Natural Health News and Articles

Becoming an Herbalist with Your Own Medicinal Herb Garden

Spring is coming and with that comes the opportunity to grow some health benefits. There are many different types of herbs that can be used to build a medicinal herb garden and while it may take getting your hands dirty and some time, it will be incredibly rewarding when you reap what you sow.

Garden Placement

The first thing to consider when planting a medicinal herb garden is your garden placement. Fortunately, almost any type of herb garden can sowed directly in the ground for seasonal gardeners or in containers for a more year round harvest. If you choose to plant in the ground, it is important to choose an area that has good drainage, full sun exposure, and protection from critters. It is also important to know the quality of your soil, such as if your soil is sandy, clay, or has a high pH. Simple tests from your local home and garden store can usually help you to figure this out.

Containers are less complicated with soil, considering you can purchase soil from a home and garden store that is designed for herb growth. It is also nice to be able to move and relocate plants depending on the weather. This allows for indoor planting as well during the winter months.

What to Plant

Knowing what you need is half the battle when planting a medicinal garden. Some of the most common herbs found in most include: basil, rosemary, lavender, thyme, and sage. All of these staples have a variety of uses ranging from treating headaches to relieving stress. Other types of medicinal herbs include garlic, mint, chamomile, St. John’s Wart, and feverfew.Some larger plants, but equally useful in medicinal gardens include yarrow, burdock, and marshmallow.

Seeds or Seedlings

You can start with seeds, but bear in mind that seeds require a lot of maintenance from the onset and usually need to be started indoors and much earlier than the growing season. Another option, however, is to purchase seedlings from a local nursery or various outlets online. This will allow you to build your garden indoors or outdoors, will come with a healthy guarantee, and allow you to reap your reward much sooner in comparison.

Welcome Herbalism Into Your Life

It may seem like a huge undertaking to build a medicinal garden, but it can be as big or as small as you are willing to commit to. Adding these herbs into your life can help combat things as miniscule as the common cold through major illness like high blood pressure and heart disease. With a little work and some patience, you can help protect your health and wellness completely naturally.



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Herbs to Relieve Allergy Symptoms

Now that winter is finally behind us and spring is here, so is allergy season. The good news is that there are several herbs that can help relieve allergy symptoms.

As Princess Carey, founder of, says, “Let nature heal you! Natural remedies, such as herbal healing is the foundation of natural health the way the creator intended”.

Anticatarrhal herbs such as goldenseal, red sage and goldenrod can help eliminate mucus because they help reduce inflammation of the mucus membrane. Other anti-inflammatory herbs that can help ease allergy symptoms include stinging nettle, Ginkgo biloba and licorice.

Astringent herbs like yarrow and myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) can help contract inflamed tissues and, as a result, reduce secretions and discharges.

Echinacea, astragalus root, goldenseal root and Brazilian herb Pfaffia paniculata have been shown to help strengthen the immune system, which is especially important for allergy sufferers.

Cayenne pepper has an active ingredient called capsaicin, which is a strong anti-inflammatory agent that helps treat both allergies and asthma. Cayenne pepper also tends to be relatively inexpensive and it’s easy to find. You can simply sprinkle liberal amounts of cayenne pepper on your food to reap its benefits.

Probiotics, or “friendly” bacteria, such as lactobacillus acidophilus, L. bulgaricus and Bifidobacteria can help balance intestinal flora. People who suffer from allergies often have a digestive tract with higher levels of parasites and yeast, which can trigger more allergic reactions by the immune system. (Probiotic supplements should be refrigerated.)

For those suffering from an upset stomach, diarrhea or nausea due to allergies, demulcent herbs can help reduce these symptoms because of their protective effect on mucous membranes, which can ease irritation. Demulcent herbs include marshmallow, slippery elm bark, cabbage juice, okra, fenugreek and aloe vera.

By Jessica Braun – Jessica is a freelance writer for WholesomeOne. She can be reached at jessica.braun[at]wholesomeone[dot]com.

Review by Princess Carey, Holistic Nutritionist & founder of Herbalosophy101


  • Source: Alternative Medicine, the Definitive Guide

Natural Health News and Articles

Elevate Your Mood and Energy Level with Eleuthero

Do you have fibromyalgia and suffer from profound fatigue or depression? Are you exhausted all of the time? If so, consider adding the herb Eleuthero to your treatment program. Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus), often referred to as Siberian ginseng, is used by many people, not only to restore energy, but also help to stabilize mood.

