Nasturtium: Medicinal Benefits of this Easy to Grow (& Find) Vegetable

This pungent pepper-like tasting plant (Tropaeolum Majus) is highly relevant and valuable right now in this pandemic time.

Not only because this edible herbaceous annual is in season (probably growing wild on a patch near you), but also nasturtium leaves are a rich source of vitamin C (see below for impressive amounts) and holds anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.

Natural Anti-Biotic

The lush leaves have greater anti-biotic activity than the other parts of the plant, particularly helpful in urinary and respiratory tract infections.

Studies show nasturtiums inhibit the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced inflammatory response in primary human cells of the immune system.

Respiratory Health

Nasturtium also supports respiratory health - particularly in upper respiratory infections. The pungent taste (Katu rasa) reduces catarrh formation and expels phlegm.

If you ever feel a sore throat coming, eat a few nasturtium leaves lightly cooked to prevent.

Note: stalks also contain these properties to a lesser degree, and like most veggies, the smaller and younger the leaves, the more medicinal effect.

To Cook With

Chop the leaves and stalk finely and add to the hot dish after you turn the flame off and allow the heat of the food to blanch the nasturtium.

Garnish the beautiful raw flowers on your ready-made dish to brighten it up and add a tinge of pungency.

Generous Flower

What more? - the sweet nectar in the fiery flower attracts bees! (Win for all!)

Vitamin C Amounts

  • Nasturtium leaves: 200 to 465 mg per 100 gm (very rich).(1)
  • Nasturtium Stalks: 100–160 mg per 100 gm, (also a rich source).(1)
  • 1 orange = 100mg.(2)
  • 1.5 cups of kale = 120mg Vitamin C.(2)

Ayurvedic Energetics

  • Rasa - Katu, Tika
  • Virya - Usna
  • Vipaka - Katu
  • Gunas - Sasneha, Tiksna, Laghu, Kara

(Ayurvedic energetics determined by Dylan Smith. If anyone has insights/comments on these, please share below in the comments!)

Have you every used Nasturtium in food? If so how? Do you forage it? If so where? Comment below.


Resources

  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/153683b0
  2. https://www.self.com/gallery/10-foods-that-have-more-vitamin-c-than-an-orange

Mould: The Hidden Stealth Fungi You Need To Know About | Dr. Jill Crista {Podcast #030}

Mould. A hidden and pernicious stealth fungi that most people are not paying enough attention to.

Not only the mould itself and it’s spores, but the mycotoxins! - which are the gas excretions of mould!, and it is this biotoxin, amongst other things, that has the potential to chronically impact our health.

About Dr. Jill Crista

Dr. Jill Crista is a naturopathic doctor, best-selling author, and nationally recognised health educator on mold and mold-related illness.

Her passion is to improve health through education, bridging gaps between medical research and clinical practice.

She writes books and offers online courses for those wanting to gain actionable steps to conquer health challenges related to exposure too toxic mold.

In This Episode We Discuss

What Exactly is Mould

  • Mould is not all bad we need mould - Purpose on the planet: to recycle and decompose.
  • But it is useful outside, not inside. We don’t want it inside.
  • One of the oldest living creatures on the planet, mould is an adept survivor.
  • It is a fungi.
  • It has a tendency to come back again and again.

Mycotoxins - most dangerous

  • “Gas bombs” / “mould farts” / “exhaust of mould.”
  • Only made when mould feels threatened. When competition arises in the field of micro-organisms. Mycotoxins manifest only when other species are trying to get rid of it or compete with it.
  • They are used in weapons by militarises around the world.
  • Mycotoxins have no detectable order. They have no scent.
  • They drive deeper into the body compared to spores and spore fragments. Mycotoxins soak into body systems - further down into respiratory passages.
  • 50x smaller than an average spore.
  • Our skin has poor defence against mycotoxins.
  • Can be ingested in the foods we eat - they wear down our intestinal lining and organs.
  • Can be contributor to rain allergies.

