Herb of the Week

Herb of the Week – Allspice November 17, 2014 20:36

      

Allspice, used as a spice and medicinal herb, is the dried, unripe berry or fruit of the evergreen pimento tree. Other common names include: Jamaican pepper, pimento, pimenta, clove pepper, myrtle pepper, and newspice.The tree grows 22 to 43 feet high on average, but is slow growing. Its leaves are leathery, glossy, and elliptical-shaped. The tree blooms with small white flowers in the spring and fall, turning to clusters of brownish-green berries in the fall. The tree is cultivated in tropical regions, and is native to southern Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. 

Allspice contains a chemical compound called eugenol that is known to be antiseptic and anesthetic. Allspice is also carminative, antidiarrheal, aromatic, a digestive stimulant and tonic, analgesic, and antidontalgic. It also has antifungal, nervous system stimulant, antidepressant, aphrodisiac, and antioxidant properties. It is most extensively used to treat digestive ailments and as a topical pain reliever. Allspice was used medicinally in the 1800s if not before, and could be found in the British Pharmacopeia of 1898. 

Allspice is commonly made into an infusion (1-2 teaspoons of Allspice powder to 1 cup of boiling water) for internal ailments, a poultice for topical application for pain relief, or taken as a supplement in capsule form. 

The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider. 

Allspice may slow blood clotting. Therefore, it is not recommended to take Allspice if you are going into surgery or taking medication that slows blood clotting. Allspice is safe for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding in food amounts, but it is not recommended to take Allspice in medicinal quantities. 

 

Fact Breakdown:

Latin Name: Pimenta dioica

Medicinal Actions: Carminative, anitdiarrheal, rubefacient, aromatic, digestive stimulant, digestive tonic, antioxidant, antiseptic, anesthetic, analgesic, antidontalgic, antifungal, nervous system stimulant, antidepressant, aphrodisiac, tonic

Indications: Flatulence, stomach ache, colic, diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion, dyspepsia, poor appetite, fatigue, nervous exhaustion, hysterical paroxysm, depression, neuralgia, convulsions, menstrual cramping, heavy menstrual bleeding, fever, colds, flu, chest infections, arthritis, rheumatism, muscle aches and pains, joint soreness and pains, bruises, diabetes, yeast infections, fungal infections, tooth and gum pain 

Contraindications: Taking medication that slows blood clotting; going into surgery; pregnancy; breast-feeding

 

Links:

Botanical.com: Allspice - http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/allsp025.html

HerbalWisdom.com: Pimento/Allspice - http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-pimento.html

 

Jamaican Jerk Sauce

(makes about 1 cup)

 

Allspice is very popular as a culinary spice, and is used in a wide variety of foods, both sweet and savory. Allspice is very abundant in Jamaica, and is a signature spice in Jamaican and other Caribbean cuisine. Give your next barbecue a Jamaican flare with this homemade jerk sauce.

 

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 Scotch bonnet peppers
  • ½ cup ground Allspice berries
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 6 to 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp ground thyme (or 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves)
  • 2 bunches green onions
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Steps

  1. Seed and core the Scotch bonnet peppers. Be sure to wear gloves.
  2. If available, use whole Allspice berries to the equivalent of ½ cup ground Allspice berries. For a spicier sauce, increase the amount of peppers and/or garlic used.
  3. Place all ingredients in a food processor, and blend until smooth.
  4. Place sauce in an airtight storage container and refrigerate.
  5. To use the sauce:
    1. Wear gloves before applying the jerk sauce. Rub the meat with the seasoning. With pork shoulder, score the fat and rub the seasoning in. With chicken, rub the seasoning under the skin and into the cavity. You can also season a firm-fleshed fish with the jerk sauce.
    2. Marinate overnight before cooking. It is best when grilled.

Herb of the Week – Eucalyptus August 27, 2014 21:34

This week, we'll be looking into the medicinal attributes of Eucalyptus. Medicinally, the leaves of most species of Eucalyptus trees are used the same. Different species may result in a different quality end product, but the health quality of the individual tree is most important. The most commonly used species of Eucalyptus is Eucalyptus globulus. This is the species we will be talking about today. Eucalyptus globulus is also referred to as: Blue Gum Tree, Stringy Bark Tree, Fever Tree, Blue Mallee, and Gully Gum.           

Eucalyptus leaves in general have been used traditionally for ages by the aboriginals in its native habitat (primarily continental Australia and Tasmania). It has been used topically to treat wounds and fungal infections, and internally as a tea to help with fever. In Chinese and Indian traditional medicine, Eucalyptus has been used for treatment of these and a variety of other ailments. Eucalyptus has been used since the 19th century to disinfect catheters.

 

This particular species of Eucalyptus is native to Victoria and Tasmania in Australia and grows to 375 feet in height. It is largely cultivated in swampy, marshy, or low-lying areas due to its anti-septic nature and particularly absorbent root systems. For these reasons, the Blue Gum Eucalyptus has been successfully transplanted to many marshy or swampy temperate regions, reducing any mosquito population and preventing malarial fevers. It is now cultivated in Europe, Tahiti, North and South Africa, India, California in the United States, and the non-tropical regions of South America.

The leaves are large, leathery, and studded with fragrant oil glands. The first leaves are stalk-less and broad, growing horizontally and opposite each other. They change from a shining whitish-green to a bluish-green hue after four or five years, when they become more sword-like in shape and grow alternately and vertically instead. The flowers grow singly or in clusters, with nearly no stalk, and are covered with a cup-like membrane which is thrown off when the buds bloom.

 

Eucalyptus is antibacterial, anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, aromatic and stimulant. It is therefore used to treat wounds, sores, boils, and for oral health; the common cold, coughs, congestion, and fever; and for pain relief.

Eucalyptus is one herb that is commonly found in over-the-counter medications, particularly for colds and coughs, and in dental hygiene products. It is found in lozenges, cough syrup, vapor rubs, vapor baths, mouthwash, and some toothpaste. It is also found in some insect repellants. Typically, Eucalyptus leaves are distilled for their essential oil, which is then added to the above products, diluted for skin application or ingestion, or added to ointments for skin application. The oil or leaves can also be made into a weak tea for ingestion or simply added to hot boiling water in order to breathe in the steam to aid in decongestion.

Care should be taken when dosing. Children 6 years of age and under should not take Eucalyptus internally, and children 2 years of age and under should not have Eucalyptus applied externally unless under direct supervision of a doctor. Eucalyptus, like many other concentrated medicines, can be toxic when overdosing and should therefore always be taken in a diluted form. For external applications for treating wounds, sores, and ulcers, 1 ounce of the oil should be added to 1 pint of lukewarm water. The extract is given for internal treatment at a dose of ½ to 1 drachm.

