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dog-breathImagine how mortified I was this past year when someone very close to me  revealed that I had developed bad breath…and… THAT IT HAD BEEN THAT WAY FOR QUITE A WHILE….”OMG…WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SOMETHING”, I asked???  Seriously, I know its a difficult subject to broach, but really folks….friends don’t let friends walk around with funky breath without saying something.

Honestly, I had no idea.  I tried that trick where you cup your hands over your mouth and nose and then breath out through your mouth and then in through your nose….nothing…I just wasn’t picking up on the funky smell that was apparently obvious to others.

First thing I did was to schedule an appointment with my dentist and regretfully found out that I had an infection developing under a crown, as well as a few pockets in my gums.  I have to admit that I haven’t always been the poster girl for flossing, but I do brush my teeth regularly and figured that would suffice.

Instead of accepting the dentists offer for very expensive topical antibiotic treatments on my gums, I decided to take a more natural approach and put together this herbal rinse.  I also went out and purchased a water pic which made a huge difference in cleaning out trapped debris from around my teeth.

After using the water pic and the rinse for 6 months, I followed up with my dentist who was just amazed.  Not only had the infection disappeared, but the gums were much healthier and the pockets had receded.  Success!!!

Now keep in mind that bad breath can occur because of other factors not associated with dental problems.  If you develop bad breath, (and you are actually aware of it because someone is kind enough to tell you) have your teeth checked to rule out dental issues.  If all is well in that department, consider that it could be associated with sinus issues such as an infection, other respiratory issues, medications, dry mouth, heavy garlic usage and even digestive issues.

The moral of this story is….as difficult as it may seem….friends….don’t let friends walk around with funky breath without saying something.

Herbal Mouth Rinse

6 ml (or 2 1/4 tsp) (Plantain tincture  (Plantago lanceolata) –  Vulnerary, demulcent, anti-inflammatory, astringent, antimicrobial

6 ml Beebalm  (Monarda fistula) – antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, stimulant, styptic

6 ml  Peppermint tincture (Mentha piperita) – flavor enhancement, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, analgesic

6 ml Oregon Grape root tincture  (Mahonia aquifolium) – antimicrobial

6 ml  Chamomile tincture (Matricaria recutita) – anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, vulnerary and flavor enhancer

Combine all tinctures together in a 30 ml dark brown glass bottle.  To use, place 5 – 8 drops into a 1 oz shot glass which is filled with water.  Rinse the mouth vigorously after brushing and at least 3 times per day.

 

insulin-relationship

Are you having a difficult time losing weight, dealing with hypertension, high cholesterol, fibroid’s or other metabolic irregularities?

Come join me for this class where we will be discussing the physiology behind Insulin Resistance and its relationship to a host of conditions including High Blood Pressure, Thrombosis, Obesity, Diabetes, Heart disease, infertility, PCOS and more.  Also, we will discuss, in detail, steps for identifying and reversing Insulin Resistance which in turn can help to resolve many of these underlying metabolic irregularities.

WHEN:  October 7th, 2016 (10 am – 2 pm)

Where:  Black Creek Center for Herbal Studies (Middleburg, Fla.)

Who:  Anyone/No Herbal Experience Necessary

(Space Limited)

Cost:  $60.00

(REGISTER NOW)

Assessment Skills

When:  September 15th, 2016 (10 am – 2 pm)

Where:  Black Creek Center for Herbal Studies (Middleburg, Fla.)

Who:  Intermediate to Advanced Herbal Students

Cost:  $60.00

As herbalists, our senses are crucial in assessing the states of disharmony within someone we are working with and determining the appropriate remedy(s). When working with others, the herbalist must engage their senses as an aid to determining underlying imbalances. We observe the client and note the subtleties of their complexion and expressions, we feel the speed of their pulse, the texture and temperature of the skin, observe the tongue and we listen to and hear their stories.

Come out and join me to gain insight into the various assessment skills that herbalists use in uncovering the root cause or contributing factors that lead to imbalances.

Discussions will include:

  • Looking for Patterns
  • Client Intake Form
  • Tissue States
  • Assessment of the Nails
  • Assessing the Tongue
  • Reading the Pulse
  • Nutritional Screening
  • Drugs and Side Effects
  • Case Review
  • Looking for “Red Flags”

(Register Now)

Pocket PoulticeFor those of you who enjoy camping, hiking, walking in the woods or just the great outdoors in general, you know that sometimes accidents happen.  I always like to carry along a few first aid items whenever I am “off the grid”.

An application that is often used in first aid situations is called a Poultice.  A Poultice or Cataplasm as it is also referred to is basically a moistened mass of plant or food materials that is applied to various areas of the body in order to impart it’s medicinal benefits and to provide relief.  There are various ways to create a poultice using either fresh or dried herbs.

One of my favorite items to carry along in my first aid pouch is what I like to call the, “Herbal Wound Healing Pocket Poultice”.  If something like this exists on the market, I am not aware of it and so therefore I created my own.  This is great if you are in an area where you are not familiar with the local plants.

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Black Creek Center LogoRegistration is now open for my 2016 – 2017 Herbal Programs.  This year I have made a few changes which I hope will appeal to many of you.  The program that I have been teaching for the past 4 years is 9 months long, begins with the basics and moves right into intermediate and some advanced herbal studies.  The program formerly known as “Fundamentals of Herbalism and The Foundations of Health”, is suitable for the family herbalist, but also includes information for those who plan to work as a community herbalist and also further their career as an herbalists.

