The Healing Power of Clays

French Red Clay comes from hematite iron. The red color is the result of the copper oxides. It is rich in iron and other minerals. It is used as a strong drawing clay. This means it draws out toxins in the skin. It is used in medicinal preparations, soap making, and cosmetics as well as other preparations.

French Red Clay powder is recommended for combination, normal or oily skin. People with very oily skin or acne can benefit from French Red Clay. It is used to reduce dryness, reduce flakiness and improves skin’s clarity, texture and elasticity.

It’s drawing capabilities make it very effective in treating poison ivy, poison oak, and other rashes. For poison ivy, and rashes, apply carefully to the area. Allow to dry and carefully rinse off. We don’t want the poison ivy spreading. Pat dry with clean towel. Be sure to use fresh towel each time you apply, so you don’t spread the rash.

To use clay, mix it with warm water until it forms a paste. Be sure to clean your face before applying clay. An herbal facial steam is a great way to do this.
Apply the paste and gently massage for 1-2 minutes. Allow to dry. Rinse face with warm water and pat dry. Your skin will feel soft, smooth and refreshed.

Clay may be mixed with herbal infusions for more benefits to your skin.

French Green Clay is well known to be one of the finest clays for skin treatments and is by far one of the most superior, and most commonly used mineral skin clays used in spas and herbal clinics around the world.

French Green Clay contains numerous valuable elements, which include mineral oxides, magnesium, calcium, potassium, dolomite, silica, manganese, phosporous, silicon, copper, and selenium. It is very efficient at drawing oils and toxins from the skin. Use this clay for oily skin and hair types.

Green clay increases circulation and balances skin oils. It contains micro molecules which absorb well. Green clay is wonderful for facial masks and herbal body packs. Green clay absorbs dirt, oil, and bacteria from your skin, yet gently cleans the pores.

To make a facial mask for sensitive skin, add a few drops of aloe to the powdered clay instead of mixing it with water. For oily skin types, add jojoba oil. Mix into a paste, and apply to your face. Let dry, then gently rinse it off. Pat face dry. By doing a weekly facial, you can keep your skin clear of excess oils and toxins and make it silky soft. This will help to reduce fine lines. Be sure to limit it to once per week.

French Green clay can be used to soothe cuts, scrapes and small wounds. It can also be used on aching muscles. Apply the clay as a poultice, and apply it directly on the effected area. The clay works on the cuts but drawing out the infection. For aching muscles, combine it with a few drops of rosemary or lavender essential oil to draw out the pain in the muscles.

Apricot Kernel Oil

Everyone knows what an apricot is. Don’t they?

The apricot (Prunus armeniaca), is a small delicious soft fruit that is yellowish to orange. They contain a pit inside of them. At the core of this pit is the kernel. This kernel is what is pressed to produce apricot kernel oil.

Apricot Kernel Oil is used in many skincare products and is also used as a carrier oil. Carrier oils are used as a base for aromatherapy massage oils.

Apricot oil is easily absorbed into the skin and is a good choice for people with dry skin. It does not leave any oily residue on the skin. It is an excellent choice of oil for all skin types. Apricot oil is gentle, and is mild enough for babies and the elderly.

Apricot kernel oil contains oleic and linoleic acid which are essential fatty acids. These are important plant chemicals for good skin health. It is also high in vitamins A and E. All of these plant compounds help to sooth and moisturize irritated skin. With daily applications of a product containing apricot oil, it will keep skin smooth and flexible. Apricot kernel oil is also used in lotions, creams, and balms, as well as in soaps.

Apricot kernel oil is cold pressed, which retains all of the nutritional value of the oil. If it does not say cold pressed on the label, it is an inferior oil. Look for oil that is a rich yellowy color, that has a mild to strong scent for the best results.

Benefits of Sesame Oil For Skin Care

Sesame oil is obtained from the seeds of the sesamum indicum plant. It is one of the best natural oils that can be used for skin care. It nourishes the skin and has been in use for its various beneficial properties since ancient times. It is still one of the most important oils used in Ayurvedic medicine. The quantity of nutrients contained in sesame oil is what makes it so beneficial for the skin. It is also good for overall natural health.

The nutrient that is most important in sesame oil is vitamin E. Vitamin E is very beneficial to the skin. Sesame oil also contains vitamin B complex and vitamin A which is wonderful for nourishing and rejuvenating skin. Sesame oil include phosphorus, copper, calcium, zinc and magnesium all of which are very beneficial to healthy skin.

Sesame oil contains potent antioxidants that can be beneficial for reversing skin aging. If used regularly, the oil will help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and helps you maintain youthful skin for a longer time.

Reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
Repairs damaged skin cells.
Loaded with Antioxidants.
Natural sun block and sunscreen properties.
Easily absorbed by the skin.

Healing With Sage

Sage’s botanical name Salvia officinalis is a clue to its medicinal importance. Salvia comes from the Latin salvare meaning “to cure”. A medieval saying was “Why should a man die while sage grows in his garden?” Today, sage is used widely in herbal medicine for many things. It is used for sore throats, poor digestion, tranquilizing effects, and more. The essential oil contains up to 50% thujone, a substance that is partly responsible for its estrogenic. Clinical trials have shown it to help relieve menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and dizziness. It also helps to reduce milk production in lactating women. Some studies suggest it may be useful in preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s. Sage can be used as a gargle for sore throats due to colds or irritation up to three times a day. Make an infusion (strong tea) and gargle. Add vinegar and honey to strengthen its action. Make sure not to swallow if pregnant or nursing. The leaves can be used as a first aid remedy for insect bites and stings. Rub bruised leaves onto bites as needed to reduce pain and itch. Make an infusion of the leaves and used it as a mouth rinse for canker sores or to disinfect the mouth. Swish it around in your mouth a few times a day. Sage is fairly easy to grow from seed in the spring. It thrives in sunny conditions. The leaves are harvested in the summer. Be sure to dry properly to prevent mold from forming. Store in dark container away from heat and light. Sage should not be used by pregnant or by persons who are epileptic. The information provided is not meant for a substitute for medical care. It is meant for information purposes only.

Sweet Almond Oil

Sweet almond oil is one of the most popular vegetable carrier oils used in skin care, massage and aromatherapy. It has a very light, nutty scent. It’s color is a beautiful translucent yellow.

