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What Is Slippery Elm Bark and How Does It Help Improve Colon And Digestive Health Darrell Miller 4/8/11
Slippery Elm Bark Darrell Miller 7/23/09
Sources of Essential Fatty Acids Darrell Miller 6/25/05
Best Bread ... Darrell Miller 6/13/05



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What Is Slippery Elm Bark and How Does It Help Improve Colon And Digestive Health
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Date: April 08, 2011 11:27 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: What Is Slippery Elm Bark and How Does It Help Improve Colon And Digestive Health

Slippery Elm History.

Slippery elm bark is an herbal remedy derived entirely from a tree species of the same name. Its use in maintaining colon health has been associated with Native Americans, who continue to use the inner bark of the tree as a treatment for skin conditions, gum problems, and sore throats in addition to digestive problems. In recent years, there have been numerous citations of its ability to significantly alleviate illnesses of the gastrointestinal tract, and its use has even been suggested by medical professionals in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, and abdominal pains.

Ulmus rubra is a tree species native to North America, but its range and distribution is limited to Southern Quebec down to Northern Florida and west to eastern Texas. It prefers soils that are rich in moisture, with large populations present in uplands, but it also thrives well in dry regions. This deciduous tree is commonly known by the names Slippery elm, Red elm, Moose elm, and Indian elm. The name Red elm refers to its heartwood that is reddish-brown in color. The leaves and the inner bark are dried and powdered beforehand, and then made into a tea or packed as supplements.

Increases Mucus Secretions

Recent studies have observed that slippery elm bark stimulates the nerve endings of the intestinal walls. Excess acidity is thought to result from both the diet and the stomach’s secretions of hydrochloric acid. While peptic ulcers are often caused by invasive pathogens, cases in which the acidic environment in the stomach brings on lesions in the gastrointestinal tract are not uncommon. Slippery elm bark works on the principle of inducing the secretions of gastrointestinal mucosa, which rebalances the pH inside the digestive tract.

Slippery Elm Bark Properties

Exhibits Antioxidant Properties

Researchers ascribe the effects of slippery elm bark on inhibiting inflammation of the digestive tract to its antioxidant properties. Free radicals have been tied to many diseases, and inflammatory bowel disease is believed to be influenced by an imbalance between free radicals and the antioxidant defense of the body. Indeed free radicals can cause tissue damage as each cell’s ability to neutralize them is compromised. Unfortunately they are a natural by-product of oxygen metabolism and other chemical reactions, which means the only way to dispose of them is to strengthen cellular antioxidant defense.

Heals Lesions and Ulcerations

Native Americans have long used slippery elm bark as an ingredient in salves used for wounds and sores. It is widely accepted that medicinal products containing powdered slippery elm bark reduce inflammation and speed up the process of healing. For the same reasons, oral administrations appear to produce similar effects on ulcerations of the alimentary canal, allaying abdominal pains.

Slippery elm bark is a known cleanser for the gastrointestinal tract. People who felt benefited from it believe it eases stomach cramps and improve colon disturbances. While more studies are needed for its efficacy, slippery elm bark products are generally considered to be safe.

Slippery Elm bark is excellent therapy for the digestive tract. Don’t be with out it!

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Slippery Elm Bark
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Date: July 23, 2009 10:35 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Slippery Elm Bark

The slippery elm plant can be found natively growing in eastern North America. It is similar to the American elm in general appearance, but it is more closely related to European Wych Elm. Other common names for this plant are Red Elm, Gray Elm, Soft Elm, Moose Elm, and Indian Elm.

The Greek physician Dioscorides used slippery elm in ancient times to help speed up the healing of broken bones. A seventeenth-century herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, also recommended this herb for healing broken bones, balding, and burns. This herb was known as a survival food by Native Americans and early colonists. These people considered this herb to be extremely valuable. They used the inner bark of slippery elm as a salve and applied externally for burns and wounds. Slippery elm bark was also used for colds, coughs, sore throats, wounds, as a poultice to bring boils to a head, and also for bowel complaints. This herb was considered to be one of the most valuable remedies in herbal practice by Dr. Edward Shook.

