BEVERAGES

Water is a powerful solvent because of its particular electromagnetic and chemical qualities, which help it to break down substances into their constituent parts, and to absorb energy vibrations.  It acts like a three-dimensional magnetic tape, absorbing either harmful or beneficial energies; and like a tape, this energy can be erased and new energy introduced. 

 

Naturally flowing water creates complex structures: microclusters of vibrating energy centers, constantly receiving and transmuting energy from every contact the water body makes; and laminar structures which generate energy from the interaction of the planes against each other.

 

Healthy water carries nutrients, minerals, dissolved salts and trace elements.  These are the building blocks of growth and healing energies.  Water disposes of waste and is constantly cooling, cleansing and purifying itself.  Our bodies depend on intercellular water starting with shaping and supporting their very molecular structure.  Our circulating lymph and blood (which is basically water) is a catalyst, and transport system, necessary to maintain our correct body temperature as well as to supply nutrients, vibrational frequencies and electrical impulses.

Water is a fluid electromagnet organizing the stuff of life which is compartmentalized and channeled by oily barriers.  We are mostly electromagnetically linked water individualized by our phospholipid membranes.  But, without enough oil, the body evaporates water too quickly through the skin, creating subtle low energy, irritability, pain, depression and continual thirst.  Dry or chapped lips are a common clue.  ‘Chicken skin,’ ‘alligator skin,’ really dry elbow skin, ear wax that does not flow or even the presence of blackheads suggests lack of essential fats. 

Whenever you feel pain, think of loss of connecting electromagnetic energy due to dehydration.  Try drinking a full glass of glacier or spring water to magically allow pain to disappear and restore the ‘battery’ of the body to efficiency again.  Distilled water tends to strip minerals from the body and should be avoided unless used on an occasional cleanse.  Distilled water makes excellent teas, coffees and decoctions.

The longest period we go without hydration is when we sleep.  It is not unusual for the average individual to go 10 hours or more to the next fluid intake; which may be a cup of coffee.  We may wake up in a dehydrated state (when most heart attacks occur) and begin our day with a strike against us.

Dehydration means low blood volume.  The heart has less fluid to work with and it has to pump faster to supply working muscles.  A higher heart rate with lower muscular output (speed or power), is not something an athlete desires from their work out or an older person with endothelial dysfunction can tolerate without ischemic pain

Start your hydration as soon as you awaken with 16-20 ounces of fluids.  Water with a pinch of Himalayan or Celtic sea salt and/or lemon is ideal.  Fresh squeezed fruit and vegetable juices as well as other fluids can count towards this. If you work out is not for several hours consume another 16-20 ounces before work out.

Following is the specific dose of water therapy prescribed by Dr. Majid Ali: Please drink 3, 4 or 5 quarts of pure water between morning and 6 PM.  Please take 1/3, 1/2 or 2/3 teaspoonful of sea salt daily.   Persons with history of heart disease need to discuss this with their physicians.  Organic vegetable juices and herbal teas are included in the daily water dose. Coffee, tea, sodas, and fruit juices do not qualify as water.  Blue-green algae, powdered cereal grasses, lemon or lime juice may be added to hot or cold water for change of taste. Seltzer water is acceptable. 

 

Guidelines for Daily Water Intake According to the Body Weight in Pounds:
 

170 and over

5 quarts

150

4 quarts

125

3 quarts

100

2.5 quarts

Asthma, which affects over 12 million children in North America alone and causes the deaths of several thousand each year, is a direct result of increased histamine production.  Dehydration initiates exaggerated histamine production as a water-regulating control. It is well known that asthmatics have excessive levels of histamines in their lung tissue, causing constriction of the bronchial passages and increased mucus build-up.

Water is used in the lungs to keep the tissues moist, but each time we exhale, we expel moisture from our lungs.  Under normal hydrated conditions, the moisture is rapidly replaced.  If we are in a dehydrated state, the tissues inside the lungs begin to get coated with mucus to prevent drying.  

It has been demonstrated in many animal studies that increased water intake will reduce histamine levels and, over a two to three week period, restore normal hydration to lung tissue and reduce mucus build up. Once this occurs, the bronchial passages begin to open and normal breathing is restored. The same histamine related effects apply to allergies, and again, significant benefits can be seen with an increased intake of healthy water and increased movement.

Morning sickness, something thought of as normal, is a direct result of dehydration.  The fetus lives in a world of water, which the body naturally prioritizes above all other needs. Throughout the night, which is the longest period without water intake, the uterus draws water from the mother's system to maintain its fluid levels and that of the fetus.  In the morning the mother awakens in a state of dehydration, histamine nausea and fatigue. Hence "morning sickness", is more appropriately called "morning dehydration."

Water fluoridation is an especially American corporate phenomenon.  It started at a time when asbestos lined our pipes, lead was added to gasoline, PCBs filled our transformers and DDT was deemed so "safe and effective" that officials felt no qualms spraying kids in school classrooms and seated at picnic tables.  One by one all these chemicals have been banned, but fluoridation remains untouched and is still embraced by the venerable American Dental Association.  The ADA still supports use of dangerously toxic mercury and consistently promotes fear-based general overuse of other antibacterials like triclosan.

One study found a connection between fluoridation and osteosarcoma in young men.  Fluoridation (by competing with essential iodine) seems to be linked to current societal epidemics of both arthritis and hypothyroidism.  In animal studies fluoride at 1 ppm in drinking water increases the uptake of aluminum into the brain. 

 

Counties with 3 ppm (3 parts per million is just triple the ‘recommended’ 1ppm) or more of fluoride in their water have lower fertility rates.   Water fluoridating agents most commonly used in the U.S. are contaminated with arsenic and lead.    This ‘efficient use’ of waste products of industry not only increases uptake of lead into our blood but is also associated with increased violent behavior.

When ethical concerns come first, the issue of community water fluoridation is very simple to resolve.  It is simply not ethical.  The state simply should not be forcing medication on people without their "informed consent."  Fluoridation violates the individual's right to informed consent to medication.  The municipality cannot control the dose of the patient or track each individual's response.  It ignores the fact that some people are more vulnerable to fluoride's toxic effects than others.  Some people will suffer while others may benefit.  Mass water fluoridation violates the Nuremberg code for human experimentation.

Children can have perfectly good teeth without being exposed to fluoride.  The promoters now admit that the benefits are due to topical bacterial poisoning, not systemic improvement of bones and teeth.  In fact fluoride makes the crystals of teeth or bone more brittle. 

 

Fluoridated toothpaste (the most common unknown cause of morning nausea) is universally available.  This is theoretically a more individualized and rational approach to delivering fluoride to the target organ (teeth) while minimizing exposure to the rest of the body.  The vast majority of Western Europe has rejected water fluoridation.  Since then, decadent Europeans have been equal to, or better than the U.S. in reducing rates of tooth decay.

 

The worst tooth decay in the U.S. occurs in the poor neighborhoods of our largest cities, the vast majority of which have been fluoridated for decades.  Low socioeconomic status (characterized by lack of future-focus, unsustaining breakfast, little sunshine, low quality protein and high refined carbohydrate meals along with plenty of soda pop intake) is the single biggest risk factor for degenerative diseases from tooth decay to cancer.

 

It is best not to drink city water containing chlorine, fluorine, aluminum, lead and radioactive strontium 90.  We have known for decades that regularly drinking city water doubles the risk to bladder cancer.  Rates for rectal cancers for both sexes escalate with duration of consumption of chlorinated water.   Folks on low-fiber diets (who also drank chlorinated water for over 40 years) more than doubled their risk to rectal cancer when compared with lifetime drinkers of non-chlorinated water.

 

Do not allow your water to be a constant source of toxic exposure.  This includes both drinking water as well as water used for showering, laundry and food preparation; because 70% of toxins absorbed from water are not from drinking water, but through our lungs and skin from water we clean our bodies with. 

 

The best way to eliminate fluoride is to filter water with a reverse osmosis filtration system.  Reverse osmosis filters remove pollutants which we can do without, but they also remove typically 90% of vital minerals and trace elements that we actually need.

 

Distilled water is is ‘raw and hungry’ and really quite draining if drunk continuously long-term, because it can leach out minerals and trace elements from one’s body.  Mostly, we benefit from more minerals, since stress additively makes our body a sieve for minerals; therefore this form of water treatment is not recommended for regular use.  The Kneipp cure uses distilled water for short-term therapeutic effect, to purge the body of excessive deposits of various things.

 

A good carbon water filter can significantly reduce chlorine and dissolved organic pollutants,

as well as bacteria and suspended solids (plumbed-in filters are most convenient).  Some kind of ion exchange is required to deal with metals.  Massive amounts of chlorine ensure that bacteria are not a problem in public water supplies, but ozone and/or ultra-violet light will better destroy bacteria in private supplies without leaving dangerous residues.

The most common disinfection techniques used at water treatment facilities today involve the use of chlorine, chloramines and chlorine dioxide to kill harmful, disease-causing microorganisms in the water, making it ‘safe’ to drink.  However, toxic chemical byproducts form when these disinfectants react with natural organic matter like decaying vegetation (which creates beneficial humic and fulvic acids) in water.  Common disinfectant byproducts formed when chlorine is used are trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) as well as chlorites and bromates. 

The EPA takes the dangers of THMs (which are measured in parts per billion) very seriously and regulates these compounds.  The maximum annual average of THMs in your local water supply cannot exceed 80 ppb (parts-per-billion) and the maximum annual average of HAAs permitted by EPA regulations is 60 ppb, even though it would best be zero. 

Water companies felt it would cost too much to remove a greater amount of these disinfection byproducts from our water, so they pushed for more leeway.  Levels have been repeatedly adjusted downwards as we more fully understand the danger of these halogen disinfection byproducts.

Trihalomethanes and halo acetic acids are Cancer Group B carcinogens (they cause cancer in laboratory animals), and have also been linked to reproductive problems in both animals and humans.  Even swimming in a chlorinated pool increases cancer risk.  The risk of trihalomethanes from various routes in descending order is:  

  1. inhalation during a hot shower (love those long hot drenchings with my shower filter)
  2. skin exposure while swimming (ozone is better)
  3. gastro-intestinal exposure from ordinary tap water intake
  4. skin exposure to tap water
  5. gastro-intestinal exposure while swimming 

But the cancer risk from skin exposure while swimming was over 94% of the total cancer risk resulting from being exposed to trihalomethanes!  Trihalomethanes formed in chlorinated swimming pools damage liver, kidneys and nervous system and have also been linked to spontaneous abortion, stillbirths and congenital malformations, even at lower levels.  Avoid the pool with its toxic mix of byproducts, traces of herbicides and pharmaceutical medications and seek the cleanest possible natural water in the ocean or clean lakes.

Mike Adams (NaturalNews [insider@naturalnews.com]) informs us that the pharmaceutical industry is now publically proven to directly contribute to mass chemical contamination of our planet, by allowing factories to dump drugs into local waterways, by tolerating a "flush it" mentality at hospitals and pharmacies. 

They also entice drug consumers with an endless brew of vaccines, medications and even purposefully toxic substances such as chemotherapy agents, all of which end up in the water.  The pharmaceutical industry has now "achieved" the distinction as a major world polluter.  Adams unhappy conclusion: “The survival of our planet depends on the demise of Big Pharma.”

Modern tap water is unhealthy; a good filter becomes a necessity.  A good quality plumbed-in filter makes sense to take care of physical pollutants in sink and shower.  To improve vibrational energy, the quality of water, one cannot beat the way Nature does it.   Living spring water has a positive and uplifting effect on humans, long recognised by all cultures and acknowledged by water experts.  Living water gives your body energy, life force and vitality, while quenching thirst naturally and helping to detoxify the body.  Living water tastes better.  Our bodies crave this health-enhancing substance. 

 

What happens in a healthy stream exposed to UV light is that the vortical action rolls in the water filaments centripetally, cooling the water, breaking down pollutants into harmless substances.  A machine can (based on the movements of a natural stream) magnetize and spin water in a vortical movement, transforming degraded water into spring quality water with healing properties.

 

Within ten minutes of drinking a pint of water, metabolic rate climbs 24-30%.  These changes peak at about 60 minutes before dropping back to baseline.  Perhaps the metabolic increase is created by osmotic changes, since other drinks do not elicit the same effects.  For best results consume this water as a morning awakening ritual.

 

A retired Indian physician used SSKI during more than 30 years traveling from village to village in rural Africa.  Most usually, the only drinking water available was from a local stream or river, muddy and contaminated.  After removing sediment and debris by straining the dirty water through cheesecloth, he would add several drops of SSKI, and wait two to three minutes since most bacteria are killed within 15-30 seconds of contact (official recommendation 15-60 minutes).  He and his team could then drink the water.  In over 30 years, he never got an infection from contaminated water.  The SSKI killed any micro-organisms present.

 

Preparation Disinfectant Iodine, Amount / Liter of Water

Iodine Topical Solution 2% 8 drops

Iodine Tincture 2% 8 drops

Lugol's Solution 5% 4 drops

Povidone-Iodine (Betadine®) 10% 4 drops

 

Final drinking concentrations are calculated at 8 mg iodine / liter.  Addition of a small amount of vitamin C (50 mg) to water (after iodine contact time in the water) will render it nearly flavorless!

Coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in the U.S. diet, on the combined basis of both antioxidants per serving size and frequency of consumption.  The polyphenols found in coffee act as a diuretic, reduce inflammation, modulate blood sugar and lower blood pressure (4-5 cups per day provides strongest protection, 5-7 cups per week were significant). 

The stimulant caffeine may reduce risk to cirrhotic liver disease and diabetes, reduce platelet stickiness improving blood flow, relax constricted airways in asthma and reduce risk to gallstones, gout and Parkinson’s disease as well as reducing risk to cancers of the colon, liver and throat.

Caf­feine ad­min­is­tered to eld­erly non-demented hu­mans quickly reduces their blood lev­els of beta-am­y­loid pro­tein, just as it does in Alz­heim­er’s mice.  Alzheimer’s mouse ex­pe­ri­ments have showing that caf­feine rap­idly re­duces be­ta am­y­loid pro­tein in the blood, an ef­fect that is mir­rored in the brain, and this re­duc­tion is linked to cog­ni­tive ben­e­fit.  Caf­feine could be a vi­a­ble therapy for es­tab­lished Alz­heim­er’s dis­ease, and not simply a pro­tec­tive strat­e­gy.

Caffeine is a stimulant of the central nervous system.  This natural plant drug is the reason many look forward to drinking coffee.  The chemical structure of caffeine is similar to adenosine, which acts an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain.  Caffeine blocks adenosine action and thus acts as a brain stimulant. 

People who drink more than seven cups of instant coffee a day have an increased tendency to hallucinate.  Some drinking as few as three cups of brewed coffee each day may experience mild hallucinations, such as hearing voices.  Those who had highest caffeine intake were three times more likely to have heard the voice of someone non-existent than “low” users who consumed less than one cup of instant coffee or its equivalent.  Besides coffee, caffeine is found in tea, colas, chocolate, weight-loss products, “pep” pills and energy drinks.

Caffeine potentiates the action of 18 stress hormones by slowing breakdown of cyclic AMP, most stress hormones’ secondary intracellular messenger.  Caffeine blocks the enzyme phosphodiesterase (which normally degrades cyclic AMP).  Caffeine consumption is also associated with gastric reflux and fibrocystic breast disease. 

About one person in seven is a poor detoxifier of caffeine, allowing it to accumulate and thereby causing high blood pressure, anxiety and insomnia.  Decaffeinated coffees and teas may even be too much for those special jittery folks who are kept up all night with that single morning cup of coffee or tea.

Women with poor fertility may further reduce their chances of conceiving if they drink more than four cups of coffee per day.  Women who drank alcohol three times a week or more have a similarly reduced chance of conception, while being an overweight person who smokes more than one cigarette per day hampers fertility even more.  A 36-year-old overweight woman who smoked and who drank large amounts of coffee and alcohol might have only one-third the chance of conceiving as a woman of normal weight who has none of those unhealthy behaviors.

Caffeine consumption during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of fetal growth restriction and this association continues throughout pregnancy.  Sensible advice would be to reduce and eliminate caffeine intake before conception and throughout pregnancy.  Coffee crops grown outside the U.S. are heavily sprayed with pesticides.  Pesticides have been linked to a host of health problems, including miscarriages and stillbirths.

One dose of caffeine (equivalent to two cups of coffee) ingested during pregnancy may be enough to affect fetal heart development and reduce heart function over the entire lifespan of the child.  Pregnant mice given caffeine produced embryos with a thinner layer of tissue separating some of the heart's chambers.  All adult offspring male mice exposed to caffeine as fetuses had an increase in body fat of about 20%, and decrease in cardiac function of 35%.

Caffeine is an addictive, stimulant drug that easily passes through the placenta to the developing fetus.  It is also transferred through breast milk.  Ingesting caffeine during pregnancy can result in a wide range of problems for you and baby, including: increased risk to miscarriage, low birth weight, birth defects such as spina bifida or cleft palate,  increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)  and decreased levels of iron and calcium in mom.

Caffeine adds unnecessary stress to a pregnancy and is to be avoided, especially in the last two months before the baby is born.  Caffeine passes the placenta causing the baby to be born with caffeine ‘high.’  A fetus cannot detoxify caffeine.  The cytochromes of the newborn’s liver are not developed and cannot begin to detoxify caffeine until the child is about two months old.  More than a light taste of fine dark chocolates, coffees or teas is best avoided during pregnancy so that your newborn baby will sleep through the night more quickly.

If you must do morning coffee, please partake after you have first hydrated with good-quality water (a tall glass of lemon water or a lacto-fermented beverage, such as coconut kefir). When we awaken, our bodies are relatively dehydrated from the night's hard work of digesting, repairing and detoxifying.  Coffee is so dehydrating; it is very ‘contracting’ and not the best thing first thing in the morning.  Late afternoon, around 4PM seems the best time to have coffee or tea to enhance sleep cycle and circadian rhythms.

