Integrative Health Blog

Why Chamomile and Echinacea May Not Be Good for You

Posted by on Sun, Sep 04, 2016

Many people throughout the world use herbal teas as a method of treating various issues from a common cold to insomnia, but what if they are doing more harm systemically than good?

Many plants that are in the same family can often produce allergic reactions due to overlap in their chemical composition. A very good example of this is the Asteraceae family which includes ragweeds, a cause of roughly 50% of all of the cases of allergic rhinitis in the U.S. Many of the medicinal plants self-prescribed by people across the globe belong to this very same family.

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Tags: herbals, allergies

Herbal Teas for Respiratory Health

Posted by on Wed, Jan 22, 2014

Krista Merwede LMT

     It seems to be an especially brutal flu season this year.  Deep, bronchial coughs echo through the aisles of the grocery store, Snuffaluffagus is answering the phone at the bank and sneezes flutter over cubicle walls with hot zone wings.  If you or one of your beloveds is suffering from respiratory congestion it is a good time to start thinking of a steaming mug of medicinal tea, ideally full of honey and steeped with love.  While there are plenty of great teas on the market - Breathe Easy or Throat Coast by Traditional Medicinals are personal favorites - being ill is an opportunity to better get to know individual herbs and also take a small, comfortable step towards making your own natural home remedies.   Safety is always the number-one concern, so please research your herbs before use to make sure they do not conflict with any current medication or doctor's orders.

     In this blog we will discuss several herbs that you can purchase locally and infuse at home.  An infusion is a different word for steeping, or boiling water and letting a teabag sit in the water for ten minutes to allow the herbal chemicals to release out into the water. Another thing to consider is taste; do not hesitate if you need to add something for flavor such as chamomile or peppermint to make the brew more acceptable to your palate.

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Tags: natural remedies, herbals, holistic health, massage

Herbal Techniques for Promoting Dental Health

Posted by on Wed, Jan 15, 2014

Krista Merwede LMT

     Most of us have experienced the cleansing of a salt water rinse after a dental appointment or during times of mouth pain.  The gentle swishing of the water and the abrasiveness of the salt cleanse and promote healing.  This being said, there are many different herbs that you can add to your salt water-rinse to take it to another level and address the more individual challenge may be having.  A good time for a salt water rinse is 3 to 5 minutes, but if you have a bit more time on your hands you may want to consider the technique of oil pulling.

Oil Pulling

     Both an Ayervedic technique and traditional Western folk medicine, the technique known as oil pulling is an effective way to promote general dental health or respond to challenges in the mouth and throat.  It is also known to be a good tool for supporting asthma and diabetes mellitus.  It involves swishing oil or a herb-infused oil (about 1 Tablespoon), in the mouth for 5-10 minutes with the intention of addressing the deep mucous membranes. Just swish it all around your mouth, then spit it out.  Aim to increase the time swishing as you get used to it, up to 20 minutes. Dr. McClure offers that the shower is an ideal setting for this procedure.  Consider oil pulling with an empty stomach and follow with a salt water rinse.

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Tags: herbals, holistic health, integrative health, dental health, massage