Honey Facts

Health Benefits

In addition to its reputation as Nature’s nutritive sweetener, research also indicates that honey’s unique composition makes it useful as an antimicrobial agent and antioxidant.

Raw Honey – An Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Viral, Anti-Fungal Substance

The health benefits of honey – like all foods – depend on the quality of the honey. But in this case, the situation is even more extreme, because the pollen that collects on the bees’ legs as they move from plant to plant is only as healthful and as diverse as those plants. In addition, the processing of honey often removes many of the phytonutrients found in raw honey as it exists in the hive.

Raw honey, for example, contains small amounts of the same resins found in propolis. Propolis, sometimes called “bee glue,” is actually a complex mixture of resins and other substances that honeybees use to seal the hive and make it safe from bacteria and other micro-organisms. Honeybees make propolis by combining plant resins with their own secretions. However, substances like road tar have also been found in propolis.

Bee keepers sometimes use special screens around the inside of the hive boxes to trap propolis, since bees will spread this substance around the honeycomb and seal cracks with the anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal resins. The resins found in propolis only represent a small part of the phytonutrients found in propolis and honey, however.

Other phytonutrients found both in honey and propolis have been shown to posssess cancer-preventing and anti-tumor properties. These substances include caffeic acid methyl caffeate, phenylethyl caffeate, and phenylethyl dimethylcaffeate. Researchers have discovered that these substances prevent colon cancer in animals by shutting down activity of two enzymes, phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C and lipoxygenase. When raw honey is extensively processed and heated, the benefits of these phytonutrients are largely eliminated.

Honey (English pronunciation: /ˈhʌni/) is a sweet food made by certain insects using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees (the genus Apis) is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans. Honey produced by other bees and insects has distinctly different properties.

Honey bees form nectar into honey by a process of regurgitation and store it as a food source in wax honeycombs inside the beehive. Beekeeping practices encourage overproduction of honey so that the excess can be taken without endangering the bee colony.

Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose and has approximately the same relative sweetness as that of granulated sugar (74% of the sweetness of sucrose, a disaccharide). It has attractive chemical properties for baking, and a distinctive flavor which leads some people to prefer it over sugar and other sweeteners.

Most micro-organisms do not grow in honey because of its low water activity of 0.6. However, honey sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can be dangerous to infants as the endospores can transform into toxin-producing bacteria in the infant’s immature intestinal tract, leading to illness and even death.

Honey has a long history as a comestible and is used in various foods and beverages as a sweetener and flavoring. It also has a role in religion and symbolism. Flavors of honey vary based on the nectar source, and various types and grades of honey are available. It is also used in various medicinal traditions to treat ailments.

The study of pollens and spores in raw honey (melissopalynology) can determine floral sources of honey. Because bees carry an electrostatic charge, and can attract other particles, the same techniques of melissopalynology can be used in area environmental studies of radioactive particles, dust, or particulate pollution.

Honey Vs Sugar. What are their differences?

Both sweeteners contain glucose and fructose. However, for sugar, in the process of manufacturing, the organic acids, protein, nitrogen elements, enzymes and vitamins in the sugar cane are destroyed, whereas honey, a natural sweetener, subjects only to minimal heating. Also, honey has certain beneficial antioxidant and antimicrobial properties which are not present in table sugar.

Here are three honey nutrition facts that will make you feel good about eating honey:

  1. One tablespoon of table sugar or sucrose contains 46 calories, while one tablespoon of natural sweetener honey has 64 calories. Though honey may have more calories, we actually need to use less of it since it is sweeter than table sugar. As a result, you may in fact consume even less amount of calories that you would with sugar. And in the long run even though honey is more expensive, it may be more economical than table sugar. I was taken aback when I first found out how much table sugar I was consuming when I take a can of coke — 10 teaspoons, and a 50g chocolate bar — 7 teaspoons!
  2. Table sugar is sucrose, which is made up of two molecules bonded together. When we eat table sugar, our stomach has to use its own enzymes to separate the molecules apart before we can use the sugar’s energy. Honey is quite different. The bees have added a special enzyme to the nectar that divides the sucrose into glucose and fructose — two simple sugars for our bodies can absorb directly.

    Hence, compared to table sugar, honey has a healthier Glycemic Index (GI) which measures the negative impact of a given food on the blood-glucose level. The lower the GI rating, the slower the absorption and infusion of sugars into the bloodstream and hence a more gradual and healthier digestion process.

