Ok here is a picture you might like in the meantime.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Ok here is a picture you might like in the meantime.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
There are many recipes for mulling spices, I admit I have never actually looked up a recipe simply looked in a can of spices I got from a store and made my own. But I also have a few ideas on how to mix things up a bit.
Traditional mulling spices:
1 oz Cinnamon sticks, Cinnamomum spp.
1 oz Clove, Syzygium aromaticum
1 oz Allspice berries, Pimenta dioica
1 oz Orange peel, Citrus sinensis
I also add 3 drops of sweet orange essential oil which I find gives it a nice punch. But this recipe works just fine without.
Pretty much, you just need to pour all these ingredients into a bowl, with the exception of the cinnamon which needs to be broken from sticks into smaller chunks first. Add about 1 tablespoon per four cups of cider, if you want the spices to last longer you can use less and let it boil longer. Also you can crack open the allspice berries before you boil them to release more essential oils, but do this right before you boil it. If you crack them open and them let them sit in the tin all winter they will lose flavor.
You can vary this recipe in a few ways.
Add Cayenne powder, Capsicum anuum (a little goes a LONG way so be cautious, I would only add about a 1/8 teaspoon to a 4oz batch)
Nutmeg, ground, Myristca spp. (same rule applies--nutmeg is always a low dose spice it can be harmful above a teaspoon serving, so keep it to a 1/8 teaspoon per 4oz batch)
Substitute or add lemon peel
Add small chunks of ginger root, Zingiber officinale
Feel free to experiment however you like but keep in mind the kinds of plants I am using here! You are going to boil this in a pan with apple cider so leafy herbs are not what we are looking for. Most leafy herbs are slightly bitter, but these spices are chock full of essential oils and resins which is what gives them such a potent bundle of flavor. Cinnamon is a bark, allspice is a dried berry, clove is a dried flower bud, cayenne is a dried pepper, ginger is a root, nutmeg is a nutshell, etc.
Mulling spices aren't merely for the sake of flavor. No, no! These spices can aid you in other ways. That cup of mulled cider or wine after dinner is actually helping you keep warm and digest that fatty dinner you just ate. That warm fuzzy feeling you get when drinking mulled cider or wine isn't just because it tastes good.
Cinnamon increases circulation, aides in digestion and helps your body assimilate sugars. It is currently being studied for use with diabetics and having positive results. A teaspoon of cinnamon a day for diabetics has been shown to be beneficial.
Orange peel, allspice, nutmeg and cloves are all very good digestives. They are also all aromatic and stimulating.
Ginger is a circulatory stimulant and powerful anti emetic (keeps you from throwing up). It is warming and spicy and specific to the throat, add this to your mulling spices when you have a sore throat.
Cayenne is a powerful circulation stimulant and is very warming. Like I said before, a little goes a long way.
I think you see the theme by now. This drink is for increasing circulation and digestion. Perfect for winter and after eating fat rich meals. So go get out some spices and whip up a batch. I just know you wont regret it.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Read the whole article!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
So take two tea bags of echinacea (if you have the root its probably about 8 tsp. ) 2 tsp chopped fresh ginger. Pour 4 cups hot just boiling water over echinacea and ginger and let steep for 2 hours in a closed container (or at least something you can place a plate over to keep the heat in). Pour tea into a container ( I used an old glass juice jar, but a pitcher will work fine) with room and add 1/4 cup lime juice and 3 cups lemonade, or to taste (I use Simply brand lemonade even though its not organic because they use sugar not high fructose corn syrup like other brands). Pour over ice and enjoy!
Now of course the dose of echinacea in this drink is still fairly low. You could up the dose** of echinacea in the tea portion, or just drink this in between cups of hot echinacea tea (of which you should have about 4-5 cups daily).
*My drink doesn't even HAVE any grape juice in it!
** the recipe I have here is exactly what I made so I know it tastes good, I haven't checked on a mega dose yet mostly because I am still drinking the original juice I made.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
So welcome October! I hope you bring in a plethora ("Jefe, do you know what a plethora is?"*) of benefits from the harvest for all!
*ten points if you know the movie quote! (20 if you can say the next line!)
