I love quench cleanser…holy cats! I find it cooling for my reactive skin (I get red really easily and react to ingredients with warmth and redness, Im kind of a delicate flower.) it gets the job done and cools my firey skin. Lets find out how this puppy works. Here are the ingredients:
Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, Rosa damascena (rose) flower water, leuconostoc/Radish root ferment filtrate, glycerin, coco glucoside, coconut alcohol, lauryl glucoside, sucrose cocoate, sodium lauroyl lactylate, Calophyllum inophyllum (foraha) fruit/seed oil, sclerotium gum, Panax ginseng (ginseng) root extract, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, hydrogenated lecithin, glyceryl caprylate, sodium anisate, xanthan gum, citric acid.
Ingredients in bold are Certified Organic
89.15% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming pH = 4.8-5.5
Let’s look at each ingredient one at a time together.
Aloe barbadensis- Aloe is cooling to the skin, emollient, and healing. I wrote about this in my materia medica…here are some of the known mechanisms of healing for Aloe: Beta Carotine, Vitamin C, E and B12 along with folic acid and choline along with minerals like Calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc are among the MANY ingredients that cause Aloe to be such a great healer of the skin. Its also organic! Bonus!
Helianthus annuus is sunflower seed oil. Sunflower seed oil is really high in Vitamin E or tocopherol which is an awesome antioxidant, it is also anti-inflammatory. So, here I am going to talk about antioxidants and why they are so important. We always hear that this is an antioxidant or that is…wth does that really mean???
As we go through the day we encounter lots of free radicals…what in the world is a free radical? Its an incomplete and unbalanced molecule with a charge. Free radicals are large components of pollution. Smoke, ozone and the like. These molecules are missing one or two electrons which make them unstable and looking for an electron wherever they can find one to make themselves stable and have a neutral charge which all molecules strive for…neutrality and balance. Without antioxidants those electrons can come from our own bodies, our skin or if we inhale them, our organs making our own molecules unstable which causes them to become reactive, it’s really a huge cycle, everyone is looking for neutrality and balance. Antioxidants have extra electrons to share or donate freely to free radicals to make them balanced and neutral without having to wrestle them from our organs or skin.
Antioxidants like Vitamin E and C have extra electrons to donate like the Mother Theresas of the atomic world, preventing oxidation and instability of tissues and cells. So important to health.
Rosa damascene flower water- this ingredient is the queen of skincare ingredients (no really, rose is considered the queen of skincare). Rose flower water is so soothing, so emollient, so supportive for mature and fragile skin. I have used this ingredient in so many of my own formulations for skincare, especially for people with health issues. This one is organic too! Wow! I would love to be at that distillery…wouldn’t you? Yummmm
leuconostoc/Radish root ferment filtrate- this is a bacteria that is the by-product of fermentation. It has been found to have preservative properties. EWG has this listed as super low overall hazard.
Glycerin- Glycerin is also known as glycerol, is sweet and non-toxic. In cosmetics is used as a humectant (draws water from the air to skin) and emollient (soothing and smoothing).
Coco glucoside- this is a surfactant (a surfactant reduces the surface tension of water making it “wetter” to better dissolve oil and dirt easier) and is super low on the EWG hazard list.
Coconut alcohol- Did you just cringe seeing alcohol in skin cleanser? I did. But this isn’t that kind of alcohol. It’s the chemical kind of alcohol, which is just a chemical formulation and positions of atoms, not necessarily the stuff that burns and dries your skin. This alcohol is a fatty alcohol that is also an emollient emulsion stabilizer (keeps emulsions emulsified), foam boosting viscosity (thickness) controller.
lauryl glucoside- is a sugar and lipid (fat) based surfactant. Super low on the EWG scale of hazards.
sucrose cocoate- overall hazard is super low, and is a skin conditioning agent, emollient and surfactant, antistatic and skin conditioning.
sodium lauroyl lactylate- the overall hazard is low and it is used as a surfactant and emulsifying agent.
