Growing Tobacco In Early America

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Growing Tobacco In Early America
Published on Apr 13, 2017

Today Justin Filipowski from George Washington’s Mount Vernon sits down with Jon to talk about the tobacco trade in early America.

Mount Vernon Website ▶ http://www.mountvernon.org/ ▶▶

Help support the channel with Patreon ▶ https://www.patreon.com/townsend ▶▶

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Horehound

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Horehound (Marrubium vulgare L. ),
commonly known as white horehound, is a European native of the Lamiaceae or mint family. Other names for this ancient remedy include hounds bane, marrubium, eye of the star, a seed of Horus, marvel, bulls’ blood, and hounds bane.

Horehound is a garden mint with green and white leaves and a distinctively bitter taste. It is native to Asia and Europe. Horehound is a hardy perennial that has naturalized in North America. Although the herb grows in a wide range of climates, the best quality is grown in desert heat, but it may be found in sunny, wayside places, thriving even in poor, dry soil.

The common name horehound comes from the Old English words har and hune, meaning downy plant. This descriptive name refers to the white hairs that give this herb its distinctive hoary appearance.

Another suggested derivation is the name of the Egyptian god of sky and light, Horus. Horehound is one of the oldest known cough remedies. It was one of the herbs in the medicine chests of the Egyptian pharaohs. In Roman times, Caesar’s antidote for poison included horehound. The generic name is believed to be derived from the Hebrew word marrob, meaning bitter juice. Horehound is one of the bitter herbs used in the Jewish Passover rites. Throughout its long history, white horehound has been valued not only as a folk remedy for coughs and congested lungs.

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Recorded mention of horehound began in the first century in ancient Rome. In his manual of medicine, Roman medical writer A. Cornelius Celsus, described antiseptic uses as well as treatments for respiratory ailments using horehound juice. In his book, “On Agriculture,” first-century agriculturist Lucius Columella detailed how to use of horehound for various farm animal ailments such as ulcers, worms, and scabs. In the second century, the noted physician Galen also recommended using horehound to relieve coughing and to support respiratory health.

In his 1597 book on the history of plants and their uses, the respected British herbalist John Gerard recommended horehound as an antidote to poison and a syrup of horehound for those with respiratory problems. English physician Nicholas Culpeper echoed Gerard’s promotion of horehound in his 1652 book for physicians, stating, “There is a syrup made of this plant which I would recommend as an excellent help to evacuate tough phlegm and cold rheum from the lungs of aged persons, especially those who are asthmatic and short-winded.”

USES:

White horehound is used for digestion problems including loss of appetite, indigestion, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and liver and gallbladder complaints. It is also used for lung and breathing problems including a cough, whooping cough, asthma, tuberculosis, bronchitis, and swollen breathing passages.

Women use white horehound for painful menstrual periods.
People also use it for yellowed skin (jaundice), to kill parasitic worms, to cause sweating, and to increase urine production.
White horehound is sometimes applied to the skin for skin damage, ulcers, and wounds.

In manufacturing, the extracts of white horehound are used as a flavoring in foods and beverages, and as expectorant in cough syrups and lozenges. Expectorants are ingredients that make it easier to cough up phlegm.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s LIKELY UNSAFE to take white horehound by mouth during pregnancy. It might start menstruation and could cause a miscarriage.

If you are breastfeeding stick to food amounts of white horehound. There isn’t enough information about the safety of medicinal amounts.

Don’t use white horehound on the skin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Not enough is known about the safety of topical use.

Diabetes: White horehound might lower blood sugar. Taking white horehound along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

Heart conditions: There is some concern that white horehound might cause irregular heartbeat in people with heart problems. It’s best not to use it.

Low blood pressure: White horehound might lower blood pressure. This could cause blood pressure to go to low. White horehound should be used cautiously in people with low blood pressure or those taking medications that lower blood pressure.

Surgery: White horehound might lower blood sugar. This might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking white horehound at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

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Preparations:

Preparations of Horehound are still largely used as expectorant and tonics. It may, indeed, be considered one of the most popular pectoral remedies, being given with benefit for a chronic cough, asthma, and some cases of consumption.

Horehound is sometimes combined with Hyssop, Rue, Liquorice root and Marshmallow root, 1/2 oz. of each boiled in 2 pints of water, to 1 1/2 pint, strained and given in 1/2 teacupful doses, every two to three hours.

