Golden milk is considered one of the best healing beverages in Ayurvedic medicine which satisfies all constitutions. Not only is it anti-inflammatory and gut-healing, it's also just so damn satisfying! The perfect way to start your day or to help wind you down before bed. This is a very flexible recipe and you can tweak it to your liking, just remember the most important things are the turmeric, honey and healthy fats (either ghee, butter or coconut oil).
This Recipe is:
- Immune Boosting
- Blood-sugar Balancing
- Gut Soothing
- 2.5 cups homo milk (or coconut milk, or any alternative milk)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder (or fresh turmeric)
- pinch of black pepper
- pinch of cinnamon
- TINY pinch of clove powder
- pinch of cardamom powder (or a few cardamom pods)
- pinch of ginger (or you can use fresh ginger sliced)
- pinch of cayenne (optional)
- 1 tsp raw unpasteurized honey (preferably local for the best benefits)
- 1 tbsp ghee (or coconut oil, butter)
- pinch of salt
- Add all the spices to a small pot and gently heat on medium until aromatic, stirring so not to burn. 2 minutes.
- Add the milk and ghee and heat until warm and gently bubbling, stirring often.
- Remove from heat and strain.
- Place in a blender with a lid so air may escape (ie. not the bullet ) and blend until frothy.
- Place in your favourite mug or tea cup and enjoy!
On my walk to work yesterday I found some juicy looking rose hips. So I foraged a few before the birds could get to them, and made a beautifully refreshing iced lemonade ! The rose hips should be bright red and soft, like a berry. I used dry lavender, but fresh would work too!
- 4 tablespoons of dry lavender flowers
- 6-2 rosehips
- Juice from 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon wild honey (if desired)
- Wash rose hips and remove stems and thorns
- In a glass bowl or mason jar add: rosehips, lavender, honey
- Add 6-8 cups of water heated just before boiling point. (If water if fully boiled the heat will denature the vitamin content). stir well to dissolve honey
- Leave in fridge over night
- Add lemon juice and top with plenty of ice.
- You are now refreshed !
- Rosehips are known to be one of the highest forms of vitamin c on the planet. Good for immunity and strength. Will help with adrenal fatigue, allergies asthma and more.
- Rosehips also contain a fair amount of bioflavonoids when used fresh. Great as an antioxidant.
- Lavender is famed for its relaxing aroma, making it a powerful nervine relaxant.
- Fresh lemon juice is loaded with vitamin c as most of us know, but it can also aid in digestion. It has an alkaline effect on the body and promotes the secretion of hydrochloric acid which aids in the breakdown of food in the digestive system.
- Wild honey is truly Gods nectar. Antibacterial, anti microbial, and immune boosting. Also, doesn't spike blood sugar if 100% pure.
It's the height of the season for hay fever and you're all congested, red-eyed and very much over it. Being allergic to nature can be really frustrating. Maybe all you want to do is connect with nature and frolic through fields of flowers like in those allergy med commercials. But maybe taking loads of medication isn't really your jam.
Enter: Pine Needle Honey
Pine Needle Benefits
Pine needles have been used medicinally by Canadian Natives for a long 'ol time.
- One of the main reasons is that it contains more than four times the amount of vitamin C as a lemon.
- Also super high in fat-soluble Vitamin A (eyes, skin, hair and red blood cell regeneration).
- Most importantly: its used as an expectorant to relieve mucus in the lungs and is an anti-inflammatory. This means it can reduce asthma symptoms as well as hay fever.
When combined with the antibacterial immune boasting qualities of honey, this remedy is a powerful part of your tool kit in the summer for hay fever and very much in the winter to relieve sore throats.
How to Forage and Preserve Pine Needles
- Forage pine needles from a healthy looking tree, deep in a forest away from any cars or city pollution. Make sure needles are light green, soft and young looking.
- Pull the needles from the branches. Thoroughly wash needles and remove the sticky orange resin bits from the base.
- Roughly chop needles or cut with scissors to provide more surface area to infuse the honey with.
- Place 2 tbsp in a jar (I used an old honey jar), then top with Canadian wild unpasteurized honey. Repeat the process until the jar is full, ending with honey as the last layer.
- Honey is widely considered the only food that doesn't spoil, so this naturally preserved pine needle honey will last a long time.
- Add to tea or take a spoonful directly 3 times a day for optimum relief.
Warning: Refrain from taking anything with pine needles when pregnant, as it has been shown to promote miscarriage in high doses.
"The Surprising Health Benefits of Pine Needle Tea." Medicianl Food News. L.M. Winborne Sept 2013
A growing concern these days is feelings of anxiety and depression. Anxiety seems to always sneak up when it is least wanted, during social events, going out for dinner, even taking a walk. Many people suffer in silence for fear of judgment. But often times you'll find if you open up and tell people about it, you'll see how common anxiety actually is. One of the oldest treatments in traditional medicine of anxiety is periwinkle tincture. Periwinkle is the covering plant that grows wild in many gardens during the spring. The colour of their flower, a cool bluish purple is famous, yet the leaves are incredibly beneficial for a number of ailments. The leaves are a dark forest green, pointed and slightly rubbery.
