Category Archives: Health

Jamaican Sorrel Health Benefits

Jamaican Sorrel

What Is Jamaican Sorrel?

Jamaican sorrel (red sorrel, Florida cranberry, or roselle) is not a true sorrel. It was introduced to Jamaica from west Asia in the 18th century. Roselle is the fleshy young calyces (the outer floral envelope) surrounding the immature fruits. It also comes in dried form.  Jamaican sorrel is very acidic and resembles cranberry in color and acidity.

Culinary Uses of Jamaican Sorrel

It is used to flavor drinks, jams, jellies, wine, and sauces in the Caribbean, Mexico, West Africa, and Egypt. Roselle is used fresh in salads, especially fruit salads, with cooked vegetables, and in sauces, stews, and pies or tarts. Roselle is also dried and used as natural coloring.

The Caribbeans enjoy it as a traditional Christmas drink (also called sorrel) that is mixed with spices and rum. In Mexico, dried roselle is made into a refreshing drink called aqua de Jamaica.

Africans add sugar to their roselle drink to tone down the sourness. Roselle is also used in curries and chutneys in India and Southeast Asia, and in foods and beverages of Cuba, Central America, Mexico, and Florida. In Egypt and other Middle Eastern regions, it is added to desserts, drinks, and sweets. Spice Blends: sorrel drink blend, aqua de Jamiaca blend.

Health Benefits of Jamaican Sorrel

Indians, Mexicans, and Africans use it as a diuretic, to thin blood, and to lower blood pressure. Jamaican Sorrel is high in vitamins and minerals with powerful antioxidant properties. It helps lower elevated blood pressure, bad cholesterol and detoxify the entire body. Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity (ORAC) is a measure of total hydrophilic capacity. In fact, eating high ORAC foods such as Jamaican Sorrel can significantly raise the antioxidant power of human blood. It has a ORAC rating which is higher than vegetable juice, tomato juice and orange juice; and compares favorably to cranberry juice and pomegranate juice, which is well known for its antioxidant properties.

Other Names

It is called roselle in English, rosella in Spanish, bissap rouge in Senegalese, karkadeh in Egypt, rozelle in French, karkadi in German, and carcade in Italian.

Scientific Name

Hibiscus sabdariffa Family:  Malvaceae

Source –

Dr. Sebi Nutritional Guide – Mucus Reducing Alkaline Diet

The herbalist Dr Sebi inspired this mucus reducing alkaline diet, which is made up of non-hybrid alkalizing plant foods.

These foods control the acid level in the body, which protects against harmful mucus buildup that compromises organs and leads to the development of disease.

Following Dr. Sebi’s nutritional guide has brought me success, and this is so remarkable because I never thought I would follow a vegan or whole food plant-based diet.

The proof is in the alkaline vegan pudding because but I haven’t been sick in 4 years since I adopted this alkaline vegan diet and started taking herbs.

Before I adopted a alkaline vegan diet, I gradually weened myself off meat and only ate fish, and a little bit of dairy. I just ate some yogurt and ice-cream here and there.

I came from being a meat eater to only eating fish, and I saw my energy level and body benefit from removing meat from my diet. I hadn’t thought about adopting a vegan diet, because I really didn’t think I would benefit from it.

I thought removing fish from my diet and only eating a diet based on whole plant foods would be too difficult. I never thought that would happen.

More: Things to know about switching to a vegan diet »

Adopting An Alkaline Diet Via Dr. Sebi

I stumbled unto information the herbalist Dr. Sebi, who supported health and vitality using his “African Bio Mineral Balance.” His methodology involved using a natural alkaline plant food diet and herbs to alkalize the body to return the alkaline body back to a state of homeostasis.

The diet consisted of only natural alkaline vegetables, fruits, nuts, alkaline grains, and legumes, which would alkalize and remove mucus from the body.

Along with the diet he also used natural alkaline herbs to clean the body’s cells on the cellular, and intra-cellular level.

The alkaline diet is based on the premise that disease can only exist in an acidic environment.  The body works to maintain a slightly alkaline 7.4 pH environment in the blood. View what happens when the blood becomes acidic.

The blood is the point of equilibrium for homeostasis and when the body becomes too acidic the body will borrow alkaline minerals and compounds from bones and fluids through the body to put into the blood to keep its pH stable.

This jeopardize the health of different areas of the body and lead to the development of disease.

Dr. Sebi’s Approach To Disease

Dr. Sebi’s approach to disease is disease:

“finds it genesis when and where the mucous membrane has been compromised. For example, if there is excess mucous in the bronchial tubes, the disease is Bronchitis; if it is in the lungs, the disease is Pneumonia; in the pancreatic duct, it is Diabetes; in the joints Arthritis.”

I researched Dr. Sebi’s method and the herbs that he used.  Dr. Sebi used alkaline foods and alkaline herbs that were part of alkaline food lists that circulated the web, and that were used by many herbal practitioners.

Dr. Sebi used traditional healing herbs such as, burdock rootsarsaparilla, and dandelion, which clean the blood and clean the liver. Popular and growing holistic health movements now widely use these herbs.

I found it interesting that Dr. Sebi had been practicing his alkaline methodology since the early 90’s and found him to be a pioneer of this alkaline diet movement.

After doing my research, I decided to give Dr. Sebi’s alkaline diet and nutritional guide a try to improve my health.

I developed a list foods and herbs I would use based on the Dr. Sebi food list. (Dr. Sebi suggested not eating anything not on the nutritional guide.)

I gave it a try and I am still going strong! The way the alkaline diet makes me feel is incredible. My energy level is fantastic and I don’t get tired anymore, even through hectic days.

I thought I would miss eating fish, but I don’t even think about eating it anymore. I have loss weight and I don’t feel like I am carrying any dead weight. I now sleep heavy and when I wake up, I am fully awake right away and fully awake throughout the whole day.

Dr. Sebi Approach To Eating

(Note: I am not a doctor and can only tell you what is working for me. This guide is working for me!)

Spring Water!

Drinking plenty of spring water a day is essential to making this alkaline diet work. Dr. Sebi suggests drinking a  gallon of spring water a day, and health organizations suggest around the same amount.

The adult body consists of 70% water. All of the body’s metabolic functions need adequate amounts of water to function properly. Water removes waste from the body, cushions the joints and organs, and assists in the absorption of nutrients.

Many of herbs Dr. Sebi uses are diuretics and increase urination to remove toxins from the body. You must replace the water to support the healthy functioning of  the body.

Spring water is a natural alkaline water and it  best supports the hydration and natural ratio of electrolytes in the body.

Dr. Sebi’s nutritional guide doesn’t recommend microwaving because it damages the nutrients in food.

I have found conflicting information about whether microwaving damages food nutrients, with information supporting both sides. I have decided not to microwave my food because I believe it is harmful.

I rather heat my food on the stove or in the oven, but I eat most of my food raw because raw food contains more nutrients than heated food whether microwaved or heated on the stove.

Dr. Sebi doesn’t recommend eating any foods not on the Dr. Sebi food list.

