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.
• Diabetes part 1


Lemon Balm
Melissa Officinalis
Bee Balm.

Clutter is the name of the game. The mutter of the computer saturates with information and after hours in front of or behind the screen, What? Completed spreadsheet, e mails up to date, tweets twittered, cousin in Dubai had her wart removed via face book, A headache, tired muscles, eyes bit blurry.
Lemon balm is a calming herb- officially an Anxiolytic plant (sedative)—like many herbs it works well in a group: with Chamomile, Vervain, Valerian or on its own. It lifts the mood and reduces distress about the future.

Lemon balm is one of the few herbs (Sage, Rosemary and others) that have Rosmarinic acid and that with other acids in lemon balm works to stop negative nerve-waves by blocking the action of some enzymes so that tranquil nerve impulses can pass easily through nerve endings.

Herbs affect people differently—some will react to a sip and for some a week or two will go by before the herb works. Some scientists say the reaction is due to enzyme function yet that is a new field and more research is necessary.
The usual dosage for lemon balm as a tea is 1 teaspoon to 1-cup hot water. Lemon balm is also obtainable as a tincture, drops, capsules and ointment.

Experiments with Alzheimer’s disease have indicated that memory is enhanced and agitation is reduced.

Excessive production of thyroid hormones (especially Thyroxine) occurs in Hyperthyroidism and Graves disease. It occurs mainly in women Lemon balm has been found very effective in reducing the swelling and bringing back balance to the thyroid. It occupies the places where the anti bodies would attach to the thyroid very much like musical chairs so with receptors blocked; the antibody has to bounce about until it dissipates.

For insomnia a few cups a day has shown some amazing results. Maybe a few drops of lemon balm oil at the nostrils would also be effective.

The ointment is used for oral and genital herpes. The lip lesions associated with herpes virus react well to the lemon balm ointment. The swelling and irritation diminishes. That is possibly also due to the allantoin constituent in balm. So if you are messing around in unknown territory, a condom, immunosuppressive drugs, lemon balm ointment, a showerhead or abstinence is mandatory.

The anti viral effect of lemon balm was used many centuries ago for healing wounds in battle. Herbs have been around longer than wars and will be around after the U S and other warmongers vanish. Rosmarinic acid (also strongly anti oxidant), Tannins, Eugenol and Terpenes play a role in the antiviral effects.

Lemon balm has been used for centuries for flu and colds. Sure, medical practice has become the norm in the last 100 years but herbs were used for 1000s of years and as long as we don’t destroy the ecology of the planet (currently we are obsessed with planetary suicide and if we continue will annihilate the human race and that is dinkum, real and imminent unless we evolve), herbs will continue to play a vital role in maintaining health in the future.

Scientific research has its place but when it comes to the healing power of plants, I would rather listen to the plant itself and then a 100 year old witch who has been using herbs forever and lastly to a flunky in a white overall working for a subversive pharmaceutical company in that order.

Remember that plants convert sun energy by photosynthesis in order that the animal and human kingdom can survive.
Without that function of making the sun energy into edible food, we would be non-existant. Plants of all sorts give freely of their properties, whether beauty, healing or protection.
The lemon balm at the farm does not like the extreme heat, tough but gentle, she tends to freak when cut as though removing a hat in the hot sun. The smell when crushing the leaves is so soothing.

So giving thanks to the plants around us for their support and our lives is a step toward realizing that there is a living world beyond the supermarket and mall.

That sick feeling after realizing the world is controlled by multi nationals and criminals is not uncommon. A cup of lemon balm tea for both the melancholy and the upset tummy is a good restorative. For many gastro intestinal upsets, colic, flatulence and indigestion, the carminative effect of lemon balm is a great panacea.

Supposedly no contra indications or side effects for lemon balm, although if you take a sedative already, lemon balm may add to the effect so driving under the influence of lemon balm or doing work that requires real focus is not advised. Lemon balm lowers the blood pressure so if you have low blood then not a good idea.


A general rule when making a herbal tea, ideally water should be boiled and allowed to cool a bit, then add the herb and steep for 15 minutes before drinking.

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.The surface area of a finer cut allows for more absorption if the herb is finely cut with not much heat generated.

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 Lemon balm 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 Cumin in the series called Kitchen wise - talking about medicinal properties of the usual herbs found in the kitchen.

Fats and Figures

What to Eat or what not to Eat—that is the question.

Fats are a big time problem today. Talk of saturated and unsaturated fats Omega 3 and 6 and essential fatty acids boggle the mind.
Dietary fat is one of the three macronutrients, along with Protein and Carbohydrates that provide energy for your body, if you consider the mostly plastic vegetables and additive soaked, refined foodstuffs in supermarkets to be food.

Fats in the body insulate your nerve cells, balance your hormones, protect you from cold, keep the skin and arteries supple and also lubricate your joints. some vitamins including A,D,E and K need fat to become soluble.

