Notes from the Naturopath
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Sunday, 31 July 2005
It Was 20 Years Ago Today!
Mood:  lucky
Now Playing: "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," by the Beatles
Topic: Addiction
Today is a reeeeeeeeeal special day in my life! Today makes 7300 days in a row that my alcoholism has been in a state of arrest! (In other words, it's been 20 years since I drank! That's when the band learned to play!)

20 years without drink? What's up with that? I'll bet you're wondering why that's such a good thing??? Well, trust me...For me it's a VERY good thing! It has been 7300 days since I've had a blackout and not remembered what I said or did, or what happened to me the night before. It's been 7300 days since I've thrown up at a party. It's been 7300 days since I've been the victim of a violent crime due to the fact that I was incoherent. It's been 7300 days since I have believed myself hopeless. It's been 7300 days since I've had a hangover. It's been 7300 days since a whole lot of things I am happy to just leave behind!

I never thought I would have a problem with alcohol. I was a really good kid! But I had an extremely bad trauma happen to me when I was just turning 17, and I turned to the wrong things for relief.

The thing about alcoholism is that it has physical characterics. I don't just mean from the after effects of over-drinking...I mean the whole entire make-up of our chemistry. There are factors involved which predispose about 10% of the population to problems in the way that their (our) bodies process the substance of alcohol. It isn't just a matter of will's a matter of a physical need. In any randomly selected group of Americans, 10 to 15 of every 100 people either are alcoholics or will become alcoholics. Ten million Americans are alcoholics, and another 10 million are problem drinkers who may be on their way to becoming alcoholics.

We will talk more in the future about specific ways to help deal with cravings naturally. There are many things that can help, such as changes in diet, supplying needed nutrients, making sure the body is in balance and not over abundant in yeast...there are many natural approaches which can be used to help reduce alchol cravings. Exercise is also beneficial, in many ways. Even brain exercises are good! We'll talk more in depth about all of this. Today I want to celebrate, and I could spend hours writing on a topic as complex and important as this!

Let me just say that recovery is a process. It's not an event...It's something that occurs every day. Recovering from alcoholism, or any addiction, is like walking up a down escalator...You have to keep walking or you'll end up at the bottom again. It's a lot of hard work, but it's worth it, for sure! It's a lot easier than living a life of alcohol induced lunacy!

Alcoholism is a perfect example of a disease or condition which responds best to a holistic approach. Physical needs must be met...deficiencies corrected, the body balanced. Emotional needs must be met, as well. Emotional growth is arrested when alcoholism takes over. Emotions become distorted, plus the alcoholic lifestyle sets us up for emotional hurt. Mentally, it's a lot of hard work to recover! Old ideas and thought patterns must be completely revised, and new ways of thinking developed. Behaviorally, habits have to be changed...who we hang out with, what we do for fun, how we cope with problems we have. It can have financial, sexual, and occupational ramifications. It can affects family relations, marital relations, how a person relates with friends and everyone else in the world. There are oftentimes legal consequences which must be faced. And spiritually...Every alcoholic needs spiritual healing, because most alcoholics are bankrupt in this regard, and don't even believe there is hope. Forgiveness, gratitude and humility are needed for recovery to occur at deep enough levels to bring true relief. Serenity is a spiritual thing.

How have I stayed sober for 7300 days? By applying the principles of Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness to the best of my ability one day at a time, for 7300 days in a row, just like anyone can!

We'll talk a lot more about this. As for now, have a great day, and if you drink, please drink responsibly. (And that means if you're alcoholic or have a high risk for developing alcoholism, the safest thing to do is not drink at all. If you do decide to experiment, please proceed with caution and be as honest as you can with yourself, and if you can't control your drinking, get help!) There is no shame in needing help. Alcoholism is a disease.

Alcoholics Anonymous is an excellent program to help recovery in the social, behavioral, and spiritual realms. AA is a fellowship of men and women with a desire to stop drinking who offer each other support. They endeavor to follow a program of recovery as set down in their basic text.

The founders of AA also realized the benefit of nutrition to recovery efforts, although this is not set down as a part of the program. I think it should be, and so did Bill Wilson. There is no doubt as to the relevance of nutrition to recovery from alcoholism, or any other addiction. I highly suggest adding a nuttional component to any program of abstinence to increase the chance of success.

Some people are resistant to the spiritual focus of the AA program, or the particular flavor it takes. That's okay...There are other programs out there to try. AA is good, but it's not the only program there is! The important thing is to begin recovery of some sort, before you become the next statistic and end up in jail, a psychiatric institution, or dead.

I thank God I am alive and I can look at the world today through clear eyes! I'm grateful to just be able to show up for life! But for the Grace of God...that drunk on the corner that makes us all cringe could be me. I could be homeless, without any loved ones, with nothing but misery and pain. Or I could be the woman sitting alone at the end of the bar, with too much make-up on over too many wrinkles, in a black dress at 8:30 a.m. Or that could be me in jail, or locked up as insane...Or like so many people I've met, and loved, that could be me lying dead. But for the Grace of God, it could be any of us.

We'll talk more about this sometime soon. Have a really good day today!

Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.

It was 20 years ago today,
Sergeant Pepper taught a band to play!

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 11:51 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 3 August 2005 6:26 AM EDT
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Saturday, 30 July 2005
Of Life and of Love, and of Letting Go...On to Life's Next Beautiful Song
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: "Free as a Bird," by the Beatles
Topic: Reflective

I hope this morning finds everyone happy and well.

My morning didn't start out very well. There was a death in the household. My lovebird, named Jo. She was murdered by an innocent dog.

I'm going to miss her. Jo used to sit here by my desk while I typed and she kept me lots of good company.

It's hard when death comes around. Letting go is not easy sometimes. That seems to be a theme in my life right now. I'm working through a few things.

You know, everyone has issues and problems. When we are the ones facing them, they seem like the biggest things in the world, but they're not. Everything is so relative to our perspective in that moment in time. I'm sure, in fact, Jo is happy somewhere right now flying high in another dimension with Bruce...the other half of the pair, who left her too lonely too long when he died last year around this same time.

LIfe's full of hardships, losses, and disappointments. It's also full of so much love and wonderful, wonderful things. Challenges can't be avoided. I try to just enjoy working through whatever life brings along. It means I'm still alive.

Sometimes it can be tiring, though, when we think we're all out of strength. That's when I turn to my inner resources...that presence inside I call God. Not just in me, but in all of life...That Power that makes everything work out just right in a much bigger plan than I know.

Anyways, enough reflection for right now. I have a lot of work to get done! I'll cry again later, when I tell my daughter, and then later again at the funeral, which the dogs will attend.

They're starting to understand...Toto chased a rabbit out into the road awhile back and saw it get hit by a car. Then we had a funeral for it, and Toto was really upset for awhile. I've noticed a difference in his attitude towards life since that time. I think he understands why we always tell him not to go in the road. I think he understands danger and death a bit more.

Unfortunately this time it was the other dog. Dorothy. She is still learning. She's very gentle with cats, but evidently not so much with birds. God forgives Dorothy, though, because she is covered in grace and didn't know any better than that. (I guess I will forgive her, too.)

So...Ritorno a vita! Return to life. The website isn't near finished, and I want to get the word of healing to you!

Exciting things are in the works with All Natural HealthWorks! There will be LOTS of good things coming up!

For one thing, we have lots of good people who are available for a variety of services! These sections aren't done yet...It takes time to get all of this posted, and I want to do it right now! (That's one of my frustrations in life...I want what I want right NOW! Hahaha!)

