Dandelion: A Real Weed Herb

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Herbs, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 25-04-2016

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dandelion 2

We have been talking about green herbs for a few weeks now, and it occurred to me that one of the best herbs anywhere is one that you don’t even have to buy! All you have to do is go out to your lawn, garden, front doorstep in order to find it, and best of all it’s FREE!

The herb I’m talking about is actually considered a weed by most, but I’m not one of those people who think so. I happen to think that this herb is delicious, beneficial, beautiful, and, well, annoying if you have a lawn, but if you take it in the right perspective then you shouldn’t have a problem with it. Look on the bright side. Instead of thinking how it is taking over and blocking out your beautiful grass, think about how its flowers are so nice, its baby leaves are so delicious and make the most wonderful salads, and how its leaves are so good for your health too. OK, now either you know for sure what I’m talking about or you are really wondering what it is, so I’ll unveil the not-so-secret secret. DANDELION!!! (Yes, I’m talking about those pesky weeds that take over lawns and provide children with hours of entertainment blowing the flyaway spores off of the flower stalks after they dry up).

dandelion root

Scientifically dandelion is called Taraxacum officinale, and is found almost every place in the world growing wild. I’ve never heard of anyone cultivating it, but it’s possible that people do, since it is sold quite extensively dried for medicinal purposes. It is found in Kuwait around most homes and in the desert, but it is a desert version of the plant that is found here, which isn’t quite as succulent as the one found in more temperate locations, but is still good from a medicinal point of view.

Fresh baby dandelion leaves are nice in salads and if you don’t believe me, just ask anyone from many European countries. My father (he was born in Italy) is the one who turned me on to this delicious delicacy when I was a little kid, and I’ve been interested in dandelions ever since. I have always thought that a lawn covered in dandelions was the most beautiful sight, but I quickly learned that not everyone had the same penchant for dandelions, and most people went out of their way to get rid of dandelions, even resorting to poison! But, not me! I love the leaves, the beautiful yellow puffy flowers, the dried up puffballs, and even the milky centers of the stems that stain whatever they come into contact with. I just love dandelions.

dandelion leaf organic

The good news is that dandelions aren’t just another pretty weed. They are actually an extremely good medicinal herb that can be used for practically every ailment that you can think of. Different parts of the dandelion can be used as well, including the leaf and the root. You can use them fresh or dried, and either one is fine. So, if you absolutely can’t find any dandelions growing in your area, then you can use dried as a last resort.

Dandelion can be used for so many different problems that you will hardly know where to begin. You can use it when you have an upset stomach or any kind of digestive problem. If you are suffering from some kind of urinary tract problem or are feeling swollen or bloated, dandelion is a fantastic diuretic (and it’s loaded with potassium, which is what chemical diuretics deplete from your body). It is also good for people suffering from high blood pressure for the same reason. Dandelion also has a good helping of Vitamin C, and also B, A, and D, along with calcium and iron as well. It is great for helping liver problems, particularly liver congestion (and is even good in cases of cirrhosis of the liver), and is even said to get rid of gallstones and kidney stones too. It is also good for helping with any kind of toxic buildup in the body, so people with allergies and food sensitivities would do well to hook themselves up with some dandelion. It is well known as a blood cleanser and is great for any kind of detoxification program that you might be interested in. It is a blood builder as well, so if you or someone you know has anemia, tell them right away, and maybe your problem will disappear. I have heard that the milky substance inside the stem is also great getting rid of things like warts, but I haven’t tried that one myself yet. Dandelion is great for helping to reduce cholesterol buildup in the blood, and is an overall super-tonic for practically everything that ails you.

There are people who swear by dandelion for rheumatism and arthritis pain, drinking a light tea of dandelion leaf for help. For this purpose it can be taken either internally or externally, depending on what your problem is. Lots of medicinal herbalists say that dandelion helps to increase fat metabolism, therefore it is good for losing weight, and along with that is its effects on diabetes. Many claim that it even helps with cancer! I haven’t seen it working myself, but people swear by it!

All in all, for such a common place herb you would hardly even realize how great it is. But great it IS! So, the next time you see a dandelion, you can look at it in a new light.

Mia@yournaturalhealthonline.com




The Natural Health Benefits of Basil Herb

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Essential Oils, Information About Herbs, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Beauty, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 15-03-2016

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basil herb

This week we will carry on with our look at fresh herbs as medicines and health foods. There are so many choices out there and they are all so healthy and good for us! Today’s fresh herb is basil. Fresh basil is used around the world in countless delicious dishes. Italian food is a favorite, and sprigs of fresh basil in a sauce or on pizza are a delightful touch to a delicious dish. But, I’ll bet you didn’t realize how wonderful basil was for your health too!

