Dandelion Detox

This common flower is a favourite in western folk medicine and once we understand how beneficial it can be I don’t think we will ever look at it in the same light again. Creeping up through cracks in the pavement and popping up where we least want it, the unassuming Dandelion has enormous healing powers.

Dandelion’s (Taraxacum officinale) main uses in herbal medicine are:

• cleansing the liver

• purifying the purifier

• a diuretic

• improving digestion

• promoting lymphatic activity

The Chinese use Dandelion is for clearing heat from the body. Heat that is deep within the body and Chinese herbalists believe that it cleanses the sinuses. An indication that this is required may not be as obvious as a blocked nose but if white spots are visible on the tongue, or there is a film over the tongue, this can indicate that fluids in the body are clogged by mucus. This congestion can move into the bones casing aching.

These symptoms all link back to the liver, the main area of the body supported by Dandelion as the liver is responsible for detoxification and elimination from the body. The liver and kidney work together; the liver breaks down larger molecules so the kidney can eliminate them.

Due to its bitterness, Dandelion is a diuretic, which increases bile production, which in turn increases digestive activity, which has, clear remedial effects in liver disease by increasing the flow of bile through the liver and cleansing it. Thus increasing urine flow too, so it is important to drink plenty of water when taking Dandelion.

The beauty of using herbal medicine is that we benefit from all the healing properties the plant offers us. Most diuretics cause potassium loss in the body, but Dandelion has the added benefit of containing more potassium (three times as much as most other green plants) so it actually replenishes potassium rather than depletes it. The leaves are the best part of the plant for this action.

Due to its liver cleansing properties Dandelion, especially when combined with celery seed can have very beneficial effects for arthritis, gout or rheumatic conditions too.

If you have ever tried to dig up a Dandelion you will know that their roots run very deep and as they feed the plant they are bringing up calcium from the deeper soil and this could explain how it helps re-calcify the bones and teeth.

Emotions can be related to illness too, and anger, nervous tension and sluggish feelings are associated with the liver and these can manifest themselves when the liver is not functioning properly.

Parts to use:

Roots and Leaves

Harvesting:

Roots – collect from 2 year old plants or older. The older the better. Collect in early spring when they are filled the maximum amount of sap, although they taste sweeter in Autumn due to higher inulin content.

Leaves – pick young in the Spring/early Summer

Preparation:

Roots- wash and cut into long pieces (not too small as sap drys out). Dry by gently heat, or leave on a wire rack in the airing cupboard.

Leaves – Dry by hanging in a dark airy room or use fresh in salad, cooking or smoothie.

Properties:

Citric Acid, Vitamin B, Vitamin A, potassium, Inulin (sugar complex safe for diabetics), tannins, glycosides and hormone like substances.

Dosage:

I believe that with herbs it is better for our bodies and to aid absorption by taking less but more regularly throughout the day.

TEA: As a remedy at least 3 cups of tea are needed a day, or a couple of cups of tea plus a handful of leaves in a smoothie or salad. To make tea use 30g of dried or 60g of fresh root or leaves to 1 litre of boiling water. Always cover while cooling to avoid loss of essential oils.

TINCTURE: 5-15 drops 4-5 times a day. (see our How to Make a Tincture blog if you would like to make your own).

Be patient, as with all herbal treatments this can be a slow process but remember that you are actually curing and supporting the body using plants, not just masking the problem as with many conventional medicines.

Before taking any herbs medicinally you should always seek advise from your doctor first.

Refs:

The Book of Herbal Wisdom by Matthew Wood

Holistic Herbal by David Hoffmann

The Herbal Drugstore by Linda White / Steven Foster

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Yellow – the colour of positive thinking

In our series looking at the colour vibrations in essential oils, today we are looking at the colour yellow.

Colour: Yellow

Chakra: Solar Plexis – energising to regain personal power and dispel fear seated in childhood memories.

