How to transition into Autumn/ Slippery elm lozenge recipe

2 Comments

It is so important to live in harmony with Nature!1922-autumn-road-800x600

Here on the East Coast, we are officially in the Autumn season. In Chinese medicine, Autumn is  associated with the metal element and the organs of large intestine (yang) and lung (yin).  The lungs can be compared to the expansion and contraction that is seen in the element metal.  Likewise, the large intestine contracts (peristalsis) in order to empty, hopefully on a daily basis.  These two organs are considered our armor in many ways and like metal armor, are the most exterior of our organs, being directly connected to the outside environment.

These two organs are very well paired; one eliminates wastes, the other receives energy. Letting go, taking breath in and allowing it to be released. We have to let go of the old to make way for the new. Tree’s let go of their foliage. It is the time when a plant’s energies begin to contract, with the chlorophyll returning to its core.  As the days and nights become cooler our own body’s energy begins to contract, just as the plants seen in nature. Deep breathing, support & moistening of the lungs are crucial this time of season. Our immune system is stimulated and challenged by the change and we see the lungs attacked by allergens, bacteria, viruses, and the cool dry air. Increase the breath through exercise and increase hydration with lots of fluids.  It is a perfect time to wear scarfs  to keep that region of the body warm. As the body tries to naturally contract, ease into the Autumn season by eating spicy foods to bring on expansion. Going to bed early to stay away from the chilliness and resting your body from fatigue that can come with the change of season. Give yourself herbal steam facials to allow the lungs to breath in moisture & warmth.

 As we bring upon more “in” elements (yin) we must also support “out” elements (yang). The intestine is the organ of waste. Similar to the lung,  the large intestine needs to let go of what it is holding so we can eliminate what we don’t need. We don’t hold the breath in, so just as the long, no waste should be held within the intestine.  Let go and naturally see a change in your emotional and physical well-being. It is a perfect time to de-clutter your home, yard or personal schedule. Autumn in general is a good time to cleanse the intestine through detox. Look at your diet and eliminate unsupportive foods. Perhaps follow a 3 day juice cleanse or go for a colonic or practice at home cleansing enema’s to further help with elimination.

Autumn represents a time for harvesting – the last chance to take in the energy of the summer sun. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, autumn has a downward movement, illustrated by the growth of root vegetables. Eating in accordance with the seasons should have a strong positive effect on your ability to ward off symptoms of ill health. Start eating nutritious soups, warming ginger tea, fermented foods to help support immune function, eat fresh produce that are in season that can be found at your local farmer’s market.

Slippery Elm Lozenges

If the season has already caught up to you…like it has me…make these lozenges! I have a dry cough along with weezing and tons of mucus that’s been bothering me since the official day of Autumn. I’m also suffering with some pretty bad heartburn so these will double as a healer for my cough and my damaged esophagus.

picstitch

yields: a little over 50 (quarter sized) lozenges

Ingredients:

1 cup Slippery Elm Powder (can be bought at Mountain Rose Herbs)

1/2 cup licorice root tea

4 tablespoons raw honey

dropper full of flavored stevia of choice

picstitch-1

Start by brewing your licorice root tea (I used 2 tea bags). As soon as water boils, turn off heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Add your honey to the tea, along with stevia drops and allow to cool for another 10 minutes so its cool enough to handle. In a bowl pour the slippery elm powder and make a little well in the center. Pour the tea and honey mixture in the center and gently with your hands mix until a dough forms. Pour a little slippery elm powder on your surface and roll out until a 1/4″ thick. Take a small bottle cap and start cutting out little lozenges. Gather scraps to form a new ball and start again until all dough is used up. Store lozenges on a plate on counter for 24 hours so they can harden. I’m sure you can always speed up the drying process by sticking them in the dehydrator. Store in a cool, dry place (or refrigerate) in an airtight container. Allow the lozenge to dissolve slowly in mouth (when it gets “gummy” you can swallow it).  You can also dissolve in hot water and drink it as a tea.  Take one lozenge every 2 hours s needed.

photo 5

A little info on Slippery elm:

Slippery elm, an herbal remedy derived from the inner bark of the slippery elm tree,  provides several  health benefits. It contains mucilage, a thick substance that becomes a gel when combined with water. Native Americans first discovered the herb’s health benefits and today, herbalists still prescribe slippery elm for treating a variety of ailments.

