Castor oil is a clear, viscous oil that is cold extracted from the seed of Ricinus communis. This plant, native to India and Africa can now be seen in many Canadian gardens. After the oil is extracted, a second extraction of the pomace yields Ricin, a poison used in cancer research and poison products. Castor oil is first mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus – 1550 BCE and was used by Cleopatra for her eyes and lips. Information available in the modern scientific literature is limited to the purgative properties of internal ingestion of the oil. A dose of 5-15 ml will produce catharsis within two to eight hours. There is a plethora of anecdotal folk and clinical literature on Castor Oil, but this bears no stamp of authority in the academic community. A more enlightened approach regarding the use and efficacy of Castor Oil packs is found in the readings...Read More
For many people, the fall and winter seasons bring increased incidents of colds and flus that may progress into more serious conditions like pneumonia. Those who suffer with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) such as chronic bronchitis, miner’s lung, emphysema and chronic asthma also tend to have their symptoms worsen at this time of year. When professional medical help has been sought and the diagnosis confirmed, a cooperative plan of action may be outlined with the agreement of the health care providers and the patient. The mustard poultice can be extremely effective when given as an external treatment along with the use of herbs and/or drugs taken internally to treat COPD. This combination of internal and external treatments can considerably shorten the healing time and make the patient more comfortable.
We would do well to reinstate the ancient art of poulticing as a valued healing tool in the modern herbal renaissance. As practitioners become more involved in providing therapy as well as dispensing herbal prescriptions, the line between clinical herbal therapist and folk practitioner will blur, with or without the approval of the orthodox health care community. There is no need to wait for “scientific validation” when we have recorded over three thousand years of proven efficacy in traditional healing practices all around the world. In this spirit we will re-introduce three important poultices, their preparation and use for the benefit of practitioners who can then also teach these methods to their patients and families. This re-education process will help place personal responsibility for health back into the hands of the individual and create a more humane relationship between the professional and lay community. Read more about the Read More
Antifungal: Angelica archangelica radix, Calendula off., Melaleuca alternifolia, Olea europa folia, Tahebuia impetigosa, Usnea barbata Anti-inflammatory: Calendula officinalis, Hypericum perfolatum, Lavandula officinalis, Matricaria recutita. Plantago species Antimicrobials: Baptisia tinctoria, Berberis species, Echinacea species, Hydrastis canadensis, Lavandula off., Melaleuca alternifolia, Rosmarinus officinalis, Usnea barbata Antipruritic: Avena sativa, Calendula officinalis, Hammamelis virginiana, Hypericum perforatum, Lavandula officinalis, Stellaria media Astringent: Achillea millefolium, Aesculus hippocastanum, Agrimonia eupatorium, Geranium maculatum, Hamemulis virginiana, Potentilla tormentilla, Quercus alba, Rhus aromatica, Rubus species, Thea sinensis Emollient: Althea officinalis, Ascophyllum nodosa, Cetraria islandica, Fucus vesiculosis, Linum usitatissimum, Malva sylvestris, Symphytum off., Ulmas fulva cortex Vulneraries: Calendula off., Commiphora mol-mol, Echinacea spp. radix, Equisetum arvense, Impatiens capensis, Lavandula spp., Matricaria recutita, Populus balsamifera, Prunella vulgaris, Stellaria mediaSelect the herbs from the appropriate herbal action category as indicated by the patient’s condition. You may choose to brew a pot of tea and apply locally as a fomentation or brew a... Read More
Herbs have a long and well-documented history of use in folk traditions, on the battlefield, and in the clinic. Emergencies and acute and chronic conditions have been successfully treated with herbal remedies taken internally and acting systemically. When herbal remedies are topically applied they tend to act locally, affecting mainly the tissues with which they come into direct contact, and the adjacent tissues through perfusion of the medical elements if they are in a suitable carrier. What conditions are we likely to see in the home and which external treatment protocols are practical, appropriate and harmonious? Father Sebastian Kneipp developed a wonderful system of Hydrotherapy which included soaking the whole body or body parts in temperature controlled water. Adding herbal extracts of teas, tinctures, essential oils, hydrosols and salts provided an enormous variety of treatments, and is itself a complete subject of study. The following herbs are still used in...Read More
Fomentations are a category of treatment in which strips of cloth are soaked in a liquid herbal extract e.g. tea, tincture or succus, and placed over the treatment area on the skin. An occlusive covering such as plastic wrap or waxed paper covers this and is held in place with tape or more bandages for a measured period of time.There are several ways to apply ginger (Zingiber officinalis) to the body: A ginger bath is made by adding a decoction of the root to the hot bath water and soaking the whole body is one. This is done to open the circulation and release the interior heat at the start of a fever management protocol. Another way is to focus the treatment on a particular set of organs and target the circulation of those tissues. Stagnation in any viscera can be alleviated by a ginger compress or fomentation. There... Read More
Fomentations are a category of treatment in which strips of cloth are soaked in a liquid herbal extract e.g. tea, tincture or succus, and placed over the treatment area on the skin. An occlusive covering such as plastic wrap or waxed paper covers this and is held in place with tape or more bandages for a measured period of time.A euphrasia fomentation is indicated where there is eye inflammation and/or infection.
Fomentations are a category of treatment in which strips of cloth are soaked in a liquid herbal extract e.g. tea, tincture or succus, and placed over the treatment area on the skin. An occlusive covering such as plastic wrap or waxed paper covers this and is held in place with tape or more bandages for a measured period of time.An arnica fomentation is indicated for sprains, haematomas, contusions with swelling, and for the resorption of blood. CAUTION: DO NOT USE ON OPEN WOUNDS. May be painful and toxic if absorbed systemically.
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