Thistle Dew Nutrition

Ramblings from a "Simpler" and perpertual student of natural health, with a strong focus on how to eat well to prevent chronic diseases.

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Location: Saugatuck, Michigan, United States


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Texas Travels

I just spent this past Monday in Houston, and Tuesday in Dallas. Yes, I was there on business; who would go to Texas the end of July if it’s not for business?

Although I am a small town girl, and never got much out of big cities, I have to say that I like Houston. Good food, clean streets, a well engineered highway system, good art, very nice people, and everyone I met had a smile for me. Also, and this may be strange to say, but every bathroom I went into was clean, nicely decorated, and most of them had a sitting area with furniture. This is simply not found in the North.

IAH airport could use some lessons in forethought and planning. It’s simply too big and not well thought out for each addition. Did you ever see a house that had three or four additions, and each section had a different roof line, different shingles and siding colors, and all the windows were different sizes and shapes? That’s kinda how I felt in the Houston Airport. The best example is that “Terminal C” has at least 4 wings on it. Shouldn’t they then be called Terminals Ca, Cb, Cc, and Cd at that point?

I wasn’t nearly as impressed with Dallas/Fort Worth. The cities were still rather clean, and the highway system was still fairly easy to maneuver around, even though there are as many exits to the left of the freeway as to the right, so you are forced to drive slowly in the middle lane just to be prepared. But Dallas/Fort Worth seems to be stuck in the 80’s. It’s like they were great twenty years ago, and they just don’t want to let go of those good times.

Each building was very well designed and built (about 20 years ago), very well furnished, with styles and high class brands from the 80’s like LeBarge and Laura Ashley, and people (especially women) still wear clothing and hair styles from the 80’s. I can honestly tell you that I have not worn a hair “scrungie” in public since 1992, or a banana clip, and I saw both of these hair decorations in abundance in Irving (between the two “big” cities). It's time for D/FW to move forward in the style department.

That’s my rant for today.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Mid July Ramblings: Tincutres

I can’t believe it! It is just so simple, which is why they call Herbalists who make their own herbal concoctions “Simplers”. I’ve only made three batches of tinctures, but it is so simple that I can’t wait to make more!

The first two batches were Dandelion Tincture. This is made by gently pulling whole dandelion plants up by the root while they are healthy and in full yellow bloom. You then clean them and cut them up as small as you can. I have a special wooden cutting bowl that I use that is called a mezzulina that comes with a curved blade that fits nicely into the bowl. It’s especially designed to chop herbs. Some people even put their raw fresh herbs in a blender to get it really small, but that’s a little too violent for me.

We then put the Dandelion “Mash” into a Ball jar, tap it a couple of times on the counter, then pour just enough 100 proof vodka up to the level of the mash. Seal the lid and shake vigorously. Shake it at lease twice a day for 14 days and filter it through some unbleached muslin cloth into an amber bottle with a glass dropper on it.

So my husband asked me what its good for and I read out of one of my many herbal books “colds, flu, gallbladder problems…” and it’s apparently very good for your liver. He laughed so very hard at that. “Let’s take Dandelion Tincture that’s made with one-hundred proof vodka for our livers! That’ll go over well with the alcoholics of the world!”

And it doesn’t taste too good either. I think it tastes “Green”, and some of my friends tried it after a dinner party, some other descriptions included “bitter”, “like blue-green algae”, and one old sailor claimed he needed to lick his rear end (he used a different word) to get the taste out of his mouth! Then he had some more.

A couple of weeks ago I realized that there is Poke Weed or Poke Root growing wild all along my driveway. I guess I had never noticed it before, but it intrigued and inspired my that day. So I am currently making a Poke Root Tincture. Why? Poke Root has been used historically by European Americans and Native Americans for many serious conditions including Breast Cancer, other forms of cancer, and has been shown to help clean out the lymph nodes. I hope to list some book references in the near future for your further reference.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Fresh Poke Root is poisonous and can be very dangerous. Do not ever take this without consulting a doctor or practitioner who has experience with it. That being said, it needs to be taken in very small doses.

Poke Root is also in both the internal and external Hoxsey formulas. To learn more about those products you are welcome to Google search the name Hoxsey, and especially look for anything written by or about Mr. Kenny Ausubel. Needless to say, I look forward to seeing the end result of my third batch of tincture.