Almond oil is an fantastic natural emollient and moisturizer. As an emollient it nourishes and softens the skin helping to keep it smooth. Almond oil has a similar compound to the oil that babies release to keep their skin soft and their hair healthy. Sweet almond oil protects and conditions your skin. It helps your skin stay healthy and promotes a beautiful youthful complexion.

Sweet almond oil is suitable for all skin types. It is used because it improves the complexion and is a deep moisturizer. Almond oil aides the skin in keeping the proper balance of moisture in the skin which is critical when treating dry, itchy, or inflamed skin.

The oil is a rich source of Vitamin E and Vitamin D. Two vitamins that are key to good skin health. It is a wonderful antioxidant oil for all skin needs.

Sweet Almond oil application can provide instant relief for muscle pain. It is used in many massage therapy oils for this reason.

Cloverleaf Farm Goes Global

Cloverleaf Farm, a cottage industry natural body care company based in Effingham, NH, has taken their products to the world market. They are now shipping to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Canada and several other countries. Cloverleaf Farm has been in business for over 10 years. “The timing was right for us” said Kathy Lambert, Clinical Herbalist and Herbal Educator. Kathy has been a medical herbalist for 15 years, and has written several articles for newspapers, magazines and online health websites. She is now in the process of working on her first book on herbal medicine. She along with her husband Michael Davidson own Cloverleaf Farm. “Over the years, we have had several inquires about shipping to England, and Canada, but never really took advantage of it.” said Michael. It can be risky shipping overseas, but with our new credit card processing company, it made it easier to detect fraudulent orders. This gave us the gateway to expand our market. In just one month, it accounts for a quarter of our sales, and we anticipate it to grow steadily. Kathy is right, the timing was perfect.” Cloverleaf Farm specializes in medicinal herbal ointments and oils, but also carries aromatherapy merchandise as well as natural organic skin care beauty products. While Kathy formulates all the herbal blends for their products, Michael is in charge of marketing and shipping. Family and friends happily take the part of being product testers. Cloverleaf Farm, is located on Route 153 in Effingham, is open to the public mid April through December. Their products are made right on the farm, and you can stop by to watch the manufacturing process. You can contact Kathy Lambert or Michael Davidson of Cloverleaf Farm at info@cloverleaffarmnh.comor visit their website Cloverleaf Farm Herbs and Gifts.

Lemon Balm Oil vs Lemon Balm Tincture

After watching, and hearing from clients about the Dr. Oz segment on “Middle Age Cures”, I feel I have to write more on the subject. Dr. Oz is correct in only one way, lemon balm is used for anxiety or stress, it would be taken orally, but only as a tea or a tincture. A tincture is what they were actually giving the woman on the show. I know they showed the bottle marked “Lemon Balm Oil”, but this was totally, and irresponsibly wrong.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is used by herbalists as a herbal nervine. A nervine is an herb that works on helping the nervous system combat stress and nervous exhaustion. Lemon balm makes a wonderful nerve tonic. Lemon balm is calming, and soothes the nerves. It is considered a sedative herb. One, however, does not take it in oil form. There are many herbal nervines that can be used.

Lemon balm makes a slightly lemony tea flavor tea. You many drink 3-5 cups a day to combat anxiety. Any more than that would be overdoing it. More does not equal better or faster results.
As a tincture, lemon balm is concentrated into alcohol. The herb soaks in vodka, brandy, or grain alcohol for 4-6 weeks to absorb the medicinal value of the herb. It is then strained and bottled into a dark glass jar. A tincture has a shelf life of about 5 years.
On the Dr. Oz segment, he put too many droppers into her glass. The dosage for lemon balm tincture (and most other tinctures) would be 1-2 droppers 3-4 times a day. It is normally suggested by an herbalist to put into warm water, or a tea. This helps the alcohol to evaporate. Lemon balm, can also be taken as a glycerite, if you are sensitve to alcohol. A glycerite is made using vegetable glycerin, or sometimes honey. The dosage would be the same. While lemon balm can be mixed with other herbs, it should be used alone at first to see the results. If it is to be mixed, it should be mixed by someone with herbal knowledge. Mixing too many sedative herbs can harm you.

Lemon balm oil is meant to treat skin inflammations such as bites, scratches, and minor wounds. It is also widely used for herpes, herpes cold sores and shingles. Lemon balm oil contains eugenol, which kills bacteria and has been shown to calm muscles and numb tissues. It also contains tannins that contribute to its antiviral effects, as well as terpenes that add to its soothing effects on the skin. It is made using a carrier oil such as sweet almond or apricot. It steeps in the oil for 8 weeks. It is then strained. It is also made into a ointment and salve for use on the skin. It is never to be taken orally.

Please remember, herbs are potent medicine, and must be used with respect. More, does not equal better results. You can overdose on herbs the same way you can with prescription drugs. It is best to find a clinical herbalist, or other health care professional with extensive knowledge in herbs before taking any herbal regimen.
Lemon balm, and other sedative herbs should not be taken if you are taking prescription sedatives. The two combined will make you very ill.
People who have thyroid issues and are on medication, should not take lemon balm. It interacts with the absorbtion of the mediciation.

These are two very important factors that should have been mentioned on the show!

Is Dr. Oz from Oz?

Lemon Balm Oil orders have gone up this week. We sell quite a bit of lemon balm, but normally not this much in one week. I know why now. Dr. Oz had a segment on television called Dr Oz Middle Age Cures. During the segment, he mentions using lemon balm oil to reduce stress. What they were actually using on the show was lemon balm tincture, not lemon balm oil.
Lemon Balm Oil is used topically for skin conditions. Lemon balm tincture is used for stress, but you can’t start putting droppers full of it into your mouth willy nilly like they did on the show nor squirt dropper fulls into your glass of water. What are these people thinking?
Herbs are potent medicine not toys. Yes, lemon balm is used for stress and anxiety. Lemon balm is a sedative herb. All you need is lemon balm herb and a cup of hot water to drink it as a medicinal tea. You don't have to use it as a tincture.
You don’t want to mix it with other sedative herbs like valerian as Terri Trespico stated. Valerian is nature’s Valium. It isn’t necessary to mix Valerian with other sedative herbs. When you start mixing herbs, you have to know what you are doing. Too many sedative herbs can harm you. Not mentioned on the show are side effects nor interaction with other drugs. Remember that herbal medicine is medicine. Just like prescription drugs, you shouldn’t mix them without consulting someone who understands interactions.
For example, if you are taking medication for thyroid issues, you shouldn’t even touch lemon balm much less injest it. Know what you are doing before taking any medicine including herbs.
You can read more about lemon balm herb here: Lemon Balm Herbal Information.
Who is this Terri Trespicio, and why is she giving out that kind of advice? According to her bio, she does not have a background in herbal medicine. She has a degree in fine arts and creative writing and works for Martha Stewart. There is no mention of any training to discuss herbalism or treatments using herbs.
Our concern is that people set themselves up as experts, who don't have the proper training to do so. They throw out advice with no mention that individuals should do their homework before taking herbs as medicine. It is unprofessional to have such a light hearted approach to herbal medicine. It’s irresponsible to play around with herbs in the manner they did on this show.

