The Calming Effects of Ginger

An upset tummy can be quite a discouraging event. It is one of the main reasons people miss work or school. There is so much happening in the middle of the body where digestion occurs that it is difficult to know what exactly is wrong. We just know, it’s uncomfortable. It could be indigestion, bloating, gas, heartburn, cramping, diarrhea, even motion sickness or nausea and we feel it in our gut.


Luckily thousands of years of holistic medical traditions around the world have focused on digestive health. It is considered a pivotal key to unlocking vitality throughout the body. There is an array of trusted herbal allies available to support a healthy digestive processes. Many of them are well-known spices, used (abundantly) with abundance in cooking.

Zingiber officinalis, the latin name for Ginger, is one such herb known to many in the kitchen. If you have not encountered it in the kitchen, you may have imbibed it in the form of ginger ale, or tasted it in that hot, hot, chewy candy that sticks to your teeth! Regardless, most people are familiar with ginger and with its characteristic warm and spicy quality. That warming effect benefits the organs of digestion tremendously. Ginger stimulates the creation of high quality saliva, increasing the amylase concentration, which breaks down starchy carbohydrates and fatty foods. Proper bile flow is another digestive process known to be supported by ginger, making it easier to handle the digestion of fat. As an aromatic carminative, it has the potential to relieve occasional bloating and painful gas–a distressing situation which ginger can rescue you from in a hurry!


The WishGarden formula Digestive Ease contains Fennel, Catnip, Peppermint and Ginger. All four plants create a symphony of aromatic oils that support health in the digestive system and help sooth temporary digestive upsets. It is ideal for those with tender tummies to take along on trips or for quick support after accidental exposure to a food sensitivity. Do keep in mind that Digestive Ease is intended to soothe symptoms and it is essential to consult a practitioner to explore underlying causes if you find yourself reaching for the formula on a regular basis.


Recommended dosing strategy is 2-3 droppers full taken orally, in warm water, or tea – repeat as needed. Enjoy! This formulation is one of the most delicious herbal remedies available.

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 Written by Christina Bertelli, Certified Clinical Herbalist

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Friday Photo: The Amazing Starfish

Starfish (Asteroidea)

During a recent trip to Northern California, a WishGardener caught some great photos of some extraordinary sea life, thanks to a record low tide. Feeling intrigued by these brightly colored sea creatures, she did a little asking around and found out some interesting facts about the starfish.

One such fact is that if a starfish loses a limb it simply grows a new one. An even more amazing occurrence is that if a starfish is chopped into pieces, each piece can grow a whole new starfish. Scientists have been studying the creature hoping to find out whether the limb-regrowing abilities of the starfish could hold the secret to human renewal.

Scientists also believe the slimy goo that covers a starfish could hold the key to finding new treatment for inflammatory conditions such as asthma, hay fever and arthritis.

Pretty amazing stuff for a creature with no brain!

Text and photo by Anna Hunziker.

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Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)

MotherWort

Motherwort is said to resemble a Lion’s Tail, giving us its common name, but at WishGarden Herbal Remedies  we like to refer to it as ‘Lion Hearted,’ or the herb for ‘Strength of Heart.’  Traditionally Motherwort was not used as a heart herb, though its usage as a cardiac tonic is quite frequent nowadays (notice the heart reference in the Latin word cardiaca).  Mother’s Wort, or Mother’s Herb to the Greeks, was used mainly as a women’s herb, during pregnancy, labor, menstrual disorders and menopausal syndromes.  It is interesting to note that so many herbs that were known to be beneficial to the uterus (for example, Raspberry Leaf, Rose, Lemon Balm, Black Haw, and Hawthorne), also were used as medicine for the heart.

Early in my Chinese Medicine studies a professor was lecturing on the etymology of the Chinese Character ‘Xin’ (Heart), 心, and we discussed how the ancient form of the character,           looked a lot like a uterus.  This is even more interesting knowing that diseases of the heart and uterus can oftentimes go hand in hand.  Another etymological scholar describes the character as being a picture of the entire torso, a concept that is inclusionary of both body systems .  The connection linking these two prominent organs is physical as well—the uterus contains a pacemaker, just like the heart.

With the roots of WishGarden Herbs lying in the midwifery world, Motherwort is an herb that is familiar to us and used in many of our pregnancy and women’s hormonal formulations.  However, it is also one of the key herbs used in our Emotional Ally, where it can give anyone in need a good dose of some ‘strength of heart.’

Written by Carrie Pattison.

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Thunder, Lightning, Fireworks and our Animals…it must be July!

A massive lightning storm came through Boulder last night, one of several in the past few weeks, and according to the forecast one of many to come.  As I sat outside last night mesmerized by the rumbles, I thought that perhaps this was Mother Nature reminding us that she was the originator of fireworks, and our Independence Day celebrations don’t have anything on her light displays.  While pondering this thought, a boom loud enough to shake the windows roared across the sky, and I was brought back to earth when the dog came running to my side.  Then I realized what July memories I have the most of…trying to calm my terror-ridden pets.

Over the years I’ve tried numerous different remedies to alleviate their anxiety, during fireworks, storms, and everyday events like me leaving them behind while I go to the grocery store.  I never really found anything that worked all that well, and don’t get me started on the products that just sedated them past reality.  Well, thanks to WishGarden I have the remedy for my poor critters, and hopefully you’ll have just as much success using it with yours.

