Friday, February 24, 2012

Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones

Most kidney stones are composed of calcium and some consist of uric acid or struvite. Stones form in the kidneys when an imbalance of water, calcium oxylate, uric acid and phosphate that is normally present in the urine. Kidney stones can also form when the PH balance of the urine is abnormal or when the kidneys normal protective mechanisms are over whelmed.
Kidney stones may also form for these reasons:
• Dehydration
• Sluggish or obstructed urine flow.
• Gout, Cushing’s disease and hyper-parathyroidism
• Metabolism problems
• Chemotherapy
• Specific drugs such as thyroid medication or aluminum salts
In some cases kidney stones can completely block the urine from the kidney. This can lead to infection and possible permanent kidney damage if not treated. Kidney stones require prompt medical attention. Herbal approaches to kidney stones can help relieve mild pain when there is no obstruction or infection present. If the pain from a kidney stone is mild and manageable you can try antispasmodic herbs to help relax the ureter.
Herbal remedies for kidney stones:
Yellow Dock: blood purifier that also contains anthraquinones. Use up to 5oo milligram capsules per day, or 20-40 drops of tincture two times a day. Do not use during pregnancy.
Aloe- contains anthraquinones which is the compound that helps prevent kidney stones. 1 teaspoon after meals.
Corn silk- relaxes the urinary tubes and reduces stone formation. 4-6cups of tea per day or 1 teaspoon of tincture four to five times a day.
Slippery Elm- contains high amounts of mucilage which eases irritation and helps body tissue heal. Up to 12 370 milligram capsules per day, or 2-3 cups of tea per day, or 10-30 drops of tincture per day
Marshmallow-helps sooth irritated urinary tissues. Up to six 400-500- milligram capsules per day or 1 cup of tea per day or 20-40 drops of tincture up to five times per day.
Khella-helps relax the muscles of the ureter and urinary tubules. 250-300milligrams of extract in divided doses.
Wild Yam- an antispasmodic but not sedative. Up to 400 milligram capsules per day or 1 teaspoon tincture up to five times a day.
Skullcap- antispasmotic. 1 cup of tea 4 times a day or1 teaspoon tincture four times a day.
Valerian- antispasmotic and strongly sedative herb that helps the ureter relax enough to allow a small stone to pass. 1 cup of tea every hour or 1 teaspoon tincture every hour. Do not use if regnant.
Kidney friendly foods rich in magnesium
• Dark green vegetables
• Nuts
• Seeds
• Leguemes
• Soy products
• Whole grains
• Avocados
• Dried apricots
Foods rich in Vitamin B6
• Egg yolks
• Fish
• Whole grains
• Legumes
• Sweet potatoes
• Cauliflower
• Avocados
Magnesium and vitamin B6 help reduce stone formation.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Liver cleanse herbal remedy

Making a commitment to do something can be tricky, on one hand you know that commitment is what’s right on the other hand, giving up something that feels good at the moment is very difficult. But when it comes to doing a liver cleanse, giving up that piece of cake or that beer, is going to do your health a world of good.

When making a commitment to do a liver cleanse, you must commit to no less than thirty days. This is very important because the liver rejuvenates and repairs itself on the time frame of thirty days. If you slip before then, you will have to start over to get the desired results, which is a clean liver. A clean liver is the furnace to fat burning, to boosting the metabolism and to healthy thyroid function.

There are several symptoms that accompany a liver gone overly toxic; mild depression, weight gain, acne and that’s just to name a few. When you’re experiencing toxin overload you’re just not going to feel like yourself. This is when you know a liver cleanse is due. If your sink got clogged, you’d snake it so when you liver becomes toxic, you clean it.

A few examples of someone who should on occasion clean their liver would be: smokers, drinkers, junk food eaters, people who are overweight and people who experience high levels of stress. All of these examples are perfect in the sense that the damage these behaviors cause on the liver can be quite extreme and dangerous to the liver.

