Tag Archives: natural

Delicious Detox Soup!

This soup is wonderful because:
a) it’s so easy and quick to make (20-25 min.)

b) it’s full of vitamins and minerals Image

c) it’s versatile and fun to experiment with

I make this soup on days when I feel I need a boost of vitamins and minerals and a simple, cleansing meal to help move any stagnant energy, especially after days of heavy (and not so healthful) meals.

The basics ingredients:

3 medium carrots, peeled and grated

1-2 daikon radishes, peeled and grated

1 onion, sliced

1 tablespoon of dried nettle leaf (see below for alternatives)

2-3 cups of stock or burdock root decoction (see below)

Directions: heat up some sesame oil (or any oil of your choice) in a soup pot. Add all the vegetables in together, along with the nettle. Stir the veggies well and lower the flame to medium/low. Allow the veggies to soften, about 10 min. Add the stock or burdock root decoction, bring to a boil, then simmer for another 12 minutes. The soup is ready when all the veggies are soft, and the soup has a deep orange color.

Alternatives/Extras:

Instead of dried nettle, you could add parsley, thyme, or other herbs on hand. Nettle leaf is awesome in the soup because it adds so many vitamins and minerals and also helps the liver do its thing.

Instead of daikon, you could use fresh burdock root.

Instead of stock (veggie, chicken, beef) you can use a Burdock Root decoction. I usually make mine with 2 tablespoons of dried burdock root in 2 cups of water. I boil it and let it simmer until the water turns a golden brown, about 15 minutes. Then I add this to the soup, either with some extra water or stock. I even put some pieces of the burdock root in the soup, as it is edible and delicious. The burdock root is excellent because it purifies the blood and also helps the liver function. It’s extra great for skin problems.

Ideas for other additions to the soup are:

1 tablespoon of seaweed (I use wakame)

1-2 garlic cloves

Fresh grated ginger to taste

Fresh scallions, thinly sliced

Hope you can try this soup out, and that it brings you strength and nourishment.

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Clever Cleavers

Cleavers, Galium Aparine

At this time of year, just before the winter sets in, I like to ally with an herb called Cleavers for a 2 week period to prepare my body for the warrior season of winter. Cleavers, botanically named Galium aparine, are also called Everlasting Friendship, Grip Grass, Sweethearts, Love-man, and Sweethearts. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it? While it’s not an aphrodisiac herb per se, there is a lot to love about this clingy little plant friend.

The cleaver plant is found in hedgerows and fields where there are bushes, with tiny flowers and small prickly green fruits. The stems are “hairy,” and stick to animals, other plants, and people passing by it. It is one of the first wild plants to sprout as early as January.

Cleavers is an excellent tonic for the Lymph System.

When we think of winter, we usually think about building up and strengthening our immune systems for potential dangers such as colds, flus, and viruses. That is true. We must also be aware of the importance of the health of our lymph system in building our immunity. The lymph system, part of the circulatory system, “provides a vehicle for the elements of the immune system to travel about monitoring the body’s internal environment and maintaining the stability of the body functions.” (Rosemary Gladstar) Different parts of our bodies are protected by groups of lymph nodes. For example, nodes on the neck protect the head, nodes under the arms protect the chest, and so on. Often the first indication of an infection in the throat is that swollen feeling in the glands (which are really clusters of immune system cells), an indication that the body is waging war on a foreign invader, and healing itself.

A clear, flowing lymph system is pivotal in our overall health and wellness, though it can be prone to toxic buildup or stagnancy. That is because another function of the lymph is to carry various wastes from the liver and cellular metabolism. When the lymph system is overburdened with wastes, it is unable to filter and neutralize waste properly, resulting in inflammation, chronic fatigue, and reduced immune response. Cysts, tumors, prostate infections, urinary infections, and even pimples are also caused by buildup of lymph toxins. When the lymph system is weakened or backed up, the immune system cannot function optimally by any means.

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Celebration of the Changing Seasons tincture, with Cleavers & Milk Thistle

That is why cleavers are such a treasured ally at this time – before winter comes, and also in the Spring, to cleanse the body once more. Cleavers are Nature’s gift to us in relieving lymph buildup. They actually help the lymph system in its job of neutralizing metabolic wastes! Oftentimes, chronic skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and eruptive infections are lymph-related and can be improved with lymph-cleansing. Other conditions related to the lymph are ear-infections, swollen adenoids, glands, and tonsillitis.

Last year, I allied with Cleavers and Milk Thistle for a 2 week period. I made a delicious tincture that I called “Celebration of the Changing Seasons tincture,” featuring these two herbs. Cleavers for the lymph and Milk Thistle for the liver. I felt great, did not have a flu shot, nor did I get sick once throughout the winter. This 2 week Cleaver cleanse in conjunction with exercise, eating seasonally, dressing warm, and allying with other herbs for warmth and nourishment in the winter are all you need to build a fortress of wellness around yourself for winter.

Try cleavers :tea, tincture, infused in vinegar or honey, or fresh in salads.

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