Amalux Blog http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog Traditional Herbs, Foods and Health Concepts Mon, 02 Jun 2014 19:25:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.7 Einkorn: The Original Wheat http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/health-topics/einkorn-the-original-wheat/ Mon, 02 Jun 2014 18:27:27 +0000 http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/?p=954 Einkorn: The Original Wheat

What started people eating foods that are now considered traditional? People must have had rational reasons for picking one food over another and, it would seem that those that have survived to become our staples were very sound choices. Our modern day thinking has us looking for protein, fats and carbs. These were not part of the intellectual landscape in the ancient world. They used an entirely different methodology for determining everything from what stone to build with to what they should be eating, and why.

Wheat having been chosen as a staple is indeed an interesting choice. Wheat has been a domesticated crop since about 8000 to 9600 BCE, eventually spreading to Europe and China. As testimony to the soundness in judgment of this food choice, we’re still eating it many thousands of years later.

Why Fix What Is Not Broken

All wheat types have the general botanical name; Triticum. Before being hybridized the main wheat types were:

Einkorn-emmer-spelt

  • Einkorn, the “mother wheat,” is the simplest unmodified wheat type
  • Emmer, although ancient, is a different hybridized species, out of which came Durum or hard wheat.
  • Spelt; is also a more complex derivative of Emmer; a subspecies of common wheat.

The genealogy of Einkorn and Emmer is straightforward. That of all other wheat types, including spelt have been harder to precisely determine. Einkorn and Emmer are grown on a small scale in North America. They are cultivated to a much larger extent in Europe, the near East and North Africa but are no where near the scale of common wheat.

Modern wheat varieties have been hybridized to support their enormous profitability to large agribusiness and commodities trading. Their cultivation is centering on maximizing yield and squeezing every last bit of profit out of it. Aggressively hybridized, artificially fertilized, sprayed with pesticides, herbicides and otherwise processed with chemicals, wheat quality has been consistently jeopardized. It would seem that as long as wheat is not rendered immediately lethal through questionable processing practices, relatively few question it.

Wheat consists of bran – the husk, germ, and the endosperm. When milled altogether we get “whole wheat flour.” Steadily, modern milling methods focused more and more on conventional “white flour.” With it came cakes, biscuits and white bread; foods that had never existed before. With these changes and the addition of sugars, Dr. Weston A. Price observed that general health started declining as tooth decay was on the rise.[1]

It is now standard practice to strip 11 main nutrients out of wheat, to then add back these 5; riboflavin, thiamine, folic acid, niacin, iron, and sometimes calcium, to make this now inferior, so-called “enriched flour,” the technical equivalent of “wheat flour.” What is left is more a leftover by-product than actual wheat. Later, an arsenal of still more chemicals get added to wheat doughs to “condition” and “fluff them up” before they are baked.

Common sense suggests that doing all this to a staple food will impact both food and those eating it. Researchers have noted that with the removal of these key nutrients has altered how wheat digests; breaking down more quickly and raising blood sugar. To stabilize this spike in blood sugar, the liver metabolizes it by storing it as fat.

Gluten intolerance is now part of our vocabulary. Gluten in wheat has been part of baking for millennia and has never before been noted as having been problematic. So, what gives? From extreme processing and hybridization, experts are finally concluding that modern wheat may now be a leading cause of major health problems. It looks like it is time for a major rethink; especially when it comes to wheat.

Einkorn – The “Mother Wheat!”

When there’s a problem, we need to go back to a time before there was a problem.

einkorn threshingEveryone is all for progress when it is beneficial. When it isn’t, we are seldom told about it as it creeps into our lives without us knowing it. Common wheat was developed to maximize crop yields, be easier to process and bake with. Unfortunately, this was done at the expense of flavor, nutritional value and the environment.

Einkorn, by comparison produces about half the crop yield of regular wheat, is harder to mill, process and, has a gluten type and content better suited to unleavened breads than conventional baking. This is why it was never exploited further. Its exceptional flavor and nutritive density and its ability to grow in poor soils have preserved it exactly as it was, unchanged.

Like the organic movement, this is a conscious quality of life choice. An attitude tailor made for the more resilient and humble of heart, making it worth cultivating and preserving as part of heritage. It would seem that the rural people found all over Europe and the Mediterranean are of that mindset; the task of preserving these ancient grains intact over many thousands of years having fallen to them. Einkorn is well suited to Southern Italian agriculture where it has been continuously cultivated since before Roman times and artfully used in cuisine.

The word “korn” literally means grain in German; Einkorn meaning “one grain.” The domesticated form of Einkorn – Triticum monococcum has not strayed very far from its wild form -Triticum boeoticum. Never having been hybridized, it remains the purest species of wheat available. It is also referred to as a type of “farro” in Italy.

Grown mainly because of its excellent food value and flavor whether cooked as simple porridge, made into pasta or baked into a dense bread, Einkorn has been blessed by having been ignored and it’s genetic structure untampered with. Einkorn having the simplest genetic structure of any wheat has a diploid chromosomal structure. All wheat varieties have gluten, each acquiring complexity with higher chromosomal count from hybridization, leading to a softer grain, higher in gluten.

High gluten wheat makes baking easy; a great thing if that is what you are after. However, when mixed with water you have the glue once used to hang wall paper or make Papier Mâché. If our body is made up of roughly 50-60% water, what will this do to the consistency of those waters and, what effect will that have? It is easy to see that this would affect everyone by degree; reason enough to consider grains like Einkorn.

Gluten intolerance is a growing health concern that the consensus of experts link to gluten types found in hybridized wheat;[2] more specifically, those having the “D” genome found in highly hybridized hexaploid wheat. Foods tested for potential gluten intolerance, specifically test for this “D” genome which thankfully is absent in Einkorn and its gluten when tested. Although, there is a need to be cautious about drawing conclusions, laboratory tested analysis like this strongly support the general benefits of Einkorn.

