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February, 2004

A monthly newsletter dedicated to serving the principles of
physical and spiritual health envisioned in the Baha’i Teachings

Volume 8, Issue No.2



— Herbal Recipes for Five Senses
--- Still Looking for Production Assistant
— Counsels on Eating Simply
— Readers Respond to Question of the Month
• Cookbook Confidence
• Virtues of Virgin Coconut Oil
— Whole Foods Recipe Swap
— Buckwheat and Your Blood Sugar
— Whittle Waistline with High Fiber and Whole Grains
---- Baha'i Conference on Health and Healing
— Readers Request Assistance
— Question of the Month
— Letters
— Web site
— Purpose of Newsletter





By Pat Blake

Ever since I was young, I have been very excited and involved in the healing methods involving herbs and foods that grew near me. I truly believe those herbaceous neighbors living right under our feet are there to protect us, feed us and keep us well.

Almost every day, we hear in the media about some new discovery in the ethno-botanical world. Sometimes the claims are a bit outrageous, such as the huge amounts of weight we can lose by sipping the newest wonder tea. Hopefully, we are all sensible enough to be wary of such miraculous claims. We must realize, that ultimately, we are all responsible for the choices we make. When you look to make choices from plants that grow close to the earth, you know you are on the right track to wellness.

The idea that herbs and other plants have healthful properties has always been an integral part of my lifestyle, so when I became a Baha’i many years ago, I was not surprised to learn that the teachings in my chosen faith state: “Treat disease through diet; and if you find what is required in a single herb, do not resort to compounded medication." (‘Abdu’l-Baha, “Baha’u’llah and the New Era,” p. 106).

And: "The people of Baha must develop the science of medicine to such a high degree that they will heal illnesses by means of foods." (‘Abdu’l-Baha, “Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha,” p. 153.)

Along with a dear friend, I developed a five-class, herbal series devoted to our senses. Did you know that there are herbs to support and protect those senses?

In most studies, herbalists concentrate on our body’s systems, so it is a bit of a twist to think in terms of sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing and the herbs that go with each.

The following are recipes to suit each sense.


Rosemary Cookies

One-half cup butter

1 cup raw sugar *

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or rose water

1 and one-half cups flour

One-quarter teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

One-half teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Cream the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla until fluffy. Sift flour with the salt, baking powder, rosemary and lemon peel. Stir in the creamed mixture.

Place dough on waxed paper or foil sheet and roll into log. Refrigerate 4-12 hours or freeze for 1 hour. Slice one-quarter inch thick and place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes.

What a taste surprise to find a healing herb such as rosemary in a cookie.

* Note: For those who do not want to use sugar, I would not rule out trying honey in the same amount to see what happens, then adding a bit more flour to make the dough dry enough to handle. I suggest fig powder instead of raw sugar. It has a very different flavor, but the rosemary should still come through. We are talking about the “spirit” of taste after all. Do not be afraid to experiment. I say there are no failures when cooking — just variations.


Dr. Duke’s Soup for the Eyes

(Adapted from James Duke, Ph.D., “Green Pharmacy”)

2 cups fresh or canned pumpkin

2 cups fresh orange sections

1 cup carrots

1 cup sweet potato

2 teaspoons grated fresh orange rind

Put all ingredients in a saucepan with 1 and one-half cups pink grapefruit juice (add a little sweetener if you must) along with turmeric and paprika. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Put through a food processor and serve hot with a sprinkle of coconut.

Your mother always told you, "Bunnies can see at night because they eat their carrots". She was right.


Dr. Duke’s Sinus Soup

(Adapted from James Duke, Ph.D., “Green Pharmacy.”)

Start with your favorite, basic minestrone soup and add heaping helpings of:

Garlic and/or onions


Hot peppers


This soup “warms the soul while it opens the sinuses!”


Garlic Oil

This recipe is for earaches, swimmer’s ear or hearing loss due to a buildup of wax. Mullein flower may be added.

Crush a clove of fresh garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Warm it on the stove. Let it cool to room temperature or slightly warmer. Place a few drops of the oil in the affected ear and gently put a cotton ball in the ear to keep the oil from running out.

Note: If there is any sign of perforated eardrum, do NOT put anything in the ear and call your health-care provider.

This recipe smells so good that you may be tempted to use it in your next stir-fry.


Basic Salve

Combine 4 parts oil with 1 part beeswax. (Add more beeswax for a stiffer salve.) Heat together just enough to blend ingredients. Pour into small containers.

The oil can be a blend of herbal oils, such as calendula, comfrey and St. John’s wort. Vitamin E can be added as a preservative and healing property.

