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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Ashwagandha - Chocolate Bites

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) 

Ashwagandha root has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine due to its unique mix of strengthening and calming benefits. It is a safe and powerfully rejuvenating herb (adaptogen) that will benefit people faced with the chronic health problems created by stresses of both the diet and lifestyles of modern society.   Ashwaganda can be translated to mean “it gives you the strength of a stallion”.  Taken over time ashwagandha can build up emaciated tissues, decrease a negative response to stress and increase energy levels.  It also  works as a sedative which supports healthy sleep cycles Rather than think of it as an herb for acute insomnia, it is something that is taken over time to restore nervous system health and restore healthy sleep cycles.  Ashwaganda root is sometimes called the ginseng of India... But while some adaptogens (like ginseng)  may be overstimulating to people with anxiety, ashwagandha excels at decreasing anxiety and soothing the nervous system.  Great for people with anxiety as well as debilitating exhaustion who don’t need stimulants but instead need deep rest.  Good for immune system disorders such as HIV or chronic infections as well as for those who tend to get every upper respiratory virus that comes their wayUseful against cancer-related fatigue in addition to improving the quality of life in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.”
Ashwagandha Chocolate Bites


Makes 14-18 (depending on size)

1/3 cup Tahini

1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp Almond butter (or nut butter of your choice)

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp local Honey

1/4 cup dark Chocolate, chopped

2 Tbsp Ashwagandha powder

2 Tbsp Cacao powder (plus more as needed)

2 Tbsp Hemp seeds

1 tsp Cinnamon powder

1 tsp Ginger powder

1 tsp Cardamom powder

1 tsp Nutmeg powder

1/2 tsp Vanilla extract  


Hemp seeds

Organic coconut flakes 


1.  Add tahini, almond butter, and honey into a medium bowl and mix until smooth.

2.  Add herb powders and mix until well combined.

3.  Mix in vanilla extract and hemp seeds.

4.  Mix in chopped chocolate.

5.  Add more cacao powder, a little at a time, until dough is thick enough to hold shape.

6.  Once the dough is thick enough and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl, roll into 1-inch balls.

7.  Coat with coconut flakes or hemp seeds and enjoy! 

8.  Store in sealed container in the refrigerator up to one week.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

(3-Sisters ...Beans, Corn Squash)

8 Servings
"Three sisters" refers to the wonderful combination of beans, corn and squash—foods traditionally grown and consumed together by many American Indian tribes.
2 cups dried pinto beans, soaked overnight in 8 cups water
1-2 acorn squash
1 to 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 teaspoon Sea salt
2 large Carrots, diced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 ribs Celery, diced
7-8 cups Vegetable stock or Bone broth
2 cups frozen Corn
1 1/2 teaspoon dried or 3 tablespoons fresh thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Drain and rinse soaked beans. Put them in a pot and cover with water by an inch. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Add more water if necessary.

2. While beans are cooking, cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Bake squash halves, cut side up, in a 375-degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until tender.
3. Heat butter or oil in a large saucepan. Add onions and a pinch of salt and sauté over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, about 10 minutes.
4. Add carrot, garlic and celery, and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for another 5 to 10 minutes.
5. In the meantime, scoop cooked squash out of shell. Add squash to onion mixture and mix well, smoothing out any large lumps. Rinse and drain cooked beans.
6. Add stock and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and add beans, corn and thyme. Simmer, covered, for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot with crusty bread.

HONEY and SAGE Decoction for Sore Throats and Upper Respiratory Infections



• 1 ounce dried Sage leaf
• Pinch of Cayenne
• 3 cups cold water
• Honey (local to your area)
• Juice of 1 lemon


1. Combine sage and cayenne with water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is reduced by half.
2. Let cool enough that you can work with it. Strain liquid and press sage to extract as much liquid as possible.
3. Add honey, to taste, and lemon juice. Store in refrigerator and take 1 tablespoon or more often as needed at the onset of sore throat or upper respiratory infection.

Thursday, November 23, 2017


Our hands, feet, ears and head contain reflex points that correspond to every area and organ in our bodies. Reflexology charts show you what looks like a map of your body organs and glands with nerve endings that correspond to each organ, gland and area of the body. 
 Applying pressure to these specific points or areas stimulates the organs and areas of the body to help remove blockages, gives them a boost, and tells them to begin working. Reflexology also works to get the circulation flowing in specific areas of the body and can help break up congestion within the body that is keeping the circulation from flowing freely.

