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Sleep Better and Boost Brain Health with Herbs

Posted Jul 15 2010 12:00am
In the July 2010 issue of AARP, Holly St.Lifer writes about 81 year old botanist Jim Duke who talks about herbs that have healing remedies. His special home made drink caught my eye. Jim is the author of "The Green Pharmacy" book series.

Herbs have been used for healing purposes for a long time. They can help with many symptoms of common ailments because they contain health promoting compounds such as anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories. From constipation to the common cold, it is worth it to give herbs a try. If you are on medications such as blood thinners or have a serious medical condition, check with our Doctor first.

5 Herbs with Healing Properties

Peppermint Peppermint

Effective for indigestion. A cup of warm peppermint tea also thins mucus, loosens phlegm, and soothes sore throats. Also peppermint also helps muscle cramps, arthritis and headaches

Lemon balm Lemon Balm

 This herb has been found to relieve tension, anxiety and restlessness by the German Ministry of Health. In another study published in Neuropsychopharmacology, particpants reported increased memory and improved mood after ingesting lemon balm. This was also found in ALzheimers patients  

Rosemary leaves Rosemary

The results of a study suggest that carnosic acid, found in rosemary, may shield the brain from free radicals, lowering the risk of strokes and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's. Rosemary also increases memory and reduces joint pain according to Jim Duke. To make a topical paste with rosemary, soak rosemary needles in almond oil for 2 weeks, filter, then rub the oil onto sore joins as needed.

Valerian Root Valerian

Sleep better with valerian. A German study found that 16 partipating insomniacs were able to go to sleep faster, and also improved their quality of sleep.Valerian root is also used in Arc4life's Formula 303 Natural Muscle Relaxer  

Sage plant   Sage- A swiss study showed that Sage combined with echinacea was as effective as the pain killer lidocane in relieving sore throat pain. Studies have also shown that Sage is a potent mouthwash. To make Sage Mouthwash, steep 1 tablespoon sage leaves in 1 cup of hot water for 5 minutes. Strain and Gargle like you normally would.
With all of the herbs discussed above, you can drink the herb as a tea or use it topically in some cases. To make the tea version, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 6 leaves (for Valerian use 2 tablespoons chopped). Steep for 5 minutes, strain and sip.

Oh and I almost forgot, Jim Duke's healthy herbal drink that "lifts his spirits and lowers his anxiety". It also boosts relaxation, mood, memory and overall brain health. Its called Creme D'Mentia. Mix 1/2 pint of 80-proof vodka with 1/2 pint of water. Add 1/4 fresh lemon, 4 tablespoons rosemary leaves, 6 tablespoons lemon balm leaves, 4 tablespoons of peppermint leaves, and 2 tablespoons of sage leaves. Add sugar to taste. Steep for 3 days.
AARP Magazine, July/August 2010; 25

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