The Awesome Power of Nature’s Pharmacy – Part 3

All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child.
Marie Curie

Bailero from Chants d’Auvergne by Canteloube:

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth
find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.

Rachel Carson

Apricots and Dried Apricots are recognised as significantly lowering the risk of cancers related to smoking, and also supporting a long life. In the Himalayan kingdom of Hunza, apricots are cherished and eaten in large quantities because they are regarded as a source of health and exceptional longevity.

The life of an apricot in the high mountains!

The spectacular landscape of the Hunza region from above:

Larghetto from Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor by Chopin, played by Tzvi Erez:

The same beliefs in the power of apricots are known in certain parts of Bulgaria where people casually chew softly dried apricots, in the way some people use chewing gum but without the benefit of exceptional longevity given to apricot lovers. My own GP had a large supply of dried apricots in the drawer of his desk and lived a long, healthy life.  The reason for apricot’s power is the highly concentrated amount of beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A.  For maximum benefit, eating dried apricots is much better as they have a much higher concentration of beta-carotene. My own personal recommendation would be soft dried organic apricots that don’t contain sulphur.

Two delicious recipes that make use of this ambrosial fruit:

Peas – When scientists noticed that the population of Tibet had stayed stable for a few hundred years, they discovered that the Tibetans eat large quantities of peas which are well-known to contain an antifertility agent. Peas also lower blood cholesterol, prevent appendicitis, and since they are rich in soluble fiber, they inhibit certain viruses and chemical carcinogens in the intestines.  On top of that, they taste wonderful and look colourful on the plate.

A time-lapse video of a growing pea:

Appropriately enough, “Sweet Pea” by Debbie Wiseman:

 

The Story of Peas & Yaks (courtesy of India in Motion):

Cranberries have been well known for a hundred years as a powerful aid in fighting infections of the urinary tract, bladder, and kidneys. Cranberries kill viruses and bacteria, deodorize urine and prevent kidney stones. The reason is that eating cranberries or drinking the berries’ juice increase the urine’s acidity, especially hippuric acid that kills the bacteria. Cranberries’ agents have a unique ability to survive digestion and end up in urine intact. They prevent the bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urinary tract and they are harmlessly washed away, and that is what prevents an infection. Cranberries act as a natural, plant-based antibiotic, in a similar way that a garlic and onion diet does. Anthropologists found a remarkably low rate of infection in the skeletons of the pyramid builders due to such a diet. Scientists established sixty different chemicals with antibacterial agents that are present in plant-based foods. Among them are apples, chili peppers, honey, garlic, onions, tea, yogurt, and radishes. It is important to say that cranberries are excellent in preventing or acting during the very early stages of urinary tract infection. If the infection is advanced, the only way to deal with is to use antibiotics.

 

Lemons and limes were regarded for centuries as the most valuable of all fruits.  They saved the lives of countless seamen who had to sail for months across the oceans without any fresh fruits or vegetables. Without lemons and the vitamin C that they contain in high doses, they would have suffered from potentially fatal scurvy. This is a dreadful disease that causes muscles to waste away, gums to bleed, and wounds not to heal.

A Nobel Prize winner, Linus Pauling, firmly believed that eating lemon or drinking lemon juice every day could prevent cancer and prolong life. Sadly this could not be fully proven in many scientific studies. But we know now that lemons and limes prevent the development of cholera, peptic ulcers,  cancer of the mouth, skin, lungs, breast, and colon, stroke and scurvy. Lemon is often used as relief for a sore throat, mixed with honey in a glass of warm water. In many countries drinking a glass of water with lemon, first thing in the morning, is regarded as an invigorating tonic.

A simple but delicious recipe for Fettucine al Limone from Positano, to enjoy perhaps on a summer’s evening:

Strawberries – In cancer research, it was established that those people who ate regularly strawberries were three times less likely to develop cancer compared with those who didn’t eat any. They are found to contain a very high level of the super fibre, pectin which significantly reduces blood cholesterol. Scientists also found that strawberries are able to block the formation of the most potent of all cancer-causing agents, nitrosamines which can form in the intestines when the chemicals nitrite and amines react with each other. Strawberries are also antioxidants. They are good for the skin, act as a diuretic and an astringent. Strawberries and cream, anyone?

The nearest thing to picking your own:

Salt – All living creatures need sodium found in salt.  Common table salt is sodium chloride, and it is a crystalline compound. It is used as a food preservative and as an essential seasoning. Sodium is part of the stars and the sun and the earth’s crust. It is an element found in many rocks and many types of soil. As sodium is very similar in appearance to potassium, it was often regarded as the same substance. Both are classified as soft metals but naturally are found only as a result of their association with other elements; in the case of sodium, as sodium chloride or table salt.

