Are you loving your heart?

February is Heart Month!

Are you loving your heart?

Why should you love your heart?

Do you put your heart at risk?

Consider these facts according to the American Heart Association:

  • >2150 Americans die of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) each day, an average of 1 death every 40 seconds!
  • Coronary heart disease alone caused ≈1 of every 6 deaths in the United States in 2010
  • Even though it is on a decline, CVD is the Number 1 killer in America!
  • In 2010, coronary heart disease alone was projected to cost the United States $108.9 billion.
    (This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity)
    Heart Disease kills more women than men.
  • Obesity, Smoking, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Poor Diet, Excessive Alcohol Use, Lack of Exercise, and STRESS are all risk factors of Heart disease.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Circulation.2014; 129: e28-e292Published online before print December 18, 2013, doi: 10.1161/​01.cir.0000441139.02102.80.

Your heart beats approximately 100,000 times a day, pumping 2,000 – 5,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels to nourish the body with blood and oxygen.  As many as 14 million Americans suffer heart problems that result from compromised blood flow to the heart.  The heart can’t function properly when it doesn’t get adequate oxygen and nourishment.

Problems with your circulatory system  may include:

  • Angina
  • Arrhythmias
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse

What can you do to love your heart?

  • A good diet that is rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, high quality protein, and fiber.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Minimize stress in your life.
  • Quit Smoking!  Need help?  Ask us!
  • Avoid excessive use of alcohol.
  • Choose the herbs and nutritional supplements that are right for you.

Supplements for the Heart

Cardio Assurance
A blend of heart-benefiting ingredients designed to protect your heart from disease and damage and prevent the death of heart cells.

It contains a large array of nutrients to support the entire circulatory system—arteries, veins, capillaries and the tissues and organs they service.

Oral Chelation Program

Not only supports the body’s efforts to regulate blood pressure, it enhances waste elimination and boosts immune, heart and brain functions.

Liquid Chlorophyll
This is the green pigment in plants that harnesses the sun’s energy in photosynthesis. Chlorophyll performs metabolic functions in plants such as respiration and growth.

Contains 30 mg of Co-Q10 per capsule, along with zinc, copper, magnesium, capsicum, fruit and Ginkgo biloba leaves.

For other heart healthy supplements see our NSP site HERE

Heart friendly Herbs:
Blessed Thistle, Hawthorn Berries, Holy Basil, Linden, Mother Wort, Red Clover

Heart friendly Essential Oils:
Cinnamon Leaf

Single Herb Order Page


Heart Chakra

“anahata chakra”


the fourth chakra

Associated with the heart and the thymus.


Located in the mid-chest area, it is also the Center which joins the higher and the lower chakras.

Blocked: it can cause cardiac problems.


Blocked: Feelings of loneliness, isolation, hatred, and aloofness.

Open: unconditional love, the ability to see the past and our memories as an opportunity to heal. Our challenges are lessons and we experience a sense of the interconnectedness to all things.

Remember to Love Your Heart!

Dr. Charlotte Test
Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner
Doctor of Naturopathy

This information on this website of The Herb Peddler has not been evaluated by the FDA. The information provided by The Herb Peddler is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cureany disease. We at The Herb Peddler are not responsible for the results of your decisions resulting from the use of the information, including, but not limited to, your choosing to seek or not to seek professional medical care, or from choosing or not choosing specific treatment based on the information.
If you have any medical health care questions, please consult a professional medical provider.

– See more at:

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Hormone Balance Naturally for Women

Natural Hormone Balance

taught by Charlotte Test, ND, MH

By now most women will personally know or at least heard of someone that had taken drastic measures to remedy female reproductive organ health problems or hormone imbalances.  Hysterectomies had long become a common solution for female ailments.  Now, just as radical, mastectomies have become a solution not only to remedy problems but also as a prevention.  Are these dramatic efforts necessary?  Well that depends upon the person needing a solution.  If effort is put into not only maintaining but enhancing health, amazing results can be expected.  As Doctors of Naturopathy, we are not here to replace your medical practitioner but rather are here to help you have need of their services less.  It’s about empowerment… We’re here to educate you in how to bring about balance in health and well-being, and to remedy problems before taking drastic irreversible measures.

Now Let’s Bring Balance

First things first… A toxic liver can interfere with hormone balance!  A poor diet can as well.

  • Detoxification with Chinese Tiao He Cleanse **
  • Basic nutrition support.
  • Get to bed early!

