Wellness Wednesday #15 – Parsley

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Did you know there are actually a ton of nutrients in Parsley?

I didn’t.

I see it all the time in recipes and usually go for some dried parsley just to say I added it in. Honestly I don’t think it has that great of a taste. I think it’s time to start getting some fresh parsley for those recipes!

Parsley hails from the Mediterranean area and has been used for medicinal and culinary purposes for 2,000 years. It has a very green leafy taste, much like you would think from its appearance. The leaves and the roots can be used as food or medicine.

The rich nutrients in Parsley include vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Plus it is high in volatile compounds that help fight some cancers, inflammation, osteoporosis, arthritis, and heart disease.

Due to the high amounts of vitamins and minerals in Parsley, it is a strong immune booster. A parsley tea will help detox your system too!

Although there are some cautions with taking Parsley in high doses, (you can check here and here for those cautions) there is no need for concern with regular culinary use.

You can add fresh parsley as a garnish to many dishes. It’s great in soups, salads, omelets, juices, and anything that needs a little green! It’s an easy herb to grow and can be added to a small herb garden or even a pot out on your porch.

I’m going to buy a bunch next time I’m at the Farmer’s Market. There’s always a vendor with Parsley!

 How do you add parsley to your diet?

Sources: 1, 2, 3


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Wellness Wednesday #12 – Chamomile

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Chamomile is one of my new favorite evening teas. It is extremely calming and helps me wind down before bed.

But this flowering herb goes beyond just providing a calming effect. There are other wonderful benefits to using chamomile!

Chamomile is native to Europe and has been used for timeless years as a home remedy for various complaints. The two most common varieties of this healing plant are Roman chamomile and German chamomile. The flowers are daisy like in appearance and offer numerous health benefits.

When taken internally chamomile can ease:

  • Sleep trouble
  • Anxiety
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • PMS symptoms

Chamomile has strong anti-inflammatory properties which make it excellent for soothing internal issues as well as topical. You can use chamomile topically to speed healing of skin irritations, wounds, and burns. One source I read suggested setting cooled tea bags on your eyes to reduce dark circles. I could use that!

As one of the most commonly used herbal teas around the world, chamomile has a good reputation for good reason. It is an all around delicious choice for soothing and calming. I love a cup of chamomile tea in the evenings to relieve the stress from the day and prepare my body for sleep.

I don’t believe chamomile is often used in cooking, so unless you like to sprinkle flower petals on your salads, it might be better to incorporate this in your diet as a tea. Or use the dried flowers in your soaps and salves. That is one of my favorite uses as well.

Do you like chamomile tea?

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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Wellness Wednesday #9 – Turmeric

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This week’s real food feature is Turmeric!

Wow is this one amazing spice! Turmeric could possibly be the number one real food ingredient to add to your diet. There are so many benefits to turmeric that even mainstream medical sites and doctors are recommending it.

The main component in Turmeric that benefits the body is curcumin. It has been cited in over 6,000 scientific studies to help in many different areas.

The top conditions and diseases turmeric helps fight are:

  • Inflammation
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Aging
  • Arthritis
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach pain
  • Liver and kidney problems
  • And some Cancers

It also aids in:

  • Brain and memory function
  • Maintaining blood sugar levels
  • Relieving skin irritation
  • Reducing chronic pain

This tangy spice has long been used in India and surrounding areas for culinary and medicinal purposes. Turmeric is what gives curry it’s unique flavor and orange color. It has been a secret wellness ingredient for thousands of years.

When taking turmeric for medicinal purposes it can be taken in capsule form or as a tea. Because it is so powerful it could cause some adverse reactions if not taken carefully. Check with your health care practitioner if taking for medical reasons.

To benefit from turmeric for everyday wellness, start including it in your cooking! It doesn’t only have to go in Indian dishes. Personally I love the warm flavor it adds to chicken dishes and soups. You can buy turmeric here.

Turmeric can be used topically to help nourish your skin and reduce aging. It may leave you a little orange if you use a lot of it!

