Marvelous Mascarpone Made at Home

Delicious and simple

Urban Overalls

When I think of creamy, spreadable cheeses, the first one that pops to mind is the Italian classic, Mascarpone.  It has a luscious texture that our conventional cream cheese just can’t replicated.  (I first heard of Mascarpone when I watched the movie Kate and Leopold.  Hugh Jackman’s character, Leopold, prepared breakfast for Kate (Meg Ryan) by spreading Mascarpone on toast and then topping with blueberries.  It has since become one of my favorite breakfasts.)  If you are a fan of Mascarpone from the store, you will absolutely love homemade Mascarpone cheese.

mascarpone curd is set mascarpone curd is set

Don’t worry, this is a very easy recipe to prepare.  You will amaze your friends and yourself with this creation.

My favorite recipe is from  Home Cheese Making Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses by Ricki Carroll.

Mascarpone with Culture

  • 1 quart light cream (or half and half), avoid homogenized
  • 1 packet direct set crème…

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My Chickweed Pesto Recipe

Christie Living Naturally


Enjoy the amazing health benefits of this ‘Superfood’, while eating some of your favorite foods. I think of Chickweed as a natural, super nutritious, tasty lettuce or as delicate, mild-tasting spinach. It also makes really delicious pesto. This is a plant, like fresh peas, where it is hard to walk past without picking some to munch on.

Remember it is OK to be versatile and diversify in the kitchen.

I am a person who tends to substitute and cook with what I have in the cupboard at the time. Being versatile in the kitchen can lead to better economy in the kitchen. Plus, versatility and diversity are the spice of life and the kitchen!

Practically any seed or nut can be used in your pesto (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seed (pepitas), pinenuts, cashew nuts, pecans, walnuts, almonds). Whichever one or blend of them you choose to use, they will impart their…

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27 Survival Uses for Common Mullein Besides Cowboy Toilet Paper

Great information here.

Survival Sherpa

by Todd Walker

Ever been caught in the woods with nature calling you to a squatty position? If you forgot the Charmin, you’d still be a happy camper with Cowboy Toilet Paper (AKA – Common Mullein). It’s velvety soft leaves have wrangled many a woodsman and camper from certain disaster over a cat hole.

27 Survival Uses for Common Man Mullein Besides Cowboy Toilet Paper

The fuzzy leaf of this botanical wonder may cause skin irritation (contact dermatitis). That’s not a bad thing if you happen to be a Quaker in the new world. Since Quaker women weren’t allowed to wear make up, these resourceful ladies rubbed the hairy leaves on their cheeks for a homemade blush to attract suitors. Hence the name Quaker’s Rouge.

If employed as Cowboy TP or camper’s wash cloth, wipe with the flow of the hairs not against. Use caution with sensitive behinds. If a rash occurs, plantain is usually close by.

Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is easy to identify making it a…

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Make Your Own Laundry Products

Harmful chemicals can affect a family’s health. These toxins over time can contribute to skin sensitivities, allergies and contact dermatitis. Research continues to grow on the effects of toxins found in commercial laundry detergents and fabric softeners. A study in 2009detected an increased risk of respiratory allergies, as well as greater symptoms of sneezing, itchy nose and wheezing. There are simple solutions to avoid these chemicals.

David Steinman, and environmental health advocate with the Green Patriot Working Group says about two-thirds of laundry detergents contain the chemical byproduct 1,4-dioxane and is considered a likely carcinogenic to humans by all routes of exposure. A number of brand name detergents such as Tide, Purex, and Gain–see the entire list at solutions, and often does not rinse out of clothes, sheets or towels.  The EPA also warns that contact may cause eye and skin irritation, burns, coughing or shortness of breath. Add that to the cocktail of other chemicals found in detergents and softeners (including sulfates, chlorine, parbens, fragrances and phenols, as well as petroleum distillates linked to cancer and lung disease. And not to mention the high costs associated with such products.

Make Your Own Dryer Balls: these are easy and fun. You will need a skein of 100 percent wool yarn, scissors, sock and essential oil is optional.

  • Wrap wool yarn around two fingers 10-15 times
  • Pinch the bundle in the middle and pull off your fingers
  • Wrap yarn around the center of the bundle 10-15 times in the other direction
  • Continue to wrap, alternating directions to make a ball.
  • Once your ball is the size of a tennis ball, cut the end of yarn and tuck under several layers of yarn.
  • Repeat steps 1-5 for as man y dryer balls as you want.
  • Put each dryer ball in the end of a sock or an old pair of pantyhose. Add them to a load of laundry that will run through the hot wash cycle.
  • Wash then dry on the hottest setting. Remove and check for felting…when you cna no longer separate the individual strings of yarn.
  • To use, toss dryer balls into the dryer with wet laundry. If desired, add a few drops of essential oil to freshen your clothes. When clothes are dry you can store the balls in the dryer, or place in a gasket until your next load.

