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Making Echinacea Tincture – Medicinal Herbs

Making Echinacea Tincture – Medicinal Herbs
Source: Rosemary Gladstar
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

More wonderful than eating food for the taste is eating foods for their healing or medicinal purposes. In a time where the corona virus is running rampant around the globe and claiming lives at all levels foods that get at the heart of healing are a huge comfort. Enjoy this simple and straightforward method for harvesting your foods for their medicinal benefits.

Echinacea is one of our favorites because it boosts the immune system, which is especially comforting now and during any cold season. What are your favorite herbs? What are their medicinal purposes? What foods do you take when you become ill?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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Echinacea: Medicinal Benefits – Health Line

Echinacea shidonna raven garden and cook

Source: Health Line
Research on echinacea suggests that it offers several impressive health benefits.

Positive Effect on the Immune System

Echinacea is best known for its beneficial effects on the immune system.

Numerous studies have found that this plant may help your immune system combat infections and viruses, which could help you recover faster from illness (8Trusted Source9Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

That’s one reason why echinacea is often used to prevent or treat the common cold.

In fact, a review of 14 studies found that taking echinacea may lower the risk of developing colds by more than 50% and shorten the duration of colds by one and a half days (11Trusted Source).

However, many studies on this topic are poorly designed and show no real benefit. This makes it hard to know if any benefits on colds are from taking echinacea or simply from chance (12Trusted Source).

In short, while echinacea may boost immunity, its effects on the common cold are unclear.

May Lower Blood Sugar Levels

High blood sugar can raise your risk of serious health problems.

This includes type 2 diabetes, heart disease and several other chronic conditions.

Test-tube studies have found that echinacea plants may help lower blood sugar levels.

In a test-tube study, an Echinacea purpurea extract was shown to suppress enzymes that digest carbohydrates. This would reduce the amount of sugar entering your blood if consumed (13Trusted Source).

Other test-tube studies found that echinacea extracts made cells more sensitive to insulin’s effects by activating the PPAR-y receptor, a common target of diabetes drugs (14Trusted Source15).

This particular receptor works by removing excess fat in the blood, which is a risk factor for insulin resistance. This makes it easier for cells to respond to insulin and sugar (16Trusted Source).

Still, human-based research on the effects of echinacea on blood sugar is lacking.

May Reduce Feelings of Anxiety

Anxiety is a common problem that affects close to one in five American adults (17).

In recent years, echinacea plants have emerged as a potential aid for anxiety.

Research has discovered that echinacea plants contain compounds that may reduce feelings of anxiety. These include alkamides, rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid (18Trusted Source).

In one mouse study, three out of five echinacea samples helped reduce anxiety. In addition, they did not make the mice less active, in contrast to higher doses of standard treatments (18Trusted Source).

Another study found that Echinacea angustifolia extract rapidly reduced feelings of anxiety in both mice and humans (19Trusted Source).

However, as of now, only a handful of studies on echinacea and anxiety exist. More research is needed before echinacea products can be recommended as a possible treatment.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Inflammation is your body’s natural way of promoting healing and defending itself.

Sometimes inflammation can get out of hand and last for longer than necessary and expected. This may raise your risk of chronic diseases and other health problems.

Several studies have shown that echinacea can help reduce excess inflammation.

In a mouse study, echinacea compounds helped reduce important inflammatory markers and memory-loss caused by inflammation (20Trusted Source).

In another 30-day study, adults with osteoarthritis found that taking a supplement containing echinacea extract significantly reduced inflammation, chronic pain and swelling.

Interestingly, these adults did not respond well to conventional non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) but found the supplement containing echinacea extract helpful (21Trusted Source).

May Help Treat Skin Concerns

Research has shown that echinacea plants may help treat common skin concerns.

In a test-tube study, scientists found that echinacea’s anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties suppressed the growth of Propionibacterium, a common cause of acne (22Trusted Source).

In another study in 10 healthy people aged 25–40, skin care products containing echinacea extract were found to improve skin hydration and reduce wrinkles (23Trusted Source).

Similarly, a cream containing Echinacea purpurea extract was shown to improve eczema symptoms and help repair the skin’s thin, protective outer layer (24Trusted Source).

However, echinacea extract appears to have a short shelf life, making it difficult to incorporate into commercial skin care products.

May Offer Protection Against Cancer

Cancer is a disease that involves the uncontrolled growth of cells.

Test-tube studies have shown that echinacea extracts may suppress cancer cell growth and even trigger cancer cell death (25Trusted Source26Trusted Source).

In one test-tube study, an extract of Echinacea purpurea and chicoric acid (naturally found in echinacea plants) was shown to trigger cancer cell death (25Trusted Source).

In another test-tube study, extracts from echinacea plants (Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea pallida) killed human cancer cells from the pancreas and colon by stimulating a process called apoptosis or controlled cell death (26Trusted Source).

