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Herbal Magic, using Horsetail to prevent Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Wouldn’t be great if there was a solution for ailments – that was easy, affordable without any nasty side effects…

Imagine, a magical world. A world where we could walk outside to our small patch of earth and pluck a few green leaves such as Horsetail, and use those leaves prevent illness and heal ailments.

All we needed grew right outside our door, a magical green world of plants, herbs, and trees.

It sounds like we’d be living on Pandora the magical world in the film Avatar, or Rivendell the home of the Elves from Lord of the Rings…a mystical faraway place….

Or is it?

In reality, this magical kingdom already exists. It is just that we have lost our connection to it. And no longer see or recognize it.

It is my belief, that mother nature in her wisdom would not give us an illness without providing us with a solution. Whether we know or have found that solution or not, is another story.

They burned the Herbalists of old and their knowledge burnt with them.

And well let’s be honest – Nature and plants don’t have a big marketing budget a research lab or a PR team. And as they’re hard to patent (read: *sell*), we have teams of scientists around the world trying to mimic their magic.

Yet there are clear examples, of how, if we work with nature we can prevent, support, provide relief or in some cases even cure illness.

One good example landed in my inbox yesterday. So, I’ve included the video below, in which the Health ranger (Mike Adams of Natural News) educates us on the benefits of Horsetail (Equisetum arvense).

Mike explains that through making a tea or infusion that it binds with the toxic aluminum in your system, and works to naturally remove it.

As research clearly shows aluminum to be linked to Dementia and Alzheimer’s, what better way to remove it by using a prehistoric plant that grows easily, cheaply and naturally.

While I use Horsetail, in my Comfrey ointment as part of my magic Comfrey blend for the healing, strengthening effects of the Silica, I am thrilled to see there are other benefits too. And as both Dementia and Alzheimers are high on my list of things to avoid – I think I might go and brew myself up a cup of Horsetail.

And as both Dementia and Alzheimers are high on my list of things to avoid – I think I might go and brew myself up a cup of Horsetail.

So you don’t ingest Aluminum??

For those of you, who might be thinking you don’t have any aluminum in your system… I hate to give you a bit of a reality check, it is near impossible to avoid it within our modern society.

It’s in everything from the air we breathe, the water we drink, our food and medicines that we ingest. A small example: Cans, smog, aluminum wrap, vaccines, deodorant, cosmetics, baking powder (goods cooked with baking powder, salt.

While you can’t avoid it, you can minimize it’s use by cutting it out where you can, and watch the video to learn more about Horsetail and how to use it:

Source and further information:

Natural News

Link between Aluminum and the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/toxic-ingredient/aluminum

Aluminum Toxicity

And big thank you to pixabay for use of their images!

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In Gratitude to my Mum…. and Mothers Everywhere

Not sure if you’ve noticed, I don’t do commercial celebrations in any which way – No Christmas, Easter, valentines or any other day that encourages us to buy something.

I also don’t do mother’s day, really we should celebrate our mothers every day. Yet, all this fuss had me asking myself what had I done lately – to celebrate or give gratitude for my Mum? hmmmm….  ok, probably not a lot, or nowhere near enough.

Isn’t Mothers Day Every Day?

So, I’ve decided to make an exception, and whip into a belated action by creating a special offer in gratitude to my mother.

ineke (aka Mamita)

I have to admit (despite, the fact I may never live it down), that my mum is one of my biggest inspirations.

She’s an incredibly talented artist ( I have no idea why she’s not hanging in the National Gallery – if the National Gallery is reading this, perhaps they can let me know?), and a perpetual traveller, who travels for 18 months at a time with the smallest backpack in the world, through the wildest untamed places.

Her courage to follow her dreams despite any fears and always follow her heart – hence her studio name ‘Red HeART Studio’, is without a doubt the best kind of role model any girl can have.

Even, my current version of my best-selling Comfrey Ointment: Wayfarers Magic – was inspired by my mum and wouldn’t be what it was today without her.

Comfrey ointment

Wayfarer’s Magic

When I first discovered the Magic of Comfrey I wanted to find the ideal herbal blend to help to address her arthritis. As I couldn’t imagine a day where she’d not to paint, create or travel.  So each ingredient is specially selected to provide relief and healing for just that.

Of course, she is also one of my biggest supporters and users of my Wayfarer’s Magic: Comfrey Ointment, and yes, she has a limitless lifetime supply.

Special offer for Mothers throughout Australia

So in ode to my mum, her sacrifices, support, my appreciation and my gratitude for all that she is.

The Girl

And in gratitude for all Mothers. I’m partnering with her to offer a Special Mothers Day Package, that includes: Wayfarers Magic Ointment, Body Oil and Face Oil with a Free A4 Print of ‘The Girl’ pastel drawing,  from now until the end of May.

