Blogging on the Open Road from Edmonton to Las Vegas Part 2

First off, I want to wish all of you a safe and blessed weekend ūüôā

The goal is to drive to Las Vegas, Nevada this weekend. We started out later than we expected Friday morning but arrived at a decent enough time to spend the night in Helena, Montana after a 10 hour plus drive.

The weather when we left home in Edmonton, Alberta was worse than any we have encountered so far.  The fog in Montana proved to be a bit challenging at night but all was well. We had a 45 minute delay in Calgary due to a traffic accident on the Deerfoot Trail which was far better than a blizzard and icy roads anyday. Tomorrow is another day and yet another day to enjoy nature and all her beauty. Yes, we will be including photos very soon for those seeking some visual aspects of our trip.





Sweet dreams from Helena, Montana and a warm thank you to all the kind folks we have met on our journey..

The friendliest people you will ever meet live in Montana!


Blogging on the Open Road from Edmonton to Las Vegas Part 1

Ok, we are either insane or die hard travellers as we are about to embark on a trip to the US by car from our home in Edmonton, Ab, Canada.

The road at this time of year can be a bit more treacherous and so far Old Man Winter is not giving us a real break here.

It will be a good time to see a  variety of terrain from the prairies to the desert,and to the beaches on the Pacific Coast.

I love little gift stores in small towns and the storytellers we meet.  Everyone has a story and there are so many good ones.

I love cities too that are all unique in their own way.  Down home cooking will await us in Montana and the meals are huge.


Til we meet again, peace and blessings be with you

Angi ūüôā

Opportunity awaits!  CARPE DIEM!

All images :

Whether Home or Away: Herbal First Aid Kit by Angela Holly Penn (c) July 2012

A great first aid kit should handle more than just cuts and scrapes.  I have tried to include all-natural, herbs that are potent and easy for one to purchase or make whether one is home or away.   Most, if not the majority of these remedies have been handed down to me from my family or have been tried and true in my personal experience.  You will notice several of my favourite herbal oils are repeated to include their many usages such as: Chamomile tea, (Japanese Mint, Lavender, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree oils).

The most common culprits whether at home or away:

Cuts, scrapes and Burns

Insect Bites

General skin rashes

Upset stomach & Diarrhea


Muscular Aches & Pains (Including arthritic)

Bleeding and Bruising

Poison Ivy rash

Sore throat, colds, upper respiratory problems

Sinus Congestion

Menstrual Cramps



***I recommend talking to a herbalist or naturopath about the use of any of these herbs if you are uncertain about them or are taking any medications that might interfere with their use.  Always read the labels on any herbal products you buy before using them and while preparing your first aid kit.


Cuts, Scrapes & Burns:

A comfrey based salve, including herbs such as plantain, St. John’s wort, calendula and echinacea, will soothe, accelerate healing, and disinfect. ¬†Essential oils such as lavender and rosemary strengthen these effects. ¬†An echinacea tincture acts as an anti-infection agent and Echinacea extracts have also been used as a general immune system enhancer. ( 1)¬† If you have access to an aloe vera plant, break off an aloe leaf and scrape the gel and apply directly to minor burns, scalds, and sunburns.


Insect Bites:

Witch hazel, grindelia, comfrey and St. John’s Wort all provide relief from insect bites and general itching. ¬†Tinctured combinations of these seem to work best; they can be applied directly to the skin. ¬†Tea Tree Oil can also be applied topically to minor cuts, insect bites and stings.


General Skin Rashes:

Lavender essential oil may be applied directly to the skin, which works well.  Tea Tree Oil can be applied to skin irritations such as pimples, prepare the area by cleaning the site and keeping it dry for proper application.  Chamomile tea when applied externally soothes irritations on the skin.



Upset stomach & Diarrhea:

I strongly suggest ginger capsules.  Ginger has been known to be an effective remedy for stomach upset, motion sickness, morning sickness and excess gas.  Other alternatives: fennel and peppermint teas.

