with Spring on its way!
Put together by Aleisha and IsabellDownload printable PDF version of this newsletter.
This Newsletter shares data about herbs, and how people have used them, and other information to encourage us.
* Click on photos to enlarge in a new window or tab, then close that window or tab to get back to the Newsletter.
Sunshine Coast news to share with you...Queensland Home Garden Expo, 6 - 8 July, 2012, at Nambour Showgrounds, three wonderful days of displays and over 300 exhibits; and lectures with the theme: "Life in the Garden" was a plant and gardening extravaganza, with magnificent garden landscaping, floral art, sustainable organic food growing, and activities for children.
I took along Marian, a lass visiting from Victoria and we both agreed that the day was so inspirational, with so much to see and a wonderful array of lectures on very practical topics. The Giant Kitchen Garden feature was a highlight, showing how to create edible gardens, permaculture and herb gardens, plus Costa from Gardening Australia.
If planning to come to Queensland next year in winter for a holiday in the Sunshine State, or wishing to have a day or weekend on the Sunshine Coast, I encourage you to fit the Home Garden Expo into your schedule. And when in Nambour, you are welcome to visit the Herb Farm Nursery we are 5 minutes drive from the centre of Nambour. If wishing to call outside of our regular Open Hours, please phone us 3 - 4 days before, and we will endeavor to fit in with you.
Winter blues... yes, even on the Sunshine Coast we have had some cold nights and a few light frosts, but our days do warm up and are lovely and sunny.
Readers that are experiencing a cold winter, and rainy weather, may also be surrounded by two influenza flu strains, or norovirus. Norivirus is highly contagious, and many families have been affected, resulting in the sudden onset of vomiting and diarrhea. In some countries this "nasty" is called, the winter vomiting disease.
Health authorities are warning that influenza has hit Australia especially hard this season and that the worst is still to come as winter comes to an end.
Special care with hygiene is required, and do eat herbs and foods that strengthen the immune system.
People have found that the herbs: king of the bitters, herb robert, sage, licorice root, ginger, fenugreek, horseradish, garlic, and sheep sorrel are herbs to boost the body's defenses. Licorice root has been used for centuries as a cough and cold remedy.
Recently, when digging some ginger from the garden, I decided to experiment with creating something with ginger, to use like throat lozenges.
After washing and cutting the ginger into pieces, I added diced-up flour gourd, to give a bulk base for the lozenges. For information about the flour gourd refer to recent Newsletter
These lozenges, were enjoyed by my daughter, Vicky and she decided to make some, and this morning brought me a sample to taste. The combination is of ginger, flour gourd and dried apricots... all blended up, dried... and very enjoyable, and the apricots have given the pieces a beaut orange colour.
Several days ago, I had an idea - in the next batch I would add Japanese Menthol leaves which would give a strong menthol aroma and flavour. Japanese Menthol is a very favorite herb of mine, just wonderful for clearing the head and chest. If you do not know this herb, do call at the Herb Farm, and ask for a leaf to smell and taste.
Alternatively, when feeling a cold coming on... make a tea with ½ teaspoon of ginger powder or 5-6 thin cut slivers of fresh ginger root to a cup of boiling water and add a little licorice root or honey for sweetening and to sooth the throat.
Plants...Allspice leaves which taste very much like cloves can be made as a tea to drink, sucked on like lozenges for a sore throat, and freshen the breath.
Nasturtium leaves and flowers are valuable to eat regularly to give protection from colds and flu. Scientific research has found the plant to have natural antibiotic action that is fast working in the body. It is interesting to note that the antibiotic agent, tromalyt in nasturtium, has been found in the urine within one hour of ingesting the herb. Noteworthy, is that this antibiotic action does not interfere with the body's intestinal flora, and it has been found to be affective against some micro-organisms that have built up resistance to common antibiotic drugs.
With the high flu' statistics this year, I encourage all readers to take a number of herbs regularly to help give protection from flu', which can grab us any time of the year.
Having herbs in the garden is not just about growing them, but that we also use these valuable plants in our daily lives, as there are so many benefits that these special plants can to share with us.
If looking for a herb with real punch and power - eat a couple chillies when a sore throat is bothering you. The chillies will tickle your tonsils!