Fatty acids are the building blocks of saturated or unsaturated fats. The different types of fatty acids combine to form chains of different lengths and determine the character of the fat.

Saturated fats mean that the chain that makes up the saturated fat is saturated with hydrogen molecules and is solid at room temperature. Examples are butter, margarine, and fatty parts of meat, chicken, some palm oils and dairy products

The best types of Saturated fats are the medium chain as they are rapidly broken down and metabolised. Includes butter and coconut oil. Coconut oil decreases blood cholesterol and may decrease obesity.
Medium chain saturated fats may also be antiviral in the case of HIV.
They are not recommended for frying as they may cause diarrhoea or stomach cramps.

Excessive consumption of saturated fats is responsible for obesity (really!!),
cardiovascular disease, diabetes and nervous disorders. Osteoporosis follows.

Pregnant women beware; Eating a cheeseburger, which is likely the worst combination of food, would result in a huge increase about 450% in morning sickness.

Unsaturated fats come primarily from plant foods, nuts and seeds, and are liquid at room temperature. Examples include vegetable oils such as olive, peanut, safflower, sunflower, soybean and corn.
Unlike saturated fats, unsaturated fats do not raise blood cholesterol
Types of Unsaturated fats are either mono unsaturated, poly unsaturated (0mega 6) or a combination of both.
Monounsaturated fats (omega 9) have the greatest effect on reducing high blood cholesterol levels and may actually increase “good” cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein.

Fat is mainly stored in the body in the form of triglycerides.

Triglycerides can also be synthesised for medical purposes usually as medium chain truglycerides and are beneficial to the digestion and nervous system.
These are not solid and sold as liquid or capsules.

Essential fatty acids are poly unsaturated fatty acids that your body can’t manufacture and, therefore, has to be provided through your diet.
It is divided into two groups – Omega 3 and Omega 6. Essentail to life, they
help to synthesize specific proteins.

Omega 6 (polyunsaturated fat) is found in corn oil, sunflower oil, peanut and soybean oil
Considered good for the heart and decrease the symptoms of pms.
General diet usually supplies adequate amounts.
Green leafy vegetables including lettuce, spinach, brocolli and kale.
Peas and kidney beans are also a source.

Omega 3 (superunsaturated fatty acid)is easily obtained in the diet.
Plant souces include flax seed (linseed), pumkin seed, walnuts, oregano, basil, and green leafy vegetables including lettuce, spinach, brocolli and kale.
Plentiful in salmon,sardine, trout and tuna.
Avocado my china.Sadly avos don’t taste like avos anymore. Indeed most veggies and fruit taste plasticky.What to expect with farming techniques dictated by corporations including Monsanto and Syngerta. Go organic, make sprouts, plant any veg—take back your dependance—be knowledgable and mindful of what you eat – that’s usually the easy way to a healthy life story

Omega 3s are beneficial to the blood system and heart. Supports good metabolism and fortifies the immune system.
May help in diabetes mellitus and keeps the skin supple.

For a healthy diet, concentrate on mono unsaturated fats like olive oil and essential fatty acids.

Recipe ensuring that you have adequate omegas:
3 cups linseed
1 cup sunflower seed
1 cup sesame seed
1 cup pumpkin seed.

Mix, grind in a coffee grinder. Keep refrigerated.
Add table spoons to cereals and salads.
A tablespoon per day is enough to supply all omegas required.
Hence no need to supplement with capsules. That is an hysterical response to the growing laziness to help oneself and empower oneself. Reliance on pills for a quick fix permeates both allopathic and alternative lifestyle followers.

“Comfort arrives as a sweet guest and remains as a master.” Most of the time the master is a calculated rip off.

Transfats are mainly synthesized and unhealthy. Usually made by heating as in frying. Examples are pork fat, shortening, stick margarine and butter. Solid and unhealthy like any good government and multi national corporation and just as useless.Use if you want to increase unhealthy LDL cholesterol and lower healthy high-density cholesterol which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.An added extra is to increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
A wise man once said—you can’t eat your way to heaven.
So as the song goes—hey fatty boom boom what you gonna eat now.

BEWARE ASPARTAME---shown as causing Diabetes, all sorts of Cancers, major Nervous Disorders, High Blood Pressure and affects the Chromosomes (genetic material).
How did this stuff ever get on the market?
Well I guess you had better ask the FDA, WHO and other friends of the big pharmaceuticals.
In the meantime read the labels and check the ingredients.

“And before you leave the market place, see that no one has gone his way with empty hands.
For the master spirit of the earth shall not sleep peacefully upon the wind till the needs of the least of you are satisfied” Khalil Gibran

If you have a problem getting the herbs contact us at << za 2>>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.
Some photographs by Ursula van Deventer.


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