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Nourish Mind, Body and Spirit

This is a copy of an interview with Holly published October 16 on DeliveryRank here:

Holly Dunbar is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Registered Herbalist, and Certified Aromatherapist. With a deep-rooted connection to the healing potential of plants she founded New Moon Bodywork & Botanicals, a haven for those seeking the delicate balance of bodywork and botanical remedies. In this exclusive interview feature on DeliveryRank, Holly shares her journey, insights, and wisdom, unraveling the profound impact of incorporating herbal remedies into our daily routines and embracing the innate healing abilities of the natural world.

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Honoring the Humble Weeds – A Journey Back to the Plants

By Holly Dunbar, LMT, RH (AHG), Certified Aromatherapist

Do you remember the first time a plant spoke directly to you in a way that proved life-changing?  I often attribute a fleeting moment of childhood that inspired my lifelong relationship with plants, when I was four years old and burned my finger on a hot stove.  My Mother split an aloe branch from a plant we had growing in a sunny window and rubbed it on my finger, explaining how it would soothe the pain and help the skin to heal.  As the mucilage of the plant did exactly that my eyes widened in amazement, and the spark was ignited that set me on a course of discovery to unravel the mysteries inherent in leaf, flower, and fruit.  I was so taken with the experience that I divided the plant and planted the divisions in plastic yogurt cups to distribute to friends and neighbors.  What started as a spark, led to more discoveries and explorations of plants- eating berries in the woods, digging up roots, discovering fairy rings of mushrooms, and watching the leaves of Sassafras evolve into “mittens.”  I was fortunate to have a wild child experience that I so wish every child could have- freedom to roam the woods, pick your dinner from the garden, raise animals, and ride your horse off into the sunset.

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Products to Support Immunity and General Wellness

Some products we make may be of particular use during this viral pandemic, due to the content of anti-viral oils. Or, perhaps your hands feel the effects of so much hand washing! Our hand soap and balms may be the perfect solution for dry skin relief. Below are a few products that are particularly relevant at this time:

Pure Essential Oils 

Essential oils can be used in diffusion, inhaled directly, applied to the body directly in lotions, oils, and salves; or added to the bath or used in the shower. Essential oils, with some exceptions, should always be diluted with respect to their potency. These pure plant oils provide emotional support, pain relief, and have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, as well as many other properties that support physical and mental well-being.

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Painful Menstruation? Herbs to the Rescue!

Menstruation that does not literally flow smoothly and is instead characterized by cramping, bloating, clotting, and perhaps heavy bleeding is known as dysmennorhea clinically.  In Chinese medicine, this condition is considered to be stagnant qi and blood, and may be compounded by blood deficiency.  Herbal medicine, and several specific Chinese formulas can greatly alleviate this condition and lend greater vitality in general.

“Free and Easy Wanderer” is one such formula used for menstrual irregularity.  This ancient formula combines donq quai and other herbs to build the blood, and help the blood flow more smoothly, thus reducing pain and clotting.  Smooth flowing blood can be likened to a nicely running stream- when the stream is full of water and unclogged by debris it flows in the intended path.  When congested with debris, or waterlogged, the stream overflows, or may veer off course.  These visual analogies often help the patient identify with their condition, and make wiser choices in their diet.  Eating too many refined foods, overindulgence in alcohol or prescription drugs, a diet lacking in vegetables, will all aggravate this condition.  Dark leafy greens, healthy fats, and lemon juice, garlic, and apple cider vinegar will all help decongest the liver and build healthy blood, thus alleviating this condition.

Ba Zhen Wan is another dong quai based formula used for over 800 years to build the blood.  Women who experience heavy bleeding may suffer from dizziness, dry hair or eyes, memory loss, or a generalized itching of the skin.  This formula helps vitalize the blood and nourish both the skin surfaces and normalize the circulation so that clotting and pain is diminished during menstruation.

While these formulas are mentioned to highlight the potential of herbal medicine when seeing an herbalist or acupuncturist, other simple remedies can provide much relief.  Consider raspberry leaf as a general blood tonic, shephards purse for heavy bleeding, and white peony and cramp bark for cramping.

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Safe and Effective Herbs for Weight Loss

Feet on a ScaleLosing weight is a very common New Years resolution, and a goal many people strive to attain throughout the year. The desire to shed pounds and have a healthier, leaner body also feeds a very profitable industry, which capitalizes on those who are willing to pay to get the body of their dreams. Ads for weight loss supplements abound in magazines of all types, some of which contain questionable and even dangerous substances that no reputable Herbalist would begin to recommend. The widespread and imprudent use of some of these “miracle formulas” gives the supplement and herbal industry a bad name, and erodes our rights as consumers to have access to all herbs, including those proven safe and effective. Continue reading Safe and Effective Herbs for Weight Loss

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Building Natural Immunity with Herbal Adaptogens

ImmunityImmunity begins within the body, and is either strengthened or weakened by what drugs, food, and herbs or supplements we ingest, as well as from outside influences and our contact with viruses. Our immune system can be greatly compromised by too much stress, which makes stress management an essential component of staying well. Continue reading Building Natural Immunity with Herbal Adaptogens

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Liver Health

The liver is a humble and hard working organ that filters much of the toxins of everyday life. Spring is the season that Chinese medicine attributes to this organ, in which it is thought that the liver works extra hard to support the processes of clearing out the excesses of Winter. The associated emotion of the liver is anger and frustration, and its positive expression is creativity. When the liver is functioning optimally, one will feel free and easy, open to new ideas, and experience the spark of creativity. When the liver is congested, one may experience emotional outbursts, feel irritated and edgy, and sigh frequently. Continue reading Liver Health

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Natural Preparations for the Flu Season

SickAs the flu season approaches, especially this year with predictions that it may be wide-spread, it is wise to do everything in one’s power to prevent getting sick. Besides the common sense good hygienic practices, enlisting the help of essential oils, herbs, and stress reduction will greatly reduce the odds of getting sick. Part 1 of this article will focus on the anti-viral properties of essential plant oils, followed by next months feature on stress reduction and adaptogenic and anti-viral herbs. Continue reading Natural Preparations for the Flu Season