Energetics of Cherry: The Tart/Sweet Superfood

Inflammation and pain are a few of the most common symptoms that people experience. You can easily see this by looking at any over-the-counter medicine aisle at your local grocery store. Lucky for us, cherries are a wonderful and natural remedy for lowering pain and inflammation—among many other benefits! Vote with your dollar and support farms that produce foods that positively impact our health in the most beneficial ways possible. Two DELICIOUS cherry recipes are at the end of this blog.

Energetics

Warming thermal nature; sweet flavor; increases and assists in the circulation of qi energy, tonifies the spleen-pancreas, clears and cleanses blood, and prevents involuntary seminal emission. Tart cherries are astringent and help to tighten and move out excess leaking conditions like excess sweating and frequent urination. Remedy for exhaustion, fatigue, diabetes, gout, arthritis, and rheumatism by eliminating excess body acids.  Treats coldness, improves blood and anemia.

 

Nutrition

Essentially, cherries come in two versions: sweet (which most people are accustomed to, and prefer most often) and tart. Generally, both have the benefits listed within this blog, however tart cherries are the ones that pack the most powerful superfood punch! The flavonoids contained in both types are praised for their anticancer effects and antioxidant capacities. Antioxidants are heavily important to ingest in one’s diet because they have the ability to minimize free-radical activity within the body; free radicals are oxidized molecules that cause damage at the cellular level.

Sweet Cherries

Did you know that cherries can help you sleep better, speed up exercise recovery, and relieve aches & pains?  Tart cherries, or tart cherry juice, is an easily absorbed source of natural melatonin – one of the few natural sources available. While you’re sleeping better, the anthocyanin’s antioxidants (like lutein and zeaxanthin), combined with beta carotene, vitamin C, and quercetin (a blood vessel relaxer) are burning fat more efficiently and reducing uric acid and inflammation.  Inflammation conditions like fibromyalgia, arthritis, and gout, and even sore muscles can be reduced with a cup or two of daily cherries.

Cherries also contain potassium (1 cup of cherries is equal in potassium to a small banana) which helps lowers blood pressure. The darker the cherry the higher the anthocyanin content.  These same nutrients help fight cancer, lower inflammation, enhances the production of cytokines (thus regulating immune responses), and also keeps the brain healthy too.

Sweet and Tart Cherries, fresh & raw

Nutritive Value per 100g

Principle

Nutrient Value per 100g

Percentage of RDA

Cherry type

 Sweet

    Tart

 Sweet

   Tart

Energy

 63 cal      50 Kcal

  3%        2.5%

Carbohydrates

16.1 g      12.18 g

12%        9%

Protein

1.06 g      1.00 g

2%         2%

Total Fat

  0.2 g         0.3 g

1%       1.5%

Cholesterol

    0 g           0 g

0%         0%

Dietary Fiber

 2.1 g         1.6 g

5.5%       4%

Vitamins

Folates

4 mcg           8 mcg

1%            2%

Niacin

0.154 mg   0.400 mg

 1%         2.5%

Pantothenic acid

0.199 mg    0.143 mg

4%             3%

Pyridoxine

0.049 mg   0.044 mg

4%          3.5%

Riboflavin

0.033 mg    0.040 mg

2.5%          3%

Thiamin

0.027 mg    0.030 mg

2%          2.5%

Vitamin C

     7 mg        10 mg

11%        17%

Vitamin A

     640IU      1283 IU

21%        43%

Vitamin E

 0.07 mg     0.07 mg

0.5%         0.5%

Vitamin K

  2.1 mcg     2.1 mcg

2%            2%

Electrolytes

Sodium

     0 mg           3mg

0%             0%

Potassium

  222 mg       179mg

5%             4%

Minerals

Calcium

   13 mg         16 mg

1.3%       1.6%

Copper

0.060 mg   0.104 mg

7%        11.5%

Iron

  0.36 mg   0.32 mg

4.5%       4%

Magnesium

    11 mg        9mg

3%          2%

Manganese

0.070 mg   0.112mg

3%            5%

Phosphorus

    21 mg     15 mg

3%           2%

Zinc

 0.07 mg     0.10 mg

0.5%        0.1%

Phyto-nutrients

Carotene, alpha

   0 mcg        0 mcg

Carotene, beta

  38 mcg   770 mcg

Crypto-xanthin, ß

    0 mcg      0 mcg

Lutein-zeaxanthin

  85 mcg    85 mcg

(Source: USDA Nutrient database)

Preparation

Cherries are in season from May to August.  Try Bing, heart-shaped Lambert, and golden Rainier sweet cherries, or Montmorency tart cherries.  Eat within a day or two of purchase, and rinse just prior to eating.  Look for shiny, deep colored cherries with a green stem still attached. If purchasing dried tart cherries, then be sure to check the ingredients panel as most contain added sugar. Whether treating yourself with wild (sweet) cherries or tart (sour) cherries, it’s a healthy indulgence, so dig in!

 

Kale Quinoa Montmorency Tart Cherry Salad w/ Salmon Recipe

Total Time: 65 Minutes

Prep: 20 Minutes

Cook: 45 Minutes
Yield: 4 People
Level: Beginner

Ingredients

  • Butternut Squash Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash (1/2 inch cubes)
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • Salmon Ingredients:
  • 2-7 ounce salmon filets
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 lemon slices
  • Salad Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Montmorency tart cherry concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons shallot, minced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 bunch curly kale, stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (hot or chilled)
  • 1 cup dried Montmorency tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts

Directions

Make Butternut Squash and Salmon:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss butternut squash with olive oil, rubbed sage, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread on parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until squash is tender and beginning to caramelize on edges.