Unlike conventional wheat, Einkorn retains most of its nutritive value during processing and has higher nutritional values compared to other wheat species. Doing more with less, Einkorn maintains this high nutritive density within its simpler genetic make-up. Einkorn is also high in antioxidant value strengthening cells against being oxidized. Einkorn, being comparatively more nutritious, having a much simpler genetic structure from having been left as nature had intended it to be seems to be showing itself as generally beneficial, less problematic and tastier than other wheat types.

Baking with Einkorn is like cooking with old fashioned grains. Those old enough to remember what real food actually tasted like, when trying Einkorn have stated that; “Einkorn tasted as real as they remembered food to have once been.” Naturally, if a person has been used to baking with regular wheat flour, some adjustments will need to be made to get similar results. The effort will certainly be worth it!.

Continue Reading . . .

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Strawberries: Spring Time Detoxifier http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/foods-as-remedies/strawberries-natures-detoxifier/ http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/foods-as-remedies/strawberries-natures-detoxifier/#comments Fri, 12 Jul 2013 21:19:55 +0000 http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/?p=812 Strawberries are another one of the earliest gifts of nature to emerge in spring and early summer. A very welcome and tantalizing treat after a long cold winter. So many great recipes can be made with strawberries, and not all are sweet or conventional. Alongside the beloved Strawberry Tart, other creative dishes include, Strawberry Ricotta Crepes,  Sweet Strawberry Gnocchi, Strawberry Pizza and Strawberry Risotto with Dark Chocolate. For something savory Strawberry Shitake Mushroom Risotto and Strawberry Balsalmic Vinagrette would be worth a try!

strawberry-recipes-amalux

strawberry risotto strawberry crepes strawberry risotto 2 Strawberry Pizza

Although today we look at strawberries as simply a treat, the people of old, being of another mindset, looked at them very differently. They believed that the divine was in the natural order of all things. Recognizing that since spring itself proceeded in a consistent seasonal sequence, it’s plants came from a successive order as well and were anything but arbitrary. They gathered the gifts of spring, wisely believing that as firstlings they are symbolic of youth, invigorating and helped remove the accumulated slag left in the body from winter.

Spring plants like asparagus and strawberries were justifiably as much foods, as remedies and everything that grew subsequently in each of the four seasons was examined and used to their benefit based on this reasoning. Worldwide, these consistent natural patterns have been observed in all lands and cultures.

strawberry, strawberries, recipies, health,

The simple detoxifying effect of strawberries has been commonly understood and recognized for quite some time. It was not uncommon in Europe for people to fast on strawberries. A common weekly practice during strawberry season would be three 4 oz servings, three times per day.

Carl Lennaeus (1707–1778), the famous Swedish botanist and physician responsible for the formal protocol for how all plants and species are named, was among many of his day who successfully treated gout and the urinary tract with nothing more than extended strawberry fasts.

The benefits of these practices have been accepted and confirmed in Europe. In North America, however, it is just one more piece of otherwise useful but entirely lost or ignored knowledge.

strawberry, strawberries, recipies, health,

In herbalism most plants, flowers and fruits that exhibit the colors red, blue or purple are almost automatically related to the blood (but not all). Many are known to be blood cleansing, blood building, blood warming, blood cooling, detoxifying and consequently mildly anti-inflammatory, and because of it, immune system building.

Aside from color, however, the strawberry’s most interesting characteristic are it’s seeds. Their placement on the surface of it’s skin, rather than inside, suggests that the strawberry actually helps the skin in some way. Not surprisingly, the strawberry was also traditionally used to clean and cool sores, aiding them towards healing. The same is to be expected if they are eaten. They improve the skin by purging toxins through it (which may produce a temporary rash in the process.)

The moisturizing, cleansing, and naturally cooling effect of strawberries are further clues that they are skin friendly. It is not surprising that they are used in spa treatments as facial masks. There are likely several formulas but a simple puree of fresh strawberries with some honey and yogurt is very effective. Massage onto the face, leave it on for about 15 minutes and rinse off with cool water. Given that the ingredients are gentle, nutritive, moisturizing and do not strip the skin of anything but excess heat from blemishes, this can be done quite often. Your skin will thank you for it. Strawberries have also been found to protect against sunburn. For more detailed info on strawberries and the skin click here.

strawberry, strawberries, recipies, health,

Strawberries are rich in potassium, manganese and vitamin C and contain several B vitamins, vitamin E , amino acids,  calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus,  sodium and zinc. Like most other berries and fruit they are naturally high in fiber and antioxidants. As you would expect, wild strawberries picked from sunny patches off the forest floor are much smaller than the cultivated varieties but, are naturally more potent in their nutritional content as well as flavor and aroma.

17th century herbalists, Nicholas Culpepper, Fr. Sebastian Kneipp and Fr. Johann Kuenzle, all mentioned that strawberries are generally cooling to the blood, liver, spleen and stomach. They recognized that the stomach and liver worked cooperatively with the kidneys to maintain their necessary moisture for the sake of their respective digestive and detoxification functions. It was understood even then, that the cooling and moistening principle active in strawberries could positively affect the stomach and liver through the aid of, and in cooperation with the kidneys.

In those times they mostly used the wild strawberry leaf and root as a tea to address problems like liver and stomach issues as well as kidney related issues like gout and arthritis. Issues resulting from excess heat such as urinary tract, bladder and kidney infections also benefited greatly. Since these ailments are extensions of the effects of “the waters of the body, Traditional Herbal Theory logically links these problems to kidney functions.

strawberry, strawberries, recipies, health,

It is important to note that it is the cooling factor of the strawberries and their parts that are mainly being employed. The strawberry itself does not specifically address functional issues directly but assists them through their natural moistening and cooling effects. This is why strawberry is often mixed with other herbs like corn silk or parsley.