  3. Unlike honey, table sugar lacks minerals and vitamins (hence it’s been often called empty calories), they draw upon the body’s nutrients to be metabolized into the system. When these nutrients are all used up, metabolizing of undesirable cholesterol and fatty acid is impeded, contributing to higher cholesterol and promoting obesity due to higher fatty acid on the organs and tissues. That is why it is not uncommon for fat people to suffer from malnutrition and many other health related problems.

    So the message is, honey vs sugar, if you are watching your weight, honey will be a smarter choice than sugar. Besides the differences in nutrition, I feel sugar can never compete with honey in taste. Though both are sweet, honey has such a unique flavour that can be very useful and superior in many foods and beverages. The range of honey floral varieties is so vast that experiencing for yourself the uniqueness of each variety and being able to appropriate each variety to exploit every possibility to complement and improve taste of different types of foods becomes a skillful art.

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Castor Oil

Castor Oil is great for breaking up impurities in muscles, reducing inflammation and is an anti-oxidant. The oil relieves sciatia, a painful condition characterized by lower back pains and soreness in your lower limbs. Castor seed is the source of castor oil, which has a wide variety of uses. The seeds contain between 40% and 60% oil that is rich in triglycerides, mainly ricinolein. The seed contains ricin, a toxin, which is also present in lower concentrations throughout the plant.

Castor oil’s high concentration of unsaturated fatty acids is believed to be the reason for its remarkable health benefits. Even though it has an unpleasant, nauseating taste, it is widely used to treat minor and major illnesses.

It provides treatment for minor cuts, burns, abrasions, sunburn and prevents skin disorders such as acne and eczema. Aside from these, one of the benefits of castor oil is in skin conditioning. It serves as a natural emollient, which stimulates the production of collagen and elastin that hydrates and moisturizes the skin. It treats wrinkles, repairing and rejuvenating the skin to make it look flawless and smoother. When applied regularly, castor oil also helps diminish dark circles under your eyes.

Aside from these, natural castor oil also treats yeast infections, gastrointestinal problems, migraines, menstrual disorder, and athlete’s foot.

Labor Induction – Castor oil is used to induce labor in pregnant women. Note to seek consultation with your doctor first before ingesting the oil as it may bring potential side effects to the mother and to the baby.

Sciatic Nerve Pain – The oil relieves sciatia, a painful condition characterized by lower back pains and soreness in your lower limbs.

Hair Loss – One of the therapeutic benefits of castor oil is in hair growth treatment. Castor oil helps increase hair growth and makes hair healthier, softer, shinier and fuller.

Arthritis – Castor oil acts as a natural remedy for arthritis. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it helps massage arthritic joints and sore, tired muscles.
Lymph Problems – Another medical benefit of the oil is in lymph treatment. Castor oil stimulates the activity of the lymph system, which is responsible for eliminating the body’s metabolic wastes.

Tumors – By placing a castor oil pack (a piece of flannel soaked in castor oil) over a tumor, it can help reduce the appearance of tumors in your body.

With the many health benefits of castor oil, it is no wonder why it is one of the most beneficial oils that are available for us to use. Castor oil is truly a valuable, organic remedy that can help improve your body’s physical fitness, vigor and overall wellness.

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Benzoin Gum Sumatra is a resinous solidified from Styrax Benzoin tree (Styrax Sumatrana / Styrax Paralleloneurus / Styrax Dryand), native plant from North Sumatra-Indonesia. It has been collected, traded, and used for thousands of years ago by some of the oldest civilizations of the world for their religious ceremonies and as their medicines.
A pure Benzoin Gum Sumatra has strong storax. When burned, it produce smoke of specific natural benzoin aromatic. It has various sizes from 1 to 3cm width and 2 to 7cm length. It has milky white color when it just exudates from the tree and become yellowish brown after 3 weeks.

Benzoin Oil (Styrax Benzoin Oil)
It is not a true as essential oil, but classed as a resinoid. It is a perfume fixative and has addictive scent. It has a thick liquid product and rich of sweet balsam and vanilla like aroma. It is good as a deep moisturizer and used in lotions or creams and lift your negative emotions by adding the oils into carrier oil.

Tincture of Benzoin – Friar’s Balsam
It is very good for inhalation when you have cough and cold, ease aches, or pains. It has tranquilizing effects and has relaxant and sedative properties. It is a powerful local antibiotic for treating variety of infections and could be used effectively prior to surgery. It has astringent, antiseptic, reduces inflammation, and help to stop bleeding properties.