Offer only available for Shipping within Australia –

A big fat THANK YOU Mamita – for being Magic + You!!!! xxxx

My Mum: Ineke van den Hout’s website

Selected prints and artwork are also available via RedBubble

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How to make Free Easy Comfrey Fertilizer at home

Sure you can buy fertilizer, if you wish.  However, Mother Nature also provides a free-homegrown Comfrey version.

Now I can hear you asking from here if it’s any good because we’ve been trained to believe you get what you pay for.

Comfrey Leaf

Comfrey leaf

Trust me, my friends, it’s better than good.  Would thousands of Permaculture gardener’s, be wrong?

Now then, read on as it is easy to make – yet I’ve only met a few people who know How to make Comfrey Fertilizer….

A black alchemic gold that will supercharge your soil and your plant friends will love you for.

So all you need is:

  1. Bucket with a lid
  2. Comfrey leaves

 – I told you it’d be easy –

If you don’t have the Comfrey, please go buy some. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s a weed – it’s a little like any superhero, it hides its super powers, and lives incognito, waiting for the day it can spring into action.

Comfrey is also a great Companion Plant, so be sure to plant it near some herbs, tomatoes, potatoes or other plants that would like to prosper from a Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium rich soil.

Then when you’re heading into winter, as we are here in Australia.  You’ll find the plant starts to let its leaves eaten by caterpillars, as the natural order of things. It hibernates in winter, so it can focus on its roots. So don’t worry if you see this, you haven’t killed it.

Easy Pesy DIY Fertilizer Recipe

Don’t let all leaves go to waste, tear up a good few handfuls and put them into the bucket, with a stone or brick weighing them down. Add water, put a lid on it and once and awhile and give it a stir.

And in about 6-8 weeks, you have a super powered fermented fertilizer for your plant beds. Do dilute the liquid, use about 1 quarter Comfrey liquid Fertilizer to 4 quarters water.

All my herbs love Comfrey – the best garden companion plant!

If this is too much effort for you, or you’ve not got the time to waste, you can also use the leaves as mulch, just tear them up and place them around other plants.

Yes, that’s the whole recipe – I told you it would be easy.

I hope you and your garden enjoy your comfrey as much as I do.

I don’t think I’ll get far by calling my Face oil, fertilizer for the face ;)  Do remember that Comfrey, while it moonlights as the perfect companion plant and fertilizer, it’s real super powers are in the way it has the ability to speed our cells regeneration process.

So you can also use the leaves and roots to make an ointment, or find a wider range of products that I whipped up for your earlier using organic, all natural and delicious ingredients, here.

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Cost Conscious guide to eating healthy, how buy Organic on a budget

Do you think eating organic healthy food isn’t affordable?

Do you also have those moments, where you wonder if anything you do makes a difference?  You want to live in an ideal world…. You want to eat the right organic food, make the right choices for yourself,  the environment… You are after all a responsible, conscious, aware individual.

We all have those moments when we are standing in the grocery store holding a $10 piece of organic broccoli and wondering if it’s really going to make a difference, to the $2 store brand….

And let’s be honest when faced with this dilemma unless the dollars are rolling in – we all often go for the $2 option, as the difference is too extreme for anyone to let it slide.

Endless Choices: How to Prioritize and why

The world we live in today has choices coming at us hard and fast – what is a smart, conscious girl to do in the face of it all?

organic vegetable hamper

One option is to curl up in bed and hope to wake up in a world where everything is healthy and organic?  Or can we have healthy food on a budget.  And conquer the dilemma once and for all.

I am here to share a few Healthy Organic Affordable food tips with you – Let’s call it the Cost Conscious guide to Eating Healthy.

I advise prioritizing purchases.  Here is the order of my everyday preferences, depending on what is possible, and of course the price at the time, I’ll go into each in more detail a little further down:

  1. Grow your own
  2. Organic: via farmers markets, or Health shops
  3. Local: Farmers Market
  4. Supermarket Organic
  5. Supermarket fresh food

Cost Conscious Reasoning behind these Choices

  1. Grown your own

    This takes a bit of space and effort, however, the fruits of your labor will be worth it (pun intended).  It’s cost effective, and you know what you have and haven’t sprayed. There are even options for people living in flats called Garden towers, all you need is a balcony. And if you grow your own, I also recommend using a Bokashi, the easy, organic way to recycle your food scraps into fertilizer for your crops.

  1. Organic: via Organic markets, or Health shops

    We are often shocked at the price of Organic food, on that small sad shelf in the supermarket, however, if you go to a local farmers market you’d be surprised at the difference in price and the variety that is available.

