Bee Morse Farm

Learning to live a little more country

Herb of the Week: Scullcap

Scullcap

Scientific Name: Scutellaria Lateriflora

Part Used: Flowers and Leaves.  Psst…..it’s a member of the mint family!

Therapeutic Actions: antibacterial, antispasmodic, antiallergenic, cooling, diuretic, promotes bile flow, strongly anti-inflammatory, sedative.  This herb is extremely helpful for treating the nervous system: reduces pain, eases tension, feeds, tones, rehabilitates and strengths the nervous system, helps promote sleep and can even help to gently soothe and nourish the peripheral nerves and muscle tissue.

Medicinal Uses:  It’s really great to use for headaches, nerve tremors, stress, menstrual tension, insomnia and nervous exhaustion.

Recipe: Headache and Nervous Stress Tea:

2 parts Scullcap, 2 parts Lemonbalm, 1/2 part Feverfew and 4 parts Chamomile.  Do NOT boil this herb as it is super sensitive to heat. Add your tea mixture to pre-boiled water.  Steep for 20 minutes. Drink 1/4th cup every 30 minutes until symptoms have disappeared. Can be consumed hot or cold. It can also be reheated.

Adverse Reactions:   The Scutellaria Lateriflora herb is a strong, effective herb but traditionally there are no danger of overdosing if used over a prolonged period of time. Recently there has been some concern about scullcap and it’s potential for liver toxicity.  However, it has been found that germander that is frequently sold as scullcap is the culprit behind this new concern.  Be sure you are getting genuine, PURE Scutellaria Lateriflora.  Scullcap is NOT to be used when pregnant.

Toxicity: ———-

Drug Interactions: can increase the effect of drugs that have a sedating effect, including: Anticonvulsants such as phenytoin (Dilantin) and valproic acid (Depakote), Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium), Drugs to treat insomnia, such as zolpidem (Ambien), zaleplon (Sonata), eszopiclone (Lunesta), and ramelteon (Rozerem), Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil), Alcohol.

 

********WARNING: The following information is provided to you for a more natural approach to common, everyday ailments.  This information should not replace your primary care physician and as with starting any new medication regiment, please discuss with your doctor.   It is always safest to perform a skin patch test prior to implementing new remedies to be sure you are not allergic. This information is not imparted  to determine dietary changes, provide course of treatment, prescribe as medication or diagnose any diseases/syndromes/conditions/disorders.  Please carefully research new recipes and ideas before implementing. ********

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Keeping Winter Skin Nourished

I don’t know about you, but this time of year is brutal to my skin.  It’s a constant battle to be free of dry, flaky winter time skin. So how can we have smooth, summer time skin year round?

Hydrate

You’ve heard me say it before, your skin is your largest organ. Here’s a new tip: your skin is the last organ to receive water.  So skin is: the largest organ and the last to get water.  Don’t have a clue as to how much water you should be drinking? Here’s a quick calculation – divide your weight by half (150/2=75).  Instead of saying 75 pounds we are going to change pounds to ounces (75 ounces).  And that is how much water you should be targeting for daily intake.  For a typical person this is a great calculation but remember there are variables that could change this formula such as exercise, health issues, etc.

 

Body Brushing

IMG_3975check out my adorable rubber ducky body brush

Have you ever heard of body brushing? Take a soft bristled brush and vigorously rub your body with it.  This helps exfoliate the body, eliminating dead skin cells, hair and other gobbly gook.  By exfoliating the dead stuff away your skin has better breathability. Body brushing also increases circulation, may help reduce cellulite, may improve the lymphatic system (hello detoxification!) and invigorates your body. Get a body brush here!

 

Epsom Salt Baths

Epsom salts are not actually salt, but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of sulfates and magnesium.  Magnesium plays a host of roles including regulating enzymes, reduces inflammation, soothes muscles and promotes sleep. Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins and help ease migraine headaches.

By bathing in Epsom salts, not only will it easy sore muscles and help you get sleepy but it will draw moisture to the top of your skin.

Want to skip the bath but still get the benefits of Epsom salts? Pick up some of our salt scrubs from the Bee Morse Farm store for the same magnesium and sulfate benefits.

 

Skip the Hot Water

I know a piping hot shower is the most tempting way to warm up during the winter but it’s also one of the easiest way to get dry skin.  Hot water strips the natural oils, called sebum (learn more here), from your skin faster than you can say zip-a-dee-doo-dah.

