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Medicinal Plants, Spices & Herbs

  • Select a plant to learn more about it and find out how to use it. Rare and unusual recipes are available for a few of these garden herbs.
  • Thimble Berries Thimble Berries are native to shady, cool, moist wooded areas. They are native to the west coast, and have five lobed furry leaves. They grow as single shoots, in large clusters which can appear a strong thriving shrub. Thimble berries fall back hard from a pruning, and take about 2 years to fully re-grow. With thimble berries it's best to allow them to grow and expand, then they will continue to provide you with berries each year. Clusters of berries are often found similar to the blackberry. Thimble berries are also a relative of the rose, but don't bear thorns. The berries are individual small red balls, each with a seed, and when ripe, they will fall ...
    Posted Jun 18, 2015, 5:42 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Mint: There are too many varieties to list individually but this one we focus on will be the apple mint, or julep variety. This is the most common varieties of mint pictured. Preparation:Crush the leaves in sugar and add to drinks, herb the water, or make a mint tea. Create hot sun tea with mint leaves and pour over it for a fragrant cool summer drink. Place mint leaves and sugar onto a pan and heat, strain and reserve the simple syrup for putting on fruit or ice cream. It can also be used to flavor just about anything from candy to food. Mint jelly and mint syrup are two things you would like to have in the refrigerator as ...
    Posted Mar 28, 2015, 1:20 AM by Ivy Hunter
  • Marjoram: Marjorana hortensis is a perennial that grows 12 inches tall with white flowers. Growing:Treat this plant as an annual with composting. Plant 6 inches apart and use seed as propagation. Plant in a place with full sun and dry soil. Cooking & Use:Use marjoram in stews, roasts, salads, and stuffings. Book with beans, peas, and carrots. Get personal holistic nutrition consulting from the comfort of your home or office. Call or contact us at http://Hunter-Nutrition.comGet articles like this plus my 5 week introductory class totally free:http://eepurl.com/1Rukn
    Posted Nov 9, 2014, 11:28 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Marigold Calendula is our original marigold. The calendula leaves have a sweet mild spice taste, and the petals have a beautiful golden color that can be used as food coloring. Toss fresh petals into salad or add as a garnish to soups. The flavor can be added to vanilla pudding to increase depth of flavor. The petals can also be tossed into any soup or alcohol. Try adding calendula flower petals to rice for a yellow color and saffron flavor. Planting:Soak the seeds for 24 hours before planting. The seed husks are very thick and this aids in sprouting the seeds.Choose a loam type soil, with good drainage, and don't worry about adding any fertilizers or mulch with ...
    Posted Nov 12, 2014, 12:50 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Lemon Balm Aka Melissa officinalis, balm mint, bee balm, sweet balm,This plant is a perennial 24 inch tall plant that flowers white cone flower heads. Plant 18 inches apart as it self sows by seed as well as divisions of the plant. Plant in part shade, moist soil. This can be added to many foods including salads, and mint beverages. It can be used in tea by steeping the dried leaves in a cup of water for 15 minutes.According to The Herb Book by John Lust this herb is an antispasmodic, calming, sweat inducer, and stomach soother. It is also stated as a remedy for female complaints, and insomnia. The warm infusion has the ability to make a person sweat ...
    Posted Jul 23, 2015, 4:29 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Leek One of the allium family it is a detoxifying (against environmental pollutants) super-food and it has a mild onion flavor. The leek is perfect for flavoring any food where onion taste is wanted. Use it cooked, slice it thin, eat the whole plant after saute or boiling till tender, or blend it for a creamed effect. The soup vichyssoise was made using blended leek. Put the leek slices into almost any dish and enjoy. Similar yet more mild supporting medicinal value as garlic. Get personal holistic nutrition consulting from the comfort of your home or office. Call or contact us at http://Hunter-Nutrition.comGet articles like this plus my 5 week introductory class totally free:http://eepurl ...
    Posted Nov 12, 2014, 1:57 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Lavender A beautiful fragrance that can penetrate the dream world on its own. Use the fresh stalks to flavor wine, drinks, jelly, gelatin, coffee, candies, and custards. The dried flowers make perfect pillows or potpourri to scent the house and drawers. Use a small pillow of lavender flowers to toss into the dryer in place of fabric softening sheets for a soft effect and soothing fragrance. According to the Herbal Medicine Handbook 2006 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Lavender is known as Lavandula angustifolia, L. dentata, L. latifolia, L. officinalis, L. pubescens, L. spica, L. stoeches, L. vera, aspic, English lavender, French lavender, garden lavender, lavandin, spike lavender, and true lavender. It is important to point out that not all types of ...
