Herbal Spring Detox Recipes For Cancer Prevention And Treatment

Herbal Spring Detox Recipes For Cancer Prevention And Treatment

By Patricia Kyritsi Howell, RH (AHG) & Author of Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians.

Spring detoxification herbs known as spring tonics are used now to cleanse the body during cancer.  Many of the best spring tonics just happen to also be the first wild greens, or weeds, that pop up everywhere. You may have already noticed violet, dandelion, chickweed, yellow dock, nettles and others that herald the arrival of spring.

What these plants have in common is that they gently simulate all of the organs of detoxification: the lymph glands; liver; kidneys; and skin. Think of spring tonics as seasonal house cleaners that scour away toxins and waste from every nook and cranny in the body, making everything fresh and new. 

HOW TO DETOXIFY FROM CHEMOTHERAPY AND REPAIR THE BODY

Some cancer patients embark on a juice fast in the spring as a way to eliminate toxins, but since fasting isn’t appropriate for everyone, tonic herbs are a good alternative. If you’ve been ill recently, have been or are taking medications, or are not able to devote the time needed each day to prepare special foods, you can still reap significant benefits this spring using herbal spring tonics.

Spring tonics should be made into a tea, or infusion daily. To prepare a therapeutic infusion, steep one ounce (by weight) of dried herb, or 2 ounces of fresh herb (gently crushed with a wooden spoon), in 32 ounces (by volume) of freshly boiled water for at least an hour, covered. Strain out the herb and discard. Try to drink 1 quart each day. A one-quart canning jar is perfect for preparing tonic infusions.

Detoxification is especially important for immunocompromised diseases such as cancer Here are a two common spring tonics for you to consider. If you can gather them from an unpolluted place, the wild herbs are the best, but both of the herbs described here are also readily available from herb shops and on-line herb suppliers

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioca) strengthens and supports the entire body. It gently detoxifies all tissues. Considered a blood-cooling herb, it is a specific for anyone with eczema, acne, boils or other hot, eruptive skin conditions. Stinging nettle is a delicious wild green (when cooked) that is rich in chlorophyll, vitamin C, and other vitamins. Use the leaves in place of spinach.

Dandelion Root (Taraxacum officinale) is a general tonic that relieves liver congestion. Symptoms associated with liver congestion include migraine headaches, pre-menstrual syndrome, breast tenderness, breast cysts, and chronic constipation. The leaves are also a wonderful spring tonic when eaten raw in salads.

Patricia Howell

Patricia Kyritsi Howell, RH (AHG) is a clinical herbalist with more than 20 years experience and the author of Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians. A member of the Governing Council of the American Herbalists Guild, she is founder and director of the BotanoLogos School of Herbal Studies, located in the mountains of northeast Georgia.

Learn more at www.wildhealingherbs.com.

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What Are Allergies: Why Are They Common!

By Ellen Kamhi, PhD, RN, HNC, AHG
The Natural Nurse®, http://www.naturalnurse.com

When a person with an allergy to foods or environmental factors encounters an offending substance, the immune system interprets it as the enemy. To help ward off the intruder, the human body activates antibodies, and releases a substance called ‘histamines’. Allergies are abnormal reactions to everyday substances such as pollen, dust, dander, house dust, mold or common foods. Allergy medications are referred to ‘anti-histamines’ because they attempt to turn off this natural, although over zealous, body reaction. The immune system readies for battle with a vengeance, and attacks the offending substance, along with other body tissues, imposing an uncomfortable variety of symptoms on the allergy sufferer. These can range from annoying but bearable conditions–such as rashes, scratchy throats and toothaches– to more frightening reactions like a closed throat and difficulty breathing. Frequent bouts of bronchitis, asthma and severe eczema, conditions that can be physically and emotionally painful—are all the more common in allergic individuals.

In rare cases, food allergies can even be deadly. For example, some people are so severely allergic to peanuts that even a teaspoon of peanut butter can cause them to go into anaphylactic shock, a severe allergic reaction that can be life threatening. They must constantly carry epinephrine to counter these ever-present dangerous effects- in this case herbs and natural remedies are not enough!

The most common food allergies include dairy products, nuts, wheat, yeast, eggs, soybeans, shellfish, and tomatoes. Some foods can cause an allergic reaction as soon as you take a bite, while others can take hours or even days to elicit an allergic response. Immediate food allergies are moderated by a group of immunoglobulins in the body, referred to as IGE, while the delayed allergies are related to a different immunoglobulin called IGG. Conventional allergy screening often looks for IGE mediated allergies, while ignoring IGG based allergies.