The red juicy appearance of strawberries seems to scream, “Are you thirsty?” – a characteristic that did not go unnoticed by herbalist Sebastian Kneipp. He recommended strawberries for those who seemed to have an almost unquenchable thirst and who suffered from an “uncomfortable sensation of internal heat.” What Kneipp was describing is very similar, if not identical to the Oriental Yin Depletion concept – a depletion of the cooling energies. Given the cooling effect of strawberries, it would seem that his connection is quite correct.

strawberry, strawberries, recipies, health,

The Kidneys, when attempting to remove toxins, can get overworked, sometimes exhausting themselves into a cooled, depleted state. Regardless if from a pathogen or the over consumption of energy, both overheated and excessively cooled states ultimately weaken and inhibit kidney functions. Wastes, unable to be completely eliminated from weakened kidney functions, accumulate in the “waters of the body” making them turbid. In time, an over saturation occurs, and excess minerals and toxins will eventually precipitate out of solution to form microscopic crystals. Crystals can form in the flesh and in areas where the influence of the kidneys is more dominant like the soles of the feet, knees, hips, lower back or in any joint. Pain and inflammations result in the form of gout, arthritis, sciatica etc.

strawberry, strawberries, recipies, health,

The nature of whatever ends up in the waters of the body determines the extent of it’s coolness and can also be accompanied by dryness. In this case, the specific moistures of the strawberry can be effectively employed to rehydrate, dilute and dissolve the crystalline deposits back into solution to then be removed through normalized kidney functions. It is as simple as wetting something that has become too dry albeit still cool.

If inflammations were present, the causes are eliminated through detoxification and they subside, freeing the strawberry’s cooling and moistening properties to act in a more balsamic manner; healing and soothing the effected area.

Dryness is also present in ailments that are consumptive or depleting in their nature. The subtle moistening energy of the strawberry is capable of reintroducing moisture into the tissues of the body where it has been depleted to restore them to their normal proportion and weight. It is important to note that water alone cannot and does not suffice to achieve this effect.

strawberry, strawberries, recipies, health,

Unfortunately, in our modern day, the seasonal health benefits of the strawberry with it’s naturally detoxifying effect may also be a catalyst in what are being called “allergic” effects that have recently become more and more prevalent. It could be suggested  however, that the culprit is not the strawberry at all. Since other common natural food staples in their raw unprocessed state are starting to produce the same effects recently, could it be due to chemicals or a compromised immune system instead?

It is a known fact that at least 200 traceable chemicals, that had never before existed in nature can be found inside the human body today. Our present environment, living circumstances and lifestyle choices have changed significantly from past centuries. Could this be somehow related to this alleged allergy to strawberries, a now common phenomenon that did not happen with any frequency as little as 60 years ago?

strawberry, strawberries, recipies, health,

TCM or Traditional Herbal Theory does not consider these reactions to be true allergic responses but a healing crisis that results from detoxification. As the results this can be potentially life threatening however, great care should be taken and a health care provider should be consulted in such cases.

Of similar importance, since conventionally grown and cultivated strawberries are prone to pests, they are often sprayed with pesticides. It’s a good practice to soak theses beautiful, shiny red berries in water and vinegar for about 5 minutes. This will help remove some of the chemical residue. With no transfer of any acidic flavor this is a good procedure to practice when washing any conventionally grown fruit or vegetable.

Having Some Fun With Strawberries

Health is not all about measuring everything you eat as though it were a lab experiment. Healthy people all over the world eat heartily, fully enjoying their foods. They might enjoy strawberries in their raw state but, they can also be prepared for the shear enjoyment of eating them without compromising health.

If all a person eats has had all the goodness and nutrition processed out of it – Why Eat It!!! The main thing is to mind the ingredients you are putting into your food. Eating healthy is about eating fresh food, freshly prepared and eating it right after it has been freshly prepared.

Here are some recipes that can be enjoyed by those who love strawberries. Just click on the picture that looks most appetizing and it will take you to a fabulous recipe.

Here Are Two Delicious Strawberry Recipes!

strawberry-ricotta-pizza-310x206 strawberry-crepes-310x206
Strawberry Ricotta Pizza Strawberry Crepes with Ricotta

 

 

 

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Asparagus-Spring Cleaning for the Body http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/health-topics/asparagus-spring-cleaning-for-the-body/ http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/health-topics/asparagus-spring-cleaning-for-the-body/#comments Tue, 02 Jul 2013 13:01:12 +0000 http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/?p=649 Asparagus has been cultivated for thousands of years, but did you know that ancient cultures actually recognized it, and other vegetables, more for their inherent medicinal properties, than as food?

Today, we enjoy it in a multitude of traditional recipes, especially when it is in season! Among many others, enjoy these simple and traditional recipes for Risotto with Asparagus, Asparagus Frittata, and Creme of Asparagus soup, and take comfort in the health benefits you are providing for yourself and your family.

cream-of-asparagus-blog

Particularly rich in potassium, phosphorus, B vitamins and over 21 vitamins and minerals, the succulent appearance of asparagus also denotes that it also has within it an abundance of water. It is this water that makes asparagus particularly valuable.

Although there is water content in all plants, it is important to make a distinction. In Traditional Herbal Theory, when water is a predominant feature of a plant, it is often part of it’s medicinal quality also. Carrying properties that are specific to each plant, water content combined with particular nutrients make up what is called the plants “specific moisture.”