It’s believed that this effect occurs due to echinacea’s immune-boosting properties (27Trusted Source).

There was some concern that echinacea could interact with conventional cancer treatments, such as doxorubicin, but newer studies have found no interaction (28Trusted Source29Trusted Source).

That being said, human studies are needed before making any recommendations.

SUMMARY

Echinacea has been shown to improve immunity, blood sugar, anxiety, inflammation and skin health. It may even have anti-cancer properties. However, human-based research on these benefits is often limited.

Potential Side Effects

Echinacea products appear to be safe and well-tolerated for short-term use.

There have been cases where people experienced side effects, such as (3Trusted Source):

  • Rashes
  • Itchy skin
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath

However, these side effects are more common among people with allergies to other flowers, such as daisies, chrysanthemums, marigolds, ragweed and more (3031Trusted Source).

As echinacea appears to stimulate the immune system, people with autoimmune disorders or people taking immunosuppressive drugs should avoid it or consult their doctors first (3Trusted Source).

While it appears to be safe for short-term use, its long-term effects are still relatively unknown.

SUMMARY

Echinacea appears to be safe and well tolerated in the short term, but its long-term effects are relatively unknown.

Dosage Recommendations

There is currently no official dosage recommendation for echinacea.

One reason being that findings from echinacea research are highly variable.

In addition, echinacea products often may not contain what is written on the label. One study found that 10% of echinacea products samples did not contain any echinacea (32Trusted Source).

This is why you should purchase echinacea products from trusted brands.

That said, research has found the following doses to be effective in aiding immunity (11Trusted Source):

  • Dry powdered extract: 300–500 mg of Echinacea purpurea, three times daily.
  • Liquid extract tinctures: 2.5 ml, three times daily, or up to 10 ml daily.

However, it’s best to follow the instructions that come with your specific supplement.

Keep in mind that these recommendations are for short-term use, as echinacea’s long-term effects on the body are still relatively unknown.

SUMMARY

Echinacea products are highly variable, which makes it hard to set a standard recommended dosage. The dosages vary with the form of echinacea you’re using.

The Bottom Line

Echinacea has been shown to improve immunity, blood sugar, anxiety, inflammation and skin health. It may even have anti-cancer properties. However, human-based research is often limited.

It’s considered safe and well tolerated for short-term use.

Suggested dosages vary depending on the form of echinacea you’re using.

Although it’s commonly used to treat the common cold, results in this area are mixed. While research has shown it may help prevent colds, shorten their duration or provide symptomatic relief, many studies have been poorly designed or shown no real benefit.

That said, there aren’t many products like echinacea with similar potential immune-boosting effects, so it might be worth trying it out.

During the pandemic many medical professionals are recommending immune boosting foods like echinace, vitamin c and d. What are you taking? How has it worked for you? Why do you take what you do?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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COVID 19 Cases on the Rise: Your States Stats

covid 19 shidonna raven garden and cook

Source: Wavy 10 – Norfolk, VA, USA
WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — As coronavirus cases in the United States climb towards another peak, new daily cases have reached their highest point yet in 17 states, according to the New York Times.

On Thursday, new confirmed cases climbed over the 65,000 mark — a total the country hasn’t seen since the end of July. Additionally, we’re seeing cases rise in more than 45 states, according to a Times tracking tool.

The U.S. leads the world with 7.9 million coronavirus cases and some 217,000 confirmed deaths. Globally, there have been 39 million reported cases and 1.09 million confirmed deaths.Pfizer coronavirus vaccine won’t be available before Election Day, CEO confirms.

As the nation experiences a 25% increase in confirmed cases, here’s a look at the states that are seeing the highest percentage increases in COVID-19 cases:

States seeing case increases (by percentages):

