Monday, 21 May 2012

Patience - A virtue that I need more of

Impatiens: you might know this flower as busy lizzie

 Impatiens is a bach flower remedy, indicated for … well, impatience, this is something that I need a lot of, a project that I was working on today has stalled, and I now realise that I will need more time than I thought.
One of my major life lessons is to keep doing what I need to without expecting quick results, eventually results do show, but wanting them makes them seem further away.
In clinic, I often have to explain to people that they need to take their herbs and remedies, and may not see results for a few weeks. Sometimes there are processes that happen under the surface, and suddenly, things get better, like a tipping point in a scale, not everything is incremental.
What makes me impatient? I usually know where I would like to get to, in my treatments as well as in my personal life, I like to aim for something, have a target, work towards a goal, and it feels like slow torture to wait.
Yoga is teaching me patience, to keep up my practice even though my body does not always want to bend and twist as it should, to sit and wait for things to come to me, rather than having to always keep pushing for results is not in my nature. Taking action towards a goal is 'male' and sitting and waiting is 'female' I guess we need a balance of both, as both are appropriate at different times.
Needless to say, Impatiens is a remedy I use quite a lot of in my mixes, as instant gratification is a sign of the times we are in.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Turmeric honey

Turmeric honey can be use topically on sores and ulcerations, although I would thin with honey or water.  In India, turmeric powder is frequently applied to cuts, and honey also is used in this manner.  You can use it as a soak for skin conditions, though it does colour the skin temporarily.

Tumeric Honey:
9 parts Tumeric powder
½ part dried ginger powder
½ part ground black pepper

Take enough tumeric to fill a jar about 1/3 full. Add the freshly ground pepper and dry ginger and mix well. Then start stirring in a thin local honey (you can heat it over warm water to help thin it.) Stir in until you have a stiff paste. The precise amount varies depending upon weather and honey, but the point is to put in enough to slightly cover the powder while helping the assimilation with the honey. I find that it is not so sweet as to affect blood sugar. Take a heaping teaspoonful once a day, can be added to warm milk (not cows milk though), or to food.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Warming anti-inflammatory tea

This drink is very warming and soothing. The heat of the ginger and black pepper compliment the soothing effect of the tumeric, and the sweetness of the jaggery adds a lovely tone to the whole drink. It feels as though it is a real taste explosion in every mouthful. Spicy, sweet, bitter and pungent all at once. Take it on a cold day to really feel the warmth inside. I use this tea when fasting as curbs my appetite, and really makes me feel as though I have had a meal, and restores my energy when it is flagging.

Anti-inflammatory and warming tea
1 - 2” ginger
pinch black pepper
½ teasp tumeric
lump of jaggery or honey
(add tulsi to this if you have it too)

Boil grated ginger, tumeric and black pepper in 2 mugs water for 5-10 mins, add jaggery or honey to allow it to dissolve., strain and serve. (The photo shows the approximate portions I use for 2 mugs of tea)

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Turmeric - Queen of spices

Turmeric has a long history of traditional use in India, it is one ingredient we add to all food. Looking at what it does, it is easy to see why.

Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant, it is also anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, , anti-infective and antibacterial. It reduces cholesterol and is a circulatory tonic, so it is easy to see why I use it often as a part of an arthritis protocol and any situation where inflammation is a part of the picture.

Turmeric is bitter, dry, spicy, and warming. Dried turmeric is more warming and somewhat aromatic than the fresh root, the active ingredient of turmeric is curcumin, the orange pigment. When you mix turmeric with black pepper it can increase its absorption by up to 2000%. The herb itself protects and soothes the mucosa of the GI tract.

It interferes with the ability of cancerous tumors to establish a blood supply. It is nourishing, lowers blood sugar, protects the liver, helps stimulate the bile we need to digest and is carminative, allowing better digestion. It helps with back pain, joint pain, and any inflammatory condition. No wonder it is used in virutally every meal.

According to Ayurveda, turmeric is a blood cleanser that improves liver function, prevents coughs and colds, improves skin tone and is an antiseptic. Research sugggests that it helps with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and the curcuminoids in turmeric may help fight cystic firosis, colon cancer, arthritis and even Alzheimer’s.

Adding a small amount of this herb to food is unlikely to give you enough turmeric to make a marked difference to your body, a real therapeutic dose would be nearer a heaped teaspoon, try mixing with honey to make it more palateable (see recipe below), or taking capsules, I capsulate the powder which has the added advantage that the turmeric goes straight into the GI tract where it is most often needed to reduce inflammation.