Since the kidneys are the water and mineral regulators of the body, water figures most prominently in kidney functions.  After having eaten asparagus, we all become aware that there must be some co-relation between asparagus and the kidneys. It is quite well known that asparagus acts as a fine laxative and diuretic. With a water content of 93%, it is like a fuel that powers the moistening, draining and balancing capabilities of the kidneys.

In fact, it is the kidney’s ability to efficiently balance excess fluids and electrolytes throughout the body that can result in improved vitality, muscle and nerve strength, coordination of organ functions and improved heart health. (including palpitations and lowering the risk of high blood pressure)

In both Traditional Herbal Theory and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) it is said that our kidneys are happiest when warm and moist. The nutrient properties of asparagus cause it’s ‘specific moisture’ to be more active in functions related to the kidneys because they provide both warmth and moisture to the body, creating the perfect environment for healthy kidney function.

On the other hand, whatever cools or dries the kidneys harms them. In our modern day, in addition to questionable foods, we are bombarded on a daily basis, with a multitude of well documented chemical toxins that are detrimental  to our kidneys (and other organs). Everywhere in our food supply, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and even the clothes we wear. It is a known fact that these toxins affect our body chemistry.

Asparagus for Health by Amalux Blog

According to Renaissance physician Paracelsus, issues arise when the fluids, or “waters of the body” become contaminated with disagreeable substances. These substances or toxins can cause kidney functions to become sluggish, creating “turbidity” in the waters or fluids of the body. This historical perspective can be highly valuable, especially when it seems to be clearly supported by modern day findings. Today, we use terms like “uric acid build up,” among others to describe what is essentially the same thing.

This jar of cloudy or “turbid” water illustrates this concept.

It is important to note that everything we are exposed to, our body has to deal with in one way or another. Everything has to be digested, processed and eliminated by our organs, and their functions may be inhibited or over worked as a result. Certain toxins introduced into the kidneys, can produce a “cooling” effect within the kidneys. This occurs because of the overwork that is required of the kidneys to dispose of that waste which, in turn depletes and cools them.

Less a measure of actual heat, and more a state of energy, this “cooled” kidney state, not only causes toxins to be retained within the fluids of the body, but also allows unnatural excess minerals, that would otherwise be utilized or eliminated by properly functioning kidneys,  to accumulate and precipitate out of solution to form microscopic crystals.

The photos below demonstrate a simple crystal/string experiment that illustrates this concept effectively.

With regards to excess minerals in suspension, this experiment illustrates the growth of crystals on a string placed in a jar of water that has been super saturated with salt (for demonstration purposes). It is the formation of even the tiniest of these crystals anywhere in the body, that can cause great pain. Anyone who has had Sciatica, Kidney Stones, Gout or Arthritis can attest to this very painful reality.Introducing a gentle warming effect, through the nutritive properties of asparagus, helps to prevent, the accumulation of excess unnatural minerals within the waters of the body (turbidity), crystalline formations, and even mucus in the kidneys and bladder.

Being one of the first vegetables to appear in spring may not be a coincidence. After a long winter, spring cleaning is as welcome in the body as it is in other areas of our lives. We can utilize the abundance and freshness of this delicious spring vegetable in season, as nature intended.

In a nutshell, according to TCM, nutrient rich asparagus with it’s warming and moistening properties, is beneficial for most ailments caused by kidney weakness i.e. frigidity, impotence, gout, arthritis, urinary tract functions and other ailments.

Logically however, as much as there are toxins that produce a cooling effect, there are those that produce excess heat as well. Asparagus should be avoided in ailments in which excess heat is present, such as infections of the kidney or urinary tract.

In addition, since cells obviously contain moisture, kidney functions also have a prominent role in the growth and maintenance of all cells in the body. It is not surprising that asparagine, an amino acid essential to cell growth, is found in asparagus. This further reinforces the kidney/asparagus relationship, as does the fact that Oriental kidney remedies also contain the root of asparagus. (Roots are known to have an even stronger effect than the spears.)

Furthermore and by extension, properly functioning kidneys supported by the consumption of asparagus, can also benefit the liver, since the liver also depends on water to dilute toxins, thereby protecting the body from them.

*This type of natural health information in relation to asparagus can be found as much in Eastern as well as Western old herbal texts like Nicolas Culpepper, Dioscoridis, Tabernaemontanus and any book on Traditional Chinese Medicine or Ayurveda.

“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

 

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Small Farmers Reaching Out To the Public http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/health-topics/farmers-reaching-out-to-the-public/ http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/health-topics/farmers-reaching-out-to-the-public/#comments Fri, 28 Jun 2013 17:22:07 +0000 http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/?p=554 There was a time, not that long ago, when most people had a relative who was a farmer. Back then, farming was an assured way of life because every one eats and needs food. This was before the world of food started to changed. Most have heard of huge corporate agribusinesses doing all they can to “corner” every aspect of food and food production as it was traditionally known for millennia. Wall Street is in on it and so is Government.

local-peachesIn response, the ever resourceful small farmer, in order to survive has had to get creative about farming and the marketing of his farming business. For one, some farmers are cutting out the food broker, opting instead to sell directly to the public and it seems like the public is responding to it. The farmer is happier without the middle man; the public is happier because they are getting healthier foods, often at a lesser cost.

It would seem that the small farmer is starting to re-fill a niche that has almost been forgotten and in so doing is having to recreate that niche in different ways to bring attention to it. This is an interesting development given that farmers have been around since the dawn of time and have been taken for granted until they almost became extinct and the quality of our food supply being threatened by big agribusiness.

