Herbs to Help Diabetes

Millions of people suffer from diabetes in this country. Several thousand don't even know they have the disease.
People can control Type 2 diabetes with diet, exercise and herbs. It is important to follow a good diet recommended by your doctor or nutritionist. Following a proper diet, exercising 30 minutes a day, can help keep your blood sugar levels in check.
If you need some added help in controlling blood sugar levels, there are certain herbs and supplements that can help.
Gymnema(Gymnema sylvestre) is also known as Gurmar.
Gymnema has been used in India as an herb for diabetes for 2000 years. Gymnema helps the pancreas to produce Insulin in Type 2 diabetes. It also improves the ability of insulin to lower blood sugar in both Type I and Type 2 diabetes. It decreases cravings for sweet.
Chromium (picolinate)
With biotin’s help, chromium helps insulin work better, keeps the pancreas working well, and lowers blood sugar levels.
Vitamin E
Vitamin E helps get sugar out of the blood stream and into the cells. Helps keep diabetics blood vessels and kidneys healthy.
Vitamin B
With the B vitamins, vitamin E will help keep the pancreas healthy and helps prevent nerve damage. Vitamin B can help prevent kidney damage, blindness, and heart attacks. Added to vitamin C, Vitamin B helps keep blood vessels healthy.
Other herbs and suppliments like cinnamon, zinc, biotin, banaba, huckleberry and bitter melon also help control diabetes and blood sugar levels.

The Essential Herbal

The last on our list of herbs to include in a natural organic first aid kit is Witch Hazel. The Witch Hazel we talk about here is made from the plant, and does not refer to the Witch Hazel you can buy at the drug store. Although the one from the drug store is fine to use, it not necessarily true Witch Hazel (many are only a small percentage of Witch Hazel). If you make your own, you can be sure that it is truly natural and organic.

Witch Hazel

(Hamamelis virginiana)

Witch Hazel contains large amounts of tannins. Tannins have a drying effect, causing the tightening of proteins in the skin. This process helps create a protective covering that helps with the inflammation.
Witch Hazel is good for skin conditions such as eczema. It is mainly used when the skin is not significantly broken. It helps protect the area and prevent infection. For eczema is it usually combined with other herbs such as calendula and red clover.
Traditionally, Witch Hazel is used the treatment of hemorrhoids. The astringent properties helps to tighten distended veins and restore their normal function.
Witch Hazel can be used to help a minor cut stop bleeding. It will also help to protect the cut from infection.
For cuts and bites dab a little onto area to stop bleeding and to prevent infection.
For hemorrhoids add a few drops of tincture to a base cream and dab onto area 3-4 x a day. The cream can also be used for cuts and scrapes.

Now you have all ingredients to put together your own natural and organic first aid kit. You should also stock it with unbleached cotton or gauze, cotton swabs, cotton balls, and band aids.

The Essential Herbal

Putting together an all natural and organic first aid kit is easier than you might think. We have discussed 10 essential herbs to have in the first aid kit, and today is White Willow's turn at the head of the class.

White Willow

(Salix alba)

White Willow is native to Europe. It is also found in North Africa and Asia and of course the United States. The bark is stripped from branches in spring from trees that are 2-5 years old.
There has not been much research done on White Willow, the salicylic acid, one of the key constituents was isolated in 1838. It is the forerunner of today's aspirin, the chemical derivative, discovered in 1899.
White Willow has many of the same analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions that aspirin has.
White Willow is used to reduce fevers, acts as an anti-rheumatic, and also can be used as an astringent. Native Americans used White Willow for decades for pain and fever. White Willow does not have the side effect that aspirin does, such as stomach troubles.
With a combination of other herbs, White Willow can be used to relieve inflammation and swelling. It greatly improves mobility in painful and creaky joints. It is very useful during menopause to help with reducing hot flashes, and night sweats.
You can make a decoction of White Willow, Crampbark, and other analgesic herbs and use as a muscle rub. You can also drink the decoction 1-2 x a day for pain relief.
One should not take White Willow Bark if allergic to aspirin. Do not take if pregnant or nursing. Not to be used on children under 12.

