Archive for June, 2013

June 27, 2013

How to Keep the Summertime Passion Without the Panic

It is summer time here in the Northern hemisphere.

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In the Chinese Five Elements summer represents the most abundant time in nature and therefore houses the most organ meridian systems. In nature the cycle of summer rules the fire element because it is the hottest time in the cycle of seasons.

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Summer is a hot, passionate time so the heart and the pericardium which is the sac that encases and protects the heart fall into this category.
Other organ meridian systems in this summer fire category are sex organs, the circulatory system which involves circulation, and the triple heater or burner as it is called is the immune, endocrine and nervous systems. The triple burner is an energy system in itself and it involves the upper, lower, and middle sections of the body making summer an important rhythm to understand. If the triple burner, meaning the immune, endocrine or nervous system is compromised it will have a negative impact on other organ system rhythm cycles and therefore affects the health of the whole body. The gland that is in this category is the pituitary gland, which is the master control panel for hormones.

Sometimes human characteristics will match the season element and are displayed in the way people walk and talk. People in the rhythm of summer have the mannerisms of being flamboyant, outgoing, and display an abundance of energy, spirit and passion. They are quick in pace, fast talkers with rapid fire movements and thoughts that make them dynamic and very attractive.

The human time frame is youth, but age is not really a consideration it is just the best example of when innocence and care-free times reign in excess. This rhythm involves all matters of the heart. The constructive side is loving and balanced without cheating, possessiveness or jealousy. The destructive side is that people mistake infatuation for love, and the constant need for good times may easily lead to addictions. All addictions and addictive behaviour fall into this category. Allergies are grouped in this category because all allergies involve immune imbalance.

The constructive emotion passion and joyful exuberance turns quickly to the destructive emotion panic and hysteria when there are no discerning boundaries or organization. People in this rhythm need to set priorities and healthy boundaries and make it a point to organize because over commitment may lead them to burnout or carve out negative destructive habits.

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The imbalances in the summer season fire element affect the organ systems that are grouped in this category ; the heart, small intestine, sex organs, and nervous, immune and endocrine systems. The pathology of conditions that involve these organs include heart conditions, anxiety, insomnia, IBS, small intestine digestive problems, endocrine imbalances, autoimmune disorders and sexual issues. Heart attacks or heart problems show themselves more in the summertime.
Some symptoms that fall into this category are profuse sweating, a red-faced complexion, and aversion to heat or a feeling of being too hot.

In this summer rhythm it is good to nourish the heart and the other organs mentioned in this rhythm with a proper diet with whole natural foods and herbs.

Laughter is the constructive sound of this rhythm. It has been well documented that laughter eases stress. Laughter increases the activity of antibodies by 20% which help attack tumours and viruses. It is not about covering up issues with laughter but using laughter to ease stress on the body while getting a clearer perspective on problem solving.

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“As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it.” Lao Tzu

The Chinese Five Elements is a very easy tool to use and is the basis for all energy work, martial arts, acupuncture, shiatsu, feng shui, natural therapies and has been used in all kinds of categories from cooking to astrology to military. The natural therapies of reflexology, energy exercises, Aromatherapy using designated essential oils will help manage stress while self-cultivating, changing habit field patterns and getting to the root of key issues.
Understanding your feelings and how it relates to your body in these rhythms helps to identify areas that need focus to balance health.

What season are you in?

Excerpts from: Essential Oils and the Five Elements: Easing Emotional Overload with Aromatherapy and Reflexology
http://earthelixir.ca/e-books/essential-oils-and-the-five-elements/

Fire Summer Theme: Abundance and transformation

Human cycle: Youth/ Teen

Meridian/Organ systems: Summer Fire element displays the most abundant amount of organ systems/meridians:

Heart, pericardium, small intestine, (triple burner) – immune, nervous, endocrine,

sex organs, circulation,

Yang organs are small intestine,

Triple burner/warmer/heater (immune, endocrine, nervous systems)

Yin organs are the Heart, Circulation, sex organs, pericardium

Emotion: Joy, happiness, passion

that can turn to panic, anxiety, hysteria, mood swings, and confusion

Warrior movement: rapid fire, everywhere at once, flurry of activity, random, rising, flowing

Animal: Dragon. Fighting style is strong against Tiger, weak against Leopard.

