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Thursday, December 13, 2012

42 Flowers You Can Eat

  • All blossoms from the allium family (leeks, chives, garlic, garlic chives) are edible and flavorful! Flavors run the gamut from delicate leek to robust garlic. Every part of these plants is edible.  By Dr. Mercola
    Edible flowers are ordinarily associated with haute cuisine and wedding cakes, but you may have several tasty varieties right in your own backyard.
    Adding flowers to your meals will not only make an ordinary dish look gourmet, they can be quite flavorful and nutritious.
    Historically speaking, many different cultures valued fresh flowers in their culinary endeavors; rose petals were popular among Asian Indians, daylily buds often appear in oriental dishes, Romans used violets, and stuffed squash blossoms were popular in Italian and Hispanic cultures.1
    If you're used to adding fresh herbs to your food, adding in a sprinkling of fresh flowers is not much different, but there are some unique guidelines to be aware of.

    Not Every Flower is Edible

    Before eating any flower, you need to make sure it is edible. As a general rule, assume any flower from a florist, nursery or garden center is not edible, as these are nearly always heavily treated with pesticides. The same goes for flowers you find near a roadside or in any garden that has been treated with chemicals. Stick to organically grown flowers, or those you grow yourself (without pesticides/herbicides).
    Some flowers, however, even organic ones, can make you very sick if eaten. Daphne, foxglove, daffodils, and hyacinths are just a few examples of poisonous flowers that should not be used for food purposes. The slideshow above contains 42 examples of flowers that are safe to eat, but there are many others. Consult a reference book on edible flowers, or ask an expert in this area, before branching out further, and if you're not sure, don't eat it.

    Flower Power: Are Flowers Good for You?

    Flowers are natural plant foods, and like many plant foods in nature often contain valuable nutrients for your health. For instance, dandelions contain numerous antioxidant properties and flavonoids, including FOUR times the beta carotene of broccoli, as well as lutein, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin. They're also a rich source of vitamins, including folic acid, riboflavin, pyroxidine, niacin, and vitamins E and C. Other examples include:
    • Violets contain rutin, a phytochemical with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that ay help strengthen capillary walls
    • Rose petals contain bioflavonoids and antioxidants, as well as vitamins A, B3, C and E
    • Nasturtiums contain cancer-fighting lycopene and lutein, a carotenoid found in vegetables and fruits that is important for vision health
    • Lavender contains vitamin A, calcium and iron, and is said to benefit your central nervous system
    • Chive blossoms (the purple flower of the chive herb) contain vitamin C, iron and sulfur, and have traditionally been used to help support healthy blood pressure levels

    Flowers are Fragile, Handle with Care

    Flowers are extremely perishable and do not do well when stored in the refrigerator. Ideally, pick them fresh and serve them as soon as possible (store them upright in a glass of water while preparing). If you must store them, place them carefully between two moist paper towels, wrap in plastic or place in an airtight container, and put them in the fridge. When ready to use, rinse each flower gently with water, and blot it carefully dry. You can use a knife or tweezers to remove the stem, leaves and pistil, then separate the petals (generally only the petals are eaten).
    Flowers can be eaten raw in salads (nasturtiums, dandelion and primrose are popular for this purpose), added to appetizers or infused into sauces and other dishes. Every flower has a unique taste, so you will find the ones that appeal to you most just like any other herb or spice. For instance, bee balm tastes similar to oregano, carnations have a clove-like flavor, and marigolds are sometimes called "poor man's saffron" because of their peppery, saffron-like flavor.
    If they're not available for free in your own backyard, you can find edible flowers at gourmet food shops, farmers' markets and other specialty food shops.

    Start Slowly When Eating Flowers

    Flowers are tiny but they can pack a powerful punch, especially if they're new to your diet. Introduce them sparingly at first to avoid any potential digestive upset or allergic reactions. This is especially important if you have allergies to pollen, as eating flowers may exacerbate your symptoms. Even high-quality, nutritious edible flowers can cause an unexpected reaction in some people. Try them one at a time and in SMALL amounts to see how your body is going to react. 

  • (The flower is the key identifier for determining herbs and plants.)
    Dr Mark

    Back pain and Sciatica tips for the Holidays

    Traveling can be rough on the body. Whether you are traveling alone on businessor on your way to a sunny resort with your family, long hours in a caror an airplane can leave you stressed, tired, stiff and sore.

    "Prolonged sitting can wreak havoc on your body," says Dr. Scott Bautch, immediate past president of the American Chiropractic Association's (ACA) Council on Occupational Health. "Even if you travel in the most comfortable carrier opt to fly first class, certain pressures and forces from awkward positions can result in restricted blood flow. One of the biggest insults to your system from prolonged sitting is the buildup of pressure in the blood vessels in your lower legs. Contracting and relaxing the muscles helps the blood flow properly."

