Category Archives: Natural Healing

Natural Healing–Nispero leaf tea — Loquat leaf tea

I have long enjoyed the nispero fruit which is known as míspero locally.  Mama Sofia had several full-grown trees and when in season would always give us a bucketful to take home.  My husband has been trying for years to grow our own nispero tree. One time Miss Piggy broke loose and ate it.  Another time, a hoard of ants stripped the sapling bare overnight and it dried out. A third planting was destroyed by the chickens.  However we currently have not one, but two, healthy nisperos out back. They aren’t mature enough to produce fruit yet, but I have made nispero leaf tea.  It’s delicious! It has a fruity flavor all its own.

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The nispero (Eriobotrya japonica) otherwise known as loquat is not native to Mexico or Japan, but China.  I wasn’t able to trace its migration to Mexico, although I imagine it came with the Spanish.  Regardless how it arrived, it is a healthy addition to your Mexican diet whether eaten as a fruit or enjoyed as a tea.  It’s long been used to treat skin inflammation and respiratory problems in China. Here are some other health benefits:

Loquat has been found to be Anti-acne, Anti-aging, Anti-allergy, Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory  and provide beneficial immunomodulatory effects (Read more here and here and here.) It reduces body weight through control of lipid metabolism and reduces fat deposits in the liver. The loquat flower has a protective effect on acute alcohol-induced liver injury. Loquat also reduces total cholesterol and triglycerides (Read more here.) and prevent skeletal muscle atrophy. (Read more here.) It is useful in treating diabetes (Read more here.), useful in treating cancer (Read more here and here and here and here.), useful in fighting bacterial infections, and useful in the treatment of respiratory disorders. Loquat leaf tea is known to relieve cough and reduce phlegm. as well as aiding in the treatment of chronic bronchitis.  Finally, Loquat suppresses ovariectomy-induced bone mineral density deterioration.  

Here’s how to make nispero leaf tea:

Pick a handful of leaves, preferably young leaves.  Scrape off the furry underside. Wash and let dry.

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Cut the leaves lengthwise in long stripes to reduce oxidation.  

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Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Let the leaves steep for 10 minutes. Strain and serve. Flavor with honey if desired.  It really doesn’t need it. The flavor is lightly fruity.

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I found one recipe that suggested the tea can be served as a hot toddy, with a splash of whiskey or bourbon and lemon on the side.  I suppose it could. Maybe I’ll try it this way during the rainy season on one of my days off.

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Natural Healing–Guayaba Leaf Tea

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At the first sign of an upset stomach, my husband is out back plucking leaves off of our guayaba tree to make a tea.  I thought I’d do a little investigation on whether or not there was any validity to these stomach ailment treatment claims and here’s what I found out.

Psidium guajava, known as guayaba or guava, is native to Mexico and its fruit ranges from white or yellow to dark pink.  We have two different varieties growing in our backyard, the yellow and the light pink.  Both the fruit and the leaves are used in traditional medicine to treat diabetes, hypertension, cavities, diarrhea, rheumatism, lung disease, fever, and inflammation.

Digging a bit deeper into scientific studies, I found that the fruit (either eaten raw or made into juice) has antitumor and anti-cancer properties, is useful in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and effective in lowering blood sugar, serum total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDLc while increasing HDLc levels.  Guava is also a natural antibacterial agent and antioxidant and beneficial in the treatment of cholera.

The guayaba leaf also has medicinal properties. It is cytotoxic, thus effective in the treatment of a variety of cancers. It protects against mercury toxicity, one of the causes of Alzheimer’s. Regular ingestion improves vascular function and regulates blood-glucose levels. It is effective in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery as well as infections caused by the Candida fungi and  Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

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My husband makes his stomachache tea from freshly picked young whole leaves.  He washes then boils them for about 10 minutes and that’s it. He drinks it without any sweetener, but you could add honey if you like.  The tea has an earthy taste to it.

I saw on another site, that you could make tea from dried and crushed leaves.  However, that takes 3-4 weeks and there seems to be no additional benefit to drying them.  Since we have a fresh source right outside our back door, we’ll stick with that.  Have you tried guayaba leaf tea?

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The Benefits of Paleo and Keto Diets for Cancer Patients

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Today, I’d like to share a guest blogger post from Virgil and the team at mesothelioma.net about the Paleo and Ketogenic diets, specifically their benefits for cancer patients.  While we here in La Yacata don’t follow a strict Paleo diet with corn featuring such a large part of our diets, we do consider ourselves more Paleo than we were in the US and certainly healthier as a result. Without further ado:

The Benefits of Paleo and Keto Diets for Cancer Patients

The paleo and ketogenic diets are more popular than ever before and for good reasons. They have been shown to be beneficial in a number of ways, from cutting out processed foods to helping people lose weight. Now, there is also evidence that these diets may provide important benefits for people living with and being treated for various types of cancer, like mesothelioma or lung cancer.

The Paleo Diet and its Health Benefits

The paleo diet has a pretty simple basis: don’t eat anything our Paleolithic ancestors wouldn’t have eaten. The Paleolithic was before agriculture, so that means no grains or dairy. Instead, on the paleo diet, you eat meat, game, poultry, fish, vegetables, seeds, fruits, and nuts. Although there may have been beans and legumes around 10,000 years ago, the paleo diet avoids these as well.

