Healthy Herbs for Better Living

Healthy Herbs for Better Living

Getting Started With Healthy Herbs

These herbs are wonderful for many things but I’ll focus primarily on its functions for strong bones and joints while giving you a little extra insight as to the other benefits you can use them for. After searching the web for helpful sites I have brought the best of my investigation back for all of you to enjoy.

Herbs for Bones and Joints - #1

Du Zhong, also known as Cortex Eucommiae, is used to tonify the liver and the kidney, to strengthen the tendons and bones, and to prevent miscarriage. Also can help with deficiency conditions and lack of strength; threatened miscarriage and hypertension.

• Nourishing the liver and kidney and strengthening the bones and muscles. It is efficacious in the treatment of deficiency of the liver-yin and kidney-yin manifested as soreness and weakness of the loins and knees; deficiency and coldness in the liver and kidney marked by impotence, frequent micturition, etc.

• Miscarriage prevention. It is efficacious in nourishing the kidney and preventing miscarriage, usually prescribed in the treatment of threatened miscarriage and habitual miscarriage.

• Calming and suppressing liver-yang. It is efficacious in the treatment of dizziness and vertigo due to hyperactivity of liver-yang. It lowers blood pressure, preventive in miscarriage. An especially effective remedy for lumbago due to kidney deficiency.

Herbs for Bones and Joints - #2

Niu Xi, also known as Radix Achyranthis Bidentatae, is used To replenish the liver and the kidney, to strengthen the tendons and bones, to eliminate blood stasis and stimulate menstrual discharge, and to lead the blood to flow downward. Also for conditions like: Soreness of the lumber and knee joints with weakness in the legs; amenorrhea with mass formation in the abdomen; dizziness due to hyperactivity of the liver.

• Activating blood circulation to restore menstrual flow. This drug can be used to treat amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, retarded menstrual cycle, abdominal masses, difficult labor, etc. which are due to stasis of blood. It is often used in combination with Radix Angelicae Sinensis, Semen Persicae, Radix Paeoniae Rubra, Cortex Moutan Radicis, etc. When combined with Fructus Malvae Verticilltae, the drug can be used to treat retention of placenta.

• Relaxing tendons and muscles to treat arthralgia. This drug can bie used to treat aching pain of the low back and knee joints and arthralgia of the lower limbs due to wind-dampness. If the diseases are due to damp-heat, the drug is often used in combination with Rhizoma Atractylodis, Cortex Phellodendri in treatment; if the diseases are due to cold, the drug is often used in combination with Radix Angelicae Pubescentis, Fructus Chaenomelis, etc.;if the diseases are due to deficiency of the kidney, the drug is often used in conbination with Cortex Eucommiae, Radix Dipsaci, etc.

• Ensuring proper downward flow of blood. In treating pain and swelling of the gum, hematemesis, hemoptysis, epistaxis, etc. caused by hyperactivity of fire due to deficiency of Yin, the drug is often used in combination with drugs for nourishing Yin and purging fire such as Rhizoma Rehmaniae Praeparatae, Radix Ophiopogonis, Gypsum Fibrosum, Rhizoma Anemarrhenae, etc. In treating hypertension due to hyperactivity of the liver yang and headache due to spasm of the cerebral blood vessels,the drug can be used in combination with Ochra, Os Draconis, Concha Ostreae, Radix Scrophulariae,

• Inducing diuresis to treat stranguria. This drug can be used to treat stranguria due to heat and hematuria, and is often used in combination with Herba Dianthi, Talcum, Medulla Tetrapanacis, etc.

Herbs for Bones and Joints - #3

Xu Duan, also known as Radix Dipsaci, is used to replenish the liver and the kidney, to strengthen the tendons and bones, to heal bone fractures, and to seize extreme uterine bleeding. Aching and weakness of the loins and knees; rheumatic arthralgia, abnormal uterine bleeding or excessive menstrual flow, uttering bleeding during pregnancy; traumatic injuries.

• Tonifying the liver and kidney and activating channel function to relieve pain. In treating soreness and pain of the lion and leg and weakness of the foot and knee due to deficiency of the liver and kidney and of the foot and knee due to deficiency of the liver and kidney and sluggishness of blood circulation, arthralgia due to wind, coldness and dampness, muscular spasm, etc., the drug is often used in combination with Cortex Eucommiae, Radix Achyranthis Bidentatae, Fructus Chaenomelis, etc.

• Promoting reunion of fractured bones. In treating reunmatic injury, contusion, sprain, and closed fracture, the drug is often used in combination with Resina Boswelliae Carterii, Resina Commiphorae Myrrhae, Pyritum, Eupolyphaga seu steleophaga, Rhizoma Drynariae,etc.

