In truth, I had way too much arugula. On a whim, one afternoon in mid- July, I grabbed a fistful of arugula, 2 cups of freshly cut pineapple, and the juice of 3 lemons and proceeded to the Vita-mix. Cold water was added to cover the arugula and pineapple. A fistful of ice-cubes were thrown in. The entire concoction was mixed for two minutes in the Vitamix and poured over ice.
The tartness of the lemons, the nutty bite of the arugula, and the sweet pineapples created an unexpected composition of flavors. To my surprise, both my boys loved this drink. Green lemonade has become a staple in our home. If the mood strikes, I will sometimes add fresh mint, basil, or wheatgrass.
1.5-2 cups of pineapple
1cup or a loose fistful of arugula
juice of 2-3 lemons (depending on desired level of tartness)
water to cover all the fruits and veggies
ice as desired
Put everything in an industrial blender ( Vitamix) and blend on the highest setting for 30seconds to 1 minute. Pour over ice and enjoy. If you don’t have a Vitamix or industrial blender, it may work to use a regular blender then strain the beverage through cheesecloth or a fine strainer if it is too chunky/pulpy.
Some of the health benefits of this beverage are as follows:
Arugula and glucosinolates:
Arugula, a renowned bitter green in salads, proved to be equally compelling incarnated as a beverage. Glucosinolates are found in arugula, broccoli and other members of the brassicaceae family. Glucosinolates are of special interest by virtue of their role in the prevention of cancer, chronic diseases, and degenerative diseases. Arugula ( Eruca Sativa) is an excellent source of antioxidants. Extracts of arugula have demonstrated antigenotoxic (prevents damage and mutations to DNA- of note, mutated DNA can cause cancer) activity .
Arugula and psoriasis:
In traditional Middle Eastern medicine, arugula seed extract (Eruca Sativa) has been used to treat skin disorders. Isothiocyanates in arugula seed extract have been shown to decrease as well as prevent skin inflammation and inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals in psoriasis.
Arugula anti-tumor, anti-ulcer, and anti-diabetes:
Arugula has demonstrated anti-tumor/anti-cancer activity against melanoma cells with very little toxicity. One study showed arugula’s anti-ulcer activity in induced gastric-lesions in albino rats. Injection via oIl of arugula seeds has shown amelioration of laboratory induced diabetes, suggesting some benefit for those with diabetes.
Pineapples are synonymous with the tropics evoking balmy breezes and sashaying palm trees. In the tropics, pineapples are famed for their medicinal properties. One of the chief bioactive components in pineapple is bromelain. Bromelain is a 95% mixture of proteases ( enzymes which digest proteins). Bromelain has antiedematous( helps prevent swelling) , antiinflammatory, antithrombotic ( prevents formation of a clot (thrombus)) and fibrinolytic (breaks down fibrin- a protein involved in the formation of blood clots) activities. Of note, clot formation is absolutely essential in helping with wound healing and controlling blood loss. However in cardiovascular disease when there are injuries to the blood vessels leading to excessive clot formation and blockage of blood vessels, the consequences can be catastrophic(heart attack, stroke). Bromelain can help in cardiovascular disease prevention.
Bromelain for analgesia:
Additionally, It plays an important role in the pathology of osteoarthritis. It has an analgesic effect by way of its influence on bradykinen, a pain modulator. Bromelain modulates the immune system and can help in chronic inflammatory, autoimmune, and malignant diseases.
Bromelain for diarrhea, burns, cancer:
Bromelain has been shown to counteract the effect of specific GI pathogens and their enterotoxins, thus ameliorating diarrhea. In second and third degree burns, bromelain can safely debride (remove damaged tissues), while preserving the intact tissues. Bromelain has shown formidable anti-cancer activity. It has demonstrated anti-metastatic properties, decreased tumor size, caused tumor regression, and apoptic cell death of tumor cells.
Lemons and Vitamin C:
Lemons are legendary for their Vitamin C content. Vitamin C is a celebrated anti-oxidant as well as a vital cofactor in numerous enzymatic reactions that occur in the body. Vitamin C is essential in the formation of collagen, which when deficient results in scurvy. Vitamin C may help reduce hypertension.
Lemons and Hesperidin:
Further, flavonoids in lemons have shown cardioprotective effect via prevention of coronary heart disease. Hesperidin, a specific citrus flavonoid, has been shown to prevent bone loss and help with bone formation while reducing cholesterol in animal studies. This is thought to be mediated by anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory pathways. Lemons are alkalinizing. They help decrease the body’s acidity ( by increasing the pH).
