Month: April 2015

The Dandy Dandelion and The Believer’s Life

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I was on the listening end of a conversation on Dandelions and more specifically, why God would create such a ‘weed’. It struck me, that maybe I should share my thoughts on the matter and share why I and my bees rejoice in our beautiful, yellow meadow.

While some would consider the Dandelion a common weed, existing only to frustrate our efforts to maintain a beautiful lawn, I as an herbalist have a vastly different view, as do most herbalist. The Dandelion is a dandy of a plant, when you know all of its vast benefits, you know why some of us refer to it as the lion of the herb world.  Did you know that the Dandelion was first brought here, the United States by an Irishman who thought them to be such a wonderful plant he brought a whole train car full of seed and distributed them all about.  They are usually the first food our Creator gives to the hungry bees each spring, often ensuring their survival after a long winter.  So now, you will understand why I choose to create a growing space for them and why my front yard/meadow is covered with them!

While there is a whole book to be written on the medicinal benefits of the Dandelion, today I would like to focus on the Spiritual aspects of this little gem.

Believers are often not the most desirable people in the world either. The Word says in Lamentations 3:45 “You have made us an offscouring and refuse in the midst of the people.” 1 Cor. 4:10 “We are fools for Christ sake”. Yet again we see in 1 Cor. 4:12b-13 “We labor working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.” Try to keep in mind, our subject as related to Dandelions too.

We are told in 2 Cor. 4: 7 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”   Let’s look a bit at clay; it is rough and hard, retains smells easily, is heavy to move, is not refined or beautiful, not easy to clean, etc. On the other hand fine china is none of these things. Why would not our Lord create us to be fine china? The answer is right there for us – That the power/glory be of God and not of us! The next time a Believer really gets under your skin because they are rough and unmovable, smelly (emotionally) or cumbersome just remember – they are God’s workmanship and they (Lord willing) are fulfilling their purpose in creation. No doubt the Scripture that says: “To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.” 2 Cor. 2:16 would have to hold true!

Let’s bounce back to the Dandelion and see the reflection of the above as it refers to us, as Believers. First, let’s start with Psalms 104:14 “He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and herbs for the service of man” That lowly little weed was created for a purpose – and that purpose was for our service!   The same would hold true for the Milk Thistle and other thistles, the Stinging Nettles the bitters we can hardly stand to taste, etc.  While some see it as a little disaster in their lawn, stubbornly laying down deep roots and spreading about freely, others see it as a delightful little yellow flower creating food for the insects, healing for mankind and therefore beauty the world cannot recognize. If we look at this plant through the eyes of a child, innocent of man’s preconceived ideas, we see a bright beauty that provides hours of delight and wonderment as they make Dandelion soup, necklaces, etc. They dance and shout as they blow the lovely white seed heads, gracefully dancing through the sky – in short, they see something entirely different then the adults around them who would just like to maintain a lawn that would be the envy of their neighbors. Jesus says “Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will be no means enter it.” In Mark 10:15

So I choose to look at the world God created, with the eyes of a child, and see what He is sharing with us. In the case of the Dandelion, He has given us one of the richest sources of minerals in the plant kingdom. That in part is what makes it so safe to use, as people have done for weight loss. It also happens to be a wonderful plant to restore, cleanse and build the health of our livers. It is successfully used in the treatment of Cancer, Diabetes, and multiple other issues – all with absolutely no ill side effects! That’s right you cannot overdose on Dandelion as you can with many of the drugs used to treat the above illness/issues. This is only a very small snap-shot of the abilities of the Dandelion to aid us for our health, be looking for a more advanced essay on that, soon to come.

In the meantime, let us draw some parallels. Following God and allowing Him to use us has absolutely no bad/dangerous side effects. It will never become toxic or for that matter in-effective for you. You will become strong, well and healthy, fully restored from the damages of sin. You will most assuredly look like a very un-desirable, rough, stubborn, (you name it) person to those that are seeking the beauty of the world and all its entrapments. Never mind that, just continue to bloom, reseed, grow deep, and bless those that are smart enough to seek after your Creator, sharing all the good He has chosen to store up in the old, ugly vessel the world sees you as.