Place Salmon, skin side down, in small baking dish or foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place lemon slices on top of filets. Roast for 15 minutes or until just opaque. Allow salmon to cool slightly before removing skin. Use fork to flake fish into chunks.

Make Salad Dressing:

While butternut squash and salmon are cooking, mix salad dressing ingredients in a bowl, liquid measuring cup, or jar with lid. Whisk or shake salad dressing until well combined. Set aside.

Assemble Salad:

Place chopped kale in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, a spritz of fresh lemon juice, and squeeze/massage kale leaves with clean hands for about 5 minutes or until leaves begin to tenderize and turn a dark glossy green. Toss kale with half of the salad dressing and set aside for 10 minutes.

Add quinoa, dried Montmorency Cherries, toasted walnuts, and butternut squash to the kale. Drizzle with remaining dressing and stir to combine. Gently fold in salmon and serve.

Tips:

Be sure to cut kale into small pieces and massage for at least 5 minutes to ensure tender delicious leaves.

Butternut squash and salmon can be cooked at the same time. Just add salmon to the oven halfway through the squash’s cooking time.

Butternut squash, salmon, and quinoa can be made the day before and mixed together before serving.

Salad can be tossed together with freshly cooked warm quinoa, butternut squash, and salmon for a warm salad, or assembled with precooked chilled ingredients for a cold salad.

Recipe courtesy of Emily Caruso, jellytoastblog.com

Cherry Ice (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups pitted cherries, fresh or frozen, plus whole ones for garnish

Directions

In a medium bowl, whisk together wine, honey, and lemon juice until combined. Set aside.

Place cherries in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to bowl with liquid mixture; stir until combined. Pour into a shallow metal pan and place in freezer. Stir with a fork every 10 minutes until mixture is slushy and partially solidified, about 35 minutes. Spoon into serving cups; garnish with whole cherries.

 

http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2007/12/sf_cherries/page-01

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082894/

http://aprilcrowell.com/asian-medicine/cherries-natures-blood-cleanser

Energetics of Horseradish: Spicy Spring Antioxidant

 

Horseradish Facts

Horseradish, Armoracia rusticana, is a cruciferous vegetable that is part of the Brassica family (which contains mustard, wasabi, broccoli, and others). This potent root vegetable is also considered a perineal plant and has a multitude of beneficial uses. The root of the plant is what most are familiar with consuming, however the leaves and flowers can also be harnessed in various ways—nearly every part of the plant has medicinal properties.

Horseradish can be used as an expectorant to fight the common cold, flu, and various respiratory disorders. Horseradish has also been found to have antibiotic, antifungal, and anticancer properties. The German Commission E (equivalent to the US FDA) prescribes horseradish as a treatment for UTIs

Energetics

Horseradish nourishes the Lung, Spleen, and Large Intestine meridian channels. It has a warming constitution and a pungent flavor profile. The pungent energetics will assist in opening the orifices of the body: expels congestion in the lymph system and phlegm in the lungs.  The energetics of horseradish also strengthen yang by dispersing cold and treats external conditions like fevers and chills. It also supports, warms, and invigorates the lungs, supports liver yang, promotes urination, and assists in removing blockages from the body.

Nutrition of Horseradish

The nutrition of horseradish starts with Glucosinolate, found in horseradish, is a vital antioxidant compound that has many benefits for the human body. This compound is a main proponent for its anti-cancer ability. Glucosinolate protects the body from toxic mutagens and also assists the body in detoxifying those that are already present within the system (by increasing blood flow to the areas infected by pathogens). Broccoli and others from the Brassica family have this compound as well, however, it is 10 times more abundant in horseradish. For more information about the scientific evidence for horseradish’s nutritional components see the life extension link at the bottom of this blog post.

Recipe Using Horseradish

Horseradish Tea

The leaves of horseradish can be put into hot water to drink as tea. This form of medicine was used to treat scurvy (due to its high vitamin C content).

Pungent Probiotic: Homemade Horseradish

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. kombucha (or whey if your meal is a dairy meal)

1 6 inch horseradish root, peeled and chopped

½ tsp. salt

*Cold water

Alternative addition: beets!

Method:

Peel and chop the horseradish root into ½ inch slices.  Put on your onion goggles and proceed in a well-ventilated space.  Put the horseradish root, kombucha (or whey), and salt, into your food processor.  Process on high for 30 seconds.  Add cold water 1 tbsp. at a time, if necessary, to allow the blades to process the horseradish root freely.

*if using store-bought kombucha, then make sure to get an unflavored version. Also, open the bottle and allow it to stand on the counter for a couple days to a couple weeks (put cheesecloth over it with a rubberband to keep bugs out). This will allow for the kombucha to become more potent*

When the horseradish root is pureed fully, transfer the prepared horseradish root to a jar and refrigerate.  The kombucha (or lacto-bacteria in the whey) will preserve the horseradish for several weeks, if kept refrigerated.

Recipe by Joybilee Farm

 

http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2009/11/horseradish-protection-against-cancer-and-more/page-01

https://www.eastwesthealingacademy.com/herbs/horseradish/

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/horseradish.html

http://joybileefarm.com/horseradish-passover/

 

Energetics of Turmeric: An Honourable Herbal Spice with a Multitude of Applications (Part 2)

turmeric-heart-320x209This blog on turmeric is part 2 of 2; if you haven’t read part 1 yet, then click here and check it out.

