Heal Your Heart with Plant Energy Medicine

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Recently I have been very moved and guided to work with hawthorn more. Hawthorn is best known for its benefits in supporting and balancing the heart. It is full of vitamin C, B vitamins and is rich in antioxidants and bioflavonoids. It’s a deeply nourishing food that also acts as a tonic and brings greater balance to our systems in an extremely gentle manner. It helps to balance blood pressure and bring support and balance to veins, arteries, and capillaries. Because it helps to support and stabilize the collagen in our bodies also helps to repair and build health in the joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. It is also helpful for many digestive problems. 
In herbal healing, the energetic factor is often overlooked–the ways in which herbs help us emotionally and spiritually. Plants connect with us not just physically, but energetically. Hawthorn is a very special plant for supporting the healing of the heart on a spiritual and emotional level, as well as physical. It helps to heal and release grief, opens the heart to true expression and connection, and eases anxiety and deep sadness, especially as related to loss or feelings of being “shut down.” Hawthorn brings balance to the energetic heart, allowing for healthy boundaries, which make the heart capable of peaceful, compassionate, and gentle connection. That is a deeply nurturing and wise healing lesson for our physical cells and our souls.
Here is the recipe I was inspired to create. It is so delicious and can be eaten as a treat that is nutritious and healing on many levels. Astragalus is an adaptogen, helping to bring the entire body, mind, and spirit into balance. Ginger helps bring energy and movement to the herbs and into the body, and it brightens the other flavors and makes their sweetness “pop.”

Love Your Heart Herb Balls:
2 part hawthorn powder
1 part astragalus powder
1/2 part ginger powder
honey
Mix the powders together. Add a small bit of honey (maybe a teaspoon), enough to help the powders bind together and form a dough ball. Mix well until a nice dough ball is formed, then pinch off small pieces and roll into balls. Roll the balls in a little hawthorn powder to coat them and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

I’m not sure why I was led to work with hawthorn or inspired to create this recipe. But I have been working with the plant energy long enough to know that when I am called to work with one, there is always a reason. The energy reaches out where it is meant to go. May it bless any that can benefit from it.

Joy and Peace,
Angie

P.S. Just a reminder…there is still a little time left to take advantage of my Solstice specials on my Herbal Basics Class and my Animal Reiki Class. These are both 25% off through the Solstice on June 21, 2017. The links will take you directly to the information and enrollment page with the discounted price.

Flower Power Tea Blend for the Summer Solstice

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It’s Almost Midsummer–The Solstice!

I have finished Herbal Basics! It is online and ready for you! If you have pre-registered, please enjoy the class. If you were waiting for the class to be completed, now is the time! In fact, in honor of the Solstice, I am offering a 25% off special to Herbal Basics for my newsletter subscribers.

I am also feeling the nudge to offer a 25% off special on my Animal Reiki Class. Summer is such a wonderful time to go outside and do animal Reiki!

Here is a lovely tea blend that is one of many herbal recipes I share in Herbal Basics. Try something fun and do a little Solstice ritual to offer your gratitude to the herbs, plants, trees, and the Earth as you prepare this tea (or any tea). I hope you enjoy!

Flower Power Tea Blend
This is a gorgeous tea that smells amazing, too! It is a great tea to sip during the work day, before bed or as a cold beverage to cool off in the summer. Children will love this tea because it is so colorful and tastes so good!

Ingredients:

2 parts lemon balm
2 parts hibiscus
1 part lavender
1 part rose petals

Blend the herbs together and store the portion you won’t be using now in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. To brew, use a teaspoon per cup of boiling water. You can make an entire pot and add ice cubes to make a cool drink for summer barbecues or picnics.

Blessings,
Angie
angie-webster-healing.thinkific.com

Herbal Basics homepage

Healthy Chocolate Pudding Pie

chocolate lemon pixabaySeveral years ago, I learned that I was borderline diabetic and I also started having episodes of severe hypoglycemia. Really miserable stuff when that hits. So I had to learn to eat differently and tame my love for sugar and refined carbs. The first step I took was simply cutting back the sugar in recipes, sometimes significantly, but usually by about 1/3-1/2. Usually, the recipes were sweet enough, even with this adjustment.

