Posts tagged ‘Biology’

August 19, 2013

Eucalyptus Herb and Essential Oil DIY Decongestant

Eucalyptus is an evergreen tree native to Australia but is now highly cultivated around the world.

The largest varieties grow in Tasmania and Victoria and reach up to heights of 375 ft., making it one of the largest trees in the world and is the floral emblem of Tasmania.

The young leaves are covered with a blue grey wax, which is the origin of the name blue gum, and are in opposite pairs on a square stem. The older leaves are blue-green, alternate and sword shaped. The bark peels off in large chunks after time.

Eucalyptus oil is known as being one of the most powerful remedies to combat colds and clear the respiratory system. Use in a tincture or essential oil.
Eucalyptus oil is used in products like Vick’s Vaporub TM.

Make your own eucalyptus rub without the petroleum by-products and use carrier oil mixed with eucalyptus essential oil to rub on the body as a healthier, cheaper alternative when you need to decongest.

Popular carrier oils to use are coconut oil, jojoba, hempseed or even use olive oil.

Buy a sprig of eucalyptus at the florist to hang in the shower, or put a couple of drops of eucalyptus essential oil on a facecloth or in a small bowl or Chinese tea cup and place on the bottom of the tub or shower floor.

When the water or heat hits the essential oils it will release the aroma and turn your shower into an aromatherapy steam room.
Use Eucalyptus radiata with children.

Latin Name Eucalyptus globulus
Family Myrtaceae (Myrtle Family)
Country of Origin Australia, Tasmania

main distributor China

Volatility Top note
Extraction steam distilled from leaves of the tree
Colour clear to slight yellow
Aroma sharp, strong, camphor
Caution Contraindications Do not use during pregnancy, with high blood pressure, epilepsy, severe asthma, or with chemotherapy treatments. Do not store with homeopathic remedies.
Primary Uses Respiratory: bronchitis, coughs, colds, flu, sinusitis

Muscular: pain, arthritis, aches

Skin: wound healing, burns, aids in circulation and oxidation of cells,

Insect repellent

Properties analgesic, anthelmintic, antibacterial, anticatarrhal anti-inflammatory, antiprotozoal, antispasmodic, antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic, astringent, deodorant, diuretic, anti-infective, astringent, carminative, decongestant, diaphoretic, drying, stimulating expectorant, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, immune stimulant, rubefacients,

(Primary properties are underlined)

Constituents Essential Oil Yield:

1 -2.4%

Sesquiterpene alcohols: <10% globulol, ledol, viridifloral,


valeric aldehydes

Oxides: 50-85% Eucalyptol aka 1, 8 cineole,

Monoterpene alcohol: terpineole,

Monoterpenes: 10-15% a+b pinene, phellandrene, cymene, camphene,

Sesquiterpenes: aromadendrene,


July 26, 2012

Echinacea with Amazing Butterfly Pictures

Echinacea is blooming and what a beautiful butterfly magnet it is! Echinacea is the latin name that people are familiar with, but the common name for this amazing perennial wildflower is purple coneflower. ‘Echinos’ is the Greek word for sea urchin or hedgehog, which relates to the look of the center cones that resemble the spines of hedgehogs, especially when dried.

There are three types or species of Echinacea:

  1. ‘purpurea’ is the purple variety
  2. ‘angustifolia’ is the narrow leaf variety
  3. ‘pallida’ means pale, named for the paler varieties. This variety is used less  medicinally.

Do not misuse Echinacea as a long-term immune enhancer, it is not like adaptogens such as ginseng. Echinacea is a cool detoxicant that reduces infection and heat. Use it for short-term infections and acute conditions only.

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***Echinacea should only be used as short-term immune stimulant. Do not use long-term and avoid overuse. Do not pick it in the wild, it is extinct and endangered. Cultivate it yourself or buy the root dried. Echinacea is also a good ingredient in gargles, washes, compresses, syrups, and used externally to treat injuries, burns, and skin disorders.

