Archive for December, 2012

December 31, 2012

DIY Sprouts from Seeds

Sprouts are amazing super foods that are easy, nutritious and inexpensive food. Seeds have phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and proteins.

sproutseed

Containers for sprouting:

Buy special containers specifically for sprouting or use a mason glass jar, clay pot or towel. Demulcent seeds like chia and flax seeds are better suited to a flat towel or sprouting tray.

mung beanMaterials needed:

Seeds ~ like Mung beans are easy to sprout

Mason jars

Elastic bands

Cheesecloth

Optional: hydrogen peroxide food grade for cleaning and to speed up sprouting with less mold. Spray on towels for towel sprouting method.

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Soak seeds in water – 4-12 hours or overnight depending on seed type. Sometimes I put in 1/4 cup to a cup of hydrogen peroxide in 3% dilution to speed up sprouting and to reduce mold, or 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon full strength H202 (hydrogen peroxide) to a pint (2 cups) of water for soaking.  I also wash and sterilize everything in food grade 3% hydrogen peroxide which is water and oxygen.

Drain and prop jars in a bowl tilted on its side to drain the water. Use room temperature water with 3% hydrogen peroxide sprayed in to daily rinse, and place in a dark place, or put a paper bag or tea towel over the jars. Rinse seeds twice a day and spray some hydrogen peroxide in the water to cut down on mold or rotting, and to increase sprouting. You don’t have to use hydrogen peroxide but it is a good idea in hot weather. Sprouts are ready to eat in about 2-4 days. Enjoy!???????????????????????????????

December 27, 2012

DIY Myrrh Tincture

myrrhMyrrh resin is an age-old remedy from the Middle East with a long history. It was one of the gifts given by the wise men to baby Jesus along with golden frankincense resin. It is so healing it gets rid of any kind of infection, wounds, ulcers, pain and inflammation internally or externally. 

The Greek physician, Claudios Galenos, known as Galen for short, used myrrh to heal the wounds of gladiators in ancient Greco-Rome.

Myrrh is like camphor and tea tree essential oil in that it has amazing antiseptic action of being antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial. Used world-wide to heal wounds internally and externally myrrh gets rid of infection and excess mucous in the digestive and respiratory tracts, eases pain, inflammation and spasms.

Use Myrrh tincture internally and externally in compresses. The tincture turns a milky golden colour. The resin sticks to the bottom of the jar so stir it with a chopstick if this happens, and shake the tincture everyday. The resin may dissolve.

myrrh tincture

Soothing myrrh gargles, mouthwashes, douches relieve pain and infections internally. Use swabs, liniments and compresses  for external injuries and wounds.

Myrrh essential oil is for external use only! Never take essential oil resins internally.

Learn how to make your own tinctures or buy them from myself or other natural health places. If interested in using herbal tinctures book a consultation with me.

DIY herbal tincture blog: http://earthelixir.ca/2012/01/10/make-your-own-herbal-tinctures/

Common Name Myrrh resin
Latin Name  Commiphora myrrha
Family Burseraceae (Torchwood family)
Parts Used Tree resin and essential oil
Target Organs Lungs, intestine, uterus, urinary organs, arterial circulation, skin
Common Uses Infections: viral, bacterial, fungal infections (especially of mouth, gums, throat, vagina)chronic inflammation, mouth ulcers, internal and external pain, swelling, sore throat, loss of voice, Skin: infections, wounds, ulcers, any tissue trauma

Female reproductive: balancing female cycles, painful difficult labour, retained placenta,

Lungs: cold lung phlegm, productive cough, chronic bronchitis, wheezing, fatigue, chills

Intestines: microbial dysbiosis, candida, parasites, chronic gastritis, indigestion, volcano belly, mucous damp pain, congestion

Properties analgesic, antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antineoplastic, antiulcerogenic, antithrombotic, antispasmodic, antirheumatic, bitter, carminative, diaphoretic, immune stimulant, lymphatic, nervine, stomachic, vasodilator, antidiarrheal, astringent, decongestant, stimulant, hemostatic, vulnerary, oxytocic parturient, stimulating secretolytic expectorant, systemic (internally) warming, locally (externally) cooling,
Constituents Essential oil 2.5-10%(hydrocarbon methylisopropenyl furane 4%, sesquiterpenes-(elemene, copaene, curzerene), methyllisobutyl ketone, aldehyde, resin 25-40% (commiphoric acid, commiphorinic acid, heerabomyrrhol), gums 50-60%, salts, sulphates, oxydase, xylose, galactose
Cautions Do not use during pregnancy it is a uterine stimulant
Dosage Tincture 2-3 ml
December 18, 2012

DIY Seed & Nut Milk

Making your own nut and seed milks are a healthier choice.

nut

I’m making some almond and hemp milk :) but choose whatever nut or seeds you would like. I tried a hot fresh almond nut recipe but I prefer to soak my nuts in water overnight. I used that hot fresh almond milk recipe for the bath.
hemp