Your liver is the filter to your body, it filters everything you do. It also is where stress and negative energy is stored. Here are a few herbs that I recommend when doing a liver cleanse;

Milk thistle:

Milk thistle is a common weed with white markings on the leaves. Reaching the height of five feet the plant puts out purple flowering heads, which may be eaten fresh as a vegetable. The seeds are collected and dried for use in herbal medicine.

Milk thistle is useful in the treatment of liver diseases such as alcoholic

Hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver poisoning and viral hepatitis. Milk thistle is one of the few herbs that have no real pharmaceutical equivalent. Milk thistle also regulates the digestion of fats, helps stabilize blood sugars and cholesterol, reduces inflammation of the intestine and promotes the excretion of certain hormones.

Burdock Root:

Burdock is a blood purifier that clears congestion in the circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory and urinary systems. Burdock also helps to eliminate excess fluids in the body and stimulate the elimination of toxic waste which relieves liver disorders and improves digestion. Burdock cleanses the body of bile and detoxifies the kidneys and gallbladder. It also increases perspiration which reduces excess toxins.

Dandelion Root:

Dandelion leaves are a powerful diuretic. The roots act as a blood purifier that helps the kidneys and the liver to remove toxins and poisons from the blood. The roots also can be used to help jaundice. Dandelion also acts as a mild laxative and improves appetite and digestion. Dandelion root is also believed to help age spots.


Bupleurum is a Chinese herb that is used for the liver and circulatory system. Bupleurum seems to have a tonic effect on the heart and lungs, making it a great herb for treating respiration and circulation.

Sunshine and Herbs

Jennifer Lamb

Master Herbalist

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Body cleanse

Cleansing the body doesn’t mean starving and only drinking water. It’s somewhat of a slow process of changing habits while using herbal remedies that will improve the functions of the internal organs and intestinal track. Think of it more like a lifestyle change than a body cleanse. I like to use the timeframe of thirty days to focus on several different forms of cleansing. After all, we don’t muck up our body in only two weeks, so cleansing should be a long term process as well.

I’m sure as I write the series on body cleansing I’ll be pointing out several of the same topics in every blog post. The first is water. Water is so important for the liver to cleanse. It’s also important for every aspect of the body down to the cells. The human body is composed of mostly water, something like 70% water, which should be the light bulb that water is essential to life. When I speak of water, I just have to clarify; I mean pure water, not soda, not tea, not sports drink but pure clean quality h20. Drinking no less than eight glasses of water a day will improve health dramatically. Hydration is nature’s anti-wrinkle cream as well. So drink your water while the body is cleansing and the liver is cleansing. I also want to mention when drinking water, use a filter on your sink or a filtered water pitcher, and buy a stainless steel water bottle to carry with you. It’ll save on plastic waste from the water bottles you buy and help reduce pollution from the factories that create the plastic water bottles.

One of the biggest points I should mention is as your body is releasing the toxins and waste build up, you may feel slightly under the weather. This is completely normal so don’t give up. What happens is the toxins get released into the bloodstream as they are on their way out of the body. At this point DO NOT take over the counter medication. Instead, use natural remedies to clean the blood as you’re doing the body cleanse. One of the most effective and inexpensive ways to clean and purify the blood is garlic. Garlic is a natural blood purifier which strengthens the immune system; it improves cardiovascular health and kills parasites in the intestinal track. Whenever possible, fresh garlic is always best but you can also buy it in the capsule form at any health food store.

Another great blood purifier is burdock root. I haven’t had much luck finding the root locally but you can buy it online in its whole form. If not, it comes in capsules as well, which is what I use. Burdock root clears congestion in circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory and urinary systems. Burdock root helps the body to eliminate excess fluids and stimulates the elimination of toxins which relieves the liver and improves digestion. It also acts as a blood purifier.

Begin the blood purifying at the start of the body cleanse and make sure to exercise no less than 4 times a week. A good body cleansing exercise will have you sweating for at least an hour a day. More toxins are released through sweat, the lungs and breath than anything else. So it’s important to incorporate exercise into your body cleansing routine. This will help remove those toxins much faster and you’ll be feeling back to yourself in no time.

