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General Article

The Scientific Evidence on Herbs

The Scientific Evidence on Herbs

A scientific evidence regarding the ‘effectiveness of herbs on several diseases’ has been procured by several clinical and laboratory studies that have been carried out. The following nine herbs known to have been subject to maximum scrutiny stand up to the highest clinical standards.

Chamomile: Generally used as a tea in the United States, chamomile extracts, ointments and tinctures are used by most Europeans to treat a range of health problems, from indigestion to skin rashes. Famously known for its being relaxing, chamomile tea is taken as a bedtime drink. Its antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and anti-infective qualities have been supported by scientific studies too.

Echinacea: This plant was used by the Native American healers as a remedy for snakebites and skin wounds. Research shows that echinacea aids in the stimulation of the immune system thereby helping it to defend against bacterial and viral infections.

Feverfew: Several British studies proclaimed in the 1980s, the ability of feverfew to reduce the severity and frequency of migraine headaches. They believed that feverfew contains parthoenolide, an active ingredient present in feverfew that inhibits the secretion of serotonin and prostaglandin, the hormones that are known to trigger migraine.

Ginkgo: Research has proved the use of this herb for treating the enhancement of blood flow to the brain. Consumption of ginkgo has known to have aided elderly people, who have suffered from memory loss, as a result of disorder in circulatory problems. It has known to have increased their mental clarity also. By improving the blood circulation, throughout the body, ginkgo helps prevent blood clots and mood swings accompanied by anxiety, thereby relieving the symptoms of tinnitus (ringing in the ears), asthma, phlebitis (inflammation of a vein ) and vertigo.

Lemon balm: Studies have proved the soothing powers of this herb that calms nerves, protecting the body from bacterial infection. Europeans have taken its advantage to cure cold sores that are caused by the herpes simplex virus. Preliminary tests suggest that a cream that contained lemon balm extract helps herpes lesions heal faster and also helps to end the period between outbreaks of herpes.

Milk thistle: Both animals and human trials have proved its promising supplemental treatment for liver conditions, including hepatitis and cirrhosis. Milk thistle contains a mixture of flavonoid derivatives called silymarin that works directly on the liver cells.

Saint-John’s-wort: This herb was traditionally used as a relaxant for muscles in order to reduce menstrual pains, as a tranquilizer as well as a treatment for depression, nervousness, anxiety and insomnia. The active components this herb consists of, appear to function as MAO(monoamine oxidase) inhibitors. Depression may be the possible cause of an excess of depression.

Valerian: This herb has proved to be a safe and an effective alternative to sleeping pills and tranquilizers. Not very certain of its working, scientists believe that Valerian depresses the central nervous system activity.

We fully trust that Health is man’s wealth, what better garden herbs cure could be there than healing it naturally using herbal treatment?…

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General Article

Inspiring Gardens For Growing Food In Small Spaces

Inspiring Gardens For Growing Food In Small Spaces

If you do not have enough space to create a full fledges garden, indoor gardening would be a rewarding experience for you. With the help of hydroponics systems you can easily grow flowers as well as vegetables you desire without worrying about the outdoor setting or soil problems. Even the smallest of balconies, patio gardens or even window boxes can provide an abundance of foods for you to enjoy through hydroponic gardening methods. You can use small container to grow food in areas where it would otherwise be impossible to grow plants. The best containers to use for hydroponic gardening are dark colored plastics to prevent algae growth in the nutrient solution. Dark colored square containers fit together nicely to make the most of your space, and also to block light.

Hydroponic system produces some of the highest quality, fragrant flowers. There are special flavor enhancers used in the hydroponic flower gardening, which helps to improve the aroma of flowers. You can grow any kind of flower in your garden. However, zinnia and sunflowers work especially well in a hydroponic garden. To grow roses hydroponically you can go with N.F.T (nutrient film technique). It is the most common hydroponic growing system used in rose plantation. Coco coir is the best growing medium for rose plants as it enables the roots to breathe and absorb maximum nutrients. There are various sizes of hydroponic set ups, from something quite elaborate to even just a sealed deep tray.