FIRE ELEMENT
SEASON: Summer
CLIMATE: Heat
ORGANS: Small intestine, heart, pericardium/ circulation/ sex organs, Triple burner
GLAND: Pituitary
COLOUR: Red
FLAVOUR: Bitter
FLUID: Perspiration
SENSE: Touch
TISSUES: Blood vessels
EMOTION: Joy, happiness, passion that can turn to panic, anxiety
SOUND: Laughing

Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic. ~Anais Nin

June 27, 2013

Thyme for a Grass Substitute

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My parents got a letter from the city that they now have to cut the grass on the boulevard that isn’t even in front of their house but nearby on a busy high traffic road. It is a new bylaw in the city of Toronto that states that everyone on a corner lot or at the end of the street beside city roads is now responsible for the grass on the boulevard. The recent by-law voted on March 5-7, 2012 and came into effect January 1, 2013,
BY-LAW NO. 375-2012

How safe is this and how is this saving the city money?

They have never had to do this in the twenty-five years or so that they have lived there. Now the city expects an elderly man to risk his life to cut the grass on busy high traffic city boulevard just to save the city some money? The city mower stops at the property fence line but mows the rest of the boulevard when it would be just as easy to do the rest. This is a discriminatory bylaw and could affect the property value of the houses mentioned, because let’s face it, would you want to mow grass next to high traffic as an added expense when next door doesn’t have to do it? If your answer is yes then start your engines!

This is not age related because I think no one no matter what age or condition should risk their life to maintain boulevard. People have been killed waiting for the bus and this is a bus route. It is just that the elderly and sick are the most vulnerable and people might be on fixed incomes and should not be responsible for maintaining the city boulevards, especially next to dangerous high traffic areas.

My dad finally got someone on the phone and they said if he or a family member couldn’t do it he would have to pay someone to cut the grass or be held responsible. The fine is $200 dollars, and I would rather pay the fine than risk my parents life. First the doctor wants to kill my dad with pills and now the city wants to risk his life for grass.

In the letter they never even stated how much grass he had to cut so someone came out to actually measure how much to cut! By this time the grass and weeds were so tall it was blocking a turn lane line of sight and was causing accidents. There was an accident out front that happened just as I was speaking to my parents and they were telling me about this.

When the city sent a worker to measure how much grass to cut they had to crunch over car pieces from earlier car accidents that jumped the curb. I just can’t believe that a council wants my elderly father to mow over broken car parts and endanger his life just to cut grass?
The neighbours rallied together, they sent letters, emails and they have finally gotten through to someone in council. Their city councillor was very nice and told them that they are not responsible for it anymore but have yet to get that in writing.

I propose that no one mow. A simpler solution would be to grow low growing thyme varieties instead of high maintenance lawn grass. GO LOW GROW NO MOW!!!!!

20130726-195022.jpgIt would be good to start with low maintenance boulevards and give up the unnecessary stink of gas and noise that you get from lawnmowers. Eliminate the use of mowing by planting low growing perennials like thyme and lavender on boulevards and wherever you don’t want to mow.

Find out more about Thyme here at thyme time -> http://earthelixir.ca/2012/05/29/thyme-time/

I am sending It is THYME for a GRASS substitute idea NO MOW LOW GROW with a note attached to city council and if you could please send one too that would be much appreciated!
The recent by-law voted on March 5-7, 2012 and came into effect January 1, 2013,
BY-LAW NO. 375-2012
( I phoned the city and they gave me the wrong by-law information I told on the phone the website didn’t have it uploaded it yet, not that you could figure out that bylaw system, the sewer site is more user friendly. I had to get my information from a councillor, but I found it frustrating that I had to inform some councillors and explain the new bylaw to them.)

e-mail:

Scarborough community council

scc@toronto.ca

Toronto city council

clerk@toronto.ca

Mayor Ford of Toronto might get back to you between scandals

416-397-FORD (3673)

Let’s see what is cooking on the boulevard.

,

Email: asmithi@toronto.ca

Allan Smithies
Manager, Traffic Planning/Right-of-Way Mgmt
Etobicoke York District
Etobicoke Civic Centre
399 The West Mall
Toronto ON M9C 2Y2

Phone: (416) 394-8412
Fax: (416) 394-8942
Mobile: (416) 434-6784
Blackberry: (647) 828-9506

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June 26, 2013

Why Comfrey is Essential for First-aid Medicine and Permaculture

Comfrey

Comfrey is a very beautiful beneficial addition to any garden, and an important herb for medicine and permaculture. Other common names for Comfrey are knit-bone and boneset, because of its amazing ability to regenerate and stimulate the growth of bone. Comfrey is a must have for the first aid herbal kit, because it has demulcent, astringent and vulnerary herbal properties that make it ideal to treat any type of injury, whether it be sinew, bone, tissue or flesh.