There are fewer AGEs or polyacrylamides in lighter roasts and for type A blood types, benefits definitely outweigh risks.  According to Dr. Peter D’Adamo, coffee typically makes blood type A folks ‘come alive.’  A lightly roasted bean will exhibit more of its "origin flavor" - the flavors created in the bean by the soil and weather conditions in the location where it was grown. Coffee beans from famous regions like Java, Kenya, Hawaiian Kona and Jamaican Blue Mountain are usually roasted lightly so their signature characteristics dominate the flavor.

Acidity is present in coffees of the world, in the form of beneficial buffering organic acids (formic acid, malic acid and acetic acid) among others. These are the acids found in vinegar, fruit and wine.  

 

If coffee is properly roasted, these acids become wonderfully balanced and give coffee its pleasing “snap” and sharp, bright liveliness that let you know that you made a wise choice.

Chlorogenic acid (CGA) which modulates release of insulin is plentiful in blueberries and the most prominent polyphenol in coffee although there are several others.  Coffee is associated lower C-reactive peptide levels (a major risk marker of inflammation and insulin levels). 

 

There is a strong relationship between insulin resistance and elevated uric acid levels, the decreased levels of stressful insulin associated with coffee consumption tends to allow lower uric acid levels.  Coffee lowered high uric acid levels in the blood; tea did not.  High uric acid levels are a precursor of gout, the most common inflammatory arthritis in adult men.

 

Two main commercial varieties of coffee-bean are favored worldwide: Arabica and Robusta.  Arabica is the most widely grown and preferred bean, growing on higher land, usually between about three and seven thousand feet altitude.  Robusta, a more hardy variety, is grown at lower altitudes and requires less rainfall.  It is important for blending and is widely used for instant coffee.  Coffee connoisseurs generally shy away from Robusta in favor of a dark Middle Eastern Arabica flavor.

 

Arabica coffee (from C. arabica) is considered more palatable for drinking than robusta coffee (from C. canephora); robusta tends to be bitter and have fewer complex flavors than arabica.  Robusta coffee beans can contain up to 7-10% chlorogenic acid; the concentration of beneficial polyphenol in Arabica beans is slightly less at 5-7%.  Much of the chlorogenic acid is destroyed during roasting.  Roast and ground coffee contains chlorogenic acid in the range of 0.2% for the darker roasted coffee to 3-3.5% for lighter roasted varieties.

 

The coffee tree cherry consists of two little seeds that develop in its center enclosed in a silvery skin. There is a protective layer of mucilage and pulp that surround the silver skin.  Finally, encasing the seeds, silver skin, mucilage, and pulp is the outer skin of the cherry.  The coffee cherry is only ready for harvest when its outer skin is a bright red color.  If the cherry is under developed or over-ripe, a bitter or sour coffee will be the result. 

 

A cup of coffee can contain anything from 15-325 mg of chlorogenic acid, according to the coffee’s composition and method of preparation.  During roasting, chlorogenic acid in raw beans is converted to chlorogenic acid lactones.  Further roasting results in the breakdown of the lactones to phenylindanes.  The lactones are responsible for the mild bitterness of light- to medium-roasted coffee, while the second breakdown product, phenylindanes, produce the harsh, bitter taste of dark-roasted coffee.

In recent years home roasting of coffee has seen a revival. It is a means to achieve finer control over the quality and characteristics of the finished product.  Roasters typically operate at temperatures between 370 and 540 °F (188 and 282 °C), and the beans are roasted for a period of time ranging from a few minutes to about 30 minutes.  As the bean absorbs heat, the color shifts from safer yellow and then to a light "cinnamon" brown then to a dark brown, with more disadvantageous acrylamides.

S.a.Wilsons Therapy Blend Coffee (http://www.sawilsons.com or 1-866-266-4066) is specifically blended and lower-temperature processed with enema use in mind.  It is the only coffee that has been lab tested to be more effective for enemas.  Nothing releases liver toxins, takes away pain and brain fog faster than a coffee enema.  A blend of 100% certified organic coffee beans are selected for higher levels of caffeine and palmitic acid.  Then the coffee is put through a three stage process so that s.a.Wilsons Therapy Blend coffee is up to 48% higher in caffeine and up to 87% higher in palmitic acid.  

Each cup of coffee has four times the amount of antioxidant polyphenols of green tea in its roasted form that is little diminished by adding milk or by decaffeination.  Cream, along with sugar, is one of the most basic condiments in the coffee universe.  Cream is synonymous here with milk and all its variants: vanilla ice cream, sweetened condensed milk, half-and-half, whole, skimmed, nonfat, soy and rice milks.  With coffee, the general rule is moderation. 

 

Coffee is the second most traded commodity it the world, after oil.  Coffee is a functional beverage.  Science clearly does not understand all of the active ingredients in coffee that appear beneficial.  But, due to high amounts of caffeine found in coffee, it is a powerful stimulant; therefore one best use it judiciously.  

 

Paying attention on how coffee affects you in any situation will most likely be the best way to test if coffee should be part of your diet.  If you choose to drink this popular beverage, the best time to would be after a meal containing fats or fatty proteins.  Some feel the best time for a caffeine boost is at 3:30-4PM.  In the early afternoon, a stimulant helps to sock in the sleep cycle, whereas the typical morning cup of java tens to disturb diurnal and sleep rhythm.  Drinking organically grown coffee makes most sense.

 

An acceptable daily amount of caffeine varies from person to person, depending on one’s different detoxification efficiencies, but might range up to 250-300 mg.  Preferable method of preparations might be:

1. Espresso for its intense taste, unique texture, and smaller amount of caffeine, due to shorter contact time with water.  In the brewing process, pressurized water at 85–95 °C (185–203 °F) and approximately 900 kPa (130 psi; 9 bar) is forced through ground coffee.  Water cooler than ideal causes sourness and hotter than ideal zone causes bitterness.  As a result of the high-pressure brewing process, all of the flavors and chemicals in a typical cup of coffee are concentrated.  The defining characteristics of espresso include a thicker consistency than drip coffee, a higher amount of dissolved solids than drip coffee per relative volume, and a serving size that is usually measured in shots, about an ounce in size. 

 

Espresso is chemically complex and volatile, with many of its chemical components quickly degrading from oxidation or loss of temperature.  Most distinguishing is "crema," reddish-brown foam that floats on the surface and is composed of vegetable oils, proteins and sugars.   Crema has elements of both emulsion and foam colloid.  One ounce shot might contain 35 mg caffeine.

2. Turkish coffee for its aromatic blend of coffee and cardamom (an aromatic herb with cleansing properties). However, one ounce serving can contain up to 60 mg of caffeine.  When brewing Turkish coffee, foaming occurs at around 70C, much cooler than boiling, which is why it is possible to foam the coffee repeatedly without boiling it.  Higher than 75C, coffee becomes over-extracted. 

 

Add coffee so that it is between 7-10% of initial water mass.  At 10% the body is heavy and many will find it harsh; 8% seems a good balance.  This method of brewing can accentuate the acidity of the beans.  This coffee is very different from French press in flavor profile, since extraction temperature is so much lower.

 

Room temperature water with sugar, coffee and spices stirred in is put onto the gas at medium heat.  At two minutes, when foaming starts at the edges of the ibrik, slowly begin reducing the heat.  The goal is to keep the coffee foaming, but not to let it rise more than a quarter of its volume.  If you turn the gas down too quickly and the foaming stops, just turn it back up.  The goal is to foam for 3 more minutes (5 minutes total time).  At 6 minutes total the coffee tastes over extracted, and at 4 it can be thin.  The temperature at the end of 5 minutes should be around 75C.  At the end of extraction time, add just a touch of room temperature water to end the brewing (10% would be plenty).

Swirl the stainless steel ibrik gently to help the grounds caught in the foam subside and place the ibrik in a saucer of water to cool.  After 1-2 minutes of settling, pour the coffee gently (to retain the grounds).  With a good brew, one should have enough foam to cover most or the entire surface of a demitasse cup.


3. Mocha (not the chocolate infused coffee, but from a region of Yemen) or Percolator is widely favored in European households.  In its country of origin, after observing frisky goats, people of Ethiopia chewed coffee berries as a stimulant for centuries before it was brewed as a hot drink.
  Coffee cultivation was rare until the 15th and 16th centuries, when extensive planting of the tree first occurred across the Red sea in the nearby Yemen region of Arabia.  This regional coffee is strong and flavorful, with an after taste reminiscent of chocolate and will fill the house with an unmistakable alluring aroma.  One ounce serving can contain up to 70 mg of caffeine.

 

Coffee once was ground and mixed with butter, and consumed like chocolate for sustenance, a method reportedly used by the Galla tribe of Ethiopia.  The practice of mixing ground coffee beans with ghee (clarified butter) persists to this day in some parts of the principle coffee producing regions of Ethiopia.  In Kaffa, from which its name derives, the drink is brewed today with the addition of melted ghee which gives it a distinctive, buttery flavor.

 

4. French press, where you can taste the true decadent (and more stressful) aroma of virtually any degree of caramelization.  When brewing French Press coffee, you want the temperature to be just off a boil.  This equates to 195-205 F or 90.5-96.1 C.  Once water comes to a boil, remove it from the heat source and count to 10 seconds.  The 10 second wait gives the water just enough time to drop to the perfect temperature.  Drink it black or with some half n half or even some fresh cream for luscious taste and texture.  One cup serving may contain up to 300 mg of caffeine.

Coffee stimulates both the voluntary (central) and involuntary (autonomic) nervous systems:  For the constipated, coffee can stimulate the peristaltic wave to facilitate the bowel movements. Coffee's effects on the voluntary nervous system however, are sometimes not so encouraging. It can over stimulate the mind, sometimes producing a variety of undesirable symptoms, such as: anxiety, insomnia, and irregular heartbeat.  Caffeine may also greatly magnify existing stress levels and exacerbate emotional instability.

There are two widely practiced methods of decaffeinating coffee.  One uses solvent chemicals.  This method is not desirable since toxic elements remain in the coffee, reducing its magical medicinal qualities.  The second method is simply involves soaking the coffee beans in water, then dehydrating and roasting the coffee.  Steam removes most of the caffeine.  Neither method completely decaffeinates beans, so if you are the jittery sort and your liver cannot detoxify caffeine, one must avoid even ‘decaffeinated’ coffee.

With so many specialty coffee drinks available, coffee can become the vehicle for sugar, cream and many other additives (the most unhealthy is non-dairy creamer) the big companies tempt us with in the morning (or afternoon!).  This can quickly turn coffee into a haven for extra calories, fat and refined sugar.  Not that we count calories, but two tablespoons of cream equals 40 calories, 3.4 g of fat and 17% saturated fat.  Two tablespoons of non-dairy creamer weighs in at 90 calories, 4.5 g of fat and 29% saturated fat.  Have two or three cups of coffee with cream and suddenly the party calories for the day are gone!

Cream in your coffee will cause less tooth staining.  But, we are now in the age of microlot coffee, when beans are harvested and handled with the same care that goes into making wine, and the flavors of an exceptional cup of coffee can be as layered and complex as a glass of pinot noir.  Cream would mask the special uniqueness of a coffee.  With exceptions made for regular brew, occasional dessert-like cappuccinos and iced coffee, dairy is no longer an option.

Coffee and teas with meals tend to bind iron and other minerals, reducing availability up to 80%.  Coffee’s diuretic action tends to wash minerals out of the body.  Avoid consuming teas and coffee with meals if iron deficient, especially if one’s primary sources of iron are vegetarian.

Contrary to the common belief that tea dehydrates, tea not only rehydrates as well as water does, but it can also protect against heart disease and some cancers.  Experts believe that flavonoids are the key ingredient in tea that promotes health.  These polyphenol antioxidants are found in many foods and plants, including tea leaves, and have been shown to help prevent cell damage.

Compared with drinking warm or lukewarm tea, drinking hot tea starting at 149 degrees F (65 to 69 degrees C) was associated with twice the risk of esophageal cancer, and drinking very hot tea (70 degrees C or 158 F or more) was associated with an eight-fold increased risk.  For comparison, water boils at 212 degrees F and simmers at about 190 F.  So one’s beverage does not have to be near the boiling point to create throat damage.  Simply wait a few minutes after brewing for your beverage to cool from “scalding” to “tolerable.”

Try to get in the habit of drinking beverages at room temperature, as those that are too hot can damage the esophagus, while those that are too cold can shut down digestion and harm the delicate lining of the stomach.

Different teas at different times of day:

In the morning, green tea: Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, green tea can eliminate free radicals in the body and secrete anti-pressure hormones.
 Catechins, a natural compound in tea, protect brain cells from damaging protein build-up over the years, maintaining the brain's cognitive capability.  In addition, caffeine in tea, unlike that in coffee, is accompanied by the natural protein theanine, which boosts GABA and counters the normal jittery side effects of caffeine such as raised blood pressure, headaches and tiredness.

In the afternoon, Chrysanthemum tea, enhances liver function and relieves the eyes.  When combined with medlar or honey, chrysanthemum tea helps counter depression and anxiety.

In the evening Medlar (loquat) tea is rich in beta-carotene, vitamin B1, vitamin C, calcium and iron, as well as enhancing liver and kidney functions.

When working overtime try Cassia seed tea: It’s good for the brain, liver, tendons and bones, as well as eyes.  If you suffer from constipation, have of a cup cassia seed tea after dinner.


After a big meal, Pu'er tea: Most teas boost metabolism of fat, and Pu'er leads in this area. Some beneficial elements in the tea help to burn fat reserves in the stomach.

 

Different teas for different seasons: Green tea is for summer; the cooling nature of this tea can counter summer heat, boost the heart and eliminate toxins.  Black tea is for winter and oolong tea works all year around.  Spring is season for flower teas, which can lift the spirit from drowsiness.  Winter is a season for black tea whose hot nature helps protect the body against winter chills.

For those who prefer icy cold drinks or those who have a weak stomach, oolong tea is recommended over green tea.  Barley tea is traditionally a recommended choice in summer as it can eliminate pigment residues on the skin.  However, roasted grain products contain high levels of toxic acrylamide, which is also found in instant coffee, barley tea and maize tea.

Autumn is a dry season so it's good to pick qingcha tea, which is between black and green tea. Qingcha tea includes oolong and Tieguanyin, which can boost the secretion of saliva, improve the lungs and moisturize the skin.

Black Tea (Camellia sinensis) is the most popular type of tea, accounting for over 90% of tea sales in the West.  Because it is the most fermented (oxidized) out of the four types of teas, it does not have quite as many antioxidants as the other types.  Black tea, however, contains the most caffeine if you are looking for an energy boost. In addition, it has the strongest flavor, which is often compared to chocolate.

If you like to buy in bulk, black tea has the longest shelf life out of all teas, retaining its flavor for several years. Don't be confused if some people refer to black tea as red tea, because in several Asian countries, it is called red tea.

Fluoride can reduce the anti-cancer properties of tea, or even possibly cause cancer at continued toxic levels of the mineral.  In general, the level of fluoride in tea is inversely related to the EGCG contents: the more EGCG, the less fluoride.  EGCG interrupts the proinflammatory cascade by inhibiting the effects of inflammatory mediators on NF-k B (nuclear factor kappa beta, the ultimate upstream molecule mediating inflammation at the nuclear genetic level). 

White tea contains less fluoride than green tea and black tea, because it is made of buds and young leaves only.  The high fluoride content of black and green teas might also cause neurological and renal damage, especially in the presence of aluminum.  High fluoride content could also cause osteoporosis, arthritis, dental and skeletal fluorosis as well as other bone disorders.

Theanine from tea is absorbed by the small intestine and crosses the blood-brain barrier, where it affects the brain's neurotransmitters and increases alpha brain-wave activity.  The result is a calmer, yet more alert, state of mind. 

Theanine, besides boosting GABA activity may help the body's immune system response when fighting infection, by boosting the disease-fighting capacity of gamma delta T-cells.  In a four-week trial with 11 coffee drinkers and 10 tea drinkers, who consumed 600ml of coffee or black tea daily, production of anti-bacterial proteins was up to five times higher in tea-drinkers, an indicator of a stronger immune response.

 

Black tea has one of the most complex aromas of anything we eat or drink. It starts out as simple, green-tasting young leaves; then the combination of enzyme action and heat generates hundreds of volatile molecules.  Among the more prominent aromas are the flowery and fruity ones; roses, orange flowers, violets, apricots, and raspberries are in there, along with fresh-crushed leaves, dried hay, and caramel.  German flavor chemists recently identified a previously unknown note: a molecule that also contributes to the characteristic sweet aroma of oats, something for tea lovers to sniff for and enjoy.

 

Black is the most robust of the tea varieties and can be brewed in truly boiling water, usually steeped for 4-6 minutes.  Chemists have discovered a new reason for the traditional practice of brewing black tea in a preheated tea pot with water just off the boil. High-temperature brewing does the best job of extracting aroma compounds from the tea leaves, but it also generates even larger quantities of certain aromatics than were in the leaves to begin with! It does so by breaking off small, aromatic portions from much larger molecules.

Pu’er tea is traditionally made with leaves from old wild tea trees of a variety known as "broad leaf tea" or Camellia sinensis var. assamica, which is found in southwest China as well as bordering tropical regions in Burma, Vietnam, Laos and the very eastern parts of India.

The shoots and young leaves from this varietal are often covered with fine hairs, with the pekoe (two leaves and a bud) larger than other tea varietals. The leaves are also slightly different in chemical composition, which alter the taste and smell of the brewed tea, as well as its desirability for aging.

Due to the scarcity of old wild tea trees, pu’er made using such trees blended from different tea mountains of Yunnan are highly valued, while more and more connoisseurs are seeking pu’er with leaves taken from a single tea mountain's wild forests. Ripened pu’er tea is pressed máochá that has been specially processed to imitate aged raw pu’er. Although it is more commonly known as "cooked pu’er," the process does not actually employ cooking to imitate the aging process. The term may come about due to inaccurate transliteration due to the dual meaning of "shoú" as both "fully cooked" and "fully ripened.”

