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Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3rd WHMonth: HORSETAIL

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.


WE MUST TAKE CARE OF OUR MEN FOLK!!!

HERBS ARE NATURE'S MEDICINE . . . MEN'S HEALTH – Men, let's begin to make some SERIOUSLY SIMPLE choices. We are going to look at alternatives in our life habits and herbal remedies to improve the longevity and quality of life for our men. We will begin to look at herbs for 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. 


Horsetail ~ also known as "scouring brush"
Though difficulties with the prostate gland affect almost every American male over the age of 50 – DON'T WAIT FOR IT TO HAPPEN, PREVENT IT.

First of all commit to getting an annual checkup. IT MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE! It doesn't hurt; it's free as part of your insurance coverage; and it keeps you ahead of the game. Many years ago a brain tumor was discovered – it was only discovered because at my annual GYN checkup my blood pressure was soo high I wasn't allowed to leave the hospital, (and I never had high blood pressure before); the tumor was only discovered upon further testing to find the cause of the elevated blood pressure! Revere yourself. Get an annual checkup.

The prostate gland can become inflamed (prostatitis), enlarged (causing a sensation of fullness in the rectum) or infected, causing backache, impairment of sexual potency, frequent and/or burning/discomfort/pain upon urination, recurring flare-ups and sometimes a slight discharge or blood in the urine.

Here are some herbs that treat a variety of these symptoms: Ginseng, fenugreek, parsley, oats, pumpkin seeds, kelp, melilot, bee pollen, buchu, juniper, echinacea, golden seal, chaparral, horsetail, sarsaparilla, wild yam root, yellow dock, yarrow, mullein . . . MAKE NATURE'S MEDICINE YOUR OWN



Horsetail is an astringent herb and has a diuretic action. It has an affinity for the urinary tract where it can be used to sooth inflammation, haemorrhaging, cystic ulceration, ulcers, cystitis and to treat infections. It is considered a specific remedy in cases of inflammation or benign enlargement of the prostate gland and is also used to quicken the removal of kidney stones.
Its toning and astringent action make it of value in the treatment of incontinence and bed-wetting in children. It may be applied to such conditions as urethritis or cystitis with haematuria, reducing haemorrhage and healing wounds thanks to the high silica content. This local astringent and anti-haemorrhagic effect explains the application of horsetail to such conditions as bleeding from the mouth, nose and vagina, its use to check diarrhoea, dysentery and bleeding from the bowel, and for slow-healing wounds, chilblains and conjunctivitis.  
Horsetail, not to be confused with cat-tail, is possibly the most abundant source of silica in the plant kingdom, so much in fact that the herb can be used for polishing metal. It got the name “scouring rush” from this very application. The horsetail constitutes one of the most diuretic species in all the plants. That is to say that it possesses a great capacity to eliminate water from the body, in such a point to increase urination up to 30% more than what is habitual. This fact makes that its scientific name Equisetum arvense generally appears in the composition of most of products that habitually are sold to reduce weight. This property is due to the action of several components, among which it is necessary to highlight equisetonin and potassium, but there are another ones that also take part such as calcium, magnesium, ascorbic acid and caffeic acid.
As a diuretic it is particularly suited to metabolic or hormonal oedema during the menopause. The diuretic action is thought to be due partly to the flavonoids and saponins. Equisetum is restorative to damaged pulmonary tissue after pulmonary tuberculosis and other lung disease, as the silicic acid is said to stabilise the scar tissue.
It may be taken internally to stop bleeding from ulcers or curb heavy menstrual bleeding. It may also be used as a gargle and mouth rinse for sore throat and bleeding gums or mouth ulcers. Externally it is a vulnerary and may also be applied as a compress to fractures and sprains, wounds, sores, skin problems and a gargle for mouth and gum inflammations.
“Horsetail is known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antioxidant, coagulant, demulcent, diuretic and astringent activity. Reportedly, it has been used in the treatment of a number of health conditions which include brittle bone, hair, teeth and nails, white spots on nails, gingivitis, tonsillitis, inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth, rheumatic disorders, edema, osteoarthritis, diabetes, acne, wounds, itchiness, rashes, burns, frostbite, chilblains, athlete’s foot, cracked and tired feet, drawing out pus from boils and carbuncles, ulcers, fistulas, herpes simplex, dyspepsia (impaired digestion), gastrointestinal conditions, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory tract infections, bronchitis, fever, malaria, bladder problems, urinary tract infection, bed wetting in children, kidney stones (nephrolithiasis), prostate problems, hemorrhoids, muscle cramps, tumors, broken bones, fractures, sprains, nose bleed and other heavy bleeding. Horsetail is also known to strengthen the body’s immune system.”

From MRH: “When taking horsetail powder for its diuretic effect, be sure to drink extra water for maximum benefit. Avoid if there are kidney stones. Don’t take horsetail herb if you take an ACE inhibitor for high blood pressure and you have congestive heart failure, as the combination of the herb and the drug can cause accumulation of excessive potassium. Not recommended while pregnant. Toxicity similar to nicotine poisoning has been seen in children who ingest large amounts.”