Saturday, March 2, 2013

Caffeine- How It Affected My Health; Why I Stopping Drinking Caffeine Beverages

Years ago when I was young in my early 20's,  I was not into health or eating well.  My stress level was horrendous with a a bad marriage and little kids. I worked at a supermarket for two years.  I was a box girl no less, lifting heavy dog food bags and cleaning out the back area of the store. I was one of the first girls hired to do that job. The boss thought I would last a week but I kept at it.  It was at a cost. To keep enough energy going, I began drinking hot chocolate with coffee in it. I didn't like the taste of straight coffee.  I loved that stuff. At that time I did not notice any effects....

Later on several years later, while going through a divorce, I began cleaning houses to help make ends meet. I was cleaning houses, working another job, and not doing well. I was so tired, I could hardly function. So I began drinking ice tea in the huge containers. I would drink one in the middle of the jobs, to keep going. At that time, I began to get pain and swelling in my hands...quite severe. I passed it off on the chemicals from cleaning houses or the work I was doing.  About that time, I fell on a job, hurt my back. I could hardly move, much less do housework.  I lay in bed hurting. I also did not drink tea since I was not working.  After a few days, I realized my hands didn't hurt.  I went back to cleaning houses a month later, back to drinking tea, and the pain came back. As an experiment, because I did not believe it was the ice tea, I stopped drinking it. The pain went away despite the fact I was still doing the work.  After I stopped drinking the tea, I had no more trouble after that with my hands. Cause and effect was pretty evident.

I was not into natural healing at that time in my life. That was before any of that. In 1982 was when I got into alternative medicine. That was when I began my education. 

Fast forward into 1985. I was still struggling as a single mom with kids. I was working at establishing my health consulting business part time and working running a paper in Imperial Valley, Ca. I was working 7 days a week between both.  I was trying to do it all without help and began to suffer from exhaustion. So I began a bad habit to get through, drinking coffee with lots of cream. I knew it was not good for me, but I had to keep going.  I knew better but.......! This went on for a few months until one night......

I was delivering newspapers on a route we had, out in the sticks. There was a little coffee place open at 4 am for the truck drivers. He would give me a free cup of coffee as I drove through. I drank the coffee and went on my way. About a half hour later, I was doubled over in stomach pain. It  was an hour before I could drive again.  After that night, even a shot of coffee would cause pain. I tried two or three times again to drink it...with stomach pain as a result. So that was the last coffee I drank.

We drink coffee because we are working too hard.  We are working long, hard hours or going to school and studying into the night.  It is understandable but sooner or later it will cause problems in the acid/alkaline balance of the body. With many people, it may cause stomach pain, acid stomach, or pain in the joints.  Even if there are other causes, it will make them worse for many people.

Everyone has a food they love, but that loved food, doesn't like them.  I never drank soda, even as a kid.  We did have ice tea a lot in my family. I grew up with a mom who drank coffee so strong, you could stand a spoon up in it. It was as strong as one can make. I never liked coffee unless I added a lot of cream and sugar...which makes it worse for you. My mom was not into eating good, healthy food, It was your typical southern fare with lots of gravy. We ate what was cheap except for good bread. We always had only German black bread or hearty grain bread. I learned about health much later in life.  Even for those of us who generally eat well and take care of our health, occasionally to get on a back track. It is human nature, to stray from what we know is good health. We do something that is not good for us, despite our knowledge on good foods versus bad foods. Caffeine is mostly overdone, not done in moderation by most people.

Your reaction to caffeine also depends on your stress level. Excessive stress causes acid release as well. So when you are stressed, caffeine is what you crave, not what is good for you. You crave it because your body and adrenal glands are tired and overworked. They are failing under the strain of your life style. This you must realize.

Some people have a constitution of a tractor....nothing bothers them, so they say. These are also sometimes the people who never miss a day of work, but drop dead at some point.  Those life style habits that are negative, may not show their destruction until months or years later. It depends on genetics. I know a man who has been drinking for 40 years ....a alcoholic. He had amazing genetics. Other than memory loss, he has no problems with his liver or other organs. He may out live those around him. If the majority drank like that, they would suffer health problems such as cirrhosis of the liver. With amazing genetics, you can abuse yourself for years. Does that mean that drinking a case of beer a day is good health. No. 

