Monday, December 21, 2009

Headache relief

Headache relief
© 2009 Lyn E. Ayre, Ph.D.
Headaches can be caused by a variety of things…
∞ level of hydration
∞ poor bed pillow
∞ bump on the head
∞ spicy food
∞ too much energy accumulating at the Crown or around the Third Eye Chakra
∞ hunger
∞ over-eating
∞ stuffy room
∞ being in a crowd of party-goes
∞ music and/or sound too loud
∞ physiological reasons ie: brain tumour, aneurysm, stroke, blood clot etc…
∞ dilated blood vessels

the list could go on…

∞ Perhaps a tall glass of cool water would be enough.
∞ A walk in the park or by a fountain, which gives off negative ions, can be refreshing.
∞ Practising avoidance is, in some instances, all that is needed.

Therapies such as Acupuncture, Acupressure, and Emotional Freedom Techniques (tapping on the meridians) are very good at relieving the symptoms of a headache and the underlying emotional factors.

There is much we can do to prevent a headache and there is a lot we can do once we have one. Headaches seem to be the bane of our existence in the stressed-out Western world. Here are a few ideas from the world of Plant Medicine:

Four Roll-On ideas
To a 10 ml roll-on dispenser filled with 10 ml of oil (jojoba, olive, sunflower, almond etc…) add the following essential oil blend: 4 peppermint, 3 ginger, 2 lavender; OR 4 peppermint 3 lavender, 2 basil; OR 4 spearmint, 3 peppermint, 2 eucalyptus; OR 4 eucalyptus, 3 ginger, 2 basil. Apply this to the hairline at the back of your neck. If you do decide to put it on your face (something I do not advocate) keep the blend away from lines and wrinkles lest the formula find its way into your eyes.

Fill a lip balm tube with cotton baton and add the above roll-on blends to it. With your finger, close one nostril and sniff; then change to sniff from the other nostril.

Diffuser idea
Into 6 oz of hot water mix 3 spearmint, 3 eucalyptus, and two peppermint essential oils and add to the top part of a diffuser. Light the Soya Candle, which burn cooler and longer and don’t produce soot in the air, and allow the remedy to fill the air. Breathe deeply and slowly.

Meditation idea
Sit comfortably and do some deep breathing. Breathe in through your nose for a slow count of four, hold for three, and release the breath through your mouth for a slow count of nine. If you have any issues doing this breath, shorten the counts of it making sure you are breathing out for twice as long as you’re breathing in. This allows the stale air to be released from your lungs.

Herbal idea
The whole herbs of peppermint and ginger are very helpful with issues of digestion. Make an infusion of one, the other, or both together and enjoy a lovely warm drink after a meal. These two are wonderful for clearing a headache, as well. You can add a small floret of Lavender, if you like, to add a unique taste.

A basin/bathroom sink filled with warm water and a few sprigs of rosemary, lavender, sage, basil, peppermint and/or other aromatic herbs can clear sinuses and offer a refreshing mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Lean over and tent you and the basin with a towel. Remember to close your eyes as these oils are all aromatic and you would not want them to get in your eyes. You can use fresh or dried herb as well as essential oils for this. Use an equal number of essential oils with six drops being the top number.

Pot pouri, herbal carry-bag
Go out and collect aromatic twigs, needles, cones, and branches from your neighbourhood; dry them well; cut or crumble into smaller pieces and place some of it in a decorative bowl. Add any of the above blends to the mix and sniff when you feel a headache coming on. This can also be made into very small particles and placed into a muslin bag to take with you in your purse or briefcase.
I hope you've found these ideas helpful. Have a Safe & Joyous Holiday Season.
Love & Light, Lyn

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Organic Tincture and Glycerite Inventory

Nov 22, 2009 $15.55 per 50ml dropper bottle

Ashwagandha Root
Astragalus Root
Betony whole herb
Black Walnut inner bark
Burdock Root
Calendula Flower
California Poppy Flower
Cat’s Claw Bark
Chamomile Flower
Cleavers whole herb
Damiana Leaf
Dandelion Root and Leaf
Devil’s Claw Root
Devil’s Club Root
Echinacea Root
Eleuthero Root (Siberian Ginseng)
Ginkgo Leaf
Goto Kola Leaf
Hawthorne leaf and berry
Lemon Balm leaf
Licorice Root
Mint (four) leaf
Motherwort whole herb
Nettle Leaf
Osha Root
Parsley (medicinal)leaf
Pau D’Arco Bark
Rhodiola Root
Rosemary whole herb
Skullcap whole herb
Saint John's Wort
Vervain leaf/flowering heads
Violet Leaf
Yarrow stem, leaf, flower
Yellow Dock Root
Usnea Lichen
All Better Glycerite
Sleepy Bye Glycerite
California Poppy
Please email me for further information.
Local to Vancouver, BC, Canada sales only.
Thank you.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Root Tinctures; Glycerites, Hot-Oil Infusions

Remember to sterilize all your equipment and jars so that your product will be safe from the various pathogens around. I use the dishwasher. Wash your hands before you do any work with herbs and make sure they are really dry. Clean all surfaces you will be working on. Osha Root
This is a great time of year to make root tincture as long as the plants are a few years old and the roots are mature. Echinacea, Ginger, Goldenseal, Horseradish, Licorice, and Osha are all wonderful herbs that we can tincture for our family.

Echinacea Root
Dig up the root/s and wash really well removing all dirt. Chop finely and let sit to allow the moisture to evaporate somewhat. The root can also be put in a dehydrator for a few hours. Do this especially if you have only 50% Vodka as the menstruum. 50% Vodka is 100-proof, which means it is half alcohol and half water. The fresh plant, like us, is up to 70% water. If we remove the water portion from the plant material the tincture won't grow a mold.

