Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cooking With Chinese Herbs

As promised, here is the recipe for the soup I made at tonight's 5-Element Nutrition workshop on Chinese Herbal Healing Broths.

This soup is delicious and gives a good idea of how you can play around with edible Chinese herbs.  The purpose was to give workshop participants a sample of how easy yet deeply satisfying herbal broths can be, and also how strongly you can "feel the Qi" from them!

Step 1:  either make your own broth (vegetable or meat), or use an organic pre-made broth of your choice.  I usually use 4 cups of broth and add additional water as needed.

Step 2:  Get the herbs ready to add to the broth. For this recipe I used Huang Jing, Kombu, 1 dried Maitake mushroom, Hong Zao, Ren Shen, Gou Qi Zi, & Huang Qi.  In this group, only the Huang Qi (stick-like root at the bottom) is not edible and will be removed after cooking.

HINT:  I have found it much easier to add most herbs as they are, and chop them into small pieces after they have softened from being cooked in the broth.  The Hong Zao (red dates) however are extremely soft after cooking, so I usually cut them while still dry, as below:

Step 3: Begin warming the broth in a stainless steel pot on the stove. Add the herbs, cover, bring to a gentle simmer for 30-minutes.

Step 4: Remove from heat and strain the herbs out.  You'll have a nice container of herb broth that you can now use as is - keeps for up to 7 days in the refrigerator & you can freeze it.


Step 5: If desired, chop the edible herbs into small pieces and add back into the broth.  They are very tasty and add a somewhat exotic quality to whatever you cook them into.

HINT:  If using both edible & non-edible herbs, be sure to place non-edible herbs in a muslin bag or cheesecloth so you can easily separate & remove them.

Here you can see how the same herbs from the 1st picture have plumped up and softened.  They will now be very easy to cut into little pieces.

Step 6:  In a food processor, shred 1 large potato, a bunch of carrots, and 1 small green cabbage.  

Step 7:  In a large soup pot, heat a spoonful of coconut oil and a dash of olive oil.  Once hot, add a healthy shake of "Panch Phora" Indian seeds.  This is a great combination of fenugreek, brown mustard seed, nigella, cumin, and fennel. If you're in Anchorage, I get mine at Summit Spice & Tea.  I also added about 1 Tbsp fresh chopped ginger root.

Step 8: Once the seeds release their scent and begin to lightly pop, add all of the shredded veggies.  Then add the herbal broth.  Add additional water if needed to make a nice soup consistency.

Step 9: Cover and simmer for about 30-minutes, until veggies are cooked well.  If desired, add a small amount of curry and salt to taste.

HINT: When cooking with Chinese herbs, it's best to keep additional spices to a minimum.  In this soup, I added about 1/4 the amount of Panch Phora and Curry that I would normally use.

Step 10: Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.  Then add 1 can Coconut Milk, stir well, and it's ready to serve.  Enjoy!!  (Makes about 8-10 servings)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Natural Help for Bladder Infection

Making a Semi-Homeopathic Dose of Essential Oils
can be a safe way to ingest them in many cases.

This is an extremely quick & effective way to treat Damp Heat in the Lower Burner, or mild symptoms such as:  

  • frequent and urgent need to urinate with little to no urine coming out (frequent usually means multiple times per hour)
  • mild burning sensation when urinating
  • mild pain in the lower abdominal / bladder area
If symptoms are severe or a high fever is present please consult your doctor.

I only recommend using organic quality essential oils internally.  If you do not have organic quality or are not sure about what you have, best to err on the side of caution and do something else.

For adults:

1 drop of organic quality Tea Tree essential oil in an 8 oz glass of water.  Ok to add 1-2 drops Stevia herbal sweetener to the water if you don't like the taste.

Drink this once per hour until symptoms are gone.  Many times just one dose will alleviate all symptoms, and usually about 4 doses at 1 per hour is the most someone would need.  This works very fast.

For children 4-12 years old:

Make an adult size dose as above.  

Then add 1 tsp of that water to another glass of water to dilute it down further, and have the child drink this milder dosage.  Ok to add a drop of Stevia herbal sweetener to the water if the child doesn't like the taste.

Again, drink once per hour until symptoms are gone, up to 6 times/day.

Semi-Homeopathic Variation:

For elderly, children, someone taking multiple medications, or someone who is weak from being ill

  • Two 1-oz dropper top glass bottles (available at many health food stores)
  • brandy, vodka, or vegetable glycerin (about 1 Tbsp)
  • Stevia herbal sweetener (optional)
Fill the 1st bottle with filtered water.