It is one of the most commonly prescribed herbs in the world due to its ability to help combat fatigue. It is also a tremendous stress buster. Eleuthero has also been demonstrated in a few research studies to improve mental performance and concentration.

In addition, it hasimmune system boosting effects and can help fight off infections. Fibromyalgia is associated with stressed out adrenal glands. Eleuthero functions as an adrenal gland booster that can boost adrenal function and improve physical stamina. In one clinical study, nine males used this herb at a dose of 800 mg a day for approximately two months. Compared to the placebo group, those taking Eleuthero demonstrated improved endurance and heart function.

This herb can be taken in many forms, such as a tincture, extract, or capsule. An easy way to take Eleuthero is in capsule form. You can begin at a starting dose of 500 mg a day. Increase the dose to twice a day over a few weeks. You should begin to notice how much better you feel as well as an improvement in your ability to cope with daily stresses.

Be aware that Eleuthero can thin the blood. If you are taking any prescription blood thinning medication such as Coumadin, be sure to speak with your doctor or pharmacist before using this herb. To ensure safety and avoid drug interactions, consult a professional before using any herbs.

By Rich Snyder, DO


  • Kuo J, Chen KW et al. “The effect of eight weeks of supplementation with Eleutherococcus senticosus on endurance capacity and metabolism in human.” The Chinese Journal of Physiology. 2010 Apr 30;53(2):105-11.
  • Panossian A, Wikman G. “Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity.” Current Clinical Pharmacology. 2009 Sep;4(3):198-219.

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10 Common Ailments and Injuries and the Herbs to Treat Them

Finding ways to treat illnesses and injuries at home can be as simple as going into your garden for some common herbs. Here are 10 common ailments and the herbs used to help them.

  • Aching Joints – Rosemary, St. John’s Wort
  • Muscle Aches – Chamomile, Marjoram, and Ginger
  • Inflammation – Basil, Chamomile, Lemon, Rosemary, and Ginger
  • Bruises – Lavender, Marjoram
  • Common Cold – Ginger, Lemon Thyme, Marjoram, and Sage
  • Heartburn – Anise, Caraway, Fennel, Mint, and Nutmeg
  • Nausea – Anise, Ginger, Mint, Nutmeg, and Turmeric
  • Sprains and Stiffness – Comfrey
  • Menopause Symptoms – Cinnamon, Alfalfa, Sage, and St. John’s Wort
  • Asthma – Anise, Cardamom, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Lemon Thyme, and Turmeric

Most of these herbs can be infused into a tea and consumed in moderation to help alleviate these common ailments. The herbs that are most often used for home remedies can be seen making multiple appearances here. These include Ginger, St. John’s Wort, Rosemary, Turmeric, Chamomile, and Cinnamon. These can be referred to as the “Super Herbs” in the world of Homeopathic health. By incorporating these herbs into your nutrition you can help alleviate 10 common ailments and injuries without taking chemical medication.


  •, 2013


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“Weeds” or Healing Herbs?

Do you have lots of weeds in your yard? This time of year, I bet you do!

Do they drive you crazy? The weeds in my yard used to drive me nuts. Pre-life-with-baby days, I would spend hours upon hours weeding my flower beds and my entire lawn. I have a pretty big lawn and I would go through and pick them all out. Every single last one. I would not stop until they were all gone.

We have never used weed or feed or any type of fertilizer. I wanted my yard to be chemical free for ourselves, our dog and now our toddler daughter. But no chemicals= lots of weeds.

There is not much weed pulling going on in my post-baby-life. I can barely keep up with the laundry and getting a home cooked, healthy meal on the table every night, let alone weed my dang yard. But this year, I realized my weeds are beautiful. And healing.

I have done a little research and realized I have Shepard’s Purse, Chickweed, Dandelion and Nettle in my yard!

All these years I could have been making herbal teas and tinctures, but instead I was neurotically picking them to keep my yard perfect. At least pulling weeds is good exercise! Do you have any healing weeds in your yard?

By Stephanie Brandt Cornais You can find Stephanie Brandt Cornais at her at her blog,


Calendula for Skin

Calendula has shown to have healing properties when applied to one’s skin. It can be used to reduce pain and swelling, and to treat poorly healing wounds.

Calendula for Skin

This infographic was produced by DeliciousLiving and Bodyceuticals.


Herbs for Migraines

Written by Sandy Cho, MD and reviewed by Julie A. Cerrato, PhD

Herbs are commonly used to provide relief from migraines. Feverfew and butterbur are remedies for a migraine in either preventing them or reducing their severity. Seek the advice of a health professional to see if these treatments are right for you.


