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Health Benefits of Herbs and Roots

March 2023 Newsletter


Herbs and roots have been used for medicinal and culinary purposes for centuries, and are known for their many benefits. Here are some of the benefits of different herbs and roots:


1. Natural healing properties: Many herbs and roots contain compounds that have natural healing properties, which can be used to treat a variety of ailments.


2. Anti-inflammatory properties: Herbs and roots such as ginger, turmeric, and chamomile contain compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body.


3. Antioxidant properties: Herbs and roots such as green tea and garlic contain antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.


4. Digestive aid: Some herbs and roots such as peppermint, fennel, and ginger have been shown to have digestive properties, helping to relieve bloating and other digestive issues.


5. Immune system boost: Herbs and roots such as echinacea and ginseng have been shown to boost the immune system, helping to ward off infections and other illnesses.


6. Stress relief: Herbs such as lavender and chamomile are known for their calming properties, which can help reduce stress and anxiety.


7. Flavor: Herbs and roots are often used in cooking to add flavor and depth to dishes, and can be used in place of salt or other unhealthy flavorings.


Overall, herbs and roots can provide a variety of health benefits and are a natural way to support the body's overall health and well-being. You can buy turmeric and ginger root at HEB, and Farm Patch. You can plant your own garlic bulb in November and harvest in April.


Here are some simple recipes for using fresh herbs or roots




Spicy Hummus Dip –

1 drained can of chickpeas, 1 tsp (less or more) of cayenne pepper, ¼

cup olive oil (extra virgin), 2 Tbl of fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Blend in a small food processor or blender. Add more oil depending on preference.

This is a great snack with crackers, veggies, or by itself!


Pesto -

(use as a dip by adding more olive oil or as a sauce with pasta). Fill a small food

processor with basil leaves (1.5-2 cups), add a ½ cup of parmesan cheese, 5 cloves of garlic, 1 Tbl of fresh lemon juice, 2/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil (EVVO), Salt & Pepper.

To make this vegan, swap out oil for 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast and 1/3 cup of soaked cashews or almonds).


Mint Iced Tea: Brew a pot of your favorite black or green tea and add a handful of fresh mint leaves. Allow the tea to cool, then serve over ice with a sprig of mint for garnish.


Rosemary Lemonade: Mix freshly squeezed lemon juice, honey, and water in a pitcher. Add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve over ice with a slice of lemon.


Basil Strawberry Lemonade: Blend fresh strawberries and basil in a blender until smooth. Mix the puree with freshly squeezed lemon juice, honey, and water in a pitcher. Refrigerate for a few hours, then serve over ice with a fresh strawberry for garnish.


Lavender Lemonade: Brew a pot of your favorite herbal tea and add a few sprigs of fresh lavender. Allow the tea to cool, then mix with freshly squeezed lemon juice, honey, and water in a pitcher. Refrigerate for a few hours, then serve over ice with a sprig of lavender for garnish.


Ginger Tea: Peel and slice fresh ginger root and add it to boiling water. Allow the tea to simmer for 10-15 minutes, then strain and add honey or lemon to taste.

Turmeric Latte: In a saucepan, mix coconut milk, turmeric root (peeled and grated), cinnamon, honey, and a pinch of black pepper. Heat until hot but not boiling, then pour into a mug and enjoy.


To make a simple syrup to add to any drink, add 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, boil and

stir until dissolved, add a handful of herbs – crushed lightly, cover and let steep for 10

minutes. Strain and refrigerate. This can be added to mixed drinks as well, fantastic in

the summer.


Miscellaneous


Two other things to consider, it is more cost effective to grow your own herbs if you intend to use them regularly, especially for something like Pesto (which is so worth it). It is very easy to plant herbs in pots and place them just outside so they are easy to reach. When harvesting, remember not to harvest more than 1/3 rd of the plant and always cut just above the next node or set of leaves to encourage new growth…. you want short and bushy not tall and leggy. Most like sun all day but the afternoon sun can be too much as summer approaches, so move into

morning sun, afternoon shade.


Herbs are available at Farm Patch, Lowe's, Home Depot and the local farmers markets. I always transplant a smaller plant versus starting from seed but that is fun as well. On another note, if you buy green onions, save the white bulb and plant it in dirt, soon you will have more green onions, just keep cutting the green part and you will always have onions. This is true if you buy a bunch of celery or kale, with the flat bottom. Don’t throw that away, plant it in soil, it will grow.

I recommend at a minimum having the following herbs: Basil, Italian flat parsley, cilantro….if you want more add, rosemary, thyme, mint (peppermint), green onion, jalapeno, and chives. You can also do cherry tomatoes in a pot. This is the time to start planting. Make sure you harvest regularly to encourage more growth and avoid the leggy (more stem). Pinch off any flowers until later in the season. You may leave some flowers for the bees though, they could use our help.


Feel free to send me a note if you have other ideas and suggestions for planting and using herbs or roots lbsicily@hotmail.com.


Lisa Bradway


Some material from https://chat.openai.com

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