Posted by: godshealingplants | March 12, 2020



Star Fruit or Carambola it is not found in the wild, it is originally native to Sri Lanka and has been cultivated in Southeast Asia and Malaysia for almost 1,000 years. Today they are also grown throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America, Florida and Hawaii because the fruit thrives growing in a warm tropical environment. 


It is a member of the Oxalis (wood sorrel) family; star fruit grow on a bushy tree 25 to 30 feet high with a spread of 20 to 25 feet.

The leaves are sensitive to touch and light, folding up at night or when touched. The fragrant flowers are pink to lavender in color, about 3/8 inches in diameter.

The fruits grow in groups of 3 or 4 on the branches and trunk of the tree and the trees produce fruit for up to 40 years.  They are non-seasonal and produce 3 to 5 crops each year. 


Star fruit contain many antioxidant vitamins like lutein zeaxanthin, vitamin C, and vitamin E. They are also rich in vitamin B1 or thiamine, vitamin B2 or riboflavin, vitamin B3 or niacin, vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 or pyridoxine and vitamin B9 or folic acid. Star fruit is also a good source of choline.

In addition to vitamins, Star fruits also contain many pivotal minerals like calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron, potassium, sodium, and zinc in adequate quantities required by our body.

Furthermore, the fruit has a high concentration of antioxidants like polyphenolic compounds, such as quercetin, epicatechin, and gallic acid. 


In traditional medicinal uses the preparations of the leaves and roots have been used to cure headaches, hangovers, sore eyes, ringworm and chickenpox. Given to nursing mothers it is believed to stimulate the flow of milk. It also helps with:

Anemia: Is caused due to deficiency of hemoglobin in the body. Star fruit contains good amounts of iron which helps in the formation of hemoglobin in the body. Its high vitamin C content further assists in the absorption of the iron and acts synergistically along with iron to promote hemoglobin formation.

Blood Pressure: Star fruit is loaded with potassium and has a low content of sodium. They are well known because of its high potassium content. One cup of star fruit contains 176 milligrams of potassium, compared to just 2.6 milligrams of sodium. This helps the blood vessels relax and maintains proper blood pressure.

Constipation: Star fruit contains good amounts of fiber. This fiber absorbs the water and makes the stool soft and easy to pass through the digestive system. This fruit is a must have food for people suffering from constipation. Constipation leads to many more problems like hemorrhoids, anal fissure, colorectal cancer, etc. So, eating star fruit regularly can save you from all these maladies.

Fights Free Radicals: Free radicals are produced in our body due to various metabolic processes. They adversely affect our health. They lead to disorders of the heart, brain and also many types of lethal cancers. We need to consume foods with antioxidants to fight the free radicals effectively. Star fruit contains many antioxidant substances like lutein zeaxanthin, vitamin C, and vitamin E. They fight the free radicals and help in the prevention of cancers, heart and brain disorders.

Fights Infections:  One cup of star fruit contains 76 percent of the vitamin C daily requirements per cup. Vitamin C is a potent natural water-soluble antioxidant that helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and eliminates cancer-causing free radicals in the body.

Hair Benefits: Healthy hair needs vitamins and minerals for good growth. Star fruits in rich in vitamin B, C, E and many other minerals which nourish the hair and make it strong, healthy and thick. Star fruit also helps in reduction in the hair fall.

Hypertension: Star fruit contains both sodium and potassium. But the sodium content of star fruit is low in comparison to the potassium. Sodium leads to water retention and increased blood pressure. As star fruit has low sodium content, it doesn’t lead to water retention and increased blood pressure. The low sodium content of star fruit makes it safe for people with high blood pressure or hypertension. 

Insomnia: Many people suffer from lack of sleep or insomnia. This makes them restless and irritable during the daytime. Star fruit is rich in essential minerals like magnesium. This makes the nervous system strong and relaxed. It improves the quality of your sleep. Star fruit also boosts the immune system and makes your body healthy overall. 

Skin Benefits: Healthy skin requires adequate nutrition, a good supply of vitamins and minerals. Star fruit is highly rich in all the essential vitamins and minerals required by the skin. They nourish the skin and make it healthy. The antioxidant substances in star fruit like lutein zeaxanthin, vitamin C and vitamin E help in fighting free radicals and preventing early aging.

They also fight all signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. Star fruit also helps in removing all the toxins out of our body. This detoxification helps in preventing acne or pimple breakouts on our skin. If you are suffering from acne, you can surely eat star fruit and reap its benefits. It also helps in treating skin diseases like Eczema.

Weight loss: Star fruit contains 31 calories of energy for every 100 grams of fruit. This energy content is very low in comparison to many other high-calorie foods. Star fruit has very low-fat content which makes it ideal for weight loss. It is rich in water and fiber which makes you feel satiated and fuller for a longer period of time. When you eat star fruit as part of your meals or half an hour before your meals, you tend to eat smaller portions helping in weight loss. 


Select firm, shiny skinned, even colored fruit. They will ripen at room temperature and have lightly brown edges on the ribs and a full fruity aroma when ripe. Avoid purchasing fruit with brown, shriveled ribs. This delicious fruit is also available dried.

The green-colored star fruit can be purchased and kept aside until it ripens. However, if you want to readily eat it, go for the yellowish-brown one. The thickness of the outer layer is directly proportional to its sweetness. 

Ensure to pick firm ones as the bruised ones do not have a long shelf life. You can refrigerate star fruit if you want to increase its shelf life.

Star fruit bruise easily, so handle with care. Non-ripe fruit should be turned often, until they are yellow in color and ripe with light brown ribs. Store ripe fruit at room temperature for two to three days and refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to one to two weeks. Do not wash them until they are ready to eat. 


While some exotic fruits require peeling or other forms of preparation, star fruit is surprisingly simple. The waxy outer layer can be safely eaten and is quite thin.

The most important part of the preparation process is removing the top and bottom of the fruit. A narrow slice can be taken from either end and discarded.

Simply wash the fruit, remove any blemished areas, cut crosswise to get the star shape, and eat. 


 They are great to eat out of hand as these tropical delights do not need to be peeled nor have the seeds removed before eating. It can be included in any number of desserts, jams, marmalades, savory dishes, and fresh fruit salads. Here are some ideas:

Delicious star fruit cheese cake tart


Very elegant and delicious when added to a salad

It makes a very refreshing juice

Star fruit marmalade

Upside down cake

Compote with cinnamon and cloves

Ice cream

 Canning star fruit for future use

The fruit can also be dried and sugared, to be eaten as candy.


Unfortunately, there are a few side effects of star fruit that should be taken seriously including lethal toxicity under certain conditions, as well as allergic reactions, kidney stones, and drug interactions. 

As it possesses oxalic acid, it should be avoided by the patients of kidney failure and kidney disease. You should consult your doctor or a pharmacist before the consumption of star fruit because this could interfere or interact with the prescription medications you might be taking. The symptoms for the intoxication of star fruit may include nausea, persistent hiccups, agitation, vomiting, insomnia, convulsions and mental confusion.





Posted by: godshealingplants | January 13, 2020



Vanilla is a worldwide popular ingredient that was historically used by the Aztecs to make a cocoa drink that only the kings were privileged to consume. When the Spanish came to Mexico in the 16th century, the Aztecs introduced Cortez to the drink. He brought vanilla and cacao back to Europe where it was enjoyed by only the rich and famous for many years.

Up until the middle of the 19th century, Mexico was the only producer of Vanilla. However, in 1819, French entrepreneurs tried their hand at cultivating the bean on their own islands. They failed until they came up with a method of hand pollinating the flowers, because only a bee found in certain regions of Mexico would pollinate the Vanilla flower. With the French discovery vanilla began to flourish on tropical islands like Mauritius, Madagascar, Reunion Island and the Comoros Islands.

Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world after saffron because its production is so labor-intensive.

Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing vanilla to the United States in the late 1700s. While serving as Ambassador to France, he learned the use of vanilla beans, and when he returned to the United States, brought vanilla beans with him.


Vanilla comes from a flowering plant genus of about 110 species in the orchid family (Orchidaceae). The most widely known member is the flat-leaved vanilla (Vanilla planifolia), native to Mexico, from which commercial vanilla flavoring is derived. It is the only orchid widely used for industrial purposes in flavoring such products as foods, beverages and cosmetics, and is recognized as the most popular aroma and flavor. The key constituent is the phenolic aldehyde, vanillin.

In its natural habitat the plant grows as a clinging vine that attaches itself to a tree, reaching up to 300 feet. 

Blooming occurs only when the vine reaches about 3 years. Each flower opens up in the morning and closes late in the afternoon on the same day, never to reopen. If pollination has not occurred during that time, it dries up and drops.

The flowers are pollinated by stingless bees (e.g. Melipona) and certain hummingbirds, which visit the flowers primarily for nectar. They are greenish-yellow in color and about four inches in diameter.

In commercial growing farms, the orchids are hand pollinated and require trees or poles for the vanilla vine to climb and anchor its roots.

