New Herbal Books

I found a new website to buy discounted books, Thrift Books. They have a variety of books both in paperback and hardback. I found these deals for $3-$4.

My order was:

  • Peterson Field Guides: Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants by Steven Foster/James A. Duke
  • Using Wild and Wayside Plants by Nelson Coon
  • Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada by Charles Francis Saunders
  • Wild Harvest: An Outdoorsman’s Guide to Edible Wild Plants in North America by Alyson Hart Knap

I’m always on the lookout for good books to add to my library. I can’t wait to read and learn from these new additions.

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Herbal Materia Medica Course

I have started taking a free Herbal Course from The Herbal Academy. It will teach me how to create my own Herbal Materia Medica Book.
–excerpt from Lesson One:
“One of our favorite ways to keep the spark of excitement for our herbal studies is by working on our materia medica. It gives us the opportunity to connect with individual herbs through in-depth study, and to organize what we are learning into plant monographs for future reference. If you haven’t started a materia medica of your own, we highly recommend it as a way to inspire and deepen your herbal knowledge. In support of this process, we have created this Herbal Materia Medica Course to help you create (or add to) your own materia medica!
Materia medica is a Latin term that means “healing materials.” More specifically, in herbalism, a materia medica is a body of knowledge that describes how plants have been used therapeutically. Materia medicas have been recorded and published throughout history, and include both ancient and modern tomes rich with information. Studying both recent and historical materia medicas can be a fascinating way to see how historical herbal traditions have informed modern ones, teasing out the link between new scientific research and modern practice and ancient knowledge and folk tradition.
This course will teach you how to create plant monographs and build your materia medica. By the end of this course:

  • You will know how to study a plant, how to find resources to support your studies, how to interact with a plant to gain first-hand experience with some of its characteristics, and how to evaluate scientific research on plants.
  • You will learn how to research a plant’s names, botany, harvesting guidelines, active constituents, actions, uses, taste and energetics, safety, and herb-drug interactions.
  • You will learn what a plant’s history, habitat, and growing requirements are, informing your understanding of what a plant needs and how you can become a caretaker, even if you aren’t growing the plant yourself.
  • You will gain an introduction to integrating a plant into your life to support wellness by learning about its properties and characteristics.
  • You will have a list of many resources—our favorite books and websites—for your further study of plants and development of your materia medica.
  • You will have several pages completed in your materia medica using our beautiful downloadable pages or our bound Materia Medica Journal!”

I am going to start mine by learning about some plants already growing in my garden. The class said to pick 5 to start with. Mine are:

  • plantain/dock (narrow leaf)
  • marshmallow
  • st john’s wort
  • lamb’s ear
  • florida betony

I will keep you up to date on my weekly learning here. The logo below is a link to this course and others offered.

Herbal AcademyWebsite Link

12 Proven Health Benefits of Avocado

12/26/2016

I found the below article while searching for a blog topic for today. I have slightly edited​ for ease of reading. At the end there are some links to more articles as well.

12 Proven Health Benefits of Avocado (https://authoritynutrition.com/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado/​)
By Kris Gunnars, BSc
The avocado is a rather unique type of fruit. Most fruit consists primarily of carbohydrate, while avocado is high in healthy fats.
Here are 12 health benefits of avocado, that are supported by scientific research.

1. Avocado is Incredibly Nutritious
What we refer to as “avocado” is the fruit of the avocado tree, called Persea americana (1). These days, the avocado has become an incredibly popular food among health conscious individuals. It is often referred to as a superfood… which is not surprising given its health properties (2). There are many kinds of avocados, and the shape (from pear-shaped to round) and color (from green to black) can vary between them. They can also weigh anywhere from 8 ounces (220 grams) to 3 pounds (1.4 kg). The most popular type is called Hass avocado.
This is what a typical avocado looks like:
It is often called “alligator pear,” which is very descriptive because it tends to be shaped like a pear and have green, bumpy skin… like an alligator. The yellow-green flesh inside the fruit is eaten, but the skin and seed are discarded. Here are some of the most abundant nutrients, in a single 3.5 ounce (100 gram) serving (3):

  • Vitamin K: 26% of the RDA.
  • Folate: 20% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin C: 17% of the RDA.
  • Potassium: 14% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B5: 14% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B6: 13% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin E: 10% of the RDA.
  • Then it contains small amounts of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin).

This is coming with 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats. Although it contains 9 grams of carbs, 7 of those are fiber so there are only 2 “net” carbs, making this a low-carb friendly plant food.
Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium, and are low in saturated fat. I personally don’t think that matters, but this is one of the reasons they are favored by many “old school” experts who still believe these things are inherently harmful.

