Friday, December 28, 2012

Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones

Lemon Juice, Olive Oil & Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix 2 oz of organic olive oil with 2 oz of organic lemon juice. Drink it straight down and follow with a 12-ounce glass of purified water. Wait 30 minutes. Then, squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon in 12 ounces of purified water, add 1 tablespoon of organic raw apple cider vinegar and drink. Repeat the lemon juice, water and apple cider vinegar recipe every hour until symptoms improve.

Other citrus fruits that contain citrate acids- oranges, limes, grapefruits, and tangerines. Mixing the juices of these citrus fruits with water and sucking it down can help break up and prevent kidney stones from forming.

Dandelion Root
Dandelion root is another great overall kidney tonic and cleanser.

Kidney Beans
The shape of this bean may be indicative of its healing potential. An effective urinary home remedy for kidney stones, traditionally the pods were used as a medicinal decoction.
Try removing the beans from inside the pods, and then boiling the pods in purified hot water for six hours. This liquid can be strained through cheesecloth, cooled and taken throughout the day for one day to ease kidney stone pain.

Both the vegetable and the celery seed are great diuretics and kidney tonics. Regular use of celery seed, both as a spice and a tea may prevent kidney stone formation.

A kidney tonifier, basil tea can be taken throughout the day for overall kidney health. If you have kidney stones try taking one teaspoon each of basil juice with raw honey daily for up to six months.

2 litres of coke over 2 hours, followed by asparagus puree, followed by 2 litres of water of 2 hours
Apples contain oxalates - dissolves and prevents kidney stones from forming.

Cranberries contain a natural acid - dissolves the minerals in kidney stones. Cranberries also have potent antioxidants and antibiotic properties to it that can help prevent urinary tract infections and keep the kidneys clear of dangerous minerals that cause the formation of kidney stones.

 Corn-silk tea is great single herb for increasing urine flow and restoring the kidneys.

Parsley leaves and root tea is commonly used for kidney cleanse

Parsley seeds are also diuretics, and are used for dissolving kidney stones 

Watermelon Seed Tea  

Celery Seed Tea  
At least once a day, three days a week, take Celery seed tea prepared by pouring a pint of boiling water over a tablespoonful of Celery seeds (freshly ground or cut) and allowing it to steep.  Let it cool, then strain and drink.  If practical, the tea should be made fresh for each use.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Harvest 2012

Nothing new here, just a copy for my records before I wipe out the little side bar and start over.

