Sunday, May 25, 2008

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge - Help Fight Climate Change!

http://350.brighterplanet.com/

Mystery Tomato...

Lately I'm into a compulsive gardening mood ;).
I've bought a whole bunch of seeds (heirloom and organic mostly)...Enough for a micro farm though I only have a container garden on a porch.
Most of the seeds I ordered are from Bountiful Gardens, Wild Garden Seed and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds from which I received a free packet of trial tomato seeds of a variety named Pink Israel.
I searched all over the web for some info about this tomato but couldn't find anything, not even a picture. The funny thing is that Baker Creek doesn't sell this variety yet.
So I basically have no other choice than growing this mystery tomato to find out what it looks and tastes like...At least I know that it's a pink heirloom and I suppose from Israel, so potentially a variety that can handle warm weather (or so I hope).
So if I start it now, I should be able to taste it by the end of the Summer/beginning of the Fall (here the Fall can get even warmer than the Summer).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Self-Healing Cookbook

"The Self-Healing Cookbook - A Macrobiotic Primer for Healing Body, Mind and Moods with Whole, Natural Foods" by Kristina Turner, is one of those books that everybody should own, read and use.

This book has a wholistic approach to food: you'll find nourishing, grounding, cleansing and healing recipes. The focus is on well-being, balance and being in tune with your body & the seasons in a fun, creative and nourishing way.

The book also explains the effects of certain foods on the body. There's also an interesting & useful "Healing Foods Glossary" at the end of the book with recipes for homemade herbal remedies.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

June's Blog Party...

...Will be hosted by me ;)

The theme is "Cooling Herbs for the Summer" (I think we are all looking forward to good tips and great recipes).

The deadline is June 15th.

Submit your posts on the Herbwifery Forum or send me an email (with your name please).

CHOCOLATE GODDESS LIP BALM

All natural, this Chocolate Goddess Lip Balm is handmade with real organic chocolate, cocoa butter and honey (plus a few other natural ingredients).Hhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmm ;).

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dear Arugula...

This month's blog party is hosted by Darcey and has "Spring Greens" for theme. I'm very much into arugula lately so it seemed an obvious and natural choice.

Arugula is also known as rucola, rocket or roquette (in french).

When people think of arugula, they often have the typical Italian Summer salad in mind with tomato, basil...etc. But arugula belongs to the Spring. It's a green that is now widely available since it has become popular and most people are now familiar with it.

But what most people don't know is that arugula was and still is a wild green. Wild arugula (Rucola Selvatica) is commonly found on the side of trails or waste lands...Places you wouldn't think of going foraging.

Wild Arugula doesn't look like the cultivated one (Eruca Sativa) : it's smaller and has more dented leaves. It also takes longer to grow (there are many places that sell the seeds which are fairly easy to grow, even in a container). I find its taste sharper, more spicy and peppery ;).

We often forget that beyond the natural vitamin and mineral content of what we eat, food is also our medicine...And arugula is no exception: it's very rich in vitamin C, sulfur and minerals. Arugula is a tonic and stimulates appetite. It's a diuretic and cleanses the kidneys. It has expectorant properties and helps to break mucus down. Arugula juice cleanses wounds and ulcers. For a long time, it was believed that arugula was an aphrodisiac...This was the reason why Hildegard von Bingen forbade its consumption to her fellow nuns.

Whatever your reason is to use arugula (from the ones mentioned above) and besides its edible use, a decoction of the leaves can be made using 1 tbsp of dried leaves per cup of water, steeped for 2 minutes. The recommended dosage is 2 to 3 cups of this decoction per day.

Did I mention that the flowers are edible too?

Translations from "Sauvages et comestibles - Herbes, fleurs et petites salades" by Marie-Claude Paume and "Secrets des Plantes" by Michel Pierre & Michel Lis.

Tisane Gourmande...

I was craving a sweet gourmet tea with some of my favorite flavors...And here it is!

Tisane Gourmande is a 100% organic blend of vanilla rooibos, cacao nibs and cinnamon chips. I especially enjoy it with a touch of sweet honey ;).

It's great if you wish to start the day with a touch of sweetness or as an afternoon tea. It's a soothing and relaxing blend...I find it quite inspiring too, great for creative projects...

I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do ;).

Monday, May 05, 2008

Back to My Roots...

I have decided that it was time for me to get back to restudy/relearn from the French & European traditions of herbalism which are strongly rooted in Folk Medicine and Grandmother Remedies. The Materia Medica can be easily found in one's garden, nearby woods or at the farmers market and is a blend of edibles with aromatic, wild and not so wild medicinal plants.
It's the people's medicine: onion syrup, cabbage poultice, hand & foot baths, thyme tea, herb infused wines and blackberry liqueur, just to name a few remedies...

I like the approach of Maurice Mességué (who likes to work with "the Simples") and Germaine Cousin-Zermatten (a charming grandmother who makes healing concoctions with the wild medicinal plants of the Alps). I also like Jean Palaiseul's "Grandmother's Secrets: Her Green Guide to Health from Plants"; and have rediscovered the works of Maria Treben, Sebastian Kneipp...and even Hildegard von Bingen!

There are herbalists out there, whose greed has taken over the joy & pleasure of teaching, learning and sharing this ancient healing art. This same greed clouding their judgement, raising their ego and darkening their heart...How can such people claim to be teachers, healers or even guides?

I have never followed one way of thinking, learning or doing things. It is important to learn from difference sources and compare them to have the best knowledge and understanding of one herb. I especially enjoy ancient herbals with tidbits of information that have often been overlooked, forgotten or lost.

For example, I enjoy drinking nettle tea/infusion at night. I've noticed that I sleep well this way. Since nettle is a nutritious herb with a tonic effect on the body, one might not think of having a cup of nettle tea before bed time. Yet I have found one source mentioning that in the British Isles, nettle has been used as a treatment for insomnia.

People from the past still have a lot to teach us...

Celebrate the Goddess through Compassion

"From the moment we first come to know Her, the Goddess draws us in through the power of Her compassionate love. We turn to Her for comfort, for solace, for tender acceptance, as a trusting child turns to her mother.
As a daughter of the Mother of Compassion, take what She has taught you and offer it to others.
Offer your healing to the suffering of the world, and add your light to the sum of light.
Look gently into the eyes of your fellow humans, show them you truly care, as the Goddess cares for us all."

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