Use on chapped lips, rough hands, scrapes, simple rashes or wind-burned skin. This is safe for use on pets and partners.

Some of these recipes come from a good friend and teacher, Dr. James Duke, with whom I studied at the Humboldt Institute* in Steuben, Maine. There are times a week-long workshop can change the direction of one’s life. This was one of these classes. If you are at all interested in the healing art of herbs, I encourage you to look into this institute.

Enjoy making these recipes, and I wish you the best of health always.

Pat Blake is a master gardener, herbalist and co-producer of the periodical Herbal News. For more about her newsletter:

(* Humboldt Field Research Institute, Eagle Hill Foundation, PO Box 9, 59 Eagle Hill Road, Steuben, Maine 04680-0009 Phone: 207-546-2821; FAX 207-546-3042 Web

site: e-mail:





The newsletter is still in need of one person to be the Production and Circulation Assistant to help with mailouts and updating of the mailing list. There is more information about this position at the end of this newsletter.




"He who overeats, his illness will become severe." (Attributed to Baha'u'llah, in Star of the West, Vol. 21, p. 299)

“The Master kept little clothing — one coat at a time was ample. He ate little food. He was known to begin His day with tea, goat’s milk cheese and wheat bread. And at the evening meal a cup of milk and a piece of bread might suffice. He considered the latter a healthy meal. Had not Baha’u’llah, while at Sulaymaniyyih, subsisted mostly on milk? (Sometimes Baha’u’llah ate rice and milk cooked together.) ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s sparse diet also included herbs and olives — it rarely included meat.” — (“Vignettes From the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Baha,” collected and edited by Annamarie Honnold, p. 23.)





Editor’s Note: Last month, a reader requested simple, whole-food recipes using grains, vegetables and fruits that use fresh ingredients, no refined products, no sugar, unsaturated oils and taste great.


I have 25 years experience in alternative healing methods, nutrition, energy work, fitness/personal training, rehabilitation/intensive recoveries, etc. As to the request for healthy recipes, I can lead your readers to the following:

1. "Empty Harvest" by Mark Anderson, Dr. Bernard Jensen

2. "Food Is Your Best Medicine" by Norman Bieler, M.D.

3. "Laurel's Kitchen" by Laurel Robertson

4 "Allergy Cooking With Ease" by Nicolette Dumke

5. "Anatomy Of An Illness" by Norman Cousins

6. "Cooking With Brooke" by Melane Lohmann

7. "Deaf Smith Country Cookbook" by Arrowhead Press

8. "Everyone Is An Athlete" by Phillip Maffetone, D.C.

9. "Sugar Blues" by William Dufty

10. "Tired Of Being Tired" by Michael Schmidt, D.C.

11. "The Yeast Connection" by William Crook, M.D.

12. "The Healer Within" by Stephen Locke

13. "No Milk" by Dan Twogood, D.C.

14. "Recipes From An Ecological Kitchen" by Lorna J. Sass

15. "Smart Medicine For A Healthier Child" by Bob Roundtree, M.D.

These are all books in which our friends can have complete confidence. A million thanks for all your efforts, and I love the opening dialogue of the fertile earth waiting to give again to us all in the fragrant breezes of spring. (Jan. 2004 issue) — Special Baha'i greetings, — Dede


By Glenn Darling

As a 15-year vegan, you can expect that I am very pleased to see the request for healthy recipes in the newsletter. You mentioned using "only unsaturated fats like olive oil." May I suggest the following:

You may have heard the statement "that the fat you eat is the fat you wear." This, with only a couple of exceptions, is very true. It matters not if you use cotton seed or olive oil or anything in between. Almost all of the vegetable oils are composed of LCFAs.... Long Chain Fatty Acids. Your body will store them as fat, if they are not needed by the process of making energy. Which means, that most of it gets stored, because we eat as much as 40 percent of our daily food as vegetable oils.

One particular "saturated" oil, however, is mostly MCFA... Medium Chain Fatty Acids. It is Virgin Coconut oil, and it will actually help a body lose weight, not pack it on. But for some time now, coconut oil has been touted as one of those oils that are bad for you.

Another reason people believe that coconut oil must be bad for you is misguided

association: It is a saturated fat and "saturated fats are all supposed to be bad for you." Dietary guidelines inevitably fail to distinguish between different kinds of saturated fats and insist that saturated fats (meaning all saturated fats) are harmful.

This is not just misleading. It is bad science. Leading scientists now recognize that just as there is good cholesterol, there are also good saturated fats.

