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The Wild Foods Blog

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Filtering by Category: tea

Ginkgo Biloba Health Benefits to Memory, Energy, and Mood Booster

Mike Rothschild

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Often referred to as Maidenhair, Ginkgo Biloba has been popularly used in China since ancient times to treat an abundance of ailments. The University of Maryland Medical Center reported that Ginkgo Biloba is one of the oldest tree species still living on Earth. Due to it’s well-known health benefits, Ginkgo Biloba remains a top-selling herbal medicine worldwide.

A vast amount of studies and tests have proven Ginkgo Biloba to have antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, be beneficial in the formation of platelets, and be one of the best treatments to boost circulation.  

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5 Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba

 
  • Increases Concentration and Sharpens Memory

Ginkgo combats poor concentration and can heal fatigue. Over-fatigue can lead to tiredness and mental block, making productivity hard to achieve. Ginkgo is known to treat cerebral insufficiency like confusion, headache, low concentration, mood swings, and decreased or sudden change to usual physical performance.

A study conducted by the University of Munich, Institute for Medical Psychology, showed that adults who used Ginkgo had a positive boost to their mental capabilities.

  • Reduces the Risk of Alzheimer and Dementia

People who are experiencing cognitive decline, like those with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), can use Ginkgo to improve their brain performance. While it is most commonly beneficial to age-related decline, it can also be used by young adults, possibly for preventative measures.

  • Fights Depression and Anxiety

If you are one to suffer from depression, anxiety, mood swings, or nervousness - Ginkgo can help. This plant balances and fights stress hormones. Popularly called an adaptogen herb, it naturally relaxes the body and mind.

  • Fights Post-Menstruation Syndrome (PMS)

There are studies conducted that show the positive effects of Ginkgo on PMS. Aside from memory improvement, Ginkgo can reduce PMS symptoms such as muscle pain, mood swings, fatigue, headaches, and anxiety.

  • Maintains Vision and Improves Eye Health

Ginkgo has been known to have a positive effect on blood flow, particularly to the eye, thereby improving vision and eye health. Unrestricted blood flow is important to any area of the body because nutrients and healthy oxygenated cells are carried by the blood during delivery. This reduces oxidative damage, which can harm the retina, cornea, and macula in particular. This is particularly important for adults who have impaired vision due to old age.  

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Ginkgo Side Effects and Warnings

Ginkgo leaf extract is safe for most people, provided it is taken in the correct dose. If not, this can cause minor side effects like dizziness, stomach upset, allergic reactions, headache, constipation, and palpitations.

The Ginkgo pulp and fruit can cause severe allergic reactions, as well as irritations to mucous membranes. People who are allergic to poison ivy, mango rind, cashew, shell oil, and poison sumac can get the same allergic reaction to this plant.

Moreover, the Ginkgo leaf extract can also increase the risk of bleeding and bruising. This is due to Ginkgo’s ability to thin the blood and decrease the production of new blood clots.

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Strawberry Leaf Health Benefits: Anti-Inflammation, Purifies Blood, and Improves Digestion

Mike Rothschild

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Not only is strawberry a delicious fruit, but it is also packed with essential vitamins and minerals that promote a healthy bod. Strawberry leaf, in particular, contains vitamins and trace minerals like Vitamin C, Iron, and Calcium. Iron is especially important in the role it plays to treat anemia by improving red blood cells and the production of hemoglobin.

Strawberry leaves are sometimes extracted, mixed with other ingredients, and processed to make food supplement tablets. Most commonly, the leaves are dried and used to relieve gastrointestinal problems and joint pains. Below are five common uses for strawberry leaf.

5 Health Benefits of Strawberry Leaf

1. Promotes Healthy Digestion

Strawberry leaves contain a compound called tannins. Tannins are biomolecules that reduce acidity caused by the foods that we eat. An overly acidic gut causes a host of issues such such as bloating, cramps, and gas. Drinking strawberry leaves (usually in the form of tea) cure the stomach from such ailments. In addition, strawberry tea has a high diuretic property as well. This stimulates urination, treats diarrhea, and aids in intestinal or urinary tract problems - respectively.

2. May Treat Arthritis Symptoms

If you are one to suffer from arthritic symptoms, then you are one that knows how excess water in the joints has many harmful effects. The leaves of the strawberry fruit contain an acid called diuretic caffeic acid. This substance plays an important role in removing water from the joints, which reduces inflammation in both the joints and bones and alleviates pain caused from it. In addition to causing one of the chronic symptoms of arthritis, which is joint inflammation, excess water also causes the joints to become stiff and difficult to move. Drinking strawberry leaf tea can reduce symptoms caused by arthritis and lead you on a path to comfort and pliable joints.

3. Purifies the Blood

Strawberry leaf is known to be high in iron, which is essential to the formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin. In addition, the abundant amount of antioxidants and ascorbic acid help purify the blood by fighting free radicals and reducing bad cholesterol. By doing this, not only does this purify the blood, but also the body and mind by creating a balanced body that is both relaxed and soothed.

4. Protect From Inflammation

According to research, strawberry leaf contains a constituent called ellagitannins, which may help prevent inflammation and other ailments. 

In addition, many find drinking tea to be a relaxing and calming experience. It is widely known now that one of the strongest links to any and every ailment is stress. By drinking tea, you may reduce your levels of stressed caused from work or other life situations.

