Lāʻau Lapaʻau | Cardioprotective and Anti-inflammatory Properties of Olive Oil Phenolic Compounds

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Cardiovascular (CV) diseases are the leading cause of world mortality, with 7.4 million of their 17.7 million annual deaths due to coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD risk factors include diabetes mellitus (diabetes type 2 [DT2]), hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity, poor diet, tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum, Solanaceae) smoking, lack of exercise, and alcohol abuse. Acute myocardial infarction and death—two primary effects associated with CAD—account for more than 90% of all CAD-related outcomes. Atherosclerotic plaques form when vascular endothelial cells express chemotactic and adhesion molecules, starting the inflammatory process crucial to CAD’s pathogenesis. Within a healthy diet, cardioprotective foods can modulate expression of proinflammatory cytokines and inflammation markers and help control risk factors like DT2, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and obesity. Phenolic compounds and unsaturated fats found in olive (Olea europaea, Oleaceae) oil (OO) show benefits in this area and may improve CV outcomes overall. Virgin OO (VOO) is produced by…

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Partystyles | Chocolate Jell-O Pudding Shots

 

Ingredients:

– Small box of Chocolate Instant Pudding
– ¾ c Kahlua
– ¾ c Coconut Rum
– 4oz Cool Whip (Extra Creamy preferred but not required)

 

Directions:

Whisk Kahlua and Instant Pudding together until as thick as it will get (1-2 minutes). Once it has thickened, add Liquor and whisk until all lumps and clumps are gone. Once the mixture is nice and smooth again, whisk in Cool Whip.

Fill almost ¾ of a 1oz plastic shot cup with the mixture then cover and place in the freezer.

It does take several hours to set. For BEST results, I let them set overnight.  Use little ice cream tester spoons when serving them.

Lāʻau Lapaʻau | Health Benefits of Reishi {Ganoderma lucidum}

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Also, Known As:

  • Ling Chi
  • Ling Zhi
  • Reishi

Known in Japan as the ‘phantom mushroom’ because it can be so very difficult to find, the reishi generally grows on old Japanese plum trees. Reishi is so rare that only about 10 mushrooms would be found growing on about 100,000 plum trees. Finally, it was the Japanese Shigeaki Mori who perfected the art of growing the reishi indoors. This art involved culturing wild reishi spores on plum-tree sawdust over an elaborate and arduous two-year time period. The fruiting body of the reishi can be used medicinally.

Also popularly known as the hing zhi “herb of spiritual potency”, the reishi is, in essence, a mushroom that can grow on old rotten logs, fallen tree stumps and other similar areas throughout the coastal regions of China. However, reishi is cultivated in areas as diverse as North America, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and China for…

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Lāʻau Lapaʻau | Harvesting Herbs

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Whether you are collecting the flowers, leaves or stems, you should always harvest them on a sunlit day and only when the dew has dispersed from the plants and prior to the garden being filled with the day’s full heat. In case the plants contain volatile oils, for instance, lemon balm and mints, it is best to harvest them immediately prior to noon. This is because the oils get enough time to move to the leaves, but they have not been evaporated by the heat of the day. As it has been found that rain sweeps away some amount of the aromatic volatile oils, it is advisable that you should wait for at least one day after a rainstorm and then harvest the leaves. Preferably, you should wait for two to three days prior to harvesting, as this will give the plants sufficient time to gather their essential oils.

In…

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Lāʻau Lapaʻau | What Is Oats {Avena sativa}

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Also, Known As:

  • Avena Sativa
  • Common Oats
  • Groats
  • Oats
  • Wild Oats

The plant-based cereals called the oats – botanical name: Avena sativa – is a very nutritious food and remedy. The oat is rich in protein, has lots of beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium, trace elements and potassium as well as iron – while also being very high in vitamin content. The presence of these bodybuilding nutrients in the oats makes for strong bones and teeth, most of these vital minerals found in the oats are also necessary for the maintenance of a healthy nervous system in a human being. Remedies made from the oats were traditionally used as a herbal nerve tonic; this tonic was given to patients to treat problems like depression, and mental debility as well as nervous exhaustion. Eating oats is a very good remedy when withdrawing from the effects of tranquilizers and antidepressant medications. The oats not only stimulates the body but also boosts energy levels up…

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Lāʻau Lapaʻau | What Is Licorice Root?

