Right handed or left? Worldwide, about 90 per cent of the people prefer to use their right hand for doing things. Not surprisingly, life in all cultures is geared to the right-handed individual. Implements like nuts and bolts are difficult to handle for the left-handed. Incidentally, “right” also means “correct”. The word “left” is derived from the Anglo-Saxon “lyft” which means “weak” or “useless”.
……………CLICK & SEE Our brains are wired for handedness. During the process of evolution, the centre for language moved to the left hemisphere in the majority of the people. The human brain functions such that the left and dominant hemisphere controls the right side of the body, making the majority (80 per cent) totally right-handed. The dominance does not extend to the use of the hand alone — such people are also are “right sided”. Their dominant eye, ear and leg are on the same side of the body.
Problems arise in 20 per cent of the population that doesn’t have a dominant hemisphere to determine laterality or handedness. Their brains are “cross wired”, giving them mixed handedness or laterality, cross dominance, mixed dominance or cross laterality. In short, the right hand may be matched with the left foot or the left hand with the right eye. This leads to confused, crossed signals in the brain when complex tasks are performed. The electrical and chemical signals have to criss-cross the midline before they eventually reach their final destination in the designated area of the brain. Therefore, such individuals are accident prone, and have things around them explode, collapse, catch fire or fall apart. Day-to-day objects are misplaced, and navigation from one place to another (with left to right confusion) — even along familiar roads — becomes a nightmare.
These adults evolved from clumsy children, who kept bumping into things and frequently fell down. Their bodies have scars and evidence of healed fractures. Their school projects get “excellent” for imagination and “zero” for execution. Life is difficult for people with mixed laterality. Career choices are affected, with professions like driving or piloting a plane remaining distant dreams.
People with mixed laterality alternate hands when writing and legs when kicking. They hold the telephone to the ear opposite to their writing hand. They subconsciously use one hand first and then the other to perform complex tasks. Earlier, such people were considered ambidextrous, but true ambidexterity is almost unknown.
The uncertainty also extends to the mental image of their own limbs or body surface. This causes an inability to rapidly execute commands to turn right or left. The march past becomes a formidable hurdle, with everyone doing a “right turn”, while the affected individual wanders off in the wrong direction. Hesitation is evident if they are asked to perform complicated tasks with alternating hands initiating the movement. Slowed reactions preclude split second decisions, causing frequent accidents. Also, people with mixed laterality do not perform well in track and field events. Their feet do not alternate quickly enough. Running is slow and uncoordinated. The good news, however, is that they excel in games involving a bat (such as hockey, cricket, tennis, badminton and table tennis). This is because the bat is held across the body on the dominant side.
Mixed laterality also has its advantages. The criss-crossing of brain signals uses and strengthens many normally unused brain synapses and pathways. Hence such people are exceptionally talented, creative and artistic. If portraits or photographs of some famous artists — such as Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt — are scrutinised, you will see that they may paint with one hand, while tilting the head to the other side and crossing the opposite leg. This demonstrates mixed laterality.
To check your laterality, figure out —
* Which hand you use to write, pick up objects or dial the telephone
* Which leg you use to kick or which is uppermost when your legs are crossed (this remains constant all through life)
* If you cannot hear clearly, to which side you tilt your head
* The side of your jaw you use to chew (this is also constant unless there is a dental problem)
If you have mixed laterality, it is possible to overcome the “defects” and strengthen both sides equally, in a way that it “compensates” for mixed laterality. These exercises, that require 10 repetitions, may be of help —
• While walking, clench and unclench your hands, alternating them with the foot you use to step forward (right hand and left foot)
• Standing on one leg at a time
• Close one eye first and then the other
• Close one ear at a time
• Doing yogic breathing through one nostril at a time.
If a child is “left” handed, that may be the “right” laterality for him or her. Punishment, ridicule or forceful correction messes up the brain connections. Desist from interference, or you might just have sabotaged the emergence of the next Einstein.
Parts Used : Root, herb,leaves and seeds (fruits).
