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Shipards Herb Farm - Newsletter Apr 2011

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This Newsletter shares data about herbs, and how people have used them, and other information to encourage us.

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Information about Herbs and properties of plants

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) I am starting to comprehend just how valuable this herb can be for the heart, and for menstrual discomfort, as people share with me their experiences. It is an easy to grow herb, which can be used as a tea, but note, it is a bitter herb; therefore some folk prefer to make it into a tincture, and this means, when taking the herb in this form, then it is just a few drops of bitterness on the tongue (washed down with a glass of water). A dose of 5-15 drops can be taken to ease menstrual cramps, pain, stress, moderate menopausal hot flushes, and balance hormones.

The herb has also had use for lowering blood pressure, counter blood vessel inflammation and strengthening the heart. The use of this herb for the heart goes way back in Greek and Roman history, when used by people who had chest pains and irregular rhythms of the heart. It was also found to act as a mild sedative, and for conditions of tension and stress. Because this herb was so helpful to the heart, the Greeks and Romans called it cardiaca, which means heart, so, now we know, how it received its botanical species name.

As a cardio tonic, it has been used to prevent the formation of blood clots, improve blood flow and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. For anyone who complained of chest pains or heart palpitations, it was a herbal folk-lore tradition to be given a mixture of motherwort leaves crushed to a pulp (these days we can easily use an electric blender) and mixed with honey. The honey helps get rid of some of the bitter taste of the herb. Sir Lauder Brunton, an English research scientist, said that it was known that the heart consumes a great amount of calcium chloride. This could be one reason that motherwort was so important as a heart tonic  because it contains much of the natural non-toxic calcium chloride. It has the ability to draw the calcium out of the soil.
In England it was a herb used as a sedative that would calm a woman while she was waiting to deliver a child and they found it would relieve some of the pain. English midwives agreed that this herb was important for mothers. One midwife had told others that she had used the herb and it helped to speed up a difficulty delivery. Another used the herb for calming the anxiety during the last week of carrying a child and making delivery less painful. Another midwife, noted, it helped to discharge the afterbirth.


Herb robert (Geranium robertianum) is a valuable herb for health and healing. When you have it growing well, keep in mind that a few leaves crushed in the hands and then rubbed on arms and legs can help to deter mosquitoes, when working outside or tending your garden. For more information on herb robert - click here


Have cravings, need something to nibble? If it is just sugar cravings or it is due to stress of work load, exams, kids or what ever, try sucking on a lemon myrtle leaf or a piece of licorice root, or chewing some sweet leaf bush (which tastes like fresh peas).


Watercress, eat it regularly.

Recently (NaturalNews) in an email newsletter, reported watercress as an emerging potent anti-cancer super-food, with numerous studies highlighting its benefits.

Natural News reported, "Studies have shown that eating as little as three ounces of watercress reduced the presence of breast cancer tumors in just hours after consumption. More specifically, natural plant compounds found in watercress halt a protein called Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF) from emitting signals that cause new blood vessels to turn into tumors. Watercress has also been found to out-perform pharmaceuticals such as tamoxifen and herceptin (note: watercress, however, is a natural herb that will not cause any of the harmful side effects brought upon by traditional drug use).

Not only has watercress been shown to effectively battle cancer in the short term, but it also has been proven to ward off cancer in the long term, thereby preventing the onset of cancer in the future. Watercress has also been shown to "turn off" the blood supply to tumors. In addition, daily intake of watercress also reduces DNA damage and increases the cells' ability to further resist DNA damage caused by free radicals.

One can choose to exercise, stop smoking, begin juicing, cleanse the body, or consume powerful super-foods like watercress; anyone can choose to prevent cancer. Through simple lifestyle changes, you can free yourself from the possibility of developing cancer. Do your research and take control now."

More on watercress research from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:


Note: in my Herb Book, first Printed in 2003, I mentioned the research done in Australia at Monash University 1997; and also the benefits of watercress in the war against cancer, as this herb contains vitamin B17 and germanium.

Also, watercress is a source of lutein, which researchers say, can help prevent UV damage. Researchers have found lutein to be associated with a lower incidence of eye diseases such as cataract and age-related macular degeneration. The high levels of lutein found in watercress may have the additional benefit of preventing the development of coronary artery disease and heart attacks. Several studies have shown that dietary intake of lutein may protect the arteries from the development of dangerous arterial plaque. Lutein and beta-carotene are powerful antioxidants, and by regularly eating watercress, we get a boost of these. There are over 2000 mcgs of beta-carotene in 100 g of watercress leaves, which is said to be more than four times as much as in raw broccoli.

Researchers at Ulster University, Ireland, found that a daily portion (a good sized bunch or cereal bowl full) of watercress can significantly reduce DNA damage to blood cells, which is considered to be an important trigger in the development of cancer.