For children’s coughs and croup, it is given to advantage in the form of syrup and is a most useful medicine for children, not only for the complaints mentioned but as a tonic and a corrective of the stomach. It has quite a pleasant taste.

Taken in large doses, it acts as a gentle purgative.

The powdered leaves have also been employed as a vermifuge and the green leaves, bruised and boiled in lard, are made into an ointment which is good for wounds.

For ordinary cold, a simple infusion of Horehound (Horehound Tea) is generally sufficient in itself. The tea may be made by pouring boiling water on the fresh or dried leaves, 1 OZ. of the herb to the pint. A wineglassful may be taken three or four times a day.

Candied Horehound is best made from the fresh plant by boiling it down until the juice is extracted, then adding sugar before boiling this again, until it has become thick enough in consistency to pour into a paper case and be cut into squares when cool.
Two or three teaspoonful of the expressed juice of the herb may also be given as a dose in severe colds.

—Preparations and Dosages–fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Syrup, 2 to 4 drachms. Solid extract, 5 to 15 grains.

Written by Rich, for AroundTheCabin.com
1/30/2017

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For the love of Garlic

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Garlic contained many vital nutrients including vitamins, amino acids, and enzymes. On top of that garlic is also delicious and very healthy, for internal and external use.

Garlic contains the amino acid Allicin, that gives Garlic that potent smell from the sulfur compounds. Allicin is one of the primary components of garlic that gives it its healthy benefits.

Eating garlic raw is more beneficial than cooking garlic, if you can get past the taste. When garlic is cut or chewed and allowed exposure to the air for at least 5 to 10 minutes, the compound Allicin to fully activated. However when garlic is cooked the Allicin is inactivated and not able to produce.

Garlic contains high amounts of antioxidants
Garlic helps lower your cholesterol
Garlic is antibacterial
Garlic is antifungal
Garlic helps thin the blood
Garlic boost your immune system
Study suggests that garlic may help prevent blood clots
Garlic help lower your blood pressure
Garlic helps with joint pain, and osteoporosis
Garlic help prevents some cancer

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Garlic is both immune boosting and antimicrobial meaning it can fight viral and bacterial infections. The best way to use garlic is to put it into your diet either cooked or eaten raw, garlic benefits are numerous.

Garlic used for many conditions related to the heart and blood system. Garlic has also been used to prevent certain cancers: rectal, stomach, breast, prostate, and bladder.
Garlic has also used for earaches, menstrual disorders, hepatitis, shortness of breath, liver disease, fighting numerous infections, and many skin conditions (ringworm, jock itch, athlete’s foot)
Other uses for garlic include fighting fevers, coughs, headaches, stomachache, sinus congestion, gout, joint pain, hemorrhoids, asthma, bronchitis, and a host of other treatments.

          Word of warning on garlic

Check with your doctor to see if it affects any of your medications.
Do not take garlic if you have bleeding disorders, stomach or digestive problems, low blood pressure or getting ready for surgery.
Women who are breast-feeding may want to stay away from garlic as it may change the flavor of the milk they produce.
Possibly unsafe when applying garlic to your skin may cause skin irritation and some people.
Birth control pills, taking garlic along with birth-control pills may decrease the effectiveness.
Liver medications, check with your doctor.
Medications for blood clotting, check with your doctor
Heart medications, check with your doctor

Whether store-bought or harvested from the wild, garlic is a wonderful herb for us to explore and use. The culinary uses and the health benefits are astounding. I implore you to add garlic to your healthful herbs, and learn more on its benefits and uses, on your own.

And hey, it also fight against vampires!

Written by Rich, for aroundthecabin.com

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Herbs for Seasonal Cleanse

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A lot of people ask about removing toxins from their bodies or a body cleanse. One of the best things you can to to help your body out is to eat foods and herbs, that are in season.

Here in the United States, we are lucky enough to receive foods from all over the world. Food is shipped in from the southern hemisphere and Europe, from Asia and the Middle East. What I try to eat is food that has been grown local, raised local, or harvested locally.

So my suggestion is to eat local and eat what is in season.

