Sasha Brown

Red Wine Antioxidant Kills Cancer

Red wine has been known to be healthy for many reasons, but some recent studies show that antioxidants in red wine can actually kill cancer.

Not only is it helpful in preventing cancer, but it can also help to fight it once it has been detected.

Cancer is a life-threatening disease that can kill people of any age.

While the research in it continues to help those in need, there is still so much to learn about how to help those diagnosed with this dreaded disease survive.

Alcohol Implant

One study shows that a jelly-like alcohol implant that releases ethanol may be a valuable gem in preventing tumor growth of some cancers.

The study by scientists at Duke University in North Carolina created the implant that exposes cells to pure alcohol.

While it is possible alcohol can affect healthy tissues, its benefits of cancer-fighting properties outweigh the negative.

Ethanol is a property that makes up an average of 13% of wine. During the experiment, it was tried on mice that had malignant tumors.

The tumors in those mice treated disappeared. The team believes that the process of slowly releasing the alcohol is what aided the destruction of the tumors.

Head and Neck Cancer Treated with Grapes?

Another study that took place at the University of Colorado in 2014 showed that head and neck cancers were exacerbated by the consumption of alcohol.

While alcohol that is only partially metabolized is to blame for this factor in cancer, there were also genetic factors as well. The good news is that those studied that drank red wine were said to have less of a chance of getting the disease.

It seems that those who drink red wine are less likely to get cancer because of some agent that blocks the growth of malignant tumors.

The Main Ingredient

The main ingredient in red wine that appears to have cancer-fighting effects is resveratrol.

The University of Colorado found that red wine might not just cure cancer, but can prevent it as well.

While alcohol itself can damage DNA, the resveratrol can kill off the damaged cells so that cancer cannot grow.

Some people are born without the natural ability to repair DNA that has been known to cause cancer. This is where the resveratrol has the greatest effect.

Those who do not have the natural ability to cure damaged DNA can benefit from drinking red wine with its antioxidants.

It will kill off the damaged DNA before it has the potential to cause cancer.

A Cure for Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic cancer is not only deadly, but it can kill very quickly.

Another study done revealed that the antioxidants found in red grape skins can help kill pancreatic cancer cells.

There is also some evidence that it can be beneficial to drink red wine once diagnosed with the disease and going through chemotherapy.

It is also important to do your research and find what works for you.

Takeaway

The Big C is a very serious disease the affects many people around the entire world.

There are many natural studies being conducted with the hopes of helping to ease the pain of those suffering from the disease, but you must also make sure that you follow the advice of your oncologist.

Is Your Air Conditioner Making You Sick?

Air conditioners are an appliance of simple convenience, especially during the height of summer with its scorching, oppressive heat.

However, many people may forget to consider the potential side effects of the constant and continued use of AC units.

Although many major news stories concerning AC issues have come out in the past decade, many fail to relate them to their personal air conditioners at home or those they may use at a hotel or hospital.

Is that a potentially fatal mistake?

Legionnaires’ Disease and it’s Recent Media Attention

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal illness that affects one’s respiratory system.

With symptoms of headaches, nausea, diarrhea, pneumonia, muscle aches, and reduced mental clarity, Legionnaires’ disease may be hard to diagnose due to the commonality of these symptoms among other illnesses.

However, during mass outbreaks, it can be easier to pinpoint the cause and potential outbreak of this illness.

Simply put, Legionnaires’ is the legionella bacteria that flourish in a water environment.

Not so long ago, areas utilizing mass cooling systems, like Disneyland, an American Airlines hanger, and even a rooftop cooling system affecting the area in the Bronx of New York, have all caused widespread illness and even death.

The recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan has also put a spotlight on Legionnaires’ disease, as it directly caused 12 deaths.

How Legionella Bacteria Spreads

When cooling systems aren’t cleaned regularly, bacteria can form and eventually spread.

Cooling towers, like the ones that caused the outbreak at Disneyland, take in hot or warm air and use water to cool it down quickly. And since legionella bacteria love water, this in an ideal environment for them to inhabit.

The heated air evaporates while the cooler air travels through a building, providing a nice, refreshing environment.

However, along with the evaporated water molecules, the bacteria may also hitch a ride and easily spread, infecting tens if not hundreds of people.

How to Keep Legionella Bacteria from Taking Over Your AC Unit

With regular use, an air conditioner can cause condensation to form.

In an area with poor ventilation the condensation can begin to pool, creating the perfect habitat for mold and bacteria.

If you find scaly build-up near your air conditioner or air ducts, it may be time to take a look at the unit and schedule a time to clean it.

Poor air quality inside an enclosed space may also indicate the need to clean the air cooling system.

If the air smells unpleasant or with a strong odor of mold and mildew, this may be indicative of an AC unit in need of cleaning.

Also, it is always a good idea to have the air ducts cleaned regularly by a professional.

Other considerations can be made to protect against airborne illnesses caused by your cooling system such as keeping your home’s humidity level under 50% to negate mold and bacteria growth or investing in an air purification system.

Change the filters in your furnace at least every 3 months to provide adequate airflow throughout your home.

These are easy ways to ensure the highest quality of air flows in your home while lowering the risk or illnesses.

The Dangers of Wearing Sunscreen Far Outweighs the Risks of Not Using It

You’ve heard about the dangers of the sun’s rays — that it can cause skin cancer and has other harmful effects.

And it is advised that to protect your skin, it is important to use sunscreen when you are going to be spending any amount of time outside.

You think you’re doing the right thing, but could your sunscreen actually be more harmful to you than you think?

Here is a look at some of the dangers of wearing sunscreen.

The Sun and Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an important substance that your body needs to function properly. You might have already heard about the benefits of Vitamin D. The best source of the vitamin is by getting exposure to natural sunlight.

One study discusses that skin cancer can be caused by a low level of vitamin D, which is surprising, considering the sun’s rays are commonly known to cause melanoma.

Other studies have found that with low vitamin D, you also have a higher risk for breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Getting enough, but not too much vitamin D is something to consider when looking for the right sunscreen.

Your Sunscreen and The Ocean

Did you ever consider that your sunscreen could be harmful to ocean creatures?

It most likely is not something you think about when you put it on before going to the beach. Studies have found that the chemicals contained in sunscreen may have a significant impact on horseshoe crabs.

You might be thinking, so what? Oxybenzone is a chemical commonly found in sunscreens.

In the horseshoe crab study, the eggs in the control group that had no sunscreen in the water developed normally while the eggs that were in the water with sunscreen didn’t even hatch.

So how does this impact you? If these creatures are affected by the chemicals in sunscreen, then humans probably are too.

