September 26, 2007

by Anna Lovett-Brown, MH

(NOTE: The following article is from Master Herbalist Anna Lovett-Brown’s Master Herbalist thesis, titled Apples.  To read her entire thesis on Apples, please click on the link below this article.)

Apple is a word that I can’t even think or say without feeling instantly cheered. This is partly due to the taste and partly due to the nostalgia. When I lost my two front teeth as a child, I had a hard time eating my favorite snack. My mother taught me to break the apple pieces off in my mouth using my side teeth. This is a very noisy and sloppy sounding way to eat an apple. My mother deeply regrets teaching me to eat my apples this way. I have been perfecting this for nearly three decades.

I get chuckle from remembering the pitiful looking apple tree that grew near our chicken coup. One year a nest of yellow jackets set up shop in a hollow portion of its trunk. It wasn’t the menacing presence of these stinging insects that nearly killed the tree, rather, the gallon of gasoline and matches applied by my older brother. As most twelve year old boys would believe, this was a perfectly safe and effective form of pest control.

Apples also bring to mind my grandmother, Ruby. As a child she would climb out onto the branches of the apple tree at the old farm. This was at the behest of her grandmother to retrieve the ripe fruit. “Cut it across the bloom”, she would tell her. Then Ruby would scrape the pulp for her because she had no teeth. This same grandmother taught me to make a hair rinse of apple cider vinegar for my dark hair. She said it would keep it dark. Her hair stayed shiny and nearly all black even up until her death at age 91.

Like all good and trustworthy people I have loved apples since I can remember. However, for a time I wasn’t willing to eat them. As a teen and young adult, eating apples seemed to interfere with my diet. It was a diet, fed intravenously, of chocolate, pizza and cheesy pasta. When I would eat an apple I would experience cramping and pain in my abdomen. This must have been due to an actual digestive process. Digestion was not something I did well as a teen.

All joking aside, I can report of health benefits I have received through apples. I have done several three day juice fasts. My experience was positive. I began to lo\se weight- down twenty pounds to date- which I know is a result of my juice cleansing. The cleanses helped me kick my milk and dairy addictions. It helped me desire better foods. I can easily tolerate large amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables where I could not before. I can breathe easily now, with no more stuffy nose when I wake up. The added energy, especially just after a fast, is always a blessing. The benefits for my mind and spirit are the biggest reasons I continue to do juice cleansing. It seems there is an inexplicable hope and excitement in all that I do. During the quiet, low-key days of fasting, I have received my most treasured inspirations. Apples are the first fruit recommended for babies. This is good advice for anyone who finds themselves at the beginning, regardless of age, on a path to improved health.

Anna Lovett Brown’s Master Herbalist Thesis - Apples: