Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Herb Profile: Calendula

A bit of just-picked Boline calendula,
mixed with California Poppy and Nasturtium.
Calendula, aka Pot Marigold (Although it is not actually in that family), is a wonderful healing herb for skin and we use it in a lot of our products.

We use the dried petals in our Facial Scrub, and calendula-infused oil in many of our lotions, salves and balms.

We have four calendula patches growing here in Columbus for our purposes, and we keep clipping the flowers off of the tops in order to get more and more flowers over the course of the summer. After all, we need them to produce enough to create remedies for the entirety of 2014!

We will be making an oil blend for our salves next year that mixes two great skin care herbs- cultivated, organic calendula and ethically wildcrafted, plentiful plantain.
There's calendula oil in there!
Calendula "has been used for centuries to heal wounds and skin irritations. Calendula has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, astringent, antifungal, antiviral, and immunostimulant properties making it useful for disinfecting and treating minor wounds, conjunctivitis, cuts, scrapes, chapped or chafed skin, bruises, burns, athlete’s foot, acne, yeast infections, bee stings, diaper rashes, and other minor irritations and infections of the skin. Plus, it stimulates the production of collagen at wound sites to help minimize scarring and assist with stretch marks." - Mountain Rose Herbs Blog
Research has shown that calendula is beneficial for treatment of pain and dermatitis due to radiation therapy in breast cancer patients, and it may protect skin against sun damage. Overall, it gentle sunny disposition helps myriad skin issues gently and effectively, making it a real favorite- from diaper rash creams to lip balms to our Belly Butter for Baby Bumps to our Eczema and Psoriasis Salve.

Wanna hear more "technical stuff" about calendula? According to the Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center:
Myriad salves, many use calendula.
The triterpenoids from calendula have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-HIV effects, and a calendula extract suppressed cell fusion, which may inhibit early events in the HIV replication cycle. The most active triterpenoid is a monoester of faradiol. Calendula also exhibits hepato- and reno-protective effects which are likely due to its antioxidant activity. The photoprotective effect of topical gel formulations of calendula is thought to be associated with an improvement in collagen synthesis in the sub-epidermal connective tissue. Calendula also affords cardioprotection which involves modulating the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pathways by activation of Akt (a serine/threonine protein kinase) and Bcl2 (a protein that regulates apoptosis) and down regulation of tumor necrosis factor (TNF alpha). In another study, calendula was shown to inhibit human gingival fibroblast-mediated degradation of collagen and matrix metalloprotease (MMP-2) activity.In a recent study, the essential oil from calendula flowers was shown to have sun protection activity Application of a cream containing essential oil of calendula prevented UV-B-induced alterations in the skin in a study of rats. Calendula extract also accelerated healing of experimentally-induced thermal burns in rats by increasing collagen-hydroxyproline and hexosamine, bio-indicators of wound healing.
So, this herb, like all the ones Boline uses in its formulations are backed by generations of folk medicine practitioners as well as modern science.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Product Profile: Female Hormone Tonic

This tonic is a simple- a simple is a tincture made of one single ingredient, namely Vitex. A tincture is made by extracting the medicinal properties out of plants in either alcohol or glycerin. (Some plants (usually woody plants and roots) also require an additional extraction with water after the first with alcohol). This is an alcohol-based tincture. It took two months to create it.

Boline tinctures come in two ounce amber dropper bottles, about 30 doses.

Ingredients: High Proof Alcohol, Organic Vitex (Chasteberry).

Buy Female Hormone Tonic for $13.00

About the ingredients:
Vitex (Agnus Castus, Chaste Tree, Chasteberry, Monk’s Pepper, Vitex agnus castus), is an hormonal regulator- meaning no matter of your body is producing too much or too little Vitex can help.

It modulates the estrogens in the body over time (most herbalists recommend you take it over three cycles to see its full effects) and balances you. It does not contain hormones itself, but regulates estrogen by working on the pituitary gland. Vitex itself has none of the hormonal building blocks that many of the medicinal plants used for the reproductive system contain. Instead, this herb nourishes and supports the endocrine system to find its own balance.

David Hoffman, a well-known herbalist, says "Vitex will always enable what is appropriate to occur." In a normal menstrual cycle estrogen is higher before ovulation and progesterone is higher after. Many women don't realize that an imbalance of these hormones can lead to the entire range of symptoms associated with PMS and menopause. Vitex as a supreme hormonal tonic for women.

