Gathering the taste of summer to keep us sweet through the winter.
The summer glow has been sweet. In summer health and wellbeing is a breeze compared with the cold, damp times. How can we hold on to this glow and sweetness for as long as possible? Here are a few ideas to try.
One old practice is making jams, chutneys and cordials with fresh fruit and herbs. A traditional art in preserving the summer glow! Blackcurrant jam with low sugar and no additives is a good source of vitamin C (* 1). Blueberry jam, again with low sugar and no additives, has been shown to contain antioxidants, especially if kept in the fridge (*2 ).
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a vital nutrient and antioxidant and is found in all fresh fruit and vegetables (Rowley, 1993). As we are unable to produce or store vitamin C we must consume it on a regular basis to stay healthy.
A wonderful fresh source of vitamins is kale. The humble kale is hardy enough to grow through cold winters (it is known to actually like it!) and provides a vital source of nutrients especially vitamins A & C and K. What a handy plant to know! It can be grown easily in even the smallest of gardens and collected a few leaves at a time for ultimate freshness. Kale is also readily available from farm shops and organic box schemes especially in autumn and winter. If only the sailors had grown kale on their ships!
I add kale at the end of cooking soups and stews to gently soften it without destroying the goodness. It can also be eaten raw and is popular in green smoothies and juices. More kale info at
Calendula – shining inside & out
Another good companion through the cold times is the wonderful Calendula (Pot Marigold). I’ve been collecting seeds from the herb garden and giving people handfuls at a time! (seeds available at Knowes Farm Shop). They are so easy to grow and produce lots of seeds to carry on the glow most of the year round. You can also bring them inside for the winter and keep them in a pot on the window sill. A sunny friend to brighten and enlighten through the winter 🙂 I’m taking Calendula tincture just now after a tooth infection and dental work as it helps to move the lymph and promote internal cleansing.
Learn more about Calendula and it’s medicinal uses here:
Cleansing: the path to rejuvenation!
A great way to promote cleansing is by having a sauna. Saunas are well known for inducing sweating and supporting the release of waste products through the skin. Heating yourself in a sauna stimulates the circulation by moving the blood to the surface of the skin. By cooling off in ice or with cold water it then moves the blood back to the core of the body. The combination promotes blood flow to the tissues, stimulating the circulation and feels very invigorating! Saunas bring many health benefits relating to improved circulation such as clearer skin, improved breathing and revived muscles. The cleansing and rejuvenating effect can also give a strong feeling of wellbeing.
Sauna therapy has shown to improve cardiovascular health, even for those with congestive heart failure (Whitaker, 2012), however, as it increases the heart rate and blood pressure it is best to avoid if you have heart and high blood pressure issues unless monitored as part of a health programme.
Sweating as a way to deep cleansing has been practiced for centuries. The combination of sweating and praying is traditional in a sweat lodge ceremony which has the benefits of cleansing the physical body, as well as the emotional, mental and spiritual bodies.
There are lots of ways to cleanse and work up a healthy sweat!
Have fun keeping your glow!
News from the Yurt! * Wonderful ways to keep your glow!
Paradiso massage special offer – 3 hour treatment for £80 if booked or gift vouchers bought before 30th September (valid for one year so can be Christmas gifts)
“One of the most important aspects of experiencing Jen’s Paradiso massage is it allows time for your system to really slow down, relaxing into such a state of bliss. I feel like I am in another world! Jen’s caring and professional touch shines. A Paradiso massage in her yurt is truly a unique experience. I always feel recharged and revitalised, thank you Jen!” Sally Rankin, North Berwick
Winter Warmer – Hot Stone Massage offer – 90 minute treatment for £45 – October to February
Gift vouchers – for treatments & courses – available from the lovely ladies at Knowes Farm Shop http://www.knowesfarmshop.co.uk/
Meditation class – Every Tues 7pm & Saturday 12th October 9am to 1pm
*1* PUBMED, 1997. A study of some important vitamins and antioxidants in a blackcurrant jam with low sugar content and without additives. September 2013.
*2* PUBMED, 2010. Jam processing and storage effects on blueberry polyphenolics and antioxidant capacity. September 2013
ROWLEY, K., 1993. Food As Medicine. Scottish School of Herbal Medicine.
WHITAKER, DR J., Aug 2012. The Health Benefits of Saunas. http://www.drwhitaker.com/the-health-