When people walk into a health food store, most are overwhelmed by the amount of products that are available to them and they are confused about which products to spend their money on. When I teach classes on ‘natural’ medicine, one thing I make sure to do is to teach my students which products are worth buying and which products are not. Unfortunately, lots of natural products are just big ‘hype’ with very little return. In contrast, I have mentioned below two of my favorite product that are really beneficial to have in the house during the summer months (and all year around).
French green clay– is presently marketed as a ‘facial mask’ but herbalists have been using pure, healing clays for centuries. The green clay is best used to alleviate the pain associated with mosquito bites, diaper rash, and kitchen burns. This clay can either be used directly as a powder, or mixed with a few drops of water and make into a paste.
- Mosquito bites-put a ½ teaspoon of green clay in a cup and add a few drops of water till the clay begins to stick together, forming a paste. Scoop up the paste and spread it over the bite. When the clay dries it might begin to crumble off; so if the bite is still painful you can spread another layer of clay over the existing one, and you can continue layering as needed. The green clay will help to pull out the toxins, reduce inflammation and soothe the skin.
- Kitchen burns- the paste form is also used and in the same way it was used for mosquito bites. If the green clay paste is put on the burn right away, it will often heal quicker and without leaving that annoying brown mark on the skin.
- Diaper rashes-are treated using the clay in its powdered form—do not make it into a paste. At every diaper change sprinkle the green clay as you would baby powder. This clay is especially helpful for those diaper rashes that are caused by an overgrowth of yeast. The clay smoothers the yeast and heals the skin.
Freeze-dried nettle-is a food herb that is beneficial for people of all ages—from children to the elderly. It is called a ‘food-herb’ because people throughout the world make the nettle into a soup or use it in a salad. Nettles are filled with many vital nutrients and are packed with important trace minerals that are often difficult to acquire in our food today because of processing. Nettles can be found and used in various forms, including: tea, tincture, and capsule. Most herbs do not stay fresh in capsule form; however, nettles in the freeze-dried form are one of the rare exceptions. Another important quality of the nettle is that it does not conflict with most prescription medication (but please consult with a proficient herbalist if you are concerned).
- Allergies and colds-freeze dried nettles have a natural antihistamine helping rid the body of extra mucous while reducing the inflammation in the nasal passages associated with nasal congestion. In clinical studies, nettles have been shown to clear the nasal passages as well as over the counter antihistamines. The difference between conventional medicine and nettles is that many medicines are formulated to stay in the body for twenty-four hours, while nettles must be taken throughout the day; however, when taking herbs you never feel any of the side-effects associated with antihistamines like dry eyes and throat and grogginess. The suggested dosage for freeze-dried nettle is: two capsules taken three times a day for teens and adults. For younger children, from a half of a capsule to a full capsule taken once or twice a day is a sufficient dosage. If a child cannot swallow a capsule, you can easily open it and pour the green powder into applesauce or yogurt.
- Pregnancy-freeze-dried nettles are a wonderful pick-me-up from that weak and fatigued feeling, due to their easily absorbable nutrients—one of which is iron; which is so helpful with anemia. It is especially beneficial for women who are not finding the time to eat as many salads as they need to.
- Traveling-during summer travel many people have trouble adjusting to new time zones, new water and new foods. Nettles can help keep up your strength by providing easily absorbable vitamins. Normally the body needs to have a lot of stomach acid and a well-functioning digestive system in order to properly digest conventional vitamins, but when people travel they are often stressed and nervous and can usually feel that tension in their stomachs—as it affects their digestion. Since nettles are so easy to absorb, you will still reap their benefit during such stressful times.
I am constantly getting e-mails from my clients about their pleasant experiences with green clay and nettles. So if you have always been interested in adding alternative products into your lives, or are just looking for a few new products to have in your collection, these two products are reasonably priced, both safe and highly effective, and easy to carry in your purse, keep in your car and have in your home.