Recipe: 1 part nut to two-three parts water

1 cup of nuts, seeds like almond, hemp

2-3 cups of filtered water

1 teaspoon of real Mexican vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon-1 teaspoon agave nectar, honey or maple syrup

add a date if desired

for hemp seeds I used 1 cup to 4 or 5 cups of filtered water and blend. No need to strain.

nut

Directions:

You don’t need to soak the seeds but if you are using Nuts soak them in filtered water just enough to cover them. Soak nuts overnight or at least 6 hours. Strain, rinse and discard water. Grind nuts in a blender and mix in 2 cups of water or 3 if you want more liquid. I used 2 cups of water. Strain through a fine mesh strainer or unbleached natural muslin cloth or don’t strain and VOILA!

strainI sew my own nut milk and herb strainer bags myself out of  triangles of cut natural cloth. To strain put the cloth in a strainer over inside a bowl. Put the natural cloth in the strainer and pour the nut or seed milk to filter out the liquid. Pull the ends of the cloth together to wring out the last of the nut milk.

Add vanilla and syrup or agave nectar or the date.

Blend on high-speed for a couple of minutes.

nutmilk

I’m going to try some hazelnut with raw cacao for a chocolately nut treat. You can use walnut, cashew, chestnuts, sesame seeds….experiment with what you like! Take the leftover nuts and toast them so that they don’t go to waste. Spread the leftover crushed soaked nuts out on a baking sheet on low heat for a couple of hours and use as almond nut meal in recipes.

This was so easy, inexpensive, delicious and nutritious I’m surprised it isn’t the norm!

Put milk in a glass jar and store in the fridge.

This will keep for a week in the fridge.    

December 18, 2012

DIY Siberian Ginseng (Shigoka root) Tincture

Siberian ginseng/Shigoka root has demonstrated in studies that it normalizes blood sugar and blood fat cholesterol levels, increases resistance to infection, protects against drug and radiation toxicity, potentiates sex hormone activity in both sexes improving reproductive capacity, and reduces blood clotting. It helps to balance and restore immune, endocrine and reproductive systems being a tonic to the body over-all.270px-Eleutherococcus_senticosus_leaves

  Siberian ginseng/Shigoka root is native to North east Asia and Russia but does grow in North America, just not commercially. It has some of the same constituents as ginseng, looks similar and has the same family but it is not classed as a true ginseng. Siberian ginseng is not from the (Panax) Ginseng Genus like Ginsengs but it is used in similar ways like all adaptogens. The other common name is Shigoka root. All Ginsengs improve adaptive response to any type of stress, boosts immunity, balance sugar and fat levels in the body and provides antioxidants and phyto-nutrients. It is commonly used by Russian athletes.

Common Name  Shigoka/ Siberian ginseng root
Latin Name  Eleutherococcus senticosus
Family Araliaceae
Parts Used Perennial- older root picked in the Fall
Target Organs Endocrine adrenal pituitary, circulatory, immune,
Common Uses Adaptogen Tonic for fatigue, chronic stress, adrenal exhaustion, reproductive tonic, diabetes, immune tonic, toxicity, normalize blood sugar levels, normalizes blood pressure, normalizes blood fats, chronic fatigue syndrome, drug radiation toxicity, artheroschelorosis, UTI, HBP /LBP, pancreatic
Properties Adaptogen, immune tonic, adrenal tonic, male/female reproductive tonic, anti-toxic, antineoplastic, antiallergenic, anticatarrhal, antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, astringent, blood pressure normalizer, cardiac, diaphoretic, hypocholesterolemic, hypolipidemic, nervine, pancreatic, nervine, vasodilator, circulatory stimulant, thyroid tonic,
Constituents triterpenoids saponins: eleutherocosides
Cautions mild remedy: Do not use with extremely high blood pressure, pregnancy or lactation
Dosage Fresh or Dried Tincture: 1-4ml Tea: 1-2 tsp infuse 10-15 minutes
December 7, 2012

DIY American Ginseng Tincture

Classed under yin tonics because of its ability to tonify lung yin, American ginseng treats dry cough, inflammation, irritation and insomnia. Asian ginseng is considered a yang tonic in Chinese pharmacopia. Modern research has found Oriental varieties have a higher proportion of glycosides, the exception is Japanese ginseng which is closer to American ginseng. American Ginseng is more expensive than Asian ginseng.

Used for centuries by the Native Americans American ginseng went largely unnoticed by early settlers because its long-term restorative qualities were lost among the short-term instant eliminating purging type herbs.

Make your own American ginseng tincture, it is cheaper and healthier than herbal pills.

220px-Panax_quinquefolius

Common Name  American Ginseng root
Latin Name  Panax quinquefolius
Family Araliaceae (Ginseng)
Parts Used Perennial- older root +5 year old picked in the Fall
Target Organs endocrine, adrenals, immune, nervous, lungs, digestion, stomach, reproductive systems
Common Uses Endocrine tonic: for fatigue, stress, malabsorption, Nervous system tonic:  debility, exhaustion, insomnia, convalescence

Immune: tonic, boost nourish,

Digestion: stomach upset

Liver: cleanser and protector

High cholesterol and diabetes support.

