Love Thy Neighbor “As Thy Self.”

Bea's Beatitudes

Stress Healing Foods and How They Work~

When the mind and body goes through emotional issues the stress factor can and does leave us vulnerable to low energy, foggy mind, and binge or emotional eating/drinking…..

Our gut connects to the brain through the vagus nerve. This connection delivers nutrition (or toxins) to the brain based on the state of your inner ecology. So, if your intestinal system is loaded with trash…then your thoughts will directly reflect the same. However, if it is healthy and balanced, that will send positive vibrations to your noggin, and allow you to better handle adverse situations and circumstances so you don’t stress out.
Reishi

(Reishi), also known as ganoderma lucidum, has been on the planet far longer than we have, and has adapted to situations that have left other plants, and animals, extinct.

Perhaps we can learn and benefit from this miraculous herb?

Reishi is a powerful grounding herb, and provides an adaptogenic quality that is passed on to those who consume it. So even though you don’t plan on adapting and surviving for the next 200 years, it could very well help you adapt and handle the stress of your morning commute, or that surly family member.

Some of the other positive effects of reishi, which may explain its benefits to stressed out individuals, is it’s antibacterial, viral, fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. All of these conditions that are often found in the gut directly affects your ability to think correctly and therefore handle situations in a calm manner. When reishi helps eliminate them, that leaves a cleaner connection from your gut to your head, which enables you to think more clearly.

(Passion flower)

The leaves and roots of many passion flower varieties contain compounds called beta-carboline harmala alkaloids. These alkaloids act as natural monoamine oxidase inhibitors that aid in the metabolism of the feel-good neurotransmitters, serotonin and norephinephrine.

This helps produce a sense of calm and well being, and helps reduce feelings of anxiety and stress by raising the levels of these happiness promoting chemicals.

Passion flower often comes in tincture or liquid form (tea), and has very few known side effects, which makes it a desirable way to relieve anxiety naturally.

(Chamomile)

Chamomile is a commonly known herb for its calming and mildly sedative effect. It has been used for hundreds of years by natural healers to help reduce stress and induce sleep.

Part of chamomile’s positive effects comes from it’s antibacterial nature, and another part comes from the simple engagement of our smell receptors and how it affects our brain.

Chamomile can be taken largely in tea form, but there are also significant benefits from inhaling its natural oils through essential oil products. This is effective because our 50 million smell receptors inside our nasal cavity connect to our brains limbic system – which is responsible for emotions, memory, and sexual arousal.

(Lemon balm)

Lemon balm is a perennial herb in the mint family native to the southern Europe and Mediterranean regions. It has been studied for centuries and has been known to relieve anxiety, promote sleep, and sooth agitation.

In a 2004 human study, lemon balm was examined for its effect on laboratory-induced stress in humans. 18 healthy volunteers took a single dose of lemon balm extract or a placebo, and their mood was assessed before the dose and one hour after, via a standardized stress-simulation test.

The higher dose ameliorated the stress induced by the test, and produced significantly improved self-ratings of calmness and alertness. Even the lower dose produced a significant increase in the speed at which the subjects could do math problems, without any reduction in accuracy.

Work in some of these healing foods and herbs for stress, and watch your mind and body start to heal itself.

Lemon balm and Passion flower are my go to favorites when I feel less than energized and joyful…..they really do work far beyond a quick pick me up!

Seasonal Eating~continued

Eating In Season…continued~
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In a research study conducted in 1997 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in London, England, significant differences were found in the nutrient content of cows milk in summer versus winter. Iodine was higher in the winter; beta-carotene was higher in the summer. The Ministry discovered that these differences in milk composition were primarily due to differences in the diets of the cows. With more salt-preserved foods in winter and more fresh plants in the summer, cows ended up producing nutritionally different milks during the two seasons. Similarly, researchers in Japan found three-fold differences in the vitamin C content of spinach harvested in summer versus winter.