No one understands exactly why certain people are allergic. The propensity to develop allergies can run in families and may be inherited to some extent. Many people who suffer from food allergies, are also more prone to other types of allergies such as sensitivities to pollen and chemicals. Especially during spring and fall pollen seasons, allergens can be blown onto melons and other food crops. “Cross-reactivity” for pollen sensitive individuals is also common with avocados, bananas, kiwi, papaya and chestnuts.  Interestingly, babies who are breast-fed are less likely to develop allergies than their formula-fed peers.

If you have any type of allergy carefully scrutinize the labels of any substance you ingest.  Even supplements may contain allergens that you are unaware of. For example, if you are allergic to shellfish, then you should probably think twice before taking an oyster shell calcium supplement, or Glucosamine/Chondroitin , usually made from the exoskeletons of shellfish. If you are allergic to pollen avoid bee pollen supplements such as royal jelly and honey. On the other hand, honey made from the exact flower pollen that a person has a sensitivity to, can sometimes help the allergy by de-sensitizing the immune system.

Dyes, preservatives and other chemicals found in abundance in both the Standard American Diet, as well as the environment can increase allergy symptoms.  If you eat preserved or non-organic items and are experiencing an allergic reaction, consider switching to all natural, organic, preservative-free foods. People with environmental allergies may also have to remove sources of toxic chemicals and fumes from the home, including cleaners, carpeting and other sources of ‘out-gasing’.

In the 30+ years that I have been working with allergic patients, I have seen them make remarkable progress once they commit to tracking down the ‘triggering’ substances (including stress inducing thought patterns) that set off their symptoms. The use of nutritional supplements and herbs can be extremely helpful, non-toxic adjunctive therapy to dietary and life-style changes.

Anti-Allergy Cocktail:

2000mg powdered , buffered Vit C
100 mg Vitamin B-6
1000 mg Magnesium
1000 mg Calcium
250 mg Bioflavonoids

mix all into 1/2 glass water up to  2 times / day during an allergy attack

Bromelain( a digestive enzyme from Pineapple) and Quercitin( one of the bioflavonoids) work well together to offset an allergic reaction

Allergic reactions involve many different organ systems of the body, besides the area that manifests symptoms. These include the respiratory system, the liver and the adrenal glands. Using herbs to strengthen these systems will give your body a preventative edge over allergic reactions, and will further help decrease the severity of uncomfortable symptoms.

Herbs for Allergies:

Licorice – the most widely studied adrenal herb. Licorice has anti-inflammatory actions similar to the glucocorticoids (which are produced by healthy adrenals) and are involved with resolving allergic reactions. It also preserves the effects of cortisol, the adrenal hormone involved in clearing allergies.(avoid with high blood pressure)

Ginseng- the onset of allergies can be attributed to stress. The adaptogenic properties of Ginseng allow the adrenal glands to balance stress while creating an overall resistance to allergic reactions, colds, flu and infections.

Dandelion – nutritive and strengthening herb for the liver. It helps clear toxins and stimulates the liver to work towards the resolution of the allergic reaction.

Milk Thistle- acts as both a protector and regenerator of the liver. This herb helps repair damaged tissue and support the actions necessary for dealing with allergens and their accompanying symptoms.

Nettles and Eyebright- work well together to calm nasal congestion, watery eyes and stuffiness often experienced by allergy sufferers.  They are appropriate remedies for short-term relief, and may also be taken before the season begins as a means of prevention for pollen allergies.

Ma Huang- contains natural ephedrine. Psuedo-ephedrine is the active ingredient in prescription and over-the-counter allergy medications. Ma Huang acts to open the bronchial passageways.  Due to its stimulating nature, use Ma Huang with caution if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.

Elder Flower – acts to increase bronchial secretions and is a natural decongestant. Helps to soothe mucous membranes.

Mullein and Fenugreek- traditionally used for upper respiratory problems. Helps to clear mucous and support the lungs.

Echinacea and Goldenseal- combat both the discomfort of allergies as well as reduce excess mucous from the nasal and respiratory tract.

Ellen KamhiEllen Kamhi PhD RN , The Natural Nurse®  is the author of The Natural Medicine Chest, Arthritis, The Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide, Cycles of Life, Herbs and Energetics for Women, Weight Loss: The Alternative Medicine Guide, and other books. She is on radio/TV daily, and consults with individuals and the Nutraceutical Industry.  http://www.naturalnurse.com

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