Both extensive clinical studies, as well as over two thousand years of use in folk medicine, it has proven tits effectiveness. It works by stimulating and normalizing the pituitary gland, which regulates the balance of estrogen and progesterone in the body. Vitex is a slow-acting herb. Please allow three full menstrual cycles for the plant to work its magic. In the thousands of years that it has been in use, there are no reports of even the mildest side effects.

Vitex is a safe, gentle, and effective remedy, with something to offer women
in every cycle of life: 

Menstrual Disorders Such As:
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), Frequent menstrual periods (polymenorrhea), Infrequent menstrual periods (oligomenorrhea), Irregular bleeding between periods (metrorrhagia), Absent menstrual periods (amenorrhea), and Painful menstrual periods (dysmenorrhea).

Menopausal Symptoms of Discomfort:
Vitex is also an indispensable remedy for women with uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breasts, or endometriosis. All of these conditions proliferate under the influence of estrogen and shrink under the influence of progesterone.hot flashes, irregular cycles, depression, and flooding.

Conception and Fertility Regulation:
Enhance the chances of conception through its ability to regulate ovulation. It is especially helpful for women who are coming off the birth control pill. For many women, cycles remain irregular for up to two years after stopping the pill. Vitex can greatly shorten that time and helps ease the body into regaining its own natural rhythm.

It also helps treat progesterone and estrogen-related issues like:
Decreasing sexual desire in men, increasing breast milk supply, preventing miscarriages in women with insufficient progesterone levels, relieving menopause symptoms, migraines, acne, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), fibrocystic breasts, luteal phase defect (a specific cause for infertility in women), and infertility in women.

Counterindications and warnings:
At the time of writing, there were no well-known interactions with this supplement. Side effects may include minor stomach upset and a mild skin rash with itching. Vitex is not recommended for use during pregnancy and should not be used concurrently with hormone therapy (e.g., HRT, a.k.a. estrogen, progesterone).The dosage of is usually 30-50 drops, three times per day. Like all herbs, Vitex works best when combined with a lifestyle that includes clean water, whole foods, gentle exercise, and plenty of self-love. With its emphasis on long-term balancing of a woman’s hormonal system, vitex is not a fast-acting herb and is unlikely to give immediate relief to the discomfort associated with PMS. For premenstrual syndrome, frequent or heavy periods, vitex can be used continuously for four to six months. Infertile women with amenorrhea (lack of menstruation) can remain on Vitex for 12 to 18 months, unless pregnancy occurs during treatment. The German Commission E monograph recommends a daily intake—30–40 mg of the dried herb—in capsules or in liquid preparations like this one. 

Standard required disclaimer: The statements made here have not been approved by the FDA. These statements are not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act for herbalists and people like me but not big pharma, who is in bed with the FDA. After umpteen million product recalls, birth defects and deaths, big pharma still doesn't have to label like this- even though this product has been used safely for much longer than any pharmaceutical preparation has. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Body Care Additives- What They Are, What They Do.

Lots of foaming and lather in your cleaner
comes from SLS.
What's in your body care? SLS, proylene glycol, stearic acid, cyclotetrasiloxane, sodium hydroxide, gyceryl stearate- what are these things, and are they necessary or possibly harmful?

Today, we'll look at the family of surfactants known as SLS/SDS/ALS/ and SLES, which are frequent additives to shampoos and toothpastes. It's what makes them foam and lather. Did you know a natural product won't do that as much, but is probably making your hair and teeth much cleaner?

Both Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and its close relative Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are commonly used in many soaps, shampoos, detergents, toothpastes and other products that we expect to "foam up". Both chemicals are very effective foaming agents (chemically known as surfactants). While chemical companies call them "soap" and they behave similarly to soap, they are not actually soap (which causes no harm).

SLS, SDS, ALS, and SLES are all esters of sulphuric acid. SLS is also known as "sulfuric acid monododecyl ester sodium salt". (There are actually over 150 different names by which it is known.) While some websites claim them safe in and of themselves (which is a metter for debate), SLES is commonly contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogen. And although SLES is somewhat less irritating  to the skin and eyes than sodium lauryl sulfate, it cannot be metabolised by the liver and its effects are therefore much longer-lasting.

Do you know where your ingredients
come from? Boline knows the source of
everything in its formulas.
In this article, we are going to mainly focus on SLS, as most studies have been done on this ingredient than the closely related others. Bear in mind that all are in the same family of chemicals and likely have similar effects on the body.

