• 19 Oct 2016 2:18 PM | Aliya Umm Omar

    Beautifully bright coloured, with a sharp taste and a refreshing aroma, lemons are best when the yellow skin is thin and at its brightest. Lemon juice is a great foundation for salad dressings, and adds a tantalizing tartness when sprinkled over fish. And the zest, as the white part is bitter, is a lovely addition to many recipes. Lemon juice can be squeezed over raw fruits to add flavour while preventing them from turning brown. Browning occurs when the fruits’ enzyme (polyphenol oxidase) reacts with the oxygen in the air (known as oxidation). Lemons are high in citric acid, which breaks down this enzyme, thus preventing it from reacting with the oxygen. This allows the fruit to retain its original fresh looking colour for longer, even after it has been cut into pieces.

    The lemon belongs to the genus Citrus with other fruits such as oranges and grapefruit. The origins of the lemon are unclear, but it is commonly thought that they originated from India, China and Burma and then entered Europe via Sicily in Italy in the 1st Century AD during the time of Ancient Rome.

    Lemons are loaded with healthy benefits. Most people find taking lemon juice in water is more palatable as opposed to straight lemon juice. Lemon water is a rich source of vitamin C and plant compounds, which can enhance immune function, protect against various diseases and increase the absorption of iron. Given that some pulp goes into the mix, the pectins in the pulp can promote satiety and feed the friendly bacteria in the gut, promoting good health and decreased risk of disease. To top things off, the lemon aroma derived from the essential oils might decrease stress and improve mood. The lemon juice also offers up a healthy serving of potassium, magnesium and copper. The plant compounds in lemons are citric acid, hesperidin (antioxidant), diosmin (antioxidant), eriocitrin (antioxidant that is found in lemon peel and juice), and D-Limonene (found primarily in lemon peel).

    Prevents Scurvy and Supports Our Immune System

    While scurvy, AKA Vitamin C Deficiency, is a disease that we associate with sailors who travelled the seas, the frightening reality is that scurvy still appears in our society today. Since our bodies don’t make vitamin C on its own, it’s important to get enough of it from the foods and drinks we ingest on a daily basis. Thankfully, lemons are packed full of this vitamin plus other bioflavanoids. Vitamin C stimulates white blood cell production, vital for your immune system to function properly, thus preventing colds and flu and many other illnesses. As an antioxidant, vitamin C also protects cells from oxidative damage and neutralise free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that can damage the body’s tissue causing heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses.

    Aids in Digestion and Detoxification

    Lemon juice appears to have an atomic structure that is similar to the digestive juices found in the stomach, thus it tricks the liver into producing bile, which helps keep food moving through your body and gastrointestinal tract smoothly. The acids found in lemon juice also encourage our body to break down the nutrients in foods more slowly. The longer absorption time means insulin levels remain steady and better nutrient absorption means less bloating. Lemon water also helps relieve indigestion or ease an upset stomach.

    The liver is one of the most important organs and plays a vital role in processing toxins in the body and detoxifying the blood. The vitamin C in lemon water helps promote glutathione, which plays a key role within the liver in the detoxification process. Maintaining a slightly positive alkaline state is vital in order to fight off cancer and other illnesses and promote detoxification. Although acidic to taste, lemons are one of the most alkaline of foods and will help push our bodies to the required pH alkaline state of around 7.4.

    Reduces Vision Loss and Improves Eye Health in Diabetics

    Vitamin C reduces age-related opacity of the eyes, which means it keeps vision clearer for longer.  A study has shown that flavonoids, which are found in lemon and other fruits and vegetables, help prevent the development of cataracts in diabetics.

    Lowers Blood Sugar and Helps to Manage Diabetes

    Soluble fibres, like pectin, in lemons can lower blood sugar levels by slowing down the digestion of sugar and starch. Research also shows that two citrus bioflavonoids found in lemon significantly help reduce blood sugar levels. They can also help to manage blood sugar in other ways, such as how it is stored in the muscles and liver.

    Lemon peel reduces glucose levels in body parts such as eyes, nerves, and areas of the kidney. These are all body parts that are susceptible to damage in diabetes. This means that these compounds in lemon peel can help to reduce diabetic complications in the eye, nerves, and kidney, as well as better protecting the health of diabetics. Adding some lemon peel into a glass of lemon water is a great way to introduce it into the diet.

    Prevention of Kidney Stones

    The citric acid in lemons decreases the risk of kidney stones by diluting urine and increasing urine output.  Diosmin, a flavanone antioxidant found in lemon, was found to have very positive effects on decreasing the incidence of kidney stones. Diosmin helps to decrease urinary calcium and phosphorus in kidneys, as well as helping to increase urinary volume and serum calcium levels, all of which help to ease pressure on the kidneys and stop the development of stones.

    Reduces Uric Acid Level

    Gout is an incredibly painful condition, contributed to by an excess of uric acid in the body. A study has shown that lemon juice helps to reduce serum levels and is a useful addition to other uric acid and gout treatments that a patient may be taking.

    Good for Your Heart and Helps Lower High Blood Pressure

    Lemon water is a source of potassium, a vital mineral that is essential and helpful in a variety of body functions. Potassium is good for the heart because it plays an important role in helping its muscles function properly and pump blood around the body so it’s important to maintain your intake of this element.

    Intake of fruits high in vitamin C is linked to reduced cardiovascular disease. Low levels of vitamin C in the blood are also linked to increased risk of stroke. Intake of isolated fibres from citrus fruits has been shown to decrease blood cholesterol levels, and the essential oils in lemons can protect LDL cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized. Recent studies on rats show that the plant compounds hesperidin and diosmin may have beneficial effects on some key risk factors for heart disease.

    Vitamin C was found to help relax blood vessels and, therefore, help reduce blood pressure. This is particularly useful for blood pressure called “essential hypertension” because it doesn’t have a known cause. 

    Prevention of Anaemia

    Anaemia is often caused by iron deficiency, and is most common in pre-menopausal women. Lemons contain small amounts of iron, but they are a great source of vitamin C and citric acid, which can increase the absorption of iron from other foods. Because lemons can enhance the absorption of iron from foods, they may help prevent anaemia.

    Combats Cancer

    A number of scientific studies have shown the cancer preventative action of flavonoids and plant compounds such as hesperidin and d-limonene, found in lemon water. This research has suggested that dietary intake of flavonoids and plant compounds may reduce the risk of tumours in the breast, colon, lung, prostate, and pancreas.

    Inhibiting an enzyme called aromatase is a major strategy in treating breast cancer patients. Dietary flavones and flavanones, as found in lemon juice, have been shown to inhibit aromatase too, which helps support medical management of breast cancer.

    Helps Body and Skin Repair and Assists in Wound Healing


    The antioxidants found in vitamin C have a double task in lemon water. They help flush out toxins and fights damage caused by free radicals and UVB radiation. They also promote a healthy production of collagen, which is a vital part of the skin matrix keeping it taut and springy and preventing the formation of wrinkles and sagging. The increased collagen production also helps with wound healing. Rapid wound healing is vital to prevent infections and scarring. Vitamin C can help promote better healing by preventing free radical damage, supplementing collagen synthesis, and stimulating the formation of the skin barrier. Vitamin C gets used up quickly at a wound site, so it’s important to increase its intake if we have a number of wounds to heal.

    Vitamin C plays a vital role in keeping cartilage and bones healthy and strong. Although we might not expect it, our body relies on vitamin C to help keep our bones and teeth strong.

    Aids in Weight Loss and Prevents weight gain

    Regularly sipping on lemon water can help us lose those last pounds. That’s because lemons contain pectin. Pectin helps us feel full for longer so we will eat less throughout the day. Plus, the water will prevent dehydration which makes us prone to headaches, fatigue and an overall bad mood.

    If preventing weight gain and fat build up is a priority, throw the lemon peel into the warm lemon water along with the juice. A study found that lemon polyphenols in lemon peel prevented fat gain and weight increase in mice when tested over a 12-week period. The lemon polyphenols particularly targeted the white adipose tissue, which is the less beneficial kind of fat in our bodies. Now that’s a benefit of lemon water we can definitely appreciate!

    Boosts Energy and Mood and Eases Depression

    Skip the morning cup of coffee, lemon water can boost energy levels without the caffeine crash. Here’s how it works: Our bodies get energy from the atoms and molecules in foods. When negative-charged ions, like those found in lemons, enter your digestive tract, the result is an increase in energy levels. Additionally, just the scent of a lemon has been found to reduce stress levels, improve moods and ease depression.


    Lemons are generally well tolerated, but may cause allergic reactions in a minority of people. They may also cause contact allergy and skin irritation in people with dermatitis.

    While lemon water is one of the safest drinks you can ingest, the acids in lemon can eat away at your tooth enamel. To prevent this, drink lemon water before brushing your teeth. Drink from a straw and rinse with baking soda to neutralise any acid that might be left on your teeth.

    Recipes for health

    Lemon Water

    The easiest way to make lemon water would be to squeeze half to one whole lemon into a glass of lukewarm or room-temperature water.

    • If you want to receive the benefits of the polyphenols in the lemon skin, either add the peel whole into your glass of lemon water or use a zester to scrape some peel into the drink.
    • For a comforting, cleansing drink first thing in the morning or late at night, use lukewarm water to mix with your lemon juice. Make sure the water is not too hot as this can destroy some of the nutrients and enzymes in the fresh lemon juice.
    • If you want to receive the appetite-suppressing and metabolism-boosting benefits of lemon water, mix your lemon juice with chilled water and drink before or during meals.

