Posted: February 16, 2014 Filed under: Gardening, Health, Home | Tags: blood pressure, cholesterol, detox, diatomaceous, Hair, nails, parasites
What Exactly is Diatomaceous Earth?
In SA, available from http://www.biosil.co.za
Diatomaceous earth technically comes from the cell walls of fossilized single-cell diatoms – essentially, it’s a fossil, ground into a very fine powder. There are two general types of diatomaceous earth: food grade and industrial grade. While industrial grade is toxic to humans and pets, food grade diatomaceous earth is non-toxic and very beneficial on multiple levels, and is the type I’ll be discussing with you here today.
Diatomaceous earth exhibits some interesting properties:
- When viewed through a microscope, it looks like a hollow cylinder, with holes throughout the side.
- It carries a strong negative charge. If you’ll recall your science lessons, you’ll remember that negatively charged ions are attracted to positively charged ions.
- Therefore, when taken internally, the diatomaceous earth attracts and absorbs positively-charged pathogens into its cylinder – it absorbs the things we want to stay away from, likeviruses, pathogenic fungi and bacteria, heavy metals, prescription drug residues, pesticides, parasites, radiation, and the like – and sweeps them out of our bodies.
- Diatomaceous earth is also very hard. On a scale of “hardness”, if diamonds were a 9, diatomaceous earth would be a 7. This helps us too – as this powder makes its way through our digestive tract, it gently “scrubs” the packed-on residue we have there and sweeps it out of our bodies. Nice, diatoms!
- Also, because of this quality, it is very sharp. Organisms such as parasites, lurking in our intestines, are sliced up and killed, and swept away when we empty our bowels, and weare left unharmed.
- The last quality I’ll mention is also powerful: food grade diatomaceous earth is 84% silica, and contains some 20 trace minerals. Did you know life can’t exist without silica? It is essential for the building of healthy bones and teeth, skin, hair, and nails. As our mineral resources are getting depleted, our food is containing less and less silica. Do yourself a favor and add this divine diatom to your diet.
How Do I Take Diatomaceous Earth?
(Some of the following links are affiliate links)
I’ll start with a public service announcement: YOU MUST ONLY BUY AND USE FOOD GRADE DIATOMACEOUS EARTH. Sorry to yell, but the distinction is very important. Fortunately, it is easily found both locally and online.
Where to buy food grade diatomaceous earth.
Now that I’ve made that clear, I’ll give the instructions: to take diatomaceous earth, all you have to do is mix a spoonful into some water or other liquid, and drink. Follow with another cup of water. (Diatomaceous earth can make you thirsty – make sure and drink plenty of water while using this supplement.) It’s that easy! You can also add it to smoothies – it’s totally undetected that way.
Dosage: If you are just beginning your diatomaceous earth journey, start with a teaspoon mixed in liquid, as I’ve detailed above, once a day. Slowly increase to twice a day, and then slowly increase the amount taken, up to a heaping tablespoon, and up to three times a day.
Please hear me: slowly. Diatomaceous earth is a way to detox your body, and if you start with too much, your body will get rid of toxins too quickly and leave you feeling under the weather. Yes, it really does work that well! If you start experiencing light headaches, you’ll know you took it a little fast. But don’t stop altogether, just do yourself a favor and take it slowly – no need to rush.
Pregnant and nursing mamas, you’re in the clear – diatomaceous earth can be safely taken during either stage. Just be sure to drink plenty of water. It is also fine for children to take in smaller doses. My children get their DE in their smoothies.
How does it taste? Well, if you want to know the truth, you’ll feel like you just licked a mud puddle. Ha! Not that you’ve ever done that, but it just tastes… like dirt. Sometimes it is hard for me to get down, but I am so motivated by the positive changes it’s brought to my body!
My favorite detox drink is diatomaceous earth mixed with coconut water and honey.
What Can Diatomaceous Earth Do for Your Body?
- Since it sweeps out foreign matter, you will begin to notice better nutrient absorption and less fatigue.
- Studies show that DE can help your body lower cholesterol and high blood pressure. Believe it or not, some users report a 40-60 point drop in blood pressure points after only a month of use.
- The beauty mineral: the silica in DE helps hair and nails grow faster. Since I’ve started taking it, my nails have turned from flimsy to hard as a rock. My hair, which partially fell out earlier this year due to a difficult surgery recovery, has begun filling in nicely. I have read many, many testimonies of people who have reported that it reversed their baldness. The silica also helps reduce wrinkles, age spots, and acne, and it also strengthens teeth and bones, tendons, and joints.