• Preventing metrorrhagia and miscarriage. In treating metrorrhagia, metrostaxis, leukorrhea, threatened miscarriage, vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, etc., this herb is often used in combination with Radix Angelicae Sinensis, Radix Rehmanniae Praeparata, Colla Corii Asini, Folium Artemisiae Argyi, etc. Effective hemostatic action in female menstrual disorders; eliminates pus from abscesses and wounds.

As you can see there are many uses for these certain herbs, strong bones and joints are just one of their benefits. Stay healthy and happy and enjoy the natural remedies that God provides.

Getting Started With Cooking at Home

Have you newly donned the hat of a home cook? You probably already have a favorite recipe or two, if not more. The most important step to becoming a successful chef is quite simple—repetition. The more you cook, the better you get. Once you prepare a recipe a few times, you can start to experiment with the ingrediants to make it your own. From this you’ll soon have your own unique recipe. I can’t teach you to prepare food with just this one artilce but it is important to conquer the basics of any recipe before you get crazy. I just want to introduce you to five very basic ingredients that every chef and any serious home cook uses, but the beginner is usually unaware of, or at least doesn’t think to buy.

For the record—it’s impossible for a home cook to prepare a recipe to a professional chef’s standards. There are dozens of reasons for this. Obviously, chefs have training that a home cook lacks. A chef also has the paramount benefits of prolonged practice, preparing any given recipe over and over again. This is not to minimize the roles of skill and study, but repetition counts for a lot. Every home cook (well, not the serious, wealthy ones) also lacks professional-grade equipment, which is worth far more than a beginner home cook suspects.

Read about my suggestions for some great equipment here:


Restaurants generally get better quality, fresher ingredients than a home cook can or will buy. The list goes on, but I won’t.

This is not to discourage you. A home cook can turn out marvelous dishes and make any recipe downright delicious. Below are probably the 5 most important, basic ingredients you’ll need to get your hands on and start using whenever you cook. They’ll do for just about any recipe. These ingredients are in every restaurant kitchen and any serious home cook’s kitchen as well. They all serve one primary purpose in every recipe—to enhance the depth of flavor. What makes this even simpler is that these ingredients are really just substitutions for components every recipe calls for, components with which even the novice home cook is already familiar. Also, these are all readily available to every home cook.

SEA SALT/COARSE SALT: Salt is ubiquitous when you cook, and a crucial flavoring agent for any recipe. It’s not used just for its own flavor, though. Salt has a magical way of bringing out the flavors of the food it’s used on. While standard table salt does this, sea salt and coarse salt do it better. The larger grains are easier to measure out with your fingers (which is very helpful to chefs working at an extreme pace), and, when not dissolved, can also provide some added texture.

KOSHER SALT: Kosher salt is another important variety, with a more potent salt flavor than other salts. Usually in flake form, as opposed to granules, kosher salt dissolves rapidly.

SHALLOTS: Shallots are basically a garlic/onion hybrid, containing the flavors of both in a more subtle manner. Shallots can substitute for onion or garlic in absolutely any recipe, and can be prepared in all the same ways. One of the more appealing aspects of shallots (especially for restaurants and for the home cook who entertains) is that they can usually be eaten by people who otherwise have problems consuming garlic and/or onion.

UNSALTED BUTTER: The common butters sold in supermarkets are salted, and not all that lightly. But your supermarket carries unsalted butter too. If you’ve ever made a recipe that came out too salty, and you couldn’t understand it because you carefully followed the salt measurement in the directions, it was probably because of the salted butter. Chefs only use unsalted butter because controlling salt levels is crucial to the success of any recipe.

FRESH HERBS: You know that spice rack or cupboard you have with all the little shakers of chopped dried herbs? No self-respecting chef would be caught dead with those. They don’t have a fraction of the flavor the fresh variety has. They may not have any flavor at all. Dried herbs do have a shelf life, their taste ever-diminishing. And really, how quickly do you go through that jar of parsley? Those shakers will really hold any recipe back. Here’s an additional tip for the beginner home cook, on the subject: while you cook your food, use whole stems rather than just the leaves of fresh herbs. This imparts much more flavor. So if you’re making a roasted rosemary chicken, toss entire rosemary pieces, stems and all, in with and on the bird. Remove them after cooking, and finish the dish with just plucked leaves (new ones, not from the batch that was in the oven).

