5 Reasons to Give Your Animals Moringa Supplements

5 Reasons to Give Your Animals Moringa Supplements

Moringa is a valuable addition to your pet’s diet. There are at least 5 good reasons to give your animals Moringa. Moringa is a super nutritious food that contains 46 antioxidants, and 90 nutrients including high-quality protein, calcium, trace minerals, all essential amino acids, and even iron.  This has been proven by a number of studies on Moringa’s nutrition.

5 reasons to give Moringa to your pets.

Learn how and why to give Moringa to your pets.

#1:  Most commercial pet foods are full of junk meat, meat by-products, GMO corn, synthetic vitamins, and are poor quality. Even better quality dog foods may be missing trace minerals and other needed nutrients. Any cooked dog food does not contain Vitamin C.  Heat destroys the nutrient value of many vitamins including Vitamin C,  in the food you or your dogs eat. So you need to feed your pets Moringa to provide them with some of the nutrients their commercial food lack.

Corn is in any dry dog food unless it is grain free.  We feed our dogs a good quality grain-free diet formulated for older dogs’ needs. Chicken, not chicken meal is one of the first ingredients. If you are eating corn yourself,  know that 90% of corn is GMO now.  We have taken corn out of our diet for that reason. Corn syrup is in almost every processed food you eat. You and your pet need to eat less processed foods! The only corn eaten should be organic.  If your dog chews on his paws, his dog food is probably one issue you need to examine.  It can also mean he’s in pain.

#2:   Our pets often develop arthritis because of poor-quality commercial dog food lacking quality nutrition.  Feeding them Moringa will help feed joints and muscles to help prevent this problem. The exceptional nutrients in Moringa will feed all the different organs and body systems to help your pet remain healthier for a longer time. It is also a good idea if your dog is older and suffering from joint problems to give them glucosamine chondroitin supplements. They have chews available for dogs to make it easy.

#3:  Moringa and its nutrition will help support your animal’s immune system. This is important with winter coming on. Give them Moringa as a supplement for this reason if for no other. Immune health in dogs, just like their pet parents is needed in the winter months, and when your pet begins to age. Giving them Moringa as a supplement may help them to live longer, be more agile, and with more vitality.

#4:  Give your pets  Moringa to boost their energy. This applies especially to older animals especially.  They need some extra support.  It has made a huge difference in our Aussie who is 13 and already experiencing problems in getting up. I started her on the supplements including Moringa when she started having problems getting up from a lying position.  After about two weeks or so, the supplements improved that.

#5:  I would suggest visiting a holistic vet before giving any pregnant dog Moringa or any other supplement just to be safe.

Moringa is a food, not an herb. In the Philippines where the Moringa trees grow in abundance, people utilize the leaves right off the trees on their property. The farmer’s markets there sell freshly harvested Moringa branches with leaves still attached, just like lettuce here.

Web MD here gives no warning for pregnant or nursing women.

Unless advised otherwise by your vet, pregnant or nursing animals should benefit from a supplement of Moringa. It will help them produce more and better quality milk. The nutrients in Moringa will give the pregnant and nursing animals an extra boost, nutrition-wise to help them during the pregnancy. Feeding them a Moringa supplement should also be of benefit while they are feeding that litter of pups or kittens. This would apply as well to pregnant farm animals such as cows, goats, and pigs.

In countries where women are starving to death, there are projects that give moringa to women to help boost their health and milk production. They give it to babies as porridge to help them survive.

Here is an excerpt from Trees of Life Journal on Moringa, which includes this paragraph below,

Moringa oleifera: A Review of the Medical Evidence of Its Nutritional, Therapeutic, and Prophylactic Properties (tfljournal.org)

Moringa trees have been used to combat malnutrition,
especially among infants and nursing mothers. Three
non-governmental organizations in particular—Trees
for Life, Church World Service, and Educational
Concerns for Hunger Organization—have advocated
Moringa is “natural nutrition for the tropics.” Leaves
can be eaten fresh, cooked, or stored as dried powder
for many months without refrigeration, and reportedly
without loss of nutritional value. Moringa is especially
promising as a food source in the tropics”

Moringa – Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed®) – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)

I would encourage you to visit this site on children starving in Africa. It is graphic and hard on your heart.  The site is I Love Moringa, which is a site full of education on the Moringa tree, its leaves, and its value in the starvation that is occurring in those countries.

Our pets are developing some of the same diseases that humans have: obesity, arthritis, clogged arteries, and a general problem of poor nutrition.  This poor nutrition leads to diseases and deaths before their time. Poor food and lack of exercise are killing our pets early.

Moringa Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, and Dosage – Dr. Axe (draxe.com)

My experience giving Moringa to farm animals is that our chickens, rabbits, and goats ate the fresh leaf easily. I did not have enough to do more than give them the Moringa as a treat but they did eat the fresh readily. The Moringa powder could be mixed with their grain or coated over a piece of apple or over a piece of banana.  You might try making a moringa ball, mixing its sweet grain with a bit of molasses and Moringa powder. You might have to get creative on this.

Moringa seedlings will be readily eaten by animals.

Cats will eat the moringa leaves directly off the growing seedlings.

Our cats would not eat the dried Moringa in their food but would eat the leaves off my seedlings if I left them unattended. It is easy to grow the seedlings and let them eat them like cat grass.  Note, when the cats eat all the leaves off of a small seedling, it may kill the seedling. You would have to keep sprouting seeds and growing a fresh crop of baby Moringa trees.

Our dogs will eat the powder mixed with their regular food. If you have a picky eater like some of the small dogs, I would mash it in with a bit of canned dog food and try that. If they are on a raw food diet, mix it in with fresh meat. Again, start with just a bit to see how they respond. If you add too much, they might refuse to eat the meat.

I would suggest starting out with just a smidgen, then work up to 1/8 of a teaspoon over a few days to judge how they do.  Give that dose to them for about a week or so, then increase it to 1/4 tsp. This is food, not a herb or drug, so you may not notice a difference for a while.  I would give it a three months trial at least unless they show an allergy to it. People or dogs can be allergic to any food in some cases.

I hope this gives you the answers to why both you and your pets need to supplement with Moringa. Please go to the links, (educational only) to learn more about Moringa for you and your pets.  It is one of the supplements we use every day in our smoothies.

Cathryn Freer, the Herbladyisin

Note, I began giving my animals Moringa when we grew our own trees and had a business doing so. We don’t have that business at this point but we still take Moringa daily and give it to our animals. I believe in Moringa and we have personal experience with giving Moringa leaves to farm animals. In TN we had chickens, rabbits, and a goat or two for the whole 5 years we lived there. The pictures showing Moringa trees growing are personal pictures taken during that time period.

Read my article on the Health Benefits of Moringa Oleifera here! 

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How to Grow Moringa Trees From Seeds

How to Grow Moringa Trees From Seeds

Moringa trees with their highly nutritious leaves can be grown at home. Moringa is one of the few trees that grow very quickly and its leaves can be harvested even in the first year or two. 

This is not an article for professional large-scale growers but for the individual who just wants to grow several trees to reap the benefits of their amazing nutritionally dense leaves.

This article is updated from 2016 when we grew the trees in our business based in the San Diego area.

You can buy Moringa trees from nurseries in Florida for about $20 to $25.00 depending on the size being sold or grow them from seeds.  Neem Tree Farms in Florida is where I got my best seed and later several 2-foot trees. They sell Neem trees as well.

Growing them from seed is both fun and enjoyable especially in Florida and California where the weather is nice even in the winter. We once had a business doing just that in 2014. 

Moringa trees we grew in San Diego.

Moringa trees grown in large containers.

Growing Moringa Questions Answered Below:

How do you tell if your Moringa seed is good quality?

Moringa seeds should be dark brown or black and the hull hard. If the Moringa Oleifera seed is soft or cream-colored, it is an old seed.  You need to test germinate seed you buy, if planting in large quantities.

Good quality Moringa Oleifera seeds.

Learn how to grow Moringa trees from seeds.

One of the problems in buying seeds from foreign countries is some of the seeds, are old and won’t germinate. I got some beautiful seeds but none sprouted. I tried test-germinating them twice with different methods. I was just out the money for them.  

The problem with moringa seeds is the quality of the seed and if it has been irradiated.  They are a tree best suited to grow in Hawaii and Florida.  Any other climate type can be a problem.  If you have any freezing temps, your Moringa trees will not survive those winters. Even altitude can affect them as well as humidity.  So if your seeds don’t sprout, often it is not the seed but other growing conditions. They are also subject to mold because of their high protein content.

The seed root tail cannot be broken or they die. They must be handled and planted gently after they have sprouted. In the picture below you can see the root and on the 4th seedling shown from the left, the beginning of the tree shoot. When transplanting seedlings, be careful to protect the seed root from breaking or the tree dies. 

Sprouting Moringa Seeds

Moringa seeds sprouting. There are very fragile and easy to break.

 How many seeds should I germinate?

You need a minimum of three trees for a couple and more for a family.  I would germinate 20 seeds at least to make sure you get enough seedlings for your family. Some seeds may mold or not germinate. If you end up with too many baby trees, give them to family or friends as a gift.  It will take them a while for them to get tall and bushy enough to generate enough leaves to eat every day.

What is PKM-1 Seed?

When we were growing Moringa seedlings, we bought PKM-1 seeds and got great results with the seeds. Many companies sell PKM-1 seeds. Always investigate a company before you buy seeds or trees. Ask if the seed has been irradiated and the age of the offered seeds. Ask if there is any guarantee when buying the seeds from their company if none of the seeds germinate. Most of them do not refund your money if the seeds fail to germinate because of mistakes customers make trying to germinate the seeds. 

“The PKM-1 variety of Moringa oleifera seeds are considered by many the best Moringa seeds for sale. They were developed at Periyakulam Horticultural College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu in 1989 and have been the main seed used by commercial growers since. These seeds are non-GMO and were developed by selective breeding for 6 generations. PKM-1 Moringa seeds produce the largest yields of leaves and seed pods in the shortest period. And don’t worry they have the same nutritional profile as the leaves and seed pods of the standard Moringa Oleifera seeds.” as quoted from the source below which is Moringa Trees Website. I am not vouching for this site in quoting from their site. Moringa Seeds: Moringa Oleifera Seeds PKM1 – Moringa Trees

What is the difference between Moringa Oleifera seeds and Moringa Stenopetala varieties?

These are the two most common Moringa species grown commercially.

Moringa Oleifera seeds are brown-colored and winged. Stenopetala seeds are tan-colored seeds.

Moringa Oleifera Seeds     

Moringa Oleifera seeds

The fun of growing Moringa Oleifera trees from seeds.

How should I store Moringa Oleifera Seeds?

Store in a dark, dry, warm area in an air-tight container. Do not store in the refrigerator or freezer. These seeds are tropical tree seeds that like warmth.  Moisture will cause them to either sprout or rot.  The best seed is fresh…not over a year old.  

When should I start my Moringa Seeds? This can be tricky.  

Start them indoors in early Spring like you would your tomato seeds. They need warmth to sprout. If your house is too cold, it will not work. You can use a seed heat mat or grow lights to get them started indoors. A warm sunny living room or enclosed porch perhaps.  

