Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy

Non-Traditional Approaches to
the Theories, Treatments and Prevention of Cancer

Grape

January 30, 2012

Filed under: Foods of the Week, What's New? — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 6:41 am

The grape is one of the oldest fruits in history. Grape seeds have been found in mummy cases in Egyptian tombs that are more than 3000 years old. At the time of Homer, the Greeks were using wines, and the Bible tells of grape cultivation in the time of Noah. North America was known to the Norse sea rovers as “Vinland” because the grapevines were so abundant.

The Mission Fathers of California were the first to grow the European type of grape. This variety became known as the Mission grape and remained the choice variety until 1860 when other choice European varieties were introduced into this country.

Between 6,000 and 8,000 of grapes have been named and described, but only 40 to 50 varieties are important commercially. Table grapes must be attractive in appearance and sweet and firm. Large size, brilliant color, and beautifully formed bunches are the qualities desired.

There are four classes of grapes: wine grapes, table grapes, raisin grapes, and sweet (non-fermented) juice grapes. The big grape producing states, in addition to California, are New York, Michigan, and Washington.

Domestic grapes are available from late July through March, and the peak is from August to November. Grapes are also imported from February through May from Argentina, Chile, and South Africa.

Emperor grapes are a Thanksgiving and Christmas favorite. The clusters are large, long, and well-filled. The fruit is uniform, large, elongated obovoid, light red to reddish-purple, seeded, neutral in flavor, and the skin tough. They are on the October and well into March.

Thompson Seedless were first grown in California near Yuba City by Mr. William Thompson and are now very popular. The clusters are large, long, and well-filled; the fruit is medium-sized and ellipsoidal. The color is greenish-white to light golden. They are seddless, firm, and tender, adn are very sweet when fully ripened. They are moderately tender skinned. Thompson Seedless grapes are on the market from late June into November.

The Tokay variety grows in large clusters that are conical and compact. The grapes are large, ovoid with a flattened end, and brilliant red to dark red. They are seeded, very firm, neutral in flavor and have thick skins. Tokay grapes are on the market from September into November.

Other table varieties include Almeria, Cornichon, Red and White Malaga, Ribier, Lady Fingers, Catawba, Delaware, and Niagara.

The principal juice grape is the Concord, a leading native grape, that is blue-black in color, medium-sized, and tough-skinned. It is also used as a table grape and is on the market in September and October.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Grapes are used throughout the world for curative purposes. In France, it not uncommon for people to use grapes as their sole diet for many days during the grape season. . The low incidence of cancer in these areas has been attributed to the high percentage of grapes in the daily diet. The therapeutic value of grapes is said to be due to a high magnesium content. Magnesium is an element that for good bowel movements. Grape are wonderful for re-placing this chemical element.

The juice of the Concord grape is one of the best to use. Juice from other grapes, however, can be used as well. If the juice is too sweet juice or upsets the stomach a little lemon juice can be added. Mix with pineapple juice or any citrus fruit, if desired. Used in combination with whey, soy milk, and egg yolk, it makes a wonderful tonic forthe blood. When purchasing bottled grape juice, be sure it is unsweetened.

Grape skins and seeds are good for bulk, but sometimes are irritating in conditions of colitis and ulcers, so they should not be eaten by persons who have these conditions.

When chewed well, bitter grape skins make a good laxative. There is also a laxative element found in the seeds.

Grapes are wonderful for promoting action of the bowel, cleansing the liver, and aiding kidney function. They are alkalinizing to the blood, and high in water content, so they add to the fluids necessary to eliminate hardened deposits that may have settled in any part of the body. They are wonderful for the kidneys and the bladder and are very soothing to the nervous system. The high content of grape sugar gives quick energy. Dark grapes are high in iron, which makes them good blood builders.

As grapes do not mix well with other foods, it is best to eat them alone. Make sure they are ripe, as the green acids are not good the blood. They also make a wonderful snack for children-they are sweet, and much better for them than candy!

Crushed grapes may be used as a pack on a tumor or growth. Any infected area will improve after a grape pack is applied. It can be placed on the area of disturbance for a period of three to four days.

A one-day-a-week grape diet is good, during the grape season. It can be used when elimination is desired.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 324

Protein: 3.5g

Fat: 1.8 g

Carbohydrates: 73.5 g

Calcium: 75 mg

Phosphorus: 92 mg

Iron: 2.6 mg

Vitamin A: 3301 I.U.

