The Herb Stop Blog
Good Herbal Choices in November
November is the month when we celebrate Thanksgiving as an acknowledgement of our thankfulness for life’s bounty. There is always so much food and we cannot help it but indulge. Sugar consumption increases too, giving us a quick high-powered boost of energy after a rich and heavy meal. The problem is the energy is used up quickly, often leaving one feeling more tired than ever. Sugar depletes the nervous system by utilizing calcium in its digestive process. The nervous system is dependent on high levels of blood calcium in order to function at its maximum potential. Sugar competes for this calcium. No wonder one feels agitated, annoyed, or depressed after a sugar binge has worn off. The calcium levels drop as the sugar is digested, leaving irritable nerve endings. The huge sugar consumption between Halloween and New Years day may perhaps be the reason why so many people feel depressed, irritated and experience anxiety during the holiday season. What can you do to avoid those “sugar blues” and still enjoy all the wonderful desserts and sweet things?
Balancing Your Sugar Highs and Lows
Whenever I eat sweets, more than I should, I follow up with a couple of capsules of Gluco Balance, to avoid a sugar crash. The herbs in this formula have traditionally been used to support and stimulate the pancreatic system. Gluco Balance can be used for both low and high blood sugar. The herbs in this formula are high in inulin, which is a pre-curser for insulin.
Roll on this essential oil blend on the bottom of your feet to support healthy blood sugar levels, containing essential oils of Rosemary, Thyme, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Chamomile and Cypress in a base of Jojoba Oil
Gymnema, aka. in Ayurvedic medicine "The Sugar Blocker", has a molecular structure similar to that of sugar and may block absorption of up to fifty percent of dietary sugar calories. Traditional Ayurvedic practitioners say that this sugar blocking action works well in cases of diabetes, reducing insulin requirements, and for weight loss in people on high sugar/carbohydrate diets. If you would like to experience Gymnema’s sugar blocking action just place a few drops of Gymnema extract on your tongue. Now eat something sweet and you will notice that you cannot taste the sweetness. A candy tastes awful without the taste of sugar!
Recently made popular, Cinnamon stimulates digestion and pancreatic activity. Perhaps this is the reason why Cinnamon is being added to rich and sweet pastries, such as Cinnamon buns, to offset the negative effects of sugar.
Jerusalem Artichoke is a tasty vegetable and available in most grocery stores. Traditionally, this vegetable is known to balance and stabilize blood sugar levels, reduce sugar cravings and for hypoglycemia, improves calcium absorption and has a positive effect on intestinal flora. People in Europe use Jerusalem Artichoke for weight-loss with great success. Eat it in salads or make a mashed potato-like dish.
Want To Make Your Own Sugar-Balancing Tea?
A blend of fresh Lemon leaves and Oregano with a stick of Cinnamon made into a tea has been popular in Mexico to balance glucose levels. With exercise and a controlled diet this tea is traditonally known to stop and even reverse diabetes.
Instead of white sugar I always use turbinado sugar, honey, pure maple syrup, or Coconut Crystals. Stevia, molasses and agave syrup are other all natural and “good for you” sweeteners. I never use artificial sweeteners because these are made of chemicals whose long-term effect is not known.
Mulled Herbal Cider
Apple cider is not only delicious but did you know it has a cleansing effect on the liver? The following recipe can be served hot or cold.
For winter gatherings, flavor fresh apple cider with herbs instead of spices. Goes well with pumpkin pie!
- 2 inch sprigs fresh Rosemary
- 2 inch sprigs fresh Sage
- 2 inch sprigs fresh teaspoon Thyme
- 1 quart fresh Apple cider
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan (no aluminum) and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Mayan Hot Chocolate
In the movie “Chocolat” a special Hot Chocolate was being served, which made people feel euphoric. Endlessly searching for the recipe I finally got it from my next door neighbor.
- 5 cups cream or milk or milk substitute
- 1 Vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1 – 2 Cinnamon sticks
- 8 oz dark chocolate
- 2 tablespoons sugar or honey
- 1 tablespoon almonds or hazelnuts, ground extra fine
- 1 Chili pepper, cut in half, seeds removed
Add Chili pepper to 2 cups boiling water. Simmer until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Remove chili pepper and strain for stray seeds. Set aside.
In a medium size saucepan combine cream or milk, Vanilla and Cinnamon. Heat over medium heat until bubbles appear around the edge. Reduce heat to low; add chocolate and sugar or honey; whisk until chocolate is melted and sugar dissolved.
Turn off heat; remove Vanilla bean and Cinnamon stick, stir in grounds almonds or hazelnuts. Add Chili pepper infusion, a little at a time, making sure the flavor isn’t too strong. If chocolate is too thick, thin with a little more milk.
Scent For November
The last several years many people enjoyed a holiday scent made with the following essential oils:
Notice how a few drops in your diffuser can give a cozy feeling to your home and lift everyone’s spirit.
November 22nd – December 21st Birthday People
If your birthday falls between November 22nd and December 21st your astrological sign is Sagittarius. Sagittarius people have a tendency to have problems with their hips, thighs, the liver and lower spine. Herbs and foods for Sagittarius cool the blood, reduce fever and heal: Anise, Borage, Dandelion, endive, fig, Honeysuckle, Horse Chestnut, Hyssop, Linden, maple, Nutmeg, Sage, Sarsaparilla, Sassafras, Star Anise, Wood Betony and Yellow Dock.
Feeling Cranky And Tired In The Morning?
When you first wake up in the morning are you feeling irritated, grumpy, not rested? These symptoms may be due to low blood sugar. Eating some protein before going to bed may be helpful.
Written by Leilah