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8 Herbal Teas You Should Know About

Herbal teas are known for their refreshing flavour and calming properties. They are prepared either by mixing herbs with tea or by simply brewing the herbs. Besides being gentle and readily available, they are also associated with number medicinal and therapeutic properties. Here is a list of top 8 herbal teas with great health benefits you can brew and enjoy.


Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea is mild and is very refreshing. The main component of the tea is peppermint oil which contributes to all the therapeutic effects. The tea is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium and contains very low calories. It is best known for its properties to soothe the stomach and promote digestion. A warm glass of peppermint tea can also help to effectively relieve nausea [1]. You can easily find dried peppermint leaves in ayurvedic stores and even in some drug store.

Steps to brew – For 1 cup peppermint tea:
In boiling water, put 2 tablespoons of dried peppermint leaves
Let it steep for 15-20 minutes and then strain
You can add some sweetener according to your taste and enjoy your hot cup of tea


Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is mild and reviving. It is found very powerful to treat a number of maladies. It has sedative properties that can relieve both sleeplessness and anxiety. Here’s how you can deal with anxiety disorders. It has also been shown to be helpful in relieving skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema[2]. Dried chamomile flowers can be found in most grocery stores.
Steps to brew – For 1 cup chamomile tea:
In a cup of hot water, put 2-3 tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers
Allow it to infuse for a few minutes
With the help of a strainer, strain the liquid into another cup
You can add some honey or lemon juice according to your taste


Lemon balm tea

This herb belongs to the mint family and has been used for centuries to treat indigestion, anxiety and sleep disorders. This herb is good for the digestive system and is helpful in reducing flatulence and indigestion. Being antispasmodic in nature, it is also effective in easing menstrual cramps. Lemon balm is a medicinal plant and can be found in any ayurvedic store and or healthy supermarkets like Wholefoods or Choices.
Steps to brew – For 1 cup lemon balm tea:
Add a teaspoon of the dried herb into boiling water
Now steep it for 10-15 minutes and remove the leaves using a strainer
You can sweeten the tea with honey


Ginger tea

Ginger tea is known for its prized medicinal benefits. It is best known for its ability to fight nausea. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to relieve muscle soreness after exercise. Drinking ginger tea during periods can also be helpful in reducing menstrual pain.
Steps to brew – For 1 cup ginger tea:
Slice ginger into thin pieces
Now bring a cup of water to boil and add the ginger slices
Let it steep for 10 minutes, then strain the water to remove the ginger
Add honey or fresh lemon juice, as per preference
Alternately, you can also add some ginger to your tea leaves, steep for a few minutes and then strain.


Lavender tea

Lavender is known for its bright purple flowers and pleasant aroma. Lavender is an antidepressant, expectorant analgesic and an antiseptic. Lavender tea is primarily used to ease anxiety, insomnia, stress and depression. The tea is also good for relieving indigestion and nausea [3]. You can find Lavender tea in most health food stores like Finlandia or Wholefoods.

Steps to brew – For 1 cup lavender tea:
Bring a cup of water to boil and put 2 tablespoons of dried lavender flowers
Now allow it to steep for good 4-5 minutes
Strain and serve the lavender tea with honey or sliced lemon
Lavender tea bags are also a convenient way to enjoy lavender tea.


Lemongrass tea

Lemongrass tea has a strong lemony fragrance. Lemongrass contains a lot of volatile oils that are rich in antioxidants and can protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce pain in conditions such as arthritis. Lemongrass tea leaves are easily available at grocery stores. Dried lemongrass can also be found in ready-to-use tea bags from stores.
How to brew – For 1 cup lemongrass tea:
Add 2 tablespoons of tea leaves in boiling water
Steep it for 10 minutes until the tea becomes golden-brown in colour
Strain and add honey to the tea if you have a sweet tooth


Rosehip Tea
Rosehip is the fruit of rose plant that is typically red or orange in colour. It not only has beauty benefits, but it can also ward off many diseases. Being rich in vitamin C and flavonoids, rosehip tea has good antioxidant properties. Antioxidants can play a role in preventing arthritis, heart diseases and cancer. It is also a rich source of vitamin A which is an immune system booster [4]. You can find rosehip fruit in stores. You can also directly brew the Lipton rosehip tea if you can’t find the fruit.
Steps to brew – For 1 cup rosehip tea:
Boil a cup of water in a bowl and place a handful of dried rosehips in the bowl of boiling water
Leave the rosehips in the boiled water and let it steep for 10-15 minutes
Strain the water and drink the tea immediately before it gets cold


Sources:
Original article
[1] Tate S. Peppermint oil: a treatment for postoperative nausea. J Adv Nurs. 1997Sep;26(3):543-9. PubMed PMID: 9378876.[2] Srivastava, J. K., Shankar, E., & Gupta, S. (2010). Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with
[2] Srivastava, J. K., Shankar, E., & Gupta, S. (2010). Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Molecular Medicine Reports, 3(6), 895–901. doi:10.3892/mmr.2010.377[3] Moss M, Cook J, Wesnes K, Duckett P. Aromas of rosemary and lavender
[3] Moss M, Cook J, Wesnes K, Duckett P. Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults. Int J Neurosci. 2003 Jan;113(1):15-38. PubMed PMID: 12690999.
[4] Roman, I., Stănilă, A., & Stănilă, S. (2013). Bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity of Rosa canina L. biotypes from spontaneous flora of Transylvania. Chemistry Central Journal, 7, 73. doi:10.1186/1752-153X-7-73


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Holistic Healing Team – helps Dying Dog

Healing can take many forms, from a physical cure to an emotional recovery to a step away from struggles and toward peace, wholeness, and freedom. Sometimes healing can also be about letting go.  The journey of letting go can be filled with support in various ways.  The key to healing is how accepting and willing you are.

