Fire Cider – an old folk remedy and health tonic

An incredibly powerful botanical and the master of the master tonics.

The healing power of horseradish, turmeric and ginger roots, onion, garlic, lemon, orange, habanero pepper infused for 8 weeks in raw apple cider vinegar – and I add herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage and tulsi for her adaptogen properties)   The herbs are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasite and digestives)   I also will add the roots of dandelion and yellow dock for their blood cleansing properties. Oh, yes, I forgot, I add local cinnamon bark and anise seed for the healing properties for the heart and the zingy additional taste!

Fire Cider is a shrub or an oxymel… Wait, let me digress so you’ll understand the terms…

Oxymel – the oldest of the drinks found in Medieval Persia is a syrup of honey, vinegar and herbs.   Speaking of oxymels, as Stephen Harrod Buhner states in his book, Herbal Antibiotics, they “have been used for thousands of years. The basic form is 40 ounces of honey to which is added 5 fluid ounces of water and 5 fluid ounces of vinegar.”    Herbs and foods were added for their healing properties.

Shrub – derived from the Arabic word sharab, means drink, is a zingy mixture of fruit, sugar and vinegar.

Switchel – swizzle or haymakers punch, was commonly served to farm hands during the harvesting of hay. Molasses, ginger and vinegar were the usual combinations.

I love making these healing  medicinal brews and I am blessed (or be-mored) to be able to grow most things in my garden (on my land)

So, what is it good for?   Basically for EVERYTHING…. now, let me count the ways:

Fresh horseradish Root (from my garden in Ecuador).  it has taken me 7 years to get this plant to grow here.  It is a northern plant and likes the winter coldness.  I babied, loved and encouraged her and she finally caught on to the Ecuador climate and thrives here…perhaps even growing better than what I remember in the north.   Horseradish root is known to be effective against the flu and common cold, tonsilitis, respiratory disorders, urinary tract infections, and pathenogenic fungus.   (I make an awesome sauce from her too)

Ginger is used to treat arthritis, muscle pain, upset stomach (motion and morning sickness and general nausea), gas, upper respiratory tract infections, and cough.   She grows well in our semi tropical climate and is such a beautiful plant.

Onions are used to boost cardiovascular health, bone and connective tissue benefits, and as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Garlic is used to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, heart attack, atherosclerosis, asthma, building the immune system, help level blood sugar, and is used topically to treat fungal infections.  It is important garlic remains raw (not cooked) to preserve the allicin.  The enzyme alliinase converts alliin into allicin, which is responsible for the aroma of fresh garlic.   It is difficult to grow garlic here in Ecuador because, once again, it is a northern plant.   I have found an elephant garlic variety that I can grow that flowers and seeds.  The seeds have regenerate a second generation now and I suspect one or two more cycles and I will have a happy, bold and allicin full crop.

Habanero peppers boost your metabolism, and offer headache, sinus, and arthritis relief as well as releasing endorphins.

Skin and fruit of Bergamont Oranges are great for heart health, as part of a best-case-scenario-anti-cancer-diet, fighting cholesterol, to help in weight loss, and to break up or prevent kidney stones.   This particular variety is also know for its’ analgesic compounds and helps calm inflammations and pain.   It grows on our property and is one of my favourites of the citrus trees.  The flowers in bloom saturate the air with a sweet scent of jasmine and rose.

Lemons/Limes (skin and fruit) are known to aid in digestion, alleviate Meniere’s Disease, kidney stones, and ringing of the ears, cure scurvy (chronic lack of Vitamin C), treat colds and flu, improve the function of blood vessels, and reduce inflammation and retention of water.   Our land is home to many varieties of lemon and limes…I never knew there was so many types.   My favourite is the sour limes.   The locals love the sweet lemons..and report they are good for the heart.  They really have no flavour but they are bold and beautiful in appearance.

Turmeric is pretty much the be-all and end-all of health foods. It’s known to delay liver damage, reduce carcinogenic compounds in other foods, make cancer cells more vulnerable to chemo and radiation, inhibit the growth of malignant melanoma and breast cancer, alleviate arthritis symptoms and skin conditions.   The anti-inflammatory properties are crazy high.   Heck, maybe I should let the experts describe what the main compound in turmeric -cucurmin- does. Advanced Experimental Medical Biology in 2007 states:

“Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic illnesses.”

This is such a pretty plant too and the flowers are bold and beautiful.   It grows well here in my gardens.   Raw, fresh turmeric is NOTHING like powdered.   But, you skin will be stained yellow for while.

