20 March 2019

Curcuma Aromatica (Amada)

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As part of American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, the turmeric grown at Whiskey Hill Farms was analyzed by a Swiss laboratory for full identity testing. “Curcuma Amada” (family Zingiberaceae) was the variety identified for this part of the AHP turmeric monograph. Samples of fresh roots and fluid extracts were provided so that a full profile could be analyzed.

Curcuma Amada is widely grown ranging from Tamil Nada in the south of India and up the east coast to West Bengal (known as wild turmeric) to Bangladesh and into Burma. It is also grown in southeast India from Kerala to Gujarat. In the north, it is found in Utter Pradesh and in the Himalayan foothills. Throughout Southeast Asia, there are many varieties and colors of turmeric. Wild turmeric can grow in close proximity to cultivated turmeric. 

The taste of fresh turmeric root is slightly bitter, sweet and sour with a pungent overall characteristic. The nourishing root contains most of the taste range. If it used with a little black pepper and Krystal (Himalayan) salt, it contains all five tastes and is fully activated.

Historically, the Pali language of India speaks of the aromatic properties of the Curcuma Amada. This was known as the “Mango Ginger” or “Curcuma Mangga. It has the smell of the green mango fruit and the juicy qualities of ripe mangos. Aromatic compounds include curcumin, alpha & beta pinene, beta-ocimene, linalool and other aromatic compounds.. It is a popular food ingredient all over S. E. Asia with each country having their own fresh special preparations, especially in curry dishes, savory sauces, pungent pastes, juices, salad dressings and condiments. The carminative and digestive properties of turmeric enhance foods such as chutneys and pickles, which are so popular throughout India. Curcuma Aromatica (Amada) delivers a lot of juice with less fiber. 

Tracing the origin of Curcuma Amada and its connection to Curcuma Aromatica, the origin of Amada is as follows:

In Spanish, Amada means “beloved”
In Sanskrit, Amada means “bright, active”
In the Pali language (India/Thailand), Amada means “worthy of being loved”
In Arabic, Amada means “peace, humility”

The Latin plant name, Curcuma Amada, was developed through folkloric usage. As is evident now, the original name, Aromatica, is very appropriate. The robust characteristics of Indian cuisine brings forth the pungent and aromatic qualities of Curcuma Aromatica (Amada).

This beloved treasure from the spirit creator reflects a worthy plant with golden roots, bright green leaves, and white flowers. It is loved by many people. The Golden Aromatic light is encased in the roots of the earth.  Thus, it is the golden gift from the earth.


1., including information on Amada and Aromatica
2. (see related research topics below main content)
5.  (scroll down to “Preparation”)

Whiskey Hill Farms Curcuma Aromatica Crop

The methods used to grow turmeric at Whiskey Hill Farms include deep tilling, which captures the subsoil warmth, canopied crops grown in greenhouses, frog habitats which help with both pest management and soil fertilization. Byproduct feedstock provides nutrients as it remediates throughout the energy crop ponds. Alcohol permaculture integrates into the farm infrastructure. 

Whiskey Hill Farms continues to allocate additional resources for production operation to create stable, fresh, organic turmeric. Large tumblers clean the soil from the turmeric cluster as multiple sprayers help clean the roots. The conveyor line helps sort, final rinse & cleaning for preparation of the H2O2-vinegar bath using this as an organic certified disinfectant. The highly efficient fans dry the material. It is then stored in a clean isolated storage cooler with a proper dehumidifier system. Later, 10 & 20 pound boxes are distributed.  Worldwide average for Curcuma Aromatica is 80 cm (3’.). At Whiskey Hill Farms, the average size of the turmeric plant is 2 meters (7’) more than double the size of the original seed stock The experience of being in a greenhouse surrounded by 7’ turmeric  plants in every direction is indeed a profound joy to behold. 

