Thursday, 27 February 2014

Native Superfood Kale….Delicious Curly Kale Crisps…


On my Raw adventuring I am delighted by curly Kale crisps, happily tucking into a bowl of them with an evening film when the world around eats dorites….
I have purchased a food dehydrator and this new recepies of dried tomato and cashew Kale crisps is my favourite this month.

Ingredients:
 
                1 large bunch of kale, stems discarded and leaves ripped up
                30 grams homegrown dried tomatoes, soaked in water to soften for at least 1 hour
                1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
                2 large garlic cloves
                2 tbsp fresh lime juice
                2 tbsp yeast flakes

Method

  •  In two separate bowls, soak the sun-dried tomatoes and cashews in water for at least 1 hour, I left them over night but it can be done quicker if you need.
  • ·       After soaking, keep the tomato soaking water. Drain and rinse the cashews.
  • ·       In a food processer then mince up the nuts and add crushed garlic and the rest of ingrediants including the tomatoe water
  • ·       tear the kale into pieces in a large bowl. Pour the sauce on top of the kale and stir with a spoon. Then toss the spoon and get in there with your hands to massage the sauce into the kale until well coated.
  • ·      Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • ·      Dehydrate for about 8 hours at 115F.
  • ·       EAT


History

In the wild, the Brassica oleracea plant is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe but Kale has been cultivated for over 2,000 years. In much of Europe it was the most widely eaten green vegetable until the Middle Ages when cabbages became more popular. Historically it has been particularly important in colder regions due to its resistance to frost. In nineteenth century Scotland kail was used as a generic term for 'dinner' and all kitchens featured a kail-pot for cooking.


Kale was grown as a staple crop in the the Scottish Islands due to it’s extreme hardiness, and was given protection from the elements in purpose built Kale Yards. Indeed, almost every house had a kale yard and preserved kale in barrels of salt, similar to sourkraut in Germany. They also fed it to livestock through the winter. Kale continued to be extremely important until potatoes came to the Islands towards the end of the 18th century.

Superfood


Portion for portion kale is hard to beat when it comes to the number of nutrients it contains and a great choice for those wanting to enjoy a healthy balanced diet. Kale is an excellent source of vitamins K, A and C, as well as containing useful amounts of manganese, copper and phytochemicals, which are believed to help against certain types of cancer.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Hepatitis C / Shingles Demon Rash from Hell…..


I have an itchy irritating rash on my torso and under my breasts. It first appeared last springtime and after 3 separate visits to my GPs I was none the wiser as to a ‘diagnosis’. I treated it as Shingles and after 2 weeks it disappeared leaving a slight itch but no visible sign of rash. Now a year on it is back and I feel very irritable and annoyed at myself that I haven’t led a purist lifestyle so perhaps let it back into my life…I chuckle as I write this because only one side of my Gemini self feels annoyed the other is treating this as another interesting challenge, what can I learn, how can I grow?

This rash began after a few days of not getting enough sleep on holidays and I wasn’t eating my preferred diet…even though I took my juicer away I was eating lots of bread and cheese, chocolate and salted nuts…..Anyhow I don’t know what it is called this rash but it feels to me like a herpes infection. The reason that the GPs didn’t diagnose shingles or Herpes Zoster is because this rash is all around my torso and shingles are normally along one dermatome or on one side of the body.

I have browsed the net looking at loads of rashes and come to the conclusion that it doesn’t really matter what it is called all I need to understand is how to treat myself so that my system can shake it off and get better.

So this is how I am treating myself –

Because it is extremely itching and irritating I am using herbs to support my nervous system I am taking hypericum as a Nervine tonic and also because I know it is an excellent ant viral herb and I am sure this rash is viral in some way. I also have Hepatitis C (another virus) so the hypericum supports my liver.

I am eating Aloe Vera gel most bitter but it feels good. Topically I started with the Aloe Vera gel and Lavender essential oil but as the rash has progressed and is now open and weeping I am using calendula, hypericum and lavender in our own home made healing balm I have added peppermint oil to this which is amazingly cooling and pain numbing.