Ailments which indicate treatment with Eucalyptus include: upper respiratory infections, congestion, fever, asthma, inflammation of the respiratory tract, fever, and loss of appetite; wounds, sores, boils, acne, and ulcers; bladder disease, liver and gallbladder problems, and diabetes; bleeding gums and gingivitis; arthritis and other pain caused by inflammation.

 

The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

It is not recommended to take Eucalyptus if you are pregnant or breast-feeding; if you are taking a narcotic; or if you are going into surgery. If you are diabetic and taking other medication to lower blood sugar, talk to a doctor before using Eucalyptus oil, which can further lower your blood sugar. It is further not recommended to take Eucalyptus oil with certain medications broken down by the liver, because it can reduce the length of time it takes for the liver to break down medications.

 

Fact Breakdown:

 

Latin Name: Eucalyptus globulus

 

Medicinal Actions: Antibacterial, Anti-septic, Anti-inflammatory, Analgesic, Aromatic, Stimulant

 

Indications: Upper respiratory infections, congestion, fever, asthma, inflammation of the respiratory tract, fever, loss of appetite, wounds, sores, boils, acne, ulcers, bladder disease, liver and gallbladder problems, diabetes, bleeding gums, gingivitis, arthritis, other pain caused by inflammation

 

Contraindications: pregnant or breast-feeding; taking narcotics, medications which lower blood sugar, or medications processed by the liver; going into surgery

   

Links:

 

Botanical.com – Eucalyptus

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/e/eucaly14.html

 

University of Maryland Medical Center – Eucalyptus

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/eucalyptus

 

The Midnight Garden Apothecary offers products made with Eucalyptus oil, including our Thieves' Oil essential oils blend, and our Dragonbelly Rub – Ice.

 

Raspberries with Eucalyptus Meringue

(serves 4)

 

Ingredients

4 c raspberries

2/3 c superfine sugar

1 tbsp water

3 egg whites

1-2 drops eucalyptus oil, or to taste

 

To make the meringue:

  1. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until dissolved.
  2. Simmer until sugar syrup reaches 233 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer (about 6-8 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, whisk egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  4. Continue to cook syrup until it reaches 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. While whisking, gradually add syrup to egg whites in a thin, steady stream and continue to whisk until cool (about 8-10 minutes).
  6. Fold through eucalyptus oil to taste, then spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm nozzle.

 

To finish:

  1. Divide raspberries among 4 shallow heatproof bowls (about 250 ml capacity).
  2. Pipe meringue on top of raspberries, forming peaked dollops.
  3. Brown tops with a blow torch or under a hot grill and serve warm.

Herb of The Week – Elder August 10, 2014 10:08

            This week, we'll be looking into the medicinal attributes of Elder. The Latin name of the Elder tree is Sambucus nigra. Elder is also known as: black elder, boor tree, pipe-tree, and ellhorn. Elder can also be recognized more easily by the parts of it which are used most commonly: elder berries and elder flowers.

           

            The Elder tree has been used medicinally for centuries throughout Europe. The oldest claim is perhaps its use by the Romans, who, among a variety of medicinal uses, used it to dye hair black. It has been common to eat the flowers or berries; make wine or syrup from the berries; make tea from the leaves, flowers, or inner bark; rub the bruised leaves on the skin; and make tea or tincture from the inner bark. At times, the root has also been used, although it is no longer common to use the bark or the root. So popular has this tree been medicinally that it was common to find Elder berry wine in restaurants and taverns in the Middle Ages. Similarly, Elder berries have a long tradition of being made into jams, jellies, chutneys, and other food preparations.

 

            The Elder tree is native to Europe and parts of Asia and Africa, and is particularly common in England. It also grows well in North America. It is a small, deciduous tree often used for hedges in England. It has oval-shaped leaves, flat-topped cream-colored flowers, and purplish-blue berries. New branches grow green and turn white as they age. The Elder tree blooms in the early summer – June to July – and the fruit fills the tree shortly thereafter.

 

            Most parts of the Elder, including the berries and flowers, are astringent, stimulant, diaphoretic (induces perspiration), diuretic, laxative, and relaxant. The berries are additionally emetic. Elder is known to purify the body in a variety of ways (diuretic, laxative, diaphoretic), and along with being astringent, is therefore a good cure for many illnesses, wounds, and skin conditions.

 

            Elder flowers are distilled in water and the oil extracted for use in skin lotions and eye treatments. An infusion (tea) is also made from the flowers and is suitable for most treatments of Elder flower. Elder flowers can be prepared as an ointment for skin affections.

            Fresh Elder berries are frequently made into syrup, cordial, or wine. The dried berries can be made into an infusion (tea).

           

Ailments which indicate treatment with Elder berries include: bronchitis, cold, influenza, asthma, sore throat, catarrh, colic, diarrhea, rheumatism, erysipelas, syphilis, epilepsy, and piles.

Ailments which indicate treatment with Elder flowers include: bronchitis, cold, influenza, cough, laryngitis, diabetes, arthritis-like pain, constipation, inflammation, skin irritations, blemishes and freckles.

 

            The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

            It is not recommended to take Elder if you are pregnant or breast-feeding; if you are taking a narcotic; or if you are going into surgery. Elder can also decrease blood sugar; it is not advised to take Elder if you are taking medications which lower blood sugar.

 

Fact Breakdown:

 

            Latin Name: Sambucus nigra

 

            Medicinal Actions: Astringent, Stimulant, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Laxative, Relaxant; berries are also Emetic.

 

Indications: bronchitis, cold, influenza, asthma, sore throat, catarrh, cough, laryngitis, colic, diarrhea, rheumatism, erysipelas, syphilis, epilepsy, piles, diabetes, arthritis-like pain, constipation, inflammation, skin irritations, blemishes and freckles.

 

Contraindications: pregnant, breastfeeding, taking narcotics, taking medications which lower blood sugar, going into surgery.

 

 

   

Links:

 

             http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/e/elder-04.html

 

             http://www.herballegacy.com/Bond_Medicinal.html

 

 

The Midnight Garden Apothecary offers dried Elder berries and Elder flowers.

 

 

Elderberry Jam with Apples

 

Ingredients

1 lb elderberries

1 lb apples

¾ lb sugar

Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon

 

Steps

  1. Strip the berries from the stalks; peel, core and cut up the apples.
  2. Put the Elderberries into a pan over low heat and bruise them with a wooden spoon.
  3. When the juice begins to flow, add the Apples and one-third of the sugar and bring slowly to a boil.
  4. When quite soft, rub all through a hair sieve. Return the pulp to the pan; add the rest of the sugar, the grated lemon rind and juice, and boil for half an hour or until the jam sets when tested.
  5. Remove all scum and store in glass jars. For a longer shelf life, use canning jars and boil in hot water for 10 minutes. When you hear the lid “pop” after removing the jar from the pot, it is properly sealed.

