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A Recipe for Homemade Sore Muscle Rub for Fast Pain Relief

Natural Medicine March 30, 2017

At all ages, sore muscles can be a major problem. Those younger than 5o usually have sore muscles due to overuse or sports, those over 50 may have arthritic pain and also muscle overuse that causes constant pain. If we don’t have any other underlying issues for our pain, we usually head for the pharmacy for over-the-counter drugs, like acetaminophen or ibuprophen to ease the pain. There are some rubs and creams on the market as well, but they can be a bit pricey. There is no reason why, with just a few common ingredients, we can’t make our own sore muscle rub.

Here is a recipe that is simple and economical for you to make your own rub for sore muscles:

The recipe begins with therapeutic essential oils, and below are some of the oils that are quite effective when it comes to soothing sore muscles. You can choose the one you already have or the one that is your favorite scent.




and Rosemary

You will also need beeswax


Ingredients you will need:

A carrier oil, which would be grapeseed, olive oil, coconut oil, or sweet almond oil

An essential oil from the list above, preferably therapeutic grade or simply high quality

Materials you will need:

metal spoon

heat safe glass bowl


and a metal tin like these


Pour carrier oil chosen and your beeswax into the glass bowl, in the meantime fill your pot with hot water half-way, and place on stove top on medium heat. You will be making a water bath or what they call a bain marie. Place the glass bowl on the top of the heating pot. This also creates a double boiler effect to keep your product from burning.

When the water begins to boil, turn it to medium low. You still want a low boil for your mixture. Stir with metal spoon until beeswax is mixed thoroughly. Remove the glass bowl carefully and sit it on a table. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes then put the essential oils in the mixture. Make sure the mixture is cooled down, or the essential oils will evaporate into the air instead of being incorporated into the mixture.

Pour the mixture into metal tins or a glass jar. You can even refrigerate the product if you want it more solid. The refrigerator will also help to cool the product quickly in case you need it immediately.







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The Best Herbs for Pain Relief

Natural Medicine January 31, 2017

Best Herbs for Pain Relief

Find out which herbs from your garden could help relieve pain!

Chronic pain, especially in the joints and muscles, tend to come in combination with aging and overuse. Everyday pain can be almost a silent condition because many people simply learn to expect it and deal with it on a regular basis. However, there are common herbs that can be grown in your own garden or purchased economically, that can assist greatly in relieving this pain and below we become acquainted with just a few.


Arnica is pretty well-known in the herbal community as an herb everyone should have in their arsenal. It is one of the most effective healing herbs and great for pain relief. It is often used for knee pain, arthritic pain, and after-surgery carpel tunnel syndrome pain. You can make your own Arnica paste, but it also comes packaged in creams and tablets for convenience.


Fennel, which grows easily most anywhere in any climate, is another great pain relieving herb. What is wonderful about fennel is that most people find it to be delicious, so you can easily incorporate this licorice-like herb into your cooking and salads. Fennel seeds are packed with 16 analgesic and 27 antispasmodic chemicals. Fennel can be used for pain in many different ways; as a tea, in your soups, salads, and stews, or right off its branches. Though fennel is highly effective for menstrual pain, if you’re pregnant avoid it all together due to its strong estrogenic effects.


Another very common herb that is easily grown indoors and outdoors, Oregano is on the list of the best herbal pain relievers. Oregano is equipped with 32 anti-inflammatory agents. You can gain its benefits by sprinkling it on your food, cooking it in your red sauces and broths, and as a seasoning for your casserole dishes. You can also make a tea with oregano, rosemary, and thyme. These three herbs all have analgesic, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory agents and combine well together in foods and brews.

Your garden, whether outdoors and large, or on your windowsill, can offer a plethora of healing and pain relieving solutions. These natural solutions are healthy and many are delicious. Try them out in a few different ways to see how you personally like to use them. Remember, teas, soups, stews, salads, or raw, do your own research on each herb to see how they can safely be ingested and used.