If pollination is successful, the pods develop, and are filled with thousands of minuscule black seeds. These pods can range in size from 5-22cm in length. The pods must be hand-picked at precisely the right time to ensure that the seed pods don’t pop open and that they are properly ripe. They are then subjected to a prolonged, multi-step curing process. The end result is the dried, but aromatic, black pods sold by spice supplier.

Vanilla is the world’s most labor-intensive agricultural crop, which is why it’s so expensive. It can take up to three years after the vines are planted before the first flowers appear. The pods that it forms resemble large green beans, must remain on the vine for nine months before being carefully hand picked. However, when the beans are harvested, they are still partially green and therefore have neither flavor nor fragrance. They develop these distinctive properties during the drying process.

After the beans are harvested, they are dried in the sun.  However, in many countries they are treated with hot water or heat and are then placed in the sun every day for weeks-to-months until they have shrunk to 20% of their original size. After this process is complete, the pods are sorted for size and quality. Then they are stored for another month or two to finish developing their full flavor and fragrance. By the time they are shipped, their aroma is quite remarkable!


Vanilla beans have been shown to contain over 200 compounds, which can vary in concentration depending on the region where the pods are harvested. However, the amount added to recipes likely isn’t going to affect your daily nutrition significantly.

Vanillin: Is the primary chemical component in vanilla beans. They also contain traces of other constituents like euganol, caproic acid, phenoles, phenole ether, alcohols, aids, aliphatic and aromatic carbohydrates, lactones, esters and carbonyl compounds.

Vitamins: Vanilla extract comprises of small amounts of B-complex vitamins like niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, Vitamin B6 and thiamine. These vitamins aid in enzyme synthesis, nervous system function and regulation of body metabolism.

Minerals: Vanilla extract also contains traces of minerals like magnesium, calcium, manganese, potassium, iron and zinc.


There are many reasons why vanilla can improve your overall health and vitality. Whether you are looking for a new way to sweeten foods or your mood, this is an excellent option.

Antidepressant – Vanilla has been commonly used as a home remedy from the 17th century to fight anxiety and depression. Vanilla oil has a calming effect on the brain, which helps with anger, insomnia, stress and anxiety. Sipping water or milk containing vanilla extract helps reduce anxiety in some people.

Dental Health – Vanillin in vanilla is similar to capsaicin in chilli peppers and euganols in spices such as cinnamon. This compound has a positive effect on the central nervous system. Capsaicin is an effective pain reliever while euganols act as topical anaesthetics. Vanilla possesses both these properties which help fight toothache and infection.

Digestive Disorders – Vanilla infused herbal tea can relieve digestive problems. Water boiled with vanilla beans is a traditional remedy for digestive disorders. Its rich aroma is effective in easing queasiness and preventing vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, and stomach upset.  

Fights Infections – Some components present in vanilla oil, such as eugenol and vanillin hydroxybenzaldehyde, are able to fight infections. A 2014 study published in Basel, Switzerland, examined the effectiveness of vanilla oil as an antibacterial agent when used on the surface of bacterial cells. The study found that vanilla oil strongly inhibited both the initial adherence of S. aureus cells and the development of the mature biofilm after 48 hours. S. aureus cells are bacteria frequently found in the human respiratory tract and on the skin.

Immune System – Vanilla bean is rich in antioxidants and can help preserve your immune system. Antioxidants help protect your cells from breaking down and stimulate cellular re-growth. Not only that, but vanilla also acts as a natural antibiotic. This works to promote faster recovery when you are sick. 

Lowers Blood Pressure – Vanilla oil’s sedative effects on the body allow it to naturally lower blood pressure by relaxing the body and mind. High blood pressure is when the pressure on the arteries and blood vessels becomes too high and the arterial wall becomes distorted, causing extra stress on the heart. 

High blood pressure levels can put you at risk for having a stroke, heart attack and diabetes. A major cause of high blood pressure is stress; by relaxing the muscles and mind, vanilla oil is able to lower blood pressure levels. Vanilla oil also helps you to get more sleep, which is another easy way to lower blood pressure levels. Vanilla oil serves as a natural remedy for high blood pressure because it also acts as an antioxidant, so it reduces oxidative stress and dilates the arteries.

Lowers Cholesterol and Triglycerides – Vanillin, the component with the most antioxidant value, has the power to lower cholesterol naturally and reduce triglycerides levels. This leads to better heart health and reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Prevents the Growth of Cancer Cells – Vanilla essential oil has anti-carcinogenic properties. It helps inhibit the development of cancer before it becomes a problem, making it a potential natural cancer treatment. This powerful oil curbs the growth of cancerous cells, mostly because of it acts as an antioxidant that prevents the oxidation of cells. Antioxidants kill free radicals in the body and reverse oxidative stress-causing chronic disease.

Reduces Inflammation – Because vanilla is high in antioxidants, it reduces damage caused by inflammation. Inflammation is associated with just about every health condition, and researchers are zealously investigating chronic inflammation’s effects on health and possible preventive medical applications. Luckily, vanilla oil is a sedative, so it reduces stress on the body such as inflammation, making it an anti-inflammatory food; this is helpful to the respiratory, digestive, nervous, circulatory and excretory systems.

Relieves PMS Symptoms – Vanilla oil serves as a natural remedy for PMS and cramps because it activates or balances hormone levels and manages stress, leaving your body and mind relaxed. Vanilla oil works as a sedative, so your body isn’t in a state of hypersensitivity while experiencing PMS symptoms; instead, it’s tranquil and the symptoms are minimized.

Rheumatoid Arthritis –  Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an autoimmune dysfunction where the white blood cells destroy the cartilage. This may be related to food allergies, bacterial infections, stress or excess acid in the body. Vanilla oil’s anti-inflammatory, sedative and antibacterial properties make it a perfect natural arthritis treatment.


The benefits of vanilla extract extend to your skin as well. It is used as an ingredient in several skincare products like body lotions, lip balms, body butters and creams to impart fragrance. 

Acne Treatment – The antibacterial properties of vanilla make it beneficial for the treatment of acne. Vanillin, through its antibacterial effects, helps cleanse your skin, reducing the occurrence of pimples and acne.

Hair Care – Vanilla is often included in hygiene and beauty products because of its many effects on the hair and skin. If you suffer from frequent split ends or hair loss, applying its essential oil in a carrier oil of some kind can measurably strengthen the hair and induce blood flow to the scalp, encouraging growth and more aesthetically pleasing hair. 


Vanilla beans are notoriously expensive. The price reflects their rarity and the labor involved in growing them. “Premium” vanilla beans are thicker than “Grade B” beans, which is the most common sold in stores. You will generally find a single bean folded up in a spice jar or in long glass vials in the spice aisle of grocery stores and supermarkets.

They are available in bulk quantities, ranging from five to a few dozen beans, from online retailers and this generally reduces the price per bean considerably. However, buy only what you will use within six months to avoid waste. Vanilla bean paste is available online and at specialty food and kitchen supply stores. It is expensive as well.

Whole vanilla beans should be flexible, moist, plump, glossy, and very fragrant. Avoid any that are dry, brittle, or dull; these are signs that they have been improperly stored or are too old.

Vanilla beans are costly, retailing in some specialty shops for as much as $2 to $3 each. The price of pure vanilla extract is also high, but this can vary due to the quality of the beans used to make it. The best vanilla beans are the products of orchids that grow only in tropical climates.

Beware of “pure” vanilla extract that seems unusually cheap. If the price seems to be too good to be true, it’s probably an adulterated extract or the beans were of poor quality.


To maintain the freshness of vanilla beans, store them in an airtight container, removing as much air as possible. Keep it in a cool, dry, and dark place. Refrigerating vanilla beans may cause mold growth and speed up drying.

Open the container for about 15 minutes every few weeks to air out the beans. It’s best to use beans within six months as they will dry out over time, even under the best conditions. They can be stored for eight to 12 months, and sometimes up to two years in optimal conditions.

Commercial vanilla bean paste can have a shelf life of up to three years; homemade versions are typically good for one year. It should also be stored in an airtight container, typically a glass jar, at room temperature.


Both vanilla pods and seeds are used for cooking.

Vanilla raspberry cake

Vanilla Flan Cake

Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting

Vanilla Ice Cream 

Vanilla cheesecake with pecan toping 


Vanilla Chia Seeds smoothie 


Bunt cake with vanilla and coconut frosting

Vanilla pudding with strawberries


Vanilla is safe to ingest, but there are potential side effects. If you mix vanilla beans with a carrier oil in order to make an infusion, make sure you use a carrier oil that’s safe for consumption like coconut oil. Some side effects of using vanilla oil internally or topically are irritation, inflammation or swelling. It’s a good idea to start with small doses and work your way up from there. If you use vanilla oil on your skin, apply it to a small area first.


