Monthly Archives: August 2013

NETTLE AND SPINACH SOUP

 

Nettle and Spinach soup

Nettle and Spinach soup

Nettles were cultivated in northern Europe to make linen, coarse sailcloth and fishnets. To make the cloth, nettles were cut, dried and soaked in water. The fibres were then separated and spun into yarn. Eventually, flax superseded nettles. But they were still being used in Scotland in the 19th century to make a crude household cloth known as “scotch-cloth.” In the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, The Princess and the Eleven Swans, the coats the princess made for her brothers were woven from nettles.

It is to be hoped in this enlightened age that gardeners will invite this nutritious herb (rich in vitamins A and C, iron and protein) into their garden and not regard it as a weed. Recent tests in organic gardening have confirmed that nettles make excellent companion plants, helping to produce healthy vegetables such as broccoli and conferring keeping qualities on tomatoes by impeding the fermentation process in the plant’s juices. Nettles will increase the production of essential oil in peppermint and boost the potency of all nearby herbs. Nettles in your compost heap will not only add nutrients, but also accelerate the breakdown of matter into robust humus.

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The Magic Garden: A helping of herbs can add formidable flavor – and antioxidant powers – to any meal

december_fuel.inddFlavoring your food with herbs, rather than salt or an extra swipe of butter, may sound like that yeah – right kind of nutritional advice – instead of a cupcake, snack on steamed broccoli. But in the case of herbs, it shouldn’t take superhuman willpower to shift your loyalties to the little greenish-brownish specks. They’re loaded with enough antioxidants to justify skipping the extra salt.

Read complete article: The Magic Garden

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FOOD AS MEDICINE: Eradicate roguish free radicals from your system

Herbed Carrot Soup

Herbed Carrot Soup

Jonathan Hanson’s excellent book, Complete Sea Kayak Touring (Ragged Mountain Press, 1998) includes a valuable chapter on provisioning your kayak with nutritious, high-energy food.

However, for overall health, vigor and injury prevention, it’s even more important for paddlers to be diligent about their everyday diet. Twenty four hundred years ago, Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine,” wrote, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”

What was valid then is even truer today with the typical North American diet high in processed and fast foods full of sugars and trans fatty acids that contaminate our bodies with anarchist-sounding rogues named “free radicals.” These are the leading villains in the aging process and a major cause of tissue injury in kayakers and canoeists.

A free radical is an atom with an unpaired electron. Like an overly aggressive suitor seeking a mate, a free radical waltzes through your body, grabbing electrons from cellular tissue and wreaking havoc like a philandering home-wrecker. Each free radical may exist for only a tiny fraction of a second, but the damage it leaves behind can be irreversible. Although some free radical activity is vital for immune function and hormone and enzyme production, too many will accelerate the aging process, suppress the immune system and be a major factor in age-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis. The formation of free radicals stimulates the development of even more free radicals, snowballing their production and damaging genetic material.

Read complete article: Food-as-Medicine

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Cleansing: Detoxifying your body for a healthy fresh start

Dandelion: Herbalists endorse dandelion root as one of the most effective detoxifying herbs.

Dandelion: Herbalists endorse dandelion root as one of the most effective detoxifying herbs.

I was recently plagued by frustrating and seemingly irresolvable computer problems. The computer technician was similarly stumped. Eventually he just backed everything up and re-formatted the hard drive. For maximum computer efficiency he recommends doing this at least once a year. We hear it time and time again from technical people. Clean it out and start over. The same is even truer for our own bodies!

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IT’S ALLERGY TIME

Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica): Nettles are powerfully antiallergenic. The herb is effective for hay fever, asthma, and skin problems due to allergies and insect bites.

Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica): Nettles are powerfully antiallergenic. The herb is effective for hay fever, asthma, and skin problems due to allergies and insect bites.

April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.
Edna St. Vincent Millay

And that’s not the only thing that April comes strewing. Spring hay fever is by far the most common allergy. Asthma is the most serious type of allergy, but with the aid of certain herbs and supplements, which work equally well with all allergies, including pollen, mold, pet dander, insect bites and certain foods, sufferers may lead normal lives.

An allergy is a hypersensitive reaction by the body’s complex immune system to a foreign protein, that is actually benign, but the immune system misinterprets as a threat, such as an invading bacterium or virus.

Read the complete article: Allergy Time

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The pearl of Siberia

 

The marble cliffs of Olkhon on Lake Bailkal

The marble cliffs of Olkhon on Lake Bailkal

The Russians have a saying that when God was flying over Siberia, he froze his hands and was forced to drop all his jewels. And the greatest gem of them all, they claim, was Lake Baikal.

It is impossible to avoid the use of superlatives when talking or writing about Lake Baikal. More than 600 kilometres long and containing one-fifth of the planet’s fresh water and nearly two kilometres deep in places, it is the world’s deepest and purest lake.

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Sneezin’ Season

Goldenseal

Goldenseal

According to Deepak Chopra, M.D., we carry within us the perfect pharmacy. Our immune systems, if nurtured, will deliver the ideal medicine, in the exact dose, at the correct time, to the right cells and organs, and with no bad side effects.

This winter, look after yourselves and your loved ones with good food, unpolluted water, fresh air, exercise, adequate sleep and, for a little insurance, some herbal immune boosters.

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Sneezin’ Season

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