This herb contains about the same amount of nutrition as oatmeal. It is responsible for providing a wholesome and sustaining food for those people for young children and invalids. Slippery elm is mainly used to treat gastrointestinal problems. Like stomach and intestinal ulcers, soothing the stomach and colon, indigestion, acidity, and to lubricate the bowels. The mucilage content that is found in this herb is believed to help in healing ulcers and ulcerated colons. The herb has also been used for asthma, bronchitis, colitis, colon problems, and all lung problems. Slippery elm is also a mild purgative, which helps to assist with elimination.

Research done on slippery elm has found that it is an excellent demulcent. It is also beneficial for diarrhea, coughs, stomach problems, colitis, and lung problems. The bark of slippery elm contains mucilage which is responsible for swelling in water. This swelled mixture can then be applied to wounds or taken internally to soothe and heal. Some lozenges for throat irritations have powdered bark included in them to help soothe the throat and promote healing.

In short, the inner bark of the slippery elm plant is used to provide antacid, antineoplastic, astringent, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, mucilant, and nutritive properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, copper, iodine, iron, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, vitamins A, F, K, and P, and zinc. Primarily, slippery elm is extremely beneficial in treating abscesses, asthma, bronchitis, burns, colitis, colon problems, constipation, coughs, diaper rash, diarrhea, gastric disorders, and lung problems.

Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with appendicitis, bladder problems, boils, cancer, croup, diphtheria, dysentery, eczema, eye ailments, fevers, flu, hemorrhoids, herpes, inflammation, kidney problems, pain, phlegm, pneumonia, sores, syphilis, sore throat, tuberculosis, tumors, ulcers, uterine problems, vaginal irritations, warts, worms, wounds, and whooping cough. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by slippery elm, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.

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Sources of Essential Fatty Acids
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Date: June 25, 2005 08:38 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Sources of Essential Fatty Acids

Sources of Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids are found in both plant and animal sources, although primarily in plants. The EFA family is composed of two main forms, Omega-3 and Omega-6. The following explains exactly what these forms are.

OMEGA-3: The most common forms of Omega-3 are eicosapentaenioic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid, which comes from plants and helps create EPA and DHA. Omega-3 is usually derived from fish oils. Dr. Roger Illingworth, associate professor of medicine and biochemistry at Oregon Health Sciences University, explains that Omega-3 fatty acids are “long-chained metabolic products from linolenic acid. . . When animals consume and metabolize plants rich in linolenic acid, they produce Omega-3.” EPA and DHA are liquid and remain that way, even at room temperature. It is said that they protect fish by providing a body fat that stays fluid even in cold temperatures. OMEGA-6: The most common form of Omega-6 is is gammalinolenic acid (GLA). GLA is known to provide the following benefits, among many others:


1. Helps facilitate weight loss in overweight persons (but not in people who do not need to lose any weight).
2. Reduces platelet aggregation (abnormal blood clotting).
3. Helps reduce symptoms of depression and schizophrenia.
4. Alleviates premenstrual syndrome symptoms.
5. May help alcoholics overcome their addiction.

Omega-6 is usually found in plant sources. The oils of coldwater fish such as salmon, bluefish, herring, tuna, mackerel and similar fish are known as Omega-3 fatty acids. The freshpressed oils of many raw seeds and nuts contain Omega-6 fatty acids. The most popular sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 include:

BLACK CURRANT SEED OIL: This oil is rich in linoleic acid (44%) and provides almost twice as much gamma-linolenic acid as evening primrose oil. Black currant seed oil also is an excellent source of an Omega-3 precursor known as stearidonic acid. BORAGE OIL: This oil comes from Borago officinalis, a plant with blue flowers. It is widely recommended in Europe to strengthen the adrenal glands, alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and relieve inflammation. Besides possibly helping with heart and joint function, it may also assist the growth of nails and hair. Borage oil is also an excellent source of GLA. In The Complete Medicinal Herbal, herbalist Penelope Ody asserts that it is “helpful in some cases of menstrual irregularity, for irritable bowel syndrome, or as emergency first aid for hangovers.” SALMON OIL: This oil is high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids. These types of EFAs are known to thin the blood, prevent clotting, regulate cholesterol production and strengthen cell walls, making them less susceptible to viral and bacterial invasion. Salmon oil has a natural ability to help the body relieve inflammation. In the ground-breaking book The Omega-3 Breakthrough: The Revolutionary, Medically Proven Fish Oil Diet, professor Roger Illingworth writes that Linolenic acid is a fatty acid with 18 carbons and 3 double bonds.