Scientifically basil is called “Ocymum basilicum” (sweet basil), and also ” Ocymum minimum” (basil bush). Basil can actually be found growing all over the place here in Kuwait, and is next to homes and buildings, along the street sides, in public parks, and just everywhere! You can also buy fresh basil herb in most supermarkets in the green grocer section. If all else fails though, you can use it dried as well. In Arabic it is called “rayhaan”. While basil belongs to the mint family of plants, it doesn’t really resemble mint in taste or aroma.

basil herb organic

Basil is one of the most versatile and beneficial fresh herbs. It has a wonderful strong aromatic aroma that is sweet yet powerful. If you are looking for it on the streets, it is a leafy bushy plant with lovely purple flowers growing up in spikes. Basil is practically indestructible once it gets started, and that is probably how it is able to grow all over the dry desert lands of Kuwait. Here in Kuwait the basil plant that you find outside in the “wild” is a bushy, woody type, but the leaves are the same, and extremely loaded with the essential oil that is what makes basil medicinally beneficial. It is the leaves of this plant that are used medicinally, but you might like putting the beautiful purple aromatic flowers in a vase, giving your home an aromatic spicy smell (and having the basil aroma flowing around in your home will keep it a healthier place as well).

basil seeds organic

If you suffer from digestive problems, particularly upset stomach, vomiting, nausea, or flatulence, just drink a light basil tea or eat a few basil leaves. You can make basil into a lovely tea by infusing it with plain steaming hot water for a few minutes. You can also just pop a few leaves right into your mouth! It is also great for aches and pains, and can be applied directly onto a painful area.

I will never forget the time a friend and I were preparing my first herbal clinic in Kuwait for opening back in 1994 and I was standing on a ladder, painting herbal names around the ceiling. I was busy painting and I reached back with my arm, when suddenly I felt a horrible searing pain! Without realizing it I had put my arm into the path of the ceiling fan, which hit my forearm with force. The pain was excruciating and I’m blessed that my arm wasn’t cut off. The only thing that we had around was some fresh basil that was growing coincidentally outside the front door of the place. My friend Renee, who was also into herbs, rushed out and picked some basil, crushed it, and immediately applied it to my arm, which, by then, I was incapable of moving and which was becoming blacker by the minute. The pain immediately eased when the basil was applied, and we wrapped it in gauze to keep the basil on, and continued working. Thanks to good ole’ basil, the day was saved, the basil helped the bruise to resolve itself in record time, and I was none the worse for wear!

basil essential oil

Basil is also great for respiratory ailments such as bronchitis, or any other phlegmy ailment that causes coughing, because it helps to get the phlegm out of the system. If you have a fever basil can be applied directly to the head or body, in the form of hot packs (make an infusion and soak cloth or towels in it). It is also good for colds and the flu, and is noted to be great for earaches. Basil is know to strengthen the immune system, so if you are one of those people who seem to be sick all the time, basil might be just what you need!

Some people swear that basil can get rid of any migraine, and since most migraines are sinus related, that makes perfect sense. If you are having trouble with your menstrual cycle, basil can help to regulate it for you, and if your problem is that your cycle is too light it will solve that problem for you as well. If you suffer from skin problems, basil might be just what you are looking for. It is said to be antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal, thus, people who are suffering from acne and other inflammatory ailments can try applying fresh basil directly to the places where they have problems, and it should help.

The Chinese use basil for many purposes as well, including bladder and urinary problems, and blood diseases. Some people throughout history have even used basil to cure cancerous tumors! In Ayurvedic medicine basil is called “tulsi”, and is used widely in India for many purposes similar to how basil is used medicinally in the West and other Eastern lands.

For those who suffer from nervous disorders, such as anxiety attacks, basil is going to be your friend. Keep some with you wherever you go, if possible, and whenever you feel an anxiety attack coming on, just take out your sprig of basil leaves or basil flowers and take a big whiff of it. Inhale as deeply as you can, and you should feel better right away. Basil is relaxing and calming, and is certain to help you to forget why you were anxious in the first place! If you are prone to feeling tired, basil is also your friend. Again, just keep a sprig or two of basil with you and deeply inhale the refreshing aroma. The essential oils that are abundant in the fresh basil herb are great for reviving you and helping you to feel refreshed and revived. This can be particularly useful at the end of a long work day, when you are feeling like you can’t concentrate any longer. Just breathe in the lovely aroma of the basil and you will be able to continue with your day!

