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Shipards Herb Farm - Newsletter August 2013

Newsletter for
August 2013

Put together by Aleisha and Isabell

Download printable PDF version of this newsletter.

This Newsletter shares data about herbs, and how people have used them, and other information to encourage us. I apologise... for the very long gap between Newsletters. Several people have emailed, saying that they have not been getting the Newsletter... that is because we have not put one out for 6 months. Our intent was to send a Newsletter every 2-3 months, however the last few months I have had a big commitment to get ready for the 6th Edition of the Herb Book "How can I use Herbs in my daily life?" Now, the 6th Edition is at the Printers, and will be available probably at the end of August 2013.

* Click on photos to enlarge in a new window or tab, then close that window or tab to get back to the Newsletter.

Information about Herbs and properties of plants...

strengthen our immune system
Herbs are so Special!
With winter weather, we need to strengthen our immune system and in our daily diet take action to beat off coughs, colds and flu.

Herbs are an excellent source of anti-oxidants to build a strong defence system, and to provide a powerful action against free radicals; and also to build strong defences against cardio-vascular disease such as strokes, heart attack, arteriosclerosis, and cancer. The herbs that have a strong aroma are generally powerful antioxidants; however there are many other herbs that do not have an aroma that are also valuable antioxidants, eg king of bitters, sheep sorrel and aloe vera.

Many herbs provide us with natural antibiotics (eg nasturtium, garlic, aloe vera, licorice root, coriander, oregano, mustard, lemon grass, lemon myrtle, thyme, sage) to protect us from harmful bacteria.

Grandson Levi growing some sprouts
Herbs can have very specific uses. At the first sign of an ailment, use herbs to nip it in the bud. Or, herbs can be specific to strengthen some part of the body, to act, as preventative medicine. It s never too late to start making the change, which will improve health. The way we choose to live will be the main ingredient towards good health and vitality. Doctors and health care professionals will always be needed. However, the best physician we all have, is ourselves, by taking time to research the essentials to natural health, and making the commitment to do it daily.

Growing a garden with herbs gives real satisfaction and pleasure, besides physical exercise. Time we spend in the garden is time spent close to nature, which is rejuvenating to the body and mind.   I encourage fellow Australians to grow and get the many benefits that herbs can provide.

Grow some Ginger
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is an easy to grow root spice to 1 metre high. Plant some root rhizome in spring, for a crop to dig late summer or autumn. What is not dug at the end of the season, will just come up again in the next spring for the next crop.

To make ginger tea, cut the fresh root into fine slivers and infused in boiling water approximately 5 minutes, then strain and drink hot, to help ward off flu or cold symptoms. It is beneficial for allergies, also for increasing the blood flow and clearing minor blockages. After straining the tea, keep the slivers of ginger, to chew on (use like cough drops).

Ginger has had many therapeutic uses: arthritis, gastro-intestinal ailments, nausea during pregnancy, indigestion, cold hands and feet, fevers, malaria, heart palpitations, high cholesterol, coughs and bacterial infections, constipation, osteoarthritis, rheumatism; as a lung tonic, and for blood cleansing and blood building. Scientific research in the 1980 s verified many of the ancient uses of ginger. Ginger is a strong antioxidant that can help fight free radical damage in the body.

Because of its anti-viral properties, ginger is also an effective aid to the immune system. With this ability, ginger can help the body withstand the many threats of various diseases.
Add some slivers of ginger root to savoury dishes; also try ginger in soups, stews and casseroles.

turmeric flowers
Turmeric a powerful antioxidant
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a pungent, orange-coloured root spice to 1m high. Turmeric has been used as a medicine, spice and colouring agent for thousands of years and 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 in 2006, indicate that turmeric can act as a preventative, protecting against Alzheimer's disease, by  activating a gene that codes the production of the antioxidant, Bilirubin. The researchers found this 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, painful joint inflammation of arthritis, also rheumatism, fibro myalgia and gives relief from cystic fibrosis. 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 flavouring with foods that tend to be difficult to digest. Turmeric is found to protect the stomach lining due to its powerful antioxidant effects. 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.

Turmeric can be made as a tea with slivers of the root, or try it 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 herbs 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 overnight and eaten.