As I stated earlier, the Dr Sebi food list is very specific and excludes many whole-food plant-based foods.

Dr. Sebi recommends avoiding hybrid foods (plants and their fruits made by unnaturally cross-pollinating two or more plants) because they change the genetic structure, electrical composition, and pH balance to its detriment.

One such food is garlic, a plant food we are accustomed to eating but is not the best food to consume.

Dr. Sebi Food List

Note: Dr. Sebi has (added) and (removed) items for the food list and is noted.


  • Amaranth greens – same as Callaloo, a variety of Spinach
  • Wild Arugula (added)
  • Avocado
  • Asparagus – (removed)
  • Bell Peppers
  • Chayote (Mexican Squash)
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion greens
  • Garbanzo beans (chick peas)
  • Green Banana – (removed)
  • Izote – cactus flower/ cactus leaf- grows naturally in California
  • Jicama – (removed)
  • Kale
  • Lettuce (all, except Iceberg)
  • Mushrooms (all, except Shitake)
  • Mustard greens (removed)
  • Nopales – Mexican Cactus
  • Okra (added back after being removed)
  • Olives (and olive oil)
  • Onions
  • Parsley (removed)
  • Purslane (Verdolaga) – (added)
  • Poke salad -greens (removed)
  • Sea Vegetables (wakame/dulse/arame/hijiki/nori)
  • Squash
  • Spinach – (removed)
  • String beans – (removed)
  • Tomato – cherry and plum only
  • Tomatillo
  • Turnip greens
  • Watercress – (added)
  • Zucchini


(No canned fruits or Seedless fruits)

  • Apples
  • Bananas – the smallest one or the Burro/mid-size (original banana)
  • Berries – all varieties- Elderberries in any form – no cranberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Currants
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Grapes -seeded
  • Limes (key limes preferred with seeds)
  • Mango
  • Melons -seeded
  • Orange (Seville or sour preferred, difficult to find )
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Prickly Pear (Cactus Fruit) – (added)
  • Prunes
  • Raisins -seeded
  • Soft Jelly Coconuts (and coconut oil)
  • Soursops – (Latin or West Indian markets)
  • Sugar apples (chermoya) – (removed)
  • Tamarind – (added)

Nuts & Seeds

(Includes nut & seed butters)

  • Brazil Nuts – (added)
  • Hemp Seed (added)
  • Hazelnuts – (removed)
  • Pine Nuts – (removed)
  • Raw Almonds and Almond butter- (removed)
  • Raw Sesame Seeds
  • Raw Sesame “Tahini” Butter
  • Walnuts


(New Section added by Dr. Sebi) Minimize the use of oils.

  • Olive Oil (Do not cook)
  • Coconut Oil (Do not cook)
  • Grapeseed Oil (added)
  • Sesame Oil (added)
  • Hempseed Oil (added)
  • Avocado Oil (added)

Spices – Seasonings

  • Achiote
  • Allspice (removed)
  • Basil
  • Bay leaf
  • Cayenne/African Bird Pepper
  • Cilantro (removed)
  • Cloves
  • Coriander (removed)
  • Cumin (removed)
  • Dill
  • Habanero (added)
  • Marjoram (removed)
  • Onion Powder
  • Oregano
  • Parsley (removed)
  • Powdered Granulated Seaweed (Kelp/Dulce/Nori – has “sea taste”)
  • Pure Sea Salt
  • Sage
  • Savory (added)
  • Sweet Basil (added)
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme


  • 100% Pure Agave Syrup – (from cactus)
  • Date “Sugar – (from dried dates)
  • 100% Pure Maple Syrup – Grade B recommended – (removed)
  • Maple “Sugar” (from dried maple syrup) – (removed)

Alkaline Grains

  • Amaranth
  • Black Rice – (removed)
  • Fonio – (added)
  • Kamut
  • Quinoa
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Tef
  • Wild Rice

Nutritional Guide | All Natural Herbal Teas

  • Alvaca (removed)
  • Anise (removed)
  • Burdock (added)
  • Chamomile
  • Elderberry
  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Lemon grass (removed)
  • Red Raspberry
  • Cuachalalate (added after Dr. Sebi’s death)
  • Flor de Manita (added after Dr. Sebi’s death)
  • Gordo Lobo (added after Dr. Sebi’s death)
  • Muicle (added after Dr. Sebi’s death)

(I keep a record of changes made to the Dr. Sebi nutritional guide for historical purposes.)
Here is the latest guide that is sent out by the office. Click image for bigger view.

Dr. Sebi Organ Cleansing Herbs

Along with following the Dr. Sebi Nutritional Guide, I also took the following herbs to clean and revitalize my organs during my initial 3 month herbal cleanse.

These are some of the herbs I used from Dr. Sebi’s extensive list of herbs.

The herbs listed above are only a few of the herbs Dr. Sebi uses in his products. I used them and a few more during my transition to an alkaline and mucus reducing diet, and now use for periodic maintenance.

Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai – Understanding Your Immune System & CoVid 19

Emphasis is placed on Vitamin A. It protects and builds stronger cell walls.

10 Vegetables High in Provitamin A

Your body can produce vitamin A from carotenoids found in plants.

These carotenoids include beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, which are collectively known as provitamin A.

However, about 45% of people carry a genetic mutation that significantly reduces their ability to convert provitamin A into vitamin A (2Trusted Source3Trusted Source).

Depending on your genetics, the following vegetables might provide considerably less vitamin A than indicated.

1. Sweet Potato (cooked) — 204% DV per serving

1 cup: 1,836 mcg (204% DV) 100 grams: 1,043 mcg (116% DV)

2. Winter Squash (cooked) — 127% DV per serving

1 cup: 1,144 mcg (127% DV) 100 grams: 558 mcg (62% DV)

3. Kale (cooked) — 98% DV per serving

1 cup: 885 mcg (98% DV) 100 grams: 681 mcg (76% DV)

4. Collards (cooked) — 80% DV per serving

1 cup: 722 mcg (80% DV) 100 grams: 380 mcg (42% DV)

5. Turnip Greens (cooked) — 61% DV per serving

1 cup: 549 mcg (61% DV) 100 grams: 381 mcg (42% DV)

6. Carrot (cooked) — 44% DV per serving

1 medium carrot: 392 mcg (44% DV) 100 grams: 852 mcg (95% DV)

7. Sweet Red Pepper (raw) — 29% DV per serving

1 large pepper: 257 mcg (29% DV) 100 grams: 157 mcg (17% DV)

8. Swiss Chard (raw) — 16% DV per serving

1 leaf: 147 mcg (16% DV) 100 grams: 306 mcg (34% DV)

9. Spinach (raw) — 16% DV per serving

1 cup: 141 mcg (16% DV) 100 grams: 469 mcg (52% DV)

10. Romaine Lettuce (raw) — 14% DV per serving

1 large leaf: 122 mcg (14% DV) 100 grams: 436 mcg (48% DV)

10 Fruits High in Provitamin A

Provitamin A is generally more abundant in vegetables than fruits. But a few types of fruit provide good amounts, as shown below.