The use of salt goes back to ancient times. The Egyptians used sodium for making glass and for the preservation of the dead through mummification, using a crystalline mixture of sodium bicarbonate, sodium sulphate, and other compounds. The wealth of many countries was built on salt mining and selling this precious commodity to those who didn’t have it. Salt was valued as important as gold. A slave that was not working well enough in his master’s eyes was put up for sale as ‘not worth his salt’.  Salt was used in some places as a currency and was a cause of many wars. Today, salt is used in many industries as it is an extremely active agent.  In England, one third of salt excavated from rock salt is used for de-icing the roads in winter. In cooking salt acts as a binder, a flavour enhancer, especially sweetness in chocolate and ice cream. It is used in curing meats and fermentation of vegetables. As it is included in everything, it is highly advisable to add very little to cooking, as less is more healthy than more. Still, it is an exceptional chemical and those of us, regarded as decent and respectable, and who didn’t benefit from being high born, are referred to as ‘salt of the earth’. Praise indeed.

Above the salt mine in Wieliczka, Poland. Everything you see was sculpted by the miners from salt.

Sospiri by Elgar:

69 thoughts on “The Awesome Power of Nature’s Pharmacy – Part 3

  1. Just gorgeous! love the music! Your information here is so rich in meaning and understanding. I can’t imagine a world without salt!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for your wonderful comment! I love the music too.

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The title itself is amazingly awesome. Such a beautiful n healthy article with so much of valuable health benefits described out of nature’s pharmacy. I loved it most about the life of Apricons the entire procedure in the vedio took me to my childhood very much relatable but with different fruits n vegetable crops n Harvesting. Lemon trees we had many in our form, we use to sell in the market right now just few trees are left n only for home needs. The Sculptures in salt mine are looks beautiful.

    Thank you much for sparing your time n sharing a lovely post with pleasant music added to it. You may have a happy weekend Joanna.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you, Suma, for your lovely comments. I am glad that my post reminded you about your wonderful childhood!! Happy weekend to you too.

    Joanna

    Like

  6. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Like

  7. There are some great videos on YT about finding edibles in the wild. It’s amazing how well you can survive if you know what you’re looking for.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you, Jacqui, for your directions to YT, will keep this in mind in my future posts.

    Joanna

    Like

  9. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Like

  10. You are welcome Joanna!

    Like

  11. You are welcome Joanna!

    Like

  12. JoAnna, a marvelous post…so beautiful, so entertaining, so informative!

    That strawberry ice cream was so tempting! The strawberries in the video looked like the wild strawberries we picked in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia when we were young.

    I enjoyed the segment on apricots. My two Russian-born children always loved fresh apricots and apricot nectar when they were growing up. Blackberries and raspberries were also favorites. My son remembered picking blackberries near the Black Sea on a holiday from the orphanage.

    The”Yaks and Peas” story was fascinating, and I liked learning about life on Himalayan farms.

    Thank you for this lovely post! Have a great weekend! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you, Cheryl, for your wonderful comments! Wild strawberries, yes, I used to grow them. There is nothing better than fresh fruits. I grow many myself.

    Jpanna

    Liked by 1 person

  14. How very fascinating! Most of these are cooked along with the food we eat on a daily basis- Peas, salt, strawberries in desserts, etc… Yet who knew that peas contained an anti-fertility element? 😀 Should definitely be used more in highly populated countries like mine 😅 It’s fascinating that people chew apricots like gums.
    Overall, I felt healthy just reading this post. You have such enriching, fascinating content in your blog. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi
    Very useful information for apricot. I like I am so happy. I watched video very nice .

    Like

  16. Thank you for your kind comment.

    Joanna

    Like

  17. A sweet pleasure 🙏

    Like

  18. You’re right about peas they do have health benefits. As an Indian I can assure, its a common thing you can find in our regular dishes.

    Thanks for all these overwhelming info about these gift of nature.
    And unfortunately the media you embedded isn’t loading in my browser. Maybe its the problem from my end.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Wow, there’s so much to learn here! I think it’s brilliant of you to enhance the information with videos and such lovely music.I absolutely loved the pea’s timelapse! Awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thank you, D, for your generous comment! A good, interesting presentation is vital for having many readers, which is my aim.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Therapeutic and such soothing music. Thank you Joanna for a lovely share 🌸💕

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Very informative and eye-opening post, Joanna. I knew that salt was precious and that it was used as a payment. But other points were new to me!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. This post is also awesome with amazing videos, as always. I liked the time lapse video of growing pea the most. I also liked your recommendation for soft dried organic apricot. The reference to slaves with phrase ‘not worth of their salt’ was awesome.