Thiamine: .24mg

Riboflavin: .12 mg

Niacin: 1.9 mg

Ascorbic acid: 17 mg

Lemons

January 23, 2012

Filed under: Foods of the Week, What's New? — admin @ 6:46 am

Lemons, one of the most highly alkalinizing foods, are native to tropical Asia, where cultivation goes back at least 2,500 years. In the twelfth century the Arabs brought lemons to Spain and Africa. It was Christopher Columbus, according to Las Casa, the Spanish historian, who brought seeds of lemons with him from the Canary islands on his second voyage.

In the New World, lemons were introduced by the Spanish adventurers in Haiti, then known as Hispaniola. In the US, Florida was the first lemon-producing area, and this state led in production of lemons until the heavy freeze in 1895 killed the lemon groves. They were never replanted. Now, about 95 percent of the lemons used in the US and Canada are produced in southern California. The other 5 percent are grown in Italy. Italy and California together produce all of the world’s entire supply of lemons.

In 1870, a variety of lemon called the Eureka was started from the Sicilian lemon seed planted in Los Angeles by C.R. Workmen. The Eureka, along with Libson, are the two varieties most commonly grown commercially. The Eureka grows in prolific quantity and is early-bearing, from late spring to summer; the Libson tends to bear only one large crop a year, in either spring or winter. A single lemon tree has been known to produce 3,000 lemons a year. This is because lemon trees bloom and ripen fruit every month of the year. The most fruit is produced between January and May.

The best lemons have skin of an oily, fine texture and are heavy for their size. This type is more apt to be full of juice, with a minimum of seeds and waste fibers. Choose lemons of a deep yellow color for ripeness and juice. They should be firm, but not hard, to the touch. Avoid using lemons that show signs of bruises, as fruits that have been mechanically injured are more subject to mold. Decay on the fruit appears as a mold or a discolored soft area at the stem end. Shriveled or hard-skinned fruits, or those that are soft or spongy to the touch, are not desirable. They may be old, dried out, mechanically injured, or affected by a rot at the center.

Lemon juice makes a good substitute for vinegar, especially in salad dressing, and for flavorings generally. Use a little lemon juice to cut the sweetness in very sweet fruit juices and use lemons in milk or cream, or canned milk, to curdle it, or when you want to make cheese. Use lemon to soften water to make an excellent rinse.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

The lemon is rich in alkaline elements. Fresh lemon juice is an outstanding source of vitamin C. However, most of this valuable vitamin is lost if the juice is left exposed to air too long. Lemons are high in potassium, rich in vitamin B, and maybe considered a good source of vitamin G. Both lemons and limes contain 5-6 percent citric acid as compared with oranges, which contain 1 to 2 percent. The lemon is classified as an acid fruit, along with other citrus fruits, cranberries, loganberries, loquats, pineapples, pomegranates, strawberries and tamrinds.

Lemons are ideal for getting rid of toxic materials in the body, but citric acid in lemons can really stir up inactive acids and inactive toxic settlements of the body. The mineral content of the lemon is alkaline-forming in its ash. However, before this alkaline ash goes into the tissues, the citric acid is stirring up many of the acids in the body andit is difficult to get rid of the toxic conditions. We cannot get rid of these toxins because the kidneys, bowels, lungs and skin are not throwing off the body acids fast enough. When these acids are not thrown off quickly enough, they stay in the body becoming so active that academia and other irritating conditions may arise. A person with a highly acid stomach and acid reactions in the body will find that he/she is allergic to many foods. Citric acid would not produce as many irritating effects in persons with this problem if they would first make sure that the eliminative organs were working properly.

Lemons, and all citric acid fruits, are good in cases of putrefaction, especially of the liver. In many cases, they will help stirrup any latent toxic settlements in the body that cannot be eliminated any other way. Lemon drinks help tremendously when we need to remove the impurities and fermentation effects of a bad liver. We have often used citric acid diets with excellent results. But citric acid juices do thin the blood and we must remember that the elimination diet is only a part of what we require for right living.

Lemons are wonderful for throat trouble and catarrh. At the first sign of a cold, drink a glass of warm, unsweetened lemonade, and the cold maybe prevented. Lemons may aid in digestion and can strengthen resistance. A little lemon and the yolk of a raw egg in a glass of orange juice is an excellent mild laxative, as well as a nutritious drink. But, if you are extremely irritable, nervous, sensitive, or highly toxic, use vegetable juices or vegetable broths instead of citric acid fruits.

