Earthing or Grounding for Greater Health

Earthing-&-Grounding

 

Have you heard of Earthing or Grounding?  Do you know what it is?

It is simply the act of walking barefoot on the ground, or lying/sleeping on the ground, gardening with your bare hands or feet in the earth; allowing your body to reconnect with the earth’s natural healing energies and rhythms.

Although it is a very simple and natural thing to do, there are actually many health benefits associated with this. I think we all know about walking barefoot on the dewy grass or riverbank or sea side to reduce or ‘earth out’ any build up of static electricity in our bodies. But now there have been a number of scientific studies done that show Earthing can help relieve chronic pain, reduce inflammation, improve sleep, relieve stress, enhance well-being and much, much more.

Ancient cultures knew about the earths powerful energy and natural rhythmic pulses that keep life running in a rhythm and balance that maintains homeostasis, which is essential to all life, and naturally incorporated them in their everyday lives. But our disconnection from the Earth and Nature has, until recently, meant that Earthing or Grounding ourselves has virtually been overlooked as having any positive impact on our health or well-being, by our modern culture.

During Earthing, negatively-charged electrons transfer from the earth’s surface into our bodies where they neutralize positively-charged destructive free radicals, and also releases any build-up of static energy in the body. These electrons are the most powerful antioxidants known. By scavenging and neutralizing free radicals in the body, antioxidants help to ease inflammation and cell or tissue damage. Earthing also enhances our mood by relieving physical or emotional stress.

So take off your shoes whenever and where ever you can, get your hands and feet back in the earth as often as you can when you’re outdoors, and take advantage of the natural health benefits of Grounding yourself.

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Living Lightly on the Planet

This is a guest post written by a longtime friend of mine, Faye, who hails from New Zealand.  Faye and her husband Don also live A Simply Naturally Life, and in this post Faye tells us about their experience in creating a home , gardens and forest of their own design on what was originally bare acreage in an eco community.

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Living Lightly On The Planet  –  written by Faye

StoneWorkDon and I moved out of Auckland nearly 9 years ago to a bare 2HA on the Kaipara harbour, Northland, NZ. We were committed to living lightly on the planet.

Don had a solar water heating business and I was a school teacher. We were in our 50s, fit and healthy and were committed to living as lightly on the planet as possible. We had enough savings to pay the modest cost of the land and for our shell home and basic infrastructure.

Outside

After that we did almost all the work ourselves and paid for materials as we could afford them from our income. We had a simple shell built professionally, clad in Lawson cypress timber and using second hand doors and windows. Half the building had a concrete floor (garage and office), the rest was mud, – up to your ankles mud. It is now a leather-like earth floor which we love.

Inside

It was an ethical and practical choice to connect to the grid for power but we have kept the option open to go off the grid in future by minimizing our power demand. While our usage has remained at only 2.8kWh per day, the charges have increased over the years. On top of this we spend about $100 per year on LPG for stovetop cooking. I do a lot of preserving of seasonal fruits and we have a very efficient vestfrost freezer but no frig.

Minimising cement use (to minimise greenhouse gas emissions) was important to us so we chose a lightweight construction and used local rocks in many ways. We have planted most of the property in trees to take carbon out of the atmosphere and hope to lock it out of the air through making biochar and building timber. Don has applied 2-3 tonnes of biochar to our soil here though mostly from a generous ex charcoal producer. This has enhanced the soil structure and we hope, in time, to increase fertility and have a drought proof property.

Bottle-Wall

The house is warm in winter and cool in summer due to passive solar design. The insulation is over spec and we use drapes effectively. I love the way the winter sun comes our 4 metre bifold doors, and reflects off the mosaic floor to the ceiling. The earth floor is dark and holds the warmth well into the night. Water is heated by solar energy and we have an efficient wood stove with a wetback, although we really don’t need it. It’s cosy though, to have the fire and we have more than enough firewood. There is always some breeze here and we designed the windows to keep the house cool in summer. Our upstairs loft (our bedroom) has large opening windows which drain heat very effectively when open. We are vegetarian and eat mostly from our garden and trees. The climate here is subtropical so we produce a good variety of fresh vegetables and fruit all year round. We planted over a hundred fruit and nut trees which produce abundantly. Our avocado trees produced for the first time this year. We need to travel to Whangarei or Auckland about every 3-4 weeks for income purposes and buy our basic supplies there. Average grocery spend is less than $100 a month. We have a low – moderate income and live cheaply and simply within that. We try to only use the vehicle if it is for multiple purposes.

