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



Quick and Easy Way to Get Rid of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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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 15-08-2015

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ibs

Irritable Bowel Syndrome isn’t the most pleasant of topics that we ever attempted to broach. But, there are millions of people around the world who suffer daily from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (also known as spastic colon), thousands of them right here in Kuwait, and something needs to be done to help them.

If you aren’t sure what IBS is, here are some of the possible symptoms:
• bloating or gassiness (sometimes very severe)
• diarrhea
• constipation
(or vacillating between the two for no apparent reason)
• mucus in bowel movement
• abdominal pain (either in one place or radiating)
• cramping (sometimes severe)
• pain in legs, back, sides
• tightness in chest (sometimes it seems like a heart attack)
• nausea
• headaches
• stomachache
(and more)

In reality, IBS is basically a catch-all term for all those symptoms that were mentioned above, when they don’t have any obvious organic reason. After all the normal testing is done, including barium enema, barium drink, scopes (possibly upper and lower), and more, and nothing noteworthy shows up, the label IBS is attached. IBS can be chronic or acute. There are people who suddenly suffer from certain symptoms, and after testing comes up negative on everything, are diagnosed with IBS, and then soon after spontaneously recover. Others suffer for years and even while taking medication, never really feel much better for very long. Treating IBS is also a challenge for conventional medicine, since it is often merely a diagnosis of the process of elimination lacking the presence of organic evidence of anything else, so how do you treat it? Normally it is only the symptoms that are treated, for example the upset stomach, the gas, and the constipation or diarrhea, often with little or no relief.

Alternative medicine takes a bit of a different view when it comes to IBS. I have been successfully treating IBS for years, with an almost 100% success rate. How is that? My view (along with many other alternative practitioners) is that IBS is basically a result of sensitivities or allergies of one sort or the other. These sensitivities (or allergies) manifest themselves in a variety of ways, including sinus problems, skin problems, migraines, and IBS. So, one way to treat IBS is to treat the underlying sensitivity or allergy. While this isn’t a simple task, it isn’t difficult to do, and there are basic rules that seem to apply to most people and work in most cases

The diet is one of the most important areas to look at when dealing with IBS. Dietary changes are often all that is needed to “cure” the problem. In fact, the elimination of high carbohydrate foods is often all that is required. Foods like potatoes, bread, rice, sugary foods, and more are often the problem. For some reason, it seems that many people simply cannot process these foods and thus, suffer with the symptoms of IBS when eating them. If you suffer from IBS try cutting out these things, along with artificial colorings, preservatives, additives, soy (and its byproducts), dairy (and its byproducts), corn (and its byproducts), tomatoes, high citrus fruits, tea, coffee, chocolate, and anything else that causes discomfort when eaten.

Stress also plays an important part in the manifestation and treatment of IBS. So, keeping your stress levels down is always going to help. Now, while I am well aware that in this day and age, keeping stress low is going to be an almost insurmountable task, it can be done, nonetheless. You must do whatever it takes, as your health depends on it. So, if you suffer from this or other stress-related diseases lowering the stress in your life is of utmost importance. This can be done in many ways, including decompressing in a warm bath, taking a leisurely walk, reading a good book, relaxing with good friends, meditating, playing your favorite sport, going horseback riding, painting, or whatever it is that you like to do. Don’t keep on saying, “later”, because later will never come.

reflexology tutor

Click HERE to buy this book from Amazon.

There are many alternative therapies that have been found to have good results for IBS, including: reflexology, aromatherapy, Chinese acupressure (and acupuncture), hypnotherapy, ayurveda, yoga, and more. These can be used together or individually, and are often so effective that they can even completely cure the problem.

In our herbal pharmacy, we have many choices, and most of them can be found right in our own kitchens! Herbs like peppermint, fennel seed, anise seed, chamomile, thyme, sage, ginger, rosemary, and marjoram, to name a few. Some other herbs that, while they probably aren’t going to be available in your own pantry, are widely available in the herbal marketplace worldwide are: marshmallow leaf, slippery elm, psyllium husks, ginseng, evening primrose, golden seal, Echinacea, and more.

Here are some good choices for herbal remedies that you can do easily at home:

marshmallow herb

Click HERE to buy marshmallow leaf herb from Amazon.

slippery elm

Click HERE to buy Slippery Elm Bark from Amazon.

psyllium husks

Click HERE to buy Organic Psyllium Husks from Amazon.

kefir starter

Click HERE to buy Kefir Starter from Amazon.