SLS has been shown to irritate the skin of the face with prolonged and constant exposure (more than an hour) in young adults. SDS may worsen skin problems in individuals with chronic skin hypersensitivity, with some people being affected more than others. In animal studies, SDS appears to cause skin and eye irritation and canker sores.

A report published in the Journal of The American College of Toxicology in 1983 showed that concentrations of SLS as low as 0.5% could cause irritation and concentrations of 10-30% caused skin corrosion and severe irritation. National Institutes of Health "Household Products Directory" of chemical ingredients lists over 80 products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate. Some soaps have concentrations of up to 30%, which the ACT report called "highly irritating and dangerous".

We employ no one in lab coats to make your
body care. We do however,
wear garden gloves from time to time!
Did you know that shampoos are among the most frequently reported products to the FDA? Reports include eye irritation, scalp irritation, tangled hair, swelling of the hands, face and arms and split and fuzzy hair. The main cause of these problems is sodium lauryl sulfate.

Both SLS and SLES are known to have many effects that can potentially be detrimental to health. Among the possible dangers are the following:

skin irritation
skin corrosion
hormone imbalance
eye irritation
eye deformities in children
protein denaturing
carcenogenicity (the potential to cause cancer)

The AJT report states that "Other studies have indicated that sodium lauryl sulfate enters and maintains residual levels in the heart, the liver, the lungs and the brain from skin contact. This poses question of it being a serious potential health threat to its use in shampoos, cleansers, and tooth pastes."

Skin Irritation

SLS is used routinely in clinical studies. This may suggest a level of comfort, however, the way in which it is used is disturbing. Despite being the number one active ingredient in virtually all soaps, shampoos and cleansers, the sole purpose of using SLS in clinical studies is to cause skin irritation that can then be used to identify the properties of other chemicals!

Amazing isn't it? For years, we have been applying known irritants to our skin on a daily basis. To quote the ACT report "The abbreviated symbol for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is used around the world in clinical studies as a skin irritant. SLS is the universal standard, by which a measured percentage is evaluated to promote a given level of irritation and reaction. By this SLS standard level of irritation, it is then possible to evaluate the healing or modifying characteristics of any ingredient or formula used on the SLS irritated skin." 

Most worryingly, irritation has been shown to occur at concentrations of 0.5%, which is 1/60th the concentration found in some hand soaps. Caveat emptor!

Hormone Imbalance

In the last 100 years or so, many new health problems have come to light. These include PMS / PMT, the so-called "menopausal symptoms" which never used to exist, and more recently a massive drop in male fertility which threatens our continued existence in many western countries. SLS is most likely a major contributor to all of these problems due to its oestrogen mimicking activity.

Oestrogen is a hormone found quite normally in both men and women. Like all other hormones, it's circulating levels are rigidly controlled by the glands of the body due to the potent effect of its presence on virtually all cells. Not only does SLS irritate the skin, it is also absorbed through the skin (high levels of skin penetration may occur at even low concentration). Once in the body, the SLS molecule attaches to oestrogen receptors, mimicking the effects of the hormone in various body systems.

The result is hormonal chaos. The body can no longer control it's own oestrogen levels (or at least, what it sees as it's own oestrogen levels - it can't tell the difference between endogenous oestrogen and SLS) and therefore loses control of many normal endocrine (hormonal) functions.

In men, whose oestrogen levels are normally extremely low, this massive increase causes breast enlargement, reduction of male hormone levels and a massive drop in both sperm count and sperm motility (ability of the sperm to fertilise an ovum). Gender confusion may also be related to SLS levels, either in the male himself or in his mother during pregancy.

In women, the reproductive system, which is totally controlled by oestrogen and progesterone, goes haywire. Rapidly shifting oestrogen levels and their effect on progesterone levels mean that the body is totally confused, leading to menstrual problems, menopausal symptoms and potentially infertility. Because this subject is so important, we have devoted a whole section of this site to womens health.

Eye irritation / eye deformities in children

Have you ever got shampoo in your eyes? Yes, so have I - not pleasant is it? However, the potential effects of SLS on the eye are much more worrying. In animal studies, 10% SLS caused acute corneal damage. However, it is not just direct eye contact that is the problem. According to the American College of Toxicology, "tests show permanent eye damage in young animals from skin contact in non-eye areas".

In other words, because SLS is absorbed through the skin, it can cause PERMANENT eye damage WITHOUT ever directly coming into contact with your eyes. As a result, you would expect that childrens products would be SLS-free. Unfortunately not, most childrens shampoos contain just as much SLS as those for adults.

