Posts Tagged ‘Herbal Remedies’

This weekend I had two very enlightening conversations with two very different people that helped to shed some light on our country's Broken Medical system. The first conversation occurred on Facebook between me and the Wonderful native herbalist Kiva Rose. I have a friend, who's name I will not publish, who has constant reaccuring Urinary Tract Infections. She has been to the doctor, to no avail, and finally gave in to talk to the only herbalist she knows…me. I recommended the basics; Cranberry Juice, Less Sugar in her diet (the little organisms that cause U.T.Is feed on sugar), and Goldenrod Vinegar; thats what I use but since her case was a little different than mine, I got on Facebook to get a second opinion. Now before I show you this conversation, I must say to Kiva that I bow before your superior wisdom!

Gwendolynn Newell
Hey Kiva, have you ever used Goldenrod for U.T.Is? If not, what do you recommend?
Friday at 8:40pm via Android 路 Like 路 路 See Friendship

Kiva Rose- I have, but it depends on the kind of UTI. Is it an acute infection with burning pain, scalding urine, stabbing type pain or a chronic infection with a dull, achy pain or something else? The actual specific symptoms are often the best indicators for which exact herbs to use.
Friday at 8:42pm 路 Like

Gwendolynn Newell- Chronic, definitely. Comes and goes usually right before she starts her cycle. I get them every once in a while so I made some goldenrod vinegar to take with water and it usually clears up within a day or so. Just wondering your thoughts on it 馃檪
Friday at 10:47pm 路 Like

Kiva Rose- Do you have any more specific symptoms from her as to how it manifests?
Friday at 10:58pm 路 Like

Gwendolynn Newell- Apparently she has a history of uti’s. Had them consistently when she was little, then she got rid of them in high school. When she entered the work force she was forced to ‘hold it’ and they came back. She’ll be fine one day and wake up in the morn with a burning sensation when she urinates, then a kind of throbbing pain in her bladder? that comes and goes throuout the day. Sharp pain when she picks something heavy up. They usually come more frequently in the heat of summer.
Friday at 11:34pm 路 Like

Gwendolynn Newell- And are gone within a week.
Friday at 11:35pm 路 Like

Kiva Rose- Ah, thank you, that’s very helpful. – Here’s a few suggestions:

Excess carbs can greatly contribute to recurring bacterial infections. In addition, food intolerance such as gluten can also trigger infection and interstitial cystitis symptoms. Dealing with both those thing can help enormously. And such a chronic condition certainly begs the question of why they’ve been so persistent…. if she was abused as a child (a not uncommon reason for chronic UTIs in young girls), there may also be some longstanding trauma (both physical and emotional) to deal with.

For an active infection with those symptoms, something like an 2 parts Alder, 1 part Goldenrod and 1/2 part Monarda would probably work very well to reduce symptoms quickly and eliminate the actual infection. You could try just the Goldenrod but it might be a bit warming on its own for her.

A cooling mucilaginous tea combining Marshmallow root, cornsilk and something astringent like Uva-ursi or Rose can also help with symptoms. Plantain would also be a good herb to add to the tea.

Anti-spasmodics like Skullcap and Crampbark can also be utilized to help with acute discomfort and pain.

Cranberry fruits or Bilberry/Blueberry leaves are very useful in flushing out the bacteria which helps prevent further proliferation.

Since the infections have been so long term it’s also likely that mucus membrane tonics like Bidens (Beggar’s ticks) or Goldenseal might be in order to tone up the mucosa and help prevent further infections.
Friday at 11:45pm 路 Like 路 2 people

Gwendolynn Newell- Lol! You must be psychic Kiva! I showed her all the info and she looked down at the giant bowl of pasta she was eating with the most amazed look on her face and pushed it away! Thanks so much, your a lifesaver and a saint!
Saturday at 12:01am 路 Like 路 1 person (my friend was sitting right next to me while we were messaging her)