Over time, I also learned to make things using more natural alternatives, such as honey, stevia, and xylitol. Honey still has to be used in limited quantities, as it is a sugar. However, it does have some health benefits and I find it tastes better than sugar. Honestly, I also limit how much xylitol I use, simply because it still feels very refined to me. Stevia is much more natural, made from a ground herb. I prefer the taste of NOW Better Stevia Glycerite drops.

I also learned to use organic sugar, for the times when I need real sugar in a recipe. It is less refined and has fewer chemical agents in it from processing. While it’s still sugar, I feel it is healthier because of this. It also has a fuller flavor, so I can use less of it.

This is a wonderfully rich and delicious recipe that also happens to be really healthy!

Healthy Chocolate Pudding Pie

Ingredients:2 avocados, pitted

2 avocados, pitted

1/3 to 1/2 half cup milk of choice (I love the way coconut milk tastes in this)

1/2 cup cacao powder (cocoa powder is fine and carob would probably work, though I haven’t tried it)

2-3 Tablespoons organic sugar or honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt

Optional: low-fat graham cracker pie shell

Instructions:

Put everything in a food processor or a blender and blend on high speed for a minute of so, until well blended. Scrape the side  and reprocess, if needed, to mix everything well. Chill for about 10 minutes. Pour into pie shell, or for a grain free, lower carb, no crust pie, pour directly into a glass pie pan and chill for 30 minutes to set.

You can drizzle a chocolate sauce topping on this for garnish/decoration if you like.

Chocolate sauce:

1/4 cup coconut oil (do not substitute with another oil!)

1/4 cup honey

2-3 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder

Heat in a saucepan over low heat, stirring often until oil is melted and ingredients are well mixed. Stir in drizzles of milk of choice until the sauce reaches the consistency you want.

 

 

 

 

Sweet Cleansing and Immunity Boosting Tea

0208151057This tea is great for boosting your vitamin C levels, supporting your immune function and supporting the cleansing  and detoxifying ability of the kidneys and liver. It is helpful for anyone who is undergoing a stress on their immune system, be it a cold or cancer. It can also help to support your body as you detoxify from medications you may need to take for an illness. As a wonderful bonus, it tastes wonderful, even without any sweetener, and it looks and smells heavenly.

I don’t get really technical about the measurements when I make this, so adjust this as you feel you need to for taste. The ingredients can be found in the bulk section of most natural foods stores or you can find them online at places such as Mountain Rose Herbs and others.

Sweet Cleansing and Immunity Boosting Tea

about a Tablespoon of Pau d’arco bark (large pinch)–immunity support/balance

2-3 whole cloves (NOT powder)–cleansing

about a Tablespoon dried Hibiscus flowers–immune support, cleansing

about 2 teaspoons dandelion root–cleansing, especially kidneys

about 2 teaspoons burdock root–cleansing, especially liver

Bring 32 ounces of water to a boil as you gather your herbs, roots and flowers together in a wire mesh strainer placed over a small to medium bowl. Once the water has reached a boil, pour it over the herbs in the strainer and allow to sit and steep for about 15-20 minutes. Place a small piece of cheesecloth over the top of a pitcher or a Mason jar. Pour the steeped tea through the cheesecloth into the Mason jar or pitcher. I usually brew 32 ounces more water and make a second batch using the same herbs, and then I toss them in the garbage. Refrigerate. Drink 1-3 cups a day over the next 24-48 hours.

Elderberry Syrup

elderberriesElderberry syrup is very easy to make at home and is a wonderful and tasty way to keep your immune system strong during the winter months or whenever viruses start making the rounds. It can be taken as a daily preventative dose or the dose can be increased during illness or after exposure to help you fight off the nasties. It only takes about an hour to make, costs about $3 for a quart or so and lasts for up to six months in the fridge. Take a teaspoon to a Tablespoon daily for preventative measures and up to a Tablespoon every hour during an illness, until symptoms subside or for the first 24 hours after an exposure to a virus or a bacterial infection. *NOTE*This is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you or a family member are ill, please follow standard precautions and all advice given to you by your health care professional.

3 1/2 cups water

2/3 cup dried elderberries

about 1-2 inches fresh ginger root, cut up

1- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 cup raw honey

1/4-1/2 cup organic apple cider vinegar (optional, but adds immune boosting benefits)

Add all but honey and ACV to pot and bring to a boil, cover with lid and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Strain off liquid into a bowl and discard berries, herbs and ginger. Cool in fridge for an hour or so, then add honey and ACV, if using. Store in a glass jar with a lid, in fridge. Keeps for up to six months. Take a teaspoon to a Tablespoon daily for preventative use or a Tablespoon an hour when ill until symptoms subside.

