influenza virus

Chicken Broth Low Allergy, Low Salicylate and Low Amines

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clear-broth

Ingredients;

  • 6 litres of cold, filtered water or enough to cover the chicken (I recommend using a very large pot so you get lots of broth).
  • 2- 3 FRESH organic chicken carcasses and skin-less chicken meat (1kg of chicken in total). (skinless chicken is necessary to reduce histamines)
  • 2 onions, quartered (if salicylate intolerant, use leeks and spring onions)
  • 1-2 carrot, quartered (if salicylate intolerant, use swede)
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • Several sprigs of fresh thyme (omit if salicylate intolerant)
  • A bunch of parsley
  • A generous pinch of celtic, rock, Himalayan or sea salt
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (omit if salicylate intolerant)

Directions;

  • Place the meat, water and vinegar in a large saucepan, cover with a lid and let stand for 30 minutes. This will give time to the vinegar to start drawing minerals from the bones into the water.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Over the next half hour, a foam-like scum will rise to the surface. Skim it several times.
  • When no more foam is surfacing, add the vegetables, thyme and and salt and reduce heat to simmer.
  • Cook for 2-4 hours.
  • Ten minutes before the end add the parsley. This will increase the mineral content of the broth.
  • After cooking, remove carcasses and veggies with slotted spoon and strain into a container.
  • The broth can then be stored in pint-sized glass containers in the fridge. Chill well before freezing.

Onion, Garlic and Honey Cough Syrup

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Ingredients;

Onion and Garlic

  • 1 onion, diced into pieces or sliced into slices
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Raw, unfiltered honey, or a combination of raw honey and Manuka honey, (enough to cover the onions and garlic)

Method;

  1. In a jar or pot (if heating, see below), place your onions and crushed garlic cloves.
  2. Pour in the honey until the onions and garlic are covered.
  3. Either leave to steep for a few hours (or overnight) or
  4. Place the pot over a very low heat (don’t heat too much or you will lose all the healing properties of the honey)
  5. Cook for 30-60 minutes.  When the onions and garlic soften, and the honey becomes more liquefied, you know that your syrup is ready.

Honey

You can either leave the onion and garlic pieces in the syrup or simply strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer.  Store it in a jar in your fridge and use it freely.

Bone Broth GAPS and Paleo friendly

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Meat stew

BONE BROTH

Ingredients

  • 2 kg of bones – (beef and lamb knuckle bones or marrow bones, chicken necks, whole or carcass from a roast. You can have different bones together or separate, depending on the flavour of stock you’re after)
  • 8 litres of filtered water
  • 1 x whole bulb of garlic; cloves, separated, peeled and crushed
  • 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar (organic, unfiltered)
  • 2 x carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 x celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 x onions, halved and peeled
  • 1 x can whole, peeled or diced tomatoes (optional)
  • 2 x bay leaves
  • 1 x bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ bunch fresh or dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a large crockpot or slow cooker and set the heat to high.
  2. Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat setting to low.
  3. Allow the stock to cook for a minimum of 4 hours and up to 24-48 hours or more, (depending on the size of the bones, chicken will need less, lamb and beef can cook for longer). The longer the bones brew the better! Remember to keep topping up the water you as you don’t want it to boil dry.
  4. Turn off the cooker and allow the stock to cool slightly.
  5. Strain the stock through a fine mesh metal strainer and throw away all the debris (I often keep the chunks of meat if they’re easily removed, and add them into a soup)
  6. Place the cooled stock into glass jars for storage in the fridge (for up to a few days) or pour into freezer-safe containers for later use. I also freeze some in ice-cube trays so that I can add a couple of cubes to cooking as needed.

When the broth is fully cooled, look for a gelatinous consistency. That means your broth is gelatin-rich!  Sometimes the gelatin breaks down if the cooking is longer or hotter and your broth won’t appear gelatinous, but it is still full of gelatin and other wonderful minerals. I don’t skim off any of the fat, I heat my broth and drink it warm.  If you like, you can skim off any fat that has risen to the top and solidified – this is lard – don’t throw it away use it in your savoury cooking in place of cooking oil. It has been proven not to form cancer causing aldehydes when heated, whereas vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower, canola and to a degree, olive oils do.

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Winter Flu is about in full force this year.

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sick-as-a-dog

This year’s flu season has started with a real punch. Symptoms include head cold, runny nose, sore throat, aching muscles and fever. There can be quite serious complications such as bronchitis and even pneumonia.

There are lots of people who have gone down with it, which means that your chances of being exposed to the virus are quite high.

Staying healthy and keeping your immune system strong, is the best way to avoid catching the flu in the first place. For those with compromised immune systems such as; the elderly, the very young, those suffering from other diseases, or those who suffer from potential complications such as asthma, really should be working to improve their immunity to avoid catching this nasty little virus! Ways to improve you immune system to minimise catching the flu;

