Ginger Turmeric Honey Bomb

A tasty way to combat a cold come the Christmas season. As David and Luise from Green Kitchen Stories put it, the mix is "eye-tearingly and sinus-clearingly fierce." Ginger has long been known to have several antibiotic effects, as well as helping with infections, inflammation, detoxification, circulation and nausea. Turmeric is considered a herb that cleanses the whole body, especially the liver. It is used to support digestion, treat fever, infections and inflammations. The turmeric is paired with black pepper to enhance the bioavailability of curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) by a thousand times. 

Ginger & Turmeric Honey Bomb
Makes 1/2 cup

1/2 cup / 120 ml honey (prefereble organic unheated)

2-4 tbsp freshly grated ginger (or ground ginger), depending on how strong you prefer

2 tsp ground turmeric (or freshly grated turmeric if you can find it)

1 organic unwaxed lemon, freshly grated zest

2 pinches ground black pepper

Stir together all ingredients in a bowl. Taste and add more ginger or turmeric if needed. Aim for a really strong flavour. Store the Ginger & Turmeric Honey Bomb in a glass container. It can be enjoyed in your favourite tea, on it's own or dissolved in hot water. Add one/two teaspoons as desired. 

Recipe and photography by David and Luise from Green Kitchen Stories. Find their blog here.

Scandinavian Sauna Culture

"The only Finnish word to make it into everyday English is "sauna". But what it is, and how much it means to Finns, is often misunderstood - and it's definitely not about flirtation or sex.

In a dimly lit wood-panelled room, naked men sit in silence, sweating. One beats himself repeatedly with birch branches. Another stands, takes a ladle of water and carefully pours it over the heated stones of the stove in the corner.

There is a hissing noise.

Within seconds a wave of moist heat creeps up around your ankles and over your legs before enveloping your whole body. Your pores open up and sweat covers you from head to toe." - Mark Bosworth 

It seems that among all the Nordic countries there is a common way to beat the cold; The sauna. Finland, it seems, has the strongest sauna culture; it is estimated that there are 3.3 million saunas in Finland, for a population of 5.3 million. You can find saunas anywhere from city apartments to country cottages, factories and downtown offices. 

Traditional saunas are heated by wood, burned either in a stove with a chimney, or by a stove with no chimney. The latter - a smoke sauna - is the original sauna and believed to be the best. The door is closed after the wood has burned down (and most of the smoke has escaped), leaving the embers to heat the sauna to the proper temperature, but giving a soft heat and the aroma of woodsmoke.

Apart from offering general relaxation and reason for social gathering, sitting in a sauna also has several health benefits. The effects of just 15 minutes in the sauna has results akin to light exercise - your heart gets a mild workout while your body works hard to pump out stored toxins. On top of this, saunas have been proven to help treat chronic fatigue, mild depression, arthritis, musculoskeletal pain and a variety of skin conditions - giving it the accurately coined term "poor man's pharmacy."

Nature Therapy; It's A Thing

(Most) humans crave a connection with nature. Be it something as simple as a stroll through a park or hiking through mountain valleys. In short, man has found solace in nature for centuries. Ever feel an overwhelming sense of calm and relaxation after a day spent in the wilderness? It's not just us saying, but generations of brilliant minds, naturalists and authors have also documented the endless (therapeutic) benefits of spending time in nature. Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), an American author, naturalist, and philosopher best known for his book Walden, celebrated the therapeutic effects of nature by saying, “I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright." Or the famous words of Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), acclaimed architect and philosopher, advised, “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”

Many strings of research have shown that direct contact with nature increases mental health and psychological and spiritual development. Benefits of which include stress reduction, sense of coherence and belonging, improved self-confidence, self-discipline and even a broader sense of community. Aside from stress reduction (something most of us need and will undoubtedly benefit from) being in nature bestows a sense of connectedness, meaning and overall purpose. There is a beauty in the chaotic order found in nature; everything is interconnected, yourself included.  “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better,” Albert Einstein. 

This Ecotherapy - contact with nature - has been shown and proven as an effective and powerful method of therapy that is being coined 'more effective than traditional medication or psychotherapy'. The moral of this story? Next time you feel anything from depressed to frustrated, stressed - whatever it is - don’t choose retail therapy or medications– put on your hiking boots or drive off into the woods and sit by a campfire. 

Photography for Up Knörth by Julia and Yuriy Manchick | Mr & Mrs Globetrot

DIY Natural Elderberry Allergy Remedy
Photography by Amy of A Blossoming Life

Photography by Amy of A Blossoming Life

Spring brings (for some) allergies. Over the counter medicines are, generally speaking, ironically toxic for your health. The use of natural cures for allergy relief is (and has been) used throughout centuries. Though your symptoms may not disappear within the hour, the treatment of allergies using this recipe will cure your allergies for good. The reason is simple: the mix of ingredients helps your body accommodate and adjust to the presence of the allergens in the air - most commonly pollens. This syrup contains raw honey, and we recommend taking it in combination with bee pollen, which together both act strongly to permanently reduce allergic symptoms. 