Herb of The Week – Balm of Gilead July 13, 2014 16:15

            This week, we'll be looking into the medicinal attributes of Balm of Gilead. The Latin name for Balm of Gilead is Populus balsamifera. Other names include: balsam poplar, bam, bamtree, and eastern balsam poplar.

            “Balm of Gilead” is referenced in the Bible; this reference is to another plant of a different family, Commiphora gileadensis, which has similar medicinal properties. In fact, the name “Balm of Gilead” has been used to describe many different species, all having similar medicinal uses. Such plants have been used to relieve pain and treat wounds like cuts and bruises since biblical times. The Native Americans have used Populus balsamifera to treat skin and lung ailments, among other things, for hundreds of years.

 

            Balm of Gilead is a deciduous tree usually 20-60 feet in height, but known to grow up to 100 feet tall and with a trunk 6 ½ feet in diameter. It has a straight trunk, and erect, stout branches. The bark is dark grey and furrowed. The pointed, fine-toothed leaves are somewhat heart-shaped at the base, dark green and shiny on top, and silvery beneath. The tree also has resinous buds with a strong balsam odor. These buds are commonly used in medicine, and less frequently, the bark. The buds are also sometimes referred to as “Balm of Gilead”. To add to the confusion, “Balm of Gilead” may also refer to the medicinal concoctions (tinctures, oils, balms, or otherwise) made from the buds or bark of the Balm of Gilead tree.

            Balm of Gilead strives in northern North America, from Alaska and Canada through much of California in the west, parts of Virginia in the east, and parts of South Dakota in the central United States. It enjoys deep and moist sandy soils found in river bottomlands, stream banks, borders of lakes, and swamps.

 

            Balm of Gilead is antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, stimulant, tonic, diuretic, antiscorbutic, and cathartic.

            Balm of Gilead buds are usually infused in oil to extract the resin. The oil is then used as treatment itself, or as a base for ointments for topical treatment. The buds and bark can be made into tea or tincture, which is then used as a wash externally or drunk for internal treatment. The bark of Balm of Gilead (and most other plants that go by this name) contains salicin, which is converted to salicylic acid (aspirin) by the body. The dosage of tea is dependent on how strong it is brewed; the tincture is dosed as 5 drops to half a drachm.

Ailments which indicate treatment with Balm of Gilead include: sprains, inflammation, muscle pains, headaches; lung ailments and coughs; pectoral, rheumatic, scorbutic, and nephritic affections; wounds, bruises, tumors, sores, some skin diseases, and local rheumatism. The bark also specifically treats gout, rheumatism, fevers, and the pain of menstrual cramps. Tea made from the inner bark is used as an eye wash and to treat scurvy.

 

            The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

It is not recommended to take Balm of Gilead if you are pregnant or breast-feeding; if you are taking a narcotic; if you are sensitive to aspirin; or if you are going into surgery.

           

Fact Breakdown:

 

            Latin Name: Populus balsamifera

 

            Medicinal Actions: (buds) antiseptic, expectorant, stimulant, tonic, diuretic, and antiscorbutic; (bark) tonic, cathartic, and anti-inflammatory.

 

            Indications: pectoral, rheumatic, scorbutic, and nephritic affections; lung ailments and coughs; wounds, bruises, tumors, some skin diseases, and rheumatism; fevers, gout and scurvy.

 

Contraindications: pregnant, breastfeeding, taking narcotics, sensitive to aspirin, going into surgery.

 

  

Links:

 

 

 

Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants, #162 – Poplar (Part 1)

 

https://keys2liberty.wordpress.com/2012/09/30/wild-edible-and-medicinal-plants-162-poplar-part-1/

 

Annie’s Remedy – Balm of Gilead

 

http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail358.php

 

 

 

Bark Bread

(makes 12 small loaves)

            In the medieval ages during times of famine, barkmeal was used as supplemental or replacement flour. It is made from the edible inner bark of a variety of trees, including Balm of Gilead, other poplars and aspens, certain species of pine trees, and really whatever was available. Bark Bread has formed part of our ancestors’ diet as far back as the written record takes us, being the staple bread especially when no other food source was available due to harsh weather. The bark meal gives a somewhat bitter or sour taste to the bread, depending on how much is used. Bark Bread doesn’t leaven as well as wheat bread and has a tendency to fall apart, however the barkmeal is more fibrous than wheat, is gluten-free and low in cholesterol, and also contains more zinc, magnesium, iron, and vitamin C, making it a good nutritional supplement.

Ingredients

4 1/4 cups lukewarm water

1/2 cup + 1/3 cup barkmeal

2 packages yeast

4 1/4 cups wheat flour

4 1/4 cups rye flour

 

To make the barkmeal:

  1. Cut the outer bark of the tree to expose the inner bark.
  2. Scrape off the inner bark. Bark from numerous trees is usually needed for a decent amount of barkmeal.
  3. Dry the inner bark until hard like cardboard.
  4. Bake the bark in an oven or over a fire until light brown.
  5. Grind the bark into a powder, until it is like flour.

 

To make the bread:

  1. Gently mix lukewarm water, barkmeal, and yeast to activate the yeast. Let sit until slightly bubbly.
  2. Begin adding wheat and rye flour in equal parts a little at a time, mixing thoroughly with each addition, until a stiff dough forms.
  3. Knead the dough 8-10 minutes, adding additional flour as necessary.
  4. Let the dough rise for one hour.
  5. Punch down the dough, and let rise a second time for 40 minutes.
  6. Separate the dough into 12 balls.
  7. Flatten balls onto a cookie sheet, poke the tops of the rounds with a fork to prevent bubbles, and sprinkle with some more barkmeal, if desired.
  8. Bake at 450 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.

Herb of The Week – Spearmint June 30, 2014 18:14

            This week, we'll be looking into the medicinal attributes of Spearmint. The latin name of Spearmint is Mentha spicata. Other names it is known by include: garden mint, mackerel mint, Our Lady’s Mint, green mint, spire mint, sage of Bethlehem, fish mint, menthe de Notre Dame, yerba Santa Maria, lamb mint, and yerba buena.

           

            Spearmint has been a popular herb in both culinary and medicinal uses for centuries, being prevalent in early medieval times and probably long before. Originating in the Mediterranean, it soon became widespread. It’s name in Spanish, yerba buena, which means “good herb”, points to its popularity and use for many things. Spearmint has been found in English gardens since at least the 9th century, and was brought over to the Americas on the first voyages. It was used to treat a variety of ailments in medieval times, including headache, stomachache, sores, and bee and wasp stings. Spearmint has also been used to stimulate the appetite, as a payment of tithes, and to whiten teeth. To this day, it is frequently used as flavoring in dental hygiene products. Early texts in which Spearmint is mentioned also make note of its use for stimulating the mind and helping with memory.