    Posted Apr 21, 2015, 3:23 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Hyssop A pretty peppermint aromatic herb with a slightly bitter flavor. Use the fresh leaves minced when cooking. The crushed leaves are great to add to vegetable juice and cranberry juice. About 5 leaves make a secret ingredient addition to fruit pies. Hyssop is also tossed into salad and the flowers can be added to salad for beauty. aka hyssopus offioinalis is a perennial that grows 12 - 18 inches and has beautiful blue, pink or white flowers depending on the variety. Plant 10 inches apart in full sun, and limey soil. This flavor is very strong. A few leaves can give the flavor to green salads, and soups, the dried flowers can also be used in soups. The leaves, shoots and ...
    Posted Nov 12, 2014, 1:59 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Horseradish Fresh ground horseradish root is a peppery herb a very hot herb that is a perfect condiment as horseradish is prepared properly. It is a necessary addition to cocktail sauce including cream sauces that are used on seafood and vegetables or in salad dressings. Use sparingly.According to The Encyclopedia of  Healing Foods Horseradish is known as Armoracia rusticana and Armoracia lapathifolia. It is a large tapered root with thin light brown skin, white flesh, and spikey green leaves. It is a member of the cabbage family - related to mustard, radish, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Uses: Use the leaves in a salad, and make a paste from the root. Since it has a bunch of components in the root ...
    Posted Nov 12, 2014, 2:00 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Horehound A delight, aromatic herb that is perfect for herb tea and flavoring honey. The crushed leaves and juice go into making hard candy that is throat soothing. Drink tea when the throat is sore from too much talking.According to the Herbal Medicine  Handbook 2006, Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) is also known as common horehound, hoarhound, houndsbane, marrubium, white horehound, and is sold as an herb, tea, liquid extract, cough lozenges, powdered herb, and syrup. Medicinal UsesThe active component of the plant comes from the leaves and flowers and is known as marrubiin. This compound stimulates secretions in the lungs - which explains its use as an expectorant in cough drops. Marrubin acid which is a derivative of marrubiin, stimulates bile ...
    Posted Nov 12, 2014, 2:00 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Garlic When garlic is used in small amounts it can be the most versatile spice of all. There are so many dishes to use garlic in. For salads, rub the bowl with a fresh clove of garlic before adding in your salad. This lends a savory flavor and scent. Use it in a pot roast by tucking cloves into the roast, create a sauce, gravy, soup, or stew with a clove. Crush the garlic and add to vinegar to make a vinegar infused with garlic (also garlic and dill go together so nice!).According to The Herbal Medicine Handbook, Garlic (Allium sativum) is also known as clove garlic, poor mans treacle, rustic treacle, and stinking rose. It comes in many forms ...
    Posted Nov 12, 2014, 2:02 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Fennel aka foeniculum vulgare is a perennial that grows 60 inches and has yellow flower tops. Plant 18 inches apart by seed. Grows best in full sun, good soil, and the seeds can be sown in clumps to allow the plants to lean against each other.  Mix the fennel into potato salad, macaroni, and Cole slaw as well. I love to use fennel bulb in cooking most soups, as well as blended fennel pesto. Fennel stems are used like celery, the seeds and leaves offer a licorice tang to sauces and soups. Add the seeds to bread and tea as well.The fennel is a part of the Umbelliferae family along with dill, carrot, celery, and parsley. According to the Herbal ...
    Posted Nov 16, 2014, 9:40 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Dill Carries a pungent aromatic scent that smells the way it tastes, similar to very mild parsley. CookingSprinkle  chopped dill on potato salad or any roasted vegetable. Use the fronds (leaves) and stems chopped fine with garlic for garlic bread. Use dill also in salad dressings, rubs, stews, soups or noodle dishes. The seeds are commonly used in pickling and in making herb vinegar. PlantingDills is aka anethum graveolens is an annual that grows 36 inches tall with yellow flowers and can be planted together in clumps to hold each other up. The seeds are used as seasoning in the best vinegars, as well as pickling. The seeds can also be used as flavor to soups, sauces, cakes, and ...
    Posted Nov 12, 2014, 2:03 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Chives The sweet taste of mild onions with zest is the flavor of the chive. All foods where onion is indicated can be done with chives. The best chive uses include salads, baked potato, cream cheese, appetizers, and garnish. Allium shoenoprasum is a perennial 18 inch tall plant with lavender flowers. Each plant should be planted about 6 inches away from one another. The seeds are the best way to plant this herb. Plant in full sun, rich soil. sow thickly to make clumps of plants.  Dress with compost or manure since they like very fertile soil.  Divide the clumps every year to prevent overcrowding. This is best dried in low heat over a day in the dehydrator or oven. Chives ...