Rosemary Powdered Laundry Soap: 1 cup washing soda    1 cup borax   2 cups grated castile bar soap   50 drops rosemary essential oil.  Mix well in large bowl. Add the rosemary essential oil and mix thoroughly. Store in a large airtight container. To use, add 1/8 cup per load.

Lemon-Fresh Liquid Laundry Soap:  1 bar castile soap grated, 8 cups water, 5-gallon bucket with lid, 4 1/2 gallons hot tap water, 1 cup washing soda, 1 cup borax, 3 teaspoons of lemon essential oil.  In a saucepan over low heat, mix soap and 8 cups of water, gradually heating and stirring until soap is dissolved. Fill 5 gallon bucket about 3/4 full of hot tap water. Add soap mixture, washing soda and borax. Add lemon essential oil and mix well. Cover, and leave overnight. Transfer into smaller containers if desired. To use add 1/2 cup per load.

Simple Laundry Soap: 1 box washing soda, 1 box of borax and 1 bar of grated Fels Naptha. Mix thoroughly. Use 2 Tablespoons per load.

Laundry Stain Stick: 2 lbs. lard, 10 oz. water, 4.39 oz. lye, 1/2 oz. of lemon essential oil. Measure lye and water in 2 separate bowls. Carefully combine lye and water by pouring lye into the water until dissolved. Allow lye mixture to stay under a vent and cool down while you prepare lard.     Measure lard–place in crock pot to melt on low heat. Once melted–add lye mixture to the lard and stir. After a brief stir–grab a stick blender–blend lard and liquid for 5 minutes. Mixture will be like pudding. Cover the crock and cook the soap for 1 hour. Prepare your mold—–line with parchment paper. Just before pouring—-add any essential oil you like. Spoon soap into molds. Cool and harden for 24 hours. Remove and cut bars. Place bars where there is good air flow.

Gentle Bleach: 12 cups water, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 cup peroxide. Use 2 cups per load of clothes. Use with load of clothes with detergent—let agitate, soak for one hour—then wash. This works very well.

Homemade Fabric Softener: 3 cups warm water, 1 1/2 cups white vinegar, 1 cup conditioner can add essential oil if you like. Pour all ingredients into half gallon container and stir. Add oils. 1/4 cup during rinse cycle.

Easy Fabric Softener: Use 1/4 cup white vinegar can add 3 teaspoons of lavender essential oil if you like.

Eucalyptus Dryer Sheets: Cotton Cloths, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 5-10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Airtight container.  Cut cotton cloths such as old dish towels or T-shirts into small rectangles. Place in airtight container. Then, pour liquid over the cloths so that they are damp. To use, remove cloth from container squeeze excess liquid back into jar, and place in dryer. When dry, place cloth back in container for later use.

All recipes/article are taken from “Mother Earth Living,” and other sources.



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Bee Plants


I believe it was Albert Einstein who said that without bees, the human species would go extinct within four years.

Honeybees are so essential to our entire food supply and they’re dying off in scary numbers. Between colony collapse and sheer lack of food, our honeybees are disappearing. In my city, we can’t own bees without a whole lot of paper work and fees and inspections etc, etc, so I decided to dedicate part of my garden to bee friendly plants.

Since I live in Canada, I can be somewhat limited to what plants will live here. This year the weather has been especially all over the place (to the point where several people I know had their furnaces on last night, almost a full week into June) and I’ve only seen two honeybees in my yard. But here’s a quick list of what I’ve planted that my local bees…

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Rejuvenating solar garden lights — with nail polish!

Solar LED garden lights are everywhere these days, and by ‘everywhere’ I mean ‘in our yard.’  We’ve had some for a few years now, and simply through exposure to the elements, the plastic that covers the solar cells becomes so opaque that only a small amount of light gets to them any more.  With the solar cells deprived of even that meager light that we get in Massachusetts in the winter, the solar cells don’t recharge the battery, the battery doesn’t power the LED, the LED doesn’t light up, and our yard has a serious bling deficiency.  Eleanor and I took our solar garden lights inside to see if we could make them bright again somehow.