- Metal detoxification: since DE sweeps heavy metals out of the body, this is helpful especially to those with heavy metal poisoning or mercury fillings, which leach mercury constantly into the body. Aluminum is also swept out, lowering the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
- Helps repair and maintain lung function, acts as a cough decreasing agent
- Helps prevent kidney stones, osteoporosis,
- Decreases vertigo, tinnitus, and insomnia
- Regulates bowel movements, lessens gastrointestinal inflammation, cleans out the colon, treats both diarrhea and constipation. It is a great choice for families on the GAPS diet!
- Treats head lice and fleas (make sure you don’t inhale the powder)
Diatomaceous Earth for Furry Friends
It’s true – your pets and livestock will reap the benefits as well.
- Sprinkle a little DE on your pets’ food daily for the same benefits you receive. This is a great de-wormer!
- Carefully sprinkle onto your pets’ and livestock’s coats – making sure none is inhaled – for protection from lice, ticks and fleas.
- Sprinkle in the kitty litter box and pet beds for extra odor and flea protection.
- Sprinkle in your barn, stalls, nesting areas, and coops for pest protection.
- Decreased mastitis and increased milk production in livestock with internal use. Causes healthier coat and hooves.
- Better and stronger eggs produced by hens who have it sprinkled in their feed.
- For dosage instructions and more benefits, visit this page.
Diatomaceous Earth for the Home and Homestead
You can use DE around your home in the following ways:
- Sprinkle around windows and entrances to protect from ants, spiders, and even scorpions. (The DE scrapes their exoskeleton and dries it out, leaving them dead.)
- Sprinkle a ring around your garden plants for protection from garden pests. (Do realize, though, that DE kills beneficial insects as well. Avoid applying onto flowers. – Does not harm worms or beneficial soil microorganisms.
- DE will destroy ant colonies, even fire ant colonies. Sprinkle around and in the hole.
- DE can be used to treat a bedbug infestation.
- Sprinkle DE in your garbage bins for odor and pest protection.
- Got a compost heap? Apply DE to keep odors and pests away.
- Add to manure heaps to keep flies and larvae down.
- Add to bulk grains to keep pests and moisture out.
- You can use DE to make your own homemade toothpaste! I have a recipe coming to my blog soon.
- You can add DE to your homemade “DE”odorant – I am also working on a recipe for this.
- You can sprinkle DE in your toilet for a little extra scrubbing power – it won’t harm porcelain.
FYI: if the area where you applied the DE gets wet, such as in the garden, please reapply.
As you can see, there are so many uses! I hope I’ve intrigued you today about my friend, diatomaceous earth. I believe no family, home, or homestead should be without it. It’s worth a shot, don’t you think?
Danielle is first and foremost a daughter of the Most High God. She is married to her best friend, and they have four children. She is a recovering procrastinator, a real foodie, and an unapologetic dreamer. And yes, she eats dirt daily. You can find Danielle blogging about life, love, simplicity, and her affinity for bacon at http://lovelovething.com– Don’t forget to join the discussion on Facebook too.
Source : http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2014/01/diatomaceous-earth-homestead.html
Posted: February 13, 2014 Filed under: Beauty, Health, Home | Tags: bones, detox, Diatomaceous earth, Hair, household uses for DE, joints, nails, silica, teeth and gums, Weight loss
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
On this page, we have categorized some of the results from testimonial reports that we have reviewed regarding Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth human health benefits, and wherever possible between this page and our “How DE Works” page, we try to reflect the science behind the testimonials. Of course, most actual in depth health related studies are initiated and controlled by the pharmaceutical industry, and why should those companies study the value of health remedies found in nature that could actually hurt their bottom line?
So here, we will endeavor to discuss the results that DE users have experienced by taking a heaping tablespoon of DE in their favorite juice or liquid on a daily basis without the benefit of an industry sponsored study. For more background on how Diatomaceous Earth works within the human body to create the benefits related on this page, see How DE Works
. Some people react with great skepticism regarding human consumption of DE, and while it is not allowed by government regulators for distributers to make claims about DE’s use as a human health supplement, we do hope to help illuminate the logical reasoning behind the health claims of CONSUMERS regarding the use of Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth for human health.
