Myth and legend surround the mighty baobab tree. The baobab is known as the African Tree of Life. According to some African bushmen,
With such legend, one might assume that the mighty baobab has some incredible benefits, yes? Yes! I recently stumbled across the mighty baobab, have been researching it, and incorporating it into my biology. It turns out that this tree and its fruit have quite a few benefits that are naturally used in traditional African medicine.
What are the benefits of the mighty baobab?
Powerful antioxidant. Baobab fruit is high in Vitamin C. One single serving contains ~80% of the RDV of Vitamin C. The baobab fruit powder has an integral antioxidant capacity that is 37x greater than that of oranges and 3x the antioxidants found in blueberries. The baobab seed oil contains Vitamins A, D, and E as well as Omega 3, 6, and 9.
Analgesic. The fruit pulp is shown to have pain relieving affects similar to that of aspirin.
Hepatoprotective. The pulp has been shown to have a protective and restorative effect on damaged livers in rats. I personally am curious if baobab fruit helps to heal livers damaged by flukes (platyhelminths).
Anti-diarrhea. The fruit pulp contains ~50% fiber (equal parts soluble and insoluble) as well as tannins and citric acid.
Pre-biotic. Gut health – yes! The soluble fiber in the pulp stimulates the growth of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. When the pulp powder is combined with certain ferments, it may prevent and/or inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella sp., Bacillus sp., and Streptococcus sp.
Reduce fever. The bark, fruit pulp, and seeds may be used to reduce fever, particularly in cases of malaria.
Anti-viral. The fruit, leaves and seeds may act as an anti-viral against herpes, flu, and respiratory viruses.
Anti-trypanosoma. Baobab roots serve as anti-trypanosoma (an anti-parasitic) and reduce or eliminate the motility of trypanosomes – the causative agent of sleeping sickness.
Skin care/beautification. A decoction of baobab roots promote smooth skin.
I found these traditional medicinal uses particularly interesting:
The leaves may be used as an anti-asthmatic and anti-histamine. They may also be used in the treatment of Guinea worm (a parasitic worm), urinary tract diseases, eye and ear inflammations.
The bark may be used as a substitute for quinine in reducing fever and as a remedy for toothache. In addition, the bark, fruit pulp and seeds are used as an antidote to the poison often used on arrows.
The dried fruit pulp, which tastes similar to a mild creamsicle, is available through various super food retailers. In addition to all of the benefits listed above, baobab pulp is also rich in B Vitamins, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, and manganese.
How can you use baobab?
- Add it to your morning smoothie.
- Add it to homemade ice-cream (dairy or vegan).
- Sprinkle it on your yogurt.
- Mix it in a smoothie bowl.
- Add it to un-baked, or baked goods.
How do you use baobab? If you have a favorite recipe that you would like to see featured on my blog, email it to me with a picture of your mighty baobab creation (amanda(at)onalimb(dot)org) and I’ll feature it in an upcoming blog post.
Kabore, Donatien, H. Sawadogo-Lingani, B. Diawara, C.S. Compaore, M.H. Dicko, and M. Jakobsen. 2011. A review of baobab (Adansonia digitata) products: Effect of processing techniques, medicinal properties and uses. African Journal of Food Science. 5(16): 833-844.
Images: theholbox(dot)com, bumblerootfoods(dot)com
Before diving into 10 benefits of MSM, you may be wondering — what is MSM? MSM, is also known as methylsulfonylmethane. It contains sulfur, a mineral which we are largely deficient in due to the poor mineral concentrations in the majority of soils today. Even if you eat large quantities of plants high in sulfur, it’s still likely you may be deficient in this superfood.
What are 10 benefits of MSM?
- Reduce pain. MSM is an anti-inflammatory and natural analgesic (pain reliever). It also increases cellular permeability and dilates blood vessels, increasing circulation and the removal of waste products from the cells, decreasing time needed to heal from injury and wounds. MSM is also a muscle relaxant.
- Is a synergist. MSM aids in the uptake of vitamin C, all B vitamins, CoQ10, amino acids, calcium, magnesium, and more.
- Antioxidant. MSM, particularly sulfur, aids in the production of glutathione – one of the key antioxidants in reducing oxidative stress.
- Detoxification. Aids in the removal of heavy metal toxicity and cellular waste products. In addition, the production of glutathione assists the liver in removing waste products from the body.
- Improves neurological function. MSM can cross the blood-brain barrier, improving cellular function and removing heavy metal toxicity within the brain cells. It may also improve memory.
- Reduces/relieves allergies. MSM may work as an antihistamine and works to heal the mucosa within the gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts as well as the respiratory system. This decreases the availability for allergen, pathogen, and parasite binding.
- Reduces the severity of autoimmune disorders. The anti-inflammatory, analgesic, detoxification, mucosal healing, and antioxidant effects of MSM help to reduce auto-immune reactions, particularly in and around joints and connective tissue.
