Daily Archives: January 25, 2015

Cherokee Nation Gives Lisa Christiansen Priceless Rare Heirloom Seeds

Thank you Cherokee Nation with my most humble gratitude with deepest respect for this priceless gift to myself and our chosen tribal members to keep our culture alive.
Remember my post on January 10th about tribal seeds not commercially available? For those who like tangible proof, here it is…
TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA — The Cherokee Nation will begin dispersing seeds on February 1 from its limited supply of heirloom seed bank inventory to tribal citizens interested in growing traditional Cherokee crops and plants.

The Cherokee Nation keeps an inventory of seeds from rare breeds of corn, beans, squash, gourds, Trail of Tears beads and tobacco traditionally used for Cherokee customs. The seeds distributed are not available in stores.

In 2014, the tribe distributed seeds to more than 1,500 Cherokee Nation citizens. This year the Cherokee Nation has the largest inventory of heirloom seeds since the program began in 2006 to meet demands.

“The process of harvesting seeds and passing them down has kept these specific crops sustainable to Cherokee people. It is an essential part of Cherokee heritage, and today it is extremely popular with a new generation of Cherokee growers.”

Cherokee citizen Randy Duncan, of Stilwell, received Georgia candy roaster and corn seeds last year and said growing traditional crops offered an opportunity for him to connect with his roots.

“It’s rewarding to grow and harvest a crop that came directly from our ancestors,” Duncan said.

Citizens are limited to two varieties. To get the seeds, citizens can either make an appointment to pick them up or email their request to seedbank@cherokee.org to have them sent by mail. Individuals must include a copy of his or her Cherokee Nation tribal citizenship card, proof of age and address.

Rattlesnake Master: Cherokee Usage Rattlesnake Master is known by Cherokee experts as a “warrior’s plant” and as a “survival kit.” The button of the root, when prepared correctly, can be carried as “protection” by those who are called to war. It can also be carried as protection for those who spend a great deal of time in the woods as a source of energy as well as a snake repellent (when a snake is encountered it will move away from you). The root is also a snakebite remedy – apply the fresh root to the snakebite wound and the venom will be detoxified. The tentacles of the root are believed to possess anti- oxidant qualities. The blossoms of Rattlesnake Master were once used to encourage the detachment of the umbilical cord from newborns (a poultice was made and applied to the navel). This plant was likely never widespread, but is now becoming even scarce.

Rattlesnake Master is a perennial plant that can grow up to 3’ tall. Its leaves are alternate and linear. They have parallel veins, a leathery texture, and have toothed margins which are sharp-spined. The white flowers end in a terminal umbel and are egg-shaped. When the fruit matures, each fruit will contain two or more seeds.

Trail of Tears Corn Bead:
Most of their bean varieties are classified as heirloom. What determines an heirloom variety is open to some question.

Among the definitions are:

• A piece of property that descends to the heir as an inseparable part of an inheritance of real property.

• Something of special value handed on from one generation to another.

• A horticultural variety that has survived for several generations usually due to the efforts of private individuals

One of the most unique crops the Cherokee Nation grows is Cherokee corn beads. These corn varieties grow to be knee-high and the stalks turn various colors, producing beads, which don’t as most people think, come from the corn kernels.

The corn beads are dried and hardened and made into various pieces of ceremonial jewelry. Braided hair, held in place with corn beads is a Cherokee custom that has survived for hundreds of years.


8 Benefits of Drinking Cucumber Water With 5 Easy Recipes.

8 Great Benefits of Drinking Cucumber Water and 5 Easy Recipes.
Cucumber water is one drink that you’ll want to consider the next time you’re feeling thirsty. It not only helps genuinely hydrate the body, it can help you feel better overall, and even look better. Here are all of the benefits you’ll reap, and some recipes to help you along.

You would be surprised at the many health benefits of drinking cucumber water. It can lower your blood pressure, curb your appetite and reduce the risk for cancer. Learn more here and get 5 delicious cucumber water recipes.

1. Helps Hydrate You

When you meet your specific water needs you’ll enjoy the benefits of staying hydrated, like maintaining the right body temperature, helping your cardiovascular system, and assisting in the cleansing of toxins. You’ll have more energy and help each of your organs do its job better when they’re getting enough water. Cucumber water adds that little something extra to regular water that makes you more likely to drink it more often, helping you stay hydrated each day. For the best results make sure you are using purified or spring water to avoid the intake of contaminants.

2. Provides Extra Vitamins and Minerals

cucumberWater is vital to the body, but by itself it’s not a great source of vitamins. When you add in cucumbers you’ll be adding in vitamins and minerals that will help supplement the rest of your diet. Many cucumber water recipes also add in fruit, so you’ll be getting antioxidants and extra vitamins from those, like Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Since these vitamins are coming from whole food sources and not synthetic vitamins they’ll be better absorbed and utilized by the body than if you were to get them from waters marketed as containing added vitamins.

3. Brings Down Blood Pressure

Keeping your blood pressure in check is important because it will help keep you away from debilitating diseases like stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, or vision loss. By drinking cucumber water you’re staying hydrated, and helping your blood pressure thanks to the 4% DV of potassium cucumbers contain.