These five ingredients can be used by any beginner home cook to improve just about any meal recipe. I’d suggest reading up a little on the different salts available and when to use them—I provided only a brief introduction so that you’ll be aware of the most useful varieties. Have fun and keep at it, and you’ll be a seasoned cook in no time (get it? seasoned?). And a caution—when you finally create a recipe you love, don’t forget to write down exactly what you did, lest it be lost forever.

Copper Cookware: Benefits of Cooking With Copper

Copper is a reflective metal that is russet in nature, and grand is stature. A touch of lime upon its surface will make it glow, to bestow a vision of you: a Herculean being bathed in auburn. That is what copper cookware brings to its users: health benefits that will mirror that Herculean auburn reflection with your health. Cooking with copper will not only offer health benefits, your meals will be enhanced in different ways.

Heat with Quality

Copper cookware is very precious in high cuisine because it reacts very quickly to temperature. Why is this important when cooking? Since copper conducts heat quickly and evenly, delicate food is cooked easier. This prized metal also ensures that the ingredients cooked, retain moisture. Foods that cook well are rib eye, lamb fillet, scallops and calamari.

Another benefit copper offers is its ability to stop cooking your food when you remove it from the heat. This benefit is something that artificial cookware simply cannot do. But copper cookware will offer other enticing benefits.

To read more about cooking with copper you can visit Foodal.com at this link:


Turn to Copper for Your Blood and Skin

A healthy amount of copper is released when you cook with it. Copper is an essential metal that does your body good. Copper makes up 95% percent of one of your blood cells.

Copper is also responsible for a few other things, such as the production of melanin. Yes, melanin determines your skin color, but it does more than that. Melanin is actually found throughout your body. This pigment is essential to your reproductive cells, and it even helps you see properly. Melanin is also responsible for the proper function of your brain.

Copper will also aid in the production of a very effective protective shield for your skin. UV rays can be quite damaging. Enough exposure can actually lead to skin cancers. This danger is decreased with enough melanin, which depends on copper.

Copper and Your Nervous System

Your nervous system communicates very quickly, but this would not be possible without sufficient amount of copper. Copper is responsible for strengthening and maintaining the myelin sheath that encases the nerves within your body.

This sheath is responsible for the rapidness of communication between your body and your brain. The reason you react so quickly rests heavily on the proper intake of copper, that is definitely something to consider.

Copper to Promote Beauty

As a bonus, cooking in copper will also promote healthy growth of your hair, and keep you young. How so? Well, copper is an important component in the creation of collagen and elastin in your body. Both are there to help repair your skin and keep it elastic. That means that you should be able to remain younger longer, and who doesn’t want that?

Precautions & Copper Care

Copper cookware offers several benefits, but it is important to understand its limitations. There are certain ingredients that simply do not mix well with copper. Avoid cooking with acidic foods such as tomatoes or lime, because you might release an extremely metallic taste in your food. This could be toxic; too much of anything is never good.

To clean your copper properly, all you need is mild soap and warm water. You can also grab a lemon, cut it in half and sprinkle some salt in it. Now rub the mixture on your copper cookware, and watch it turn into the most beautiful auburn color.

Kalua Pork and Cabbage

I discovered kalua pork and cabbage, local Hawaiian grinds, shortly after I moved to Hawaii. That was 15-some years ago. I think it was at Duke’s restaurant overlooking the beach, at a noontime buffet. I never would have ordered it from a menu, but seeing it on a buffet, I decided to try it.

I fell in love with it. It had a mysterious taste, different from what I’d ever had. I ordered it a few other places and found that, like beef stew, every chef had a different version. So, here’s my recipe for Kalua Pork and Cabbage:

4 cups cabbage, coarsely shredded

½ cup pulled pork (kalua pork if available) The pork will already be cooked.

½ cup onion, chopped

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tbsp olive oil or other vegetable cooking oil

Toss it all in a deep skillet. Turn heat on medium high. Stir. Cook until cabbage and onion are translucent, about 10 minutes. Enjoy! Serves 3 people, or 2 hungry ones. Proportions can be adjusted to suit individual tastes. Often, kids like smaller amounts of meat while football players will crave more.

You can also substitute some liquid smoke for the oyster sauce. That way is tasty, too.

Kalua Pork, also called kalua pig, is a native Hawaiian specialty served at luaus and on other occasions. The traditional way to cook it is to get a pig, whatever size will feed your party, gut it, and bake it in an imu. (ee-moo) To make an imu, dig a hole in your backyard or at the beach, line the bottom with stones, build a fire to heat the stones. Then, if you have it, lay on chicken wire so the cooked pig will be easy to lift out: if it’s really done, it will be falling apart. Layer ti leaves or banana leaves with the pig, cover with more leaves, then cover with dirt or a tarpaulin. The heated stones will cook the pig. After several hours or overnight, uncover the pig and lift it out.