The use of turmeric as a spice, and as a household remedy, has been utilised across various cultures and has known to be safe for centuries. To date, no scientific studies in either animals or humans have discovered any toxic effects associated with the use of turmeric (Lao et al. 2006), and it is clear that turmeric is not toxic—even at very high doses. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has conducted its own clinical trials with turmeric and published a 300-page monograph. The FDA has declared turmeric, and its active component curcumin, as GRAS (generally regarded as safe).

Turmeric has been scientifically tested in a multitude of aspects and has a substantial list of observed benefits. These health benefits span a wide range of useful applications: anywhere along the spectrum from anti-aging qualities to anticancer functions.

Turmeric has been observed to:Turmeric

-Support collagen production: collagen is the ‘glue’ that holds the body together. This connective tissue is the most abundant protein in the body. Turmeric also provides a mineral, manganese, which helps to rebuild/replace old collagen in the skin and elsewhere throughout the body—thereby keeping skin young-looking, soft, and less prone to wrinkles

-Help to hasten gallstones out of the gallbladder: great preventative for those whose family has a history of gallbladder stones/removal or those that may be on the brink of needing gallbladder surgery.

-Be at least 10 times more active as an antioxidant than vitamin E (Khopde et al., 1999). Extracts can scavenge free radicals, increase antioxidant enzymes, and inhibit lipid peroxidation (stops cell damage due to free radicals).

-Be antimutagenic: this means that its compounds can prevent the mutation of your cells & genes. If the body has too many toxins, free radicals, etc. then genetic mutations can occur; these mutations cause disease and illness. Because toxins lie within everyone’s bodies, ingestion of antimutagenic agents become imperative.

-Prevent damage to the liver (Miyakoshi et al. 2004) and also serves to protect the heart (Mohanty, Arya, and Gupta 2006)

 turmeric list Specific Ailments Turmeric is Beneficial for:

Turmeric is used as an herbal medicine for rheumatoid arthritis, chronic anterior uveitis, conjunctivitis, skin cancer, small pox, chicken pox, wound healing, urinary tract infections, and liver ailments (Dixit, Jain, and Joshi 1988). It is also used for digestive disorders; to reduce flatus, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, and colic; for abdominal pain and distension (Bundy et al. 2004); and for dyspeptic conditions including loss of appetite, postprandial feelings of fullness, and liver and gallbladder complaints.

It has anti-inflammatory, choleretic (increases bile/solids secretion), antimicrobial, and carminative actions (decreases gas/bloating) capabilities (Mills and Bone 2000). Turmeric targets the digestive organs: in the intestine, for treatment of diseases such as familial adenomatous polyposis (Cruz-Correa et al. 2006); in the bowels, for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (Hanai and Sugimoto 2009); and in the colon, for treatment of colon cancer (Naganuma et al. 2006). For arthritis, dosages of 8–60 g of fresh turmeric root three times daily have been recommended (Fetrow and Avila 1999). For indigestion (dyspepsia), 1.3–3.0 grams of turmeric root is recommended. No known interaction of drugs with turmeric has been reported by the monographs of the German regulatory authority, Commission E (Blumenthal, Goldberg, and Brinckmann 2000).

In a study with human subjects, the effect of turmeric was examined on patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). When 1 or 2 tablets of turmeric extract were given daily for 8 weeks, the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome was significantly decreased, as was the abdominal pain/discomfort score (Bundy et al. 2004).

Turmeric volatile oil is also effective against respiratory tract disorders (pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, etc.) . The volatile oil is active in removing sputum, relieving cough, and preventing asthma. Thus, turmeric volatile oil may be an efficacious drug in the treatment of respiratory diseases (Li et al. 1998).

Anticancer Properties Observed:

cancerTurmeric inhibits cancer cell multiplication (cell proliferation), induces programmed cell death (apoptosis) of cancer cells, and thus has many anticancer properties (Azuine and Bhide 1994; Deshpande, Ingle, and Maru 1997; Garg, Ingle, and Maru 2008). This fact is vitally important because cancer’s main ability to grow and replicate is due to its cells having an ‘infinite’ life program. This means that it can continually replicate and grow without needing to live by the rules of other healthy, non-cancerous, cells. Therefore, turmeric combats cancer by attacking its main forms of living/growing/replicating.

turmeric pillsThese animal studies have also shown turmeric to fight against the development of skin cancer (Villaseñlor, Simon, and Villanueva 2002), breast cancer (Deshpande, Ingle, and Maru 1998a), oral cancer (Azuine and Bhide 1992a), and stomach cancer (Azuine and Bhide 1992b). Turmeric prevents the formation of cancer at various steps, including inhibiting mutation (Polasa et al. 1991), detoxifying carcinogens (Thapliyal, Deshpande, and Maru 2001), decreasing cell proliferation, and inducing the death of tumor cells (Garg, Ingle, and Maru 2008). Certain organic chemicals within turmeric are able to infiltrate cancer cells and destroy them from the inside out: this process can be likened to well-trained ninjas; the cancer cells have no idea that they have invited in those who will destroy them. Even though these studies were all observing turmeric on animal subjects, it seems that multiple cultures throughout history—over a 4,000 year span—have had phenomenal reasons to apply this medicinal herb into their diets.