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I think looking over it if I play only a set amount of time a night and then work on my other projects I will get enough down time to enjoy the other 'work' I need to do to push my life forward and (hopefully) into my real career path. In the meantime I think I will try and not turn on Guitar Hero when I get home tonight and curl up with Harry Potter for awhile.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
*which is amazing cause snuggling comfrey isn't the wisest choice of action, its kind of prickly
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Then again it was kind of fun to think of eating an alien version of nachos. So I wont complain.
*It might have been the fact that I have no sour cream in my new apartment! Nachos without sour cream what WAS I thinking! (Besides aliens that is)
--this post reminds me a little too much of my husband's style of blogging...
Saturday, September 6, 2008
... ok maybe that metaphor went a little farther than made sense. Anyways I am here to blog the heck out of this place! Woo!!!!
I have determined that this months herbal remedy will be Stress Relief, of which I could probably fill an entire book of information, so I will try and keep in simple and focus on one herb and build some stuff around it. I am picking this subject for the obvious reason that now that I am gainfully employed I am of course visiting the land of stress again and need to remind myself (and you all) how to calm the heck down! (I almost swore there, see how I am not the calm rational me I was before employment?)*
The herb in question for this month is... drum roll please... Wood Betony, Stachys betonica! This is my favorite herb and has a lot of meaning for me. I was introduced to this herb by my professor and Naturopathic Physician Robin Dipasquale and it is one of the herbs that my particular brand of nervous tension responded to quite well.
Wood betony is a small herbaceous plant from the mint family that grows in moist areas (like most mints). It is hard to grow, for it doesn't get very big, but also the seeds need to be stratified (frozen more than once over the winter) since they aren't a 'domesticated' plant. It has a pleasant floral taste and makes an excellent tea on its own or in combination. I often pair it with other mild/restorative nervines such as: lemon balm, oat pods, nettles, or with sleep aids such as lavender, california poppy or valerian. I find even the tincture is pleasant in taste for those floral notes dominate and drown out the bitter alcohol flavor. This is a mild herb and can be taken daily for mild anxiety, or for peopler who find they are too often in their head daydreaming. But can be used for more serious problems such as dementia, alien abduction and full on anxiety disorders. It works well on depression when paired with St. John's (Joan's?) wort since they both work well with anxiety laden depression.
I am the anxious, worry filled, tension headache type stressor that lives in my head a little too much. Wood betony is the calminf bring you back down to earth herb that is just perfect for this type of person. Wood Betony has been used by Mathew Wood for people who think they have been abducted by aliens. He states in his Book "The Book of Herbal Wisdom" that the use of this herb in small doses over time the patients no longer fear another abduction, though they often still think they were abducted in the past. The implications of this herb are that it brings a person back into themself and out of the air, or their heads, putting them firmly in the present and not so disconnected with reality. Yes there are times when one wants to be disconnected, but I find even though I spend a lot of time writing and 'in my head' this herb grounds me in a way that still allows me to imagine a great deal, but leaves me focused so I can actually put my thoughts down on paper. It takes negative spirals where you focus on the negative and puts them into clearer foucs, calming tension and making things easier to deal with. This herb is also great for older patients with dementia to connect with what is going on who are extrememly nervous when they cannot remember things.
So that is Wood Betony in a nutshell.
*Calm? Rational? ...right.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
I am excited for fall, though a little sad to see that summer is fading since I didn't get to really enjoy it as much as I would have liked -we just didn't have as many hot days as usual this year. Its been cold and rainy the last few days and I am in that strange place working leaves you where you are anxious for next weekend, yet wishing time wouldn't run away so fast.
I need to start thinking about packing for the move next week. I am so exited about our new apartment, but its hard for me to get exited for packing just yet. Actually watching my friends pack for their camping trip thursday night helped a little. I am sure by wednesday I will be more in the mood. But since we will likely just be moving one pickup truck load and then trickling everything in by car its not like it really matters if everything is boxed and ready. Heck half our stuff is still in boxes from a year and a half ago! I think once I have signed the lease and really know we are going to live there will make it less of a chore :)
I will start thinking about an herb for fall. Stay tuned!
