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"Let the beauty we love be what we do." Rumi


Imagine times when we feel totally at home in our bodies, vibrant, alive and deeply connected with the vital life force around us.

Andrée Beauchamp is a Certified Holistic Health Care Practitioner & Accredited Therapeutic Herbalist, C.N.H.P, H.T.A. who specializes in Prevention with Nutritional Guidance & Herbal Medicine, Body Therapy & Energy Medicine.

To see what Andrée can do for you, schedule an appointment with her today.

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Herbal Alchemy

By Andrée Beauchamp 02 Feb, 2017
February heralds in the Chinese New Year with the Fire Rooster at its helm. The Fire Hen (in my case) calls for  a time to cultivate deeper and more meaningful connections with ourselves, with one another and in the community. The fire rooster year asks that we use diligence and discipline to manifest our dreams. Batten down the hatches, take care of details, do as we say, and say what we feel. Most importantly be impeccable in our words and actions.  

A call to compassion in action is a longing to show-up in a deeper way. Can we pour more loving chi into the things that nourish and sustain us, and will our deeper hearts lead the way in kindness and with tolerance?
The question arises,  then, "How does one nourish, love and sustain ourselves and others with a deeper heart? How does one show up to be more fully present for ourselves and others, to deepen the relationships with those that we have already, and for the potential for new and deeper ones to come in?

In order to understand how one can deepen our heart's calling,  it is useful to know what happens when our body is under pressure. A survey in 2015 showed that 22% of Canadians experience high levels of stress on a daily basis. This is likely higher now.   Dr. Sonya Lupien  director for the Center for Studies on Human Stress in Montreal, coined an acronym, "NUTS" for four ways in which stress is triggered:
N is for Novelty, something is new, like a job or a first date,
U is for Unpredictability, when you don't know how something is going to turn out.
T is for Threat to the Ego, when your competence is threatened. 
S is for Sense of Control  as in with little or no control, like being stuck in traffic.

This is useful, as when we fully acknowledge what has triggered our sense of safety and well- being, we can respond by taking an action to reduce our stress. This encourages us to take a deeper responsibility to step in and support ourselves, and to rise to the call of action where a deeper heart may be called upon or needed for ourselves or with another. Deep breathing, singing, dancing, the support of a loved one, colleague or friend, moving our body, meditating,(Intensive care unit study with nurses, showed that an eight week meditation course cut stress levels by 40%)and reading (for 6 minutes, reduces stress by 68%) or eating whole foods, especially fish, re-establishes one's equilibrium, reducing stress by 16% to 68% within five to twenty minutes. 

Here are nine ways to show up, to live our lives more fully, and to deepen our hearts call to love in action. What would you add to this?

1. Nourish our body, heart and mind with whole foods, wild native herbs and wholesome beverages. 
2. Nourish with confidence. Instill a sense of self worth and respect for all  sentient beings, including animals, wildlife, for all of humanity.
3  Nourish one another. Take the time for hugs, and share more loving kindness unconditionally.

4. Love with deeper hearts by accepting ourselves and others and the experiences, without judgement and utilize discernment in all our words and actions.  Judge less.
5. Love is truly listening for what is being said versus responding in our mind before one has finished speaking. Being truly heard is a gift of love.
6. Love creates an environment where words no longer need  be said, compassionate actions arises out of  the intimate moments of genuine presence.

7. Sustain and deepen our heart's longing by being consistent in our words and actions, and following through with our commitments. Make them first. Planning ahead reduces stress and provides stability.
8. Sustain all of life by giving up ourselves and our agendas, for that of the greater good. 
9. Sustain all of life with generosity, especially with our time, patience, and money.

The word metta, is a Buddhist term, and means loving kindness or friendliness while the word, compassion takes the action of loving kindness to a deeper place to respond with a capacity to feel into or lean into, what is actually taking place. Out of this fountain of presence, springs the potential for our heart's longing to deepen our call to love in action. May we embody this practice and live it. OM.

