Monthly Archives: January 2016

natural cold remedy

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Since September, I’ve been *almost* sick three times. Each time, I used this natural cold remedy at the very onset of symptoms. Within a day or two, my cold symptoms were completely gone. After the third time, I told a friend, “I feel like I need to share this recipe with the world!” Then I realized, I can share this recipe on my website!

I don’t usually share recipes here. However, I plan on sharing more of them in the future. The truth is, I’m a total foodie. I love cooking and baking. I’ve been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for about 25 years, and I also enjoy vegan cooking and baking. I use all sorts of natural remedies for different things, from health to beauty.

This cold remedy is very simple and uses all natural ingredients that you can find at any local grocery store: lemon, ginger, honey, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

I created this recipe in a similar way to how oxymels are created; however, instead of herbs, I decided to use ingredients that would combine to form a super-concoction against colds.

 

Natural Cold Remedy

In a pint sized jar (you can reuse a clean, sterile bottle of jam or jelly), combine 1 lemon, roughly chopped (including the rind, pulp, juice, everything) and about 2 inches of ginger root, roughly chopped (include the outer skin as well). Put both the chopped lemon and the chopped ginger into the jar.

Add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of Turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon of Black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper.

Pour honey over the ginger and lemon mixture, until the jar is about 3/4 full.

Top off the remaining 1/4 of the jar with Apple Cider Vinegar.

Shake to allow the contents to settle. Add more Apple Cider Vinegar to fill the jar completely.

Place the jar in the refrigerator. Ideally, you should wait at least a few weeks to use, but it can be used within a couple of days if needed. This remedy can sit for months. As it is used, you should top off with honey and vinegar to replenish.

 

Directions for Use

Shake the jar to make sure the contents are well combined. Place 3-4 tablespoons in a small mug. Pour hot water (at least 1/2 cup) over the mixture and stir. Upon tasting, you can adjust as needed. If you put more water in, use a little more of the remedy to balance the flavor. If the taste seems too acidic, add a little more honey. If it is too sweet for you, add a little more ACV. You can also add additional lemon and ginger to taste. Drink 1 – 2 cups daily until cold symptoms are relieved. You should feel better soon! x

 

Why This Cold Remedy Works

Lemons are high in Vitamin C and Potassium, which boosts the immune system. They also contain flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties. Lemons are also alkaline, and helps balance pH levels in our bodies. They also flush out our systems, aid in digestion, and lower the body temperature.

Ginger has numerous properties including antioxidant effects. Ginger aids in digestion, reduces inflammation, and relieves nausea, upset stomach, and pain. It also stimulates circulation, and helps promote healthy sweating, which is often helpful during colds. Ginger inhibits rhinovirus and bacteria. It has long been used in treating the common cold, as well as fighting cancer.

Honey contains flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties. Honey is a natural antibiotic. It is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, and helps ease coughs and other throat problems, as well as upper respiratory infections. It can be used also give a boost of energy to one’s system. (Note: Do not give honey to children under 1 years old)

Apple Cider Vinegar is high in acetic acid. I like to use Raw, Unfiltered ACV because it contains “the mother” which contains strands of proteins and enzymes. ACV is antiseptic, inflammatory, inhibits bacteria, and is thought to contain some cancer fighting properties. It is acidic, and it helps balance the body’s pH levels. ACV also helps give the body energy.

Turmeric is a spice (dried, powdered root) that has long been used in Eastern Medicine to prevent and fight disease. It contains powerful antiflammatory properties. It’s main component, Curcumin, is a powerful antioxidant which has been used to treat and prevent cancer, cystic fibrosis, arthritis, liver damage, depression, high cholesterol, pain, and many other things. Curcumin is able to neutralize free radicals, which damage healthy cells. (Note: Black pepper helps the body absorb turmeric)

Black pepper, when used in conjunction with Turmeric, can boost Turmeric’s health properties dramatically. Black pepper also improves digestion and promotes intestinal health. Black pepper has diaphoretic (promotes sweating), and diuretic (promotes urination) properties, and has  impressive antioxidant and antibacterial effects.

Cayenne pepper is used to help digestion, upset stomach, intestinal gas, stomach pain, cure diarrhea and cramps. It is also used for conditions of the heart and blood vessels, including to improve poor circulation, to lower high cholesterol and to prevent blood clots and heart disease. It is also used to help lower fevers. Cayenne pepper also contains vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, potassium, manganese and flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties.

 

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happy new year

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Happy New Year!