The Essential Herbal...Thyme

Our next essential herbal in a natural first aid kit is well known to most who cook. Most use Thyme to enhance flavoring in soups, chicken and other dishes, but don't know that it is a powerful antiseptic, and can be used medicinally as well.


(Thymus vulgaris)

Thyme is a cultivated variety of the Wild Thyme (Thymus serpyllum) of Southern Europe. Thyme is now cultivated worldwide. The aerial parts are harvested in summer.
Thyme essential oil is strongly antifungal and antiseptic. The volatile oil in Thyme is thymol. Thymol and the flavonoids is also a antispasmodic for muscles.
In 1990 research in Scotland suggest that thyme has a markedly tonic effect, supporting the body's normal function and countering aging.
Extracts of the herb have shown strong antibacterial activity against H. pylori, a bacteria often associated with stomach ulcers.
The antiseptic and tonic properties make it very useful for the immune system. It is especially useful treating fungal infections both internally and externally.
Externally, it can be used for bites, stings, athletes foot, thrush and other fungal infections.
An infusion or tea made with thyme can be used for colds and flu. For achy muscles, an infusion can be rubbed on, or used in a tub to soak in.
The tincture can be used for thrush. Swish and spit out. To use as a vaginal wash, dilute tincture in water and wash area. Clean area well.
A syrup made of thyme can be useful for coughs.
The essential oil should be diluted when used. The essential oil should not be taken internally.

The Essential Herbal...Tea Tree

An all natural first aid kit has essential herbal components. The kit should include, salves, syrups, powders, tinctures, essential oils and dried herbs. Each one would be used separately for herbal healing.
Next on our essential herbal first aid list is Tea Tree

Tea Tree

(Melaleuca alternifolia)

Tea Tree is used for it's essential oil. It is the best herbal antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial agents in the world.
Tea Tree is native to Australia, but now is also grown in New South Wales and Queensland. The leaves and small branches are picked and distilled to make Tea Tree essential oil.
Tea Tree was first researched in Australia in 1923. Since the 1960's it has been intensively studied, and it's antiseptic properties are well known.
Tea Tree can be used for skin infections, such as athletes foot, ringworm, acne, boils and wounds. It can also be used to prevent infection in bites and stings. Diluted with water, it can be an effective mouthwash for oral infections. Use 2 drops to 1/2 cup water. Swish and spit out. Do not swallow
The antifungal properties of Tea Tree makes it a valuable aid in treating vaginal yeast conditions. Dilute 3 drops into a carrier oil and apply 2- 3 x a day.
Never use Tea Tree essential oil internally

Healing Naturally...Applications of Herbs Part 2

Using herbs for natural healing is not hard with the right tools. Here is part two and the final segment of the applications of herbs.


An herbal syrup is a herb or a combination of herbs that are added to gylcerin or honey. It is steeped in the liquid for 4 weeks so that the herb can soak up the medicinal power of the herb. You can also use the slow heat method. The slow heat method requires you to combine herb and liquid and slowly heat them on the stove for 1 hour or more. Syrups are nice to have for people who are sensitive to a tincture or for use with children.


Salves are generally used on sore, bruises, and inflammations. Salves are made using a carrier oil, a wax, and sometimes a butter such as shea butter. Salves are very useful for skin conditions.


A tincture is an herbal medicine made with alcohol. Herbs, or an herbal combination is added to a solution of alcohol (vodka) and purified water. Tinctures are useful to have because they have a long shelf life (up to 5 years). Tinctures are used for more severe cases of illness.

Tea or Tisane (also known as an Infusion)

A Tea or Tisane is a herb tea used for a medicinal purpose. Herbs are steeped in hot water for 5-10 minutes. For stronger tea, use more herb. Teas are used for both short term and long term effects. Mild teas can be used as a daily tonic and for general health.

The Essential Herbal...Peppermint

Who hasn't had a delicious Peppermint tea? Did you know how wonderful Peppermint really is. Peppermint is our next essential herbal in our natural first aid kit.


