Nourish – Jan ’14 Real Dirt

Contents

Flowers to the Rescue
The Carrot

Flowers to the Rescue

by Nancy Denison

Etlingera "Elatior"

Etlingera “Elatior”

“Health …is the complete and full union between soul, mind and body; and this is not a difficult…ideal to attain, but one so easy and natural that many of us have overlooked it”, Dr. Edward Bach.

Dr Bach, (1886-1936) was an English physician who became increasingly dissatisfied with conventional medical systems of treatment and went on to study immunology.  He was more interested in the people he treated than their disease and concluded that with illness, personality is more important than symptoms and should be considered in determining treatment.  Dr. Bach believed that illness was the effect of disharmony between the body and mind and the symptoms were the outer expressions of a negative emotional state.

While working at the London Homeopathic Hospital (1919-1922), Dr. Bach merged the earlier principals of homeopathy by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann with his own knowledge of traditional medicine to develop the Seven Bach Nosodes.  These were oral vaccines which cleansed the intestinal tract with excellent effects on the general health of the patient.

In 1928 Dr. Bach used the plants, Impatiens, Mimulus and Clematis, as he did his other oral vaccines, prescribed them according to his patients’ distinct personality and discovered quick and positive results.  By 1930 he was seeking out and preparing more flower remedies with continued success in treatment.  In 1932 he revealed his first of twelve remedies; 1933 brought the seven helper remedies and 1934 the final nineteen remedies to complete the program. These thirty-eight remedies were to cover all characteristics of human nature and all the negative states of mind which trigger illness.  Dr. Bach died in November 1936, at the young age of 50. Today the Bach Centre at Mt Vernon, Oxfordshire, England continues the work of Dr. Bach, training, advising students and preparing the mother tinctures.

And so…These remedies, as clearly stated in all Bach literature, are not meant to take the place of medical attention but to work in subtle harmony with “conventional” treatment.  The essences are safe, with no chance of overdose; will not interfere with any other form of treatment; have no side effects and can be used as often as needed until symptoms are gone.

Dr Bach divided the thirty eight remedies into seven categories which embody essential conflicts which inhibit us from “being true to ourselves.”  These categories are: fear, uncertainty, loneliness, insufficient interest in present circumstances, over sensitivity to influence and ideas, despondency or despair, and over-care for the welfare of others.  Within each category, there are specific forms which can be treated with one or more remedies, such as fear- in the form of terror, everyday fears, fear of losing one’s mind, etc. Bach’s (and others) books contain descriptions of the remedies and the emotional and mental issues for which each is needed so the reader must recognize how s/he feels at that moment.  It may be difficult as the descriptions are not always complimentary and depict the need in the most negative state, so it may be useful to ask a friend who can be objective to help pinpoint the best remedy.

Once your remedy has been selected, it is recommended to take two drops in a cup of water and sip at intervals, holding the dose in your mouth for a few moments before swallowing.  One may also apply drops directly to the tongue or rub behind the ears, temples or wrist or add to lotions, oils or bath water. Usually these remedies work “undramatically and gently” so one would easily adapt.3  If no change occurs in two weeks you may need to review the remedies to add or change your choice.

In producing a remedy, blooms are picked for peak extract and preserved by mixing a1:1 combination of extract and brandy which becomes the “mother”.  Drops of the mother are then diluted with additional brandy and bottled as stock, then further diluted with water when used.

The remedies are divided as: twelve “Healers” (e.g., Chicory, Clematis, Vervain…); seven “Helpers” (e.g., Gorse, Heather, Olive..); a second set of nineteen “Healers” (e.g., Aspen, Crabapple, Holly…) and a first aid “Rescue Remedy” comprised of Cherry Plum, Clematis, Impatiens, Rock Rose, and Star of Bethlehem;  which is used quickly after an emotional shock, accident, or illness.

Dr. Bach’s aim was to help people understand themselves and use that understanding to benefit others.  The best way to help others is to become all we can be, “to realize our own true nature- our greatest potential for good.”1   Bach believed that good health is simply a state of mind, thus if we are strong spiritually and mentally, we are able to deal with the external world with clarity, flexibility and balance.