    Dr. Bautch and the ACA suggest the following tips and advice to fight the pains and strains of travel before they occur.

    Warm Up, Cool Down

    Treat travel as an athletic event. Warm up before settling into a car or plane, and cool down once you reach your destination. Take a brisk walk to stretch your hamstring and calf muscles.

    In the Car

    • Adjustthe seat so you are as close to the steering wheel as comfortablypossible. Your knees should be slightly higher than your hips. Placefour fingers behind the back of your thigh closest to your knee. If youcannot easily slide your fingers in and out of that space, you need tore-adjust your seat.
    • Considera back support. Using a support behind your back may reduce the risk oflow-back strain, pain or injury. The widest part of the support shouldbe between the bottom of your rib cage and your waistline.
    • Exerciseyour legs while driving to reduce the risk of any swelling, fatigue ordiscomfort. Open your toes as wide as you can, and count to 10. Countto five while you tighten your calf muscles, then your thigh muscles,then your gluteal muscles. Roll your shoulders forward and back, makingsure to keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road.
    • Tominimize arm and hand tension while driving, hold the steering wheel atapproximately 3 o'clock and 7 o'clock, periodically switching to 10o'clock and 5 o'clock.
    • Donot grip the steering wheel. Instead, tighten and loosen your grip toimprove hand circulation and decrease muscle fatigue in the arms,wrists and hands.
    • Whilealways being careful to keep your eyes on the road, vary your focalpoint while driving to reduce the risk of eye fatigue and tensionheadaches.
    • Take rest breaks. Never underestimate the potential consequences of fatigue to yourself, your passengers and other drivers.

    In an Airplane

    • Standup straight and feel the normal "S" curve of your spine. Then userolled-up pillows or blankets to maintain that curve when you sit inyour seat. Tuck a pillow behind your back and just above the beltlineand lay another pillow across the gap between your neck and theheadrest. If the seat is hollowed from wear, use folded blankets toraise your buttocks a little.
    • Checkall bags heavier than 5-10 percent of your body weight. Overheadlifting of any significant amount of weight should be avoided to reducethe risk of pain in the lower back or neck. While lifting your bags,stand right in front of the overhead compartment so the spine is notrotated. Do not lift your bags over your head, or turn or twist yourhead and neck in the process.
    • Whenstowing belongings under the seat, do not force the object with anawkward motion using your legs, feet or arms. This may cause musclestrain or spasms in the upper thighs and lower back muscles. Instead,sit in your seat first, and using your hands and feet, gently guideyour bags under the seat directly in front of you.
    • Whileseated, vary your position occasionally to improve circulation andavoid leg cramps. Massage legs and calves. Bring your legs in, and moveyour knees up and down. Prop your legs up on a book or a bag under yourseat.
    • Do not sit directly under the air controls. The draft can increase tension in your neck and shoulder muscles.

    Safe Travel For Children

    • Always use a car seat in a car when traveling with children below the age of 4 and weighing less than 40 pounds.
    • Askthe airline for their policy on child car seat safety. Car seats forinfants and toddlers provide added resistance to turbulent skies, andare safer than the lap of a parent in the event of an unfortunateaccident.
    • Makesure the car seat is appropriate for the age and size of the child. Anewborn infant requires a different seat than a 3-year-old toddler.
    • Carseats for infants should always face the rear. In this position, theforces and impact of a crash will be spread more evenly along the backand shoulders, providing more protection for the neck.
    • Carseats should always be placed in the back seat of the car-ideally inthe center. This is especially important in cars equipped with airbags. If an air bag becomes deployed, the force could seriously injureor kill a child or infant placed in the front seat.
    • Makesure the car seat is properly secured to the seat of the vehicle and isplaced at a 45-degree angle to support the head of the infant or child.
    (From our website

    Sunday, December 9, 2012

    Food Synergy


    Food Synergy

    Scientists have tried to isolate exactly what it is about whole grains that makes them so great.
    Is it the fiber? The vitamins? But they were surprised to find that if you just add the fiber, by itself, 
    back into your diet, these whole grain benefits don't return. Nor do those benefits if you add just the vitamins.
    A survey of studies by David R. Jacobs and Lyn M. Steffen published in The American Journal of  Clinical Nutrition in 2003 concluded that components of whole grains are good on their own,but when combined in exactly the quantity found in whole grains, they have an added benefit. The whole is literally greater than the sum of its parts.
    Science is starting to uncover how complex and perfect the natural process of wheat growth is. Its hundreds of natural chemicals all works together to power human health. When just one of these chemicals is eaten by itself, it doesn't have the same benefit. You could take some vitamins in pills, eat the fiber on its own, and get your calories from white bread. You could find some way to still get all the components that make up whole grains, but that still wouldn't be as good for you. When eaten inside the natural, untouched grain, these chemicals are mixed together in the perfect ratio to give us the maximum health benefit.
    Jacobs and Steffen called this food synergy. It should be noted that Dr. Royal Lee of Standard Process, felt that there was some unknown food nutrient destroyed when you process food too much. (He was about 80 yrs ahead of his time). One might say our creator knows more than scientists in drug labs making synthetic vitamins.
    So, knowing this, why do the drug companies make synthetic vitamins and/or fraction off a piece of a vitamin complex and tell people "this is the most important part"? With over 35yrs of research and study in nutrition, what I've found is: (1) the law states "you cannot patent a natural substance". (2)
    Patents mean millions even billions of dollars. What you end up buying is a patented product disguised the hope of health.
    More on this subject later.

