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Springtime Herbs: Not Just For Cooking!

Updated: Apr 23, 2023

Herbs are not just for cooking, they have medicinal properties too.


Food is medicine and medicine is food.


Springtime is finally here and what better way to celebrate the season than by indulging in some herb gardening? The warmer weather brings with it the perfect opportunity to get outside and start growing your favorite herbs. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting out, there's nothing quite like the satisfaction of growing your own herbs and using them in your cooking and springtime tonics.


With spring in full swing, it's the perfect time to start planning your herb garden. Herbs like basil, parsley, and cilantro are great for beginners and are perfect for adding flavor to all sorts of dishes. If you're feeling adventurous, why not try growing something new like lemongrass or thyme? Not only do herbs add a wonderful taste to your meals, but they also have numerous health benefits. Herbs are not just for cooking and flavoring food, they have many medicinal properties too. Here are some favorite recipes:



Basil, Cilantro, Parsley Lemongrass, Thyme, Pots of Herbs



Recipe #1 - Basil Tea


Directions: Add 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped basil to boiling water and steep for about 5 minutes then strain. Sweeten with raw honey to taste and sip slowly to help with digestive issues. This can also soothe a cough.


To soothe a headache add about 5 basil leaves to boiling water and continue to boil for a few minutes then cool. Sip slowly. Basil works on tension headaches because of it's muscle-relaxing qualities.



Basil Tea

Recipe #2 - Parsley Water


The vitamin K in parsley is important for bone health. It also contains Vitamin A and other nutrients such as beta carotene that protect vision.


Directions: Wash 4 sprigs of parsley, place in a blender, and add 4 to 8 cups of water. Pour mixture into a pitcher and cover with a cloth. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Strain the mixture into a jar or bottle. Add lemon juice and honey if desired. The water can be kept for up to three days. Start with a cup a day.


Parsley Water


Recipe #3 - Cilantro Juice


Cilantro possesses strong cleansing properties, i.e., strengthening and cleansing the liver, alleviating skin issues (rash, psoriasis, eczema, acne, etc), and increasing digestion. Overall it is a very gentle herb making it a great option for people of all ages.


Directions: Add 4 cups of water to the blender. Wash 1 bunch of cilantro thoroughly and chop it, stems and all. Add to blender. Peel and chop 1/2 cucumber and add it to the blender. Squeeze the juice from one lime into the blender. Blend on high for 1 to 3 minutes. Strain the mixture using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Store in the fridge in an air tight glass jar for 3 to 4 days.


Cilantro Juice with Cucumber

Recipe #4 - Lemongrass Tea


Drinking lemongrass tea can have diuretic effects, which means that it stimulates the kidneys to release more urine than usual. This diuretic effect on the body can be beneficial in cases where water retention has led to bloating, a common symptom of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Directions: Cut 1-2 stalks into 1- to 2-inch pieces. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the lemongrass stalks to steep. Leave the stalks in the water for at least 5 minutes. Strain the liquid from the stalks and pour it into a teacup. For cold tea just add ice cubes. The tea should have a fresh, citrusy taste. Start with one cup of lemongrass tea per day as needed.


Lemongrass Tea


Recipe #5 - Thyme Gargle


Not only is thyme a wonderful seasoning for various meat, poultry and fish dishes, but the compounds in thyme also provide relief for coughs, inflammation, acne, and can help boost your mood. Thyme tea is a healthy drink that gives you many of the health benefits in a refreshing tea.

Directions: Pour boiling water into a cup and add 1 teaspoon of dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon if using fresh thyme leaves). Cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain the leaves and add a teaspoon of honey to taste once the tea has cooled to boost the flavor of the tea. Drink 2-3 times a day to boost your immunity, clear a cough, or get rid of a cold faster. You can also leave the tea to cool and use as a gargle for a sore throat. You can also apply cooled thyme tea to your skin using a cotton ball to help clear skin infections and remove bacteria.


Thyme Tea or Gargle

Gardening is Eco-Friendly and Fun (and saves money too) In addition to being delicious and nutritious, growing your own herbs is also an eco-friendly choice. By growing your own herbs, you're reducing your carbon footprint and supporting sustainability. Plus, it's a fun and rewarding way to connect with nature and get your hands dirty. If you're short on space, don't worry! Herbs can be grown in all sorts of containers, from pots to window boxes to hanging baskets. Even if you don't have access to a garden, you can still enjoy the benefits of growing your own herbs. And don't forget, herbs can also be dried and stored for later use, so you can enjoy the taste of spring all year round. In conclusion, there's no better time than spring to start growing your own herbs. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting out, there's something for everyone. So grab your gloves and get ready to get your hands dirty - it's time to start your very own herb garden! This is the perfect time of year for some spring cleaning -- body-wise. I would love it if you try some of these recipes and let me know if they work for you and more importantly how they make you feel. Happy Gardening,


Peace and Herbal Blessings,

Gloria




Disclaimer:


The Food & Drug Administration has not evaluated the statements made on this website. The information provided by this website or this company is for informational purposes only, it is not meant to substitute for medical advice or diagnosis provided by your physician or other medical professionals, and is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a health care provider, and should not be construed as individual medical advice. Always consult your physician or health care provider before using any herbal products.

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