The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 26, 2001 · Page 13
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 13

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Salina, Kansas
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Thursday, April 26, 2001
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Page 13
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THURSDAY AF>RlL 26, 2061 THE SALINA JOURNAL Home & Garden CLASSIFIED / C3 ALMANAC / C8 c The good Herbs Adding herbs to your garden might be good for what ails you By LAURA M. SCHNEIDER Scrtpps Howard News Service Getting to the root of your medical ailments may be as simple as getting to the root, or leaves, of the herbs in your garden. Whether you are plagued by restless sleep, an annoying paper cut or a migraine, herbs can offer an alternative to a trip to the doctor or drug store. Naturopathic medicine, the use of western herbs for medical purposes, has been practiced and studied in Europe since the Middle Ages, said Robin Depasquale, a natur- pathic physician and professor of naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University, a private university in Kenmore, Wash., dedicated to the teaching of naturopathic medicine. Depasquale said growing herbs gives people more options concerning their health. "I think it gives them other options, economically and medically Things in their backyard can help them," she said. The use of naturopathic medicine in the United States is growing rapidly, she said. "It's something people are really recognizing. No. 1, it seems to be very useful; it works ... No. 2, we call it the medicine of the people; people can grow these herbs in their garden. I can teach someone to grow a plant that can help them medically People are so happy to feel more empowered." The following herbs can be purchased at local nurseries, either in plant or seed form. Once they are in your garden, herbs can be prepared several ways, but the easiest is to make a tea, Depasquale said. When making a tea from herbs, the upper part of the plant can be steeped or the root of the plant can be boiled. Depasquale and Debra Ching Wu, certified in herbol- ogy and acupuncture for Chinese medicine, recommended a few herbs that can be grown in the United States and safely used to treat medical ailments. • Mint is helpful to the gastro-intestinal system and ? Scripps Howard News Service Herbs are relatively easy to grow and provide the plants necessary for the herbal treatments that are quickly gaining popularity. More and more parents are using herbs to treat everyday ills of their children. is good for anyone with digestive problems. Mint helps dispel gas and tastes good, as well. Use the leaves of the mint plant to make a tea. • Chamomile is a gentle, ^oothing herb that calms both the stomach and the nerves. The daisy-like flowers are used to make a tea. Research shows chamomile is gentle enough even for pregnant mothers. • Lavender is a popular plant used for its pleasant scent as weU as its medical aid. Lavender is mainly a relaxant. It can be used in potpourri or in a bath. The flowers are edible and can be used in baking or in a tea. You can make a small pillow from the flower petals to treat insomnia. • Sage, of the mint family, is useful in cooking. Also, the leaves of the sage plant are ef­ fective in treating hot flashes when mixed into a tea with peppermint. A tea from sage leaves is beneficial to both the heart and liver and acts as an antioxidant. • Garlic is a natural antiviral agent. Planting garlic around other plants can aid in avoiding pests. Garlic can be used in soups and other foods to stimulate the immune system. The bulb of the garlic plant is used. Garlic can be effective in fending off a cold. • Echinachea is a popular immune stimulant that can be used to fight off infections. The root of the plant can be used to make a tea, or the whole plant can be dried to make a powder. Echinachea is more effective in preventing illness than in treating it. • Rosemary is calming to the nervous system, dispels gas and is helpful with memory The stems and leaves of the plant are used in a tea. • Oregano is a culinary herb that is also very medicinally active. It is often used as a gargle for sore throats. The leaves can be used to treat fungal growths on the skin. • Lemon balm, also in the mint family is easy to grow. Often called the "happy plant," the leaves are used to lift the spirit. • Calendula is a healing plant used on cuts, scrapes, bruises, burns and rashes. Its flowers can be applied topically, made into a tea or infused with oil to make a topical treatment. • Dandelion plant's leaves are used to stimulate the digestive system as a diuretic. The entire plant is beneficial to the liver. • Plantain, known as "na­ ture's Band-Aid," heals tissue. Chewing up plantain and placing it on a wound will aid in healing it. Placing a wad of it on the gum line will relieve a toothache. • Feverfew, in the daisy family, is for migraine headaches. The leaves can be chewed or prepared in a tea. • Blueberry, an often forgotten herb, strengthens capillary walls. It is effective in treating varicose veins, hemorrhoids and weakness in the cardiovascular system. Eating half a cup of blueberries per day is an effective treatment for these ailments. The leaves of the plant are good for the urinary tract. • Yarrow is used to stop bleeding, using the leaves either topically or by making a tea. The whole plant is used in a tea to treat fevers by bringing on a sweat. TAROUNDTHEYARD T MASTER GARDENER 0 CHIP MILLER KSU-Salim County Extension Horticulture Agent Tips, products to make your yard an oasis By LYNN OCONE Today's Homeowner Online Attracting butterflies Butterflies are becoming increasingly scarce as residential and commercial development destroys their habitats and endangers many species. You can help reverse the decline by growing plants butterflies feed on. The results are mutually beneficial because a landscape attractive to butterflies, such as the tiger swallowtail, is rich in flower color and enhanced by the beauty of these winged creatures. "Butterfly Gardening," from