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Healthy Happenings July 2011


Moonflower Market - Natural Alternatives

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I look down at my legs riddled with bruises and scratches from the previous days outing. Having taken one too many lumps from the wall my legs are tender and sore in addition to the blue hue of my bruises. It’s the expected outcome of playing with elements that do not bend. I find myself repeating the same sun salutation in hopes of finding relief for my tight sore muscles to no avail. There wasa time when I would have simply ignored the discomfort, going about my day coping with the aches but, with time comes wisdom and the understanding that life is only as good as you make it. For relief I look to my medicine cabinet where an arsenal of salves and soaks awaits me. Wise Raven Herbs, owned by Jen Goff, and Shining Mountain Herbs are my choice brands.

Photo of Arnica Oil productsWise Raven Herb products are produced with organic, locally-grown and wild-crafted herbs whenever possible and in small batches. The entire line is made in Moab and can be found gracing the shelves of Moonflower Market as well as The Moab Farmer’sMarket every Saturday. Shining Mountain Herbs are a regional company from Ridgeway Colorado. Most of the herbs used in their products are grown on their family farm high in the Rockies. They use organic and sustainable growing practices.

I decided a soak in the bath will be my first approach. Epsom salt baths are an age old remedy dating back to 1618 from the small town of Epsom England. A villager by the name of Henry Wicker stumbled upon the mineral rich water which would later be promoted as medicine aiding in the relief of stress, soothe sore muscles and soften skin in addition to other health benefits. Epsom salts are made up of the compound magnesium sulfate which both play an essential part in our bodies functions. Magnesium helps regulate enzyme activity in the body as well as, keeps bodily functions running smoothly. Over half of the American population is deficient in magnesium. Sulfate aids in the formation of brain tissue and joint proteins. Epsom salt baths are a great way to restore magnesium and sulfate in the body because they are easily absorbed through the skin. It is recommended by some doctors to soak three times a week for 15 minutes.
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I draw my bath and take in the aroma of rosemary, peppermint and ginger. Wise Raven’s sore muscle soak is a blend of the above essential oils, St. John’s Wort and Calendula. Each of these ingredients is essential in the healing process.
St. John’s Wort is an herb whose flowers and leaves are used for medicinal purposes dating back to the ancient Greeks and receiving its name from the time of year it blooms, June 25th, the birthday of John the Baptist. The word “Wort” is the old English word for plant. St. John’s Wort is commonly used to treat depression but, it is also a known anti-inflammatory.
Calendula is a bushy, bittersweet, salty herb that blooms from spring to autumn. Its flowers range in color from yellow to orange ray petals. Calendula’s medicinal properties show it to be most effective to help heal wounds and promote the development of granulation tissue. Calendula is an effective anti-inflammatory and is useful in treating most skin problems ranging from eczema to athletes foot. Its benefits are bountiful.

Photo of St. John's Wart productsEmerging from my bath I decide to finish my regimen with Shining Mountain Herbs Arnica salve. Arnica is one of my favorite for bruises and sore muscles. It is considered to be one of the most renowned trauma remedies. It quickly repairs damaged blood vessels and reduces swelling in addition to eliminating pain. Arnica is a genus belonging to the sunflower family. Its name is of Greek origin meaning lamb. But, let it be known that this dainty flower packs a big punch. Apply it topically to the effected area or take it orally for chronic and or reoccurring injuries.

Retiring to my bed for the evening I am confident that tomorrow will be a pain free day. Having tested these remedies time and again I encourage any and all to enjoy the benefits of these herbs. You can find the entire line of Wise Raven Herbs and Shining Mountain Herbs at Moonflower Market, along with several herbal and homopathic remedies for sports medicine. Our knowledgeable staff is eager to answer your questions!

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