I have been interested in and learning about herbal remedies for the past 30 years. While in the past my learning has come reading countless books and attending workshop and classes I found a few years ago an online resource that I’ve found to be excellent. Maybe you’ve heard of them, Learning Herbs.
John and Kimberly Gallagher have created the only herbal online resource of its kind. There is a strong focus on both kids and adults learning how to identify herbs in your own backyard and surrounding areas, what they’re good for, how to process and harvest herbs, and ways herbs are used (in detail too).
The Learning Herbs website is abundantly full of free and paid lessons, educational products (I love their herbal Board game called Wildcraft – which I will write about in a future blog post), an Herbal Medicine Making Kit, they even have a herb ‘mentoring’ membership site (called Herb Mentor) which is filled with all kinds of content, fantastic how-to video’s, and much more. How I wish this was available when I was a kid (or even as a young adult), I would have devoured everything!
Of particular note for parents of budding herbal remedy maker’s, Learning Herbs even has a special section of interest for kids who want to learn about herbs, it’s called Herb Fairies. In particular what I like most is the way the Gallagher’s approach learning, through ‘cooperation’ – a skill-set that has been making some ground in recent years which I am delighted to find occurring. This is particularly true in the Wildcraft board game that teaches edible and medicinal plants, which by the way is great fun for kids and adults!
My personal feeling about everything that Learning Herbs has available is this, no matter what your age or herbal skill level is there is a lot of terrific information to take your herbal remedy making to the next level. I am a member of their herb mentor membership site and I’m loving it! I also enjoy their webinars and other things they offer. I am also an affiliate of what Learning Herbs offers, I personally utilize and enjoy what they offer and enjoy representing the best of what I find.
Also known as: Rubus fruticosus, Black Berry, Bramble, Dewberry, Goutberry, Rubi Fruticosi Folium, Rubi Fruticosi Radix, Rubus affinis, Rubus plicatus, Thimbleberry.
Blackberries are sweet darkly colored fruits that grow on bushy vines in small clusters known as drupelets. In Britain, the same plant is usually called bramble, because of its prickly thorns. The plant is also known as cloudberry (in northern Europe) and dewberry (in the American South). Blackberry brambles can become quite invasive if left to their own devices.
Many earth based and Wiccan religions claim that blackberry leaves can help return evil to enemies that sent it, and may also help remove evil spirits from your home. Superstition in the United Kingdom holds that blackberries should not be picked after Michaelmass (September 29th) as the devil has claimed them, having left a mark on the leaves by urinating on them. There is some value behind this legend as after this date wetter and cooler weather often allows the fruit to become infected by various molds such as Botryotinia which give the fruit an unpleasant look and possible toxicity.
Blackberry leaves have been traditionally used in herbal medicine as an antimicrobial and for their healthful antioxidant properties. A laboratory study published in the “International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents” in July 2009, conducted by researchers from the University of Siena, Italy, confirmed the usefulness of blackberry leaves for these purposes. Blackberry leaf extract was demonstrated to be effective against Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria associated with causing stomach ulcers. The study identified blackberry leaves as an effective alternative to antibiotics often prescribed to fight H. pylori.
Young blackberry leaves have high levels of antioxidants, or oxygen radical absorbance capacity, according to a study conducted by the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and published in the “Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry” in February 2000. The USDA study found that the leaves of blackberry and raspberry, the portion of the plant used in tea, were higher in antioxidant compounds than the berries of either fruit.
In this video, herbalist and storyteller Doug Elliott shares the wisdom of Appalachia in performing “Blackberry Boogie” at the three-day RootStalk Herb Festival established by Mountain Rose Herbs
Using Blackberry Leaf as an Herb
Commission E, the German regulatory agency for herbs, has approved blackberry leaf tea for relieving non-specific acute diarrhea. Tannins in the leaves can alleviate this problem, according to Flora Health.
The Commission E advises taking 4.5g of blackberry leaves daily as a tea or other internal supplement.
University of Maryland Medical Center lists a standard dosage of blackberry leaf tea for relieving diarrhea as 1 heaping teaspoon of dried leaves per cup of hot water, and drinking 1/2 cup per hour, and the UMMC recommends talking to a doctor before taking blackberry leaf for treating diarrhea, because certain types of diarrhea can be worsened with herbal treatment.