My annual new year’s post is a little late this year. Last year, I was a little early. My concept of time is generally elusive, but I do love celebrating the new year.

For me, celebrating the new year begins with the Winter Solstice. It is during that time that I begin to take stock of all the things that have happened during the past year, and honor both the dark and the light that I’ve encountered. Looking forward to January 1st, I start making a list of resolutions. I take down the list I wrote the previous year (which I keep up all year as a reminder), noting which resolutions I have succeeded in meeting, and those I still have yet to reach. I am a list-maker year round, but my list of new year’s resolutions is a very special list. It provides me with an outline for the next year, and it also gives me a definite checkpoint to see my progress from the previous year.

At the very beginning of last year, I re-connected with an amazing man who I had met only once before, several years prior. We decided to get together for dinner. Neither one of us had any expectations for romance, but sometimes life hands you an unexpected gift. By the end of our first time hanging out, we could not deny the connection between us; it was electric. Since then, we’ve experienced the kind of love relationship I had begun to think simply didn’t exist. We connect on every level – mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually. We treat each other with respect and treasure our time together. This is truly the kind of love that lights one from within, that lifts one higher, encouraging one to do more, to be more. He is kind and loving, stable and reliable, generous and giving. He is also very intelligent, passionate, and artistic. I feel tremendously lucky to have found him, here. There is a boundless freedom within our relationship, a kind of romantic-mystical encounter with the beloved. Needless to say, we will be celebrating our one year anniversary at the end of this month – a relationship milestone that seems too short a time for the depth of relationship we share. Experiencing this relationship has been the most unexpected and wonderful part of the past year.

I also had some other positive things happen in 2015.

I published my illustrated poetry chapbook, “Persephone’s Affliction.” This work is very close to my heart, and I simply love it. I think it is a very solid collection of poems and art, and I feel very proud of it. I’ve received some very generous feedback from people about the book, and the whole experience from creation to publication has been extremely positive. Since then, I have been working on new stories in relative seclusion which makes me very happy. I am trying to push myself a little further, to venture into new territory, and to delve deeper and expand my skill-set. I have also been thinking about putting together a new collection of stories, but right now I am simply creating. Publication is far from my mind at this stage, but it is nice to have a general shape in mind for a new collection in 2016.

About six months ago, I decided to leave social media in favor of spending more time working on my craft and decided to limit my internet activity to email, research, and my website. I confess that I have since had a fling with tsu, but my activity there is very minimal. Leaving facebook was a definite positive for me. First of all, I was not very active on the site, but I did feel a certain amount of pressure to be present, and to post things every once in a while. I strongly feel that being somewhat introverted put me at odds with something like facebook from the very beginning. I also feel that facebook really exploits their users in terms of privacy, information, and illusion, and encourages people’s tendencies towards egocentric and narcissistic behavior. My innate introversion, combined with a high sensitivity and empathy, would sometimes make facebook a harrowing experience. Just scrolling through the newsfeed could sometimes be too much, a barrage of information, a megaphonic void, a distorted window into other people’s lives, experiences, thoughts, opinions, pictures, etc, etc. It is not that I am insensitive, it is that I feel too much. It was difficult for me to shut out all of the pain, sadness, desperation, selfishness, bravado, hypocrisy, and egoism I’d encounter on a typical day. Finally, I didn’t really understand why I was using facebook in the first place, or really why anyone was. It began to feel like a well orchestrated distraction. I began to see social media as the new opiate for the masses. And though I know that millions of people are happy with facebook, leaving was the right thing for me to do.

Another positive thing that happened this past year was my return to yoga and meditation. This has been an ongoing process, and I am grateful that I have always found my way back to the mat. I feel like this return has also helped bring me back to my spiritual center. Recently, I’ve decided to reconnect even more strongly with my spirituality, and I have begun to attend meetings at a local Unitarian Universalist  church. This religion is very different from my Roman Catholic upbringing, which I feel ultimately caused a disconnect between my feelings about church and god/spirituality. The Unitarian Universalist religion makes sense to me, and it seems like there is a higher level of thinking about things as present in the sermons and overall philosophy. I also like the sense of connection and shared feeling of community I’ve found there. I am looking forward to continuing my practice in 2016.

2015 has also been a year of devastation in some ways, especially as it extends to the world.

At the close of this year, I can only hope that where there is pain, there will soon be joy; where there is darkness, there will soon be light; where there is hate, there will soon be love; where there is sickness, there will soon be health; where there is hurt, there will soon be healing; and where there is war, there will soon be peace. Blessed be, to all beings everywhere.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year!

Namaste.

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