Why I Love Creeping Charlie…

Creeping Charlie 

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Many people hate the sight of Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) will do anything to try to eradicate it. It is often considered an invasive weed that runs amok. But when I see this low growing plant with kidney-shaped leaves and beautiful, funnel-shaped, bluish-violet flowers in the spring, it makes me think of all the amazing medicinal uses it has.

European settlers intentionally brought Creeping Charlie to America for its culinary and medicinal uses. A member of the mint family, the herb forms long trailing stems that create a dense mat over the ground. Another common name for this plant is Ground Ivy.

Historically, it has a rich background and was even used in beer making as a clarifying agent to improve flavor before hops were used. It was also used by painters as a remedy for lead colic. Mostly, it was used as a tonic. Since Creeping Charlie is extremely rich in vitamin C, it was often made into a tea and used to prevent scurvy.

Parts used: Flowers, stems, leaves.

Medicinal Uses: Both Internal and external.

  • Soothes inflamed mucous membranes
  • Sinusitis
  • used for inner and middle ear remedy
  • tinnitus (ringing in the ears
  • kidney and lung disorder
  • head colds, especially with congestion in ear tubes
  • bronchitis and viral pneumonia
  • cough remedy
  • bladder infections
  • indigestion
  • may be useful for heavy metal detoxification (lead, mercury, aluminum)
  • traditional cancer remedy
  • Externally used as a wash or poultice for sores, cuts, bruises and ear or nasal infections

Systems Supported: Kidney, bladder, respiratory, lymphatic, and digestive.

Plant Preparations: Infusion (tea), tincture, poultice.

Minerals/Vitamins: Iron, copper, iodine, phosphorus, potassium. Rich in Vitamin C.

Herbal Actions: Anti-catarrhal – Anti-inflammatory – Antiviral – Astringent – Diaphoretic – Diuretic – Expectorant 

 

RECIPE: Creeping Charlie Tea

IMG_2561Because this plant runs so rampant, one way to embrace and use Creeping Charlie is to make an herbal infusion. It has a pleasantly subtle mint-like flavor.

Infusions are a great way to build health. Just think of them as a gentle tonic for the body. Tonic herbs are beneficial to the body and they can either increase or decrease the activity of a system, as needed. Some tonic herbs have an overall affect on several bodily systems, while others address a narrow range of processes. Herbal teas are easy to prepare and nurturing to sip.

How To Make It…
  1. Pick enough plant material to loosely fill a quart jar.
  2. Thoroughly wash the Creeping Charlie.
  3. Place the plant material in a quart jar.
  4. Fill to top with boiling water.
  5. Cover jar and steep for one hour.
  6. Remove plant material and drink either hot or cold.
  7. Optional: Add lemon or lime slices with a sprig of fresh mint.

DIY Anti-Fungal Salve

salveThis recipe is a nice one to use for a variety of skin problems. Not only do the herbs in it contain anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, but some also support and promote cell regeneration for fast healing.

How to Make Anti-Fungal Herbal Salve

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Echinacea root
  • 1 tablespoon Calendula flowers
  • 2 tablespoons Comfrey leaf
  • 2 tablespoons Plantain leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Yarrow flowers and leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Rosemary leaf
  • 1/4 cup beeswax
  • 30 drops Grapefruit essential oil
  • Vitamin E oil to preserve (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Infuse the herbs into the olive oil. There are two methods for this procedure. You can either combine the herbs and the olive oil in a jar with an airtight lid and leave for 4 weeks, shaking the jar every day. The other method is quicker. Simply heat the herbs and olive oil over a very low heat in a double boiler for about 3 hours until the oil is completely infused with the herbs. It will change color to take on a stronger green.
  2. Strain the herbs out of the oil by pouring the mixture through cheesecloth. Let all the oil drip out and then tightly squeeze the herbs to get the remaining oil separated from the plant material.
  3. Discard the herbs and save the infused oil.
  4. Melt the beeswax in a pan with low heat. After the beeswax is completely melted, add in the infused oil and gentle heat just until the wax and oil combine.                                      If desired, add vitamin E.
  5. Add the Grapefruit essential oil to the warmed oil and beeswax.
  6. Pour into small glass jars, let cool and cover. Label salve. Use topically on wounds, diaper rash, or other skin issues.

Note: To keep the salve fresh longer, store in refrigerator and it will keep up to one year. If not refrigerated, the salve should be used within 6 months.

How to Alleviate Autumn Allergies

White plant seedhead

A surge in allergy problems happens both in the spring and the fall with the many airborne substances that can act as allergens. Whether you blame it on the ragweed, goldenrod, or just unknowns spores and molds in the air, it can be miserable for suffers of allergy symptoms. Common symptoms include watery eyes, red itchy eyes, runny nose, clogged nose, wheezing, sneezing, sinus headache, foggy head, fatigue, breathing issues, joint pain, stress and/ or anxiety. The bottom line is any of these indicators can make you feel awful.