All in all, a very thorough recommendation,all of which turned out to be completely accurate. Before I give opinions, however, I shall regal the second conversation, which occurred today in the local Bar and Grill we frequent ( and in case you wondered, no we were not drinking beer, we were drinking coffee and having breakfast (the best breakfast in the state of Georgia, I might add.;)) I was speaking to a local police officer friend about the news of an international panel who found out that the war on drugs is a failure…I wont go into my opinions on that, otherwise this post would keep getting longer and longer. That led to a story of his last doctor’s appointment. It was a regular check up, he is getting older and his family has a history of heart disease. The doctor walked into the examination room, asked him how he was feeling, to which he replied: fine. The doctor then let him know they would be doing a few blood tests, and walked out. Fifteen minutes later, after drawing blood, the man was standing at the counter looking at a $400 bill. That was just for the visit…the blood tests were extra.
The contrasting length and wisdom of these two conversations has cemented into my mind this simple fact: There is something deeply Wrong with our Nation’s healthcare system! Yes, I know, we were already aware of this, thats why our industrious president suggested Obamacare, Right? Sadly, however, his somewhat unconstitutional recommendation does not fix the root of the problem. Like so many other difficulties that face our world today, we would simply be placing a dirty band-aide over a gaping shot gun wound. Why is it that I can not only discover an entire Self treatment plan for a rather common ailment, but also find out the possible causes and preventative measures for it in one (Free) conversation? Not only that, but the entire conversation was extraordinarily personal, geared for her Specific symptoms, and the illness can be treated by either me, a close friend whom she trusts, or herself with a few herbs and some time. I would have gladly paid $400 to get this information. My poor police officer friend, however, will most likely be stuck buying and taking Statins and Niacin, even if the blood tests come back negative. Im not suggesting that Doctors, Specialists and hospitals are unviable, they are very much needed for, among other things, diagnosis, those dreadful blood tests (which do tell us things our own senses cannot), surgeries,and a whole slew of Vital medical intricacies collected throughout thousands of years. It is my opinion, however ( and Im sure that of a few Natural Medicine Practitioners) that our beloved world could not only save a few trillion dollars, but also enrich and lengthen the lives of it’s citizens by suggesting to our doctors that they take a page or two from an Herbalist’s handbook. Get to know your individual patients body; it’s many cadences, it’s history, the many differences between one’s inner workings and someone else’s. What do they eat, drink, how do they sleep, where do they work? All of these factors affect not only affect the patient’s body, but also certain illnesses. Learn about the cures that grow among us, and try those before prescribing a more harsh and unnatural pill, don’t be bullied by Big Prescription companies. And Finally, teach your patients how to help themselves! By trying these simple procedures, maybe, just maybe, we can begin to heal one of our World’s many gaping wounds.


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Signs of spring are popping up everywhere in the SouthEast! Early wild pears are blooming, the peach trees are beginning to leaf out, and my hands are now perpetually dirty! I Love IT! As I scrambled my eggs this morning with the Dandilion leaves left over from my root digging session, I decided that with new growth popping up all around me it was time to do a weed walk. Though I wish I had a video camera, pictures from the farm are going to have to do. This list is by far not a complete over veiw of the wild goodness availible in Georgia this time of the year, simply a couple of my favorites along with various poisonous look alikes to stay away from, Now come along and walk with me on the farm…Its a great day outside!

The Notorious Dandilion! We all know it, some of us like it, some of us hate it, but we all have to admit we've made a wish on the seed heads a time or two! Though its been talked up and down in various other "weed eater"(Lol;) Blogs, I had to include it because the picture just makes me smile! All parts of this wonderful plant are edible. Its leaves are great stir fried, steamed, scrambled with eggs and any other way you could eat spinach. The blossoms make great additions to salad and some like them fried though I've not tried them that way yet. The Root is the real powerhouse, being a liver tonic, blood cleanser, iron builder and all around spring do-gooder. Try it chopped like carrots and steamed (with Butter!), sliced into a savory warming soup for the chilly spring nights, or dry it and grind it for a coffe substitute. (Done in this manner, I usually mix mine in my coffe for a slight chicory like flavor. I still have yet to experiment with Dandilion Wine!

