It can be tough to remember which remedies are effective for different ailments. It’s difficult sometimes to remember all the essential oils, spices, herbs, or homeopathic remedies and what they are effective for. It’s a lot to remember! This is why I have an herb map that I keep on my kitchen wall that acts as a quickie cheat sheet for me to recall which herbs are helpful for various illnesses, injuries, and also preventative treatments. The herb body map below has the same basic function. It highlights various herbs and shows you via the body map what they are used for most commonly and effectively.
I like how user friendly it is. Migraines/head area/Chamomile. Bladder/groin area/Barberry bark. Easy peasy. Its a great quickie reference guide. Enjoy!
Image from G Baldwin & Co
It is a little hobby of mine to window shop the supplement isle at health food stores. There are so many amazing options for those of who want to take charge of our health. My husband likes to look at all the protein powders, pouring over the ingredients list and I am drawn to natural sleep aids, hormonal support products, and also any product that uses natural ingredients to boost energy and vitality. I have seen Gaia Herbs products dozens of times…picked them up, read the labels and descriptions, etc but until last month never purchased. I really want to try to so many different products (Gaia’s included) but one could go broke fast if they don’t keep it in check.
As I said though I did finally try one of their products last month…the PlantForce™ Liquid Iron. Iron is an important mineral that can help you feel more energetic, vibrant and alive. When it is lacking we get tired. Iron actually enables your blood to deliver oxygen to each of your cells…which they need to function properly. It is crucial for our vitality and stamina to get enough iron and liquid iron supplements are typically the best delivery system for rapid assimilation.
Now I don’t typically think of myself as a prime target for low iron levels since I am paleo and very carnivorous. My schedule and overall activity changed recently though. I am going, going, going constantly it feels like with long days standing and moving. Gone are the days of sitting at a computer for most of the day. Being gone and moving so much also makes it harder to eat paleo 100% so I have been eating less of the stuff I need and want. Good riddance to being chained to my desk every day I say but it got me thinking about stamina and energy. My first plan of attack was to adjust my diet…eat more and eat a bit differently. That requires so much planning though (which I am not so good at). I also started playing around with supplements, like Gaia Herbs PlantForce™ Liquid Iron, so that I would not be tempted to drink coffee and energy drinks. Thus far I have been very pleased with the results. I expect to be able to rise at 4:00-4:30ish every day without coffee or stimulants and be on the move for 10+ hours. So far, so good.
Liquid iron is usually metallic tasting and hard to take in my experience. This product is much easier to take, especially if it is really cold. It much more palatable than any other I have tried and if you drink a little orange juice afterwards, you are good to go. It has organic elderberry juice for a berry flavor, organic honey that lightly sweetens, essential oil of sweet orange & extract of star anise lend a hint of citrus and spice. It’s a pretty nice combo.
It also has…
Acerola fruit extract - naturally occurring Vitamin C that supports iron absorption at cellular level.
Sea Buckthorn fruit juice - naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that promotes absorption.
Beet root juice - naturally rich in elemental iron.
Parsley leaf - Elemental iron and Vitamin C that supports iron absorption at the cellular level.
Nettle Leaf - elemental Iron phosphate.
Dandelion leaf - Vitamins A&C & naturally occurring elemental iron supports liver and promotes absorption.
Fennel seed - Supports body’s ability to neutralize gas or bloating.
Yellow Dock root – Iron phosphate, which promotes absorption.
What it does…
• Provides elemental iron
• Promotes iron absorption
• Supports red blood cell production
• Stimulates cellular energy
• Supports liver
• Optimizes body’s ability to neutralize gas and bloating
Gaia Herbs PlantForce™ Liquid Iron is a plant based herb and mineral formula which many people love (especially vegetarians). It is also made with 85% organic ingredients! It is non-constipating, which is important because conventional iron supplements can really plug things up. It is also appropriate for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
I have gotten in the habit of taking it every morning when I start my day, usually first thing because I am not quick to develop an appetite and this seems to get things rolling for me. It gives me the energy I need until I do feel like eating but in general I like the way I feel and the amount of energy I have when I am consistently taking it. If you need an iron supplement or just want o make sure your bases are covered I highly recommend giving this one a whirl.