Helpful herbs include blackberry root or leaf (root is preferred for its greater astringency: simmer root for 20-40 minutes or steep leaf for tea for 10-30 minutes).  Similarly, use wild strawberry root or leaf.  Raspberry leaf provides a very mild remedy for diarrhea.  Blackberry and strawberry root and leaf will also reduce internal hemorrhaging. (1)




Spray pure Lavender Mist ‚Äď Hydrosol directly onto the skin or add 8 drops of lavender oil and 4 drops of peppermint oil to a teaspoon of jojoba oil. ¬†Pour it into a cool-to-lukewarm bath and soak for 10 minutes. (3)¬† (Also see Cuts, Scrapes and Burns regarding Aloe Vera)


Muscular Aches and Pains:

Japanese mint oil and witch hazel tinctures in combination or combined with essential oils of camphor or eucalyptus, are all excellent choices.  A combination of Epsom salts and a few drops of lavender oil added to bath water should relieve muscular tension in the body. (3)

Japanese mint oil is useful for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis when applied directly to the area: i.e. knee, hands and elbows.

Meadowsweet tea works well in the treatment of arthritis pain and inflammation.  It is strongly advised that children should not drink the tea and people that cannot take aspirin, as meadowsweet is one of the ingredients in aspirin.  A few drops of meadowsweet oil under the tongue are yet another way to administer this herb.


Bleeding and Bruising:

Cayenne is a proven styptic and can be used in capsule form to apply to bleeding.  Styptic: causing contraction of the blood vessels and thereby stopping bleeding. (4)  Open and apply externally to stop bleeding. (It may burn, but it works).  It will also warm cold feet, sprinkled inside your boots. Alternative styptics: comfrey and yarrow.

I think of bruising as wounds where the skin is unbroken, often accompanied by discoloration. Useful herbs, applied topically in tincture form are prickly ash bark, cayenne, comfrey and arnica.

I remember having a rash when I was younger from Poison Ivy and Japanese mint oil was very useful in the elimination of itching.  The mint oil can also be applied directly on the skin for hives.  However, since then I have discovered something far faster acting and that is Calamine lotion which consists of zinc oxide with a small amount of ferric oxide.  If you are out camping with the kids and they get a bad bout with poison ivy I recommend the Calamine lotion as one of the essentials in your first aid kit.


Sore throat, Colds & Upper respiratory problems:

Two drops of thyme oil in 4 ounces of water can be used as a mouthwash, for a toothache or sore throat.  Three drops of eucalyptus oil in a bowl of hot water, which is inhaled has been a proven remedy in the treatment of bronchial conditions.  Tea tree oil can be used as a chest rub for head and chest colds as it has heating and penetrating effects.


Sinus Congestion:

Both the eucalyptus oil and the Japanese mint oil are known to relieve sinus congestion.  Use a few drops of one of these in a bowl of hot water and inhale for long-term relief.


Menstrual cramps:

Massage a few drops of lavender oil into your lower abdomen or apply a hot compress which contains a few drops of lavender oil in it. (3)



Lavender oil sprinkled on the underside of one’s pillowcase has been effective in the treatment of insomnia on occasion for me.  When one is travelling lavender oil can certainly come in handy staying in strange or new places, in particular for those long road trips.

Chamomile tea has been said to send many to a quiet slumber.¬† Chamomile is supposed to have a magical ability to attract money! ¬†Old time gamblers used to wash their hands in chamomile tea before they played cards or threw the dice. ¬†Sure can’t hurt to carry some with you!



My husband has been a chronic headache sufferer for many years until he started using the herbal teas recommended in this article.  He tried OTC pain medications and prescribed medications from his physician without success.

Relaxation Herbs: Chamomile, Rosemary and Mint.¬† These herbs can be helpful for easing headaches as well as associated symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety and stress. ¬†They tend to have a very calming effect and chamomile in particular is widely available in herbal tea formulations. ¬†It’s convenient and helpful to enjoy a cup of herbal tea if a headache hits and you require immediate relief.