Watercress has another rather unique component, known as  nasturtin' which converts into a form of isothiocyinate known as PEITC. Studies done with PEITC have shown some very beneficial results. A study published in Cancer Research in 2007 showed that the presence of PEITC can inhibit the growth of prostate, breast and colon cancer cells. In fact, PEITC has been found to prevent cancer growth at several different points critical to tumor development.

Watercress has been used as a therapeutic herb to ease conditions like coughs, head colds, bronchial ailments, fluid retention, tuberculosis, asthma, emphysema, stress, pain, arthritis, stiff back and joints, diabetes, anemia, constipation, cataracts, failing eye sight, night blindness, leukemia, cancer, hemorrhaging, heart conditions, eczema, scabies, body deodorizer, bleeding gums, alcoholism, intestinal parasites, circulation, sluggish menstruation, lack of energy, kidney and gall stones, as a brain and nerve strengthener, ailments of the spleen, thyroid, and liver; to normalize cholesterol and blood pressure; for improved memory, to retard ageing; for failing or scant milk supply of nursing mothers, health of glands and to strengthen the functions of the body's metabolism. Watercress can help to fight bad breath, and aid digestion by assisting bile flow. As watercress is low in calories, it can be used freely when juicing for weight-loss.

No need to have a running stream for growing watercress, Plant some in a couple pots and place near the kitchen door, so you remember to use it regularly.

Eat watercress and have a wealth of good health

How many edible weeds do you know in your garden or area?

I encourage you to know an alternative food source in your surrounds and be better prepared for possible future failures in food supply.

Several edible weeds can provide benefits to the immune system. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) might be a weed you have been pulling out of your garden. It has powerful healing potential. Please make sure you are eating true dandelion, as there are look-alike plants. Refer to my Herb Book for description of dandelion.

Dandelion is an outstanding liver cleanser and strengthener. It is a traditional folk remedy to heal and tone up the liver, also a herb to relieve food allergies and aid digestion, as well as repairing damage that may have been caused by drugs, chemicals, alcohol, and infections conditions, like hepatitis. Dandelion benefits the immune system. The immune system of the body is a network of cells and cell products that defends the body against disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and cancer cells. It is interesting, to note, that a dandelion-root tincture, taken daily, has been found to increase the production of interferon in the body, which has been found to inhibit viral multiplication, and also activate T-cells.

Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus) is another useful weed, highly regarded for building strong blood. Strong blood is nutrient-rich, and this blood feeds our organs and cells, so they get the nourishment they need for optimum functioning. Strong blood helps muscles work well without aching and cramping. Other herbs/weeds that help build strong blood are plantain, chickweed, nettle, shepherd's purse, wild turnip and cobbler's pegs. For details of these plants refer to How can I be prepared with Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods?

Let me tell you a wonderful true-life story about mini-sunflower.

mini sunflower flowers
mini sunflower flowers
Over 30 years ago, a Permaculture group was started on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, under the direction of Max Lindegger. We met monthly, and people were very keen to learn all they could about Permaculture, as proposed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in their Book "Permaculture 1".

A speaker at one meeting was a chap called John Palmer, who spoke about some edible weeds. I must have known about some edible weeds at that time, as the one weed that stood out for me, was one little weed that John called mini-sunflower. Now, over the next 30 years, we set up our Herb Farm, grew many fruits, vegies, herbs, spices, and, guess what  the mini sunflower was growing along with everything else, and I always remembered John saying this weed was edible. So I often passed this information on to folk who came to learn about plants at the Herb Farm.

In 2010, Adriana came to learn at the Herb Farm. Although married to an Australian, her homeland is Columbia, and she brought some seeds of a plant she called Potato Weed, which is a traditional food in her homeland, often added to potato soup. I did a bit of internet searching to find out more about this plant. Botanical name, Galinsoga parviflora, a member of the Asteraceae family (along with all daisy flowers like calendula, chamomile, sunflowers and echinacea); annual to 60cm, hardy, will grow in any soils, in sun or shade, and guess what, this is the same plant/weed that I know as mini-sunflower. Soon after, Steven came to learn at the Herb Farm after he purchased my Self-sufficiency Book in Brisbane, and he was so keen to learn, so naturally I showed him the min-sunflower, which he added to his daily gatherings of edible weeds. Steven found with weed fossicking and growing sprouts to eat, he could indeed live on these foods. You can read more about Steven's adventures in previous Herb Farm Newsletter emails. Now this enthusiastic fellow, shares his new found food knowledge with anyone who wants to expand their survival skills. Recently the Sunny Coast Raw Group visited the Herb Farm for a talk, and at the end a chap introduced himself, as John Palmer. I said, I remember you coming to Permaculture, Nambour over 30 years ago, you showed us the mini-sunflower as being a good edible weed to get to know.

