Friday, January 25, 2013

Herbs for Health and Wellbeing

Aromatherapy and Smudging                                                                                                         SAGE



Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile plant materials - essential oils - and other aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering one's mind, mood, health or cognitive function. Some essential oils, such as tea tree oil, have demonstrated anti-microbial effects.

Some of the materials used in Aromatherapy include:
Absolutes - Fragrant oils, such as rose absolute, extracted primarily from flowers or delicate plant tissues through solvent or super-critical fluid extraction.Carrier Oils - Usually oily plant based triglycerides, such
as sweet almond oil, that dilute essential oils for use on the skin.Essential Oils - Fragrant oils extracted from plants primarily through steam distillation or expression.Hydro-sols or Herbal Distillates - the aqueous by-products, such as rosewater, of the distillation process.

Infusions - Aqueous extracts, such as infusion of chamomile, of various plant material
Some caveats. As with any bio-active substance, essential oils may pose hazards for pregnant and lactating women. Oils - both ingested and applied to the skin -  potentially can negatively interact with conventional medicines. Because essential oils are highly concentrated and can irritate the skin when undiluted, a carrier oil should be used for topical application.

Smudging is a way of using the smoke from burning herbs as a way to cleanse the body, an object or an area of negative influences. A smudge stick is a bundle of dried herbs, most commonly White Sage (Salvia apiana). Often other herbs or botanicals are added, and the leaves are bound with string in a small bundle and dried.

Other herbs that may be used with or in place of white sage include common sage, rosemary, juniper, cilantro, cedar, lavender, sweetgrass and mugwort. Smudging sticks may be used in Stillness or meditation practices as psychologically and spiritually cleansing, and as a means of clearing negative energy, focusing your thoughts and relaxing your emotions.

You can smudge yourself or others by lighting a smudge herb bundle and, with your hand or a feather, fanning the smoke in the appropriate direction. Smudge your home for purification, and to repel and cleanse dark/evil influences.

For cleansing your home, first offer the smoke to each of the rooms, them go through each room, making sure the smoke penetrates every nook and cranny. Then light a white candle to - literally - light up your home.  Always perform smudging with care and reverence, and in an attitude of love. Honor the plants in the smudge bundle, and they will keep you well and free from disease and negative energy.

Sage is a native to Northern Mediterranean coastal areas of Europe. In many Native American traditions, Sage is considered a sacred herb and burning it is believed to release a purifying energy that can cleanse a space of negative energy, thoughts and feelings.  We all know this herb to be known for its wonderful fragrance and taste. There’s more to this herb then meets the eye.
In the 1800’s Americans thought this herb cured warts. They also claimed Sage cured epilepsy, insomnia, measles, seasickness, and worms.  This powerful herb can fight a variety of infections, killing bacteria as well as viruses, and fighting inflammation along the way.   In this day and age Sage is an herb than can be used for many different things… it can be used for cooking, aromatherapy, and for medical purposes. Some of the attributed medical properties go as follows:  
The oils in Sage contain antiseptic, astringent, and irritant properties.  Treating such ailments as sore throats, mouth irritations like canker sores, possibly cuts and bruises to heal.
In 1939 an experiment was conducted and showed Sage had estrogenic properties which may have some connection to the herb’s ability to dry tip milk?
The research also showed set herb to be very helpful in lowering blood sugar in diabetics.
Sage is great for easing the mind during a time when feeling mentally exhausted, soothing nerves, and strengthening concentration. Using this herb in lotion form is a good thing to do when treating sores, or skin eruptions.
Here are a few more helpful tips when using Sage:
*Tea – Great for all stomach troubles, diarrhea, gas, flu and colds.
*Mouth or Sore Throat – Chewing fresh Sage leaves helps to soothe sore mouth, and sore throat.
*In Combination with Sage – Peppermint, rosemary, and wood betony provide helpful remedies for headaches, regulating menstrual cycle.
*Essential Oil – in oil form Sage is great for aromatherapy to cleanse and purify the air.
*Cooking – Some people find the pungency of Sage to be overpowering, its astringent, “grease cutting” attributes make it a perfect accompaniment when preparing fatty food, and meats.  Sage goes well with foods like carbohydrates, butter beans, and vegetable soup.
So the next time you are putting to together your grocery list. Add Sage to the list not only is it good for you, it’s good in helping you heal and has a wonderful fragrance.

Share your feedback;-)

Herb Ready Nutritional Program

Food For Fuel Not Emotion.

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