At the Herb Farm, we find the hardiest chilli variety to grow is bird s eye chilli and bushes have chillies right through the winter, infact nearly all year around. Chillies have many therapeutic benefits:
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is easy to grow from the root rhizome, and has been used as a medicine, spice and colouring agent for thousands of years. It is a pungent, orange-coloured root spice to 1m high, for warm temperate to tropical climates. Turmeric provides various benefits: digestive, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, analgesic, astringent, blood detoxifier, tonic, and stimulant to the adrenal glands. Strong antioxidants in turmeric have been found to act to prevent free radical formation and also to neutralise free radicals that have already formed. Therefore, it is a valuable herb in the prevention and also the treatment of many conditions.
Recent scientific findings, published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, indicate that turmeric can act as a preventative, protecting against Alzheimer s disease, by 'activating' a gene that codes for the production of the antioxidant, Bilirubin. The researchers found, this antioxidant shields the brain against injury from free radicals that are thought to be responsible for neuro-degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's and dementia. Turmeric helps to fight the free radicals responsible for colon cancer, ulcers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, painful joint inflammation of arthritis, rheumatism, fibro myalgia and relief has been reported by cystic fibrosis sufferers. Turmeric increases energy flow and has a cleansing effect on the gall bladder and liver. Researchers have indicated that by improving liver function, turmeric also helps destroy mutated cancer cells, so that they cannot spread through the body.
People with digestive weaknesses and flatulence could consider using turmeric freely; especially, as a flavouring with foods that tend to be difficult to digest. Turmeric is found to protect the stomach lining due to its powerful antioxidant action. When turmeric is consumed as part of a meal, it is said to have the effect of binding the cholesterol substances in the food. This action renders them incapable of absorption and stops them from clinging to the insides of arteries, thus lowering cholesterol, platelet aggregation, and internal blood clots.
To make a tea: add ½ to 1 teasp. turmeric powder to 1 cup of water and drink 1 - 4 times a day; or use an 8cm piece of finely cut or grated fresh root. It is said, that, if a little ginger or black pepper is added, the body is able to utilise the therapeutic properties of turmeric 20 times more efficiently. Turmeric made into smoothies in a blender, together with a little ginger and fresh pineapple (also a digestive aid, pain reliever and immune booster) is a pleasant way to get the many benefits.
Several years ago I attended a seminar by Dr. S. Ajit an Indian holistic physician and he highlighted many Ayurvedic traditional herb uses, and emphasised that several herbs were extremely beneficial for enhancing the intellect and removing toxins from the body. He encouraged the use of the following mixture be taken in the evening, ¼ teasp. grated turmeric and ginger, 1 teasp. honey and a pinch of cinnamon in a glass of warm milk. Other herbs he encouraged the use of to improve the intellect, concentration and nervous system were gotu kola, brahmi, and 5 - 10 almonds soaked in water overnight and eaten.
Use fresh turmeric root (or the powdered root) in bean, rice, vegetable, cheese, chicken, and fish dishes. Start with a small amount to flavor a dish, and gradually increase, as the flavor is something that most Australians are not very familiar with. Turmeric has an earthy aroma, with a slightly bitter, pungent taste but it is not as hot as ginger.
Recent news headlines on turmeric, have indicated that the curcumin content of this herb, fights harmful bacteria, bad cholesterol and disease causing inflammation, and improves cell communication throughout the body, and that, using this herb regularly is a way to prevent ailments.
Our body is composed of an intricate network of cells that communicate with one another to process nutrients, promote growth, fight disease and implement many other vital functions. Curcumin has been shown to directly influence many of these communicating molecules, and thus benefit our well-being in many ways. Grow and use turmeric for its health-promoting nourishment that offers multiple benefits.
Kath, a friend who loves herbs, recently shared with me, how she uses turmeric. Kath wrote, "After reading about turmeric, I decided to try taking each day. As I only recently have started growing turmeric, I mixed about 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder with a tablespoon of honey and also lemon juice, which makes the mixture like a thick paste; then I ate it. I was doing this morning and night. I noticed that my skin cleared, after weeks of having acne problems.
I eventually ran out of turmeric and didn t have a chance to buy any for about a week. Suddenly my acne returned.
So I went and got some more turmeric and started taking it again, and guess what, my skin cleared straight away. What a wonderful herb."
