So last night I asked my 4 year old daughter, “what kind of smoothie do you want?” She replied a “red smoothie mommy.” Well okay so I thought I don’t have enough strawberries to make it red so I decided to go with beets. I have plenty of those since I’ve been doing some amazing fermented beets and veggies mix, but that will have to be another post…
The beet smoothie consisted of really simple ingredients and when I was thinking about their medicinal properties I realized that actually this smoothie was quite a blood building smoothie. In Chinese Medicine our Blood is made from the Spleen and Stomach Qi and stored in our Liver. Basically it is a part of our post natal essence that we can affect through diet and lifestyle. Our Blood gives us energy and turns into Qi. The Blood is what nourishes our organs, tendons, and ligaments and is even a part of our Yin… pretty important stuff isn’t it? So of course I want to build my blood to help nourish my whole body, mind and spirit. Here is a delicious smoothie to help and nourish our blood.
Beet Blueberry and Hemp Smoothie
- 1 small beet (can include the greens too)
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- about 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- enough water to blend
In TCM most dark colored fruits and vegetables build blood. In this case the beets, beet greens and blueberries and blood builders. Beets and their greens are also great for the Liver, which is the complimentary organ for this time of year, Lungs. Hemp seeds are actually an herb used in TCM called Huo Ma Ren to build the blood. Since it is a smoothie these ingredients are easy to digest and better assimilated. Hope you enjoy this as much as me and my daughter!!!
Jade drinking her Beet Smoothie
One of my favorite grocery stores, Food Fight! (vegan grocery store) is now carrying Rescue Rub! They are carrying Boo Boo Balm and Sore Muscle Salve. I’m super happy because this is actually benefiting two amazing farm sanctuaries: Green Acres Farm Sanctuary and Out to Pasture Sanctuary. If you are in the Portland area and didn’t know that Food Fight! opened up a second location (on Halsey and NE 112th) you should come and check it out. Both locations are carrying Rescue Rub. Plus there is a new vegan coffee shop next to their new location, Jet Black Coffee. I got a decaf mocha and it was amazing!!!
Here is some more information on the two products they are carrying:
BOO BOO BALM:
- Rescue Rub Boo Boo Balm is a totally vegan and organic salve made with calendula and St. John’s Wort infused extra virgin olive oil and candelilla wax (from the wax slipper plant). This is more of a ointment/salve combination.
Candelilla wax gives protection over cuts, scrapes and burns.
St. John’s Wort:
- An amazing herb for healing burns and injury to the skin. It has many anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. For healing tissues while alleviating pain as well.
- Great herb for healing trauma and reducing inflammation. It promotes cellular repair and is great at healing wounds. Gentle for all skin including babies and good for any skin irritation.
Lavender Essential Oil:
- Anti-microbial and anti-viral. It has a balancing affect of promoting circulation and also promoting relaxation.
Chamomile Essential Oil:
- Promotes relaxation and is anti-inflammatory. It is safe and soothing for all ages and promotes healing.
Directions: Use on any minor scrapes, wounds, and burns. If the skin has a deep gash or severe burn please get medical attention. Since this is a medicinal grade salve do a patch test first. Can put Boo Boo Balm around an injury instead of over if the injury is too deep.
Boo Boo Balm-For Adults to Babies!
SORE MUSCLE SALVE:
- Rescue Rub for Sore Muscles is vegan, organic and non-GMO. The base is unrefined shea butter, extra virgin olive oil and candelilla wax from the Mexican wax slipper plant. These are hypoallergenic and non comedogenic. Shea butter is full of Vitamin E, is great for all skin types and very soothing. Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with antioxidants like Vitamin A and E, also great for all skin types.
- Arnica is great for healing trauma and injury. It can be used topically for sprains, strains, superficial burns, and relief of arthritis. Arnica is anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antimicrobial.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil:
- Anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongesting, antibacterial and stimulating. This helps to promote blood flow to promote localized healing.
Peppermint Essential Oil:
- Considered to be cooling, reduces heat and inflammation around an injury. Very aromatic so it increases localized circulation and blood flow to promote healing.
Rosemary Essential Oil:
- Great for reducing both acute and chronic pain. Can help with boosting our immune system and alleviating pain from arthritis.
Cinnamon Essential Oil:
- Very warming to promote circulation, this warming ability is what really helps to relieve pain and balance the cooling properties of the other oils.
Directions: Use on any tight/sore muscles, chronic pain, arthritis, strains, sprains and trauma. Since this is a medicinal grade salve do a patch test first. Also avoid contact around eyes or open wounds and mucous membranes.