Ways mycotoxins affect living beings:

  • Mitochondrial damage
  • Crosses into the brain and weakens the BBB.
  • Crosses the placenta and becomes active inside the uterus (bio-activate in-utero).
  • Detectable in breast milk.
  • Their goal: to destroy other life. Thus, they are toxic to skin, eyes, biofilms, respiratory system, liver, kidneys, myelin sheath (nervous system insulator).
  • Deplete DHA (body’s protective fat).
  • More!

Mycotoxins are Fat Soluble

Particularly dangerous to the heart and arteries and the thyroid.

The good news, Ayurveda has effective therapies to detox fat soluble toxins.

Healthy fats - Eating copious, clean, correct fats.

Step 1: AVOIDANCE

Categories of Avoidance:

  1. Habitat
  2. Air Quality - air filters that traps spores AND cleans mycotoxins.
  3. Foods to Avoid
  4. Beverages To Avoid
  5. Supplements and Medication Caution
  6. Hobbies and Habits

Biofilms (Slimy glue like protective sheaths).

Locations & Ayurvedic Treatment:

Sinuses - Nasya

Mouth - Gandusha (Oil Pulling)

Lungs - Nasya, Steam Inhalation, Panchakarma

Intestines (Gut flora) - Basti (Enema), Panchakarma

Vagina - Yoni Pichu, Panchakarma

Eyes - Netra Tarpana

Skin - Abhyanga

anywhere there is microbiome.

Biofilms are naturally occurring bacterial colonies, both in the human body and in the environment.

Mould creates a biofilm in your body. You bring the problem with you where you go.

Mould creates toxic breath

Water damaged building exposure is the key that turns normal sinus fungus into bad guy fungus.

This is how mould can be spread from partner to partner.

Mud Baths

to detox the skin and balance the biofilm. Dr. Jill recommends high pro-biotic and enzymatic Moor mud for detox by Torf Spa.

How oversasntisiation contributes to mould by crating an imbalanced micro-biome

How oversasntisiation contributes to mould by crating an imbalanced micro-biome.

Can we become immune to mould?

and other environmental toxins like EMF, pesticides, heavy metals etc. - It depends on your immune system, and how much you want to fill up your cup with these toxins.

Mould written about in the bible

Seen as a body and a spiritual illness.

Mould mentioned in Ayurveda, under the category of “Krimi.”

Mould in the livestock food chain, killing animals

Mould causes cravings

  • The simpler the carbs, the better. But mould would really prefer you go straight for the sugar.
  • People on long-term steroid medication, mold in the gut becomes a dense biofilm.
  • This biofilm hosts the gut fungus candida - which steals the nutrients for itself, leaving our intestine deprived.
  • Mold sufferers are craving these carbs and sugars because the candida is stealing it!
  • Ayurveda and Candia = agnimandya.
    • Ama accumulates in apana vata in the lower digestive tract.
    • It ferments and putrefies and inhibits beneficial flora from proliferating.
    • Under these conditions, yeast can spread freely.
    • Then is the intestinal aborsorbtion of ama into the blood and liver. Then into the 7 dhatus.
    • Treatments: 1. Restore agni. 2. Build immunity and remove ama.

Permutability

Mould weakens the gut brain barrier and weak blood brain barrier (BBB), which can make someone hypersensitive to foods with sulphur, grains, sulphur, environmental toxins.

Mold sickness is hard to identify. So here are some tips:

  • an allergy could actually be mould at the core. If a normally healthy person has either moved or taken a new job, and the next season develops a new allergy.
  • If symptoms are worse on rainy days, after snow melt, barometric pressure changes and after eating carbs.

Mould increases sensitivity to EMF

It creates mitochondrial dysfunction and depletes glutathione.

Native EMF, such as exercise and movement, can trigger symptoms with someone with mould!

When we move our body (exercise) it triggers good EMF which activates symptoms to those sensitive. Thus, people become lazy. They get toxic from exercise.

Dr. Jill sees that most of those who are sensitive to EMF have nature deficient disorder.