    Posted Nov 12, 2014, 2:03 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Caraway The fresh leaves have a spicy taste, and add a spice to salads. The vegetables, soups, and especially mashed potatoes go so well with caraway. The roots can be boiled ans served as a root vegetable. They resemble parsnips, and you can add fresh chopped leaves to the cream cheese as an appetizer. Caraway leaves and seeds are also used as that Christmas cookie flavoring in cookies and cakes on the holidays. Aka Carum carvi which is biennial 24 inch tall to 36 inch tall plant with white flowers. Best to plant 6 inches apart. Plant by seed, or allow to self-sow the following year. Plant in full sun, in medium soil. The seeds also go great in baked ...
    Posted Nov 12, 2014, 2:04 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Huckleberry Huckleberries aka Gaylussacia, are very much like the blueberry. In fact, when conditions are perfect, they can grow to the size of small blueberries. Huckleberry bushes are of two types naturally - ornamental evergreen shrubs, and fruit bearing. The fruit is not as sweet as the blueberry, but as a seasonal wild edible it is a tasty treat. They are very similar in taste and smell to blueberries when fully ripe. They are slightly more sour and tart. Types:There is the black huckleberry rich in antioxidants known as Gaylussacia baccata which is growing all throughout the United states. You can tell this variety by the leaves, and height of 3 feet max. They like to grow in old stumps. The ...
    Posted Nov 12, 2014, 2:05 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Celery - A powerful food Celery offers a salty zing to dishes. Try adding it to cheese dishes, with seafood, meat or sliced thin in a salad. The wild celery can be used in soups, or as a garnish and the celery ribs are nice when stuffed with peanut butter or cream cheese. Celery root is also a tasty addition to soups. The root has a more mild flavor. The celery seeds can also be used to flavor soup, stew, and noodle dishes. NamesCelery is also known as Apium graveolens, celery fruit, celery herb, celery root, celery seed oil, and garden celery. Forms: Celery also comes in supplement form as capsules containing 450 mg of seed extract. Nutrients: Celery is high in minerals including ...
    Posted Dec 8, 2014, 4:28 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Chamomile The fresh or dried flower heads make the perfect bed time tea. The flavor is so traditional it has been used in European countries in place of other teas or even in place of coffee. NamesChamomile, aka chamaemelum nobile, cammomile, Roman chamomile, Chamomilla, German chamomile, ground apple, pin heads, whig plant, and wild chamomile. This plant can be found growing in yards or bought in nurseries as a ready to use plant. FormsIt also comes in capsules, and dried bulk herb. The flowers of Matricaria recutita variety and Chamaemelum nobile variety are used medicinally either in herbal teas, topical creams, and extracts. PreparationsThe extract is done in a ratio of 1:1 and may contain anywhere from ...
    Posted Nov 14, 2014, 3:53 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Borage Is subtle, and it is a similar spice to parsley in salad, or as a garnish. It has a peppery flavor to add to cooked vegetables, and the leaves can be candied for baking or decorative use on cookies and cakes. Uses in CookingThe fresh sprigs when added to iced tea and fruit drinks add a mild peppery lavender flavor that's hard to pinpoint but slightly noticeable and it adds depth to the flavor of those drinks. Borage adds a cucumber flavor to salads and drinks. The blossoms are used as garnish for drinks. (NHM 2006, Org Encyclopedia 1941).GardeningBee Borage; Aka Borago officinalis is an annual plant standing 36 inches high with white to blue flowers ...
    Posted Jun 18, 2015, 5:46 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Bee Balm, Bergmont The fragrant leaves are perfect in a cup of iced tea, place them in simple sugar sauce to allow the aromatics to leach into the sauce to pour over fruit salad, or into a salad dressing, also bergmot is a perfect addition in many fine teas including English breakfast tea. Use in CookingThe dried leaves add a savory secret to the roasted vegetables, soups, or meats as a seasoning. The flavor can be described similar to a lemon-like flavor. Use as a flavor enhancement to drinksTry adding the fresh leaves to wine, punch, lemonade or fruit drinks and let your guests amaze at the delicious drinks you create with Bergmot. (NHM 2006, Org Encyclopedia 1941). Get personal ...
    Posted Nov 14, 2014, 12:21 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Bay Laurel, California Bay Tree, daphne, Grecian laurel, Indian bay, Laurel, noble laurel, Roman laurel, sweet bay, true laurel Bay leaf is a wonderful aromatic herb found along the coast of California growing wild along the trails and valleys. It has for centuries been used in cooking soups, salad dressing flavoring, sauces, and cooked vegetables. It is one of hte most versatile and widely used herbs in cooking. Bay Laurel is also known as Laurus nobilis, bay laurel, bay leaf, bay tree, daphne, Grecian laurel, Indian bay, Laurel, noble laurel, Roman laurel, sweet bay, true laurel. Medicinal ValueThe forms available you may find for medicinal use include the highly oil containing berries, the volatile extract, the leaves, oil, ointments made from the plant parts, and soaps made from the tree. Bay contains 1,8-cineol which is or ...