Habitat: Waste places, most of our area. It grows freely throughout England (though rarely in Scotland) on waste ground and about old buildings, by roadsides and in fairly damp places. The Burdock, the only British member of its genus, belongs to the Thistle group of the great order, Compositae. Flowers: July – September
Description: Burdock is a biennial plant found in the Eastern and Northern U.S. and in Europe, along fences, walls, and roadsides, in waste places, and around populated areas. The root is long, fleshy, gray-brown outside, and whitish inside. In its second year, the plant grows a furrowed, reddish , pithy stem with woolly branches. During the first year burdock has only basal leaves.
Both basal and stem leaves are oblong, green and hairy on top and downy gray underneath. The purple flowers appear in loose clusters from July to September.
A stout handsome plant, with large, wavy leaves and round heads of purple flowers. It is enclosed in a globular involucre of long stiff scales with hooked tips, the scales being also often interwoven with a white, cottony substance.
The whole plant is a dull, pale green, the stem about 3 to 4 feet and branched, rising from a biennial root. The lower leaves are very large, on long, solid foot-stalks, furrowed above, frequently more than a foot long heart-shaped and of a grey colour on their under surfaces from the mass of fine down with which they are covered. The upper leaves are much smaller, more egg-shaped in form and not so densely clothed beneath with the grey down.
The plant varies considerably in appearance, and by some botanists various subspecies, or even separate species, have been described, the variations being according to the size of the flower-heads and of the whole plant, the abundance of the whitish cottonlike substance that is sometimes found on the involucres, or the absence of it, the length of the flower-stalks, etc.
The flower-heads are found expanded during the latter part of the summer and well into the autumn: all the florets are tubular, the stamens dark purple and the styles whitish. The plant owes its dissemination greatly to the little hooked prickles of its involucre, which adhere to everything with which they come in contact, and by attaching themselves to coats of animals are often carried to a distance.
‘They are Burs, I can tell you, they’ll stick where they are thrown,’
Shakespeare makes Pandarus say in Troilus and Cressida, and in King Lear we have another direct reference to this plant:
‘Crown’d with rank Fumiter and Furrow-weeds,
With Burdocks, Hemlocks, Nettles, Cuckoo-flowers.’
Also in As You Like It:
ROSALIND. How full of briers is this working-day world!
CELIA. They are but burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in holiday foolery. If we walk not in the trodden paths, our very petticoats will catch them.
The name of the genus, Arctium, is derived from the Greek arktos, a bear, in allusion to the roughness of the burs, lappa, the specific name, being derived from a word meaning ‘to seize.’
Another source derives the word lappa from the Celtic llap, a hand, on account of its prehensile properties.
The plant gets its name of ‘Dock’ from its large leaves; the ‘Bur’ is supposed to be a contraction of the French bourre, from the Latin burra, a lock of wool, such is often found entangled with it when sheep have passed by the growing plants.
An old English name for the Burdock was ‘Herrif,’ ‘Aireve,’ or ‘Airup,’ from the Anglo-Saxon hoeg, a hedge, and reafe, a robber – or from the Anglo-Saxon verb reafian, to seize. Culpepper gives as popular names in his time: Personata, Happy Major and Clot-Bur.
Though growing in its wild state hardly any animal except the ass will browse on this plant, the stalks, cut before the flower is open and stripped of their rind, form a delicate vegetable when boiled, similar in flavour to Asparagus, and also make a pleasant salad, eaten raw with oil and vinegar. Formerly they were sometimes candied with sugar, as Angelica is now. They are slightly laxative, but perfectly wholesome.
History: A European native, burdock was naturalized in this country with the first foreign travelers. It was already known and widely used in the Old World. The white settler in America passed their knowledge of its usefulness to the Indians. And the plant eventually did appear in American pharmacopoeias, being listed for use as a diuretic and diaphoretic.
Constituents: Inulin, mucilage, sugar, a bitter, crystalline glucoside – Lappin-a little resin, fixed and volatile oils, and some tannic acid.
The roots contain starch, and the ashes of the plant, burnt when green, yield carbonate of potash abundantly, and also some nitre.