Caucasian woman using cell phone in bed

Ways to Prevent Mould From Growing in Your House

Mould can grow on a surface when moisture is there for 24-48 hours. To prevent that from manifesting:

  • Do not leave wet towels or swimmers on a wooden surface like a wooden chair, wooden tablet, window sill etc.
  • Clean up right after a spill on wood.
  • Use the kitchen fan on.
  • When having a hot (steamy) shower, use the exhaust fan.
  • Use a dehumidifier on the lower levels of your house and monitor your humidity.
  • Don’t have cupboard boxes on the floor in store rooms.
  • Don’t store your possession under your bed. Let there be a free flow underneath.
  • When building storage units, put it on stilts so there is space underneath.
  • Build with bricks, not sticks (wood).
  • Get an air filter. Or use your lungs. However, one you can change, and the other you can’t. Change the filter regularly.
  • “Dust with gusto” - dust your house.

Dust - one of the easiest ways to feed mold.

Add high indoor humidity and you’ve just fed and watered mold spores.

Humidity Control

If you have a dusty humid environment, you are a successful mould farmer. Get a dehumidifier! It is worth the cost.

Cooking food - turn the vent on. Taking a shower ? Turn the vent on. High outdoor humidity? Close up and turn on the AC and use a dehumidifier. All basements need dehumidifiers.

Prevention

Mold’s weaknesses:

  • dryness
  • sunlight
  • air movement - don’t use under your bed as storage.
  • dust-free spaces
  • lack of clutter
  • mould-killing essential oils

The importance and power of sunlight to prevent and treat mould illness - in buildings and humans.

Mould in wine

Grapes are very prone to mould.

Drink wine that are independently testing for mycotoxins.

Mould in Food

Also look out for mould in foods, and pet food.

Testing for Mould

  • Dr. Jill Cristas questionar.
  • Urine test for mycotoxins. Mycotoxins that leave the body. But not for all as some people have impaired detox symptoms they can’t get these toxins transported to the urine.  - Reduces foods high in mycotoxins before doing this test.
    • such as the Great Plains MycoTOX profile and Vibrant Wellness both use good technology.
    • Since sick patients may have their mycotoxins sitting in their cells and not being eliminated, do not take glutathione or binders for 48 hours before the test, so the test shows true levels.
    • Blood tests - including Immune globulin reaction to candida albicans for candida overgrowth.
  • Shoe maker eye test.
  • Stool - can check for fungal overgrowth in the gut, which means fungus burdening all over the body. Don’t take probiotics before this test.
  • organic acid - Great Plains -
  • Natural Killer Cell function test - how active they are. below 7 = deeply affected.
  • MARCoNS (Multiple Antibiotic Resistant Coagulase Negative Staph) and the sample should be sent to Microbiology DX in Massachusetts. - For CIRS. Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome.

Treatment

Glutathione

  • Liver anti-oxidant.
  • Particularly good for ischemic liver or ischemic hepatitis (Insufficient blood flow using liver injury).
  • Rids the body of toxins, chemicals, environmental pollutants and more.

Herbs and Foods

  • Neem boosts natural glutathione production, necessary to clean unwanted biofilms out of the small intestine. It cleans the intestinal villi. It supports proliferation of good intestinal bacteria without supports growth of bad intestinal bacteria.
  • Triphala - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5567597/
  • Anand Sid Yog
  • Guduchi - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3644751/
  • Amalaki - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2994578/
  • Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)
  • Kutki - one of Ayurveda’s primary liver tonics.
  • Manjistha
  • Shilajit
  • Turmeric boosts detox enzymes like glutathione and superoxide dismutase.
  • Beetroot - boost liver enzymes, superoxide dismutase (an enzyme with anti-oxidant activity) and glutathione.

Alapha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

  • An naturally occurring fatty acid.
  • Anti-oxidant - protects you from the violent process of your cells (in your entire body) getting hit, thus damaged by free-radicals thousands of times a day.
  • Enhances insulin sensitivity
  • Good for auto-immune disease - restores T-cell function. Good for Lupus, RA.
  • Gluthathione rejuvenator - good for when you have used up glutathione.
  • Foods - spinach, broccoli, kidneys, liver, heart.
  • Supplment.

Other treatments

Honey, Propolis, colloidal silver, Prandhara.

The importance of not jumping the gun, and first getting the mould under control before trying to fight, kill or eliminate it. 

