Lemon Balm Times is written and published on an irregular basis by Jenne Hiigel.  Copyright © 2019 Jenne Hiigel  All rights reserved.

Recommended resources:
Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, and a Road to Repair, by Danielle Sered. Describes how restorative justice has helped people heal from violent crime.
Life Changing Foods, Thyroid Healing, and Liver Rescue, by Anthony William. For foods and recipes as potential alternatives to the “sugar = love” equation.
• Lemon Balm Wild Blueberry Iced Tea recipe: https://www.medicalmedium.com/ blog/lemon-balm-wild-blueberry-iced-tea
• Part II of Thyroid Healing, by Anthony William. For more information about why the autoimmune and gene mutation theories are problematic, as well as other mistakes that are preventing us from seeing and realizing our true healing potential.

Capacity to Heal

    It can be seriously disheartening, when looking for information about an illness or condition, to discover that the cause is unknown, it's chronic or lifelong, can only be managed, there is no cure, it's genetic, or the worst one, that your body's attacking itself. The misinformation out there about chronic illness is truly astounding. Add to that the number of people who are specifically told by their doctor they can't heal, and a desire to rant starts kicking in for me.
    “People are built to heal, and when we have information, we are profoundly capable of putting it into the service of our own healing.” (Danielle Sered, Until We Reckon) Our body, soul, and spirit are brilliantly designed to heal. Some level of healing is always possible, and often complete reversal of a condition is totally achievable. In order to ignite that healing potential, we need to know the true cause of the condition and what to do about it.
    It's essential to know that your body is not faulty. Your body isn't a lemon (although lemons are very good for the body, so drink lemon water regularly). Your body is always working to protect you from harm. Illness occurs when the body's defenses get worn down and overwhelmed by toxins and pathogens. Even then, your body is always working for you, not against you.
    Contrary to what we're told, the body does not attack itself. It's not that stupid. Autoimmune was a theory, developed by scientists in the early 1950s, that has never been proven…ever. Seventy years later it's being tossed around as fact, when there is absolutely no evidence to support it. Medications prescribed have made people worse, rather than better, and the theory remains intact.
    The other piece of misinformation that makes people lose faith in their body's ability to heal, is when a condition is blamed on a gene mutation. Genes are absolutely important and affect our lives in many ways, but they're not why we're chronically ill. Tests for gene mutations are actually just inflammatory markers. When the inflammation is resolved, the gene mutation goes away. Hmmm...
    When you know your body doesn't attack itself, are confident that your genes are sound, and know that your body is brilliantly designed to heal...then everything changes.
    When we learn the true cause of our illness or condition (the combination of pathogens and toxins involved), and what to do about it (foods to avoid and foods, herbs, and supplements to bring in), the healing and regenerative capabilities of our bodies become truly dazzling. “With the truth, we can save ourselves and heal.” (Anthony William)

Sugar = Love ?

    Years ago, I removed refined sugars from my diet. In doing so, I noticed a common, unexpected reaction. When I declined an offer of cakes, donuts, cookies, or other sugary offering, it would feel as if I had rejected the person making the offer, rather than the sweets. This really confused me, until I realized the connection between sugar and love.

    People use sugar to express love, kindness, and caring. We give chocolates to our sweetheart on Valentine's Day, bake cookies for family and friends, bring donuts or pastries to share with our co-workers, and take the kids out for ice cream. Gatherings of love, celebration, and appreciation, such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and retirement parties, all have a cake taking the spotlight. Family recipes that are handed down through the generations are often sugar-laden, like my great grandmother Lula's candy recipe or Aunt Thelma's cinnamon rolls.
     When I decline an offer of sugar, am I really declining an offer of love? If I don't make our family recipes, am I rejecting my family heritage? I gotta say, that's what it felt like. Not at all what I expected. I was just trying to improve my diet.
    I struggled with this dilemma for quite some time, especially the family recipe quandary. Was I going to be the one who killed the family recipes? The one who stopped them from being shared for generations to come? The answer turned out to be yes. For the sake of my health, and that of future generations, it was time to change the “sugar = love” equation.
    My first thought was to change it to “broccoli = love”, but I haven't been able to get that to catch on. For the folks who are healing with celery juice, I've seen several pictures of loving husbands bringing their wives a bouquet of celery. So for some, the equation is now “celery = love.”
    Sugar is essential for life, but it has to be the right kind of sugar. We can keep the sweet taste, but we need to get rid of the processed sugars and replace them with fruits and glucose-rich vegetables. “Fruit = love”, “dates = love”, and “u-pick berries = love” are all possibilities.
    It's time to get creative with our traditions. To create new or updated recipes to show our love. Making a “cake” out of melons or giving an assortment of dates instead of chocolates. Having the kids make some “nice cream” out of frozen bananas with a strawberry/date sauce, rather than going out for ice cream.
    Wherever our new traditions end up, encouraging health in our family and friends seems to me like the best demonstration of love and caring.