I come to realize that mind is no other than mountains and rivers and the great wide earth, the sun, and the moon and stars – Dogen

Take a look at the story below, “Jones’s Healing Team”, to see how medical and holistic care come together in healing the last month’s of a Dog’s journey in life.  Healing is not only for Jones the dog, but also for everyone that is involved.  While healing Jones, they have healed themselves too.

When you have done everything, it is because of hope.

The holistic healing team provides the best care possible for healing Jones, a 12 and a half year old cattle dog mix diagnosed with tumors attached to his spleen and at the base of his heart.

The healing Team consists of:

– His veterinarian

– a holistic veterinarian

– an acupuncturist

– an animal communicator

– a Reiki Practitioner

 

Holistic Team Helps Dog’s Last Month – Baltimore Area

By Kathleen Lester, Michelle Dana-Christian, DVM, Theresa Deramo, & Terri Diener

Jones’ Healing Team

Jones, a 12 ½ year old cattle dog mix, was diagnosed with tumors attached to his spleen and at the base of his heart by our veterinarian.  Jones’ only symptom was a cough, and an Xray revealed the terrible news. Knowing that all beings are healed on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels, I tapped into his existing healing team of practitioners and reached out to new ones to create a healing team that would address all levels of his being at this particular stage of his life.  My goal was to provide the best care for Jones that I could, not knowing if the healing was going to turn the cancer around or help him on his journey. Jones’ team included his veterinarian, a holistic veterinarian, an acupuncturist, an animal communicator, and Reiki practitioners.

Biopuncture/ Homotoxicology

Dr. Michelle Danna Christian: During the first visit, I reviewed Jones’ Xrays, realizing the reason for the consistent deep cough was from many metastatic tumors wrapped around his main stem bronchi at the base of his trachea. My physical exam revealed internal bleeding within his abdomen, which indicated that that this was primary tumor,  most likely a hemangiosarcoma, with a risk of rupturing.  Jones also had tumors on his left front leg up to his shoulder.

The allopathic side of me imagined I would be back tomorrow to euthanize Jones; however the holistic side of me was hopeful. Heroics were not an option with Jones’ age and diagnosis, the goal was to give Jones a higher quality of life for a longer period of time. We charted out a treatment of Homotoxicology and Biopuncture, to support his immune system, stop the internal bleeding, and attempt to stop the growth of the tumors, hoping to reduce their size.

I saw Jones 72 hours after the first visit and what a different dog – the tumors on his left leg were 95% reduced, the fluid in his belly was significantly reduced, no longer bleeding, and the entire time I was there, he only coughed once. Jones continued to improve over the next few weeks, the only bad news was that once the fluid was gone from his belly, we could palpate the tumor confirming that it was attached to his spleen and the size of a small football. Regardless, we continued to treat Jones and see amazing results – the tumors on his legs had all but disappeared and the tumor in his abdomen also reduced. Unfortunately the tumor around his trachea was persistent and in week four, Jones’ cough started to get worse.

Acupuncture

Theresa Deramo: I had been treating Jones with acupuncture for his arthritis and general health and well being for over a  year. Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles along an energy pathway or meridian to access and change the flow of qi (energy), increase the blood flow and energy as a way to help the body maintain homeostatic balance. After the diagnosis, I believe it was important to continue with acupuncture to help keep Jones moving, his energy high and his spirit connected.

During our treatments, I offered more palliative care to aid in reducing the cough and keep Jones comfortable. I treated the lung, heart and pericardium meridians to open his chest and calm the cough. I treated the kidney meridian to aid the lung meridian in treating the cough and I treated the pericardium meridian because of its connection to the chest, wanting to unbind the chest as a way to help keep Jones comfortable.  The heart meridian was treated from a spirit or constitutional level to calm the shen or the part of the heart and spirit that allows us to stay settled and connected to our hearts path or journey throughout our life. During my last visit, it was clear that Jones was running out of energy. During this session, I treated the heart one more time as a way to allow Jones to help figure out if he needed to stay or if it was getting near time to say goodbye.

Animal Communication

Terri Diener: I was new to Jones’ healing team, but it was very important to the family that they asked him what he knew about his health, how he was doing and what he wanted for treatment. I find it interesting that so often animals keep their illnesses from their pet parents, as was the case with Jones. During our conversations, Jones said he was very receptive to the biopuncture and homotoxicology and he mentioned that although he had pain now and then, the acupuncture and Reiki were managing his pain.