By Andrée Beauchamp 24 Jan, 2017
Are you a tree hugger?  Not surprising,  as trees have nourished the earth for the last 225 million years. To give you some idea how old the trees are, the first human being walked the earth  approximately 200, 000 years ago.  Tree medicine has re-emerged, and is being researched and utilized in Europe to support human beings with deeper chronic conditions. With the health of humanity  in such crisis, tree medicine has been called upon, to serve us once again.
Hug a tree today. Walk  in a grove of trees. Explore what trees resonates with  you. Feel the healing energy of tree medicine. White pine, Oak, Poplar, Maple, Balsam fir, there are so many to choose from. We are so very fortunate to have an abundance of trees right here in the Kingston corridor. Tree medicine is people's medicine.

At Christmas we choose a fresh tree to adorn our hearth. As a child the scotch pine adorned our home, and of the past years here in Ontario, the  balsam fir has been our choice. This year Sophie's boughs were whimsical and graceful and curling in unexpected ways, with an extra wonderfully, spicy scent.  Perhaps, it is because i acknowledge and recognize now,  the beauty and the healing power of trees, that i noticed how special the balsam fir is.  i simply cannot just throw her out, and will give her back to the earth through our fireplace.

Hence Balsam fir!  Balsam Fir grows up to sixty feet in height and is possibly the most popular Christmas tree today. The balsam is the most affordable of Christmas trees, and known for its magnificent shapes, and  delicious aroma, due to the strong retention of the needles long after the tree has been cut down. 

Balsam fir was universally used by all First Nations in North America and found its way into the U.S. pharmacopoeia in the mid 19th century as an effective tree medicine.  Primarily the aromatic resin of the tree was used, which is highly antiseptic, analgesic, ant-scorbutic, diaphoretic and diuretic. The young shoots are rich in mucilage, Vitamin A and C, as well as rich in minerals, calcium and iron, as is the bark. The resin was made into a salve for treating all kinds of skin conditions, for burns and wounds or bites and sores of the skin. Native American women found a salve highly effective in treating sore nipples during childbirth and nursing.The gum of the balsam was used in the treatment of toothaches, especially in the cases of abscesses in the mouth, or externally on the skin.

The early Americans were taught by the First Nations to make a tea or a decoction with the young shoots, branches or bark, for the treatment of chest pains.  Balsam fir's inner bark ameliorate all kinds of respiratory infections, and persistent coughs, as well as asthma. The bark was also noted to treat urinary tract infections like cystitis.  The twigs steeped in water were used as a natural laxative.The Native Americans chewed on the root of balsam for treating oral sores and other problems relating to the mouth.  An herbal decoction prepared for the bath, or with the branches smoked in the sweat lodge were used to alleviate muscular spasms and joint pain as well as alleviate pulmonary disorders. 

Balsam gum had also been traditionally used in dentistry as a glue, in the making of candles, or as a cement in the production of microscopes and slides-due to its highly refractive index similar to that of glass. The balsam fir pitch was used by the Native Americans to waterproof the seams of the canoes.  Nearly 8-10 oz. of resin can be obtained from one balsam fir tree.  The wood of the balsam fir is light, soft and coarse and primarily used in the pulp paper industry to manufacture crates and cardboard boxes. 

The young shoots of balsam are collected in the springtime and stored for later use. The resin and the gum obtained from the inner bark is most often collected in the late summer and fall, and consists of about 70-80% pure plant resin. The volatile oil content of the Canadian Balsam fir is about 15-25%. You will be sure to find me in the forest come the springtime to collect the young shoots to make a tree medicine.

Reference: Glossary Herbs- Herbs 2000.com
Dr. Bruno Chacornac ~Phytotherapy
Here is a simple balsam fir recipe you can make yourselves. 
Balsam Fir Syrup 
2 cups water
8 oz. balsam young shoots or bark
1 cup honey
In an enamel covered saucepan simmer the balsam shoots or bark for 15-20 minutes. Let stand for 1 hour.  Strain.  Add the honey and cook on low for more 15 minutes. Let cool and bottle in an amber bottle. Store in the refrigerator and consume within 3 months at a rate of 1 tablespoon per day before each meal.  Excellent preventive and cough remedy - to clear congestion of the lungs and intestines. Om.

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