Monday, March 31, 2008

Chamomile - One of My Favorite Herbs

Chamomile is one of those herbs that is highly versatile. It is my favorite nervine herb because it is so gentle. I know that I can drink it in the middle of the day to unwind and I won't need to take a nap, unlike the stronger nervine herbs like skullcap.

But, there are also other things that I use chamomile for. Here's a list:
  • break fevers
  • hair rinse to bring out light highlights
  • gentle pain relief
  • relieves cramps
  • tummy aches and other stomach problems
My favorite way to take this is with a tea. If you can find a brand from Germany, they have the best chamomile flowers - I can smell them blooming!

Do you want to learn more about chamomile? Learn How to Take Chamomile for Health at

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Relaxing Herbal Tea Blend Recipe

There is something about drinking relaxing herbal tea that can really help keep you focused and stress free. If you can't find the herbs in your nearest health food store, check out All the herbs listed are dried.

Relaxation Herbal Tea Recipe

2 tbs. chamomile flowers
2 tbs. oatstraw
1 tbs. spearmint
1 tbs. rose petals
1 tsp. hibiscus
1 tsp. dried orange peels

Add all the herbs to an airtight amber glass jar. Shake to mix and store away from light. When ready for your tea, brew 1.5 teaspoons for every cup of hot water.

Do you want more information about relaxing herbal teas? Check out an article I wrote about it at ehow.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

How to Identify Wild Plants Safely

Now that the warm weather is upon us where I live in New England, I'm excited to be able to go out in my yard or in the woods to look for my own herbal medicines. First, I'll look for chickweed which even starts growing under the snow. Dandelion is not too far behind and neither is violet or shephards purse.

If you haven't done this before, I created a tutorial for you over at ehow on How to Identify Wild Plants.

A lot of people avoid doing this because they think it is unsafe. Well, it isn't. I've been doing it for years. I mean, most people already know what plants like dandelion look like. Start with what you know. Learn about the plant, cook with it, drink it as a tea, etc... and then move on.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

One of My Favorite Bath Care Companies - Lush

Lush Skin Care Products
I thought I'd pay tribute today to one of my favorite skin and body care companies - Lush. I first found them in Vancouver, British Columbia back when they weren't available in the United States yet. This was almost ten years ago...

The exciting thing about the company is that they make their products fresh and they actually have an expiration date. I love their shampoo bars (the one with coconut milk is my favorite) and their conditioner as well as their bath bombs. Check out their glitter ball - it's incredible. Smells so good and when you get out of the tub, you're covered head to toe in glitter.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cooking with Wild Spring Greens

Spring is just around the corner - I can feel it! Every morning when I wake up, I hear the birds chirping away and the sun is shining through the window.

For me, this means that the early spring greens such as dandelion, chicory, and chickweed will be pushing up through the earth as well as edible flowers such as violet. I love these early spring salads - it doesn't get any fresher than this.

Dandelion and chicory both taste best in the early spring and the late fall. In the spring, you need to pick the leaves before the flowers pop up. Once the flowers appear, the plant gets really bitter.

I like to squeeze a little lemon juice and olive oil over my salad once it's assembled. And goat cheese such as feta or ricotta salata is absolutely perfect. I wrote an ehow article about this called How to Make a Wild Herb Salad. Stop in and take a look!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Making Herbal Infusions

I love to use herbs on a daily basis to help enhance health. To do that, I often make a strong herbal infusion that is steeped for several hours. What this does is leech out the vitamins and minerals from the herb so that it can be more effective.

You can't just use any herb to do this. My favorites are:
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Oatstraw
  • Lemon Balm
  • Red Clover
You can use others, such as mullein, but those are the main ones. I have detail instructions on how to make an herbal infusion at In fact, I have a whole collection of herbal articles (over 60 of them) on the site so you may want to stop and look around. :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Herbal Sports Drink Recipe

In order to be able to run the long distances that I need to run, I have to consume electrolytes and easily absorbed carbohydrates during the longer runs. If you are going to do physical activity for an hour or more, you need to consume a sports beverage roughly every thirty minutes.

The problem is, I don't particularly enjoy sports drinks. I have a sensitive palate and I can tell that they have chemicals in them - such as the coloring used to make them have those funky colors. I try to avoid chemicals at all costs.

Plus, through trial and error, I realized that honey is the best endurance food for me. The bees have already predigested the carbohydrates so your body can absorb it easily. And if the honey is raw, it still has the enzymes in it. It also contains B vitamins.

So I came up with my own sports drink recipe using herbs and honey. It's fresh and filled with nutrients. That's my idea of a good drink! I published the recipe at ehow so you can click here to enjoy it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Marathon Training Plan for This Week

I really need to get my act together in terms of training for the marathon I will be running at the end of April. I need to run at least 18 miles for my long run by the middle of April, which will give me two weeks to taper.

So for this week, this is what I need to do:

Wed- 4 mile run
Thurs -5 mile run
Sat - 3 mile run
Sun - 10 mile run

I ran seven miles for my long run last week.

This is my plan for next week

One 4 mile run
One 6.5 mile run
One 4 mile run
One 13 mile run

I don't know which days next week these runs will fall on because I will be on vacation! I'll be getting back on Sunday so the long run may need to be on Monday.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Herbs that Boost Metabolism

Our modern lifestyles wreak havoc on the metabolism. Not enough exercise. Too much fast food. Chronic stress. Excess sugar and alcohol... all of these things can cause your body systems to not function at their best.