Both blackberry leaf and sage leaf have long been used in traditional medicine to address a number of illnesses and digestive disorders. Combining the benefits as well as the pleasing flavors of both these leaves into blackberry sage tea creates a delicious beverage with the antioxidant and healing benefits of both blackberry and sage.
Both sage and blackberry leaf are used in traditional medicine for the treatment of gastric distress, including diarrhea and stomach bloating and discomfort. Blackberry leaf is astringent and helps dry up the intestinal membranes to fight diarrhea, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Sage promotes bile flow that aids in the digestion of fats, according to the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. Sage is also an anti-spasmodic, and helps to prevent the formation of intestinal gas.
Thornless blackberry fruit and leaves have antioxidant properties, according to a study published in the February 2000 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The study found that blackberry leaves had higher oxygen radical absorbance capacity than the fruit.
How to Make Blackberry Leaf Tea
There are two ways to extract the medicinal properties of herbs or plants to make tea, infusion or decoction.
When using leaves of blackberry you will want to use the infusion method.
Blackberry Leaf Tea is prepared by adding 2 teaspoons of dried leaves to a cup of boiling water, cover and let steep for 8 minutes then strain.
In order to achieve a greater medicinal effect a decoction can be prepared by using about a handful of dried blackberry leaves in a quart of water. Boil until half of the water boils off. According to medical research, it is recommended to take about 2 to 3 small cups every day. Many say that Blackberry leaf tea has no side effects and it is tea you can drink daily. I would like to add that it is a safe herb for those who are not sensitive to tannins, fortunately most people are not over-sensitive.
Blackberry leaf tea as a compress for wounds and skin rashes: it is recommended to make a compress for treating skin irritations and wounds. The best way is to make a decoction (see above) with the blackberry leaves then soak a cotton cloth in the liquid. Wring out the cloth then lay it over the affected skin area. Cover with a plastic wrap for about 30 minutes. This process can be done several times a day.
Additional Herbal Uses for Blackberry Leaves
Chewing fresh blackberry leaves releases tannins and vitamin C which can soothe and heal canker sores and inflamed gums.
Anthocyanocides contained in blackberry leaves act as powerful antioxidants that are essential for reversing cell damage resulting from free radicals which makes drinking the tea a very useful herb for wellness.
Blackberry leaf tea also helpful in regulating both heavy and light menstrual flow as well as intestinal inflammation since its leaves contains the astringent tannins. It is advisable to blend 2 oz of blackberry leaf tea with 1 oz of peppermint leaves in order to get the most effective relief.
Minor sore throat pain: blackberry leaf tea is recommended for those individuals suffering from sore throat pain as it acts as an anti- inflammatory for both throat and mouth normally caused by cold. Using the decoction method is best because it has a thicker consistency. Honey can be used to sweeten the bitter taste then simply use it as a mouthwash or as a gargle. When symptoms of sore throat are first observed, it is highly recommended to take this tea to prevent increased severity of the condition. Two to three cups of blackberry leaf tea daily is recommended to provide the effect.
Blackberry leaf is also approved in Germany for treating mild inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat. This makes it beneficial for relieving sore throat, mouth sores and gum inflammation. For these purposes, it can be used as a gargle, mouthwash or tea.
Tannins, gallic acid, villosin, starch, and calcium oxalate.
Tea Steeping Time Reduces the Bitter Tannin Flavor
Tannins tend to have a ‘bitter’ flavor when the tea is steeped for too long. Therefore, it is recommended for ‘normal’ drinking of the tea that the steeping time not exceed 6 minutes.
Try a test yourself… take two individual cups of hot water and add to it the same amount of Blackberry leaf. Steep one of the cups for 5 minutes and the other for 15 minutes. Taste. Do you taste the difference?
Washes, compresses, and baths. Can be taken internally as a tea, capsule or extract. Leaf is slightly sweet and may be sprinkled on food.
The properties of tannins should always be kept in mind while applying extracts from tannin-rich plants for medicinal purpose. Tannin is basically an astringent that means that it tauten the pores and pulls out liquids from plants. In plants, tannins are large astringents molecules that easily attaches with proteins. To find the truth about these properties of tannins you may try a few small experiments. If you put tannin on your skin, you will witness it to shrink and if you apply if on your face you will notice wrinkles appearing. At the same time, tannins help to draw out all irritants from the skin. These properties impart medicinal qualities to tannin which is applied on the skin to pull out poisons from bee stings or poison oak bringing in instant relief.
