Category Archives: Herbal Medicine

The Benefits of Miso

IMG_E3108The Benefits of Miso

Miso is a Japanese condiment that comes in the form of a fermented paste made usually from soy beans but sometimes peas or other grains.

Its famous for its use as soup but there are many other ways to use miso in your kitchen like spreads on crackers, dips, sauces and marinades.

Miso has some wonderful health properties for example it is a complete protein which means it contains  all the amino acids which is  particularly important for vegetarians.

It is also fermented which is great for supporting gut health by helping to stabilise and balance the digestive tract which is useful for those who have a sensitive stomach or irritable bowel.

It contains probiotics which further helps to keep digestion in check as it keeps good gut bacteria healthy.

It contains many B vitamins, as well as Zinc,Copper , Calcium and  Iron too.

Miso paste is best added to a soup after you take it off the heat so it retains all the goodness listed above.

Nb: Miso contains sodium so it is important to have it along with a balanced diet and for those who have to watch their sodium levels to monitor their levels.

QUICK & SIMPLE VEGETARIAN MISO SOUP

Ingredients

2 cups vegetable stock

1 tbs Miso paste

1 Scallion (chopped)

1x 250g Silken tofu diced (Gently)

Directions

Bring your stock to the boil and then remove from the heat and set aside.

Prepare your scallion and silken tofu.

In a separate bowl, take ¼ cup of hot warm stock and mix with your Miso paste to dissolve.

Add the Miso stock back to the warmed stock and combine.

Lastly add the tofu and scallions.

Serve immediately.

Enjoy.

Serves 2

TIP FOR KEEPING AWAY COLDS & COUGHS

 

C9CF6D7B-E307-4524-BDD7-6CEB8CCAA1FAAt the first sign of cold or cough, get these ingredients from your kitchen to make a simple but powerful natural immune booster.

Chilli is a wonderful circulatory stimulant helping out your lymphatic system and raising your temperature to fight bugs.

Thyme is antibacterial and cough suppressant.

Honey is antibacterial and soothing and Fresh lemon has a great hit of vitamin C.

Ingredients-

Pinch of Chilli powder

1 tsp Dried Thyme powder

1 tbs Honey

1/2 Lemon juiced

Water 2 cups

Directions-

On a stovetop, add water, thyme and chilli to a saucepan.

Allow to reach a boil.

Remove from heat and add honey and lemon juice.

Strain if you wish and drink hot or cold.

The Benefits of Bitter Melon

The name may be off putting but I highly recommend trying them in cooking as they are surprisingly tasty as well as so good for you.

This is Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia)

They are well known in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. I have grown up with these and mum is still growing them in her garden in Sydney.

This fruit is used in juicing and a variety of cooking  for it’s taste and medicinal properties. It is
known today for its benefits in lowering blood sugar and assisting liver and
stomach function. Bitter Melon is also noted for it’s anti-viral, anti-parasitic
and anti-inflammatory properties.

It is also consumed raw, whole or in juice form for its many
health benefits.

When this fruit is still green it is used like a vegetable in
cooking stir fries, soups or omelettes.

It goes well with savoury dishes.

If cooking for a stir fry or omelette, prepare by washing,
slicing in half and removing the seeds. Slice into pieces and stir fry with soy
sauce and garlic. Add eggs and other vegetables to your taste.

If cooking, stuffed in a soup. Wash, slice a small section lengthways out, and scoop out the seeds. Add the stuffing (mince, mushrooms, shallots and seasoning) and place in your soup to boil until cooked through.

Pictures:

Bitter Melon omelette with salad and Bitter Melon stuffed in soup.

 

AROMATHERAPY for JOY & CALM at Christmas

 

aromatherapy xmasAre you one of these people who overthinks the whole Christmas day?
Planning every last detail and so highly strung about everything going well that you forget to enjoy yourself on the day or are you the last minute dash to the shops for late night shopping crazy person? If you identify with either of these personas, you may enjoy a little Aromatherapy in your life.

The following essential oils are perfect to attract a little calm and joy into your life.

Bergamot is balancing to the nervous system and provides a feeling of centredness and confidence.
Geranium is a joyfully uplifting and vibrant oil, providing refreshing and mood enhancing properties.
Lavender is well known as a relaxant for stress and can bring a sense of peace and calm.
Lemon provides a clean and refreshing scent which is balancing to our nervous system and can improve our mental clarity and mood.

* Use one or more of the above oils in your vapouriser (3-4 drops) or add to your favourite massage oil base (1 drop essential oil to 5 ml almond/olive oil etc) and apply to feet or arms, neck and shoulders.