Add 6 drops of organic quality Tea Tree essential oil.

Shake well.

Label the bottle "Mother Bladder Infections" with today's date

This bottle will need to be stored in the refrigerator.  It will keep for up to 1 year so you can make re-fills as needed.

Fill the 2nd bottle with 10% brandy, vodka, or vegetable glycerin (about 1 Tbsp).  This acts as a preservative and also helps the essential oil to mix better.

Fill the remaining 90% with filtered water.

Add 10 drops of the "Mother" blend to this, and 2 drops Stevia herbal sweetener if using.  Shake well.

Label the 2nd bottle "Dose Bladder Infections" with today's date.  This is the one you will actually use to take.

This bottle does not need to be refrigerated, but can be if you want.  Using the Dose Bladder Infections bottle, shake, and add 3 drops to a glass of water.  Drink this dosage every hour until symptoms are gone, up to 6 times/day.

If you make the semi-homeopathic dosage you may be very surprised to see how amazingly effective this natural remedy is - even at the extremely diluted dose!

If symptoms of bladder infections are a chronic issue, there may be other health issues that need to be addressed to get to the underlying nature of why this happening so often. Please consult a qualified health care practitioner.

Learn tons of great information from my On-Line Essential Oils Course series. You can study here at our school in Alaska from anywhere in the world!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Cooking With Essential Oils

Today was the 5th of 12 workshops in our Essential Oil Certification Course.  The topic was "Ingesting Essential Oils Safely".  Since cooking with essential oils is a fun way to use them, we tried some delicious food!

IMPORTANT: If you do this, make sure your essential oils are organic ingestable quality.  Look for "pure & genuine" or "100% pure".  If you're not sure, better to play it safe and not ingest them.

Pictured below is a fresh veggie platter with a choice of:

  • Fresh salsa with Lemon & Lime essential oils
  • Creamy dipping sauce made from sour cream, plain yogurt, and poblano peppers, with essential oils of Dill, Black Pepper and Lemon.

One woman said she adds a drop of Ginger essential oil to coconut cooking oil and bastes fresh salmon in this to cook - sounds scrumptious!

Here's one of my favorite easy recipes:

Amazing Edible Oil
In a 4 oz glass bottle or a small 4 oz glass jar, combine the following:

Essential oils of:

  • Dill - 6 drops
  • Lemon - 4 drops
  • Black Pepper - 3 drops
  • Oregano - 1 drop
Shake well and store in a cool, dark area.  Use like flax seed oil - pour about 1 spoonful over veggies or stir into a bowl of soup or stew.  Don't cook with it, just use it on your food.

Variations:  I play around and use a variety of base oils - sometimes flax or pumpkin, and I also change the essential oils.  Just use 10-14 drops total of essential oils in a 4oz size of base oil.  Some other essential oils I like are cumin, marjoram, coriander, lemon & lime combo .

Other ideas:

Add 1 drop each Nutmeg and Clove Bud to fresh whipped cream.

Add 1 drop of Black Pepper to stir fried veggies over rice. (add at the end after it's off the heat, and toss to stir it in)

Add 1 drop each lemon, dill and tarragon to an oil & vinegar salad dressing

For some really delicious ideas I love the book "Weigh Less Eat Like Royalty" by Menkit Prince (formerly titled The Essential Oil Cookbook).

Do you cook with essential  oils?
 Please comment and post your favorite ideas to share with others - thanks!!

Learn tons of great information in my On-Line Essential Oils Course series. You can study here at our school in Alaska from anywhere in the world!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Massage for Lupus!


What is Lupus?
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease, which means the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy body cells and tissues without the presence of antigens.

Symptoms:• Chest pain when taking a deep breath
• Fatigue
• Fever
• General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
• Hair loss
• Mouth sores
• Sensitivity to sunlight
• Skin rash "butterfly rash"
• Swollen lymph nodes

Types of Lupus:
• Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
• Discoid Lupus Erythematosus
• Drug-induced Lupus Erythematosus
• Neonatal Lupus

• Complete blood count
• Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
• Kidney and liver assessment
• Urinalysis
• Antinuclear antibody (ANA) test
• Chest X-ray
• Electrocardiogram (ECG)
• Syphilis test

• Rest
• Smart Sun Sense
• Get Your Workout On
• No Smoking
• Eat Healthy

Benefits of Massage Therapy for Lupus:
• Reduces Inflammation and Soreness
• Increases Energy and Alertness
• Releases Endorphins