Calophyllum inophyllum (foraha) fruit/seed oil- this is tamanu seed oil. I was just talking to another herbalist the other day about this amazing oil. They said that this is all you would need in your tool kit for skin repair. This really is an amazing oil! Scientific studies include: uses for sunburn, wound healing, scar healing. Anti acne, anti inflammatory, anti tumor , moisturinzing, increasing micro circulation, hypoallergenic all these studies are cited here: http://www.volcanicearth.com/tamanu-oil-botanical-profile.html and this paper from the International Journal of Cosmetic Science is really interesting also: http://www.dweckdata.co.uk/Published_papers/Tamanu.pdf tradition and science really speak to the quality and healing properties of this ingredient.
sclerotium gum- this is a skin conditioning agent, emulsion stabilizer and low on overall hazard on the EWG rating scale.
Panax Ginseng Root Extract-this is an organic ingredient that is very low on the EWG ingredient list. Panax Ginseng Root extract is used in skincare according to Paula’s Choice panax ginseng is used to boost hydration, as an antioxidant and fades uneven skin tone and reduces wrinkles topically and even boosts the natural firmness of skin. (https://www.paulaschoice.com/ingredient-dictionary/antioxidants/panax-ginseng-root-extract.html)
Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract- firstly, this is not rosemary essential oil, this is rosemary extract which is going to have much less oil in it, so those of us who are familiar with essential oils know that this can be a really robust EO; This isn’t that. This is an extract which is water infused (like a tea) extract. This has an antioxidant effect and extends the shelf life of the product. This is more of an antioxidant for the product itself more than for our skin.
Hydrogenated Lecithin- this has a low overall hazard according to EWG. It acts as a skin conditioning and emulsifying agent that is non-surfactant. It is derived from egg yolks (which is why aioli emulsifies so well with olive oil…emulsification of lecithin from the yolk of the egg 😉 …science…who said I would never use those 3 years of chemistry in college?)
glyceryl caprylate-an overall super low overall hazard. This ingredient is used as a skin conditioning agent, emollient, surfactant and emulsifier,
sodium anisate- very low overall hazard (one source said harmless) , derived from fennel and is an antimicrobial agent to preserve the product.
Xanthan Gum- is a thickener used in foods and in cosmetics for texture. Harmless.
Citric Acid- citiric acid is used as a buffer to maintain the acidity of the product. Citric acid is derived from citrus fruits (oranges, limes, lemons etc)
This product is 89.15% organic…I love the transparency of this statistic. Life is about balance. There are some things that can be used organically and some things that cannot. There are a number of reasons that things cannot be organic. Sustainability and feasibility being two of them. We cannot continue to sustain some of the organic products that we use…coconut and palm being two that jump out at me, and also shortages of Santal album (sandalwood) and real high-altitude lavender being a couple more that I have seen become unsustainable in my years of practice. I like balance. Also some of the non-organic ingredients don’t come in organic form with the organic standards.
The pH of the product: 4.8-5.5…love this. The acid mantle of the skin is our very first line of protection from outside invaders. The acid mantle of the skin’s pH is 4.5-6.2. This product will not strip the acid mantle by being too alkaline. Good call.
Overall: I really like quench. I find it to be cooling and soothing to my skin, and cleans great! Now that I know the thought that went into it I love it even more!!!
© 2018 Donna Bass and Mamma Moon Herbals
Professional Skincare: LimeLight by Alcone:
I am going to go through the ingredients in the skincare line of LimeLight by Alcone and we will discover why and what they do, I am going to start with my first and favorite product…makeup remover wipes. Let’s get to know this line together!
Holy guacamole you guys!!! The first thing I do when I get home is take off my makeup. I just want it off and to get on with my day. My eyes are super itchy this time of year and therefore really sensitive to anything on them. I grab a wipe (I have NEVER needed more than one) and I am done. It gets all the mascara off AND the eyeliner and my skin feels awesome after. What makes them so powerful, gentle and fabulous!!!??? Let’s look:
Water, Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprylate/Caprate, Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate/Sebacate, Sodium Benzoate, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, Tocopheryl Acetate, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, Butylene Glycol, Linalool, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Hydroxycitronellal. Let’s find out what all of that stuff is, one at a time then together.
I am using the EWG database of cosmetics ingredients. They are really tough on ingredients which is good, but also sometimes we need to put that into a perspective, let’s look…
Water: Water…the stuff that makes it wet
Glycerine: Glycerine also known as glycerol is a humectant that draws moisture from the air to your skin, it is also used as a sweetener. Glycerine is nontoxic.