Guest-Cabin

Don built two cabins for WWOOFers (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) and guests. They are both under 10 sq metres so didn’t need a permit. We like the idea of building one elsewhere to live in, in the future.

The whole experience of creating a home of our own design, gardens and forest has been rewarding and meaningful to us. It has fulfilled our spiritual need for creativity, kept us fit and in a rapidly diversifying natural setting. One of our joys here is hearing and seeing the proliferating bird life on our once treeless 2HA.

Timbered-SlopeShared on: Natural Living Monday, Homestead Barn hop, Wordless Wednesday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Homeacre Hop, Simple Lives Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, From the Farm, Old-Fashioned Friday, Friendship Friday, Freedom Friday

Let Food be thy Medicine

Let-Food-be-thy-MedicineFor thousands of years people were aware of the healing qualities of the foods around them. That is until the last 100 years, where food production has been taken over, hijacked by the ‘Food for Profits’ industries.

Food that is artificially grown, harvested too early, stored too long and heavily sprayed with dubious products has a much harder time sharing any health giving qualities than a fresh, naturally gown, and unadulterated food.

The following are some everyday foods and some of the healing powers they can contribute to our health and well-being.

Apples
There is truth behind the old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”.

• Lowers blood cholesterol
• Lowers blood pressure
• Stabilizes blood sugar
• Dampens appetite
• Juice kills infectious viruses
• Prevents constipation
• Prevents tooth decay
• Helps diarrhea

Bananas
Bananas were first grown in India 4000 years ago, where they were known to help heal peptic and duodenal ulcers, as well as gastritis.

• Prevents and heals ulcers
• Lowers blood pressure
• Lowers blood cholesterol
• Helps alleviate PMS

Blue Berries
Scientists have found that Blueberries are full of anthocyanosides, which kill E-coli bacteria.

• Cures diarrhea
• Kills infectious viruses
• Helps lower blood cholesterol
• Improves blood pressure
• Helps with weight control
• Blocks damage to blood vessels

Broccoli & Cauliflower
The crucifer family of vegetables are known for their cancer fighting properties, ie indoles, dithiolthiones, carotenoids & glucosinolates.

• Lowers risk of cancer
• Protects against anemia and gum disease
• Helps maintain strong bones and teeth

Cabbage
Cabbage has been used to treat scurvy, gout, rheumatism, gangrene, asthma, tuberculosis, eye and gum disease, ulcers and cancer. It also helps purify the blood and is a great tonic especially when made into sauerkraut with the added bonus of enzymes and probiotics.

• Lowers risk of cancer, especially of the colon
• Prevents and heals ulcers ( especially the juice)
• Stimulates the immune system
• Helps kill bacteria and viruses

Onion
Onion has been used as a healing remedy for thousands of years. One of nature’s miracle healing foods, used for the heart, as a diuretic, blood pressure reducer, heart tonic . . .

• Lowers cholesterol
• Thins the blood and slows down blood clotting
• Controls blood sugar
• Destroys bacteria
• Clears bronchial congestion
• Blocks cancer

Garlic
Known around the world for its health giving healing properties garlic has been used to treat headaches, hypertension, rheumatism, asthma, hemorrhoids, ulcers, tumors, typhus, cholera, yeast infection, whooping cough, stings or bites, through the centuries.

• Fights infection
• Contains cancer preventative chemicals
• Thins the blood
• Reduces blood pressure and cholesterol
• Stimulates the immune system
• Prevents and relieves chronic bronchitis
• Acts as an expectorant and decongestant

Ginger

Read the post about the Therapeutic uses for Ginger here.

• Soothe digestive disturbances
• Alleviate nausea (great in early pregnancy)
• Prevents motion sickness
• Reduce fever
• Thins the blood
• Calm coughing and respiratory troubles
• Stimulates the circulatory system
• Helps relieve muscle aches and pain
• Can help get rid of dandruff
• Emerging evidence shows it helps lower cholesterol
• Japanese research has found Ginger is effective in lowering blood pressure and cancer risk”

Honey
Honey is another food that was used extensively in ancient medicine and scientists today confirm its amazing antibiotic abilities, which is why I put it in some of my First Aid Creams.

• Kills bacteria and disinfects wounds and sores
• Relieves diarrhea
• Sooths sore throats
• Calms the nerves, induces sleep
• Alleviates asthma

Oats
I have used oat milk baths to soothe nappy rash, eczema or any other sore or itchy rash or redness. I also put it in some of my First Aid Creams for its age old soothing and healing properties.