Adding other herbs, such as 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of lavender, thyme, rosemary, sage and/or peppercorns will strengthen the immune boosting properties of this syrup as well. Just add them into the water when you first put the berries on to boil and strain them off with the berries when done.

Beating Back the Winter Blahs

winter wonderland121413This time of year, when the sun isn’t out as much and it is often gray and rainy/snowy, many people have more trouble with feeling very sad, low on energy, even depressed. This can  happen when our bodies and brains don’t cope well with the lower levels of light. Our brains produce a chemical that responds to darkness and light called melatonin. This chemical helps our body know when it’s time to shut down for the day and go to sleep. Normally, at the end of the day, when it begins to get dark, our body begins to release serotonin, which triggers the production of more melatonin and we get sleepy. In the mornings, when our brains register that there is sunlight again, the levels of  serotonin and melatonin drop and we become more alert and wake up, ready to start our day. These chemicals rely on the nutrients we bring into our bodies to be made properly and in sufficient amounts and they rely on sunlight (and other cues) to trigger their release. We can help our bodies and brains by adjusting how we cope with life during the Fall and Winter months, especially if we have difficulty with seasonal depression, sometimes called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.

-Get as much light as possible and self regulate your light exposure. Open your blinds first thing every morning and close them in the evening. Go outside for a few minutes each day. Use Blues Buster bulb in the room your work in or use a full spectrum UV lamp for a few minutes each day. Don’t be afraid to turn on the lights in your home during the day! Spend the money! This is your health we are talking about!
-Take warm sea salt or Epsom salt baths frequently, even daily. They are very detoxifying and they just feel good. Add Lavender essential oil, if you like.
-Stay on a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and getting up at about the same time each day. This helps the melatonin in your brain become level and balanced and stay that way.
-Eat healthy. Low sugar, low starch. Lots of vegetables, especially those that are in season. Make sure to include plenty of foods that are rich easily accessible omega-3 fatty acids, as these support brain function and overall health. These are things like salmon, sardines, or eggs. Foods high in tryptophan, such as cottage cheese, avocados, bananas, walnuts and turkey are also good as they support the production of serotonin and melatonin. Make occasional DARK chocolate your now and then sugar treat, as it fights depression.
-Use Rescue Remedy to help lift your spirits and ease extra pains. It is homeopathic and non habit forming. It will help balance your entire system, not just relieve your symptoms. It can be taken as often as every 15-30 minutes on very difficult days.
-Get at least 5-10 minutes of exercise every day. Do something you enjoy! Dance or play with the kids or the dog/cat, whatever you like. No need to make it a chore, simply move your lovely body in some way and stretch it, shake it, feel it, enjoy it!
-Keep flowers in your home. Even one or two flowers in a vase helps. They add a wonderful energy, not to mention how beautiful they look and smell. I’ve found that my local grocery store sells small bouquets for $3-$5. Totally worth it.  Flowers and plants boost spirits. You’re worth it.
-Reiki or other energy work can help keep your energy moving or relieve energy blockages. If you know you have this problem each year, consider making a regular appointment each month during the Fall and Winter months to help support your well being. If you are having difficulties or begin to, a Reiki session can help restore calm and peace of mind, body and spirit.

-Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you are experiencing a sadness that doesn’t lift. Counseling or medication may be helpful in getting your system back on track and helping you feel better again.

Here’s a couple recipes to help support you when your energy is low, but you have cravings. They are healthy, easy and satisfying.

Quick Green Smoothie

1 cup of milk of choice

4 Tablespoons yogurt

2 leaves any type green (kale, collard, mustard, turnip–your favorite)

handful raspberries, handful blueberries

teaspoon raw honey

teaspoon spirulina

1 inch peeled fresh ginger

Add all ingredients to food processor or blender and run for about a minute on high, until smooth.