Polyclyceryl-4 laurate/Sebacate: the origins of this is Coconut fruit and Palm fruit, the role is an emulsifying (an agent that helps two things mix completely) agent or a solubizing (something that makes fats more soluble or dissolvable) agent and is considered a low hazard ingredient on a scale of low moderate and high hazards.
Sodium Benzoate: is a preservative. It is antifungal. The overall hazard is low. The reason this is important to me as an herbalist is this: mold. When you mix water with oils you are going to get mold. That is the long and short of it. I have NEVER been able to mix the two and not get mold eventually. Here is where the balance comes in, sometimes we need things that are not organic to get the job done safely; even though mold is natural it also will cause a world of hurt on your skin. This is one of those times. EWG is ok with it and calls it a low hazard…Im going with that recommendation
Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate: Overall hazard super low, this is a Chelating Agent. Chelating agents make sure no minerals adhere to the skin from any source (especially water) and help with the preservative effects
Ethylhexyl Stearate: is another superlow hazard ingredient and looks like a long chain saturated fat of some kind…or a wax, in fact it is an emollient derived from plant oil and is a solvent for some substances in cosmetics…which makes total sense, because it’s a makeup wipe.
Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer: super low health concern score…good so far right? This is a thickening agent or binder and helps to stabilize emulsions. Both good things, this is not a natural ingredient but it is also not an ingredient that is likely to cause an issue either.
Xanthan Gum: polysaccharide (a type of sugar) and thickener, its probably in your ice cream and is used in gluten free baked goods.
Tocopheryl Acetate: is a mixture of vitamin E oil and acetic acid (vinegar). This is used as an antioxidant and skin conditioning agent. This has a low to moderate rating because it has been identified as a possible skin irritant because it may be contaminated depending upon how it is sourced. High doses had sketchy results with rats.
Phenoxyethanol: fragrance ingredient and preservative. Low to moderate concern for hazard.
Dimethicone: skin conditioning agent, emollient, skin protecting, lubricating: silicone-based oil. Low to moderate overall hazard.
Isohexadecane: super low health concerns, it is a petroleum byproduct, it is used as a skin conditioning agent.
Butylene Glycol: super low health concerns, a small organic alcohol that is used as a solvent and conditioning agent which makes sense as it is used to break down makeup which is usually oil based.
Linalool: moderate hazard. I was super surprised about that as linalool is a major component of lavender essential oil and a number of other essential oils in the EWG database. The International fragrance association codes and standards recommends restricted use in cosmetics. I did a deep dive on linalool and found that the problem with linalool is when it becomes oxidized which in this application is not a factor. Actually Linalool has been looked at to treat tumors of various types. (http://chemicaloftheday.squarespace.com/qa/2011/3/9/linalool.html) check for yourself.
Rosa Centifolia Flower Water: Super low overall hazard. The queen of the rosewaters. Rosa centifolia rose water is the most expensive and is for mature and fragile skin…sooooooo healing and emollient and luxurious…yumz! Times 10! I use that sh*& on everything…skin protectant and conditioning.
Hydroxycitronellal: this has a moderate+ health concern. According to EWG “…a common scent ingredient produced synthetically from naturally occurring scent chemical citronellal.” The scent is lily or sweet melon, and is used as a masking scent.
Overall: I am impressed that they have gone out of the way to obtain sensible and effective ingredients for this product. Overall the ingredients are very low hazard making it a great product especially for people with a current chemical/disease load (everyone). It really does work and only uses one fluffy towel that you can use both sides of which is crazy! The towel is really pretty thick as makeup remover towels go. The ingredients are low impact on the body…the only one that raised an eyebrow was the last one. I might change that one, but that is just me and I didn’t ask them their reasoning for using that instead of citronellal or another scent. That is my report on this product…I love it!!! ~ ©2018 Donna Bass B.S., MH, Cos.
Fat cells…what are they?
There is a LOT of information out there about fat and fat cells and how to manage them. There is so much advice out there one’s head veritably swims with wondering what is the best way to manage your weight. This article is the first of a series on a new way to treat fat and fat cells. This first one we are going to get our arms around what a fat cell is, what it contains and how it behaves.