It is manufactured exclusively by plants. When animals consume and metabolize plants rich in linolenic acid, they produce Omega- 3. Plankton, a minute form of marine life, is part plant and part animal. Its plant component manufactures linolenic acid. Fish eat the plankton, and the linolenic acid breaks down in their bodies in two types of Omega-3 fatty acids: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) . . . The liquidity of EPA and DHA serves a vital function in fish, who require body fat that remains fluid even in very cold water. Fish oils, besides containing Omega-3 fatty acids, have shown to benefit those suffering from migraine headaches, arthritis, and high cholesterol levels.

FLAX: Flax is a plant said to date back as far as 5000 B.C. It has been used since approximately 5000 B.C., making it one of the oldest cultivated crops. It is exported from several countries, including Argentina, Canada, India, Russia and the United States. The flowers are usually blue, although they are sometimes white or pink. The mucilaginous seed is, of course, called flaxseed. The oil primarily provides Omega-3/linolenic acid, and provides an average of 57 percent Omega-3, 16 percent Omega-6, and 18 percent of the non-essential Omega-9. Flaxseed oil is said to contain rich amounts of beta carotene (about 4,300 IU per tablespoon) and vitamin E (about 15 IU per tablespoon). In the October 1995 issue of Let’s Live, the history and uses of flax were highlighted by herbalist Carla Cassata. She writes, . . . It’s no wonder the Cherokee Indians highly valued the flax plant. They mixed flaxseed oil with either goat or Moose milk, honey and cooked pumpkin to nourish pregnant and nursing mothers, providing them with the needed nutrients for creating strong and healthy children. It was also given to people who had skin diseases, arthritis, malnutrition as well as men wishing to increase virility. They believed flax captured energies from the sun that could then be released and used in the body’s metabolic process.

This belief has merit. Flaxseed oil, rich in electrons, strongly attracts photons from sunlight. To be effective, EFAs must be combined with protein at the same meal. This flaxseed oil/protein/ sunlight combination releases energy and enhances the body’s electrical system. Also, this combination, along with vitamin E, can be beneficial for infertile couples and women suffering from premenstrual syndrome . . . Flaxseed oil, having an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, can benefit the 40 million Americans suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. To achieve optimum results, however, substances that activate the sympathetic nervous system—like refined sugar, soda, coffee, fluoride— must be eliminated. Stress must also be reduced, because it too, activates the sympathetic nervous system, promoting inflammation.

EVENING PRIMROSE: This flower is indigenous to North America, although the oil is particularly popular throughout Europe for therapeutic purposes. It is also known as night wil - low and evening star. It is an excellent source of both linolenic and linoleic acids. Both of these nutrients must be obtained from the diet, as the body cannot synthesize them. The seeds contain gamma linolenic acid. This polyunsaturated EFA helps with the production of energy and is a structural component of the brain, bone marrow, muscles and cell membranes. Evening primrose oil has also benefited those with multiple sclerosis, PMS, hyperactivity and obesity. It is estimated that it takes about 5,000 seeds to produce the oil for one 500 mg capsule.

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Best Bread ...
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Date: June 13, 2005 07:30 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Best Bread ...

Best Breads by Jane Lane Energy Times, December 9, 1999

Few of us can resist the seductions of freshly baked bread, warm and fragrant, poised on the edge of a steaming bowl of soup or painted with an aromatic swath of rosemary scented oil. Even those of us from the most culinary challenged households can recall the pleasures of the simple plump white dinner roll or flaky biscuit piled in a basket on the dinner table.

Bread has blossomed from sideshow status beside the dinner plate to a full-scale mealtime headliner, a scrumptious star enriched by nutritious grains, herbs, fruits and vegetables.

Contemporary cooks build meals around crunchy cornbread or chewy focaccia, presenting soups or salads as satisfying counterpoints. Want to jump into the bread baking basket or hone your skills? Two top vegetarian chefs shared with Energy Times their passion for bread and their expertise in baking. See if you don't find that ardor contagious.

Nancy Lazarus is a chef at the famed Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York, established in 1973 to serve up natural fare with a homecooked, vegetarian emphasis. The bill of fare changes daily at Moosewood, but there's one constant: a cup or bowl of soup, a salad and a thick slice of bread. Some loyal customers have ordered the daily special for 20 years.

