I planted some more herbs in the garden recently and it got me thinking how I’d much prefer to have a garden full of food rather than a garden full of flowers (although both would be pretty nice.)
There’s something really therapeutic about breaking off a few sprigs of rosemary or grabbing a handful of fresh basil out of the garden and adding it to something bubbling away on the stove.
I think life is too short NOT to have a couple of pots of herbs growing.
And the health benefits of herbs and spices are quiet amazing. We might think of herbs as something only to create flavour but there’s way more to it!
Herbs and spices are very medicinal.
The Chinese and Indians have known this forever and this what is called Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine.
However let’s keep it simple and see what we can do at home.
Here’s the health benefits of 2 basics and 7 common herbs plus a wonderful recipe below!
The Flavour and Healing Stars of Our Gardens:
~ Sea Salt or pink Himalayan salt. This type of salt add heaps of flavour, but they also add important minerals, acting like the body’s ‘spark plugs’ giving us the energy that we need to get through the day.
Minerals also help us to feel grounded and calm. It’s great to add this salt to sweet food (even chocolate cakes) as it keeps our body’s balanced with the sugar. Also add a little to your water to help with adrenal fatigue or add a little to some honey to help with sleep.
~ Black pepper. The king of spices, is rich in nutrients and helps with digestion including constipation, heart and blood pressure regulation, memory and thyroid health. Add pepper to dessert (which sounds weird I know) but this will give a slightly hot flavour to balance the tastes. Always add pepper with tumeric to help with absorption.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match all these herbs together… unless you’re a culinary chef.
The myriad of health benefits are way to big to hold back!
~ Basil…beneficial for type 2 diabetes, cholesterol, stress, pain and ulcers.
~ Bay leaf.…great for joint pain, indigestion, ulcers, arthritis, cancer and blood sugar. It even repels mozzies for a couple of hours.
~ Dill... supports healthy digestion, bone density and give you a calm energy.
~ Lemongrass… wonderful for anxiety, type 2 diabetes, epilepsy, insomnia, cancer, cholesterol and candida.
~ Mint… for digestion, anxiety, fatigue, nasal congestion, menopause, menstrual cramps and allergies.
~Rosemary… helps reduce anxiety, arthritic pain, memory, helps protect our skin from sunburn and lowers blood sugar.
~ Thyme… shown to be anti-aging and good for the heart, colds, ulcerated colitis, bacterial infections and ulcers.
And here’s a wonderful recipe which is a medicinal, healing elixir that makes its own chicken broth.
Dong quai and astragalus are chinese medicine herbs that protect the body from stress. You can get these at Asian supermarkets or health food shops.
This soup is especially good if you suffer from anemia, chronic fatigue, hormone imbalance or any feeling or weakness.
And if you’ve already got chicken broth, you could just simmer these herbs in it for 20 minutes then sip.
Dong Quai Chicken Soup Recipe
Whole organic chicken or chicken parts
1 Tbsp. dried dong quai root (2-4 knobs if using fresh); avoid if pregnant, diarrhea or digestive pain
1 Tbsp. dried astragalus (6 slices of fresh)
1 cup of fresh or 2 Tbsp. dried shiitake mushrooms
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Optional: honey to taste, sesame oil and shallots sliced thin to taste
If using a whole chicken, cut into parts, rinse and pat dry. Put into large stock pot or slow cooker, add enough water to cover and add dong quai, astragalus and mushrooms.
Set to high and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for 6 hours. If using slow cooker, bring to boil on high and reduce to medium heat. Your chicken will be moist and tender. Take the bones out, shred the chicken and add back to the broth.
Season with salt and pepper, sweeten with a little honey to balance the taste of the herbs and top with shallots and drizzle with sesame oil.
(Recipe by Eyton Shalom)
Enjoy this soup anytime of the year.
Meanwhile, if you have any questions on our own personal situation, go to the Nutrition For Life Community and ask me a question in the forum OR you can private message me.
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