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Glycyrrhiza glabra

Also, Known As:

  • Chinese Licorice
  • Gan Cao
  • Kan-ts’ao
  • Kuo-lao
  • Licorice
  • Licorice Root
  • Ling-t’ung
  • Liquorice
  • Mei-ts’ao
  • Mi-kan
  • Mi-ts’ao
  • Sweet Licorice
  • Sweet Wood
  • Yasti Madhu

Licorice refers to the roots and rhizome of a variety of plants belonging to the species Glycyrrhiza glabra L. of the family Fabaceae. This is a European species and possesses a sweet yellow wood. There are also Asian species of the plant like Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch. and others. In the commercially available licorice in the US markets, all these species are included since a significant part of licorice is imported from China and other Asian countries.

licorice root plant
The herb has expectorant and demulcent properties and has been used traditionally in the treatment of common cold and coughs. The medication is commonly called licorice root or Glycyrrhiza and has also been in use as a flavoring agent. Licorice has been popular for long, in many parts of the…

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Lāʻau Lapaʻau | Ashwagandha Root Extract Improves Symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Patients Taking Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera, Solanaceae)

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), characterized by stressful, repetitive, and intrusive thoughts or obsessions followed by actions or compulsions, is thought to be linked to a defect in the serotonergic system. A common treatment is the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but they are considered only mildly effective, with 40-60% of patients failing to respond. In Ayurvedic herbal medicine, ashwagandha (Withania somnifera, Solanaceae) is considered to be a rejuvenating and revitalizing herb. Its roots, which are used to enhance mental and physical health, have anxiolytic and antidepressant properties due to the presence of bioactive glycowithanolides, and the alkaloids withanine and somniferine are used for nervous disorders. Animal studies also have shown it to enhance serotonergic transmission. The goal of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was to verify the efficacy of ashwagandha root extract as an adjunct therapy to treat the…

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Lāʻau Lāpaʻau | Your Apothecary Cabinet: Herbal First Aid Kit…

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Being prepared with my favorite remedies gives me peace of mind on the road or trail, and keeps me from having to search out herbal products in an unfamiliar town — or from having to resort to padding my heels with mullein leaves to ease the agony of a broken blister while on a backpacking trip.

I’ve had plenty of opportunities to put my first-aid kit to use, from treating blisters and bug bites to motion sickness and colds. I choose simple, multipurpose remedies and store them in a small padded nylon lunch box that’s always ready to toss into the car. For backpacking trips, I pare my kit down to arnica gel, echinacea, peppermint and chamomile tea bags, crystallized ginger, insect repellant, a tin of herbal salve, a tiny bottle of lavender essential oil, and an assortment of bandages and moleskin.

With the following herbs and essential oils, you…

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Lāʻau Lāpaʻau | Your Apothecary Cabinet: Common Base Oils

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Vegetable and herbal oil are used in creams, lotions, massage, facial and body oils, gels, and salves.

Sweet Almond (Prunus amygdalis var. dulcis) and Apricot Kernel (Prunus armeniaca): emollients, can relieve itchiness and dryness.


Arnica ( Arnica montana ): indicated for bruises, varicose veins, burns, strains and sprains, arthritis, and myalgia.
Avocado ( Persea Americana ): wonderful oil for regenerative skin care, indicated for dry, itchy, or mature skin, antioxidant, nourishes the skin.
Baobab ( Adansonia digitata ) and Marula ( Scelerocara birrea ): emollient, soothes inflamed skin, dry skin, sunburn.
Borage ( Borago officinalis ) and Evening Primrose ( Oenothera biennis ): excellent regenerative skin care oils, nourishing, indicated for psoriasis, eczema, inflamed and dry skin conditions.
Calendula ( Calendula officinalis ): anti-inflammatory, wound healing, soothes dry irritated skin, insect bites, cell regenerative.
Coconut ( Cocos nucifera ): emollient, slightly occlusive to the skin, blend…

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Lāʻau Lāpaʻau | Your Apothecary Cabinet: Herbal Oils

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Herbal oils are simply oils infused with herbs, much as you would steep rosemary in olive oil for culinary purposes. Healing herbal oils can be taken internally for a variety of ailments, can be used externally for therapeutic or daily beauty routines, and can be incorporated into herbal salve recipes. Dried herbs are preferred since fresh herbs will sometimes ferment.

