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Homemade Probiotics Saved my Cat
Unless you have been living as a hermit in a cave for the last 10 years, you will already have heard about the benefits of probiotics on digestive health and function.Well now my cat would like to add her testimonial.

"I had been feeling very unwell, with painful vomiting and an acid tummy, with or without eating. It got to the stage when there were streaks of blood in my vomit and some blood loss when I went for my daily trip to the flower bed. So I vomited in Sally's clog to tell her to take me to the vet. Sally got the message and has taken me to the vets twice."

"The vet was very kind and told me I had gastro-enteritis. Also my skin was a bit dry and scurfy and I had little bits of dead skin in my fur.making me want to clean myself all the time. Knowing we prefer natural food based remedies, the vet suggested clay, probiotics and chicken. Sally gave me some of her homemade kefir probiotics and I felt instantly better. Since my last visit to the vets, I have had a soup spoon of kefir with every meal. My tummy trouble seemed to go instantly and my skin cleared up in 3 days."

kefir grains, source WikipediaKefir is generally made for human consumption, but if you look on the internet you will see that cats, dogs and other animals benefit from it too.Humans say that it helps with cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure regulation, acid reflux, IBS, colitis, leaky gut syndrome, allergies, to boost the immune system, for ADHD. People are also using it to help against herpes, chronic fatigue syndrome, AIDS and many other conditions. People also claim that kefir drinkers live longer.

You can make your own kefir at home for next to nothing. Your home made probiotics are more potent, with much larger colonies and a far wider spectrum of gut friendly bacteria and fungi than commercial prepared probiotics.

You will need to buy some kefir grains, either the water loving type which you feed water, fruit and sugar, or the milk loving type which you feed milk. Hmmm, doesn't sound very appetizing at the moment, but the water kefir will give you naturally carbonated ginger 'beer', lemonade and orangeade or with a little research, you could create your own recipe.

Feeding the kefir grain produces probiotics in the liquid (which you consume) and allows the kefir grains to multiply (you don't eat these). This means that you can give some of your kefir grains away to interested friends and family members and spread the benefits. We don't sell kefir - it is easy to find online or ask your local health food shop. I just wanted to be sure that you all know about it. Perhaps you know an animal or person who could benefit.

Here are some resources (external links) to get you started:
How to Make Water Kefir
Recipes which children can make and drink (Children should learn to cook real food at home and make ALL of their own snack food and confectionery!)

Cleaning Fiddly Surfaces with a Real Sponge
A close-up showing the texture of a wet sea grass spongeSome spring cleaning has been accomplished. At least small rugs were washed with soapnut liquid, the mattress was vacuumed, etc. I certainly haven't done it all yet. However I want to tell you what I have been learning using sponges for cleaning.

All you need is a sea sponge, a bucket of hottish water containing some soapnut liquid, a bright and sunny day and you can have a go too. Change the water as often as needed and clean the sponge afterwards.

The venetian blinds The broad surfaces take little cleaning, but it is the fiddly bits between the chords, which are so difficult to access with a cloth, a synthetic sponge, or whatever else has been invented. I have already written that real sponges are clever, but they are also helpful and dextrous - the fibrous 'fuzzy' surface of the sponge sort of moulds itself into these little crevices and seems to reach further than you'd expect.

Furniture Most furniture can be cleaned with a well wrung (damp) sponge and soapnut liquid. Check if you are not sure. It is when cleaning the fiddly mouldings, handles, locks and hinges, that the sponges again show their dexterity and extreme agility. The same principles apply to paneled doors, windows (the glass and frame), and cupboards.

Soft sponges are the most dextrous ones and you can wring them quite tightly, until they are only just damp, just right for so many surfaces. If you look after your sponges correctly and use them for the appropriate tasks they will last a long time. Plus you are not adding to global plastic pollution - as far as I know synthetic sponges are not recyclable. Sea sponges, so I am told, are glad, at the end of their use life to be buried in the compost bin.

Please read the table comparing the sponges (click here, then scroll down the page) carefully to choose the right sized sponge for the job, and the right texture, or call for advice. I was using an part of a very old sea wool sponge for fiddly cleaning, I would have got by with a small sea grass sponge. You can cut a larger sponge in pieces if you need to.

The sea wool sponges are very absorbent of water, you can wring them tightly - leaving the finest trace of moisture behind on the surface you are cleaning. The sea grass sponges have a closer texture, they are more durable for the more challenging tasks, they are less squeezable and leave a bit more moisture behind than the sea wool sponges.

You can admire the texture of my wet sea grass sponge in the photograph. No stroking please!

While cleaning with soapnuts is an adventure, cleaning with soapnuts and a sea sponge is truly cosmic!

Organic Argan Oil
Argan Oil is Cold Pressed from Tree SeedsIf you have tried every moisturizer going and haven't tried argan oil yet, then I would invite you to try pure organic argan oil. It is famous for its anti-aging qualities, for giving a very healthy appearance to the skin and for making the skin feel really comfortable and well behaved.

