Blue, pink and purple hydrangeas

Some of my GARDENS4U  gardens have blue hydrangeas and some have pink hydrangeas.  A garden I was at recently had both.

 

 

We all know that blue and pink together make purple, so I was not surprised to see a few pale purple blossoms…

 

hydrangeas
purple hydrangea

 

So, how do you know if your soil is acidic or alkaline?  Try this simple soil pH test using ingredients from your kitchen:

  • Collect soil from different parts of your garden.  If you have a large garden, you may want to label your containers.  Styrofoam cups work well.
  • put 2 spoonfuls of soil into each of several containers.  (Two containers for each location)
  • Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the soil in one container.  If it fizzes, you have alkaline soil, with a pH between 7 and 8.
  • If it doesn’t fizz after doing the vinegar test, then add distilled water to the other container taken from the same location until the 2 teaspoons of soil are muddy. Add 1/2 cup baking soda. If it fizzes you have acidic soil, with a pH between 5 and 6.
  • If your soil doesn’t react at all it is neutral with a pH of close to 7.

 

pH-scale-courtesy-of-chesapeakquarterly.net_

 

 

If you prefer your hydrangeas to be pink, make your soil alkaline (pH of 6.0-6.2)  You can do this by adding garden lime to your soil.

If you would rather your hydrangeas to be a blue color lower your soil’s pH to the acidic side (between 5.2 and 5.5).  Acidic soil can be achieved by adding 1/2 cup wettable sulfur powder or other commercial soil acidifiers each spring.  Pine needles or pine bark applied as a mulch also creates acidic soil conducive to blue hydrangeas.  So does compost or composted manure.  Some gardeners have had success using coffee grounds to provide acidic soil around their hydrangeas.

Once you get your soil’s pH figured out, try adding the appropriate soil amendments to just one side of a hydrangea bush to see if you can get both pink and blue blooms on one plant; perhaps you will end up with purple!

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Is your body in acidosis, causing chronic inflammation that can lead to disease?

A previous post of mine outlines the dangers of acidosis and its suspected link to chronic inflammation, the root cause of many diseases including cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and more…

courtesy of google pictures labelled for reuse
courtesy of google pictures labelled for reuse

This article, by Dr Leigh Erin Connealy, suggests the same link between acidosis in our body to chronic inflammation to disease.  The article provides simple instructions on how to keep your body in an alkaline state (between 7.2 and 7.4) for optimum health benefits.

Eating the proper foods and avoiding the worst ones is the easiest way to optimize your blood pH level.  Use the following chart to pick foods from the alkaline (right side)categories and avoid the ones from the acidic (left) side:

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courtesy of google pictures labelled for reuse

Start today by sticking to food items from the right (pun intended) side of the chart…

Boosting Testosterone Levels

testosterone

Testosterone is a natural male hormone that plays a very significant role in the male reproductive system.  It also promotes predominantly male characteristics such as increased muscle and bone mass as well as the growth of body hair.  It is a scientific fact that after the age of 30, testosterone levels in men recede. Unfortunately, with this recession in testosterone levels comes a decrease in stamina, endurance, metabolism, muscle mass and libido.

There are many products on the market today called testosterone boosters.  These products do not actually contain testosterone.  Instead they contain natural ingredients that are proven to boost receding testosterone levels.  Some of the natural ingredients in these boosters are zinc, amino acids, vitamin D, aspartic acid, magnesium, as well as herbal and oyster extracts.  In addition some of these testosterone boosters contain agents to control cortisol and estrogen levels so they do not negate the extra testosterone production.  Results will vary depending on age, activity level and original muscle mass.  Results may include increased energy, stamina, concentration, motivation, and muscle growth with decreased body fat.

There are many claims to the best testosterone booster on the market.  Online research and shopping make the decision easier as information is readily available.  It is prudent yet easy to check out comments and customer reviews, taking both positive and negative feedback into consideration before making a purchase.

