Me, I’d rather have quality over quantity – I’d rather live to be 60 and have a full healthy life than to 100 and spend most of it in care – however it’s not either / or, I believe you can have both. The healthy decisions I make now are largely driven by my desire to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible, for an optimal long healthy + happy life :) Why not….
So this brings me to the latest book I am reading the The Autoimmune Fix, by Tom O’Bryan – and I started out thinking that I don’t have an Auto-immune disease so it wasn’t relevant to me. However it is, as its full of factual information on how our body works and how and why it starts to degenerate – and then how we can stop that happening. And Auto-immune is broader than you think, it’s anytime your immune system jumps into action, when it doesn’t really need to – and simplified if it is always in affect it can lead to gluten intolerance, headaches, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and even cancer. So being pro-active with what my body needs now, could keep this body suit and brain in an optimal state of being for longer and further – which sounds good to me.
A few action steps I’m already taking is to have introduced pro-biotic foods into my diet, think fermented foods, and cut out dairy and gluten while adding some healthy fat, think coconut oil, nuts and avocados. And I am only part way through the book, so I will keep you up-to-date on that.
I do know as times being health can feel like an effort a cost etc., however I also know that our body and good health is worth it and priceless! We, You and me are worth it. And it’s only a week and my energy is up, the blobby fat around my middle is falling away and brain is clearing out of it’s foggy existence, and I am ready to roar.
Some of this information as it’s all quite new, and rocks the status quo a little in that as it’s based on a healthier diets which big pharma doesn’t For those interested, Tom O’Bryan is hosting a series of interviews of medical experts discussing all of this in the Betrayal Series click here, sign up it’s free and starts today.
Let’s be honest there can never be enough good said about this most humble of plants, however I am always thrilled to read and share good news that I find. And this latest one that I stumbled upon is from the Online Chiropractic community website, and it shares some great research results.
Before I get onto that I will add, that I personally believe that while I am not at all a fan of big pharma the fact that Merck has added comfrey into its back pain remedy cream after, this in turn has lead to further research especially in Germany the home of Merck. Of course I wish educational/ research centres would do more study of the benefits of plants, especially whole plants – however the funding at this point isn’t there to do so. I am appreciative though that right now there are people out there studying up on Comfrey – and even more appreciative that it’s being recommended as a healthy (side effect free) remedy to Chiropractors, to assist in the healing and relief of their patients. As the article, written by Holly Lucille, which can be found here states:
Why Topical comfrey deserves a spot in your chiropractic practice:
Aside from soothing inflammation, comfrey treats many conditions life can throw your way, including open wounds, muscle pain, and knee and ankle sprains and strains.
Topical comfrey in practice
In a controlled, double-blind, randomised, multi-center study after using comfrey, patients suffering from acute ankle sprain and pain saw a 50- percent reduction of pain in just three days.
In another study, bruised and sprained knees were treated with Trauma comfrey cream within 12 hours of the injury. Intensive treatment with comfrey and gauze wrapping was performed for four days. By that stage, pain and swelling had dropped considerably. At day seven, no patients reported any knee pain while at rest, and most were completely pain-free by day 10. All were pain free by day 14.
None of the patients noted any reddening, itching, or dry skin. The study author noted that the quick drop in pain levels allowed the patients to move their knees sooner, diminishing the possibility of further muscle damage due to immobility.
Trauma comfrey has also been tested for safety with children. In a German study, 386 children between the ages of 3 and 12 who had suffered bruises, sprains, strains, and muscle pain from playing sports were treated with Trauma comfrey. It was found to be effective for 90 percent of participants and, importantly, there were no adverse reactions or effects reported.
Why does it work so well? There are three compounds that provide major healing power in this type of comfrey: allantoin, choline, and rosamarinic acid. Each one facilitates the healing process in its own way.
Allantoin boosts the rebuilding of cells and regenerates damaged tissue.
Choline helps injured blood vessels and nerve endings recover faster.