WishGarden Herbs’s Emotional Ally was originally formulated to be used during those “Storms of Life.”  The remedy is all about using anxiety comforting and emotionally supportive herbs to center, ground, and help deal with stress.  We like to think about the formula being more focused on those gripping emotions, where you really feel it in your solar plexus—grief, anxiety, fragility, feeling like the world is pressing in, broken heart, fright, terror, etc.  All those things that your animals (and yourself) might be feeling during one of many “Storms of Life.”  When I take this formula I immediately feel the black clouds above my head part, and the sunshine come out.  A happy and “storm free” 4th to you and your animals!

On the practical side of things, animals are similar to people in that where dosage needs can be based upon size.  In my medium-sized dog I started with 1 dropper full and “double dosed for symptom relief” every 5 minutes until I noticed his shaking and needing to be pressed up against me was gone.  He was a 3 dropperful dog.  Cats are different.  Alcohol is a no-no for them, so I put a full dropper of the tincture in a shot glass of hot water and let it cool down.  Our formulations have such a small amount of alcohol in them to begin with that I find this solution very effective.  My cat needs ½ a dropperful of the dilution. I have used this formula preventatively with great success as well.  No one likes to see their loved ones quivering in fear.

For humans start with 2-4 droppers full, “double dose” (i.e. repeat) as necessary every 5 minutes until relief is obtained.  This formula can also be taken 1-3 times a day as a tonic.

 Happy 4th from WishGarden Herbal Remedies!

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Written by Carrie Pattison. 

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Friday Photo: Thoughts of the Coast

WishGarden Herbal Remedies is based in Boulder, Co. This summer has been a scorcher for us with temperatures climbing north of 100 on quite a few days. Tragically, we have also seen our share of fires: one in Colorado Springs, one outside of Ft. Collins, and one in the foothills behind Boulder. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to all of those who have been affected by the fires.

One WishGardener, knowing the restorative power of visual imagery, provided us with this image that she took while at Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast. From our vantage point, it is just the antidote we needed!

Cannon Beach, Oregon

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Yerba Mansa / Cedar Free for Seasonal Pollen Distress

Flying pollen during seasonal transitions can provide a great inconvenience to those sensitive to nature’s bounty. For those affected, fast, effective relief generally comes over the counter by more conventional means. With Cedar Free, WishGarden Herbs is determined to provide similar results without the side effects associated with most mainstream offerings.

Pollinating Mountain Cedar Tree

Catherine Hunziker, owner and formulator at WishGarden Herbs, originally designed Cedar Free as a region-specific formula for the American central Southwest, and Texas specifically, where the pollen from Juniperus ashei, commonly known as mountain cedar, affects those who are very sensitive to its presence. Locals call this sensitivity “cedar fever”, which is what inspired the name Cedar Free.

Cedar Free contains a combination of herbs that immediately go to work on the body’s response to pollen exposure. Herbs such as: Nettle leaf, Echinacea root, Orange peel, Elder flower, Yerba Manza root, Horseradish root. The synergy of botanicals in Cedar Free is so effective because it aids in draining and tonifying the inflamed tissues where histamine explosions occur. The release of histamine is responsible for boggy, watery eyes and swollen, congested sinuses, ie. the things that make you feel terrible. The formula is very versatile and can also be used to calm the response to household dust and dander.

Yerba Mansa 

Yerba mansa, Anemopsis californica, is one of the star supporting herbs in Cedar Free. We use the roots of this plant which are very aromatic and spicy, characteristics which suggest volatile oil content. These volatile oils aid in breaking up sinus congestion. Yerba mansa has an ability to greatly benefit the health of mucous membranes, such as in the sinuses and nasal cavity. In herbal lingo we call Yerba mansa an astringent. Astringents reduce the discomfort of swollen membranes by shrinking and draining tissues. The reliability and capacity of Yerba mansa to support soft tissue has been known across its native southwest for generations; it has even been promoted as an analogue to the prized and endangered goldenseal by herbalist Michael Moore.

To have the best success with Cedar Free for allergies an aggressive dosing pattern is recommended. 30 to 60 drops every five minutes as needed until symptoms subside. This can be repeated four times in the span of 20 minutes. Sensitive immune systems can be at ease knowing that Wishgarden eco-medicinal formulas are all gluten free, organic, and non GMO.

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Written by Christina Bertelli.

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Product Profile: Kick-Ass Sinus

For many of us, springtime brings a rash of pollen-related issues: loss of smell, cough, nasal congestion and discharge, postnasal drip, and a sore throat. WishGarden’s Kick-Ass Sinus is formulated with yerba santa, sage, elderflower, and a number of other herbs that support respiratory tissue health. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Active Ingredients: Yerba Santa leaf, Sage leaf, Yerba Manza root, Baptisia root, Elder flower, Garlic bulb, Goldenrod aerial, Horseradish root, Poke root

Other Ingredients: Organic gluten-free alcohol, vegetable glycerine and pure Rocky Mountain spring water.

Usage: 2-4 droppers full in water for taste, every 2-4 hours as needed. Repeat in 5 minutes for extra immediate effect.

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