    Posted Nov 14, 2014, 12:20 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Basil Comes in several varieties, all clove-like, and aromatic which adds a peppery sweet taste and zest to almost any food. The basil goes so well with tomatoes we have our common dish of bruchetta that has been served for over a century. Use basil with fish, game, chicken, salads, sauces, soups, stews, noodle dishes, and any cooked vegetable. This is currently one of the most commonly used herb. Basil has several names such as Ocimum basilicum, O. sanctum, common basil, holy basil, purple basil, St Josephwort, sweet basil, Thai basil, purple basil, chocolate basil, and more. The medicinal forms can be found in the market sold as capsules, oil, spice, tablets, and teas. Medicinal UseThe medicinal components of ...
    Posted Nov 14, 2014, 12:17 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Anise aka pimpinella anisum, aniseed, anise oil, semen anisi, sweet cumin UsesThe licorice flavored seed and fronds of the plant are so delicious. Use these in salad, or add to cooked vegetables to spice it up. It is best when used to flavor the butter sauce on seafood as a secret ingredient or booster food. Anise is also known as pimpinella anisum, aniseed, anise oil, semen anisi, sweet cumin and it comes in forms for medicinal use at the store such as dried, essential oils, and tea. Medicinal ValueThe medicinal action of anise is found in the anise oil which is derived from the seeds. The oil contains trans-anethole which is the aromatic compound that you can taste, and smell from the seeds. Anise is very interesting as ...
    Posted Nov 14, 2014, 12:13 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Angelica, levisticum officianale Angelica, a beautiful aromatic herb used in candy and dishes in baking including bonbons, but nobody talks about angelica. The fresh leaves can be picked and tossed in with salad, fruit salad and jams or jellies to contribute that secret ingredient mystery to the dish. Angelica is commonly known as lovage, aetheroleum levistici, angelica levisticum, hipposelinum levisticum, levisticum levisticum, L. officinale, L. radix, lavose, maggi plant, sea parsley, smallage, smellage. By trade to be used medicinally it is sold under names including: Aspen-mega Max, Dexatrim, Natural No Caffeine Formula, Vine Essence. It is also sold as tea. The medicinal parts of hte plant include seeds and roots of L. officinale and L. radix. The compounds that are medicinally active ...
    Posted Nov 14, 2014, 12:08 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Ashwagandha Ashwagandha is a root of the winter berry. The berries other names include poison berry. The ashwagandha powder is found in bulk herb supplier markets and by direct mail order. The root is used as an anti-inflammatory and immune supporting supplement. Small amounts can be incorporated into your green smoothie powder you already prefer to use to give it an immune boosting and anti-tumor type of property. Take up to 1 teaspoonful per day for 2 weeks and journal your starting pain levels, and ending pain levels to see the difference it can make with you. As with all supplements, if you develop allergies; stop use and report to your doctor. If allergies are severe, call 911. These ...
    Posted Nov 14, 2014, 12:06 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Aloe Aloe vera, a perrennial succulent with large leaves and tubular red or yellow flowers. They make decorative plants as well as offering some healing lore. They often stay healthy and well in a pot for years. They may flower repeatedly. Potting mixture for Aloe includes three parts sandy loam, one part broken brick at the base for high drainage, and some added crushed limestone or dolomite for pH. Compost or decomposed vegetable scraps are best for fertilizer just twice a year. Pot the plant and press in firmly to be sure the water can evenly penetrate the soil. Gently water for the first watering. Then water very little except when the plant has its growth spurts in the spring. Aloe ...
    Posted Nov 14, 2014, 12:03 PM by Ivy Hunter
  • Thyme ThymeGet articles like this plus my 5 week introductory class totally free:http://eepurl.com/1Rukn Thymus serpyllum or T. Vulgaris Also known as garden thyme, french thyme, common thyme, and thymi herba. Medicinal trade names include Can destroy, Dentarome plus toothpaste, Fenu-Thyme, Thyme leaf & flower, thyme leaf, thyme liquid and Ultimate Respiratory cleanse. Medicinal parts of the plant are the above-ground parts of either of the types of thyme. The above-ground parts contain thymol, flavonoids, and carvacrol, which as an expectorant, antispasmodic, and antitussive effect. Thymol and carvacrol also have antibacterial and anti-fungal effects. Rosmarinic acid may have anti-edema and macrophage-inhibiting effects. This herb may also act as a menstrual stimulant. The ...
    Posted Nov 16, 2014, 9:29 PM by Ivy Hunter
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Thimble Berries