Feeling: Positive, empowering and uplifting
Bring sunshine into your life and fill your heart with light and hope. See beauty all around us and allow vital energy into your system. Rekindle your love of life. Yellow aids communication and thoughts, it recharges the aura and protects you from psychic attack.

Mental: Yellow is the colour of the mind, linking to the logical left hand side of the brain.

Physical: Nervous System
Yellow strengthens the nervous system and muscles, including the heart to aid circulation. It also helps the digestive system and elimination process with an alkalising effect, helping liver and pancreatic function and stimulating insulin production.

Essential Oils which reflect the yellow ray:
Basil: cheerful, balance and wholeness
Bergamot: assertiveness, confidence, harmony, joyous
Lemon: humorous, rejuvenating, focus, positivity, great for meditating
Citronella: flexibility, positivity, well grounded, openness of mind, alertness,
Lemongrass: relax the nerves
Neroli: sharing, innovation, peaceful (at peace with the world), brine s lightness and happiness. Good in times of shock.

Ref: Colour Scents by Suzy Chiazzari

Blue – the colour of intuition and clarity

In our series of looking at colour vibrations, colour therapy and associated essential oils, today we are looking at indigo blue.

Colour: Indigo Blue

Chakra: Third eye, bringing clarity and vision helping us direct our thoughts and energy.

Feeling: Soothe and Balance
Encourage positivity, purity, intuition and clarity of vision. Help direct our thoughts to areas which will provide self-development and spiritual growth. Raises our sensitivity to sacred things and used for deep pain, healing, sedation and purification. Protects the aura.

Mental: Links to the higher mind, intuition and power by knowledge

Physical: Cools, use to treat sunburn, itchy skin, burns.

Essential Oils which reflect the Indigo ray:
Bay Laurel: express true feelings, wisdom, peace, protection, intuition and expression.
Clove: focus, vision, knowledge/ Stimulates the mind.
Tea Tree: vision, perception, purity, release fears and anxiety and allows us to trust higher guidance which is often revealed to us in dreams.
Cinnamon: loyalty and trust.

Visit WildMedicines.co.uk to learn more about colour therapy.

Ref: Colour Scents by Suzy Chiazzari

Colour Healing

Color Healing, or Chromotherapy is an ancient art dating back to early Egyptian times and the Hindus have used colour and its’ healing benefits as part of their Ayurvedic medicine system since 1025AD  when Persian philosopher Avicenna completed his series of five books called The Canon of Medicine. The Canon of Medicine remained a medical authority for centuries. It set the standards for medicine in Medieval Europe and the Islamic world and was used as a standard medical textbook throughout the 18th century in Europe. It is still used today in Unani medicine, a form of traditional medicine practiced in India.

Avicenna (980-1037) saw colour as vitally important both in diagnosis and in treatment. He wrote that “colour is an observable symptom of disease” and he developed a chart that related colour to the temperature and physical condition of the body. His view was that red moved the blood, blue or white cooled it, and yellow reduced muscular pain and inflammation.

Chromotherapists use light in the form of colour to balance “energy” lacking from a person’s body, whether it be on physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental levels.

Each color has its own frequency vibration, and corresponds to a particular chakra (or energy center) in your body. Selecting and using the right color allows you to harness its frequency vibration, which in turn helps you to create your reality intentionally.

Everything in the universe is made up of light energy. Light energy moves at different frequencies, but the human eye is only capable of perceiving light in a frequency range of about 400nm-700nm (from red to violet). However, there are other animal species that are capable of perceiving even more frequencies and colors (for example, many birds and insects can see ultraviolet light, which is of a higher frequency than we can perceive).

Regardless of the range of color and frequency vibration that we are able to see, the ability to perceive different colors simply means that we have an innate ability to easily detect the vibration that we need and want. An easy way to help create your reality is through using colors that align with the vibrations of what you desire.

Colour theray can be as easy as painting your office wall yellow to promote communication, or wearing pink to bring calmness to your day.

We will looking into individual colours over the next few weeks on our Wild Medicines blog page.