WelcomeI started to write this February 2011 Newsletter on December 28th 2010. Why so early? On the Sunshine Coast, Queensland we were having cyclonic rains and winds, so no chance of working outside. This would be the wettest December we have had in 36 years, we have been in the area. Some plants have disliked the continual wet that has now gone on, for many weeks. There is evidence of some erosion and a few trees have fallen over. Other parts of Queensland (and other states too) are surrounded by floodwaters, with some areas evacuated. TV news gives very vivid pictures of the devastation to roads, homes, shops and other buildings.
(see both ABC web pages for Qld before and after flood photos).
Several weeks ago, at the time of the start of the rain deluge in NSW I had a phone call from a lady from central NSW, their roads were cut by floodwaters, and they were nearly out of food. She wanted some guidance as to what weeds in the area might be edible. Now, this is a bit difficult to suggest, when I do not live in the area, but I mentioned a few weeds that might be in her area. And if they were desperate... there is the grass that the cows eat. I suggested, probably the easiest way to use the grass, would be to cut the grass up a bit, with a scissors, and put it in a blender (which the lady had available) and add water, blend to a thick slurry; and then strain, and drink as a green smoothie.
I encourage every person reading this Newsletter to be prepared for calamities, with basic essentials. If not sure where to start, do order the book "How can I be prepared with Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods?" as this will give you ideas where to start, and motivate families to put a plan into action. We must be ready for the unforeseen. Many readers have found my Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods Book has spurred them on to be prepared for the unknown.
If readers at any time are stuck, there are a few veggies to remember if desperate... beetroot leaves (eat like silver beet); broad bean tips can be steamed, carrot tops can by cut finely and added to salads or stir-fries, garlic leaves, chopped and added to soups and salads, pumpkin and choko tips leaves, can be steamed and served with a little butter or herbs to give flavour.
Now as I complete this Newsletter towards the end of January 2011, ready for formatting... over the last 4 weeks large areas of Queensland have experienced severe flooding and devastation of homes, livelihoods and for some people - loss of lives. Heavy rains in the southern states, have also brought flooding of homes, towns and crops. Our thoughts and prayers are with these people who had to flee their homes, and now face the task of clean up and restoration.
Information about Herbs and
Reported in "What doctors don't tell you" Vol 20 No. 7 In article "Preventing Dementia" the plant Brahmi (Barcopa monnieri) which is a traditional Ayurveduc herb, that helps to enhance several aspects of mental function and learning capacity. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, healthy volunteers taking 300 mg a day of Brahmi extract, showed significant improvements in their learning rates and memory compared with those taking a placebo. Maximum benefits were seen after 12 weeks.
properties of plants
Indian ginseng also known as Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has been used for centuries, for infections and for warding off illness.
Even modern science is beginning to grasp the potent actions of this herb. Numerous studies by university researchers have investigated its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-stress properties.
The herb is known for its ability to calm the body, and some researchers indicate this herb can be used to promote sleep, and the plant's species name 'somnifera' literally means sleep-inducing. In traditional Ayurvedic medicine it is valued as a strengthening herb and rejuvenating tonic, and has been shown to ease anxiety or restlessness, as well as to reduce the symptoms of drug withdrawal. Its potential to stabilize moods and encourage adrenal recovery, is highly valued.
The pomegranate fruit is 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 possess high levels of antioxidants and thus helps support the body s normal defense in the prevention of certain cancers.
A recent Israeli study has demonstrated the fruit's amazing ability 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.
Try nasturtium to attack pimples... crush several green seed capsules (this means before they mature and go brown and no longer have juice), and apply the paste to pimples.
Compounds from licorice may protect brain cells
"NaturalNews" recently reported that natural compounds in licorice may hold the key to helping prevent or treat neuro-degenerative diseases. Neuroscientist Dr. Rosemarie Booze of the University of South Carolina, has researched a substance in licorice root, that may prevent the nerve cell loss in the brain which is associated with those devastating conditions of dementia, Alzheimers and Parkinson's Disease.
With testing, the ability of plant-derived phytoestrogens, such as LQ, to help nerve cells survive in neurodegenerative diseases and keep neurons connected and functional, the researchers have found, real benefits with the natural compound from licorice, as it is absorbed easily in the intestines and crosses the blood-brain barrier very well.