My name is Larry Smith
, (President of Earthworks Health, LLC and EarthworksHealth.com). For better health, people like me and my family take one or two tablespoons of Diatomaceous Earth in a liquid every day. Many people benefit from just one teaspoon daily! I mix it with grapefruit juice and my wife mixes it with just water. Other options are mixing the DE with soda pop, juice, or whatever liquid you prefer. Some mix DE in protein shakes, applesauce or yogurt. Our Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is pure. There is no actual flavor or taste to it. Since DE does not dissolve, stirring the mixture several times as you drink it will prevent settling. Some folks experience higher energy levels, so it is probably best not to take just before sleeping. Not to worry about taking too much – any excess silica not needed by the body is naturally eliminated through the kidneys and intestines… but we must find our own comfortable levels.
Remarkable Diatomaceous Earth health benefits through Silica
As previously noted, like most wonderful natural products,
this product requires an FDA Disclaimer: “This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Discussion of Diatomaceous Earth health benefits is based solely on personal experience and testimony shared by individual DE users and this company cannot market or label DE as a human health supplement with specific medical claims.” Having said that,
we look at what consumers say about DE and at evidence of DE’s important cleansing properties and value as a rich source of Silica.
) has been reported to absorb methyl mercury, E. coli, endotoxins, viruses (including poliovirus), organophosphate pesticide residues, and drug residues. DE is a natural organic colon cleanser and detoxifier. This cleansing and detoxification alone has a myriad of positive effects in the human body. Mechanisms are cited on “How DE Works” page. Adding to this is the widespread deficiency in human dietary sources of what is called “the most important trace element in human health” – Silica, and how rich DE is in this substance, we begin to understand the basis of the health benefits that so many have attested to. Only a trace amount of the DE silica is absorbed into the blood stream, and just that amount is a substantial gain for the user.
A growing number of people
count beneficial human side effects of Diatomaceous Earth and SILICA as being nothing short of vital to their well being and exhibit genuine devotion toward its use. The only cautionary side effect that we have found relating to Food Grade DE has to do with direct inhalation and is essentially the same caution that is advised when handling baby powder. DE is a very fine powder.
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is 89% Silica.
It was established in the 1940s that life can’t exist without Silica. More recently, in her book “Water & Salt” Dr. Barbara Hendel states: “Silica is the most important trace element in human health.”Silica plays an important role in many bodily functions and has a direct relationship to mineral absorption.
The average human body holds approximately seven grams of silica, needing significantly more silica than even important minerals such as iron. Most people are, in fact, silica deficient. Among other things, enough silica in the body is vital enough for calcium absorption to allow calcium supplements to work. If Silica deficient, as is the case in the vast majority of us, calcium supplementation can even be a negative. Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is an excellent natural and organic source of silica.
Other Reported Health Benefits of Silica / DE Include
Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Osteoperosis, Weight Loss, Cosmetics, Hair, Nails, Teeth & Gums, Energy, Bacteria, Mucus, Anti-Aging, Urinary Infections, Headache.Here’s what consumers have to say about Diatomaceous Earth:
Lower High Blood Pressure
Of the thousands of people that are using Diatomaceous Earth, most that have high blood pressure have reported that it has gone down. It has been so thrilling to talk to people all over the United States and have them tell their stories. We are not just talking a few points – we are talking about LIFE-CHANGING numbers. Doctors are amazed–customers are amazed. You will be, too.
Lower High Cholesterol
According to consumers, just as Diatomaceous Earth health benefits include lowering blood pressure, it has also been lowering cholesterol! I have not talked with one person that has high cholesterol that has not had lower numbers after taking Diatomaceous Earth. Most are reporting 40-60 points lower after only 2 weeks on DE. I know it sounds too good to be true, but it works!
Just received this feedback from a user..
“I have been on DE for 6 months now and I just had my lab work done. My triglycerides have been reduced from 495 down to 203. I have so much more energy and my hair and nails are growing so much better. My husband has had high blood pressure and since being on the dirt, his BP is now in the normal range. It has also helped with my varicose veins and I no longer have any pain from them..”
.. Rhonda from Louisiana
Osteoporosis, Joints & Calcium
Osteoporosis is a symptom of the aging process. As calcium in our body system depletes, our bones become brittle and weak. Taking only a calcium supplement cannot correct or stop this threatening and crippling disease because the body cannot assimilate and make use of the calcium without the presence of silica. Evidence suggests that, instead of affecting healing, supplemental mineral calcium, on the contrary, accelerates the leaching away of bone calcium and thus hastens the degenerative process of osteoporosis and similar diseases that affect the supportive and connective tissues in the human body. The Silica found in Diatomaceous Earth enhances calcium absorbtion.