But if anything we have to offer catches your eye and you would like to know more, please feel free to write us an e-mail and ask! We're ready to serve you, we just don't have the info out yet.

There will be MORE good things coming up soon! Look for news of our Grand Opening celebration to be held this fall! It will be lots of fun packed with good eats, and great learning, and wonderful old and new friends!

Here's some really good news Ihave to share!...(Ta-Da!!!) It's called Dancer's Delight! :-D

One of the things that I have been so busy with which has kept me from writing to you is that I've been working on putting a website up for my daughter, to help her raise money for dance!

The part which might interest you...(not that ALL of it isn't fun!) the section on . (And remember...we are ALL dancers at heart!)

Actually, YES!...The whole website might interest you! In fact, if you ever shop at Toys 'R Us, Amazon, E-bay, Muscian's Friend...if you ever wear Hanes or use make-up or want a hairpiece...if you want to send a Vermont Teddy Bear to a friend, or a PajamaGram, or balloons...if you like to take pictures and need a camera or need them developed, or if you want to put photos on T-shirts or coffee cups or mousepads...if you like to sew and need fabric or anything else from JoAnn's...if you need airline tickets, hotel, car rental services...if you need luggage or tickets to a concert, football game or Broadway show...PLEASE visit my daughter's site!!! It will help keep her in dancing shoes! We've got lots of cool products, so please be sure to visit us there! :-D

Show you care, send a Bear!(Yes...I just did an ad, but come on! It's a good cause for a very, very good kid!!!)

You will also find on her website easy ways to earn money, if that's something of interest to you!

Family is so important. Children, of course, but yes...animals, too. That's the way we see it, at least.

Having a pet is a great responsibility. It is a true lesson in love. I've had pets all my life, so I know. Having pets has has helped me to see the oneness in has helped me to be less selfish, and to understand the meaning of life comes from giving love.

Animals are truly amazing. Even the tiniest ones are able to give love in return. I've had pets all the way down to the tiniest, too, so I know. I'm going to miss my bird, Jo.

You know what, though? I've made a decision. I'm not going to put anymore birds inside cages again. I have Henry, my canary, upstairs in my room in a very big cage, but from now on if I want a bird, I'm going to put a bird feeder by my window right here by my desk instead. I think it's only fair to the bird. I dedicate that decision to Jo and to Henry and Bruce, and all the other birds I have loved!

My mom, who just turned 90, has a cockatiel named Snookie she loves. Snookie loves Granny, too! He keeps my mom from being lonely. She lets him out of his cage (no dogs or cats) and he follows her around everywhere, and takes a nap right next to her every day! I really think, more than anything else, that bird is what keeps her alive. There's an incredible healing power to pets. It is the healing power of LOVE.

So, I will bless Jo on her journey, and thank her for spending this time with my children and I. She has brought beauty and joy to our home, and we will remember her always with smiles!

Thank God for the beautiful gifts of color and song that birds bring, and also their sweet gift of love.

And so life goes on and on. There's a bird now chirping in the tree outside my window right now, as if to say, "I am here!"

Thank you for being a part of my life! Have a beautiful day!
Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 1:46 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 31 July 2005 9:19 AM EDT
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Sunday, 24 July 2005
What is a Naturopath?
Mood:  quizzical
Now Playing: "Doctor, Doctor!" by Robert Palmer
Topic: Naturopathy


Naturopathic doctors are trained specialists in a separate and distinct healing art which uses non-invasive natural medicine. They are not orthodox medical doctors (M.D.s). Naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) are conventionally trained in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, counseling, dietary evaluations, nutrition, herbology, acupressure, muscle relaxation and structural normalization, homeopathy, iridology, exercise therapy, hydrotherapy, oxygen therapy and thermal therapy. Some practitioners are also trained in additional specialties such as acupuncture or natural childbirth.

Naturopathic doctors tailor the healing modality to the needs of the individual with methods which are effective for both chronic and acute problems. Naturopathic doctors cooperate with all branches of medical science, referring individuals to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.

In practice, naturopathic doctors perform lifestyle analysis, laboratory testing, nutritional and dietary assessments, metabolic analysis and other evaluative procedures. They are trained to use a wide variety of natural methods which involve the individual in the healing process. Naturopathy is based upon a belief in the body's innate God-given natural ability to heal itself when given an appropriate internal and external healing environment.

Naturopaths are not involved in the practice of medicine and do not use drugs or pharmaceuticals, nor do they perform abortions or surgery (other than minor first aid). They have traditionally been referred to as "drugless doctors." In reality, naturopathy deals with wellness and relief from conditions which are the result of stress whether from mental, nutritional, environmental or physical factors.

Naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) have participated in a specialized course of study and received degrees in naturopathy. Some states license naturopaths and regulate the profession. In those states, the naturopaths must also have passed a national or state board examination and their practice is subject to review by a State Board of Examiners. Several naturopathic, professional organizations also require the candidate to pass a proficiency test in naturopathy in order to join their organization or to become certified.

NATUROPATHY: A Brief History

Dr. Benedict Lust founded the American School of Naturopathy in New York City and graduated its first class in 1902. A number of other schools were organized and by the 1930's there were more than twenty naturopathic colleges and over 10,000 practitioners.

The allopathic medical schools, which had the backing of the pharmaceutical industry, flourished with large endowments and the political clout which comes with wealth. Due to lack of funding, naturopathic education began to decline and only recently has the disenchantment with pharmaceutically trained doctors led people to once again begin exploring and embracing natural, God-given, simple, effective remedies found in naturopathy.

Naturopathy promotes health through education and non-invasive natural agents. The Naturopathic Philosophy advocates a number of principles:

1. Do no harm
Primum non nocere is taken from the Hippocratic Oath. Certainly anybody who is sick does not need any therapy or treatment which can harm him/her. Since prescription medication has such a potential to make a well man sick, many wonder how it can be expected to make a sick man well. Traditional naturopathy embraces only therapies or procedures which are designed to enhance healing and produce wellness.

2. Recognize the healing power of nature
Vis medicatrix naturae. The human body is created with the capacity to heal itself and to maintain homeostasis. There is a healing power in nature and this principal is the basis for all of naturopathy. Naturopathy is a system designed to work in harmony with nature in the restoration and support for the inherent natural healing systems of the body.

3. Identify the cause
Tolle causam. In allopathic medicine the name of the disease is actually the name of the symptom in Greek. For example, the term "arthritis" is made up of two Greek roots "arthro" which means having to do with the joint and "itis" meaning pain or inflammation. Allopathic doctors seek to treat the joint pain by reducing the joint pain. This can be done with the use of pain killers, nerve blockers or any number of procedures. Naturopaths are committed to removing the joint pain by finding and removing the cause. Perhaps this may prove to be a calcium and/or mineral deficiency caused by either a primary or secondary nutritional deficiency. Or perhaps the cause could be from an injury, or possibly from an over acid condition in the body. For naturopaths, the correction of the cause is the most plausible way of eliminating the symptoms and restoring health to the person.

4. Involve the total person
Naturopathic doctors are aware that a person can have a physical, spiritual or emotional illness. The chosen therapy is determined by what kind of problem the person is experiencing. You can not be well or healthy if you have a spiritual or mental problem even if you appear perfectly fit. Naturopaths use various counseling, stress management and bio-feedback techniques for those experiencing emotional or spiritual problems. Most naturopathic practitioners are capable of also using Biblical counseling as restorative therapy. Reading the writings of the fathers of naturopathy, you will find they were Godly people who recognized the Creator and gave Him the honor for all healing.