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6 Foods That Are Good for Your Thyroid

Natural Medicine November 17, 2016

Foods That Are Good for Your Thyroid

Thyroid problems are plaguing people all over the globe. One issue that delays any kind of treatment, is that it can be difficult to diagnose. Usually there is some other illness that drives one to the doctor, and this is when a patient finds out that their thyroid is not functioning properly. The thyroid regulates hormone production and also balances the metabolism. Often people will gain weight when there is something wrong with their thyroid even if they haven’t had any lifestyle changes, or changes in their eating habits.

If you are diagnosed with thyroid problems, besides following your physician’s recommendations, there are also foods you can eat that will help to promote a healthy thyroid. The following 6 foods are only a few of the foods that you can eat on a regular basis to regain thyroid health, so always research your diagnosis and build a list of natural remedies that can assist in making you healthy again.

1. Fish

Dietary iodine and omega-3 fatty acids are extremely effective for healing the thyroid. Oily fish, such as sardines, salmon, or fresh tuna are full of these omega-3 acids while deep sea fish, such as cod and haddock, both of which are easy to find, have the highest percentage dietary iodine.

2. Coconut Oil

Though it seems like a modern discovery, coconut oil has been used for centuries for the entire body’s health. Proper metabolic function requires essential fatty acids which is in coconut oil naturally. The body easily assimilates coconut oil into its systems, including the thyroid and regulates the metabolism.

3. Blueberries

According to Iowa State University, blueberries ranked number one in a study of remedies to help hyperthyroidism and under-active thyroids.  The study compared blueberries to 40 other fruits and vegetables and found that due to the high antioxidant count in blueberries, they are the most effective in balancing the thyroid and promoting overall health.

4. Tomatoes

Selenium, which is healthy for the entire body , has been proven to balance the thyroid. Tomatoes are a great source of selenium and can so easily be added to one’s daily diet. Whether fresh or cooked, the selenium in tomatoes promotes the health of the immune systems and neutralizes unstable molecules in the body which affect the thyroid gland.

5. Turkey

It is the season of the turkey and whether Thanksgiving has come and gone in your part of the world, or you’re anticipating it; make sure you eat your portion of turkey. Turkey is an all-around healthy food; full of selenium, a lean source of protein, and has the essential amino acids that a thyroid needs to be in proper working condition.

6. Dark Leafy Vegetables 

There are many dark leafy vegetables from which to choose; from collard greens to kale. These leafy greens are loaded with antioxidants along with vitamins, A, C, and D. Dark leafy greens are also considered superfoods and are high in antioxidants as well. Spinach is included in this list of vegetables that are a must-have if you want to enjoy a balanced and healthy thyroid, as well as a fully healthy body.

It appears that the key to a healthy thyroid is the same as it is for an overall healthy body; omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, lots of fruits and vegetables, and great sources of vitamins and minerals.



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Healthy High Fat Foods You Should Be Eating

Natural Medicine November 17, 2016

High Fat Food

Healthy fats help protect the heart and help the body absorb vitamins. Over the decades we have been told to stay away from fats altogether. Many people who attempted the no-fat diets found that their health was failing anyway, or they saw no change at in heath or body weight. A balanced diet is the most important thing we can do for our health. Moderation, and not deprivation, is the key.

There are healthy fats that should be on your shopping list and on your dinner plate, but we are not talking about candy bars or a homemade apple pie, some sugary fats can be okay with some recipe alterations, but these high-fat foots don’t need altering. They are delicious and healthy just as they are.


Avocados, are they a fruit or a vegetable? The answer is fruit but this deliciously creamy fruit is used in a multitude of savory dishes. The avocado has become extremely popular all over the western world and it’s great to know that is a superfood and one of the many healthy fats that should be on your next shopping list. The main fat in an avocado is called oleic acid, which play a great part in lowering high cholesterol and raising good cholesterol.

Dark Chocolate

A small bit of dark chocolate a day is really good and safe to add to your eating plan. Most drugstore candy bars don’t qualify as chocolate because they are mostly filled with sugar and low grade oils and fats. Dark chocolate is real chocolate, now sold in most finer grocery stores. It is full of antioxidants needed for a health diet. Dark chocolate even beet out blueberries when it comes to antioxidant count.