It also might mean that other creatures are affected, including birds that eat fish.

What are Nanoparticles?

Do you use spray-on sunscreen either on yourself or your children? This could be potentially hazardous to humans as well, especially if it is inhaled.

Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are chemicals found in sunscreen, that are believed to be safe — unless you are using the spray-on kind.

When the particles are inhaled, they can cause lung damage and other serious health problems.

How Do You Make Sure Your Sunscreen is Safe?

One way to reduce your risk of harm from toxic sunscreens is to eat foods that contain anti-oxidants. These have been known to naturally reduce your risk of sunburn, which can get rid of the need for sunscreen.

Another option is to make your own natural sunscreen to avoid toxins.

You can also find a sunscreen that is safe and does not have such harmful chemicals. Find one that has natural zinc and organic oils, does not contain oxybenzone, and is SPF 50 or lower.

The higher the SPF, the more toxic your sunscreen can be.

The best protection of all is to seek shade and cover up with clothes and a hat.

Image via Flickr

Stress and Cancer: The Connection and How to Limit Stress

You often hear about how bad stress can be for our bodies, but what you might not know is that it can also cause an increase in hormones that have been linked to cancer. [R]

Lowering it can help you to decrease your risk of developing cancer because it allows the cells in your body to fight off diseases.

Stress is a Natural Part of Life

Life without stress is just not possible, no matter how hard we try. Our lives are full of pressures caused by jobs, money, other people we encounter, and events in the world in general.

You might read or hear about trends in yoga and meditation because it reduces stress, makes you happier, and helps you live a longer and healthier life.

There is no way you can rid of this menace in your life, but it is important to make sure you are managing it and trying to reduce it to stay healthy.

Stress Symptoms

Common stress symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Acne
  • Severe bodily pain
  • Depression
  • Heart palpitations
  • Excessive sweating
  • Frequent illnesses
  • Low energy
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Digestive problems
  • Changes in appetite

Its Effect on Our Genes

Some studies indicate how a tremendous amount of stress can change your genes.

While we know it can make you sick, a study conducted by the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) specifies that stress that changes our genes might be one cause of diseases like cancer. [R]

Additional research showed the difference between DNA methylation before and after subjects experienced psychosocial stressors. [R]

Our immune system works overtime to protect us from harmful diseases, but when the stress becomes too much, it can make our immune systems shut down.

This is when diseases begin to take residence in our bodies.

What Can Be Done?

According to the studies, stress management is an important factor to ensure that a minimal chance of cancer exists.

The good news is — it is possible to decrease your risk of getting cancer by reducing the amount of stress you go through each day.

Take time for yourself and practice stress management techniques, which will help you to reduce your risk of cancer.

This doesn’t have to include drastic measures like moving or changing jobs. Here are some simple ways to reduce it:

  • Consider herbal supplements like Kava kava, Ashwagandha, Lemon balm, or Valerian. All these natural supplements promote anxiety and stress reduction. [R] [R] [R]
  • Reduce caffeine intake.
  • Laughter makes the best medicine.
  • Hang out with good friends and family.
  • Get a massage.
  • Organize your life — get rid of all the clutters.
  • Shut off your cell phone and turn away from the internet.
  • Get your B vitamins.
  • Get a tight hug from a loved one.
  • Focus on positive things.
  • Eat healthy, organic foods.
  • Participate in exercise as often as you can handle.
  • Sleep!

Other Stress-Reduction Strategies

To reduce stress, you can also practice things like yoga, meditation, or mindfulness. It might seem difficult at first because it takes a lot of focus, but as time goes on, it will become easier.

It is also important to take time for yourself and take a break from your busy life.

Make sure you get routine check-ups, pay attention to what your body needs and take care of your health.

8 Fluoride Dangers Associated With Regular Exposure Or Use

The word fluoride immediately creates thoughts of minty toothpaste and other dental products. But you can find the chemical compounds in other places, too.

Because it’s widespread, the exposure rate to fluoride is quite high and also fairly unavoidable.

Despite some positive benefits, there is a host of more dangerous side effects that come with using or exposure to fluoride.

Knowing how much to use or how to avoid fluoride dangers can help protect your health. Here are a few of the dangers associated with regular fluoride exposure or use.

1. Lowered Fertility Rates

Sexual health is also affected by the amount of fluoride introduced into the body. [R]

In females, the chemicals that cause puberty are released earlier causing faster physical development. However, both males and females see adverse fertility effects as a result of high fluoride levels.

In both situations, there is a lowered production of the reproductive hormones estrogen and testosterone.

2. Bad Heart Health

Protecting your heart health is a vital part of a good lifestyle.

Unfortunately, brushing your teeth or drinking water can increase your risk of heart disease because of fluoride.

Excessive amounts of fluoride can increase blood pressure as well as cause the development of cardiovascular inflammation. [R]

3. Toxin Build Up

Because of the various methods, your body is exposed to fluoride — it will collect inside your organs.

A healthy kidney will remove about half of your daily exposure. What fluoride isn’t forced out will collect in your blood, pineal gland, and bones.

4. Cognitive Impairment

Whenever you introduce chemicals into your body, there is a chance for negative effects.

Fluoride, for example, is meant to keep water cleaner but can actually harm your brain functions. Children’s brains, especially, can suffer from delayed development. [R]

5. Bone Damage

Fluoride, ingested over time, weakens bones. A weakened skeletal system can give way to such conditions as bone cancer and arthritis.

The latter is a result of fluoride triggering the hardening of cartilage, the tissue that allows for flexible movement.

6. Potential Cancer Risk

Researchers have not found a direct correlation between cancer and fluoride use, but the risk is still there.

One of the more common results of fluoride dangers that came about from multiple studies is that males are more susceptible to increased cancer risk than females. [R]

7. Kidney Disease

Our kidneys are meant to filter out toxins or other by-products that have no benefit to our bodies.

Fluoride does have some beneficial properties but after those are extracted, we need the remaining chemicals flushed out of our system.

Unfortunately, fluoride is actually toxic to the kidneys and can result in very high rates of kidney disease.

With the exposure from dental products and the fluoride used to treat water, even children are at risk of possible renal failure. [R]

8. Thyroid Conditions

The thyroid is responsible for releasing multiple hormones in your body, ranging from growth to temperature regulation.

When combined with fluoride, this can cause a malfunction in the thyroid gland. Fluoride is known to cause cell death in the thyroid which can lead to hypothyroidism. [R]

Coriander (Cilantro) Herb Profile

Coriander, scientifically named Coriandrum sativum, is from the Apiaceae family and is also known as cilantro and Chinese parsley.