 

            Native to the Mediterranean, Spearmint has been naturalized throughout Europe, in parts of Asia, Africa and the Americas. It is considered an invasive species in some regions of the United States, such as the Great Lakes region. Spearmint grows best in wet soils and in nearly all temperate climates. It does best in partial shade, but grows well in full sun to mostly shade. Spearmint is often planted in pots or planters due to its spreading rhizomes; it is sometimes considered a most obnoxious weed.

            Spearmint can have a strong, sweet scent that is usually more subtle than other mint varieties. This perennial plant is a small shrub reaching about two feet in height, with square, erect stems. The elongated, pointed, wrinkled leaves are bright green with serrated edges. The names “Spearmint” and “spire mint” come from the shape of the leaves. The small flowers bloom between July and August in slender, cylindrical spikes in shades of white, pink, and lavender.

 

            The main effects of Spearmint are: soothing aches, stimulating appetite and nerves, preventing infection, relaxing muscles and spasms, relieving restlessness, insomnia, and uneasiness, increasing concentration, promoting blood circulation, and reducing problems with menstruation. It is also an effective insecticide, particularly against ants, flies, moths, mosquitoes, wasps, hornets, and cockroaches. Spearmint also repels rodents.

 

            Spearmint leaves are commonly brewed into a tea, like other varieties of mint, and should be given in 4 ounce doses when brewed at medicinal strength. It can also be made into a tincture, given in doses of ½ to 1 teaspoon. From 2 to 5 drops of Spearmint essential oil can be given with sugar. The essential oil is also used in dental hygiene products, soaps, and balms for external use. As Spearmint is less potent than other varieties of mint, it is recommended for use by children over stronger varieties such as Peppermint.

           

Ailments which indicate treatment with Spearmint include: headache, stomachache, indigestion, flatulence, vomiting, hiccups, cramps, muscle strains, chest pain, nervous convulsions, spasmodic coughs and aches, nervous tension, restlessness, insomnia, uneasiness, poor blood circulation, open wounds, ulcers, poor appetite, irregular menstruation periods, obstructed menses, and early menopause.

 

            The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

            Contraindications: It is not recommended to take Spearmint if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you are going into surgery.

 

Fact Breakdown:

 

            Latin Name: Mentha spicata

 

            Medicinal Actions: antiseptic, antispasmodic, disinfectant, carminative, cephalic, emenagogue, stimulant, restorative.

 

            Indications: aches such as headache, stomachache, cramps, muscle strains, chest pain; indigestion, flatulence, vomiting, poor appetite, nervous convulsions, spasmodic coughs, spasmodic aches, restlessness, uneasiness, nervous tension, insomnia, open wounds, ulcers, irregular menstruation periods, obstructed menses, early menopause, poor blood circulation.

 

            Contraindications: pregnancy, breastfeeding, going into surgery.

   

Links:

https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mints-39.html#spe

 

            http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/spearmint-essential-oil.html

 

 

 

Fattoush

 

Ingredients:

For the Salad

3 large heirloom tomatoes, best if of different varieties

1 pint cherry tomatoes -- halved

3-4 middle eastern cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced into chunks

3 scallions, bulb end removed, sliced

¼ red onion, thinly sliced (optional)

4 pieces good quality pita bread

¼ cup spearmint, roughly chopped

¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sumac

salt and pepper, to taste

 

For the Dressing

Juice of ½ lemon

3 tablespoons pomegranate syrup

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon crushed dried spearmint

½ teaspoon sumac

salt and pepper, to taste

 

Directions:

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. If pita is pocket-style, slice open. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over pitas. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and sumac. Bake pitas for 15-20 minutes, until crisped.
  2. Remove toasted pita from oven, and break into uneven bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  3. Set aside a bowl for making the dressing; as you slice tomatoes, you’ll add the collected juices to the bowl. Rinse and dry large heirloom tomatoes. Halve tomatoes, then slice each into wedges, taking care to reserve the collected juice and transfer it into the dressing bowl.
  4. Halve cherry tomatoes. Transfer all tomatoes to large, shallow bowl or rimmed serving platter.
  5. Add cucumbers, red onions if using, scallions, and mint to salad bowl, and carefully incorporate without smushing tomatoes. Add pita chips on top.
  6. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients except oil, and whisk to combine. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking as you pour to emulsify the dressing.
  7. Drizzle dressing over salad, and let sit for 20-30 minutes before serving, tossing every 10 minutes or so to meld flavors.

Herb Of The Week – Hibiscus June 20, 2014 20:38

            This week, we'll be looking into the medicinal attributes of Hibiscus. Hibiscus sabdariffa and hibiscus rosa sinensisare the two most common varieties. Its other names include: Roselle, China Rose, Red Sorrel, Rose Mallow, and Shoe Flower.

           

            Originating in Egypt, Hibiscus is now cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide, such as Sudan, Mexico, Thailand, India, and China. It is traditionally used in both food and medicine, in a variety of preparations. While the entire plant is used, from using the bast fiber in the production of burlap to using the leaves and flowers in salads, the flowers are most well-known for medicinal use.

 

            Hibiscus has both deciduous and evergreen species, all being shrubs or small trees growing to a maximum height of up to 16 feet, the smaller varieties growing to five feet. All species are known by their trumpet shaped flowers having five petals and ranging in color from whites and pinks through reds to oranges and yellows. The flowers usually grow to about four inches in diameter, but some varieties grow up to six inches.

The main effects of hibiscus are Aromatic, Astringent, Anti-inflammatory, Antibacterial, Cooling, Diuretic, and Laxative. Due to its high content of vitamin C, it is also anti-scorbutic (protects against scurvy), and an immune-booster.

            Hibiscus is made into a variety of drinks every where it is used, usually brewed into a tea for internal medicinal use. The tea is usually served chilled, and causes a pleasant cooling-sensation at the back of the head which helps regulate body temperature. The leaves are also used as a poultice for external use.

           

Ailments which indicate treatment with hibiscus include: loss of appetite, colds, catarrh of the respiratory tract, sore throat, respiratory infection, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, constipation, irritated stomach, fluid retention, heart disease, nerve disease, eczema and similar allergic skin conditions.

            The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

            It is not recommended to take hibiscus if you are pregnant or breast-feeding; if you are taking a narcotic; or if you are going into surgery. Hibiscus may interact with acetaminophen, by causing your body to get rid of acetaminophen faster.

 

Fact Breakdown:

 

            Latin Name: Hibiscus rosa sinensis, Hibiscus sabdariffa.

 

            Medicinal Actions: Aromatic, Astringent, Anti-inflammatory, Antibacterial, Anti-scorbutic, Cooling, Diuretic, and Laxative,refrigerant.

