MENU

Posts tagged: chamomile tea

Red Seal's Health Blog


Serenity time with herbal support

Serenity_650x300_v1

Go faster… work to deadlines, fit in extra over-time, play referee with the kids (as they are about to kill each other), keep calm (in the middle of peak hour traffic with crazy drivers either side of you), clean the house (as the in-laws are coming), remember to bring in the washing off the line, cook healthy meals (that everyone in the family likes… if not, sort out two different meals), weed the garden before the triffids reach the front door… juggle, rush, organise, balance – the busy mind repeats lists of jobs and problems… Smile and remember to keep calm, just before you scream!

In our fast paced society, we pack as much into our days as possible trying to balance the demands of our families, work and living, which means prolonged pressure. This can result in becoming worn out, over-stimulated, overloaded, over-tired and wound up.

Balancing these demands with other physical stressors such as eating food with less nutrient value, too much sugar, allergies, toxic chemical overload, stimulants such as caffeine, lack of exercise and lack of sleep can put emesis pressure on our nervous system and bodies. Fatigue, tension, insomnia, depression, irritability and increased time with stress and worrying are the body’s overload signals that we need to take steps to rest and restore. 

Undoubtedly, one of the most important ways to create a healthy nervous system, reduce the ill effects of stress, nervous exhaustion and anxiety is to rest, meditate, enjoy time out (listening to music, arts and crafts, reading), sleep and eat well. Dealing with these issues daily will help our body to relax, unwind, heal and repair especially when we sleep. If we can sleep (or if we are lucky – go on a holiday) we can remove ourselves from the daily urgencies for a while.

Nature gives us some herbs when we need extra help:

In nature’s natural toolbox of healing there are herbs that can help soothe, calm and nourish the nervous system. These can be used when needed without fear of addiction or dependency. They are mild and gentle in their activity and generically called “Nervines”. Nervines are commonly used by herbalists when supporting the body from anxiety, over-excitement, tension and sleeplessness. Nervine herbs include; valerian, catnip, passion flower, skullcap, St John’s Wort, lemon balm and chamomile. These herbs are commonly available as a herbal infusion, tablet or capsule supplement, or as tincture.

 

  1. Executive Stress B* for tension and stress

A combination of nutrient support such as B vitamins, minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc and iodine with nervine herbs such as skullcap, passionflower, and valerian is ideal for those who have tension linked with fatigue and exhaustion that may be linked to nutrient deficiency. When we are stressed, vitamins B & C and a number of other nutrients are in high demand by the body.

 

  1. St John’s Wort with soothing herbs* to support body and mind

A supplement for those who need a lift with nervine herbs that support both body and mind – St John’s Wort, Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) and Ginkgo (Ginkgo billoba). Non-addictive, it can help when you need some emotional or stress support.

 

  1. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)* for insomnia, anxiety and concentration

A popular herb to help with insomnia, anxiety and improving mental concentration. It has a refreshing lemony flavour making it a popular herb in some teas.

 

  1. Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis)* for a good sleep

One of the gentlest herbal sleeping remedies; it enhances the body’s natural process of slipping into sleep and making the stresses of the day recede. For people who do not need as much sleep as they once did, it also eases lying awake in bed, ensuring that it becomes a restful and relaxing experience. This is often as re-vivifying as sleep itself, and indeed all that is necessary in more cases than not.
Valerian has demonstrated decidedly relaxing properties in clinical trials. For example, in three separate sleep tests (two of them double-blind), people who received a valerian preparation fell asleep up to 50% faster and had a sounder, more restful sleep than people in the placebo group.

 

  1. Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)* for preventing nightmares

Has a variety of uses, the most important being its soothing, calmative effect. It has been traditionally used as a preventative remedy for nightmares.

 

  1. Catnip (Cataria vulgaris)* for humans…

Has mild sedative properties and is often used to alleviate nervousness, sleeplessness, and nervous headaches. And yes, it is the same plant that drives cats into fits of ecstasy just by the mere smell of it.

 

  1. Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)* for tranquillising

In the best sense of the word ‘tranquillising’. The extract is effective in treating disturbed sleep patterns due to worried and excited nervous states. Additionally, Passionflower is effective in allaying anxiety, irritability and tension.

 

  1. Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)* for nervous conditions

Traditionally used as a sleep promoter, skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)* has also been used to assist those with nervous conditions, ADHD, nervous headaches and nervine pain.

 

These herbs are available as herbal teas that can be enjoyed any time of day, but often make a wonderful night cap as they are caffeine free and help promote rest and relaxation of the body and mind.    

 

Red Seal herbal teas:

Chamomile tea

Relaxing tea

Sweet Dreams tea

 

*Only take supplements and herbs as directed and if you are taking any medication please check with your health advisor.

Read More »


The Eyes Have It

The Eyes Have it

Good eye health is a vital part of our well-being, yet we often take it for granted or assume we can do little to improve it. In fact there are many factors that can have a positive (or negative) impact on eye health – and diet is the first place to start.


NOT JUST CARROTS

While it’s true that the beta-carotene found in carrots is beneficial to your eyes, there are many other nutrients that are also essential. The two star players are lutein and zeaxanthin. Termed “macular pigments”, they are most prominent in the lens and macula regions of the eye and have been shown to play a prominent role in maintaining eye health. Lutein effectively controls free-radical generation and the resulting oxidative damage through its ability to filter out blue wavelengths of light (such as UV rays) which cause damage to the eyes as well as to the skin.

