MoonDragon's Health & Wellness Therapy
GENERAL TONIC RECIPES
For Informational Use Only
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HERBAL TINCTURES (& TONICS)
GENERAL TONIC #1
1 Teaspoon Dried Wild Strawberry Leaves
Honey To Taste
1 Cup Water
Wild strawberry leaves are chock full of vitamins and make a very good tonic. Dry the leaves for year-round use. Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 teaspoon of the dried leaves. Steep, covered, 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and sweeten. Drink several cups per day for 1 week if used as a tonic. Otherwise drink for enjoyment anytime.
GENERAL TONIC #2
8 Cups Water
6 Tablespoons Hops
6 Tablespoons Violet Leaves & Flowers
Honey To Taste
This is a great tonic for the whole family. Simmer the peel of the lemons and oranges in water for 15 minutes, covered. Remove from heat and add hops and violet leaves and flowers. Steep for another 15 minutes. Strain and add honey to sweeten. Allow to cool slightly and add fresh lemon and orange juices. Cloves may be added if desired for a spicy kick. Blend and drink immediately. This tea has many vitamins, so it can be used as often as desired.
CLOVE HERBAL PROFILE
The Clove is an evergreen tree growing up to 50 feet bearing aromatic leaves and buds. The trees average 15 to 30 feet in height for cultivation and harvesting. The Clove tree has opposite, oval leaves more that 5 inches long. Clove flowers rarely flower, however, because the buds are harvested as soon as they turn pink. When allowed to develop, the flowers are red and white, bell shaped and grows in terminal clusters. The familiar clove used in the kitchen is the dried flower bud. When fresh the flower buds are pink, dried they turn to a rust brown color resembling small, dark-brown nails with a tapered stem. The dried buds are 1/2 to 5/8 inches long. The large end of the clove is the four pointed flower bud.
The clove bud is a highly aromatic flower that has been used for food and medicine for centuries. It is native to the Malucca Islands (also called the Spice Islands) but is now cultivated worldwide. Cloves were one of the first globally traded spices, going as far back as 1721 B.C.E. They were highly prized by the Romans and the Chinese. The Chinese were known to chew them before an audience with the emperor to make sure their breath was fresh. By the 16th and 17th century they had, along with nutmeg, become the most precious spice on the market. In 1605, the Dutch tried to gain a monopoly on the trade by going to the Maluccas and controlling as much land containing cloves as they could. They went so far as to burn any trees that were not under their control. This did not fare well with the natives as many clove trees were planted when a child was born, and according to their traditions, the life of the tree and the child were directly tied together.
Today in America, cloves are mainly used for cooking. Clove is used therapeutically to treat worms, viruses, candida, and various bacterial and protozoan infections, but is most commonly used externally to treat toothache and mouth and throat inflammation and to slow macular degeneration. Cloves are used against parasites, flatulence, and nausea. Eating cloves is considered to be an aphrodisiac. Use as a dietary supplement or put directly on tooth for a toothache.
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees (the genus Apis) is the one most commonly referred to, as it is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans. Honey produced by other bees and insects has distinctly different properties. Honey bees transform nectar into honey by a process of regurgitation and evaporation. They store it as a primary food source in wax honeycombs inside the beehive.
Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose, and has approximately the same relative sweetness as that of granulated sugar. It has attractive chemical properties for baking and a distinctive flavor that leads some people to prefer it over sugar and other sweeteners. Most microorganisms do not grow in honey because of its low water activity of 0.6. However, honey sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can be dangerous to infants, as the endospores can transform into toxin-producing bacteria in infants' immature intestinal tracts, leading to illness and even death.
Honey has a long history in human consumption, and is used in various foods and beverages as a sweetener and flavoring. In ancient times, Honey was used as a wound dressing, and for skin and hair care treatments; however, it is also a wonderful source of energy, and has few calories. Honey is also an excellent carbohydrate source for post-workout muscle recuperation and energy repletion. Honey contains polyphenols, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants cleanse the body of the free radicals that contribute to serious illness. Serving for serving, Honey contains the same amount of antioxidants as spinach, and a comparable range to that of apples, bananas, oranges and strawberries. It also has a role in religion and symbolism. Flavors of honey vary based on the nectar source, and various types and grades of honey are available. It is also used in various medicinal traditions to treat ailments. The study of pollens and spores in raw honey (melissopalynology) can determine floral sources of honey. Bees carry an electrostatic charge whereby they attract other particles in addition to pollen, which become incorporated into their honey; the honey can be analysed by the techniques of melissopalynology in area environmental studies of radioactive particles, dust and particulate pollution.