5. Teach rather than treat
Naturopathic philosophy places the responsibility for wellness with the individual. Man is the steward of his body and the doctor is the teacher or advisor to the individual on how to maintain health. One recognizes that a headache is not an aspirin deficiency but rather the result of some imbalance within the body. Some principle of health has been violated and the body is responding with pain. Naturopaths should evaluate the connotation and advise or teach their clients what lifestyle, nutritional, emotional or dietary changes should be made to alleviate the condition. The condition is alleviated by the clients making those changes and not by some outside agency.

6. Identify the source
Man is fearfully and wonderfully made. Other than in trauma-type injuries, seldom does the body have isolated mono-factoral conditions, but rather experiences "dis-ease" as a consequence of a number of health debilitating events. Germs are considered the culprit for many conditions found by allopathic physicians. Naturopaths understand germs are a normal part of the economy of the earth and that they are put here by the Creator to destroy sick, weakened and devitilized tissues. Thus, germs are attracted to the depleted tissues in the body. In order to reverse the disease process, the body needs to have its tissues revitalized. This explains why when two people are exposed to the same germs only one person gets sick (the person with the devitalized tissues.

7. Prevent disease
It is admirable that there is an effective system based on natural restorative methods. However, it is preferable for the body not to experience imbalances and their resulting consequences. Naturopaths are prepared to advise clients on simple disease prevention principles which are designed to produce health and avoid the destructive consequences which occur as the result of violating those principles.

What to Expect

When you consult a naturopathic doctor for counsel, you will find a person committed to the holistic approach to health. The doctor will gather a medical history, inquire about your diet, discuss any stress you are experiencing, give various non-invasive tests designed to evaluate body conditions and advise you concerning your condition. What you will NOT get is a diagnosis! Naturopathic doctors deal in health, not disease, and they do not diagnose disease. They simply look to signs as to how the body is functioning in its normal day to day functions, and offer advice as to how this may be improved through natural means.

A naturopathic doctor never interferes with the advice of a medical doctor. The two can work side by side. They are not the same thing.

With a naturopathic doctor, you will experience techniques which are consistent with traditional naturopathy and its philosophy. These will enable your body to correct problems now and prevent them from occurring in the future.

In a society focused on an allopathic mindset, naturopaths can provide people with more options in the treatment of disease and pain. These options, along with being non-invasive, are all natural and, in actuality, are more historical methods in the pursuit of good health.

There are always choices in nature...Things that can make any situation better than it already is. People say naturopathy doesn't work because it's not always a perfect solution, but sometimes nothing will work. Naturopathy is as simple as breathing in a more efficient manner, eating nourishing foods, hydrating the body with pure clean water, using herbs, flowers and plants to our good, and getting the right exercise...Along with a wee bit of prayer, about the size of a mustard seed.

Have a naturally healthy good day!
Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 10:29 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 24 July 2005 11:09 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 6 July 2005
Essentials of Aromatherapy
Mood:  smelly
Topic: Aromatherapy

The last time we discussed aromatherapy...(see entry for 6/29/05)...I left off by explaining that Aromatherapy is the term we use for affecting our health in a positive way, by bringing balance to the system through scent, and that essential oils are the tools that we use in administering this therapy in a clinical way.

In other words, there are many, many, MANY health benefits to walking in nature and enjoy the scents. There are likewise many benefits to cooking with natural spices and foods and filling the house with good smells! BUT...It's hard to administer something like that in targeted doses to bring about specific results--that's why we use essential oils.

Concentrated, pure essential oils are very powerful and effective healing agents, when administered consistently in specific ways. They are not to be used indescriminately, because they do have very potent effects, but used with respect, they can be extremely powerful tools. They work to support the body in its own restoration by supporting, strengthening, relaxing, stimulating, tonifying or invigorating the systems, organs, cells, and/or the skin during the healing process.

Essential oils may be used in a number of ways, inhalation being just one.  When applied topically, plant constituents enter the bloodstream directly, taking it a step further than simple "aroma"-therapy.  This is the same technology which allows nicotine or morphine patches to work. Medicine often uses this way of administering a substance into our bloodstream.

While essential oils should be used with respect and with care, they still remain a very safe treatment and preventative aid. Fragrant oils have been in use for thousands and thousands of years In ancient scripture you'll read about people being annointed and healed with oils. They were even presented to Jesus upon his birth. There is evidence of the use of fragrant oils as far back as 7,000 B.C. The fragrance of perfumes (the early form of essential oils) could still be smelled when they opened up King Tut's tomb 3,000 years after his death!

Essential oils are produced through a process of distillation. This is the same process as used for many perfumes fragrant oils used for other purposes besides medicinal, but the medicinal oils are from the first distillation. (Plants are distilled a number of times, with each distillation a little bit weaker...sort of along the same lines as using one tea bag for more than one cup of tea.)

Essential Oils are to be taken externally, except under the supervision of somebody trained in the art. In France and other European countries where doctors practice medical aromotherapy, they often administer essential oils in pill form, in addition to through diffusion, or via the skin or by suppository. This is not, however, advisable in common practice. It is better for those not thouroughly trained to be very cautious.  It is much better to err on the side of caution and use them externally only.

It is important to note that although essential oils often have similar characteristics to the herbs from which they come, they do not act in the body the same way as herbs, because they do not contain proteins, carbohydrates or lipids, although they do have phytonutrient content.  Essential oils are highly concentrated substances containining volatile organic components. Each oil has its own unique, complex composition as is made up of approximately 250-300 different chemical consitituents of active molecules, and may be toxic if taken internally except as directed by a qualified professional.  They are not in the form of a whole plant anymore, and so in a sense, they are more of a natural "drug," whereas herbs are actually food. 

Also due to their strength, essential oils, when applied to the skin, should be diluted in a carrier base. NEAT is the term used for applying the oils full-strength, and the only two oils that are advisable to apply neat are lavender and tea tree oils. If you skin becomes irritated when applying any of these oils, you may relieve this with a good quality vegetable oil.

What is a good quality vegetable oil? You should only use cold pressed oils for any of your kitchen needs! Oils are meant to be nutritional food sources, not something to clog up our system. We need to be using oils that are in their natural form. Most oils on the grocery store shelf, unfortunately, are unfit for use, as they no longer are of nutritional benefit. These oils are processed with heat and chemicals (such as gasoline) which kill the nutritients and chemically alter the oil. We'll talk more in depth at a future time regarding the various benefits and dangers of using the right or wrong oil.

In regard to the topic at hand, it is likewise important to only use the best, most nourishing oils on our skin. Cold pressed virgin olive oil is my favorite oil for cooking, as it stands up to oxidation when heated the best, however, for purposes of Armotherapy, this is not the best oil to choose, although it is extremely good for the skin. The scent of olive oil, unfortunately, is considered too strong by many, as it may interfere with the scent of the essential oil. I do use it, however, in many of the blends that I make.  Make sure whatever carrier oils that you use are:

*Cold pressed - ensure that the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and other nutrients are left intact, making it a therapeutic oil in itself.

*Free of sythetic ingredients.

*Light and non-greasy.


Some very nice oils include:

*Sweet Almond - Shelf life of 6-8 months. Contains glucosides,minerals, vitamins, and is very rich in protein. Good for all skin types. Helps relieve itching, soreness, dryness and inflammation.

