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This whole herb recipe is for all you exhausted, adrenal fatigued, immune-compromised, inflamed, 1+ per day coffee drinkers, trendy supplement takers, long-hour working parents, low-milk supply mommas, baby-won't sleep, woke up with baby on my boob and I didn't know it, need a little afternoon pick-me-up, can't get enough greens, and all the humans out there.  I'm telling you, with the right herbal blends, you can find much more wholesome nourishing foods to put into your body for energy and healing as you work to balance your life.

Esali THRIVE herbal blend contains herbs known for their highly tonic (nutritive) benefits.  THRIVE can be used as a smoothie mix or snack ingredient for all ages and is available in a loose powder or encapsulated form for convenience.  If you are my client, you can order this blend through me, but I don't keep it in stock anymore so it takes about 1 month for me to fill orders.  The loose powders are great for smoothies and mixing in water or other foods, or they can be made into convenient capsules (even blended in with dehydrated placenta during postpartum).

If you're more of the DIY type, are learning to blend herbs, or just want to save some money - I'm sharing my easy step by step herbal blend because it's too amazing to keep to myself.  Wanna share some love if you're blending on your own?  Share the link!

Why Whole Herbs?

Let thy food be thy medicine... whole foods have nutrients and constituents that work together that simply cannot function the same way when those constituents are extracted one by one.

Many herbs are simply nutritive - foods that were once a typical part of the human diet.  Is this a meal replacement?  Absolutely NOT!  Can this be my vitamin?  I cannot tell you yes or no.  I don't test my blends for nutrient percentages.  I can tell you that I use this as my family's "supplement" and I personally feel much better using this blend than any other vitamin supplement I've ever taken (including other whole foods forms from excellent brands).  This is not an MLM ploy - it's just traditional knowledge and wisdom being shared with the people.

Whole herbs are the food you should be eating.  Many of these "herbs" are simply food that used to be a normal part of our diet and we stopped picking them from the wild so they're simply not a standard part of our diet any more.  Powder them, and that just makes it easy.  No, not quiet like fresh foods because they will start to break down their potency when they're powdered, but by using very high quality herbs and quality storage, the powders can do great through a few months of storage.

Where do I buy the whole herbs?

Normally, I would say try to grow the herbs or shop local.  If you know you're growing your herbs in high quality soil (or finding them in the woods in high quality conditions)... or you know the source of your local herb shop and their storage is high quality - then absolutely, grow or shop local.  However, otherwise, Mountain Rose Herbs is my recommendation.  Their business practices are incredible and they source from the best sustainable high quality sources possible.  The history of the company is wonderful as well.  There are others I will go to in a pinch, but this is my recommendation.

What are high quality whole herbs?

The soil the plants grow in determine the nutrient content of the herbs, of course.  Beyond that, the storage in the facility before getting to the storefront as well as during shipping and at the storefront make a big difference in the potency of the herbs.  Here are a few points you can use to help you determine that you're not only purchasing from a high quality source, but the shipping and storage retains the quality once it arrives at your doorstep.

  • The herb should look like its fresh state without added chemicals and fillers (If the plant is green, the dried herb should be green.  If the plant is red, the dried herb should be red...etc.)
  • The herb should smell like its fresh state without added chemicals and fillers (Peppermint should smell like peppermint.  Valerian root should smell like fruity floral dirt socks...etc.).
  • The herb should do what it is intended to do [when used in the correct application for the correct individual].
  • The storefront should be willing to share their sourcing and storage practices so you can know your farmer.
  • Herbs should be shipped and stored in dry conditions, out of direct sunlight, in a cool area, and not for extended periods

How do I store my whole herbs?

For the powders, after blending, I recommend storing in a mason jar (or other air tight container) in the freezer or refrigerator.  You don't have to do this, of course, it just extends the shelf life.

Otherwise, store in an air tight container in a cool dark place.

What are the ingredients already?!?

First things first - this is FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.  THRIVE's ingredients are known to be packed full of phytonutrients, antioxidant, plant-based proteins, vitamins, minerals, herbal nervines (nerve nourishing, building, and soothing), herbal tonics (nutritive and body-strengthening) all in whole-foods form; however, I make no claims for its ability to do anything for you.