So information, John shared over 30 years ago, I have passed on to others, and folk like Steven have passed on to others; and through the Self-sufficiency book many more people will get to know of more nutritious edible weeds, and these people will tell others, this is what, passing-it-on means!

We do need to be more prepared. Like Amanda said, when she emailed and said she had just read the Self-sufficiency book from her local library, and then added info to her blog spot: saying, "Everything I've seen on the news lately, both at home and abroad, it's become apparent to me that things can turn sour in an instant. It's not just happening in third world countries anymore, disasters are striking every day, in all parts of the world. And when things were going wrong around here all I saw was a lot of panic and not a lot of preparedness.

Other than the obvious benefits of peace and tranquility, we have recently made the change to live a much more simple life, because it makes sense to us on so many levels. During the floods, it was quite scary to see how dependent everyone is on the "system" and how quickly entire cities can go without power, water, sewage, etc just because they are connected to the town's supply of EVERYTHING (just look at what happened in New Zealand).

SELF SUFFICIENCY BOOK As the title suggests, this book is all about being prepared, just in case. When each day seems to bring a new tragedy from somewhere in the world, be it a tsunami in Japan, earthquake in New Zealand, or devastating floods right here in Queensland, it doesn't sound so crazy to be prepared".


The following email came in recently, which certainly warns us all to be more prepared and resilient for the future. I was about 1/3 through your book "How can I be prepared with self-sufficiency and survival foods?" when the floods hit Grantham, with us in the house. Thanks for info in your book, as I was able to use some of the info to help my wife, daughter and I to get out with only a couple of scratches. THANK YOU for the foresight. I recommend this book to all I meet.
From Dan 11/2/11

GM Foods...

Following on from information given in Newsletter December 2010 re GM foods, we will perhaps have to contend with many more problems to come.

According to Dr. Don Huber of Purdue University, IN, USA, a new and previously unknown pathogen has been created by the combination of the pesticide Roundup and Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops. Dr. Huber is no stranger to dangerous microbes. He was a bio-chemist colonel in the military researching strategies for detecting and resisting disease outbreaks from biological warfare.

The pathogen Dr. Huber discovered has never been seen before. It approximates the size of a medium virus, but has fungal qualities and is able to reproduce. Now we have a franken-fungal-virus in our midst. He's astonished to find it affects plants as well as animals. It just so happens those dying plants include the very corn and soybean GM crops that use Roundup. So farmers falling for Monsanto contract arrangements are losing their crops while being forced to buy more of the same GMO seeds.

Dr. Huber noted the tendency for spontaneous abortion and reduced fertility in farm animals feeding on GMOs, that Dr. Pusztai observed in his Scottish laboratory with rodents a few years earlier. Dr. Huber had observed this in cattle feeding on Roundup Ready GM grains, with livestock being lost as well.

Dr. Huber ends his January 2011 letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack with: "We are now seeing an unprecedented trend of increasing plant and animal diseases and disorders. This (RR) pathogen may be instrumental to understanding and solving this problem. It deserves immediate attention with significant resources to avoid a general collapse of our critical agricultural infrastructure."

More on GM foods:


And following up, on the plight of honey bees...

from Newsletter February 2011, not only are GM crops affecting honey bees, but also Asian bees, which will mean fewer plants are pollinated, therefore reducing the volume and variety of food able to be produced in Australia.

The survival of bees and humans are inextricably linked. We are dependant upon the pollination process to actually produce many of our foods.

Honey bees depend upon pollen as a food source. Pollen from GM crops affect bees adversely and weaken their immune systems. With their weakened immune systems, bees cannot withstand veroa mite outbreaks ... and so they die.

Read more at:



Book review...

Vaccination:  It's your informed Choice
Vaccination: It's your informed Choice by Dr. Peter Baratosy (often referred to as The Alternate Doctor)

This book is about the side of vaccinations that is generally not available to the public, and covers the negative side effects. Dr Barastosy states in his book, he will not tell anyone to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is not his task, that is the parents decision, but he states it is his job to give information.

In his extensive research, he has found that vaccines do suppress the immune system. Studies have shown decreased white cell function after vaccination. The book cites over 6 pages of references from which the author took his information. Vaccinations are given when the child's immune system is immature and thus vulnerable to immune system damage.

Dr. Baratosy gives details of numerous studies and research papers and indicates that vaccinations can contain adjuvants such as aluminium, mercury, formaldehyde; and he also gives details of contaminated vaccines made from animal cultures. The degradation of the immune system has been going on for many years. Modern society has introduced so many influences that can suppress the immune system, and he says, it is meant to be our immune system that keeps us from getting sick.