Jennifer Lamb

Master Herbalist

Sunshine and Herbs
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Liver cleanse- pre cleanse

It’s that time again, the time to cleanse out the inside of the body and prepare for summer. There is nothing more beautiful in the summer than healthy glowing skin. There are a few things to do first to prepare for the cleanse. I never skip this step because it’s really important. It’s the pre cleanse phase.
The mind is a powerful tool. The mind is also a very destructive tool as well. Step one in the cleanse is getting the mind prepared for change. Everyone is different in this aspect. When starting a cleanse, it makes sense to stop filling the body with anything other than whole foods. Going through the cabinets and fridge to get rid of junk food and carbs is a good idea. Replace those foods with fresh food, lean meats and lots of veggies, green veggies. Another tip to a pre cleanse id to remove all negative thoughts about you and replace them with a positive outlook. For whatever reason you’re cleansing, it’s important to feel good about whom you are.
Since I am mostly focusing on the liver to begin with, I have to bring up the importance of water. The liver requires a lot of water to cleanse itself. If the body isn’t fully hydrated, the liver will pull water from other parts of the body so it can complete its job, which is filtering. If this happens you can really get a bad headache because the brain also requires water to function well. The liver is the most active between 11 p.m and 1 a.m so make sure you are plenty hydrated before you go to bed.
Now that the pre prep is finished and it’s time to get to the cleanse, I should mention that I am hardcore believing in sweaty 60 minute cardio workouts on the cleanse. A lot of toxins will be released through sweat and breath. When doing a liver cleanse, I always start with the basic herbs that work wonderfully together. The staple herbs are Milk thistle, burdock root and dandelion root. All three are great liver, blood and kidney cleansing herbs.
Milk thistle Facts:
Latin name: Carduus marianus also known as Silybum marianum

Other common name: Mary thistle

Milk thistle is a common weed with white markings on the leaves. Reaching the
height of five feet the plant puts out purple flowering heads, which may be
eaten fresh as a vegetable. The seeds are collected and dried for use in herbal

Milk thistle is useful in the treatment of liver diseases such as alcoholic
hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver poisoning and viral hepatitis. Milk thistle is one
of the few herbs that have no real pharmaceutical equivalent. Milk thistle also
regulates the digestion of fats, helps stabilize blood sugars and cholesterol,
reduces inflammation of the intestine and promotes the excretion of certain

Milk thistle is helpful for:

" Acne, constipation, Crohns disease and irritable bowel syndrome
" Alcoholism, cirrhosis, and hepatitis.
" Atherosclerosis, gallstones, high cholesterol and iron overload
" Cancer
" Diabetes
" Ovarian Cysts
" Parkinson's disease
" Psoriasis

Milk thistle is one of my favorite herbs to take regularly. It’s non-toxic. Using milk thistle daily won’t hurt your body and it contains such amazing nutrients it’s truly helpful. But as I stated before, make sure you drink plenty of water while using milk thistle. The body is made up of mostly water anyway, so you know you need it to function.
Burdock Root Facts:
Burdock Root

Latin name: Arctium lappa

Other common names: edible burdock, greater burdock, lappa

Description of Burdock

Burdock, a relative of the sunflower, grows to the height of five feet with
reddish purple flower heads covered with spiny bracts. In the summer, the
seeds are harvested and the roots of two year old plants are dug. The roots
are the most important part of the plant used for medicinal purposes.

Benefits of Burdock

Burdock is a blood purifier that clears congestion in the circulatory,
lymphatic, respiratory and urinary systems. Burdock also helps to eliminate
excess fluids in the body and stimulate the elimination of toxic waste which
relieves liver disorders and improves digestion. Burdock cleanses the body of
bile and detoxifies the kidneys and gallbladder. It also increases perspiration
which reduces excess toxins.

•Arthritis, gout, sciatica
•Boils, dandruff and eczema
•Liver diseases

Burdock can heal a damaged liver and protect it from further damage. In as
Little as two weeks, the symptoms from liver damage can improve.