    For those that doubt the benefits of eating organic, check out the research done on a Swedish family of five, who were tested before and after 2 weeks of organic food.  Their first urine test contained over 16 different chemicals. Which were are either herbicides, fungicides, insecticides or growth inhibitors.

    Only 2 weeks later, their urine was chemical free.  Scientists admit, that while one chemical in our system would be within regulated safety limits for consumption, we have yet to test the human body for such a cocktail of chemicals.  I guess only time will tell what those results will be.

    Personally, I would rather not need to eat organic, I’d like to live in a world where our food and products are NOT toxic.

  1. Local: Farmers Market

    Get to know the regular stalls and the markets.  I’ve gotten to know some growers who don’t spray with chemicals, and who are not big enough to afford the organic certification (an expensive and lengthy process).  So, I buy my affordable fresh food from them.

    Another benefit of being local is that it is likely to have been picked when ripe, rather than when green and shipped/ frozen – which means it will be fuller of all the taste, nutrients and minerals your body requires for optimum health.  And depending on where you live, the chemicals that your country uses may be less severe from those less regulated abroad.

    An additional benefit of buying local means you also buy in season.  Which is much better for your health as the earth grows the right veggies that our bodies require in the season, once again Mother Nature knows best e.g. Vegetables in the spring detoxify getting the body ready for summer, winter vegetables like beets and potatoes add protein and build up the body ready for the winter.

  1. Supermarket Organic

    The organic selection in Australia’s Major supermarkets may be the saddest I’ve ever seen, however, it is still likely to be healthier than their GMO veggies in the next isle.

  2. Supermarket fresh food

    My last choice. There are times though that I need some vegetables, and there are no markets. If I do buy from the supermarket I try to avoid the dirty dozen (tested to have more pesticides and chemicals on them), and these are: Apples, Peaches, Nectarines, Strawberries, Grapes, Celery, Spinach, Sweet bell peppers, Cucumbers, Cherry tomatoes, Snap peas (imported) and Potatoes.

 How to save more money on your Healthy Eating choices:

Farmers market organic produce

While above is my list of preferences on which food to go for, there are also some great ways of cutting costs when the end goal is good healthy fresh food, such as;

  • Join a local community garden – these are popping up all over the place, check your local council for a list, on what’s near you.
  • Join a Local Coop: Discounted group buying, there is a focus on organic – chemical free, as the group buys in bulk you all pitch in some help packing and share the savings. Search online for one near you, or for a smaller list check here.
  • Find local harvest options near you
  • Buy online, there is surely someone selling something near you
  • Join the Sharing economy, swap your lemons or parsley for someone else’s beans, some people are even happy to swap compost for food:

Cost conscious guide to eating healthy and organicLittle steps lead to bigger changes.

We all have a say in how we live our lives, what we eat, and the small actions we can make daily for our own good health, that of our family, friends, community and planet.  Each small action contributes, and while we perhaps can’t change the world overnight, being conscious of our health, what and how we buy certainly contributes to the steps it will take to living in a more enlightened away, and in harmony with the world around us.

Be sure to enjoy your future fresh food purchases, and let me know if you have any tips that I might not have thought of, I’d love to hear them.

Sources:

Swedes show how eating organic eliminates a family’s pesticide load

 

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To use or not to use… Beeswax, is it ethical? Why I’ve chosen to use it

To use or not to use?  Is something that I had asked myself, when I started on this journey. Knowing my use of beeswax would be questioned, and vegans would not buy my Wayfarer’s Magic and Sadhu Rose Comfrey Ointments.

Wayfarers Magic: Comfrey Ointment + Ethical Beeswax

Wayfarers Magic: Comfrey Ointment + Ethical Beeswax

For a start, I don’t eat unethical animal products or support the treatment and misuse of animals for our consumption, production or testing.  So how, do then carry my values over into my products and business?

To answer this, I set about researching the question, is beeswax ethical? And should I be using it?

I came to the decision to use Beeswax, and here’s why;

1. Ethical Beeswax does exist;

I get my beeswax from a local beekeeper – it’s a beekeeping family, their native bees and are wild and are free here in central coast wilderness of New South Wales. It’s an excess bi-product of the honey that is ethically sourced; meaning there is always more than enough for the bees. Unlike in hives that are in mass production, and they are not tricked of forced to produce honey/ wax in excess.  Happy bees = Happy Honey = Ethical Beeswax.

2. Beeswax is also healing

Beeswax itself it uber beneficial to the skin and the healing process. It’s anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-bacterial. Due to this, it contributes to the healing quality of the ointments. It soothes and softens the skin, and forms a protective layer that still allows the skin to breathe and heal.  It is also a ‘natural’ product, that has not undergone industry processing.