This Delicious weed is also great any way you would fix spinach. I like it in an oriental style stir fry! The health Benefits of Yellow Dock are very similar to dandilion and combined create the best spring cleansing tonic out available. Be careful, though, the roots effects could be slightly laxitive as well as diuretic(i.e. makes you pee alot:), but thats just part of the cleansing effects.

The middle section of the yellow dock leaf can be bitter, which is very good for it's digestive effects, but I just can't bring myself to 'like' the bitter flavor. To solve this problem, I just cut the middle out before I cook the leaves. You can munch on a few middle pieces before a particularly heavy meal to prevent indigestion!

This wild onion is absolutely unique in taste, like a cross between a sweet onion and garlic all wrapped up and concentrated in a quarter sized bulb. The flavor is so strong it usually only takes one bulb to flavor an entire dish. The curly tops (a great way to identify them) are like chives and can be used in all the ways chives can, my grandmother likes to dry them and munch them for a viamin packed snack! I have had great success with treating colds and weak flu like symptoms by cooking chicken noodle soup with about three bulbs of wild onion, so Im assuming it probably has at least some of the antibacterial and infection fighting properties of garlic along with all of the micro-nutrients wild species can provide.

Dont Confuse this plant with wild onion or garlic, It is Poisonous! This is a daffodil, or narcissus, and can sometimes be found in the same areas as wild onion. Wild onion usually has more slender, rounded leaves and either curly or very pointy tips. The Daffodil has flatter, more blue tinted leaves and is only edible to squirrels or chipmunks.

Henbit is a great little pot-herb full of micro nutrients, a relative to mint. Toss some in that Dandilion root and wild onion soup!

One great way to identify Henbit is by its beautiful purple tinged tops and it's suqare shaped stem. It's leaves are also kind of fuzzy and soft. The square shaped stem is common in all of the mint family.

Cleavers is a wonderful little herb that loves to hang around henbit. You can identify cleavers by the seven or so leaflets emerging from a very long and creeping stem. You can also see the tiny, very sticky hairs all over the whole plant. Cook or Dry the plant before using because the sticky hairs can irritate your throat, Believe me, I know from experience;)!

Don't confuse cleavers with this very Un-Edible weed, from the wild pea family. From a distance it can look similar, but it is not sticky at all and the leaflets occur opposite each other on the stem instead of in a circular pattern. It also likes to hang out with cleavers, so be careful. Dont try to eat anything wild from the pea or bean family, they are notorious for being poisonous!

Fresh or dried cleavers are alterative, anti-inflammatory, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, tonic and vulnerary. It is also very cleansing to the entire body which makes it useful for treating cancer patients or those with a buildup of toxins.

This plant was called white man's footprint because it has spread everywhere the European explorers travelled. Besides being edible, it is also very useful for treating wounds, spider bites and to draw out a splinter. The most effective application is a poultice created by chewing a leaf or two and applying directly to the shallow cut, scratch, or bite. I succesfully treated my cat in this manner after I walked in to find a very large black widow spider hanging from it's paw!

You can properly identify plantain by the very pronaounced ribs on it's leaves and very dark green color. This is the lance leafed variety but there is also a wide leaf variety that has'nt made an appearence yet. Though it is edible and very nutritious, I would only save this for a life or death survival experience because the leaves are more stringy than celery!

As I said before, this is but a hint of the availible聽 bounty in your lawn!聽 As more plants peek their dainty heads out of the soil and the seasons begin to change聽creating all the transformations spring brings, we will continue to document wild plants and their uses, along with uses of the different parts like root, flower and seed that havent been covered today. Who knows, maybe I’ll find a video camera and we’ll go on a real weed walk!

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