Simple Ways to Stay Healthy by Valerie Lull



I love cherries, they are my favorite fruit. Cherries are the mouth-watering treat in cherry tarts, cherry pie, cherry pastries, cherry cobbler, cherry turnovers and eaten as as just plain cherries. Cherries are generally sweet or sour in taste. The sour ones are mainly used for cooking.

Cherries come in a variety of colors, flavors and sizes. They are known as a stone fruit from the genus Prunus. Cherries have been around since the dawn of history and were found in Europe, Asia and North Africa. Cherries were consumed by the Greeks, Romans and Chinese. They were introduced into England by order of King Henry VIII.  Cherries were brought to the new world  by  early settlers in the 1600’s.

Almost everyone has heard about cherries being helpful for gout. Did you know that cherries have many other health benefits? Some of the things they have been used for over the centuries include arthritis, reducing muscle pain, reducing belly fat, lower stroke risk, reduce inflammation, cancer protection, and antioxidant protection.

Cherries are packed with nutrition including vitamins C, B-6, A and K . They contain potassium, copper, magnesium, iron,manganese, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. They contain beta carotene, quercetin. plant sterols and anthocyanins.

Cherry juice is popular, both by itself or mixed with lemonade or soft drinks. Since cherries are in season now, go ahead and  enjoy some.

Check out my website at   Check out my new book The Sweet Side of the stinking rose; How to Use Garlic to Feel Good and Live Long. It is available on Amazon.


Simple Ways to Stay Healthy by Valerie Lull



Almonds have a long history. Almonds were mentioned in the Bible. Almonds were used as an ingredient in bread served to the pharaohs. Almonds are thought to come from China and Central Asia. They were transported by caravans on the “Silk Road” to the Middle East and were introduced to the Mediterranean. Later they were established  in California.

Almonds have been used since antiquity for medicinal purposes. Some of the claims include use for the complexion, preventing cancer, constipation, coughs heart problems, and diabetes. In Ayurvedic medicine they are considered as a nutrient for the brain and nervous system. Folklore claims that almonds increase intellectual capacity and longevity. Modern research shows that consuming almonds improves the quality of the diet.

Almonds are so nutritious they are considered a super-food. They contain vitamins A,C,D,E and K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B-6, folate, B-12, and choline. Almonds contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Almonds are popular in cooking, baking and in pastries. Almond oil is often used as a substitute for olive oil or as a carrier oil in aromatherapy and massage. Almonds are readily available, as whole nuts (often slivered, or sliced), almond milk, almond butter, and almond paste.

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Puri, H. S. 2003. Rasayana Ayurvedic Herbs for Longevity and Rejuvenation. London: Taylor and Francis. ISBN 0203216563.




Simple Ways to Stay Healthy by Valerie Lull MH


 Onions are Healthy

Almost all cooks use onions.I can remember my mother making fried onion sandwiches. I loved them! In the past onions were  used to prevent diseases like cholera. The Roman emperor Nero used onions to cure colds.

Onions are great for seasoning food and can replace salt and vinegar. Did you know that onions have terrific health benefits? Onions are full of nutrients like vitamin C, sulfur, potassium, chromium, flavoniods, and phytochemicals. Onions are used so widely in the diet that they are considered a major source or antioxidants.

One phytochemical that onions contain is quercetin. Quercetin works as an antioxidant, destroying free radicals. The antioxidant action may help to prevent a number of chronic diseases. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, onions can  help symptoms from bladder infections, prostate problems and blood pressure. The quercetin can have anti inflammatory and antihistamine effects that can help folks with allergies.

Onions contain a prebiotic called inulin. Inulin is a form of dietary fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut. Inulin can help with blood sugar control and may be beneficial for folks with diabetes.

Aside from onion’s health properties, onions are popular in cooking and they are delicious. They can be baked, steamed, boiled, sautéed, and eaten raw. To remove the smell from your hands rinse your hands in cold water,  rub them with salt and rinse again. Then wash them with soap and water.

Here is a simple recipe for onion soup.

Melt 2 T butter in a large pot. Add 2 large onions that have been sliced or chopped and cook for about 20 minutes. Add 2 cans of beef broth, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes  uncovered. To serve, put a slice of French bread in a bowl and top with 1 C shredded Swiss cheese. Pour hot soup over bread and cheese.

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My new book The Sweet Side of the Stinking Rose; How to Use Garlic to feel good and live longer, is now available in digital form on Amazon Kindle. Check out my website at





Valerie Lull, Author


Simple Ways to Stay Healthy

By Valerie Lull MH


4 Herbs That Help Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Balancing blood sugar can be problematic. Many Americans have problems maintaining healthy levels and the diabetes epidemic makes it all the more challenging. Fortunately there are several herbs available that can help.