Hope you can stop by Food Fight! to check out their awesome stores and then you can even get some salve too! If you aren’t local you can order my salve on etsy.
Rescue Rub Line – Sore Muscle Salve, Cooling Pain Relief, Warming Pain Relief, Boo Boo Balm, and Fungus Free!
Making magic in the kitchen has been a passion of mine for many years. I don’t just mean food either. For almost 20 years I’ve been experimenting with making natural body products, salves, infused oils, you name it!
I was making some medicinal salve with a friend last week. Someone who took one of my body product classes when I had my clinic at the coast. She was encouraging me to sell my products again so the idea Rescue Rub came into fruition. Rescue Rub is for people who love animals because every purchase benefits a local animal rescue. I am starting with Green Acres Farm Sanctuary since they are having a local art and craft benefit this weekend, plus I love doing work parties there and seeing all the lovely animals!
Our Rescue Rabbit Lemon Checking out the Rub
I am going to have a rolling list of animal rescue organizations that I will donate at least 10% of every sale to, and it will change every 25 sales. These are some of the other organizations that I plan to donate to: Out to Pasture Farm Sanctuary, Wildwood Farm Sanctuary, and Farm Sanctuary. I’m sure I’ll think of many others too, but this is my starting point.
Check out my Etsy Shop VeganOrganicLove and you can see the products I am offering! Thanks for supporting a great cause and sharing your love in the world!
Autumn in Traditional Chinese Medicine is associated with the Metal element. The Metal element correlates to the Lungs and Large Intestine. Their primary function is to take in new things and let go of the old. The Lungs control inhalation-exhalation and also control the opening and closing of our pores. Our skin is governed by the Lungs and one way to renew and give new life to our Lungs is through our skin. Our skin protects us from any external evils also known as pathogens like bacteria or viruses. Here are some steps for supporting the Lungs during the fall.
- Practice meditation that involves focus on breathwork. For instance the mantra by Thich Nhat Han, “breathing in I relax breathing out I smile”
- Take care of our skin and help it let go of what is not wanted. Exfoliate your whole body with a sugar or salt scrub. See recipe below.
- Use a detoxifying massage oil to nourish your skin and perform lymph massage while applying the oil. See this site for making calendula oil, a detoxifying oil you can make at home. You can also just use some extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Or spice it up by adding a couple drops of your favorite essential oils.
- Nourish your Lungs with food. Pears are a great food to moisten the Lungs if you have a dry cough or tend towards dryness in your body. You can also make stewed pears (add walnuts to tonify the yang) that nourishes the yin and yang and is aromatic to help open the Lungs.
- Take an herbal formula to support our Wei qi or protective qi. Like Jade Windscreen Yu Ping Fang San. This supports the Lungs and prevents us from catching a cold or flu. Make sure to see a practitioner of TCM to help you get the right formula for your constitution.
Have a beautiful Fall and stay healthy and happy!
Lovely Calendula Blooming in the Garden
Spicy and Sweet Body Scrub 6oz.
- ½ cup brown sugar or turbinado sugar or sea salt*
- ¼ cup olive oil
- (can use almond or sesame oil as well)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (powdered)
- ½ teaspoon ginger (powdered)
- ½ teaspoon clove (powdered)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground rice
- (or 20 drops vanilla essential oil)
- *optional* add 10 drops cinnamon EO
Mix all ingredients in a glass or metal bowl, using a whisk to uniformly mix. Scoop into storage container. Use on moistened skin to exfoliate, then rinse. Not intended for using more than 1 x per week. *Can also use sea salt for this recipe, especially Epsom salt to penetrate tight muscles. Use caution since salt is more abrasive and can sting on freshly shaven or sensitive skin.
Fresh ginger root or Sheng Jiang (in Pin Yin) is a great food and medicine. In Traditional Chinese Medicine fresh ginger is pungent and warm in nature. It is used to release the exterior (meaning it can help treat beginning stages of cold or flu), it warms the center to stop vomiting or nausea (because it is a warming herb that helps descend the Stomach Qi) and it is also used to reduce toxicity (that is why it is traditionally served with sushi; to prevent seafood poisoning).
Even in Western Herbalism we see that it is used for nausea and stomach upset and some companies even make it into yummy candies for all to enjoy. Well my 3 year old daughter does not really like those candies (too spicy for her) and they are kind of a choking hazard so I make ginger syrup for her when we travel. She is really affected by motion sickness in the car and sometimes in airplanes so I wanted to be sure to have some on hand for her. The last time I made ginger syrup I thought it was crazy sweet, but she still wasn’t the biggest fan (still too spicy). So while making it last time I had a brainstorm… add strawberries to the syrup. This was such a hit for her! It basically tastes like strawberry jam with a mild ginger kick at the end. I put the syrup into tincture bottles and let her self administer, good thing the dropper is so small because she just kept taking more and more. This was perfect for our trip to California, she was great on long car rides and on the airplane.
