Posts tagged ‘Nutrition’

April 24, 2012

Dandelion

Dandelion is an amazing nutritious wild edible! Some see dandelion as a noxious weed and try to poison it, but it is amazing medicinal food that has gentle but deep action that detoxifies and nourishes. Dandelion is one of the best supporting herbs for the liver and kidneys, which are important organs for detoxification.

Dandelion is medicinally used in Western Herbalism, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine. The West mainly uses it as a digestive bitter stimulant, diuretic, detoxicant and to restore the liver. It is prized in the Orient for its anti-inflammatory properties that treat acute and chronic infections. In Ayurvedic pharmacology the focus is on the bitter salty taste that drains and detoxifies.

Hardy Dandelion

Dandelion is a liver, kidney tonic that is well suited to treat toxicity related conditions including liver toxicity, chronic skin, joint and rheumatic conditions. It has demonstrated anti-tumour action in vitro and has proven anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, diuretic and cholagogue/choleretic properties.

Dandelion is a diuretic that helps to drain fluid and pulls toxins out through the urine. Its bitter taste stimulates digestive secretions such as bile and enzymes and it enhances the quality and quantity of bile helping to digest and break down fats. Its sweet taste due to inulin content restores liver and pancreatic function. The root has a high mineral content that gives it its salty taste that regulates and detoxifies fluids.

It is a well-rounded remedy that treats both deficiency and excess conditions and brings balance, nourishment and detoxification. If more people ate dandelions instead of pouring poison on them the world would be a healthier place.

Dandelions

Every part of dandelion is edible and used medicinally.

The root roasted and ground makes a good caffeine-free coffee substitute drink and still maintains many properties after roasting, grinding and decocting. The root is also decocted or tinctured fresh or dried.

The young leaves eaten raw in salads, as steamed greens or mixed in a stir-fry. 1 cup of raw dandelion leaves is more nutritious than 1 cup of broccoli.

The flowers are high in nutritive antioxidants and are edible raw in salads or cooked as fritters and made into wine, tea or tincture.

The stem has milky white latex inside that removes warts when applied frequently topically.

Dandelion root: picked in the fall or spring from second year or older plants when the larger leaves have died back in November or in early spring when the leaves are small in March or April.

The leaves are an option to add with the root tincture or make it separately. Both the leaves and root work on the kidneys and liver but the small difference is that the leaves have more action on the kidneys because of the higher potassium content and the root has more action on the liver.

Common Name  Dandelion
Latin Name  Taraxacum officinale
Family Asteraceae (Aster Family)
Parts Used Perennial/ the second year, older root picked in fall or early spring root, leaves, flowers 
Target Organs digestion, intestines, stomach,  urinary, kidneys, liver/gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, blood, fluids, skin
Common Uses Antioxidant Nutritive culinary medicine

Digestion: bitter digestive tonic, laxative, inflammation, hemorrhoids

Urinary: tonic, urinary infections, gout, arthritis,  muscular rheumatism, edema,

Liver: tonic,  congestion, cirrhosis, gallstones,  inflammation, jaundice,

high cholesterol, high blood fats

chronic skin conditions, acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis,  

obesity, fatigue, metabolic disorders

Properties Antibacterial, antifungal, antihepatotoxic, anti-inflammatory, antilithic, antineoplastic, antioxidant, antirheumatic, antiulcerogenic, antiviral,  aperient, appetite stimulant, astringent, bitter, cholagogue, choleretic, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic in large doses, secretolytic expectorant, febrifuge, galactagogue, hypocholesterolemic, hypolipidemic, immune stimulant, lymphatic, nervine, pancreatic, relaxant, sialagogue, spleenic, stomachic, tranquilizer, vasodilator, vulnerary 
Constituents Bitter glycosides, triterpenoids, bitter resin, gum, phytosterols, fatty acids, tannins, essential oil, inulin, levulin, saponin, enzyme, citric acid,

Minerals: potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, iron.

Vitamins A,C, carotenoids, choline, niacin, (mannitol in spring root)

Cautions Avoid during pregnancy and with diuretic, liver medications 
Dosage Fresh or Dried Tincture: 2-5ml                Decoction 6-16g
March 21, 2012

Turmeric rhizome

A good culinary spice that is amazing at detoxifying, protecting and nourishing the liver is Turmeric rhizome.