Silica can stop the pain and even restore the body’s self repair process. Osteoporosis symptoms attack women primarily after menopause but the degenerative process starts much earlier in their younger days. More women are dying of fractures caused by osteoporosis than of cancer of the breast, cervix, and uterus combined. Silica is responsible for the depositing of minerals into the bones, especially calcium. It speeds up the healing of fractures and also reduces scarring at the site of a fracture. More and more research evidence shows that through a transmutation process, silica is turned into calcium when it is needed. That is why some scientists refer to silica as a precursor of calcium. Even when calcium is insufficient, the body can turn silica into calcium that the bones need.
Natural Weight Loss
We have been getting hundreds of reports from all over the United States that DE is helping people lose weight. Everyone is saying that DE taken in the morning helps curb their appetite throughout the day. Just one more reason to take it everyday!
Detox Your Body
Diatomaceous Earth health benefits reported to inlude detox! According to Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN and Galen D. Knight, PhD in their article “Mad as a Hatter” there is no better product to detox HEAVY METALS and RADIATION from your body than with Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth!
Nature’s Internal Cosmetic
In Europe and Asia, Diatomaceous Earth health benefits are widely recognized to include use as a health and beauty product for hair, skin, nails, bones, and joints.
Accelerates due to aging when connective tissue develops an increasing inability to retain moisture when left unassisted. Silica can help slow the degenerative process of connective tissue. With silica, vitality and life, which are often lost as the years accumulate, can be naturally maintained or even restored to your skin. Collagen, largely made up of silica, is the glue that holds us together. If our body has enough silica glucosaminoglycane, the collagen will make us look younger. Silica helps with skin problems and injuries including itching, rashes, abscesses, boils, acne, callouses, warts, eczemas, burns, frostbite, benign skin sores, insect bites and bed sores. If you regularly follow a silica regimen, your skin will keep its youthful look. A good silica supplementation program works far better than other products for maintaining healthier and longer lasting collagen.
Hair That Grows
Hair is nature’s greatest beauty enhancer. Hair deserves to be pampered. Hair at 90 micrograms per gram is almost as rich in silica as are healthy bones, which contain 100 micrograms per gram. Silica is a major component of hair. Using a good silica supplement should be part of your ongoing hair care program for revitalizing hair. Silica helps to prevent baldness, stimulates healthier hair growth and assures beautiful shine, luster and strength.
Teeth and Gums
By hardening the enamel, silica prevents cavities and preserves teeth. Silica also prevents bleeding gums, gum atrophy, and recession that causes the loosening of teeth, which could ultimately lead to tooth loss. Silica effectively fights ulceration and the decay of bones and teeth and also lessens inflammation.
Tough As Nails
Your nail plates are complex protein structures that grow four to five millimeters per month on average. With silica supplementation, fragile nails become normal within a short period of time. Silica will beautify the appearance of your nails and improve their hardness, making them shinier and less prone to breaking.
Restorative Effects Of Silica
This will be most noticeable on your hair, skin, nails and teeth. Our skin and hair require silica essentially for the same purpose as do other tissues. As we know, the supporting collagen underneath the skin enhances elasticity and beauty. Collagen owes that quality to silica, which provides a beautiful complexion that is more than skin deep.
Pubic Lice (Crabs) and Hair Lice
Dust Diatomaceous Earth on all areas of the body that are infested with the Lice (Crabs). Also dust your bedding and rooms you have been in.
More Reported Benefits Of Diatomaceous Earth:
- Silica lowers bad cholesterol and raises good
- Silica fades age spots
- Silica stimulates metabolism for higher energy levels
- Diatomaceous Earth has a negative charge and bacteria has a positive charge. It is believed that Diatomaceous Earth sweeps bacteria out of the body by trapping it in its honeycomb shaped skeletal form.
- Silica supplementation helps repair and maintain vital lung tissue and protects them from pollution. By maintaining or restoring the elasticity of lung tissue, silica reduces inflammation in bronchitis.
- It acts as a cough decreasing agent. Silica tones the upper respiratory tract (nose, pharynx, larynx) and reduces swelling because of its positive action on the lymphatic system.
- Silica supplementation keeps menopause free of stress and helps to prevent many unwanted side effects of menopause
- Silica works with other antioxidants to prevent premature aging and to preserve youthfulness.
- Silica can help prevent kidney stones and heal infections of the urinary tract. It is a natural diuretic which can increase excretion of urine by 30 percent, thus flushing the water-excreting system and restoring normal function to these vital organs.