Nourishing Teas

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In our recent workshop we learned just how important nutrition is to a safe and effective cleansing program. If we undertake an effort to eliminate toxins without giving the body what it needs to facilitate this great work, we can quickly end up in trouble.

Along with a cleansing program our tea blend could and should be used on an everyday basis to build and maintain health. There are many ways to consume herbs and they all depend on what type of response we are looking for. When we are trying to draw out nutrients from herbs we rely heavily on the traditional use of infusions, or more commonly called teas. Using these same herbs in the form of tinctures would yield a much different effect and would be more useful for illness/disease treatments.

To make a tea, simple bring some pure water to a boil, remove from heat.  Place your herb blend into a tea press pour the very hot water over it.  Allow to sit for about 15 minutes and press it out.  Serve as you wish.  While this method has become my favorite, you can also use a tea ball or cloth tea bag in much the same way.  The ratios are roughly 1 Tbs. of herb formula per 8 oz. of water.  Drink often!

We made some yummy tea blends.  While you can use any number of different herbs to make up your blend, some of them offer more nutrition then others.  God created each plant to offer some unique benefits to us. We choose to use: Nettles, Alfalfa, Oatstraw, Moringa, Holy Basil Vana, Gymnema and lastly Spearmint. Upon a closer look at these plants you will be able to see their wonderful benefits.

So here is a brief summary of their nutrition profiles for you. With this information you can easily mix together a blend to satisfy your particular needs.

Nettles: Urtica dioica

High in Calcium, Chromium Magnesium, Zinc.  Also contains a fair amount of:  Vit. C, A, Thiamine. Silicon, Riboflavin, Protein, Potassium, Phospherus, Manganese, Cobalt.  Nettles has many other nutrients in esser values as well.

Alfalfa: Medicago sativa

High in Cobalt, good fats, Niacin, Protein, Riboflavin, Vit. A and C . Also contains a fair amount of: Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Dietary and Crude Fiber, Cobalt, Chromium, Carbs, Calcium, Ash and Aluminum. Again, these are only the higher value nutrients

Oatstraw: Avena sativa

High in Chromium, Magnesium, Silicon, Sodium, Vit. A and C. Thiamine, Selenium, Riboflavin, Phosphorus, Niacin, Iron, Fiber, Ash. And others to lesser degrees.

Moringa: Moringa oleifera

High in Potassium, Vit. B1, B2, A, Zinc, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Iron, Copper, Fats, Proteins, Calcium and others to lesser degrees.

Holy Basil Vana: Tulsi, Ocimum sp.

High in Vit. C and A, Calcium, Iron, Selenium, Zinc, Manganese, Sodium and other trace elements

Gymnema: Gymnema sylvestre

High in Chromuim, Iron, Selenium, Sodium, Vit. C and to lesser degrees, Vit. A, Silicon, Protein, Potassium, Phosphorus, Ash and others

Spearmint: Mentha spicata

High in Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium, Protein, Riboflavin, Sodium, Thiamine, Vit. A

So now you can mix these herbs in an equal ratio or you can customize them for your own needs. If you are dealing with Diabetes you may want extra Chromium. Likewise some people could greatly benefit from extra iron and so on. You get the idea, this formula is completely flexible. That is because we are wanting more, more, more nutrition for the world we live in and everyone has their own unique situation. The key is to up the level of nutrients in all your foods and this tea can certainly be a great aid!

Drink freely, drink everyday, switch it up from time to time. Add fresh juices to your teas, sweeten with honey, serve it to your family hot or cold. Freeze it for ice cubes, there really is no end to the ways you can enjoy this. Write in and tell me about your experiences, I love to hear from you all!