(Mentha x piperita)

Ah, the smell of peppermint. It is a wonderful, clean, crisp smell. It is reminiscent of a candy cane.
Peppermint is grown commercially in North America, Europe, and Asia. Many of us grown it in our home gardens as well. The leaves are harvested in Summer before the flowers appear.
The research on Peppermint essential oil shows it to be a strong antibacterial agent. Menthol, it's key volatile (essential) oil is antiseptic, antifungal, and an analgesic to the skin. You should never take the essential oil internally.
Peppermint tea is an excellent remedy for the digestive system. It helps to reduce cramps, and bloating from excess gas. It can help with a spastic colon. A spastic colon is often the cause of constipation in some people. Drinking a cup of peppermint tea after dinner will aid in the digestion.
If you apply peppermint to the skin, it can help relieve pain. You can do this by using a poultice, or by using the essential oil. Make sure to dilute the essential oil well into a carrier oil. Peppermint will burn if applied directly to the skin.
Stuffy? No problem. Dilute a few drops of essential oil onto a hanky and inhale for respiratory infections.
For headaches, dilute 1 drop of essential oil in 2 tablespoons of oil. Dab onto temples.
Having both the dried herb, and peppermint essential oil on hand can be a lifesaver when the belly starts to rumble, or the head starts to stumble.
Remember be sure not to take the essential oil internally. Peppermint should not be given to children under 5. The essential oil should not be used for children under 12.

The Essential Herbal...Lavender

One of the most popular, and my favorite on the essential herbal list is Lavender.


(Lavendula offincinalis)

Lavender is native to France and the Western Mediterranean. Lavender is now cultivated worldwide for the essential oil. There has been many years of research into Lavender essential oil. It has significant antiseptic, and antibacterial properties. It is one of a few essential oils you use "neat" or straight onto the skin.
Lavender is best known for the calming and soothing properties. It can help alleviate depression. Lavender essential oil is a valuable first aid remedy. It helps to heal wounds, burns, and sores. Rub it onto an insect sting, and it will relieve the pain and inflammation. Massaged into the temples it can ease a headache.
For nervousness, you can drink a cup of lavender flower tea. Infuse the flowers in a cup of hot water, and drink 3-4 cups daily.
For back pain, add 20 drops of essential oil into 4 ounces of a carrier oil and massage into sore area.
Lavender makes a wonderful household cleaner. Combine 25 drops into water or hydrogen peroxide for a natural antibacterial cleaner.
To help you relax, burn a few drops in a diffuser, or put into bath water.
Lavender is a wonderful herbal healer.

Healing Naturally...Applications of Herbs Part One

Many people would like to use herbs as a natural alternative to allopathic medicine, but have no idea how or where to get started.
Using herbs to heal is safe and easy if done with care. Here are a few ways you can get started using herbs to treat you and your family.


Compresses are used by soaking a clean cotton cloth in a herbal solution. It would be applied directly to the injured part of the body.


A decoction is a tea made from using roots, seeds, berries or bark of the herb. A decoction would be simmered for about 30 minutes but not boiled.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are the volatile oils that are distilled from plants. They are usually mixed with oil for massage oils, or other skin care and aromatherapy products. You can use essential oils as an inhalant for colds, or stress.


An ointment is usually made from soaking the herb in a carrier oil, and then has beeswax added to it to solidify it. You can also make an ointment by adding powdered herb to a plain salve.


A poultice is a hot, moist, soft mass of herbs, sped on a muslin cloth and applied to the injured area for one to eight hours. It helps relieve pain and inflammation. Ground or granulated herbs work best.

The Essential Herbal...Garlic

Garlic should be the one "herb" used in cooking everyday. I use the term "herb" because most people think of garlic as a spice. For our purpose we are using it as a healing herb.


(Allium sativum)

Garlic is one of natures best antibiotics. It is also contains valuable vitamins A, B, C and E. It is originally from Asia, but is now grown worldwide.
Garlic is an excellent remedy for chest infections. It can be used for colds, flu, and ear infections. If taken during a cold, it helps reduce mucous in the lungs and increases sweating. This will help illiminate toxins in the body faster.
Garlic can be used to treat digestive infections. It prevents circulatory problems and strokes by keeping the blood thin. If eaten at every meal, garlic can be used to treat high cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Fresh is best, but if you don't have fresh, use garlic powder not garlic salt.
Garlic tablets and capsules are available in most stores. Be sure to buy a product that does not contain additives or fillers.

As you can see,garlic keeps more away than just vampires.

