Monthly Archives: June 2014

Jello Squares, a blood tonic

As a kid I remember my friend’s mom always having jellos squares as a snack for us. I always loved them. Gelatin has many great health benefits especially as a blood tonic in Chinese Medicine.

According to Chinese Medicine E Jiao or gelatin is an herb used to tonify the blood and can help stop bleeding especially in cases of excessive menstrual bleeding or uterine bleeding. Gelatin is also used to regulate the menses and soothe the fetus in cases of threatened miscarriage (of course you should be working with your health care provider if there is any issues with your pregnancy and while Chinese Medicine may be helpful in some cases of threatened miscarriage it is not a substitute for medical care). Gelatin can also help with insomnia and muscle spasms. Its also a super nourishing source of protein.

If you are having issues with your period or are looking for nourishing post partum recipes this is a great snack to have on hand. I would also recommend working with an herbalist as well. I’d be happy to assist you and can offer phone consultations as well.

This recipe is super versatile. If looking specifically at nourishing the blood add fruits that bleed red, cherries are an excellent blood tonic as well.

fruit

What you need:

2 cups juice (I used cherry juice)

2 cups fresh fruit (I used cherries and strawberries)

5 Tablespoons Gelatin (I like Great Lakes unflavored Gelatin, I got mine from the health food store and you can also buy online)

jellos

What you do:

Add juice and fruit to pot and bring to a boil.

Pour fruit juice mixture into blender and blend until smooth.

Let cool for 5 minutes or so.

Add Gelatin and blend again making sure there are no clumps.

Pour into a 9×13 baking dish and cover.

Let set in fridge for 3 hours.

To take out soak dish in warm water for 1 minute. You can either cut squares or use a cookie cutter for fun shapes.

Store in air tight container in the fridge and enjoy!

Watermelon, A Natural Remedy


Did you know that watermelon is a Chinese herb?

Watermelon or xi gua is a sweet and cold herb and like anything grown in the summer resolves summerheat.
Summerheat is induced by excessively high temperatures, overexposure to the blazing sun especially while working or staying too long in poorly ventilated areas.
Summerheat manifests with:
>> High fever
>> Restlessness
>> Thirst
>> Profuse sweating
>> Dizziness
>> Blured vision
>> Sunstroke
>> Sudden collapse
>> Nausea
>> Poor appetite
>> Loose stools
Watermelon enters the lung and stomach channels thus cools the lungs and stomach, relieving irritability, quenching thirst, and facilitating urination. Because it can do all of this it is sometimes referred to as the natural White Tiger Decoction. The easiest way to take this herb is simply to eat watermelon or drink 100-300ml of its juice. Make sure to eat some of the white part too.
Essentials of Materia Medica states that xi gua “restores sobriety” after over-consumption of alcohol. It has also been said that xi gua aids in weight loss.
Many people get dehydrated in the summer months due to the heat. Eating watermelon is one way to fight against this. Your body doesn’t differentiate hunger from thirst a lot of the time. If you find yourself feeling insatiable check to make sure you are drinking enough water before having 2nds or 3rds at meal time.
Watermelon peel or xi gua pi is more of a diuretic than it is cooling and is especially good for edema caused by summerheat.
 
Both the flesh and peel of watermelon can be used for jaundice.
 
Who would have thought Chinese herbs could taste so good?

How to Make Epsom Salt Spray

I’m a big advocate for epsom salt baths. Many people don’t have a tub, don’t fit in a tub or just don’t enjoy a good soak. My alternative recommendation is usually an epsom salt foot soak because its pretty easy to find a container to fill with warm water and salts to soak your feet. Your feet are the most porous part of your body making the salts readily available to your body so you can get the benefits of the salts. Sometimes there is just an area that is sore or tight that needs a little extra TLC and an Epsom salt spray is perfect for that.

I like to use Epsom salt sprays for menstrual cramps, shoulder pain, sciatica etc. This is also an awesome options to help with afterbirth pains. Its super simple to do too.

spray

What you need:

a spray bottle (got one at the dollar store)

1 cups water

1 cup Epsom salts

essential oils (optional)

This picture is of epsom salt, dead sea salt and pink Himalayan salt with peace and calming essential oil, great for nervous tension

This picture is of epsom salt, dead sea salt and pink Himalayan salt with peace and calming essential oil, great for nervous tension

What you do:

I have a water cooler that has a hot water option so I simply pour hot water into a bowl and mix in the salts, stirring until dissolved. You could also warm water on the stove and mix in salts this way.

As the salts dissolve it will become thick and almost gel like in consistency.

If you’d like to incorporate essential oils for added benefit you can either place 10 drops of essential oil into Epsom salts before mixing into water or apply essential oil to the affected area first before applying spray.

Spray Epsom salt mixture over the affected area and cover with a warm or cool compress. (a damp washcloth works great)

If using the Epsom salt spray for relaxation I like to use peace and calming essential oil blend or lavender. For tight, sore muscles I love aroma seiz. A combo of wintergreen (cooling), lemongrass (warming) and cypress (great for circulation) is awesome for all sorts of aches and pains as well. You can order essential oils here. If you need help I’d be happy to get you set up! If you love Epsom salts as much as I do this is an awesome place to order salts in bulk. 

Let me know what you use Salt Sprays for. :)

Lemon Blueberry Banana Bread (with a lemon glaze)

I can’t even remember how long ago it was that I found this recipe in I believe cooking light magazine. Its one of my favorites to bring to a summer BBQ. Its good served warm or cold although I prefer it served cold. The original recipe called for a cream cheese glaze, which is of course, delicious but over the years I’ve found a simple glaze to be just as good or you could skip the glaze all together. Let me know what you think!

blueberry

What you need:

2 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 egg

1/3 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream or omit)

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 cup blueberries

1 tablespoon lemon zest

juice of 1 lemon

powdered sugar

banana

What you do:

Preheat oven to 350F. Beat sugar and butter.

Add Banana, egg, yogurt and vanilla until blended.

Mix in flour, baking soda and salt until moist.

Fold in blueberries and lemon zest.

Pour batter into 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan.

Bake for appx 1 hour

To prepare glaze:

Squeeze juice of one lemon into a small bowl. Slowly stir in powdered sugar until you get the consistency you desire. Pour over bread after it has cooked and cooled and let set before serving.

bb bread

Enjoy!