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Shipards Herb Farm - Newsletter Oct 2010

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Hello to you, wherever you may be.
Spring is with us here, and the days have become quite warm on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland... and we have had lots rain. Spring is a great time to work in the garden. I encourage you, when in the garden, to gently bruise the leaves of aromatic plants and take in the wonderful aroma, as this can build energy in the body. It is interesting to note, that research at the Washington University, indicated we can reduce our stress levels and lower blood pressure, by spending time in the garden.

Make your garden a wonderful place of peace where plants flourish, and food plants can be picked absolutely fresh, at their optimum nutrition.

Information about Herbs and
properties of plants

Herbs can be used to strengthen the body. Harness the healing power of natural herbs to treat common health disorders and to live a healthier life. Herbal remedies help to accentuate the natural healing abilities of the body. The power of healing herbs are very real.

For this reason learning about herbs is so worthwhile. By increasing our knowledge of herbs, and then using the herbs, we can truly get the benefits in our daily lives.

Today I have been propagating some Rau om (Limnophila aromatica) a delightful task, as I just love the rich, intense fragrance when leaves are crushed and the aroma inhaled... just so wonderfully refreshing, energy boosting and tantalizing.
Rau omRau om
Leaves add a great flavour to salads, also meat, fish and savory dishes, soups, vegetables, rice and sweet and sour dishes, dips and appetisers. Rau om is one of my favourite herbs, for its fabulously refreshing aroma and appealing flavour. Crush leaves for the refreshing aroma, a great aid to relax the body when feeling stressed, exhausted, and needing a pick-me-up.

Aromatic herbs have many facets to help the body heal. Some aromatic herbs have medical properties that are antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, sedating, or enable the body to release mucus, or provide a stimulating action to the blood and circulatory system. Aromas work on the body's neuro-transmitters, which then act to clear toxins, relieve tension, or strengthen different parts of the body, and give an energy boost.

Pigments in Plants

I have been researching colours in plants and foods that contain anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are evident by the colours of dark red, blue or purple in foods and leaves. Easy to grow plants, that particularly stand out are:

* Oca (Oxalis tuberosa) also known as New Zealand Yams; actually native to South America, where it is a staple food for a large population as it can yield twice that of a potato. The stems of the plant and the tubers are red.

Purple mukunu-wennaPurple mukunu-wenna
* Purple mukunu-wenna
(Alternanthera versicolor) a ground cover, the small red/purple coloured leaves can be used in salads, as a garnish, etc. The plant is valued in South East Asia for strengthening the eyes and nervous system.

Cranberry hibiscusCranberry hibiscus
* Cranberry hibiscus (Hibiscus acetosella) Hardy perennial bush 1-3 meters with stunning dark red foliage, of tri-lobed leaves. Pruning the bush regularly (eating the leaves in salads or cooked dishes) will keep the bush of compact growth. The petite watermelon-pink hibiscus flowers make an eye-catching display. Leaves eaten fresh have a lemony, mildly-sour flavour. Flowers are eaten also. Sour foods help to strengthen the immune system. An infusion of the leaves in water made as a tea is used for fevers, anaemia and as a tonic. The mucilage content of the leaves is known for the soothing effect on inflammation and irritation to the alimentary canal, respiratory and urinary system.

Researchers say, anthocyanins are powerful antioxidant flavonoids, that can inhibit DNA damage and act as an anti-carcinogenic force; and may assist the peripheral nervous system, the skin and collagen, cognitive and motion function, and have a role to play in vision strengthening, besides enhancing memory and heart health. Flavonoids are compounds that protect cells against free radical damage, which at cellular level has been linked to cancer, aging, atherosclerosis, transient ischemic attack (TIA's), inflammation and neuro-degenerative diseases of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

The experimental evidence has demonstrated anthocyanin benefits for diabetes and pancreatic disorders in recent years, and the efficacy is attributed to the multiple, simultaneous biological effects these colour pigments may have in the body, including prevention of the generation of free radicals, reduced pancreatic swelling, and decreased blood sugar concentrations in urine and blood serum. The anthocyanis have aroused considerable interest recently because of their potential beneficial effects on human health: they have been reported to have anti-viral, anti-allergic, anti-platelet, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and anti-oxidant activities.