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

    A Brief History of White Flour

    Society's understanding of just how good natural food is has grown slowly over the past couple of centuries. Consider the exampl of white flour. 
    When we first began milling white floour, it was said to be an improvement over brown...better for you, and without the nasty, dirty, gritty stuff. Science, however, quickly proved that wrong.
    In 1826, the Lancet medical journal detailed a study where one dog was fed " coarse" bread exclusively and another ate white only. The first dog was reported to be healthy. the one that ate white bread died within 50 days.
    More rigorous studies followed. Scientists realized that refining white flour stripped out not only the germ and the bran, but also the fiber, vitamins, and minerals, leaving only calories.
     Instead of nourishing people, white bread made them ill. By the 1930's, it was clear that white bread was not giving people the nutrients they needed. However, rather than getting to the root of the problem...that refined flour simply isn't good enough to eat--- governments and millers came up with a quick fix. Now, the law in many countries requires that food processors add certain nutrients back into the white flour(and synthetic nutrients made in a laboratory at that).
    Enriching the flour prevented some of the new illnesses caused by refining flour.But nutrtionists still didn't see all the other benefits of whole wheat.
    Over the last couple of decades, many studies have shown that eating whole grain improves overall health. It can lower blood pressure, aid weight loss and digestion, and help prevent heart disease, diabetes and several types of cancer. One fourteen year health study suggested that anyone who avoids smoking, exercises 30 minutes a day, avoids being overweight, and eats a diet containing, among other things, a high amount of whole grains and a low amount of heavily processed fats will experience dramatic benefits: 80% reduced risk of coronary heart disease, 90%  of type 2 diabetes, and 70% of colon cancer. Even after adjusting for factors like weight, sex, and lifestyle, those who habitually eat whole grains have a mortality rate 15% lower--- in other words, they tend to live longer. Why, though, are whole grainsso much better for us? Scientists continued to press for answers.

    Next topic: Food Synergy

    Sunday, November 25, 2012

    Why Eat Whole Foods?


    Why Eat Whole Foods?

    Does your diet include this simple ingredient? The health benefits are too great to ignore!
    Why is healthy eating so complicated? One month, a product is heralded as the latest miracle food, the must have for every diet. The next, it's a leading cause of cancer. Never has so much been written     about diet. And never has bad diet been so wide spread.                                                 
    Straight out of science fiction have come edible substances grown in labs and dispensed from machines, formulated to be convenient, taste great and make a profit. Yet these concoctions, (like margarine, high-fructose corn syrup, refined flour, genetically modified foods (GMO's), and the like.) are huge failures. They may taste good, but they are destroying our health. Diet-related  diseases like diabetes and heart disease are more common than ever. A third of Americans are overweight and another 36 percent are obese. The link between our diet and these diseases has been shown to be quite strong.
    Still, the question remains: Amid all the confusion and misleading information on the subject, how can you really improve your diet?
    Here is a wonderful truth you can count on. It is simple, and it is powerful. All it takes is a dash of humility about the limits of food science. You have to acknowledge that the healthiest food is natural food as it was created. one has to also consider that newer foods in the ecosystem; such as milk, milk products, and soybeans take thousands of years for us to adapt to fully digesting them. Soybeans, for example, have only been in the european diet about 500 yrs.  The orientals usually ferment it as well,(which helps make it more digestable). Americans almost never ferment it.
    The key to a healthier diet is this: eat whole, natural foods and in as ancient a form as possible. GMO's, pasteurization, hybrid foods even can be a problem. Why is there so much talk about gluten sensitivity? Did you know that wheat used to be about 3% gluten? Through hybridization, we now have strains of wheat with 50% gluten. How natural is that?

    Our next blog will include:A Brief History of White Flour


    Sunday, November 11, 2012


    Saturday, November 3, 2012

    Election Cake: A Touch of American Culinary History

    Election Cake: A Touch of American Culinary History                          

    (thought you might have a little fun with this.  Dr Mark)

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    Election Cake, like a bite from American history, makes its rounds every November. I make it every year, but only once a year – just before the election. Preparing Election Cake is a celebration of love, of patriotism, of politics and of history. And for those of you who’ve read Nourished Kitchen for some time, you know that I keep my politics to myself (and think you should too), but share my love of vintage and historic recipes like staititai, buttermilk biscuits or cream of chicken soup. We’ve even hosted whole dinner parties based on historic cuisine. Among all the historic cookery I’ve sampled in my kitchen, this Election Cake recipe is one of our favorites.

