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The Importance of Silver Coin Investing

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The Silver coins of old are possibly the oldest mass form of coinage in recorded history. They, along with gold coins, were among the first coins ever used thousands of years ago. But, are Silver coins a good investment for today’s investor?

Silver coins, are a popular way to hedge against inflation and balance portfolio risk. It has historically been the most affordable precious metal. Unlike Gold, Silver purchases do not have to be reported. It has unique properties, which make it ideal and essential for global industry. And creates a situation where there is simply no substitute. Silver has huge industrial applications. It is found in most everything from cell phones to computers. As the worlds thurst for electronics continues to grow, so does the demand for more silver. Also, the medical industry has found almost as many ways to use silver as the industrial world. These applications makes it a consumable investment. And not just another pretty face.

Silver and gold are of course used as a form of money and also since the ancient times were used for gambling purposes. They are of metal and usually disc shaped. Coins can be dated back to the BC era. By around the year 700 BC the Mesopotamian were using precious metals as a medium of exchange.

The U.S. mint is a government controlled coin production facility. It also produced what is widely considered America’s most beautiful silver coin, the Walking Liberty Half-Dollar. The Mint removed all silver from dimes and quarters. The silver content in half-dollars was reduced to 40%. The mint continued to turn out silver coins until 1971. In the place of the silver was what is called a “Fiat Money System”. Fiat money is money with no real value of it`s own. But is enforced as legal tender by the government. The problem comes when money is mass produces without it`s real value increasing. The result is the “Fiat Money” becomes less valuable and coins with precious metals become more valuable.

Precious metals investors often ask “Should I invest in silver or gold.” Silver has historically been the most affordable precious metal. Silver Eagles are easy to buy and sell at most coin, precious metal and brokerage companies. “Precious metals have had value in all civilizations and have survived all financial crises. They can be expected to do the same in the future.” Now is the time to buy gold and other precious metals. Silver and gold, however, are much more popular precious metals investments than platinum and palladium.

To sum it all up. Silver and gold coins are possibly the oldest mass form of coinage in recorded history. These coins, are a popular way to hedge against inflation and balance portfolio risk. Silver coins can be a great investment for a number of reasons. Today, the best reasons are that silver is affordable for most people and because it`s demand is growing everyday.

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Online Football Betting – Watch, Have Fun, and Earn Money!

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Online football betting seems to be a lofty ideal for most people. Imagine watching your favorite sport, football, however you prefer – be it in the comforts of your home or feeling the energy of the crowds in a stadium, having a lot fo fun and experiencing the excitement, and earning a lot of money in the process. Wouldn’t it be nice if everybody had a job like that – fun, exciting, comfortable, convenient, and above all, financially rewarding? Betting on football matches online is the embodiment of those ideals. You can prefer to watch a football game wherever you want. You can also bet online where it is more convenient. As far as the pay is concerned, it is said to pay handsomely, that is if you bet on the right team. So, with all these perks that are possible with betting, you may ask, is it really for real, or is it too good to be true? Hopefully, this article will shed light into some of the questions regarding betting on football matches, or any sporting event online.

One immediate concern for people who want to get into online football betting is if it is a legal trade. That question can easily be answered with your location. Betting online is legal in a number of countries around the world, including most European countries. In the United States, some states do allow betting through websites. Once you’ve found a betting website that caters to your state, you should have no problem. A credible online betting site should be able to be able to give you the assurance of letting you bet at peace without any grey area. You should be able to do it once the website gives clear instructions and provisions that it is alright to do it in your state.

A reputable umbrella website should also provide information to other sports betting websites or offline gambling places. A mark of reputable online betting sites is that they are connected to high end names and are recommended and are usually branches of credible offline bookmakers. Another sign of a reputable online football betting site is that they honor major credit and debit cards with built-in credit verification checkers. However, make sure that that you go back to step 1, that is, double checking that the particular website you are using is authorized to take bets for US players, as European betting sites, especially those that cater to UK players, do not accept credit cards with US billing addresses. If you want to bet on a European website, there is a quick fix for that – open a credit card account with a European billing address! Usually initial bets start small, and a reputable online bookmaker should be able to detail how much a minimum bet should be, as with a detailed list of all your transactions in the website. `

When you sign up for an account in an online football betting website, you might be asked to add funds to an account. There is a link to deposit funds to your account once you have registered and logged in, which may be part in some website’s sign up process. You may really want to use a debit card as once you make a winning bet, a Visa credit card will only let you withdraw an amount as high as your initial deposit, while withdrawals back to Mastercards is not allowed.

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Wal-Mart – What Makes Them America’s Number One Company?

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America, land of “free-enterprise” has millions of companies in its market. The metropolitan statistical area of Houston, Texas in fact has over 600,000 businesses, most employing from 2 to 10 employees. As companies grow in the number of people they employ, fewer and fewer companies surround them. Most companies never grow beyond the smallest group size for many reasons. Some companies grow to become the target of the competition or the “model” on which the smarter more savvy managers base their practices to achieve “best of class” status in their industry or market. Wal*Mart has certainly earned its position at the pinnacle of American business and global retail dominance.

