Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ginger; one of my best herbal friends! Here is a link for headache information and a lot more! With Excerpt~~~Good Day

More than 45 million Americans have headaches severe enough to send them to a doctor, according to the National Headache Foundation in Chicago. If you suffer from recurring headaches, it is important that you see your doctor. Recurring headaches can be symptoms or indications of serious disorders such as tumors, meningitis, blood poisoning or infection in or near the brain.

The majority of headaches, however, are tension headaches, which tighten up muscles in your head. They are triggered by stress, illness, bright lights, food sensitivities or even changes in the weather. Next time you experience this type of headache, remember that it can be eased with relaxation techniques, gentle massage of the back of the neck and sedative herbs. In fact, a good way to deal with most headaches is to reduce the stress in your life.

Hangover, hunger, migraine, cluster and "ice cream" headaches (brought on by sudden cold, such as eating ice cream too quickly) are examples of circulation or vascular headaches. They are helped by taking herbs that promote relaxation, along with those that dilate blood vessels in the head.

In some cases, long-term use of typical commercial headache relievers—codeine, acetaminophen, meperidine (Demerol), ibuprofen and even aspirin—makes your headaches more frequent, more severe or both. When the New England Center for Headache in Greenwich, Connecticut, took people who experience chronic headaches off their daily dose of five or six painkillers, a surprising two-thirds of them were having fewer headaches by the end of the month. After two months, four-fifths of these people were experiencing even less pain than when they were taking the pills. And the immediate side effects of the drugs—digestive problems, drowsiness and dizziness—are nothing to shrug off.

If these statistics alone are not enough to persuade you to turn to herbs the next time a headache strikes, consider the long-term effects of the typical painkillers. The results of a 1994 scientific survey suggest that there might be a direct correlation between the habitual use of acetaminophen—at least one tablet a day for a year or more—and the development of kidney failure. The survey also indicated that people who take large quantities of other pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, naproxen and indomethacin, may increase their chance of kidney failure eightfold. The majority of painkillers also cause stress on the liver, especially in high or repeated doses. This is because they are detoxified in the liver.

Want some natural alternatives to ease your aching head? Try drinking a ginger tea. Numerous clinical studies have shown that this herb can be used to relieve headaches. Researchers believe it does so by relaxing the blood vessels in the head and diminishing swelling in the brain. It also activates natural opiates in the brain that relieve pain, and it reduces prostaglandins, which are responsible for causing inflammation.

Other traditional headache teas are made with chamomile, lemon balm and linden (the flowers of the lime tree), which is is far more popular in Europe than in North America. In The British Herb Pharmacopoeia, linden is listed as a sedative for treating nervous tension and headaches. Researchers suspect that this herb heals migraines (and other vascular headaches) by improving blood circulation.

For other ways to ease tension headaches, see the information on natural aspirins and muscle relaxants in "Pain: Inflammation" in chapters 125 through 135. You should also consider using herbs known to reduce stress (see "Stress" in chapter 20)—these may take care of your stress headaches.


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Banana This; Recycle Old Peels~ fertilizer or silver polish

There are things you can do with that old peel.

1. Do you have a green thumb? House hold plants and outside gardens require fertilization. A great way to give your plants nutrients is with a banana peel. The banana peel is very rich in potassium and phosphorus, which give that added boost to your plants soil, especially so with roses. Here is how to use a banana peel to fertilizer your soil for your plants. Remove the peel from the banana. Place the banana peel on a cookie sheet to let it air dry. Grab a paper bag or envelope. Crumble the dried banana peel and place it in the bag. Let the banana sit at room temperature for about two days. When your caring for your plant, give it a potassium treat of crumbled banana peel. Mix well in the soil to ensure the roots are fed evenly.
2. Have you been thinking about pulling out that old silver? Well there is no time like the present. Bananas peel can also be used to polish silver. Yes, polish silver. Take the old peels and place them in a blender. You want the peels to become smooth and creamy. Once they have, grab a cloth and small amounts of the creamed banana peel and begin polishing your silver. The shine will be breath taking.


Wild yeasts exist in the air around you and to some extent on the wheat berries. There are wild yeasts on grapes (unsulphured) and apples and other fruits. It is those wild yeasts which are 'captured' to make a sourdough starter. The process takes from 3 to 5 days. I wish I had specific amounts for you, but you could start with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour and mix in enough warm (not hot) water to make a thin paste. DO NOT make it too soupy. That, in fact, is the trick to a good starter, according to the French bread makers, and I think they should know. And after you've fooled around with the flour and water thing, you might wish to branch out into adding those unsulphured grapes, apples, sour milk, etc as a catalyst in order to capture other strains of yeast. Each of these strains has a slightly different taste. In fact if you move to another area, you might end up with a starter that produces an entirely different flavor. For instance, San Francisco sourdough bread is well known and has a distinct taste due to the wild strains in the air there. On day one you mix the flour and water (and add any catalysts to encourage fermentation) and place in a warm spot. After 3 days, the dough should be moist, inflated, and slightly sour. More flour and water is added (mixed in) and left to sit in a warm spot. After 2 days the process is repeated. Then the next day it is done again. Note the order: 3 days, 2 days, 1 day. At this point you should be able to make a loaf of bread using part of the starter and adding back what you took out in the form of more flour and water. Rule of thumb: Use about 10% starter to size of loaf. In the case of a 2 lb loaf this is a bit over 3 oz of starter (3.2 to be exact). For a 1 lb loaf 1.5 oz would be used. A book that describes this process in great detail is The Village Baker by Joe Ortiz, copyright 1993, published by Ten Speed Press, Berkley CA. If it's not still in print, try the used books stores, that's where I got mine. Or try your local library. If they don't have it, they might be able to get it for you. ©2008 by Ernestina Parziale

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