Because of its amazingly gentle tranquilizing properties is has the ability to calm during an acute panic or anxiety attack. It can also be used daily as a preventative. This is also a well researched treatment in helping the elderly with memory retention. Because it is a vasodilator, it can increase blood flow to the brain, not only improving memory, but promoting focus and alertness.
Here is how easy it is to make a periwinkle tincture:
- Collect the plant: using shears, cut off the whole top of the plant, leaves flowers and all. Collect enough to fill medium sized bowl. Make sure there has been no pesticide use on the plant.
- Next, rinse the plant thoroughly. This can take up to three times, removing twigs and other non-periwinkle parts as you go.
- Sort the plants on a sheet pan and thouroughly remove any leftover material that you don't want in your tincture.
- Next, finely chop the plant. The same way you would chop parsley , continually going over the plant with a sharp blade until fine.
- Place the chopped plant into a sterilized mason jar. To sterilize just place in a pot of boiling water for 10min. Make sure to use a new lid. The plant material should fill just over half of a regular sized mason jar.
- Lastly, fill the jar with regular 40% vodka until just covering the plant.
- Place in a cupboard that you use often. Shake the jar every day for 2 weeks.
- Place in a cold dark place for 3 months. After this time your tincture will be ready !
- Strain and place in a amber coloured glass dropper bottle.
- Dose 5-8 drops in water up to 3 times a day.
This tincture will last upwards of 20 years !
Be aware of some contraindications of this tincture.
- You're pregnant or breastfeeding
- Have liver, lung or kidney disease.
- Have low blood pressure.
- Avoid before surgery
What is an ADAPTOGEN?
The definition of adaptogens: they are a natural substance that allows the body to cope with stress and other unwanted effects on the body. They’re called adaptogens because of their unique ability to “adapt” their function according to your body’s specific needs. They exert a normalizing effect that helps the body and mind come back to centre, homeostasis. These herbs do not express unwanted highs or lows, but simply support your system in dealing with chronic high stress, supports the immune system and normalizes feelings of depression and anxiety.
If taken everyday they will support the adrenal system and act like a herbal 'vaccine' where if high levels of cortisol are released or a virus/pathogen enters the body, the body will be supported and resistant, able to cope with these detrimental invaders. Biologically, they decreases cellular sensitivity to stress.
What can I use it for?
Adaptogens have a long list of health benefits:
- Adrenal Support
- Blood-Sugar Regulator
- Hormonal Balance
- Calm Mental Stimulant
- Post Work-Out Recovery
By drinking this therapeutic herbal tea, your body and mind will be much stronger in dealing with all that life has to throw at you. And don't just take it from me, adaptogens have been used as a natural remedy for thousands of years such as Ginseng in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ashwagandha in Ayurvedic Medicine from India.
My 3 Favourite Adaptogens:
I use three adaptogens that I feel cover all the bases from immune to anxiety and adrenal support. The first is Stinging Nettle, which is a powerful herb in supporting the nervous system, battling anxiety and also has digestive benefits. The best part about this herb is it's very much Canadian, and grows wild everywhere in the spring time!
The next herb is Ashwagandha which is prized in Ayurvedic Medicine for its immune strengthening properties, strong adaptogenic properties, blood pressure and blood sugar regulator, and it is even used for men in supporting the sex-drive! This herb is very beneficial in everyday use.
My third favourite adaptogen is Holy Basil which is considered a sacred plant in India because it has so many therapeutic uses. It is also known as Tulsi. Although it has only become popular recently in North America, it has been grown in India for more than 3,000 years. Along with being a powerful adaptogen it also offers strong antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. This is the herb you want in your rotation during 'cold season'.
Making a therapeutic tea is different than that warm cup of camomile you have before bed. In order for the benefits to be effective, you must brew a very strong tea. Lucky for you, these herbs are not very bitter and are quite pleasant tasting even at such a concentrated level. Go ahead and add some unpasteurized raw honey to boost the anti-microbial benefits and also the flavour. The goal here is two tablespoons of herb to 1 cup of water. The following recipe will yield 1 litre of tea which can be stored in the fridge and enjoyed cold or warm throughout the week.
- Dry Stinging Nettle, 1 cup
- Dry Holy Basil, 1 cup
- Ashwagandha powder, 2 tbsp
- 1 litre of water
- Fill a stainless steel stovetop kettle with water about 3/4 full.
- Bring to just under a boil and add your herbs directly into the kettle.
- Immediately reduce to simmer for 15-20min
- Let cool for about 5 minutes, then strain and enjoy a cup
- To place in a glass jar as I have, make sure the tea is cooled completely before transferring .
- Drink everyday for best results.
Where Can I Buy These Herbs?
I purchase my herbs for a very fair price at Alternative Thinking at Bathurst and Bloor in Toronto. You can also order them online and have them delivered in Canada and the US at this great organic herbal depository in Ontario called Richter's Herbs. Their delivery rate is very cheap.