 Lowers blood fats, lowers sugar levels

Heart: protects and nourishes

Properties restores and strengthens, Adaptogen, adrenal tonic, immune tonic, male/ female reproductive tonic, antiallergenic, antihepatotoxic, anti-inflammatory, aperient, cardiac , hypertensive, hypolipidemic, nervine, anxiolytic, relaxant, anti-toxic, stomachic, pancreatic, diaphoretic, antineoplastic, vasodilator, warming carminative, blood pressure normalizer
Constituents Essential Oil 3%: saponin glycosides: ginsenoside, panaxosides 5-7%;  camphor substance, arabinose, starch, glucose, panaxin, panacic acid, panacene, panaquilin, ginsenin, sapogenin, sitosterols, mucilage, polysaccharides, 18 amino acids, resin, trace minerals: copper, zinc, selenium, iodine, manganese
Cautions Do not use with high fever or damp cold indigestion
Dosage Tincture: 1-4ml                Decoction: 3-10g   3 x a day empty stomach –

3 weeks take 1 week off cycle

December 7, 2012

DIY Asian Ginseng Tincture

Asian Ginseng root (Panax ginseng) is an adaptogen that helps the body adapt to any kind of stress. Asian ginseng is like American ginseng, both have similar medicinal actions are used in the same way. Ginsengs are a tonic to the immune, endocrine and nervous systems and reduce stress by balancing and cleansing. The roots are picked the 2nd year, but 5 year or older roots are more desirable and are more expensive.  It’s easy to make your own ginseng tinctures for health purposes and they are better than store-bought pills.

asain ginseng

Common Name Asian ginseng root
Latin Name Panax ginseng
Family Araliaceae
Parts Used Perennial- older root 2+years picked in the Fall. Older roots are more expensive and desirable. 5+ year old more desirable
Target Organs endocrine, immune, heart, nervous, lungs, digestion, reproductive systems
Common Uses Endocrine: tonic for fatigue, stress, malabsorption, Nervous system: tonic, debility, exhaustion, insomnia,Immune: tonic, boost,

Digestion: stomach upset

Liver: cleanser and protector

Lowers High cholesterol and diabetes support.

Lowers High blood fats and sugar levels.

Heart: protects and nourishes

Properties Adaptogen, adrenal tonic, pituitary tonic, immune tonic, male/ female reproductive tonic, restores strengthens, antiallergenic, antihepatotoxic, cardiac , hypertensive, hypoglycaemic, hypolipidemic, nervine, anti-toxic, stomachic, antineoplastic,
Constituents E.O. 3%, saponin glycosides: ginsenoside, panaxosides 7%<; sitosterols, mucilage, polysaccharides, 18 amino acids, resin, germanium, minerals, starch,
Cautions Do not use with high fever
Dosage Tincture: 1-4ml                Decoction: 3-10g   2-3 x a day on an empty stomach – Cycle-3 weeks take formula, then take 1 week off
December 7, 2012

DIY Ginseng Tincture

“Cold fx ®TM” is the most popular over-the-counter cold remedy in Canada. If you read the ingredients on the label the active ingredient is ground up dried ginseng which is put in a gelatin pill casing. This product has come under scrutiny lately for poor quality due to an ecoli-related bacteria that contaminated some batches. The American Ginseng is being contaminated when it is being shipped from China because it is laying in dirty containers. Shouldn’t American ginseng be grown and processed here in North America? It is also very expensive costing $70.00!

Watch the Marketplace episode about the Coldfx scandal and become consumer aware. http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/2012/whatfx/

220px-Panax_quinquefoliusIt is better to make your own Ginseng tincture, it is better quality than pills and more cost-effective. It is all around cheaper and better for you to make your own or buy a ginseng tincture. There are different types of ginseng, the popular types are American ginseng -Panax quinquefolius and Asian ginseng -Panax ginseng that belong to the Genus Panax. American ginseng is more expensive than Asian ginseng, but both are used in similar ways. The research is there to support the amazing actions of Ginseng. The Ginsengs are long-term immune tonics and are adaptogens that help your body adapt to any kind of stress. They are not short-term immune stimulants like Echinacea. It is good to take ginseng to strengthen your immune system, but may not do well in the acute phase in the middle of a cold. It is good to take Ginsengs after a cold or illness to help the body recuperate or as a preventative to help the body adapt to any kind of stress.

See my blog -how to make your own herbal tincture for easy detailed instructions:

http://earthelixir.ca/2012/01/10/make-your-own-herbal-tinctures/

Other herbs referred to as ginseng

Codonopsis pilosula (poor man’s ginseng)

Schisandra chinensis (five-flavoured berry)

Gynostemma pentaphyllum (southern ginseng, jiaogulan)

Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng)

Pseudostellaria heterophylla (prince ginseng)

Withania somnifera (Indian ginseng, ashwagandha)

Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng, suma)

Lepidium meyenii (Peruvian ginseng, maca)

Oplopanax horridus (Alaskan ginseng)

Angelica sinensis (female ginseng, dong quai)

Panax notoginseng (known as san qi, tian qi or tien chi; hemostatic ingredient in yunnan bai yao)

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginseng

Find out some other better natural cold remedies here http://earthelixir.ca/?s=Cold

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