    Household Uses of Lemon

    Lemons are not only used for their medicinal qualities and health benefits. Lemon juice is also used in the home. Here are some fantastic ideas of how lemon can be used in the home:

    • Clean discoloured utensils with a cloth dipped in lemon juice. Rinse with warm water.
    • Toss used lemons into your garbage disposal to help keep it clean and smelling fresh.
    • Use one part lemon juice and two parts salt to scour chinaware to its original lustre.
    • A few drops of lemon juice in outdoor house-paint will keep insects away while you are painting and until the paint dries.
    • Remove scratches on furniture by mixing equal parts of lemon juice and salad oil and rubbing it on the scratches with a soft cloth.
    • To make furniture polish, mix one part lemon juice and two parts olive oil.
    • To clean the surface of white marble or ivory, rub with a half a lemon, or make a lemon juice and salt paste. Wipe with a clean, wet cloth.
    • To remove dried paint from glass, apply hot lemon juice with a soft cloth. Leave until nearly dry, and then wipe off.
    • Rub kitchen and bathroom faucets with lemon peel. Wash and dry with a soft cloth to shine and remove spots.
    • Fish or onion odour on your hands can be removed by rubbing them with fresh lemons.
    • To get odours out of wooden rolling pins, bowls, or cutting boards, rub with a piece of lemon. Don’t rinse: The wood will absorb the lemon juice.
    • After a shampoo, rinse your hair with lemon juice to make it shine. Mix the strained juice of a lemon in 200 ml warm water.
    • Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with two tablespoons of salt to make a rust-removing scrub.
    • Before you start to vacuum, put a few drops of lemon juice in the dust bag. It will make the house smell fresh.
    • Get grimy white cotton socks white again by boiling them in water with a slice of lemon.








  • 18 Oct 2016 1:16 PM | Anonymous

    The following case study is from the earlier days of my journey as a Hijama Therapist, and epitomes the wonders of Hijama (by the will of Allaah). 

    Patient presented with severe acne on her face along with deep scarring. The patient has previously tried other treatments and altered her diet, neither of which had any positive effect on her acne. 

    Treatment Plan: Monthly Hijama Sessions for 4 months. 

    Outcome: Initially, the patient failed to notice her skin clearing up, however her colleagues noticed! They were unaware that she was undergoing Hijama Therapy, and were amazed at how much her skin has cleared up in a short amount of time.

    We continued with the treatment plan, and her acne disappeared completely. 

    There are many success stories like this one concerning Hijama Therapy. If you have an illness, even if you have had it for a long time, you can try Hijama Therapy. You may even notice that Hijama Therapy alleviates the concerned condition as well as other problems, your body is tackling, at the same time. 

    If there are no qualified Hijama practitioners in your area, learn this therapy and help others!

  • 20 Sep 2016 11:18 AM | Aliya Umm Omar

    Many dishes can't exist without this vegetable and no curry will taste the same without it. It is well known that onions can provide the right balance to countless dishes. However, a lesser-known fact, about these pungent bulbs, is that they contain healing powers that can act as a blood thinner and relieve sore throats. Onions belong to the Allium plant family together with garlic and leek. The ones we eat, which are cultivated garden onions, are known as the Allium cepa. The onion is believed to have originated in Asia, though it is likely that onions may have been growing wild on every continent.

    Traces of onion remains have been found in Bronze Age settlements dating back to 5000 BC. Our ancestors must have recognized the vegetable's durability and began growing onions for food in Egypt around 3500 BC, the same time that leeks and garlic were being cultivated. Other ancient civilizations in China, India, Greece and Rome also used and consumed onions. By The Middle Ages, onions, cabbages and beans were some of the staples of the European diet. Onions were historically used as a preventative medicine during epidemics of cholera and the plague. It has been mentioned, that the Roman Emperor, Nero, as a cure for colds, ate them. Its reputation has made onions a popular component in the diets of many countries.

    Onions not only provide flavour, they provide health-promoting phytochemicals as well as nutrients.  They are a good source of vitamin C, B6, potassium, dietary fibre and folic acid. They also contain calcium, iron and have a relatively high protein quality. Onions are also surprisingly high in beneficial polyphenols, which play an important role in preventing and reducing the progression of diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. Polyphenols play an important role as a prebiotic, increasing the ratio of beneficial bacteria in your gut, prevents gastric ulcers and the growth of the ulcer-forming microorganism, such as Heliobacter Pylori. 

    Of all the healthy compounds contained in onions, there are two that stand out from the rest: quercetin and sulphide compounds. Both of these compounds have strong antioxidant properties, where they each have been shown to help neutralize the free radicals in the body, and protect the membranes of the body’s cells from damage. White onions contain very little quercetin, so it’s better to stick with the yellow and red varieties.  Most health professionals recommend eating raw onions for maximum benefit, but the onion breath it leaves behind makes you think twice about indulging on them in their raw state. Cooking onions actually eliminates the pungent smell from the breath, makes them more versatile and doesn’t significantly reduce their potency.  In fact, unlike sulphur compounds, quercetin can withstand the heat of cooking as long as it is a low heat. If you do enjoy eating raw onions here are ways to eliminate onion breath: 

    • Rinse mouth with equal parts of lemon juice and water;
    • Chew a citrus peel to sweeten the breath;
    • Eat a sprig or two of parsley, a natural breath sweetener.

    Onions contain compounds such as alliin (an amino acid) as well as quercetin that appear to inhibit the growth of cancerous cells.  It appears to have more of an effect on cancers of the breast, colon, ovarian, gastric, lung and bladder. Onions have also shown to lower the risk of several cancers, even when they are consumed in only moderate amounts. "Moderate" generally means 1-2 times per week, even though in some studies it has been used to mean up to 5-6 times per week. Colorectal cancer, laryngeal cancer, and ovarian cancer are the cancer types for which risk is reduced along with moderate amounts of onion. For other cancer types, however, moderate intake of onion has not been enough to show significant risk reduction. For these cancer types, including oesophageal cancer and cancers of the mouth, daily intake of onion is required before research results show significant risk reduction.

    Onions contain phytochemicals known as disulfides, trisulphides, cepaene, and vinyl dithiins. These compounds have a variety of health-functional properties, including anticancer as well as antimicrobial activities and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It also contains a unique sulphur molecule in onion, known as Onionin A; this is found in the bulb portion of the plant. This particular sulphur molecule has been shown to inhibit the activity of macrophages, specialized white blood cells that play a key role in our body's immune defence system, and one of their defence activities involves the triggering of large-scale inflammatory responses. While macrophage activity is typically a good thing, inhibition of their activity can sometimes be critical in getting chronic unwanted inflammation under control. Onion's antioxidants, including quercetin, also provide us with anti-inflammatory benefits. These antioxidants help prevent the oxidation of fatty acids in our body. When we have lower levels of oxidized fatty acids, our body produces fewer pro-inflammatory messaging molecules, and our level of inflammation is kept in check.

    The strong smell of the onion and its relatives contain thioallyl compounds (an alliin).  When cut or crushed, the alliin within the onion is converted by an enzymatic reaction into allicin, this reaction breaks down into sulphide compounds.  Sulphide compounds are aromatic and this is what gives the onion, and all the plants in the onion family, their distinctive smell.  The chopping action also causes the onion to release a volatile gas, which it does so as a defence mechanism for having its cells damaged. This stimulates nerves in the eye creating a stinging sensation. This stinging sensation provokes the tear glands to produce tears, which helps to dilute and flush out the volatile irritant.

    Researchers have found that the more pungent onions exhibit strong anti-platelet activity.  Platelet aggregation is associated with atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke. A study at the University of Wisconsin is determining the extent to which onion consumption and specific onion compounds affect the aggregation of blood platelets in people.

    Alliums are antibacterial and anti-fungal, so they can help ward off colds and treat colds with sinus congestion that shifts from side to side in the head.  Onions will relieve coughs that cause a ripping or tearing pain in the throat or a cough that is merely an irritating dry tickle.  The watery and inflamed eyes due to sinus congestion and hay fever will be greatly relieved with onion.  Onions will also relieve headaches, which are centred behind the forehead; and earache in children and adults; congestion in the nose; toothache, especially in the molar area; hoarseness and the early stages of laryngitis; abdominal colic in babies.

    Human studies have shown that onion can help increase our bone density and may be of special benefit to women of menopausal age who are experiencing loss of bone density. In addition, there is evidence that women who have passed the age of menopause may be able to lower their risk of hip fracture through daily consumption of onions. 

    The chromium in onions assists in regulating blood sugar. The sulphur in onions helps lower blood sugar by triggering an increase in insulin production. One 2010 study in the journal Environmental Health Insights revealed that this might be especially helpful to people with diabetes. People with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes who ate red onions showed lower glucose levels for up to four hours. 

    It appears that this common household vegetable seems to hold many hidden remedies for a whole host of conditions. Not only is this great in our salads but it also deserves its own place in our medicine cabinets. One thing is for sure, we all have an onion in our pantries, and if we are ever struck with an earache or a cough we can whip up a quick remedy to nip it straight in the bud. This would be one of the only times where you would be happy to shed a tear or two of relief.