So, if you are suffering from any of the ailments we just talked about, carry a few sprigs of basil around with you and use them frequently! You will be glad that you did!

 

Email me: mia@yournaturalhealthonline.com

 



Mint and its Benefits

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Essential Oils, Information About Herbs, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 25-02-2016

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mint herb

 

There are all kinds of fantastic beneficial herbs that you can find right in the vegetable section of your supermarket. In fact, the herb that we are going to talk about this week can be easily found right in your backyard! Mint grows practically everywhere, and is easy to cultivate and harvest. It smells wonderfully fresh, and tastes delicious as well. Mint is also widely available all over the world, particularly here and in this vicinity, with mint being used in practically everything! The great thing about mint is that it tastes so good too!

mint essential oil

The history of the use of mint as a medicine is practically as old as mint itself, and there are records of its use in ancient China (and other countries in the Far East), India, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. It is truly an international herb.

spearmint herb cut

You can get mint as an herbal medicine, in many different forms, including as a fresh herb, dried herb, essential oil, herbal oil, and even in capsule form (for taking as a digestive medicine). But, if you want it in its most natural form, then fresh mint is the route for you. And, what’s even better is that mint is so well tested that some companies are even selling it as a non-prescription medicine, but who needs that when you can have the fresh version and it’s as inexpensive as can be!

peppermint herb cut

There are so many ways that you can have mint as well. If you like warm drinks, then a lovely mint infusion will be the way. If you prefer chewing on green leafy things, then fresh, either plain, in a salad or sandwich is what you need. And, dried is another option that keeps things fresh, practically indefinitely.

organic herb seeds

And mint is great for so many different medical ailments that some people call it a panacea. It is particularly well known for its use as a digestive aid. If you suffer from intestinal gasses, heartburn, flatulence, digestive upset, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), nausea, and even intestinal cramping, then mint is just what the doctor ordered (although it is highly unlikely that any conventional doctor that you know will prescribe it)! Many people swear by its use for diarrhea too. Mint is also great for hemorrhoids, shrinking the swollen veins (you can use fresh mint, or mint juice here, but I find that the essential oil is particularly helpful in this case, particularly if mixed with calendula oil and other essential oils).

china tea cup set

Mint is great for problems in the respiratory system, being a great help with people suffering with phlegm problems such as bronchitis and asthma, breathing-type allergies, and is even used historically for helping with tuberculosis. Mint is good for those suffering with the flu, but try to catch it early before it takes hold. Mint is also great for feverish conditions as well as any type of inflammation.

 

organic mint tea

Mint infusion (made with hot water and some mint leaves) is great for calming down raw nerves and anxiety. In this same capacity, it is well known for helping to get rid of heart palpitations, which is particularly helpful for nervous, anxious people. Mint is also great as an antibacterial and antifungal. It is great for muscle aches and pains, and is also useful for cleansing the liver. It even helps to get rid of nasty urinary system gravel that can be one of the most painful ailments of all.

mango and mint cookbook

In addition to being a great medicament, mint is also loaded with important nutrients as a food too. It contains a certain amount of protein, calcium, iron (and other minerals), and a host of vitamins, including a healthy dose of Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E, along with other things like B vitamins. It also contains chlorophyll, which is nature’s antibiotic and freshener. So, mint is clearly great for your health from a variety of standpoints. And it’s much better to get your vitamins and minerals naturally from whole fresh foods than it is to get them from a tablet. The same goes for medicine. Isn’t it better to take your medicine in the form of fresh whole food, rather than a tablet or capsule? I know that I am certainly going to choose natural food over pills any day!

instant pot

For those people who suffer from skin ailments, such as acne, mint is just what you need. You can put mint juice directly on your skin, in order to help kill the excess bacteria that are plaguing you, and it will also help clear up eczema. If you get a bug bite or sting, then applying mint directly over the area will help reduce the burn, sting or itching.

simply mint gum

Mint has been used in candies and chewing gum for ages, and now you will know one of the reasons for that. Mint actually helps get rid of the harmful bacteria that flourish in our mouths, particularly in the presence of food or during the night when we sleep and our mouths are not active in producing saliva (which helps to clean our mouths). It is great for the tongue as well as the mouth, stamping out the harmful bacteria that grow and helping to keep our mouths feeling and smelling minty fresh and clean. (Now you know where all those toothpaste commercials came from).

Another great thing about mint is that it is safe and beneficial for babies as well as adults, and thus is one of the most useful medicinal foods anywhere. Then you have the added benefit of its being available practically everywhere, and you have perfection. So, get out to your supermarket, green grocer (or the little Afghani guys on the street) and get some fresh mint! It’s inexpensive and great for your health!