- The presence of sufficient silica in the intestines will reduce inflammation of the intestinal tract. It can cause disinfection in the case of stomach and intestinal mucus and ulcers. Silica can prevent or clear up diarrhea and its opposite, constipation.
- Silica will help normalize hemorrhoidal tissues.
- In regulating and normalizing the bowels, silica has a pleasant side effect; it can alleviate lower back pain, which often troubles the elderly.
- Silica proves effective with female discharge, abscesses and ulcers in the genital area and cervix, as well as mastitis (especially for breast feeding mothers).
- The intake of silica acts as a supportive treatment for inflammation of the middle ear. Because of the beneficial effectiveness on the lymphatic system, silica can be used for swelling of the lymph nodes in the throat.
- Has anti-inflammatory disinfecting, absorbing and odor binding effects.
- Silica can normalize circulation and regulate high blood pressure (hypertension).
- Silica can decrease vertigo, headache, tinnitus (buzzing of the ears) and insomnia.
- Silica can help diabetes by promoting synthesis of elastase inhibitor by the pancreas.
- Silica can help arterial disease by strengthening the blood vessels. Studies confirm that with age, silica disappears from the aorta, the heart’s key blood vessel, thus weakening its critical connective tissue and resulting in a greater cardiac risk.
- Silica can help prevent Tuberculosis.
- By improving the elasticity of the joints, silica helps rheumatism.
- Silica has inhibitory effects on coronary diseases.
- Silica can help avoiding or alleviating Alzheimer’s disease by preventing the body from absorbing aluminum and may flush out aluminum from the tissues. Silica can stimulate the immune system.
Most who use Diatomaceous Earth mixed with a juice or liquid say that they use one to two tablespoons daily.
Diatomaceous Earth FAQ:
See Home Page For Diatomaceous Earth Video
Don’t forget that Diatomaceous Earth has many Household Uses.
REQUIRED FDA DISCLAIMER: *
Content on this site is for reference purposes only, based on reviews from users of diatomaceous earth. It is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed healthcare professional. User statements regarding this dietary supplement have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. Those with health problems, pregnancy or who are nursing are specifically advised that they should consult their physician before taking any nutritional supplement.
* Any food grade diatomaceous earth uses other than those approved by the EPA, FDA, or USDA are strictly anecdotal reports of what countless numbers of users as well as we ourselves have done with diatomaceous earth.
Other interesting links :
Diatomaceous Earth – Household Uses
See Home Page For Diatomaceous Earth Video
Enjoy the many practical and money saving benefits of
Diatomaceous Earth for every day household use:
Make a paste with Diatomaceous Earth and water to make a metal polish. Diatomaceous Earth also makes a very inexpensive soft scrub for the shower, sink and faucets.
Face Mask and Cleanser:
Mix Diatomaceous Earth and water together until you have made a paste. Apply to the face with circular scrubbing motion until face is fully covered. Leave on face for approx. 2 min. and then wash off with warm water. Your face will be fully exfoliated and toned for pennies!! Mix Diatomaceous Earth with your favorite cleanser and you will have cleaner, smoother skin.
Sprinkle a small amount on your favorite brand of toothpaste and brush as you normally would. You will notice that your teeth look and feel “Just went to the dentist” clean.
Use Diatomaceous Earth for control of roaches, silverfish, ants, bedbugs, flies, fleas, box elder bugs, scorpions, crickets, and many other insects. Diatomaceous Earth can be used in and around the home, yard, animal housing, etc. Diatomaceous Earth will not harm earthworms or beneficial soil microorganisms. *
Garage/Driveway Oil Stains:
To remove oil stains from garage floor or driveway: Make sure area is dry and completely cover the stain with diatomaceous earth. Let the powder soak up the oil for 24 hours. Remove the excess with a metal spatula or paint scraper and dispose.
Diatomaceous Earth can be used in the same way as baking soda to banish odors. Leave an open box or jar of DE in the refrigerator and freezer. Replace with fresh DE every week or so.
For fresh smelling footware, place some DE into the ends of two knee high nylon stockings and tie a knot the top. Place the stockings inside shoes or boots. Leave until used again.
To remove stains from carpets, cover the stain with DE and lightly work into the stain. Let set for at least 2 hours and vacuum up.
Garbage Can Odor:
To deodorize a garbage can with DE, sprinkle a cup or so of diatomaceous earth in the bottom of the garbage can. Not only deodorizes, but will kill any bugs and larvae that are present.