Hot Flashes

  • Melatonin1 and Zinc (acts as a catalyst) **

Studies show melatonin is hypothermic (reduce body temperature).  It modifies the function of the thyroid and adrenal cortex.  It is for short-term use only.  It can also help men with prostate enlargement/inflammation/infection.

  • Black Cohosh
  • Red Clover (our favorite)
  • Kava Kava (great for night sweats)
  • GLA (gamma linolenic acid) – Evening Primrose, Borage, Black Currant Oil
  • Magnesium
  • Alfalfa
  • American Ginseng
  • Aromatherapy – Rose, Peppermint
    • Hot Flash Massage – 10 drops Clary Sage, 10 drops Geranium, 5 drops Lemon mixed with 50 ml Super GLA.  Massage onto abdomen.
    • Hot Flash Spritz – 6oz. distilled water, 4 drops Clary Sage, 3 drops Roman Chamomile, 3 drops Geranium, 1 drop Pine, 2 drops Peppermint, 2 drops Lemon

See our website or come to our shop for these items.

Excess Progesterone

Use estrogenic substances for balance:

  • Black Cohosh
  • Evening Primrose
  • Red Clover (we like this best!)
  • Soy (non-GMO in small amounts, do not use if allergic)
  • Aromatherapy – Geranium
  • Be sure your cholesterol levels are not too low!

See our website or come to our shop for these items.

Excess Estrogen – pesticides can contribute to this

  • Wild Yam cream
  • Wild Yam
  • Chaste Tree (Vitex)
  • Blessed Thistle
  • Red Clover

See our website or come to our shop for these items.

Tonify Uterus

  • Red Raspberry
  • Blue Cohosh

See our website or come to our shop for these items.

Puberty -  to help stop the crankiness and provide hormone balance for boys and girls

  • Red Rapberry
  • Blessed Thistle

See our website or come to our shop for these items.


Heavy Bleeding

Could be from excessive estrogen, deficient progesterone, low thyroid, physical problems with the uterus such as endometriosis.

  • Yarrow
  • Bayberry
  • Capsicum
  • Red Raspberry
  • Yellow Dock and Alfalfa to restore blood iron levels.
  • Menstrual Reg

See our website or come to our shop for these items.

Cramps – slight cramping is normal, due to release of oxytocin

  • Magnesium
  • Ginger
  • Yarrow
  • Dong Quai
  • Detoxify the liver

See our website or come to our shop for these items.

PMS – there are five types of PMS (A, B, C, D, H) 2

General, for all types – Magnesium, B6, GLA, Zinc

Type A – high estrogen/low progesterone: nervous tension, irritability, mood swings, anxiousness, quick start of period, heavy, clotting. Liver congestion.

  • Detoxify the liver – Chinese Tioa He Cleanse
  • Progesterone cream – Pro G Yam cream
  • B6, Magnesium, GLA, Monthly Maintenance

Type B – high progesterone:estrogen ratio: stressed, mood changes and irritability, aggressive rather than depressed, weight gain, swelling of hands and feet and breast tenderness.

  • Vit C with bioflavonoids.
  • Reduce sodium (salt)
  • Include a natural diuretic such as celery or Juniper berries in your diet.
  • Kidney support – Kidney Activator, JP-X

Type C – low prostaglandin production: food cravings (chocolate, sugar), hypoglycemia, headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations.

  • Licorice root
  • Super Algae
  • HY-A
  • Magnesium
  • GLA

Type D – low estrogen:progesterone ratio: depression, cry easily, memory problems, confusion, insomnia.

  • Magnesium
  • Detoxify heavy metals, especially lead.
    • Use Heavy Metal Detox
  • Chinese Mood Elevator
  • Super GLA
  • SAMe

Type H – Elevated aldosterone: fluid retention, bloated abdomen, breast tenderness, weight gain. Too much sodium and/or alcohol in the diet.

  • Diuretic herbs – Kidney Activator, JP-X.
  • Vitamin E
  • GLA
  • Magnesium
  • Black Cohosh
  • Red Clover (the best!)

See our website or come to our shop for these items.

What else can you do?

Avoid synthetic hormone use such as in birth control.  There is potential for harmful side effects.  There are safer alternatives.  If using them for balance you may be masking a problem that can be resolved by getting to the root cause such as toxic liver as mentioned earlier.  Avoid excessive consumption of sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol, and unhealthy fats such as trans-fats found in hydrogenated and partially hydrogenate oils.  Don’t totally avoid fats and cholesterol in your diet.  Just chose healthy sources of them.  You need these to manufacture hormones for your body to function in balance.  Don’t forget to drink plenty of purified water (I recommend distilled) and get proper amount of exercise and sleep!


