here’s an antianxiety, stress reducing, aphrodisiac, cancer reducing, antioxidant, digestion improving drink that will help you relax when you need it!
what’s in the cup?
whole organic milk or cream (can also use another liquid that contains fat i.e. soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, butter)
the fat soluble constituents will bind to the fat in the liquid
aphrodisiac, antianxiety, sedative, expectorant, antibacterial, helps with sleep and stress
raw cocoa powder
aphrodisiac, antioxidant, diuretic (eliminate fluid buildup while retaining minerals).
anticancer, carminative (helps with gas and bloating)
warming, aphrodisiac, antibacterial, anticancer, antioxidant, astringent (drying, constricts tissue, helps with healing, creates barrier against infection), improves digestion.
warming, antioxidant, antibacterial, anticancer, antispasmodic, carminative, improves digestion and metabolism and increases blood circulation.
1) 3 cups of water, 2 cup of milk, 1/2 cup kava, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, a sprinkle of cinnamon and cayenne powder. (4 servings) 2) add everything together and bring to a simmer…continue simmering for at least 15 minutes… 3) strain and pour…although i don’t strain, i let the contents settle to the bottom of cup then enjoy!
the vanilla extract, cinnamon, cayenne powder should all be done to taste. cayenne powder will add a considerable amount of heat so if you don’t like a lot of heat, use sparingly. of course, you can leave it out all together but you will missing out on some of the great healing properties of cayenne.
warning: don’t drink kava if you have liver problems or are consuming multiple alcoholic drinks.
With the rise of the suburban landscapes, there has been an increased focus on manicured landscaping. When leaves fall on the ground or lawn, they are raked, bagged, and sent to some another place. These leaves would naturally provide the soil with what would be considered “organic mulch,” (I’ll explain later). Mulches like leaves help reduce evaporation, increase organic matter in the soil, and improve drainage. In our Mediterranean climate where we have no rain in the summer, mulch should be in wide use, helping conserve our water.
Why use mulch? First of all, it’s putting money back into your pocket by saving you on your water bill. It also provides organic matter that eventually breaks down to humus, which provides nutrients and stimulates biological activity. Also, the organic matter improves soil drainage in clay soils and increases water-holding capacity in sandy soils. Mulches also help reduce weeds by smothering and blocking sunlight to seeds. They also make it a whole lot easier to pull weeds when you do have them because the soil is nice and loose.
What are the different types of mulches? They are mainly divided into three categories: organic, inorganic, and living. Organic mulches would include wood chips, straw, newspaper, etc. Inorganic mulches would include rocks like river stones, sand or lava rocks. Living mulches would be plants, mostly plants that spread and form a dense cover above the soil. A few plants that I recommend include comfrey, thyme, and low growing California natives such as Manzanita (Arctostaphylos sp.) or California Lilac (Ceanothus sp.). California Lilac and Manzanita are the most drought and deer resistant. While, comfrey (high in potassium) can be cut multiple times a season for nutrient rich mulch.
There are lots of choices when it comes to applying mulch in your yard. How do you choose one for your landscape? The organic and living mulches provide the most benefits. The inorganic mulches do not provide organic matter but are great when used with succulents, cacti and other seaside and desert plants. Straw is great for vegetable gardens, because it breaks down relatively fast. For orchards, you may want to go with wood chips cut into different sizes that will provide weed control for a longer period. Pine needles and oak leaves work great for acid loving plants. There are many resources online that are easy to access that can provide more information on choosing your mulch.
There are certain guidelines you want to follow when applying mulch to your landscape. First of all, it’s important not to cover the crown of the plant because this can cause moisture to build up around the trunk, which will result in crown rot. Horticulturalists have different opinions on how much mulch should be applied. Through my experience and research, I believe a couple inches or less is all you need in most situations. If mulching summer vegetables, wait until mid-spring because you want the soil to be warm. Also, be sure to water the mulch after you apply because sometimes it can be very dry, acting as a barrier to water.
Finding materials for mulch in Sonoma County is easy, local soil yards like Sonoma Compost will usually have a few options to choose from. Also, at local nurseries, you can find bagged mulch. Wood chips are sometimes offered for free on sites such as Craigslist and Freecycle. The easiest option would be to let the leaves and branches from your own plants decompose on site. That method doesn’t require you to get in your car or pull out your rake on your day off.
Mushrooms are not only a delicious food but have also been used for centuries for medicine. Reishi (Ganoderma l.), Turkey Tail (Trametes v.), and Cordcyceps are some of the most commonly used mushrooms for medicinal purposes. Most of the mushrooms used have anti-cancer, anti-tumor, and immune boosting properties. There is still a lot of research that needs to be done about the use of mushrooms for medicine. Although, there is some solid research being done, a lot of the information until now has been anecdotal.
One of the main molecules to have medicinal properties are polysaccharides. These polysaccharides must be extracted through hot water. Another molecule group that is beneficial are triterpenes and these must be extracted through alcohol. This means that polysaccharides are water-soluble (able to be extracted by water) and the triterpenes are alcohol-soluble (able to be extracted by alcohol).
When preparing the extract, please make sure to work in a clean environment and use clean supplies. The extract at the end of the procedure should not contain less than 20% alcohol and no more than 40%.
Any medicinal mushroom
For the hot water extraction:
Break apart mushrooms if possible.
Cover mushrooms with water.
Bring water to a light simmer.
Simmer for 2-3 hours. (You can also use a crock pot set on low overnight).
Strain mushrooms, set water aside and transfer the mushrooms into a separate bowl.
For alcohol extraction:
Take strained mushrooms and add them to at least 40% alcohol.
For every 1 part of mushrooms, add 4-5 parts alcohol.
Keep this concoction in an airtight container in a dark cool place for at least two weeks.
Remember to shake the solution everyday.
After two weeks, strain the mixture through muslin or cheesecloth.
Combine this liquid with your hot water concoction.
If using 40% alcohol, add equal amounts of the water extraction and alcohol (1 part water to 1 part alcohol).
This will make the final tincture contain 20% alcohol.
Three dropper fulls (2-3x a day)
If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment or email me.