Lemons are wonderful for fevers, because a feverish body responds to citric acid fruits better than any other food. If we could live correctly, we would find that citrus fruits are one of the most wonderful foods to put in the body. By “living correctly,” I , mean that if the skin is eliminating properly, it would be able to take care of its share of the waste materials that have to be eliminated. When the skin is not eliminating well and acids are stirred up with citrus fruit, the kidneys have to do more work than they are capable of doing. In this case, it is best to use vegetable juices instead of citrus juice to avoid stirring up the toxemia acids in the body. Vegetable juices carry off toxemia acids and act more as a sedative. Before we use lemons, we should make sure that the eliminative organs are working well, because if they are not, the citric acid will cause over activity. This over activity will result in constant catarrhal discharges, as well as many highly acid reactions in the body.

Lemons can be used very effectively in cases of influenza. My late teacher, Dr. V. G. Rocine, gave me this remedy for influenza many years ago: Bake a lemon for twenty minutes in the oven. Cut it in half and squeeze one half of the baked lemon into a glass of hot water. Drink this every half hour, as long as the fever is present.

The lemon seems to have the properties of increasing elimination through the skin, and therefore helps reduce the fever. The lemon also has certain effects on the germ life found in influenza, since it is a wonderful germicide. In fact, there are at least twenty different germs that can be destroyed by the use of lemon itself. To make this influenza remedy more complete, Dr. Rocine used a boneset tea along with it to control the calcium that is necessary whenever there is a fever.

Nutrients in One Pound (including peel)

Calories: 90

Protein: 3.3 g

Fat: 0.9 g

Carbohydrates: 41 g

Calcium: 274 mg

Phosphorus: 67 mg

Iron: 3.1 mg

Vitamin A: 301 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.06 mg

Riboflavin: 0.18 mg

Niacin: 0.9 mg

Ascorbic acid: 346 mg

Rethinking Cancer Newsletter #26

January 18, 2012

Filed under: Rethinking Cancer Newsletters — ggrieser @ 8:07 pm

We’re booked – e-booked, that is! Our publication, Detoxification by Ruth Sackman (next up:Triumph Over Cancer – My Recipes for Recovery by Doris Sokosh), is now available on Kindle atAmazon USUKFranceGermanySpainItalySony US and CanadaNook (Barnes & Noble); and soon, as an ibook on iTunes. A great holiday gift to a loved one or to yourself! (Feel free to post your review.)

We’ve rejiggered our Recipes page. Recipes are now listed by categories for easier access and menu planning. We welcome your input. If you have a favorite recipe using relatively few, easily attainable, healthy ingredients, we’d love to consider adding it to the page, with special acknowledgement to the sender, if used (with your permission, of course).

Thanks for all your support this year! Have a wonderful, healthy holiday!

Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy (F.A.C.T.)

P.S. If you’re looking for other gift ideas, there’s always the Rethinking Cancer DVD or good, old-fashioned paper editions of our books! (All purchases are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated for the continuation of our work.) As always, keep in touch on Twitter and Facebook.

To Buy or Not to Buy Organic?
By Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan, author, activist and professor of journalism at the University of California-Berkeley, has been speaking out about food, nature and culture for over 25 years. In 2010 he was named to the TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people. Here he offers common sense answers to some frequently asked food questions.

Should I buy local foods or stick to organic?

It depends on what you value most. If keeping pesticides out of your food is your highest value, then buy organic. If you care most about freshness and quality or keeping local farms in business and circulating money in your community, buy local. But very often you can do both. Re

Why Junk Food Is Aging

If you need another reason to kick the soda habit, here it is. Research published online in theFASEB Journal (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) shows that high levels of phosphates may add more fizzle to sodas and processed foods than previously thought. New evidence shows that ingesting these accelerates signs of aging by increasing the prevalence and severity of age-related complications, such as chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular calcification and severe muscle and skin atrophy. Read More

Red in the Face!
Cranberries for Skin Care

Cranberries, first used as food by Native Americans, as well as wound medicine and dye, are a holiday staple today in the U.S. and parts of Europe. The berries are a good source of Vitamin C, dietary fiber, manganese and other nutrients and the juice has proven effective against bacterial infections, especially in the urinary tract. But, cranberries are not only good for our insides, it appears they have something to offer our outsides, too:

A cleanser/moisturizer for dry skin:

Use ½ cup fresh cranberries.Chop fine in a blender or food processor. Press through a strainer to get the juice and mix with 1 teaspoon raw honey. Rub this onto your face and leave on for 2 minutes, then rinse off with lukewarm water. Your face should feel fresh and clean.