The other remedial values of tannins include application on burns to heal the injury and on cuts to stop bleeding. Tannin’s ability to form a strong ‘leather’ resistance on the exposed tissues helps in protecting the wounds from being affected further. While it stops infection from above, internally tannin continues to heal the wound.
In case of third degree burns using strong tannin sources will not only prevent septicemia, but also help to save life. This traditional method has been practiced by most medicos in all countries. On the other hand, when a tannin-rich solution is poured on the flesh, it generates a sealing ‘eschar’ that often helps in growing new skin albeit temporarily. This technique requires repeated washing of the wound with tannins and this helps to eliminate the bacteria too. Hence, tannins are also said to have antiseptic properties. Interestingly, this practice is still followed in the primary health care centers in China and is also recommended as a first-aid treatment at places where emergency medical services are still inadequate or faulty.
Tannins can also be effective in curbing hemorrhages as well as restrict bare swellings. While tannins are proved haemostatics, they are also beneficial when applied on mucosal coating in mouth. Hence, herbs possessing tannins are widely used as mouthwashes, eyewashes, snuff and even as vaginal douches and also treat rectal disorders.
Tannins sour the mucus secretions and contract or squeeze the membranes of the stomach and other digestive parts in such a manner that secretions from the cells are restricted. Tannins’ anti-inflammatory effect helps to control or curb indications of gastritis, enteritis, oesophagitis and irritating bowel disorders. This action is possible by involving lymph stasis and neutralizing the autolytic enzymes.
Conventionally, tannins have also been used to cure diarrhea. Diarrhea can be caused by the irritation of the enteritis or the small intestine and is the reason for many deaths worldwide. Although diarrhea initially affects the large bowel, but a reflex action origination higher up aims at eliminating the disturbing material in the system as early as possible. Diarrhea many be considered to be a healthy action as it helps to remove the unwanted or disturbing substance from the system, but if it prolongs, it may lead to dehydration and nausea often resulting to death. Thus, in order to control the fierceness of diarrhea, application of an effective astringent medicine is recommended. An effective astringent does not stop the flow of the disturbing substance in the stomach, but helps in controlling the irritation in the small intestine.
Blackberry tea contains tannins, plant substances that can have negative effects. Blackberry tea contains hydrolysable tannins such as gallotannins and ellagitannins, which can have toxic effects on the liver in large quantities. Do not drink blackberry tea if you suffer from any type of liver disease without talking to your medical practitioner. Signs of liver damage include yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, upper right quadrant abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.
Tannins can also interfere with absorption of calcium and iron. Taking blackberry tea with milk helps to neutralize its effect on calcium and iron absorption. Adding lemon, which contains vitamin C, also helps to increase iron absorption. Don’t drink blackberry tea at the same time as meals. Low calcium levels could lead to bone disorders such as osteoporosis; low iron levels can cause anemia. Signs of anemia include pallor, weakness, low energy levels and shortness of breath on exertion.
In smaller to ‘normal’ amounts Blackberry leaf tea has no negative warnings and is thought of as a very safe herb to use with the exception of those who are very sensitive to tannins.
Likewise, those who experience shortness of breath and/or nausea after having a Tamiflu shot, this is due to the Tamiflu vaccine being very high in tannins.
With the way things have been going it’s difficult to know whether we will be forced into becoming more self-sustainable or if we will form regional groups on our own and just instinctively begin taking matters into our own hands. In either event I still think it’s a good idea to start making the shift our of consumer driven ways and getting more into functioning as small communities. I was watching PBS Explorer channel the other night and was quite impressed with the work many had done to make spaces in urban and suburban places more community oriented. You can buy the DVD of the four-part series, “Designing Healthy Communities”, and get some good ideas.
Here is a list of resources to help you get started on thinking, living and working towards making your life more rich and remarkable:
CoGenra Solar – they sell solar panels that combine hot water. This is brilliant because solar panels lose efficiency when the temperature of them gets too hot in the sun. By having water flowing through them helps to keep them cooler and much more efficient! This is brilliant!!!
