Friday, October 28, 2011

Even when nothing happens........

The thing with blogging is that it is a true commitment, you start and you have to keep it going. One often sees bloggers feeling just a little bit guilty if they do not blog regularly....and we all admire Nancy Medina and Kelley MacDonald and all those busy little bees who will post every day as sure as the sun rises!

Back at the ranch, being away and having illness in the family, spring cleaning and gardening gets in the way of posting. But "even when nothing happens", things do happen and here are a few for your amazement and amusement:

  1. My "blog book" arrived, beautifully printed with the first 160 posts. How does one feel when you unpack it? I thought that I felt fairly flat, like a student who made a nice little assignment and now what? Send me an e-mail if you would like to page through it online!
The little sapling of Sutherlandia (see previous post) had so much rain, and as I went out this morning this tiny plant had flower buds all over, so we may be drinking a health brew in future!

We visited my children in Durban for 10 days and spend a weekend caring for the menegary of 3 dogs, 5 hamsters and 8 rabbits. What fun! The black rabbit, Benjamin, stays in the girls' room in the day and goes out in the garden at night, being nocturnal! Snowball, very white, is the mom of 5 girls. They live with Dad Peter in the enclosed and sheltered rabbit garden. My daughter was happy about the female rabbits, as sterilizing males are very expensive ! I painted some bunnies in watercolour.

My friend Tatyana Binovskaya has been wanting to paint me for a long time. The end result was a wonderful surprise! Tatyana is so talented!

There is an oil painting of boats on my easel.....if one cannot travel, there are always older photos to work from! So the next post will be about the real West Coast again!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sutherlandia frutescens or Cancer Bush

A wonderful perk of travelling is getting to try the food of different nations! I think armchair travelling is the same and I found much joy in all the comments I received about waterblommetjies, a traditional dish of the Cape! Now, from food to medicine as I introduce the amazing centuries-old cure, Sutherlandia frutescens, locally known as cancer bush.

Having heard so much about this bush and having noticed it in health tablets, I set off to !Khwa Ttu to buy the plant for my garden. I was lucky, there were saplings for sale! Not only that, but in the indigenous garden the plants were in bloom. The restaurant at !Khwa Ttu also had pots of them as flower arrangements, nicely labelled with info about the plant.

According to the booklet "Gathering Fynbos" written by San experts 2 handfuls of dried leaves and young stems should be added to cold water and boiled for half an hour. One should drink a small glassful once a day. It is claimed to be a great immune booster and beneficial as preventative or cure for pancreatic cancer, aids, kidney disease, diabetes 2, arthritus, fever, gout , urinary tract infection and for treating the mother after delivery. Remember, the San and Khoikoi people for centuries survived without Western medicine!

I needed some good neutral opinion and was pleased to find a very informative website official-looking and honest and never trying to over- glorify the plant. I took this paragraph from their site.

Quality-of-Life Tonic

There is preliminary clinical evidence that Sutherlandia has a direct anticancer effect in some cancers, and also acts as an immune stimulant, but Sutherlandia should not be recommended as a so-called “universal cancer cure”, but rather as a quality-of-life tonic.

  • Mood
    Sutherlandia decreases anxiety and irritability and it elevates mood.
  • Appetite and weight
    It is an established fact that up to a third of cancer patients succumb to the wasting syndrome, rather than the actual tumor mass. Appropriate doses of select chemotypes and varieties of Sutherlandia dramatically improves appetite, and weight-gain can be expected in wasted patients. The first 5 kg gain is common after six weeks of treatment. In patients who are not wasted, weight-gain is not usual.
  • Energy levels and exercise tolerance
    Sutherlandia typically improves the energy levels and exercise tolerance of patients, and gives an enhanced sense of well-being.
The website has all the newspaper and medical reports one can wish for, for those interested in more info about Sutherlandia. If you come across it in health tablets in the States or UK or anywhere, I would love to know! I hope my little plant will thrive so that I can brew some elixir!

The painting was done in watercolours on 300gms watercolour paper. Those rhythmic little stems and the large pea-like red flowers were a tempting subject, tempting enough to make me reach my watercolour paints.