    Election Cake: A History

    In early America, the electoral process brought communities together in festivity and revelry. Families traveled from the far reaches of their region to town centers where they enjoyed a holiday – visiting neighbors homes, dancing at balls, drinking, carousing and mustering for the local militia. Indeed, for a time before America revolted and became a nation in her own right, these celebratory spiced cakes that we know (or used to know) as election cakes were called muster cakes.
    After the revolution, mustering for the occupying forces no longer proved a necessity, but festivities still surrounded the electoral process and these spiced and fruit-studded cakes were renamed for the annual elections. Election cakes commissioned by local government could often command several hundred dollars by today’s standards, as they were massive – intended to feed an entire community of voters. By the middle of the 19th century, states and municipalities no longer commissioned the cakes and what was first a symbol of conviviality and festivity began to take on an ulterior motive: slices of election cake were provided as an incentive to vote a straight ticket or for a particular candidate.

    Election Cake: A Traditional Sourdough Cake

    A charming old-world recipe, preparing an election cake is a slow process – a process that fell from favor once by the late 19th century when cakes leavened by baking powder became all the rage. Now, it’s all but forgotten.
    Cakes of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries were typically produced through soaking or sour leavening – like sourdough breads, while those cakes that weren’t prepared in this manner, such as Portugal cake, excluded wheat flour in favor of blanched almond meal. Interestingly, it’s these traditional methods – soaking flour in sour milk, leavening dough with sourdough starter or blanching nutmeats and removing their papery skins – that optimized nourishment received from these foods.
    The simple, traditional acts of soaking and souring grains and flours degrades antinutrients such as food phytate which would otherwise bind up minerals, particularly iron and zinc, preventing your body from best absorbing these vital micronutrients2. Despite what ill-informed detractors have stated, the processes of soaking and souring cereal grains is so effective that researchers in human nutrition suggest that a return to traditional methods of grain preparation such as soaking, fermenting or sprouting result in improved nutrient status, increased lean-body mass and increase in resistance to infection – particularly among those populations who adhere to a largely plant-based diet either from necessity or from choice. (Learn more about the value of soaking grains). Traditional foods nourish.
    Not only were election cakes prepared through a long soak in fresh or sour milk coupled with sour leavening, but they were filled with wholesome fats – raw butter, farm eggs, and served with a heavy seasoning of wine and brandy or molasses, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and coriander. Cooks studded the spiced cakes with dried fruit – mostly prunes, raisins and currants.

    Traditional Election Cakes could feed an entire community.

    A special occasion food, cakes were prepared in magnificent quantities – enough to make a modern cook blush. In one of the first recorded recipes for election cake, Amelia Simmons calls for more than three dozen eggs, a quart of brandy and fourteen pounds of sugar. Incidentally, both sugar and flour available in early America would have remained whole and unrefined – refined foods were a luxury few colonialists could afford.
    Election Cake: Thirty quarts of flour, 10 pound butter, 14 pound sugar, 12 pound raisins, 3 doz eggs, one pint wine, one quart brandy, 4 ounces cinnamon, 4 ounces fine colander seed, 3 ounces ground alspice; wet flour with milk to the consistence of bread over night, adding one quart yeast; the next morning work the butter and sugar together for half an hour, which will render the cake much lighter and whiter; when it has rise light work in every other ingredient except the plumbs, which work in when going into the oven. - Simmons, American Cookery, 1796.
    Now that elections are upon us again, go vote and while you’re add it, soak some flour in milk, stir it with spice and brandy and take a bite of American culinary history.

    Where to Find Sourdough Starter for Your Cake

    Modern versions of Election Cake typically veer away from the traditional method of sour leavening – after all, sourdough baking is a bit of a lost art and most modern cooks who have even the faintest interest in sourdough usually relegate it to the realm of breads alone.
    To prepare a traditional election cake, you will need sourdough starter.  The election cake recipe below uses my method for making a sourdough starter which involves water, bread flour or high extraction einkorn flour (find it here) and a bit of an established starter to kickstart the fermentation process (you can find sourdough starters online here).

    Election Cake

    election cake: a taste of american culinary heritage
    • Yield: 1 cake (8 Servings)
    • Prep: 10 mins
    • Cook: 45 mins
    • Ready In: 8 hrs 55 mins
    Election Cake is a traditional cake historically served at the time of mustering or elections in early America. It is a sour-leavened caked sweetened with unrefined cane sugar, molasses, dried fruit, brandy, white wine and spices. This recipe calls for sourdough starter which you can find online or make yourself.