Breast Health?

Yes, there is such a thing as improving breast health.  First, knowledge is power.  The steroid hormone, estradiol (your body’s strongest estrogen) is released by your ovaries and it binds to receptors in your breasts to increase cell division.  Harmful xeno-estrogen can also bind to these receptors because there is a similarity between xeno-estrogens and the natural ones that we make.  All steroid hormones are derived from cholesterol.  Estrogen, though, is unique among the steroid hormones because it has a phenol as a component.  Testosterone and progesterone do not have this.  What can be the problem with this?  Xeno-estrogens such as petrochemical by-products (organo-chlorines and pesticides), which get into the food chain also have a phenol component.  These chemicals can be found in much of the food we eat and eventually concentrate in our own fat.  What does this mean for your breast health?  When these xeno-estrogens bind to the receptors in your breasts, this blocks the receptors from your own natural estrogen.  The effects from these xeno-estrogens binding to your receptors can include the development of breast and uterine cancer in women, testicular and prostate cancer in men, infertility in both women and men, and changes in the reproductive and hormone systems not only of adults, but of unborn children too!

Now to take action…

To avoid breast health problems a healthy diet of organically grown foods is a must.  However, the harmful chemicals are in our environment, meats that we eat, and water we drink.  Some healthful things you can do to protect yourself from their effects include adding fiber to your diet since it absorbs toxins.  Add antioxidants to your diet which includes vitamin C, E and beta-carotene, and the minerals magnesium, zinc and selenium.  Take the proper calcium for your pH*.  Herbs providing phyto-estrogens can help.  If you are allergic to even the non-GMO organically grown soy, use Red Clover.  Breast Assured is a nutritional product we carry on our website that you can take to help protect your breasts.  Breast cancer does not need to run in your family to take precautions.  Every woman has at least some risk.

Extra TidBit

How does Wild Yam work?

Wild Yam does not contain progesterone nor does it convert to progesterone in the body.  However is does contain a substance called diosgenin which is used to product synthetic progesterone.  This may provide the body with a substance to manufacture progesterone.  Wild Yam is also antispasmodic making it useful for cramping during ovulation or periods.  It’s also anti-inflammatory.

Contact us for our very own herbal tea “Monthly Comfort”.  Many women use this tea to bring about harmony and balance naturally!

Please realize the information in these pages is for your educational experience and to provide you opportunity to further explore healthful benefits for your own health and wellness.  This information is not meant to diagnose, cure, or treat diseases nor replace prescriptions.


*For info on pH and herbal remedies please contact me.

If you live in the Gettysburg area, please consider setting up a personal consultation!

Charlotte Test, Naturopath



  1. Melatonin Extra # 2830-4
    1. Helps promote the body’s natural sleep rhythm; Possesses antioxidant properties and many benefit the immune system.

** See our website for details

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Herbal First Aid Kit for Fall and Winter

Herbal First Aid Kit for Fall and Winter

An herbal first aid kit can be as extravagant or as basically simple as you want it to be.  Try to choose a variety of herbs that can be used alone or synergistically blended that gives you the most uses as possible.  The herbs below are such a selection.  The uses given are especially helpful during the Fall and Winter months.


catnip, chamomile, elder flowers or berries, peppermint, stinging nettle, sweet basil, white willow, yarrow


To use combine 1 teaspoon of herb or herbal mixture to 1 cup of boiling water.  Steep 5 minutes.  Strain.  Drink 3 cups per day or as needed.


*Stinging Nettle


*Elder Flowers, Peppermint, Sweet Basil, White Willow, Yarrow.  Combine 1/2 teaspoon of each herb.


*Catnip, Chamomile, Peppermint, Sweet Basil, White Willow.  Combine 1/2 teaspoon

of each herb.


*Chamomile, Peppermint, Sweet Basil.

Combine 1/2 teaspoon of each herb.


*Elder Flowers, Stinging Nettle, Sweet Basil, White Willow.  Combine 1/2 teaspoon of each herb.



Do not boil catnip.  Simply add 1 teaspoon of it to 1 cup of hot water.  Steep 3 to 5 minutes and strain if desired.



Store your herbs in sealed glass or plastic containers.

