An overview of different herbal realities focusing on the medicinal value of plants, indigenous herbs of South Africa
and aspects of the herbal industry that affect the person in the street.
Since time does not allow most of us to read long newsletters, this newsletter will only deal with one herb at a time starting with the series kitchenwise and streetwise


• Street-wise----Medicinal herbs growing wild and recognised as weeds in the streets, garden and the wild.
• Constipation


Famous Fennel of Gripe water, Baron of the Shmooze, Third earl of the Burp has carminative and antispasmodic properties.
Infants and children with colic, teething, cramp, indigestion and pain of unknown origin stemming from the digestive system benefit from its relaxing effect on the parasympathetic nerves in the digestive tract--gripe water has always been a popular medication in the history of children.

Adults, can you remember the digestive pain alleviated by this force of nature called Fennel and that it is effective for those disorders even for the elderly.
Stomach upsets on the whole can be alleviated by a simple cup of tea ---fennel and peppermint are a great combination and the effectiveness is surprisingly quick with no side effects.

Two gay oils in Fennel, Anethone and Fenchone, have the property of removing mucous from the upper respiratory tract .So a tea of one teaspoon to a cup of water benefits laryngitis, clogged passages, and wheezing. Adding half a teaspoon of sage and thyme to the tea gives the tea a broader acting spectrum.

Traditionally fennel has many other uses, which have not been backed by current scientific research.
Hippocrates and later Dioscorides used it, the Romans, Greeks, Arabs use it, Chinese and Ayurvedic practitioners use it so the force is strong with it.
The dark side of the force is also strong on this planet----the Hippocratic oath looses its meaning when millions die of Iatrogenisis (negative result of medical practitioners actions – also alternative medical practices), medical malpractice and crappy Hospital service both public and private. This is not surprising when pharmaceutical representatives advise doctors: - representatives of pharmaceutical companies whose job it is to sell drugs not to heal.Many doctors are confused these days due to the side effects and selection of drugs, many of which are not properly tested.Remember thalidomide and now antibiotics, which have such side effects and are losing their potency due to bacteria becoming immune to their effects.

Both Fennel leaves and seeds are used for slimming as a tea. The seeds act as an appetite suppressant and the natural sweet property reduces cravings for Simple Sugars. It benefits the kidney function by its diuretic action. Some researches regard spleen activity to affect body weight and Fennel may improve spleen function.
The current stereotype of policewoman and nurses in South Africa would do well to partake. To initiate a “save the greasy slob ” project, which could result in a healthier nursing environment and crime fighting policewomen who would do better than a waddle (if they ever made an attempt to run after a criminal) would be a good South African mission—A consultant or a committee meeting is not necessary, just a memo---get fit or get out--how can we expect them to be trained when the leaders regard morality and humanity as archaic.

Feeling low—usually indication of a sluggish liver---fennel has been used as a liver tonic. The doctrine of signatures (see www.herbsorganic/doctrine of signatures) indicates that herbs with yellow flowers may have a beneficial effect on the liver.

As a laxative it has merits since it is not a harsh laxative and acts gently to ease and please.

When dealing with a breakdown in one aspect of the body health, it may be wise to treat the whole system rather than focus on a single organ or system. In this way mixtures of herbs may work more effectively than a single herb—some helping with elimination and detoxing.Our mixtures contain herbs, which do all that and fortify the mineral and vitamin supply hence providing a more complete healing process with no side effects.

The process of cutting a herb generates heat so the finer the cut of the herb so too does the potency diminish that little bit. So I recommend the rough tea cut rather than teabags even though it appears to be a mission to make in the rush rush everyday world.

Guidance with professional health practitioners from the naturopath, sangoma, dietician, alternative healer to a MD is an responsible course of action when dealing with any substance affecting your health.

For more in depth details about Fennel and other herbs visit <<our website3>> or go to <<herbal info and pictures>>



These herb properties are directly connected to and derived from the forces of nature - if you want to call it Godhead, Greater hierarchy, Krishna, Yaveh, Allah, it does not matter—these are the forces that we can trust today. So treat the herbs with the respect due to a great natural force, never mind the ravings of a semi lunatic political, media force doing their best to undermine common sense.
Prevention is better than cure.

In the next newsletter we will deal with CINNAMON in the series called Kitchen wise - talking about medicinal properties of the usual herbs found in the kitchen.


I have yet to come across a puppy or kitten with constipation----infants rarely have difficult or painful bowel movements. One would think that constipation is as obvious as lack of integrity and inefficiency. Likely constipation is not as common yet it has the same foul odour as given off by the free lance irresponsible members of society who consider it ok to be unreliable as long as they have some recognition usually by cloud coo coo idiots.