Nuts are a great addition to your eating plan and what they offer us health-wise far outweighs their high fat content. Nuts are high in power.

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5 Things You Need To Know About Your Immune System

Natural Medicine November 16, 2016

Immune System

We hear so much about our immune system, but actually, we truly know very little. Most of us are aware of its importance to our health, but we may not know why. The immune system in simplest terms is our body’s method of defense. There are organs, cells, and tissues that work in conjunction with one another to protect us from infections and keep us healthy.

The way our bodies are designed, they become the perfect environment for certain bacteria and parasites to survive. The immune system is what keeps too many of these bacteria and fungi from invading our bodies. This is why when our immune system is compromised, we can become seriously ill, because our defense team is not working properly.

Here are some ways that we can help strengthen our immune system to support our overall health:

There are certain foods that can be added to your grocery list that work with the cells in your body to keep your immune system strong.


Yogurt acts as a probiotic, the opposite of antibiotic, meaning that probiotics add the good bacteria to your system and supports good gut health, which is everything that happens in your digestive system and its processes.


A food most of us enjoy in casseroles and sauces; garlic is like medicine to our immune system. Garlic’s active ingredient, allicin kills off infections from “bad bacteria” within the body. During a British study, 146 people were given a placebo and some were given actual garlic extract for four months. The results say that those who were taking real garlic were two-thirds less likely to catch a cold or virus that season.

Chicken Soup

What your grandmother said was true; chicken soup is has great powers when it comes to your immune system. A study at the University of Nebraska concluded that after testing 13 brands of chicken, all but one stopped the migration of inflammation producing white cells. Why does this matter? It is the build-up of these white cells in the bronchial tubes that cause cold symptoms.

* The only chicken soup out of the 13 brands researched, that didn’t produce these positive results was the common pack of ramen noodle chicken-flavored soup.

Black Tea

Though many people are getting into tea drinking, the benefits to the immune system is not normally the reason why. Tea feels good when you’re sick with a cold or virus, but drinking tea beforehand on a daily basis is the wisest thing to do, particularly black tea. Studies have shown that those who drank black tea, hot or cold, approximately 4-5 times a day for two weeks, decreased their chances of getting ill, 10 times more than those who drank the placebo. Black tea does come in caffeine-free blends, so no need to panic about the caffeine intake. It is the amino acids that help to boost the immune system and these amino acids are also in caffeine-free teas.


For the carnivores out there, normally the most diagnosed condition for vegetarians, is zinc deficiency. Even a mild deficiency in zinc can make a person more susceptible to colds and infections. Zinc is responsible for developing white blood cells and these are the cells that fight viruses and what we call, the bad bacteria”. If you just cannot eat meat for any reason, taking a zinc supplement may be a good idea.



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Unbelievable Health Benefits of Eating Zucchini

Natural Medicine November 16, 2016

Health Benefits of Eating Zucchini

Every gardener that grows zucchini tells the story of how it grows so quickly and that there is never enough recipes for the large harvest. If you’ve never had zucchini, the flavor is pretty mild compared to others in the squash family. Zucchini is a summertime squash and extremely versatile. You can enjoy it cooked or raw, it is simply about your choice of taste.

The fact that zucchini has so many health benefits is quite the secret. This isn’t a vegetable known to be a natural health aid. It is delicious raw or cooked in salads, casseroles, roasted as a side dish, or many vegans shred zucchini as a form of pasta and eat it with a tomato sauce.

But what health benefits are we receiving from this mildly flavored summertime squash?

Zucchini is packed with vitamin C

If you’re wondering, though fresh zucchini is delicious, zucchini does come in frozen packs at the market. Though it is related to the summer season, it is usually available all year-round to help ward off those Fall/Winter colds and viruses. You can eat it as a side dish, for a healthy light lunch or make a relish out of it with garlic, onion, and tomatoes.

Zucchini increases your intake of manganese

So what is manganese? It is one of the body’s needed essential minerals. Manganese behaves in a similar manner as vitamin C, it helps to remove the free radicals from the body, thereby supporting and strengthening the immune system. Zucchini supports healthy bone tissue, while helping the body to produce collagen, important to the process of healing wounds.

