Vegan and Vegetarian Cooking, Recipes and Tips - Nutrition & Health Resources

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Herbal Therapies


Herbal medicines are prepared from a variety of plant materials -- leaves, stems, roots, bark and so on. They usually contain many biologically active ingredients and are used to treat a variety of conditions, both acute and chronic. At least a quarter of all conventional pharmaceuticals originated from plant materials. These plant materials were purified to create commercial drug products, consistent in quality and dose. However, the majority of herbs have few scientific studies to support health claims made about them. Much research will be forthcoming in the next several years.  

Preparing and Using Herbs

Herbs can be prepared at home in many ways, using either fresh or dried ingredients. Herbal teas can be made as infusions and decoctions. Infusions are made by steeping the herb in water. For decoctions, the herb is put in water and boiled down to a stronger solution. Roots, bark, or other plant parts can be boiled into decoctions. Honey or sugar can be added to infusions and decoctions to make syrups.

In stores, herbal remedies can be purchased in the form of pills, capsules or powders, or in more concentrated liquid forms called extracts and tinctures. Herbs can be applied topically in creams or ointments, soaked into cloths and used as compresses, or applied directly to the skin as poultices.

Across the spectrum of alternative medicine, the use of herbs is varied: Naturopathic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, and Ayurvedic medicine all differ in how diseases are diagnosed and which herbal remedies are prescribed.

Before You Start

If you are considering using an herbal remedy, talk with your health care provider to find out what's known about its safety and effectiveness and how it might impact your health. Also, keep these considerations in mind:

bullet“Natural” doesn't necessarily mean “safe.” Some herbs can be toxic or carcinogenic -- even deadly. For instance, the herb ephedra, also known as ma huang, has been linked to deaths, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has limited the amount of ephedra that herbal remedies can contain. To ensure your safety, all herbs should be used under the guidance of a health care practitioner familiar with herbal medicine.
bulletSome herbs can interact dangerously with over-the-counter or prescription medications. For instance, ginkgo biloba can thin blood. If you already take medication that thins blood, adding this herb to your regimen may be dangerous. Make sure your health care provider knows about all medications and herbal remedies you use or are considering.
bulletDon't forgo or delay conventional treatment that's been proven effective in order to focus on an herbal “cure” that hasn't been tested. The FDA does not regulate herbal remedies in the same ways it regulates medications, so be wary of claims made by herbal remedy manufacturers. Learn more about regulation of herbal remedies.
bulletChoose your brand of herbs wisely. Different brands differ in the quality of their product. There have been reports of contaminants, mislabeling and inconsistent strengths.
bulletIt's especially important that pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with chronic illnesses, the elderly, and youths under the age of 18 check with their health care providers before starting herbal therapy.

Regulation of Herbal Remedies
In the United States today, herbal remedies are not regulated in the same ways that medications are regulated. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified herbal remedies as “dietary supplements.” Vitamin and mineral supplements fall into this category, too. As a result of this classification, the FDA does not regulate these substances nor provide oversight to evaluate safety and effectiveness.

Drugs must undergo studies that reveal their effectiveness, safety, interactions with other substances and appropriate dosage levels before they receive FDA approval. The FDA does not require or review such studies for dietary supplements.

Evaluating Manufacturers' Claims
The FDA also does not evaluate claims made by the manufacturer about an herbal remedy's powers. But the agency does restrict the types of claims that herbal remedy manufacturers can make. For instance, claims cannot legally be made that an herbal remedy can diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

However, manufacturers can make claims that a substance has a certain effect on the body's structure or function (for instance, that calcium helps build bones). And, with FDA approval, claims can be made that there's a link between a substance and a disease (for instance, that folic acid is linked to decreased risk of certain birth defects).

What Does This Mean for Me?
The FDA's approach to herbal remedies does not necessarily mean that herbal remedies are unsafe or ineffective. It does mean that when you buy and use herbal remedies you can't be as sure about what you're getting or what it may do as when you buy regulated medications, either over the counter or by prescription.

For instance, herbal remedies come in unpredictable strengths; the amount of the active ingredients varies greatly depending on whether more than one species of the herb is used, and how and when the herb is gathered and prepared. The FDA also has found that some manufacturers do not always test their ingredients to make sure the herbs they received from suppliers are what they ordered or are free from contaminants. Some herbal products have been found to contain toxic heavy metals (such as lead), most likely because the products were prepared by boiling herbs in clay or metal pots. Also, some herbal products may contain ingredients that are not listed on the product's label.

