• English EN Italiano IT

Erbe e piante medicinali che non sapevi di avere nel tuo giardino (o balcone)

Al giorno d’oggi quando siamo malati siamo abituati a prendere subito una pillola o una piccola iniezione per sentirci meglio (o almeno così si spera!). Tuttavia in passato la conoscenza e l’uso delle erbe medicinali era l’unica soluzione possibile per curare le malattie. Col tempo vennero così studiate, catalogate e impiegate tutte le erbe e piante definite “medicinali” o “officinali“, ovvero usate e vendute nelle “officine” (=farmacie, speziali, ecc.) come vere e proprie medicine.

Gli speziali dell’epoca (i nostri farmacisti, per dire) erano coloro che conoscevano le varie tecniche di lavorazione, preparazione e conservazione delle piante, e se ne servivano per realizzare svariati rimedi medicamentosi (oli, unguenti, decotti, tisane ecc.), prodotti cosmetici e profumi. Non era inusuale che anche i monaci si dedicassero a questa attività, assicurandosi così un po’ di profitto per il monastero e più indipendenza dal mondo esterno (specialmente se seguivano una vita in clausura).

Oggi le erbe e le piante officinali sono per lo più utilizzate in prevenzione alla salute e al benessere, piuttosto che per la cura di per sè (tralascio al momento la naturopatia, fitoterapia, ecc.). Possono essere anche impiegate in cucina (le cosiddette “aromatiche“) oppure, attraverso processi chimici, per creare integratori, cosmetici e altri prodotti per la casa.

In generale, la parte utilizzata della pianta (foglie, fiori, semi, radici ecc.) è chiamata “droga“, ed è la parte che contiene il fitocomplesso cioè l’insieme dei principi attivi che caratterizzano le proprietà del vegetale, non riproducibili per sintesi chimica. Secondo l’OMS infatti, sono definite “medicinali” le erbe e le piante officinali che “contengono in uno o più organi, sostanze che possono essere utilizzate a fini terapeutici o preventivi o che sono precursori di emisintesi chemiofarmaceutiche”, ovvero da cui derivano preparati farmacologicamente attivi. Di conseguenza una pianta è definita officinale o medicinale in un paese e non in un altro a seconda delle legislazioni e dei processi di lavorazione.

Se avete intenzione di iniziare a coltivare voi stessi il vostro giardino officinale e/o aromatico, considerate bene se la pianta che volete coltivare è annuale o perenne, se ha bisogno di stare a terra oppure in vaso (generalmente le aromatiche possono stare in vaso), quanta acqua e sole necessita e se è compatibile o meno con altre piante attorno (per il rischio di parassiti ecc.).

  • MENTA / MENTA PIPERITA

Ne esistono di tantissimi tipi ma la menta piperita ha una concentrazione di essenza molto alta nelle foglie, che vengono raccolte tra Luglio e Agosto.

Agisce per lo più a livello del sistema gastrointestinale, perché aiuta la digestione e ha un’azione antispasmodica della muscolatura liscia. Il mentolo che la menta contiene ha un’azione tonificante, quindi non bevetela prima di dormire se non si vuole soffrire di insonnia. E’ inoltre noto che la menta sia utile per lievi infiammazioni delle vie aeree: i famosi suffumigi hanno un’azione battericida e liberano anche il naso essendo balsamici.

Attenzione! Non si usa sui bambini perché può dare spasmi.

  • TARASSACO

Tutti possono riconoscerlo grazie al suo caratteristico fiore giallo e al suo frutto, il soffione. Cresce spontaneamente in campi e prati, quindi non sarà difficile trovarne in abbondanza nel vostro giardino. Del tarassaco si utilizzano le radici, il cui raccolto va da Maggio a Novembre.

Una volta raccolte, le radici vanno essiccate al sole e conservate in barattoli di vetro o di latta. Possono poi essere utilizzate in infusione per la preparazione di una tisana dall’effetto diuretico e depurativo, oppure per uso esterno sul cuoio capelluto per combattere la forfora.

Attenzione! La tisana è controindicata per chi ha problemi ai reni, cuore, chi assume già farmaci diuretici e in chi soffre di allergia all’ambrosia.

  • AGLIO

L’aglio può vivere benissimo in vaso, piantandone i bulbi a Novembre per consumarlo in primavera. L’aglio è il più potente antibatterico naturale. Inoltre, abbassa il colesterolo e la pressione, contribuendo a fluidificare il sangue. Il sapore non piace a tutti, ma se essiccato dà generalmente meno fastidio.

Attenzione! Il consumo di aglio è controindicato durante l’allattamento, e va usato con attenzione da chi segue già cure per la pressione, colesterolo e fluidificazione del sangue, in quanto potrebbe potenziare l’effetto dei farmaci.

  • MELISSA

Ha un’azione miorilassante sulla muscolatura liscia dell’intestino e per questo motivo viene considerata come un ottimo rimedio per chi soffre di sindrome del colon irritabile. Usata in una tisana insieme ad altre erbe (camomilla, valeriana, ecc.), aiuta il rilassamento in generale ed è un buon rimedio contro l’insonnia e l’ansia.

Attenzione! La melissa stimola la tiroide ed è controindicata a chi soffre di problemi di salute in merito.

  • SALVIA

La salvia è un arbusto sempreverde la cui droga è rappresentata principalmente dalla foglia.

Da sempre usata masticandola contro l’alitosi e per avere denti più bianchi, è un battericida naturale, ha grandi proprietà digestive, diminuisce l’eccessiva sudorazione e contiene anche alcune sostanze simili agli ormoni femminili estrogeni che la rendono perfetta in caso di “caldane da menopausa”.

Attenzione! Ne è assolutamente vietato l’uso durante l’allattamento e in gravidanza in quanto blocca la produzione del latte ed ha molecole che possono interagire con gli ormoni femminili. Da utilizzare molto cautamente come olio essenziale.

  • ORTICA

E’ un’erba perenne le cui foglie possono essere raccolte da Aprile a Settembre, ovviamente utilizzando dei guanti (e tutti sanno il perchè!). Il potere irritante delle foglie di ortica scompare con l’essiccazione o dopo la cottura.

L’ortica è considerata benefica per il suo contenuto di sali minerali e vitamina C, nonchè per avere un potere antinfiammatorio (cosa piuttosto ironica). La tisana può essere bevuta calda al momento, oppure una volta raffreddata, è un ottimo tonico per il viso per la cura della pelle grassa o mista.

  • TIMO

In questo caso la droga della pianta sono le foglie ed i fiori, che oltre ad avere una buonissima aromaticità da usare in cucina, sono anche antibatteriche grazie al timolo contenuto in esse.

Il timo agisce benissimo sull’apparato digestivo e respiratorio essendo espettorante e mucolitico. Può essere usato anche come tonico del cuoio capelluto, stimolando la crescita del capello.

Attenzione! L’olio essenziale di timo non va mai usato per uso interno, perché anche a basse dosi può dar fastidio.

  • LAVANDA

La lavanda ama molto la siccità e se ne utilizzano i fiori appena sbocciati fatti essiccare al sole. È usatissima come profumatore di cassetti ed armadi o per fare cuscini aromatici.

E’ molto usata in aromaterapia perché rilassa il sistema nervoso centrale, oppure come sedativo in aggiunta alle tisane.

Attenzione! Se le dosi sono troppo alte ha l’effetto contrario di eccitante. L’olio essenziale non deve andare a contatto con la pelle dei bimbi.

