Category Archives: Green Living

Information and ideas about existing on this Earth and trying not to make too much of a mess about it.

Green Living Healthy Living

Using Herbal Wisdom and Healing Plants for Wellness

Extreme Health Library Sale is happening for just 10 DAYS. This is your chance to get over 50 e-accessible titles from various bloggers, practitioners, and others who can get you on your way to taking charge of your own health.

These e-books, videos, and others have been carefully selected to appear in this sale by Pat Robinson of Heal Thyself and Amanda Rose of Traditional-Foods.com, who share a similar health philosophy to mine which is that foods have the power to heal and help our bodies overcome not only symptoms but chronic conditions that often take over the lives of many who experience them.
Valued at over $800, this bundle is available for just $39.97 and contains a wealth of health resources for many different uses and needs.

bundle-rectangle-buy-now

 

The versatility of herbs for health

Herbs have been used for thousands and thousands of years by the people of the earth, and are foods that can be applied in tinctures, infusions, topical use, cooking, cleaning, aromatherapy, detox, and much, much more. Here are some great resources for getting started in your herbal journey – all these are available in the bundle sale:

Practical Herbs / Henriette Kress.

We once had a bare garden and a mighty craving for garden greens to add to our soup. “I spy some very green lemon balm” and this herb that grows like a weed substituted in a bean soup for kale. Herbs are food but they tend to have such high levels of antioxidants and other nutrients that research continues to find that herbs do help to relieve specific conditions. If you have ever wondered what herbal remedy to use for a flu or cold, to relieve arthritis pain, or to clear your airways, this collection of products is a one-stop shop. You will even learn how to harvest remedies from trees, taking foraging to a whole new level.

Practical Herbs by herbalist Henriette Kress will help you grow herbs in your own garden, harvest them from the wild, and store them after harvest. You will learn the process for brewing herbal teas, vinegars, syrups, and tinctures and using them to relieve common ailments. Learn how to create a uniformly consistent herbal tincture in your own kitchen and how to use “flopped” herbal vinegars to clean a tough spot in your kitchen or bath. (150 pages; $9.50)

 

Introduction to Tree Medicines / Darcey Blue French.

A perfect complement to any wellness or foraging toolkit. If you are surrounded by pines, cherry, alder, walnut and other trees you will learn a great deal about harvesting leaves, needles, bark, and resins to use to improve respiratory health, digestion, stress and anxiety, and heal wounds. Darcey describes how to harvest and prepare oils, balms, teas and elixirs to integrate into your health regimen. With the perspective that the Earth is a sacred and living being, this 38-page book is a great introduction to trees as medicine. (38 pages; $19.99)

 

Herbal Remedies for Children During the Cold and Flu Season / Rosalee de la Forêt.

Designed to provide you with expert advice on using herbal remedies to get through the cold and flu season. It includes information on fevers, coughs, sore throats, congestion, teething, and more. When do you use elderberry? What about elderflower? How much do you give your children? You will be walked through options for children of all ages (and even adults) in this 88 page book. (88 pages; $20)

 

Mother’s Little Herbal Helper And Home Remedies / Natalie Vickery.

A home herbal toolkit for reducing symptoms of many ailments — cold and flu, headaches, fungal infections, allergies, arthritis, bites, stings, burns, coughs, congestion, and more. How many times have you wished you could just make it through allergy season or an arthritis flare up with far less suffering? This is where herbal remedies shine. Natalie will introduce you to the different ways to prepare herbs and the types of herbs you use to remedy common ailments. Read it closely and build the custom herbal toolkit you need for your own household. (116 pages; $12.50)

 

Of Thorn and Petal: The Remedy in the Rose /  Kiva Rose.

50 pages of monographs, recipes, case studies etc., focused around Rosa spp. Kiva explains the healing properties of the rose. The anti-inflammatory benefits of wild rose have been forgotten by our Western minds. However, traditional herbalists know that wild rose can soothe burns, infections, and pain quickly. Kiva teaches how to use roses, from petals to leaves to rose hips. For instance, rose hips, rich with phytonutrients and anti-oxidants, are a tonic for weak kidneys and adrenals. Kiva’s book covers a myriad of digestive disorders which can be supported with traditional rose medicines. Oils, vinegars, and poultices of rose and their uses are explained. Meet the rose, which brings calm and balance, through recipes, instructions and photos. (50 pages; $9.99)

 

Listen to the Ancient Mother Wisdom by Kimberly Crail.