 

Email me: Mia@yournaturalhealth.com



Cilantro and Its Benefits

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Essential Oils, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 20-02-2016

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cilantro

 

Green leafy vegetables are always touted as being some of the healthiest of all, as are green leafy herbs. There is a good reason for that. The reason is that they are loaded with all kinds of good vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and medicinal benefits. Last week we talked about wheatgrass. This week we have another of the great green wonders. The best thing about this one (unlike wheatgrass) is that it is readily available all over Kuwait and the world! All you have to do is go to any supermarket, any vegetable market, or even to the roadside guys that sell fresh vegetables from a pseudo-bicycle veggie stand. The herb I am referring to here is cilantro, which is also known as coriander leaf. Here in Kuwait it is called “kuzber”. It is used as a cooking herb here and around the world, but not many people know that it is also great as a medicinal herb, and that it has countless benefits.

organic cilantro

Cilantro is known for the fact that it looks very much like parsley, but has a different, somewhat stronger aroma, and a slightly different leaf configuration. (Some people call it Chinese parsley, even though it is indigenous to the Middle Eastern areas and some parts of Europe originally, and in spite of the fact that it is grown in many places including India, where it is widely used in cooking and as a medicine). So, when you want to go and buy it, look for it in the same place as the parsley. It is generally right next to the parsley, and is the same price (super cheap!) The seeds, which generally are called coriander (not cilantro), are also available everywhere, and are renowned for their healing properties too. They are quite inexpensive, so no one should have any trouble buying them. Coriander essential oil can also be found in the repertoire of any aromatherapist worth his or her salt (which is good for the same ailments but only used externally due to the oil’s strong properties).

cilantro essential oil

Cilantro, which is known scientifically as “Coriandrum sativum”, is used for many ailments, including digestive problems. It is great for indigestion (which is why it is often added to dishes that have gas causing ingredients, etc) and it helps to get a flailing appetite back. It is also renowned for getting rid of heavy metal (aluminum, mercury, etc)(or other) toxicity, and it is so effective in doing this that the metal are found in the urine almost immediately after eating a dish containing cilantro (or coriander)! This is important because it has been found that several diseases concentrate in areas where these heavy metals accumulate. Also, people with heavy metal accumulation in their bodies exhibit many other symptoms as well, such as anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, serious allergies and sensitivities, heart problems, hormonal imbalances, migraines, and a host of psychological symptoms (including anxiety, memory problems, and many more serious problems). Thus, getting rid of them is of utmost importance. In fact, cilantro (or coriander, whichever you prefer) is known as being one of the best overall medicinal tonics! Who knew?

organic herb seeds

Cilantro is good for diabetics as well, and there has been research that shows that it is effective in helping to balance blood sugar levels. It is known to balance and lower blood cholesterol too. When trying to get rid of infections (bacterial, fungal, and viral), or prevent them, (in fact, historically it was used as an antibacterial agent, a fact that has now been verified scientifically). Scientifically it has been found to kill the salmonella bacteria, which is probably one of the reasons that cilantro is used so extensively with fish and other seafood, chicken, and other dishes here in the Middle East, particularly Iran. And the most delicious herb to eat with shrimp is coriander. If you haven’t tried the well-known Kuwaiti shrimp dish that uses generous amounts of fresh cilantro as a base for a delicious sauce, don’t miss it! Coriander is supposed to be fantastic also as an antimicrobial. Using it in foods apparently helps them not to spoil! People have been using both the leaf and the seed since ancient times for these and other purposes, and this herb was even found with the Egyptian pharaohs inside their tombs. Ancient Greeks and Romans also used it as a medicine. At that time in history cilantro was considered a great talisman against evil spirits and the devil himself. In Indian ayurvedic medicine coriander or cilantro is considered a balancing herb, and they use it when a cooling cure is needed.

miracle gro aerogarden

Many people use cilantro for helping with rheumatism and arthritis and the associated pain that accompanies these problems. Since it helps to increase the circulation in the body, it is going to be great for many other ailments as well, including getting rid of excess body fluids, particularly for those who suffer from edema. This is also great for people who are suffering with cellulite! Many people swear by its use as a deodorant as well, and say that it gets rid of their unpleasant smelling perspiration odor. This will hopefully be good news to those people out these who have a problem with that. (If it’s not good news to them, it will be good news for the rest of us!)