Below we offer a couple of simple recipes to help add zucchini to your diet:

Zucchini in Olive Oil


2 whole zucchinis cut into circles

approximately 2 tbsps of extra virgin olive oil

chopped garlic (fresh or jarred) to taste


Preheat oven to 180c, 350f

Toss the cut zucchini into the olive oil in a glass dish for slower cooking

Allow zucchini to roast just until tender, about 7-10 minutes

Serve with lean chicken breasts, over wild rice, eat as a side dish, or as a small dinner alone.

Vegan Noodles and Sauce


1 0r 2 whole zucchini, depending on how many people are dining

Your favorite marinara sauce

vegan cheese product of your choice


Use a shredder or cheese grater on the larger side of the grater, to grate the raw zucchini into strips

Serve with marinara sauce and shredded vegan cheese

Eat with baked or fried non-gmo tofu for some good healthy protein





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4 Health Benefits of Ginger You Should Know

Natural Medicine November 15, 2016

Health Benefits of Ginger

Asian food lovers have most likely tasted fresh or fermented ginger quite often. It is earthy, savory, and often adds a hint of spice and heat to your dishes. Ginger is a signature flavor for the Autumn and Winter holiday season as well. You will enjoy the taste of ginger in pies and many other holiday desserts, such as the gingerbread cookie.

But are you aware of all of ginger’s health benefits? Probably not. Ginger is on the list of foods that should be incorporated into your diet all- year-round.

Here is a list of the top 4 health benefits you will enjoy by adding a little ginger to your life:

1. Ginger soothes stomach aches

The most popular use for ginger is its ability to soothe stomach aches. Whether you are experiencing nausea from a mild flu or you’ve simply eaten too much of the wrong thing; ginger in the form of a tea, warm ginger ale, or eaten raw, will calm that ocean we sometimes feel we’re on, when our tummies aren’t quite right. After you peel the rough skin off of fresh ginger root, you can chew a small chunk of it to feel better; that’s if it’s not too spicy for you.

2. Calms the discomfort of sore muscles

A lot of people can benefit from ginger in this way; from athletes to busy moms. Ginger’s affect on sore muscles is not a well-known natural remedy, but it works so well because it is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Most people who experience sore muscles, aches and pains, are really experiencing excessive inflammation in the body. Eating or drinking ginger on a regular basis will treat this inflammation, thereby reducing pain and discomfort.

3. Ginger is an anti-viral

One of the most popular food seasoning pairing with ginger, is garlic, and both contain anti-viral compounds. These anti-viral compounds in ginger assist in strengthening the immune system, which is what keeps us from experiencing colds and viruses, particularly during the winter months when everyone is spreading them around.

4. Helps relieve menstrual cramps

Menstrual time is different for everyone, however, for most women this time of month can be quite painful. Ginger aids in reducing the pain of menstrual cramps. Many women make a tea of ginger and lemon or if the cramps are extremely painful, they will chew on some raw ginger root. Of course, if the menstrual pain is severe or even just different than what you are normally used to, you should see a gynecologist to detect if there are any other health problems exacerbating the pain.

However you decide to add ginger to your diet plan, remember that to maintain or regain the benefits of a healthy body, you must try to eat right and exercise as often as you can. Nothing is a miracle aid, but combined with a healthy lifestyle, natural remedies like ginger can make a tremendous difference in how you feel.


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This Little Weed is one of the Most Useful Medicines on the Planet

Natural Medicine November 10, 2016

plantain for medicine

Particularly, if you live near the mountains or forests, you will see all kinds of plants and weeds around. Much of this plant life is medicinal, but you should educate yourself on which ones to forage and which ones to leave alone. There was an award-winning movie some years ago, titled, Into the Wild. It was the true story of a young man on a journey across the country who died from eating the wrong weeds. The weeds were similar in appearance, but had totally different affects on the body; one was for nourishment, the other shut down your entire digestive system.

So foraging for medicinal weeds is not for the novice.