The leaves and stem of the plant are called cilantro, while the seeds are called coriander.

Coriander can be confused with another type of Chinese parsley called Heliotropium curassavicum. Since Coriander is an annual rather than a perineal, cutting must be done in the proper season.

Most of the coriander plant is edible. It can be eaten fresh or dried. This herb can be prepared in many ways, and it has a tart or lemon-lime flavor.

While it’s an edible tasty herb in many dishes, some people relate that it tastes “soapy” and will not consume it because of that.

Coriander Nutrition Facts

Coriander has a pleasant aroma and is often used for a garnish or decoration. In addition to its pleasing aroma, cilantro is loaded with nutrients.

It contains minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese, and sodium. It also contained fiber, protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. [R]

Coriander Health Benefits

Coriander can be used for a variety of digestive problems as well. Some of which include loss of appetite, upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, hernia, intestinal gas, and bowel spasms.

Lactating women have been known to use coriander to increase milk flow when breastfeeding. It can also be used to combat food poisoning. [R]

In addition to these health benefits, coriander is advantageous for other reasons. The following are additional health benefits that result from using coriander.

1. Lowers Cholesterol

The natural fatty acids in coriander lower cholesterol levels.

Vitamin C, linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid are in coriander and can naturally reduce cholesterol.

The harmful LDL cholesterol which leads to strokes and heart attacks is reduced. [R]

2. Inflammatory Skin Conditions Decreased

Conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, rashes, and hives can be reduced by using cilantro. [R] [R]

It contains compounds such as cineole and linoleic acid that will help reduce swelling and inflammation that result from various skin conditions.

Detoxifying and antiseptic properties are in coriander which will prevent infections that often result from skin conditions.

3. Regulates Blood Pressure

Coriander effectively regulates blood pressure by relaxing tension in the blood vessels. The same properties will reduce the risks of heart attacks and strokes. [R]

Using Coriandrum sativum can cause the central nervous system to work more efficiently.

This is because it increases the interaction of calcium ions with acetylcholine which encourages neurotransmitters to function properly.

4. Natural Antihistamine

Coriander combats the rising of histamines in the blood. This is helpful for both seasonal and food allergies.

The discomfort of hay fever in the spring and pollen allergies can be reduced using cilantro. Hives, rashes, and anaphylaxis are reduced by it as well. [R]

5. Prevents Malnutrition and Anemia

Coriander has high iron content which will prevent malnutrition that brings other issues such as pale skin, stress, fatigue, and heart palpitations.

Your overall strength and energy will be increased as well.

6. Treats Intestinal and Stomach Disorders

If you are suffering from a stomach flu bug, food intolerance, or food poisoning, Coriandrum sativum can quickly heal your digestive system. [R] [R]

Cilantro has compounds that naturally help the liver and bowels to perform at an optimum level.

Cineole, limonene, alpha-pinene, and beta-phellandrene are compounds found in coriander that help the intestinal system to operate efficiently.

A coriander supplement can be taken before a meal to aid digestion by encouraging the secretion of stomach enzymes and digestive juices.

7. Relief from Menstrual Issues

Pain, irritability, headaches and bloating are common issues from menstruation. Coriander encourages normal endocrine secretion to balance menstrual cycle and female hormones. [R]

8. Improves Bone Health

The high levels of calcium in coriander are beneficial for people of all ages. Eating it can serve as a preventative treatment of the erosion of healthy bone structure. [R]

Consuming a small amount will aid bone growth for a long time.

9. Promotes Healthy Eyes

Coriander helps prevent vision disorders such as degeneration or cataracts because it is full of antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and minerals such as iron and phosphorus.

Cilantro is particularly good for you if you spend a great deal of time at a computer screen because it can prevent damage to the eyes.

Many eye care products contain coriander to help with conjunctivitis.

10. Maintains Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Because coriander stimulates the endocrine glands, it can maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The endocrine system affects the pancreas which is where insulin is secreted.

Coriandrum sativum provides more insulin to the blood so that sugar is converted to energy and the metabolization process of the body is more efficient.

11. Treats Smallpox

Coriander’s essential oils have Cineole, limonene, alpha-pinene, and beta-phellandrene along with Vitamin C which all strengthen the immune system.

Cilantro can relieve the pain and discomfort that results from smallpox. Additionally, coriander is thought to effectively treat smallpox because of the properties that strengthen the immune system.

12. Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention

Vitamin A is fat-soluble and an antioxidant that is in coriander. [R]

This prevents cancers in the lungs and colon. The presence of Vitamin K in coriander is good for preventing Alzheimer’s Disease. [R] [R]

13. Reduces Anxiety

Linalool is found in coriander. This property has been known to fight insomnia and reduce anxiety. [R]

The oil is also popular in aromatherapy giving stress-relieving effects when inhaled.

14. Prevents Hair Loss

Free radicals can damage hair cells which prevent hair growth leading to hair loss.

The antioxidant properties in coriander stop the cell damage encouraging the growth of fuller and thicker hair. [R]

Coriander oil is used to treat dandruff and other scalp issues. It also helps the hair to become shinier and livelier.

It takes a few weeks of use to see the results.

 15. Prevents and Treats Urinary Tract Infections

Coriander’s antibacterial properties clear out harmful bacteria preventing infections. It can also treat urinary tract infections that have already started. [R]

16. Prevents Mouth Ulcers

Because coriander has antiseptic properties, it can teat and prevent mouth ulcers.

 17. Prevents Arthritis

Coriander contains anti-inflammatory properties which can prevent arthritis. The heating and analgesic properties of the herb bring the anti-inflammatory effects. Bone pain is alleviated as well.

Caution/Side Effects

As with any herb or food, there are possible side effects. Use with caution and stop using immediately if you experience any negative results.

1. Allergic Reaction

There is a possibility of skin reactions with the use of coriander.

Some people have complained of sunlight sensitivity which resulted in sunburn. If your skin is sensitive, use this herb to treat skin infections cautiously.

You might also have allergic reactions to coriander if you are allergic to aniseed, fennel, dill, caraway, mugwort, or similar plants.

2. Diabetes/Surgery

Coriandrum sativum might lower blood sugar levels. [R] If you are a diabetic, monitor your levels closely.

If you are scheduled for surgery, stop using it at least two weeks before your procedure. Inform your doctor that you have been using coriander.

3. Lowers Blood Pressure

Coriander could lower your blood pressure.

If you have low blood pressure, or if you take medications to lower your blood pressure, using this herb could cause an unsafe drop in your blood pressure.

