Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Summer Solstice - Mid Summer Celebration & Altar

The summer Solstice is nearly upon us - Saturday 21st June is the longest day of the year and considered to be Mid Summer (already!). It is also a solar celebration and what better way to celebrate then with beautiful blossoms of one of the most sacred trees in Ireland. 

The Elder tree, is in bloom late in May and early June with a profusion of white flowers which grow in clusters. It has long been used for its’ many known healing and medicinal properties (pain, inflammation, the bark is a mild laxative) as well as the delicious drinks made from a rapid fermenting process. 

Elder naturally contains many wild yeasts and can be fermented with little trouble in a few days into refreshing drinks that smell and taste distinctly like summer! I never add commercial yeast to anything and always get the most amazing tasting champagnes....

Elder flowers are also powerful immune boosters (berries and leaves are very high in Vitamin C as well) for both humans and animals with many people making and drinking Elder Cordials or a little stronger fizzy drink known as Elder Champagne (it will achieve about 2 to 3% alc.) in the early summer time. 

In the meantime, branches of the tree have been used as protective amulets and to make fairie wands. Altars usually have a piece of some of these sacred trees included especially at the summer solstice. The magical properties brought by this tree are thought to be prosperity, breaking spells, healing and protection. 

And so it goes!

If you are planning some kind of a Summer Solstice celebration (Litha) why not bring in Elder - flowers, leaves or a gift of a fallen branch from a tree - you can make this a central theme of your altar or just place on a table large enough to welcome the sun. 

And don't forget to make your Elder Cordial or buy some at the market in Skibbereen.

Happy Solstice Everyone!

Elder Flowers 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Post Viral Syndrome & Probiotics

Just wanted to catch you up on our fasting - we are still working away here - terrific insights every day - for the most part we are fasting for 3 to 5 days, then taking 2 or 3 days for food, increased exercise and all else!

Not sure what day we are on now (it all started on 30 April)….we took another 2 eating days over the bank holiday weekend and are now right back at the fasting again. Actually this is day 2 for me and the first day for the everyone else.

I am more determined then ever to see this through to the very end (whateverthatis?) because I feel I am finally seeing some results. However, I am not entirely certain I can explain them properly!


Well, last week in the middle of my fasting all of my old Glandular Fever symptoms came on full force (cold sores, pain, stiffness, pain, joints aching, did I mention pain?). But before I go into that let me give you a bit of background here.

When I was 20 years old I got glandular fever, it put me out for a month or so – I was still weak, tired and unwell, but as I was self supporting (on my own since I am 17), I had no choice but to get back working and carry on.

So, that’s what I did. 

For the next 14 years or so – I worked, lived (or at least thought I did) and kept going as best I could even though my adrenals were shot, my thyroid was low and I often had little energy. I never resorted to meds, herbs, changes in diet and exercise kept me afloat.

But I did have my tonsils out at age 28 because they were the main source of the virus and my throat was always killing me. This gave me some measure of better health and I was able to get my life back a bit. 

Fast forward to the next decade;

Then I got cancer, had to sort that out (I did with food, water, exercise, sunshine and no chemicals) and have been making significant changes to my outlook ever since. But – after my last child was born, the glandular fever came back up again and never really settled down.

And I just couldn't seem to get to the bottom of it. No amount of exercise, herbs, vegan diet, cutting this out or that out seemed to make much of any difference. Everything bothered my digestion and it had no rhyme or reason to it. One day I could eat almonds and the next day they would cause bloating and pain!

That’s where the fasting came in. I had nipped it in the bud by dealing with the virus through herbal tea fasts, however, I was not killing the virus because my immune system was still under it’s control and as soon as the fast was over, it would all come back again.

Once I got far enough along in the fasting (years by this time) and started adding my own probiotics, then the game changed. And this is where I find myself right now a couple of years into this new type of fasting - with much more significant results. 

I think for the first time in 26 years my body is actually fighting/removing this virus. It could not do that previously because our immune system is gut mediated and there was just not ‘enough’ living in my gut, to gain the upper hand.

Now there is. 

Watch. Out. World. 

My fermented veggies are lovely! On my stall each week