Whiskey Hill Farms is committed to improving the size, yield, quality, and aromatic food characteristics of turmeric which honors India & S. E. Asia, where it is an important part of life.  We esteem Curcuma Aromatica & all turmeric as “worthy of being loved”, as its name signifies. People and the earth are enriched by the nourishment of these robust aromatic roots.

Traditional Recipes

Indonesian Bumbu
Freshly mashed aromatic turmeric, ginger, pandan leaves, young lemongrass, nutmeg, and black pepper. Combine ingredients and make into a dense paste. Refrigerate; will last a few weeks. 

Aromatic Rice
Dice, mash, and blend the following ingredients well: aromatic turmeric, holy basil or any suitable basil, sesame seeds, young tender lemongrass, cucumber, banana. Mix in and stir with rice

Additional Recipes with Turmeric 

Fresh Juice 

Blend together: Curcuma Aromatica, celery, carrots, yellow beets, ginger. Add per taste: black pepper, Krystal salt. Optional: jicama, daikon or radish. Thin with water as desired. Fresh Curcuma Aromatica & other spices greatly enhance your exploration of many dishes!—Recipes for main dishes, desserts, spreads, sauces, and more kefir/fruit juices—Cultured turmeric, blueberry, kefir is delicious. & pickles—Sauerkraut, pickles, fermented food recipes/sites See also HP&D Turmeric Gold fluid extract product profile. Use on cooked and raw dishes, in marinades, toppings, soups, salads dressings, and green drinks.

See also HP&D Turmeric Gold fluid extract product profile. Use on cooked and raw dishes, in marinades, toppings, soups, salads dressings, and green drinks.

02 March 2012

Dehulled Hemp Seed

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The Unifying Food

The hemp plant produces abundant seed which for millennia has been used as a valuable food source. Bulk hemp seed is an important food in some parts of the world still today. As a crop, hemp seed is helping to revitalize economically troubled conventional tobacco and wheat farms in Canada. Two countries producing most of the world’s dehulled hemp seed are Canada and Germany. A non-heating mechanical process dehulls the tough outer shell of the seed. This dehulled hemp seed (also called hemp meat and in precise botanical terminology, is an achene, which is actually a type of fruit) has virtually unlimited uses.

Dehulled hemp seed is a richly nutritional and easily digestible living food. Its nutritional profile is especially strong in essential fatty acids and protein. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) come in at 36%, of which approximately 57% of that is Omega 3, 19% Omega 6, 9% Omega 9, 2% GLA, 6.5% palmitic acid, including other important polyunsaturated fatty acids. Of all foods that contain fatty acids, hemp seed is the only one that contains both the Omega-EFAs and Gamma-FAs. Its high fatty acid profile makes it one of the most digestible and assimilable of foods. EFAs are important in fat digestion. Hemp seed has a high protein content of 31%, of which 65% of this protein is globulin edistin. This biochemical makeup is similar to that found in blood plasma, so is easily assimilated and soothing to the body. Hemp seed is enzyme rich, making it a truly high protein energy food.

Other components found in the hemp seed profile are: 11% carbohydrates, 5% fiber, and 6-7% minerals, including zinc and other important microminerals, as well as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, in the 1% range. These are high levels, making hemp seed one of the richest sources for magnesium in nature. Its sulfur content is found especially in methionine and cystine, which are amino acid building blocks of proteins. Hemp seed also contains some B vitamins. It has approximately 500 calories per 100 grams.

The nutritional components of hemp seed offer natural antioxidants at the cellular level. They therefore help improve circulation, tissue repair, muscle recovery, and help in the proper functioning of cell membranes. The sulfur-containing amino acids found in hemp seed nourish and revitalize dry skin and hair. EFAs, as also found in hemp seed, are vital to the maintenance of cell membranes and are essential for an effectively functioning immune system; they are helpful with alleviating inflammatory conditions. They also have the major role of forming hormone-like substances which control all body functions.