Properties and Uses

Emotions and Mind:
It has relaxant and sedative properties. It also has tranquilizing effects. It relieves anxiety and stress, tension, eases nervous tension, uplifting, soothing, warming, helps to overcome depression and restore confidence, dispels anger, diminishes irritability, and clears the head. Actually it brings the nervous system and neurotic system to normal. It gives a feeling of mood-uplift in case of depression and relaxes and in case of anxiety and stress. These properties of Benzoin Gum Sumatra were detected since long time ago and been used to create a mood in gathering.

Benzoin Gum Sumatra stimulates the production of gastric juices (carminative), helps digestion, calms the digestive tract and alleviates flatulence. It helps removal of gases from the stomach and the intestines and relieves inflation of intestines. Because of its relaxing effects, it relaxes the muscular tension in the abdominal area and help gases pass out. This helps digestion and improves appetite.

Benzoin Gum Sumatra stimulates the production of urine (diuretic). It promotes and facilitates urination, in frequency and in quantity, thereby helping removal of toxic substances from the blood through urine. It is used to fight leucorrhoea and yeast infections. Urination also helps in lowering blood pressure, losing weight and improving digestion.

Respiratory and Decongestant:
Benzoin Gum Sumatra has a soothing, sedative effect on the respiratory tract, and behaves as a good expectorant. In the form of a tincture, benzoin is used as an inhalant with steam of water (approx. 30ml of tincture into 3Lt of water) for the relief of tense breathing (tones the lungs), helps to expel mucus, used for flu, laryngitis, bronchitis, cough, and upper respiratory tract disorders.
Its tranquilizing properties help relax and induce sleep to patients who cannot sleep due to extreme congestion from cough and cold. Due to this property, it is also used in balms, rubs, vaporizers etc. Use Benzoin in Steam Inhalation, Vaporization or in Massage Oil Blend massaging into the chest, back, and throat.

Benzoin Gum Sumatra warms and tones the heart, improves circulation, raises spirit and uplifts mood. It gives a warm feeling, stimulates heart beat and improves circulation. The molecules of Benzoin Oil, along with inhaled smoke, get into our nostrils and detected by the our smell buds and transmitted to our brain, thereby the effects then stimulating the our brain.

Muscles and Joints:
Benzoin Gum Sumatra used for rheumatism, arthritis, gout. It eases muscle tension by reducing inflammation and detoxifying acids from the joints. Helps to relieve sore muscles and stiff joints after strenuous physical activity. These are the most used properties of Benzoin Gum Sumatra when applied externally, due to easy absorption of Benzyl components in it through the skin pores. Due to this, it is used in a number of anti arthritic balms.

Benzoin Gum Sumatra has astringent, antiseptic, reduces inflammation, help to stop bleeding properties. It is useful where there is redness, irritation, itching, and for cracked or dry skin. Helps to keep the skin supple and elastic, and tones up the muscles which all of these very helpful for face lifting and for reduction of wrinkles on the skin. With regular application it can soften scar tissue. It also tightens the gums when mixed with water and used as a mouthwash.

Antiseptic and Disinfectant:
It is a powerful local antibiotic for treating variety of infections including multiple aerobic, anaerobic, and spore-forming bacteria, as well as Candida albicans and Mycobacterium fortuitism. It has been used as an antibiotic for superficial wound infections and has well-established uses in both allopathic and traditional forms of medicine.

In tincture form, it used in surgical specialties. It is use as a preoperative surgical preparation, because it has an efficient and strong local skin antibiotic and could be used effectively prior to surgery.

In incense form, the components like Benzaldehyde, Benzoic Acid and Benzyl Benzoate are very effective germicidal, bactericidal, fungicidal and anti viral properties. The extent to which its smoke spreads on burning will makes the zone disinfected from germs. It prevents from septic when externally applied on wounds and protects open wounds from infections.

Perfume and Deodorant:
Benzoin is a perfume fixative and has addictive scent. of sweet, vanilla, resinous, balsamic, powdery, milky, and spicy which is soothe, stimulate, comfort, and warm individuals especially when they are exhausted or feeling a little down. It is associated with Prosperity and mental powers.