Eliot Coleman Keynote at VABF 2011 – an excellent 90 minute video of Eliot Coleman discussing winter gardening and harvesting, followed with a Q&A. The first 10 minutes is difficult to hear but afterwards they’ve gotten the mic fixed and the sound is fine.
Shoals Creek Village - a newly planned ecovillage in western NC opens its arms to Farmers and Artisans.
New Earth Living – a blog about the Aurora Pocket Neighborhood in Ithaca, NY, an EPA Climate Showcase Community.
“I AM” via GaiamTV.com – I AM is an engaging documentary about Tom Shadyac, a Hollywood director with fame and fortune, and a serious bike accident that turned his world upside down. Seeking answers, Shadyac talks with some of today’s most revolutionary minds, asking them two essential questions: What’s wrong with the world? And what can we do to fix it? Start a 10-day Free Trial and watch this excellent documentary!
Green Bronx Machine: Growing Our Way Into A New Economy – this is the best video out there! So moving and inspirational!!! Watch South Bronx teacher Stephen Ritz give his standing ovation talk at TEDxManhattan. His students have gone from 40% attendance to over 90% – all from his edible food walls.
Sustainable Gardening Ideas for A Better Community – an excellent video by Shawna Coronado of www.shawnacoronad… she and a panel of organic gardeners speaking at Google Chicago on her dramatic and life-changing experience in the natural environment and the sustainable personal health and economically viable community benefits of gardening. Watch to learn some great ideas and get tips on how a garden can change lives.
Desert Harvesters - is a non-profit, volunteer-run, grassroots effort based in Tucson, Arizona striving to promote, celebrate, and enhance local food security and production by encouraging the planting of indigenous, food-bearing shade trees (such as the Velvet mesquite or Prosopis velutina) in water-harvesting earthworks, and then educating the public on how to harvest and process the bounty.
This recipe is from Vital Choice Seafood, the only place we get fresh seafood. In this recipe, Halibut or Cod can be used. We personally prefer Alaskan Halibut because it has a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth tender texture and has a mildly sweet flavor. One thing we enjoy most is the lack of fishy smell and taste from all the fish we get at Vital Choice, they are superior to all others we’ve tried. Our favorite pick is their Wild Pacific Seafood Medley (yes, it includes the Alaskan Halibut).
Tip: This recipe works well with cod or halibut, and with most any dried fruit.
Prep Time 10 min / Cooking Time 10 min
Cherry-Balsamic Halibut Recipe
1/4 cup dried organic tart cherries (we get these are Vital Choice too, amazing quality!)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup organic white balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts
4 Alaskan cod or halibut fillets (4 to 6 oz each), thawed
Sea salt and organic pepper, to taste
Combine dried fruit, onion, and balsamic vinegar in a small microwaveable bowl. Cover and microwave on medium setting for 1 minute. (Or, heat ingredients in a small saucepan until very warm but not hot, and no more.) Remove from microwave (or saucepan) and stir in pine nuts; let sit, covered, while fish is cooking.
Fill a 12-inch skillet with water to a depth of 1-inch and bring to a boil. Rinse fish under cold water; place fillets in steamer basket. Season with salt and pepper.
Turn off heat. Place steamer basket into skillet; return liquid to a boil. Cover loosely and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Cook just until fish is opaque throughout. Remove fillets to serving plates; top with fruit.
Serve with a spinach salad, rice pilaf, or whole wheat couscous.
Curt and I enjoy sharing the things we have found to be the best. Both of us had pretty much stopped eating fish because the flavor was always off and the texture was always too soft and sometimes even mushy – yuck! As of five years ago that came to a screeching halt when I discovered, by accident, Vital Choice Seafood & Organics.
First, I have to tell you that I am so picky about the quality of my food that if it doesn’t taste and smell like I just went out and gathered it myself, I would rather not eat it.
One of our favorite picks at Vital Choice Seafood & Organics is what they call a “sampler” and the one we buy most often is called “Wild Pacific Seafood Medley” (see image). What we enjoy most about this sampler is the assortment of fish it contains, whoever put this pack together was brilliant. The portions are just right and the variety is sure to please. Plus, there is a substantial savings versus the cost of buying the items separately!
