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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: Flower Essences

How can healing with flowers be wrong?!  Well, it can’t be wrong and it isn’t wrong.  Like all natural healing modalities, flower essences are a gentle and loving way to heal.  Flower essences play an important role in healing and balancing emotions.  Emotions have a whole lot to do with our physical health.

According to English physician Edward Bach, “Behind all disease lies our fears, our anxieties, our greed, our likes, and dislikes.”   If that is true, and I believe it is, then truly flower essences gets to the very root of all of our suffering.  Many experts in alternative medicine attest to the fact that flower essences enhances other healing methods.

Dr. Bach formulated special preparations that later became known as Bach Flower Remedies and even later was renamed Bach Flower Essences.  The essences are sold over the counter or rather online if you do not live near a retailer that carries them.

You can also make your own flower essences by taking flower petals (only the non-poisonous ones), covering them with spring water and setting them out in sunlight for 4 hours.  Strain the flower petal out before taking the essences.  You can also boil the petals in spring water for 30 minutes, then strain before use.  If you don’t plan on using all of the essence quickly, add an equal amount of brandy to the essence and it will keep for quite a long time.

If you don’t have the time or knowledge you feel you need to prepare your own, do an online search to find a retailer that carries Bach Flower Remedies.

If you need a little guidance as to which remedy to use, you can consult any one of the over 800 Bach Flower Registered Practitioners worldwide.  Any of these can located by going to the website:  www.bachcentre.com

I wish you great health and Bright Blessings.

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NATURAL HEALTH AND HEALING: Chiropractic

Chiropractic is such a widely known and accepted form of natural health and healing, the general public may not realize that it is a natural healing method. But, alas, it is!!! Chiropractic was accepted as a profession in 1895. Since then it has quickly grown into the second largest medical field. Quite impressive! That growth is because of the high level of patient satisfaction. In any healthcare field, that says it all.

The short version of how chiropractic works is, practitioners manipulate the spine back into its naturally intended lines, thereby freeing nerves that may be kinked or pinched. Once the spine is in alignment, the whole body feels better and more balanced.

Can chiropractic heal all of the body’s ills? Probably not. However, it can heal all of the dis-ease that comes from having the spine out of whack. Things like; backache, headache, neck pain, leg and arm pain, and numbness that results from nerves being pinched and bound up. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Chiropractic has also been known to aid in the retention of patients in addiction programs. Those who received chiropractic treatments stayed in the program longer. That’s important when the success of rehab programs really depend on how long a person stays in the program.

When you first visit a chiropractor, you will get a complete spinal examination. They will do x-rays and some patient education as to how to properly take care of the spine. After the safe and noninvasive exam, the practitioner will recommend a course of treatment customized to the patients’ needs.

So, the next time your back is achy, visit you local chiropractor. There is a very good chance that you will come out feeling better without the invasiveness of surgery or the side effects of drugs. Also, it may be much less expensive than conventional methods of treatment.

Bright blessings!

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NATURAL HEALTH AND HEALING: Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old practice of healing and maintaining balance in one’s life.  Not only does Ayurveda cover the physical aspects, but it includes the mind and spirit.  The word Ayurveda actually mean ‘the science of life.’  This natural healing modality, as with all natural methods of healing, does not diagnosis disease in the way Western medicine does.

Ayurveda first wants to know who the patient is.  Not the name of the patient, but who they are by their constitution.  The are 3 main body types in Ayurveda, these are called constitutions or doshas.  Most people are a mixture of these 3; however, there will always be one that is dominant.  Ayurveda strives to bring balance to the whole person based on what their constitution or dosha is.

This amazing, ancient healing practice utilizes the use of herbs, yoga, meditation, massage, and breathing exercise to bring an individual back to their perfect balance. As with all other methods of natural healing, Ayurveda emphasizes proper nutrition, also.  There can never be enough said about the fact that good eating habits have an enormous effect on the health of the body.

If you are looking for that one all-encompassing healing method, I would have to say that Ayurveda comes as close to that as a person can get.  This particular healing method has been used effectively in the treatment of cancer and heart disease. The World Health Organization also recognizes the Ayurveda system of healing and supports Ayurvedic research.

Wishing you abundant health!  Bright Blessings

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NATURAL HEALTH AND HEALING: Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy…it’s not just another pretty scent!  This is one of the most beautiful means of natural healing.  Aromatherapy uses the essential oils of herbs and plants to bring about healing.  Most well known for its excellent ability to aid in stress management, aromatherapy is so much more!  Just like the herbs and plants that the essential oils come from, they each have their own special healing property.

Using individual or customized blends of oils, aromatherpists can help you lower your blood pressure, detoxify your body, enhance the performance of glands and vital organs, and pacify the digestive processes.  All of this….done beautifully, gently, and with amazing fragrances.

Aromatherapy is excellent for calming and tranquilizing anxiousness.  A deep inhalation of lavender, jasmine, or clary sage can calm worry and fretfulness.  On the flip side, if you are needing a boost of mental or emotional energy, you could use the essential oils of black pepper or basil.

There are three ways that you can use essential oils:  inhalation, topically, or ingested.  I would not suggest ingesting any essential oils without first consulting the expertise of an aromatherapist.  Aromatherapy is excellent in the treatment of infections, viral or bacterial, skin conditions, and autonomic nervous system imbalances.

When considering which method of natural healing you want to try, don’t forget to give aromatherapy a chance, you won’t regret it!

Wishing  you much health!  Bright blessings

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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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Simple Detox Strategies

In keeping with the call of Coventina, the Goddess of Purification this week, let’s talk about some simple ways to detoxify the body. Today we will discuss a few easy ways to detoxify and purify the body on the outside.

Of course, most of us shower or bathe daily. However, there comes a time when we need to take the cleansing of the body a step further. A detox bath is a wonderful way to begin the purification process. There are many simple formulas to use to help you move toxins out of your body through the pores of your skin. And a long soak in a warm, relaxing bath just feels good.

Your body is bombarded daily by poisons and toxins. They can be absorbed through your skin, ingested in the food you eat, and they can enter your body just by breathing. Even those folks who are very careful to eat organic foods and clean their homes with natural cleaners are exposed to many toxins. We all can benefit from a detox bath from time to time.

The most simple of all detox baths is to add 1/2 cup Epsom salt and 1/2 cup baking soda (non-aluminum) to your bath. Sink into the warm water and relax. If you want a good smellin’ soak, just add a few drops of essential oil like relaxing lavender or calming clary sage.

You can take this detox to a whole other level with a few extras added in. Bentonite clay is a wonderfully powerful detox-er. You can make a paste of bentonite clay and a small amount of water. Rub the clay paste all over your body. This is sure to pull those nasty toxins out of your beautiful body!
Allow the paste to dry for about 5 minutes before immersing yourself in the bath.

Once you have shed the toxins, you may want to moisturize with organic coconut oil (the only moisturizer I use) with essential oils that are meant to purify. Purification oils include: thyme or valerian.

I hope you enjoy your detox and purification bath. I know that I do. Each time I do a detoxification purification bath I feel as if I have given by body a fresh start. And, oh how soothing this ritual can be!

Coming up in Thursday’s installment in our week of purification, we will explore detoxing and purifying on the inside………

Bright blessings!