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Gentian is in the family named after itself Gentianaceae. The part of gentian used is the root and rhizome. (which means I will not probably be harvesting any this year so that the plant has a few years to establish itself before I start dividing roots-luckily a little gentian root goes a long way!) Gentians main action is as a bitter, it is also a sialagogue* (meaning it makes you salivate), hepatic, cholagogue, antihelmintic, and an emmenagogue. Bitters are herbs that aid in digestion via the stimulation of many or all digestive juices. Bitters actually work through the tongues response to bitter taste. The tongue tells the body to increase secretions of saliva (sialagogue), gastric juices (HCL, pepsin etc.), and bile (cholagogue). It also accelerates the stomachs ability to empty. Gentian is most commonly used as a general appetite stimulant and digestive aid and is used for people with sluggish digestion, acid reflux and flatulence. It can be helpful for people that are generally sluggish, have lost their appetite (anorexia, depression), jaundice and liver dysfunction or congestion (Do not use for gallstones, the moving/stimulating nature of gentian can cause gallstones to become lodged in the hepatic portal). Bitters also stimulate te self repair mechanisms of the gut lining.
Gentian is one of the most bitter 'bitters' though I think hops is more bitter on the contiuum, however gentians secndary actions (cholagogue, sialagogue etc) make it a much better all around bitter and is usually my number one choice. Gentian pairs well with fennel and ginger which can slightly aid with the taste (keep in mind you must taste the bitter to get the affects!). Also fennel is an excellent aromatic digestive aid which will help with cramping and flatulence, and ginger will aid as a stimulant and anti-emetic (anti-nausea).
Bitters should be taken an hour before a meal, though you can take it after a meal if you feel you aren't digesting something properly.
*sialagogue is my old professor Sheila Kingbury's favorite word, and one of my favorites as well :)
Hoffman, David- Medical Herbalism, Healing arts press, 2003
Monday, July 28, 2008
Hot Dandelion Salad
makes 3 servings
6 slices bacon
1/4 cup red wine or apple cider vinager
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 pound dandelion greens, trimmed and washed
12 cup thinly cut green onions
In a large heavy skillet, cook bacon until crisp; drain and crumble. Discard all but 1/4 cup fat. To bacon fat in skillet, add vinager, salt, sugar and pepper. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Remove from heat one suagr is dissolved and add greens. Sitr quickly until green wilt stir in bacon and onions. Taste and adjust seasoning, serve warm.
As for Dandelion roots (or really almost any root you are harvesting) harvest after the plant has flowered and the plant is making ready for wintering. This ensures that the plant is storing nutrients in the root, when in flower all the plants energy (nutrients) are going to the seeds. Fall is usually the best time, but you can also harvest roots in early spring before the plant sends up shoots and flowers if you need to. July works too since it isn't in bloom and its had more than a month to be storing energy.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) were brought to the states by the Irish who knew that dandelion was one of the most nutritous, easy to grow foods out there. Having just been wiped out by the potato famine they weren't willing to starve anymore. Dandelions are now grow in every temperate region of the world (and in every backyard, har, har) . Dandelions are known to be high in potassium, iron, calcium and vitamin C (if eaten right after picking!).
Dandelion leaf is an amazing diuretic because it not only increases flow of water through the kidneys but in a gentle way. Diuretic drugs often strip the body of potassium, but Dandelion is one of the best sources for potassium in the plant world (better than banana's!). I find this combination of good diuretic packed with minerals and vitamins affect in Stinging Nettles as well and I often use them in combination when looking at kidney function.
The best way to utilize Dandelion is in a long cold infusion. (take 2 tsp for every cup of water and pour boiling water over the top, then let the tea steep for 4-8 hours in the fridge before straining and drinking) Or you can simply eat the leaves in a salad. Dandelion leaves can be bitter (especially after the flowers have died back) so it is best to eat them in the spring! I use the more bitter leaves for a digestive aid, so the batch I just picked will go in a seperate jar.
Dandelion roots have a seperate function and work more with the liver and gallbladder, though they retain a fair amount of diuretic action as well, though not as strongly as the leaf. For liver troubles I pair dandelion root with burdock expecially when their are skin complaints associated with the liver congestion. (this is also where the more bitter leaves can come into play!)
Dandelion is often paired with yellow dock for anemia. Dandelion is very high in iron, however yellow dock has very little, or none. In tests it has been proven that yellow dock may increase the absorption of iron without actually containing any itself.