posted Apr 21, 2015, 6:39 PM by Ivy Hunter   [ updated Jun 18, 2015, 5:42 PM ]

Thimble Berries are native to shady, cool, moist wooded areas. They are native to the west coast, and have five lobed furry leaves. They grow as single

Thimble Berries

shoots, in large clusters which can appear a strong thriving shrub.
Thimble berries fall back hard from a pruning, and take about 2 years to fully re-grow.

With thimble berries it's best to allow them to grow and expand, then they will continue to provide you with berries each year.

Clusters of berries are often found similar to the blackberry. Thimble berries are also a relative of the rose, but don't bear thorns. The berries are individual small red balls, each with a seed, and when ripe, they will fall separately from the flower to seed the ground. They are not a fruit that can be bought and sold in stores.

The berries have a shelf life of about 24 hours from the time it is picked if kept in open air conditions, and they will fall apart into small round berry lobes.

These are beautiful plants we get a chance to identify on our walks, and you can watch for them in your neck of the woods too.




















Mint:

posted Oct 30, 2014, 11:57 PM by Ivy Hunter   [ updated Mar 28, 2015, 1:20 AM ]

There are too many varieties to list individually but this one we focus on will be the apple mint, or julep variety.

This is the most common varieties of mint pictured.

Preparation:
  • Crush the leaves in sugar and add to drinks, herb the water, or make a mint tea.
  • Create hot sun tea with mint leaves and pour over it for a fragrant cool summer drink.
  • Place mint leaves and sugar onto a pan and heat, strain and reserve the simple syrup for putting on fruit or ice cream.
  • It can also be used to flavor just about anything from candy to food.
  • Mint jelly and mint syrup are two things you would like to have in the refrigerator as you may enjoy them often.

Planting & Growing:
  • Mentha viridis is a perennial plant that grows 12 inches tall and has purple flowers.
  • The plant will spread on its own so contain it to an area to prevent massive takeover of your garden.
  • Part shade, moist soil, this plant does best at a pH of 5.2 to 6.7.
  • Avoid using manure which cause a fungal disease of this plant.
  • In the late fall, cut the mint to the ground, and mulch with vegetable compost to encourage the best growth the following spring.

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Marjoram:

posted Oct 30, 2014, 11:54 PM by Ivy Hunter   [ updated Nov 9, 2014, 11:28 PM ]

Marjorana hortensis is a perennial that grows 12 inches tall with white flowers.


Growing:
  • Treat this plant as an annual with composting. Plant 6 inches apart and use seed as propagation.
  • Plant in a place with full sun and dry soil.

Cooking & Use:
  • Use marjoram in stews, roasts, salads, and stuffings. Book with beans, peas, and carrots.




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Marigold

posted Oct 30, 2014, 11:50 PM by Ivy Hunter   [ updated Nov 12, 2014, 12:50 PM ]

Calendula is our original marigold.

  • The calendula leaves have a sweet mild spice taste, and the petals have a beautiful golden color that can be used as food coloring.

  • Toss fresh petals into salad or add as a garnish to soups.