  • Rose, J. The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations. North Atlantic Books. 1992. 1-373. 
  • National Geographic: The History of Vanilla
  • S. Food and Drug Administration: Some “Vanilla_Extract” Produced in Mexico is No Bargain 
  • Shyamala BN, et al. Studies on the Antioxidant Activities of Natural_Vanilla Extract and Its Constituent Compounds through in vitro J Agric. Food Chem. 2007 Aug;55(19):7738-7743. PMID: 17715988
  • Guzman CC, and Zara RR. Handbook of Herbs and Spices. Woodhead Publishing Limited. 2012 Jan;2(1):547-589. Online ISBN: 978-0-85709-567-1
  • Cava-Roda RM, et al. Antimicrobial Activity of Vanillin and Mixtures with Cinnamon and Clove Essential Oils in Controlling Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli O157:H7 in milk. Food and Bioprocess Tech. 2012 Aug;5(6):2120-2131. DOI: 1007/s11947-010-0484-4
  • Jung HJ, et al. Assessment of the anti-angiogenic, anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties of ethyl vanillin. Archives of Pharm. Res. 2010 Feb;33(2):303-316. DOI: 1007/s12272-010-0217-2
  • Social Issues Research Centre: The Smell Report “Vanilla” 



Posted by: godshealingplants | December 16, 2019



Lychee is native to Southern China and has been cultivated for more than 4,000 years in China and was once considered a great delicacy of the Imperial Court. It is now cultivated in many nations around the world, but the main production still resides in Southeast Asia, China, India, and Southern Africa. 


Lychee is an evergreen tree growing to a height of 40-50 feet, with the average 5-year-old tree in India producing 500 fruits and a 20-year-old tree 4,000 to 5,000 fruits.

One tree in Florida produced a record 1,200 tons of lychee in one year.

The flowers are small and greenish to white to yellowish.

Lychee is soft and pulpy, white or pink in color, and the size is usually about 2 inches in height and width. The fruit is primarily eaten as a dessert in Asian nations and is growing popular in other parts of the world too. 

Because it does best in warm, humid climates, lychee thrives in Hawaii, Florida, and California. It can be found internationally now, from Australia to Brazil, Burma to Africa. 


Lychee is packed with many nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin B6, niacin, riboflavin, folate, copper, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese.

It is a great source of dietary fiber, protein, and a good source of proanthocyanidins and polyphenolic compounds. 


 Let’s take a look at the benefits provided by lychee:

 Aids in Digestion – It has high amount of total dietary fiber which helps to stimulate the digestive health. Fiber enhances the peristaltic motion of the muscles of small intestines and increases the speed of food passage. It enhances the digestive and gastric juices which assist in the effective absorption of nutrients. It helps to lower the gastrointestinal disorders and constipation. 

Anti-Aging – Lychees are a rich source of vitamin C and powerful antioxidant to fight free radicals. It also contains polygonal that useful for aging and reduce dark spots. Thus, consumption of lychees effective in disappearing signs of aging such as fine lines and dark spots. 

Antiviral – The proanthocyanidins in lychee have been studied extensively, and they have also demonstrated antiviral capabilities by researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  Litchitannin A2, a compound found in lychee, has been closely connected to preventing the spread or outbreak of viruses, including herpes simplex virus and coxsackievirus. 

Boosts Immunity – As already mentioned, perhaps the most significant nutrient in lychee is vitamin C, and this fruit has more than 100% of the daily requirement of ascorbic acid in a single serving. This means that your immune system gets a major boost, as vitamin C is a major antioxidant compound and is known to stimulate the activity of white blood cells, which are the main defensive line of your body’s immune system. 

Circulates Blood – Lychee contains copper which is essential for the formation of red blood cells though iron is related with red blood cells. Copper helps to enhance the circulation of blood and increase the oxygenation of the cells and organs. 

Controls Blood Pressure – Lychee is a good source of potassium that helps to maintain the balance of fluid in the body; it contains a low amount of sodium. The balance of fluid assists in the metabolic functions and hypertension. Potassium acts as a vasodilator that helps to lower the constriction of arteries and blood vessels. It also lowers the stress on cardiovascular system. Dried lychee contains three times more potassium in comparison to the fresh lychee. 

Helps the Body’s Metabolism – Lychee is also a source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate. This vitamin helps the body to metabolize carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Maintains Healthy Hair – Once more, lychees are a good source of vitamin C, which plays an active role in maintaining the integrity of the microcirculation, thus ensuring an adequate blood supply to the hair follicles.

Maintains a Healthy Heart – Lychees can normalize blood pressure and heart rate so that it can protect the symptoms of stroke and coronary heart disease. Consuming one glass of lychee juice every day will normalize the heartbeat. 

Maintaining Bone Health – Lychees are a source of food that is rich in phosphorus and magnesium, which gave strong support to the bones. Minerals such as copper and manganese strengthen brittle bones. These minerals increase the effectiveness of vitamin D and affect the assimilation of calcium that maintains bone health. 

Prevents Cancer – Lychee has proanthocyanidins and polyphenolic compounds which help to eliminate the free radicals and prevent the body from various afflictions and diseases. Free radicals are the dangerous byproducts of the cellular metabolism that could lead to heart disease, cancer, premature ageing and cognitive disorders. Lychee is rich in these organic compounds which reduces the chances of cancer. 


When shopping for fresh lychees, there are numerous characteristics that you should look out for to make sure that you’re getting only the best fruits for you and your family.

These include color, fragrance and fruit hardness. Here are a few tips to help you get the best lychees in the market: 

  • Color – The shade of lychee skin varies from pink-red to plum. This depends on the variety you’re buying. When choosing, make sure that you don’t get the fruits that still have a green shade as this indicates that they are still unripe. 
  • Fragrance – Fresh lychees exude a distinct lush and sweet fragrance.
  • Hardness – You can easily determine whether a lychee is ripe by gently pressing on the skin with your thumb. If they’re ripe, the skin would give way a bit but not all the way. Soft lychees are usually already overripe.

Litchis are seasonal fruits, and are usually available from June through October. They are highly perishable, and once plucked from the tree, they do not ripen any further.

Litchis don’t have a long shelf life. When stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or container, they can last about 10 days. Refrigeration usually turns the shell of the litchi darker without affecting the fruit.


 Separate each fruit from the stalk and wash them in cold water.

To peel; gently pinch at the stem end and peel away outer coat slowly. Just use your thumbnail, or a small knife to tear and lift the peel off, it comes off quite easily if ripe.

Alternatively, using a small paring knife, make an incision in its tough outer skin lengthwise all the way to the tip. Take care not to squeeze its flesh, or else, you may squirt and lose juice!

Next; carefully peel away the tough outer skin along with the thin inner membrane to expose beautiful, jelly textured translucent white flesh. Eat peeled whole berry, as you eat grapes. Do not bite. To enjoy, gently suck its divinely sweet juice and then spit out the seed. 


Lychee slices can be a great addition to fruit salads and dressings. It can be a refreshing drink during the summer season. And it can be used in jellies, jams, sorbet, sauces, and syrups.

Lychee mixes well with juices such as banana, strawberry, mango, papaya and coconut water.

Coconut cream with lychee

Lychee and berry torte

Coconut pudding with lychee and mango

Coconut tapioca with lychee and pineapple

Lychee Ice Cream

 Creamy lychee drink 


Caramelized lychee 





Lychee fruit allergic reactions are quite rare to occur. Its sweet pulp minus the seed can be safely given to children. People with diabetes however, should avoid eating too many of them because of their high sugar content. Please always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet.




Posted by: godshealingplants | October 29, 2019



Jack-fruit’s scientific name is Artocarpus heterophyllus and falls under the Moraceae species.

Historical reports suggest that jack-fruit tree is supposed to have originated in the rain forests of the Western Ghats in the Southwestern part of India. However with time, the trees have been introduced to other parts of India and tropical regions of the world. Today, the trees are found widely growing in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Burma, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines, in the Caribbean islands, in parts of USA (Florida and California), Brazil, Puerto Rico and Pacific Islands. 


The jack-fruit tree is very long-lived tree and generally with a lifespan of 60 to 70 years.

It grows to an enormous size up to 30 meters (almost 100 feet) high and 80 to 200 centimeters (2.6 to 6.5 feet) in diameter.

The fruit of this tree is the largest fruit. Fruits will reach up to 36 inches (about 1 m) and approximately 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter, weighing up to 80 pounds (36 kg).

The interior consists of large edible bulbs of yellow, banana-flavored flesh.

When fully ripe, the unopened jack-fruit emits a strong disagreeable odor, resembling that of decayed onions, while the pulp of the opened fruit smells of pineapple and banana.

Each seed is approximately 1.9 to 3.8 centimeters (3/4 to 1.5 inch) long and 1.3 to 1.9 centimeters (1/2 to 3/4 inch) thick and is white and crisp within.

There may be 100 or up to 500 seeds in a single fruit. The seeds from ripe fruits are edible, and are said to have a milky, sweet taste often compared to Brazil nuts. 


Jack-fruit is loaded with Vitamin C, A, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium, zinc and niacin (B-3).