I personally love burdock root as a blood cleanse and as a liver cleanse. When combines with the use of garlic, it really perks the body right up. I have to admit, the combo of those two I will not go without.

Dandelion Root Facts:

Latin name: Taxaxacum officinal


Dandelion root is know best as a weed that pops up in lawns but grows wild in
most of the world and is cultivated as an herb. The young leaves of dandelion
root are picked in the spring for tonic salads. In the early summer, before the
plant blooms, leaves are harvested for the manufacture of medicinal teas and
tinctures. The roots of two-year-old plants are dug in the fall, when they are
at their greatest concentration of the complex carbohydrate inulin, for use
in tablets and tinctures.

Benefit of Dandelion Root:

Dandelion leaves are a powerful diuretic. The roots act as a blood purifier
that helps the kidneys and the liver to remove toxins and poisons from the
blood. The roots also can be used to help jaundice. Dandelion also acts as a
mild laxative and improves appetite and digestion. Dandelion root is also
believed to help age spots.

Medicinal uses for dandelion root:

" Anemia Dandelion root contains high levels of potassium, is a rich
source of iron and vitamins. Dandelion root contains high levels of carotene.
" Bladder infections Because dandelion root is a diuretic, it helps to
relieve fluid retention in bladder infections.
" Constipation and indigestion dandelion root is a mild bitter. It has a
cleansing effect on the liver by stimulating the production of bile.
" Irritable bowel syndrome dandelion root improves regularity
" Liver problems and gallstones. The bitter principles in dandelion root
increase bile production and bile flow in the liver. This makes dandelion root
useful in sluggish liver function due to alcohol abuse or poor diet. It is a
restorative to the liver and helps the risk of developing gallstones.
" Osteoporosis Dandelion is a rich source of boron, which helps raise
estrogen levels in the blood and helps preserve the bone. Dandelion root is
also a rich source for calcium.
" Overweight Dandelion reduces water weight through its diuretic effect.
It may also help the liver regulate blood sugars. It also increases bile flow
and helps to improve fat metabolism.

So now you have a few basic facts about herbs and the pre prep for a cleanse. Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg and Ill address a lot more components over the course of thirty days. A cleanse will help the body remove toxic build up that may reduce the function of the liver. A few signs that you may need to cleanse would be fatigue, weight gain, acne or mild depression. The liver is where we store our negative energy so every now and again a good purge is in order. Visit the website daily for information on cleansing.

Jennifer Lamb
Sunshine and Herbs Be sure to “LIKE” it 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Eating healthy on a small budget

weight loss on a budget

Keep it going

I was grocery shopping yesterday when I really noticed a change in prices of the foods I normally buy. I was a little upset because gas prices are high now food prices are rising. Pretty soon, the cost of living is going to be so high its going to be impossible to be a single mother. You almost really need both full time incomes to survive. But we have no choice but to keep it going.

I like to eat cheap. That’s kind of my thing, the cheaper the better. I make it a fact to adjust my taste to what’s on sale.  Sometimes those sale items are pretty different. The good stuff costs too much to eat on a regular basis, but on occasion a treat is in order. But for now, Ill go over a few staple foods to have around that is pretty cheap for the season.

Eggs are a cheap source of protein. They use to be cheaper but I guess there was a huge recall and now the prices are jacked up. But still they are cheap enough to stock up on. Eggs contain all the amino acids the body needs to regulate the mood and to keep things in order. One medium egg has about has about 70 calories. So a nice breakfast that will hold you off for awhile in the morning is a few eggs. It only takes a few minutes to cook up and the protein will keep the appetite satisfied longer than cereal. Add a glass of orange juice or grapefruit juice and you have a complete healthy breakfast. I think currently a carton of eggs is about less than $2.00. A carton comes with twelve and if you have three a day that should last half a week.