 

            Indications: loss of appetite, colds, catarrh of the respiratory tract, sore throat, respiratory infection, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, constipation, irritated stomach, fluid retention, heart disease, nerve disease, eczema and similar allergic skin conditions, over heating due to climate or hormones, menopause, hot flashes.

 

            Contraindications:  While pregnant or breast-feeding; when going into surgery.

         

Links:

 

Nyr Natural News - Hibiscus

 

            http://www.nyrnaturalnews.com/article/hibiscus-powerful-medicine-for-the-metabolic-syndrome/

 

            http://www.gaiaherbs.com/articles/detail/42/The-Surprising-Health-Benefits-of-Hibiscus

 

Coconut, Lemongrass, Hibiscus Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1/2 cup dried hibiscus tea

3/4 cup boiling water

juice from one lemon

1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)

3/4 cups Xylitol Icing Mix

500 ml (17 fl oz — 2 cups) Organic Coconut milk

1- 2 stalks lemongrass, (whole stalks) finely sliced

 

Directions:

  1. In a pan on the stove, combine coconut milk and lemongrass.
  2. Bring to a SLOW gentle simmer; simmer three minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool until lukewarm.
  4. Transfer half of milk and most of lemongrass into a blender; pulse for 30 seconds.
  5. Transfer back into lemongrass milk mixture in pan, and allow to completely cool.
  6. Pour boiling water over dried hibiscus tea and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
  7. Strain the tea through a fine sieve, and cool completely.
  8. In a stand mixer, add hibiscus tea and icing sugar. Whisk until dissolved.
  9. Whisk in cooled lemongrass milk for about ten minutes or until soft peaks form.
  10. Pour mixture into an airtight container and freeze overnight.

Herb of The Week – Yarrow June 9, 2014 21:07

            This week, we'll be looking into the medicinal world of yarrow. The Latin name for this plant is Achillea millefolium. Its other names include: Achilee, Band Man's Plaything, Bauchweh, Bloodwort, Carpenter's Weed, Common Yarrow, Devil's Nettle, Devil's Plaything, Green Arrow, Noble Yarrow, Nosebleed, Old Man's Pepper, Rajmari, Roga Mari, Sanguinary, Soldier's Wound Wort, Staunchweed, Thousand-Leaf, Wound Wort.

           

            Yarrow derived it's Latin name from the Greek hero Achilles. His mother, Thetis, attempted to make her son invulnerable by dipping him into the river Styx. Afraid to let the infant go completely his heel remained vulnerable where his mother had held him, the part that has become known as the 'Achilles heel'. She also wished to make him immortal by the power of fire, but Achilles father, Peleus, disrupted her ritual and so she fled back to her father, leaving the infant to his father. Peleus gave him to Chiron who had a great reputation for educating young boys in the art of archery and healing. Achilles went on to become one of the greatest, and almost invincible warriors, but in the end he died of a mortal wound to his Achilles heel. He was said to be a great student of the healing arts and yarrow was his special ally. He used it to staunch the wounds of his fellow soldiers, thus yarrow became known as 'Militaris'.

            Native Americans made broad use of yarrow. The stalk was chewed or stewed to induce sweating to “break” fevers and colds. They also pounded the stalks into a pulp to be applied to bruises, sprains, and swelling.

 

            Yarrow is a common weed native to the Northern hemisphere. The plant commonly flowers from May through June. Common yarrow is frequently found in grasslands and open forests. Yarrow is an upright perennial that one to several steps up to 3 feet in height. Its leaves are evenly grown on its stem, with leaves at the middle and the base of the stem being the largest. Its flowers grow in clusters of daisy-like white or lavender flowers at the top of the stalk.

 

            Yarrow has an ancient relationship with mankind, and has many uses, but yarrow's main effect and what it is most famous for is its ability to aid in the healing of wounds. Yarrow also helps with circulation, aiding in breaking fevers by causing sweating, and aiding in digestion.

            Yarrow is most often taken by tea, tincture, and poultice or by being added to lotions, oils, or salves.

           

            Ailments which indicate treatment with yarrow include: Fever, cold, anxiety, diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, toothache, insomnia, nightmares, circulation issues, inflammation, pain, menstrual cramps, urinary disease, kidney disease, rheumatism, bleeding wounds, cuts, and scrapes.

            The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

            It is not recommended to take yarrow if you are pregnant or breast-feeding; if you are taking a narcotic; or if you are going into surgery.

 

Fact Breakdown:

 

            Latin Name:Achillea millefolium

 

            Medicinal Actions: Diaphoretic, Astringent, Tonic, Stimulant, Mild aromatic, Anti-Inflammatory

 

            Indications:  Fever, cold, anxiety, diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, toothache, insomnia, nightmares, circulation issues, inflammation, pain, menstrual cramps, urinary disease, kidney disease, rheumatism, bleeding wounds, cuts, and scrapes.

 

            Contraindications:  While pregnant or breast-feeding; concurrently with prescription drugs or psychiatric medications; going into surgery.

   

Links:

 

 

            http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/y/yarrow02.html

 

Whispering Earth- Yarrow

 

            http://whisperingearth.co.uk/2011/09/28/the-multiple-benefits-and-uses-of-yarrow/

 

- Shrimp with Yarrow and Baked Lemon -

 

Ingredients:

 

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

 

1 tablespoon minced garlic

 

3 lemons

 

6 tablespoons sugar

 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh yarrow leaves, plus a few sprigs for garnish

 

24 large shrimp—shelled, deveined and cut almost in half lengthwise down the back

Salt

 

Cayenne pepper

 

Directions:

 

Preheat the oven to 450° and light the grill, if you're using one.

 

In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil and garlic.

 

Cut the pointed ends from the lemons so they will sit flat, then halve them crosswise.

 

Set them flesh side up in a glass or ceramic baking dish and spoon 1 tablespoon of the sugar on each half. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sugar is melted and the pulp is soft. Preheat the broiler, if using.

 

Sprinkle the chopped yarrow inside the shrimp and pinch closed.

 

Brush the shrimp with the garlic oil and season with salt and cayenne.

 

Grill or broil the shrimp 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.

 

Squeeze some of the lemon juice over the shrimp and garnish with the yarrow sprigs.

 

Serve at once with the baked lemons.


Herb of The Week – Licorice May 28, 2014 20:46

            This week, we'll be looking into the medicinal world of licorice. The form of licorice used medicinally are of the genus Glycirrhiza. The Latin names for the species most commonly used for medicinal treatment are Glycirrhiza glabra, Glycirrhiza glandulifera, and Glycirrhiza uralensis; another Latin name for licorice is Liquiritia officinalis. Licorice, whichever variety it is derived from, is used in the same medicinal ways; the Latin names will be used when noting any differences.Its other names include: licorice root, liquorice, sweet root, and Gan Zao. It is important to note the difference between licorice and licorice flavoring; the latter is most often flavored with anise, which has the characteristic licorice flavor, and is not to be confused with licorice herb for medicinal use.