Milk Thistle I normally take daily but I have upped my intake to 5 capsules a day this is a fab liver herb. I have gone entirely raw with my food and having 3 green juices daily with plenty of lime and lemon juice in water in between.

Teas of calendula, red clover and hypericum are free flowing, both Calendula & Red Clover are lymphatic herbs and will help clear all the old viral particals and dead and dying skin cells, transporting the debri away.



Through the night I am taking valerian to help me relax to sleep alongside yogic breathing and meditation –

I have found it helpful to practice a 4 part breath – 
4 counts inhalation 
2 counts pause 
4 counts exhalation 
& another 2 counts pause.

Visualising inhaling fresh cooling healthily oxygen,
in the pause I search for all the irritation in myself & collect it up for exhalation
Breath it all out
then in the pause I collect cool fresh air again

repeating this has really helped me to relax and let go of the constant itch.

I have been using the shiatsu point the great eliminator for a few moments before each juice… and thinking about all the things in my life that I find irritating, making lists to burn….


Oat bathing has soothed and nourished the skin -I simple take a generous handful of porridge oats and tie them up in a muslim with a rubber band, then use them like a sponge in the bath they go all creamy and create a lovely milk that I have left on the rash to dry.


With Hepatitis itching skin called Puritis is a common symptoms as are rashes makes sense that if the liver a primary organ of detoxification is struggling that toxins will come out in the skin. The rash is Hot so to me it makes sense to cool my system I just hope that I can keep cool when it leaves. It is in fact my body talking to me telling me that I need more rest and relaxation and more time to be mindful of myself, take more care over my nutrition which relies on having the space to think and prepare what I am eating with care, more meditation time and more cuddles with my loved ones.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Feverfew - Migranes


Been nursing Elektra my daughter for a few days as she is suffering from a nasty cough virus. Got a little cabin fever myself and escaped for a walk around my village this morning. It is beautifully sunny and I harvested a load of feverfew which is miraculously still in full flower this December mornings.

As I picked the leafy plant my fingers got quite sticky with the resins and the pungent smell from this resin was very heady. It struck me have much of this bushy plant there was all about our local community garden it felt very abundant and giving in its nature, I imagined that if the plant was a human they would be someone who run a bakery and was always baking and giving away delicious cakes and loaves….The leaves taste a little like eating perfume so high in volitile or essential oils so an indication on their anti microbial qualities.

The plants name Feverfew is actually a corruption of the word Febrifuge, from its tonic and fever-dispelling properties. Since the time of Ancient Greece and probably before, physicians and ‘ol wives have used it to reduce inflammation, treat headaches, fevers, coughs and menstrual cramps.

It is a member of the daisy or asteraceae/compositae family and its Latin name is Tanacetum parthenium. The name parthenium is from the Greek meaning "girl" and alludes to its traditional use for female complaints.
 It's now famed in its use to prevent migraine headaches, especially the ones that are relieved by warmth applications to the head, some say a fresh leaf eaten daily will prevent further migraines and several scientific studies have tried to explain it exact mechanism of action effective. 

Researchers have postulated a substance called parthenolide, which helps relieve spasms in smooth muscle tissue, was what made feverfew effective against migraines. Parthenolide may also reduce inflammation and may stop cancer cells from growing.

     'Part of the herb's action appears to be via an inhibition of    secretion of the granular contents from platelets and neutrophils in the blood. This may be relevant to the therapeutic value of Feverfew in migraine and other conditions such as osteo-arthritis. Pharmacologists say that it is very likely that the sesquiterpenelactones inhibit prostaglandins and histamine released during the inflammatory process, so preventing spasms of the blood vessels in the head that trigger migraine attacks.' 
David Hoffman.
Feverfew has blood thinning qualities and should not be used by anyone who is taking blood thinners or who is planning to undergo surgery.

What a wonderfully useful herb. I am going to make a tea sweetened with honey for Elektra's fever and cough.