Fat cells are called adipocytes. They are signet shaped. The signet is the nucleus. They carry a drop of triglyceride (fat) in the largest part of them. Fat cells are forever. When we lose weight, we don’t lose fat cells we lose the triglyceride in the cell in order to shrink it.
So why do we have fat cells? What do they do for us? Fat cells are hoarders of vitamins and triglycerides that the body can’t make itself. Fat cells store energy (kind of), protect vital organs, insulate us from cold and heat. Fat cells acts as messengers, start chemical reactions that help control growth, immune function, reproduction and basic metabolism. Fat cells also store fat soluble vitamins along with organophosphates and other environmental poisons to sequester them away from the greater body system. Estrogen is also stored in fat cells.
The blue ball on the left represents the nucleus, and crowded around it are the other structures of pretty much any nucleated cell. There is the Golgi apparatus to get rid of waste, the endoplasmic reticulum to regulate protein and lipid synthesis and cell receptors and transporters on the outside of the cell, and the big drop of triglycerides in the cell that is what makes it a fat cell. Triglycerides are fats.
So, how do the triglycerides get there in the first place? “Excess carbohydrate or protein in the diet is converted to triglyceride and stored in the lipid droplets of adipocytes.” https://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g7257 If you are struggling to understand how weight and fat cells the link takes you to a fascinating article of how we may have some misconceptions about fat.
Adipocytes are very dynamic and incredibly important in the body. The receptors on the outside of the cell speak to its complexity and importance. As you can see this cell interacts with insulin, growth hormone, leptin, estrogen, vitamin D, glucagon, Thyroid stimulating hormone among other hormones. This is one dynamic cell! This cell is all about how we store “fat”. Do some of the terms listed seem familiar to you? They should. Insulin, Thyroid Stimulating hormone, androgen and estrogen hint that fat cells interact with many of the systems that are associated with weight loss and weight gain. The process is daunting in its complexity. Let’s suffice it to say the process is not just calories in and calories out.
Fat cells form from 14-23 weeks in a fetus. (https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Adipose_Tissue_Development). The number of fat cells in both fat and thin people are set by adolescence. During adulthood about 8% of fat cells die every year to be replaced resulting in a relatively constant number of fat cells in the body of the adult according to a new Swiss study by Kirsty Spaulding. (http://scienceblogs.com/notrocketscience/2008/05/04/fat-cell-number-is-set-in-childhood-and-stays-constant-in-ad/ ) What this shows is that losing and gaining weight is the filling and emptying of the adipocyte. This also is why there is such a high regain rate of weight. When the cell is emptied it sends out a hormone (leptin) to increase appetite to refill it. This is the reason diets don’t work, there needs to be a lifestyle change. In our next article we will discuss some less talked about lifestyle changes…and talk about some really empowering ways to understand our bodies and how to prevent dis-ease. Talk to you then!
Last week we talked about stress and what the physiological ramifications are of chronic stress. This week I am going to give you some different herbs and their classifications for stress, Next week some self care strategies!
Nerve tonics support nervous tissue. They tonify and nourish and keep the tissue healthy and balanced. Here are some nerve tonics:
Oats: would be moistening and soothing for the system, this would be great for dryness caused by stress (dry mouth vaginal dryness, chronic dryness), very nutritive, supportive of the whole nervous system. This is the ultimate severe “burnout” remedy for when there is sensitivity to everything gentle Oats will pave the road back to balance. Cold water infusion sip throughout the day. (Contains gluten)
Brahmi: enhances circulation to the brain increasing short and long-term memory. Brahmi enhances cognitive function, is a mild sedative and is anti-inflammatory. (also rumored to be aphrodisiac ;) which as we know now libido can be affected by chronic stress. Could take up to 4 weeks to take effect
Gotu Kola: peripheral vasodilator (causing the small blood vessels to expand for better micro blood flow to the brain and body which would also carry more O2 to the brain, anti-inflammatory
St. John’s Wort: Sunny! This beautiful yellow flower that blooms on the Summer Solstice (or St Johns Day) is a cheerful and powerful tonic for the brain. SJW is anti-inflammatory, great for SAD, minor to moderate depression. Do not use with MAO inhibitors, use with great caution with any other anti-depressant.