The Body of Research Grows
Unfortunately for the millions of Americans who use dietary supplements, reliable scientific research and reliable regulation has not kept pace with these products' popularity. However, research is growing, and more physicians are recognizing that herbal remedies or other alternative therapies may be useful complements to conventional medicine. Many medical schools now teach courses about alternative treatments, including the use of herbs.

Herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine
The use of herbs, along with acupuncture and acupressure, is a major component of traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM. Doctors of traditional Chinese medicine usually practice under the title "licensed" or "certified" acupuncturist; they prescribe herbal combinations according to complex rules of diagnosis, which are intended to help the body correct imbalances of energies. In TCM, ailments are believed to be caused by disturbances in the flow of a type of energy called chi, or by a lack of balance in the complementary states of yin (characterized by darkness and quiet) and yang (characterized by light and activity).

Chinese herbs, like other TCM remedies (such as minerals and animal products), can be prepared in numerous ways: steeped in hot water to make a tea or infusion; boiled to produce a stronger solution called a decoction; used to make powders, pills or syrups that may be taken internally; and fashioned into plasters or poultices applied to the skin. Treatments should be prescribed and monitored by a trained practitioner because some Chinese herbs can be toxic in large doses; others, such as safflower flowers, should be used with caution during pregnancy. Complex mixtures should be formulated only by a trained practitioner.

In recent years, Chinese herbal medicine has been subjected to increasingly rigorous study in China, the United States and elsewhere. The evidence indicates that although some remedies do not perform as claimed, others are effective. In China today, herbal remedies often are prescribed along with modern biomedical treatments.

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Cuisine, Cooking, Recipes & Food

FATFREE: The Low Fat Vegetarian Archive
This site provides tons of strict low fat vegetarian recipes. You can search the archive, check out newly submitted recipes and access the USDA nutrient database. It also offers some interaction by allowing users to submit recipes for posting.

Food Web
This is a general food site, but check out the Virtual Cookbook for vegetarian recipes.

The Gourmet Underground
Another great resource page with many vegetarian links, gourmet food links, and everything having to do with food in general!

In a Vegetarian Kitchen with Nava Atlas
Visit Nava Atlas' virtual vegetarian kitchen to select recipes from Everyday Fare to Seasonal Pleasures. In between she provides recipes for special occasions and holidays and discussions of current topics relevant to vegetarian cooking.

Living Foods
This site serves to educate people of the power of living and raw foods. It provides background information, recipes, articles, message boards, chat, resources, a marketplace and a search engine. Nicely done.

Moosewood Restaurant
The Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY is one of the oldest vegetarian restaurants in the United States. Their site has free vegetarian recipes, online ordering for their cookbooks, and information about their consulting work and cooking lessons.

Notes on the World of Healthy Cooking
This site is developed by the authors of the "Companion Guide to Healthy Cooking: A Practical Introduction to Natural Ingredients." As is the goal of the book, the site also provides information and how-to's about using healthy ingredients. Here you'll find really useful information on Changing Your Diet and Kitchen Tips as well as an Ingredient Guide.
A great resource for vegan recipes and cooking ideas, images are included with every recipe.  I love this site, and have found tons of awesome recipes along with great photos of the dishes.  Well Done!!



Vegetarian and Vegan Organizations

The International Vegetarian Union
In 1908 this non-profit organization replaced the Vegetarian Federal Union originally established in 1889. Their goal is to bring together vegetarian societies from all parts of the world. The site features articles, recipes, famous vegetarians, vegetarian phrases in many languages, and international events. There are also discussion and news forums.

North American Vegetarian Society
This non-profit educational organization works to promote the health, nutritional, environmental and compassionate benefits of a meatless diet. They organize the annual Vegetarian Summerfest.

PLH Insurance
PLH Insurance is an independent, environmentally concerned, insurance agency. Our Good Karma Program donates 1% of insurance premiums to worthy causes like Peace Action and PETA.

The Regional Vegetarian Network
Learn more about vegetarian interests in your local area, or a place to which you are moving, going to college, or traveling. You can also join area-specific vegetarian mailing lists to keep up-to-date on all vegetarian issues, as well as read reviews on vegetarian restaurants, stores, and events.

Vegan Action
A non-profit educational organization based in Berkeley, California, Vegan Action has set up a site that caters to vegans. It's chockfull of information, including the latest issue of Vegan News, a catalog of t-shirts, stickers, 'zines, and cookbooks, and information on joining the latest vegan campaign.

Vegetarian Central
This site offers lots of information and links regarding all facets of vegetarianism. They are hosted by VegSource and are Internet partners with the International Vegetarian Union.