My first thought when confronting the frosted-over plastic was to try to ‘polish’ it with a fine-grit sandpaper.  I had 400-grit handy and tried it on one cell, the bottom one in this picture…

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Dental Health For The Natural Family






Have you ever wondered what to do naturally to keep your pearly whites white? Of course, Prevention is the key word here. Dental problems are the result of gum disease. Keep your gums healthy by using natural products that you probably already have.

Plaque, the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease, builds up usually about 20 minutes after a meal. Brush your teeth at least 2x daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush….and floss.  Healing herbs used in combination with good basic care can really bolster oral health.

Herbalist Christopher Hobbs recommends taking diluted Bloodroot tincture to protect teeth and gums against bacteria. Myrrh tincture helps strengthen gums and combat tooth and gum infections, and Echinacea tincture helps the body fight bacteria. Take the tinctures daily according to instructions.

Aloe Vera gel is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial healer. Neem is an herb with antimicrobial properties that can help strengthen gums and prevent plaque. Green Tea is another potent herbal remedy as it is an antioxidant and contains polyphenol compounds that can inhibit the growth of oral bacteria.

Supplementation of CoQ10 can improve circulation to the gums and help in preventing gum disease. Take about 60 mg. a day in capsule form. A deficiency of Vitamin C can cause gum disease and loosen teeth. Also make sure you are getting about 1000 mg. of calcium daily. Calcium is necessary for building and maintaining healthy teeth.  Magnesium combined with Vitamin C helps to keep the teeth strong and the bones healthy. French Green Clay is very beneficial to brush with a couple of times a week…the clay will also help absorb any bad breath issues and whisk it away. Plus…the clay being absorbed into your body will help replace as many as 76 minerals and trace minerals your body needs.

DIY Dental Care

  • Mint Toothpaste: 2 T baking soda, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, 1 T vegetable glycerin and 20 drops of peppermint essential oil. Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container.
  • Natural Tooth Whitener: 1 tsp. baking soda and 1 tsp. of hydrogen peroxide. Mix all together. Dip toothbrush in mixture and brush for 3 minutes. Rinse well. Follow with your toothpaste.
  • Healing Mouthwash: 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup vodka, 2 droppersful calendula tincture, 2 droppersful goldenseal tincture, 1 dropperful myrrh tincture, 2 drops of peppermint essential oil. Combine all ingredients and shake well. Dilute 3 T of the rinse in 1/2 ounce of water and use as a mouthwash.

Should you get a toothache and can’t get to the dentist right away…….French Green Clay to the rescue!!  Place some of the clay between some light gauze and place over the affected area. Keep in overnight if need be. French Green Clay has in some people been noted to help restore and re-mineralize the tooth.

Most of the content in this blog was from, ” Mother Earth Living.”

Relieve Pain Naturally

raw veggies and fruit

raw veggies and fruit

Rich in Omega 3's

Rich in Omega 3’s

Over the counter pain relievers can cause medical problems ranging from liver failure to internal bleeding. Forgo pharmaceuticals in favor of natural options and say good bye to pain.

Pain killers such as ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen taken in frequent doses is hard on the liver and increases chances of stroke. Fortunately nature has provided alternatives that can reduce your pain without risky side effects.

Arthritis: More than 27 million Americans suffer some type of arthritis with osteoarthritis being the most common. This degenerative joint disease is characterized by stiffness, loss of movement, and pain caused by inflammation and a breakdown of cartilage around joints. Although arthritis cannot be cured there are remedies that can help reduce inflammation and pain.

  • Bromelain: Derived from pineapple, this enzyme fights the compounds that cause pain and inflammation. Bromelain breaks down proteins that hinder blood circulation and cause blood clots, which can help relieve pain. A common dose is 500 mg. 3x a day between meals. I personally eat a few bites of fresh pineapple after each meal.
  • Capsaicin: Capsaicin creams won’t prevent or restore lost cartilage, but they can help relieve pain. Found in cayenne peppers, this compound interferes with transmission of pain signals between brain and body.
  • Devils Claw: This herb from southern Africa is prized for its anti-inflammatory properties. The popularity of this as a medicine has put it at risk of extinction. A common recommendation for dosage is 1500 to 2500 mg. of powdered herb daily.
  • Ginger: Ginger decreases pain and inflammation. In one study, 250 mg. of ginger extract taken 4x a day diminished pain from knee osteoarthritis after 3 months of use.
  • Turmeric: The curcumin in turmeric contains potent anti-inflammatory properties that reduce joint pain and swelling. Curcumin is often combined with bromelain or piperine (found in peppers) to help increase its absorption by the body. Two long term studies have shown that a curcummin-phosphatidylcholine complex improves arthritis symptoms and reduces blood levels of inflammatory chemicals.

