Spring detox

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This beautiful plant with yellow flowers is called Goldenrod. Late summer you will see it in bloom. It is a herb that contains a lot of histamine.

“Histamine is an organic nitrogenouscompound involved in local immune responses as well as regulating physiological function in the gut and acting as a neurotransmitter. Histamine is involved in the inflammatory response and has a central role as a mediator of pruritus.” (source: Wikipedia)

It is known to help with skin problems like eczema or psoriasis and other allergic response. For example hayfever. If you have hayfever, herbalists advice to use a tincture during the winter, to prepare your immune system for spring.

Emotionally and spiritually, goldenrod is known to ‘solve’. The Latin name is Solidago. The type of person who would benefit the most of this herb is the person who is keeping their emotions inside. Goldenrod helps to clear these emotions.

It is a perfect herb for me to use in a mini detox I am taking at the moment. Drinking 3 cups a day will do. I combine it with oil pulling in the morning, himalya salted water and lots of green (slow)juices. Just to prepare myself mentally and physically on the uocoming and beautiful spring.

More info on Goldenrod and Oil pulling.

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Cavalinha

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In January, I walked a part of the Camino in Portugal and the Nord of Spain. It is a wonderful area full with nature. Herbs, eucalyptus trees and beautiful people. Friendly and very helpful. It was an adventure just being in the supermarket. One of the beautiful surprises I saw was this tea.

It is horsetail. In The Netherlands, my home country, you only see tea with horsetail in reform stores or at the Herbal academy. Everyone with a vegetable garden in The Netherlands knows it. Because it grows everywhere. The funny thing is, that they just trow it away. People in The Netherlands think it is just a terrible weed. And it isn’t.

It is a wonderful herb for your joints. Your hairgrowth. It contains a lot of calcium for example. It is also known as a herb that can help preventing cancer. Making a tea or a tincture with it would be perfect.

In Portugal they sell it in the supermarket. People drink it as a healthy tea. It is normal there. And that is just the funny part on herbalism. What is normal in one place it is strange in another.

A fun fact to know🙂

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Chamomile salve or oil

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Chamomile oil: Very easy to make. It helps with dry skin, and infected or eczema skin. Also very good for your baby and his or her skin. The only thing you have to do is buy chamomile herbs and combine it with petroleum jelly or sunflower oil. If you use petroleum jelly put it on the stove (au bain marie) and heat it a few times. It needs to cook for 24 hours (do not let it boil and please be careful, the jelly is extremely hot and dangerous), so just heat it on the stove a few times and let it rest. Depending on the amount, I use three days to make it and heat it 6 times within those three days.

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If you want a herbal oil (any kind of oil, calendula or lady’s mantle for your own skin) just drop the dried herbs in a glass jar (sterilised and cleaned of course) mix with the oil (sunflower is low in cost and does not have a strong smell) and put it on your heating like I deed. What is also possible is to warm it with a tea light. I do not know how to call it in English, but that glass thing were you put a tea light in and your tea pot on😉 It really works with making herbal oils.

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It is like cooking or making herbal tea: It needs time to mix all the components together. To blend. So give it that time and stir it everyday. I leave my oils on the heater for two weeks and warm it with a tea light a couple of times. The hotter the better. Just experiment with it. It is fun to do!

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Evening primrose

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I discovered a flower which has become my favorite one. The smell of this flower, the look and feel, and the taste is so great. It is a wild flower and it is called the evening primrose. Why? Because the flowers open in the evening and live true the night. Afterwards they fall of the plant. The smell is so lovely and the flower is full of omega and other healthy stuff. The roots taste like ham I have been told. In dutch there is a great article about the flower. Want information in English? This article writes about the evening primrose oil health benefits. It is made from the seeds. What did I do with the flower? I ate the flower🙂 And mixed the flower with sunfloweroil for my skin. It really works well on dry skin and skin with eczema. I heated it a few times until the flowers lost their yellow colour and the oil smells like the flower. I love it.

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Custom-made herbal tea

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Today I made a custom-made herbal tea treatment. I used rosemary, yarrow milfoil and daisy. Why? This person has problems with her vascular system (narrowed arteries) and these herbs work well with that.

Yarrow milfoil contains hydrocyanic acid. Because of that, it is important to have knowledge about the use of the herb.

Want personal advice? Or custom-made and handpicked herbal tea treatments? Let me know: rebeccaherbal@outlook.com I only use herbs that grow in The Netherlands and are in season.

I also make herbal salves and oils. No weird stuff in it. Just nature🙂

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Ragwort

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I have learned an important lesson today. Because I am still in my learning phase as a junior student of herbal medicine, it is important to be humble, cautious, and have a no risk policy. Because I do not know all the herbs and do not want to get sick, I investigate everything that grows outside our house.

Today I learned that these cute yellow flowers are extremely toxic for humans and animals. (not the big one on the picture, but the little ones) Apparently, horses have severe liver damage when they eat this herb by accident. In Latin the herb is called Jacobea Vulgaris.

I did not know all of this: Growing up in the city and being a newbie in this whole herb world. I almost accidentally used the herb today in a tea mixture. Thankfully, I always search what kind of herb I have in my hands.

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(the upper yellow flower is a dandelion, the yellow flowers underneath are the ragwort flowers)

This is the reason why it is so important to know what you are doing, and to be very careful when you decide to try herbs. Herbs and herbalism can be a strong powerful helping medicine for your health. But, it can also damage your health. You need to know what you are doing. Especially, when you are pregnant, weak because of an illness or healthy and you want to keep it that way🙂

To me it was a precious gift today. I have the tendecy to not follow the course order and just try a little. Learning by doing is more my way of learning new things. And this was a nice lesson🙂

The good thing of this all, is that
I also saw that I am able to see what kind of herb I have in front of me. I thought it was a composite family plant. And it was. The roots showed me that it was a two year plant. The little ray flowers showed me there was no pistil on it. So they were ‘fake’ flower parts. The disc flowers looked weird too. It was then when I hesitated. I thought:  “We have discussed all the composite family plants in class. I do not know this one.” Thanks to the internet I discovered it was the ragwort. It grows until October. That was why I was drawn to it. All the flowers, except for some chamomile, are gone in front of our house. Except for this one. So I was curious to see what it was. Well, now I know🙂

Big lesson: Do not use it🙂 And watch your hands while picking herbs when you see this one.

For more information about the ragwort and the risks: http://www.ragwort.org.uk/

More information about plant structure:
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/gardennotes/135.html

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Lady’s mantle

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I am a proud herbalist at the moment. In bed, drinking a nice ginger tea from fresh ginger slices, my legs oiled with my homemade calendula coconut oil, and, on top of that, I have my very own almond lady’s mantle oil ready for this months menstrual cycle.

Yes, I am one of those ladies, who ticks all the boxes when it comes to that.

It all started when I stopped using my birth control. The natural hormones kicked in. OMG. That is the worst thing ever. My body was not used to that (and still isn’t), so each month I pray that this month is less worse than the last one.

Because of that, I decided to make my own oil. Lady’s mantle is known for its benefits when it comes to those women things. It relieves menstrual cramps, helps with your hormones during menopause, and irregular menstruation.

The whole plant is used. For tea, tincture, oil, whatever works for you. I am excited to try the oil and hope it wil reduce some of my menstrual pain. Curious about the herb and what it can do for you? Just do not use it when you are pregnant🙂 Afterwards is ok. It helps to restore your uterus. But during your pregnancy it could stimulate birth.

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