Basic Herbal Oil:

1 cup finely ground dried herbs {flowers, leaves, roots, barks, and/or seeds}

1 1/4 cups almond, jojoba, or olive oil

In a blender or food processor, combine the herbs and oil. Blend or process until puree for greater extractability. Pour the mixture into a clean glass jar with a lid, making sure the plant material is completely submerged in the oil. If it’s not, add more oil until the herbs are covered by about 1 inch of liquid. Cover the jar and store it in a dark…

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Lāʻau Lāpaʻau | Know Your Underground Roots

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Underground Stems

The underground stems, by being situated below the surface of the soil, protect themselves against unfavorable conditions of weather and the attack of animals and serve as storehouses for reserve food, and in vegetative propagation. Their stem nature can be distinguished by the presence of nodes and internodes, scale leaves at the nodes, axillary buds in axils of scale leaves and a terminal bud. Further, the anatomy of the underground stem resembles that of an aerial stem. The underground stems are of four types namely rhizome, tuber, bulb, and corm.

Rhizome

A rhizome is a thick horizontally growing stem which usually stores food material. It has nodes and internodes, scale leaves, axillary buds, adventitious roots and a terminal bud. Scale leaves enclosing the axillary buds are seen arising from the nodal points of the stem. Some of the axillary buds develop into branches which grow upwards into the…

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Omnivorous versus Vegan Diets: A Debate. Part I, by Renee Lehnen & Kansas Stanton

Humanistic Paganism

Naturalistic Pagans not only view the Earth as sacred, but also ourselves, each other, and other beings that share this planet with us. But regarding food, what does the most Naturalistic Pagan diet look like? Writers, Renee Lehnen (an omnivore) and Kansas Stanton (a vegan) debate this question regarding topics on human evolution, health, environmentalism, ethics, sustainable meat, and clothing. We hope that within this debate, the reader can answer this question for themselves and be able to make a spiritually conscious and physical difference. -Kansas Stanton 

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Omnivorous versus Vegan Diets: A Debate. Part II, by Kansas Stanton & Renee Lehnen

Humanistic Paganism

Naturalistic Pagans not only view the Earth as sacred, but also ourselves, each other, and other beings that share this planet with us. But regarding food, what does the most Naturalistic Pagan diet look like? Writers, Renee Lehnen (an omnivore) and Kansas Stanton (a vegan) debate this question regarding topics on human evolution, health, environmentalism, ethics, sustainable meat, and clothing. We hope that within this debate, the reader can answer this question for themselves and be able to make a spiritually conscious and physical difference.  Continued from Part I.

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Omnivorous versus Vegan Diets: A Debate. Part III, by Renee Lehnen & Kansas Stanton

Humanistic Paganism

Naturalistic Pagans not only view the Earth as sacred, but also ourselves, each other, and other beings that share this planet with us. But regarding food, what does the most Naturalistic Pagan diet look like? Writers, Renee Lehnen (an omnivore) and Kansas Stanton (a vegan) debate this question regarding topics on human evolution, health, environmentalism, ethics, sustainable meat, and clothing. We hope that within this debate, the reader can answer this question for themselves and be able to make a spiritually conscious and physical difference. -Kansas Stanton 

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Foodstyles | Asparagus and Brie Puff Pastry with Thyme Honey

Buttery puff pastry, creamy brie, roasted asparagus, and sweet honey all come together in this simple, asparagus and brie puff pastry. These pastries are great for a Mother’s Day brunch, as an appetizer, lunch, or even a light dinner, making them perfect for entertaining. But they best part, they are so delicious!  […]

Source: Asparagus and Brie Puff Pastry with Thyme Honey. – Half Baked Harvest

La’au Lapa’au | Herb Guide: Oregano

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Origanum vulgare

Also, Known As:

  • Common Marjoram
  • Oregano
  • True Oregano
  • Turkish Oregano
  • Wild Marjoram
  • Winter Marjoram

The famous European herb called the oregano or the pot marjoram is a very familiar spice, botanical name Origanum vulgare. It is a common herb, and the European oregano is known to be a very hardy and perennial herb characterized by the presence of an erect, and somewhat hairy and well-branched stem, the leaves of the herb are also hairy. When fully grown, the plant can cross two feet in height, and is characterized by a very acrid and pungent odor, the fragrance of the plant is very strong, and has a sage-like an aroma, it also smells somewhat like another spice, the thyme – also used in a lot of European cuisines.

The oregano also refers to the pleasant and mint smelling European herb, the marjoram, or the wild marjoram as it is…

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Lāʻau Lapaʻau | Kalo Is More Than a Native Hawaiian Plant—It’s an Ancestor to Hawaiian Culture 

A story about Kalo (taro), a native Hawaiian plant.  […]

Errata:  The story incorrectly stated the Taro Security and Purity Task Force was involved in the GMO taro issue. They were not in existence at the time and are mandated not to become involved.