The Wild Pacific Seafood Medley Contains:
Sockeye Salmon – 6 oz skinless/boneless portion
King Salmon – 6 oz skinless/boneless portion
Silver Salmon – 6 oz skin-on/boneless portion
Sockeye Salmon Burger – 4 oz patty
Hot-Smoked Sockeye – 6 oz skin-on/boneless portion
Pacific Albacore Tuna – 6 oz of small, skinless/boneless medallions
Alaska Halibut – 6 oz skinless/boneless portion
Oven-Ready Smoked Sablefish – 4 oz skin-on/boneless portion
Wild Organic Blueberries – 1 lb bag (approx. 3.5 cups)
Organic Marinade Mix – 0.75 oz sample pack
The addition of the Organic Wild Blueberries is a real treat too. To this day, I have not found wild blueberries that taste like the ones I used to gather myself on a remote mountaintop in PA. Well, I should say, I had never found any until I opened my first purchase of this sampler; I couldn’t believe it, these small berries tasted exactly like the ones I gathered myself at the peak of ripeness. The same rich blueberry flavor bursting in my mouth was simply amazing! Whether eaten straight from the bag or tossed in a smoothie, they are perfect.
Vital Choice Seafood & Organics is also recommended by leading doctors, be sure to check out the “Doctor’s Favorites” packs they have put together too: Christiane Northrup, Dr. Lipman, Dr. Perricone, Dr. Jonny Bowden, Dr. Crinnion, and Andrew Weil, MD.
Some of our favorite recipes for cooking the fish in this sampler:
Few subjects elicit more emotion than the safety of food eaten by pregnant or nursing women and its impacts—good or bad—on their children. And that’s how it should be, given the vulnerability of fetuses and infants, and the importance of optimal brain development to childhood and lifelong capacities and outcomes. But some of what we’ve heard over the years is not withstanding the test of time.
Take the case of pregnant and nursing women who are advised not to eat fish, all of the studies published on this subject find that children’s brains benefit when their mothers do eat more fish during pregnancy and nursing, and that children are not harmed by the minuscule amounts of mercury in most ocean fish. This post dispels the myths and provides suggestions to keep both mother and baby healthy.
This is how Harvard public health researchers put it in a recent medical literature review (Mozaffarian D, Rimm EB et al. 2006):
“For major health outcomes among adults, based on the strength of the evidence and the potential magnitudes of effect, the benefits of fish intake exceed the potential risks.”
“For women of childbearing age, benefits of modest fish intake, excepting a few selected species, also outweigh risks.”
The few exceptions to which they refer to are: shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, which should be avoided by children and pregnant and nursing mothers.
Both Christiane Northrup, MD and Andrew Weil, M.D., stand out as a voices of reason within a misguided, drug-focused medical paradigm that downplays wellness and prevention. Dr. Weil wrote on this in the Huffington Post, titled “Pregnant? Eat Fish!”
Dr. Weil writes,
“Research now suggests that the benefit to a baby’s neurological health from omega-3s appears to far outweigh the potential for harm from small amounts of mercury in fish tissues.”
Populations around the world that eat fish regularly live longer and have less chronic disease than populations that do not. Whether this is because fish displaces meat or because it has positive attributes of its own is not clear. Certainly, fish provides high-quality protein without the saturated fat present in commercially raised (feedlot) meat and poultry. It is the fatty fish from cold northern waters – also provide omega-3 fatty acids, the special, unsaturated fats our bodies need for optimum health. The cold water fish are; wild salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and bluefish.
Most Americans are deficient in omega-3s and as a result are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammatory disorders, and mental and emotional problems. Recent research suggests that supplementing the diet with omega-3 fatty acids not only can reduce these risks but can also help treat depression, bipolar disorder, autism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It’s the omega-3 fatty acids that are associated with many health benefits, including protection against heart disease and possibly stroke. New studies are identifying potential benefits for a wide range of conditions including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and other autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, not to mention the studies on fresh fish diets and how they delay Dementia, protect memory and ward-off Alzheimer’s.
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential nutrients for health. We need omega-3 fatty acids for numerous normal body functions, such as controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain, and since our bodies cannot make omega-3 fats, we must get them through food. Continue reading “Does Cooking Harm the Beneficial Omega-3s & 6s in Fish” »
Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) essential oil is one of the most versatile essential oil to have on hand. Therapeutic Lavender oil is known to promote tissue regeneration and speed wound healing and is one of the few essential oils to still be listed in the British Pharmacopoeia (that is, provided the Lavender oil is of therapeutic quality).