Most people also need to concentrate on drinking more water. Drinking more water helps increase blood volume, and helps to get the lymphatic fluids throughout the body moving. This will help wash your cells and clean fluids, that have built up, and aid in the removal of waste from the body. Basically, a “super flush” going on through your body.

We also want to focus on the gallbladder and the liver cleansing both of them.

Herbs that we can use to clean up the gallbladder and liver are:
artichokes
burdock
dandelions
turmeric
yellow dock
peppermint
milk thistle

These herbs are common throughout most United States and available for most of the year. There are more out there but these are the basics.

Using these herbs in teas, and leave or roots in foods, will help your body to get your blood flowing and your digestive juices moving.

Here we should also mention that you need to have your bowels moving at least once a day. Also check with your doctor before taking any of these herbs if you’re not already taking them, to check that they do not cause problems with any of your medications. (safety first)

If after all this you are still having problems check with your local natural foods store, and/or Dr. They may have a mild laxative formula that will aid you.

Written by Rich, for aroundthecabin.com

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Goldenrod

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Goldenrod (the Solidago genus, Asteracea family) is a great plant to know.

Distinguishing Features: Long wood like stems with spiky tooth like parts which are widely-spaced, yellow flowers that grow in thick clusters.

Leaves: There can be wide variations in characteristics, but generally, goldenrod leaves are about 4 inches long and about ¾ of an inch wide, tapering to a point at the tip and narrowing at the base, with no leaf stem and small teeth around the edges. Three veins run parallel from near the base of the leaf.. The underside of the leaf is hairy, especially along the veins and the upper side has a rough texture.

Height: Most Goldenrod plants average 4 feet in height.

Habitat: There is no shortage of Goldenrod in September and October. This yellow plant can be found in moist locations, forests, fields, roadsides, compost piles, cultivated fields, and orchards throughout Canada, the U.S., and across the world.

Goldenrod is a perennial plant that is well-known for its healing properties.

The properties of goldenrod are similar to many other herbs: antifungal, diuretic, diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, astringent, antiseptic, and carminative. However, the actions of goldenrod to the kidneys, urinary track, skin, allergies, and cardiovascular system are impressive.

Goldenrod is often unfairly blamed for causing hay fever in humans. The pollen causing these allergy problems is mainly produced by Ragweed (Ambrosia sp.), blooming at the same time as the goldenrod but wind-pollinated. Goldenrod pollen is too heavy and sticky to be blown far from the flowers, and is thus mainly pollinated by insects. Frequent handling of goldenrod and other flowers, however, can cause allergic reactions.

Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking goldenrod if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use..

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Goldenrod may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking goldenrod.

Fluid retention (edema) due to heart or kidney conditions: “Irrigation therapy,” during which goldenrod is taken with large amounts of fluids to increase urine flow, should not be attempted in people with fluid retention due to heart or kidney disease.

High Blood Pressure: There is a concern that goldenrod might make the body accumulate more sodium, and this can make high blood pressure worse.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTIs): Herbal “irrigation therapy” may not work against infections and may require the addition of germ-killing medications. “Irrigation therapy” should be monitored closely. Don’t depend on it for clearing up an infection.

Water pills (Diuretic drugs) interacts with GOLDENROD
Goldenrod seems to work like “water pills” by causing the body to lose water. Taking goldenrod along with other “water pills” might cause the body to lose too much water. Losing too much water can cause you to be dizzy and your blood pressure to go too low.
Some “water pills” include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, Hydrodiuril, Microzide), and others.

Dosage: The appropriate dose of goldenrod depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for goldenrod. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician before using.

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Preparations: goldenrod include tea, tincture, infused oils, poultice, and powder.

Goldenrod tonics are easy to make. Harvest any goldenrod by cutting the top third of the plant in full flower on a sunny fall day. Or, respectfully pull the entire plant, roots and all, in the late autumn or early winter. Then follow the simple directions below. Note: You can use any size jar when making a vinegar or a tincture, so long as you fill it full.

To dry flowering goldenrod: Bundle 2-3 stalks together and hang upside down in a cool, shady room until thoroughly dry. When the stalks snap crisply, store the dried herb in brown paper bags. One or two large handfuls of crushed leaves and flowers, steeped in a quart of boiling water for thirty minutes makes a tea that can be used hot, with honey, to counter allergies (especially pollen allergies), fevers, sore throats, coughs, colds and the flu; or taken cold to relieve colic in babies, and gas in adults. Dried mint and/or yarrow are tasty, and useful, additions when making goldenrod flower tea.

