Friday, June 22, 2012
1. CAYENNE - Cayenne pepper has wonderful cardiovascular benefits, including lowering blood pressure. Famed herbalist Doctor John Christopher noted that a couple of teaspoons of cayenne pepper never failed to stop a heart attack in only minutes. When added to food, cayenne increases appetite, improves digestion and relieves gas, nausea and indigestion. It also thins phlegm and eases its passage from the lungs.
2. GARLIC - Garlic is a natural antiseptic and powerful cancer fighter with numerous other health benefits. It helps lower cholesterol, reduces plaque, lowers blood pressure, and lowers the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Garlic is also effective against digestive ailments and diarrhea.
3. TURMERIC - The curcumin contained in turmeric provides powerful anti-cancer properties, especially for smokers and past smokers. Curcumin has clinically proven anti-inflammatory effects, including significant beneficial effects in relieving rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Turmeric is also packed with antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E, and may help prevent cataracts.
4. CINNAMON - Cinnamon contains a compound that kills a variety of illness causing bacteria, including the E.coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus aureas. Research shows that cinnamon can also stop the growth of the Asian flu virus. Cinnamon helps lower blood pressure and helps regulate menstrual cycles. In addition, cinnamon has a tranquilizing effect that helps reduce anxiety and stress
5. OREGANO - Oregano is a powerful natural antiseptic. It contains 19 chemical compounds with antibacterial actions as well as four compounds that soothe coughs. In addition, oregano helps soothe stomach muscles, making it a good digestive aid, and it helps lower blood pressure.
6. GINGER - Ginger is a wonderful digestive aid which stimulates saliva flow and digestive activity, settles the stomach, relieves vomiting, and eases pain from gas and diarrhea. Ginger is also effective as an anti-nausea remedy. Researchers have found that ginger is more effective against motion sickness than the most commonly used over the counter medication. Ginger is also used as a pain reliever and it helps lower bad cholesterol.
7. FENUGREEK - Fenugreek seeds help treat diabetes, lower blood sugar and lower bad cholesterol. Fenugreek also helps maintain good metabolism, prevents constipation, purifies the blood and helps flush out harmful toxins. Fenugreek seeds and leaves are good for increasing breast milk in lactating women.
8. BASIL - Basil is an herbal carminative which can relieve gas and soothe stomach upsets. Research has also indicated that basil helps prevent aging.
9. CLOVE - Oil of clove is 60 to 90 percent eugenol, which is a potent pain deadening anti-microbial. Clove has earned the official endorsement of the FDA as an effective stopgap measure for tooth pain. Clove also helps lower blood sugar by helping the body use insulin more effectively. Cloves was also found in one study to speed healing of dreaded cold sores.
10. BLACK PEPPER – Black pepper is one of the oldest and most commonly used spices. It has a stimulating effect on the digestive organs and produces an increased flow of saliva and digestive juices. Black pepper can help relieve indigestion as well as flatulence. It also helps improve absorption and utilization of curcumin, which the body normally does not absorb very well.
The above list barely scratches the surface of all the wonderful healing herbs and spices nature has provided for our “kitchen medicine cabinet”. For many more examples see:
at 5:03 AM
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Don’t toss out those Lemon Peels, put them to work. Lemons juice is about 5 to 6 percent citric acid and has a pH level of between 2 and 3. This low pH acidity makes lemon juice a great ally in breaking down rust and mineral stains, but gentle enough to not dull finishes. There is generally sufficient juice left in used lemon halves to tackle small tasks, and it all comes with its own applicator (the rind itself).Plus, the oil in the peel is perfect for clever culinary applications, and not bad in the beauty department either. Here’s what you can do:
1. Clean greasy messes
Greasy pans? Splattered stove tops? Messy counters? If your kitchen has been the victim of some sloppy sauteing, try using lemon halves before bringing out possibly toxic chemical cleaners. Sprinkle some salt (for abrasion) on a juiced lemon half and rub on the greasy areas, wipe up with a towel. (Be careful using lemon on marble counter tops, or any other surface sensitive to acid).
2. Clean your tea kettle or coffee pot
For mineral deposit build up in your tea kettle, fill the kettle with water, add a handful of thin slices of lemon peel and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let sit for an hour, drain, and rinse well. For coffee pots, add ice, salt and lemon rinds to the empty pot; swish and swirl for a minute or two, dump, and rinse. Hello, sparkly.
3. Clean your microwave
All it takes is one exploding bowl of food to render the interior of your microwave officially gunked, sometimes gunked with cement-like properties. Rather than using strong chemical cleaners, try this: Add lemon rinds to a microwave-safe bowl filled halfway with water. Cook on high for 5 minutes, allowing the water to boil and the steam to condense on the walls and tops of the oven. Carefully remove the hot bowl and wipe away the mess with a towel.
