Saturday, October 13, 2012

Turmeric Chai Tea...Yum!

As promised, here is the recipe for the Turmeric Chai Tea that we offered at the Edible Pharmacopoeia classes recently.  This one combines many of the spices we discussed, plus coconut milk.  You can use any type of milk, but I like coconut for its many health benefits, including heart health, thyroid nourishment, and protection from Dementia & Alzheimer's disease.  It is rich in lauric acid, which is also found in human breast milk and protects babies from viral and bacterial infections.

Turmeric Chai Tea (serves 4)
3 TBSP turmeric powder
4 tsp. cinnamon powder
2 tsp. ginger powder
1 tsp. cardamom powder
1-2 tsp. cayenne powder (optional and I used one)
1/8 tsp clove powder

Mix it all up and store it in a glass jar.

For each serving, use 4 tsp of the chai powder.
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the powder and steep for 10-30 minutes.
Strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth into a sauce pan, and add 1/2-1 Cup of milk.
Heat but do not boil.
Sweeten with honey or maple syrup to taste.

This tea is a wonderful after dinner as a dessert or before bed to help you sleep through the night. It will support liver detoxification & blood sugar regulation, plus quench the days inflammation during your good nights sleep.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Beyond Echinacea:  Unusual herbs for cold and flu season

As an herbal clinician, I have witnessed about 20% of clients with allergies to the “daisy family” of plants, which happens to include both ragweed and Echinacea.  If you are one of the unfortunate ones that react to Echinacea with additional allergy symptoms, take heart.  There are many other options that are just as powerful, more specific for cold and flu season, and that are not in the daisy family.

Usnea is a lichen that looks like Spanish moss, growing on old growth trees world wide.  Besides being anti-fungal and a candida destroyer, it inhibits gram positive bacteria, specifically targeting the pneumonia, staph and strep viruses,  and goes head to head with bronchitis and tuberculosis.  One powerful lichen to like!

Isatis tinctoria is a member of the Brassicacea (Cabbage) family.  It is a natural antibiotic, antimicrobial, antiviral, antiseptic, alterative and febrifuge (reducing fevers).  It is specific for fighting pharyngitis, laryngitis, encephalitis, mononucleosis,  tonsillitis, scarlet fever, typhoid, staph and strep.  Thankfully, it is also useful to combat shingles, e-coli, salmonella, chicken pox and measles.

Baptisia tinctoria (Wild Indigo) belongs to the Fabacea (pea) family.  It was a favorite of Native Americans and Eclectic physicians as an ideal remedy for epidemics, especially involving the lymph and glandular systems.  It is one of my favorites for throat, tonsil and nasal membrane infections.

All 3 of these are a part of the broad spectrum formula called “Liquid Gold”, named by a grateful client.  Having suffered sinus and bronchial infections for 4 years, with a constant round of antibiotics serving to deplete her immune system, this has been her saving grace, allowing her to be antibiotic free for the past 3 years.  You may read about it and order it at

Educators, moms, employers and child care providers find it invaluable.  Pregnancy and child friendly versions are available upon request.

May this cold and flu season be one of wellness for you and yours!




Sunday, July 15, 2012

Why Organics Really Cost Less

An excerpt from an article called The Good Earth? On How We've Made the Environment Dangerous to Our Health, by Sandra Steingraber, PhD published in The Sun, Jan 2010:  

SS: "Our food becomes us; it becomes the bodies of my children: their muscles, blood, and brain tissue.  I put a high premium on that."
Q:  You've said that organic food is a bargain, even when it costs more than conventional produce. How so?
SS:  Because the price represents what the food really costs to grow.  Chemical-intensive -agriculture products cost a lot more than the dollars you hand over in the check-out lane.  When I pay less for food produced on industrial farms, I am really passing along to society the expense of higher insurance premiums, increased healthcare expenditures and more environmental clean-ups.  Other hidden costs of chemical-intensive agriculture include the death of pollinators, polluted waterways, poisoned farm workers, eroded topsoil, and a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico from runoff into the Mississippi River.  We are just handing these problems over to future generations to deal with."

"The old idea that you can't feed the world with organic farming is no longer true.  New evidence shows that organic farming yields are on par with those of conventional farming.  Today's organic farming is not like farming before the advent of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.  It's not just letting the pests have their way with crops.   It's much more sophisticated.  Organic agriculture substitutes biological control mechanisms for the chemical control mechanisms that emerged out of World War II and the cold war."

"I think what will really win the day with organics isn't so much the pesticide issue but the local issue.  The amount of fossil fuel expended just to get a fifty calorie piece of lettuce on your plate is irrational.  The need for local food security also will drive the the U.S. towards organic local agriculture."

Eat Fresh.  Buy Local.  Choose Organic for the sake of all of us.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Beet Kvass recipe using a starter:

In a 2 quart jar, add 3 medium or 2 large red beets, peeled and chopped coarsely.
Optional:  add some coarsely chopped carrots, onions, cabbage, kale, garlic, or ginger
Add 1/4 C. of whey plus 1/4 C. of starter OR 1/2 C. of starter (the Kvass that you have)
Add 1-2 TBSP sea salt
Fill with clean or filtered water.  Stir well.  Cover securely.  ( I use a 1/2 gal wide mouth ball jar)
Allow it to sit at room temperature for 2 days.