Fenugreek is generally used in cooking. This herb has numerous health benefits including use for digestion and childbirth. Fenugreek is also used to lower blood sugar and this is thought to be because the seeds are high in soluble fiber, which slows down carbohydrate digestion and absorption.


Cumin is a spice that is commonly used in Mexican, Middle Eastern  and Indian cooking. It can also help lower blood sugar levels. In a study done in 2014 it was shown that fasting blood sugar levels decreased with cumin supplementation.


Parsley is more than a garnish on your plate. It is loaded with nutrients. In Turkey parsley is traditionally used for diabetes. In a study done in 2004 on diabetic rats, parsley showed significant lower levels of blood sugar. A tea made from parsley is a great way to use this herb.

Chili Powder

Chili powder is used extensively in Mexican cooking and is known for being hot. Chili may also help to level out insulin spikes after a meal. In a study done at the University of Tasmania, in Australia it was shown that after a meal containing chili powder the insulin levels spiked lower after a meal that contained chili.

References                                                                                                                           Ahuja, K. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 1, 2006; vol 84: pp 63-69.

My new book, The Sweet Side of the Stinking Rose: How to Use Garlic to Feel Good and Live Longer, is now out and available on Amazon. Check it out. Also check out my website at

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Valerie Lull, Author

Simple Ways to Stay Healthy

By Valerie Lull, M.H.

essential oils and medical flowers herbs
essential oils and medical flowers herbs

Essential Oils for Massage

Who doesn’t like a good massage? It is so relaxing and soothing. Essential oils can add to the pleasure both by relaxing muscles and by their aroma. Aromatherapy combined with massage is popular and many blends you can make  yourself at home.

To start, you need a glass bottle that is tinted, This prevents the oil from getting rancid. Then you need a carrier oil. Some popular carrier oils are grapeseed oil, almond oil, coconut oil and olive oil. Olive oil is thicker and darker than the other oils and has an olive smell. If you like it has great benefits for soothing joint and muscle pain. It is also good for your skin.

The next step is to add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the carrier oil. Here are some suggestions.

Lavender essential oil is very popular. Lavender is known for its soothing and calming properties and many people think the scent is heavenly. It is known to help insomnia and fatigue.

Cinnamon essential oil has a strong scent and works as a warming agent for sore muscles and joints. It appears to be beneficial for arthritis.

Sandalwood essential oil is a scent that reminds me of exotic places and is a very fragrant scent. A massage with sandalwood oil can be a very sensuous experience.

Rose essential oil is known for its lovely fragrance and also has soothing properties. Rose oil is beneficial for the skin and can be used for massage as well as part of a beauty regimen.

A massage with these special oils and some candlelight can be used by couples and can set the mood to lead to other things.

Here’s a general formula for blending oils. 1/8 cup of carrier oil and ten drops of the essential oil. Keep in a bottle with tinted glass.


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Valerie Lull,  Author


















Simple Ways to Stay Healthy By Valerie Lull MH

Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar originally came from Italy. It is made from fermented grapes and generally is not made from wine. This vinegar has been used since at least 1046. Have you ever used it? Balsamic vinegar is low in calories and you don’t need to use very much. It can be used in sauces, salad dressings and soups. Balsamic vinegar is low in fat and calories. It has a wonderful flavor. This vinegar is  much more than just a condiment for food, it also has health benefits.

Balsamic vinegar has polyphenols and antioxidants that help to prevent heart disease and cancer. It has electrolytes and calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and sodium. This vinegar has flavonoids that are antioxidants. They help protect the  heart and brain and fight free radicals.

Some of the health benefits include lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, immune system support, weight loss, and controlling blood sugar. The vinegar may improve insulin sensitivity. These health benefits are mainly in the realm of folklore, though some studies have been done on vinegar and insulin sensitivity that look promising.

Some folks are concerned about balsamic vinegar vs. apple cider vinegar. Both kinds of vinegar have health benefits. It is not a matter of which one has the most benefits but which one do you prefer as far as taste goes.

Here is a basic recipe for vinaigrette salad dressing.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
fresh-ground pepper
Optional ingredients: minced garlic, fresh herbs, honey

Combine ingredients in a jar. Close the jar with a lid. Shake with vigor. Taste it and adjust the seasonings according to how it tastes. Use on your salad.

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Valerie Lull
Ten Healthy Teas

Simple Ways to Stay Healthy

By Valerie Lull, MH

Hello Everyone;

It’s been awhile since my last blog post. I got a new computer and some files were lost in the transfer of information from the old computer to the new one.  Hopefully we are up and running again.

I appreciate so much the questions and comments from my readers. On this site I present information about herbs, remedies, foods and nutrition that are helpful to anyone who wants to live a long and healthy life.

I will continue to make weekly posts to this blog and I appreciate your loyalty and patience through this difficult period of transition.

Be sure to check out my web site at

Valerie Lull, Master Herbalist and Author