           

            Licorice has been widely used in most of Europe since the Middle Ages, and is also well known through Asia. The various species are indigenous to south-eastern Europe, Syria, and Western Asia; Hungary, south Russia and Asia Minor; Turkestan Mongolia, and Siberia; and the north-western United States. Licorice prefers the sandy soil near streams and the fine soil of river valleys in warm climates.

 

            Licorice is a slow-starter, growing to only about a foot tall in its first year. However, once it takes hold, it can be difficult to remove. Its roots grow deep and wide, and the plant often prevents other plants from growing nearby. All varieties of licorice are considered shrubs, consisting of many woody stalks with green leafs of varying sizes and shapes. G. glabrai has long, narrow leaves, while other varieties of rounder leaves. At the top of each stalk blooms a spike of small pale-blue, violet, yellowish-white or purplish flowers, followed by small seed pods. In G. glabra, these pods are smooth; other varieties have hairy or spiny seed pods.

The main effects of licorice are soothing respiratory and digestive conditions, and anti-inflammatory.

            Licorice is used primarily internally, taken as an extract made from the root. It can also be taken as a tea or tincture, likewise made from the root.

           

Ailments which indicate treatment with licorice include: Addison’s disease, allergic rhinitis, arthritis, athlete’s foot, baldness, bronchitis, bursitis, canker sores, catarrh of the upper respiratory tract, chronic fatigue, colds, colitis and intestinal infections, conjunctivitis, constipation, coughs, dandruff, depression, duodenal-ulcers, emphysema, exhaustion, fibromyalgia, flu, fungal infections, gastritis, gingivitis and tooth decay, gout, hay fever, heartburn, hepatitis, inflamed gallbladder, liver disease, Lyme disease, menopause, prostate enlargement, psoriasis, shingles, sore throat, spleen disorders, tendinitis, throat problems, tuberculosis, ulcers, viral infections, yeast infections, heartburn, indigestion.

 

            The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

            It is not recommended to take licorice if you are pregnant or breast-feeding; if you are taking a narcotic; or if you are going into surgery. Licorice interacts with many prescription medicines; it is especially important not to take licorice alongside Warfarin (used to slow blood clotting) as it may decrease the effectiveness of Warfarin and increase the risk of clotting. Licorice may increase blood pressure, decrease potassium, and affect hormone levels; it is not recommended to be taken with blood pressure medications, estrogens, and a variety of prescription medications that also decrease potassium.

 

Fact Breakdown:

 

            Latin Name: Glycirrhiza glabra, Glycirrhiza glandulifera, Glycirrhiza uralensis, Liquiritia officinalis

 

            Medicinal Actions: Demulcent, Moderately pectoral, Emollient, Anti-inflammatory, Estrogenic, Laxative, Soothing, Expectorant, Anti-allergic, Anti-arthritic.

 

            Indications: Addison’s disease, allergic rhinitis, arthritis, athlete’s foot, baldness, bronchitis, bursitis, canker sores, catarrh of the upper respiratory tract, chronic fatigue, colds, colitis and intestinal infections, conjunctivitis, constipation, coughs, dandruff, depression, duodenal-ulcers, emphysema, exhaustion, fibromyalgia, flu, fungal infections, gastritis, gingivitis and tooth decay, gout, hay fever, heartburn, hepatitis, inflamed gallbladder, liver disease, Lyme disease, menopause, prostate enlargement, psoriasis, shingles, sore throat, spleen disorders, tendinitis, throat problems, tuberculosis, ulcers, viral infections, yeast infections, heartburn, indigestion.

 

            Contraindications:  While pregnant or breast-feeding; concurrently with prescription drugs, particularly Warfarin and ones known to cause liver toxicity, or psychiatric medications; going into surgery; high blood pressure; heart disease; hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids; low potassium; kidney disease, seizure disorder.

   

Links:

 

 

            www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/liquor32.html

 

            http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-licorice-root.html

 

 

- Licorice Root and Malt Beer Beef Stew -

 

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs beef (or veal; cheeks, chuck or foreshank)
  • 2 yellow onion
  • 2 celery (branches)
  • 1 garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsps butter
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (or cherry)
  • 7 ozs prunes (slightly macerated)
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 4 bay leaf
  • 4 rosemary (branches)
  • 4 licorice root (slices)
  • 41/2 cups beef stock (or water)
  • 3 cups beer (malt)
  • sugar
  • salt (and pepper)

 

 

Directions:

 

  1. Remove all tendons and fat from the meat. If the pieces are very large, cut them into smaller ones. Pat the meat dry, and then season. Generously with salt and pepper and let it rest in the fridge for at least one hour, preferable overnight.
  2. Chop onions, celery, garlic and carrots into smaller pieces.
  3. Dredge the meat in flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat the butter in a large and deep pan and brown the meat on all sides. Make sure not to crowd the pan. When meat is browned transfer to a plate.
  5. Add the vegetables and chili and sauté until it starts to change color.
  6. Add vinegar to the vegetables and cook until almost all of the vinegar has evaporated.
  7. Add back the meat as well as the prunes, bay leafs, rosemary and licorice root. Finally add stock/water and the malt beer.
  8. Bring to a simmer and skim off any fat.
  9. Cover and let simmer for 3-4 hours, until the meat is tender and falling apart by itself. Skim off fat, should there be some.
  10. Remove the meat from the put and keep it warm. Also remove bay leaf, rosemary and licorice root.
  11. Pass the sauce through a sieve and reduce until you think its consistency is as you prefer it. Add sugar, salt, pepper and vinegar in quantities according to you taste.
  12. You can choose to either add the "old" vegetables or add some new ones to the sauce. In any case, add the prunes and the meat and heat thoroughly.

Herb of The Week – Echinacea May 13, 2014 21:05

            This week, we'll be looking into the medicinal properties of Echinacea. Echinacea is actually a genus consisting of nine different species of flowering herb, however we will be looking into two which are most commonly used for medicinal treatment. The Latin names for these are Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea.

            Since both species are generally used in the same ways for medicinal treatment, we will be referring to both as Echinacea in this article.Its other names include: Purple coneflower, Kansas snakeroot, Black sampson, Sampson root, and Rudbeckia.

           

            Echinacea is indigenous to North America, specifically in the Great Plains and Eastern regions of the United States. It has been used by Native Americans in herbal remedies for 200 years or more. Commercial use began in the late 19th century as European settlers discovered the many uses for Echinacea, and was the most widely used herbal preparation in the United States by the beginning of the 20th century.

 

            Echinacea grows from 1 to 4 feet tall and up to 3 feet wide, depending on species. Echinacea is known for the shape of its daisy-like flowers, known as coneflowers. The flowers range from a rose pink to a red-violet, with various shades of pink and purple in between. Each flower blooms from individual stems, which grow about one foot above the foliage. Echinacea angustifolia has narrower leaves than other varieties.