- Helps to balance blood sugar. Sulfur is needed for proper structure and function of insulin, essential in carbohydrate metabolism.
- Reduces muscle soreness and cramps. When taken prior to training, MSM may reduce post-training muscle soreness and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). When consumed after training, MSM aids in reducing muscle cramps and increasing recovery between training sessions.
- Beautifies skin, hair, and nails. Sulfur is needed in the production of collagen and keratin — two proteins required for healthy hair, skin, and nails. It helps keep skin smooth, soft and youthful looking, hair shiny.
Where do we start when we don’t know where to start? Oftentimes, we know where we want to be, know what we’d like to do, where we want to go, but lack the clarity to know where and how to start. In this video, I share some tips to help you take that first step on your journey.
I recently shared a photo of a green drink I’ve been incorporating into my biology on a daily basis. Many of you asked “what’s in it?”. I’m excited to share with you the incredible recipe that has numerous health benefits, including:
- building the blood and yin
- harmonizing the liver
- lubricating the intestines
- beautifies the skin
- reducing heat and moistening dryness
- aiding digestion
- assisting with heavy metal removal
- immune enhancing activity
- balancing blood sugar imbalances
Serves 1. All ingredients are organic unless otherwise noted.
2 granny smith apples
1-2″ piece of ginger
1/3 – 1/2 bunch of red kale
1 c. chopped pineapple
1 TB chlorella powder
- Juice the apples, ginger, and kale.
- Place in a blender: the juice, avocado, pineapple, and chlorella powder.
- Blend until smooth.
- Enjoy. To aid digestion, assimilation, and absorption, chew the smoothie (or swish it around your mouth a few times) before swallowing.
In today’s vlog, I share with you one of my favorite superfoods to make – raw cacao!
Check it out below, let me know what you think, and share both the video and recipe with anyone you know who loves chocolate.
Ingredients (all organic and/or raw):
1 c. cacao butter
1 c. cacao powder
1/2 c. maple syrup
1 TB maca powder
2 tsp. lucuma powder
1 tsp. vanilla powder
Himalayan sea salt
1.5 TB bee pollen
1-2 tsp dried lavender
1. Melt the cacao butter in a double boiler over low heat.
2. Turn the heat off. Add cacao powder. Stir.
3. Add maple syrup. Stir.
4. Add vanilla powder, maca, lucuma and a pinch or two of sea salt. Stir.
5. Pour mixture into a container or chocolate molds.
6. Sprinkle bee pollen, lavender, and 1 pinch sea salt on top of the chocolate.
7. Place in the fridge to cool and set…the freezer if you really can’t wait. Then, when it’s solid, enjoy!
It’s autumn here in the States and with autumn comes everything pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin smoothies, roasted pumpkin, pumpkin costumes, oh and…
If you’re not familiar with the Headless Horseman, check this out:
Here’s a way to over-indulge in pumpkin without turning into a pumpkin yourself.
- 3 TB pumpkin puree
- 16 oz milk/mylk of your choice
- 1/2 tsp bee pollen (if not allergic)
- 1 heaping tsp reishi
- 3 scoops Super Meal L.O.V.
- to taste:
- real maple syrup (not Aunt Jemima’s or Mrs. Butterworth’s)
- fresh ginger
- cayenne pepper for a kick and to keep an internal warmth
Place in blender. Blend. Enjoy!
Let me know how you like it below. If you have any of your own suggestions, I’d love to hear them.
Who doesn’t love a little music to dance to accompanied by some killer fig goodies that are too good to not dance about while eating?!
These delectable little figgy balls of chocolate covered heaven hit up both the sweet and savory sides at the same time. Did I mention they’re covered in chocolate? No?
Psst…they’re covered in chocolate!
While I wouldn’t recommend over-indulging, you can definitely allow yourself to indulge. These Getting Figgy with it treats are all organic, all non-GMO, all natural, preservative-free, superfood goodness.
Are you drooling yet? I am.
10 oz of dried Turkish figs
11 oz of dried back mission figs
3/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
a few pinches of sea salt (Celtic or Himalayan)
dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
5 TB Purium’s organic coconut oil (melted)
4 TB Ojio’s raw cacao powder
1 tsp. lucuma powder
Remove the stems from the figs. Place the figs in a food processor and process until you have a mass of sticky, ooey-gooey, fig newton-like yumminess. Add the curry power, cardamom, and a pinch of sea salt. Pulse to incorporate the spices throughout.
Slightly wet your hands and roll the mixture into approximately 30 balls. You can then roll the balls in the coconut flakes.
To make the chocolate sauce:
Combine the coconut oil, cacao powder, lucuma powder, and remaining 2 pinches of sea salt in a bowl. Gently whisk until well combined.
Dip/roll the fig balls into the chocolate sauce and place on wax or parchment paper. Allow to set in the fridge for approximately 1 hr.
Then, put on some tunes and Get Figgy with it!
PS – You can also change the spices to incorporate what suits your taste buds and mood.
