Bee Morse Farm

Learning to live a little more country

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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Essential Oil Profile: Wintergreen

wintergreen2

Scientific Name: Gaultheria Procumbens

Therapeutic Actions: analgesic, anodyne, anti-rheumatic, anti-arthritic, antispasmodic, antiseptic, aromatic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, emenagogue and stimulant

Part Used: Steam distillation of its leaves

History: Wintergreen is a tree native to North America and it is believed to have been Native Americans who discovered the use of its oil to eliminate pain in the muscles & joints and to treat for rheumatism, fever, headaches and sore throats. Wintergreen was also chewed to help increase lung capacity and assist in healing respiratory conditions. Early settlers chewed on wintergreen to help prevent tooth decay. A tea made from the leaves of the wintergreen plant was used as a substitute for tea during the Revolutionary War.

Contraindications: Oral or topical application is best avoided in children. Avoid use in patients with known hypersensitivity to any of the components in wintergreen oil. Avoid use in patients with asthma, known salicylate allergy, or G.I. irritation or inflammation.

Compounds: Menthyl Salicylate and Gaultherilene are the two main components of this essential oil.

Pharmacology: Menthyl Salicylate forms an integral part of almost every antiarthritic and analgesic balm for muscle and joint pain that is available on the market today. Wintergreen is extremely popular with the people suffering from rheumatism, arthritis, gout and pain in their bones and joints from any number of reasons.

LD50: The acute oral LD50 in a rat is 1.3mL. However, in humans methyl salicylate does appear to be more
toxic. Given the numbers of fatalities in years past, with the amount ingested being known in a number of cases, we can estimate a human LD50 of 0.3g For a 132 pound adult, this would translate to the ingestion of about 19mL, or 380 drops of wintergreen essential oil. Keep in mind that 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of wintergreen oil is equivalent to approximately 7000 mg of salicylate or 21.5 adult aspirin tablets.

Side Effects: Taken in large amounts can cause ringing in the ears, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, stomach pain, confusion and even death.

Drug Interactions: Taking wintergreen oil along with warfarin (Coumadin) can increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Do not mix the drug with wintergreen oil without your doctor’s permission. Also, using large amounts of wintergreen oil on your skin and taking aspirin at the same time might increase the risk of side effects.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Children – Wintergreen leaf and oil can be poisonous for children. Taking 4-10 mL of wintergreen oil by mouth can be deadly. Don’t even use wintergreen oil on the skin of children less than 2 years old.

Pregnancy/Breast-Feeding – Wintergreen is safe in amounts found in food, but there’s not enough information to know if it’s safe in the larger amounts that are used as medicine. Don’t take it by mouth or put it on your skin, if you are
pregnant. If you are breast-feeding, don’t take wintergreen by mouth or put it on your skin. Wintergreen products might be toxic to nursing
infants.

Stomach & Intestinal Inflammation – Taking wintergreen by mouth might make these conditions worse.

Aspirin/Salicylate Allergy – Wintergreen might cause an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to salicylate compounds, or have asthma or nasal polyps. Use wintergreen with extreme caution if you have one of these conditions.

Additional Information: This essential oil can be poisonous due to the presence of Menthyl Salicylate. It should never be ingested and should not be used for undiluted inhalation. If large amounts of wintergreen are ingested, it can cause severe damage to internal organs like the liver and kidneys. Transdermal application is sufficient for making this oil work internally. One more cautionary note, excessive application on the skin can cause severe skin rashes, burns or open wounds.

 

 

********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: 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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