Rub a few drops of tea tree oil on the area of your head that hurts.


Additional materials:  Band Aids, Bandages, 1/2 inch surgical tape, tweezers, small scissors, single edged razor blade, cold pack (cools on impact), several bandages of various sizes, gauze, a bandana. Eye cup (or shot glass), a carrying case (soft sided & waterproof) for the contents of the first aid kit.






  1. Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives site © 2012.
  2. Assembling An Herbal First Aid Kit, Source: Susan W. Kramer, PhD, Esq.
  3. 20 Reasons to use Lavender Essential Oil
  4. Terry Willard Ph.D. Textbook of Modern Herbology 2nd Revised Edition © 1993.  Wild Rose College of Natural Healing.

Angela Holly Penn (c)   July 2012

Angela is a free-lance writer and herbalist student in Canada.   She is also working on a book that will utilize her educational background in psychology, journalism and herbology

Herbs Used in the Treatment of Cancer

Individuals suffering from any disease or illness should consult with a physician or health care professional. One must always assess the treatment and side effects of any herb used in the treatment of cancer.


Cancer cells




Ginger root was recently the subject of a startling new research report presented at The American Association for Cancer research conference in Phoenix. In the study, ginger actually suppressed cancer cells suggesting that the herb was proven effective in the death of the cancer cells. Ginger has been shown to work in cases involving breast, skin, and colon cancers.

Additional studies have revealed ginger is also effective in cleansing the system of toxins.

Turkey Tail Mushroom:

Coriolis versicolor, the common, has over 400 published studies including several long term human clinical trials confirming its cancer killing, anti-metastatic, and immune enhancing effects. (1-9) It is referred to as a Biological Response Modifier as it improves the patients own anti-tumor response (10). Researchers at the St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco reviewed several randomized clinical trials and agreed with the Japanese Ministry of Health that this common mushroom significantly improves survival rates and lifespan for gastric, esophageal, colorectal, breast and lung cancers (9).

These are herbs which dissolve and remove tumors and abnormal growths. They can be used as poultices, fomentations, and/ or taken internally.



Burdock root

Red clover tops


The ideal anti-cancer formula should purify the blood, in order to help rid the body of toxins, in general, and also portions of the cancer tissue as it is being absorbed into the blood stream. Here are herbs, in the above list, which do this:

ALTERATIVES‚ÄĒThese are herbs which purify the blood. They usually do this by cleaning out the spleen, liver, kidneys, and bowels. As a rule, these herbs are best used for a lengthy period of time, so that the detoxification will not occur too rapidly and overwhelm the body‚Äôs abilities to discharge those toxins. Of course, nutrition must be corrected at the same time that alternative herbs are taken. Barberry ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Goldenseal Burdock root ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Gotu kola Cayenne ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Licorice root Chaparral ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Oregon grape root Chickweed ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Poke root Cleavers ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Prickley ash Comfrey ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Red clover tops Dandelion ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Rhubarb Echinacea ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Sassafras Garlic ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Yellow dock Ginseng

It is of interest that, in the above listings, certain herbs, known to have anti-cancer properties, are
continually repeated. They are:
Burdock root
Barberry (11)

Some herbs and plants with possible cancer-treatment benefits.:

Boswellia serrata (frankincense) Reduces inflammation

What it is being studied for: To reduce tumor growth and brain swelling in patients with gliomas

Nerium oleander (rose laurel)

Reduces inflammation and modulates the immune system

What it is being studied for: To use with chemotherapy drugs to treat advanced non-small-cell lung cancer