Do not put them outdoors until it is warm, after all, danger of cold weather and frost is past. One frost will kill them, especially the baby seedlings.

Moringa seeds can be tricky to get started….like wine they take their own time.

If your Moringa seeds do not sprout, they can be stubborn. Wait until June when it warms up to try again.  If you grow the trees without a heated greenhouse you may find the trees will not grow until summer. They will just sit there like they are stunted. I had a whole set this year that did nothing no matter what I tried (other than a heated greenhouse) until June began.  In June they began growing and are doing much better now.  They like very warm, humid weather.

Grow lights and heat mats increase germination.  A heated greenhouse is great but then some of them go into shock when put out in the real environment. The Moringa seedlings grow much more slowly without a greenhouse.  It takes the heat to spur rapid growth.

Methods for Germinating Moringa Seeds

 #1: Zip Lock Bag Method:

Pierce the seed hull with your fingernail gently which makes it easier for the seed to sprout.

You can also remove the hull before planting, being careful not to damage the tender seed in the process.  

Soak Moringa seeds for several hours in a zip lock bag containing 1/4 cup of warm water.  

Next, drain the water from the zip-lock bag.

Lay the bag on a plate so it is flat.  Separate the seeds so they don’t touch each other.

Don’t sprout more than 5 seeds in a bag, so they are not crowded.    This will cut down on mold and prevent their shoots from getting entangled as they sprout.

If you see mold growing on the seeds, gently wash the seed hull under warm water. If you get mold in the bag, move the seeds to a clean bag, to which you have added water, then drained well.

Don’t add additional water to the bag, the seeds are wet enough after being soaked overnight.

Place the plate with the zip lock bag containing the seeds in a warm drawer or in your gas stove where the temperature is between 90 and 100 degrees F.  Temperature is important for germination.   Don’t let the seeds get cold.

When the root and stem shoots are about two inches long, transplant them into containers.

Transplant to one-gallon containers with loose, organic potting soil.  Make sure you plant the seed with root shoot down into the soil and stem with the first leaves part up. Plant in pots from 6 to 9 inches deep.

Do not put the seed portion more than 3/4 inches below the soil surface.

 Cake Carrier Container Method

Sprouting Moringa seeds in a cake carrier container.

One method to sprout the Moringa seeds.

#2: This is how I have spouted my last seeds. I soak them in water all night. I take my fingernail and pierce the shell. Then I put a wet paper towel on the plate, put the seeds on the paper towel, don’t let the seeds touch each other, then I put a round glass Corning top over the plate.

I am now using a cake cover that I found at the Dollar Store. it works the best since the top is high enough not to crowd the seeds. I waited until the sprout was about two inches in length, then planted them.  If you work, this is not a good method to use. In the summer heat, the seeds dry out unless sprayed several times during the day.

I am home so I spray the seeds once or twice a day if the paper towel or seeds look dry.  You must be home to use this method and not forget them. I have the plate on top of my chest freezer in the kitchen. When doing things in the kitchen, I check on the seeds. I have had no mold problems with this method.  

Direct Peat Pot or Coir Kit Germination Method:

You can use individual pots filled with coir fiber as well.  They don’t seem to do well in peat.

Using germination kits to raise Moringa seedlings in.

An easy and successful method to raise Moringa seedlings.

 Set up with a heat mat underneath and grow lights. The Burpee kit I used this year included a tray with individual cells with a water mat included. Much less work but more expensive. The mat is reusable. I bought mine at Walmart. They run about $20 to 25.00.  It does not come with a heat mat included.  The seed must be relatively fresh to give good germination results. Fill the pot to within 1 -1/2 inches or use a peat pot or coir from coconuts. Lay one soaked Moringa seed on top, then cover loosely with an inch of soil. Keep soil moist. They germinate in a few days to two weeks.

If you get a kit, you will water it from the bottom. Each kit comes with a nice water mat. Utilizing a water mat, you don’t have to worry about the cells drying out or getting too wet. The plants in their cells sit on top of the water mat. The mat soaks up water. The plants soak up water from the mat.

I also used a heat mat under my plants since it is cold in the house. The heat mat keeps the water and soil warm, so they sprout faster. They run about 20 to 30 dollars on Amazon. They do help.

If you use individual peat pots, water the soil lightly daily until the shoot becomes visible. Then add only enough water to keep the soil moist. They don’t like standing water or soggy soil. After the shoot is visible, place it in indirect light for a month.

Not all seeds will grow into trees. Some seedlings die out quickly. Not all seeds are of the same quality.

Growing Moringa Trees From Cuttings

Moringa needs to be planted in soil that drains well. Sandy loam soil is good. If you have heavy soil, add peat moss, sand, compost, and aged manure. I use one from Home Depot called Amend and it is pretty good to add in.

Start with a mature tree. Cut a limb from 1 1/2 feet long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Dry the cutting in the shade for 3 days. Loosen the soil area 2′ wide by 2′ deep.

Amend the soil with compost and aged manure. Plant one-third of the thicker end of the cutting into the ground.

Water the cutting daily until you see green growth buds on the cutting. Water the cutting when the ground is dry.

Indoors, water the cutting every 2nd or 3rd day after it takes root. Do not allow water to collect in the tray underneath the potted cutting. It is generally held that you get faster growth from cuttings.

You harvest 3 times a year. You harvest the leaves, the flowers, and the pods. The leaves can be harvested all year round in warm climates. If you are not growing them in the ground, you may not get pods or flowers. To get pods and flowers you need to grow them in 33-gal trash cans with plenty of holes in the bottom for drainage. 

Cut the tree back when it gets too tall to harvest easily. It will grow up again quickly and won’t hurt the tree to cut it back.

Protect Your Moringa Seedlings!

You must protect your seedlings with a wire cage. If you have moles or gophers, you must provide their roots with a wire cage as well. All animals including cats will eat your seedlings. You must protect them from chickens, rabbits, goats, mice, squirrels, rats, dogs, and cats. Eating the Moringa leaves will help your animals’ health but will kill your baby trees. They will be eaten down to the ground. I lost some of our seedlings in the house due to that.

Read the next article on the health benefits of eating Moringa leaves Here 

I hope you enjoyed this article!  Cathryn Freer, the Herbladyisin

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Bugs, Mouse Parts, and Rot! What Legally is Allowed in food!

Bugs, Mouse Parts, and Rot! What the FDA Legally Allows.

Bug, Mouse parts, and rot? Do you realize that bugs, dirt, and mouse residue are legally allowed by the FDA in your food? You say I would never eat bugs!

You are already eating bugs!

The food we buy here in the US is safe and clean….right? We should not worry when we open a can of fruit, a bag of frozen berries,  or a box of macaroni and cheese.  You need to read this blog to learn the truth about what’s allowed in the foods you buy every day.

What the FDA legally allows in our food such as bugs.

Do you know what really is in that can of vegetables?

The majority of you reading this blog, have never been to the FDA website. The FDA has a whole website on regulations and laws concerning our food both fresh and packaged. It’s daunting to explore the hundreds of pages of technical rules and regulations for every aspect of food and herb manufacturing.

There is one FDA section you really ought to read. I would not be eating lunch while you read it.  It has pages on what bugs, bug parts, mouse parts, and filth can legally be found in your food.  It’s called The Food Defect Handbook here 

This FDA section states “that it is economically impractical to grow, harvest, or process raw products that are totally free of non-hazardous, naturally occurring unavoidable defects.”  This statement may shock you if you were born and raised in the cities.

Find out what bugs are legally allowed in your food.

The FDA allows a certain amount of bugs, filth, and rot in the food you at.

These defects include bugs, bug parts, mouse parts, mold, diseased leaves, parts of the plant such as root pieces or stems, dirt, weeds, bacteria, and plant leaf disease.

People who have grown up in the city, who have never watched how their vegetables, corn, and wheat are harvested might be really shocked. They don’t think too deeply about what went into that box of macaroni and cheese.  Their biggest concern is price and if it is organic or not. They may be concerned about the carb contents or if wheat is the main ingredient.  How many of you ask yourself if this product is clean in regard to insect contamination?

Even if you ponder that question, there is no way to get the answer easily unless you visibly see bugs in the package or suspicious debris in the flour.

The reality is that when we are eating that pre-baked store-purchased loaf of bread, we don’t usually think about possible insects milled into the flour. When we open a box of spaghetti, we don’t dwell on if insects were ground up in the original flour. Have you ever seen cricket chips which are made from crickets ground into a meal?  I tried them once and they tasted pretty good as long as you didn’t dwell on the ingredients. They look like a normal tortilla chips.

If you live in an agricultural area that grows hay and other crops, they process millions of pounds of corn and wheat per year. That combine comes through the field of corn very quickly. There are mice and bugs in that field eating away, thinking it’s a great day. Those sharp blades suddenly hit those bugs or mice and they end up being processed along with the grain.

When millions of pounds are processed per year by machinery, do you honestly think it’s going to be free from splintered-up bugs and the parts of the mice that were taken in with the grain?

When workers are harvesting your lettuce, they get paid on how much they pick, and the number of crates picked. Do they have time to examine each lettuce plant they pick for insects, insect-damaged leaves, diseased leaves, or mold? Even when you raise lettuce at home, it is easy to miss an aphid or more on the leaves.

This FDA page specifies different food products and what each food can legally contain in insects, insect parts, mouse parts, mouse hairs, bacteria, and mold, and considered safe.

Here are some examples below of the numerous pages: 

Berries: We all love them, putting them in our smoothies and as toppers on our ice cream.  Berries can legally contain an average mold count of under 60%, insects and larvae under 4 per 500 grams including thrips, aphids, and mites.  No problem, you just added a little protein to your topping.

When we lived in TN, I grew mulberry trees. I love mulberries. I would go along and eat the berries right off the branches. One day, I was grazing along when I almost popped a berry in my mouth with a bee attached. After that, I was more careful as I ate them.  Some berries have mold on them as well.  We never froze any of our berries because they never made it to the house.  I never got sick from eating them that way. We had blackberries as well growing. I ate them off the vines too.  When you grow your own, you are not nearly as picky. It is generally felt, a bit of dirt is good for your immune system.

Broccoli, Frozen.  Broccoli is one of the foods on the good vegetable list. Broccoli can contain up to 60 or more aphids, thrips, or mites per 100 grams. Yummy.

Cinnamon:  I use it every day in our oatmeal and in smoothies. Cinnamon can contain up to 400 insect fragments and under 11 rodent hairs per 50 grams. Did you ever see something in your cinnamon power that looked suspicious, well now you know?

Oregano, Crushed one of the most used herbs in the kitchen can contain under 300 or more insect fragments per 10 grams or under 2 rodent hairs per 10 grams.

Coffee Beans: There is nothing like the smell of fresh coffee beans.  Coffee beans can contain under 10% insects or insect-damaged coffee beans. Your coffee beans must contain under 10% of moldy beans. If you are sensitive to mold, your coffee may be to blame for your symptoms.

