Almonds are members of the Rosaceae (Rose) Family and a relative of peaches, cherries and apples. They have anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, demulcent, emollient, and tonic properties. They help alkalinize the blood and relieve chi stagnation in the liver. They are used to lubricate the lungs, relieve asthma and coughing, clear phlegm, improve energy and memory, strengthen the nervous system, and increase strength and sexual vitality. They are known as brain and bone food.
Almonds contain about 18 percent protein and are a good source of vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. They also contain amygdalin, otherwise known as laetrile, an anticancer nutrient.
In Ayurvedic medicine, almonds are used to strengthen ojas, the essence that exemplifies intellect and spiritual receptivity. Yogananda, Indian guru and author of Autobiography of a Yogi said almonds foster “self control and calmness of the mind and nerves.”
A milk made from almonds or other soaked nuts can be a great substitute for dairy, soy or asceptically packaged products. I look for really raw almonds (most American almonds, even those marketed as raw are pasteurized), so either Spanish almonds, those you shell yourself from companies such as LivingNutz.com, farm.com or rawfromthefarm.com.
Why settle for a product in an aseptic package that has a shelf life of three years? Choose vitality instead!
1 cup almonds, soaked overnight
1 quart water
1 tablespoon raw honey or 2 dates, soaked 20 minutes
Rinse the nuts in a colander to remove enzyme inhibitors
Combine all ingredients in a blender and liquefy. Then strain through a sprout bag or a paint strainer bag (available at paint or hardware stores). Pulp can be saved to add to casseroles, cookies or other dishes.
Note: These same directions can be used for making cashew, hazelnut, pine nut, sesame, sunflower, walnut, or pumpkin seed milk.
Makes 1 quart.
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Brigitte Mars, a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild, is a nutritional consultant who has been working with Natural Medicine for over forty years. She teaches Herbal Medicine at Naropa University, Omega, Boulder College of Massage, and Bauman Holistic College of Nutrition. She has a weekly local radio show called "Naturally" on KGNU and a private practice. Brigitte is the author of twelve books, including
The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine,
Beauty by Nature,
Addiction Free Naturally,
Healing Herbal Teas, and
Rawsome!. Find more healthy living articles, raw food recipes, videos, workshops, books, and more at brigittemars.com. Also check out her supermodel yogini daughter, rainbeaumars.com.