5. May help with High Blood Pressure

Strawberry leaf is known to have vasodilatory effects. Vasodilators are substances that help dilate blood vessels. Nitric oxide is one example of a vasodilator and is typically found in spinach. Vasodilators work by relaxing the muscles and allowing for better blood flow. By doing this, the heart works less and pumps more blood.

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How to Drink

Strawberry leaf tea is especially delicious to drink in the summer time served over ice with some mint leaves and a dash of honey. You may also consume it warm in the winter with lemon and honey.

*This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product, or included information, is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

Berries for Health: The Beneficial Effects of Blackberry Leaves

Allison Bingham

The use of berries in daily life is nothing new. Berries of all kinds are used to make jam, blended in smoothies, diced up for desserts, and are even utilized as a salad topper. Some of the most sought-after are blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Although less popular, blackberries are anything but less potent or beneficial.

Interestingly enough, blackberries were almost non-existence on supermarket shelves in the early 1990’s. Due to the berries firmness and excellence in shelf-stability, a demand was established and has been growing ever since.

Berries are high in antioxidants, which protect from free-radicals and prevent oxidative damage. Blackberries are loaded with Vitamin K, C, and manganese and are also comprised of protein, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and vitamin A. Blackberries are a superior choice of fruit when considering sugar and carbohydrate intake and even keto friendly!

Blackberries are not only delicious, but have a multitude of health benefits. Let’s find out how blackberry leaves can improve your happy, healthy bod.

THE TRUTH ABOUT BLACKBERRIES

Cognitive and Motor Function

Studies have shown that diets high in fruits and vegetables (with their polyphenolic compounds), not only reverse, but inhibit age-related degeneration of motor and cognitive function. Berries, in particular, beneficially impact human health, disease, and performance in profound measures. Blackberries themselves have a direct impact on balance and coordination, improving motor functionality.

Brain games, such as crossword puzzles, are often recommended by doctors to prevent long-term and working memory loss as people age. So too can blackberries be added to this recommended list, for they have been proven to improve working (short-term) memory function.

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Oral Health

A recent study in the Journal of Periodontal Research establishes the benefits of blackberries antibacterial properties in the treatment and prevention of gum disease. Blackberry extract is linked with blocking the disbursement of cancer cells and has the greatest antioxidant capacity compared to blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

Blackberry leaves have also been used in the treatment of sore throats and mouth sores and promote overall oral health.

Bacterial and Viral Aid

Blackberries are high in gallic acid, rutin and ellagic acid (a known chemopreventive) with antibacterial and antiviral properties. The blackberry plant and leaves are highly astringent, making it an effective treatment for diarrhea. Infusions are used to treat diarrhea, while decoctions are used to treat diarrhea and hemorrhoids.

Boiled blackberry leaf extract is a great cure for diarrhea and the high vitamin content gives the immune system a much needed boost.

Treatment of Open Wounds or Lesions

One traditional use of blackberry leaf is to treat open wounds, lesions, or bruises. The antibacterial properties of blackberries fight off bacteria and infections and speed up recovery time. A poultice or compress can be used as an effective treatment for external wounds.

Anti-Cancer

Antioxidants have been known to prevent the proliferation of cancer cells. As previously mentioned, blackberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of berries measured against raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries. Due to the abundance of these free-radical scavenging constituents, blackberries have shown significance in destroying free-radicals that harm cells and lead to cancer, as well as blocking the production of new cancer cells from forming.  

Digestion

Blackberries are a high-quality source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which is essential for the digestive tract to perform optimally. Insoluble fiber promotes water absorption in the large intestine and the consumption of both fibers encourages regular bowel movements and freedom from constipation.

HOW TO USE BLACKBERRY LEAVES

Blackberry leaves may either be used as a tincture, decoction, or infusion. These are used to treat sore throat, mouth, and diarrhea, and other illnesses mentioned above.

Tinctures are ONE teaspoon twice a day, while two to three teaspoons are required for an infusion of blackberry leaves. They are best mixed with a cup of freshly-boiled water and given 20 minutes to cool. Drink an infusion three times and a decoction once per day.

CAUTION WITH BLACKBERRY LEAF

The tannins in blackberry leaves have caused some controversy as being fairly toxic. These constituents are also found in red wine and tea. Though some may worry, the dilution from milk or water is significant enough to alleviate concern. It should be noted that women who are pregnant or nursing, as well as children under the age of 2, should avoid blackberry leaf in any form.

Check out our blackberry leaf in the Wild Shop!

Why We Should Love Roses Even More

Mike Rothschild

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Roses might just be the most loved of all flowers, but they are one of the healthiest flowers too. Sure, we know they are majestic, but some of us might not know how versatile this flower is. Aside from making girlfriends swoon, Roses can help with skin care, improve air fresheners, and make baths more relaxing.  With over 100 species, a rose with any other name would still be as healthy.

Smell of Spring All Year Round

Rose scent is shown to enhance moods, help with relaxation and even make sleeping easier. Whether you want to smell like roses or make your house feel like the first day of spring with the scent of roses filling the air, rose petals will get the job done.

As decoration, you can float rose petals in bowls of water. To add a more romantic touch, you can add floating candles to go with them. Then, of course, there is the traditional rose petals sprinkled on the table top.