A toner for oily skin:

Use pure cranberry juice (not a sugary, commercial blend). Saturate a cotton ball with the juice, wipe your face, then follow with cool water. Do this regularly for firm, glowing skin.

Spice of the Month: Clove

imgCloves (Eugenia caryophyllus), the dried flower buds of an Asian evergreen tree, look like crude-shaped nails – so no surprise the word “clove” comes from the Latin clavus, meaning “nail.” The Chinese wrote about this pungent, slightly sweet tasting spice as early as 400 B.C., including records of courtiers told to keep cloves in their mouths to avoid offending the emperor while addressing him. Today, the custom continues in Asia where cloves are often used as an after-dinner breath freshener.

This is one of the most penetrating spices on the planet. Eugenol, the oil of clove, is so powerful, if you apply it to skin, you’ll get an instant rush of localized numbness, making it especially useful for toothaches. The oil is a mild anesthetic, as strong as benzocaine, the chemical commonly used to numb oral tissue before the dentist sticks in a needle. But clove has much more to offer than dental relief. A multi-purpose remedy, it is effective in an impressive array of situations like improving digestion, aiding childbirth, fighting infection and dissolving blood clots. Read More

Hot Mulled Cider Supreme

  • 2 quarts unfiltered apple cider
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 organic orange, unpeeled, thinly sliced
  • extra cinnamon sticks and orange slices for garnish
  1. Pour the cider into a large pot. Stir in the cloves, star anise, orange slices, cinnamon sticks and ginger.
  2. Using medium heat, bring the contents to near boiling, but DO NOT BOIL. Turn down heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  3. Strain and, if you want to serve straight away, return the mulled cider to the pot to keep warm. If not, allow to cool and reheat when ready to use.
  4. Serve in mugs with a cinnamon swizzle stick and an orange slice.

Variations: Try this with grape or cranberry juice or organic red wine. Instead of having to strain the whole mixture, you can tie the spices up in cheesecloth and remove after cooking.

For the holidays, you may want to step things up a notch: add a splash of rum or brandy to each mug before adding the mulled cider. To fill your whole house with tantalizing spicy aromas, prepare this in a crockpot – cook on low 4-5 hours, then keep on warm setting for serving. Makes 8 cups. Happy Holidays!

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Oranges

January 17, 2012

Filed under: Foods of the Week, What's New? — admin @ 7:07 am

The citrus fruit is one of the oldest fruits known in the history of cultivation. As early as 500 B.C. the fruit of the citrus tree was mentioned in a collection of old documents believed to be edited by Confucius himself. In the year A.D. 1178, Han Yen-Chi, a Chinese horticulturist, wrote on the subject of oranges, and the seedless orange was mentioned in these writings. This author speaks of twenty-seven varieties of “very valuable and precious” oranges.

Oranges were originally brought from China to India, and gradually spread over the entire world where the climate was mild enough for their cultivation. The sour orange, or “Naranga,” as it was referred to in Sanskrit about A.D. 100. came into cultivation in the basin of the Mediterranean long before the fall of the Roman Empire. The sweet variety, or “Airavata,” does not appear to have been cultivated until early in the fifteenth century, and then became so popular that it was soon being cultivated extensively throughout Southern Europe. The Moors brought the Seville orange from the East.

Wild oranges were found in the West Indies and Brazil as early as1600. The early Spanish explorers are believed to have brought oranges with them to this country in the time of Ponce de Leon’s quest for the Fountain of Youth. In California, the orange was cultivated at the San Diego Mission in 1769 and, in the year 1804, 400 seedlings grew into a grove of considerable size around the San Gabriel Mission. The popularity of the orange, particularly in the favorable climate of California, grew rapidly, until it soon developed into a leading industry. The orange became known as “California’s liquid sunshine.”

