the-o-ry

An idea or set of ideas that is intended to explain facts or events.  An idea that is suggested or is presented as possibly true but that is not known or proven to be true. The general principles or ideas that relate to a particular subject.  Theory.

Screen Shot 2017-12-12 at 1.42.21 PMFrom an academia standpoint, I excersied in theory everyday while teaching Algebra and Geometry.  While studying music and playing in bands, I was introduced to this so called “secret” known as music theory, which gave me the skills necessary to analyze a piece of music, create my own, and know what the hell I’m talking about when communicating verbally to others.

In both of those experiences, I learned one key lesson.  Learn the theory, then forget about it!

Learning the theory and forgetting about it does not equate to ignoring what was learned.  It simply means that after the foundation has been acquired, build on it and adapt it to the situation that you find yourself in.

How many of us have gone through school only to realize that when we got out, much of what we were taught does not apply in our current situation?  How many of us work in an entirely different field from what’s printed on our degrees?

If in reading this, you answer “I have!”, then you are in great company.  If you can’t answer in the affirmative, that’s okay.

I value theory both as a math teacher and a musician.  It provides a fundamental knowledge in which to build and create and discover.  Every good proof (and bad ones too) begins with a theory.

Our theory for herbstheword.org is that there is an herb for whatever condition the body is going through.  Our goal in a data-driven society is to research and discover the proofs of these healing properties, and help our friends and loved ones along the way.   And we thank you for taking this leap with us!!!!

-Elaina and TJ

Theory

 

Alternative? Right!

After my last doctor’s visit this past week, I have a newfound motivation, inspiration, and a sheer drive to continue along the path of herbal enlightenment.  Now before I can continue, I feel the need to restate our disclaimer:

This Site is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice.  Products, services, information and other content provided on this Site, including information that may be provided on this Site directly or by linking to third-party websites are provided for informational purposes only.  Please make your own informed decisions consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options.

2df367ef1f6a2ca6899ea55006f6d8a2I appreciate the advances of medical science.  It is because of these advances that people have access to operations that can save their lives.  I went because I was interested in becoming a kidney donor.  After two full days of testing, 17 vials of blood collected, chest X-rays and Cat Scan, I practically received a full profile of my Urinary System, the system that eliminates nitrogenous wastes from the body, regulates water, electrolyte and the acid-base balance of the blood.  There is no way that I could have received the necessary data or potentially go through with the surgery if not for modern medicine.

 

 

962825148_orig-1476F8491BE6F11C7E3-thumb400

Likewise with my wrist surgery.  After accidentally poking myself in the wrist with a very sharp blade, I needed surgery to repair my flexor pollicis longus and flexor digitorum superficialis, without which I would not have had mobility of my thumb anymore.

 

 

 

 

Thank you modern medicine.

But with modernity, should we forget where we came from?  I ran across a great Site that gives a formula for creating herbal tinctures, a practice that I have come to know and enjoy for the past two years.  Call me a hippie, but there is a connection I feel when taking alternative medicine as a means of preventative medication.  I mean I simply feel better both mentally and physically in my body.  But I got sneered at when I mentioned that I take herbal supplements verses over-the-counter medication.

herbal_plants

And in being sneered, I thought to myself what medical practices were in use before technology and big pharmaceutics took over?  How were people treated for their wounds? What does pharmaceutics have against herbal medicine? How effective is it to make and take our own medicines naturally verses taking something created synthetically in a lab?  Why do doctors and pharmacist make me feel like a wierdo when I tell them I take herbal supplements?   Please comment your thoughts below, and if you have time, check out the blog Old Ways Herbal.  They have great stuff.

Who We Write For….