The importance of Bees to our well beingThe following is an email from a friend, Christine Bennett of Nambour, and I felt I would like to share it with Newsletter Readers, as the topic, follows on from what I wrote in the December 2010 Newsletter about GM foods. The information on GM foods (if you did not read the December Newsletter) can be viewed at
Bees are 'dying like flies'. In Europe and the US, bees are almost extinct. Australia ships bees to the US to pollinate their vast almond (monoculture) plantations, due to colony collapse in that country. And this problem has reached global proportions - it is ubiquitous.
The survival of bees and humans are inextricably linked. We are dependant upon the pollination process to actually produce food.
For a VERY long time, I have been petitioning FSANZ (Food Safety Australia and New Zealand - who are supposed to be our 'watchdogs') stressing that GM 'foods' will NOT 'save the world' from hunger'. 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.
Similarly, pesticides such as neonicotinoid, are deadly to bees. This particular petition is about the effects of these poisons ... but don't let that stop you from putting pressure on the pollies about Genetic Modification! (for further updates and action, join Gene Ethics).
Our survival depends upon BEES.
"If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live." Albert Einstein
The following information came from an Avaaz Report 10/1/11
Bees are dying off worldwide and our entire food chain is in peril. Scientists blame toxic pesticides and four European governments have already banned them. If we get the US and the EU to join the ban, other governments across the world could follow, and save bees from extinction. Sign the petition and forward this urgent appeal:
Silently, billions of bees are dying off and our entire food chain is in danger. Bees don't just make honey, they are a giant, humble workforce, pollinating 90% of the plants we grow.
Multiple scientific studies blame one group of toxic pesticides for their rapid demise, and some bee populations are recovering in countries where these products have been banned. But powerful chemical companies are lobbying hard to keep selling these poisons. Our best chance to save bees now is to push the US and EU to join the ban -- their action is critical and will have a ripple effect on the rest of the world.
We have no time to lose -- the debate is raging about what to do. This is not just about saving bees, this is about survival. Bees are vital to life on earth -- every year pollinating plants and crops with an estimated $40bn value, over one third of the food supply in many countries. Without immediate action to save bees many of our favourite fruits, vegetables, and nuts could vanish from our shelves.
Recent years have seen a steep and disturbing global decline in bee populations -- some bee species are already extinct and last week we learned that some US species are at just 4% of their previous numbers. Scientists have been scrambling for answers. Some studies claim the decline may be due to a combination of factors including disease, habitat loss and toxic chemicals. But increasingly independent research has produced strong evidence blaming neonicotinoid pesticides. France, Italy, Slovenia and even Germany, where the main manufacturer Bayer is based, have banned one of these bee killers. But, Bayer continues to export its poison across the world.
This issue is now coming to the boil as major new studies have confirmed the scale of this problem. A leaked document shows that the US Environmental Protection Agency knew about the pesticide's dangers, but ignored them. The beekeepers and farmers -- want these deadly pesticides prohibited until and unless we have solid, independent studies that show they are safe. Let's support them now. If you would like to sign the petition, see link below below, and also, share the information with others.
We can no longer leave our delicate food chain in the hands of research run by the chemical companies and the regulators that are in their pockets. Banning this pesticide will move us closer to a world safe for ourselves and the other species we care about and depend on.
For more information:
Book review...You and Your Hormones by Dr. Peter Baratosy (often referred to as The Alternate Doctor)
This book is 2 books in 1:
Part 1 covers in detail the research on hormones and their function in the female body, and in the male; the thyroid/adrenal connection, side effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT); the affects of steroids and other pharmaceuticals; and why Dr. Baratosy has found that Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (B-HRT) is safer. The book shows why hormones become imbalanced, and why, as we age... hormones decline ... due to pollution, the poor western diet, and stresses of life. As man or woman ages, the levels of sex hormones oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone, declines, and as we all know, both sexes have these hormones, but in different proportions. Besides, every person is a unique individual, and here not only the physical symptoms need addressing, but also emotional and psychological aspects so that our lives can be healthy, happy and fulfilled into the senior years. Many people will see that natural hormones are safer, and then understand why so many people avoid the use of synthetic hormones.