Dehulled hemp seed has virtually unlimited uses. Examples of its use are: sprout mixes, spreads (tahini, tofu, hummus, tabouli and other ethnic dishes), as a topping over vegetables, salads, fruit, yogurt, potatoes, rice, and pasta, mixed in chutneys, pestos, sauces and gravies, and used in salad dressings and marinades. Other suggestions are: in desserts for cookies, pies, ice cream, and in snacks, such as trail mixes and nutritional bars. Also use in cereals, such as granolas, whole grain and flakes, and in special diet mixes, high protein mixes, powdered green drinks and seed milks, and can be ground up as a nut butter. Hemp seed can be an ingredient in either sweet or salty foods.

Dehulled hemp seed is best preserved in the refrigerator or freezer. It can be kept indefinitely in the freezer and used directly from it as needed. Refrigerated, it is good for up to 12 months.

So sprinkle away—enjoy!

06 August 2015

Fulvic Acid

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Fulvic – part of vegetable decomposition called Humic Acid

Many clinical trials and research done in Asia and Europe.

Considered a change agent for the environment.


  • Free radical scavenger
  • Passes in to cells instantly
  • Supports organs
  • Millions of beneficial microbes
  • Detoxifying power
  • Helps in breakdown of proteins
  • Many nutrients
  • Helps with bioavailability of nutrients, enzymes
  • Immune system, heals infections and cuts
  • Helps absorption and assimilation of nutrients
  • Anti viral
  • Anti bacterial
  • Mineral co-factors
  • Fulvic acid – is a powerful co-factor creating the ideal environment for mineral complexes and elements to bio-react electrically with our cells. Ionic molecules and elements become easily transported into and through cell membranes.
  • Fulvic acid essentially changes, regenerates, regulates and delivers living nutrient energies directly to living cells.
  • The fulvic material helps to chelate and carry away heavy metals and helps the body function more efficiently. Thus, fulvic provides a cleansing, detoxifying & delivery effect for nutrients.
  • The stabilized pre & probiotics further enhances the formulas by going beyond digestive distress & daily cleanse, helping to change the beneficial flora.
  • All activity of these materials help to chelate and bind exogenous material (heavy metals, foreign materials that cannot be metabolized and waste particles that can clog circulating pathways.) Thus, fulvic acid takes away stress in the body as it cleanses and enhances.
  • Dosage: ½ – 1 tablespoon in preferably one quart of water (as most people are dehydrated) provides a quick, easy, refreshing way to improve our body’s milieu (cleaning and building).

Download this pdf

08 May 2014


Posted in Articles

(former product)

Click Here to Download PDF

Click Here to Download PDFBlood Sugar Modulator

This synergistic formula is designed to support optimal carbohydrate metabolism, helping to balance conditions such as diabetes and pre-diabetic tendencies, like metabolic syndrome, diabesity, and syndrome X. Formulated for people with difficulty stabilizing glucose levels, it supports better glucose tolerance in the utilization of insulin. It helps reduce body weight, improves kidney function, and aids in the absorption of sugar in the blood. This formula also cleanses the blood, aiding in the assimilation of nutrients and in the lowering of oxidative stress, thereby benefiting the immune system. Both macro- and micro-circulation throughout the body are improved.

Type I diabetes develops when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to carry an optimal amount of blood glucose to the individual cells to be metabolized as vital fuel. Type II diabetes and the variously known pre-diabetic conditions are caused by the development of insulin resistance by the body, when the cells' receptor sites do not bind with insulin. As insulin transports blood glucose to cells for their food, insulin resistant cells become literally starved for nutrition while surrounded by a surplus of blood glucose they are unable to take in. Excess glucose remains in the blood, un-metabolized, and eventually climbs to abnormally high levels. A blood test given under this condition will show elevated triglycerides and low levels of HDL (beneficial) cholesterol.

Gluco Low Balance was specifically formulated to address the nutrient deficiencies of diabetes and pre-diabetic conditions. Each ingredient in Gluco Low Balance has been carefully selected for its clinically proven ability to remedy either a cause or a symptom of these conditions. Best results will be achieved in conjunction with dietary modification and exercise. Gluco Low Balance works synergistically with Liver Restore and Vita Power.

