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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.


• Kitchen-wise-Medicinal herbs and plants in the kitchen
• Skin Cancer part 1


So in directing even negative energy toward a system, it flourishes---hence usual diatribes around politicians, corporates, media and others really lose impetus in the light of this.

The process of killing damaged or redundant cells in the body is called Apoptosis. Apoptosis is often a naturally programmed cellular suicide process. The dead cells are ingested by Phagocytes, which are cells of the immune system that scavenge dead cells and cell debris and bacteria. The Aging Process is associated with a failure of damaged cells to “kill themselves” via the process of Apoptosis, increased (abnormal) Apoptosis of non-damaged Cells, increased resistance of (damaged) aged Cells to (normal) Apoptosis and failure of (normal) Apoptosis to kill Cancer cells.
It is seen that when a municipal workers strike occurs, refuse is not collected and it lies around causing a mess and disturbance (often even when not on strike), same way it works in the body.

Cancer research is legendary both for the scams and the possible cures and causes.
The cellular mechanism of the development of Cancer is associated with a failure of damaged cells to “kill themselves” via the process of (normal) Apoptosis Saffron has 2 constituents that has been well researched and may offer alternative treatment for some cancer prevention and treatment. Crocetin and Crocin
The cancers that have been shown to benefit include breast, lung, pancreatic and skin cancers.
The dosage varies between 20 – 300 mg per day.

The part of the plant that is used is the stigma (pistils)----those red stringy bits that are used for colouring in cooking.
The constituents that give the physical properties are Crocin (responsible for Saffron's colour), picrocrocin (taste), and safranal the oil ingredient (fragrance or aroma).

Instead of using saffron, buddhist monks use turmeric for dyeing their robes. Some carpets use saffron dyes especially in kashmir and iran where most of the worlds saffron is grown.

Traditionally in Arabic, Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine saffron has been used for anxiety and insomnia.
Western trials have shown remarkable effects with Alzheimer’s (30mg per day). For depression, which has become a common illness, 30 mg has had beneficial results in mild to moderate depression.The nervous system receives many benefits and using saffron under chronic stress conditions showed that memory and learning ability improved.

Since plants have been around 700million years before man, we can allow them to mediate and it would be vain to assume otherwise. Cleopatra used Saffron as an aphrodisiac, Alexander the great to heal his battle wounds. Our western way of reductionist thinking contradicts that aspect of being in touch with nature in her many forms—stones, earth, fauna and flora and a few quiet moments in nature, communing, always restores some sense of well being.

Consumption of an extract of Saffron stigma caused a reduction of snacking and creates a satiating effect that could contribute to body weight loss. The combination of an adequate diet with Satiereal supplementation (a saffron extract} might help subjects engaged in a weight loss program in achieving their objective.
It may be worthwhile to soak a few strands of saffron in hot water as a tea.

If you are going to buy saffron go for the threads which should be a nice red and have a distinct odour and stain the fingers when rubbed. Punishment for adulteration of saffron inthe middle ages varied from burial in sand and stoning to burning at the stake.
Many would advocate that for adultery and corruption today.--Big holes for big slobs especially the greasy one with shaven heads.. Safranal, a volatile oil found in the spice also has antioxidant and anticonvulsant properties

More than 3000 years ago saffron was used as medical treatment for coughs, colds, stomach ailments, insomnia, uterine bleeding, scarlet fever, heart trouble, and flatulence. Nutritionally Saffron has a high content of some vital ingredients
The manganese content is off the charts at nearly 400% of the daily-recommended value! Manganese and vitamin b6 helps regulate blood sugar, metabolize carbohydrates, and absorb calcium. It also helps form tissues, bones, and sex hormones.
High content of Vitamin C fights infection, Iron purifies the blood and potassium helps balance fluids in the cells. Early studies suggest that Saffron may protect the eye from the direct effects of bright light, and from retinal stress in additional to slowing down macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.

In 2009 research using 200mg of saffron for 10days showed hard evidence regarding using the spice for sexual impotence in men. Traditionally also used for premature ejaculation and infertility.
Some studies suggest that saffron may help relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. High doses have been known to cause uterine stimulation so not recommended in pregnancy.
Traditionally the old folk would mix saffron and honey as an analgesic for teething babies.
For the blood system, Saffron may be effective for hardening of the arteries (Atherosclerosis) due to its high Crocetin content.
The property of lowering blood pressure is mainly due to the Safranal content of the plant.