1. Mango — 20% DV per serving

1 medium mango: 181 mcg (20% DV) 100 grams: 54 mcg (6% DV)

2. Cantaloupe — 19% DV per serving

1 large wedge: 172 mcg (19% DV) 100 grams: 169 mcg (19% DV)

3. Pink or Red Grapefruit — 16% DV per serving

1 medium grapefruit: 143 mcg (16% DV) 100 grams: 58 mcg (6% DV)

4. Watermelon — 9% DV per serving

1 wedge: 80 mcg (9% DV) 100 grams: 28 mcg (3% DV)

5. Papaya — 8% DV per serving

1 small papaya: 74 mcg (8% DV) 100 grams: 47 mcg (5% DV)

6. Apricot — 4% DV per serving

1 medium apricot: 34 mcg (4% DV) 100 grams: 96 mcg (11% DV)

7. Tangerine — 3% DV per serving

1 medium tangerine: 30 mcg (3% DV) 100 grams: 34 mcg (4% DV)

8. Nectarine — 3% DV per serving

1 medium nectarine: 24 mcg (3% DV) 100 grams: 17 mcg (2% DV)

9. Guava — 2% DV per serving

1 medium guava: 17 mcg (2% DV) 100 grams: 31 mcg (3% DV)

10. Passion Fruit — 1% DV per serving

1 medium fruit: 12 mcg (1% DV) 100 grams: 64 mcg (7% DV)

How Do You Meet Your Vitamin A Requirements?

You can easily meet your requirements for vitamin A by regularly eating some of the foods listed in this article. Many foods also contain added vitamin A, including cereals, margarine and dairy products.

Since vitamin A is fat-soluble, it is more efficiently absorbed into the bloodstream when eaten with fat. Most animal-sourced foods that are rich in vitamin A are also high in fat, but the same doesn’t apply to most plant sources of provitamin A.

You can improve your absorption of provitamin A from plant sources by adding a dash of oil to your salad.

However, as mentioned above, some people have a genetic mutation that makes the conversion of provitamin A into vitamin A much less efficient

Health Benefits of Utilizing Copper

When researchers reported last month that the novel coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic survives for days on glass and stainless steel but dies within hours after landing on copper, the only thing that surprised Bill Keevil was that the pathogen lasted so long on copper.

Keevil, a microbiology researcher at the University of Southampton (U.K.), has studied the antimicrobial effects of copper for more than two decades. He has watched in his laboratory as the simple metal slew one bad bug after another. He began with the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s Disease and then turned to drug-resistant killer infections like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). He tested viruses that caused worldwide health scares such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Swine Flu (H1N1) pandemic of 2009. In each case, copper contact killed the pathogen within minutes. “It just blew it apart,” he says.

In 2015, Keevil turned his attention to Coronavirus 229E, a relative of the COVID-19 virus that causes the common cold and pneumonia. Once again, copper zapped the virus within minutes while it remained infectious for five days on surfaces such as stainless steel or glass.

“One of the ironies is, people [install] stainless steel because it seems clean and in a way, it is,” he says, noting the material’s ubiquity in public places. “But then the argument is how often do you clean? We don’t clean often enough.” Copper, by contrast, disinfects merely by being there.

Ancient Knowledge

Keevil’s work is a modern confirmation of an ancient remedy. For thousands of years, long before they knew about germs or viruses, people have known of copper’s disinfectant powers. “Copper is truly a gift from Mother Nature in that the human race has been using it for over eight millennia,” says Michael G. Schmidt, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina who researches copper in healthcare settings.

The first recorded use of copper as an infection-killing agent comes from Smith’s Papyrus, the oldest-known medical document in history. The information therein has been ascribed to an Egyptian doctor circa 1700 B.C. but is based on information that dates back as far as 3200 B.C. Egyptians designated the ankh symbol, representing eternal life, to denote copper in hieroglyphs.

As far back as 1,600 B.C., the Chinese used copper coins as medication to treat heart and stomach pain as well as bladder diseases. The sea-faring Phoenicians inserted shavings from their bronze swords into battle wounds to prevent infection. For thousands of years, women have known that their children didn’t get diarrhea as frequently when they drank from copper vessels and passed on this knowledge to subsequent generations. “You don’t need a medical degree to diagnose diarrhea,” Schmidt says.

And copper’s power lasts. Keevil’s team checked the old railings at New York City’s Grand Central Terminal a few years ago. “The copper is still working just like it did the day it was put in over 100 years ago,” he says. “This stuff is durable and the anti-microbial effect doesn’t go away.”

The East Tower of the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh. The contrast between the refurbished copper installed in 2010 and the green color of the original 1894 copper is clearly seen.
The East Tower of the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh. The contrast between the refurbished copper installed in 2010 and the green color of the original 1894 copper is clearly seen. (Wiki Commons)

Long-Lasting Power

What the ancients knew, modern scientists and organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency have confirmed. The EPA has registered about 400 copper surfaces as antimicrobial. But how exactly does it work?

Heavy metals including gold and silver are antibacterial, but copper’s specific atomic makeup gives it extra killing power, Keevil says. Copper has a free electron in its outer orbital shell of electrons that easily takes part in oxidation-reduction reactions (which also makes the metal a good conductor). As a result, Schmidt says, it becomes a “molecular oxygen grenade.” Silver and gold don’t have the free electron, so they are less reactive.

Copper kills in other ways as well, according to Keevil, who has published papers on the effect. When a microbe lands on copper, ions blast the pathogen like an onslaught of missiles, preventing cell respiration and punching holes in the cell membrane or viral coating and creating free radicals that accelerate the kill, especially on dry surfaces. Most importantly, the ions seek and destroy the DNA and RNA inside a bacteria or virus, preventing the mutations that create drug-resistant superbugs. “The properties never wear off, even if it tarnishes,” Schmidt says.

Schmidt has focused his research on the question of whether using copper alloys in often-touched surfaces reduces hospital infections. On any given day, about one in 31 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control, costing as much as $50,000 per patient. Schmidt’s landmark study, funded by the Department of Defense, looked at copper alloys on surfaces including bedside rails, tray tables, intravenous poles, and chair armrests at three hospitals around the country. That 43-month investigation revealed a 58 percent infection reduction compared to routine infection protocols.

Further research stalled when the DOD focused on the Zika epidemic, so Schmidt turned his attention to working with a manufacturer that created a copper hospital bed. A two-year study published earlier this year compared beds in an intensive care unit with plastic surfaces and those with copper. Bed rails on the plastic surfaces exceeded the accepted risk standards in nearly 90 percent of the samples, while the rails on the copper bed exceeded those standards on only 9 percent. “We again demonstrated in spades that copper can keep the built environment clean from microorganisms,” he says.