Learn how to make your own tincture here:

Common Name  Echinacea/ Purple coneflower root
Latin Name  Echinacea spp. angustifolia/ purpurea/pallida
Family Asteraceae
Parts Used perennial flowers rarely used/ root harvested in late summer /fall after blooming
Target Organs Blood, lymphatic, skin, stomach, urogenital, immune,
Common Uses bacterial viral infections, first sign cold, flu, chills, swollen glands lymph congestion, runny stuffy nose, cough, laryngitis, food allergies, UTI, skin infections, fever, inflammation, discharge,  wounds, ulcers, burns,
Properties Cool, dry, calming, stimulating, restoring, dissolving, anti-microbial, antibacterial, antiallergenic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-toxic, astringent, alterative, anti-catarrhal, antiviral, antineoplastic, febrifuge, depurative, detoxicant, diuretic, lymphatic, decongestant, stimulating/regulating, immune stimulant, vulnerary
Constituents Essential oil, humulene, sesquiterpenes, glycoside echinoside, polysaccharides-echinacin, inulin, isobutylamides, polyines, polyenes, echinolone, betaine, tannins, resins, oleic/cerotic/ linolic/ palmatic acids, 13 polyacetylenes, enzymes, fatty acids, phytosterols, trace minerals, vitamin C
Cautions Mild remedy but may cause dizziness, nausea, numb tongue, gastric upset, cankers, throat irritation due to its stimulating nature.
Dosage Most effective: Tincture: 2-4ml                 Decoction: 6-10 g

Acute conditions like infection or onset of a cold

Take up to 2 tablespoons of decoction or 1 tsp. of tincture every two hours at acute protocols

April 19, 2012

Different Varieties of Violets as Medicinal Food

Nothing says spring like Violets! Not to confuse violets with the tropical African violets, Violas are also known as Wild Pansy. There are so many varieties of Viola, which is their Latin name, and what I prefer to call them, so that there is no confusion.

Sweet Viola is another herb that is a nutritive antioxidant, which is good medicinal food.

Violet leaves and flowers are edible, and are preferred fresh of course.  For tincture purposes using fresh Viola is also preferred.

Viola is a nutritious remedy, that detoxifies and decongests. Use all species of Viola interchangeably, because they have similar plant constituents and properties. For medicinal use, the wild varieties of Viola are preferred over the cultivated garden varieties.

Common   Name Violet
Latin Name Viola spp. Viola odoratasweet blue violet Viola tricolour-

Heartsease aka Wild pansy, Johnny jump-ups

Family Violaceae
Parts Used Perennial- flowers, leaves picked in spring to summer. Best if eaten fresh.
Target Organs Central Nervous System, Nerves, Cardiovascular, heart, lungs, lymphatic, skin, kidney, bladder
Common Uses Nutritive antioxidant Respiratory:   cough, bronchitis, colds, flu, Lymphatic Immune   tonic, Nervous system:   relaxant, pain, tranquilizer Toxicity   conditions: skin conditions- eczema, arthritis
Properties anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, cholagogue, diaphoretic,  diuretic, secretolytic expectorant,  depurative,   febrifuge, antineoplastic, nutritive, lymphatic, hypotensive, relaxant, nervine, vulnerary
Constituents Essential oils,   flavonoids: (anthocyanidins, violaquercetin,) methyl salicylate, salicylic acid, saponins, alkaloids, mucilage, tannins,

Minerals:   Calcium, magnesium

Cautions Heartsease is high in saponins. Prolonged full dose may cause nausea, diarrhea and   vomiting. Best used in a formulation if taken for long periods.
Dosage Best eaten fresh or used fresh in a salad. Fresh Tincture:   1-5ml best used in a formulation Infusion: 8-16g


Viola odorata- Blue Violet

Sweet Blue Violets

This variety of Violet- Viola odorata is more medicinal.

Sweet Blue violet herb and root has more expectorant, anti-tussive, antiseptic action than Heartsease, which addresses lung damp or dry heat. It also has more anti-tumor action. The heart shaped leaves address matters of the heart.

Blue violet seed is a diuretic that is good for painful urinary conditions.

Viola tricolour– Heartsease aka Wild Pansy, Johnny jump-ups

Heartsease aka Wild Pansy

Heartsease growing in rye fields has been known to help skin conditions, caused by too much rye wheat in the diet. There is a relationship there that I would like to explore more, as I curl up with my sweet blue violet fresh infusion, it is a reminder to make some Viola honey and syrups…mmmm

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