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 herbs visit < our website > or go to <<herb info and pictures page.>>



In the next newsletter we will deal with Chamomile in the series called Streetwise - talking about medicinal properties of herbs found growing in the streets, garden and the wild.


The skin is the largest organ in your body.
The skin Covers the internal organs and helps protect them from injury and foreign substances such as bacteria
Its many functions include being an organ of elimination, Preventing loss of too much body fluids.
It helps control body temperature and helps the body make vitamin D

The skin has 3 layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutis (see picture).

The top layer of skin is the epidermis. It is thin and consists mainly of cell called keratinocytes which have different functions.Those on the outer part are called squamous cells. The squamous cells are constantly shed and replaced from the basal cells.
Melanocytes are also found in the epidermis. These skin cells impart a brown or tan colour to the skin due to a pigment called melanin. It protects the deeper layers of the skin from some of the harmful effects of the sun and perpetuates the endless reciprocal dilemma with the sons and daughters of Ham.
The epidermis is separated from the deeper layers of skin by the basement membrane. This is an important structure because when a skin cancer becomes more advanced, it generally grows through this barrier and into the deeper layers.

The middle layer of the skin is called the dermis. The dermis is much thicker than the epidermis. It contains hair follicles, sweat glands, blood vessels, and nerves that are held in place by a protein called collagen, which gives the skin its elasticity and strength.

The deepest layer of the skin is called the subcutis. The subcutis and the lowest part of the dermis form a network of collagen and fat cells. The subcutis helps the body conserve heat and has a shock-absorbing effect that helps protect the body’s organs from injury.
Types of skin cancer
Squamous cell carcinoma cancer is one of the major forms of skin cancer. SCCs usually occur on portions of the body commonly exposed to the Sun; the face, ears, neck, hands, or arm.

The main symptom is a growing bump that may have a rough, scaly surface and flat reddish patches. , During its earliest stages, it is sometimes known as Bowen's disease
Most squamous cell carcinomas (SSCs) are removed with surgery. A few selected cases are treated with topical medication. Surgical excision with a free margin of healthy tissue is a frequent treatment modality.
Generally, the long-term outcome is positive, as less than 4% of Squamous-cell carcinoma cases are at risk of metastasis and hence life-threatening.

Squamous cell skin carcinoma usually appears as a tiny, painless bump or patch. The skin around it can be red and swollen. The cancer itself can be scaly, crusty, or wartlike. It can have an open sore in the center.

Although squamous cell carcinoma can develop on any part of the body, the most common spots are the:
• head, including the scalp, lips, ears, and mouth
• legs
• Back of the hands and the arms.
Your practitioner will examine your skin and may remove a small, abnormal piece to be examined in a laboratory. This procedure is called a biopsy

What we are trying to do is avoid the standard and use proven home and natural remedies because of the recurring nature of skin cancers after a certain age—about 65 in men and not so common in women
There are many ways to treat squamous cell carcinoma that has not spread.:
The Treatment below is the standard. It is necessary to know for a reference point These include
• Cutting away the cancer and a small amount of healthy tissue around it. If a large area of skin is removed, a skin graft may be necessary.
• Scraping away the cancer with a surgical tool. A doctor the uses an electric probe to kill any cancerous cells left behind.
• Freezing cancer cells with a chemical called liquid nitrogen. This treatment usually is reserved for very small tumors. It is also used when a patch of skin looks abnormal but isn't yet cancerous.
• Destroying the cancer with radiation.
• Shaving away the cancer, one thin layer at a time. Each layer is examined under the microscope as it is removed. This technique helps the doctor preserve as much healthy skin as possible.
• Applying drugs directly to the skin or injecting them into the tumor.
Using a narrow laser beam to destroy the cancer.

In the next newsletter we will focus on prevention and natural treatments for squamous cell carcinomas


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If you have a problem getting the herbs contact us at <<herbs@herbsorganic.co za 2>>and we will do our best to help you find them.

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Glossary(meanings of some fancy words)

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