I had the privilege of spending a few summers at a family farm. I saw grapes, pears, peaches, plums, potatoes, sugar beets and a lot of other fruits and vegetables growing happily in the fields of my uncle’s farm. I would help my cousins clean out the stables where they had about 40 head of dairy cattle and a few hogs. It was a small operation by corporate standards to be sure but, it was a dream for a city kid like myself to visit, take part in and thoroughly enjoy.

picking fruitMy parents, aunts and uncles grew up in that world. In the summer they and my cousins would go on outings just to pick fruit on weekends. For them it was a visit back to their youth and for us cousins it was an adventure that few of our other friends had ever had. At the time small private farms surrounded most big cities and were not too far or hard to get to. Everyone packed a large picnic lunch and headed out. Come lunch time, we would have picked bushels of all the fruit we wanted and would take a break to feast on a fabulous lunch eaten right in the middle of the orchard.

35-40 years later, we still have fond memories of that time in those places. Those old, well kept farms gradually turned into subdivisions. Farming itself changed and places to go picking became scarce. In that time people started getting cozier with their TV sets and the convenience of fast foods and prepared foods that were being steadily marketed to them. That conditioning created a disconnect between food and where it came from. Having no clue about food or where it came from, if you asked a child where milk came from, they reply, “from the grocery store!” That it came out of a cow that needed to be milked had been completely erased from the mind of many children. The result was farms saw fewer people who were taking an interest in picking their own foods directly from the orchards or fields.

apples on treesAs unlikely as it would have seemed not that long ago, there is now a renewed interest in “real” foods. There has also been a resurgence in farming and buying directly from local farmers. To survive in the face of enormous agribusiness muscling in on their traditional territory, the small farmers have had to start getting creative about their business model, in a way that big business could not easily compete against.

Farmers, it would seem are now starting to take advantage of the fact that they are a small operation. Turning their small operations around with new marketing concepts that have their roots in old ideas of artisanship. They are trying hard to reconnect with their communities through different types of out reach marketing concepts. They’re trying to turn the idea of farming, eating and cooking into something important, necessary, fun, easy and to some extent – even sheik. A place where “city folks” would want to come to see, participate in and buy from.

I remember a time when I’d see the odd farmer going door to door to sell his “organic” produce out of an old, beat-up truck, long before the word organic had any significance. That has changed. That lone farmer is not alone any more!

What the new small farmer now has to offer that gigantic agribusiness cannot deliver is a personal touch, customized service and an intimate experience with the foods they are growing and the people they are serving. With that personal touch also comes a comfortable credibility. To a culture that has been drawn away from the basics of cooking and the art of food preparation in general, seeing others who really know food well and what can artfully be done with food, is fascinating to many. Farmers are publishing their own books on what ever it is that they happen to be growing, how to best utilize it, what can be done with it and how to make people drool over it and buy it, knowing that they are buying a hand prepared quality product.

farmers stallSome enterprising small farmers are enticing people into coming to their farms to pick fruit as a family event. Some will even rent rooms to people who want to experience “life on the farm” first hand. Strawberry and apple farmers have set up their operations for picking. Once there, people find that the farmers have transformed their crops into ready to buy pies, pastries, preserves and healthy candy. They have turned their barns into mini restaurants serving pancakes and waffles, topped with whatever fruit compote happens to be in season. If they’re growing apples, they turn it into unpasteurized apple cider, bottled and ready to take home. If they’re growing vegetables and different types of greens they sell them fresh to the local higher end gourmet restaurants. Some farmers have enough  land to pasture cows, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, geese and hogs. These animals produce milk, eggs and meat. Not only are these animals hormone-free and very fresh, they are also in high demand by both health conscious people and restaurants interested in providing the tastiest possible meal to ensure that their customers will take note and come back.

plums on treesThere is also another amazingly simple and very creative marketing solution that farmers have come up with. If you live near a farming community, some farmers will sell you a weekly box of produce of what ever happens to be in season for a very affordable flat monthly fee – and, they will deliver it right to your door. Right there you have over a dozen benefits that are not possible from any other food selling relationship. You have fresh seasonal vegetables, grown locally and probably organically, delivered right to your door automatically; saving you the time and gas to have to go shopping for them and, the quality is guaranteed. The profits are going to the person doing most of the work. The money stays in the community. You get to meet and know who is growing your food and can visit their food growing operation; not to mention the environmental benefits. The buying local concept also makes a community less dependent on foods needing to be shipped in from far away. Etc., etc., etc! It’s a win – win for everyone involved.

ChickensWith this type of personal expertise in food, farmers can now authoritatively talk, teach and give classes on how to milk animals, how to turn milk into cheese, pork into salami, sausage, pancetta, prosciutto or whatever else they happen to be growing, into familiar, traditional foods that because of the care taken to make them, can now legitimately be called gourmet items. In the end, this is re-establishing the connection between people and their foods and turning a once very seasonal business into a year round enterprise. And, most importantly, rather than giving away their profits to middlemen and food processors, they are pocketing their well deserved earnings and prospering and rightfully so.

This is not just a local fad. This is happening all over North America and Europe too!!

Let’s hope people rediscover natural health and the many natural healing modalities. The relationship is not that much different than between farmers, food and the people who eat it.

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A Completely Different Approach To Stress http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/health-topics/what-stress-is-what-stress-does/ http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/health-topics/what-stress-is-what-stress-does/#comments Wed, 13 Mar 2013 19:47:51 +0000 http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/?p=420 7 Simple Tactics That Tackle Stress

happy-stress-free-person

Stress is not what you think it is! The symptoms of stress should not be confused with the stress that has caused them; they are related but separate issues. When you deal with stress itself, getting rid of the symptoms is easy.  These 7 sensible facts will help you get back on track!