The problems with coffee containing mold are a real issue for many people. That is why you can now buy coffee beans that have less mold because of the way the coffee beans are grown and dried.  The problem is it is extremely expensive.  Coffee should be considered when evaluating your sensitivity to mold and its effect on you.

Cornmeal:  I bake a loaf of organic cornmeal when I serve up some home-cooked beans.  Cornmeal can contain an average of 1 whole insect per 50 grams, under 25 insect fragments per 25 grams, and one rodent hair per 25 grams. I normally don’t really inspect the cornmeal unless visually something catches my eye.

Mushrooms, Canned and Dried: Acceptable is under “20 or more maggots of any size per 100 grams of drained mushrooms and proportionate liquid or 15 grams of dried mushrooms OR an average of 5 or more maggots 2 mm or longer per 100 grams of drained mushrooms and proportionate liquid or 15 grams of dried mushrooms.”

Macaroni and Noodle products: acceptable is under 225 insect fragments or more per 225 grams in 6 or more subsamples. Average of 4.5 rodent hairs or more per 225 grams in 6 or more subsamples.

Egg and other Egg Products –“Frozen- 2 or more cans decomposed and at least 2 sub-samples from decomposed cans can have direct microscopic counts of under 5 million or more bacteria per gram. ”

This is why I why fresh eggs from our neighbor. I wash the eggs, crack them before I add them to the dish, then observe them to see if they are fresh. I know looking at the way the yolk looks if it is fresh. I have never used frozen egg products and never will, knowing what I do about commercial egg ranches and the quality of the eggs there.

I have to relate a funny story at this point about my father-in-law who grew up during the depression.  They barely survived during those times. It was pretty rough. When I cooked for him at almost 95, he would not eat any food with spices on it other than salt and pepper. The salt and pepper had to be added from the shakers, not already added to the food.  If spices were added during cooking, he would shove the plate away and say it had bugs in it. Nothing I said ever changed his mind.

To him, the spices looked like bugs. In those depression days, when he grew up, you did not throw away your flour if it had bugs in it. You barely had the money to buy flour at all. So you sifted out the bug and bug parts from the flour. That is why in my mother’s day you sifted the flour through a strainer into the cake you were baking.  After reading the FDA page, it’s a good idea to do that now. If there is a mouse hair or two, the strainer will catch it.  I remember in Tennessee, I was making something with flour. I got the container out and scooped out two cups of it and poured it into the bowl.  Then looked at it to find maggot larvae in the flour.  If we were dirt poor, I might have just picked them out but I threw the flour away.

In this day and age, most of us have not known about poverty here in this country. At least not to the degree of it as seen in parts of Mexico, and India. In many countries, people eat bug-infested food all the time. Their water is contaminated. They have crude sanitation available.  We are pretty spoiled in this country. The only people who experienced eating food infested with bugs were our grandparents or perhaps our great grand-parents.

It’s important to understand, that food whether organic or conventionally grown cannot be perfect.  Food products contain a certain amount of dirt, actual ground-up bugs, bug debris, ground mouse parts or mouse hairs, mold, diseased plant matter, and vegetables that are not perfect.  It is reality.

We should be much more concerned about if the food is GMO or how much pesticide was sprayed on the crop before harvesting. This is the real issue with the conventional foods we eat today. 

Way back in 2000, I brought some greens home from the supermarket for our rabbits and chickens. I washed them off a bit, then fed them the greens. The next day, one rabbit was dead and several more were sick. There was pesticide residue still remaining on those greens, even though I washed them briefly.  It showed me the importance of thoroughly washing vegetables and greens before eating them.

The most important thing is to visually inspect, then pick the freshest, highest quality organic fruit and vegetables in the produce bin. Examine them again well before you wash them at home. Organic food should be washed just as carefully as other vegetables since we have no guarantee of their origin. Eat the produce while fresh rather than leaving them in the crisper drawer until they look wilted.  All of us have forgotten that head of lettuce that when you find it later, is a science experiment.

If the food is processed such as cornmeal or flour, just realize that you may be eating more than just the corn.  It’s life and reality. I hope this article will make you think more about the food you eat, where it comes from, and the quality of that food. That is why buying organic is important, although not guaranteed to be a better choice.

Cathryn Freer, the herbladyisin signing off.




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Can You Trust Organic Certified Products?

Can You Trust Organic Certified Products?

Many of you reading this article buy organically raised food and herbal supplements because you feel they are safer and contain more quality nutrients with less contamination.  The reality is that this is not always true. Find out why organic may not live up to the standards you have in your mind and values.

I am going to tell you about my experience importing organic certified Moringa leaves from India a few years back. The reality nearly shut down our business in San Diego because of my inexperience, fraudulent organic certificates, and contaminated herbal product.

Is your organic certified product really organic?

Learn the problems in some said organic foods.

In 2015 we were living in San Diego. I discovered Moringa Oleifera and its benefits. It is a tree with leaves that are extremely nutritious. I bought seeds and all of them grew quickly. I had baby trees everywhere. I fell in love with growing the Moringa trees and decided to start a business with my husband selling them. We named our business, Moringa, and Healing Herbs. We spent time and money to get a nursery license and began selling the trees. San Diego was a beautiful area to grow them in.  Then we decided we should sell the packaged Moringa powder and tea as well. After investigating several US companies that wholesaled Moringa products, we could not really confirm the quality of the supplements. All were vague about their testing.  So, we made the decision to import Moringa products directly from India. That way we could ascertain it was organic and tested properly. Our goal was noble.

Moringa Seedlings

Grow Moringa Oleifera seedlings for your own fresh leaves.

After two months of investigation and correspondence, one company stood out among the different companies we interviewed by phone and email.  The owner of the company sent us pictures of their plantation, samples of their products, and a very realistic certified organic certificate. We sent them $500.00 as a starting order.  When the order never arrived, I investigated the company through the Organic Certifying Organization directly in India.  Well in the end after several weeks, I was told his certificate was stolen from another company and fraudulent. We lost all the money.  This guy evaded authorities after bilking several other companies in that same time period and disappeared into the millions who live in that country.

Organic certificates can be forged. Organic certificates have to be investigated through the country’s organic certifying agency itself. This takes a lot of time, effort, and frustration. Many of the plantations are crude with basic simple equipment, workers including children who are not healthy, and a lack of clean water and sanitation facilities. Cleaning and drying the products are often done in the open air or in buildings that are less than sterile. The storage areas are open to rodent contamination and product destruction.  This is India we are discussing. In Indonesia, China, and the Philippines, the same problem exists.

So, we cut our losses and next I investigated different companies through the certifying agent in India. I was already emailing the representative concerning the fraudulent company and we had exchanged a number of emails. That agent recommended a company confirming it was a great company with certified organic status and quality products. I  investigated this company with responsible due diligence.  I was now confident in the quality of the product I was buying. I did not have the money to test it myself here in the US.

So, we sent them $800.00 which was their minimum order.  Their customer service was excellent.  Four weeks later the shipment entered the US.  It was inspected while sitting on the ship and flagged for label issues. We were then informed the product would be tested as well.  Next, we were sent a notice that the product had been found to contain contamination of dirt, filth, insect, and mouse parts. We would not get the shipment back and it would be destroyed by them. I was devastated at the news.  The good news is that the shipment was tested. What if I had sold that product to my customers? That was the end of importing products for us. We could not afford to wonder about possible contaminated products. We could not with a conscious tell our customers, the product was safe.

We did eventually get the money back from the company, but this experience taught me a number of important lessons.

Importing is a complicated process that needs some real expertise to keep from losing your money and your business. If you want to import herbs to sell, you better get expert advice first from someone actively working in the business. Importing food and herb products gets even more complicated with surprises from inspectors at the ports and the FDA.

  • Organic certification does not mean the product cannot be naturally contaminated with dirt, weeds, insects, rodent hair, and feces. Despite the yearly testing in India, that does not mean the products cannot be contaminated during those months without inspections. Contaminated water, contamination from the people picking the leaves, equipment that was not disinfected properly, drying procedures that were shoddy, or storage in a building that was not safe from insects or rodents.  Organic certification does not mean those organic standards and requirements were followed 100 percent of the time. If you know it’s going to be a year before inspection again, it is easy to cut quality control corners.


  • Organic quality depends on owners who follow those organic standards every day and take pride in the quality of their organic products. The organic certificate is only as good as the owners who either live up to those standards or cut corners.


  • The inspections in those countries in Asia are highly questionable and often fraudulent.  How many companies have the time to check out these foreign growing fields?  Do they actually visit their plantations to see in reality their farming practices? The second company was legitimate, but its organic-certified products were still not safe for consumption.


  • You cannot assure safety unless the products are tested in a US GMP-certified lab. You cannot testify for your customers, the quality of your products unless they are tested for heavy metals, E-coli, bacteria, lead, and other contamination.

I offer another example from San Diego and the farmers’ markets there.

While we lived there, we visited the different Farmers’ Markets on the weekend.  I loved to browse through the organic produce. I did wonder how these smaller producers kept up with bringing products to the market, week in and week out.  Then an investigation was triggered by complaints that the vendors were substituting store-bought produce when they were short in their ability to supply their own organic offerings.  It turned out to be true.

How do you tell organic produce from store-bought? If you only have one box of your own organic produce and you need much more to sell to make a profit and pay the vendor fees, what do you do? It depends on your commitment to honesty and integrity. How easy is it to buy some retail lettuce, add it to your organic produce, mark up the price, then sell it as organic making a profit? In doing that, you made enough to pay for the vendor fees.  Remember, those vendors pay the price to be a part of the Famer’s Market in each location. They have a lot of expenses. They have to make a profit.

Here are two more examples below:

Just about two years ago, a farmer was indicted for selling his grain as organic, when it was conventionally grown. He got away with it for a few years.  He did get caught, but how many people ate that food, thinking it was organic? This happens more often than you would think.

When we lived in Nevada, I went to buy chickens from a woman who also sold shares in her organic vegetable crops that she sold from her house.  She warned me about another woman who lived in the area who substituted her offerings for store-bought greens when insects came in and destroyed the whole crop.  She later got caught and fined. She had been secretly spraying her vegetables with unapproved insecticides at night on the days when her shop was closed.

Organic certificates are only as good as the owner farmers who must adhere to the strict organic guidelines.  Their honesty in how they grow their crops is the end criteria to determine if a food is truly organic and free from contamination of one sort or another.

Cultivate friendships with local farmers who live in your area and visit their farms. Talk to them and ask them questions.  When you are asking questions, like what are the organic steps you take in your fields, watch their eyes, listen to their voice, and observe their behavior. When people are lying, they look down, look away from you, and refuse to look you straight in the eyes. Do they avoid giving you answers and explaining the procedures they take?  Body language will tell you a lot if you can trust them.  You can learn a lot that way.

If nothing else, ask these same questions to the vendor in the farmer’s market. Observe him in the same way.  Listen to your gut feeling about the vendor. Ask as an interested consumer, not someone looking to shut him down.  Be casual and friendly as you have the discussion. A vendor proud of his organic steps will gladly tell you and show his pride. They want to educate people on buying organic and what it takes to grow organically.