Raw apple cider vinegar (not plain old cider vinegar!) is known to be a good source of acetic and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), mineral salts, amino acids, and other key components of good nutrition, but it is also a well-loved folk remedy thought to ease digestion, fight obesity and diabetes, wash toxins from the body, kill lice, and reverse aging.   We have a number of apple trees on our property and most of the apples are used in my cider as they are more like a sweet crab apple.

Does it do all of that? I dunno. But it surely tastes good and its’ nutritional value is undisputed.

All these ingredients are chopped finely and placed in a large glass jar.    Then I pour the apple cider vinegar and cover/saturate.    (advise: do not use a metal lid or place plastic under the lid).    This sits for 6-8 weeks.    The juice then is filtered and added to honey (approximately 1/4 honey to the elixir juuice)  Yes, we have hives and I am using our own honey too full of the nutrition form the flowers of our land.

Raw honey is a fantastic, all-natural fighter of seasonal allergies. Because bees collect pollen from flowers in your area and then convert it to honey to feed their hives, eating raw, local honey is like a tasty allergy shot.  It’s also full of vitamins and minerals, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and makes a great, non-narcotic cough suppressant and throat soother.

I don’t know throw out the filtered plant matter…I dehydrate it and use it as a spice blend.

The beauty of this, beyond its all-star cast of healthy ingredients, is that it just plain tastes wonderful. I drink a tablespoon (or more!) every morning to maintain health.  A slightly larger dose of Fire Cider will help boost your immune system.

Here are some other  suggestions

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons at the first sign of a cold, and then repeating every 3 to 4 hours until symptoms subside. Some people also take fire cider as a preventative during cold and flu season.
  • Mix with lemonade or orange juice ie hot water and extra honey to make a tea
  • Use in place of vinegar in salad dressings and condiments
  • Drizzle on steamed vegetables or sautéed greens
  • Use in marinades for meat, tofu, and tempeh
  • Add to soups and chilis
  • Try a couple of dashes in a cocktail, such as a Bloody Mary

Cheers!  Here is to your health!

Helicobacter Plyori

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a very common bacteria.  In my work, I see signs and symptoms of it alot.   It is estimated that 50% or more of the world’s population are infected with this bacteria and most people don’t know it.  This means they are asymptomatic.   This critter grows in the stomach and digestive tract

CHARACTERISTICS

“Helico” means “spiral”. The bacteria is spiral-shaped and they drill into your stomach lining, and hide in the mucus where your immune cells cannot reach them. They can live in the harsh acidic environment of the stomach by producing an enzyme called urease to neutralize stomach acids in order to protect themselves, thus creating an issue of low stomach acid.   This often results in many digestive issues including ulcers.   When the HCl in the stomach is low, it reduces the Intrisic Factor causing a mal-absorption of Iron, B12 and the fat soluble vitamins.   Also, in order to live, Plyori use up enzymes and nutrition in your body, and at the same time dumping their wastes and toxins into your system. They cause damage to your cells and mitochondria that result in chronic fatigue and inflammation.

SYMPTOMS 

As shared above, some people are asymptomatic when infect with H. pylori and may or may not have symptoms. But, if you have these symptoms, it may be best to test for this and other bacteria or parasites:

  1. Malnutrition that leads to deficiencies
  2. Cell injury and inflammation
  3. Fatigue/Anemia
  4. Frequent belching and flatulence
  5. Gas and bloating
  6. Abdominal pain IBS-Diarrhea
  7. Acid reflux Heart Burn
  8. Nausea
  9. Dark stools
  10. Stomach or peptic ulcers – Gastritis
  11. Bad breath
  12. Asthma
  13. Skin problems, such as acne rosacea

HOW DO YOU GET DIAGNOSED FOR H. PYLORI INFECTION?

There are three tests:

  1. Breath Test:  It is an effective test with over 90% accuracy, because this organism emits urease that can be detected in the breath. The infected individual will be asked to swallow a capsule containing urea (nitrogen and carbon) that your body produce naturally. In the presence of H. pylori, the urea will break up into nitrogen and carbon as carbon dioxide.This test requires a 6-hour fast.
  2. Endoscopy: An endoscopy is performed to collect specimens from the stomach and duodenum. Diagnosis is then made by examining them under the microscope in a lab.
  3. Stool Test: A stool specimen is collected from the infected individual to detect the infection. This test is called the Helicobacter pylori Stool Antigen (HpSA) .  I find this test often gives a negative positive.

A medical doctor will prescribe for two to six weeks (sometimes three types)  If you also have acid reflux caused by the bacteria, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may also be prescribed  Studies show that as many as 20% patients will have recurring infections .

I believe that Nature has provided everything you need to completely eradicate H. pylori naturally. Follow this two-step natural treatment that works without any adverse effects, and support with natural antibiotic foods.  Yes, the natural way has worked.   Each person might be slightly different..and require a different set of protocols, but it does work.