Founded by a retailer named Sam Walton with his brother in 1962, Wal*Mart has become that company to watch and emulate in the twenty first century. Walton, a “Ben Franklin” franchisee between 1945 and 1962 collaborated with his brother Bud Walton to found the first Wal*Mart in 1962 in rural Arkansas. Their strategy was simple. They opened discount-merchandising stores in rural America where big business and big retailers typically ignored “fly over” territory. The strategy of mass buying power and passing on the savings to customers took flight as the company grew steadily into the seventies and eighties.

As Walton situated stores in small towns with populations between 5,000 and 25,000 he implemented his plan “To put good-sized stores into little one-horse towns which everybody else was ignoring.” He thought that if they offered, “Prices as good or better than stores in cities that were four hours away by car…people would shop at home.” David Glass, CEO, explained, “We are always pushing from the inside out. We never jump and then back fill.”

Walton successfully instilled a small town friendly caring atmosphere in America’s number one company by indoctrinating “associates” in the idea that Wal*Mart “Has its own way of doing things.” He habitually shopped the competitors like K-Mart and Target. He would count the number of vehicles in their parking lots and “measure their shelf space.”

Sam Walton believed the number one key to the company’s success lay in the way the company treated their “associates.” He felt that if he wanted his associates to care for the customers then the associates must know that the company was taking care of them. Do to his foresight in people management the company many associates became wealthy as the stock price continued to climb the value turned everyday individuals in to wealthy people. Walton discouraged such shows of wealth claiming that such behavior did not promote the company’s reason for existence, to take care of the customer.

Walton described his management style as “Management by walking around.” Walton said about managing people that, “You’ve got to give folks responsibility, you’ve got to trust them, and you’ve got to check up on them.” This philosophy required sharing information and the numbers. The target was to empower associates, maintain technological superiority, and build loyalty within associates, customers and suppliers.

Free flow of information to associates gave associates a true and actual sense of ownership of the organization and allowed them to exercise authority to continually improve their processes especially their main institutional profit driver, supply chain management and process improvement. One of their key tools to managing an element of their chain, inventory, is called “traiting.”

Traiting in the Wal*Mart sense is described by Bradley and Ghemawat in their article as “A process which indexed product movements in the store to over a thousand store and market traits. The local store manager, using inventory and sales data, chose which products to display based on customer preferences, and allocated shelf space for a product category according to the demand at his or her store. Pairing inventory to exact store market demand eliminated or at least mitigated the need for advertised sales or “fire sales” allowing the company to brand it as the customers’ preferred venue for “everyday-low-prices.” Walton and later Glass insisted on lower than market average expenditures for advertising complimented with a “satisfaction guaranteed” policy to instill customer-buying loyalty.

Cost containment caused customer loyalty. In store operations, Wal*Mart, in 1993 incurred rental space of an average of 30 basis points lower than competitors. Its new store erection costs were substantially lower than competitors K-Mart and Target. Wal*Mart dedicated 15% less inventory space than the industry average thus allowing for more dedicated square footage for sales inventory. Square footage sales ranked around $300 per foot compared to $209 and $147 for Target and K-Mart respectively. Stores tended to stay open more flexibly than competitors, which also contributed to higher per square footage sales numbers.

The company organized each store into 36 departments and a department manager as a store within a store ran each department. The company had outpaced K-Mart by installing uniform product codes (UPC) electronic scanning equipment in 1988. Labor expense for individually labeling inventory was eliminated by installing shelf tags instead. The company spent $700 million dollars to connect the stores with headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas via satellite. Collecting and sharing such sales and inventory information allowed managers to pinpoint slow moving inventory and manage the supply chain by reducing purchased avoiding pileups and deep discounting.

The company manages the distribution chain. They instituted “cross-docking” to reduce and minimize inventory sitting in a warehouse. When an in-bound truck arrives at the warehouse, an out-bound truck is parked right next to it or close and shipments are offloaded from the inbound truck and moved directly to the out-bound truck thereby eliminating the need to sit in inventory. This method of moving it out as it arrived contributed to Wal*Mart’s almost one percentage point of sales less cost than the competition for like costs.

Wal*Mart treated its distribution chain as a profit center as well by strategically locating a warehouse or distribution point geographically where it could serve 150 stores and each truck leaving the warehouse can serve or deliver on the same route to four neighboring stores. Distribution gave store managers various delivery options as well as nighttime deliveries.

Wal*Mart manages its vendor relationships in a well-known “no-nonsense” manner. Unlike other retailers especially department stores, Wal*Mart buyers are not greeted and seated in a buyers’ office. Sam would not have preferred that haughty presentation and image. They are simply placed in a bare room with table and chairs. The company was sued administratively in 1992 when manufacturers’ representatives initiated unsuccessfully proceedings with the Federal Trade Commission. The company has not permitted a single vendor to account for greater than 3% of purchases further enhancing the leverage it exercises over companies.

