to keep her acne prone skin at bay. I’m enjoying and benefiting from herbs blended to ease menopausal changes, and my husband is toning the organs (lungs and large intestines) most vulnerable in the autumn season.

 Winter Herbal Tea Blend

These herbs are hand picked from the optimum part of the plant for flavor and health benefits and cannot be properly brewed in a tea bag.

Oh yes, I got so excited about sharing my brewing preference that I nearly forgot about the good old tea bag. Well, typically tea bags contain herbs whereby the leaves are crushed, so the freshness and quality can be compromised. As soon as you breakdown the cell wall of a plant to that degree, you lose volatile oils and nutrients. Plus, the amount of herbs in a typical tea bag is a tablespoon if you’re lucky. By the time you fill your mug with water and the steam escapes with whatever volatile oils are left, you end up with a weak cup of tea.

Calming Tea in Tin

This could mean you need 2 tea bags for a decent cup of tea, and it ends up being an inferior quality brew, plus less cost effective.

Now, there are exceptions for having a decent cup of tea bag tea. Examples of herbs that loan themselves to this method, would be the mint family such as, peppermint, spearmint and catnip. Chamomile and lemon balm also give their energies easily to this use.

In summary, you get the most for your buck and body with a loose leaf herbal infusion. Once you get used to doing it this way, plus have what you need for convenient brewing purposes, you will not look back! I would not be without an on going favorite brew for anything. This, for my family and me, has been a powerful health enhancing ritual that I would not trade for any other. Give it a try, and you too may feel the benefits and get hooked!                  

Happy Brewing!

Kimberly

September 08, 2016

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How and Where to Apply Essential Oils

EOs are used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications.  A single oil can be used or a complex blend, depending on the user's experience and the desired benefit. 

Essential oils are usually administered by one of three methods: diffused aromatically, applied topically, or taken internally as dietary supplements.

 

TOPICALLY

Due to the natural molecular composition of EOs, they're easily absorbed by the skin and can be safely applied topically, sometimes diluted with a carrier oil and sometimes "neat" (undiluted). Once they're applied, essential oils can have almost an immediate, localized effect to the target area of application. They have restorative and calming properties and can be used very effectively in massage and beauty therapy. EOs are also natural disinfectants. The chemical structure of essential oils allows them to be absorbed into the bloodstream via the skin for internal benefit throughout the body.  
TOPICAL PLACEMENTS:
1.  Suboccipital Triangle:  (picture at top of post) is a great place to apply an EO topically, it sits at the base of the brain stem and close to the blood supply to the brain.
2.  Feet: the bottoms of our feet host the largest pores on our body and allow quick absorption.  
3.  Over the heart: a nice place for a topical application, I find it very soothing and calming.
4.  Localized: when aches and pains are involved, apply EOs directly to the area of discomfort and massage the oils in with carrier oil.

 AROMATICALLY

Our sense of smell influences lots of physiological pathways including the stimulation of hormones and other metabolic processes. Aromatherapy is founded on the body's predictable response to specific olfactory stimuli. Essential oils are widely used in aromatherapy applications. Certain essential oils, when diffused in the air, can be stimulating while others can be calming and soothing. Beyond emotional benefits, diffusing essential oils can purify air of unwanted odors and some airborne pathogens. Low or no-heat essential oil diffusers are recommended because they don't change the chemical structure of the oil being diffused. EOs can also be used as cleaning and purifying laundry and surfaces in the home.

 

 INTERNALLY

Therapeutic grade essential oils can also be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of healthy conditions. Some EOs have powerful antioxidant properties while others help support a healthy inflammatory response in cells. Many EOs are generally regarded as being safe for dietary use,but some oils should not be taken internally. Please don't use any essential oil product internally that does not have the appropriate dietary supplement facts on its label.

 
 
 
Using essential oils can be both profoundly simple and life changing all at once. Working with someone who has used essential oils before can help first-time users have a good experience and boost their confidence. There's a wealth of information available for those wanting to increase their knowledge of essential oil applications.  
Many thanks to the source of this information:
campwander.blogspot.com
September 08, 2016

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8 Natural Remedies Every Traveler Should Carry

"Despite our best efforts to stay healthy while traveling, sometimes we get sick, injured, have an unfortunate lapse of food poisoning, or just feel tired. Traveling exposes us to a variety of opportunities that can comprise our systems and increase the likelihood of not quite feeling 100%.
Now that I’m living in Hong Kong, I take frequent trips to explore parts of Asia, and I like to feel prepared in the event I find myself not feeling so great. I’m a natural health junkie, so my luggage always contains a bag of goodies to keep me feeling healthy and nourished even though I’m miles away from home. 
Below is a list of items I like to carry with me on trips. Regardless or whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, these are good to have on hand, as they might come in handy.
1. Ginger chews
Ginger is a powerhouse herb. With its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties you definitely want to have this in your purse or pocket while traveling. Ginger is excellent for nausea, migraines, digestion, aches, pains and congestion.
Do you get stuffy on the plane? Me too. Candied ginger is easy to carry and a great way to shake off nausea, motion sickness and indigestion. Ginger People and Chimes make yummy ginger chews that are excellent for travel.
2. Probiotics
Probiotics encourage a healthy gut environment, which is essential for your entire immune system. Taking probiotics will help maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria, keep your immunity up and digestive system operating healthily.
3. Activated charcoal
This supplement is good for relief from food poisoning, gluten exposure, stomach bugs, gas, bloating and diarrhea. It reduces toxicity by adsorbing chemicals in the GI tract. Be sure to take with plenty of water and stay hydrated.
4. Rescue remedy
Lose your luggage? Flight delayed and missed your meeting? No need to worry. Although this isn’t a magic potion that will solve your problems, it will keep anxiety at bay. Developed by Dr. Edward Bach, this blend of flower essences is sure to keep you chilled out and calm. If focusing on your breath doesn’t work to calm you down, try taking a few drops of Rescue Remedy under the tongue.
5. Tiger balm, Arnica and Traumeel
Excellent creams for temporary relief of sore muscles, joint aches, pains and bruises. All you have to do is rub it into sore spots as needed then relax.
6. Coconut oil
Regarded as one of nature’s miracles, coconut oil can be used for so many things there's an entire book written on it. It has antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial antioxidant and antifungal benefits—explains why it is considered the miracle oil! Some of my personal favorite uses while traveling are: eye makeup removal, moisturizing (great for sunburns), oil pulling or toothpaste, hair conditioner, apply to cuts and scraps. Also, try eating a tablespoon or put into tea for a good source of fat intake and boost of energy.
7. Herbal teas
Take your own herbal tea bags for the flight and hotel so you can enjoy a soothing cup whenever you need. It’s an excellent way to get a boost of nourishment with teas like ginger, peppermint, echinacea and chamomile.
8. Magnesium
Magnesium serves many functions in the body and yet it is estimated that 80% of Americans are deficient in this very important mineral. It’s a useful addition to your travel kit for aiding in a good night’s rest, proper bowel function and relaxing the nervous system." 
By Allison Hodge on Mind Body Green

