Hops and Chamomile Tea, a Natural Sleep Aid

Most people have trouble sleeping at times. I have learned to use Hops and Chamomile tea as a sleep aid.  You probably know that hops is used in beer.  If you like the beer taste you will definitely like hops.  Remember there is no alcohol in hops tea.

Chamomile is also used to sooth the stomach or on the exterior as an anti fungal agent.  Some people have an allergy to Chamomile.  

You can buy them in bulk at an herb store or online or grow your own.  Take a few teaspoons of the dried flowers in combination or separately in a tea pot or cup with strainer and poor hot water over to steep or infuse for a few to several minutes.   Then sip before you go to sleep.  Though the first infusion is the best, I usually  infuse 2 to 3 times, pouring less water over the wet leaves each time to extract all the tea.  I find it relaxes me and quiets my mind. Here is a website that tells how to make a hops pillow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KWI_0XLhdU which they claim is very effective too.

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Backyard Gardens, Can they Save the Planet?

Find out why the backyard gardener is the hero in the struggle to save the planet. Narrated by Dr. Vandana Shiva, this video offers a simple and practical solution to climate change and local food security. Opening your eyes to the impact of our dependence on cheap oil in our industrial food system, you will discover why growing your own edible garden is the key to a sustainable world. …


 From: One Million Gardens can change the world


They have a 52 week online course in backyard gardening.

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Camphor and Peppermint, A Healing Combination

We bought a house and it does make a difference for how we feel about putting plants in the yard. When I rented I felt that I didn’t know how permanent my living situation would be and that any improvements I made would just help the landlord sell it for more money. I ended up living there a long time and enjoyed the landscape improvements I did make. It’s  funny how that works but I think this attitude toward renting vs. owning a home is more prevalent than not.

Two of the trees here when we moved in were Camphor trees, which have green leaves all year round and were probably planted as a screen.  They are commonly planted as street trees, a bad choice as they push up the pavement.  One of them was dying so we pulled it out.  We found that it was root bound and are guessing that the planter didn’t realize the importance of spreading out the roots of a root bound plant. The other tree seemed to flourish but had a thin rope tied around it to hold it to a stake.  The tree tried to grow around the rope which cut into the bark.  The rope was stifling the tree’s growth and health so we had to  pry it out of the bark.

I’ve planted peppermint below the tree so we now have a Camphor and peppermint area of the yard.  I have inflammation issues so this is an example of growing plants right in your yard that are helpful for one’s condition.  Camphor is widely used as an analgesic or pain reliever for muscle pain. I have used the Camphor leaves in a bath which was really nice (boil them in water, then strain and put the herbal water into the tub).  When we pulled out the dying tree and cut the trunk, it smelled wonderful.  I use the fresh peppermint in fruit salads and teas.

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Herb ‘N Health–Who We Are

Hi.  This site is authored by Thomas (Tom) Cummins, M.S., CA Licensed Acupuncturist, and Marilyn Jackson, PhD, as a way to research and to dialogue about health in the 21st century.   We are both interested in learning about how to age well, in the context of of environmental toxic factors.  We appreciate western, allopathic medical knowledge while researching eastern, herbal and supplemental alternatives. 

Tom practices acupuncture and has a strong background in herbal and supplemental medicine.  He is very knowledgeable about many health issues and actively researches current thinking about how to approach illness with alternatives in mind.  

Marilyn has a PhD in Higher Education and Social Change from WISR, and has studied health informally with Tom.  She also has a certificate in Natural Vision Improvement.  Marilyn has been diagnosed with an inflammatory condition, so has many insights for how to deal with inflammation without drugs. 

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are active and experienced gardeners and plan to share our insights, especially for how to develop edible, medicinal, herbal, native and drought tolerant landscapes.

We hope to hear from you on our blog but if you wish to send an email as well, please write to estraloe@sbcglobal.net.  Thank you.

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