Astragalus Root - Can It Help You Feel Better?
Astragalus root has been used since ancient times in Chinese medicine. It is related to the pea family and is actually a root. Only in recent times has it been introduced to the west and we are now finding the benefits of this herbal plant. It is grown in Northern and Northeast China. It is harvested in the Spring and then dried for 4-7 years. It is now grown in the USA.
Scientific research has shown that this root has the ability to strengthen and improve the body’s immune system. It does this by stimulating the body to make more interferon. This substance helps the body destroy viruses and other unwanted microbes. Astragalus root is often recommended for boosting the immune system, in those who get sick easily or already have a serious illness.
Astragalus root also claims to boost energy levels and vitality. Blood circulation is improved. There are no known side effects, but consultation with your doctor is advised before taking as a supplement.
Astragalus root is very active in improving cell communication. Its properties include Polysaccharides and Glyconutrients, which are known to improve the immune system and are also anti-inflammatory. It also helps the body get rid of water retention.
It is taken as a dried powder and often with other Chinese medicines. To prepare as a tea: You will need to put 1 teaspoonful of the root powder in 1 cup of water, then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3 times a day. When taking a tincture of the root powder you will need to take 2-4 ml three times a day.
You should not use Astragalus root prior to or after surgery, because the risk of bleeding can be increased. Astragalus root can have an adverse effect when used with blood thinning drugs like warfarin.
Astragalus root is a good supplement for your health but is a strong medicine. This should not be taken randomly and you should always consult your doctor before taking. Research in the west is fairly new and we have only just begun to find out about this amazing herbal medicine. As scientists do more research we will hear and get to know more about this new and exciting alternative to modern day medcines.
Basil – More Than A Kitchen Plant
A universally known fact is that aromatherapy uses essential oils extracted from plants. One of the most commonly used essential oil in aromatherapy is that of Basil. Basil got its name from the Greek word “basileum” meaning “king”. Considered as "king among plants" as it was one of the ingredients on the list of oils blended to massage kings.
Basil is an important herb as its uses are two-fold, for cooking as well as to cure a variety of ailments. The herb covers and offers a plethora of medical benefits. If added early while cooking, it loses its flavor; hence it should be used as soon as it is plucked from the plant. It ought be added towards the end of cooking. It exudes a warm, gentle unique flavor and fragrance in cooking.
The leaves of basil are steam-distilled to create oil. Medically, it provides relief to sore gums, ulcers, chest infections and digestive problems. It has been used as a brain stimulant and an antispasmodic, making it wonderful in the treatment of bronchitis and whooping cough.
Basil is said to have uplifting and refreshing properties. 2-3 drops of basil oil is known to relieve mental fatigue, tension, stress, mild anxiety, loss of appetite, flatulence, nausea, sinusitis, cold, fever, earaches, eases rheumatic, arthritic and muscular pains.
A potpourri of dried basil leaves and flowers creates a fragrant atmosphere wherever kept. It is also used as an insect repellent, as burned sprigs of basil drive away mosquitoes. If you keep a potted plant of basil on the windowsill, it will deter flies from entering your home.
Basil oil, when mixed with massage oil and gently rubbed over the stomach, helps to ease many types of digestive problems. Basil should be used sparingly on skin as it could cause irritation. If you want to add a few drops to your bath, dilute it with a carrier oil, or mix it with a skin cream or lotion.
It should NOT be used during pregnancy. Basil helps with depression, increases alertness, aids in concentration, relieves headaches, head congestion and migraines. Basil regulates the menstrual cycle and reduces menstrual cramps. The herb blends well with rosemary, lavender, bergamot, clary sage, geranium and citrus oils.