Uses in Food and drinks:
The taproot of young burdock plants can be harvested and eaten as a root vegetable. While generally out of favor in modern European cuisine, it remains popular in Asia, particularly in Japan where A. lappa (Greater burdock) is called gobÅ . Plants are cultivated for their slender roots, which can grow about 1 meter long and 2 cm across. Burdock root is very crisp and has a sweet, mild, and pungent flavor with a little muddy harshness that can be reduced by soaking julienne/shredded roots in water for five to ten minutes. Immature flower stalks may also be harvested in late spring, before flowers appear; the taste resembles that of artichoke, to which the burdock is related. A popular Japanese dish is kinpira gobÅ, julienned or shredded burdock root and carrot, braised with soy sauce, sugar, mirin and/or sake, and sesame oil; another is burdock makizushi (sushi filled with pickled burdock root rather than fish; the burdock root is often artificially colored orange to resemble a carrot). In the second half of the 20th century, burdock achieved international recognition for its culinary use due to the increasing popularity of the macrobiotic diet, which advocates its consumption. It also contains a fair amount of gobÅ dietary fiber (GDF, 6g per 100g), calcium, potassium, amino acids, and is also low calorie. It also contains polyphenols that causes darkened surface and muddy harshness by formation of tannin-iron complexes though the harshness shows excellent harmonization with pork in miso soup (tonjiru) and Japanese-style pilaf (takikomi gohan).
Dandelion and burdock is a soft drink that has long been popular in the United Kingdom. Burdock is believed to be a galactagogue, a substance that increases lactation.
Medicinal Properties: Aperient, Cholagogue, Diaphoretic, and Diuretic.
Medicinal Action and Uses-: Alterative, diuretic and diaphoretic. One of the best blood purifiers. In all skin diseases, it is a certain remedy and has effected a cure in many cases of eczema, either taken alone or combined with other remedies, such as Yellow Dock and Sarsaparilla.
The root is principally employed, but the leaves and seeds are equally valuable. Both root and seeds may be taken as a decoction of 1 OZ. to 1 1/2 pint of water, boiled down to a pint, in doses of a wineglassful, three or four times a day.
The anti-scorbutic properties of the root make the decoction very useful for boils, scurvy and rheumatic affections, and by many it is considered superior to Sarsaparilla, on account of its mucilaginous, demulcent nature; it has in addition been recommended for external use as a wash for ulcers and scaly skin disorders.
An infusion of the leaves is useful to impart strength and tone to the stomach, for some forms of long-standing indigestion.
When applied externally as a poultice, the leaves are highly resolvent for tumours and gouty swellings, and relieve bruises and inflamed surfaces generally. The bruised leaves have been applied by the peasantry in many countries as cataplasms to the feet and as a remedy for hysterical disorders.
From the seeds, both a medicinal tincture and a fluid extract are prepared, of benefit in chronic skin diseases. Americans use the seeds only, considering them more efficacious and prompt in their action than the other parts of the plant. They are relaxant and demulcent, with a limited amount of tonic property. Their influence upon the skin is due largely to their being of such an oily nature: they affect both the sebaceous and sudoriferous glands, and probably owing to their oily nature restore that smoothness to the skin which is a sign of normal healthy action.
The infusion or decoction of the seeds is employed in dropsical complaints, more especially in cases where there is co-existing derangement of the nervous system, and is considered by many to be a specific for all affections of the kidneys, for which it may with advantage be taken several times a day, before meals.
Preparations; Fluid extract, root, 1/2 to 2 drachms. Solid extract, 5 to 15 grains. Fluid extract, seed, 10 to 30 drops.
Culpepper gives the following uses for the Burdock:
‘The Burdock leaves are cooling and moderately drying, wherby good for old ulcers and sores…. The leaves applied to the places troubled with the shrinking in the sinews or arteries give much ease: a juice of the leaves or rather the roots themselves given to drink with old wine, doth wonderfully help the biting of any serpents- the root beaten with a little salt and laid on the place suddenly easeth the pain thereof, and helpeth those that are bit by a mad dog:… the seed being drunk in wine 40 days together doth wonderfully help the sciatica: the leaves bruised with the white of an egg and applied to any place burnt with fire, taketh out the fire, gives sudden ease and heals it up afterwards…. The root may be preserved with sugar for consumption, stone and the lax. The seed is much commended to break the stone, and is often used with other seeds and things for that purpose.’