Because it is very rich in aroma, it is also extensively used as deodorant for rooms and body. Its medicinal sweetness fills the rooms with nice aroma and drives away odor. Mixed with bathing water and massage oils or otherwise, if applied on body, it kills germs that causing the body odor. This property comes from the presence of derivatives of Benzene ring in Benzoin Oil. Actually benzene is a cyclic hydrocarbon and like all other cyclic organic comp ounds, is aromatic in nature.

Benzoin is particularly useful for eczema and psoriasis, using powdered clay (green if possible). Place 25 ml (11/2 tbsp) clay in a small dish, add 3 drops benzoin, and enough distilled water to make a smooth paste. Apply immediately to the affected areas, leave for a minimum of 20 minutes, then rinse off with a chamomile infusion (put 3 heads of the dried flowers in a cup of boiling water, infuse for 10 minutes, then strain and cool). The eczema and psoriasis should look much better, much less angry and irritated, as the paste is very soothing. Repeat a few times per day when the condition is acute.

For psoriasis of the scalp, add 5 drops benzoin oil to a very mild shampoo and shake well before use. Rinse the hair finally with cold mineral water. (If your shampoo is too strong, add a proportion of distilled water to dilute it.)

Many other skin complaints can benefit from the use of the balsamic resin – frostbite, bed sores, wounds, burns and skin ulcerations. Mix 10 ml (2 tsp) almond oil, 2 drops wheatgerm oil and 6 drops benzoin oil. Apply on affected areas.

For catarrh and chest infections, put 3 drops benzoin oil in a bowl of hot water and place the bowl beside your bed at night. During the day, add 4 drops benzoin oil and 1 drop eucalyptus to a bowl of hot water, cover your head with a towel and breathe in the fumes for as long as you can. Several times during the day, rub your chest, torso and sinus areas with the following oil: mix 10 ml (2 tsp) soya oil with 1 drop wheatgerm, 8 drops benzoin oil and 2 drops eucalyptus.
(See also impetigo, melanosis and sinusitis.)

In beauty:
Benzoin is useful for brown marks on the face, decolletage and hands, particularly in association with lemon oil. Mix 10 ml (2 tsp) almond oil with 2 drops lemon, 2 drops wheatgerm and 4 drops benzoin oil. The simple benzoin tincture could be diluted with distilled water to make an effective skin toner.

Other uses:
Benzoin is one of the most favoured of perfume fixatives and is widely used in the perfumery industry and in pot-pourri mixtures, old and new. It can also be used in herb pillows or in sweet bags to perfume linen. Benzoin was once burned as incense in churches, and the gum could be burned to perfume the air at home.

Benzoic acid was discovered in gum benzoin in 1608; it has been used as a food preservative.

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Helichrysum bracteatum, Strawflower; Everlasting
An intense rich aroma with a herbaceous note. Among its properties are anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antitussive, astringent, diuretic, expectorant, fungicidal and cicatrisant.

The French used this oil primarily as an anti-inflammatory to regulate cholesterol, stimulate the cells of the liver, and as an antispasmodic. This particular variety has powerful antibruise properties. It’s ideal to use in lymphatic drainage massage, acts as a stimulant for the liver, gall bladder, kidneys and spleen and the organs responsible for detoxifying the body.

Italidone, one of its chemical components, has been found to have strong mucous thinning, expectorant and cicatrisant properties. It is a rejuvenating oil which promotes cell growth, helping to rebuild tissues. Clears the body of candida apparently, which often thrives when vitality is low. Blend with rosehip seed oil for scar formula or with lemon and geranium for kick-smoking blend. Assists in healing scars, acne, dermatitis, boils and abscesses.

In cosmetic manufacture it is important to keep in mind that Helichrysum is a strong herbaceous smelling plant, and some people shy away from formulating with it, yet our clients have in the last decade never complained about the herbaceous smell that it adds to the formula.

The therapeutic properties are anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, as well as cytophylactic. REF 43

The cytophylactic properties of this herb help to stimulate cellular regeneration and are therefore a boon for anti-aging skincare.

It furthermore has good antioxidant qualities, which helps to reduce free-radical oxidative damage that can also lead to premature aging. REF 44

In traditional medicine the plant is often used as wound dressing as its anti-microbial properties assists with wound healing. REF 250 Clinical tests could not confirm that it stimulates primary human fibroblast. REF 249
Anti-aging benefits of Helichrysum in skincare helichrysum tighten loose hanging skin

It has wonderful regenerating qualities and greatly helps with healing of scars, acne, dermatitis, stretch marks, boils and abscesses. The toning qualities are phenomenal and are used to perk up and bind loose hanging skin.