Having shared that story, the Plantain weed is also a very common looking weed that grows in many different areas and some people are touting it as the “miracle weed”. Let’s talk about the claims of this miracle weed and discover if there is any real proof about its health benefits. 

Research tells us that the Native Americans used Plantain weed for just about every illness under the sun; snake bites, fevers, and all manner of wounds. There are two types of this miracle weed, Plantago Major, which has wide broad leaves like a small cabbage, while Plantago lanceolata has very narrow leaves, more like spinach. Both types are said to have the exact same healing properties, but the Plantago Major is more valued by herbalists because the leaves are more tender, therefore more edible as well.

An important thing to note, is that the plantain weed we are talking about has absolutely nothing to do with the starchy root vegetable we call plantains. 

The Plantain weed is extremely useful, from the roots and leaves, and even the spikes, can be used for healing and treating a multitude of illnesses. We named a few above, but Plantain Major and lanceolata also assist in the healing of dog bites, ringworm, epilepsy, and liver issues. Since the 1500s, this weed was used as a cure-all. It can be eaten in many ways; as a salad, cooked in oil as a side dish, raw, ground into flour and used in any dish, and also as an herbal tea, consumed hot or cold. The consensus seems to be that either type of Plantain weed is perfectly safe, whether eaten or made into salves and ointments; and because the Plantain weed can grow just about everywhere, it is considered the driveway weed due to the fact that it often grows out of the cracks of the concrete. Many people consider Plantain weed to be a nuisance because they don’t know its powerful healing affects and so this weed gets killed by chemicals daily.

It is rumored that Monsanto is attempting to get rid of the Plantain weed with its own chemicals.  Though there is confirmation that Monsanto does destroy many weeds that may have medicinal purposes, there is no evidence thus far that the company has specifically targeted the Plantain weed. The likelihood that the Plantain weed will get caught up in Monsanto’s plans is great, but as for now, there are no reports that confirm that this is true.

What we have clearly found to be true is that herbalists, historians, and holistic practitioners all agree that the Plaintain weed, in both of its forms, is a very powerful cure-all, without side-effects, and that everyone should be harvesting this miraculous plant. With its topical uses and its ability to be ingested for all sorts of illnesses combined with its ability to assist in maintaining good health, this common driveway weed should be on your radar from this point forward.




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Natural Remedies for Anxiety

Natural Medicine November 8, 2016

Natural Remedies for Anxiety

We live in a society where you have your pick of things to worry about. Besides bills, there are kids and their safety, the traffic jam each morning on the way to work, and the age-old question, will we ever have enough money. Some people are wired or have learned how to take it all in stride, while others simply lose their decorum. It would be okay if you were the “freak out” type, except for the fact that anxiety is a higher level of stress, and is able to harm your overall mental and physical health.

There are also various levels of anxiety. For some sufferers, the occasional period of deep stress may come along a couple times a year while others are debilitated by their constant anxiety. If you are always in a constant state of anxiety, check with your doctor because he or she may be able to advise you, or recommend a therapist and/or psychiatrist. However, there are some natural remedies you can try for the occasional bouts of anxiety.

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas, such as the very popular chamomile, is a delicious way to calm down. Chamomile is not so strong that you will feel as if you’ve had a sedative, but it is known for its highly relaxing effects. Try it about an hour before bedtime and make sure that your daily concerns are put away for another time.


Lavender can be found in many forms; some are fortunate enough to be near a field, but there are a multitude of ways to benefit from the calming effects of lavender. Lavender can be ordered dried from herbal stores, it is also an ingredient in many nighttime teas. Lavender can be diffused in the form of essential oils or a drop on the bottoms of your feet, will also tackle mild anxiety.


Taking the time to sit quietly in a solitary space for 5 or 10 minutes on a daily basis is very helpful in bringing you into the present moment instead of leaving your mind back at the job. Meditation can be done your way; with music, in pure silence, or by chanting a phrase or affirmation. Giving this time to yourself daily, eventually takes your mind off of your impending or even imaginary problems, and make space for solutions instead.