Argan oil is suited to all skin types, both female and male. In the blog below you will be able grasp my enthusiasm. We go to a great deal of trouble to obtain the highest specification organic and fresh argan oil and to pack it in amber glass to retain its purity.

You can finally end your quest, trying every new moisturizer on the market - as the product which works best for most people has been in use for thousands of years already and it is still available its pure form, additive free, fresh and premium quality. Be very careful which oils you buy and from which sources. There is a great deal of inferior oils, mixed oils and dated oils on the market which won't be very effective. Definitely check the product label and find out about the pressing method or call and ask the brand owner about the freshness or traceability.

Our oil is very fresh and it has very little aroma indeed - in fact thousands of people try our argan oil in front of our eyes. every year. Most people remark that, 'It has no smell!" There is actually a slight scent. People also remark on how quickly and how well our argan oil is absorbed into the skin.

New Blogs Men Who Moisturize or men who are thinking about moisturizing, or anyone who wants to learn about moisturizing! Please read this also if you work with your hands!
Cold Infusion Soapnuts - make zero-energy, low aroma soapnut liquid for washing up, windows, vehicles, shiny or glazed surfaces.

Let's see what our customers have been saying!

I love this argan oil ... this is the best I’ve used and does wonders for my skin. I have really sensitive skin so most moisturisers and I react badly too, so this is perfect, I also used to have really bad oily T zone and with this it almost eliminates it, it keeps skin soft, supple and moisturised and best part is that doesn’t overload the skin. Rubina, Manchester

Yes, the argan oil is very fresh and it is a premium pressing. I go to a lot of trouble to assure that the argan oil is perfect. Sally

I have been using Argan oil on my face now for over 3 years – which goes to show how much I love it! I really do think it has improved the softness and quality of my skin. It absorbs really easily and you don’t need to use much. I have very sensitive skin and can be prone to eczema so Argan oil suits my skin a treat. Vicky, London

Like you, I can never get over how little is needed and how well it absorbs into the skin. Sally

How to Leave Feedback and Reviews
If you'd like to leave your feedback, just fire me off a quick email. If you would give me permission in your email to publish it on the website, I will just cite your first name and location and I will be very grateful. My customers really do make unique observations.

You can leave reviews directly on the website just by finding your favourite product in the shop, clicking on the review tab and letting your thoughts and fingers flow. Then click submit. Simple! And very much appreciated. I can't do the product reviews myself - they have to come from you! The product reviews carry much more weight than the feedback and most customer will read them. As the review feature is new on my website, it is still a bit sparse!  A review doesn't have to be a prize winning novella - Just imagine you are telling your best friend about the product on the phone ...  the ideas and your fingers will flow.

A Really Healthy and Easy Recipe that Even a Supervised Child Could Make
I bake my seed and nut loaf in clay baking cylindersI have never really tried to make bread at home - I have such an excellent local baker, I could never surpass their bread making skills, plus I don't really want to get up at 4.00AM to make fresh bread for the morning. Also I have tried it a few times with varied results.

My friend Carol, said that I would love this simple loaf recipe and that I would be able to make it myself, anytime. She was right! I have made 4 batches now. It is probably one of the healthiest recipes you could put through your digestive system - it contains lots of mucilaginous (slippery) fiber from the psyllium and linseed /flaxseed and normal  (roughage) from the other ingredients. This recipe combines key superfoods, its packed full of Omega 3 oils and it takes just a few minutes to prepare.

Ingredients: Makes 1 loaf

1 cup / 135g sunflower seeds
½ cup / 90g flax seeds
½ cup / 65g hazelnuts or almonds
1 ½ cups / 145g rolled oats (I am using rolled barley today which is healthier – you can find this in health food shops)
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder). I get the real pysillium husks from the ethnic food shops were it is very inexpensive.
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt (add ½ tsp. if using coarse salt)
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (for sugar-free diets, use a pinch of stevia)
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or ghee. (From ethnic food shops)
1 ½ cups / 350ml water

1. Combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. Whisk maple syrup, oil and hot water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick. Place in a greased 1lb baking tin. Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. As you can see, I baked mine in two clay cylinders.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.
3. Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing (difficult, but important).
4. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!
Here is the source link where you will find other healthy recipes too.

Although the psyllium husk and linseed are essential, you can play around a bit with other substitutions. So I use barley flakes instead of oat flakes and substitute pumpkin seeds for some of the sunflower seeds. I have been eating a slice of my seed bread, toasted every day with butter and my homemade marmalade. I can't begin to describe how much I enjoy carefully chewing my way through my new breakfast, savouring every seed and nut. Omega 3 are really great for the skin and all the other cells in the body too. You do need to eat a healthy diet to have healthy looking skin and have good digestive function.

Share MeIf you would like to grow kefir for your family and pets; if you have learnt about moisturizing, if you want to clean something fiddly with a sea sponge, and before you begin rummaging through your cupboards for your nuts and seeds,  please email this newsletter to your friends (forward to a friend) or share it on social media. See the links below.

Sally XXX

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