Diatomaceous Earth FAQ:
Posted: February 1, 2014 Filed under: Gardening, Health, Home | Tags: Citrus, grow, Lemon, Organic, Plant
How to grow an organic
lemon tree from seed
When life gives you lemons, grow trees!
If you’ve ever seen a flowering lemon tree, you’ll understand why. For those of you who haven’t, allow me explain. Their lush, dark green, oval leaves have a glossy texture that shimmers in sunlight. Their delicate white flowers bloom with a citrus fragrance and are soft to the touch. Their exotic nature provides an alluring quality. And, finally, they bear the exciting possibility of fruit!
Typically, lemon trees flourish outdoors year-round in hot, sunny regions, but they can also thrive indoors as edible houseplants in cold-season climates. At the organic food store where I work we have a healthy lemon cutting producing massive fruit in a garage setting all year. It makes for an impressive sight during the dead of a Canadian winter!
This is the little tree with big fruit in the shop I work at.
And while rooting cuttings is a sensible option for fast fruit, lemon tree cuttings are not readily available in many parts of the world. But lemons are another story. And although it may take anywhere from 3-6 years for your tree to be capable of producing fruit, there is something extra rewarding about starting from seed. I currently have six strong little seedlings on the go, all of which were germinated in the middle of winter with very little effort. Watching them grow has been an exciting and fascinating experience and I know the best is yet to come.
Here is a step-by-step guide to growing your very own lemon tree from seed:
Things you’ll need:
1. A lemon. Make sure you purchase an organic lemon since some non-organic lemon seeds may be “duds”, incapable of germinating. Any organic lemon will do, but if you have climate or space restrictions, you may want to try looking for a specific variety called a “Meyer” lemon. Meyer lemons are a smaller type of lemon, often grown for ornamental purposes, and are thus better suited for indoor containers. I chose Meyer seeds for these reasons, but you can use any seed that makes sense for your situation.
This is a Meyer lemon!
2. Potting soil. I would guess that any potting soil will do, but I suggest using one with a blend of peat, perlite, vermiculite, and organic fertilizer. Every single one of the seeds I planted in this type of certified organic potting mix have sprouted beautifully, so I think it’s fair to say that it works.
3. Container/pot. A container (with drainage holes) that is 5-6” deep and a few inches in diameter will be sufficient for sprouting; however, the seedling will need to be re-potted into a much larger container. Mature lemon trees prefer a container that is wider rather than deeper, so I suggest planting your seedling in a pot that is 10-16” deep and 12-18” in diameter. Your baby tree will happily make itself at home in this larger container for the next few years, at which time you may want to upgrade again.
4. A grow light or lots of sun. Lemon trees need a lot of light, especially when they are sprouting and require 10-14 hours of it each day. If you don’t have a consistently sunny window (like me), get a grow light. They don’t cost much and will prove their worth in healthy green foliage.
Method for sprouting the lemon seed:
1. Pre-moisten your potting soil. Put some soil into a bucket and mix in some water until the soil is damp all the way through.
2. Fill your container with the pre-moistened soil. Leave about an inch of space below the rim of your container.
3. Slice open your lemon and choose a seed that looks completely full of life. Pop it into your mouth and suck on it until all the flesh is removed and the lemon flavour is gone. Do not allow the seed to dry out at any time. It needs to stay moist in order to germinate. I suggest keeping it in your mouth until you’re ready to plant.
4. Plant your seed! While it’s moist, plant your seed about 1/2″ below the soil level. Cover it completely with soil and water well with a squirt bottle or gentle watering can.
5. Cover your container with breathable plastic to keep your seeds warm and moist. I used a piece of clear garbage bag with holes poked into it and a rubber band to securely hold it in place.
6. Place the container in a warm location and observe for the next few days. Keep in mind: your seed needs warmth and moisture in order to germinate. Don’t allow the potting soil to dry out completely. Also take caution that you don’t cook your seed in its little greenhouse. Too much heat and moisture could lead to a rotten seed! You’re aiming to achieve a nice balance, so if you feel like the soil is warm enough without the plastic then it’s probably safest to remove it.
7. In about two weeks you may notice a sprout emerging from the soil. Once it appears, remove the plastic (if it’s still on) and place the little guy in a warm location with plenty of direct sunlight. Supplement sun with your grow light if needed.
Here are my little guys one month after planting.
At a little less than two months old, this little guy is upgrading to a larger home.