Clearly IBS is a miserable problem that no one wants to suffer from. It is painful and embarrassing. So, for those who suffer, a solution is extremely important. The solution that you look for is right here in the world of alternatives, and right there in your own kitchen!

Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com

This article first appeared in the Arab Times newspaper in Kuwait in July 200.

Western Herbalism

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Herbs, Natural Health | Posted on 15-02-2014

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Western Herbalism

The first leg in our tour of herbal medicine will be Western herbalism (also known as Western phytotherapy). That is the tradition that I practice and is the tradition that is practiced in America, where I’m from. Although it is not the absolute oldest herbal tradition, it has certainly been around since the first people inhabited Western Europe and used the herbs they found growing naturally in those areas. From England and the surrounding areas of Western Europe, western herbalism went to the Americas with the settlers and the use of some of the American naturally growing herbs became a part of the western herbal pharmacopeia. The western herbal tradition goes back as far as the Greeks and the Romans and is still valid up to the present time. Throughout the ages there have been some well-known practitioners of herbal medicine, including those most ancient of practitioners, men such as Galen, Dioscorides, and the most famous Hippocrates, after whom the Hippocratic Oath (that all doctors up to the present day still take) was named.

Later in history there were other important herbalists whose herbal traditions were so accurate that their findings are still used now. In fact, when you compare the older herbalists to the newer ones, you will usually find that the older herbalists had far more knowledge than any of the modern ones. People like Nicholas Culpeper are still well-known even now, and their works are still valid.

In fact, it is interesting to note that many, if not most of the modern day chemically formulated medicines that we use today were originally formulated from natural herbals. Later on, certain constituents of the herb were isolated and often reconstructed with chemical additives in order to produce the medicine that is now used. Aspirin is a good example of this process. The ingredient in aspirin that was originally taken from the white willow tree was salicin, which is turned into something called salicylic acid, or the precursor of acetylsalicylic acid, otherwise known as aspirin. Another extremely important modern medicine, which has been said to be “the most valuable cardiac drug in history”, is Digitalis purpurea (otherwise known as garden foxglove, a beautiful flowering plant), was turned into modern day digitalis. This drug is presently used as a cardiac stimulant. The fact is that there are many more where that came from, and more on the way.

Even in these times of amazing technological growth, new discoveries, and synthetic medicines, often the old standards, and herbal remedies are the fastest working, most effective solutions. In fact, traditional herbal medicine is fast becoming the medicine of choice for many, and with good reason. If used correctly and carefully, herbal medicine should have no side effects at all!

Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to 550 Key Herbs with all their Uses as Remedies for Common Ailments

All types of herbal medicine are holistic (meaning for the whole person, physically, spiritually, and emotionally), and Western herbal medicine is no different than the rest in this respect. With western herbal medicine the idea is to gently return the body into homeostasis (natural balance), through as completely natural means as possible. This is accomplished through the medical herbalist’s complete understanding of the patient. The only way this can accurately and successfully be done is by taking an absolutely complete medical history, including environmental, dietary, and familial aspects, and also, taking into consideration the person’s emotional state, life influences, and more. In fact, this is so involved that the initial history taking might take up to two hours, or even more! This is necessary though, because, in order for the practitioner to treat the person properly he (or she) will need to know as much about the patient as possible, in addition to observing the patient and his (or her) reactions to treatment and life in general. At the same time, the person needs to help the practitioner, and over time, the practitioner will be able to see whether or not the person is keeping his end of the bargain by following the advice of the practitioner.

There are around 3000 herbs in the western herbal pharmacopeia, although not all of them are widely used. Some of the most common ones that are used are lavender, which is from England and France, and is so beneficial that it can even kill the worst infection, and prevent the scarring of a serious burn, and Echinacea angustifolia, and Goldenseal herb, which have become two of the most up and coming herbs for increasing the immune system, among other things.

Thus, western herbal medicine, although it has literally been around for thousands of years, is still probably the best choice on your list, in most cases by far. People are constantly amazed at how fast herbal remedies work (although herbal medicine is often rumored to have a slow action). In most cases, they will work so fast that you will forget why you took them. Just be sure to consult a good herbal practitioner (or book, at least) before starting out on your herbal adventure.

And here are a few more really excellent, highly rated books on Western Herbalism from Amazon:

Medical Herbalism

Medical Herbalism: The Science Principles and Practices Of Herbal Medicine

Hebalism

Herbalism