The book covers whooping cough, poliomyelitis, measles, influenza, tetanus, diphtheria, meningococcal meningitis, etc, and side affects seen following vaccination, like autism.

$20 plus post (139 page A5 size book)

     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.

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.

I have taken Herb Robert and Fenugreek for over 7 years every day since I talked to Isabell about my cancer. Back at that time, I had only been given a short time to live. Today, 15th March 2011, I am still here, with the cancer now gone. Doctors are still not sure why.

On 02/02/2011, at 9:28 AM, Susan wrote: Good morning Isabell, I bought Isabell's Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods Book last year, after reading it from our local library, and followed it up immediately with copies for all my family, together with the Herb book. They are our plant bibles and we have all implemented survival strategies you recommend. I have thought of you many times over the last month of adversity in Queensland and am grateful for the degree of security I now feel as a result of your sage advice.

I think the weather events we are experiencing in Queensland now is, sadly, a taste of what we might expect in the future. Your books are empowering and I thank you for writing them, not to mention the fun we have had growing plants that we had never previously encountered.
With kind regards, Susan, Qld

And from North Queensland: I want to tell you that your book on sprouting has had an enormous impact on my life. I am never now without sprouts in the house either growing or in the fridge and I have also developed the mental habit of reminding myself whenever I am eating something that if there are not sprouts in it then go to the fridge and get some. No meal without sprouts is the rule here. I make a miso soup for breakfast each day and although I cook the grated pumpkin and carrots for 10 minutes, then pour into a serving bowl, and then the mung bean sprouts are added. I am going to go a step further soon and grow leafy greens as a salad vegetable because I need those A vitamins. I must go now. I am on a 3 day water and fresh juice fast and I am about to try something new. I have quite a few mung sprouts in the fridge and I shall juice them for "lunch".
Fond regards. Geoff

Hi Isabell,
I'm a big fan of your books and enjoy them a lot. I live on the Central Coast in NSW, and I taught a wheat workshop (sprouting, wheatgrass, wheat grinding and bread making) at school recently and shared on all the weeds I also enjoy eating from my garden like milk thistle, dandelion, and purslane. Thank you for your time and the life changing work you do, that helps people like me, to teach others,

Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods Course

And yes, a Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods Course is still being considered for the Spring 2011 on the Sunshine Coast. Updates will be given in future Newsletters.

In the mean time... Yandina Community Gardens, a Sunshine Coast Permaculture Centre (corner of North and Farrell Streets, Yandina) has invited Isabell Shipard to be part of the 2011 Saturday Workshop series.

Saturday June 11 - 10am start, 1˝ to 2 hour session

This workshop is provided free to the community as part of a Community Partnership program with Sunshine Coast Council.

Isabell's topic will be: Wonderful Ways of Using Herbs in our Daily Lives

Isabell will share some very practical ways of using herbs every day that will inspire listeners to make herbs a prominent part of their day. Bring note book and pen.

Using herbs daily can do so much towards building a strong immune system and for health and well-being generally. People will be able to sample a number of herbs, and at the end of the morning, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. Isabell's books will be available for sale, also seeds and plants.

Bookings are essential for this free workshop; please register your intention to attend by Wednesday 25th May either by
email to
or phone Linda Mahony on 07 5476 4567.
As seating is restricted at the Blue House, if the numbers are sufficiently high, Permaculture will hire the Masonic Hall opposite the Gardens so that all can be accommodated in comfort. Please book as soon as possible, to ensure a seat.

Isabell's Books and DVDs can be ordered

How can I use HERBS in my daily life? 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.


During April - May 2011
the Herb Farm will have specials on some herbs, self-sufficiency and survival food plants, and seeds
click here to find out more...

Laughter is good medicine...

"If lawyers are debarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, tree surgeons debarked, models deposed and drycleaners depressed?"

Some words, to ponder...

More grows in the garden than the gardener sows. Spanish Proverb

Learning moment by moment to be free in our minds and hearts, we make freedom possible for everyone the world over. Sonia Johnson

My brain is a great gift. Using all of it increases its value. Anne Schaef

On children
Children are one-third of our population and all of our future.
Author Unknown
Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.
James Baldwin
A child enters your home and makes so much noise for twenty years that you can hardly stand it: then departs leaving the house so silent that you think you will go mad.
John Andrew Holmes
A child seldom needs a good talking to, as much as a good listening to.
Robert Brault
Although there are many trial marriages, there is no such thing as a trial child.
Gail Sheehy
Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners.
Author Unknown

Henry Kissinger stated the premise succinctly in 1970: Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.

Definition of foresight
1. The ability to envision possible future problems or obstacles
2. An act or instance of knowing something beforehand
3. The act of looking forward

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.

Shipards Herb Farm Catalogue for January 2011 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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