Tender spots are indicators of blockages within that particular area or organ. Blockages do not necessarily mean that there is something terribly wrong, but that the area of the body needs a bit of attention. and needs energy flowing.  Sometimes a congested or a blocked area will feel tight or thicker and less pliable.

Other areas may have the feeling of a knot or like that of a small BB or hardened pellet under the skin. These are referred to as crystals.  Once the crystals or tight areas break up or loosen up by pressing or applying pressure with the thumb and fingers, it allows circulation (energy) to flow freely. Imagine it as drinking a smoothie through a straw and as you drink a piece of fruit gets stuck in the straw keeping your drink from flowing though. Once you break up or remove that blockage, everything can flow freely once again. 

Reflexology has also been found helpful in stimulating the lymph to flow and stimulating the bowel to function. Reflexology opens the neural pathways by reducing stress and calming the body and mind which stimulates the body to heal.
There is a "vital energy" in the human body. If stress is not addressed, it leads to congestion of energy, which in turn causes bodily inefficiencies, which can lead to illness. This is what the Chinese call CHI energy.  The zones are similar to, but not the same as meridians found in Chinese medicine. However, there are some correlations between meridians and location of organs on the feet and ankles.

The reflexologist's application of pressure to feet, hands, or ears sends a calming message from the peripheral nerves in these extremities to the central nervous system, which in turn signals the body to adjust the tension level. This enhances overall relaxation, brings internal organs and their systems into a state of optimum functioning, and increases blood supply (which brings additional oxygen and nutrients to cells and enhances waste removal). It positively affects the circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, immune, and neuropeptide systems in the body.

Reflexology can produce pain relief through the gate control theory, or, the neuromatrix theory of pain. This theory suggests that pain is a subjective experience created by your brain. The brain does this in response to the sensory experience of pain, but it can also work independently of sensory input and create pain in response to emotional or cognitive factors. Thus things that influence the brain, such as your mood or external factors like stress can also affect your experience of pain. According to this theory, reflexology may reduce pain by reducing stress and improving mood.

Reflexology dates back to ancient China, Egypt, India and Japan. The re-discovery of reflexology is accredited to Dr. William Fitzgerald who in 1913 titled it Zone Therapy. Dr. Edwin F. Bowers and Dr. George Starr White also wrote books on reflexology. Another doctor, Dr. Joe Riley, had a student, Eunice Ingham, 
who was very interested in Dr. Fitzgerald’s method. With the encouragement of Dr. Riley, Eunice continued to improve and advance reflexology and to take her method to others. Ms. Ingham wrote her first book, Stories the Feet Can Tell, in 1938.  As opposed to Fitzgerald’s technique of using the reflex points to numb certain areas, she found that stimulating the reflex areas produced healing.

drawing of zones on feet

Zone theory

The recognition of reflexology as a specific type of treatment began with Zone Theory, in which the body is divided into 10 vertical zones. Each zone corresponds to fingers and toes all the way up to the top of the head. For example, if you are standing up with your hands on your thighs (palms facing down) the thumbs and great toe would be zone 1. On either side of the body, the index finger and second toe would be zone 2, etc.

In reflexology theory, every organ, valve, muscle, etc. that lies within a zone can be accessed via a point or area on the feet or hands. For example, working between toes 2 and 3, or fingers 2 and 3, the eye point is found. These pathways between pressure points and other parts of the body are thought to be connected via the nervous system.

Essential Oils and Reflexology
Essential oils are usually applied to the feet.  By using the reflex points and specific essential oils that correlate to healing that area, you will find that your family members or clients will find improvement to conditions that are bothering them.  Essential oils that help the brain can be applied to the big toes (Frankincense, Rosemary, Geranium, Vetiver) for conditions like depression, lack of concentration, anxiety and hyperactivity.  Eucalyptus and Lemon can be applied to the chest reflex points for respiratory conditions.  Dill, Ginger, Peppermint and Spearmint can be applied to the stomach areas for nausea and stomach ache.  Cypress to the leg areas (circulation), Birch and Lemongrass to the entire bottom of the foot for foot pain conditions (plantar faciitis), and oils like Tea Tree, Rosemary, Ravensara, Thyme and Oregano for pathogens (illness). 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