Perhaps the best thing about the paleo diet is that it relies on whole foods and eliminates processed ones. There is no vegetable oil on this diet, and no junk food or packaged foods. The elimination of dairy, grains, and beans is more controversial, but the idea is that 10,000 years is not a long enough time to have evolved to digest them properly.

Some of the known health benefits of the paleo diet include:

These can all be benefits for cancer patients, but there are more specific reasons to try the diet if you are battling cancer. The paleo diet is very low in sugar, which has been found in studies to negatively impact the survival rates of cancer patients. The negative effect is greater for any patients who are overweight, and the paleo diet can help with weight loss as well.

In another study, researchers actually found that some types of cancer cells, including squamous lung cancer cells, are highly dependent on sugar for growth. With less sugar, tumors may grow more slowly, which obviously benefits the patients.

Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet

The keto diet is similar to the paleo diet. The idea is to eat fewer carbohydrates and more fats. The philosophy behind the diet is totally unrelated, but it ends up being very similar in terms of what you can eat. The idea of the diet is that eating more fat and fewer carbs forces the body into ketosis, a state in which it burns fat. On the keto diet you eat similar foods to the paleo diet, but also leave out potatoes and alcohol and you are allowed to eat dairy. The basic guideline is to consume 75 percent of your calories as fat, 20 percent as protein, and only five percent as carbs, although there are some variations.

The keto diet has been proven to be an excellent tool for weight loss, for improving sensitivity to insulin, and for reversing the course of type 2 diabetes. It has also been shown in research to reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease and to reduce seizures in children who have epilepsy.

For cancer patients, there is evidence that the keto diet can be beneficial too. In animal studies, tumors shrank when the animals were fed a keto diet with restricted calories. In other studies specifically with cancer patients, the keto diet was found to enhance the effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy, making them more effective.

There are few risks of trying the keto or paleo diets, as both are more healthful than the typical American diet. However, it is always important to speak to your doctor before making any drastic dietary changes. This is especially true for cancer patients. There may be some risks that you aren’t aware of and that your medical team can warn you about. You may also want to work with a dietician or nutritionist to get started to ensure that your diet is balanced and has adequate nutrients for you to heal and fight your cancer.

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Filed under Guest Blogger Adventures, Health, Natural Healing

Natural Remedies — Lime Leaf Tea — Té de Limón

The other day we were going through our morning routine and discovered, to our horror, that we were out of coffee!  Never one to be dismayed by such trivialities, my husband ducked out back and plucked a few leaves off our limón tree.  Quite soon we had ourselves a nice cuppa of té de limón.

Despite what google translator says, we don’t have a lemon tree in the backyard.  It’s a LIME tree, specifically a Mexican lime tree (Citrus aurantifolia Swingle). The Mexican lime was actually introduced to Mexico by the Spaniards in the early 1500s.  That didn’t stop the author of my little herb book Antiguo Recetario Medicinal Azteca from including it though.  

We use limes on about everything from tacos to cucumbers. Delicious! So let me tell you about the health benefits of regular lime consumption.

Lime juice prevents scurvy.  Lest you think that this is irrelevant in this day and age, 6 to 8 percent of the general population in the United States are thought to have scurvy-level deficiencies.  Scurvy is especially prevalent among the poor, homeless and college students. 

Adding lime juice to food prevents cholera. Not to alarm you, but in 2016, there were 132,121 cholera cases and 2420 deaths attributed to cholera reported worldwide.  Cholera resistance seems to be a very positive benefit to lime consumption in my book.

The peel and leaves have been shown to reduce the oxidative degeneration of cells in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Lime prevents cancer.  It slows cancer’s progress.  It destroys cancer cells. It is toxic to pancreatic cancer cells.  A high citrus diet combined with green tea consumption reduces your chance of getting any type of cancer incidences.

Lime relieves muscle spasms.

Lime is rich in fiber, vitamin C, folate and potassium, all good for general health.

Limes are helpful in the treatment of diabetes. Combined with garlic, lime juice decreases blood glucose levels.  (See Garlic Tea)

It’s great for cardiovascular health! Lime juice and peel have been shown to be effective in treating atherogenesis, plaque formation in the arteries, lowering high blood pressure and reduces triglycerides, cholesterol, and LDL.  Including limes and other citrus fruits in your daily diet reduces the chance of developing cardiovascular disease, especially cerebral infarctions.

Lime leaves are a good source of natural antioxidants and antimicrobial compounds and are comparable in their antibiotic effect to standard antibiotics such as tobramycin, gentamicin sulphate, ofloxacin, and ciprofloxacin.

Regular lime consumption has been proven to help protect the liver from toxins.

Limes can help prevent and reduce the severity of osteoporosis.

Limes are antifungal and antiparasitic.

Lime juice is recommended for preventing and treating urinary tract infections.

With all this medicinal good stuff in such a small thing, it’s worth reconsidering putting the lime in the coconut and drinking it all up.  

Not quite so adventurous?  You can still enjoy the health benefits by adding a little lime leaf tea to your diet, here’s how.

Pick and wash a handful of medium-sized leaves.  Add to a liter of water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Allow to cool enough to drink.  Add a drop of honey for sweetening if you like.  Enjoy.

 

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Filed under Mexican Food and Drink, Natural Healing