Saturday, 28 May 2011

Number 24 - Blueberry

Today's 'herb', even though we'll be looking at the health enhancements of the berry from Vaccinium plants, is the blueberry.

There are many different berries sold as 'blueberries', these can be bilberries, huckleberriesor many different berries from different blueberry plants. The blueberries themselves have some anti-inflammation properties and can protect against cancers. Blueberries can help ease uninary tract infections, and due to their properties in enhancing memory, are considered important in helping Alzheimers. Blueberries can also help ease depression. As well as the many nutrients present in the berry, it helps the body in both the digestive tract, the heart and even the eyes, helping reduce the risk of blindess.

The only risks from blueberries are that if you eat too many at once, it may conjour diaherra. The blueberry is also a diuretic, which means it increases urine flow.

Blueberries can be eaten in multiple forms: jam, pies, raw, in salads, or even as extracts.

Blueberry extract. (Product of LifeExtension)

Friday, 27 May 2011

Number 23 - Witch-Hazel

The genus Hamamelis is the plant Witch-Hazel.

The main use of witch-hazel is to help reduce bruising in the skin in a similar manner Arnica does. The plant is also used in treating acne and haemorrhoids. It is used in aftershaves and insect bite treatments. It also helps with skin conditions, like dry skin and eczema.Gargling Witch-Hazel tea can help with inflammations of the mouth and throat, and drinking the tea can help with inflammations of the whole digestive system.

Too much or too frequent, Witch-Hazel can cause nausea. Pharmacy bought Witch-Hazel often contains medical alcohols, which mean it is inappropiate for digestion.

Witch-Hazel can be bought as an ointment or cream for external use, and tea for internal use.

Witch-Hazel flower.

PS: I apologise for the lack of posts, I've had alot of work to do for college, and I'm afraid lack of posts may continue until the end of June. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Number 22 - Honey

In herbalism, anything natural can be used. As honey is technically an extract of nectar from many different plants, it is a mix of bee and plant produce.

In Hinduism, it is considered an 'elixir of immortality'. It has many uses due to its antiseptic and antimircobial properties. It has also been theorized that honey and its properties could help cure MRSA. Honey can be used to help burns and cuts heal faster, and to help common ailments such as coughs, colds and sore throats be cured using honey. If you're interested in using herbs in First Aid, honey is an important addition.

In hives of bees in areas which poisonous plants grow, the honey can be toxic to humans but not bees. This honey is usually only found in the wild, and would not be produced under commercial supervision. With the many medicinal properties of plants, there are also many that can harm us in numerous ways. NEVER take honey from the wild; you don't know where those bees have been!

It is taken in many, many different manners. It can be used in a culinary manner, to sweeten herbal teas, and it can also be used as a wound dressing.

The humble honey teddy bear, a popular honey bottle design in the US. (Unknown source)