Since they’re essentially free of sodium you’ll get the maximum benefit of this important mineral if high blood pressure is a concern. Just be sure not to go overboard with your water intake, you’re looking for the Goldilocks amount of “just right”.

4. Curbs Appetite

Drinking a glass of cucumber water when you’re hungry can help you make it until your next meal if it’s not quite mealtime. Eating when you’re not actually hungry can lead to weight gain, sluggishness, and can throw you off your natural eating cycle. When you feel hunger coming on before it’s time to eat again, see if you’re just thirsty. Thirst and hunger use the same signal, and drinking cucumber water can help determine if it’s really hunger that you’re dealing with. Saving yourself from just a few unwarranted meals a week can be a big boost to your health.

5. Soothes the Skin

cucumber for skinStaying hydrated will help your skin stay supple and smooth, and adding in cucumbers to your water intake means you’re getting extra nutrients that helps even more. Cucumbers contain silica, which provides extra benefits to the skin. You can also use the cucumbers after you’ve finished the cucumber water. They’re great for helping to calm irritation caused by acne or other blemishes. You’ll be helping your skin from the inside, as well as topically when you add cucumber water to your skin care routine.

6. Helps Your Muscles

Whether or not you’re trying to put on muscle, helping your muscles stay strong is a good idea. The same silica in cucumbers that helps the skin, also helps your muscle tissues healthy. It’s a great choice if you’ve added a strength training regimen to your healthy lifestyle, or if you want to make sure that your muscles have all of the nutrients needed to function at their best. A daily glass of cucumber water makes a great contribution to the overall health of your muscles, and your body in general.

7. It Has Antioxidant/Detoxing Properties

Use cucumber water during a detox program and you’ll be helping the body out even more. It contains antioxidants that will help battle free radicals, and helps the body flush out built-up toxins thanks to its hydrating effect. Detoxing the body doesn’t have to be a one time or once a year event, you can help your body stay clean with daily attention to the foods that you’re taking in, as well as avoiding foods that are known as being toxic to the body. This sort of regular maintenance keeps you feeling great all year long.

8. Could Have Anti-Cancer Benefits

Cucumbers have shown promise for their anti-cancer properties, and when you use them as part of an overall healthy lifestyle, you’ll be helping to avoid this disease. Of course they aren’t powerful enough by themselves to ward off cancer, but as part of a broader approach at a healthy lifestyle it makes sense to stay hydrated with cucumber water. You’ll be taking in plenty of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients like the cucurbitacins found in cucumbers giving you a better chance at staying healthy long-term.

5 Cucumber Water Recipes

Lemon Cucumber Mint Water

Cucumbers and lemons go well together, and in this recipe they’ve included the cooling effect of fresh mint to the water so you’re getting several tastes competing for your attention. Lemons themselves are high in Vitamin C, and since you’re unlikely to eat lemons the way you’d eat an orange, drinking this lemon cucumber concoction is a great way to top up on this immune-boosting vitamin. Mint is also a rich source of Vitamin C, as well as important minerals like calcium and magnesium. Consider adding the mint to a soup or smoothie after you’ve finished the water, as it’s an excellent source of fiber.

Cucumber Herb-Infused Water

When you add in herbs to regular cucumber water you’re upping the flavor profile and also getting the nutrients each herb provides. This recipe goes all out and adds in three different herbs to get the flavor just right. At the same time you’re getting the vitamins and minerals from these herbs. Rosemary is a great source of iron, calcium, and potassium, and thyme can take care of your Vitamin C needs for the day all by itself. You’re also getting additional minerals from the mint, and the vitamins from the lemon. And don’t forget the goodness of cucumbers. That’s a packed glass of water!

Springtime Strawberry Cucumber Water

You don’t have to wait till spring to make this springtime strawberry water featuring plenty of cucumber goodness. The lemon, cucumber, and strawberries make a nice trio of flavors and work well together. There’s also your choice of herbs, and they recommend either mint or basil so you can tailor this to your particular palate. The strawberries will infuse the water with additional vitamins that cucumbers don’t have a ton of, namely Vitamin C. If it happens to be spring this makes a great water to drink to help the body rid itself of any toxins stored up from a long winter.

Cucumber and Basil Water

The great part about making this cucumber and basil water is that you’re getting the tasty flavor of basil as well as the extra antioxidants it provides. That’s right, basil just doesn’t pack extra taste into the water, it’s also a nutrient powerhouse with the amount of Vitamin A it has. The Vitamin A gets turned into beta-Carotene in the body and has a strong antioxidant effect on the body, going to work on free radicals and helping you feel better. Contrary to popular belief, beta-Carotene helps with more than just your eyes. It helps the immune system and can even act as an anti-cancer agent.

Refreshing Fruit Water

Feeling parched is not in the cards when you make up a batch of this fruit water. But don’t let the title fool you, it’s packing more than just fruit and includes several slices of cucumber. Blueberries and strawberries give you a boost of antioxidants, and cucumber provides minerals and additional antioxidants that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to take on the rest of your day. When compared to other drinks marketed as energy drinks you’re much better going with an all-natural option that leaves you feeling good with no crash later.


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