Monthly Archives: April 2013

The UK Wild food & Survival guide

The UK Wild food & Survival guide

Foraging is an ancient past time that was an essential skill for our ancestors, in our modern world people seem to have lost the skills and knowledge needed to successfully look after themselves in times of emergency. In this article we bring you a list of the top 8 plants and fruits that really could make the difference between life and death in a survival situation.

Common nettles – Perhaps the most common of all wild foods here in the UK is the humble stinging-nettlenettle, you would be hard pressed to walk anywhere in this country without spotting some of these natural alternatives to spinach.  It is possible to eat nettles raw but you must be careful to avoid being stung both when harvesting and eating. A more conventional method is to add nettles to soup or stews; they can even be used to make a refreshing drink known as nettle tea.

Jack-by-the-hedge Apr2010 P1000481Hedge garlic – This wild biennial plant is a member of the mustard family. Found commonly around the UK in lightly wood areas this is truly one of the tastiest and useful wild vegetables readily available in our countryside. Best used raw even if added to warm dishes like soups or the young leaves can an ideal accompaniment to your salad bowl.

Not alliums family (salads soup) ‘jack by the hedge’ mint source cabbage family.

Wild pear tree – If you like to forage for wild food than running across a wild pear tree can WildPearFruitbe the highlight of the day. These pears are not like the ones at your local super market as even when ripe these pears can still be rather hard. The best method is to peal chop and slow cook for around 2 hours, add sugar to taste. These trees are hard to come by meaning its well worth noting its location so it can be used and harvested year in year out.

crab_appleCrab apples – Crab apples are much smaller then the common commercial varieties apples and are found in abundance throughout the UK. Most people use crab apples for jams and jellies due to the high levels of pectin found in the fruit which helps to set them jam but they can also be used to make a great tasting wine. The fruit is ripe from September to November but the edible flowers will be out from early summer.

rose-hipRose hips – In a similar way to crab apples rose hips can be used to make great jellies and syrups. The best time to forage for them is late summer to early autumn. Another great use for rose hips is to make a sweet tasting wine that can be stores through the winter months. Rose hips are one of the top natural sources of vitamin C and can be very useful in survival situations.

Dandelion2Dandelion: Dandy lions are one of the most common plants here in the UK and can be used in a whole multitude of edible dishes and drinks. They are packed full of vitamins and minerals your body needs to keep working in top condition so it’s well worth keeping a eye out for them well out foraging. One of the more famous used for dandelion is making a coffee substitute although this dose take a lot of time and effort due to processing it tastes.

sorrel1Wild sorrel – Wild sorrel (genus oxalis) can be harder to come by than some of the other plants on our list but it tastes amazing and is packed full of nurturance so well worth keeping a eye our for. This plant looks a lot like common clover but an easy way to spot the difference is to take a look at the leaves, unlike clover sorrel has heart shaped leaves and bright yellow flowers in spring time. Sorrel is most commonly found in low meadows and sunny spots in light woodland and is best harvested from mid spring through to autumn.

elder-tree-blackElder – Elder has many nutritional uses. Its distinct flowers come out in early spring and great for making drinks like elder flower cordial and later in the year it yield yet another crop this time in the way of tasty berries. Elder flower berries have strong anti oxidant properties and can be used to lower cholesterol as well as boosting your immune system.

Fires

The knowledge of how to light a fire is another thing that seems to be lost in this day and age. As we become more and more reliant on the state to provide some of the basic human survival skills are become extinct, if the electricity stopped would you be prepared to take charge and look after yourself and your family?

There are a number of methods for lighting a fire without matches or a lighter but most do involved some for thought

Tinder – Tinder is simply a dry material that will light easily after taking a spark. Some of the best natural tenders include Spanish moss aka old mans beard, birch bark, funguses and dry grass.

Kindling – This is a word used to describe the small dry twigs used to build the fire in its early stages once the tinder once ignited.

The ability to create a spark – This is possibly the hardest part of making a fire without a 500_flint_and_steel_pendantBowdrill-pictureconventional lighter or matches. It involves using two objects to create a spark or ember; unfortunately this can be easier said than done unless you have the knowledge of what materials will work. The two best options you have are known as the ‘bow and drill’ & the “steel and flint” the first option involved drilling a hard piece of wood into a flat piece of softer wood which in turn will create a hot ember that can be used to create fire. The second option works by striking the softer carbon-steel against a hard piece of flint a spark will be produced this with practice can be used to ignite a flame for your fire. It’s important to note that stainless steel is too hard to create a spark from.