Herbs For Natural Skin Care

Chamomile, Calendula, and Comfrey are wonderful herbs to help heal skin.

We have combined them in a wonderful herbal skin healing salve. This blend combines the best skin healing herbal properties to help heal minor burns, cuts, scrapes, bug bites, rashes, boils, and other most skin inflammations.

The blend of organic herbs are steeped in sesame and apricot oil for eight weeks to absorb the medicinal herbal healing properties. After the oil is strained, we add organic beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter, aloe, and Vitamin E.

3 C's Herbal Healing Salve is the perfect item to have in your natural first aid kit for the whole family.

Herbs and Why We Use Them:

Calendula- (Calendula officinalis) is a natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and protects skin cells from free radical damage.

Chamomile- (Chamaemelum nobile) is a natural healing treatment that helps rejuvenate the skin. Very gentle for all skin types. Reduces swelling in skin tissues.

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)-Comfrey contains allantoin. Allantoin promotes cell proliferation and is particularly valuable for quick wound healing.Echinacea, lavender and chickweed herbs are also used for their healing qualities.

Lavender and Tea Tree essential oil is added for their healing properties as well as a natural preservative.

Be sure to wash and clean wound thoroughly before apply 3 C's Herbal Healing Salve.

Chamomile is from the daisy family. Those who are allergic to daisies should not use this salve

Herbal Creams

Herbal creams are not all created equal. While surfing on the net, you will often come across sites that are selling herbal creams that frankly aren't herbal creams at all. They are just softened ointments. Just because an ointment or a salve is "creamy", does not make it a cream. Technically, these would just be creamy salves.

To be a true herbal cream, there has to be water adde in the mix. No water=no cream. Herbal creams are typically made using infused herbal oils. Beeswax, cocoa butter, and other emulsifying solids are added. Many times aloe is added for it's healing benefits.

Once they are melted as one mix, either water, herbal extracts, or herbal hydrosols or all three are added to the concoction. It is a tricky science to get the oils and water to mix into a cream. It takes time, and patience.

Other additives to a natural cream would be 100% pure essential oils. Essential oils are the life essence of the plant. It is was gives the plant it's scent. Most essential oils are steam distilled.

The difference between a cream and an ointment, is not only in how it is made, but how it will be used. What are you using this for?

A cream is allows your skin to heal while still "breathing. Herbal creams helps the skin retain it's own moisture. It also adds moisture and heals skin. One would use an herbal cream for minor burns, acne, blemishes, or rashes that need to heal, but also need some air.

An ointment or salve is made to act as a barrier to keep moisture in, and toxins out. As in diaper rash ointments. Herbal ointments are made specifically for outside moisture protection. Keeps the moisture out, while skin heals.

When shopping for herbal creams, make sure water, or herbal infusions are part of the ingredients. Otherwise, you are truly not getting an herbal cream.

Herbs to Lower Cholesterol

There are several different herbs and supplements you can add to your diet, and most are easy to incorporate into the diet each day.

Garlic. You either love it or hate it. Using garlic daily is great for your overall health. Garlic has been shown to lower LDL levels while helping to increase good HDL levels. In some cases studies done, garlic will reduce cholesterol and triglycerides by up to 15%. Garlic prevents oxidation of LDL and limits the build of arterial plaque. Garlic is known for lowering blood pressure and reducing cholesterol ( it also helps keep mosquitoes at bay).

Fenugreek inhibits cholesterol absorption and decreases its manufacture by the liver. Fenugreek also helps to lower elevated triglycerides and control blood sugar levels in pre-diabetes stage. It also may help reduce cholesterol. We’ve all heard about the benefits of green teas antioxidant power, but green tea is also known to reduce cholesterol and increase the excretion of lipids. Green tea also inhibits the enzyme that promotes blood vessel constriction. Its antioxidant effects help prevent aerial damage & regulate blood sugar levels.

One of my favorites is Rooibos Tea (Aspalathus linearis). It is a medicinal herb indigenous to South Africa and is widely used for its restorative and anti-oxidant properties. Rooibos can help to control blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and enhance immune functioning. It is an extremely nutritious herb, containing Vitamin C, Alphahydroxy Acid, potassium, copper, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, manganese and fluoride.

Another one of my favorite teas is olive leaf (Oleae europaea). Olive leaf was considered a panacea in ancient times, and is being rediscovered today for all its nourishing properties. In particular, olive leaf is showing itself to be very effective in supporting our body's natural defense systems (immune & circulatory) and promoting healthy cholesterol levels. Olive leaf lowers blood pressure in persons afflicted with hypertension (primarily due to its Oleoeuropein content). Oleoeuropein increases blood circulation to the heart. Olive Leaf inhibits the oxidation of LDL Cholesterol. Physicians have noted that olive leaf (extract) helps to suppress the replication of the HIV virus implicated in AIDS. Due to the oleoeuropein content olive leaf can actually help in alleviating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and sinusitis. Some physicians have reported total cure from sinusitis symptoms after olive leaf therapy. Adding olive oil to your diet can help as well. Olive oil is one of the mono-saturated fats and studies have shown that it lowers blood cholesterol. Extra virgin olive oil is suggested to be better than other varieties.

If you like spicy foods, adding turmeric or curcumin can be beneficial. Curcumin is an extract from the spice turmeric. Turmeric is a very strong antioxidant that provides antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and cholesterol-lowering effects. In addition, it was been widely used for patients suffering from Hepatitis C. Turmeric has been shown to have multiple health benefits. It works well on chicken, fish, and even sprinkled on salads. I must say it is an acquired taste.