Excessive caffeine is not good for anyone, even if you are not seeing any ill effects at this point and time. Cancer and other health problems do not develop overnight. Cancer may take months or years to grow. Imbalance may not be noticed for a long time. It may be excessive stress that finally tips the scale to a health problem.

So this is my story on the caffeine issue and why I don't drink any of it.  I learned the hard way about the effects of caffeine. I do understand why you are drinking it.  I was there years ago. I am not there now. I love the fact that I do not have to drink a cup of coffee at a certain time or get a headache. I am going on my own energy.....the best way to health.

Kate Freer, the herbladyisin

This is the two brands I trust because they test their imported products for contamination, E-Coli, and heavy metals in a US lab.  I have now been using a number of their products for over two years including Moringa powder. DO NOT buy Moringa products unless the company states that they test for heavy metals and contamination. If you do you are risking your health. Organic certified can still contain E-coli, dirt, bugs, weeds, filth and insects.  This is the way it is folks.
 My #1 choice is Banyan Botanicals Organic Moringa Powder here 


My Further Comments on Ziji Products with Responses From Those Selling Ziji

This was my comment from an earlier post after several different conversations from three people using the Ziji products.    

 I have then posted an upset response from one of the Ziji representatives.    

I offer my NEW responses to her comment. 

My earlier comment on Ziji products.  

I have had several customers call me about Ziji drink packs.  I am told they give you almost instant energy like coffee.  The powder if you take it out of the bag contains white granules. The package does not tell you what is in it. 


I would bet money that the package contains some form of sugar and perhaps herbs that contain caffeine. If a drink gives you instant energy, it more likely does contain caffeine in some form or another. So if you are thinking that it is just Moringa, you are wrong.  


No pure Moringa product is going to make you feel as if you have had a shot of coffee.  Pure Moringa leaves do not contain caffeine.   


Pure Moringa feeds the energy system giving you more energy but not like coffee.  


I welcome someone in Ziji management to call me or write to me to dispute this comment.  Let them tell all of us what is really in those drink packets. I know their XM3 capsules do contain caffeine.  


I have several issues with their products. I don't like to make my customers agree to an expensive auto ship program. It is multilevel and thereby more expensive.  


Their products do not tell you completely what is in them. I personally don't buy anything where the label does not specify what different herbs are included and the milligrams of each herb included in each capsule. 


I would wager that it is not pure Moringa by any means. So this is my personal view on Ziji products.  


I am holding to the purer version of this beautiful, powerful food product. I believe in the long run, the closer we keep to nature and how nature made a product, the better off our health is. 


This is the written response from one Ziji respresentative:   

 "Everything you need to know about any Zija product is found at and click on products.. pamphlets are given out for all items sold by Zija, ingredients are printed on packaging of each product. Please research before you go hating on a product. Its easy to find out what you need to know about Zija and their ALL NATURAL products. 

Total Calories 38, Total Carbohydrates 10g, Pure Cane Sugar 4g, Zija Proprietary Mix (Moringa Mix (Leaf Powder, Seed Cake, Fruit Powder, Fruit Juice). 

Ingredients: Zija Proprietary Mix, Pure Cane Sugar, Natural Green Tea Concentrate, Natural Desert Tea (Ephedra nevadensis), Natural Caffeine, Trimethyglycine, Ginseng, Garlic, Natural Flavor, Citric Acid, Agar, Fruit Pectin, Acacia.  "



My Further Comments now:    

Their products do contain natural caffeine as I suggested. It is not Moringa powder by itself.  How much Moringa powder is in the product? That is not clear.  

Again if a drink gives you the same feel as a shot of energy drink or coffee has natural caffeine in it. 


See the above yellow highlighted ingredients.   