  • The flavor can be added to vanilla pudding to increase depth of flavor. The petals can also be tossed into any soup or alcohol.

  • Try adding calendula flower petals to rice for a yellow color and saffron flavor.

Planting:
  • Soak the seeds for 24 hours before planting. The seed husks are very thick and this aids in sprouting the seeds.
  • Choose a loam type soil, with good drainage, and don't worry about adding any fertilizers or mulch with these. The sprouts are delicate and would only need you to keep the weeds down around it while it grows to full height of about 24 inches and below. 
  • Harvest the petals the day the flower opens, and the best time would be in the morning before the sun reaches the petals.
  • Dehydrate the petals in a shaded dry area, or in a dehydrator at 100 degrees for a few hours
  • Infuse the petals in alcohol by filling a bottle or container with the fresh petals, and pouring alcohol over to cover. Keep for 2 weeks in a room temperature area before straining.
  • Add these to soups
  • The serving size for calendula leaves is 1 teaspoonful of whole dried leaves


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Lemon Balm

posted Oct 30, 2014, 11:31 PM by Ivy Hunter   [ updated Jul 23, 2015, 4:29 PM ]

Aka Melissa officinalis, balm mint, bee balm, sweet balm,

This plant is a perennial 24 inch tall plant that flowers white cone flower heads.


  • Plant 18 inches apart as it self sows by seed as well as divisions of the plant. Plant in part shade, moist soil.

This can be added to many foods including salads, and mint beverages. It can be used in tea by steeping the dried leaves in a cup of water for 15 minutes.

According to The Herb Book by John Lust this herb is an antispasmodic, calming, sweat inducer, and stomach soother. It is also stated as a remedy for female complaints, and insomnia. The warm infusion has the ability to make a person sweat.

Use this herb in pillows to sleep beside - The dry herb can be soothing and aide in sleep.

Make a tea by steeping a few leaves with hot water for 10 - 15 minutes. Strain & sweeten. Combine with other lemony herbs such as lemon thyme for a more complex lemon flavor.

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Photo by Ivy Rose Hunter


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Leek

posted Oct 30, 2014, 11:14 PM by Ivy Hunter   [ updated Nov 12, 2014, 1:57 PM ]

One of the allium family it is a detoxifying (against environmental pollutants) super-food and it has a mild onion flavor.

The leek is perfect for flavoring any food where onion taste is wanted. Use it cooked, slice it thin, eat the whole plant after saute or boiling till tender, or blend it for a creamed effect.

The soup vichyssoise was made using blended leek. Put the leek slices into almost any dish and enjoy.

Similar yet more mild supporting medicinal value as garlic.


Get personal holistic nutrition consulting from the comfort of your home or office. Call or contact us at http://Hunter-Nutrition.com
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Lavender

posted Oct 9, 2014, 2:32 PM by Ivy Hunter   [ updated Apr 21, 2015, 3:23 PM ]

A beautiful fragrance that can penetrate the dream world on its own. Use the fresh stalks to flavor wine, drinks, jelly, gelatin, coffee, candies, and custards. The dried flowers make perfect pillows or potpourri to scent the house and drawers. Use a small pillow of lavender flowers to toss into the dryer in place of fabric softening sheets for a soft effect and soothing fragrance.

According to the Herbal Medicine Handbook 2006 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Lavender is known as Lavandula angustifolia, L. dentata, L. latifolia, L. officinalis, L. pubescens, L. spica, L. stoeches, L. vera, aspic, English lavender, French lavender, garden lavender, lavandin, spike lavender, and true lavender.

It is important to point out that not all types of lavender can be eaten. Some produce a relaxing effect while others produce a muscle contraction or spasmodic effect. Lavender use has been used for centuries, but only a few types are used medicinally.

Medicinal Use
The oil of lavender in a concentration of 1% to 5% contains over 100 monoterpene components - up to 30% to 40% linalyl acetate, and linalool, and less than 1% camphor. It contains several coumarins, ursolic acid, flavonoids, and tannins.
Antiseptic: The monoterpenes cause an antiseptic action in the oil.
Blood pressure reduction - The cineole and linalool in the plant are responsible for this by depressing or sedating the central nervous system.
Sedation: oral, topical use, and aromatic inhaled use has been reported to have a sedative action (from specific variety).
It has also been used as an antidepressant, calming, and sedation. The flowers can be used as a tea to calm the stomach, and used on the skin for minor rash, burn, cuts, and abrasion. Add the oil to warm baths as a relaxation aid.