Parts

Your "part" is simply the unit of measurement you choose to use.  I normally use "ounces" by weight when I am blending this particular blend.  So, 1 part would equal 1 ounce.  2 parts would equal 2 ounces. 1/2 part would equal 1/2 ounce...etc.  I could use a handful, a teaspoon, a bowl full...etc., and the same concept would apply.  Ounces as a part gives me almost a whole quart full of powders blended which will last us around a month or so.

2 Parts Nettle Leaf

If you're looking for only one ingredient as a powder (or tea, or food for soup) to use - nettles is the one!  I use whole nettle leaf in omelets, quiche, soups, and as a tea.  I also use the powder form for this blend.

Nettle leaf is a nutrient powerhouse high in calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper and selenium.  When used regularly over time it may provide a natural balance for seasonal allergies with its anti-histamine properties.  It may be great for joint support and suppressing arthritis with strong anti-inflammatory properties.  It is high in Vitamins A, C, E, F, K, & P as well as B complexes providing powerful energy and body support.  Its toning properties provide blood building, toxin cleansing, and odor cleansing abilities.

2 Parts Oat Straw

Oat straw is another tonic, nutritive, herb.  In its milky form, it is excellent as a nervine to soothe and calm.  In its dry form, oat straw has demulcent properties and is high in calcium which provide nourishment to the nervous system. Additionally, oat straw can support digestion as well as adrenal and liver support.  Oatstraw may provide blood sugar balance and cardiovascular support.

2 Parts Alfalfa

Another power green, alfalfa is a complete plant-based protein and offers digestive support.  It is high in Iron, Calcium (needed for iron digestion), potassium, and magnesium.  It offers Vitamins A, D, E, K as well as B complexes.  It’s blood building, toxin cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties increase its headache suppression abilities.

1 Part Beet Root

Beet root is a dark red sweet vegetable offering phytonutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties.  It offers Lutein to support healthy vision as well as Vitamins A, C, and B complexes.  It provides toxin cleansing, digestion support, and cardiovascular support.

1 Part Barley Grass

Barley Grass provides Vitamins A, C, and B complexes as well as Folate, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese, and Zinc making this a powerful immune system supporting herb.  It is a complete plant-based protein and offers digestion support with pH balance.

1 Part Wheat Grass

What Grass is a mineral-packed complete plant-based power green known for its anti-inflammatory support and toxin-cleansing abilities.  It offers amino acids as well as Vitamins A, C, E, I, K and B complexes.  Its blood sugar balance can support many of modern culture's ailments.

1 Part Shiitake Mushroom

Shiitake is a powerful super food with ancient uses in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Shiitake may aid in suppressing cancer and offers cardiovascular support, and immune system support.  It is a great source of iron and antioxidants.

1/2 Part Chlorella

Chlorella is another well-known power green known for its cleansing abilities. It offers Chlorophyll, as do all greens, as well as Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, and Gamma Linolenic Acid.  It offers Vitamins A, C, E, K as well as B complexes.  It provides blood building, strong toxin cleansing, and odor cleansing abilities as well as blood sugar balance.

1/2 Part Spirulina

Spirulina is another well-known power green known for its body-building and anti-inflammatory properties as a complete plant-based protein.  It offers Chlorophyll, Vitamins A, C, and E as well as B complexes and calcium.  It provides blood building, toxin cleansing, and odor cleansing abilities.

1/2 Part Cranberry

With today’s diet and lifestyle, bacterial imbalances are high. Cranberry’s antioxidants and immune system support may aid the body’s healing abilities while also pinpointing urinary system support.  It is high in phytonutrients and antioxidants.  It also provides cardiovascular support, may help to suppress cancer, and is anti-inflammatory.

1/4 Part Kelp

Many people today, despite a high fortified diet, do not consume enough natural levels of iodine needed for thyroid health. Kelp is naturally high in iodine and also provides Iron and the Vitamin C that increases iron absorption.  It provides estrogen balance, antioxidants, and breast cancer suppression (which even males can suffer from).  Kelp is an anti-inflammatory and may help balance blood sugar-making this a super food for modern culture.

