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                                 Herbs 

There is a great need for information, knowledge, and understanding on the uses of nature's  herbal foods.  Herbalists see nature as a positive force in healing the body and providing minerals, vitamins, and nutrients that are in tune with the human body.  

With all our knowledge, we have to admit that the North American Indian, and the natives of other countries in their primitive state, unskilled and without any knowledge of anatomy, physiology, or chemistry, prevent and cure with simple herbs many diseases that baffle the best of modern medical schools.  

Dr. Clive M. McCay, one time Professor of Nutrition at Cornell University, said "If I had been sick 200 years ago, I would have been better off in the hands of a medicine man of the American Indians than I would have been in those of a European physician.  The Indian would have given mental therapy, food and herb remedies.  The European physician would have drained away my blood!"

The good news is that there are many physicians today that are practicing preventative medicine or also called holistic medicine and they are investigating the merits of herbs in addition to vitamins, and supplements

WARNING: Never use herbs and prescription drugs together at the same time.  Consult with your doctor or practitioner.  Drugs have their place and are necessary in certain conditions, but herbs can also be used to enhance the physicians practice.

I would like to introduce you to the benefits of some of the most common herbs and grasses found in nature.  These are some of the historical uses.

          GREEN SUPERFOODS:  

         " Green, and blue-green algae:  They are the most potent source of beta carotene available in the world today.  They are the richest food source of vitamin B-12, higher than liver, chlorella or sea vegetable.  Their protein yield is greater than soy beans, corn or beef.

          Chlorella: Contains a higher concentration of chlorophyll than any other known plant.  It is a complete protein food.....Its rich nutritional content has made it effective in weight loss programs, both for cleansing ability, and in maintaining muscle tone during lower food intake.  

          Spirulina: ...Acre for acre, yields 20 times more protein than soybeans, 40 times more than corn, and 400 times more than beef.  It is a complete protein.  It is rich in beta carotene, minerals, trace minerals, and essential fatty acids.

          Barley Grass :  contains a broad spectrum of concentrated vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins and chlorophyllins. It has eleven times the calsium of cow's milk, five times the iron of spinach, and seven times the amount of vitamin C and and bioflavonoids as orange juice.  ...contains 80mcg of B-12 per hundred grams of powdered juice. 

In essence, eating any of the above green superfoods (including alfalfa below) is like giving yourself a little transfusion to help treat illness, enhance immunity and sustain well-being.  They have a synergistic and beneficial effect when added to a normal diet.  The green superfoods are valuable in almost all of the healing diets.  Over the years we have found the incredible claims about their valuable benefits to have substance and truth."   

The above portion about the green superfoods has been taken from the book "Healthy Healing" by Linda G. Rector-Page, N.D., PH.D.

ALFALFA: Rich in chlorophyll, protein, vitamin A,E,K,D,B6 and U.  Also rich in calcium and trace minerals, Contains high amounts of phosphorus, iron, potassium, chlorine, sodium, silicon, magnesium B1, B2, B12.  Has 8 of the essential amino acids.  Today alfalfa products are found in every health food store in the country.  It is made into tea, grown in sprouters, made into tablets, eaten fresh in " Green Drink" and used as an organic base for many vitamin tablets.  In Louise Tenney's "Health Handbook"," Some specific uses: benefits bladder and prostate; helps in chemical imbalance; eight digestive enzymes in alfalfa provide better digestion and assimilation; rebuilds decayed teeth; neutralizes uric acid for arthritis, bursitis, etc." 

ALOE VERA: Commonly known as a skin healer.  Effective on burns cuts insect stings, bruises, acne blemishes, poison ivy, and more.  Taken internally is known to aid in the healing of stomach disorders, ulcers, constipation, hemorrhoids, and all colon problems.

CAYENNE: Improves circulation; acts as a catalyst for other herbs.  Good for the heart, kidneys, lungs, stomach...useful for arthritis and rheumatism.

CHAMOMILE: Digestive aid, nerve tonic and sleep aid.  Traditional remedy for stress and anxiety. 

COMFREY: Speeds healing of wounds when used externally.  Beneficial for many skin problems.  Very effective in knitting bones and sprains.  Can be found as a gel in some health stores.

DONG QUAI: Nourishing to female glands .Helpful for all female problems. 

ECHINACEA: Stimulates certain white blood cells and has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties according to many sources.  Improves the immune system.

GARLIC:  Detoxifies the body and protects against infection by enhancing immune function.  Lowers blood pressure and improves circulation .  Good for almost any disease or infection.  Cut up a fresh garlic clove in small pieces, put on your tongue and wash down with water.  Do not chew.  It is suppose to not be offensive when taken this way.  Alot cheaper than buying in tablets.

GINGER: Among other things helps with nausea and vomiting, motion sickness.  Health stores carry a crystallized ginger.  I keep it when I get nauseated.  Chew a piece or two.  I wash off the sugar.  It tastes great too.

GINKGO: Improves brain functioning , circulation, and oxygenation.  May help memory loss and tinnitis.

GOLDENSEAL: Acts as an antibiotic, cleanses the body, strengthens the immune system.  Look for extract combined with echinachea.  Very effective against cold, flu, and other infections when taken at first sign of problems. Consult a practitioner. 

HAWTHORN:  Good for the cardiovascular disorders.

KELP:  Contains about thirty trace and major minerals.  Useful for thyroid because of its iodine content, and is said to protect against the effects of radiation.

PARSLEY:  Contains more  vitamin C than oranges, by weight.  Helpful to kidneys, bladder, stomach, liver and gallbladder.

SAW PALMETTO:  Said to inhibit the production of dihydrotestosterone, a hormone that contributes to enlargement of the prostate.

VALERIAN:  Acts as a sedative, good for anxiety, nervousness, stress.  When combined with hops and chamomile is useful to help relax you for sleep.

Herbs that may be irritating, stimulating, : pepper, mustard, horse-radish, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg

VITAMINS AND MINERALS

Most Americans do not know how to live a healthy life and  many are undernourished.  People who are living on junk food usually are not taking vitamins.  Proper nutrition affects our health.  Unfortunately cooking and baking destroys most water-soluble vitamins and all enzymes.  Further loss comes from food kept in storage.

Vitamins and minerals are called food supplements because they supplement the foods that you eat.  When selecting a supplement, read your labels carefully for ingredient and amounts.  They will read: "one tablet contains the following", however, some companies print "Three tablets contain " or "six tablets contain".  Many people think the items listed are for one tablet.  So read carefully.  Most people will benefit greatly by taking a multi-vitamin.  Consult your practitioner or nutritionist for your particular needs.

NUTRITIONAL GREEN DRINK

Fill your blender with 8 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice.  Add four large  handfuls of green leaves such as alfalfa, parsley, comfrey, spinach, watercress, kale .....whatever is available.  Do not use stems.   Blend till smooth and enjoy a glass full of vitamins and minerals and the green magic -chlorophyll.

Check your local health food store for books on herbs and supplements that will help you in your educational journey.  

More to come!

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