Source: Kalo Is More Than a Native Hawaiian Plant—It’s an Ancestor to Hawaiian Culture – Indian Country Media Network

Lāʻau Lapaʻau | Guide to Propagating Herbs

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Seeding is our favorite form of propagation. A seed is a repository for all the genetic diversity of the ancient wildness of these potent medicinals. When you are looking for medicine in a herb, you want to use the purest, strongest strain of the species you can get; in other words, you want the original, unchanged, wildest form available. So you will not, in most cases, choose a hybrid, which is indicated by a multiplication sign between a plant’s genus and species name or by a proper name within single quotes, like ‘Jenny’. And you won’t choose varieties developed for a wide array of flower colors or disease resistance. Seeds of unselected, wilder species will give you the full range of biodiversity possible for the herb – which makes it perfect for use as herbal medicine.

Most of the herbs featured on this website can be easily sown from seed…

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Lāʻau Lāpaʻau | Food as Medicine: Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis, Asparagaceae)

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

History and Traditional Use

Range and Habitat

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis, Asparagaceae) is a herbaceous perennial with stalks that can grow to several feet in height. Most asparagus is harvested once the stalk reaches 6-8 inches in height. The stalk is the edible portion of the plant, along with its pointed, budlike tip.1,2 If asparagus is not harvested, the stalks grow into finely textured, fern-like plants before going dormant in winter.3 In the United States, the primary asparagus producers are the states of California, Washington, and Michigan.4


Depending on the cultivation method, asparagus yields a crop in one of three colors: green, white, or purple. Green asparagus, the most common in the US, is allowed to grow exposed to sunlight until harvested. White asparagus contains no chlorophyll due to human intervention, which involves mounding dirt on the stalk as it grows to shield it from sunlight.

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Lāʻau Lāpaʻau | Effects of Altitude on Phytochemistry and Genetics in Different Maca Phenotypes

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Maca (Lepidium meyenii, Brassicaceae) tubers have been used by indigenous Peruvians as a medicinal food since antiquity. Age- and gender-specific physiological effects of maca have been seen in vivo and in human trials with male and pre- and postmenopausal female subjects. Effects vary by color phenotype and levels of bioactive compounds, including glucosinolates (GCs). In an earlier study, red maca (RM) was found to have the most GCs. RM is reported to have a selective therapeutic effect in men over 50 against prostate hyperplasia. Black maca (BM) and purple maca (PM) had the next-highest GC levels in the earlier study. BM was reported to improve sexual desire and function in healthy men. Yellow maca (YM), with the least GCs, in a mixed-phenotype, traditional blend, was reported to help hormone balance in pre- and postmenopausal women. The effect of altitude on plant composition has been well documented across various…

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Lāʻau Lāpaʻau | Herbs & Actions for Eczema, Psoriasis & Dermatitis Part 1

The Wonky Pot Apothecary

cropped-calendula.jpg

Alteratives

Alteratives are herbs that gradually restore the proper function of the body and increase health and vitality.  They seem to alter the body’s processes of metabolism so that tissues can best deal with a range of functions from nutrition to elimination. Many herbs with this action improve the body’s ability to eliminate waste through the kidneys, liver, lungs, or skin. Some stimulate digestion or are anti-microbial. Alteratives move the body to a state of health, removing indicators of systemic disintegration. They are often used for skin conditions to take some of the pressure of “detoxifying” the body and off of the skin while at the same time improving the skin’s ability to eliminate waste and heal. Alterative herbs are best used internally for their properties and can be particularly helpful for psoriasis, eczema, acne and many other skin conditions.

OREGON GRAPE – MAHONIA AQUIFOLIUM (BERBERIDACEAE) – ROOT AND BARK     

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Health | Strengthen Your Knee Tendons and Ligaments With This Simple Recipe

Our knees are included in our most important movements every day, such as walking, standing, running, jumping, so their function if of high importance to the entire body. Yet, they use their natural lubrication over time and the ligaments and tendons become less flexible. In this way, they are more susceptible to injuries. Since they … […]

Source: Strengthen Your Knee Tendons and Ligaments With This Simple Recipe

Desserts | Baklava Cheesecake – The Best of Two Worlds

The baklava cheesecake is a winning fusion recipe in my book and it does justice to both recipes it is based on. It has all creaminess you would expect from any self-respecting cheesecake and all the nutty crunchiness of baklava. The sugar syrup with its fragrant orange and rose water notes helps of the dessert elements to come together happily!  […]

Get the recipe:  Baklava Cheesecake