Blue Vervain: Blue vervain works on the liver as a hepatic stimulant, it increases bile secretion and increases intestinal motility (which is affected by cortisol). It tones and strengthens the whole nervous system and is relaxing and allows for destressing. Blue vervain can also ease depression and melancholia. As we learned before the liver is affected via the pancreas and anger and depression are often related to liver imbalances. Also, for liver balance dandelion greens, nettle, and milk thistle can help to gently rebalance the liver/gall bladder/pancreas triangle.
Relaxants are going to cause relaxation in differing degrees. Some will cause almost a stupor and should not be used while at work. Will often cause sleepiness and deep relaxation. Try it before using machinery.
Lavender: So soothing and fragrant. Just the smell of it can carry me off to a summer day. Lavender mint shortbread is the girliest and most delicious cookie ever baked. Yum. Lavender flowers mixed with mint, holy basil and rosemary will banish the blues and calm the spirit and likely get rid of any headache.
Lavender essential oil is a great anxiolytic and when applied neat will stop any bug bite from itching and heal even the worst cuts almost overnight as an interesting aside.
Hops: When I lived in a log cabin in the woods with friends we had beautiful hops growing on the outside of the outhouse. These hops made a beautiful yellow and bitter tincture. One day I was curious about the beautiful green flower so I picked a big ol’ warm flower and popped it in my mouth…it was like the sun exploded in my mouth…it was amazing. So I always relate hops with the sun and a sunny disposition. Valerianic acid is one of the active ingredients of hops (same as valerian and valium) Hops are sedative, bitter, can be used for restless leg syndrome and sleeplessness, hops should be used with care with sleeping pills and barbiturates could cause respiration depression in large doses.
Lemon Balm: The sour lemony taste is often used as a carminative and antidepressant. It is used to lessen anxiety, for its calming effect and its great in a salad. The carminative action is due to the lessening of anxiety and stress. This is the herb to use if anxiety has gotten to your tummy. Great for IBS, a vasodilator which will help with throbbing headaches.
Skullcap: this herb has traditionally been used as a nerve tonic for pitta types, a relaxant of smooth and skeletal muscle calming without being sedative so great for daytime use. Great for spasmodic pain and mixed with other herbs. As a nervine skullcap can be used for chronic pain and as a constitutional tonic. Plays well with passionflower and blue vervain,
Passion Flower: Passion flower can be used for insomnia with no “hangover”. Passionflower is extremely safe and gentle. It does not force sleep it supports natural sleep. It is calming, it is the most defined sedative effect of all nervines. Passion flower can be paired with Hawthorne, motherwort, valerian, passionflower plays very well with others!
Wild Lettuce: One time this was sold as “lettuce opium” and has been sold as in opium substitute. The latex is used and is a sedative, hypnotic, antispasmodic, narcotic.
Do not use with opioids do not use in excess can cause depressed respiration and when used with other opiate type drugs could cause death.
First let’s define what an adaptogen is in herbal terms: Dr Israel Breckhman the man who coined the term adaptogen defined adaptogens in this manner:
Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is anti-inflammatory, tonic, nervine sedative and promotes youth and longevity. Ashwagandha should be simmered in whole milk or ghee. This is an awesome convalescent herb for exhaustion. This will nourish you back to health and balance. Helps to clear brain fog, colds emaciation, lowers blood sugar and helps with male fertility Ashwagandha is a nourishing tonic, warming and helps support sleep and rest.
Astragalus: Astragalus is sweet antidiabetic (great to normalize glucose levels) immune stimulate antioxidant and hepatoprotectant with a mild diuretic action, also is helpful with high blood pressure and chronic fatigue.
Holy Basil or Tulsi: Holy Basil is anti-stress, anti-lipidemic, antidiabetic and lowers glycemic levels, protects from the effects of stress, improves resilience after stress, hepatoprotective.
Ginseng: Ginseng is of the Panax genus. This includes Korean ginseng, American ginseng, South China Ginseng…Siberian Ginseng is not a true ginseng but is Eluthero which we will discuss later.
Korean Ginseng: Ren Shen or Panax ginseng is safe, effective and one of the most studied herbs in the world. It is used to restore vitality, is a tonic and moistens dryness. Ren shen is an immune amphoteric or balancer, it has a great ability to stimulate or suppress an immune system out of control such as in allergies. This herb is awesome for adrenal depletion. The symptoms are dark circles under the eye a quivering tongue and fatigue and allergies responds well to ginseng.