You should also realize that some farms use organic standards but don’t have an organic certification because it can take months to get that. The red tape is endless and enough to discourage anyone from the effort.  Some farms, lacking that organic certificate may produce and sell better quality products than some farms with the certification. Again, ask questions and watch body language. Remember it is the honesty of the farmers and their growing practices, that make your food healthy and worth buying.

There are many thousands of organic farmers, who produce quality vegetables, fruit, and herbs. They follow the Organic guidelines with pride. When organic crops are grown properly, they are healthier and contain more vitamins, nutrients, and trace minerals than conventionally raised crops. It is essential to buy organic while being mindful of vendors who may not be trustworthy. Shop smart and use discretion when buying organic.

My next article will be on the insect and filth the FDA legally allows in our food products here in the US.

All for today, Cathryn Freer, the herbladyisin
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Is your herbal supplement tested and safe?

How was your herbal supplement tested and do you know it is safe to take?

What can you learn by reading the bottle’s label about its testing and quality? What information about testing will you learn from the company website? Do you understand why herb products need to be tested?

Most of you reading this article, just buy an herb supplement at the store and assume it is safe and tested by the company properly. Do you understand why the label contains so little information on it? Do you understand why it’s critical for your herbs to be tested, how the herb product is tested, and what tests are needed?

What safety tests were performed on the supplements you are taking now??

Do you know your supplement is safe?

The main information on a label is not about safety. It’s about the product ingredients, the strength of the product if it’s an extract or standardized dosage, suggestions for dosage, and nutritional information. It also has to have warnings on it such as don’t take it when pregnant or nursing.

Herbs are considered food; therefore, companies cannot state any health claims other than general wordage such as ‘supports normal blood pressure’ or ‘supports immune health’. Any dosage stated is a general guideline, not anything more. If they did so, they can be taken to court and fined.  If you state a particular herb lowers blood pressure on the bottle, the company will be fined for false advertising. Only drugs can state in their advertising that the drug lowers blood pressure.  Even though you can find health claims on herbal website advertising, that company can be taken to court over their wordage and are. This is especially true of weight loss supplements.

Most labels are on relatively small bottles with little room to state much more than the above information. The stickers such as non-GMO all make the label more expensive. The FDA regulates what is stated on the label, the wording, and what cannot be stated. Often mislabeling of a product will cause the FDA to recall it.  

Any labels the company adheres to their bottles must be able to be certified by the company such as organic certified stickers or labels.

The information on that bottle label usually does not tell you much at all about the testing, where the product was grown, where it was manufactured, or if it was manufactured by GMP Manufacturing Standards. Each shipment of herb powder may not have the same source. 

Spice or tea products more often state where they come from like ‘product from Mexico or India.’ I can assure you, for example, the powered herb products such as Cayenne pepper, that you buy at the store’s Mexican food section are not processed by GMP or cGMP standards. I will discuss what GMP and cGMP standards mean later in the article. 

The lack of data about testing on the label does not mean the product wasn’t tested. 

It means you have to investigate the company by calling them or going to their website. If the website does not tell you what they test their products for and what tests are performed, they probably don’t. If you call them and they give you vague answers or won’t directly answer your questions, don’t buy their products.

You can request proof of their certifications and testing results. The first guy who answers the phone won’t know that information, but they can put you through to the quality control department, who can.

Another way is to look at the questions on Amazon under the product. You can use this, even if you don’t buy the product on Amazon’s site. Often people ask those questions which are answered there.  You can also find out other information about the product there. On the Amazon description page itself, the company may add details about its company and the testing they perform.  One of the questions you may find answered is what tests they perform on this product. One of the frequent questions is where the source of the herbal product is. 

Many of you buying supplements, innocently assume all herb products are manufactured with the same testing, safety procedures, and quality. The safety of your herbs must be regulated by law, and by the FDA.

Drugs are regulated by law after years of tests and double-blind studies costing the drug company years and billions of dollars. 

Herbs are considered food and are manufactured with fewer rules and regulations. If the FDA regulation on herbs, becomes law this year, herb products will be strictly required to be tested as drugs are now.

Thousands of supplements will be taken off the shelf. Companies would have to spend millions of dollars to perform the same tests required by the manufacturers of drugs. There is not enough money to justify companies spending that kind of money. Herbs cannot be patented, as drugs are. You would just lose access to most supplements. 

That hidden testing and safety information influences whether you get positive results using that specific supplement. It is one of the reasons, people say herbs don’t work. They have purchased poor-quality products without proper testing. 

I have uploaded two pictures below of bottle labels from Nutricost and Caryle Nutritionals, that do have stickers on them.  The labels on these bottles show different product stickers such as ‘produced with GMP Standards’, ‘third-party tested’, ‘non-GMO’,  or ‘packaged and lab tested in the US’.  Very few bottles show these labels. If the product is organic, it will state it on the label itself or have an organic sticker on it. 

Examples of labels on nutritional supplements.

Labels that tell you about what testing was performed on this product.

Important:  You have to investigate the company at its source, the company’s website, where they state the testing they perform on their products.

If you scroll down to the footer on a company home page, somewhere in the links you will find their page labeled Quality or quality testing. It may even be in the links at the top. 

Below are examples of quality control pages from three company websites.

Notice the difference in their quality statements. These examples tell you about the different tests performed on a product and why they are needed.

Tests to make sure the herb is not adulterated and is the proper herb species. Adulterated means the herb product contains herbs such as weeds, or the product was cut with a different herb than specified such as Goldenseal leaf versus the root. It may be the wrong herb species. Each herb family has a microscopic footprint the herb company microbiologist can identify. 

Tests for heavy metals such as lead and mercury.

Tests for bacteria, E-coli, mold, insect, and mouse parts.

Testing to make sure the medicinal properties are present in the sample tested. What are the medicinal properties of that herb sample? There are certain constituents in each herb that are the primary medicinal elements.

There are NO ads in the blue links in this article. 

#1    If you go to the Nutricost website it states this,

“All Nutricost supplements are manufactured in a GMP-compliant facility and provide high-quality ingredients and offer a variety of options for your health support.”


Now to another company where I buy many of my supplements from. 

#2 This is quoted directly from Carlyle’s Website under Quality


Underwriter Laboratories Certified (UL)

Good Manufacturing Practices Certified (cGMP compliant)

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) aligned with cGMP goals.

USP standards for heavy metals are compliant.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) aligned with cGMP goals. 21 CFR part 111 compliant.

Nutritional Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) compliant.

Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act (DSHEA) compliant USDA Organic Certified Facilities”   
The next example is Banyan which produces and sells its own Ayurvedic and Adaptogen herbs. They have extensive information on Ayurvedic medicine and information on the quality control and tests they perform on their products.  Excerpt from their Quality control page.

“Banyan requires microbiological testing and certificates of analysis from all of our suppliers for every batch of herbs; however, we do not solely rely on vendor certificates of analysis for testing data. All of our herbs and tablets are tested at third-party labs. Our labs use all appropriate testing methods, with criteria and methods of analysis determined by the following third-party organizations and protocols:

  • BAM (Bacteriological Analytical Manual) is the FDA’s preferred laboratory procedure for microbiological analyses of foods and cosmetics. These are a collection of procedures used for the detection of bacteria, viruses, parasites, yeast, mold, and microbial toxins.  
  • AOAC (Official Methods of Analysis) International evaluates chemistry, microbiology, and molecular biology methods of analysis.
  • USP (simply USP) is an organization that sets standards for public health and related programs to help ensure the quality, safety, and benefit of medicines, supplements, and foods.

The standards are as follows and are measured in colony-forming units per gram (CFU/g):

Total aerobic microbial count <10^7 CFU/g
Total combined yeast and molds <10^5 CFU/g
Coliform <10^4 CFU/g
E. Coli absent in 10 gm
Salmonella absent in 25gm
Staphylococcus aureus absent in 25 gm

Heavy Metals

Our herbs and products are tested for arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury using independent U.S. laboratories. The acceptable limits for daily intake are as follows:

Arsenic content shall not exceed 0.01 milligrams per daily dose (10 micrograms per day)
Cadmium content shall not exceed 0.0041 mg/d (4.1 micrograms per day)
Lead content shall not exceed 0.01 mg/d (10 micrograms per day)
Mercury content shall not exceed 0.002 mg/d (2 micrograms per day)

All of our products are within the safety guidelines stipulated by the American National Standards Institute/National Sanitation Foundation International Dietary Supplement Standard 173 (ANSI 173).”


Testing may include HPLC and infra-red analysis of botanical blends and analytical assays for vitamin and mineral label claims. The company may have specialized testing equipment that other companies do not have. Some of these tests measure the active medicinal properties of the herb to see if they are active in the sample product.

If a company is proud of its quality and testing procedures, it will display that information making it easy to find.  

What factors are inherent to herbal products that determine their quality and effectiveness?

The first step by a manufacturing company is to buy quality herbal bulk products from the grower of the products from different countries such as India, China, Asia, or Japan.  

Herbs are grown in many different countries including the United States. Growing them in the US is more expensive with more regulations, so often herb materials originally are imported from a foreign country.  Some herbs only grow in certain countries and areas such as Ashwagandha. They are specific to a certain country. Moringa trees only grow well in countries or areas of the US that have mild winters without freezing temperatures as Florida or California. Most Moringa tree leaves come from The Philippines’ where many thousands of acres are devoted to this crop. They naturally grow there and are cultivated as well. Herbs are more potent when grown in an area where they have the right soil quality and temperatures.

The large manufacturing company may send a representative to that herb producer in that country to verify their practices. This may only be done initially when trying to secure safe sources for their end products.  Many companies here in the US just ask for testing proof on the bulk product from the source herb grower. They never investigate the company other than that. The health food store does not investigate each brand they sell, they just buy the different products. Herb companies also have reps that visit the herb store such as Sprouts and give them brochures and give them information so hopefully, the store will carry more of their product line.

The highest quality companies, such as Banyan, have their own GMP-certified labs which do their own testing on each shipment. Their goal is to have control over each step of the herb manufacturing process to ensure safety. Then they also send samples out for third-party testing as well.

Why your herb product needs to be tested to know it’s safe to consume.

Many herbs look similar to each other. Some that look similar are poisonous.  If the herb is supposed to contain medicinal properties, you need the correct plant species, grown in the proper environment including soil quality. Not all Oregano species have the same medicinal properties. This applies to every herb plant family. Some herbs are used more for their flavor in foods versus herbs that are grown and used for their medicinal qualities. Medicinal herbs often taste bitter such as Neem and Andrographis. Garlic is one of those exceptions. If herbs are picked at the wrong time or processed in a negative way, they will taste bitter.

Herb products can be contaminated. 

Herb products can contain dirt, bacteria such as E. coli, insect parts, mouse or rodent contamination, or environmental chemicals from the soil. You cannot see that with just visual inspection. It takes examination by microscopes, and by certain highly technical testing machinery and lab analysis to know that. Even organic products can contain natural lead, dirt, mouse, and insect parts.

Problems with inspections of herbal products in countries like India or China.