Gluco Low Balance contains:
Gymnema sylvestre (75% gymnemic acid) Used in India for 2,000 years to treat diabetes, stomach upset, and obesity. Has been proven in modern research to lower and regulate blood glucose levels for Type I and Type II diabetes. It also has the ability to block the “sweet” taste receptors, which has been shown to decrease sugar and dessert consumption. Widely used in Japan as a weight management supplement.

Magnesium ascorbate (80% Vitamin C/20% Mg) Magnesium is an essential co-factor for glucose transport and its subsequent conversion to energy within the liver. A deficiency can ultimately lead to diabetic complications of heart disease, nerve damage, and retinopathy. Higher magnesium intake may protect against the start and progression of Type II diabetes. Ascorbate is a buffered form of Vitamin C.

Banaba extract (2% corosolic acid) Traditionally used in Asia. Studies show it is effective in lowering blood glucose levels, acting similarly to insulin as a glucose transport activator. It helps counteract the cellular mechanism of obesity, which is a predisposing factor in the development of diabetic conditions.

Alpha-lipoic acid (99%) A naturally occurring co-factor in the body with ideal antioxidant properties. It is known to address 4 out of 5 pre-diabetic symptoms: excess weight, insulin resistance, low HDL cholesterol/high triglycerides, and high blood pressure. Has the ability to regenerate other antioxidants.

Bitter melon extract (15% bitters) Used extensively in folk medicine as a remedy for diabetes. Several of its compounds have confirmed anti-diabetic properties. It has been shown to lower blood glucose levels between 30-48%. It also lowers triglycerides and cholesterol, as well as reducing oxidative stress.

Grape seed extract (95% OPCs) Clinically proven to benefit many diabetic conditions. Rich in OPCs, which work to prevent the oxidative stress in the progression of diabetic symptoms. Reduces blood glucose levels, improves blood circulation and strengthens blood vessels, a benefit for diabetic wound healing.

American ginseng extract (5% ginsenosides), Siberian Eleuthro extract (20:1) Ginsengs have been used since ancient times for various health benefits. They have a clinically proven ability to decrease blood glucose levels. They also help in reducing weight and in improving psycho-physiological performance.

Cinnamon extract (4:1) A traditional food flavoring with significant health benefits. It demonstrates insulin-like activity, improving the metabolic action of insulin and increasing the sensitivity of insulin receptor sites. It increases blood glucose uptake by cells, including glucose metabolism.

Opuntia extract (12:1) A prickly pear cactus traditionally used in Mexico and Central America to treat diabetic conditions. Clinically demonstrated to lower blood glucose levels and improve insulin efficacy.

Bilberry extract (25% anthocyanins) Traditionally used in Europe to treat diabetes. Shown to be effective in lowering blood glucose levels. Rich in anthocyanins that have powerful antioxidant properties, good for improving capillary function. Helps diabetic conditions such as retinopathy and nephropathy.

Guduchi extract (tinospora cordifolia 20:1) Well-known in Ayurvedic medicine, used as a remedy for diabetes and metabolic disorders. Significantly lowers and helps to modulate blood glucose levels. As an adaptogen, it has a proven ability to strengthen the immune system, and is anti-inflammatory.

Mineral co-factors, with sea plants, astaxanthin, fulvic acid, alfalfa grass juice ext. Minerals are essential in all biochemical processes; they catalyze the efficacy of other nutrients and herbal compounds.

Aloe vera concentrate (200:1) Has been used traditionally for diabetes. Has proven anti-diabetic properties, lowering blood glucose levels and the oxidative stress that lead to diabetic complications.

Vanadium sulfate Prior to the discovery of insulin, vanadium was used by doctors for diabetic patients to help control blood glucose levels. It exhibits insulin-like properties and has demonstrated an ability to revive and rejuvenate non-functional beta cells in the pancreas responsible for the production of insulin.

