Spices, herbs, tinctures and essential oils have been used for millennia to season our food, heal our bodies and boost our spirits. In our Throwback Thursday (#TBT) series, we at re:iimmune will take you back in history to learn how these gifts from Mother Nature have been used. We'll focus on their use through the ages and beneficial purposes in regard to nutrition, natural health and household care. Today we learn about the treasure that is turmeric!
The people of India have long known what a treasure turmeric is and have used it in their cooking, sacred rights, in their beauty routines and as a healing helper for many ailments. Pottery discovered near New Dehli contained residue from the spice used as early back as 2500 BCE. It’s botanical name is Curcuma longa and it produces both flower and rhizome, a stem that grows underground, similar to ginger. The rhizome is the part of the plant that gives us golden hued turmeric. Indian curry gets its yellow coloring from it and it’s long been used in many other dishes, favored for its ability to aid in digestion and improve circulation. Turmeric was also used in India and other surrounding countries in sacred ceremonies. In southern India, an amulet made of the turmeric rhizome was believed to protect the wearer from evil spirits. Saffron colored Buddhist robes are achieved by using the spice as a dye. Hindus also view it as sacred. During a wedding, a string dyed yellow with turmeric is tied around the bride’s neck by the groom. The mangala sutra, as the necklace is called shows that the woman is married and capable of running a household. It’s sacred standing is owed to its remarkable healing properties as well. Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient Indian practice of natural healing and these discoveries of turmeric’s abilities by these ancient peoples benefit us still today. They discovered that burning turmeric could relieve congestion and that the spice was also helpful in healing wounds, bruises and a variety of other skin problems. Turmeric is prized for its many benefits in a skin care/beauty regimen. It’s been used successfully to aid in inhibiting facial hair growth, smoothing and evening out skin tone and lessening dark circles under the eyes. Its wonderful as an exfoliant and in treating dandruff of the scalp. Many swear by it’s ability to naturally whiten teeth and it’s also known to be effective as a treatment for cracked heels and softening the skin of the feet. Head to toe, turmeric has a myriad of benefits for the human body. This includes internally. Turmeric is a potent natural anti-inflammatory and painkiller with abilities that have been shown to be as effective as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects. This makes it very helpful in dealing with arthritis and muscle pain. Numerous other studies are being done on its possible powers in treating some forms of cancer including melanoma, slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s by removing amyloid plaque buildup in the brain and its abilities to aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management. There are so many different ways and good reasons to incorporate more turmeric into your diet and beauty routine. Below you’ll find a few links to ways to do just that! Top Ten Best Beauty Remedies Using Turmeric Golden Turmeric Milk Recipe Healing Carrot Soup with Turmeric and Ginger
THE PHILIPPINESWe began feeding children in the Philippines in 2009 and it has become one of our largest feeding countries with 28,024 children currently enrolled in the initiative at 235 program centers. The Philippines is prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons, so having an efficient feeding network allows us to respond quickly when disasters strike the island nation.
KENYAAfter establishing our program in Kenya in 2009, we began helping the Maasai people find ways to get clean water to their villages. Maasai tribes in one region had been desperately searching for ways to overcome their lack of water when they discovered the answer lied within Mt. Suswa, an active volcano. They found that the lava flow running beneath them was heating existing ground water, turning it into steam and trapping it in the earth. They began harvesting the steam by inserting pipes in the ground and collecting it as it turns to distilled water. We’ve funded the work at 12 sites where the Maasai are utilizing this method. There are currently 2,574 children being fed at 15 program centers in Kenya.
