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Good Herbal Choices In July

Cooling Herbs in the summer

July is the month for vacations, to rest, reflect and to slow down. Surely, you don’t have to be lectured about the benefits of rest and relaxation.  But, whenever I suggest to someone who is feeling frazzled and stressed out, to unwind and rest for a few days, I almost always get an answer of protest.  Slowing down takes too much time. Being part of a generation of doers, I understand, I did not know how to relax either.  To help me learn to unwind, exhale, and take time to smell the roses, my daughter gave me a wonderful book to read "The Art Of Doing Nothing" by Veronique Vienne. It actually took me a few years to find time and to pick up this practical 91 page guide and read about the art of relaxation, which lead me to an understanding that “being” is more compelling than “doing”.  Here is what I’ve learned: 

Hydrotherapy

Women in the bathtub experiencing hydrotherapy

Taking a bath is deeply relaxing, easy to do, and sometimes brings comfort needed in a rough and busy world. Submerged in water, you have the feeling of being much lighter than you are on land. Unlike land gravity, which pulls you downward, water presses on you in all directions, giving you a gentle head-to-toe body tuck. Gone are the joint pain, body ache, sore muscles. I usually like to add to my hydrotherapy experience herbs, essential oils, even clays to beautify my body and rejuvenate my mind. If there is no time for a complete bath, enjoy a footbath, or simply fill your sink with water, splash your face and submerge your arms.
 

Aromatherapy

Are you exposed to constant ringing of telephones, noises of machinery, cramped office space, driving long distances or pushing your body to the limits? Unwind and let everything go with the help of this essential oils blend:
  • Roman Chamomile 15 drops
  • Marjoram 10 drops
  • Lemon 5 drops
Mix the oils and add to your bath water. Take a deep breath, exhale and let go!
 

Ear Coning

Ear Coning treatments are not just for cleaning out the ears, but are also deeply relaxing. Ear Coning is a technique that has been around for centuries. It dates as far back as biblical times when hollow reeds from swamp areas were used. It has been passed down for many generations by the Egyptians, the Oriental and European cultures. The process had been basically lost for many years but has come back into practice again and is being used by a wide cross section of people. It is a simple but effective home remedy. It involves the use of cones, made from unbleached cotton, beeswax, herbs, essential oils, herbal extracts and flower essences. The large end is lit with a match, and the small end is placed on the edge of a person’s ear. Ear Coning may provide additional benefits:

  • Relaxation
  • Detoxification of sinus and lymph
  • Sore throats
  • Swimmer’s ear
  • Chronic headache
  • Ear aches
  • Allergies
  • Hearing improvement
  • Vision improvement
  • Sharpening of mental functioning,

Herbs To Help You Relax

If you are having a difficult time relaxing, the following herbs have been used for hundreds of years by herbalist to calm the nervous system, help reduce pain, ease tension, and encourage sleep: California poppy, passionflower, St. John’s Wort, catnip, valerian, lemon balm, lobelia and skullcap.
 

Herbs For Calming The Mind

Gotu kola is one of the best herbs to calm, rejuvenate and revitalize the nerves and brain, strengthen memory and intelligence, and improve concentration. In Sri Lanka, gotu kola is a favorite food for elephants. Gotu Kola promotes mental clarity. It balances right and left brain, excellent to take in a glass of milk before meditations. Good for emotionally caused depression, especially when accompanied with sluggish digestion. Good for treating a nervous breakdown. Gotu kola also improves blood circulation.
 
Basil uplifts the mind and strengthens the nervous system. Herbalists suggest taking basil to treat poor memory, confusion, indecision, fear, mental stress and fatigue. Basil reduces mental fog associated with drug use, menopause and chronic stress.
 
To unwind, I like to sit down to a cup of chamomile tea. Chamomile is one of the best remedy for a good night sleep, great for the whole family.
Caution: If you are allergic to ragweed, or other plants of the chrysanthemum family, do not use!
 

Fragrant And Tasty Salad Oils and Vinegars

At this time of the year I enjoy going into my garden to prepare herb infused salad oils and vinegars for the winter. Simply soak your chosen herbs, such as basil, rosemary, tarragon, etc. for about one month in your favorite vegetable oil or vinegar. Strain and store in glass bottles. There is another way to make these fragrant oils and vinegars. You can use food grade essential oils. Combine one drop of essential oil (make sure they are food grade), for example lemon, orange or lime, to two teaspoons vegetable oils, such as sunflower, safflower, etc.
 

Scent For July

Peace In A Bottle is an oil for calming an overwrought mind. This unique formula was designed to provide you with an emotional, mental and physical support during stressful times. Peace in a Bottle may help you go through the day seeing and experiencing life in a more peaceful way, without a sedating or numbing effect. At night, inhaling a few drops may prepare you for a restful sleep.

Written by Leilah