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written by Molly Kay Stoltz

When I am sick or sore, when I’m uninspired, when it is dark and cold outside, or when I am stressed and need time alone, I take a bath.

Baths have become something of a luxury, but they shouldn’t be. Our lives are busy, and it is always easy to take a shower and get on with your day, but a bath forces you to slow down and think. And the benefits grow when you take a moment to add herbs or salts to your bath water.

The first thing to consider is the temperature of your water. Cool or room-temperature water can help to lower a fever or normalize your system, and can firm and strengthen you if you are able to brave the cold! On the other hand, warm water is soothing and opens your pores which can help you become decongested or eliminate toxins from your body, for example, after a hard workout or a massage. Read the rest of this entry »

Hello Sprout readers! This is Molly Kay, the Urban Herbal Girl, and I’ll be contributing to Sprout once a month with herbal remedies and facts. Herbs can easily become a part of your daily diet and are an affordable way to both heal and prevent illness. It can also be a pleasant way to reconnect to nature, even when you live in the urban jungle of Chicago!

Did you know that adults in the U.S. spent $14.9 billion on natural products, such as herbal remedies? It’s only natural that people turn to plants for their health, as herbalism reaches back to the age of the Neanderthal. In fact, herbal medicine is the oldest form of therapy practiced by humans, who, by trial-and-error and instinct, discovered helpful and harmful plants. To this day, scientists have found that our ancestor’s choices in plant medicine were right-on. Herbalists now rely on both science and lore to form what we know as herbal medicine today. Read the rest of this entry »

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