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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 in the kitchen
• Hypertension--herbs and food to lower high blood pressure


Laurus nobilis

The costs of medical attention and hospitals have become frightening. Partly because those in charge are more interested in supplying themselves and shareholders with adequate returns instead of the healing motive. This also due to greaseball politicians who regard the gravy train as a priority greater than their peoples' health
If this continues at the current rate, it bodes not well for future medical attention.
Doctors are good for fixing traumatic illness, assault and accidents which are difficult to prevent unless you have a prophet pal but the illnesses which are rife today such as diabetes, gastro intestinal ailments, kidney dis ease, liver dysfunction and others which start in the kitchen may well find their cure in their place of origin and may be treated by clear thinking (lack of paranoia) and self application of the natural means at ones disposal.

Spices and herbs in the cupboard, which are used rarely, are one of the natural forms which have the ability to heal.

One of the strongest anti oxidants, Bay also has a high concentration of the B group vitamins.
A cup of Bay tea---a teaspoon of leaves steeped in hot water may have extraordinary effects on diabetics. To really maximize the effect of Bay ,the proper protocol for type 2 diabetes would be to powder the leaves and take for 30 days.i guess that may be too much troble for the rat racers but the effects would be a drop in blood glucose level and also regulating of the heart functioning.

The powerful antioxidant effect of Bay enables the body to process insulin more efficiently so it is a good choice for insulin resistant diabetics.
A beneficial side effect is that the compounds rutin, salicylates, caffeic acid and phytonutrients boost heart health.A boon for those who have diabetes combined with blood, heart and kidney complications.

Bay leaves contain enzymes which breakdown proteins so are good for promoting digestion and can treat digestive disorders such as heartburn and flatulence. Drinking a concoction of bay leaf tea with hot water can alleviate common digestive disorders like constipation, acid reflux and irregular bowel movements. For the non vegetarian this a great aid if applied and with a small bit of ginger added to the tea it may stimulate appetite.
Nobel laureates (the bay was used to make the laurel leaf crown worn by heros) are those people symbolizing peace, wisdom and protection.
Many recipients today reflect the sham this ceremony has become. For example giving Obama a peace prize for sending troops to Afghanistan, maybe South Africa’s president will get a prize for good governance.

The Anti-cancer Properties of Bay are not well researched apart from the effect on cervical cancer
Bay leaves contains Caffeic Acid, Quercetin, Euganol and Catechins all of which possess chemo-protective properties which provide resistance against different types of cancer. They also contain a phytonutrient called parthenolide which has shown to specifically restrain the proliferation of Cervical cancer cells.
Like most herbs,store Bay leaves in a dry cool space.

The high content of Manganese and Magnesium seems to aid in the prevention and treatment of kidney stones—done by boiling a cupful of bay leaves and reducing the volume to a quarter cup and drinking regularly.
Kidney disease may be aided by a regular tea preparation without reducing the volume. That tea may serve as a diuretic as well.
Vitamin C is abundant in bay leaves and partly contributes to its effectiveness as a tea for colds and flu.

An oil which is extracted from the leaf has anti-inflammatory properties and is used for arthritic pains and sprains. Also for general aches and pains especially joint and headaches either in a brew or as a poultice.

It is said that a few drops of the oil mixed in water may induce a good sleep.

Folk legends, which should not be neglected, says that the leaves have the property of inducing pregnancy---mixed with anise and inserted into the vagina.
Apparently the very high quantities of folic acid prevent birth defects --there is currently controversy with about that idea.

The leaf and berry taken as a tea may aid to restore regular menstruation.
Large quantities of bay should not be taken during pregnancy..

Research indicates that the wound healing qualities of bay are exceptional. The anti microbial qualities enable rapid cleaning and closure of the wound.

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 VALERIAN in the series called Streetwise - talking about medicinal properties of herbs found growing in the streets, garden and the wild.


Hypertension also know as high blood pressure involves the elevation of the Blood Pressure above the normal range expected in a particular age group.
The ranges have changed over the past years and as such the ballpark figure is 140 systolic and 70 diastolic.
These vary with age and body structure.

The causes of high blood pressure are so many so the information below deals only with natural ways of lowering blood pressure.
The food and herbs may contain compounds lacking in the body; lack of these nutrient compounds may be one of the causes of the hypertension or the compound itself may have the property of lowering blood pressure.

Regular Exercise including aerobic and isotonic exercise may permit persons afflicted with severe Hypertension to reduce their dosages of Antihypertensive Pharmaceutical Drugs.
Meditation may lower elevated Blood Pressure in Hypertension patients.
Getting rid of irritating staff or bosses may decrease high blood pressure in hypertension patients.