Chromium picolinate (98%) An essential micronutrient for normal carbohydrate metabolism. Functions as a co-factor for both insulin binding as well as the subsequent uptake of glucose by cells for energy production. The picolinate (an amino acid) form of chromium shows superior absorption and utilization.

Stevia (90%) Traditionally used as a sweetener throughout South America. It stimulates the release of insulin and normalizes the response to blood sugar and effectively lowers blood glucose levels. Its ability to improve hyperglycemia and hypertension makes it ideal for diabetic or pre-diabetic conditions.

120 vegi-cap bottle, 800 mg caps

04 January 2012

Let's Get Back To Iodine

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The Corrector

Iodine is said to be the most misunderstood of the essential trace elements that our bodies need. In fact, it is essential to life itself as all cells require iodine. But controversy about it some years ago has caused unwarranted fear regarding its medical and nutritional use. What is little known too is that iodine deficiency has been increasing worldwide at epidemic levels. Since iodine is a relatively rare element, average diets often do not provide enough of it for proper health. Most soils are simply lacking in iodine; it is seawater—and therefore food from the sea—that has the highest concentrations. What you find on the market as “iodized salt” is not only an inadequate source of essential iodine, but such refined salt conversely has dubious effects on the body. It is a rather poor choice for iodine supplementation.

More recent scientific research and clinical studies have reclaimed iodine to its rightful title as a universal nutrient. Dietary iodine is now recognized as both safe and beneficial. It has long been known that iodine is necessary for healthy thyroid hormone production. The thyroid maintains the body’s overall metabolism, and happens to have the highest concentration of iodine of any organ. In addition, iodine is involved in hormone production throughout the body.

Iodine is therefore crucial in many ways. Children need it for brain development. Adequate iodine intake readily prevents the more common form of mental retardation and reduced intellectual ability, and it helps to control hyperactivity, such as ADHD. It is important for maintaining a healthy immune system. It has antibacterial, antiparasitic, antiviral, and anticancer properties. It is still considered the best antiseptic of all time, and demonstrates low tissue toxicity. It also helps rid the body of toxins, including heavy metals, such as lead and mercury. It can also support proper blood sugar levels and help recovery after surgery. The most common visible symptom of iodine deficiency is goiter—an enlargement of the thyroid gland that was far more common in the past. Obesity, fibrocystic breasts and ovarian cysts in women, prostate diseases in men, Hashimoto’s (hypo-thyroid or underactive) and Graves’ (hyper-thyroid or overactive) autoimmune disorders, and decreased libido, are also associated with iodine deficiency.

Since iodine is key to the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, the harmful intake of radioactive iodine is of special concern. Children are particularly susceptible because their thyroids are still in the process of developing. Adequate levels of essential non-radioactive iodine in the body will block the danger of radioactive iodine finding its way into the thyroid, with its strong potential of causing thyroid cancer. Iodine also helps with regulating stress (the cortisol hormone), with weight gain, muscle cramps, weakness, autoimmune diseases, lung problems, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory conditions, and it benefits the lymph system and assists the endocrine glands in removing wastes from the body. Iodine is used in water purification, as it quickly kills pathogenic microorganisms. Iodine is also a cofactor for protein utilization.

It is instructive to contrast iodine (a halogen) with the other environmentally toxic halogens of bromide, fluoride, and chloride (all of these are goitrogens that impair thyroid glandular function):
Bromide – Substituted for iodine in commercial bakeries, which came into use for its anti-caking properties. It is also found in many soft drinks, and has a pharmaceutical use in products such as nasal sprays, inhalers, and other prescription drugs. It is used industrially as a fumigant; pools and hot tubs contain bromide. Bromides are known to cause severe depression, lethargy, and irritability, impacting one’s ability to concentrate.