Often, part of the entertainment at a commercial luau is to seat the audience around the fire pit, uncover the imu, and have four big hunky guys, bodies glistening with coconut oil, lift out the pig. Of course, I don’t do all that. I buy the pre-cooked, shredded pork, in a plastic tub at the grocery store.

If your grocer doesn’t stock kalua pig, ordinary shredded or pulled pork is a reasonable alternative. Don’t get the kind with Jamaican seasoning. You want just plain cooked pork. The oyster sauce comes in a bottle in the Asian foods section.

Kalua pork and cabbage? The best!

Spicing Up Baked Tiliapia

Tilapia is a flavorful variety of fish, but when slowly baked instead of quickly breaded and fried it can be somewhat bland. It is far healthier than the fried variety, and it can be just as delicious, but without the added fat and calories. Use these easy methods to add flavor to baked tilapia, and give it texture and zest without the mess of cooking oil and dry breading.

Top it with Buttered Cracker Crumbs, Sea Salt, and Pepper

One of the easiest ways to add flavor and texture to baked tilapia is with buttered cracker pieces. Melt genuine butter in the microwave, and add a pinch of garlic powder, dehydrated minced garlic or fresh minced garlic. As the butter is melting, crush Ritz or Townhouse crackers by hand into small bits. Do not roll it fine. The number of crackers should far exceed the amount of butter.

Begin by sprinkling the melted butter over the cracker bits, until eventually tossing all of the crackers with the garlic butter. Halfway through baking, top the tilapia with the buttered cracker crumbs. Allow it to finish baking. The cracker crumbs will add tremendous flavor and a little crunch to an otherwise bland baked dish.

Add Flavor with Fresh Lemon and Chives

Tilapia is not always mild. It can sometimes have a slight fishy taste, but this unpleasant flavor can be remedied with a little lemon. Before baking the fish, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the fillets. After they are baked, add a light sprinkling of fresh chopped chives. They have a slight onion flavor, and it will greatly enhance and compliment the flavor of the lemon and the baked tilapia.

Serve it with Delicious Homemade Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce can add flavor to all types of fish, and tilapia is no exception. However, homemade tartar sauce has far more flavor than store-bought bottled varieties. Combine two tablespoons of dill relish with one cup of real mayonnaise. Stir in about a half teaspoon of sugar and a dash of paprika for color. Drained pimentos can be added as well. Serve this homemade condiment alongside the baked tilapia fillets. It will add tremendous flavor and enhance the visual appeal of otherwise ordinary baked fish.

Pairing Porter and Catfish - A Combination Made in Heaven

Beer goes with any meal and like pairing wine with food certain beers go better with certain foods. I’ll be pairing an American classic seafood dish in catfish with another American-style beer in the porter.

Catfish has a distinctive flavor found in no other fish on earth. Catfish can be cooked in a variety of ways from deep frying to baking and grilling. Catfish are a great food to make as they are a fish that actually doesn’t really taste like fish because it has that slightly smoky flavor that exists naturally in the fish.

For my fish dish, I’ll have baked catfish fillets cut thinly enough to have the bones taken out of them served with baked tater tots. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take a cookie sheet and line it with foil to prevent sticking.

Take your catfish fillets and brush butter or olive oil over them and then add your spices. Probably light spices will be best like paprika and maybe some tarragon. Bake for 15 minutes or until meat is completely white and flakes off easily with a fork. Get a fresh lemon and cut it in half and spray some fresh lemon juice onto the catfish fillets.

Get your favorite brand of tater tots and line them on a baking sheet. Cook for 18 minutes at 350 degrees or use your package instructions. Put in a single layer on a platter and add some melted cheddar cheese on top of them. Sprinkle with some paprika.

Porter beer is very dark and has a slight smoky flavor to it. There are many American porters like Samuel Adams or at regional breweries. When you look for a porter beer, look for something that is dark almost like coffee. They get their smoky flavor from the malt that is smoked before it gets added to the mix.

Some porters even add coffee or chocolate to them and make great dessert beers, but regular porters taste like a well bodied full mouthed beer that goes down smoothly and has well-rounded flavor from smoky malts and slightly bitter hops.Catfish are uniquely American and I suggest getting an American porter beer to go with it. The smoky flavor of the beer goes great with the slightly off taste of catfish. Both the fish and beer taste like their supposed to with an added flavor that doesn’t quite belong, which makes them perfect companions for each other.