It is important to provide plenty of lights for your indoor flower garden. Hydroponic grow lights come in a variety of types that include full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs, metal halide grow lamps, high pressure sodium lights, and high-intensity LED grow lights. Among them, fluorescent lights and LED are designed to support bigger growth of indoor plants with improved quality of bulbs. These eco-friendly lights give hydroponic growers the facility to select specific light levels and color temperatures to grow the plants in a healthy way. Compact fluorescent lights (CFL) are very useful for growing flower plants that need indirect light. These lamps have soft light intensity compared to others so no need to worry about foliage curling or burning.

Plants grown in an indoor hydroponic garden require less water compared to soil based gardens. This is because the hydroponic system is able to recycle the nutrient solution. Right amount of hydroponic fertilizers and nutrients is very essential for plants growth. You have to understand the nutrient needs of your plants and accordingly provide well-mixed nutrient solution to your plants for healthy blooming.

For your precious flower garden, use rockwool as a growing medium because it provides roots with a good balance of water and oxygen. To create an ideal environment for the plants, indoor system provides manual adjustment of temperature, humidity, amount of light and moisture. Once you’ve got your plants and flowers moved in, you only need to add water and nutrients to keep them growing like wild fire.…

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General Article

Lawn and Garden Furniture

Lawn and Garden Furniture

For those who love to spend time outdoors, lawn and garden furniture is an important part of their backyard. With so many choices, your outside space can be just as comfortable and stylish as indoors. It can function as an additional room without an expensive addition to your home. Covered patios, decks, and three season rooms allow use even when the sun isn’t shining.

More people are including all the luxuries of living indoors in their outdoor spaces. A place to sit and relax is probably the most important element of an outside space. Look beyond the usual aluminum patio table and chairs, and you’ll find benches, swings, Adirondack chairs, and outdoor sofas and loveseats.

Adirondack chairs are designed for comfort with a high back and low seat that curves to conform to your body. They are perfect for lounging and the arms are usually wide enough for resting your arms and a drink. The chairs, along with many benches and swings, are usually made fairly inexpensively with materials that naturally stand up to the elements, such as wood, plastic, or resin.

Outdoor sofas and loveseats, on the other hand, can be much more expensive than Adirondack chairs because of the material from which they are made. The sofas are designed to be as comfortable as indoor furniture, with soft fabrics and cushions, but also to be left outside. Durable frame materials for outdoor furniture include aluminum, wicker, and teak wood, and fabrics best suited for outside use are acrylic or vinyl covered materials or canvas. Pieces can be sold individually or sets can include a sofa, loveseat, chair, end tables, and coffee table, as an indoor living room set might. Styles, finishes, and fabric choices are available to fit every taste.

To make your outdoor room even cozier, an outdoor rug and fireplace are nice options. An area rug gives the space a finished feel and is available in weather resistant materials. A fireplace is cozy and extends the functionality of the outside space into cooler months. Free standing outdoor fireplaces can be purchased at discount stores for under $100 and permanent structures can cost more than $10,000.

Outdoor areas are a great way to expand your home’s living space and enjoy time outside. You will be surprised at the amount of time you will find yourself spending in your garden once you have created an area that you like and will enjoy being in. Considering the number of furniture options and prices to fit nearly any budget, there is no reason to suffer from “cabin fever” any longer.…