Greens are valuable to health

A recent report from NaturalNews stated that diabetes continues to grow at a staggering rate with 1.6 million new cases being diagnosed each year in the US (no doubt Australian figures are similar). Emerging evidence, now clearly demonstrates, that this insidious disease can be prevented and controlled with a diet naturally high in green leafy vegetables.

Salad MallowSalad Mallow
The results of a study published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) reviewed six studies covering more than 220,000 people, concluding that one and one half servings of green leafy vegetables per day lowered the risk of Type II diabetes by 14%. We all need to be mindful of the benefits of greens in our daily diet. Let's all add more salad greens to our plates this summer.... Great ones to grow and use are watercress, salad mallow, sheep sorrel, lebanese cress, rocket... to name a few.
For more on salad greens, download 'Delicious Salads' PDF article herbsarespecial.com.au/articles/delicious_salads.pdf

Book read recently...

It Could Still be Your Thyroid
"It Could Still be Your Thyroid"
The author Dr Peter Baratosy, makes us aware, that thyroid disease is a very common problem, and becoming more common, largely due to conditions in our modern way of life, in a toxic world. It is not just the function of the thyroid gland itself, but whether the body can use the thyroid hormone. There are many blocks to the proper use of the thyroid hormone. The gland may be making the hormone, therefore the blood tests may show adequate hormone levels, but the body acts as if there is no hormone.  Often, a normal blood test, does not necessarily rule out a thyroid problem.  

Essential to thyroid well-being is a good digestive system, together with sufficient stomach acid and enzymes, plus adequate protein, and the balance of the necessary vitamins and minerals the thyroid gland requires for the intricate bio-chemical reactions to occur to make T3, the active hormone.

The book gives the symptoms of hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid) and also hypothyroidism  (under-active thyroid), and covers methods of treating thyroid imbalance, including using herbs.  The herbs Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) and Indian Ginseng (Withania somnifera) have a thyroid modulating action and are often used in hypothyroidism.  Indian Ginseng (also known as Ashwaganda) has been used in India for thousands of years as a daily rejuvenating herb and health tonic. Essential Fatty Acids are essential to the cell membranes, to allow the thyroid hormone access to the cells. 
Herbs for treating hyperthyroidism include Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), Gypsywort (Lycopus europaeus), Motherwort (Leonorus cardica,  and Scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora).
The book explores many of the issues of thyroid problems that orthodox medicine may not consider.

     Ask for this books at your local library.
Or they 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.

Email from Tracy - 25th Aug 2010 - A minor miracle... my 9 year old daughter had a weeping sore on the top of her head which just did not want to heal.  The doctors have provided plenty forms of internal anti-biotics as well as anti-biotic creams over a period of 18 months and the wound would just not budge. They have even taken swabs with no solution in sight.  I have an aloe plant, which I adore and which a bush turkey also decided he loved to and he destroyed it barring a couple of leaves and the root.  I picked up one of the broken, weeping leaves and suddenly remembered about all the magic this plant yields.  I washed off a leaf, broke a fresh bit open and applied the gel to my daughter's head. After just one application I noticed a huge difference to Caitlin's sore.  Three applications later and there is just a small trace of the wound left on her head.
Its funny you know, years ago I used Aloe for everything and over time I had forgotten how useful this very "simple" plant is.  In my quest for a healthier life, of late,  I have now turned back to herbs and all things natural.  Its certainly proved itself with this little miracle. Tracy

Dear Isabell, I would like to tell you my experience with Motherwort. I use to get very moody two weeks before my period. My emotions were like a roller coaster, up and down, and my poor husband is the one who had to deal with them.  Fortunately, he is very patience.   Anyway, recently I was at your Herb Farm and we propagated some of the Motherwort plant that day, and you told me to take some of the big leaves, which I did and for the next few days I was drinking an infusion of this herb.  To my surprise when my period came, I didn't even notice it, my emotions were normal. From now on, two weeks before my period I will have motherwort tea.  It will save me from all the emotional troubles and silly arguments with my lovely husband.   Adriana 9/9/2010

Gary emailed 14/9/2010 A work colleague brought some licorice back from England. I later went on to give up smoking, as Isabell describes on  herbsarespecial web site,   and I have been off cigarettes now for 14 months, after 25 years of smoking. Now I would like to grow my own licorice.