Wal*Mart is a pioneer in information sharing and partnering with vendors. In its relationship with companies like GE and Proctor and Gamble, they interlinked computers to show real-time sales and inventory product specific data so that such firms could manage their own supply chain delivery. “They expanded their electronic data interchange to include forecasting, planning, and shipping applications.”

In 1992, Fortune magazine listed Wal*Mart as “one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.” David Glass, CEO, claims “There are no superstars at Wal*Mart” which could embellish the team environment. He said, “We’re a company of ordinary people overachieving.” The largest company in the United States is non-union. Associates are trusted and treated like owners and information is shared and entrusted to them. Vendors comment on the loyalty and dedication of their associates.

Associates are encouraged and rewarded for bright ideas, which in many other companies would go, unrecognized or stolen by owners or managers whom would steal credit. Stealing such credit and voiding the proper party to the credit only works to beat down associates and instill a feeling of worthlessness. Wal*Mart does just the opposite. Everyone is rewarded for profitability through contributions to the associates profit sharing account. In 1993 Sam instituted his “Yes we can Sam” program for ideas and then a “Shrink incentive plan” to reduce theft and inventory loss. The program allowed Wal*Mart to remain at least 3 tenths of a percent lower than the industry average in slippage.

Sam and David were smart enough to realize that they could not be in hundreds of stores all the time if at all so they decided to properly compensate each of the store managers who can earn in excess of a hundred thousand dollars annually. The company offers incentive pay on top for reaching and exceeding profitability and forecasting targets. The company offered health benefits to employee who work more than 28 hours weekly and also gives productivity and profitability bonuses to such hourly workers.

Tight fisted management names Sam Walton’s successors, David Glass and company. He instituted weekly Friday morning meetings where they shout and yell about individual items sold but before the meeting is adjourned, issues are resolved. Glass promotes the idea that “There is no hierarchy at Wal*Mart and that everyone’s ideas count and that no accomplishment is too small.”

The company began diversifying its store mixes in the early eighties by acquisition of other chains and opening Sam’s Clubs. The idea included offering only a limited number of stock-keeping units (SKUs). They financed inventory through accounts payable and generated net income principally by charging “members” for the annual privilege of entering and shopping at the “Club.”

Inventory costs at Sam’s Clubs was further reduced since only 30% of inventory was ever shipped from a Wal*Mart warehouse. 70% was sent directly from vendor. Since inventory was turned so frequently during the year, Sam’s Clubs really never paid for inventory until it was sold or even after.

Now, Glass has been quoted as telling managers “That if they didn’t think internationally, they were working for the wrong company,” Discount Store News, (June 1994). Furthermore, Glass mentioned to Business Week in 1992 that “You can’t replace Sam Walton, but he has prepared the company to run well whether he’s here or not.”

Essentially, Wal*Mart was founded by a man who was smart enough to realize that since he could not be everywhere to serve customers that he need to create and maintain an atmosphere where the people who worked for him wanted to make money and serve customers. As he grew the company he and his management staff continually assessed the supply chain and thought of and enacted pioneering ways many times considered unorthodox that created better and better customer value and lowered the cost of giving the customer what he wanted which was the purpose of the company to begin with not to mention why the company got paid. By encouraging idea cultivation from the grass roots of the organization, Wal*Mart has become the premier retailer at the bottom of the price pole.

This author recommends that Wal*Mart management look to diversify within the store by adding more of what it already does well, maximizing the life experience on the cheap within the store. Other ancillary services could be added to any unprofitable square footage like barber shop, dentists, etc…

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Video InPage Vs TV Advertising Vs Video SSP & Ad Server

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9 Reasons why online video advertising kicks TV’s butt

As the winds in online advertising are shifting constantly, we find 2015 to be a year of change for Video advertising worldwide. This shifting is also apparent in comparison between television advertising and online video ads. As stated across the internet, the growth of Video ads compared to the decrease in television usage, is predicting an overwhelming overcome of Video ads over TV already in the year 2017.

All these, was predicted and supported by stats from studies in the US, which shows a static state of TV viewers, and growth in online Video streaming and time spent online watching videos. This of course resulted in shifting of the advertising budgets towards online already in 2015, which is only expected to grow in 2016, and complete it’s domination over TV ads in 2017. Nonetheless TV is predicted to remain at it is, which means budgets could stay static, and focused mostly on prime time and top channels.

What is Video InPage and how it works

Video InPage is a video ad format inserted in the middle of articles. It plays only once visible enough on the user’s screen and pauses when the user can’t see it on screen. The Video ad is usually placed in the middle of articles. It plays automatically when half of the creative is in view and pauses if the user scrolls past it then plays again when it comes into view. After that, the video disappears after completion. Finally user-initiated sound – when he scrolls down to the ad unit

Advantages of InPage advertising

1. Fully compatible for both Mobile and Desktop.

2. Self-expanding video player

3. Reaching the right audience

4. User Friendly

5. Very high Click Rate and more impact-full brand encounter

6. Worldwide demand, Arab Market Oriented

7. Targeting techniques: Contextual – Audience -­ Social

8. Performance

9. Control of ad engagement, offering an optimal navigation experience

TV Advertising overview

Advertising on television allows you to show and tell a wide audience your business, product, or service. It allows you to actually analyze the benefits of ownership. You can show how your product or service works and how it’s packaged so prospective customers will know what to look for at the point of sale. It has been a popular medium for large retailers ever since the TV first began to appear in living rooms. With the arrival of cable television came lowered production costs and the opportunity to reach smaller, more targeted markets, making it a viable option for small to medium-size businesses as well.