            The main effects of Echinacea are stimulation of the immune system and as an anti-inflammatory. Echinacea is used both internally and externally. It can be taken internally as a tea made from either the fresh or dried herb, as a tincture, and as an extract in concentrated pill or liquid form. Echinacea can also be applied externally to wounds, burns, and insect bites as a poultice.

           

Ailments which indicate treatment with Echinacea include: the common cold, flu, urinary tract infection, infected wounds, burns, stomach cramps, snake bites, insect bites, toothache, headache, boils, erysipelas, septicemia, cancer, syphilis, other impurities of the blood, rheumatism, neuralgia, hemorrhoids, and fevers.

 

            The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

            It is not recommended to take Echinacea if you are pregnant or breast-feeding; if you are taking a narcotic; or if you are going into surgery.

 

Fact Breakdown:

 

            Latin Name:Echinacea angistifolia, Echinacea purpurea

 

            Medicinal Actions: Antiseptic, Alterative, Aphrodisiac, Inflammatory Action creating an Immune response.

 

            Indications: infection, swelling or pain caused by inflammation, common cold, flu, urinary tract infection, infected wounds, burns, snake bites, insect bites, toothache, headache, boils, erysipelas, septicemia, cancer, syphilis, other impurities of the blood, rheumatism, neuralgia, hemorrhoids, fever

 

            Contraindications:  While pregnant or breast-feeding; taking Echinacea concurrently with prescription drugs - particularly ones known to cause liver toxicity, or psychiatric medications; auto-immune disorders; leukemia; allergies to: chamomile, ragweed, mugwort, chrysanthemums, sunflowers, dandelions, or other members of the Asteraceae family; going into surgery.

   

Links:

 

 

            http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/e/echina01.html

 

 

 

            http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/echinacea-growing-guide

 

 

 

- Elderberry-Echinacea Syrup -

 

 

Ingredients

 

1/2 c. dried elderberries (or 1 cup fresh)

2 Tbsp dried Echinacea (it’s perfectly fine to open an Echinacea tea bag and use that)

1 Tbsp dried ginger root (or 2 Tbsp fresh ginger root)

1-2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

3 c. distilled water

3/4 c. raw honey

 

Directions

 

Put all ingredients EXCEPT for the honey into a pot and set to medium heat

 

Let the mixture heat to a simmer

 

Turn the burner as low as you can while still maintaining a small simmer, and leave the whole thing alone for 45 minutes (or until the liquid has reduced by half).

 

Stir occasionally, and mush the elderberries around with the back of your spoon to release juices.

 

Once your liquid is at about half as much as you started with, strain all of the ingredients. Use a French press, cheese cloth, or a very fine-mesh sieve.

 

Let cool for about 10-15 minutes.

 

Add honey and stir

 

Keep in the fridge, tightly covered, for up to two months. Take 2-3 teaspoons a day at the first sign of a cough, cold, or icky feeling.


Herb Of The Week – Jamaican Dogwood May 4, 2014 12:09

          This week, we'll be exploring the properties of the Jamaican Dogwood. The Latin name for this plant is Piscidia piscipula. It's other names include: Chijol, Fish Poison Bark, Fishfuddle, Fish-Poison Tree, Jabín, Jamaican Cornouiller, Piscidia, West Indian Dogwood.             Jamaican dogwood has been used by bush doctors as a traditional remedy for nerve pain, migraines, insomnia, and nervous tension. It was also used as an external wash for any skin compliant. To cure a headache, crushed leaves are tied around the head so one can inhale the essence.  As early as 1844, Western scientists discovered that Jamaica dogwood had pain relieving properties.

            The Jamaican dogwood is potentially toxic, and has been used throughout Central and South America as a fish poison. In its native lands it is also known as the "Fish poison tree", because the bark and leaves contain a substance that is toxic to fish and amphibians, though not to humans. It affects the fish by inhibiting the fish's ability to absorb oxygen from the water, which quickly kills them, thus making them an easy catch. This herb also contains a substance known as rotenone that has been used in insecticides to control lice, fleas, and larvae.

            Jamaican Dogwood is a tropical tree of the pea family. It grows best in warm tropical climates, and is native to Central America, Florida, and the West Indies. It can now also be found in Texas, Mexico, and the northern part of South America.

            The tree grows at an average of 12 to 15 meters in height, produces white flowers tinged with red or pink, and has deciduous leaves. The bark is thing and olive gray in color with irregular dark patches. The bark also has an unpleasant odor and a bitter taste. For medicinal purposes only the bark is use.

 

            The main effects of the Jamaican dogwood tree are in relieving pain and anxiety. It has also been found to be helpful specifically with menstrual cramping, conditions relating to fear, nerve pain, migraines, and insomnia.

            Jamaican dogwood is usually taken in tea, by tincture, or by fluid extract.

 

            Ailments which indicate treatment with Jamaican dogwood include: toothache, asthma, anxiety, fear related conditions, menstrual cramps, nerve pain, migraines, insomnia

 

            The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

            It is not recommended to take Jamaican dogwood if you are pregnant or breast-feeding; if you are taking a narcotic; if you are taking other conflicting prescriptions, or if you are going into surgery.

 

Fact Breakdown:

 

            Latin Name: Piscidia piscipula

 

            Medicinal Actions: Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, Antispasmodic, Nervine, Sedative

 

            Indications: anxiety, insomnia, asthma, toothache, fear related conditions, menstrual cramps, nerve pain, migraines

 

            Contraindications:  While pregnant or breast-feeding; concurrently with prescription drugs or psychiatric medications; going into surgery.

   

Links:

 

University of Maryland – Jamaican Dogwood

 

              https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/jamaica-dogwood

 

 

              http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/d/dogwoo19.html

             

 

 

- Jamaican Dogwood Tea -

 

Ingredients:

 

Cut and chopped Jamaican Dogwood bark

 

Cut and chopped Sarsaparilla

 

Ground Cinnamon

 

 

Directions:

 

½ teaspoon Jamaican Dogwood with ½ teaspoon of Sarsaparilla to 1 cup hot water.

 

Bring to slow boil in closed container.

 

Add a pinch of cinnamon for flavor

 

Let simmer for 10 minutes.

 

Turn off and allow to infuse until cool enough to drink

 

Drink up to 2 cups a day


Herb Of The Week – Dandelion April 26, 2014 12:03

            This week, we'll be looking into the medicinal attributes of the common dandelion. The Latin name for this plant is Taraxacum officinale. Its other names include: Blowball, Cankerwort, Cochet, Common Dandelion, Couronne de Moine, Lion's Teeth, Lion's Tooth, Priest's Crown, Swine Snout, Wild Endive.

