Monthly Archives: June 2012

Small West Yorkshire town aims to be first town with food self-sufficiency by growing all its own vegetables

In the village of Todmorden west Yorkshire a small group of green activists are at the for front of the grown your own
Mary clear (a 56 year old grandmother) kicked of the campaign over six months ago when she lowered the fence to her front garden and put up signs encouraging passers by to help help themselves to the fresh produce growing in her garden. Mary told us ” It took a while for people to realize i didn’t want money from them and for locals to start making the most from the free veggies on offer” but now nearly a year on the whole village has got behind the project  naming it incredible edible.revolution.

There are now over 70 raised beds throughout the village all full of fresh fruit and vegetables & available freely to visitors and local residents alike

 

for more information on there project check out the website at http://www.incredible-edible-todmorden.co.uk/

 

Black pepper and its amazing health benefits

Black pepper and its amazing health benefits

 

Native to south east Asia the first recorded use of black pepper (Piper nigrum) was over 4,000 years ago, due to the large demand for this highly prized spice and commodity it was even used as currency in some parts of the world.

As well as its culinary properties black pepper has been widely used as medicine for a similar amount of time , a lot of the treatments involving this spice have been proven to be ineffective in the modern world but the spice certainly still hold some amazing properties

Black pepper for digestion

We currently are living in a age of convenience, unfortunately this has a detrimental effect on out diets with ready made microwave meals and fast food on every corner there is a growing problem with indigestion after meals. One of black peppers proven unique abilities is the way it aids in the digestion of food. This is achieved as a result of increased hydrochloric acid levels which in turn prevents intestinal gas and other stomach problems

Black pepper for anorexia

black pepper can be a useful tool for people suffering from anorexia or general loss of appetite not only will this amazing spice tingle your taste buds but the increase in hydrochloric acid  will leave you feeling ready to tackle more food

Colds and Flu

Black pepper has the ability to break up congestion when suffering from colds or chesty cough try adding it to a strong cup of mint tea for maximum effect. This form of pepper is also known to have a great amount of antioxidant properties, able to fight against bacterial growth, particularly in the intestinal tract.  The good news is that all you need to do is put a little bit in your food every day.

Healing cuts and grazes

Alternative medicines are gaining in popularity as we become aware of all the possibilities inherent in the herbs and spices that surround us. Black pepper is one such spice that has medicinal properties. Below is a look at how you can use black pepper to stop bleeding and help heal your cuts.

Instructions

1. Rinse the cut. Make sure to get rid of any dirt or foreign matter that you might find. Be sure to cleanse it thoroughly before doing anything that might press infectious material further into the cut.

2. Dab up any bleeding as best you can with a clean, sterile cloth or paper towel. If possible, keep the affected body part elevated; gravity will help stop the bleeding during this part of your treatment.

3. Put black pepper on the cut. Ground black pepper is ideal for this, whether from the kitchen shaker or from packets of black pepper.

4. Bandage securely. Depending on the size of the cut, use a normal adhesive strip, or, if necessary, adhesive tape with gauze. Be sure to cover all areas of the cut to help stop the bleeding and to keep out dirt and germs.

5. Check the cut daily to monitor healing. With one application you should see significant progress such that you shouldn’t have to repeat the process. You will notice that the black pepper has the effect of stopping the bleeding while assuring that the cut heals, often without much indication of scarring.

 

for the very best black pepper available please check out our Online health shop

black pepper corns

How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally

How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally

 The average child comes down with 6 to 10 colds per year, while the average adult gets 2 to 3 colds each year. Of course, if you have school-aged children, you likely get more than this. These numbers, however, only reflect how often we get the “common cold” – other illnesses, such as the flu, are a different story.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) tracks flu cases and flu strains similarly to how meteorologists watch weather patterns. Wintertime is when the flu most often rears its ugly head, so for this reason, it’s vital that you do what you can to protect yourself and your family during cold weather months.
First of all, have you gotten your annual flu shot yet? If not, then experts at the CDC advise you to get a flu shot as soon as possible, as the shot takes about two weeks to become effective.
Beyond the flu shot, there are a number of ways you can naturally bolster your immunity.
How to Strengthen Your Immune System

1. Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands keeps your immune system from working too hard. In fact, this is the single most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of illness. There’s a good reason why doctors emphasize this missive, and it’s because it works.
Whenever you go into a public place, don’t touch your face. As soon as you touch a door handle, phone, or other “public” item, rub your hands with hand sanitizer or wash them in the bathroom. Yes, I know this can be irritating. However, just imagine how lousy you feel when you get sick, and that should make you realize the extra effort is worth it.

