October 22, 2017

Common Culinary Herbs and Their Hidden Benefits

Culinary herbs add flavor to many a meal, but their benefits go far beyond taste. Some of the most easily recognized herbs have various medicinal, nutritional, and other benefits not so well-known.

Parsley (Petrosilinum crispum) 

 This herb has a very high vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron content. Medicinally, it has many uses including reducing water retention, freshening breath and eliminating halitosis. It is believed to be a strong cancer inhibitor, and it also is used to treat kidney and gallstones. It is an expectorant, stimulates menstruation, and eases flatulence and colic pains. It is also believed to be a potent aphrodisiac.

Sage (Salvia officianalis)

Sage has vitamin A, C, calcium and iron and is used to relieve flatulence and indigestion. It is also used to reduce inflammation in the mouth, throat, and tonsils, soothing the mucous membranes there. As a compress, it helps to heal wounds.

Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis)

This aromatic herb has potent anti-parasitic, anti-depressant, and antiseptic properties. It contains vitamins A, C, and iron. The strong aroma is an insect repellent. It has a calming effect on the digestive system so is used to treat nervous stomach, headaches and depression related to stress. It is also used to treat sciatica, muscular pain, and neuralgia, and to stimulate hair growth.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris):Thyme also contains vitamins A and C and iron. It has strong antiseptic properties and is used to treat respiratory and digestive problems, and infected wounds. It eases sore throats and coughs and is used in bronchitis, whooping cough, and asthma. Its astringent properties make it useful in cases of childhood diarrhea and bedwetting.

Sweet Basil, Common Basil (Osimum Basilicum):The leaves of basil contain vitamin A and C. Basil also contains iron and calcium. It has been used to allay the pain of insect bites, bee stings, and snake bites. It has also been used to calm upset stomach, and reduce vomiting.

Oregano, Wild Marjoram (Origanum Vulgare):Containing vitamins A, C, calcium and iron, it is best known for flavoring Italian and other Mediterranean dishes. This valuable herb is a strong antibiotic, antimicrobial, antiviral, antiseptic, antifungal medicine. It is used to treat chronic sinus infections, mouth, tooth, and gum infections, respiratory infections, fungal infections, digestive problems, and as an appetite enhancer.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis):

This sweet-smelling herb is used to relieve stress and anxiety and induce sleep. It lowers blood pressure and is also used to treat fevers in influenza and other infections. It calms and tones the digestive system. It attracts beneficial bees and repels pests in the garden.

October 22, 2017

Classic Poached Pears: Basic Elegance for your Dessert Repertoire

Think about biting into a juicy pear. Fresh, flavorful, sometimes crisp. If you've ever tried to capture that burst of flavor in a pie, you probably realized that it's challenging to cook that crisp bite out of the pears. Poaching is a way to soften the pear through a gentle heating over low heat. You can used poached pears as a basis for many baked goods. The technique of poaching also works well for certain stone fruits, most notable apricots, peaches and nectarines.

Poached Pears:


  • 1 bottle white wine*
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • zest 1-2 lemons
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped and seeded (optional)
  • 10-12 pears**

*It's best to use wine for cooking that you would happily drink, but it does not need to be something expensive. I tend to use pinot grigio or chardonnay.

**You can poach as may pears as will fit, submerged, into the water, or as few pears as you need for a recipe.


  1. Combine sugar, water, wine and spices in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile peel pears, leaving stem on.
  3. Using a melon baller or 1/4 teaspoon, remove the seeds from pear. This should be done with 2-3 incisions from the bottom of the pear with the goal of removing stem and seeds, leaving a smooth interior.
  4. When poaching liquid has come to a boil, place pears in the pot and lower heat a a gentle simmer.
  5. Cover the pot with a piece of parchment paper weighted down with a plate or bowl. This helps keep all your pears submerged for even cooking.
  6. Test after twenty minutes. Pears are finished when easily pierced with a knife.Continue cooking until finished, anywhere from twenty to forty-five minutes, depending on the size of your pear and cooking temperature.
  7. Let pears cool in syrup. If not using immediately, refrigerate when cool.

Poached pears may keep for up to 2 weeks, refrigerated. Poaching liquid can be saved, strained and used a second time. As with any food item, always taste for freshness before using.

How to use Poached Pears:

Dice and use in a granola yogurt parfait.

Combine poached pears and a little poaching liquid in blender. Blend, strain and process in a home ice cream maker for incredible pear sorbet.