Bees Natural Green Home turf

Since I’ve moved to the Central Coast I’ve also been using the wax from the same local beekeeping family that I get my honey from Suesse Honey‘. If you are ever at the Entrance market be sure to buy some of their honey! Their  ‘Raw honey Lemon, Ginger and Cinnamon’ blend – which also has Lemon Myrtle – tastes as good as it is healthy – I am completely unshamedly addicted.

For those that aren’t aware, Raw honey is packing with nutrients, it contains; 22 amino acids, 27 minerals and 5,000 enzymes. Minerals include iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and selenium. If you add to this the benefits of Ginger, Cinnamon, Lemon and Lemon Myrtle, you have a most delicious healthy treat.

I do empathise with the dilemma of using or not using animal products.

I remember the moment, that I learned the big-eyed gentle cow in the paddock could end up as a steak dinner. It’s the same moment I secretly vowed to never eat animals again.  As soon as I grew up and left home, that’s what I did and I’ve been a vegetarian ever since.

Though, I am not a vegan, and I do have a few pair of leather shoes and a jacket.  Which I often get flack for funnily enough from meat eaters.  However, as one wise friend once said, ‘is it more ethical to have a sturdy jacket that lasts you 50+years that is biodegradable, or a jacket that is made from synthetic material, that has gone through industry processing to be created and then never degrades and pollutes the environment?’

Tough questions, that we need to face and ask ourselves when we aim to live a conscious life.

While I abhor the way humankind treats the animals on the planet, and how they are treated as a commodity rather than a sentient being.  It’s good to see that research is now supporting what many of us already know, that insects have emotions and sentience, as do plants and trees.

I do believe that as Robin Wall Kimmer states so wisely in her @onbeing interview,  we should be aiming for a reciprocal relationship with the world around us.  I love that idea!  It takes sustainability to the next level.

Lavender Bees

Lavender Bees

If we work to look after bees and their environment, it becomes a collaboration with them. In taking this reciprocal approach, we can create a better world, for everything – plants, animals and humans. We just need to start asking, how can we contribute – what do we have to give?

When we are not doing this, which we can see reflected in much of the world around us right now, we are out of balance with the natural world around us.

I am thankful for my Ethical Healing Beeswax, from happy bees that share their wares with us. And I hope that we, in turn, can share and work to protect them and their environments and well-being.

We can do this, by asking ourselves how we can contribute to living in a ‘Reciprocal’ way with the world around us. Can this be reflected in our daily decisions  i.e. buying heritage seeds, not supporting/using monsanto products, doing bio-dynamic gardening, growing flowers and plants that bees love.

In doing so, we take conscious steps, to live in a conscious way –  in balance and harmony with the world around us.

I do have two vegan products:
Bedouin’s Charm: Comfrey+Coconut+Grapefruit Body/Bath Oil
Eternal Serenity: Comfrey+Hemp+Argan Face Oil

And the products that contain Organic/ Ethically sourced Beeswax:
Wayfarers Magic: Comfrey Ointment
Sadhu Rose: Rose+Comfrey Ointment

Note:
All my products and ingredients are Cruelty-free, and not tested on any animals (only myself, and consenting family and friends).

Further Reading:
The Secret Life of Plants: a Fascinating Account of the Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Relations Between Plants and Man

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Yarrow: If it’s good enough for Achilles, it’s good enough for me

I know, I go on and on about the Comfrey in my products and how much of a Magical herb that it is, which of course is true. However, there are also other herbs that are also pretty magical too. And one of them is Yarrow.

Yarrow tried and tested on live Battlefields:

Yarrow’s history is equally rich – thanks to some big time celebrity sponsored marketing by a dude called ‘Achilles’.  This is reflected in Yarrow’s Botanical name; Achillea Millefolium, the first part of the name honours ‘Achilles’ who is said to have used it on the battlefield during the Trojan War to control the bleeding and heal the wounds of his soldiers.  The second part is ‘thousand of leaves’, due to the feathery amount of leaves that it has.

Rumour even has it among some, that it got its name when Achilles covered himself in Yarrow tincture all over but missed his ankle – the rest they say is legend – personally, I think this might be a good PR spin at its finest.

Nor can I imagine a warrior with the reputation of Achilles was really running around and seeing to his armies wounds.  I do imagine that he had a jolly good medical man/ herbalist along. As an ambulance, morphine shot and a plaster cast weren’t available.  A battlefield would be the perfect place to test the worthiness of a herbalist’s own character and that of his herbs.