It has a strong straw-like, fruity smell with a honey and tea undertone and the color can range from pale yellow to red.
Active ingredients in Helichrysum helichrysum

The main constituents are flavonoids, tannins, essential oil, resin and phytosterin, with the essential oil containing neryl acetate, nerol, geraniol, pinene, and linalool. The plant also contains isosalipurposide, naringenin, naringenin-5-O-diglucoside, helichrysum A, helichrysum B and glucosides of apigenin, luteolin, kaempferol and quercetin.

Apart from this it also contains an unidentified antibacterial mixture called arenarin. REF 251

Further research is also currently being undertaken on its main component – alkyl carbonic acids REF 40

In folk medicine it is used for fighting the ravages of aging. The cytophylactic properties would underscore this use, since it encourages the growth and regeneration of new skin cells.
Classification of Helichrysum helichrysum tighten loose hanging skin

Helichrysum arenarium extract is an extract of the everlasting, Helichrysum arenarium (can also be extracted from Helichrysum angustifolium – also known as Helichrysum italicum) and is listed as a biological product. Although H. arenarium has not been allocated a functioning group in the 2004 INCI dictionary, H. angustifolium is used as a miscellaneous skin-conditioning agent and is also known as everlasting, immortelle and John’s herb extract (NOT to be confused with St. John’s wort).

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Chamomile contains phenolic derivatives, which have an antiseptic and healing quality, which is most helpful in relieving skin congestion. These soften the skin, making it an effective ingredient in any anti-aging cosmetic product.

Over the past 30 years, extensive scientific investigations have confirmed the traditional uses of German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), making it one of the most popular and versatile essential oils in the world.

It is one of the most widely used botanicals and has carminative, emollient, healing, tonic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It contains azulene which helps to reduce puffiness and cleanse pores of impurities. REF 28 – 31

The alpha-bisabolol in the oil promotes granulation and tissue regeneration.

Chamomile oil has also great wound healing properties and is extensively used with skin problems such as rashes, acne, eczema, psoriasis, hypersensitive skin and allergic conditions.

The flavonoids as well as the lipophilic (sesquiterpenes) compounds found in camomile oil help to reduce capillary fragility, which in turn helps to strengthen the skin. The vasoconstrictor properties again help to reduce redness of the skin, which is due to enlarged capillaries.
Compounds found in chamomile cell regeneration

It contains more than 100 constituents and typically includes chamazulene, alpha-bisabolol, bisabolol oxide A, bisabolol oxide B and bisabolene oxide A. Other compounds such as apigens, borneol, farnesol, furfural, matricarin, as well as chlorogenic acid are present, but the main chemical components important to skincare are the farnesene, cuminic and azulene found in the oil.

Classification of chamomile as a cosmetic ingredient cell regeneration

Chamomilla recutita (Matricaria) flower oil is the volatile oil distilled from the dried flower heads of Matricaria recutita. It is classed as an essential oil and is used as a miscellaneous skin-conditioning agent and fragrance ingredient.

It is also known as German chamomile oil, Hungarian chamomile oil, Matricaria flower oil, oil of Matricaria, blue chamomile, as well as wild chamomile oil.

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White Sage

Also known as
Salvia apiana, Bee Sage, California White Sage, and Salvarial

White sage is a flowering perennial that is native to the Southwest U.S. Its tall woody stems and tiny white flowers love dry, arid slopes with lots of sun, and flourish in the rocky heights of the southwestern canyons.

The aromatic herb has been used for centuries as incense and in smudge pots for ceremonial use * thus its common name of white ceremonial sage. In addition to being burned as incense, white sage has medicinal uses. Some Native American tribes used white sage to treat coughs and colds, or added to a sweat bath as a general tonic and fever reliever.

Burning leaves have been used to fumigate a house or dwelling after a contagion, and to purify the air during illnesses. White ceremonial sage also has been used as a hair rinse and a deodorant poultice to reduce body odor.

It’s a very strong anti-inflammatory when taken as a tea or infusion, and may help reduce ulcerative symptoms. One leaf is placed in a water bottle, and used normally. Sucking on a leaf can soothe sore throats since the leaves contain camphor and other therapeutic compounds.