Altre erbe e piante che vale la pena menzionare ma di cui non posso fare tutta le descrizione sono le seguenti: Dragoncello, Erba cipollina, Rosmarino, Finocchio, Maggiorana, Origano, Anice, Basilico, Prezzemolo, Peperoncino, Coriandolo, Santoreggia, Aneto, Issopo, Calendula, Camomilla, Echinacea, Tanaceto, Valeriana e Malva.


Mi raccomando fate attenzione quando utilizzate rimedi fitoterapici di qualsiasi tipo, specialmente gli oli essenziali. Rivolgetevi sempre al vostro farmacista o naturopata di fiducia riguardo il dosaggio e le controindicazioni e sempre prima di iniziare una cura. Non dimenticate inoltre di chiedere un parere al vostro medico curante!

How to Cleanse your Crystals – Come Pulire i vostri Cristalli

Bilingual article, for Italian scroll down! Articolo bilingue, per l’Italiano far scorrere in basso!


Today I’d like to talk to those who regularly use crystals for regression, holistic therapies, meditation, etc. and give you some advice on how to cleanse them, purify them and recharge them with new energy once they’ve been used. All these precious information were provided to me by Federico Cella, whom I warmly thank!

PURIFICATION OF CRYSTALS IN WATER

After we have bought our crystals it is necessary to clean them and one of the fundamental methods is with the element of water. Running cold and clean water over the stones (the ideal would be pure water from a stream, but also tap water is fine) for a few seconds on the left hand, then dry with a cotton cloth. We should not use this method with all the stones, because contact with water can make some of them opaque and lose their shine: azurite, turquoise, chrysocolla, cyanite. In addition, these stones contain copper and may oxidize with water. Same thing for hematite, pyrite and magnetite containing iron, so in these cases use other methods listed below.

SALT METHOD

We put the crystals or stones in a crock, glass or wood and cover them with coarse sea salt. Let them rest for one, three or seven nights (these are three esoteric numbers, we choose the time to use based on our feeling). Once this is done, we place the entire container under a stream of running water which we let run for 30min / 1H, then dry it with a cotton cloth. If we have purified stones that do not “love water” we obviously remove them before rinsing. This procedure is not indicated for: cyanite, opal (loves water but not salt), azurite, aragonite, selenite, dioptase and other very delicate stones. Also remember to be careful when purifying jewels containing silver and copper that oxidize with water and salt. WARNING! THE COMBINATION OF WATER AND SALT TOGETHER CAN BE CORROSIVE FOR MANY CRYSTALS

SUN METHOD

We put our crystal on a window or rather in a garden or in a vase of plants / flowers and leave it there for at least three days, it is not important to collect them for the night. In resonance with the sun very dark minerals linked to the earth are perfect, such as obsidian, tourmaline, jasper etc. We pay attention to transparent colored crystals: do not expose them to direct sunlight, because they will tend to lighten, so we possibly use other methods for these crystals.

MOON METHOD

This is a great method not only to clean the crystal but also to boost it to maximum energy. During the waxing moon or the full moon night we put the stones near the roots of a tree or in a vase that we have on the balcony, or otherwise on a cotton cloth and leave them there all night long. If you want to maximize the crystal, perform the treatment for the whole crescent moon phase, placing the stones during the day, for example in a box, and handle them as little as possible. This method is used to purify and recharge the stones and crystals that are considered “feminine”: the amethyst, the moonstone, the celestine, opals, chrysoprase (all methods applicable to this stone), damburite, dioptase, fluorite (azure-violet), kunzite, meteorite, hyaline quartz (all methods applicable to this stone), so all transparent, blue, violet or stones working on female emotions: sensitivity, dreams and perceptions.

EARTH METHOD or WITH CLAY

The longest but also the most complete treatment consists in burying the stones during the new or full moon and letting them rest for the entire moon phase, or 28 days. This process unites the energies of Mother Earth with those of Heaven. There are also various types of clay, the most readily available and least expensive is the ventilated green clay, available in all herbalists. We put the stones in a crock, glass or wood and we cover them with clay, for three, seven, nine or eleven nights (they are other esoteric numbers, we choose which ones to use based on our feeling). After the days we have chosen, we remove the clay (which we can throw away or recycle using it as soil) and put the stones in a clean container, always in natural material, letting a stream of fresh water flow for about 1H. Then we take the stones and dry them with a clean cotton cloth. WARNING! This method with earth and / or clay is not recommended for particularly porous stones, as the clay or earth could stick in the micro-cracks with remote possibility of recovery. This method is good when the stones are not too “discharged”, as it helps them to discharge the accumulated negative energy. Never use hot water as it could crack the crystal, making it lose energy.

METHOD WITH THE REIKI

With the first level it will be sufficient to give Reiki to our crystal for a period varying from 15 to 30 minutes. With the second level, through the use of symbols, treatment times are shortened to 5/15 minutes.

METHOD WITH INCENSE

To all the stones we can sprinkle the sacred smoke of the holy pole or sage for at least 1 minute with rotary movements or with the figure of “8” horizontal, or the infinite, which is one of the main symbols of healing and energy.


Oggi vorrei rivolgermi a coloro che utilizzano i cristalli per terapie olistiche, regressioni, meditazioni ecc e darvi alcuni consigli su come pulirli, purificarli e ricaricarli di energia nuova una volta utilizzati. Tutte queste preziose informazioni mi sono state fornite da Federico Cella, che ringrazio di cuore!

PURIFICAZIONE DEI CRISTALLI IN ACQUA

Dopo che abbiamo comprato i nostri cristalli è necessario ripulirli e uno dei metodi fondamentali è con l’elemento acqua. Far scorrere sulle pietre acqua fredda e pulita (l’ideale sarebbe l’acqua pura di un ruscello, ma anche del rubinetto va benissimo) per qualche secondo sulla mano sinistra, poi asciugare con un panno. Facciamo attenzione a non utilizzare questo metodo con tutte le pietre, perchè il contatto con l’acqua può renderne alcune opache e far perdere lucentezza: azzurrite, turchese, crisocolla, cianite. Inoltre queste pietre contengono rame e al contatto con l’acqua potrebbero ossidarsi. Stessa cosa per l’ematite, pirite e la magnetite che contengono ferro, quindi in questi casi ricorrere ad altri metodi sotto elencati.

METODO DEL SALE

Mettiamo i cristalli o le pietre in un recipiente di coccio, vetro o legno e copriamo con sale grosso marino. Lasciamoli riposare per una, tre o sette notti (sono tre numeri esoterici – scegliamo in base al nostro sentire il tempo da usare). Fatto ciò poniamo l’intero recipiente sotto un filo d’acqua corrente che lasciamo scorrere per 30min/1H, poi le asciughiamo con un panno di cotone. Se abbiamo purificato delle pietre che non “amano l’acqua” ovviamente le togliamo prima del risciacquo. Questo procedimento non è indicato per: cianite, opale (ama l’acqua ma non il sale), azzurrite, aragonite, selenite, dioptasio e altre pietre molto delicate. Ricordate inoltre di fare attenzione quando purificate gioielli contenenti argento e rame che con acqua e sale si ossidano. ATTENZIONE! LA COMBINAZIONE DI ACQUA E SALE INSIEME PUO’ ESSERE CORROSIVA PER MOLTI CRISTALLI.