What is Video SSP & Ad Server

Strictly direct inventory ensuring maximum transparency and flexibility to deliver the best results. An HTML5 Video player with cross-device support, supporting all existing video tags formats out there (VAST 2/3, VPAID, JS, IMA3 and much more). A unique yield optimization engine delivers only the best fill rate and the most accurate reporting.

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Can the Police Arrest Me If I’M Riding in a Vehicle That Contains Marijuana?

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As a criminal law attorney in Fort Lauderdale, I have many friends who ask me, “Can the police arrest me if I am riding in a vehicle that contains marijuana?” Although you should never ride in a vehicle that contains marijuana, you can reduce your chances of being arrested by understanding the significance of the legal concept “constructive possession.” The Fourth D.C.A. of Florida recently wrote an excellent analysis on constructive possession in Brinkley v. State, 12 So.3d 311 (Fla. 4th D.C.A., 2009).

To be convicted under Florida Statute 893.13 (Possession of a Controlled Substance), the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you possessed and had knowledge of the marijuana. To possess means to have personal charge of or exercise the right of ownership, management, or control over the thing possessed. Possession may be actual or constructive. Actual possession is a simple concept – in your hand, in a container in your hand, on your person, or within ready reach and in your control. If a person has exclusive possession of a controlled substance, knowledge is inferred. Issues of constructive possession are more complicated, however.

To establish constructive possession of marijuana, the State must prove that you had (1) dominion and control over the marijuana, (2) knowledge that the marijuana was within your presence, and (3) knowledge of the illicit nature of the marijuana. The most common issue in contention is whether you had dominion and control over the marijuana. If the vehicle in which the marijuana is found is in joint (no pun intended), rather than your exclusive possession (i.e. you’re the passenger in a vehicle), knowledge of the presence of the controlled substance in the vehicle and your ability to maintain control over the controlled substance will not be inferred.

In laymen’s terms, if you were foolish enough to be caught riding in a vehicle where a bag of marijuana was placed in plain view in the center console, the State would still have to prove that you had “control” over the marijuana, and not simply “knowledge” of the marijuana. Although not specifically defined, control is the ability to take, use, own, (or smoke) the marijuana without receiving permission from someone else. Mere proximity to the marijuana is not enough to establish control when the marijuana is not in your exclusive control. Possession may be joint (two or more people may exercise control of the cannabis) but only if both individuals have control over the marijuana.

To prove dominion and control, the police will have to observe you possessing, concealing, or inhaling the marijuana or if you make any incriminating statements admitting ownership of the marijuana. Notwithstanding the aforementioned reasons, the police cannot impute the ownership of the marijuana to you simply because you are in a vehicle that contains marijuana. Therefore, never make any incriminating statements to the police with regards to ownership of the marijuana. No matter what the police promise you (i.e. we won’t arrest you if you admit ownership), do not admit ownership of the marijuana. Also, try to remain calm – do not make any furtive or quick movements that would lead the police that you are nervous or trying to conceal the marijuana. Also, do not smoke the marijuana in the vehicle. It is oftentimes difficult to deny ownership when you and the vehicle reek of marijuana.

On an aside, in the event you still choose to ride in a vehicle which contains marijuana, make sure the marijuana is hidden (outside of plain view), preferably in the trunk or locked compartment. At a minimum, do not leave the marijuana in plain view in the center console or ashtray. Additionally, do not keep any paraphernalia (pipe, rolling papers, etc.) on your person.

Finally, although the police shouldn’t arrest you for possession of a controlled substance if they cannot show actual or constructive possession, it doesn’t mean that the police won’t arrest you anyways. The police routinely arrest car loads of college students where marijuana is located within a vehicle, even when they cannot pinpoint who exhibited dominion and control. At that point, it is crucial to contact an experience criminal defense attorney to analyze the specific facts of your case and file the appropriate Motions. Possession of even 1 gram of marijuana is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or 12 months probation and a possible two year driver’s license suspension. Do not plea out your case without speaking to an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The information in this article site was developed by Lyons, Snyder & Collin, P.A. for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The transmission and receipt of information from this article does not form or constitute an attorney-client relationship with Lyons, Snyder & Collin. Persons receiving the information from this article should not act upon the information provided without seeking profession legal counsel.

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Big Scale Savings: How Can Video Phones Help Enterprises?

