Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Self Lymph Drainage Massage by MassageByHeather.com in Louisville, KY

Our lymph system is like the garbage disposal for the body, trapping and flushing toxins. Unlike our cardiovascular system, however, the lymph system does not have a pump to move the fluid. Instead, the movement of the body is responsible for preventing the stagnation of toxins in the lymph.

If our lymph fluid isn’t flowing as it should, a myriad of problems can arise. The body faces an increased toxic burden that affects all of our systems. The immune system takes a big hit if the lymph tissues are trapping but not flushing toxins.

To support the entire lymph system, a facial lymphatic drainage massage can be done numerous times a day. It only takes a few minutes.

Benefits of Facial Lymph Drainage

-Supports the flushing of toxins from the body
-Helps drain the sinuses, relieving sinus pressure from allergies and colds
-Reduces fluid retention in the face, which can define the jawline and slim the entire face
-Can help shorten the duration of a cold.

I found this helpful video on YouTube and I do a this facial lymph massage every morning (and before bed, if I remember). It reduces my “puffy morning face” and makes me feel refreshed and energized. I personally use Cloudless Morning with 12 Essential Oils recommended for lymphatic drain, cellulite and skin detoxification. See contraindications before using Essential Oils.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Radix Glycyrrhizae Uralensis: Licorice root

Radix Glycyrrhizae Uralensis

licorice root

dried root or root with rhizome

Radix Glycyrrhizae Uralensis is produced mainly in the provinces of Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Gansu, and Xinjiang. It is collected in spring and autumn, sliced and dried in sunlight, and used unprepared or stir-baked with honey.

Sweet in flavor, neutral in property, acts on the Heart, Lung, Spleen, and Stomach channels.

Licorice root has a remarkable list of properly documented uses, and might be among the highest overlooked of all natural treatments. It’s useful for several conditions including asthma, athlete’s foot, baldness, body odor, bursitis, canker sores, chronic exhaustion, melancholy, influenza, coughs, dandruff, emphysema, gout, heartburn, HIV, viral infections, fungal infections, ulcers, liver troubles, Lyme disease, menopause, psoriasis, shingles, sore throat, tendinitis, arthritis, tuberculosis, ulcers, and yeast infections.

Nine of the more commonly used health benefits of licorice root

There is research that shows that the Glycyrrhizic acid that is in licorice root can help with nervousness and depression by encouraging the function of the adrenal glands. Our adrenal glands control stress hormones including cortisol. When one’s stress hormone levels are low it can often be the cause of persistent fatigue, melancholy, anxiety, and having less resistance to infections and allergens. Licorice root also happens to also have the Asparagine amino acid that is needed to preserve equilibrium in the body’s nervous system.

Cardiovascular Disease Studies and High Cholesterol
There has been research that shows that licorice root may control the cholesterol ranges by enhancing the body’s flow of bile. There is also research to indicate that bile acids account for elimination of excessive cholesterol in your body. Also, the anti-oxidant action of licorice root may enhance capillary health and hinder the growth of arterial plaque.

The phytoestrogenic and anti-oxidant action of licorice root is thought to be useful for hormonal problems including exhaustion, mood swings, and hot flashes in women who are going through menopause. Consequently, ingesting just one capsule of licorice root daily can help balance and control a woman’s hormone production if she happens to be going through menopause.

Menstrual and PMS Cramps
This herb has anti inflammatory, antispasmodic, and a moderate estrogenic action which might assist with PMS symptoms including breast tenderness, menstrual cramps, nausea and bloating, not to mention mood swings. Consuming licorice root as a tea each day starting about three days prior to one’s anticipated time of the month might help to alleviate PMS symptoms.

Skin Problems
Individuals have been making use of this herb as poultices and salves in treating eczema, skin rashes, psoriasis, and itchy and dry skin. A small medical research that was done indicates that the demulcent and anti inflammatory agents in licorice root gel may decrease the signs of atopic dermatitis (eczema). Just applying a salve made from licorice root onto the area 2 to 3 times daily can help alleviate skin problems.

Gastric and Abdomen Troubles
One benefit of licorice root that is used pretty frequently is that it can be used to deal with digestive abnormalities and many issues with the intestines. The licorice root’s flavonoids can help with discomfort and inflammation of the digestive system. Also, soothing agents in licorice root may quiet and soothe the digestion system, which in turn can help to promote a healthy bowel. Easy treatment would be to have some licorice root tea 2 to 3 times a day.

Herpes and Shingles
Licorice root extract has been utilized in treating herpes simplex, sores, and shingles. Several studies show that the anti viral action of the herb may suppress the return and progression of cold sores due to the herpes virus. Easy treatment for shingles and herpes would be to ingest a capsule of of this root extract 2 times a day, and to use a salve made of the same extract on the affected region between four and five times a day.