It helps to neutralise stomach acids, boost the adrenal glands, draw out impurities, and heal all parts of the body.  The mucilage coats the mouth, oesophagus, and gastrointestinal tract with a slick residue.  It soothes the inflammation of ulcers in the stomach and duodenum and helps to provide a barrier between the ulcer and stomach acid.  It soothes irritations or ulcerations in the stomach and intestines and is good for helping with gastrointestinal conditions. This gel is said to coat the throat, soothe soreness, reduce irritation of the mucous membranes and prevent coughing. The herb is said to coat the stomach and intestines, and it may relieve pain from ulcers, heartburn and other gastrointestinal disorders. Slippery elm helps with digestion and cleanses the colon and creates an environment beneficial to healing.    Slippery elm is a tonic that benefits the adrenal glands, respiratory system, and the gastrointestinal tract.  Used topically, slippery elm can relieve minor injuries such as burns, cold sores, razor burns, scrapes, and sunburn.

Dosage of Slippery Elm

The generally advised dosage of slippery elm is to take between 4 and 10 grams of the dried inner bark in capsule form three to four times a day.  You can also make a tea by boiling teaspoons-full of loose bark in a cup of water for ten to fifteen minutes, cooled before drinking.  Three to four cups of this tea can be drunk per day.  Here is a tea recipe using powder. To use externally, mix coarse powdered bark with boiling water to make a poultice and rub on external wound.

Advertisements

My kitchen is so colorful!

2 Comments

9bed7616e0b7d48e179e20cf24e2933b

I have brought my diet to a new level. One in which I am trying to get most of my calories strictly from fruits & veggies – you know, REAL FOOD – food from the earth. With this effort, I’ve noticed how alive my kitchen has become! My counters are filled with beautiful colorful produce that I collect each week from local farmer’s markets, my garden and my farm share at work.  The brightness it has added to my kitchen has made me want to compliment my efforts by organizing, de-cluttering and clearing the rest of the space in my kitchen. This is where I spend most of my time, preparing my healing meals, so creating a space that is calming & beautiful is the right measure. I have been basket & jar shopping, bringing more greenery in with live plants and clearing out things I no longer have use for (yes that mean’s you, old can’s of tuna & non-organic tea bags. Hit the road.) I will post some pic’s soon of the  new space after I complete my organization.

photo 1This is the color I speak of!  $40 worth of local farm market goods. Three great rare finds – purple green beans, watercress, & edamame!

photo 2 This was my bi-weekly farm share.  Holy tomatoes!

563561_10152554571660594_1124807218_n

photo 4 Pictures of my gorgeous local farmer’s market in Red Bank, NJ.

photo 2 I bought a huge bundle of peaches….mmmm. Peachy Heaven.

photo 5 I’ve been adding lots of peaches to my smoothies.

photo 5….and eating them for snacks. This was my lunch one day- bowl of peaches with coconut shreds, hemp seeds, and bee pollen.

photo 4With the abundance of tomatoes, I’ve been making big jars of salsa. My favorite combo: Tomato, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, cumin, & a little Chalula hot sauce.

photo 3 Lot’s of rainbow bowls being made.

546789_457103544397610_1303214096_n Preparing a Peanut Noodle Thai Salad!

photo 3 This salad was amazing. HERE is the recipe.

photo 3 Instead of linguine, try these! You will  fall off your chair they are so good. Two ingredients: black beans & water. Better then any GF noodle I’ve ever tasted. I bought 6 packs of these and the Mung Bean flavor at rawfoodworld.com because they are on sale there!

photo 4 Cooked black bean pasta.

photo 1 Lastly, it was my honey’s birthday a few weeks ago. I love decorating for birthday’s!

photo 3 Here we are celebrating with his lovely mom at a lunch on the water.

heart