METODO DEL SOLE

Mettiamo il nostro cristallo su una finestra o meglio in un giardino oppure in un vaso di piante o fiori e lasciamolo lì per almeno tre giorni, non è importante ritirarli per la notte. In risonanza con il sole sono perfetti minerali molto scuri legati alla terra come ossidiana, tormalina, diaspro ecc. Facciamo attenzione ai cristalli colorati trasparenti: non esponiamoli alla luce diretta del sole, perché tenderanno a schiarirsi, quindi utilizziamo possibilmente altri metodi per questi cristalli.

METODO DELLA LUNA

Questo è un ottimo metodo non solo per pulire il cristallo ma anche per potenziarlo al massimo di energia. Durante la luna crescente oppure la notte di luna piena mettiamo le pietre vicino alle radici di un albero oppure in un vaso che abbiamo sul balcone, o in mancanza su un panno di cotone e lasciamole li per tutta la notte. Se si vuol potenziare al massimo il cristallo eseguire il trattamento per tutta la fase di luna crescente, riponendo le pietre durante il giorno ad esempio in una scatola, e di maneggiarle il meno possibile. Questo metodo viene utilizzato per purificare e ricaricare le pietre e i cristalli per così dire “femminili”: l’ametista, la pietra di luna, la celestina, opali, crisoprasio (tutti i metodi applicabili a questa pietra), damburite, dioptasio, fluorite (azzurro-violette), kunzite, meteorite, quarzo ialino (tutti i metodi applicabili a questa pietra), in pratica tutte le pietre trasparenti, azzurre, violette o che lavorano sulle emozioni femminili, la sensibilità, i sogni e le percezioni.

METODO DELLA TERRA o CON ARGILLA

Il trattamento più lungo ma anche il più completo consiste nel sotterrare le pietre durante la luna nuova o piena e lasciarli riposare per l’intera fase lunare, ovvero 28 giorni. Con questo procedimento si uniscono le energie di Madre Terra con quelle Celesti. Esistono poi vari tipi di argilla, quella più facilmente reperibile e meno costosa è l’argilla verde ventilata, disponibile in tutte le erboristerie. Mettiamo le pietre in un recipiente di coccio, vetro o legno e le copriamo con l’argilla Per tre, sette, nove o undici notti (sono altri numeri esoterici, scegliamo in base al nostro sentire quale usare). Trascorsi i giorni che abbiamo scelto togliamo l’argilla (che possiamo buttare via o riciclare usandola come terriccio) e mettiamo le pietre in un contenitore pulito, sempre di materiale naturale, lasciando scorrere un filo acqua fresca corrente per circa 1H. Successivamente prendiamo le pietre e le asciughiamo con un panno pulito in cotone. ATTENZIONE! Questo metodo con terra e/o argilla è sconsigliato per le pietre particolarmente porose, in quanto l’argilla o la terra potrebbero attaccarsi nelle micro-fessure con remote possibilità di recupero. Questo metodo va bene quando le pietre non sono troppo “scariche”, in quanto le aiuta a scaricare l’energia negativa accumulata, mai usare acqua calda poichè potrebbe incrinare il cristallo, facendogli perdere energia.

METODO CON IL REIKI

Con il primo livello sarà sufficiente dare reiki al nostro cristallo per un periodo variabile dai 15 ai 30 minuti. Con il secondo livello,attraverso l’uso dei simboli i tempi di trattamento si accorciano a 5/15 minuti.

METODO CON L’INCENSO

A tutte le pietre possiamo cospargere il fumo sacro del palo santo o salvia per almeno 1 minuto con movimenti rotatori o a figura di “8” orizzontale, ovvero l’infinito, che è uno dei principali simboli di guarigione ed energia.

Read about the Akaschic Records

First of all, sorry if it took me a while to come back to my blog, life got a bit hectic. But today I am back to write about the Akaschic Records, a very “mystical” topic which is usually complicated to explain without being looked at like “you are a bit crazy, eh?”.  Anyway, if you are reading this you must have been curious to know more so…

Akasha” is a Sanskrit word meaning “sky”, “space” or “aether”, from whom the Records took their name, because they are generally known to be a collection of mystical knowledge that is encoded in the Universe. But let’s take a step backwards to the origin of these books.

Akashic Records: The origin

From a theological point of view, the Akashic Records are understood to have existed since the beginning of the Creation and even before. Just as we have various specialty libraries (e.g., medical, law), there are said to exist various Akashic Records (e.g., human, animal, plant, mineral, etc) containing universal traditions, knowledge as well as all phenomenal experience.

Culturally speaking instead, some state to have proofs (I invite you to search for them) that they were accessed by ancient people of various cultures all around the globe in different times, including the Indians, Moors, Tibetans, Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Chinese, Hebrews, Christians, Druids, Mayans and many others. Then this concept was passed towards our time and now is prevalent in the New Age discourse and holistic philosophy.

A database of the souls

So, following this notion, it can be said that the Akashic Records are nowadays known to be the energetic records of all events, our collective wisdom and all souls about their past lives, their presents and possible future lives. Basically everything you can think of. No matter how new or ancient your soul is, the Akashic energy (which is stored in the “Hall” or “Library” in the Universe) holds all your thoughts, feelings, actions and decisions from each lifetime, like a series of books with each book representing one lifetime. Some people also look at the Records as a computer with all your info stored in the hard drive.

Great thing is, you can actually read your Akashic Records and they are a great resource, but it’s only a resource. How you utilize it in your life is up to you!

When you realize that you came into life with a plan, it becomes very useful to access information about that plan, especially when we feel a bit lost, as we all do at some point of our lives. We might came to complete some Karma, fulfill our past life vows or to be with someone special and so on, but we won’t remeber clearly, as the human challenge is that as soon as we are born we forget this plan.

But don’t worry because accessing the Hall (or the Library) of the Akashic Records is not difficult, you do not need to be a guru or special, and there are many ways to access. Just choose the approach and the ritual that feels comfortable and efficient for you.

How can you use it?

I suggest you to start reading the Records that are relevant to you (and not your girlfriend/ boyfriend/ parents etc.), simply because it comes easier since you already carry a copy of your Records. Also, start your reading with an intention or a clear goal, otherwise a mere curious question like “I want to see what I was doing in my past life” (which one of the many? why? etc.) can lead to rejection or misinformation and misunderstanding.

Anyway, you can find on the web different ways of diy your reading and many people who are able to help you (including me), so I will let you search for your right path. I hope you had and will enjoy you reading!

ThetaHealing Explained

Have you ever wondered whether your beliefs may be preventing you from living the life you want?

Not many people have, as there is a tendency to blame your problems on other people, let negative thoughts control your reality and not take account for your own actions. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If there is something about your life that you want to change, chances are it’s your own beliefs that are preventing you from succeeding. ThetaHealing can help you replace these sabotaging beliefs with new, empowering ones!

Everybody benefits in some way from every session and sometimes the positive outcome may come in ways you do not expect. This type of healing empowers you to re-create your life exactly as you choose. Sounds too good to be true? Let’s explain better what exactly this meditation technique is and how it works.

Miraculous ThetaHealing

ThetaHealing was created by Vianna Stibal in 1995, when her own journey back to health with conventional medical treatment had failed. She was suffering from incredible pain, and nothing seemed to be helping, but deep within she believed she already knew how to heal herself. During this time, Vianna continued to work doing intuitive readings. While in this state, she found she could communicate with the Source (the universal life force), and be given answers to her questions. Her right leg, which had shrunk three inches shorter than her left leg, returned instantly to its normal size. The pain was gone, and her leg was healed. Since that time, Vianna has travelled the world to teach people how to use this powerful technique to transform their lives.