Mild Type 2 diabetes has responded favorably to Panax ginseng
Studies have also show that Panax ginseng can reduce unhealthy blood lipid levels and enhance blood circulation which makes it great for erectile issues caused by chronic stress. There is also red and white ginseng red being warmer and white being more cool energetically.
American Ginseng: I am loath to discuss this ginseng as it is becoming more and more rare to find wild and as far as I know it is not able to be cultivated. This plant is to be used only as a last resort in my own practice. American ginseng is considered more cooling than Asian ginseng and is used to reduce heat in the respiratory and digestive systems. American ginseng aids sleep, fights fatigue, increases energy endurance strength and physical performance, supports adrenal function, helps to regulate the HPA axis and has a broad evet on the immune system pancreas circulation and nervous system. American ginseng also supports menopausal exhaustion.
Reishi: the longevity mushroom. It benefits every system of the body. When the body is healthy stress does not affect it as harshly
Eleuthro Root: Eleuthero is believed to support adrenal gland function when the body is challenged by stress. It enhances physical capability and stamina and stimulates mental work ability (quality of work). The leaf extract is more effective in mental and physical stimulation, while the root extract is more effective at sustaining performance over a long period of time. The leaf is also more effective for balancing blood insulin and glucose levels than the root. Using the leaf and root extract together appears to be more effective than either one used alone.
Schizandra Berry: is an herbal Nervous System balancer, also an Adaptogen. It helps as a 'harmonizer' with other herbs in nourishing formulas.
This is not by any stretch of the imagination an exhaustive list of herbs in each category. If you would like a deeper dive into stress I would be happy to direct you to my stress class coming soon to teachables. Or a workshop place near you!
See you next week!!! ~Mamma Moon
What is stress exactly?
The image above is known as the HPA axis (hypothalamus, Pituitary, Adrenal)
There is a stimulus: (The howling of your insane three year old in Walmart), Hypothalamus is stimulated then sends a signal to the pituitary, hormones are released and then the adrenal glands are activated releasing stress hormones. Fight or Flight has happened (don't fight the 3 year old it wont work, trust me, RUN!!!)
These are the adrenal glands, they are just little pyramids of cells on top of the kidney. They regulate many processes in the body. With a stressor they work really hard. Continual stress causes them to work continually. Causing adrenal exhaustion. Many alternative health practitioners treat this sub-clinical condition with adaptogenic herbs.
Severe adrenal exhaustion is known as Addison’s Disease. Adrenal exhaustion from daily environmental and mental stress is not recognized by modern medicine.
There is no negative feedback mechanism for stress hormones except to stop the stimulus.
What happens when this stress is constant? Going to a job every day that you dread, living with an abusive partner, or even a stressful profession like being a first responder, nurse, doctor, therapist any profession where there is constant stress…have kids?…a spouse…live in this society??? You have and probably still are experiencing stress. Do we just get used to these signals and become in balance over time? Do we just get used to stress so the effects just go away? Nope. No matter how strong, butch, fabulous or omniscient you are...if there is a stress stimulus, there is a stress response.
During prolonged stress cortisol kicks in to modify the amount of adrenaline and noradrenaline in the system. The symptoms of high cortisol are:
High blood glucose levels
Kidneys retaining water and salt
High blood volumes and raises blood pressure
Erectile dysfunction/loss of sexual drive
There is evidence that chronic stress effects dopamine production. Tyrosine>L Dopa>Dopamine>Norepinephrine>Epinephrine
So now that everyone is freaked all the way out…there is hope.
You have the power to stop the cortisol merry go round. How? Self-care. Its kind of a thing these days too...awesome!!!
Herbs can be used in a number of ways for treating stress.
Teas: there are many herbs that support health. There are specifically two classes of herbs called Nervines and Adaptogens.
Hops, Lavender, Passion flower (do not use if you take an opiate or opioid), Lemon Balm, Skullcap. These are all relaxing nervines
Some Adaptogenic herbs: Holy Basil, Panax ginseng, Rhodiola, Wolfberry, Reishi mushroom, Ashwaganda, Eleuthro root, Astragalus. Adaptogenic herbs support and nourish nerves and tissues causing an all round well being.