While your room smells like spring, get into the spirit by using a facial mask made of rose petals. You can make your own mix using rose petals soaked in 3-4 tablespoons of water for 2-3 hours. Mash the petals into the water and add honey before applying on your face. Leave it on for 15-30 minutes, rinse with cool water, and keep your face fresh like the first day of spring.

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Health and Beauty Benefits of Roses

  • Helps maintain the pH balance of the skin.
  • Assists in eliminating excess oil
  • Offers to reduce redness caused by skin irritation with anti-inflammatory properties
  • Helps reduce acne, dermatitis, and eczema
  • Aids in keeping the pores free from oil and dirt.
  • Keeps the skin refreshed with hydrating and moisturizing properties
  • Can be used to facilitate healing of scar, cuts, and wounds
  • Helps in the regeneration of skin tissues and strengthening of skin cells.
  • Promotes relaxation with its mood-enhancing scent.
  • Fights dandruff and reduces inflammation of the scalp.
  • Conditions and revitalizes the hair.

Rose as Food

It’s no surprise that rose is edible. Although we only see a rose in our tea ingredients, rose can also be added to food and even dishes. But take note that the rose we are talking about is not the pesticide-laden rose they sell in flower shops.

Rose tea is known to have calming effects. Some also add rose petals to give green tea a great flavor. Rose petals can also be sprinkled on fruit salad to achieve balance. If you are more of a food preservative, rose petals make a lovely jam, either with other fruits like strawberry or on its own.

The many uses of rose is probably a reason why it symbolizes love.  The flower itself takes good care of the skin, and even overall well being. If you’re the type to add a romantic touch to your food or your beauty ritual, the rose is probably your favorite flower by now.

The Medicinal Wonders of Lavender

Mike Rothschild

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Lavender has been everyone’s favorite, not just because of its invigorating, fresh floral scent, but also because of its many uses. The lavender scent exudes cleanliness and calm;  that’s why lavender can be seen on the lists of ingredients of many products ranging from perfumes and beauty products to soaps and air fresheners. The many uses of lavender make it essential to have in your home.

The most common form of lavender is Lavandula angustifolia and it’s where we get the color lavender. Almost forty plants can be classified as lavender and can be traced back to Europe, Africa, and Asia. Lavender grows and spreads so fast it is considered a weed in some places.

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Uses of Lavender

  • Surprisingly, lavender has found culinary use in salad dressings, honey, sauces, and beverages. In some cultures, it is also used as a spice to add flavor to dishes.
  • When the leaves and flowers of lavender are grounded, the natural compound left can be topically applied or brewed as tea in order to help soothe anxiety and balance your mood. The antioxidant that lavender contains has been found to lower the levels of stress hormones, hence the therapeutic effect.
  • For the longest time, Lavender tea has been trusted by many cultures in helping to get a restful sleep. This flower has shown to help relax, clear the mind and induce sleep. This makes it an important oil to use in aromatherapy.
  • If you take lavender flowers and put them in a mixture inside a spray bottle, it will make a good spray to protect your skin against psoriasis, eczema, and acne. Lavender helps relieve irritated and dry skin.
  • One of the many unpopular uses of lavender is to help treat wounds, as it has antiseptic properties. Its leaves can be crushed and applied to wounds to help facilitate healing and avoid further infections.
  • Struggling with a solution to hair loss? Look for lavender based shampoos. Lavender tea mixed and applied to your hair can be a more natural and effective alternative. It works by keeping the hair follicles healthy.
  • Secondary to its relaxing effects, lavender may help reduce blood pressure, thereby decreasing the risk of stroke and heart attack. This benefit can be attributed to the antioxidant that lavender contains.
  • In some cultures, lavender leaves are chewed or brewed as a tea to alleviate stomach discomforts like bloating and cramps. This effect is a result of polyphenols found in lavender. This same substance can also prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

Lavender does have many uses. The most important uses are: its positive effects on people’s mood; prevention of skin irritations; infections and inflammation; and helping to ease bloating in the stomach. What makes lavender great to use is that lavender-based products are readily available everywhere. They can be acquired and prepared easily. See? Lavender is not just another wonderfully smelling plant.  It’s a plant of many medicinal wonders.

*This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product, or included information, is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

Beyond the Laxative: Senna Leaf’s Many Less Known Uses

Mike Rothschild

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Perhaps there is no other more widely and commonly used ingredient for bowel cleansing than the Senna Leaf.  It is considered by many as their go-to solution for constipation. Secondary to its benefit in bowel movement, Senna became one of the secrets in weight management. Beyond these benefits, there are lesser-known uses of Senna Leaf, including hair and skin care.

Origin of Senna Leaf

Senna is a plant from the legume family, Fabaceae. It bears flowers that are mostly yellow, though some are pink. The plant originated from North Africa and the Middle East. It can also be found in temperate regions of India and China. Globally, it is widely available in the form of tea bags, loose tea, capsules, tablets and even liquid extracts.

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Common Uses

If you spend hours in the toilet trying to relieve the waste from your system to no avail, Senna Leaf is the readily available answer and is highly recommended. It works against constipation, due to the presence of anthraquinones, a compound that produces a laxative effect.

Senna Leaf is also a favorite among weight conscious people. It is an essential support to low fiber diet to avoid constipation that the diet can cause. It also helps increase fluid intake, and it cleanses and detoxifies the digestive system. All these could result in increasing metabolism and nutrient absorption which are the important processes in weight management.

