Hawthorn is widely recognized as a cardiovascular tonic and is widely regarded in Europe as a safe and effective treatment for early stages of heart disease. We use it to promote healthy circulatory system. This herb has antioxidant properties that help protect from plaque build-up, which can slow blood flow and block the vessels that supply the heart with oxygen rich blood. Hawthorn is outstanding both in the prevent heart problems and the treatment high or low blood pressure, heart disease, and edema. The flavonoids in hawthorn help to stabilize collagen and prevent collagen tissue loss. Collagen is the protein in blood vessels that is responsible for maintaining integrity of tendons, ligaments and cartilage.
Hawthorn berry contains rutin, which enhances vitamin C activities and strengthens capillaries. This is a great help for people that bruise easily. Hawthorn does not store in the body and has no accumulative action, so it is important to take hawthorn on a regular basis.
Red Rooibos is from the mountaintops of South Africa. It is naturally sweet and delicious. Current research cites anti-oxidant properties 50 times more active than green tea. It contains healthy amounts of iron, magnesium, potassium, fluoride, manganese, zinc, calcium, Vitamin C and a fair amount of alpha-hydroxyl. Because it is caffeine free, I blend my BERRY HIGH C with rose hips, hibiscus, lemongrass, bilberry, elderberry and hawthorn berries. This is a great immune booster. I have a friend that swears by this tea telling me that it helped relieve them of their allergy symptoms. Rooibos tastes great, looks beautiful and reminds me of Sangria. This herbal tea is caffeine free and great iced or hot all day long. Here's to your health!
As I am sipping my nettle tea, I am inspired to share with you the incredible virtues of Stinging Nettle (Urtica, dioica or U gracilis). It does not taste like any other standard tea. It is not bitter like Green tea, sweet like Rooibos, lemon like or minty. It tastes like an earthy broth. This weekend I simply ate too much, so today is a great day to fast and nourish myself with nettle tea.
People have been using nettle for food, medicine and fiber since the Bronze Age. Many of the benefits are due to the high levels of minerals. It is especially high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, silica,
iodine, silicon and sulfur. Nettles provide chlorophyll, and are a good source of Vitamin A, C, beta-carotene and B- complex. They also have considerable levels of absorbable amino acids and are high in protein, which helps me stay on my fast and detox. As a tea, nettles act as a gentle diuretic, a restorative for kidneys and bladder and help the body cleanse itself of waste.
Because nettle is so chock full of vitamins and minerals, I like to make a decoction of nettle and drink throughout the day.
This requires simmering 1/4 cup of nettle in 2 quarts of distilled water (I like using distilled water, as it is hungry water that will exact every bit of nutrient from the plant). Boil and then simmer until the water is reduced by1/4. Fill a thermos and drink throughout the day. Sometimes to change the flavor, add some licorice chips.
If you come across a patch of stinging nettles, be sure to wear gloves; as the fine hairs of nettles are filled with formic acid, histamine, acetylcholine, serotonin, 5-hydroxytryptamine and unknown compounds.
Nettles are a traditional food for people with allergies. Nettles can be juiced, and enjoyed as a cooked green with a topping of Sesame Sprinkles Seeds.
If you think that "open sesame" are the magic words that open the door to the riches come from Ali Baba, you will be surprised to learn that it actually comes from the sesame plant itself. The command makes sense when you see the sesame plant. They are densely packed pods that when matured burst open and spew out the treasures of the seeds.
Sesame seeds are tiny, flat pear shaped seeds with a nutty taste. These nutrient dense seeds have been around since prehistoric times. They are grown for the seeds and their oil.
Sesame seeds are a blood tonic that support the kidney, liver and large intestines. They contain more that 35% protein, more than any other nut. They contain heart-healthy mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids. A mere tablespoon contains a gram of fiber. They are a good source of vitamin E, copper, magnesium, iron and zinc. Sesame seeds are one of the two best sources of lignans. (The other being flax seeds), a group of disease fighting phytochemicals that have strong anti-oxidant and anti- inflammatory properties. While they are also calcium rich , researchers cannot tell us exactly how much calcium we take in because of the high levels of calcium- binding oxalates.
Sesame seeds, tahini, (paste) and sesame oil are simple to add to your diet. You can toss them into your salads, stir-frys, on your grains or baked goods. I have created five different blends of Sesame Sprinkles. These are toasted sesame seeds that are combined with the appropriate herbs and seaweed. My favorite snack is to air-pop corn and add olive and flax oil and then top with Mimi's Natural Sesame Sprinkle. It is available in Original, Asian, Mexican, Turmeric, Dandelion and Burdock.
Ginger is the go to root for me. It is used as medicine and cooking. The easiest way to use it is to slice a few pieces from the root and simmer it in water. The longer you simmer it the hotter it gets. Enjoy this with some honey. It is effective remedy for nausea, motion sickness and it is warming and de-congesting. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory. I used to juice massive amounts of ginger root. I would freeze the juice in small container. As needed, I would defrost a container and add a teaspoon to water to make a tea. Save the pulp for stir-fry. Sometimes if a client has poor circulation, it is helpful to add ginger juice to a basin of hot water and soak a towel in it. Remove excess water and lay the towel over their back before doing healing work. When you feel a chill in your body, you can use ginger in your bath water. It will increase circulation and perspiration. When used in a bath, you could buy powdered ground ginger from an Indian grocery store. Before bathing, use Vaseline on tender areas of your body. Ginger bath water is HOT HOT HOT. Sit back, relax, soak and enjoy a cup of hot ginger tea.