Its great source of potassium helps to lower blood pressure. It also includes phytonutrients such as isoflavones, lignans and saponins that have numerous health benefits.


Here is a list of some of its health benefits: 

Anemia – If you do not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen-rich blood throughout the body, you may be anemic. Symptoms include being tired or feeling weak. Poor blood circulation can also lead to anemia. However, increasing your iron intake will reduce the symptoms and encourage adequate blood flow. This fruit is rich in iron and can reverse the symptoms associated with iron-deficient disorders. 

Bones – Jack-fruit is an excellent source of calcium and is also packed with magnesium, which helps your body absorb calcium. Particularly for those who are lactose intolerant, jack-fruit is a healthy way to strengthen your bones without consuming dairy products. It can also help with bone disorders such as osteoporosis.

Cancer – Jack-fruit is an excellent source of phytonutrients like lignans, isoflavones, and saponins, all of which have anti-aging properties and the ability to protect against cancer. Jack-fruit is high in dietary fats that cleanse the toxins from the colon. Hence, it reduces the toxin effects in the colon and gives protection from colon cancer.

Digestion – Jack-fruit helps to cure digestive disorders including constipation and ulcers because of its high-fiber content.

Energy  – You can jump-start your day by eating this simple kind of sugar. This healthy fruit also has zero saturated fats and no cholesterol.

Eyesight – Another essential nutrient found in jack-fruit is vitamin A. Consuming jack-fruit can help prevent disorders such as macular degeneration or cataracts because of its healthy nutrients.

Immune System – Rich with vitamin C, jack-fruit can help fight against viral and bacterial infections.

Lowers High Blood Pressure – Jack-fruit is an excellent source of potassium. Because it is high in this mineral, it can lessen the risk of a heart attack or other cardio-related disorders.

Reduces High Cholesterol – Jack-fruit is packed with niacin, also known as vitamin B3. This essential nutrient is ideal for lowering the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol while maintaining the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. It also reduces the level of triglycerides. In turn, consuming jack-fruit can lessen your chance of cardiovascular risks.

Skin – Vitamin A and other phytonutrients also promote a radiant complexion. These anti-aging components help protect skin damaged by sun exposure. They also soften skin and help treat wrinkles from the inside out.

Thyroid – Jack-fruit is rich in copper and is a tasty way to promote a functioning thyroid.

Ulcers – Jack-fruit has strong anti-ulcerative properties that can cure ulcers and many other digestive system disorders.

Weight Loss – Jack-fruit is low in calories and free of fat. You can consume this sweet fruit in moderation knowing you are not packing on the pounds. The next time you have a craving for something sweet, you can satisfy it with this healthy fruit.

Wrinkles – Jack-fruit seed can give you flawless skin. Soak some dry seed with milk and honey. Grind them into a fine paste and apply on your face. Let it dry, and then wash off to reveal flawless skin in just few minutes. 


Buying a jack-fruit is not always an easy task because of the sheer size of it. It is one of the largest fruits, which has a spiky exterior that encloses the fleshy fruit pods inside.

This is also the reason why most supermarkets pre-cut and package it into set grams to make it easier for purchase. If you are picking the raw type, make sure the pieces are not blackened and look soft and tender. If you are picking the ripe fruit, the flesh should be vibrant yellow, without any dark patches.

For those who would prefer to pick the whole fruit, a point to note is to select one that imparts a strong smell. That’s an indication that it is ripe and you can relish the juicy flesh inside. But remember, when you are about to cut it open, oil the knife and your hands really well because it contains an extremely sticky substance inside which is difficult to handle otherwise. Usually, the jack-fruit is split vertically into two and then worked upon with a knife to extract the pods.

The cut fruit should be stored in the refrigerator, and can be kept for up to five to six days. You can also wrap up the pieces and keep them in the freezer for up to one month. But the flavor is best enjoyed when eaten as fresh as possible. 


Jack-fruit is commonly used in Southeast and South Asian countries. In South India, the jack-fruit is a popular food ranking after mango and banana. 

Jackfruit vegan BBQ

The greenish unripe fruit is cooked as a vegetable, and the ripened fruit is eaten fresh for the sweetly acid but insipid pulp surrounding the seeds. The ripened fruit is also used to make a variety of dishes, including custards, cakes, ice cream. It can be a great substitute for vegan recipes.

When opened, a ripe jack-fruit has bright yellow pods that are delicious both raw and cooked. If the flesh is green, it is unripe, but can still be used for cooked vegetable dishes. 


Here are some ideas of how you can enjoy the very versatile jackfruit.

Taco salad with avocadoes and shredded jackfruit

Pizza with shredded jack-fruit

Jackfruit smoothie

Flan with jackfruit

Jack-fruit ice cream

Spring rolls with jack-fruit and mushrooms

Vegan BBQ with pulled jack-fruit and coleslaw on a bun



Pregnant women should not use it, as well as people with blood disorders. People taking blood medications such as aspirin or blood thinners should avoid it.

The information contained herein is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment in any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition.









Posted by: godshealingplants | August 11, 2019



Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) originally came from India; it was grown as a food source many centuries ago. It is considered one of the foods from the Biblical period, and is widely eaten throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Mexico. It is an annual succulent with a slightly sour and salty taste, making it an interesting addition to the plate and palate. The entire plant, including the leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds are edible and have been used for thousands of years in different variations and is widely referred to in ancient Chinese medicine, as well as in early aboriginal culture. 


Purslane is a succulent annual trailing plant that grows in many countries because it thrives in poor soil. Purslane is often found thriving in the cracks of sidewalks and driveways even during summer’s heat. It often pops up in container gardens, flowerbeds, gardens, fields, waste ground and roadside. Its leaves are spoon-like in shape and are succulent.


It can be eaten as a cooked vegetable and is great to use in salads, soups, stews or any dish you wish to sprinkle it over. Purslane is antibacterial, anti-scorbutic, depurative, diuretic and febrifuge. The leaves are a very rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which prevents heart attacks and strengthens the immune system.

It has yellow flowers that occur singly or in small terminal clusters. When fully open, each flower is about .5 cm (or ¼”) across, consisting of five petals, two green sepals, numerous yellow stamens, and several pistils that appear together in the centre of the flower. These flowers open up for a few hours during bright sunny mornings. Purslane flowers bloom from mid-summer through the early fall and lasts about 1 to 2 months.

Each flower is replaced by a seed capsule that splits open around the middle to release the numerous small, black seeds.


Purslane is rich in vitamins A and C; you’ll also has vitamins B1, B2 and B3, as well as some phosphorus, copper and folate. Other minerals are present in respectable amounts, including calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, magnesium, calcium and copper. Purslane contains beta-carotene and alpha-linolenic acid, as well as a variety of potassium salts, amino acids, and flavonoids which provide antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Purslane has recently been identified as the richest vegetable source of alpha-linolenic acid, an essential omega-3 fatty acid. Two types of omega-3 fatty acids are present in purslane; while ALA, the first type, is found in many other leafy green vegetables, the other type, EPA, occurs more commonly in animal foods, such as fatty fish. The calorie count for a serving of purslane about 3.5 ounces is exceptionally low at 16, which is why it’s considered a nutrient-dense food choice.

Recent research demonstrates that purslane has better nutritional quality than the major cultivated vegetables, with higher beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, and alpha-linolenic acid. Additionally, purslane has been described as a power food because of its high nutritive and antioxidant properties.


In some parts of the world, purslane is used medicinally to treat burns, headaches, stomach aches, coughs, arthritis and other health problems.

Purslane has many benefits that help in preventing and curing diseases. Here are some of them:

Improves Circulation – The high content of iron and copper in purslane means that it contains the nutrients that can help stimulate the production of red blood cells. Both of these minerals are essential for boosting circulation by delivering more oxygen to essential parts of the body. They also increase the healing speed of cells and organs and aid in improving hair growth and metabolic efficiency! 

Improves Heart Health – Research has found that the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, found in purslane, help to reduce the amount of LDL (bad cholesterol) in the body. This helps to promote a healthier cholesterol balance in our bloodstream.

Consuming foods that are high in omega-3s have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, as well as atherosclerosis, thereby reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, the potassium found in this vegetable can aid in reducing blood pressure due to its behavior as a vasodilator, relaxing blood vessels and reducing strain on the heart.

Improves Vision – The vitamin A and beta-carotene, contained in purslane, have both been connected to improved eye health and vision. These can help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts by eliminating free radicals that attack the cells of the eye and cause these common age-related diseases. 

Skin Care – Purslane may help treat a wide variety of skin conditions as well since purslane leaves contain high levels of vitamin A. This vitamin, combined with the cocktail of compounds found in this ‘weed’ mean that it can help reduce inflammation when applied topically. When consumed it can aid in improving skin, reduce wrinkles, and stimulate the healing of skin cells to remove scars and blemishes. 

