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HERB OF THE WEEK: Dill

Bunch of dill on white background. Isolated
Bunch of dill on white background. Isolated over white

Cucumbers are blooming in my garden and there are even a couple of tiny fruits forming on the vines. The anticipation that blooming garden crops bring is indescribable. I love watching everything grow, but I can’t wait until we begin harvesting all these tasty bits! The cucumbers were the inspiration for this post. Well, those and the fact that I have fresh dill growing in the herb garden.

Dill, a very unassuming herb, we never think of dill until we are chowing down on a crisp dill pickle, right? Well, let me tell you dill has so much more depth than we might have imagined. I do love dill pickles and I have found the juice to be very beneficial for easing leg cramps. But let’s take a closer look at the beautiful, delicate plant. I’ll wager you will come away with a new appreciation for dill.

This little herb lends a freshness to any dish you may want to add it to. It is great on fish, especially salmon. Add it to any fresh or cooked vegetable to brighten it right up. The uses for dill range far beyond the culinary, so hold on to your hat! Did you know that dill is used, either fresh or dried, in floral arrangements? Yes, indeed! This pretty plant provides an airiness to any bouquet.

Although dill makes for tasty dishes and lovely arrangements, it reaches beyond those categories, also. The healing properties of dill may make you seek to add a little more of this herb to your cooking and your herbal medicine cabinet. The word ‘dill’ comes from an old Norse word meaning ‘to lull’. Dill is soothing to the tummy and relaxing to the body. Maybe that is why the dill pickle juice eases the leg cramps.

Other health benefits of dill:

Dill activates the digestive juices and stimulates the peristaltic motion in the intestine. This moves everything along so that elimination is easy and constipation will not be an issue. Since it is carminative, it also reduces the formation of gas in the intestine.
Dill contains calcium making it a wonderful herb for helping to build bones and prevent bone loss.
Prevents insomnia
Balances insulin levels
Eases respiratory illnesses, such as congestion, allergies, and cough.
Anti-inflammatory properties reduce arthritis pain.
Eases menstrual cramps.

As with any herb, dill can be a healthy addition to your diet. Check out more recipes that incorporate this herb. Dill can be added to any vegetable dish giving it a light dill-y flavor. It is good with meat dishes, such as fish, chicken, and pork. Also, try adding a small amount of dill to your salad. You can use the feathery leaves or the seeds in any of your dishes.

Metaphysically speaking, dill is a great protection herb, especially for children. Hanging a bunch of dried dill in a child’s room or on the crib protects them from negative energies and bad dreams. It can also be hung by the door of your home to deter those who would mean you harm or affect your home life in a negative way. You may also use dill in your bath to make you simply irresistible. It is a great addition to love spells and in spells to keep your partner interested!

Dill is used in luck and money spells. Carrying a small muslin bag with dill is said to attract money to the carrier.

In dream work or vision quests, dill can bring up and help you face painful memories. It can aid in giving you a deeper understanding of your inner emotions.

Whatever you choose to use dill for, we can probably agree that dill is an all around great herb to keep on hand! I wish you great health and happiness.

Bright Blessings, Dear Ones.

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NATURAL HEALTH AND HEALING: Herbalism

In this first discourse on the various modalities of Natural Medicine we will look at my favorite, herbalism.  Herbalism is also called botanical medicine or phytotherapy.  Using plants to treat illness and maintain good health is the most ancient form of healing known to mankind.  

Because of the years of conditioning that we, especially in the USA, have gotten from conventional medicine, natural healing methods are seen to be outdated.  However, in my humble opinion, natural healing should be the first thing we turn to!  Most of the time people who know that I am an herbalist will ask me, ‘What herb do I take for this or that?’.  Herbalist, as with any of the practitioners of natural health, strive to treat the whole person. Our goal is not to just treat a symptom, we want to bring balance to each individual’s health and well-being.  

Yes, each herb or herbal remedy has specific properties.  Each one targets or achieves a specific purpose.  This is the thing that most people seek, that one herb that cures what ails them, from headaches to cancer.  Maybe they are looking for a quick fix.  That is not what herbs can do for you. Herbs act much more slowly and gently to the body than does synthetic drugs, so it takes longer for the effects to be realized.  Herbs also have fewer and less harmful side effects, which makes it worth the wait.

When you visit an herbalist for the first time, they will likely take down a great deal of health history.   Maybe even more than your medical doctor does.  They will also inquire into other areas of your life, such as, home situation, emotional situation, and your spiritual preferences.  The more you honestly reveal to your herbalist, the better able they will be to tailor an herbal regimen for the individual that you are.  

I wish you great health!  Blessings!

 

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Shatavari – My Hot Flash Friend

 

The very name of this ‘herbal remedy’ conjures up thoughts of an exotic land. Of course, Shatavari, Asparagus racemosus, is native to Sri Lanka and the Himalayas. This herb is a very common staple in Ayurvedic medicine as an overall health tonic, but especially for women’s issues.

 

It is said that Shatavari strengthens the uterus and eases painful periods. With this in mind, I made a Shatavari tincture with my daughter and granddaughter in mind. During the course of my study of this amazing herb, I came across information about menopause and Shatavari. Now, this I could really relate to in the here and now!

 

So, in the midst of a hot flash, I ran to the cupboard and grabbed the Shatavari tincture, took a dropperful and almost immediately the hot flash subsided. Wow! What a relief! Now I was left to wonder, was the hot flash over anyway, or was this a Shatavari miracle? So far, I have not been able to come up with an answer for those questions. I have, however, made Shatavari a part of my herbal regimen. Since then, my menopausal symptoms have literally vanished. Yes, I love this stuff!

 

Shatavari is sometimes loosely translated ‘able to have 100 husbands.’ Well, thankfully, you don’t have to have any husbands to use this herb unless you want one. What that really means is that it has such a wonderful healing effect on the female reproductive system. Shatavari is considered the go to herb in Ayurveda for fertility and to promote lactation. It must be mentioned, also, that Shatavari is healing and rejuvenating to male reproductive tissues as well.

 

The popularity of Shatavari in Ayurveda stems from its ability to strengthen the immune system and to support digestion. It is particularly helpful in the healing of digestive diseases, such as, colitis, heartburn, and ulcers.

 

If you suffer from any of these maladies: PMS, menopause, or digestive disorders, my suggestion is Shatavari. I would almost say that you owe it to yourself to try Shatavari! It is a wonderful herb to have handy. My preferred way of ingesting Shatavari is a tincture. This can be taken with tiny bit of water or mixed with a spoonful of honey.

 

You can find it at this link:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/158009528/organic-shatavari-root-extract-1-oz?ref=shop_home_active

or look for it at your most trusted natural health product distributor.