Maintaining  the Integrity of  Your Health

by Gillian Nye

(as published in The Lighthouse Peddler, April 2011)

As I write this, we have just found out about the earthquake and subsequent disaster at the nuclear plant in Japan.  As you read this, much will have changed..as things do. 

Roots has been quite busy fielding phone calls and personal inquiries about "what should we do?" regarding the potential of radiation wafting across the ocean and frying us in one way or another.

What to do in a crisis situation?  My answer is always the same ~ maintain the integrity of your health, your immune system. Eat whole foods, including seaweed, miso soup and other ferments, and lots of dark leafy greens. Breathe, walk, laugh, stretch ~ it's a good time to give thanks for what we have and where we are.

Seaweeds are an amazing gift from the sea, coastal people and those that trade with us have been enjoying the health benefits of seaweeds  for years.  Seaweeds are high in vitamins and trace minerals and are one of natures' greatest protectors, offering us their actions of anti cancer, anti radiation, anti oxidant,and immune stimulant.

Bladderwrack (fucus vesiculosus) is often used to improve nutrition by supplying minerals and trace elements, like iodine. Having sufficient amounts of natural iodine in our bodies can be protective against absorbing iodine -131, one of the nasties released in a nuclear fallout.  Unfortunately, scientists have had the opportunity to study this in cases like Chernobyl. Japanese scientists, as well as the Marine Technology Society have found that seaweeds can remove mercury, cadmium, lead, barium, tin and other heavy metals from tissue.  Additionally, the anti cancer and immune stimulating effects of seaweed help to strengthen cell walls and improve our natural barriers against disease and contamination.

Coincidentally, it's Spring!!!  It's the time to reach for our cleansing and rejuvenating herbs, like Burdock, Dandelion and Red Clover.  For strengthening and nutritive balancing, try Oatstraw.  It's time to harvest Nettles again, which are a great immune stimulant and are known to  improve the strength of our skin, cells, and digestive system. Also important for digestion are fermented foods, like miso, krauts, kombucha, yogurt, etc.  Fermented foods can reduce high cholesterol, improve thyroid health and stimulate digestion.  When we have good digestion and healthy evacuation, our immune systems are automatically stimulated and alert for quick response to outside contaminants.

The most important things we can do for our selves, our friends and families, is to eat well, stay healthy and try to reduce our stresses.  Anxiety and stress are proven to lower immune response, increase heart and nervous system deterioration, and generally compromise our longevity.

The nutritive and calmative properties of seaweed can help us with that, as well as the tonic teas mentioned above. 

Tea for the Times

equal parts:
      add a pinch of licorice or mint to sweeten the taste

Drink daily for nutritive balance, immune support and general well being!

Not Fishy Chowder (by Susun Weed, from Healing Wise)
      1 onion, chopped                                       
      1 stalk celery, thin sliced                            
      1 tbs. olive oil                                            
      2 potatoes, cubed                                      
      1 cup corn
      1/2 carrot, diced
      1/2 c dry seaweed
      8 c water

Saute onion and celery in oil until tender.  Add vegetables and water.  If using a tough seaweed, add that now.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potato is soft.  If using a more tender seaweed, add now.  Serve when seaweed is cooked!  Try adding fish or other vegetables for increased gastro delights!