Today there is a trend towards re-discovering the antibacterial properties of Honey for infected wounds, and the anti-inflammatory action for easing pain and improving circulation. Honey is being used in British hospitals for persistent wounds, acne, burns, and gastric ulcers. Clinical trials have shown its effectiveness as an antibacterial, and in another trial, patients given a daily application of honey recovered more quickly from necrotising fasciitis - the "flesh eating bug" - than those treated with surgery and antibiotics. New research shows that drinking four tablespoons of Honey in water improves blood antioxidants, which helps to prevent narrowing of the arteries.
Honey has other medicinal uses. It can be mixed with lemon and hot water to soothe sore throats and coughs. Mix it with hot milk to aid sleep, and it can be used for treating athlete's foot and other fungal problems, and to re-hydrate dry skin. Honey is also added to creams, cleansers, masks, shampoos and conditioners as a moisturizer and to keep skin soft and supple. Its antioxidant properties also help protect the skin from harmful UV rays. Some believe that eating raw honey from your region can help reduce allergies.
Manuka honey is known in New Zealand as the Healing Honey of the Tea Tree. Enjoy the purity of this rare, exotic, raw honey which has extraordinarily powerful healing benefits. Comvita Bio Active Manuka Honey contains a high level of antibacterial activity not found in other honeys. For digestive health and to assist the digestive process. Pure New Zealand Honey is made with the help of wild flowers to produce a rich natural taste that is all its own.
HOPS HERBAL PROFILE
Hops (Humulus lupulus) is a strong seducer of sleep. Insomniacs will slump on the kitchen table with half a cup of Hops infusion still sitting beside them. Hops is also an excellent herb for increasing and enriching breast milk. It is helpful in relieving afterbirth pains. Unfortunately, the taste of Hops is acrid and unpalatable to many and the tincture does not seem to be as effective.
The use of hops is recommended for discomfort due to restlessness or anxiety and sleep disturbances. Hops has been used to improve appetite and digestion and has a mild sedative effect. Hops are high in the bitter principles humulone and lupulone. These are thought to be responsible for the appetite-stimulating properties of hops. Hops also contain about 1 to 3 percent volatile oils. Hops have been shown to have mild sedative properties. Many herbal preparations for insomnia combine hops with other sedative herbs, such as valerian, passion flower and scullcap. The official preparations are an infusion and a tincture. The infusion is employed as a vehicle, especially for bitters and tonics: the tincture is stomachic and is used to improve the appetite and digestion. Both preparations have been considered to be sedative, were formerly much given in nervousness and hysteria and at bedtime to induce sleep; in cases of nervousness, delirium and inflammation being considered to produce a most soothing effect, frequently procuring for the patient sleep after long periods of sleeplessness in overwrought conditions of the brain. The bitter principle in the Hop proves one of the most efficacious vegetable bitters obtainable. An infusion of 1/2 ounce Hops to 1 pint of water will be found the proper quantity for ordinary use. It has proved of great service also in heart disease, fits, neuralgia and nervous disorders, besides being a useful tonic in indigestion, jaundice, and stomach and liver affections generally. It gives prompt ease to an irritable bladder, and is said to be an excellent drink in cases of delirium tremens. Sherry in which some Hops have been steeped makes a capital stomachic cordial. A pillow of warm Hops will often relieve toothache and earache, allay nervous irritation and bring on delayed sleep.
A "hop" is a green cone around the female flower of the hop plant. Inside the hops are golden grains that form a sticky greenish yellow to organ-yellow powder. Hops have been used for centuries to flavor beer, at least as far back as 10,000 years ago in Asia, where it spread rapidly to Eastern Europe. The lore of hops and beer is intertwined. The Sumerians goddess Ninkasi was the goddess of brewing and beer, and head brewer to the gods. The Romans said that hops grew 'wild among the willows, like wolves among sheep', hence the name Lupulus. The first mention of hops in European literature was in 1079 by Abbess Hildegarde of St. Ruprechtsberg who said that 'if one intends to make beer from oats, it is prepared with hops'. There is also evidence that they have been used even longer to aid sleep and to reduce libido. This should not come as any surprise as hops are a distant relative of stinging nettles and cannabis. As most of the brewing of beer was done during the middle ages by monks, there are innumerable mentions to hops and hops gardens in monastic literature. In fifteenth-century Germany, monks prescribed teas of hops to young males to help them remain chaste.
