Category Archives: Other Organic Products

Other organic products category include organic products that fit your organic lifestyle profile.

Organic Chocolate Children’s Advent Calendar

The countdown to the festive season has arrived and the build-up to Christmas is often more exciting than Christmas day itself. This is particularly true for children because this is on December 1st that many advent calendars begin. Advent calendars are covered with little windows corresponding to each day of the month of up to the 24th. of December. Each little window opens with a flap to reveal an image often related to Christmas tradition but nowadays, they can also reveal a nice little chocolate piece and this is why children are so excited each day to wake up and open their advent calendar.

Since the festive season is already linked with an increased intake of food and sugary stuff that lower the immune system and create a build-up of toxins in the body, why not limit the damages by giving advent calendars packed with organic goodies to avoid additional intake of chemicals.

Organic chocolate means that the cacao and sugar used are produced with chemical-free methods using biodynamic and organic fertilizers so being free of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, herbicides and other things, it is not only better for our health but it is also a way of protecting the health of the farmers who are less exposed to chemicals and to protect the environment and the ecosystem by using alternative means of production. So by doing one small part, everyone wins. And at the same time, why not give fun facts to our children about organic farming so that they can learn about the environment and health-friendly food. Tiki the Penguin can help!

You can find advent calendars with organic chocolate in any supermarket or in some chocolate shops. Alternatively, you can find some on Amazon such as Montezuma’s – Organic Milk Chocolate Children’s Advent Calendar or Montezuma’s Dark Chocolate Advent Calendar or even Montezuma’s Organic Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar

Enjoy and Happy December!

Organic candies for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner and when kids come knocking at the door this year, why not be prepared with organic candies? Colorful candies are fun and taste good but by simply reading the list of ingredients they contain, one can easily understand how harmful they are. As adults, we can chose to harm ourselves or not but feeding children with such candies is really giving them no choice but to get health complications. Indeed, regular candies are packed with not only refined sugar (a modified sugar deprived of all nutrients) or artificial sweeteners but also additives, preservatives, food coloring, pesticides, synthetic ingredients and more. Eating them once in a while is okay but the problem is that they are addictive so when a kid tried it, he/she will ask for more and the consequences will start to show. According to studies, additives and preservatives in food are linked to allergies and 20% of children now suffer from an allergy of some sort and from asthma in particularly. Further studies have even warned against the rise of ADD symptoms that have increased by 400% in the past 20 years, again because of the ingestion of food additives and preservatives. Such behavior issues are becoming problematic especially when children become adults but other studies have shown that a change in the diet that is free of chemicals and rather contains fresh and pesticides-free vegetables and fruits drastically improved the condition and behavior patterns. Besides such conditions, candies contribute to weight gain and it is not uncommon to see overweight and even obese children nowadays who will most likely develop further problems such as Type 2 diabetes or heart problems that could have been easily avoided with a proper diet.

If you want to know about what is inside the candies, just type in the ingredients one by one in your browser and look it up. Alternatively, the FDA warns against some additives that can create allergic reactions or even worse health complications and force companies to list such ingredients on the packaging so at least, we can make an informed decision as to whether we want to eat or not. There is also an excellent source to check whether your food ingredients are harmful or not: The center for science in the public interest. By simply searching for an ingredient, it will tell you if it is safe, if you need to cut back on it or to avoid it altogether.

As a safer choice to regular candies, you can go for alternatives such as dried fruits, organic chocolates, dark chocolate truffles, or organic candies that typically contain natural ingredients derived from fruits and won’t be as harmful but taking them in moderation is also recommended because they are sweet. However, organic candies are sweetened with natural sugar such as cane sugar, honey or maple syrup and they are dyed with natural plant extracts that can induce the color red, yellow or any other colors. They are free of chemicals, free of artificial coloring and flavoring and free of other harmful synthetic ingredients. However, as we always stress it out, organic products are in fashion and even when you buy organic candies, you should always read the list of ingredients to ensure that the candies are truly organic and natural.

We have listed few brands of organic candies and organic chocolates or dried fruits that are safe and can be fun to give to children for Halloween because you will ensure you are not hurting anyone!