Rosmarinic acid fights inflammation and reduces cell damage.
For more information, studies and side notes please go to the original article that can be found here:
Ah, I love Comfrey – don’t you! what a great article, and I do wish that more chiropractors or physiotherapists would look to natural solutions to provide relief and a speedier recovery… Natural herbs, with no side effects are out there, available and ready to be of service to us, all we need to do is ask.
I know I tend to go on about Comfrey, yet there are also other ingredients that rock, and these are Essential Oils.
If I went into all the benefits of Essential Oils I might be here all day, there is quiet a few though. Essential oils are not to be confused with perfumed oils, which just smell lovely – these super stars are made by almost capturing the pure essence of the plant and hence their magic. This means they also capture the many many healing properties of the plants, which we can in turn benefit from by either using them through their aroma such as in aromatherapy or by using with a carrier oil/base directly on the skin itself.
These can easily be used everyday for a multitude of uses; If you have a trouble sleeping try lavender, nauseous try a bit of ginger, in enhance your brain power and memory try rosemary, tea tree oil works a treat on athlete’s foot and grapefruit is uplifting and brings joy….
These oils have been used and highly valued for thousands of years, from Egyptians used Frankincense, cedar and myrrh as part of the mummification process for their ability to preserve and embalm. They were also used in Persia, Greece, India and China – and that legacy carries on today in our uses of the oils, be it in products, perfumes, aromatherapy massages and air vaporisers.
Here are some of the benefits of just a few of the key Essential Oils I use;
Bergamot Essential Oil support the bodies healing it helps to reduce the feeling of pain, works with the skins pigmentation and melanin to even the tone, and it has both a calming effect on the nerves.
Palma Rosa is a very gentle on the skin, yet has a powerhouse of properties, it promotes the growth of new and old skin cell renewal and rejuvenation all while it helps to repair any damage. And on top of this it is hydrating, in how it supports the skin tissues retain their moisture especially good on cracked dry skin, all while it’s lovely scent is uplifting and calming.
Neroli Essential Oil has many benefits, it cares for the skin making it smooth, glowing and helps it to maintain the right moisture and oil balance. On top of this is supports tissue regeneration and is a powerful anti-depressant, so it cheers up your spirit as well as your skin.
Frankincense Oil promotes the regeneration of new skin cells and increases the health of the existing cells and tissue, it is known for its astringent properties which tone and life the skin, contracting the muscles and reducing the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks and scars. It also helps to relieve pain relating to rheumatism and arthritis, and acts as a coagulant, helping to stop bleeding from wounds and cuts.
Juniper Oil has the qualities of being an Antiseptic, Antirheumatic improving blood circulation, Antispasmodic assisting in the relief of cramps and pain, Astringent, Carminative, Depurative in how it purifies, Diuretic, Stimulant in supporting cellular healing, Tonic – in how it tones and the skin. Lastly it is also a vulnerary which means it supports wounds and cuts, and skin heal faster while keeping them protected against further infections.
The ability of Rosemary Essential Oil to relieve pain has resulted in its extensive use in treating headaches, muscle pains, rheumatism and arthritis. It is also anti-inflammatory qualities as well, which makes it very good for relieving the pain from sprains and joint aches. It is also known to stimulate blood circulation, which can relieve pain and also aid in coagulation of wounds for faster healing.
Grapefruit Essential Oil has a great many uses, it’s especially good for the skin due to it’s properties as an Antioxidant, Tonic, Stimulant (Energising), Antidepressant. It also works as a Diuretic and Lymphatic, of which the last two also makes it a great detoxifier of the skin and body.
“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”.
Wahoo!!! Eternal Serenity Face Oil finally makes its debut. I’ve been using it for awhile and have to admit am completely loving it (I know I say this with all my products, and while it could be a sales pitch, it’s not! If I test something and it’s not working, and I don’t love it – I make it again and certainly don’t keep using it or make it sell. If I don’t love it then don’t expect anyone else to either – so I am both the critic and guinea pig of all testing :)).