Cabbage is on sale right now for about 28 cents a pound. You can chop it up just like you would a head of lettuce and eat it cold as a salad, you can add carrots and onions to it with some mayo and make slaw out of it or you can steam it and eat it warm. Cabbage adds the bulk needed to keep the intestinal track moving. It’s good to eat cabbage once a day in whatever form you choose. Cabbage also provides the body with nutrients. Cabbage has vitamin c, potassium, b1, b2, b6, folic acid and many more benefits. So eat up the cabbage while it’s cheap.

I haven’t noticed any good sales on lettuce this winter. The pickings are slim on that one. What I have noticed is the other greens are on sale. Some of them I am not sure what they are and they taste weird but anything dark green is healthy. Healthy is the target so if it’s on sale, learn to love it. What I have been doing is just keeping my favorite salad dressing handy and eating everything as a salad. If it’s to cold for salad, I steam it. Dark green is good. Once you learn to adjust your taste to what is healthy, experimenting will be exciting. Some stuff will be a hit; others will take time to adjust to. Dark green vegetables will supply the body with the bulk needed to keep the intestines moving and the nutrients needed to keep the body healthy.

Chicken is always the cheapest meat to buy. I have to admit, I been spending the dollar more for the organic. It’s so much better. The organic chickens are smaller but have so much more flavor. I figure I skimp on everything else, why not have hormone free chickens.  Currently one small chicken is about $5. I have a big family so one small chicken doesn’t go too far. That’s when those sale veggies come in handy. Make sure to make plenty of veggies. I’ve learned how to cook chicken seven different ways so I can keep the meat lean and the family satisfied. Bake, broil, pan fry(no breading and with coconut oil on low heat) sometimes I boil it and make chicken soup but always use a ton of interesting spices. The chicken or any meat you choose will supply the protein needed to keep the muscles happy and to keep the appetite satisfied. The body digests protein much slower, which keeps the stomach working and the appetite at bay.

Those are just a few tips for eating kind of cheap. But if you have no budget, eat protein and mostly veggies at every meal. Skip the bread, cereal, pasta, rice, potato, ect. To jump start the metabolism, do your monthly liver cleanse with plenty of water. Don’t allow any cheating until you see some actual weight loss, and in the beginning, no alcohol. Alcohol will set back everything and you won’t get results as fast. Increase your daily activities and decrease your calories. Do that 45 minutes of cardio, it’s an important first step, got to get that heart rate up.

Sunshine and Herbs




Friday, October 15, 2010

Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle

There are several benefits to Milk thistle. One of the biggest Milk thistle benefits is how it cleans the liver from dangerous toxins. The milk thistle extract known as silymarin contains powerful properties for which acts on the membranes of the liver cells preventing the entry of dangerous toxins. Silymarin milk thistle extract properties prevent future damage to cells.

The milk thistle herb which contains the milk thistle seeds is a plant commonly mistaken as a weed. This plant puts out beautiful purple flowers with white distinctive markings on the leaves. Milk thistle plant is very common in California and reaches heights up to five feet which may be eaten fresh from the plant. Milk thistle can also be served in early spring as a tonic to relieve winter depression by releasing the pent up emotions stored in the liver.

Milk thistle detox is an excellent way to rid the liver or harmful toxins. Toxic build up in the liver may cause several different symptoms such as acne, constipation, crohns disease and Irritable bowl syndrome. Using a milk thistle supplement may increase the production of bile. Bile helps break down fats in the small intestine which helps to eliminate testosterone by product which is then removed through the stool. Milk thistle extract acts on the membranes of liver cells and prevents the entry of toxins which also prevents damage to liver cells. Milk thistle capsules may help prevent damage caused by alcoholism, cirrhosis, hepatitis, cirrhosis, mushroom poisoning and many other diseases of the liver.

There are virtually no milk thistle side effects. Women taking birth control however should be aware that milk thistle may reduce their effectiveness. The milk thistle extract silymarin stimulates the liver and gallbladder activity so it may have a mild laxative effect. This effect however may only last two to three days.
There are many other benefits to Milk thistle. It works well for gallstones, high cholesterol. iron overload, ovarian cysts, seizure disorder, Parkinson’s disease and psoriasis. To buy milk thistle capsules just click on this link or visit

Jen Lamb
Sunshine and herbs

Friday, September 17, 2010

White walls hold no Darkness

The White Walls hold no Darkness.