8. Care for your new baby and watch it grow! Provide it with:
- Water. Ensure that the soil is damp at all times, especially when your lemon tree is young. Do not allow it to sit in a puddle of stagnant water though; those drainage holes are there for good reason.
- Sunlight. Place it in a warm sunny window where it will receive eight hours of direct sunlight each day, or supplement some sun for a grow light. Since Toronto rarely seems to get any sun in the winter, my sprouts reside in a well-lit window under the warm rays of a grow light for 12 hours each day.
- Food. In order to keep your lemon tree healthy and growing the soil will eventually need to be replenished with nutrients. I suggest feeding it an organic fertilizer, such as compost or vermicompost, once it has developed a nice little set of leaves. Dig a little trench around the base of your tree, fill it with compost and water it well. Or, serve it up as compost tea. Try feeding it twice a year or as needed, but do not overfeed! When it comes to fertilizing, less it best; so if in doubt, put it off a bit longer. (Another option is to start your seed in potting soil with vermicompost or worm castings mixed into it).
- Love. Spend some time looking at your new citrus friend. Pay attention to its growth. Feel it, talk to it, sing to it, but don’t try to dance with it. Get into the habit of watching for browning leaves and checking the underside of leaves for pests. Just like us, our plants can fall victim to bugs and disease and may sometimes require some extra love and affection.
Posted: December 20, 2013 Filed under: Home | Tags: Bacteria, Caulking, Cockroach, Common roach, Essential oil, Food, German cockroach, Pest control
How To Naturally Keep Roaches Away
It is no mystery that humans generally do not like bugs. However, there are some bugs that just rank a little higher on our “nasty scale” than others. Most folks would agree that cockroaches would definitely be on our list of bugs we hate. People have a general idea that cockroaches are gross, but do you know specifically how they are a danger to your health?
Many bugs find the scent of essential oils repellant. Roaches are no exception. You can create your own homemade roach spray using completely non-toxic essential oils. The most effective oils at repelling roaches are cypress oil and peppermint oil. To make a non-toxic roach spray, mix 8 drops of cypress oil and 10 drops of peppermint oil to half a cup of water. Spray the mixture anywhere you have roach issues. The added benefit is that these oils smell lovely. No gas masks required.
Asthma and Allergies
Surprisingly, the biggest threat posed by roaches is their effect on our breathing. A majority of people are allergic to roaches to some degree. When there are a large number of roaches present in a home, roach by products, if you will, such as eggs, outer shell particles, saliva and even their feces, become airborne. These contaminates become a part of the dust in your home. When breathed in by individuals that are allergic, sickness to varying degrees can occur. Individuals with asthma are especially sensitive to these type of airborne contaminates and when exposed can have increased difficulties breathing.
Roaches also affect our health in that they can carry many different types on bacteria on their body. Roaches are not very picky about where they hang out. Once they have exposed themselves to something gross, they can then carry any bacteria they picked up into your living and eating areas. It is uncommon for a human to directly contract a disease from a cockroach, but because cockroaches live in such large groups and multiply so quickly, you can understand how being exposed to many roaches means you are being exposed to more and more bacteria.
Another surprising risk posed to humans would be the chemicals we will voluntarily expose ourselves to in an effort to get rid of the roaches. Some of the most toxics substances people allow in their homes are for the use of pest control. Many of these chemicals have warnings that advise you not to touch or inhale the substance and yet we will spray and smear these products in areas where are children and pets will be wandering around on a daily basis. Thankfully, there are safer alternatives.
This seems like a no brainer, but roaches love dirty environments. They like a sink full of unwashed dishes and trash cans that should have been emptied yesterday. You can do yourself a great service by simply keeping the house, especially the kitchen, as clean as possible. Since roaches are very active at night, washing up the dishes and taking out the trash before bed can go a long way toward decreasing the roach population in your home.
Get Rid of Cardboard
Cardboard is a roach’s favorite place to hang out and breed. It’s like a roach nightclub. Any cardboard items in your home should be properly disposed of to cut down on roach activity.
Seal Up Cracks
Roaches generally come in your house from outside, so it is a good idea to seal up as many cracks as possible in your walls and floor boards. This can easily be done by purchasing an inexpensive caulking gun and simply following the directions. The fewer access points that roaches have to your house, the fewer roaches you will have in your house!
Posted: October 20, 2013 Filed under: Food, Health, Home | Tags: Baking powder, Citrus, Fruit, Lemon, Lemonade, Peel, Shopping, Zest (ingredient)
Twenty Uses for Leftover Fruit and Vegetable Peels
Don’t throw your kitchen scraps away, put them to work. The outer skins of fruit and vegetables are filled with flavor and vitamins, and most often have enough matter left in them for another go-round.