Use fresh turmeric root (or the powdered root) in bean, rice, vegetable, cheese, chicken, and fish dishes. Turmeric has an earthy aroma, with a slightly bitter, pungent taste but it is not as hot as ginger. Turmeric and ginger are related; both plants belong to the Zingiberaceae family.

Isabell writes:  Today 20th July 2013, a man called at the Herb Farm, and asked a staff member if he could talk to me.  When I was free to see him he thanked me so much for sharing information about turmeric in my Herb Book.  Then he told me an amazing account of his life of continual pain and how this herb has now given him tremendous relief. I asked if he would kindly write down his remarkable account, which he was pleased to be able to do, as he said this might very well help other people in pain.

"I, Eduard had for many years suffered from Psoriatic Arthritis, and Systemic Lupus.  At the age of 22 I was diagnosed. Prior to then I was told it was only growing pains and dandruff and placed on drugs for the conditions, which definitely helped me, but I was made aware by my Rheumatologist and concerned that using the drugs long term would cause me harm, so my kidneys had to be monitored regularly with blood tests.

Over the years, I became a bit blaze about the inevitable detriment of the drugs allowing denial to set in and did not have the blood tests as regularly as I should have; until a family member Barry was dying from kidney failure. He told me the medication he was on, and that he had been on these drugs since the late 80's which were now causing the kidney failure.  A shiver went down my spine, as these were the same drugs that I was on, since the late 80's.  So off I went to the Doctor to get a blood test.  Not the result I hoped for  kidney function was on the decline, so something needed to be done.

Lea my neighbour suggested I try turmeric, as she had read about it in a herb book by Isabell Shipard. I threw out the drugs and only ate the raw turmeric I bought from the supermarket (approximately 1 cm piece of the fresh root, 4 times a day).

I started taking turmeric April 2012. Within a week I was feeling the results and relief; and within the month the kidney function had resumed, much to the delight of my Doctor.  I still have blood tests, but now only every 6 months. Cholesterol level is good; kidneys fine, as are the rest of the results.  It is so wonderful to be free of drugs.  I am not quite completely pain free but I can't recall a time when the pain was as mild as it is today.

I enjoy work and leisure.  Now I go kayaking on a regular basis on the Albert River.  To date I have lost 20 kg... going from needing an electrical lift chair at the age of 44 to now kayaking at age 48, and also bush walking; whereas previously the kids were getting frustrated from having to wait for me... to now... they are asking me to slow down! And today 20th July 2013, I came to Nambour to thank Isabell in person."

Isabell says... Eduard travelled up from Logan Village, south of Brisbane, to thank me, buy the Herb Book and some salad herbs for his garden. He also told me he now has turmeric growing well in his garden to dig and use. Eduard coming and sharing with me how turmeric had helped him, was very timely, as I said I had written about turmeric for the Newsletter.

For further information on turmeric go to the book "How can I use Herbs in my Daily Life?" or

An Australian Government Health web site reported under the heading Fact and Figures:
Almost one in five Australians has arthritis and it impacts directly on more than 3.85 million people  or 18.5% of the population. Arthritis is the major cause of disability and pain in Australia.

licorice patch
Licorice is an easy to grow herb
An easy care legume to 1 metre, which goes deciduous in winter. It is the root of the plant that gives the therapeutic uses, sweetening and flavour.

This herb contains strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has also been found to protect the skin from the harmful UV rays. Licorice's active ingredients include liquiritins, glabridins, glabrol, glycyrrhetinic acid, and glycyrrhizin. In actual fact over 600 constituents have been identified in the herb.

licorice booklet
Little wonder it is a plant with many actions - expectorant, alterative, pectoral, diuretic, emollient, antifungal, cathartic, stomachic, antiviral, laxative, antispasmodic, antihistaminic, antibacterial, oestrogenic, anti-inflammatory, tonic and many more. Researchers have indicated that compounds in licorice may protect brain cells and this can help prevent or treat neuro-degenerative diseases such as dementia.  The herb has been used for many ailments, particularly for respiratory conditions like coughs and colds. Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a very special plant with many health benefits.

For more benefits of licorice go to

Oca also called New Zealand Yams (Oxalis tuberosa) A perennial, deciduous herb to 30cm, with succulent stems and trifoliate leaves. The tubers form towards the end of the growing season and can be from 5 - 15cm long.