Jones knew that the cancer was going to cause his death, but as long as he still had joy in each day, he wanted to continue his life. As time went on, even though the tumors were reducing in size, the cancer was tiring him, his cough returned  and he was losing energy. I encouraged the family to do a life review with Jones to let him know how much he has meant to them, as a way of letting him know it was okay if he wanted to go. On the last day, Jones’ had communicated to his family and his team that he was ready, and I confirmed his wishes and said my good byes.

Reiki

Kathleen Lester: As a Reiki Practitioner and Teacher, I wanted to offer as much healing on all levels of his being. When I first heard the news, I put in a request to my healing team of Reiki practitioners, who lovingly sent Jones much Reiki over the last month of his life. In addition, I attuned my husband and stepdaughter to Reiki, so they too could be part of Jones’ healing team.

Jones left us on his own terms, in his own way, because we were willing to hear what he had to say and what he wanted – no machines, no poisons, just natural remedies and as much time to experience joy in every moment. On his last day, Jones went for a walk and played a few rounds of ball in the yard (his absolute favorite sport). As Jones chewed on his marrow bone, we all gathered around him to say our good bye’s, including our dog, Althea, who came over and offered Jones’ one of his “stuffies” and said good bye too.

Jone’s team worked together with our family to offer him the care that he sought, not the care we desperately wanted -a cure. Sometimes the healing we seek, is not the healing we receive. In the case of Jones, I know he affected each member of his healing team, and we are all grateful that he shared his “joy” with us and we in turn will find our own joy in each day.

The Team

Michelle Dana-Christian, DVM— Relief Veterinary Services  & Boston Street Animal Hospital. www.reliefveterinarianservices.com
Theresa Deramo, LAC— Human & Animal Acupuncturist. Essence of Wellness.www.essenceofwellness.net.
Terri Diener, M.S. Animal Communicator & Teacher —Pet Speak. www.petspeak.com.
Kathleen Lester, M.S. Animal Reiki Practitioner & Teacher. www.animalreikialliance.com
Featured image from: http://cdn.acidcow.com/pics/20110628/acid_picdump_07.jpg

*As published in the Animal Reiki Alliance News, Volume III, Issue 1, January 2013.


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Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) & Cancer in British Columbia

love540Integrative medical practices are uniquely focused on every element of a patient’s life from emotional well-being and stress management to nutrition and mind-body connection.

Complementary and alternative medicine is “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine.” The term “Complementary and Alternative Medicine” is frequently referred to as “CAM”. (NCCAM definition)

Complementary treatments are used in combination with conventional medicine. Alternative treatments are used instead of conventional medicine.

For more on defining CAM, please see NCCAM, http://www.nccam.nih.gov


 

Types of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Biologics and Natural health products “Biologics” describes food and nutrition as a form of managing your health. This includes changes in diet and special diets and foods, as well as natural health products (NHPs). NHPs are defined as vitamins and minerals, herbal remedies, homeopathic medicines, probiotics, and other products like amino acids and essential fatty acids.

Mind-body practices include meditation and prayer, relaxation therapies, visualization, and creative activities, such as art and music therapy.

Manipulative and body-based practices include therapies such as spinal manipulation and forms of massage.

Energy therapies involve the use of energy fields such as therapeutic touch, reiki, and acupuncture.

Whole Medical Systems are based on distinct theories about treatment and practice and include multiple products and/or practices. Examples are traditional Chinese medicine and naturopathy.


 

Why People Use CAM

People living with cancer give many reasons for using CAM. Some of these reasons include:

•    Easing cancer symptoms or the side effects of conventional treatments

•    Dealing with the stress of cancer and its treatment

•    Restoring a sense of hope

•    Strengthening the body’s ability to heal

•    Offering a sense of control over their cancer experience

•    Seeing the treatments as natural and less toxic than medical treatments.


CAM Use in British Columbia (BC)

Surveys have shown that many people living with cancer in Canada use CAM. These surveys also show that CAM use in BC is higher than in any other province.

A recent survey of 412 people conducted by CAMEO at the BC Cancer Agency in November 2008 showed that:

•    49% have used CAM during their cancer experience

•    42% discussed CAM with their oncology health professional, but only 23% received enough information.


 

CAM Associations & Societies

These are the primary associations and societies for CAM more commonly used in by patients with cancer. They all have practice standards, codes of conduct and ethics, and disciplinary procedures.

Inclusion of the list below is for reference only and does not imply endorsement (therapies or members) by CAMEO or the BCCA.

Please see the list below in choosing to work with your health care practitioner.

 

HERBALISTS & NATURAL HEALTH PRODUCTS

MINDFULNESS BASED STRESS  REDUCTION FACILITATORS


B.C.’s Medical Services Plan provides $23 a visit to a maximum of ten visits a year only to low-income patients who use any of the following services: acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, naturopathy, physical therapy and non-surgical podiatry.

Costs above this amount are the responsibility of the individuals receiving care. To find out if you qualify for MSP Premium Assistance Program visit: http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/msp/infoben/benefits.html

Original Sources cited:

Vancouver Sun Article on Alternative Care

BC Cancer Agency – Informational Guide for CAM