Brain waves and healing

How is that possible? You may not know but there are five major frequencies in the human brain: Gamma, Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta. These brain waves are all being used at any one time, but depending on the situation one frequency is always dominant. The Theta wave is the dominant brain wave during very deep meditation, when drifting off to sleep or while under hypnosis.

Scientists have discovered that the Theta brain frequency has been found to alleviate stress, reduce anxiety, facilitate deep relaxation, improve mental clarity and creative thinking, reduce pain, promote euphoria, and provide access to instant healings. When doing Theta Healing, the brain instantly goes into a Theta wave state. It is when in this state you are able to work directly with Source, Spirit, the Universe, God or Creator of All That Is, (depending on your spiritual and religious beliefs), to facilitate powerful healings. Everyone can learn to achieve this state easily.

ThetaHealing in practise

A certified ThetaHealing Practitioner will help you identify unconscious beliefs that are holding you back, or that can lead to physical unease in your body. Many people may be aware of conscious “limiting” beliefs, fears or doubts that prevent them from achieving what they desire. However over the years, we have discovered that there is often an unconscious belief or program that is at the root of the problem.

Once the Theta Healing Practitioner has helped you identify the root belief by “digging” for it, they will then use the Theta Brainwave to go to the Energy of All That Is, and command and witness an instant change to that belief. Once the witnessing is complete, the root belief and all beliefs that have arisen from it like a chain, are changed instantly. The effect can be felt immediately, and the client’s relief is fast and permanent. You will also notice immediately changes in the belief as it will be tested through a “muscle test”.

Create the life you deserve

The possibilities for using ThetaHealing are truly infinite and are really only limited by your imagination and desire to “try it” in any given circumstance! For instance, it has been used in such diverse areas as healing the physical body or rifts in relationships, gaining confidence for public speaking, helping secure new jobs, manifesting the ideal home and partner, improving sales performance and business relationships at work and much more!

You do not need to do anything in preparation for the session. You can use this technique on yourself, your friends and family and even your animals. Remember also that Thetahealing is a technique, not a religion and it is open to all people.

ThetaHealing is a simple, practical, straight-forward technique that is easily learned and refined through repeated use. The more you use it, the more you develop your conscious awareness of the day to day things around you, as well as your unconscious consciousness of the intangible world.

Wheter this is just placebo effect or true, I will let you decide. But I tried it on myself and other people and it always had a great outcome and a positive effect. For more info, finding a practitioner or a course to become a ThetaHealer: Thetahealing.com

Discover the properties of Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is also known as medicinal aloe, “lily of the desert” or “elephant’s gall” and it belongs to the family of succulent plants in the genus ‘Aloe’. Its origin is believed to be in Sudan and has been used for more than 6,000 years, being recognized by many civilizations including the Egyptians, Spanish, Persians, Greeks, Italians, Africans, Japanese, and Indians. It grows best in warm and dry climates and that is why it is densely found in those areas, but it can be easily grown both indoors and outdoors.

Aloe Vera plant is often a stemless or sometimes very short-stemmed juicy plant that grows around 60–100 cm in height and the offsets spread out wide. The leaves of this plant are thick and fleshy and the color varies from green to gray-green. Some varieties of this plant have white flecks on the upper and lower portions of the stem surfaces. The margin of the leaves is like saw-tooth and the flowers bloom during the summer. Each leaf is full of a slimy tissue that stores water, which makes the leaves thick.

This slimy, water-filled tissue is the “gel” we usually associate with Aloe Vera products, and it contains most of the bioactive compounds in the plant, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. This plant has also compounds such as mannans, polysaccharides, lectins, and anthraquinones that are extremely beneficial for human health. Let’s have a look at all the benefits of this amazing plant:

  • For skin care (wounds, sores, rashes, etc.)

The pure inner gel extracted from the Aloe leaf is the best natural remedy for skin abrasions and it also helps diminish the symptoms of aging skin conditions like wrinkles. Many skin care and personal care products, toiletries, and cosmetics include Aloe extracts. In fact, if you have its plant at home, simply tear a small part of the leaf, take the gel and apply it in the raw form on your face. The topical external use of this plant is the most commonly known and it has long been known as a treatment for sores, particularly burns, including sunburns. Some people prefer drinking its juice, which also enhances skin health, as the properties of the plant work internally. It also helps in curing stings, rashes, acne, and psoriasis.

  • For beauty (moisturizer, hair care, teeth care etc.)

Aloe Vera has proven to be an excellent option for promoting naturally hair growth and essential to retain voluminous and healthy hair. You can apply its gel to the entire scalp or use a shampoo, which stimultaing your scalp can improves blood circulation and keeps you away from stress and mental tiredness.

Dental and gum diseases can also be cured by Aloe Vera. You can try out this natural remedy at home: put some of its powder on your toothbrush, then brush normally. It will soothe your gums and cure any kind of infection or bruises.

  • For digestion

The adaptogenic properties of Aloe Vera are beneficial for a proper digestion. It ensures better nutrient absorption and also eliminates harmful elements through smooth excretion. Its compounds called polysaccharides have the ability to cure a host of digestive disorders and ulcers, which are one of the most prominent consequences of digestive problems. Many studies have proven that with its anti-inflamamtory qualities it improves issues like Crohn’s disease, peptic ulcers, and other digestive tract disorders, mainly driven by the inflammation of digestive organs.

  • For constipation

This time it is not the gel, but the latex, that provides the benefits. The latex is a sticky yellow residue found just under the skin of the leaf and the key compound responsible for this effect is called aloin, or barbaloin, which has well-established laxative and diuretic effects (however, some concerns have been raised about safety issues with frequent use).

  • For immunity

Aloe Vera gel, again, contains powerful antioxidants, which belong to a large family of substances known as polyphenols. These polyphenols, along with several other compounds in Aloe vera, can help inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that can cause infections in humans. Beverages made with aloe vera juice possess natural detoxifying properties that effectively cleanse the digestive system and the circulatory system. As the absorption level of nutrients accelerates, it results in better blood circulation and also improves health. Infact, when the blood is oxygen-rich, it automatically provides nutrients within the cells more proficiently. Zinc is also an important component in this fantastic plant and it’s essential to maintain a proper immune function.

  • For diabetes and general regulation of blood sugar

Some evidence in humans and animals suggested that Aloe Vera is able to alleviate the chronic hyperglycemia (high blood sugar level) and perturbed lipid (fat) profile that are common among people with diabetes and are major risk factors for cardiovascular complications.

  • For pain

The extract of Aloe Vera has shown to be an excellent stimulant of the uterus and intake of its juice is very beneficial during painful menstruation.

The anti-inflammatory properties of Aloe Vera help it to work efficiently on joints and muscle pains, caused by heavy physical acivity or diseases like gout or arthritis. Applying Aloe gel topically eases inflammation and swelling of the joints.

Aloe Vera Smoothie Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1-2 cups of coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • lemon, if you like it
  • 1 cup of fresh mango (or any other fruit you like!)
  • 1 fresh banana (or any other fruit again!)
  • a handful of fresh mint
  • 1 medium Aloe Vera leaf filletted (1/2 cups)

How to fillet an Aloe Vera leaf:

  1. First, cut off any white parts close to the root of the leaf.
  2. Then trim the prickly sides by slicing them off entirely using a paring knife. When doing so, try to take off as little as possible.
  3. With the convex side facing up, use a potato peeler to remove the skin from the leaf. Alternatively, you can slice off the top skin with the knife.
  4. Then, slide the knife under the gel to separate it from the leaf skin, making sure there is no leftover skin on the gel.
  5. Dice the gel into smaller pieces. Refrigerate and cover your leftover Aloe.
  6. Add straight into your blender or juicer with the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Enjoy!