Constituents: Up to 80-percent of grains of hops is a bitter resin. There are also tannins, flavonoid antioxidants, lupulone, and humulene.
Parts Used: The cone and grains of the hops flower, dried and cut.
Typical Preparations: Teas, infusions, tinctures, or encapsulations. Is also popularly used in dream and sleep pillows and many other cosmetic formulations.
Summary: Fresh hops provide bitters that stimulate digestion; these bitters are also found in the aged herb. In folk medicine, washes made with hops and waters are often used to treat sores and skin injuries. Hops teas are also used to relieve the pain of bladder infections. The hops used in beer are used "fresher," so drinking beer does not have the same effect as taking hops as an herb. The German food chemist Udo Pollmer notes that soaking red or white meats in beer, before grilling, reduces the formation of cancer-causing HCA's (heterocyclic amines), and actually prevents the formation of these compounds, although "lite" or alcohol-free beers do not have this effect. Another way to avoid the HCA's, of course, is to serve vegan entrees.
Precautions: The hops in beer are responsible for an unfortunate condition in men known in German herbal medicine as "beer drinker's droop," or erectile dysfunction. Avoiding excessive consumption of beer or hops helps men retain potency.
STRAWBERRY LEAF HERBAL PROFILE
Strawberry leaf is astringent, tonic and diuretic. The tannins in strawberry leaf teas are a gentle remedy for diarrhea. King's American Dispensatory, a textbook of herbal medicine used by physicians in the United States in the early twentieth century, recommends strawberry leaf tincture mixed with mulberry or raspberry syrup for treating dysentery, conditions modern medicine would identify as chlamydia or gonorrhea, and difficulty in urination. Blight or spots are commonly found on dried strawberry leaf, and this is commonly confused with a pernicious form of mold. This is a natural cycle of the strawberry's maturation process and should not be confused with mold or fungus. Folk uses (not reliably documented) include the external use of the leaves as a poultice for rashes or in bath water for aches and pains, and internal use for arthritis, anemia, and speeding up a sluggish metabolism. Avoid if you are allergic to strawberries. The strawberry plant is a creeping perennial vine native to Europe with indented leaves in groups of three growing on the stems below the flowers and fruit. Strawberries come in endless varieties but all leaves of all strawberries contain healing tannins.
Constituents: Tannins, antioxidant flavonoids, a small amount of ascorbic acid, a tiny amount of essential oil.
Parts Used: Dried leaves and leaf fragments, with some stem; mixtures frequently contain flower particles.
Typical Preparations: Traditionally used as a tea, sometimes available in tea bags; also used in extracts and sometimes capsules.
Precautions: Avoid if you allergic to strawberries.
VIOLET HERBAL PROFILE
The European or Sweet Violet is cultivated for its beautiful and fragrant flowers that are also used in perfumes, flavorings, and herbal medicines. Violets have been used in traditional folk medicine for thousands of years, usually as a headache remedy or natural pain reliever. Pliny the Elder suggested that a garland of violets could prevent headaches and dizziness. The Greeks considered the violet a symbol of fertility and love, and were know n to add it to any love potion that they made. The young leaves and flower buds can be eaten raw or cooked. They make a very good salad, and a tea made from the flower or leaves is equally as tasty.
Constituents: Alpha-ionone, beta-ionone, beta-sitosterol, eugenol, ferulic acid, kaempferol, malic acid, methyl salicylate, palmitic acid, quercetin, rutin, scopoletin, vanillin.
Parts Used: Leaf and flowers
Typical Preparations: The dried leaf is traditionally used as a tea, and the fresh leaf and flower is traditionally used in salads, soups, jellies and jams, as well as other food preparations. May also be taken as a liquid herbal extract.
Summary: The whole plant is anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, and laxative. It is taken internally in the treatment of bronchitis, respiratory catarrh, coughs, and asthma. Externally, it is typically used to treat mouth and throat infections. The plant can either be used fresh, or dried, and some reports suggest the dried material is much stronger in regards to its laxative qualities. The flowers are demulcent and emollient and are used in the treatment of biliousness and lung troubles. The petals are made into a syrup and used in the treatment of infantile disorders.
Precautions: Taking excessive amounts may cause nausea and vomiting.
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Using Essential Oils
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