Thankfully, alternatives DO exist, though you would be hard-pressed to find them in your local chemist or supermarket.

Protein Denaturing

Our cells are made from protein. The development of those cells is strictly regulated by the reproductive processes that are continually at work removing damaged and old cells and replacing them with healthy new ones. Virtually every cell in the body is replaced at least every 7 years.

SLS exerts its effects on proteins by forming a chemical bridge between the fat-soluble and water-soluble parts of the protein moecule. This disrupts the hydrophobic forces needed to maintain the protein structure and the molecule collapses, rendering it useless. This effect is usually irriversible.

The result of this is two-fold. Firstly, existing proteins are damaged, leading to an increase in the amount of healing required by the body. Secondly, new proteins can be damaged and cells disrupted while they are under construction. It is exactly this type of activity that can lead to the early stages of skin cancer.

In the skin, this process can be so severe, that skin layers may separate and inflame due to its (SLS's) protein denaturing properties.


SLS is used to clean engines and greasy floors, too.
Quite apart from it's potential to cause pre-cancerous conditions by denaturing proteins, the oestrogen mimicking effects of SLS also offers massive potential to cause cancer. It is known that many cancers, not least breast and ovarian cancer are directly related to oestrogen levels, in fact some cancer cells actually secrete their own oestrogen, which contributes to the growth of the tumour.

Clearly, by disrupting normal oestrogen levels AND by causing similar effects at a cellular level as endogenous oestrogen, SLS exhibits MASSIVE potential to both cause and worsen cancerous states. The incidence of breast cancer has increased several-fold in the last 50 years, both in women and in men. Currently, according to the American Cancer Society, men account for approximately 1% of all breast cancer cases. This subject is discussed in more detail in our womens health section.

There is also a third way by which SLS can potentially cause cancer. Carcinogenic nitrates can form in the manufacturing of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or by its inter-reaction with other nitrogen bearing ingredients within a formulation utilizing this ingredient (many shampoos contain nitrate compounds). A single shampooing can produce more cancer-causing nitrates in the body than eating a pound of bacon, which is VERY high in nitrates!

Whether it is by these means or not, SLS in a known mutagen - it is capable of damaging the genetic material found every cell in your body. As mutagenicity has been strongly linked to cancer, this is a major concern.

The information on this page is collected from the following sources:
Pesticide Action Network

Kurt Kosswig,"Surfactants" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, 2005, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a25_747

"Final report on the safety assessment of sodium laureth sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate". Journal of the American College of Toxicology 2 (5): 1–34. 1983. doi:10.3109/10915818309140713.

Agner T (1991). "Susceptibility of atopic dermatitis patients to irritant dermatitis caused by sodium lauryl sulphate". Acta Dermato-venereologica 71 (4): 296–300. PMID 1681644.

Nassif A, Chan SC, Storrs FJ, Hanifin JM (November 1994). "Abnormal skin irritancy in atopic dermatitis and in atopy without dermatitis". Archives of Dermatology 130 (11): 1402–7. doi:10.1001/archderm.130.11.1402. PMID 7979441.

Magnusson B, Gilje O (1973). "Allergic contact dermatitis from a dish-washing liquid containing lauryl ether sulphate". Acta Dermato-venereologica 53 (2): 136–40. PMID 4120956.

Van Haute N, Dooms-Goossens A (March 1983). "Shampoo dermatitis due to cocobetaine and sodium lauryl ether sulphate". Contact Dermatitis 9 (2): 169. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0536.1983.tb04348.x. PMID 6851541.

Black RE, Hurley FJ, Havery DC (2001). "Occurrence of 1,4-dioxane in cosmetic raw materials and finished cosmetic products". Journal of AOAC International 84 (3): 666–70. PMID 11417628.

1,4-Dioxane (1,4-Diethyleneoxide). Hazard Summary. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Created in April 1992; Revised in January 2000. Fact Sheet

"1,4-Dioxane cancer 123-91-1 January 1988" (PDF). Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

"California Files Prop 65 Lawsuit Against Whole Foods, Avalon". Bloomberg.

FDA/CFSAN--Cosmetics Handbook Part 3: Cosmetic Product-Related Regulatory Requirements and Health Hazard Issues. Prohibited Ingredients and other Hazardous Substances: 9. Dioxane

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Product Profile: Cold and Flu Tea

Boline's family of teas.