 Harvest 2012

  • Cond.- Catsup- quarts- 10
  • Cond.- Relish- Cucumber- pints- 9
  • Cond.- Relish- Dill Pickle- pints- 6
  • Cond.- Relish- sweet- pints- 4.5
  • Cond.- Salsa- pints- 30
  • Dessert- blueberries- pints- 1
  • Dessert- Crabapple Sauce- pints- 5.5
  • Dessert- Lemon Curd- pints- 4
  • Dessert- raspberries- pints- 1
  • Dessert- Rhubarb- bunches- 6
  • Doggy Stew- beef bones & trim- 41
  • Doggy Stew- Dandelions- 45
  • Doggy Stew- Lettuce-8
  • Eggs- (approximate) 660
  • Fat- Beef Tallow- quarts- 5
  • Firewood (chords) 7
  • Jam- banana- 1/2 pints- 4
  • Jam- Crabapple Jelly- pints- 15
  • Jam- mixed fruit- 1/2 pints- 10
  • Jam- rhubarb-raspberry- pints- 2
  • Jam- strawberry- pints- 7
  • Juice- Crabapple- pints- 14.5
  • Juice- grape- quarts- 12
  • Juice- lemon-lime concentrate- half pints- 18
  • Juice- Lemonade Concentrate- pints- 12
  • Meat- Beef- ground- 36 (meals)
  • Meat- Beef- roasts-49
  • Meat- Beef- Steaks- 11 (meals)
  • Meat- Beef- stew- 12 (meals)
  • Meat- Beef- tenderloin- 2lbs
  • Meat- Chickens- 4
  • Meat- partridge- 14
  • Meat- Turkeys- 7 (140 lbs)
  • Mushrooms- puffballs (meals)- 2
  • Pectin- Crabapple- 1/2 pints- 9
  • Pickles- Beets- quarts- 46.5
  • Pickles- dill- quarts- 53
  • Pickles- Dilly Beans- quarts- 1
  • Soup- Cream of Celery- pints- 10.5
  • Soup- Cream of Mushroom- pints- 9
  • Soup- Ham & Potato- pints- 7
  • Spice- chives- dried- 1/2 pint
  • Spice- Parsley- dried- 1/2 pint
  • Syrop- Crabapple- pints- 4
  • Syrop- Rosehip- pints- 4.25
  • Veg- Asparagus- bunches- 4
  • Veg- Beet tops- meals- 6
  • Veg- Broccoli- 1
  • Veg- cabbage- 5
  • Veg- Cabbage- quarts- 9
  • Veg- Carrots- gallons- 10
  • Veg- corn- cobs- 13
  • Veg- cucumbers- fresh- 40
  • Veg- Dandelion Buds- (meals) - 6
  • Veg- green beans- fresh (meals)- 11
  • Veg- green beans- frozen (meals)- 30
  • Veg- lettuce- heads- 2
  • Veg- lettuce- leaf - 25
  • Veg- lettuce- romaine - 2
  • Veg- Peppers- 44
  • Veg- Potatoes- (2011 crop)- 15
  • Veg- Potatoes- 2012 crop- meals- 12
  • Veg- Potatoes- volunteers- meals- 12
  • Veg- Pumpkins- 1
  • Veg- squash- 5
  • Veg- tomato sauce- quarts- 3.5
  • Veg- Tomatoes- gallons- 23
  • Veg- yellow beans- fresh (meals)- 6
  • Veg- yellow beans- frozen (meals)- 25
  • Veg- yellow beans- pints- 15
 Most improvements over the 2011 harvest, with the following exceptions:
  • Broccoli (half side dish) 16 frozen + 3 fresh
  • Brussel Sprouts (stew servings) 5
  • Cauliflower 5 heads
  • Dandelion Greens (meals) 60
  • Eggs (approximate) 2490
  • Fish (meals) 5
  • Partridge 28
  • Swiss Chard (meals) 10
  • Turnip 2 gallons
I think it may have gotten too hot too soon for the broccoli this year.  The brussel sprouts were just coming along when I let the turkeys loose in the garden.  I didn't plant cauliflower (and we didn't have the issues with the green worms either!), foxes ate the chickens, which wiped out the eggs, and I just didn't put as much effort into hunting, fishing, and foraging dandelions this year.  The turnips are the only thing I really can't explain.  They just didn't get very big this year.

I am overall very happy with the way production turned out this year, and don't have too many plans to change things for next year, except that I'd like to put another fence across the garden to keep the turkeys out of the brussel sprouts, broccoli, and 2013 seed crops longer.

Friday, December 21, 2012

More Wine Gear

I lucked out on a kijiji ad.  4 more glass carboys, lots of bottles, bottle tree, a filtering machine, hydrometer, thermometer, corks, foil caps, hoses, racking cane.  The ad said everything you need to get started and they were not kidding.  I think the only thing I'm missing now is a bottle brush.  And a place to store all of this stuff.

So, obviously I need to start more wine. 

Elderberries are the obvious choice.  Obvious, because my primary goal in wine making is to make sustainable table wines to replace the soda pop consumption here.  Elderberries are the only local fruit I have in sufficient quantity at the moment.  Except they're buried at the bottom of a very overstuffed freezer...  I'm not sure I'm up to digging through that with only 4 days left 'til Christmas.

Second choice is pumpkin.  I've been reading recipes, recipes, recipes, recipes, and thinking that this might be an excellent treat around Thanksgiving.  It does take a few years though, lol.  I'm not sure if I have the patience for that.  I mean, someday, when I have an assortment of wines in the cellar, but right now?  I think I may need something a bit quicker.  I do have pumpkins in the cold room though (a friend gave me a couple she bought for Hallowe'en decorations, and the monster squash from the greenhouse).

I'm also tempted to make apple wine, since apple juice has been on sale repeatedly for 93¢ a can.  It's also a quick wine- drinkable at bottling, better aged 1 year.  Apples may never be sustainable for me though.  If I make it, and we like it, I may be committing myself to an unsustainable practice.  But then, I've already done that with the peach, haven't I?