To dry goldenrod roots: Rinse dirt off the roots, then cut away all the stalks, leaves and dead flowers. If possible, hang your roots over a wood stove to dry; if not, place them on racks and put them in a warm place to dry until brittle. Store in glass jars. Depending on the difficulty you are addressing, goldenrod root tea may be made with large or small amounts of the roots brewed or decocted in boiling water. Or the roots may be powdered, alone or mixed with flowers, and applied to hard-to-heal wounds and sore joints.

To make a goldenrod vinegar: Chop the goldenrod coarsely, filling a jar with chopped flowers, leaves, stalks (and roots if you have them); then fill the jar to the top with room-temperature, pasteurized, apple cider vinegar. Cap it tightly with a plastic lid. (Metal lids will be eroded by the action of the vinegar. If you must use one, protect it with several layers of plastic between it and the vinegar.) Be sure to label your vinegar with the date and contents. Your goldenrod vinegar will be ready to use in six weeks to improve mineral balance, help prevent kidney stones, eliminate flatulence, and improve immune functioning.

To make a goldenrod tincture: Chop the goldenrod coarsely, filling a jar with chopped flowers, leaves, stalks (and roots if you have them); then add 100 proof vodka, filling the jar to the very top. Cap tightly and label. Your goldenrod tincture will be ready to use in six weeks, by the dropper full, as an anti-inflammatory, a sweat-inducing cold cure, and an astringent digestive aid. Medical herbalists use large doses (up to 4 droppers full at a time) of goldenrod tincture several times daily to treat kidney problems — including nephritis, hemorrhage, kidney stones, and inability to void — and prostate problems, including frequent urination.

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10 essential herbs

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Here are 10 essential herbs, including some of their uses and guidelines to get started on your herbal apothecary. Health made simple and easy.
A few herbs that you can grow indoors or outside. Herbs you can use for preparing medicines with simple techniques as our ancestors did.

As far back as 5000 BCE, Sumerians used herbs in medicine. Ancient Egyptians used fennel, coriander and thyme around 1555 BCE. In ancient Greece, in 162 CE, a physician by the name of Galen was known for concocting complicated herbal remedies that contained up to 100 ingredients. Herbs have long been used as the basis of traditional Chinese herbal medicine, with usage dating as far back as the first century CE and far before.

Herbs have been used throughout the world, for a lot longer than we remember. Most believe from the dawn of mankind.

In general use, herbs are any plants used for food, flavoring, medicine, or perfume. Culinary use typically distinguishes herbs from spices. Herbs refer to the leafy green parts of a plant (either fresh or dried), while a “spice” is a product from another part of the plant (usually dried), including seeds, berries, bark, roots and fruits.

1: Aloe vera (Aloe vera): fresh leaves

Leaf juice is used topically to treat minor burns and wounds; it is antiseptic, digestive, insecticidal and emollient.

2: Chickweed (Stellaria media): fresh or dried leaves and flowers

Used internally to ease the pain of rheumatism and externally to soothe itching and other skin discomforts; it is an anti-inflammatory herb.

Caution: Pregnant women should not eat large quantities of chickweed.

3: Comfrey (Symphytum officinale): for external use—leaf and root

Contains allantoin, a substance that speeds the healing of tissue, and rosmarinic acid, which is an anti-inflammatory. It is an astringent herb used in the bath, poultices and fomentations to heal bruises, broken bones and torn ligaments.

Caution: Comfrey is not recommended for internal use because of the presence of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can cause liver damage and cancerous tumors in the liver. Comfrey products should not be used on broken skin or be used by pregnant women, nursing mothers or children.

4: Garlic (Allium sativum): fresh bulbs (cloves), aerial bulblets, flowers
Cloves are used as a medicinal and culinary herb. The cloves are antibiotic, antifungal, antiseptic and antiviral.

5: Ginger (Zingiber officinale): fresh rhizome

Ginger is warming, antiseptic, analgesic and antispasmodic. It is a traditional remedy for digestive complaints, bronchitis, muscle spasm and rheumatism.

Caution: Garlic should not be used by anyone suffering from digestive-tract ulcers, high fever or inflammatory skin conditions.