Chromotherapy in brief

Colour is a phenomenon which surrounds us and it is often taken for granted. Just think for one second about the wonder of the rainbow and the awe-inspiring spectacle of the nothern lights. Colours are the visual part of what is known as the electromagnetic spectrum, that comprises of different kinds of energy waves which range from radio waves (the longest) to cosmic energy waves (the shortest).

We also know that light is composed of colors. Along with colors, light also consists of chemical and emotional elements since it emits heat, electricity and magnetism. Light, along with its component colours, can be used for healing the mind, body and spirit. This is the basic principle behind Chromotherapy (=colour therapy). But the rediscovery of colour used as a therapy is still in its early states, as at the beginning of the Nineteenth Century Chromotherapy was temporarily replaced by allopathic medicine due to the discovery of new drugs and advances in surgery.

It is common knowledge that white light is made up of all the colours. One way of experiencing this is to shine light through a prism, which refracts the light, splitting it into the multi-coloured band known as the colour spectrum. This is because each of the colours has its own angle of refraction (they are red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, indigo, violet and magenta). Each of these colours has its own wavelength and sound frequency ranging from the longest wavelength and lowest sound frequency of red, to the short wavelength and highest sound frequency of magenta.

All the colours of the spectrum have a complementary colour, which is their opposite in the colour wheel, and they are always used for a treatment, as they tend to look balanced and brighter when they are next to each other.

Following on from the electromagnetic spectrum we know that each colour has also its own vibration, so by using colour on its own or with another therapy, we can maintain or change the vibrations of the body to a frequency which stimulates health and harmony. This because the frequency changes in the case of disease.

There are many ways to use these colours, such as coloured gem stones but you can easily wear colourful cloths, paint your home in specific colours or use coloured lamps and furniture. It’s up to you!

RED — COMPLEMENTARY COLOUR TURQUOISE
Red is a primary colour, which means that it cannot be produced by mixing any other colours. It is the colour with the longest wavelength and lowest sound frequency and, like all the other colours, it ranges from a very deep to a very pale red. It is a powerful energizer and stimulant, related to the masculine energy. If it is used in excess, it can cause aggression and sometimes restlessness. Red is the symbol of life, strength and vitality and helps to ground us, as it is connected to the base chakra and the gonads and reproductive cycle (great for the treatment of infertility). It is the colour to increase energy, raise body temperature and improve circulation and is therefore a colour of choice to use in cases of low blood pressure, anaemia and iron deficiency. When used with turquoise, red can help counteract infections and pneumonia and alleviate constipation. When red is mixed with white, it produces rose pink, the colour of spiritual love. Rose pink can be used in conjunction with violet for a broken heart. Violet restores dignity and self-respect and rose pink fills the person with spiritual love. Red should NOT be used when there is anxiety, emotional stress, high blood pressure or asthma.

ORANGE — COMPLEMENTARY COLOUR BLUE
Orange is a combination of red and yellow, thereby influencing both physical vitality and intellect. Related to the adrenals glands, it is the symbol of the feminine energy of creation. This is the colour of joy, the colour of dance, and as such is good for treating depression. Its antispasmodic effect works in cases of muscles spasms and cramp. It is also used in cases of kidney stones, gall stones, or for colds, underactive thyroid and bronchitis, fatigue or exhaustion.

GOLD — COMPLEMENTARY COLOUR INDIGO
Gold is the colour of wisdom and is indicative of high spirituality. In healing, this colour is only used with its complementary colour indigo, and for energising the body at the end of the treatment.

YELLOW — COMPLEMENTARY COLOUR VIOLET
Yellow is one of the three primary pigment colours and it is related to the solar plexus chakra which governs the pancreas, controls the digestive system and helps to purify the body through its eliminating action on both the liver and the intestines. The yellow rays carry positive, magnetic currents which are inspiring and stimulating. These rays strengthen the nerves, stimulate the intellect and activity the motor nerves in the physical body, thereby generating energy in the muscles. This colour is used to treat partial or complete paralysis, diabetes, indigestion, fractured or broken bones and all arthritic conditions. Yellow works on the skin by improving its texture, cleansing, healing scars, and helping conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

GREEN — COMPLEMENTARY COLOUR MAGENTA
Green is a combination of yellow and blue. Yellow being the last colour on the magnetic side of the spectrum and blue, the first on the electrical side, green is the colour of balance. It is the dominant colour of the heart chakra and has the power to harmonise the yin and yang in the body. It also has a harmonising effect on three aspects of a human being, namely body, mind and spirit. Green also possesses antiseptic properties, enabling it to be used in cases of infection. It also has the ability to detoxify, which makes it invaluable for use on a toxic liver and it is useful in constipation, shock and certain heart conditions.

TURQUOISE — COMPLEMENTARY COLOUR RED
Turquoise is a combination of blue and green. It is related to the thymus gland and located close to it. The thymus gland is part of our immune system, therefore turquoise is a good colour to use to strengthen this.  Turquoise has the ability to calm, making it an excellent colour to use for nervous tension.

BLUE — COMPLEMENTARY COLOUR ORANGE
Blue is the dominant colour of the throat chakra. Like red, it is a primary or pure colour. But unlike red, which acts as a stimulant, blue has a relaxing and expanding effect, and is used on asthmatics. This is because it is symbioses tranquillity, peace, inspiration and devotion. Blue is an excellent colour for healing and meditation. It is also a good colour to wear during pregnancy. The throat chakra is the centre of communication and creativity. Those people who communicate with difficulty, or work mainly with their intellect, will benefit from treatment with the blue ray. Other disorders which respond well to blue are tension, fear, insomnia, anxiety, jaundice, diarrhoea and mastitis. However an excess of blue can cause depression.

INDIGO — COMPLEMENTARY COLOUR GOLD
This colour is a combination of blue and violet and is related to the brow chakra. It is associated with the mind, eyes and ears, and therefore it is used for cataracts and sinus problems. It is a strong painkiller and has antiseptic properties. Indigo, applied with its complementary colour gold, is used for headaches, neuralgic pain, insomnia, eye strain, angina, muscular strains, hepatitis, inflammation and sciatica.

VIOLET — COMPLEMENTARY COLOUR YELLOW
This colour is related to the crown chakra and pertains to spirituality, self-respect and dignity. It is very beneficial to psychological disorders such as schizophrenia and manic depression. It also helps sciatica, diseases of the scalp and all disorders connected with the nervous system.

MAGENTA — COMPLEMENTARY COLOUR GREEN
Magenta is composed of red and violet and is associated with release or letting go. On a mental level infact, magenta enables us to let go of ideas and thought patterns which have become irrelevant. Emotionally, it helps us to let go of old feelings which are preventing us from moving forward. On the physical level, it leads us to relinquish physical activities which we have outgrown. Magenta is beneficial in tinnitus, benign cysts and detached retinas.

 

Focus on: The Crown Chakra

Sanskrit name: Sahasrara – thousand petal
Element: No element, or thought
Color: Violet or white
Shape: Round scullcap
Petals of the lotus: One thousand
Rights: To know and to learn
Endocrine gland: Pineal gland
Physical association: Central nervous system, cerebral cortex
Psychological function: Awareness, understanding
Challenge: Attachment
Plane: Truth, reality
Planets: Uramis
Incense: Myrrh
Herb: Gotu Kola


The Crown chakra, known as Sahasrara in Sanskrit, is the seventh chakra. It sits like a crown, at the top of the head or slightly above the head, radiating upwards, hence its name.