    We humans have a strong tendency to resist change. It's far more comfortable and easier to do what we know. Preparing a recipe you've been making for decades will go much faster and more comfortably than a new recipe with ingredients you're not familiar with. Change requires learning and adaptation, both of which are incredibly time consuming and can feel awkward and stressful, until they become routine.
    When I finished the first Medical Medium book back in 2016, I knew I had to drastically change my diet...again! I had done this several times before, as I've searched for ways to improve my own health, as well as that of my family. It's not a process I particularly enjoy.
    The diet I was replacing was based on the theory that the brain is made of fat, so eat more fat. Yes, I got sucked into that one. Not sure how that happened. Sure it tasted good, but it wasn't doing my body any good...quite the contrary, actually. I now know that the brain is made primarily of glycogen (concentrated glucose), with only trace amounts of fat. A high fat diet creates problems throughout the body, including the brain.
    The first step was to go through my recipes and toss out ones I wouldn't be making anymore. This left me with the thought, “What will we eat?” New recipes were essential.
    Next I needed to learn about unfamiliar ingredients. Papayas and mangoes were new to me. Where do I even get those? How do I select one, store it, determine when it's ripe, and prepare it? There is definitely a learning curve with any diet change, which requires time and patience.
    Did I switch over to this new diet all at once? No. Change is a process. Over six months I made additions and deletions to my diet, until I was pretty much switched over. Becoming more comfortable with the new foods and recipes makes it easier to stay on track. The biggest motivator, though, was when I saw that it worked. When I actually started feeling better and noticing long standing symptoms beginning to reverse and heal. That's when it became even easier to stay on track.
    When I look back at all the information and new recipes that felt difficult and stressful to me in the beginning, it seems so easy now. Those recipes have become my new routine, something I can pull together with only a quick glance at the recipe, and sometimes without the recipe. Foods that I had never heard of before are now some of my favorites.
    Step-by-step you can get where you want to be. Baby steps are totally fine. If a small change can help you heal by 5%, that additional energy can give you the strength and motivation to make the next change.
    If you prefer bigger leaps, go for it. Start where you are. Do what you can. Make use of what you have.
    Each person is different. Some people want to see faster results, while others can only handle small changes. Both approaches are fine. Even little steps have big cumulative value.

Lemon Balm Wild Blueberry Tea

    This recipe is amazing. So tasty and refreshing, with incredibly healing ingredients. It's gotten rave reviews when I've made it. Thanks to Anthony William for this recipe. You can find it on his website at medicalmedium.com.
    The combination of Lemon Balm and Wild Blueberries makes this tea a healing powerhouse. Lemon Balm is a soothing warrior. It kills viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens, calms the nerves, especially in the digestive tract, lowers liver heat, and supports the adrenals.
    Wild blueberries are packed full of antioxidants. These are different than the cultivated blueberries. They're smaller, more richly colored, and far more healing. You'll find them in the frozen fruit section of many stores.
    Wild blueberries grab onto toxins and other trouble makers, and personally show them the exit. They feed good bacteria and are the number one adaptogenic food out there, bar none. Wild blueberry plants are survivors, capable of rising from the ashes. They can be burned to the ground and will grow back stronger than ever. When we consume wild blueberries, we gain some of that resilient nature.

Lemon Balm Wild Blueberry Iced Tea
1 cup frozen wild blueberries
½ cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 lemon balm tea bags or 4 teaspoons of dried lemon balm
4 cups water
Ice, to serve
Handful of fresh lemon balm for garnish, if desired

Place the wild blueberries, maple syrup, and lemon juice in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook over low heat until the wild blueberries are mushy, about 5 minutes.

Add the water and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat off. Add the tea bags or loose tea (in a tea bag or ball, if desired) and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Pour everything through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher or bowl, using the back of a spoon to squeeze out juice from the blueberries and tea bags. Chill the tea for about an hour in the fridge, then serve over ice with fresh lemon balm for garnish.

Serves 4-6