Herb Supplier

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Allergy Season Here Again!

Allergy season is a bit early this year!  A mild Winter and early Springtime weather brings plant life to bloom distributing pollen in the air.  For those finding themselves suffering from those familiar allergies symptoms, it can be frustrating even for just one season per year.  For other folks allergies are a year round predicament!  Never fear, there is hope for those interested in taking the natural approach to dealing with their allergies.
Taken from our previous Allergy Season post…

  • More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year
  • Nearly 55% of all US citizens test positive for one or more allergens

What is to blame?  There are many sources of allergens.

  • Pollen, which comes from many different plants, is a chronic irritant to many people and contributes to seasonal allergies and hay fever.
  • Mold and mildew from both inside and outside your home can cause allergic reactions in many people.
  • 52% of households have at least 6 detectable allergens!
  • Animal dander, dust mites, mold, scented candles, cleaning products, cigarette smoke

And don’t forget the other common sources such as food you are eating!

  • Milk and other dairy products create mucous throughout the body.
  • Foods not appropriate for your blood type can lead to reactions.  Do  you know what your blood type is?  Come see us if you don’t know.
  • Processed foods & sugars
  • Wheat, gluten, MSG, alcohol, medications

What are some other contributors to allergies?

  • Stress
    • Depletes vitamins
    • Weakens your immune system
  • Antibiotics
    • Leads to resistant bacterial infections
    • Kills good bacteria
      • 70% of immune system is stimulated by good bacteria so be sure to take probiotics daily
  • Poor digestive function, not breaking down foods properly, and poor assimilation.
    • Not enough enzymes

What are some of the allergy symptoms?  The symptoms are basically a natural immune response of your body.  It’s just that your body is reacting to something it should not be and this becomes a chronic cycle.

  • Cleansing mechanisms – watery and itchy eyes, runny nose, coughing, even a mild fever, diarrhea and bloating can be a response from food allergens.
  • Skin irritations, rash, hives, swelling, can also be due to allergies.

What can you do for allergies?  We’re assuming that your are reading this blog post because you are interested in natural remedies.  We are also assuming that you realize that the traditional allergy drugs bought over the counter or by prescription have an immediate effect, but have many dangerous side effects.  Have we assumed correctly?  Good because here is what you can do…

Of course you must avoid foods that you know cause a reaction in you.  After you have spent some time enhancing your health, you may possible go back to the food but why bother unless it’s a healthy food!  For example, if you give up sugar, why go back to eating it.

Eat right.  Not only avoiding those allergy foods but be sure to primarily eat healthy food.  Eating for your blood type is an excellent and simple guide to eating healthy and avoiding potential allergy causing foods.

Drink pure water.  We prefer steam distilled.  We recommend this to all of our clients and drink distilled water every day.  How much?  Take your body weight in pounds, divide this in half, this is the number of ounces of water to drink each day.  For example, if you weigh 140 lbs.  You should drink 70 ounces of water per day.  Not all at once!  Spread it out throughout the day.  If you weigh 200 lbs. or more, stick with 80 to 100 ounces of distilled water per day.

Exercise helps improve your health, immunity, and reduces stress.  Be sure you make time for yourself each day to exercise and de-stress yourself.

Herbs and nutritional supplements can be a vital force in overcoming allergies of all types (food-borne, airborne, and even contact).

Here are some popular supplements that support the respiratory system, the immune system, and contain natural anti-histamine ingredients and herbs such as stinging nettles.

Bulk herbs available in our store, The Herb Peddler:

  • Bee Pollen
  • Cat’s Claw
  • Elder Flowers
  • Hyssop
  • Kudzu Root
  • Mullein
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Yerba Santa

Herbal Supplements:

ALJ® (100 caps) 

•Helps soothe irritated tissues.
•Encourages the entire respiratory tract to gently cleanse itself.
•Assists the body in neutralizing allergens by nutritional means.

ALJ® [Respiratory] is the key product for the respiratory system. Airborne particles are everywhere. When particles enter the respiratory system via the nose or the mouth, the body turns on its cleansing mechanisms, and the immune system is put on active duty. Herbal nourishment supports a healthy respiratory system that can be challenged by inhaled irritants.

You may take ALJ every hour while symptoms linger.  Take along with Histablock prior to going outdoors if you are prone to seasonal allergies and/or hay fever.