If you begin killing mould (in your body) without any preparation, you will get sicker.

Dr. Jill’s Treatment Approach

Avoid - get out of the mould environment. Especially if you have become habituated to that environment.

Protect

Repair

Fight

Herxheimer Reactions

Occurs after a major mold die-off when the killed critters spill their toxic, inflammatory guts all over the place. You get sicker because the body tries to clean up the mess, but it can’t keep up.

Herx isn’t always necessary. More frictionless healing. No pain no gain is a myth - same with healing. Don’t push yourself. Honour rest - that will promote healing.

Healing is Messy

A deeper issue and more damaging issue might be getting although a more acute and superficial imbalance has manifested or re-manifested from the past.

If basic bodily functions are improving, (energy, sleep, digestion, mental state), you’re on the right path.

Buildings

  • Hire a building biologist or certified mould inspector.
  • Get a qualified remediator to remove the mould. Then test again independently.

People who need to Stay Out of Mould

  • pregnant women
  • women who are breastfeeding
  • young children
  • people with respiratory conditions
  • peoples with liver disease
  • people with kidney disease
  • people with immune deficiency
  • people with cancer
  • genetically mould sensitive (canaries in the coal mine)

Prevalence in Mould in Society & Buildings:

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) in USA estimates that 1 out of 4 buildings had enough water damage to grow toxic mould, that negatively affect human health.
  • Australia - 50% or more have water damage.
  • Waterproofing starts to fail in 7-10 years - Nicole Bhiljsma.

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Dhumapana: Smoke Inhalation Therapy

Smoke Inhalation Indications:

As per Astanga Samgraha of Vaghbata, Sutrasthana, ch. 30.

  • Pains of the head, eyes and ears
  • Ophthalmia and heaviness of the eyes
  • Hemicranial (persistent unilateral headache)
  • Rhinitis, cough, dyspnoea
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Excess salivation, disorder of voice, bad smell from the nose and mouth, hiccup, diseases of the throat
  • Toothache, looseness of teeth, loss of appetite
  • Loss of movement of the neck and lower jaw
  • Worms
  • Itching
  • Anaemia
  • Disorders of the skin and hairs
  • Absence of sneezing or excessive sneezing
  • Stupor, excess sleep
  • Asphyxia
  • Diseases of vata and kapha origin affecting the parts of the body above the shoulders.
  • It is also used to strengthen and purify the head, scalp, sense organs and the mind.(2)

Kinds of Smoke Inhalation (Dhuma Prakaras)

Though the smoke is derived from drugs which are sheeta virya (cold energy), yet with contact of fire, it becomes ushna virya (heating energy). So Dhumapana aggravates pitta and rakta (blood).

3 kinds:

  1. Shamama (suppressing) - a.k.a. prayogika and madhyama. - after gandusha, nasya.
  2. Brmhana (strengthening) - a.k.a. snehana and mrdu.
  3. Shodana (purifying) - a.k.a. virechana and tikshna. - bad colds etc.(3)

also:

  1. Kasaghna (anti-coughing)
  2. Vamana (emetic)
  3. Vrana Dhupana (fumigation to ulcers).

Persons Unsuitable for Inhalation (Dhuma Anarha)

  • Those who have undergone purgation therapy, who have been administered an enema,
  • who have kept awake at night
  • who are injured in the head
  • who have drunk honey, curds, milk, wine, gruel mixed with fatty material, poison and (large quantities of) water, who have eaten fish as food
  • those suffering from anaemia, diabetes, enlargement of abdomen, flatulence, upward movement of vata inside the abdomen (reverse peristalsis)
  • blindness, rohinika (a throat disease), and all others during hot season.

Administration of smoke to the above will produce giddiness, fever, headache, difficulty in sensory perception, dryness and ulceration of the palate, feeling as though hot fumes are coming from the throat, vomiting, fainting, bleeding diseases, facial paralysis and even death.(4)

In all these diseases, it is pitta alone or in combination with vata and kapha that gets increased. So keeping this in mind, use of ghee, decoction, nasal medication, application of paste into the mouth, eye-salve, pouring medicated water over the body and others which are mixed with fatty materials or not mixed with them and cold (in nature and feeling) should be used.(5)

Especially the smoke entering to all the channels produces severe pain, flatulence, redness of the eyes, dyspnoea, cough, nasal catarrh and sourness in the alimentary tract.

