Tuesday, August 31, 2010


celery seeds (Apium graveolens)

flavonoids, linoleic acid, different volatile oils, and coumarins (see Medicinal Use) (1), amino acids, calcium, choline, essential fatty acids, folate, inositol, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sulfur, zinc, vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E, K (2), riboflavin, pantothenic acid (12). Two medium stalks of celery pack a real nutritional punch. (7)

For UTIs, antibacterial, colds, flu, water retention, arthritis relief, problems involving spleen or liver, and a diuretic. (1) Studies on animals suggest celery seeds may also lower blood pressure and cholesterol. (1)(2)
Coumarins (also in the celery stalks) are useful in cancer prevention. (11)
For rheumatism, arthritis, & gout. Aids digestion of protein; contains 8 different families of anti-cancer compounds. (2)
An antiseptic, diuretic, menstrual discomfort, anxiety, cancer agents. (3)
The seeds can be used as a carminative & sedative (see Decoction under RECIPES below)(10)

These small seeds are found in the flower of the celery plant, generally brown. (1) They are somewhat astringent (2) and pungent (9).
the root of celery is also edible (celery root/celeriac) and is great in white bean soup.
Leaf celery (A.g.L. var. secalinum) is grown in Asia & the Mediterranean regions for its leaves & seeds. Celery was cultivated for medicinal purposes before 850 B.C. The Italians domesticated celery as a veggie in the 17th century. After years of domestication, selection eliminated bitterness & strong flavors. Strong flavors can also be diminished if grown in cooler climates & blanched. Blanching is the practice of pushing dirt up around the base of stalks while growing to prevent sunlight from turning stalks green. (6)
Celery seeds complement tomatoes & veggie juices (ie, Gazpacho) and potato salads.

Can plan seeds directly in garden when temperatures are above 55 degrees F. Two weeks before planting, put compost in your soil (up to half & half mixture with soil). Use fresh seeds for good germination. Sow 1/10" deep, lightly cover with soil (rake in) & water; don't let soil dry out for about 3 weeks til germination. Once they're about 6" tall, thin to 10" apart, and 18" between rows. Don't throw away the seedlings that you thin - you can put them in (salads, sandwiches, or) soups. Mound soil around young plants to keep roots moist. Water frequently, but do not let soil get soggy. Water daily during dry weather. After seedlings are growing well, apply a side dressing (mix into soil) of nitrogen-rich fertilizer (3 parts seed meal such as alfalfa meal, cottonseed meal or soybean meal which is slow-release to 1 part blood meal which is fast-release). Occasional dressings of sulfate of ammonia is also good. Fertilize every 3 weeks. This site also gives other good tips, so check it out. (12)
Grow in full sun (at least 6 hours/day, or better 10 hours/day). Add mulch (1-2" compost is a good one; apply after soil warms up & seedlings are well established; water first; don't let mulch touch stems - leave a few inches). Mature in 120-140 days. See website for Pests & Disease (which you shouldn't have if you use compost & natural nitrogen-rich fertilizers above). Harvest after they're 1' tall. Companion plants: bush beans, cabbage, onions, spinach, tomatoes. (4)

People using diuretics should consult their doctor, since the herb is also a diuretic. Celery seeds may thin blood, so talk to your doctor first if you're aking blood-thinning meds. Do not eat celery seeds that are intended for planting (because they've been treated). Pregnant women should not take - may cause muscle contractions within uterus. Some people are more sensitive to UV rays, so do nto use sunscreen - photodermatitis within celery seeds may increase sensitivity to sun. Some people are allergic to celery seeds. (1)

1) http://www.herbalist.com/wiki.details/123/category/1/
2) http://www.familiesonlinemagazine.co/celery-seed.html
3) http://www.nutrasanus.com/celery-seed.html
4) http://www.gardenersnet.com/vegetable/celery.htm
5) http://www.gardenguides.com/how-to/tipstechniques/vegetables/vcomp.asp
6) http://www.foodreference.com/html/celery-history.html
7) http://www.michigancelery.com/celeryinfo.htm (also has recipes)
8) http://www.mothernature.com/Library/bookshelf/Books/41/10.cfm
9) http://ezinearticles.com/?A-Spicy-Encounter---Part-3-of-4---Pungent-Spices&id=221310
10) Lust, John. The Herb Book. NY, NY: Bantam Books, 1974.
11) Murray, Michael. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. NY, NY: Atria Books, 2005.
12) http://www.howtogardenadvice.com/vegetables/grow_celery.html