About all of our teas:
Boline blends very specific ingredients to create its custom formulas. Each ingredient has a specific purpose and adds to the remedy. Ingredients vary, batch by batch, based on what's in season and available. We work WITH the earth, not against it.

This also means the formula you get is more effective. Not only is everything freshly dried and far more potent, but the human body is part of a larger ecosystem with its own cycles- our method reflects that. If we run out of a key ingredient and we cannot replace it with something suitable, the product disappears off of the Boline website until we can make the product effectively again (we get more of a specific ingredient). 

This seasonal philosophy flies in the face of what most folks are used to- getting a product that consistently has the same ingredients. But that way of thinking is one of agribusiness, cost control measures, and monoculture that has caused more problems in the world than it has helped. 

Boline is different. We know that many different ingredients can achieve the same effect and make blends seasonally, in tune with the earth's cycles. We list all possible ingredients below on the website- but the ingredients you get in your batch are inclusively listed on the bag (we create labels batch by batch). If you have a question on whether an ingredient will be included in your current batch, just ask! We are happy to blend a formula with or without any specific ingredient just for you. So folks with allergies need not fear.

Fannings (left) and whole leaves (right)
Why buy Boline's tea instead of that bagged "medicinal tea" brand at the health food store?Sure, you could buy bags of herbal teas that have similar ingredients at the grocery store, but they will not work as well. Why? 

The main difference between loose teas and tea bags is obviously the size of the leaves. When producing the tea bags, whole leaves are chopped, sliced and diced into small particles ranging from 0.2 to 1.5 millimeters called "fanning" and "dusts". With all this slicing and dicing, the plant compounds interact with moisture and oxygen, leading to rapid quality loss. 

Whole leaves contain natural compounds such as antioxidants and polyphenols, and different essential oils which are the basis of the amazing tea flavor, taste, and medicinal properties. When the leaves are broken up, those oils tend to evaporate, leaving the fannings with a dull aroma which will lead to a tasteless and less potent beverage. 

Further, who knows how long that tea has lived in those bags, in that box, on a shelf somewhere? All of the teas Boline sells are fresh! So choose fresh (medicinal grade) loose teas! 

Like all herbal medicine, our teas work best when combined with a lifestyle that includes clean water, whole foods, gentle exercise, and plenty of self-love.

Boline's Cold and Flu Tea

See the berries, flowers, and whole leaves?
No dust here! The infuser bag is included with
each Boline tea you get.

This tea has a combination of medicinal herbs that help with all kinds of cold and flu symptoms (congestion, mucus production, itchy eyes, headaches, fevers, immune function, and killing the cause of the infection.

Ingredients (which may vary throughout the season because of availability, but include): Elderberries*, Yarrow*, Yerba Santa*, Lemon Balm*, Peppermint*, Bayberry* (*indicates organic)

Traditionally, in both folk medicine and the ancient traditions of Oriental and Ayurvedic medicine, sweating therapy was the treatment of choice for the initial stages of acute infections. Hot baths, saunas or sweat lodges together with sweat inducing teas were used to raise body temperature and open the skin pores. (The idea is that by raising body temperature and increasing circulation, the body’s natural defenses would be mobilized to fight of the invader. This is of course why we get a temperature when we have a cold or flu.) 

The raised temperature is the body adjusting itself to the optimum state for the immune system to function. We have all experienced the sequence of chills, where the body is trying to heat itself up followed by sweat and burning as it reaches it peak. Often the body will go through several waves of temperature rises before it finally deals with the infection. In many ways then the approach of supressing the raised temperature with paracetamol is working against the immune system. Sweating, on the other hand, works *with* it. This is why you will see several plants below that help induce sweating in the Cold and Flu formula. 

About the ingredients:

Elderberries are an anti-viral and have anti-inflammatory properties. Its antioxidant properties help to fight respiratory issues as well. One study, published in 2009 in the Online Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics, found that patients taking 175 mg of elderberry extract four times daily for two days experienced significant improvement in symptoms compared to patients taking placebo. After the 48 hours of treatment, 28 percent of patients taking elderberry were void of all symptoms, 60 percent had relief from some symptoms and the remaining 12 percent experienced improvement to a lesser degree. A 2009 study published in Phytochemistry found that the flavonoids in elderberry bind to and prevent the H1N1, or swine flu, virus in test tubes. Researchers note that the H1N1 inhibition activity of elberberry is comparative to the known anti-influenza activity of the drug Tamiflu and amantadine, an organic compound often used in flu medications. Further studies in humans are required, however, to determine if the herb could prevent or treat swine flu in people. Elderberry may provide some benefit for sufferers of bacterial sinus infections. Popular in Germany, and to a lesser extent the United States, a popular product helps fight sinusitis and provides relief from symptoms. 