 

The best part is that cilantro (coriander) is considered totally safe as a food and as a medicinal herb. Even in very large quantities, it doesn’t show toxicity, and on the contrary, is well tolerated and good for us. So, make it a point to go out now and try it if you haven’t before. You don’t want to miss out on such a good thing, and the fact that you can buy it right in your local supermarket, on the streets, or practically anywhere in Kuwait for a very low price is certainly a big plus. So, what are you waiting for?

 

Email me: mia@yournaturalhealthonline.com

 




Sandalwood Essential Oil

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Information About Essential Oils | Posted on 06-02-2014

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Sandalwood Plant  Sandalwod

Mia Ponzo
Arab Times – June 12, 2005   

   

       Sandalwood is one of those really oriental herbs that
people in the West associate with Eastern lands,
pungent, spicy foods, and mostly India. Sandalwood is
indeed a lovely, woody, sensuous, exotic, mysterious
aroma that stays with you, attracts you, and is a
known aphrodisiac as well!

      The scientific name for sandalwood is “Santalum
album”. Many people use the wood itself for scenting
their clothing, drawers, and closets. The use of
sandalwood dates back to before written history, and
the first known use of sandalwood goes as far back as
4000 years! In fact, historically, it is mentioned in
the Bible that God ordered Solomon to build the
furniture for his temple from sandalwood, thus the
aroma would penetrate the place. But, the most
important use for sandalwood is more medicinal than
that, and the essential oil of sandalwood is derived
through steam distillation, as are most essential
oils. Sandalwood gives a very deep, woody aroma that
is considered a base note to any aromatherapy blend
that it is a part of.

       Sandalwood mostly comes from
India (although it is found in other areas, even as
far away as Australia), and the “Mysore” sandalwood is
considered the best. The essential oil is gotten from
the wood itself, and you can find many things,
nowadays, made of aromatic sandalwood, including
hand-carved worry beads that smell divine. An
interesting bit of information about sandalwood is
that it takes 30 years of growth before the tree gets
to the point where essential oil can be extracted from
it! The problem that we will be facing now is the
increasing price, since the tree is fast becoming
extinct, and India has been curbing essential oil
harvesting and production, in fact, every single
sandalwood tree is now controlled by governmental
authority.

Sandalwood Oil

 

Nature’s Kiss Products Sandalwood Therapeutic Grade 10ml Pure Essential Oil, 0.34 Fluid Ounce

     In India it is used as a medicine, in beauty
treatments, soaps, and as incense as well as for
furniture and other more artistic objects.
Additionally, it is known to keep away ants, and in
that capacity, it is also extremely useful. The
ancient Egyptians used sandalwood as well, and it was
a part of their embalming recipe. Sandalwood was also
known amongst the Greeks, Romans, and Chinese for a
variety of reasons, including medicinal and religious
purposes.

       As for the medicinal uses that are found with
sandalwood, I will try to list them all here, but I
will probably miss a few, if not more, since there are
so many fantastic uses for this wonderful essential
oil that there will probably not be space!
Medicinally, sandalwood essential oil is good for all
sorts of respiratory ailments, including colds and
bronchitis. It acts as a decongestant, antiseptic, and
antispasmodic (for reducing coughing). It is also
great for throat inflammations like laryngitis.
It is great for skin problems such as excessive
dryness (even chapped or cracked skin will benefit,
excessive oiliness, skin sensitivity, aging skin,
scarring, stretch marks, acne, and even eczema. It is
also great for scalp problems, and dandruff.
Sandalwood is particularly famous for dealing with
psychological problems, especially depression, stress,
nervous disorders, insomnia, nervous tension, and
headaches. It is good for calming, reducing
aggression, and increasing concentration and
attention.

      It is known to help with impotence, and will help as
an aphrodisiac as well.
It is great as a natural diuretic, for those suffering
from water retention, as well as helping bladder
infections. It also is great for heartburn, nausea,
diarrhea, and even dysentery.

Sandalwood is a general antiseptic, and as such is
great for infections, and inflammations. It even kills
bacteria, and in that light, can help with all sorts
of fungi, including athlete’s foot.  It also helps to
strengthen the immune system.
It is great for aches and pains, including sciatica,
all sorts of neuralgia, muscle spasms, It will help to
strengthen the connective tissues.
Sandalwood is considered a heart regulator, as a
general cardiac tonic, and it helps to increase the
circulation, and helps with varicose veins.

And, these are just a few of the things that
sandalwood does! So, as you can see, sandalwood oil is
one of those important essential oils that can be used
for practically everything! Plus, it’s common around
these parts of the world, and so is readily available,
although it is fairly expensive.