It was regarded as a valuable remedy for stone in the Middle Ages, and called Bardona. As a rule, the recipes for stone contained some seeds or ‘fruits’ of a ‘stony’ character, as gromel seed, ivy berries, and nearly always saxifrage, i.e. ‘stone-breaker.’ Even date-stones had to be pounded and taken; the idea being that what is naturally ‘stony’ would cure it; that ‘like cures like’ (Henslow).
Acne, arthritis, cancer, canker sores, eczema, gout, hemorrhoids, HIV, kidney stones, lower back pain, inpotence, psoriasis, rheumatism, sciatica, to purify the blood, and ulcers.
Burdock purifies and cleanses the tissues and blood and for this reason should be used gently over a period of time. The whole plant has mild diuretic, sweat inducing, and laxative properties. It is prescribed for skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. Burdock has an anti-microbial action which has been attributed to the polyacetylenes in the plant. This explains its reputation for treating skin eruptions such as boils and acne.
The roots and leaves can be used to treat rheumatism and gout because they encourage the elimination of uric acid via the kidneys. The bitter taste of burdock is tonic to the digestive system; the are said to stimulate the secretion of bile.
Burdock leaves are useful externally as a poultice for bruises and skin problems. The fresh, bruised leaves are sometimes used as a remedy for poison ivy. The seeds contain an oil that is used medicinally, but only with medical supervision.
Preparation And Dosages:
Collect the root in the spring or fall of the second year, or when the plant has a stem. The root may be used fresh or dried. Decoction: Use 1 teaspoon root with 1 cup cold water. Let stand for 5 hours, then bring to a boil. Take 1 cup a day. Tincture: Fresh root – 1:2, dry root – 1:5 in 60% alcohol. Take 30 to 90 drops in water, chamomile tea, or regular tea, up to three times a day. Juice: Grate the fresh root and add half again as much water. Squeeze out the liquid. Drink 1 cup a day, a mouthful at a time.
Other Uses: The leaves of Greater Burdock provide food for the caterpillars of some Lepidoptera, such as the Thistle Ermine (Myelois circumvoluta).
Because the roots of burdock closely resemble those of Deadly nightshade (also known as belladonna or Atropa belladonna), there is a risk that burdock preparations may be contaminated with these potentially dangerous herbs. Be sure to buy products from established companies with good reputations. Do not gather burdock in the wild unless you know what you are doing.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider
Synonyms: Monkshood. Blue Rocket. Friar’s Cap. Auld Wife’s Huid. Common Names: Aconite, Venus’ chariot, Wolfsbane Garden, Monk’s Hood Garden
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Leopard’s bane, Women’s bane, Devil’s helmet, Queen of all Poisons, Caucasian aconite; Downy wolfsbane,Wolfsbane, Helmet Flower, Mourning Bride, Thor’s Hat, Monkshood, Blue Rocket, Friar’s Cap, Auld Wife’s Huid
Habitat : Aconite is native to most of Europe, including Britain, east to N. W. Asia and the Himalayas. It grows on damp shady places and moist rich meadows in southern Wales and south-western England. It is usually found in calcareous soils.
Alkaloid Containing Plant – Found is many colors (blues, whites, yellows, etc.). The plant is a hardy perennial, with a fleshy, spindle-shaped root, palecoloured when young, but subsequently acquiring a dark brown skin. The stem is about 3 feet high, with dark green, glossy leaves, deeply divided in palmate manner and flowers in erect clusters of a dark blue colour. The shape of the flower is specially designed to attract and utilize bee visitors, especially the humble bee. The sepals are purple – purple being specially attractive to bees – and are fancifully shaped, one of them being in the form of a hood. The petals are only represented by the two very curious nectaries within the hood, somewhat in the form of a hammer; the stamens are numerous and lie depressed in a bunch at the mouth of the flower. They are pendulous at first, but rise in succession and place their anthers forward in such a way that a bee visiting the flower for nectar is dusted with the pollen, which he then carries to the next flower he visits and thereby fertilizes the undeveloped fruits, which are in a tuft in the centre of the stamens, each carpel containing a single seed.