Caffeine is caffeine...natural or not. Natural caffeine still stresses the adrenal glands as coffee does. Coffee and black tea are also natural products as well.   


Natural caffeine still affects the nervous system and the adrenal system in the same way.  


It is a way of stimulating the adrenals to work harder when they are tired. There is natural energy and there is stimulated energy. 


For those of you who do not think caffeine is addicting. I challenge you to stop drinking your caffeine drinks, natural or others, and see how you feel. Stop them if they are not addicting.  What have you got to lose if I am wrong. If I am wrong, you will feel just as great as you do when you drink them everyday.  If I am wrong, there will be NO effect if you stop the coffee and drinks infused with caffeine.  Prove it to yourself they are not addicting. My challenge for the month.  Be honest!

What Is Ephedra Used for Today?

"Although it can still be found in a few over-the-counter drugs for asthma and sinus congestion (in a safer form than the banned dietary supplements), physicians seldom prescribe ephedrine anymore. The problem is that ephedrine mimics the effects of adrenaline and causes symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, agitation, insomnia, nausea, and loss of appetite. The newer asthma drugs are much safer and easier to tolerate."  This comment is from Web-MD on Ephedra. 

You cannot compare the effects of taking straight pure Moringa powder with nothing added....  to products with other herbs and natural caffeine.  


Ziji proprietary mix means that you do not know how much of each ingredient is in the packet.  It is the companies protected recipe for the product. How much Ephedra? How much Ginseng? How Much garlic? How much green tea?  How much pure cane sugar? Sugar is the first main ingredient in the proprietary mix. I am sure with all that we eat with sugar in it, we need more. It does not state the amount of those individual ingredients. The quantity of these natural caffeine ingredients included in the product can make a huge difference in your response to that product. 

You cannot know where the Moringa in the product was grown. Was it bought from India? Where was the product grown? You don't know.  They buy it from many different sources, because they sell thousands and thousands of products. 


I like being able to tell you our product was grown and bought from one farm in Honduras.  That makes me feel good that I can answer that question when you ask. 


I am sure Ziji is prepared with quality standards and is safe. That is not my issue with the company. It may taste wonderful. It has many customers and is very popular. It is that any product offered multi-level is more expensive to the end consumer. The auto ship requirements are high for families.  I am not an advocate of multi-level and that is just my personal view. 

It is also that people I have talked to don't seem to realize there is caffeine in the products. They then wonder why Moringa powder by itself does not give them the same 'kick" that  Ziji products do.

I believe in the pure form of Moringa powder without added caffeine and other a pure food with supercharged nutrition.   


The people who talked to me could not tell me the ingredients on the package they had?  They use the product. Why was that? I asked them to read me the ingredients?  These people called me to ask if Moringa Leaf powder by itself would give them the same energy high as the Ziji product.  No, my product contains no caffeine. 

If you want caffeine, I am sure their drinks are healthier for you than other products.  They may sell products with only Moringa in them. I hope they do. Again I have issue with the price and the caffeine.

I have not drunk coffee for chews up my stomach with pain.  I get bladder burning as well. I drink very little black tea because of the same reason.  I gave up ice tea 20 years ago although I love the taste of it.  All of it contributes to making the body acid. The acid in coffee and tea, will flare up arthritis issues. Drinking acid drinks such as coffee, tea, and cola can contribute to an imbalance in the body...being too acid.  So drinks like coffee contribute acid and caffeine which for some is a prescription for stomach problems.  

Decaffeinated drinks still have the acid in them.  Even doctors will tell you that more than three cups of coffee is not good for you.  Most people who drink these beverages, drink over three cups per day.  People who drink these drinks, often don't drink enough pure water. That is what they really need. More water and less of the other stuff. 

I rely on natural energy without caffeine from any source.  I use 4 Moringa caps in the morning to get me going or Moringa added anything.   


This is my column and I have a right to my view. You don't have to agree with it. That is fine.  I have now given your response to my comments. I have now represented your view.  That is fair. It is up to every individual to decide their health and what they choose to eat or drink.  