the University of Minnesota Extension Service, is a 21-page guide that lists plants preferred by butterflies. It costs $5. Author Vera Krischik provides a simple garden plan, and explains how to provide a butterfly shelter. Review the booklet at: http://www.extension.umn.edu/ distribution/horticulture/ DG6711.html. Prop for floppy plants Certain top-heavy plants. The Associated Press • Check with your county extension agent for plants suited for your temperature zone that attract butterflies. such as delphiniums, Asiatic lilies and peonies, tend to flop over just as their blossoms look their best. The Optica Plant Support System from Luster Leaf keeps flowering plants upright without getting in the picture itself. Flexible fiberglass rods loop around individual plants or prevent groups of plants from spUling into paths; the rods attach to stakes with small connectors. Although the best time to support plants is when they're young, the system also works on mature stems. Stake heights range from 24 to 36 inches, while rings adjust from 6 to 24 inches in diameter. All components are interchangeable, which means supports can be customized for any plant. Ten prepackaged combinations of stakes and rods are The Associated Press available. Prices range from $3.39 for a single stake and rod to $9.99 for a multipiece system that supports up to an 8-foot- long flower border. Check garden centers, or call Luster Leaf at 1-800-327-4635. Feeding your trees Spring is when most homeowners fertilize the plants around their yard, including trees. Just don't overdo it, cautions Deborah Smith-Fiola, an agent with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension in New Jersey "WhUe fertilizing causes a spurt of rapid growth, too much can harm the plant over the long term," she said. Fast-growing, overfertilized trees end up with smaller root systems that absorb water and nutrients less efficiently than slower-growing trees. The result is trees are more susceptible to stress, including drought. They also have lower levels of stored carbohydrates and defensive chemicals, making them more susceptible to all kind of pests. V/hat's more, the lush growth that overfertilizing encoiu-ages invites certain pests, including aphids and scale insects. Smith-Fiola advises having your soil tested by the local extension service for fertility and pH levels before fertilizing. Then use these results to determine the appropriate fertUizer and application rate. Remember, too, that trees growing in a fertilized lawn rarely need any additional fertilizer. Ticks lurk in weeds already There seem to be a lot of ticks this year Ticks have a disgusting habit of biting and holding on. At our house, we watch for them on ourselves and our dogs. The dogs were infested with numerous ticks several weeks ago, before we even thought about controlling ticks. Ticks may be controlled (but not eradicated) chemically in lawns, recreation areas and noncropland. Vigilance is the key Take certain precautions, especially in situations that involve a high risk of being bitten by a tickf. • Tick season runs from April through September If you are going into an area that you suspect would harbor ticks, dress defensively Wear a long- sleeved shirt with close-fitting cuffs and a high collar. Tuck your shirt into your trousers, and tuck your trousers into your socks or boots. Apply a coat of tick repellent to outer clothing and unprotected skin. Use liberal amounts from ankles to knees and wherever two items of clothing join together. Also, act defensively Don't sit or lie on the ground. Spend more time in open areas or trails. In tick-infested areas, keep on the move. Ticks are more visible on light-colored clothing. You can employ the "baboon strategy" with a partner That is, look each other over for ticks once in awhile. Remember, your cat or dog may bring ticks back to the house after a romp through the tall grass. Often, you can find a tick dropped by a pet climbing the wall or furniture so it can drop on a new host. After exposure to ticks, strip, check your body from head to toe and take a shower. Ask your small children if they need help searching for ticks. Inspect clothing or wash it immediately If you find a tick attached to skin, remove it with fine tweezers placed as close to the skin as possible. This way you won't squeeze fluids out of the. tick and into your body A slOJSj: steady pull directly away frorii the skin surface works best. Never pull sideways. Disinfect the site. Save the tick in alcohol and record the date and victim's name. If any signs of illness follow, you will have it available for submission to a lab for species identification or Lyme disease examination. Diseases that ticks may transmit to humans vary from chronic to acute, but the severity and outcome usually are determined by how early the problem is diagnosed and treated. If any symptoms develop, see a doctor immediately Tick-borne diseases can usually be treated with antibiotics. Prompt removal of the tick is a good preventive tactic because disease-causing organisms usually are not passed into the blood until the insect has fed for awhUe. Lyme disease has gotten a lot of publicity The first symptom of Lyme disease is a skin lesion that begins as a small red bump where the tick was attached. Later it becomes a big red circle with a clear center. Some of the early signs of Lyme disease may be flulike symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue, lack of appetite, muscle and joint aches, stiff neck and glandular swelling. More severe cases of Lyme disease may develop heart disease, arthritis, respiratory problems, encephalitis or meningitis and/or neurological disorders. The disease you are most likely to get from ticks in Kansas is Rocky Mountain spotted fever. There are 30 to 40 cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever annually in Kansas. Five percent of all cases are fatal. Luckily, most individual ticks carry no disease. SUGGESTIONS? CALL RICHAE MORROW, GRAPHIC DESIGNER, AT 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT 8Jrmorrow@saljournal.com

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