The Essential Herbal...Echinacea

Next on the essential herbal list is Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
Everyone has heard by now about the wonderful healing powers of Echinacea.


(E. purpurea)

Echinacea is native to central parts of the United States. Three species of Echinacea are used medicinally...E. purpurea, E. angustifolia, and E. pallida. All are threatened in the wild, and only organic commercially grown plants should be used. Echinacea purpurea is the one most commonly used. The leaves and flowers are gathered during flowering.
Echinacea is also known as Purple Cone Flower.
Native Americans have been using it for years. They used it for toothaches, sore throats, rabies, snakebites, and many other conditions.
Echinacea's effect is still not fully understood. We do know that a number of it's key constituents (properties) boost the immune system. It can help both viral and bacterial infections. It can be helpful in preventing upper respiratory infections.
Echinacea acts as an herbal antibiotic. It detoxifies, helps heal wounds, and acts as an anti-iflammatory.
It can be added to herbal organic body care products, or drank as a tea. You can add it to other teas to make a blend. You can use Echinacea as a wash for cuts and scrapes.
Care must be taken not to ingest too much Echinacea. High doses can cause nausea and vomiting. It should only be taken for 4 weeks at a time then give the body a rest from it. Too much is not better.

The Essential Herbal...Comfrey

To continue our discussion on the essential herbal ingredients in a natural first aid kit, we will tell you about Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)


(Symphytum offincinale)

Comfrey is also known as Knitbone. It is native to Europe, but now grows in all temperate regions of the world. It thrives in moist and marshy soils.
Comfrey's ability to promote healing of broken bones, fractures, bruising, and sprains has been known for thousands of years. It encourages ligaments and bones to "knit" together, which is why it is sometime referred to as Knitbone.
A comfrey compress applied immediately to the a sprained ankle can reduce the severity of the injury
Comfrey oil can be used succesfully to treat acne and boils. The astringent action helps to heal the acne naturally. It's mucilage content makes it a wonderful treatment for scrapes and wounds. Make sure never to use comfrey on a dirty wound. Rapid healing can trap dirt inside and cause infection.
Comfrey helps to repair damaged tissue. The herb has powerful anti-inflammatory action due to the rosmariinic acid content.
Comfrey can be toxic if taken orally. You should not take it internally.

Healing Naturally...Bach Flower Remedies

Bach Flower Remedies was the discovery of Dr. Edward Bach during the 1930's.

Each of the 38 remedies discovered by Dr. Bach is directed at a particular characteristic or emotional state. The remedies are a therapy to helping relieve negative emotional states of mind.
To select the remedies you need, ask yourself how you are feeling. Are you fearful of the unknown, then Aspen would be the remedy for you. Feeling extreme mental anguish, Sweet Chestnut is your remedy.
We will discuss all 38 individually. We will do one each day for the next 38 days.

Today we will talk about Agrimony. Agrimony is for mental torture behind a cheerful face.
Agrimony is the remedy for you if hide your troubles under a happy face. The typical Agrimony person is the sad person, suffering , but is still the life of the part. Their friends never know that the Agrimony person even has problems. The Agrimony person at times can turn to drugs or alcohol to mask the unhappiness. Agrimony would be given to help them learn to accept that life is not always happy.

Bach Flower Remedies are completely safe, and can be taken by all members of the family including the family pet.

Holy Basil Batman

As a medical herbalist, I am always looking for herbal healing news and research about herbs. It is important for my business to keep up to date on what is new and exciting out there in the world of herbs. The other day someone asked me about the benefits of Holy Basil on stress. I wasn't too sure, so I did a little research.
Holy Basil (Ocium sanctum) has been getting a lot of press lately due to the wonderful healing attributes it has.
Holy Basil is native to India, where it is known as Tulsai or sometimes called Tulsi. In Sanskrit, Tulsai means "the incomparable one". Tulsai has been used for thousands of years in India as a prime herb for Ayurvedic medicine.
Tulasi’s extracts are used in Ayurvedic remedies for such illnesses as the common cold, headaches, digestive disorders, inflammation, and heart disease. It is also being studied for the combat of stress. Read more here.
In India Tulsai is usually taken in the form of an herbal tea, dried powder, or they use the freash leaf.
Holy Basil is a religiously revered plant in India. Read more about the holy aspect of holy basil here.
Research done on Holy Basil has shown it to have adaptogenic properties, which means it helps the body with stress. If you chew a few Holy Basil leaves a couple times a day, it has been known to reduce stress. It also purifies the blood, and helps eliminate several common ailments.
Holy Basil (Ocium sanctum) should be put on the essential herbal list of herbs to have in your medicine cabinet.