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Every enterprise needs a form of communication to effectively conduct business. Nowadays, there are different means of communication that can be employed to help enterprises operate smoothly and cope with the highly competitive market, such as video phones. Aside from the traditional telephone system for audio communication and fax machines for fax messages, the latest technology in digital communication paved the way for other forms of communication like e-mail, text messaging, chat, etc. These new means also facilitate faster decision making, money transfer, and quick delivery of goods and services. All of these features can also be enjoyed through the use of the video phone technology.

The adaptation of free market capitalism in almost all parts of the world enabled many people to venture into any business they want. What is interesting about the present setup is that aside from brick and mortar business, there are also opportunities for internet-based operations. Remote offices provide a wide reach for various businesses in various parts of the globe. This kind of operation gives a lot of savings in terms of manpower, travel, equipment, and office space rentals.

Through the video phones, a businessman in Texas can check on the operation of a branch office in Dubai by communicating with his staff. He can even talk to customers, suppliers, and other entities that have direct concerns with the enterprise. Telephone companies and internet service providers have come up with affordable packages that fit the operation of various businesses depending on the size of operation. These packages have other beneficial features aside from the basic services being offered.

The scale of savings for companies using video phones increases depending on the size of a business’ operation. Using traditional communication systems that lack added features is more costly compared to the latest communication technology that is packed with the much needed extras for commercial application. At the end of the day, every entrepreneur has to compute overhead costs against profit to determine if the business is viable. A business operator has to trim down on every aspect of operation to stay competitive.

If the top 100 corporation in the world can use digital communication and video phones in their operation, so do small enterprises. Technology does not discriminate on the scale of a business. Commercial gadgets are affordable to every person and every entity, including video phones. It is just a matter of determining what works best for a specific requirement. Ultimately, if it is beneficial then it is worth the investment.

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Herbal Allies For Pregnant Women

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Most women would agree that drugs are to be avoided during pregnancy. Many over the counter remedies, especially antihistamines, acne medicines, and laxatives, have been shown to cause birth defects in animals or humans. Antibiotics may cause fetal abnormalities and sulfur drugs can cause neo-natal jaundice. Tranquilizers and painkillers can cause birth defects and addict the fetus. Antacids can cause muscle problems in the baby and edema in the mother. (In addition, they mess up a woman’s calcium metabolism; see discussion following.)

And it is well accepted that the drug-like actions of alcohol, tobacco, and coffee are best avoided both before conception, during pregnancy, and while lactating.

Few women, however, understand that vitamin/mineral supplements are more drug-like than food-like. Though they are widely recommended, even by orthodox MDs, supplements are problematic for pregnant women and ought to be avoided. A study of 23,000 pregnant women, reported in The New England Journal of Medicine (1995) found 4.8 times more birth defects among the children of women who consumed 10,000 IU or more of vitamin A in supplemental form. And if that isn’t enough to make you hesitate before reaching for the pills, consider this: the amount of iron in four prenatal-formula tablets can kill a child under the age of three.

In addition to drugs and supplements, many common herbal remedies, including golden seal, and flax seed are best avoided during the weeks of gestation. See below for herbs that may be problematic during pregnancy.

Nevertheless, there are many simple, safe home and herbal remedies available to ease the discomforts of pregnancy. The remedies of wise women, or “old wives,” have persisted for centuries, passed from woman to woman. They are not strict protocols designed to work with the greatest possible number of women. Rather, they are part of the ever-changing wisdom ways of women, meant to be applied to the unique individual in unique and ever-changing ways. Although they have not been subjected to double blind studies, they are not superstition and dumb custom, but the results of millions of careful observations over thousands of generations. These remedies are the gifts of our foremothers. They are gifts from women who were deeply intuitive, immersed in day-to-day practice, and in tune with women’s needs – emotional and spiritual, as well as physical.

Wise women believe that most of the problems of pregnancy can be prevented by attention to nutrition. Morning sickness and mood swings are connected to low blood sugar; backaches and severe labor pains often result from insufficient calcium; and varicose veins, hemorrhoids, constipation, skin discolorations and anemias are also related to lack of specific nutrients.

Excellent nutrition for pregnant women includes not just vital foodstuffs and nourishing herbal infusions, but also pure water and air, abundant light, loving and respectful relationships, beauty and harmony in daily life, and joyous thoughts.

All nutrients are needed in abundance during pregnancy as the gestating woman forms two extra pounds of uterine muscle; the nerves, bones, organs, muscles, glands and skin of the baby; several pounds of amniotic fluid; the placenta; and a great increase in blood volume. In addition, extra kidney and liver cells are created to process the waste of two beings instead of one.

Wild and organically grown foods are the best source of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients needed during pregnancy. All the better if the expectant mother can get out and gather her own herbs: stretching, bending, breathing, moving, touching the earth, taking time to talk with the plants and to open herself to their spiritual world.

Red Raspberry (Rubus ideaus and other species)

For centuries herbalists have relied on the leaves of red raspberry to nourish pregnant women and relieve difficulties during pregnancy and birth. Scientific herbalists are baffled by these claims, as they find no chemical constituents in raspberry leaves that are capable of inducing these purported effects. Nonetheless, “if pregnant women believe that it provides relief from various unpleasant effects associated with their condition, no harm is done,” says Varro Tyler in The Honest Herbal.