  • Immune stimulating herbs such as; Echinacea, Andrographis, Astragalus, Olive Leaf, Cat’s Claw (for chronic, long term immune issues), Turmeric, Holy Basil and Elderflower
  • Eating real, nutrient dense foods with lots of garlic (which contains allicin, a powerful anti bacterial and antiviral compound) and ginger, bone broths that have been made with organic bones and cooked for hours with apple cider vinegar to draw out the benefits from the bones, and raw leafy greens, plenty of vegetables and avoiding foods that depress the immune system such as sugar, refined carbohydrates and alcohol.
  • Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C and zinc. If your finger nails have white spots and your sense of taste and smell isn’t all that great, you may be deficient in zinc. Make sure you’re getting a good quality powdered form of vitamin C (the chewable tablets just don’t cut it!) and using zinc citrate is the most optimal source of zinc available.
  • Drink  plenty of fluids including real herbal teas (not flavoured herbal tea from the supermarket), filtered or bottled water, fermented drinks such as Kombucha or Kefir and freshly squeezed green juices.
  • Getting plenty of probiotic rich foods and taking a good quality, multi-strain probiotic help the immune boosting lymph nodes in your gut.
  • Exercise regularly to keep strong, but also to heat your body up internally. Building up a sweat will actually help fight viral and bacterial infections. You can enhance this by visiting a sauna regularly as well.
  • Avoid stress which depletes the immune system
  • Get enough sleep, as sleep deprivation will deplete the immune system and make you more susceptible to a virus taking hold. Try to nap whenever possible, especially if you’ve had a bad night. Of course if sleep problems are chronic call me for help.
  • Get a regular massage, a lymphatic drainage massage is particularly effective at stimulating the lymphatic system.
  • Try dry skin brushing, a technique that uses a natural bristle brush to stimulate the lymphatic system by using strokes of the brush on dry skin, always brushing the towards the heart and concentrating on the lymph nodes in the groin, under the arms at the base of the neck and under the shin. It’s easiest to do it before a shower.

Ways to avoid coming into contact with the flu virus include;

  • Wearing a mask, obviously a bit extreme, but if you’re sitting in a doctors surgery, the chances of breathing in the flu virus are very high. Ideally those who are there because they have the flu, really should be the ones wearing the mask, but did you know you can be contagious before you actually show any symptoms of being sick?
  • Wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitiser while you’re out and about, especially if you are going to eat or drink anything.
  • Use the antibacterial wipes on the handles of the trolley at the supermarket and avoid touching surfaces such as the hand rail on the escalator.
  • Take your own pen with you so you don’t need to use the ones used by everyone else. You can even use it to key in the numbers on the ATM!
  • Avoid touching your face if you haven’t got hand sanitiser
  • Using a neti pot to flush out the sinus cavities, where viruses and bacteria can breed, on a daily basis

If you’ve already caught the flu, don’t despair, call me for a personalised herbal mixture and other quality, practitioner only supplements,  that will help your body fight those nasty little viruses.

The wonderful benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

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iPhone 5 up to 1.4.15 017

I love Apple Cider Vinegar. It is one of nature’s gifts that has been giving it’s health benefits to people for centuries.

The Egyptian have been using it since 3000 B.C, even Cleopatra is said to have dissolved a pearl in vinegar and then drunk it! The Greeks and Romans (including Caesar’s army) drank it for it’s health properties.

Some of it’s many benefits include;

  • Balances blood sugar levels, which is great news for those or at risk of, or who suffer  from diabetes, metabolic syndrome, PCOS and Insulin resistance
  • Reduces heartburn
  • Improves stomach acid production (which naturally declines with age)
  • Helps reduce joint inflammation and pain
apple
  • It’s naturally rich in potassium, which is a key mineral for muscle growth, nervous system, and heart health.
  • The acetic acid may help reduce blood pressure and there is some evidence of it reducing LDL’s (the bad cholesterol)
  • A.C.V may encourage weight loss.
  • It is a potent microbial which helps to balance the microbiome in the gut
  • It may even protect against some forms of cancer
  • Effective treatment for asthma and possibly for other auto-immune conditions
  • Taken internally and applied diluted as a douche, may help with the unpleasant symptoms of candida

Apple Cider Vinegar also contains enzymes, pectin, B vitamins and folic acid. It stimulates acid production in the stomach and enzyme production in the gut that helps breakdown and therefore helps the gut to absorb nutrients more effectively. Because of it’s benefits to gut bacteria, it can support bowel regularity and increases the removal of toxins.

It also contains acetate which is the molecule our own beneficial bacteria, in the gut, manufacture. Acetate is thought to be responsible for helping the immune system to stop over-reacting to perceived foreign invaders or even our own tissues (as in asthma, hayfever and Rheumatoid arthritis).

How to take Apple Cider Vinegar

As A.C.V is an acid, it needs to be diluted in water. I usually recommend starting with 1 teaspoon of ACV in a small shot glass of water, twice a day, half an hour before meals (to help with digestion). Once you are used to the flavour, you can slowly increase it to 1 tablespoon twice a day.

Winter flu

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Influenza virus
Influenza virus (Photo credit: Sanofi Pasteur)

After about 5 years of avoiding getting sick, my body finally decided it was time to have a dose of the flu, recently.

Being sick can be annoying, not to mention inconvenient, but it is a really important way for the body to boost it’s immunity. The viruses that cause the flu are always changing and the best way to form a resistance is to actually get sick!

Having said that, we don’t want to go down for days. But the key is to rest when you feel you’re getting sick. Don’t soldier on, or at least try reducing the usual massive daily to-do list and get some rest. When our body is constantly on the go, it just makes it have to fight harder to keep in balance and this gives the virus a stronger hold on us and the symptoms worsen.

There are many herbs and foods that help minimise the extent to which our body’s succumb to the symptoms.

Garlic and chilli

Garlic, onions and chilli are all fabulous foods to have when you feel you’re getting sick. Chicken soup (home-made of course) made with plenty of veggies will also help keep nutrients available in a form the body can cope with most easily while sick.

Herbal teas drunk regularly throughout the day as well as plenty of water (hot with lemon or lime juice and honey) help flush the toxins out.

Lime and blossom growing in Valencia, south Sp...

Herbs are also very potent at fighting viruses and can be combined to treat the specific symptoms the virus is creating in each individual. if you’re sick, call me with your symptom profile and I’ll make you up a mix that is tailor made for you.

Large doses of vitamin C and zinc are also important. Call me for practitioner only brand of these.

So as much as I prefer to feel well, I know my body has benefited from a boost to its immunity, not to mention a thorough cleansing! I also had all I needed on hand to keep the symptoms in check.

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