This is a guideline only,always do a skin patch test first and seek medical advice if you are pregnant.

Common emotional states at Christmas

AUSTRALIAN BUSH FLOWER ESSENCE FEATURE

Common emotional states at Christmas

I often observe around this time of year a need to rush, a feeling of running out of time, overwhelm, overactive minds and general anxiety.
The following flower essences are specific remedies to the above.
How do you feel?

Flower essences are natural remedies used to support emotional and mental well being in times of stress or imbalance.

They are derived from specially selected flowers and are catalysts for a positive inner transformation to increase self awareness and dispel negative states.
Flower essences are simple to take.
They are in liquid form and are taken orally under the tongue a few drops at a time.

Crowea
For people who worry constantly. This remedy helps create more calm, peace and clarity

Jacaranda
For those who feel rushed, scattered and unfocused.This remedy helps to feel more decisive and centred.

Paw Paw
For people who feel overwhelmed and can’t decide.
Helps to feel more calm, clarity and ability to problem solve.

If you would like to try this flower essences or require more info on other flower essences, please book in for a 30 minute flower essence consultation or discuss at your next Dragonfly appointment.
0408 317 307 or email sodragonfly@hotmail.com

Fruit Infused Tea – Lemon, Lime & Ginger

fruit infused teaHere’s a simple way to make a delicious, warming drink to aid digestion and peace of mind.

Ginger has some wonderful properties including it’s anti-inflammatory and circulatory actions which are useful for joint aches and Pmt as well as its warming digestive properties which sooth an unsettled stomach.

The lime and lemon offer the zing and provide digestive stimulation to improve digestion function.

If you are lucky enough to grow a lime or lemon tree in your backyard. You can make up regular batches of this drink and keep them in the fridge.

Fruit Infused Tea

Lemon, Lime and Ginger

Ingredients

Organic Ginger tea

Lemon

Lime

Water

Honey (optional)

Boil your water

_AAA0412Pop a tea bag in to your tea pot.

Let steep for a few minutes. The longer you leave it the hotter the ginger flavour.

Meanwhile, wash you lemon and limes.

Slice the lemon and lime into circles and place a few of each into a glass or cup.

Add a little honey (Optional)

Pour the ginger tea over your lemon and limes and stir with a teaspoon

Enjoy!

Serves 2

_AAA0423

Natural Remedies for Muscular Pain

 

iStock_000003256386XSmallThis post is inspired after attending my local boot camp. Usually on the day after is when I feel the physical aftermath of a good workout.
Here’s 8 Natural ways to soothe tired and aching muscles post exercise.
  • Essential oil ie lavender with coconut oil kept in a jar in the fridge can be wonderfully soothing as an ointment/massage balm to target areas of discomfort.                         Lavender has pain-killing, circulatory and sedative properties . Massage a small amount into the affected areas.

(Avoid lavender if you are pregnant or have low blood pressure)

Add 5 drops of lavender essential oil to a 50g jar of slightly melted coconut oil and mix through. (to melt coconut oil place on low heat for a minute or it may be melted at room temperature if it’s a hot day.)Cover with a screw top lid, label clearly and keep in the fridge.

  • Heat is traditionally used to treat acute muscle tension. The heat confuses the pain signal to the brain and provides extra circulation to the area. Use a heat pack or warm shower.
  • Ice is traditionally used to reduce swelling to injured body tissue. Using ice packs for short periods is beneficial for fast recovery.
  • Magnesium supplementation is useful for maintaining fit and healthy muscles. For particularly tight muscles due to exercise, posture and stress, this is the choice mineral. For more specific information on dosages and cautions for your body. Contact me for a nutrition or naturopathic appointment.
  • Arnica cream is my all time favourite. It is a homeopathic preparation from a plant which is suitable for bruising, strains, sprains and muscular pain. If you have had a massage from me before, you will know that it is used religiously at the end of a treatment to improve recovery time.
  • Rosemary essential oil diluted in a base oil like almond oil ie 1 drop (eo) to 10ml (base).Rosemary has wonderful circulatory properties which help muscle recovery. (avoid rosemary if you are pregnant or have high blood pressure)
  • Massage: You can combine a few of the above with this to improve your chances. Remedial Hot stones are awesome for post exercise recovery. Dragonfly Natural Therapies offers this service
  • Ginger taken in food and drinks is a wonderful circulatory stimulant and many studies have shown that it is effective in pain relief for joints and muscles.

*There are many reasons why the body may have muscular pain. If you have ongoing symptoms, please check with your health practitioner for further advice.

*The above information are guidelines only. Please use your own judgement and knowledge of your body to decide if this is beneficial for you.

*With any topical treatment, test patch your skin for sensitivities before applying liberally.