In an effort to become a proficient user of WordPressI took the liberty to utilize their help site along with grabbing a couple of manuals.  What I found in my search is what most people find nowadays when seeking help – that there is simply an insurmountable amount of knowledge and information available.  There is a tutorial for just about everything under the sun.  I am not by any means suggesting that having this much access to knowledge is a negative thing.  I find it to be great actually.  The thing that gets me however is having to cherry-pick between topics just because there is so much information out there.  And sure, it is a matter of choosing topics and lessons that best fit the purpose of the task at hand.  Which is why I prefer tutorials with courses and curriculums with a streamlined comprehensive approach to learning.  It is no doubt the Mathematics teacher in me that appreciates this approach.  The empirical, active learning process is how I learn best and it is the method that I have used in my classroom over the past ten years as a High School Mathematics teacher.

Interesting looking tree

Fortunately, WordPress has among its archives a section entitled Blogging University that users like myself can enroll in to learn how to use their software by actually using the software.  Genius right? And the truth is that this method, the method of learning by doing is the best way to learn if retention is to be had.  I’ve learned many lessons (no pun intended) in the teaching field from various colleagues that helped show me how to guide instruction and enlighten tomorrow’s young minds.  One of those lessons was based on the following quote:

“Not hearing is not as good as hearing, hearing is not as good as seeing, seeing is not as good as knowing, knowing is not as good as acting; true learning continues until it is put into action.”

f7c04844df5d4f593b1cdc5d771c725d--learning-pyramid-educational-leadership

Knowing is not as good as acting, and actively teaching others what is known to pay it forward is what the purpose of this blog is about.  We are writing to those who want to live a better, healthier lifestyle, without sacrificing the flavors they hold dear.  We are writing to those who recognize that the best approach to living a better lifestyle is to become an active participant by engaging with us, adding to oue knowledge base of interesting and life-saving recipes, and sharing with others.  We are writing for those, who like us, find that we learn more, we retain better when we a) practice by doing, and b) teach others.  We are writing to those who want to live healthier and help their friends, family along with complete strangers live healthier lives through the promotion of natural herbs and natural healing medications.  We are writing because, in teaching others what we discover along our journey, we in turn teach ourselves and continue to be lifelong learners.  Thanks for engaging!!!

Who We Are and Why We’re Here

We are 2 people whose lives collided one fateful night at the storied Tipitina’s club in New Orleans during Atmosphere’s North of Hell Tour.  Somewhere between “Dirty Girl” and the “Woman With the Tattooed Hands”, we caught eyes, shared some great conversation, and have been on the best ride of our lives ever since.  In the midst of this awesome ride, we realized that we share in a lot of the same passions.  Music for one.  Our love for our hometown football teams (she’s a Seahawk – I’m a Cowboy) another.  But the major tie that binds us is our love for life and the promotion of health and wellness through herbs and spices.  So it is with this blog that we seek to share what herbs and spices we use that work.  Elaina and I personally use herbs for a variety of reasons including skin issues, social anxiety, combating mental fatigue, and for personal performance enhancements, wink wink.  Obviously I’m referencing jogging here.  But along with taking herbs for our personal wellness, we also create our own custom tinctures.  With this blog we have the opportunity to share our recipes that include these herbs and spices, and quite simply, share our love and passion for chasing the fountain of youth through what nature has provided.

Cooking Pacific NorthWest Collard Greens Southern Style

IMG_4332Elaina and I were at an outdoor seasonal market in Bellingham, WA recently, and as we were walking around, I noticed that they had a varietal of collard greens available for sale.  My mouth instantly begin to salivate since, growing up in the south, we ate greens on a regular.  It’s one of my favorite dishes of all time and my mom knows it, as she always has a batch waiting for me when I come home to visit.  So, I decided to grab 5 bunches and proceed to checkout.  This lady behind me asked me what I was going to do with them and my eyes lit up as I explained to her my recipe and process of getting the best flavor out of your collards.  That is the inspiration behind this post, so, lady-behind-me-at-the-cash-register, this one is for you!

INGREDIENTS:


5~7 bunches of Collards.  More is always better in my opinion.  Be careful as they do cook down.