Wise Woman herbalist and educator, Kimberly Cedar Cat, shares Listen to the Ancient Mother Wisdom – Universal Healthcare Brought To You By … The Universe! Learn the language of plants, healing with the “Green Elixir Sisters”, and advice for cold & flu prevention. Cedar Cat’s book teaches you the 5 herbs that can revitalize your life when used on a daily basis and can resolve most health problems You will be empowered to use herbal allies which are not complicated or expensive.

(23 pages; $10)

 

Numen: The Healing Power of Plants / A Resource Guide

Have you wanted to learn to make your own herbal medicines? Numen: The Healing Power of Plants – A Resource Guide was contributed by community herbalists to promote the amazing power of plants to heal. This 37-page ebook covers harvesting herbs to medicine-making, and suggests remedies to have on hand. Fevers, digestion, anxiety, depression, and creating an herbal first aid kit are discussed. How to make medicinal teas, tinctures, infused oils, and salves are explained. Dosing charts, recommended books, gardening resources, and bulk suppliers are included in this information-packed introduction to the documentary film Numen.

(37 pages; $12)
 

Click here for more information about the Extreme Health Library Sale, 10 days, 50+titles about healing and natural health and wellness.

Ends Thursday, March 7th at midnight PST.

Giveaways Green Living Healthy Living Recipes Reviews

Real Food Fermentation by Alex Lewin: Book Review & Giveaway

www.mypicshares.com

I am a big advocate for fermented foods, and have committed to making them a regular part of my dietary habits. That’s why I am reviewing another great book about fermentation this week, Alex Lewin from Feed Me Like You Mean It’s recent book Real Food Fermentation.

Whether you are new to fermenting and are intrigued…or have already been doing it for a period of time, this wonderful book with gorgeous pictures (I’ve considered adding it to my coffee table collection for that reason) will delight any reader who is curious about flavors and textures, and the important role that microbes, enzymes, and bacteria play in preserving food.

It will also help you to appreciate that the art (yes, art) of culturing food is really one of the best and simplest ways to incorporate these essential living enzymes, good bacteria (probiotics), and increased vitamins and minerals in your diet for improved health.

Why make fermented foods, anyway?

You may be wondering what’s so great about fermented foods. They support digestion, immunity, and overall health by breaking down the elements in foods that our bodies might not otherwise be able to do and making nutritional elements more available. For an overview of the benefits of fermented foods, read The amazing health benefits of fermented & cultured foods & beverages. These foods support digestion, immunity, and overall health.

We are currently seeing a resurgence in interest of creating fermented foods for flavor and health, and what better time of year to learn something new like this than during the holiday season when there is so much focus on food anyway. This book would make a great gift for someone special in your life who loves and appreciates food and is perhaps thinking about taking their health to the next level.

What you’ll get out of this book and learning to ferment

In this book you’ll find basic recipes for fermented vegetable creations such as sauerkraut and pickles, kimchi, pickles, pico de gallo and more adventurous foods like hard apple cider, kombucha as well as a whole array of cultured dairy foods such as yogurt, whey, kefir, and crème fraîche, butter, and buttermilk (swoon!).

Recipes include clear instructions accompanied by images showing the reader just what his or her efforts will yield at various steps, and in effect bring to life the recipes discussed. I appreciate that, and I think someone who is just starting out on adventures in fermentation would too.

After meeting Alex in person, I have found that his book is written in a manner that is every bit as conversational as if you were actually talking to him.  His relationship with food is very comfortable and it’s evident that he’s delighted to share his knowledge with the reader.

As you read this book, you’ll discover that it’s meant to be read not at all in the way you’d approach most “cookbooks”, but as a way to become better acquainted with, enthused about, and as a way to unleash the desire to understand food and experiment in the kitchen in ways you may never have felt you could.  I hope the way he writes about food will not only compel you in this direction, but will inspire you to want to investigate this fascinating world of fermented foods, and try something for yourself.