INFLAMMATION - Wound and Tissue Damage Herbs, Essential Oils and Nutrients

The commonly known treatment for INFLAMMATION is R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevate). 
Gabe Mirkin, the man who first proposed the R.I.C.E. protocol in the 1970’s, recently wrote an article questioning the benefits of ice and complete rest. “The response to both infection and tissue damage is the same. Inflammatory cells rush to injured tissue to start the healing process. The inflammatory cells called macrophages release a hormone called Insulin-like growth Factor (IGF-1) into the damaged tissues, which helps muscles and other injured parts to heal. However, applying ice to reduce swelling actually delays healing by preventing the body from releasing IGF-1.”
So, in the case of an acute injury, inflammation is a GOOD THING - it's the body's natural defense and healing system.
Ice gives relief and helps reduce swelling that causes pain, but it also slows your body’s natural ability to heal.  Taking anti-inflammatory medications like NSAIDs can do the same! NSAIDs (like ibuprofen) are problematic because they prolong the healing of an injury and they can wreak havoc on your gut, causing both severe and chronic digestive problems. People often think of these over-the-counter medications as being safe but in reality they are responsible for thousands of deaths each year.

Plants to help wound and tissue damage (Inflammation):

ARNICA - dilates capillaries, which increases blood flow to and from the injury. This increased blood flow brings healing hormones to the area and moves stagnant blood (like bruises). The result is decreased swelling and faster healing time. It’s best to use arnica on closed wound injuries.

ALOE VERA - the gel has the action of steroids, penetrates the skin quickly and deeply, increases circulation of blood to an area (where blood goes, healing goes).

CHAMOMILE and HELICHRYSUM -  essential oil can be easily applied topically to any injured area, to reduce pain, swelling, bruising, skin irritation and help in the healing process. 

COMFREY - healer of wounds, ulcers, knitter of flesh, sinew and bone.

ST. JOHNS WORT - helps with injuries and pain, especially nerve pain.  Also for bruises, sprains and neuropathy.  Reduces scarring and relieves pain and itching related to wound healing.Foods to reduce inflammatory conditions:

PINEAPPLE - contains bromelain which is very anti-inflammatory. 

ALL GREEN FOODS - Kale, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, chard, lettuce, etc all help to keep the body pH alkaline.  An acidic condition in the body increases inflammation.

MINERALS - Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium and thee 72 trace minerals help to alkalinize the body and keep it from an acidic and inflammatory condition.

What causes inflammation?


20 grams beeswax
25 grams coconut oil
20 grams shea butter
2/3 cup arnica infused oil
2/3 cup St. John’s wort infused oil
2/3 cup helichrysum hydrosol
20-40 drops of lavender essential oil                 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

With ESSENTIAL OILS - All is well!

Historically plant oils and essential oils have been considered precious substances used as beautifying and healing agents. When the baby Jesus was born wise men from the East came bearing gifts of Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh. Frankincense and Myrrh are known for their extraordinary antiseptic, healing and emotionally uplifting qualities and even as perfumes. Cleopatra understood the power of botanical smells and used them to attract Marc Anthony-a Roman general. When she left to meet him, she had the sails of her ship drenched in Jasmine. Marc Anthony fell deeply in love with the Egyptian ruler.  A French cosmetic chemist in the 1920’s burned his arm badly in his laboratory. He plunged his arm in the nearest cold liquid that happened to be lavender oil. He was surprised to find that it lessened the pain and it healed quickly without a scar. He is responsible for the term “aromatherapy”.Today we can purchase quality essential oils in many places - - but it is important to know the source, because in this worldwide market there are many who are cheating those who cannot tell the difference between pure oils and those that have been adulterated.
Essential Oils (when high quality)can be used in many ways; applied topically, ingested orally or diffused as an aromatic. Note that orally is potentially dangerous and is not recommended by amateur practitioners who have not studied in depth.  The most safe application is on the bottoms of the feet, as the feet have more pore per square in in the body - - and the hotter oils will not burn the plantar tissues.  Within seconds essential oils are flowing throughout the body.

For babies, cautions are high, because the liver is not yet developed - so the only safe essential oils are Lavendar (calming, sleep), Ravensara (colds, viruses), Dill (colic) - - and Eucalyptus radiate (diluted 1:4) on the back for respiratory. These same rules apply to the elderly and very weak.

