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Brahmi

Brahmi

Brahmi is a plant that has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine as a brain-booster. It is named for Brahma, the Vedic God of creation who, according to Indian mythology, created the universe with his thoughts while a state of deep meditation.  According to the website WebMD, “Brahmi is used for Alzheimer’s disease, improving memory, anxiety, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder  (ADHD), allergic conditions, irritable bowel syndrome, and as a general tonic to fight stress. “They go on to explain that, “Brahmi might increase certain brain chemicals that are involved in thinking, learning, and memory. Some research suggests that it might also protect brain cells from chemicals involved in Alzheimer’s disease.

That’s a lot of brain benefits for one small herb.  This low-growing, perennial herb is native to watery shores and muddy banks throughout India and much of Southeast Asia. Also commonly known as water hyssop, this plant is now found in wet and watery locations throughout the world – even as far as Florida.  Fans of aquaculture, aquariums and hydroponics cultivate the  white-flowered herb for ornamental reasons, but devotees of natural  medicine and herbology know brahmi is more than just a pretty posey  -it’s potent medicine.

Another good article for information on the uses of brahmi is this excellent feature from the website of the famous pop physician, Dr. Mehmet Oz: http://blog.doctoroz.com/oz-experts/herb-of-the-month-brahmi.

People with thyroid conditions should consult their doctor before taking brahmi as it can have an effect on thyroid levels. It has also been linked to temporary reduction in sperm count in males taking the herb, so another note of caution for our male readers.  Brahmi comes in many different forms – dissolved in oil or ghee, in pill form, or even in a powder, which is easy to add to other foods, such as smoothies. So if you feel like your brain might be firing a little more slowly than usual lately, brahmi might be just the thing to help you straighten out your thinking cap.


Biba Berry Smoothie

Biba Berry Smoothie

  •  Serves 1-2 
  •   1 cup wild blueberries
  •  1/2 cup almond milk
  •  1/2 cup water (as needed)
  •   1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
  •  1 tsp maca
  •  1 tbsp lucuma
  •  1 tbsp chia seeds
  •  5 drops liquid vanilla stevia

Directions: Blend ingredients (save for bee pollen) in a high-speed blender until a smooth consistency is reached. Serve immediately in your favourite glass and top with a tsp of bee pollen. Toast to the beauty of Biba fashions and yourself, and sip on some berry bliss.

 

Cayenne

Cayenne

Some of us are already hooked on the pep from this pepper, but did you know that cayenne – the chili that gives zing so many of our favorite dishes – is also a potent natural medicine that’s been used for thousands of years?

The chemical that gives this pepper its bite – and its amazing healthy qualities – is called capsaicin.

A common ingredient in both natural preparations and drug-store variety creams, ointments and transdermal patches for muscle aches and pains, capsaicin is a natural analgesic. Its anti-inflammatory qualities make it good for relieving the itching redness of psoriasis.

Rich in vitamins A and C, cayenne has long been known as an internal disinfectant and detoxifier known for knocking out a range of ailments including symptoms associated with cold and flu and can be an excellent throat calmer when gargled.

Cayenne may also be your heart’s best friend. According to New Mexico State University’s (NMSU) website on medicinal plants of the south west United States, capsaicin can:

  • thin blood and reduce the risk of stroke
  • stop heart attacks
  • increase heart action without increasing blood pressure

Further, they say, diabetics can use it to lower blood sugar levels. If you’d like to read more about the cultivation, history and medical uses of cayenne, take a look at this link from NMSU: http://medplant.nmsu.edu/capsicum.shtm

According to physician and Ayurvedic doctor Deepak Chopra’s Chopra Center, cayenne helps balance Kapha doshas. “Use pungent spices like pepper, cayenne, mustard seed, and ginger freely in your diet,” they write on their page.

You can visit their page on tips for Kapha doshas if you’d like more information: http://www.chopra.com/community/online-library/tips/kapha-dosha

As if all that wasn’t already a lot for one’s plate, this webMD article looks at some of the latest research on cayenne and weight loss: http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20110427/cayenne-pepper-may-burn-calories-curb-appetite

To sum it up, it seems that research is showing cayenne pepper burns calories and curbs appetite.

So if you happen to be looking for a novel way to spice up your routine, try this great smoothie featuring – you guessed it – the peppery punch of cayenne.

cayenne smoothie

Strawberry Cayenne Breakfast Smoothie

Serves 1.

Gluten-free, dairy-free, healthy, and Paleo, even.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp raw alfalfa grass powder (or green powder)
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 cups (or approx.) kale leaves
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp bee pollen granules
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut water, almond milk, or water
  • Handful of ice

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in your blender. Taste and adjust honey, water, or cinnamon as needed.

http://www.whatrunslori.com/2011/12/strawberry-cayenne-breakfast-smoothie/

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