From an Ayurvedic perspective this is a pitta-pacifying beverage. Pitta is the dosha associated with heat. Particularly during summertime, pitta can get aggravated as it is peaking in both quantity and quality. Arugula, a bitter green, helps clean(detoxify) the blood and liver (both of which are representations of pitta). Lemons although sour, are also cooling and help ameliorate the heat in the body. Pineapples are alleviating to Pitta, as long as they are not unripe or too sour.
Aside from these noteworthy health benefits, this beverage is refreshing during the summer sizzle! Enjoy!
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I was perusing the veggies at our local farmer’s market this weekend and I saw a sign for watermelon radish. Curious, I bought a small bunch of these light green radishes and continued on my way. I came home and promptly put them in my fridge. I had totally forgotten about them, but by mid-week I needed to finish our quickly withering arugula. I discovered the radishes tucked away under the arugula. Imagine the delight of cutting open the insipid, light green skin to find a gorgeous, crimson heart tucked away inside. What a splendid secret … modest and unassuming on the outside, but heart-achingly beautiful within.
Oh, and the taste…it is far more mild than a regular radish. Slightly sweet at first with a delicate bite at the end. The watermelon radish is an heirloom variety of the daikon radish. It is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, but is often overshadowed by it’s more celebrated siblings: broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.
Grey hair is a traditional symbol of wisdom (when feeling optimistic) and old age(when feeling pessimistic). In Ayurveda, grey hair is due to excess Pitta, the fiery dosha, burning out the color in one’s hair. Too much critical thinking and stress in the proximally located brain literally burns out the color in the hair. Monthly trips to the hair salon can get tedious, toxic, and costly. Is there a way to reverse greying without subjecting oneself to the chemicals, expenses, and time commitment of a salon?
Light through bottle of Black Strap Mollasses Read article
As daylight ebbs and fades and shadows lengthen and stretch, the unfolding of winter is upon us. The season can evoke a gorgeous quietude – a period of inner reflection. For many of us, however, it is teeming with stress (holiday- related and otherwise). This sets the stage for one of the most ubiquitous ailments: the common cold.
I find myself coming back to his elixir time and time again. The individual spices each on their own confer astounding health benefits . Together, they are an salutary force of staggering proportion. (Please note, this recipe contains honey and honey is not to be given to children under the age of one year). I hope this special brew helps you feel better.
My oldest son has suffered egregiously with eczema for many years. A particularly harrowing bout was when he was 2½ years old. His skin had gotten leathery, parched, and mottled. I recall one evening when we went to change his diaper and clothes, his pajamas and diaper were full of with mysterious little black flakes. My husband thought he had soiled himself and his entire body with poop. The dark shavings, were everywhere, but his diaper was completely dry and the telltale scent was absent. I slowly realized that the black flakes were dead skin cells that had fallen off. I remember that moment with equal parts horror and despair.
At that instant, I decided to try the Emu oil. So many products promised the rapture of soft, supple skin and we only knew too well than to put all of our hopes into a bottle (as organic and chemical free as it might be). The next morning when he awoke, I was shocked to see that his skin looked moist and dewy. His skin had not been this resplendent since he was a newborn babe!
Photo Credit: Geoff Reynolds
Historically, emu oil has been prized for its anti-inflammatory properties in aboriginal medicine. It has been used topically for inflammatory arthritis, pain, and wound healing for centuries in aboriginal culture. Emu oil is rich in omega-3, omega 6, and omega 9 fatty acids. It is a potent anti-inflammatory. In animal studies, emu oil has been found to decrease inflammation and promote wound healing in superficial stage 2 burns. It actively decreases pro-inflammatory chemicals such as tumor necrosis factor- alpha in the healing tissues. Because eczema is a condition of chronic skin inflammation, it makes sense that emu oil can provide therapeutic benefit.
A Kusadama (kusa = medicine, dama= ball), originally hung to clear noxious vapors (from Japan)
Welcome to vim and fancy. My name is Neelam Misra. Vim and fancy is a health and wellness resource to create a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle. It is a space that I hope is warm, welcoming, and supportive. Many posts explore emerging and ancient traditions in well-being and health. Much of the content will be replete with recipes, remedies, and insights from the traditions of Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. Personally, I find It especially satisfying to see age-old remedies supported by scientific research. Often the scientific details underscore an intuitive understanding long held for centuries.
Although illness and disease can play a part in our lives they need not be a passively accepted outcome, but rather as a signal to perhaps shift our approach. We can make choices that support our optimal health. There are multiple diverse factors contributing to health and wellness: diet, physical activity, the impact and management of stress, emotional reserve/resilience, adequate rest and relaxation-to name but a few. One that I feel is especially paramount to good health is diet.