This is the two brands I trust because they test their imported products for contamination, E-Coli, and heavy metals in a US lab.  I have now been using a number of their products for over two years including Moringa powder. DO NOT buy Moringa products unless the company states that they test for heavy metals and contamination. If you do you are risking your health. Organic certified can still contain E-coli, dirt, bugs, weeds, filth and insects.  This is the way it is folks.
 My #1 choice is Banyan Botanicals Organic Moringa Powder here 






Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Best Method To Sprout Seeds

Since Spring will be upon us soon, I felt this blog was a good one for today. Over the past three years, I have tried various methods suggested for sprouting Moringa seeds. Moringa are fickle seeds needing the right temperature and moisture to sprout.  We live in Nevada which is not the right environment...too cold and windy. My trees live in the house full time. What can I say, I love my Moringa trees.

This year I split up the methods for fun.  Our house is cold right now so that makes it harder. I would have started these later but I needed to test germinate the seeds I bought.  I have used the zip lock bag often with great success but it's the temperature in this house right now.
  • The seeds in the zip lock bag have not sprouted well...not warm enough. I kept them in our gas stove but that was not enough. 
  • The seeds I planted directly into some planters have not come up. They may still grow when the room heats up in a few weeks.
  • The seeds in the Jiffy set up with heat mat and light sprouted beautifully. You must have enough warmth for these guys to sprout.
In all methods you soak the seeds in water for 12 to 24 hours before planting them. That makes it easier for the seeds to sprout.

To Hull or Not To Hull: That is the Question?

You can leave the seed intact piercing the hull  (after soaking) with your thumbnail carefully
You can remove the hull being careful not to damage the tender seed inside.
You can plant the soaked seed without cracking the hull first.

Method #1:  Zip Lock  Bag Method

Soak 5 seeds in a zip lock bag with about 1/4 cup water overnight.
Drain water out.  Leave in a dark warm place for 7 to 14 days. Look at them daily.
Don't let seeds get cold, don't add additional water, temperature should be 90 to 100 degrees F.
Keep seeds separate from each other.
Watch for mold. Seeds are prone to mold because of their high protein content.
If seeds develop mold, wash them gently in warm water. Put them in a new bag.

This method will not work unless the seeds are warm as stated above.  Too much water in the bag will cause them to rot and mold. That is why you drain the bag well. Great care must be taken when removing the seeds from the bag and planting the seeds.   The seed will have two shoots growing out of the is the root and the other is the seedling.  If you are not careful when picking them up and planting them,  you will break the fragile tap root and kill the seedling.

Plant  in pots at least 9 inches deep.
Use potting soil or loamy sandy soil.
It must have well draining soil and container. Their roots will rot easily.
Don't plant seed portion over 3/4 inch deep in the pot.
They will have to be moved to one gallons quickly if the temperature is warm.

They have a long tap root. Give them a longer container, rather than a short one for that reason. There are long black plastic containers used for trees that work well. They are long and narrow. Examples are below. They are harder to find but work better.


If you have the right climate, soil,  and environment, it is better to plant them directly into the ground. Make sure the soil drains well. Make sure the area does not get water logged when it rains. 

It is necessary to protect them from cats, dogs, and outdoor creatures. Cats will eat them down to the ground. Rabbits, chickens, quail, and mice will eat the plants. Its good food for all. 

Do not plant them outside until it is Spring and after the last frost. Frost kills them. You want it warm outside with night time temperatures not below 60 degrees F.  If you plant them too early, they just won't grow. If its beautiful and warm, they will shoot up several feet in a season.

Method #2:  Jiffy Pot Plugs/ Pots   Jiffy Growing Kits

This year's first Moringa seedlings about two weeks old. The other seedlings are Swiss Chard and Spinach.  I always test germinate the seeds I buy for resale.  Seeds can grow upside down. I found 4 of these doing that. I gently replanted them so that the root would grow properly. Most of them got it right.