Problems of adulteration of herb products. This means the product was cut with a cheaper herb, herbs not listed on the bottle or contaminated.

Many of these countries such as India and China have severe ground, air, and water contamination. The soil may contain heavy metals such as lead. The air of these countries may be contaminated.

Herb plants absorb heavy metals through the root systems and from the air.  If you pick herbs found on the roadside, those herb plants are contaminated by the exhaust of the cars going by. It is only safe to pick herbs if they are growing at least 200 feet from a road. It is far safer to pick them in areas far away from sources of contamination.

The contamination of heavy metals can occur naturally such as in Nevada where lead is a problem or because of pesticides that remain in the soil from years of cotton or other commercial crop production. Areas, where the soil is influenced by volcano activity, may contain natural heavy metals. Those chemicals whether natural or artificial stay in the soil for many years.

What does GMP Compliant mean? The excerpt below is from the FDA page.  This is not a law.

The company does not have to manufacture its products in a GMP-compliant laboratory. If they don’t use GMP standards, and people become sick, they can go to jail or be fined. They run the risk of their company being shut down.

Backgrounder on the Final Rule for Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) for Dietary Supplements | FDA

  • “Requires certain activities in manufacturing, packaging, labeling, and holding of dietary supplements to ensure that a dietary supplement contains what it is labeled to contain and is not contaminated with harmful or undesirable substances such as pesticides, heavy metals, or other impurities.


  • Requires certain activities that will ensure the identity, purity, quality, strength, and composition of dietary supplements, which is a significant step in assuring consumers they are purchasing the type and amount of ingredients declared.”


Quality In-House Manufacturing 

Responsible herbal company manufacturers test the bulk product in their own lab here in the US. They do not rely on the testing from the source grower. They reject bulk product that fails that testing. These testing procedures can cost them thousands of dollars both in the testing and the loss of product that does not meet their standards. It is very difficult to get your money back from a foreign country. Even a trusted source can ship products that sometimes does not meet quality standards. The need for testing is critical.

These companies also store their material as well in their own facility to control the various steps of manufacturing the end product. This is for quality control.

These responsible companies also hire herb experts to help them combine herbs into formulations that are the most effective for a certain health challenge. The herb formulation may include the most effective herbs and quantity of each herb best suited for instance to the lungs or to the heart. Many herbs are more medicinally effective in combination with other herbs. The way the herbs are combined in the formula also reduce side effects. You need less of an herb in the formula if it is potent. A little goes a long way. The different constituents contained in the herbs complement each other in their health benefits.

Teas and spice products are not tested as rigorously as herbal supplement products, if at all. Read the articles below on that. 

Heavy metals in tea? – Industry T Ching

Your Herbs and Spices Might Contain Arsenic, Cadmium & Lead (consumerreports.org)

This subject is so important, that I hope you read the entirety of it. Your health using herbs is dependent on your knowledge of the subject.

The next article will be on the problem with organic products and your acceptance of the word organic on a product.

Cathryn Freer, the Herbladyisin signing off.


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How To Change Our Life and Hearts For Better Health

How To Change Our Life and Hearts for Better Health

Health is dependent on the state of our mind, heart and soul. If we are to change our life for the positive, it needs to start with today. The main focus in this blog is about gratefulness, forgiveness, and mindfulness and how that can change our day and our life.

Gratitude and having a mindset toward being grateful is important to improving not only our health but how we see our world. Today we are snowed in. It has snowed on and off since December 13th. We cannot walk our dogs because of the ice on our street.  Our electric bill will be up another $50.00.  There are two ways to look at this situation. The first is to complain, be depressed, and feel down.  Is that view going to help my attitude?

My view on this month is up to me. I choose how I am going to view my situation. I am only in control of one thing, how I respond to events, conversations, and situations.

I am sitting here grateful that I don’t have to go to work, and that we are getting needed moisture for our area and the drought. I have more time than usual to write and get caught up on chores in the house. I am thankful for my husband who helped me vacuum yesterday and that I have him for company. I can list so many things that are a blessing. Blessings are not just big things but all the blessings such as food on the table, the bills paid, the rose blooming on our kitchen table, and the fact that I am breathing and well.

What are your blessings? Write them down.

When you are feeling blue, take time and list all your blessings. Most of us are so much better off than in other countries. We take for granted things like having a decent home to live in. People in many parts of the world are starving, are homeless, have no heat, no water and a sad life. Look at the Ukraine and their people. We don’t have to run from bombs and wonder if we are going to die with the next air assault.

Every day, in the morning take time to list your blessings.

This includes all the ones we take for granted such as breathing, being alive, our health even if it isn’t perfect, our family that is a blessing, and our mind being intact. After two concussions, I thank God every day that I have overcome the effects of those falls.

You are in control of your reactions!

It’s important to realize that YOU are in control of your thoughts, your interpretations, and your responses.

No one can offend you, if you don’t choose to be offended. No one can make you angry, if you choose not to be angry. No one can make you feel unappreciated if you don’t feel sorry for yourself.

It seems when life has given you some hard knocks, that you set up a defensive attitude. We just respond in a negative way, even when the remark was not intended to hurt us by the person saying it.

Where do these responses come from? They come from our childhood and parents. It may have been an ex-husband or friends from childhood.  Events and conversations wound us in the soul.  They are like splinters in our leg that we can’t remove, and they cause pain at times.   They often pop up in an instant from the past, and we respond to someone not from what they really said but from hurt from the past. So how do we stop responding from these past wounds?

One way is to mindfully stop our thoughts before anything comes out of our mouth. Strive to look at the situation first, before reacting.  That is difficult for those of us with a painful past. It is imperative we do that for our health and for the health of our relationships. It took me 2 courses in mindfulness, to help me see how I needed to change.

Let Go of Your Past

We must let go of our past to have happiness now and in the future. Your past, and we all have one, is ancient history. Many of the people who hurt you are dead or not a part of your life anymore.  If you let them continue to impact your life, they won. Look at this way. Those people who hurt you made you a fighter. They caused you to become stronger and to learn to overcome so much.  You are the amazing person you are today because of them.

We can either cry about events or learn from them. Instead of stumbling blocks, let them become steps to overcoming any circumstancing you have.  Success is about how many times you got up after being knocked to the ground, not that you were down. I say this after overcoming two abusive marriages. We are made stronger through the fires of life.

Forgiveness is upmost in importance to have happiness. 

Forgiveness helps you to be happy. It is not for the one who hurt you. Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do in your life. I know that but it is the step you must take to put your life into a positive track. I forgave those who hurt me by understanding that those people were broken and did the best they could.  They did not have the ability to love or treat you in a positive way. This does not excuse what they did but it does allow you to move on. It was not your fault. You were in their path.

Forgive Yourself

Forgiving yourself is even harder. You keep asking yourself why was I so stupid? Why did I not see that coming? It seems that learning the hard way and being young is a part of life. We did the best we could with the tools we had at the time. We survived with scars and lessons learned. Stop holding your happiness hostage because of your past. I say this from experience. Let it go and live in today.

Do you want to die angry? 

I knew several people who died angry and that was sad. I have a relative who lives in an angry state all the time. No one wants to be around her, and she depresses everyone. I have never heard her be grateful for anything.

I made up my mind years ago, that this was not what I wanted for me.

Is this you?

Since we never know how many days we have in this world, you better really think about it.  This is a new year and it’s never too late to change, to adopt a different attitude and to make the conscious choice to live in love, gratitude and forgiveness.

Cathryn Freer, the Herbladyisin

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Do Holistic Medicine Therapies Always Work? Part one

Do Holistic Medicine Therapies Always Work?

Holistic Medicine is a whole different view of a patient and how to treat them than how standard medicine treats patients. Is standard medicine safer and more effective than holistic medicine?

The main purpose of the holistic doctor is to find the root cause for symptoms looking at diet, lifestyle and other factors that influence your health and wellbeing. The human body is so complex that it involved a lot of detection work by the holistic doctor. Their may be emotional or mental issues that are a problem as well such as depression.

Once he finds an issue or issues in their health, the patient needs to follow a plan, change his lifestyle, and follow through which can take months or weeks to see changes. Many people today just want a quick fix or a pill to make all the symptoms go away.

You have to invest time and some money often to secure results that take time.  So, you may not get the results as soon as you think you should see them or you may need to try a different doctor or change the progress plan.  The experience of some patients then give them this view, that holistic medicine does not work.

If you are new to this page, it might be you with this view. I hope you will read further to perhaps get more insight on why your herbs, herbal treatment or holistic treatment might have failed or work less effectively than you had hoped for.

I have been using natural medicine for over 40 years with success. Yes, here and there I did have to take medicine but rarely. This was not always my view and the way I dealt with my health challenges.

Just to give you some of my history, I worked for doctors in the late 80’s for about 5 years. I was part of a clinic in Ramona, Ca that went out administering to the Indian reservations in that area. I believed in doctors and the system then. I was entrenched in the system. I learned so much and it gives me a base to understand both worlds: standard medicine and holistic medicine.

It was when my doctors could not help me or my youngest daughter that I left that belief system. I now only go to doctors mainly to get a physical once a year. The occasions I have gone for treatment by the traditional health care system, I can count on both hands during the past 40 years. I do not get a breast exam, colon exam, shots, or other interventions.

You can stop reading now if you object to my view. If you do question my view, but still want to know more why I have this view, read on.

If you are NOT open to new information, a new view, or why possibly your health is getting worse, not better, this blog will go in one ear and out the other.

You must be open to a new view. One of my future articles will be written on why I do not get those standard tests, that doctors say you must DO to remain healthy.

I am 71 and have only been to the emergency room only once in my life. I have used holistic medicine for the past 40 years after going to get formal herbal medicine education. Even that one time left me with no answers and a $10,000 bill for 5 hours with no insurance.

I have not undergone any operations other than a tonsillectomy and a procedure performed in an outpatient status for a nerve condition on my foot. Both were done when I was working for doctors in the 1980s. This does not count having my children in the hospital but without intervention and spinal blocks. One of the three was born at home.

Does Standard Medicine always work is the first question you need to ask? No

You need to read the two articles below if you think that standard medicine is not flawed in many ways and the success of standard medicine treatments are questionable to say the least.  There are many thousands who get prescribed the wrong m.edicine for their problem or the side effects are so severe they cannot take the medicine.  Thousands of deaths occur every year from patients taking too much of the prescription medication.

Read the two articles below. They will really give you a new view on the question.

Twelve million patients misdiagnosed yearly in America, says VA

Why Getting Medically Misdiagnosed Is More Common …

It was a few months ago that I began experiencing pain in both ears. I went to three local doctors who said nothing was wrong. I paid $90 dollars in co-insurance fees to be told it was all in my mind. It got to the point several weeks later that I couldn’t sleep and then all the glands in my neck got swollen. My jaw got painful as well. I could not lie down or turn my head without severe pain. Nothing was working herbally.

The new doctor I went to at that time, immediately said it was a dangerous infection in the lymph nodes coming from my jaw.  So, the undiagnosed ear pain was the beginning of a systemic lymph node infection. Nothing got taken care of until it became deadly serious.

