>Herbs and their Use

>Since spring will be with us soon, I like to grow things. Herbs are a good choice because they are easy to grow, and you can do it in some pots. I always grow my own basil, sage and some mint.

You can also gather herbs and plants  some from the countryside. My parents and their friends used to go out for burdock in the country. They would take a lot of time cleaning them and their fingertips would be stained with the natural dye from burdock, but then when they would bread them and fry in olive oil, I thought they were great to eat.
My parents would also eat the dandelions leafs from their lawn or go out and look for better ones in the country!

In Elson Haas’ book, Staying Healthy With The Seasons, he explains many of the medicinal reasons to use herbs and different plants in your diet. Here are a few tips:
Many herb roots are body and blood cleansing.
Burdock: good for the blood lungs and skin
Comfrey root: helps the lungs and mucous linings, especially having an effect on the the intestinal walls which increases your ability to assimilate nutrients
Marshmallow Root: Used for soothing irritations or inflammation in the kidneys and bladder. This root made into a tea and taken internally acts as a diuretic, increasing the flow of urine.
Ginger Root: Simmered for about 20 minutes for tea or used in cooking. It can aid in digestion, relieving intestinal gas. It is also a remedy for diarrhea. As a tea and compress, ginger root is used for colds and bronchitis. A small towel can be soaked in hot ginger tea and applied to the cold or congested area.

A quick basil pesto
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup pine nuts or walnuts chopped
1 cup white miso
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp brown rice syrup
1 tsp plum vinegar

Quickly dip basil leaves in boiling water
and drain
Place all ingredients in a food processor
Puree until smooth
Add a small amount of water to ingredients if needed
Remember, the thicker the pesto, the better the flavor
Recipe from:Pirello, C (2004) Everything you Always Wanted to Know About Whole Foods But Were Afraid To Ask. New York, NY. Burkley Publishing

Hass, E. (2003) Staying Healthy With The Seasons. San Rafael, CA. Random House