Vegan Outreach
This is an organization that works to end animal exploitation by promoting a vegan lifestyle. Their main activity is distributing a booklet called, Why Vegan? which goes beyond the simple definition of veganism by showing individuals how to better the world through the daily choices they make. The site also provides essays, newsletters, resources and links.

Vegan Society
This charitable organization is located in the U.K. and stands to promote "ways of living which avoid the use of animal products - for the benefit of people, animals and the environment." It is a great source for travel tips in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. You can also find links to other vegan sites, products, books, information sheets and news.

The Vegetarian Society UK
This is the location of the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom, which is celebrating it's 150th year. Information found here includes, new vegetarian, recipes, health and nutrition, local directory, animal rights, books, and lots more. A very comprehensive site overall, with a lot of information for vegetarians, young and old, new and experienced.

The Vegetarian Union of North America
This site in the home of the Vegetarian Union of North America, which promotes the vegetarian movement in Canada and the U.S. Use VUNA's on-line resources and links to many other vegetarian sites on the World Wide Web.

The Vegetarian Youth Network
The Vegetarian Youth Network is a grass-roots organization run entirely for and by teenagers who support vegetarian living. The group sponsors a help line for information, products, and directories of information.

VivaVegie Society
VivaVegie Society is a vegetarian advocacy group which was formed in 1991 and serves as an educational organization for the cause of vegetarianism. They have published over 40,000 copies of "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian" which has served as "the mighty convincer." Check out the site for more information on this, their newsletter and to see Penelo Pea Pod.


Vegetarian and Vegan Informational Sites

Veg For LIfe
An information source to guide newcomers through the conversion to veg eating and living. Also ideal for long-time veggies who are unaware of the cruelties involved in dairy, eggs and clothing fibers.

The Crazy Vegetarian
This is a really neat site for vegetarians, vegans and "wannabe's." Here you can find recipes, facts, links, news and events, and a bookstore. It's fun and easy to move around in as well as providing a lot of useful information.

Doc Vegan
Directory of Vegetarian/ Vegan Dietitians- Doctors- Nutritionists- Pharmacists- Veterinarians (and other health care professionals)

Eat Vegetarian
EATVEG.COM is dedicated to educating people on why an organic plant-based diet is best for personal health, the animals and the earth. This site was created and is maintained by Raw.  EATVEG.COM and Raw advocates a cholesterol-free (vegan) diet with a strong emphasis on organic raw foods (uncooked).

Famous Vegetarians
The purpose of the famous vegetarians site is to demonstrate how widespread vegetarianism is becoming around the world. Showing the great number of vegetarians who are famous shows how many people are becoming educated and realizing that it is the sensible way to live. Not simply that you should be a vegetarian because someone famous is one. The site is meant to be informative and educational. Plus it's fun to see all the people who you might not have known were vegetarian.

For New Vegetarians
This is of specific interest to entry-level vegetarians. This virtual compendium of vegetarian information and sources, allows you to look up "How to be a Vegetarian in 10 Easy Steps," how to cope with Vegan Dating Dilemmas, the lyrics to "Meat is Murder" by Morissey, and All in the Vegan Family (one family's story of living vegan).

This is an e-mail list that is devoted to the discussion of natural and social science topics that relate to vegetarianism. These topics include food science, health, economic, history and many more.

Vegan Family House
A Scottish vegan family offer help and advice to those interested in veganism and related subjects - recipes, parenting, books, quotes, links and a message board too.

VegFamily - Vegan Parenting Online
Expansive vegan parenting site with a vegan family database, Expert Panel, original articles, message board, why vegan stories, vegan pregnancy, and a lot more!

The Vegetarian Circle
This site was put up by an individual to promote vegetarianism and advocate animal rights. It offers a community showcase for people to express their thoughts, views and beliefs on vegetarianism, as well as the opportunity to share their own veg stories. It also offers vegetarian recipes and a pen-pal group. There are no fees required, only a desire or commitment to vegetarianism, animal rights and an open mind.

The Vegetarian Pages
This site intends to "be a definitive guide to what is available on the Internet for vegetarians, vegans, and others." Many links to vegetarian resources are found here.

The Vegetarian Resource Center
The VRC helps vegetarians link up with others in their area by finding the closest vegetarian group or by helping individuals organize one. Check out this page to inquire online about how to do this, find out more about the Vegetarian Resource Center, link to discussion groups and other veg-related sites on the Internet.

The Vegetarian Resource Group
An extensive site with information on vegetarianism in a nutshell--the basic facts and how to become vegetarian. There are also lists of vegetarian literature and teaching materials, recipes and vegetarian-foods replacements. Check out the vegetarian search engine and feedback page for comments. Other topics include feeding vegan-kids, a guide to non-leather goods, a lesson plan for teachers, vegetarian-friendly investing, and vegetarians on-line--links to finding vegetarian stuff on AOL, CompuServe, MSN, & other service providers.