How do I blend the THRIVE Herbal Powders?

By using the "part" measurements from above (or the easy to read version below) - weigh/measure your parts.  The "parts" make it super easy to scale down or scale up your recipe at any time from a "pinch" to bulk ounces.

Don't have one of the ingredients?  No biggie!  When I get low on powders, for myself, or if I'm drinking a lot of nettle infusions, I leave various herbs out.  I also add things in like marshmallow root powder on occasion.  Blending your own herbs makes things like that easy and fun.

Stir everything altogether and then put it in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid.  Or, if you're lazy efficient like me, just measure everything out in a quart size mason jar, with a kitchen scale you can zero out each time, and then just put the lid on and shake.  In all seriousness, there is some serious therapeutic artistic energy when you take the time to measure by hand and swirl all these beautiful herbs together.  I love doing this on a weekend morning while drinking a cup of energizing nettle tea... or maybe even a raw cacao hot cocoa... or even after a rough night and a cup of coffee (my heart is thanking me that this isn't routine).

How Do I use the THRIVE Herbal Powders?

The Esali THRIVE Herbal Powders can be used in any way you would like them to enter your mouth - a few options include:

  • Mix with water
  • Mix with Juice
  • Eat it right off the spoon (have some water handy so you don't choke breathing in powders) - this is my kids favorite because on the occasion they get juice, they want that full flavor of juice and eating it off a spoon is just quick and easy
  • Mix with yogurt, cereal, granola, or sprinkle it on some ice cream if you'd like
  • Excellent green smoothie blend!!
  • Blend with a little bit of honey or date puree, just enough to roll it into little balls for a chewable... or any sort of nut and date blend for a great on the go breakfast or snack
  • Encapsulate these (by hand or) with an easy capsule machine.

How Much of the Whole Herb Blend Do I Take?

The amount you take depends on you.  While you can't pinpoint exactly what a "serving" is to each person - a general estimate is that 1 teaspoon of powder is equal to about 1 serving of fresh leafy greens, for an adult.  This gives you a bit of an idea of how convenient these herbal powders can be if you have trouble getting in enough greens and balanced foods.

Start with 1/2 teaspoon per day (or about 2 size 00 capsules packed tight) for an adult.  Slowly increase.  These are PACKED with greens... chlorophyll... which means they help toxins move through your system by providing the liver and the blood with nutrients that make your system work.  If you're not working to change your lifestyle, adding a bunch of greens into the mix isn't going to fix you and it may just make you feel kind of... blech... maybe even just stimulate your system enough to give you a bunch of zits rather than actually eliminate the toxins through your bowels.  So, start slow.  Build up to an amount that makes you feel good.  I usually don't take more than about 3 teaspoons a day, and I take less when I know I'm eating really well, and sleep is amazing, and... so usually I take about 3 teaspoons a day.  My kids, of course, take an amount proportional to their size, which you can determine with these children dosage guidelines here which is in line with the amount I am currently taking since we have similar eating and lifestyle patterns.

[recipe title="Esali THRIVE Whole Herb Powder Blend" time="10 mins" difficulty="easy"]

- 2 Parts Nettle Leaf

- 2 Parts Oat Straw

- 2 Parts Alfalfa

- 1 Part Beet Root

- 1 Part Barley Grass

- 1 Part Wheat Grass

- 1 Part Shiitake Mushroom

- 1/2 Part Chlorella

- 1/2 Part Spirulina

- 1/2 Part Cranberry

- 1/4 Part Kelp

[recipe-directions]

Choose your "part" (i.e. 1 teaspoon, 1 cup, 1 ounce).  Use this "part" measurement with the numbers above to measure out each ingredient.

Mix well, breaking up any small clumps - especially in the beet root and cranberry powders.

Store in a glass, air-tight container in a cool dark place (preferably the refrigerator).  Consume within three months.

[/recipe-directions]

[/recipe]

Want help blending?  Let's set-up some time where I pour you a cup of a tea, or wine, and let's blend this together.  Super fun for a group night out!