The pomegranate fruit is such a beautiful red colour and keeps a number of weeks when picked and can be eaten fresh in hand, used as a garnish, added to fruit salad, desserts, sauces, jellies, syrups, etc. The juice is a rich source of antioxidants, which researchers say, can keep bad LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. The build up of LDL may lead to the development of atherosclerosis. In addition, pomegranate can help keep blood platelets from clumping together to form unwanted clots (providing a similar action to aspirin, but without the side affects). Pomegranate may reduce the risk of having heart attacks, strokes and Alzheimer's disease. This fruit is high antioxidants and thus helps support the body s normal defense in the prevention of certain cancers.
One of the most dreaded consequences of cancer is when the disease metastasizes and spreads from the primary site where it started, to other parts of the body. Natural News, recently reported findings of scientists at the University of California, that components in pomegranate juice have been found in research, to inhibit the movement of cancer cells and weaken the attraction of malignant cells to a chemical signal that has been shown to promote metastasis.
A recent Israeli study has demonstrated the fruit's potential to fight and prevent infection. Researchers discovered that patients with kidney disease who are undergoing dialysis can considerably reduce their likelihood of infection by drinking just a few glasses of pomegranate juice a week.
Pomegranates have a very high content of punicalagins, one of its potent antioxidant components, found to be a valuable health benefit. Pomegranate is also a source of resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant that is found to slow the ageing process. Resveratrol also benefits the nervous system and is valued as an anti-cancer factor. These combination antioxidants, plus vitamins and minerals in pomegranates, provide a powerful synergy, that prevents and reverses many diseases, researchers indicate.
Leaves and flowers can be used in meals and as a garnish.
Picture below shows a purslane sprig used as a garnish on a sao savory biscuit with tomato slice. Also displayed on the plate, sao biscuits with cheese, gherkin pickles, sweet tarragon and red stemmed Ceylon salad leaves.
Scientific discovery in 1980, found that purslane is a valuable source of omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA), means we can have our own rich source of EFA in the garden. For more information on the value to health of EFA refer to my books "How can I be prepared with Self-sufficiency and Survival Foods?" and "How can I use Herbs in my daily Life?"
The purslane leaves are mild in flavor, slightly sour, mucilaginous, and an excellent source of vitamins A and C, also iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. The website of the Association of Women for the Advancement of Research and Education states: Eating 5 sprigs of purslane 10cm long daily, provides over 550mg of calcium. A great nutritional benefit to the bones for any one from toddler to later years.
And a great survival food to have in the garden:
Recently we picked some chokos that weighed in at 1½ kg each, which is twice the size of regular chokos. They can be eaten raw, roasted, steamed, fried, pickled, and made into pies and puddings. When diced up and steamed with honey and cinnamon powder the taste is similar to cooked apples or pears. Young shoots, leaves and tendrils are eaten like asparagus or put into stir-fries, etc.
Medicinal uses: valued as a tonic, anit-inflammatory, expectorant, digestive, antioxidant. Salad mallow is eaten to relieve liver, urinary and respiratory complaints, tonsillitis, vomiting, fatigue, and diarrhea.
Pregnant women would be interested to know, the leaves of salad mallow are drunk for speedy delivery of baby during labour, and to remove afterbirth after delivery. and also to increase milk supply.
The leaves are rich in mucin, a valuable healing substance, used as an aid for the removal of mucus and toxins from the body. Use the leaves fresh and cooked, made into smoothies; or dried and crushed to a powder, to use as a survival food and as meal extender.
Food With Herbs...This heading, Aleisha put on the document, and I like it; that we consider herbs as being an important part of our daily diet, and that food... be added to the herbs.
Comment by Isabell
Most culinary herbs lend their great aromas and flavours to enhance a quick meal.
Edible Flowers for garnishes can include: thyme, marjoram, sages and I often use fruit sage or pineapple sage, alfalfa, fennel, dill, parsley, anise hyssop, basils, alehoof, borage, dandelion, chamomile, society garlic, elderberry, leaf ginseng, nasturtiums, heartsease, Vietnamese hot mint, papalo, rosemary, purple mukunu-wenna, sweet tarragon, violet, to name a few.
The picture above is kefir made into 3 different spreads using herbs:
chives and dill seeds; oregano and giant garlic tops, sweet tarragon and fennel seeds.