The process used to convert máochá into ripened pu’er is a recent invention that manipulates conditions to approximate the result of the aging process by prolonged bacterial and fungal fermentation in a warm humid environment under controlled conditions, a technique called wòdūi, "wet piling" in English, which involves piling, dampening and turning the tea leaves in a manner similar to composting.

The piling, wetting and mixing of the piled máochá ensures even fermentation.   Bacterial and fungal cultures found in the fermenting piles were found to vary widely from factory to factory throughout Yunnan, consisting of multiple strains of Aspergillus spp., Penicillium spp., yeasts, as well as wide range of other microflora.  Control over the multiple variables in the ripening process, particularly humidity and growth of Aspergillus spp., is key in producing ripened pu’er of high quality.  

Poor control in fermentation/oxidation process can result in badly ripened pu’er, characterized by badly decomposed leaves and an aroma and texture reminiscent of compost. The ripening process typically takes anywhere from half a year to one year after it has begun. Although pu’er teas are often collectively classified in Western and East Asian tea markets as post-fermentation or black teas, pu’er teas in actuality can be placed in three types of processing methods, namely: green tea, fermented tea and secondary-oxidation/fermentation tea.

Pu’er can be green teas if lightly processed before being pressed into cakes. Such pu’er is referred to as máochá if unpressed and as "green/raw pu’er" if pressed. While not always palatable, they are relatively cheap and are known to age well for up to 20-30 years. Pu’er can also be a fermented tea if it undergoes slow processing with fermenting microbes for up to a year. This is referred to as "ripened/cooked pu’er", and has a mellow flavor and is readily drinkable. Aged pu’ers are secondary-oxidation and post-fermentation teas. If aged from green pu’er, the aged tea will be mellow in taste but still clean in flavor.

According to production process, four main types of pu’er are commonly available:

Pu’er is the only tea that improves with age, and the only one that actually undergoes a true fermentation.  Chinese have long considered Pu’er tea medicinal and good for quenching thirst, digesting oily foods, reducing cholesterol, detoxification (as a diuretic) and aiding in weight loss.  Exceptional longevity is found in Pu’er drinkers in Yunnan Province where the tea is produced, and unexpected health is seen in Pu’er drinkers in Tibet where the diet is lacking in fruits and vegetables

 

Every wonder why black tea is really red? The answer lies in the oxidation of catechins.  During the black tea manufacturing process catechins, ever present in green tea, become oxidized via PPO, an enzyme naturally present in the plant's cells.  This is why all the rolling and withering is necessary to produce black tea.  When the cell walls are broken down, enzymes are free to interact with polyphenols without obstruction, oxidizing them into new compounds.

 

Two of these newly formed compounds are particularly important to black tea: theaflavin and thearubigin.  These new compounds still retain antioxidant properties.  Black tea is still good for you!  Theaflavins are bright golden yellow to yellow-brown in color while thearubigins are brown to red-brown. 

 

Together these two compounds account for the majority of the color in black tea to varying degrees (the difference between say, an Assam and a Darjeeling depend on the relative concentrations of each).  The structure of theaflavin is similar to the catechins that it was oxidized from; looking like one was inverted and stuck on top of another.

 

When milk is added, theaflavin binds with casein, effectively removing it from solution.  This casein-theaflavin complex is now stable.  Since theaflavin now exists as a complex, it loses the antioxidant properties it once possessed.

With milk products, tea liquor primarily takes on the color of thearubigin, since theaflavin forms a complex with casein.  So why does not thearubigin?  Rather than forming a protein complex, thearubigin molecules instead polymerize with each other, forming a long chain of repeating segments.  These long chains alter the properties of thearubigin so that they are less effective antioxidants then they would be unbound. 

 

In tea-drinking Asia there is less cardiac disease.  But in England where adding milk to tea is custom, that is not the case.  A significant part of tea’s total protective antioxidant capacity is masked by the interaction.  This masking depends on the protein and the flavonoid used, averaging 50-80%.  

 

Components in green and black tea, which show the highest masking in combination with milk’s β-casein, are beneficial epigallocatechin gallate and gallic acid.  The negative effect is similar to the way milk added to chocolate reduces available antioxidants found in dark chocolate.

 

Oolong Tea (Camellia sinensis) falls between green and black teas with moderate fermentation and oxidation. It has neither the rosy aroma of black tea nor the grassy taste of green tea. Instead, oolong tea is described as bitter with a sweet melon-like aftertaste. It is called Qingcha (literally: blue-green tea).  With the flowery and fresh taste like green tea plus the flavor of black tea, it moisturizes the skin and throat as well as reducing internal heat.  Some is harvested early in the season to create a distinct dry flavor which indicates higher amounts of polyphenols with more hunger suppression capacity.

 

Tie Guan Yin is a premium variety of Chinese oolong tea associated with Anxi in the Fujian province. Spring Time Guan Yin is harvested around Li Xia (Start of Summer) and has the best overall quality.  Moderately roasted Tie Guan Yin is a new breed that has a good balance of floral aroma and complex taste. Guan Yin Wang is the best of Tie Guan Yin. It means Guan Yin King. The best Jade Tie Guan Yin and Autumn Tie Guan Yin are classified as Guan Yin Wang. In steeping, oolong tea falls between green and black. The best temperature is around 180-190F.  But oolong may be steeped longer than black tea, for 3-8 minutes.

 

Green Tea is close in family (Camellia sinensis) with white tea. It is also non-oxidized and has a similar taste, but it uses rolled leaves, instead of buds. We brew green teas in water far below the boil (around 150-160 degrees F, 65-70 degrees C, and only steep it for 2-4 minutes) to preserve its more delicate, simple aroma and color.  Green tea has been studied far more than any other tea and there are many nutritional benefits. Most studies revolve around its roles in preventing cancer and coping with stress.

 

Green tea powder is just as it sounds, ground up green tea leaves.  This matcha tea maintains a vibrant bright green color.  One can purchase green tea powder online or at most Asian grocers.  With green tea powder, you can add the benefits of green tea to any food. 

 

Like tea leaves, it can be added to hot water for instant green tea, and is a wonderful topical skin treatment.  You can also shape up quickly with your exercise by adding a small amount of green tea powder to bottled water. For a quick and healthy dessert, you can mix in a teaspoon full of green tea powder to yogurt or ice cream.  Add a spoonful to a smoothie for a metabolism-boosting extra-healthy kick.

Matcha green tea can contain over 100 times the EGCG provided from regular brewed green tea.  Other health benefits of EGCG include the prevention of: high blood lipids, arteriosclerosis, cerebral thrombus, prostate cancer, heart attack and stroke.  EGCG ameliorates autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, periodontal disease and Sjogren’s drying of secretory glands as well as improves exercise performance, increases fat oxidation and prevents obesity (it has a regulatory effect on fat metabolism).  Green tea can even help you to digest your food better!

Green tea powder is also suitable for the times you bake.  Just use your favorite cake or cookie recipe and add a teaspoon of green tea powder into the mix before baking.  Because of its rich color, you can also use it instead of food coloring to decorate certain foods.

 

Tea, even black tea with caffeine, is typically made by low-temperature drying processes, not roasting and therefore should have low acrylamide levels.  Recently acrylamide was even detected in some Japanese green teas, which contain asparagine and are finished by roasting at 250-280 degrees F, 120-140 degrees C.  A considerable amount of acrylamide is formed at roasting temperatures of 120 C; the highest acrylamide level was observed when tea samples were roasted at 180 C for 10 min.  Higher temperatures and longer processing times caused a decrease in the acrylamide content.

 

Furthermore, an analysis of 82 tea samples showed that rather than the reducing sugar content, the asparagine content in tea leaves was a significant factor related to acrylamide formation in roasted products.  The acrylamide level in roasted tea products was controlled by asparagine in the presence of reducing sugars.

 

White Tea (Camellia sinensis) is the rarest, most expensive and perishable of all teas. Because it is made from new growth buds, it is very different than other teas, which consist of mainly leaves.  Because white tea is made with white hairs, buds and very young leaves, it is the least processed and is not oxidized at all.  White tea is left to air dry and withers.  It has more anti-viral and anti-bacterial qualities than green tea, and its taste is described as grassy. 

 

All tea leaves contain fluoride; however, mature leaves contain as much as 10-20 times the fluoride levels of new young leaves from the same plant.

Bai Hao Yinzhen tea-is considered the highest grade of white tea and is usually called Silver Needle tea. Produced only in China, it can be picked only between March 15 and April 10. It must be picked under perfect weather conditions. The day must be dry and there can have been no frost the previous night. The morning dew must be dry, as well. Only the unopened and undamaged buds are used for this tea. It is very low in caffeine and very pale and mild.

Bai Mu Dan tea is the second highest grade of white tea, usually called White Peony tea, and is also grown exclusively in China. It also is picked only under the best environmental conditions during just a few weeks of March and April. The primary difference between this tea and Silver Needle tea is that it contains more leaves and fewer buds. However, it is still a very high quality tea, a bit bolder with more floral fragrance.

White tea protects the body from colon cancer, based on animal studies. Many studies have found healthy benefits from drinking black and green teas. Scientists at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University in Corvallis found that rats who consumed white tea had significantly fewer pre-cancerous tumors than rats that drank plain water. Both groups of rats had been fed substances containing carcinogens that are often found on cooked meats.

 

Similar to browning and toasting grains creating AGEs, cooking meat at high temperatures, with grilling or frying, can produce carcinogens on the meat surface. These stressful substances can change cell response, allowing defective cells to live on (instead of committing cell suicide) leading to cell overgrowth, tumors or cancer.

 

White tea contains many antioxidant polyphenols, some called catechins, also found in other teas (that by multiple pathways protect normal cells from damage and encourage defective cells to commit apoptosis).  Nine of the major polyphenols found in green tea are also found in white tea, including high levels of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).

 

When these major constituents are mixed to produce 'artificial' teas, according to their relative levels in white and green teas, the complete tea exhibited higher antimutagenic potency compared with the corresponding artificial tea. The results suggest that the greater inhibitory potency of white versus green tea in the Salmonella assay must be related to the relative levels of the nine major constituents, acting synergistically with other (minor) constituents, to inhibit mutagen activation as well as acting as an antioxidant, 'scavenging' the reactive intermediate(s).

 

White tea extracts are effective at treating bacterial infections, such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, pneumonia and dental caries.  White tea was also found to be effective in treating fungal infections from Penicillium chrysogenum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  White tea extracts showed a greater effect than green tea extracts.

 

This is another delicate tea that should be treated gently. Water can be a bit warmer than for green tea, at 180F. You should let it steep longer though. At least 4-6 minutes.

If you are drinking tea for your health, you may want to consider white teas. There is also considerably less caffeine in white tea than the other varieties (15mg per serving, compared to 40mg for black tea, and 20mg for green).

Yellow tea (Camellia sinensis) is even rarer than white tea and for a long time, its processing method was secret.  Yellow tea is processed by rolling the tea leaves in paper after a light roasting, where they are kept for a few days. During this process, the buds take on a slightly yellowish color and develop a very distinctive scent through a non-enzymatic oxidation process. The most popular variety of yellow tea is Junshan yinzhen from Hunan province.

Herbal Teas (tisanes) There are many edible herbs, flowers, even weeds, that are full of flavor and might be already living right in your lawn, garden or kitchen.  Common kitchen herbs include basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano and mint.  These are important sources of beneficial phytochemicals that regulate our genes in a positive way.  Use these herbs in cooking and in teas at every opportunity.  They are easy to grow and can often be grown in pots on a windowsill.  These are just to mention a few. There are many more.  One can buy seeds or starter plants at the local nursery.

As a young dentist forty years ago, I asked my chronologically old patients who still acted young and vibrant what their secret was.  Practically all had their own garden.  Organic gardening uses natural compost and manure to fertilize and grow plants and flowers.  Compost creates an ideal habitat for various bugs and insects, attracting them away from your house.  No harmful chemicals or pesticides are used to protect plants.  Gardening keeps us in the sunshine.

Organic gardening is one of the many ways in which we can get our share from the earth as well as preserve it for future generations.  Not only is it safe, but it also does not harm the soil, the habitat or the environment.  For many it is not only saving the planet that prompts them to go for organic gardening.  It is also a healthier option if you are growing fruit and vegetables. (You also don't have to worry about your children or animals gaining access to your gardening chemicals)



Advantages:

How to create your own organic garden:

Plants do best in raised beds.  Good drainage is essential for oxygen.  Create small hills or rows with a hoe or create a bed with cinder blocks as a border.  One more way is a wooden box of about 1.5 to 2 feet deep, 3-4 feet long and 2-3 feet wide.  Clean it and make many small holes at the bottom for water to drain out.  Take some fresh garden soil but make sure it does not have any artificial manure or pesticides mixed in it.

Mix some cow dung or natural compost in the soil.  Turn the soil thoroughly.  Cover the holes in the box with small wire meshes or very small pebbles so that the sand or soil does not get in and block the drainage holes.  Put the mixed soil in the box.  Select some flower/plant seedlings or seeds and plant them in the soil.  Keep some distance between each seed, as the plants will need space to grow.

One can make simple organic insecticides instead of using dangerous chemical pesticides. Try the following recipes:

Combine one teaspoon of hot pepper or Tabasco sauce, 4 cloves of garlic and a quart of water.  Blend well in a blender and strain, with cheesecloth or nylon mesh before placing in your sprayer.  This will repel many insects including whiteflies, aphids, spider mites and caterpillars.

Mix 1/8-1/4 cup of hydrated lime with one quart of water.  This creates an effective spray against many insects, especially spider mites.  Add a drop of non-detergent soap to act as a sticking agent and insecticide.  Lime can cause serious harm to plants if you use too much, so always spray a test plant first and check it for a few days for any adverse effects on plants.

Take one ounce of tomato leaves and add to one quart of water and blend thoroughly.  Strain the resulting liquid and use to repel insects.  This also works well on white cabbage butterflies.

Garden herbs may be flowers, bushes, trees and weeds.  Some common ones include organic tangerine peels, roses (use petals, leaves and rose hips), violets (use flowers and leaves); birch, blackberry and raspberry leaves; citrus leaves, chickweed, dandelions and goldenrod.

In Central America, many herbs are made into teas with water and sugar or honey, and have many purposes like, artemisia for ear pains, menta (mint) tea for a clean digestive system and to revitalize blood.  If one has a slight case of anemia, culantro (cilantro) tea is good for anemia and gives foods excellent flavor.  Many folks place a tablespoonful as garnish on top of meals.

 

Tilo (linden tree leaves) tea is drunk for nervousness and sleep, helps promote sweating, is antispasmodic, diuretic, analgesic and sedative.  Oregano tea is good for the lungs, alleviates coughs, maintains normal cholesterol, and also gives good flavoring to foods.  Sweet basil gives food flavor and makes foods easier to digest.  Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus)) has a long green leaf with the scent of lemons.  It is especially suited for digestive problems in children, reducing fevers, stomach cramps, flatulence and colic, easing arthritic pain, even in adults and as a general digestive aid.  Make lemon grass into a tea with water and (ginger) and it alleviates coughs.  For sore throat, ginger and honey tea will help.

 

A cough remedy is made by boiling cloves of garlic, ginger, onion and milk or water.  This makes syrup that can be taken cold three times a day. Another cough remedy is the mixture of crushed onions, ginger, rábano (rose colored vegetable similar to a carrot) and honey.  Leave it overnight and in the morning there will be thick syrup and the ill person should take a teaspoon three times a day until symptoms are gone.

Some of the best, boldest tasting teas are a
healthy mixture of flowers, herbs and weeds. Consider mixing dandelion greens with rose petals and raspberry leaves.  Pour boiling water over the mixture and smell the aromatherapy properties.  Experiment with your favorites to suite your taste.  Try steeping herbs and plants (preferably in a glass pot so you can enjoy their colors) for a few minutes, then keep the tea on a low warmer to sip from all day long.

Plants are loaded with vitamins; antioxidants, minerals; soluble fiber and essential oils which help strengthen the immune system and detoxify the body.  Mixing greens, blossoms and
herbs in one potful of tea will give you a deeper variety of healthful benefits with every sip.

Ashwagandha holds a place in the Ayurvedic tradition similar to Ginseng in Chinese medicine, yet it is far less expensive.  It is the best rejuvenative herb in all conditions of weakness and tissue deficiency in children, the elderly, those debilitated by chronic diseases, those suffering from overwork or lack of sleep or nervous exhaustion.  It inhibits aging and catalyzes the anabolic processes.  Being nurturing and clarifying for the mind, it is calming and promotes deep, dreamless sleep."  The root is used as a sexual stimulant, safe narcotic, sedative and tranquilizer as well as being useful for depression and addiction to alcohol.  Brew root powder as a tea or stir a spoonful into a glass of juice with a pinch of honey and cinnamon.

Astragalus root AstragaIus membranaceus "Huang Qi" has played a major role in Chinese medicine, considered as one of the Superior Medicines, being safe and effective in restoring health from a broad spectrum of disease.  While Ginseng is appropriate for older people losing their basic chi energies, Astragalus is considered best tonic for young people.

Active principles in Astragalus root enhance immune system function, serving to help the body’s defenses, including throughout chemotherapy. This sweet and tasty root is becoming widely used in Western herbalism, as a liver protective, antiviral and antibacterial as well as blood sugar regulator, enhancer of male fertility and aphrodisiac. Astragalus is excellent as a tea. The root slices are enjoyed by teething babies and children. 

Basil (Tulsi tea) is recommended for nausea and motion sickness, because of basil's antispasmodic properties.  Basil's strong taste promotes the production of saliva, enhancing food digestion.  Sweetened with stevia, it is a great morning substitute for caffeinated beverages.  Water boiled with basil leaves can be taken as drink in case of sore throat.

Basil water can also be used as a gargle.  This is very useful for maintaining dental health, counteracting bad breath and for massaging the gums. It is also helpful in periodontal disease and other tooth disorders. 

Basil strengthens the kidney.  The juice of basil leaves and honey, if taken regularly for 6 months, will encourage expulsion of renal stones via the urinary tract.  The unique array of flavonoids found in basil provides protection at the cellular level.  Orientin and vicenin are two water-soluble flavonoids studied in human white blood cells, which protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-radical damage.