PlantForce Liquid Iron Giveaway
This post is written in connection with Gaia Herbs and Green Sisterhood.
I have already seen a huge surge of parents on my Facebook feed talking about their kids being sick after only a few days or weeks back at school. Such is life. Kids go back to school, they make new friends, they meet their new teachers, and they come home with less than exciting new illnesses. With so many children in one place if one of them has a runny nose and cough then logically many will end up with it. What can you do?
Well, actually there is quite a bit we can do to prevent illness by strengthening our children’s immune system and their capability of fighting off germs and bugs. If you need ideas I have plenty in my article 15 Ways to Boost Immunity and Keep Illness Away Without Vaccines. The natural mom actually has quite a bag of tricks at her disposal. In that article I discuss everything from air purifiers, to probiotics, to herbs, and which common foods actually lower our defenses and open us up to illness.
What though when your kids get sick anyway. It happens. There are holistic solutions for dealing with those little ups and downs too.
Cold/Flu – Give your kiddos plenty of warm liquids and fluids such as bone both. Also give them an immunity boost with elderberry like Sambucol. You can also make your own pretty easily. Other than that…lots of rest and steamy showers will help them ride it out comfortably. If they are congested put a few drops of peppermint essential oil in their shower and that will clear the sinuses right quick.
Pinkeye – This is a common childhood ailment but it can be very uncomfortable and irritating. Apply chamomile tea bag compresses, as hot/warm as you can get them. This is antiviral and antimicrobial. You can also use Boiron Homeopathic Eye Drops and their Pulsatilla orally to help with discharge.
Head Lice – Ew! Few things are as gross, in my opinion, as bugs that live in your hair but this is another common problem that school age children must face. Let’s just hope you catch it BEFORE it spreads to the whole family. Luckily you can treat it with natural ingredients such as coconut oil and essential oils. I have a homemade lice shampoo recipe you might want to try. LiceMD Lice is also an effective store bought brand that does not use pesticides. It is a way better option that most others on the market.
Ear Infections – Because of their anatomy children are more susceptible to ear infections. Also popular diet staples such as sugar, diary, grains/gluten, and soy can help things along. To treat, work on cleaning up their diet and use the soothing herbals found in Gaia Kids Ear Drops.
Fever – If your kiddos have a fever then rejoice rather than panic. Their body is already on top of the situation and is fighting off whatever bug they have. Fevers are GOOD. We don’t want to give them any conventional meds that will break that fever, rather we just want to make sure they are comfortable. They need rest and fluids primarily and Aconitum Napellus can help them sleep.
I know every parent gets frustrated and perhaps a little worried when their littles get sick but with a little planning and a little trust…we can use natural methods to help them ride these ailments out.
There are so many benefits and uses for aloe vera that you would think it is some kind of super plant. Well, if you want the truth, it kind of is. An aloe plant may not wear a cape and tights, but it is definitely capable of near miracles when it comes to healing cuts, burn, and other skin irritations. In addition, there are numerous health benefits of ingesting aloe vera juice (or gel in a capsule formula). It’s nature’s wonder drug and the reason why I have half a dozen aloe plants growing in my home all year long. They are really easy to grow and really beneficial to have on hand so why not??
Healing Uses for Aloe Vera
Aloe is awesome for healing all kinds of minor skin aliments. Probably one of the most common uses is for sunburn. Using Aloe gel (98% pure or better) on sunburn will not only soothe the sting of the burn, but will re-hydrate the burned skin and, if used liberally, can prevent your skin from blistering and peeling. It can be applied fresh from the plant, sprayed on, and you can even use freeze the aloe juice/gel in ice cube trays and then use the cubes to rub on and soothe the skin.