Lavender has medical properties as well: highly antiseptic, antifungal, relaxant, anti-inflammatory, combats excess sebum on skin, and is used for respiratory infections, menstrual problems/PMS, skin conditions (perinial repair, acne, eczema, psoriasis, scarring), burns, hair loss, insomnia, nervous tension.
The fragrant influence of Lavender oil is calming, relaxing, and balancing, both physically and emotionally.
University researchers in Japan found that diffusing certain aromas in an office environment dramatically improved mental accuracy and concentration. Diffused lemon oil resulted in 54 percent fewer errors, jasmine 33 percent fewer errors, and lavender 20 percent fewer errors. When aromas were diffused during test taking, scores increased by as much as 50 percent.
Lavender has been documented to improve concentration and mental acuity. University of Miami researchers found that inhalation of lavender oil increased beta waves in the brain, suggesting heightened relaxation.
Lavender oil also reduced depression and improved cognitive performance (Diego et al., 1998).
A 2001 Osaka Kyoiku University study found that lavender reduced mental stress and increased alertness (Motomura et al., 2001).
Rub Lavender oil on the soles of the feet for a calming effect on the body.
Rub a drop of Lavender oil on your palms and smooth on your pillow to help you sleep.
Put a drop of Lavender oil on a bee sting or insect bite to stop itching and reduce swelling.
Put 2-3 drops of Lavender oil on a minor burn to decrease pain and stimulate healing.
Stop Bleeding; put 1-4 drops of Lavender oil on a cut to stop the bleeding.
Mix several drops of Lavender oil with a carrier oil and apply topically for eczema and dermatitis.
Alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness, place a drop of Lavender oil on the end of the tongue or around the naval or behind the ears.
Stop a nosebleed; put a drop of Lavender oil on a tissue and wrap it around a small chip of ice. Push the tissue covered ice chip up under the middle of the top lip to the base of the nose and hold as long as comfortable or until the bleeding stops (do not freeze the lip or gum).
Rub a drop of Lavender oil over the bridge of the nose to unblock tear ducts (avoid eye area).
Capped Skin; rub a couple drops of Lavender oil with a little carrier oil on dry or chapped skin.
Rub a drop of Lavender oil on chapped or sunburned lips.
To reduce or minimize the formation of scar tissue, massage Lavender oil on and around the affected area.
Rub 2 drops of Lavender oil over the armpit area as a deodorant.
Rub a drop of Lavender oil between your palms and inhale deeply to help alleviate the symptoms of hay fever.
Dandruff; rub several drops of Lavender oil into the scalp to help eliminate dandruff.
Place a few drops of Lavender oil on a cotton ball and place in your linen closet to scent the linens and repel moths and insects.
Place a drop of Lavender oil in your tabletop water fountain to scent the air, kill bacteria and prolong the time between cleanings (NOT in fish tanks though).
Put 2-4 drops of Lavender oil on you vacuum cleaner bag to scent the room while vacuuming.
Bed Linen Spray; in a 4oz. spray bottle filled with water add 5-10 drops of Lavender oil, shake and lightly mist bed linens every morning upon making your bed, this provides a calming scent that helps induce restful sleep.
Dryer Sheet; place a few drops of Lavender oil on a damp washcloth and toss into the dryer, which will deodorize and freshen your laundry.
Put a drop of Lavender oil on a cold sore to facilitate healing.
Diffuse equal portions of both Lavender and Orange essential oils to reduce stress and anxiety.
Sunburn; spritz several drops of Lavender oil mixed with distilled water on a sunburn to decrease pain.
Cuts and Wounds; put 1-2 drops Lavender oil on a cut to clean the wound and kill bacteria.
Itching; apply 1-2 drops of Lavender oil to a rash to stop the itching and heal skin.
Foot Bath; mix 4 drops Lavender oil with 1/4 cup of epsom salts and add to warm water, soak feet for 20 minutes.
In a 32 oz. spray bottle mix 14-20 drops of Lavender oil with water for a chemical-free spray air freshener.