I love the friendly, open explanations Alex provides  about how enzymatic activity and oxidation occur, and definitions of preservation and fermentation – which helps remove the mystery from the unique process of fermentation and how it can benefit health…as well as the conditions under which optimal fermentation occurs. There is also some valuable discussion of the ways in which the slow food movement has taken form and how it is affected by the mainstream, commercial food system, and genetic modification, and other factors.

In this recent radio interview, Alex talks about the qualities of fermented foods and why they are so good for our health. In a world where so many people have digestive compromise from poor lifestyle and dietary habits, fermentation reduces the stress on the body of creating enzymes for digestion. Raw foods are more difficult to digest, and fermented foods which really fall between raw and cooked are actually easier because microbes and enzymes act on the parts of the raw foods that our bodies have trouble assimilating.

Here is one of the fabulous recipes in his book:

Fermented Carolina-Style Slaw

www.mypicshares.com

Yield: 1 quart (950 ml) or 2 pounds (900 g)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 4-7 days

Ingredients:

1 pound (450 g) green cabbage

1 large onion (red, yellow, or white)

1 large green bell pepper

1 large carrot

1/2 apple (optional)

1/4 pound (115 g) celery root, or 1 teaspoon celery seed

4 teaspoons (20 g) sea salt

1/4 cup (80 g) honey (or less, if you have included an apple)

6 tablespoons (90 ml) oil (mixture of sesame, coconut, and olive oil works well)

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 piece (1/3 inch, or 8 mm) gingerroot, peeled and grated (optional)

Freshly ground black pepper

Equipment

  • Large cutting board (wood is ideal)
  • Large knife (a chef’s knife is ideal)
  • Large mixing bowl
  • 2 mason jars (1 pint, or 475 ml each) or similar glass jars with tight-fitting lids
  • Colander or strainer

Preparation

  1. Thinly slice the cabbage, onion, and bell pepper. (For tips on how to cut a bell pepper, see page 65.)
  2. Grate or shred the carrot, apple, if using, and celery root, if using.
  3. Ferment the vegetable mixture with the salt using the recipe for Lacto-Fermented Vegetables on page 75 (here’s a link on his site to this recipe), to the desired degree of sourness. Four to seven days is probably about right.
  4. Once the vegetables are fermented, drain them in a colander set over a mixing bowl, and press the liquid out with your hands, reserving the liquid.
  5. Combine 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the liquid with the honey, oil, dry mustard, and ginger, and mix well with a fork, whisk, or blender. Pour the dressing mixture and combine. Add salt and pepper as needed. Add more of the reserved liquid if you want more sourness. Refrigerate.
  6. Save any leftover fermentation liquid to use as a starter for your next project. Or mix it with oil and spices to use as a salad dressing. or drink it in the morning as a digestive tonic!

Alex studied math at Harvard University before graduating from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, as well as the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. He also serves on the board of the Boston Public Market Assocation, and teaches people how to put fermenting into action.

You can read more about what Alex is up to by visiting his blog Feed Me Like You Mean It site or on his Facebook page.

Listen to Alex’s interview about his book with Cary Nosler on Talk 650 KSTE, on Wide World of Health (Sacramento, CA).

Win a copy of Real Food Fermentation!

Giveaway rules:

The giveaway starts today and ends on Wednesday, December 20th at 11:59 p.m., MST.
Here are all the different ways to enter:

  1. Click in the comment box below and leave a comment saying you want to enter.

For extra entries, do the following and leave comments:

  1. Subscribe to my blog. Use the Feedburner subscribe feature on the main page.
  2. Like Feed Me Like You Mean It on Facebook (blog posts on Facebook about giveaways aren’t permitted by FB rules). You’ll receive extra entries for “liking” only.
  3. Follow Lactoferment on Twitter and Tweet about the giveaway.
  4. Follow Agriculture Society on Twitter.
  5. Like Agriculture Society on Facebook (again, blog post about giveaways on FB are not permitted). Extra entries are given for “liking” only.
  6. Please Stumble my page or any other articles you want to share!

The contest is open to anyone in the U.S. If you are outside the U.S. you must pay shipping charges. The winner has 24 hours to e-mail me about the prize. If I don’t hear from the winner, I’ll pick someone else with Random.org.

Best of luck to everyone entering. I will announce the winner here on Thursday, December 20th.

Photo credit: Quarry Books