Its powerful cell regeneration is mainly due to its allantoin content, which has a calcium type of effect that stimulates cell production that repairs collagen, connective tissue and bone.

Comfrey has tannins that produce so much astriction, which means tightening together of the skin, that stitches might be avoided.

It’s mucilage content is demulcent, sweet and moist, which relieves dryness, acute inflammation as well as swelling, and provides good treatment for burns. It provides a protective coating that soothes, moistens and cools, making it a good choice to treat any type of ulcers, internal or external, inside or out. It is also good to use for arthritis.

It is also a nutritious restorative having many vitamins and minerals in it, along with other healing phytonutrient properties.

COMFREY USES:

PERMACULTURE – Works with the biodynamic forces of nature

There are countless uses for Comfrey in the garden, it adds much-needed nutrients and enriches the soil. Comfrey does not compete for nutrients with trees, so it is ideal to plant around fruit trees.
It attracts beneficial insects and earthworms, while it breaks up compacted soil and draws up nutrients.

The many uses in the garden include:

Compost- add to compost
Mulch- chop and drop mulch
Fertilizer- green manure
liquid fertilizer provides nutrients like potassium

FIRST AID MEDICINE:
Powerful cell and bone regenerator.
Stimulates the growth and healing of bone, flesh, connective tissues, collagen.

*Note that for broken bones, it is important they are set in the right place first before using comfrey to knit the bone together. If in any doubt about your injury please see a doctor for proper diagnosis first, before applying comfrey.

Use Comfrey leaves and root  externally in the form of poultice, compresses, ointments, tea infusions or tincture. The fresh tincture is the best choice for serious injuries with pain, or mix it with clay.

There are other species of comfrey. Russian comfrey and prickly comfrey are all used in the same way, but the officinale species is the one herbalists use the most.

It is from the Borage family, and like borage it has pyrrolizidine  alkaloids that have some cautions attached to it. Do not use internally, but caution comes from animal testing using isolated alkaloid constituents in high doses for long periods. There have been no human fatality cases reported.

Do not use internally when pregnant, lactating, liver disease, small children, frail elderly and caution with external use in these cases. Contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, avoid long-term internal high dosage use due to potential liver damage. For external use only. Internal use see a qualified practitioner.

The alkaloids are least concentrated in the mature herb. The young spring leaves contains 8-10 times the amount found in the mature herb. The root has the most which is 4-5 times the alkaloid level in the mature herb. The alkaloid content is higher in the Russian variety than the prickly comfrey.

Common Name  Comfrey herb/ root
Latin Name  Symphytum   officinale
Family Boraginaceae
Parts Used Perennial-   flowers mid June to July pick from before flowering to mid flowering/ root rhizome- Fall/ Spring
Target Organs skin, mucus   membranes, skeletal-muscular, connective tissue, collagen, bones, respiratory, digestive, stomach,
Common Uses External use only: broken bones, fractures, scars, ulcers, wounds, abrasions, burns, sunburn, bites, stings, bruises, dislocation, varicose veins, sprains, strains, any injury, periodontitis, pharyngitis, eye infections,
Internal use with supervision for inflammation and ulcers of the digestive tract, colitis,
Properties astringent,   demulcent, vulnerary, anodyne, emollient, tonic, pectoral
Constituents Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids, mucilage, gum,   tannin, allantoin, Essential Oil, triterpenes, resin, inulin, choline,   protein, steroidal saponins, mucopolysaccharide 29%, phenolic acids, vitamins   A, B12, C, E, mineral iron, calcium, phosphorus, trace minerals
Cautions Medium strength: Mainly external use only. Do not use internally   when pregnant, lactating, liver disease, small children, frail elderly and caution with external use in these cases. Contains pyrolizidine alkaloids, avoid long-term high dosage use due to potential liver damage. There have been no human fatality cases reported, all research backing this toxicity claim were conducted on animals using isolated alkaloid constituents and not the whole plant. The alkaloids are least  concentrated in the mature herb. The young spring leaves contains 8-10 times the amount found in the mature herb. The root has the most which is 4-5   times the alkaloid level in the mature herb. The alkaloid content is higher in the Russian variety than the prickly comfrey.
Dosage the average dose is 10 g or 2-4mls of tincture
June 6, 2013

Do Not Use Peppermint Essential Oil in the Bath

Caution when using peppermint essential oil, it is a medium strength remedy.

Do not use with children under the age of two, peppermint is so relaxing it may cause passageways to collapse.

