Meadowsweet - Filipendula ulmaria
According to the Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine, a 2006 Russian study on experimental toxic hepatitis reported that meadowsweet prevented damage to the liver and had an antioxidant effect.
Licorice Root is known for its antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antioxidant, antidepressant, demulcent, and expectorant activity. It is used for coughs, sore throats, laryngitis, bronchitis, mucus congestion, teething, colic, canker sores, high cholesterol, heart disease, menopause, PMS, menstrual cramps, skin disorders, shingles, herpes, low energy, depression, and for calming down and relaxing. It is also used for digestive system complaints such as ulcers, heartburn, and chronic gastritis because it stimulates the growth of the natural mucous linings of the stomach and intestines, which soothes and coats irritation caused by acid. It is a good choice for keeping teeth healthy because research shows that it may help prevent and treat tooth decay and gum disease.
In a study done at the University of California School of Dentistry, researchers studied whether licorice lollipops would decrease a bacteria, Streptococcus mutans, that caused cavities in nursing home residents. Participants were given two lollipops per day for twenty-one days. Saliva samples were collected throughout the study and it was found that participants who consumed more lollipops were more likely to have fewer numbers of the S. mutans bacteria.
In 2012, researchers in Mashhad,Iran studied the efficacy of lavender essential oil inhalation for treatment of migraines in a placebo-controlled clinical trial. 71% of participants in the lavender group had a reduction of migraine severity, compared to 47% in the placebo group. It was concluded that lavender essential oil may be an effective and safe treatment modality in acute management of migraine headaches.
Lavender is used for a range of ailments from insomnia and anxiety to depression and fatigue. Research shows that it has calming, soothing and sedative effects when the scent is inhaled. It is also used for stress, hair loss, postoperative pain, and for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. It may be used topically in diluted concentrations to treat skin infections and injuries, such as minor cuts and scrapes. Lavender is our favorite essential oil for burns.
Chamomile has been used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks. It is used to treat to chest colds, sore throats, abscesses, mouth sores, gum inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, psoriasis, acne, eczema, hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasms, menstrual disorders, rheumatic pain, hemorrhoids, minor first-degree burns, stomach cramps, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, diarrhea, gas, inflammatory bowel disease, stomach ulcers, chickenpox, diaper rash, and colic. It is available as dried flower heads, tea, liquid extract, essential oil, capsules and topical ointment.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine studied the antidepressant properties of chamomile versus a placebo. They noted that anti-anxiety properties had already been observed. Using the Hamilton Depression Rating questionnaire, the researchers observed a significant reduction over time of depression in the participants of the chamomile group vs the placebo group. They concluded that chamomile may provide clinically meaningful antidepressant activity that occurs in addition to the anti-anxiety properties.
Have you ever seen a newborn baby do a backbend? Where they arch their back and open their chest while their legs are crossed in swastikasana or extended? A perfect Setu Bandha-heart full of openness and love. The pure light that shines when our babies practice yogasanas is astoundingly natural and beautiful; and the ever watchful mother bathes in the rays of Samadhi as she looks adoringly at her new child. Guruji speaks of this “Cosmic Energy” coming into the body when we practice yogasanas for babies and mama’s alike. Particularly for the postpartum woman, returning to the mat with gentleness is a crucial step to facilitate healing and to support the hormonal demands of this tender time.
The postnatal time is governed by Vata energy according to Ayurveda, the 3,000 year old medical practice of India. Vata energy is quick, erratic and drying. Vata is the mind of a new mother, overcome with waves of extreme joy and wonderment, and times of deep worry and fear. These dualities make for a delicate mental state that, when not supported and nourished, can quickly turn towards sadness and depression. In addition to our minds-fullness, the postpartum body undergoes its most rapid and extreme hormonal changes than at any other time in a woman’s life. From pregnancy, to childbirth, to lactation; finding homeostatis is paramount to sustained peace and calm for the new family.
The benefits and applications of Ashwagandha abound. Known also as Winter Cherry, it has been used for over 3,000 years. The root of this very special plant contains a wide variety of beneficial chemical constituents including several powerful anti-oxidants such as superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase. Traditionally Ashwagandha has been used as a general tonic herb, increasing longevity and endurance and it can be an important herb for rebuilding health after deep level exhaustion or debility as it improves adrenal function and enhances immunity. It is less stimulating than the Ginsengs, making it a good choice for those with nervous system related irritation such as insomnia and anxiety. Ashwagandha’s anti-inflammatory properties lend its use in arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
This herb is attracting attention as effective in improving cardio-respiratory endurance in athletes. In a 2012 study on 40 elite cyclists after 8 weeks of supplementation with Ashwagandha the athletes showed a 13% improvement in VO(2)max as compared to the control group where no improvement was achieved.