Here is what I usually recommend as an overall general protocol:

Step 1: Gastrointestinal Cleanse
Always start with a gastrointestinal cleanse to clean out the tract. We understand that H. pylori drill into your stomach and intestinal lining; they hide and are “protected” by mucus so that your immune cells cannot get at them. A gastrointestinal cleanse by way of drinking high fiber works like a broom to clean out the intestinal tract and expose these bacteria.   Always include Restistant Starches (RS) and Probiotics to strengthen the digestive.

Step 2: Parasite Cleanse
A parasite cleanse will completely kill all parasites, bacteria, yeasts and fungus.  However, everyone is different.

In addition when someone is  H. pylori positive there is a high likelihood that there are other harmful microbes and a possibility of SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). Doing a gut cleanse exposes these bad guys.   Once the bacteria are exposed, the antibacterials that you ingest will be able to make contact with the bacteria to completely strip them off your intestinal wall lining.  I always recommend herbs  in very low and safe dosages to gradually kill the harmful microbes and sometimes it takes time. Taking more does not mean better! Killing too much of the bacteria may cause a Herxheimer (die-off) reaction where the huge amount of microbes that die will produce more toxins than your liver can handle.  This is one mistake many people make.  Therefore, it is important to take the dosage as suggested and have patience.

While doing a gastrointestinal and parasite cleanse, you may add any of these foods for good measure. Not only do they help get rid of H. pylori, they also kill other harmful microbes such as parasites, yeasts and fungi, and contribute to healing of the gastric naturally, without any side effects.

Broccoli Sprouts Kill H. Pylori Bacterial Infection
A study published in the April 2009 edition of the journal Cancer Prevention Research found that daily consumption of broccoli sprouts inhibits the growth of Helicobacter pylori and reduces the risk of gastritis in individuals infected with the bacteria.  The study discovered that sulforaphane is a potent, natural antibiotic that effectively eradicate H. pylori. Baby broccoli, or broccoli sprouts, are preferred due to their much higher concentration of sulforaphane than mature heads of broccoli. The precursor of sulforaphane—glucoraphanin—is present in many raw (uncooked) cruciferous plants. It is hydrolyzed by an enzyme that is present in the human gut. The process begins as soon as the vegetable is chewed or processed (in this case, juiced or blended), making sulforaphane easily available as it travels through the gastrointestinal system.

Dose:: 2.5 ounces (70 grams) a day for two months.  Either just eat the sprouts or  put that much broccoli sprouts in a blender and pour some very warm water and soak for about 10 minutes. This will increase the bioavailability of sulforaphane to get the most out of them. Blend it into a smoothie and drink. You may add a little sea salt for taste, if desired.

If you are following the above 2-step protocol, it will suffice to eat/drink this broccoli sprout smoothie for 7-14 days from the start of the parasite cleanse.

Green Cabbage
If you cannot get baby broccoli, try this green cabbage juice that has a high content of sulforaphane. Cabbage juice has been reported to be beneficial for curing peptic ulcer and acid reflux.

Pineapple and Turmeric
Here is a great gut shot that will help reduce inflammation and calm the digestive as well as innoculate with good guy bacteria

I have personally recommended this juice to my clients who have ulcers and acid reflux. Every one of them who drank the juice for up to 14 days had found the juice to provide tremendous relief and ultimately healed from gastrointestinal issues.

Six important Additions for the Cleanse

Probiotics
I have made one from my garden (HERE)

Brussels sprouts is another cruciferous vegetable that has been reported to be just as effective in eradicating H. pylori infestation. Sprouts always contain nutrients at their peak as they are growing. Just as broccoli sprouts, there is a high chance that this cute vegetable that looks like baby cabbage, is effective for fighting the bacteria. Add it in your diet and juice routine.

Garlic is a well-known anti-microbial and has been reported to be effective for at least 13 known infections, including H. pylori.

Coconut oil is one of the best sources of lauric and caprylic acid. Studies show that when these acids come into contact with yeast and parasites, they are able to break down the microbes’ cell membranes, preventing the harmful microbes from growing and multiplying.

Manuka honey has 13 living lactic acids that are unique properties that have been reported to eradicate more than 250 clinical strains of bacteria, including certain antibiotic-resistant varieties. It has superior antiseptic qualities that are far superior to other types of honey when it comes to killing of bacteria.

Cranberry and blueberry juices have long been used for stopping urinary tract infections. Studies show that they are uniquely able to strip bacteria off the bladder wall. It seems promising that these juices are able to prevent the H. pylori bacteria from getting a foothold even in the gut wall lining.