Cacao (Dark Chocolate) Sauce

All measurements are estimates–adjust for amount and consistency you wish to make

1/4 cup coconut oil (butter can be substituted)

2-3 Tablespoons raw cacao powder (much higher health benefits than cocoa powder)

2-3 Tablespoons raw honey

dash of sea salt or Himalayan salt

Heat in small saucepan over low heat while stirring. Once coconut oil is melted and all is stirred together, add a small drizzle of milk at a time until you have the consistency you would like for a sauce. A splash of vanilla is nice to add. You can also stir in shredded coconut or walnuts. If you leave out the milk and spread this over a sheet of  parchment paper on a cookie sheet  and then refrigerate it for several hours, it makes a nice candy.

If I can help support you with a Reiki session, feel free to contact me at  www.facebook.com/HolisticSpirituality.

Be well and Blessings,
Angie

Homemade Pizza with Seasoned Crust (gluten free, vegan option)

I LOVE pizza! And I used to be really intimidated by the thought of making my own pizza atpizza home. Even if I thought of doing it at home, I would by a pre-made crust or a crust mix and I always bought a pre-made sauce. I enjoyed the results when I made a pizza at home, even doing it with pre-packaged mixes and sauces, but I still had that feeling of disconnection and intimidation. I usually just ordered a pizza or bought frozen. All that had to change when I had to go gluten free several years ago for health reasons. It was either go without pizza (NOT!) or learn how to do it at home inexpensively (which means without the gluten free pre-packaged mixes!) I am glad I learned how to get past my fears, because, like most things I have discovered in the kitchen, once I looked beneath the mystery, it was not hard to do at all! I only had to trust myself! Here is a pizza sauce and crust I have developed since then. I love how easy they are and how there is room for flexibility.

Start with the pizza sauce. I get this going an let it simmer while I start the pizza dough. Works out perfectly. The sauce can also be made up in big batches and then frozen in individual containers for later use, if you want to double or triple the recipe.

Pizza Sauce

1 Tablespoon butter or margarine

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion or 1/2 medium onion, chopped (use the other half for pizza toppings!)

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small stalk celery, diced

15 oz. can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes

2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (optional)

1 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon fennel powder

1/2 teaspoon sugar, honey or pure maple syrup (grade B works best)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 bay leaf

 

Melt butter or margarine with olive oil in pan. Add chopped onion and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent (about 3 minutes). Add all other ingredients, stir. Simmer on low heat for  at least  a half hour, up to one whole hour.  Remove bay leaf and it’s ready to use! 

While this is simmering, start the pizza dough. You can have it finished and on the pan ready to bake by the time the sauce is ready.

Seasoned Pizza Crust

3 c. flour (1 c. brown rice, 1 cup millet, 1 cup sorghum)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using regular flour or a gluten free blend containing xantan gum)

1 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 Tablespoons sugar, plus 2 Tablespoons more

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon yeast

3/4 cup warm water, plus 3/4 cup more (@ 110 degrees, or what feels comfortable to the inside of your wrist)

1 egg (can substitute flax egg mixture–see below–or leave egg out for a thinner, drier crust)*

*Flax egg mixture to substitute for egg–1 Tablespoon flax meal mixed with 2 Tablespoons warm water in a small bowl. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then use as you would an egg. Works in many recipes.

Pour 3/4 cup water in a small bowl and stir in 1 Tablespoon yeast. Let sit for a couple minutes, then add 1 Tablespoon sugar.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, salt, 2 Tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum (if using gluten free flour), basil, oregano and garlic powder. Mix well.

In a measuring cup, measure 3/4 cup warm water and add 1 Tablespoon olive oil and 1 egg. Beat with a fork until well blended. Add yeast, sugar and water mixture and stir. Then add to the flour mixture and mix well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the bowl of dough on top of the stove where it will get some of the warmth of the oven (not where it will cover the oven’s heat exhaust!) and let it rise for about 10 minutes. This is a good time to get some toppings ready, shred cheese, prepare your pan, etc.

Grease two pizza pans or one large cookie sheet. When your dough is done rising, then sauce should be about done simmering, so turn that off. Dump the dough onto the cookie sheet and dust it and your hands with a little flour, then mash it evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake it without toppings for about 15-20 minutes until it begins to turn golden brown. Finish chopping toppings while it bakes. Sliced tomato, mushrooms, chopped onion, some fresh or frozen spinach, even broccoli is really good! Use your imagination!

When the crust comes out of the oven, put your sauce and toppings on, then bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly. Slice and enjoy!