Health Genie Articles

Staying Healthy, Locally

Note: These articles are not meant as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult with your medical practitioner before using any type of remedy, herbal or otherwise.

Local Immune Support

By Anna Wiens, Wellness Buyer

It’s here: The sneezing, the coughing, the sore throats, and the nose blowing.  Earlier than expected, we are seeing the first of the season’s illnesses.  With the start of the school season and the drop in temperature, the colds and flus are back in full swing.  Luckily, Vermont is populated with many herbalists, alchemists, doctors and healers.  Here are some Vermont-made products to help keep you and your family healthy this season.

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Preserving Herbs and Spices

Note: These articles are not meant as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult with your medical practitioner before using any type of remedy, herbal or otherwise.

Yerba Mate

By Anna Wiens, Wellness Buyer

Dear Health Genie,

I am sad to see summer slipping away!  The morning dew and cool autumn breeze has me concerned about the end of my garden.  I have most of my veggies preserved via canning and freezing, but I am less versed in how to save my medicinal herbs and spices. Help!

Gratefully,
Karen B.

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Herbal First Aid

Note: These articles are not meant as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult with your medical practitioner before using any type of remedy, herbal or otherwise.

Yarrow

Dear Health Genie,

My family is preparing to go on our annual camping trip and I am starting to prepare.  I took out the old first aid kit and am hoping to spice it up with some natural items.  So far, I’ve got all the basics; Band-Aids, alcohol swabs, gauze, etc., but what are some helpful natural remedies I could add in addition to these?

Thank you,
Adrien

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July Health Genie: Growing Medicinal Herbs

Note: These articles are not meant as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult with your medical practitioner before using any type of remedy, herbal or otherwise.

Growing Medicinal Plants

Growing medicinal herbs in your garden is a great way to take your do-it-yourself herbal teas, salves, and extracts to another level.  On top of providing great medicine, many of these herbs make great culinary ingredients, aid in the health and pest control of your vegetable garden, and bring life and color to your backyard. If growing these herbs for cooking or making medicine, it is very important that they are grown in lead-free soil (Burlington seems to have high leaded soils), with organic soil, and well prepared compost. For common organic medicinal herb seeds, High Mowing Seeds is a great source.  For more obscure medicinal herb seeds, Horizon Herbs is fantastic.  And for the easier, late to plant route, Red Wagon Plants in Hinesburg, VT makes beautiful, healthy organic seedlings.  Here are some tips on growing some commonly used medicinal herbs that will grow well right here in Vermont:

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June Health Genie: Treating Muscle Soreness

Note: These articles are not meant as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult with your medical practitioner before using any type of remedy, herbal or otherwise.

Arnica Montana

Dear Health Genie,

I ran the Vermont City Marathon over Memorial Day Weekend, and my muscles took awhile to recover. In the future, what can I do to help them recover more quickly?

Thanks,
Runner Rita

 

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May Health Genie: Spring Edibles

Note: These articles are not meant as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult with your medical practitioner before using any type of remedy, herbal or otherwise.

Spring Edible Food

Anyone who has experienced a Vermont winter knows the excitement of spotting the first spring plants breaking through the thawing Vermont landscape.  And in an earthy, land-based, food conscious state like Vermont, many plant lovers are foraging their spring edibles and are eager to find the first of the fiddleheads at the market.  Here are some of the medicinal benefits to some of the most cherished spring sprouts:

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April Health Genie: Reviving Bitters

Urban Moonshine Bitters

Note: These articles are not meant as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult with your medical practitioner before using any type of remedy, herbal or otherwise.

Dear Health Genie:

I’ve been hearing a lot about bitters lately.  What are they and why should I use them?

Thanks,
Tessa Tonic

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March Health Genie: The Story of Probiotics

Probiotics

Note: These articles are not meant as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult with your medical practitioner before using any type of remedy, herbal or otherwise.

Whether it’s after a regimen of antibiotics, for digestive support, or aiding in immunity, many people seek a quality probiotic.  A common question that arises during the process of one’s decision to buy a probiotic is why are some products refrigerated and others not?  We covered this topic briefly a few years ago, but here is some additional information.

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February Health Genie: Oil Massage - the Key to Hydration and Warmth

Massage Oils

Note: This article is not meant as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult with your medical practitioner before using any type of remedy, herbal or otherwise.

For many, winter is a time filled with itchy dry skin, flaking scalp, cracked finger tips, and low immunity.  There is a simple, cheap, and enjoyable solution to these common problems: oil massage.  This technique, also known as Abhyanga, has been used for centuries and has many therapeutic applications. 

It is a great practice to pick up now, in the middle of the winter, as it is very hydrating. Most soaps and body washes strip the skin of its natural oils and leave the skin bare and scaly. Performing oil massage on a daily basis keeps the skin hydrated and protected. 

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Unlock Your Lover's Heart - with Chocolate

Chocolate

By Guido Masé, RH (AHG), Chief Herbalist at Urban Moonshine

Love, death, rebirth – such is the cycle of fertility and renewal. Perhaps none knew this better than the Mesoamerican cultures that dwelled in present-day Mexico and Central America. Over one thousand years ago, in the rainforest that covers the slopes of the mountains in Western Yucatán, a Maya ruler enshrined this allegory on the lid of his tomb – in a story told by plants.

Pakal the great, who ruled Palenque for over sixty years, is pictured in a state of transition: beneath him opens the mouth of the serpent of the underworld while above him, sprouting from his belly, a tree of life fills the sky. Pakal embodies the corn god, who dies, buries himself, and is reborn as magical plants: most notably, the cacao tree[i].

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