Skin Care Benefits

Senna contains oils, resin, and tannin. These are essential oils that are known to ease skin inflammation associated with burns, ringworms, and wounds. Other helpful contents that can be found in Senna are acetone and ethanol. These substances are antibacterial and can be used to prevent and treat acne and other skin infections.

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Hair Care Benefits

Have you been trying numerous products without getting the smooth, shiny and strong hair that you want? Senna might just be your next hair care ingredient. When you mix Senna powder with water and yogurt, you get a natural hair care paste that is easy to prepare, is skin-friendly, and might just yield the result you’ve been aiming for.

Aside from the benefits of Senna in keeping healthy and shiny hair, it can also be used as a natural highlighter. It creates a subtle shade of ash blonde and lighter shades to the hair.

The effects Senna has on the hair includes conditioning, strengthening and thickening. However, it also helps maintain a healthy scalp by preventing the occurrence of dandruff. A healthy scalp means less hair loss.

With all these great benefits, Senna is a wonder herb which can be an important part of your overall health care habit. It is rare to find an herb which can be used to ease digestion problems, maintain healthy bowel movement, cleanse the body from excess fat, and can also be used in addressing skin and hair problems like acne, eczema, and skin inflammation.

The Many Medicinal Uses of Hibiscus

Mike Rothschild

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Hibiscus is a lovely flowering plant that comes in different colors including yellow, white, peach, and most commonly red. Its flowers can grow as wide as 6 inches. The red hibiscus is popularly used for its many medicinal wonders.

Historically, many cultures across the globe used Hibiscus to treat different conditions, and they have continued to do so:In Africa, many people have used Hibiscus tea to relieve constipation and cold symptoms. They have also used it against cancer and liver disease. Egyptians have used Hibiscus tea to aid in lowering body temperature and also to help treat heart and nerve diseases. Europeans have used hibiscus to support upper respiratory health, relieve constipation, and maintain healthy circulation. In other cultures, people have used the leaves to facilitate healing of skin wounds. Some have even used them  for hair care.

The hibiscus found in herbal drinks comes from the pods that form when the flower finishes blooming. However, the hibiscus flower itself can be made into tea when dried. Hibiscus tea has a sourish taste; because of this, some people like to add sugar or honey to the mix.

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Hibiscus Tea and Its Effect on Cholesterol

Studies have been conducted regarding the effects of hibiscus tea on the body’s cholesterol levels. In 2014, clinical trials showed an increase in good cholesterol after consuming hibiscus tea or extract.  Although more studies are needed to prove this effect, it has already been established that hibiscus contributes to the good results in cholesterol levels.

Hibiscus and High Blood Pressure Prevention

In 2010, it was found out through a study that drinking hibiscus tea lowered blood pressure of people who were at risk for high blood pressure. The participants in the six-week study were instructed to take 8 ounces of hibiscus tea daily throughout the duration. A significant decrease in the systolic blood pressure was noted in the participants who took the hibiscus tea. Another study was also conducted and yielded a significant decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

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Hibiscus and Healthy Metabolism

Building upon years of research and studies on hibiscus, a recent discovery found that hibiscus extract may have contributed to healthy metabolism, thereby making it a great use against obesity and fat build-up.

Flower Power: The Nutritional Composition of Hibiscus

The many medicinal wonders of Hibiscus are attributed to the antioxidant contained in it. Anthocyanin is an antioxidant, and it causes the red coloration of the hibiscus petals. The same substance can be found in berries and red wine. Hibiscus tea contains no calories or caffeine.

Research about the effects of Hibiscus on the overall health is expanding. More and more studies support the many medicinal uses of Hibiscus. It has become a popular choice in many cultures to remedy different conditions, from skin wounds and heart conditions to hair and skin care. In addition to tea, various types of products that contain Hibiscus as an active ingredient have also been formulated, including capsules, supplements, and extracts.

The Healing Power of Calendula and How to Prepare Calendula Tea

Mike Rothschild

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The beauty of Calendula alone could heal (a tired mind, that is). Calendula is very relaxing to look at. The yellow petals are like rays of the sun. It is a bright and lovely flower. On top of that, this flower contains actual healing properties.

Calendula is native to the northern Mediterranean countries. This annual flower got its name from its ability to bloom with the calendar. It usually blooms with every new moon. In some parts of the world, this flower is called pot marigold, which is a tribute to the Virgin Mary. Calendula could be seen in Catholic events honoring her. In the Hindu culture, they adorn their temples with this flower. Historically, calendula was considered a food and could be found mixed with soup and rice.

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Calendula’s Anti-inflammatory Property

 The anti-inflammatory property of Calendula is a result of the flavonoids it contains. Flavonoids are antioxidants found in plants that help protect the cells from free radical damage and other compounds that cause inflammation. Another substance found in high concentration in Calendula is linoleic acid. Because of its powerful anti-inflammatory property, Calendula is used to help alleviate inflammatory conditions including dermatitis, ear infections, diaper rash, cuts, and sore throats.

Now that the healing power of Calendula has been established, it’s time to know how to prepare the most common form of calendula available in the market - Calendula tea. These are the few methods of preparing Calendula tea:

  • Simmer the dried flowers in water. Put one to two teaspoons of dried calendula flowers in a mug. Then add one cup of hot water. Let the tea steep for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Simmer the fresh flowers in water. Place the fresh flowers into a jar. Pour hot water over the flowers. Let the tea simmer. Wait for the tea to be cool enough to drink 
  • Let the fresh flowers infuse under the sun. Place the fresh flowers in a jar. Dried flowers can also be added. Pour cold water into the jar. Leave the jar under a sunny area for five to six hours.