While I was moving I ran out and didn’t have it with me for over a month and the difference was significant – so glad to have settled in, finishing my first new batch and having my skin is back to its natural healthy glowing, soft self – which is why I am so thrilled to now have the opportunity to share it with you all.
It’s made up of the same Comfrey Infused Blend that is also used in my other products, however the difference is in the additional oils which are just heaven for the skin;
Hemp oil is pure food for the skin, Regenerates and Rejuvenates the skin’s protective layer, thanks to its high levels of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, it has a composition similar to skin lipids, which makes it an great natural emollient and moisturiser.
Argan oil is extremely rich in nutrients including fatty acids and vitamin E. It softens, hydrates, reducing wrinkles by restoring elasticity and has an anti-oxidant effect. On top of that it also helps to heal acne and reduce inflammation
Red Raspberry Seed oil is especially protective of the skin, shielding it from UV-B and UV-C rays as well as infrared. It is also anti-inflammatory due to high content of alpha linolenic acid and phytosterols therefore helpful for eczema and psoriasis and has anti-ageing benefits thanks to it’s anti-oxidant properties.
And the essential oils used are also particularly great for the skin in how the tone, embalm, even out the skin tone, calm and smooth out the skin too. Our skin is our first contact point to the world, it’s important what we put on it, and these ingredients are pure nutrients for the skin.
Being sustainable can mean a lot of things, so I just wanted to cover what it means for us at Soulsong Avalon, as it is a fundamental part of our philosophy:
“Conscious living is to look after what we have. We have one body/ mind/ spirit/ planet – and it merits our Care, Love and Appreciation.”
And for us, at Soulsong Avalon being sustainable means: Making sure all decisions made have a positive impact on the earth, community, customers and self, by using;
Recycled labels, brochures, paper
Glass jars/ bottles which is better for the products, and can be reused or recycled
Quality Organic to local ingredients
Smaller local suppliers
Being Financially sustainable, providing;
Prices are affordable for customers
Prices that are sustainable for us as a small business
So these are what we keep it in mind with all the everyday decisions we make.
Recently I had to choose whether to go with vinyl labels for my oils as they are more durable, and yet we went for the paper – as it’s more biodegradable. Such small decisions, and yet each decision big or small can have a lasting impact.
All of us make these decisions everyday, and they help and do have an impact, we have the choice to cut down on plastic, packaging, organic food, recycling and so much more. The more we can support our values with the choices we make, the more we can support a larger overall change in the way things are done, for ourselves, the community and the world we live in.
And on that note would also like to introduce two new local suppliers, with top quality products:
It’s that time of the year (here down under of course, where it’s winter), it’s cold, everyone has the flu and it’s a world of sharing. Even I have been laid out with a cough, and am drinking my go to Cold Recipe that I picked up on on of my Latin Travels:
Half litre Filtered Water
Half Fresh Lemon
Cut up the Ginger and Garlic and boil, keep on the tip of boiling for 10 minutes, add a slice or two of lemon for another 2 minutes. Then strain into cup, squeeze and add fresh Lemon & raw Honey – and while the house may smell a little, it’s actually super delicious.
Why, does any of this or all of it together fend of a Cold:
Ginger: antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, high in vitamin C, magnesium. It also boosts perspiration, which helps the cleanse and detox the body and bring it’s temperature down naturally. On top of this it acts as an antihistamine, contains sesquiterpenes which are specifically used to target rhinoviruses (the most common family of cold viruses), and is a mild sedative, relieving pain and fever. Garlic: antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties. Great decongestant and expectorant effects. It also contains vitamin C, sulphur, selenium, and other enzymes & minerals that help the body fight a cold. Lemon: antioxidant, antiviral and antibacterial as well as being high in vitamin C. They also help to alkalize the blood and urine by creating an alkaline-forming environment in the body, which strengthens in and supports faster healing. Honey: antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-fungal and antimicrobial. Is filled with Phytonutrients. Sooths and itchy irritated throat and boosts the immune system.