    • 4 1/2 cups sifted spelt or soft white wheat flour
    • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk or sour milk
    • 1/4 cup proofed and bubbly sourdough starter
    • 1/2 pound butter
    • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
    • 1 tablespoon white wine
    • 2 tablespoons brandy
    • 2 eggs (beaten)
    • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1 cup chopped prunes
    • 1 cup dried currants


    1. Combine four and one-half cups spelt or soft white wheat flour together with one and one-quarter cups sour milk and one-quarter cup bubbly sourdough starter until a thick dough resembling the texture and consistency of bread dough is formed. Form the dough into a round ball, place it in a bowl and allow it to rest, covered, at room temperature for eight to twelve hours.
    2. After the dough has rested for eight to twelve hours, beat one-half pound butter, one and one-quarters cup unrefined cane sugar, one-quarter cup blackstrap molasses together with one tablespoons white wine and two tablespoons brandy. Once the mixture of butter, sugar, molasses and liquor is thoroughly combined and fluffy, stir in two beaten eggs.
    3. Beat butter, sugar and egg mixture with dough, adding one tablespoon ground cinnamon, one tablespoon ground coriander, one-half teaspoon ground allspice, one-half teaspoon ground nutmeg and one-half teaspoon unrefined sea salt to the mixture, until the batter resembles a that of a thick cake then fold in dried fruit.
    4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing the dough to rise until doubled in bulk while the oven preheats.
    5. Bake the cake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about forty-five minutes to one hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake’s center comes out clean. Serve with plenty of butter and a pint of hard cider.

    Friday, October 26, 2012

    Thyme out for cold, flu, and other organisms


    Thyme out for cold, flu, and other organisms

    Friday, October 26, 2012 by: Willow Tohi      

    (NaturalNews) Another member of the labiatae, or mint, family, thyme is an herb native to the Mediterranean basin and comes in many varieties. There is only one plant, thymus vulgaris, but the composition of the oil distilled from the plant shows variations in chemical components based on the location or region the plant grows in, despite being botanically identical. The microbial power of thyme is so powerful that some oils are safe to use in all situations, and some are not. Thymus vularis ct. linalol is the best oil for beginners to use and it is the safest to use on the skin, in baths, and on children and the elderly. Other chemotypes (ct) such as thymus vulgaris ct. thujanol, thymus vulgaris ct. thymol, and thymus vulgaris c.t carvacrol should be left to qualified aromatherapists. Thyme is one of the most used and most useful oils in aromatherapy, but always use thyme oil with care, in moderation.

    Thyme has remarkable antiviral, bactericidal, fungicidal, antibiotic, diuretic, antispasmodic, expectorant, and antiseptic properties that make it wonderful to have around during cold and flu season. In addition to killing microbes, thyme helps the body to eliminate toxins and boosts the immune system by supporting the formation of white blood cells, increasing resistance to invading organisms. Its familiar, warm, herbaceous aroma is powerful and penetrating, and the origin of its name, which comes from the Greek word 'thymos' meaning 'to perfume.'

    The history of thyme

    Thyme has a long and fascinating history. Used by all the early civilizations of the Mediterranean as a medicinal plant, both Hippocrates and Dioscorides described its uses in their writings. The ancient Egyptians used it for embalming. The ancient Greeks burned it as an incense in their temples and used it in their baths for courage. The Romans brought the herb to Europe, and used it to purify their rooms and give 'aromatic flavor' to cheese and liqueurs. In the Middle Ages, thyme was placed in bedrooms to ward off nightmares, given to knights for courage, taken into courtrooms to ward off diseases, and used at funerals to assure safe passage to the afterlife. Before modern antibiotics, thyme was used to medicate bandages.

    Thyme is an easy to grown perennial shrub that can tolerate hot, sunny places well. It has long been used as a culinary herb. It delays the putrefaction of meat, a very useful trait in warm climates before refrigeration. Studies in modern times have verified this use with tests that prove adding essential oil of thyme slowed the proliferation of bacteria, preserving the food for an additional three days. Ingesting thyme also stimulates the digestive system and serves as an intestinal antiseptic.

    Health benefits throughout thyme

    Other traditional uses of thyme include the treatment of respiratory infections. An excellent pulmonary disinfectant, thyme is useful against flus, colds, sore throats, asthma, catarrh, coughs, laryngitis, whooping cough, and bronchitis. Inhale for nose, throat, and chest infections; for mouth and gum infections (such as thrush, gingivitis), use in toothpaste or mouthwash/gargle. As little as a .1 percent solution is effective. After a study in Germany, many researchers believe the effectiveness of cough medicines is due to the exhalation (after swallowing) of the local action of the essential oil on the respiratory tract. Extensive research has shown the effectiveness of essential oils, including thyme, as expectorants and to increase mucus secretions to relieve dry coughs. Inhalation in small amounts worked best; too strong has the opposite effect. Inhaled treatments are especially effective when treating chronic infections that linger in the sinuses.