*Grapeseed - Shelf life 3 months. Stands up the best to light of all the oils. Contains vitamins, minerals and proteins, and is good for all skin types.

*Hazelnut - Shelp life 6 months. Contains vitamins, minerals and protein. Good for all skin types. Has a slight astringent action.

*Macadamia - Very, very nice oil! My favorite choice for use in creams. Shelf life 1 year.

*Apricot Kernel - Shelf life 6-8 months. Contains vitamins and minerals, and is particularly good for aged, sensitive, inflamed and dry skin.

*Jojoba - Doesn't get rancid! Should get solid in fridge if pure. Jojoba is not actually an oil, but a wax extracted from the bean of the jojoba plant. Contains protein and minerals. Mimics collagen. Good for inflamed skin, psoriasis, eczema, acne, hair care. Highly penetrative. Use in a 10% dilution. (There are more!)

Essential oils, then, may be mixed with these carrier oils and applied to the skin. Use about 15-18 drops of essential oils in 1 ounce of carrier oil. Close the container tightly, and tap gently on the heel of the hand 100 times to thoroughly mix. This process is called "succussion." Apply this oil liberally, but not so liberally that it does not soak into the skin.

Oil is not the only carrier which is suitable for aromatherapy use. Don't forget about breathing them in! Air is a good carrier, too! You may breath them in direct from the bottle, or put them in a diffuser which will carry the scent through the room. Mmmmm...What a wonderful way to feel good! :-D

For a very nice steam inhalation for general use, try this: 4C boiling water in bowl 2-4 drops of essential or citrus oil (eucalyptus smithii is a very nice oil for general use in this way) Cover head with towel and inhale, resting every few moments and then returning to inhale some more.

Water is also a carrier, and essential oils may certainly be added to bathwater. I do this every day! You may add them direct, or mix them in with whatever else you put in the tub, such as mineral salts, baking soda, botanical oils, or whatever else you may use.

Essential oils inthe bath are very nice for aches, pains, tension, stress....ahhhhh! Take me away!!! Fill the tub with water of a comfortable temperature. Use 7-10 drops of essential oil (5-7 drops for citrus oils) Sit in the tub for 10-20 minutes and just relax! Please don't use any synthetic soaps, gels, shampoos, etc., during this 10-20 minutes, as this is a therapeutic bath, and synthetic ingredients will greatly reduce the effects. (Although hopefully you are not using synthetic ingredients in your soaps, gels and shampoos anyway, as these are toxic to you!)

Compresses, poultices, baths, inhalations, massage oils...there are many ways essential oils can be used! I would recommend that you get a good basic book on aromatherapy and the use of essential oils.

There are many essential oils from which you can choose. I would recommend starting with a good basic set of oils, which might include the following:

*Lavender - This, in my opinion, would have to get the #1 Usefulness Award! Lavender oil can be used NEAT, making it top in convenience, and it has sooooo many practical uses. It can be used to relieve headaches, pain, tension, depression, insomnia, burns, scalds, cuts, wounds, naseau, acne, eczema, blisters, fevers, heart many things! It has a very nice fragrance, that almost everyone likes, and it is very safe for children and for the elderly. Psychologically, lavender imparts a sense of well-being.  PLUS...bugs don't like it so much!

*Peppermint - Peppermint oil has a real yummy smell, and it is very useful in so many ways! It mixes well with lavender, too. Peppermint aids digestion and helps to relieve nausea, flatulence, and indigestion. Being a hepatic, it is also very tonifying to the liver. Another characteristic of peppermint is that it will cool you down when you're too hot, and warm you up when you're too cold. It is cooling to emotions, making it useful to help relieve anger; and it is stimulating to concentration and thereby helpful in relieving mental fatigue. I like to carry it when traveling, as it provides good relief from air, car, or sea sickness, none of which make very fun traveling mates! Peppermint should be well diluted, especially when using with infants and children. It should not be used by nursing mothers, as it may inhibit milk flow. Peppermint oil is especially nice to use with inhalations, as it is a good decongestion, and helps to relieve dry cough and cold symptoms. It is not as good in the bath, because it tends to make one feel cold.

*Tea Tree Oil - There are hundreds of practical uses for tea tree oil! It's not necessarily one of the best smelling essential oils, but it is a very effective antiseptic, bactericidal, fungicidal, and anti-viral agent. It is appropriate for a myriad of uses, including cystitis, vaginitis, yeast infection, clods, flu, bronchitits, sore throat, skin absesses, gum problems, fungal infections, viral and bacterial infections, warts, acne...the list goes on and on!  Niaouli is an oil that is very similar to tea tree oil...even better, actually, just not quite as well known.

There are so many more very good oils you could choose!

Citrus oils are similar to essential oils, except that they are not obtained through steam distillation, but rather by being expressed. These are extremely nice oils to use, as they are very pleasant to smell, and they all have the quality of being anti-depressant aromas. They're known as the Happy Family of Oils!

Citrus oils should not, however, be taken lightly, as they are very powerful powerful and aggressive oils. It is also good to keep in mind not to apply them to skin that will be exposed to the sun, as the presence of citrus oil may cause brown spots on the skin, due to their photsensitivity to ultra violet rays.

The citrus oils are very detoxifying oils, and are very good for use in cleaning everything from livers to floors! Citrus oils and essential oils can be used in combination with themselves and each other, and in fact, the benefit of each oil is improved by their combined action. You should, however, limit it to only about two or three oils at a time.

Bergamot is a citrus oil, and is among my favorites for lifting my spirits! I like it in combination with ylang ylang and geranium, which are both essential oil which are very uplifting and balancing to the emotions as well. I just LOVE using these oils!

We'll talk about more ways to make good use of aromatherapy and essential oils. They have so many good uses, not only with people, but with animals, too. They can be used in so many products, like cleaning solutions, beauty applications, fat patches, pesticides, air fresheners, sore muscle rubs, love potions (it's true!), toothpaste, healing salves, and all sorts of really neat things!

In the beginning, it's good to just start with one oil, and become thoroughly acquainted with it. Close your eyes and breathe it in deep to begin, and then write down in descriptive words how it smells and any thoughts that it brings to you. This will help to imprint the memory of it on your mind! Then start using it in a number of ways, and take note of any results that you get. Then add another oil!

In thinking about how to advise someone who asks the best course of action to take when working with improving their state of well-being, my inclination is to begin by working with aromatherapy first for two weeks, before adding other components into the regime, unless more aggressive action is called for. Aromatherapy prepares the mind and the body for other modalities, if others indeed do need to be used. (Essential oils combine well with herbs and with flower essences, but they are not to be used with homeopathics, as they cancel each other out. As a matter of fact, essential oils should not even be kept in the same cupboard with homeopathy products! This is as I was taught.)

Aromatherapy is a very gentle, effective way of working with all aspects of being...physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits are all to be enjoyed. We'll talk more about the many uses of essential oils many, many more times! There are so many wonderful ways they are used! Have a very good time smelling and feeling real great!

Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008 7:33 AM EST
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Wednesday, 29 June 2005
Wake Up and Smell the Roses!
Mood:  smelly
Now Playing: "I Love the Flower Girl," by the Cowsills
Topic: Aromatherapy
The sense of smell is our most powerful sense—about 10,000 times more powerful than the other senses, according to some estimates--and is developed in us even before we are born.

