It is our warm/hot months of the year, and here on the Sunshine Coast, this also means rain and humidity. Last night was a full moon. We also had rain. An 'old timer' told us some years ago, that if there is rain at full moon, there will be rain the whole month through. So we will see. I appreciate regular rain, but continual rain can be devastating to some plants. Make your garden a wonderful place of peace where plants flourish, and food plants can be picked absolutely fresh, at their optimum nutrition. Keep growing your edible garden, and smelling the aromatic plants to boost energy.
Information about Herbs and
Green salad leaves, herbs, and raw foods, like sprouts, are gaining popularity as more and more people discover their tremendous healing, detoxifying and health giving benefits. People enjoy these foods for the value of "living" foods, and raw foods make instant energizers without having lost any vitamins and minerals through cooking. Also, there is research that shows raw food rich in living enzymes, can help overcome many of today's allergies and various ailments, by boosting the immune system. Green leaves and fresh herbs can be so easily blended into smoothies, add flavour to dips, soups, spicy salsa, and tossed salads.
properties of plants
Summer is the Season for Salads
Grow a variety of greens and eat them daily, as these have living enzyme and are alkalising to the body. Salad greens picked from your garden are a rich source of Vitamin C to help fight colds and cancer, heal wounds, enhance iron absorption and protect from heart disease.
Fresh herbs and salad greens help to clear cell wastes from the body, as they are rich in chlorophyll (the green stuff in plants) which is a blood oxygenator, blood cleanser and a blood builder. The chlorophyll content of a food is a major indicator of the health attributes of plant-based food. Chlorophyll also assists in building new blood cells, also for wound healing, intestinal regularity, detoxification, deodorization of the body, and purifying the body from cancer and radiation. Studies have shown that chlorophyll has a favorable effect on red blood cell formation in the bone marrow.
The Qld. Institute of Medical Research has found that eating green leaves regularly can reduce the risk of skin cancer, as components in the leaves help boost the skin's natural defence against damage caused by UV rays. Also recent research has indicated eating greens can help with prevention of macular degeneration of the eyes.
The minerals in leafy green herbs are so valuable for keeping our bones strong. Dr. T.C. Campbell, Professor of Bio-chemistry at Cornell University, when studying bone health of different cultures of the world, found that, in areas where the diet of herbs and leafy vegetables featured highly, the lower the rates of osteoporosis and fractures.
Green foods have a strong impact on the quality and purity of our bloodstream. Remember, our cells rely entirely on nutrients delivered by our blood, and if the blood is delivering anti-cancer nutrients each day, then "bad" cells will be hindered from replicating to become cancer tumors.
Salad Mallow is a wonderful plant to grow over summer and autumn. Being an annual plant, this is the time of the year the seed germinates. I have had people in the tropics say, that the plant can be grown any season of the year. Plants grow very quickly 60-100 cm tall, with lush glossy green leaves. Use the leaves often, as this will encourage more leaf development before the plant starts to flower and set seed. Any seed not picked and saved, will drop to the ground, and come up freely in the next spring, to provide lots of leafy greens for summer salads, or for adding last minute to stir-fries etc.
Plant salad mallow for the valuable nutrients the leaves provide: protein 20.4%, Vitamin A 3500 IU per 100 grams of leaves, B1, B2, B3, and C 64mg. A leaf analysis at a Brisbane laboratory, arranged by a Sunshine Coast naturopath, for mineral content, revealed, exceptionally high potassium, at 3068mg per 100 grams of leaf, making it possibly the richest plant source of potassium that we can grow. It appears that this content is only surpassed by dulse (8060mg) and kelp (5273mg), which would rarely be part of our daily diets, and not able to be grown in the garden. Potassium's role is vital to muscular tissue, especially the maintenance and repair of such tissue, which is important for strength and vigour. It is an important mineral for keeping the heart muscle beating in a steady, constant rhythm.
Potassium is essential, for digestion of carbohydrates and the liver's conversion to glucose, utilised as an energy source. Potassium aids blood and oxygen circulation, and assists with elimination of blood impurities and toxic wastes. Potassium helps maintain water balance, supports muscle and nerve cells, kidney and adrenal function. It is essential for production and storage of glycogen, the source of energy for exercising muscles. Research has shown that people with a high potassium diet retain more muscle and will keep a younger appearance with age. Dr. Max Gerson, well known for his revolutionary nutritional healing therapy for cancer and degenerative diseases, at his Institute in California, found that cancer patients were low in potassium, and when potassium rich foods were included in their treatment, there was a marked improvement.