Fats are classified as short-, medium- or long-chain based on the number of carbon molecules they contain. Nearly two-thirds of the saturated fat in coconut oil consists of medium-chain fatty acids.

When we eat long-chain fatty acids, they must be emulsified by bile salts in the small intestine before they can be absorbed into our body. Short- and medium-chain fatty acids, such as those in coconut oil, are absorbed directly through the portal vein to the liver, where they are immediately available to the body. In other words, most of the saturated fat in coconut oil is easily digestible and converted into quick energy. And these types of fatty acids are less likely to cause obesity because they are immediately used by the body and have no opportunity to be stored.

Traditionally, polyunsaturated oils such as soybean oil have been used for livestock feed because they cause the animals to gain weight. These oils are made up of what is known as long chain fatty acids— the kind of fatty acids that promote weight gain. Coconut oil, on the other hand, is a saturated fat made up primarily of medium chain fatty acids. Also known as medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), medium chain fatty acids are known to increase metabolism and promote weight loss. Coconut oil can also raise basal body temperatures while increasing metabolism. This is good news for people who suffer with low thyroid function.

Furthermore, nearly 50 percent of the fatty acid in natural coconut oil is lauric acid, which converts to the fatty acid monolaurin in the body. Lauric acid has adverse effects on a variety of microorganisms including bacteria, yeast, fungi, and enveloped viruses. It destroys the lipid membrane of such enveloped viruses as HIV, measles, Herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), influenza and cytomegalovirus (CMV). Its usefulness in treating AIDS is currently under investigation. It is a main component of human breast milk and helps protect children from illness during infancy.

There is much you can learn about the benefits of coconut oil at:

Create a nice day.

Glenn Darling lives in Sidney, BC, Canada





I always enjoy your newsletter. I would love to see a whole-foods recipe swap! I especially love soups, and this one is a favorite of mine. It was published in the LA Times food section a while back as a "classic dish for Succot." The following recipe is written as a stew, but it can be made into a soup by adding more water. I add a lot more cilantro. Keep up the good work. — Chris Hendershot, Redondo Beach, California


Active work time: 30 minutes;

Total prep time: 1.5 hours

1 cup red lentils, picked over

1 carrot, coarsely chopped

1 onion, coarsely chopped

2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoons turmeric

1 to 2 teaspoons chopped parsley or cilantro

Cover the lentils with water in a bowl and stir. Drain, rinse and repeat the process until the water is clear. Drain.

Place the lentils in a pot with 3 cups of water, and bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that develops on top. Reduce heat and add the carrot, onion, squash, salt, cumin, garlic and turmeric. Partially cover, and cook over low heat until the stew is thick and the lentils are soft — 45 to 60 minutes. Garnish with the parsley or cilantro and serve. Makes 4 servings.

* Editor’s Note: Thanks Chris for sharing this wholesome recipe. I have made a similar dish served with steamed, brown basmati rice. Lentils are easy to digest and are high in protein and other vitamins, such as niacin.

Meanwhile, your wish is granted. You are starting off our new column, “Whole Foods Recipe Swap” created in response to ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s counsel regarding healing through simple foods, cited in the Jan. 2004 issue.

There is room for at least one recipe per month in this newsletter, depending upon how long it is. Make sure recipes are checked twice before sending, so there are no missing ingredients or incorrect amounts. Looking forward to your recipes!





Most people probably only know buckwheat as a hearty grain sometimes used in pancakes. This nutty-flavored, nutrient-rich grain, also used in making soba noodles, may help diabetics control their blood sugar, according to researchers at the University of Manitoba in Canada.

Extracts from hulled, ground buckwheat groats (buckwheat kernels with inedible husks removed) lowered blood sugar levels 12 to 19 percent among rats with Type 1 diabetes, compared with a placebo.

Buckwheat is rich in chiro-inositol, a chemical that plays a role in the breakdown of sugar. The new research has shown that this chemical is the active component in buckwheat responsible for the grain’s ability to lower levels of blood glucose.

Researchers said that buckwheat could be used as a dietary supplement or functional food to help control Type 1 diabetes, an immune disorder in which the pancreas stops producing insulin. Buckwheat may also help with Type 2 diabetes, in which the body still makes insulin.

(Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry , Dec. 3, 2003)





Want to whittle your waistline? Boost your consumption of fiber and whole-grain foods. The findings of the Nurses’ Health Study of nearly 75,000 women, first published in the November 2003 issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, said that eating more fiber and whole grains can help cut the risk of obesity in half.

Also, men who ate just 12 grams of fiber than other participants per day, trimmed their waistlines by up to half an inch over a decade.