Calendula tea can be used as a gargle in order to ease sore throat or as a mouth-rinse to relieve blisters inside the mouth or inflammation of the gums. For topical use, calendula tea can be sprayed into a clean cloth and applied to the inflamed, itchy or scratched skin. This is also ideal for application on babies’ skin if they experience diaper rash. Even acne breakouts can be prevented by washing the face with calendula tea. This flower has so many uses.

Indeed, Calendula is not just a beautiful flower but also a healing one. It is not just full of bright color but also of beneficial antioxidants. It can be decorative and can also be medicinal. Calendula sure is a flower that contains the best of both beauty and function.

*This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product, or included information, is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

How Strawberry Leaf Can Help Improve Digestion

Mike Rothschild

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Strawberry tastes delicious. If you love the fruit, you will love the leaf even more. The many uses of the strawberry leaf are widely known and practiced globally. The leaves of strawberry plants contain various medicinal uses because they contain nutrients and minerals which are excellent for the body. One of the health benefits of the strawberry leaf is its wonderful effect on digestion.

A long time ago, people used strawberry leaves in traditional medicine. Currently, because more and more people are seeking natural remedies, a number of researches and studies involving the health benefits of this valuable leaf has been done. Most of them suggested positive results in the digestive system, as well as other health benefits.

How is Strawberry Leaf Prepared?

 The most commonly seen form of strawberry leaf is the strawberry tea. The leaves are usually dried and used whole or in fragments with other leaves and flowers. Other common forms are tablets and capsules. They are produced when the nutrients are extracted and are combined with other ingredients.

Nutritional Composition of Strawberry Leaf

The health benefits of strawberry are found in the many minerals and nutrients it contains, including a rich variety of phytonutrients, such as polyphenolic antioxidants belonging to the following nutrient groups: flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans, tannins, and stilbenes. It is an excellent source of iron, calcium, flavonoids, antioxidants, potassium, Anthocyaninellagic acid, Vitamin A, C, E, and manganese.

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Effects on Digestion

The most common use of strawberry leaf tea is to improve digestion. Tannins, bio-molecules in strawberries, binds together proteins, amino acids, alkaloids and other compounds that have a low pH or acidic substance in order to avoid excess stress on the digestive system. Balancing the acids and bases in the digestive tract is the key to relieving gastrointestinal distress.

Drinking strawberry tea may help alleviate stomachache or bloating caused by excess air and acids, or stomach cramps from stress. And because of its diuretic property, it can be used relieve diarrhea and other intestinal and urinary problems.

Strawberry tea can be a good digestive tonic to help maintain a healthy digestive system.

Why is the digestive system important?

Digestion begins with the food. In the digestive system, saliva contains enzymes which break the food down into forms that can be absorbed by the body through the blood system. Then the process continues with nourishment and energy being distributed to the cells all over the body. Healthy digestion is critical in maintaining immune regulation and cellular processes. Consequences of a poor digestive system include bloating, diarrhea, constipation, iron deficiency, candida, food allergies, psoriasis and even arthritis.

Although strawberry leaf is normally available in form of tea, it is also available in tablets, capsules, and can even be eaten whole like a salad. So, if you are looking for a natural way to maintain digestive health, the strawberry leaf is one of the most accessible ways of starting your healthy routine. Brew some strawberry tea, and enjoy a happy tummy.

Wild Spiced Matcha Latte

Mike Rothschild

Warm and aromatic, your favorite fall flavors in a soothing cup of hot matcha!

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces steaming water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter
  • 1 teaspoon Wild Matcha #2
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Wild Vanilla Powder (or vanilla extract)

Directions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or in a quart-sized mason jar
  2. Insert an immersion blender or frother.
  3. Blend until smooth and frothy. 

Enjoy right away. 

The Time-Proven Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba

Allison Bingham

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The Ginkgo tree is known for its very characteristic fan-shaped leaves and distinctly unattractive scent. With leaf fossils dating back 270 million years, the Ginkgo tree is the oldest tree species. A single tree can live upwards of 1,000 years and grow to 120 feet in height. According to botanist Peter Crane, the Ginkgo is considered a “living fossil” as the seed attachment to fossil is practically unchanged from modern versions of the plant.

The uniqueness of this plant does not stop there, though. The Ginkgo plant is one of only five living seed plants and is the only one of its species. Compared to flowering plants, with over 350,000 species, Ginkgo is vastly different with no known relatives and truly one-of-a-kind.

With a lineage that dates back to the prehistoric era, it's surprising to learn that Gingko has only been cultivated the last 1,000 years. The Ginkgo tree originated in China, where the nuts (primarily) and roots are used not only as a food source but in Chinese medicine. The tree is now widely planted and cultivated around the world from Seoul to Manhattan (where it can be found abundantly as a street tree).

The first Westerner to record (and possibly encounter) the Gingko was Engelbert Kaempfer, an employee of the Dutch East India Company, in 1692. Upon his return from the southern Japanese trading station, he documented his experience and was the first to use the word - Ginkgo - in Western literature. It would be nearly 75 years before the plant made its way to the West as well.

