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Herbs for General Wellbeing with Ciara O'Meara

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Today Ciara is going to talk about herbs we can take to enhance our general well being.
Ciara will talk to us about various remedies she recommends to boost our well being. She will tell us why they work and how to prepare them.

St Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
This herb has been widely researched for its anti-depressant effects.
This herb is only available if dispensed by a medical herbalist or other qualified person. This is an excellent herb for helping with mild depression and anxiety. It can be useful for low mood following birth of a child. Mood enhancing effects can take four weeks to manifest.
Other lesser publicised uses of St John's Wort include its use for neuralgic or nerve pain. It also has antiviral properties which made it valuable in the treatment of shingles, a viral illness which manifests in severe nerve pain. It can be used externally as a healing and anti-inflammatory remedy.

Lime flower (Tillia europa)
This is a very gentle relaxing herb. It is wonderful when taken as a tea, and is very tasty. It is used for nervous tension and is particularly useful where this combines with high blood pressure. As it is a relaxing remedy it can be useful to drink as a tea in the evenings if you have trouble sleeping.
It is a very child friendly remedy and can be mixed with apple juice as a drink. It can be used to promote a fever in children especially where irritability and insomnia combine.

OATS (Avena sativa)
This is one of the best remedies for feeding the nervous system. It is very useful where a period of transient depression follows a time of great stress. It will strengthen the whole nervous system.
It can be taken as a tincture or as a tea in the form of oatstraw.

California poppy (Escholzia calafornica)
This herb is useful as an anti anxiety remedy. I find it particularly good for people who have irritable bowel symptoms which get worse when there are excess stresses in their lives. It has antispasmodic and pain relieving properties which are useful for this.
It is also useful for hyperactivity in children, reducing overexcitability.
It can be taken as a tincture or for children as a glycerite.

Chaste tree berry (Vitex-agnus castus)
This is a great normalising remedy for the menstrual cycle. Particularly for symptoms which are worse before the period such as erratic moods. It is extremely useful for symptoms such as breast pain or tenderness before the period. It is also useful for helping with an irregular cycle especially where the oral contraceptive has been stopped.

In practice I have found it to sometimes exacerbate very painful periods. I would recommend caution in such cases. It can also be of benefit to women as they approach the menopause to help gently rebalance hormones.

The effects can be seen in the first cycle but can take three cycles to see full effects. It is best taken first thing in the morning. Avoid if you are on the oral contraceptive.

For more information on Ciara please visit www.herbalist.ie
Ciara's Clinic location:

The Herbal Clinic
Suir View
Cathedral Street
Thurles
Co .Tipperary
For More Information On Herbalists
Visit the Irish institute of medical herbalists - www.iimh.org

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