I like to use herbs to get the body back in balance. There are two parts of the body that I target the most - the adrenal glands and the liver, but most especially the liver. If your liver is strong, your body will be able to get rid of waste and process fat - two things that are essential for keeping the weight down and help you lose. Herbs for the liver include:
  • dandelion root
  • milk thistle
  • yellow dock
  • burdock
I target the adrenal glands because of stress. Excess stress can cause the adrenal glands to perform at a suboptimal level. If your adrenals are exhausted it could upset your body's hormone balance and affect your energy levels, among other things.

Some herbs for the adrenals include:
  • stinging nettle
  • astralagus
  • fo-ti
  • triphala (an ayurvedic herbal blend)
For more information on herbs to boost metabolism, check out my article at called How to Boost Metabolism with Herbs.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Pros and Cons of Herbal Remedies

Herbal remedies are getting a lot of attention, especially nowadays that our prescribed pharmaceutical medicines carry along with them potential side effects and problems. A lot of “herbal” and “natural” health supplements and medicines are becoming more and more popular because of their known effects and advantages.

One of the advantage of using herbal remedies as supposed to your prescribed medicines is that they cost a whole less than pharmaceutical remedies. Since the herbs do not need to be manufactured or developed, they cost a lot cheaper, and are more convenient as well. You no longer need to get prescriptions from doctors in order to be able to use a particular drug or remedy, unlike the different herbal remedies which you can just purchase without any needed consultation from your doctors.

Another advantage of using herbal remedies is that the herbal medicines may sometimes prove to be more effective as compared to our traditional prescribed medicines. Our dissatisfaction for our current healthcare may be the reason as to why we seek some other alternative. One possible cause for the effectiveness of herbal remedies is its potency. Some herbal remedies may prove to be more potent than others, depending on a few varying factors that may affect the herbal remedy’s effectiveness, such as the growing conditions of the herbs like exposure to air, light and moisture, or even the way that it was harvested. The manner of preservation can also play a factor on the herbs’ potency.

Although using “natural” and “herbal” remedies may sound appealing to a lot of people, it is important to remember that not all “natural” and “herbal” remedies are safe. A lot of these “natural” herbal medicines are composed of elements that can cause potentially harmful side effects to people, especially those that suffer from very serious conditions.

Herbal remedies may have been used for centuries already, but it does not mean that they are safe, especially not if you just take them without consulting with your doctors or herbalists about it.

One disadvantage for using herbal remedies over prescription medicines are the side effects that they may cause on your body when you take them, especially if you use them for a long period of time. Some herbal remedies are known to cause high blood pressure in the vessels of the lungs, while others may even cause your immune system to weaken, making you more prone to sickness and diseases.

Another disadvantage for taking herbal remedies is that you are not entirely sure if you are only getting the ingredients that you want in every pack of herbal medicine that you buy. Although you get the ingredient that you need, there will be some other such as twigs, bark, and other plant materials that may find their way in there along with your herbal medicine. Sometimes, you don’t get the ingredients that you really need since the amount of the ingredient can influence its effectiveness on a person. Add the fact that sometimes your herbal medicine may contain some other ingredient at one point, and contain another ingredient at another.

Whatever your stand on herbal medicine may be, it is always important to consult with your doctor or herbalist before you decide to take anything. Also, make sure that the herbal remedy that you chose to use will not interact with your current prescribed pharmaceutical medicines that you are taking in order to avoid any complications.

Vanessa Arellano Doctor

PrimeHerbal - Herbal Remedy

Vanessa Arellano Doctor from a SEO Company

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Dandelion - My New Favorite Herb

I go through phases. What's my favorite herb? For a while, it was stinging nettle. Stinging nettle will always have a special place in my heart. But I think with spring coming, dandelion is on my mind. Dandelion pushes through the ground a lot sooner than nettle does. And besides, I don't see Nettle that often - dandelion grows in my own yard.

So, I did some research today and found out some things about Dandelion. These things take into account the whole plant - the root, flowers, and leaves. Each part is used for different things. For example, the flowers are high in antioxidants. The root is what people use most often for water retention and to help the liver. The leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals. Here's a rough list:
  • good for the liver and gallbladder
  • helps with water retention
  • source of vitamins A, B, C, D, E
  • good source of potassium, also has iron, zing, and magnesium
  • used for digestive problems including poor appetite and heart burn
  • often used for skin problems
I pulled this from different source - mainly from She also included recipes for things like Dandelion wine. Looks good!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Running the Vienna Marathon in April

The Vienna marathon is coming up. My training got off track. This week, I am devoted to getting it back on track. In order to do that, I am going to do two things.
  1. Walk 10,000 steps
  2. Go back to my running schedule
For my running schedule, this is my plan:

  • Wed - 3 miles
  • Thurs - 4 miles
  • Friday - 4 miles
  • Sunday - 10 miles
I'll keep you posted. I had an injury, and the flu - so I took a few weeks off. Injury is healed, flu is gone... so now, I can get back into it!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Prepare Yourself for Allergy Season

I woke up the other day with a running nose and itchy, watery eyes. Spring is around the corner and I can tell. That was the beginning stages of an allergy attack that often lasts for several months.

This year, instead of taking pills, I am going to treat it naturally. I thought back to a time when I barely had a problem with my allergies. Then, I figured out why - I drank a lot of stinging nettle infusion.

So, I wrote an article over at to explain how I treat my allergies using stinging nettle. It talks about how to best prepare the herb and gives information about using it.

Other things I use for allergies are:
  • Green tea
  • Garlic
  • Vitamin C
  • Quercetin
  • Grape seed extract
But, my number one favorite is by far stinging nettle.

Want more information on getting rid of allergies? Learn how to get Allergy Free For Life.