  1. The Effects Of Stress Should Not Be Confused With Stress
    Anxiety, panic attacks, brain fog, racing thoughts, perpetual nervousness, constant fatigue, not being able to focus mentally, not being able to turn you mind off to fall asleep, etc. are all effects. If you chase these effects instead of what is causing them, they’ll never go away!
  2. Beware Of Misleading Labels
    Labels like ADD, ADHD, PTSD, etc. suggest an ailment rather than a symptom of a much more fundamental problem, which is why they are seldom easily or completely gotten rid of.
  3. Demystify The Problems Caused By Stress
    Discover why the many familiar stress caused problems happen! It really isn’t that difficult to understand when explained in very simple, understandable language. The solution is in the explanation. This is a principle that applies to everything, including health.
  4. Understanding The Root Cause
    You cannot get rid of a problem as long as you chase what it does without tackling what it actually is. Understand the root cause of your stress and watch your symptoms fall away like domino’s!
  5. Living Without The Obstacles Created By Stress
    Feel better, look better, become energized, more alert and clear headed, improve your memory – feel more grounded and confident. Get ready to take on the world! Without obstacles in our way we all perform better. Your energy can be focused on what you really want to do.
  6. Knowing Yourself And Your Own Body Better!
    Most people know more about and take better care of their home, their car or their iPhone than they do about their own body. It’s your body! It’s with you 24/7! Who could be in a better position to know it and take good care of it than you? Making it your business to better understand your body is for your own protection. The natural point of view opens up an entirely new world of possibilities for you to do just that. It’s the fastest way of guiding yourself towards being whole in every way.
  7. Effective Solutions Are Straight Forward
    Natural solutions are simple, known to be extremely effective and without side-effects. In matters of health you are the most important factor that determines how you feel, how you look and how you maintain your vitality. Intelligently using common sense is far more helpful and better than the latest craze or marketing pitch!

Good health, like everything else in life is a choice based on acquired knowledge and understanding. Make it your business to know all there is to know about yourself to help you be what you dream of becoming! That too, is a choice!

stress, anxiety, panic, add, adhd, ptsd,

 

 

 

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Never Waste A Good Rose! http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/health-topics/never-waste-a-good-rose/ Wed, 27 Feb 2013 00:35:56 +0000 http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/?p=407 SONY DSCValentine’s day is over. Millions spent billions on roses for their sweethearts but now that it’s over all those roses are in the garbage. What a waste! This is probably one of the best examples of wasteful meaninglessness in our modern world. That people would spend good money on something that could have been said or expressed in so many more meaningful ways is a little dumb. Not that the expression of love is a bad thing but, if you’re going to express it at least understand why red roses express your love for someone. The red roses can’t help it if they’re beautiful. Red roses can’t help it if because of their extraordinary beauty they, like so many other things, have been reduced to something commercial while being so much more valuable than that.

Few read poetry, let alone Shakespearean sonnets written to express love. In those kind of writings the authors go on and on about their love and often use red roses as their metaphor for expressing it. Because of it’s velvet like texture, it’s color, it’s fragrance – the rose has been used by men to describe the women they love. Today, most have no idea why roses have come to be the expression of love. All they know is that if they don’t buy them on Valentine’s day, they’ll be in the “dog house” – big time! Most people have likely never even smelled a real rose in the past 10 years because, for the most part, the roses they buy have been hybridized and have no fragrance, which would at least give them a clue.

The mystique of the rose is more in-steeped in mysticism than most can even imagine. The fragrance cannot be adequately described for it’s loveliness and soothing pleasantness.  The color, fragrance and texture are not arbitrary they were the indicating features that led people to understand the many healing properties of this beautiful mystical flower. Roses were used to treat wounds, cool sores, soften skin, “cool” the blood, aid in digestion, improve eyesight and a whole lot more. More about that here.

Gottfried Mayerhofer wrote in one of his New Revelation writings that:

“The rose is the loveliest flower on your earth for it combines fragrance with the most beautiful colour, one expressing love, the other wisdom. As the rose in its charming raiment combines beauty with fragrance, thus also My Word, the word of ‘love combined with good deeds, makes every admirer sense the charm of My Divine Being.

The thorns are the worldly passions which have first to be removed through struggles and suffering. Thus the rose actually wishes to say: “I cannot exist without thorns!” These have to be overcome. As the rose sucks electricity through its thorns using it for its own beautification, so everyone who wants to follow My teaching and live according to it, has to exploit the wordly difficulties in such a way that from them, like from the thorns of the rose, the spiritual and sublime may grow.”

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Olive Oil – A Food And A Medicine For Thousands of Years. http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/health-topics/olive-oil-a-food-and-a-medicine-for-thousands-of-years/ Mon, 18 Feb 2013 16:00:20 +0000 http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/?p=365 olive oilIt is now very “in” to be cooking with and tossing your salad in Olive Oil. But, before suddenly being in vogue in North America, all of Europe and the entire Mediterranean coasts of Southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East had been using it for food and medicine for thousands and thousands of years. Before the Europeans started introducing their now very popular foods into North America Olive Oil used to be Popeye’s girlfriend. The whole idea of Popeye and Olive oil was nothing more than a marketing gimmick to sell California grown spinach. Olive oil remained off the radar for a long time to come. Starting in late 50’s, it took years before Olive Oil started to be part of main stream North American culture as the children of the Europeans grew up and assimilated into their new home.

Olive oil is the oil cold-pressed out of the fruit of the olive tree – the olive. Like all oils, olive oil has a softening effect on whatever is soaked in it. If placed onto the skin it has been known to be universally moisturizing and due to it’s well known balsamic properties it is very healing to the skin or any bodily tissue, whether external or internal. This is why it is used in quality cosmetics and more recently even promoted medically for it’s many health benefits making it a food and a supplement at the same time.