HistaBlock® (90 caps)

HistaBlock® [Respiratory] supports the body in times of respiratory stress. A powerful combination of  stinging nettle, quercetin, bromelain and immature orange peel (which contains synephrine). HistaBlock provides nutritional support for the respiratory system.

Seasonal Defense (90 caps) 

Seasonal changes can be quite stressful to the body. That’s why it is important to support your immune system. Seasonal Defense combines andrographis with other immune-supporting herbs, including Fructus aurantia (six percent synephrine extract), thyme, oregano and eleuthero root for complete immune support.

Please see our Nature’s Sunshine site for a more complete and descriptive listing of these and other products to support and help you overcome allergies!  VISIT HERE

Don’t forget, we mentioned that you should have good digestive function and healthy good bacteria to help you avoid and overcome allergies.  By taking digestive enzymes and probiotics every day you can help yourself digest food better and improve elimination of waste.

For a detailed description and products list please see our product page on Digestive Health products.

We hope this information at least gets you started on your way to overcoming allergies.  YES, it is possible to overcome your allergies.  I did!!!

Nature’s Sunshine Products – ALJ webinar and web site.


In good health,
Charlotte Test, ND, MH

The Herb Peddler
Drs. Charlotte and Timothy Test, Naturopaths, owners




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Sacred Gifts ~ Myrrh

Sacred Gifts – Myrrh

Myrrh is in the same family as the balm of Gilead, referenced in the Bible.  It is familiar to most as one of the gifts of the Magi to the newborn Christ.  Since ancient times Myrrh has been prized for the many medicinal, as well as sacred, uses it has.  It is commonly used in its original resin form or as an essential oil.  Myrrh is obtained as the dried oleo gum resin of a variety of Commiphora species of trees.  The resin is secreted by the tree when the bark has been cut or injured into the sapwood.  In resin form or as a pure essential oil, Myrrh has been used internally and externally, alone or synergistically blended with other ingredients.

Other names:
Commiphora myrrha, Balasmodendron myrrha, Hirabol myrrh, Heerabol Myrrh, Mu-Yao.


Myrrh has a rich, smoky, and earthy aroma.  It is a favorite ingredient of natural medicines among all cultures going back to its early discovery in the far reaches of time.  A native to Ethiopia and Somalia, Myrrh has been used historically as long ago as 3000 BCE by the Egyptians for embalming.  Into the 15th century, Myrrh has been burned as incense during cremations and funerals to cover up the foul odors of the dead.  Myrrh was also used to anoint kings and to scent fabrics for use by those on a spiritual journey to holy places.  Myrrh is reported to be one of the key ingredients in the mythical Egyptian perfume Kyphi.  Like Frankincense, the ancient Romans considered Myrrh to be as valuable as gold, often using it as security for monetary debts.  Without a doubt Myrrh is one of the most famous natural ingredients in the world used by many cultures and religions for medicinal and spiritual uses.

Historical Uses:

Traditionally Myrrh has been used for the treatment of spasms and infections.  Its most common use medicinally is for oral hygiene as a mouthwash for treating the gums.  Today it is found in many natural brands of toothpaste and mouthwashes.  It is known for its soothing effect on the upper respiratory system relieving coughs and the symptoms of colds.  It is also known to be helpful in failure of menstruation and in chronic fatigue.  In addition to problems with the teeth and gums, Myrrh has been used for the digestive system and skin.  In Ayurvedic medicine, Myrrh is a desirable addition to the rasayanas for rejuvenation and disease prevention.  Myrrh Gum is commonly found to be a primary ingredient in many traditional Middle Eastern, Chinese, and Tibetan formulas, in addition to the numerous natural oral health remedies and salves for the skin.

Common Applications:

Myrrh gum has a stickier consistency than Frankincense tears.  Just as with Frankincense, Myrrh can be burned in a dish made for burning incense.  Soap-stone or a shell lined with a layer of sand provides a nice dish to burn Myrrh.  Myrrh essential oil can be diffused in an open diffuser as it is too thick and sticky for a nebulizer, unless it is mixed with other oils.  In aromatherapy, Myrrh, which is associated with inspiration, strength, and endurance, helps the individual move forward in their life both spiritually and emotionally.  It is considered to be centering and calming, as it instills mental tranquility.  Myrrh is used to impart peace as it helps to ease feelings of sorrow and grief.  In use during meditation Myrrh helps one to connect to their inner self and to the realization of dreams.  To use as a disinfecting external poultice for skin eruptions, chicken pox, bedsores, and minor cuts, a known herbal formula combines Myrrh with comfrey leaf, slippery elm, and lobelia.