Aching Muscles:  Aches and pains plague us all. Whether you’ve overdone a workout, experienced an injury or coming down with flu symptoms. Make sure you have taken in plenty of fluids as dehydration during illness can lead to achy muscles.

  • Epsom Salts  is actually just magnesium sulfate. A natural sedative effect on the nervous system, which can relax tight muscles. It also contains detoxifying powers, which can help soothe sore muscles and joint pain. Magnesium is poorly absorbed by the digestive tract, but easily absorbed through the skin. Add a cup of Epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for 15 minutes.
  • Arnica contains anti-inflammatory compounds for treating sore muscles, sprains, swelling and other related ailments. Arnica contains a compound called helenin, which assists as a natural analgesic. Available for topical use as creams, gels, salves, ointments and oils.  Apply topically.
  • Ginger has warming properties that increases circulation, helping to relax sore muscles. For a soothing ginger bath, shave a couple of tablespoons of fresh ginger into a mesh bag..toss into the tub. For muscles that need more attention, try a ginger compress.

Ginger compress works wonders for back strains, sprains, bruises and other injuries. Fresh ginger root works best, but powdered ginger works also. Can add cinnamon powder for extra warming.    Take 1/2 cup fresh ginger, grated and 2 cups water and 1 Tablespoon powdered cinnamon. Place all ingredients in saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Let steep for 15 minutes. Then soak a wash cloth witht he strong tea. Apply cloth to painful or stiff muscles until cloth has cooled; then resoak and reapply several times. For inflamed muscles or intense pain, apply ice the first day and then alternate with ginger compresses (4 minutes hot to 1 minute cold).

Risks of Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

  • Ibuprofen is a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. NSAIDs are linked to both nonfatal and fatal strokes. Long term use is associated with increased risk of renal cell cancer and is linked to a 45% higher chance of death or recurring heart attack in recent heart attack patients. Can also result in bleeding, ulcers and interfere with antidepressants.
  • Aspirin is usually given to those at risk for heart attacks and strokes. Aspirin is a blood thinner, it increases risk of bleeding.  Has been linked to hearing loss in men, especially those younger than 50.
  • Acetaminophen usually seen in Tylenol. Low frequent doses can damage the kidneys, brain and liver. It is the most common cause of drug induced liver disease and liver failure in the United States.

Premenstrual Symptoms: Hormone fluctuations before a woman’s period can wreak havoc on her physical and mental well being. Painful cramps, uncomfortable bloating and mood swings.

  • Cramps: Painful abdominal cramps are one of the most common PMS symptoms. Acupressure and applying heat or essential oils, such as lavender, to your abdomen can help alleviate.
  • Mood Swings: Intense feelings of anger and sadness not only leaves us feeling drained, but can affect our relationships. Start by eating a healthy breakfast to stabilize blood sugar, and be sure to get enough omega-3’s and B vitamins to boost brain function.
  • Lack of Energy: Be sure to get plenty of sleep and eat iron-rich foods. Ditch the coffee and try natural energy boosters such as citrus or peppermint aromatherapy, COQ10 and B vitamins also help, as do ginseng, licorice, ashwagandha, or astragalus.

Headaches are one of the most common ailments to send us reaching to the medicine cabinet. Most of us experience headaches from time to time.

  • Feverfew is used for the incapacitating pain of a migraine headache accompanied by sensitivity to light, vision problems, nausea and vomiting. This herb is useful for those in the throes of a migraine but has great value in preventing migraines when taken daily. Studies show that feverfew stops the clumping of platelets in the vlood and reduces blood vessel constriction and dilation. Usually 250-500 mcg. is all that’s needed.
  • White Willow Bark eases pain and inflammation. It is antioxidant, fever reducing, antiseptic and immune boosting properties.Take 60-120 mg. daily.

Aromatherapy for headaches:

  • Peppermint: rub a few drops of peppermint oil on your temples and neck to relieve tension headaches. Peppermint oil creates a cooling sensation when it comes in contact with skin, and it helps to relax the muscles in your head and neck. The scent of the oil also has power to clam nerves and clear nasal passages.
  • Eucalyptus: Apply eucalyptus oil to your forehead can relieve headaches in the same manner as peppermint oil.  You can also steam to help clear nasal passages.
  • Lavender: The scent of lavender has a powerful effect on the nervous system, relieving insomnia, anxiety and stress. Place a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow or brew a cup of lavender tea to benefit from this natural headache reliever.