Further Health Benefits:

Would you like to increase the functioning of your gut? Turmeric acts as a potent digestive stimulant. As a dietary supplement, it enhanced the activities of pancreatic lipase, chymotrypsin, and amylase; each of these are important digestive enzymes that reside in different parts of the digestive system. Moreover, turmeric mixed with other spices such as coriander, red chili, black pepper, and cumin brought about a pronounced stimulation of bile flow and bile acid secretion (Platel et al. 2002). Mixing any of these singular herbs with turmeric creates a synergistic relationship where each herb becomes more effective. Increasing the bioavailability of turmeric in this way will induce higher amounts of bile flow which allows for the liver to detox more effectively, lessens the likelihood of gallbladder stones, and simultaneously increases the effectiveness of the digestive process.

Turmeric Golden Paste Recipe:Turmeric-Paste

-1/2 cup – turmeric powder

-1 cup – filtered water (estimated; might need more depending on desired thickness)

-1 1/2 tsp – ground black pepper

-1/4 cup – high quality cold pressed organic oil of your choice (olive, avocado, coconut, etc.)

 

Directions:

-Gently heat water in a pan (do not use Teflon coated or aluminium pans, if possible)

-Add turmeric powder & ground black pepper into the pan as it heats

-Gently stir until you get a thick paste (~6-10 mins)

-Add oil & stir more

-When you have desired thickness, then turn off the heat and allow to cool

-Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks

As stated earlier, black pepper assists turmeric in becoming highly bioavailable which helps it to be more effective within the body. The added oils will allow for the stomach to more easily absorb and assimilate the golden paste.

This paste can be used as an herbal remedy when feeling a flu or cold. It can also be used as a way to prevent illness and keep your immune system healthy and within the optimal range. Turmeric paste can be mixed with milk or water an d taken to treat intestinal disorders, colds, and sore throats. This paste can be eaten by itself, added to coffee, a smoothie, or your favorite dish. Get creative and enjoy!

Check out this website or this website for further information on ways to use this golden paste =)

 

Resources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/

http://www.turmericforhealth.com/

Organic Non-GMO Turmeric

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Energetics of Turmeric: An Honourable Herbal Spice with a Multitude of Applications (Part 1)

Turmeric is the root structure used from the Curcuma longa plant (a leafy plant that is related to ginger). It has an extensively long history of medicinal use which dates back 4,000 years and spans a multitude of cultures. turmeric_600Modern medical sciences are beginning to recognize its importance: there are currently over 3,000 scientific publications researching turmeric—all of which have been published within the last 25 years. So, what’s the health buzz about?

Turmeric has been found to be a potent anti-agent-for-almost-everything: antioxidant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antimicrobial, antitumor, and anticancer. Furthermore, turmeric helps to protect the heart, lungs, kidneys and assists in protecting the body from radiation exposure. Combining turmeric with foods has also been shown to assist—and effectively improve—the digestion of foods.
As with any food/herb/spice/supplement, always keep in mind that some people (this could or could not be you) can be allergic, intolerant, and/or sensitive to things that go into the body. When deciding to implement something new into your diet, always feel into your body and listen to its language of comfort/discomfort. Read our Food Sensitivity Testing page to get a better idea as to how your body might be affected by the food you’re eating. If you’re interested in this personalized testing and diet protocol, then contact us to work with Donna to see what your body is allergic to and how you can (re)discover your optimal wellitude! With that said, let’s explore this phenomenally multifaceted spice!
Cultural Historical Applications and Energetics of Turmeric:
Over the centuries, turmeric has been used in therapeutic preparations throughout different parts of the world. In Ayurvedic practices, turmeric has many medicinal properties including strengthening the overall energy of the body, relieving gas, dispelling worms, improving digestion, regulating menstruation, dissolving gallstones, and relieving arthritis. Many South Asian countries use it as an antiseptic for cuts, burns, and bruises, and as an antibacterial agent. In Pakistan, it is used as an anti-inflammatory agent, and as a remedy for gastrointestinal discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders. In Pakistan and Afghanistan, turmeric is used to cleanse wounds and stimulate recovery by applying it onto a piece of burnt cloth that is placed over a wound. Indians use turmeric, in addition to its Ayurvedic applications, to purify blood and remedy skin conditions. Turmeric paste is used by women in some parts of India to remove superfluous hair. Turmeric paste is applied to the skin of the bride and groom before marriage in some parts of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, where it is believed to make the skin glow and keep harmful bacteria away from the body. Turmeric is also currently used in the formulation of several sunscreens.

$_32In Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric is a well-documented treatment for various respiratory conditions (e.g., asthma, bronchial hyperactivity, and allergy), as well as for liver disorders, anorexia, rheumatism, diabetic wounds, runny nose, cough, and sinusitis (Araujo and Leon 2001). In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used to treat diseases associated with abdominal pain (Aggarwal, Ichikawa, and Garodia 2004). From ancient times, as prescribed by Ayurveda, turmeric has been used to treat sprains and swelling (Araujo and Leon 2001). In both Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, turmeric is considered a bitter digestive that relieves flatulence. Unani practitioners also use turmeric to expel phlegm or kapha, as well as to open blood vessels in order to improve blood circulation. It can be incorporated into foods, including rice and bean dishes, to improve digestion and reduce gas and bloating. Turmeric is a cholagogue—stimulating bile production in the liver and encouraging excretion of bile via the gallbladder, which improves the body’s ability to digest fats and helps to detoxify the body.
Turmeric is warming to the body and has a bitter taste; it has been used to improve protein digestion, reduce uterine tumors, reduce joint swelling, decongest the liver, dissolve gallstones, increase ligament flexibility, and reduce menstrual pain.
If taken in small amounts, turmeric will stimulate the qi energy of the liver and thereby remove liver qi stagnation. It will also dry up virus-feeding dampness. This spice is extremely versatile and can be added to a plethora of meals, tinctures, salves, and drinks. As with anything, turmeric affects everyone differently, so a general dosage suggested is ¼ – ½ teaspoon daily (as a spice or taken in capsules).