2. Regularly Consume Olive Leaf and Echinacea Extracts

Herbal extracts are created when herbs are soaked in water or alcohol over a period of time. The advantage of extracts is that they preserve the many benefits and active constituents of herbs much more effectively than capsules that you take orally.
I take two herbal extracts regularly: olive leaf and Echinacea. Olive leaf extract is thought to be a powerful antibiotic and antioxidant, and it also stimulates the immune system. There is, however, little scientific evidence to prove this, although some research has shown olive leaf to be very effective in lowering blood pressure.
My husband and I both take olive leaf even if we feel only slightly under the weather. We’ve experienced time and time again the effectiveness of this extract. We even take olive leaf when our allergies start acting up, and our symptoms fade away. You can find olive leaf extract on Amazon or at most health food stores.
Echinacea is an herb that’s more well-known, at least in Western societies, and there is more research to back up the effectiveness of Echinacea as opposed to olive leaf. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, several studies show have shown that Echinacea is effective for boosting the immune system, and it also has antiviral and antioxidant effects. Other studies show that taking Echinacea at the very onset of a cold will reduce the severity of your symptoms and shorten the time you’re actually sick – of course, there are other studies that debate these claims.
I take Echinacea almost every day, and I rarely get sick. I truly believe that it, coupled with the olive leaf extract, works. You can take both Echinacea and olive leaf in a capsule form. However, as I mentioned, you’ll get more benefits by taking the liquid tincture.
These tinctures taste pretty bad; however, I take a dropper full each day by squirting it at the very back of my throat so I don’t taste it as much. You can also put the dropper into a glass of grapefruit juice and you’ll hardly taste it.

3. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

During the winter months, I eat a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables. I usually eat at least one sweet potato per day, as sweet potatoes are loaded with carotenes. Your body does two things with carotenes: It turns them into vitamin A and it uses the rest as antioxidants. Antioxidants help your body fight off a cold and other diseases, and the more antioxidants you get, the stronger your immune system is going to be.
Vitamin A also helps strengthen your skin, the outer membranes of your eyes, your mouth, and your throat. These areas are your first line of defense against infection. The healthier all these areas are, the less likely a virus will penetrate deeper into your body and make you sick.
The easiest way to eat a sweet potato is to simply pierce it with a fork and pop it in the microwave for about five minutes. Once it’s soft and cooked, add a bit of butter and plenty of fresh ginger. Super easy, and super healthy!
There are also plenty of other fruits and vegetables that will help bolster your immune system – anything with high antioxidants like beta-carotenes and vitamins C and E are going to help.

Foods high in vitamin C include:

  • Berries (including strawberries)
  • Broccoli
  • Kiwi
  • Mangos
  • Grapefruit
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Snow peas
  • Red, green, or yellow peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Foods that are high in beta-carotene include:
  • Apricots
  • Asparagus
  • Kale
  • Mangos
  • Broccoli
  • Grapefruit
  • Nectarines
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Peaches
  • Turnip and collard greens
  • Foods high in vitamin E include:
  • Mustard and turnip greens
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Red peppers
  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Nuts
  • Papaya
  • Pumpkin (see canned pumpkin recipes)
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Mushrooms (especially shiitake) contain beta-glucans, which are complex carbohydrates that help strengthen your immune system against illness and disease.

4. Avoid Sugar

Many people are surprised to learn that sugar may suppress the immune system.
As part of my own efforts to live healthier this year, I’ve drastically curtailed my intake of white sugar. In the past, I have noticed that eating sugar creates a craving for more sugar. Once I got myself off this “crave-satisfy” daily cycle, I just didn’t want sweets or packaged foods anymore. The cravings are totally gone.
It can be hard to cut sugar out of your diet – I know it was hard for me. But if you stick with it for a few days, not consuming any sweets or sodas and eating healthy, your body will settle down and you’ll feel better. And you just might help strengthen your immune system in the process.

5. Avoid Stress

You probably don’t need me to tell you that when you’re experiencing stress, you feel awful. You get tired and run down, you probably don’t eat healthy or sleep well, and your positive outlook vanishes.
Many of us know from experience that stress weakens our immune systems. This is because when you’re stressed, your body releases corticosteroids, which suppresses the effectiveness of the immune system. The more stressed you are, the more corticosteroids are released, and the likelier you are to get sick.
Want to avoid getting a cold or the flu? Do whatever you can to reduce your stress levels. Make sure you get enough sleep, and remember that, most of the time, the things you’re stressing over are really small potatoes in the larger scheme of things. Work out at home to make sure you get enough exercise (which is itself a great way to reduce stress), meditate regularly to relax and still your thoughts, and reserve some time to have fun once in a while.

Final Word

Because I’m self-employed, I don’t get sick days, which means if I become ill, I lose income each day I’m unable to work. Therefore, I have extra incentive to stay healthy.
The good news is that preventing illness is quite easy to do. Simple things like washing your hands, eating right, and getting enough sleep really do make a difference. Adding herbal extracts to your daily routine can also help you avoid getting sick.
Do you have any tips and tricks you use to stay healthy during cold and flu ?