Herbs For Health

Herbs have been used for thousands of years for many purposes. Medicinally, spiritually, aromatically (aromatherapy), beauty, herbs and plants have deep roots in history.
From the earliest time, medicinal plants have been crucial to sustaining the health and well being of mankind. Linseed (linum usitatissimum), a.k.a. Flaxseed, provided food, fuel, balm for the skin and fiber to make fabric. It was also used to treat bronchitis, congestion, boils, and a number of digestive problems.
It is generally known that our ancestors had a wide range of medicinal herbs at their disposal, and they likewise possessed a great understanding of the plants healing powers. Tried and true local plants were picked for a wide range of common health problems.
In Europe, a 1st century A.D. physician, Dioscorides, wrote the first European herbal, De Materia Medica. The text, listing about 600 herbs was to have an astonishing influence on Western medicine. It was the first to have included pictures of the herbs.
Today, 25% or more of all medicine comes from a plant, or herb that has been chemically adulterated. They rely on plants, rather than the laboratory.
Modern medicine, or biomedicine as it is sometimes called, does sustain life where other types of treatment have little to offer. Plastic or laser surgery, or life support machinery would be an example.
Yet, despite the dramatic advances of conventional medicine, herbal medicine has much to offer. We tend to forget that herbs have been healing and relied upon for years to treat a wide range of illnesses. From minor cuts, scrapes, colds, flu, to life threatening diseases such as tuberculosis, herbs have had a place in treating successfully.
Herbal remedies are once again coming into prominence. Concern over side effects is a common reason for people shifting away from conventional to herbal medicine. They are looking for a natural, gentle form of treatment

Herbal Medicine

Alternative healing is becoming more popular every year as people look towards more natural approaches to health and living.

However, herbs were used many thousands of years before medicine, as we know it today came into existence. The properties they were used for 5000 years ago are as valid today as they were then.

Herbal medicine is of course natural to your body, and has far fewer side effects. They also have far fewer interactions with other herbs, medications and supplements then most doctors and others would have you believe.
When used properly, herbal medicine can cure and treat everything from anxiety to whooping cough.

It was once said that God gives us in nature exactly what we need to heal ourselves. It is up to us to use this knowledge wisely.

Herbs may be natural, but that does not mean they are not powerful medicine. They should be treated with care and respect the way you would any drug. Furthermore with herbs, more does not necessarily mean better. Herbs can take longer to act on an illness, but that does not mean they are not working. By taking more, it can endanger your health instead of repairing it.


I was doing research the other day for a new product that is in developement, and came across Boswellia. I had read about it in school while studying herbs, but never really paid much attention to it. I wish I had. I thought I would share what I have found.
Boswellia (Boswellia serrata) is an ancient herb and has been used for thousands of years to treat inflammation. It is also known as Indian Frankincense.
Boswellia is native to Africa, China, and the Middle East.
The herbal healing extract is derived from the sappy resin of the Boswellia tree.
During the 1970’s, scientists in discovered that Boswellia produces similar therapeutic effects to those of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) family. NSAID’s are ibuprofen (Advil) and aspirin.
NSAIDs work by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzymes. Unfortunately, medications that inhibit COX-2 often inhibit COX-1, which is needed to maintain a healthy stomach lining and common side effects include gastrointestinal bleeding.
Boswellia totally differs from the NSAIDs in the way it works. Boswellia works by blocking the pro-inflammatory enzyme 5-lipoxygenase other wise known as 5-LOX. 5-LOX, is the first enzyme released in the biological process leading to the chemical action of the immune system cytokines known as leukotrienes. Leukotrienes are harmful inflammatory substances thought to directly influence the disease process in a number of different disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and asthma. By blocking these pro-inflammatory chemicals Boswellia reduces symptoms of inflammation and helps taper the autoimmune mechanism. Boswellia has been shown to reduce inflammation in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and cancer.
The active ingredients of boswellia is the boswellic acids. They decrease the activity of another pro-inflammatory enzyme known as human leukocyte elastase (HLE). HLE and leukotriene levels are increased in many inflammatory diseases and allergic reactions.
Researchers have found that boswellia helps prevent the deterioration of cartilage and joint tissue. Studies in both humans and dogs show after as little as two weeks of boswellia therapy include reduced pain, stiffness, and lameness.
In patients with rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease, boswellia can help reduce the immune cells that promote inflammation while increasing the number of immune cells that inhibit inflammation (anti-inflammatory cells). In studies of patients with inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease boswellia reduced gastrointestinal inflammation and tissue damage.

Essential Oil Safety...Chapter Six

The following is a list of Essential Oils that Cloverleaf Farm does not use.

Oil and Reason:
Rue -Risk of toxicity
Tansy -Risk of Toxicity
Pennyroyal -Toxicity Risk
Sassafras -Toxicity Risk
Clove (other than Bud) -Toxicity Risk
Sweet Birch -Toxicity Risk/Extreme Environmental Hazard

Some of the above oils are very toxic. If applied to the skin, they can be absorbed into the human system to levels sufficient for poisoning or death depending on how much is used.
Cloverleaf Farm wishes to bring your attention to this information so you may carefully consider your product choices.

Please understand that the warnings in this article are not complete. These warnings are provided for general information only. We write this so you can expand your own personal knowledge of the products you are currently using, or are considering for personal use. Please choose your all natural products carefully, as they are not all created equal. Not all natural products are properly researched.

Essential Oil Safety...Chapter Five

When it comes to animals, special care must be taken when using essential oils. Their ol’ factory system is so much more established than ours, you need not use as much as you would with humans. Of special note, there are some essential oils that should never, ever be used on dogs or cats. Pennyroyal, Tansy, and Rue are extremely toxic to dogs. One drop can kill you dog!

Essential Oil Safety...Chapter Four

There are a number of oils that should not be used, or used very carefully in applications.
Phototoxic essential oils accelerate sun-damage on exposed skin. Care should be taken to use them carefully. A few that are phototoxic include Bergamot (except for Bergapten-Free types), Cumin, Ginger, Lemon, Lime, Lovage, Mandarine, Orange and Verbena.

Many essential oils can cause dermatitis or other skin irritations on some individuals. These include Allspice, Aniseed, Basil, Black Pepper, Cajeput, Caraway, Cedarwood (ALL types), Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Garlic, Ginger, Lemon, Parsley, Peppermint, Pine Needle, Thyme, and Turmeric. These oils should be diluted to three times the normal dilution. If you are sensitive to these, you should not use products that contain them. Again, always do a patch test.