Isabell adds: That is wonderful you have been able to quit smoking. It is such a valuable herb for so many health benefits. Over 500 constituents have been identified in licorice. No wonder it has been used in oriental medicine for hundreds of years for invigorating the digestive organs, clearing phlegm and toxins, enhancing vital energy. I have just read the book "Power of Herbs, a practical guide to 50 healing herbs from the East and West, by Louis J. Vanrenen, who emphasizes licorice as tonic, adrenal stimulant, and an important herb for people detoxifying from alcohol and drugs. So, good on you Gary, for using licorice to improve you health. Note: for any person with a small acreage, there is considerable opportunity to grow licorice for an income.

The next 2 emails are quite lengthy... I was considering shortening the texts, but I did not think editing would be good, as the information is so worthwhile. Pat in her 70's, shares how herbs have been so valuable to her. Steven in his 30's shares how he has lived on a simple diet.
The information could be valuable to you and for friends and family.

Email from Pat... (remember, in our last Newsletter, Pat's daughter shared how her mother has a new lease on life, when she started on herbs) Hi Isabell, This email is to send a very profound thank you to you for your books and DVDs, and also for the herbs I have been able to get from the Herb Farm, to use. I am a 74 year old young lady  and have had lots of severe health malfunctions, and the need to have some very heavy medications, which on 2 occasions,  in the past has taken me to the brink of losing my life.  The drugs caused severe side effects and hospitalization. 

In April 2010, I was in deep trouble and pain, with a vascular condition causing my left leg and foot to swell up severely, and requiring morphine to kill the pain. Results of tests were then sent to our crazy hospital system waiting list, and the warning given that  -  should the leg change colour,  I had to get to help quickly in 4 hours, or dire consequences of  surgery and  leg amputation.

  My daughter was in Darwin at the time, visiting an old friend, and  on recanting the doctor's results of my condition to her friend, the friend said she had only very recently bought the  book  HOW CAN I USE HERBS IN MY DAILY LIFE, by Isabell Shipard.   She recalled that she had read in the book, about the benefits of chillies. She looked it up, and felt it might be of help in my condition, and suggested my daughter ring me and pass on this information. This information lead to amazing results. Fresh chillies were bought from the veggie shop, ground up and mixed with oil into a paste, and a poultice made and bandaged on my leg.

I had a very painful night. It felt as if the blood was in a fight to get to where it should be going, this was very real, believe me.  Then next morning, to my amazement, I had a normal size foot, that could for the first time in weeks fit into a slipper!   This was done again for the next 7 nights.  I returned to the specialist, as per scheduled appointment time. She was very, very pleased to see the foot normal looking and asked for an explanation of how this was able. I told her of the chilli poultices. This brought a smile to her face, and a caution with it.

I am still having difficulty with this leg, but not anywhere near as bad as the Darwin phone call day.

I do have a long list of other serious malfunctions. I visited the Herb Farm at Nambour to get a copy of the Herb Book and Herb DVD, and herbs that David had suggested for my conditions, including herb robert and goto kola.  There began a journey of getting to know what herbs could help my many malfunctions by reading about them,  and then using them regularly.

I am now at July 6th 2010 a far healthier person than in April, and in such a short time, have had great improvement in general health. So, if in such a short time span I could get improvements, then most definitely, the long-term use of herbs could be mind-boggling.

Using the herbs has resulted in reduction of drugs I was needing. I have had appointments with my 3 doctors recently, and given written statements of the progressive improvements, and a list of the herbs used and their constituents and actions of each herb, with the statement that I request their help in this progress, and that, I wish to discontinue the use of the heavy drugs, and would submit a written progress report each visit.  