Vegetarian, vegan, and animal rights discussion forums, directory of local veg / Animal Rights groups and resources on the WWW, and the latest veg / AR news headlines.

Veggie Head
Celebration of the veg lifestyle.

Veggie Heaven
This site is a great source of vegetarian information on the web. You can find over 230 of the tastiest vegetarian and vegan recipes, UK vegetarian restaurant guide, facts and nutritional information - and lots more.

Veggies Unite!
A guide to online vegetarianism, including a number of bulletin boards on topics from animal rights to parenting. There is also information available on meal planning, composting and book reviews.

This site provides a lot of interaction for users. There are over a dozen message boards to choose from, an online magazine and recipes.


Cooking Utensils and Products

The Citrus Grater

The Citrus Grater easily and safely grates lemons and oranges, removing only the outermost zest where the essential oils reside!

Frugal Franks
Here at Frugal Franks, we offer a COMPLETE LINE of PROFESSIONAL QUALITY cookware, cutlery, and specialty items designed to meet the needs of the most DEMANDING, but FRUGAL chefs at home. If you have a PASSION for cooking, and you are looking for the same HEAVY DUTY QUALITY equipment used in most of today's TOP NOTCH restaurant kitchens, then YOU'VE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE!



Alternative Farming System Information Center
This information center is one of several in the USDA's National Agricultural Library. It provides information related to alternative farming including sustainable, organic, low-input, biodynamic and regenerative agriculture. The web site features a search engine to locate articles, links to related sites and a page currently under construction where information related to current topics will be available.

FDA Homepage
This online source to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration includes topics such as news, foods, human drugs, animal drugs and cosmetics--all of which have relevant applications to vegetarians and green thinkers alike.



The National Arbor Day Foundation
Arbor Day is April 24th and is celebrating 125 years this year. Check out this site to learn more about Arbor Day, see how you can help and get free trees.

Health & Nutrition

Apt Nutrition
A personalised nutritional consultation from a member of the British Association of Nutritional Therapists is available from this site. Whatever your health problems, nutritional therapy may help. You will be given diet and supplement plans and ongoing support from a real nutritionist, not a computer.

Alexandra Health Center Homeopathy
Everything you ever wanted to know about homeopathy is brought to you by this homeopathy center in Boulder, CO. You'll find homeopathic counseling information, herbal formulas and links to other homeopathic health services, seminars and classes.

Alternative Health News Online
This site is a great starting point to find information on alternative medicine. The providers of the site say, "As journalists, we wish to provide you with news and information that will keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings in this rapidly growing field." Come here for links and a search for valuable health news.

American Holistic Health Association
The AHHA is a nationally recognized information resource serving the general public. This non-profit organization promotes a holistic approach to health and wellness through literature, lectures, resource lists and the media. Go here to find a searchable database of practitioners, local groups and as well as an educational booklet on wellness.

Ask Dr. Weil
Here's a really user-friendly site, hosted by the doctor himself. Read up on all the questions fellow surfers have asked in the Archive or submit your own. There's a searchable database for home remedies and you can participate in several bulletin boards.

Caliente Hot Springs Spa
A Place For Vegetarian Vacations in Mexico.  Pictures and information for vegetarian travelers.  Rio Calienté is one of the few modern spas that offers a regenerative holiday -- reuniting the visitor with all that's natural -- from its volcanic hot springs through fresh food and energy-building exercise, to simple resting -- all at the discretion of its guests..

HealthWorld Online
Health World Online offers a storehouse of health-related information. Begin by visiting the HealthWorld Village, where you can select one of a dozen places to visit. From Home Health and Self-Care to the Wellness Center to the Library, much information is available on all that's happening in the healthy lifestyle arena.

MedAccess strives to be the premiere provider of health and wellness information on the Internet. Their goal is to give the user knowledge that can be used throughout life. Here you'll find lots of info related to healthy living. Try the MedAccess Motivator, an interactive personalized journal that will help you in set health and wellness goals and then track your progress. Also available here is a newsletter, quizzes, workbooks and articles along with databases of hospitals, specialty treatment centers, physicians, and HMOs.

Tahitian Noni(R) Juice - The potent Tropical Fruit that helps your body heal itself. Doctors testimonials!

Treasure Coast Heath - A Health and Fitness Portal for the Treasure Coast of Florida.