Basil’s powerful essential oil contains methyl chavicol.  Cyclooxygenase (COX).enzyme-inhibiting effect of eugenol in basil makes basil an "anti-inflammatory" food, which can provide important healing benefits along with symptomatic relief for folks with inflammatory health problems like rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel.  Fresh basil contains folic acid and other B vitamins.  Dried basil is a good source of potassium, iron and calcium.  Dried basil is also good for the respiratory system and can be used to treat nose and throat infections.

Cordial is any invigorating and stimulating preparation; such as a peppermint cordial. The term derives from obsolete medicinal usage, as various beverages were concocted which were believed to be beneficial to one's health, especially for the heart (cordialis in Latin).  The preparation of medicinal compounds fades into recorded time.

Throughout history doctors and others have regarded fruits, spices, and herbs as having curative or restorative value. The line between medicinal potions and recreational beverages is quite vague though, and a variety of tonics can be used both for health and for pleasure. Cordials became more and more frequently consumed recreationally as time progressed, eventually evolving into liqueurs.

Cordial manufacture probably began in the early 1820s with the introduction of distilleries. Cordials were either fruit drinks or medicinal cordials, distilled from herbs such as peppermint, caraway and aniseed.  At first, cordial and ginger beer factories operated on a cottage industry level, but in 1850 JG Towers opened a factory  In 1886 the Cascade  Brewery Company opened an aerated water department which produced various cordials, dandelion ale and ginger beer, soda water, lemonade, seltzer and other waters.

Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) is a species of Ribes berry native to central and northern Europe and northern Asia.  It is also known as French "cassis".  During World War II, blackcurrant cultivation was encouraged by the British government as a matter of national importance since antioxidant-rich fruits were scarce.  The fruit has an extraordinarily high vitamin C content (302% of the Daily Value per 100g), good levels of potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B5, as well as a broad range of other essential nutrients. 

Since 1942, almost the entire British blackcurrant crop was made into blackcurrant syrup (or cordial) and distributed to the nation's children free, giving rise to the lasting popularity of blackcurrant flavorings in Britain.  Other than being juiced and used in jellies, syrups, and cordials, blackcurrants are used in cooking because their astringent nature brings out flavor in many sauces, meat dishes and desserts.  In the UK, blackcurrant cordial is often mixed with cider to make a drink called Cider & Black available at pubs. 

To determine the effects of a hot drink on nasal airflow and symptoms of common cold and flu, 30 men and women drank a hot apple and blackcurrant cordial drink.  Results showed that drinking hot beverage gave participants immediate and long-lasting relief from runny nose, cough, sneezing, sore throat, chilliness and tiredness.  In comparison, the same drink served at room temperature offered relief only from runny nose, cough and sneezing.  Thus a hot tasty drink is more beneficial treatment for relief of most symptoms of common cold and flu.”

Cherry Cordials are one of the more popular types of cordials.  In Louisiana and other parts of the south, wild cherries are the best sort of cherries for making Cherry Bounce.   In Idaho, wild choke cherries are used (which are bitter when eaten raw) but develop a taste not unlike cranberries upon being processed.  Sour cherries and Bing cherries also work for a cordial with a strong, cherry flavor.

To make Cherry Bounce, take a gallon of washed cherries which have been placed in a glass canning jar or pottery crock.  Add enough good whiskey or bourbon to completely cover the fruit and rest the lid gently on the top to allow for air to pass through.  After 4-8 weeks, drain off the whiskey and set aside.

The next step is to gather up the cherries, place in a large bowl and gently mash them without crushing the pits.  Strain the mashed cherries through a jelly bag (or soft, cotton flour sack) and add the cherry juice to the liquor.  Take an accurate measurement of the liquid.  The last step is to make heavy syrup by combining one half cup of water with one pound of syrup for every 2 quarts of prepared liquor.  Stir the syrup into the liquor until the sugar has dissolved.  Decant the beverage in clean glass bottles and cork.

For those who do not have time to allow the cherries to ferment, a popular shortcut is to combine cherries and whiskey into a jug, and drink and use the liquor as is.  This shortcut version is not as sweet as true cordials, but does make a speedy passable substitute.

Elderberry cordials and syrups are popular as a protection against colds, or added to mixed drinks and liqueurs.  Syrup can be made with elderberries and honey in about 45 minutes.  In just 10 minutes, elderberry syrup with ripe elderberries and sugar:

Pick fruit on a dry day, wash well and drain thoroughly.  Strip fruit from stems and put into a pan, adding just enough water to cover.  Simmer for 30 minutes until the berries are very soft.  Strain through a jelly bag or muslin and measure the juice.  Allow 450g (1lb) sugar and 10 cloves to each 6dl (1 pint) of juice.  Heat the juice gently, stirring in the sugar until dissolved.  Boil for 10 minutes and then leave until cold.  Syrup may be frozen in small quantities or packed into small, screw-topped, soft drink bottles which have been sterilized.

Elderberry syrups of this kind have been used since Tudor times as a stand-by against winter colds.  The syrup is a cold laxative, relieves all chest troubles, will stop a cold and bring on a sweat.  It is normally diluted, allowing 2 tablespoons of syrup to a tumbler of hot water and a squeeze of lemon juice.  A little whisky may be added.  A few drops added to a glass of wine makes a fun aperitif.

Grenadine (grenadine syrup) is blood-red, strong syrup made from pomegranates.  Occasionally, grenadine is made from black currant juice, pomegranate juice and sugar.  It is the number one among fruit syrups, and is used in many cocktails not only for sweetening, but also to provide red color.

Grenadine syrup for use in a bar is usually bought on bottles, but you can also make your own:
Use 4 pomegranates to make about 2 cups of pomegranate syrup.  After removing seeds, process with food processor knife blade.  Simmer pulp with 1/4 cup honey over low heat 3 minutes.  Stir well.  Strain to remove seeds.

Guava has been planted in nearly every tropical and frost-free subtropical country and has naturalized in most of them.  Guava is very rich in astringents (compounds those make gums feel tighter and fresh after you chew guava leaves or eat a raw guava) which binds up loose bowels in diarrhea.  These astringents are alkaline in nature and have disinfectant and anti-bacterial properties good for the skin, thus help cure dysentery by inhibiting microbial growth and removing extra mucus from our inner skin in the intestines.

 

The basis for herbal treatment of diarrhea was established by demonstrating inhibition of eight bacteria species and amoebas, as well as antispasmodic activity.  Other nutrients in guava, such as vitamin-C, carotenoids and potassium strengthens and tones up the digestive system and disinfect it.  Guava is also beneficial in diarrhea, dysentery and gastroenteritis.

Juice of raw and immature guavas or decoction of guava-leaves is very helpful in giving relief in cough and cold by loosening cough, reducing mucus, disinfecting the respiratory tract, throat and lungs and inhibiting microbial activity due to its astringent properties.  Guava is one of richest in vitamin-C and iron which are proven to be preventive against cold and viral infections. In some areas in India, roasted ripe guava is used as a remedy against extreme cases of cough, cold and congestion.

Bars of thick, rich Jamaican guava paste and Jamaican guava cheese are staple sweets and Jamaican guava jelly is almost universally marketed.  Jamaican guava juice, made by boiling sliced, unseeded Jamaican guavas and straining, is much used in Hawaii in punch and ice cream sodas.  A clear Jamaican guava juice with all the ascorbic acid and other properties undamaged by excessive heat, is made in South Africa by trimming and mincing Jamaican guavas, mixing with a natural fungal enzyme (now available under various trade names), letting stand for 18 hours at 120º to 130º F (49º-54º C) and filtering. It is made into syrup for use on waffles, ice cream, puddings and in milkshakes.

Jamaican guava leaves, in addition to tannin, possess essential oil containing the sesquiterpene hydrocarbons caryophyllene, bisabolene, aromadendrene, selinene, nerolidiol, caryophyllene oxide and sel-11-en-4x -ol, also some triterpenoids and sitosterol.  Guava leaf tea is widely used to control blood sugar of diabetics in Japan and elsewhere.  Guava protects the prostrate and its lycopene reduces the risk of cancer.  Juice of the leaves cures toothache, swollen gums & oral ulcers, heals wounds when applied externally, convulsions, epilepsy and bacterial infections.

Raspberry cordial can treat gastroenteritis.  A dash of concentrated raspberry juice kills E. coli, salmonella, mycobacterium and staphylococci among other bugs.  Raspberry juice and raspberry cordial with at least 25% juice both work very well.  A raspberry juice cordial (35% pure) at up to a 1:10 dilution may aid in preventing transmission of gastric bugs through contaminated water.

Borage's culinary and medicinal uses have been known for at least 2000 years. Borage is a cooling, cleansing, and refreshing herb with adaptogenic, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, and anti-inflammatory properties. The entire plant contains mucilage, tannin, essential oil, potassium, calcium, pyrrolizioline alkaloids, saponins, and vitamin C, as well as a high amount of mineral salts.

The leaves have been used as an adrenal tonic to balance and restore the health of the adrenal glands following periods of stress.  A tea made from the leaves and blossoms will also promote lactation, relieve fevers, and promote sweating.  The soothing mucilage in borage makes it a beneficial treatment for dry cough and throat irritation. 

Borage tea is also a good remedy to use with such digestive disturbances as gastritis and irritable bowel syndrome.  European herbalists use borage tea to restore strength during convalescence.  It may be of particular benefit during recovery from surgery or following steroid treatment.  Borage tea is also helpful in clearing up such skin problems as boils and rashes, and has been used as eyewash.

The leaves, flowers, and seeds of borage have nutritive and medicinal properties.  Harvest borage leaves on a dry day, just as the plant begins to blossom.  Strip the leaves from the stems and spread out on a tray.  The plant has high water content and the leaves may discolor if dried in direct heat.  Place the drying trays in a warm, airy room out of direct sun.  When thoroughly dry, store the leaves in dark, tightly-sealed containers.  Borage flowers can be collected by gently pulling on the stamen tips to separate the blossom from the green backing attached to the stem.  The blossoms may be used fresh, or frozen individually in ice-cube trays for later use.

For tea, place 2 oz fresh borage leaves in a warmed glass container.  Bring 2.5 cups of fresh, nonchlorinated water to the boiling point, add it to the herbs.  Cover.  Allow the tea to steep for 10 minutes, strain, and drink warm.  Prepared tea can be stored for two days in the refrigerator. Borage tea may be enjoyed by the cupful up to three times a day.  Some herbalists combine borage with hawthorn berries (Crataegus oxyacantha) as a heart tonic.

As a poultice, borage may be soothing and healing to skin inflammations, though the prickly hairs may be irritating.  Chop fresh borage leaves and stems in sufficient quantity to cover the area being treated.  Cover the herb with a strip of cotton gauze to hold the poultice in place. 

Borage leaves, eaten fresh, have a crisp, cool taste, reminiscent of cucumber but with a somewhat prickly texture.  Borage blossoms can be used as a garnish on salads or crystallized and used to decorate cakes.

Burdock root has often been used to purify the blood by removing toxins that can build up in blood. Also called gobo, it can be taken orally or used topically as a remedy for skin disorders, including skin and scalp conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema and contact dermatitis. Burdock root can be a diuretic or soothe aching joints.  

 

Chinese healers used burdock root in combination with other plants to make cures for colds, measles, throat pain and tonsillitis. Burdock root is also popular in Japan (kimpira or kinpira) as a food source of vitamins and other nutrients.  Burdock root has been used in treatment of cancers as part of popular Essiac and Hoxey teas.

 

Burdock root is eaten as a root vegetable in many places.  Excellent in soups, it has many nutrients like iron, inulin (a carbohydrate probiotic) and beneficial oils.  Also, gobo root can be used as a gentle laxative and help eradicate uric acid.  Some of the active ingredients of burdock are polyacetylenes, which are known to be effective antibacterials and antifungals.  

 

An excellent tea, burdock enhances the performance of many of the organs which purify the body and eliminate toxins or waste (like the kidneys, liver and colon).  This enhances overall health and helps correct disorders.

 

Chamomile tea has a distinctly apple like taste and aroma.  Manzanilla is its other name (and literally means little apple) is an excellent tea for nerves and menstrual cramps.  Chamomile is an effective anti-inflammatory, sedative and ulcer-fighter as well as an antioxidant and antimicrobial. 

 

Chamomile helps promote a natural hormone-like thyroxin, which helps rejuvenate the texture of the hair and skin, and also helps in youthful mental alertness.  It is a soothing sedative with no harmful effects. Chamomile is useful for small babies and children for colds, stomach trouble, colitis, a gargle and externally for eczema and inflammation.

 

Many traditional remedies employ chamomile, everything from a cure for cough or bronchitis, a fever, inflammation of the skin, liver and gallbladder complaints to appetite stimulator.  Another claim is that if you drink chamomile tea just before bed, you will not have nightmares.

 

Cassia tora seed or Jue Ming Zi in Chinese, or the ripe seed of sickelpod.  Cold nature of the fruit is excellent for cooling down the body.  In summer the tea can make you feel cool while in winter, warm. Cassia tora seed is highly valued in ancient Chinese herbal lore.  The bitter and salty cassia tora seed is used as an eyesight booster and for bloodshot eyes.

 

Cassia tora tea can also helps by removing intensive heat from the liver, moisturizing intestine and easing the bowels. Great help for skin diseases or for losing weight as well. Cassia is not an herb for people with low blood pressure or diarrhea.

 

Rinse tea cup and teapot with hot water. Use about 1 teaspoonful for every cup. Infuse seeds in hot water at 90°c (194°F) to 95°c (203°F) for 2 to 4 minutes for the first and second brewing. Gradually increase steeping time and temperature for subsequent brewing.

 

Corn silk (Zea mays) is an herbal remedy made from stigmas, the yellowish thread-like strands found inside the husks of corn.  The stigmas are found on the female flower of corn, a grain that is also known as maize and is a member of the grass family (Gramineae or Poaceae). The stigmas measure 4–8 in (10–20 cm) long and are collected for medicinal use before the plant is pollinated.  Corn silk can also be removed from corn cobs for use as a remedy.

The venerable plant's stigmas have long been used in folk medicine to treat urinary conditions including inflammation of the bladder and painful urination.  Corn silk also served as a remedy for heart trouble, jaundice, malaria, and obesity.  Corn silk is rich in vitamin K, making it useful in controlling bleeding during childbirth. It has also been used to treat gonorrhea.

Drinking corn silk tea is a remedy to help children stop wetting their beds, a condition known as enuresis.  It is also a remedy for urinary conditions experienced by the elderly. 

Corn silk tea has a soothing effect on kidney, bladder and urinary problems, and can clear up pus, infection, burning or scalding urine.  It will also soothe inflammation of the urinary passages due to gravel or kidney stones, and regulate the flow of urine (whether too much or too little), in cases of bladder drip and incontinence -inability of the bladder to hold urine-and urine retention or stoppage of urine.  It seems to heal diseased areas of the kidneys, bladder and urinary passages and flush out uric acid, toxins and other poisons.

Corn silk is used to treat urinary tract infections and kidney stones in adults.  Corn silk is regarded as a soothing diuretic and useful for irritation in the urinary system.  This gives it added importance, since today, physicians are more concerned about the increased use of antibiotics to treat bladder infections, especially in children.  Use can lead to drug-resistant bacteria, leading to further imbalance of the commensal biofilm.

Corn silk is used in combination with other herbs to treat conditions such as cystitis (inflammation of the urinary bladder), urethritis (inflammation of the urethra), and parotitis (mumps).  It helps diminish prostate inflammation and the accompanying pain when urinating. Since corn silk is used as a kidney remedy and in the regulation of fluids, the herb is believed to be helpful in treating high blood pressure and water retention.  Corn-silk is also used as a remedy for edema (the abnormal accumulation of fluids).  Corn silk as a component in an herbal formula is used to treat diabetes.

Some herbalists say that corn silk is best used when fresh, but it is also available in dried form. Corn silk can be collected from the female flower or from corn cobs.  In addition, corn silk is available commercially in powdered and capsule form and as an extract. Corn silk is usually brewed as a tea, a beverage that is said to be soothing.  Corn silk tea or infusion can be made by pouring 1 cup (240 ml) of boiling water over 2 tsp (2.5 g) of dried corn silk.  The mixture is covered and steeped for 10–15 minutes.  The tea should be consumed three times daily.  Corn silk can be reused many times.  It is not necessary to throw corn silk away after your first drink.

Chrysanthemum tea is a flower-based tisane made from chrysanthemum flowers of the species Chrysanthemum morifolium or Chrysanthemum indicum, which are most popular in East Asia.  To prepare this wonderful tonic tea, chrysanthemum flowers (usually dried) are steeped in hot water (usually 90-95 degrees Celsius after cooling from a boil) in either a teapot, cup or glass; often rock sugar is also added, and sometimes also lyceum known as goji berries (wolfberries), a nightshade. 

 

Solanaceae is the nightshade family that includes hundreds of plant foods like potato, tomato, eggplant, wolfberry, hot and sweet peppers (paprika), tobacco and petunia.  The Solanales includes many plant foods; some members are outright poisonous, like belladonna with its atropine. Blood type A folks have more trouble with nightshades.

The color components of lyceum fruit are a group of carotenoids, which make up only 0.03–0.5% of the dried fruit.  The predominant carotenoid is zeaxanthin, which is present mainly as zeaxanthin dipalmitate (also called physalien or physalin), comprising about one-third to one-half of total carotenoids.  Lyceum fruit is considered one of the best food sources of zeaxanthin.

Zeaxanthin is a beneficial yellow pigment (an isomer of lutein and a derivative of β-carotene) produced in plants.  It contributes to the color of corn, oranges, mangoes and egg yolks (from dietary carotenoids), and it is also the main pigment of another medicinal fruit recently popularized in China: sea buckthorn (hippophae). 