We must not forget to add the warming spices to our fall and winter menu…emphasize ginger, peppercorns, mustard seeds, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, clove, and turmeric…

In winter, turn even more exclusively toward warming foods. Remember the principle that foods taking longer to grow are generally more warming than foods that grow quickly. All of the animal foods fall into the warming category including fish, chicken, beef, and lamb. So do most of the root vegetables, including carrot, potato, onions and garlic. Eggs also fit in here, as do corn and nuts.

In all seasons, be creative and listen to your body, it will dictate the foods needed to energize and stabilize for the season. Let the natural backdrop of spring, summer, fall and winter be your guide.
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A simple stew and bread can be tweaked to the most nourishing meal one could need…to the stew, start with your seasonal vegetables and meat of choice ( if any) add dried herbs such as thyme or basil for flavor, a good shake of cayenne pepper and a bland pot suddenly becomes festive!

The bread can be seasoned with oregano and garlic, black-pepper or your favorite hot pepper, sage also adds great flavor to bread….just enough for a slight bite…don’t over season or you’ll just end up with ‘hot’ and not pleased.

Experiment…enjoy!

Seasonal Eating~

Eating In Season~
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Eating foods when nature produces them is what people the world over have done naturally throughout most of history, before supermarkets landed on every corner of the landscape and processed foods became ubiquitous. Seasonal eating is also a cornerstone of several ancient and holistic medical traditions, which view it as integral to good health and emotional balance.

Seasonal eating means two things….building meals around foods that have just been harvested at their peak and adjusting your diet to meet the particular health challenges of winter, spring, summer and fall. While it may seem like a luxury to have any food we want, anytime we want it, eating foods in season is directly related to how well our system functions .

( if we dress our body in layers of heavy clothing in August…the body will sweat and actually become sick if not unburdened of the load…the same applies to what we put into our stomach…heavy foods in summer makes extra work for the entire system….leaving it exhausted and in the fight or flight mode…not a good place for it to be!)

(If, we opt for salads in the cold winter months…again the fight or flight mode kicks in and will pull vital nutrients needed for warmth and stability from other places …leaving someone without winter fuel for survival.)

Seasonal eating connects us to the calendar and often to one another, reminding us of simple joys — apple picking on a clear autumn day, slicing a juicy red tomato in the heat of summer, celebrating winter holidays with belly-warming fare. Secondly, produce picked and eaten at its peak has more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than foods harvested before they’re ripe and then shipped long distances.

**Today’s landscape does not have a farm or a kitchen garden on every corner,
however, with thought and a little planning we can still accomplish the goal and reap the benefits of Seasonal Eating.

I hope this little series has sparked a notion that settles in for the season and dines with you daily! Nothing better than good company over good food!

Blissoma…My New Bliss!!

Blissoma Holistic Skincare - Unique natural skincare for sensitive, acne, and aging skin that wants intensive nutritional support

Blissoma is the elegant marriage of herbal form and function, crafted by the exploitative mind of Julie Longyear, an artist enamored with science.

 After years of making do with my own skin care from my own garden….I have finally found a wonderful, organic, all healthy, fruits and vegetables, carefully crafted into a delicious skin care product.

I have opted to be an affiliate for Blissoma…that means I will make a commission when products are purchased through my website…
You also know I never put my seal of approval on anything less than the best…

How much better could this product be….If it’s good for the inside, it has to be good for the outside….

Take a tour, the reading is exciting and something you don’t find on most labels.

The pricing is really affordable, less than what you will find on chemical laden “high end” big brand cosmetic counters. I like that…A lot!

What makes Blissoma special?

 Blissoma formulations faithfully offer the best medicinal compounds from plants that are research-proven to have healing superpowers for the human body. Ingredients are fresh, stored and combined at optimal temperatures, and blended with skill to offer a final product that is uniquely effective, pleasant to use, and a direct experience with plants as nature created them. Generally the ingredients are just 1 step away from the original plant material from which they came. Many are cold-processed and raw so that no damage is done to heat-sensitive vitamins and other valuable compounds. An initial feel of the products demonstrates the difference as the texture, color, and smell all distinctly tell the story of the nutritive ingredients contained therein. By not changing the botanical’s Blissoma offers a big change for your skin.