5 ways to Detox your body

Lemon, ginger5 Simple and Natural Ways to Detox your Body

Dandelion: a weed to some but an amazing liver herb. It’s botanical name taraxacum officinale in greek is taraxox (disorder) akos = remedy. It can be taken in a fluid extract (obtained from a Naturopath) or used as a tea or coffee (found in health food stores.) This herb helps the liver by stimulating the flow of bile to the gall bladder.

Aloe Vera Juice is taken from a particular part of the plant and is soothing to a sensitive stomach, as well as having some laxative properties to prevent toxin build up in the bowels.

Carnitine: Mainly known for its uses as a nutritional supplement in protein powders is made by the body, it helps convert fatty acids to energy. High fat or alcohol consumption increase our demands for carnitine. Carnitine may help prevent liver complications with chronic alcohol use.

Lemon Juice: Freshly queezed is best. Approximately 1 tbs in a cup of warm water first thing in the morning is a simple way to actively assist your digestive organs to maintain optimal function. The sour taste of lemon can stimulate our liver and gallbladder to work harder and help us break down food. It is also a good way to rehydrate before you begin your day

Fibre: Making sure you have enough fresh fruit and veg and especially with skins on is useful to help keep your bowels moving and preventing toxic build up. It is also helpful for lowering cholesterol.

* The above information is for use as a  general guideline. Please seek advice from your natural health care practitioner for specific detox guidance if you have chronic ailments or allergies.

* If you are pregnant, detoxing is not recommended.

 

 

Natural Remedies for Urinary Tract Infections

Natural remdies UTIMost of us have heard about Cranberry but did you know Corn silk can be your helpful for controlling urinary tract infection?

Urinary tract Infection is very common particularly in women. Most of my female clients over the age of 25 have experienced the symptoms at least once in their life.

If you have ever had a UTI you can attest to not wanting the condition again.

Signs and symptoms include frequency of urination, painful urination, sense of urgency to urinate, urine is cloudy in colour.

Nb: Urinary tract infections which linger more than 24 hrs or occur repeatedly can be very serious. Please seek your health practitioners advice if symptoms persist.

Here ‘s my top 5 suggestions for natural relief for urinary tract infections

Corn silk tea has been known especially in Asia for a long time for urinary health. Corn silk are the fibres inside the ear of corn. These can be made into a tea by boiling the corn (whole) in water and then drinking the liquid hot or cold. You use it as a soup base also. Corn silk in anti -inflammatory,  diuretic and soothing to the urinary tract.

Cranberry juice (unsweetened) is a popular way to prevent and treat UTI. It’s anitbacterial properties are well documented. During acute stages 1 cup consumed over a day in total is beneficial.

Hydration with water, soups and teas is crucial to avoiding the build up of harmful bacteria. A few litres a day is necessary especially during a UTI.

Vitamin C creates  a more acidic urine which stops bacteria overgrowth.  Taking a supplement of vitamin C atleast 500mg at a time in divided doses throughout the day may assist acute UTI . Maximum total levels 4-5000mg/d

Vitamin C in your daily diet through eating fresh fruit and vegetables  will assist the urinary tract to stay healthy.

Wear Cotton underwear to allow the skin to breathe and to avoid the harbouring of harmful bacteria. Avoid Synthetic materials as they will enhance the growth.

Nb: Urinary tract infections which linger more than 24 hrs or occur repeatedly can be very serious. Please seek your health practitioners advice if symptoms persist.

 

 

 

Natural Home Remedies for Cough

Lemon, ginger, coughNATURAL COUGH REMEDIES AT HOME

Need relief for your cough?

Below are 6 ingredients commonly found in kitchens that can help relieve a sore throat and cough.

Apple cider vinegar is wonderful as an inhalation and a drink or added to food for sore throat, sinusitis and cough. Add 1-2 tbs to hot water with some honey. Inhale and then drink.

Thyme is a herb that most people have in their spice cupboard. Antibacterial and fungal. Add a tsp of dried herb to hot water and infuse for a few minutes. Strain and add honey and drink.

Garlic: is a great antibiotic and immune stimulant. For best therapeutic action use 1 clove crushed or chopped eaten raw with some honey.

Freshly squeezed lemon juice fresh has vitamin C which is supportive of immune health. Squeeze 1/2 lemon into some water and drink.

Honey is a well known soother for a sore throat amongst its other valuable therapeutic properties. It goes well in drinks with all the other cough remedy suggestions listed here.

Ginger is great to soothe sore throat and cough and help the body during fever. Slice fresh ginger and crush. Add to water and boil up on the stove. Then sip warm or cold.