Chloride – Byproduct is dioxins. Splenda is a chlorinated sugar. Although chloride is naturally found in the body’s extracellular fluid, there is a different, harmful, oxidized form of chlorine found in hot tubs, pools, and municipal water supplies. There are many safer alternatives. Perchlorates are another form of chlorides found at high levels in ground water—especially in the Colorado River Basin. They are also found in contaminated human and cow milk. Industrially, it is used in rocket fuel, leather tanning, and fireworks.

Fluoride – Found in the antidepressants Prozac and Paxil. Many toothpaste brands contain fluoride. Put into our municipal drinking water supply, it is a tragedy. EPA reports and thousands of clinical studies, books, etc., point to the dangers of this chemical byproduct from the fertilizer industry, outlawed in much of Europe.

All the above halogens are found in pesticides and insecticides. Imagine the chemical cocktail that genetically modified organisms contain. These halogens can cause brain and neurological problems, as they take space at nerve receptor sites that iodine would naturally occupy. This is because all halogens have a similar molecular configuration. But proper iodine levels will crowd out these harmful halogens and go to correct immunological and biochemical imbalances.
With toxic hot spots like Fukushima, Japan, and rampant air, water, soil, and electromagnetic pollution, a more concerted effort is necessary in facing everyday health challenges. Go organic and be vigilant!

Cofactors required for proper iodine uptake:

Selenium – For the detoxification of heavy metals (i.e. mercury, lead) and counteracting oxidative damage. Helps to keep up adequate glutathione peroxidase levels. Selenium can be found in Brazil nuts.

B Vitamins – They are very critical to this process. These, as well as vitamin C, vitamin D, carotenoids, flavonoids, and antioxidants, are all available in HP&D’s Vita Power.
Extra C – 1 to 4 grams. Try HP&D’s Berry Berry Good, a tart vitamin C boost of berry extracts.
Himalayan or Natural Sea Salt – Salt helps detoxify bromide. Himalayan salt is available from HP&D.

Sea Plants – Provide iodine and help chelate heavy metals. In Japan, health benefits were found in those who consumed 5-14 mg of iodine a day. Try HP&D’s Essence of Sea Plants for natural iodine and trace minerals.

Magnesium – Helps with cramping, and is important, along with other micro-minerals, for proper hydration. Magnesium is found in HP&D’s Macro Night, Vital Minerals (contains other important micro-minerals too), and Supremely Green, a nutritional super-food tonic rich in minerals, including iodine from sea plants.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is for research purposes and interested parties, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Please consult your professional healthcare practitioner.

Bibliography (Over 900 references are found in the following materials) :

Abraham, Dr. Guy. Iodine: Bring Back the Universal Nutrient Medicine.

Abraham, Dr. Guy, Et al. The Original Internist: Special Edition: Iodine: The Universal Nutrient – A Compilation of Published Manuscripts on Iodine from 2002 to 2007. Rolla, MO. Fall, 2007.

Brownstein, David, M.D. Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It 4th Edition. Medical Alternative Press. West Bloomfield, Michigan. 2009.

Piccone, Nancy. The Silent Epidemic of Iodine Deficiency. Life Extension. Nov.-Dec. 2011, Pg. 5

Venturi, Dr. Sebastiano. Evolution of Dietary Antioxidants: Role of Iodine.

Flechas, Jorge w/ Dr. Mercola, Articles and You Tube videos

18 April 2012

Making Herbal Wine

Posted in Articles

by Ramakrishna Jim Curas


As a boy I grew up in a family who had deep roots in Greek tradition. My parents were first generation transplants to the New World. In keeping with many of the Old World traditions it wasn't unusual for members of the family to have a barrel of something fermenting in their cellars. Cellars were always prime areas for exploration, more so than the hot, stifling dryness of the attic, which were often used for drying herbs. These cellars were cool and moist, the earthy smells felt nurturing. One particular smell lingers over these many years, the musky sweet smell of the fermentation process. Just what was happening in these barrels was a mystery at the time. I knew that the drink served for special occasions brought a measure of cheer and delight which accompanied the large afternoon meal. Besides sparking one's spirit it served as a digestive tonic, thinning the blood, lowering cholesterol and strenghtening the heart. (Authors note: Alcohol, in any form, should always be used in moderation. Unfortunately this medium with its many benefits as a solvent, carrier and preserver, has been abused to the point where alcoholism has reached epidemic proportions.)