How to Use

Most people believe the fresh leaves are the best way to use cilantro, but you might not always have access to fresh leaves since coriander is an annual.

Dried leaves and seeds can always be used as well as the essential oil.

1. Salads

Coriander makes a great flavoring for salads.

Fresh leaves, dried leaves, or the dried seeds can be added to your salad. It could even be used as a flavoring in your salad dressings.

2. Breath Freshener and Palette Cleanser

One of the best ways to use coriander is after you have eaten. It will cleanse your palette and freshen your breath.

3. Stews and Sauces

Fresh coriander leaves can be added to stews and sauces for a tangy flavor. The dried seeds can be added to the sauces as well.

4. Bread and Desserts

If you do not have fresh cilantro, you can use the dried leaves or seeds to sprinkle on top of bread and desserts for additional flavor. The herb will liven up any dish with its tangy flavor.

5. Tea

For tea, place fresh or dried leaves in a tea infuser.

Steep the herb in a cup of hot water. Drink your tea immediately after preparation rather than allowing it to sit all day.

The tea will give you more benefits than sprinkling it on dishes. Do not consume too much in one sitting as you would your regular tea.

Drink one to two cups of tea per day if you are using it for health benefits.

6. Marinade

Coriander can be added to marinade sauces for various meats such as beef, fish, and chicken. You can also use it to spice up your vegetables. Cilantro also goes well with mushrooms.

Guacamole dip tastes wonderful with coriander seeds or leaves added. It can be used on tortilla wraps or dipping with chips.

Marinated coriander chicken served with rice and a salad is a great dish to try. It’s simple to make as well as delicious.

7. Dab the Oil/Massage

The essential oil can be applied topically using a cotton ball or Q-tip to treat various skin infections.  [R]

The oil can be added to almond oil or sesame seed oil and used for a massage.

8. Smoothie

A handful of leaves or seeds can be added to a smoothie for detoxification. The antioxidants and detoxification properties will aid digestion and remove toxins from your body.

9. Juices

Coriander can be added to various juices to cool down the digestive tract as needed.

10. Blood Pressure Stabilizer and Diuretic

Coriander seeds can be left in water overnight. The next day, remove the seeds and drink the water.

Using coriander this way will stabilize your blood pressure and remove excess sodium from your system through urination.

11. Menstrual Problems

One of the ways cilantro can be used to treat menstrual problems is to boil 5 grams of dried leaves along with a one-half liter of water and one teaspoon of sugar.

Drinking the mixture will stop heavy menstrual flow and alleviate other menstrual issues.

12. Hair Loss Treatment

As a treatment for hair loss, mix coconut oil and coriander seed and massage into your scalp. This will stimulate the hair follicles.

13. Mouth Ulcer Home Remedy

Since coriander oils have great antiseptic and microbial properties, gargling with boiled coriander water will cure and reduce the intensity of mouth ulcers.

Citronellol is one of the compounds in coriander oil that enhances these effects.

14. Gastritis Treatment

Gas formation is minimized when fresh cilantro leaves are spread over vegetables. The acidic nature of the vegetables is minimized.

15. Pimples and Blackheads

Mix a teaspoon of coriander juice or oil with a pinch of turmeric powder. Apply the mixture to pimples and blackheads for amazing results.

16. Arthritis Treatment

Coriander essential oils can be used topically or mixed with water and taken orally to relieve symptoms of arthritis.

The anti-inflammatory properties in the oil bring about the relief of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. [R]

17. Home Remedy for Digestive Issues

The essential oils work well to aid digestion and prevent negative effects that can occur in the digestive system.

Soak coriander seeds in water for one day. After removing the seeds, drink the water.

Upset stomach will be soothed or prevented. Flatulence is also prevented by drinking the water.

18. Heavy Metal Detox

Mix cilantro juice and chlorella powder. Drink the mixture to detoxify from the consumption of lead, aluminum, and mercury. [R]

19. UTI Home Remedy

To treat a UTI, mix coriander powder in one cup of water. Drinking this on a regular basis for several days will treat a UTI.

20. Headache Home Remedy

The paste of cilantro leaves can be applied to the forehead and temples for quick headache relief.

Applying a few drops of the essential oils to the same area brings headache relief as well.

Where to Buy

Fresh and dried cilantro leaves are available in most supermarkets and health food stores.

You can also purchase dried leaves, seeds, oil, capsules, liquid extract, or powder online at Amazon or other reputable e-commerce stores.

Marshmallow Root (Althaea officinalis) Herb Profile

Marshmallow root or Althaea officinalis is an herb that has been used in natural medicines for ages. This is due to its ability to treat a number of issues such as indigestion, respiratory problems or skin conditions.

It is a perennial herb, perfect for gardens, that is native to Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia. Marshmallow root has been used historically as a food in times of famine, where it was more prominent than most other vegetables in Europe.

It can also be found in both Greek and Roman texts, showing its medicinal purpose since ancient times. Marshmallow root is also a demulcent herb. This means that it has soothing properties that relieve inflammation. It is also peculiar with the way in which cool water brings out its medicinal properties when used in a tea, rather than hot water.

With few side effects and a whole lot of health capabilities, Althea officinalis is one of the most underrated herbs.

Its fluffy-looking white plant just so happens to be where the s’mores ingredient got its name.

Health Benefits of Marshmallow (Althea officinalis)

Between its capabilities as an herb with health benefits topically or when ingested, it is not hard to see why marshmallow root works. It has the capacity to be used medicinally or on an everyday basis.

From heartburn to a sore throat to dry skin, this root herb is extremely versatile in its healing powers. That makes it a perfect option to be added into any diet.

Its natural medicinal benefits combined with its year-round abundance means that it has to potential to be added as a staple in any household. [R]

1. Tissue Moistening and Preventative Tearing

It is widely believed by herbalists that marshmallow root is a great component of natural medicine. One such claim stems from the fact that the marshmallow root contains mucilage.

Mucilage is said to promote, in the bodily tissues, a systemic moistening. This means that it is one of the recommended remedies for an irritated bladder.

Even though the mucilage never directly touches the bladder, it softens the tissue surrounding it. [R]

2. Aiding to Decrease Heartburn

One of the reasons as to why marshmallow root is such an effective herb is because of its ability to soothe pains such as heartburn. It is one of the best natural remedies for heartburn since it works to calm the nervous system.

The soothing feature it has when the stomach lining is targeted is also beneficial. If the stomach lining is irritated, it can lead to a number of uncomfortable situations.

The herb also serves as a good digestive nervine. Most of its properties are good for symptoms relating directly to heartburn, so much so that it can serve to act as a preventative measure.