In the Anglo-Saxon vocabularies it is called thung, which seems to have been a general name for any very poisonous plant. It was then called Aconite (the English form of its Greek and Latin name), later Wolf’s Bane, the direct translation of the Greek Iycotonum, derived from the idea that arrows tipped with the juice, or baits anointed with it, would kill wolves – the species mentioned by Dioscorides seems to have been Aconitum lycotonum. In the Middle Ages it became Monkshood and Helmet-flower, from the curious shape of the upper sepal overtopping the rest of the flower. This was the ordinary name in Shakespeare’s days.
The generic name is said to have been derived from, a dart, because it was used by barbarous races to poison their arrows, or from akone, cliffy or rocky, because the species grow in rocky glens. Theophrastus, like Pliny, derived the name from Aconae, the supposed place of its origin. The specific name, Napellus, signifies a little turnip, in allusion to the shape of the roots.
This perennial plant grows to about five feet high. It has deeply cut fringed glossy dark green leaves. It produces spikes (racemes) of hooded blue flowers in the summer. Following the flowers are fruits which contain glossy black triangular-shaped seeds. It is one of the ancient herbs. Traditional use of roots as one of the ingredients of witches’ brews in Europe in the Middle Ages. Traditional European folk use of dried roots as a poultice for bruises, rheumatism and snake bites.
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Massing, Woodland garden. Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade. Plants only thrive in a sunny position if the soil remains moist throughout the growing season. Prefers a calcareous soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 7.5. Plants take 2 – 3 years to flower when grown from seed. Grows well in open woodlands. The flowers are very attractive to bees. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer. Although the plant is a perennial, individual roots only live for one year and die after flowering. Each root produces a number of ‘daughter’ roots before it dies and these can be used for propagating the plant. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes. An aggregate species which is divided by some botanists into many species. Special Features:Not North American native, Naturalizing, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Suitable for cut flowers.
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division – best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year.
Edible Uses : Some reports suggest the root is edible if cooked, but these should be treated with extreme caution due to the highly toxic nature of the plant
There are a number of homeopathic potions and rememdies available that contain small amounts of aconite. The most common use of aconite in small proportions is for the control of fever (humans).
Sudden and intense onset, dry red skin without perspiration, unquenchable thirst for cold water, extreme restlessness, anxiety. In a moderate dose of five minims of the tincture, a sense of numbness and tingling is felt in the tongue and lips, with muscular weakness and depression; by doubling the dose these symptoms are intensified and prolonged, the pulse falls and the breathing is slowed. A poisonous dose causes tingling in the skin, pain in the joints, vertigo, dimness of vision, extreme debility, pulse forty to fifty per minute and irregular, skin cool and moist, burning heat in the esophagus and stomach, nausea, vomiting and purging. There may be severe gastric and intestinal spasms, headache, complete loss of sight, hearing and speech, while consciousness remains; pupils dilated. muscles tremulous or convulsed, pulse imperceptible; death by syncope.
Aconite acts on the vaso-motor nervous system. It is a powerful depressant of the heart, and if given in sufficient quantity will paralyze that organ. Its apparent influence is upon the terminal filaments of the sensory nerves first, and afterwards, more slowly, upon the nerve trunks. It depresses the nerve centers of the cord, and destroys reflex activity and voluntary power.
A drop of a solution of aconite in the eye causes the pupil to contract. Larger amounts induce toxic symptoms, the principal of which are increase of tingling and numbness, excessive perspiration, rapidly lowering temperature, pupillary dilation, dimness of sight, loss of hearing and sense of touch, and diminished action of the sensory filaments supplying the skin.
Muscular weakness is marked; trembling and occasional convulsions may ensue. Excessive depression comes on, and the power of standing is early lost. The feet and legs become. cold, the face pale, and the patient has a tendency to faint. There may be violent burning in the stomach with great thirst and dyspagia, and vomiting and diarrhea may occur. The pulse is weak, rapid, and almost imperceptible; acute, lancinating pain may be felt, and more or less delirium may result, though as a rule the intellect remains unimpaired.
“The manner in which aconite affects the nervous system is not yet definitely known. That it is a heart paralyzer seems to be an accepted fact. Death may result from syncope, though usually it occurs from respiratory paralysis. The action of a lethal dose is rapid, toxic symptoms showing themselves within a few moments.” (Lloyd and Felter.)
