Cultured or Fermented Food?

Recipe of the Month – Basic Sourdough Bread

This recipe can be used to make a basic loaf of bread for sandwiches or just eating fresh from the oven.
Ingredients:
2 1/3 cups fresh sourdough starter
3 1/3 cups flour
1 to 1 ½ cups water (approximate) Continue reading

The Five Best Home Remedies for Colds, Coughs and the Flu

From the pantry to the bedside, home remedies you can make in a snap help prevent seasonal colds or cure a stubborn case of the flu.

Garlic tea immune enhancer

A well-known immune system strengthener, garlic shines as an antibacterial and antiviral herb for fighting colds, Continue reading

Thyme out for Cold, Flu, and Other Organisms

thymeAnother member of the labiatae, or mint, family, thyme is an herb native to the Mediterranean basin and comes in many varieties. There is only one plant, thymus vulgaris, but the composition of the oil distilled from the plant shows variations in chemical components based on the location or region the plant grows in, despite being botanically identical. The microbial power of thyme is so powerful that some oils are safe to use in all situations, and some are not. Thymus vularis ct. linalol is the best oil for beginners to use and it is the safest to use on the skin, in baths, and on children and the elderly. Other chemotypes (ct) such as thymus vulgaris ct. thujanol, thymus vulgaris ct. thymol, Continue reading

Seven Ways to Use Honey for Whatever Ails You

Lots of us may like to use a little honey as a sweetener for our morning coffee, toast or tea, but there are several uses for this tasty little treat – in its pure, raw, non-pasteurized form, it can do more than just bring a smile to our face.

Manuka honey as the new ‘superfood.’ What is Manuka honey, Continue reading

A Poisonous Solution to Coughs and Nausea

Two of the most common symptoms on the planet are coughing and nausea. Both, if chronic and long-lasting, may be hinting at a serious underlying cause. But for the average healthy person who runs smack into these symptoms every so often, there is a homeopathic remedy built for relief. Continue reading

Bronchitis – Conventional, Nutritional and Alternative Treatments

Conventional Treatment

Don’t think that you’re going to walk into your health care practitioner’s office and walk out with a prescription for antibiotics in response to your bronchitis.

Since the usual cause of bronchitis is a viral infection, antibiotics aren’t effective at treating this respiratory problem.  Antibiotics can only defeat bacterial infections. So most cases of bronchitis don’t require this form of treatment.  Continue reading

Licorice Root Proven Effective against Oral Infections

A new study indicates that dried licorice root is effective against the bacteria which causes tooth decay and gum disease, both of which can lead to tooth loss. Reporting their findings in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Natural Products, researchers say that that two substances in dried licorice root may help prevent and treat tooth decay and gum disease.

Traditional healing, modern science

The dried root of the licorice plant has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Practitioners of TCM use dried licorice root for a variety of health concerns: to treat coughs, ulcers, sore throat, arthritis, lupus, liver disorders, food poisoning and diabetes. Licorice is known by herbalists to possess antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. The medicinally used root is not an ingredient in the licorice candy sold in the US which uses the similarly flavored anise oil. Continue reading

Too Many Chocolates- Mental Problems Linked to Acne in Teens

OSLO – High intake of chocolate and potato chips along with mental health issues is linked to the development of zits, pimples, bumps and blemishes in young people, says a Norwegian study.

Researcher Jon Anders Halvorsen, University of Oslo, along with co-authors from Lhasa (Tibet) and Boston (US) looked into the possible causes of the common skin condition affecting millions of adolescents.

The team investigated the links between acne, diet and mental health issues in both males and females.

The researchers found a significant connection between acne and low intake of raw and fresh vegetables in girls, leading to probable indication that a low-glycemic index could have a protective role in the development of acne.

Dr. Halvorsen said: “Our study shows a possible link between diet and acne. However, when we introduced symptoms of depression and anxiety in our statistical model, the role of diet became less clear. On the other hand the association between acne and mental health problems was still strong when diet was introduced. This underscores mental health problems as an important aspect of young people’s acne”.

He concluded, “It is too early to give evidence based diet advice to teenagers with acne. Further studies are needed. Luckily, acne is rarely associated with serious morbidity. However, it does cause problems for a high number of young people. I hope that this study will encourage doctors to help adolescents to treat their acne and researchers to find preventive factors. Young people deserve better!”

The study has been published in the open access journal BMC Public Health.

 

The Immunity Herb – Echinacea Purpurea

Echinacea is a mainstay in any holistic health kit of essential remedies. We have found nothing better than echinacea extract for treating the onset of a sore throat. Also, echinacea is especially beneficial if taken at the first signs of flu and cold symptoms rather than waiting until you are in the full-bloom of the nastys.  This healing herb is found to be a benefit to inflammatory distress.

Echinacea Purpurea, commonly known as the purple cone flower is extremely easy to grow.  Every part of the plant (roots, stems, folige, and blossom) have a medicinal use. All the parts of this plant can be used in teas and herbal remedies. The blossom is used in the making of flower essences. Because of its antibiotic properties one can incorporate the echinacea blossom in a special blend of flower essences used in healing practices of Exhaustion and Fatigue.