3. Sore Throat

Mucilaginous herbs such as Althea officinalis are essential for healing a sore throat. Much in the same way that milk coats the throat, an infusion of marshmallow root will serve to soothe.

The root coats any irritated mucous membranes. This means that it will not only soothe but remedy whatever problems are causing the soreness of the throat. [R]

4. Helps to Treat a Cough or a Cold

As previously mentioned, the mucilage of the marshmallow root will serve to coat any mucous membranes that have been irritated.

This is particularly helpful when hoping to treat the symptoms of a cough or of a cold. The antitussive properties of the herb can also play a large role in the healing process.

With these two properties combined, not only will it help to soothe but also to prevent symptoms.

There will be a noticeable decrease in irritation in the throat as well as a reduction in the swelling of the lymph nodes.

5. Skincare

When used topically, Althea officinalis can be an irreplaceable component of any skincare routine.

Its emollient nature makes it so that the herb is perfect for healing and soothing dry and cracked skin. Any inflammation of the skin would also be almost immediately decreased. [R]

It is for this reason that marshmallow root is often an ingredient in commercial body butters.

6. Treats a Leaky Gut and

It is due to its high content of mucilage that the herb of marshmallow root is able to serve in such a healing process. In the process of healing of leaky gut, marshmallow root is almost always recommended. [R]

Given its ability to actually reduce any inflammation in the stomach lining, it can work wonders for leaky gut. In its reduction of inflammation, it also creates a sort of protective lining around the digestive tract.

This temporary lining can stop leaky gut as it serves as a barrier, one in which medication would be otherwise needed. [R]

7. Heals Stomach Ulcers

It is its same mucilaginous properties that serve to treat leaky gut syndrome and heartburn that aid in the treatment of stomach ulcers. [R]

By creating a protective barrier around the stomach lining, Althea officinalis can help heal stomach ulcers.

It can also soothe most pains being experienced, making it easier for a patient to cope. In addition, when marshmallow root is ingested in a tea infusion, it can act as a preventative measure.

The mucus-like lining will stop stomach ulcers from immediately appearing, as they would find it harder to make ground.

8. Antibacterial and Wound Healing

It is well-known that symptoms of an original infection such as inflammation or swelling can be aided by marshmallow root. However, the root is also known to treat a wound and actually target the bacteria to kill it. [R]

It kills the bacteria and then actually makes the patient’s healing-time less lengthy. This is best done by cream or an ointment that contains the extract of the marshmallow root.

However, when ingested, marshmallow root can also increase the secretion of urine. This means that the bacteria is more easily flushed out if the body, leaving infections less time to set in.

9. Diuretic

As previously mentioned, the herb of marshmallow root has the ability to promote urine secretion. This flushes out the body and can help to cleanse the kidneys as well as the bladder.

10. Antioxidant

Another health benefit of Althea officinalis is its capacity to be a useful antioxidant.

Either through a cool tea infusion or the recommended raw ingestion, the marshmallow root can be ingested daily. This would be in order to help flush out any toxins residing in the body.

How To Use Marshmallow Root:

While the leaves and the root can be used to treat illnesses, it is not recommended. The safest and most effective way is to stick to using solely the root of the plant.

1. In a Tea Infusion

Perhaps the most common way to get your daily dose of marshmallow root is by using a tea infusion. It is a quick and effective way to get the nutrients from the powder that will ameliorate your health.

For one, drinking it steeped in cool water is best to help your immune system. To help fight off colds and a sore throat, the coating similar to artificial mucus finds its way to the glands in the throat and coats them. [R]

This soothes the pain from a sore throat. It can also help to prevent coughing fits.

Tea is also the best way to use marshmallow root when you want to flush out bacteria. It promotes urination, meaning that kidneys will be cleansed.

Also, it is the best ways to cause the bacteria to be stripped and forced through the digestive system until it leaves the body. This can also serve to prevent kidney stones, kidney infections, or urinary tract infections. [R]

While you can make the tea hot and have it have some of the same properties, it is not as beneficial. The cool water is what draws out the health properties that can cure things such as inflammation, tenderness, or burns.

To make hot marshmallow root tea, add 1 tablespoon of marshmallow root to 1/12 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from heat, strain, and sweeten to taste.

A tea infusion with cold water is the best and easiest way to ingest the recommended dosage of marshmallow root. Combine 1 tablespoon of marshmallow root in 1/12 cups of water and let it seep overnight. Strain and sweeten to taste.

It is easy to incorporate into the diet and is a great way to make sure that the herb’s antioxidant properties are working.

2. Topically, in a Paste

The recommended way to use Althea officinalis to heal or soothe dry skin is through a paste. Combining lemon juice and the powder from crushed marshmallow root is sure to do the trick.

This paste can be applied topically as often as wanted, though it is recommended to not exceed more than twice a day.

It does not matter if it is cracked skin from the cold weather of winter, or blistered skin from the heat of summer. If dry or irregular skin issues is the problem, this natural paste method has shown to be most effective.

While ingesting the root may help, the paste targets the affected area directly and so is a more reliable source of relief.

3. In an Ointment or Cream

One of the best and easiest ways to treat things such as burns or swelling with Althea officinalis is through natural ointments or creams.

In contrast to a paste, ointments usually contain more ingredients than just marshmallow root. These include things such as ginger root, turmeric, or honey.

When marshmallow root is used as an ingredient rather than the sole measure, it can be complemented by other herbs. These herbs will pick up the slack where the marshmallow root may have less power.

If ingredients like honey, which has natural soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, were to be added to the topical paste, then the effectiveness would increase.

4. As an Herb Cooked in Food

Many side effects of illnesses such as the common cold or the flu can be reduced with the intake and ingestion of marshmallow root.

While symptoms such as sore throats or coughs are generally better treated with a tea infusion, the herb itself works too.

The root of the herb can be used to cook with — stir-fry, a soup or stew, salads, as a spice on meat, or as an ingredient in baking. It generally serves to add a bittersweet taste.

Ingesting the root straight while cooked into food items like this is best for digestion issues. It allows the raw minerals present to better target the stomach or intestine as it passes through.

5. Ingested Raw in Food

Keeping an herb uncooked can be the perfect way to be sure to maintain all of its health benefits.

By eating it raw, you know that none of the vitamins, electrolytes, or minerals are being cooked out of it through the heat.

It is also the optimal way to ensure the functionality of the antioxidant properties of the root. The texture and the potency of the bittersweet flavor are what give the root its appeal.

The best way to ingest it raw is either by making health power shots from ginger root, marshmallow root, and orange juice.