Going for 3 days without a bowel movement is moving closer to the edge as the faeces become harder and more difficult to pass----not really of serious concern in the short term.
You would label yourself as constipated if over a period of 3 months you met the following criteria:
1. Straining during a bowel movement more than 25% of the time
2. Hard stools more than 25% of the time
3. Incomplete evacuation more than 25% of the time
4. Two or fewer bowel movements in a week.
5. Swollen abdomen or abdominal pain
6. Vomiting


Causes of constipation are usually related to diet and negative mental states.

• Not drinking enough water, inadequate fiber in the diet, excess dairy and overuse of laxatives all play a part.
• Depression and stress.
• Frequent travelers with regular diet changes for e.g. smoked snake and noodles in Hong Kong plays havoc with the passage and then compounded by overuse of laxatives, which irritate and weaken the bowel muscles.
• Some ailments such as hypo thyroidism, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome colon cancer, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis.
• Medicines such as narcotics, antidepressants, ant acids containing calcium or aluminium
• Lack of exercise.
• Sometimes the cause is not obvious so blood tests, barium studies and colonoscopy to look for obstruction of the colon is performed

Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy. Probably, half of pregnant women get constipated at some point because of the increase in the hormone progesterone.It relaxes smooth muscle throughout the body so food passes through the intestines more slowly.later in pregnancy, the uterus can press against the rectum compounding the problem. Too much iron supplements can be a cause if you are not anaemic

Constipation is not usually serious – if it is a symptom of an underlying problem eg if you have severe constipation with pain, alternating with diarrhea, pass mucous or blood then you need to consider medical advice.
The effects of constant constipation can affect the cardio vascular system resulting in anaemia and haemorrhoids due to straining when defecating. So gently does it.
Chronic constipation can cause bad breath, insomnia and depression – if your partner sleeps on the couch voluntarily, it may be time to up your intake of water and fibre.
The tannin in tea may cause constipation – just listen to some upper class British tea drinkers talking – it sounds quite tight. A cup of coffee may have a beneficial effect.

The herbs and pharmaceutical preparations work by irritating the intestinal wall and not so good in the long term. Constant irritation could lead to a sleepy response so continuing the cycle
Eating the correct food, drinking sufficient water (6 to 8 cups per day) and exercise (walking, swimming, cycling, yoga) are a long-term solution.

Foods That Alleviate Constipation

Psyllium may effectively alleviate constipation, because it increases the volume and weight of stools as well as the transit time in the colon and facilitates defecation. The Psyllium husks have been found to be very effective even with patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Flax Seeds (2 - 3 teaspoons of ground Flax Seeds meal consumed with Water) may prevent and alleviate Constipation

Traditionally these fruits have been used to alleviate constipation, usually as a juice
Apricot, Banana, Figs (soaked overnight), Grapefruit, Kiwi Fruit, Lemon and Watermelon
Research has indicated that Prunes may be an effective laxative that may alleviate most cases of Constipation (due to the Sorbitol content of Prunes).

Grains such as barley have been very effective.
Rice and wheat bran work by increasing the mass of stools and so increase the frequency of bowel movements.

Avocado, Beetroot (juice), Cabbage (juice), Carrots, Green Peas, Potato (juice), Spinach and the old favourite Rhubarb may alleviate Constipation. Turnips may be an effective treatment for Constipation.
Kelp may alleviate Constipation (due to the Algin content of Kelp which produce a laxative effect by retaining Water in the Colon)

Castor oil is still a favoured traditional remedy as is Olive Oil. Nothing like a bit of grease to set the motion flowing nicely.

A cup of warm water in the morning helps for evacuating.

Aloe Vera (juice consumed orally) may alleviate Constipation.
Artichoke Leaf may alleviate Constipation.
Cascara may be very effective for the treatment of (both mild and chronic forms of) Constipation (due to the Anthraquinone Glycosides in Cascara Sagrada).
Dandelion may alleviate Constipation.
Nettle (tea) reputedly alleviates Constipation (according to folklore).
Senna may alleviate Constipation (due to the Sennoside A and Sennoside B content of Senna).

A nice herbal tea for constipation
2 parts fennel
1 part peppermint
1 part lavender or lemon balm
1 part nettle
2 parts dandelion root and leaf
1 part Senna.
1 part Cascara Sagrada.
These herbs are easily obtainable from good health shops or pharmacies.
Alternatively we produce a Constipatea already made up either in loose cut or in teabags.

So what’s the balance in a society with chemical and pesticide, rich food? You can go organic, plant your own, join an organic co op. Start with doing your own sprouts, so easy and a great source of vitamins minerals and essential nutrients.(see newsletter no 19)

We are also a mail order source for our own organic teas , singles and herbal products.A minimum order of 10 assorted teas. Working with you, we can develop custom formulations specific to your practice. Our goal is long term working relationships that evolve over time.

If you have a problem getting the herbs contact us at <<herbs@herbsorganic.co.za3>> and we will do our best to help you find them.
Outlets for our herbal teas are at this address----<<Shops that sell our teas>>
A list of our products can be viewed at <<Our products>> on our website.
<<Other newsletters4>>
<<Glossary>> (meanings of some fancy words)
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