When looking to use Ginkgo in alternative medicine, you will find differing forms across the globe. The seeds are most widely used in China for medicinal purposes, whereas Ginkgo biloba found health stores in America comes in an extract from the leaves - a Western phenomenon.

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Ginkgo has more than 40 known components, with two in particular that have medicinal properties: flavonoids and terpenoids. These constituents specialize in protecting the nerves, blood vessels, heart muscle, and retina from damage.

Flavonoids are plant-based antioxidants that are responsible not only for giving plants their vivid color, but also attribute to the potent anti-inflammatory properties. They are proven to be beneficial to the immune system and may even prevent cancer and neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.

Terpenoids, on the other hand, are known for dilating blood vessels and reducing the stickiness of platelets, thereby improving blood flow.

These constituents make the use of Ginkgo Biloba extremely beneficial for a myriad of ailments. Let’s now discuss how Ginkgo can benefit you.

Prevent and Treat Dementia and Alzheimer’s Symptoms

The previous assumption was that improved blood flow to the brain was responsible for why Ginkgo Biloba was helpful in treating symptoms associated with dementia. Recent studies are now suggesting the herb works by protecting nerve cells that are typically damaged with Alzheimer's patients.

Currently, there is no known cure for Alzheimer's, but Ginkgo’s herbal use can delay the onset of these diseases and alleviate symptoms by improving cognitive function, social behavior, and even diminish feelings of depression.

Improve Intermittent Claudication

Intermittent claudication is irregular intervals of cramping pain in the legs (induced usually by exercise) that is caused by arterial obstruction. With a known terpenoid component, Ginkgo Biloba is a vasoactive agent and can improve blood flow to the legs by dilating blood vessels and reducing sticky platelets.

A meta-analysis of eight randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind studies concluded an increase in pain-free walking distance, favoring the use of Gingko Biloba.

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Treatment of Eye Ailments

Research in neuroprotection represents an avenue therapy of frustrating diseases that prove unresponsive even to optimal treatments, one, in particular, being glaucoma. Due to the particular interest, the field of research is expanding rapidly.

Glaucoma is a disease of the eye where the anterior chamber drains fluid poorly. This puts progressive pressure on the optic nerve, leads to the loss of retinal ganglion cells, and can result in permanent vision loss. In fact, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness. Early detection is crucial, but what’s even scarier is there are no symptoms of the disease and is diagnosed as early as age 40.

A 2012 study stated, “Ginkgo has been proven to act at the mitochondrial level, by stabilizing the inner membrane and increasing the membrane potential, restoring the respiratory chain and increasing ATP-production.” What’s interesting, is that the effectiveness was heightened with aged individuals.

In addition, Ginkgo has potent anti-inflammatory properties and has the capability to reduce the activation of inflammatory response cells. Inflammation is now known to be the leading cause of all diseases and ailments, so naturally neurodegenerative diseases would have a certain inflammatory component. When cells become inflamed they produce degradative molecules and the antioxidant component of Gingko Biloba can reduce upregulation and control inflammatory responses.

Methods of Preparation

As stated previously, Ginkgo seeds are most widely used in China, but Western studies are prevalent in the use of Ginkgo leaves in the form of a tincture.

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To make your own tincture, mix 150g of dried Ginkgo leaves with 500ml vodka. Store in a dark space for one month, making sure to shake the substance at least once daily. After the 30-day mark, the leaves can be drained and pressed of any remaining liquid and then stored in a glass container.

Ginkgo can also be obtained beneficially as a tea. To brew, use 1 tsp of loose dried leaves with 8 ounces of water at 200 degrees and let steep for 3-5 minutes. To brew cold, add 1 tsp to 8 ounces of water and steep in the fridge for 12-24 hours. Add honey and lemon for taste or enjoy the raw goodness.

Get your Gingko leaf in the Wild Shop today!

Disclaimer: Ginkgo leaf extract is recognized as generally safe, with no excess side effects reported. It has been known to cause some minor side effects and interactions with certain drugs cannot be ruled out. As a general precaution, check with your physician before using and discontinue two weeks prior to any elective surgery.

The Benefits of Jasmine

Allison Bingham

Jasmine is a vining or shrub-like plant that worships the sun and can be found abundantly in the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, Europe, and Africa. Her flowers are either white or yellow and in rare instances, slightly reddish. The precise origin is under debate as some botanists argue Jasmine is from India, while others claim Egypt.

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Known botanically as Jasminum officinale, this shrub belongs to the Oleaceae family and is comprised of approximately 600 species. The name “jasmine” is derived from a Persian word meaning “fragrant flower” and is the primary reason the plant is so widely cultivated. The aroma is captivating and heavily sought after.

The Jasmine plant is unique and has flowers that bloom only at night. Jasmine tea is made of Jasmine flowers added to dry tea leaves for consumption. In preparation for tea-making, unopened flowers are removed and stored overnight in a bag where they open and scent the dry leaves. Pretty neat technique!

While Jasmine flowers are most popular for their fragrance, they also offer a wide variety of health benefits and can be consumed as a tea or essential oil. Here are some benefits and uses you can obtain from using Jasmine:

Strengthen the Immune System

Jasmine contains active compounds (flavonoids, phenolics, and saponins) that have high antioxidative and immune boosting properties. When consumed by humans, saponins assist the immune system to protect against viral, fungal, and bacterial assault. Antioxidants are powerful free-radical scavengers and lend help to repair oxidized (damaged) cells, effectively strengthening the immune system.