Bottom Line: Avocado is a green, pear-shaped fruit often called an “alligator pear.” It is loaded with healthy fats, fiber and various important nutrients.

2. They Contain More Potassium Than Bananas
Potassium is a nutrient that most people aren’t getting enough of (4). This nutrient helps maintain electrical gradients in the body’s cells and serves various important functions. Avocados are actually very high in potassium… with a 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving containing 14% of the RDA, compared to 10% in bananas, which are a typical high potassium food (5). Several studies show that having a high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure (6).

Bottom Line: Potassium is an important mineral that most people don’t get enough of. Avocados are very high in potassium, which should support healthy blood pressure levels.

3. Avocado is Loaded With Heart-Healthy Monounsaturated Fatty Acids

Again, avocado is a high fat food. In fact, 77% of the calories in it are from fat, making it one of the fattiest plant foods in existence. But they don’t just contain any fat… the majority of the fat in avocado is oleic acid. This is a monounsaturated fatty acid that is also the major component in olive oil and believed to be responsible for some of its beneficial effects. Oleic acid has been linked to reduced inflammation and been shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer (78910). The fats in avocado are also pretty resistant to heat-induced oxidation, making avocado oil a healthy and safe choice for cooking.

Bottom Line: Avocados and avocado oil are high in monounsaturated oleic acid, a “heart healthy” fatty acid that is believed to be one of the main reasons for the health benefits of olive oil.

4. Avocados Are Loaded With Fiber
Fiber is another nutrient found in relatively large amounts in avocado. Fiber is indigestible plant matter that can contribute to weight loss, reduce blood sugar spikes and is strongly linked to a lower risk of many diseases (111213). A distinction is often made between soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is known to be able to feed the friendly gut bacteria in the intestine, which are very important for the optimal function of our bodies (14). A 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving of avocado contains 7 grams of fiber, which is 27% of the recommended daily amount. About 25% of the fiber in avocado is soluble, while 75% is insoluble (15).

Bottom Line: Avocados tend to be high in fiber, about 7% by weight, which is very high compared to most other foods. Fiber can have various important benefits for weight loss and metabolic health.

5. Eating Avocados Can Lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels
Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the world (16). It is known that several blood markers are linked to an increased risk.
This includes cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood pressure and various others. The effects of avocado on some of these risk factors has been studied in 8 human controlled trials. These studies have shown that avocados can (17181920212223):

  • Reduce total cholesterol levels significantly.
  • Reduce blood triglycerides by up to 20%.
  • Lower LDL cholesterol by up to 22%.
  • Increase HDL (the “good”) cholesterol by up to 11%.

One of the studies showed that including avocado in a low-fat vegetarian diet led to improvements in the cholesterol profile (24).
Unfortunately, all of the human studies were small (13-37 subjects) and short-term (1-4 weeks), but the results were impressive nonetheless.
Bottom Line: Numerous studies have shown that eating avocado can improve heart disease risk factors like Total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, as well as blood triglycerides.
6. People Who Eat Avocados Tend to be Healthier
One study looked at the dietary habits and health of people who eat avocados. They analyzed data from 17,567 participants in the NHANES survey in the U.S. Avocado consumers were found to be much healthier than people who didn’t eat avocados. They had a much higher nutrient intake and were half as likely to have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that are a major risk factor for heart disease and diabetes (25). People who ate avocados regularly also weighed less, had a lower BMI and significantly less belly fat. They also had more HDL (the “good”) cholesterol. However… correlation does not imply causation and there is no guarantee that the avocados caused these people to be in better health. Therefore I don’t think this particular study carries much weight.

Bottom Line: One dietary survey found that people who ate avocados had a much higher nutrient intake and had a lower risk of metabolic syndrome.
7. The Fat in Them Can Help You Absorb Nutrients From Plant Foods
When it comes to nutrients, the total amount of them is not the only thing that matters. We also need to be able to absorb them… move them from the digestive tract and into the body, where they can be used. Some nutrients are “fat soluble,” meaning that they need to be combined with fat in order to be utilized. This includes vitamins A, D, E and K… along with antioxidants like carotenoids. One study showed that adding avocado or avocado oil to either salad or salsa can increase antioxidant absorption by 2.6 to 15-fold (26). So… not only is avocado highly nutritious, it can dramatically increase the nutrient value of other plant foods that you are eating. This is an excellent reason to always include a healthy fat source when you eat veggies. Without it, a lot of the beneficial plant nutrients will go to waste.