List of Actions: Diuretic, hepatic (improves liver function), cholagogue(makes your bile flow more easily--do not use when you have gall stones!!!), antirhuematic (improves arthritis), laxative (see cholagogue), tonic and a bitter.
The thing I notice the most about Dandelion is its actions are all related. It improves flow of water and bile through the body and feeds the body as it pushes things out.
Combinations: I most often use Dandelion with Nettles, Burdock and Milk Thistle.
Safety note: As with all plants in the Asteraceae family their may be a sensitivity issue with this plant caused by a reaction that is similar to an allergy. It is rare but if you have aster sensitivity avoid this plant. Also the latex in the stem of the plant can be irritating if handled for long periods of time.
*primary use of flowers is for Dandelion wine, which isn't exactly medicinal except as a diuretic like everything else in the dandelion
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
I decided to harvest dandelion root and leaf today since I avoided mowing the lawn for two weeks and the leaves are still happy and lush. It didn't take very long and it was quite satisfying when I managed to pull up the whole taproot. I also noted how the soil around the dandelions is nice and loose, due to dandelions knack for aerating. I will actually hang the dandelion leaves later, for now I was being too lazy to do more than place them on the drying rack (under the flour sack towel).
My one concern with the whole process was how much water I wasted in cleaning. I am sure their must be a less wasteful way to process roots and leaves - maybe just leave the dirt on them?- but the dirt was wet so it stuck really well to the roots and since they were in the grass the leaves were covered with grass and slugs, not exactly appetizing to keep that sort of debris on them. I think I will try soaking them in a pan of water to remove the dirt and slugs, and have a second pan of clean water to rinse them through a second time. I never have this problems with anything in the mint family! Geeze.
Now I need to figure out how to get rid of those tiny bugs all over my Calendula. Any advice is welcome, for now I am hoping those bugs just go away once the flowers are dried. (go away is a relative term since I just noticed three crawling across my laptop screen...I need to stop drying herbs in my bedroom.)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
For updates about what's going on check out their twitter page, and there is also a fan site already up that is holding updates.
Go watch it. NOW!
UPDATE: site is working now!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Linden is a deciduous tree that is native to Europe, Asia, and eastern North America, here in the west it is a non-native imported from Europe. Tilia's are often planted along roadways and in parks. It's distinctive blossoms are easy to distinguish once you know what to look for and they are in full bloom right now.
Linden is most often utilized as a nerve tonic tea. It is a common remedy for frayed nerves and inability to sleep. It is specifically for those that are nervous, don't trust anything and want to be in control. It is also very useful in relaxing one to sleep, especially children. Linden has a pleasant aroma (it really does smell like limes) and tastes floral, sweet and tangy.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
My friend Brianna from Bastyr did a report once on the fact that driving out to the woods and just being in nature actually has a calming psychological affect and is being used as a treatment for children with ADHD and hyperactive disorders. Maybe the real reason for the epidemic of this disorder is disconnection from nature, not anything else. If I did research I think it would relate to such things.
I am also interested in the subject of how houseplants affect on our psyche, but also affect our health, since they can removed toxins from the air and oxygenate and moisturize a room. Houses and offices with live plants are healthier environments.
As an extrapolation on that idea I have also been exploring the idea in a futuristic fashion in my novel, how houseplants become vital commodities in the future and no building or vessel would dream of being without them. Humans try, but they can never truly escape nature, and really they shouldn't want to.
Anyway go check out the interview, also check out this book I found called How to Grow Fresh Air, by Dr. B.C. Wolverton to learn more about how vital houseplants are from research done at NASA for the space program.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Today's name is Charlie Cole. Feel free to click "generate another" to get a cast of characters. No names should come from your own head. Anyone else who wants to play along can post in comments or email me.
P.S. If its a sci-fi you can also utilize the Random Technobabble Generator for help
UPDATE:(7/7/08) Apparently there is also a Random Word Generator out there, though not by the same people! Even more fun with randomness! :)
Teaser from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog on Vimeo.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Wood Betony - To ground my mind so I am not in the stars
Nettles - Allergies (told you it was a trick)
Rosemary - To aid my memory so I remember the right things to say
And a tincture with a mixture of: Eluethro, Licorice root, Oats, sarsaparilla and prickly ash - An adrenal tonic to give me strength and fortification, but also to calm any hormones that may be out of balance.