I think I can do three batches at a time- that is to say, I think the buffet cabinet the peach wine is sitting on is strong enough to hold 3 carboys at a time.  I'd have to rearrange the house somewhat to find a suitable place for the other two carboys. 

And some folks might be inclined to think I've lost my mind if I had 5 carboys bubbling away all at once...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Common Cold Remedies

I sick.  I a big baby when I sick.  Compiling a list of remedies with natural ingredients available to me locally.

Rest and Fluids
Plenty of rest lets the body heal.  Keeping hydrated keeps the mucous thinner and less sticky.

Vitamin D- sunshine and mushrooms.

Vitamin C - essential nutrient,  antioxidant. 

  • rosehip
  • black currant
  • parsley
  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • elderberry
  • papaya
  • strawberries
  • orange
  • kale
 Zinc- essential mineral involved in the production of certain immune cells.
  • meat
  • liver
  • seafood
  • eggs
  • oysters
  • baked beans
  • cashews
  • raisin bran
  • chickpeas
Vitamin E- powerful antioxidant crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system.
  • wheat germ oil
  • almonds
  • sunflower seeds
  • hazelnuts
  • peanut butter
Carotenoids- antioxidant,  a class of pigments found naturally in a number of plants. When consumed, carotenoids are converted into vitamin A (a nutrient that helps regulate the immune system).
  • carrots
  • kale
  • apricots
  • papaya
  • mango
Omega-3 fatty acids- essential fatty acid known to suppress inflammation and keep the immune system in check.
  • oily fish
  • flaxseed
  • walnuts
Other Foods
  • garlic- antibacterial and antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic properties
  • probiotics (yogurt, fermented foods)
  • Peppermint
  • Oranges
  • lemons
  • grapefruit
  • Elderberry- folk remedy for colds, sinus infections and the flu, found to fight off viruses. Tea/syrop/juice.
  • parsley
  • celery
  • cauliflower
  • spicy foods, particularly cayenne peppers and ginger, help increase circulation, which will warm you up if you have the chills
Hot Liquids- may help loosen mucus, kill germs in the mouth.
  • soup
  • tea
  • green tea- antioxidants
  • Chamomile tea- anti-inflammatory agents, natural anti-histamine, anti-oxidant
  • Lime/honey tea
  • Herbal tea- 1 tsp each of elderberry, yarrow root, mint and a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • Herbal tea- 2 tablespoons dried echinacea root,1 teaspoon dried eyebright leaf and flowers, ½ teaspoon dried boneset leaf and flowers,1 teaspoon dried lemongrass,1 teaspoon dried lemon balm leaves,½ teaspoon dried sage leaves,1 teaspoon dried peppermint leaves
  • Pine Needle Tea- expectorant (thins mucus secretions), decongestant, and can be used as an antiseptic wash when cooled
Sore Throat Remedies
  • Gargle with salt water
  • Echinacea or goldenseal – effectively enhances your immune system
  • Raspberry or blackberry leaves– gargle solution of the leaves, relieves discomfort
  • slippery elm
  • Cayenne pepper – include in your gargling mixture to stop your throat’s throbbing pain

 Cough Remedies
  • honey
  • marshmallow
  • mullein- weed that contains compounds said to act as demulcents (substances that relieve irritation or inflammation in the throat) and expectorants (agents for loosening mucus and making it easier to cough up)
  • red clover
  • colt's foot
  • sage
Post-Nasal Drip Remedies
  • Nasal Irrigation- salt-water rinse to clear the nasal passages 
  • Ginger- helps relieve congestion- tea:  4 cups water, 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, honey and lemon slice.  Tea2:  chop and boil ginger 20 minutes, then add orange peel.
 Runny Nose Remedies
  • slow breathing- increase oxygen in the blood
  • spicy foods- temporarily increasing nasal discharge so that your body can flush out the blockage and toxins
  • mustard oil- Heat a little of the oil until it's barely warm. Use a dropper to put just a drop in one nostril. Give the oil a minute or two to absorb, then put oil in the other nostril. Because the oil is so strongly scented, it makes it a little hard to breath, so only so do one nostril at a time.
  • thyme-crush it as finely as possible, gently inhale. Oil of thyme- a drop in each nostril.  Thyme tincture- 3-5 drops under the tongue.
  • Tumeric- soak dry, ground turmeric in linseed oil, hold over heat source until it starts smoldering, inhale smoke through your nose.
  •  Oil of oregano- antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory properties.  Mix 2-3 drops of oil with juice and drink it daily until the symptoms subside.
  •  Elencampane (infused in tea) drying up mucous lining
  •  Sage- tinctures/elixirs/teas.  By mouth-one pinch crushed sage mixed into a little raw honey.

