Safe and healthy spring cleansing

Image

Forest floor foraging

Spring is the best time of the year to clean our bodies from the inside; so many plants that grow during this time of year are ideal for this purpose. Whether plants are used, there are many ways to accomplish this effectively through different types of cleanses. Methods include juicing, fasting, flushing and lifestyle changes in concert with possible products using herbs and or supplements. These methods are marketed to apply to a specific system to achieve a specific result. Our body’s systems work together so addressing one system may generate other (additional) outcomes.

Image

Fleshy fruits are satisfying when cleansing

Foods alone are powerful sources used for detoxification. Fresh produce contains both macro and micronutrients that interact with our own biochemistry, creating a chemical reaction. These biochemical reactions can momentarily disrupt the body’s ability to balance while naturally striving for homeostasis. This one reason is why people often report experiencing flu-like symptoms and other discomforts, albeit temporarily. Combinations of these phytonutrients can equally upset the balance negatively when a physical condition exists; diagnosed or not. For example, a sugar spike could prove detrimental if blood glucose levels are compromised.

Image

Tender asparagus spears contains highest percentages of selenium and vitamin K.

Image

Squeezed organic grapefruit juice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The amount of time committed depends on the method. Generally a flush is quicker than a cleanse. Regardless, the length of time spent on the process should be determined to meet your individual need. Repeating a course of treatment may be necessary. Adjusting the recommended protocol by altering specifics or incorporating additional methods may also be warranted. Supplementing foods with plants helps increase nutritional benefits from an already depleted diet. Edible flowers, weeds and herbs add flavor, color, nutritive and medicinal value.

Image

Sweet violet flowers, roots and stems have multiple use.

Foraging has become a popular practice. Taking care to not deplete an area by leaving regenerating plant parts and knowing which plants are protected are important when wild crafting. Open areas may be tainted by environmental contaminants. Learn the potential hazards beforehand to spare potential legal and health consequences. Educational resources such as botanical gardens, local garden clubs or park systems are helpful when identifying indigenous plants in your region.

Image

Fern fiddle heads are rife with minerals

Image

Garlic scapes are best clipped in spring

Before considering any type of health regimen, understand the goal you hope to achieve, familiarize yourself with the language and consult a qualified health care Professional with formal/practical knowledge, taking your personal health history into consideration. Pop culture wants us to believe that a quick-fix or single approach made available for the public is designed for you. It is not. Your cleansing or flushing program should be specific to your needs.

Advertisements

Celebrate the Summer Solstice with Sun Infusions

Image

Sun infused tisane

Celebrate the Summer season with sun-steeped teas.  These light, bright and refreshing recipes are designed to nourish and hydrate our bodies throughout the year.

Image

Gathered botanicals

I formulated this equation as a framework on which to build a balanced blend.

Image

Selected plants to steep

  • 1 tsp. Base with earthy or woody constituents.
  • 2-3 tsp. Flavor with fruits and/or florals
  • 1-2 tsp. Green or White tea Leaves for antioxidant properties.

This is a mere suggestion I have found to work well for a full and satisfying, albeit therapeutic infusion.  When using fresh plants, be certain the plants have not been sprayed and are safe to drink.  Some florals are not intended for consumption and other aerial plant parts are toxic.  Stick with pre-packaged tea bags and commercial loose teas to get the feel for creating the perfect blend.  Eventually, this will become second nature as you spend more time with the plants themselves.  You will instinctively choose flavors and herbs that will address your needs, similar to why our bodies develop cravings.

Image

Various commercial teas and blends

I am a fan of “Traditional Medicinals” brand teas; herbal infusions naturally designed to address symptoms.

v  1 Madagascar Vanilla Red Rooibos

v  2 Black Cherry or Dark Berry

v  1 “Fusion red, white & blueberry tea

v  1 “Traditional Medicinals PMS” blend

v  2 Echinacea Elder by “Traditional Medicinals”

v  1-2 “Fusion red, white & blueberry”

v  2 Orange Spice

v  1 “Traditional Medicinals Think-Q Ginko”

v  1 white tea

v  1 Earl Grey (fermented black tea)  “Twinings” is known for safe, high quality

v  2 “Gypsy Cold Care” by “Traditional Medicinals”

v  1 white tea

Image

Cheerful florals for tisanes

Give botanical tisanes a try like these fresh growing flowers and herbs whilst it is summertime:

Image

Spicy Oregano

v  Lavender/Anise Hyssop and Rose Petals

v  Spearmint/Spicy oregano

v  Lemon Thyme/Lavender.

v  Hibiscus or Jasmine

Image

Anise biscuits & sugared lemon rind Compliments of Inn Walden

Potentiate the potion with dried plants and commercial blends to substantiate these fresh infusions.

