A wintertime favorite of Tyra’s that is deeply nourishing and warming.
Stinging nettles sting.
My first encounter with nettles was not pleasant, and at the time, I didn’t know enough to look for lamb’s quarter or dock to soothe the nettle’s sharp bite. Instead, I chose to run screaming back to camp seeking my mother’s aid to treat the flaming red blisters on my legs.
Despite my first meeting with nettles, I have grown to love their amazing nutritional and healing properties. They are one of the few herbs that I can recommend to almost anyone–young, old, weak, strong, nursing mothers and athletes. To date, I haven’t come up with someone that can’t benefit from nettles.
A bit of nettle history
Nettles have a long history of medicinal use–dating back to the bronze age. Native Americans used them to stop bleeding after child birth, Victorian women used nettle tinctures to thicken their hair. Soups were used to build strength and stamina–the list is long as you will see below.
Nettles grow wild across Europe, America and parts of Canada. Many people harvest them fresh, but for ease (possibly I’m just lazy) I get my nettles dried and in bulk unless a local grower has some fresh available. I use them regularly for my family, self and my clients. All parts of the nettle plant have medicinal properties earning them a place of honor in my herbal cupboard.
Western uses and nutritional profile
Long inhale and go…. Asthma, chronic cough, any lung disorder, hives, shingles, eczema, diabetes, uterine bleeding, chronic nose bleeds, allergies, gout, heart failure, spasms urinary and kidney stones, urinary tract infections, strengthen hair, heal wounds, replenishing after surgery, fluid retention, rheumatism, arthritis, reduce edema and bloating, build teeth and bones, balance mood swings, […]
We love our dogos and puppers and it’s their year. Friday, February 16th is the second new moon following the winter solstice. For Asian cultures this is the New Year and the start of the spring festivals and planting season. This year the Fire Rooster will surrender to the loyal and loving Earth Dog–our most favorite of pets.
Each year of the Asian (Chinese) calendar corresponds to one of the 12 animals (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and the pig). Besides the animal, we also cycle through each of the 5 elements (fire, earth, metal,water and wood) to create a full 60 year cycle. By the time you cycle back to the animal year and element that you were born in you will be 60–so, don’t hold your breath. Each animal carries its own unique personality and disposition, couple that with the elemental energies and can get an idea of the nature of the how the year may play out.
The nature of the Dog:
Our most beloved friends, dogs are loyal and happy to please their friends and family. They do not care what your wealth or health is like–they believe everyone deserves love. They are considered one of the most auspicious animals in the zodiac and are welcomed into homes to bring prosperity, safety and support. Those born in the dog years are loyal, responsible and caring and bring energy and vitality to other’s lives. However, they may be overly sensitive, stubborn and emotional–those puppy eyes.
Each element influences the dog’s overall nature. This year, the Earth element adds extra dimensions of tenacity or persistence, precise attention and good wealth.
Yang collapse–sound pretty severe, right? In Chinese medicine it is–and it’s often a long, slow and difficult hill to climb for recovery. Why? Literally, you have burnt out the fire and transformative functions in the body. Most importantly, clients who have reached deep Yang deficiency are notoriously bad about resting– which is essential to rebuilding Yang.
How deficiencies arise
You played too hard. You became severely ill. You didn’t eat or rest appropriately. You were under too much stress. Sometimes we can narrow it down and find one thing that may have caused the collapse but most often it’s a number things that combined leading to eventual collapse. There are many avenues in which the body takes impact of stress, illness and daily living, and when we are vital and healthy we bounce back. Overtime, however, we may continue to dwindle and signs of deficiency will show up. It’s a progressive process that left unchecked will get worse and worse until something gives way.
The progression of deficiency in the body
Qi Deficiency–Qi deficiency is the starting place. Fortunately, Qi deficiency, though common, is very easy to recover from. You’re a bit tired, worn out from the day, nothing that a good night’s sleep and some appropriate rest can’t fix. There will be little change in the tongue, and the pulses will feel a little weak, but you will recover quickly. Find out more about building Qi here.
Yin or Yang?–Left unchecked, Qi deficiency will progress, leading down a path of either Yin or Yang deficiency. Which path you follow depends on life circumstances, constitution, pre-existing weaknesses and other factors. Truly, both Yin and Yang are going to […]
Who doesn’t love a little chocolate?
Theobroma Cacao is a much loved and very powerful food living up to its ancient name as the food of the gods. On the average, we Americans each indulge in about 12 pounds of the dark treat yearly. That stretches out about 100 pounds of chocolate being consumed a second–whew–and that’s just Americans who rank 4th in consumption of chocolate worldwide. Not surprisingly, the Swiss rank first in the world for individual consumption of chocolate.
The history of chocolate–in five paragraphs
Use of the cacao tree dates back at least 5,000 years to Brazil and the Amazon. Images of the cacao pods have been carved into Mayan stone temples dating back to as early as 300 C.E. A symbol of fertility, vitality and life, the Mayans revered and used cacao extensively. By 600 C.E. the Mayans had expanded and were cultivating crops of cacao from the Yucatan Peninsula to the Pacific Coast.
The Mayans mixed cocoa with peppers, cornmeal and other foods to create a strong drink that was used for religious ceremonies and a wide variety of medicinal purposes. This wasn’t the sweet confection we are so familiar with now, rather this was a very bitter and thick “bitter water” or xocoatl–which we derived the word chocolate from. The Mayans brewed xocoatl to treat everything from an upset stomach, low energy and libido, to lowering fevers, expectorating phlegm, treating blood in the stools and diarrhea. It was also used to regulate sleep–by either encouraging it or prohibiting–a dynamic little trait of chocolate. Woman used it treat patterns of deficiency including […]