The process of fermentation dates far back to our early ancestors. A process which can happen with little or no human intervention. As plant material left exposed begins rotting, certain airborne yeasts and bacterias come along to help this process by breaking down the starches and sugars which are turned into alcohol and then vinegar. Because there is no control over what may result by leaving the process on its own, our early ancestors discovered ways of controlling this process to assure a desired product, either wine, vinegar or a wide variety of fermented foods such as yogurt, cheese and saurkraut. These later three use their own enzymes for this fermentation process.

Our focus here will be on making both a fine culinary wine and a beneficial medicinal wine. I have developed a process whereby a second extraction is employed using fresh plant material along with the alcohol naturally created by the fermentation. This double extraction process increases the flavour and colour of a culinary wine and the potency and effectiveness of a medicinal wine.

The process and recipes that follow are for making true herbal wines, not merely pouring store bought wine over herbs and letting them sit for a period. We will use the action of fermentation to create our own truely unique herbal wine. The process is simple and the choice and amounts of plant material used allows for much creativity on the wine makers part.

Herb de Province: A culinary wine with a decidedly French influence. This recipe makes close to one gallon. First infuse in just under one gallon the following fresh dried herbs. (To make an infusion, bring water to a boil, turn off heat, let plant material soak in this hot water for a period of 30 minutes.)

One handful Sage (Salvia officinalis)
One handful Tarragon (Artemisia drancunculus)
One handful Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
One handful Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
One half handful Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
One half handful Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
One palm full fresh ground Fennel seeds (Foeniculum vulgaris)
One palm full fresh ground celery seeds (Apium graveolens)
One head fresh chopped Garlic (Allium sativum)
One to three fresh whole chopped Red Peppers (Capsicum annuum) Paprika or Pimento work well or a hot chile pepper if desired
Three Bay leaves (Laurus nobilis)
A pinch of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
After allowing this material to soak for 30 minutes strain through a muslin cloth and let cool off to around 70 degrees. At this point we need to have at least 3/4 gal. of liquid extract and not much more. Into this infusion mix 3.5 lbs. honey, (which I use and makes this wine a Mead,) or raw sugar, the juice of 8 to 10 lemons and/or oranges, (I have recently been using ascorbic acid, vitamin C crystals, which seems to work well,) and 1 packet of wine yeast (I use Montrechet.) Pour into a one gallon jug and affix a fermentation lock, as shown. This will keep out airborne yeast and bacterias from contaminating the mixture. At the same time it lets out the carbon dioxide created by the action of the yeast as it transmutes the sugar into alcohol. Ideal fermentation temperature is around 70 degrees. Too hot can cause a violent fermentation which can kill the yeast. A low temperature slows the action of fermentation, which when too low can become dormant. As the conversion of sugar into alcohol takes place the yeast begin to die off, fermentation ceases and the newly created wine begins to clear. When the wine is completely settled and becomes clarified it is time to siphon it off the sediment which has settled on the botton. Care should be taken not to suck up this sediment. Keep the siphon hose at least two inches from this waste material, gradually tipping the jud, as shown. If a little gets sucked up don't worry as there will be another filtration after the second extraction.