Some people are peelers, some people aren’t. Some people swear by the nutrients and fiber found in produce skins, others shy away from the taste or texture, or prefer removing the outer layer to reduce pesticide load. Regardless of your peeling preferences, citrus rinds, potato and other root/tuber peels, scooped-out avocados, and even cheese rinds all have more than one life.
Aim to use organic produce in these applications, and make sure to scrub well. And if you don’t have time or need for them at the moment, most of them can be frozen for future use.
1. Clean Greasy Messes
Before bringing out the big (toxic) cleaning guns in the kitchen, try lemon. Sprinkle affected area with salt or baking soda (to act as an abrasive) and then rub with juiced lemon halves. (Be careful using lemon on sensitive surfaces such as marble.)
2. Shine Your Coffee Pot
For the old diner trick to make glass coffee pots sparkle: Add ice, salt and lemon rinds to an empty coffee pot; swirl around for a minute or two, dump, and rinse well.
3. Clean Your Tea Kettle
For mineral deposit build up in tea kettles, fill the vessel with water and a handful of lemon peels and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let sit for an hour, drain, and rinse well.
4. Dye Fabric
Pomegranate peels make for great coloring material. Use a stainless steel pot large enough to cover the fabric, fill with hot water and add peels, let it sit overnight. Simmer the water and peels the next day and then remove peels and add wet fabric. Simmer gently for one hour and allow to cool overnight. Remove the next day, rinse in cool water–from thereon, wash with similar colors.
5. Make Zest
If you’ve juiced lemons, limes, oranges, or grapefruit but don’t have an immediate need for zest, you can make it anyway and dry or freeze it for future use—zest is a versatile item to have on hand for a bright boost in any number of dishes. If you don’t have a microplane or zester, you can also use the small side of a box grater. Try to scrape just the outer layer, the white layer of pith is bitter. Freeze in an airtight container. To dry, spread the zest on a towel and leave until dried, then store in a clean jar.
6. Make Citrus Extract Powder
Make zest or twists (lemons, limes, oranges, or grapefruit) being sure to remove the pith–and allow to dry, about 3 or 4 days for twists, less for zest. Put in a blender (or spice grinder) and pulverize into a powder. Store in a clean jar.
7. Make Citrus Sugar
Make citrus extract powder and add it to sugar, or you can use fresh twists, put them in a jar with sugar, let the peel’s oil infuse the sugar and remove.
8. Make Lemon Pepper
Mix lemon extract powder with freshly cracked pepper.
9. Make Citrus Olive Oil
Pound citrus peel (pith removed) in a mortar and pestle with some oil added. Place in a jar with more oil and let rest for six hours. Strain into a clean jar.
10. Make Infusions
Infuse honey or vinegar with citrus peels by placing twists and letting the flavors seep. Strain the liquid and store in a clean jar.
11. Make Potato Crisps
Mix potato peels with enough lemon juice and olive oil to evenly coat. Spread the potato peels in a layer on a baking sheet and cook at 400 degrees, stirring once, until golden brown (about 10 minutes). Season to taste.
12. Make Stock
Boil potato peels, onion skins, carrot peels, leek ends, etc for vegetable stock. (Also save fresh herb stems for this!)
13. Boost Soup and Stock
Cheese rinds (sans wax) can be placed in soup stocks for an awesome secret boost of flavor and texture.
14. Add “Meat” to Greens
Cheese rinds can also be added to braised greens for added flavor depth.
15. Keep Brown Sugar Soft
If you regularly fall victim to the brick in the pantry known as hardened brown sugar, try adding some lemon peel (with traces of pulp and pith removed) to keep it moist and pliable.
16. Make Vanilla Sugar
If you use fresh vanilla, after scraping the bean, add the pod to sugar to make vanilla-infused sugar.
17. Make a Banana Sugar Scrub
Sprinkle sugar on the flesh side of banana peels and use as a soft, exfoliating loofa. Rub gently all over your body and then rinse in the shower.
18. Refresh Your Face
For a skin tonic, rub orange or grapefruit peels on your face (avoiding your eyes) and then gently rinse with warm water.
Rub the fleshy part of an avocado peel on your face for a rich moisturizer.
20. Relieve Your Peepers
Potato peels can reduce puffiness around eyes; press the moist side of the fresh peels to the skin for 15 minutes.