 

Scientifically Observed Properties:
More than 100 chemical components have been isolated from turmeric. The main component of the root is a volatile oil, containing turmerone and curcuminoids, which are found to be powerful natural antioxidants that have anti-tumor capabilities (Ruby et al. 1995; Selvam et al. 1995). Curcumin (one among the many healing substances found in turmeric) is one of the main antioxidant chemicals that help the immune system to subdue free radical formations within the body. It is vitally important to eat foods that have antioxidant properties because free radicals dismantle healthy cells within the body. When there are too many free radicals the body then becomes more prone to disease, illness, and will be unable to achieve optimal wellness.

In a 2007 research study, nutritional analysis showed that 100 g of turmeric contains 390 kcal, 10 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0.2 g calcium, 0.26 g phosphorous, 10 mg sodium, 2500 mg potassium, 47.5 mg iron, 0.9 mg thiamine, 0.19 mg riboflavin, 4.8 mg niacin, 50 mg ascorbic acid, 69.9 g total carbohydrates, 21 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugars, and 8 g protein (Balakrishnan 2007). Turmeric is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acid and alpha-linolenic acid (Goud, Polasa, and Krishnaswamy 1993).

How-to-Remove-Turmeric-Stains
-Regulates the immune system: a healthy and balanced immune system is one of the foundations to optimal wellness
-Is the most efficient at killing H. pylori when turmeric was tested among other herbs (O’Mahony et al. 2005)
-Improves insulin resistance: this can help current diabetics, those pre-diabetic, and those whom are looking to prevent diabetes
-Increases metabolism: can help to lose weight more effectively (always best in combination with other weight loss protocols/healthy lifestyle changes)
-Acts as a repellent against both day and night-biting mosquitoes (turmeric volatile oil specifically) (Tawatsin et al. 2001)
-Reduces skin inflammation; helping to relieve and heal acne, cuts/wounds, psoriasis, eczema, etc.

Recipesginger_and_turmeric_aromatic_rice

Ginger and Turmeric Aromatic Rice by Julia @ The Roasted Root
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: Serves 3 to 4 people
Ingredients
• 1 cup basmati brown rice
• 1 tablespoon coconut oil or oil of choice
• 2 large cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated
• 1 teaspoon turmeric, peeled and grated*
• ¾ teaspoon salt
• 2 cups boiling water
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• ½ cup dried cranberries
For serving:
• ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
• ¼ cup pine nuts
Instructions
1. Pour the dry rice into a bowl and cover with cool water. Soak for 15 minutes, then drain.
2. While rice is soaking, put on a kettle of water and bring to a full boil.
3. Add the coconut oil, garlic, and ginger to a medium-sized pot and heat to medium. Sauté until very fragrant, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the rice, turmeric and salt, and sauté an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Add 2 cups of boiling water, reduce heat and simmer, covered until water is absorbed, about 30 to 35 minutes.
6. A few minutes before rice is finished cooking, stir the fresh lemon juice and dried cranberries into the rice. Re-place the cover and continue to cook.
7. Serve with fresh cilantro and pine nuts alongside your favorite main dish.

T-honey-mask-1-1-650x978Turmeric Honey Face Mask
By Kacey @ DEARcrissy
Ingredients:
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon raw honey
Optional: up to 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. This will add extra antibacterial properties and hydrating benefits to the mask-though it will also make oily in a way that leaves the mask less of a paste and more of a spread, so it may not go on as thick as if you left the coconut oil out altogether.
Directions:
1. Mix the 2 or 3 ingredients together until everything is nicely combined. If opting to not use the coconut oil, you may want to use a pinch more honey or even a few drops of water. When you’re ready to use the mask, apply to a clean, dry face. This mask shouldn’t be uncomfortable at all, but as with anything new, if you have rather sensitive skin, you may want to dry a small test area of skin before applying all over your face. Leave on for up to 20 minutes, this can be repeated weekly to help clean out pores and clear skin. Follow with a light moisturizer, or even just a tiny dab of coconut oil.

 

 

Resources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/

https://draxe.com/turmeric-benefits/

Energetics of Elephant Garlic: Garlic That’s Not Actually Garlic?

Elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum) is normally confused with ‘regular garlic’­­ (the type that many of us have seen and eaten). This extremely large garlic-resembling-imposter tastes much less pungent than its look-a-like counterpart, however, it does have many of the same health qualities as traditional garlic. Elephant garlic is not garlic—its geneElephant-Garlicalogy is actually much more closely related to leeks—even though our eyes would certainly tell us differently! For those out there that do not like ordinary garlic, try elephant garlic and see if you enjoy it, because it has SO many healthy qualities that your body might be craving.

The cloves/bulbs of an elephant garlic are extremely large in size; one bulb can be as large as an entire head of regular garlic. Contrary to popular belief, elephant garlic’s flavor profile is not stronger than ordinary garlic. It is actually much less intense; it is much milder, sweeter, and still packs an energetic punch in the realm of health and wellness!