Most of the benefits associated with regular use of raspberry throughout pregnancy can be traced to its astringent, strengthening, and nourishing powers. Raspberry leaves contain tannins and fragrine, which give tone to the muscles of the pelvic region, including the uterus. They also contain nourishing vitamins and minerals. Of special note are the concentrations of vitamins A, C, E, and B, plus generous amounts of easily assimilated calcium, iron, phosphorous, and potassium salts.

A strong infusion of dried raspberry leaves increases fertility, tonifies the uterus, aids in easy birthing, helps prevent miscarriage, alleviates morning sickness, reduces muscle/leg cramps and backache, and counters fatigue.

To make it:

  • Put one ounce of the dried raspberry leaves in a quart jar; fill it to the top with boiling water, and cap tightly.
  • After steeping for at least four hours, strain the leaves out of the infusion.
  • Drink the liquid hot or cold, with honey, or anyway you like it.
  • Refrigerate left-overs.

Capsules, tinctures, and teas of raspberry are not as effective.

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Some people dislike nettle because of its strong sting, but it is an herb with myriad benefits for the expectant mother. A strong infusion (prepared by brewing one ounce of dried nettle leaves in a quart of boiling water for at least four hours) helps prevent varicose veins and hemorrhoids, eases leg cramps and backache, reduces the incidence of hemorrhage after birth, and increases the richness of breast milk.

Every cup of nettle infusion supplies amazing amounts of energy as well as huge amounts of calcium, magnesium and vitamins A, D, C, B, and K. It prevents folic acid anemia and iron deficiency anemia, and is also a digestive aid, a strengthener to the lungs, an ally of the kidneys, and a restorative to the hair and skin.

Capsules, tinctures, and teas of nettle are not as effective.

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

As a keeper of dairy animals, I was introduced to this herb as an ally to keep my goats’ fertility high and their milk production generous. It took only a little imagination for me to begin to use it for women, too. Red clover blossoms are best taken as a strong infusion (one ounce of dried blossoms brewed overnight in a quart of boiling water). The tincture is a sedative; pills and capsules have very little effect.

To date, I know of dozens of women who, unable to conceive, have found success after drinking up to a quart of red clover infusion every day for at least six weeks. The generous amounts of minerals, proteins, antioxidants, and phytoestrogens in red clover restore health to the entire reproductive system. It’s great for men, too. Most notable are the amounts of vitamin E and the presence of selenium and zinc. Red clover has ten times more plant hormones than soy.

Don’t stop drinking red clover infusion once you get pregnant though. The infusion prevents and eases the constipation so common during pregnancy. It also strengthens the liver and improves appetite, especially when morning sickness is a problem. And it relieves anxiety.

And keep on drinking red clover once your child is born. There is no more valuable herb to keep breast milk rich and the breasts healthy then red clover. In fact, it is the world’s most respected anti-cancer herb, acting not only to eliminate cancer but to stop its occurrence as well.

Seaweeds (including kelp, nori, dulse, kombu, and wakame)

One of the best green allies for women in their fertile years is seaweed, both for its mineral richness, and for the special substances it contains which directly counter birth defects. Algin or alginic acid, found in many seaweeds, absorbs radioactive neucleotides and heavy metals. When eaten by the prospective mother and father, seaweed protects them from cancer and protects the fetus from faulty genes. Seaweeds also protect the fetus and parents from the harmful effects of chemicals and carcinogens.

Seaweed is one of the most nutritious plants known. Earl Mindell, in his book Vitamin Bible notes that kelp contains vitamins A, B, C, and E, as well as choline, carotenes, and 23 minerals including calcium, selenium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. He recommends it especially for nourishing the brain, spinal cord, and nerves of the fetus. Eating seaweeds regularly improves the fertility and the health of the pregnant woman, too, strengthening her digestive system, increasing her overall energy, and helping to prevent constipation, muscle cramps, backaches, anemias, hemorrhoids, and depression. For healthy skin, hair, and bones, there is no better food or herb than seaweed.

Capsules, tablets, and powdered seaweeds are not as effective as eating seaweed as a vegetable several times a week. In addition to buying seaweed at your health food store, you can harvest it yourself. There are no poisonous seaweeds. For more information on harvesting and using seaweeds, consult the Lewallens’ Sea Vegetable Gourmet Cookbook.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis)

This common weed of suburban lawns is one of the best liver tonics known. All parts of the dandelion are medicinal: the roots, leaves, and flowers are brewed into tinctures, medicinal vinegars, cordials, wines, and bitter infusions.

If you dig your own, use them to make a mineral-rich vinegar: Fill a jar with cut dandelion, then fill the jar to the top with pasteurized apple cider vinegar. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap held on with a rubber band. Label, with the date; it’s ready to use in six weeks. Try it as a salad dressing, or a condiment for beans. Some women like to drink it first thing in the morning: 1-2 tablespoonsful in a glass of water.