 

Natural remedies for tooth ache – Bobby’s healthy blog

Natural remedies for tooth achetoothache

As most people are well aware tooth ache can be one of the worst pains we ever have to suffer and with our current health system set up the way it is sometimes it can be weeks before we get the chance to visit a dentist, but what can be done to avoid those sleepless nights and endless pain?

Well due to my own suffering recently I’ve done extensive research into the natural remedies that could be able to help here are my top 5.

Oregano oil:

When suffering from tooth ache or abscesses simply rub oil of oregano mixture around the infected tooth. Be sure to dilute the mixture first using pure olive oil as can be very strong. For sores in the mouth, simply mix one drop of oregano oil with about one tea spoon of extra virgin olive oil and hold the mixture under your tong until saliva gathers

Cloves:

Cloves are one of the most popular natural remedies when dealing with tooth ache; they contain a very strong aesthetic chemical called Eugenol. Eugenol is not only a great aesthetic but also has strong antiseptic properties.

Garlic:

One of the best remedies for tooth ache is to take a clove of garlic and pound it in a pestle and mortar. All you have to do is apply the mashed up garlic to the effected tooth and leave it for around 10 minuets. Although this may leave your breath smelling its well worth it for the medicinal properties garlic can offer.

Salt water:

One of the most convenient options for many people simply add a couiple of spoonfuls of salt to a cup of warm water, give it a stir then use it to rinse around your month focusing of the sorest parts of your mouth. After a few min’s spin out the solution this effect should be instant and last for a good couple of hours. Try adding more salt or using hotter water if you’re not getting the desired effects.

Natural tooth paste:

A great way of dealing with tooth pain is to switch your toothpaste there are now many natural tooth pastes available that not only avoid toxic ingredients but contain oregano oil, cloves and garlic meaning you get all of the goodness they offer in one simple tube.

http://www.bobbyshealthyshop.co.uk

Natural tooth care and fluoride alternatives – Bobby’s healthy blog

Natural tooth care and fluoride alternatives

Fluoride is one of the most toxic chemicals we regularly expose out bodies too, it is found not only in dental products such as tooth paste and mouthwashes, but in some country’s fluoride is added directly into the water supplies. This controversial health issue has sparked many heated debates as to its safety.

What is Fluoride?

Well fluoride happens to be the 13th most common element on the planet, naturally found in soil, water and the foods we eat. Fluoride is also synthesized in laboratories and it’s this toxic synthesized version that is added to water supplies with out the consent of the general population. It’s claimed by officials this is to protect the teeth of people in poorer communities whom may not be able to afford adequate dental care, although this may be the case there is mounting evidence indicating that their reasons could be a whole lot more sinister.

Why is Fluoride added to toothpaste?

Tooth decay happens when acids attack the surface of the tooth. Fluoride is used to build a barrier on your teeth to protect from these corrosive acids found in food and drink. But are there natural alternatives to this toxic addition to out daily health routines?

Researchers at TulaneUniversity have discovered recently that an extract from the coca bean, yes the same bean used to make chocolate! Can be used more effectively than fluoride at protecting our teeth. Although this might seem like some sort of joke to people who’s tooth health has suffered due to high intake of chocolate in their diet. The extract known as theobromine is proven to harden tooth enamel as well as make your teeth less permeable.

Tea tree oil is another viable alternative to fluoride. It’s famed for its unique antiseptic properties used for fighting gum disease but has to be used in combination with baking soda to deal with plaque build up

Backing soda helps to polish your tooth enamel with out leaving any abrasive scratches on the tooth surface.  Its disinfectant properties are a great way to kill unwanted germs in your oral cavity. Adding a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to your tooth brush can have amazing whitening results. Be sure to only use food grade hydrogen peroxide when using it for health issues.

Xylitol is a tooth friendly natural sugar alternative naturally found in fruits like strawberries, kiwis and raspberries as well as some green vegetables. It is best known for its experimentally proven ability to fight cavities, because of its anti-bacterial properties. Not only this, but xylitol consumption results in the re-mineralization, or strengthening, of tooth enamel. In plain words, it protects your teeth and makes them stronger.

 

Nestlé: Stop trying to patent the fennel flower.

Nigella sativa — more commonly known as fennel flower — has been used as a cure-all remedy for over a thousand years. It treats everything from vomiting to fevers to skin diseases, and has been widely available in impoverished communities across the Middle East and Asia. But now Nestlé is claiming to own it, and filing patent claims around the world to try and take control over the natural cure of the fennel flower and turn it into a costly private drug.

