Real, Clean Food ~ Nutrition Naturally

Fresh fruit displayed in a traditional compote

Natural nutrition can be thought of as “real” food that is derived from a living and breathing non-human source. “Real” food includes…

  • a wide variety of vegetables,
  • nuts and seeds,
  • herbs and spices,
  • certain grains and starches,
  • seasonal fruits,
  • seafood, and
  • a minimal amount of meat and dairy.

Nutritious food does not cause harm or an inflammatory response in the human body. Food should be “clean” in the sense that it is not artificially augmented or modified. Therefore, ingredients that should be strictly avoided include…

  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs),
  • foods grown using harmful pesticides,
  • gluten,
  • sugars,
  • caffeine,
  • nitrates,
  • artificial additives such as MonoSodium Glutamate (MSG, which goes by many other names as well) and
  • patented natural flavors.

Physick Herbs of Early America

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Garden rue is visited by a lady bug
© 2020, Colonial Botanicals

Physick herbs of early America were used medicinally for healing various ailments, and commonly used as ingredients for tinctures and teas. The following list comes from famous botanist Leonard Meager. While not all of the botanicals listed here are advisable for healing uses nowadays, it is interesting to note that many of today’s synthetically produced pharmaceuticals are based on extracts or derivatives found in nature.

  • Angelica
  • Asarabacka
  • Bears-foot (Setterwort)
  • Carduus
  • Dragons
  • Dittander
  • Elecampane
  • Fetherfew (Feverfew)
  • Goats Rue
  • Germander
  • Garlick (Garlic)
  • Harts tongue
  • Horse radish
  • Liverwort
  • Lavender Cotton (Santolina)
  • Liquorish
  • Master-wort
  • Marshmallows
  • Mother-wort
  • Pelletary of the Wall
  • Pionies (Peony)
  • Rubarb
  • Rue
  • Solomon’s Seal
  • Scordium
  • Scorsonera
  • Scurvy-grass
  • Southern-wood
  • Smalage
  • Sneese-wort
  • Tansie
  • Greek Valerian
  • Great Valerian (or Setwell)
  • Winter Cherries
  • Wormwood (both English and Roman)

The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.

Abraham Lincoln

How to Make Fresh Herbal Tea

Fresh herbs such as mint, lemon balm, chamomile, catnip, ginger, anise hyssop and holy basil make delicious, soothing, relaxing tea. Try them individually or in combinations that suit your taste.


  1. Pick 1-2 teaspoons of fresh leaves, flowers and or roots.
  2. Gently bruise by rolling in hands.
  3. Drop into cup of hot water.
  4. Cover and let steep for a few minutes.

Tip: Smaller, finer leaves should steep for 3 to 5 minutes, while larger leaves and flowers should steep a bit longer, up to 10 minutes. Roots should be steeped longest and may even be boiled for maximum potency.

  1. Sip and Enjoy!

A New Way of Thinking about Food

Food is the body’s primary source of nutrition, which means it can profoundly boost or hinder your health. Nutritious foods can be healing. Unhealthy foods can be poisonous. And so, to the greatest extent possible, it is wise to view your food as medicine. Thinking about food in this way can be life changing.

Very simply, nutritious foods are comprised of ingredients that contribute positively to the function of the human body. Quality nutrition tends to be found in naturally occurring foods that are as clean from contamination and indigestible elements as possible, and as minimally prepared (as close to raw) as possible.

A healthier pantry should contain a good number of natural items that might have been found in a pantry belonging to your ancestors, with a few modern adaptations.

Natural Home Remedies for Cold & Flu

If you or a loved one are experiencing the dreaded sensations of a cold or the flu (also known as the grippe) coming on, consider turning to nature rather than big pharma.

Maybe you have reservations about subjecting yourself to potentially harmful vaccines, chemically manipulated panaceas and costly doctor bills?

If so, you will be pleased to know that there are quite a few easily obtainable, surprisingly powerful natural options that not only help you cope with the symptoms, but also target their cause. Best of all, you may have some of the most useful natural ingredients already in your kitchen cupboards!

Copyright 2019, Ruffin Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

Here are a few ways to incorporate natural home remedies when managing a cold or the flu.

Herbal Tea – Keep a mug of warm herbal tea nearby for sipping. The best options for cold and flu include ginger, echinacea, elderberry and lemon.

Soup – Enjoy a big pot of broth or soup made with lots of fresh garlic, ginger, oregano and thyme. Miso is also very nourishing.

Over the Counter Tonics – A few doses of elderberry syrup, homeopathic Oscillococcinum or liposomal vitamin C can prove especially helpful.

Honey – While sweets are not advisable during times of illness, a spoonful of raw, unfiltered, local honey can soothe a raw throat and, when added to teas, can “help the medicine go down”. Garlic fermented in honey is also a great option.

For best results, always attend to maladies as soon as possible.

And, of course, if your condition does not improve or worsens after your best attempts to remedy, do not hesitate to seek professional medical assistance.

Note: Please refer to Colonial Botanicals Legal Disclaimers for important details about health related information provided on this blog.

Making Healthier Choices

Breaking old, unhealthy habits is hard work. How do you even start to make these kinds of life altering changes? The short answer is: One step at a time, in a way that makes the most sense to you.

You may decide to start by focusing on just a couple of the most offending habits in your life, or you may go all out with a fully documented plan to tackle them all. Either way, as you gain confidence and begin to notice improvements, you will be encouraged to continue making changes.

Copyright 2019, Ruffin Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.
Colonial Garden Bench
© 2019, Colonial Botanicals

You might find it helpful to write a letter to yourself so that when setbacks or doubts creep up, you’ll have a reminder of why you wanted to make such a change in the first place.

Take into account your true motivations, realistically recognizing your own personal strengths and weaknesses, and reasonably considering any other opportunities and limitations that may affect your desired outcome.

Give yourself credit for the healthy habits you already have and define achievable phases or steps to improve in other areas.

Whether you write it all down or not, planning and thinking through the implications of these changes before you get started will raise the level of your success.

At first it may take a little time and effort to change those old habits but before long, you’ll begin to realize positive results and an efficient routine will evolve.

It is true that transitions on this scale can be overwhelming, but they don’t have to be. Listen to your heart. If you know that changes are necessary, you can find the right way to make them happen.