The orange juice brings vitamin C, the ginger root is full of minerals, and the marshmallow root is a great antioxidant. The three together make for a useful morning drink.

Marshmallow Root Side Effects/Caution  

For the majority of the time, marshmallow root is a very safe herb with little to no cautionary signs or side effects. With such, it should be mentioned that the ingestion of too much Althea officinalis may cause low blood sugar levels.

This means that those who suffer from regular blood sugar level issues should be careful to monitor their levels. This is especially important if someone with diabetes were to incorporate marshmallow root into their diet.

While not a whole lot of research has been done on pregnancy and marshmallow root, it is better to stay on the safe side.

With the health benefits it proclaims, the herb could be a potential threat to a pregnancy. It is best to limit use to either a small dosage or a bi-weekly intake at most. The same applies during times of breastfeeding.

Stop taking marshmallow at least 2 weeks before surgery. The health properties could lead to problems with blood clotting. This lays the groundwork for a potential to unnecessary complications.

For that reason, any person with a scheduled operation should limit their intake. The risk of bleeding may be higher both during and after the surgery would be performed.

Where to Buy:

Due to its bountiful nature, Althea officinalis can usually be bought during the entire year. A local supermarket would be the best place to find either the root itself or powder from the root.

Marshmallow root can also be found online in the forms of powder, dried root, capsules, and liquid extract.

The Dangers of Taking Sleeping Pills

Are sleeping pills harmful? Many people suffer from sleeping disorders or insomnia.

They may believe that a doctor can prescribe to them a magical wonder pill that will relieve their nights of being unable to fall asleep or bouts of restless sleep.

Improved sleep can surely be a result of taking a sleeping pill; however, numerous side effects may not be mentioned before being prescribed.

Some are mere inconveniences, but others can lead to dangerous or even fatal consequences.

Cancer or Death 

A study was published in 2012 in the BMJ Open Journal that found a connection between the prolonged use of sleeping pills and several types of cancer or even death in some cases. [R]

The presence of such high-powered drugs in the body can cause issues both immediately and over time, and in this case, an increased build-up can lead to deadly results.

If suffering from long-term sleeping problems, it may be more beneficial to look into certain types of therapy rather than using pills.

Increased Tolerance

Long-term use of prescription sleeping aids can lead to a number of problems. Although most doses start out as small, over time you may build up a tolerance to that dosage that can lead your doctor to increasing it.

It may seem helpful at the time, but increased tolerance can lead to depressed breathing while sleeping, a very dangerous and perhaps even fatal consequence.

It is important to only use sleeping aids when absolutely necessary, using them for short-term fixes rather than long-term solutions. 

Driving While Drowsy 

If you take a sleeping aid but then don’t stay in bed for at least eight hours afterward, the effects of the medication may continue even after you have awakened.

You can feel sluggish and lethargic, which isn’t a great combination if you have to drive to work.

An increased chance of causing an accident happens the minute you turn the key of your vehicle if still under the influence of sleeping meds.

It is important to always set aside enough hours of sleep when using sleeping medications.

Memory Problems and Other Unusual Side Effects 

Amnesia, problems with memory and focus, shaking of the body, and weird or unusual dreams are only some of the side-effects you can experience when taking sleeping pills.

Most prescribed sleeping pills are either benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or hypnotics. These are all highly addictive and can cause multiple issues with long-term use, including severe or unusual side effects.

Because all body chemistries are different, every person may have a different reaction to the drug.

Falling Down 

Sleeping pills dull your senses, helping you to fall into a usually peaceful resting phase. But if you are up before you sleeping aid wears off, or if you do not go to bed immediately after taking it, you may experience issues with your balance.

Doctors have noted an increased likelihood of tripping or falling in their patients who are taking sleeping medications.

It is important to only take a sleeping pill when you plan on going to sleep directly afterward and receiving a full eight hours of sleep as well.

Difficulty Weaning Off 

If you decide to quit taking sleeping pills, your sleeping problems may come back much worse than before.

This is known as “rebound insomnia” and can be caused by depriving the body of the medication is has become dependent on for sleeping.

Always talk to your doctor when planning to stop sleep medication, as taking dosages in lower increments until finally stopping is a much safer way to go about it.

Parasomnias 

Parasomnias include a wide range of activities you may engage in while still asleep.

Although sleepwalking or sleep talking may be common occurrences to those not even taking sleep medication, the chances of increased parasomniac activity greatly increase by taking sleeping pills. [R]

Some users have talked on the phone while sleeping, made and ate a meal while asleep, and even drove a car while still sleeping. These can bring forth many dangerous consequences that could cause serious injury.

Sleeping pills provide restful nights for many persons who may not experience such relaxation otherwise.

To increase the chances of avoiding these harmful and potentially fatal side effects, it is always important to consult with your doctor if you begin to experience any feelings that aren’t normal.

There are also a number of different therapies and alternative medicine practices that may help in your quest for peaceful sleep if you do not feel comfortable taking medication. [R]

10 Healing Foods for Good Health

Whole foods are an important part of a healthy diet that helps our bodies to function at their best. There are many nutritious foods, but these ten have outstanding properties that help to support good health and healing and are so easy to incorporate into everyday meals.

1. Chlorella

This is a great source of protein, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. It helps to detoxify the body of heavy metals, biotoxins, and xenobiotics. Chlorella works to kill off candida and yeast overgrowth while fighting cancer.

It repairs and heals tissue, reduces pain from arthritis and fibromyalgia, and even helps to eliminate digestive issues. Additionally, it may prevent and improve insulin resistance and diabetes.

2. Hemp

Hemp boasts 20 amino acids and is a known complete source of complete protein. It is one of the best sources of essential fatty acids and has the ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. Hemp strengthens the immune system, helps to clear up skin disorders, and reduces inflammation.

It also improves memory, helps to prevent cancer, keeps the digestive tract healthy, prevents diseases related to the brain, and can help to reduce the risk of diabetes.

3. Carrots

Carrots are a wonderful source of antioxidants that can decrease the risk of breast cancer after menopause. They contain potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, vitamin C, as well as vitamin A. Carrots, can help to reduce the risk of lung, kidney, and ovarian cancer. [R]

It helps to block cardiovascular disease, promote colon health, stimulate the immune system and supports eye and ear health. Organic carrots are definitely the way to go, as conventionally grown carrots may have high pesticide residue.

4. Dandelion

Yes, the same dandelions that some people work hard to get rid of from their lawns. It has been used as a healing herb in many cultures all over the world. One cup of raw dandelion greens contains over the recommended daily allowance of vitamins A and K.