Properties: Anodyne, febrifuge, and sedative. Main Uses: Preparations of aconite are used for external application to the skin to relieve the pain of neuralgia, sciatica, arthritis, gout, rheumatism, measles, nervous fever, and chronic skin problems.
Preparation And Dosages: Fresh Herb Tincture: (1:4) in 60% alcohol. Take 1 to 5 drops up to 4 times a day.
DANGEROUS PARTS OF PLANT:
All parts of aconite plant are poisonous, especially the root tubercles.
Note: contains aconitine, a highly toxic alkaloid. Note: too toxic to take internally. Note: all parts of this plant are very toxic when ingested: death may result. Note: POISONOUS. Note: if this plant is growing in your garden, be sure to wash your hands after handling it. Listed in the United States Pharmacopoeias from 1820 to 1930. Native to the mountainous regions of Europe. Cultivated as an ornamental in North America. At least three cultivars exist.
If a full toxic dose be taken, the above symptoms advance most rapidly, and no time whatever should be lost in combating the influence of the agent. It has no known physiological antidote. The conditions must be met according to their indications. If there is any reason for believing that the stomach contains any of the agent, large quantities of warm water should be swallowed and immediately evacuated. It may be vomited or siphoned out with a long stomach tube, or pumped out, but extreme nauseating emetics are contra-indicated. A mild infusion of oak bark, drunk freely, serves the double purpose of diluting the aconite and antidoting it by the tannin it contains. Tannic acid is believed to be a chemical antidote to a limited extent, and given in suspension in water is efficient.
The most immediately diffusible stimulants must then be given freely. Alcoholic stimulants, ammonia, capsicum in a hot infusion, and digitalis, strophanthus or atropine by hypodermic injection, or nitro- glycerine are most serviceable remedies. External heat continually and electricity are demanded. Lobelia should prove valuable. A pint of vinegar, diluted, saved one life.
SAFETY IN PREPARED FEEDS:
Any part of this plant should be avoided in feed until more research in done.
Extremely Toxic! Small doses of aconite can cause painful death.
You may click to learn more:….(1)…..(2) Known Hazards: The whole plant is highly toxic, acting especially on the nerve centres. At first it stimulates the central and peripheral nervous system and then paralyzes it. Other symptoms of poisoning include a burning sensation on the tongue, vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhoea. Simple skin contact with the plant has caused numbness in some people. The root contains 90% more poison than the leaves
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
‘Let our foods be medicines and our medicines be food’ – the old aphorism first coined by Hippocrates is coming back into vogue. In an age where medicine has become a multi-billion dollar industry and the market is flooded with thousands of ever new permutations of various synthetic compounds that make it impossible to keep track, it may well be a good idea to simplify matters a bit. Even the natural remedy department is seeing an explosion of ever more pills and extracts which will do little but confuse the average consumer. Nobody knows what’s what anymore. Confronted with conflicting messages and a glut of magic pills the task of sorting the wheat from the chaff is not an easy one. Thus, it is essential to start with the basics and to educate oneself about health and nutrition.
The word health derives from the Anglo-Saxon root ‘hal’ meaning ‘whole’. Health is a state of wholeness, of balance and harmony between mind, body and soul. Disharmony and imbalance manifests as dis-ease. Thus, the first principle of healing is to restore balance. The three main factors responsible for that balance are: proper nutrition, exercise and relaxation.And he who maintens this balance keeps good health all along.
The average convenience diet barely contains enough nutrients to keep the system running, much less to keep it healthy. Refined carbohydrates, sugars and fats are the main ingredients, supplemented with gene manipulated, processed vegetables and meats, often with artificial flavors and preservatives added to the chemical concoction. Is it really that surprising that so many people suffer from degenerative diseases, allergies, food sensitivities, cancers and immune system deficiencies? To compensate the lack of nutrients in the normal diet many people are now on an expensive regime of vitamin and mineral supplements. Vitamins and minerals are extremely important to keep the body healthy and in general all essential nutrients can and should be obtained from a wholesome, well balanced diet. However, deficiencies can result in various ailments.