Diterpines and triterpenes, including carnosic acid, oleaolic acid, and ursolic acid

Chemical Constituents and Relative Percentages α-Thujene 0.3%
α-Pinene 9.0%
Camphene 0.4%
β-Pinene 9.1%
Myrcene 0.5%
3-Carene 1.3%
Cymene 2.8%
Limonene 2.0%
1,8-Cineole 71.6%
α-Pinene oxide 0.2%
Camphor 2.1%
Terpinolenone 0.2%
β-Carophyllene oxide 0.6%

Parts Used
Dried leaves

Typical Preparations
The leaves as a tea, and the dried leaves on their stem as incense. Seldom found in cosmetic applications.

White sage grows only in the Southwestern part of the United States, and there is concern about its wildcrafting as its typical environs are taken over by human growth. In addition, a drought in 2002 seriously limited the crop of white sage, prompting many herbalists to suggest that enthusiasts consider growing their own. White sage has medicinal and ceremonial uses, including purification, healing and calming, and is often burned as smudge sticks and in smudge pots to fend off infection and pestilence. Recent research suggests that estrogen like constituents may prove beneficial in menopausal and post-menopausal women.

White sage should not be ingested by women who are pregnant.

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Benefits of Clary Sage

The therapeutic property of Clary sage essential oil in skincare include that of being an astringent, as well as antiseptic and anti-bacterial. It also balances the production of sebum, and eliminates over-dry or over-oily skin.

It also acts as a tonic on the skin and has a mild effect on encouraging cell regeneration.

Clary sage essential oil is extracted from Salvia sclarea of the Labiatae family, and is also known as clary, clary wort, muscatel sage, clear eye, see bright and eye bright (but not to be confused with the common herb also called eyebright (Euphrasia)) and is used to balance sebum production and to promote a fresh, young looking skin.

In the middle ages it was known as “Oculus Christi” meaning the “Eye of Christ” and was primarily used for clearing mucus from the eye.

A clear to pale yellow essential oil, clary sage has a sweet, nutty fragrance, somewhat herbaceous.

The main chemical components of Clary sage are linalool, linalyl acetate, a-terpineol, caryophyllene, alpha-terpineol, geraniol, and neryl acetate, sclareol and germacrene D.

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Bee Propolis

Bee propolis (populus candicans) is a natural material that bees make from tree sap and wax to help seal off their hives. It has a long history of medicinal use, and modern research has found that it does indeed inhibit the growth of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms, and may even help prevent cancer.

Bee propolis contains many antioxidant chemicals, including terpenes and bioflavonoids, as well as cinnamic, phenolic, and caffeic acids. However, propolis is best known for its natural antibiotic effects; in fact, doctors once soaked bandages in honey (which contains propolis) before dressing wounds to help prevent infection.

Clinical studies have shown that propolis inhibits the growth of the bacteria that cause pneumonia and strep and staph infections, which is particularly beneficial today when the potentially deadly staphylococcus bacteria has become resistant to almost all pharmaceutical antibiotics. Multiple studies have demonstrated that the compounds in propolis actually enhance the performance of prescription antibiotics normally used to treat serious infections.

The caffeic acid in propolis may help prevent colon cancer, according to an article published in the September 1993 issue of Cancer Research, which reported that laboratory rats who took caffeic acid did not develop precancerous tissue, even after they were exposed to cancer-causing chemicals. Propolis also contains a lot of bioflavonoids, which have been proven to have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, unlike any prescription pharmaceutical available today, natural bee propolis may inhibit the growth of viruses that cause the flu and common cold, as well as the herpes simplex virus.

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Elderberry Folklore

The Elder Tree was supposed to ward off evil influence and give protection from witches, a popular belief held in some cultures. If an elder tree was cut down, a spirit known as the Elder Mother would be released and take her revenge. The tree could only safely be cut while chanting a rhyme to the Elder Mother.

The most powerful wand in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a wand made of sambucus known as the “Elder Wand”.

In some regions, superstition, religious belief, or tradition prohibits the cutting of certain trees for bonfires, most notably in Witchcraft customs the Elderberry tree; “Elder be ye Lady’s tree, burn it not or cursed ye’ll be” –A rhyme from an Oral tradition.

otanical Name: Sambucus Nigra

Common Name: Black Elder, European Elder


Elderberry (Sambucus nigra [Latin]), also called elder flower, is a tree that bears cream-colored flowers followed by dark purple berries in autumn. Elderberry trees are native to Europe, but have been naturalized to the Americas, and have a long history of medicinal use, particularly in England, where it is commonly used to make elderberry wine and pies, and was once referred to as “nature’s medicine chest.”