Organic dark chocolate truffles

Organic dark chocolate truffles with goji berries

Contains organic cacao powder, organic Agave, organic cacao butter, dried bing cherries, organic cacao nibs, organic goji berries, organic vanilla beans, organic date sugar, and Celtic sea salt.
$16.95 (approx.) – CLICK TO BUY

Dried organic goji berries

Dried organic goji berries by Navitas

Dried organic goji berries are provided by the company Navitas, an innovator in organic dried fruits. Dried organic goji berries can be eaten as is and taste really good while being rich in vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, amino acids and more. They are certified organic, kosher, vegan, sun-dried and raw. Even children will like them.
$13.67 (approx.) – CLICK TO BUY

Organic assorted candies

Organic assorted candies by YummyEarth

YummyEarth Organic Candy Drops are 100% natural and certified organic candies made from real fruit extracts. They are gluten-free, chemicals and dyes-free and contain no allergens, eggs, soy, nuts, wheat or dairy. They come in different fruit flavors such as pomegranate, lemon, mango, orange and watermelon. They are the ideal organic candies for Halloween.
$21.54 (approx.) – CLICK TO BUY

Happy Halloween!!

Yeo Valley organic TV ad becomes the most watched ‘music video’

Yeo Valley Organic is a British organic farm whose aim is to support sustainable British farming and to work in harmony with nature. They are the UK’s biggest organic brand and produce high-quality organic milk, organic yogurts, organic cheese, organic butter and organic fruit compotes while respecting the environment and their animals which are fed with natural food. They wanted to make an impact in promoting British organic farming and they have succeeded thanks to their £5 milllion TV advert created by the famous music video director Julien Lutz that is known for working with artists such as Alicia Keys, Nelly Furtado, Sean Paul and Christina Aguilera. The advert featured rapping farmers promoting organic products and organic farming. The TV advert was so successful that it has reached the internet and 10 days after its first appearance, it has already reached 512,000 viewers. This is what we call successful viral marketing and hopefully, it will be one of many adverts to come to promote organic products.

Love it or hate it but the Yeo Valley Organic Tv advert is a first and the advert is aimed at competing with big players such as Danone or Muller.

Top 10 organic gift ideas to turn green

With the holiday approaching slowly but surely and even not so slowly after all, we have compiled a little list of organic gift ideas that could make your friends/family/co-workers turn green or make them really happy if they are already following an organic lifestyle and are into organic products. We found gifts for both genders and even for the little ones because they need to be trained young on the eco-friendly concept if we want to save our planet! We thought also about our friends the pets that should not be left behind.

organic coffee and organic tea title=1) Organic coffee and organic tea with handpainted mug: This is a sort of neutral gift that could fit for the Secret Santa at work. However, everyone loves coffee and tea and if it’s organic, it still adds a touch of originality! This basket contains a large variety of organic coffee and 20 bags Zen Blend green tea as well as a coffee mug. You will receive a $5 gift certificate for any further online purchase at Rogers Gourmet Coffee and Tea market. View the organic coffee and organic tea gift basket here.

organic spa basket2) Organic Spa Gift Basket: This is a nice woman’s gift because every woman or almost every woman likes to pamper herself. Here is a choice of various spa gift baskets including truly organic face creams, organic body creams, organic exfoliants, organic bath products and organic salts that are paraben, chemicals-free and of different natural flavors.
The products can be shipped internationally by UPS who is supporting the recycling movement by using recycled materials. View the organic spa gift basket here.

korres shaving cream3) Organic shaving cream and after-shave for men: Alright, you might think that the shaving cream idea is a bit lame but what says more that you care about the person that an organic shaving cream? Men have a sensitive face skin, even more than women because they need to shave almost every day. Most shaving creams contain ingredients that you would not dare to eat while a truly organic shaving cream is made of natural ingredients and healing ingredients such as essential oils to soothe the skin irritation at deeper skin levels. We have selected the Korres Absinthe Heady Shave Cream and Korres Ginseng and Marigold after shave balm. He will ask you for more because it’s just an awesome product. View the organic shaving cream and the organic after-shave.

recycled laptop bag4) Fancy laptop sleeve made from recycled material: This is for our fancy geek friends who care about the environment and their look. The recycled laptop sleeve comes in different colors and is made of 79% upcycled materials. It is also waterproof and comes in size 16″ X 12″ X 5″. View the recycled laptop sleeve here.

