Category Archives: Health

Herbs for ADHD, Cognition, and Focus Intensive by the Herbal Academy with Maria Noël Groves

Herbs for ADHD, Cognition, and Focus Intensive

Last week I finished Herbal Academy’s Herbs for ADHD, Cognition, and Focus Intensive with Maria Noël Groves. This course was part of the amazing Herbs and Essential Oils Ultimate Bundle that yours truly was also included in a few months back.

So here’s what I thought about this course. As expected, Herbal Academy did not disappoint! The lessons were presented by Maria Noël Groves who is a knowledgeable herbalist. The information was well-referenced and easy to understand, even for those of us that are not herbalists by profession.

The course was divided into three sections.

In lesson one, the focus was on ascertaining what ADHD is including causes, symptoms, brain function, and common medications. But that wasn’t all. The text and video component (which have downloadable PDFs and transcripts) highlight non-herbal lifestyle changes that have been shown to help those with concentration deficiency as well as an introduction to herbs used for cognitive support.

This was a fascinating section. While the focus was on ADHD, the material presented was also useful for brain fog, focus issues, memory and dementia prevention. Epigenetics was briefly mentioned which, coincidentally enough, is the subject of the book I’m currently reading The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton.

The herbs that have been found to be useful in treating cognitive issues were broken down into:

  • Nootropics, which are herbs that support cognition, memory, and the brain’s nervous system like rosemary.
  • Adaptogens that help the body adapt to stress such as Gotu Kola.
  • Nervine herbs support and nourish a healthy nervous system like lemon balm.
  • Circulation Enhancers support circulation to the brain such as Ginkgo.
  • Stimulants which increase brain and dopamine activity including coffee, chocolate and cacao, and green tea.
  • Calming Herbs that promote a calm-alert state like chamomile.

The second session was the meat and potatoes of the course. Here Maria discussed a number of herbs that can be used to shore up cognitive wellbeing, even with children. While many of these herbs are unavailable in Mexico, there were some that are already used in traditional herbal remedies here.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is limoncillo. This herb is used for coraje (emotional upset, anger) and the resulting gastrointestinal and hepatic problems. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is romero. In addition to treating gastrointestinal issues, rosemary is an excellent addition to any diet to prevent Alzheimer’s. Spearmint (Mentha spp.) otherwise known as yerba buena has been in use as a medicinal herb in Mexico since its introduction by the Spanish friars. Who can argue that any tea made from the mint family doesn’t make you more alert?

The third lesson was a review of the material and included a chart with the uses and actions of herbs covered in the course. This lesson was designed more for herbalists or those looking to help people with tinctures, teas, and infusions made from the herbs discussed. There were even several case studies and Maria’s recommendations for each.

If you or someone you love has issues such as the lack of cognitive focus found in those diagnosed with ADHD or suffer from brain fog like I do at times with hypothyroidism, this is an excellent class for you to take.

Herbal Academy Back to School Sale

Right now, Herbal Academy is having their Back to School sale and all courses, including this one, are up to 25% off until September 16th making NOW an excellent time to enroll.




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National Wellness Month

healthAugust just happens to be National Wellness Month. I talked a bit about self-care last month and I’ve chronicled my own challenges with health issues and navigating the Mexican healthcare system over the years, so I won’t rehash that. However, I’d like to share some statistics to emphasize the importance of adequate health care for women, no matter what country you live in.  Women’s symptoms are systematically dismissed by doctors resulting in poor prognosis, unnecessary suffering, and early death. 

According to the World Health Organization

  • A thousand (1000) women die every day of the consequences of pregnancy and childbirth.
  • A female in a low-income country can expect to live 24 fewer years than a female who lives in a high-income country. 
  • One-third (1 / 3) of all female deaths are due to stroke and cardiovascular disease. 
  • More than four million girls under the age of five die from preventable communicable diseases every year. 


Today I’d like to share Bonnie’s health story. Bonnie is one of our ladies in our support group Women Surviving Rural Mexico. This summer, Bonnie had surgery which was an ordeal in and of itself. She didn’t know she had to have blood donors lined up. She had to travel to a medical facility outside of her area. And while she was in recovery, a nurse found a lump on her breast. 

The nurse told her she should get a mammogram immediately. Bonnie went to her local clinic and had one done. She commented that the equipment was not very modern and the whole process made her feel as if her breasts had been flattened in a tortilla press. The technician told her that the results would be available in two months. 

Since the nurse stressed that the mammogram was urgent, Bonnie asked for the CD disc copy and took it to a private doctor for a diagnosis. The private doctor charged 200 pesos and gave her a printout to take to the clinic run by Seguro Popular (Mexican health insurance). Based on those results, Bonnie was scheduled for an ultrasound. 

There was only one technician trained to use the ultrasound at the clinic. The results weren’t available for two weeks. Bonnie then took the ultrasound information back to Seguro Popular which referred her to another doctor a biopsy. 

She went to the clinic for that appointment which performed the biopsy on the lump without anesthesia. Bonnie had to take the tissue sample to a private lab for analysis. That cost 400 pesos but the results were ready later that same week. She was given a referral to another doctor for a second opinion. 