    Recipes for Health 

    Cough Syrup

    1. This onion cough syrup is prepared by chopping several large onions into a double boiler.   
    2. Cover the onions with honey.  
    3. Boil the water beneath the double boiler.  
    4. Once the honey has begun to liquefy add about 2 tbsp of horehound herb, liquorice root or cherry bark or any combination of these herbs if available. These herbs will magnify the expectorant properties of the cough syrup.  
    5. Cover and let this concoction simmer in the double boiler for 4 to 5 hours.  
    6. Strain the liquid syrup from the herb; bottle, label and refrigerate.  
    7. The cough syrup will last several weeks in the refrigerator.

    Earaches and Ear Infections

    1. Take a medium sized onion and slice it in half. 
    2. Bake the onion halves in the oven until it has become translucent.
    3. Cool the onion until the warmth of it can be tolerated on the sensitive area of the ear.  (It is advisable to rub some olive oil on the ear and around the ear to prevent any skin reactions).
    4. Place the warm onions on both ears (when treating ears, always treat both at the same time) and wrap them onto the ear with a layer of plastic wrap, a bandage and secure this on the head with a nightcap.  
    5. Garlic oil may also be placed in the ears before the onions are applied to fight infection.

    Chest Infection

    1. Slice onions and lightly sauté in olive oil until just translucent. 
    2. Lay it out on the chest, cover with a plastic wrap with a bandage or cover with a towel.
    3. Keep warm with a hot water bottle. This will allow the expectoration action to relieve congestion of the lungs and bronchial tract.











  • 22 Aug 2016 11:19 AM | Aliya Umm Omar

    Having lived in Italy I'm used to seeing the beautiful Italian hilltops draped in olive tree vineyards. Some would have orange nets underneath them to catch the stray olives that may have escaped earlier than its time of harvesting. 

    It is said that the olive originated from Asia Minor and spread from Iran, Syria and Palestine to the rest of the Mediterranean basin 6,000 years ago. It is among the oldest known cultivated trees in the world - being grown before the written language was even invented. Dynastic Egyptian imported olive oil from Crete, Syria and Canaan and its oil was an important item of commerce and wealth. The first recorded oil extraction took place during the Exodus from Egypt, during the 13th century BC. During this time, the oil was derived through hand-squeezing the berries and storing in special containers under guard of the priests. The olive culture was spread to the early Greeks then Romans. As the Romans extended their domain they brought the olive with them. 

    The craft of turning olives into oil has been refined in the Mediterranean region over thousands of years, and techniques have been passed down from generation to generation. The method used in Greece is different to that used in Italy or Spain. A meticulous hand is necessary because it takes at least 4.5 kg of olives to produce one litre of olive oil! The time at which olives are harvested is important to get the best flavour and nutrient content. Olives are at their prime for only about two or three weeks before the beneficial nutrients diminish. Picking the olives is a delicate process as any bruising on this soft fruit can cause it to oxidise and ferment producing an "off" flavour. Many large-scale growers use a tree-shaking device and set up nets beneath the trees that catch the olives before they hit the ground.

    After olives are picked, any leaves, twigs, and stems are removed, and the olives are washed. Then it's time for pressing. Back in the old days, processors used stone or granite wheels to crush the olives. Today, stainless steel rollers crush the olives and pits and grind them into paste. Today, stainless steel rollers crush the olives and pits and grind them into paste. The paste then undergoes a series of processes where water and solvents are added to extract the oil from this olive paste. On the contrary, for it to be classed as "extra virgin" no chemicals and solvents are allowed and the pit is removed so that the oil is derived from only the fruit. The olive fruit is then pressed by mechanical means without the use of heat to retain the nutrients and flavour in the oil. This whole process is meticulously monitored as production standards for extra virgin olive oil are more rigid, hence the mark up in its price per bottle. 

    Olive oil that is truly extra virgin has a distinctive aromatic fruity, perhaps peppery taste and is high in phenolic antioxidants, the main reason why (real) olive oil is so beneficial. It also contains a good amount of monounsaturated fats, omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin E and vitamin K. Its high antioxidant content protects against the ever rising epidemic of cardiovascular diseases, atherosclerosis and cancer.

    Mediterranean Diet studies have long associated olive oil intake with decreased risk of heart disease. However, a recent group of studies has provided us with a fascinating explanation of olive oil's cardioprotective effect. One of the key polyphenols in olive oil, hydroxytyrosol (HT), helps protect the cells that line our blood vessels from being damaged by overly reactive oxygen molecules. Many different cardiovascular problems are due to oxidative stress (damage to cell structure and function by overly reactive oxygen-containing molecules).  HT helps protect the blood vessel cells by triggering changes at a genetic level. The genetic changes triggered by HT help the blood vessel cells to enhance their antioxidant defence system. In other words, olive oil supports our blood vessels not only by providing antioxidants like vitamin E and beta-carotene. Olive oil also provides our blood vessels with unique molecules like HT that actually work at a genetic level to help the cellular walls of the blood vessels. 

    Olive oil also contains antioxidants oleocanthal, as well as oleuropein which have been shown to lower risk of lipid peroxidation (oxygen damage to fat) in our blood vessels. Many of the fat-containing molecules in our blood, including molecules like LDL, need to be protected from oxygen damage. Oxygen damage to molecules like LDL significantly increases our risk of numerous cardiovascular diseases, including atherosclerosis. Protection of the LDL molecules in our blood from oxygen damage is a major benefit provided by olive oil and its polyphenols. Equally important is protection against oxygen damage to the cells that line our blood vessels. Once again, it's the polyphenols in olive oil that have been shown to provide us with that protection.

    Olive oil is one of the few widely used culinary oils that contains about 75% of its fat in the form of oleic acid (a monounsaturated, omega-9 fatty acid). Research has long been clear about the benefits of oleic acid for proper balance of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol in the body. In addition to these cholesterol-balancing effects of olive oil and its high oleic acid content, however, comes a new twist: recent research studies have shown that olive oil and its oleic acid may be important factors for lowering blood pressure. The oleic acid in the olive oil also helps prevent or slow down the cognitive decline associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s.

    Several of the polyphenols found in olive oil, including hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein and luteolin, appear to be especially helpful in keeping our blood platelets in check and avoiding problems of too much clumping (called platelet aggregation). There are also two messaging molecules (called plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and factor VII) that are capable of triggering too much clumping together of the platelets, and the polyphenols in olive oil can help stop overproduction of these molecules.

    Benefits of olive oil for the digestive tract were first uncovered in research on diet and cancers of the digestive tract. Numerous studies found lower rates of digestive tract cancers, especially cancers of the upper digestive tract, including the stomach and small intestine, in populations that regularly consumed olive oil. Studies on the Mediterranean Diet were an important part of this initial research on olive oil and the digestive tract. Many of these anti-cancer effects in the digestive tract were believed to depend on the polyphenols in olive oil and their antioxidant plus anti-inflammatory properties. One particular category of polyphenols, called secoiridoids, continues to be a focus in research on prevention of digestive tract cancers.

    Another fascinating area of recent research has involved the polyphenols in olive oil and the balance of bacteria in our digestive tract. Numerous polyphenols in olive oil have been shown to slow the growth of unwanted bacteria, including bacteria commonly responsible for digestive tract infections. These polyphenols include oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, and tyrosol. Some of these same polyphenols, along with other olive oil polyphenols like ligstroside, are specifically able to inhibit the growth of the Helicobacter pylori bacterium. This effect of the olive oil polyphenols may be especially important, since overpopulation of Helicobacter bacteria coupled with over-attachment of Helicobacter to the stomach lining can lead to stomach ulcer and other unwanted digestive problems.

    Improved cognitive function, especially among older adults, is a well-known feature of the Mediterranean Diet. As the staple oil in that diet, olive oil has been of special interest for researchers interested in diet and cognitive function. In France, a recent study large-scale study on older adults has shown that visual memory and verbal fluency can be improved with what the researchers called "intensive use" of olive oil. In this case, "intensive use" meant regular use of olive oil not just for cooking, or as an ingredient in sauces and dressings, but in all of these circumstances.

    When olive oil is topically applied can help against skin conditions. It contains three major antioxidants that aid the skin healing process: vitamin E, polyphenols, and phytosterols. The antioxidants may help protect the skin from premature skin aging. Vitamin E partly accounts for the anti-aging benefits of olive oil because it helps restore skin smoothness and protects against ultraviolet light. Hydroxytyrosol, a rather rare compound found in olive oil, also prevents free radical damage to the skin. Unlike commercial moisturizers that can clog pores and exacerbate current skin conditions, olive oil penetrates deeply into the skin while providing a cleansing effect. Try using organic olive oil at night as a substitute for your regular moisturizer. Apply a teaspoon of the oil to the face and neck. Gently pat the skin with a paper towel to wipe away any excess oil.

    Another one of olive oil’s benefits for skin is its usefulness in exfoliating applications. A common exfoliating method using olive oil is to mix 1 tablespoon of the oil with natural sea salt, rubbing this mixture over the skin. The mild abrasive qualities of the sea salt, combined with the deep, penetrating action of the oil, will remove dead skin cells and leave the epidermis looking renewed and glowing.

    Olive oil is also used for nail and cuticle care, and many women use it as an eye makeup remover. Further applications include using it as an ingredient in homemade facial masks. One other interesting application for both men and women is the substitution of olive oil for shaving cream. Many men have abandoned shaving cream once they discovered how close a shave they can get with olive oil. Men and women alike have also found its refreshing qualities make it an excellent aftershave.

    Olive Oil is also great for dry brittle hair. It not only moisturises it and prevents split ends, but provides the same protection as it does to the skin. It can be used as a hair and scalp mask before shampoo use but is also great as a leave in conditioner after shampoo use. Just smooth a very small amount over wet hair starting at the tips and running your fingers through the roots with the remaining oil on your hands.

