Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Number 21 - Hops

Humulus lupulus contains a hop flower cluster which are usually used to brew beers and ales with many surprising health effects.

Benefits from taking hops include soothing the spasms of irritable bowel syndrome. They can also be included in creating a pillow to help with insomnia. The herb creates 'brewers droop' in men; decreasing libido in men but increasing it in women. Hops also control hot flushes in women and premature ejaculation in men.

There are possibilities of dermatitis when harvesting the plant. Do not take hops when suffering from depression, or on any birth control as it affects the menstrual cycle.

Hops can be taken as a tincture or made into a pillow. The herb is not as effective when taken in beer.

Hops tincture. (Source: Terra Firma Botanicals)

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Number 20 - Henna

The plant Lawsona inermis is popular in dyes.

Henna is used in creating paint for the purpose of decorating the skin. This is mainly popular in Indian weddings. Henna can be used in dying the hair a gingery-red colour.

A form of 'henna' called black henna when applied to the body can cause scarring and permanent damage to the skin if applied. Natural henna does not harm the skin.

Henna is usually applied as a paste or gel.

Henna paste for decorating the skin. (Source unknown. Product of Ranikone)