The Botanicals Times

Farm News From Mark

Today the rain has stopped and there was a rosy glow at sunrise. The sun is out now. The smoke still rises from the chimney. The woodstove is keeping us warm. We are just entering the third month of winter but this morning, just a little, it feels like spring. I hope wherever you are the weather is not too daunting and that you are warm and happy. Just like most of us I too am spending a lot of time inside at this time of year. Doing the paperwork for growing contracts, planning the greenhouse plantings, ordering parts for all the equipment repairs, and doing what every farmer does when its too wet to get out in the field…basically everything else.

In thinking about this last year we saw a big upswing in demand for herbs as winter hit due to the H1N1 flu virus. But this was not the only dynamic. There was another interesting trend I would like to share with you. Although many of our customers large or small, due to the recession, cut back on inventory, the demand for herbal medicine went up. Not only due to the flu scare, but because when money is tight, people turn to alternative medicine. As you know, our current healthcare system is very expensive. Most people are stretched to the limit. When jobs or hours are lost, insurance premiums go up or are cut altogether, people look to natural healing even more.

This fact posed a dilemma for many producers of natural medicines, herb stores, and individual users. Many ran out of product because they cut back on inventory at a time when demand, in the present economic downturn, actually went up. Many of our customers were scrambling for medicine. Many ran out of supplies. Many of our bigger customers, suppliers, manufacturers etc., were trying to catch up on their inventory. I am happy to say because of our over 30 years of experience in planning during a downturn we were able to keep them supplied.

I hope that our experience can be a help to you. We have found that keeping inventories well stocked and consistent prevents getting caught short when you, or your customers, need the medicine the most. We are still in the flu season, and even though the H1N1 was not as serious for some demographics as once feared, it is still the flu, and people still need their medicine. Even though it may seem counter-intuitive to invest in inventory during a recession we have found that it makes good sense.

Well, I am going to take my morning walk over to the mill to see how things are progressing. I want to thank you for making Pacific Botanicals your source for healing herbs in 2009. We appreciate your faith in us and your continued business. We look forward to supporting you in your healing and your good work in 2010.

Best to you and yours,
Mark Wheeler

Toni's Window
A Message From An Unexpected Source

I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions this year. I sensed that if I just waited and paid attention just the right ideas would come through. And they did, from an unexpected source. Over the weekend I was looking out my living room window to the backyard and there was a steady rain falling. Perched on the fence just about eight feet from the sliding door was an American Kestrel, also known as a sparrow hawk. Amazing! It was so close to the house. It stayed perched on the fence for the longest time turning its head back and forth. It didn’t seem to be afraid. My husband and I watched it for about fifteen minutes. I felt this majestic bird was bringing me the message that I was waiting for. The message I received from my hawk friend was this:
  • Don’t be afraid to get close to the things that scare you.
  • Don’t be afraid to stand firm right where you are and have a good look around.
  • Be curious about new things.
  • If you are on the fence, ok, take the time you need.
  • Don’t let the rain get you down. After all you just might need a good soaking before you start something new.
  • Be courageous in the face of the unknown.
  • When you are ready rise up and dive in!

Well, there it is. Even on the dreary days, if you notice what is right in front of you, amazing things can happen. I hope you stay open to the possibilities for your life this year. You never know when there might be a message for you right in your own back yard.

Warmest Regards,

Superfoods: Power Nutrition for the 21st Century

Superfoods will continue to be in high demand in 2010 because of their incredible health benefits. Here are four of our most popular. We hope this interesting information will inspire you to add these fantastic foods to your diet or your shelves.

Acerola Cherry Powder: Real Vitamin C and Great Taste

Acerola Cherry Powder has one of the highest concentrations per gram of natural vitamin C in any fruit; in fact one Acerola cherry has nearly 30 times more vitamin C than a lemon and is a lot more pleasant to eat! Many vitamin supplements contain synthetic vitamin C; most of this synthesized version isn't used by the body and is expelled in urine causing your kidneys and liver to work hard. To truly benefit from vitamin C, you need the complex real vitamin C. Real vitamin C is found in natural foods, just like the Acerola cherry. They have as much as 4.5% of vitamin C per fruit (compared to 0.05% per peeled orange) Acerola cherries are also rich in vitamin A, magnesium, niacin, potassium, thiamine, iron and calcium.

The Acerola tree grows naturally in the West Indies (it's also known as the Barbados cherry), Central America and northern Latin America. Acerola Juice is as common in Brazil and Suriname as Orange Juice is in the United States. Its bright red fruits are the same size as regular cherries and have a pleasant taste.