The recipe for ginger syrup that I made the first time was from Rosemary Gladstar’s Book Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide. Then for my own version I added strawberries and did not use as much sweetener as she recommends. By the way I super highly recommend any book by Rosemary Gladstar she is one of my favorite herbalist ever! And that book is super user friendly for anyone to be able to use.
Strawberry Ginger Syrup
- 3-5 strawberries (chopped)
- 1-2 inch size piece of fresh ginger root (chopped)
- Maple Syrup, Agave, Coconut Nectar or Honey
Start by chopping up the ginger and add to a pan that has enough water to cover the ginger and cook down by 1/2 and still have some liquid. You really don’t need much water it just helps to keep the mixture from burning and to extract more spice from the ginger.
Slowly bring this to a boil and just let it boil off 1/2 of the volume of liquid. Then strain out the ginger and strawberry bits. Pour the strained liquid into a small glass so you can note how much liquid you have. Then pour approximately the same amount of sweetener in. You can then pour the combined liquids back into the pan and heat up to really incorporate them.
I know these are all approximations, but to give you an idea of how much I ended up with… I filled 2-2oz. tincture bottles with the finished product. Plus a little extra for me to add some hot water to and have a delicious tea. Since this doesn’t have as much sugar make sure to keep refrigerated when possible and use up with in the week. If you omit the water and simmer the ginger in honey as Rosemary Gladstar recommends then you can keep this in the refrigerator for a couple weeks (if it lasts that long).
Jade looking for more yummy “medicine”
I had the privilege to visit Green Acres Farm Sanctuary on Saturday. It was a work party I found out about from PAWA, Portland Animal Welfare Advocates. We got to do lots of hay clean up for composting and then put down fresh hay for the animals to roll around in and munch on. It was awesome to see how happy the ducks and chickens were with their new fresh spaces. And it was super awesome to see such a fun group of people working together to help out some amazing rescue animals.
What I really was the most surprised with was how my hay fever was totally non-existent. I used have severe allergies to grasses and hay and when I was a kid going to a farm if I touched anything I would practically just break out in hives. I honestly believe that because I have a super clean and anti-inflammatory diet that my allergies have disappeared. It was only more of a confirmation to see such a drastic change when I was just playing (well working) in the hay!!!
Hershey the Calf at Green Acres Farm Sanctuary
So what the hay… try to go vegan and see how much better you feel! Go vegan for this “little” guy named Hershey, he’s a steer at Green Acres who is only a year old. He was brought in by someone at a veal auction that was disturbed how the animals were treated and brought to the Sanctuary when he was only 3 days old!!! He is awesome and wants to play and is doing amazing because of dedicated animal lovers!
Join us for a community potluck followed by a presentation on Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective on Healthly Vegan Living by Genevieve Johnson, L.Ac., acupuncturist and herbalist. Genevieve will also give us a demonstration of how to balance our foods using a Chinese Medicine Perspective.
Genevieve Johnson, L.Ac. is an acupuncturist and herbalist that focuses on plant-based nutrition and a healthy lifestyle for optimal well-being. She first became a vegetarian at the age of 12 when she was given her first pet, Buddy a parakeet. A few years later she decided to go vegan. When she was in college she had great success with acupuncture, herbs and diet dramatically impacting her health and decided to become an acupuncturist. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings ranging from hospitals to drug rehab facilities and private practice. She now practices at Portland Family Acupuncture in SE and downtown. Genevieve has lots of great recipes and resources available on her website veganacupuncture.com.
Come to the potluck at 6:30, the talk at 7:30, or both! The potluck and demo will be in the Oak and Elm Rooms at the Marshall Center, 1009 E. McLoughlin, Vancouver, WA 98663 [see map]. This is just over the I-5 Bridge – very quick to reach from Portland.
For the potluck, please bring a plant-based (no animal products, including honey) main dish, salad, or dessert; a card listing its ingredients; and plates and utensils for your use. Need plant-based ideas? Click here. If you come alone, figure the amount to serve 4-6; increase the amount 4 servings for each additional person in your party/family. Northwest VEG potlucks are alcohol-free events. For more information email email@example.com. A donation of $2-5 is suggested to help cover the cost of the room rental.