Have you added Turmeric to your diet?

 

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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How I Beat a Winter Cold Naturally

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How I Beat a Winter Cold Naturally

I had something else planned for y’all this fine Monday. But life sometimes throws you for a loop.

First off, we had an ice storm. So I was iced in for quite a few days and starting to go stir crazy.

Then, Little Man started either coming down with a bug or some bad teething was going on. Regardless he had his first runny nose! I know, we’ve been extremely blessed to not have to suffer through any baby colds or illnesses this first year, I will always be happy about that.

But from the lack of sleep and stress of being stuck inside tending to the little man, I got hit with a bug. The first time I’ve been sick in almost two years! I’ll count my blessings with that as well.

The positive of this past crappy week was that I finally got to try some of the natural remedies in my arsenal. I’ve used my essential oils quite a few times when something was starting to hit me, and was successful to knock it out before any type of cold developed. I think that has also helped little man as well. (Hubby doesn’t count because he has an immune system like I’ve never seen before. He’s only been sick like once or twice since I’ve known him.)

Without farther ado I will share what has worked me this week.

Note: I am not a doctor and am not giving you medical advice. I just want to share what worked for me and my family. You can read my full disclosure here.

I stuck with homeopathic remedies for little man. He has responded well to the homeopathic teething gel that I’ve given him in the past so I assumed it would work well for him with a cold. At the first sign of runny nose I gave him Aconite. I gave that to him throughout the day and it did help. His nose never progressed to anything worse that a little dribble here and there. It still may have been teething and not a bug at all.

Something was definitely off for him though since he was very clingy at night. He would not sleep without me holding him. So in order to make sure we all got some rest, little man and I slept on the couch. I didn’t get much sleep but little man and working dad did. Two nights of this and I started to go downhill.

I got one of those really painful raw sore throats. At first sign of the sore throat, I drank some hot lemon water with raw honey. I also put On Guard essential oil blend on topically and took an Echinacea and Thyme tincture, followed up with some honey infused garlic later in the day.

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I kept up with the herbal tincture throughout the day and drank a few cups of Chamomile tea. The warmth felt so good on my throat. I took the day off of everything else and just rested while tending to little man. And by tending, I mean I caged him in an area of the living room so I didn’t have to chase him all day. He was feeling much better. I kept him on the teething gel for naps since that seemed to help.

Throughout the day, the pain in my throat continued but moved around. Any type of movement in a cold is good! By evening it was much less raw but I was starting to get congested. I oiled up again with On Guard before bed and also some Breathe respiratory blend. Little man was pretty much himself. I gave him some Chamomile to help him sleep.

The next morning my throat was still a little raw and I was congested big time. It was time to move onto homeopathic remedies. I started with the essential oils because I’ve had a really good response to them since I started using them a few years ago. It seems like they helped things move along, but I was ready to really kick this bug. (You can’t use essential oils and homeopathic remedies at the same time. The oils are so strong that they will mess up the efficacy of the homeopathics. They can be used alternately and still be effective.)

I started with Rhus Tox as that seemed to be the right remedy for my symptoms and took that throughout the day. I actually took a nap too. I was pretty zombie-like by evening and my cold was definitely an Arsenicum cold. I had a couple of doses of that before bed. I felt like my cold was continuing to move around though which meant the remedies were working.

Little man went to sleep super easy (Thank the Lord!) and so I was able to get to bed early as well. When he woke up to feed, I used some Breathe respiratory blend again since I was pretty congested. I rubbed some on my chest and neck and my congestion cleared up enough for me to get some solid sleep!

I’m still feeling a little nasally and am taking it easy today. (No laundry allowed!) But I feel so much better. I am impressed again with how quickly and effectively home remedies can work. Using a combination of real food, herbs, essential oils, and homeopathic medicines, I kicked this cold fast!

Well this was supposed to be a really short post, but I guess I had a lot to say after being off my computer for a few days!