• Lowers blood cholesterol
• Regulates blood sugar
• Acts as a laxative
• Soothes contact dermatitis and eczema
• Helps promote weight loss
• Helps prevent cancer

Used mindfully, Food really can be our Medicine!

Source: Natures Healing Foods by Karen Davis

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Simply Living Simply

ThoughtsLiving Simply reminds us that we are much more capable, and less needy and dependent than we think. Living Simply is not only about living with less but is about living a more natural and authentic life. It is about living true to what we love most and our inborn values.

Simplicity is about clearly defining the values that are most important to us, and eliminating that which doesn’t fit.

Are you happy with the amount of unnecessary ‘stuff’, consumerism, clutter, stress or waste in your life?

There is a cost to having too much unnecessary stuff in your life. Other than the hassle of finding, organizing, maintaining, and caring for it all, other costs are the lack of free time and the visual clutter that interferes with the Feng shui and harmony in the living environment and therefore life. I believe a cluttered life leads to or reflects a cluttered mind.

At the end of our life, do you think we will be wishing we had a third garage or the 109th pair of shoes or more stuff around us or more tweets, commitments or emails?

Having more in our lives or buying into the concept that more is better and better is best can mean we miss out on understanding what is of value and important. Society tries to tell us that having more in our lives should be the goal and is the answer to whatever the problem is.

We need more because we don’t feel we have enough – money, children, cars, shoes, space, entertainment. . . . .
And also even when we do have enough, we often decide that if we like something, more will be even better.

So whether we have or don’t have, the answer is to have more. But is more really adding value to and improving the quality of our lives?

I can attest to the fact that you can actually have too much of a good thing. As much as I love chocolate and can eat it like bread, too much of it does not feel good at all. Actually it can make me quite sick, temporarily and more permanently.

The saying goes more, better, best. But what is best. Someone or something is always being deemed better or best. The latest idea, technology or ideal is always changing; it’s always something else; the grass is always greener somewhere else, where there is a newer version or something else that is the latest ‘best’. The best never lasts, it’s impermanent like all of life.

“Knowledge is learning something new every day. Wisdom is letting go of something every day” ~ Zen Saying

The quality of my life has improved since I have sought to intentionally live more simply and naturally. It is more personally meaningful to me, because it reflects more of who I am, what is important to me and what I believe in. I live more ‘naturally me’ rather than more ‘normally’, as everyone else does.

Real change comes with doing rather than just reading and thinking about it. So the first important decision to be made is to start and then to continue on your unique journey.

Untitled-2Shared on: Old Fashioned Friday, From the Farm, Simple Saturday, Simply Natural Saturday, Natural Living Monday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, HomeAcre Hop, Farmgirl Friday, Friendship Friday, Freedom Friday,

The Wonderful World of Edible & Medicinal Weeds – Chickweed

ChickweedChickweed (Stellaria media – means little stars)

In the early 1900’s Chickweed was sold as a superfood in grocery stores throughout Europe, until people realized it was the same precious plant that was growing ‘everywhere’! This wonderful weed pops up in lawns, pastures, waste areas and anywhere there is moist soil and shady areas. Just like Plantain, Chickweed naturalized itself wherever the white man has settled, becoming another of the commonest and most useful weeds.

As an Edible Weed this Super-green is filled with vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B12, C & D + Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, phosphorus, manganese, Selenium, Zinc, Gamma-linolenic-acid, Oleic-acid, Flavonoids, Bioflavonoids, phytonutrients, and saponins.

I was so excited to find some of this wonderful weed growing round the shaded side of the house. There are some bonuses to not mowing lawns! And Mmmm it is so delicious. If you are just starting out eating some of our wonderfully wild weeds this is a good one to start with as it has a deliciously crunchy mild flavor raw and tastes like spinach when it is cooked. I like to eat it as a salad green or make pesto with it, but it can also used in soups and stews as well or stir-fried.

Paracelsus in 1530 described Chickweed as ‘The elixir of life . . .one of the supreme healers’.

It is being recognized more and more that a lot of chronic health problems are caused by or at least exacerbated by inflammation, including joint pain, digestive upsets, blood vessel disease, memory problems, and even some cancers. Regular use of chickweed can take the heat out of inflammation, both internally and externally.

Chickweed soothes, cools, and removes bacteria. Women with “hot” bladders or cystitis adore chickweed fresh or as a tea, for its soothing and healing effects. It is also great to sip on the tea if you have a cold or flu.

Medicinal tea: To 1 tbs. dried herb, or 2 if it is fresh, add 2 cups boiling water and steep for at least 20 min. A little honey can be added to the tea for flavour if needed. Drink ½ – 1 cup, 2 to 4 times daily.