    Thyme is used as a remedy for physical and psychological weakness, and still is today. Useful for regaining strength after illness, chronic fatigue, or depression it can also be used to help insomnia as its effects are balancing. It stimulates circulation, aids concentration, raises blood pressure that is too low, and has even been thought to increase intelligence and memory. It revives, strengthens, and balances both mind and body.

    The essential oil of thyme is antibacterial, acting on the bacteria's enzymes. As such, it has been used in soapy solutions for disinfecting hands before surgery, being a stronger antiseptic than most used in hospitals. Thyme can destroy staphylococcus at a dilution of 1,000 times. A study in France showed thyme to be among several essential oils that were found to destroy 90 percent of microbes within three hours, when used in a vaporizer. It deodorized the air and purified it from proteus, staphylococcus, streptococcus, and cryptococcal.

    Additional uses include:

    • Thyme is useful on infections of the urinary tract and bladder, and also acts as a diuretic, increasing its effectiveness

    • Also use for candida and vaginitis

    • Use to kill nail fungus

    • Thyme is an ingredient in natural hand sanitizers

    • Add thyme to a hot compress to relieve rheumatic pain, muscular aches and pains, sprains, sports injuries, sciatica, arthritis, gout

    • Crush the fresh herb or use diluted oil as first aid on insect bites and stings

    • Use on athlete's foot. For this use, you can apply the oil neat, or undiluted, but protect the skin with some fatty cream. Other neat applications include animal bites and boils.

    • Use a one percent solution as an antibacterial wash for fresh produce

    • Use in hair and skin care regimes, as a hair tonic or in a face wash and for treatment of things like acne or warts

    • Use thyme in a sitz bath or massage to stimulate menstruation for weak or missing periods

    • Use to kill parasites

    • Thymol, a chemical constituent in thyme essential oil, has been found to increase blood-flow to the skin, thought to speed healing

    • Thymol has been found to protect and increase the percentage of healthy fats found in cell membranes

    • Dietary consumption of thyme has been shown to increase the amount of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid) in brain, kidney, and heart cell membranes

    • Thyme will discourage insects from invading your home

    • Use thyme with rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood in a mixture of grapeseed and jojoba carrier oils to treat alopecia areata. According to the double-blind controlled clinical trial, massage the mixture into the scalp daily for several months.

    • Because of the risk of irritation, it is a good idea to use thyme in blends. It blends particularly well with bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, lavender, rosemary and pine.

    Contraindications and considerations for use

    It is not recommended to use thyme essential oil in its pure, concentrated form directly on the skin as it can be irritating to sensitive skin. The stronger oils, used in concentrated form could cause sensitization to the immune system or stimulate the thyroid gland and lymphatic system. Do not use if pregnant, but useful during labor to move along 'failure to progress' and expel afterbirth. Avoid in the presence of high blood pressure or epilepsy. If you have cancer, liver damage, or other serious health conditions, use under the guidance of a qualified practitioner.

    A conservative but effective way to use essential oil of thyme is to massage it into the soles of the feet. This method is typically well tolerated, reaching the lower bronchial capillaries, then through the circulatory system, the whole body, all without being absorbed into the liver. It is also very effective to inhale thyme, using a few drops on a tissue or handkerchief, or putting in an aroma burner or vaporizer/humidifier.

    Sources for this article include:

    Davis, Patricia. Aromatherapy: An A-Z. Barnes and Noble Books, New York 1995. P. 313-315.

    Fischer-Rizzi, Susanne. Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Sterling Publishing Co, New York 1990. p. 212-213.

    Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy. New World Library, San Rafael, CA, 1991. P. 21-22.

                                                                MORE GMO NEWS    

                                                                                                                Genetically modified (GMO) foods are a major problem, but what's most concerning is we don't know just how bad they are or how big of an issue they will become, yet.