Orgonite, is based on William Reich’s research back in the 1930’s, whereby he identifies the energy that surrounds everything as Orgone. And made many inventions to enhance this energy to heal and boost one’s own energies and create a healthier environment, at the time he was prosecuted and much of his work destroyed. Luckily some has survived and is being confirmed today by modern science.
Orgonite which is made of 50% organic, and 50% inorganic material, is said to create negative ions in the air which then negate negative energies. Hence blocking out negative energies such as cell phone/ tower/ TV radiation, EMF’s and so forth.
Whether one believes in the Orgone energy or not is up to you – I like the energy that Orgonite, and the crystals holds and sends into the world. That in turn supports the growth of our own expanding and evolving energies. I’ve been making pieces for myself and recently also for my shop, and like the lovely industrial rough yet strong feminine feel and look they have which makes them a unique piece of jewellery – truly one of a kind.
The last pieces have SOLD out, however more are on the way.
Well it would have been if Henry Doubleday would have had his way. You see he was a lovely Irishman a little ahead of his time. The story goes (I wasn’t there, so sorry to say it’s not a first hand account), back in the early 1900’s he came across some Comfrey and was somewhat amazed at it’s affects on both his own health, the way that comfrey both fertilizers the soil and brings nutrients up from deep in the earth to it’s roots, and hence making the soil even richer than ever, he even noticed the effect this wonderful herb had on the health of his livestock.
He started bringing it into the UK and planting large crops, in the hope to be able to feed and heal people livestock and the soil…. I am not quite sure where and how the story ended; I do know that he passed away before being able to see his dream come to life. And slowly this modest herb without any big name behind it, without a big company a team of marketing strategist so slowly left the forefront of people’s mind, as the medical profession turned to medicines that were supported by companies with plenty of money for research, the crystallisation of extracts of the comfrey plant overfed intravenously to rats leading this simple herb to be added unjustly to the poisons list and the public has since turned to marketed medicines. And yet, Comfrey remains with us, modest in qualities, there for those that care enough to find out and work with it in our endeavours. Abiding it’s time where it will one day be able to rip of the binds and the cloak of invisibility to once more show that it could, can and perhaps still will save the world. A few it’s super-powers;
Its main component is Allantoin which regenerates cell tissue, helping to speed up our bodies ability to self heal/ setting of wounds, injuries, fractures, broken bones and sprains. This is also said to be the key element that leading some to declare this herb the elixir of life.
It is rich in vitamins, A, B1, B2, E & C especially good for vegetarians as it even has B12, which is a rare vitamin to find in plants, it even has nutrients such pantothenic acid (B5), calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sulphur, iron, Selenium, protein and phosphorus – beneficial for humans, plants and animals.
It pulls nutrients to top of the soil around it and into nearby area, making it an incredibly valuable companion plant for other herbs, fruit trees and vegetables.
Due to it’s richness in nitrogen and potassium it makes an amazing fertilizer, especially in today’s climate where soil nutrients are in decline, due to over-planting and lack of crop rotation.
Farmers that have fed the leaves to livestock have reported a large increase of produce & health of their animals.
One of my own little home grown comfrey plants
Now Comfrey is a humble plant, it just gets on with what it does best, which is to grow and grow, and then grow some more. And while I might think Comfrey is a pretty super herb, and I do completely agree with Henry Doubleday and wished he’d lived to see his dream come true. I hope for Comfrey that one day it will truly be recognised for it’s valuable contribution to our soils and earth, to our healing and our lives.
For more information on full ompontents of comfrey, please check our Dr Christophers site: ‘allantoin (leaf) 13,000ppm; (root) 6,000-8,000 ppm-the biological activities are antidandruff, anti-inflammatory, anti-peptic, anti-psoriac, anti-ulcer, immuno-stimulant, keratolytic, sunscreen, suppurative, vulnerary. Symphytum is the number one plant species with the highest amount of allantoin’.