Headache Tea Brew this headache tea to help ease migraine pain or drink regularly to reduce the incidence of headaches.  Lemon balm, Linden, chamomile, passionflower. Steep equal parts of the herbs in water for 20 minutes and drink a cup 2-3 times a day…..especially before bedtime.

This was taken from, “Mother Earth Living,” magazine.





Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Fibromyalgia Syndrome is a rheumatic disorder characterized by chronic achy muscular pain that has no obvious physical cause. Mainly affects the lower back, neck, shoulders, back of head, upper chest and/or the thighs.

Other symptoms include painful periods, palpitations, anxiety, memory impairment, skin sensitivities, dry eyes/mouth, impaired coordination, chemical sensitivity, and irritable bladder. Some activities like lifting and climbing stairs are very difficult and painful. Depression often accompanies this disorder and heavy stress may trigger the development of problems. The immune system is compromised making it easy to get viral and bacterial infections. Several doctors believe that the thyroid is the main culprit……as you can be off just a miniscule and have it affect you.

Take your temperature for 2 weeks before crawling out of bed. If you are consistently under 97.6 degrees……..see your doctor. This is an under active thyroid. Could be the culprit behind all your symptoms.  If you are low on one hormone, like the thyroid, you are low on all others as your body needs the different hormones to carry out the many different functions.

This condition is often misdiagnosed. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Chronic Myofascial pain is common. Sleep activity is interrupted resulting in poor sleep. Sleep Apnea, Restless Leg Syndrome, Sleep Myoclonus and bruxism.

Chemical and food allergies, loss of balance, dizziness, extreme fatigue, headaches, IBS, Jaw pain, difficulty in concentration, menstrual pain, sensitivity to loud noises and bright lights, sensitive to dairy foods, skin sensitivities, stiffness in the morning or when walking.

Symptoms come on gradually and slowly increase in intensity over time. The course of this disorder is unpredictable. Stress seems to be the one identifying issue that brings it along. A disturbance in brain chemistry may be involved…..which brings on the depression.  Candida Albicans (yeast infection), anemia, parasites, hypothyroidism, amalgam dental fillings, clumps of hair falling out, losing eyebrows and eyelashes, mononucleosis are other factors that can bring it on.

Malabsorption problems are common in those with this disorder. When using vitamins use the sublingual or liquid kind.

My personal story: I personally was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 12 years ago. Have learned my limitations. It is most difficult to accept the fact that I cannot be as active as I once was. Was having seizures periodically as well with this.  Misdiagnosed by several doctors.  I found a wonderful doctor in Jefferson City, MO and after just listening to me…..he diagnosed me with the Fibromyalgia. He took lots of blood work……and gave me Armour Thyroid to treat me with.  In 3 days my seizures stopped.  I have not had one since.    My blood work had shown my thyroid was not working optimally.  My body temperature at that time was only 94 degrees.  I was unable to fight skin rashes that was covering my body.  In the meantime, I done some studying……and found some herbs that help fight the issue. Have come a long way in battling this……at one point I was unable to walk across my front room floor.  My husband would come in after work and have to massage me down so I could rest.  The pain is very unbearable is unlike any pain you have ever felt before. The pain goes very deep into the muscle tissue.  Experienced a heart attack……my heart is healed now and doing very well.   Stress and a low thyroid were the culprits behind my every day struggles.  I am not 100% healed but I am healed enough to have some of my life back.  And that is good!!!    Most doctors do not test the thyroid completely. Most only check the TSH……but the T3 and T4 needs to be checked as well.  I wanted the Armour Thyroid given to me since it is a natural glandular product. Synthroid is a chemically  made product for the thyroid.

Essential Nutrients:

Acidophilus taken as directed on label will replace friendly bacteria that is needed in the gut. Yeast infections are common in Fibromyalgia.

CoQ10 75 mg. daily.  Improves oxygenation of tissues, enhances the immune system and protects the heart.   The heart is a muscle after all.

Lecithin promotes energy, enhances immunity, aids in brain function and circulation.

Magnesium needed for sugar metabolism, energy production in many cells of the body.

Vitamin C antiviral effect and increases the body’s energy level.

Amino Acids 50 mg daily for 1 week then increase to 100 mg daily. Enhances serotonin in the brain. For pain relief.

Garlic Promotes immune function. Destroys common parasites. Cleanses the bloodstream.