Research has shown that Spirulina may lower Blood Pressure in Hypertension patients by a factor of almost 10%.
Chicken extract / essence acts on the renal nerve through its constituent Carnosine and shows significant prevention and treatment of hypertension and renal disease.
Emigration to a country that works has a similar effect according to hearsay evidence.
Red wine in moderations (2 glassfuls per day) lowers high blood—excessive red wine increases blood pressure.
Some fish including salmon, herring, tuna, cod and sardines lower blood pressure maybe due to their high concentration of omega 3 fatty acids.

Tuna and sardines contain a Polypeptide that inhibits Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) – this inhibition also contributes to the Blood Pressure-lowering effect of Tuna.
Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) is an enzyme that activates Angiotensin –Angiotensin 2 is a hormone that constricts the blood vessels hence increases blood pressure.

Rotten fish that are often found in or near a parliamentary or bankers office do not have a beneficial effect on hypertension patients and indeed the lack of concern for the aged and actually most people by bankers often is cause of hypertension.

Certain fruit contain substances that inhibit ACE—Apples, Bananas, Blue Berries, Cranberries and Pomegranates have that property. So a smoothie of these fruit may really be most beneficial for hypertension patients.

Watermelon may lower Blood Pressure in Hypertension patients (due to its Cucurbocitrin and Citrulline content

Using whole grain and oats may play a major role in the primary prevention of hypertension and its cardiovascular complications.
Most commercial breakfast cereals usually contains many additives,GM modified substances and sugar and does not fall into this category unless consisting mainly of oats or wheat.

People who consume a Vegetarian diet have a lower incidence of Hypertension.
Beetroot (juice) may lower Blood Pressure in Hypertension patients. Attributed to its rich content of nitrates.
Celery may lower Blood Pressure in Hypertension patients by 12% - 14%, even at low doses (due to the Celery functioning as a diuretic and as a pseudo-Calcium-Channel Blocker). Calcium plays an important role in atheromatous plaques, which line the blood vessels and thus narrow the lumen causing higher pressure.

Garlic and Onions (cooked Onions are more potent than raw) may lower hypertension
Spinach may help to prevent Hypertension and may lower elevated Blood Pressure in Hypertension patients.

Tomato (extract) may lower elevated Blood Pressure in Hypertension patients. Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene; beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin C, flavonoids, folate and vitamin E that may provide protection against the development of type 2 diabetic patients
in experiments whereby diabetes type 2 patients were fed daily 200gms of tomato extract for 8 weeks,a significant drop in systolic and diastolic pressure was the result.
Some Sea Vegetables may lower blood pressure in hypertension patients----kelp, wakame and kombu inhibit Angiotensin 2 activators. Sushi may yet be the way to go.

Seeds that lower blood pressure in 80% of hypertension patients are Celery, Chia, Fax, Psyllium and Sesame.
Mixing in a coffee grinder, Flax, Sesame and Pumpkin seeds and add to cereal or in salad is an effective protection against high blood and thus heart ailments.
Experiments indicate that dietary mushrooms decrease blood pressure in hypertension patients. Especially shitake and oyster mushrooms.

Double blind experiments have shown that olive oil is quite effective. Other oils such as flax seed, sesame seed, pumpkin seed and fish oils have also been shown to reduce blood pressure in hypertensives.

The following herbs and spices are some of the very many that have shown to cause a significant drop in blood pressure
Olive Leaf
Tea (especially Green Tea) (and most effective when consumed immediately after a meal) may lower Blood Pressure in Hypertension patients.
A single one of these herbs as a tea or a blend of herbs may drop blood pressure in hypertension patients. The ideal period for results is 30 days.

An effective herbal tea for reduction of hypertension:
Amounts are for a pot of tea enough for 3 cups---the mixture can be had hot or cold and a bit of lemon can be added.
Figures are for dried herb.
1⁄2 teaspoon of basil
Pinch of cinnamon
3/4-teaspoon nettle
3 strands saffron
3/4-teaspoon yarrow
Slice of ginger to your taste and Stevia for sweetening if required.
Add hot not boiling water for 3 cupfuls and let it draw for half an hour. The balance can draw overnight. Keep refrigerated.


So what’s part of 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). Spend sometime in nature, quietly. Link with people who create wellbeing and good vibes. Save and swop organic seed. Consider alternatives to surgery (2nd opinions from Homeopaths, reputable alternative practitioners including sangomas) and keep the faith china.

We are also a mail order source for our own organic teas , singles and herbal products. 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 za 2>>and we will do our best to help you find them.

A list of our products can be viewed at Our Products on our website.



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