That's why bread occupies a cherished spot at Moosewood. Nancy Lazarus tells why and offers some of Moosewood's favorite bread recipes: "Cooking is like art; baking is like science; bread is like magic. No matter how much science you apply, you'll never have complete control: It'll do its own thing on some level, which is part of its charm, if you're charmed by that sort of thing. Breads come out differently depending on heat and humidity, the heat of the oven; yeast is a variable that can be slower or faster acting.

"There are bread machines, of course, and they work. But they're not as satisfying as the real thing, the kneading, which can be almost therapeutic, and the control over the ingredients to your own specifications.

"Bread is not that difficult. Know your own oven, to begin: Good insulation is important and how the heat travels around inside. Convection ovens are a wonderful thing.

"There are difficult breads we recommend you buy at a good bakery: baguettes, Italian, French and Cuban that are crusty outside and soft inside.

"But focaccia is easy. It's a yeasted bread that's better to make at home than buy because it's so fresh and you can control the toppings. It only requires one slow and one quick rising but you have to be there for a while.

"Then there are quick breads that use baking soda or powder, like cornbread. If you want a good meal at home and can make only one thing, make a quick bread. They're satisfying and delicious warm from the oven; and the aroma of bread fills the house. A corn bread with tomato soup for supper is a nurturing meal good for vegans.

"Popovers are fast and simple, a middle American 50s treat, but you do need a hot oven and 45 minutes. Also easy to make: sweet breads- carrot, banana, zucchini-and biscuits.

"To reduce the fat in denser quickbreads and cakes, use applesauce. It gives body and moistness.

"The number of wheat-sensitive people is rising dramatically. A theory I think makes sense is that in the last 30 years the varieties of wheat grown has been reduced to 1 or 2 that are more easily cultivated and harvested with the machinery available. People are overloaded with one type of wheat.

"Gluten is the offending substance in wheat and some oats; try rice, tapioca and potato flours, which are denser and more fine and don't produce a good crust. Improve the crust by baking in a preheated cast iron skillet.

"Also investigate chickpea flour. You don't make a loaf of bread with it- use it for flatbreads like papadam, which is in Indian cookbooks. And it's good for batter for vegetables.

"Spelt is the closest to wheat flour in consistency but some people can be sensitive to it.

"Visit a natural food store to check out the flours. The mills sometimes print handouts with recipes and a lot of those are real good, especially for what works with their flour. Or you may run into a baker who will whet your appetite with ideas and recipes.

"Bread is the supreme comfort food. It can speak to us, and reassure us. The magic of bread and how it varies: There's something appealing in that. In today's world, food is predictable, and that's reassuring to some people. At Moosewood, things are always different, and that's good."

Claire Criscuolo puts an intensely personal spin on the eclectically ethnic style of cooking at her esteemed vegetarian restaurant, Claire's Corner Copia. That 25-year-old institution in New Haven, Connecticut, reflects her zest for the freshest ingredients, robust flavors and inspired combinations. Claire, a teacher and advocate for healthful cuisine, pours her passion into her breadmaking as well:

"Healthy bread is like anything else-it has healthy ingredients. We use the best organic unbleached flour and yeast, pure vanilla, whole eggs (not dried and powdered), whole milk and organic sour cream. You want to use good, fresh ingredients. It's the essence of healthy cooking. "I tell my staff, 'Don't use your soup pot as a garbage pail. Bread is the same. If the ingredients aren't at their freshest for serving, then they aren't right for other uses in the kitchen.

"Our bread is very important at Claire's. We make a country white and a honey wheat in a pinwheel loaf-400 a day-and challah for the morning French toast with sauteed bananas or as buns for veggie burgers. "It's not practical to bake bread every day. We let our bread rise several times, punching it down again and again. For the home cook, it's time consuming. Even I'm happy to buy a good loaf of bread. "But anybody can bake bread. Combine flour, water and yeast and watch it grow! It's delights all your senses. And it a gratifies and satisfies. I was kneading it all by hand until we got up to 12 loaves a day.

"I love a good oatmeal molasses bread; a whole wheat bread with walnuts, rosemary and finely chopped sweet onion sauteed in olive oil for a roasted vegetable sandwich; or an anadama bread with split pea soup.

"Bread is part of a meal. It requires time and effort, but I can't think of many things worthwhile that don't."



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