References:

  1. Bach Flower Remedies for Beginners. David Vennels, Llewellyn Publications, 2001.
  2. Illustrated Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies.  Phillip M Chancellor, Vermilion, 1971
  3. The 38 Flower Remedies.  Wigmore Publications Ltd. 1993
  4. “The Spirit of Dr. Bach, the Bach Flower Therapy”. BachWiki, 2/21/07
  5. Other; bachcentre.com, edwardbach.org

Bottled Bach Remedies are sold at Oryana Co-op in Traverse City

The Carrot

Michele Worden

carrots post size

Latin Name:  Daucus carota

Family:  Apiaceae (same as parsley, celery, dill, cilantro, Queen Ann’s lace)

Description:  It is a biennial plant which grows a rosette of leaves in the spring and summer, while building up the stout taproot, which stores large amounts of sugars for the plant to flower in the second year. The leaves are dissected and the flowering stem grows to about 1 meter (3 ft) tall, with an umbel of white flowers.  The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange in color, though purple, red, white, and yellow varieties exist. It has a crisp texture when fresh. The most commonly eaten part of a carrot is a taproot, although the greens are edible as well.  Different cultivars of carrot have different shaped taproot.

Origin:  It is a domesticated form of the wild carrot Daucus carota, native to Europe and southwestern Asia.  The domestic carrot has been selectively bred for its greatly enlarged and more palatable, less woody-textured edible taproot.  The wild ancestors of the carrot are likely to have come from Iran and Afghanistan, which remains the center of diversity of D. carota.

In early use, carrots were grown for their aromatic leaves and seeds, not their roots. Some relatives of the carrot are still grown for these, such as parsley, fennel, dill and cumin. The first mention of the root in classical sources is in the 1st century. The modern carrot appears to have been introduced to Europe in the 8–10th centuries.  Some believe there is evidence that carrots were eaten by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.

Cultivation (how and where grown):  Carrots grow best in full sun but tolerate some shade.   In order to avoid growing deformed carrots it is better to plant them in loose soil free from rocks. The seeds, which are 1-3mm in diameter, should be sown about 2cm deep or sown on surface.  Carrots take around 4 months to mature for eating but flower the next year if left in the ground.  Carrots seeds are very small and seedlings are difficult to thin.  To deal with this in home gardens, carrots seeds are often mixed with sand to space out the seeds, or mixed with radish seeds to grow two harvests in the same space.  Once the radishes are harvested, the carrots grow at the appropriate spacing.  Carrot flowers are pollinated primarily by bees – honeybees or mason bees.  Carrots are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including Common SwiftGarden DartGhost MothLarge Yellow Underwing and Setaceous Hebrew Character.

Carrots are grown in temperate climates and China, Russia and the United States are the largest producers.  Eastern carrots from Iran and Afghanistan were purple or yellow.  Western carrots developed in the Netherlands were primarily orange.  The color orange was an emblem of the House of Orange and the struggle for Dutch independence.

Fun Facts:  The city of Holtville, California, promotes itself as “Carrot Capital of the World”, and holds an annual festival devoted entirely to the carrot.

Nutrition:  The domestic carrot gets its characteristic and bright orange color from β-carotene, which is metabolized into vitamin A in humans when bile salts are present in the intestines.  One hundred milligrams of carrots contains over 100% of the RDA of vitamin A.  Lack of vitamin A can cause poor vision, including night vision, and vision can be restored by adding it back into the diet.  However, only 3% of the β-carotene in raw carrots is released during digestion: this can be improved to 39% by pulping, cooking and adding cooking oil.  Massive overconsumption of carrots can cause carotenoids, a benign condition in which the skin turns orange. Carrots are also rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants, and minerals.

Different colored carrots contain different nutrients.