Schmidt is also a co-author of an 18-month study led by Shannon Hinsa-Leasure, an environmental microbiologist at Grinnell College, that compared the bacterial abundance in occupied and unoccupied rooms at Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s 49-bed rural hospital. Again, copper reduced bacterial numbers. “If you’re using a copper alloy that’s always working,” Hinsa-Leasure says, “you still need to clean the environment, but you have something in place that’s working all the time (to disinfect) as well.”

What is Orgone Energy & How Does It Affect Your Body?

what is orgone energy

Is orgone real? It’s a question that more scientists are starting to investigate as the research of a noted psychologist and respected medical scientist from the 20th century begins to resurface. When you look on the Orgone wiki, the page refers to is as “pseudo-science,” but as we will explore below, the history is extremely complicated.

Orgone Energy & How It Works

The concept of Orgone energy was beginning to be embraced by the greatest scientific minds of the 20th century before European and US government agencies moved to use imprisonment and suppression to ban literature on the subject to make one of the great discoveries of modern medicine disappear almost entirely. But what is Orgone energy, exactly? And how does orgone energy affect your body?

Who Discovered Orgone Energy?

Orgone energy was discovered by Dr. Wilhelm Reich. Reich was born in Austria in 1897. By 1922 he graduated from the University of Vienna as a Doctor of Medicine. During his study for his doctorate, Reich became a pupil of Sigmund Freud. Later he became the clinical assistant at Freud’s Psychoanalytical Clinic. Dr. Reich wrote numerous books on psychology, neurosis, anxiety, religion, and sexuality.

During the 1930’s, Reich was performing experiments with airborne microorganisms. At this time, he was a highly esteemed and respected scientist in the medical field. It was also during this time that he wrote additional books about Biopathy, Cosmology, Bioelectricity, Orgone and Ether. It is during these experiments with airborne organisms that he discovered a special type of radiation particle. He termed this particle “Orgone.”

What is Orgone Energy & How Does It Affect the Human Body?

After further experimentation and research, Dr. Reich demonstrated that the Orgone radiation was the same energy that the sun gave off. Dr. Reich was able to culture and inoculate what he called “SAPA Bions” of the cosmic orgone energy. When he placed live cancer cells next to the Orgone “Bions,” the cancer cells would die.

During these experiments, Dr. Reich was discovering the growth patterns of life by tangibly identifying the concept of morphogenetic energy fields that have form-building power. Dr. Reich observed orgone as omnipresent, and the basis of all life processes. He also made this connection by observing the same principle in the forming of galaxies, as on a cellular or macro-biological level. When Reich revealed his research to Albert Einstein, he exclaimed: “this would be a bombshell to physics.”

Dr. Reich was able to apply his earlier research of psychological disorders to the behavior of Orgone. When energy is blocked by traumatic memories, and then stored in the tissues of the body, this can cause muscular tension. He termed this accumulation and blockage: “Armouring.” This stagnate energy becomes “Deadly Orgone Energy.” It is also referred to as “DOR.” Dr. Reich believed that Deadly Orgone Energy was largely responsible for environmental decay, psychological and mental disturbances in life forms, as well as the body’s physical degeneration. Dr Reich discovered the therapeutic use of Orgone’s ability to clear these energetic blockages that exist within the body that would often be associated with major disease or illness, including cancer.

Orgone Energy for Therapy

After discovering DOR and its connection to illness along with its manifestation in the body as well as the environment, Reich started to make boxes called “Orgone Energy Accumulators.” They were made with alternate layers of organic material and metal shavings. This was to accumulate a higher concentrated field of beneficial Orgone. Dr. Reich began using the Orgone Energy Accumulator to treat his patients. The results were successful in treating acute and chronic conditions, even cancer. Once the FDA, AMA and American government found out about not only Reich’s discovery of Orgone, but also how this discovery of Orgone’s ability to clear blockages to enable the body to heal, they began to harass Reich and sent him to jail for the first time.

The Beginning of the End for Orgone Energy Studies

Dr. Reich’s first jail sentence was short term. Unfortunately, despite these fantastic discoveries, by 1954 the American government and FDA made an attempt to wipe the very word “orgone” from the English vocabulary. The FDA started an aggressive harassment campaign of banning Dr. Reich’s Orgone Energy Accumulator and destroying his books and journals. Eventually, Dr. Reich was arrested and imprisoned for a second time for his continued research and application of Orgone energy. The government of the United States had declared that “Orgone did not exist” and “Orgone” was the only word that was necessary to appear in print to qualify for the destruction of the material. We must ask the question then, if it doesn’t exist, then why was it banned? And why did it land Dr. Reich in prison?

Sadly, Dr. Reich spent his last days in prison labeled a quack and a racketeer by the American government and the American medical system. Dr. Reich died in prison in 1957. Today, Dr. Reich is still noted historically for his work in psychiatry and psychoanalysis. However, his work in biophysics has been stricken from the “official” historical record. Regardless of this, Dr. Reich’s work has been resurfaced, rediscovered, thoroughly studied, replicated and enhanced. Specifically, Reich’s experiments have been successfully replicated and verified by researcher Roger du Theil at the Sorbonne University in Paris, France.

Orgone Energy May Be The Key to Understanding Human Health

The health of the general population has declined over the last 60 years since Dr. Reich was practicing. The accumulation of Dead Orgone has inundated our bodies and environment. One major accumulator of DOR is electromagnetic radiation. Today we are being bombarded by electro-magnetic fields (or EMFs). Wifi is everywhere. So, even if we don’t use it ourselves, we are still impacted by it from everyone else that has it around us. Wifi is a part of the EMFs that are invisible lines of force that emanate from any electrical or wireless device.

There are basically two types of EMFs: low frequency and high frequency. Low frequency EMFs are emitted by our electricity and appliances. High Frequency EMFs (also known as Radio Frequency or “RF”) are generated by wireless devices. Now that 5G is rolling out in various cities, this will increase the detrimental effects of EM radiation even more.

Our body immediately has a stress response to these frequencies. Some examples of this stress response are:

  • Diminished blood flow and oxygen to organs
  • Impairment of all body systems
  • Increased blood sugar
  • Increased blood pressure & heart rate
  • Interference with cell metabolism
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Arthritis and more.

Aside from what we can control with eliminating these EMF-emitting devices from our own environment, we can actually use Orgone energy itself to harness Positive Orgone Energy for healing.

How Can We Protect Ourselves from Deadly Orgone Energy?

“By simply holding an Orgone device or being near one, negative energy will be cleared from your field, creating a higher, more balanced and healthy state.”

Orgone and orgonite help you to protect yourself from Deadly Orgone Energy. Gary Fields, owner of “Orgone Energy Tools,” explains:

“The word Orgonite comes from ‘Orgone,’ the name given by Wilhelm Reich to vital energy found everywhere in nature. Orgonite is a substance which functions as a self-driven, continuously operating, highly efficient energy transmutation device, drawing in negative life energy and transmuting it into positive energy.

“Orgonite has become very popular as a spiritual healing tool, and as protection against EMFs. By simply holding an Orgone device or being near one, negative energy will be cleared from your field, creating a higher, more balanced and healthy state.”