    With this concluding part, the count of items recommended by you are now 27. Except 7 items, I eat all regularly. As regards salt, we now we use rock salt instead of common salt.

    Thanks a lot, Joanna for such an informative and interesting series on nature’s pharmacy. Much much appreciated!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Thank you, Kaushal, for your wonderful, detailed comments! I am very happy that you found it useful the information, I will try
    hard no to disappoint in future!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Thank you, Shweta, for your very kind comment!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Thank you, Henrietta, for your lovely comment. I chose music for this reason!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  31. My school, where i taught in Baltistan dearest Joanna, on which the final chapter is based on was just 70 kms away from Hunza valley in Pakistan. I taught in the valley of Shyok just across the border in India.

    Since that year of my life; My blood, my breath, my flesh has known apricots like water i drink everyday. We ate it daily; whatever could be made of an apricot ‘khumani’ in balti language we had it, jams, juices, local ice cream, mixed with water, dried apricots and even its cooked variant, we were like bathing in it. While leaving the valley after six months, my children sobbed all night at the place where we had stayed all winters and each one, almost each one, girls and boys brought dried apricots in kilograms as gifts that we brought home along with the healthiest home made Apricot oil.

    As i write this first thing in the morning, i am drinking warm lemon water which i feel has been an invisible energy that has been compounding and helping something i don’t exactly know how and what but keeps my stomach perfect and flat above all, smiling now.

    Few months ago i gave up salt for about 10 days, as an experiment which i failed at, miserably but i have been using Rock salt in my food. It is essential absolutely if taken moderately but also becomes the reason for many diseases later on as we have it daily. It is important to take breaks from salt, not like me but may be a day off it during one moon cycle.

    This essay like each one sits as a pearl, like a star necklace around moon. If one asks to be directed to nature on internet, there should be no doubt it is this nature’s blog. Your posts must be seen, felt and heard like the most delicious cuisine. Thank you for being someone who is nature as a whole.

    My care and strength to you
    Narayan x

    Liked by 2 people

  32. I am so glad I eat many of these things. I used to nibble on dried apricots instead of lollies. They tast better but I can’t eat so many of them now as the high level of salicylates triggers off tinnitis in one ear, as do berries. More is the pity as I could easily live on these foods.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Thank you for your kind comment. It is sad that you cannot eat what you would like! I hope a solution could be found.

    Joanna

    Like

  34. Thank you, Dear Narayan, for starting my day with your fabulous comments! As you know, I love to be called Nature, and I can
    only thank you for spoiling me today!

    Joanna

    Like

  35. Thank you again. Very much appreciated!

    Joanna

    Like

  36. But you have never disappointed us. Why did you get that feeling, Joanna? Personally I like to read every single word of yours, as it’s beneficial for me. I have prepared a list of all 27 items, and my endeavour would be to include all of them in my regular diet. Thank you for keeping us updated.

    Like

  37. You’re welcome, Joanna!!

    Like

  38. You are just too kind, Kaushal! Now I will start to believe this, and you will have to read my posts forever!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Thank you again. I appreciate your words greatly.

    Joanna

    Like

  40. That’s my pleasure, Joanna, always. Thank you!

    Like

  41. My pleasure!!

    Like

  42. All good. I just don’t eat them too often.

    Like

  43. Another of your wonderful posts, Joanna! We eat nearly all that you write about here but I really must find some apricots. Thank you for your recent healthy posts💐💐💖🙋‍♂️

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Thank you, Ashley, for your lovely comment! Apricots are wonderful, as long as organic, this is my choice, but any are good to eat.

    Joanna

    Like

  45. You are welcome ❤🤗😊

    Like

  46. You are welcome ❤🤗😊

    Like

  47. Another fascinating, informative post, Joanna. I absolutely love apricots and cranberries. Thanks for the time you put into these fantastic pieces of writing, music, and videos. 💞

    Liked by 3 people

  48. Thanks for the plethura of information so well delivers.. those pics of the apricots and cranberries are stunning and your videos awesome Joanna! Thanks so much!!!💖

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Thank you, Cindy, for your wonderful comments! Fruits do look beautiful in pictures!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

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