    The anti-inflammatory strength of olive oil rests on its polyphenols. These anti-inflammatory compounds include at least nine different categories of polyphenols and more than two dozen well-researched anti-inflammatory nutrients. Research has documented a wide variety of anti-inflammatory mechanisms used by olive oil polyphenols to lower our risk of inflammatory problems. In heart patients, olive oil and its polyphenols have also been determined to lower blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a widely used blood measurement for assessing the likelihood of unwanted inflammation. They have also been found to reduce activity in a metabolic pathway called the arachidonic acid pathway, which is central for mobilizing inflammatory processes.

    These anti-inflammatory benefits of extra virgin olive oil do not depend on large levels of intake. As little as 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day have been shown to be associated with significant anti-inflammatory benefits.

    Many types of cancers only get initiated when cells are overwhelmed by oxidative stress and by chronic excessive inflammation. Since the polyphenols in olive oil act both as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules, they are perfectly suited for lowering our cells' risk of oxidative stress and chronic unwanted inflammation. There is also encouraging research on the potential for olive oil to help with control of certain cancers once they have already developed. For example, improvement of breast cancer status has been an area of particular interest in olive oil research. Here some of the research has focused on the secoiridoids in olive oil (especially oleocanthal), and its ability to help keep breast cancer cells from reproducing. 

    Many foods contain valuable amounts of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, but few foods are as rich in these compounds as extra virgin olive oil, and this fact alone accounts for many of the research-based benefits of this culinary oil for health. Since olive oil can become rancid from exposure to light and heat, there are some important purchasing criteria you should follow to ensure buying a better quality product. Look for olive oils that are sold in dark tinted bottles since the packaging will help protect the oil from oxidation caused by exposure to light. In addition, make sure the oil is displayed in a cool area, away from any direct or indirect contact with heat.

    Recipes for Health

    To gain the full benefits from extra virgin olive oil, use it in dressing salads and a variety of cooked foods. Avoid cooking with it as it causes the oil to oxidise diminishing its antioxidant content. 

    Mediterranean Dressing:

    3-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

    1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

    1 clove garlic chopped

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Great on salads and cooked vegetables. 

    Other quick serving ideas:

    • Puree minced garlic, cooked potatoes and extra virgin olive oil together to make exceptionally delicious garlic mashed potatoes. Season to taste.
    • Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over healthy sautéed vegetables before serving.
    • Puree extra virgin olive oil, garlic and your favorite beans together in a food processor. Season to taste and serve as a dip.
    • Instead of putting the butter dish out on the table, place a small cup of extra virgin olive oil out instead to use on your bread or rolls. For extra flavour, try adding a little Balsamic vinegar or any of your favourite dried herbs and spices to the extra virgin olive oil.

    Eye Makeup Remover

    Put one or two drops of extra virgin olive oil on a cotton face pad and use it to remove your eye makeup at the end of the day. Gently remove your eye makeup without stretching and pulling the delicate skin around your eyes. As you use it, the olive oil works to soften the skin, especially when you use it as a makeup remover on a consistent basis.










    Ruta Ganceviciene, Aikaterini I. Liakou, Athanasios Theodoridis, Evgenia Makrantonaki, and Christos C. Zouboulis. Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermatoendocrinol. Jul 1, 2012; 4(3): 308-319. doi: 10.4161/derm.22804.

    D’Angelo S, Ingrosso D, Migliardi V, et al. Hydroxytyrosol, a natural antioxidant from olive oil, prevents protein damage induced by long-wave ultraviolet radiation in melanoma cells. Free Radic Biol Med. 2005 Apr 1;38(7):908-18.

  • 20 Jul 2016 3:59 PM | Aliya Umm Omar

    Most beach fronts are adorned with this bold plant, boasting its thick succulent leaves full of juicy goodness. In fact Aloe Vera has been used for centuries and many civilisations have taken advantage of the soft slippery flesh embedded inside a thick leathery coat. It was used to great effect by Greek and Roman physicians and the ancient Chinese and Egyptians used aloe vera to treat burns, wounds, and reduce fever. The first detailed discussion of Aloe's medicinal value could be found in the Papyrus ebers, an Egyptian document written around B.C.E. 1550. 

    The Aloe Vera plant originated in the warm, dry climates of Africa. The term Aloe Vera ("true Aloe") refers to the Aloe Barbadensis Miller. It is part of the lily family (Liliaceae), the same family that garlic and onions belong to. Fully grown the plant stands 60 to 90 cm high, and a mature leaf is 7 to 10 cm across at the base, weighing 1.5 to 2 kg.  The lower leaf of the plant is used for medicinal purpose. If the lower leaf is sliced open, the gel obtained can be applied on the affected area of the skin. The leaves and seeds are the two edible parts of Aloe Vera. 

    The Aloe leaf structure is made up of four layers:

    Rind - the outer protective layer;

    Latex - a layer of bitter sticky yellow sap found just under the skin of the leaf which helps protect the plant from animals;

    Mucilage Gel - the inner part of the leaf that is filleted out to make Aloe Vera gel. The inner gel contains the 8 essential Amino Acids that the human body needs but cannot manufacture. 

    Aloe vera contains over 200 biologically active, naturally-occurring constituents including polysaccharides, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and minerals that promote nutrient absorption, digestive health, a healthy immune system, and a reduction of nitrates. The vitamins it contains include A, C, E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, B3 (niacin), B6. Aloe Vera is also one of the few plants that contains vitamin B12. Some of the 20 minerals found in Aloe vera include: calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, manganese. 

    The bulk of the aloe vera leaf, which is filled with a clear gel-like substance, is approximately 99% water. It also contains powerful antioxidants, which belong to a large family of substances known as polyphenols. These polyphenols, along with several other compounds in Aloe vera, can help inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that can cause infections in humans. Aloe vera also includes quite an impressive range of fatty acids. It contains three plant sterols, which are important fatty acids – HCL cholesterol (which lowers fats in the blood), campesterol, and B-sitosterol. All are helpful in reducing symptoms of allergies and acid indigestion. Other fatty acids include linoleic, linolenic, myristic, caprylic, oleic, palmitic, and stearic. 

    Aloe Vera gel is renowned for its skin healing properties. It's been used for centuries to treat minor wounds and burns and skin irritations which is why it was known as the "burn plant'. It has long been known as a treatment for sores, particularly burns, including sunburns. Studies suggest that it is an effective topical treatment for first- and second-degree burns. A review of 4 experimental studies found that Aloe vera could reduce the healing time of burns by around 9 days compared to conventional medication. Aloe acts as an analgesic, acting to help relieve pain of wounds.  It’s feels especially good to cut a stem of aloe, place it in the fridge and rub it on sun burnt skin – the immediate soothing effect feels like an absolute lifesaver. 

    Aloe Vera is also a great anti ageing compound which is why it is often the main ingredient in many cosmetic products. Due to its high water content it acts as a moisturiser and hydrates the skin. After being absorbed into the skin, it stimulates the fibroblasts cells and causes them to regenerate themselves faster. It's the cells that that produce the collagen and elastin so the skin will get smoother and look younger. A study of 30 women over the age of 45, demonstrated how the topical application of the gel was shown to increase collagen production and improve skin elasticity over a 90-day period. 

    The polysaccharides in aloe vera juice stimulate macrophages, which are the white blood cells of your immune system that fight against viruses. Aloe is also an immune enhancer because of its high level of anti-oxidants, which help combat the unstable compounds known as free-radicals, contributing to the aging process.

    One of the home remedies for asthma was to boil some Aloe Vera leaves in a pan of water and breathe in the vapour.

    Aloe vera has sometimes been used as a traditional diabetes remedy. It is said to enhance insulin sensitivity and help improve blood sugar levels.

    Aloe Vera is great as a laxative to treat constipation. It is the latex and not the gel that provides the benefit. The key compound responsible for this effect is called aloin, or barbaloin, which has well-established laxative effects. However, some concerns have been raised about safety issues with frequent use and thus it is best to take this on a short term basis. 

    Aloe is known to soothe and cleanse the digestive tract and help improve digestion. The interesting thing about taking aloe internally is that, because it is an adaptogen, it helps with either constipation or diarrhoea, helping to regulate your elimination cycles in whatever way you need. A two year trial is underway at hospitals in Swansea for use of Aloe Vera in treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). A clinical trial involving 44 patients suffering from Ulcerative Colitis has been completed at the Royal London Hospital and the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. The trial was completed in January 2004 and an improvement was found in 38% of patients given Aloe Vera gel as opposed to 8% given a placebo.

    Aloe vera’s active ingredients are sulphur, lupeol, salicylic acid, cinnamic acid, urea nitrogen and phenol which are substances that prevent the growth of disease-causing microorganisms and act as a team to provide antimicrobial activity thus eliminating many internal and external infections, also active against bacteria. It also helps to treat fungal and viral infections thus it extrudes anti-bacterial, fungal, viral, microbial properties. Studies have found its effectiveness as a mouth rinse in reducing dental plaque. Aloe vera does this by killing the plaque-producing bacterium Streptococcus mutansin the mouth, as well as the yeast Candida albicans, thus, helping mild vaginal irritations. Studies have also shown how Aloe vera can accelerate the healing of mouth ulcers and reduce the pain associated with them. 

    Aloe Vera is best used when freshly cut from the plant and nowadays it's relatively easy to buy and maintain. Many often buy it as an indoor house plant due to its ability to adapt in almost all environments. However, when the gel is taken from the leaf it doesn't store well so it best to only take the amount you need at that time. 