  • New Mexico – Average of 457 cases per day, an increase of 123 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Vermont – Average of nine cases per day, an increase of 110 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • New Hampshire – Average of 78 cases per day, an increase of 101 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Montana – Average of 611 cases per day, an increase of 91 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Connecticut – Average of 326 cases per day, an increase of 80 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Indiana – Average of 1,655 cases per day, an increase of 66 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Wyoming – Average of 183 cases per day, an increase of 65 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Alaska – Average of 193 cases per day, an increase of 64 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Rhode Island – Average of 199 cases per day, an increase of 63 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Arizona – Average of 763 cases per day, an increase of 59 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Colorado – Average of 894 cases per day, an increase of 57 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Michigan – Average of 1,483 cases per day, an increase of 56 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Nebraska – Average of 767 cases per day, an increase of 55 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • North Dakota – Average of 610 cases per day, an increase of 54 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Ohio – Average of 1,654 cases per day, an increase of 53 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • South Dakota – Average of 653 cases per day, an increase of 50 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Mississippi – Average of 760 cases per day, an increase of 49 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Illinois – Average of 3,069 cases per day, an increase of 48 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Virginia – Average of 1,058 cases per day, an increase of 42 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Pennsylvania – Average of 1,362 cases per day, an increase of 39 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Tennessee – Average of 1,870 cases per day, an increase of 38 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Idaho – Average of 660 cases per day, an increase of 37 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • North Carolina – Average of 1,943 cases per day, an increase of 36 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • New Jersey – Average of 835 cases per day, an increase of 35 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • West Virginia – Average of 251 cases per day, an increase of 33 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Nevada – Average of 587 cases per day, an increase of 30 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • New York – Average of 1,329 cases per day, an increase of 29 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Washington – Average of 659 cases per day, an increase of 29 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Minnesota – Average of 1,312 cases per day, an increase of 28 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Kentucky – Average of 980 cases per day, an increase of 27 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Missouri – Average of 1,916 cases per day, an increase of 27 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Wisconsin – Average of 3,124 cases per day, an increase of 25 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Utah – Average of 1,216 cases per day, an increase of 23 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Alabama – Average of 1,027 cases per day, an increase of 21 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Oregon – Average of 345 cases per day, an increase of 21 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Massachusetts – Average of 663 cases per day, an increase of 20 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Kansas – Average of 788 cases per day, an increase of 19 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Florida – Average of 2,711 cases per day, an increase of 18 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Oklahoma – Average of 1,182 cases per day, an increase of 16 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Georgia – Average of 1,409 cases per day, an increase of 14 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Iowa – Average of 1,044 cases per day, an increase of 13 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • South Carolina – Average of 907 cases per day, an increase of 13 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Arkansas – Average of 911 cases per day, an increase of 11 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Maryland – Average of 589 cases per day, an increase of 11 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Texas – Average of 4,587 cases per day, an increase of 8 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Louisiana – Average of 543 cases per day, an increase of 7 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Delaware – Average of 125 cases per day, an increase of 5 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • California – Average of 3,285 cases per day, an increase of 2 percent from the average two weeks earlier.

States seeing case decreases (by percentages):

  • Hawaii – Average of 89 cases per day, a decrease of 17 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Maine – Average of 28 cases per day, a decrease of 9 percent from the average two weeks earlier.

Just when we think we are coming out of this pandemic and we struggle to get back to normal after the economic crisis that came along with the pandemic, we see many states still struggling with COVID 19 cases Norfolk, VA, USA included. While our cases continue to fluctuate our state is not one of the states that was hit the hardest by COVID 19 cases. We took a cautious and measured approach and it paid dividends. In fact as factors, such as going back to school and mere weather change, now have to be factored in, some of the European countries that were fairing better in the crisis are now seeing new and emerging struggles with COVID 19. COVID 19 has definitely taken its place in history. What solutions have worked well for your state? How are people adjusting to having to spend more times in doors, which has lead to less social distancing, due primarily to weather change and an increase in COVID 19 cases across the globe? What are you winter plans and how do you plan to maintain social distancing measures and keep your immune system strong? Remember, healthy is the New Normal! States such as Hawaii and California may likely fair better than other states like New York and Vermont where citizens will be forced to spend more time indoors in the warmth bracing against the cold winter weather while Hawaii and California can still take advantage of the fresh circulating air outdoors and easier means of social distancing.

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Making Echinacea Tincture and Tea

Processing Echinacea
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Now that some of you are growing your own echinacea plants, time to consume them and enjoy the medicinal benefits. The above video takes you through what one needs to do to make a tincture or tea. Basically, harvesting the leaves (clipping, cleaning, drying and braking into small consumable bits). Once your petals and leaves are prepared for a tea, all you need is a tea ball and you can enjoy your own home grown echinacea.

Which edible flowers do you like? Do they have medicinal benefits? How do the medicinal benefits contribute to your overall health? Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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For the Love of Lavender

Lavender Plant Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

We started most of our seedling early in the season inside our mini greenhouse, which is actually a garage with several windows. Lavender was one of the plants we started in our mini greenhouse. We started our seedlings in February just before the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic. Since the pandemic many people have begun their own gardens for a host of reasons. Since our growing season for the seeds we planted did not began until March we planted inside in February and then transplanted them into the outside garden when the season began. There are several benefits to growing in greenhouses. Many gardeners and farmers use greenhouses or some type of greenhouse system to lengthen the growing season. Indeed I have seen some gardeners and farmers growing in snow season. Our homes are a sort of greenhouse for the plants we keep indoors. The plants needs are not the same when they are inside or in some type of greenhouse structure. Richard Bray gives an excellent brake down of the greenhouse in their many forms in “Greenhouse Gardening” . What was most helpful about “Greenhouse Gardening” was understanding how to create an environment in which plants can grow indoors. Bray reminds us that plants have different needs than we do when indoors and that their needs change when they are indoors as oppose to outdoors. Read our review of “Greenhouse Gardening” to learn more. “Greenhouse Gardening” can be found here.