Daily recommended intake of potassium is between 2000 6000mg. Note, if food is cooked, much of the potassium is leeched into the water, and possibly discarded down the kitchen sink. A salad made with salad mallow can provide potassium in a high quantity for our daily needs, as well as other minerals, vitamins and protein. Note: calcium content is also high, 1432mg per 100 grams of leaves. I see, I had mentioned Salad Mallow briefly in August Newsletter. If your garden is not growing the greens, as yet, I do encourage you.
Salad Mallow is also a valuable survival food, the high protein leaves can be dried, and crushed in the hand to a powder, and stored to add a protein source to soups, casseroles, etc.
Lamb's quarters is a close cousin to spinach, but far, far more nutritious. It ranks right up there with Dandelion, Watercress and Nettles as one of nature's nutritional powerhouses. It has a mild, green flavor like our domestic greens.
Fat hen has ranked among top 10 weeds of the world (Holm et al., 1977). It is cultivated in the north-western Himalayan region as a subsidiary food crop in mixed farming systems, and valued for its nutritionally rich grain as well as a fodder crop and a pot-herb. Over 90% of families in the region cultivate Chenopodium and utilize almost every plant part for various purposes.
Susan Weed, US author of several books on herbs and edible plants, says, "A ½ cup serve (110 grams) contains over 300 mg of calcium, and the same quantity of leaves have 11,600 IU of Vitamin A. Leaves are an excellent source of B vitamins, especially riboflavin and folic acid, and 4% protein. Lamb's quarter leaves enrich plants as well as people. Bio-dynamic farmers dry them and combine with equal parts dried dandelion, nettle, purslane, sage, and chamomile to make a special plant food for the autumn garden."
Nettle (Urtica dioica & Urtica urens) yes, both these species are valuable herbs for well-being. You may just have one of the species growing as a wild weed in your area. Nettle contains germanium (refer to Herb Book for the many benefits of germanium), is 20% protein and has a range of antioxidants and polysacharides. Polysacharides, researchers indicate, strengthen the immune system, lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and reduces the stickiness of platelets making it harder for them to build up in artery walls.
Susan Weed, American author says, "Nettle tea makes the blood strong, and it could make blood vessels as flexible as a babies blood vessels, if it is drunk regularly. A nettle infusion is loaded with chlorophyll, which gives energy and nourishes the body. Remember to drink nettle tea for energy, all day long. A cup of nettle tea increases energy without wiring the nerves. Nettle strengthens the adrenals, allowing you to tolerate more stress with less harm. Nettle nourishes your immune system."
And... Maria Treben in her herbal says "Never could a malignant growth form, if we drank nettle tea."
Isabell say... always, remember nettle is valuable for us, as it is rich in chlorophyll, and iron, essentials for blood building, oxygen transfer, healthy bones and skin, and synthesis of neuro-transmitters, which are chemicals located and released in the brain, to allow an impulse from one nerve cell to pass to another nerve cell, thus allowing the body to perform at its best. And nettle has often been a survival food for people in times of hardship.
Watercress is a valuable salad greens. I grow watercress in soil, in a styrofoam box. Cutting and using it regularly, encourages it to put on more growth. Feeding with liquid seaweed Seasol keeps new growth coming continually. Use watercress for its richness of vitamins (very high in A, B s and C), minerals (a good source of iron, calcium and germanium), also antioxidants and antibiotic benefits.
Try a Watercress and Lentil Sprout Salad
Get some lentil seeds growing as sprouts. The sprouts are easy to grow and will be ready to eat in 2-3 days.
In a bowl toss 1 cup of lentil sprouts, a large handful of watercress cut into small pieces, 1 diced avocado, ½ teaspoon of kelp and 4 tablespoons of natural yogurt, or kefir (the thick part). Enjoy a vitality salad rich in living enzymes.
And how about Christmas Fruit Mince Pesto
Place in a food blender ½ cup watercress, ½ cup sweet basil or sweet tarragon, 1 cup sultanas, ½ cup raisin, ¼ cup currants or dates, 4 lightly chopped dried figs, 1 cup of hulled sunflower seeds or any nuts, rind and juice of a medium sized lemon, and process for 1 minute, and while processing, gradually pour in 1/3 to ½ cup of olive oil, in a thin stream (or more oil as required to make a texture of a fairly thick paste-like consistency.