The original orange was very small, bitter, and full of seeds, but through constant efforts in cross-fertilization and selection, many varieties of this delicious fruit are now cultivated with a tremendous improvement in the quality of the fruit. The sweet oranges are, by far, the most popular, while the sour orange is used more for its propagating stock than for its fruit. Unless killed by frost or fire, the orange tree lives to an old age and continues to bear fruit throughout its lifetime.

More than two hundred varieties of oranges are grown in the United States. In 1919 the United States produced only about 25 percent of the world’s total output of oranges, but now it produces about half. Oranges comprise about 60 percent of the citrus fruit grown in the United States.

Oranges are available every day of the year, but are most abundant in the United States from January to May. California, Florida, and Texas are the orange-producing states, and each of these states ships great quantities. California’s vast Valencia orange acreage is now more extensive than the Navel orange plantings. This state now has about 150.000 acres of Valendas, and about 100,000 acres of Navels, with an additional few thousand acres of miscellaneous orange varieties. The largest proportion of the California orange crop-about 85 to 90 percent, comes from southern California.

Choose the first oranges of the season, for they are the richest in mineral values. Tree-ripened oranges have, by far, the greatest mineral content. The best quality orange is firm and heavy, has a fine-textured skin varying in texture according to variety, and is well-colored. The light orange lacks juice. Avoid the soft, flabby, or shriveled orange and those oranges with any soft or moldy areas upon them. Do not eat unripe oranges because they can cause stomach upsets. particularly in small children. Once the skin is cut or broken, the fruit should be eaten immediately as the vitamin C is banned by exposure to the air. If orange juice is kept for a period of time, store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

The orange is classified as a subtropical fruit and has a citric add content of 1.5 percent. This alkaline-reacting fruit is best eaten with other tropical or subtropical fruits, with add fruits, or with nuts or milk. It is best to avoid eating this fruit with starches or sweets, or with dried fruits.

Use oranges as a dessert fruit, with yogurt, or in combination salads. Make a cup of a segmented orange the thick-skinned seedless orange is best for segmenting-and nil with cottage cheese. Make liquefied drinks, mixing orange juice with other subtropical or tropical fruits such as cactus fruits,loquats, mango, papaya, persimmon, pineapple, pomegranate, apples, and citrus fruits. Many have advised eating oranges or drinking orange juice with meals, early in the morning on an empty stomach, or directly following a meal if the body is in a highly add condition.

The orange is one of the best sources of water-soluble vitamin C. The absence or insufficiency of this causes scurvy. As vitamin C is the least stable of all the vitamins, storage of orange juice at low temperature destroys the vitamin to some extent, and sterilization may destroy it completely. Generally, I think it is best to use the citric add fruits in sections rather than in juices. When the orange is eaten in sections, the mineral material found in the pulp will help to neutralize the citric add effect as it goes into the body.

Citrus fruits are high in sodium, but only when completely matured in the sunshine. The fruit acids from green or immature fruit cause many adverse body reactions.

If the section and bulk of the orange is fresh and sweet, it is an excellent food for children as a supplement for those who must drink cow’s milk, or any milk, because it seems to help in the retention of calcium in the body. Ripe oranges contain as much as 10 percent fruit sugar, which can be immediately assimilated by the body.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Oranges are the most popular source of Vitamin C. They are excellent for treating over acid body conditions, constipation, or a particularly sluggish intestinal tract. In cases of acidosis, drink orange juice, or eat oranges after meals. If the intestinal tract is not functioning properly, drink a large glass of orange juice upon wakening in the morning, or about one-half hour before breakfast. In the cases of stomach acid deficiency, start the meal with a peeled orange or a glass of orange juice.

Those who suffer from tooth decay or poor gums are probably lacking in vitamin C and should drink large amounts of orange juice for a period of a few weeks. People with gastric and duodenal ulcers are deficient in ascorbic acid, and their diet should be supplemented with a high potency vitamin C such as that found in fresh oranges and orange juice.

Orange are very good for elimination. They stir up the acid accumulations and catarrhal settlements in the body very quickly. However, sometimes this is not a good idea if the channels of elimination, such as skin and kidneys, are not able to take out these acids fast enough.

Eat the whole orange, excluding the very outer skin, to get all the good from the fruit. The luscious orange is rated tops in importance in the contribution to health.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 164

Protein: 2.9g

Fat: 0.7 g

Carbohydrates: 36.6 g

Calcium: 108 mg

Phosphorus: 75 mg

Iron: 1.3 mg

Vitamin A: 9101 I.U.