I use this method.  I get the kit with a watering mat included. You can buy them at Walmart for about $20.00. It comes with a plastic dome as well in the kit. I also use a heat mat underneath the set up. Those run about $25.00. You are instructed to remove the dome when they get this high. I enclosed them in a tent of aluminum foil to help retain heat since it is cold in the house now.

You water the kit from the bottom container so you don't have to worry about them drying up on you. The cells don't get too wet either with this system. I found that the 32 cell kit was the best because it gave the plants more room to grow. I also found it difficult to get the plants out of the smaller cell kits.  Burpee uses coconut fiber rather than peat which I think it better for the plants.  Once the shoots are out of the ground, I put them under a grow light. A sunny window would do as well.  Some homes have an enclosed sun room or porch which would work if it is warm enough.  Without warmth, they just sit there and don't grow much.  Some advise you not to put the seedlings in the sun for two months. I put mine in guarded, gentle sunlight. Don't put them in direct sunlight such as a windowsill.  They bake and dry up quickly.

I will upload more pictures of these as we go along each week. These were grown to test the seed germination on the shipment received. 

XL Ultimate Growing System
This is the 32 cell kit I buy that includes a watering mat with it.

All for today, Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin

Update: We now live in Indian Mound, TN as of 1-15-2015

Buy USDA Organic Certified Moringa Powder, Tea, and Capsules from Ecuador. The products are tested and shipped from a US/GMP compliant lab in Connecticut. 

Visit Nature's Sunshine Herbs, Essential Oils, Flower Remedies, and so much more here


Monday, February 25, 2013

Update on My Dwarf Moringa Trees Experiment

An almost perfect dwarf Moringa tree

This is one of my 10 trees growing in our back room. This one is planted in a 20 gal black plastic container. There is another tree beside it in the same container that is not leafed out yet. I have three more in another 20 gal container below. It is leafing out along the trunk with nice healthy leaves. I stripped all of the leaves off the trees awhile back due to a problem with aphids.  I have since found that Neem oil dissolved in warm water works well against the aphids. This tree was topped off at about two feet high.  I have several other trees in 33 gal trash cans with drainage holes drilled in to the bottom.  They were topped off at 4 feet.  You keep them at those heights when grown in the house. You want lots of leaves for salads and teas.

The goal again, when growing them in the house is lots of leaves since the trees cannot grow as large as when planted into the ground outside. These are leafing out right now without a heater on at night. They would probably grow more quickly with the heater on, but so would our electric bill.  After a year of living here, this window is the best area for getting results. This room is warmer than the rest of the house as well. The two left in the living room area did not survive. You must experiment to determine which area of your house has the most warmth and sunlight for their survival. I have moved them around a lot, starting with all of them in our living room.  So now all of them will stay right here year around.

You can grow three trees in a 20 gal container or 33 gal trash can. Space them as far apart from each other as you can. The easiest time to move them is when they are dormant and look like green sticks. Make sure you do not injure the long main tap root at the base of the trunk. These all were just moved to bigger containers. Give them a B-1 watering which is used to help with transplant shock. All you do is mix a tablespoon of B-1 liquid into a one gallon container and water them after transplanting the tree.

Here is another one leafing out but not as perfect
I will upload pictures as we go along in the season.  I have new seeds started right now. The best new ones will be added into these containers where there is only one tree at present. I have room for several more containers as well in that room. When they are small trees, you need more trees to keep you in a supply of leaves.

I checked my cold frame outside and all the Swiss chard are growing new leaves.  The kale are just holding their own.  The Comfrey plants which froze hard is growing new shoots from the base of the plant. I am really happy with how well the cold frame did.  It was a simple wood frame with three layers of 3 mil plastic over the frame.  The plants survived a week of snow and temperatures that went down to 5 degrees. It is still freezing every high. 

Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin

Buy USDA Organic Certified Moringa Powder, Tea, and Capsules from Ecuador. The products are tested and shipped from a US/GMP compliant lab in Connecticut. 