We know for some, exercise is an ugly word. It can make you think of spinning classes, dancing high-speed to 90’s music, or jogging for 10 miles when you would rather be in front of the television. However, there are many ways to exercise the body and wash away anxiety. Swimming is a great way to ease anxiety. There are parts of the world where the climate is mild all throughout the year or you can visit your local sporting club. If you’re not in one of those climates and don’t care for sporting clubs or gyms, try turning on your favorite band and dancing for 30 minutes each day or anytime you’re feeling too wired about life. Invite some friends over and have a yoga party. You can even add some meditation time into the event. As long as you get the body moving, you will see results in your mood and ability to handle the world.


The bitter taste in a great pale ale is called hops, but hops is in every beer in different amounts. A good brew may chill you out, but the higher the dosage of hops you take in, the more you will feel its relaxing effects. We don’t advocate drinking that much beer at once for anxiety, but hops can be purchased online or at your nearest herbal store. Hops can also be taken as a supplement or a couple of cups of hot tea before bed. You can find hops as liquid tinctures or in aromatherapy form as well. There are even pillows stuffed with hops you can lie on and release some of the day’s woes.

Valerian Root

Valerian is also an herb that is available in many forms and acts as a natural sedative. You can find Valerian root in powder form, tea, and supplements. Valerian has a very earthy, mushroom type flavor and scent, so if you don’t enjoy its taste and scent, supplements are probably best for you. Some people create teas with Valerian root,  and then mix it with lavender and chamomile to camouflage the scent, but still enjoy the calming benefits.


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How Saffron Treats Depression

Natural Medicine November 3, 2016

Depression is a complex subject, because there are so many ways that one can be depressed. There are those who still feel that depression and sadness are the same thing. This isn’t true in many cases. It is important to honor those with clinical depression by explaining the fact, that sadness or a bad mood, is not the same as suffering with the disease of depression. In fact those who suffer from the disease of depression are normally void of any feelings, though there are triggers, those triggers may not be what you think. Depression is not always about loss or grief, it can be about chemicals, and the way someone’s brain works.

Now, let’s discuss saffron and what powers this spice may have over depression.

Most people who are diagnosed with the disease of depression are on some form of medication. It may consist of one pill or three or four. Some opponents of depression medication say that it is really not effective, yet many patients will tell you that it is, because they have been able to live fuller and richer lives. In traditional Persian culture, saffron was used to treat anxiety and depression. The saffron threads, the most expensive part of the herb, was used as an antidepressant during this time period. The saffron used, comes from the petals and also the stigma of the plant, the part that sits in the middle of a petal.

Studies conducted showed that the bitter principles, volatile compounds, and dye materials are highly effective as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. There is also a study that revealed that anxiety patients could simply enjoy the scent of saffron and be relieved from suffering. Though some of us do believe that nature always has an answer, it depends on the severity of an illness or condition as to whether or not nature has enough to go around. Substituting or augmenting depression medication would not be an economical option for most people in the Western world where saffron is not readily available, especially for an affordable price.

However, it was because of the studies above that researchers began to test the use of saffron on depression patients. They found that crocetin and crocin within the saffron plant, appeared to be protective compounds against such conditions as memory loss and depression. The studies are young and the research evidence is fairly new, and not enough to encourage depression sufferers to replace medication with saffron, or to attempt to make prescription meds more powerful with saffron as an addition.

There was a 2005 study published in Phytotherapy Research, that tested 40 patients with the diagnoses of depression. Some patients were given saffron for 6 weeks while the rest were given placebos. The results revealed that the saffron was far more effective than the placebo. Although in many minds, the saffron itself could have been a placebo; one that just didn’t work on some of the participants.

The belief is that its going to take many more years of studies and research to validate this theory. Saffron, as a supplement to help make prescription medications more effective for some depression patients may be a more relevant find at this time. Since saffron is supposed to also be side-effect free, the spice may help depression patients, or it may not; but at least studies show that it won’t hurt anyone to try saffron along with their regular medications.

As always, all patients should consult their doctors about anything new they are intending to try. In the meantime, following doctor’s order for such a serious condition sounds like the best and safest idea.

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