The meaning of its Sanskrit name is “thousand petals”, as its symbol is composed of a circle and a thousand petals of a lotus flower. This chakra is most commonly represented with the color white, although it can also be pictured as deep purple. The auric color of crown chakra energy can also be seen as gold, white, or clear light.

It is primarily associated to the pineal gland, and to the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, which work in pair to regulate the endocrine system. Because of its location, the crown chakra is closely associated with the brain and the whole nervous system. Also, because it is located centrally at the top of the head, Sahasrara gives us access to higher states of consciousness as we open to what is beyond our personal preoccupations and visions.

Infact, the function of the Crown chakra is driven by consciousness and gets us in touch with the universal. Its energy allows us to experience mystical oneness with everyone and everything in nature. The “way of the Crown chakra” is the way of going beyond the limits of your own ego, knowing that all of creation is interconnected at a fundamental level. The challenge of this chakra is to liberate the spirit, open to the divine, and at the same time stay firmly rooted deep in the ground, as energetically, it has a connection with the first chakra, as they both are at the extremities of the chakra system.

As we are immersed in the energy of Sahasrara, we feel a state of blissful union with all that is, of spiritual ecstasy, allowing us to access to the upmost clarity and enlightened wisdom. The quality of awareness that comes with it is universal, transcendent, and it makes us feel present, conscious, aware ofthe main connection and free from our limiting patterns.

A deficiency in the Crown chakra tends to cause subtle, systemic problems. These include: depression and mental fog, chronic fatigue, migraines and other chronic headaches, greed and materialism. On the other hand, an excess of energy in the seventh chakra can also cause problems including: sensitivity to light and sound, neurological or endocrine disorders, boredom and frustration, a sense of unearned accomplishment.

An unbalanced Crown chakra can also play a role in dementia, learning disabilities, comas, sleep disorders and mental illness.

But how can you open and rebalance Sahasrara again?

  • Meditate. Focus your attention on the top of the head and clearly set your intention of balancing the Chakra. Visualize the violet color when doing this. Thank the Universe and feel the connection to the Higher Being, since Gratitude and contentment are the simplest ways of strengthening this Chakra.
  • Aromatherapy. Floral essences such as Lotus, Angelica and white tulip when applied to the pulse points can aid the meditation process.
  • Yoga. Postures like Shavasana (corpse position) or Lotus position (Padmasana) are recommended for aiding the Crown Chakra. An advanced pose, the headstand or Shirshasan, also helps balance the Crown Chakra by increasing blood flow to the top of the head.
  • Practice silence. It is best for Crown chakra activation, because it does not distract from spiritual practice. The sound of Om and deep, tonal sounds can also be healing music for Sahasrara because of their universal nature.
  • Sunlight. The Crown chakra’s elements are thought and light, so spending time in the sunlight is good for opening it.
  • Work on these believes you may have consciously or subconsciously in order to figure out where they come from and solve them:

Crown Chakra Affirmations

I am part of the Divine.
I honor the Divine within me.
I seek to understand and to learn from my life experiences.
I cherish my spirit.
I seek experiences that nurture my spirit.
I listen to the wisdom of universe.
I trust my intuition.
I am open to letting go of my attachments.
I live in the present moment.
I am grateful for all the goodness in my life.
I love and accept myself.
I know that all is well in my world.
I am connected with the wisdom of the universe.
I am open to Divine wisdom.
My life moves with grace.
I am at peace.

Create your home made herbal remedy

Nowadays deciding to be treated only with herbal/holistic/homeopatic remedies is becoming a thing. People want to go back to the oringins, being more healthy and natural, find a way to cure themselves minimizing the risks and potential side effects. DIY is becoming generally very popular as well, maybe for the lack of trust in the health system or for feeding our curiosity and improve our own skills. No matter what are the reasons for both these tendencies, but I thought it would be interesting writing about it, combining the herbal remedies with the DIY side. Obviously you need some knowledge in order to treat yourself properly, so I suggest you to take these advices only if you have some experience or after you have spoken with a professional herbal therapist for the dosage and type of herb you may need to use.


Let’s start from the very beginning, so by collecting herbs from field or garden. For a number of good reasons you should gather your own herbs: you are assured of their freshness and potency, you also know their source, if they are clean, pure and wholesome. You will also save yourself money and gain self-sufficiency and with time you will build an increasing knowledge of plants and their medicinal uses. Although each herb is different and some may require unique handling, the following general principles can be used for gathering herbs:

  • Herbs are generally gathered according to their particular growth cycle: annuals (plants that have one growing season, the seed germinates the plant flowers and bears fruit and then dies), biennials (plants which germinate and establish a good root system during the first year, flower and bear fruit at the end of the second year, and then die ), or perennials (plants that live and bear fruit a number of years before they die).
  • Herbs must be gathered in dry weather, as those collected in moist or rainy periods are generally weaker and more apt to spoil.
  • Gather in the cool of the morning after the dew has evaporated or in the evening before the dew forms on the plant. Also before the sun is high in the sky.
  • Preferably gather wild plants from high, dry soils, exposed to clean air and abundant sunshine.
  • In all cases, gathering must be selective according to the type of plant and the part to be used (flowers, leaves, roots, etc.).

It is an excellent thing to do cultivating your own herbs in the garden, and I would encourage you to consider it, but try to be selective in the number of herbs you are going to grow. If you do not have enough time, space or knowledge, just purchase what you need from a health shop or a recognised herbal supplier. This is the most quick method to start herbalism.

Once collected your herbs, you need to know how to dry and storage them in a proper way, in order not to lose much of their medicinal value. Dry all herbs carefully outdoors (spreading a layer of herbs on a drying screen in the shade as quickly as possible), indoors (in a dust-free room, at mild temperature, on a drying screen covered away from direct sunlight) or with artificial heat (be very careful, oven drying under 38°C is difficult and often done improperly).

To store them, place them in a tight appropriate container, not made of formaldehyde or certain damaging plastic types, and seal with sealing wax to keep the air from getting to the herb. Always label and date them, and make sure they are used within a year. Never put them under direct sunlight or in room too hot or cold. If its a oil, use a brown bottle or can.

General guidelines should be also followed when starting making your own preparations, for example never use aluminium ware as it poisons with its gases and metallic acid, stainless-steel ware is the best because it does not break, although you should watch for over-high temperatures that cause burning.

It is time now to describe the most common various herbal preparations. Remember that dosages must be adjusted according to personal need.

Capsule: Take the herbal powders and other materials that, because of their nauseous taste or smell, would otherwise be difficult to administer, and place them into a soluble gelatin shell or capsule. These capsules are easy to buy and they are made in different sizes for easy swallowing, with numbers 1 to 4, 0, and 00 being the most common. To fill the capsule, simply take the two halves of a capsule apart and push these halves into the powder and towards each other, pressing the halves together again and at the same time compressing the powder. Dosage depends on the age, size, vitality, condition being treated, and the strength of the ingredients in the capsule itself.

Decoction: This is a process used with hard materials such as roots and barks, chips, etc. Decoctions are intended for immediate use within a twenty-four hour period (72-hour maximum limit when stored in a very cool place) and are generally made by pouring cold water upon fresh or dried herbs. The harder the material, the longer the simmering and extractive period will be. Consider to pulverize them first by mechanical means or pounding; next, soak the ingredients for twelve hours, then set this liquid on the fire and gradually heat to a slight boil. After the extractive period, drain off the liquid while hot and press the herb hard to make sure that all of the therapeutic ingredients are removed, then let stand until cool.