A strong immune system prevents simple infections such as the common cold or flu but also ensures a life devoid of disease, cancer, and other ailments. At Wild Foods, we are huge proponents of food as medicine and anything that supports health and longevity gets two thumbs up from us!

Cancer Prevention

Several species of Jasmine are said to have anti-carcinogenic properties. Carcinogens are substances capable of causing cancer in living tissues. Quite disturbingly, they are found everywhere, including foods you eat, products you apply to your skin, and clothes you put on your children.

The base of most Jasmine tea is Green tea (the flowers are added for flavor) and Green tea is abundant in polyphenols, which are a known cancer-preventing compounds. While current studies are still ongoing, the Methanolic extract from Jasmine flowers has caused inhibition of cancer cell growth.

Wound Treatment

Jasmine is known to be very effective as an antiseptic or disinfectant and may be used as a topical ointment for open wounds. With constituents like Benzoic Acid, Benzaldehyde, and Benzyl Benzoate, Jasmine has high germicidal, bactericidal, and fungicidal properties. When applied externally, wounds are prevented from becoming septic and the possibility of contracting tetanus is eliminated.

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Scar Recovery

Jasmine essential oils are used primarily in the cosmetic industry for the sweet aroma, but their therapeutic properties are a huge bonus (say hello, women)! Jasmine oil is a known cicatrisant and highly effective at treating and eliminating scars. Cicatrisant means skin or wound healing and works on a cellular level to repair damage and stimulate cellular proliferation.

This is especially important for new or soon-to-be mommies, as Jasmine oil can diminish the appearance and prevent the onset of scar tissue. You may have earned your tiger stripes, but with Jasmine oil, you can heal them right up!

As a Calming Sedative

Sleeping pills are one of the most frequently prescribed psychotropic drugs on the market with benzodiazepines (a type of sedative) topping the most prescribed drugs overall. Benzodiazepines (like Xanax) are highly addictive (given the typical prescription length) and cause serious side effects such as lack of coordination, dizziness, slurred speech, blurred vision, and confusion.

Skip the sleeping pills and drink some Jasmine tea. Studies have proven the mere scent of the jasmine flower is equally effective as sleeping aids in enhancing the inhibitory neurotransmitter known as GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is essential for deep sleep and is responsible for calming down brain activity and inducing the onset of sleep.

As an Antidepressant

Jasmine is advised in the treatment of depression and anxiety for not only the calming effects but for its capability to uplift and please the spirit. Jasmine’s aromatic effect stimulates specific hormones, like serotonin, which boost energy and mood.

While the serotonin-depression link is nearly 50 years old and seems increasingly implausible, serotonin does facilitate in every appetitive, autonomic, cognitive, emotion, and motor behavior. Low levels of serotonin can present within these systems as depression or other unwanted conditions.

As an Aphrodisiac

The fragrance of the jasmine flower is also believed to react with other human hormones that help improve the function of the sexual organs. In fact, some communities in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent decorate the bride with jasmine flowers and spray the bridal room with jasmine essential oil to enhance the wedded couple’s libido!

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Female Reproductive Health

In general, the Jasmine plant helps balance hormone levels and improves bodily functions. With known emmenagogue properties, Jasmine helps regulate period cycles and provides relief from other symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle, such as mood swings and hot flashes - particularly for women undergoing menopause.

Jasmine oil is also a Galactagogues and uterine tonic. Uterine tonics tone and strengthen the tissues of the entire reproductive system and galactagogues are substances that increase milk flow. Jasmine oil is a wonderful natural remedy to boost and strengthen female health.

How to Use

Jasmine can be used as a tea or an essential oil, both of which are safe for consumption, and the oil can be used topically as well.

As mentioned before, the jasmine flower is suffused in dry tea leaves (typically green) to become a beverage. To make your own Jasmine tea at home, simply combine our Jasmine flowers with Sencha green tea. Scoop 1 tsp into 8 ounces of boiling water and steep for 2-3 minutes.

The ratio of tea leaves to flowers will depend solely on your preference for aroma. A 1:1 ratio will yield the most fragrant Jasmine tea. (Click here to try our Green Jasmine tea blend.)

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Disclaimer: Always test for allergic reactions before using Jasmine for treatment. If you are pregnant or nursing, consult your physician before incorporating Jasmine into your routine.

Not Just Flavorful: The Medicinal Value of Strawberry Leaf

Allison Bingham

With a statistic like this - a whopping 94% of US households consume strawberries - a description of this delicious fruit is certainly unnecessary. Strawberries are one of the most widely used fruits in desserts and pastries and are even occasionally acceptable on a ketogenic diet!

Wild strawberries are native to the United States, with California producing 75-80% of the nation's yearly yield. The strawberry plant plays a vital role as a colonizer and soil stabilizer in newly developed areas, therefore special care must be taken during harvest to ensure longevity.

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While the fruit is abundant in vitamins and flavor, it is the health benefits of the leaves that takes the focus today. By itself, the strawberry leaf has its own mild, fruity flavor and is harvested throughout the spring and summer, particularly during blooming for the most aromatic taste. Strawberry leaves are typically dried and combined with fragments of stem and flower particles.