 Nasal Congestion Remedies
  • Boil a glass of water and dilute two tablespoons of salt. Breathe the steam to clear nasal congestion and remove the mucus.
 Ear Ache Remedies
  • Vitamin E oil capsule- warm the capsule in hot water, open and drip into ear.
  • Chamomile- warm it in the fire then wrap in a cloth so you can lay your painful ear against it.
  • Ginger- infused oil. Drop equal amounts into each ear. Use a cotton ball to plug each ear.
Chest Congestion Remedies
  • chest rub- Pour 2 ounces almond or olive oil into a small bowl or cup, add 20 drops of essential oil – choose eucalyptus, hyssop, thyme, peppermint,  basil, or rosemary.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gout Remedies

Every time Husband has a gout outbreak, I end up scouring the internet in search of remedies to help him out.  Every time, I write it down.  And every time, I can't find the page I was looking for.  This post is just a collection of everything I've read for future reference. 

Potassium liquefies uric acid.
  • bananas
  • tomatoes
  • cantaloupe
  • peaches
  • yams
  • baked potatoes (with skin)
  • carrots
  • Papaya
  • Blueberries
  • Watermelon
  • white beans
  • dark leafy greens
  • apricots
  • squash
  • yogurt
Vitamin C reduces uric acid levels.
  • rosehip
  • black currant
  • parsley
  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • elderberry
  • papaya
  • strawberries
  • orange
  • kale
  • grapes
  • cherries
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Alfalfa
  • Watermelon
Bromelain is an anti-inflammatory enzyme that helps to digest protein molecules.
  • pineapple
Anthocyanins  help protect from cell damage caused by the uric acid crystals, increase the blood pumped through joints. This is important because the extra blood flow helps clean out your joints keeping them healthier.
  • any type of berry - black/purple/blue/red
  • Bilberry 
  • Blueberry
  • cranberries
  • strawberries
  • raspberries
  • red wine
  • grapes
  • cherries
  • green tea
  • eggplant
  • red cabbage
  • red beets
 Reduce Inflammation
  • Celery Seed- decreases swelling in joints, helps renal system (kidneys) get rid of uric acid through urination while also alkalizing blood. Celery seed is a diuretic and therefore helps to increase the pace at which uric acid is flushed from the body. Spice/tea/extract.
  • Fish Oil Supplements
  • yucca root
  • cherries
  • Devil's claw root- 1/2 teaspoon powdered devil's claw root with 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Drink 1 cup daily.
  • gingerroot
  • meadowsweet leaves and flowertops
  • white willow bark
  •  boswellia (frankincense)
  • capsicum (cayenne)- infused oil (4Tbsp cayenne to 1 Cup olive oil)
  • feverfew
  • licorice
  • Birch -use bark and leaves to make a tea.
Diuretics- detoxify
Pain Relievers
  • Turmeric-helps to block the pain nerve endings.
  • Rosemary- essential oil

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Edit:  This was supposed to post last week.  Not sure what happened...

Last winter I got it in my head that I should try making wine.  I scoured the interwebs, read tons of sites and blogs.  I figured I could do this.  And I wanted to make blueberry wine, with blueberries grown and picked right here in the woods.

I read all the reviews and did comparisons on all of the wine kits on amazon, picked the one I wanted, and added it to my wish list.

My birthday came and went, with no wine kit arriving at my door.  Mother's Day came and went.  Still no wine kit.

When the blueberries started to ripen in June, I decided to order it myself.  And then amazon laughed at me!  Damn those US sellers refusing to ship the kit of my dreams!  (Oh, fine, apparently there are laws about shipping that sort of thing over the border, and they vary from province to province, so we Canadians are a pain in the ass.  Who knew?)