As does regular garlic, elephant garlic contains the chemical compound “allicin” which has been scientifically shown to have antibacterial & antioxidant properties and can suppress/inhibit certain types of cancers. Allicin, the compound responsible for garlic’s unique odor, is one of the many powerhouses of its nutrient profile. Elephant Garlic has potent antibacterial and antiviral agents, and contains flavonoids, minerals, proteins, and vitamin B which collectively help to kill harmful microbes within the body.

A study from 2013 examined the effects that elephant garlic had on seven kinds of bacteria. Their results show that, “the antimicrobial activity of elephant garlic was stronger than ampicillin [Penicillin] when used against Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus thuringiensis, Staphylococcus actinomycetes, and gray actinomycetes. Even at a very low concentration (12.5%), elephant garlic still had an antibacterial effect on common bacteria E. coli and S. aureus.” This study concluded that elephant garlic has vital antibacterial properties and has an inhibitory effect on cancerous tumors on the bones (osteosarcoma).

Other research shows it to be effective against common infections like colds, flus, stomach viruses, and Candida yeast. Studies further show that allicin helps to lower blood pressure, triglyceride, and insulin levels in the blood. Allicin has also been shown to help protect against colon cancer by protecting colon cells from the toxic effects of cancer-causing chemicals.

Lets discover some ways to get this vital & delicious medicine into our bodies!

Ways To Eat Elephant Garlic

Elephant garlic can be consumed in much the same ways as conventional garlic. It can be stir fried, fermented, pickled, roasted, baked—even eaten raw—as well as sautéed, or cooked in a soup. Feel free to get creative!

Roasted Elephant Garlic + Cauliflower Soup by AdriennEats

1 head elephant garlic
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
3 tbsp olive oilroastedgarliccauliflowersoup1
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp ghee
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium turnip, diced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp paprika
4-5 c water
2 c almond milk
smoked paprika & dill to garnish each bowl

Preheat oven to 350°F. Drizzle elephant garlic (or regular head of garlic) with about a tablespoon of olive oil and cover with foil. Roast for almost an hour.

Fifteen minutes later, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread cauliflower florets onto the sheet and drizzle with the remaining olive oil, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes.

Put ghee into a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, cooking until translucent and softened. Add the celery, turnip, bay leaves, and spices. Cover for five minutes, allowing the vegetables to sweat a bit. Add the elephant garlic and roasted cauliflower along with the water and almond milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the bay leaves. Use a hand immersion blender (or regular blender) and blend until smooth. If the consistency is chunky, like puree, add water to thin.

Finish with a sprinkle of smoked paprika and dill.

Roasted Elephant Garlic for Appetizers, Dips, & Sauces

By Dr. David Richard, ND, LAc

Spread liberally on bread, add to pasta dishes, use to add texture and taste to salads, or place on top of grilled burgers and steaks. Be creative, it’s completely up to you!

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Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 30 minutes, Serves 10-12

20 cloves elephant garlic, peeled
1 quart Organic Whole Milk
1/4 cup Organic Olive Oil

 

 

 

  1. Measure the milk into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and add the cloves of garlic. Poach the garlic for 10 minutes. Rinse and drain the poached garlic, place into a mixing bowl, and toss with the olive oil.
  2. Place the coated garlic into a baking pan and place into a preheated 350°F oven for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Use in recipes as directed or serve plain with fresh whole grain bread or vegetables.

 

*Disclaimer – Poaching elephant garlic in milk is a process used to tame its bitter nature. However, doing this poaching process may remove/dismantle some of the healing energetics of allicin, mentioned earlier*

Raw [Elephant] Garlic Bomb

For when (or before) you’re not feeling well

This works with either conventional garlic or elephant garlicGarlic

-Finely chop enough [elephant] garlic to fit onto a large spoon.

-Drizzle an organic high-quality oil of your choice (coconut, avocado, olive, etc.) onto the spoon with chopped [elephant] garlic.

-Drizzle raw organic local honey onto the ingredients (enough for your flavor profile needs)

-Put the spoonful into your mouth and thoroughly chew the mixture until it becomes a soft paste in your mouth. Chewing this mixture completely, as long as you can stand, is essential to allow your body to most easily process and receive the healing qualities of this food.

-Take 5 or so minutes to sit and relax. If done correctly, your mouth will begin to salivate and your body temperature may rise a bit. Wait a few minutes and you will feel revitalized, ready for your day, and the sickness will be at bay.

Check out Intentional By Grace – 7 Ways to eat Raw Garlic ~Flu Fighting Food~

*If you did not get the above mentioned effect, then double the amount of [elephant] garlic for your next round*

For more info about conventional garlic, check out our previous Blog Post “Energetics of Garlic: Move over Dracula”

Energetics of Broccoli: Even More Nutritious Than You Thought

photo credit: found_drama via photopin cc

photo credit: found_drama via photopin cc

Many parents know broccoli as one of the “green monsters” of dinner time, a tough contender with young ones.  This cruciferous vegetable has quickly become one of the United States most popular veggies, thanks to it’s unique flavor and incredible nutritional value.