When ingested, zeaxanthin accumulates in fatty tissues, but especially in the macula, a region of the retina. It is believed that by having a good supply of this compound, the macula is protected from degeneration, which can be induced by excessive sun exposure (UV light) and by other “oxidative” processes.

Lutein, another yellow carotenoid that accumulates in the macula and provides similar protection, is an ingredient of yellow chrysanthemum flowers (juhua) that are often combined with lycium fruits in traditional Chinese herb formulas to benefit the eyes, including deteriorating vision that occurs with aging and may, in some cases, correspond to macular degeneration.  The effective daily dose of these two carotenoids, from food and supplements, is estimated to be about 10 mg.

The resulting drink is transparent and ranges from pale to bright yellow in color, with a floral aroma.  In Chinese tradition, once a pot of chrysanthemum tea has been drunk, hot water is typically added again to the flowers in the pot (producing a tea that is slightly less strong); this process is often repeated several times.  

 

Messaging of springtime abundance to our genes is paramount for repair.  Chrysanthemum tea is one of those beverages that seem to actually taste like spring.  Not the spring of torrential downpours or hay fever, but the first days of transition, when people on the street are actually smiling again, enjoying the warmer rays of sunshine and putting the ecstasy back into our relationship with nature.

Chrysanthemum tea contains choline, vitamin A, B1, glycosides, adenine, amino acids, flavonoids, pigments and volatile oils. It has an inhibiting effect on bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus hemolyticus B, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Shigella dysenteriae, tubercle bacillus and dermatomycosis.  It may also have antivirus and antispirochete qualities.

Chrysanthemum tea has many medicinal indications, as a ‘tonic,’ including an aid in recovery from influenza, acne and as a "cooling" herb, so it is used for treating heatstroke. Chrysanthemum tea also detoxifies the blood; helps with sinus congestion, high blood pressure and also calms the nerves. Chrysanthemum tea is used to sharpen vision and hearing, and clear the brain.

 According to traditional Chinese medicine this tisane can help in prevention of sore throat and promote reduction of fever.  In Korea, it is well known for making people more alert and is often used to waken them up. In western herbal medicine, Chrysanthemum tea is drunk and used as a compress to treat circulatory disorders such as varicose veins and atherosclerosis.

In traditional Chinese medicine, chrysanthemum tea is used to treat the eyes, and is said to clear liver and eyes. The liver is associated with the eyes and the liver is associated with anger, stress and related emotions, associated with stress or yin/fluid deficiency.  Also used to treat blurring, spots in front of the eyes, diminished vision and dizziness; in China, chrysanthemum tea is now being recommended for office workers exposed to Video Display Terminals (VDTs).

White chrysanthemum is best for soothing the eyes while yellow chrysanthemum is better at clearing heat, so your tea could be chosen accordingly.  After making tea from dried flowers, the flowers can be taken from the pot and allowed to cool.  They can then be placed over the eyes to soothe redness and itching.  Keep any extra in the refrigerator for quick relief.  Moistened chrysanthemum tea bags can be used as a poultice in the same way.

Dandelion is used as a gentle diuretic and can decrease serum cholesterol in some people. Root teas can be an appetite stimulant and help liver and digestive disorders.  Many herbal doctors use dandelion to purify the liver and gallbladder of toxins, the first step in cancer therapy.  Dandelions can treat pneumonia, bronchitis and other respiratory disorders. 

Dandelion can improve general health, and is beneficial to the kidneys, pancreas, spleen, stomach and other organs.  Dandelion is also recommended for the treatment of tinnitus, tonsillitis, osteoporosis, abscesses, anemia, boils, mammary tumors, cirrhosis, water retention, hepatitis, jaundice, rheumatism and warts. Dandelion may also be effective in eliminating or averting age spots.

Dandelion leaves are very nourishing; they are 15% protein and high in vitamins and minerals. One cup of dandelion greens contains 112% daily recommendation of vitamin A, 32% of vitamin C, and 535% of vitamin K, along with 218 mg potassium, 103 mg calcium and 1.7 mg of iron.

Parts used medicinally are the root, fresh and dried as well as the young tops.  All parts of the plant contain a bitter, milky juice (latex), but the juice of the root is more powerful and is the part of the plant most used for medicinal purposes.  Roots are not generally collected until October when the harvest is over.  The roots gathered in the fall have stored up their food reserve of inulin, and when dried present a firm appearance.  If collected in spring, when the food reserve in the root is used up for leaves and flowers, the dried root presents a shriveled and porous appearance.  The medicinal properties of the root are, therefore, necessarily greater in proportion in the spring. 

When drying roots for storage, do not wash them, or they will mold. Brush dirt off roots, chop the roots and set them in a warm, dark, well ventilated place to dry.  If you have a dehydrator you can put them in at 105 degrees, to preserve vitamins and minerals. Once fully dried, they can be stored in airtight containers and used in teas and decoctions. Boil 1 Tbsp root per 2 cups water; the longer it boils the stronger the tea will be.  Inulin is soluble in hot water.  Its solid extract is made by boiling the root, which is deposited in the extract as it cools. The tonic tea prepared from the fresh root is sometimes almost devoid of bitterness.

To make dandelion tincture, harvest the root and leaves when flowers are not present.  Both leaves and roots are washed, chopped, put into a glass jar, and covered with alcohol (like 100 proof vodka). Steep in dark cupboard for 6 weeks, then strain and save liquid. Usual dose is 10-30 drops of tincture per day for liver cleanse.

Dong Quai tea (angelica sinensis) is a most popular traditional Chinese pain relief tea.  Angelica Sinensis a powerful Chinese tonic herb which has an adaptogenic effect on the female hormonal system.  An herb in the celery family, it is grown in the mountainous regions of China, Japan and Korea, because it requires cold, damp, high altitude to grow well.  Due to society's awareness of natural versus chemical there is a strong demand for Chinese pain relief tea, so it is widely grown.

Dong Quai plants are harvested when they are 3 years old.  They have smooth purple stems and have more fruits from the months of July to August.  Chinese believe that harvesting them at the right age will enhance their effect.  Its roots have more therapeutic effects.  In Chinese medicine, dong quai is often boiled or soaked in wine. The root is removed and the liquid is taken orally.  Immune enhancing dong quai contains substances that are analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and bactericidal.  The Chinese have been using Dong Quai traditionally for many years for medicinal indications such as pain relief for headaches, arthritis and menstrual abdominal cramps.

Ginger tea also possesses a lot of herbal pain relief and medicinal properties.  It promotes better digestion, reduces stress and helps freshen breath.  Those with stomach gas pain can use ginger’s capability of neutralizing acids and aiding digestion.  Ginger helps relieve symptoms of dizziness, motion sickness, gas pain, nausea and flatulence.

Jasmine tea is another favorite because it is both green tea leaves and jasmine flowers.  This combines the lovely aroma of jasmine with the beneficial antioxidant properties of green tea.  Similar to ginger tea, jasmine tea has a history of being used for herbal pain relief.  It can aid the digestive system, but is primarily used for its warming and relaxing attributes.

Chamomile tea is frequently used because it aids people who have trouble sleeping.  It has natural sedatives and anti-inflammatory properties which provides a calming benefit for those individuals with anxiety.  Similar to ginger and jasmine tea, chamomile tea also aids and promotes the digestive system.  One additional benefit of all these teas is use as a skin cleanser or compress to improve the health and look of your skin.

Much like passion vine, wild lettuce is used to slow down the nervous system.  Similarly, it is very effective in cases of insomnia, nervousness, hysteria, muscle spasms, colic pains, painful menstruation, bothersome coughs, and painful digestion.  Remember, whenever there is pain, glutathione is exhausted.  Alkaline chills are likely present.  Warming teas quickly support glutathione recycling, as does a good chicken or marrow soup.

Echinacea contains active substances that enhance the activity of the immune system, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and have hormonal, antiviral and antioxidant effects.  Herbalists recommend Echinacea to treat urinary tract infections, enlarged prostate gland, vaginal yeast (candida) infections, ear infections (otitis media), athlete's foot, sinusitis, hay fever (allergic rhinitis), as well as topical creams for slow-healing wounds.  Topically, Echinacea is used for eczema and psoriasis, severe ailments for many people.  It is added to topical preparations for hemorrhoids and it is included in other topical products used on insect bites.  It may also protect skin from damage due to sunlight.

There are three varieties of Echinacea: Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea pallida and Echinacea angustifolia.  Only the purpurea and pallida varieties have been shown to be effective.  In Germany (where herbs are government regulated), the above-ground parts of Echinacea purpurea are approved to treat colds, upper respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections and slow-healing wounds.  The root of the Echinacea pallida plant is also approved for the treatment of flu-like infections.  Because Echinacea can enhance immune function, people best not use the herb with immunosuppressive medications, especially for organ transplants.

Herb’s constituents: flavonoids, oils, polysaccharides, phenols (cichoric, caffeic, and caftaric acids and echinacoside) and alkylamides.  It also contains copper, iron, iodine, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and E.  Due to this combination of ingredients Echinacea works as a natural antibiotic, which can suppress viruses’ activity and promote immune stimulating effect through the activation of T-cells (immune system natural bacteria killers).

To make a tea out of Echinacea, use 1-2 teaspoons of Echinacea in a cup of unheated water. Slowly heat the mixture until it is boiling and let simmer for 10-12 minutes. The tea can be taken three times daily.  Some claim that Echinacea has no side effects; studies show that some people may experience allergic reactions, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, muscle aches, nausea, sore throat, temporary numbness of the tongue and upset stomach.

Essiac tea was promoted and popularized by a Canadian nurse named Rene M. Caisse, who named the formula with her last name spelled backwards. Born in 1888, Rene Caisse promoted the use of her tea in treatment of a steady stream of cancer patients until her death in 1978 at the age of ninety. Rene Caisse's ‘cancer-cure’ was used by many with prostate, advanced bladder and advanced breast cancer who were documented to have gone into remission.

The usefulness of essiac against cancer can be partly explained by the anti-cancer characteristics of herbs in the formula. Red clover contains compounds that blocks proliferative estrogens from stimulating breast cancer cells. Burdock root reduces the rate at which anabolic steroids are reabsorbed into the bloodstream after being processed by the liver. The emodin found in rhubarb root greatly enhances the cure rate of conventional chemotherapies, notably Adriamycin, Platinol, Rubex and Taxol. The aloe-type emodin found in sheep sorrel is effective in laboratory studies against leukemia cells.

Essiac seems very useful in treating prostate cancer in men with compromised immune systems.  Essiac tea has a mild and pleasant taste. Essiac has been reported to: strengthen the immune system, improve appetite, relieve pain, shrink tumors, improve sleep, alleviate pain, prolong lifespan, and increase energy, overall health and well-being, as well as reduce side effects of conventional chemotherapy and radiation treatments.  A classic version of the tea contains just four herbs: organic burdock root, organic rhubarb root, organic slippery elm bark and organic sheep sorrel. Other versions of the tea add blessed thistle, kelp, red clover and/or watercress. Essiac is almost always used as a tea however encapsulations and even extracts are available.

Never inject essiac. Rhubarb root and sheep sorrel contain high concentrations of oxalic acid, so essiac should be avoided by people who tend to have oxalate kidney stones. Rhubarb root is a stimulant laxative which should be avoided by those with any kind of intestinal obstruction.
Essiac is best taken on an empty stomach.  Nausea and indigestion may occur if used on a full stomach.  Diarrhea and gastrointestinal discomfort may occur because of the laxative effects of essiac.  Frequent urination may also occur.

Because of the detoxification process, sufficient water should be drunk while using essiac, as water assists the body with the removal of toxins.  Some individuals may be allergic to one or more of the herbs in the formula.  Negative effects may also occur from taking too high a dosage of essiac, a low dosage is recommended.

Garlic tea (fermented) Liquid Aged Garlic Extract™ begins with organically grown garlic bulbs. They are then aged and fermented up to 20 months with a unique extraction process to eliminate odor and create many sulfur-based beneficial compounds found only in Kyolic.  Aged Garlic Extract supports the cardiovascular system, promoting healthy homocysteine and cholesterol levels.  Kyolic supports Immune system balance and supports one’s natural cellular defenses.  Kyolic helps the liver to produce glutathione, turning off the ‘septic switch’ and fueling the body's primary natural detoxification systems.

Take 1/4 to ½ or more teaspoons of liquid Kyolic in water or your favorite beverage (every two hours if you are sick or in pain).

Ginkgo biloba can cut the damage from stroke in half.  Ginkgo was also shown to reduce the amount of paralysis and limb weakness after only one week in an animal study.  The animals that were given Ginkgo suffered 51% less neurological dysfunction following a stroke compared with mice that were not given the herb.  The area of the brain damaged by the stroke was also 50% smaller than in the other group.

The tea contains potent antioxidants which search for and slowdown free radicals which are responsible for premature aging and dementia.  Use Ginkgo biloba tea with other memory-enhancing herbs such as sage, rosemary and gotu kola.  Ginkgo biloba tea could also be used with hawthorn and lemon balm herbs to promote appropriate circulation in the body which is essential for overall body health.  It is thus used to treat circulatory impairment (cerebrovascular and peripheral arterial insufficiency), vertigo, tinnitus, impotence, asthma, allergies, premenstrual syndrome, depression, and many other disorders.

Ginkgo biloba tea can improve blood flow to the blood vessels, organs and systems especially the heart and brain.  Better circulation improves memory and mental alertness because blood carries oxygen.  Ginkgo biloba tea can slow down platelet activating factor (PAF) to stop it from over stimulation.  Excess production of PAF could result in various congestive inflammatory and immune diseases including damage to the brain.  Ginkgo biloba tea also stops cholesterol clogging the arteries (and slowing down blood circulation), thus reducing risk to heart disease.

Ginkgo biloba should be taken with caution if pregnant or nursing.

Ginger is best known as a spice.  However, thousands of medical studies have been done on the root of this plant known as Zingiber officinalis.  It is packed full of powerful antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients, and has been shown in laboratory tests to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and cancer preventive, and to help reduce pain.

Ginger has long been known to fight nausea; which is why people drink ginger ale when they feel sick while traveling.  This anti-nausea ability has been backed up scientifically by multiple studies.  Ginger has proven effective for pregnancy-related nausea, chemotherapy induced nausea, and motion sickness.

Ginger also is a powerful antimicrobial and is being studied for reducing H. pylori infections, which have been shown to cause ulcers.  Ginger helps most symptoms of indigestion and has also been studied for use in people with ulcerative colitis.  Overall, ginger is one of the best herbs one can use to relieve nausea and improve the functioning of the entire digestive tract.

Ginseng, Red Panax ginseng Ren Shen" is the most famous of Chinese herbs, valued for its remarkable therapeutic benefits for 7,000 years. The original adaptogen strengthens and balances the whole body, increases red and white blood cells, reduces mental, emotional and physical stress while aiding detoxification. Red Ginseng is prepared by an ancient process of slowly steaming, curing and drying, creating more active ginsenosides, making Red Ginseng most stimulating of all Ginsengs. It improves erectile dysfunction and builds libido. Tasty eaten straight, made into tea or added to soup, Ginseng greatly benefits both men and women. 

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) and commonly known as pennywort is considered an adaptogen, a substance that helps the human body deal with all kinds of stress. It is used for lupus, leprosy and healing wounds as well as for longevity and memory. Also therapy for arthritis, scleroderma, fatigue, mental acuity, venous insufficiency, skin conditions such as scabies, psoriasis and fungal infections.  Gotu kola may be helpful in the treatment of high blood pressure, varicose veins, cancer and chronic liver disorders.

 

Gotu kola is unrelated to cola nut.  The cola plant is a source of caffeine and cola drinks.  Gotu kola, on the other hand, contains no caffeine.  However, use sparingly during pregnancy unless you want early delivery.

 

Fresh Gotu Kola (Pennywort) Drink: Wash leaves well, pinch off stems and, for each handful of leaves, add 2 1/2 cups cold water and 1/2 cup simple syrup made with equal parts of sugar and water. (Boil to dissolve sugar, allow to cool, and store in a bottle.)  Add 3-4 ice cubes and blend at high speed.  Blend the drink just before serving, or it will lose its bright color.

 

Pennywort (Gotu Kola) Salad Serves 4

Shredding these small leaves is much easier if the entire amount is rolled tightly within a larger lettuce leaf. Then simply slice thinly through the bundle. Assemble: 2 bunches gotu kola (about 2 cups leaves without stems) plus 3 shallots (or 1 small onion, finely chopped) plus a generous squeeze of lime or lemon juice plus 1 sliced chili (optional) 1 cup fresh grated coconut and salt to taste plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar.

Wash well.  Strip leaves from stems. Shred finely with a sharp knife, combine with other ingredients and serve immediately. The flavor is slightly sour, slightly bitter. Some folks prefer this salad to be lightly cooked.  If so bring a tablespoon of water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the boil in a wok or pan, add all ingredients and toss over heat briefly, stopping before leaves lose their green color.

Hawthorne berry is one of the best cardiac tonics available, and is used to treat high blood pressure or irregular heart beat. Hawthorne berries extract has been shown to reduce calcification in the vascular system. It is calcification of arterial plaques that is the most damaging part of atherosclerosis. Hawthorne berries extract also protects the liver from damage usually associated with cardiac ‘events’.  Hawthorne is also used to treat childhood diabetes.

 

Archeologists have found evidence that appears to indicate that ancient Chinese people used the berries to make a fermented beverage. Remnants of Hawthorne berries extract have been found in pottery jars dating to pre-Christian times, around 7000 B.C. It is believed that these beverages were medically or religiously significant back then.

Antimicrobial testing of Hawthorne extract revealed moderate bactericidal activity, especially against Gram-positive bacteria Micrococcus flavus, Bacillus subtilis, and Lysteria monocytogenes.  Hawthorn also exhibited anti-ulcer activity in animals in a dose-dependent manner with an efficacy comparable to that of an anti-ulcer drug.

