Friday, May 31, 2013

Rosemary

"There are some things, after all, that Sally Owens knows for certain: Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.” 
In years past I have always had some rosemary by the front door.  I love the smell of it; that deep woodsy aroma that always makes me take a moment to pause and count my blessings.  Rosemary is effective in bringing a feeling of well-being and an increase in energy.  It is known as an antidepressant and a tonic to soothe the nerves.  It is a wonderful herb to aid people with anxiety or depression.

Rosemary, like most of the aromatic herbs, is good for digestion which, makes it a wonderful herb to cook with.  I love to steep a sprig of it in oil or vinegar for a few weeks.  The resulting liquid is so aromatic and adds a dash of flavor to roasted veggies or salads.  

I have always loved herbs and how different and individual they can be.  It is one of the reasons I worked so hard for my ND (Doctor of Naturopathy).  In days past I used to have shelves of herbs for physical ailments and spiritual uses.  I miss that.  In the past I had a huge herb garden and I miss that too.  I miss the colors as the plants bloom, I miss being able to take a sprig here or there.  I miss watching nature unfold before my eyes.

You see all of our planters now are home to termite stations and the herbs would be inedible.  So for the past few years I was at a loss what to do.  I bought these containers that have a place for the rain to gather and store.  We've been known to have drought conditions where to water your garden is to break the law, so this container is perfect.  The soil whisks up the water from below and keeps my plants happy even in a drought.  

This weekend I bought six little herbs: rosemary, thyme, lavender, nasturtium, sage and basil.  My wonderful sister helped me haul mulch and plant herbs and it made me feel so...centered to have a garden again.  With there six herbs I can make a myriad of things.  Lavender oil is good for so many things: a few drops in a bath can help to loosen up tight muscles, a few drops in a foot-bath can help with fatigue and inhaling lavender's scent can help to relieve stress and anxiety.

Nasturtium is a great source of vitamin C, stimulates the digestive system and can aid in regulating metabolism as well.  The herb contains the same antibiotic, anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties  that can be found in mustard.  You can eat the leaves, flowers and seeds as each of these have a different flavor.

Thyme is another of those scents that I just love; I can feel the stress melting away every time I smell that intense aroma.  Thyme has thymol which has antiseptic and anti fungal properties.  It is very effective as a throat gargle for sore throats.  If you can't stand the strong taste then cooking thyme in a nice broth and then straining out the herbs can be very soothing.  Thyme contains potassium, iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium and selenium.  Thyme also provides vitamin B6 which helps brain function and resistance against free radicals.   It can be added to almost any dish for a burst of flavor.

Sage has such beautiful flowers.  Sage is a wonderful in a tea for congestion, cough or sore throats.  It is an appetite stimulant that is delicious in sauces, flavoring meats and adding that "special touch" to stuffing.  Also it's beautiful green leaves can be dried and used for smudging which is a shamanic way of cleansing an area or object through purifying smoke.  I love the smell of sage wafting through the house balancing the energies and bringing tranquility to our home.

Last but not least is basil.  Basil is a natural anti-inflammatory, it is good for stabilizing blood sugars, improving breathing and is high in antioxidants.  Spiritually it is connected to fire and that helps to explain the peppery taste.  Basil blended into a paste becomes pesto.  Everyone makes theirs different but I like a lot of garlic, some parsley, a little thyme, black pepper, EVO and a whole lot of cheese.  Blend it all together and let the favors meld overnight and you have a sauce for pasta or veggies that can help to boost the immune system.

Of course this is only a snippet of what each herb can do.  While I have used these herbs for all the purposes that I have stated here:  YOU SHOULD CONSULT WITH A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL BEFORE STARTING ANY HERBAL SUPPLEMENT PROGRAM. 

All material and information presented here is for educational purposes only. The information on this site is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other healthcare professional and is not intended to treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease. 

Sorry, I had to say that.  But everyone is different and people are on medications and have allergies and only a physician can tell you if herbs will work with your chemical make-up.

That said if the spirit moves you, plant some herbs and see what the different flavors do to spice up your food.  I'm having pork with thyme and rosemary tonight that has been cooking for hours and is sure to melt in my mouth.  Yumm!

May your life be full of flavor,
Ruinwen
:)

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