Shyness: More Than a Feeling

Wallflower. “The word describes me perfectly, as I’m such a loner,” Shannon, age 33, said. “I sit home alone every weekend, waiting for a friend to call. Then when the phone does ring, I don’t answer it. My heart starts to pound, and my face turns warm and red. I’m so afraid it’s someone I don’t know well, and I won’t know what to say. Lately I can count my friends on one hand, and even these friends are not very close.”

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What? Me Worry?

At precisely 6:00 a.m. the alarm clock rudely buzzes. Lori groans involuntarily as she fumbles for the switch to turn it off, then rolls on her back and forces her still-groggy mind to contemplate the day. Rain is softly pelting her window. Its gentle sound sparks a fast and furious flow of thoughts…

Oh, no. . . the last time it rained, there were traffic tie-ups all over the interstates. I won’t make it to work on time! Last week Madeline gave me the most hateful look for arriving a few minutes late. . . just my luck to have a boss who doesn’t like me! If there was ever a layoff at work, my name would be at the top of the list. And then how would I pay the mortgage? What would I tell the children? How would I feed them?

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Friendships Healing Power

A financial emergency. Corporate downsizing. Marital upheaval and divorce. A frightening diagnosis and impending surgery. Who hasn’t experienced life’s tough times, along with carrying the arduous baggage of anxiety, anger, and fear?

If you suffer from emotional distress, accompanied by nagging health concerns, you are probably well aware of the tension these can cause. Perhaps you have blamed the frantic pace of life for your lack of passion or enthusiasm in life. Yet when we are wrought by constant stress and turmoil, when life’s interruptions hit, they are greatly exaggerated.

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Passion Flower

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) also goes by the name passion vine, apricot vine, or Corona de Cristo. It’s a hardy, climbing vine that is noted for its beautiful flowers and tasty fruit. This perennial creeper is native to Central and South America, the West Indies, and the southeast region of the United States. The climbing tendrils can be trained so that the vine can easily grow on a trellis.
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Kava Kava

Kava kava is prepared from the fresh or dried rhizomes and rootstocks of a robust perennial shrub, Piper methysticum. This shrub possibly originated from Vanuatu. Seafaring Polynesians spread the shrub to Hawaii and throughout the South Pacific Islands. Kava kava (also called kava) is closely related to the black pepper plant.

The shrub grows best in warm humid conditions with lots of sunlight at an altitude of 500 to 1,000 feet above sea level. Kava kava, with its large heart-shaped leaves, can grow up to 10 feet high and can form dense thickets. A 3-year-old plant can produce a massive 20-pound rhizome with many roots. Depending upon the resin content, the rootstock color varies from white to yellow.
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For Common Complaints

Ginseng is one of the most popular of the commonly used herbs in the United States today. This slow-growing perennial has been used medicinally in Asia for more than 2,000 years. Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) grows throughout Korea, China, and Japan, while American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) grows throughout the eastern region of North America. Ginseng is relatively expensive since it is quite difficult to grow. Normally it takes the ginseng root about four to six years to reach maturity.
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