Licocholachone-A, extracted from licorice root, showed significant anti-tumor¬† activity against prostate cancer cells in the laboratory by inhibiting the¬† progression of cell cycle and by inducing apoptosis, or programmed cell death,¬† of the cancer cells, according to a study published in the September 2004 issue¬† of the journal “Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.” Another¬† study published in the September 2009 issue of the “Journal of Agricultural and¬† Food Chemistry” also states that licorice and licocholachone-A can induce¬† apoptosis and autophagous, or destruction of cell’s own components using¬† lysozyme enzymes. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center also states that¬† PC-SPES, a herbal preparation containing licorice root and other herbs, has¬† shown positive results in prostate cancer patients. The American Cancer Society,¬† however, states that although PC-SPES has been tested in prostate cancer¬† patients, it is not clear if the licorice component specifically plays a role in¬† the treatment.

Read more:


1.Torisu M., Hayashi Y., Ishimitsu T., Fujimura T., Iwasaki K., Katano M., Yamamoto H., Kimura Y., Takesue M., Kondo M., and Nomoto K. Significant prolongation of disease-free period gained by oral polysaccharide K (PSK) administration after curative surgical operation of colon cancer. Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy, 31:261-268 (1990).

2.Hayakawa K., Mitsuhashi N., Saito Y., Takahashi M., Katano S., Shiojima K., Furuta M., and Niibe H. Effect of Krestin (PSK) as adjuvant treatment on the prognosis after radical radiotherapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Anticancer Research, 13:1815-1820 (1993).

3. Ilino Y., Yokoe T., Maemura M., Horiguchi J., Takei H., Ohwada S., and Morishita Y. Immunochemotherapies versus chemotherapy as adjuvant treatment after curative resection of operable breast cancer. Anticancer Research 15:2907-2912 (1995).

4.Nagao T., Komatsuda M.., Yamauchi K.., Nozaki H.., Watanabe K.., Arimori S. Chemoimmunotherapy with Krestin (Coriolus)in Acute Leukemia. Tokai J Exp Med., Vol. 6. No. 2, pp.141-146, 1981.

5.Nakazato H., Koike A., Saji S. et al. Efficacy of immunochemotherapy as adjuvant treatment after curative resection of gastric cancer. Lancet, 343-1122-1126 (1994).

6. Hu, Y., et al . Pharamacological Studies of the Effects of PSP on Analgetic Action and Appetite Improvenent. PSP International Symposium, 125-131 (1993).

7. Yang, M., et al .The Anti-tumorous Function and Clinical Significance of Yun Zhi Essence. PSP International Symposium, 221-223 (1993).

8. Yang, Q., et al .The Comparative Analysis of the Extracts of the Mycelia and the Fruitbodies of Yun Zhi (Coriolus versicolor). PSP International Symposium, 41-55 (1993).

9) Anticancer Res. 2002 May-Jun;22(3):1737-54

10) Lin HL, et al. Up-regulation of multidrug resistance transporter expression by berberine in human and murine hepatoma cells. Cancer 1999;85:1937-42





Jamaican Lifestyle Part 1


We have much to learn from the Jamaican people, a simple people that are gracious and driven by love.¬† Bob Marley‚Äôs ‚ÄúOne Love‚ÄĚ is still alive and kicking today, in fact the Jamaican people believe we are all part woman and man and that is a complete love.

Many of the luxuries we take for granted such as cars, cell phones, the internet, etc. are not commonly used by many people in Jamaica.  We asked outr raft captain as we sailed down the beautiful Martha Brae River about putting a video of him on youtube.  He claimed that he lived in a village that had no internet so he would not be able to see it.  This did not phase him at all as a loss but merely an inconvenience.  J.K. also told us he was dependant on others for rides to work, often standing at the roadside in the hope…

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Clary Sage for Depression

Clary sage:¬† is the most euphoric of the essential oils, and it can produce an almost drug like narcotic ‚Äúhigh‚ÄĚ.¬† Combined with its pronounced anti-depressant qualities, this euphoria makes clary sage a powerful aid to easing depression, anxiety and stress.¬†¬† One must use Clary Sage with caution, only a minor amount is required to create relaxation.