After taking 10 days of antibiotics, the infection in the lymph nodes had gotten better somewhat but was still very swollen and sore. My gut was in severe pain from the side effects of the antibiotics, and I couldn’t eat without stomach pain.  I was in bed with stomach pain at that point. So instead of going back to the doctor, I prayed for an answer.

It came to me that over the years, I had not tried essential oils such as myrrh and frankincense on my recurring jawbone infections. I spent several days researching essential oils, infections, and oral health infections. There is a lot of research on the success of using these two oils on oral mouth infections.

Essential Oils for health.

Essential oils are an important herbal medicine used to heal the body and mind.

The best quality essential oils are expensive. Oral herbs were not working at that point so that was out. The oral herbs and the antibiotics were not getting to the main cause of the infection. It was entrenched in the jawbone itself. The infection was now antibiotic-resistant or a MRSA infection.

I bought the oils and began using them both as an oral mouthwash and massaged them into my jawbone, throat, under my ears, and into the neck area where the discomfort remained. Within a week, I was remarkedly improved. I used them for a month in that way daily.  All of the pain and discomfort disappeared. I still use them as a preventive 3 times a week. If I would have stopped using the same herbs with no results, I would have said herbs don’t work. It was the form of herbs that was not reaching the infection in the bone.

Often it is the form of therapy or herbal regimen that is not the right one for your health challenge. You have to work with your body, your own individual immune system, and your health challenge to find the answer. Often it may take days, weeks, or months to find the answer.

You must take the right herb or essential oil for the problem, take it in enough dosage to secure results, and for enough time for the body to use that herb or herbs to repair the body system.

I did not grow up with any knowledge of using herbs, vitamins, or alternative medicine. We were taken to a standard doctor who I might add was not as good as the local vet. Later on, he was charged with sexually harming young boys at the school and blew his brains out before the court date.  He was not much of a doctor, but he remained in practice for many years until some young boys blew the whistle on him.

This same country doctor told my mother for years that her weight issues were food related. He refused to test her for thyroid problems. When two or three years later another doctor did test her, and he found she was severely hypothyroid. After taking the thyroid medication for some time, she lost weight and never had a weight issue for the rest of her life.

Despite that, I became a medical assistant with some doctors and became entrenched in the standard medical treatment world. I did everything from lab work, x-rays, input with the patients, vaccinations, and other shots, and working with the drug salesmen who came to influence the doctors into buying their products. They brought in sample packets of medicines and took the doctor out to lunch often. I never thought much about the issue at that time.

It was after my third child was born, had her first vaccines, then became deathly sick that I questioned the system.  These doctors could not find anything wrong in lab tests but kept her on potent antibiotics for almost a year. She became sicker and sicker. Her weight dropped and she would not eat. There was a nasty, red rash on her butt all the time. They had no answers.  When it was apparent that the antibiotics did not work, they told me people do not become resistant to antibiotics. I was crazy.  This was in the middle 1980s, when doctors did not realize that giving antibiotics for an extended time will cause the infection to become resistant to medicine which now is called an MRSA infection. I saw it from watching her get sicker by the week.

Standard medicine today is often a failure and there are thousands of statics to back that up.  Despite the fact that often standard medicine does not work, you will never see a traditional doctor advise you to try herbs or other holistic therapies. Instead, they will tell you it is snake oil medicine or doesn’t work.

There is a place for standard medicine which is in emergencies, life-threatening illnesses or diseases, and technology to help patients with operations needed to save lives and limbs. If I got hit by a car, I certainly would not go to a holistic doctor at that time. I would need expert doctors to keep me from dying.

It is in diagnosing health problems before they become a heart attack or diabetes that they fail the patients.

If holistic and standard medicine were used together in a manner to best serve the patient and their health challenge, that would be the best of both worlds.

In China, Asia, Japan, and many other countries this is what they do there. They combine the best of both modern medicine and holistic medicine to treat their patients getting outstanding results. It is so tragic, that this is not the case in the United States.  Here insurance often only pays for standard medical therapies.

This is part one of a series on the subject. Come back this week to learn more.

Signing off, Cathryn Freer, The Herbladyisin

Read my article next that explains the difference between how holistic doctors may treat you versus standard medicine doctors. 

Please read my other articles located here on The Alternative Medicine Article Directory 


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6 Ways to Use Medicinal Mushrooms in Your Everyday Regimen

6 Ways to Use Medicinal Mushrooms in Your Everyday Regimen

Today in this article, you will learn 6 ways to add medicinal mushrooms to your meals?

Do you use medicinal mushrooms in your cooking now or take them to bolster your immune system? Today, if you don’t, you will learn how to do that.

Cooking with different kinds of Fresh Mushrooms:  

6 ways to use medicinal Mushrooms into almost any part of your diet.

Adding medicinal mushrooms to your diet has numerous health benefits.

Using a variety of different fresh mushrooms in your different meals gives you different tastes, textures and health benefits!  

Cooking with medicinal mushrooms is so easy to do. Here is a small town with no Whole Foods or Sprouts within easy driving distance, I mainly use the button mushrooms in cooking meals.  I would love to be able to buy mushrooms of different varieties instead. If you do live in the city with a good health food store, buy different kinds of fresh mushrooms.

Try to experiment with different mushrooms in almost every dish you make including chicken, beef, pork and fish. Try different salads as well.  I use them whenever I make scrambled eggs, an omelet, or in breakfast burrito.

It is really funny that I have always craved mushrooms. It seems, my immune system was letting me know I needed them for my health. I did not research them until about 2 years ago when my go-to herbs that I had always used were not working for some health issues.

When I began researching medicinal mushrooms, I was amazed at the research and properties to help with cancer, the immune system, gut issues, and for almost every area of health challenges.

There are several in-depth books on mushrooms, with research studies and trials. Mushrooms have hundreds of studies on them. They have been used by the Asian culture for both good diet and health for centuries. Asian oncologists in China, Korea and in Asia as a whole use them in patient cancer treatments. So, I began first adding fresh mushrooms into salads, stir-fry’s, meatloaf, egg breakfast dishes and adding them to every

Here are more suggestions on how to Add Medicinal Mushrooms to Your Daily Regimen,


Cut up mushrooms for your salads.  They add a lot of flavor and depth to the enjoyment.

How to add Mushroom Powders

Then next I began buying the medicinal herb powders including Reishi, Turkey Tail, Chaga, immune-mushroom blends of mushrooms, and blends of mushrooms as well.

Each mushroom has different properties, although they are all beneficial to the immune system and to brain health. Taking the different mushrooms together, intensifies their health benefits. We also take Lion’s Mane mushrooms to keep our brain function healthy.

If you study the clinical trials and research as I have done, you find different mushrooms have more potent properties to strengthen the gut or the immune system. Reishi mushrooms are the king of adaptogen foods which help every system of the body to be healthier.  When you add Chaga mushrooms to Reshi then it is beneficial to you for gut issues.

Why do I have gut issues?  For the past years, I struggled with a jawbone infection from 20 years ago that stopped responding to oral herbs.  I became very sick and ended up having to take antibiotics to try to get it under control. Not only did the antibiotics not do anything to stomp down the infection, but it also completely destroyed my gut function for almost a year.  I use essential oils now to keep the jawbone infection in check but then I had not found that natural solution yet.

So, I began buying the medicinal mushroom herb powders and adding them to smoothies, protein drinks, and my own concoction of mushroom hot chocolate.  I added them to my husband’s coffee in the morning. You can add them into soups or broth. It is easy to buy beef or chicken mushroom broth in packages for easy usage.

Every day, I use the medicinal mushrooms into my diet one way or another.  Using the mushrooms, has been the base along with slippery elm and marshmallow, an herb as well, to reestablish healthy gut function once more. Aloe juice is also one of my mainstays for daily living.

You may say, I cannot afford to add mushrooms to our budget. We also are retired with on a limited budget.

We don’t go out and eat. We have a small fun budget. Junk food, soda, chips, packaged foods, pizza, and sugar laden treats do not go into our grocery cart. I hydroponically raise our own lettuce in the house and in the Spring outside in our small garden.

Other Ways To Use Mushrooms in the powder form

Mushroom Hot Chocolate

I use mushroom powder to hot chocolate  to make a Mushroom Hot Chocolate Mix 

Mushroom Coffee

Mushroom powder added to your coffee!

Mushroom Soup 

Mushroom Soup mixes ……they came as a packet you just add water and drink. They are very good on a cold day or when you want something good to drink that are warm and soothing.

Mushroom Smoothies 

I make a protein drink with goat milk or your choice alternate milk, chocolate or other flavored high protein mix, collagen and vanilla. We do that several times a week.

I found that buying the mushroom powders was so important to my health and my husbands that we found a way to fit it into our budget. There are many things we don’t buy to fit the mushrooms into our daily eating habits. Eating healthy takes dedication, time, and energy!

You must make your health a priority and a sacrifice of other things. I don’t buy makeup, clothes or jewelry but rarely. I don’t even wear makeup except for lipstick because of the chemical in the products. I use very simple, less toxic health care products at home. We try to live a clean, simple, holistic lifestyle. Herbs and mushrooms remain one of the important elements of our lifestyle.

Cathryn Freer, the Herbladyisin signing off for today.

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This website above is where the rest of my articles are published.

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How Mushrooms Help Your Immunity and Disease Resistance.

Why you need to know more about medicinal mushrooms?

Learn how medicinal mushrooms can make a significant difference in your health and immune system.

Include mushrooms for your health and to boost your immune system.

Medicinal mushrooms are part of a diet that boosts immune function.

I found mushrooms late in life.  It wasn’t until my traditional go-to herbs did not work for me with an infected jawbone issue, that I dove into the research and bought my first mushroom powder. I so wished I had added them to my regimen years ago. I use medicinal mushrooms everyday either in a smoothie or hot mushroom chocolate. I personally take Reishi, turkey tail and a blend of a mushroom mix with various different mushrooms for my immune system. We also take Lion’s mane to support healthy brain function. After two concussions and Chronic Lyme disease that is very important to me.

I have had great success using mushrooms to bolster my immune system and my health. I encourage you to study them and try them. Mushrooms are something you need to use every day for them to work. It takes time to build up your immune system.

The more I study and research them, the more I am fascinated by their value for health, diet, cancer, and boosting immune function.  Take time to research them yourself! You will not be disappointed in what you read!

Why is it important to investigate medicinal mushrooms:

Deaths and Hospitalizations From Use of Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)

In 1997 it was estimated that “Each year, use of NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) accounts for an estimated 7,600 deaths and 76,000 hospitalizations in the United States.”

(NB: NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, ketoprofen, and tiaprofenic acid.)

In 2020—The CDC gives this data below on cancer deaths in the US 

  • 136,084 people died of lung cancer (63,135 females and 72,949 males).
  • 51,869 people died of colorectal cancer (23,826 females and 28,043 males).
  • 46,774 people died of pancreatic cancer (22,495 females and 24,279 males).
  • 42,275 females died of breast cancer.
  • 32,707 males died of prostate cancer.
  • 28,227 people died of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer (9,591 females and 18,636 males).
  • These numbers are despite billions of dollars spent on cancer research, chemotherapy drugs and radiation treatments.