$30 plus post
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.
From Steven: I've been eating lots of Fenugreek, Mung bean and Chia sprouts lately and lots of edible weeds (probably over 50% sprouts and 40% weeds) plus condiments and I'm having spectacular results. I only sleep around 2-3 hours a night as opposed to 8-9 previously, and I have more energy than ever before.
I have one meal a day of the sprouts plus a weed pesto and feel like doing backflips throughout the day. Sprouts are truly an amazing food and life is truly a blessing when we have the fuel to live it to it's full, spectacular potential. Once again, thanks for everything.
Steven, Sunshine Coast
The same kind of feed back, came from another young man:
I just wanted to tell you. That I have been eating a lot of sprouts the past few days and especially today. I ate an egg in the morning and 4 oysters at night, but other than that, I have been eating sprouts and raw vegetables and fruit, and I am amazed at my energy levels today. Life energy in sprouts, is too obvious and noticeable for me to deny, or want to deny for that matter!
Thank you so much for your book and DVDs on Sprouts. I am looking forward to reading the rest of your books and sharing this information with others.
Take care, Ryan, Florida USA
I would like to share with you the wonders of Gotu Kola for our family. A friend uses the herb and told me all about it. I have a cherished Blue Heeler dog, called Dash, who was suffering badly with arthritis. Dash is 13 years of age. I now give her two leaves every morning and the change is remarkable.
She no longer needs to have a cartrophen injection monthly and bounces around like a young thing. I told the vet about this wonderful herb and they were very interested as well. I read so many stories about humans benefiting from the herb, that I just thought, I would like to share the benefits for animals as well.
Hi Isabell, I spoke to you about 2 years ago when my daughter had a tumor of the abdomen. She has been using Herb Robert and several other herbs you mentioned. Today she is very healthy, and I say thank you.
Hello Isabell, Your books have made a big difference in my life. I had been very sick for many years, with no energy. Now I take herbs daily, herb robert, gotu kola, sheep sorrel, watercress, sweet leaf bush leaves, salad mallow, nasturtiums and others I have growing, and each day brings happiness for me. I enjoy growing the herbs and picking them fresh to use with meals, and making as a tea.
Sincere thanks, Peggy
Thanks Isabell for writing the Self-sufficiency and Survival Book. With the heavy rains and floods in Queensland, this book has been a wake-up-call for me, to be prepared. We are now putting together our 72 hour kit and strategies for emergencies.
Thank you, Tom
I just had to email you, to say how very timely it was to write your book on Self Sufficiency. You did warn us that one day we may not be able to get food, and offered us alternatives. That time has come, with the present flood situation in Queensland. We now live at Kilcoy and have been cut off from the supply line for a week.
Although we have only been here for 6 months, I started a garden immediately and now can go and harvest perennial rocket, purple mukunu-wenna, sorrel, mushroom plant, ceylon spinach, sambu lettuce, nasturtium, knowing that we have fresh living food to eat when there is none in the shops (and it has more nutrition in it too). It will be even more important in the future too, as our supplies will take a long time to return to normal. I got your book out and checked to see if there was anything else I could be eating and realised that I can eat young leaves of choko and pumpkins too. I'm planting more stuff in my veggie garden too, as a hedge against high prices in the future. We have planted lots of fruit trees but they will take time to bear. I even have pumpkins planted in my front garden as I haven't finished my native plantings yet and the pumpkins will be a good ground cover for the time being.
It's very satisfying to be able to gather stuff from your own garden. It's hard to convince others about what you can eat if you have to, but I always serve up a salad of many pretty leaves, for people to try, if they come. We just have to educate people, and maybe they'll remember, when times get really tough. Thank you for writing such a book.
Warm regards, Jenny
P.S. We already do sprouts and know the health benefits of those and the fact that you can have food in 2 days to feed your family.
Dear Isabell, They say you meet 7 seven people in your lifetime that make such an impression that they stay with you for the remainder of your life you are one of my seven. I absolutely love your books and the generous and extensive knowledge you share, thank you. After reading about Kefir in your Herb Book, I have been making it, and my digestion system has improved out of sight. But wait there's more, and, less than a week ago my brother was given the death knell, and he self discharged out of hospital a very sick man unfortunately cirrhosis of the liver. He is staying with us and I have been "feeding" his body (and mind) using a lot of information gained from your Herb Book. With using fruit and vegetable juices with comfrey, etc, etc, eliminating all "white foods," he is now less depressed and doesn't seem so "yellow" now.