Strengthens Bones – The minerals present in purslane make it a healthy choice for people who want to lessen bone loss. Calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese are all elements required to develop bone tissue and speed the healing process of the bones. As purslane contains these important nutrients for bone health, consumption may aid in the prevention of osteoporosis, a common age-related condition that affects millions of people. 

Treats Gastrointestinal Diseases – In traditional Chinese medicine, purslane (known as Ma Chi Xian) was widely used to treat everything from diarrhea and intestinal bleeding to hemorrhoids and dysentery. Even today it is used to treat a wide variety of intestinal conditions. These benefits are mainly attributed to the organic compounds found in purslane, including dopamine, malic acid, citric acid, alanine, glucose, and others. 

Weight Loss – Purslane is very low in calories, while also being nutrient-rich and packed with dietary fiber. This means that people can feel full after a meal including purslane, without significantly increasing calorie intake, thereby assisting in the weight loss process.



Purslane is not readily available to buy in the United States since it is considered a weed and most people want to eliminate the pesky plant. It is available to buy in some specialty markets in certain parts of the country. It is however readily available in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and also in Mexico.

Purslane should be eaten fresh or cooked right away. There are articles that teach you how to freeze and how to dry purslane, but it is preferable to harvest it from your garden as you need it and eat it right away.


In the kitchen, purslane is commonly used in soups, salads, and stews.  It is added to meat dishes as a flavorful element and is also mixed with dough to make certain delicious bread varieties.

Once you’ve cut off the root, the individual stems needs to be washed carefully. All parts of common purslane are edible. However, because it has little crevices to hold the soil, you need to wash it really well to get all the dirt off. 


Sprinkle some purslane on pizza for a zesty taste

Purslane, tomato and walnut salad

Purslane will give your smoothie or juice a delicious zing

Mix purslane into your favorite veggie pancake

Purslane can be lightly stir fried  for 4 to 5 minutes, and then served with a little butter

Add purslane to you’re your egg tacos

Purslane can be mixed with beans for a delicious taste



The only potential downside that researchers have found about purslane is the relatively high content of oxalic acid, which leads to the formation of kidney stones. If you already suffer from kidney stones, speak to a medical professional about consuming it. It should be noted that boiling it in water causes a great deal of oxalic acid to be eliminated, without losing many of the other beneficial nutrients. 


Purslane is similar in appearance to a poisonous plant called the Hairy-Stemmed Spurge. Make sure that what you might think is purslane isn’t this poisonous plant by breaking its stem and squeezing it with your fingers.

If the plant produces a milky sap, it is poisonous and should not be eaten.  


Our bodies can’t make omega-3 fatty acids, so we need to get these vital substances from foods, and even though there’s not much fat in purslane, much of what it contains is in this form.

As a significant source of omega-3 oils, Purslane could yield considerable health benefits to vegetarian and other diets where the consumption of fish oils is excluded. Scientific analysis of its chemical components has shown that this common weed has uncommon nutritional value, making it one of the potentially important foods for the future. 


  • L. Liu, P. Howe, Y.-F. Zhou, Z.-Q. Xu, C. Hocart, and R. Zhang, “Fatty acids and B-carotene in Australian purslane (Portulaca oleracea) varieties,” Journal of Chromatography A, vol. 893, no. 1, pp. 207–213, 2000.
  • Oliveira, P. Valentão, R. Lopes, P. B. Andrade, A. Bento, and J. A. Pereira, “Phytochemical characterization and radical scavenging activity of Portulaca oleraceae L. leaves and stems,” Microchemical Journal, vol. 92, no. 2, pp. 129–134, 2009.
  • P. Simopoulos, H. A. Norman, and J. E. Gillaspy, “Purslane in human nutrition and its potential for world agriculture,” World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics, vol. 77, pp. 47–74, 1995.
  • P. Simopoulos and N. Salem Jr., “Purslane: a terrestrial source of omega-3 fatty acids,” The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 315, no. 13, p. 833, 1986.
  • P. Simopoulos, “Evolutionary aspects of diet, essential fatty acids and cardiovascular disease,” European Heart Journal, vol. 3, pp. D8–D21.
  • U. R. Palaniswamy, R. J. McAvoy, and B. B. Bible, “Stage of harvest and polyunsaturated essential fatty acid concentrations in purslane (Portulaca oleraceae) leaves,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol. 49, no. 7, pp. 3490–3493, 2001.
  • M. K. Uddin, A. S. Juraimi, M. A. Hossain, F. Anwar, and M. A. Alam, “Effect of salt stress of Portulaca oleracea on antioxidant properties and mineral compositions,” Australian Journal Crop Science, vol. 6, pp. 1732–1736, 2012.


Posted by: godshealingplants | May 25, 2019



The avocado (Persea americana) dates back to south-central Mexico, around 5,000 B.C. But it was several thousand years before this wild variety was cultivated. Archaeologists found evidence that avocados were cultivated in Mexico as early as 500 B.C.


The avocado tree (Persea americana), is a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae.  The fruit of the plant, is called an avocado. It is botanically a large berry containing a single large seed.

Avocados have a green-skin that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical. Avocado trees are self-pollinating, and are often propagated through grafting. In 2017, Mexico produced 34% of the world supply of avocados.

The avocado tree species Persea americana is a tree that grows to 20 m (66 ft), with leaves 12–25 cm (4.7–9.8 in) long. The avocado fruit is a single-seeded berry; and the pear-shaped fruit is 7–20 cm (2.8–7.9 in) long, weighs between 100 and 1,000 g (3.5 and 35.3 oz), and has a large central seed, 5–6.4 cm (2.0–2.5 in) long.

Please note that there are many avocado varieties and different sizes.


In addition to healthy fats and dietary fiber, avocados are brimming with a multitude of vitamins our body needs.

Avocados are a great source of nutrients, including: Folate, Magnesium, Potassium, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K to name a few.

They contain lycopene and beta-carotene, which are important carotenoid antioxidants. The highest concentration of these antioxidants is located in the dark green flesh closest to the peel.


Here are some health benefits of avocado for both adults and kids.

Anti-inflammatory: being able to help both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Cancer: Avocados have been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers, including cancers of the mouth, skin and prostate. A study in the journal Seminars in Cancer Biology found that the phytochemicals in avocados encourage cancer cells to stop growing and die.

Digestion: The fiber in avocados helps keep digestion on track, encouraging regular bowel movements, healthy intestines and a healthy weight.

Helps your Heart: Avocados’ high levels of potassium can help keep blood pressure under control; and the fats and fibers in the avocado reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Immune System: Avocadoes are a good source of Glutathione, making the immune system work best if the lymphoid cells have a good level of Glutathione.

Lowers LDL Cholesterol: Oleic acid in avocado can be used to lower cholesterol level in the blood.

Prevents Birth Defects: Avocados contain a significant amount of folic acid, which is essential to preventing birth defects during pregnancy.

Regulates Blood Sugar: the soluble fiber in avocados can help keep blood sugar levels stable.

Skin: Avocados with their healthy fats and phytonutrients offer remarkable benefits to human skin, both when eaten and when used topically. The vitamin C and vitamin E in avocados help keep skin nourished and glowing.

Treat yourself to an avocado facial. For years, people have used avocado as a natural facial treatment, especially for dry skin. It’s easy to do in your own home. Just remove your makeup and wash your face with warm water and soap or your favorite cleanser. Mash some avocado and mix it with a little honey or oatmeal and apply it to your face. Leave it there for 10 minutes, and then rinse it off with lots of water.

Avocado oil has been used extensively for its ability to heal and soothe the skin. This use is based on the high hydrocarbon content of the pulp and oil, which may help dry skin. The expressed oil of the avocado seed nourishes and maintains skin tone. It softens rough, dry, or flaking skin and, massaged into the scalp, improves hair growth.

Vision: Avocados are an excellent source of the carotenoid lutein, which reduces the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.


Here are some tips to help you select a ripe avocado:

  • Avoid avocados which are super hard, unless you want to wait a number of days to eat them.  These are usually under-ripe. Very shiny skin is another sign that an avocado may not yet be ripe.  Avocados are typically green when they are under-ripe, and start to darken as they get ripe.
  • Stay away of avocados which are mushy and have noticeable dents in their skin.  They are overripe.  These avocados are also very dark in color.
  • Look underneath the dry little button of the stem end; if it is brown, then the avocado is over-ripe and probably bad, if it is a light green it is ripe and good to eat.  ​

A ripe avocado is not totally firm, but it is not really soft either.  

If the avocado is ripe and you have not cut it open, you can store it in the refrigerator for two to three days. If you want to have your avocado ripen, store it at room temperature for four to five days.


To preserve the area with the greatest concentration of antioxidants, you basically want to peel the avocado with your hands, as you would a banana:

  1. First, cut the avocado length-wise, around the seed.
  2. Holding each half, twist them in the opposite directions to separate them from the seed.
  3. Remove the seed.
  4. Cut each half, lengthwise; then using your thumb and index finger, simply peel the skin off each piece.


This is a fun project for your kids and is not a difficult to do.

Follow these simple steps and you will have a successfully start to your own avocado tree.