Do not use peppermint essential oil in the bath it may cause hypothermia because it lowers body temperature.

Do not use when breastfeeding unless it is to dry up milk production.

Do not store peppermint essential oil with homeopathic remedies it is really strong.

It is good to use peppermint essential oil to cool hot conditions as long as it is not accompanied by dryness or irritation.

COMMON NAME PEPPERMINT
Latin Name Mentha x piperita
Family Lamiaceae
Country of Origin North America, France, England
Volatility Top/middle note
Extraction steam distilled from leaves and flowers
Colour pale yellow to colourless
Aroma light, sharp, refreshing, a bit pungent, strong
Caution Contraindications Medium strength: Do not use with epilepsy, convulsions, during pregnancy, dry conditions, gastric hyperacidity or with children under the age of two. Do not use if breastfeeding. Do not store with homeopathic remedies. Use in low concentration, may cause skin irritation. Do not use in a bath, it may cause hypothermia.
Primary Uses Digestion: Fortifies liver, stomach, and intestines. Stomach upset, gastritis, indigestion, nausea, colitis, Crohn’s, relaxing digestive, infection, inflammation, spasms

Respiratory: infections, bronchitis, sinusitis, cooling, colds, flu, coughs nasal catarrh, pain,

Nervous: migraines, headaches, stress tension, itching,

Muscular: relaxes smooth muscle, arthritis, neuralgia, aches and pain, sciatica, bruises,

Properties Analgesic, antiallergenic, antibacterial, anticatarrhal, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, anti-emetic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-galactagogue, antiseptic, antispasmodic (digestive, general, respiratory), antiviral, anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, carminative, cholagogue, choleretic, decongestant, diaphoretic, relaxing expectorant, febrifuge, nervine relaxant, stomachic, tonic tranquilizer, vasodilator, vulnerary,
Constituents Essential Oil: 2%Ketone: menthone,Aldehydes: Esters: methyl acetate,Monoterpene alcohol: Menthol 30%,

Oxide: 1, 8 cineole

Monoterpenes: menthene, phellandrene, azulene, limonene, pinene

 

June 6, 2013

Healing Properties of Peppermint Herb

Peppermint

Peppermint

Peppermint is best known for its beneficial effects on the digestive system and strengthening action on the stomach and liver.

It calms and relaxes smooth muscles and eases stomach pain, indigestion and nausea.

Its analgesic properties bring pain relief to headaches and all kinds of cramps.

Peppermint is widely used as a flavouring agent in food and cosmetics like shampoo.

Peppermint is a hybrid perennial herb which grows up to 30-90 cm tall. The stems are erect and square-shaped like most mint plants, and it has creeping root stocks called ‘stolons’ that grow rapidly. The leaves are sharply toothed, pointed, and in midsummer dense clusters of tiny pink-purple flowers appear. Mints prefer moist shade with partial sun.

It is invasive and spreads quickly so it is best grown in pots if you don’t want it taking over.

Common Name

Peppermint herb

 

Latin Name

Mentha x piperita
Family Lamiaceae(Mint Family)
Parts Used Perennial- herb picked all season
Target Organs Digestion, Nervous System, Liver/gallbladder, Stomach, Respiratory, Muscular
Common Uses Digestion: Fortifies liver, stomach, and intestines. Stomach upset, gastritis, indigestion, nausea, colitis, Crohn’s, relaxing digestive, infection, inflammation

Respiratory: infections, bronchitis, sinusitis, cooling, colds, flu, coughs, nasal catarrh, pain,

Nervous: migraines, headaches, stress tension, itching,

Muscular: relaxes smooth muscle, arthritis, neuralgia, aches and pain, sciatica, bruises, inflammation

Properties Analgesic, antiallergenic, antibacterial, anticatarrhal, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, anti-emetic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory (local, systemic), antiseptic, anti-galactagogue antispasmodic (digestive, general, respiratory), antiviral, anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, carminative, cholagogue, choleretic, decongestant, diaphoretic, relaxing expectorant, febrifuge, nervine relaxant, stomachic, tonic tranquilizer, vasodilator, vulnerary.

 

Constituents Essential Oil: 2%

Monoterpene alcohol: Menthol 30-70%,

Ketone: menthone,

Aldehydes:

Esters: methyl acetate,

Oxide: 1, 8 cineole

Monoterpenes: menthene, phellandrene, azulene, limonene, pinene

Other: tannins, bitter

Cautions Medium strength: Do not use with epilepsy, convulsions, during pregnancy, breastfeeding, dry conditions, gastric hyperacidity or with children under the age of two. Older children, seniors take breaks. Essential oil: Do not store with homeopathic remedies. Do not use in a bath, it may cause hypothermia.
Dosage Tincture: 1-4ml

Tea: 1-2 tsp. infuse 10-15 minutes

June 6, 2013

DIY Aromatherapy Bug Repellent

I don’t like using products with DEET or other pesticides as a bug repellent, because of health concerns.