Siphon this newly created wine into a wide mouth gallon jar which contains the same herbal formula (plant mixture) used to make the wine. You may need to adjust the amount of material, it should not fill much more than half the jug. It's best to use fresh, well dried herbs for this second extraction as they are stronger and their properties more accessible. To this mixture I add 4 oz. of a straight 70% alcohol extraction, a tincture, of this same or a similar formula, (to make a tincture, fill a quart jar half full for dry material, close to full for fresh material and cover with at least 40% alcohol, 80 proof. Shake daily for two weeks and strain through muslin cloth.) I keep a quart on hand for this purpose. The added tincture is opptional though I find the high alcohol content added to the wine helps stabilize the wine so a second fermentation is not began and increases the effectiveness of the second extraction. Because of the overall low alcohol content of this mixture you may want to let this sit for a complete moon cycle, one month, gently agitating the contents every day. Keep the lid slightly ajar. Even though we boosted the alcohol content it's still best to not let anything enter and for any gas that may form to escape. Then filter through a muslin cloth, let settle again, and siphon or pour off and bottle.

The colour and flavour of the finished wine can be altered during either step of this process by adding certain flowers such as Calendula or fruit and vegatables such as Pomegranate and beet. The finished, aged if you can wait, wine can be used while preparing your culinary creations to imbue them with a delicate herbal bouquet. I like to use it straight, added to dressings and sauces or splashed directly on freshly made salads or lightly steamed vegatables giving them a nice zesty touch.

Corked and stored properly in a cool, dark room on its side, like any fine drinking wine, the bouquet is enhanced by age and can be enjoyed for years to come. A bottle of herbal wine also makes for a special gift. Be sure to label and date each batch and make notes as to ingridents, amounts, taste, flavour or any other conditions which may have affected the outcome of your wine.

Our focus now will be on making of an herbal medicinal wine, in particular a bitter digestive. There is a long history in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine with regards to making herbal medicinal wines. They are generally used as rejuvenating tonics and digestive aids.

We, in modern day American, really don't consume enough of the bitter taste in our diets. We desire or were sold on sweets, followed by salt and, to a varying degree, sour and pungent foods. But the bitter principle is often neglected from the average diet. This is most unfortunate for the bitter taste has an important action on the body. Bitters not only benefit the digestive process but also have a positive affect on our emotional stability.

BITTER BREW: AN HERBAL DIGESTIVE WINE. This recipe makes close to one gallon of a bitter digestive. Decoct, (which simply means to simmer herbs, usually roots and seeds, at a low temperature for 30 minutes,) in just under one gal. of water the following well chopped herbs: (either fresh or dried)

one handful Angelica root (Angelica archangelica)
one handful Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale)
one handful Elecampane root (Inula helenium)
one handful fresh ground Fennel seeds (Foeniculum vulgare)
1/2 handful Orange peel (green preferred)
1/2 handful Ginger root (Zingiber officinale)
Simmer for 30 minutes, then add:

one handful fresh dried artichoke leaf (Cynara scolymus)
one handful fresh dried mugwort leaf (Artemisia vulgare)
one handful fresh dried wormwood leaf (Artemisia absinthium)
3 to 5 Chile peppers (Capsicum spp.)
Shut off heat and cover well for another 30 minutes, strain through a muslin cloth and let cool off to around 70 degrees. Then follow same procedure as for culinary wine.

Added to this formula are secondary non-bitter herbs, fennel seeds, ginger root and chile peppers which help to counteract the tendency to cool and contract the digestive tract and also helps relieve cramping and flatulence. The bitter and heating properties of this formula can be adjusted to suit individual needs.

Dosage is best taken at 1/2 to 1 once 15 to 20 minutes before eating. It can also be taken after a heavy meal to aid in digestion.

The bitter principle activates the gastric secretion of hydrocholoric acid along with other digestive enzymes found in saliva and bile. This benefits the entire digestive process helping the body to break down and utililze fats, proteins and carbohydrates which helps in the proper absorbion of these nutrients. It also benefits the function of the liver and helps to eliminate wastes more efficiently.

Bitters can help to balance our overly sweet and processed food diets and can benefit our nervous system from the stresses of our modern life style. Excess heat in the liver, stagnation and irritation can tax and over stress not only our physical body but our emotional state as well. Recent clinical studies are showing that stress can affect the proper functioning of the immune system. The addition of bitters in our diets can thus benefit our overall health and well being.

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