The benefits of our Organic Acerola Cherry Powder:

  • Promote a healthy immune system
  • Help to prevent colds and infections
  • Help to prevent hair loss
  • Protect against dental problems
  • Promote health and vitality and fight chronic fatigue
  • Prevent excessive bleeding and bruising
  • Help protect your skin and organs against premature aging

Wheat Grass: The Healing Power of Chlorophyll

For the majority of people, consuming processed foods along with the stresses of every day life creates an acidic balance in the blood. This causes the body to store water and build up fat in the arteries (cholesterol) as protection from acidic blood. By restoring alkalinity and neutralizing acid production your body can recover quicker, metabolize faster, reduce food cravings and achieve your optimal health.

Wheat grass contains large amounts of chlorophyll (the “blood” of plants), which is amazingly similar to hemoglobin, the molecule that carries oxygen in the blood. Chlorophyll is soluble in fat particles, and since fat particles are absorbed directly into the blood via the lymphatic system, there is evidence that chlorophyll can also be absorbed easily in this way, transporting nutrients efficiently to every cell of the body. With the addition of Chlorophyll into our diet, we are consuming the very essence of life’s energy.

Wheatgrass has all the vitamins and minerals that are required by the human body. It is rich in proteins, and contains about 30 enzymes. It has 70% chlorophyll content. It acts as an appetite suppressant and will help you maintain your body weight. It replenishes your body enzymes. It helps in the development of blood in the body. Chlorophyll breaks down carbon dioxide and releases oxygen. Wheatgrass helps to build red blood cells quickly. As a great source of energy the nutritional value of wheatgrass is twice that of organic vegetables. It also helps to remove toxins from cells. This amazing food is very rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfur, zinc, and protein. Regular consumption of wheatgrass improves the condition of your skin, making it glow radiantly.

The benefits of Wheatgrass powder and Wheat grass juice powder in a nutshell:

  • Increases and sustains energy naturally
  • Detoxifies and cleanses the body
  • High alkalinity helps balance your body’s pH level
  • Strengthens your immune system
  • Gently cleanses your digestive tract and promote regularity
  • Complete food with enzymes and all essential amino acids
  • Natural source of antioxidants to help repair damaged cells
  • Excellent source of beta carotene, folic acid and vitamin C

Cacao: Chocolate Drink of the Ancients
From The Aztecs to Modern Gourmet Palates: The amazing benefits of Cacao Powder

Many people consider eating chocolate a “guilty pleasure.” But the reputation of chocolate as a junk food should more accurately be attributed to the harmful effects of commercial processing and refining techniques, and the other ingredients commonly added, most notably white sugar. All chocolate is made from the cacao (cocoa) bean, and cacao beans in their natural, unprocessed, unadulterated state are rich in nutrients and beneficial to health.

Cacao powder is simply the cacao bean, that through a cold-pressing process, has had the fat (cacao butter) removed. With the fat removed, cacao powder becomes hydroscopic, so it dissolves easily in liquids. Cacao powder can be used to make chocolate by mixing it with cacao butter and sweetener (we recommend light agave nectar).

A Short Sweet History of Chocolate

The first people clearly known to have discovered the secret of cacao were the Classic Period Maya (250-900 C.E. [A.D.]). The Maya and their ancestors in Mesoamerica took the tree from the rainforest and grew it in their own backyards, where they harvested, fermented, roasted, and ground the seeds into a paste. When mixed with water, chili peppers, cornmeal, and other ingredients, this paste made a frothy, spicy chocolate drink. (See wonderful recipe below)

By 1400, the Aztec empire dominated a sizeable segment of Mesoamerica. The Aztecs traded with Maya and other peoples for cacao and often required that citizens and conquered peoples pay their tribute in cacao seeds—a form of Aztec money. Like the earlier Maya, the Aztecs also consumed their bitter chocolate drink seasoned with spices. Drinking chocolate was an important part of Maya and Aztec life. Many people in Classic Period Maya society could drink chocolate at least on occasion, although it was a particularly favored beverage for royalty. But in Aztec society, primarily rulers, priests, decorated soldiers, and honored merchants could partake of this sacred brew. Chocolate also played a special role in both Maya and Aztec royal and religious events. Priests presented cacao seeds as offerings to the gods and served chocolate drinks during sacred ceremonies.

European’s first contact with chocolate came during the conquest of Mexico in 1521. The Spaniards recognized the value attached to cacao and observed the Aztec custom of drinking chocolate. Soon after, the Spanish began to ship cacao seeds back home. An expensive import, chocolate remained an elite beverage and a status symbol for Europe’s upper classes for the next 300 years. When the Spanish brought cacao home, they doctored up the bitter brew with cinnamon and other spices and began sweetening it with sugar. Sweetened chocolate became an international taste sensation. They managed to keep their delicious drink a Spanish secret for almost 100 years before the rest of Europe discovered what they were missing. Sweetened chocolate soon became the latest and greatest fad to hit the continent.