Aromatherapy is NOT the same as a synthetically fragranced air freshener designed to cover up smells! True aromatherapy is based on the theory that odorific, volatile constituents of plant substances are carried to various centers of the brain through scent, where they work to encourage various responses by direct stimulation, thereby influencing our physical and emotional health.

There is a close association between the olfactory system and the limbic system. The limbic system is the more primitive part of the brain. It is linked to emotion, memory, sex drive and intuition. The limbic system also controls heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure and stress levels. The hypothalmus is a part of the limbic system.

The hypothalmus controls the pituitary gland, which is the master gland of the entire endocrine system. Metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproductive processes and moods are all regulated by the hormones produced by the endocrine system.

Suffice it to say that there are many affects that these substances can have on the mind and the body, and it is for reasons such as these that aromatherapy makes such good scents! (Sorry! I couldn't resist! Hahaha!)

Aromatherapy has a very long history of medicinal use scanning thousands of years, and they are Aromatherapy has been going on for as long as there have been smells in the world. Take a walk out in nature and see how many fragrances you can detect in the air. Flowers, herbs, fruits, saps and needles--so many fabulous smells!

Imagine how nice it would be if all the aromas were natural scents. That's how it used to be, and there's a reason for each and every one of the smells, or else they wouldn't be there.

Frankly, I find synthetic fragrances to be quite assaultive. I don't like them at all. I don't wear synthetic perfumes, and I don't walk down the chemical isle in the grocery store. In fact, they can be quite harmful to us.

Chemicals used in perfumes, cosmetics, and so many things with artificial fragrances, have been shown to cause a myriad of symptoms and damage, including respiratory problems and hormonal disruptions. Interesting…some of the very things that aromatherapy has shown to be good for. Hmmmm...I think I prefer the real thing! When you tamper with nature, side effects are what you get.

You will find, when you study nature, that things are always the way they are for a reason. A plant’s aroma, for instance, is very important (essential) to the plant itself. Thus the name “essential” oils. A plant's aroma sends signals to the plant for it’s own healing, reproduction, to repel insects, etc. It has many purposes, especially for aromatic plants.

Aromatherapy happens every time we are exposed to natural smells. You know that good feeling you get when something smells reeeeeeeeeal good in the kitchen? Well, that's aromatherapy, too! Citrus fruits, cinnamon, cloves, peppermint, vanilla...They all have the effect of acting upon our brain when the aroma's inhaled, just like flowers and pine trees can do.

Kitchen smells can affect how we feel through memory and emotion, and they also affect how our bodies actually function. Interestingly enough, many of the scents that arise from the kitchen act as digestive aids.

Unfortunately, we can't always take a walk in the woods or bake cinnamon bread, although it would be nice if we could! Essential oils are what we use in aromatherapy practice to make it more simple to be able to use fragrances in a clinical way. Essential oils extracted from plants through a process of distillation.

We'll discuss essential oils in more depth in the near future. Today I just wanted to introduce you to the concept of aromatherapy, and have you start thinking of ways it occurs naturally!

Have a really fabulous day, and don't forget to smell the roses along the way, okay?!

Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 30 June 2005 7:24 PM EDT
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Sunday, 26 June 2005
Mending Broken Dreams
Mood:  hug me
Topic: Spiritual Healing
It is very difficult, if not impossible, to completely heal physically if there is a need for a spiritual healing which is not attended to. This is the part of us from which springs forth our life.

Religion and Spirituality are two completely different things, although issues involving religion can certainly play a big part in how we view or express our spiritual selves.

Religion is a system of belief and practice as set down according to man. It is something we follow, something we belong to, a certain way of looking at things. But it is only a part of our lives due to whatever importance we give it. It is not actually a part of us.

Spirituality, on the other hand, is a part of us. It's a part of who we are. Actually, it is the essence of our true selves.

Our sense of spirituality is our awareness of our true nature...Our realization that we or not merely our bodies...that sense of knowning, somehow, there's more.

It's the part of us which believes in that which is not seen by the eye, but in that which is evidenced through life and it's events. It's that part of us that knows better when we do something wrong, not because we're afraid to get caught, but because we want to do right. It's the part of us that wonders what is the meaning of life, where we came from, and what will happen to us after we die.

Spirituality is the part of us that still believes in the Ultimate Power of Good, and that wishes and dreams can come true.

Spirituality is the love in our heart, and that feeling of oneness with others. It's the part of us that knows when we look to the sky that there is something bigger than us, even if it's just planets and stars. It's the part that feels humble and meek.

Spirituality is the part of us which is a part of the whole. It's the part that connects us with everyone else in the world. It's our unique and individual expression of life.

In actuality, this is the part of us that's perfect; the part that is created equal in all. But make no mistake, this part of us can be in pain, and it can surely bring problems with health, as it's implications reach far into the physical and emotional realms.

How does this part of ourselves get damaged? Well, it can happen in a number of ways. It goes deeper than emotion. It cuts to the core of our identity--who we believe ourself to actually be.

When we are born, we know who we are. We are not confused until we enter the world of confusing and conflicting ideas! It is then that we begin to question our place in this world, why we came here, why we have to ask to be fed and to be held, and why we sometimes are told we are "bad."

If abuse occurs, of any type, be it physical, emotional, sexual, financial or spiritual abuse, problems with our physical health can result. These problems could include high blood pressure, heart problems, allergies, substance abuse, eating disorders, headaches, immune system problems. Links to tumors have even been found!

Similarly, our spiritual nature can be deeply wounded. Chronic fear, low self-esteem, and self-hate can develop, with feelings of worthlessness, self-doubt and mistrust of others. Depression and anxiety often set in.

Rather than using drugs to correct these problems, I suggest we instead look to the spiritual roots of the problem, and address it from that angle first.

When abuse occurs as a child, it can be especially deeply embedded into the sense of self. Heck, Just everyday living with people and all their moods can be hard on a kid just figuring out who he (or she) is, even without anything which could be termed as "abuse." Let's try and go easy on them! Let's help to build them up strong for the world! Let's go easy on ourselves, as well.

Whether you do or whether you don't attend any type of religious program, it is helpful to discuss issues regarding religion and spirituality with your children. And for yourself, it's helpful to explore different ideas and to form a network of spiritually like-minded friends. It is not necessary to go to church, per se, but it is helpful in developing and nurturing this part of ourselves to set aside time for just that...time to honor and explore the spiritual aspects of life.

Being a part of a spiritual group can help you to form a support network, it can provide avenues for study, and it can help to remind you to live by practices which are in accordance with what you believe. It can be a very good thing. As a matter of fact, there has even been research to show that people who attend church regularly have far less problems with health!

However, it is important to realize that RELIGION IS A MAN-MADE INSTITUTION! The people who work in places of worship, whether priests, pastors, rabbis, youth ministers, whatever...are just PEOPLE. They are people, subject to making mistakes. If you put these people up on a pedestal, you set yourself up for confusion, disappointment and hurt. In some cases, you might even be setting yourself up for abuse. It's not just a sexual thing, although sexual abuse in churches of all religions is a much larger problem than most people have any idea.

If you suspect that spiritual abuse has occurred, you need to recognize and deal with it in an environment outside the place of abuse. It is easy to get wrapped up in an abusive cycle without even realizing that it is happening to us, and it can have profoundly devastating effects.

Another kind of spiritual hurt comes from being disappointed with God. It comes from prayers not seemingly answered, and from not understanding why God allows us to hurt.