Weight Reduction
Research demonstrates that individuals had significant reduction in body fat mass after getting three grams of licorice root extract everyday for 2 months. Nevertheless, the eating of licorice root isn’t something that anyone should do for long periods of time. Consequently, although most research indicates routine use of licorice root for two month periods of time, it is preferred to quit the use of the herb for 1 week after every two weeks throughout the two month interval. For weight loss, having a well-balanced diet along with regular exercise might lead to a substantial decrease in body fat.

Salivary Glands
Licorice isn’t a normal or usual herbal treatment for treating problems that include your salivary glands. Even though some treatments use licorice to assist in soothing a sore throat, there currently is no proof that the herb has any impact on saliva production. However, as I said, there have been many herbalists who have recommended the herb be used for this very purpose.

Do You Know the Side Effects of Licorice Root?
Long term eating of licorice root might cause hypertension, hypokalemia (low blood potassium levels), cataracts, and the retention of fluid in the body. Consequently, it’s not advised for individuals with heart problems. People that are allergic to Fabaceae (legume, pea, bean, or pulse) could be allergic to licorice root also since the herb is actually a member of the Fabaceae family.

Because of the estrogenic action in the root, it will be something that pregnant ladies will absolutely want to avoid. It’s recommended to talk to your primary care physician to go over any potential problems that licorice root might cause if you’re getting any hormonal medications, or any other medicine or supplements for that matter.

Glycyrrhiza glabra L.

Glycyrrhiza glabra L. 

Nombre Oficial
Glycyrrhiza glabra L.

(= Papilionaceae)

Nombre Popular

El nombre Glycyrrhiza deriva del griego glykys "dulce" y rhiza "raíz". En la antigüedad el nombre fue latinizado y modificado a "liquiritia". En alemán, "lakritze", "licorice" o "liquorice" en inglés, "réglisse" en francés y regaliz en castellano.
Glabra del Latín glaber, que significa "blando", refiriéndose a las suaves cáscaras.
La planta de regaliz ya era conocida y utilizada por la medicina China hace más de 2.800 años A.C. y en el Tíbet donde formaba parte de la medicina clásica tibetana. En la tumba del faraón egipcio Tutankamon (1.350 a.C.) se encontraron indicaciones curativas sobre los beneficios de la raíz de regaliz. El uso del regaliz en preparados para aliviar infecciones de garganta y bronquiales está documentado desde el 2.000 a.C. En la Edad Media el regaliz se cultivaba de forma extensa en Europa Central. Hoy en día quedan todavía algunos herederos de los antiguos cultivos del siglo pasado.
En Europa la droga fue utilizada sólo como expectorante; no fue hasta la década de los 50 que el regaliz fue indicado también para los problemas estomacales.
Dioscórides, habla en su farmacología del regaliz, y de los beneficios de su jugo en caso de ronquera, ardor de estómago, trastornos pectorales y renales. La Abadesa Hildegard von Bingen también describía el regaliz como: "...concede al hombre claridad en la voz, siempre se puede comer, relaja la mente, aclara la vista y prepara el estómago para la digestión".

Características Botánicas
Arbusto vivaz de la familia de la leguminosa, con rizoma muy largo, ramificado, cilíndrico, rastrero y pardusco; el tallo que puede medir hasta 2 metros. Cada año salen tallos nuevos y consistentes. Sus hojas son alternas y con pecíolo hinchado y se dividen en foliolos ovales, enteros y un poco viscosos. Las flores son violetas y se disponen en espigas, cuyo largo pendúculo nace en la base de las hojas y aparecen entre mayo y julio. Sus frutos son vainas de hasta 2,5 cm. de largo y la raíz se recoge en otoño.


El regaliz es originario de Asia Menor y de Cáucaso. Se encuentra en la cuenca Mediterránea, en los Balcanes y en oriente Medio. Se cría en tierras profundas y mayormente arcillosas y ribereñas. A menudo invade los cultivos de tal manera que resulta muy difícil extirparlas.
En España es común en la cuenca del Ebro, del Tajo y del Jarama.
Las raíces se recolectan en otoño en plantas de 3 años, se cortan en trozos de unos 20 cm., se lavan y se ponen a secar en lugares secos y bien aireados

Modo de empleo
Para preparar la tintura madre, las finas láminas son maceradas en alcohol. Debido a su sabor dulce, el regaliz es utilizado como agente aromático en medicamentos de gusto desagradable y contra las nauseas.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Turmeric: A powerful medicine

Turmeric (Curcuma longa), the bright yellow of the spice rainbow, is a powerful medicine that has long been used in the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat a wide variety of conditions, including flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothache and more.