Here are some tips you can use to avoid or improve autumn allergies.

1. Use natural antihistamine herbs.

Typically these herbs contain natural quercetin that the body uses to modulate the allergens. Try Nettle, Chickweed, Wild Cherry, Elderflower & Peppermint. All of these herbs work to normalize the histamines that your body releases in response to the allergens. Teas and tinctures are ideal ways to consume these herbs.

2. If your symptoms include leaky, drippy and runny nose and eyes, you may need astringent herbs.

Among the best herbs in this category are Raspberry, White Oak, Sumac, Peach, Nettle,  and believe it or not Goldenrod and Ragweed! You may be shocked to hear that Goldenrod and Ragweed actually are herbal remedies for seasonal allergies or hayfever, but they work wonders.

3. For clogged or stock mucus, use herbs that act as expectorants.

Some really good examples of expectorant herbs would be Fenugreek, Creeping Charlie, Elecampane, Ginger, Cayenne, Horseradish, and Garlic.

4. If you have dry, itchy and scratchy symptoms, consider herbs that are mucilaginous.

Herbs in this category my include Marshmallow Root, Slippery Elm, Licorice and Fenugreek.

5. Since allergies are ultimately an autoimmune condition, you will need to boost your immune system.

Here are some herbs that will help nourish and restore your immunity. Elderberry, Astragalus, Reshi, Boneset, Turmeric Root, and Propolis. Teas or tinctures can be really beneficial methods of consuming the herbs.

 

To help select which herb works best for you, a consultation with your health professional can be very beneficial. Additionally, there are a number of supplements, nutritional and other strategies that can be used to minimize seasonal allergies. To set up an appointment with Connie, please call 320-587-6094.

Turmeric Products

IMG_1280 turmeric productsTurmeric Products at The Lamb Shoppe

Here are some wonderful ways to incorporate more Turmeric into you everyday life. Designs for Health makes a very good quality supplement called C3 Curcumin Complex. You may also take the plant extract tincture form via drops under the tongue. The company Energetix makes a fantastic herbal blend product you can add to your water for full body support.

Chaga

Latin Name: Inonotus obliquus

Minnesota grown Chaga is available now at The Lamb Shoppe for Teas and as Tinctures!

About:

The chaga mushroom has been used for centuries as a folk medicine remedy in North European countries and Russia. In laboratory studies, Chaga demonstrates anti-cancer activity as well as anti-inflammatory, antiviral and immune-stimulating properties. Historical records show the use of Chaga since the 16th century as a folk remedy.

 

Chaga Mushroom

Chaga Mushroom

Preparations:

  • Tea (long brewed as a decoction) It can be drank either hot or cold. Due to it’s natural tannins has a similar flavor to coffee, but lighter.
  •  Chaga can also be made into a tincture (an alcohol extract).

 

Medicinal Uses:

Here are some specific uses that have been shown with Chaga:

  • Normalizes immune function – it can stimulate or slow it down
  • Neutralized the side effects of pharmaceuticals
  • Carries antioxidant properties
  • Revitalizing & Anti-aging
  • Excellent adaptogen – it helps deal with stresses of modern life including mental, physical, chemical and environmental
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiviral
  • Anti-ulcer, anti-gastritis properties
  • Anticancer Potential – It decreases the side effects and supports standard cancer treatments of chemo-therapy and other aggressive medications. Chaga compensates the devastating effects of radiation and chemotherapy have on the immune system that cause nausea, insomnia, poor appetite and fatigue.
  • Prevents metastasis of cancer
  • Normalizes cholesterol levels
  • Benefits the cardiovascular system
  • Supports healthy blood pressure

 

There are no side effects or contraindications. But do not use with immune suppressing medicines that contain cyclosporin products used after an organ transplant because the immune modulating effect may neutralize the effects of the drugs taken.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

Featured Product: Energy Tonic

Urban Moonshine Energy TonicEnergy Tonic is made by a small family business located in Vermont called Urban Moonshine.

This organic herbal tincture is great for over stressed over worked and depleted folks looking to support their adrenal system and encourage their body’s endurance capacity, similarly, it’s great for athletes who put stress on their bodies! It helps to protect your body for the depleting effects of stress.* It is a blend of adaptogenic herbs including Rhodiola, Ginseng and Fo Ti which are traditionally used to:

  • Boost stamina and endurance*
  • Restore mental alertness when fatigued*
  • Support the body as a whole to maintain radiant health*

 

Energy Tonic made by Urban Moonshine is available at The Lamb Shoppe & Wellness Center in a 2 ounce dropper bottle for $18.00.

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.