By Jonathan Evans
Herbal Information Specialist – The Herbarium
Where did summer go?
Hopefully the weather will be pleasant this fall.
Another essential oils issue
Something unrelated to health has been coming up recently but it is related to essential oils, so I will offer my opinion and suggestion.
We have received many calls about using peppermint oil to keep yellowjackets and hornets away from hummingbird feeders. The Daily Birder website had several ideas, but the peppermint surprised me. They suggest adding 10-15 drops of essential oil to a cup of warm water and putting the mix into a spray bottle, then spraying the feeder. It apparently won’t bother the birds. There are also quite a few products online to do the same thing but are expensive.
The one thing not mentioned in the article is essential oils will evaporate very quickly. The molecules are volatile and will disperse in a short time, so you will need to reapply the spray frequently, and the oils can dissolve the plastic if used too much. You might want to add a vegetable or olive oil to your spray to hold the oil longer and reduce pitting on the feeder. At the end of season, just wash the feeder thoroughly
This month, Jonathan answers questions about osteoporosis and ADHD.
I have been diagnosed with the early stages of osteoporosis. I know you have written about some of the drugs that are used but don’t work the way they are advertised. I started using a store brand that is advertised heavily and now my doctor says my osteoporosis has progressed. I really do not want to use the pharmaceuticals but I do not want osteoporosis either. Please help.
Thank you for sending me a picture of the store brand of calcium and magnesium. This makes my work easier.
The stuff you bought is calcium carbonate and magnesium oxide, the two cheapest and least effective forms of the minerals for older folks. Calcium carbonate is an antacid like Tums. It neutralizes the stomach acid, making it more difficult for you to break down the calcium to absorb it. As we age, we produce less stomach acid, not more, plus many people are on antacid products or proton pump inhibitors making the problem worse.
A better form of calcium would be a citrate form and any other form of magnesium, be it citrate, malate, gluconate and so on.
Try to get an equal ratio of calcium to magnesium. The one caveat is too much magnesium can cause the runs, so monitor that. We have had many customers use better cal/mag products and have seen improvement in their conditions. The Herbarium has a large selection of articles about osteoporosis, the pharmaceutical what they do and don’t do) plus digestive issues.
With school back in session, our son is worrying about doing poorly in class. He does have a mild ADHD and it affects his focus and concentration. We took him off his prescription during the summer but now he is back in school and we really do not want to put him back on medication. Are there any natural products that could help him?
There are myriad natural aids for your son, depending on his age.
If he is very young and can’t swallow pills well, there is a liquid formula that is excellent. It contains some B vitamins, herbs and phosphatidyl choline, phosphatidyl serine, and other essential fatty acids. It can help with calming, focus, and mood.
For older children or adults we have found grape seed extract, GABA, fish or flax oils very helpful. Herbs such as chamomile, lemonbalm, gotu kola, passion flower and skullcap are very effective. One formula that we have used (including myself) is MIND TRAC. It is a combination of herbs cleansers, mood elevators and calmatives that help when you are unfocused, or had four things on your mind and forgot the first three. Students with ADHD or ADD find they can study all they can but get into the exam and get frustrated because they can’t recall the information. MIND TRAC helps with easing the frustration and getting the focus back.
There are also essential oil formulas we make to help with self confidence and memory. Depending on the age, there are plenty of herbal supplements to keep you going. As I said I use them myself
Send question on botanical remedies to: Nature’s RX: Jonathan Evans at Herbarium258@gmail.com or by regular mail to: The Herbarium, 254 Exchange St., Chicopee, MA 01013. If requesting information, please include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.