Prayers are not always answered in the way that we want them to be, but that doesn't mean that the answers aren't there. It is helpful at times like these to take time apart and look for the good in our lives. Sometimes in hindsight we are able to see that things usually work out okay in the end. If we can think of times like that in the past, it might help to believe that things will be okay again. Even in death, good (God) is there. This is what I believe.

Sometimes, however, we are not able to see the good on our own. In times like that, it is advisable to seek out spiritual help. Often someone else can lend perspective when things look so bleak and grim, especially in times of great loss. This could be someone from your own religion, if you should have one, or someone who's spiritual ideals you admire. If you need someone to listen and offer input and suggestions as to ways to help you start heal, please feel free to contact us, and we will help you or we'll find someone who can.

One thing that has proven time and again to be effective in helping us to recognize the power of good in our lives is to spend time doing volunteer work. It is good to get out of our own problems sometimes, and be a help to others, instead. It makes our problems not seem so big, and it gives us a sense of purpose to be able to help someone else.

If you really want to give a boost to your spiritual state of well-being, try giving in secret! It works! Practice doing good things to benefit others, and not letting ANYONE know!

The more we reach outside of ourselves to help, the more we realize we have something to give. And strangely enough, it comes back!

Minimizing the importance of our particular problems is not to say they're not hard, and it is not in any way meant to imply that we are not important! We are! But no matter how big our problems are, they're really quite small in the big scope of things. We surely have the strength to get through. If we don't, then we need to reach out for help. We realize through helping others, that there is no shame in needing help, too.

It is very important to nurture our spiritual self. Look to that part of yourself as being sacred...It is! Treat yourself with respect, and with care, just like you would treat someone you love very much.

Time spent in quiet, reflecting on the good things in life, or just listening to the still small voice within is especially important to awakening this part of ourselves. Practice increasing your awareness throughout the day, by looking for spiritual solutions to everyday problems, like applying faith, forgiveness, compassion, and love. Honesy honors this part of ourselves, as does integrity, too. It's important to learn to be comfortable with who we are, what we think, and how we feel at any given moment in time. There's no need to hide our true selves.

Spiritual healing has to do with coming to believe that we're precious...the way we were created to be! It has to do with being happy with who we are. It has to do with loving ourselves, loving each other, being in love with all of life and the world!

Spiritual healing has to do with opening the channels of healing and love. It has to do with forgiveness and peace.

Don't give up on yourself, and don't give up on your dreams. Maybe you just need to take another look at what's good in you and the world. Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams, and believe in the power of truth, goodness, and love in your life and the world!

To sum it up...
1. Develop an attitude of gratitude!
2. Look for the good in your yourself, in others, and in every circumstance. It is there!
3. Find some way to be of useful service to others, either through volunteer work or else just making a special effort to do something to help someone else on a regular basis.
4. Try giving in secret!
5. Spend time in silence each day and become comfortable with the stillness within.
6. Surround yourself with positive, encouraging people!
7. Nurture your goodness and be your own best friend.
8. Seek answers to the questions that point to your purpose and to the meaning of life.
9. Ask for help when you need it.
10. Strive to live in accordance with principles of honesty, integrity, and love, and within the tenets of your own beliefs.

Thank you for the wonderful gift that you are!
Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.

A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're fast asleep
In dreams you can lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling thru
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
the dream that you wish will come true

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 2:36 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 13 February 2007 8:59 AM EST
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Friday, 24 June 2005
More Than Okay
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Emotions
What is your standard reply when someone asks how you're feeling? Is it something akin to...."Okay"...???

What is "okay?" Does that mean you're just hanging in there, or that you're fine and dandy, or that you really don't want to talk?

It is important to know how we feel. It's important that we be able to convey that to other people, or else how will they ever know? But even more important than communicating our needs outwardly, is the importance of letting ourselves know how we feel. Do we really know half the time?

Here's a fun way, and this chart is farrrrrrrr from complete. But see if you can pick a feeling from amongst the faces below, and then let me ask you the question again.....

How can we deal with our feelings if we don't even know what they are? When considering health, people often forget this part of the equation. It is important to have emotional balance, and to take care of our emotional selves. Good health requires more than just taking an herb.

In our society, often it seems, we are taught to repress our feelings from the time we are very young. Women are put down for crying too much, and we all know what they're called if they should ever get angry or express any type of displeasure with things. And men are always told to "be strong," and that grown men don't cry, unless they are weak or gay. (And then they're put down for that.)

It starts at an early age. In childhood we learn that boys do not cry and girls are supposed to be "nice." There's no mistake in the message. We learn early to stop crying or we'll be given something to cry about.

Well, tears are there for a reason. There's incredible healing power in tears.

And anger? Well, there's nothing the matter with anger, when expressed in a proper way. When repressed for too long, though, it often comes out in a BLAST! Plus, it's not good for your health.

Better not pout! Better not cry! Better not shout!

How about better not punch anyone in the mouth, or better not throw a tantrum in the grocery store...Let's try to be a little more specific with our kids...and ourselves! Wouldn't it be better to teach them proper behaviors to have instead of expecting them not to FEELFEEL?

Let them go out in the backyard and yell at the trees if they'd like! Shouting's not always that bad!

Feelings WILL surface...feelings are natural, they're there for a reason, and they're a very big part of our life and who we are on the inside. If we don't deal with our emotions, our emotions will deal with us. It's not as easy as, "Get over it!" Feelings sometimes take time to work through.

We do need to have a harness on our emotions, and learn the proper ways of when, how, and with whom to express. BUT...emotions do need expression, or they will wreak havoc upon our health and our lives.

In holistic healing, we learn that emotions always have a physical correlation of expression. Research is backing this up.

So, let's start with the original question. How are you feeling today? You might think that's a simple question to answer, but is it? Do we even know how we feel? Let's take a look at some feeling words, that go beyond "okay," and "not so good." Click here for a list of more than 3,000 feeling words. We've got to stop ignoring this part of ourselves if we want to be healthy and well!

Okay, back to the question...How do you feel? Notice how you answer when somebody asks, or how you include it in your everyday habits of speech. Listen to see if you ever use the phrase, "I feel that...blah blah blah," because those are not feeling words. Feeling words are one- (maybe two-) word responses. Long sentences express what you THINK. Thoughts and feelings are two entirely different things, and it's important to separate them.

"I feel _____." One word goes in that blank. Put it in there. "I think that ______________." See the difference? The way we pattern our speech can take us a long way in learning to undertand and accept how we feel.

Another thing to keep in mind. Feelings aren't facts! Sometimes I have to remind myself of that little fact! Hahaha! Otherwise, I get way, way too wrapped up in how I "feel." Feelings come and go. They are indications of whether or not things are out of whack with my internal modulator of what I think I want or need and my interpretation of that, or something along those kinds of lines; BUT they're not fact. Just because I feel afraid does not mean the world is going to come to an end. Getting things in perspective can help.

Let me leave you with this thought...

There are a lot of good feelings to have in our lives. If we repress our feelings, that goes across the board. We can't just repress anger, and not repress joy. We can't repress love and feel love at the same time. We can't repress fear and really know how it feels to have faith. It just does not work that way.

We need to learn to embrace our feelings...If we feel afraid, it's okay. If we feel angry, then maybe there's a reason for that. If we don't admit how we feel, then how can we possibly address the situation that is provoking those feelings in us? Emotions are often cues to when something's not right in our world.