“White.” She said. “It must all be white.” With that command she received just that. Her entire house was painted white. Everything from the windows to the trim was covered in a flat white paint. When asked why she wanted it white her response was this “It allows the sun to blanket the rooms with natural light. Who doesn’t like the light to shine in when the day begins and be lifted when the night is to begin? These are reminders of when to wake and when to sleep. It’s the natural order. We must appreciate these moments in life.” That seemed like a good reason for painting a house white. But I couldn’t help but ask “What happens on the day the sun isn’t shining?” and the response was “The sun shines everyday. Even on the darkest of days the sun is still there. It’s hidden but it’s there. The white reflects even the hidden rays of light.”
I think this is true with hidden intention as well. Life is busy with the good days and the bad days. On the good days we walk around feeling like kings and queens of the moment. We pat ourselves on the back for the small little victories of the day. We might even for a brief moment appreciate our life as it is. But then the bottom falls out and we begin to slowly feel less appreciate of our life. Doubt begins to creep in and after we know it we are knee deep in self pity. Then we begin to wonder how this happened. How it all came down to this and we fall prey to the role of victim.
We intend to smile everyday. We intend to think good thoughts everyday. We intend to live with passion and remember purpose everyday. We intend on appreciating our life everyday. But these intentions can quickly be absorbed by stress or disappointments. So these great, positive intentions become hidden behind the cloud of life. Without those white walls reflecting the rays of hidden sunshine into our day, its just doom and gloom that fills the space. Everyone knows what happens when the clouds loom for to long, we fall into a depressive state of mind.
So how do we keep our inner rays of light reflecting within everyday? A great beginning is keeping our body clean and in good physical condition. If you have allowed your body to become overweight you may have some good days where you feel like you can walk that extra little bit or keep up with the kids but in the long run your body is breaking down from the inside out. It will catch up to you in the form of some kind of sickness. Whether that sickness is physical or mental it will eventually bring you down to your knees. Your good intention did not start out with the thought of becoming in physical distress by being over weight.
The liver plays a huge role in our overall health. So many emotions become trapped in our liver. Happiness, sadness, stress and joy all end their journey in the liver. The liver is one of the biggest organs in our body so naturally it has a job that is so important we have to respect its duties. The liver creates urine which is important to flushing out toxins through the kidneys and bladder. The liver creates bile which is important for breaking down fats in the small intestine. The liver helps remove harmful toxins that can damage our cells and the liver is the only organ in the body that after doing all this can regenerate cells and repair damage to it self. So when it comes to our health, the liver is a great place to begin. This is one aspect of letting our natural rays of light shine even on the cloudiest of days. Just like the kitchen sink, if you continue dumping grease down the drain day after day you will have a nasty clog on your hands over time. The liver is no different. It controls several functions of the body including the metabolism. Without proper function of the liver, the rest of the organs in the body become compromised. Therefore it causes weight gain, acne, colds and a breakdown of the natural rays of light. That IS the cloud that covers a sunny day.
To begin the process of painting your “lWallsl” white, the liver is the beginning. Nature produces an herb that is so strong and so effective that it can clean out damage to the liver and help the liver to repair damaged cells. This powerful tool is called milk thistle. The extract Silymarin in Milk thistle helps to prevent toxins from damaging the cells. Milk thistle will remove toxins from the liver for elimination. Milk thistle can improve the function of the liver over time. When the liver is cleaned and repaired, the body begins to function on a more stable system. When Milk thistle is used regularly, even on days the sun isn’t shining, you will be in balance enough with your body that you will remain in a sunny mood and on the positive side of the day naturally. Make sure to pick up this wonderful and natural herbal supplement when beginning to put your physical and mental health back on track. Never allow the clouds to block your natural light when nature offers amazing tools to keep our body in a natural flow with life. Milk thistle with its powerful extract Silymarin will remove the unwanted materials collected over time including those dangerous toxins that break down the body.

Jen lamb