Organic Okra – Gift of the Goddesses.
Cleopatra of Egypt and Yang Guifei, who was known as one of The Four Beauties of Ancient China, were two of the worlds most powerful and elegant women that had something else in common, they both loved to eat Okra.
An edible ornamental annually flowering plant belonging to the same family as hibiscus and cotton, it is a pod vegetable and nightshade.
Okra is an erect herb with stems that contain hairs. The whole plant has an aromatic smell resembling that of cloves and with similarities to the cotton plant, though okra has much larger and rougher leaves and a thicker stem.
The term “Okra” refers to the edible seedpods of the plant.
Also commonly referred to as ladyfingers, or by its biological names Abelmoschus esculentus and Hibiscus esculentus, Organic Okra is known to have a positive effect on blood sugar control, among many other health benefits.
Okra was apparently first discovered in the Abyssinian center of origin of cultivated plants, an area that includes present-day Ethiopia, the mountainous or plateau portion of Eritrea, and the eastern, higher part of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.
Since the Spanish Moors and the Egyptians of the 12th and 13th centuries used an Arab word for okra, it probably was taken into Egypt by the Muslims from the East who conquered Egypt in the seventh century.
It’s also believed that the plant was taken from Ethiopia to Arabia across the Red Sea or the narrower strait at its southern end.
It was then spread over North Africa, completely around the Mediterranean, and eastward, reaching India after the beginning of the Christian Era.
Okra pods can be: eaten raw, steamed, cooked, or fried, or included in stews and soups.
For soups and stews, the pods are often used since they turn into a gooey mucilage after being cooked.
However, the mucilage can be avoided if the pods are prepared with acidic ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar.
Okra contains potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, folic acid, and calcium. It’s low in calories and has a high dietary fiber content.
Popular forms of Okra for medicinal purposes include Okra Water, Okra Peels, and Powdered Seeds.
Okra has been suggested to help manage blood sugar in cases of type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.
Due to it’s content of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and magnesium okra can be very helpful in producing more red blood cells in the human body.
Which means that those suffering anemia can derive substantial health benefits when consuming this wonderful plant.
Okra leaves are most commonly cooked as the heat softens the leaves and helps reduce their spiny texture.
They can be used in lieu of spinach in recipes where greens are called for.
They can be sautéed, stir-fried or used in soups stews and curries.
A good source of vitamins A and C as well as calcium, fiber, protein and iron makes them great for strong bones and good digestion.
Whether you want to improve your heart health, eye sight, digestion, cholesterol levels, bone density or blood sugar or even increase energy levels, lower inflammation, reduce depression or have a radiant complexion Okra pods, leaves and stems might be just what you need.
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Organic Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), the national flower of India, and Vietnam is also known as Indian Lotus, Sacred Lotus, Water Lily, Bean of India or Egyptian Bean.
It is an aquatic plant grown in water across India, Australia, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries.
The roots of the lotus are planted in the soil of the pond or river bottom, while the leaves float on top of the water surface or are held well above it.
The flowers are usually found on thick stems rising several centimeters above the leaves.
The plant normally grows up to a height of about 150 cm and a horizontal spread of up to 3 meters, but some unverified reports place the height as high as over 5 meters.
The leaves may be as large as 60 cm in diameter, while the flowers can be up to 20 cm in diameter.
An individual lotus can live for over a thousand years and has the rare ability to revive into activity after stasis. In 1994, a seed from a sacred lotus, dated at roughly 1,300 years old was successfully germinated.
In Buddhism, the lotus represents the purity of the body, soul and mind.
A unique fabric from the lotus plant fiber is produces a thread used to weave a special robe for the Buddha at Inle lake, Myanmar.
In Ancient Egypt, the lotus flower was an important part of their religion.
It was a symbol of the sun, because at nightfall it closes and goes beneath the water and at dawn it climbs up above the water and reopens, resembling creation and rebirth.
The flowers, seeds, young leaves, and “roots” (rhizomes) are all edible.
In Asia, the petals are sometimes used for garnish, while the large leaves are used as a wrap for food
In Korea, the leaves and petals are used. Young lotus stems are used as a salad ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine.
