Monday, June 27, 2011

Edible Herbs

You're winding down for the night getting ready to start your week off right, when all hell breaks loose. The news stations report that a major cataclysm has just occurred affecting the entire county. People are frantic, chaos ensues, martial law is imposed and all grocery stores close their doors...permanently.

What do you do?

No one likes to think about these type of scenarios but it's unfortunately all too possible in the world that we live in, so don't get caught unprepared! BVL has discussed this topic in the past, it's time to revisit it.

Besides stocking up on non-perishable/dried food items, water, toiletries etc. for emergency purposes, it is an essential practice for families to become acclimated to the natural food sources available in our own backyards (often literally). I spotted/shot each of these herbs growing freely in the wild. Each one is edible.

You can probably easily recognize the dandelion (above), and may have seen the burdock (middle) and chicory (bottom) in one of the BVL albums, but do you know how to harvest them?

Dandelion leaves/root are commonly consumed in salads and herbal remedies, as is burdock root (some use the leaves, but the root is most popular) and chicory leaves/root.

The leaves are the easy part, but to harvest the root of these herbs, a Hori Hori (Japanese digging tool) will help you to get deep enough into the ground to be able to eventually pull it out.

There are many wild herbal identification books at the bookstore/library for you to start the learning process. You'll have to learn where to harvest the herbs from (away from polluted areas) and learn how to ID the plants accurately because a mix up could cause you to eat something poisonous. The knowledge won't happen over night but it's important information that may one day save a life.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Alkaline Food Challenge

It's that time again! Our next Community Challenge will begin on Thursday June the 23rd. Will you join us?

This one was suggested by brother Taziyah Bandele so many thanks goes out to him for the idea of having an "Alkaline Food Challenge".

Now, you might be asking: what exactly is alkaline food? It probably won't help to use google in this instance because everyone and their mother's/brother's/sister's/cousin has a different answer lol. But by definition it is food which has an alkaline forming effect on the body. As opposed to foods that are acid forming.

Acidic foods are detrimental to our health so we always want to make sure that the foods we eat are as alkaline as possible. For this challenge we will be using Dr. Sebi's nutritional guide. He makes it very easy. Just click on the link below and start preparing yourself to ONLY eat the foods he recommends. Can't get much simpler than that!

In the upcoming week, we will delve into the mystery surrounding alkalinity and explain how eating alkaline foods can change your current state of health for the better.

Who's in??

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Autism: One Parent's Journey

Just got my first paper back from herbal medicine school and I got an A!!!!!!

It was a very personal piece written about my son and some of the things that I encountered on the road to treating his autism. Wanted to share a bit of it with everyone, especially those who have a child, or know someone who has a child with special needs.

Here's an excerpt from it:

I initially felt that the word autism had many negative connotations attached to it. In short, it meant slow, not as proficient as, one who struggles with tasks that others find easy, but worst of all incurable. Negative connotations aside, however, it was a slight relief after he was diagnosed. I could offer the diagnosis to his teachers as explanation as to why a wide array of disruptive behaviors were occurring and be received with understanding as opposed to frustration. Future flair ups and subsequent teacher annoyance could also easily be addressed and dissolved with the simple reminder that he was “autistic”. When I began using the word to describe my son, the weight of the word, measured by the responses of others surprised me. The numerous teacher complaints were now replaced with nods of understanding and in time the complaints ceased altogether even though his “bad” behavior persisted.

The feeling of relief and ease I was beginning to feel as tensions between me and his teachers quelled was short lived, however, as I began to wonder if I was negatively enabling my son. What if the ways in which this disorder affected him were not as pervasive as his doctor and I had suspected? What if both me and his teachers had a limited understanding of the true nature of the disorder and were using it as a crutch exempting him from the expectation of performing in ways that he was capable, if he were only challenged and expected to? With the inclusion of so many varied behaviors, which of his behaviors were ones that could be classified as the manifestation of the condition, and which could be classified as normal childhood defiance? Was this elusive term “autism” limiting otherwise realistic expectations of him to perform in ways that were actually at par with his current capabilities? In finding answers to these questions it was necessary for me to look beyond the language and explore my son independently of the numerous preconceived notions surrounding the disorder.

From a health standpoint the doctors stated that this was something that he would have to live with for the rest of his life, from a wellness standpoint, those words alone initially shaped my belief and slightly diminished the hope I held for treatment options. What’s the point if nothing I do will make a difference? His first pediatrician told me that I “ought” to get him tested as she suspected he might have “something”. Those words put fear in my heart. Once he was diagnosed and I did seek out therapy options, his psychologist told me to not be too “unrealistic” when it came to my expectations. “He’ll likely be this way forever” he said, so you should start to adapt. Those words have stayed with me to this day previously deterring me from pressing forward when my son showed enthusiasm in a number of different fields.

It took one classically trained physician who specialized in natural remedies to set me straight and get me back on the road to positive expectation in regards to my son’s condition. His words; “He is going to get better, I’ve seen it happen.” After a year of natural interventions that’s exactly what happened. He got better and better still, symptoms subsided and a new personality emerged. Tasks that used to be difficult became easy and the pride I saw him exhibit spoke for itself. But instead of his progress making me a happy parent at that time, it made me a bit of an angry one. While I was overjoyed at his progress, I was angry at each and every person who told me prior to this point that it couldn’t be done. Who were they to stifle my enthusiasm and how many other parents had they done this to? Due to the fact that I will one day soon be a a doctor of natural medicine I am now happy that I experienced this firsthand. I truly believe that it will help me to be more sensitive to the individual needs of those that I advise and ensure that my words do not place limitations on the most important tool at the patient’s disposal: hope.