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Health - Herbal Healing

Health - Herbal Healing

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Published by: Raven- on Aug 08, 2008
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HERBAL HEALINGHerbal Healing: Apple (Pyrus malus)Spirit Online: Herbal Healing: Apple (Pyrus malus)There are many varieties of apples, all of them having some medicinal and cookingpurposes. To list them here would be futile effort, as nearly everyone is familiarwith the apple and has a personal favorite. Of the apple trees, perhaps the mostbeautiful is the crab-apple tree. When in bloom (which unfortunately lasts only ashort time), the blossoms are pink and very lovely. They resemble cherry blossoms.HEALINGTo eat an apple going to bedWill make the doctor beg his breadDigestion: The malic and tartaric acids in the apple can be attributed to most ofthe apple's medicinal properties. They can be used to help balance out the acid inthe system, which especially useful for digestive problem. Eat sweet apples if youhave too much acid, sour apples if you have too little or are constipated.Fever: Apple water can be a good drink for bringing down a mild fever. A decoctionof apple bark can also be used to cool high fevers.Skin: Apple cider vinegar can be diluted with mineral water or rose water andsplashed on the face in the morning to refresh and restore skin. Or, a cup ofapple cider vinegar added to your bath water will make your skin soft and supple.Teeth: Apples act as a multi-purpose dental aid. Their acidic juices are a naturaltooth cleanser, and they are just firm enough to push the gums back so that theborder between the teeth and the gums is clean. Sometimes a loose baby tooth canbe pulled out by biting into an apple.CULINARY USESThe taste of apple is familiar to most people, it is tangy, sweet, and juicy. Itis found in everything from pie to jelly. But the fruit itself is not the onlypart used in cooking. The bark of the apple tree produces an edible oil. Analcholic solution has also been used which is called Apple Essence, and is used asa flavouring liquid.FOLKLORE and HISTORYHere's to thee, old apple-tree!Whence thou may'st bud, and whence thou may'st blow,Hats full! Caps full!Bushel - bushel-bags full!And my pockets full too! Huzza!According to A Modern Herbal by Mrs. M. Grieve, the above is a toast to healthused in an old Christmas Eve ceremony. In Devonshire, England, wassailing was oncea popular custom on Christmas Eve. It is nearly forgotten, but the ceremony stillexists in remote parts of Devonshire.If a woman has several suitors and can't choose just one, she would remove theseeds from an apple. She would then throw them one at a time into a fire, sayingthe name of one of her suitors with each one. If one of the seeds popped in the
 
fire, she should marry him. Another bit of lore says that a young woman would takea whole apple peel and throw it over her shoulder. If it formed a letter when itlanded, that would be the initial of the man she would marry.In Scandinavian mythology, Idun kept apples in a box that would renew the youth ofthe gods if eaten.In Celtic lore, apples are revered as the fruit of the faeries ("fruit of life ofthe Sidhe") and are believed to be a passport to the Otherworld.Herbal Healing: Cayenne (Capsicum minimum)Spirit Online: Herbal Healing: Cayenne (Capsicum minimum)Cayenne peppers grow on a shrubby plant with long, red fruit and little, flatseeds.HEALINGCold and Flu: You can make a gargle from a few grains of cayenne powder added to acup of water to help fight symptoms of winter sicknesses, especially a sorethroat. Here is a wonderful recipe for preventing the fly and staving off symptomsin people who've already caught it:Antiflu Preparation2 teaspoons cayenne pepper1 teaspoons sea salt or common salt
1 cup boiling water1 cup apple cider vinegarGrind together the cayenne pepper and salt to form a paste. Add boiling water (orsome strong, strained chamomile tea). Steep and cool. Add the vinegar to thewater. Most adults can take between a teaspoon to a tablespoon every half hour. Ifit seems too strong, dilute it.(From Herbal Medicine by Dian Dincin Buchman)Aches and Pains: The medicinal properties of cayenne can be effective in relievingpain from gout and arthritis. The herb has been shown to effectively reduce eventhe most chronic pain. It can be applied in a direct herb or ointment form to theachy joints. It may burn at first, but it it bearable and will kill much of thepain. Such an ointment may also be a favorable pain reliever for chronicrheumatism.Blood: If you suffer from cold feet due to poor circulation, try putting a bit ofcayenne powder in a pair of old socks (it will stain) to warm your feet up and getthe blood flowing.Cayenne is also a strong astringent. A few grains dropped into a wound will stopeven very profuse bleeding. A small amount of cayenne in hot water may also bedrunk to halt internal bleeding. This should only be used in an emergency, but itcan be very effective when the situation demands it.Stomach Discomfort: A little bit of cayenne can actually help ease (not worsen) achurning stomach. A pinch added to foods, whether raw or cooked, will act as adigestive aid.FOLKLORE and HISTORY
 
Roman armies rubbed cayenne pepper, combined with vinegar and rosemary, over meatto prevent spoiling. It has also been used to purify milk. A pepper is placed inthe milk for 15 minutes, then removed. The milk will be hot, but all the germswill be dead!Herbal Healing: Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)Spirit Online: Herbal Healing: Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)The common chamomile plant is low-growing and "creeping", with clusters of flowersand leaves reaching about 12 inches in height. The stems branch freely and have afuzzy surface. The flowers bear some similarities to the daisy, with white petalsand a yellow center.HEALINGStomach: A chamomile tisane can be made for digestion, stomach spasms, gas, andstomach aches. Add one or two tablespoons of chamomile flowers to a cup of boilingwater and drink slowly, 1/2 a cup at a time. When you make this tisane (tea)remember that you should always let the tea brew in a covered container or elsethe steam escapes, along with the medicinal value of the flowers.Antiseptic: Mrs. M. Grieves writes in A Modern Herbal that the "antiseptic powersof Chamomile are stated to be 120 times stronger than sea-water." Use hotchamomile paste applied to inflamed, sore, or swollen areas to reduce theirritation and redness. You can make the paste by adding a little hot water to tothe flowers and grinding them with a mortar and pestle. Combine with an equalamount of crushed poppy heads for an even more powerful poultice.Hair: A strong infusion of chamomile can be used to subtly add golden highlightsto ashy brown hair. According to Buchman (Herbal Medicine) chamomile can becombined with henna to "add beautiful highlights to dark hair".Skin: Steaming the face with chamomile is a wonderful way to have your own at-homefacial. Bring some water to a boil and remove it from the heat, then pour it in awide bowl. Add a generous amount of chamomile flowers. Turn your face down towardsthe bowl and drape a towel over your head to keep the steam in. Steam for 15-20minutes. This will open the pores and gently release any trapped dirt. Rinse facewith lukewarm water immediately after steaming.Pain: Applying a chamomile paste will help ease pain in sores and swellings. Aninfusion can be added to a bath to relieve sore and aching body parts.Insect Repellant: A strong tea can be poured in a spray-bottle and sprayed onexposed skin to repell flies, gnats, and mosquitos. This is a good naturalalternative to store-bought chemical repellants.FOLKLORE and HISTORYChamomile has a long, rich history. It has been used for a spectrum of purposesfor hundreds and perhaps thousands of years all over the world. The Anglo-saxonsbelieved chamomile to be one of the nine holy herbs given by Woden to heal theworld, and the Greeks called it "groundapple" because of the sweet, apple-likesmell.In the Middle Ages, it was planted along walkways because stepping on the planthelps it flourish.

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