The usual preparation is 1 ounce of herb placed into 1 and half pints of cold water (the half pint will be lost in the extractive process). The herb and liquid is then brought slowly to a boil. The decoction differs from the infusion in that heat is applied and continued over a period of time, because roots and barks generally need longer heating to extract their active principles. When cool, pour off the clear liquid on top, separating it from the settlings and, finally, sweeten to taste. Add more water when decoctions are too strong. Dosage depends on age, size and temperament, but generally 2 fluid ounces to a cupful of liquid three times a day.

Infusion: An infusion extracts the active principles of herbs in water, or other fluid, without simmering or boiling;. Pour a liquid over the raw or powdered herb. The liquid may be hot or cold, but the flavour of the herb is generally much stronger and the action is much faster when made and administered hot. Generally a standard infusion is used with the lighter herbs (such as the leaves, flowers, etc.), and is made by placing one teaspoonful of finely cut dried herb or two teaspoonfuls of bruised fresh herb into a cup and adding boiling, distilled water; cover and let steep for 15 minutes; strain and drink.

Be sure to cover the vessel and stir occasionally, and then carefully strain off the clear liquid. Dosage varies according to type of herb and problem condition, but usually one cupful three times a day. Regulate the quantity to fit the patient’s strength, kidney problems, extreme debilitation, etc.

Oil: This preparation is made from the plant oils. For instance, with the mints (peppermint, spearmint, etc.), the oils come from the leaves. Many of these oils, when properly made (with olive oil), do not go into rancidity easily. The amount of herbs used depends upon the quantity of oil desired, but often a pound of fresh herbs to a pint of olive oil is used. Simmer the herbs for hours until the oil comes out of the herb. In the case of cloves, grind up fine, and simmer the powder in olive oil at a temperature of 50-65°C. Never use mineraloils. For olive oil, which is high in nutritional value, massage as much as the skin will absorb; it can be also used in small doses internally, except when for gallstones or kidney stones.

Ointment: It is a soft, semi-solid fatty herbal preparation used for a protective and emollient effect, liquefying when applied externally. Ointment bases are generally composed of various mixtures of waxes, animal and vegetable oils and the medicinal substances are mixed with them. Start with a melted base, such as olive oil and beeswax, and combine with herb. A good standard is 14 ounces of olive oil, 2 ounces of beeswax, and 1 pound of fresh or 1 and half pound of dry herbs. Place into a closed container, put into the oven and leave there at low heat (around 80°C) for 3-4 hours. Periodically, take a fork and lift the fresh herbs to see if they aregetting browned and brittle, and whether the oil has drawn the value from the herb. Vaseline as a base is generally inferior to animalor plant oils, but may be used if you do not want the preparation to be absorbed quickly into the skin.

Pill/Tablet: In this case the herbal agent is ground into a very fine powder and mixed with a mucilage of gum Arabic (made by dissolving gum Arabic in water), slippery elm, or a syrup, etc. which is then worked up into a pill mass. A portion is then cut off, sliced into small strips and then into smaller pill-sized pieces, which are then rolled into little round balls for easy administration. A small amount of powdered rhubarb or flour on the board in preparation will keep the mass from sticking, but keep the pill mass in a quite firm consistency, or else the excess mucilage or syrup will absorb too much rhubarb or flour.

Pills can be coated or uncoated, but the pearl-coated pill is a favourite and is readily soluble in the stomach. Pills are usually made so that one pill equals about 300-400 milligrams of the herbal compound. A pill differs from a tablet in that a pill needs mucilage or other substance added to keep the herbal agent in an adhesive mass, whereas the tablet will adhere by its own characteristics upon compression.

Poultrice: This herbal preparation is a soft, semi-liquid mass made of some cohesive substance mixed with water, vinegar or other substances, and used for supplying heat and moisture to an area, or to act as a local stimulant. Have the herbs ground or granulated. When using fine powder, just use enough moisture to make a thick paste, and when using the granulated form, a thick paste may be made with a mixture of water and cornmeal. If fresh green leaves are used, simply heat, bruise, triturate or chop the leaves up finely, and apply to the affected parts. Be generous in making poultices, covering the afflicted area thickly.

Spirit: It is an alcoholic or hydro-alcoholic preparation containing ordinary alcohol and a watery liquid that has been distilled from an alcoholic tincture or mash. It is a volatile prepared by distillation, whereas a tincture is prepared by infusing the volatile substance in alcohol. These are used as tonics, etc.  A few drops on up are used as specified.

Syrup: A thick, sticky liquid preparation made by dissolving sugar into distilled water, decoctions, infusions, juices, or other aqueous solution, and it is used to suspend medicinal or flavouring agents for easy administration alone, or to combine with other preparations. For making a syrup with herbs, settle out the heavier matter and pour off the clear liquid; then add to that 1 and 3/4 pounds of sugar, place into an appropriate vessel, heat until the sugar is melted, cool, and store for future use. Another formula for making a simple syrup is to pour 1 pint of boiling water over 2 and half pounds of sugar, place on a hot stove and stir until the liquid begins to boil, and then instantly remove. Dosage varies from 1 teaspoonful to 1 tablespoonful once or few times per day.

Tincture: This is technically a fluid extract, but the medicinal virtues are extracted into solution with grain alcohol or vinegar, which are better preservative for long term storage of extracts. Take approximately 4 ounces of ground dried herbs or 8 ounces of finely chopped fresh herbs and place them in a glass bottle with at least 16 ounces of alcohol or vinegar, until the herb is completely submerged under the liquid. This is tightly capped and each day for 10 days to 2 weeks the bottle is shaken vigorously at least 3 times a day or more. Extract all liquids, squeezing the herb residue thoroughly, with a regular juice press, or wring out by hand through cloth, etc.

After the liquid is extracted, place the tincture extract in dark or painted bottles, stopper thoroughly and store. When administering a tincture internally, you may evaporate the alcohol from the solution by putting it into hot water, or it can be taken as is. Dilute at least 1 teaspoonful of tincture to each cup of water.

What is Reiki?

The word Reiki is composed of two Japanese words: “rei” and “ki“. Translating Japanese into English is very difficult, especially if we are seeking a definition from a more spiritual context. In this case, Rei can be defined as the Higher Intelligence that guides the creation and functioning of the universe, both animate and inanimate things. It is available to help us in times of need and to act as a source of guidance in our lives. Ki is the non-physical energy that animates and flows in all living things, including plants, animals and humans. When a person’s Ki is high, they will feel strong, confident, and ready to enjoy life and take on it’s challenges. When it is low, they will feel weak and are more likely to get sick. We receive Ki from the environment and everything around us, like the air, light, etc.

So, Reiki can be defined as a non-physical healing technique made of life force energy that is guided by the Higher Intelligence. The source of health comes from the Ki that flows through and around the individual, rather than from the functional condition of organs and tissues. Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvment that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and psychological issue and always creates a beneficial effect, such as a deep relaxation. It also works with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.

To administer Reiki, a practitioner channels life force energy through his or her hands unto another. The spiritual guidance enables the Reiki to flow through the affected parts of the subject’s energy field and charges them with positive energy. It raises awareness in and around the physical body where negative thoughts and feelings are contained. This causes the negative energy, such as stress, anxiety, physical pain, sadness, confusion, etc. to loosen its grip, allowing the touch of the Reiki healer to swoop in and clarify the energy pathways. A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. This healing technique cannot be guided by the mind, therefore it is not limited by the experience or ability of the practitioner. Neither can it be misused as it always creates a healing effect, the worst it can do is nothing.