  1. Remove the large pit (seed) from the insides of an avocado, rinse and dry it well.
  2. Put three or four toothpicks into the seed at its widest part in order to suspend the pit over a glass of water.
  3. After that, put it in a warm place and make sure that you maintain the water level.
  4. In two to six weeks, you will notice that roots and a stem are sprouting from the seed. The moment the stem is about six inches long, you should trim it in half.
  5. When the stem leafs again, you should transplant the seedling into a pot that has sandy, loose soil.
  6. Provide your plant with frequent and light watering. Also, keep it in a sunny place to promote the plant growth.
  7. After that, pinch back the most recent grown leaves every time the stems grow another six inches or so. Do this in order to encourage more growth and a fuller plant.

In the regions that are warmer, the avocado plant is capable of surviving and staying outside in the summer.

In case you are situated in a warm climate that does not exceed temperatures less than 45 degrees F, you can even move your avocado outside because the plant will certainly enjoy such weather conditions, which will ultimately encourage its growth.


There are so many ways you can enjoy avocados here are just some of ideas.

Avocado kale wrap

Avocado blueberry smoothie

Baked stuffed avocado with your choice of ingredients

Avocado and raw cacao pudding

Avocado tortilla veggie wrap


Taco with avocados salsa and your favorite ingredients

Avocado ice cream with nuts





Posted by: godshealingplants | April 20, 2019



The first historical account of walnut cultivation dates back to Babylon (now Iraq) circa 2000 B.C.

The English walnut originated in the regions surrounding the Caspian Sea, hence it is known as the Persian walnut. In the 4th century AD, the ancient Romans introduced the walnut into many European countries where it has been grown since. Throughout its history, the walnut tree has been highly revered; not only does it have a life span that is several times that of humans, but its uses include food, medicine, shelter, dye and lamp oil. It is thought that the walnuts grown in North America gained the name “English walnuts,” because they were introduced into America during the early 1800s via English merchant ships.


Walnuts are edible seeds from the trees of Juglans genus. They are round, single-seeded fruits of the walnut tree. The fruit and seed of walnut are enclosed in a thick, inedible husk. The shell of the fruit that encloses the kernel is hard and is two-halved.

The walnut tree can grow up to 130 feet (40 meters) high. There are three main types of walnuts; the English walnut, also known as the Persian walnut, the Black walnut, and the White or butternut walnut. The most popular type in the US is the English walnut, which has a thinner shell and is the easiest to crack open. The Black walnut has a thicker shell and more pungent flavor. It is mostly cultivated for its strong wood. The white walnut is sweeter and oilier than the other two, but it is not commonly found in stores.


Walnuts are a rich source of vitamin C, B vitamins (vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and folate), vitamin E, as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and zinc.


Walnuts are 65 percent fat by weight and 15 percent protein. They are richer than most nuts in polyunsaturated fats (often considered the “good” fats) and have a relatively high amount of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Walnuts are also particularly rich in an omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid.

Walnuts contain other essential nutrients such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, as well as phytosterols. They are a good source of dietary fiber and antioxidants (ellagic acid, catechin, melatonin, and phytic acid). All of these beneficial nutrients contribute to walnuts being thought of by many as ‘power food’.


The health benefits of walnuts are many and include reduction of LDL (bad) cholesterol, prevention of inflammation, improvement in metabolism, weight management, and diabetes control. Walnuts can also benefit brain health and act as a mood booster. Here are some additional benefits of consuming walnuts.

  • Aids in Dental Health
  • Boost Immunity
  • Boost Bone Health
  • Cleanses Digestive System
  • Controls Diabetes
  • Fights fatigue
  • Good for Fungal Infections
  • Good for Skin and Hair Care
  • Good for the Respiratory System
  • Great Way to Increase Children’s Omega-3 Intake
  • Has Antioxidant Power
  • Has Astringent Properties
  • Helps Improve Brain Health and Preserve Memory
  • Helps in Fighting Depression
  • Improves Digestion
  • Improves Heart Health
  • Improves Metabolism
  • May Help Prevent Cancer
  • Reduce Inflammation
  • Regulate Sleep
  • Supports the Immune System
  • Supports Weight Loss


When purchasing whole walnuts that have not been shelled choose those that feel heavy for their size. Their shells should not be cracked, pierced or stained, as this is oftentimes a sign of mold development on the nutmeat, which renders it unsafe for consumption.

Shelled walnuts are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins. Just as with any other food that you may purchase in the bulk section, make sure that the bins containing the walnuts are covered and that the store has a good product turnover so as to ensure its maximal freshness. Whether purchasing walnuts in bulk or in a packaged container avoid those that look rubbery or shriveled. If it is possible to smell the walnuts, do so in order to ensure that they are not rancid.

Due to their high polyunsaturated fat content, walnuts are extremely perishable and care should be taken in their storage. Shelled walnuts should be stored in an airtight container and placed in the refrigerator, where they will keep for six months, or the freezer, where they will last for one year. Un-shelled walnuts should preferably be stored in the refrigerator, although as long as you keep them in a cool, dry, dark place they will stay fresh for up to six months.

When walnuts become rancid, they will smell like paint thinner.


Walnuts have a delicious taste and crunchy texture, which is why they are used in many desserts. Ground walnuts and walnut flour are also used for baking.


Baklava, a rich, sweet dessert pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup and honey 

Sautéed vegetables with walnuts

Cup cake filled and covered with walnuts

Green beans, red peppers and walnuts

Banana split cake with walnuts

Spinach salad with pomegranates and walnuts

Ice cream covered with walnuts and honey

 Squash and carrots with walnuts




On average, seven to nine walnuts per serving are considered safe for consumption. However, if you eat nuts in excess, there are some side effects you may experience, as follows:

  • Allergy: Over-consumption may result in a range of allergic reactions from minor to more serious.
  • Digestive issues: Excess intake of walnut may cause nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, and more.
  • Pregnancy and lactation: Expecting and nursing women are advised to consume in prescribed amounts only. If you desire to increase its dosage, do consult your doctor.
  • Weight gain: Although it is a source of good fats, too much of a good thing will have adverse results. Remember moderation is the key.



  • Anderson K.J.; Teuber S.S.; Gobeille A.; Cremin P.; Waterhouse A.L.; Steinberg F.M. Walnut polyphenolics inhibit in vitro human plasma and LDL oxidation. Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 131, Issue 11: 2837-2842. 2001.
  • Bes-Rastrollo M, Sabate J, Gomez-Gracia E, Alonso A, Martinez JA, Martinez-Gonzalez MA. Nut consumption and weight gain in a Mediterranean cohort: The SUN study. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Jan;15(1):107-16. 2007. PMID:17228038.
  • Cortes B, Nunez I, Cofan M, Gilabert R, Perez-Heras A, Casals E, Deulofeu R, Ros E. Acute effects of high-fat meals enriched with walnuts or olive oil on postprandial endothelial function. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Oct 17;48(8):1666-71. 2006. PMID:17045905.
  • Fukuda T, Ito H, Yoshida T. Antioxidative polyphenols from walnuts (Juglans regia L.). Phytochemistry. Aug;63(7):795-801. 2003.
  • Gillen LJ, Tapsell LC, Patch CS, Owen A, Batterham M. Structured dietary advice incorporating walnuts achieves optimal fat and energy balance in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 Jul;105(7):1087-96. 2005. PMID:15983525.
  • Marangoni F, Colombo C, Martiello A, Poli A, Paoletti R, Galli C. Levels of the n-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid in addition to those of alpha linolenic acid are significantly raised in blood lipids by the intake of four walnuts a day in humans. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2006 Sep 25; [Epub ahead of print] . 2006. PMID:17008073.
  • Morgan JM, Horton K, Reese D et al. Effects of walnut consumption as part of a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet on serum cardiovascular risk factors. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 2002 Oct; 72(5):341-7. 2002.
  • Patel G. Essential fats in walnuts are good for the heart and diabetes. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 Jul;105(7):1096-7. 2005. PMID:15983525.
  • Reiter RJ, Manchester LC, Tan DX. Melatonin in walnuts: influence on levels of melatonin and total antioxidant capacity of blood. Nutrition. 2005 Sep;21(9):920-4. 2005. PMID:15979282.
  • Ros E, Nunez I, Perez-Heras A, Serra M, Gilabert R, Casals E, Deulofeu R. A walnut diet improves endothelial function in hypercholesterolemic subjects: a randomized crossover trial. Circulation. 2004 Apr 6;109(13):1609-14. 2004. PMID:15037535.
  • Tapsell LC, Gillen LJ, Patch CS, Batterham M, Owen A, Bare M, Kennedy M. Including Walnuts in a Low-Fat/Modified-Fat Diet Improves HDL Cholesterol-to-Total Cholesterol Ratios in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2004 Dec;27(12):2777-83. 2004. PMID:15562184.
  • Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988. 1988. PMID:15220.