They are also a great source of calcium, iron, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. It stimulates the production of bile, working as a gentle laxative.

5. Cruciferous Vegetables

This includes cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. They are high in phytonutrients that boost immune systems. When you have a working immune system, your body is able to more effectively ward off any potential infections.

6. Pineapple & Papaya

Pineapple and papaya contain protease enzymes that the body must use in order to break down and digest proteins. These enzymes are bromelain and papain, and also help to reduce inflammation and swelling.

7. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are known to boost the immune system, and even fight cancer. One study has shown better-functioning gamma delta T-cells as well as a reduction of inflammatory proteins in individuals that ate about 4oz of Shiitake mushrooms per day. Maitake and Reishi mushrooms can also provide immune-boosting functions. [R]

8. Green Leafy Vegetables

Here, you will get your folic acid to help gut bacteria to be strong. You will also get biotin, folate, choline, vitamin B12, and niacin—the B vitamins that help to fight cancer. Leafy greens also provide vital sulforaphane, which have cancer correcting benefits.

A diet that is rich in leafy greens will help to alkalize the body, and a slightly alkaline body is important because it helps the performance of the immune system. [R]

9. Garlic

The active ingredient in garlic is allicin, and it has been said to halt the spreading of cancer in numerous ways, including cutting off the blood supply formation for tumors. [R]

Garlic kills yeasts and microbes. It is also an anti-inflammatory and contains selenium, tryptophan, and sulfur-based agents that attack cancer cells.

10. Sweet Potato

They are a great source of vitamin C to help the body produce collagen to maintain healthy and youthful skin, vitamin B6 to reduce the homocysteine chemical in the body, and vitamin D that is responsible for having healthy bones.

The iron in sweet potatoes helps to support a healthy immune system while the magnesium is vital for healthy blood, bone, artery, muscles, heart, and nerve function.

They don’t cause blood sugar to spike and are a great source of potassium to regulate nerve signals and your heartbeat.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) Herb Profile

Thymus vulgaris is said to be one of the world’s most healthy herbs. It is a delicate herb with a strong aroma that can be used in a variety of dishes.

An evergreen herb with tiny, white, pink and purple flowers, thyme grows quickly in areas that are sunny with well-drained soil.

Three-hundred varieties of thyme are in existence today. Each variety has different uses and different unique flavors. It can be used for cooking, oils, medicine, or even decoration.

Lemon thyme and common thyme are used for cooking. Creeping thyme and Spanish thyme are used in supplements.

The history of thyme dates back as far as ancient Rome and Egypt. It was used by the Egyptians as part of the mummification process.

The Romans used it to give to soldiers as a sign of bravery and respect as well as consuming before meals.

The Latin word for thyme, thymus, means courage and strength. Giving the herb to soldiers carried on as a tradition until the Middle Ages.

After that, people in England began using it as a cooking spice.

Health Benefits of Thymus vulgaris (Thyme)

Remaining influential throughout the years, thymus vulgaris has a rich profile of various vitamins, minerals, and nutrient compounds.

It is a source of calcium, iron, fiber, and manganese as well as Vitamins A, B6, and C.

Listed below are a variety of other wonderful health benefits you can gain by using this herb.

1. Antioxidant Properties

Apigenin, luteolin, saponins, and tannins are antioxidants that thymus vulgaris contains.

These compounds will neutralize free radicals before they cause oxidative stress and other harm to your body. [R]

Iron is often taken along with thyme to keep balance and reduce risks of oxidative stress.

2. Repels Bugs Safely

Thyme oil is a repellant for mosquitoes and other pesky insects. Not only does it repel bugs, but it is completely safe because it has no harmful chemicals.

In addition to repelling mosquitoes, it repels certain types of flies, hornworms, cabbage loopers, and cabbage maggots.

3. Resistance of Harmful Organisms

Thymus vulgaris contains chemical compounds such as carvacrol and thymol that resist harmful organisms.

Fungal balance is believed to be promoted by thyme.

Some evidence also suggests that the compounds found in it are helpful in dealing with harmful organisms that are aggressive. [R][R]

4. Mood Booster

Daily consumption of this powerful herb can enhance your mood by influencing neurotransmitters that control chemicals in the brain.

There is a compound found in thyme oil that has been proven to positively affect dopamine and serotonin levels. The herb must be consumed for seven days in order to reap the benefits of enhanced moods.

5. Preserves Food

Since the herb is resistant to harmful organisms, it can preserve food and increase shelf life. Large scale food producers have observed this effect and used it to keep food safe.

Not only does thymus vulgaris have a wonderful taste, it prevents food poisoning by fighting harmful organisms that spoil food.

6. Oral Health Enhancement

This herb protects oral health by targeting harmful organisms that attack the mouth. Because of this, bad breath and gingivitis can be prevented.

Since thyme works as an antiseptic, mouth sores and ulcers are prevented from becoming infected. If infection occurs, thyme oil can fight it. [R]

7. Respiratory Health

Respiratory health in all seasons is supported by using thymus vulgaris.

Medical studies demonstrate that thyme can relax the air passages which would promote and maintain optimal lung health.

Thyme also alleviates coughing which can help you to get more rest at night if you have a cold.

8. Heart Health

Your blood pressure and cholesterol levels must be healthy to maintain good heart health.

The nutrients in thyme will support healthy cholesterol levels and normal blood pressure.

The herb can reduce your heart rate when it is too high which helps keep the body from stress.

9. Healthy Skin

Studies indicate that thymus vulgaris can maintain skin health. For years, nurses put thyme into bandages they used to wrap patients’ wounds because they knew thyme had healing properties for wounds. [R]

Thyme’s disinfecting power is gentle which means it will not cause side effects with its use.

10. Healthy Hair

Thyme oil aids hair growth and aids with various hair problems. Hair growth can be stimulated because the herb improves blood circulation to the scalp.

Thyme essential oil makes the hair healthier and shiny. If your hair is thinning, or even if you have lost a great deal of hair, thyme can thicken hair and restore what has been lost.

The antibacterial properties of this herb will cleanse the scalp, thereby, treating dandruff flakes that accumulate in the scalp. It is often used as an ingredient in anti-dandruff shampoos. [R]

You must be aware that there are two varieties of thymus vulgaris. One is red while the other is white.

Overuse of the red variety can cause skin irritation. More use of the white variety is recommended. [R]

11. Bone Health

As an excellent source of Vitamin K, iron, calcium, and manganese, thymus vulgaris promotes proper bone growth and development.

Since this herb plays a vital role in maintaining bone health, the risk of bone disorders and diseases is reduced.