Feverfew is an herb with anti-inflammatory properties. A study shows that feverfew extract of 6.25 mg three times a day decreased migraine attacks by nearly half.

The primary active ingredient in feverfew can be found in some other plants such as artichoke, sunflower, lettuce, spinach, and ginkgo biloba.

Feverfew action appears to affect a wide variety of physiologic pathways. Some of these mechanisms include inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis, decrease of vascular smooth muscle spasm, and blockage of platelet granule secretion.

Feverfew supplements are available fresh, freeze-dried, or dried and can be purchased in capsule, tablet, or liquid extract forms.

Feverfew supplements with clinical studies contain a standardized dose of parthenolide. Feverfew supplements should be standardized to contain at least 0.2% parthenolide. Parthenolide is central to the biological effects of feverfew.


Butter (a.k.a. Petasites hybridus root) is an ancient plant which has been used for medical and edible purposes.

50-75 mg twice a day have demonstrated significant reduction in migraine frequency. The mechanism by which butterbur may reduce migraine includes inhibiting the inflammatory effect of chemicals like leukotrienes and prostaglandin E2 in the pain pathway.

Another mechanism of butterbur may be its ability to function as a natural beta blocker whose action results in the normal flow of blood to the brain. This helps control blood pressure and spasmodic capillary action, which can also contribute to the onset of migraine headaches.

When purchasing butterbur products, be sure to choose a brand labeled PA-Free. This means the product was processed to remove potentially harmful, toxic chemicals found in the butterbur plant known as pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA). The special butterbur extract is prepared by having all liver-toxic alkaloids removed.

Agosti R, Duke RK, Chrubasik JE, Chrubasik S. Effectiveness of Petasites hybridus preparations in the prophylaxis of migraine: a systematic review. Phytomedicine 2006;13(9-10):743-6.
Dall’Acqua S, Viola G, Giorgetti M, Loi MC, Innocenti G. Two new sesquiterpene lactones from the leaves of Laurus nobilis. Chemical & pharmaceutical bulletin 2006;54 (8): 1187–1189.
Gilmore B, et al. Treatment of acute migraine headache. American Family Physician. 2011;83:271-280.
Hildreth C, Lynm C, Glass R. Migraine Headache. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2009;301(24):2608.
NINDS Migraine information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Schoenen J, Jacquy J, Lenaerts M. Effectiveness of high-dose riboflavin in migraine prophylaxis. A randomized controlled trial. Neurology. 1998 Feb;50(2):466-70.
Vaughan T. The role of food in the pathogenesis ofmigraine headache. Clin Rev Allergy. 1994;12:167-180.




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AllergEase All Natural Allergy Relief Lozenges- Honey Lemon

Each lozenge contains natural herbal extracts that have been used for centuries to battle allergy symptoms. Elderflower, eyebright, plantain, and stinging nettle are the four herbal extracts in our lozenges. We also use organic honey and a touch of menthol.”


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Migraines – UK Statistics and Remedies

1 in 7 people in the United Kingdom suffer from migraines; that’s 610,000 people! Migraines affect twice as many women as men.

This image, from Napiers, suggests herbal and supplement remedies to relieve the affects of a migraine.


Migraine statistics


Migraine Infographic

Migraine's 4 stages and natural holistic remedies

Migraine’s 4 stages and natural holistic remedies

Read about Natural Holistic Therapies for Migraines that formed the basis for the infographic above


Supplements – 5 supplements (Riboflavin, Magnesium, Ginkgolide B, Coq10, Omega 3) have shown to benefit migraine sufferers.

Herbs – Feverfew and butterbur are popular herbs that are commonly used to provide relief from migraines.

Biofeedback – This relaxation technique uses special equipment to teach you how to monitor and control certain physical responses related to stress, such as muscle tension.

CranioSacral Therapy – CranioSacral therapy is a form of treatment which has its origins in osteopathy and can be very effective in the treatment of migraine headaches.

Meditation – Meditation, an age-old technique of mentally concentrating to have resolution, can help treat migraine symptoms both physically and emotionally.

Essential Oils – Lavender oil is touted as being one of the best for migraine pain management.

Heat & Cold Therapy – Apply hot & cold compresses to the head or neck can be helpful in relieving pain & tension.

Homeopathy – Delivered at small homeopathic dosages, the SNRA molecule has shown to be fast-acting in migraine relief.


Herbal Medicine

An herb is a plant or plant part used for its scent, flavor or therapeutic properties.