    These are some of the amazing effects aloe Vera can have on the body. It's also an alkaline forming food so it alkalizes the body, helping to balance overly acidic dietary habits. However, taking aloe internally long term does have side effects, which can include pain, electrolyte imbalances, and diarrhoea.  Taking aloe internally should be limited if not avoided during pregnancy, menstruation, if you have hemorrhoids or degeneration of the liver and gall bladder. It is an incredibly potent plant and should be used with a level of respect for its potency. Nonetheless, it serves it purpose on a lot of common ailments which could bring relief to many who suffer them. 

    Recipes for Health

    Raw Clear Skin Juice Recipe

    §  2 Carrots

    §  1 Cucumber

    §  3-4 stalks of celery

    §  1 large piece of Aloe (slice open and scrap the inside to put through juicer)

    §  1 inch knob of Ginger root

    §  3-4 leaves of dandelion

    This is a great juice combination for helping to clear up skin, from the inside-out.

    Blend all the ingredients together and drink immediately. 

    Aloe Face Exfoliator

    §  1/2 cup Aloe Vera gel

    §  Brown sugar or baking soda

    Aloe is a great base for a homemade scrub because it helps soften your skin and supply oxygen to your cells, strengthening the tissue to create vibrant skin. 

    Mix 1/2 cup of aloe with just enough brown sugar or baking soda to get a gritty (but not a sharp) texture. Then rub it on your face, elbows, heels, arms, or wherever else needs softening. For hard skin it is best to apply it after a shower.






















  • 21 Jun 2016 2:34 PM | Aliya Umm Omar

    Adding that little bit of spice into your dishes may be the best decision you make for your family; and what better hot spice to use than cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper supposedly originated from the Cayenne region of French Guiana in South America (hence the name). However, it is now largely grown in India, East Africa, Mexico and the United States. It is generally dried and ground, or pulped and baked into cakes, which are then ground and sifted to make the powdered spice. However, the pepper is also used in their whole form in Korean, Sichuan and other Asian cuisines. 

    Cayenne pepper, scientifically known as Capsicum Frutescens, is from the Capsicum genus in the nightshade family of Solanaceae. It is also known as guinea pepper, bird’s beak, chilliepin and mad pepper and is generally rated at 30,000 to 50,000 on the Scoville scales. The Scoville scale is a measurement of the pungency (spicy heat) of chilli peppers. This measurement means it is as hot as Tabasco pepper and the yellow lantern chilli. 

    Cayenne pepper has been used as medicine for over 9000 years and many herbalists believe that Cayenne is the most useful and valuable herb in the herb kingdom, not only for the entire digestive system, but also for the heart and circulatory system. It acts as a catalyst and increases the effectiveness of other herbs and nutrients when used with them. For example, if you were to add cayenne pepper in a glass of orange juice it would increase the potency of the vitamin C in that drink giving you a great remedy for colds and flu. 

    Capsaicin is the active ingredient in cayenne pepper and it gives the powder its spiciness. It is also thermogenic, elevating the body's temperature, which boosts metabolism. According to a study in South Korea, cayenne can also aid weight loss by stimulating carbohydrate oxidation during rest and exercise. This means that the body is able to burn more carbohydrates. The more carbohydrates that are burned the less is stored as fat. 

    Cayenne has traditionally been used for overcoming fatigue and restoring stamina and vigour. It is a natural stimulant without the threatening side effects of palpitations, hyperactivity or rise in blood pressure like many other stimulating agents. This stimulating effect also "orders" the brain to burn fat cells, especially fat cells around the midriff or stomach area, according to Stephen Whiting, a food scientist. He also mentions the potential benefit of cayenne pepper in weight management by increasing energy expenditure (burning more energy), increasing lipid oxidation (burning more fats) and reducing appetite. 

    Cayenne is a medicinal and nutritional herb. It is a very high source of Vitamins A, C, E, has the complete B complexes, and is very rich in organic calcium, potassium and manganese, which is one of the reasons it is good for the heart. It is said to have no equal for its ability to boost circulation and increase heart action, even stopping a heart attack within 30 seconds! Doctors would achieve this by giving the patient a tea made by simply mixing one teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a cup of hot water. This exerts a variety of desirable actions on the entire cardiovascular system. It has the extraordinary ability to enhance cardiovascular performance while actually lowering blood pressure. 

    Capsaicin's powerful decongestant properties stimulate the release of mucus from respiratory passages, which in turn opens the airway. It also dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow to major organs, which means it allows for more nutrients and oxygen to enter vital areas of the body encouraging healing. 

    Externally, it can be applied on the skin as a remedy for conditions involving joint pains (such as in the case of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis). It achieves this by causing the body to be ‘distracted’ by the original pain, known as the ‘counter-irritant’ effect. It also causes the brain to secrete more endorphins, the ‘feel good’ hormone, thus lowering the sensation of pain.

    Research has particularly shown the effectiveness of capsaicin in treating cluster headaches.  A study published in Cephalalgia found that it can desensitize sensory neurons by depleting the nerve terminals of substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammatory processes and pain. It is also a chemical that carries pain messages to the brain. Thus, with less substance P, fewer pain messages reach the brain and less pain is felt. The authors of the study concluded that taking capsaicin through the nasal passage may provide an effective treatment option for these headaches.  This makes it an ideal pain killer for other pains such as migraines, stomach-aches, cramps, etc. Applying cayenne pepper as a poultice (see Recipes for Health) on the area of pain should also provide the same effect. 

    A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, found that cayenne pepper, when applied topically (on the affected area of the skin, i.e. as a poultice), can significantly improve itching and other symptoms associated with psoriasis. 

    The interesting thing about cayenne pepper is that internally it dilates blood vessels but when applied to open wounds it seals the wound and halts blood flow. By simply sprinkling some cayenne pepper on the open wound it will almost instantly stop the bleeding. Be aware, it will sting!

    The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study, which suggested cayenne pepper could aid those with diabetes. They found that diabetic people who ate a meal containing liberal amounts of chilli pepper required less insulin (to reduce their blood sugar) after the meal.

    Cayenne can rebuild the stomach tissue and boost the peristaltic action in the intestines. It aids elimination and assimilation (especially of proteins), and helps the body to create hydrochloric acid (stomach acid), which is essential for good digestion. Cayenne pepper can also help produce saliva by stimulating the salivary glands and the flow of enzyme production. This, in turn, can also aid in combating bad breath. 

    Studies conducted around the world, suggests that cayenne pepper can cause remarkable results in cancer patients. One study, conducted by the American Association for Cancer Research, reports that capsaicin is able to kill prostate cancer cells by forcing them to undergo "apoptosis"' a form of cellular self-termination, without harming any health cells around them. Another study conducted at the University of Nottingham in England strongly suggests that capsaicin is able to trigger apoptosis in lung and pancreatic cancer cells. There have also been several clinical studies conducted in Japan and China that showed natural capsaicin directly inhibits the growth of leukemic cells as well.

    Cayenne pepper is possibly the king of herbs with the amazing effects it can have on our health and its ability to treat a whole host of conditions. Many are avid drinkers of the cayenne pepper tonic to detoxify, repair and revitalise the body. Others use it to treat long standing conditions that no other remedy has been able to do. It is important to note that as a beginner it is best to start with a pinch of cayenne pepper in hot water and then work your way up to 1 teaspoon. The warmer the water the better, as it increases its potency. Taking this tea at a time that you are relaxed is better and will avoid any feelings of nausea. The slight tingling on the tongue is nothing compared to the vast amounts of benefits you can achieve from taking it.

    Recipes for Health

    Immune boosting tonic

    1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper;

    1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger;

    1 tablespoon of honey;

    1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar;

    2 tablespoons of water (hot or cold).

    Making it into a hot tea will clear the sinuses. The cayenne pepper in this tonic will increase the effectiveness of all the other ingredients boosting its antibiotic abilities. Other ingredients such as garlic and lemon juice can also be added.  

    Cayenne pepper poultice

    1)     Lay a piece of cling film out on the table.

    2)     Fold a kitchen roll paper in half and place on top of the cling film.

    3)     Sprinkle a small amount of olive oil on the kitchen paper and spread out.

    §  Olive oil is used so that cayenne pepper will stick to it.

    4)     Sprinkle cayenne pepper on the oil generously.

    5)     Put the poultice on the area of pain.

    6)     Wrap cling film around the area and keep it warm.

    7)     Leave it on for a few hours or overnight.

    8)     May not experience heat or warmth immediately.













    Lim, K., et al. (1997). Dietary red pepper ingestion increases carbohydrate oxidation at rest and during exercise in runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1997; 29(3): 355-61. 

    Yoshioka M., et al. (1995). Effects of red-pepper diet on the energy metabolism in men. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol  1995; 41(6): 647-56. 

    Whiting S, Derbyshire E, Tiwari BK. Capsaicinoids and capsinoids. A potential role for weight management? A systematic review of the evidence. Appetite 2012; 59(2): 341-8.

    doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.05.015. Epub 2012 May 22.  

    Todd C. Meeting the therapeutic challenge of the patient with osteoarthritis. J Am Pharm Assoc  2002; 42: 74-82.

    Marks DR, Rapoport A, Padla D, et al. A double-blind placebo-controlled trial of intranasal capsaicin for cluster headache. Cephalalgia 1993; 13: 114-116.