So, I am apt to believe that Yarrow won out as the go-to herb on the battlefield, and hence carries the name of Achilles evermore – a long-lasting claim to fame.  Its nicknames are nosebleed, military herb, which also says it all.

Why it won Achilles stamp of approval:

The reason it would have been used is due ability to staunch bleeding rapidly making it a great garden bandaid. This is due to its complex chemical components two of which are achilletine and achilleine which makes the blood coagulate and speeds up the healing of wounds. It is also said to be antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic, three other qualities that would come in handy if you’d had your arm cut off in battle.

As good Ole’ Culpeper says “Ointment of the leaves cures wounds, and is good for inflammation, ulcers, fistulas and all such runnings as abound with moisture.”

It’s also been known to calm down the skin, and great for rash, itchiness and dry skin. And it can be used internally to bring down a fever, allergies, sinus issues, to calm menstrual bleeding, stomach issues and better circulation.

Pretty magic, if you ask me, which is why I choose to use it in supporting Comfrey to create the base that I use for my products. I figure if it’s good enough for Achilles and his armies it’s good enough for me.

Shepherds Alchemy Comfrey Products

Shepherds Alchemy Comfrey Products

You can find the Yarrow in the Shepherds Alchemy Product Range:

Wayfarers Magic: Comfrey Ointment
Sadhu Rose: Rose + Comfrey Ointment
Bedouin’s Charm: Comfrey + Coconut + Grapefruit Body/ Bath oil
Eternal Serenity: Comfrey + Argan + Hemp Face Oil

“This is my first time using a body oil and I LOVE IT. It is a treat to the body and senses -- feels great on the skin and smells delicious. As it is important to know what I'm applying on my skin and then washing out into the environment, this body oil is made of natural ingredients and I appreciate that. I look forward to pampering my skin daily now after a shower. Thanks, Michelle”.

Juanita

Resources used:

www.herbwisdom.com
Rodale’s 21st-Century Herbal: A Practical Guide for Healthy Living Using Nature’s Most Powerful Plants
Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to 550 Key Herbs with all their Uses as Remedies for Common Ailments
Culpeper’s Complete Herbal: Over 400 Herbs and Their Uses

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Keeping Cool in the Australian Heat with Guilt Free Ice Cream, and Cold Soup

Gosh, I am not sure if I am the only one on the side of the equator that is over the heat already. Struggling to keep cool (Sadly, I don’t have air conditioning), turning on the stove to cook, is the last thing on my mind.

Luckily these few guilt-free food options that are prepared in all of a few minutes with little mess, are my main sustenance right now. So get out your hand blender and be prepared to keep your cool:

Guilt Free, Yummy Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

1 or 2, Frozen bananas
A dash of vegan milk
A tablespoon of nut butter
A tablespoon raw cacao
Option items: Goji berries, a pinch of Cinnamon, Coconut milk/ cream, Cacao nibs, vanilla essence.

Put in the blender and enjoy!

I know, this recipe was in a recent post on the benefits of cooking with herbs, yet, worth adding again:

Frozen Pea & Avocado Soup

Cold Pea Soup

Cold Pea Soup

Cup of frozen peas, few leaves of Spearmint, a few slices of onion, half an avocado, cup and half of almond milk and a grind of Himalayan rock salt + Black pepper.  Blend ingredients in food processor and enjoy!  (it’s like a healthy pea avocado ice cream).

On top of this, I’ve been keeping some Grapes in the Freezer, perfect snacks.  Eating plenty of Fresh Fruit.

And keeping hydrated with my favourite Beverage: Iced Tea

I’ve Been drinking Sensado’s Bodyguard Tea – but any herbal blend will work. It is easy to prepare. Just boil it up. Once it’s cooled put it in a bottle, and keep it in the fridge. I love adding a few ice cubes and slices of Lemon or Orange.

Strangely, I used to be a complete beach person, and loved the heat – now here I am secretly wishing away my summer.  With today being a lovely 38 degrees, I am going to use this as the perfect excuse to go and make myself more ice cream.

So, how are you keeping cool??

 

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Daily Herbal Habit #5 Cooking with Herbs

I know, I only recently did a post about drinking herbs. But let’s be honest herbs as good for eating as they are for drinking. Hence, you can reap the benefits and taste through cooking with our herbal allies.

Magic aren’t they, our most lovely green garden companions. In this post, I am going to both introduce you to some new herbs and finish by sharing quick easy recipes.

To give you a big of a background to our current food climate; we once ate a decent amount of fat. And if you’re over 30 you will remember that everyone cooked with butter or lard, and ate a meat dinner with a few vegetables on the side.