Thiamine: .25mg

Riboflavin: .08 mg

Niacin: .08 mg

Ascorbic acid: 162 mg

Spice of the Month: Star Anise

January 15, 2012

Filed under: Spice of the Month — ggrieser @ 7:52 pm

Star anise (Illicium verum), with its sensual curves, firm body and alluring scent, wins the spice beauty pageant! And it’s beauty is more than skin deep.

The perfect 8-pointed star with slender pods, each pod cradling a seed, is the sun-dried fruit of native Chinese evergreens. Its most noticeable characteristic is it’s licorice aroma – much stronger, sweeter and denser than the more common Spanish anise seeds. This licorice taste comes from anethol, just one of this spice’s compounds that have been shown to possess healing powers for a wide range of maladies, such as fighting infections, relieving arthritis, colic, cough, indigestion and more.

Buying and Storage

Buy whole, broken pieces or ground. Intact stars are more for aesthetics than a matter of taste or freshness; broken pieces most likely indicate aggressive handling during shipping or packaging. A whole star should have no more than 8 points (carpals). You don’t want to confuse it with Japanese star anise which has more points and is poisonous – AND is not sold on the open market! The Japanese version also smells like turpentine or denatured alcohol, not licorice, so it’s quite easy to distinguish.

Best test for freshness: you should be able to detect its aroma immediately. No aroma means it’s past it’s time. Whole star anise has a long storage life: 5 years if kept in a glass jar with airtight lid in a cool, dark place. Ground keeps for less than a year, if stored in the same conditions.

Medicinal Properties

Infection Fighter: For thousands of years, star anise has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to fight flu by clearing mucous from the respiratory tract. Today, science has confirmed this capability. In fact, shikimic acid, one of the compounds in the spice, is a key component of Tamiflu, the most commonly prescribed drug for treating flu.

Studies have shown that the spice is effective in viral, bacterial or fungal infections and inflammation, including septic shock, an often fatal, system-wide infection; herpes simplex 1, reducing cold sores; eliminating 99% of streptococcus mutans, the bacteria found in cavities.

Coughs: Star anise enjoys a considerable reputation as medicine in coughs and chest infections.  A common ingredient in medicinal teas, cough medicines and lozenges, it’s especially effective in hard, dry coughs and whooping coughs.

Anti-Cancer: Various compounds found in star anise kill cancer cells and, in lab research, reduce damage to brain cells.

Rheumatism and Arthritis: The spice helps reduce painful inflammation. The Chinese prescribe a star anise tea to bring relief.

Digestive Aid: In Chinese medicine the seeds are chewed before meals to spark appetite or after to relieve gas and bloating. The spice is also used to combat colic, which may be caused by gastrointestinal problems, such as gas brought on by overfeeding or intestinal spasm. The seed pod can be chewed as a breath freshener. To make a tea: put 1-1/2 cups of cold water and 6-8 stars in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes. For digestive problems, drink a cup several times a day, if possible after each meal.

In the Kitchen

Star anise provides that je ne sais quoi – that intangible quality that gives a distinctive flavor to certain Chinese dishes, like Peking duck and spare ribs. The traditional Chinese cook wraps star anise in a muslin sack and puts it in “master stock” to which new ingredients can be continually added over months or even years.  A master stock recipe is generally kept as a family secret, passed on through generations.  In Europe, where the spice was unknown until the 17th century, it’s a popular flavoring for confections, jams, syrups and cordials.

This spice has a strong licorice flavor with a slight suggestion of cinnamon and clove. A little goes a long way! One whole star, or a pinch of ground, is enough to enhance a vegetable stir fry.  Too much makes a dish bitter. In whole form the spice is not edible, so many cooks remove the star from the pot after cooking and place it on the platter or plate as garnish. The powder and seeds are edible and have an intriguing nuttiness.

A few ways to use star anise:

  • In soups, stews and casseroles requiring long cooking, especially with beef or chicken.
  • Place in pan when making roast chicken or duck.
  • Add to stewed apples or plums.
  • Add to the liquid when poaching chicken or fish.
  • Rub the ground spice into poultry or game before cooking.