The rhizome (roots) are used by the Chinese, Indian, Korean & Japanese in everything from vegetable in soups, deep-fried, stir-fried, and braised dishes to traditional Asian herbal medicine.
The petals, leaves, and rhizome (roots) can be eaten raw but it is recommended that they be cooked before eating.
Lotus rootlets are often pickled with rice vinegar, sugar, chili or garlic. In Asian cuisine, it is popular with salad, prawns, sesame oil or coriander leaves.
The stamens can be dried and made into a fragrant herbal tea called liánhuā cha in Chinese. Vietnamese lotus tea is called trà sen, chè sen, or chè ướp sen.
The lotus seeds or nuts are quite versatile, and can be eaten raw or dried and popped like popcorn.
They can also be boiled until soft and made into a paste, or boiled with dried longans and rock sugar to make a sweet soup.
Combined with sugar, lotus seed paste becomes one of the most common ingredients used in pastries such as mooncakes, daifuku, and rice flour pudding.
In South Indian states, the lotus stem is sliced, marinated with salt to dry, and the dried slices are fried and used as a side dish.
The health benefits of organic lotus root can be attributed to its unique mix of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
It is found to be rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium, thiamine, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, copper, and manganese, while very low in saturated fat.
Organic Lotus Seed is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium while being a good source of Protein, Thiamine, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium, a very good source of Manganese and also contains small amounts of Zinc and Iron.
Lotus seeds contains L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase, an enzyme with anti-ageing properties. It is known to help in repairing damaged proteins
There is also a flavonoid called kaempferol known for its anti-inflammatory properties and it’s ability to help in repairing aging gum tissue.
The astringent properties of lotus seeds make them beneficial for the kidneys by reducing kidney inflammation and helping to regulate the energy levels of the body.
Ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic texts indicate the stems and leaves of the plant are helpful for stomach aches, ulcers and intestinal cramping, increasing circulation, and improving the condition of the heart (cardiotonic).
It is even known for strengthening the spleen.
Consumption of the white lotus causes mild sedation and mild euphoria and has been reported to have both aphrodisiac and anaphrodisiac effects.
There are many who report feelings of floating and euphoric sensations after ingesting a potion made from the white water lily.
In addition to that the Organic Sacred Lotus protects the liver against damage, reduces the effects of UV radiation, inhibits the growth of several types of cancers, enhances cognition, promotes skin health having anti-aging effects on the skin and even increases wound healing abilities.
In yoga the Lotus pose helps to open the hips, strengthen the back and increase flexibility of the knees, it is also used as a base for meditation, chanting, and pranayama (breathing techniques).
The symbol of the Lotus flower, has been a spiritual symbol in Eastern religion for thousands of years with Buddha and Bodhisattvas are often pictured sitting on lotus flowers.
The scent of this Super Power Flower is as heavenly as is it’s amazing gifts.
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Hemp has been used by civilized man since the beginning of recorded history.
An archeological site in the Oki Islands near Japan contained cannabis achenes from about 8000 BC, it’s use also dates back to the Neolithic Age in China.
The classical Greek historian Herodotus (ca. 480 BC) reported that the inhabitants of Scythia would often inhale the vapors of hemp-seed smoke, both as ritual and for their own pleasurable recreation.
Hemp requires few pesticides and no herbicides, needs less fertilizer than corn does and it has been called a carbon negative raw material that also benefits the crops grown after it.
For this reason, it is generally grown before winter cereals.
Technically considered a nut, hemp seeds are exceptionally nutritious and often referred to as hemp hearts.
They may be eaten raw, ground into a meal, sprouted, or made into dried sprout powder with 100 grams of hulled hemp seeds supplying approximately 586 calories (2451 Kilojoules).
They are 5% water, 5% carbohydrates, 49% total fat and 31% protein.
Hemp seeds are notable in providing 64% of the Daily Value (DV) of protein per 100 gram serving.
Hempseed amino acid profile is comparable to other sources of protein such as meat, milk, eggs and soy.
