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10 Uses for Basil Leaf —– from: http://wellnessmama.com

I grow, dry, use basil as a year round herb in many foods, especially anything that contains tomato. I love pesto and have found that it is good with celery for those of us that do not eat wheat anymore. You can dip other roasted vegetables in pesto too.
Give these ideas a try.. ET


10 great ways to use Basil leaf for health and cooking 10 Uses for Basil Leaf



Basil has taken over my garden so I am in the proces of preserving and storing it now. Fortunately, it can be used for so much more than just cooking!

Basil is most known for its culinary uses and if you have used my meal plans, you’ve probably noticed that I add it to everything. My husband’s Italian heritage has rubbed off on me and I absolutely love the sweet and fragrant addition of Basil.

What isn’t as well know are the various other herbal uses of Basil. It is a traditional remedy that has been used in various cultures for hundreds of years for many uses besides cooking. These are my top uses:

  1. Basil Pesto– This culinary use is one of Basil’s most popular uses and variations of this are used in cultures around the world. At our house, we add pesto to everything from eggs, to meats, to slices of fresh cucumber. Here’s my recipe.
  2. General Cooking– Dried basil can be easily added to practically any dish. Basil is used around the world in many different cuisines with good reason. It adds a depth and flavor that is not rivaled by other herbs. I make a homemade spice blend that includes basil and add it to practically anything.
  3. Calming the Stomach– The Italians may be on to something with adding Basil to everything. It is thought to have a calming effect on the stomach and 1/2 teaspoon of dried or fresh Basil Leaf in water can often help sooth indigestion and alleviate feelings of fullness.
  4. Coughing and Colds– I’ve heard several Amish in our area suggest using Basil leaf to help alleviate coughing and colds. They chew fresh leaves to calm coughing or make a calming tea of dried basil to help sooth illness.
  5. Facial Steam for Headache: A facial steam with dried basil leaf can help alleviate a headache. Add a tablespoon of dried basil leaf to 2 cups of boiling water in a large pot. Carefully lean over the pot, cover head with a towel and breathe in the steam for 5-10 minutes until headache starts to subside. Bonus, you get to smell like an Italian restaurant for the rest of the day!
  6. Antibiotic properties: According to Mountain Rose Herbs: “European scientists are investigating the use of basil oil as treatment for antibiotic resistant infections with Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, and Pseudomonas.”
  7. Stings and Bites: If you are working outside and get bitten or stung by an insect and don’t have any Plantain growing nearby, chewing up a basil leaf and applying to the bite will help relieve the pain and draw out the venom.
  8. Ear Infections: According to Mountain Rose Herbs: “The essential oil is antibacterial, and drops of basil oil may relieve ear infections.”
  9. Blood sugar: There is some evidence that Basil can help level out blood sugar if consumed regularly and drank as a juice or tea.
  10. Stress Reduction: One herbalist I know suggests adding 2 cups of strong Basil Leaf tea to a warm bath to help reduce stress and facilitate relaxation.
If you use Basil as much as we do, I definitely recommend growing it or buying it in bulk to save money.

Do you grow Basil? How do you use it?



Starting Your Own Herb Garden from: http://naturehacks.com

I need to grow more herbs in the Garden so I’m sure this information will help me next Spring.. We grow tomatoes, two or three varieties of hot peppers, Swiss Chard, basil and a few other veggies, but I have to plant more herbs outside..  ET 


Many of us have childhood memories of playing in a garden on a sunny day with the scent of lavender, rosemary and mint accompanying our every step. Just a whiff of these scents will bring a wave of nostalgia for childhood summers, fairy tales and times gone by.

The good news is that we can create our own fairy tale setting right here and now by planting a herb garden in even the smallest back yard.

Herbs are natural ‘weeds’ or wild plants and unlike many flowering plants they have not been bred or mutated into something more pleasing to the eye. They remain in their original state and as such they are most often hardy and easy to grow with a natural resistance to disease. You can avoid using chemical pesticides on them and if you can do the same with the rest of your garden, you will have ‘organic’ herbs that you can safely eat when any superficial dust and insect matter have been washed away.

The location of your herbs is important. They need to be close to the house where you will constantly see them. Under the kitchen window is great. This way, you will remember to water them and you will not have far to go when you need a little flavoring in the middle of cooking dinner. Even if it is raining, just a step outside and you will have your herbs. If they are at the far end of the garden, on the other hand, they are more likely to be neglected and unused.

