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How to make a homemade herbal tincture

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If you use medicinal herbs, you might want to make a tincture. One of the many benefits of a tincture is that it retains the properties of fresh herbs. Some herbal tinctures are available on the market, on online you can find a variety of products. You might also want to try to make your own. Don’t be scared it’s not difficult.

The only drawback is that it takes time, you can’t do a tincture today to have it ready tomorrow. Most tinctures are made with alcohol as the primary solvent or extractor. Alcohol is a strong solvent and extracts most of the important chemical components found in plants.

If you don’t want to use alcohol, you can also use apple cider vinegar. You can also use vegetable glycerin which has the added benefit of making tinctures that last longer. To make a great tincture, you only need herbs, solvent, and a jar with a tight-fitting lid.

Instructions on how to make a homemade herbal tincture

Firstly,  choose the herb or herbs you want, try to find good quality herbs, fresh if possible, but you can also use dried herbs. You should chop your herbs as finely as possible.

Put them in a clean, dry jar. Pour the solvent over the herbs. If you are using alcohol, select one with a strength between 80 and 100, such as vodka, gin or brandy. If you are using vegetable glycerin, dilute it with an equal amount of water before pouring it over the herbs. If you are using vinegar, heat it first to facilitate the release of plant components.

Cover the herbs completely with the solvent and then add about another 10 cm of liquid. The herbs must be completely submerged. Cover the jar with a tight-fitting lid. Put the jar in a warm place and let the herbs soak for at least 4-6 weeks – the longer, the better.

Fill the jar with additional solvent, if needed to ensure it is at least 6cm above the herbs. Shake the jar of tincture regularly, if you can do it once a day better. Shaking up the tincture prevents the herbs from packing at the bottom of the jar.

Drain the herbs from the solvent by pouring the mixture into a large stainless steel filter lined with cheesecloth or muslin. Put the result in a jar with a label and keep it in a cool, dark place. It can be kept for at least one year.

Worked in many sectors including recruitment and marketing. Lucky to have found a soulmate who was then taken far too soon. No intention of moving on and definitely not moving to Thailand for the foreseeable future. Might move forward. Owned by a cat.

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Health

Robotic cats used in a retirement home in England

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A nursing home with dementia patients in Essex has used robotic cats to keep its residents calm and content. The result was so positive that an additional 200 robotic cats and 100 robotic dogs were purchased to provide support for people with dementia.

Battery-powered robotic cats purr, meow, and move when stroked and hugged. Dementia patients often become agitated, anxious and angry, and a pet usually helps them calm down. But I am not always able to manage a soul in flesh and blood.

Research has shown that an effective, drug-free way to soothe a patient with dementia is to give them a soft toy they can interact with. During this Covid-19 emergency, when people were unable to visit their relatives, robotic cats helped the 100 residents of the nursing home.

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Food

Health : Going Bananas about Bananas!

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I’m going bananas about bananas! The use of idioms would be perplexing to students of the English language, who could not deduce from the words used that I am very excited, or at least enthusiastic about bananas as a food. Who would not be when they realise that wrapped within a protective skin that mainly keeps out pesticides, even if not grown organically, there is both a perfect health and convenience food? 
While some people may not like their taste or texture, the banana is among the world’s most popular fruit.  It can satisfy a sweet tooth, while at the same time being low in calories. One medium sized banana has a hundred and five calories, containing fibre, minerals and antioxidants that are good for the digestion, kidney and heart function. 
 
 I remember a neighbour, whose daily regime after a coronary bypass operation, consisted of a long walk plus  – you’ve guessed it a banana!  The reason for this was that bananas are a great dietary source of potassium. One medium-sized banana (118 grams) contains 9% of the RDI.
A diet containing adequate levels of potassium can help lower blood pressure.  Bananas also contain magnesium, which is also important for heart health.
A single medium sized banana also contains Vitamin B6 33% of the RDI, Vitamin C 11% of the RDI, Copper 10% of the RDI and Manganese 14% of the RDI. Think how much these supplements are going to cost in the health shop and you will see what a good deal you are getting with a natural fruit! There are only 0.4 grams of fat in a banana, so it can also be considered a weight loss food.
 
Bananas should not cause major spikes in blood sugar levels as they contain pectin. However, people with type 2 diabetes should probably avoid eating a lot of very ripe bananas, as they monitor their sugar levels.  As in all circumstances people should take medical advice if concerned about their diet. 

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Herbal Medicine

Rosemary oil and memory; does it really help?

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Traditionally rosemary is said to be good for boosting memory, so many recommend smelling rosemary when studying.

In recent years the news has been circulating on the internet that even rosemary increases memory by 75% but can we really believe it?

Essential oils and plants have some benefits in many cases and when used judiciously but we should not blindly believe in all the potential miracle cures. For example, essential oils can be helpful and many use them to relieve the symptoms of chemotherapy, but we will never advise anyone to use essential oils or herbs to treat a malignant tumor or heart problem.

Let’s go back to memory… recently the snopes.com site, a site that has been trying to understand for years whether certain news is true or false, has tried to dispel the myth of rosemary and memory. The article is long  but in a nutshell it tells us that the news came from the newspaper The Daily Mail, not particularly famous for the accuracy of the scientific news it publishes.

The original article was about a study that proved that rosemary increases memory by 75%. The study was really done but it tried to prove if a particular chemical component of rosemary oil increased memory.

In any case, there is no evidence that it is rosemary oil, a chemical component of it or simply the fact that the aromas can remind us of things related to the smell itself. In short, we have no conclusive evidence that rosemary oil does not improve memory but certainly there is no evidence that it improves it and we can certainly discard the hypothesis that it increases it by 75%.

If you think that smelling rosemary oil helps you to study, go ahead and do it, but don’t take everything you read on the internet at face value. Often it isn’t true.

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