Hemp seeds are a rich source of B vitamins, the dietary minerals, manganese (362% DV), phosphorus (236% DV), magnesium (197% DV), zinc (104% DV), iron (61% DV) and dietary fiber (20% DV).
Approximately 73% of the energy in hemp seeds is in the form of fats and essential fatty acids, mainly polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic, oleic and alpha-linolenic acids,
they have about a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which is considered in the optimal range.
The health benefits of organic hemp seeds are multitudinous.
Studies have shown that hemp seeds or hemp seed oil may reduce blood pressure, decrease the risk of blood clot formation and help the heart recover after a heart attack.
Eating hemp seeds in any form will aid, if not heal, people suffering from immune deficiency diseases, this is supported by the fact that hemp seed has been used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition blocking disease that causes the body to waste away.
Gamma-linolenic acid (omega-6 fatty acid) rich foods like hemp seeds have been shown to be of positive assistance for people with ADHD, Breast pain, Diabetes and diabetic neuropathy, Heart disease, High blood pressure, Multiple sclerosis, Obesity, Premenstrual syndrome, Rheumatoid arthritis, Skin allergies and are even helpful in relieving rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
Hemp is also a natural appetite suppressant and can help you feel full longer and reduce sugar cravings aiding in weight management and weight loss.
Adding just two tablespoons of hemp seeds to to your daily diet will naturally lower blood pressure, reduce LDL cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol, improve triglycerides and feed the probiotics in your gut that help maintain a strong immune system.
Best of all there are no known allergies to hemp at all so hemp seeds can be eaten by those suffering an intolerance to gluten, nuts, lactose or suffering sugar sensitivity.
Organic Thyme – The Magical Healer
Thyme is a member of the mint family and the word comes from the Greek meaning to “fumigate”.
It’s a beautifully aromatic herb with small pink flowers that has been used for thousands of years in many cultures.
From embalming in Ancient Egypt, to purification in Rome, even as a source of courage in Greece where warriors were massaged with thyme oil and it was mixed into drinks to enhance the intoxicating effects of the drink and induce bravery.
Witches claim thyme has magical powers that can prevent nightmares, assist in the development of psychic powers and make a woman irresistible simply by wearing it in her hair.
It has been used for hundreds of years to treat “neurological disorders” such as shyness, melancholy, anxiety, and depression
The Sumerians used thyme as an antiseptic due to it’s effectiveness in preventing the growth of disease-causing microorganisms.
Today we use it for it’s anti bacterial properties in acne creams and facial scrubs, in anti dandruff shampoos, conditioners and scalp treatments, as a germ-killer in mouthwashes and also as an anti fungal additive in the treatment of athlete’s foot.
Thyme is a rich source of antioxidants and when fresh has the highest level of antioxidants among all herbs.
Not only that, it is a good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
Vitamin A is an antioxidant, vital for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin as well as good vision.
Vitamin C provides resistance against infectious diseases and fights harmful pro-inflammatory free radicals.
This amazing herb also contains Vitamin K, Vitamin E, folic acid and Vitamin B6 the “Stress Buster” vitamin.
It’s an excellent source of potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium and selenium giving it the ability to assist in controlling the heart rate and blood pressure while improving red blood cell formation.
Studies have proven that the constituents found in the extracts of Mastic thyme may protect against colon cancer.
Consumption of wild thyme has been found to induce cell death in the breast cancer cells.
Thyme tea is often recommended for treating PMS as well as menstrual cramps in women and to promote good digestion, and reduce gas and bloating.
Thyme oil is particularly beneficial for promoting cardiac health due to it’s anti-spasmodic properties that enable proper functioning of the cardiac valves by relaxing the veins and arteries, reducing blood pressure and strengthening the heart.
It is considered a great tonic to improve heart health as it enables your heart to function more efficiently.
Sachets of thyme hung in your closet or folded in with your stored clothes will keep moths out, and has a more pleasant scent than mothballs.
Grow your own and the tiny flowers will attract bees to your garden while the rest of the plant will repel mosquitoes.
