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Good Herbal Choices in July

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 gifted 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
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:

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

    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. Tranquil is an Herb Stop formula that contains many of the above mentioned herbs all in one capsule, and has been used by herbalists for insomnia, stress related conditions and relaxation. A traditional formula also known by many migraine sufferers for its calming effect during times of stress.

    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 (yes, those green leaves you buy at the grocery store to make pesto) 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.

    Tulsi is also commonly known as Holy Basil. This Ayurvedic herb is used to purify and invigorate the body and mind.

    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 and safe for flavoring foods), 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.

    July 23rd – August 22nd Birthday People
    If your birthday falls between July 23rd and August 22nd your astrological sign is Leo. Leo people have a tendency to have problems with their upper spine, heart and arterial circulation as well as the eyes. They have a big heart and can be easily taken advantage of. Herbs and foods for Leo build self-confidence and motivate to complete one’s goals: angelica, bay, benzoin, cashew, chamomile, chrysanthemum, cinnamon, eyebright, frankincense, ginseng, goldenseal, juniper, lime, lovage, marigold, mastic, mistletoe, oak, olive, orange, pineapple, rice, rosemary, saffron, st. john’s wort, sesame, sunflower, tangerine, walnut, witch hazel. The Herb Stop has created an astrological tea specifically for Leos.

    Soothe Your Cares
    This essence calms the mind and is good for people who experience hyperactivity.  It calms the neural activity of the brain, it doesn’t slow it down, but calms it, and there is a difference.  If you are allergic to red and orange food dyes, which makes you hyperactive, this essence may have a calming effect. A potent relaxant and sedative, depending on the dosage!

    Confidence Builder
    This essence is a negative thought dispeller and removes doubt about an emotional feeling. It eliminates feelings of doubt, because of its high vibration. It creates emotional security. This essence is beneficial for individuals taking a test or examination, since they would become more confident. It can also be helpful for those who are in competition with others – athletes for example. The business world very often requires a great deal of confidence, especially when one is venturing into new projects, expanding, growing, or when starting up a new business. This essence has a positive effect under any circumstance that requires a greater feeling of confidence.

    Written By Leilah