An ancient world reinforces “natural foods” for good health.

So there are a few different options now to my regular latte.  However one that I was reminded of today brings a completely different world into my writing. – Lemon grass tea

In fond memory of Norma Pandura - 11.11.1944 - 29.09.2007

In 2003, I was fortunate enough to benefit from ancient nutritional knowledge first hand in the Amazon just off Iquitos (Peru).  Yes, this may all sound questionable however it is important to remember that our most memorable lessons are through experience.  As the daughter of a research scientist I am the first to look at information skeptically for its source and credibility,  however at the same there is always a grey area of the unknown and as a Western society we are very young in our knowledge.  I feel that it is important to challenge what we currently believe continuously as new information comes to hand and this often means stepping outside our nicely organized western thoughts and gathering experience rather than just journal articles.

Personal hardship can play a key role in our learning and it is often a fork in the road that forces us to stop and learn.  Injuries are a great example.  I am sure many of you who have torn a ligament or broken a bone whether it be in sport or off the field had no idea of the name or function of these body parts prior to injury.  Take for example a slipped disc in your lumbar spine (lower back).  This is a painful experience that can leave you flat on your back quite literally for weeks and even months.  Terms such as, “deep core muscles” or even “Pilates” once a foreign language become familiar terms for your recovery and protecting you from further injury.

I had been suffering from a chronic condition for some years when arriving in Iquitos.  Norma Pandura was recommended by many as an incredible health practitioner and well respected in her region.   After exhausting all Western avenues for treatment often at great expense,  I was blessed to spend some time with her.  I was blown away with how much I learnt through my experience there and though the treatments were foreign and at times unnerving I was willing and it proved worthy.

Diet was crucial in my recovery back then and this last few weeks has been a great reminder of this.  There were no processed foods in the middle of the Amazon and we lived on the basics of fresh produce including, fruit, vegetables, fish, chicken and a lovely plant named palmetta (heart of palm), looks like flat pasta with a similar texture.

I drank cold lemon grass tea like water.  It was prescribed as part of an intensive care plan to strengthen my body.  Some of the beneficial properties of Lemon Grass include: assisting digestion, calming the nervous system, improved circulation and the elimination of toxins from the body.

Tip – Cut fresh lemongrass, add to boiling water, strain and add honey for taste.

Some of the other interesting notes that have stayed clear in my memory as treatments were hibiscus flowers for sleep apnea and butter cup flowers for colic in children.

Sadly Norma passed away in 2007, however her vision of establishing a health center and research facility in the local area was achieved and now proceeds her.  I only hope that this has remained in congruency with Norma’s compassionate, inquisitive and humble nature.

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