The Essential Herbal...Chamomile

Once again we will get back to the essential herbal ingredients in a natural herbal healing first aid kit. In all natural first aid kits, there are the essential herbal items. With just a few essential herbs you can heal naturally just about any illness. This is the third in the series. In this article we will discuss Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita).

Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita)

While most people think of Chamomile as a relaxing tea, Chamomile has been used for digestive issues since the 1st Century. It is gentle, and effective and a great herb for kids.
Chamomile grows all around the world. It is sown by seed in spring. The flower heads will be ready to be picked in summer.
Chamomile is a herbal relaxant. It can help calm frazzled nerves. Chamomile also works as an antispasmodic. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea when you have an upset stomach, can calm and soothe in a short time. It makes a wonderful tea for a child with an upset belly.
Chamomile, is also very useful on the outside of our bodies. An infusion of chamomile can be applied to the skin t help heal dry itchy skin. You can also add an infusion to your bath. Using an infusion of Chamomile to make a herbal skin cream would be of great benefit to your skin. It would get the benefits of both the Chamomile, and the oils and butters used to make the cream.
Chamomile also has anti-inflammatory properties which is beneficial both internally as a tea for stomach and digestive complaints, but also topically as an oil, ointment or cream.

The fresh plant of Chamomile can cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals. You should not use Chamomile if you are allergic to the daisy family of plants.

Healing Naturally...Herbs for Systemic Yeast

I still remember the day I went into to talk to my doctor about systemic yeast.
Out of 85 symptoms for systemic yeast, I had 62. He sat down and told me that there was no such condition. He began to explain that there was yeast everywhere. I sighed. I knew better. Most doctors do not admit to there being such a condition as systemic yeast. It is few and far between when you can actually get an allopathic doctor to admit to such a condition.

Yes, I know there is yeast everywhere. Yeast is not always a bad thing. You need yeast in your body, but it is when it grows out of control that is the problem. It can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Fatigue, body aches, itchy ears, itchy eyes, joint pain, neck pain, back pain and more. For a complete list please click here.
Now, if you have any of the symptoms listed, and want to try a natural way of ridding the body of yeast there are ways you can do it.

To follow a Candida diet, you have to change what you eat. Yeast feeds on sugar. You have to eliminate sugar from your diet. To follow a Candida diet, you also need to avoid yeast containing food such as beer, wine, breads, vinegar or foods containing vinegar such as mayonnaise, peanuts and pickles. You will have to avoid mold containing food such as tempeh, soy sauce or mushroom.
For a complete list click here.
Secondly, would be to add beneficial supplements to your diet, such as probiotics. Probiotics boost the population of beneficial bacteria and friendly yeast in the digestive tract. Eating yogurt can help, or you can buy lactobacillus or acidophilus capsules. Vitamins and minerals can be important for essential healing. Vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients are often lacking in people with a systemic yeast condition.
Last, but not least, there are antifungal herbs to support your fight against systemic yeast. Natural antifungal and antimicrobial herbs include Oregon grape, Goldenseal, Calendula, Thyme, Oregano and others.
I knew I had t do something to feel better, so I formulated a tea that has worked really well for me. It has helped keep my yeast at bay. If you would like to order some of my special herbal blend of Antifungal Tea please visit cloverleafherbfarm.com. Click on the herbal tea link.

The Essential Herbal...Calendula

In all natural first aid kits, there are the essential herbal items. With just a few essential herbs you can heal naturally just about any illness. There are 16 in all. In this article we will discuss Calendula (Calendula offincalis).

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Calendula is a must have. I can't live without a good supply of organic calendula in my essential herbal supply.
Native to southern Europe, Calendula is now grown worldwide. Mostly as an annual. It's herbal healing actions are wonderful. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, astringent, antiseptic, detoxifier, and is also mildly estrogenic. It is also a great herbal wound healer.