skateboard-earrings5) Skateboard earrings: Yes, that’s correct, those fun earrings are made from old or damaged skateboards and sterling silver ear wires. They are rounded and come in unique colors and patterns. They are original while being fancy at the same time and bring a very happy touch. They are hand-made and have been designed by Lindsay Jo Holmes, a jewelery designer during the day and skateboarder at night. View the Skateboard earrings here.

organic-candle6) Organic Happiness candle: You might not know what to think when you receive a candle as a gift, but we do love it so we decided to suggest it. Most candles we buy are made from paraffin wax which is a derivative of kerosene and contain unnatural scents that can actually be hazardous for the health but not this one.This is not an ordinary candle but a candle made of vegetable wax and essential oils. Everyone loves to put candles in their home so this can be a great gift if someone has just moved in. View the organic happiness candle here.

himalayan-salt-lamp7) Himalayan salt lamps: The therapeutic Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamps can be an original gift for your stressed out friends or family members. The salt lamp creates negative ions that purify the indoor air making it similar to the outdoor air and resulting in a state of well-being. It also creates a nice atmosphere in the home, may it be in the living room, bedroom, bathroom. You can read about our Himalayan salt lamps and its therapeutic properties for more information. View the Himalayan salt lamp here.

eco friendly purse 8 ) Eco-chic purse: The eco-chic purse by Urthbags is made from recycled newspaper which gives it its truly uniqueness. Not one bag is the same and you can choose from a vast range of colors, materials, sizes and features. Also, if you become an UrthBags Fan on facebook, you receive a 15% OFF any retail purchase by using the coupon code: FACEBOOKFAN15 at the check out. *Offer Expires on 12/31/10. View the eco-chic purse here.

organic pet shampoo9) Organic shampoo, soaps and lotions for pets: For our pet lover friends, what about a line of organic pet products that will not irritate the animal skin? Most products used at the pet groomers are packed with chemicals that the animal intakes when licking itself. This is a great alternative! View the organic shampoos, soaps and lotions for pets here.

organic baby gift basket10) Organic baby gift basket: Maybe your sister, sister in law, friend or even coworker has just given birth so we have selected the organic baby basket from Neal’s Yard. This basket contains organic Baby Bath of 100ml, Baby Powder (75g), Pure Baby Oil (50ml), Baby Balm (15g) and an organic cotton flannel. These products are made from 100% natural ingredients such as shea butter, sunflower oil, cocunut oil, lavender essential oil to calm and chamomile to stop irritations. It can be an awesome present to pamper the little ones. View the organic baby gift basket here.

Brain wave therapy audio tracks to heal body and mind

What is brain wave therapy?

Have you ever heard of brain wave therapy? Brain wave therapy consists of brain waves frequency available in audio tracks that have healing properties and can help induce sleep, weight loss, relax, meditate, have more creativity, expand your relationships, quit smoking and much more. Brain wave therapy helps you modify patterns in order to bring positive change in your life, regardless of the area concerned. It re balances the brain, thus enhances your ability to think, learn and create, concentrate, fight stress, fear and even addictions and get rid of everything that was preventing you from living at your full potential.

How does brain wave therapy work?

Brain wave therapy comes in the form of audio programs that contain pure and precise tuned sound frequencies that drive the brain activity into high level states of mind. Brain waves include alpha waves that stimulate creativity and deep relaxation, beta waves that help focus and concentrate, theta waves that are used for deep meditation, insight and memory, delta waves that induce deep sleep and healing and gamma waves that increase cognition and improve IQ.

Brain wave therapy was first brought forth by biophysicist Gerald Oster in 1973 at the Mont Sinai Hospital in New-York who discovered that when sound frequencies are delivered to the brain separately through each ear via stereo headphones, a third beating sound is perceived by the brain, as if the two tones mixed naturally. This signal is called a binaural beat, and for this third signal to be heard, the frequency difference between the two original sounds must be minimal (typically below 30 Hz). The perception of the sound that arises in the brain has a huge, yet subtle influence on the brain, creates a stimuli called frequency following response that activates different parts of the brain and has specific therapeutic properties. The binaural beat corresponds to different beat frequencies under 30 Hz such as alpha, beta, delta, theta, and gamma brain waves that lead to asymmetric hemispheric balancing or balancing of the brain. brain wavesDepending on the beat frequency used, the stimuli produces an effect that can range from relaxation, focus, alertness, memory, concentration, sleep and more. Brain wave therapy has raised the interest of neurologists for its therapeutic properties and is used in hospitals or by physicians and therapists all over the world to help patients.