Fast forward 50 years, yes folks, it wasn’t that long ago. The judgment went out that fat was bad for us, and a whole new ‘low fat’ food fad was born. (little off topic, but bear with me on this)

To compensate for the lack of taste that fat had provided, food manufacturers started adding sugar/ salts to food. Sugar tricks the brains receptors into thinking you’re still hungry – so you eat more….. which of course also means you buy more. On top of that, it is both highly addictive and literally stupefying.

The fact is that ‘Low fat’ foods are highly processed and much harder for our body to digest and break down. Best where possible, to ditch the food that is low-fat or full of sugar/glucose/additives. Eat real food that is as close to its natural state as possible, and we reap the nutrient energy and rewards.

If we need flavour, we can cook with herbs!  They’re full of flavour and known to pack a great deal of nutrients, vitamins and additional benefits that you won’t find in sugar, flavours of fake additives.

Here are a few of my favourite herbs and their benefits (for Rosemary, Parsley, Thyme, Sage and health benefits please see my previous blog post).

Spearmint

Spearmint

Peppermint/Spearmint: Both are related and have similar properties. Can be used for fresh breath, digestive system, cramps, gas, colic, irritated bowel, headaches, and pain. They are antioxidant and have trace elements of vitamin A, B, C as well as copper and potassium.

Dill: Has a rich history, used as a painkiller by the early Egyptians, with a Norse name meaning ‘to soothe. It’s a valuable stomach remedy for calming the nerves, cramps, stomach and digestion. It is also antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. As for vitamins and minerals, it has; vitamin A and C, iron, and manganese

Coriander (Cilantro): Used for thousands of years and mainly classed as an aphrodisiac – this may explain why you’d be feeling a little extra saucy after some Mexican food. It is also, however, great for bloating, cramps, spasms, nervous tension, stomach issues lowering cholesterol and managing blood sugar levels.  It is also rich in Vitamin C and K,  protein, and trace elements of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, thiamin, niacin and carotene.

Cardamom Seeds: One of the oldest spices in the world, especially popular in Asia, where it’s used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat asthma, bronchitis and kidney stones. In China, it’s used as a tonic and for urinary issues. It is an antioxidant, detoxifier and is noted also for providing relief for indigestion, cramps, and gas.  It is full of vitamin and minerals, most notably Vitamin C, iron, niacin, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc.

Sweet Basil: Once used by the ancient Romans to relieve gas, as a diuretic, counteract poisoning, and stimulate breast milk. No wonder it can be found in so many Italian dishes. Of course, some of this is true as it kills intestinal worms, relieves digestive issues, cramps, nausea and vomiting. As it has a mildly sedative action it can be used to address irritability, anxiety, fatigue, and depression. It’s an antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-cancer and has vitamin A, K, and C, as well as the mineral Manganese.

Garlic: What can I say, its benefits are so powerful it can even stop a vampire in its tracks. It’s an antibiotic, anti-diabetic, expels worms, lowers blood pressure and reduces blood clotting. It has vitamins A, B, C, E and the mineral Selenium.  And is especially good for Cold and flu remedies, circulation issues and infections. To make the most of its super powers, be sure to eat it raw!

As you can see these magical herbs pack a nifty nutritional punch, as well as an amazing amount of flavour.

Here a few great tasting recipes that are made with these beneficial herbs:

Wild Rice Salad:
Cook up some Wild Rice, with a few cardamom pods (I open these up and take the seeds out).  Add whatever salad items you have in the fridge at the time: Celery, Cucumber, tomato, and red bell pepper.  For the herbs, you can add either Dill / Coriander.  Finish off with some quality Olive oil and spritz of Braggs if needed.

Watermelon Salad
Chop up watermelon; mix with finely chopped Basil and Balsamic vinegar.

Fruit Salad:
Cut up whatever fruit you have available, make dressing from cut up mint/ spearmint and passion-fruit to cover rest of fruit and mix well.

Cold Pea Soup

Cold Pea Soup

Cold Pea Soup (this is what I live on in the Australian heat)
Cup of frozen peas, few leaves of Spearmint, a few slices of onion, half an avocado, cup and half of almond milk and a grind of Himalayan rock salt + Black pepper.  Blend ingredients in food processor and enjoy!  (it’s like a healthy pea avocado ice cream).

Scrambled eggs
Are easy to make, and always super delicious with any herbs, my favourites to add are either Garlic/ Rosemary/ Sage/ Thyme/ or Chives.

Scrambled Tofu
Sauté some onion, mushroom, Garlic and red pepper slices, once browned add the broken up tofu (just crumble in chunks with hands), add Turmeric, curry powder, cumin and Braggs amino acids.  Cook until the colour and flavour has gone into the tofu. Finish it off with add a handful of Coriander, cook an extra minute and presto – enjoy.