Hawthorne flower tea is a safe diuretic. Hawthorne berries, dried and crushed and made into a decoction eases diarrhea and dysentery, kidney inflammations and disorders. Hawthorne berries extract has been shown to reduce ulcerative colitis.  Natural anti-inflammatory agents, such as those found in Hawthorne berry tea, but also found in other fruits and vegetables can reduce cancer risks and the risk to heart disease. These natural phytochemicals can also lower blood pressure and reduce blood cholesterol levels, two major risk factors for heart disease.

Young Hawthorne leaves can be used as a safe, non-nicotine tobacco substitute for those desiring to quit smoking.  Enhance flavor and help heal the throat by adding yarrow, mint, coltsfoot or mullein.  Chewing the Hawthorne leaf has been known for centuries as a safe way to give nourishment, revive energy, and a feeling of well-being. That is why it can be used to treat those who have problems with apprehension, insomnia and despondency.  Chewing Hawthorne leaves takes away the "tummy grumbles" when you are hungry.  That is why the Hawthorne became known as the "bread and cheese" tree, giving as much sustenance as a plate of bread and cheese.

Hawthorne leaf-buds are tasty cooked (10-20 minutes) and have a similar taste to lima beans. They make a great addition to chilies and soups.

One can make jellies and fruit sauces from the berries, just make sure the sauce is strained. Hawthorne berries contain their own pectin so the sauce or jelly will thicken nicely.  Hawthorne flowers are edible and make an attractive addition to salads and other dishes.

Decoction is usually the method of choice for bark and seeds. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons of herb per cup of cold water.  Bring the mixture gently to a boil.  Keeping covered, simmer for about 10 minutes.  The usual dosage is 1 cup three times a day.  If the herb is very bitter or strong, use 4 teaspoons three times a day. Generally prepare no more than 24 hours in advance.

Hibiscus tea is the infusion made from the calyces (sepals) of the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower.  The cooling herbal tea drink is consumed both hot and cold. It is also called roselle (another common name for the hibiscus flower) in Jamaica and in Latin America, karkady in the Middle East, bissap in West Africa, and red sorrel in the Caribbean. 

Hibiscus tea has a tart, cranberry-like flavor and sugar is often added for sweetening. The tea contains vitamin C and minerals and is used traditionally as a mild immune system strengthener and for reducing blood pressure and excessive cholesterol.

Hibiscus tea contains 15-30% organic acids, including citric acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid. It also contains acidic polysaccharides and flavonoid glycosides, such as cyanidin and delphinidin, which give it its characteristic deep red color.

Honeysuckle flower tea may help to lower cholesterol. In Appalachian folk medicine, honeysuckle is valued as a remedy for forgetfulness. This herb has broad-spectrum antibiotic properties and can be used for all infections and inflammations.  It is effective against respiratory tract infections and some gastrointestinal tract inflammations. Also used for fevers, the common cold, sore throat, and influenza.

Honeysuckle, usually prepared as an infusion, is useful for all sorts of infections, inflammations, and short term illnesses such as the flu.  Honeysuckle flowers are effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. They are also useful as a diuretic and mild laxative.

This combination of properties has lead to Honeysuckle’s widespread use as an ingredient in detoxifying formulas. Honeysuckle is also a very useful remedy for persistent acne, and all sorts of skin eruptions. Sore throats and other forms of internal soreness can be alleviated by the inflammation reducing effect of honeysuckle.

Hoxey Tea is a blood, lymphatic and glandular alterative. These herbs were used by the renowned herbalist Harry Hoxsey for treating cancers with great success.  They are considered by herbalists to be classic alteratives, liver formulas traditionally known as blood purifiers.  They are believed to enhance metabolic functions and help promote better elimination through the eliminative organs, leading to a better absorption and assimilation of nutrients.  Similar to Essiac tea, it adds kelp (or iodine) for those with infection or low body temperature. 

Contents: Red Clover blossom, Licorice root, Buckthorn bark, Burdock root, Stillingia root, Poke root, Barberry root, Oregon Grape root, Cascara Sagrada bark, Prickly Ash bark, Wild Indigo root and Sea Kelp. 15 to 45 drops 2-3 times daily between meals. Not recommended if nursing or pregnant.

Red Dates, Dried Longan and Medlar (Loquat) Seeds Tea


This is a nourishing drink because the three main ingredients are good for building blood, regenerating Qi and beneficial to the eyes. It can be served on its own, as an afternoon drink (better warm) or in the evening after a lovely dinner to clear the palate.
 Drinking  loquat leaf tea regularly and eating 2 seeds per day has been successfully used for ‘untreatable’ blood vessel and bone marrow, liver and pancreatic cancer. It is desirable to eat seeds which are 1300 times higher in amygdalin, vitamin B17 (Laetrile, hydrocyanic glycosides also high in apricot and peach seeds as well as wild cherry tree bark) than leaves.

Try this tea/sweet soup which serves 4 persons easily:
* 8 large red dates, pitted
* 2 tablespoons of medlar (loquat) seeds/boxthorn seeds, rinsed and soaked in water for 10 minutes and then cut and drained
* 10 dried longans, washed
* 4-6 small cubes of rock sugar
* 1 liter of water

Bring a liter of water to boil in a pot. Add all ingredients and let it come back to a boil for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to a mere simmer, cover the pot tightly and let it simmer slowly for 30 minutes. Add the rock sugar and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Serve warm. 

Note: This tea is not overly sweet. It should have just a tinge of sweetness and no more. It gets its sweetness from the 3 main ingredients so its sweetness is clear, not cloying or artificial.

Serve the tea with its ingredients. Chewing the herbs gives additional benefits, they are fibrous and satisfying!

 

Licorice is a very special plant with many healing properties, especially for early in the day.  Rejuvenating and nutritive characteristics have made it one of the most universally consumed herbs.  Since earliest recorded history, licorice has been valued as an aphrodisiac, beautifying agent, used for vitality and longevity, often called an elixir of life.  As a historic panacea potion, it is one of the oldest and best-known remedies for coughs and chest complaints.  Licorice water has been a popular sweet drink since the time of the pharaohs.

 

Licorice works on the digestive, respiratory, nervous, reproductive and excretory systems.  It is an effective expectorant, often combined with ginger to help liquefy mucus and facilitate its discharge.  Combined with cardamom and ginger it is considered a tonic for the teeth.  Licorice is used to calm the mind, nourish the brain and increase cranial and cerebrospinal fluid, and to benefit vision, voice, hair, complexion and stamina.  Ten different bioflavonoids are found in licorice, which strengthen the immune system, fight cancer cells and protect us from cancer.

 

Licorice benefits duodenal and peptic ulcers, canker sores, and hormonal imbalances, as well as respiratory and liver diseases.   Taking licorice in a chewable form is often best, as mixing it with saliva activates the herb.  Licorice is also helpful for gastritis, reflux, indigestion, heart burn and even conditions such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and celiac disease.  It assists the liver to neutralize toxins.  People suffering with chronic fatigue and low blood pressure benefited from licorice.  When licorice root is used as a topical wash or ointment, it gives good results for the treatment of chronic eczema.

 

Overworked adrenals in hypoglycemic folks with nervousness, irritability, stress, fatigue, and depression can be helped with licorice.  Glycyrrhizic acid, part of licorice, suppresses the enzyme that inactivates cortisone, aldosterone and progesterone, prolonging their actions.  Many who take licorice for adrenal support find stress, worry and negative attitudes fall away, and that they have strength and energy to cope with daily life, and without the doped-out sensations caused by prescription tranquilizers and drugs.  A woman found licorice helped her to keep hyperglycemia under control.  It also helps calm children over age three, as they tend to be rather active.

 

Licorice can be used to sweeten foods, such as when stewing rhubarb, tart plums, apples, other fruit and baked goods.  Licorice is a useful replacement for calorie laden sugar. Diabetics and weight watchers have found licorice useful for sweetening and flavoring.  Use licorice to flavor drinks, puddings, confectionery and sherbets.  Brew a cup of licorice tea and sip after a meal to aid the digestion.  Even chewing on a chip of licorice root at the beginning of a meal is beneficial, as it activates salivary glands in the mouth.

 

To make a tea, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of root chips to 1 cup of boiling water. If the chips are placed in a tea infuser, this can be dunked in the boiling water, the sweetness and the flavor strength made to your liking.  These chips can be used a few times over to brew several cups, as the flavor is strong and will be released when placed in boiling water.  

 

Try tea chilled over ice in summer.  Used as a thirst quencher, it may also give you a boost when suffering from heat fatigue!  Use the chilled tea as a base for a fruit cup.  Make into ice blocks for children.  Add a little licorice root to other refreshing herb teas; the licorice will sweeten the brew naturally.  Try the combination of licorice root and ginger tea.

 

For therapeutic use, licorice is best taken before meals, ideally breakfast and lunch.  Licorice preparations and even licorice candies should be avoided in cases of high blood pressure, cardiac or kidney insufficiency, pregnancy, fluid retention or myasthenia gravis (rare muscle disease).  Licorice may be incompatible or interfere with prescription drugs used for the treatment of hypertension or heart failure.  

 

When licorice root is taken daily, it is recommended that the dose does not exceed 3 grams.  Use for 4-6 weeks, and take 1-2 weeks break. If using licorice in large doses, be aware of the potential rare adverse reactions and symptoms due to potassium loss and sodium and water retention: puffy ankles, facial swelling, and shortness of breath, headaches as well as general weakness.

 

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) can be compared with the effectiveness of mint in the soothing effect it has on the stomach and the positive healing effect it has on the digestive system. Lemon balm is used to relieve pain and discomfort associated with indigestion and offers relief for such symptoms as gas and bloating.  Lemon balm is also beneficial to adults and children suffering from nervousness, anxiety and slight insomnia.

 

Lemon balm helps to calm and relax the nerves lemon balm has been useful for relieving menstrual cramps, urinary spasms, and gastrointestinal complications or pain.  The volatile oils in lemon balm are made up of chemicals that help the muscles relax, particularly the muscles of the bladder, stomach, and uterus, consequently providing relief of cramps, gas, and nausea. Lemon balm's antiviral properties may be attributed to chemical compounds it contains such as caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid.

 

Lemon balm can be taken as a tea taken three to five times a day between or after meals. An infusion of coarsely cut or powdered leaves is made using 1.5-4.5grams (ca. 1 teaspoon = 1 gram) of herb material to one cup of boiling water. Boiling water is poured over the herb material and extracted for 5-10 minutes, then strained.  Lemon balm extract also has strong antimicrobial properties against viral, bacterial and fungal infections and can be used both internally and externally.  For washes, use a 5% infusion.  In addition to wound healing compounds, lemon balm contains eugenol, a natural antiseptic and pain reliever.  Lemon balm containing ointments are frequently used for treatment of cold sores, and genital herpes.

 

Nettles Tea leaves are dense in essential vitamins and minerals and calm over-reactive immune response.  Stinging nettles are very easy to identify.  If in doubt, touch it and you will soon found out!  They are a great choice to gather since they are so nutritious.  They are easy enough to pick with gloves and pants and a long sleeve shirt on.  In fact, some nettle picking “experts” say they do not bother to use gloves and claim they rarely get pricked.  Just a few minutes of cooking removes all traces of the sting.

Pick when the plant is young. Older nettle plants can be bitter and fibrous. Make sure that they haven’t flowered as well. You will want to pick before they reach that point.  Pick/cut the top 4-6 inches of the plant (this will be the tender part), and it will regrow and then you can harvest again.  Avoid picking right by the highway, where toxic fumes from cars will have contaminated the plants.

 

 

One quart of nettle tea/infusion prepared as directed provides 2,000 mg of calcium, eliminating the need for an extra calcium supplement.  Nettle tea is also high in:

  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Chromium
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • Carotene
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin K

1.  Place 1 oz. of organic dried nettles in a glass, quart-sized jar.  Canning jars work well for this, and it will be just under half-full of the nettles.
2.  Pour just-boiled water (preferably without chlorine or fluoride) over the nettles, filling the jar all the way to the top.  Cap snugly, but not too tightly.
3.  Let it steep for 4 hours or overnight.
4.  Strain the liquid out, squeezing any excess from the plant material, and store it in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
5.  Discard the left-over nettles in your compost or under your trees and bushes--it will help them be healthy, too!  Plus it's a more respectful way to treat the plant than the garbage.
6.  Drink 1 cup to 1 quart daily, either iced or heated, depending on your tastes.  Avoid the microwave as it destroys nutrients.  

Start with 1-2 cups for the first few days, then 1 quart/day until you feel great!  At that time, 1-2 cups/day is usually sufficient for maintenance.  For those who need to avoid that mid-afternoon crash, try to drink some nettle tea at 2-3 PM for an excellent pick-me-up. Feel free to add a little honey, xylitol, Lokanto or stevia (no artificial sweeteners) for flavor

After just 1-2 weeks of drinking a daily quart of nettle tea, most notice a difference in the way they feel.  Sometimes they begin to feel better in as few as four days!  One feels more energetic and sleeps more soundly when consuming this super food.  Within a short time, hair will become shinier, nails stronger and skin more supple!

Once dried or cooked, the nettle loses its sting and becomes an extremely valuable and versatile herb that has been used for thousands of years.  The fresh leaves can even be boiled and eaten like a powerful spinach!  Nutritious nettle tinctures, teas and infusions can provide benefits to your whole body, often reducing or alleviating the symptoms of: insomnia, hot flashes, arthritis, adrenal depletion (stress), itchy skin, eczema, coughs and asthma, anemia, headaches and migraines, constipation, indigestion, kidney and bladder disorders including urinary tract infections and dandruff (when used as a conditioning rinse).

Oat straw tea is best organically grown. In selecting the dried herb for tea, choose seeds that are green to green -yellow, seeds are stronger medicinally than the stems. Horses that eat wild oats are more likely to mate. Old sayings like "feeling his oats" or "sowing wild oats” still hold true today. Oat straw, (made from young oat stalks and unripe grain), has traditionally been a nerve tonic. It is used as an anti-anxiety treatment, and it seems to nurture a sense of calm in those who drink it. It is often prescribed for those suffering from depression and/or panic attacks and it is so mild that it is often recommended for use by children.

Oat straw helps build up bones, treating and preventing osteoporosis.  Some use it as a pain reliever.  Tea offers the best way to enjoy this healing botanical.  Unlike many health teas, oat straw is easy on the palate, with its light nutty flavor.

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is the world's most popular culinary herb and also known as “rock celery.  Belonging to the Umbelliferae family of plants, parsley is one of the worlds seven most potent disease-fighting spices which also include ginger, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, sage and red chili peppers.  

Parsley grows in most climates and is readily available throughout the year.  It is a biennial plant which means that it produces seeds during its second year of production and will reseed itself if you let it.  Parsley is native to the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe and has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years. It was originally used as a medicinal plant (see below) prior to being consumed as a food.  Ancient Greeks held parsley to be sacred, using it to not only adorn victors of athletic contests, but also for decorating tombs of the dead.  The Romans munched sprigs at banquets to freshen their breath.  Chefs still place parsley garnish on restaurant plates today.

The two most popular types of parsley are curly parsley and Italian flat leaf parsley.  Both are related to celery.  The Italian variety has a more fragrant and less bitter taste than the curly variety.  Another type of parsley known as turnip-rooted (or Hamburg) is cultivated for its roots, which resemble salsify and burdock.  Chinese parsley is actually cilantro.

Parsley can be stored loosely wrapped in a damp cloth or surrounded with a paper towel inside a plastic bag and refrigerated for up to a week.  Wash just before using.  If the parsley wilts, either sprinkle it lightly with some water or wash it without completely drying it before putting it back in the refrigerator.  Use fresh, in cooking and as a tea.

Parsley is an excellent digestion restorative remedy. It improves the digestion of proteins and fats therefore promoting intestinal absorption, liver assimilation and storage.  Because of its high enzyme content, parsley benefits digestive activity and elimination.

Parsley is effective for nearly all kidney and urinary complaints except severe kidney inflammation. It improves kidney activity and can help eliminate wastes from the blood and tissues of the kidneys. It prevents salt from being reabsorbed into the body tissues; thus parsley literally forces debris out of the kidneys, liver and bladder.  It helps improve edema and general water retention, fatigue and scanty or painful urination.  It enriches the liver and nourishes the blood. Parsley helps reduce liver congestion, clearing toxins and aiding rejuvenation.

High vitamin C, beta carotene, B12, chlorophyll and essential fatty acid content make parsley an extraordinary immunity enhancing food.  Parsley is an immune-enhancing multi-vitamin and mineral complex in green plant form and one of the most important herbs for providing vitamins to the body.  In women, parsley improves estrogen and nourishes and restores the blood of the uterus.  Conditions like delayed menstruation, PMS, and the menopause (dry skin, irritability, depression and hair loss) often improve.

Passionflower is edible and medicinal.  The delicious fruit and flowers can be eaten raw or cooked in jellies or jams.  Young leaves are used as a cooked vegetable or eaten in salads. There is scientific evidence of the medicinal constituents of this herb. The flavonoids in passion flower are the primary constituents responsible for its relaxing and anti-anxiety effects. Some of the plants constituents, apigenin, luteolin, kaempferol and quercetin, are being studied and showing promise in fighting Parkinson's disease, cancer, HIV and leukemia.

The leaves and stems are medicinally used as antispasmodic, astringent, diaphoretic, hypnotic, narcotic, sedative, and vasodilator as well as being used in the treatment of women's complaints.  Passionflower is used as a medicine in the treatment of insomnia, nervous tension, irritability, neuralgia, irritable bowel syndrome, premenstrual tension and vaginal discharges.

An infusion of passionflower depresses the motor nerves of the spinal cord, making it very valuable in the treatment of back pain. The infusion is also sedative, slightly reduces blood pressure, reduces tachycardia and increases respiratory rate. The herb contains alkaloids and flavonoids that are an effective non-addictive sedative that does not cause drowsiness. Passion flower also may be effective for anxiety disorder.  It is of great help in epilepsy.  The plant is not recommended for use during pregnancy.

Passiflora incarnata leaves and roots have a long history of use among Native Americans in North America. Passiflora edulis and a few other species are used in Central and South America. The fresh or dried leaves are used to make an infusion, a tea that is used to treat insomnia, hysteria and epilepsy, and is also valued for its painkilling properties. It has been found to contain beta-carboline harmala alkaloids which are MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) with anti-depressant properties.

