Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Herbsways Blog On Hold For A Reason

There have been no posts for quite a while on this blog for a very good reason. I have been compling a recipe book on Bulgarian cuisine where 100 recipes have been tried, tested and written up all using in the main homegrown produce.
Here is the introduction to the book which will be published and on sale before Christmas.

An Introduction To Bulgarian Cuisine

Bulgaria was founded in 7th Century from this time right up to the 18th Century the Bulgarian diet was essentially based upon mainstay Europeans food such as various meats, dairy products, fish, cereals, fruits and vegetables. Into the 19th Century Bulgarian cuisine began to develop its own identity with many of the Bulgarian recipes seen in this book originating from this time. The types of produce grown and used extensively in kitchens in Bulgaria are given here:
  • Meats: pork, beef, lamb, chicken, fish, duck, goose and snails.
  • Dairy products: Almost everyone in Bulgaria eats yoghurt regularly; you can only find the bacteria that make yoghurt in Bulgaria! There are two main kinds of cheese: sirene (white sheep’s cheese) and kashkaval (yellow cheese). Sirene can also me made from goat and cow’s milk.
  • Cereals: Rice, corn, maize, sunflowers, beans, lentils.
  • Vegetables: Potatoes, cabbages, (green and red), carrots, tomatoes, green peppers, eggplants/aubergines, cucumbers, gherkins, garlic, zucchini/courgettes, lima beans, haricot beans, broad beans, peas, lettuce, radish, turnips, asparagus, gumbo, mushrooms and olives.
  • Fruits: Cherries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, apples, peaches, pears, plums, apricots, watermelons, honey melons, grapes and quince
  • Nuts: Peanuts, chickpeas, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and sweet chestnuts.
  • Herbs and Spices: Parsley, coriander, rosemary, spearmint, savory, paprika, dill, thyme, cumin, devesil, summer savoury, oregano.
By the 20th Century Bulgaria's economic interests were now linked with Middle and West Europe and exposure to common European foods like pizza, mayonnaise and cream as well as other foods not native to Bulgaria.
Bulgarian cuisine today is a mixture of typical Bulgarian dishes and imported global world foods including much fast food. On the other side of the coin Bulgarian cuisine is now exported worldwide not least for the reason from the masses of Bulgarian people moving overseas during the 1990s and stems from this demand.
Bulgarian home cooking is normally done starting with the cooking of the meat and gradually adding all other ingredients. The cooking process would have all been started and finished in one saucepan. Cooking food on a low heat is steeped in Bulgarian history. Many stews and casseroles are served in a brown-lidded bowl called a ‘gyuvech’ meaning earthenware dish. This gives the distinctive flavoursome, nutritious and well tenderised eating associated with Bulgarian cuisine.
I will be turning attention back into articles here once the book is out so thank you all for bearing with me.
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Sunday, 11 April 2010

How To Get Rid Of Pain Naturally (Using Herbs)

Borage from Project Gutenberg EBook of Culinar...
In the past few years, the whole "all-natural" movement has been gaining ground as evidenced by aggressive marketing of alternative health products from weight-loss diet pills to cold medications all marked as "derived from nature." Of late, Western medicine is trying its best to join the alternative health bandwagon by researching on ancient herbal remedies that have been in use in more primitive cultures for centuries. This is also the reason for the sudden increase of natural pain relief medications.

Western medical science is still studying the host of ingredients and combinations that make up these natural pain relief, before any major investment is made by pharmaceutical companies, production-wise. There are a few "naturally made" medications already being sold on the market, but most of the traditional natural pain relief remedies have yet to be tested by neutral research laboratories. Most developed countries have employed strict standards regarding medical testing, and, as a consequence, has slowed down the release of herbal or natural pain relief medications.

However, in less developed countries, the natural pain relief remedies are still in frequent use and are, in fact, more popular than western medicine. This is particularly true outside of urban communities, where Western medical procedures and tools are either inaccessible or too expensive for the people. With the herbs and ingredients being readily available, and the people being aware of which plants work for what ailments, the process of using these natural pain relief methods is significantly simpler. While Western medicine recognizes this, there are several concerns that prevent the herbs and ingredients being used from being introduced to the mainstream.

Aside from the aforementioned testing procedures, developed countries have research being conducted to find out what exactly is making the natural healing methods work. This would allow pharmaceutical companies to both present the medication in the traditional capsule or pill form by isolating the key ingredient, but also by allowing them to study the effects and pinpoint other potential applications.

Another difficulty is the prevalent belief that herbal remedies or traditional medicines are somehow "inferior" or are fraudulent, as compared to Western medicines. While this view is archaic, this has been cited as one of the reasons why traditional Chinese medicines not being widely used outside of Chinese communities in the US. Supposedly, the extensive testing and study conducted by pharmaceutical companies on natural "pain killing" also involves the isolation of the working compound, which would allow them to market it as a "modern" drug.