  • Orange carrots contain beta carotene, with some alpha-carotene, both of which are orange pigments. High in Vitamin A essential for well-being, healthy eyes.  These carrots are from Europe and the Middle East.
  • Yellow carrots contain xanthophylls and lutene, pigments similar to beta carotene, which help develop healthy eyes aid in the fight against macular degeneration and may prevent lung and other cancers and reduce the risk of astherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
  • Red carrots are tinted by lycopene, (another form of carotene) a pigment also found in tomatoes and watermelon; lycopene is associated with the reduced risk of macular degeneration, serum lipid oxidation, helps prevent heart disease and a wide variety of cancers including prostate cancer. Originally from India and China.
  • Purple carrots (usually orange inside) have even more beta carotene than their orange cousins, and get their pigment from an entirely different class, the anthocyanins, these pigments act as powerful antioxidants, grabbing and holding on to harmful free radicals in the body. Anthocyanins also help prevent heart disease by slowing blood clotting and are good anti inflammatory agents.  Some people say these will be the next superfood. These originate from Turkey, and the Middle and Far East.
  • White carrots lack pigment, but may contain other health-promoting substances called phytochemicals, natural bioactive compounds found in plant foods that work with nutrients and dietary fiber to protect against disease. One might say these are the least healthy of carrots. They originate from Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan.
  • Black carrots contain anthocyanins, part of the flavonoid family with antioxidant properties. Flavonoids are currently under investigation as anticancer compounds, as free radical scavengers in living systems, as well as inhibitors of LDL (the bad) cholesterol and the black carrot anthocyanins are especially active.  It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungicidal properties and oil made from its seed can help control scalp itchiness and provides essential nutrients for hair growth. The ancient black carrot has been making a comeback, not so much for culinary purposes but as a source of natural food colorants. These originate from Turkey, and the Middle and Far East.

Culinary Uses:  Carrots can be eaten in a variety of ways.  They may be pulped, chopped and boiled, fried or steamed, and cooked in soups and stews, as well as baby and pet foods.  A well-known dish is carrots julienne.  The greens are edible as a leaf vegetable, but are rarely eaten by humans.  Together with onion and celery, carrots are one of the primary vegetables used in a mirepoix to make various broths.

The north Indian carrot is pink-red and sweet.  In India carrots are used in a variety of ways, as salads or as vegetables added to spicy rice or daal dishes. The most popular variation in north India is the Gaajar Kaa Halwaa carrot dessert, which has carrots grated and cooked in milk until the whole mixture is solid, after which nuts and butter are added. Carrot salads are usually made with grated carrots in western parts with a seasoning of mustard seeds and green chilies popped in hot oil, while adding carrots to rice usually is in julienne shape.

Ever since the late 1980s, baby carrots or mini-carrots (carrots that have been peeled and cut into uniform cylinders) have been a popular ready-to-eat snack food available in many supermarkets.

The sweetness of carrots allows the vegetable to be used in some fruit-like roles. Grated carrots are used in carrot cakes, as well as carrot puddings, an old English dish thought to have originated in the early 19th century. Carrots can also be used alone or with fruits in jam and preserves. Carrot juice is also widely marketed, especially as a health drink, either stand-alone or blended with fruits and other vegetables.

Medicinal Uses:  Carrots are high in Vitamin A essential for well-being, healthy eyes.   As a folk remedy, the roots are used to treat digestive problems, intestinal parasites, and tonsillitis or constipation.

Variety grown or eaten at local schools:  Purple Haze, Snow White, Amarillo, Napolini, Cosmic Red, and several others

Impact on Culture:  The carrot is said to be the second most popular vegetable after potatoes. The word “carrot” has become a common slang word that means “reward” in the English language, such as in the expression “Dangle a Carrot” in order to motivate someone.

Appearance in Literature:  The most famous book about carrots was a children’s book published in 1945 – “The Carrot Seed” by Ruth Krauss.   It has been in continuous publication for over 60 years.  It is a story about persistence and optimism.  The book opens with the words: “A little boy planted a carrot seed. His mother said, ‘I’m afraid it won’t come up.” Despite the skepticism of his parents and, particularly, his older brother, he persists and “pulled up the weeds around it every day and sprinkled the ground with water.” The book concludes simply “And then, one day, a carrot came up just as the little boy had known it would.” However, the singular carrot is so large that it fills a wheelbarrow.

“The Carrot Principle” by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton is a well-known management book that talks about how to use recognition rewards to reduce employee turnover and achieve organizational goals.