My Very Best Regards, Hazel
I phoned you earlier in the week regarding a milking goat that was bleeding from the vagina. The goat has had a daily comfrey leaf , some mugwort leaves, yarrow and garlic. The bleeding has stopped, and the goats appetite is returning.
Thank you for sharing your time and wisdom, Carra
Thanks Carra for sharing how herbs helped your goat.
A friend has loaned me your beautiful Herb Book. I have been juicing some fresh Aloe vera leaf every morning for about a month now, and it has done wonders to heal my leaky gut.
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.
Herb Farm SPECIALSDuring February and March 2011
the Herb Farm will have specials on some herbs, self-sufficiency and survival food plants, and seeds
click here to find out more...
Sprout 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds (use seeds still with the husk on) on a shallow seedling tray (or even an opened up egg carton) filled with potting mix or soil approximately 2-4 cm deep. Start the sunflower seeds by soaking in water for several hours, and then spread over the prepared soil. Cover with 5-6 sheets of damp newspaper and leave to germinate. When seeds start to sprout, remove newspaper. Check the soil daily and water as required. Sunflower sprouts will be ready to pick, by cutting at soil level, when the first 2 leaves turn dark green, which can be from 6 to 9 days, depending on day and night temperatures. Then you are ready to make the salad. If you can't wait to sprout the sunflower seeds to use the sprouts, the recipe can also be made using hulled sunflower seeds.
In a bowl
grate 6 large carrots
Add sunflower sprouts, or 2 tablespoons of hulled sunflower seeds
½ cup sultanas
Make a dressing by mixing well in a jar or shaker:
juice from ½ orange
juice from ½ lemon
4 to 5 sprigs, of finely chopped fresh rau om (Isabell's favourite flavouring herb),
or sweet tarragon, or oregano (or any other fresh herbs you like for flavouring)
1 dessertspoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon mustard (optional)
Mix all together and serve for a very tasty and nutritious salad.
Aloe Face Mask
Put into a kitchen blender
½ cup aloe gel (taken from fresh peeled aloe leaves),
¼ cup plain yogurt or kefir,
2 teaspoons lemon juice,
1 teaspoon sunflower oil or other plant oil);
mix well and freeze in an ice cube tray.
Take 1 ice cube out of freezer when wishing to use,
and rub onto the skin, for a very refreshing face mask.
Laughter is good medicine...Tom went to the cinema recently and in the front row was an old man and with him was his dog. It was a sad funny kind of movie. In the sad part, the dog cried his eyes out, and in the funny part, the dog laughed his head off. This happened all the way through the film. After the film ended, Tom decided to go and speak to the man. Tom said, "That's the most amazing thing I've seen. That dog really seemed to enjoy the movie." The man turned to Tom and said, "Yeah, it is. He hated the book."
Too cute, not to share... this was sent to me by a great friend, Aniko.
The caption is: It's always the kids that suffer. His name is Zonkey.
Some words, to ponder..."Good health is about being able to fully enjoy the time we have. It is about being as functional as possible throughout our entire lives, and avoiding crippling, painful and lengthy battle with disease." From "The China Study" by T.C. Campbell PhD
"Your health is your wealth" Rudolph Walker OBE (Actor)
"Go green, eat green, drink green, be green, and live green. This is the anthem of a new generation of conscientious people who desire to live healthy and in harmony with nature. Living green means living closer to nature and the abundance it provides. The term 'green' in relation to food encompasses nature's most abundant superfoods." From Natural News
A rich man is one who has enough. Chinese Proverb
A friend is a gift you give yourself. Robert Louis Stevenson
And in signing off...Life is a precious gift, our body is truly, wonderfully made, a unique complex design, to function and regenerate with purpose and order for a meaningful, dynamic and joy-filled life. Over four centuries ago, Leonardo da Vinci said, "May we ever have joy and gratitude in our hearts that the Creator of all things, in his love for us, placed the herbs in the fields for our healing".
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.
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.
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.