It is also worth noting that some of these remedies may not be easily accessible to outsiders, making procuring samples difficult. With samples to test being so difficult to obtain, companies are rendered incapable of marketing the remedies, even if the chemistry behind the herbs is sound and effective. Another problem stems from the fact that most outsiders are incapable of understanding the cultural subtleties differentiating one herbal treatment from another.

Despite these difficulties, some pharmaceutical companies have managed to successfully field and market effective remedies based on folk treatments and herbs. There is an extant market for such remedies, and with massive advertising and media mileage, the market is expected to boom in no time at all.

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Author: Harry Ayala

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Sunday, 28 March 2010

Organic Herbs Are Cheaper And Safer

Organic herbs are cheaper and safer for both you and the environment. The rising demand for organic herbs stems for the growing awareness of how large scale corporate farming practices are doing damage not only to our bodies but also to our environment. The common barrier in the past to large scale demand for organic foods has been due to the price being cost prohibitive.

 As with all things economic this has been a supply and demand issue. Now that the rising awareness of personal health and environmental has gotten our attention the demand for organic foods has gone up. As time passes the growth will accelerate dramatically when health conscious people push the subject into mainstream thinking.

The best choice for purchasing organic herbs is to buy from small scale local family farmers. The fact that small local organic herb growers have greater control over their growing practices (pesticide use) and have virtually no potency reducing transportation times (environmental pollution) ensures that the long term dangers to the nations health is reduced.

 Small family operations typically have a greater environmental protection mindset due to the fact that the land they grow on is their valued personal property. The higher prices come from the supply and demand continuum. Slower and smaller production ensures higher prices. All commerce is a matter of economics when buying in bulk. Larger growers have discounted pricing but result in larger indirect costs of health problems as a result of the corporate farming practices.

Large scale farmers tend to focus on one or two herbs and grow the same ones on the same soil over and over while never allowing the soil to replenish its nutrients through other crop growth and/or resting the soil. The fact of poor nutrition and environmental pollutants leading to disease give credence to the importance of what should be a very simple choice when purchasing organic foods. Additionally you must consider the time issue. Buying locally ensures that the product is properly dried and not sitting on railroad cars or trucks while in green state and going though the dying time in the presence of road pollutants and pest laden railroad cars.

So, in my opinion the small organic grower is no more costly than the large corporate grower when you factor in these unseen long term expenses. That nagging factor of environmental damage costs and likely future medical costs from poor nutrtient density of corporate growers seems to level the field of pricing between large growers and small local growers.

 Due to that fact that large scale growers aren't able crop rotate their land the disease resistance factor in the plants is reduced over time, thereby requiring more petroleum based fertilizers and pesticides to deliver a crop. Truth be told by the time you factor in the costs of environmental damage and damage to ones health the cost of buying organic herbs in bulk are currently just as costly as buying from local growers. I recommend buying locally.

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Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Gotu Kola - The Arthritis Herb

According to the National Center for Health Statistics there were 45.8 million adults with diagnosed arthritis in the United States in 1993. Although the term literally means joint inflammation, arthritis really refers to a group of more than 100 rheumatic diseases and conditions that can cause pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints.

The two most common forms of the disease are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, especially among older people. Sometimes it is called degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis. Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that mostly affects the cartilage. Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. Healthy cartilage allows bones to glide over one another. It also absorbs energy from the shock of physical movement. In osteoarthritis, the surface layer of cartilage breaks down and wears away. This allows bones under the cartilage to rub together, causing pain, swelling, and loss of motion of the joint.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the bodies own immune system mistakenly attacks the synovium (cell lining inside the joint). This chronic, potentially disabling disease causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of function in the joints.

Today more and more people are seeking an alternative treatment to combat the pain of arthritis. One such treatment that may hold promise is the use of the herb Gotu Kola.

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) also known as Indian pennywort, marsh penny and water pennywort is a creeping Perennial herb, native to tropical and sub-Tropical Asia, some South Pacific islands, coastal and central Africa. It has been used for centuries in both Ayurveda and Chinese medicine and was first accepted as a drug in France in the 1880's.

Although treating arthritis is not the most common traditional use of Gotu Kola, down under in Australia Gotu Kola is commonly known as Pennywort "The Arthritis Herb" where the fresh leaves are used to treat arthritic conditions and has become extremely popular. Frequent reports of its efficacy have prompted the Herbal Medicines Research and Education Centre to start a research project to investigate the popular use of Pennywort (Centella asiatica) for the treatment of arthritis.

Numerous reports have emerged from the general public that eating 2 leaves each day is said to relieve the pain of arthritis and even plant nurseries in Australia sell the plant as 'the arthritis herb'.

Gotu kola should not by taken if you are pregnant, breast-feeding or taking certain medications.

Before taking any alternative treatment talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care professional if you have any other medical conditions, allergies (especially to plants), or if you take other medicines or other herbal/health supplements.