Tell Nestlé: Stop trying to patent a natural cure

In a paper published last year, Nestlé scientists claimed to “discover” what much of the world has known for millennia: that nigella sativa extract could be used for “nutritional interventions in humans with food allergy”. But instead of creating an artificial substitute, or fighting to make sure the remedy was widely available,

Nestlé is attempting to create a nigella sativa monopoly and gain the ability to sue anyone using it without Nestlé’s permission.

Nestlé has filed patent applications — which are currently pending — around the world. Prior to Nestlé’s outlandish patent claim, researchers in developing nations such as Egypt and Pakistan had already published studies on the same curative powers Nestlé is claiming as its own. And Nestlé has done this before — in 2011, it tried to claim credit for using cow’s milk as a laxative, despite the fact that such knowledge had been in Indian medical texts for a thousand years.

Don’t let Nestlé turn a traditional cure into a corporate cash cow.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

We know Nestlé doesn’t care about ethics. After all, this is the corporation that poisoned its milk with melamine, purchases cocoa from plantations that use child slave labor, and launched a breast milk substitute campaign in the 1970s that contributed to the suffering and deaths of thousands of babies from poor communities.

But we also know that Nestlé is sensitive to public outcry, and that it’s been beaten at the patent game before. If we act fast, we can put enough pressure on Nestlé to get it to drop its patent plans before they harm anyone — but if we want any chance at affecting Nestlé’s decision, we have to speak out now!

Sign The petition here http://action.sumofus.org/a/nestle-nigella-sativa/?sub=fb

Best foods for alkalizing your body. 

cucumber

But what can be done?

The food you eat has a massive impact on your body’s acid – alkaline balance. Many processed foods are highly acidic and should be avoided by anyone attempting to alkalize there diet.

Blow is a list including some of the best alkalizing foods offering you the simplest way to cut the acid out of your diet.

  • Cucumbers

Cucumbers are one of the most alkalizing vegetables on the planet. Brilliant in juices and smoothies alike, cucumbers are a must have for any one that’s serious about alkalizing their bodies.

  • Figs

figsIf you’re looking to use fruit in your mission to alkalize then figs are defiantly your best bet. Packed full of vitamins and fibre these small fruits really do pack a punch.

  • Chia seeds

These powerful little seeds are an amazing source of natural protein as well as omega-3 normally found in fish oils. It’s well worth trying chia seeds as a fun tasty way to help alkalize you body.

  • Sprouts

2008_03_14-SproutsYou’ve eaten a lot of un-soaked seeds or nuts, you are probably aware that they can “re-appear” pretty much undigested at a later stage. Grinding them up can make the nutrients they contain easier to absorb. Soaking or sprouting them will increase the availability of the nutrients they contain further. You still need to chew them tough.

  • Dates

Generally speaking dried fruits including raisins and dates are alkalizing to your body. This is due to the drying process during which a large portion of there acid content is oxidized.

  • Lemonslemon

Lemons may well be the most alkalizing food of all. They work as a natural disinfectant helping to heal wounds. Lemons also help your body by energising the liver and aid in detoxification.

  • Garlic

Yes that’s right this is yet another use for this miracle cure all; simply include one clove of raw garlic a day in to your diet.

Although it might seem that citrus fruits would have an acidifying effect on the body. In fact the citric acid they contain has powerful alkalizing properties.

Even if the PH of the food you eat is highly acidic that dose not mean it will have a acidic effect on your body.

 

Health benefits of coconut oil – Bobby’s healthy blog

Health benefits of coconut oil

Coconut oil has been used extensively throughout the world for coconutgenerations, its many health properties include skin care, stress relief, weight loss, digestion and the list goes on.  Unfortunately during the 1970’s coconut oil suffered from bad publicity and propaganda drummed up by the rising corn and soy oil industries.

They spread a lie claiming the high saturated fat content of coconut oil made it harmful to the human body; unfortunately this wasn’t proven to be false by science until just 10 years ago.

Lauric Acid

Coconut oil contains high quantities of a substance known as Lauric acid. Lauric acid is known to prevent various heart problems including high cholesterol & blood pressure levels. Once coconut oil is consumed, our bodies convert the lauric acid into a substance called monolaurin which is used to fight of viruses, bacteria and fungus, hepatitis C, Candida, Influenza and many more.

Hair care:

Coconut oil can work wonders with you hair, using it as a natural moisturizer will leave your hair with a lush healthy glow. Not only this, but coconut oil has strong anti dandruff properties making it an ideal choice for people suffering from any kind of flaky scalp condition.

