My diagnosis of myelofibrosis meant my bone marrow was dying, being turned to nothing more than scar tissue. This nasty news led me to do much research, below you’ll find a nice piece of information offered me by a fine herbalist from Maine. One of dozens of people who helped educate me so I could heal myself.
Don’t be fooled, information is energy, it empowered me, allowing me to find the truth about what was killing me... and the way to turn it around. Keep learning, you never know when the things you learn may help save a life, yours, someone else’s...
Beginning with our development in the womb, throughout early childhood and active youth, and all during our childbearing years, midlife changes and elder years, we must offer plenty of nourishment to our bones. We depend on our bones for their support. We are thankful for the structure they bring to our lives.
We are intended to grow, develop and maintain bones strong enough to take hundreds of pounds of pressure, yet be flexible enough to twist and turn without breaking, throughout our lives. All of the 206 bones in our bodies are in a constant state of construction, deconstruction, and repair. In the course of one year, 20% of our adult bone mass is recycled as our bones continually break down and renew themselves. Our bones are also the major storage facility for such minerals as calcium and magnesium. If we lose more minerals than we take in, we begin to lose bone mass. Pay special attention to nourishing your bones, your cartilage, your skeletal system, so it can carry you, with strength and health, to the work you must do in this lifetime.
Worried about your bones getting brittle? Getting a hunchback, or broken hip, without hormone replacement therapy? Care of the bones during midlife is especially important because as estrogen levels drop, women's risk of osteoporosis rises. Likewise, as testosterone levels drop, men become increasingly at risk for this bone weakening disease. With the recent findings of the Women’s Health Initiative, a study that included over 6,000 menopausal women, HRT, once touted as a panacea, is now implicated as a major cause of aggressive breast and uterine cancers, heart disease, gallbladder disease, blood clots and stroke. Although the hormone replacement did appear to offer some protection against bone loss, this benefit did not outweigh the serious risks for most women. Health building, bone strengthening, time-tested, nourishing herbs are healthy alternatives.
An excellent way to nourish our bones, no matter what our age, or stage of life, is to drink daily infusions of such calcium-rich herbs as oat straw, nettles, red raspberry, peppermint and red clover. Add any one of these highly nourishing, mineral-rich herbs to your daily diet and stand back! Your bones, teeth, hair and nails will be strong and beautiful, and your nerves like steel. You need not fear osteoporosis. You can count on these mineral-rich herbs to be your bone-building allies. They will help to create, maintain and preserve your bone health, strength, and flexibility, even rebuilding and remodeling it, if necessary, should you suffer a break or fracture. Regular use of these bone-building herbs will nourish and sustain the robustness and pliability of the skeletal frame from childhood well into old age.
Balance & Well Being Herb Tea
These five common, abundant and nourishing herbs can be used on a daily basis with no risk of injury, but do stay away from red clover if you are on a blood thinning medication. Side effects may include more energy, better focus and concentration, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, increased emotional balance, fertility, and increased health and tone to the heart, nervous system and adrenals.
All of these herbs are either easily grown or easily found in the wild. Try throwing some oat seeds into a little patch of soil, or even a pot, and watch the magic as it grows. Start a patch of nettles if you have an out-of-the-way space, so you can savor the taste of fresh nettle greens in spring. Or plant a patch of peppermint, either by seed, or from a transplanted clump dug from a friends garden. Red raspberry bushes can be found growing abundantly at the edges of fields and woods in Maine, and sweet red clover blossoms are abundant in fields everywhere. Of course, you will have to ask permission of the landowner, and consult a guidebook, or ask an experienced friend to help you, if you’re unsure of sustainable gathering methods, identification, and harvesting times.
Making an Herbal Infusion
To make a standard infusion of any of these herbs, take a small handful of dried herb and place it in a ceramic pot or glass-canning jar. Cover with a quart of boiling water, stir briskly, cover tightly and let sit for 2-4 hours, or even overnight. Strain and drink 2-4 cups daily. You can reheat the infusion if you prefer to drink it hot, but never boil it.
Another of my favorite ways to obtain the abundant calcium, magnesium and other minerals necessary for strong, healthy bones is to make and consume dandelion vinegar. As soon as the ground can be dug in the spring, we dig up some dandelion roots and fill several jars with the roots and leaves. Then we pour room temperature apple cider vinegar over the roots to the rim of the jar, cover it, and place it in a cupboard for at least six weeks. After straining, we use this vinegar in salad dressings, marinades, and sprinkled over our cooked greens all summer. It is not only delicious, but each tablespoon contains over 175 mg. of calcium alone! We do the same thing again in the fall, after a frost or two, so we have plenty of calcium-rich dandelion vinegar for the winter months.
Other substances that nourish the bones include such fish as sardines, salmon, and oysters, milk, cheese, and yogurt, burdock roots, dark wild greens, spinach, bok choy, kale, broccoli, seaweeds such as hijiki and wakame, nuts and seeds, especially sesame seeds and almonds, and green tea.
Plenty of sunshine (helps the body convert fats into vitamin D, essential for bone health), fresh air, and exercise all promote strong, healthy bones. Doing any weight-bearing exercise regularly, such as walking, gardening, snow shoeing, skiing, snowboarding, dancing, yoga, hiking, or tennis, may be the most important thing we can do to maintain bone health into our elder years. Eliminating tobacco, and moderating alcohol, caffeine, and salt intake are also important for bone health.
Those at risk for osteoporosis include fair-skinned people with blue eyes, blonde or red hair, those who are either very thin or very tall, smokers, and couch-potatoes or the hyperactive. You are also at risk if you consume more than 25g of alcohol daily, suffer longstanding depression, consume inadequate nutrients, especially minerals, had a premature menopause or premature graying of the hair, take diuretics or steroids regularly, or suffer from a thyroid disorder or diabetes.
Bone growth can be stimulated by passing a weak electrical charge through the bone. To help heal a fracture or broken bone, or to increase bone mass, try wearing a magnet on or around the area. Herbal poultices are very effective. Try applying a poultice of comfrey leaves, or any of the herbs mentioned above, to the area you are trying to mend. Hands-on healing such as Reiki or Polarity, and acupuncture, also generate weak electrical charges.