Vitamin B Complex normal brain function

Calcium when taken with magnesium helps with depression and muscle spasms.

Zinc helps with skin irritations.

Kelp contains minerals for support of thyroid.

Melatonin promotes sound sleep.

There are also a number of herbs you can take to will further enhance your immune functions.


Astragalus and echinacea enhance the immune functions and help to provide energy.

Black Walnut and garlic remove any parasites in the body

Calendula or rosemary oil diluted with water or olive oil massaged into the skin helps with pain.

Licorice Root supports the glandular system. Only use this for no more than 7 days as it can elevate blood pressure.

Pau d’arco for treating candida infection

Skullcap and valerian root improve sleep

Milk Thistle protects the liver

Other Recommendations:

  • Eat a well balanced diet of 50% raw foods and fresh “live” juices. Diet should consist mostly of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, raw nuts and seeds, skinless turkey or chicken and deep water fish.
  • Drink plenty of liquids to flush out toxins. Herbal teas and steam distilled water are the best along with fresh vegetable juices.
  • Limit consumption of green peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and white potatoes. These foods contain solanine, which interferes with enzymes in the muscles and can cause pain and discomfort.
  • Do not consume caffeine, alcohol or sugar. They promote fatigue, increase in pain and sleep disturbances.
  • Avoid wheat and brewers yeast until your symptoms improve.
  • Avoid dairy products or any other foods that are high in saturated fats. They promote inflammation and increase pain. Avoid fried foods, processed foods, shell fish, dairy, and any white flour products. Avoid pork and beef. They both are high in fat even if the package says “lean” on it.
  • Eat 4 to 5 small meals daily to keep a steady supply of protein and carbohydrates available for muscle function.
  • Get plenty of rest and try massage therapy

Other Considerations

Chronic pain sufferers tend to be deficient in magnesium.

Common pain killers like NSAIDs are usually not all that effective with pain.

Studies have shown that a possible role of a genetic defect interferes with the formation of ATP of which is the source of cellular energy

Plant sterols and sterolins stimulate the immune system, thus helping the body to fight off infection.

Many doctors prescribe low dose antidepressants as they can be beneficial in some cases to fight the manic issues that can be associated with this disease.

Light exercise is recommended. Do not do more than you can at any given time. Don’t push yourself as it will make the disease worse.

Physical therapy, deep heat therapy, relaxation techniques are very helpful. Find someone that is licensed and certified. With massage therapy… is wise to not allow deep tissue massage as this can make your symptoms worse.

I hope this information will help you get through the difficult maze of your disease. Many physicians are at a loss themselves.  This information comes from, “Prescription for Nutritional Healing”, by Dr. James Balch, M.D. and his wife Phyllis Balch, CNC.   Finding the right doctor can also be daunting in nature…..but worth the search once found.

Vinaigrette’s to Complete Your Salad

Splendid Recipes and More

Vinaigrette's to Complete Your Salad

Vinaigrette is a French culinary invention, around 1690 to 1700’s.

Vinaigrette is an emulsion of vinegar and a form of oil, such as (but not limited too) olive oil, and sometimes flavored with herbs, spices, and other ingredients. It is used most commonly as a salad dressing, but also as a cold sauce or marinade.

In some French cuisines, vinaigrette preparations are used as a cold sauce, such as with cold artichokes, asparagus, and leeks.

In general, vinaigrette consists of 3 parts of oil to 1 part of vinegar whisked into an emulsion, such as mustard. Salt and pepper are often added. Herbs, garlic, and shallots are added, especially when it is used as a sauce for cooked vegetables or grains, such as rice.

These vinaigrettes presented here are a light and tasty addition to any salad. Simply use them with a bowl of arugula and butter lettuce or your…

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White VS Brown sugar


White and brown – the two most commonly used types of sugar

As with most products with misleading name, according to the majority, brown sugar falls into the category of “brown” foods – brown rice, rye bread, etc.. Therefore more useful, harmless and it can be consumed more. So is it really?

Raw sugar is extracted from sugar cane. Her color is brownish in the formation . This is due to the presence of molasses – viscous , thick syrup , which was obtained in the refining of sugar cane, sugar beet, grapes , and is also known as a “plant ” copper .

Sugar producers handle their entire production, which leaves it white . Brown sugar is made when molasses again return to bleached sugar. Different flavors of white and brown sugar is only due to the absence or presence of molasses – white is lighter …

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Tomato juice – more effective than energy drinks


Tomato juice can have positive effects on post-workout energy drinks.