Chickweed contains soapy substances, called saponins that dissolve and break down unwanted matter, including disease-causing bacteria, cysts, benign tumors, thickened mucus in the respiratory and digestive systems, and excess fat cells. Yes, it even helps break down fat cells, assisting with weight loss!

A poultice of stems and leaves enclosed in muslin is often used to ease arthritis, joint pains, eczema, burns, itching, stings and other skin irritations, as well as for carbuncles, abscess or ulcers. Or you can bathe the affected area with Chickweed tea.

Another easy way to enjoy the amazing topical healing ability of Chickweed is in ‘Christie’s Miracle Balm’, a natural anti-septic healing cream.

This magical plant is also a back yard barometer, with it’s leaves folding up when it’s going to rain. The leaves also fold up at night. So Cute!  By the way, it is called chickweed because chickens love it.

Chickweed-flower

Chickweed is a bright green creeping plant, low to the ground with little white starry flowers. A very special key to identify Chickweed is to look for a very fine line of hairs that run up the stems and change sides of the stem at each leaf node. This is a unique signature of this special healer as are the little white starry flowers. It also has no milky sap in the stem. The leaves are egg-shaped, about 1/2 inch long and 1/4 inch broad, with a short point, pale green and quite smooth.

So, grab your scissors, and harvest some Chickweed for dinner tonight. You’ll make a new friend who can really help your everyday health and well-being, and not only when times are tough.

Untitled-2Shared on: From the Farm, Simply Natural Saturday, Simple Saturdays, Natural Living Monday, Old Fashioned Friday, Wildcrafting Wednesday

Natural Homemade Laundry Powder

Laundry-PowderDo you know what is in commercial laundry detergents and what effect they have on your health and the environment? Detergents in all forms – liquids, cakes or powders – are mistakenly accepted as safe, but more and more research is finding they are anything but safe for your health or our environment.

Making your own All Natural Laundry Powder is a breeze and you will know for sure what is in it. This is yet another way you can reduce toxins in the home and save money at the same time.

This is what is in my Homemade Laundry Powder:

Baking Soda – (Sodium Bicarbonate) helps remove stains and any odor. It is gentler on delicate fabrics than Borax.

Washing Soda – (Sodium Carbonate or Soda Ash) helps remove stains and grease as well as softening the water. It can even work as a fixative for some natural dyeing techniques.

Soap – (Plain Soap Bar like Sunlight) cleans

Citric Acid – helps break down grease and stains and is a natural bleaching agent, color brightener and water softener.

Borax –  stain removal, and can also be used on whites as an alternative to bleach. (This can be left out if you prefer to go Borax free and more Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) added in its place) Soap-&-Laundry-Powder My Natural Homemade Laundry Powder Recipe:

1 cup Washing Soda

1 cup plain soap grated or powdered

½ cup Borax

¼ cup Baking Soda

¼ cup citric Acid

Instructions:

1. First slice the bar of soap, using a sharp knife, into smaller pieces. Then put the soap pieces into the blender and blend on high to get it as close possible to powder form. If you haven’t got a blender, you can hand grate the soap as fine as you can. The finer the soap is ground or grated the easier it will dissolve during washing. I wash in cold water so this is quite important to me.

Powdered Plain Bar Soap

Powdered Plain Bar Soap

2. I then mix all the ingredients together and put them in an air tight jar or container ready for use.

3. I use a third of a cup of powder for a load of washing.

4. I often turn my washing machine off part way through the wash cycle for an hour or even ten hours, to let it soak before turning the machine back on to complete the wash cycle. This gives time for the cleaning ingredients to gently get in for a cleaner wash.

All Natural Fabric Softener:

I put 1/3 cup of vinegar in the last rinse cycle to act as a fabric softener. It also removes any soap residue that may still be in the fabric and makes sure the ph level has returned to a balanced level.  My clothes don’t smell of vinegar because any vinegar smell doesn’t linger for more than a minute in clothes.

Have you ever used this recipe?

4 cups Lux Pure Soap Flakes

1 cup Methylated Spirits

1 cup Eucalyptus Oil

Combine and store in a jar.

My mother did and although it is a mix for washing woolens (and seemingly doesn’t need to be rinsed out after washing) she also used it in her washing machine for very dirty, greasy or oily clothes and it worked amazingly well.

What is your favorite Natural Laundry product? Untitled-2 Shared on: From the Farm, Old Fashioned Friday, Simple Saturday, Simply Natural Saturday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Thrifty Thursday,