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Room Additions

Nine Basic Home Maintenance Tips Guide

Caring for your home is part of the pride and joy of home ownership. Taking good care of your home helps preserve and even escalates the home’s value. However, for most people, home maintenance is a pain in the neck since it needs more time and effort. Nevertheless, keeping your home in tip top shape is necessary to protect your biggest investment and so home maintenance is not an option, but a necessity. It is important that you have an idea on how to make basic repairs and maintenance to your home’s systems and fixtures.
Following is a guide on how to manage the basic home maintenance tasks in your home:
1. Make sure that you know where the control points are. Find out where the main plumbing valves are and the electrical breakers. If you do not have the blueprint of your home, you can hire a professional to identify all of the necessary controls for you. This is an investment that can surely benefit you later on.
2. Ensure that your home is safe by checking on your smoke detectors every now and then. If you find there is something wrong with the detectors, have them checked right away by an electrician. Keep fire extinguishers near the kitchen and bedrooms and make sure that everybody is aware of where they are and knows how to use them. If your home was built before 1978, you may hire a certified hazardous materials inspector to check your home for lead-based paint, asbestos, mildew and molds. For more information about this, check out the Department of Health and Human Services in your area.
3. Do a regular inspection of your home. Be alert on problems such as water in the wrong place or uneven power flows.
4. Find out and understand the life expectancy of the components of your home. Nothing lasts forever, and this holds true to the appliances and gadgets you have in your home. Your fridge has a twelve to fifteen useful life; water heater has ten to twelve years. Your roof should last for twenty years. The carpets probably need to be replaced after eight years and your paint three to four years. The plumbing may last for twenty-five years, and your electrical wiring is safe for fifteen or twenty years and the furnace will remain efficient for twenty years at most.
5. Purchase a home warranty policy. This will help you maintain and monitor your home. The insurance company will do an inspection and provide service for all your major appliances regularly and will charge you only a minimal additional fee for repairs. This is especially important if your home is older.
6. Keep a toolbox to do small repairs by yourself. Make sure you have the correct and complete materials in the kit such as: flat-head and philips-head screwdrivers, lightweight claw hammer, pliers, small hand saw, wire cutters, twine, duct tape, wood glue caulk, stud-finder, electrical outlet tester and a 3-foot straight-edge ruler.
7. You may enroll in a workshop in your local hardware of home depot store to gain some basic skills. The lessons will help you learn how to replace damaged window screens, tighten screws, stop running toilet, replace tile grout, clean the gutters, shut off the main plumbing valve if there is a leak and switch the right breaker in case of power problem.
8. Do not hesitate to call on the professionals if the need arises. Electricians and plumbers contractors are licensed for a reason. They do dangerous and difficult work. Never attempt to work on your furnace or clear out a backed-up plumbing nor re-wire a circuit by yourself. Call these qualified professionals to do the work for you. Look for contractors and handyman services and have their names and contact numbers affixed to the fridge in case of an emergency.
9. Reserve a fund for home maintenance costs. This is necessary when the time comes to replace the roof and major home appliances or if there are immediate major repairs to be done.
Your home is your biggest personal asset; therefore you should ensure that you give it your most tender loving care.…

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Home Maintenance

Remodel Or Upgrade Your Kitchen, Bathroom, Or Entire Home

As time passes, every homeowner begins to get tired of some aspect of their house.  “The kitchen’s too small” or “The bathroom is not a place for a relaxing bath” are some of the common complaints.  Every home could always be better; more attractive and functional.  How does one achieve the results they desire?  Which room or rooms should be given priority for remodeling?
Most real estate agents and builders will recommend that remodeling a kitchen and bathroom will maximize any increase in the home’s value, especially if selling the home is a potential reality within the next five years or so.  Even if the homeowner is not planning to sell, it still makes perfect sense to improve the home just for their own enjoyment.
With all the new and exciting kitchen and bathroom upgrades available on the market such as whirlpool tubs, imported tile, efficient green light fixtures, and so on, it’s not surprising that people are itching to spruce up their own abodes.  Currently the trend for upgrading and remodeling a home has been with a strong focus on efficiency and the use of “green” materials.
As more builders recognize individual’s concerns regarding the environment and future generations, options for remodeling any part of the home are opening up.  What once was viewed as impractical or expensive is now acceptable due to individual lifestyle changes being made by homeowners in order to be more efficient and cost effective.
Many of the more common place “green” items available for bathroom remodels are dual flush toilets, LED lighting, and recycled tiles. Pedestal sinks have been making a comeback as well, as more homeowners are trying to achieve a more classic feel.  Many such fixtures can be reclaimed from older home sites that have been demolished or remodeled themselves. 
By reusing older fixtures and recycled materials, landfills are being spared the increased burden of more needless waste and pollution and many of these salvaged elements can be found at great savings to the homeowner.  Finding these treasures isn’t always easy though as builders tend to have more resources to find them for clients than the individual homeowner. 
That doesn’t mean an individual can’t perform their own remodel, but having a builder working for the homeowner will save a lot of time, hassle,  and frustration.  Many homeowners simply lack the knowledge, skill, and experience regarding remodeling or building a bathroom, kitchen, or even a simple stairway.  The large benefit of utilizing a builder for a stairway or a more complex remodel such as a kitchen remodel or bathroom remodel is that the project will be completed in a timely fashion ensuring a minimal disruption to daily life.…