Varieties

Broccoli is part of the cruciferous family which includes cauliflower, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, cabbage, and brussel sprouts. There are five main varieties of broccoli.  The most popular variety is the green broccoli, which is the common type found in grocery stores and restaurants.  This type has light green stalks topped with clusters of dark green, purplish florets. The next variety is broccolini, which is just baby broccoli that is a cross between broccoli and kale.  It is best served raw. There is a type called broccoflower, that is a hybrid of broccoli and cauliflower.  It resembles cauliflower more than broccoli.

photo credit: krossbow via photopin cc

photo credit: krossbow via photopin cc

There is also a variety called broccoli raab.  This variety has an intense flavor that is a bit bitter with pepper undertones.  This broccoli has more leaves and a longer stem than green broccoli, the stem is also more tender.  Unlike green broccoli, the stem of broccoli raab can be eaten up to 2 in from bottom of the stem.  The last variety of broccoli is broccoli sprouts.  These sprouts have risen in popularity due to their high concentration of phytonutrients.

How to Choose and Store

When shopping for broccoli, look for tightly closed florets clusters that are dark green or purplish in color.  The darker the green coloring the more chlorophyll, beta-carotene, and vitamin C, and the darker the purple coloring the more flavonoids. Stalks and stems should be firm, and any leaves still attached should be vibrant and not wilted. Avoid broccoli with florets that are not compact or uniformly colored. They should not be yellow, bruised or have yellow blossom, as that can be a sign that they are overly mature.  Also avoid broccoli if the stalks are too wide, woody or hollow, and be sure to check fo rareas that may be spoiled or have a sour smell.

If broccoli is not stored properly it can start getting limp, yellow and bitter.  The best way to store broccoli is to put it in the fridge and wrapped tightly in a plastic storage bag (try to squeeze out excess air). Do not wash broccoli before storage to avoid spoilage. Broccoli can last up to 10 days in the fridge, whole. If you have a partial head of broccoli use the same storage process as whole broccoli, but it must be eaten within 2 days to keep its nutritional value.

Broccoli is in season year round, but it’s peak flavor happens during the cold months, when the frost helps develop a sweet flavor.  During the hotter months broccoli is less tender and needs to be cooked an additional minute or two.

Nutritional Facts

Broccoli nutritionBroccoli is an important addition to everyone’s diet, being a concentrated source of dietary fiber, folic acid, iron, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin E, phosphorus, niacin, manganese, zinc, tryptophan, magnesium, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids. It is also known to be very heart healthy, due to its abundance of flavonoids, such as quercetin. Broccoli is also known for promoting bone health, as one cup of steamed broccoli has 74 mg of calcium and 123 mg of vitamin C.  It is due to it’s high vitamin C content that broccoli can boast a better absorption rate of calcium than dairy products.

Broccoli and other leafy vegetables are found to contain antioxidants in the carotenoid family called lutein and zeaxanthin.  These are found in large quantities in the lens of the eye, but it will decrease in the aging process. Consuming vegetables with these antioxidants are shown to help lower the risk of cataracts.

photo credit: KatLevPhoto via photopin cc

photo credit: KatLevPhoto via photopin cc

Broccoli contains phytonutrients, which are thought to have many anticancer properties. One group of these phytonutrients is the isothiocyanates, that recent research shows promotes the deactivation of tumor growth (especially in estrogen-sensitive breast cells). Another phytonutrient found in broccoli is glucorphanin,  which converts to sulforaphane in the body and boost the liver’s detoxification  enzymes, helping to clear potentially carcinogenic substances more quickly.  This over abundance of phytonutrients are also shown to eradicate Helicobacterpylori, the bacterium responsible for stomach ulcers and have been found to increase a person’s risk of stomach cancer three to six-fold.  While mature broccoli has an amazing amount these phytonutrients, broccoli sprouts are found to have 10 to 100 times the phytonutrient power!

Pregnant women should be aware that broccoli plays an important role in the development of  the fetus’s nervous system!!!!  Broccoli is an excellent source of folic acid and a B-vitamin that is essential for proper cellular division and DNA synthesis, and without folic acid the fetus’s nervous system cells do not divide properly.  Deficiency in folic acid during pregnancy has been linked to many birth defects like spina bifida.

Energetics

Broccoli is a diuretic, brightens the eyes, and benefits rough skin. It is used in the treatment of summer heat conditions, eye inflammation and nearsightedness.

Caution: Broccoli has five goitrogenous chemicals which disrupt the body’s ability to use iodine.  Avoid in cases of thyroid deficiency and low iodine.

Roasted Broccoli and Feta Salad

Roasted Broccoli and Feta SaladIngredients:
2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 ounces baby arugula (about 3 large handfuls)
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Add the broccoli florets and cherry tomatoes to a rimmed sheet tray. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat completely. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the broccoli is tender and lightly golden brown.

Toss with arugula and crumbled feta cheese. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss. Serve immediately.

Acupuncture Treats Food Poisoning and IBS

photo credit: Molly Des Jardin via photopin cc

Food poisoning arises from eating contaminated foods containing a variety of microorganisms including bacteria, viruses and parasites. It is also known as food-borne illness, infectious diarrhea, or gastroenteritis. The most common bacteria that causes food poisoning are salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, E. coli and Shigella. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can relieve symptoms, hasten recovery and strengthen the digestive system to prevent future incidents of food poisoning, avert development of chronic immune deficiencies and increase energy levels.

Food poisoning is marked by severe diarrhea, fever, cramping, abdominal pain, flu-like symptoms, and vomiting. Most cases of food poisoning clear up on their own within a week without any medical assistance; however, it can take several months before bowel habits return to normal. Often, the digestive system is severely weakened after a bout of food poisoning, making the infected person more susceptible to food poisoning in the future. A small number of persons with food poisoning develop an autoimmune disease called Reiter’s syndrome. It can last for months or years and may lead to chronic arthritis.