Where can you find lutein and zeaxanthin? They are most abundant in yellow, orange and green plant foods. Goji berries, kiwifruit, tangerines, persimons, red and yellow peppers, spinach, pumpkin and kale are all great sources, as are egg yolks. Marigold flower petals are an amazing source of lutein and zeaxanthin – branch out and add these to salads.

TIP: An extra-potent way to maximize the eye-health benefits of carrots is to drink their juice followed by a shot of cod liver oil.


WINTER WARNING

Open fires, windy days, seasonal allergies and central heating can make our eyes feel drier in winter. If this affects you, try upping your intake of vitamin B, essential fatty acids and potassium.

Star picks:

Red Seal Fish OilVitaminBComplex


Chamomile tea & Raspberry Leaf teaTEA AND SYMPATHY

The proverbial “cup of tea and a lie down” cures many ills, but did you know that teabags themselves could benefit your eyes?

Both Red Seal Raspberry Leaf teabags and Red Seal Chamomile teabags can be moistened with warm water and used as compresses several times a day. These kitchen-cupboard wonders can help with eyes that are swollen, bloodshot, itchy and irritated. 

Simply pour hot water over one or two teabags and steep them for three to five minutes. Squeeze out the moisture and pop them into the fridge for 20 minutes for a cool compress (much less for a warm compress).
Then lie down, place them over your eyes and relax. Bonus: you also get to drink and enjoy the tea!


WHAT CAUSES TWITCHING EYE?

Eye strain, high stress levels and lack of sleep can cause these infuriating tics and spasms. Magnesium, which works on relaxing muscles, is the most popular remedy for this ailment – try Red Seal Magnesium which also contains potassium.


EYE UP THESE SUPPLEMENTS

Even the best diet won’t always cover all the bases, so consider the following extra ammunition to support eye health:

Red Seal Zinc B6 and Magnesium – supports eye health and blood circulation to the eyes and can assist with dry eyes
Red Seal Selenium Plus – antioxidant protection plus vitamins A, C and E
Red Seal Cod Liver Oil, Red Krill Oil and Fish Oil – these supply plenty of omega-3 fatty acids essential for eye health
Red Seal Vitamin B complex – a great all-round supplement for those who are stressed, as stress affects eye health


By Julie Fergusson, Red Seal Naturopath

Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.

Credit: Life & Leisure

Read More »


Getting the balance right

Getting the balance right

“You are what you eat” is a common refrain but it’s not only what you eat but how you digest, absorb and eliminate it that contributes to overall good health.

Digestion isn’t just confined to your tummy; it can affect mood, energy levels, the immune system, allergic reactions and even joint comfort. Related to your diet, food intolerances, dehydration, lack of fibre and not taking the time to eat properly can be culprits. Lifestyle factors such as stress and lack of sleep and exercise are key. Your body may be lacking in probiotics or digestive enzymes or be affected by medication. Health problems such as candida, worms, haemorrhoids or fissures can also have adverse affects on digestion.

The good news is that there are some very simple steps to take to achieve better digestive balance (and some of them won’t cost you a cent!).


3 TOP TIPS FOR BETTER DIGESTIVE BALANCE

1 Know your body
Are there some foods/medications that trigger digestive problems? Where is your problem?

2 Take charge
Be prepared to change food choices, the speed at which you eat and the amount you eat.

3 Make time
Schedule your day so you have time to prepare wholesome meals then sit down and enjoy them. Take time to relax with a cup of herbal tea. 


COFFEE OR TEA?

While moderate caffeine intake in a healthy person is considered safe, if you are having digestive issues cutting your caffeine consumption is worth considering. Caffeine causes increased acidity in the stomach which can result in reflux, heartburn and irritation on both the stomach and intestinal tract walls. It also stimulates gallbladder contraction and colonic motor activity. Caffeine’s laxative effect can also mean that you don’t digest foods as well as you should.

A soothing cup of tea provides a moment of time-out as well as a way to naturally aid digestion. Red Seal herbal teas contain 100 percent herbs with no artificial ingredients and are naturally caffeine-free. Here’s how to create the perfect moment for…

Calm
Red Seal Chamomile Tea is a soothing tonic that can help calm the nervous system and relax an upset digestive tract. If you’re having a stressful day, it’s the ideal way to chill out.


Refreshment
Try Red Seal Peppermint Tea. This aromatic herbal tea is great at any time of day, before or after meals. It can even help calm queasy stomachs, so it’s ideal for mums-to-be.


Spice
Red Seal Red Bush Chai Tea has a touch of spice which can help digestive enzymes do their work. This aromatic hot drink is perfect for warming up cold winter nights.


HOW TO AVOID ANTACID TABLETS

Here are eight great natural digestive aids to use instead:

1 Liquorice tea
2 Probiotics
3 Slippery elm
4 Aloe vera
5 An apple (before bed)
6 Chamomile tea with manuka honey
7 Water at room temperature
8 Apple cider vinegar (1 teaspoon) with manuka honey, sipped at mealtimes


By Julie Fergusson, Red Seal Naturopath

Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.

Credit: Life & Leisure

Read More »