Elderberry has been traditionally used for to relieve pain, inflammation, water retention, and congestion. All parts of the elderberry tree, including the bark, flowers, and leaves, have been used in herbal medicine. Elderberry leaves are added to topical creams and sitz baths to treat inflammatory disorders, such as arthritis, boils, and eczema. Aged elderberry bark has been used to treat water retention and constipation, and to induce vomiting.

However, it is the flowers and berries of this tree that are most often used medicinally. Elderberries contain flavonoids, which are natural chemical substances that give food their taste and color; they also boost the immune system, and supply the body with antioxidant protection. Elderberry may be effective in treating some diseases related to a depressed immune system, and preliminary studies have shown it may be effective against some viruses, including herpes and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Elderberry is one of the most effective herbs for preventing and treating upper respiratory infections. Laboratory studies have shown that elderberry reduces excessive sinus mucus secretion, and some studies also suggest that elderberry can help lessen swelling of mucous membranes, improve sinus drainage, and decreased nasal congestion in those with bacterial sinusitis. The combination herbal product Sinupret, which contains elder flowers, has been used successfully to treat bronchitis. There are also commercial syrups and lozenges with elderberry extract available for treatment of cold or flu symptoms.

Elderberry has been shown to be very effective against at least eight strains of flu virus. It contains Sambucus nigra agglutinins (SNAs), which help prevent some types of flu from infecting healthy cells. A clinical trial of elderberry found that it cured 90 percent of flu infections in three days, which was half the time needed for recovery in participants taking a placebo. In Israel, where the study was conducted, elderberry is sold in the form of Sambucol, a patented herbal medicine recommended for treatment of flu symptoms.

Elderberry is also sold in the form of tablets, capsules, tinctures, extracts, and in combination products such as Sinupret. You can also buy dried elder flowers or berries and use them to make medicinal teas—2 teaspoons of dried European elder flowers steeped for 15 minutes in 1 cup of hot water. Fresh elderflowers can also be used to make a topical cream for relief of arthritis—simmer several handfuls of fresh elder flowers in melted petroleum jelly for 40 minutes, and allow this mixture to cool and solidify before applying it to the hands at bedtime.

Father Hermann Josef Weidinger conveys the contentment of a man who has performed great works. Austria’s most beloved herbal healer, the eighty-two year old Catholic priest has penned a dozen books, and more than a hundred botanical products bear his imprimateur. High on the list of his most favorite plants is elderberry. “Elderberry cleanses the digestive system and promotes healthy elimination,” he explains. “I believe that elderberry protects the body from serious diseases, and it balances the emotions. Elderberry is good for the soul.”

Immune System Benefits
Elderberry can help strengthen your immune system to fight off the flu. It can also help reduce the effects of inflammations due to infection.

Circulatory System
Elderberry extract has benefits that can help your heart. This includes improving blood flow throughout your body.

Repiratory System
The respiratory system can be boosted by the intake of elderberry extract. Elderberry extract can help with both asthma conditions and bronchitis.

Nervous System
Injections of elderberry extract have been found to have positive effects on people suffering with back pain and other nerve conditions.

Injections of elderberry can also assist with bladder conditions. A dose of elderberry extract can also assist with both urinary tract and bladder infections.

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Edible Cannabis

Introduction to Eating Cannabis.

Edible cannabis is safe and will not cause any long term toxicity, but food based cannabis medicines affect patients differently than inhaled methods of medicating with cannabis.

Learn dosage management that is right for you. Edibles vary in potency. Different products may contain multiple doses. Weight, metabolism, and eating habits can alter effects. Eating too much cannabis can cause extreme drowsiness, dizziness, inability to concentrate, rapid heartbeat, changes in blood pressure, need for sleep and feelings of euphoria.

Prepare for your needs before medicating.
Ensure your dosage level is appropriate.

  • Begin with a quarter of the product or even a smaller portion if you are sensitive.
  • Wait at least one half hour and analyze effects.
  • If necessary consume a small portion more.
  • Wait another half hour before consuming anymore.

If you feel you have eaten too much of a food based medicine, stay hydrated, relax and know that your symptoms will subside in a few hours.

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