Rejuvenate Your Bone Health
Two years ago, my dentist informed me that I was losing bone mass from the roots of my teeth. Initially, I became so alarmed that I decided I would do whatever it took to strengthen my bones. I am here to share with you my health regiment and intended success!
First on my daily plate to actually modify my bone mass is physical activity. This is because bone health is dependent upon physical activity that includes weight bearing exercise. This could be simply walking; jumping rope; working out in the gym; weightlifting; playing sports or jogging to simulate stronger bones. My exercise of choice is ballroom dancing.
I stayed in the sun for 30 minutes without sunscreen, yet I was also sure to take my vitamins minerals and trace minerals.
Next, I made some strategic adjustment to my eating. I focused on rich green leafy vegetables, fruits and Omega-3 fatty acids. I cut down on red meats and ate a bit of turkey or chicken, alternating with wild salmon.
I consumed a green juice or smoothie twice a day instead of my usual once in the morning juice. However, I was certain to add some supplements to this juice. These included MSM, non GMO soy lecithin and flaxseed.
Additionally, I avoided dairy and I also gave up cheese. I excluded white flour, white sugar, sodas, caffeine and alcoholic drinks. Although I had eliminated milk, I continued using almond and soy milk. For many of you these will be big changes.
I understand that a diet high in acid actually causes inflammation and contributes to bone loss. When we eat foods high in acid, calcium and minerals are leached from our bones to neutralize the acid, resulting in the calcium our bone needs to be excreted through our urine. Naturally, over time this loss of mineral and calcium impact our bone density.
I ate kale, collards, bok choy, spinach, arugula, watercress and lots of dandelion greens. To enhance the life-affirming aspect of this diet, I included chickpeas and calcium rich sesame seeds on my daily salads.
My overall plan contains a wide-variety of health foods. I included a bone health herbal tea. This herbal blend includes alfalfa, nettle, oatstraw, dandelion leaf, raspberry leaf, red clover and horsetail. These herbs are rich in vitamins(especially vitamin K). Vitamin K is a nutrient that inhibits the breakdown of bone and promotes the formation of new bone tissue. This blend is high in magnesium, iron, sulfur, sodium potassium, silica and various trace elements. All of these herbs are alkalizing to our body. I drank 3 cups of the tea daily.
Depending on your fortitude and overall determinations, there are additional practices that you can incorporate. Your bones will thank you.
For example, you can use this tea blend and soak it in apple cider vinegar. Allow two weeks or longer for the herbs to infuse the vinegar. You can mix a tablespoon of this infusion with warm boiled water. In fact, when I'm feeling a bit feisty, sometimes I even ingest this herbal vinegar straight. But don't stop there, you can utilize this delicious vinegar to make your salad dressing.
In my own experience, upon visiting my dentist four months later, she took an additional x-ray Dr. Kaplan was admittedly astonished. She asked me if she had x-rayed the correct side, because so much new bone growth was self evident.
I hope you will incorporate some of the suggestions and include them in your daily routine. However, you maintain your new regiment, here's to your strong bones!X
September is a good time to prepare for the cold and flu season. One of my favorite herbs is elderberry. It has two compounds that are active against flu viruses. It also prevents the virus from invading our respiratory tract and from penetrating our cell membranes. At the health food store, there is an elderberry syrup product called Sambucol. Sambucol was put to the test after a flu outbreak at a kibbutz in Israel. Many showed relief from flu symptoms after 24 hours and 73% felt better after the second day. In three days, 90% were reported completely cured. I am never without this elderberry syrup in the cold and flu season. It is delicious and easy to make.
Simmer following ingredients:
4 cups distilled water
3/4 cup dried elderberry
1-1/2 inch ginger sliced (optional)
I use distilled water for all my decoctions because distilled water is "hungry",
and it will extract all the beneficial compounds from the herbs.
Simmer gently and reduce water to 1 to 1-1/4 cups.
Then strain the elderberries.
Add 3/4 cup to 1 cup of honey to the elderberry juice.
Add 1/2 cup of fruit concentrate. I like blackberry or cherry.
Bottle and label your elderberry syrup. Use when you feel a cold coming on. Keep refrigerated. It is so good that I take a tablespoon even when I am feeling great.
Enjoy and stay well.
Did you know that you would be able to smell garlic on your breath if you rub garlic oil on the sole of your feet? That is because the oil was absorbed into your blood stream. That is why I find foot soaks a wonderful and healing ritual. I recommend a footbath when you feel a cold coming on, dancing too much, or general blah feeling. To the warm water, I add cup of hydrogen peroxide and a hand full of sea salt. The soak is relaxing and it helps bring down inflammation. Sometimes I brew peppermint tea with essential oil in the footbath. Using a footbath before bed aids in promoting a good night's rest.