This list of malfunctions began in my later years, from an under active thyroid.  Then to polymaligia rheumatica and the start of heavy drugs; this led to other complications of the side effects of these prescriptions; then high blood pressure and a heart attack, and heart surgery and 6 stents; also minor strokes, stomach and bowel problems, and my body balance out of kilter resulting in a few bad falls and spinal problems; ITA's and distorted speech and thought patterns. I have had 2 blood transfusions, one iron transfusion, and treatment and stays in Nambour, Caloundra, and Brisbane Hospitals.  There has been in the last 4 years two very close calls of my life due to the side effects of certain drugs I was on. I had to use a wheelchair, walker, electric scooter, and many other aids to live my life. I have been blessed with a wonderful daughter who works in the age care field, so I had a good supporter in this nightmare.

Isabell my request to you is, please keep up your wonderful work, and keep the information lines going out to hundreds of people that know of your work and your books, which I too got to know about, by one person passing it on; such valuable information, to those of us trapped in ignorance of not knowing.

I have a new lease of life, and know that is your wish too for others. Your work and books are very vital to us all, and your love of herbs is a blessing to all people. Thank you for your years of hard work, writing your books. I am so grateful, and I am sure many hundreds of other people have benefited also. Thanks from Pat.

Email received from Steven 11/10/10... The last eight months of my life have been somewhat of a revelation, since reading Isabell Shipard's How can I be prepared with self-sufficiency and survival foods.
Never one to do things in half measures, after reading the information on edible weeds I set off through the suburbs of South Brisbane to identify and taste test the local weeds growing in the area and see if it really would be possible to survive on edible plants and weeds. After a couple of days I had already identified around ten edible weeds from the book and within a week or two I could recognise the weeds from sight and would always grab a handful or two on the way to work.

Not only did my grocery expenses drop by cutting out the overpriced and nutritionally inferior supermarket greens from my diet, I noticed my health and energy levels improve. Although at the time I was still on what I would call an unhealthy vegetarian diet of cooked food, fruit and occasional pizzas and ice-cream, this noticeable improvement led me to re-evaluate my current dietary choices and gradually move away from cooked foods, cut out all the dairy foods, bread and other processed food and adopt an almost exclusive raw food diet, with almost 30% of my food intake coming from weeds. I was at that time working the evening shift, which gave me the time to walk the eighteen kilometres from Garden City (South Brisbane) into the heart of the Brisbane CBD eating weeds and stopping for one meal along the way. Sometimes I would go the entire day after this great walk and seven hours work having subsisted entirely off edible weeds and only feeling slight cravings for sugary food (I found however that eating Purslane and Aloe Vera in combination restricts cravings for processed food exceptionally well).

I have no doubt that if I or anyone else were forced to subsist entirely off edible weeds they could not only survive but would probably be healthier than the vast majority of Australians currently subsisting on the standard Australian Diet, provided they have access to high protein weeds like Chickweed and Wild Alfalfa.

After reading Isabell's self-sufficiency book, getting to know and use edible weeds and radically transforming my diet, I began to take a much greater interest in my health and started reading books on nutrition and health whilst exploring internet sites and articles with related themes. I read about the Hippocrates health institute in the USA, the world's oldest health institute and how their founder Ann Wigmore and current director Brian Clement use sprouts, green juices and other raw ingredients to reverse the effects of cancer and other diseases of civilisation with remarkable results.

This led me to purchase Isabell's book How can I grow and use sprouts as living foods?
Another book, another revelation! Sprouts are the healthiest, cheapest and most nutritionally dense land based food (rivalled only by Blue Green Algae and seaweed). Beans like Mung, Fenugreek, Azuki as well as many others can expand to over eight times their original size after sprouting which makes them extremely economical and with this expansion in size also comes a greatly increased vitamin and mineral content (The B group vitamins in Wheat Grass increase from between 20% - 1200% upon sprouting). I was able to pick up Mung Beans from Flannery's Organic Health store in Brisbane a couple of months ago for $3.99 a kilogram. Keeping in mind that the sprouts expand to over eight times in size, we're essentially talking about eight kilograms of food (the best food in the world) coming for only four dollars. Not bad for a food that is almost instantly digestible, 25% protein, contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B12, B15 and B17, C, E and K and has a host of medicinal and culinary uses.