Certain essential oils can cause sensitization. Sensitization is when the skin becomes easily irritated. If your skin has a tendency to become irritated easily, you should avoid such as basil, bay laurel, benzion, cedarwood, chamomile (both kinds), or citronella. Garlic, geranium, ginger, jasmine, lemon, lemongrass, peppermint, orange, tea tree, thyme, vanilla, and Ylang-Ylang are among others that can sensitize skin.

Essential Oil Safety...Chapter Three

Essential oils are a natural substance taken from plants. An essential oil is the concentrated liquid containing the volatile aroma compounds of the plant. Most oils are steam distilled from the flower or leaf. Essential oils are used in aromatherapy and natural skin care products.

Before using any essential oils, or a product that contains them make sure to do a patch test on a small area of skin before you use the product extensively. No matter what you read, NEVER ingest and essential oils. Be sure to never apply to eyes or other sensitive areas.

Neat Application of an essential oils means to use it undiluted on the skin. There are just a couple of oils in which this is safe to do. Lavender, is the one most commonly used neat. Under certain conditions, you can use Tea Tree, Sandalwood, and Ylang Ylang.

As with any natural substance, just because it is natural does not mean it is always safe to use. There are safety precautions when using essential oils. There are medical conditions, and health related instances where essential oils should not be used.

Those who have epilepsy should not use Camphor, Fennel (Sweet), Hyssop, Sage or Rosemary for any reason. Be sure to check any products you may be using for these ingredients.

Pregnant women should avoid most oils, but they especially should avoid using the following essential oils:: Ajowan, Angelica, Anise (Star), Aniseed, Basil, Bay Laurel, Calamintha (Catmint), Cedarwood (ALL types), Celery Seed, Cinnamon, Citronella, Clary Sage, Clove, Cumin, Cypress, Fennel (Sweet), Hyssop, Jasmine, Juniper, Labdanum, Lovage, Marjoram, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Origanum, Parsley, Peppermint, Rose, Rosemary, Sage, Snakeroot, Spanish Sage, Tarragon and Thyme. Many of them are considered emmenagogues. Emmenagogues are uterine stimulants and can cause a miscarriage.

Those who have high blood pressure, or have a tendency towards high blood pressure should avoid essential oils of rosemary, sage, thyme and hyssop. People who are diabeteic should stay clear of angelica.

Essential Oil Safety...Chapter Two

When using essential oils on babies, or young children, special care must be taken.
Essential oils are natural, but not all are meant for use on children.
A general rule for using essential oils with babies, toddlers and children are to avoid all Potentially Toxic and Irritant Oils completely. This will ensure your childs safety.

The following is a general guideline for essential oil use for children's ages.
Age birth to 6 months- Use NO essential oils on babies skin.
Age 6 months to 1 year: Use only Lavender. Use at three times the normal dilution rate as for an adult.
Age 1 to 6 years: Using twice the normal dilution rate, use only non-toxic, non-irritant oils.
Age 6 to 12 years: Use as for adults, in twice the normal dilution rate.
Age 12 years and over: Use as for adults.

The following essential oils are considered Toxic or Hazardous and should not be used by children:
Ajowan, Anise (Star), Aniseed, Arnica, Basil, Bay Laurel, Bay (West Indian), Bitter Almond, Boldo, Broom, Bucho, Calamintha (Cat Mint), Calamus, Camphor (ALL types), Cascarrilla Bark, Cassia, Cedarwood (ALL types), Chervil, Cinnamon (ALL parts), Clove (ALL parts), Costus, Coriander, Deertongue, Elecampane, Eucalyptus, Fennel (Bitter and Sweet), Hops, Horseradish, Hyssop, Jaborandi, Juniper, Melilotus, Mugwort, Mustard, Nutmeg, Parsley, Pennyroyal, Pepper (Black), Pine (Dwarf), Rue, Sage (Common and Spanish), Santolina, Sassafras, Savine, Savory, Tagetes, Tansy, Tarragon, Thuja, Thyme, Tonka, Tuberose, Tumeric, Turpentine, Valerian, Wintergreen, Wormseed and Wormwood.

Essential Oil Safety...Chapter One

We have been researching natural bug repellents. We want to formulate a natural bug repellent that is truly safe for all ages...including babies. We had a recipe from our old Bugs B Gone Cream, but it got lost. This is what happens when you move.

Many companies out there are using a combination of herbs and essential oils. While herbs and essential oils can be used for natural bug repellent, some should not be used. Many are unsafe for use by children and babies. Some they are using should not be used at all.

As a clinical herbalist and aromatherapist, it is frustrating when we find a site with a product that is "safe for kids", when it is using a toxic essential oil, or essential oils that should not be used on children. Some essential oils should never be used on kids or adults. These companies should know this. Obviously, they don't.

Here is one company's claim:

"It is GREAT for your skin!! Our formula uses essential oils of lavender, catnip, pennyroyal, eucalyptus, lemongrass, cedar wood, and a little patchouli.

Keeps the biting bugs at bay!!


Mind you, this is not the only company out there doing this. It looks like they are just copying the recipes and not doing the research on the essential ois going into it.

Here is what you should know:

■Pennyroyal oil should not be used in aromatherapy and even in small doses produces acute liver and lung damage. If you are smathering it on to keep the bugs away, you are applying it to your bodies largest organ, your skin.
■Citronella is another essential oil that is most likely to be found in natural bug repellents. This does work well, but is not intended for children under 3.
■Peppermint is another ingredient found in natural bug dope. Peppermint should not be used, (or ingested) by children under 5.
■It is advised that Eucalyptus esssential oil not be used by young children, so why would it be included in an all natural bug repellent that is "safe for kids".

Back Yard Herbs...Part One

Spring is just around the corner, and before you know it, the grass will be green, and the weeds will be upon us. I thought I would take this time to write a series of articles on the "weeds" that are actually beneficial in herbal medicine.
Pineapple Weed (Matricaria discoidea) is a wild relative of Chamomile (Matricaria recutita). It grows in compacted, dry, dusty soil, such as gravel parking-lots, sidewalk cracks, footpaths, trampled sandy beaches and other wastelands. It is also called Disc Mayweed. The weed is an annual herb, mostly found from June into November depending on where you live. It reaches up to about 3-5 inches, but in the right conditions, can reach 10-12 inches in height. The foliage is rather ferny looking.

Pineapple weed has the same herbal medicinal value as it’s herbal cousin. A tea made with the leaves, flowers, and stems, is relaxing for tension and stress. It is also useful for stomach upset.