It is highly recommended that both men and women should primarily exercise regularly and eat well to delay the discouraging signs and symptoms associated with aging without taking supplements.  However, if bothered or discouraged by the effects of lower levels of testosterone in their body, men should look to increasing their testosterone levels naturally with a testosterone booster.  Testosterone boosters are certainly a much safer solution than the synthetic hormonal injections used in past years to help delay the natural aging process because they cause less of the negative side effects. If testosterone boosters can indeed improve concentration, stamina, and motivation as well as enhance the energy levels without any adverse effects on health, the improved physique is a bonus!

copyscape picture

The Best Iced Tea Recipe…

I can’t remember where I saw this recipe, but I tweaked it slightly producing the best iced tea ever, just in time for summer…

  • four green tea bags steeped in 4 cups of boiling water
  • 1/4 cup 100% blueberry or pomegranate (or a mixture) juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Stir all ingredients together, then pour into a pitcher of ice cubes.  Due to allergies and/or sensitivites, I make sure I use 100% green tea with no added flavor or preservatives.  Even “natural flavor” is not natural to me!  The same goes for the juices and maple syrup; they must be 100% (no sugar or artificial ingredients)   If you are feeling really fancy, use frozen strawberries, mangoes or blueberries instead of ice cubes.

If you have been following my other posts, all of the ingredients in this recipe are on the alkaline side of the chart, meaning they are healthy, so drink up…

Lorieb is the mother of three sons, residing in Kanata, Ontario, Canada.  She is the proud owner of GARDENS4U, and spends most of her time designing, planting, and restoring gardens.  Her other interests include reading and writing.  Please check out her website at www.gardens4u.ca

Your blood pH; keep it Alkaline!

The pH level of a substance is the measure of potential hydrogen on a scale of 0 to 14.  On this scale, a measurement of less than 7.0 is called acidic and greater than 7.0 is alkaline.  In this way pH is used to  measure acidity versus alkalinity in everything from the soil in your garden, and the water in your swimming pool, to the blood cells in your body.

Why is it so important to keep your blood pH on the alkaline side?  Basically because extensive research has shown that an alkaline Ph increases the amount of oxygen in your blood.  This is a good thing since the lack of oxygen in your blood cells causes disease.

When our blood becomes too acidic we enter a state of acidosis.  Even a slight deviance from the ideal pH of 7.4 can cause problems, starting with loss of energy and concentration, tiredness, even exhaustion.  Long term effects include acid build up in our organs, loss of muscle mass and loss of bone density when the calcium that is stored in our bones leaches from the bones to try to compensate for the acidosis.  Bacteria and viruses thrive in acidic conditions causing bodies in acidosis to be vulnerable to disease.  Acidic toxins we ingest from food, water and even the air that we breathe produce disease-causing free radicals.

An alkaline pH, on the other hand, is believed to have many healthy benefits including boosting metabolism, slowing the aging process, slowing bone loss in menopausal women, neutralizing acid, helping your body absorb nutrients better, and preventing disease by removing the free radicals that your body does encounter in day to day life.

So, how do we go about alkalizing our blood cells?  The easiest way is to monitor what we eat and drink.  Chlorinated tap water is acidic, and although most city water is alkaline to prevent acid corrosion in the pipes, toxic chemicals are used to make it alkaline.  Mineral water is alkaline due to the addition of health promoting minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium potassium, iron, zinc, nickel and manganese.  Ionized water is adjusted mechanically to make it more alkaline.  Many brands of mineral and ionized water are on the market today, ready to drink, or you can purchase a system to ionize tap water yourself, ranging from a small, inexpensive stick you put in a water bottle to a more extravagant under the counter unit.

In the food category many common food items and ingredients such as sugar, flour, and protein from animal sources such as dairy products and meat cause our blood pH to slip into the acidic zone.  Remember, it is the effect the food has on your body after digestion that makes it acidic or alkaline.  For example, lemons are acidic in taste, but one of the most alkaline foods.  To keep your body feeling and looking its best, choose foods from the alkaline side and reduce foods from the acid side as listed in the following chart:

Some people believe the alkaline food theory is just another “fad diet” encouraged by the alkaline/ionized/mineral water companies.   As usual, I encourage you to be the judge; try it for yourself, especially the simple, no cost, no risk, food chart version.  Be sure to let me know what you think and how you feel..

please be sure to visit my slightly more humorous blog YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE  It is guaranteed to make you LOL.