Magic Words

In the very earliest time,
When both people and animals lived on earth,
A person could become an animal if he wanted to
And an animal could become a human being.
Sometimes they were people
And sometimes animals
And there was no difference.

All spoke the same language.
That was the time when words were like magic.
The human mind had mysterious powers.
A word spoken by chance
Might have strange consequences.
It would suddenly come alive
And what people wanted to happen could happen
All you had to do was say it.

Nobody could explain this:
That’s the way it was.

~ Unidentified Inuit wise woman

Healing With Turmeric

Turmeric, the spice that gives yellow curry its color, is widely used in Asia not only for its earthy flavor but also for its therapeutic power. In ancient Hindu medicine, it was used to treat sprains and swelling. Modern medicine uncovered its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which have been used to treat everything from liver disorders and diabetic wounds to runny noses. Some bandage brands in India even contain turmeric as a disinfectant. Recently, scientists added another potential benefit to the list: preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Intrigued by the fact that the elderly population of India has one of the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s cases in the world, researchers at UCLA began looking at differences between the American and Indian diets and landed on turmeric. Turmeric, a staple in Indian cooking, is featured in curries, soups, and meat dishes. It’s as common in Indian cuisine as salt and pepper are in American cuisine. Bharat B. Aggarwal, a senior cancer researcher at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, says the average Indian eats turmeric at every meal—about a gram a day. The UCLA group hypothesized that curcumin, a chemical in turmeric, might clean up or block the buildup of amyloid plaques, which scientists believe may contribute to Alzheimer’s.
Most interestingly, in UCLA’s human trial, Alzheimer’s patients were given high doses of curcumin in a supplement, and yet none of the chemical was absorbed. The researchers now believe that curcumin must first be dissolved through cooking in fat in order to be effective on the Alzheimer’s brain. According to UCLA researcher Sally Frautschy, this is why people should cook with turmeric rather than take supplements. However, researchers all over the country are having trouble getting funding for future trials, says Frautschy, even though this data strongly suggests that Alzheimer’s may be mostly preventable.
Future studies are needed to pinpoint the exact amount of turmeric that’s effective in fighting Alzheimer’s, but if you want to increase your curcumin intake in the meantime, it can’t hurt to try some new turmeric-rich recipes. Turmeric, whether used as fresh root or as dry powder, contains 5 percent curcumin. Studies have shown that turmeric from Curcuma Longa plants in Southeast Asia contain more curcumin than turmeric found in the plants of East Asia. (And be careful not to substitute curry powder for turmeric—some curry powders contain hardly any curcumin at all.)


A World Of Balance

It is absolutely incredible the things we see in the world when we give ourselves a moment and take in the beauty the world emits, in every way.

As I look out my window I can clearly see that the time of rebirth has arrived, in the Northern Hemisphere that is. We are getting ready for Spring and the land is already showing its change, the transformation has begun. The Sun Light is getting brighter each day and the rays are feeling warmer; the naked trees are slowly decorated by very light green dots as the new leaves begin to peek through their pods; even the melody that travels within the wind has changed. Spring is near and yellow and white butterflies flutter their wings above the Dandelions that stand tall reaching up to the Sun and clusters of tiny flowers of every color dress up the green field.

Nature is such an artist, and Mother Earth a work of art in action and constant motion, keeping the balance of the pendulum of Life.

While life is being reborn up North, in the Southern Hemisphere, sitting beneath the Equator, we prepare for the maturity of the land, the time of death, of reaching the limit and passing over to the new cycle, the ascension, the exhale.
The time of Autumn is a colorful transformation of reds and yellows bursting out of the surface of the land. The dry leaves gather to provide a playground for the wild animals to play in. If we observe the creatures of Nature, and the critters, we’ll notice that, besides playing, they too do their part in getting ready for this change of weather. Usually in pairs, the animals begin storing goods in their homes to have enough supplies during the winter. As the cold arrives with the blues and greys of the Winter season, so does the quiet time of reflection, purification, and connection to the heart.


Celebrate the Equinox, gather with friends and loved ones, cook, eat, dance, drum, laugh .. and don’t forget to give Thanks!

Ostara is a pagan celebration of the Vernal Equinox.

Mabon is a pagan celebration of the Autumn Equinox.

Herbal First Aid Kit

This article was part of this month’s Natural Healing Newsletter. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

By Terry Cochran, Atlanta Natural Health Examiner

I just returned from visiting my 80-year-old mother. She had tripped on a curb and banged herself up. After making sure that she had not broken anything, only herbal first aid was needed. Therefore, I am reminded that maybe not everyone would know what natural items work fine for small emergencies. A little herbal first aid goes a long way for minor cuts, scrapes, bruises, insect bites, etc.

What should you have on hand? First and foremost, calendula cream, lotion or salve. I used an infusion of calendula in olive oil for scrapes and kept the injuries moistened (do not forget, an ice pack will go far to reduce swelling). Calendula is made from the pot marigold. This unseemly little flower is outstanding for healing skin. It acts as a bacterial antiseptic and astringent. Cleanse a wound thoroughly before applying calendula; it heals a cut on the surface of the skin rather quickly! Never take it internally. Salves containing comfrey root and calendula are best.

Comfrey root contains a plant chemical called allantoin. This remarkable chemical becomes a mucilage when the root is boiled and can be used as a coating to heal skin. It heals skin rapidly, so make sure cuts are well cleaned to avoid sealing in an infection.

Arnica is wonderful for bruises. It’s a flower often infused in oil or liniment. Never use it on abraded or cut skin, but applying arnica cream, lotion or salve to bruises will help them to disburse without clots. For sprains, simply infuse a bandage in arnica and wrap! Do not take this herb internally.

Aloe Vera is well known for use on burns. Keep a plant around the house and aloe gel in your items for travel. It is fine for use on sunburns, daily moisturizing, and cuts/scrapes. Dried aloe powder is used as a laxative and helps the liver.

Ipecac is a natural remedy used for the past few centuries for food poisoning. Syrup of ipecac is all-natural. Just a teaspoon of it will work within 10-20 minutes. It is emetic, which means it will cause vomiting, but will purge the poisons. Never use it for caustic poisoning, because that could damage the esophagus.

Ginger is amazing for nausea. Have ginger powder, crystallized ginger, ginger candy, or even ginger ale on hand for queasy tummies. It tastes spicy and sweet all together, so you will have few complaints! If your patient does not like ginger, try cinnamon.

Poison ivy is the number one problem I hear about each summer. The simple calamine lotion is natural and effective. So is bathing in oatmeal and powdered milk! For your first aid kit, carry jewelweed soap. Jewelweed, or “Touch-me-Not”, a weed common in the south, has a juice in its stem that soothes poison ivy! Soap made with jewelweed can be ordered online and is a “must-have” for every outdoor trip. If you gather it in the wild, remember that poison ivy and jewelweed are companion plants. That means they often grow near each other!

Bites from insects or snakes are often a problem. Even non-poisonous snakebites can become inflamed quickly. Tincture of Echinacea should be a part of your first aid kit. Just a teaspoon of it every two hours after the bite, even for venomous bites on extremities (arms/legs). It can buy you precious time while you seek medical attention.

So many other herbs are great for a complete first aid kit. These are the most recommended. Take the time to research natural products available for your first aid kit. Books and information on the subject can be found primarily through the American Botanical Council.