    Monday, October 22, 2012


    Alternative Depression Treatments That Really Work

    Alternative Depression TreatmentsLearning what to do about depression is of the utmost importance to the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who are afflicted with it. You are desperately seeking answers for yourself or loved ones for the safest course of treatment. Knowing what the dangerous side effects of prescription medications are, you will want to take a few moments to consider some of the options when it comes to safe alternative depression treatments.
    St. John's Wart. This is often considered to be one of the best therapy tools that people can use. In studies, it has shown to be far more effective than most of the medications available and has fewer health concerns.
    Vitamins B and D. B Vitamins have been linked to improving the mood of a person and helping with their brain function. By increasing your B Vitamins intake, there is a strong potential for you to improve your depression symptoms and you can start to feel better quickly. Foods high in B vitamins include Leafy greens, Eggs, Beans, whole grains, fish.
    Vitamin D has also been found to improve depression. According to Dr. Mercola "Optimizing your vitamin D levels through proper sun exposure, use of a safe tanning bed or vitamin D3 supplementation may be an important step to protect your mental and emotional health." (1)
    Exercising. Exercising alone can help you to begin to feel better and improve your mood. Dr. Weil recommends thirty minutes of continuous aerobic exercise, at least five days a week for best results.
    Massages. Studies have shown that massages do help the body to experience a reduction in stress. Over time, this can help it to heal and improve the way we feel. With that in mind, you are going to want to consider regular massages. This will reduce the hormones and cortisol in your body and this can lead to a reduction in the depression that you end up feeling.
    Acupuncture. When a trained acupuncturist works on you, studies have shown that your body can reduce the severity of the depression that it experiences. Acupuncture can change your brain chemistry in a good way so that you see a different outlook on life.
    Individually, these natural approaches may have a little impact, but together they can dramatically reduce or eliminate depression and they are the safest choices you will have for improving your health without side effects.
    Many people don't know what to do about depression. So here come greedy and unscrupulous companies who would love for you to think that the only solution is a costly pill. It can cost you more than money. Sometimes it can cost you your life. Now you know how to naturally treat depression.
    The truth is that many conditions can be improved with lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. It is your body and your life at stake. Don't be afraid to do your research and ask questions in order to find the best solution.
    (1) New study shows this vitamin helps prevent depression
    By Dr. Mercola
    N. Curtis has written dozens of health articles and is the author of the Amazingly Informative and Extremely Entertaining Free Special Health Report "It's Your Body, You Can Die If You Want To!" Check it out now at
    Article Source:

    Sunday, October 14, 2012

                                              INFLAMMATION                                                                                                                                I wanted to spend some more time on 2 anti-inflammatory herbs; Boswellia Serrata(from the Frankincense family), and Tumeric.                                                                                       

     What is Turmeric? (Curcuma longa)
    As well as providing its distinctive flavor and color to curries and other foods, Turmeric's versatility extends this medicinal spice easily from the kitchen cabinet to the medicine chest.
    Turmeric is long-recognized as one of nature’s most powerful medicines. It's no wonder that, in Indonesia, Turmeric is known as the “Queen of All Herbs,” and in the Ayurvedic tradition of India, why Turmeric has been used medicinally for over 4000 years.
    According to a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism (2006), Turmeric can significantly reduce joint inflammation in osteoarthritis. Its main mechanism of action is via COX-2 inhibition, the same pathway that many prescription anti-inflammatory and arthritis drugs target. Turmeric does this, however, without the dangerous side effects incumbent upon many pharmaceuticals.
    What is Turmeric used for?
    • Anti-inflammatory - arthritis, prostatitis (BPH)
    • Digestive support
    • Supports liver detoxification
    • Powerful antioxidant

      What Are the Benefits of Boswellia?

      Boswellia is an herb that is taken from the Boswellia serrata tree in the form of a gummy resin. Boswellia has been used for thousands of years to help with and heal several medical conditions. Research has shown that the ingredients in Boswellia have many health benefits, such as improving blood flow.

      Read more: What Are the Benefits of Boswellia? |


    • The Boswellia serrata tree is found in the dry hilly areas of India. For thousands of years, Indian healers have used the gummy resin to treat ringworm, diarrhea and pulmonary disease, and for its anti-inflammatory properties.


    • The anti-inflammatory properties of Boswellia help to reduce the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Boswellia also has a high level of gugglesterones, which help people to lose weight. The Boswellia can easily be found in many over-the-counter weight-loss supplements.

    Read more: What Are the Benefits of Boswellia? |


      • The acid from Boswellia increases the blood flow to joint tissues and prevents the breakdown of connective tissue. Boswellia is beneficial in reducing weight because it stimulates the thyroid. Once the thyroid is stimulated, this leads to an increase in thyroid efficiency, and an increase in calories burned.


      • Boswellia can also be beneficial in improving the symptoms of asthma. People who have asthma and take Boswellia can notice a reduction in attacks.

      Other Benefits

      • Boswellia can be a pain reliever for people who don't suffer from arthritis. The extract from Boswellia acts as a natural aspirin or ibuprofen.

        These 2 herbs are some of the best for inflammation and are often combined in many formulas
        such as our Boswellia Complex(available at our office) or Relief First

      Friday, October 12, 2012

                     SPROUTS                                                                                                                                                   A good article by a fellow Chiropractor


      Sprouting seeds unlocks dormant enzymatic potential

      Friday, October 12, 2012 by: Dr. David Jockers
      (NaturalNews) Natural plants have unique ways of protecting their offspring and guaranteeing the future of their species. Grains, nuts, seeds and legumes all contain special agents protect the precious seeds and poison predators in order to ensure the continuation of their plant. The process of soaking, fermenting and sprouting these seeds removes the poisons and unlocks the dormant nutrient potential of the plant food.