12 oz of cured salted pork

1/2 onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 shallot, optional.  I love the extra flavor that it adds.

1 tablespoon of garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Serves approximately 6 to 8. Unless it’s someones favorite.  Then it serves approximately 4 to 6.  <insert smiley face here>.

PREPARATION:

 

IMG_4293So this is what your greens look like bunched up.  Five bunches is a good start for cooking in a basic 8qt. pot.

 

 

 

 

IMG_4295You want to shred the leaves from the stems and rip them apart, as collard leaves can be huge.

 

 

 

 

IMG_4298This part is the most critical.  CLEAN GREENS ARE GOOD TASTING GREENS.  You want to wash your greens until all dirt is removed.  I run them through the wash in the sink until my water is clear.

 

 

 

IMG_4325The fun part.  Cut up all 12 oz. of your cured salt pork.  You could also substitute other types of salted pork, such as smoked ham hocks, pickled rib tips, etc.  I’ve seen it all and had it all and all taste great!

 

 

 

IMG_4331Once your meat is cut up, fry it up in a sauce pan and let that oil accumulate.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4337Final step.  Put the greens into your pot.  No need to add water at this point because of the water drip from the greens.  Add in your salt pork and approximately 1 tablespoon of the fat drippings.  Include your chopped onions, garlic, and shallots (optional).  Add garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook on low to medium-low heat for approximately 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Its okay to add more water if necessary, which is usually an indicator that the fire is too high.  The greens are ready when they are buttery soft and tender.  No adente here!

ENJOY, and leave a comment below to let me know how it turns out.  BON APPETITE!!!

Word to Herbs and Spices

2017 hasn’t been an easy year for most Americans.

The clash between left and right, the struggle for understanding amidst terror, mass shootings and protests. The healthcare debate, black lives matter, police shootings, police pardons, LGBTQ rights, transgender kicked out of the military, international strife, social media blowouts… need I go on? For most of us, there is a feeling of hopelessness in wondering how we can help or where do we even begin? For some of us, little has really changed because our lives have always been threatened by a world who cannot or will not try to love and understand difference.

There is no simple answer. There is no simple action. Nelson Mandela once said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use the change the world.” But how do we educate each other? How do we educate ourselves?

Welcome to ”Herbs the Word.” We are Elaina and Thyatira Thompson and we love to cook, learn, eat, rant and create alternative ways of healing. We may not have a solution or the education to solve every issue in the world, but when it comes to herbal remedies, tinctures, supplements, and apothecary that isn’t based on capitalism – we’re you’re people!

From acid reflux, to depression, to skin disorders to increasing mental energy, to inflammation issues – there’s an herb for that! We do not claim to be certified doctors or medical professionals, but we want to openly share our knowledge and insights of herbal and natural treatments to better the world of health in our community.

This morning there was an article online about a new potential treatment for heart attacks (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/in-a-first-anti-inflammatory-drug-lowers-heart-attack-risks/).

Weekly anti-inflammatory drug injections is the new cure for heart disease? The new study says 15% of those on a “medium dose” had a lower chance of another heart attack. So you spend your life going into the doctor weekly for an injection that costs $$$$, and then you spend the rest of your life hoping that you’re not one of other other 85%? Plus side effects? Unfortunately this seems to be the new norm with westernized health care.

If it hasn’t occurred to you by now, America is corrupt with greed. It’s not just in the healthcare we receive, but also the products and foods on our shelves that are deemed safe. Did you know MSG actually isn’t bad for you? Did you know that there is a chemical in Kraft mac-n-cheese that is now tied to birth defects?

As our world slowly tears itself apart with fear and hatred fueled arguments, in this blog we’ll talk health and healing! We all need vices to survive and we all have addictions we wish we could give up. What if you could have your cake and eat it too?

Herbs the Word,

Elaina & Thyatira Thompson