Reiki is different from almost all other healing modalities. It’s actually transferred to each student from a Reiki master during what is called an “attunement” process. This process opens the crown, heart, and palm chakras and creates a unique connection between the student and the teacher. Once you have received a Reiki attunement, you will have Reiki for the remainder of your life. It does not “wear off” and you can never lose it.

There are actually three or four levels of Reiki, depending on your teacher, for which one must be attuned before becoming a master:

  • Reiki Level 1: it is all about learning the history of Reiki, proper hand placements, the basics of how to use Reiki on others, and the practice of self-Reiki. This encourages students to use the technique on themselves in order to work through personal hardships.
  • Reiki Level 2: it is often defined by a focus on practicing Reiki on others, as well as an expanded opening of the energy channels. Additionally students receive the Reiki symbols and Level 2 attunement. The Reiki symbols allow the practitioner to connect more deeply to the universal energy, as well as draw on the qualities that the symbols represent. This includes the ability to provide distance in space and time treatments.
  • Reiki Level 3/Master: in many courses the Third Degree and Reiki Master are the same designation, because it is traditionally considered the teacher’s level.

Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use it. Infact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not.  Many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their religion rather than having only an intellectual concept of it, but that is only up to you and your beliefs.

Most agree that Reiki has its origins back to the late 19th or early 20th centuries and the teachings of a Japanese monk named Mikao Usui. He had “rediscovered” this ancient concept of an inexhaustible energy source that can be harnessed for healing. Through attunements, a Reiki master (Usui was the first) can teach others to master this healing power as well. In 1937, a Japanese-American named Hawayo Takata brought the practice of Reiki to the West when she returned to her native Hawaii.

The secret art of inviting happiness,
The miraculous medicine of all diseases.
Just for today, do not anger,
Do not worry and be filled with gratitude.
Devote yourself to your work. Be kind to people.
Every morning and evening, join your hands in prayer.
Pray these words to your heart
and chant these words with your mouth.
Usui Mikao, Reiki: Treatment for the improvement of body and mind

Focus on: The Third Eye Chakra

Sanskrit name: Ajna – To perceive, to command
Element: All elements combined, light
Color: Indigo
Shape: Five pointed star
Petals of the lotus: Two
Rights: To see
Physical association: Eyes, base of skull, brow
Psychological function: Intuition, imagination
Challenge: Illusion
Plane: Plane of austerity, home of the blessed
Planets: Saturn, moon
Sense organ: Mind
Incense: Mugwort
Herb: Almond blossom


 

There are many ways to call it, but the most common Sanskrit name for the Third Eye chakra is “Ajna”, which means “command” and “perceiving”. This chakra infact is related to the “supreme element”, which is the combination of all the elements we know in their pure form.

Ajna is the sixth primary chakra in the body according to Hindu tradition. It is most commonly represented with the color purple or bluish purple/indigo but its auric color energy can also be seen as translucent purple or bluish white. The image of the Third Eye chakra symbol contains two elements frequently associated with wisdom: the upside down triangle and the lotus flower.

Located on the forehead, between the eyebrows just above the nose’s bridge, it is the center of intuition and foresight. It can also be described as being located behind the eyes in the middle of the head, where the pineal gland can anatomically be found. That is why Ajna is associated to the pineal gland, in charge of regulating biorhythms including sleep and wake time, center of attention because of its relationship with the perception and effect of light and altered or “mystical” states of consciousness. It is positioned close to the optical nerves, and as such, sensitive to visual stimulations and changes in lighting.

The energy of this chakra lets us experience clear thoughts as well as gifts of spiritual contemplation and self reflection, allowing us to access our inner guidance that comes from the depths of our being. It help us cut through illusion and to access deeper truths – to see beyond the mind, beyond the words. The “way of the Third Eye” is seeing everything as it is from a point of “witness” or “observer”, or from simply being mindful – moment by moment. It means examining self-limiting ideas and developing wisdom that comes from a perspective that transcends the duality of good or bad, black or white. It means seeing and helping others to see the deeper meanings of the situations in their lives.

Ajna is an instrument to perceive the more subtle qualities of reality. It goes beyond the more physical senses into the realm of subtle energies. Awakening your Third Eye allows you to open up to an intuitive sensibility and inner perception. When this chakra is fully activated, both hemispheres of the brain function in synchrony: the right hemisphere’s creativity and synthetic thinking is integrated and balanced with left hemisphere’s logical and analytical thinking. When your Third Eye is open, you not only see but you also understand.

On the other hand when it is closed or has an imbalance, it can manifest as: feeling stuck in the daily grind without being able to look beyond your problems, fantasies that appear more real than reality, indulgence in psychic fantasies and illusions, rejection of everything spiritual or beyond the usual, not being able to see the greater picture, lack of clarity. Instead physical manifestations of an overactive third eye chakra include headaches, vision problems, seizures, insomnia, nausea, sinus issues.

But how can you open and rebalance Ajna again?

  • Cultivate silence. Foster the silence of the mind, whether it’s through meditation, just sitting calmly in nature, or being absorbed in your favorite art or sport practice. Why? To be able to listen to the messages and information that comes through your Third Eye, you should be ready to perceive the whisper of its wisdom. If your mind is busy or noisy, you might miss its main message.
  • Hone your intuition. There are many ways to cultivate your intuition. So what about getting acquainted with your dreams and their meanings, perhaps giving a try at lucid dreaming, getting to know how to read a horoscope or tarot cards? Find new ways to intuit into your daily life activities.
  • Feed your creativity. Let your creativity flow freely by focusing on specific activities or letting your imagination loose. For instance, start learning a new art or craft; don’t try to be perfect, just let your inspiration run through your hands and be ready to be surprised by the results.
  • Yoga. Third Eye yoga poses include the child pose and the eagle pose.
  • Stones and jewerly. The key color is purple, like amethyst, black obsidian or purple fluorite. You can also purchase larger third eye crystals that will sit in your pocket or in the palm of your hand, allowing you to squeeze them and focus on them when you need to keep your third eye chakra open.
  • Meditation. Ajna meditation is just one of many ways to work on opening this chakra. And there are plenty of techniques for beginners, so don’t worry if you’ve never tried mindfulness or meditation. Here’s one to start with:
    1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Inhale and exhale ten times, slowly and deeply.
    2. Focus your attention on the location of the third eye chakra, imagine a violet sphere of energy in the middle of your forehead. Remember, purple is the third eye chakra’s color.
    3. As you continue to breathe slowly and deeply, picture the purple ball of energy getting bigger and warmer. As it does, imagine it purging negativity from your body.
    4. Think of yourself of absorbing the third eye chakra’s energy—allow yourself to feel it all over.
    5. Open your eyes when you feel ready.
  • Work on these believes you may have consciously or subconsciously in order to figure out where they come from and solve them:

Third Eye Chakra Affirmations

I am in touch with my inner guidance.
I listen to my deepest wisdom.
I seek to understand and to learn from my life experiences.
I am wise, intuitive, and connected with my inner guide.
I nurture my spirit.
I listen to the wisdom of elders.
I trust my intuition.
I forgive the past and learn what was there for me to learn.
I forgive myself.
I love and accept myself.
I know that all is well in my world.
I am connected with the wisdom of the universe.
I am open to inspiration and bliss.
My life moves effortlessly.
I am at peace.
I am the source of my truth and my love.