There's the answer... no one played my game though. Oh well.
As for the Haiku...
Well, you just don't get one now
since nobody played
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
And a tincture with a mixture of: Eluethro, Licorice root, Oats, sarsaparilla and prickly ash
First to tell me what each ingredient is for... gets the satisfaction of a job well done.
I will post the correct answers tomorrow whether or not there is a response...
*(nettles is a trick!)
UPDATE: My Husband says that no one will bother answering without a prize. So if someone answers correctly I will be like Jillian and write you a Haiku...or something resembling poetry.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
*I just joined PMOG about five days ago and I am sort of addicted. It's a (hehe) Passively Multi-player Online Game and you get points for surfing the internet!
We now resume normal blogging. Thank you for your time.
Oh no! A pop quiz!
Will Anyone Answer? Yes!
Friday, June 6, 2008
This is all taken from an intensive paper called a Monograph that I did for school in the fall of 2006. I took out all the overly technical sections and pared it down a bit. Let me know if you all think this is too technical, or if you have any questions about anything!
Other common names: Raspberry, Raspbis, Hindberry, Bramble of Mount Ida, Brambleberry, framboises
Parts used: Leaves, berries.
Botanical description: Culpepper claims that raspberry, he calls it brambleberry, is “... is so wel known that it needeth no Description.”3 However, this doesn't truly seem sufficient. Raspberry is a shrubby plant with long bent over canes with leaves off the stems in threes. The leaves are ovate in shape with a serrate edge, green on top and silver underneath. The flowers are white with five petals, five sepals, and many stamens. The fruit is a red aggregate of drupelets. Each drupelet contains a single seed. The aggregate berry when picked leaves behind a white conical core. The stems become woody with age and display prickles in profusion.
Habitat: Raspberries grow most often in areas where the soil has been disturbed, such as forest clearings or fields. Native to
Taste: Hot infusion of the leaf: Bitter, astringent, sweet, green, full and oily, cooling. Raspberry leaf tea is often said to taste a lot like black tea due to its high tannin content, and is said to be a good substitute if you are sensitive to caffeine. I think this is partly true, but the green oily taste that overlies the black tea taste is hard to ignore.
Energetic properties: Cooling, drying and soothing; strongly associated with female energy.
Doctrine of Signatures-(this section is taking the look of a plant and associting it with its properties to aid in memory) The arrangement of raspberry leaves off the stem is that of one large leaf representing the uterus flanked by two smaller leaves that represent the ovaries; this reminds us that raspberry leaves work on the womb. The undersides of raspberry leaves are silvery, giving us insight that the leaves also have a connection to the moon and therefore woman and the menstrual cycle.
Constituents: Flavonoids: Kaemperferol and Quercitin as well as many glycosides of both; tannins: including gallotannins and ellagitannins; fruit sugar: notably xylitol; volatile oil; pectin; citric acid; malic acid; calcium, magnesium, thiamine, niacin, carotenes and trace minerals. A few sources list an alkaloid called fragarine, but more recent research has not found this molecule. (Fragarine was thought to be the 'active' constituent of raspberry leaf, the one that cause uterine muscle tissues to strengthen, but it is now postulated that is a more complex reaction that isn't due to any one constituent, but a combination of many. This particular conclusion seems to be more and more excepted for most herbal medicines, as main constituents are usually found to not work, or have different actions when isolated.)
Actions: Berries: Nutritive, antioxidant and laxative Leaves: Nutritive, astringent, antioxidant, parturient, uterine tonic, and emmenagogue
Indications and effects: Traditional use of Rubus Idaeus has been to aid in childbirth. Raspberry leaf acts on the tone of the uterus, increasing the contractility of the uterine walls. 1,9,11 This action on the uterus makes for more useful contractions during labor, as well as helps the uterus return back to its normal shape and elasticity afterwards. 1,11 The mechanism for this action is unknown though it has been speculated to be due to the tannins. However, since tannins are largely unabsorbed into systemic flow this is still not completely understood. There is some postulation that it is a reflex action, since the tannins cause the lining of the intestines to contract it makes the body contract the lining of the uterus. More research needs to be done in this area.