Because there are those of you who don’t necessarily want to make a career out of herbalism, or can’t really commit to 9 months, I am now offering a “Family Herbalist” program.  This 3 month course offers basically the same foundational information you would get in the nine month program along with giving you the confidence you need to help keep your family healthy and tend to acute conditions when they do arise.

Another thing I have added this year are options for Work/Trade/Barter to offset tuition costs.  Simply fill out the Work/Trade/Barter form, submit it, and see if you qualify.  There will only be 2 students per class eligible for the work program.  However, based on my needs I may be able to workout an arrangement for Trade or Barter.

There is a discount for early registration which runs through August 15th, 2016 so don’t wait.  Registration closes on September 2nd, 2016.

To learn more about my upcoming classes or to register:

FAMILY HERBALIST PROGRAM (3 Months/Beginner)

COMMUNITY HERBALIST CERTIFICATE PROGRAM (9 months/Beginner/Intermediate)

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Come join me on April 16th , 2016 from 10 am – 4 pm to learn how to make your own herbal preparations and how to use them safely and effectively for both acute and chronic conditions.

 

This class is a hands on intensive where each student has the opportunity to make their own herbal preparations which they will then get to take home.  These remedies will include the foundations for beginning your own herbal first aid kit.

In this class we will we discuss the safety of herbs, the benefits of using herbs as well as learning how to prepare the following:

  • – Herbal Tinctures
  • – Herbal Teas and Decoctions
  • – Infused Herbal Oils
  • – Herbal Elixirs
  • – Herbal Oxymels
  • – Herbal Healing Salve
  • – Herbal Syrups/Honey

Students will receive handouts of all the material that is covered in class.

Coffee, Tea and Snacks will be provided, but students are encouraged to bring a bag lunch.

COST:  $65.00 (includes material costs/non-refundable)

LOCATION:  4170 Dowling Rd., Middleburg, Fla. 32068

CONTACT:  Natalie Vickery (904)613-2738/family_herbalist@yahoo.com

REGISTRATION CLOSED

 

 

 

Lemongrass 1Because of our temperate climate here in the Southeast we are fortunate to be able to garden almost year round.  One plant that grows extremely well in the South is Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citrates).  This hardy perennial grass thrives on neglect yet adds beauty and contrast to any garden.

Known mostly as a culinary herb in Asian cooking, Lemongrass is also a wonderful addition to any medicinal herb garden.  If you have ever had the opportunity to smell Lemongrass you will have noticed that it is quite aromatic.  Aromatic herbs get their scent from their high content of volatile oils.  Lemongrass essential oil is derived from the plant by distillation and is used extensively in Aromatherapy.

Aromatic herbs like Lemongrass are warming and dispersive which means they spread out through the system, warming things up and getting things moving.  Because aromatic herbs get things moving they are considered stimulating.  If you think about an area that has been bound up and where very little is moving (stagnation) you can imagine that area will feel tense.  A good example would be in the first stages of a cold when the body is tense.  However, once the tension is dispelled or dispersed the area once again feels relaxed.  Therefore, aromatic herbs are also considered to be relaxing.

When one is suffering with accumulated gas aromatic herbs like Lemongrass help dispel the gas and relax the area; this action which occurs is referred to as Carminative.  Aromatic herbs also help to reduce spasms or are “antispasmodic”.

Aromatic herbs are both antiseptic and antimicrobial (inhibits the growth of organisms such as bacteria and viruses).  Because aromatics contain volatile oils which irritate tissues the body wants to flush them out to prevent further irritation.  This flushing of oils occurs through urination or exhalation making aromatic herbs like Lemongrass extremely beneficial for conditions associated with the respiratory or urinary systems.  Aromatics also tend to draw energy upward and outward which would also explain their affinity for the respiratory system.

Some of the many medicinal benefits of Lemongrass include:

  • Antimicrobial (kills or inhibits microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites)
  • Mildly diuretic
  • Promotes the digestion of fats
  • Effective insect repellent
  • Antioxidant
  • Contains various vitamins and minerals to include Vitamin A and C, Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium
  • Urinary and Respiratory conditions

Spicy Lemongrass Cold and Flu Tea:

COLD AND FLU TEA

16 oz water

1 tbsp dried (2 tbsp fresh) Lemongrass

3 thin slices of fresh ginger

6 cloves

3 pepper corns

6 Cardamom seeds

1 tsp fennel

Honey (optional)

Place the herbs into cool water and bring to a boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer the herbs with the lid on for approximately 20 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half.  Strain off herbs. Experiment with other herbs and spices such as mint, basil and allspice for variations. Add a smidge of honey, sit back and enjoy.

Note:  If you find this tea a bit drying you can add moistening herbs such as Licorice or Marshmallow Root.

 Storage:

  • May be dried and used later in tea preparations
  • Refrigerated fresh in a sealed container for up to 3 weeks
  • Fresh stalks may be frozen for up to 6 months and then thawed when ready to use

Cooking:   Lemongrass combines well with peaches, pears and other fruits, ginger, chillies, cucumber, cinnamon, other aromatic herbs and coconut milk.

For those of you in the Southeast perhaps consider growing yourself some Lemongrass.  Although we don’t hear or see much on the medicinal benefits of Lemongrass, it is certainly a wonderful addition to your medicine cabinet and herb garden.

© Natalie Vickery 2012

Disclaimer:  In order to continue posting quality content I must rely on your support.  Some of the links found in this post contain affiliate links which I do receive a small compensation for when purchased through my website.