Add a drop of Lavender to one quart of softened vanilla ice cream, stir well, freeze until hardened, serve.*
Lavender Tea; add one drop of Lavender oil to a cup of hot water for a relaxing cup of tea at the end of a busy day.*
The FDA has been considering approval of a genetically engineered (GE) salmon (and soon other popularly eaten fish to follow) for human consumption that grows at twice the rate of normal salmon. The GM salmon is a mere starter in the culinary revolution of GE animals for human consumption. The approval of GM salmon will pave the way for an ever-growing number of animals to be genetically engineered for human consumption.
The company responsible for the first Frankenfish for humans to eat is AquaBounty. AquaBounty has developed an advanced-hybrid (Genetically Modified) salmon, trout, and tilapia designed to grow faster and significantly larger than their conventional siblings. The tilapia that’s being developed is a modified version that has been developed so that it can digest protein more efficiently. The result is a giant fish that can grow up to five times the size of a non-transgenic tilapia, sounds real yummy and healthy, huh?! Just looking at the photo above is enough visual indication that GM salmon are hardly fit for eating! Continue reading “FDA Says GM Salmon, Trout, Tilapia Safe for Human Consumption” »
A well-known Nurse’s Health Study found that women who ate fish once per week cut their risk of stroke by 22 percent, while those who ate fish five or more times per week cut their risk by 52 percent. Studies have also shown that 3 g per day of fish oil containing both EPA and DHA is cardioprotective because it makes platelets more slippery and decreases cellular inflammation. The evidence that the omega-3 fats in wild cold water fish are heart healthy is so compelling that the American Heart Association now recommends that all adults consume fish at least twice per week. Fatty cold-water fish such as wild Alaskan salmon contains the most omega-3 fats.
The benefits of eating fresh wild fish have been confirmed over and over again, and they continue to make headlines. A recent review of 97 clinical studies on the effects of lipid-lowering agents (statins, fibrates, resins, niacin, and fish oils) showed that fish oils provided the greatest reductions in total mortality and cardiac morbidity. See Top 8 Delicious Heart Healthy Foods.
Iso, H., et. al., 2001. Intake of fish and omega-3 fatty acids and risk of stroke in women, JAMA, 285(3):304–12.
Leaf, A., et al., 1988. Cardiovascular effect of n-3 fatty acids. NEJM, 318(9), 549–557; von Schaky, C., et al., 1999. The effect of dietary omega-3 fatty acids in coronary atherosclerosis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ann Internal Medicine, 130 (7), 554–562.
Studer, M., et. al., 2005. Effect of different antilipidemic agents and diets on mortality: a systematic review, Arch Intern Med, 165(7):725–30.
• It takes roughly a millennium to build an inch or two of soil.
• It takes less than 40 years, on average, to strip an inch of soil by farming in ways that are more focused on current yield than on sustaining fertility.
• A third of America’s topsoil has eroded since 1776.
In the 1970s, the United States lost 4 billion tons of soil per year.
• Roughly a third of all farmland in the world has been degraded since World War II, with annual soil erosion worldwide equivalent to the loss of 12 million hectares of arable land, or 1 percent of total arable land.
• About a third of China’s 130 million hectares of farmland is seriously eroded, and Chinese crop yields fell by more than 10 percent from 1999 to 2003, despite increasing application of synthetic fertilizers.
The Gunnison Sage-Grouse is a spectacular but declining bird of the western sagebrush. It is restricted to seven isolated locations in Colorado and one tiny population in Utah. In early 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed it under consideration for listing under the Endangered Species Act. The males have an extravagant spring display in which they puff out their bodies, fan their tails into a starburst, and make low, gurgling sounds with bizarre frog-like air sacs in their chests.
WHERE THE TREES ARE
Amount of biomass (organic carbon) stored in trees across the U.S., dark green areas the most robust forest growth.
“Soil is not usually lost in slabs or heaps of magnificent tonnage. It is lost a little at a time over millions of acres by careless acts of millions of people. It cannot be solved by heroic feats of gigantic technology, but only by millions of small acts and restraints.” ~ Wendell Berry
“Has it ever occurred to you that beauty depends on something being identified as ugly? Therefore, the idea of beauty produces the idea of ugliness, and vice versa.” ~ Wayne Dyer
“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” ~ Helen Keller