Sources:

The  Epicentre: Encyclopedia of Spices
Healing Spices by Bharat Aggarwal, PhD (Sterling Publishing)
DigHerbs

Grapefruit

January 9, 2012

The name “grapefruit” originated in the West Indies in the eighteenth century, perhaps because of the fact that its fruit grows in clusters of three to twelve or more, similar to grape clusters. This citrus fruit was cultivated more than 4000 years ago in India and Malaysia, but it was not until the sixteenth century that it was introduced to this country by the Spaniards. For many years it was not popular because of its slightly bitter taste. From 1880 to 1885 a group of Florida grapefruit growers shipped crates of the fruit to Philadelphia and New York and encouraged people to try it. In about 1915 the commercial sale of grapefruit expanded, until its production spread into three other states—California, Arizona, and Texas.

The United States furnishes about 97 percent of the world’s supply of grapefruit, and Florida and Texas together produce about 90 percent of the grapefruit grown in the United States. The Marsh seedless grapefruit is the most popular variety today.

The grapefruit tree is about the size of the orange tree and reaches a height of twenty to forty feet. Like the orange, it blooms in the spring. In California and Arizona, the fruit ripens throughout the year. Although grapefruit is available all year, it is most abundant from January through May. Grapefruit is also imported by the United States from Cuba in the late summer and early fall.

Grapefruit of good quality is firm, but springy to the touch, well-shaped, and heavy for its size—the heavier the fruit, the better. Do not choose soft, wilted, or flabby fruit. The heavy fruits are usually thin-skinned and contain more juice than those with coarse skin or those puffy or spongy to the touch.

Grapefruit often has a reddish brown color over the normal yellow, which is called “russeting.” Russeting does not affect the flavor in any way. Most of the defects found on the skin of the grapefruit are minor and do not affect the eating quality of the fruit. However, fruit with decayed spots is not desirable, as the decay usually affects the flavor. Decay may appear as a soft, discolored area on the stem end of the fruit or it may appear as a colorless area that breaks easily when pressure is applied. If the skin of the fruit appears rough, ridged, or wrinkled, it is likely to be thick-skinned.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Grapefruit is a subtropical acid fruit, and is highly alkaline in reaction. It is best eaten with other acid fruits, nuts, or milk. Eat grapefruit immediately after cutting into the rind to benefit from all of its goodness. For best digestion and assimilation, avoid eating grapefruit with sweeter fruits or with starches. The grapefruit is less acidulous than the lemon and is a good substitute when oranges or their juice cannot be tolerated, or when the alkaline reserves in the body need to be augmented.

Grapefruit is rich in vitamins C and B1, and is a good source of vitamin B12. It is low in calories, which makes it a good drink on a reducing diet. There is less sugar in grapefruit than in oranges. Eat the sun-ripened fruit when possible, as this fruit needs no sweetening, and is better for you. If sweetening is necessary, use a little honey.

Grapefruit is very rich in citric acids and their salts, and in potassium and calcium. Use it often in combination with meats, because grapefruit juice is excellent as an aid in the digestion of meats. However, avoid the overuse of all citric acid fruits as they are a powerful dissolver of the catarrhal accumulations in the body and the elimination of too much toxic material all at once may cause boils, irritated nerves, diarrhea, and other problems. People are often so eager to get vitamins and minerals into the body that they sometimes do not consider that the powerful action of citric acid causes irritation and discomfort.

When taken right before bedtime, grapefruit is conducive to a sound sleep. A drink of grapefruit juice first thing in the morning helps prevent constipation. It is also an excellent aid in reducing fevers from colds and the flu, and seldom causes allergic reactions.

Grapefruit rind contains the very valuable vitamin P, which is an important vitamin for healthy gums and teeth. This vitamin may be extracted by simmering the rind in water for about twenty minutes. Strain, and drink.

The sour taste of grapefruit increases the flow of digestive juices in the stomach. Grapefruit served at the beginning of a meal stimulates the appetite and helps in digestion.

This fruit is also good for any hardening of body tissue, such as hardening of the liver and the arteries. It can also help prevent stone formations.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 133

Protein: 1.5 g

Fat: 0.6 g

Carbohydrates: 30.3 g

Calcium: 51 mg

Phosphorus: 54 mg

Iron: 0.9 mg

Vitamin A: 4770 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.11 mg

Riboflavin: 0.06 mg

Niacin: 0.06 mg

Ascorbic acid: 12 mg

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