American Harvest Dehydrator
If you cannot dry the material, then use a stronger alcohol such as Everclear.

I finely chop the root I'm using to offer more surface area for the menstruum to extract the medicinal properties from the plant.

Ginger Root
When adding the alcohol, cover the plant material, shake the jar a bit, and then add an inch of alcohol above that. Use a jar that leaves very little head room.

Astragalus Root
Label the jar with the date, name of the plant, and strength of the alcohol. Start a journal or a 'word file' on your computer to keep track of what you make so you can do it again in the future.

Calendula Drying
There are many awesome books and websites that will let you know the dosage to take. The dosage is different for adults and children so research is very key to this part of the process.

You can also make a Glycerite for kids in the same way as above except that you use organic vegetable glycerin.

Calendula Hot Infused Oil
To make an infused oil, I use the slow cooker and keep the temperature low. Don't allow them to go crunchy.

Using dried herbs and flowers instead of fresh eliminates the chance of mold, mildew, and bacteria invading the product. Always chop them well so there are more surfaces for the menstruum to extract from.

I use the Simplers' Method ie: if I have one cup of dried herb, I add enough oil to cover it by an inch in the pot I'm using. One cup of dried leaves is going to fluff up quite a bit so you can add more oil. One cup of dried root will hardly fluff up at all.

Some say to use five ounces of oil to each ounce of herb. If you go by ounces, eight ounces of dried herb such as calendula flowers or motherwort leaves will weigh less that eight ounces of burdock root. The herbs that allow the oil to go right into them can really fluff up and almost look as though they were just picked. You will need to use more oil with these.

Some also say to use 1 cup of herb to two cups of oil. I find I then have to add more oil as it fluffs up. So, there are many ways to do this. There are many recipes online for various oils.

Calendula Tincture
The most important thing you can add to your tinctures, oils, and ointments, or any other product you are creating, is your love and good energy. If you are doing the harvesting, sing to your plants, ask their permission to be taken, take them gently, treat them kindly, don't approach them if you are angry or not at your best. The same goes for when you prepare them - add love, then joy, then peace, and good health. Whisper to your tincture that it is good medicine made to help people become strong, to help their own self-healing abilities to gear-up.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Heart of Gaia Gardens and Products 2009

This year, we grew sixty medicinal plants in a hundred pots set in rows around our yard. We also have a bed of Calendula (on the left), which produces bright orange blossoms that are later mixed with jojoba oil to create an oil; sometimes beeswax is added to create an ointment.

Norm created a Herbarium for me that doubles as a kitchen island. We house 96 jars of dried herbs and 126 bottles of tincture.

Teas: lemony, spicy, minty, anise flavours.

Tinctures and Glycerites: Violet Leaf, California Poppy, Saint John's Wort, and Medicinal Parsley.

Spices: Basil, Chives, Oregan, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme

Flowers: California Poppy, French Lavender, German Chamomile, Nasturtium, Heartsease, Dandelion, Wood Betony, Marshmallow, St. John's Wort, Calendula, Passionflower, and Feverfew

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cycles of life in the garden

About 90% of that which we over-wintered made it through the storms, ice, and snow. This year, we had temperatures well below freezing and did lose a few of our plants. In November, we put the plants under the stairs and covered the side with poly, leaving the stair risers open for ventilation, and in the little greenhouse.

It was so good to see everybody when we took them all out at the beginning of May. Over the last month there has been an explosion of green and colour in our yard.

Laughing Buddha Gardens 2009, featuring 60 varieties of plants:

Culinary and Medicinal: Arugula, Basil, Chives, Parsley, Rosemary, Garden Sage, Spinach, and Thyme

Flowers and Medicinal*: Day Lily, English Daisy*, Hydrangea, Jasmine sambac*, New Zealand Tea Rose*, Pansy, Petunias, Stocks, and Tiger Lily

Medicinal: Ashwagandha, Bergamot, Wood Betony, Bitter Melon, Calendula, California Poppy, Catnip, German Chamomile, Chocolate Mint, Elderberry, English Mint, Eucalyptus, Fennel Seed, Feverfew, Gotu Kola, Heartsease, Herb Robert, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Licorice, Marshmallow, Meadowsweet, Motherwort, Nasturtium, Passionflower, Peppermint, Sacred White Sage, Saint John’s Wort, Schisandra berry, Skullcap, Soapwort, Spearmint, Speedwell, Stevia, Sweet Violet, Sweet Woodruff, Uva Ursi, Verbena, Lemon, Blue Vervain, Wild Indigo, Yarrow, Zhi Mu, and Zuta Levana

All the seed is organic and so is the soil; it is all GWP - grow without pesticides. I just allow nature to take her course. We also have a composter that takes care of kitchen and garden waste and that is added to the soil each year. Every year we are able to collect the seed to grow next year. This is the cycle of life in the garden.
So, we have some seeds, small live plants, dried plant materials to make herbal remedies and pot pourri, teas, tinctures, ointments, oils, and creams for sale at our place. We follow the safe practices act when creating our products.

The herbs are harvested at the right time and at their peak. They look, smell, and taste just like the fresh herbs do so this shows they have not lost any of their potency.

Today at lunch, we enjoyed a lovely salad of spinach, arugula, parsley, basil, and chives. Our tea was a fresh combination of the four mints: Chocolate, English, Peppermint, and Spearmint. Yum. I love my job.

In August, I start my Herbal Training with Rosemary Gladstar. I'm looking forward to delving into yet another wonderful course on herbs by another amazing Herbalist.

I am also giving a course on herbs in August in our Laughing Buddha Gardens. Hope you can join us for some scrumptious food and a real-life learning experinece. See you then.

Love Lyn