Thyme adds a refreshing flavor to veggies and is especially good on potatoes. Actually, you can put thyme on just about anything.
The flowers are edible as well as the leaves, and make a lovely garnish.
Coming from an evergreen shrub means we can enjoy the benefits of Thyme all year round.
Organic Umeboshi Plums – Samurai Superfood
Japanese Umeboshi plums or pickled plums are not truly plums, technically though they are part of the plum family.
Umeboshi are actually a pickled Japanese delicacy made from a small fruit called ‘Ume’.
The Ume fruit remains on the tree until it’s an apricot colour indicating it is ripe.
Once ripe they will be pickled in brine with shiso leaves.
These leaves are high antioxidants and iron, they also give the umeboshi their pink colour.
The plums are then layed out on bamboo racks to dry. This process will be repeated a number of times.
This fruit is like the hybrid of an apricot and a plum.
These delicacies are immensely popular in Japan, not only for their taste but because of their many health benefits.
Over 2000 years ago China was using umeboshi for illness’ such as fever, oral problems, nausea, digestive disorders and coughs.
Eventually adopted by Japan around 1000 years ago and still eaten there today.
Such is the regard for this “superfood” that it was a staple part of Samurai warriors’ diets throughout the Middle Ages due to its ability to encourage healing & combat fatigue.
Umeboshi is usually served with rice to add zest or eaten as an snack with tea.
The antibacterial properties are thought to prevent the rice becoming tainted for longer.
It’s also used in casserole-style dishes to enhance overall flavor, in salad dressings and as a condiment.
A scientific study in 2011 looked explicitly at the correlation between umeboshi and how it impacted on the bacteria in the mouth.
The findings stated that umeboshi had a strong anti-bacterial effect against Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria closely linked to dental cavities.
The scientists who conducted the study concluded that umeboshi would be beneficial for treating and preventing a range of oral problems, from cavities to bleeding gums.
Helicobacter pylori are spiral-shaped bacterial organism that grows in the digestive tract and have a tendency to attack the stomach lining.
This bacterium is thought to cause ulcers and chronic gut inflammation and is normally treated with multiple strong courses of antibiotics.
Umeboshi has an anti-inflammatory effect on these painful health problems as well as lowering levels of H. pylori.
Studies have suggested its use as both a preventative and treatment for these conditions.
A recent study found that extracts of umeboshi had both tumor-inhibiting and anti-inflammatory effects.
They noted particularly good results for melanomas with the extract working on reactions in the body that inhibit the development and progression of tumors.
Research has managed to isolate over 20 different antioxidant compounds from umeboshi plums, proving they have excellent antioxidant value.
The Japanese currently use umeboshi to help the body detoxify.
Many use it to get rid of a hangover from a heavy night of drinking.
The fruit has also been eaten as a general health tonic and to give people a burst of energy.
Superfood like the Umeboshi might be a little harder to find than a carrot or potato but is defiantly worth the effort.
Organic Rosemary – Mediterranean Longevity Secret.
Officially “Rosmarinus officinalis”, Rosemary, is a woody, perennial herb with a wonderful scent, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region.
It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which includes many other herbs.
The name “rosemary” derives from the Latin for “dew” (ros) and “sea” (marinus), or “dew of the sea”.
As an evergreen, rosemary is available throughout the year.
Organic Rosemary is low in Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol.
It is also a good source of Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folate, Calcium, Iron and Manganese
Organic Rosemary plants, especially the flower tops, contains antibacterial and antioxidant rosmarinic acid, plus several essential oils such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, and a-pinene, that are known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties.
It is used as a culinary condiment, to make bodily perfumes, and for its potential health benefits.
It is typically prepared as a dried whole herb or a dried powdered extract, while teas and liquid extracts are made from fresh or dried leaves.
Rosemary has long had a popular reputation for improving memory. In ancient Greece, students would place rosemary sprigs in their hair while they studied for tests.
The Guardian reported in 2017 that sales of Rosemary oil to students in the UK studying for exams had skyrocketed because of its perceived benefits to memory & not only memory but also help to increase intelligence and focus.