Bottom Line: Studies have shown that eating avocado or avocado oil with veggies can dramatically increase the amount of antioxidants you take in.
8. Avocados Are Loaded With Powerful Antioxidants That Can Protect The Eyes
Not only do avocados increase antioxidant absorption from other foods, they are also high in antioxidants themselves. This includes nutrients called Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are incredibly important for eye health (2728). Studies show that these nutrients are linked to a drastically reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, which are common in the elderly (2930). Therefore, eating avocados should have benefits for eye health over the long term.

Bottom Line: Avocados are high in antioxidants, including Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These nutrients are very important for eye health and lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
9. Avocado May Help Prevent Cancer
There is limited evidence that avocado may be beneficial in preventing cancer. One study showed that it may help reduce side effects of chemotherapy in human lymphocytes (31). Avocado extract has also been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells (32). However, keep in mind that these studies were done in isolated cells and don’t really prove anything about what happens in a living, breathing human.

Bottom Line: Some studies in isolated cells have shown that nutrients in avocados may have benefits in preventing prostate cancer, and lowering side effects of chemotherapy in some cells.
10. Avocado Extract May Help Relieve Symptoms of Arthritis
Arthritis is a common problem in Western countries. There are many types of arthritis, and these are often chronic problems that people have for the rest of their lives. Multiple studies have shown that extracts from avocado and soybean oil, called Avocado and Soybean unsaponifiables, can reduce symptoms of arthritis of the bones, called osteoarthritis (3334). Whether avocados themselves can have this effect, and not just the extract, remains to be seen.

Bottom Line: Studies have shown that an extract from avocado and soybean oils can significantly reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis.
11. Eating Avocado May Help You Lose Weight
There is some evidence that avocados are a weight loss friendly food. In one study, people were split into groups. One group was instructed to eat a meal that contained avocado, the other a similar meal without avocado. Then they were asked a series of questions related to hunger and satiety.
The people eating the avocado felt 23% more satisfied and had a 28% lower desire to eat over the next 5 hours (35). If this holds true in the long-term, then including avocados in your diet could help you naturally eat fewer calories and have an easier time sticking to a healthy diet. Avocados are also high in fiber, and very low in carbs, two attributes that should also help promote weight loss, at least in the context of a healthy, real food based diet.
12. Avocado is Delicious and Easy to Incorporate in The Diet
Not only are avocados healthy, they’re also incredibly delicious and go with all sorts of foods. You can add them to salads and various sorts of recipes, or you can simply scoop them out with a spoon and eat them plain. They have a creamy, rich, fatty texture and blend well with various other ingredients. A notable mention is guacamole, which is arguably the most famous use of avocados. It includes avocado along with ingredients like salt, garlic, lime and a few others depending on the recipe. An avocado often takes some time to ripen and it should feel slightly soft when ripe. The nutrients in avocado can oxidize soon after fleshing it, but if you add lemon juice then that shouldn’t happen as quickly.
If you’re serious about adding avocado to your diet, then I highly recommend that you watch this video about how to pick, prepare and eat avocados. At the end of the day, avocados are an awesome food. They’re loaded with nutrients, many of which are lacking in the modern diet.
They are weight loss friendly, heart healthy and… last but not least, taste incredible.

What more could you ask for in a food?

Here are some links to other articles:
http://www.well-beingsecrets.com/health-benefits-of-avocado/
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=5
​https://draxe.com/avocado-benefits/

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New Year 2017

01/02/17

Happy New Year!! A little late this morning, but got sidetracked by household chores. There are many things I want to get done this year (or at least a start on). Some of the main ones are:

  • improving my garden/edible food forest
  • building an entertainment/grilling area
  • constructing a personal retreat building
  • improving out preparedness in all areas
  • better organizing the house
  • improving physical fitness

This is quite a few things to work on, but I can make plans or at least start on these projects. Below are a few files that will help me this year.

 

2017-Prepper-Planner
2017-Budget-Binder2017_

2017_Pinterest_Planner

preparedness baby stepsweeklypurchasingplan_origPreppers-University-January-To-Do (will download when you click link)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calendula Infused Oil

1/23/2017

I found this great video on how to make your own calendula infused oil from dried flowers. Below is a video link and a free eBook that I found on this website: https://healingherbaloils.com/calendula-oil-mothers-little-helper. 

​Other DIY videos are here as well, so have fun.
bigstock-Calendula-Tincture-And-Flowers-69335800

Habits and Principles of Preparedness

Today’s subject is preparedness. How to build the habit and guidelines on how to become more prepared. While surfing the internet I found the articles below:

The Habit of Preparedness

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10 Principles of Preparedness

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List of Important Documents

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I’m not an expert on these subjects in any way, I’m just learning as I go.