Photography by Amy of A Blossoming Life

Photography by Amy of A Blossoming Life

Elderberry Syrup
1/2 cup dried elderberries
3 cups water
1 cup local raw honey (local/raw is key to getting the allergy relief benefits)
2/3 cup Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar 

Fill a pot with water and dried elderberries. Bring to a boil and let boil for 30 minutes. Take off heat and mash elderberries up well (a potato masher works well). Strain out the liquid into a separate bowl using cheese cloth, coffee filter, or something similar. Once strained add honey to the elderberry liquid and stir well. Then add the apple cider vinegar. Place in a jar and put in the fridge for up to 6 months.

* To use: Take the syrup with one tablespoon of raw, local bee pollen (can be bought from your local bee keeper or select grocery stores).

Adults 1 Tbs 3-5 times a day
Children: 1 tsp 3-4 a day.
You can take this straight or mix it with some water.

If your using it as a flu/cold medicine you can take same dose but every hour instead of just once a day.

Benefits of Elderberries:

Helps prevent the flu

Full of antioxidants

Helps treat the flu, bronchitis, colds, viral, and bacterial infections. (Use as a cold/flumedicine)

Can help asthma and allergy symptoms 

Reblogged from A Blossoming Life

Sweet Chamomile Wine
Photo: She Who Eats 

Photo: She Who Eats 

Photo: She Who Eats 

Photo: She Who Eats 

Photo: She Who Eats

Photo: She Who Eats

The chamomile flower has long been recognized for its medicinal and beauty benefits. This herbal remedy provides solution to several heath related concerns such as intestinal & stomach disorders, anxiety and insomnia. The plant is also known for having muscle relaxing properties, amazing healing, anti-oxidant, cleansing and moisturizing properties and acts as a potent anti-bacterial. We'll go out on a limb and say this is the best tasting health tonic out there. \

Sweet Chamomile Wine:

1 liter dry white wine

1 cup dried (or fresh) chamomile flowers

Grated zest of 1 one lemon 

1½ ounces light rum (optional)

4 tablespoons local, raw (unpasteurized) honey (or to taste)

Pour wine into a clean glass mason jar or bottle. Add chamomile, lemon zest and rum. Cover and steep for 1 week. Strain through a fine coffee filter, add your honey to taste and pour it into a sealable container. Seal and store for up to 1 year. Serve chilled, over ice with sparkling water. 

Find some more chamomile recipes here

Shinrin Yoku - Forest Bathing
Trees copy.jpg

“Shinrin-yoku” is a Japanese term that translates as “forest bathing” and describes immersing oneself in a forest environment in order to experience the healing effects of Mother Nature at her best. It is believed that the trees emit natural aromatherapeutic properties in the form of essentials oils. The essential oils in the woods are inhaled by us over an extended period of exposure in the forest, causing an actual "magic in the air." The oils are called phytoncides - They are antimicrobal, volatile organic compounds that come from the trees themselves. In Japan, this 'forest bathing' technique has become a recognized relaxation and/or stress management activity in Japan. We knew we were addicted to the woods for good reason. This might make you rethink how many times a week you go out; that 'high' you have from a day in the outdoors has long known to be therapeutic. Get out there. 


Pork Rillettes

Our grandparents used to eat lard in the winter months for good reason. It's a great source of warmth, has high caloric value and is the purest, most natural fat that is essential to healthy living. Some people go as far as saying lard is a natural form of medicine, preventing from a variety of ailments. You could just eat it plain with a spoon, but we recommend this way. 

• 800g of pork shoulders or neck

• 500g raw bacon

• 200g lard

• 1 onion, unpeeled, whole

• 3 cloves of garlic

• 1 cup (250 mL) dry white wine

• 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

• about 2 teaspoons of salt , a pinch of sugar

• 5 peppercorns , 2 bay leaves

To serve : fresh bread, pickles

Cut your meat and bacon into about 3-4 inch pieces. Put into a medium sauce pan, cast iron works great. Add your lard, whole unpeeled onion, whole garlic cloves and your spices. Add enough water to just cover the meat pieces, bring to a boil and remove the 'scum' (white froth that forms at the top) with a spoon and discard it. Reduce to low heat and cook for about 2 hours. Now, remove all the spices, garlic and onion and add in your vinegar and white wine. Cook on low for another 1.5 - 2 hours, until the meat is very soft and all the liquid has evaporated. If there is excess water, you should boil it uncovered until none remains. Your final result should be just meat and fat. Mince the meat with your fork, and add into mason jars, when just over 3/4 full of meat, pour in the fat from the pan to fill up each jar. Serve chilled or warm on toast. Pickles make a great condiment to cut the 'fat'. A good strong drink afterwards wouldn't hurt. 


Lemon-Eucalyptus Sore Throat Lozenges

2 Cups Sugar 

1/2 Cup Honey, as local as possible

3/4 Cup Barley Water (boil 1 cup washed pearl barley for 45 minutes, strain)

1 Lemon, Organic, Juiced

5-10 Drops Eucalyptus Oil

Crush In 4, 1000mg Vitamin C Tablet (optional)

Place honey, sugar and water into a sauce pan and bring to a boil, stir constantly to dissolve sugar. Take heat down to a medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until candy thermometer reads 285F or mixture appears to look thickened. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice, eucalyptus oil and vitamin C, if desired. Let mixture cool for 2-3 minutes, and pour into a buttered pan. Let sit for about 10 minutes, until begins to harden. Take a knife and score marks along where you want your candies to break. Cool completely and break using score lines. Wrap individually or store in container.

*Depending on honey used, lozenges may be darker in colour.