A web search on the keyword Echinacea will bring you a mother-load of links, (mostly markets for Echinacea products). We do not recommend or approve of using Echinacea on a daily basis.  Echinacea is nature’s antibiotic meant to boost your immune system. It is not intended to be taken as a constant. Our recommendation is to take Echinacea for a week to ten days. After a lapse of 5-6 days if your symptoms persist then take it for a second period of 7-10 days.

We prefer the liquid tinctures that are available at natural food stores. Echinacea is also available in capsule or tablet form for anyone who cannot tolerate the somewhat unpleasant taste of echinacea extract.

Note: Using echinacea as a treatment for for anyone with compromised immune systems, such as HIV/AIDS patients has become controversial among the healing community. Although some studies have suggested that echinacea may have beneficial effects for people with AIDS/HIV, further research on the subject is needed. If you have AIDS/HIV or are a caregiver for someone with AIDS/HIV, do not initiate echinacea therapy without consulting with a qualified health provider.

Native American Herbal Remedies No. 1

Asthma

Skunk Cabbage – Used by the Winnebago and Dakota tribes to stimulate the removal of phlegm in asthma. The rootstock was official in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1882 when it was used in respiratory and nervous disorders and in rheumatism and dropsy.

Mullein – Introduced by Europeans. The Menominees smoked the pulverized, dried root for respiratory complaints while the Forest Potawatomis, the Mohegans, and the Penobscots smoked the dried leaves to relieve asthma. The Catawba Indians used a sweetened syrup from the boiled root, which they gave to their children for coughs.

 Backache

Arnica – The Catawba Indians used a tea of arnica roots for treating back pains. The Dispensary of the United States (22nd edition) states this drug can be dangerous if taken internally and that it has caused severe and even fatal poisoning. Also used as a wash to treat sprains and bruises.

Gentian – The Catawba Indians steeped the roots in hot water and applied the hot fluid on aching backs.

Horsemint – The Catawba tribe crushed and steeped fresh horsemint leaves in cold water and drank the infusion to allay back pain. Other tribes used horsemint for fever, inflammation, and chills.

Bronchitis

Creosote Bush – A tea of the leaves was used for bronchial and other respiratory problems.

Pleurisy Root The Natchez drank a tea of the boiled roots as a remedy for pneumonia and was later used to promote the expulsion of phlegm,

Wormwood  The Yokia Indians of Mendocino County used a tea of the boiled leaves of a local species of wormwood to cure bronchitis.

Burns

Yellow-Spined Thistle – The Kiowa Indians boiled yellow-spined thistle blossoms and applied the resulting liquid to burns and skin sores.

Childbirth

To Speed Childbirth:  

Partridgeberry The Cherokee used a tea of the boiled leaves. Frequent doses of the tea were taken in the few weeks preceding the expected date of delivery.

Blue Cohosh – To promote a rapid delivery, an infusion of the root in warm water was drunk as a tea for several weeks prior to the expected delivery date.

To Speed Delivery of the Placenta:

American Licorice – A tea was made from the boiled roots.

Broom Snakeweed – Navajo women drank a tea of the whole plant to promote the expulsion of the placenta.

To Stop Post-Partum Hemorrhage:

Buckwheat – Hopi women were given an infusion of the entire buckwheat plant to stop bleeding.

Black Western Chokecherry – Arikara women were given a drink of the berry juice to stop bleeding.

Smooth Upland Sumac The Omahas boiled the smooth upland sumac fruits and applied the liquid as an external wash to stop bleeding.

To relieve the Pain of Childbirth:

Wild Black Cherry – Cherokee women were given a tea of the inner bark to relieve pain in the early stages.

Cotton – The Alabama and Koasati tribes made a tea of the roots of the plant to relieve the pains of labor.

Colds

Boneset – Boneset tea was one of the most frequently used home remedies during the last century. The Menominees used it to reduce fever; the Alabamas, to relive stomachache; the Creeks, for body pain; the Iroquois and the Mohegans, for fever and colds.

Colic

Catnip The Mohegans made a tea of catnip leaves for infant colic.

Contraceptives

Ragleaf Bahia The Navajos, who called the Ragleaf bahia herb twisted medicine, drank a tea of the roots boiled in water for thirty minutes for contraception purposes.

Indian Paintbrush Hopi women drank a tea of the whole Indian paintbrush to “Dry up the menstrual flow.”

Blue Cohosh Chippewa women drank a strong decoction of the powdered blue cohosh root to promote parturition and menstruation.

Dogbane – Generally used by many tribes, a tea from the boiled roots of the plant was drunk once a week.

Milkweed – Navajo women drank a tea prepared of the whole plant after childbirth.

American Mistletoe – Indians of Mendocino County drank a tea of the leaves to induce abortion or to prevent conception.

Antelope Sage – To prevent conception, Navajo women drank one cup of a decoction of boiled antelope sage root during menstruation.

Stoneseed – Shoshoni women of Nevada reportedly drank a cold water infusion of stoneseed roots everyday for six months to ensure permanent sterility.

Coughs

Aspen – The Cree Indians used an infusion of the inner bark as a remedy for coughs.

Wild Cherry – The Flambeau Ojibwa prepared a tea of the bark of wild cherry for coughs and colds, while other tribes used a bark for diarrhea or for lung troubles.

White Pine – The inner bark was used by Indian people as a tea for colds and coughs.

Sarsaparilla – The Penobscots pulverized dried sarsaparilla roots and combined them with sweet flag roots in warm water and used the dark liquid as a cough remedy.