Just like Chamomile, Pineapple weed can be drank for insomnia. and enjoy as a beverage, or to relieve nervous tension, stomach upset, and insomnia caused by stress.

When crushed,pineapple weed gives off the fresh scent of pineapple. You will notice that, unlike it’s cousin, it does not have white flower petals. The flower is simply the small green nodule at the end of the stem.

You may use pineapple weed fresh, or dry it for later use. All aerial parts are used to make the tea. Be sure to clean and dry thoroughly. To make a tea from the herb, take a large handful of pineapple weed, and put it into a pan. Cover it with about 1 cup water. Cover pot. Simmer, for 20 minutes on very low heat. Strain, and drink hot or chill and have as an ice tea. Add just a pinch of spearmint, for a minty, pineapple flavor.

Luckily, we have it growing here in our walkways, and use it all summer as a wonderfully tasty cold ice tea. We also dry some for year round use.

Cosmetically, pineapple weed can be used in treating skin sores. Make an infusion and gently apply with cotton ball. Pineapple weed can also makes a very effective bug repellent. Crush the entire plant, and rub onto you skin.

So, the next time you are out walking in your yard, look down and see if you can find Chamomile’s wild cousin, and take some inside and have a wonderful tasting tea.

Be sure to pick in an area that is not sprayed with toxic chemicals or pesticides.

Bilberry for Diabetes

Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is a member of the blueberry family of herbs. Bilberry, Blueberry and huckleberry are a member of 100 species of the Vaccinium genus of plants. They are found throughout United States in woodlands, and forests.

Bilberries and blueberries are popular food in the summer months. They are a great source for Vitamin C, anti-oxidants, and they taste wonderful. Bilberries make very tasty jellies. Bilberry is used in herbal remedies as a tea, tincture, or syrup. You may also make it as a tea. Pick the berries in summer and freeze them for year round enjoyment.

Uses of Bilberry for Diabetes
The leaves and the ripe fruit of the bilberry species has long been used a folk remedy for treating diabetes. Traditionally, people used the leaves to control blood sugar. The leaves do lower blood sugar, but they do so by impairing the normal process of the liver. For this reason, use of the leaves is not recommended.

The berry is wonderful for people with diabetes. The berries herbal components may help improve the strength and integrity of blood vessels. Bilberry may help to reduce damage to these vessels associated with diabetes and other diseases, such as atherosclerosis.
Bilberries contain potent antioxidant activity. The antioxidants protect body tissues, particularly blood vessels, from oxidizing agents circulating in the blood. Bilberries actually contain the highest antioxidant level of any berry. Antioxidants allow these harmful oxidizing agents to bind to them instead of to body cells, preventing the agents from causing permanent damage to the lining of blood vessels.

Several studies have shown that bilberry extracts stimulate blood vessels to release a substance that helps dilate arteries and veins. This action will help with tingling sensations in the hands and feet. Bilberries help keep platelets from clumping together, which, in turn, thins the blood, prevents clotting, and improves circulation.

Bilberry preparations seem particularly useful in treating eye conditions. They also are used to treat cataracts, night blindness, and macular degeneration.

Bilberry Preparations and Dosage
By adding bilberries, blueberries, and huckleberries to your diet, you have done a great thing for your body. Bilberry is taken as raw fruit, teas, tinctures, syrups and extracts. Follow package directions.

Bilberry Precautions and Warnings
Bilberry leaves should not be taken internally.
Use of the berries is appropriate because they do not interfere with diabetes medications, and they can help prevent some complications of diabetes.
Check with your doctor before taking Bilberry if you are taking blood thinning medications.

Possible Side Effects of Bilberry
There are no side effects to the fruit of Bilberry.
The leaves contain chemicals that irritate the liver and should not be taken.

All Natural Baby Products

In celebration of our first granddaughter Autumn's First Birthday, we have developed a line of pure, natural and organic products for baby.

We wanted to provide a line of safe natural products that were free from chemicals. No worry about toxins here.

Autumn's Baby and Children Product line was specifically formulated for the little ones in your life. The products have no chemicals added, and we use only organic herbs,organic oils, organic butters and pure 100% organic essential oils.

You know your baby or grand baby deserves the best all natural ingredients available, and we know it too.

With our products, you don't have to worry if your baby will be allergic to the fragrance or perfumes in them. We don't use them. We use only 100 % pure organic essential oils to add fragrance. We use no fillers either.

Raising kids is hard enough. Now you have one less thing to worry about.

Thinking of Spring...Red Clover

While writing an article on back yard herbs, my mind turned to spring. Green grass between my toes, and the warmth of the earth traveling up through my body. Ahh, it is a nice feeling.
It is summer in mind, yet in truth it is still winter. We will have winter until at least April.
That does not deter me from thinking about all the herbs in the back yard, that I will be picking again this year.
Red Clover is a wonderful herb. We allow patches to grow all over our yard. When we mow, it is like mowing around a obstacle course. I am sure our neighbors think we are crazy, but we don't mind.

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
Some common Names: Red Clover, Purple Clover, Trefoil, Wild Clover, Trébol Morado (Spanish)

A a member of the bean family, red clover has a long history of being a nutritious cattle fodder, as well as a medicine.
Gerard knew it as meadow trefoil or “three-leaved grasse”. Its familiar three-lobed leaves were associated by medieval Christians with the trinity.
During the 1930s, it was a popular anticancer remedy. Red Clover contains phytoestrogens, and it should not be used on any estrogenic cancers.
The crescent markings across the clover leaflets were once viewed as a sign that the plant would help cataracts since, in accordance with the Doctrine of Signatures, a plant’s appearance indicates the ailments it treats.
From the hills of Tennessee, a cancer cure: "Place two or three teaspoons of red clover blossoms in a cup of boiling water, steep mixture until a tea is formed. Drink one cup a day". In the 1917 herb book, Health From Field and Forest, it listed red clover as one of the best blood purifiers, especially in the case of cancer.
The Chinese revere red clover (Hsun Tsao) as a tonic, using the sap to treat colds and influenza. At one time in Chinese history, the dried plant was burned at altars as an incense.

Medicinal Parts
Flower heads of Red Clover contain volatile oils that are thought to have mild anti-inflammatory properties useful in treating eczema and other skin inflammations.
It also contains compounds that help calm coughs and reduce airway congestion.
Some contend that red clover is more effective than soy because it contains two extra isoflavones that soy does not have.
Chinese researchers have proven that the herb kills certain viral and fungal infections, has an estrogenlike function, and is an antispasmodic and expectorant.