    Keitel W, Frerick H, Kuhn U, Schmidt U, Kuhlmann M, Bredehorst A. Capsicum pain plaster in chronic non-specific low back pain. Arzneimittelforschung 2001; 51: 896-903.

    Ellis CN, Berberian B, Sulica VI, et al. A double-blind evaluation of topical capsaicin in pruritic psoriasis. J Am Acad Dermatol 1993; 29: 438-442.

    Bernstein JE, Parish LC, Rapaport M, et al. Effects of topically applied capsaicin on moderate and severe psoriasis vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol 1986; 15: 504-507.

    Reimann S, Luger T, Metze D. Topical administration of capsaicin in dermatology for treatment of itching and pain. Hautarzt 2000; 51: 164-172.

    Akio Mori et al. Capsaicin, a Component of Red Peppers, Inhibits the Growth of Androgen-Independent, p53 Mutant Prostate Cancer Cells. Cancer Research 2006; 66: 3222-3229. 

  • 19 May 2016 1:31 PM | Aliya Umm Omar

    Salt, one of the fundamental components for life, is a natural mineral made up of two elements – sodium and chloride. All living creatures need a supply of salt to survive.  Salt has the ability to preserve foods and this preservative property was exploited thousands of years ago before the invention of the fridge freezer. Families from past civilisations could store out-of-season produce and they had the option of carrying salted foods during long distance travel without spoiling.

    Although easily obtainable now, it was once a highly prized product to the point of being used as currency amongst the Greeks and Hebrews and other such civilisations. Now, some types of salts are relatively cheap to buy. 

    Salt can be found naturally in the sea, but can also be mined from salt mines on land. The quality of the salt you buy varies depending on where and how it was extracted.  Thus, it is important that we choose the correct salt in our diets that will benefit us and not harm us considering the amount we use on a daily basis. 

    Sea salts and table salts are generally produced by the evaporation of salt water (brine). Evaporation can be through solar evaporation, where brine is added to a series of ponds that evaporate the water by the suns heat. The brine becomes concentrated as it progresses through these ponds where eventually a salt bed is produced and raked off. Evaporation can also occur using the open or closed vacuum pan system, where water is heated in big pans in order to crystallise the salt which is then scraped off. 

    Table Salt

    This salt is manufactured from natural salt, but nowadays it’s made mainly from crude oil flake leftovers!  It is heated to 650 degrees Celsius, where its chemical composition is altered during this process and almost all of the nutritional benefits are destroyed. Today, most table salt manufacturers fortify the salt with iodine, as well as other unnatural chemicals to their products. These chemicals include everything from manufactured forms of sodium, iodide, sodium bicarbonate, fluoride, anti-caking agents, toxic amounts of potassium iodide and aluminium derivatives. On top of that, they further refine the salt by bleaching it white for aesthetic purposes, to create that clean pure appearance. Natural salt is never white but shades of grey, black, and reddish hues. 

    These naturally occurring unrefined salts are actually alkaline minerals that help keep us hydrated, balance our sodium-potassium ratios, as well as fill the body with powerful electrolytes. They also contain all of the trace elements needed for proper immune, thyroid and adrenal function (that are completely stripped out of table salt). Natural salt forms, such as sea salts like Celtic and fleur de sel or mined salts like Himalayan and black salt, also boost the creation of digestive enzymes and juices that allow us to extract and assimilate other vitamins and nutrients from the food we eat.

    Sea salts: This salt is made using evaporated seawater. It generally has larger and coarser crystals than table salt. It is harvested in a number of places in the world, but there are a few that stand out from the rest due to their beneficial properties and uniqueness in extraction:- 

    Celtic Sea Salt

    This type of sea salt is harvested using a 2,000-year-old method from the waters of the Celtic Sea in Brittany, France. The salt fields of Brittany are lined with a natural layer of clay and sand. It is naturally aired and sun-dried in clay ponds and gathered with wooden tools to preserve its living enzymes. The method of hand raking of the moist crystals is followed by a dedicated group of professional natural salt farmers in Brittany, who carry out the traditional skills that have been passed down through generations. This has allowed the preservation of the salt in its natural state which is highly beneficial to one’s health as they possess many therapeutic qualities. Celtic sea salt claims to be enriched with all the 84 essentials minerals and components needed by the human body for optimum health. It may aid in alkalising the body, balancing blood sugars, eliminating mucus build up, building immunity, improving brain function, increasing energy, providing electrolyte balance, promoting restful sleep, preventing muscle cramp, regulating heartbeat and blood pressure. 

    Fleur de Sel

    The name of this salt means "flower of salt" and it is a delicately flavoured salt originally from the Coastal salt ponds in France and Portugal. It is hand harvested by manually scraping the top layer off the salt before it sinks to the bottom of a large salt pan. The conditions have to be just right with lots of sun and wind for it to "bloom" like a flower on the surface of the water. It is very high in minerals, due to the well controlled evaporation process of the paludiers (salt rakers). Some of the minerals it contains are calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, manganese, and many trace elements. These combine with the sodium chloride to make up a complete network of nutrients similar to Celtic salt, which becomes readily available to the body. It is considered the caviar of sea salts due to its relative scarcity and its labour intensive production. For this reason it is one of the most expensive salts to purchase. 

    Mined salt: In the 19th century, salt mines were found and salt was extracted by deep shaft or solution mining. Deep Shaft mining is where shafts are sunk down to the floor of the mine, and rooms are carefully constructed by drilling, cutting and blasting between the shafts, creating a checkerboard pattern. After the salt is removed and crushed, a conveyor belt hauls it to the surface. Most salt produced this way is used as rock salt. In solution mining, wells are erected over salt beds or domes (deposits of salt forced up out of the earth by tectonic pressure) and water is injected to dissolve the salt. Then the salt solution, or brine, is pumped out and taken to a plant for evaporation. 

    Himalayan Pink Salt

    This salt is harvested in the foothills of the Himalayan mountain range of the Khewra Salt Mine, located in the Punjab region of Pakistan. With a history dating back to Earth’s creation, it is believed to be composed of dried remnants of the original primal sea, thus being a form of fossilised sea salt. It gets its characteristic pink colour from the amount of minerals in contains, particularly iron and boasts all 84 elements needed by the human body just like Celtic sea salt. Because of its high nutrient load, doctors of functional medicine report that regularly eating Himalayan salt may help: Regulate the water content throughout your body, promote healthy pH balance in your cells (particularly your brain cells), promote blood sugar health, can help reduce the signs of ageing, assist in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body, absorb food particles through your intestinal tract, support respiratory health, promote sinus health, prevent muscle cramps, promote bone strength, regulate sleep, support libido, promote vascular health, regulate your blood pressure with sufficient water and potassium intake.

    General health benefits of natural salt

    The idea that salt leads to hypertension has never been scientifically supported. On the contrary, studies show that a reduced-sodium diet leads to health issues. In one study (1), subjects consuming less sodium per day had significantly higher risk of death than the subjects who consumed the recommended dose of sodium per day. Salt also aids blood sugar control by improving insulin sensitivity. A low-salt diet increases insulin resistance and even moderate dietary salt restriction is shown to cause systemic insulin resistance (2,3). 

    Salt is a great antihistamine. A pinch of salt sprinkled on the tongue may help improve an allergic reaction or an asthma attack (4). Your body also needs salt to maintain the proper stomach pH (5). Proper stomach acid levels are essential for good digestion.  Unrefined natural salt also provides the rich minerals directly to our cells to enhance resistance to infections and bacterial diseases. It also helps our body to heal quickly post surgery, sickness, burns, etc. Bathing wounds in pure salt water helps wounds to heal faster. It also eases sore throats by gargling or sipping salty water.

    Salt lowers adrenaline spikes. Adrenaline is a necessary and important stress hormone. When adrenaline patterns are out of rhythm, it takes a toll on the body. Natural salt boasts anti-stress and anti-excitatory qualities due to its suppression of stress hormones (6). It also improves sleep quality. One immediate fix to help you go back to sleep is to take a pinch of natural salt and sugar (or salt and honey, if you prefer) sprinkled on the tongue to calm the adrenaline peak. Salt also supports thyroid function by reducing circulating stress hormones.

    Salt also balances hormones that prevent the loss of other essential minerals. Hormone and nutrition researcher Ray Peat (7) explains the correlation between the salt-regulating hormone aldosterone and mineral loss:  One of the things that happen when there isn’t enough sodium in the diet is that more aldosterone is synthesized. Aldosterone causes less sodium to be lost in the urine and sweat, but it achieves that at the expense of the increased loss of potassium, magnesium, and probably calcium. Magnesium deficiency is extremely common, but a little extra salt in the diet makes it easier to retain the magnesium in our foods.

    Salt encourages a healthy weight and fast metabolism (8). One study showed that increased salt intake leads to an increase in the elimination of cortisol and lower blood cortisol levels. Imbalanced or excess cortisol means weight gain and a stagnant metabolism. Having more salt in the diet also correlates with increased thermogenesis–heat production by the body (9). It can also provide essential minerals to the muscles and prevents muscle cramps.

    Salt supports hyperosmolarity of the extracellular fluid (the fluid outside the cell). Slight hyperosmolarity means more solutes in the extracellular fluid than in the cell–actually increases the cell’s metabolic rate (7). That basically means salt can speed up your metabolism! On the other hand, when the extracellular fluid is hypo-osmotic in relation to the cell, it impairs the breakdown of proteins and glucose and thereby lowers the cell’s metabolism. 