Although Dr. Reich never created Orgonite as it is currently produced, his ground-breaking research led directly to the methods of design and production for orgonite pyramids, orgonite pendants and other orgonite products for your home.

How Does Orgonite Really Work?

By “cornering” your home with Orgone energy devices, you can transmute the Deadly Orgone Energy emitted by electric devices like your washer/dryer and refrigerators, WiFi router, computers, handheld devices and more. Simply place an Orgonite object, such as Orgone pyramids, as close to each corner of your home as possible, as well as near major EMF emitters in your home. These objects are modern adaptations of Dr. Wilhelm Reich’s original Orgone Energy Accumulator.

Dr. Reich’s discovery of “Orgone” is in alignment with the religious concepts of numerous ancient cultures regarding Chi, Prana, Ether and what quantum physicists now call Zero Point Energy. The ancients had wisdom of this energy and how to harness it. Today we are finally rediscovering this balance of wisdom with technology and have the ability to apply this knowledge to the understanding of nature, ourselves and how to use it to heal our own body and the planet.

Where to Buy Orgonite in Michigan

If you are looking to buy orgonite near Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Bay City, Detroit, Traverse City or other major locations in Michigan, Herbs, Etc. has an extensive selection of orgone pyramids and other orgone energy devices for sale, and we can ship anywhere in the US. Our Mount Pleasant location has one of the best selections of metaphysical supplies, supplements and more, and we also recommend producers like Akaida, Sage Goddess and Orgone Energy Fields products made by Gary Fields. They are all great producers to contact about orgone energy devices. In Mount Pleasant, our experts can help you choose the best orgone energy devices for your needs!

Source – HerbsETC 

Can Psychedelic Medicine Help Opioid Addiction Epidemic ?

  • The Opioid Crisis Has Plagued North America for Decades, and According to the U.S. HHS, it Kills an Estimated 130+ People Per Day in the United States Alone
  • Thanks to Recent Advancements in Psychedelic Medicine, There’s Renewed Hope and Optimism Surrounding the Deadly Epidemic
  • ATAI Life Sciences, DemeRx and MindMed Are Waging War Against Opioid Addiction By Utilizing This One Little-Known Psychedelic Substance

The opioid crisis isn’t making as many headlines these days due to the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has paralyzed much of the global economy and captivated the attention of billions worldwide. While the Coronavirus continues to sweep across the globe, a different type of epidemic continues to ravage America’s communities and families. We’re talking about the Opioid Epidemic.

The U.S. Opioid Epidemic

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the opioid epidemic was the result of gross negligence on the part of pharmaceutical companies, most notably, the now-bankrupt Purdue Pharma. Run by the now-infamous Sackler family, Purdue Pharma was the company responsible for the creation and mass promotion of the opioid pain killer Oxycotin. Certain pharmaceutical firms with Purdue leading the way assured doctors and the medical community that their opioid products were not addictive. This reassurance combined with a massive marketing campaign led to an enormous spike in the number of Oxycodone prescriptions in the U.S. Believing these new pain relievers were non-addictive, opioid use and misuse rates quickly began to soar. The truth is, opioids are highly addictive, and difficult to quit using due to the extreme withdrawal symptoms associated with it.

In 2017, the HHS finally declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency and announced its 5-point plan to combat the crisis.

To put the opioid epidemic into perspective for you, here are some recent statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services:

  • 130+ people died every day from opioid-related drug overdoses during 2018 and 2019
  • 47,600 people died from overdosing on opioids in 2018
  • 10.3 million people misused prescription opioids in 2018
  • 2 million people had an opioid use disorder in 2018
  • 2 million people misused prescription opioids for the first time in 2018

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Read More Stats from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Double Whammy Crises

Corey Davis, a lawyer at Network for Public Health Law, recently said, “We’re now facing two deadly, concurrent declared public health emergencies: the opioid crisis and COVID-19.”

The federal government has loosened some restrictions in regards to social distancing for users of Buprenorphine (Subutex) and Methadone, the two main treatments for opioid addiction that require consistent use to prevent relapse. Opioid users are at high risk of major health conditions due to lifestyle and age (many are over 60), and there are hundreds of thousands of them. What if there was a different way to treat addiction that made opioid users less susceptible to disease and less dependent on the deadly drugs? The psychedelics industry believes it may have the answer.

Psychedelic Medicine is Showing Tremendous Promise

Several companies are working to bring a different approach to opioid addiction through the use of psychedelic medicine. Psychedelics are active compounds that have specific effects on precise parts of the brain–just like pharmaceutical drugs, but due to the U.S. federal government, have been constrained by the very outdated Controlled Substances Act.

One company, in particular, ATAI Life Sciences, has emerged as a driving force behind the psychedelics, inspired fight against addiction. ATAI Life Sciences is a global biotech company founded by scientists and businesspeople who vowed to take a comprehensive approach to dealing with mental health disorders and addiction. The company uses artificial intelligence and computational biophysics to zoom in on promising approaches across their eight portfolio companies: COMPASS PathwaysPerception NeuroscienceDemeRxInnoplexusGABA TherapeuticsEntheogeniX Biosciences and Neuronasal.

DemeRx is one of ATAI’s innovating portfolio companies that’s thinking outside the box as it relates to addiction. The DemeRx website describes the company as “a clinical-stage pharmaceutical development company advancing two lead drug candidates as medication-assisted therapies for opioid addiction.”

Read the full article at TheCannabisInvestor 

Exercise May Help Protect Against CoVid Symptoms

UVA researchers found that regular exercise may reduce the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome, a major cause of death in patients with the COVID-19 virus.

Find the latest information on the University’s response to the coronavirus here.

Regular exercise may reduce the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome, a major cause of death in patients with the COVID-19 virus, a top exercise researcher reports. He is urging people to exercise based on his findings, which also suggest a potential treatment approach.

A review by Zhen Yan of the University of Virginia School of Medicine showed that medical research findings “strongly support” the possibility that exercise can prevent or at least reduce the severity of ARDS, which affects between 3% and 17% of all patients with COVID-19. Based on available information, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 20% to 42% of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 will develop ARDS. The range for patients admitted to intensive care is estimated at 67% to 85%.

Research conducted prior to the pandemic suggested that approximately 45% of patients who develop severe ARDS will die.

“All you hear now is either social distancing or ventilator, as if all we can do is either avoid exposure or rely on a ventilator to survive if we get infected,” Yan said. “The flip side of the story is that approximately 80% of confirmed COVID-19 patients have mild symptoms with no need of respiratory support. The question is, ‘Why?’ Our findings about an endogenous antioxidant enzyme provide important clues and have intrigued us to develop a novel therapeutic for ARDS caused by COVID-19.”

Powerful Antioxidant

Yan, the director of the Center for Skeletal Muscle Research at UVA’s Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center, compiled an in-depth review of existing medical research, including his own, looking at an antioxidant known as extracellular superoxide dismutase, or EcSOD. This potent antioxidant hunts down harmful free radicals, protecting our tissues and helping to prevent disease. Our muscles naturally make EcSOD, secreting it into the circulation to allow binding to other vital organs, but its production is enhanced by cardiovascular exercise.