Fresh Turmeric rhizome

While most herbs that treat the liver are sour and bitter, turmeric is mild tasting and has a beautiful golden colour that is appealing to the eye. I use it in curry dishes and to colour and flavour rice just like saffron does. In Ayurvedic medicine in India turmeric is used as culinary medicine and as fabric dye, the same way it has been for centuries. It comes from the same family as ginger and looks like a ginger rhizome, but it is more golden orange in colour. 

Fresh Turmeric used to dye fabric

 

Common Name  Turmeric rhizomes
Latin Name  Curcuma longa
Family Zingiberaceae
Parts Used Perennial – rhizome
Target Organs Digestion, liver, gallbladder, cardiovascular, immune, circulatory
Common Uses Nutritive antioxidant

Digestive:  IBD, diarrhea, worms, colic, indigestion

Liver: detoxify, cleanses, protects the liver. Good for all liver conditions.

Lowers bad cholesterol

A good supportive detoxifying nutritive for inhibiting tumours and skin conditions,

A natural fabric dye

Properties Antiallergenic, antibacterial, anticatarrhal, antihepatotoxic, anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic, antioxidant, antiprotozoal, antithrombotic, carminative, cholagogue, choleretic, circulatory stimulant, digestive stimulant, emmenagogue, hepatic, hypolipidemic, hypotensive, immune stimulant
Constituents Curcumin, fiber, manganese, iron, potassium Vitamin B6,
Cautions mild remedy
Dosage Tincture: 1-4ml

Tea: 1-2 tsp infuse 10-15 minutes

Fresh or powdered spice used in cuisine

 

March 21, 2012

Herbs for the Liver and Gallbladder

Spring is here like a breath of much-needed fresh air!

stigma

Because Spring falls under the wood element in the Chinese Five Elements and rules the liver and gallbladder it is a good time to do a liver cleanse (especially after St. Patrick’s Day for those that imbibe.) There are many herbs that cleanse, detoxify, protect, nourish and regenerate the liver. 

The liver is a metabolism center that neutralizes toxins, synthesizes proteins, and stores glycogen (starch) and changes it back into glucose (sugar) and releases it when needed. The gallbladder stores bile for the liver to excrete.

The liver gets stimulated by sour taste that is why lemon, lime or citrus in water helps to detoxify. Bitter sour herbs stimulate the liver, gallbladder, glands and digestion.

Sour action decongests, tightens, stimulates and is astringent.

Fresh Turmeric rhizome

Fresh Turmeric rhizome

Herbal Therapeutic Properties that treat the Liver and Gallbladder are Hepatics, Cholagogues and Depuratives.

Hepatics are liver tonics that improve liver function and regenerate liver cells. Hepato-protective herbs also called anti-hepatotoxics have specific antioxidant properties that protect the liver.

Cholagogues stimulate bile production and choleretics enhances bile quantity and quality. Stored in the gallbladder, bile helps to digest fats. Improving fat digestion reduces the burden on these organs, therefore preventing gallstones from forming.

Depuratives are also known as Detoxicants because they support detoxification. They are also called Alteratives and are known as blood purifiers.

Turmeric

Turmeric spice dried powder

Herbal Liver Tonics~ Herbs for the Liver and Gallbladder

Hepatic restoratives and nutritives nourish and restore. The high nutrient content is good for fatigue: These herbs make a good nutritious beverage tea drink-

chicory root, nettle herb, alfalfa herb, artichoke leaf,

Hepato-protective /anti-hepatotoxics are herbs that protect and detoxify the liver:

Turmeric rhizome, milk thistle seed, barberry, licorice root, garlic bulb, black/green tea, Astragalus root, ginkgo leaf, hawthorn leaf/flower/fruit, polypore fruiting body/ fungi, North American ginseng root, sage herb, rosemary herb,

Hepato-protective /anti-hepatotoxics 2nd properties:

Burdock roots

Burdock roots

burdock root, wormwood, gentian root, elecampane root, marjoram herb, heal-all herb, centaury

Bitter, cool liver decongestants and cholagogues:

milk thistle seed, wormwood herb, celandine herb, gentian root, centaury root, blessed thistle herb, Oregon grape, yellow dock root, figwort herb, dandelion root, burdock root

General herbs that protect, restore, nourish and detoxify the liver.

