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Ted’s Tonic and a whole lot more

Thanks for joining me! Today, I begin by answering a question from an email. Other Grainews readers have also asked. Q: What is in Ted’s Tonic Recipe?

Also, why you should grow cucumbers. Meander with me on the Singing Gardener page will you? Sometimes my pathway of words is just like a twisting river following its course.


Hi: I just read your article in the recent Grainews about Sea Buckthorn Purée (see January 9, 2012, page 37.) You mentioned you put it in Ted’s Tonic Recipe. Would you please give me your recipe for Ted’s Tonic? I really enjoy your column. Thank You. Claire Krupski, Lemberg, Sask.


I, Ted, think of this tonic as preventive medicine, a health promoter and a master cleanser to all parts of the body. No need to wait until somebody’s ill. In my opinion, it helps the digestive system and kidneys when they need a rest or a cleaning out and also when overweight and elimination have become a problem. I came up with this formula for myself and take it first thing in the morning for up to 40 days and beyond at a time; three or four times a year. It can do wonders for keeping the body in a normal and healthy state. That’s based on my experience. Results will vary for each individual. Depending on body weight, the recipe can be adjusted to suit each individual, or try it every other day. Other things such as a nutritious diet with plenty of homegrown fruit and vegetables, exercise, deep breathing, fresh air, a trusting faith and promoting a relaxed lifestyle all enter the picture. As mentioned in previous articles, I am not a doctor… but I am the singing gardener and am happy to share the recipe with readers.


Combine the following in a 10-ounce glass or mug:

1 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice or fresh lime juice

(never use reconstituted lemon or lime juice and never use lemonade)

1 tbsp. of genuine pure Canadian maple syrup

(never use imitation maple-flavoured sugar syrup)

1 tsp. of Sea Buckthorn Purée

1/10 tsp. of pure cayenne; i.e. hot red pepper powder

(a few grains of cayenne can be increased later, once your system adjusts)

¼ tsp. turmeric powder

¼ tsp. ground ginger root powder or freshly minced ginger

½ tsp. pure almond or walnut oil

Add a bit of water to make a paste and then fill the glass or mug with warm water (or cool water) if preferred and stir well. Do not gulp it down. Take a few sips at a time with breaks in between, first thing in the morning until finished. Eating a raw apple or up to six dried prunes afterward will help if constipation is an issue and to maintain bone health.


Researchers report in an internationally recognized journal of medicine that eating nuts over a period of years — especially almonds and walnuts can reduce systemic inflammation, improve brain health and prevent or substantially slow down cognitive decline and help with weight management issues.

I get pure maple syrup from Mitchell Omichinski, a local producer and other ingredients from a health food store that sells bulk dried herbs and spices. Pure maple syrup is a balanced form of positive and negative sugar ions, holding a vast group of vitamins and minerals that vary according to where the tapped trees grow and nutrient content in the soil. There are three grades of pure maple syrup. Grade A is the first run — mild in taste and sweet. Grade B is the second run containing more minerals, plus more maple taste. Grade C is the third run with the greatest concentration of minerals and strongest taste of maple.

Curcumin — is a derivative of turmeric that gives curry spice its yellow-orange colour. It has been extensively researched, and found to have numerous health applications. In India, prostate issues among men are rare and it’s attributed in part to the curcumin in turmeric. As a result, turmeric has become increasingly popular. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) and its botanical cousin ginger (Zingiber officinale) both contain potent anti-inflammatory antioxidants and anti-cancer polyphenols. No wonder I also appreciate the deep yellow-orange colour of Sea Buckthorn Purée for its nutrition powerhouse too.

Prostate cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed health issues among Canadian men. Let’s remember that the antioxidant lycopene is plentifully found in stewed tomatoes and contributes to a healthy prostate. Adding some oil such as almond, canola, coconut, grape seed, hemp seed, sunflower or walnut oil to stewed tomatoes or in any recipes containing curry spice or tomatoes aids absorbtion and in breaking down and preventing a lot of illness. Health-promoting lycopene is what inspired me to write my prostate song: “O It Must Be the Tomatoes.”


… remains cool, even when just picked from the garden during a hot summer day. There’s a unique flavonoid called fisetin naturally found just under the skin of cucumbers and in many fruits and vegetables including raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and saskatoons. A wealth of scientific research explains how a diet packed with raw fruits and vegetables can help prevent plaque formation in the aging brain. Researchers report in a neuroscience journal that fisetin is neuro-protective and helps to maintain normal memory processes while inhibiting plaque formation. Mounting scientific evidence documents how fisetin is rapidly emerging as a powerful tool in the arsenal against a number of diseases associated with premature aging, so don’t chuck away cucumber skins either… eat ’em.


… two each from opposite ends of the country. Summer Dance is remarkably early and ready to begin picking in about a month and a half after germinating in warm soil. Fruits are incredibly crisp, smooth… and among the best tasting too. This all-female burpless hybrid produces heavy yields of very straight 35-cm- (14-inch-) long dark-green fruits; almost totally spine free.

If you seek a thin-skinned, dark-green, spineless cuke… go for Mercury. This is a delectable hybrid with crunchy, sweet flavour, whether picked as a mini for dills or regular size for slicing… a good variety for veggie trays and salads that’s ready to pick in just under two months after direct seeding outdoors. Both are available from Veseys in Charlottetown; phone 1-800-363-7333.

You’re probably all familiar with “Dragons Den” seen Wednesdays on CBC TV. Well wouldn’t you know West Coast Seeds at Delta, B.C. has burpless and never bitter Green Dragon cucumber. There’s no connection to the TV show mentioned and there’s nothing fiery about Green Dragon. The shiny green skin is smooth and flavour is mild.

If you live in a region where temperatures flip up and down, you may want to grow Saber, a certified organic parthenocarpic cuke (grows fruits without pollination and usually no seeds) that’s also available from West Coast Seeds. It’s well suited to both greenhouse growing and outdoor gardens, yet vigorous enough to handle changeable and cool weather well. Fruits average 20 cm (8-1/2 inches) with thick, smooth, dark-green skins and small white spines. Make or buy a wooden or metal supporting frame, or string the vines upward and misshapen and blemished cucumbers will be a thing of the past. And oh yes — since cukes are 95 per cent water — they’re beneficial to those on weight control watch.

For Green Dragon and Saber cucumber seeds contact West Coast Seeds at 1-888-804-8820 or go to:


… re: all tomato seeds described in January 23, 2012 Grainews Singing Gardener column (page 29). These tomato seeds are not free. They are all for sale and available from:

Upper Canada Seeds

44 Macklingate Court

Toronto, Ontario

M1V 1A1

Phone (416) 447-5321

email: [email protected]

Order online at †

About the author


Ted Meseyton

This is Ted Meseyton the Singing Gardener and Grow-It Poet from Portage la Prairie, Man. I salute all gardeners and farmers who help make our world a little safer and more ecologically balanced, and who toil to provide health-giving produce to others who cannot produce their own. It takes all sorts to make a world. One half of the world doesn’t know how the other half lives. The best physicians are Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet and Dr. Merryman.



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