      Grains, seeds, nuts and legumes all contain enzyme inhibitors and phytic acids that deplete important nutrient stores when consumed. These anti-nutrients dwell in the outer fibers and protect the crop from being eaten by mammals including humans. If the mammal were to eat a large amount of these foods with anti-nutrients intact, it would be enough to cause disease and potentially death. This allows the crop to continue to survive.

      Nature has a natural process to remove the enzyme inhibitors, phytates and other toxic anti-nutrients while maturing the naturally present enzymes. In the wild, these seeds would encounter rainfall that would completely soak them and initiate the fermentation and sprouting process.

      Phytic acids are organic acids that are bound to phosphorus. These are found in the outer layer of bran. The phytates block the absorption of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper iron and zinc and sweep them out of your system. A diet high in un-soaked/sprouted nuts, seeds, grains and legumes can lead to very serious health challenges. This would include mineral deficiencies, food allergens and major digestive problems.

      Soaking removes phytates

      The soaking process neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and washes off phytic acids. This process also activates beneficial enzymes and microorganisms that break down other indigestible toxins. Most of the phytic acids are gone after soaking for a period of seven to ten hours. Lactic or acetic acid-based soaking methods work most effectively to remove phytates. This would include using liquid whey and apple cider vinegar mixed with water.

      The practice of soaking, fermenting and sprouting also breaks down gluten and other challenging proteins into much simpler forms that are easily metabolized by the body. Sprouted legumes, seeds and nuts are basically a pre-digested food that has unlocked its full potential of enzymes and nutrients.

      Sprouts are an incredibly rich, living food that is rich in enzymes and anti-oxidants. The fermentation process unlocks huge nutrient potential within the seed. Sprouted foods have five to ten times higher B vitamins, double the vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, calcium and iron content of its pre-soaked and sprouted counterpart. The enzymes will also make the protein much more bioavailable for consumption.

      Always choose fresh and whenever possible, organic seeds, nuts, grains or legumes to sprout. Soaking time should be between four to twelve hours depending on the size and hardness of the seed. Large beans need 12 hours while small grains like quinoa need four hours.

      After the soaking process, it is necessary to keep the seeds damp but not super wet. They can easily be placed in a glass jar with a non-chlorinated paper towel over the top harnessed in by a rubber band. This allows the seeds to breath as they ferment without any bugs from getting inside the jar.

      Smaller seeds will begin to sprout in a matter of hours while large beans and nuts often take two to three days to sprout. Be sure to look out for mold. It will appear slightly gray, white or green and will typically smell bad. Using pink salts on the seeds helps prevent mold formation but can also slow the fermentation cycle.

      Sources for this article include:

      About the author:
      Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance phone consultations to help you beat disease and reach your health goals

      Learn more:

      Saturday, October 6, 2012



      EPA May Slow Cognitive Decline

      "Plasma long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and atrophy of the medial temporal lobe," Samieri C, Maillard P, et al, Neurology, 2012 Aug 14; 79(7):642-50. (Address: Cecilia Samieri, Epidemiologie de la nutrition et des comportements alimentaires, Centre INSERM U897-Epidemiologie-Biostatistique, Bordeaux, France. E-mail: ).
      A clinical study involving 281 community dwellers aged 65 years or older found that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids may be linked to lower gray matter atrophy. Subjects' plasma fatty acid levels were measured at baseline, and MRI examinations were performed at baseline and at 4 years. Results found that higher plasma EPA, but not DHA, was associated with lower gray matter atrophy of the right hippocampal/parahippocampal area and of the right amygdala. These results indicate that EPA intake may slow cognitive decline. Additional research is warranted.
      Statin Drugs May Influence Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
      METABOLIC SYNDROME - Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Statin, Myocardial Infarction, EPA, DHA, ALA
      "Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on major cardiovascular events in statin users and non-users with a history of myocardial infarction," Eussen SR, Geleijnse JM, et al, Eur Heart J, 2012 Jul; 33(13): 1582-8. (Address: Olaf H. Klungel, Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Clinical Pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands. E-mail: ).
      A randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial involving 3740 statin users and 413 statin non-users found that statins modify the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with a history of myocardial infarction (MI). Subjects received daily either 400 mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), or 2 g alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), or both, or placebo. Results showed that statin non-users who received EPA-DHA plus ALA experienced a reduced incidence of cardiovascular events, while for statin users, omega-3 did not reduce the incidence of CV events. Results indicate that statins may modify the effect of omega-3 fatty acids, but that for patients with a history of MI who are not treated with statins, low-dose supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids may reduce major cardiovascular events.