A review by UVA’s Zhen Yan showed that medical research findings “strongly support” the possibility that exercise can prevent or at least reduce the severity of ARDS. (Photo by Dan Addison, University Communications)

A decrease in the antioxidant is seen in several diseases, including acute lung disease, ischemic heart disease and kidney failure, Yan’s review shows. Lab research in mice suggests that blocking its production worsens heart problems, while increasing it has a beneficial effect. A decrease in EcSOD is also associated with chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis.

Research suggests that even a single session of exercise increases production of the antioxidant, prompting Yan to urge people to find ways to exercise even while maintaining social distancing.

“We cannot live in isolation forever,” he said. “Regular exercise has far more health benefits than we know. The protection against this severe respiratory disease condition is just one of the many examples.”

Potential Treatments

Yan’s review also suggests EcSOD as a potential treatment for ARDS and many other health conditions. Gene therapy, for example, might one day be used to increase production of the antioxidant so that its protective presence in the lungs is enhanced in patients battling COVID-19.

Research has also shown that lab rats with chronic kidney disease had less kidney damage when treated with human EcSOD. The antioxidant is already being proposed as a potential therapeutic for diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes that can lead to blindness.

Further, EcSOD also may prove beneficial against multi-organ dysfunction syndrome, in which multiple organs begin to fail. Efforts to treat the condition with general antioxidants have been unsuccessful, but Yan suggests that understanding EcSOD’s workings may let doctors use it in a more targeted – and hopefully more effective – fashion.

“We often say that exercise is medicine. EcSOD set a perfect example that we can learn from the biological process of exercise to advance medicine,” Yan said. “While we strive to learn more about the mysteries about the superb benefits of regular exercise, we do not have to wait until we know everything.”

Findings Published

Yan, of UVA’s Departments of Medicine, Pharmacology and Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, conducted his review in collaboration with Hannah R. Spaulding, a postdoctoral researcher at UVA. They have published their review in the scientific journal Redox Biology.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, grants R01-GM109473 and T32 HL007284-43. 

To keep up with the latest medical research news from UVA, subscribe to the Making of Medicine blog.

Source – NewsVA 

20+ Immune Boosting Herbs & Mushrooms

I’d harvested fresh elderberries in our garden that we’d grown from cuttings, and I started looking around for other herbs for the immune system to add into the mix.  A short walk around the garden and nearby woods and I’d picked more than 20 different immune-boosting herbs, flowers, roots, mushrooms, and lichen.

Add in a stop at the spice cabinet for immune-boosting spices like ginger, black pepper and garlic and I had quite the spread to choose from…

Immune Boosting Herbs

(Note: I am not a clinical herbalist or healthcare provider.  This is based on my own experience and research, but I encourage you to verify it with other sources.  Please consult a healthcare provider before beginning any health regimen, herbal or otherwise.) 


Herbs for the immune system generally fall into three categories:

  • Immune Stimulants ~ Generally used for a short period of time, immune stimulants are best used on a short term basis.  The best time is right as you’re starting to get sick, or anytime you’ve been exposed to an illness.  Those times when someone coughs right on you, or you’re about to go on a long flight where there may be extra pathogens in the recirculated air.  Examples include Echinacea and usnea lichen.
  • Herbal Immunomodulators (or Immune Tonics) ~ Often used over a long period of time, immunomodulators are tonics for the immune system.  They’re not meant to be overtly healing during acute illness, but rather to help balance your system and promote a healthy immune response.  Examples include tulsi (holy basil) and reishi mushrooms.
  • Anti-Microbial Herbs ~ While they may not directly impact the immune system, they’re helpful in treating illness and maintaining health.  While prescription antibiotics have their place, minor illnesses (or injuries) can be treated with anti-microbial herbs instead.  Some are specifically antifungal (for topical issues) while others are more generally antimicrobial.  These disserve an article in their own right, and I’ll cover them briefly at the end.

While these three classes of herbs are somewhat different from each other, the terminology often gets mixed, even in peer-reviewed scientific journals.  Some, in fact, fall in multiple categories.  The main thing to keep in mind is that not all herbs are for long term use and not all herbs for the immune system will have a direct impact if you’re already sick.

There are a lot of factors in our daily lives that affect our immune system.  Stress, anxiety and even feelings of social isolation can negatively impact your immune system, along with exposure to toxins and all manner of other environmental factors.  That is just too much to cover, and we’ll assume that all things being equal, you’re doing your best to live a low-stress life and are otherwise taking care of yourself.

Exercising, eating right, getting outside and regularly playing in nature.  All the good stuff.

Once you’ve got the basics covered, here’s a few immune-boosting herbs that have been shown to help support a healthy immune system.  (I’ve also thrown in a few spices, roots, lichen and mushrooms too, for good measure.)


An ancient ayurvedic herb, ashwagandha has a long history of medicinal use.  It’s an adaptogen, which means it helps your body cope with whatever life throws at it.

Studies show that “Ashwagandha improves the body’s defense against disease by improving the cell-mediated immunity. It also possesses potent antioxidant properties that help protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals.”  It also “acts as an immunomodulator and hence can enhance life span of cancer patients, where lowered immunity states of the patient are the cause of concern.”

Known as Indian ginseng, it can increase stamina, improve memory and that it has anti-tumor effects.

We grow ashwagandha in our Vermont garden as an annual, it’s not hard to harvest your own even in cold climates.

Ashwagandha growing in our garden (left) and harvesting roots (right).

Ashwagandha growing in our garden (left) and harvesting roots (right).


Another adaptogen, astragalus is well known in eastern and western herbalism for its immune tonic properties.

study in humans found that Astralagus helped in “priming for a potential immune response as well as its effect on blood flow and wound healing.”

Two different studies in mice/rats confirm it’s immune-modulating effects.  In one study, Astralagus boosted the immune systems both healthy and immune-compromised mice   Another study on rats with cancer found that “polysaccharides of Astragalus present significant immune-modulating activity, thus supporting the popular use…”

As a plant in the bean family, it’s both a medicinal herb and a food.  The sliced roots, either harvested fresh or purchased dried, can be cooked into soups or added to all manner of dishes, which makes it easy to incorporate astragalus into your diet.  (It’s also commonly taken as a supplement.)

While I had intended to grow astragalus as an annual in our garden, it’s come back year after year from tiny pieces of roots left in the soil post-harvest.  I’d been told it was only marginally hardy here, but it weathers our zone 4 winters like a champ.

My daughter holding an Astragalus seedling that we planted in our garden a few years ago. Astralagus seedling

My daughter holding an Astragalus seedling that we planted in our garden a few years ago.


The beautiful glowing yellow/orange flowers of calendula brighten up any garden, and they’re both edible and medicinal.

Calendula is usually used topically in creams and oils for it’s anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.  You’ll see it made into all manner of lotions, creams and healing salves.