Infused bath salt:
Make fresh before the bath;
Use 10 drops of lavender oil
2 flowering tops - remove stem
1 cup Epsom salt or sea salt in rock form
Add to blender or food processor using the S-blade, and blend well.
For a foaming bath salt add 2 teaspoons of baking soda
For a bubbly bath salt, add 1/2 cup of your body wash to the mix
Prepare the bath, add the cup of lavender infused bath salts, and enjoy the soothing aroma of the lavender


Types used & cautions: Lavender officinalis can be used in regular doses and is rarely toxic. When used on the skin it hardly ever causes a sensitive reaction. This type is the only medicinally used type for ingestion of any kind. The other types including spike lavender can have as much as 15% of camphor compounds which make it unsuitable for consumption or inhalation doses - and contribute to the toxic effects discussed earlier. The reactions can include confusion, low blood pressure, constipation, skin rash, respiratory depression, excess sleep, and increased appetite.

Lavender infused coffee:
1 teaspoon lavender flours
3 tablespoons coffee grinds

Combine the lavender & coffee & use as regular coffee grinds. Don't combine until you are ready to use it.



Keep dried lavender flours in a dark, air tight container.


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Hyssop

posted Oct 9, 2014, 2:11 PM by Ivy Hunter   [ updated Nov 12, 2014, 1:59 PM ]

A pretty peppermint aromatic herb with a slightly bitter flavor. Use the fresh leaves minced when cooking. The crushed leaves are great to add to vegetable juice and cranberry juice. About 5 leaves make a secret ingredient addition to fruit pies. Hyssop is also tossed into salad and the flowers can be added to salad for beauty. aka hyssopus offioinalis is a perennial that grows 12 - 18 inches and has beautiful blue, pink or white flowers depending on the variety. Plant 10 inches apart in full sun, and limey soil. This flavor is very strong. A few leaves can give the flavor to green salads, and soups, the dried flowers can also be used in soups. The leaves, shoots and tops are used for tea.

Plant name Hyssopus officinalis, also known as the Hyssop herb comes as capsules, dried herb, and extract.

The parts of the plant that are used include the above=ground parts such as the flowers, and leaves of the plants. The oil is used in flavorings and xtracts are made from the leaves and flowers for culinary use.

Medicinal uses: Hyssop has been used to stimulate the release of congestion - an expectorant. This is because it contains marrubiin - a glycoside component of hte leaves and flowering parts. Hyssop also has shown antiviral effects which are thought to come from the components of caffeic acid, tannins, and other components in the plant. It is used medicinally where viral infection and viral replication is a problem. It is also used to sooth an upset stomach, indigestion, colds, fevers, respiratory and chest ailments such as sore throat, asthma, and distention. It can also be applied topically as a compress to soothe skin irritations, burns, bruises, and improve circulation in fingers and toes.

Preparing the herb:
Most preperations such as capsules, and extracts come with directions on the daily requirements of those concentrations. Typically no more than 1350 mg daily for an adult is used in capsule form no more than 2 weeks at a time, or three times per yer for 2 weeks at a time.

As a tea:
Steep 1 - 2 teaspoonfuls of dried hyssop flowering tops in 5 ounces of boiling water. Gargle or drink three times daily.

As with all herbs and medications, if you have any allergic response, stop using it. Don't take if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant. It has the potential to cause seizures as it is stored in the nerves, it can also become toxic if taken for excess time or excess amounts.



Horseradish

posted Oct 9, 2014, 1:51 PM by Ivy Hunter   [ updated Nov 12, 2014, 2:00 PM ]

Fresh ground horseradish root is a peppery herb a very hot herb that is a perfect condiment as horseradish is prepared properly. It is a necessary addition to cocktail sauce including cream sauces that are used on seafood and vegetables or in salad dressings. Use sparingly.

According to The Encyclopedia of  Healing Foods Horseradish is known as Armoracia rusticana and Armoracia lapathifolia. It is a large tapered root with thin light brown skin, white flesh, and spikey green leaves. It is a member of the cabbage family - related to mustard, radish, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

Uses: Use the leaves in a salad, and make a paste from the root. Since it has a bunch of components in the root that are similar to mustard, do not use if you are allergic to mustard. The chemicals that make horseradish paste so hot and pungent are stored separately in the root, and when blended to a paste they activate and create the hot horseradish relish we know and love as a condiment. Use horseradish on meat and seafood. Horseradish ale was used in old times by creating a mixture of horseradish, womwood, and tansy as a tonic to revive weary travelers at coach stations. When blending, do it in a well ventilated area - it is very pungent.