Rich in vitamin C complex, thiamine, niacin, carotenes, calcium, magnesium and trace minerals, R. idaeus is nutritive and aids in the health of the fetus and mother, and also increases and enriches milk flow after birth.1 This same action on the uterus acts as an emmenagogue and can be used for restoring weak or absent menstrual cycles.
The tannins act as a parturient, toning the membranes in the gut by binding to proteins in the intestinal wall, its mild action is especially good for children with diarrhea. The tannins also contribute to healing canker sores in the mouth, bleeding gums and other mouth complaints mainly through astringent action. Both the fruits and leaves have antioxidant properties due to high flavonoid content, which can heal oxidative damage to blood vessels and other tissue. The fruit is a mild laxative if taken in high quantities. Judith Berger mentions its use as a black tea substitute for those trying to lower their caffeine intake due to its similar taste and high tannin content.1
Safety/Contraindications: No safety issues have been reported with the toxicity of the plant. However there is a slight worry taking too much in the first trimester of pregnancy which may cause ‘over toning’ of the uterus so that the placenta has a hard time detaching from the uterine wall. It is therefore recommended limiting the use of raspberry leaves to the second and third trimester.12 This advice comes with its own problems since raspberry is also used to counteract morning sickness. Th solution may reside in using it for morning sickness, but stopping use in the the second trimester and starting again in the third so that the over toning doesn't occur.
Pick fine dry fruit, put it into a stone jar, and the jar into a kettle of water, or on a hot hearth, till the juice will run; strain, and to every pint add 1/2 lb. of sugar, give one boil and skim it; when cold, put equal quantities of juice and brandy, shake well and bottle. Some people prefer it stronger of the brandy. -----(Old Cookery-Book.) (botanical.com)
Combinations: A good pairing for Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) leaves would be Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris) leaves. Both display emmenagogue affects, which frees the flow of blood form a stagnant or blocked uterus and can regulate mentrual cycles that are erratic.
Preparations and doses: Leaves are usually prepared in an infusion, 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoon of dried leaf and let steep for 10-15 minutes, or long cold infusion for 4-8 hours to extract more of the mineral nutrients. I 8 ounce cup 3 times a day for toning the uterus during last trimester of pregnancy. In tincture form 1 teaspoon 3 times a day.2 The berries are best as food source of flavonoids.
- Berger, Judith. Herbal Rituals.
New York: St. Martins Press, 1998. Griffin
- Bone, Kerry A Clinical Guide to Blending Liquid Herbs. Elsevier Science, 2003
- Culpepper, Nicolas Retrieved 10/09/06 <http://www.med.yale.edu/library/historical/culpeper/b.htm>
- Grieve, Maude Retrieved 10/08/06 <http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/r/raspbe05.html>
- Hoffmann, David FNIMH, AHG. Medical Herbalism: The Science and practice of Herbal Medicine. Healing Arts Press, 2003
- Kress, Henriette “Rubus idaeus photo” Retrieved 10/08/06
- “Raspberry”, Retrieved 10/08/06 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry>
- Moore, Michael “Rubus idaeus: distribution map”, Retrieved 10/08/06 <http://www.swsbm.com/Maps/Rubus_idaeus.gif >
. Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth. Wise Acres Press, INC, 1999 Sharol ND
- Yarnell, Eric ND, RH Phytochemistry and Pharmacy for Practitioners of Botanical Medicine. Healing Mountain Publishing, Inc., 2004
- Rosemary, Gladstar Family Herbal: a guide to Living Life with Energy, Health and Vitality
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I think the main problem may stem from our use of the word environment. We talk about environment in the sense of our immediate surroundings but we also use the word to mean the entire planet as well. These ideas are actually quite separate. Our environment, when speaking about immediate surroundings, be quite toxic due to toxins that reside in our houses and the emotional atmosphere and lack of nature, but it could be perfectly fine when talking about pollution.