Bone breakdown is combatted which will keep your bones from becoming brittle as you age.

12. Promotes Healthy Blood Cells

Iron is essential for healthy blood cells. It also gives energy. Often, iron deficiency causes chronic fatigue. This herb is a great source of iron providing 20% of the daily recommended allowance.

Iron deficiency can result in anemia and other issues. Having this herb in your diet maintains healthy blood cells which prevent iron deficiency.

13. Diuretic Properties

Thyme oil has properties that aid the body with ridding itself of excess salts and toxins by increasing urination.

Not only are these diuretic properties helpful for lowering blood pressure and promoting weight loss, but they are also good for preventing renal failure.

14. Promotes Sound Sleep

Many people do not get the recommended amount of sleep needed to function healthily which is approximately 7 to 8 hours per night.

When some do sleep, they often wake up several times throughout the night.

Thyme tea induces sleep and reduces nightmares. The calming effects of thyme oil can enhance your mood and lessen fatigue.

15. Enhance Cognitive and Mental Health

If you inhale the scent of the fresh leaves, you can stimulate your mind as well as relieve stress and anxiety.

Memory and concentration can also be increased using the same method. You can also add thyme oil to your diffuser or oil burner.

How to Use

Thymus vulgaris can be used in a variety of different ways for you to reap the benefits. Many people use it in oils, seasonings, and tea.

The following are some ways to use this wonderful herb.

1. Tea

Not only is the tea delicious to your taste buds, but it also contains antiviral, antifungal, and preservative properties.

Buying organic prepackaged thyme tea is also an option, but you can make your own using the fresh or dried thyme you purchase for cooking.

If you are using the fresh herb, spread it on a countertop or other safe surface until it is dry. It usually takes a few days. Once it is dried, transfer it to a jar.

When you begin making the tea, you will need about three sprigs for one and one-half cup of boiling water. You can chop sprigs before steeping if you have a tea ball infuser.

Simply place the sprigs in a teacup, pour the boiling water over it. Let it steep for about five minutes. Remove the sprigs before drinking.

Although thyme tea tastes great, you can add lemon, ginger, or honey depending upon your personal preferences.

You can infuse the tea with different fruits. Add apples or peaches to cold thyme tea for additional flavor.

2. Herbal Butter

Adding homegrown thyme to butter will enhance buttery flavor. Meats, vegetables, and pasta will be livened up when cooked and prepared with this flavorful herb.

Additionally, thyme garlic butter has a wonderful flavor to add to your foods.

3. Lemon Thyme Salt

Flavor can be added to roasted vegetables or fish dishes by using lemon thyme salt.  What a healthy way to add flavor to your food. This recipe will not raise your blood pressure.

4. Soups and Sauces

Thyme can be paired with citrus, garlic, cream, peppercorn, butter, olive oil, and Dijon mustard.

When making soups, the herb can be mixed with potatoes, vegetables, mushrooms, chicken, and leafy greens. Using it in soups and sauces gives an additional flavor that no one could refuse.

5. Bread and Pastas

Drizzle thyme-infused oil or vinegar on your homemade bread. You can also mix the herb into the dough. Add the herb to your pasta to enhance taste and flavor.

Many people recommend French bread with thyme or garlic thyme focaccia.

6. Salads and Salad Dressings

Many people do not always think of using this herb in salads and salad dressing, but it can make a salad more robust with flavor.

Fresh or dried thymus vulgaris works well in most salads. Some salads that are great with it are chicken salad, pea salad, and apple and spinach salad.

7. Desserts

This herb works well in many savory dishes, but it can lend great fragrance and flavor to desserts too. Many cookies and cakes can have an addition of thyme to enhance aroma and taste.

Figs and other fruit desserts work well with it as well. Some people have reported that using the herb in lemon cake brings amazing results.

Using it to enhance sweet treats is not an idea that people normally entertain, but it has been proven effective.

8. To Fight Mucus and Ease Congestion

Thyme has been known for its use as an expectorant, reducing mucus, and relieving congestion. Acting as an antitussive, thyme relieves coughing spasms. [R]

Pour boiling water into a heatproof pan. Stir in two teaspoons of fresh or dried herb. You can even stir in oil if you wish.

Lean over the pan and breathe in the vapors for about ten minutes.

9. Improve Oral Health

If you are looking for a natural alternative to improve oral health, this is what you need.

The oil can be used to treat tooth decay, gingivitis, bad breath, and plaque due to its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. [R]

If you will read the ingredients on most mouthwashes, you will find that thymol, an active component in thyme oil, is a primary ingredient in many of them.

10. Scalp Treatment

Massaging the oil into your scalp can kill fungi and bacteria that contribute to scalp conditions such as dandruff.

Impurities are removed, hair follicles cleared, and the scalp is stimulated by the use of thyme oil on your scalp. As a result, hair growth will increase.

11. Skin Treatment

The herb can be used to fight eczema, acne, and inflammation. Signs of aging can be decreased as well because it has antioxidant properties.

Because thyme also has antiseptic properties, it can treat minor cuts, scrapes, and wounds.  The oil can be applied to the affected area using a cotton ball. [R]

Caution/Side Effects

As with any herb or supplement, there are certain precautions that must be taken.

1. Pregnant Women/Breastfeeding Mothers/Children

Thymus vulgaris should be used in small amounts by children, breastfeeding mothers, or pregnant women.

There is not enough research available to indicate if thyme is safe when used in excessive amounts in these cases.

In some cultures, thyme tea is commonly used to induce labor; and in some instances, to perform abortions.

2. Surgery and Bleeding Disorders

A possibility exists that thyme could slow the blood clotting process. The risks of bleeding can be increased if you are having surgery, or if you have a bleeding disorder. [R]

Stop taking this herb at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery. Always consult your physician in these cases.

3. Allergies

If you are allergic to oregano or the Lamiaceae species, you could also be allergic to thyme. It is strongly recommended not to use thyme in these cases.

4. Hormone-Sensitive Conditions

Thyme can act like estrogen to the body. If you have hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, endometriosis, fibroid tumors, or ovarian cancer, you should not use thyme. [R][R]

5. Drug Interactions

Since there is a moderate risk of thyme slowing the blood clotting process, it is strongly recommended that you avoid taking it along with medications such as Aspirin, Plavix, ibuprofen, naproxen, and others.

Where to Buy

Both fresh and dried thymus vulgaris is available in most supermarkets or health food stores.

The essential oil is also available in most health food stores and on Amazon.

If you wish to purchase thyme online, you can order it from Amazon, or The Growers Exchange. Thyme is available online in its dry form, essential oil, or tea.

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