Bee Morse Farm

Learning to live a little more country

Essential Oil Profile: Clary Sage

clary sage

 

Scientific Name: Salvia sclarea

Therapeutic Actions: antidepressant, antispasmodic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, bactericidal, carminative, deodorant, digestive, emmenagogue, hypotensive, nervine, sedative & stomachic.

History: The name “clary” is derived from the Latin word “clarus” meaning clear.  Medieval authors called the herb “clear eye” and considered it beneficial in healing visual problems.  It was known in the Middle Ages as “Oculus Christi”, meaning the eye of Christ, and was a highly esteemed medicine.  In German clary sage was known as “muscatel sage” because it resembled muscatel wine.  Dishonest merchants would adulterate their muscatel wine with clary sage.  This often produced a heightened state of intoxication.  In sixteenth century England, clary sage was substituted for hops in their production of beer.

Parts of the Plant: Clary sage oil is extracted by steam distillation from the flowering tops and leaves.

Composition: Clary sage contains linalyl acetate, linalool, germacrene d and sclareo, which makes it about 75% ester.

Pharmacological Actions: Clary sage is calming to the nervous system, particularly in cases of depression, stress, insomnia and deep seated tension.  It is a good tonic for the womb and female functions in general such as painful periods, scanty menstruation and relaxation during labor, thus encouraging a less painful birth.  During menopause, clary sage can help reduce hot flashes, night sweats, palpitations, irritability as well as headaches and dizziness.  It is good for muscle pains, digestive disorders, kidney diseases and the cooling of inflammation of the skin.

Indications (it is good for):  Clary sage has been effectively used for leukemia, menstrual discomforts including PMS, hormonal imbalance, insomnia, circulatory issues and high cholesterol.

Contraindications (it is not good for): Clary sage is contraindicated during the first trimester of pregnancy.  It is generally a safe and non toxic oil but many have some possibilities of irritating mucous membranes.  Remember to read the scientific name when purchasing clary sage! Salvia officials (or common sage) as an essential oil is not recommended due to the high content of thujone which can be toxic.

Interactions: Clary sage should be avoided when consuming alcohol or other drugs (recreational or pharmaceutical) since it could exaggerate the effects.

Dosage: Use clary sage essential oils in bath or in aromatherapy blends.  Clary sage is warming and very relaxing.  Use it to treat oily hair and skin, dandruff and facial wrinkles.  For relief of hot flashes in menopause or to quickly cool summer prickly heat, take a sponge bath with a few drops of clary sage in cool water.  When diffused this oil is great for helping induce sleep.

 

 

********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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Definition for a Holistic Lifestyle

If your new to the holistic world than most likely you’ve encountered some definitions that have you scratching your head.  Below are a few definitions that will help you untangle the web of confusion.

(This list is a work in progress.  If you have a definition suggestion please comment below.)

 

Allopathic – conventional medicine; today’s mainstream medical practice; using pharmacological drugs that treat ailments, diseases or illnesses. Allopathic medicine classifies illness solely by naming symptoms into a disease pattern.

Alternative Medicine – Holistic health, natural medicine, alternative medicine: these definitions are interchangeable. These fields group together a wide and varied field.  It includes (but is not limited to) homeopathy, herbalism, aromatherapy, nutrition, acupuncture, Ayurveda, energy therapy and color therapy just to name a few. Regardless of the type of therapy they all share an underlying common theme, PREVENTION. To utilize alternative effectively we rely on health history, personal tendencies (allergies, dietary issues, etc) and symptomology (process of identifying an illness or symptom) to get a wider picture of the situation.

Antioxidants – Antioxidants are chemicals that block the activity of free radicals. Free radicals are chemicals that have a HUGE potential to deteriorate our cells, causing damage that could potentially lead to cancer. Free radicals are naturally occurring in the body. Antioxidants are also important to detoxing our bodies.

Aromatherapy – the use of natural oils that have a pleasant smell to make a person feel better. Check out my previous blog post for a more in-depth definition.

Detoxification – okay, most people know what detoxing is but we’ll include it in the list of definitions. Detoxification is the removal of toxic substances from a living organism. The liver plays the most important role of detoxing but the kidney’s also help.  Detoxing your body is a key factor in natural health.

Essential Oils – check out my previous blog post for a more in-depth definition. Essential oils, used properly, have many advantages over modern day drugs. Today’s medicine usually only contain 2-4 chemical compounds verses essential oils can have dozens and dozens of these compounds, which is what provides the healing benefits.