But the uses of Aloe Vera gel are not limited to sunburn. This wonder plant is also excellent for soothing and promoting the rapid healing of regular minor burns as well as skin rashes, cuts, insect stings, and has even been used to reduce the irritation of acne.
Health Benefits of Aloe Vera
Aloe vera contains not only 12 vitamins and 20 minerals but also 20 amino acids and over 200 other active components which, together, can promote health and vitality for the entire body. The benefits of ingesting so many incredible nutrients can work wonders on the overall health of the body. Regular consumption can help you to stabilize your body weight, improve your immune system, increase your energy level, as well as help you to maintain healthy skin, teeth, and gums and even regulate your digestive system. I drank it liberally while I was undergoing treatment for colon cancer. Since I was on some pretty horrible pharma drugs at the time I figured my body needed all the TLC it could get. That was seven years ago.
How to Use Aloe Vera
While you can buy aloe vera gel for burns and cuts in most drug stores and can pick up a bottle of gel capsules while you are browsing the aisles, the simplest and best way to get the full use of the aloe vera plant is to grow your own.
Aloe Vera plants are easy to grow and mean that you always have a ready supply should you need it. Simply break off a piece and squeeze out the gel for minor cuts, burns and scrapes. Ingesting is fresh can be a little more complicated since you want to avoid the yellowish liquid that lies between the pure inner gel and the outer skin. In fact, consuming this yellowish liquid can cause stomach upset so you have to be careful if you are preparing gel to drink. Another downside to the consumption of fresh aloe is that it has to be used immediately or it loses many of its nutrients and healing properties due to oxidization.
No Matter How You Slice It
The uses and benefits of aloe vera are many and varied. While fresh aloe is purer and more potent than over-the-counter varieties, the fact remains that no matter how you use it, it can work wonders for your health and give you relief from so many minor skin irritations, burns and cuts that having some readily available is like having a magic wand in your pocket.
Geranium is one of those essential oils that kinda gets ignored. Whenever we think about using EOs for relaxation, balance, and calm we typically think about Lavender, Ylang Ylang, or Roman Chamomile. Geranium though does wonders for those looking to relax and seek some measure of calm in their otherwise hectically paced life. In centuries past people used to grow geranium plants around their homes to keep evil spirits away. We may not have to worry so much about evil spirits but maybe our own negative spirit…it works for that too.
If you are unsure what it smells like, I personally think it smells very similar to rose oil though a little less annoyingly sweet. It is actually quite perfect to use as a perfume when you are in high stress situations (work, meetings, school, commutes, etc) so that you can have a great day, staying cool and collected. It lifts the spirit, relieves tension, and helps you deal with negative emotions. For these reasons it is also great for PMS and menstrual issues. It is actually supposed to help balance our hormones.
How To Use Geranium Oil
Dilute it 50:50 and then diffuse it, inhale it, or apply to the temples, chakras, or abdomen.
You can of course buy geranium essential oil itself or buy some kind of blend or product that contains the oil. Aura Cacia makes several geranium based products that I have tried and like. They have body oil, bubble bath, mineral bath powder, and a spray mist.
One of my favorite ways of late to use Geranium (and other EOs) is to put a few drops inside a car diffuser. I have been driving more recently and during rush hour too. Diffusing essential oils in the car is a pretty nifty way to reap their benefits. You simply put a few drops of Geranium (or any oil of your choosing) on the little paper pads that come with the diffuser, plug it into your cigarette lighter outlet and away you go.
There is actually a USB diffuser you can plug into a computer or laptop as well. Great for working/offices. There is a solution for everything.
Another great time to use Geranium is while traveling. Traveling in general can be stressful but especially so with kids…
- Give your hotel room a make-over with a spray mist: add 3 drops geranium, 2 drops lemon and 1 drop tea tree per ounce of water in spray bottle. Shake and spray throughout hotel room.
- Sun care skin soother: add 3 drops geranium per application of an unscented lotion or aloe vera gel.
- Decompress express for travelers: add 3 drops geranium to 1 tsp. almond oil and massage into temples and back of neck.
Have you tried Geranium oil yet?