In such conditions, use of ghee, milk, sugarcane juice, grapes and sugar; producing vomiting by similar drugs, nasal medications and mouth gargles with drugs of pungent and bitter taste should be adopted.(6)

Dhuma Kala - Time of Administration:

Prayogika (Shamana) Dhuma:

At the end of:

  1. the night
  2. elimination of urine
  3. elimination of faeces
  4. cleaning of teeth
  5. sudation therapy
  6. nasal medication
  7. taking of food
  8. surgical operation

Mrdhu (Brmhana) Dhuma

at the end of:

  1. sneezing
  2. sexual intervourse
  3. laughing
  4. sitting for long periods
  5. yawning
  6. elimination of urine
  7. elimination of faeces
  8. washing of teeth
  9. tarpana
  10. putapaka (instilling decoction and juice into the eye)
  11. surgical operation

Tikshna (Shodana) Dhuma:

at the end of:

  1. nasal medication - (such as Nasya Panchakarma).
  2. anjana (collyrium)
  3. vomiting
  4. bath
  5. day sleep

At the above periods of time, there will be a mild increase of vata and kapha (hence ideal time for smoke inhalation).(7)

The smoke that has been inhaled through the mouth should be emitted only throughout the mouth but not through the nose because of the risk of disorders of vision.(11)

Dosage: Inhalation is done twice - once during day and once at night.

Snaihika (lubricating) dhuma should be done in bouts of three or four inhalations at a time and continued till all the channels start exuding fluid. It should be taken only once in a day and night.(13) - ghee is added.

Tikshna dhuma should be inhaled only through the nose, in bouts of four each time or till the person feels lightness of the channels. It should be taken 3 or 4 x in one day and night.

Apana (one inhalation) = Aksepa (inhaling, sucking) and Visarga (exhaling, expelling out).(14)

Kasaghna (anti-cough) dhuma is administered in the following way:

  • Burning coal devoid of smoke is placed in an earthen saucer and fine powder or pills of the drugs are put on the burning coal.
  • Another saucer with a hole in its centre is kept inverted over the first one, so as tallow the smoke only through its holy, to which the smoking tube is attached.
  • The patient is asked to take in the smoke through the mouth only; when chest is filled up completely, he should let it out through the mouth itself.
  • When the drugs are burnt off, some more powder is placed on the fire.
  • The inhalation should be continued till all the doshas are expelled out or till the patient feels lightness of the organs.(15)

 

 

Vamana duma is done in the same manner, but after the patient has taken the drink of thin krisara (porridge).

Even Vrana dhuma (fumigation of ulcers) is done similarly, to cleanse the wound of its exudations and relief from pain.(16) (External application).

Inhalation of smoke therapy properly done, will clear the impurities from the heart, throat and sense organs, produce lightness of the head and mitigation of the doshas and diseases produced by them.(18)

Samana dhuma is indicated to mitigate vata and kapha individually or their combination and also for the healthy.

Brmhana is ideal for (mitigating) vata and Shodana (virechana) for mitigating kapha.(19)

Neem paste + Dhupmapana (fumigation) been applied to shingles.

The Relevance of Dhumapana Today

A lot of people these days are practicing unsafe dhumapana.

The use of pipe and direct smoking is unsafe. Furthermore, most dhumapana recipes call for honey, which is a very complex procedure considering heated honey is poison.

Dhumpana may be promoting the habit of smoking harmful substances and/or excess herbal smoking.

If one wants to practice dhumapana, they can create smoke and indirectly inhale the smoke around them. Herbs like guggulu, sambrani, frankincense (all available in raw form at Vital Veda) can be sprinkled onto coal and inhale as well as topically fumigate onto the body. This is also good to burn in the room where new born babies rest for anti-bacterial action. Also smoke from holy and medicinal woods and substances being burned through Yagya ceremony has medicinal action.

sambrani resin
guggulu resin