Charlotte Test, ND, MH

The Herb Peddler – Gettysburg, PA


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Frankincense – A Sacred Gift


Other names:  Boswellia carterii, Olibanum, Indian Frankincense, Arabic Frankincense, and Salai guggal

Frankincense is a dried resin which comes from a species of Boswellia tree that is mostly found in Ethiopia, Egypt, and parts of Saudi Arabia.  Some of these trees are so hardy that they are found growing through rock.  When the bark of the tree is damaged or cut, the tree secretes this resin known as “tears”.  Frankincense, either the tears or the pure essential oil, is most valued for its aromatic fragrance making it a common ingredient in incense, perfume, and potpourris.


Frankincense has been traded for over 5000 years.  In ancient times it was often deemed a more precious commodity than gold.  The essential oil of Frankincense has been known far back into history for its amazing healing powers and benefits in aromatherapy.  For thousands of years in the Middle East, even before it was offered as a gift to the Christ child by the Magi, Frankincense has been used to enhance the ability to communicate with the Creator.  In addition to the Holy Bible including 52 references to Frankincense, Egyptian records report the use of Frankincense in cosmetics, perfumes and as an embalming agent.  The Chinese had found it to be a useful treatment for those suffering from leprosy.

Historical Uses:

The medicinal actions and uses of Frankincense include its use as a stimulant, relaxant, expectorant, and anti-inflammatory used externally.   Frankincense has been used for tumors, particularly of the breast and lungs.  In addition to the breasts, it has been used for a variety of female concerns such as inflammation of the ovaries and pain during menstruation.  Frankincense has also been used for respiratory complaints such as asthma, shortness of breath, sinus troubles as well as laryngitis.  It has also been used to help strengthen the immune system.  It was applied as a salve and liniment for rheumatism, wounds and athletic injuries.   Currently, clinical trials in Germany have shown health benefits observed in patients affected by rheumatoid arthritis, chronic colitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, bronchial asthma, and other diseases.

Emotionally and mentally, Frankincense has been found to be very beneficial in relief of depression while also soothing the nerves.  It has been found to reduce stress levels and to relieve irritability.  Frankincense has also been found to be very powerful in soothing the mind.  In fact, it’s been used quite often to soothe the mind to enhance meditation.  Its sacred uses in spiritual practice are well known among many religions such as Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism.

Common Applications:

Frankincense tears can be burned in a dish made for incense such as those made from soap stone, or in a sturdy sea shell with a layer of sand.  Once lit, the aroma that fills the air has an especially beneficial effect in balancing the emotions and mood.  The essential oil of Frankincense, a high quality grade that is commonly used in Aromatherapy, can be mixed with massage oil and massaged into the skin.  To benefit the respiratory system, Frankincense essential oil can be diffused in a nebulizing diffuser made for aromatherapy, or simmered in hot water so that the steam is able to diffuse the oil into the air.

Charlotte Test, ND, MH

You can purchase Frankincense essential oil and resin tears from


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Stomach Soother ~ A Healer’s Recipes

Oh My Tummy!
Try this Stomach Soother Tea

This works great when feeling nauseous.


  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Peppermint

Combine 1 ounce of each herb.

To Brew Tea:

  1. Combine 1 teaspoon of mixture with 1 cup boiling water.
  2. Steep 5 minutes.
  3. Strain.
  4. You may add honey and/or lemon to taste if desired.

To order these herbs in loose form for making teas visit our website

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Herb of the Week 10/16/2011 – Chaste Tree

Herb of the Week 10/16/2011 – Chaste Tree

by The Herb Peddler on Monday, October 17, 2011 at 10:39am

Chaste Tree Berry (also known as Vitex, Monk’s Pepper, Hemp Tree, and Chasteberry ) is indigenous to the Mediterranean region and parts of Asia. Traditionally the ripe dried berry is used to support women’s health while promoting balance in a woman’s cycle.  It provides soothing comfort for distressing symptoms of PMS.  Chaste Tree has properties that have a stimulating effect on the pituitary gland and increases lutinizing hormone (LH) and progesterone.  Chaste Tree can also be combined with Wild Yam for a female hormone balance synergistic formula.

Action: Bitter, Acrid, Cool

Common Uses: Helps balance the female cycle; hormonal balance (progesterone production, LH); mild mood changes & fluid retention associated with menstrual cycle; promotes reproductive health; reproductive tonic; menopause support; rosacea; hormone-related acne.