 

            Most people today look at the dandelion and see a weed, but in truth it is a wonderful medicinal herb mankind has been using for thousands of years to treat specific ailments. Native Americans have been using dandelion for centuries. In the past dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems, while the heads were used in both medicinal and culinary world. Native Americans would boil dandelion in water and take it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin irritations, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine it has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast issues. In Europe it was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye troubles, diabetes, and diarrhea. 

            Dandelion grows in the temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. Dandelion is a hardy perennial that can grow 12 inches high. The plants have deeply notched, toothy, flat leaves that are shiny and hairless. The grooved leaves funnel rain to the root.

Dandelion stems are topped by bright yellow flowers that open with the sun in the morning, and close in the evening or during gloomy weather. The dark brown roots are fleshy and brittle and are filled with a white milky substance that is bitter and slightly smelly.

 

            The main effects of dandelion are in cleansing and healing the liver, and helping keep the urinary organs and tract healthy and clear of infection. It helps with loss of appetite, upset stomach, flatulence, constipation, and Arthritis pain.

            Dandelion is usually taken by food, tincture, capsule, or in tea infusion.

 

            Ailments which indicate treatment with dandelion include: Liver disease, kidney disease, bladder disease, urinary tract infections, flatulence, constipation, arthritis, and lack of appetite.

            The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

            It is not recommended to take dandelion if you are pregnant or breast-feeding; if you are taking a narcotic; or if you are going into surgery.

 

Fact Breakdown:

 

            Latin Name:Taraxacum officinale

 

            Medicinal Actions: Diuretic, Laxative, Tonic, Slightly aperient, a general stimulant to the urinary organs.

 

            Indications: Liver disease, kidney disease, bladder disease, urinary tract infections, flatulence, constipation, arthritis, and lack of appetite.

 

            Contraindications:  While pregnant or breast-feeding; concurrently with prescription drugs or psychiatric medications; going into surgery.

   

Links:

 

 

              http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/d/dandel08.html

 

 

Herbal Legacy - Dandelion

 

              http://www.herballegacy.com/Chhabra_Medicinal.html

 

 

 

- Dandelion & Pumpkin Seed Pesto -

 

Ingredients:

 

3/4 cup unsalted hulled (green) pumpkin seeds

3 garlic gloves, minced

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1 bunch dandelion greens (about 2 cups, loosely packed)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Black pepper, to taste

 

 

Directions:

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Pour the pumpkin seeds onto a shallow-rimmed baking sheet and roast until just fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Pulse the garlic and pumpkin seeds together in the bowl of a food processor until very finely chopped.

Add parmesan cheese, dandelion greens, and lemon juice and process continuously until combined. Stop the processor every now and again to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

 

Makes about 1 cup

Herb Of The Week – Chamomile April 18, 2014 23:40

            This week, we'll be looking into the medicinal attributes of common chamomile. The Latin name for this plant is Anthemis nobilis. Its other names include: True Chamomile, Noble Chamomile, Manzanilla, Maythen, Roman Chamomile, English Chamomile, Garden Chamomile, Ground Apple, Low Chamomile, and Whig Plant.

           

            Chamomile became popular in the Middle Ages in English gardens for its distinct scent of apples, which is where it gets the names of chamomile (from the Greek kamai-melon or ground-apple) and Manzanilla (“a little apple” in Spanish). It was specifically used as part of green paths so it could be walked on to release the scent. It was also known as the ‘Plant’s Physician’ because it contributes to the health of the plants around it.

            Medicinally, chamomile has been used since the Middle Ages as a tea to soothe delirium, insomnia, anxiety, and digestive issues such as diarrhea. It was also used in bath water to ease aches and pains, and to strengthen healthy bodies.

 

            Chamomile is well known in England, but originates in the Mediterranean. It is cultivated throughout Europe, North America, and Argentina.

            True Chamomile is a low-growing, perennial plant. It has daisy-like white flowers with conical yellow centers (compared to the flatter centers of daisies), which grow between 8 and 12 inches above the ground. Chamomile flowers in the summer, starting in either June or July depending on location, and lasting until September. The stems are hairy and covered with leaves that give the entire plant a feathery appearance. The plant as a whole is a grayish-green color.

            The main effects of chamomile are calming, soothing and anti-inflammatory. It helps with soothing the mind and body aiding both in insomnia and anxiety. It also helps with influenza and cold symptoms, and is good topically for eczema, acne, and minor burns. Chamomile is also used to help with childhood conditions such as chickenpox, diaper rash, and colic.

            Chamomile is most commonly taken as a tea, but can also be taken internally in the form of an extract, capsule or tincture. Chamomile is used externally as a poultice, diluted extract, or in eye drops.

           

            Ailments which indicate treatment with chamomile include: Anxiety, nightmares, insomnia, intermittent fevers, indigestion, diarrhea, heartburn, loss of appetite, flatulence, colic, gout, headache, external swelling, inflammatory bowel disease, congested neuralgia, abscesses, stomach ulcers, gingivitis, chest colds, sore throat, chickenpox, diaper rash, psoriasis, acne, eczema, and minor burns

            The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

            It is not recommended to take chamomile if you are pregnant or breast-feeding; if you are taking a narcotic; or if you are going into surgery.

 

Fact Breakdown:

 

            Latin Name:Anthemis nobilis

 

            Medicinal Actions: Tonic, Achic, Anodyne, Antispasmodic.

 

            Indications:  Anxiety, nightmares, insomnia, intermittent fevers, indigestion, diarrhea, heartburn, loss of appetite, flatulence, colic, gout, headache, external swelling, inflammatory bowel disease, congested neuralgia, abscesses, stomach ulcers, gingivitis, chest colds, sore throat, chickenpox, diaper rash, psoriasis, acne, eczema, minor burns

 

            Contraindications:  While pregnant or breast-feeding; concurrently with prescription drugs or psychiatric medications; going into surgery.

   

Links:

 

 

       https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/chammo49.html#com

 

Ageless – Roman Chamomile

 

            http://www.ageless.co.za/herb-chamomile-roman.htm

 

- Strawberries With Chamomile Cream  -

 

Ingredients:

 

1 cup chilled heavy cream, divided

2 best-quality chamomile tea bags or 2 teaspoons dried chamomile flowers

2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled, quartered

3 tablespoons sugar, divided

 

Directions:

 

Heat 1/2 cup cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbles form around edges of pan.

Remove pan from heat; add chamomile. Let steep 20 minutes.

Transfer to a medium bowl. Cover; chill until cold, about 2 hours.

Toss strawberries with 2 Tbsp. sugar in a medium bowl to coat. Set aside to allow juices to form.

Strain chamomile cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl.

Add remaining 1/2 cup cream and remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar.

Using an electric mixer, beat chamomile cream until soft peaks form.

Divide berries among bowls.

Spoon chamomile whipped cream over berries.