 

Only Use Soap When Necessary

Say WHAT?!?!?! Don’t get me wrong, I am not telling you to stop using soap altogether. But unless you NEED to lather up (ie. sweaty gym body), only wash necessary parts as soap is another of those natural oil strippers. I am a secretary by day and calm, relaxing yoga is my go to exercise so I don’t really get sweaty or have clumps of dirt clinging to me after a day at work in the winter so I don’t wash my arms, belly, back or legs as frequently as I do during the summer time.   P.S. – I do wash stinky creases everyday though (elbows, armpits, knees, etc).

 

 Say Yes to Air Drying

Don’t reach for your towel after a shower! By vigorously rubbing the water off your skin post shower you are not only rubbing off water that should be absorbed but you are disturbing your sebum, which help provide moisture to the surface of your skin. Instead of drying off, apply a body butter (get some here) to your wet skin, which will help seal that moisture in.

 

Darn! I Already Dried Off

If you forgot and dried off, or your body is still extra dry half way through the day, squirt a quarter size drop of lotion in your palm, quickly run your hand under a running facet and apply to body. By adding water to your lotion, the water will help pull it into your skin.  Remember, what you put onto your skin is pulled through and enters your bloodstream.  I bet if you sweet talked Kathryn at Took A Leap Farm she would mail you some of their all natural goats milk lotion. It’s my absolute favorite!

 

By incorporating these little tips into your daily routine you can have soft, summer skin even in the dead of winter.

 

What’s your favorite way to keep skin nourished during the winter?

 

 

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Herb of the Week: Peppermint

ECC-Hrb-PeppermintPeppermint is my VERY all time favorite herb.  I’m a total peppermint addict!

Scientific Name: M. Piperita

Part Used: Leaves

Therapeutic Actions: analgesic, anesthetic, antiseptic, antigalactogogue, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cephalic, cholagogue, cordial, decongestant, emenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, hepatic, nervine, stimulant, stomachic, sudorific, vasoconstrictor and vermifuge

Medicinal Uses:  Terrific for soothing nausea. Peppermint is commonly used for pain relief treatments, induces numbness, reduce milk flow (pregnant ladies, don’t even drink peppermint tea after 8 months of gestation if you plan on breastfeeding), relaxes muscle spasms, helps aid in removing gas, good for brain & memory health,  promotes bile discharge, helps clear congestion and ease respiratory problems. Furthermore, peppermint essential oil relieves menstruation cramps, expels phlegm, reduces fever, is a good tonic for the liver, nerves, and stomach.  Promotes perspiration.

Recipe: By applying a paste of peppermint leaves or using diluted peppermint oil topically you can help speed recovery of a sun burn.

Adverse Reactions: Peppermint oil disturbs certain liver detoxification systems, therefore it can interfere with the metabolism of certain drugs. By inhalation, menthol dilates nasal capillaries and can overexcite the CNS, possibly leading to cardiac fibrillation.  Large amounts of menthol taken orally are hepatotoxic, which means it can toxicially damage the liver.  menthol dilates nasal capillaries via inhalation and can overexcite the central nervous system, possibly leading to cardiac fibrillation.

Toxicity: LD50 of Peppermint essential oil is >2 grams or 2 mL’s in the test population.   MSDS sheet can be downloaded here

Contraindications: contraindicated with the use of cardiac stabilizing medications.  Studies have shown peppermint essential oil can  interfere with calcium channel blockers.

Drug Interactions: Peppermint oil might decrease how quickly the body breaks down cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune).  As previously mentioned,  peppermint oil can disrupt the liver detox system. Some medications that can be effected by a disrupted liver include Elavil, Haldol, Zofran, Inderal, Theo-Dur, Calan, Isoptin, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Valium, Soma, Viracept, Motrin, Coumadin and others. This doesn’t mean those taking these medications can’t use peppermint, but before use please consult your healthcare professionals.

Note: Peppermint, as with any of the mint family, is considered invasive.  To grow mint in a garden, plant in a container to keep roots from getting out of hand.

Head on over to the SHOP for items that include peppermint.

********WARNING: The following information is provided to you for a more natural approach to common, everyday ailments.  This information should not replace your primary care physician and as with starting any new medication regiment, please discuss with your doctor.   It is always safest to perform a skin patch test prior to implementing new remedies to be sure you are not allergic. This information is not imparted  to determine dietary changes, provide course of treatment, prescribe as medication or diagnose any diseases/syndromes/conditions/disorders.  Please carefully research new recipes and ideas before implementing. ********

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