“Eating more fiber is one of the best things you can do for your health,” said JoAnn E. Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and co-author of the study. Foods rich in fiber and whole grains “increase satiety — you feel fuller — and that may lead to consuming fewer calories, which can help with weight control,” she said.

In Manson’s study, women who increased fiber by about eight grams per day — roughly equivalent to eating a bowl of whole-grain cereal and a slice of whole-grain bread a day — ate 150 fewer calories per day than those who decreased their fiber intake by three grams daily during the study. Women with the highest fiber intake shed about eight pounds during the 12-year study, compared with the nearly 20-pound weight gain for women who cut fiber intake during the study.

Overall, the higher the fiber intake, the higher the intake of whole-grain foods and the lower the intake of refined carbohydrates, the less the weight gain and the lower the risk of obesity, Manson said.

To boost fiber intake, aim for the 25 to 38 grams per day recommended by the National Academy of Sciences.

Tips to boost fiber

* Start the day with whole-grain cereal and berries. Adding a half-cup of berries gives you three more grams of fiber.

* Switch to whole-grain bread, crackers, pasta and rice. They have double the fiber to their paler counterparts. Rye, pumpernickel and other whole-grain breads have about three grams of fiber per slice. Wild rice and brown rice have about three grams per cup.

* Snack on popcorn, fruit or vegetables. Popcorn has one gram of fiber per one-cup portion. Banana, two grams; medium apple with skin, 3 grams; half-cup cooked broccoli, three grams.

* Eat beans. Beans, lentils and legumes have about 17 grams of fiber per cup, are high in protein and rich in complex carbohydrates.

(Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)





The Desert Rose Baha'i Institute, located halfway between Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, USA, will be holding their 5TH ANNUAL BAHA'I CONFERENCE ON HEALTH AND HEALING, Friday, Feb. 6 through Sunday, Feb. 8, 2004, followed by a Health Fair from 1 to 3 p.m.

THEME: "Are you well? Are you happy?" "Happiness is a great healer to those who are ill." —'Abdu'l-Baha This year, the health and healing focus is HAPPINESS: The effects of joy, happiness, sadness, and other emotions on health; treatment for depression suggested in the Baha'i Writings; the spiritual, mental, and physical effects of happiness.

REGISTRATION: 4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6. For a registration form, e-mail: or call: 520-466-7961. Conference registration fees: $60 adults; $54 children ages 4-12. Includes six meals from Friday dinner to Sunday lunch.

ACCOMMODATIONS: To reserve a bunk bed at the Desert Rose dormitories for this session @ $25 per bed for two nights, call Jeanne or Joyce at: 520-466-7961 or e-mail There are 20 bunk beds on each side — for men and woman. Please specify which side. A list of local motels is also available.

Registration is confirmed when check is received. Make check payable to: Desert Rose Baha'i Institute. Mail to: Desert Rose Baha'i Institute, 5688 Tweedy Road, Eloy, AZ 85231-9611. To reserve by Visa or MasterCard, call the Desert Rose

office: 520-466-7961.




Needs Help with Underweight Problem

I have been reading the last couple of newsletters of Healing Through Unity and must admit they are very informative. Most of the material presented doesn't apply to me, because tests show I don't suffer from any illness. However, I am underweight. That is also a serious problem. I would appreciate helpful suggestions from readers. Thank you. — Joseito S.

Seeking Solution for Neuropathic Pain

Could I please ask for some help for my dear wife who has been suffering for over seven years with a trapped nerve, through a botched operation for varicose veins in the leg. She has non-stop neuropathic pain. We have tried many medical solutions, all to no avail. Maybe someone, somewhere will suggest a solution. — Arthur, United Kingdom




I have a second question regarding vaccination: There are a lot of debate in Germany as whether it is necessary to vaccinate or give injections to small babies, starting by the age of 4 months, as it is common in Germany.

In Germany it is no longer compulsory to have injections. After reading some material on the side effects of the vaccines, and reading about the homeopathic point of view, I decided not to vaccinate my child, who is now 10 months old, at least until he is two and half years old. I would like to know: What are the opinions in other countries, and what are other readers' experiences regarding this vaccination issue? Thank you. — Mojgan Agahi, Germany




Sees Need for Healing Arts

Thanks for a great newsletter (Jan. 2004). Alternative medicines are becoming more and more popular as medical sciences begin to mature. There will always be vested interests, professional jealousies and ignorance that will oppose "new ideas" in the healing arts, but they will gradually be overcome in time. Our current medical systems are breaking down, and there is going to be a growing need for more and more people to learn alternative healing methods to help others. — John Giffin, New Zealand

Believes Healing Hands Works

A marvelous job. I certainly look forward to the articles and share with my friends. The article on “Hands For Healing” (Healing Touch) is one which I strongly believe works.

My brother-in-law had a hernia operation, and the drip needle was painful in his hands. I just prayed, held my palm like a satellite dish, and in no time he felt relieved and a great heat flowing from my hand. It works well when I just pray and really concentrate on a spot. I want to learn the science of it, but do not know where and when. Thanks again for the great service you are doing. — Thina

* Editor’s Note: Perhaps some readers know where one can study the traditional art of healing called “laying on of hands” or “healing with the Holy Spirit.”

Put Our Hands In Soil

Thanks for the lovely editor's note regarding her garden (Jan. 2004). We all need to put our hands in the soil and reconnect! Warmest greetings. — Winnie Merritt

Enjoys Garden Analogies

Thank you for this newsletter, which always contains such gems of delightful information. I enjoyed reading your introduction (Jan. 2004), for various reasons. Keen gardeners certainly like such analogies. All the best. — Peter Seery


Avoided pain killers

I would like to thank Kim Polk for recommending Dr Hulda Clark's book "A Cure for all Diseases." I am now in my 80s and beginning to have digestive problems, which the doctor shrugs off as something I have to learn to live with. A browse through Dr Clark's Web site gave me lots of better ideas. I have ordered the book and look forward to having information about all kinds of looming health problems.

I had a very positive experience with another form of therapy, which I would like to share. A couple of years ago, I began to have pain in my hips, particularly when I first wakened. I bought a new mattress, and then another, but it continued to get worse. I finally went to the doctor who had every kind of test done but could not find the cause. Walking was getting more and more difficult for me, and the only suggestion from the doctor was to take pain-killers. This I still refused to do. For me pain is an indication that there is something wrong and it is my business to find out what that is.

All along, I had a feeling that I should see a chiropractor, but I have had some bad experiences with them and so hesitated to try again. But, having reached the stage of having to use a walker, I finally made the decision I found one in my neighbourhood and went (hanging on to my son's arm) to see him. This chiropractor was highly professional in his approach — examined me very carefully before deciding that he could help me — and then proceeded to give me three, very gentle treatments on consecutive days.

He treated me again one week later, then once more, and that was it! It took me many weeks to regain strength and my confidence in my body. At first, I would lie in bed praying that it was real and that I would find I was still OK when I got up.

That was six months ago. I can't beleve I was so close to being an invalid for the rest of my life. I had told my doctor that I was going to a chiropractor, and his response was: "Their treatment has not been proved to be effective." When I went back to him for something else, he congratulated me for taking the initiative to see the chiropractor, but I wonder whether he ever recommends it to other people he is not able to help except by prescribing drugs.

I am so happy to get good information about alternative therapies through the newsletter. — Loving Baha'i greetings, Meg




All of us have had healing experiences — physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. Please share your stories and other ideas about staying healthy in a stressful world. Your articles do not have to be long — just a few paragraphs will suffice. Encouragement is a big part of a healthy lifestyle, and sharing stories and ideas that work for you brings encouragement to others.




You can visit the web site, obtain back issues and the Healing Through Unity Course at:




"Healing Through Unity" is published for the purpose of sharing thoughts, comments and experiences on how the teachings of the Baha'i Faith are being applied to physical and spiritual health. Other than the quoted Holy Writings, the material in this newsletter represents the thoughts and opinions of the writers and has no authority. None of the material published in this newsletter is intended to be a substitute for the advice of your physician. You are free to copy articles, provided you indicate the source of the article. There are 10 issues per year; it is not published during July and August. The newsletter is produced in Freedom, Maine, USA.


Many thanks to all of you who share helpful ideas for "Healing Through Unity" Newsletter. We welcome submissions from everyone. The decision to select and edit material submitted for publication is determined by the editor.

Please e-mail your stories, comments, suggestions or "Question for the Month" ideas to newsletter editor Lynn Ascrizzi, at:


Please e-mail all new subscriptions, subscription cancellations and e-mail address changes (please include old address along with new one) to --



The newsletter is still in need of one person to be the Production and Circulation Assistant to help with mailouts and updating of the mailing list. This person would be responsible for sending the newsletter to readers each month (10 issues per year; it is not published during July or August), updating e-mail addresses and adding/deleting subscribers. This person must know Microsoft Outlook 2000, should have good computer skills and be well-organized, orderly, and efficient. This task requires about 4 to 5 hours per month. If you are interested to serve in this voluntary position for the newsletter, please contact -- Thank you!

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