The flower has only traces of these chemicals, but the leaves and the roots of some species contain more and have been used to enhance the effects of mind-altering prescription pharmaceuticals.

To make this quite flavorful and aromatic medicinal tea: To 1 tbsp. dried herbs add 1 cup boiling water; steep for 10 min.  Drink at bedtime for restlessness.

Pau D’Arco powder is one of the best tools to help fight yeast infections (candida).  Medicinal use of this rainforest tree bark has spread from the jungle to international pharmaceutical firms in recent years as the antitumor action of the phytochemical lapachol and anti-candida properties of xylidione were discovered. It has an apparent lack of toxicity.

Pau D’Arco is highly prized as an immune-stimulant and strengthening medicine for convalescents.  Effective for treating skin disorders and fungal infections, it has pronounced antiviral, antibacterial, anti-parasitical and anti-inflammatory properties. As a mild astringent it is helpful with digestive disturbances. It is increasingly popular as a tea because of its truly delicious taste and full body. A rich, aromatic brew is made by simmering small amounts of the rasped bark for 10-15 minutes.  

Peppermint has menthol, as its active ingredient.  Menthol helps ease diarrhea, headaches and colic in babies.  Peppermint also contains B vitamins, calcium and potassium.

Peppermint with its essential oil menthol is known to promote digestion and help prevent gallstones. Seemingly acting like a calcium channel blocker, it soothes the stomach lining relieving stomach cramps.  The B vitamins in menthol help improve concentration and performance in the brain and nerves.  What peppermint really excels at is calming nerves; this is especially true of the nerves of the digestive system.  It is called an antispasmodic because of the calming activity it has on the entire digestive system.

Peppermint has muscle relaxant properties and can actually relax the lower esophageal sphincter excessively, allowing contents of the stomach to move upwards into the esophagus.  That is why peppermint oil is often sold in enteric-coated capsules designed to bypass the stomach and dissolve in the small intestine.  Patients with gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) may best avoid peppermint, use clays and instead regularly use soaked chia seeds added to meals.

There are several ways to use peppermint to aid in natural healing of various ailments. Peppermint can be prepared as a cordial, tea, to use in baths or drink.  Peppermint oil applied to the forehead and temples compares favorably with acetaminophen (a commonly used over the counter medication) in terms of its ability to reduce headache symptoms.  

 

To relieve stomachaches drink one cup of peppermint tea after meals, you can add one quart of tea to a bath to help treat skin ailments.  Peppermint tea is also good for sore throats just gargle several times per day.  Peppermint oil kills bacteria that cause urinary tract infections and the herpes simplex virus. It is effective against insect bites, rashes and headaches.

 

Perillyl alcohol is a monoterpene derived from essential oils in various botanicals including lavender, peppermint, cherries, sage and lemongrass.  Animal studies have shown this monoterpene to be effective in stopping the growth of pancreatic, mammary and liver tumors.  It has also been shown effective against cancer formation in the colon, skin and lungs.  In vitro studies suggest that perillyl alcohol inhibits angiogenesis.

The antimicrobial power of peppermint rivals that of its cousin, oregano.  It is effective against helicobacter pylori, Salmonella, E. coli, and Staphylococcus, as well as many fungi.  Like all members of the mint family, peppermint contains rosmarinic acid which blocks production of pro-inflammatory leukotrienes.  This encourages cells to produce prostacyclins that preserve mucus membranes and keep airways open for breathing.

To prepare tea to help alleviate stomach cramps, try 1/2 ounce peppermint leaves plus 1/4 ounce camellia leaves.  Use 1 teaspoon of this mixture per one cup of tea.  Blend mixture and boil in water for 8-10 minutes, then strain.  For another tea to help alleviate stomach aches: try 6 ounces peppermint leaves plus 6 ounces lemon-balm leaves and 6 ounces fennel seeds.  Use 1 teaspoon of mixture per one cup of water.  Blend mixture and boil in water for 8-10 minutes, then strain.

Red raspberry leaf tea is a uterine tonic used by Native Americans for thousands of years. It tones the uterus by helping to "focus" Braxton Hicks contractions. Raspberry leaf tea helps the uterus do more effective ‘exercising’ while pregnant. It does not ‘cause’ contractions and can be safely used throughout pregnancy.  It is often contraindicated for those having complications "just in case", however, by many doctors who are fearful of herbs.

Many women safely use it from the moment they learn they are pregnant at six weeks until months after delivery. (It helps tone the uterus after delivery too, shrinking it back to size more quickly and reducing bleeding.)

Many clinicians feel that in the 3rd trimester frequent (2-3 cups per day of tea) is beneficial to the uterine and pelvic muscles. Red raspberry leaf contains many minerals and vitamins, including vitamin C and calcium. It also contains an alkaloid called fragrine, which lends tone to the uterus.  One opinion is that drinking one cup of tea per day in the 1st trimester and 2 cups in the 2nd trimester and switching to more or the stronger infusion in the 3rd trimester ensures a strong uterus, is good for you nutritionally and prevents miscarriage.  

Some say it is advised to not use the tea in the first trimester, particularly if one has a history of miscarriage.  Red raspberry leaf is associated with minor spotting in the beginning of a pregnancy, and some U.K. midwives claim an increase in miscarriage rates.  If you are thinking about using it, and want to be super safe, just wait until you are 36 weeks along.

High vitamin and mineral content of the leaf help replace nutrients lost via blood loss during delivery.  In some women, the high mineral content may even help their milk to come in. Some people believe it is not recommended for breast feeding and use of the leaf should conclude within 6 weeks of birth.  However, according to Every Woman's Herbal, raspberry leaf tea will enrich mother's milk, especially during periods when the baby is going through a growth spurt.  Continuing to consume raspberry leaf after the baby is 6 weeks old is not dangerous to mother or infant and is likely to be beneficial.

To make a tea, pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons of herb and steep for ten minutes. Strain. During first two trimesters, try 1 cup per day. During third trimester, drink 2-3 cups.

Rehmannia – is an erect perennial herb with a rhizome or root, which is large, fleshy and brownish-yellow in color.  When prepared it is tarry-black and soft and malleable, obtained in slices or smaller root pieces.  The taste is slightly sweet.

It has an anti-hepatotoxic action and a helpful effect in most cases of hepatitis.  Clinical work also suggests an anti- rheumatic and anti-eczema action.  Cardio tonic and hypoglycemic effects have also been detected; the prepared form lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels in clinical trials. The raw or dried remedy rehmannia is primarily used for 'heat' problems with impairment of the yin energies such as xue or jing, with symptoms like fever, blood in the sputum or nasal discharge, symptoms of internal deficiency, scarlet tongue; exanthemata, infections, throat infections. Diabetes is a traditional indication.

There are tonifying actions as well with a wider application for 'heat'-induced damage to the yin with such signs as dry mouth, persistent pyrexia (high temperature) and constipation. A particular cooling application is for 'heat' in the Heart with malar flush, irritability and insomnia, as well as mouth ulcers.

The most popular form of the remedy (and it was always very popular), however, is the prepared root, which is cooked in wine. This was seen as a major tonifying remedy, valuable for any deficiency state of xue or yin: thus for deficient Kidney yin problems such as night sweats and nocturnal emissions and for deficiency of xue such as vertigo, palpitations, insomnia and pallor, and, for women, menorrhagia, irregular menstruation and post-partum hemorrhage.

Rhodiola Rhodiola rosea, the magical root of this semi-succulent Russian plant, also known as "Rose Root" or "Golden Root", has emerged as a powerful adaptogen and herbal "smart drug". The phytochemically rich root contains many beneficial compounds including flavonoids, terpenes, phenylpropanoids (rosavin), phenylethanols and phenolic acids responsible for its positive antioxidant, adaptogenic and cerebroactive effects.

Rhodiola enhances cognition; improving memory and learning, greatly reduces stress and fatigue, stimulates the immune system, increases metabolism, aids thyroid function, protects the cardiovascular system, boosts fertility and sexual function and alleviates depression. It has also proven beneficial for cancer and ameliorates some side effects of chemotherapy.

Folk medicine uses this incredible root for practically every known ailment; to increase energy, endurance, longevity, stimulate sexual arousal, and enhance mood and psychic abilities. In Siberian mountain villages, rhodiola roots are still given to couples prior to marriage to assure fertility and many healthy children.

Taken late in the day, the root's powerful psychostimulant effects are known to cause insomnia, but once asleep induce vivid dreams. Unlike most adaptogens that need to be taken for several weeks to be effective, Rhodiola begins to act with the first dose. It is a healthy and stimulating caffeine free alternative to coffee and tea, excellent for periods of long intense study.

Rooibos tea - is a unique beverage that was started at the turn of the last century in the Cedarberg region of the Western Cape of South Africa.  It was the indiginous South African Bushmen of the area who first discovered that the fine, needle-like leaves of the Aspalathus linearis plant made a tasty, aromatic tea.

They first harvested the wild-growing plants, chopped them with axes and then bruised them with hammers, leaving them to ferment in heaps, before drying them in the sun.  Green Bush, the unfermented type of Rooibos, often called green rooibos, contain higher levels of polyphenol antioxidants because fermented rooibos loses some antioxidants during the fermentation process.  

The unfermented type was developed to maximize antioxidant levels in response to recent interest in the health benefits associated with the antioxidants found in C. sinensis teas. Unfermented rooibos tea is a tan/yellow color rather than the rich reddish color of fermented rooibos.  It also has the highest level of anti-oxidants of any green tea.

This herbal tea from South Africa is very hardy stuff and should be prepared with fully boiling water, just like black tea.  Rooibos is becoming more popular in Western countries particularly among health-conscious consumers, due to its high level of antioxidants such as aspalathin and nothofagin, its lack of caffeine, and its low tannin levels compared to fully oxidized black tea or unoxidized green tea leaves.  Tannins have a negative effect on the body’s absorption of iron and proteins.  

 

Generally, the leaves are oxidized, a process often, and inaccurately, referred to as fermentation by analogy with tea processing terminology.  This process produces the distinctive reddish-brown color of rooibos and enhances the flavor.  Unoxidized "green" rooibos is also produced, but the more demanding production process for green rooibos (similar to the method by which green tea is produced) makes it more expensive than traditional rooibos.

 

Rooibos is recommended for people suffering from irritability, headaches, disturbed sleeping patterns, insomnia, nervous tension, mild depression or hypertension, as it has a soothing effect on the central nervous system.  Stomach and indigestive problems like nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach ulcers and constipation can be relieved by drinking Rooibos.  Rooibos has anti-spasmodic properties, thus relieving stomach cramps and colic in infants .  Rooibos is quite safe for nursing mothers, pregnant woman and infants to drink.

Rooibos is of benefit in the management of allergies like hay fever, asthma and eczema. Rooibos has a soothing effect on skin, relieving itching and certain skin irritations like eczema, nappy rash and acne when directly applied to the affected area.  Rooibos is a soothing drink for people on a calorie restricted diet, without adding calories. 

The effect of free radicals (a by-product of normal cell function) in the process of aging and declining of the immune system is limited by anti-oxidants in Rooibos.  Rooibos has been found to be rich in anti-oxidants plus flavonoids and has 50 times more SOD (super oxide dismutase) than green tea as well as other anti-oxidants not found in other teas. 

Rooibos also supplements the daily amounts of calcium, manganese but, like tea also has fluoride.  Rooibos contains zinc and alpha-hydroxy acid, which promotes healthy skin and magnesium which is necessary for a calm nervous system.

Sage
contains a variety of volatile oils, flavonoids (including apigenin, diosmetin, and luteolin), and phenolic acids including rosmarinic acid.  Rosmarinic acid is readily absorbed from the GI tract and acts to reduce inflammatory messaging molecules like leukotriene B4.  The acid contains powerful antioxidant enzymes, including SOD and peroxidase.  Like lemon balm, sage is a soother of disorders of the stomach and intestinal tract.  It is effective against muscle spasms and indigestion.

Also known as ‘garden meadow’, sage is a 2,000 year old healer and preservative as well as a culinary favorite.  It has been used to treat everything from snakebite to mental illness.  Modern research has shown that sage can help reduce excessive perspiration by as much as 50%.  The German Commission E approves sage infusions for the treatment of excessive perspiration. Most health food stores sell sage-based deodorants.

The tannins in sage make it effective against the bacteria that cause gingivitis, and some natural mouthwashes contain sage.  These can be used to fight canker sores, bleeding gums, sore throat, tonsillitis and laryngitis.  In addition to being extremely effective against viruses, sage is highly effective against bacteria.

Sage has been found to boost the brains supply of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is critical to proper brain functioning and memory.  People who possess great wisdom are called ‘sages’.  Sage tea should be helpful in delaying or diminishing cognitive decline resulting in Alzheimer’s disease.  An easy choice is to sage, not age.

Sage is available in liquid leaf extract form. The usual dose is 1 tsp three times per day. For sage tea, use 1 to 2 tsp of dried leaf to a cup of boiling water.  Steep leaves for 10 minutes.  The tea is useful as a gargle for sore throat or as a mouthwash for gingivitis.  Drink up to 3 cups a day to improve digestion and help regulate blood sugar or to reduce perspiration.   For sore throats, a sage tea mixed with apple cider vinegar is effective.  Gargle three times a day

Siberian Ginseng is a medicinal herb used primarily for increased stamina and for boosting the immune system and immune system responses. Though it's is not of the same genus, it is often used as a substitute for Panex Ginseng.  Some believe its adaptogen actions to be stronger than that of Panex Ginseng.  It helps relieve fatigue and declining capacity to work. It is thought to help improve memory; concentration and increase longevity.

It has been considered especially helpful for those experiencing stress or stressful situations and has a reputation in traditional Chinese medicine as a remedy for insomnia. There have also been some cases where it has been utilized to help combat radiation sickness and exposure to toxic chemicals.

Like other ginsengs, its roots are usually harvested in the fall.  Leaves and branches are harvested before it flowers in the mid-summer. For the best bioavailability and if one has a sensitive stomach, it is often recommended to take Siberian ginseng as a tincture, infusion, tea or the raw herb chewed.

Siberian ginseng stimulates T-cell production. Siberian ginseng has reduced frequency, severity, and duration of outbreaks of herpes simplex virus type 2 (which can cause genital herpes lesions).  It is has shown an ability to improve blood lipid levels.  Considered an adaptogen and anti-oxidant, it has hypoglycemic, anti-inflammatory and vasodilator activities. It is thought to increase energy and negate stress.  

In Chinese medicine, it reinforces Qi and invigorates function of Spleen and Kidney, with a calming effect on the nerves. Siberian ginseng is safe when used as directed.  But, it should not be taken by those with high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, or by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Siberian ginseng is available as liquid extracts, solid extracts, powders, capsules and tablets, as well as dried or cut root for tea.

Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum biflorum) is a medicinal herb that has diverse healing properties.  It can be used as a herbal tincture (best use), salve, tea or supplement.  As an alternative medicine, it gives relief, healing or mending to sports injuries and other acute injuries related to tendons, joints, ligaments, bones, bruises, connective tissues, cartilage and even for, osteoarthritis. It soothes and repairs gastrointestinal inflammation and injuries. It is effective for feminine issues, such as menstrual cramps, PMS, bleeding and menopause. It is known to lower blood pressure, relieve dry coughs and to increase concentration as well as mental clarity.

As a topical application, its root extracts expedite healing of cuts and bruises, broken bones, skin irritations and inflammations, and as a face wash it is good for acne, blemishes and all kinds of imperfections of the skin.

When consumed as a tea, it alleviates a range of symptoms associated with menopause, indigestion, diabetes, broken bones, insomnia, kidney pains, and even infertility. As a mucilaginous tonic, polygonatum is very healing and restorative, and is useful in inflammations of the stomach and bowels, piles, and chronic dysentery, as well as erysipelas, an acute streptococcal bacterial infection of the dermis, resulting in inflammation with red skin that characteristically extends into underlying lymph and fat tissue.

It is effective at balancing nutritional hyperglycemia, though not that caused by adrenaline release.  This effect is probably due to its content of glucokinin.

Suma Pfaffia paniculata is the root of a shrubby vine indigenous to the Amazon basin where it is known as para todo, which means "for all things", owing its use as a general cure all.  Called "Brazilian Ginseng," rainforest tribes have used Suma as a sexual tonic, energy booster and wound healer.  Studies have confirmed its usefulness as an aphrodisiac.  Modern herbalism is using Suma’s abilities to oxygenate the blood, stimulate circulation, balance blood sugar, increase estrogen production, boost the immune system and sharpen cognitive function.

 

Effective at treating chronic fatigue, it helps aid recovery from anemia and some cancers. Olympic athletes have taken Suma root to build muscle and increase endurance without the negative effects associated with steroids. This action is attributed to concentrated levels of anabolic like substances.

 

Suma root is very nutritious containing 19 amino acids, vitamins, and trace minerals including germanium and zinc. The taste is similar to that of true ginseng. Enjoy it mixed with honey or juice, at 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of root powder twice a day.

 

Tangerine Peel tea traditionally treats stomach ache, a common symptom of acute and chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer of the stomach or duodenum, stomach cancer and ‘gastric neurosis,’ effective in fevers, coughs and acne; and considered to be antidote to fish and shellfish poisoning.  

 

Tangerine peel contains high levels of resveratrol-like phytochemicals called salvesterols, which send messages of abundance, promoting action of anti-aging genes. Salvestrol 40 is a type of phytoalexin, a chemical produced by plants to handle stress or repel attackers, such as insects or fungi.

Salvestrol 40 is converted into a toxic compound by the P450 CYP1B1, an oxidizing cytochrome enzyme, present in much higher levels in cancer cells. It is 20 times more toxic to cancer cells than their healthy equivalents, causing them to commit apoptosis (cell suicide) in cell culture studies.  Salvestrols are found in other fruits, such as blackcurrant, blueberry and strawberry and vegetables, such as the brassicas, which includes broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Plants produce higher levels of these compounds when infection and stress levels among crops are high.  Use of GMO (genetically modified) crops, synthetic fertilizers, modern pesticides and fungicides has reduced growing stress, and has lowered beneficial salvestrol levels in food.