Despite a lower popularity compared to its fruit body counterpart, the strawberry leaf is packed with nutrients and constituents that make its consumption as a tea extremely beneficial to the body. Here are some you can use this fantastic fruit leaf to promote a happy, healthy bod.

IMPROVES THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

Strawberry leaf tea is often consumed to relieve an upset stomach from diarrhea, reduce bloating, and soothe feelings of nausea. Most commonly, it is taken to soothe the digestive system from any other form of gastrointestinal distress.

Strawberry leaf contains condensed tannins, which are biomolecules that bind to proteins, alkaloids, and amino acids, among other compounds, with a low pH that causes digestive distress and disruption. Tannins are polyphenolic compounds that once bound to a protein, renders it resistant to enzymes.

ALLEVIATE ARTHRITIC SYMPTOMS AND CONDITIONS

Strawberry leaves are high in caffeic acid - a compound proven to exhibit antioxidative, anti-tumor, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory properties - all of which alleviate the symptoms of various arthritic conditions.

Arthritis is the general term used to define joint pain or disease and is a typical indicator of osteoarthritis, which is the degeneration of joints through daily wear-and tear. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune condition that occurs when the bodies immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. For both conditions, the soft tissue surrounding the joints retain excess fluid and invariably cause inflammation.

In addition to containing caffeic acid (which reduces inflammation in the joints), strawberry leaf is one of the highest sources of vitamin C (which further helps reduce inflammation).

PROTECTS AGAINST MACULAR DEGENERATION

Most people think of carrots when they think of beneficial foods for eye health, but in a study published in Archives of Ophthalmology, fruit was the leading prevention of age related macular degeneration (ARMD). Those who ate only 1.5 servings of fruit per day were 36% more likely to develop the condition than those who ate 3 servings per day.

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PACKED WITH MICRONUTRIENTS

As previously mentioned, strawberry leaf is one of the highest sources of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) which supports many restorative functions. It is essential in the repair and regeneration of tissues, it protects against heart disease, aids in the absorption of iron, prevents scurvy, and decreases the total amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body.

Strawberry leaf is also high in iron and calcium. Iron aids in the eradication of stress and fatigue from various causes, while strengthening the immune system against different kinds of diseases, and calcium is vital for optimal bone growth.

HOW TO PREPARE

Strawberry leaf is usually consumed in the form of a tea, which can be made easily at home. Simply steep 1 TSP dried strawberry leaves in 8 oz boiling water for three to five minutes, let cool, then enjoy. Add honey or lemon to sweeten for taste.

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(Click here to check out our strawberry leaf in the shop.)

Consumption in its raw form is harsh and generally advised against. Strawberries are a known allergy for some and its use should be heeded.

Calming Down with the Passion Flower

Colin Stuckert

Passion flower, known botanically as Passiflora incarnata L. and a part of the Passifloraceae family, is equally flamboyant in appearance and unique for the benefits. It’s almost alien-like in appearance, but quite striking, with five stamens and three stigmas that protrude from the center, resembling antennae.

Passion flower is most widely utilized in the US and Europe for its supreme calming effects.

Traditional use can be dated back to prehistoric times and today there’s a long-established application to help reduce anxiety, hysteria, and other nervous mental ailments. Some studies have even found that while it didn’t treat mental disorders as quickly as certain drugs, it did so with a reduction in side effects that drugs usually induce on the consumers.

Most parts of the herbaceous plant are used in the treatment of different conditions, including its leaves, stems, and flowers. The intake of passion flower raises the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical in the brain that induces relaxation, thus making the herb an effective solution for the alleviation of several conditions, such as the following:

Anxiety

Passion flower is believed to activate brain receptors that induce relaxation, thereby lowering anxiety in patients. As already mentioned, certain studies have found that the plant was just as effective as oxazepam in treating symptoms of the disorder. While it took a few days longer (seven versus oxazepam’s four), job performance was not hindered as with the drug.

Insomnia

Especially anxiety-induced insomnia and for those diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the relaxing effect that passion flower induces can help patients get better sleep quality. It is important to note, however, that long-term effects of the herb are still unknown.

High Blood Pressure

Passion flower extracts are presumed to be able to lower blood pressure, but those who take it should be wary of possible interactions with other blood pressure-lowering medications as this might cause the blood pressure to drop too low. We advocate the use of all-natural treatment remedies, but always consult your doctor before making any changes to your treatment program.

Menopause

By activating the brain receptors responsible for relaxation, passion flower extracts can help alleviate the experience for menopausal women, particularly with regards to symptoms such as hot flashes, irritability, anxiety, and depression.

ADHD

One study found that the use of passion flower matches the effects of usual ADHD medication and with considerably less side effects. The study admits its limitations, however, and further studies of larger capacities should still be carried out.

Diabetes

Taking passion flower supplements has been proven to improve blood glucose control in diabetic patients.

Passion flower is available in many consumable forms including tinctures, liquid extracts, teas and infusions – which can easily be made by steeping a teaspoon of dried herbs in hot water for 5-10 minutes.

You may also try different combinations of the passion flower and other herbs such as valerian root and St. John’s wort or chamomile flowers for added benefits. For additional flavor, we recommend adding some honey.

Passion flower is recognized as generally safe for consumption, but it is still important to consult a specialist before taking a dose of passion flower, especially for children. Interactions with other treatments, such as sedatives and blood thinners should also be considered. For women who are pregnant or nursing, the intake of passion flower is not advisable.