Medicinal Uses: The pungent allylisothiocyanate (chemical in horseradish that makes it pungent) has been researched and shows it is protective against Listeria, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and other food pathogens. Horseradish also stimulates the release of bile from the gallbladder, and bile helps to digest the dietary fats and oils while secreting cholesterol and toxins from the body. When taken with fiber, to prevent resorption of bile, it can be useful in the safe removal of those toxins stored in bile.

Planting & Storage: Plant in early winter, and spring time. The peak seasons are just after the fall harvest, and just before the spring tilling of soils. Horseradish and garlic can be great winter crops in the garden as they require the same loose type of soil for best expansion. Fresh roots will keep without wilting for up to 1 week. Prepare it as a paste and keep it in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to six weeks. Prepare it by blending with vinegar and it may last even longer.

History: Horseradish is an ancient herb used in Europe, and historically used in Egyptian times of 1500 BCE as one of the 5 bitter herbs: horehound, lettuce, and nettle included. In early Greek times, Pliny called horseradish amoracia, and the Delphic Oracle tells Apollo that it is worth its weight in gold.

Horseradish paste:
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 cup loosely packed grated horseradish
Place in a blender and blend. Vinegar will create a less volatile paste. To dilute to a condiment, blend with 1 cup of applesauce, or 1/2 cup of mayonnaise.

Cranberry Horseradish Thanksgiving sauce:
From The Encyclopedia Of Healing Foods
3/4 cup water - bring to a boil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
(stir those two ingredients until dissolved)
10 ounces of cranberries & bring to a boil again - allow to simmer for 10 minutes
Remove from heat and add:
2 tablespoons freshly grated loosely packed horseradish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Do not consume large amounts of horseradish if you are prone to gallbladder stones. This will stimulate the excretion of bile (and stones may follow & lodge in the ducts creating an obstruction or emergency).
Mustard oil components including that from horseradish should be avoided by pregnant women. People with kidney disease shouldn't take this herb because it does have a diuretic effect. People with ulcers should avoid  hot pungent herbs, and it should not be given to children under age 4. Use with caution if you are taking NSAIDS such as Motrin, Ibuprophen, tylenol, toramadol, anticoagulants, or if you have a thyroid condition. Test for allergies by applying the blended paste direct to a small area of skin. Blood testing for allergies is recommended, and an allergy to horseradish would show up as an allergy to mustard as well. Eliminating mustard components would include the elimination of horseradish from the diet.

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Horehound

posted Oct 9, 2014, 1:20 PM by Ivy Hunter   [ updated Nov 12, 2014, 2:00 PM ]

A delight, aromatic herb that is perfect for herb tea and flavoring honey. The crushed leaves and juice go into making hard candy that is throat soothing. Drink tea when the throat is sore from too much talking.

According to the Herbal Medicine  Handbook 2006, Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) is also known as common horehound, hoarhound, houndsbane, marrubium, white horehound, and is sold as an herb, tea, liquid extract, cough lozenges, powdered herb, and syrup.

Medicinal Uses
The active component of the plant comes from the leaves and flowers and is known as marrubiin. This compound stimulates secretions in the lungs - which explains its use as an expectorant in cough drops. Marrubin acid which is a derivative of marrubiin, stimulates bile secretion. When taken with fiber such as pectin that binds to bile for excretion it is a supportive agent in the removal of some toxins commonly stored in the bile. The tea of horehound may oppose the effect of serotonin - our happiness hormone. Horehound is mainly used over short durations of 3 days or so to soothe a sore throat.

Cough suppressant:
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
2 ml horehound extract (alcohol extract)

Tea:
1 - 2 grams of hte fresh herb
8 ounces of boiling water
Pour the boiling water over the herb, and allow to steep for 10 minutes or less. Strain and serve as tea up to 2 times daily for cough.

Cautions
This herb as with all herbs should not be used if you are allergic to it. It may have side effects such as reduction of blood sugar levels, rash on contact, diarrhea, and heart irregularities which can be fatal. Start with a low or small amount to determine if you have any allergic response before using in the above recipes. Do not use more than 1 recipe per day. Do not take while pregnant or taking cardiovascular medications (heart pills).


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