Enjoy the vegetables right from the jar, or on salads.  Drink 1/2 C. before lunch and dinner for optimal digestive support.

Use in place of vinegar in salad dressings, and add to soups.

Note:  Do not use grated beets, as they exude too much juice and ferment too quickly, favoring alcohol production  rather than lactic acid.

A traditional Ukranian beverage, it is a rich blood building probiotic valued for its medicinal and digestive support.  It is an excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalinizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment kidney stones and other ailments.
-excerpted from "Nourishing Traditions"  The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, Ph.D.   Bless them!

To our collective radiant health!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sassafras Spring

Sassafras leaves, blossoms and branches reach upward each spring, promising all that is uplifting.  These young leaves are edible (delicate and lemony in flavor).  They are dried and used as the thickener called file, used in cajun gumbo dishes, and when eaten fresh, they are a demulcent, which soothes and heals our digestive tracts.  As they mature, they develop into 3 distinct shapes:  an oval, a mitten and a 3 lobed hand.

It is the reddish root & root bark however, which we use most often for that most delicious root beer and sassafras tea.  Traditionally it has been used as a spring tonic in the Appalachians and Ozarks where it is native and abundant.  It improves circulation, deters infections, destroys pathogens, and stimulates the release of toxins through diaphoresis (sweating).

Sassafras was one of the first exports from Colonial America to England as a marketable crop, and was included in the US Pharmacopoeia from 1820-1926.  It is used in the treatment of acne, arthritis, boils, carbuncles, catarrh, colds, digestive issues, eczema, fevers, flu, gout, herpes, hypertension, measles, menstrual cramps, nephritis, psoriasis, rheumatism, shingles, skin and stomach problems, and STD's of all types.

Topically it is applied as a poultice to relief inflamed eyes, or as a liniment to treat bruises, sciatica, sore muscles, and swellings.  As a skin wash, it is used to relieve poison ivy/oak and nettles skin rashes.  The essential oil is used for toothaches and to rid surface parasites, such as head lice.

Sassafras is not recommended for use during pregnancy and lactation, however.  It serves to decrease lactation.  However, it is quite safe for children, so no worries there!

The Super Sassafras Tea that is available from Geo's Joy is made with children in mind.  It is sweetened with licorice root (which prevents cavities while being a healing agent) and is "spiked" with nourishing nettles, a flavorless green plant rich in minerals and vitamins.  It makes a root beer flavored tea that can be frozen into popsicles.  This is a sweet but sugarless treat that will sneak a "vegetable product" into the most finicky eaters.

This season brings the promise of an abundant sassafras crop and a blessing from the Appalachian spring.  Enjoy it's great flavor and good health!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Garden Meditation: A Poem

Garden Meditation

by Rev. Max Coots

Let us give thanks for a bounty of people.
For children who are our second planting, and though they
grow like weeds and the wind too soon blows them away, may
they forgive us our cultivation and fondly remember where
their roots are.
Let us give thanks;
For generous friends...with hearts...and smiles as bright
as their blossoms;
For feisty friends, as tart as apples;
For continuous friends, who, like scallions and cucumbers,
keep reminding us that we've had them;
For crotchety friends, sour as rhubarb and as indestructible;
For handsome friends, who are as gorgeous as eggplants and
as elegant as a row of corn, and the others, as plain as
potatoes and so good for you;
For funny friends, who are as silly as Brussels sprouts and
as amusing as Jerusalem artichokes;
And serious friends as unpretentious as cabbages, as subtle
as summer squash, as persistent as parsley, as delightful as
dill, as endless as zucchini and who, like parsnips, can be
counted on to see you through the winter;
For old friends, nodding like sunflowers in the evening-time,
and young friends coming on as fast as radishes;
For loving friends, who wind around us like tendrils and hold
us, despite our blights, wilts and witherings;
And finally, for those friends now gone, like gardens past
that have been harvested, but who fed us in their times that
we might have life thereafter.
For all these we give thanks.

In honor of my dear gardening friend Jen, now in the spirit world.  She pretty much covered the variety of friendship crops, depending on the season.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Top 10 Immune Boosting Foods

Ripe Juicy Elderberries....

What you eat has a huge impact on how well your immune system is able to function. Eating whole, nutrient-dense foods offers your body the building blocks it needs for optimal immunity—and optimal health—in any season.

. Garlic—antimicrobial and stimulates the immune system

. Fish oil—omega-3’s increase phagocytic activity and strengthen cell membranes

. Leafy greens—high in B vitamins, minerals, and beta-carotene

. Berries—packed with antioxidants to deal with the aftermath of immune battles

. Citrus—high in vitamin C and other bioflavonoids

. Chicken Soup—delicious, digestible, and familiar; it’s also nutrient-rich

. Ginger—antioxidant, antimicrobial, and warming to fend off colds

. Elderberry—loaded with antioxidants and helps your cells hide from viruses

. Carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes—packed with beta-carotene and other phytonutrients

. Mushrooms—high in immune-boosting polysaccharides

Besides keeping yourself well-nourished, get outside for sunshine and a walk every day, allow for plenty of rest, and spend some time in good company—all activities that will support excellent immunity.