DECOCTION: Boil 1/2 t seeds with 1/2 c water for 1 minute. Strain & drink for a sedative. (10)

I don't believe meat combines well with grains, so I wrap my meat sandwiches in lettuce wraps instead. I've had this recipe for years, so I don't remember where it came from, but when I was in Disneyland sometime in the early '80s, we ate at a restaurant inside Disneyland that served these sandwiches on Roman Meal Bread.
2 chicken breasts (bone in; free-range chickens)
2 c boiling water
1/2 t sea salt
1/3 c plain yogurt
1/3 c mayonnaise (homemade* - do not use canola oil which is a GMO)
1 T diced green onion
1/2 t sea salt
dash freshly-ground black pepper
1 c alfalfa sprouts (make your own - it's easy!)
1/2 c thinly sliced celery
1/2 t celery seeds
Lettuce leaves
Radishes, pickles (raw pickle recipe in Organic Gardening magazine, Aug/Sep 2010)
Take skin off chicken. Simmer chicken in boiling water with salt, about 10 minutes, til tender. Refrigerate til cold. De-bone & cube chicken. Combine yogurt, mayo, onion, salt & pepper. Stir in chicken, celery, & celery seeds. Spread on lettuce leaves, topped with some sprouts, then roll up and serve with condiments & potato salad.
*homemade mayo recipe at http://allrecipes.com//HowTo/making-mayonnaise/Detail.aspx

Monday, August 16, 2010


Everything I say on this site is my opinion. Anything you do without the supervision of your doctor is at your own risk. Doctors usually focus on prescriptions and operating - they treat the symptom, not the cause. I am not a doctor, I am not prescribing any medical treatment, and I can't "cure" disseases... but with my help, you can get in good habits and make yourself healthier.
Americans are among the most unhealthy people on the planet. Find out some of the reasons why on this site.


star anise (Illicium verum) (from China)

In 1 Tablespoon, there is 4% DV fiber, 2% protein, 4% calcium, 2% vitamin C, 12% iron. (based on a 2,000 calorie diet) (8)

For inflammations of respiratory tract & relief from peptic discomfort. It helps soothe coughs, cures bronchitis, & calms spasms of the GI tract & cramps. Three grams is the recommended dosage (1) Japanese star anise (I. anisatum) : one source says it is antibacterial, carminative, diuretic, odontalgic, stimulant, and stomachic (11) but two other sources say it is toxic, so I would avoic Japanese star anise (see CAUTION).

Star anise seed is the fruit of an evergreen tree native to China. Medicinal preparations are made by grinding fresh, ripe seeds. (1)

Has a licorice flavor. Both pod & seeds are used. Use in soups, marinades, & spice mixtures. Star anise is one of the spices used in 5-spice powder. (2)

It is the main ingredient in an anti-viral drug that helps fight bird flu symptoms. (7)(9) The tree is grown almost exclusively in China, indo-China, & Japan. (10)

26' tall tree. Propagated by seed. The fruits are harvested before they ripen, then sun-dried. (10) Soil pH 6.0. Poor light, dry, well-drained soil. (5) Grows in mild upland areas where temperatures rarely exceeds 68 degrees F. Requires well-drained, acidic soil & filtered sunlight. Needs ample water. May take over 5 years to flower but it's long-lived. (12)

Commercial star anise seeds may be adulterated with a poisonous seed, similar but slightly smaller & darker, of another plant. These have a sharp & bitter odor, resembling cadamom. (4)
The Chinese star anise is considered safe, but the Japanese star anise (I. anisatum) contains sikimitoxin & is toxic. Once they are dried, they are not easily distinguishable. (1)(6)

1) Armstrong, David. Herbs that Work: Based on the German Government's Commission E Report. Berkely, CA: Ulysses Press, 2001.
2) Bittman, Mark. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, 2007.
3) http://hort.ufl.edu/shrubs/ILLANNIA.PDF
4) Lust, John. The Herb Book. NY, NY: Bantam Books, 1974.
5) Kowalchik, Claire & William Hylton (editors). Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1998.
6) http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=24284
7) http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-8843534.html
8) http://recipeland.com/ingredients/show/star_anise_8555
9) http://www.copperwiki.org/index.php?Star_Anise
10) http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/starnis.html
11) http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/anise041.htm
12) http://www.global-garden.com/au/gardenherbs4.htm#Star%20Anise

Chinese Wings: either take the skin off the wings or use another part of the chicken instead & take off the skin. Recipe at http://www.recipes4us.co.uk/BBQs/chinese_wings____cd___pic___110m.htm