Back To Our Roots
“My love affair with nature is so deep that I am not satisfied with being a mere onlooker, or nature tourist. I crave a more real and meaningful relationship. The spicy teas and tasty delicacies I prepare from wild ingredients are the bread and wine in which I have communion and fellowship with nature, and with the Author of that nature.”
Anyone remember Euell Gibbbons? He was the guy in the Grape Nuts commercial everyone made fun of in the seventies. He would ask “ever eaten a pine tree?” He was actually a naturalist and as a kid he left a lasting impression with me.
Growing up my family raised bees and sold honey for extra income; natural raw honey that I had watched the bees make. That was real exciting for a kid! Even though I was highly allergic to the bee stings, I was still at my fathers elbow watching these little guys make their honey for me. We were part of the Beekeepers Association, we installed and maintained an observation hive at the Crandon Park Zoo, had displays at the County Fair and even brought them to school for show and tell in a portable observation hive!
One friend of ours would pay kids to catch her a bee which she would put on her knee until it stung her and would do so several times. That was terrifying for me as a child because I was allergic. She did this though to treat her arthritis. She used the bee venom as medicine!
My Grandfather and his father also owned a little nursery in Orlando while I was growing up. I wish I had spent more time learning about plants back then. I remember one summer I got the worst sunburn you could imagine! Throbbing, searing, stinging pain on every inch of my body except where my two-piece had been. Grandma knew just what to do; cut the large aloe vera leaves and lay them directly on my aching skin. Instant relief as long as the leaves touched my skin. I don’t know how many leaves she went through on me; she was probably worried what my mother might say… but it worked!
Really there’s no wonder why I turned to plants and natural healing when in my 40’s I started getting skin cancer. If you’d like to read about my skin cancer story with pictures it’s in a thread on the AFN Forum in the Medical section.
I am Root. I hope I will be able to help you with some things that I’ve learned about how to be healthier in this toxic world we live in. Eating foods that are naturally grown, using plants as medicine instead of pharmaceuticals, and… cannabis.
Our Beloved Herb, Cannabis. I prefer calling it cannabis other than pot, weed, or marijuana. Its place in history and our current world should give it more respect than to use a slang term. But that’s my opinion!
Most of the healing properties of cannabis comes from the cannabinoids inside the trichomes. These cannabinoids benefit our bodies endocannabinoid system and help maintain internal balance. What’s really exciting to me is that our bodies are hard wired to receive cannabininoids, not just to get high (an enjoyable side affect) or to ease pain, but to maintain internal balance. That’s powerful to me. A plant that’s made for us. In fact there are 6 other plants we know have cannabinoids or affect our endocannabinoid system and are beneficial for us:
- The Echinacea coneflower uses cannabimimetics to engage our CB2 receptors regulating our immune system.
- Electric Daisy has compounds similar to cannabinoids. Native Americans made a gel that blocks pain receptors.
- Helichrysum Umbraculigerum is a South African daisy with large amounts of cannabigerol (CBG) and is a strong anti-depressent.
- Liverwort contains perrottetinenic acid which is like THC without the psychoactive affect. It binds with our CB1 receptors and can treat bronchitis, liver and bladder problems.
- The Cacao plant is a delicious super food. This natural chocolate increases anandamine in the brain and is our bodies natural version of THC. According to the Neuroscience Institute of San Diego, chocolate contains three compounds that act as healing cannabinoids.
- And Black Pepper, its essential oils contain beta-caryophllene which functions as a cannabinoid binding to the CB2 receptors to reduce inflammation.
We have many foods and herbs right in our own kitchens that will interact with our body and can help us. Black pepper, garlic, cinnamon, peppermint, cayenne pepper, basil, oregano or turmeric to name a few are common herbs and spices most of us have and eat regularly. Baking soda (or sodium bicarbonate) is not only a leavening agent in baking, it’s commonly known as an antacid for relieving heartburn. It’s also used as a teeth whitener, disinfectant, pest control, and last but not least it’s alkalinity raises ph in pools, spas, and even our bodies (stay tuned for a future article on this subject!)
We can be self medicating ourselves like our ancestors did before western medicine took over.
It makes sense that we have a love affair with chocolate. It is a comfort food and our bodies make our own version of THC with it. The old hippies knew what they were doing when they made pot brownies!
If we were to take a poll of cannabis connoisseurs, I think we would find an overwhelming number who are self medicating in one way or another. When I met my husband he smoked cannabis for relaxation and pain control. He may have realized it back then as self medicating and years later when I turned to cannabis to kill skin cancer, it was definitely self medicating.
Cannabis can be used in its raw form by way of juicing, dried and cured for smoking, or made into concentrates (infused into butter, oils, and alcohol.) In the future we’ll be discussing each of these methods of processing cannabis and consuming it.
The seeds and the roots can be used too! Both the hemp and cannabis seeds have essential nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties that assists in muscle and tissue repair.
The roots contain alkaloids, lipids and sugars. Roots made into a tea are a strong diuretic. Roots ground and made into a poultice can stop hemorrhage after childbirth, reduce joint pain, gout, and soothe burns.
I believe in using the whole plant and I hope you will join me in this guide to processing every part of our Beloved Herb for use in everyday medicines. I’ll try to include in every article a recipe of some sort that could be beneficial to your health.
Chai tea seems appropriate for this first article. It comes from Ayurvedic medicine and can be made with many medically active herbs and spices and tailored to your individual needs. The word “Chai” actually means “tea.” It is really “masala chai,” meaning “tea with a mix of spices.”
A basic chai recipe would include tea (black, green or oolong,) cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves and black pepper and milk. Each of these on their own have medicinal properties but when brought together, their synergy is full of antioxidants and supports digestion, acts as an anti inflammatory, improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood sugar, and increases circulation.
Common additions could be nutmeg, fennel seed, star anise, coriander seed, lemon zest, marshmallow root (no, not marshmallows!) and even cacao or pure dark chocolate (for obvious reasons.) The list is as big as your imagination and since there is milk in this recipe we can add cannabis to the list! Cannabinoids are not water soluble so they will need to be infused in the fat that’s in the milk.
It’s simple to do:
- Lightly crumble dry cured buds (decarbed or not) in a pan of warm milk.
- Make sure you use whole milk; cannabinoids are soluble in fats and lipids.
- Heat to a light simmer, stirring consistently for 45 minutes. Do not let it boil.
Three grams to a cup of milk give me a nice ‘before bed toddy’ ensuring a revitalizing sleep.
Chai with canna milk seems fitting to me to end this article. We will explore decarboxylation of cannabis commonly known as “decarbing” in the next article!
Enjoy your Chai!