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greenhouse shidonna raven garden and cook
Mini Greenhouse
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Lavender was one of those plants we struggled with until we had a better understanding of how to care for our plants inside our mini greenhouse. She grew from a simple shoot into a shoot with several leaves. We re-potted her and brought her outdoors once the growing season began here in Norfolk, VA, USA. We were not certain if she would make it. But, these plants will surprise you. Just when you think they will not make it they come back in big and powerful ways. As you can see lavender has gown into a host of shoots with leaves and what we believe will grow into stems of lavender blossoms. We know a few people who like lavender so we kept sowing her until she grew into the large plant picture above. For gardeners and farmers alike the growing process can be one of trail and error even for the masters. Many have great difficulty growing lavender, so we were pleasantly surprise to see her flourishing. One thing to remember about lavender is to keep her well drained and sparsely watered. She does not like much water and her seeds must be properly prepared.

Did you know that besides smelling amazing lavender is an edible flower? Which edible flowers do you like? Many of us enjoy these flowers for their medicinal purposes (such as echinacea). Which edible flowers are your favorite? How do you eat them? We also know several tea drinkers. Share your comments with the community below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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COVID Wise App

covid 19 shidonna raven garden and cook

On Wednesday, August 5, 2020 Governor Ralph Northam announced the COVID Wise App, which can be found in Play Store and should also be found in Apple Store. Northam clearly stated that the app does not collect your data but you can voluntarily submit your data, we believe anonymously via the app. The purpose of the app is to inform you if you have been in proximity to someone who is COVID 19 positive. As governors across the US grapple with mixed messaging from our nations capital, they have been seeking solutions to combat what some have called a biological war. This is Virginia’s tool to combat the war on COVID 19. We encourage you to learn more about the app and to share your experience with the community.

Indeed the whole world is all in this together. Let us pull together. This app may not be available in your state however a comparable app maybe available. Contact your local authorities to discover what they are doing to prevent the spread of COVID 19. Authorities are also encouraging people to get tested for COVID 19. In Norfolk, VA, USA you can click this link to learn more about free COVID 19 testing. During these times we wish you and yours the best of health. There are other preventative measures one can take. Some doctors have reccomended taking vitamins and herbs (such as echniaeca as we learned here at Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook) that can build the immune system to increase one’s body ability to fight off disease.

Many healthy people have contracted this disease. There is still much to learn about this disease. We hope these resources are helpful to you and arm you, your friends, family and colleagues during these times. Remember to share your experience with COVID wise with the community here. How has this article helped you and yours? How has COVID 19 impacted your and yours? How have you and yours responded to COVID 19? Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Echinacea Flower Spotting

echinacea flower

As a reader one learns so much in such a short time. We were out and about shopping and spotted this patch of planted echinacea in a shopping center. What plants can you spot since you have begun reading? What do you know about echinacea having read these articles? Take a picture of a plant that you recognize and send it to us. We will post it and share it with the community. Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Take me home Echinacea

Echinacea shidonna raven garden and cook

We also got an update on Echinacea. She is also doing very well in her new home. We brought these plants out from the mini greenhouse to the outdoors (Sweet Basil & Echinacea). We re potted them into bigger take home pots. These pots will allow the plants to grow a little while before they need to go into bigger pots or outdoors. Both plants can get pretty big (several feet tall). Or they can remain in smaller pots with a smaller root system. Just because a plant stays indoors does not mean it needs to be small. These plants can be planted into larger pots and be allowed to grow big.

We are also looking forward to hearing some good stories about tea from Echinacea. It may be a while so stay tuned. It is said that it takes 2 years before Echinacea can be harvested for tea. Regardless both Echinacea and Sweet Basil have set us off on another worthy and good journey of good nutrition and good health. These simple plants can have transformative powers within and without of us. I have seen a canopy of plants transform a persons day from just another day to an adoring conversation over plants and water. What do plants do for you when you eat them? What do plants do for you when you grow them? How do plants affect your mood and health? As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Too Grow Echinacea

Growing Echinacea
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Caring & Growing Tips for Echinacea

We will be keeping up with Echinacea and Sweet Basil at their new homes and hope these tips and instructions will give them a successful move into their new homes. We miss you dearly and wish you much growth. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. To your Health.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Growing Echinacea

Growing Echinacea
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Harvesting Echinacea and Growing it are two different things. Before we can Harvest Echinacea let us first discuss how to growing it into a beautiful and delicious Harvest. What did you learn new from the video? How will it help you with your in and outdoor plants? What questions do you have? Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.