Apply freshly crushed red clover flowers are applied to insect bites and stings. A tincture can be used internally for eczema and psoriasis. Use a poultice or compress for arthritic pains. Oils, or Ointments are used on lymphatic swellings. An eyewash from diluted and well strained infusion can be used to treat conjunctivitis. Use Red Clover syrup for stubborn, dry coughs.
Its estrogenic effects may be of value in treating menopausal complaints. You can use Red Clover Oil, or drink as a tea.

Red Clover should not be taken with Coumadin or other blood-thinning medication. Red clover contains coumarins, substances that reduce blood clotting.

When gathering the herb in the wild, it is advisable to check the blossoms carefully to make sure they are not moldy, or diseased. Be sure to pick where no pesticides have been used.


Most people think of a dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and all they see is a weed that they can’t get rid of.

Herbalists think much differently. They consider it a valuable herb with both culinary and medicinal uses. Dandelion is a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. The young leaves can be added to salads or a sandwich, much like lettuce. It can also be used as a tea. The roots make a wonderful “earthy” coffee substitute. You can drink it alone, or add it to your favorite coffee. The flower heads can be eaten or made into dandelion wine.

We make fried dandelion flowers that you would swear were fried mushrooms. Yummy!

Dandelion flowers are sensitive to light, so they open with the sun in the morning and close in the evening. The best time to pick them is after the morning dew has passed. Be sure to wash in cool water. Pick the leaves while they are young. Older, they get a bit tough. The roots are picked and dried after the 2nd year of growth. You can dry them in a low oven, or in a dehydrator. Make sure to pick where you know that insecticide sprays have not been used!

Traditional herbal medicine uses dandelion roots and leaves to treat liver problems. It is mainly used for an appetite stimulant, digestive aid, and for liver and gallbladder function. Dandelion leaves are used as a diuretic to stimulate the excretion of urine.

Dandelion roots act as an antiviral agent, appetite stimulant, digestive aid, and may help promote gastrointestinal health. Dandelion flower has antioxidant properties. Herbalists and other alternative health care providers clinically use dandelion root to promote liver detoxification.

Dandelion leaf is a natural diuretic that increases urine production by promoting the excretion of salts and water from the kidney. Dandelion may be used for a wide range of conditions requiring mild diuretic treatment, such as poor digestion, liver disorders, and high blood pressure. Dandelion contains potassium, am important nutrient for our bodies, that is often lost when taking chemical diuretics.

Fresh or dried dandelion herb is also used as a mild appetite stimulant and to improve upset stomach. The root of the dandelion plant is believed to have mild laxative effects and is often used to improve digestion. Studies show that dandelion root may improve the health and function of natural bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract may help improve liver and gallbladder function.

So, when spring comes, and you see those dandelions in your yard, go pick them and eat them. You’ll be doing your liver a favor.

You can also buy the dried herb, but that isn't as much fun as being outside in a beautiful field of dandelions.

The Evolution of Herbs

2000 BC Here, eat this root

1000 AD That root is heathen. Here say this prayer.

1850 AD That prayer is superstition. Here drink this potion.

1940 AD That potion is snake oil. Here swallow this pill.

1985 AD That pill is ineffective. Here take this antibiotic.

2010 AD That antibiotic doesn’t work. Here eat this root.

Author Unknown

Healing Anxiety Naturally

YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Each year 65 millions of Americans suffer from symptoms of anxiety. 35 million have mild to moderate anxiety. Three out of four people with anxiety disorders are not correctly diagnosed. Less than 25% receive adequate help. That means 8 million people suffer unnecessarily from a treatable condition.

Make sure your health care provider has ruled out any other possibility for your anxiety. Countless people get treatment for anxiety, but it actually can be an underlying medical condition. Such conditions would include endocrine disorders-thyroid (hyper and hypo thyroidism), adrenal dysfunction, Cushing’s disease, and depression/ bipolar. A number of people seek treatment only in their ‘down time’, and several people who have depression have anxiety as well. Medicines that you presently are taking can cause symptoms of anxiety. People with heart troubles have been misdiagnosed with anxiety disorders. A big one for women is menopause. Many women who are actually starting to go through menopause (perimenopause) are actually misdiagnosed as having anxiety.

Those who suffer from anxiety turn to prescription medications to alleviate their condition. The problem is that no little pill will make your anxiety disappear. It will only cover up the symptoms, and the true problem will not go away.

There are several different types of anxiety. If you are just anxious about a test, or an argument with your spouse, it will pass and medication is not needed. General Anxiety Disorder or GAD is characterized by chronic worry. You worry all the time, even if the situation does not warrant it. It could be a learned behavior or it could also be a deep-rooted problem that you aren’t even aware exists. Medication alone will not help. You must learn to change the way you think, and should seek out a counselor or qualified professional to help you.
No matter what type of anxiety you have prescription medication is not the only route you have to take.
There are herbs you can take if you would rather not take a prescription medication. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is used due to its restorative properties. It encourages rest and relaxation. It is good for the debility that accompanies long-term stress on the body. It would most likely be used in combination with other herbs.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is a relaxing tonic for anxiety. It quiets a racing heart and reduces feelings of panic and nervousness. It is used as a relaxant. It can also be used for digestive disorders due to anxiety.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is a good remedy for anxiety, irritability and tension. It has a gentle sedative action producing a relaxing effect and reducing nervous activity and panic. Passionflower is used as a tranquilizer and is not addictive. It calms an overactive mind and is good for insomnia and disturbed sleep.
Damiana (Turnera diffusa) is used as a tonic and restorative for the nervous system. It has a “life enhancing and stimulating effect on body and the mind. It is usually used when anxiety and depression are present together.
Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) is often used as a nerve tonic because it supports and nourishes the nervous system. It calms and relieves anxiety and is used for when stress and anxiety cause muscular tension. It is often used for people who suffer from panic attacks. Skullcap is most often combined with other herbs. Last but not least is
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis). Valerian is natures Valium, but does not have the sedative effect on the mind that often occurs with Valium. It has a calming rather than sedative effect. It reduces mental over activity and is a good choice for people who find it hard to “turn off the mind switch”. It can relieve symptoms of anxiety including tremors, panic, palpitations, and sweating. It is also good for over contracted muscles that are caused by stress like in the shoulder and neck area.
Other natural ways to combat anxiety would be to use Bach Flower Remedies. Bach Flower Remedies adjusts personal characteristic traits that are causing emotional states, blockages, pain etc. Each of the 38 remedies discovered by Dr. Bach is directed at a particular characteristic or emotional state. To select the remedies you need, think about the sort of person you are and the way you are feeling right now. Then take the remedies you need. You may take up to 7 at a time. Less is better.
Aromatherapy can help alleviate anxiety and stress using scents from plants and herbs. Aromatherapy can alter moods and feelings within minutes of smelling a certain scent. Rose and lavender are the ones most used for anxiety, but others could include ylang ylang, sandalwood, citrus, peppermint.