Being easily absorbed by skin tissues in general and by aiding the internal tissues of the whole GI tract it is obvious there are going to be general systemic health benefits because whatever aids digestion also aids the entire body. By doing nothing more than making olive oil part of ones normal diet researchers have found that Olive oil possesses:

  • anti-cancer or anti-tumor properties.
  • helps lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure
  • By aiding digestion in general olive oil has been shown to reduce obesity and diabetes
  • By assisting in digestion and proper food absorption is aided helping prevent the onset of osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • The fact that olive oil is anti-oxident is an over all bonus benefit besides the ones already mentioned

In the Mediterranean expectant mothers have massaged it into their tummy’s to SONY DSCprevent stretch marks. People have infused rose petals into it until the rose oil took over the scent of the olive and it was used as one of the very best skin moisturizers and wound treatments. In was even put onto the hair to prevent the hair from falling and keeping the hair properly moisturized without making it oily.

All around Olive oil is one of those universal foods that also happens to be a natural remedy that has a thousand and one uses and hopefully will continue to make headway into the hearts and minds of North American culture that have only discovered it relatively recently.

Olive Oil has been used in the Mediterranean internally not only to alleviate many internal gastric issues but also to improve the digestibility of certain foods. It is not uncommon for foods in the Mediterranean lands to be served with fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil as a condiment. If you go to a good restaurant it is not uncommon to be presented with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dunk your bread into as an appetizer. This combination is also settles the stomach in preparation for a good meal. In fact, about 1 – 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil with about the same amount of freshly squeezed lemon juice (not the stuff in the bottles) taken before bedtime on an ongoing basis is enough to help the GI tract in it’s normal functions. This has been done in the Mediterranean world for thousands of years. But, when ingested in sufficient quantity, it was used to purge the GI tract in general and the Liver and Gall Bladder in particular. A liver cleanse has many benefits. In Traditional Herbal Theory having a properly functioning and unobstructed liver and gallbladder means:

  • Less or no Gastrointestinal problems
  • Sleeping is easier
  • No more headaches
  • Less aches and pains in muscles and joints
  • A person becomes less prone to anger and depression
  • Normalization of skin moisture and texture
  • If these major benefits are possible, it would make sense that by extension there will be several others that people who have done a liver cleanse have reported . . .

Olives, olive oil, liver, gallbladder, cleanseYou will not find anything written about the benefits of cleansing the liver anywhere but in alternative views to health. This is so because, the methodology behind the cleansing of the liver is not understood by the orthodox view. However, many in the modern medical community of practitioners and alternative practitioners are starting to pay attention to the concept probably because their own patients have reported back to them about the benefits they have experienced.

Cleansing the liver is a very old remedy for maintaining good health and avoiding many of the common ailments we have in our modern world. Many hundreds of thousands of people, and by now, a lot more have done liver cleanses. Sure, it may take a weekend to get it done but, depending on which method one chooses all it costs is the price of extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemons. A few supplements may be helpful but, that’s it. A great benefit for only a few hours of minor inconvenience. You will find many Liver cleanses on the market. Do not be seduced by them. Without the basic Oil and fruit juice combination which combined are a sort of “salad dressing,” a liver cleanse will not be achieved.

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Health Through Reason http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/health-topics/health-through-reason/ Sun, 17 Feb 2013 16:49:04 +0000 http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/?p=394 In a world where the truth is tinged by marketing and selling it is ultimately left up to the individual to find the truth of things for oneself! You cannot rely on a hyped sales pitch, accepted conventional wisdom, or authority figures to tell you the truth because it seems like they all have a vested interest in pulling you in their direction. More and more, we are all being forced to wake up and think for ourselves to separate fantasy from reality to confidently build a clear minded sense of what makes sense and what doesn’t.

Our present world is a very confusing place. Whether it’s a product, a political idea or some other “push” intended to modify our behavior; someone is always trying to sell us something. To make sense of the world learn to step back, take a deep breath and learn to think before acting on an impulse that someone else is working hard to put into your head. We are all searching because none of us has the answers to absolutely everything and so we search on our own and sometimes with the help of people who cross our paths at the right time to answer our questions. This may not solve a problem altogether but, in the process we build enough experience that enables us to think a problem through to the point that we can make sense of it. That understanding leads us to the actions we must take to solve our problems according to terms we have intelligently arrived at through our own sound reason.

All too often people seek out others to solve their problems for them and in taking their advice are often lulled into a sense of false security and end up in a worse position than when they started. Ultimately, solutions to personal problems can only to be found personally because the benefits and consequences are also personal.

We offer theories and explanations that have stood the test of time, are understandable, workable and, at least compared to present day thinking, are from “outside of the box.” We hope you find them useful!

There have been many who protect their own integrity by following this line of reason. To quote one of the best:

“Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect)” Mark Twain

“I never let my schooling interfere with my education.” Mark Twain

Health and Healing are related to the concept of “wholeness.” In latin the word “san” means health and it also means to be whole. In the word “san” the implication goes beyond the physical to include the whole being of the person. It includes also the health of the soul and spirit; emotional and constitutional health respectively. It is impossible to deal with health without including the physical, emotional and mental bodies.

We offer the following topics explained from Traditional Herbal Theory as a truly alternative health perspective. The natural point of view being much simpler and more to the point.

Having said this, please do not expect explanations to be reduced to simple “sound bites” for a simple “how to.”  Without comprehending  fundamental principles of causes, effects, and consequences there is no point in blindly pursuing what appears to be  a solution. Without understanding how and why something is, it would be nearly impossible to pursue any constructive suggestions to their end.

If someone wants to help themselves, understanding must come first. Therefore we do not just provide a product, we also prefer to present a plausible explanation from an alternative and natural point of view.

