Monday, March 14, 2016

Herbs

Growing Your Own Herbs For Herbal Remedies
 by: Nick Vassilev

If you've been interested in natural methods of running your household or in herbal remedies for everyday ailments, have you ever wondered how easy it would be to grow your own herbs so you can make your own tinctures and teas? Some folk think that it must be really easy, as every decent-sized household in days gone by used to have a stillroom and its herb garden. Other folk who don't feel particularly green-thumbed shudder at the prospect. So is growing your own medicinal herbs hard or easy?
It depends on which herbs you're trying to grow and how these herbs are to be used. Let's take some extremes. You are probably not going to have much success growing guarana (a tropical vine) in your typical English garden, so this one isn't easy to grow, even though it's widely used in weight loss supplements. Lavender is much easier to grow in our climate - the strongly-scented variety of lavender is known as English lavender, after all - but few of us have the space needed to grow the quantities required for extracting and distilling the essential oil (if you have the space and the inclination, it makes a great cottage industry for small lifestyle blocks, though). But garlic is pretty straightforward to grow as well as being a potent herbal remedy.

And the real fun is that you can grow herbs at home organically instead of paying a premium for organic herbal supplements.

No matter what you try to grow, do your homework. Some herbs may be used medicinally and may be easy to grow, but you need to know which bit of the plant should be used and how to use it.

Foxgloves may be easy to grow and an extract from them may be used in heart medications (fact) but if you don't know how to extract the active principle properly, you could poison yourself horribly easily. The same goes with rhubarb: the root is used as a laxative and a hair dye, the stems are used in puddings and the leaves are horribly poisonous. So if in doubt, don't!

But some medicinal herbs are easy to grow:

Garlic. This needs to be planted in a well-drained soil. It makes a great companion plant to keep pests away from tomatoes (another natural living bonus). Plant individual cloves in midwinter and harvest them in midsummer. You can eat every part of the plant, but the cloves are the best part. Garlic is such a potent herb medicinally that you should inform your doctor that you are taking it - or even eating it raw on your pasta on a regular basis.

Aloe vera: This is more of an indoor plant in England but it grows well in a nice, sunny windowsill. Don't overwater it, as it is a desert plant. Use the gel inside the thick succulent leaves on the skin as an ointment for burns and other skin ailments or as a moisturiser, or eat the leaves as a laxative.

Apples: Not a herb, so much, but the fruit is certainly a good digestive aid (good for treating diarrhoea as well as constipation), as well as being a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. Apples grow on a tree, of course, and need a bit of space plus some regular pruning. Blackcurrants: Another medicinal fruit that's a great source of Vitamin C and antioxidants. Blackcurrants grow from cuttings and don't get too big, so they are suitable for suburban gardens. Birds don't seem to attack them too much - they don't have anywhere to perch while eating. Blackcurrants like a cooler climate and are deciduous.

Dandelion: Herbalists use this herb (or weed, depending on your perspective) as a diuretic and as a general cleanser, especially of the liver. Some people suggest that it can help ease PMS symptoms, particularly fluid retention. Notoriously easy to grow - you don't have to try too hard to get a lovely crop of dandelions in your garden. Both the leaves and the root are used medicinally as a tea.

Peppermint: All mints like growing in damp, shady areas. Peppermint is a digestive aid and to ease migranes and colds. We all know how good menthol (the essential oil of peppermint) is for nasal congestion. While you might not grow enough to make your own essential oil, it's easy enough to grow enough to make your own peppermint tea. Use the leaves dry or fresh.

White willow: Another tree that you might be able to fit into your garden. The inner bark is used as a natural form of aspirin. Willows of all varieties grow very readily from cuttings. Willow trees may even be too easy to grow once you've got them established - more than one gardener or tree surgeon has lamented that willow is next to impossible to get rid of.

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Losing Weight

Losing Weight Naturally – How To Diarize
Your Achie
vements…
 by: Peter Kirwan

A lot of people will probably think that a weight-loss diary is just an unnecessary time-consuming waste but it really isn't at all. It can be truly beneficial to those who want to take clear step-by-step planned action for losing weight naturally while blocking out all the confusing and contradictory information that's floating around.

We're all different of course, but for a number of us keeping a diary could actually be a straightforward way of helping to get a shot of that superfluous ugly and unneeded weight.

Every day all kinds of people everywhere are needing a weight-loss program but don't know where to start or believe they're too busy, so end up doing nothing - a diary can grow to be a very powerful knowledge base and a serious motivational tool.

Recording details in a daily diary is obviously a routine thing and is a responsibility that's felt by many people to be a waste of time, but it really only takes a very brief time and it can be real supportive to know things such as; your everyday calorie or food intake, an exact account of the exercise you performed - so you know exactly how far you can expand your goals tomorrow!

Other typical recordings would be your weight and waist size etc. The motivation caused by seeing these measurements each day can be extraordinary as they get smaller.

It can be of great value when seen as the powerful tool it seriously is

The real strength of a weight-loss diary is that it quickly develops into a big and experience-based database of printed knowledge that plainly shows the gains (or losses if you like) that you're making for the period of your weight loss program, which is an unsurpassed tool for goal setting or re-setting and the overall craving for better results.

It's totally your decision whether or not you keep a diary, after all some people are very proficient at recording and keeping stock of their achievements without the need to put pen to paper but plenty of other people are simply not capable of relying on memory alone and very often end up utterly confused about what they've already completed and what they should be doing after that.

They really should help themselves by optimizing their weight-dropping efforts and record all the details involved!

To summarize; if it helps your attempt to lose unwanted weight effectively and easily, why not use a diary? Focus, set your targets and stick to them.

Natural, speedy, and permanent weight-loss isn't and has never been about overly complicated dieting systems and/or poisonous diet pills - it's all about simplicity, a little bit of will-power and some genuine tried and tested weight-loss knowledge.