Dried tangerine peel is a rather expensive ingredient available for flavoring, although it is something that anyone can make during citrus season.  Peels of organic oranges, mandarins, tangerines or tangelos can be dried in a very slow oven or in a dehydrator or left to dry naturally and then stored airtight.  Do not remove the white pith, as it contains bio-flavonoids.  

 

Chinese believe that the older the peel, the better the flavor and the more effective its curative powers.  One or two pieces may be added when braising or simmering long-cooked dishes such as duck. Or the peel may be soaked in a little hot water until soft, pounded or chopped and incorporated in mixtures. Simmered in braised dishes or soups, peel adds a zesty flavour.  Mixed with finely minced beef in springy beef balls offered at dim sum, the flavor is intriguingly heady and fragrant.

Recipe 1: Ten red dates, tangerine peel 3 gm and Dangshen (Asiabell root) 20 gm. (also called: Salvia Root, Ch'ih Shen, Dan Shen, Huang Ken, Red Rooted Sage and Red Sage,) contains chemicals that decrease blood clotting, cause blood vessels to relax, increase the force of heartbeats and slow heart rate. These effects may help to treat heart conditions and strokes. In addition, dangshen may help to prevent liver damage caused by alcohol, drugs or diseases. It shows some antiviral and anticancer activity in laboratory studies.)

The above herbs are boiled in water to prepare a tea for constant drinking.
“This tea can disperse liver
Qi, regulate the spleen and stomach, and adjust stomach Qi to treat stomachache due to mental depression and attack of liver Qi to the stomach with pain and distension, fullness of the stomach, belching and vomiting.”

Recipe 2: Ten red dates, tangerine peel 6 gm, licorice 3 gm, and Maidong (lilyturf root) 15 gm.
After the tuberous fibrous roots of dwarf Mondo grass or radix Ophiopogonis root (lilyturf) have been harvested in summer, they are sun dried. “The root functions to nourish the yin and moisten the lungs; to strengthen the stomach and promote the production of body fluids; to clear heat in the heart and relieve irritability.” 

A water decoction of the above herbs is orally administered once a day for 8-9 days.
“This recipe is used to treat stomachache due to deficiency of
Yin.

Recipe 3: Dried tangerine peel 15-20 gm (or fresh peel 30gm) and rice 50-100 gm.
A decoction of tangerine peel is used to make rice gruel; or small bits of tangerine peel 3-5 gm may be added to rice gruel for oral intake.
“This gruel is used to treat stomachache due to attack of liver Qi to the stomach.”

Recipe 4: Red date 10 pieces, tangerine peel 5-10 gm, Maidong (lilyturf root) 15-20 gm, sugared ginseng 10 gm, ginger slices and rice 100 gm.
The date, tangerine peel and Maidong are washed clean and boiled with ginger and ginseng twice.  The decoction is used to make gruel for oral intake according to the appetite, twice per day.  (Ginger slices can be nibbled or used again on the second day.)

“Rice gruel can be used to treat lung collapse of deficient heat type with spitting of sticky sputum, shortness of breath, and dryness of tongue and mouth cavity.”  This is a treatment for pulmonary fibrosis or atelectasis (a disease with cough and spitting of turbid sputum and foamy saliva due to lung collapse).

Orange Marmalade Some like it with chunky peel, some like it with fine peel.  The beauty of making it yourself is you get to be in control of chunkiness as well as sweetener and sweetness.  This marmalade recipe is easier to make than most fruit jams.  The key to a successful marmalade is using tangerines or Seville oranges (in season from January to March), because these have a bitter tang and much higher in flavor than sweet oranges.

 To make about 10 x 1lb jars, assemble:

1.5 kg tangerines or Seville oranges
2.5 kg sugar (you can use jam sugar for high pectin fruit, xylitol ordinary sugar)
Juice of 2 lemons
3 liters water

 Wash the oranges and chop them in half.  Scoop out the insides (flesh, pips and pith) with a spoon and place in a muslin cloth.

Slice the orange peel finely or thickly, or it can be chopped in a food processor.  Put tangerine or orange peel and water in a large preserving pan. Tie up the muslin cloth and squeeze any juices into the pan. Then add the muslin to the pan.  Adding the bag is important because the pectin in the seeds and pith help the marmalade to set.

Simmer the mixture gently for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the orange peel is soft and only half the liquid remains.  Remove the bag.  Add the sugar and mix well. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar slowly, stirring often.  Bring the marmalade to the boil and boil rapidly for 15 minutes. Then test for a set:  Put thermometer into the middle of the pan. Marmalade should set when it reads 105C (220F).

OR:  Put a saucer into the freezer to cool down.  When you think the marmalade is ready, take the saucer out of the freezer and put about 1/2 teaspoon of marmalade onto the plate and allow it to cool.  Push your finger through the marmalade: if it wrinkles, you've got a set.  If not, boil for 5 minutes more and test again.

When you are happy with the set, let the marmalade cool and remove any scum from the top. Let it settle for 20 minutes and then stir, to make sure the orange peel does not rise to the top of the jars as it sets.

Put marmalade into hot, sterilized jars and cover.  (To sterilize a jar, wash the jar and lid in soapy water and rinse well.  Put upside down in an oven at 100C for 20 minutes.)  From cupboard to table, this takes about 2 1/2 - 3 hours.  One can use a mixture of 50:50 brown and white sugar, which gives a more intense flavor and a dark brown color.  To spike the taste, you could add 100ml whisky, brandy or other herbal extract, after marmalade has finished cooking.

Pectin is a major component of the plant cell wall and considered a healthy fiber for human consumption.  Pectin is a naturally occurring carbohydrate in fruit concentrated in the fruit's skin and core.  When cooked, pectin solidifies to a gel, causing fruit preserves to set.  Fragments of pectin molecules can act by binding to and inhibiting the various roles of the mammalian protein galectin 3 (Gal3) in cancer progression and metastasis.  Bioactivity resides in the neutral sugar side chains of pectin polysaccharides.

Modified citrus pectin, also known as fractionated pectin, is a complex polysaccharide obtained by enzymatic action on the peel and pulp of citrus fruits.  The enzymatic process reduces pectin’s molecular size and modifies it to better control the amount of total breakdown, allowing it to be more systemic, circulating through the blood stream as well as enhancing more absorption of effective molecules. 

Modified citrus pectin is useful in eliminating heavy metals safely and helpful in various cancers, including for patients with late stage, breast, prostate, colorectal, kidney, pleural or lung, cervix/uterine cancer, liver, pharynx, pancreatic, stomach, melanoma and bile duct cancers.  Besides helping to remove the toxins that cause cancer, it helps keep aberrant cells from clustering and blocks the formation of blood vessel attachment.  Heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic have been implicated in a wide number of health problems besides cancer, including arteriosclerosis, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, impaired immune function, and overgrowth of Candida albicans.

The treatment in advanced tumors consisted of the oral intake of five grams of modified citrus pectin three times a day. Roughly 20% of patients stabilize in two months.  Most patients had improvements in their life quality as reflected in Karnofsky scores.  The modified citrus pectin used in the advanced tumor study is now commercially available in the US. It's called PectaSol-C and distributed by EcoNugenics, Santa Rosa, CA.

Tulsi Ginger tea is an herbal tea that combines the powerful benefits of Indian ginger with Tulsi (Indian basil).  This tea is caffeine free.  Basil is known for its rejuvenation and health providing benefits.  The benefits of Tulsi leaves have been documented before the time of Rigveda (book of eternal knowledge) written around 5000 BC.

Some of the active constituents of ginger are the essential oils, with borneol and related compounds plus sesquiterpenes (small aromatic compounds). One of the main sesquiterpenes in ginger is bisabolene.  Bisabolene is similar to the key ingredient of chamomile (bisabolol), which, in turn, has similarity to chrysandiol in chrysanthemum.  These compounds appear to promote digestion, alleviate nausea, reduce inflammation, and prevent mucus accumulation.

Ginger has its oleoresins, identified as phenylalkylketones, including the group of gingerols, shogaols and zingerone. These compounds reduce gastro-intestinal inflammation and bind irritating and toxic substances in the gastro-intestinal tract and render them relatively harmless.  Ginger treats digestive system disturbances. Like green tea, ginger is also used for alleviating mucus and phlegm retention as well as promoting circulation.

Basil is useful in treatment of respiratory system disorder. A decoction of the leaves, with honey and ginger is an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough and cold. A decoction of the leaves, cloves and common salt also gives immediate relief in case of influenza. They should be boiled in half a liter of water till only half the water is left and add honey, then take.

Valerian has long been used to improve sleep quality, correct sleep disorders and anxiety. Valerian has also been used for other conditions, such as headaches, depression, irregular heartbeat, and trembling. The roots and rhizomes (underground stems) of valerian are typically used to make supplements, including capsules, tablets and liquid extracts as well as teas that smell like ‘stale old socks’.

 Valerian extract may cause sedation is by increasing the amount of gamma amino butyric acid (GABA, our primary regulator of membrane excitability and an inhibitory neurotransmitter) available in the synaptic cleft.  Valerian extract may cause GABA to be released from brain nerve endings and then block GABA from being taken back into nerve cells. In addition, valerenic acid inhibits an enzyme that destroys GABA.

 

Valerian extracts contain GABA in quantities sufficient to cause a sedative effect, but whether GABA can cross the blood-brain barrier to contribute to valerian's sedative effects is not known. Glutamine is present in teas (aqueous) but not in alcohol extracts and may cross the blood-brain barrier and be converted to GABA. Levels of these constituents vary significantly among plants depending on when the plants are harvested.

 

An occasional person experiences ‘a reverse effect’ to valerian including headache, dizziness, itchiness, upset stomach, drowsiness during the daytime, dry mouth and vivid dreams.

Wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa) is also known as 'prickly lettuce' or 'lettuce opium'.  The plant has originally spread across Central and Southern Europe and North Asia.  It now grows wild in many parts of Europe and it is also widespread in southern North America.  Wild lettuce is an annual but sometimes biennial plant that can grow from 60 -150 cm tall.  The leaves are spinose and toothed and the flowers light yellow and basket shaped.

Wild lettuce is a sedative, and as such, it should come as no surprise that when people drink the tea, sexual desire is nil.   The milky substance ejected by the plant has been found to contain lactucic acid, lactucopicrin, lactucin, sesquiterpene lactone, and flavonoids based on quercitin, coumarins, cichoriin, and aesculin, n-methyl-b-phenethylamine, and up to 60% latex, the raw ingredient in rubber.  

The scientific name for wild lettuce, Lactuca virosa, relates to part of the plant’s physiology.   If you scrape the leaf or stem of the plant, it immediately ejects milky white latex, and the name lactuca comes from the Latin word for milk, as in lactation.  Historically the plant was purposefully wounded, and its milk was collected, dried, and molded into balls.  These balls were known as lactucarium, and the substance was collected and taken much like opium.  In fact, the drug was called lettuce opium and was widely used.  The part used in medicine is the leaves, which are gathered in June or July, before the plant shoots to seed. 

Much like passion vine, wild lettuce is used to slow down the nervous system. For this reason, it is very effective in cases of insomnia, nervousness, hysteria, muscle spasms, colic pains, painful menstruation, bothersome coughs, and painful digestion.  However, because the drug is a little on the strong side, its primary use is for pain.  As with any painkiller, caution should be used when taking this drug.  

Tea: Add two teaspoons dried leaves to one cup boiling water, let stand ten minutes, and strain.  Drink three times per day.  Another method is to make an extract. Soak 100 grams of wild lettuce herb for 8 hours in warm but not boiling water. Then sift and press all the liquid out of the wild lettuce. Put the dark liquid in a pan and let it evaporate.  Putting the pan in a bigger pan with boiling water will avoid burning the wild lettuce while drying.  What is left is a kind of gum that can be used like opium: smoked or eaten.

The seeds of lettuce have also been used to relieve pain. Lettuce seed was listed between belladonna and cocaine in order of anesthetic potency in Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine, an authoritative medical textbook from soon after AD 1000 until the seventeenth century

Yacón is a perennial plant grown in the Andes for its crisp, sweet-tasting tubers. The texture and flavor have been described as a cross between a fresh apple and watermelon which is why it is sometimes called ‘apple of the earth’. 

 

The tuber is composed mostly of water and fructo-oligosaccharides, which when eaten, increase probiotic bacteria in the intestines (bifidobacteria and lactobacillus species). These edible tubers contain inulin (oligofructose), an indigestible sugar, which means its syrup has a sweet flavor, tasting of caramel and mild molasses the tubers contain fewer functional calories than would be expected.

 

Yacón provides for two nutritional products the yacón syrup and yacón tea.  Both products are popular among diabetic people and dieters who consume these products because of its low glycemic properties. The low blood sugar response is because the tuber is comprised of FOS (fructooligosacharides), which human enzymes cannot digest, thus it supports ideal growth of friendly intestinal bacteria.

Yacón syrup is a probiotic, while it feeds the friendly bacteria in the colon that regulate the immune system and help digestion, it may also help prevent colon cancer.  High in soluble fiber, low in fat, and rich in oligofructose, yacón is considered by many to be a super food.

 

Leaves of the yacón contain quantities of polyphenols, the protocatechuic, chlorogenic, caffeic and ferulic acids, which gives tea made from the leaves probiotic and antioxidant properties. As a result, some researchers have explored the use of yacón tea for treating diabetes and for treating diseases caused by free radicals, for example, arteriosclerosis.

Raw milk, despite the bad press that it has received, it is one of the best foods out there for nutrient value.  The downside is that it remains a bit difficult to come by, depending on where you live.  Not only does raw milk taste better than pasteurized milk, it contains more nutrients that are beneficial because they have not been altered or destroyed by heat.

Raw milk is far better for you than pasteurized milk.  Why has the FDA selected raw milk as its whipping boy?  The reason is far more political than nutritional.  Just like the drug industry, the dairy industry has strong lobbying powers.  If raw milk really caught on, big commercial dairy farmers would have to clean up their acts, use less pesticides (neurotoxins) and hormones, raise healthier cows more humanely and provide real access to and use of pastures.  

This would cost industry lots of money.  So the dairy industry, 15% of America’s food dollar, uses their substantial political weight to shine raw milk in a negative light, making it appear as unappealing or dangerous as possible.

Homogenization of milk fractionates its cream into tiny microscopic globules.  The fat globules in unhomogenized bovine milk are both very small and very large, ranging in size from 1000 nanometers to 10,000 nanometers. After homogenization, the average globule size is about 500 nanometers with a range from 200 nanometers to 2000 nanometers.

Sheep’s milk fat globules are reported to be "very small” and thus “easier to digest" and globules from this milk are described as "naturally homogenized."  The milk fat globule membrane from sheep's milk does not separate and butter cannot be made from such milk even though there is twice as much fat in sheep's milk as in cow's milk. The fat globules from goat's milk are similarly small. So there is nothing unnatural about small milk fat globules. 

However, during homogenization there is a tremendous increase in surface area on the fat globules. The original fat globule membrane is lost and a new one is formed that incorporates a much greater portion of casein and whey proteins.  Fat microsphere enhanced absorption of antigenic proteins may account for the increased allergenicity of modern processed milk (besides the heating, drying and oxidizing of proteins deforming glycoprotein molecules). 

Beta casein is a chain with 229 amino acids and proline at number 67, at least in old fashioned cows, the ones that are A2. These include Guernsey, Jerseys, Asian and African cows. About five thousand years ago, a mutation occurred in this proline amino acid, converting it to histidine. Cows that have this mutated beta casein are the A1 cows. These are more recent breeds in the span of history, like Holsteins and Friesians.

The side chain coming off this histidine is a protein fragment known as beta-casomorphin-7 (BCM 7). The negative health effects of this fragment can be devastating because it is a powerful opiate or narcotic as well as an oxidant.
  American milk industry consistently genetically propagates cows with the more allergenic casein protein, alpha-S1.  There are herds of cows in Europe and Asia that produce milk with more compatible caseins for human consumption.

Raw milk products improve with fermentation.  The process of fermentation is better for you if it occurs outside of your body.  If you ingest foods that provide an abundance of sugar and growth media for bacteria, they will ferment those foods inside of you.  Overgrowth of fermentative bacteria in your body can cause all kinds of medical problems, including Chron’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis, candidiasis and irritable bowel syndrome.  So the key is to pre-ferment foods, for example, ferment milk before consumption and consume it as yogurt or kefir.

Goat milk is often a superior alternative to traditional cow, rice and soy milks. Its composition is amazingly similar to mother’s milk, and offers complete protein containing all of the essential amino acids without the heavy fat content of cow milk.  Goat milk’s fat globules are finer than those of cow milk, enabling goat milk fat to be broken down and digested more easily.  Goat milk also has more energy-producing medium chain triglycerides and makes a softer and more friable curd than cow milk, leading to easier and more rapid digestion.

 

Unlike cow's milk, goat's milk does not contain agglutinin.  As a result, protein and fat globules in goat's milk do not cluster together, making them easier to digest.  Goat milk protein induces less mucus and helps many children and adults who suffer from cow, dairy and/or soy allergies. 

 

Goat milk contains only trace amounts of the allergenic casein protein, alpha-S1, richly found in cow’s milk.  By contrast the major casein in goat milk is ß-casein, and alpha-S2 casein is the main alpha casein present.  Goat milk contains slightly lower levels of lactose, providing mild advantages to lactose-intolerant individuals.

 

Although it generally contains more selenium, goat milk contains only about 20% of the vitamin B12 and less than 10% of the amount of folic acid contained in cow milk.  This means that it must be fortified with folic acid in order to be adequate as a formula or milk substitute for infants and toddlers.  Popular brands of goat milk may advertise "fortified with folic acid" on the carton.  Vanilla and chocolate goat milk formulas for toddlers (and others) are nicely formulated (from www.GenesisOrganics.com).