Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

April Photos 2010 087ROSEMARY

April Photos 2010 032Sally’s new Herb garden

The warm weather has finally hit Florida and the pollen counts are higher than ever.  People are walking around with runny noses and red eyes from the Oak pollen that is dropping everywhere.  Throughout the Southeast Region we are experiencing record high pollen levels.  I am truly blessed with a very strong immune system, but for those that are not – It’s time to strengthen yours with some super foods that can recharge your health.

In regard to immune health protocols  - Be sure that you have tackled the basics:  extra B-Complex 50-150 mg, Vitamin C  with bioflavonoids 1,000-3,000 mg, Quercitin 1500mg,  Dr. Venessa’s  Liverclean 3-6 tabs, Dr. Venessa’s  Respiratory & Bronchial Support 4-6 tabs, and the North American Herb & Spice OregaResp 2-8 caps, with either Immune Power 2 caps , Host Defense liquid and Mushroom Wisdom Maitake & Reishi mushrooms extract , Allimax garlic and Silverbiotics or Sovereign Silver

You can add some flavor and extra immune protection from the herbs and spices that you cook with.  Not only do they help you recharge your immune system but they can build  brain power, increase your metabolism , enhance your sleep , improve your mood while  enhancing  the flavor of your food.

Starting some herbs in pots on your back porch or in your apt or home is easy. The rewards are plentiful.  With the help of my friend Danny,  I now have a new raised-bed garden for my herbs.  The Florida coast soil is alkaline and salty and the soil needs reconditioning with Black Kow or other soil enhancers. My favorite herb to grow here  is basil  and rosemary … I have the Queen Thai  , Greek, Lemon and sweet large Italian leaf Basil  and flowering rosemary .   More favorites:  Cuban & Greek oregano,  pineapple and traditional sage, marjoram, bay leaf, Culantro ( doesn’t bolt as fast as cilantro) Italian flat leaf parsley, lemon verbena, lemon balm, lemon thyme, lavender and scented geranium and Thai peppers, garlic chives and lemon grass.  The chocolate mint and an Egyptian mint are planted in another bed so they don’t cross pollinate with the basil … my sisters enlightened me to previous experience when their basil crop was ruined, making leaving both herbs with a bitter aftertaste .

April Photos 2010 003ELLEN

I buy my herbs from Ellen Kirouac – Wild Rose Workshop at the local St. Augustine farmer’s market.  Her herbs are organic and she always has a wide selection to choose from available.  Plus she recycles the pots and trays.  Her  homemade jams and chutneys are very popular and her artistic skills grace a line of greeting cards.  Ellen is a terrific resource-904-461-1284  or email her -wildrose2@bellsouth.net.

Although, I have been using herbs and spices liberally in my diet since childhood, they are finally earning media attention with integrative health professionals like  Dr. Peter D’Adamo, Dr. Eric Braverman, Dr. Aman, Dr. Jonny Bowden and Dr. Andrew Weil.  It’s about time. Food tastes so much better!

Basil, a relative of the mint family is not only great for relaxing your nerves and mucous membrane activity( sinus issues!)  but it also serves as a mood elevator and digestive aid. Rosemary , a powferful anti-inflammatory has extraordinary circulation properties including passing through the blood-brain barrier to keep your processing speed reved up ……it also helps to remove additonal environmental toxins from your blood and will reduce your appetite in larger quantities .  No household should be without it and it will winter even in cold climates.

Turmeric (you can also grow this but I buy it already ground ) is the best anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant exhibiting  spice there is. Turmeric is amazing-  breaks up brain plaque while  improving circulation issues and can stop diarrhea and relieve bronchitis. Try some ginger and turmeric before you reach for an aspirin next time you have a headache. Learn to love curry as turmeric counts for 2% of this spice or you take in capsule/tablet form from Jarrow , New Chapter & Nature’s Way.

Marjoram and Oregano sometime get confused as they both help build immune support and taste great with Mediterranean dishes.  Marjoram improves circulation and appetite while oregano acts as an anti-microbial agent and reduces the severity of headaches, coughs, allergies and colds. Culantro and Cilantro are some of the best detox herbs for heavy metals and toxins that store in your fat cells and reduce immunity as you age. I use Lemon verbena and Pineapple sage in my herbal ice teas, they keep you calm while maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Lemon balm, traditionally used to repel pesky insects, is a soothing  herbal sedative that acts as an anti-spasmodic and anti viral agent. Sage exhibits a strong pungent and pleasant fragrance  that helps to perk up sluggish memories, heal gums and tissue, reduce inflammation and promote a healthy overall nervous system.  Bay leaves grown fresh taste completely different than those dried and left for months on the store shelves. Bay Leaves have anti-fungal and bacterial applications and help to balance elevated blood sugar levels. Many people with digestive disorders or edema /water retention  use them for tea. The Thai hot peppers will be used to spice up my cooking and provide a healthy circulation, proper digestion and reduce mucus and allergy sniffles. I will be adding Datil peppers, a local Spanish hot pepper soon.

There are several favorites that I do not grow: Cinnamon being one of them.  This sweet, flavorful spice encourages digestive, sugar regulation and adds an abundance of vitamins and minerals. Ginger, shredded on your food will add a zesty hot-pungent flavor while improving your circulation and digestion. Cumin (both the seed which is stronger and powder), another fantastic anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor regulating digestion and relieving coughs, flu and congestion. Some effective seeds like Coriander (from the cilantro plant) and Fennel seed provide digestion and immune support benefits too.

Using herbs daily will make eating more fun and provide the maximum nutrient benefits.  Strive for at least 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs daily to make a difference in your health .   Add in some fresh lime and or lemon juice, red onion, garlic, olive oil and you have a spicy nutritious base for any protein. With continued use, your health will be evident -whata  difference for a few sprigs of herbs verses a large salad – no comparison on nutrient values. Earthbound Farms now has a mixed lettuce mix with added herbs to save oyu the fuss from what to add .  Always buy your dried herbal powders and spices from a reputable source like Frontier Herbswww.fronteircoop.com.  They are of the best quality and are never irradiated for nutrient optimization.  Dried herbs only last about 6 months so buy them in smaller quantities. Freeze your fresh herbal leaves chopped,whole or in a pesto spread to use in winter dishes when buying fresh herbs may be more expensive. Use them liberally year -round for the best health benefits.

April Photos 2010 009Organic Farmers Jeff & Joan

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply