Archive | June 2013

Coconut Honey Herbal Ice Cream!

And now, for a long overdue post, but perfectly appropriate for the summer solstice at hand!
No dairy, no sugar, absolutely delicious without a drop of guilt to be had, even if you eat the whole batch in one sitting.
You need an ice cream maker for this, and coconut milk, and honey. All other ingredients are flexible to your creativity and desires!
The coconut milk has to be at least “22%” fat on the nutrition label. Yes. Healthy fats. Eat it. It’s good for you. I buy Thai Kitchen Whole Unsweetened Organic in a can, it works wonderfully- sorry for the ad but it’s the best I have tried and has the appropriate fat content.
For the honey, I use local wildflower, and often use one of my infused honeys, such as lavender, mint, elderberry, or hibiscus.
Simply blend the chilled coconut milk, honey, and whatever else in a blender, to taste. Try not to eat it all just yet, though it will be delightfully tempting already. Keep in mind that things taste slightly less sweet when they are really cold. Pour into the ice cream maker, and in half an hour YUM AMAZING.

Here are some delicious herbal ice cream ideas:
Lavender Honey with Fresh Mint Leaves (or a drop of peppermint oil)
Honeyed Hibiscus Pieces
Fresh Elderberry

And the usuals:
Strawberry
Peach
Raspberry, Blueberry
Mango
Cinnamon, Almond, Chocolate

What creative coconut honey ice cream ideas have you tried?

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Plant Profile: Jiaogulan

Botanical Name: Gynostemma pentaphyllum
Common Names: Jiaogulan, Gynostemma, Amachazuru, Sweet Tea Vine, Southern Ginseng
Family: Curcubitaceae
Energetics: Sweet, bitter
Primary Constituents: Ginsenosides, triterpenoid saponins
Actions: Adaptogenic, hepatoprotective, immunomodulator
Field ID and Growing Habits: This vine from Asia likes partial shade. It will go dormant into the ground if the temperatures drop below freezing, but will resurge in the spring. It has medium five pronged leaves, green star flowers, and dark berries.
Medicinal Uses: As an adaptogen, this plant is taken as a tonic to improve the body’s reaction to stress. It contains protective antioxidants, enhances endurance and stamina, and can bolster the immune system. Recently it has been studied for its cholesterol-moderating properties. It has been shown to lower high blood pressure, balance blood sugar levels, and improve cardiovascular health. Jiaogulan is hepatoprotective and helps modulate adrenaline, cortisol, and noradrenaline. It has a generally balancing effect on the body and is frequently taken as a general health tonic.
Plant Parts Used: Leaves/AGP
Medicinal Preparation: Most often seen in tea form, however, vinegars, tinctures, and adding to foods is also becoming popular.

Resources for learning more:
Jiaogulan: China’s Immortality Herb, by Dr. Jialiu Liu & Michael Blumert

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Endocrine Disruptors

I have been researching a lot about endocrine disruptors the last few years. The information is incredibly upsetting, but I am trying to take heart. Although we may feel powerless when it comes to the rule of money over health, there are steps we can take towards detoxifying our homes, bodies, and communities. The first step is knowledge.

What is an endocrine distruptor?
An endocrine disruptor is a synthetic chemical that enters the body and disrupts the natural processes of the endocrine system by mimicking or blocking hormones, or otherwise disrupting the endocrine system. The endocrine system is responsible for the production of hormones, resulting in the immense and complex actions they have in our bodies. Xenohormones are the synthetic chemicals that that have the ability to act as hormones in the body to produce physical responses.
Nowadays, endocrine disruptors are found in thousands upon thousands of products that people are exposed to on a daily basis, through the air, food, water, plastics, pesticides, personal care products, and more. Regretfully, if you live anywhere on this planet in this day and age, your body has absorbed a huge number of these toxins. They can cause an incredible number of problems and diseases- anything from mildly irritating allergies, to ADHD, obesity, cancer, and death.

What can you do to detoxify and protect yourself, your family, your community?
People are especially susceptible to the effects of endocrine disruptors when they are in the womb, through childhood, and adolesence. A person can develop issues in adulthood from even small amounts endocrine disruptors they were exposed to while in the womb.
Exercise and sweat regularly. Exercise keeps things moving and flowing through and out of the body. Reducing body fat if you are overweight is key because toxins can accumulate and store in fat cells. Sweat releases toxins.
Eat organic, whole, local, unpackaged, unprocessed foods. Meat and dairy have especially high levels of contaminants- reduce consumption of these and choose only organic, local, and fresh. Eat a variety of organic and fermented foods high in phytoestrogens.
Drink lots of pure, clean water. Do not drink water bottled in plastic. Do not drink tap water that has been contaminated with fluoride, chlorine, or other toxins.
Do away with plastic. Consider buying 100% glass and natural rubber containers for food leftovers- well worth the investment. Think of alternatives to plastic toys. Simply don’t buy things in plastic. Slowly but surely, take steps to eliminate plastic from your home.
Use only 100% natural care products. Don’t use commercial products that contain toxins, which happens to be true of almost any big company, including ones that market themselves as “natural”. Use natural cleaning solutions, throw out the make-up, and instead use personal care products you make yourself or buy them from someone you trust who does. Empower yourself and your family by learning to make things yourself.
If you can, think about planting your own organic garden, and/or restoring some of the local area back to its natural state. Remove trash, learn about organic permaculture gardening, forget the lawn mower and chemicals, and thank the earth you live on.
Learn about herbs and foods that can help you detoxify and stay healthy, and incorporate them into your life.
Educate yourself, and then also educate others in a gentle and kind way.

Further reading:
Hormone Deception, by Lindsey Berkson

a note about gluten-free tinctures

Yes, my tinctures are gluten-free. However, most of them are made with 95/100% organic grain alcohol. Some people that have reactions to certain plant properties such as gluten may react to the alcohol on an energetic level. While there is absolutely no gluten remaining in the alcohol, some very energetically sensitive people do have reactions, if they are of the gluten-free crowd. The same thinking goes for cane alcohol, which I do not use, because I personally am allergic to this plant and I believe that sensitivity should be respected. For me, grain alcohol works wonderfully and is the best thing, but cane is a big no. As we know with homeopathy, even the smallest amount of something can have a systemic energetic response resulting in a physical response. Please order with these acknowledgments in mind and decide what is best for your own body.