Visit Nature's Sunshine Herbs, Essential Oils, Flower Remedies, and so much more here

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Update on Jack; Thoughts on Life and Death and Why

Jack and My Husband

Last post, I relayed how our Aussie suffered an unexplained seizure several days ago and the aftermath of that seizure.  I have had several readers ask for an update. Well the critical time is the first 24 hours and then the next 30 days.  He did not have another seizure again but I have slept little since then. Like when your child or husband is sick, you keep one ear open while you are trying to sleep. You hear them snore or make a funny noise so you get up to see if they are alright. Last night was the first good night's sleep I have had since it happened. His personality has been fine so that is a sigh of relief.  But still there is a part of me that wonders if it will occur again and when.  To get things done, I just pray for him. I have to put him in God's hands on this.  We called the vet and he suggested to wait on any tests. They could range from a couple of hundred to a thousand or more. At this stage of his life with Dysplasia, the vet did not suggest getting those tests.  There is a time when it is time to say goodbye for the sake of the dog.  So if he does not have more seizures, and he remains with a quality of life regarding the Dysplasia...we will let him live more days of his life. Right now he can walk and run at times to play with Pringles, he walks the property being the excellent watch dog he is, he patiently waits by the gait for my husband to come home, he sits out in the yard and basks in the sun....his life has quality at this point. We both understand that this could last for another year or just another month.

There are times in life for those humans we love, and the animals in our lives, that there are no answers. So we must enjoy everyday we have with them, loving them. For Jack, who nearly had to  be put down three years ago, each day has been a blessing. The homeopathic medicine we give him has given him an extended three years of quality life. The vet then gave him no hope.  We did and with God's direction and blessing.

Most families have someone beloved that is in the end of their life or going that direction.  You must focus on the little joys that are left, rather than the impending death. If you don't you are missing out on the gifts they have during the last stage of life.  Often, whether its people or animals, they teach you how to die with honor and dignity. They demonstrate how to laugh, how to die with peace.

I have spent much time in the past by the bedside of those dying and with the elderly who are on that last chapter.  I have shared many long talks on how they felt going down that last path on earth. Most were at peace and ready for the next step.  I also watched a few come to grip with dying and how they had lived. These few had some fears and regrets. They had relationships that needed mending while they could still do it.  They had said things to those they love that were mean or cruel.  They needed to try and repair the damage they had done in those last days or months.

We all ask why dying can't be quick and peaceful?  The reason is that in many cases, that time period while they are dying is needed.  It is needed for the people to be at peace within themselves and death, needed for their families to accept their coming death, and needed by all to have time for those talks that should have come years before. A time to tell those they love how proud they are of them, how much they love them, and how sorry they are for those harsh words. The tragedy is that we don't tell those we love these important things while they are full of life. It would make such a difference in relationships, if we would do that while we have lots of years left. So many children would have loved to have heard those words...I love you...I am proud of are a fine son or a fine daughter......growing up and as a young adult.....not just at the death bed. How much better would your life be now if you told that family member, I am was just a stupid fight.....please forgive me.  Perhaps you need to say to someone, I forgive you. Think about it friends.  It is a huge weight to carry around....anger, resentment, hate, and unforgiveness. It takes away from the quality of your life right now.

With animals it is the same thing. Jack is more my husband's dog. Aussies tend to be more devoted to one person. He was raised by a man who had to give him up. My husband so loves Jack and Jack is devoted to my husband. After the seizure, my husband now has time to deal with the possibility that Jack is on his last chapter of life. If he had died in the seizure, it would have been a real shock to him. Now he has time to mentally begin to  deal with it.  I am also more ready for that fact too. We have known that the homeopathic medicine we give him only slows down the process, it does not cure Dysplasia.  There will be a time, when it no longer works. I am thankful for the additional three years we have had with him...and perhaps another year. There is a time for all of us to go. We are only here on this earth for a short time. My personal belief is that dogs go to heaven too. I also believe that our life here is just one chapter, that there is life after death in a better place with God. I don't see that afterlife without the presence of  dogs, cats, and other creatures. Make good use of every day you have with those you love.  That goes for the animals in our life too.

So go give your dog some love and a special walk.  Time is short.
This is all for today, God bless all of you.
Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin