Herb Safety

Recipes for Kids from my book, Diets For Healthy Healing

Maintenance Recipes for a Child’s Healthy Diet

Use these recipes on an ongoing basis once the initial healing diet is producing good results. Excerpted from my book, Diets For Healthy Healing



Perfect Fiber Cereal

¼ cup sliced almonds ¼ cup pumpkin seeds ¼ cup sunflower seeds ¼ cup chopped walnuts a few pinches cinnamon and cardamom powder 4 oz. pitted prunes 4 oz. dried apricots 4 oz. dried papaya 2 tbsp. honey 2 oranges, sectioned 1 banana, sliced

Preheat oven to 250˚F. Toast the almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts in the oven. Add pinches of cinnamon and cardamom powder on top. Soak the prunes, dried apricots and dried papaya in water to cover. Add the dried fruit mix to a soup pot, and simmer over low heat to reduce liquid by half. Stir in the honey, orange sections, banana and nut mix. Serve warm or cold. Makes about 3 cups.


Piña Colada Mineral-Enzyme Smoothie

1 cup pinapple, cubed and frozen 1 banana, frozen ¾ cups vanilla rice milk (or almond milk) ½ cup vanilla yogurt, frozen ½ cup orange juice ½ tsp. vanilla extract 3 tbsp. toasted shredded coconut

Peel and cube fruit before freezing. In a blender, mix all ingredients until smooth. Serve while frosty. Makes 2 servings.

Healing drinks

Strawberry Apple Lemonade

1½ qt. apple juice 1½ cups lemon juice 1 cup strawberries, sliced

Pour all ingredients into a large pitcher, chill and serve over ice.

Soups, salads, appetizers


Roasted Potato & Sweet Potato Sticks

2 sweet potatos, cut into sticks 2 russet potatoes, cut into sticks 2 tbsp. grapeseed oil

Preheat oven to 500°F. Oil a baking sheet. Toss potato sticks with the grapeseed oil. Place side by side, not touching on baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes or until crispy. Season with sea salt, pepper, dulse flakes and herbal seasoning salt. Serves 4 people.

Fancy Cheese Nachos

1 lb. baked nacho chips 1⁄3 cup plain sparkling water 4 oz. kefir cheese (or low-fat cream cheese) 8 oz. low-fat pepperjack cheese 8 oz. low-fat cheddar cheese ½ cup spinach (or chard), shredded ¼ cup natural salsa

On a cookie sheet, toast the chips until crisp. In a pan over very low heat, simmer the water, kefir cheese, pepperjack cheese, cheddar cheese, spinach and salsa until cheese melts and is smooth. Spoon over toasted chips, then briefly place in the broiler to brown. Makes enough to fill a tray.


Baby Shrimp Tostadas

8 oz. cooked salad shrimp ½ ripe avocado 1 tbsp. red onion, minced 3 tbsp. low-fat mayonnaise 2 tbsp. lemon juice 1 green jalapeño chile, minced 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced 1 tsp. lemon-garlic seasoning 24 tostada chip rounds

To make the topping, mix the avocado, onion, mayonnaise, lemon juice, jalapeño, cilantro, and lemon-garlic seasoning. Divide this mixture on the tostada chip rounds. Top each with the shrimp. Broil 1 minute and serve hot. Makes 24 mini tostadas.



Deep Dish Italian Pie

Like a mushroom pizza without the crust.

1 (15 oz.) jar natural pizza sauce 1 small eggplant, peeled and sliced 1½ cups grated low-fat mozzarrella cheese 1 yellow onion, sliced 1 tsp. Italian herb blend ½ tsp. anise seed 2 tbsp. olive oil 1 red bell pepper, sliced 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced 1 lb. fresh tomatoes, chopped ¼ cup red wine 2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

Prepare a 9" x 13" pan. Preheat oven to 375°F. Sauté the onion, Italian herbs and anise seed in 2 tbsp. olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and mushrooms; toss until coated. Add the tomatoes and toss to coat. Spread pizza sauce to cover bottom of the pan, and cover with the eggplant slices. Cover with the mozzarella and top with the tomato/mushroom mixture. Pour on rest of pizza sauce and sprinkle with the red wine and parmesan-reggiano cheese. Bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 20 more minutes. Cut in 9 big squares to serve.



How to use Herbs Safely in Herbal Combinations


Your body has its own unique, wonderful mechanism. It has the ability to bring itself to its own bal­anced and healthy state. Herbs simply pave the way for the body to do its own work, by breaking up toxins, cleansing, lubricating, toning and nourishing. Herbs promote elimination of waste matter and toxins from the system by simple natural means. They support nature in its strive for balance. Herbs work better in combination than they do singly. Like the notes of a symphony, herbs work better in harmony than standing alone.

A good herbal formula gives your body a wealth of subtle healing essences from which to choose. Herbs work synergistically together… one and one can make three.

As I formulate an herbal combination, I work from the point of view of the health condition, and I work with the way herbs combine together to get the desired effect, not just the properties of each herb.

Why Herbs Work Better In Combination

1. Herbs work synergistically and more efficiently in a combination. The value is in the formula, not simply one or two chemicals within it, no matter how potent they are. Synergy plays an important role in safety, too. (Look at what happens when we refine wheat, extract sugar cane, distill alcohol, isolate ephedrine from ephedra or cocaine from coca leaves - incredible health problems for both the user and society.)

2. A good combination contains two to five primary herbs for specific healing purposes. Since all body parts, and symptoms, are interrelated, it is wise to have herbs which can affect each part of the problem. For example, in a prostate supporting formula, there would be herbs to dissolve sediment, anti-inflammatory herbs, tissue-toning and strengthening herbs, and herbs with immune enhancing properties.

3. Herbs are foods, full of nutrients… and nutrients always work best as a team. Thus a combination of herbal nutrients gently stimulates the body as a whole, encouraging body balance rather than a large supply of one or two focused properties.

4. A good combination includes herbs that can work at different stages of need. A good example of this is a PMS formula, which includes herbs for quick  symptom relief, better energy, bloat relief, mood elevation, liver support and long term hormone balance.

5. A combination of several herbs with similar properties increases the latitude of effectiveness, not only through a wider range of activity, but also by reinforcing herbs that were picked too late or too early, or grew in adverse weather conditions. No two people, or their bodies, are alike. Good response is augmented by a combination of herbs.

6. Finally, certain herbs, like capsicum, lobelia, sassafras, mandrake, tansy, Canada snake root, wormwood, woodruff, poke root, and rue are beneficial in small amounts and as catalysts, but should not be used alone.

Want to learn more? Please download this FREE excerpt on "How to Use Herbs Safely," from the bestseling book, Healthy Healing 14th Edition.

To Life-long health,

Linda Page

Easing Mild to Moderate Depression

Today, the World Health Organization recognizes depression as one of the top four disabling diseases in the world! Clinical depression is much more than a case of the blues. Depression is both a mental and emotional state, a feeling of being in a box that you can’t escape. It’s closely tied to illness; over 80% of terminal cancer patients have a history of chronic depression. Mood disorders affect 30 million Americans (women more than men) and we spend over $20 billion on treatment. Americans take more antidepressants than any other generation in history! But are we really any happier? Prescription drugs for depression produce a myriad of side effects from low libido and fatigue to agitation and weight gain. Even more frightening, new research shows some SSRI anti-depressants like Paxil tamper with delicate brain chemistry and may even increase suicide risk in young adults (18-30).

Non-toxic avenues of healing can help relieve some types of depression and should be actively explored first. However, if you’re already taking antidepressants and would like to try a more natural approach, consult with your doctor first.  Going off antidepressant drugs “cold turkey” can cause withdrawal symptoms that may need to be monitored professionally.

Are you depressed? If you answer yes to three or more of the following questions, then you may be suffering from mild to moderate depression.

Do you sleep excessively, and feel lethargic, sad, or pessimistic when you’re awake? Have you lost your appetite with marked weight loss, or do you eat a lot with new weight gain? Have you lost interest or pleasure in regular activities that you used to like? Has your sex drive decreased? Has your energy been exceptionally low? Do you have symptoms like mood swings, energy slumps, and irritability? Do you drink more alcohol than you used to? Do you often feel self-reproach or guilt?

Note: If depression is long lasting, severe or is accompanied with suicidal thoughts, seek professional help right away. Major depression can be serious.

4 Tips for Depression Relief

1: Get plenty of healthy protein (about 15% of total calorie intake) to minimize depression. Include protein from seafoods, sea plants, rice, sprouts, soy foods, nuts, seeds, organic turkey and chicken, eggs and low fat cheeses to control depression-related tissue destruction. Amino acids in protein foods help build healthy neurotransmitters for coping with depression. Add foods rich in the amino acid L-tryptophan (soy, cheeses and turkey) to help build serotonin, essential for overcoming depression and insomnia. Add green superfoods daily for “extra strength” nutrition. A few superfoods to choose from are chlorella, spirulina, barley grass, or wheat grass.

2: Have an adrenal tonic 2 to 3x a week to prevent stress reactions that precipitate major depression: a glass of carrot juice with a pinch of sage and 1 tsp. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos .

3: Add Omega-3 rich foods to your diet from cold water fish or flax seed. At least four studies show Omega 3 fatty acids can benefit the symptoms of depression. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to brain health, helping the brain neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin perform their mood stabilizing functions. I’m a big believer in eating from the sea for mild to moderate depression. Omega 3-rich salmon or tuna sushi rolls are especially beneficial.

4. Exercise anxiety and depression away. Exercise is natural antidepressant that stimulates the secretion of “feel good” chemical endorphins. Also, get some daily sunlight on the body for vitamin D, a natural serotonin boost.

To Life-long health,

Sarah Abernathy

Seaweed Iodine

I understand many of you have serious concerns about radiation fallout. Our office has been inundated with questions on how to protect against radiation damage in the body since the tsunami of 2011 and the ensuing nuclear disaster at Japan's Fukushima Daiich plant.  I’m glad to report we do have some good news in light of all this destruction. Seaweeds purify all the world’s oceans- they can do the same for your body. Seaweeds like kelp, dulse and Irish Moss can protect us from a wide range of toxic elements in the environment, including radiation by-products, converting them into harmless salts that our bodies can eliminate. Iodine  can reduce by almost 80% radioactive iodine-131 that is absorbed by the thyroid. Seaweeds are so effective that even the former U.S. Atomic Energy Commission recommended that people consume two to three ounces of seaweeds a week (or 2 tbsp. of algin supplements a day) for protection against radiation poisoning.

Although seaweeds contain the compounds that directly counteract carcinogens, most researchers believe that they also have value in boosting the body’s immune system so it can combat the carcinogens itself. 

IMPORTANT: Seaweed based products do not contain as high of levels of iodine as phamaceutical grade potassium iodide (K1), but they do help shore up deficiendies and are a good choice to keep your thyroid gland nourished with organic iodine. Preventively, they are a great choice, but in the event of a serious nuclear emergency, you will need to work with a qualified medical professional to establish a proper protocol. We are all exposed to natural radiation in many forms daily. For a helpful table on radiation risks, please visit this link.

To Life-long health,

Linda Page

Using Herbs for Fertility Q & A

Q- How do whole herbs address fertility differently than drugs? A- Whole herbs address a variety of fertility problems: hormone imbalance; toxin overload; stress; reproductive obstructions and scarring. They are much different than drug approaches in that they are gentle, generally free of side effects and do not carry serious risks like reproductive cancers like IVF fertility drugs. They do work more slowly than fertility drugs but their body balancing effect can be felt over time and they can produce tangible fertility benefits. A general rule of thumb is to expect one month of healing for every year you’ve  had the problem.

While we must recognize and respect the power of herbal medicines, herbs are really foods with medicinal qualities. As medicine, whole herbs are essentially body balancers that work with the body functions, so that the body can heal and regulate itself.


-Sarah Abernathy

Herbal Consultant

December Herb of the Month- Rosemary

Rosemary- Rosmarinus officinalis According to folk legend, smelling rosemary on Christmas eve will bring happiness for the coming year. Rosemary is a symbol of remembrance, friendship and fidelity, still used in European weddings and funerals. Rosemary branches were burned to purify the air, ward off evil, illness and the Plague since ancient times. Its aromatic, needle-like leaves are a culinary favorite in Mediterranean dishes and Herbes de Provence seasoning.

Today’s common uses: Rosemary is one of nature’s best antioxidant sources to fight free radical damage; great for cardiac health, with anti-inflammatory and anti-cholesterol activity. Its antioxidants can provide a shield against carcinogens, preventing cancer causing chemicals from binding to DNA. Its antioxidants help prevent free radical damage to delicate brain tissue. Rosemary is a powerful nerve and brain stimulant. It uplifts your spirits, boosts energy, and sharpens mental focus. It specifically improves memory lapses and menopausal “brain fog,” and counteracts the effects of aging. Rosemary stimulates hair follicle growth and strengthens hair. Rosemary rinses especially add luster, retain hair color, reduce hair loss.

Traditional Herbal Medicine uses: Rosemary has been used for centuries to enhance memory and soothe digestive problems. In ancient Greece and Rome, students dabbed oil on their foreheads or wore rosemary garlands or sprigs in their hair to strengthen memory and boost energy during exams. Shakespeare’ Hamlet refers to “rosemary for remembrance.” Used in many folk remedies for colds, coughs, headaches, heart problems, rheumatic pain, indigestion, gas, muscle and back pain.

Key compounds: Flavonoids, rosmarinic acid, volatile oil, calcium, borneol, camphor, eucalyptol. Gentle, non-invasive, rich antioxidant proanthocyanidins promote healthy veins, arteries and capillaries. Modern research reveals its antioxidants and other compounds help prevent breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain, a key brain chemical for memory.

Common doses: You don’t have to heap on the rosemary. Less than a teaspoon, even added to food or wine, has powerful benefits. For dandruff massage a strong rosemary and nettle tea into hair nightly. Wrap hair in a cap and rinse out in the morning. Hair will look and feel squeaky clean. For a conditioning hair rinse, simmer 2 to 3 tbsp. rosemary sprigs in a small pot of hot water until fragrant, let cool and pour through hair.

Safety precautions: Do not take essential rosemary oil internally, it can be toxic, even small doses. Do not take medicinal doses if pregnant or breastfeeding. Test for skin sensitivity for topical application.

Works in synergy with: 1) Depress-Ex uses rosemary with St.John’s wort, kava, lady slipper, American ginseng, ashwagandha, eleuthero rt. to ease mild depression. 2) Muscle Relaxer uses rosemary with cramp brk.,Jamaican dogwood, black haw, kava, St. john’s wort, passionflower to ease headaches, back spasms, cramps, and muscle pain. 3) Beautiful Hair & Nails uses rosemary with seaweeds, nettles, sage, horsetail, oatstraw, alfalfa for healthy hair and nails.


Are You Stressed Out?

More than 30% of Americans say they are under constant stress. Eight out of ten people say their stress has grown in the last 5 years, citing the economy as the most significant factor. The impact on health is devastating. Research shows that up to 95% of visits to health care professionals are stress-related! Everyone is affected by varying degrees of stress… people who work in polluted areas, people at control desks, people who travel coast to coast, people with boring jobs, and especially people who can’t find a job. Profound stress, like that caused by job loss or the loss of a loved one, takes a serious mental and physical toll.

What are the health effects of chronic stress?

Stress in itself is not a disease, but the more “stressed out” you become, the more vulnerable you are to colds, flu, ulcers, allergies, even heart attacks and high blood pressure. Long term stress invariably leads to severe fatigue from adrenal exhaustion, and can result in depression. Stress shows up in how you look, too.  Blemishes appear around the chin; nails become brittle and peel, hair is dull and lifeless. Stress can even make your hair fall out!

Herbal nervines calm stress reactions, safely.

While drug therapy provides good short-term results in anxiety reduction, it has serious drawbacks like addiction and over- sedation. Antidepressant drugs, besides their side effects, change body chemistry and make you more at risk for panic attacks and abnormal behavior. In contrast, herbal nervines tone, relax and have a strengthening effect on the nervous system. The natural nervine action of herbs like ashwagadha and scullcap (Relax caps) help to reduce symptoms of stress, without causing daytime sleepiness.

Quick tip: Massage therapy once a month, especially cranial sacral therapy is another wonderful stress-relieving choice.

To Life-long health,

Linda Page

The Safe Use of Herbs

People have been using herbs for thousands of years to meet their health needs. Self care is still the primary use of herbs. While we must always respect the power of herbs, they are really foods with medicinal qualities. As nutrients, they are able to address both the symptoms and causes of a problem. As nourishment, herbs offer the body nutrients it may not always receive, either because of poor diet, or environmental deficiencies in the soil and air. As medicine, herbs are essentially body balancers that work with the body functions, so that it can heal and regulate itself.

Here are the facts:

  • Research from the American Association of Poison Control Centers, report NO deaths as a results of dietary supplement use. Some experts say that there are no credible reports of deaths caused by dietary supplements (including herbal supplements) in this century.
  • However, Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) or interactions are estimated to be between the 4th and 6th leading cause of death in the United States—with a death toll of over 200,000 people each year!

Most commercial herbs, as edible plants, are as extremely safe to take as foods. Herbs offer a rich variety of healing elements with almost no side effects. Occasionally, a mild allergy-type reaction may occur as it might occur to a food, a personal response to a certain plant. The key to avoiding an adverse reaction is moderation. Anything taken to excess can cause side effects.

To Life-long Health,

Linda Page