Enjoy slow infusions extracted by the sun as well as a steeped, freshly brewed cup.  Be it the Summer or Winter solstice, stay safe and healthy all year long with home brewed infusions, regardless of your hemisphere.

Image

High Tea
Compliments of Inn Walden

Planting Heirloom Tomatoes for Father’s Day

Image

Heirloom tomato plant
Credit: Bethane M. Evans

Tomatoes love calcium found in bone meal.  Ours thrive on organic mushroom compost!  Space far enough apart to accommodate the dense leaved branches that will need to be clipped as they reach a couple of feet tall.  This will allow direct sunlight ripen the fruit.  Dig holes deep enough to accommodate tomato plant atop additional compost.  Sprinkle in bone meal and gently break apart roots. 

Image

Preparing for planting
Bethane M. Evans

Fill in the hole and build-up with mushroom compost, watering well. 

Image

Tomatoes strategically planted in sunlight against a fence
Planting, growing, photography credit: Bethane M. Evans

If you reside in an area with voracious bunnies, you may want to give serious consideration to deer netting.  A little goes a long way and it is tricky to work with, but does a good job discouraging foraging wildlife from devouring your precious plants

Image

Deer netting protected young tomato plants
Photo credit: Bethane M. Evans

We lost our 29 transplanted seedlings, mowed down to the quick by ravenous rabbits!  Fortunately, tomato plants are strong and hunger for the nutrients provided in this rich, organic compost blend. 

Image

Wild rabbits
Photo by Bethane M. Evans

Just a few plants will yield many tomatoes to be enjoyed by all throughout the summer and into the next season.  I was still harvesting tomatoes and delivering baskets to our neighbors well into November a couple of years back. 

Image

“Black Krim” heirloom tomato harvest 2011
By Bethane M. Evans

All ages can participate in this growing activity that is so satisfying for the mind, body and soul.  Have a Happy Father’s Day!

Image

Therapeutic gardening
Credit: Bethane M. Evans

 

Botanical witch hazel extraction – traditional complexion renewal

Image

Botanical Witch Hazel Extraction
‘Biochemical Alchemy’ label

The witch hazel plant has quite a pedigree, offering healing properties as one of a number of its multiple uses.  I have been a fan of witch hazel for decades, housed in my medicine cabinet as a staple, and as a foundation for other preparations such as this “Botanical Complexion Topical”. 

Image

Dried florals and botanicals from my garden

Maintaining a growing garden leaves me susceptible to insect bites and nettle stings.  I also prefer glove-free gardening and often stick myself on rose thorns, subjecting my skin to oxalates emitted from tomato’s protective glandular trichomes in addition to other prickers and brambles.  Goddess only knows what microscopic goodies get under my finger nails and may be transmitted transdermally.  The bright afternoon sun aids in the synthesis of Vitamin D3 and feels so good on my face, but irritates the Rosacea condition I have also been treating for 20 years. Providentially, witch hazel aids all these conditions. 

Image

“Botanical Complexion Topical”

This latest incarnation of my botanical toner is suggestive of The Mountain Rose Blog‘s recent recipe.  I extracted a select combination of plant parts I have grown, dried, collected and prefer for fragrance and pH rebalancing.  Most of my food and preparations are intuitive blends I have practiced repeatedly over the years.  This forgiving process welcomes you to invent your own.

  1. Gather your chosen ingredients.  The current batch contains varietals of the following:
    Image

    Measured herbal ingredients

Handful of rose petals

2 Tbsp. Rosemary

1 Tbsp. Comfrey Leaf

1 Tsp. Peppermint leaf

20 or so Lavender Wands

Small Sage bundle

1-2 Dried Persimmon slices

1-2 tsp. Lemon Thyme

1 tsp. Basil

6 gtt. (drops) Orange Extract if no fresh orange oil is available and…

86% double distilled Witch Hazel

*Overall amounts depend upon container size.

Image

Dried contents

Image

Liquid infusion in process

Put all ingredients into a glass jar.  Fill with witch hazel ensuring herbs are immersed, allowing room for expansion.  Add liquid extracts.  Seal with a tight lid and put in a temperate location out of direct light for a minimum of a fortnight.  Gently tilt jar daily mixing contents, returning to its undisturbed location.

  1. Strain extraction initially through a sieve.
  2. Allow contents to settle then re-strain through an unbleached coffee filter or fine cotton cloth.
    Image

    Initial straining

  3. Transfer to a glass spritzer bottle or keep stored in sealed jar, applying to skin with a glass eyedropper, so as not to contaminate contents.  Keeps well and yields enough to be shared.  This fruity, refreshing toner regenerates dermal elasticity and stimulates the senses while promoting healing on a cellular level. 

    * The human body is in a constant state of flux so bear in mind that as individuals, we each have unique responses to products at different times.  Use with care.

    Image

    Infused claret product