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Wednesday, March 26, 2014


TO CELEBRATE WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH (WHM), during the month of March ~ in addition to my weekly postings ~ I will be making DAILY postings of time tested herbal and medicinal foods used from a Medicine Woman's bag, which holds many, many herbs, generating many, many formulas, as one herb used for a cold (mullein), when combined with totally different herbs, can be used as an antispasmodic for inflammation or as an expectorant to relieve asthma or general lung congestion.

Sex Symbols I : Stock PhotoThis last week of March I will dedicate to OUR MEN.  Women's History Month would not be complete without addressing some health and healing issues for our men. During the 4+ years that I've been writing my weekly column on herbs and healing alternatives, most of my articles have been for men and women alike, but most specific articles are usually directed towards women's issues.  Yes, we have more health concerns then men, but this last week will focus on male issues - though ironically, out of the top ten causes of male deaths, only one is male organ specific: prostate cancer.  The other nine are suffered by women as well, but happen less frequently to women than men. 

MEN'S HEALTH – Men, let's begin to make some SERIOUSLY SIMPLE choices. This week we are looking at diet, herbs and lifestyle alternatives to address the top five killers of men:  cardiac herbs (for hypertension and stroke), urinary tonics for the prostate, pulmonary herbs for the lungs and herbs for cancer, and depression. The previous article covered prostate health, this one will cover cardiac herbs (for lung cancer, hypertension and stroke).

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of both men and women, claiming more lives than prostate, colon, and breast cancer combined. The good news is that rate of new lung cancer cases has been dropping since the 1980s, and deaths from the cancer have fallen since the 1990s. "That is because of the drop in the prevalence of the use of tobacco products by men that followed the Surgeon General's report in 1964."
Besides smoking, the American Cancer Society lists the following as risk factors for lung cancer: exposure to secondhand smoke, exposure to asbestos or radon, personal history, air pollution, and tobacco products (which are responsible for 90% of lung cancer, which puts the weight of prevention efforts on stop smoking). 

Herbs for the lungs/heart/hypertension include comfrey root, horehound, elecampane, ginger, hawthorn berries, cayenne, black cohosh, skullcap, senega root, lily of the valley, tien chi, motherwort, rehmania, garlic, sanicle, sassafras.

Inula helenium  ELECAMPANEElecampane is an herb whose root is used medicinally. Elecampane is used for lung disease including asthma, bronchitis, and whooping cough. It is also used to prevent coughing, especially coughing caused by tuberculosis; and as an expectorant to help loosen phlegm, so it can be coughed up more easily.

HAWTHORNE BERRIES - Hawthorn leaves, berries, and flowers are used to make medicine.  Hawthorn is used for diseases of the heart and blood vessels such as congestive heart failure (CHF), chest pain, and irregular heartbeat. It is also used to treat both low blood pressure and high blood pressure, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), and high cholesterol

SANICLE - Astringent, alterative. Sanicle is usually given in combination with other herbs in the treatment ofblood disorders, for which it is in high esteem. As an internal remedy, it is of great benefit in all chest and lung complaints, chronic coughs and catarrhal affections, inflammation of the bronchii, spitting of blood, and all affections of the pulmonary organs.  As an alterative, it has a good reputation, and it is useful in leucorrhoea, dysentery, diarrhoea, etc.  It effectually cleanses the system of morbid secretions and leaves the blood healthier and in better condition. The infusion of 1 OZ. to a pint of boiling water is taken in wineglassful doses.

TIEN CHI - In traditional Chinese medicine, tienchi ginseng was used to reduce bleeding, decrease pain, reduce high blood pressure and reduce harmful cholesterol in the blood. It also was believed to reduce heart disease.
Today, there is a great deal of research that suggests that tienchi ginseng is a key part of the diet to optimize our circulation and to boost our defense system. People who take this form of ginseng for many years report amazing benefits in both the mental and physical state. It is not recommended to take this herb for a short period and to expect instant results.
MOTHERWORT - The parts that grow above the ground are used medicinally.  Motherwort is used for heart conditions, including heart failure, irregular heartbeat, fast heartbeat, and heart symptoms due to anxiety. It is also used for the absence of menstrual periods, intestinal gas (flatulence), and over-active thyroid(hyperthyroidism).

Some people apply motherwort directly to the skin for itching and shingles. The seeds of two of the species (Leonurus artemisia or Leonurus heterophyllus) are used to improve eyesight and as a general tonic.