How often does your doctor talk to you about your nutrition, your diet, your exercise habits, drug habits or smoking habits? Not one doctor, even my husband’s heart doctor asked about any of these important lifestyle factors.

It was myself doing research and paying out of pocket for lab tests proved that my husband had severe iron deficiency anemia and a thyroid issue because of the iron deficiency. It was my research work that now shows Rocky Mountain spotted fever can indeed impact health for months or years.

Doctors have no time to read research studies or keep up on journals with new information that could impact your health. They rely on what they learned in medical school, no matter how outdated that knowledge is.

Why medicinal mushrooms should be included in your tools for good health and to fight cancer and other immune disorders.

Medicinal Mushrooms have been consumed for thousands of years by its native people as part of their food and for medicine.  The fact that mushrooms have been consumed and used for thousands of years, is a tribute to their effectiveness. Medicinal mushrooms are today used by oncologists in countries like China, Japan and China to fight cancer and other diseases.

Researchers here in the US do not accept this historical usage whether it be for food or medicine. They only take the results from double-blind placebo-based research studies where mushrooms are given in huge dosages or given as injections along with medications.

Most research studies must include chemo or radiation along with mushrooms to get funding.  Mushrooms have been used for cancer treatment and to boost immunity for thousands of years with success but that does not count to your doctor. That is why your doctor will not in most cases talk about medicinal mushrooms or suggest you add them to your health protocol.

People in Japan, China, Russia, Mexico and other countries use mushrooms as part of their diet. For years people foraged for these medicinal mushrooms in the forests nearby. Most of these medicinal mushrooms must be processed before eaten. Many of these mushrooms grow from the bark of trees. Some grow in the ground.

I will interject a warning here that foraging mushrooms should only be done by people who are experienced and knowledgeable in which mushrooms are safe to eat and ones that are poisonous.

Once picked, each kind of mushroom has to be put through an extraction process to extract the medicinal properties from it. This mushroom extraction process may include water and or alcohol and heat.  The   mushrooms must be picked from areas free from heavy metal contamination and agricultural chemicals.

Here in this country, many people just use the button mushrooms on their pizza or in a salad. They have no idea on their real health or medicinal value. Even the button mushroom has much value for your health.

How Mushrooms Help Your Immunity and Disease Resistance.

Mushrooms comes in so many different forms for health. photo by Volodymyr Tokar on Unsplash

Mushrooms growing on trees in the forest.

If you have health issues or cancer, you need to upgrade to the mushrooms that have been most researched for their true medicinal properties.  What are the properties that make medicinal mushrooms tools to fight cancer and other immune system problems?


Beta-glucans have been the basis for thousands of research studies in the fight against cancer.  Studies prove their effect on the immune system and in fighting cancers.

All mushrooms contain beta-glucans, but certain medicinal mushrooms contain higher amounts of beta-glucans. “Beta-glucans induce anti-cancer activity, through direct anti-tumor activity and prevention of angiogenesis. The former is mediated through a thymus gland dependence, activating cytotoxic macrophages, monocytes, neutrophils, natural killer cells, dendritic cells and various cytokines including interleukins, and interferons triggering complementary and acute phase response.” from Medicinal Mushrooms, the Human Clinical Trials by Robert Dale Roberts.

Water-soluble Polysaccharides

Important and essential nutrients for an effective, healthy immune system that has the capability to fight off disease and cancer.

“A major class of immuno-logically active molecules in mushrooms and other fungi and their action on the immune system has been extensively studied.” Medical Mushrooms, A Clinical Guide by Martin Powell.

More Medicinal Mushrooms Properties

Mushrooms contain Triterpenes, Phenols, Sterols, Statins, Indole compounds, enzymes including digestive enzymes, Chitin and other properties which all contribute to improving overall health, digestive health, gut health, immune system health and are protective to the heart, liver and other organs of your body.

If you really want to get into the scientific literature on what all these properties are and how they affect the body read the following three books:

Medicinal Mushrooms, a Clinical Guide by Martin Powell 

Medical Mushrooms, the Human Clinical Trials by Robert Dale Rogers 

Healing Mushrooms, a Practical and Culinary Guide to Using Mushrooms for Whole Body Health by Tero Isokauppila founder of Four Sigmatic.

These are all part of my mushroom library, but these are heavy reading with clinical studies so dive into these if you want to see how much research has been done on medical mushrooms. If you want to read in depth about how and why you should include mushrooms into your diet and health regimen…. these books will convince you!

I hope this site, its articles, research, and news will help you on your path to getting those answers. This publication is new. I do hope you will come back each week to review the new articles published. If you are interested in writing for my publication, email me below to discuss it.

Cathryn Freer, the Herbladyisin signing off for today.

Email me at herbladyisin@yahoo.com.

Please read my other published articles here at Alternative Medicine Articles Directory


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Learn 7 Factors That Will Help You Live Longer

Learn 7 Factors That Will Help You Live Longer

Do you want to live longer and with vibrant health? Learn about these 7 factors that will improve your health, your attitude and your longevity.

Running is good exercise and valuable to good health.

Running, walking, exercising at home all lead to improvements in the quality of your health.

Why do so many people die young?

Yet, there are others who are living way beyond their 90’s with joy and smiles.

What makes the difference?  

Do 7 things to start with  to live a longer and happier life: 

Turn off Politics!!!!

Watching continual news and politics is one of the worst uses for your time. Any news channel you turn to is negative and sickening.  Watch enough of it to keep track of what is going on in your world, then turn it off.  Once you have voted, there is not much you can do about what is happening.  Watching news raises your blood pressure, turns your mind and thoughts to the negative. My father was German, and he would get an asthma attack often when watching the news.  Put the remote down and garden.  Turn off the tube and read a good book or go out with coffee with friends.  Buy some mind game books to work on such as crossword puzzles.  Turn off the negative influences!


Comedians Bob Hope and George Burns both lived to be 100. George Burns smoked cigars his entire life. Milton Berle lived to be 93. They lived such long lives because they laughed and gave laughter to the world during their lifetime.  Laughter was their life. It is said that people have conquered cancer by watching comedy shows non-stop! If it didn’t cure it, it certainly helped them to deal with the pain of dying.  Laughter lightens your burdens and makes the pain of your life more bearable.

U-Tube has some fun videos to watch for free. Add groups to your Facebook account that focus on positive, fun things like animal videos, squirrel antic, wildlife and animals. Funny cat videos are over the internet.   Watch them to give you a happy lift in your day.

Positive Attitude and Gratefulness

Your way of looking at life, life events, and the future go a long way to determine how long you will live.  Those who deal with life with optimism and the ‘glass half full’ do much better in rolling with the twists and turns that life tends to give out.

These ‘agers with grace’ are grateful for each minute of every day along with all the little things they have. They don’t take things for granite. They believe with all their heart that life for them is good now and will get better.

Keeping an Active Mind and Body

Here in Yuma, we have many walkers, and several are getting up in age. These 85 plus senior walks all over Yuma every day.  One man who is in his 80s, goes to his ranch every day helping his son to drive the ranch trucks. He has survived covid, cancer, heart surgery, and looks very frail but he is durable. He is also dedicated to his ranch even at 86.  He makes every effort to keep his body moving and active. He loves his family and his ranch life.

If you are obese or have health issues with walking, there are chair exercises on U-Tube.  Start out with just moving your body and take a few more steps every day.  Take your dog or your grandchildren out for a walk.  Find a friend or neighbor who might want to walk with you. Often, people don’t want to walk alone. They are afraid they might fall.  Your friend may be waiting for you to ask them to go with you.  Try to choose a walking partner who also needs the exercise as well as you do.

Take Time to Enjoy Life -Create Memories to Cherish
Living life to the fullest and reaching 94 with good health until the very last.

My husband’s father who played golf up to 8 weeks before he died. He was 94

I was a caregiver for a few years on the side.  I learned so much from the people I took care of.  I listened to what they told me as they were leaving this life.  They regretted the trips they did not take or not taking time to enjoy life.  They regretted rifts in relationships that never got mended. They regretted not taking enough pictures and special moments lost because they were working so hard to put food on the table.

Those who had enjoyed life, in the end, got comfort from their memories, their trips, their family memories and having their spouse by their side.  When their limbs no longer moved and they were confined to bed or wheelchairs, they focused on their precious memories. Those memories got them through the pain, through the agony of cancer, and last moments of life. 

Friendship, Community, Family and Friends

It is a known fact that the elderly with community, family, and friends live longer and are happier than those that live alone.  This community helps them get through the tough times and live a more peaceful, fulfilled life. Depression in the elderly is one of the killers for those over 70.

Often, seniors are isolated from family and friends who have passed before them. There is food in the refrigerator, but they don’t eat because they have no desire to eat. If you are alone, fixing a meal is boring and just too much work.

Here in Yuma, there is a Meet and Eat group who go to different restaurants to talk and get some social networking in.  There are also senior meals at the local senior center which provide time to interact with others, relieve boredom, and eat better than you would at home.

Church is another option for meeting with people and having some companionship. It is nice when you are sick to know that someone cares and calls to see how you are doing. A church member may visit you at home to see how you are doing.  It is an avenue to consider.

Singles also suffer from being alone too much. It is imperative you get out to do something other than work and then work more.  If you don’t, you will burn out sooner or later. If nothing else walk where they are people to see and talk to for a few minutes.

Learn to turn off worry and fear about the future!

If you are a person who worries a lot, it is not a healthy trait. So much of what we worry about are events or things in the possible future, that we have no control over. All the worry in the world, will not change those things we have no power over or that are in the possible future.  Focus on what you can do today to change your life, your attitude, or your health.

At times, it is only possible to focus on the minute or the hour if we are caregivers. If there is any factor that shortens life, worry should top the list.

When you wake up in the middle of the night, pray for whoever you are worried about or the situation.  Deep breathing may help.  Get up and read a positive book for a while until you can sleep again.

Drink chamomile tea or valerian tea before bed.  These two herbal teas can be very useful to relax you enough to sleep again.  Melatonin and Tryptophan before bed help some people sleep better.

I hope this helps to perhaps give you a new view on living longer and with more peace of mind.

Cathryn Freer, the Herbladyisin signing off for today.




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Learn How Holistic Health Differs From “Standard Health” Treatment

Learn How Holistic Health Treatment Differs From “Standard Health” Treatment

You need to understand how a holistic medicine doctor and his treatment of you is different from standard medicine. Many of you are new to herbal and holistic healing. You may know little about how it works and even what it is. You may never have gone to a holistic doctor or used their therapies.

 How can you make decisions about your healthcare if you only have limited knowledge? Education is power.

Holistic medicine doctor who treats the body and mind as a whole.

Holistic medicine finds the underlying cause of illnesses.

Holistic Health Treatment by a Holistic Doctor.

Holistic Health looks at you as a whole person, not just at the outward manifestations of your health problem such as lab test results or having a sore throat. Your holistic doctor evaluates your physical symptoms, emotional state, and mental health issues that may be impacting your health or hindering your recovery.

