Thyme health benefits: a truly multi-purpose herb

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

(A video containing the main points outlined here is available here)

The thyme I am talking about here is Thymus vulgaris, the common or garden thyme. It’s a low growing, fairly tough plant that likes a sunny situation. It comes in the standard green leafed and also in variegated forms, which some people consider to be more attractive, but the important thyme oil (which is the source of all thyme’s…

Red Clover health benefits: for headache, nausea and skin care

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Red clover, Trifolium pratense, is also called Chilean clover, cowgrass clover, mammoth red clover, medium red clover, peavine clover, purple clover and sometimes shamrock (although this name is mainly used for other clovers). It is a member of the same family as beans and peas.


Like most members…

Poetic guide to blending essential oils

<em>Originally published on Guide to Aromatherapy</em>

This is a horrible bit of doggerel, but it might help when you’re blending essential oils to remember the way the aromas blend best. If you make a blend that smells awful, you’ll just be wasting time and money, because you are very unlikely to use it.

Chamomile Roman, chamomile blue
Geranium, jasmine, lavender too
Neroli, rose and violet
These are the members of the floral set.

Palmarosa, patchouli
Sandalwood makes number three
Vetiver, ylang ylang
These oils are in the exotic clan.

Benzoin, camphor and fir needle
Frankincense, galbanum, myrrh
Add vanilla to complete the scene
Seven oils, all made from resin.

Star anise and both the bays
Black pepper, cardamom, clove

Herbs, oils and tips to boost brain power and fight mental fatigue

Forget about ginkgo. Although often referred to as a brain booster, research has shown that it doesn’t have any greater effect than placebo. There are herbs and essential oils that do help, though, and some of these are listed here.

Please note that herbs and essential oils are medicinally active, and as with all medicines, not all of them are suitable for everyone, especially during pregnancy. Follow the links for more detail about contra-indications and usage, and never exceed the stated…

Home Remedies for Heartburn (Acid Reflux)

Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, is a very common and often very unpleasant ailment which is triggered when the lower oesophageal sphincter above the stomach opens up and stomach acid backs up into the oesophagus. The sensation resulting from this can feel as though someone has lit a small bonfire in your chest, and it’s burning its way up to your neck.

Heartburn is a minor ailment, however unpleasant, but if it continues for a long period it can lead to conditions…

What is 5-HTP and why should I be taking it?

5-hydroxy­tryptophan or hydroxy L-tryptophan, to give it its full name, is an amino acid which is produced by the metabolism of tryptophan, an essential amino acid found in dairy, meat, potatoes and some other vegetables. It is not readily available from food.

5-HTP is probably better than tryptophan as a supplement, because it eliminates one of the steps in serotonin production and has fewer side effects. However, if you suffer from digestive problems like heartburn, nausea or diarrhea, or you start having vivid dreams or nightmares, it…

Olive oil in aromatherapy

Originally published on Guide to Aromatherapy

Olive oil is extracted from the fruit of the tree Olea europaea, which has been cultivated since the time of the Ancient Greeks. The oil has been used in cooking and beauty preparations since it was first cultivated.

Olive oil is sometimes used as a carrier oil, but more often as a carrier oil additive. In either case, you should choose olive oil of cosmetic grade, which has been selected to be less…

Home Remedies for Urinary Tract Infections and Cystitis

A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) (usually called cystitis in the UK)  is a painful reminder that when nature’s system of excreting liquid from our body goes awry, it makes everyone very uncomfortable.

UTIs happen when pathogens (usually E.coli bacteria) get into the urethra (the tube along which urine passes out of the body from the bladder). There are various ways this infection can occur, but whatever the cause the result is the same – pain and misery.

The bacteria attach to the walls of the urethra and bladder. Left untreated the infection may travel farther up the urinary system all the way to…

Bilberry health benefits: for circulation and eye health

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

The bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus syn. V. m. oreophilum, V. oreophilum and V. yatabei), is also known as blaeberry (mainly in Scotland), dwarf bilberry, European blueberry, whinberry or whortleberry. It’s closely related to various blueberries, cranberries and some huckleberries.


Bilberries grow on a deciduous shrub which reaches a height of about 20cm (8in) and a spread of 30cm (1ft), prefering moderate shade and moist soil, though it will tolerate…

Announcing Frann’s Alt.Health Shop

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

I’m pleased to announce that my new online shop, Frann’s Alt.Health Shop is now open for business.

In actual fact, the shop opened on 1 November, but now I’ve added loose herbs, herbal teas and blends, remedies and lots more. I hope you like it.

Why not take a look at my range of herbs and herbal teas or remedies right now?

I’m really excited about this new venture 🙂 I hope you…