Nourishing the liver is critical during pregnancy. Lack of strong liver functioning is implicated in morning sickness, hemorrhoids, constipation, heartburn, indigestion, lack of energy, headaches, and mood swings. If using the tincture, try a dose of 10-20 drops in a small glass of water just before meals.

Fennel Seed (Foeniculum vulgare)

Anise Seed (Pimpinella anisum)

Dill Seed (Anethum graveolens)

Caraway Seed (Carum carvi)

Coriander Seed (Coriandrum sativum)

The aromatic seeds are members of the “carrot family” of plants and are used around the world to ease indigestion, freshen breath, and increase milk supply. As the medicinal value is found in a volatile oil, the seeds are quickly and easily brewed: add a heaping tablespoonful to a mug and fill it with water just off the boil, letting it steep for 2-5 minutes. A spoonful of honey is a delightful addition.

For a somewhat more complicated brew, midwife Elizabeth Davis (in her book Heart and Hands) relates this old wives’ remedy to increase milk supply: Boil 1/2 cup pearled barley in three cups water for 25 minutes. Strain and refrigerate. Heat (but do not boil) one cup of barley water and pour it over one teaspoon fennel seeds. Steep no longer than thirty minutes.

And how delightful that the ease imparted by the brew influences the infant through the breastmilk, relieving colic, turning fretfulness into slumber, and countering teething pain. For best results drink your brew, hot or cold, while nursing your baby. Herbalist Juliette de Bairacli Levy advises mothers of infants and young children to always carry some aromatic seeds in their pocket for the children to chew should they be car-sick or become argumentative.

Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)

When it comes to quelling nausea or morning sickness (motion sickness, too) there is no better herb than ginger root. Whether you use it fresh or dried, a little ginger goes a long way toward warming the belly and relieving queasy feelings. Some books mistakenly list ginger as an herb that can cause a miscarriage. This misinformation no doubt got started by a hopeful woman who had noticed that drinking ginger tea made her menses flow more easily. But midwives agree that ginger is safe, even in early pregnancy.

In addition to quelling morning sickness, ginger helps prevent constipation of pregnancy, keeps the pelvic muscles warmed and toned, relieves intestinal cramping and gas (in infants, too), increases digestive force by encouraging the secretion of digestive enzymes, lowers blood pressure, and restores vitality.

Calcium

Of course calcium is a mineral, not an herb, but it is so important during pregnancy that it deserves our attention. Lack of adequate calcium during pregnancy can cause muscle cramps, backache, high blood pressure, intense labor pains, severe afterbirth pains, loss of teeth, and pre-eclampsia. Lack of calcium also contributes to feeble fetal heart action, a difficult birth, and “cranky” babies with easily irritated nervous and digestive systems. For optimum health of mother and child, eat plenty of foods rich in calcium and other minerals.

The calcium found in foods and herbs is metabolized by the body far more effectively than the calcium in pills. Calcium in plants is found in the form of minerals salts, which are naturally chelated. In addition, the varied forms of these salts aids in assimilation. And, of course, no plant contains only one mineral. The multitude of mineral salts found in herbs and foods act synergistically with the calcium salts, improving utilization by all the body’s tissues.

In general, to improve calcium assimilation, women are advised to consume it with acidic foods (antacids interfere with calcium absorption), plenty of vitamin D (which can be produced by sitting in the sun for 15-20 minutes), magnesium, and daily exercise. Stress, use of antacids, consumption of coffee, use of steroids, drinking fluoridated water, and too much phosphorous in the diet also interfere with calcium assimilation.

Getting 1500 to 2000 milligrams of nourishing calcium salts every day is not hard with the help of Wise Woman ways.

  • Many wild greens are exceptionally rich in calcium and other mineral salts. The leaves of lamb’s quarters, mallow, galinsoga, shepherd’s purse, knotweed, bidens, amaranth, or dandelion, when cooked until tender, supply more calcium per half-cup serving than a half-cup of milk.
  • Herbal teas and tinctures contain little or no calcium salts. For mineral richness, make herbal infusions by steeping one ounce of dried herb (such as raspberry, nettle, or red clover) overnight in a quart of boiling water. Or make mineral-rich vinegars by steeping fresh herbs in apple cider vinegar for six weeks. The long steeping of the water infusion releases minerals, the acid of the vinegar does it too. A cup of herbal infusion can have 150-300 milligrams of calcium salts. A tablespoon of medicinal herbal vinegar can contain 75-150 milligrams of calcium salts.
  • Cultivated greens are good sources of calcium, better if they are cooked thoroughly, and best if they are organic. Kale, collards, mustard greens, oriental greens, broccoli de rape, turnip greens, even cabbage supply 100-250 milligrams of calcium salts per half-cup serving.
  • Fresh dairy products are the best place to get mineral salts, especially calcium, but there is controversy about the assimilability of calcium from pasteurized milk. Fortunately, raw milk cheeses are now easily available; look for them as a reliable source of nutrients.
  • When milk is made into yogurt, it becomes superbly digestible and the calcium content increases by fifty percent (up to 450 milligrams of calcium in just one cup). A daily cup of plain yogurt not only prevents pregnancy problems, it also counteracts vaginal and bladder infections. Women who eat yogurt regularly are far less likely to be diagnosed with cancer as well. When buying yogurt, I look for plain yogurt that contains only milk and culture. I absolutely avoid dried milk powder, skim milk powder, pectin, and other thickeners.
  • Other great-tasting sources of calcium include goat milk and goat cheese, canned fish eaten with the bones such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel, and tahini (ground sesame seeds).
  • There are roughly 200 milligrams of calcium in two ounces of nuts (excluding peanuts), one ounce of dried seaweed, two ounces of carob powder, one ounce of cheese, half a cup of cooked greens, half a cup of milk, three eggs, four ounces of fish, or one tablespoon of molasses.
  • Many fruits are rich in calcium (though not as rich as the above foods). Dried dates, figs raisins, prunes, papaya and elderberries are the best.
  • Avoid foods high in oxalic acid such as spinach, swiss chard, beet greens, rhubarb, and brewer’s yeast. They interfere with your ability to absorb calcium.
  • Do not use bone meal or oyster shell tablets as sources of supplemental calcium. They have been found to be high in lead, mercury, cadmium and other toxic metals, which can cause birth defects in your child.