Plants have the ability to synthesize a wide variety of chemical compounds that are used to perform important biological functions, and to defend against attack from predators such as insects, fungi and herbivorous mammals.

Many of these phytochemicals have beneficial effects on long-term health when consumed by people, and can be used to effectively treat diseases. At least 12,000 such compounds have been isolated; a number estimated to be less than 10% of the total.

How it Works

Chemical compounds in plants mediate their effects on the human body through processes identical to those already well understood for the chemical compounds in conventional drugs; thus herbal medicines do not differ greatly from conventional drugs in terms of how they work. This enables herbal medicines to be as effective as conventional medicines, but also gives them the same potential to cause harmful side effects.


The use of herbs to treat disease is almost universal among non-industrialized societies, and is often more affordable than purchasing expensive modern pharmaceuticals. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80 percent of the population of some Asian and African countries presently use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care.

Studies in the United States and Europe have shown that their use is less common in clinical settings, but has become increasingly more in recent years as scientific evidence about the effectiveness of herbal medicine has become more widely available.


Chemical compounds in plants mediate their effects on the human body through processes identical to those already well understood for the chemical compounds in conventional drugs; thus herbal medicines do not differ greatly from conventional drugs in terms of how they work. This enables herbal medicines to be as effective as conventional medicines, but also gives them the same potential to cause harmful side effects.

To use an herbal product as safely as possible:

  • Consult your doctor first
  • Do not take a bigger dose than the label recommends
  • Take it under the guidance of a trained medical professional
  • Be especially cautious if you are pregnant or nursing


Herbal medicine products are dietary supplements taken to improve one's health. Many herbs have been used for a long time for claimed health benefits. They are sold as tablets, capsules, powders, teas, extracts and fresh or dried plants.


  • Wikipedia contributors. Herbalism. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. November 26, 2012, 22:12 UTC. Accessed November 27, 2012.
  • NIH: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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Herbal Tinctures – A New Way of Looking at Supplements

First developed thousands of years ago, precisely derived liquid extracts called tinctures have recently grown in popularity. Tinctures’ ability to preserve the active components of plants, their lengthy shelf life, and their vitalizing effects on health make them an excellent way to treat a range of symptoms.

It is now known that many conventional drugs are derived from plant sources, including aspirin from willow bark, digoxin from foxglove, quinine from cinchona bark, and morphine from the opium poppy.i Each has healing value. What is unique about tinctures, though, is their ability to deliver the health benefits of plants in liquid form.

While both fluid extracts and tinctures are technically “extracts”, or herbal preparations, the difference between the two lies in their herb strength ratios or concentrations. Herbal tinctures are alcohol/water preparations made with dry herbs and have an herb strength ratio of 1:5 or weaker. Liquid extracts, on the other hand, use an alcohol/water base with a dry herb strength ratio of 1:4 or stronger (sometimes even as strong as 1:1).ii This indicates that the dosage of fluid extracts is usually much smaller, often given in drops, whereas dosages of tinctures are mostly given in milliliters.iii

While it’s true that many tinctures are dissolved in alcohol, they can also be extracted in distilled water, vegetable glycerin, apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar. If making a tincture without the use of alcohol, make sure to use 100% vegetable glycerin or food grade distilled white vinegar. Never use rubbing alcohol or wood alcohol, as this would create a highly poisonous substance.iv

It is recommended that one consults a physician prior to the purchase of a desired tincture. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended dosage and directions for its application.

Tinctures are often added to water, tea, or juice, but they may also be taken directly by mouth. If a tincture is alcohol-based, drop it into a cup of boiled water and wait a few minutes—this will help the alcohol evaporate before consumption.

Popular herbal tinctures are:

  • Herb Pharm’s Valerian Root Extract for Relaxation and Restful Sleep
  • David Winston’s Lung Relief™ Cold/Damp (made by Herbalist and Alchemist)
  • Terra Firma Botanical’s Aller-Eaze-Herbal Allergy Relief
  • Herb Pharm’s Stone Breaker (Chanca Piedra) Compound for Urinary System Support
  • Herb Pharm’s Mullein/Garlic Herbal Ear Drop Oil

Different than traditional supplements in pill form, tinctures are a new way of treating one’s body with essential vitamins and minerals. Full of organic material from nature’s wide array of plants, tinctures have the potential of treating a variety of symptoms. As always, be sure to consult a physician before use.

Written by Nicole Kagan

Reviewed & edited by Dr. Jeffrey C. Lederman, DO, MPH and Julie A. Cerrato, PhD, AP, CYT, CAP