Storm Recycling

Hi again, everyone! 

Well, this past week was another test, quiz and case-filled seven days! After finishing up some last minute study before Friday afternoon's classes were over, I was catching up with some friends in the library. All of a sudden, the skies opened up with wind, rain and a massive thunderstorm! Now, you might think that I have run out of things to talk about so I'm just babbling on about the weather. Au contraire, mon frère (ou sœur)! This short little storm that lasted maybe 10 minutes, managed to break branches on just about every tree on campus (and the surrounding community), including our two huge willow trees adjacent to Lake Janse.

While saddened to see branches blown from our campus willow trees, the broken branches and twigs provided the raw materials for a couple of projects for the Naturopathic Student Gathering this coming November. These wreaths are the prototypes (and framework) for a few ideas the NUHS Gathering Team is considering for the opening and closing ceremonies for the weekend in November. Needless to say, our group is charged up and excited!

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Willow wreaths

The Naturopathic Gathering is an annual conference hosted by one of the seven North American naturopathic medical schools. National University has the honor of hosting the Gathering in 2012. Students from all schools will be visiting our campus this November to hear some of our leading naturopathic doctors speak of their clinical experience in the context of the philosophy of naturopathic medicine.

Botanical Project

Do you remember the Botanicals class I mentioned a few weeks ago where we made tinctures? Well, each student in the class has the option to make a useful botanical product from the methods we have studied along with the curative properties of various botanicals (or plants). Having been an avid beer home brewer for a number of years, I tried to think of something that could incorporate an infusion of herbs along with a healthful, tasty drink! After some deliberation, I decided to make Ginger Beer (or Ginger Ale) using only the botanical ingredients.

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Having made that decision, I trekked to Larabee Herb Store in Elmwood Park, just outside Chicago. I was able to purchase all supplies that I needed for my Ginger Beer recipe with the exception of my fresh Key Limes and Lemons. I won't reveal all the ingredients in my recipe this week.  I will be sure to share my recipe, brewing experience, my opinion of the Ginger Beer along with some notes from my classmates.  I will also give a bit of information on Ginger Beer's medicinal uses historically.

This week I am appreciative that, even in her fury, Nature shared the materials we needed for some of the Gathering projects. My thanks go to Jack and the entire landscaping team at NUHS for allowing me to "scavenge" willow branches. I'm also happy that we have such an energetic team working on the Gathering!

Until next week when the Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic) will be flowing and finals will be creeping ever closer….