Many herbs are small plants that do not require much space, but beware of them spreading uncontrollably. Lavender can become huge hedges, mint can pop up all over your lawn, and many others will simply grow and grow if they are happy in your garden. Give them plenty of space and be prepared to control them firmly when necessary.

Your first decision will be whether to grow your herbs all together or mix them around the garden with other plants. There is a lot to be said for having all your herbs within easy reach in one bed, and if you do this be sure not to make the bed narrow enough that you can harvest the leaves you need without damaging other plants.

On the other hand, plants in the wild tend to grow with certain other ‘companion’ plants and if you mimic this by considering compatibility in planting your herbs, all of your garden may benefit. Here are some examples:

– Parsley, tomatoes and asparagus is a good combination. Parsley also grows well with lettuce.

– Sage and tarragon are said to grow so well together that you will have a more intense flavor from both herbs if you mix them rather than keeping each separate.

– Dill does well with cucumbers. However, do not try to grow dill with potatoes or cabbage, as they are incompatible.

Consider The Benefits of The Herbs When You Plant Them

Many herbs have other helpful properties. Nasturtiums are good next to fruit trees to keep aphids away. Lavender does the same for roses. Thyme along the edge of a bed will help to deter snails. Marigold and borage provide saponins, important nutrients for the soil.

Types of Herbs

Herbs are not all leaf. Sage, lavender, borage, feverfew, chamomile and marigold are all examples of herbs which will flower beautifully in your garden. If you have plenty of space, you may want to plant more of these than you need, because they are so attractive.

Of course, you will want to plant smaller growing herbs at the front of any bed with larger plants behind, both for ease of reach and for a better display.

Consider Sunlight Exposure

Most herbs enjoy a sunny spot although there are exceptions. However, it is better not to have them in full sun all day, or they will mature and turn to seed very quickly. Once they are forming seeds, all of their goodness and energy goes into the seed so unless your aim is to produce seeds (e.g. with coriander or pepper) you should take your main harvest before that happens, while the flavor and nutrients are still in the leaf (or flowers, with chamomile).

Container Herb Gardening

Of course you can also grow herbs in containers. Many will thrive in a small container. Some, like mint, can be grown in pots buried into the soil to prevent them spreading uncontrollably. Others grow so well in pots that containers have been designed specifically for them – you can grow parsley in a special clay ‘parsley pot’, if you wish.

If you use wooden containers, be sure they have not been treated with any damaging chemicals. Anything used in the treatment will enter the soil, be taken into the plant and eventually end up in your stomach, so it is worth taking some care with this. If you want to grow your herbs organically you may prefer to use clay pots.

Be sure that the containers are well drained, because most herbs like a fairly dry environment. This means having drainage holes on the underside of the pot, and also placing a layer of large gravel or similar before you add any soil, to help with drainage. However, containers do need frequent watering because the soil will not hold water as well as in a garden bed. Let them get a little dry right before harvest to keep the nutrients strong in the leaves.

Which Herbs?

The next question is which herbs to choose. If you are starting from zero, do not be tempted to plant too many different herbs. In the first year it is better just to choose four or five plants that you know you will use and enjoy. Later, you can add more with the benefit of experience.

Starting From Seed

If you are starting your plants from seed, most of them will be best in seed trays indoors at first. Use at least 2 inches depth of potting soil. Don’t forget to label them! The trays need to be well watered and until the seeds have sprouted you can leave them covered to hold in the moisture. Once shoots appear, they will need light. However you can replace the lid at night at first, to keep them warm.

You will probably have a lot of tiny seedlings but do not start to thin them out until the first real leaves are fully formed. At that point you can see which are the weaker plants and remove these, to leave just the strongest ones, preferably about 2 inches apart. As they grow bigger you can transfer them into individual small containers.

Start your seeds in the late winter or early spring, and start putting them outside for a few hours every day before you transplant them into the garden. They need some warmth in the soil before they are planted, and they also need to acclimatize to the outside air and temperature.

Starting From Grown Plants

Alternatively, if you do not want the trouble of starting your own seedlings, you can buy small plants that are ready to be planted outdoors. If they were kept indoors at the store, you will still need to leave them in their pots for a few days while you acclimatize them to your garden by putting them out during the day and bringing them in at night.

Fennel and cilantro are examples of plants that do not like to be transplanted, so with these it is best to plant the seeds directly outside.


Once outdoors, herbs will benefit from rich, fertile soil. This means adding fertilizer or compost at least once a year. Choose an organic fertilizer if you aim for organically-grown herbs. You can also collect fallen leaves and spread them over the earth as mulch during the winter, or dig them into the soil. Dead leaves make wonderful compost.

Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones…


The Nourishing Cook‘s photo.


How to Tell if Your Olive Oil Is Fake Written — by Kristen

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P.S. This post may contain affiliate links to products or services I use, enjoy, or recommend. By making purchases through these links, you are supporting the companies or products I believe in, and you’re supporting Food Renegade. Thank you!


how to tell if your olive oil is fake


Ever since journalist Tom Mueller broke the story about how more than 70% of the extra-virgin olive oil sold in the world is fake (cut with cheaper oils), olive oil lovers the world over have been scrambling to find authentic, 100% real olive oil.

But how can you tell if your olive oil is fake or not? Does the fridge test really work? What about the oil lamp test?

These tests are often touted as the be-all-end-all for determining if your olive oil is fake, but unfortunately they’re flawed tests that can easily mislead you. There’s only one sure-fire way to know if your olive oil is real, and if you’re a regular reader of my site, you likely already know what that is…


How to Tell if Your Olive Oil is Fake: The Taste Test

Some of us are deluded into thinking we can taste the difference between real olive oil and fake olive oil.

We can not.

We’ve been told that tasting real olive oil is a bit like tasting wine. First, the aroma. It should start with a mildly grassy aroma. Next, the bite. It should finish with a spicy, tingly sort of bite on the back of your tongue.

But when given a variety of real and fake olive oils to test, even the self-proclaimed taste-testing experts were miserable failures:

I conducted a blind tasting of extra virgin olive oils a few years ago for a national newspaper that wanted “the truth on expensive olive oil”.

We had a dozen oils, and a panel consisting of an importer, an Italian deli owner and a couple of eminent foodies: the results were so embarrassing and confusing the piece was never published. The importer went into a fugue after he was informed that he’d pronounced his own premium product “disgusting”; the deli owner chose a bottle of highly dubious “Italian extra virgin” as his favourite (it had cost £1.99 at the discount store TK Maxx); and both the foodies gave a thumbs-up to Unilever’s much-derided Bertolli brand.

The Taste Test Verdict: UNRELIABLE

How to Tell if Your Olive Oil is Fake: The Fridge Test

The premise behind this test is that exta-virgin olive oil is comprised of mostly monounsaturated fats which solidify when cold.

So, if you put real extra-virgin olive oil in the fridge, it ought to become thick and cloudy. Some high-wax varieties of olive oil will even solidify completely.

But this is not a fail proof way to tell if your olive oil is fake.

EXAMPLE 1: The extra-virgin olive oil is a high-wax variety (which would normally solidify when cold), but it’s cut with low-grade oils from other plants. So, when you put it in the fridge, it thickens up, but doesn’t solidify. This fake oil would pass the fridge test because the so-called olive oil STILL thickened up and became cloudy.

EXAMPLE 2: The extra-virgin olive oil is 100% real, but “winterized” (chilled and filtered). Many olive oil producers choose to winterize their oils so that it doesn’t become inconveniently solid on cellar shelves during the winter. By chilling the oil and filtering out the wax that solidifies or clumps up, they can ensure that their oil is always pourable. This 100% real oil would fail the fridge test, and would only become slightly thick (but not solid) when frozen.

The Fridge Test Verdict: UNRELIABLE

How to Tell if Your Olive Oil Is Fake: The Oil Lamp Test

Extra-virgin olive oil ought to be flammable enough to keep an oil lamp burning. It will also burn without producing any noticeable smoke. So, if your olive oil will not keep a wick lit (or if it can, but produces a lot of smoke), you can trust that it is fake olive oil.

However, other oils can keep a wick lit, too. So if your olive oil is adulterated with an oil that also burns, it will pass the test even though it’s fake.

The Oil Lamp Test Verdict: UNRELIABLE

How to Tell if Your Olive Oil is Fake: Know Your Farmer

I am fortunate to live in central Texas — a place where olive trees do relatively well. As such, I’ve got quite a few local olive growers to choose from. These are people I know. They are not mobsters or buyers for multi-national corporations. They are real people with real families who are passionate about what they do.

Artisan and locally-produced olive oils (the variety you can find from small family farms) havealways passed every single scientific test of authenticity. So, buy locally.

Buy from a farmer you can get to know and trust, and you’ll be set.

But what if you can’t buy olive oil locally?

We live in the real world, and not everyone can buy local olive oil. So who can you trust? How do you determine if an olive oil you find online or in stores is real or fake?

UC Davis has done a series of studies on this, and I recommend reading their concluding report. In short, they found that domestic olive oil from single producers or co-ops was always real. In the foreign oil market, it helped to buy from growers who bottle their oil directly for retail sale.

Based on these findings, I recommend buying from a single family farm or small co-op of growers.

That’s because almost all olive oil adulteration happens with the middle men — the people who buy olive oil in bulk from individual farmers and collect it in bulk to sell to corporate buyers. The corporate buyers are usually buying olive oil they think is 100% real, and they’re then mixing, sorting, and branding it to sell it in grocery stores.

So, if you cut out the corporation, cut out the middle man who buys from hundreds of scattered farms and is likely adulterating the oil, and go directly to the source — the small family farm or small co-op of growers, then you’re going to get the real deal.

What if you already have a favorite non-local olive oil and you want to have it tested?

If you want an absolutely definitive test done on your store-bought olive oil, you can send in a sampleto UC Davis’ Olive Oil Center. They will perform the same testing on your sample that they performed in their original, ground-breaking study.

Where to Buy 100% Real Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Online

One of my favorite sponsors, Jovial Foods, has set out to find and preserve ancient varieties of traditional foods that are under threat of extinction. Among the foods they’re now bringing to market is an olive oil blend made from three rare varieties of olives brought to the Veneto region of Italy more than a thousand years ago by the Romans — Favarol, Grignano and Nostrano olives.


how to tell if your olive oil is fake


Every year during harvest season, Jovial’s founders, Carla and Rodolfo (and their children), visit these fields of olive trees (pictured above), harvest their own crates full of olives, and take them to the press to be turned into beautiful oil on the spot.

It’s like a pick-your-own berry patch here in the states, except it’s for olives … and in Italy … and certified organic.

They knew that many of us here would never be able to experience the amazing depth of flavor of freshly-pressed olive oil from these rare varieties of olives, so they recently teamed up with the Veneto farmers to bring you this 100% authentic olive oil.


how to tell if your olive oil is fake


Even better news? Their oil is on sale for 20% off from now through December 31st.

You can preorder your olive oil now at a 20% discount, and it will ship to you in January.

So, if you’re in need of a 100% real olive oil …and you want some of the best-tasting olive oil you will ever have the pleasure of enjoying …and you want to know you’re doing your part to preserve ancient varieties of olives and small family farmers, you won’t want to pass this opportunity by.

(Click here to buy Jovial’s Reserve Blend of 100% real olive oil today.)

This post has been sponsored by Jovial Foods. Thank you for supporting the companies and products I believe in!

(photo credit: Jovial Foods)

5 Steps To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance by Mark Hyman, MD

BREAKING NEWS! Some newly discovered compounds have just been found to turn off all of the genes that cause diabetes. Are these compounds found in a pill bottle? No! Instead, you’ll find them on your dinner plate — in rye bread and pasta.

As I wrote in another blog about diabetes, rye contains special phytonutrients that turn off all the genes responsible for diabetes — in just a few weeks. I explained how to find out if you are pre-diabetic or diabetic. Half of the 24 million people with diabetes don’t know they have it and nearly all the 60 million people with pre-diabetes don’t know they have it.

Today, I want to share with you more information about what you can do NOW to prevent and reverse diabetes and pre-diabetes.

And rye bread isn’t the only answer – I’ve got a lot more good advice, too.

But first I want to emphasize new research that should be headlines news but never saw the light of day. Do our current drugs treatments for diabetes actually work to prevent heart attacks and death?

Surely lowering blood sugar in diabetics is an effective strategy for reducing the risk of death and heart disease. It would seem obvious that if diabetes is a disease of high blood sugar, then reducing blood sugar would be beneficial.

However elevated sugar is only a symptom, not the cause of the problem. The real problem is elevated insulin unchecked over decades from a highly refined carbohydrate diet, a sedentary lifestyle and environmental toxins.

Most medications and insulin therapy are aimed at lowering blood sugar through increasing insulin. In the randomized ACCORD trial of over 10,000 patients, this turns out to be a bad idea.

In the intensive glucose-lowering group, there were no fewer heart attacks, and more patients died. Yet we continue to pay $174 billion annually for this type of care for diabetes, despite evidence that lifestyle works better than medications. We also pay for cardiac bypass and angioplasty in diabetics when evidence shows no reduction in death or heart attacks compared to medication.

So now that we know what doesn’t work, let me review what does work.

Dietary Recommendations to Reverse Diabetes

Eating in a way that balances your blood sugar, reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, and improves your liver detoxification is the key to preventing and reversing insulin resistance and diabetes.

This is a way of eating that based on a whole foods diet that’s high in fiber, rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, and low in sugars and flours, with a low glycemic load.

It is a way of eating that includes anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and detoxifying foods. It includes plenty of omega-3 fats and olive oil, soy products, beans, nuts, and seeds.

All these foods help prevent and reverse diabetes and insulin resistance. This is the way of eating than turns on all the right gene messages, promotes a healthy metabolism, and prevents aging and age-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

Here are more specifics.

Meal Timing

  • Eat protein for breakfast every day, such as whole omega-3 eggs, a soy protein shake, or nut butters.
  • Eat something every 4 hours to keep your insulin and glucose levels normal.
  • Eat small protein snacks in the morning and afternoon, such as a handful of almonds.
  • Finish eating at least 2 to 3 hours before bed. If you have a snack earlier in the day, you won’t be as hungry, even if you eat a little later.

Meal Composition

  • Controlling the glycemic load of your meals is very important.
  • You can do this by combining adequate protein, fats, and whole-food carbohydrates from vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fruit at every meal or snack.
  • It is most important to avoid eating quickly absorbed carbohydrates alone, as they raise your sugar and insulin levels.

Travel Suggestions

Two handfuls of almonds in a zip-lock bag make a useful emergency snack. You can eat them with a piece of fruit. Remember, real food is the best.

What to Eat

  • Choose from a variety of the following real, whole foods:
  • Choose organic produce and animal products whenever possible.
  • Eat high-quality protein, such as fish – especially fatty, cold-water fish like salmon, sable, small halibut, herring, and sardines – and shellfish.
  • Cold-water fish such as salmon, halibut, and sable contain an abundance of beneficial essential fatty acids, omega-3 oils that reduce inflammation. Choose smaller wild Alaskan salmon, sable, and halibut that are low in toxins. Canned wild salmon is a great “emergency” food.
  • Eat up to eight omega-3 eggs a week.
  • Create meals that are high in low-glycemic legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and soybeans (try edamame, the Japanese soybeans in a pod, quickly steamed with a little salt, as a snack). These foods slow the release of sugars into the bloodstream, which helps prevent the excess insulin release that can lead to health concerns like obesity, high blood pressure, and heart problems.
  • Eat a cornucopia of fresh fruits and vegetables teeming with phytonutrients like carotenoids, flavonoids, and polyphenols, which are associated with a lower incidence of nearly all health problems, including obesity and age-related disease.
  • Eat more low-glycemic vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
  • Berries, cherries, peaches, plums, rhubarb, pears, and apples are optimal fruits. Cantaloupes and other melons, grapes, and kiwifruit are suitable; however, they contain more sugar. You can use organic frozen berries (such as those from Cascadian Farms) in your protein shakes.
  • Focus on anti-inflammatory foods, including wild fish and other sources of omega-3 fats, red and purple berries (these are rich in polyphenols), dark green leafy vegetables, orange sweet potatoes, and nuts.
  • Eat more antioxidant-rich foods, including orange and yellow vegetables, dark green leafy vegetables (kale, collards, spinach, etc.), anthocyanidins (berries, beets, grapes, pomegranate), purple grapes, blueberries, bilberries, cranberries, and cherries. In fact, antioxidants are in all colorful fruits and vegetables.
  • Include detoxifying foods in your diet, such as cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, collards, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, and Chinese broccoli), green tea, watercress, dandelion greens, cilantro, artichokes, garlic, citrus peels, pomegranate, and even cocoa.
  • Season your food with herbs such as rosemary, ginger, and turmeric, which are powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and detoxifiers.
  • Avoid excessive quantities of meat. Eat lean organic or grass-fed animal products, when possible. These include eggs, beef, chicken, pork, lamb, buffalo, and ostrich. There are good brands at Whole Foods and other local health-food stores (also see mail order sources).
  • Garlic and onions contain antioxidants, enhance detoxification, act as anti-inflammatories, and help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • A diet high in fiber further helps to stabilize blood sugar by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates and supports a healthy lower bowel and digestive tract. Try to gradually increase fiber to 30 to 50 grams a day and use predominantly soluble or viscous fiber (legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetables, and fruit), which slows sugar absorption from the gut.
  • Use extra virgin olive oil, which contains anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants, as your main cooking oil.
  • Soy Products such as soymilk, soybeans, and tofu are rich in antioxidants that can reduce cancer risk, lower cholesterol, and improve insulin and blood sugar metabolism.
  • Increase your intake of nuts and seeds, including raw walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, and pumpkin and flax seeds.
  • And yes … chocolate can be healthy, too. Choose only the darkest varieties and eat only 2 to 3 ounces a day. It should contain 70 percent cocoa.

Decrease (or ideally eliminate) your intake of:

  • All processed or junk foods
  • Foods containing refined white flour and sugar, such as breads, cereals (cornflakes, Frosted Flakes, puffed wheat, and sweetened granola), flour-based pastas, bagels, and pastries
  • All foods containing high-fructose corn syrup
  • All artificial sweeteners (aspartame, Sorbitol, etc.) and caffeine
  • Starchy, high-glycemic cooked vegetables, such as potatoes, corn, and root vegetables such as rutabagas, parsnips, and turnips
  • Processed fruit juices, which are often loaded with sugars (Try juicing your own carrots, celery, and beets, or other fruit and vegetable combinations, instead)
  • Processed canned vegetables (usually very high in sodium)
  • Foods containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils (which become trans fatty acids in the bloodstream), such as most crackers, chips, cakes, candies, cookies, doughnuts, and processed cheese
  • Processed oils such as corn, safflower, sunflower, peanut, and canola
  • Red meats (unless organic or grass-fed) and organ meats
  • Large predatory fish and river fish, which contain mercury and other contaminants in unacceptable amounts, including swordfish, tuna, tilefish and shark
  • Dairy — substitute unsweetened, gluten free soymilk, almond milk, or hazelnut milk products
  • Alcohol — limit it to no more than 3 glasses a week of red wine per week

Balance Blood Sugar with Exercise

Exercise is critical for the improvement of insulin sensitivity. It helps reduce central body fat, improving sugar metabolism. Regular exercise will help prevent diabetes, reduce your risk of complications, and even help reverse it.

Ideally you should do 30 minutes of walking every day. Walking after dinner is a powerful way to reduce your blood sugar.

More vigorous exercise and sustained exercise is often needed to reverse severe insulin resistance or diabetes. Doing sustained aerobic exercise for up to 60 minutes 5 to 6 times a week is often necessary to get diabetes under full control. You want to work at 70 to 85 percent of your target heart rate, which you can find by subtracting your age from 220 and multiplying that number by 0.70 to 0.85.

Interval training can be an added benefit to helping improve your metabolism and mitochondrial function. It helps to increase the efficiency calorie burning so that you burn more calories and energy during the time you are NOT exercising. This is described in detail in UltraMetabolism.

Strength training also helps maintain and build muscle, which can help also with your overall blood sugar and energy metabolism.

Supplements that Can Help Reverse Diabetes

Nutritional supplements can be very effective for Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. I recommend a number of different supplements, depending on the severity of the problem:

  • A multivitamin and mineral.
  • Calcium and magnesium and vitamin D.
  • Fish oil (1,000 to 4,000 mg) a day improves insulin sensitivity, lowers cholesterol, and reduces inflammation.
  • Extra magnesium (200 to 600 mg a day) helps with glucose metabolism and is often deficient in diabetics.
  • Chromium (500 to 1,000 mcg day) is very important for proper sugar metabolism.
  • Antioxidants (such as vitamins C and E) are important in helping to reduce and balance blood sugar.
  • B-complex vitamins are important and are part of a good multivitamin. Extra vitamin B6 (50 to 150 mg a day) and B12 (1,000 to 3,000 mcg) are especially helpful in protecting against diabetic neuropathy or nerve damage.
  • Biotin (2,000 to 4,000 mcg a day) enhances insulin sensitivity.
  • I also encourage people to use alpha-lipoic acid (300 mg twice a day), a powerful antioxidant that can reduce blood sugar significantly. It also can be effective for diabetic nerve damage or neuropathy.
  • Evening primrose oil (500 to 1,000 mg twice a day) helps overcome deficiencies common in diabetics.
  • I encourage people to use cinnamon as a supplement. One to two 500 mg tablets twice a day can help blood sugar control.
  • Other herbs and supplements that can be helpful include green tea, ginseng, bitter melon, gymnema, bilberry, ginkgo, onions, and garlic. Fenugreek can also be used to help improve blood sugar ,although large amounts must be taken.
  • Banana leaf (Lagerstroemia speciosa) can be an effective herb. Take 24 mg twice a day.
  • I recommend konjac fiber, such as PGX (WellBetX), four capsules 10 minutes before meals with a glass of water. This helps reduce blood sugar after meals and improves long-term blood sugar control while reducing appetite and cholesterol.