This article is not meant to diagnose or treat any ailment. The information provided is not meant for a substitute for medical care. It is meant for information purposes only.

How Does My Garden Grow

Being that we are getting close to spring, and it will be time for planting, we have decided to start a series called "How Does My Garden Grow". It will give just little snippets of a few herbs to help get you started on your herbal garden.
The first is Chamomile. Chamomile is widely know throughout the world, and is highly recognizable. It has been used for centuries for healing many symptoms herbally. It smells wonderful, and is fairly easy to grow.

Chamomile (Matricaria Recutita)

Family: Compositae.
History: This Chamomile has been used for healing and cosmetic purposes for many years.
Growing pattern: Perennial.
How to grow: Sow the seeds or increase by root division in the spring. Keep the seeds well watered until the seedlings develop and when large enough thin them to 15cm apart.
Soil condition/position: The flowers are ready for picking eight weeks after sowing. Pick and dry them quickly when the petals begin to turn back. Chamomile likes a sunny position and can be grown in a container. If the flowers are left it will re-seed itself year after year.
Appearance: Chamomile grows to 60cm and has small daisy-like flowers and a lovely scent.
Uses: Chamomile tea, always been regarded as a restorative. A healing substance called Azulen is extracted from the fresh flowers. An infusion made from the flowers has long been used a rinse to enhance fair hair and can also be used as a mouthwash, eyebath and face-wash. Chamomile has also been used as an inhalant for colds. The dried flowers can also be used in potpourri.

Natural Products Are NOT Created Equal

We here at Cloverleaf Farm are proud to formulate genuinely pure, 100 % all natural and organic products.

There are however, other companies out there that are claiming to be all natural, and aren't.
I have bumped into many sites that use fragrance oils, which always get's my goat. Fragrance oils are not natural. They are chemically produced in a lab. There is no such thing as strawberry or lilac essential oil. If you find those in a natural product, then the product isn't truly natural.

I happen to come across a site today, that was suppose to be selling a 100 % all natural acne cream. I was reading down through the list of ingredients, and at the bottom they had Vaseline. I was horrified! They actually use Vaseline as the base for their acne cream. Does this company actually believe that because crude oil comes from the Earth, that Vaseline is all natural? Vaseline is petroleum. Petroleum does not occur in nature! It is manufactured from crude oil! Do you really want to put that on your skin? Petroleum is not healthy for your skin.

It also erks me when people put the ingredients in their botanical, Latin name. I happen to know them, but the average Joe does not. To me, why make it look like the ingredients are something more mysterious than they really are. Example; the herbs apis cera, calendula officinalis, passiflora incarnarta, rosa damascena. Those are the Latin names for beeswax, calendula, passion flower, and rose. Why not just use the common names along with the Latin names, so people understand what they are putting on their skin.

When you buy from Cloverleaf Farm, you can be assured that all our products are 100% natural and organic.

We don't hide behind Latin,botanical names; we publish all ingredients in English.

We use only 100% pure organic essential oils to scent our fragrance oils ever.

We are proud to be pure.

The Essential Herbal...Chamomile

There are the essential herbal items that should be in every natural first aid kid. With just a few of these essential herbs you can hea just about any illness naturally. In this article we will discuss Chamomile.

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 to 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.

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

The Essential Herbal...Chamomile

The essential herbal are ingredients that should be in all natural herbal healing first aid kits. With just a few essential herbs you can help 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)
Most people think of Chamomile as a relaxing tea.Yet,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 or nervine. Nervines are herbal tonics that work on the nervous system. 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 skin of our bodies. An oil infusion of chamomile can be applied to the skin to help heal dry itchy skin. You can also add an infusion to your bath. Chamomile is used to make a herbal skin cream, and is a great benefit to your skin.
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.

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. In this article we will discuss Arnica.

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).

The Essential Herbal-Calendula

In all natural first aid kits, there are the essential herbal items to have. 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. Here on the farm, I can't live without a good supply of organic calendula in my 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-Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) has become one of our favorite herbs. It is such a versitile herb.
Lemon balm is also very commonly known as Melissa or Sweet Melissa. Melissa is the Greek word for bee.

Lemon Balm has been used for thousands of years in many forms of herbal preparations. Dioscorides used it to treat snake bites, and today’s herbalists use it for a variety of ailments.
Lemon balm herb and it’s natural herbal preparations are some of the best healing remedies to have on hand in your natural first aid kit.
For Herpes and Cold Sores
Lemon Balm is one of the best known natural herbal remedies for herpes, and herpes cold sores.
Lemon Balm contains eugenol, which kills bacteria and contributes to its antiviral effects, as well as terpenes that add to its soothing effects.

Lemon balm’s herbal properties has been shown in scientific studies to combat and heal cold sores due to the herpes virus in just 2-4 days. Applied to the affected it helps double the time between outbreaks.
For Anxiety
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is an herbal nervine. A nervine is an herb that works on helping the nervous system combat stress and nervous exhaustion. Lemon balm makes a wonderful nerve tonic.

Lemon balm is calming, and soothes the nerves. It is good as a single herb for anxiety and stress, but can also be used in combination with other calming herbs such as Valerian, Catnip, Lavender, or Passionflower. If mixed with Valerian or Passionflower, you should not use any other sleep inducing medication such as Valium.

Best Way to Make A Tea
Heat enough water to make one cup (coffee cup size).
Place lemon balm herb into tea strainer.
Pour hot water over herb.
Place small saucer plate over cup to retain essential oils of the herb in the cup.
Let steep 10-15 minutes.
Add honey and stir.
Sit back, relax and enjoy your delicious lemon balm tea.
It is best to take 3-4 cups per day for 2 weeks to allow the lemon balm to take effect.

Lemon Balm should not be used by people who have hypothyroid conditions.