In the 80’s, a legendary woman, Kelly Howell, who was victim of a car accident started developing meditation tapes with positive reinforcing messages in order to overcome her accident. Surprised by the fast results she encountered, she developed self-help audio programs with the collaboration of biofeedback therapists and neuroscientists in San Francisco that led to the creation of Brain Sync, a complete series of brain wave therapy audio programs to be used both by medical professionals and people at home to treat various conditions.

Brain Sync audio programs are available in so many forms ranging from Brain Power (to boost your creativity or memory), Brain Health (to overcome issues such as depression, quit smoking, insomnia), Health and Fitness (to loose weight or help your body self-heal if you are sick), Stress Management (to help you relax and channel your energies), Prosperity and Success (to think positive and stop self-sabotaging your success) and Personal Growth (to help you with your meditation routine).The programs are downloadable and can be used in the car, in mp3 players, before you sleep, during meditation, at work, when you have a headache, in a spa to help clients relax and much more.

The Brain Sync audio programs may sound weird at first because they are basically wave frequencies combined with subliminal messages in order to help you achieve your goal depending on what you are looking to treat or overcome but once you have tried it, you will quickly notice the changes. You have to try the brain sync audio programs in an open state of mind (no judgment) and be persistent (do it for a few days at first and then on a regular basis). The programs are short (30 minutes to an hour) and can be done everywhere, anytime. You can listen to some sample audio programs such as the Increase Creativity program.

Enjoy and give me some feedback on your brain wave therapy experience!

Himalayan salt lamps to purify indoor air

What are Himalayan salt lamps?

Himalayan salt lamps are salt crystal lamps made from the purest salt in the world, found at the foothills of the Himalayan mountains. The large salt crystals salt crystalsare hand-carved and shaped into lamps or candle holders that are unique in shape, size and color. The salt lamp is composed of a base in order to place the lamp or the candle holder anywhere you want and of a light bulb socket to insert a light bulb or a small candle. The salts typically come from Khewra Salt Mines that are located in Pakistan, 300Km from the Himalayan border. Khewra salt mineIt is is the 2nd largest salt mine in the world, attracting more than 40 000 visitors a year. The salt started being extracted in 320BC at the time of Alexander the Great. The mine is located at almost 300m above sea level, forming a 19 story-building. The tunnel where the salt is extracted from is more than 40 km long and 465,000 tons of salt is produced each year. The salt crystals are of pinkish, whitish, reddish or even transparent colors and can be 99% pure at certain spots.

How Himalayan salt lamps work?

The Himalayan salt lamps are a nice decoration item, providing soft light and thus creating a very relaxing and subtle atmosphere. However, salt lamps are more than that since they also have therapeutic effects that have been proven by scientific studies, much like speleotherapy, a salt-based therapy that can help cure a wide range of bronchial problems. First of all, salt lamps are hygroscopic, which means that they attract and retain moisture and humidity in the atmosphere. The salt lamps have indeed the ability to produce negative ions thanks to their chemical composition. Negative ions produce an air that is similar to the one after a rain storm: the air is clear and recharged with oxygen. They are therefore ideal at home to absorb humidity and to reduce bacteria, germs or airborne particles that feed from humidity but they also counteract the positive ions created by electrical appliances, computers, cell phones that often have a negative impact on our mood and health. In country side, forests, mountains or near waterfalls, the air is charged with 4000 negative ions per cubic centimeter while in polluted areas or cities, the air is only charged with 100 or 200 negative ions per cubic centimeter. By producing negative ions, the salt lamps recreate this natural atmosphere, leading to a state of well-being.

Himalayan salt lamps are said to help with conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, chest congestion, coughs, sinus problems, snoring and allergies because they contribute to a cleaner air. They also increase energy levels and contribute to a better mood while inducing relaxation and well-being during stressful times. They can also help improve sleeping patterns. They have even been used by health practitioners in Europe, Japan or North America for their proven benefits and ionized rooms are gaining in importance because according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air pollution is in the top 5 threats for health.