Serve the pesto with sticks of carrot, celery, zucchini, apple slices or cracker biscuits.
Book review..."The Seed Savers' Handbook by Michel and Jude Fanton, shows how we can protect our food heritage, and covers information on 117 vegetables and edible plants, describing in detail how to grow, and then save the seeds. The handbook also gives methods of preparing what you have grown, to then serve as food. It is so important that every home is more self-sufficient with some home-grown produce, and this book is a very easy-to-read, practical guide.
The book sets out which plants are annuals, biennials or perennial, plant reproduction and pollination information, and how to prepare seeds for saving for the next season. By growing foods from non-hybrid seeds and then saving seeds for future crops, we can perpetuate heritage true-to-type, open-pollinated seeds, which maintain vitality of production, year after year. We must be aware that most commercial enterprises concentrate on breeding hybrids, not open-pollinated varieties. But as hybrid seeds are manipulated by large multinational companies, and are not suitable for seed saving because they revert to their highly inbred parents or can be sterile, we need to safe guard heritage seeds of food plants. This book, is a manual that gives all essential information to do this.
Ask for this book at your local library.
Or it can be ordered from Shipards Herb Farm,
phone 07 54411101 during open hours
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat, from 10 am to 2 pm.
(Qld. is not on daylight saving time)
Also available here on line.
GM FOODSAnother vital reason, why we must save non-hybrid seeds from the garden, is the threat to many of the basic food crops by genetic modification.
Today's techniques of genetic modified organisms (GMO) called gene technology provide new ways of identifying particular characteristics and transferring them between living organisms. For example, it is now possible to make a copy of a particular gene from the cells of a plant, animal or microbe, and insert the copy into the cells of another organism to give a desired characteristic. Because the resulting plants, animals or microbes have had their genetic material altered in some way, they are commonly referred to as 'genetically modified' or 'GM' organisms. Foods derived from genetically modified organisms are called 'GM foods'. Most of the GM foods produced so far have been obtained from GM plants. Some examples of GM foods are corn plants with a gene that makes them resistant to insect attack, or soybeans with a modified fatty acid content that makes the oil better suited for frying. Developments are also underway to produce plants that use less water to grow, and so make them more suitable for changing climatic conditions, that is, drought-tolerant crops.
Recent news from "NaturalNews" stated, "Genetic modification of the food supply has run rampant within the past couple of years. A new genetically modified creation has emerged, and may soon end up on your dinner table. Researchers in India have developed a genetically modified potato, loaded with genetically altered amino acids. It seems as if scientists are attempting to recreate nature entirely."
Genetically modified fish could be threatening the very genetic coding of fish worldwide, and the genetically modified canola plant has spread into the wild. It was also stated that genetically modified potatoes now threaten the purity of potatoes internationally. Natural News also stated, as important as the need to protect our food supply, is the need to protect ourselves from the deadly effects of genetically modified food. Consuming genetically modified food can lead to auto immune disorders, organ failure, sterility, and much more.
Multinational companies, eager to have the monopoly of seed supply and food production, spend millions each year to genetically modify the food supply, leading to an influx of tainted food crops where the genetic coding of the crop and/or seed is altered.
The process entails the transfer of genes from one organism to another, such as taking particular genes from a pig and transferring them to a tomato. Not only does this defile nature, but it can also leads to a host of health problems.
Due to the complexity of a living organism`s genetic structure, it is impossible to track the long-term results of consuming genetically modified food. Introducing new genes into even the most simple bacterium may cause an array of issues, highlighting the complexity of even the simplest organisms. Introducing new genes to highly complex organisms such as animals or crops, is even riskier.
When introducing the gene to its new host, it is essentially impossible to predict the reaction. The genetic intelligence of the host could be disrupted with the introduction of the new gene, creating an adverse reaction. There is truly no way of knowing the long-term effects of genetically modified food, as there are too many variables.
The other major problem is that foods in our shops, may not be adequately labeled for buyers to know if there may be a GM content. Although, in Australia, there are some labeling requirements for GM foods, there are a number of exemptions to the mandatory labeling requirements, eg.
- highly processed food where the processing removes all DNA and/or protein;
- minor ingredients, including processing aids and food additives (unless they contain novel DNA and/or novel protein);
- foods that are intended for immediate consumption that are prepared and sold from food premises and vending vehicles, restaurants; take-away outlets, caterers and self-catering institutions are exempt from mandatory labeling.