Posted by: godshealingplants | March 17, 2019



Celery has the scientific name of Apium graveolens, and is a vegetable in the plant family called Apiaceae.

It is an extremely old vegetable, with records showing that celery leaves were part of the remains found in the tomb of the pharaoh “King Tutankhamun,” who died in 1323 B.C. Celery is even mentioned in Homer’s “Iliad” and “The Odyssey,” as horses were said to eat wild celery that grew throughout Troy.

Celery was probably first used as a food by the French around 1623. For about the next century its use was confined to flavoring because of the strong flavor of early types. By the middle part of the 18th century celery stored in cellars was enjoyed by the more affluent people of northern Europe during the winter. Its use as a food spread rapidly after that time. It most likely was introduced to America by the colonists and by 1806, four cultivated varieties were listed. In the United States today, the variety ‘Pascal’ dominates commercial production.


 Most people are familiar with the fragrant and flavorful celery, but not everyone knows that its seeds are just as useful and as nutritious as the plant’s stalks. Celery seed has been especially famous in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, where it is used as a diuretic, cold remedy and an anti-inflammatory medicine. But while celery seeds are well-known in Eastern medicine, very few people in Western territories know about the numerous uses of this spice.

Celery seeds are found in the flowers of the celery plant, which normally develop in the second year after cultivation. The seeds also function as the primary mode of propagation for the celery plant.

Celery seeds are usually small and dark brown, and taste and smell like celery stalks. They can boost the flavor of a dish and lend it an aromatic twist. Aside from the culinary use of celery seeds; they can be used to make an extract or oil to deal with different ailments.


 Celery is a rich source of phenolic phytonutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These phytonutrients include: caffeic acid, caffeoylquinic acid, cinnamic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, apigenin, luteolin, quercetin, kaempferol, lunularin, beta-sitosterol and furanocoumarins. Celery is an excellent source of vitamin K and molybdenum. It is a very good source of folate, potassium, dietary fiber, manganese and pantothenic acid. It is also a good source of vitamin B2, copper, vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin A.

Celery contains approximately 35 milligrams of sodium per stalk, so salt-sensitive individuals can enjoy celery, but should keep track of this amount when monitoring daily sodium intake.


Boosts Immune System – Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, celery greatly boosts the immune system and makes it more active and efficient. Eating this vitamin C rich vegetable regularly can reduce your risk of catching a common cold, as well as protect you against a variety of other diseases.

Controls Diabetes – Celery leaves are also eaten for treating various diabetic conditions. This is because of their high fiber content, which has been shown to help manage diabetic symptoms.

Detoxifies the Body – It acts as an antioxidant, and all parts of celery, including the seeds, roots, and leaves can be used. Eating this vegetable regularly helps to avoid diseases of the kidney, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder.

Fights Infections – Celery seeds contain antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and has been used to fight infections for centuries. The use of celery extract fights bacterial infections, improves the immune system and inhibits bacterial growth.

Helps Prevent Cancer – Celery is one of the cancer-protective vegetables it contains polyacetylenes that are chemoprotective compounds. Polyacetylenes boost the immune system and inhibit the growth of cancer tumor. Moreover, polyacetylenes are well-known for its bioactivities such as antiplatelet-aggregatory, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antibacterial and cytotoxic properties.

Improves Digestion – The diuretic effect of celery brings a number of digestive benefits. Eating celery can treat water retention, relieve bloating and boost digestion.

Improves Heart Health – The notable presence of vitamin C, fiber, and other organic chemicals in the roots of celery promotes cardiovascular health.

Lowers Arthritis Pain – Celery is great for people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism, and gout. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and pain around the joints. Celery extracts, which contain 85% 3-n-butylphthalide (3nB), are effective in giving relief from arthritis and muscular pains. It also act as a diuretic, which helps remove uric acid crystals that build up around the body’s joints that can add to the pain and discomfort.

Lowers Cholesterol Level – A research study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that eating celery every day may reduce artery-clogging cholesterol (called LDL or bad cholesterol). The phthalides in this herb also stimulate the secretion of bile juices, which work to reduce cholesterol levels. Less cholesterol means less plaque on the artery walls and a general improvement in heart health. The fiber that is found in it also works to scrape the cholesterol out of the bloodstream and eliminate it from the body with regular bowel movements, further boosting cardiovascular health.

Lowers Inflammation – Celery is loaded with polysaccharides and antioxidants. The antioxidants have the ability to cure free-radical damage that contributes to inflammation. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis are caused by inflammation.

Nerve Tonic – Celery contains high calcium and due to this, it is commonly used to calm the nerves.

Prevents Liver DiseasesCelery is an ideal liver cleansing food. Regular consumption of celery can help protect kidney health and prevent liver diseases. Celery is high in vitamin C, B, A and iron. Since it contains diuretic properties, it can remove toxins and contaminants from your body.

Prevent Ulcers – Regular consumption of celery can help prevent and treat painful ulcers. A special type of ethanol extract in celery is effective in preventing the formation of ulcers in the lining of the digestive tract. 

Reduces Asthma Symptoms – Vitamin C present in celery prevents free radical damage and also has anti-inflammatory properties that lessen the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma.

Reduces Blood Pressure – Celery contains phthalides, which are organic chemical compounds that can lower the level of stress hormones in your blood. Also, a 2009 study revealed that celery has hypolipidemic effects on your body that allow your blood vessels to expand, giving your blood more room to move, thereby reducing pressure. It also contains potassium, which is a vasodilator and helps in reducing blood pressure. When blood pressure is reduced, it puts less stress on the entire cardiovascular system and reduces the chances of developing atherosclerosis or suffering from a heart attack or stroke.

Reduces the Risk of Urinary Tract Infections – Celery has the ability to boost urine production and decrease uric acid; therefore, eating celery on a regular basis can help prevent bacterial infections within the digestive tract and reproductive organs. Like cranberries, celery is an effective home remedy for bladder disorders, urinary tract infections, kidney problems and cysts on the reproductive organs.

Regulates Fluid Balance – Celery is rich in both sodium and potassium, and both of these minerals help regulate the fluid balance in the body. 

Salt Alternative – For people who are looking for salt alternatives, ground celery seed spice is a good choice.

Weight Loss – Regular drinking of celery juice before meals may help reduce your weight. It is very low in calories and it also gives you a feeling of being full; therefore, it can help reduce the tendency to overeat and help you keep the weight down without feeling hungry all the time!

Celery helps prevent many diseases and conditions that include neuritis, constipation, catarrh, pyorrhea and dropsy, mental exhaustion, acidosis, anemia, obesity, joint pain, irritable bowel syndrome, skin disorders migraines and tuberculosis. It also helps in improving overall health and strength of teeth.


 In North America, the type of celery most grown and eaten is called “pascal celery,” while in Europe “celeriac” celery is more popular.

Knowing that celery is one of the most chemical-sprayed vegetables there is, always look for organic celery whenever possible to get the most benefits of celery without consuming toxins and chemicals. The Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” shows that celery is usually sprayed with multiple types of pesticides.

When picking out celery, make sure the stalks seem firm and aren’t too limber. If the stalks have their leaves attached still, look for brightly colored leaves that are not wilting.

Don’t wash celery right away after bringing it home because this can cause it go bad quicker. Store celery, wrapped in a moist paper towel in an open plastic bag inside the refrigerator for about five to seven days.

It’s not recommended to freeze celery because it becomes mushy once defrosted.

To clean and cut celery, discard the base that’s usually firm and white or you can experiment to re-grow it, by putting the cut off base in a container with a small amount of water and watching it grow.

You can save the leaves and use these in recipes, such as salads, soups, stews or a sauté. Celery leaves are a good source of vitamins and minerals just like the stalks, so don’t waste them!

Rinse the celery stalks and leaves well to remove any dirt and then cut the stalks into pieces.


Add celery to your favorite salad

Celery Juice is excellent for your health

You can stuff them with cream cheese for great hors d’oeuvres

Cream of celery soup with onions and garlic is delicious

You can add them to your garbanzo salad

Use the cut stalks along with carrots, zucchini and peppers for dipping

They also do great for dipping hummus

And chopped celery add a nice crunch to a tuna fish sandwich


Celery belongs to a small group of foods that can cause a severe allergic reaction, and this can lead to fatal anaphylactic shock.






This article is meant to be informational and educational regarding traditional uses of herbs for medicinal purposes and not as medical advice. Always follow up with your doctor for concerns regarding your health. The FDA approves herbs as dietary supplements only.


Posted by: godshealingplants | February 26, 2019



The Calendula flower has been utilized for thousands of years for its impressive health benefits. It is native to Egypt and parts of the Mediterranean but is now grown in every continent, usually blooming during the warmer months of the year (from about May through October in the Northern Hemisphere).

It was an important medicine in Ancient Greece, Rome and Arabia. It was most commonly used as a skin treatment, with preparations used for treating minor wounds, calluses, insect bites and stings, eczema, itches, burns and hemorrhoids.

Records show that calendula marigold flower petals and florets have been used in folklore medicine since at least around the 11th or 12th century.