It is interesting to note that when ever an apparently “new” ailment is being observed that it is being assumed that it must have a completely new cause. The Human body has remained virtually unchanged for several thousand years, containing exactly the same organs, in the same positions, having the same functions. The only things that have noticeably changed are the environment we live in and the foods we eat. The environment has clearly become  less rural and more urban, the foods are obviously less natural and more processed or otherwise “treated.” Let’s See, could the epidemic increases in major diseases have something to to with these changes instead of viruses, bacteria, heredity and DNA? . . . . . . You can decide or at the very least question!

“An explanation of any ailment and their causes from the Traditional Herbal point of view may sound more like an allegory than an explanation. But, anyone with common sense will usually understand it quickly. Also, what becomes apparent is that many ailments are interrelated and not separate from each other. All of the ailments mentioned here are closely related and so is their resolution.”

It must be noted that the natural way of describing an ailment is quite simple – but not simple minded.

We hope that this information will be useful. The views, ideas, and concepts contained are based on Natural Principles long established by Traditional Herbal Theory.

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Cleansing the Liver and Gall Bladder http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/health-topics/cleansing-the-liver-gall-bladder/ Sun, 10 Feb 2013 23:17:19 +0000 http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/?p=347 liver cleanse, gall bladder, natureIn the wilderness we rarely if ever find the ingredients of disease. The things living in nature live in harmony with each other. All bacteria, all viruses have their place and do not kill anything. Animals eat and defecate to the mutual benefit of all that lives. There is never any waste piling up anywhere. On a very macro scale; as long as the creatures of nature eat the foods provided for them by Nature and they stay within what is meant for them to be eaten as food, there is nothing in them and nothing expelled from them that will contaminate their environment. If that were not the case, Nature would have destroyed Herself a very long time ago and us with Her.

On a micro scale, the internal environment of any living creature is very much the same. As long as what that creature is eating and drinking what it’s supposed to, there is little that can harm or disturb it’s inner environment. Should there ever be a creature or an environment that is out of the order of Nature, Nature will dispose of it. The predators will seek out any week animal and devour it as food, trees that have gotten too old will fall over and compost themselves back into soil, creating thousands of other life opportunities for an incalculable number of living organisms, leaving nothing that is detrimental to life behind. Human beings living in that sort of environment, provided they are able to adapt to it can live potentially contaminant and consequently disease free. That has been the case of all aboriginal peoples all over the globe.

liver, cleanse, gall bladder, natureIt may not be a very pleasant topic of discussion but, everyone will appreciate as a matter of fact that every living organism must eat and must in due course expel the waste from what it had eaten – without exception. As long as people were living in small towns that were spread out over a large enough area and every home contained their waste on their property to eventually revert back into soil, disease outbreaks were rare. Cities do not have that same luxury. People living in concentration need more food and consequently produce more waste. All large cities need to supply fresh clean water and food to their inhabitants and in turn dispose of the high concentration of sewage being produced otherwise the population will get sick. There are many examples of cities that have had epidemic break outs of deadly disease because water and food supplies were getting contaminated with human and animal sewage.

What Happens Outside Also Happens Inside

Just like in a big city, should anyone’s body not be able to dispose of it’s own wastes, they will get sick. It’s that simple. The wastes will naturally ferment to produce the ingredients of many or most known diseases. The accumulated wastes themselves may not immediately produce a disease but, they often create an environment that is friendly to bacteria or viruses that would otherwise not be able to exist within a healthy strong body. Add to this accumulation of waste the chemical residues of modern life and you have another layer of disease causing toxins. In the past, these were often dismissed as insignificant but, presently their threat to health is recognized as very real and threatens not only human health but potentially also human existence.

Why treat the effects of these accumulated poisons when by working towards removing them a lot more is accomplished with less effort and in less time. We all know that by cleaning up a contaminated environment that Nature will easily restore itself to it’s former vigor and glory, so why should this not apply to the inner environment of our body. It certainly seems simple and obvious enough. Removing these accumulated poisons is as much a simple and obvious preventative measure as it is a relief from potential problems and discomfort. Cleansing the inner body and its organs takes away the environment where bacteria and viruses can potentially thrive. Without all of these extra toxins in body tissue and in the circulating bodily fluids for the internal organs to deal with the body has less work to do, and more energy to devote towards sustaining it’s life, health and longevity.

There are three main filters for our body fluids, the liver for solids, the kidneys for liquids and the lungs for the gases. Each acts like a stomach or sorts to not only filter but also continue the digestion of what they contain. The organ that works the hardest to keep us as toxin free as possible is also our largest internal organ – our liver. By cleansing of the liver  and adopting a good clean healthy diet the whole body benefits and the results are quick to be seen.

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You Cannot Have More Problems Than You Have Parts http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/health-topics/more-problems-than-organ/ Thu, 17 Jan 2013 20:27:16 +0000 http://www.amaluxherbal.com/Blog/?p=211 Consider A Machine!

 

partsIf you have a machine consisting of a total of about 400 components, it can logically be concluded that there can only be 400 possible things that can go wrong with that machine …..and no more than the sum of its parts.

The Human body consists of a finite number of vital organs that support and maintain life. Therefore, if there is an ailment it stands to reason that there can only be a finite set of causes the number of which cannot exceed the number of organs/parts the body has. (Symptoms believed to be the direct result of a virus or bacteria are merely the result of specific organs struggling to remove them or other toxic wastes from the body.)

How then is it possible that there are literally thousands of ailments and causes of ailments with new ones being discovered all the time? Are these new problems or simply overcomplicated explanations that miss the point? There is no need to get unnecessarily technical in order to explain anything – especially ailments. The details are only necessary after the main concept is explained and understood. Once the principle is understood the means of aiding are self evident to a thinking person.

Each organ can either be inflamed, not functioning, constricted(relatively cool), clogged, or damaged from trauma.

Are there any other possibilities?

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