Salad with Roast Vegetables
Roast whatever you enjoy and have available sweet potato, pumpkin, onion, Garlic, mushroom, carrot, potatoes, peppers etc.  Be sure to cover in a good dash of olive oil, Rosemary, thyme and a grind of Himalayan rock salt + Black pepper. Prepare a Green salad with Green leaves of choice, celery, cucumber and a few slices of avocado. Top with the Roast vegetables can further add a sprinkle of feta/ pumpkin seeds, Braggs and Olive oil as needed.

Rosemary

Rosemary

These are just a few of the basics, just have a play around – and next time you are cooking, what herbs can you add to bring some extra flavour to the dish? Taking your average meal from ordinary to extraordinary!

If you have a stellar recipe or tips to share I’d love to hear them, the only thing I like as much as cooking is the eating – and always happy to try a new recipe!

 

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Looking for answers? Easily found, inside each of us..

I am not sure if you like me are looking for answers? I know for myself I am forever chasing the truth, answers, the why – what – where – how and when…. It’s never ending really.

Lately I’ve been a little lost, preoccupied with an ever-growing and never- ending to do list (it seems to propagate itself gorging on the crumbs of my diminishing memory).

On top of this the rather than the age of information, I feel we live in a world of dis-information, so I’ve been trying to use discernment as well as my curiosity for truth, to search for those ‘the answers’ – yes there we have it again more questions and answers.

And I am left feel I’ve been churning around on a hamster wheel going faster and faster; reading 10 webpages at once, reading 8 books, listening to 4 podcasts, watching youtube, gaiatv, printing off to do lists and really going no where at an ever increasing speed….

Is anyone else feeling it? Are you also running in circles?

Time is flying by, holly molly it’s now 2017 – what happened to 2014, 15 and 16…..  and still I am going around in circles.  If anyone has managed to catapult free of the wheel and fly of into a happily ever after, please let me know…..

Yesterday though, I was meditating – and the little (actually large – but little, in that I am able to ignore it) voice deep inside me was laughing.  Laughing at all my every crazy comical effort’s to find the answers, running as fast and far and wide as I can.

And yet, there they are – peacefully waiting – inside of me. They are not coming in an email, or there on the web, there maybe regurgitated parts of it in a few select books –very rarely you’ll come across a hint, a seed but mostly,  you won’t be told by others, definitely most unlikely place to find them is on TV or in a newspaper.

The answers, their there, inside you – yours, uniquely for you, totally free – exceptionally patient and ready for you to stop. Be quiet. Be open. Acknowledge/ hear and see them.

The Answers are/ were/ will be there – they’ve never been anywhere else. We often, in this crazy dazy upside down society, DON’T get taught where to look, nevertheless it’s like magic, their hidden in the most obvious yet unexpected of places, right inside you.

So this week, the top and only thing on my ‘to do’ list in very big text, is the advice:  ‘Stop, Breath, BE!  Know & Remember’.  So I’ve stepped off the hamster wheel for now, made myself a lovely cup of tea, sitting down and feeling the essence, the energy and answers of life and living.

It’s here, it’s me…..  Just have to remember to BE!

p.s.  it’s you too!!!! So remember to just stop and ‘BE’ a little this week.
If you are not sure about how, check out and look into: Eckhart Tolle/ Mindfullness

p.s.s. This is a little off topic as it’s not herb related, however as it is related to being, sanity and mental well being, I figured it deserved a spot on the blog.

p.s.s.s Although perhaps you are not looking for answers, in which case this whole post may be completely irrelevant – I just want to let you know for all other issues/ problems, Wayfarer’s Magic Comfrey Ointment works a treat ;-)  Go Comfrey!!!

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Wayfarers Magic: All Purpose Comfrey Ointment

Comfrey Plant

Comfrey Plant

So once upon a time, I was busy travelling around Australia, when I had the opportunity to spend some time on a Comfrey Farm on French Island.  And it was here that I learnt, saw and experienced first hand many of the benefits of comfrey. From being used in permaculture as a companion plant or fertiliser to brewing ointments that relieved me of my long-standing RSI (repetitive strain injury), insect bites, calluses and muscle strain (yes, farm work is hard).

I literally saw bruises, strains and muscles heal overnight and the more I read the research I realised how miraculous this plant was, and I was surprised at how little was known or published about it.

As I left the farm, I was enthralled and went on to study more herblore to better understand what else would relieve Arthritis, which my mother has, as well as keep my own RSI and varicose veins at bay.  In an all natural – ‘no need to see a doctor kind of way’.  I also researched the essential oils, as well as the properties of Cocoa and Shea Butter, all which make up the

As well as this I researched the essential oils, as well as the properties of Cocoa and Shea Butter, all which make up the Wayfarer’s Magic: Comfrey Ointment product that I have today.