Turmeric rhizome, milk thistle seed, wormwood herb,  gentian root, centaury root, blessed thistle herb, barberry, ginger rhizome, garlic bulb, caraway, dill seeds 

Herbs that are good for the liver are usually very bitter and unpleasant tasting like wormwood herb and barberry, but it is important to taste herbs to ensure good therapeutic action.

I like to put bitter herbs in red wine to mellow the flavour.

Macerate your choice of a single herb in red wine for a couple of weeks. Take a teaspoon a day for a couple of weeks or take these herbs in a tincture for a cycle of 2-3 weeks and then take a break for a week before starting any other herbal remedy.  Your liver will thank-you!

Springtime Liver Cleanse:

Top 5 Things to do for a Liver Cleanse

Pick any two to three weeks in springtime to do a liver cleanse. Do any or all of the following:

  1. Put a slice of lemon or lime in your water
  2. Eat more spring greens, green leafy vegetables and natural foods
  3. Add liver tonic herbs to your diet like turmeric dried spice or fresh rhizome
  4. Drink roasted dandelion and chicory root beverage it tastes like coffee
  5. Make a tea, juice, smoothie, tincture or wine with your choice of herbs and plants that benefit the liver and gallbladder
March 7, 2012

BEE POLLEN (FLOWER POLLEN)

Bee Pollen

I just had a spoon and had to share how amazing this is!

Bee pollen doesn’t need to be tinctured or put in a tea or cooked, it is eaten raw. So many actions come from the complex variety of tastes. The taste is a natural rollercoaster ride of different flavours that ranges from the sweet of honey, to salty and earthy, like the taste of flowers and roots. I almost want to guess which flowers and plants I am tasting. This is the original version of a vitamin that nature intended. Food of the Gods!

Bee pollen is really concentrated flower pollen that bees collect from the many flowers, herbs and trees that it visits in the process of gathering nectar, which bees turn into honey. Bees cross-pollinate and accumulate flower pollen on their bodies which they shape into grains to feed the bee larvae. Propolis, honey and royal jelly are products of the hive produced by bees which is different from bee pollen; it is not an animal product but a botanical one.

Bee pollen is good for malnourished people who have malabsorption conditions such as gluten allergy and anemia. It is good for treating chronic allergies and infections where immune deficiency is present. It is a nutritious food that helps to rejuvenate, support and detoxify all systems.

Bee pollen is used as medicinal food all over the world. A super nutritive, an elixir of longevity and detoxifying food, it has more chemical constituents than any other botanical remedy, more than even micro-algae and nettles. It has a powerhouse of nutrition including ten amino acids, enzymes, minerals and every vitamin, nucleic acids, antibiotic substances and steroid hormones, but nutrition content will vary due to the fluctuations in nature. 

NUTRITION CONTENT:

18 proteins 35% (half in amino acid free form including 8 essentials)

16 minerals and trace minerals: (calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, sulphur, chlorine, magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, silica, selenium, molybdenum, boron, titanium)

16 vitamins: (B 1&2, C,D,E, K, B6, B12, biotin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, rutin, choline, inositol)

Enzymes and co-enzymes: (amylase, diastase, 24 oxidoreductases, 21 transferases, 33 hydrolases, 11 lyases, 5 isomerases, pepsin, trypsin)

Nucleic acids: (DNA & RNA)

Phytosterols: (estrogen and androgen)

Flavonoids, nucleosides, terpenes, glucose, xanthine, lecithin, lycopin, pentosane,

Saccharides 40%

Fats & oils 5%

Dosage: Dissolve the granules in your mouth. Take a few grains up to a teaspoon a day on an empty stomach.

Caution: Even though bee pollen use treats allergies, in some people it may cause allergic reaction. The inhaled version of pollen creates a different reaction than when ingested and being an immune tonic it will build up immunity to allergens. The doctor does the same thing when they inject allergy sufferers with small doses of allergens to build up a tolerance. Caution is advised!

Take a small dose at first: a couple of grains to ¼ teaspoon to start.

Bibliography:

The Energetics of Western Herbs: Vol. 1

Snow Lotus Press

Peter Holmes

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