Beyond their topical anti-microbial uses, the dried whole flower heads have been used as an immune tonic for centuries.  According to the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine:

“The whole flowers can also be dried and added to soups and stews as a winter immune tonic. This traditional folk use heralds from medieval Europe, where the flowers were likewise added to bread, syrups, and conserves. In the classic 1863 text The Complete Herbal, Nicholas Culpepper wrote,

‘The flowers, either green or dried, are much used in possets, broths, and drink, as a comforter of the heart and spirits, and to expel any malignant or pestilential quality which might annoy them.’”

Modern herbalists often add calendula to nourishing winter broths, and sometimes incorporate other savory immune-stimulating mushrooms like turkey tail or reishi to boost the effect.  Try this herbal healing mushroom broth, or this immune-modulating mushroom broth, both of which contain calendula as well as a mix of other immune-boosting herbs and mushrooms.

Calendula Flowers

Calendula flowers from our garden. They come in many different shades of yellow and orange.


Perhaps the best known of the many medicinal mushrooms that grow on birch trees, Chaga mushrooms are being studied for all sorts of potential health benefits.

According to WebMD, Chaga has antioxidant properties and has the potential to stimulate the immune system, as well as lower blood sugar and cholesterol.  It’s also studied for potential anti-cancer treatments.

One study found that a tea made from Chaga boosted the immune function of immunosuppressed rats, and noted that “These results strongly suggest the great potential of the aqueous extract from Inonotus obliquus as immune enhancer during chemotherapy.”

As with most medicinal mushrooms, the most common way to take it is in a double extraction tincture, since some of the compounds are alcohol soluble, while others are water-soluble.

The mushroom compounds are first extracted in alcohol and then extracted by prolonged boiling.  The alcohol extract is then added to the cooled water extract in a ratio that preserves both.

The result is then sold under the name Chaga tincture or Chaga extract.

Chaga Tincture

Our own wild-harvested Chaga mushrooms made into a tincture (alcohol extract)


Provided you haven’t been living under a rock for the last decade, you’ve already heard about the immune-boosting properties of echinacea.  It’s by far the best known herbal immune stimulant, and it’s widely accepted even by the medical community as a powerful herbal tool.

A study reviewing the medicinal benefits of echinacea concluded that,

“The consensus of the studies reviewed in this article is that echinacea is indeed effective in reducing the duration and severity of symptoms…”

But the researchers also noted that there’s some debate as to which preparations (tincture, tea, etc) and which parts of the plant (flowers, roots, leaves, etc) are most effective.

I make our homemade echinacea tincture from flowers/leaves that I harvest from our own plants, and then I add in a bit of purchased dried echinacea root just to be on the safe side.

A cup of pure echinacea tea can be a bit abrasive, but it’s lovely if you add in a bit of lemongrass.  (Elderberry and rose hips works too, as in this recipe for winter immune support tea.)

Echinacea flowers in our perennial garden (Photo bombed by my husband holding our infant daughter.)

Echinacea flowers in our perennial garden (Photobombed by my husband holding our infant daughter, cute little chubby baby thighs and all.)


While echinacea is an immune stimulant that’s best taken to combat illness, elderberries are perfect as a year-round immune tonic.  That’s convenient because while echinacea tastes like medicine (translation…horrible), elderberries are a tasty and versatile berry with wonderful flavor.

Like many berries, they’re antioxidant, but elderberries have also been shown to boost immune function.  Numerous studies document the almost miraculous benefits of elderberry syrup.

In a placebo-controlled study on flu patients found that with a tablespoon (15 ml) of elderberry syrup taken 4x per day, “Symptoms were relieved on average 4 days earlier and use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo. Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza.”

While elderberry syrup is one of the most popular preparations, there are literally dozens of other ways to take it.

Home remedies made from elderberries

Home remedies made from elderberries. Clockwise from top left: Elderberry syrup, gummy bears, pie and oxymel.


Let your food be your medicine, and garlic is a tasty way to make it happen.

Garlic has been a part of folk medicine for millennia, but modern science is just beginning to confirm it’s medicinal benefits.  Don’t believe it?  Listen to what the scientists have to say…

“Garlic (Allium sativum) has been used for centuries as a prophylactic and therapeutic medicinal agent. Importantly, garlic has been suggested to have both cancer-preventive potential as well as significant enhancing effects on the immune system… these observations are supported experimentally both in vitro and in vivo…”

A little garlic added to meals is tasty, but you’ll likely need a more concentrated dose for medicinal effects.  Homemade fire cider and fermented honey garlic are some of the most popular ways to take a therapeutic dose of garlic.

Fresh organic garlic is often around $18 per pound locally, but we plant garlic every fall and it’s easy enough to grow.  Every few years we try a new garlic variety, and it’s amazing how varied the flavors (and colors) can be.

My daughter holding some of our hardneck garlic.

My daughter holding some of our hard neck garlic.


Ginseng is one of the few immune tonic herbs that we don’t grow ourselves, though we could on our woodland homestead.  There are detailed instructions for cultivating ginseng in the book Farming the Woods, one of my favorite permaculture books.

It takes years to mature, and has been overharvested to near extinction in the wild.  It’s tightly regulated at the federal level, which means that it can be tricky to purchase unless you’ve got a gold bar hidden in the back of your closet.

With so many other immune-boosting herbs available, I don’t honestly see any compelling reason to opt for this both threatened and prohibitive expensive species.

None the less, it’s been used for millennia, and no list of immune-supportive herbs would be complete without ginseng.

Ginseng plant


Just the opposite of ginseng, Japanese honeysuckle is an invasive species that’s spread around the world.  Once you’ve positively identified the plant, feel free to harvest as much as you need without the risk of really damaging this incredibly prolific flower.

Be aware though, as with other medicinal invasive species (ie. Japanese Knotweed), it’s important to be sure that it hasn’t been sprayed with herbicides.

Japanese honeysuckle is one of the few immune stimulant herbs, and it’s also antimicrobial.  Most of the studies on its effectiveness are done in livestock or food animals, as organic farmers look for more natural ways to keep their animals healthy.

There have been studies in egg-laying chickens, as well as aquaculture projects for fish and shrimp, all of which concluded that Japanese honeysuckle is a natural immune stimulant and/or antioxidant agent.

The bees and other pollinators love honeysuckle, largely because it’s sweet and fragrant.  That makes it a tasty medicine, and it’s prepared in all manner of ways.  Most commonly though, as infusions or extracts such as Honeysuckle Glycerite or honeysuckle vodka.

A pollinator visiting a honeysuckle flower

A pollinator visiting a honeysuckle flower


There’s a lot of promising research into the medicinal uses of lion’s mane mushrooms.  Researchers are especially excited about their ability to improve cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients, as well as regulate blood sugar for diabetics.

Studies show that they also happen to be an immune tonic, adding yet another reason to seek out this awesome mushroom.

Though they’re supposed to be somewhat rare in the wild, we have plenty of them on our 30 acres.  Lion’s mane mushrooms are easy to identify, and the bright white shaggy fungus is hard to miss.