Weight loss

Coconut oil is a rich source of medium-chain fatty acids, they aid in weight loss by speeding up the metabolism much faster than other fatty acids due to the fact they are easily digested and converted into energy.

How much should I take?

There are no strict guide lines set for use of coconut oil but from our research we recommend around 3 tspd to yield maximum health benefits. For people just starting out its best to start with just one spoon full a day and work your way up as your body becomes accustom to the extra medium chain fatty acids that are found in the oil.

Are there any side effects?

Coconut oil has no known side effects how ever if your body has become accustom to a low fat diet, high intakes of coconut oil could lead to an upset stomach.

Source:

Foale, M. (2003). The Coconut Odyssey the bounteous possibilities of the tree of life. Asian Centre for International Agricultural Research. Retrieved June 1, 2012 from http://aciar.gov.au/files/node/453/mono101.pdf
http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/
http://www.organicfacts.net
http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/faq.htm

Natural anti depressants – Bobby’s Healthy Blog

Natural anti depressants

The number of people being prescribed anti depressant drugs from there doctors has been on a steady rise over the last decade. Some statistics indicate the as many as one in three people living in the UK have taken some form of anti depressant in the last 5 years. With well over a million prescriptions being filled last year alone, anti depressants have now become the most commonly prescribed medication in the country. But why the sudden rise and are there any natural options available?

St John’s Wort:

The popular herb ‘Hypericum Perforatum’ commonly known as St Johns Wort had been used johns wortas a way of controlling ‘Sadness & worry’ for generations. Past down through folk law its no clear when this unique herb was first used but its powerful anti depressant properties are still just as relevant in today’s modern world as they were in times gone by.

There have now been over 20 clinical trails carried out, all of which indicate that St. Johns Wort worked significantly better than the placebo when dealing with cases of depression and anxiety.

This product is widely available found at and good health food store and even some super market shelves and can be purchased in pill form or a liquid extract.

omega-3Omega-3 fatty acids:

Omega-3 is a type of fat predominately found in cold water fish. Our bodies don’t naturally produce omega-3 fats so the only way to obtain them is through diet. A number of studies have linked depression with low intake of dietary omega-3 fatty acids. Country’s with low fish consumption such as north America have almost 10 times the levels of depression then in country with rich sea food diets such as Japan.

Instead of eating more fish, some experts recommend taking your fish oils in supplement form there for avoiding the heavy metals and radiation currently found in fish stocks throughout the planet.

This product is widely available in health stores and super markets alike.

Folic Acid

Also known as folate, Folic acid is actually a B Vitamin and is very often deficient in people suffering from depression. Commonly found in dark leafy vegetables as well as fruit, beans and fortified grains. Taking folic acid in combination with anti depressants has been shown to provide more benefits than anti depressants alone.

5-HTP

5-HTP is short for 5-hydroxyptophan. Your body dose naturally produce 5-HTP for use as a neurotransmitter, some experts claim that this is enough and that supplements are unnecessary however supplements are widely available online and in good health food shops. It’s not advised to take 5-HTP in combination with any anti-depressants

Diet

Reduce your intake of processed sugars

processed sugars and sweets may initially leave you feeling good , but with every up comes a vege colour chartdown and as your body produce insulin at a rapid rate, it wont be too long before you crash and burn.

Stay away from caffeine and alcohol:

This may seem obvious but a surprising number of people who are suffering from depression turn to drink or other mild drugs such a caffeine to help cope with there condition. Like sugar they can both give you a initial high but alcohol in particular has a strong depressant nature and will leave you feeling worse for days to follow.

Magnesium:

In today’s modern world a lot of people are not managing to gain enough magnesium through their diet alone. But what’s it used for? Well magnesium has many uses within the body such as production of serotonin.

Some of the best sources of magnesium are, nuts, whole grains and green vegetables.

Vitamin B6:

Like magnesium, vitamin B is needed by your body to produce the mood-enhancing neurotransmitters seratonin and dopamine. Deficiency of vitamin B6 is very rare but can be more common in people taking hormone replacement therapy.

Exercise

As well as keeping you fit and healthy exercise is also a great inexpensive way of improving your mood. The simple act of raising your heart beat through any form of aerobic exercise will release mood-elevating chemicals in the brain. The important thing is to find a form of exercise you enjoy and stick to your routine.

Light therapy

Getting enough sunlight is essential for human health, seasonal mood changes have been a known phenomenon for years. Exposure to the suns UV rays activates serotonin products as well as offering our bodies Vitamin D. In the colder winter months some people suffer from ‘sad’ seasonal effective disorder which can be treated by visiting light boxes designed to offer your body the same.