Interestingly as I am reading in one book about all the medicinal values in many of our everyday food, and the benefits of the herbs we use in our cooking. I am also following the 30 Day Real Food Challenge, which is a gorgeous 30 day menu put together – it’s uber healthy, detoxifying and leaves you and your body feeling so amazing. It also has the most scrumptious recipes you can imagine, so I dislike calling it a diet or detox perse as that makes it sound like a chore or even worse a burden. When actually it’s a complete treat, it is really best for our bodies, and the way they function to step away from the processed food and relearn some of the many new ways we can cook fresh food, and how much a few herbs or different recipes can enhance the flavours, tastes and even change the palate.
Some of the simplest foods in our cupboards have at times surprising magical qualities. Did you know that Rosemary has always been known to improve memory and mental clarity, and hence the ancient Roman students would wear it around their neck or rub their hands with it on the way to their exams. Cinnamon is not only deliciously tasting and smelling, it is also an antiseptic, stimulates your circulation and balances your blood sugar. Turmeric is being declared a new superfood for its powers as a digestive tonic, anti-inflammatory and in how it supports our immune system. The list is actually pretty endless if I noted down all the qualities of all the fresh foods and herbs we’d both be here all day – it is incredible though, and this these hidden benefits is not going to be found in a can of spam or baked beans…..
I’d like challenge you to try do the 30 day real food challenge, the menu plan, shopping list and recipes can be found here. And see how much healthier, clearer (in mental clarity), fitter and more energized you feel after 30 days.
Life can get a little crazy, endless time spent behind your computer, working, thinking bills, rent, moving, shopping, organising, chores etc. Yet life/ soul/ spirit I fully believe also needs some time to play, this isn’t something reserved for kids – as adults we think of play or downtime as just running on the treadmill or plonking down in front of the TV, maybe even take a walk on the wild-side and head out to the pub or restaurant. Creativity, play and ‘letting your imagination run loose’ rarely if ever makes it on to one’s agenda or to do list.
Eucalyptus Leaf print
Yet it’s so healing, it’s freeing and incredibly satisfying. This last week I’ve spent hours working on everything so I took yesterday off to just play. I finished the top I’d been sewing and a crochet hat. I went foraging for leaves to do some eco-dying on silk – which turned out brilliantly, while foraging I took the camera out and took some photo of the amazing Eucalyptus flowers that I’d been meaning to get on film for over a week. The leaves and plants inspire me, and hence I also used some of them to dye my apron. I finished the new label for my body oil, and made a new batch that was just for me (yes, I have the luxury of having an extra large jar just for me :)), and I made a lovely detoxing; Comfrey, Burdock, St. Johns Wort infusion to drink over the next week. Am doing the 30 day real food challenge, going into week 3, and could do with some extra tonic support.
Leaves with inkodye
So at the end of extremely relaxed, chilled day, I have a new top, a gift for a friend’s child, a apron, some captured moments on film, so lovely eco-dyed silk which I am going to make into t-shirts/ tops, some luxurious body oil, and a detoxifying elixir.
I can’t recommend enough making some time in your life to just play, have fun, let your imagination run wild, spend some quality time in nature – be creative, and your life will be all the more richer for it.
And in the words of Robin Rose Bennett;
“It is within your power to make your life more magical. Let yourself think magically. Symbolically. Metaphorically. Loosen up and let the boundaries between mundane and magical living become thinner. Invite yourself to see like an artist, to think like a poet’.
If your interested in trying any of the above check out: Eco-Dying: I recommend India Flint and her book Second Skin: Choosing and Caring for Textiles and Clothing, which is incredibly inspiring, she has fabulous workshops worldwide. Check out her blog here.
30 Day real food Challenge. Highly recommend this, it’s the second time I am doing it, and so love the recipes, the food, and how I am feeling even after the first and second weeks. The benefit is the boosted health, energy and loss of any excessive fat.