Super Plant: tastes smoky, like bacon

Tastes like bacon, must be bacon, right?  If it’s bacon yes, but what about if it’s a plant?  Let’s call it a super plant.  Please be introduced to Dulse, a beautiful dark red, flowy plant that lives in tIMG_1066he northern coastal waters of the Pacific and the Atlantic.  And yes, when cooked (roasted), it tastes smoky, a bit like bacon and not fishy.

What makes it super?  It is very high in:  digestive protein, iron, B vitamins, Vitamin. C, iodine, potassium and sodium to name a few.   It has been widely used as food by the maritime Irish and Scots.  It supports your body by strengthening you blood, adrenals and kidneys.  It’s excellent for hormonal support as well as for the lymphatic system and immune system.  It doesn’t stop there, Dulse, as other edible sea plants support the nervous and urinary system.  The fact that it is rich in manganese gives the benefit of activating enzymes, so overall digestion is supported which in turns supports almost every function in the body.

If you like the big words then here is an arsenal for Dulse:  anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anticoagulant, antithrombotic, antiviral and antioxidant.  In other words, it protects your body against harmful inflammation, against cancer, viruses and keeps your blood from clotting.  It has powerful phyto (plant) nutrients that protect your heart and other vital organs.  Some studies have shown (although inconclusively) that the mineral vanadium, present in sea vegetables, may be able to increase our cells’ sensitive to insulin.  Thus, help us prevent over production of glucose by our cells, and help take existing blood sugars and convert them into storable starches.

Dulse can be purchased at your local health food store as packaged fronds and also as dried flakes or powder.  Be sure to use only organic, sustainable sources.
Dulse makes an excellent seasoning in home prepared foods.  It brings a salty taste as well as the smoky bacon flavor.  Rebecca Wood suggests that Dulse be tossed with salted nuts and served with a good microbeer.  She goes on to ask, “Guess which disappears first?”   I believe this is an experiment worth trying.

George Mateljan suggests adding it as a topping on salads, mixed in rice dishes, or added to soups, legumes or vegetable dishes for flavor and nutrition.  It’s especially great on potatoes and corn dishes.  Kids and finicky eaters will enjoy it without them knowing.  Dulse is readily available at organic grocery stores and many health food stores.

Julia R. Parsell

Maybe I especially like dulse because I identify with her.  She’s tenacious, hardly, adaptable, and flourishes even in extreme situations.  And she has a wise woman way of changing her form to adapt to specific micro-environments.  Dulse is a wise woman, a shape-shifter, a bleeding woman, a changing woman, a woman whose friend it is good to be.   – Susun S. Weed,  Healing Wise
Weed, S. Healing Wise. Ash Tree Publishing, 1989

I thought it was a dream

Turmeric smells this moment as a sweet perfume.  The turmeric paste covers my wrist. When the medicine is correct; it is sweet and sanctified.

I woke this morning after 2 hours of sleep.  I thought I was dreaming of pain in my right wrist.  It was intense and I wanted to wake and leave the pain behind in the world of sleep. However, this was not to be.  The pain was real and intense, shooting from my wrist to my fingers and then upward to my elbow.  What did I do, I ask myself?  My pool exercise of lifting myself must have been too intense, I mused.  Well, the pain is real and I must deal with it, because I can’t sleep.  First, I breathed deeply for several times and then I used my left hand to smooth out the tension.  The pain was still intense.  I am in the habit of not getting up if I wake in the night, my goal is to go back to sleep or listen to something meaningful or to meditate.  The pain was constant and I couldn’t get relief.  I asked myself, what will give me relief?  I will try the peppermint oil on the desk.  Ummm, smells so good and opens my nostrils with it’s peppery scent.  That feels nice as I breathe it in, but the pain doesn’t dissipate.  What do I need I ask again?  I am not in the habit of popping pills, so this was not an option.  Turmeric came to mind; make a turmeric paste, rub it in and secure it.  Unable to find an ace bandage, I used a flowery bandana to wrap over the spring water and turmeric paste.  I placed a rubber band onto the bandana


Turmeric stained hand

between my thumb and first finger and then went back to bed.  Thankfully, within a few minutes the pain decreased and I was able to relax. (Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory.)  Sleep still alluded me, but it was a good time for reflection.  Pain is not always our enemy.  Here is what I wrote.

Pain is our opportunity to feel. Yes, we need relief because we can’t continue in severe pain. Ask for the method of relief in order to get clarity and then really feel your body. As the pain subsides, you can have a heightened sense of feeling. This actually serves to bring awareness to the present moment and the feeling body. The feeling body is accessing light and is a great gift to be cherished and appreciated. Pain and painful experiences are opportunities for exploration. They beg the question of why?  What am I to know as a result. All of life is an experience and when we can transcend the physical plane to heightened awareness, peace shines into every nook and cranny. Exposing goodness, truth, beauty and most of all love.

This is what I experienced as the result of my pain.  It served as a metaphor to me.  Don’t run from the painful experience.  Get relief, don’t stay in the fire, but feel into the pain.  What do I need to know at this moment?  Be prepared to listen and write.  It is from this powerful place truths emerge to cleanse and heal.  Peace and love to you my friend.

For inquiring minds, I recognized later that I must have slept hard and funny with my wrist in an awkward position.  This caused the pain and the turmeric helped alleviate the inflammation.  When I woke, I worked it out by using my hand and moving my fingers.  It is still sore, but much better.

Nettle Leaf = Vibrant Health

nettle-infusionWant More Energy?  Drink Nettle Infusion

Sounds weird, huh?  Drinking tea from a weed?  If you can get over the concept, then help is on the way in the form of a super energizing, nourishing beverage.  It is cheap, easy to make and if you put your mind to it, easy to drink.  At first, adding a bit of Tamari Sauce (fermented soy) may mellow it and make it more to your liking.  The saltiness is a good companion of this green super herb.  If you have a diversified palate, then you probably won’t be offended by it’s ‘green’ taste.  It is not bitter.

What is Nettle?  It actually is called stinging nettle since it grows with pricks that sting when harvesting without gloves.  It is easy to buy them in bulk (organically, of course) from a trusted source.  In the wild they look a bit like spearmint, but are not in the mint family.  Utica dioica, Stinging Nettle’s family is Urticaeae and has a long, long legacy for it’s use as food, medicine and fibre.

According to Susun Weed in Healing Wise, (Ash Tree Publishing, 1989) nettles are gentle enough to use as a nourishing brew everyday.  Do you need optimization in any of these areas:   heal damaged tissues, strengthen kidneys, adrenals, lungs, intestines, arteries?  Would you like to increase your energy, the vibrancy of your hair and skin?  Nettles are even an anti-hemorrhagic (stops bleeding) and contributes to over all well-being.   Consider adding this to your health enhancing practices.

Recipe for Dried Nettle leaf infusion (Tea):

1 oz.(1 cup) dried nettle (organic)

1 qt. water, spring or filtered

1 qt. jar with a lid

Boil the water.  Put the dried herb into the quart jar and then fill with the boiling water.  Stir with a  wooden spoon and add water until the jar is full to the top.  Place the lid on tightly and set aside to brew at least four hours or overnight.

Strain and squeeze the liquid out of the nettle.  You can drink it right away.  Store any remaining in the fridge right away and consume within two days.

It is delicious over ice, with honey or tamari sauce.  Experiment to suit your pallet.

I buy my organic Nettles from Amazon or Mountain Rose Herbs.

Check this out for more info:

These comments have not been evaluated by the FDA and do not constitute medical advice.  Please check with your medical care provider.  Nettles are considered food, but they also are powerful, as well as gentle for most.