4. Deodorize the garbage disposal
Use lemon peels to deodorize the garbage disposal (and make your kitchen smell awesome at the same time). It is a great way to finally dispose of spent lemon peels after you have used them for any of these applications.
5. Polish chrome
Mineral deposits on chrome faucets and other tarnished chrome make haste in the presence of lemon–rub with a squeezed lemon half, rinse, and lightly buff with a soft cloth.
6. Polish copper
A halved lemon dipped in salt or baking powder can also be used to brighten copper cookware, as well as brass, chrome, or stainless steel. Dip a juiced lemon half in salt (you also use baking soda or cream of tartar for the salt) and rub on the affected area. Let it stay on for 5 minutes. Then rinse in warm water and polish dry.
7. Clean a stainless sink
Use the same method described to polish chrome, applied to any stainless sink.
8. Keep insects out
Many pests abhor the acid in lemon. You can chop of the peels and place them along thresholds, windowsills, and near any cracks or holes where ants or pests may be entering. For other ways to combat pests naturally, see 7 Steps to Chemical-Free Pest Control.
9. Make a scented humidifier
If your home suffers from dry heat in the winter, you can put lemon peels in a pot of water and simmer on the lowest stove-top setting to humidify and scent the air.
10. Refresh cutting boards
Because of lemon’s low pH, it has antibacterial properties that make is a good choice for refreshing cutting boards. After proper disinfecting (see: How to Clean Your Cutting Board) give the surface a rub with a halved lemon, let sit for a few minutes, and rinse.
11. Keep brown sugar soft
If your brown sugar most often turns into brick sugar, try adding some lemon peel (with traces of pulp and pith removed) to help keep it moist and easy to use. (For all recipes using lemon peel, try to use organic lemons–and scrub the peel well to remove any residues and wax.)
12. Make zest
Zest is the best! Zest is simply grated peel, and is the epitome of lemon essence–it can be used fresh, dried, or frozen. If you don’t have an official zester, which looks like a very fine cheese grater, you can use the smallest size of a box grater. To dry zest, spread it on a towel and leave out until dried, then store in a jar. To freeze, use a freezer-safe container. Use zest in salads, marinades, baked goods, grain dishes, etc.
13. Make Vegan Lemon Biscotti
Once you’ve made some zest, make these Vegan Lemon Biscotti cookies. Delicious.
14. Make twists
Strips of peel, aka twists, are good in cocktails, sparkling water, and tap water. Use a vegetable peeler to make long strips, or use a knife and cut the peel into long strips, cutting away the white pith which is bitter. These can be frozen in a freezer-safe container or bag.
15. Make lemon extract powder
Make zest or twists (above) and dry the strips skin-side down on a plate until they are shriveled and dried up, about 3 or 4 days. Put in a blender (or spice grinder) and pulverize into a powder. Use the powdered peel in place of extract or zest in recipes.
16. Make Lemon Sugar
You can make lemon extract powder (see above) and add it to sugar, or you can use fresh twists, put them in a jar with sugar and let the peel’s oil infuse the sugar.
17. Make Lemon Pepper
Mix lemon extract powder (see above) with freshly cracked pepper.
18. Make candied lemon peel
Orange or grapefruit peel can be candied too. Yum. Candied peels are pretty easy to make, and can be eaten plain, or dipped in melted chocolate, used in cake, cookie, candy, or bread recipes. These recipes for candied citrus and ginger use Sucanat, the most wholesome sugar you can buy.
19. Lighten age spots
Many folk remedies suggest using lemon peel to help lighten age spots–apply a small piece to the affected area and leave on for an hour. You can also try one of these 5 natural ways to lighten age spots.
20. Soften dry elbows
Use a half lemon sprinkled with baking soda on elbows, just place your elbow in the lemon and twist the lemon (like you are juicing it) for several minutes. Rinse and dry.
21. Use on your skin
Lemon peels can be very lightly rubbed on your face for a nice skin tonic, then rinse. (And be careful around your eyes.)
22. Make a sugar scrub
Mix 1/2 a cup of sugar with finely chopped lemon peel and enough olive oil to make a paste. Wet your body in the shower, turn off the water and massage sugar mix all over your skin, rinse, be soft! You can also try any of these 5 simple homemade sugar scrubs as well.
Also see: 13 Ways to Use Cucumbers, 35 Tips to Give Kitchen Trash a Second Life, 23 Ingenious Uses for White Wine Vinegar
at 8:11 AM