How to Use:  ½ – 1 teasp. per cup of boiling water. May drink 1 cup, 1 to 3 times daily. If desired, add honey and/or lemon to taste. NOT TO BE USED DURING PREGNANCY. MAY COUNTERACT THE EFFECTIVENSS OF BIRTH CONTROL PILLS.

If you have questions before taking Chaste Tree, please feel free to ask.

Charlotte Test, ND, MH

To order this herb visit our website.  If you have questions before using this remedy please let us know!


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Herb of the Week 10/9/2011 – Psyllium

Herb of the Week 10/9/2011 – Psyllium

by The Herb Peddler on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 7:41pm

What exactly is Psyllium?  Psyllium is the seed portion of the plant, which is used for its fiber content.  Psyllium husk is the dried outer shell of the seed.  It acts as a gentle cleanser and a non-stimulating laxative, which means no cramping.  Psyllium is commonly used to relieve occasional* constipation and to help sweep away the toxins in the colon.  It is a naturally abundant source of soluble fiber which makes Psyllium an ideal supplement to include in your diet.

Consuming adequate amounts of fiber, such as Psyllium is shown to significantly improve bowel function, digestive health and to support healthy cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels.   Indian researchers report that diabetics who take 5 grams (approximately 2 tablespoons) of psyllium husk powder 30 minutes before breakfast and dinner for 4 weeks experienced a lower fasting blood sugars level, a lower glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C), and a higher HDL (“good”) cholesterol level.

Common Uses: Colon cleaner; detoxifier; fiber source; occasional constipation; promotes regularity; gastrointestinal health; soothes intestines; stool softener; helps maintain cholesterol levels; maintains blood sugar balance.


Note: Psyllium seeds are often used specifically for bulking and absorption of toxins.  Psyllium husks are commonly used to “sweep” the toxins from the colon.

Take this product with at least 8 oz of liquid. Taking without enough liquid may cause choking or gagging. Do not take if you have difficulty swallowing.

* If you are have difficulties with chronic constipation, consider adding herbs to stimulate elimination such as Cascara Sagrada or Senna.  Psyllium alone may hamper success in relieving severe constipation.

Other Common Names: Flea Seed, Ispaghula, Isapgol, Plantago ovata, Plantago Seed


Charlotte Test, ND, MH

To order Psyllium, please see our website.  If you have questions before taking this herb, please feel free to ask us!


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Introduction to Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is becoming increasingly popular as a valuable way to promote both physical and emotional well-being by using essential oils extracted from plants.  The benefits have been known for ages, however, it was not given a name until the 1920′s when the term aromatherapy was coined in France.

Essential Oils

An Essential Oil is defined as a product obtained from natural raw material, either by distillation with water and steam, or from the epicarp (outer layer) of citrus fruits by mechanical processing, or by dry distillation.  Essential oils are frequently referred to as the “life force” of plants. Unlike fatty oils, these “essential” oils are volatile, highly concentrated, substances extracted from flowers, leaves, stems, roots, seeds, bark, resin or fruit rinds. The amount of essential oils found in these plants can be anywhere from 0.01 percent to 10 percent of the total. That’s why literally tons of plant material are required for just a few hundred pounds of oil.

Essential oils have a specific affinity for the nerve tissues of the body. The olfactory membranes located within the sinus cavity is the most immediate point of nerve contact with essential oils.  The nerve membranes contained in these membranes, are responsible for our sense of smell.  These nerves connect directly to the olfactory bulb which is a part of our brain that has direct connections to many other areas of the mind.

One of these connections is to the hypothalamus, the stalk of the brain that controls the pituitary gland, which in turn controls the rest of the glandular system.  Therefore aromatherapy is able to have a powerful affect on our endocrine system.

The sense of smell is also intimately connected to that part of the brain called the limbic system which is known as the area of memory.  The limbic system involves responses such as fight or flight, pain and pleasure, and perceptions of bad and good.  Because of this the sense of smell also has a powerful and immediate affect on both memory and emotion.

Because only natural plants are able to convey the whole complex set of signs and complete information, the essential oils used for Aromatherapy must be truly natural and genuine.

To protect these benefits of genuine essential oils, please store them in a dark-colored glass bottle (never plastic) that is protected from heat or sunlight.