Tomatoes provide the body with vital elements which help him to fully recover after physical activity. Strengthen muscles and normalize blood pressure.

Researchers tracked 15 athletes over a period of two months. They monitor their vital parameters before, during and after exercise.

Nine athletes consume tomato juice after training, and the other six – energy drink.
Results showed that consuming tomato juice recovered much more quickly and muscle glucose levels after strenuous exercise.

Moreover, researchers found that the tomato juice reduces the risk of degeneration of muscleand brain, since it counteracts the build-up of harmful proteins.

Drinking tomato juice reduces oxidative cell damage after exercise, which helps recovery and reduces fatigue and exhaustion.

  • The antioxidant properties of tomato decreased risk of prostate cancer, depression, and cardiovascular problems.

Tomato juice

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Herbs or Spices


Fountain of youth? Who knows if herbs are the answer to youth, but with all the coverage they have received through history it appears that many believe it. Herbs themselves have been one of God’s special blessings. They have provided people with flavors, fragrances, and medical benefits. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds travel hundreds of miles in search of the aromatic perfume of their favorite flower. Exotic spices from far away lands can turn the heads of kings. Our Lord, Jesus, was anointed with the costliest of perfumes in preparation for burial.

The words herbs and spices can be used interchangeably. Their medicinal and culinary value are equal. Probably the most remembered herbs in the Bible are frankincense and myrrh, as they were two of the gifts the wise men brought to the baby Jesus. Frankincense represents holiness, while myrrh is very aromatic and resinous and is obtained from thorn trees. Many believe the myrrh was to symbolize the suffering that would come to Jesus in the future, perhaps referring to the “crown of thorns” that we wore on the cross. Myrrh was used as a spice to make inexpensive wine more palatable. It was common to offer this mixture to criminals in Roman times and indeed was offered to Jesus.

Experts claim that the aloes of the Bible are derived from the sap of the eaglewood tree. Aloes retain their fragrance for many years, a characteristic that would make them useful for anointing the dead, because of the Jewish custom of often entering a tomb for ceremonies. American aloe, or agave, is succulent, and is not to be confused with the biblical aloes.

The value and usefulness of herbs led to them being an object of bartering as part of trade and taxes. Rue was used as medicine and in cooking. It is very aromatic and used as a stimulant. It is also known as the “herb of grace.” Brushes med from rue were once used to sprinkle holy water at mass.

Coriander has numerous Old Testament references. The manna sent from heaven in the wilderness was compared to it in Exodus.

Garlic is mentioned only once in the Bible, but it is done so in a way that makes the reader aware of how much the Israelites missed this culinary food. “We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic” (Num. 11:5).

Hyssop was known as a holy herb that was used to cleanse sacred places.  In psalm 51:7 David uses hyssop in a prayer of forgivenes. “Purify me wiht hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”

Cinnamon was often used as a medicine and a spice. Was also used in the holy oil in the tabernacle to anoint priests and sacred vessels as mentioned in Exodus 30: 22-25.

In 1975, 25 percent of all drugs were still made from herbs….today that amount is much less. The transition from herbs to drugs was accelerated by the world wars that interrupted the international trade in herbs, which made synthetics attractive. Making synthetic drugs became attractive. In many studies, herbal products clearly perform better. For instance, Ginger has been shown superior to Dramamine as a therapy for motion sickness.

In ancient times, sweet spices were often treasured as gifts. Bitter herbs may taste bad, but they have great medicinal qualities such as: stimulating the appetite, stimulate the digestive juices, strengthen poor digestion, help the liver filter harmful substances, metabolize fat, manages hypoglycemia and diabetes and helps to reverse stomach ulcers.

Seasoning our life with herbs is a great addition to our treasure chest for ultimate health. And remember there is no “one herb” that is the magic cure for everything in your health. An assortment of herbs will give you an assortment of nutrients.

This post is featured on Wildcrafting Wednesday, Teach Me Tuesdays, Barn yard Farming Connection Blog

Growing Shitake Mushrooms

120px-ShiitakegrowingAs I get more and more into doing things “home made” for my family….the broader my list of things to try becomes.  We love mushrooms…and have decided to take it a step further and just grow them for ourselves or for the upcoming Farmers Markets that are in the not so distant future this summer. If you want to grow lots to sell….you will need possibly a place with humidity and temperature control…for personal use all you need are some stacked logs in a shady spot with regular wettings.

Just hand drill holes in the logs…inoculate and wax an average of three 42″ logs per hour. You can also make the logs into 24″ for ease. You can purchase the inoculations from seed companies.