Although it is unlikely that people will be turning out in droves to eat sprouts and edible weeds anytime soon, there are more than a few benefits for at least increasing the number of sprouts and weeds in our diet. Firstly, it's incredibly cheap, you'll be frequenting the doctor, dentist and pharmacist a lot less if at all, you'll feel and look a lot better, have more energy, more time (no cooking prep for edible weeds or sprouts) and most importantly you'll be taking responsibility for your health and life. I am not yet subsisting entirely off weeds and sprouts but I believe this is the optimum diet for human beings with the occasional sprinkling of fruits and nuts for fat and natural sugar (although the sprouts contain these as well).

I should also be honest and say that anyone who is looking to adopt this kind of diet should also know that a diet of this kind is incredibly difficult to maintain, not because it's unhealthy but because of the incredible temptation to fall back into old, bad habits. We are living on temptation island, with thousands of fast food restaurants selling the worst food in the world, and no sprout restaurants selling the best food in the world. The trick is to keep an eye on the prize, don't kick yourself if you occasionally indulge but at the same time understand that everything you need for optimum health is at your fingertips (or under your feet). If you're worrying about the taste there are a number of delicious, healthy salad dressing recipes to spice up your sprouts. If you still crave the taste of processed foods I totally understand but do try to put things in perspective. Your body is working twenty four hours a day, seven days a week 365 days a year to defend you. Your cells all work for the greater good (committing ritual suicide or apoptosis if their cellular integrity is in someway compromised) and everyday you unwitting rely on trillions of different chemical reactions, catalysts and processes which are dependent on quality food (fuel) for optimum functionality. By undermining this delicate balance by simply satiating your tastebuds with sugary, processed foods two or three times a day, this is an incredible disservice to the cells in your body that tirelessly defend you and readily sacrifice their lives for the greater organism (you).

Eating two meals of high quality fuel, once in the morning (if you're hungry) and one meal after mid-day, and abstaining from food in the evening to give your digestive system a well earned rest, will place you in good stead to live a long and healthy life free from the degenerative diseases and ailments which afflict the majority of people as they age.

I thank Isabell for her gift of nutritional knowledge which in turn has permeated all facets of my life, making me a calmer, more confident person who now looks at life as something to cherish and with my renewed health I look forward to the future with renewed vigor. Steven

Isabell wrote: thanks Steven for telling us about your health and how weeds and sprouts have benefited you. If things get really tough, you are well prepared.

What amazing accounts from these people! We sincerely appreciate and thank, every person who shares, their experience. Sharing your experience with using herbs, can motivate and encourage us all.

for South East Queensland newsletter readers

We would like to let you know about the Wellness Day at Crystal Waters Permaculture Village, near Maleny on Saturday the 6th of November, as you might like to join in a day of free lectures. I will be speaking at 11 am on 'Self-sufficiency and Survival in food and health care'. For more information about the day go to

During October-November-December 2010
    the Herb Farm will have SPECIALS 

on some herbs and self-sufficiency and survival food plants.
*Order any of these specials from Shipards Herb Farm and you may order any of Isabell's books and receive a 10% discount off retails price.
click here to find out more...

Isabell's Books and DVDs 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.

Laughter medicine for today...

An old snake goes to see his doctor. "Doc, I need something for my eyes," he says "I can't see well." The doc fixes him up with a pair of glasses and tells him to return in two weeks. The snake returns a fortnight later and tells the doctor he is very depressed. Doc says "Didn't the glasses help?" "The glasses were fine doctor. I just discovered I have been living with a garden hose for 2 years."

Some inspiring quotes to ponder on...

Happiness is a perfume
"you cannot pour on others,
without getting a few drops on yourself." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"We ourselves feel, that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." Mother Teresa

Life is "trying things to see if they work". Ray Bradbury (author, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, lecturer, poet and visionary, known as one of America's greatest creative geniuses)

"Your body is a miracle. Just be careful you don't push that miracle too far, or it might turn on you and become a curse." Jon Barron (Natural Health Researcher and writer)

"If you tickle the earth with a hoe she laughs with a harvest." Douglas William Jerrold

And in signing off...

Feel free to print out the newsletter, or forward it on the family and friends.

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.

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 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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