Nutritional value of tubers is considered similar to potatoes. Oca is native to South America, where it is a staple food for the large population and can yield twice that of a potato.

Oca tubers are eaten raw and cooked, by steaming, roasting, frying, added to soups, etc. Cooked tubers have a similar flavour to sweet potato. Leaves and stems are eaten raw or cooked.

Monsterio (Monstera deliciosa) also called the Fruit Salad Plant, is an attractive plant with large glossy leaves (60cm wide) with attractive slits, and it is often grown as an ornamental potted plant. If grown in the garden the plant will form a dense mat on the ground, or even take the chance to climb a tree nearby (the plant grows aerial roots and clings to the tree for support). In fact, monsterio likes shade under a tree. It is best to trim stems off that want to extend more than 3 metres up a tree, for the reason, that, this plant produces an edible fruit, which would be too high to reach and pick, if left to grow right up the tree.

Monsterio can withstand cold conditions provided it is sheltered from frost and cold winds and it tolerates a wide range of soil types. However, it prefers moist, warm situations and grows rapidly in a well-drained soil, rich in compost. It is often used as an ornamental on fences and tree stumps.

The elongated fruit to 30 cm long is ready to harvest (cut off the stem) when the caps of the fruitlets at the base start to spread and show creamy colour between them, usually 9 months after flowering. After harvest, place the fruit in a paper bag in a warm position and in a day or so the green caps will fall from the ripened section at the base of the fruit and expose the soft edible portion beneath.

The fruit has a wonderful flavour - like fruit salad. Do not eat from the section where the caps have not fully shed, as these un-ripened segments may irritate the throat. Put the unripe section in a paper bag until the next portion is ready to eat (usually within 12-24 hours). Or wrapping the fruit in a few sheets of newspaper will also bring the fruit on to ripen quickly. Alternatively, the whole fruit can be ripened for eating at one time by standing the base in water and keeping it in a dark cupboard for a few days. Just remember to keep watching every day.

Use the fruit fresh in hand, or mix with other fruits, serve with breakfast cereals, etc.

How is your self-sufficiency garden growing?

How can I be prepared with Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods?
Isabell urges people to make a commitment to establish an edible garden. Many people have shared when visiting the Herb Farm, how the Self-Sufficiency and Survival Food Book has encouraged and motivated them to have a wide variety of food growing, and also to get to know edible weeds. Many people once having a copy of the Self-Sufficiency Book in their home, start to put together emergency measures of food and health care items.

Isabell Shipard's extensive herb course State Governments, are presenting on TV, the importance of disaster and emergency preparedness, against thunderstorms, floods, earthquakes, and fires.


Mukunu-wenna (Alternanthera sessilis) is a hardy perennial ground cover, self-sufficiency food plant. The leaves are eaten as a vegetable, raw is salads and cooked dishes.

In India and Sri Lanka the vitamin and mineral-rich leaves have been an essential ingredient in kola kanda (a dish that is very much a daily ritual) made with boiled rice, coconut and several kinds of green leaves. This mixture eaten as a meal, is esteemed to cool the body, promote energy and help to balance the three forces of vata, pita and kapa.

Mukunu-wenna is highly valued for fatigue, insomnia, strengthening the eyes and for eye ailments, and the nervous system. Shirley shared with me that she had been taking mukunnu-wenna for 12 months, hoping to relieve her glaucoma condition. With her next visit to the eye specialist she learnt that the glaucoma had not progressed at all. The specialist was very surprised.

Mukunnu-wenna is a diuretic, tonic, and cooling to the body; besides having anti-bacterial and anti-fungal action. Many traditional medicinal uses have been recorded: for indigestion and stomach disorders, bronchitis and asthma, diarrhea, hernia, hemorrhoids, hepatitis, liver, kidney and spleen diseases, headaches, vertigo, genito-urinary infections, skin diseases, and fevers.

Book Review...

Death by Civilization

Death by Civilization by Dr. Peter Baratosy by Dr Peter Baratosy

Death by Civilization is a dramatic name to call a book. Dr. Baratosy said he did this on purpose, a title that makes people stand up and take notice, a title that really get into your face, because the topic discussed is so critical to the survival of the human race. Dr. Baratosy wants the book to motivate you enough to start to do something; to help yourself, your family and the people you love.

This may sound extremely dramatic but in reality, it is that critical.

I have to be controversial... Perhaps even to scare you: hopefully this may get you off your bums and do something about it. Unfortunately, fear, though a great motivator, will not achieve anything in the long term. Knowledge, on the other hand, WILL make changes.

Together, they could work even better!

"There are two levers for moving men ... interest and fear." Napoleon Bonaparte 1769-1821 The dramatic problem is as simple as the way our body has reacted to the "civilized" diet and life style we have adopted. The key is the hormone INSULIN.

Insulin is a normal, natural hormone, essential for our survival. The problem, however, is that the unnatural western diet and life style causes our bodies to over-secrete insulin; which in the long run can cause an insulin resistance and subsequent disease; like Syndrome X, obesity, cancer, hypertension, high cholesterol, behavioural and mental health. Diseases that in the past only affected the elderly are now developing in younger and younger populations. This book deals with how and why we should change our lifestyle to prevent chronic health problems.

Peter Baratosy is a medical doctor. He is the author of numerous books on Alternative Medicine and lectures regularly for the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM).

Dr Baratosy believes that the best approach in the treatment of disease is the use of "natural" medicine: lifestyle, diet, nutrition and natural therapies.

Death by Civilization 223 pages, A5 size book $25 postage extra

From the mail box, and feed back from people...

This segment in the Newsletter, gives snippets and experiences, from other people, as it is these very 'down to earth' uses, which have given people better health. These experiences can encourage other people, to give herbs a go.

Gerrie emailed with information about his cat with a nasty looking lump. He started giving the cat comfrey milk-shakes and the lump disappeared.

Gerrie's idea of giving comfrey milk-shakes to a cat is just great.

I am giving Herb Robert to my border collie Billie, diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I have also been giving it to my 11 year old working kelpie, she had a wound on her head that would not heal and I was avoiding using antibiotics on her. She has been on the herb since Monday and the wound has dried and is healing and she is looking as bright and lively as ever so I will be keeping her on it also. I am also taking Herb Robert as a tea for my asthma and amazing results  for the past two days I have not reached for my puffer.
Cheers, Dee

I live on the outskirts of Kuranda, Queensland, and constantly refer to my "How to use Herbs in my Daily Life". I also have the Sprout Book. I'm constantly referring to both my books as they are the most valuable ones in my library. As for sprouts, my children gave me a gift of a sprouter a few years ago and I'm quite addicted to Fenugreek and Mung Bean sprouts.
From  Lorraine

I would like to thank you. Your Survival Skills Book and "How can I use this herb in my daily life?" have been my bibles for the past 4 years. You are a true wealth of knowledge and your passions are beautifully portrayed through your work, in turn, impassioning your readers. The magic of plants has me very much inspired.
Sofi, N.S.W.

Dear Isabell, Thank you for your amazing books. They have inspired me to become a Naturopath, and begin my course shortly.

BOOK and DVD Specials !!!

Valid till 31st Oct. 2013          

How can I be prepared with Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods?
Special Price $30 (regular price $37)

Self Sufficiency and Survival Foods! (2 DVD set)
Special Price $30 (regular price $35)

click here to order them directly from Shipards Herb Farm...

or click here to order the Specials online now...

Herb Farm SPECIALS...

During August, September, October 2013

Shipards Herb Farm will have specials on some herbs, self-sufficiency and survival food plants, and seeds.
click here to find out more...

A few things to share...

Laughter is good medicine...

The best way to forget all your troubles is to wear tight shoes.

Why was the maths book sad?
It had too many problems!

Things to do today
Get up
Go to bed

Some inspiring quotes to ponder on...

Joy thrives best in soil of thankfulness.

Gratitude takes three forms; a feeling in the heart, an expression in words, and giving in return.
When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use.
Love, is like a shower of rain;
It s pretty hard to be in the middle of, without getting some on you.

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.
Theodore Roosevelt

When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.
Ancient Ayurvedic proverb

 "The absorption and organization of sunlight, the essence of life, is derived almost exclusively through plants. Since light is the driving force of every cell in our bodies, that is why we need green plants."
Dr. Bircher-Benner

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 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 information

on 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.


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