Sunday, February 6, 2011

German Bio Shops

Heiligenstadt Kneipp/Kurpark Bath

Hahnemann House and European Homeopathy Library Photos

Germany September 2010

I traveled to Germany for 3 weeks in September 2010 to visit with family, and although this post is more than a bit late and out of place at this time of year, I wanted to share some of the interesting photos from my trip. I hope you enjoy them!

Germany is the birthplace of Naturopathic medicine and I was able to visit two very interesting places while was there. One was a house that Samuel Hahnemann (the founder of homeopathy, which is one of the therapeutics I work with as a Naturopath) had lived and practiced in from 1821 - 1834. Interestingly, the house is only about 15 minutes away (in a city called Kothen) from where I was staying with my mom's cousin and her family. The house has now been turned into a small museum and is situated right beside the European Library of Homeopathy. I was able to go through the
museum and the library and it was awesome to see many of the original
remedies that Hahnemann had prepared and worked with and to be in the same space he had practiced in. This was definitely a highlight of my trip!

Another exciting place I was able to visit was Heiligenstadt, a city that was about 30 minutes from where I was staying with my mom's other cousin and his family. Another therapeutic utilized in Naturopathic Medicine is hydrotherapy, or water therapy, which was developed by Sebastian Kniepp, and there as was an outdoor Kniepp bath/Kurpark in Heiligenstadt that I was able to try out. It was a VERY refreshing (cold!) arm and foot bath and felt great, circulation and energy wise! This was also another highlight of my trip!

When I last visited Germany, it was 1993 and my mom's family let me know it would be hard to find natural food
choices at that time, so I was prepared and took a 40 pound bag of food
with me (as a carry on too because I wasn't letting that bag out of my sight!!)! This time, I knew it would be much easier and I was pleased to find lots of natural food stores and lots of organic (called Bio in Germany) food choices. I was able to find most all of the foods I would find at home, although they only grow kale (grunkohl) as a winter crop, so there was NONE to be found during my entire trip! I stayed primarily in small villages, and everyone has a large garden, as well as fruit trees. I was able to eat fresh carrots, zucchini, kohlrabi, plums, and pears from my mom's cousin's garden. As well, while I was in Germany, everything was still green and growing, so I was able to see lots of beautiful plants and flowers (see top three pictures to the left). There was especially an abundance of goldenrod, which is a great herb for supporting both lung and urinary health (see bottom picture to the left).

Overall, my trip was a great learning experience and I look forward to being able to visit again in the future.

Coconut oil!

The remainder of the cleanse went well, but I was mainly drawing from already posted recipes and simple suppers, so unfortunately I didn't have new recipes to share. As well, the cleanse ended a few days early for me (at my favorite restaurant, Fresh!) because I went to Toronto for a class on Jan 29 and 30th. The class focused on healthy blood sugar balance and the wide ranging impact it has on all the systems in our body. One of the simple suggestions for healthy blood sugar balance that I picked up from the class was to integrate coconut oil into our daily routines, at 1 tsp 3 times per day (if possible) to support stabilized blood sugar throughout the day. So far, I am only managing to integrate it into my morning smoothie, but it has been easy to do and it adds a yummy coconut flavor to the smoothie. If you do not like the taste of coconut, you can pick up refined coconut oil - the refined coconut oil still offers the benefits of unrefined coconut oil, but tends to have a less strong taste. The reason I went with the brand in the above picture (which is an unrefined coconut oil) is because it is in a glass jar and it is always best to purchase fat based foods in glass to prevent the leaching of xeno-estrogens found in plastic containers into the food that is in the plastic container.