A balanced diet should supply all necessary vitamins and minerals, preferably obtained from natural, organic sources. Certain conditions can deplete vitamin and mineral levels in the body and it may become necessary to boost them with nutritional supplements. However, unfortunately vitamin pills don’t always live up to what they promise. If at all possible fresh pressed juices are the best way of obtaining nutrients from organic sources, facilitating easy absorption for the body).
Many foods and vegetables provide far more than essential nutrients, though. In fact, most can be used directly as healing agents. The distinction between staple foods, vegetables, spices, herbs and drugs are often rather arbitrary. Lets take a closer look at this scale of distinction:
Grains, (such as oats, barley, wheat and rice) and starchy root vegetables (such as potatoes, yams or cassavas) are sometimes called ‘the staff of life’. They should form the basis of a balanced diet, as they supply not only energy in the form of complex carbohydrates but also contain a large range of nutrients. They are rich in fiber, too, which is especially important for maintaining a healthy digestive system, vital for the process of eliminating toxins and keeping cholesterol levels low.
Then there are different kinds of vegetables. Some of these are root vegetables, such as carrots,radish and parsnips, others are leafy, such as spinach or cabbage. They supplement the staple foods and ensure a balanced intake of a wide range of nutrients. However, one should not let them dominate the diet completely, as too much of a good thing can be just too much: Fat soluble vitamins are stored in the body and can be damaging if built up to excessive amounts. Too much asparagus can damage the kidneys and too much spinach leeches the calcium from teeth and bones.
Next on the scale are the spices, which not only add flavor to a good meal, but also subtly insure that it can be digested comfortably. Most herbs commonly used in the kitchen are rich in volatile oils and thus stimulate the digestive juices. Their action is carminative and soothing. Additionally, many, kill worms and bacteria in the intestinal tract or add nutrients to the diet. In fact, most commonly used kitchen herbs are very useful medicinal herbs.
At the very far end of the scale, beyond these simple herbs and spices are the medicinal herbs, which don’t usually feature in the diet at all, but are generally only used as medicines. Most of these tend to have a tonic and restorative effect on the body. They are not fast acting magic bullets, but over time restore the bodily balance by toning the entire system. Beyond these are the toxic herbs, which, depending on the dosage, can either heal or harm. These are the plants that tend to be favored by the pharmaceutical industry as potential sources for their drugs, as they usually depend on one or more very definitive ‘active principles’, which can be isolated and synthesized with relative ease. In contrast to the gentler herbs, which act as toning restoratives, they tend to provoke a strong re-action from the body in response to the biochemical assault. Only experienced herbalists should attempt to use strong and potentially dangerous herbs in their practice. When such plant drugs are isolated and synthesized into chemical medicines the effect tends to become even stronger and oftentimes downright toxic as the herbs natural buffer substances (thought to be ‘inactive waste materials) are eliminated from the formula.
When faced with a subject as vast as herbal medicine, the number of different remedies available can be quite overwhelming. Thus, the simplest strategy is to start with herbs and spices that one is already well familiar with. There are dozens of simple home remedies that over time have proven to be extremely effective and safe,I therefore, try to include these types of remedies in most of my blogs for common diseases. Although they have almost slipped into the realm of ‘old wife’s tales’ and are forgotten by the general public, who tends to prefer the convenience of ‘modern’ processed chemical medicines, herbal pills or tinctures. This trend is supported by the ferocious advertising campaigns of the herb (and drug) companies, who find it more profitable to hype exotic, (thus expensive) and processed herbal remedies.
The truth is, that one rarely has to look beyond one’s own kitchen garden and spice cupboard to find all the remedies anybody could need to treat most common ailments. For more complicated conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, kidney disease and any other potentially life-threatening diseases one should never attempt to be one’s own doctor, but rather find a practitioner who is open towards integrating herbal remedies and nutritional therapies into his/her overall approach.
Herbal medicines and all home remedies one should always apply to mentain a good health all along one’s life through and this really gives very good result rather than taking modern chemical medicine for a very common day to day ailment and having various side effects which may cause afterwards serious desiases as mentioned above.
Most of the fruits,vegetables,herbs and spices that we eat daily as our food has healing power. Only we are to keep our eyes and ears open and learn a little bit about them and eat as per requrement.
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