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Herb Teas - August 2000

This month we have a look at the HERB TEAS that we stock at Piko

ALFAFLA LEAVES

Medicago sativa
Rich in vitamins and minerals including 8 digestive enzymes and 8 essential amino acids. Alfalfa is used as a blood thinner and a kidney cleanser

CHAMOMILE FLOWERS

Matricaria recutita
Used for many conditions ranging from digestive complaints to anxiety, teething and period pains.
Especially good for children and can be used safely for babies with colic, digestive disorders, colds and worms. Can be applied externally in a tea bag to ease eczema, allergic dermatitis, wounds and burns.
A relaxant and digestive toner.

COMFREY LEAVES

Symphytum officinale
The only known plant source of vitamin B12 and Lysine, it contains 18 amino acids (protein builders).
Comfrey soothes internal body surfaces. It soothes irritable coughs and is known to check haemorrhages from ulcers, piles etc. Poultices are used externally to promote sprain, strain and bone healing.
Increases white blood cells and is believed to inhibit tumour growth.

DANDELION ROOT

Taraxacum officinalis
A natural and safe diuretic, Dandelion is an excellent tonic for the liver and gallbladder. Its blood purifying and liver cleansing properties make it excellent in skin conditions resulting from toxic conditions.
Dandelion is also nutritionally rich in protein and vitamins.

EYEBRIGHT

Euphrasia officinalis
Euphrasia relieves catarrh; it is excellent for problems of the mucous membrane and is used for nasal and upper respiratory catarrh, sinusitis and conjunctivitis.
It may be used as an eyewash or taken internally as a tea. Rich in vitamin A.

ELDERFLOWER

Sambucus nigra
Relieves the symptoms of colds and flu. Elder is historically associated with witchcraft and magic and so numerous are its folk medicine uses it has been called the peoples' medicine chest. Elderflowers help control fever and remove catarrh.

FENNEL SEEDS

Foeniculum vulgare
Fennel is a stomach and intestinal remedy, used to prevent and treat indigestion, flatulence and colic whilst also stimulating digestion and regulating the appetite. Good for children's colic and mild fevers, it is also used as a relaxant for young children. Fennel seeds are also used to stimulate milk production in breastfeeding women.

FENUGREEK SEEDS

Trigonella foenum-graecum
Good for bronchitis, colds and fevers. It is traditionally thought to give strength and for this reason was given to pregnant woman. It contains 25% protein and helps improve protein utilisation. It is a good laxative and an expectorant. It also contains a hormone like substance similar to that in wild yam and in China is used for impotence, infertility and to reduce menopausal symptoms.
Use 1 tsp to 1 cup of water and boil it until the seeds are tender. Eat like a soup, seeds and all.

HAWTHORNE

Crataegus oxycanthoides
A heart remedy.
Improves blood flow to the heart and the efficiency of the heart's pumping action, improves local circulation, controls both high and low blood pressure. Good for angina, Raynauds, chilblains etc. Scientific studies conclude that Hawthorne is effective against hardening of the arteries. The berries also contain vitamin C.

LEMON BALM

Melissa officinalis
A soothing, calming tea, the ultimate remedy for nervous tension.
Lemon Balm relieves wind and spasms of the digestive tract especially those associated with anxiety. It is great for tension headaches and useful for children especially at the first signs of colds and flus.

LICORICE ROOT

Glycyrrhiza glabra
One of the most used medicines of the ancient world, Licorice was and is used for peptic ulcers, bronchial problems, sore throats, rheumatic conditions and mild allergic asthma.
Licorice mimics oestrogen and is useful in uterine complaints and for menopausal symptoms.
It stimulates the cortex of the adrenal gland and thus increases energy.
Licorice can be used as a mild laxative for babies. It is 50 times sweeter than sugar and is used to disguise the taste of bitter herbs.

MARSHMELLOW ROOT

Althaea officinalis
Marshmellow has mucilaginous properties which sooth and heal internal and external body surfaces.
It is also an expectorant and is used for catarrh, coughs, stomach inflammations, ulcers and urinary tract infections and irritations. It is said to remove stones and gravel from the urinary tract.

NETTLE LEAVES

Urtica dioica
Nettle strengthens and supports the whole body. It is rich in chlorophyll, silica, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and iron and increases the absorption of the latter. Nettle is given as a tonic for anaemia, it mildly lowers blood sugar levels and is used in noninsulin- dependent diabetes. It also stimulates milk production.
Nettle is a circulatory herb, stimulating the blood circulation. It is used to lower blood pressure and as a blood purifier. Nettle is good for the skin and is also used for childhood and nervous excema.

OATSTAW

Avena sativa
To sustain the nervous system. Rich in vitamins, oats are traditionally used as a general nutritive and a sustaining and restoring herb for the nervous system.
Treatments for eczema and dry skin often include oat extracts. Oats have good quantities of silica and help the body assimilate calcium. Think of oats for endurance and energy.

PAU D'ARCO

Tabebuia impetiginosa
Also called Ipe Roxo, Taheebo Bark and Lapacho An important herb for use in autoimmune diseases, glandular disorders and other serious health problems. It is a detoxifier and a powerful antibacterial. In South America it is used to treat Leukaemia and other cancers and this use is being explored more. It is high in iron and is said to be good for pain associated with cancer.
Use 4-6 tbsp per quart of water, bring to the boil, simmer for 20 minutes, strain and drink up to 3 cups per day for a maximum of 3 – 6 months.

PEPPERMINT

Mentha piperita
Effective for nausea and vomiting and soothes most stomach upsets. It aids digestion, relaxes the digestive tract, balances intestinal flora and relieves colon spasms. It is used specifically for irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers and gout. Peppermint contains vitamins C and E and bioflavonoids and phenolic-type antioxidants in abundance. It is useful for debility since it fortifies the organs, rallies strength, and serves as a stimulant.

PSYLLIUM HULLS

Plantago psyllium
Helps lubricate and heal the digestive tract. It is good for constipation.

RASPBERRY LEAF

Rubus idaeus
Strenthens the uterine wall and the entire reproductive system. It relieves painful menstruation, helps prevent nausea in pregnancy, eases the pain and coordinates uterine contractions in childbirth, and enriches colostrum.

RED BUSH TEA

Also called Rooibos Tea
Used for babies suffering from colic and food allergies, it is a powerful antispasmodic. Red bush Tea contains powerful antioxidants and facilitates the removal of metabolic wastes and stimulates the metabolism. It has a rich mineral content that promotes healthy skin and teeth

RED CLOVER

Trifolium pratense
A tonic used for nervous conditions and for nervous exhaustion. Red Clover is a detoxifier and is said to restore fertility.

ROSEHIPS

Rosa rugosa
A richer abundance of vitamin C than orange juice, also vitamins A, B1, B2, pectin and zinc. Rosehips are used for cleansing toxins and infection from the body. They have laxative and astringent properties and are said to nourish the skin and banish lethargy.

SLIPPERY ELM

Ulmus rubra
A mucilaginous herb that coats the digestive tract healing inflammations or irritations of the mucous membranes. It clears congestion, helps check coughing, bronchitis, asthma and other lung ailments.
It is useful in both diarrhoea and constipation and also cystitis.

ST JOHN'S WORT

Hypericum perforatum
A potent antiviral and antibacterial agent that strengthens the immune system. It is useful in treating herpes, flu and possibly even AIDs and cancer. It has pain-relieving properties, and is used to relieve menstrual cramps, arthritis and gout. It is helpful for depression and disturbed sleep patterns.
It is good for the circulation. It may not be good for people with sensitive skin as it can cause sun sensitivity.

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