How could a house that is toxic to us not be a pollutant you ask? It lies in the fact that the toxins are confined within the structure. One of the shocking things that has come out in recent years is the fact that indoor pollution is now worse than outdoor pollution, mostly due to the fact that there is no airflow to remove toxins from our midst. But since there is no airflow these toxins are quite nicely contained indoors and only escape slowly into the outdoor environment so aren't really a problem. So in this way our environment (indoors) is highly toxic for us, while it really has no affect on the larger (outdoor) environment.
Not to mention the other environmental toxins one may encounter in a city, sewer gases, close proximity to car emissions, more exposure to viruses and bacterial infections, emotional stresses due to the working nature of cities, the lack of plant life. All these things seem like major detrimental affects, but none of them are bad for the worldly environment. They are simply bad for human health. Humans are bad for the world health because they tend to ruin the environment they are in with their waste and utilization of every available resource, animal mineral and vegetable. Put them all in one big area and that waste is reduced.
Cities tend to build upwards once outwards becomes limited. Large cities such as New York or Paris fill more people per square foot. Because everyone is so crowded together it makes a central hub for food distribution, more people can walk or bike to work, public transportation is more cost effective and readily available using less energy and gas to move people around.
Having spent two weeks in Paris I noticed this difference was huge when I got back to Spokane. In Paris I could walk almost anyway, or jump on the metro. Grocery stores were small but abundant and I could find almost anything I needed easily. Coming back to Spokane I was immediately forced to drive to get to the normal places I go because the distance was greater to get everywhere. Central hubs in Spokane are larger but more spread out. Yes you can get all your shopping done in one store, but you have to travel farther to get there and you need a car to utilize the store because you did all your shopping at once.
I think if this country was really serious about 'saving the planet' we would put a complete halt to urban sprawl and start building upwards, localizing food sources so that we weren't needing to travel so far (this would also create jobs since more shops would need employees). People could not only walk to the stores, but walk to work etc. Not to mention using more local farms not shipping food from all around the world. The government cannot do all this. It needs to start like all things start, from the bottom up. Support local business, walk, bike or bus to work when possible (get a job closer to home if its a long commute!) start a local grocery in your suburb.
Go, Fight, WIN!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Gaillet gratteron, Cleavers (Galium aparine) - Galium is a small upright herb that is covered in tiny stiff hairs. Its tiny hairs make it stick to clothing and hair, which is where its name cleavers comes from. Galium's main action is a Lymphogogue; meaning it makes the fluid in your lymph system flow.
Aubepine, Hawthorne (Crataegus spp.) - Crataegus is a small tree in the Rosaceae family. We saw this one in the Jardin des Plantes, in full bloom. Hawthorne is most known for its action on the heart. Not only does it calm rapid heart beats, and lower high blood pressure, its also been shown to speed a sluggish heart.
Gingko (Gingko biloba) Gingko is the only genus in the gingko family, and has only one species. It is an amazing tree with unique botanical properties. Medicinally gingko leaves are used to increase circulation to the brain, increasing mental focus and memory. In Traditional Chinese medicine however the fruit is utilized and has completely different applications.
Narrow Leaved Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) - Plantain small herb often found along roadways and paths. It prefers compact soil and was called the 'white man's herb' by native americans, who noticed its spread by the boots of soldiers. Plantago is highly nutritive and is a very useful for wound healing as it acts as an antiseptic, vulnerary and draws infectious agents from wounds.
Framboises, Raspberry (Rubus ideaus) - Raspberry is a large shrubby plant covered with sharp thorns called prickles (thorns are part of a branch, whereas prickles are only part of the skin of the branches). Like all rubus plants the leaves are highly astringent (that feeling of dryness or puckering when you eat it) which makes them very good vulnerary's. Raspberry also tonifies the uterus and is used in pregnancy to strengthen the uterus.
Bourse a pastour, Shepard's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) - Capsella is recognizable by its heart shaped siliques (seed pods). This herbs primary action is that of a vulnerary. It is extrememly effective, a dropperful internally can be enough to stop a major hemmorage and it often utilized by midwives during birth.
Celendine (Cheledonium majus) - Celendine was introduced to me first in an autobiography of Maurice Messigue, an herbalist from Gers, France. So when I spotted this specimen hidden in the woods among the nettles I was very pleased. Celendine is used only externally as its latex is caustic. The whole plant can be in a foot bath for pulling out toxins in the body. The latex can also be used to kill off worts, but be careful not to get any on healthy skin.