EL SALVADORWe began feeding children in El Salvador in 2007 and the initiative has seen positive growth in the years since. Currently 11,296 children are being fed at 79 program centers s in El Salvador. We also piloted our Mother’s Club program in this country, through which we provide poverty-stricken mothers with entrepreneurial skills they use to earn a living and provide for their families. We are so proud to partner with the people at Convoy of Hope for our Get Well, Make Well campaign which enables customers purchasing re:iimmune to help another person in need. When you buy a box, a serving is donated to relief organizations working to improve the health of underserved populations suffering from dehydration and intestinal maladies. Our partnership with Convoy of Hope is vital to this process and in the spirit of the holiday season, we wanted to extend our thanks to this fine organization by telling you a bit more about what they do domestically and internationally in an effort to help wipe out hunger and malnutrition and to improve the quality of life of those most in need. Thank you Convoy of Hope for all the good you bring to the world! We are thrilled to partner with them! If you or your organization would like to donate to, partner or volunteer with Convoy of Hope, please check out their Get Involved page on their website.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well” - Virginia Woolf
It is in this spirit that we present re:iimmune’s new blog series “Whole Foods Spotlight” where we will focus in on a specific whole food, its nutritional benefits and provide you with a few links to some tasty recipes that may inspire you to add more of that particular food into your diet. After all, good health begins with good nutrition! Today we focus on the awesome nutritional benefits of the sweet potato. . .Botanically part of the Morning Glory family, the sweet potato’s origins can be traced back to Incan and pre-Incan races whose ancient pottery even show depictions of many different varieties. By the time it was introduced to European explorers, it was not found growing wild there but another member of its family “wild potato vine” or “wild sweet potato” can still be found in parts of U.S. such as Illinois and Indiana. The sweet potato was brought back to Europe before the continent was even introduced to Irish potatoes. It immediately became a rare delicacy whose popularity spread it throughout the world. The plant only produces seed in warmer tropical clients and in colder climates new plants come from planting roots or cuttings of the vines. They are a prolific producer, yielding more pounds per acre than any other plant including Irish potatoes and corn! This is good news because this tasty orange jewel provides a host of beneficial nutrients to us if included in our diet. Potassium Potassium rich foods, such as sweet potatoes are known for improving blood pressure control. Potassium improves kidney function, reduces blood clotting and helps to regulate the opening of blood vessels. If your doctor is concerned about blood pressure control, they may recommend increasing intake of potassium. Iron They are also high in iron, an essential mineral vital in producing energy in the body. Whether you are just feeling a little sluggish or are full blown anemic, adding sweet potatoes to your diet is a good idea. Iron deficiency is linked to many health issues such as impaired cognitive and immune function, problems with body temperature regulation and gastrointestinal issues. Beta-carotene That beautiful orange color is a signal from nature that a food is high in beta-carotene which provides Vitamin A. This is vital in maintaining and improving both retinal health and bone strength. Get some more of the delicious sweet potato into your diet! Here are some links to a few delicious recipes. . . Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili Spicy Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale Salad BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Spices, herbs, tinctures and essential oils have been used for millennia to season our food, heal our bodies and boost our spirits. In our Throwback Thursday (#TBT) series, we at re:iimmune will take you back in history to learn how these gifts from Mother Nature have been used. We'll focus on their use through the ages and beneficial purposes in regard to nutrition, natural health and household care. This week we focus on the herbal savior, sage!“How can a man grow old who has sage in his garden?” is an old proverb quoted throughout much of Europe, China and Persia. During the 17th century, sage was so valued by the Chinese that Dutch merchants discovered that they would trade three chests of Chinese tea for just one chest of sage. The word sage derives from the Latin word salvare which means “to save” bestowed for it’s many healing and curative properties. Native Americans called the sagebrush “spirit caller” and used it in the cleansing and purification of their dwellings. Still today, people looking to cleanse their home of bad vibes or just to refresh the air will burn a smudge stick made of sage. Some even find relief from the smoke for sinus congestion or pain as well as migraines. Sage contains saponins which improve circulation and its been used for over a thousand years in the treatment of Cerebrovascular disease. Like its family member rosemary, it is also known for improving memory and many studies are showing that it may even help treat and prevent Alzheimer’s. With these benefits, it’s no wonder we use the word “sage” to describe a very wise person! The herb is prized for it’s strong flavor and for many people the smell of it evokes the holidays. Which is perfect, as the herb is known for its ability to assist the body in digesting all those fatty foods we enjoy this time of year! Also, red sage has been used traditionally as a treatment for inflammation of the mouth, throat and tonsils so it’s one to turn to for relief during cold season. In the garden, sage is a fragrant and often overlooked spring flowering plant. There are dozens of varieties; some for cooking, some for medicinal purposes and some ornamental. Most are very hardy and prefer well drained soil. Common sage, which is most often used in cooking, produces beautiful purple flowers which attract bees and other beneficial insects to the garden. We’ve collected a few useful DIY’s for you that take advantage of sage’s many wonderful offerings. Enjoy! Sage Tincture for Colds and Sore Throats (scroll to bottom of article) Homegrown Smudge Sticks Fresh Sage Wreath