Holistic health strives to get to the main cause of your health challenges whether it is grief, trauma, stress, diet, or lifestyle factors.

How has grief affected your life, your mental state, and your health.

For example, often when a person suffers grief, they may get sick and may even come down with cancer within the first couple of years after the death of a loved one. That is because grief, trauma, and severe stress impact your mental and emotional state which in turn affects your immune system.

Lisa Marie Presley just died of a heart attack. In her last social media entries, she described the terrible grief she was still feeling after her son’s death. Grief and stress are often one of the underlying causes of cancer and illness. Anger is another emotion that over time can have an impact on your health and state of mind and heart. Negative emotions do affect your health and productivity.

Standard medicine treatment with surgery, chemo and readiation.

How Standard medicine doctors treat patients.

Photo by Piron Guillaume on Unsplash

Standard Medicine Treatment Today

Does your doctor give you suggestions to lose weight or lower your blood pressure?

Does he listen to you and perform a thorough exam?

Does he consider your eating habits, your exercise regimen, your soda intake, ask about smoking or drinking habits?

Does he just write you another prescription, although you are having side effects from the drugs you are already on?

Your “standard medicine” doctor may spend an average of 20 minutes with each of his patients. He may see up to 50 or more patients per day. I have had doctors clearly state that you have 15 minutes to make your case. Your doctor doesn’t even have time to read the paperwork you fill out. Today in our overworked healthcare system, doctors are bogged down with piles of paperwork and insurance claims to file for each patient’s visit. If your doctor spent the time to go over these lifestyle factors, he would go broke. Most standard medicine doctors are also not trained in medical school on diet, nutrition, vitamins, or lifestyle. That is the reality.

Standard medicine waits to treat your disease until it turns into a labeled disease or cancer. They were trained to diagnose diseases and severe states of illness. He relies on solid physical symptoms such as swollen glands, temperature, sore throat, and visible signs of disease or illness. He needs your lab results to show positive results before he offers a treatment. He knows your insurance company will not pay for a test that they feel was unnecessary. The truth is an illness often takes months or years to manifest itself into the state where it shows up in tests, X-rays, and blood work.

Holistic Health versus Standard Medicine and your health.

Learn how holistic health is different from standard medicine.

How Holistic Health Practitioners will treat you. 

Your holistic doctor, on the other hand is looking to correct your body’s imbalances before those imbalances turn into a disease state. Diet problems turn into obesity and diabetes weeks or months later. Lack of a healthy diet and exercise may turn into high blood pressure and heart problems months down the road. That is why he questions your eating habits, your exercise habits, and other areas of your lifestyle. His role is to intervene before your bad diet needs more serious intervention such as prescription drugs. He looks at your gut issues before they turn into an ulcer or colitis.

Your holistic doctor will have you fill out an extensive questionnaire asking you about all aspects of your diet and lifestyle. He may order tests to assess your nutritional status. He will view your results from your other doctors as well. He may require x-rays. He will physically look at your eyes, skin, and overall physical appearance. He will look at lab results, but he understands you know your body better than anyone else.

Once he has that information he will design a particular individualized program, diet, exercise program, nutritional supplements, and a plan to improve your health. There are many treatments that a holistic doctor can use. It is confusing to those new to the idea.

No doctor, standard or holistic, can help you unless you are willing to listen to their advice and actually do the work to get well.

To heal completely you must get to the underlying cause, not just take a prescription drug to get rid of the symptoms. To attain true health, we must identify the factors impacting our health and brain function.

After identifying these factors, we must work to improve our whole lifestyle or the parts that need to be improved. There are no magic wands to magically bring back your health. It takes a steel mindset to take back control of your health!

Questions you need to ask yourself before going to a holistic doctor?

Do you want to be healed yesterday or just want a pill to take for a quick fix?

Do you believe in holistic health?

It is a known fact that if you do not believe in the therapy (standard or holistic), it has less chance of being successful. If you have no faith in your doctor to treat you, the success of your treatment will be influenced.

If you answered yes to the above two questions, holistic healing is not going to be your answer.

Ask yourself the questions below about your present treatment with your doctor.


Look at the mind-expanding questions below to judge your reactions.

Do you believe you can get well?

Do you have the courage to look at the state of your mind and heart?

Do you have the strength to look at your diet and lifestyle, and do what it takes to change it for the better? Are you willing to invest yourself in the program?

How strong is your dedication to getting well?

Only you can answer those questions.

Holistic health is where you will find the real answers to your health challenges for the long haul. Standard medicine is valuable in the short term to save your life, stop a serious life-threatening infection, perform a life-saving procedure or operation, reduce severe pain or gain control of severe mental symptoms. The long-term answers are in your lifestyle habits and dedication to your health.

I hope this site, its articles, research, and news will help you on your path to getting those answers. This publication is new. I do hope you will come back each week to review the new articles published. If you are interested in writing for my publication, email me below to discuss it.

Cathryn Freer, the Herbladyisin signing off for today.

Email me at herbladyisin@yahoo.com.

Please Read more of my published articles on Alternative Medicine Articles Directory Here 


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Learn about Andrographis-An amazing versatile herb for health and Healing!

Learn about Andrographis-An amazing versatile herb for health and Healing!

Andrographis is an Ayurvedic herb that is a potent herb for infections.  It is used by doctors in India today and for hundreds of years. It is an important part of Ayurvedic medicine.

Why did I began using Andrographis after years of using traditional herbs?

Those traditional herbs I had always used, did not work on Lyme disease. While researching Lyme disease, after my lab tests and diagnosis, I found Dr. Rawls and his herbal protocols including Ayurvedic and adaptogen herbs. Dr Rawls had been through the Lyme disease journey after his diagnosis and fight for a treatment to get well.

I was not familiar with most of the Ayurvedic herbs at that point. Dr. Rawls book, Unlocking Lyme Disease, led me to a whole new world of Adaptogen herbs and medicinal mushrooms that can make all the difference in the world in your recovery from Lyme and other diseases. Medicinal mushrooms were also part of that discovery of new possibilities in supporting your health, immune system and brain function.  It proves there is so much in this world to learn about and discover to live longer and healthier. 

"Andrographis paniculata is an important Ayurvedic Herb

Learn about the properties and benefits of taking Andrographis.

Andographis is one of Dr. Rawls core herbs in his protocols for overcoming the effects of Lyme disease. It made a huge impact on my recovery and health. So, in today’s post, I want to introduce you to Andographis, an amazing adaptogen and tool to gain back your health.

Andographis is the King of Bitters. We buy the bulk product from Banyan, then put the powder in capsules. Banyan packages much of their products in tablets which I don’t digest well.

Banyan herbs is one of the only companies that tests their bulk powders for heavy metals, toxins, and other contamination. That is important for products coming from India and other countries. When the Andrographis powder is scooped out, you can taste it in all your senses, and it is more bitter than Goldenseal. That is why most people consume it in capsules. 

Although Andographis contains many compounds that make up its incredible healing properties, andrographolide is the main compound that has been researched.

Andrographolide is what makes Andrographis extremely bitter and comes from the leaves.  It is the leaves that have been more researched and tested than the root. This herb has been used in India for thousands of years by Ayurvedic doctors with their people.

Andrographis has been studied and researched extensively!

Andrographis has been studied extensively in India and China over the years. These hundreds of published research studies are double blind and well documented. The problem in the US, is that these studies are not accepted. Furthermore, doctors cannot make money advising people to take herbs. They have no background in nutrition or herbal medicine generally. They are taught in medical school about prescription drugs, surgery, and standard treatments with side effects that in some cases are worse than the illness they are prescribing the drugs for. Drug companies can make no money from using herbs in treatment, but herbs are used by doctors in many countries including India, China, Japan and others.

Learn about Andographis-An amazing versatile herb for health and healing below:


Andrographis is used in India for viral and bacterial health problems.

In the United States, Andrographis is best known as an herb that boosts your immunity against both viruses and bacterial infections. Yes, it is effective against viral infections where antibiotics are not.  This includes colds, flu, and other viral illnesses.  It has been shown in several double-blind studies to quickly reduce the symptoms such as fatigue, sore throat, coughs and other symptoms very quickly. It is used in India to fight HIV infections and the herpes virus that causes cold sores on your mouth and fever blisters.

Liver Support Health

In both China and India, Andrographis is used by doctors there to treat liver diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver. Research shows it reduces toxins in the liver. This research was published in the Journal, PLOS One along with several other research articles on Andrographis.

Digestive Complaints

Andrographis is used in India to help soothe many kinds of digestive issues from stomach inflammation to gastric and intestinal ulcers. 


Andrographis has been shown to help in fighting melanoma skin cancers, tumors, brain cancer, pancreatic cancer and other cancers by reducing inflammation, oxidation of cells, cancer cell replication and cancer cell invasion. Andographolide is the main constituent that has been studied in the research fight against cancer.  That does not mean that there are no other constituents of the plant that combined, assault the spread of cancers.  For centuries, Andrographis was used as in the whole plant tissue in Ayurvedic medicine.

Heart Protective

Andrographis inhibits cholesterol oxidation and lowers high cholesterol levels by relaxing your blood vessels. It helps to reduce heart artery damage. It is extremely protective and one of the tools in the prevention of heart problems.


Helps in joint diseases by reducing inflammation. This anti-inflammatory action also helps with any health issue that produces inflammation.

How to use Andrographis in your health regimen:

Please do not take Andrographis with your medicines without consulting your doctor first. The herb and your medicines could react in a negative way.  Never stop taking your medicine without the supervision and knowledge of your doctor.

Andrographis is a very strong herb so it’s best to start first with a low dosage to make sure you are not allergic to it. There are a few people who do have allergy reactions.  If after a few days, you have no negative reaction to Andrographis, you can slowly increase the dosage.  Depending on your constitution and health issue, the amount of Andrographis needed to be effective may vary significantly. You will have to monitor your reaction as you go along. Suggestion is to start with one cap a day for a week to see how your body reacts to the herb.  I take a much higher dosage with Chronic Lyme disease.  I have no problems with this herb, but some have had allergy reactions to Andrographis. You must buy product that is tested in this country for heavy metals, contamination, and for quality.

For dosage information please consult Dr. Rawls book, Unlocking Lyme Disease and Healing Lyme by Stephen Harrod Buhner.

There is also dosage information in Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism by Donald R. Yance, CN, MH, RH (AHG)

References: ( Educational links below only)

The Truth About Cancer | The Latest Cancer Fighting News

Adaptogenic Herbs for Health & Cancer Prevention (thetruthaboutcancer.com)

Terry Talks Nutrition, Andrographis – The Ayurvedic Answer for Overall   (Health  article)

Journal, PLOS One along with several other research articles on Andrographis.

All for today, Cathryn Freer, The Herbladyisin

I hope this site, its articles, research, and news will help you on your path to getting those answers. This publication is new. I do hope you will come back each week to review the new articles published. If you are interested in writing for my publication, email me below to discuss it.

Cathryn Freer, the Herbladyisin signing off for today.

Email me at herbladyisin@yahoo.com.

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