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Bathroom Remodel

Hire a Handyman: Small Projects Equal Big Improvements

In uncertain economic times like these, a lot of homeowners are favoring small repairs and improvements around their home over major remodeling projects. Honestly, that makes a lot of sense. And I think a lot of people are surprised at how much better they feel when, what seemed like small annoyances, are remedied.
So while there’s no harm in dreaming about and planning for that full-scale room addition, now might be the time to focus on the more manageable issues such as doors that stick, creak, or open and close on their own. Or maybe you’ve got a light fixture that you’ve wanted to replace for some time, but you’ve been holding out until it can be part of a larger project. Is there a leaky faucet somewhere that you keep telling yourself to get fixed? Maybe an area of drywall that needs to be patched. Maybe you’d just like a dimmer switch added or some cabinet hardware replaced. Perhaps you’re tired of having to “jiggle the handle.”
All of these jobs – and so many more – call for the services of a handyman. A handyman is the person you call when you can describe your projects with terms like “repair,” “restore,” or “update,” rather than “remodel” or “renovate.”
But don’t underestimate the value of these seemingly minor improvements and how much better they can make you feel about your house. Sure, they will also make your house more appealing and valuable if you plan to put it on the market, but they will also offer you some peace of mind and pride of ownership. You go home to relax – not be reminded of all the things that need your attention.
At a time when more of us are resolving to stay in our current homes and not brave a dubious housing market, the services of a qualified handyman are more important and more valuable than ever. It truly is time to sweat the small stuff.…

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General Article

Growing Organic Vegetables – Producing Your Fertilizers

Growing Organic Vegetables – Producing Your Fertilizers

Putting organic fertilizers on your garden soil ensures that the soil get the necessary nutrients that it needs. A great number of gardeners growing organic vegetables will tell you that if you do this 2-3 times a year it will greatly augment the earth in your vegetable garden.

Including organic fertilizers to your garden soil insures that the soil get the required nutrients which it needs. The majority gardeners growing organic vegetables will tell you that if you do this 2-3 times each year it will vastly improve the soil in your vegetable garden.

Do not forget that doing this the organic way ensures that there are no man made chemical compounds being put back into your soil.

Types of fertilizer:

These can be broken down into two basic types. Organic animal based and organic plant based fertilizer:

Organic Animal fertilizer:

Organic animal fertilizer is more usually known as manure. Usually you will find that it comes from cows, horses and chickens. Also you can include bats and rabbits in this particular list of animals.

This manure should really have time to decompose and age before mixing it in thoroughly with your soil. If you are doing this yourself it is really important that the manure has fully decomposed to ensure the elimination of nasty bacteria.

Once your fertilizer is fully decomposed you can now mix this in with your soil. It will depend on whatever form your fertilizer is in as to just how you should do this. But in basic terms, if it is in either liquid or solid form you really should ensure that it is mixed in well with your soil. It is also a good idea to plan your planting for at the very least 3-4 weeks after you apply your fertilizer.

Not only will this allow the fertilizer to work it’s magic throughout the the soil but it will do away with any bad aromas from the manure that might otherwise make your planting an disagreeable activity.

Organic Plant fertilizer:

Widely known in most gardening circles as “Green Manure” Plant based fertilizer comes from a handful of sources.

Most common originate from seaweed and kelp.

This kind of fertilizer is superb for growing organic vegetables as seaweed has been shown to possess nutrients such as manganese, copper and zinc. All of which are closely associated with very good growth of your produce and provide the soil with the very important nutrients an organic gardener looks for.

A lot of organic gardeners currently make use of worm casings to fertilise their soil. It is possible to buy this in your neighborhood gardening store, but quite a few people now generate their own. To do this you need to make sure you have the right worms that you can get once again from the garden store.

A covered container and damp vegetable matter or old is a excellent and consistent way to get free fertilizer for your garden all the year round and costs practically nothing.

There is another “Green Manure” fertilizer you can use if you can find the right plants. Usually this is a crop such as soya that is grown and then harvested and blended with the soil so that the plant merely decomposes in the soil.

This works very well as the decomposing plant matter releases nutrients as it breaks down within your soil. Ensuring that you keep the soil of your organic garden well fertilised at least twice a year will ensure your crop is gaining it’s highest growing potential.…