6: Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis): sustainably harvested fresh or dried rhizome

Rhizomes have been used to dye fibers and are still used medicinally. The yellow color of its rhizomes is attributed to berberine, a strongly antibacterial and bitter alkaloid.

Caution: Pregnant women and persons with high blood pressure should not use goldenseal. The herb should not be used for more than three months because the strong antibacterial action kills beneficial intestinal flora.

7: Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): leaves and flowers

It is antibiotic, antispasmodic on smooth muscle tissue and a depressant to the central nervous system. We carry a small vial of the essential oil of lavender with us everywhere we go, to use as first aid for burns, wounds, headaches and nervous tension.

8: Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis): leaves and flowers

Antibacterial, antispasmodic and antiviral, and is used as an insect repellent and sedative. The leaf is used in tea, tincture and in the bath for its calming properties and pleasant lemon scent.

Caution: Pregnant or nursing women should consult a medical professional trained in the use of therapeutic herbs before taking lemon balm. Consult with your physician before taking lemon balm with other medications.

9: Mint (Mentha spp.): leaves and flowers

Leaves are used in tea and bath blends for their flavor, stimulating properties and fragrance. Mint leaves are also taken in tea to aid digestion, reduce gas and treat headache, colds and fevers.

10: Sage (Salvia officinalis): leaves and flowers

Garden sage contains the powerful compound thujone that controls profuse perspiration and dries up lactation. Sage tea is a traditional remedy for sore gums and throat, skin infections and insect stings, and for sharpening the memory. Currently, Salvia species are being researched for their antioxidant properties, specifically for the prevention or treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Caution: Pregnant or nursing women should not take sage internally. It should not be taken internally in large amounts or for extended periods because of the side effects of thujone.

Rich Beresford 2016 7 25
Written for AroundTheCabin.com

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Burdock Root

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Burdock root is a medicinal herb and food that has powerful anti-tumor, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. Burdock root is one of the top recommended herbal remedies for cancer due to the belief that it can stop cancer cells from metastasizing and it is one of the star ingredients of the famous natural cancer remedy known as Essiac tea.

It is also highly beneficial for colds, flu, sore throats, bronchial congestion, ulcers, gallstones, anemia, kidney stones, chicken pox, gout, measles, strep throat, urinary tract infections, bladder infections, hepatitis, and enlarged prostates. Burdock root is an essential blood purifier and detoxifying herb as it can neutralize and safely eliminate poisons and toxins from the body.

Burdock is one of the most important herbs for treating chronic skin problems such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and shingles. It can also help to stimulate metabolism, re-grow hair, strengthen nails, and aid in edema and weight loss. Burdock root is an effective painkiller that can help alleviate symptoms of inflammation that affect auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, bursitis, lupus, and diabetes.

Fresh burdock can be juiced with celery, kale, and apple or used in recipes similarly to carrots. It is often steamed or added to soups and stews. It has a subtly sweet and earthy flavor that works well with potatoes, mushrooms, and onions. Dried burdock root is often used as a medicinal tea.

Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of dried burdock root and let steep for at least 10 minutes or more, sweeten with honey if desired. Burdock root can be readily found in a cream, salve, tincture, extract, and capsule form. It’s potent healing abilities has made it a vital herb for your natural medicine cabinet.

From our friend at: http://www.medicalmedium.com/blog/burdock-root

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Purslane Or Spurge?

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PURSLANE
• Excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids (better than fish oil!)
• An excellent source of Vitamin A, one of the highest among green leafy vegetables
• A rich source of vitamin C, and some B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and carotenoids
• A rich source of dietary minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese.
• Decreasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
• Autoimmune diseases such as lupus.
• Maintaining heart health.
• Lowering cholesterol.
• Regulating blood pressure.
• Enriching brain health.
• As an anti-depressant.
• Boosting the immune system
• Inflammatory bowel disease.
• Rheumatoid arthritis.
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SPURGE

IF THERE IS A WHITE SAP, IT IS NOT PURSLANE!