So I went to the make your own wine store in the little city and asked them for a kit.  They kindly offered me a box of wine.  Um, no.  I explained what I wanted, the fellow said he could order in all the bits and pieces from their supplier, and the cost would actually be less than the kit, and the quality better.  Cool!  But it would take a month or so.  Drat.

Ok, not a big deal.  I could start my blueberries fermenting in a clean, food grade bucket.  The supplies should be in before I need them anyway.

And then the berries played a foolie on me.  Tough pickin's!  No blueberry wine this year.

But wait!  I have so many other choices!  Elderberries, raspberries, pea pods, oh my!  I can make wine.

I went to the little city to collect my treasure.  Except the owner told me the young fellow who had agreed to order my collection had quit and left him in the lurch.  Some stuff had come in, some stuff he had used.  Some stuff he didn't know whether it even got ordered.  He kindly led me around his shop collecting things off this shelf and that, and sent me off with assorted odds and ends, new and used, my head swirling, because, you know, I've never made wine, so do I need that?  What about one of those?  What is that?  On the plus side, he was very friendly and apologetic, and charged me less than half the price of the amazon kit.

I took it home and tucked it away.  I needed to reread instructions, recipes, clear my head.  But that was high into green bean, canning and pickling season.  No wine for me.

Last week, I finally sat and read.  And watched you tube videos.  And cleared my head.  I went in to the little make your own wine store in the big city, where they had all of the chemicals and additives on a shelf for the real do it yourselfers.  I bought a little of this and a little of that.  I probably have everything I need for a dozen batches of wine.

So where to begin?  Well, I like peaches, and this is just too easy...

So, I'll just mess with that a bit...  Hmmm...  These all ask for pretty much the same additives.  I'll put some of that in...

Can I drink it yet?  No, eh?  Ok, I guess I'll have to wait and see.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sourdough, Continued

For this bake, I mixed the directions up for both recipes.

I poured each starter into a clean bowl, added 1 cup of flour, and let rest for 1 hour. After washing the jars, I put about two tablespoons of starter back into each, then added another cup of flour and cup of blood warm water. The starters were starting to get kind of stinky, and there was a bit of mold growing around the top of 1 jar. After an hour the starters in the bowls were bubbling along nicely, I followed the Dawson instructions for all three, minus the egg and the oil.

I let them sit in the pancake stage for 4 hours, and they bubbled away beautifully.  I don't see any rise in this stage, just bubbles.  Again, I added 1 tsp old commercial yeast.  I let it prove in the pancake mix, then added the rest of the flour.

I let it rise about 6 hours.  When I went to bed it was close to doubling, but not quite.  I usually read/watch tv/toss and turn for a couple of hours, so I had planned to get back up and roll it out about midnight.  Wouldn't you know it, I fell asleep.

At 5am, they had all deflated somewhat.  I added flour and rolled them out anyway.  I let them rise in the bread pans about 4 hours, the commercial yeast starter looked like it was going to overflow, so I baked.

I was on the phone when the timer went off, so I asked #1 to pull them out of the oven.  Doh!!!  Which one is which?

This batch is good.  It's either the straight Dawson, or the potato mother.
This batch is ok.  It's a bit mushy in the middle, probably would have been good with a few more minutes in the oven.

And this is bird food.  This is the Dawson with commercial yeast in the starter.  It has that nose pinching stench of over risen bread, and the tops deflated during baking.

New plan:  Since it's taking too long to rise in my house, I'm going to start it late in the afternoon, let it do the second rise overnight, roll out and bake the next day.  I'm going to try it without any extra commercial yeast in the next batch.  I think it's ready.

Edit:    The yeast waters aren't doing anything.  None of them have bubbled.  I tossed the tea, as it was growing a thin layer of scum and mold on top.  The potato water stinks, although it almost looks like it has yeast floating on top.  The raisins are all floating.  I dumped them out and added fresh raisins and another tablespoon of sugar to the water.  The pine needles are still half floating, half sunk, and the water is clear.  If nothing happens this week, I'm tossing them all and calling it a fail.