Random items lead to new recipes. That seems to be the story of the method behind my cooking adventures. I had Egg Roll Wrappers in the refridgerator and wondered what I could do with them. They reminded me of the Pastry Dough I have and the plan I have for them. So I thought, I wonder if I could make a dessert with them. Hmmmm.
Chewed on that idea while making oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies. Considered making pumpkin cookies. And then...
Ding. On goes a light bulb. What if I fill egg roll wrappers with pumpkin pie filling. I Googled this idea and found that others had done so and liked it. Filled with inspiration, a new recipe formed itself and we have...
Pumpkin Pockets (click link to be directed to the recipe). Now to get some vanilla ice cream to go with them.
The beautiful sweet aroma, the delicate white flowers, the soothing taste...what is there not to love about Chamomile? What started as one hardy...and I mean hardy plant...spread and took over a large portion of my back yard. I still am amazed that over the winter it stayed green even without my watering or tending to it. Snow and freezing temperatures did not seem to bother it.
For someone who loves chamomile tea, this has been a positive. Sure chamomile tea is lovely dried and prepackaged for our convenience. Trust me, fresh leaves and flowers are much more flavorful than dried. Those little white flowers add a touch that is sweet, tantilizing which satisfies the need we have for aesthetically pleasing things.
So just exactly what is in chamomile that calms and soothes us? My handy dandy favorite herbal book of all times, The Complete Illustrated Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies by David Hoffman, Barnes and Noble Books, 1999 has this to say on page 75:
"Constituents: Volatile oil which includes chamazulene and isadol; mucilage, coumarin, falvone glycosides
Actions: Anti-spasmodic, carminative, anti-inflammatory, anaglesic, antiseptic, vulnerary, aromatic, bitter, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, nervine, sedative, tonic"
Chamazulene is basically blue oil (azulene) found in Chamomile which helps with inflammation.
I don't know what Isadol is and couldn't find information on it. Perhaps one of you do and can educate me.
Mucilage is the thick, guey paste that is a part of plants and is anti-inflammatory.
I had to look up Coumarin and this is what I found: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-chamomile It is mentioned in the risks section. Coumarin is a blood thinner. In Chamomile this effect is very mild. But nice to be aware of.
Flavone Glycosides - What I know are flavones are anti-oxidants and glycosides are a sugar. Hmmm. Topic look up yields little enlightening information. But I did find an interesting article about one person's understanding of this constituent: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-flavonoid-glycosides.htm#didyouknowout
Anti-spasmotic/Carminative Pretty much the same thing that tells the body "Relax, chill and stop spazzing out". Nice when you are having cramps of various sorts.
Anti-inflammatory Need I explain further?
Anagelsic Pain killer
Antiseptic Kills infections
Vulnerary Heals wounds and cuts
Aromatic Truly lovely smell that is oh so soothing
Bitters have been used through the ages to aid in digestion, cleansing the blood and detoxing
Diaphoeretic Causes sweating. And you thought that happened because the tea was hot. ;)
Emmenagogue Hoffman says on page 38 "Emmenagogues both stimulate and normalize menstrual flow. The term is often employed in the wider context of remedies that act as tonics to the female reproductive system". Ladies, chamomile is our friend. Yea. We can use these. Brings to mind then that like raspberry leaf and other lovely herbs, you might want to use sparingly during the first trimester or two of pregnancy. But I am not a doctor or herbalist yet. So definitely check with your health care provider to be sure.
Nervine Strengthens the nerves
Sedative Hence we drink chamomile tea to help us relax.
Tonic Strengthens the body. I know it is good for skin and the digestive tract. Anyone else know what else it tones up?
And there you go. Fresh or dried. Pretty bouquet. Tea or shampoo or whatever other use. Enjoy. Chamomile is definitely a favorite here - even if it is rapidly taking over my yard.
Nothing like a round of antibiotics to get rid of an infection under a tooth and then catching a virus. Time to rebuild the immune system.
There are so many ideas and articles out there on this topic. It is hard to know without proper education what is good and what is silly. One thing several doctors told me to do over the years is eat yogurt. Recently it has been take probiotics. And so the battle to rebuild begins.
How does one know which probiotics are good and which are what your body needs? That is my quest now...to figure out what will do the job.
I do know too that some old remedies keep coming up: yogurt, lemon water, garlic, apples and veggies. Avoid meat, milk, flour, refined food and sugar.
So here we go. Adding the next step. Realizing that life's curveballs are not an excuse to get off the path for health. Rather they are opportunities to flex our muscles and show determination that though the path veered a bit, we will not give up and becoming healthier is truly important.
Here's to health and determination.
Alrighty now. So life throws a few curve balls and lots of doctor time with a kiddo. Then if that wasn't enough, I got an infection under a tooth. Talk about agony.
Thankfully things are working out. Nothing like doing the maintianing thing. But I did it. So victory dance. Still using natural products, still oil pulling, still taking all those supplements. The doc added a strong antibiotic. And guess what, no stomache pain. One more day of this medicine. I know what my next step will be. Rebuild the bacteria and flora in the gut.
Still no weight loss. But the victory dance this time is in spite of it all, I kept going and soon can work on the next steps of rebuilding and making for a healthier life.
Times like this happen. What we do with it and our attitude toward it makes all the difference. If you have a plateful, just keep at it and know you are not alone. On the other end you'll be proud of your success in perseverance.
Have a lovely week.