Eating In Season~ Across Seasons~

Pears

Sustainable to a generational farmer is something totally different from the buzz word “sustainable” in today’s new world manipulation of  green, climate change and other alterations designed to herd us somewhere we don’t need to go.

That being understood ….using what we have in a manner for good without doing harm in the process and will benefit the coming generations….Sustainable goes hand-n-hand with Seasonal Eating.

Foods grown in our local region can be preserved by ; canning, freezing, or dehydrating/drying and add value to in season eating, even though the food in question is out of the normal growing season.
The key is knowing it is locally grown..local being within a 100 mile or so of our own location.

Fruits and berries fall into this category for me….each requires a little something different…Pears were on my list this week and so simple to do.
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Recipe for freezing…

Wash, peel and core pears.

Leave in halves or slice.
Treat with a fruit powder or lemon juice to prevent darkening.
Prepare a sugar syrup according to taste…light, medium or heavy..
I use the light….1/2 cup or less raw sugar to 5 quarts water.
(adjust according to amount of pears being used.) this recipe was perfect for 5 quart size containers.

Allow pears and liquid to cool…

Pack pears in freezer containers and pour the syrup over enough to cover.

Label and freeze…

Simply Good!!

 

 

The Secret Life of the Coneflower…echinacea….

Echinacea

More than a pretty addition in the flower garden…echinacea is native to the USA, where it was a staple among the Native Americans as a medicinal/healing tool.
Modern research has confirmed echinacea’s immune -boosting properties and it is extensively used as an antiviral.

 

The flower petals make a lovely tea, but the medicinal power is found in the root(dried and powdered) containing inulin, polysaccharides, essential oil, resin
plant sterols, and fatty acids. ( proven to increase body resistance to infection.)

Used in the treatment of colds and influenza, as well as more chronic conditions such as glandular fever or ME/post-viral fatigue. It stimulates the production of white blood sells, which fight infection, and is therefore being used as a support for HIV/AIDS.
It is best used as a commercial prepared tincture and should always be sought out and used under the supervision of a qualified herbal/Holistic practitioner.

PS: Among the other colors of the coneflower, the purple purpurea is the only one with medicinal properties.

 

Healthy, Beautiful, Deadly if Abused~

sun

I’ve been writing negative reviews on sunscreens for many years…glad to see this from EWG.
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Certainly no secret that the sun provides all sorts of health benefits, including helping our bodies manufacture vital vitamin D.

If we don’t abuse the time in the sun we have no need for sunscreen at all.
Please know, all sunscreens are not created equally. In fact, a 2017 report from Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that nearly 75 percent of sunscreens didn’t work. That is to say these sunscreens provide inadequate sun protection and/or they contained harmful ingredients.

In EWG’s 11th Annual Guide to Sunscreens report, the results show that while there have been major improvements over the last decade, the vast majority of sunscreens available for purchase in the U.S. still contain damaging chemicals or fail to offer enough protection against ultraviolet rays.

Note: About half of the sunscreens sold in the U.S. would not be allowed on the market in Europe, according to Sonya Lunder, lead scientist involved with the sunscreen guide.

So…be kind to your skin and don’t take it for granted…it may be fashionable or just a personal like to bake oneself into a copy of Gingerbread girl/boy…but the rewards will be something not fashionable or to our liking!

http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/

Feeling Good and Looking Good From The Inside Out~

Botanical Bliss

I’ve written a lot on the benefits of herbs and natural ingredients and the goodness they supply to our inner being.

As few as 40 years ago, many women looked to plants for much of their skin care regiments.

Those options and ingredients have more recently been incorporated more and more into many mainline products.

All natural ( really natural ) organic and chemical free is always the “best” way to go…but, if and when that is not an option or a choice, one can still find products that are less harmful by considering the ingredients.