Essential oils enter our body topically and aromatically. Topically oils pass through our skin, to the capillaries and into the bloodstream. These oils contain the life blood of the plants they were extracted from. The molecules are so small and lightweight that in the distilling process they separate from the heavier nutritional molecules (found in Hydrosols).  Oils contain terpenes, ketones, aldehydes, esters, terpene alcohols, cineol’s, phenols, phenylprophane derivatives, sesquiterpenes and more. While these names may sound foreign, they are the characteristics inside the plants that have special jobs. They come in a balanced form that works in a beautiful symbiotic flow.  Their jobs can be to help protect, repair, relax, restore and so much more. They did that for the plant they came from and will do that for us too.

It is important to note that plants store their essential oils in small pouches and do not use them in their pure form. They retrieve and dilute their own oils when needed. So it is with humans, we should dilute essential oils with a carrier oil such as grapeseed (the thinnest oil), coconut, almond or olive oil when applying topically.

Aromatherapy is both topical and aromatic. Smell is considered one of the most powerful senses we have. Smells grab our attention. They can take us back to a memory or bring us to the present moment. Babies use it to find their mother’s breast milk. Perfumes and colognes are used to attract attention. I call Geranium the "ALL IS WELL" essential oil, as it can help us overcome anxiety and incorrect-thinking patterns.  Apply to temples, back of neck, adrenals, heart and under the nose.   Repeat to yourself, "Even though I am feeling this _____________, all is well".  "Even though I cannot change ____________, all is well!"  "I can choose to have healthy emotions".

Hippocrates said, “The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day.” Since that is not possible for most, we can care for ourselves by softening our skin with olive oil infused with drops of our favorite essential oils - - and making sprays of distilled water with drops of our favorite emotional or air-cleaning essential oils.  

Smells have unique shapes (chemical bonds) that give them their characteristics. Synthetic smells are man-made, generally alkanes, that often give headaches or other sensitivities. Pheromones are animal steroids that can incite aggression or libido, etc.

But, Essential oils are from plants and have terpenes that help us be calm, adaptive and flexible. The amazing thing about essential oils is that, unlike the synthetic cosmetics and perfumes, these botanical oils not only draw us in with their scent, but have healing qualities aromatically and topically. When entering our nasal cavity smells land on olfactory tissues. Tiny molecules land on the receptors of the olfactory tissues that are attached to the olfactory bulb. Smells are like a key and receptors are like a lock. Once they fit inside the lock, an electrical impulse is sent to the olfactory bulb and onto the brain. The olfactory bulb is situated in the brain’s limbic system and is connected to the amygdala which processes emotion  - - and the hippocampus that stores memory and facilitates learning. This is why smells are so personal and can trigger powerful memories and emotions.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Anti-Aging NIGHT CREAM Recipe

This evening neck cream is rich in skin-conditioning oils. For soft, smooth skin, massage a small amount into your face and neck nightly. 
       2 tablespoons coconut oil
       1 tablespoon olive oil
       1 tablespoon grated cocoa butter
       1 teaspoon vitamin E oil

       3 drops Lavender essential oil
       3 drops Geranium essential oil

1. Mix all ingredients in a small pan and heat gently on the stovetop until the mixture warms and just begins to melt.

2. Remove from heat and stir until completely melted and mixed.

3. Add the essential oils, and stir quickly (if you add more essential oils, you will need more cocoa butter.

3. Pour into a clean jar with a lid.

3. Massage a small amount into your neck and face at night before going to bed.


Some of the most natural ways to get rid of age spots start with opening your pantry or refrigerator door.
Apple cider vinegar contains sulfur that can fight aging. The high acid content in apple cider vinegar also makes it an excellent skin exfoliant. Dab some on your age spots before bedtime. If the solution stings too much, leave the vinegar on for 30 minutes then wash it off.
Apply freshly squeezed lemon juice to age spots twice daily for a few months. The citric acid in lemons provides a natural bleaching agent that will diminish the appearance of the spots.
• Raw fruit such as papaya pulp and pineapple contain enzymes that can accelerate skin exfoliation when used over time. Dab onto skin with a cotton ball.
Yogurt contains lactic acid, which can lighten and exfoliate skin. Apply a thin layer of yogurt to age spots and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
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