Because cacao and sugar were expensive imports, only those with money could afford to drink chocolate. In fact, in France, chocolate was a state monopoly that could be consumed only by members of the royal court. Like the Maya and the Aztecs, Europeans developed their own special protocol for the drinking of chocolate. They even designed elaborate porcelain and silver serving pieces and cups for chocolate that acted as symbols of wealth and power.

The word "chocolate" entered the English language from Spanish. How the word came into Spanish is less certain, and there are multiple competing explanations. One explanation gives a derivation from the Yucatec Maya word "chokol" meaning hot, and the Nahuatl "atl" meaning water. More recent sources derive it from another Nahuatl term, "chicolatl" from Eastern Nahuatl meaning "beaten drink". They derive this term from the word for the frothing stick, "chicoli". The words "cacaua atl" mean drink of cacao.

By the 17th and early 18th centuries, chocolate was considered a cure for many illnesses, as well as a catalyst for provoking passion, although it was still too expensive for the general populace. Finally, in the 18th century, chocolate houses were established in London, making chocolate available to a broader spectrum of society, and their popularity quickly surpassed that of the coffee houses.

Today cacao is planted on over 43,000 square miles worldwide. Forty percent of production is from Cote d’Ivoire, while Ghana and Indonesia produce about 15% each, and Brazil, Nigeria, and Cameroon provide smaller quantities.

Here are some of the benefits of our organic Powdered Unprocessed Cacao:

  • Antioxidants: Cacao has more antioxidant flavanoids than any food tested so far, including blueberries, red wine, and black and green teas. In fact, it has up to four times the quantity of antioxidants found in green tea. Health benefits of these antioxidants include:
    1. Promote cardiovascular health - Helps dilate bloods vessels, reduce blood clotting, improve circulation, help regulate heartbeat and blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol, and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
    2. Protect from environmental and metabolic toxins - Help repair and resist damage caused by free radicals, and may reduce risk of certain cancers.
    3. Neurotransmitters: By increasing the levels of specific neurotransmitters in our brains, cacao promotes positive outlook, facilitates rejuvenation and simply helps us feel good.
    4. Serotonin - Cacao raises the level of serotonin in the brain; thus acts as an anti-depressant, helps reduce PMS syptoms, and promotes a sense of well-being.
    5. Endorphins - Cacao stimulates the secretion of endorphins, producing a pleasurable sensation similar to the “runner’s high” a jogger feels after running several miles.
    6. Phenylethylamine - Found in chocolate, phenylethylamine is also created within the brain and released when we are in love. Acts as mild mood elevator and anti-depressant, and helps increase focus and alertness.
    7. Anandamide - Anandamide is known as the “bliss chemical” because the brain releases it when we are feeling great. Cacao contains both N-acylethanolamines, believed to temporarily increase the levels of anandamide in the brain, and enzyme inhibitors that slow its breakdown. Promotes relaxation, and helps us feel good longer.
    8. Essential Minerals: Cacao beans are rich in a number of essential minerals, including magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese.
    9. Magnesium - Cacao is a great source of magnesium. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and helps regulate heartbeat and blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency, present in 80% of Americans, is linked with PMT, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and joint problems.
    10. Sulfur - Cacao is high in the beauty mineral sulfur. Sulfur builds strong nails and hair, promotes beautiful skin, detoxifies the liver, and supports healthy pancreas functioning.
    11. Essential fats: There is a misperception that chocolate is fattening. In truth, the fats in cocoa butter are healthy fats. Cacao contains oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, also found in olive oil, that may raise good cholesterol. Also, substances found in cacao are known to help reduce appetite.

Ancient Cocoa Drink with a Bite:

Try this tasty recipe for a winter warming treat very similar to what the ancients may have experienced.

Chocolate Del Diablo
(Serve warm. Makes 4 cups)

  • 1 pint of warm almond milk
  • 4 tablespoons of chocolate powder
  • 2 tablespoons of raw agave nectar
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Pinch each of mace, nutmeg, and cinnamon
  • Blend all ingredients in a blender and serve immediately

Super Blue Green Algae: Nutrition from a Foundation Food

Research has shown it's not only what you eat, but what your body absorbs and assimilates that is important. Microalgae, existing at the beginning of the food chain, provides the simplest form of balanced, whole food nutrients. Pacific Botanicals supplies Klamath Blue Green Algae to our customers. It has a very nutritious, easily digested, soft cell wall, comprised of a glucolipoprotein complex. This allows rapid absorption of vital nutrients with 95% assimibility, at almost no cost to the body's digestive energy supplies. Most of the nutrients in blue green algae are active and in forms that are directly useable by the body.