    Lastly, salt makes food taste good. So you get to enjoy a tasty meal without the added calories. It's all about quality not quantity and there are still other varieties of unrefined salts to discover such as Real Salt from the ancient sea beds of Utah or mined black salt from India. Having more salt in your diet means drinking more fluids such as water rather than juices or teas. Drinking more will enable you to rebalance your electrolytes in your body keeping your blood pH in check.  So from now on, don't shy away from the saltshaker. Pick the salt that's right for you and add "to taste"!

    Recipes for Health

    Salt Sole - a powerful detoxing rejuvenating elixir

    Sole is water fully saturated with unrefined salt. When the natural salt dissolves in water, it results in a concentrated, electrically charged matrix of the 84 trace minerals in the salt. The ionic salt and trace minerals nourish each cell in your body.

    To make the salt sole, you need:

    §  Himalayan, Celtic or any other unrefined salt

    §  Filtered water

    §  Plastic utensils

    §  Glass jar with plastic lid


    1.     Fill a glass jar about 1/4 of the way with himalayan salt (or celtic sea salt), either ground or in chunks. Fill the rest of the way with filtered water. Add a plastic lid (not metal!), shake and let sit overnight. You should always have some un-dissolved salt in the jar, this means the water is fully saturated. Add more salt if needed.

    2.     In the morning, take 1 tsp of sole, mixed into some room temperature water, upon waking. Never use metal utensils with your sole!

    3.     Keep refilling your jar with salt and water when it runs low. It lasts indefinitely.

    Himalayan detox salt bath

    Adding himalayan salt to a bath creates a rejuvenating, detoxing, and relaxing at-home spa. The salt water carries the electrical charge of the salt, along with the dissolved minerals. A salt bath helps draw out toxins, deep cleanses the skin, and helps cleanse the body energetically. 

    Add 2-3 cups of himalayan salt to a warm bath, soak in this solution for 30 minutes and feel your muscles relax. 














    4 Your Body's Many Cries for Water, by Dr Batmanghelidj, 2008. 


    6 Eat for Heat: The Metabolic Approach to Food and Drink, by Matt Stone. 




  • 19 Apr 2016 10:00 PM | Aliya Umm Omar

    Baking Soda - Take the baking out of the soda and see what happens!

    The smell of freshly baked cupcakes is just the best smell you could imagine emitting from the kitchen on a Sunday morning, and then to bite into that soft springy sponge is absolutely delightful, all thanks to the amazing rising properties of baking soda. Of course, these cupcakes are organic and gluten free, boasting succulent medjoul date chunks and wholesome nuts and seeds. 

    Baking soda is one of those ingredients that has been known for years for its medicinal benefits yet it's many uses has only recently been forgotten. Only as early as the 1950s when doctors still prescribing baking soda mixed in water for colds and upset stomachs, but then

     the new age pharmaceutical era took over nobody reached for the mere baking soda anymore.

    Baking soda is also popularly known as bicarbonate of soda and sodium bicarbonate. It's natural mineral form is called nahcolite, which is a component of the mineral natron found in many mineral springs. Ancient Egyptians were known to use the mineral natron to paint hieroglyphics and for making soap. However, it wasn't until the 1800s when two New York bakers started to manufacture and market this compound as baking soda. It went on to be introduced into cookbooks and later in the 1920s Arm & Hammer started advertising it as a medicinal agent. 

    Baking soda is amphoteric i.e. it reacts with both acid and alkali bases.  As a rising agent it works by reacting with the acid components in the batter releasing carbon dioxide, causing the batter to expand, giving that soft leavened texture on baking. However, baking soda, when mixed with water gives an alkaline solution so it’s great as an antacid, combating indigestion, heartburn and even ulcers. All you need to do is mix ½ teaspoon of it in half a glass of water until fully dissolved and simply drink. 

    Researchers have also found that adding a one half cup of baking soda to bathwater soothes itchiness and irritation in patients with psoriasis. When mixed with water and applied as a paste, it also helps reduce itchiness from insect bites, sunburn, allergic rashes, and reduces discomfort on skin exposed to poison oak or ivy. That same paste also makes a nice, gentle face exfoliant as well as being an effective cleaning and scrubbing agent for kitchen and bathroom surfaces. 

    When mixed with coconut oil it becomes a known absorbent of musty smells and so makes a great underarm deodorant. You could make it more effective and long lasting by adding some arrowroot powder or corn starch plus an essential oil of your choice. Adding coconut oil to baking soda also has a positive effect on oral health. As a toothpaste, its mild abrasive action helps to remove plaque, plus polish, clean, whiten, and deodorize your teeth, while it's anti bacterial action kills bacteria which causes tooth decay. 

    Sodium bicarbonate has also been shown to slow down the rate of decline in kidney disease. Those that have chronic kidney disease, which is often caused by diabetes or hypertension, have a hard time removing acid from the body. This often results in a condition known as metabolic acidosis. Baking soda buffers these acids and helps keep the body pH in check. This pH balancing effect has also shown to help those with cancer, although it's still unproven, oral sodium bicarbonate could make tumours more alkaline and inhibit metastasis (the spreading of the tumour). 

    There has also been mention in the sports arena that baking soda can have a positive effect on athletic performance. When taken orally in liquid form before intense exercise, it appears to buffer the lactic acid that builds up in muscles, delays fatigue, and thus enhancing athletic performance.

    These are some of the amazing benefits that baking soda can offer. It has a variety of uses for a number of conditions as well as being a handy household detergent. Its topical use remains safe and nontoxic. Oral use is also safe, provided you don't exceed the recommended doses, as this could upset the body’s acid-base balance. Larger amounts can even cause temporary nausea and diarrhoea. 

    Don't let the word 'sodium' deter you into thinking it will raise your blood pressure, it won't.  Even though it contains quite a bit of sodium, the hypertensive effect comes from the combination of sodium and chloride in table salt, which is salt that has been chemically produced. 

    Now that you know this nifty little ingredient is more than just a raising agent be sure to take it out of your kitchen cupboard and discover its full potential!

    Recipes for Health

    Razor burn soother

    Razor burned skin can be painful, not to mention unsightly. Soothe your sensitive skin with a solution of 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Allow the solution to dry on your skin (it will take about 5 minutes), and then rinse with cool water. Men can also use this same formula for a pre-shave or after-shave treatment on their face as long as they avoid the eye area.

    Removing product build up

    Get rid of extra product build up in your hair by sprinkling about a penny-size of baking soda into your palm along with your favourite shampoo. Shampoo as usual and rinse thoroughly. The baking soda helps remove the residue that styling products leave behind so your hair is cleaner and more manageable. 







  • 19 Mar 2016 5:41 PM | Aliya Umm Omar

    Home is where the vinegar is!

    Vinegar is one of those condiments whereby for many it's an acquired taste. Whether you love it on your chips or loathe it. Nevertheless, it has become a must-have item in many kitchen cabinets today. A home without vinegar is not a home at all, some say.  Vinegar is said to have been discovered around 5000 BC, when unattended grape juice turned into wine and then vinegar. Hippocrates used it to disinfect open wounds while other practitioners in the 1700s used it to treat poison ivy and a whole host of other conditions. 

    Vinegar means “sour wine” in French and can be made from almost any carbohydrate that can be fermented, including grapes, dates, coconut, potatoes, beetroot, and, of course, apples. Traditionally, vinegar is made through a long, slow fermentation process which can take weeks or even months. It is made by crushing apples and squeezing out the liquid. Bacteria and yeast are added to the liquid to start the alcoholic fermentation process, thus turning the sugars into alcohol. In a second fermentation process, the alcohol is converted into vinegar by acetic acid-forming bacteria (acetobactor). Acetic acid and malic acid give vinegar its sour taste.

    The longer fermentation period allows for the accumulation of a non-toxic slime made up of yeast and acetobacter, known as the mother of vinegar. The 'Mother' of vinegar which resembles a cobweb is an amino acid-based substance found in unprocessed, unfiltered vinegar and is responsible for most of its health benefits. It also indicates that your amber coloured vinegar is of the best quality. Most manufacturers pasteurize and filter their vinegar to prevent the mother from forming. 

    Why choose Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)?

    All vinegars seem alike. However, according to many studies and researches, ACV encompasses more benefits than other vinegar types especially in the field of health and medicine. It has been perhaps the most versatile type of vinegar and is considered a pioneer in health benefits through oral consumption. ACV also contains higher levels of vitamins and minerals plus multiple types of antioxidants called polyphenols which have proven health benefits.

    Distilled or white vinegar is a clear, colourless vinegar made from ethanol or laboratory-produced acetic acid and then mixed or diluted in water. It is good for pickling and household cleaning but not a very good vinegar for cooking because of its harsh taste. Red wine vinegar, used in cooking, is usually processed and pasteurised. 

    Balsamic vinegar is traditionally produced in the city of Modena, Italy. It is made from a concentrated grape juice that is fermented and aged for at least 10 months to develop its flavour. It's health benefits are somewhat similar to ACV, however, it can be quite expensive to buy compared to ACV which is widely available in its unpasteurised probiotic form. 

    Overall, ACV, the cloudy looking, mild tasting vinegar is the better choice especially if you are planning to consume it. 

    Benefits and Uses

    ACV can not only add another dimension to your cooking, it’s useful for health purposes, cleaning, garden care, hygiene, beauty and much more. 

    It is rich in bioactive components like acetic acid, gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin, caffeic acid, and more, giving it potent antioxidant, antimicrobial, and many other beneficial properties. 