Examples:

Marine Ingredients…Undersea elements such as seaweed and algae are great hydrators, and they are rich in trace elements…very good for the skin. With minerals such as zinc, magnesium, vitamins A,C,and E-all will work to hydrate your outer skin.

Antioxidants…plays the starring role in the anti aging process by inhibiting the free radicals that cause collagen breakdown. Vitamin C, coffee berry, and argan oil are three of the most sought after…one of these 3 ingredients should be at the top or very near the ingredient list to be effective.

Caramides…lipids that are found in the skins surface that function like mortar to hold cells together, prevent water loss and keeping the skin plump and hydrated.

Peptides…these are amino acid chains that penetrate the skin’s uppermost layers and have the ability to tell cells to behave in a certain way…produce more collagen for instances.

Calming Agents…last but certainly not the least of the best. These are found in plant products…such as , chamomile, cucumber, and aloe…all have calming agents that reduce inflammation and redness brought on from rosacea or chapped and sensitive skin.

These are agents that should be found in the ingredient label of your foundation, lip gloss, eye care products, etc., as well as the most important part of your skin care routine…which is the cleansing, toning and moisturizing routine.

And don’t overlook the diet…beauty is, as we have come to know, truly from the inside out…when we don’t nourish our body’s need for proper fuel, it will compensate by taking from us…our healthy, bright, plump and beautiful outer skin.

Herbs and our Skin~

Comfrey

Herbs and our Skin~

I write a lot about culinary herbs, but do you know there are some simple ways to use herbs outside the body for healthy and beautiful skin.

These can all be made into tinctures and ingested…but, for now I’m talking about simple applications that can be derived through steeping and using as a splash or spray.

Red Clover and Nettle…will cleanse and detoxify

Yarrow, Chamomile and Calendula…reduces itching and redness from rashes and allergies.

Chamomile and Comfrey…soothe soreness-from exercise or injury.
Can also be used to easy stings, cuts, and has mighty wound healing properties. The leaves were used in WWI and WWII in place of bandages because of supply shortages.

Thyme and Echinacea…fights infections.

Lavender…healthy skin growth.

Yarrow and Nettle…helps eliminate waste via the kidneys.

Fennel and Clary Sage…helps balance hormonal fluctuations leading to skin blemishes.

Lemon Balm and Marjoram…eases stress.

Horsetail and Oat…promotes wound healing.

Bring a quart of water to a boil, add herb of choice and gently boil for about 5 minutes…remove from heat, cover and allow to steep for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain and store in a glass container…..fill a spray bottle as needed or use with cotton balls to apply to needed areas.

I keep it in the frig, feels wonderful on a hot summer day-spritzed or applied to the face or even the feet,

Note…this in no way implies medicinal advice. And please avoid the eyes when applying to the face.

Happy and safe summer~Bug free we can wish !

Healing Power of Salt~

himalayan-bath-salt

For years I’ve been advocating the benefits of salt in a health focused routine…if you are still using basic table-salt, please, please… Stop!!

Table salt is refined to a negative point with additives of anti-caking agents, these are the elements that cause issues in blood pressure and other health related maladies …we have so many other wonderfully-healthy salts to choose from.

A list of good choices and the benefits of each can be found on the Sage Hill Gardens website for future reference.
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Salt is healing…this is documented in a plethora of ways back through the earliest of times.

These are the four I opt for and would suggest to you!

(Salts for Soaking in a Bath…)

1.. Epsom: A hydrate form of magnesium sulfate named for the mineral rich spring waters of Epsom, England.
2..Celtic Sea Salt: A brand of unprocessed salt with trace minerals; from coastal France.
3..Himalayan salt: A rock salt mined in Pakistan that sometimes has a pink tinge from iron oxide.
4..Hawaiian sea salt: Sea salt mixed with red clay containing iron oxide, color ranges from white to pink.
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+ One…Baking Soda: Sodium bicarbonate; softens water and relieves minor skin irritations.

+ One…The Celtic and/or Himalayan is a perfect replacement for your table salt/food usage.