While many of those claims are still being researched and studied, its effects on the brain do indicate an increase in memory retention.
Rosemary has also been linked to stimulating cognitive activity in the elderly, as well as those suffering from more acute cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Some studies in rats have identified that rosemary might be useful for people who have experienced a stroke.
Rosemary appears to be protective against brain damage and might improve recovery.
The aroma of Rosemary alone is capable of improving mood, clearing the mind, and relieving stress in those with chronic anxiety or stress hormone imbalances.
It is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which are thought to help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation.
It’s specifically powerful against bacterial infections, particularly those in the stomach. H. pylori bacteria is a common and very dangerous pathogen that can cause stomach ulcers, but rosemary has been shown to prevent its growth when consumed. Similarly, it is linked to preventing Staph infections, which kill thousands of people each year.
In Europe, rosemary is often used to help treat indigestion & Germany’s Commission E has approved rosemary for the treatment of indigestion.
A study published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, led by Dr. Stuart A. Lipton, Ph.D. and colleagues at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, revealed that a carnosic acid, which is a major component of rosemary, can significantly promote eye health.
Research published in Oncology Reports found that “crude ethanolic rosemary extract (RO)” slowed the spread of human leukemia and breast carcinoma cells.”
Another study, published in Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry, concluded that rosemary may be useful as an anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor agent.
In the Middle Ages, rosemary was associated with wedding ceremonies.
The bride would wear a rosemary headpiece and the groom and wedding guests would all wear a sprig of rosemary.
From this association with weddings, rosemary was thought to be a love charm and with so much to love about this herb that it makes it an obvious choice to incorporate into your lifestyle.
Organic Turmeric – Natures Miracle.
Turmeric comes from the Curcuma longa plant, part of the Ginger family, it grows in India and other Southeast Asian countries.
The dried root of the Curcuma longa plant is ground up into the distinctive yellow turmeric powder.
There are several chemical compounds found in turmeric, known as curcuminoids which have powerful medicinal properties.
Turmeric is also an excellent source of both manganese and iron and is a good source of vitamin B6, dietary fiber, copper, potassium and various phytonutrients.
Some of the medicinal uses turmeric can be used for is high cholesterol, arthritis, heartburn, joint pain, stomach pain, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, Crohn’s disease, loss of appetite, jaundice, liver problems, stomach ulcers, Helicobacter pylori infection, gallbladder disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), various skin conditions including skin inflammation from radiation treatment, fatigue, bronchitis, urinary bladder inflammation, colds, lung infections, fibromyalgia, fever, menstrual problems, recovery after surgery, and cancers.
Other uses include Alzheimer, lupus, diabetes, worms, depression, water retention, kidney problems and gum disease, it can even be applied to the skin for pain, sprains and swellings, bruising, infected wounds, ringworm, leech bites and acne.
One of the reasons Turmeric is so effective is due to it’s ability dramatically increase the Antioxidant capacity of the body.
Oxidative (Free radical) damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind aging and many diseases.
The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial, is that they protect our bodies from free radicals.
Curcumin happens to be a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure.
Black Pepper enhances bioavailability of Turmeric.
Approximately 5% of the spice turmeric is composed of the active compound called Curcumin, about 5% of black pepper by weight is comprised of this compound called Piperine.
One of the ways our liver gets rid of foreign substances is making them water soluble so they can be more easily excreted. But this black pepper molecule inhibits that process.
One study found that when 20mg piperine (black pepper) was added to curcumin the bioavailability increased by 2000%.
Another way to boost the absorption of curcumin is to consume it in the whole food, turmeric root (fresh or dried as a powder) because natural oils found in turmeric root and turmeric powder can enhance the bioavailability of curcumin seven to eight fold.
When eaten with fat, curcumin can be directly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lymphatic system thereby in part bypassing the liver.
Organic Turmeric should be part of your daily diet, be it for current health issues or as a preventative now rather than a cure in the future.
BLITHE DAISY FAIRY – natural carved wooden toy, summer inspired
Image by Rjabinnik and Rounien
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