Preparation for Use

Suggested Dilutions for Essential Oil Blends

Carrier Oil

Essential Oil


1% dilution


2% dilution

(general massage)

4% dilution

(concentrated, local massage)

1/2 ounce

1 Tablespoon

15 ml

3 drops

7 drops

15 drops


1 ounce

2 Tablespoons


7 drops

15 drops

30 drops


2 ounces

4 Tablespoons

60 ml

15 drops

30 drops

60 drops


Base/Carrier Oils

Grapeseed is a light, non-greasy fruit oil, free of scent; it is easily absorbed, inexpensive and available in most health shops and supermarkets.

Sweet almond is a nut oil, light with a mild fragrance.

Coconut, native to Polynesia and Malaysia the coconut palm produces a light nut oil with a mild fragrance, it solidifies when cooled but readily melts in a hot hand.

Applications of Essential Oils


The use of essential oils directly on the skin without diluting them first with a carrier oil. Essential oils that can be applied to the skin neat include tea tree and lavender.

Always carry out an allergy test by placing one drop of oil in a teaspoon of water and rub into the arm near the elbow. Wait for two hours. If irritation occurs, find an alternative oil. The same test can be carried out with any base oil although there is no need to dilute first.


Essential oil blends can be inhaled gently yet directly from the bottle for a quick emotional lift.

For a deeper and more powerful inhalation, place 6-8 drops of your chosen essential oil or oil blend in a bowl of almost boiling water. Place a towel over your head and inhale for 5 minutes.


Draw your bath, then add 10 drops of your essential oil or blend to the bath. Agitate the water in a figure eight motion. Soak for 15 minutes. For a lightly bubbly, cleansing bath, add 1 teaspoon of Sunshine Concentrate. For relaxation, detoxification, or the folk remedy for sore joints, you can mix the oils with 1/2 to 1 cup of Epsom salts or sea salt and add to your bath water. To spread the oils evenly in the bath water, use it lecithin. Or try a sitz bath with just enough water to cover your lower body, and add 5 drops of essential oil.

Many pregnant women experience lower back pain due to the extra weight and changing posture. A simple way to enjoy aromatherapy is an aromatic bath, which can be enjoyed from 12 weeks onwards. This can be one of an expectant mother’s greatest luxuries.

In a relaxing bathroom setting enhanced by candles and music, run a tepid bath. Before entering, add two drops of neroli and two drops of mandarin essential oil, dispersing them into the bath water by hand. Once in the bath, close your eyes and concentrate on deep, rhythmic breathing, positive affirmations and relaxation. One drop of lavender can also be added as an alternative.


The best way to properly diffuse therapeutic grade oils is to use a cold-air nebulizing diffuser. I offer  quiet, high quality nebulizing diffusers of various sizes (ask for pricing).  This type of diffuser disperses a fine mist of essential oils sufficient to fill a room in a few minutes, without rendering the oils less therapeutically beneficial, by heating them.  Diffusing therapeutic grade oils, you will receive the therapeutic effects of the oils, plus they can (1) reduce bacteria, fungus, and mold in the room; (2) help relax, relieve tension, and clear the mind; (3) help in weight management; and (4) improve concentration, alertness, and mental clarity.

Place 10 to 25 undiluted drops of your chosen essential oil or blend into the diffuser.  When you cold-air diffuse, you should start out by diffusing the oils for only 10-30 minutes a day. As you become used to the oils and their effects, you can increase the time.


Mix approximately 21-25 drops of essential oil into 2 ounces (30ml) of base oil.  Apply externally, massaging towards the heart.


Put 10 drops of essential oil or oil blend into the water of the unit.

Spritz Spray

Add 10 to 15 drops of the essential oil or blend to 8 ounces of distilled water. Shake well before use.

Gargle or Mouthwash

Add 3 drops of an essential oil to a teaspoon of vodka or water and gargle.


Add 4 – 6 drops of an essential oil to 1 cup of hot water. Using a clean muslin cloth, soak in the infused water and apply to affected area four times daily. A good method for healing wounds and reducing inflammation.

Oil Burner

Using a ceramic oil burner, use 4-8 drops of essential oil in water and light the tea light. Burn for 15 minutes at a time.

Essential oils have many, many uses.  For some ideas of what to use them for please see our web page on essential oil use for the skin.

Charlotte Test, ND, MH


Nature’s Sunshine Products

The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy, Valerie Ann Worwood, ISBN 0-931432-82-0

The Scents of Health, A User Friendly Guide to Aromatherapy, L. Carl Robinson, ISBN 1-890855-08-1

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