The technical term APHANIZOMENON (genus) and FLOS-AQUAE (species) are actually zoological terms of classification that literally mean "invisible living flower of water" in Greek. Algae has been eaten in various forms for thousands of years. It is packed with beta-carotene and B-Complex biologically active vitamins, enzymes, chlorophyll, fatty acids, neuropeptide precursors (peptides are joined amino acids), lipids, carbohydrates, minerals, trace minerals, pigments and other essential growth factors. It contains all eight essential amino acids and both semi-essential amino acids. It is a concentrated source of arginine, known to build and tone muscle tissue. Most importantly, the essential amino acid profile of Klamath Blue Green Algae is virtually identical to that required by the human body. No vital amino acids are wasted. The algae uses a variety of complex sugars for all its bio-chemical needs, such as the building, repairing, and replacing of damaged structures.

Algae capitalize on the direct energy of the sun more than any other food. Primitive as they may appear, most are highly efficient photosynthesizers. Algae utilize light energy from the sun (greater than 10% conversion efficiency), carbon dioxide from the air, and hydrogen from the water to synthesize its bio-chemicals. Klamath Blue Green Algae is unique among all food grade algaes in that it also metabolizes molecular nitrogen directly from the air to produce proteins.

Through the Door
by D.E.

I drive by this pond each day I come to work at the farm. As I come round the bend on the muddy shale road there it is to my right. Every time. A constant. Not overly dramatic. The holding pond for irrigation. I drive past the pump station. Turn left to the gravel lot where we all park. And then into the shop.

Today was different. . .Something draws me back on this freezing December day. Ten degrees cold. Ice on the pond and the light like a painting. I feel something arising in me. A longing so strong I think it must be God calling me. A radiant something that whispers,
“Come and stand close to this beauty. Enter into it.”

I realized why I needed to come back to the pond today… Because of the bitterness of politics, the manipulation, the lies, the hatred and pettiness, and the endless arguments about who is right and who is good and who is evil. Because of the tightness, and the race of thinking, and the constant demands of expectations; mine and theirs. But as I stand on the bank of this insignificant pond, and my feet crunch the new snow, I feel the solid ground and I know that I am called in my heart and I listen and light enfolds me.

“Come through the door,” she says, and I say yes and there is an opening. A marvelous gravity pulls me out over the gleaming ice towards the hazy rolling hills to the south and into the pastel hue of the sun drenched sky.

Nothing follows me here that splits my soul. Nothing binds me that mutes the song rolling up in my heart. Not brain banging thought. Not meanness or resentment. No red hatred or cynical mind. Here my soul is enfolded into the soul of the living. Time is a whispering breath that blows through the place where I am. Here is where my purpose is. To be a witness to the light. To praise beauty as kin. To allow what loves in energy brilliance to fill my endless soul.

On this day when the ice glows upon the pond that I pass everyday I wonder; how can we be so angry? How can we be so petty? So full of hate? So small and tight and short of breath? When what loves is where we are. Alive in beauty. Radiant in Presence. Inviting us through the door on a winter’s day.


Thoughts For the Spirit

The enthusiastic, to those who are not, are always something of a trial.
~Alban Goodier

Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say and say it. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.
~Barbara Kingsolver

There it is. I don’t believe in anything, but I’m always glad to wake up in the morning. It doesn’t depress me. I’m never depressed. My basic nervous system is filled with optimism. It’s mad, I know, because it’s optimism about nothing. I think of life as meaningless and yet it excites me. I always think something marvelous is about to happen.
~Francis Bacon

Every single one of us can do things that no one else can do—can love things that no one else can love. We are like violins. We can be used for doorstops, or we can make music. You know what to do.
~Barbara Sher

Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that. Because what the world needs are people who come alive.
~Howard Thurman

I am not eccentric. It’s just that I am more alive than most people. I am an unpopular electric eel set in a pond of goldfish.
~Dame Edith Sitwell

Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere.
~Emma Goldman

And did you get what you wanted from life even so? I did. And what did you want? To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on earth.
~Raymond Carver

I am a serious chocoholic. For the serious chocoholic, chocolate is better than sex. If you believe that, you really need to meet that special someone who can change your mind. If you have met that special someone and still believe that, I really need to know where you get your chocolate!!!

I love you no matter what you do, but do you have to do so much of it?
~Jean Illsley Clarke

Copyright 2010 ® Pacific Botanicals | 4840 Fish Hatchery Road | Grants Pass, OR 97527 | 541.479.7777 | Contact Us
DownloadsContact UsNews & InspirationAbout UsFresh OrdersGeneral Ordering InfoOnline StoreContact Us
To unsubscribe, please visit:{email}