Try pulling the red flowers and sucking the sweet nectar. Children will enjoy doing this too. Then when you bring the red flowers inside to garnish a meal the children will be familiar with the flowers, from sampling these treats in the garden. The foliage makes an aromatic tea, and a good base to a fruit cup; and has many medicinal benefits (refer to the Sage Chapter of the book "How can I use Herbs in my daily life?")
When to plant seeds of various food crops...When to plant seeds of various food crops will be governed by the climatic zoning of where you live and whether the plant varieties are annuals, biennials or perennials.
Annuals are plants that typically start from seed and complete their lifecycle of growth, flowering and seeding in one season, which could be from 3-6-9 months. Some annuals, like sweet basil and perilla can also be grown from cuttings. Generally, annuals would be planted in spring or early summer, and grow quite quickly, bloom, set seed, and die down in autumn. However, in sub-tropical to tropical areas some annuals that do not grow well in hot, humid and wet summers are better suited to planting in autumn, and will grow through the winter, with seed setting, for picking in the spring (e.g. broad beans, spinach, silverbeet, and lettuce varieties that prefer cooler conditions). Some plants that are grown as annuals in temperate and cold climates, such as tomatoes and salad mallow, may perform more like a perennial, in warmer and tropical climates.
Biennial plants have an extended life, usually flowering and seeding in the second growing season, and then will die; eg white mullein.
Perennial plants may grow from seed or some can be only reproduced by cuttings or root division, and will last more than one season. In fact, their length of life may be two or many more years, depending on the type of plant. Perennials are usually very hardy plants that can adapt to a wide range of climates. Some perennials die back over winter and may go completely dormant by dropping leaves in cold climates, and then will shoot again in spring. Plants like taro, cassava, sweet potato, ginger, rhubarb, turmeric and arrowroot are perennials, known for their hardiness. As perennials have a long life, they need to be given a place in the garden that can be a more permanent position than annuals (which have only a few months duration). Perennial food plants are an essential part of self-sufficiency gardens.
From the mail box, and feed back from people...
We wanted to share our experience with you and the fabulous health results since we ve introduced a new diet to our fabulous dog, Dirk.
On the 23rd April this year, our dog and friend, Dirk (9 year old, 45kg Bull Arab) was diagnosed with a 10cm long blood clot in the vena cava (vein to the heart). He also had a tumour (approx 3cm x 6cm) on his right adrenal gland. His symptoms were swelling of the rear legs, weak pulse and the veins around his flanks were greatly enlarged. We were told by vets and specialists that the condition was inoperable and fatal. They told us Dirk would have about 3 weeks to live. There was nothing they could do.
This was an enormous shock to us, as apart from the swollen legs, he seemed perfectly fine. Dirk is our best friend, so there was no way we were going to just sit back and let him die. We started to look into alternatives and that's when a friend mentioned Herb Robert.
After some searching, we found Isabel at the Shipards Herb Farm in Nambour. She recommended: herb robert, gotu kola, nettle, chia and fenugreek. We also had a friend that was experienced with the use of essential oils and instructed us in the use of frankincense and wintergreen.
Within two days, the swelling started to go down. By the fifth day, the swelling was all but gone.
Two months later, Dirk was as good as he was a year ago, with no symptoms at all. We have spoken with the vet and he assures us that the clot has gone and the tumour appears to have stopped growing, possibly even shrunk. But without tests and ultrasounds, he cannot be sure of the tumour s size. For an ultrasound, Dirk would have had to receive anesthetic and we didn t want to risk it putting him under.
Dirk's dose of herbs Morning (1/2 hour before breakfast meal): an egg yolk with a teaspoon of each herb herb robert, gotu kola, nettle mixed with a little bit of hot water to rehydrate the herbs. Breakfast meal fresh meat (either roo/beef, chicken, fish), and some chia seeds soaked in water), and 2 tablespoons fenugreek sprouts and a small handful of wheat free dog biscuits.
The same herbs as above (but no chia for dinner), added to a little hot water (to make the herbs soft) and a little natural honey, and mixed in with fresh meat (either roo/beef, chicken, fish) and wheat free biscuits.
Supplements: Fish oil & Glucosamine tablets, once a day.
Essential oils: 3 to 4 drops of frankinsence and wintergreen, rubbed into his back, once a day.