Manage Diabetes by Managing Stress

Stress plays a dramatic role in blood sugar imbalances. It triggers insulin resistance, promotes weight gain around the middle, increases inflammation, and ultimately can cause diabetes. So it’s essential to engage in relaxation practices on a regular basis, such as yoga, breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, hot baths, exercise, meditation, massage, biofeedback, hypnosis, or even making love. Your survival depends on it.

Use Medications if Necessary

A number of medications may be helpful for diabetes. There are several specific classes of medications, each with their own effects. Sometimes combinations are helpful.

These are the main classes.

  1. The biguanides, especially metformin (Glucophage), is one of the best medications to improve insulin sensitivity. It can help lower blood sugars by improving your cells’ response to insulin.
  2. Thiazolidinedione drugs are a new class of diabetes medication and can help improve uptake of glucose by the cells by making you more insulin-sensitive. They also reduce inflammation and help improve metabolism working on the PPAR, a special class of cell receptors that control metabolism. They can cause weight gain and liver damage. Thiazolidinediones include rosiglutazone (Avandia) and pioglitazone (Actos).
  3. Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors include acarbose and miglitol, which can help lower the absorption of sugar and carbohydrates in the intestines, reducing the absorption of sugar after meals. And there are newer medication on the market every day.

Older medications include sulfonylureas include glipizide, glyburide, and glimepiride. I strongly recommend against these medications because they only reduce your sugar in the short term and cause further insulin production, which actually worsens diabetes over the long term. They have also been linked to high risk of heart attacks, which you are trying to prevent. They treat the symptoms rather than the cause.

Insulin is the last resort after all other measures have failed and often leads to a slippery slope of weight gain and increased cholesterol and blood pressure. Many patients have been able to come off insulin entirely if they are treated early and aggressively through the other methods I’ve listed.

Diabetes and its precursor, insulin resistance, are looming as the major threat to our health in the 21st century. It will affect 1 in 3 children born today, and 1 in 2 minority children. This is a tragic consequence of our toxic food environment, our unmitigated exposure to stress, our sedentary lifestyle, and environmental toxins.

However, these problems are completely preventable and often reversible through aggressive lifestyle changes, supplements, and exercise and stress management.

Diabetes is the biggest health epidemic triggered by the obesity epidemic, but all of our medical efforts to treat it are focused on medications and insulin. It is simply the wrong approach.

If you follow these guidelines instead, you will see a dramatic change very quickly in your health, your weight, and your diabetes.

Just try it!

Now I’d like to hear from you …

Have you been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes?

Have you been told that you must take drugs to treat it?

Which of these steps do you plan to take and which are you already trying? What are the results?

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below – but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, MD

21 Uses for Epsom Salt: From:http://wellnessmama.com/8509/21-uses-for-epsom-salt/

21 Uses for Epsom Salt


Uses for Epsom Salt 21 Uses for Epsom Salt

I am re-posting this because I  knew only a few of these uses so I need to have them here to remind us..



We use epsom salt (affiliate) a lot at our house. It is a good source of magnesium (here’s why we love magnesium) and has dozens of household uses. Here are our favorites:

  1. As a relaxing Magnesium Bath Soak – Add at least 1 cup of epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Splinter Removal- Soak in concentrated epsom salt water to pull out a splinter.
  3. Magnesium Foot Scrub- Make a homemade magnesium scrub (recipe here) for a boost of magnesium and super soft skin.
  4. Better Vegetables- Add a tablespoon of epsom salt to the soil below a tomato plant to boost growth.
  5. Facial Wash- Add a pinch of epsom salt to your usual face cleaner (or to your oil cleansing routine) for a skin exfoliating magnesium boost.
  6. Tile/Grout Cleaner- Mix equal parts of liquid dish soap and epsom salts and use to scrub tile and grout. Rinse well for a streak free shine.
  7. Body Aches- Add 2 cups of epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for at least 20 minutes to help relieve muscle sprains and for a transdermal magnesium boost.
  8. Homemade Sea Salt Spray- Make your own sea salt spray to add texture and volume to hair- recipe here.
  9. Water House Plants- Help house plants grow by adding a couple tablespoons of epsom salt to the water when you water them.
  10. Volumizing Hair Mask- Combine equal parts of conditioner and epsom salt and leave on hair for 20 minutes. Rinse well and let air dry for thicker hair.
  11. Foot Soak- For a concentrated magnesium boost, add 1 cup of epsom salt to a hot foot soak and soak for 20 minutes.
  12. Get rid of slugs- Have slugs in your garden or on your patio? Sprinkle epsom salt to deter them.
  13. Making Magnesium Lotion- Using magnesium flakes is a better option, but in a pinch, you can use epsom salt to make homemade magnesium oil (recipe here).
  14. Laxative- For occasional constipation, a teaspoon of epsom salt dissolved in water can help. Check with a doctor first.
  15. Beautiful Roses- Add a tablespoon a week to the soil around rose bushes before watering for faster growth.
  16. Soil Prep- Before planting, we add a few bags of epsom salt to the soil in the garden and water in to help replenish soil magnesium levels.
  17. Headache relief- There is evidence that soaking in a soothing epsom salt bath may help relieve headache.
  18. Smooth skin- Mix 1/2 cup epsom salt with 1/4 cup olive oil and scrub skin in the shower for healthy and smooth skin.
  19. Itchy Skin or Bug Bites- Dissolve a tablespoon of epsom salt in to 1/2 cup of water and cool. Spritz on itchy skin or apply a wet compress to help relieve itching.
  20. Minor Sunburn Relief- Use the same ratio in the itchy skin relief above and spritz on to minor sunburns to help soothe them.
  21. Help Kids Sleep Better- Add a cup to kids’ bath water before bed to help them sleep peacefully..

How do you use epsom salt? Share your tips below!

Cleansing Ginger Lemon Tea (makes 4 cups – 1 L)

* Relieves stress and mood swings
* Fights off flu, cough and cold
* Keeps motion sickness at bay
* Aids digestion
* Eases joint pain in arthritis
* Improves immunity
* Enhances blood flow
* Prevents heart disease
* Cures low grade fever
* Refreshes mind

This recipe is taken from The Detox Guide that teaches you about the concept of detox and how to use detox to cleanse and energize your body. This guide provides the best information and safe ways to detox, including recipe ideas. The whole process helps to increase stamina and energy and improves the digestive process.

Cleansing Ginger Lemon Tea (makes 4 cups – 1 L)

2 inches (5 cm) ginger root
4 cups (1 L) filtered water
2 tbsp (30 ml) organic lemon juice
1-2 tsp (5 ml) whole stevia leaf or honey

Finely chop ginger root and infuse in freshly boiled water for at least 20 minutes, so the infusion maximizes the transfer of the active ingredients into the liquid. Add lemon juice, stevia or honey and stir. Serve hot or cold for a refreshing and revitalizing treat.

If you are interested in detoxifying your body, you can find more useful information in The Detox Guide. This guide will teach you how to use detox to cleanse and energize your body:

The Detox Guide


Berry Water

I was at an event and the hostess made a punch with a fruit ring.. I took some of the  frozen fruit and added them to my apple cinnamon water. The results were very tasty.


Mix together a few Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and any other berries or fruit pieces together in some juice or water.

Pour into ice cube trays or other suitable small holders and freeze.. Add one or two to your favorite water.

These would be tasty in juice too.

After you are finished with the water be sure to eat all the remaining fruit for additional fruit and fiber..

How To Make An “Herbal Home Remedy” Kit : also: Banana Peel for great skin..

Go to the Underground Health page:: —  http://www.undergroundhealth.com/how-to-make-an-herbal-home-remedy-kit/

In addition I will share that every time I eat a banana, I take part of the skin and rub the inside of the peel all over my face and hands. If I using them in a recipe and have a few peels I made this concoction:


Banana peels

Filtered water

Lemon juice..


Cut peel into small pieces and add about 2 Tablespoons of filtered water in the large Magic Bullet jar.

Mix until nearly smooth.

Add the juice of one lemon. Continue mixing until smooth..

Apply to your face and hands..

Store thr rest in a clean glass jar in the refrigerator.. It will keep for a few days..

Then eat another banana and make a new batch..

If you want you may cut up the peels and freeze them to make a body moisturizer at a later date.. 

A fine page to find many natural causes for Herbs, Health, and Happiness


This page has a large number of  Herbal, Healthy options instead of using many expensive drugs…etc…

They direct you to other sites for more detail and recipes..