Or when something IS right. We'd like to be in touch with that, too, I would think! If we sort out our emotions, and learn that feelings aren't facts, then we could start to recognize what is "just feeling," and what is indeed a wee small voice from within telling us what we need to hear.

You can't have emotional balance if you deny one half of the equation. If all the feelings we perceive as "bad" are wiped out, then more "bad" feelings apathy, or deep depression, or hostility....or the other extreme of always neeeeeeeeding to feel good, good, good, and even better than that. (That's an addictive pattern of thought, which never finds the satisfaction it seeks!)

If you just let yourself go on and feel what you feel and work through your feelings, then the happy channels just open up! It's really as simple as that, though not always easy I know.

There are lots of ways to work on healing emotions. There are techniques, practices, methods and modalities galore! There's meditation and prayer, there are breathing exercises, even certain foods and herbs which will help. We can discuss all of those. There are even physical movement exercises which help balance emotions...I promise to do a whole entire blog on those, as well as one on particular essential oils and flower essences which can be of emmense help in leading us toward emotional peace.

But first, let's concentrate on just identify the way that we feel throughout the day. That is the very first step. Along with that goes a word of caution, however....PLEASE do not judge yourself for the way that you feel! Bless every feeling that comes, and allow yourself to feel how it is that you feel. Offer comfort to yourself in that way.

Feelings are GOOD! ALL of them! They just need to be balanced, that's all. If we label some "bad," that's out of balance...Then they get reeeeeeeally "bad!"

Go on and feel how you feel!
Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

Click Here for the Daily Smile Page!

(Can you believe it? Sometimes we're even AFRAID TO FEEL GOOD! Now you KNOW something's not right with all that! Hahaha! We gotta get this thing RIGHT!)

The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 10:30 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 26 June 2005 10:19 AM EDT
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Thursday, 23 June 2005
Now What?
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Put the Lime in the Coconut
Topic: Herbs
How do you get from this--

--to this?

Well, there are numerous ways!

Let's take the case of dandelion in point. Dandelion is an easy herb to find things to do with, because it is so useful to us.

First thing when collecting herbs is to consider the location from which you are harvesting plants.

~Do you have permission to harvest? If it is your yard, that is one thing, but if it is from the State Park, or property which belongs to somebody else, they might care.

~Is the location far enough from the road that exhaust fumes haven't damaged the herbs? You shouldn't pick within 50 feet of the road if you're going to ingest these plants.

~Have herbicides been used in the area? If anything good survives this type of attack, it is surely unfit to eat.

~Are there factories or commercial farms located nearby that could be contributing to soil pollution? There are a number of ways chemicals can end up in the ground.

~Have animals been suing this area for a dumping spot? Harmful bacteria could be on the plant. Always be sure to wash your fresh herbs very well.

~Are you collecting from an area which is heavily populated with the herb that you want? Please only take what you will use, and never leave an area depleted. Leave plenty enough behind to repopulate the area well.

~Never harvest endangered species of plants. There is always an alternative. There is no plant so unique that another can't do just as well. For instance, for Golden Seal, you can use Oregon Grape instead. We need to preserve the future of these precious plants for our kids.

~Leave an area in better shape than you found it, if possible. Be courteous and respectful to Mother Nature's sweet house!

When harvesting any herb from the wild, it is important to make sure you have the right plant. There aren't many that will actually hurt you, and I'm sure we all know what dandelions look like, but it's best always to be totally sure. If in doubt, do not pick the plant. I would recommend you get a good book on how to identify herbs.

Okay, so back to the case of dandelion...

Always choose plants which look healthy. Take into consideration the best time to harvest each plant. In the case of dandelion, the leaves are best when they're young and fresh. The older they get, the more tough and bitter in taste.

Pick a few dandelion leaves. Wash them and eat them. Just to get used to the taste. Dandelions are extremely nutritious to eat, they're very good for digestion, and they are one of the very best herbs for supporting proper kidney and liver function.

Mix them in salads. My kids never knew for a very long time, now they know and understand what I do. If you start doing it when they're young enough, they won't question the practice at all. The flowers are good to eat, too!

Boiled Egg Salad with Dandelion -Insalata di uova sode e tarassaco (Taraxacum officinalis)

4 boiled eggs
14 oz of tender dandelion rosettes
1 onion, chopped into rings
1 handful of chopped wild mint
4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Cut the boiled eggs into coins, and place them in a salad bowl with the dandelion leaves, chopped onion rings. Add the mint and dress with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Did you know that dandelion flowers have the highest lecithin content of anything in the whole entire plant world? Try tossing in some of these!

Dandelion Buds in Vinegar - Boccioli di tarassaco all'aceto (Taraxacum officinalis)
10 oz of small, closed dandelion flower buds
2 tbsp of salt
1 cup of vinegar
1 cup of dry white wine
2 garlic clobes
2 bay leaves
1/2 liter of olive oil

Cover the buds with salt and let them dehydrate for a couple of hours. Bring the vinegar, wine with the garlic cloves and bay leaves to a boil. Throw in the buds for a minute, then drain them and allow them to dry on a dish towel. Then put them in a jar and cover them with olive oil. Wait about a month before eating.

~ You can find more recipes like this at

Do you drink wine? I don't, but if I did, I would make some from dandelions! Here's a good recipe for that. (Hey, might as well drink a wine that will actualy be GOOD for the liver!)

I give credit for this recipe to one of my very favorite instructors in herbology, Dr. Philip Fritchey, ND, MH, CNHP.

Dandelion Wine

2 Quarts fresh Dadelion flowers
2 Quarts spring water
1 Orange
1 Lemon (Wash fruit thoroughly to remove any chemical resides)
3 Cups turbinado sugar
1/2 pack of yeast

Carefully remove any trace of stems from flowers. Place in some sort of large crock or non-metallic container. Thinkly slice the orange and lemon, and add to the flowers, along with the sugar. Bring water to boil and pour over the flowers, fruit, and sugar. Cover loosely and let set 2 days, stirring occasionally. Strain liquid into another large crock and add yest. Cover loosely again and allow to ferment in a warm place for two weeks. Skim off any foam, and carefully pour off wine, trying not to disturb and sediment. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator in tightly sealed bottles. Once cup of crushed fresh Red Raspberries may be used in place of the citrus.

*Please do not drink and drive, and please do not drink if you have a genetic history of alcoholism or any reason to suspect that you may have problems with alcohol.

Here's another drink you can make with dandelions, but this one is alcohol free! It's caffeine free, as well, and can be used as a healthy substitute for coffee:

Ground Roasted Dandelion Roots
Simply dig the roots out of the earth, wash them real good, brown them in the oven, and then chop them up and grind them and put them in your Mr. Dandelion machine!

You can put dandelion flowers, roots, and leaves into a tea. Be sure to use pure water. I like distilled for tea making purposes best, because it extracts the most nutrients from the herb. Place the herb in the water and heat just until you almost can't put your finger into the water anymore (so as not to destroy the active enzymes and vitamins of the plant), and then I like to spin it around in a blender before I strain it out to drink. You can add some type of natural sweetener to it if you like. Raw honey, stevia, or evaporated cane juice would be good sweeteners to use.

You can also make an extract quite simply from herbs. Tinctures are easy to make. Gather and wash the herbs, place them in a jar and cover with what is known as a "menstruum." The rule of thumb is 1 part dry herb or 2 parts fresh herb to 4 parts menstrum.