If you cant find them in the wild, there’s always mushroom supplements. Host Defense makes a lion’s mane mushroom capsule as well as a comprehensive immune support capsule containing many different immune-supporting mushrooms.

Lion's mane mushrooms
Read the full article at Practical Self Reliance

Growing elderberry

Growing elderberry trees is surprisingly easy. Elderberries and elderflowers make delicious foods and beverages, plus research shows they’re a helpful immune-boosting medicine to fight colds, flus, and other viruses. Here’s a complete guide to growing and harvesting your own elderberries and elderflowers!

Elderberry, aka Sambucus, is a small, deciduous tree that grows in virtually every temperate region on earth. There are dozens of different species of Sambucus around the world. Some species feature red berries, some blue, some black/purple.

A beautiful 5-gallon bucket full of perfectly ripe elderberries from Tyrant Farms. Growing elderberry trees by Tyrant Farms

A beautiful 5-gallon bucket full of perfectly ripe elderberries from Tyrant Farms.

In this article, we’ll be focusing on how to grow one particular species of elderberry: Sambucas canadensis, aka “American black elderberry”.

Native range of North American Sambucus nigra subspecies. Image courtesy Elbert L. Little, Jr., of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

Native ranges of various elderberry species in North America, which grow from Ag Zone 5-8. Sambucus canadensis range shown in green. Image courtesy Elbert L. Little, Jr., of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

Sambucus canadensis plants feature dark purple-black berries and produce excellent quality fruit. They also have extraordinarily high concentrations of health-boosting compounds such as anthocyanin (which gives the berries their purple/black color).

We grow Sambucus canadensis varieties, and recommend you do as well — if you live in the ranges on the map above where they grow natively. Otherwise, seek out varieties specific to your growing region.

For easier reading, we’ll simply refer to Sambucus canadensis as “elderberries” for the remainder of this article.

Growing elderberry trees in an edible urban landscape works perfectly. The two large plants at the very back of our edible landscape are elderberry trees that have just gone from flowering to fruit set in early summer.

Growing elderberry trees in an edible urban landscape works perfectly. The two large plants at the very back of our edible landscape are elderberry trees that are starting to flower. The white flowering plant in front is yarrow, not elderberries.

Where does the name elderberry come from?

The name “elderberry” comes from the Anglo Saxon word “æld,” which sounds like “old” but actually translates to “fire.” Centuries ago, the hollow, straight stems of elderberry branches were used to blow air into a hot fireplace, fueling the flame.

Given that the center of a cut and dried elderberry branch has a light styrofoam-like texture that would make an ideal fire-starting material, our bet is this feature also factored into the plant’s old Anglo Saxon name as well.


Read the full article at TyrantFarms

What are Anti Nutrients?

Are anti-nutrients harmful?

broccoli growing in the ground

The takeaway: The pros and cons of anti-nutrients on long-term human health is an area of active research. Though certain foods may contain residual amounts of anti-nutrients after processing and cooking, the health benefits of eating these foods outweigh any potential negative nutritional effects. Eating a variety of nutritious foods daily and avoiding eating large amounts of a single food at one meal can help to offset minor losses in nutrient absorption caused by anti-nutrients.

The term “anti-nutrients” suggests what they are. Whereas nutrients are substances that nourish plants and animals to grow and live, anti-nutrients earn their title because they can block the absorption of nutrients. Anti-nutrients are naturally found in animals and many plant-based foods. In plants, they are compounds designed to protect from bacterial infections and being eaten by insects. [1]

There are several compounds in the foods we eat classified as anti-nutrients. Examples include:

  • Glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage)—can prevent the absorption of iodine, which may then interfere with thyroid function and cause goiter. Those already with an iodine deficiency or a condition called hypothyroidism are most susceptible.
  • Lectins in legumes (beans, peanuts, soybeans), whole grains—can interfere with the absorption of calcium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc.
  • Oxalates in green leafy vegetables, tea—can bind to calcium and prevent it from being absorbed.
  • Phytates (phytic acid) in whole grains, seeds, legumes, some nuts—can decrease the absorption of ironzincmagnesium, and calcium. [2,3]
  • Saponins in legumes, whole grains—can interfere with normal nutrient absorption.
  • Tannins in tea, coffee, legumes—can decrease iron absorption.

It is not known how much nutrient loss occurs in our diets because of anti-nutrients, and the effects vary among individuals based on their metabolism and how the food is cooked and prepared. Many anti-nutrients like phytates, lectins, and glucosinolates can be removed or deactivated by soaking, sprouting, or boiling the food before eating.

Another consideration is that these anti-nutrients affect the absorption of nutrients eaten at the same meal. Therefore to lower this risk, it is recommended to avoid eating large quantities of foods containing anti-nutrients at one meal, and to eat a balanced diet throughout the day with a variety of foods. [3] For example, instead of eating two cups of bran cereal with milk for breakfast, choose one cup of cereal with milk and one cup of fresh berries.

People who are at high risk for diseases related to mineral deficiencies, such as osteoporosis with calcium deficiency or anemia with iron deficiency, may wish to monitor their food choices for anti-nutrient content. Another strategy could be to alter the timing of eating foods with anti-nutrients. Examples are to drink tea between meals instead of with a meal to reduce the chances of iron being poorly absorbed, or taking a calcium supplement a few hours after eating a high-fiber wheat bran cereal that contains phytates.

Studies on vegetarians who eat diets high in plant foods containing anti-nutrients do not generally show deficiencies in iron and zinc, so the body may be adapting to the presence of anti-nutrients by increasing the absorption of these minerals in the gut. [3]

Keep in mind that anti-nutrients may also exert health benefits. Phytates, for example, have been found to lower cholesterol, slow digestion, and prevent sharp rises in blood sugar. [2] Many anti-nutrients have antioxidant and anticancer actions, so avoiding them entirely is not recommended. [3,4]

Keeping an eye on glucosinolates

A few studies have found a small but significant increased risk of disease with higher intakes of glucosinolates, which are obtained mainly through cruciferous vegetables. In two studies following three large prospective cohorts of 42,170 male and 168,404 female health professionals for several years, a higher intake of glucosinolates was associated with a slightly higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes in men and women. Individuals with the highest intakes of glucosinolates had a 19% increased risk of type 2 diabetes compared with those with the lowest intakes, even after adjusting for other factors that can affect diabetes, such as BMI, physical activity, and smoking. [5] The strongest associations were observed for Brussels sprouts when comparing the highest (1 or more servings/week) and lowest intakes (never or almost never). In a separate analysis of these same three cohorts looking at intakes of glucosinolates and heart disease, participants who consumed one or more servings a week of Brussels sprouts and cabbage had a higher heart disease risk than those who consumed these vegetables less than once per month. [6] The authors did not recommend avoiding these foods but rather emphasized a need for more studies to replicate and confirm these findings to better understand this possible relation, as several other studies have shown a protective effect on diabetes and heart disease with higher intakes of cruciferous vegetables.