There is one thought on the waxing….not recommended to use beeswax. Reason is that beeswax can contain fungi, spores, and other bacteria that can contaminate. Recommended is cheese wax which is approved for food.  You can inoculate the logs in March and be eating mushrooms by early October. I have dried several batches and they can give off a little smell as they are drying. We use mushrooms in soups, as a meat substitute, or in breakfast omelets etc.

Mushrooms freeze well

Shitake mushrooms help to protect us against cardiovascular diseases which includes “hardening of the arteries” and are a very good non-animal food source of iron. Mushrooms can be one of the most sustainable foods in your diet!! Shitake Mushrooms are very rich in B vitamins and great source of vitamin D2 and dietary fiber. They contain a wide variety of phytonutrients and are a great concentrated source of minerals. Sauteeing for 7 minutes brings out the best flavor.

The immune support track record for this mushroom is fascinating. They help stimulate the immune system responses. There are anti-cancer benefits of which are still preliminary. Of what it has shown in lab results….the different compounds in shitake mushrooms work together to accomplish anti-tumor results.  These same findings are also showing a great interest in what has been happening with people who have Rheumatoid Arthritis.  And to many surprises….there is decreased susceptibility to colds, flu and the such in those who eat them.

So at our home……bring on the mushrooms!!!!

Medicinal Herbs For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid conditions are a category of autoimmune conditions that mainly affect the joints. The supporting structures are attacked by the immune system, causing weakness and degradation. Symptoms are sometimes hard to detect at first but include stiffness in the morning that worsens with time, fatigue, possibly low fever, and joints are swollen, painful, and stiff. Deformity at these joints may develop. Conventional medical treatments include diet and rest, medication to relieve pain. Herbal medicines are often used in combination with diet and lifestyle modifications.

Castor Oil treatments can help with pain. Rub the area with castor oil….place plastic wrap over the area and apply heat from heat pad for one hour…..take heat pad off and rub castor oil into skin again. Apply bag of ice.

Capsicum used topically by way of creams and ointments can be effective.

Cat’s Claw or Devil’s Claw has shown modest benefit to joint pain and swelling. It does however take approximately 2 months for this to start showing noticeable relief.

Evening Primrose has shown effectiveness also. These can be purchased by capsule.

Bromelain from pineapple helps significantly with pain. Either purchase the Bromelain or eat fresh pineapple after a meal.

Meadowsweet is commonly used as an anti-inflammatory and can help with the symptoms. Packed with pain relieving and fever reducing properties. 1 to 2 tsp. of dried herb per cup of boiling water. steep 10 minutes and can drink up to 3 cups daily. As a tincture, 1 tsp. 3 x a day.

Turmeric has shown effectiveness in joint swelling, walking speed and morning stiffness. An effective treatment for wounds, digestive aid, liver protection, arthritis, and is showing curcumin having anti-cancer properties.

Angelica gives relief as well for arthritis. Be sure to use dried angelica roots as the fresh ones are poisonous.  Please purchase your Angelica from a reliable herbal store. It helps with inflammation.

Horsetail absorbs gold dissolved in water even though the gold in horsetail is very small…gold has been used to treat RA and the Chinese have used horsetail for this disease. Use either an infusion or tincture. For an infusion, use 1-2 teaspoons of dried herb per cup of water. Drink 2 cups a day. For a tincture, use 1 tsp. up to 2 x a day.   Horsetail is high in selenium.

Licorice is anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties. Gently boil 1/2 tsp. of powdered herb per cup of water and can drink up to 2 cups a day. As a tincture, use 1/2 to 1 tsp. up to 2 x a day.

Dandelion can be eaten fresh in salads. Is a very nutritive herb and one of natures best medicines. Can drink a tea hot or cold 3-4 x a day. Combats arthritis, circulation and healing of wounds.

Mustard is a tie honored cure. Relieves pain and stiffness. A mustard plaster feels warm and has the beneficial ingredients are in the seeds. Mixed with water they form an essential oil. Always use cloth to place the mustard in…do not place the mustard directly onto the skin as it can cause burning. Never apply a poultice to very sensitive areas of the body.  Instead use castor oil or olive oil on sensitive skin before applying the plaster.  Can also tone it down by adding rye flour before adding water or use an egg white to prepare the paste with.

If you have any questions…please ask. Also, let your physician know what you are doing as certain medications may react with the herbs.  This information is for your own reading….and is not to take the place of what your physician advises.

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