My favorite time of week! He herb of the week! This weeks herb is Rosemary!!!! Wonderful with lamb, surprisingly effective as a medicinal!
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinale) the little evergreen shrub has been around for centuries! "In 1607, Roger Hacket said, "Speaking of the powers of rosemary, it overtoppeth all the flowers in the garden, boasting man's rule. It helpeth the brain, strengtheneth the memorie, and is very medicinable for the head. Another property of the rosemary is, it affects the heart."
Rosemary has been used since the time of the early Greeks and Romans. Greek scholars often wore a garland of the herb on their heads to help their memory during examinations. In the ninth century, Charlemagne insisted that the herb be grown in his royal gardens. The Eau de Cologne that Napoleon Bonaparte used was made with rosemary. The herb was also the subject of many poems and was mentioned in five of Shakespeare’s plays."
Today we also use Rosemary as a powerful antimicrobial, memory enhancer, stimulate hair growth and supports the circulatory system.
Rosemary can be used as a tea, decoction, powdered, and as an essential oil. As a tea for dyspepsia (upset tummy), decoction topically for sore muscles, powder sprinkled on clothing to protect against fleas and ticks, and as an essential oil for memory (remember always dilute and be aware if you are epileptic that rosemary has been rumored to trigger seizures). Several studies also hint that Rosemary may be anticancer! A little powerhouse that also is awesome with Salmon!
Total daily intake should not exceed 4 to 6 grams of the dried herb. DO NOT take rosemary oil orally.
Salmon hack: Use the woody thick rosemary sprig as a skewer for salmon. Reduce maple syrup and balsamic as a glaze...my favorite way to have Salmon!
Today's herb of the week is Chamomile. There are so many types of Chamomile! Most commonly used type is German Chamomile. What soothing wonder lurks in your very own door yard? Check below!
Chamomile tea has been used for centuries to sooth stress in Mamma and in babies. German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is a member of the asteracea family. The word Chamomile comes from the Greek "earth apple", and if you have ever smelled fresh Chamomile you know this is an accurate description.
German Chamomile has been used for centuries to soothe the "savage beast". Chamomile can be used as a tea, a wash, in a tincture or capsules. My favorite way to use it is in a strong tea (large amounts of strong tea can cause vomiting), or to mask the flavor of other less palatable teas, or as a wash for diaper rash or heat rash. Chamomile has been used since ancient Greece for:
Childhood diseases such as chicken pox, colic, diaper rash as a wash What does modern science have to say about this versatile herb? I will share just a couple of studies.
According to a study published in Pediatrics in Review http://pedsinreview.aappublications.org/content/28/4/e16.info 57% of colicy babies treated in a double blind study had the colic resolve in a week. They also found that Chamomile is generally considered safe for ingestion by babies.
According to Science Digest (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104112140.htm) a study showed traces of amino acids that are known to cause relaxation and have antispasmodic effectsas well as a substance that breaks down into phenols which have been shown to help the immune system. These both show that in fact the cup of chamomile tea does have a real and therepeutic action on the body and could be the reason that chamomile is so good for cramping and griping, not to mention a little boost to the immune system.
Chamomile can lower blood pressure be careful if you are on Hbp medications
There have been rare allergic reactions due to severe rag weed, daisies or chrysanthemums allergies. If you have these allergies be cautious.
GRAS (generally regarded as safe)
Asthma sufferers should not use
Can interact with blood thinners, tell your dentist if you have had Chamomile Tea within 2 weeks of oral surgery.
Chamomile Tea can make you drowsy...be careful if driving
How do I use it?
TeaTwo teaspoons of the chamomile flower in a cup, pour boiling water over and allow to steep 5-10 minutes, a sweet treat with a little honey.
To make a salve with Chamomile put some chamomile flowers in a jar, cover with oil, allow to steep for 30+ days. Strain, then melt beeswax (preferably local) to make a lovely salve.
Did I mention that you can find this in your dooryard??? Yes I did! Check out the picturebelow, this is Pineapple Chamomile (Matricaria discoidea). This grows in almost everyones yard, when you pick it it this little powerhouse smells like apples. I use the whole fresh plant for tea, this is great for children who are anxious, and have an upset tummy. Do not use if you spray your yard with pesticides or non organic weed killers, and make sure fido hasnt peed there lately :). It has many of the benefits of German Chamomile but not quite as intensely.
Enjoy! ~Mamma Moon
I was wondering where to start with the Herb of the week. Should I start at the beginning of the alphabet? With medicinals? With summery herbs? With common or exotic herbs? When I realized I was completely overthinking it I decided to start with what you may have in your kitchen right now. I decided to start with Basil. The beginning of the alphabet AND the beginning of our herby journey. I hope to give out some really solid basic information then we can wander into more arcane and specific info as we go along. For today, Basil...what secrets lie in our caprese salad?
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) Is native to Asia and Africa, but is now widely cultivated across the world. Basil is a member of the mint family (Laminacea).
Basil has been traditionally used for centuries as a treatment for:
(as a tea) Stomach spasms; all manner of stomach complaints really, loss of appetite, intestinal gas, kidney conditions, fluid retention, intestinal parasites, the tea also has a mildly sedating effect which makes it great for anxiety.
Torn leaves can also be used to treat snake and insect bites and cuts.
Chew the leaves for coughs and colds.
Use as a facial steam for headaches.
These are just a few of the extensive traditional uses I found for basil.
Science has also been curious about basil. Basil has some pretty amazing antimicrobial actions it seems and has been extensively studied for use with antibiotic resistant strains of Salmonella spp., Escherichai coli O157, Campylobacter jejunii, and Clostridium perferingens. Who knew??(https://www.sigmaaldrich.com/life-science/nutrition-research/learning-center/plant-profiler/ocimum-basilicum.html) and http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167701203000125 among others
Basil has also been studied for its anti-inflammatory effects. It seems that basil binds to a receptor that may protect against Crohn's disease and other inflammatory digestive diseases as well as rheumatiod arthritis. https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/anti-inflammatory-compound-from-cannabis-found-in-herbs/3000367.article
So how do you use this lovely and healthful herb at home? Pesto! Caprese Salads! Just toss it in some pasta for a delicious meal that is Oh so healthful! Here is a pesto recipe to get you started!
So, opt for the caprese with a side of pesto!
Here is a recipe for pesto from Simply Recipes.com:
Add the garlic and Parmesan or Romano cheese and pulse several times more. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
2 While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Adding the olive oil slowly, while the processor is running, will help it emulsify and help keep the olive oil from separating. Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor.
Stir in some salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Toss with pasta for a quick sauce, dollop over baked potatoes, or spread onto crackers or toasted slices of bread.
from Simply Recipes ~ http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/fresh_basil_pesto/
Welcome to the Mamma Moon Blog.
We discuss Herbs, the Science of Herbs and Aromatherapy. We also discuss Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.
Grab a cup of tea or wine and enjoy. Feel free to participate. ~Mamma Moon