HERBS WOMEN MAY WISH TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY AND WHILE LACTATING

Agave and Yucca (Agave species): contain large quantities of irritating saponins

Aloes (Aloe species): purging cathartic

Birthroot (Trillium species): contains oxytocin

Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa): may irritate the uterus

Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides): contains oxytocin

Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica, Rhamnus frangula): purging cathartic

Cascara sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana): purging cathartic

Castor oil (Ricinus communis): purging cathartic

Comfrey (Symphytum uplandica): alkaloids in roots are dangerous to the liver; leaves are safe to use

Cotton root bark (Gossypium harbaceum): contains oxytocin

Dong quai (Angelica sinensis): contains coumarins which may irritate uterus and liver

Ephedra (all species): increases blood pressure; may cause heart palpitations, insomnia, headaches

Evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis): used by midwives to initiate labor

Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium): may cause headaches, irritability, insomnia

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis): contains irritating alkaloids which stress liver and kidneys

Juniper berries (Juniperus communis): very harsh on the kidneys

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra): increases blood pressure; large doses can cause heart failure, headache, lethargy, water retention, and excessive excretion of potassium

Ma-huang (another name for ephedra)

Mistletoe (Viscum album): large doses can have detrimental effects on the heart

Mistletoe, American (Phoradendron flavescens): raises blood pressure, causes uterine contractions

Rue (Ruta graveolens): contains essential oils that can damage the kidneys and liver

Senna (Cassia senna): potent purging cathartic

Thuja (Thuja occidentalis): contains essential oils that can damage the kidneys and liver

Turkey rhubarb (Rheum palmatum): purgative; may cause uterine contractions

Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium): essential oils can adversely affect brain

WOMEN WHO MISCARRY EASILY MAY ALSO WANT TO AVOID THESE HERBS

Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale): also known as saffron; large doses can cause miscarriage

Basil (Basilicum species): see mints

Bearberry (Berberis vulgaris): bark contains similar alkaloids to goldenseal; berries and leaves OK

Catnip (Nepeta cataria): see mints

Flax seeds (Linum usitatissimum): large doses may stimulate uterine contractions

Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium): contains essential oils that can damage liver and kidneys

Ground ivy (Hedeoma hederacea): see mints

Mints – such as basil, catnip, rosemary, thyme, savory, peppermint, oregano, ground ivy, sage, and spearmint – contain essential oils that, used internally (or extracted into a tincture) may harm the kidneys and liver; the infusion, taken in large enough quantity, may stimulate uterine contractions

Mugwort/Cronewort (Artemisia vulgaris): used to help bring on labor

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans): a large dose of this spice contains the essential oils that could adversely affect the brain, liver, and kidneys

Oregano (Oreganum species ): see mints

Osha (Ligusticum porterii): may irritate the uterus

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum): a well-known, and quite effective, abortifacient

Poke root (Phytolacca americana): large dose (more than 4 drops) may stress kidneys

Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium or Hedeoma pulegiodes): essential oil may harm kidneys and liver; also see mints

Peppermint (Mentha piperita): see mints

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): see mints

Sage (Salvia officinalis): see mints

Savory (Satureja hortensis): see mints

Southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum): essential oils, similar to those in wormwood, are easily extracted into tinctures and can adversely affect the brain

Spearmint (Mentha spicata): see mints

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare): essential oils in tincture may damage kidneys and liver

Thyme (Thymus species): see mints

Legal Disclaimer: This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner with a specific formula for you. All material contained herein is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Contact a reputable healthcare practitioner if you are in need of medical care. Exercise self-empowerment by seeking a second opinion.

For more information about herbs and pregnancy, including herbs to use during birth, to improve lactation, and to help the newborn infant, see: Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, by Ash Tree Publishing. To receive a free brochure of classes and correspondence courses available from Susun S Weed, contact her at:

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