Medicinal herbs can be used from morning to night. They are useful all day long. Wake up every morning to a cup of green tea and lemon juice. The antioxidants in the tea will help rid the body of toxins and the citrus will get digestive juices flowing. For an invigorating morning shower try adding mint essential oil, lavender essential oil, or orange essential oil to your favorite shampoos and body washes. Afterwards, gently pat skin dry and apply a vegetable or nut oil based moisturizer. Look for ingredients such as almond and grapeseed oil instead of mineral oil. Vegetable oils penetrate outer skin layers to heal and protect. Petroleum products just sit on top of the skin.
Don’t forget sunscreen when leaving the house. Sunscreens protect from premature aging and help prevent skin cancer. Thirty minutes before going outside, use a medium to high SPF rated sunscreen containing quality ingredients. Avocado oil, sesame oil and shea butter contain naturally occurring sunscreens although they have relatively low SPF ratings compared to commercial products. Use these fine oils as a moisturizer along with commercially prepared sunscreens for best results. Avoid using citrus oils such as orange, lemon or lime before exposure to sunlight. Citrus oils reduce the effectiveness of sunscreens and may even cause uncomfortable skin reactions when applied before sun exposure.
Incorporate herbs into the diet throughout the day. Drink herbal teas whenever fatigue strikes. Try peppermint, ginger, cinnamon, ginseng, dandelion, nettle, milk thistle, plantain, red clover, rosemary, and fennel. Use catnip, bee balm, or valerian to calm the nerves during stressful situations.
Use herbs in cooking. When dining out, eat that little sprig of parsley that comes as decoration on the plate. It’s full of vitamins, antioxidants and also freshens the breath! Add chives, basil, garlic, turmeric, oregano, and cilantro to salads, vegetable dishes, and fruit salads. Try fennel seeds, dill seeds, and poppy seeds on breads and in soups. Herbs not only add superb flavor to food, they also help protect and heal the body, mind, and spirit.
In times of stress, schedule a message and aromatherapy session with a professional aromatherapist. A healing touch and the right aroma can make any situation better. Does aromatherapy really help? Try an experiment sometime and see for yourself if scents can affect your mood. Stop by a bakery and inhale the aroma of fresh baking bread. Pull over to the side of the road and breathe in the scent of freshly mowed grass. Visit an apple orchard during harvest season, close your eyes, and imagine apple pies baking in the oven. As they say, “Take time to smell the roses.” Aromatherapy with essential oils works under the same principle. Don’t you feel better already?
As bedtime approaches, it’s time for relaxing. Don’t exercise before bed or you won’t be able to sleep! Drink relaxing herbal teas like chamomile, wild lettuce, catnip, and bee balm. Warm baths can also help calm the mind and relax the muscles. Use lavender essential oil, rose essential oil, ylang-ylang essential oil, hops, or jasmine essential oil in the bath for extra benefits. Herbal sachets are good to put under your pillow. For sweet dreams and a sound sleep try a combination of lavender, passion flower and lemon balm.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
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