It is a bright orange-colored flower similar to the marigold that actually has many impressive health benefits.

Calendula officinalis is its botanical name and is used to make healing herbal ointments, teas, tinctures and topical treatments that have been in existence for almost 1,000 years.

The calendula plant is a short-lived sweet smelling perennial plant that grows up to 80 cm tall. The leaves of calendula are oblong lanceolate are hairy on both sides and are about 5–17 cm long.

The flowers are a vibrant golden yellow which is 4–7 cm diameter encircled by two rows of hairy bracts. The calendula flowers may grow all year long where environments are suitable.


Calendula contains many potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that fight infections, decrease swelling, improve blood flow, reduce muscle spasms, slow down effects of free radical damage/aging and more.

These include flavonoids, polysaccharides, linoleic acid, acid glycosides, tocopherols, triterpenes saponins and carotenoids.


Calendula is a medicinal flower that’s dried and concentrated in order to make ointments, teas and drops that are used both internally and externally.

Benefits and uses for Calendula include treating conditions, such as rashes, allergies, eczema and dermatitis; pain, swelling, muscular injuries or sprains; eye inflammation and itchiness caused by conjunctivitis and fungal infections, including athlete’s foot, Candida, ear infections and ringworm.

Due to their antioxidant properties, uses for calendula include:

  • Eases Cramps and Spasms
  • Fights Against Fungal Infections
  • Good for Digestion
  • Good for Liver Health
  • Good for Skin Wounds, Burns and Rashes
  • Helps Reduce Hemorrhoid Pain
  • Helps with Sore Throat/Mouth Ulcers
  • Immune-Boosting
  • Infection Treatment
  • Lowers Inflammation and Free Radical Damage
  • Natural Antiseptic/Anti-Inflammatory
  • Reduces Eye Inflammation and Conjunctivitis

Calendula oil can also be used in body massage.


Besides being decorative they are also used in culinary and commercial uses, such as dyeing food products and adding color to salads (since the petals are edible).

Certain types of calendula marigolds have even been added by farmers to chicken or livestock feed in order to make the chickens’ egg yolks a darker yellow or butter a deeper orange.


Look for various calendula products in health food stores and online. Purchasing extracts or drops allows you to add a small amount to skin products you already have as well, such as shampoo or moisturizer. For the best results, keep calendula products away from direct light and moisture, and use the products within one to three years of purchasing in order to prevent spoilage.

Look for calendula products in homeopathic sections of natural health stores or online. Because the dose depends on the condition you’re treating and concentration of the product, always read dosage recommendations carefully or speak with a homeopathic practitioner for advice.


Calendula species have been used in cooking for centuries.


The flowers are a common ingredient in German soups and stews, which explains the nickname “pot marigold”.


The lovely golden eatable petals can also be used to decorate a cake. 

The petals can be powdered and used as a coloring and flavoring agent. They are a more affordable alternative to saffron.

The fresh or dried whole flowers can also be added along with the leaves in salads.

Calendula petals will give a rice dish a lovely color addition.


Calendula tea provides health benefits, as well as being delicious.

How to make Calendula tea –  add a tablespoon of dried flowers to a pot of tea with boiling water, turn the heat off and let it steep for 5 minutes.

Marigold tea is also beneficial for treating gastritis, acid ref-lux and ulcers, as well as reducing stomach or menstrual cramps. 


Calendula cream or body butter is known to be well-tolerated, even for people with sensitive skin. However, you should avoid marigold products if you have a known allergy to ragweed, daisies, chrysanthemums, chamomile, echinacea and other plants in the same family as marigolds.

For women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, little is known about the effects of calendula, so it’s best to get your doctor’s advice before taking any internally or using extract on the skin.

Do not apply calendula directly to open wounds without being directed to do so by your doctor, as this can cause irritation. Start with a very small amount on the skin to test your reaction, and then you can increase your dose slowly.

When taking calendula internally by mouth (including drops, liquid extract, tea, etc.), it’s possible to experience interactions when combined with certain medications.

Before using calendula to help ease a health issue, it is best to consult a health practitioner to get the right dosage.




Posted by: godshealingplants | January 28, 2019



Originally from central and southwest Asia, almonds became a staple food that helped sustain the long journeys of nomadic tribes.

Wild stands of almond trees grew near trade routes such as the Silk Road that connected central China with the Mediterranean. Easy access allowed for the spread of the wild almond groves because almonds took root in the ground on which they fell. Evidence of this occurs even today in central California, where wild species of almond trees can be seen growing in ditches and roadways.

Nearly every ancient civilization used almonds. Hebrew literature from 2,000 B.C. mentions almonds. The Bible makes numerous references to almonds as an object of value and symbol of hope. In Genesis 43:11, for example, a famine in Canaan prompts Jacob to ask his sons to go to Egypt to buy grain. He told them, “Take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry down to the man a present, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds.” And the Bible’s Book of Numbers 17:8 tells of the miracle of Aaron’s rod that blossomed and bore almonds.

King Tut took several handfuls of almonds to his grave in 1352 B.C., to nourish him on his journey into the afterlife. Persians and Arabs made a milk of almond meal and water, which they valued both as a refreshing drink and as an ingredient in other foods.

Almonds are now grown in many of the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea including Spain, Italy, Portugal and Morocco. 


The almond tree is a deciduous tree which can grow as high as 10 meters. The leaves of the almond tree are broad and serrated, and the sprouting flowers seen in early spring are either white or pale pink. By the time autumn comes (some 7-8 months after flowering), the almond is mature, ripe, and ready to be harvested.

Almond trees become productive and begin bearing fruit after five years. The fruit is mature in the autumn, 7–8 months after flowering. 


Almond is a highly nutritional nut and is a rich source of fiber, protein, vitamin E, calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron. It contains zinc, thiamin, and niacin. It also provides vitamins such as folate, riboflavin, and vitamin B-6. Compared to all other nuts, almonds are richer in nutrients and beneficial components.



  • Alkalize the body
  • Are Beneficial in Skin Care
  • Boost Brain Health
  • Boost Energy Production
  • Control Blood Sugar Levels
  • Help build strong bones and teeth
  • Improve Bone Health
  • Nourish the nervous system
  • Prevent Cancer
  • Prevent Constipation
  • Prevent Heart Diseases
  • Protect artery walls from damage
  • Provide healthy fats and aid in weight loss
  • Reduce Inflammation
  • Regulate Blood Pressure
  • Regulate Cholesterol Level


Almonds that are still in their shells have the longest shelf life. If purchasing these, look for shells that are not split, moldy or stained. Shelled almonds that are stored in a hermetically sealed container will last longer than those that are sold in bulk bins since they are less exposed to heat, air and humidity.


If purchasing almonds in bulk bins make sure that the store has a quick turnover of inventory and that the bulk containers are sealed well in order to ensure maximum freshness. Look for almonds that are uniform in color and not limp or shriveled. In addition, smell the almonds. They should smell sweet and nutty; if their odor is sharp or bitter, they are rancid.


Since almonds have a high fat content, it is important to store them properly in order to protect them from becoming rancid. Store shelled almonds in a tightly sealed container, in a cool dry place away from exposure to sunlight. Keeping them cold will further protect them from rancidity and prolong their freshness. Refrigerated almonds will keep for several months, and if stored in the freezer, in airtight containers, almonds can be kept for up to four year.


Shelled almond pieces will become rancid more quickly than whole shelled almonds. Almonds still in the shell have the longest shelf life.


To get maximum nutrition from almonds it is best to soak them before they are eaten, or roast them. Almonds are one of only a few nuts that will actually sprout when soaked. When you soak them it neutralizes the phytate, allowing the nutrients from the nut to be released.

Almond flour is great in gluten-free cooking and baking.

Almond Milk with its mild flavor is a very good alternative for those who need to be dairy free, soy free or are vegan.



 In addition to being eaten raw, almonds are a wonderful addition to a variety of recipes from salads to baked goods.


One popular use of almonds in Italy is to crush almonds into marzipan, which is used as a sweet ingredient in baked goods. 


Green beans with sliced almonds makes a delicious dish

Yummy chocolate chip cookies with almonds

Chicken casserole topped with sliced almonds

Scrumptious birthday cake with almonds

Pasta with pesto and sliced almonds

Home made almond butter

Kale and avocado salad topped with almond slices

Delicious chocolate cake topped with almond slices



Almonds have consistently been determined to have high oxalate content. Oxalates are naturally occurring organic acids found in a wide variety of foods, and in the case of certain medical conditions, they must be greatly restricted in a meal plan to prevent over-accumulation inside the body.

Raw almonds are very good for you, but as with everything else, moderation is the key. The mineral content is impressive and can help you with everything from osteoporosis to cognitive function. Similarly, the fat content may be high, but much of that is in the form of “good” fats.

People having kidney or gallbladder problems should avoid eating almonds; and remember you should always consult your doctor or nutritionist when you have doubts about your body.



Department of Nutritional Sciences


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