Can with poaching liquid for an elegant homemade hostess gift.

Serve with ice cream, caramel sauce and cookies for an elegant, easy dessert.

Make a pear-frangipane tart.

The poaching syrup recipe above can be modified with other flavors. Substitute cinnamon sticks and orange zest for the star anise and lemox zest, or use these flavors as a guide to spark your imagination!

October 22, 2017

Chiropractic, Wellness and Natural Medicine

Many in the U.S. have heard of chiropractic or chiropractors, but are somewhat skeptical about its efficacy. Some practitioners in the medical profession and specifically the pharmaceutical industry, see no upside to alternative medicine, although many patients that have experienced both certainly have had positive experiences with the chiropractic approach. Questions remain in many people's minds as to what approach is the best. This is actually the wrong way of considering at the issue.

Chiropractic and Conventional Medicine Differentiation

The conventional practice of medicine utilizes drugs, treatments and in some cases surgery, to correct medical problems. The medical profession, for the most part, is concerned with pinpoint solutions to solving medical conditions. The approach is that if a patient has a broken finger, then the physician will reset the finger and the patient (hopefully) becomes well. On the other hand, chiropractors are concerned with the total wellness of the patient through the correct alignment of the spine, the skeletal bones, proper nutrition, exercise, environmental and life style conditions. Conventional medicine and chiropractic had been at odds with each other over the better part of the 20th century. Much of the disagreement had been based upon economic factors. If patients were successful with chiropractic they might be less likely to use conventional medicine in the future to address medical problems. Over the last 10-15 years following a successful Federal law suit against the American Medical Association, the medical profession has been more open to the profession of chiropractic as a treatment approach for certain disorders.

Chiropractic is Non Invasive

When a patient visits a medical doctor, they typically expect to receive a prescription or have a procedure performed. As stated above, chiropractic approaches the body as a system with the nervous system as the hub of the system and by using various adjustments and non invasive therapies thereby allowing the body to correct itself. Also, it is fairy common to see chiropractors associated with professional football or hockey teams. All of this makes sense. In an interview with Dr. Vanessa Koutalidis, D.C., a chiropractor in South Florida, stated that with sports injuries and virtually almost every ache or pain associated with the back, "... a chiropractic approach is very effective in treating most 'sprain-strain' injuries, as well as other joint pains." The profession of chiropractic deals with holistic and dietary issues as well as various non invasive naturopathic treatment therapies and natural remedies.

An Approach to Health and Wellness that Should be Considered

With most insurances companies accepting chiropractic as a treatment option, it makes sense to consider this as an approach to treatment and wellness. Obviously, if a patient's problems is acute, a laceration or a severe lower intestinal disorder, a physician is the first stop. However, depending upon the nature of the complaint, a natural approach to health should always be considered. With many chiropractors certified in acupuncture and with many of their offices also providing therapeutic massage, there are a host of treatment and wellness options available within the chiropractic profession. The informed consumer should consider and research alternative treatment options that are available. This is particularly important when a non invasive treatment is desired. The science of health care and wellness is progressing on a daily basis and a patient should research the best approach consistent with his or her health.
October 18, 2017

How to enhance your physical health condition

Individuals of every age group nowadays wish to enhance every aspect of their physique and mind. They understand the overall importance of being healthy throughout their lifetime. However, they suffer from different physical health problems often in their routine life and seek how to heal such problems.  They can pay attention to easy to follow guidelines associated with how to promote their physical health further and quit possibilities of ill health condition.

A good diet plan day after day is vital to take care of the physique and mind together. You have to understand this fact and consult with a qualified dietician without delay. Once you have started following an appropriate diet plan, you can get a good improvement in your health condition as expected. If you consume fresh fruits and vegetables daily, then you can become energized and healthy without difficulty in any aspect. Lots of fibers and nutrients in these fresh fruits and vegetables do not fail to strengthen physique further.

Daily exercise is a key to acquire the most expected physical appearance and improve the health condition on the whole.  There is no need to spend more than an hour in the fitness center with an aim to be strong within a couple of weeks. You can gradually increase your exercise time and follow instructions from a qualified fitness trainer. You will get the absolute support and be physically powerful beyond your expectations.

If you suffer from any symptom of ill health condition, then you have to immediately make contact with your doctor and heal any illness in its initial stage. This is worthwhile to visit a hospital for a thorough body check-up twice a year.  You have to follow suggestions from your doctor and take care of your health day after day without compromising your healthcare requirements.