Yarrow “Yarrow, when administered hot and copiously, will raise the heat of the body, equalise the circulation and produce perspiration.” - Dr. John R. Christopher Yarrow’s potential in fighting colds and flu lies in a number of components capable of reducing these diseases’ symptoms. For example, volatile oil of yarrow, rich in sesquiterpene lactones and alkamides, has anti-inflammatory effects. Yarrow essential oil contains chamazulene and prochamazulene, components, which also have anti-inflammatory action and work similarly to camomile oil. Flavonoids found in the plant possess antispasmodic properties. The plant also shows antiseptic and antibacterial properties. As a matter of fact, this plain plant has strong potential in lessening flu and colds signs, since it reduces muscle pain, eliminates fever, and kills bacteria. Yarrow is especially helpful for the promotion of sweating. It is done by reducing inflammation, making tissues shrink, and increasing blood circulation. As a result, fever is reduced, and overall state of a patient is improved. (It may seem inadvisable to raise the body heat in cases of fever but by using yarrow we are supporting the body in responding to infection naturally.) 

Yerba Santa Yerba Santa is used for any wet, mucus-y lung or sinus condition, such as a head cold, seasonal allergies, or bronchitis. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory- so the two properties of decongestant and anti-inflammatory together are good reasons to add to an allergy formula. Taken during acute symptoms, yerba santa acts as a respiratory stimulant, decongestant and expectorant. It also produces a secondary action that dries up and reduces copious mucus. 

Lemon or Lime Balm It tastes fantastic, and has known anti viral properties. Lemon and Lime Balm both can be used to fight colds and flu, or help make bitter medicine taste much better. Lemon or Lime Balm also are used as a remedy for stress. This can be useful for cranky sick people, who need to calm down and get some rest. It is a mild, nutritive herb that is great to use every day. They can also act as a decongestants and antihistamines, helping with even chronic problems like asthma or allergies. They help with nausea, mild insomnia, and are safe for children. They combine well with peppermint and catnip to stimulate circulation, and can also be used for colds and flu and are most effective in the early stages of a cold. They are used to treat headaches and tiredness, mild depression, laryngitis, and colic. 

Peppermint or Catnip is another one of those "sweat inducing" (diaphoretic) herbs that assist the body in flighting off an infection. They are also great for queasy tummies and colic. They taste great and makes this tea delicious when you are feeling low. 

Bayberry Bayberry has potent astringent actions and can be very beneficial for the treatment of upper respiratory infections. It tightens the tissues, improving circulation and reducing inflammation. Taken internally, bayberry is beneficial for treating conditions which result in excessive mucus secretions, such as allergies and sinus infections. 

Buy Cold and Flu Tea for $7.50


*When making a medicinal tea, you must boil water, then steep the brew longer than a black tea (medicinal teas take 20-30 minutes) and you MUST cover the tea as it steeps. This means none of the essential oils (the medicines!) of the plants will escape with the steam.

Boline teas come in recyclable tea sacks- weights vary because some ingredients are heavier than others (we package by volume, not weight). We also include an unbleached cotton muslin infuser bag to assist you in making your tea.

Counterindications and warnings:You could be allergic to a plant or a plant family just like you could be allergic to a food. Use with standard commonsense precautions when trying new things. If any adverse reactions happen that coincide with the taking of this tea, discontinue use and consult your herbalist or doctor. 

Avoid medicinal doses of Lemon or Lime Balm when pregnant or if suffering from night sweats. People with either Grave's disease or thyroid-related illness should not use this herb except under medical supervision. Prolonged contact with balm plants or leaves may cause contact dermatitis (itching, stinging, burning, reddened or blistered skin) or it may sensitize you to other allergens. 

Bayberry dries up mucus very effectively, but discontinue use if it is overly drying to you (minor nosebleeds). 

Standard required disclaimer:The statements made here have not been approved by the FDA. These statements are not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act for herbalists and people like me but not big pharma, who is in bed with the FDA. After umpteen million product recalls, birth defects and deaths, big pharma still doesn't have to label like this- even though this product has been used safely for much longer than any pharmaceutical preparation has. Just sayin'.