A Relaxing Tea Recipe:
1 part Lemon Balm
1 part Holy Basil
1/2 part peppermint
1/4 part Lavender flowers
Pour hot water over herbs and steep for 5 minutes or Put herbs in cold water to infuse overnight or in the sun.
Facials: nothing like an herbal facemask to sooth, smooth and relax with, here is a great recipe I have used myself:
Cucumber and Honey Mask (Very cooling, anti inflammatory, moisturizing, antimicrobial and healing)
½ a cucumber, peeled unless organic, reserve 2 slices, put in the bullet or blender
1 tablespoon honey
Put both in blender blend till smooth, apply to face, put reserved cucumber slices over yout eyes and breathe in clear clean air breathe out stress. Rinse after 15-20 minutes. A great pick me up!
Foot baths and Body Baths, nothing like a bath, here is a quick way to relax from the day
1 tablespoon Peppermint leaves
1 tablespoon Lavender Flowers
7 drops of Tea tree in one tablespoon of carrier oil (added to a footbath for foot fungus)
Never use undiluted essential oils in a tub, water and oil does not mix and sensitive mucosal areas can have a serious reaction to undiluted Eos.
Drop into hot water and relax breathe the vapors, take 20 minutes just to unwind after a long day
Nourishment: Nourishing herbs can be very antioxidant and build strong tissues and help to resolve environmental stressors. These herbs are Oatstraw, Nettle, Chickweed, Burdock root, Marshmallow and Slippery Elm. Be sure your diet is as free of processed foods as possible.
Mindfulness: Bring yourself to the present moment and breathe in any situation to interrupt the HPA axis stimulation
Meditation: Take 5 Close your eyes and listen to your breath. Do nothing allow your thoughts to come and go naturally. This has been clinically proven to help with stress symptoms
Energy work: Reiki, Shamanic energy work, massage, anything that helps to balance energy fields. Stress effects our energy, saps it and sends us down the road to cortisol production
Exercise: Be in nature. Exercise and nature have been shown over and over in clinical studies to help relieve stress.
Neurohack! Just naming the emotions that are causing stress and putting them into a more positive spin will help to calm the HPA. Here are some examples:
Fear to Anticipation
Worry to Concern
Flustered to Excited
Frustrated to Desire
Can you see how this can work? The positive emotions can help you to regain control over your body, your heartbeat, your calm and a more positive state.
At that point you have hacked into your physiology. Simple right?
There is a little bit about Stress. We all deal with it every day. Environmental stresses, Emotional Stresses, Nutritional Stresses. While it is everywhere there are many things we can do to give ourselves the empowerment to turn off the stimulus and regain our health.
Mamma Moon (Donna Bass)
I have been studying plants for as long as I can remember after being introduced to the healing arts by my nana when I was just a girl in the wilds of Maine. I started working in the alternative health area in 1992, working with Salandrea Golding and taking classes and working with clients. In 1998 I served a formal apprenticeship with Salandrea in NH. In order to better serve my clients I enrolled in The University of New England in 2005, graduated with a degree in Behavioral Neuroscience. I then went to Sofia University and studied energy and healing at the Masters level until 2013. I then achieved my Master Herbalist degree in March of 2018. I have studied all over the US including a month making essential oils in Hawaii. I consider myself a bridge between the healthcare system and the self care system, using wise woman tradition and modern scientific method.
I take clients and do education all over the United States and am looking to expand to Europe and beyond. I can be reached through facebook messenger.
I teach a 3-4 class in-depth series on Stress and different ways to address stress and overcome the effects of stress. There is one coming up August 30 at Kae Apothecary in Mt. Vernon.
Herbalists Without Borders has a new chapter in Cedar Rapids!!! Talk to Donna FMI
Any books by Susun Weed or Rosemary Gladstar are recommended here are some sample titles:
Childbearing Year, Healing Wise, The Menopausal Year
Healing Herbs, Herbs for Natural Beauty, Herbal Healing for Women
Family Herbal for beginners
Welcome to the Mamma Moon Blog.
We discuss Herbs, the Science of Herbs and Aromatherapy. I also draw a Card of the Day.
Grab a cup of tea or wine and enjoy. Feel free to participate. ~Mamma Moon