Salt lamps can be placed at home in each room, next to the computer, on in the bedroom or living room. They are ideal for work space such as spas or relaxation rooms to create a nice atmosphere while purifying the air. The salt lamp works best when lit up for a while because it had time to warm up and make the lamp surface warmer than the surrounding air, therefore attracting water molecules that form condensation on the salt crystals.

Where to find Himalayan salt lamps?

You can find salt lamps in natural stores, specialty stores or decoration stores, even online. However, salt lamps have become popular and it is important to double check their origin to ensure that they are not fake as the same applies for all organic products. Also, a true salt lamp will not be polished but rather will have this rough effect. This is important because polished salt lamps will not produce negative ions the same way as rough salt lamps will. Also, larger salt lamps made of salt chips are better because they will also produce more negative ions. Ask your vendor for more details and if he/she cannot give you an answer, look somewhere else. We also suggest the online store Solay Wellness that carries a vast variety of hand-crafted salt lamps made with salt crystals from the Khewra salt mines.

Cinnamon to boost your immune system for the winter

With the winter months coming up, it is time to boost our immune system and organic cinnamon might be one of the spice to incorporate in our daily diet.

Where is cinnamon coming from

Cinnamon, also known as Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Ceylon cinnamon or “true cinnamon” comes from a small evergreen tree of 10 to 15 meter-high belonging to the Lauraceae family and to the genus Cinnamomum. cinnamon treeCinnamon is native to South East Asia and more particularly to Sri-Lanka that supplies 90% of the cinnamon in the whole world. Cinnamon comes from the Greek kinnámomon and means sweet wood. Cinnamon was not available in Europe before the 16th century but it was already a highly praised spice in the Ancient World (Greece, Egypt, Phoenicia) where it was offered to Gods or to Kings.

The cinnamon is extracted from the roots of the trees that are grown for 2 years and then coppiced (cut down), allowing new branches or shoots to regenerate. Only the inner barks from these shoots are extracted (0.5 mm of inner bark is used) in long rolls of cinnamon strips that curl into rolls upon drying and that are then cut into smaller rolls for trade.

The strong smell of cinnamon is due to its content of essential oil (cinnamon essential oil) and more particularly its chemical content cinnamaldehyde that amounts for 60% of the cinnamon essential oil.

Real cinnamon versus cassia

Real cinnamon is often confused with cassia that looks a bit similar but that is in fact really different. Cassia is known under the latin name Cinnamomum aromaticum and also belongs to the Lauraceae family but to the genus Cassia. Cassia, especially in powder form is often sold and substituted for cinnamon while it is not and when we think we are eating cinnamon, more often we are actually eating cassia. In the past few years, this has alarmed the health authorities in Europe that are sending warnings against consuming large amounts of cassia because cassia can actually be dangerous for our health unlike cinnamon. Indeed, cassia is rich in an ingredient called coumarin. Coumarin can be toxic and create liver and kidney damages when taken constantly.

How to tell the difference between real cinnamon and cassia?

Real cinnamon stickWhen using cinnamon and cassia in the form of sticks, it is actually very easy to tell the difference. Cinnamon is made of very thin and many cinnamon bark layers like on the picture above and the stick looks much like a cigar. cassiaCassia on the other hand is a more solid, uniform and hollow stick with a darker brown color.

In the form of powder, it is more complicated to determine if you are eating cinnamon or cassia but real cinnamon has a sweet aroma while cassia has a harsher smell. Also, the origin of the product can give a clue as to whether it is cinnamon or cassia. Cinnamon is called Ceylon cinnamon and comes typically from Sri Lanka while cassia will often say Chinese cinnamon or Saigon cinnamon. In the USA, most grounded cinnamon sold is actually cassia.

The health benefits of cinnamon

If you want to take advantage of the health properties of cinnamon, ensure that you are actually getting real cinnamon, otherwise, it will not work. Cinnamon is known to boost the immune system and will help ward off colds and flu thanks to its anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties and antioxidant activities. A teaspoon of cinnamon contains as much antioxidants as a pomegranate juice glass. It may help the digestive system and bowel movement disorders. A recent study published in the Diabetic Medicine: A Journal of the British Diabetic Association October 2010 showed that taking 2g of cinnamon a day can help lower blood sugar in Type 2 diabetes as well as lower blood pressure. Cinnamon can also help with blood circulation and as a sexual stimulant. It can be used in case of tooth ache and bad breath. It is great to repel insects.