Kefir is a probiotic-rich drink that should be included in your diet, if you are fighting a bacterial infection. It contains many strains of probiotics that are superior to yogurt’s. It is also a prebiotic, thus helps to repopulate your gut flora to help strengthen your immune system to fight against an infection. Kefir is suitable to be consumed even by individuals who are lactose-intolerant.

Colloidal silver—although it is technically not a food, colloidal silver is one of the best things that kill bacteria and parasites upon contact. It can be taken sublingually for it to work most effectively. Put two droppersful of colloidal silver under the tongue and hold for about 30 seconds, then swallow. Do this two or three times a day alongside the parasite cleanse protocol.  Sometimes I add this into the parasite protocol.

There are many more natural foods that are beneficial antibiotics that can be added to your diet, when fighting a bacterial infection. More importantly, avoid foods that feed the harmful bacteria, such as processed foods, sugar, harmful fats, caffeine, alcohol and low-fiber foods.

People with stress, anxieties, lack of sleep and staying up late nights are showing lower immunity to fight against bacterial infections. If you are one of them, learn to manage your stress, eat right and try this sleep remedy to improve your immune system.   If you have been infected by this spiral digging bad guy for a long time, it might take some patience.   But, at the other end, it feels great!

I create natural protocols for clients if you want some assistance!

Be well!!

Pineapple Turmeric Sauerkraut Gut Shot Calming Anti-Inflammatory

The brine from the sauerkraut is packed with beneficial bacteria and enzymes. If you have an upset stomach or nausea, try a shot and it will calm your stomach. It will also give your immune system a boost. The gut shots are a quick way to get the benefits of fermented foods and they taste great too. Try mixing it with soda water for a bubbly spritzer.    Very refreshing!

This sauerkraut is full of health benefits. The turmeric and ginger make it a powerful anti-inflammatory.  Other benefits include…

  • Probiotic – fermented foods like this sauerkraut contain more probiotics than a probiotic pill and research has shown that the good bacteria are more likely to survive the digestive system then ones from a pill.
  • Enzymes- the enzymes in fermented foods help assist in breaking down food, making meals easier for your body to digest.
  • Fiber – sauerkraut is rich in fiber and feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut, moves food though your digestive tract and makes you regular (poo).
  • Relieves diarrhea and constipation  – the friendly bacteria in fermented foods balance the inner ecosystem in the digestive track.
  • It also relieves gas, heartburn and improves mood and mental health.

I am really proud of this recipe. It tastes great and packs a super punch of health benefits. You have to try this kraut

INGREDIENTS
1 head of cabbage (shredded)
½ pineapple (chopped)
1 tbsp ground turmeric (don’t forget to add a pinch of black pepper)
1 tbsp fresh ginger (grated)
1 tbsp sea salt
Brine:
1 tbsp Sea Salt
1 tbsp Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
4 cups purified water
Other Tools:
2 Quart Size  Jars or 1 half gallon mason jar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Shred the cabbage in a food processor, mandolin or chop with a knife. Add it to a big bowl.
  2. Chop the pineapple into small chunks and add it to the bowl with the cabbage.
  3. Add in the grated ginger and sea salt to the bowl.
  4. Massage the cabbage mixture with your hands for 5 minutes or until it starts to break down and become soft.
    Let it sit for 15 minutes in the bowl.
  5. After the 15 minutes, the cabbage will become very soft and wet. If you squeeze it now, juice will come out.
  6. Add the turmeric (pepper)  to the cabbage. You can either mix it with your hands or a spoon. The turmeric could stain your hands and fingernails orange so you may want to use a spoon.  I think hands (clean of course) are the best way.
  7. Pack the cabbage halfway into the mason jars if you are using two or halfway into the large mason jar if you are using one.
    Now we are going to make the brine and add it to the jars for the gut shots.
  8. Make the brine by combining 1 cup of hot water with the sea salt. Once the sea salt dissolves add the remaining water and the apple cider vinegar.
  9. Pour the brine into the mason jars, leaving about an inch from the top.
  10. Stir the brine and cabbage together in the jar so it’s all combined. Place a lid on the jar loosely so gas can escape as fermentation takes place.
    Set on the counter for 4-7 days in a cool, shaded place.
  11. During fermentation the sauerkraut will bubble a little and become cloudy. If scum appears, remove it with a spoon.
    Every day or two, shake the mason jar up so the cabbage submerges under the brine and doesn’t develop mold.

Place in the fridge and serve cold. These can be frozen and made into ice-gut-shots

Gut Shots: The extra brine from the sauerkraut is the gut shots. Pour the extra brine into shot glasses and don’t forget to share with friends and drink to your health. Cheers!
NOTES
The sauerkraut could bubble over and out of the jar. To avoid a mess, place the jar on a plate or in a bowl.

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