Natural News in America says, "The no-GMO revolution has just begun! This grassroots movement is gaining strength each day as more and more people become aware of the dangers of genetically modified foods. People are outraged at the fact that in America today, there is no requirement that GMO foods even been labeled!
People deserve to know what they're eating. It's a basic human right. And they deserve to have the freedom to choose to avoid GMOs at the grocery store."
As Australians, who want to see more accurate labeling, and foods free of GMO, we have to inform our politicians that we mean NO GMO. Take a listen to Mike Adams singing "Just Say No to GMO" on the following link, and read the lyrics on the right hand column, just by scrolling down.
And if you would like further reading on GMO go to:
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, and then, these experiences can encourage other people, to give herbs a go.
The Herb Robert from you is growing prolifically. I am in Sydney, in an inner city terrace with the back yard being only a large timber deck. I grow herbs, plus tomatoes, in pots. As both Herb Robert and Gotu Kola like semi-shade I have their pots close together. We eat Herb Robert, Gotu Kola, Sheep Sorrel, Nasturtiums and Dandelion leaves regularly with our salads and, with our daily dose of Chia seeds, the psoriasis I have had for many years in large patches on my legs and other places has almost disappeared. Regards Anne
A young Mum told me, she makes lemon grass tea, cools and strains it, and it is available in the fridge for her family to drink. Far better for them than soft drinks, and she said, they enjoy the chilled lemon grass.
Norelle called at the Herb Farm recently for more herb Robert, and said, how drinking the herb as a tea (3 cups a day) had given tremendous relief from symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Researchers believe, that MS may occur, as a result of some combination of genetic, environmental and infectious factors. But, whatever the cause, it is not very pleasant for the sufferer.
On the 13th of November, Kevin and Sharna visited the Herb Farm. Kevin asked if I would kindly go out to his van to meet Sharna, which I did. Sharna was sitting in a wheelchair in the van. She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 18 years ago and the condition has now robbed her of mobility. She only has movement in one hand and arm. She is still able to talk and smile, which as so beautiful.
(Isabell says, keep up the herb robert, I think it wants to bless you more)
Just recently, 25/9/20, a young man called at the Herb Farm and shared information about a friend who had been diagnosed with cancer of the throat, approximately 2 years ago.
He could not eat or drink, and therefore had to take liquids and nutrients in through a tube opening into the stomach.
The doctor told the man that they could start on treatment and drugs but these would kill him in his condition, and told him to go and enjoy life, as he did not have long to live.
A friend had told him about Herb Robert in the Herb Book, and he started drinking the tea daily.
The young man who called said, he made a complete recovery, and is back at work!
This is the POWER of herbs.
Isabell, I love your books. Your sprout book was a wake-up call on how easy fresh produce can be grown in such a small space. I started eating fenugreek sprouts and the soak water, half way through my second pregnancy, and I ve had no problems with milk flow this time around. Kind Regards Anne
On the 18th of November, a group of people from Caboolture visited the Herb Farm and I was sharing with them information about useful plants to grow. On the table I had a dried loofah gourd, and I had picked some young loofahs, ones of the right size for eating, similarly to using zucchinis.
Loofahs are such a hardy plant, and heavy bearing, and are an excellent self-sufficiency/survival food. A lady, Lida from the Northern Territory, who just happened to be visiting the Herm Farm with her friend Sue from Caloundra, also joined in the circle. When I talked about the uses of loofah as a food source and the dried loofahs for using as a dish cloth or sponge for washing the body in the bath or shower, Lida shared her experience of growing loofahs.
Later Lida spoke to me, and said she had been using a loofah gourd for many years when bathing, and her skin, which was so soft and smooth, certainly attested to this. I asked her if is she would write down her experiences with loofahs, to share with Newsletter readers.
'Loofah Land' Humpty Doo - Bought a 5 acre block in Humptu Doo in 1980, 20 years ago, and decided to become self-sufficient with organic vegies, fruit trees and bees, plus try and make a few dollars with loofah sponges to supplement the family income. After 2 years of gardening and 2 daughters aged 1 ½ and 2 ½ I became widowed - end of my plan - had to make some changes in my life.