Spring Harvest time. From a dozen sun chokes planted last spring came this second harvest. Planning on roasting several with potatoes, onion, carrots, garlic, and some fresh indoor herbs I have growing.
Chamomile took over the yard. I planted one plant last summer and Wowie, this plant is invasive and tenacious. I like the fact it stayed green and soft all winter. No watering. No fertilizer. It stays short although it sends up little white flowers, it is soft, nice aroma, and makes great tea. Don't think it is toxic to dogs. Got to find that out because, it took over the garden area. If it is safe, I hope to let it take over and forget trying to figure out grass. This basket is just the babies I took from garden areas I don't want them to take over.
So life threw a few punches. My oldest daughter is pretty ill right now. We are working on finding the right specialists and getting her help.
This could become an excuse to put off the journey back to health or be a way to strengthen what I can do. Right now, what I am and can do is making a difference and is simple: oil pulling, chemical free beauty products, supplements and water. I guess this week's challenge will be to keep drinking water and doing what I started.
Seems too that finding time for relaxation, yoga and meditation (saying Tehillim/Psalms) will be the essential ingredient to strengthen.
Here we go. Maintaining and moving forward. You know, when life throws punches, standing our ground and not being moved by them is sometimes the most needed step and is a success all of its own.
Scales are evil. There is no way around it. When someone is working on getting back into health, scales become the arch nemesis of all arch nemeses. Nothing like starting to feel better and then having one of those monsters grab your attention and lure you to stand on it. Then you look down and 3 digits scream at you saying, "Loser. You only think you are getting better. Ha! The evidence says you are only getting fatter."
Well, you know what evil scale? You are going far away into hiding and are not coming out. Because you know what else? I am not a loser. This is what I have accomplished so far.
So evil scale. I am succeeding. One step at a time. I am making a life change. Not starving myself for a time and going back to how it was. So until you can behave yourself, that dark spot in the closet is your new companion. I am moving on to life and doing a
I am about a week into regrouping and trying to get back on the health train and quite honestly doing it half heartedly. My dad now has to have his gall bladder removed - poor eating habits take their toll. :( My 13 year old has been told, PT or yoga/pilates or she may face back surgery. We both have talked about taking up yoga for our scoliosis. Now we are at a "we have to do it" point. My oldest has only able been to eat soup, mashed potatoes and bread now for 6 weeks. Add to that an non-ending migraine and a concussion. Which has me working hard on the getting supporting nutrition into her. Interesting how life sometimes gives you that nudge that says, "So you want to be the next emergency, nu? Keep neglecting yourself and you will be there quickly."
All that said, probiotics, tumeric, garlic, ACEs, fenugreek/thyme, aloe, and chlorophyll supplements are a start. I am actually much more energetic and feel pretty connected on these. But they are no substitute for good food. My liver is not a happy camper. Off to refresh myself on liver supportive foods and preparing for cleansing one system at a time. I have learned to start there, go to the gall bladder, kidneys and then the intestines and rebuild. Hoping I have the focus in the middle of life's busyness to do this.
What a better time to start. Spring is around the corner. Things come to life all around us and inspire us to join the growth and rebirth cycle. I know many of us are in a funk and want to get out of it. My encouragement, full schedules and emergencies just are a part of life. Somehow today find one thing to do to help improve our lives and do it. When that is comfortable, add another. For me, supplements were a place to start. Next comes, making sure I have liver supportive foods available and eat them. Research yoga/pilates for scoliosis and start trying a few with my daughter is next. Who knows where we will go from there. Hopefully, this part of the journey will soon be labeled "spring into health" and we will meet with focus, determination, and success. I love those travel partners.
Here's to all our success in our journeys to health.
Nothing like having caught a virus and with the virus comes a headache that OTCs made to cure it doesn't touch. Dehydration tends to be the culprit to check first. Down goes a glass of water. Lying down with a cold cloth on the forehead. An hour later, this headache comes back as soon as you sit up. Now what? Been there?
My oldest and I were there yesterday. Right now from many Facebook posts of family and friends, it looks like several of you are there. Some viruses are downright mean. So we become driven to find solutions.
Peppermint Oil is one of those solutions for me. It feels cold and tingly. Smells like a calming winter day. Eases the nerves and muscles. How?
Peppermint is a carminative. Which means it is antispasmodic. It makes the body's systems relax and calm down. It is a diaphoretic, meaning it helps the skin get rid of toxins. A nervine that acts in a calming way. Analgesic - pain killer. And a rubefacient - opens capalaries and stimulates blood flow...therefore the cold, tingly sensation. (The Complete Illustrated Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies, David Hoffman, Barnes and Noble Inc, 1996, sv Peppermint, pg 113) *one of my favorite resources, BTW. Helpful and useful hand guide.
There are many other actions that peppermint performs. These ones directly affect easing a headache.
We found that rubbing the oil at the base of the skull behind the ears where the skull dips down suddenly, there are points there that are the most effective for easing headaches. Often it is the most tender spot too when there is a headache. Sometimes we try the temples. But the sweating action often causes the oil to get in the eyes and that is a bit irritating. After applying the oil, wash your hands well in warm soapy water otherwise if you rub your eyes, you will know very quickly that this step is important. It won't harm the eyes. Just is uncomfortable.
How often? As often as you feel like you need it. At first, my daughter and I used it every hour for a few hours and then we were able to stretch it out.
All the best.