It's now 15 weeks on from the diagnosis, and although we've noticed him starting to age (sleeping more and not eating quite as much) Dirk still enjoys a walk twice a day and trots along at a steady pace. We've recently taken him back to the vet, as Dirk has some pain from a back injury sustained as a puppy. Unfortunately/coincidentally (??) the injury is in the same area as the tumour. When his back is sore, the area becomes inflamed, which puts pressure on the tumour. Inspite of this, the vet could not believe his eyes when he saw Dirk and the good condition he is in.
Thank you to all our family and friends, Isabell and the team at the Shipard's Herb Farm, for all your help, understanding and continued support.
Kindest regards, Dean and Samantha and Dirk
And Isabell adds: no placebo affect here... just the truly special actions of herbs. And the herbs that Dean and Samantha are giving Dirk their special pet, are also valuable regenerating herbs to add to the daily lives of us human beings!
A few things to share and brighten your day...Laughter is good medicine
There were 2 men working for the council, one would dig a hole, the other would follow behind him and fill it in. They worked furiously all day without rest. An onlooker was amazed at their hard work, but could not understand what they were doing. So he asked the hole digger, "I appreciate the effort you are putting into your work, but what's the story?"
The hole digger wiped his brow and sighed. "Well normally, we have a three-man team, but the fellow who plants the trees is off sick today."
Mosquitoes are like small children. The minute they stop making a noise you know they are into something.
Thoughts for today
A handful of patience is worth more than a kilogram of brains.
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. - Mother Teresa
The only reason people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
The reward for work well done, Is the opportunity to do more.
A good listener is not only popular, but after a while knows everything.
Herb Farm SPECIALS...During Aug., Sep. and Oct. 2012 Shipards Herb Farm will have specials on some herbs, self-sufficiency and survival food plants, and seeds.
click here to find out more...
gift for someone you love?
DVD Pre-release Special...Ends 13th Sep.
Self Sufficiency and Survival Foods!
course on DVD
'Be inspired to fill your garden with Self Sufficiency plants and Survival Foods.'
On September the 30th and again on October the 1st 2011 Isabell Shipard held her last full day course on Self Sufficiency and Survival Foods. 2 days full of information and over 200 attendants, it was a huge success. click here for more info...
Special 1. DVD is Pal, All Regions
Order "Self Sufficiency and Survival Foods!"
(2 DVD set) for $28 (RRP $35) pack & post extra
Special 2. DVDs are Pal, All Regions
Order one complete set of Isabell's books and dvds
get 10% off and a second copy of "Self Sufficiency and Survival Foods!" (2 DVD set) for Free
$197.10 (RRP $254) pack & post extra
this special includes
2 X Self Sufficiency and Survival Foods! (2 DVD set)
How can I use HERBS in my daily life?
How can I grow and use Sprouts as living food?
How can I be prepared with Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods?
Wonderful World of Herbs! (2 DVD set)
Living Food at its Best! (2 DVD set)
(special does not include "Absolutely Delicious Licorice!" booklet)
"It is far better to be a visionary and be prepared, now, than to be totally unprepared, when faced with difficult or devastating challenges."
Orders for DVD Pre-release Special will be posted out after the 13th Sep.
How to order the DVD Pre-release Special's...to order online click here...
to order through Shipards Herb Farm click here...
And in signing off...Feel free to print out the newsletter (please think of the environment first), or forward it on the family and friends, and, they are most welcome to subscribe and become part of our wonderful "herbal family" all around the globe, who enjoy using herbs.
By sharing information about herbs and their special properties, we hold a torch to light another's pathway, and we also illuminate our own way.
Herbs are great source of nutrients, antioxidants, energy and vitality builders, and help to keep the body disease free.
Shipards Herb Farm Catalogue for Feb 2012 is now available,
please click on the following link
Shipards Herb Farm catalogue
We will update the catalogue 2 times a year, usually early January and July.
To view the Catalogue you may need Adobe Reader 8 or higher.
Visit the following link to download the latest free version of Adobe Reader.
May your garden bring much joy, satisfaction and be a beautiful and interesting place, providing mental and physical therapy and a bountiful harvest for health and vitality.
Until next newsletter, Isabell Shipard
For any further informationon herbs and edible plants do have a look at this website, and Isabell's books. You are welcome to contact Isabell Shipard by email
or phone 07 54411101 during Shipards Herb Farm open hours - Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat, from 10 am to 2 pm.