You Can Smoke Lavender? (And Other Herbal Blends)

You Can Smoke Lavender? (And Other Herbal Blends)

Check out a few smokeable herbs that produce beneficial health effects.
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Whenever I’m tired or stressed after a long day, I like to relax with a big, comfy sweater and a cup of jasmine green tea. Comfort is key to relaxation; add some soft rain in the background, and I’d be all set for the perfect nap. Aside from tea and rain, there is also something a little different that you can add to your end-of-day rest: herbal blends.

Herbal blends are pretty similar to the herbs in your tea, or they actually are in your tea! But along with steeping in hot water and drinking them, smoking herbs can produce calming effects. A bonus of smoking herbs is they will also fill up a room with soothing scents, almost like incense! Ever heard of people burning sage to get rid of nasty smells in their house? Or maybe to get rid of spooky, evil energy floating around? Herbs are known for instilling tranquility and providing a sense of “it’s all good, you can breathe.”

Below are a few quick descriptions of the types of herbs you can easily get and smoke:

Passion Flower: Besides sounding like something you’d find at Starbucks or Urban Outfitters, it’s been known to help you battle your inner demons of anxiety, shoo away some restlessness or insomnia you may have been experiencing, and may even lower high blood pressure that’s been bopping it's way to the top.


St. Johns Wort: My personal favorite, this one also has anxiety-healing powers. It also comes in pill form, but I think combining it with some lavender really helps it settle in. Did you know St. Johns Wort is one of the most used herbal medicines in the country? It loves to thrive and grow in dry climates, and can be a savior when it comes to mood disorders. If you were to research this plant, you would find everyone has been a fan for years and years.

Lavender: Ah yes, good old lavender. Whenever I come across some in a garden (among the bees I have to fight off), I can’t help but smell, smell, smell. I love to smoke this calming herb because it is one of the best ones for de-stressing and leaving behind a wondrous smell. Not only does lavender also help with nervousness and insomnia, it can relieve painful headaches, muscle sores and intestinal gas.

Worm Wood: This one is for the ladies. Wormwood is great for helping ease the pain of menstrual cramps, but can also be used for the common cold.


Raspberry Leaf: This one can especially be used as an alternative to smoking tobacco, but it also contains a few vitamins that will boost your immune system (Vitamin C, A, phosphorus and others). It can also relieve diarrhea.

Another cool thing about these herbs is that you can mix them with tobacco. It will make the cigarette taste and smell better. Roll your own by just mixing the two substances together and do as you normally would. Otherwise, these herbs are fun and beneficial to smoke on their own, without the use of tobacco.

They are all available for order via Amazon and other herbal websites you can find on the Internet. And they aren’t expensive!

Cover Image Credit: learningherbs.com

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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A Second Person Has Achieved Long-Term Remission Of The HIV Virus

A second man has had long term remission of the HIV virus.

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Over a decade after the first man, known as the Berlin Patient, was declared HIV-free, another patient may also be cured. Though it's too early for scientists to say for sure, the London Patient has been in a long term remission for around 18 months without the help of medication. Both men were treated with a bone marrow transplant. However, these stem cells carried a rare mutation in the genes that affect the production of the CCR5 protein, which HIV viruses latch onto to enter the cell. The virus cannot latch onto the mutated version of the protein, thus blocking its entry into the cells.

With the transplant of these HIV resistant genes, the body effectively builds a new immune system free of the virus.

After the Berlin Patient went into remission, scientists tried and failed to replicate the cure and were unable to until the London Patient, whose HIV count has reduced into undetectable numbers. While this is extremely helpful, bone marrow transplants are not a viable option to cure all HIV infected people, as it is an extremely risky process and comes with many side effects. Even so, scientists are developing ways to extract bone marrow from HIV infected people, genetically modifying them to produce the same mutations on the CCR5 gene or the inability to express that gene at all, and then replacing it back into the patient so they can still build resistance without the negative effects of a bone marrow transplant. There have also been babies whose genomes have been edited to remove the CCR5 gene, allowing them to grow up resistant to HIV.

This does not eliminate the threat of the HIV virus, however.

There is another strand of the virus, called X4, that uses the CXCR4 protein to enter the cell. Even if the editing of the CCR5 allows immunity against one strand, it is possible for a person to be infected with the X4 strand of the virus. Despite this, immunization against one strand could save a countless number of lives, as well as the vaccine that is currently in the stages of development for HIV. Along with the London Patient, there are 37 other patients who have received bone marrow transplants, six of which from donors without the mutation.

Of these patients, number 19, known as the Dusseldorf Patient, has been off anti-HIV drugs for 4 months. It may not be a complete cure, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

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