Discover more information and articles on Herbs and Herbal Medicine by visiting

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Growing Herbs For Profit

Small things can turn out big. In any project, focus, perseverance and organization are the keys to success. Your hobby of planting herbs or creating an herbal garden can turn into a profitable endeavor. A number of herbal shops started small, transforming their own home as a temporary business location. The initial limitations on resources do not mean the venture will not be successful. Creativity, an open mind and determination are what you will need in order for things to fall into place. The chance of having fun while gaining more money is surely a rewarding experience.

The size of your business will determine the amount of profit you will gain. You can choose to have a small-scale or large-scale enterprise. There is an increasing demand of herbs today, so cultivating herbs can truly be a source of income. Profit can come from seeds, dried herbs and using your knowledge of herbs. These are areas you can consider when putting up your own herb business.

Selling seeds is the swiftest way for you to start your business without accumulating many expenses. Medicinal to culinary, there are a lot of herbs to choose from. If there is an herb rarely found in your area, then this is a good way to start and try to provide this product for prospective clients. For medicinal herbs, study the different kinds of herbs that will interest the people in your neighborhood. Spreading the word about your business can be a difficult task. You can ask a few friends to help your business be known to other people. Giving out fliers is another effective way of marketing your products. The best way to begin is by choosing one or two from the herb variations. Ensuring quality and affordability will be the way for you to get more customers.

Dried herb is another way for you to gain more money. There are some techniques and methods you need to familiarize yourself with. One of these is the ability to nurture and dry leaves. It is an advantage when you have an herb garden. Customers are inclined to purchase and use fresh products compared to those preserved ones in grocery stores. An innovative idea would be to sell them both fresh and dried. To start selling your herbs, dry them first then put them in airtight containers which are not transparent. Exposure to sunlight will affect the herb's quality.

Using your knowledge on herbs is also a profitable endeavor. You can start to create seminars or training locations and share your learning on the varieties of herbs and their significance in daily living. A cooking demo can teach them the different culinary functions of herbs. You will make them aware of the enhanced flavor a certain herb can provide and the right recipes to add them. In addition, an informative lecture on the medicinal properties of herbs can also be created. Health stores, community centers and churches are some of the venues you can choose from to start your herbal program.

Plenty of time is allotted when creating business with your herbs. The days spent of tolling in your garden to create quality materials, and the hours used for marketing your product and services are highly regarded. With the methods discussed, it is up to you to choose which option is suitable. In order for you to be successful, there is only one thing you have to put in mind-enjoy what you are doing. Lack of interest in any endeavor will ensure failure, so just have fun while acquiring more income.

Author: Vicky Josephino is a writer and herb garden enthusiast living just outside of Long Beach, CA. Mostly, she spends her days either buried in my laptop or tinkering the organic garden she has set up a decade ago. She says that in that time she has learned about what works (and what doesn't) as far as herb gardening is concerned. And as it goes, you can find those years of herb knowledge and experience in her free email course. She offers you great tips and techniques for growing your herb garden the right way.
For more tips and advice on growing herbs for both pleasure and profit, check out her articles and free e-course at

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Lowering Cholesterol By Natural Herbs

Number of people with high cholesterol is increasing day by day, because of the harmful food habits and very low physical activity. As per the statistics by; National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2005–06, National Center for Health Statistics and the NHLBI. An estimated 98.6 million adults in the United States have total blood cholesterol values of 200 mg/dL and higher, and of these about 34.4 million American adults have levels of 240 or above.

Bad food habits: Eating foods that are harmful to our good health, examples are.

  • eating fast foods,

  • oily or creamy bakery items,

  • ready to eat packed foods,

  • foods rich in fat and sugar

  • Managing cholesterol is simple

  • Lowering body weight, directly means low body fat so chance of developing high cholesterol is reduced.

  • Increasing physical activity, means burning more calories, so lowering in blood cholesterol level.

  • Strictly cutoff fat and sugar which are harmful for good health.

  • Add up soluble fibers helps eliminate digested food easily and prevents the absorption of bad cholesterols.

  • Last but very importantly; try to include cholesterol lowering herbs in the daily life with an tasteful recipe or take as medicine. For information on cholesterol natural herbs with scientific proof on the effectiveness of treatment visit

  • People now start preferring alternative medicine such as natural herbs than modern treatment, because of its (modern medicine) side effects and high cost involved.

    Also natural herbal treatment for high cholesterol has

  • Low or no side effect,

  • Possibility for a cure or effective treatment,

  • Worth for the money spent

  • Additionally over all health improvement.

  • Natural herbs for cholesterol are believed to lower blood cholesterol, additionally it nourishes liver, kidney and heart, which are behind the cause of cholesterol or may affected in long run. That means cholesterol herbs are not only useful in lowering high cholesterol, also it helps to limit or eliminate its complications such as Atherosclerosis (Hardening of arteries), Angina (Chest pain), Coronary artery disease, Heart Attack, Heart failure and Stroke (Brain attack).

    Because of the above said benefits natural herbal treatment is gaining popularity and people are attracted towards herbs for their treatments.

    Author: Thiruvelan

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