Herbalism/Herbalist – The study or practice of the medicinal and therapeutic use of plants, now especially as a form of alternative medicine. Check out my previous blog post for a more in-depth definition

Holistic Health – Holistic health, natural medicine, alternative medicine: these definitions are interchangeable. These fields group together a wide and varied field.  It includes (but is not limited to) homeopathy, herbalism, aromatherapy, nutrition, acupuncture, Ayurveda, energy therapy and color therapy just to name a few. Regardless of the type of therapy they all share an underlying common theme, PREVENTION. To utilize holistic health effectively we rely on health history, personal tendencies (allergies, dietary issues, etc) and symptomology (process of identifying an illness or symptom) to get a wider picture of the situation.

Homeopathic – a principal that thought is “like cures like”; homeopathic medicine give a very diluted dose of remedy that, given in larger doses, would create similar symptoms of those that are being treated. A vaccine is the perfect example of a homeopathic remedy. In some of the vaccines we receive here in the USA, a VERY diluted amount of the virus that we are trying to prevent is injected into us.  Although the vaccine is a great example of what homeopathic medicine is, it is not considered homeopathic in the medical field.

Homeostatis – The bodily systems work in unison and as they were intended to. It is a process that maintains the stability of the human body’s internal environment in response to changes in external conditions.

Natural Medicine – Holistic health, natural medicine, alternative medicine: these definitions are interchangeable. These fields group together a wide and varied field.  It includes (but is not limited to) homeopathy, herbalism, aromatherapy, nutrition, acupuncture, Ayurveda, energy therapy and color therapy just to name a few. Regardless of the type of therapy they all share an underlying common theme, PREVENTION. To utilize natural medicine effectively we rely on health history, personal tendencies (allergies, dietary issues, etc) and symptomology (process of identifying an illness or symptom) to get a wider picture of the situation.

Nutrition – Okay, everybody knows what nutrition is so I won’t necessarily define it.  However, nutrition plays a VERY, VERY important role in holistic health. We’ve all heard the term “you are what you eat“. I could go on forrrrrr-evvvvver about nutrition, so I’ll just leave it as this: the biggest key in prevention is what you eat for food. I’ll be covering this topic more in-depth at a later date.

Pharmaceuticals – This is another definition that we all know: they are our modern day drugs. While pharmaceuticals were once derived from the chemical compositions of herbs, today theses compounds are more than like synthetic and made in a lab somewhere (most likely not even in America). When using herbal remedies, you receive HUNDREDS of chemical compounds that focus on whatever issue your treating. Now why would you use a modern day drug is you could use a herbal remedy :)

Terrain Theory– the terrain is the internal fluids of  your body. This includes blood, plasma, lymphatic fluid and all other bodily fluids. The milieu interieur, or internal environment, was coined by a French physiologist and he theorized that if the terrain is healthy (such as proper pH level, low number of toxins, etc) all organs of the body can work together in unison, efficiently fighting off foreign invaders such as disease or illnesses. Keeping the terrain healthy is integral in holistic healing.

 

 

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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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Herb of the Week: Plantain

PlantagoMajorOne of my favorite herbs for infusing and making salves with is plantain.

The best part?  You can find it in your own backyard! Most people actually consider plantain weed!

Scientific Name: Plantago Major

Part Used: Root, Leaves, Flower Spikes, Seeds

Therapeutic Actions: Refrigerant, diuretic, emollient, antiseptic, anti-venomous, styptic, vermicide, vulnerary

Medicinal Uses: Relieves pain from cuts, scratches, boils, burns and scalds. Helps ease inflammation & eczema. Externally it helps stop bleeding of minor wounds and the itching of poison ivy. Internally it can help with thrush, blood poisoning, bleeding ulcers, diarrhea, bed wetting, syphilis, toothaches, removes parasitic worms such as ringworm.

Recipe: Apply fresh leaves that have been bruised to relieve stings and bites from poisonous insect (think mosquitoes or black flies).  Apply leaves directly to affected area,  cover the leave and keep the area moist with juice of the plantain leaf.  If itching still occurs when the leaf has dried out, repeat procedure.

Adverse Reactions: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, anorexia, bloating, hyper-sensitivity and dermatitis may arise. Life threatening anaphylaxis may occur in more serious cases.

Toxicity: The 70% ethanol extract was found to be toxic to shrimps but P. major possesses a low toxicity in rats after oral and intraperitoneal administration.

Contraindications: Should not be used during pregnancy or if breastfeeding. Should not be used in persons with intestinal obstruction or those who developed hyper sensitivity to plantain.

Drug Interactions: decreased the actions of the drug carbamazepine (treats epilepsy) and enhances the effects of cardiac glycosides  (used in drugs to treat atrial fibrillation, heart failure and congenital heart defects)

Head on over to the SHOP for salves that include plantain.  We have wound care, burn care and insect bite that all contains plantain!

********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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