The doctor couldn’t see her the day she had the appointment but sent her to a health fair in a town about an hour from her home where they did a second biopsy free of charge. 

When the results were ready three weeks later, Bonnie took them back to the doctor who then said she would get a referral to the hospital in San Luis Potosi, a three-hour drive. Several trips later and Bonnie was able to see a specialist. The lump is cancerous. She is scheduled to have a mastectomy on September 11. Chemotherapy is scheduled to begin after surgery. 

The medical staff signed Bonnie up for Gastos Catastróficos once the cancer diagnosis was official which will cover more of her treatments and follow-up care. 

Since breast cancer is one of the most expensive cancers to treat, Mexico public healthcare, despite all the waiting for appointments and results, is a godsend for Bonnie and her family. 

If you wish to help Bonnie on her way to wellness, you can send your donation via Google Pay or Paypal to happycrabb at 


In honor of Wellness Month, A Woman’s Survival Guide to Mexican Healthcare is free for the next few days at Amazon. As you can see from Bonnie’s story, navigating the Mexican healthcare system is complicated but doable if you are determined enough. 

healthcare cover


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Filed under Charities and Non-Profits in Mexico, Guest Blogger Adventures, Health

Natural Healing –Granada


The granada (punica granatum) or pomegranate is yet another import from Spain. The tree that we planted about 8 years ago is finally starting to produce fruit. It does well in drought conditions typical to La Yacata.

I don’t know about you, but getting at those juicy seeds can be troublesome so I really appreciated this little video.

Granada is the require garnish for Chiles en Nogadas often served during the patriotic month of September.

Naturally, this delicious fruit has medicinal applications.

The bark and root of the granada have antifungal properties. They have traditionally been used against intestinal parasites and to treat, dysentery, and diarrhea.

To rid a body of tapeworms, 60 grams of granada root is boiled in a liter of water. Half is drunk before bed, the other half when you wake up. This is followed up with a 45-gram dose of castor oil. If the tapeworm is not expelled, the treatment can be repeated in a week.

A second herbal remedy for tapeworm is similar. One part root bark for each 10 parts water is soaked overnight. In the morning, boil it down 2 /3. Then, strain. Drink the concoction first thing in the morning before breakfast then 3 ½ cup doses at half-hour intervals. Repeat the process for 3 days. On the third day, take a good dose of castor oil.

A word of caution: Excessive amounts of the bark and root cause nausea and vomiting.

Never fear, other parts of the granada, including the fruit, will not cause such an adverse reaction. Some of it is quite tasty!

The rind of the granada contains three times as much polyphenols as the fruit, including condensed tannins, catechins, gallocatechins and prodelphinidins. It shows promise in treating diabetic nephropathy. The rind is anti-inflammatory and suitable for treating and preventing inflammations of the gastric tract and malaria.

A tea for stomach ailments is made by boiling a handful of the rind, jamaica (hibuscus flower), canela (cinnamon) and membrillo (quince)  in a liter of water for ten minutes. Cool and strain. Divide the dose into three glasses and drink at intervals throughout the day.

Traditional Mexican medicinal use also includes a gargle or mouthwash to treat swollen tonsils, canker sores and inflamed gums that is made from the boiled rind. A piece of raw rind placed directly on a sore will help dry it up too.

The fruit is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antioxidant. This bright red delicious edible has also been shown to be antidiabetic. A glass of pomegranate juice daily lowers hypertension and reduces atherosclerosis. It has properties that protect the kidney as well.

The juice is also effective in treating diarrhea. In Mexico, a mixture of juice and sugar is boiled and given to children a tablespoon at a time for treatment.

Oil extracted from the seeds have inhibitory effects on skin and breast cancers. Pomegranate seed oil has phytoestrogenic compounds and contains punicic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid.

The leaves are also antibacterial and can be used to make a poultice to treat wounds. Leaf extract contains compounds that protect the brain from injury.

The flower has been used medicinally to improve insulin resistance in diabetics and is anti-inflammatory. The flowers are antimicrobial, antioxidant, analgesic and used in the treatment of mouth and stomach ulcers.

Now you have just a little something to think about next time you are nibbling some pomegranate!


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Filed under Health, Mexican Food and Drink, Natural Healing

Making Herbal Preparation Free Course Herbal Academy

Free Making Herbal Preparations 101 Course

From Monday, July 22 to Wednesday, July 31 Herbal Academy is offering Making Herbal Preparations 101 Mini-Course for FREE! You know how much I love these courses!

In this one, we’ll learn about the way that herbs are used and prepared for everyday use and begin making our own herbal recipes at home. In the seven lessons, we’ll cover:

  • 4 basic categories of herbal preparations
  • 12 everyday safe herbs to use at home
  • 33 DIY herbal recipes, from teas and tinctures to salves and oils with chickweed, dandelion, lamb’s quarters, nettle, violet, burdock, hawthorn, oat, raspberry leaf, and red clover.

Laminated recipe and tutorial guides for the course are available as an upgrade.

I’ve already signed up and am anxiously awaiting August 1, when the class opens. Won’t you join me?

Free Making Herbal Preparations 101 Course

Herbal Academy has stated that this course will be re-released in 2020 however it won’t be FREE! So why not take advantage of this amazing offer today?


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