Prenatal vitamins and supplements seem to be a main food group in many modern cultures, but are they really necessary?

Nourishment is certainly an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and that most definitely includes pregnancy.  Prenatal vitamins, mostly for folic acid, are commonly recommended to all women of childbearing age with the idea to help prevent neural tube defects.  Unfortunately, we are seeing increases in conditions such as autism and other brain disorders as well as cancer all related to folic acid (and also exacerbated from ultrasounds, medications, birth methods, and vaccines).  Folic acid isn't the same thing as naturally occurring folate which it is trying to mimic.  The fact that organizations trying to promote excessive intake of Folic Acid, such as the March of Dimes, doesn't recognize the differences between the two is a bit alarming.

Folate is a type of B vitamin naturally occurring in foods such as dark leafy and cruciferous greens, beans, lentils, and other fruits and vegetables.  Folate is very necessary (as all real nutrients are) for quality of health in mom and baby.  The way folate is metabolized in the body, as well as promoting detoxification through the liver, is different than folic acid for many people, especially in high amounts.  What is even more important to consider not only with folic acid, but many other supplements as well, is the excessive processed foods with most of these supplements already added.

Foods commonly containing synthetic vitamins:

  • Enriched breads, crackers and similar
  • Cereals
  • Milk
  • Flour (most flour products and bagged flour is "enriched")
  • Packaged processed foods (yes, even from the "health food" section)
  • Prenatal vitamins (yes, even from "health food" stores.... yes, even many that are "whole foods" are not actually whole foods)

Basically, read the ingredients - all of them.  If it says enriched, it has synthetic vitamins which do not work the same as the natural nutrients they're trying to mimic, and some harmful as with folic acid.  If it says folic acid is an ingredient, then assume it is the synthetic form of folic acid and not naturally occurring folate.  While making your own food at home is often a sure way of knowing what you're putting into your food (as long as you pay attention to the grain you mill or the flour you buy), there are many options available in most grocery stores today that offer wholesome, albeit processed, fast options for busy lives.

So, let's consider first, how do you feel?  Honestly.  Do you go to bed at a decent hour and wake up rejuvenated?  Do you need coffee?  If you're drinking coffee, you're being depleted of nutrients, such as potassium, even if its just one cup and even if its decaf.  Same with black tea.  Do you stay hot and sweat a lot?  Do you stay cold with frigid fingers?  Do you hurt, lose energy fast, get angry?  Your mood and physical well being, plus your menstrual cycle (now or prior to conception) are great indicators of full functioning health and balance.  Sometimes, a week or two of journaling every detail from food and water intake to movement and sleep patterns is important for getting a good honest picture of what we're experiencing.

Now, are you already receiving supplementation?  How much?  What do your regular eating habits already include?  Are you eating at restaurants that use these products?  Next, lets consider if you're using supplements for their intention - a supplementation where things are missing rather than a cheat to eat whatever you want.

Finally, let's consider where you buy your produce (or if produce is a significant part of your lifestyle).  I like to focus on Simple Portions - eating a rainbow of colors in seasonal selections that includes sprouted seeds/grains/beans/legumes, whole meats, and wild and herbal foods.  Are you eating produce that was picked a week ago and sprayed for color?  What about pesticides?  Are you growing your own food or foraging in the woods for nutrient-rich wild foods?  What type of soil is your food grown in - are they from mono-farms or are the crops rotated well and mixed well with a variety of companion plants?  These are important aspects of knowing when supplementing is necessary for you.

You can also choose to receive mineral testing to see exactly which supplements may be necessary for you. Individualized care is key.  We can't put blanket prescriptions on everyone just because of their childbearing age status.  We can't force enriched foods, like the FDA mandated with flour, when we don't fully understand physical nourishment.

Once you have taken an honest look at your personal food selections, routines, and habits - and received labs if necessary that indicate where you may be missing certain nutrients, then you might consider a quality whole foods supplements.  My family uses the Esali THRIVE green smoothie blend as a whole herbal powdered supplementation to daily routine.

Now, you tell me if prenatal vitamins and supplements are necessary for you.

 

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