    It is useful in treating diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels; heart disease by lowering triglycerides and VLDL (damaging form of cholesterol); weight loss by increasing the feeling of fullness, increasing metabolism, and reducing water retention. It is great for colds, sore throats and other infections, due to its anti bacterial properties and its ability to break down mucous and reduce mucous formation. 

    No digestive problem nor acid reflux is a challenge for this vinegar as it rebalances the ph levels in the stomach. The pectin contained in it also soothes intestinal spasms. Skin irritations and wounds, such as insect bites, cuts, poison ivy and sunburn are easily treated. It can even remove warts thanks to its high acetic acid levels. Simply place an ACV soaked cotton wool directly over the wart and leave it there overnight. Repeat this until the wart turns crusty, then dark and eventually falls off. 

    For a great energy boost try taking diluted ACV (1tbsp ACV in half a glass of water) first thing in the morning. The potassium and the enzymes in the vinegar will banish fatigue and the amino acids may prevent the build up of lactic acid in the body causing tiredness, aches and pains. 

    You can use it to marinate and ferment foods. It is great in sauces and soups, and is a nice dressing on salads. It is a vital ingredient for a home-made bone broth as it has the ability to extract the essential minerals from the bones during cooking. 

    ACV is a great natural cleaning aid for your household appliances. It is also great at killing weeds in your garden and neutralising odours in your home. Due to its anti microbial properties it kills unwanted bacteria and pesticides around your fruit and vegetable. By just adding a small amount of ACV to water (1:10) and washing your fruit and vegetables in that solution, you can be rest assure that there will be no nasties lurking around. Just be careful not to wash fragile fruits like berries since they will get damaged in the process. 

    ACV is a natural alternative to many of your beauty regimes. It can balance the ph level of your scalp thus preventing dandruff. It's a brilliant facial toner and cleanser aiding in the prevention of acne. Its anti inflammatory properties will also aid in fading away acne scars and other bruising. It kills odour causing bacteria so would be great as an underarm deodorant. It is one of the go to products for oral health treating bad breathe, whitening teeth, gum disease, tooth ache and so on. However, it is important to dilute the vinegar as the acidity can damage the teeth as well as the tissues in your mouth and throat. 

    ACV really is an all rounder condiment, and not only should it be in your kitchen cabinet but in your bathroom cabinet and garden shed as well. So, what they say is true: A home without vinegar is not a home at all. Remember to buy the ACV which contains the 'mother' in the bottle and err on the side of caution when consuming it, always diluting the vinegar before ingesting it. 

    Recipes for Health

    Dandruff treatment

    Mix equal part ACV and water and pour into a spray bottle. Spritz on your scalp and wrap a towel around your head. Let it sit for 15 minutes to an hour and then wash your hair as usual. Do this twice a week for best results. 

    Remedy for indigestion

    1 tsp raw honey

    1 tsp ACV

    1 glass of warm water

    Mix these ingredients together and drink 30 minutes before your meal. 

    Why not make your own ACV by following the instructions on this link: www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/make-raw-apple-cider-vinegar/


    §  www.rd.com/health/wellness/apple-cider-vinegar-benefits/

    §  articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/03/21/apple-cider-vinegar-uses.aspx

    §  en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_cider_vinegar

    §  www.livestrong.com/article/212202-difference-between-cider-vinegar-distilled-vinegar/

    §  www.youthhealthmag.com/articles/16986/20150602/how-is-apple-cider-vinegar-different-from-other-types.htm

    §  paleoleap.com/what-about-vinegar/

  • 19 Feb 2016 8:43 PM | Aliya Umm Omar

    The coconut palm is truly an amazing tree. In many parts of the world it is known as the "tree of life" or "the tree that provides all the necessities of life". It is a source of food and drink to nourish the body, medicine to maintain and restore health, and material to build shelter, clothing and tools. It grows abundantly in the tropics and the coconut is its prized possession. Coconuts, in its natural state, are much larger than how we see in it the supermarket. They are in fact, encapsulated in a thick smooth green husk which, when dehusked, reveals the hard brown 'seed' we recognise. 

    Coconuts can produce a variety of edible products, such as coconut meat, water, milk, cream and oil as well as sugar, vinegar and wine. Coconut oil is extracted from coconut meat or flesh, which is the inner soft white portion. However, there are several ways in which the oil is extracted which also defines the quality of the oil. The majority of the coconut oils on the market, that are mass produced, are made from the dried white flesh known as copra, which is reconstituted with water and heated to separate the oil from the rest of the coconut. This oil is then refined, bleached, and deodorised, yielding a poor quality oil with less nutritional value. So when choosing to buy coconut oil look for the unrefined, cold pressed, virgin coconut oil. This type is produced from fresh coconuts where the coconut meat is milled and passed through a cold press expeller. Here, the oil is literally squeezed out, passed through a filter to remove any sediments and you are left with a clear, fragrant oil which hardens when cooled. 

    Coconut Cures

    Coconut oil has taken the spotlight in recent times for its numerous health benefits. This may come as a surprise to some of you since coconut oil is 92.1% saturated fat. In the past, it was heavily scrutinised on the assumption that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol, in turn, causing heart disease. What is not known is that there are different types of saturated fat just like there are different types of polyunsaturated fat. The type of saturated fat in coconut oil does not raise blood cholesterol. The reason for this is because it is made up of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which make it different from other oils giving it its remarkable nutritional and medicinal properties. In fact, the unique combination of the MCFAs in coconut oil allows it to be easily digested and provides quick nutrition for the body without burdening the digestive tract. The ease of its digestion means it also improves the absorption of other nutrients. So when added to your diet it can improve the absorption of minerals such as magnesium and calcium as well some B vitamins (the fat soluble vitamins) such as vit A,D,E,K and beta carotene. 

    The MCFAs is the livers preferred choice for fuel to produce energy so coconut oil can boost your energy levels, make you more alert, and is a great substitute to caffeine. It may not give you that kick you get from your morning coffee, it is more subtle, yet lasts for hours rather than minutes. The best thing about changing to coconut oil is that you don't develop a dependency to it nor do you get the lows and withdrawal symptoms. So why not try adding a dollop of coconut oil to a nourishing smoothie, warm herbal tea, hot chocolate or juice to wake you up before you head to work. 

    Surprisingly to some, coconut oil is now known as the 'low calorie fat'. Instead of being stored away in fat cells, it is utilised as an energy source. When added to a meal it satisfies the hunger faster resulting in less snacking between meals. It also increases metabolism, thus, burning more calories faster! A study has shown that on obese individuals coconut oil had a greater effect on increasing their metabolism which, in turn, leads to weight loss. Yes, weight loss! The best thing about this is that the more body fat you have, the greater the effect coconut oil has on stimulating your metabolism, the more weight you lose. All of this without breaking a sweat!

    Coconut oil stimulates the thyroid function which, in turn, improves a host of symptoms such as migraines, pmt, anxiety, depression, irritability, memory loss, insomnia, constipation, food intolerances and the list goes on. The MCFAs has powerful antimicrobial properties with the ability to destroy fungi, bacteria, viruses and parasites without harming the good bacteria living in our bodies. This means it is able to treat infections like pneumonia, meningitis, food poisoning, conjunctivitis, oral and gum disease, candida, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, and even SARS and AIDS.

    With all the benefits I've mentioned so far it shouldn't astonish you to know that it also has gut healing, anti inflammatory powers. By just adding coconut products to your diet you may be able to protect yourself from ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, gallbladder disease and so on. It's antioxidant properties protects us against conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke, kidney stones, gout, lupus, PMS, arthritis, ageing, skin diseases, sun burn, diabetes, food allergies, hay fever, asthma and even cancer. 

    This is just the tip of the iceberg of some of the amazing things coconut oil can do. By just adding one or two tablespoons to your diet you will be treating any underlying illnesses plus optimising your health at the same type. Be sure to get the best quality coconut oil you can afford and get the whole family involved in consuming this delicious exotic healing oil. 

    Recipes for Health

    Health tonic

    All purpose health tonic packed full of vitamins and minerals that will give you the energy you need to start off the day. A great way to add coconut oil to your diet and a brilliant substitute to your morning coffee.  It can be taken at any time of the day and can be served hot or cold. 

    §  1 cup fresh vegetable juice (such as carrot, beetroot, celery, chard, spinach, cilantro, bell peppers and courgettes)

    §  ½ cup hot water

    §  2 tbsp coconut oil

    §  ¼ tsp onion powder

    §  220g / 1 cup tomato sauce

    §  1 ½ tsp fresh lemon juice

    §  ¼ tsp sea salt (otherwise Himalayan or Celtic salt)

    §  Pepper to taste (optional)

    Heat water, coconut oil, and onion powder until the oil is completely melted. Stir together the hot water mixture, tomato sauce, vegetable juice, lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste. The beverage should be warm enough to keep the coconut oil melted. If the flavour of the tonic is too strong, dilute it with a little more water. Stir and enjoy. 

    Clove ointment

    This ointment is good for bacterial infections. Use topically on the skin or gums. Good for fighting gum disease and dental plaque. Apply the ointment with a cotton swab to the affected area. 

    §  1 part essential clove oil

    §  10 parts virgin coconut oil


    o   Coconut cures, 2005, Bruce Fife ND. 

    o   Scalding, L., et al. Postprandial thermogenesis in lean and obese subjects after meals supplemented with medium chain and long chain triglycerides. Am J Clin Nutr 1991; 53: 1130-1133. 

    o   Blog.lucybee.co

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