How have you used natural remedies to improve your family’s health?

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Wellness Wednesday #4 – Thyme

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Welcome to Wellness Wednesday!

This week I am highlighting Thyme.

I use this herb all the time in my cooking. I love the flavor! There are over 300 varieties of thyme, but for cooking, lemon thyme is the main variety used. It has a subtle green flavor with a slight warm tanginess that greatly enhances the taste of most any dish.

The health benefits of this hearty herb come from the most abundant element, which is thymol. This is a strong antibiotic and is also an antioxidant and antiseptic, making it excellent for fighting off infection. Before thymol was known, people used to put crushed thyme in bandages to help ward off infection.

Way back in the day, Hippocrates, “the father of western medicine”, writes about its uses for respiratory illnesses and since then it has long been used for issues such as bronchitis, respiratory tract inflammation, and whooping cough.

As a relative to the mint family, thyme is also very helpful for digestive issues. It can stimulate the appetite while boosting liver function, making your digestive system run smoother.

Thyme is often used in mouthwashes, to treat bad breath, and to relieve sore throats. It’s all around good for the mouth and throat!

Utilizing the essential oil of thyme can increase some of the benefits. Although, simply cooking with the herb more often is also beneficial to your body.

How do you use Thyme?

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

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Wellness Wednesday #3 – Sage

 

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It’s Wednesday again!

Sage

Sage is quite the valuable herb. It is closely related to Rosemary and has a sweet savory flavor.  The Latin name for sage, “salvere,” means “to save” and has been used for thousands of years by many cultures for culinary and medicinal purposes.

This soft green leaf contains enzymes, flavonoids, antioxidants, and phenolic acids that help reduce heart disease, inflammation, menstrual pain, and digestive problems. It has long been used to aid in memory function. Tea made from sage leaves is nicknamed “thinker’s tea.”

Of the many vitamins and minerals contained in sage, Vitamin K is the most prominent. Even an amount as small as one tablespoon of this herb will give you nearly half your daily dose of Vitamin K. That’s pretty impressive!

Sage tastes great as a seasoning on a variety of meats and vegetables, and also mixed in dressings or sauces. Although more commonly used in savory dishes in the fall, fresh or dried sage is wonderful year round.

What is your favorite dish with sage?

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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Wellness Wednesday #1

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Greetings! This is the start of something really fun here at Never Lacking Zeal. I am now co-hosting Wellness Wednesday!

Wellness Wednesday is a blog link-up. Each week many different bloggers will link up their wellness related posts. It is a great way for you to find new fantastic blogs to follow, and if you are a blogger it is a great way to share your knowledge!

This link-up is shared by a few other natural living bloggers, each of us will have a short bit of unique content at the start of our link-up, so be sure to visit each of us! The link-up will be visible on each of the blogs so even if you can only visit one host, you will be able to connect with all the bloggers who link up.

Spread the word and let your friends know where to find some great natural living information. We greatly appreciate it!

In addition to the link-up, I would like to start sharing the benefits of different real food ingredients that you can use to boost your health. Wellness starts with the food you eat! We all have to eat and so making it taste good as well as be good for you is key.

Rosemary

This is one of my new favorites. Rosemary has a citrusy-woodsy scent that sharpens the memory. Just imagine standing in the woods on a crisp sunny day and smell the slightly minty aroma fresh green foliage.

This savory herb contains several vitamins and minerals including, Vitamins A and C, Manganese, Potassium, and Iron. Granted you would need a lot of rosemary to get your daily dose of these nutrients, but every little bit counts!

Rosemary’s anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-septic properties have been found to help with:

  • digestive problems
  • high blood pressure
  • headaches
  • and memory loss

If using the essential oil, Rosemary is great topically for hair health, joint pain, and skin conditions like eczema.

Next time you cook up some chicken or lamb, add a nice sprinkling of rosemary. It will improve the taste and give you some great benefits!

Now on to the link-up!


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Sources: 1, 2, 3

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