Comfrey is much more than just a traveller’s talisman. Hence I’ve given the Wayfarer’s Magic: Comfrey Ointment the term ‘All-purpose’, this is largely thanks to my own testing of it on everything and anything that might come up.

I’ve relieved and helped heal my aching and tired Muscles, Insect bites, Burns, RSI, Varicose Vein and Trauma injuries. When I fell off my bike I raced (well ok, cried all the way home) covered the injuries with Comfrey and the next day I had no pain or swelling at all.   When I’d splashed boiling oil onto my wrist – I was dreading the blisters and scars it might leave as my skin turned a shocking red, I quickly

One day, I accidentally splashed boiling oil onto my wrist, I was dreading the blisters as I saw the skin starting to swell, and scars it might leave, I quickly slathered on the comfrey ointment, intermittently exchanging it with a cooling leaf of Aloe vera for half an hour – covered again it in comfrey, before applying a bandage and cooling pack. The next morning there was no sign I’d been burnt – not the slightest of marks.  This to me gives new meaning to the term ‘All Purpose’.

Wayfarers Magic: Comfrey Ointment

Wayfarers Magic: Comfrey Ointment

The biggest thrill for me  is seeing and hearing the stories from people who have bought and are using the ointment, telling me of their relief from Arthritis, Back pain, Fractures, Broken bones, Tennis elbow, RSI, Plantar Fasciitis. One lady uses it as a hand cream saying she loved it as it felt great and significantly reduced her age spots. Another told me that it’s provided relief from Psoriasis, (to heal psoriasis the diet and stress management also needs to be addressed), it can calm the pain, irritation and inflammation of the skin.

I also have to give each herb in the Wayfarer’s Magic: Comfrey Ointment some deep love and appreciation, while Comfrey is just magic; there are some other key players I’d also like to introduce you to, as my Comfrey Base blend also consists of:

  • Yarrow: The lovely herbs claim to fame was that Achilles reputedly used it to heal his wounds after battle, with the nickname of ‘nosebleed’, for you guessed it stopping nosebleeds.  No doubt thanks to it’s anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and astringent properties.
  • Burdock: Is one of the most detoxifying herbs, and has both Antiseptic and antibiotic qualities. Particularly renowned for skin problems such as acne, eczema and psoriasis for it’s calming and detoxing effects. Also has been proven to reduce the signs of ageing as it also supports the cell rejuvenation.
  • Devils Claw: has been used to provide relief internally and externally for Gout, Arthritis both rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis as well as Swollen inflamed joints. And externally for Boils, Skin sores and Skin cancer.
  • Horsetail: Has incredibly high silica content it is also reputed to speed up the repair of damaged tissue and skin elasticity, providing relief and healing of arthritic problems, eczema, psoriasis, sprains and fractures.
  • Calendula:  Another amazing little herb that is a must in any herbal medicine cabinet. It is an ideal remedy for inflamed skin, and has soothing, healing and antiseptic properties. Traditionally used to speed up the healing of or sooth; cuts, scrapes inflamed skin, sunburn and minor burns.
  • Essential Oils that I’ve chosen (Frankincense, Juniper, Cedar wood, Rosemary, Bergamot, Clary Sageand Lavender) are all beneficial for the skin in that they protect, embalm, disinfect sooth, calm, moisturise and are both anti-spasmodic and anti inflammatory.
Comfrey Leaf

Comfrey leaf

Together this blend of organic herbs and healing local beeswax and organic Cocoa and Shea butter,  works to provide relief on all levels be it as a simple nourishing hand cream to speeding up the recover of a traumatic injury or irritated inflated skin or joints – it supports the bodies natural healing process.

I always suggest it best to apply a few times during the day, and especially at night before going to sleep. This is the 8 hours our body uses to heal itself and I believe these herbs work with our body while it’s sleeping to hasten the healing process.

Click here to learn more or try the Wayfarers Magic’: Comfrey Ointment, and use the discount code allpurpose when checking out for a 20% discount valid until the end of January 2017.

“I have been using the Comfrey Ointment for my Plantar Fasciitis for over 7 weeks now, together with the ice packs, stretches and massaging the ointment in both morning and night. My doctor told me it would be a long healing process that could take up to 2 years. I’ve had it since the beginning of October and now in mid-January all the pain, symptoms and discomforts have disappeared. I am normally very suspicious about this claims or testimonials, however this comfrey ointment has certainly worked miracles for me.”

ineke