Chances are, if you’ve had more than one relationship, you’ve experienced what it’s like to have your heart broken. Not that our hearts can really break, but the end of a relationship can certainly feel like our heart is breaking. Why is that?
It’s a death of sorts, and a rebirth. It’s a death of what was, of how we perceive our experience of the person we were with. It’s an end to how we know and/or interact with someone on the physical, mental, emotional, energetic, and sometimes, spiritual planes. It’s also a beginning to the next chapter of your life.
Ya, right. I’m sure that’s the last thing you probably want to hear from someone if you’re in the midst of relationship changes or are mourning the loss of the ways in which we experienced another person. I hear you. Stay with me. This post is all about some of the steps towards getting your groove back.
- Feel your emotions.
Are you checking out? Or are you staying present with yourself and this process? Granted, some of you may not have the luxury to take time off from commitments — be it work, or family — to allow yourselves to experience and temporarily wallow in the nourishing mud of your grief and/or anger. I would invite you to give yourself permission to spend some time doing so. Have that really good cry. Scream into your pillow. Take a look at the photos and revisit the memories. Allow yourself to walk down memory lane and feel whatever comes up for you.
Let the rain of your tears, the thunder of your laughter, and the lightning of your anger cleanse and renew you.
You are hereby invited to attend your very own venting party. Pour yourself a cup of tea or cacao, grab an glass of organic IPA or pour yourself a glass of organic wine (I recommend red). Have some delicious raw chocolate on hand. Get some paper and a pen and pull up a chair.In this letter, write whatever you want to say to your former partner — they are not going to read this, so have at it. If you feel angry and want to tell them how you feel, do so. If you feel sad and lost beyond all comprehension, get it out. Put it down on paper. Tap into those emotions. Don’t hold back. Let it all out. This is your opportunity and invitation to spew on paper.
Read it. Enjoy some of that tea, wine, beer, or chocolate. Are you feeling a little better now? Ready for the next step? Set your beverage aside and take a deep breath. This is a biggie.
Go back through that letter. Every time you wrote your former partner’s name or referenced them, cross it out. Write your name in there. Ooh. Ouch. Heavy, yeah? Here’s a little secret…are you listening?
Almost everything we dislike or cannot accept in our partner is a reflection of where we are not accepting, liking, or loving ourselves.
Reread the letter. Allow yourself to feel what you just wrote about yourself. Cry if you need to. Yell if you need to. Allow those emotions to move through you.
Write yourself another letter, this time giving yourself what your heart needs, whatever it is you need most in this moment. Read the letter and allow it to permeate throughout your being. How are you feeling?
Take the letters and ceremoniously burn them. Offer them up to the Universe. Note any words or phrases that do not burn.
- Check your Back.
Seriously. Turn around and look at your back. If you can’t see your back, have an authentic friend who is not afraid to be real with you check it for you. Is there a sign back there that says “KICK ME“?Who put it there? Are you beating yourself up? Playing the blame game? Kicking yourself when you’re already down and out? Mmm. I bet it doesn’t feel very good, does it? Would you like to take sign off?
Yes. Dance. Not only have you been invited to a venting party, you are also invited to a daily get up and dance party.What is your absolute favorite song that you can’t resist dancing to? Each and every morning when you awaken, you are invited to join the dancing brother- and sister-hood of awesome people who choose to start their day with a song in their heart and a beat under their feet. It will change your day.
Play that song every morning and dance. You can dance in your bedroom, in the bathroom, the kitchen, the family room; in your pajamas, in your work clothes, in the nude. Grab a mop or a broom — I won’t tell! Have at it and dance your heart out for those 3-5 min.
- Go on an Adventure.
What makes you happy? What makes you come alive? What makes you want to get out of bed each and every morning? What is it about you that drives you to get up every day?We’re about to take a trip and go on an adventure into discovering what you enjoy, what you love, what lights you up from the inside and invites you to smile from ear to ear and laugh with such abandonment that your belly hurts and tears stream from your eyes. No one can answer what that is but you. It’s there. It may not feel like it, but it is.
If you’re not sure how to do that or where to start, let me know. I’m happy to help.
Bonus: Live a Life of Pleasure.
I’m not necessarily inviting you to explore hedonism. Or, maybe I am, comparatively speaking in a society where the general consensus is that martyrdom is the norm and people tend to have their panties in a wad.
Once you discover what it is you enjoy doing for you, (and does no harm to yourself or society), go out and do it. You want to enjoy a dinner at the fancy restaurant in town? Take yourself out! Want to go away on a vacation? Go ahead and go! Love flowers but don’t feel like buying yourself flowers? No offense, but get over it and go buy yourself some. Put them in a gorgeous vase and enjoy. What’s holding you back?
If you’re curious and ready to get your groove back, you are invited to join me and my dear friend and colleague, Diana Deaver, this Oct. for a 4-day all inclusive luxury retreat where we’ll be diving into the heart of this and much more. You can learn more here.