The best treatment for food poisoning is rest and hydration to prevent fluid and electrolyte loss due to vomiting and diarrhea. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be used to relieve nausea and vomiting, hasten recovery by assisting the body to eliminate the pathogen faster, and strengthen the digestive system to prevent any re-occurrences or development of a chronic immune disorder. After acute symptoms subside, acupuncture treatments focus on strengthening the digestive system and improving energy levels to bring about a full recovery.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Acupuncture

A common disorder affecting 10 to 20 percent of adults at some point in their lives, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) was once called “spastic colon” and has a combination of symptoms that may include constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, fatigue and headaches that can be worsened by certain foods, stress and other irritants. IBS is the end result of nervous interference with the normal function of the lower digestive tract. The symptoms are variable and change over time.

While other patterns may be present, IBS is typically considered a disharmony between the liver and the spleen in Oriental medicine. The liver is responsible for the smooth flow of qi and blood throughout the body. This flow can be upset by emotions or stress, causing stagnation of qi or blood. Oriental medicine views the spleen as being associated with the function of digestion and transforming food into energy (qi and blood). The spleen can be weakened by a number of factors including overeating unhealthy foods, overwork, stress, fatigue, and lack of exercise. When the spleen is weak and the liver is not moving smoothly, the liver overacts on the spleen and can manifest as symptoms of IBS. Symptoms can be managed by avoiding overeating, exercise, identifying trigger foods and reducing stress.

 

Do you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Consider making an appointment with Donna Sigmond.

Cancer Prevention in Every Aisle

Nearly everything in the produce aisle can help you prevent cancer, but there are items throughout the supermarket that can protect your health and the health of your family.

Produce Aisle Picks

Cantaloupe – A great source of carotenoids, plant chemicals that act as antioxidants shown to reduce the risk of lung cancer.

Kale and Cabbage – Cruciferous vegetables are widely considered to be one of the healthiest food choices you can make. Included in this family of vegetables are broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage and bok choy. Cruciferous vegetables are high in vitamins, fiber, and potent anti-cancer phytochemicals.

According to the American Institute for Cancer, there is solid evidence that links cruciferous vegetables and protection against cancer. Studies have shown that this vegetable group has the ability to stop the growth of cancer cells for tumors in the breast, uterine lining, lung, colon, liver and cervix. Studies that track the diets of people over time have found that diets high in cruciferous vegetables are linked to lower rates of prostate cancer among men.

It is recommended that we eat 3-5 servings of cruciferous vegetables per week. It’s best to eat these veggies raw or only lightly steamed so they retain their cancer fighting phytochemicals.

Freezer Aisle Pick

Edamame (soybeans) – These cancer-fighting beans contain phytoestrogens, that may help prevent estrogen-driven cancers by binding to estrogen receptors. They are also good for the men of the household since evidence suggests the isoflavones found in soy products may help fight prostate cancer.

Cereal Aisle Pick

Whole Grains – Oats have the highest proportion of soluble fiber of any grain. Fiber is rich in antioxidants, helps fight colon cancer, and the phenolic compounds in whole grains may help reduce the risk of certain gastrointestinal cancers. Pick cereals high in folate, fiber and/or flaxseed.

Beverage Aisle Picks

Orange Juice – This favorite breakfast beverage is a powerful source of folate which has been linked to lowered risk for gastrointestinal and pancreatic cancers.

Green Tea – Lower in caffeine than coffee, it is rich in antioxidants that can help prevent prostate cancer and possibly bladder cancer.

Pomegranate Juice – Extremely antioxidant-rich, this juice helps prevent colon and prostate cancer.

Soy Milk – Made from soy beans, soy milk works the same way as edamame to fight cancer.

Household Aisle Picks

Sunscreen – Lather on the SPF each and every time you go out in the sun to block exposure to ultraviolet rays.

Cannabis Smoking and Testicular Cancer

In a recent case-control study in the journal Cancer, people who reported ever using marijuana had nearly twice the risk of testicular germ cell tumors as those who had never used the drug, according to Victoria Cortessis, PhD, of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

The study of 455 Californian men found those who had smoked pot were twice as likely to have been diagnosed with testicular germ cell tumors, the most common form of testicular cancer in men younger than 35.

Cortessi explains in the report that it is not clearly understood what happens in the testis that lead to carcinogenesis .  The theory is that it may be acting through the endocannabinoid system.  In other words it is speculated that marijuana smoke and the cannabis chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, reduces levels of circulating hormones like testosterone which is an important regulator of the testis development and function.

Cortessis states that “It may be that marijuana use disrupts this regulation in a way that makes the testes much more vulnerable to cancer.” Testicular cancer is the most common malignancy diagnosed in young men 15 to 45, the researchers noted, and is becoming more common, perhaps because of “increasing exposure to unrecognized environmental causes.”  The National Cancer Institute estimates more than 8,500 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2012. About 360 of them will die from it.

http://www.medpagetoday.com/HematologyOncology/OtherCancers/34656

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/CancerPreventionAndTreatment/marijuana-tied-testicular-cancer-risk/story?id=17183711#.UGiKaU3A8t0

Lacson JCA, et al “Population-based case-control study of recreational drug use and testis cancer risk confirms an association between marijuana use and nonseminoma risk” Cancer 2012; DOI: 10.1002/cncr.27554.

 

© Donna Sigmond, EastWest Wellness