I also found a museum that had a small collection of botanical texts and prints, here is a line drawing of a strawberry plant.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Speaking of pertinent entries, Think Like a Jillian has a guest post about the Gaia theory, you should check it out!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Here's the story:
I had been shuffling around the house for a few hours and already felt tired. The doorbell rang. I opened the front door and saw a figure striding away from the house, quickly and purposefully. I looked down and saw a bulky envelope. I picked it up. The handwriting was smudged and cramped, and I could only make out a few words.
"Interesting", I thought to myself, "I don't know anybody named Ted Kaczynski." Unless it's going to clear this damn sinus infection in my head, I'll have to open it later.I set it on the kitchen table, and prepared my tincture of herbal tea remedies.
As I watched the lengthy glossop of honey slather into my tea I heard a rustling noise behind me. Having spent my childhood in a rotating house (due to some awkward foundations) I am quite adept at craning my neck and utilized this skill in the current situation, looking behind myself like a six-foot-tall owl.
The envelope - so stationary seconds before - had started to move, an event that I found somewhat odd, given that I was four days away from celebrating a year of sobriety. I picked up the nearest implement of swatting size without thinking, and slowly approached the bubble-wrapped delivery.The envelope continued to shuffle and shake as I stood poised with the potato masher held in readiness over my head. A small bead of sweat edged down my temple, hitting the floor at the same time as a lump of congealed potato from my weapon. There was a tearing sound, and I froze, unable to move, as a disembodied hand broke through my mysterious delivery. I blinked, and the thumb and forefinger of the hand formed a mouth.
"Hey, dude, what's up?" The Hand/Mouth said. I just stared, perplexed and terrified. "You got any grub? I'm starving!"
At this point, my fear got the better of me and I swung the potato masher down fiercely, knocking the hand/mouth (still partially in the packaging) off the counter and onto the floor. Screaming at the top of my lungs, I ran to the kitchen stool and stood on top of it, still grasping the potato masher with white-knuckled terror.
"Not cool, man," said the thing.
I stood transfixed in horror. The hand now started to inch across the floor towards my stool.
Ring, ring! On the wall across the kitchen the telephone began to ring, breaking me free from the icy grip of fear.
I had been in the middle of moving into a new home, in a fairly clean neighborhood. Kids on bikes, 2 cars in every garage. This hand was not something I had expected to be dealing with.
Ring! The phone rang again.
Cautiously, I climbed onto the counter, stepping over boxes and the empty sink to answer. "Hello?" I shouted into the receiver, intently aware of the scrabbling fingers below me.
"Mr. Newman, I have a proposition to make."
"Wha- what do you want?" I babbled into the phone as I sat on the counter, knees to my chin, feet in the sink, phone tucked between my ear and shoulder, my potato masher still firmly clutched in my hand keeping the creature at bay as it attempted to climb the drawer handles to the counter.
"Nothing much Mr. Newman. Just the hand back."
I was just about to answer the man when I saw it. Inside the envelope, still wrapped around the hand things wrist, was a piece of paper. It was halfway out of the envelope, if I could only grab it.
Ok virus I know very few bloggers and unfortunately the two I know best got me first. So this virus goes onto Wil Wheaton because he is the one who got me started blogging and I read his stuff everyday. I know you are uber famous Wil, but I am hoping your blogger instincts will make this imperative to continue passing this deadly virus around.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I will be posting Paris in retropect all next week as I rummage through photos and my wayword journal, and scan in some sketches Sean and I drew while here. So don't think Paris talk is through! For those of you awaiting our return in Spokane, we will be home tomorrow night! (though don't expect much from us, we will be traveling for 18+ hours tomorrow and arrive at 6am Paris time). Au revoir Paris!
Not to mention the strange trip into infinity on the british flag... and we weren't even in London!
Sean tells me that at some point I completely disappeared from view when I was right in front of him!
I do seem to remember some mushrooms somewhere... maybe they had something to do with it...
Of course that foxglove we passed could have been the culprit as well...
Oh I know what it was... it was our last day in Paris...
Monday, May 12, 2008
....or expect to be sitting at the restaurant a long time.