Bloodroot|Hemp oil|Chrysanthemum Salve!!
As November’s official flower of the month, the Chrysanthemum brings us the message that even the beginning of winter can have joy and beauty. Chrysanthemum means cheerfulness and positivity, but in New Orleans it is only used for All Saints Day celebrations and has become a symbol of the honored dead in that city.
The Chrysanthemum is far more versatile than many other decorative flowers. While they don’t provide a very strong smell when growing, there’s a delicate and sweet aroma released when certain types are used for food. Chinese cooks add the blooms to soups and stir fries that need a hint of floral to balance out more strongly flavored or musky ingredients. The greens are also used for brightening up salads and fried dishes. You can try your hand at making your own sweetly scented Chrysanthemum tea if you have access to flowers that were never treated with pesticides. Speaking of pesticides, organic pyrethrins are extracted from this plant to keep bugs away from people, pets, and plants. NASA studies even found potted Chrysanthemums improve air quality!
Chrysanthemums are used to nourish the Yin and as an herb to remove wind and occasional heat (irritation) from various areas of the body in normal, healthy individuals. For thousands of years it has been used in Asia. Today, it continues to be one of the most commonly consumed herbs in Asia, consumed by millions of people every day as a delicious, satisfying health beverage. It is China’s quintessential summer tea because of its cooling effect on the body, especially the face and head.
The flower can serve a very useful purpose in a tonic program. Since it is a normal human process, especially as we grow older, for “heat” (false yang) to rise in the body, an herb that can modulate this rising heat can be very important to maintaining normal healthy functions and maintaining a youthful appearance. Chrysanthemum is among the most important of the herbs used for this purpose (Gynostemma being the other great tonic herb that accomplishes a similar result, though not quite as directly as Chrysanthemum). Chrysanthemum, especially when combined with Gynostemma, can provide considerable balancing effect.
Chrysanthemum Flower is renowned for its benefits to the skin, as it supports healthy moisture content and helps prevent wrinkling due to dryness, wind and heat. It is one of the Orient’s premier beauty herbs.According to traditional Chinese herbal theory, Chrysanthemum’s functions include nourishing Yin, dispersing ascending false Yang, dispersing wind and minor, occasional irritation (especially from the face, head and upper body), and calming and cooling the liver in normal healthy individuals.
Hemp oil comes from the Cannabis sativa plant but is also more often referred to as cannabis or marijuana. Possibly better known more for its narcotic properties than its therapeutic uses and benefits, the oil itself is rich in essential fatty acids. According to Ecomall.com, hemp oil can prevent moisture loss in the skin and help prevent premature aging, and is effective in maintaining moisture balance. It can also be useful in alleviating certain skin conditions such as eczema, acne and psoriasis.
Hemp oil is made up of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids, a combination of essential fatty acids are necessary for healthy cell production and good skin health. Many of the Western diets today do not contain a good balance of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. Including hemp oil in your diet provides an excellent source of these two essential fatty acids and is also a very good nutritional source. Providing this balance to your body will help improve any chronic dry skin conditions such as eczema or dermatitis.
Hemp seed oil is also rich in gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA. This is another type of omega-6 fatty acid. It has a number of skin health benefits and anti-inflammatory properties. GLA is probably better known as evening primrose oil or borage oil.
Hemp seed oil is used in various cosmetics including skin creams, shampoos, shaving cream, lip balms and sun creams. Hemp seed oil is a natural moisturizer and can help to make your skin feel smooth and soft while acting as a barrier and preventing moisture loss. Hemp is also rich in vitamin D, which is necessary for calcium absorption to help achieve soft, smooth and hydrated skin.
Sanguinaria canadensis, most commonly referred to as bloodroot, has a rich Native American background. Its nickname, war paint, should give you some indication of its importance to the early Indian culture. The nickname, bloodroot, came about because of the red sap that would “bleed” from the roots of the flower. Many tribes used it as a dye for clothing, baskets, and face paint. Other parts of the flower were also used to create orange and yellow dyes as well. At one point it was even imported by the French for use as a coloring agent on wool.
The flower is local to eastern North America and is one of the earliest wildflower blooms found in spring. While there are many more interesting facts on the horticulture of this plant, (for instance, the bloodroot relies on ants to spread its seeds) it actually has a number of natural health benefits as well.
In fact, it is considered to have certain anti-cancer properties, specifically skin cancer, since it contains berberine, a substance found to fight cancer cells. Bloodroot has been researched and found to be a potent anticancer agent. In addition to laboratory tests, it has been used to treat tens of thousands of people over the last century and a half.
Bloodroot has been used for years to treat a variety of other skin conditions including ringworm, skin tags, warts, polyps, and fungal growth. Its antibiotic properties have led it to be approved by the FDA as a toothpaste ingredient. The extract has been used to treat gingivitis and help with prevention and formation of cavities, plaque, and tartar. Native Americans took notice of the plant’s ability to stimulate mucous membranes and used bloodroot as a tea-based remedy for coughs and other respiratory conditions.
While the usage for this plant is wide, there is one caveat. A little can go a long way. According to the NYU Langone Medical Center, “In large doses, it causes nausea and vomiting, and even at lower dosages it has been reported to cause peculiar side effects in some people, such as tunnel vision and pain in the feet.”
It is most widely used as a topical treatment, but since it can cause burns after long-term use when applied directly to the skin or with excessive application, it is important to start slowly to determine sensitivity when used topically.
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