Turmeric is high in curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Most studies used turmeric extracts that are standardized to include large amounts of curcumin.
Turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence.
Many high quality studies show that it has major benefits for your body and brain.

Turmeric Contains Bioactive Compounds With Powerful Medicinal Properties
Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.
It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb.

Here are the top 10 evidence-based health benefits of turmeric.

1. Turmeric Contains Bioactive Compounds With Powerful Medicinal Properties
Recently, science has started to back up what the Indians have known for a long time… it really does contain compounds with medicinal properties .

These compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.

Most of the studies on this herb are using turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day. It would be very difficult to reach these levels just using the turmeric spice in your foods.

Therefore, if you want to experience the full effects, then you need to take an extract that contains significant amounts of curcumin.

Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine… a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000% (3).
Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty meal.

2. Curcumin is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound
It helps the body fight foreign invaders and also has a role in repairing damage.
Curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory, it is so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs (7).

3. Turmeric Dramatically Increases The Antioxidant Capacity of The Body
Curcumin happens to be a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure (15, 16).
But curcumin also boosts the activity of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes (17, 18,19).
In that way, curcumin delivers a one-two punch against free radicals. It blocks them directly, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant mechanisms.
Curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralizes free radicals on its own, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.

4. Curcumin Boosts Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Linked to Improved Brain Function and a Lower Risk of Brain Diseases 
Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in the brain.

5. Curcumin Leads to Various Improvements That Should Lower Your Risk of Heart 
DiseaseCurcumin may help reverse many steps in the heart disease process (28).
Perhaps the main benefit of curcumin when it comes to heart disease, is improving the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels.

In one study, 121 patients who were undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery were randomized to either placebo or 4 grams of curcumin per day, a few days before and after the surgery.
The curcumin group had a 65% decreased risk of experiencing a heart attack in the hospital (32).

Curcumin has beneficial effects on several factors known to play a role in heart disease. It improves the function of the endothelium and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant.

6. Turmeric Can Help Prevent (And Perhaps Even Treat) Cancer
Cancer is a terrible disease, characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells.Researchers have been studying curcumin as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment. It can affect cancer growth, development and spread at the molecular level (34).
Studies have shown that it can reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors), metastasis (spread of cancer), as well as contributing to the death of cancerous cells (35).

There is some evidence that it may help prevent cancer from occurring in the first place, especially cancers of the digestive system (like colorectal cancer).
Curcumin leads to several changes on the molecular level that may help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer.

7. Curcumin May be Useful in Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world and a leading cause of dementia.Unfo rtunately, no good treatment is available for Alzheimer’s yet.
Therefore, preventing it from showing up in the first place is of utmost importance.
There may be good news on the horizon, because curcumin has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier (39).
It is known that inflammation and oxidative damage play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. As we know, curcumin has beneficial effects on both (40).
But one key feature of Alzheimer’s disease is a buildup of protein tangles called Amyloid plaques. Studies show that curcumin can help clear these plaques (41).
Whether curcumin can really slow down or even reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s disease needs to be studied properly (42).
Bottom Line: Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has been shown to lead to various improvements in the pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease.

8. Arthritis Patients Respond Very Well to Curcumin Supplementation
Given that curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory, it makes sense that it could help with arthritis. Several studies show this to be true.
In a study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin was even more effective than an anti-inflammatory drug (43).
Many other studies have looked at the effects of curcumin on arthritis and noted improvements in various symptoms (44, 45).
Many studies show that curcumin can help treat symptoms of arthritis and is in some cases more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs.

9. Studies Show That Curcumin Has Incredible Benefits Against Depression
Curcumin has shown some promise in treating depression.
In a controlled trial, 60 patients were randomized into three groups (46).
One group took prozac, another group took a gram of curcumin and the third group took both prozac and curcumin.
After 6 weeks, curcumin had led to improvements that were similar to prozac. The group that took both prozac and curcumin fared best.
According to this (small) study, curcumin is as effective as an antidepressant.

There is also some evidence that curcumin can boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine (48, 49).

10. Curcumin May Help Delay Ageing and Fight Age-Related Chronic Diseases
If curcumin can really help prevent heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s… then this would have obvious benefits for longevity.
For this reason, curcumin has become very popular as an anti-aging supplement (50).
But given that oxidation and inflammation are believed to play a role in ageing, curcumin may have effects that go way beyond just prevention of disease (51).