Find local doctors with the Doctor Directory.
bulletResearch Health Topics by using the Health Resources and the Woman Only links.
bullet Sign up for our newsletters and product discount coupons.



Self Help and Personal Growth
Dr. Gary Sinclair's wonderful self help site, and free self help book download on topics such as: alternative health, complimentary medicine, holistic healing, empowerment, self-help, free book, speaker, training, MS, pain, CFS, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, help. is the most complete guide to information about Self -Improvement, Personal Growth and Self Help on the Internet. It is designed to be an organized directory, with articles and references to thousands of other Web Sites on the World Wide Web. provides one of the most complete collections of Free Newsletters for Self Improvement and Personal Growth on the internet. You can receive Free articles, book reviews, motivational quotes and more on topics ranging from Goal Setting, to Time Management, to Stress Management to Health and Fitness.


Related Information

American Botanical Council
The American Botanical Council is a nonprofit, educational and research organization whose site is a resource for all things herbal: books, tours, programs, links and information about the Commission E monographs, translations of German medical briefs that document the safe use of herbal medicine.

Brightstar Farm (featuring Animals as Teachers and Healers)
Author Susan Chernak McElroy has written about our connection with animals and this site serves as a "virtual community for those eager to explore the bond between us and the "others"---animals--- more deeply." Here you can share your stories of experiences with animals. And, you can also find out where you can see Susan Chernak McElroy speak and how to get books and tapes.

The Cosmic Home Page
This page is offered by an individual and provides vegetarian links as well as yoga, Taoism and Zen sites. Plenty of writings and literature can also be found here.

Directory of U.S. and Canadian Food Cooperatives
Looking for information on food co-ops? This page will explain it all to you and give you locations of dozens of co-ops around the U.S. and Canada.

The Ecomall
Dedicated to teaching how to live your life green, the site features a national guide to ecologically sound restaurants (the list includes many vegetarian places). Other highlights are daily eco-news, a business-to-business directory, and a guide to environmentally safe products.
A hi-quality food image library and food photographic studio. Purchase mouth-watering images on-line or commission a studio shoot to your requirements.

Food Coops and Other Coop Resources
This page will provide listing of co-ops across the U.S., and also offers information on other countries. In addition, if you want to create a website for your co-op, you can find help here.

Fun With Feng Shui!
This site gives a comprehensive look at Feng Shui from its origins to its practical application around your home and environment. Come here to get the basics and get started on your own designs. There are tons of graphics, which are great for illustration, but the site is a little slow so be prepared to spend some time.

This comprehensive site is sponsored by the Herb Growing and Marketing Network and proclaims "everything herbal can be found here!" If you're looking for information on herbs, herb products and remedies and herb publications this is for you. You can also find out how to get seeds, the names of herb associations and where you can take classes. This site is updated on the first and third Mondays of each month

Mother Nature's General Store
This site is fun and interactive. It provides a menu of choices, including chat rooms and the recipe exchange. You can also find general information on aromatherapy, herbology and vitamins as well as a health-library search.

Naturally Yours
This promotes a healthier lifestyle through better nutrition and is not specifically vegetarian. It's basically a store front for mail-order products, but it has a lot of links to recipes and other valuable vegetarian information.

Stretch Central
This site is hosted by Carole Dickman (see Vegetarian Times Dec. 97 issue). She's a certified yoga instructor and on this page she offers 21 stretches that you can incorporate into your daily routine as well as stretches submitted by users. For fun, there are photos of pets stretching, too! Check out this site for simple moves to use everyday.

Know Wear Hemp
Natural hemp apparel and accessories made in Vermont. 

Know Wear hemp, located in Burlington, VT is committed to U.S. production & employing from within the community.

Animal Rights

The Dawn Animal World News/media Watch
This website is meant to serve as a resource on animal issues, but even more as a base for the newsletter. The newsletter provides information about current animal issues in the media, and gives email links to the publication or station involved. Thus in just a few seconds, with one click, you can have your voice heard on an animal issue.

Farm Sanctuary
A U.S.-based organization which operates animal sanctuaries in New York and California and wages campaigns to stop the exploitation of animals raised for food.


Socialization, Singles and Interaction
We are the premier vegetarian singles and vegan singles dating service. Find singles personal ads, pen-pals and matchmaking -- sponsored by GreenPeople ( We have ongoing association with 100s of vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, raw food, animal protection and environmental organizations.  Veggiedate is more than just a vegetarian dating service. Make friends or pen-pals and share your knowledge about vegetarian recipes, meet at a vegetarian restaurant and enjoy the vegetarian lifestyle. Our site also has vegetarian information on health and dating tips.

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