The loofahs were great for storing in dry Darwin conditions. I started being creative, began dying loofahs, and packaging loofahs as gifts to sell to the locals at the beginning of the week, I delivered loofahs by the basket full to local schools (tea rooms) with an 'honesty tin', and collected the baskets at the end of the week. Each basket made me approximately $50, and I was grateful of the local community supporting my cause. I also decided to use the loofah daily (in removing dead skin, etc) whilst showering both dry and wet scrubs. I thought it would be a good experiment, plus a clean skin, allows moisturizer to be absorbed more effectively Darwin s dry season could leave a person s skin looking dry and scaly! Plus, I would be a living and working example of my efforts, and the benefits of the loofah.
Well 20 years on - here I am at Isabell's Herb Farm - sharing my story - showing my skin and letting her feel the softness.
Thanks Lida, for sharing your experiences with loofah. Brushing the skin with a loofah is most beneficial to health. The fibres of the loofah massage the skin, and increase the blood flow to the area. The light abrasive action of the loofah rubbed over the skin, removes dead and scaly skin and day-to-day surface grime, sweat and wastes that are released through the pores of the skin. Refer to the Herb Book, for more details, of loofah benefits to health and as a food.
As mentioned above, Sue brought her friend Lida from the Northern Territory to visit the Herb Farm. Now Sue has been to the Herb Farm previously, as it was Lida who told Sue about the Herb Book, when Sue was visiting her in the Northern Territory in April 2010. Lida felt that some herbs mentioned in the Herb Book might benefit her ailing mother. If you did not see the October Newsletter, you can read Pat's account of improved health at http://herbsarespecial.com.au/newsletters/newsletter-oct-10.html Now Sue said, when she came with Lida 18/11/10: Mum s Indian Doctor, said to her on a recent visit, "You know, the herbs have kept you going." Pat said, Yes, I do. At this visit, her doctor was able to take Pat off 5 prescription medications.
Patricia emailed 3/11/10 My husband, Alex developed heart problems a few years ago. He has been on medicines with some rather nasty side effects, but was told that he just had to put up with them as his condition was serious and he needed them. 12 months ago he was told that he was likely to have to have a pacemaker if things didn't improve. He went back for another check up and the medicines hadn't helped at all. The doctor agreed to wait another 6 months but said that if the medicines hadn't worked in the previous 12 months they were very unlikely to now start working. After that visit I discovered Isabell s Herb Book and Gotu Kola. Alex started taking 1/2 teaspoon of the dried Gotu Kola in a cup of water each morning. 6 weeks later he had to go back to the doctor. Alex's heart function had been at 20% efficiency, but this time it was 40%. The specialist was stunned. I was at the appointment with Alex, and the doctor said he was delighted, but surprised, that the medicines had finally begun to work. We didn't tell him about the Gotu Kola. He's a nice man but very main-stream, so we were pretty sure that he would disapprove of the herbal approach. We are both convinced that it was the Gotu Kola, that made the difference, and Alex is continuing to have it as a tea each morning.
What remarkable accounts from these people! We sincerely appreciate and thank every person who shared their experience. Sharing your experience with using herbs, can encourage and motivate us all.
Isabell's Books and DVDs can be orderedfrom Shipards Herb Farm,
phone 07 54411101 during open hours
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat, from 10 am to 2 pm.
(Qld. is not on daylight saving time)
Also available here on line.
How can I grow and use Sprouts as living food? $30 (regular price $37)
for December 2010 and January 2011
How can I be prepared with Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods? $30 (regular price $37)
The Seed Savers' Handbook $23 (regular price $30)
These BOOK SPECIALS can be ordered:
* on line by using the following coupon code D2010ND
in our checkout at herbsarespecial.com.au
* or from Shipards Herb Farm by clicking the SPECIALS link below.
Shipards Herb Farm SPECIALS
on some books, herbs and self-sufficiency and survival food plants.
for December 2010 and January 2011
click here to find out more about the SPECIALS...
Laughter medicine for today...Teacher: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.
Teacher: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON: No sir, I don't have to. My Mom is a good cook.
Some inspiring quotes to ponder on..."A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain." Robert Frost
"The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children." Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"The greatest wealth is health." Virgil
"A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book." Irish Proverb
And in signing off...Feel free to print out the newsletter, 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.
Make your garden a wonderful place of peace where plants flourish, and that the food plants and herbs you grow, will sustain you, and will be at their optimum nutrition.
Herbs are for our health and healing.
Shipards Herb Farm Catalogue for July 2010 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.
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.