A menstruum is a solution used to extract the medicinal compounds from plants. There are several that you can use, but the one I use most often is made up of 1 part vegetable glycerin and 2 parts distilled water. YOu can also use 100 proof vodka, or raw apple cider vinegar (5% acidic).

Finely chop or crush the herbs to reduce the size as much as possible. A food processor, blender, or coffee grinder may be used, or just an old fashioned knife. Put the herbs into the jar and cover with menstruum, then set the jar in a suny window and leave it there for two weeks. Shake the jar at least two times a day.

After two weeks, blend the mixture up in your blender and then strain the contents though a strainer or muslin, squeezing as much of the menstruum out of the herb pulp as you possibly can. Pour into dark amber glass bottles and cap tightly. Label and store in a cool, dark place until needed. A glycerin based tincture has a shelf life of 3-5 years!

The resultant product is what is known as a whole-herb extract, and it is as safe as the original herb was itself. All the constituents are still in proper balance, preserved exactly the way nature intended for them to be, not like with drugs where certain parts of the plant are extracted, leaving the others behind.

*If using vodka as an extractant, the tincture may be heated to cook off the alochol.

You can also dry and powder your herbs, to put them into capsules. This is a very convenient way to take herbs, and it is the one with which most people are the most familiar. It is, however, the least effective way, particularly in the case of dandelion and other herbs with which part of their benefit is due to taste. Bitter herbs such as dandelion stimulate the digestion through taste buds. This benefit is lost when encapsulating herbs.

Still, though, you may choose this method. It is very convenient, and there are many other benefits to be had from dandelion, besides help with the digestive process. For instance, in addition to being extremely nutritious, dandelions also stimulate the production of both red and white blood cells. They are a wonderful antioxidant, too.

Herbs properly dried and stored can retain intact indefinately. Herbs in their original form have been discovered in tombs over 6,000 years old!

Herbs may be tied in loose bundles and hung from the ceiling, or they may be arranged in thin layers on screen and pleced in a sheltered location until they are brittle when touched. They may be placed in a dehyudrator, or heated in an oven at very low temperatures for a short time. They should be stored in air tight containers and placed in the dark. Putting each jar into a brown paper lunch bag works fine!

Just about anything that can be done with fresh herbs can be done with dry herbs, so this is a good process to use to save herbs for future used. The key is to make sure they are thoroughly dry, so as to eliminate the risk of mold. Roots and barks almost always require low heat...Air drying might not be enough.

Be sure when drying herbs that you keep the herbs separate according to type. They all look pretty much the same once they're dry!

Keep them as intact as possible, to reduce the amount of potency lost, and then powder when ready to use.

There are more ways in which herbs can be processed, but I'll save those for another day. You can make hot or cold infused oils, for instance, or you can make ointments or creams. You can also use herbs in poultices, compresses, lotions, mouthwashes, baths, or steam inhalations. There are all sorts of ways to use herbs!

Oh! And the dandelion? You can use every part of the plant! We discussed the leaves, roots, and flowers, but what about the stems?

The milky latex in the stem of the dandelion can be used to help eliminate warts and m oles! Apply several times a day and in 7-10 days the wart or mole should fall off! It is also good to help fade "age spots."

And the puff? We called them Fairies when we were kids! What do you think they are?

May All Your Wishes for Good Health Always Come True!
Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 12:18 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 26 June 2005 10:15 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 21 June 2005
Help Wanted!
Mood:  quizzical
Now Playing: "Volunteers of America," by Jefferson Airplane
Topic: General Info

A bit of business to attend to for a moment, if you don't mind!

I hope what I am presenting to you here in this website will prove to be helpful to you somehow in your quest for natural health. My sincere hope is that it is helping you to increase your awareness of the choices you have regarding your health.

I offer classes in the community regarding the topics you see discussed on these pages here, but it is through the internet that I am able to reach the most people. It is a marvelous venue for this!

But how does it work? How do I make sure people will know it is here?

My son, Ronny, has been putting my work into code and posting it. Phew! That has been soooo much help! I do this blog myself, but that's just because blogs are not hard to do! Thank goodness I have a smart son! The main website is rather immense!

However, there is more to getting a website out to the people than merely posting it onto a page. People have to know that it's there! It is with this that I'm asking your help.

One method is to make use of reciprical links. I have been finding various websites which will put a link to my site in exchange for me linking to theirs. I won't do this with just any site, it has to be something good. Here are a couple right here that are worth your time to check out!

This is a website which is very helpful to anyone building and promoting a site of their own needing help:, Search Engine Optimization and Submission

And this is a very good site regarding natural health: - is one of the most complete guides to information about Natural Health and Alternative Medicine on the Internet. It is designed to be an organized directory, with articles, free Newsletters and descriptions of many of the most important Natural Health and Alternative Medicine Web Sites on the World Wide Web.

Be sure to visit these links. I appreciate their links back to us!

I would like to ask for your help, as well. If you're enjoying and gaining benefit from what you're reading here, please help spread the word! Let your friends know about it, and tell them to let their friends know, too! This blog, and the All Natural HealthWorks! website are just very brand new!

(In fact, they aren't even finished, so please excuse all the links that are not working yet! This is a very big site, and we're working as quickly as we can to get it ready for you!)

Also, please,if you know of any websites who would post a link to us, let us know that, as well! We would appreciate that very much!

When I say us, I am not just speaking of me. I am referring to an entire network we're building here of a lot of very gifted and talented people working to provide natural health services and education. Please contact us if you'd like to be a part of our team! We have plenty of room for more! (Not only healers, but we need support people, too!)

Please read our mission statement to learn more about what it is we are trying to do, and if you would like to help make this vision a reality, please get in touch with us. This is a big project, and we can use help in so many ways.

It has been a wonderful experience for me, and continues to be so each day, to watch this vision unfold. It's still in the early stages, on one hand, but actually it's been in preparation for about 36 years! The vision was given to me when I was a very young girl.

Thank you for your support and your prayers. If you'd like to help, please be sure and let us know!

Blessings for a wonderful day!
Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 3 August 2005 8:24 AM EDT
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Sunday, 19 June 2005
Happy Father's Day!
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: "The Lord's Prayer," as sung by my Dad
Topic: Reflective
Memories of my father come flooding my head today, and I think of so many things. I remember being his sunshine, sitting up on his knee while he read to me, going horseyback riding, watching him work, and riding the tractor with him. I remember lots and lots of good things!

I remember him singing...always singing to me and to everyone else. He sang with his brothers, he sang in church, he sang in the car, the backyard, and he made so many happy with song, especially his little girl.

On Father's Day, I think of him, and I think of the word Father and all that it means. Whether we had good parents, bad parents, parents who are here or who are gone...We all have something of them inside of us, which we carry on to our kids.

Is it just genes? I don't know. But let's honor that part of ourselves today. It's something we cannot deny.

Father. That word as applied on the larger scale is one word that's used for God.

Our Father,
Which art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth, as it is, in Heaven.
Give us this day,
Our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom,
And the power,
And the glory,

OUR Father. We are created in the image and likeness of God. It's more than just genes...It is love. Created in the image and likeness of love, in who's eyes perfection is found.

God is Love, as are we. Let us honor that love in us all.

Happy Father's Day to us All!

"Jody"--Daddy's Little Sunshine!

Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.

P.S. Here are a few gift ideas for your father, your mother, your neighbor, your children, yourself...whoever you'd like to honor in the name of love, today or any day! Happy Father's Day to Everyone!

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 6:37 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 26 June 2005 10:34 AM EDT
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