Calendula can be used as an oil, ointment, liniment, or cream for use on the skin. It is taken internally as a infusion (tea) or tincture.
Use it on cuts, scrapes, minor burns, and even makes a great herbal sunburn ointment.
Taken internally, it helps the digestive system with inflammatory conditions. It cleanses the liver and gallbladder.

Calendula is a definite essential herbal healer for all parts of the body.

The Essential Herbal...Arnica

In all natural first aid kits, there are the essential herbal items. With just a few essential herbs you can heal naturally just about any illness. There are 12 in all. In this article we will discuss Arnica (Arnica montana)

Arnica(Arnica montana)

Arnica key constituents are sesquiterpene lactones, flavonoids and volatile oil. Sesquiterpene lactones are are a class of chemicals found in many plants. In 1981, they were studied in Germany, and they were found to act as counterirritants. This means that sesquiterpene lactones produce a stimulating sensation that boosts the circulation to the injured area where the Arnica is applied. Flavonoids give the plant their antioxidant activities. The volatile oil, or essential oil is the aroma of the plant.

Arnica has been extensively used in Europe since the 1700's in folk medicine.
Arnica is an effective herbal healing ointment for bruises, sprains, and muscle pain. It improves the local blood supply and speeds the healing process.

Arnica is used mainly as a ointment, cream, or gel. You can use a tincture as a liniment and rub onto affected area. Arnica should be applied 4-5 x a day for best results.

Arnica should not be taken internally except homeopathic dosages. It can be toxic. Arnica should not be applied to broken skin.
Arnica's key herbal healing actions work as an anti-inflammatory, an anti-swelling agent, and as a mild analgesic (pain reliever).

Healing Naturally...Natural Household Cleaners

Everyone wants a clean house ,but who wants to inhale all those fumes from chemical cleaners. They are toxic and can wreak havoc on your health.
You can use natural cleaners to be both safe and effective in cleaning all surfaces in your home. They are fun and easy to make, and won't cost you much. This is part one of the series of natural cleaners for the home.

All Purpose Cleaning Spray

Mix liquid castile soap, baking soda with a little water. Add more soap for heavy jobs. Add essential oils of lemon, lavender or pine for extra disinfecting properties.

Window Cleaner

Use undiluted vinegar in a spray bottle.

No Streak Glass Cleaner

Mix 1/4 cup white vinegar with 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Stir well. Add 1 quart warm water and stir again.

Scouring Powder

Use baking soda. Put on a sponge and scrub. Add essential oils of lemon for a clean fresh scent.

Non Abrasive Soft Scrub

In a bowl mix 1/4 cup of borax with 1/2 teaspoon lemon essential oil. Add enough castile soap to make a paste. Store in a squeeze bottle.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

1.Blend castile soap with baking soda or borax. Pour in toilet and scrub.
2.Sprinkle baking soda into the toilet bowl. Add vinegar and scrub. Clean and deodorizes the bowl.

There are several more, and I will continue them in part 2.

Leap Into Good Health

It's a New Year.
It's a Leap Year.
It's the year you are going to take control.
You resolutions might be to eat healthy, lose weight or maybe stop smoking or be less stressed.

Aromatherapy and herbs can help you achieve your goals.
There is no magic pill to help you stop smoking, but aromatherapy can help reduce the stress that comes along with quitting. Aromatherapy has been used successfully in reducing the anxiety and stress of nicotine cravings. Organic herbal teas will help to cleanse the body of the chemical toxins from the nicotine.

Losing weight will be a boost for your body. Extra weight literally weighs you down. It puts stress on you joints and is not good for the heart. The best way to lose weight is to adopt a healthy eating regimen. Dieting can work, but once you are off the diet, chances are you will regain the weight. Ditch the salt shaker. Instead use organic spices and organic herbal blends in your cooking instead of salt. This will give your food a delicious taste, and you won't even notice the missing salt.

To be less stressed, you have to take the stress out of your life. Too much on you plate? Then take some off and take some time for you. Visit with friends. Bake some low-fat cookies. Take a long hot bath, and relax for 10 minutes. It may sound funny, but a 10 minute bath can reduce a days worth of tension.

Be happy, be healthy in the new year.