It is easy and inexpensive to make your own natural insect repellents, because there are some essential oils that are effective bug repellents.

Citronella grass

Citronella grass

Citronella is the most popular in its research to ward off mosquitoes, but other essential oils are just as good, if not better.

Citronella will work for over half an hour, but needs to be applied often. I dislike the smell of citronella, because of the overuse in products like candles, so it is not overpowering in my blends.

Other essential oils like eucalyptus give over an hour and a half of protection, but needs to be applied often depending on conditions.

Neem carrier oil doesn’t deter bugs like essential oils eucalyptus and geranium, but it is a toxin and once ingested it will confuse bugs, making them fly away and even forget to reproduce and eat. This oil is strong, patch test first and I always use it diluted up to 20% in a formula. Buy neem oil specifically for body use.

Essential oils for Bug Repellent:

Citronella, Lemongrass, Lemon eucalyptus, Eucalyptus all varieties.

All varieties of geranium, lavender, mints,

Use rosemary, tea tree, cinnamon, clove and citronella, Melaleuca sparingly in the blend.

All varieties of basil also help to repel flies.

*Citronella and Lemongrass have the same Latin Genus- Cymbopogon, which is a grass family with several lemon smelling species that are all used in similar ways, so go by the Latin name to be sure what you are getting. Citronella has reddish stems, while Lemongrass has greenish pseudo stems, which is good to know for cooking and other uses.

There is a variety of mediums to mix the essential oils in depending on what you want. I use a carrier oil and put it directly on my skin. Also I use a witch hazel water spray to spray on clothing and other surroundings. Essential oils do not mix well in water so add another medium like vodka, witch hazel, vinegar or use carrier oil.

ESSENTIAL OIL BUG REPELLENT RECIPE

Use 40% witch hazel or ethyl alcohol or vodka 40 ml

Mix in 60% distilled water 60 ml

For every 100 ml use 50 drops of your choice of essential oil

This is a 3% dilution.

Put in sprayer bottle and spray on area

ESSENTIAL OIL BUG REPELLENT RECIPE

For every 100 ml of carrier oil of your choice

mix 50 drops of your choices of essential oils

Carrier oils: neem oil, peach kernel, apricot oil, jojoba, raw sesame, olive oil, your choice

Castor oil is very thick and needs another carrier oil to thin it, but provides a skin like protection barrier. Mosquitoes also don’t seem to bite when the skin is wet.

Put oil directly on exposed skin.

Wild catnip

Wild catnip

USING HERBS:

Use either fresh or dried herbs stewed in a mix of water / vinegar or water / alcohol. This is particularly good for stinky smelling herbs like catnip, which is too smelly to use as an essential oil, but is really effective at getting rid of bugs, and everyone else for that matter! I would only use it going into the deep brush at bug time. Use with the other recipe.

Always use protective clothing and/or bug screen jackets and try to protect yourself as much as possible.

TREATING BUG BITES:

If you do get bitten put a mix of baking soda or vinegar and mix it with lavender, peppermint or tea tree essential oil as an antiseptic and to help bring down inflammation and swelling. Mixing the oils with witch hazel or adding it too helps. Find a recipe here ->

http://earthelixir.ca/2013/04/12/how-to-treat-a-bee-ant-wasp-sting-naturally/

Caution is advised when using essential oils with children and pregnant and nursing women.

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DIY MOSQUITO TRAP

Here is to make an easy, natural, inexpensive mosquito trap and put it far away from your seating areas.

http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf22399231.tip.html

June 4, 2013

Different Types Of Lilac Bushes

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I love the way Lilac shrubs/bushes/trees perfume the air in springtime. Come and sit in the garden and smell the fresh scent of lilacs blooming.

This Lilac is blooming now and the smell is really strong attracting hummingbirds, bees and hummingbird moths.

This lilac bush blooms later and has smaller flowers, but it has a larger fragrance.

This lilac bush blooms later and has smaller flowers, but it has a larger fragrance.

imageOther than the purple and white solid colours, I love this striped variety of Lilac, Syringa vulgaris L.

Enjoy the fragrance while it lasts.

Enjoy the fragrance while it lasts.

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