Of course, cinnamon is mainly used in cooking and incorporating cinnamon in your meals, desserts, beverages will have the positive effects listed above. You can for example incorporate cinnamon in your breakfast by blending 2 fresh oranges with a tea spoon of cinnamon and drink as a morning boost.

If you want to refresh your home and take advantage of the anti-bacterial properties of cinnamon, you can also get cinnamon essential oil and pour a few drops in the filter of your vacuum cleaner. It will leave your house free of bacteria while smelling really good. However, be careful when using cinnamon essential oil as this oil is very strong and can be irritating to the nose or to the skin if improperly used.

Organic rolling paper

Everyone has flaws and even when following an organic lifestyle, smoking can still be an issue. However, more and more people have started rolling their own cigarettes to control not only the size of the cigarette but also to fill it with any amount of tobacco or other herbs (i.e. cloves or herbal mix) they want and to cut on the cost associated with smoking. According to surveys, the R.Y.O (roll your own cigarette) segment makes for 2 to 4% of smokers in the US, 9% in Canada and at least 50% in New Zealand (% have not been verified).

Composition of rolling paper

Rolling papers can be made with wood pulp, hemp (a fiber derived from the plant Cannabis Genus, also used to produce paper or textile), flax (a plant from the Linaceae family), rice or esparto which is a grass from North Africa used to produce quality paper, fiber, cords or baskets (source Wikipedia). A thin band of glue is also included on the rolling paper to stick the paper together once the cigarette has been rolled. The paper goes under a chemical treatment including chlorine that can have devastating consequences on the health especially on the lungs. Chlorine is present in tab water, swimming pools and more and while it can stop the spread of epidemics, it can also create deadly health problems. Glue is called an inhalant and can lead to oxygen deprivation.

Why choose an organic rolling paper?

Organic rolling paper is made with organically-grown hemp and is chlorine-free. The result is a thin paper of light color and the color can actually vary from paper to paper depending on the batch of hemp used to produce the paper. This is a safer alternative to regular smoking paper or paper used in cigarettes. If you have difficulty to quit smoking or want to reduce the damages caused by smoking, you can also opt in for organic tobacco to roll your cigarettes. Smoking organic cigarettes with organic rolling paper and organic tobaccoorganic tobacco is a better option than smoking regular cigarettes but it is still very dangerous for your health and quitting smoking all together should be the ultimate goal. If you want to quit smoking, read about Helichrysum essential oil.

Where to buy organic rolling paper?

You can find organic rolling paper online. Few companies have caught up with organic rolling paper so that few brand alternatives are available, the most predominent one being RAW.

Drugs versus herbal remedies

Plants, herbs and their active ingredients

Plants have a defense mechanism against their direct environmental threats that is very complex and they have such an ability to protect themselves against diseases that people have been studying their mechanism and use for thousands of years. Plant cells structure and human cells structure are very similar and our body can recognize the entire plant structure. When an active ingredient (the life force) is taken from a plant, our body recognizes it, processes it and uses it for its own purpose. Plants are living organisms just like humans and the 4 main similar constituents between plant cells and human cells are carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen. Both also have protein-like structure which allows the body to entirely recognize the healing properties of a given plant and use it to cure itself.

Within one plant, one can find numerous active ingredients, some of which having opposite effects so a vast knowledge of medicinal plants is required before using it especially in terms of dosage. For example, a plant can contain 5 active ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties and 2 active ingredients that induce inflammation. However, using all the plant’s active ingredients may have great anti-inflammatory effects depending on how much we intake. Also, a plant is alive and adapts to its environmental threats because of its innate survival instincts just like humans. When threatened by a virus that is also alive and evolving, a plant will have the capabilities to change and adapt to fight against this evolving virus.

Origin of modern drugs

Modern medicine has copied the biological functions of plants but the main difference is that a chemically-made remedy uses typically one specific active ingredient of the plant against which a virus or bacteria can easily become resistant as opposed to the 100 active ingredients of a given plant and as a result, the drug has to be modified, or sometimes, the original plant is used again because only the plant in a whole could evolve at the same time as the virus or bacteria and develop new means to fight it. This is also the reason why sometimes, 10 drugs need to be administered for one single condition while the proper plant would contain them all at once. Another difference also is that a plant cannot be patented and requires clinical trials to prove its efficiency that cost millions of dollars; meanwhile, a chemically-made drug using only one plant’s active ingredient can be patented and because of the pharmaceuticals means, a clinical trial can easily be performed with the newly developed drug.