  • Nothing eats it.
  • The sap is possibly toxic enough to cause blindness if it gets in the eyes.
  • It is an annual that doesn’t germinate readily until warmer weather, so pre-emergents are often applied too soon to stop it. (Most pre-emergents work only for 8-10 weeks and are spread in early spring.)
  • Each plant can produce a full crop of several thousand seeds in 5 weeks.
  • The flowers are so non-descript as to be thought absent, so it is easy to accidentally miss flowering and let it go to seed.
  • There are 12 weed species of spurge that are all very similar, varying as little as having a tiny spot on the leaves (Spotted spurge is what I found the most photos of, but was not what was in my yard.)

    The sap of this plant is a mild skin irritant and can cause a rash in some people. The sap is poisonous and considered carcinogenic.

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Clover and Cyanide

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Question…Why don’t the bugs eat the clover in my yard?

Ok …here we go…

Under ordinary conditions, cyanide is safely bonded to sugar molecules that are sequestered in secure pockets inside each plant cell. The enzyme that separates the cyanide from its sugar lies outside that pocket. When an insect chews the clover leaves, the cyanide-sugars and enzymes mix—like bending and shaking a plastic glow stick—and this releases the poisonous cyanide concoction.

THAT is the answer..

I know, I know,(here it comes)… BUT WAIT, YOUR SAYING WE CAN EAT IT?… Yes, you can.

Cyanide is a naturally occurring chemical, generally considered to be poisonous if consumed in large enough amounts. According to the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry the following foods naturally contain cyanide:

almonds
millet sprouts
lima beans
soy
spinach
bamboo shoots
cassava
tapioca

Additionally cyanide is found in most any fruits that have a pit, or core, like cherries, apricots, and apples. The site reports that no foods are consumed in large enough quantities to be toxic. Cyanide can also be produced by certain bacteria, fungi, algae, and as a by-product of industrial manufacturing and waste. If industry is producing cyanide in your area it may enter local water supplies. If this water is used to grow plants in your area, those plants will also absorb the additional cyanide, so take note of the water and industry in your area. The same risk, thankfully, does not exist for fish in cyanide polluted waters as they do not absorb the cyanide. In general, it is import not to stress too much over cyanide in foods.

*** Small amounts of cyanide may even be good for you by helping to lower blood pressure.

In small doses, cyanide in the body can be changed into thiocyanate, which is less harmful and is excreted in urine. In the body, cyanide in small amounts can also combine with another chemical to form vitamin B12, which helps maintain healthy nerve and red blood cells.

In large doses, the body’s ability to change cyanide into thiocyanate is overwhelmed. Large doses of cyanide prevent cells from using oxygen and eventually these cells die. The heart, respiratory system and central nervous system are most susceptible to cyanide poisoning. (NOT good)

BACK to White Clover..
With all this in mind, clover can be good for you. It is high in protein, has beta carotene, vitamin C, most of the B vitamins, biotin, choline, inositol, and bioflavonoids.

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Plantain edible weed

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Plantain (Plantago major) is a weed commonly found in the wild and (much to suburbanites’ dismay) the lawns of almost everyone living in temperate climates. It is traditionally used to treat minor cuts and a wide range of skin disorders, including dandruff, eczema, sunburn, and bug bites.

This herb is also said to be good for soothing inflamed bronchial passages and sore throat. European research supports the use of plantain as a treatment for bronchitis, sore throat, and cold symptoms.

Studies have demonstrated that the juice of the plantain plant is both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Plantain contains allantoin, an anti-inflammatory phytochemical that kills germs, speeds wound healing, and stimulates the growth of new skin cells (many commercial cosmetic creams and lotions list allantoin as an active ingredient).

The best thing about the herb plantain is that it is easy to find and easy to use (there are over 200 species!). Unless you live in the desert or the tundra, there’s a good chance you have plantain growing right in your own backyard. It is readily identified by the green, nubby spikes, which stick up out of a cluster of round leaves.

To soothe bug bites, eczema, poison ivy, or other minor skin irritations, rub fresh plantain leaves on the affected area. You can also make a soothing poultice of fresh, mashed leaves and a little cool water (this one feels good on sunburns). Plantain is also available as a supplement in liquid extract and capsule form at most health food stores—the usual dosage is 1 teaspoon of liquid extract three times a day, or up to 6,000 milligrams in capsules per day for treatment of bronchial symptoms.

There have been no toxic reactions reported with the use of plantain. Be sure to follow the directions on commercial preparations—consuming extremely large amounts could cause diarrhea, skin rash, or other allergic reaction.

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