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

September 08, 2016

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GINGER: HERBAL REMEDIES

"This botanical and popular spice is native to southeast Asia but is readily available in the United States. Fresh ginger root is a staple in Asian cooking. Dried and powdered, it's used as an herbal remedy.

Ginger is high in volatile oils, also known as essential oils. Volatile oils are the aromatic part of the plants that lend the flavor and aroma we associate with most culinary herbs. They are called "volatile" because as unstable molecules, they are given off freely into the atmosphere. But ginger isn't just a tasty meal addition. Its root is a popular herbal remedy for easing upset stomachs, bloating and more.

Uses for Ginger

Ginger root is effective in reducing nausea and also may be useful in reducing the pain, stiffness, and immobility of arthritis. Dosages of approximately 3 or 4 grams of ginger powder daily appear most effective for long-standing arthritis. But powder may not be the only effective form of ginger root: One study demonstrated a response from the ingestion of lightly cooked ginger.

Ginger has also has a long history of use as an antinausea herb recommended for morning sickness, motion sickness, and nausea that accompanies gastroenteritis (more commonly called stomach flu). As a stomach-calming agent, ginger also reduces gas, bloating, and indigestion, and aids in the body's use and absorption of other nutrients and medicines. It is also a valuable deterrent to intestinal worms, particularly roundworms.

Ginger may even improve some cases of constant severe dizziness and vertigo. It may also be useful for some migraine headaches. Ginger also prevents platelets from clumping together in the bloodstream. This serves to thin the blood and reduce your risk of atherosclerosis and blood clots.

A warming herb, ginger can promote perspiration when ingested in large amounts. It stimulates circulation, particularly in the abdominal and pelvic regions, and occasionally can promote menstrual flow. If you are often cold, you can use warm ginger to help raise your body temperature. When used topically, ginger stimulates circulation in the skin, and the volatile oils travel into underlying tissues.

Try ginger root poultices on the chest for lung congestion or on the abdomen for gas and nausea. Powdered ginger and essential oils are the strongest form of ginger for topical use.

In the next section, you will learn how to prepare ginger for herbal remedies and some of the potentially dangerous side effects."

 

By Jennifer Brett, N.D.

Learn how to prepare ginger for herbal remedies and some of the potentially dangerous side effects.http://bit.ly/1a3li3L

September 08, 2016

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How to Lower Blood Pressure with Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper eaters may be healthier when it comes to cardiovascular health than their counterparts who do not routinely ingest chili peppers. The nutrients in cayenne help lower high cholesterol levels naturally, and can be effective in lowering the risk of blood clotting.

According to Examiner, the purported health benefits of cayenne are almost too unbelievable  but its reputation keeps growing among medical researchers as well as alternative health aficionados and deservedly so. It can do everything from kill cancer cells in the prostate, lungs, and pancreas to immediately stop a heart attack within 30 seconds.

Cayenne is a very effective stimulant, stimulating every system and cell of the body.  It has an amazing effects on the circulatory system as it feeds the vital elements into the cell structure of capillaries, veins, arteries. It also cleanses the circulatory system, strengthens the pulse and helps adjust blood pressure to normal levels, increases circulation to the brain, among many others. And the best form to use are cayenne powder and cayenne tincture.

High blood pressure has become known as, “the silent killer,” for a very good reason. And considering that heart disease is the number one killer in America, cayenne pepper is significant.

Source: Secrets of Extraordinary Health

September 08, 2016

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MOSQUITOES—Questions and Answers!

Stump the "Mosquito Answer Man" with your mosquito question! 

For most of us mosquitoes are just an annoyance and get our attention for all the wrong reasons.  However, because they have created multiple health issues, for humankind and our livestock, they have a long history of being studied by the scientific community. You may be surprised by some of the interesting facts that have been uncovered about this pesky insect.  Feel free to ask your question in the comment section.

September 08, 2016

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Dandelions—Here's Why We Love Them!

Dandelions (Taraxacum Officinale) are well-adapted to a modern world of "disturbed habitats," such as lawns and sunny, open places. They were even introduced into the Midwest from Europe to provide food for the imported honeybees in early spring. They now grow virtually worldwide. Dandelions spread further, are more difficult to exterminate, and grow under more adverse circumstances than most competitors...

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