The advantage of herbal remedies and the dangers of do-it-yourself

When understanding the defense mechanism of a plant, we can easily deduct that plants can have beneficial effects on us when used wisely and as a whole because they can help with a disease without inducing side-effects, but they can also have a devastating effect, just like a pharmaceutical drug that we would not typically intake without a prescription, first of all because it is forbidden by law, but also because it is dangerous.

In the US, herbal remedies, medicinal plants and herbal supplements can easily be accessed in stores because they are regarded as food supplements, not remedies or drugs and suppliers are not allowed to make claims for these remedies. However, depending on one’s condition, herbal remedies and their active ingredients can have beneficial results but also devastating ones, and only a qualified herbalist could ponder whether a remedy is good or not, depending on the patient, his condition, the cause of his condition, his age, weight, other drug intake and lifestyle. Indeed, just like regular drugs can interact with each other, herbal remedies can interact with each other as well and interact with drugs. Herbal and natural remedies does not mean it is always good for us and without consequence, far from it, unless we have done our research or consulted a qualified practitioner that will guide us with dosage, interactions and contra-indications. For example, helichrysum essential oil is a very powerful essential oil to treat various conditions. However, it is also a blood thiner and people already on blood thiner medications should avoid it or use it carefully to avoid hemorrhagia. The healing properties of plants and herbs are very powerful and probably stronger than any given drugs for the facts explained earlier but when taken internally, it is wise to always research about their active ingredients, chemistry, use and consequences and seek help of a qualified herbalist, naturopath or doctor that will be able to determine the cause of our problem and redirect us to the proper remedy. Nature can provide our body with everything it needs and it would be arrogant to believe the opposite when humans have been using its powers for thousands of years so let’s protect it and cherish it in a smart way. At last, herbal remedies have become a marketing tool for companies that saw a huge lucrative market in this field. However, not all “natural remedies” or are actually 100% natural and it is very important to read the ingredients, origin, company ethics before purchasing an herbal remedy that if rogue, might work as well as hot water and give Nature a bad name! The same applies for all organic products.

This article was inspired by the book The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs, by Dr. Leslie Taylor, ND.

You can purchase this amazing book hereThe Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs

Ivy leaf extract for colds and coughs

Ivy or Hedera is an evergreen and climbing plant belonging to the Araliaceae family and that comes from the Atlantic islands, Europe, North Africa, parts of Asia and Japan. We find 2 main types of Ivy plant: English Ivy and Boston Ivy (not to be mistaken with poison Ivy). Ivy usually grows on walls or houses, can be part of ornamental arrangements and can reach up to 30 meter high. Ivy plant on houses can be a problem though because of all the insects taking refuge in the plant including spiders that crawl their way back in houses. Ivy plant can however be beneficial for your home feng shui, especially located in corners that will cut straight lines or absorb the electromagnetic vibes of devices such as TV or computer as long as you keep it subtle because a full facade covered with ivy plant can also cause your skin to be prompt to problems. Additionally, ivy plant roots are very strong and can easily dig their way into the house foundation, to the point of destroying the house structure.

Besides its ornamental purpose, ivy leaf goes way back as a traditional herbal remedy. According to the Greek tradition, Ivy leaf was believed to prevent inebriation (becoming drunk) from wine drinking and this is why the Greek God of wine, Dionysus, wore Ivy leaf around his head.

Also, ivy leaf has been traditionally used for colds for its anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties and particularly for coughs and chest congestion for its decongestant properties. This has been supported by scientific studies and ivy leaf is now recognized as an effective medicine to treat the inflammation of of the respiratory tract. Ivy leaf extract helps to liquefy the mucus, ease throat and chest inflammation and calm the cough associated with bronchitis. However, it does not suppress the cough completely in order for the mucus to leave the body and for the infection to stop.

Ivy leaf extract is an efficient and natural remedy for bronchial inflammation, may it be for adults or for children and is easily found as a ivy leaf syrup that won’t induce the side effects of other regular syrups such as drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, among others.