Ask a herbalist; Part 1

Hey everyone, welcome back to my blog. I had to take a break because I have been overworking and finally realized that I need to get back into writing for you all. Finding my balance has been challenging, but I have been planning, organizing, and am happy to be back. Today I am going to be answering a few questions about one of my favorite topics, HERBS! 

Before we start, please remember. We are not responsible or liable for any allergy reactions. You are the sole authority over your own body. These statements are not medical advice and are not regulated or approved by the FDA or any other certifying agency. These recipes are not meant to cure a disease or act in any medical capacity. Always consult with your doctor if you have any concerns before changing your diet. I am just a Humble herbalist and juicer trying to help heal the world. Now let’s jump into it. 

  • What herbs should you have on hand always? These are herbs to always have, in my opinion, that are always in my kitchen. 

Lavender

Lavender is one of the most recognizable medicinal herbs. It has a huge array of uses, from insomnia, stress, and depression to its antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, analgesic, and expectorant properties. Not to mention, it smells fantastic and looks beautiful in the garden. I personally have two plants, and I sleep with fresh lavender under my pillow. 

Oregano

A powerful antibiotic, oregano, is much more than a culinary herb! It is also anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties.

Garlic

 Garlic isn’t just tasty – it is medicinal as well. Garlic is my first defense in building immune systems and fighting colds – I used it in my simple cough syrup (coming soon). Studies show that garlic can help regulate blood sugar, lower high blood pressure, and battle cancers.

Peppermint

Peppermint is my favorite herb. I have 7 plants; it is relatively easy to grow. In fact, you’ll have to be careful it doesn’t take over. Medicinally peppermint can be used to soothe an upset stomach or help with digestion. It has both antimicrobial and antioxidant qualities that can help with immunity and cold-fighting. Used in teas, peppermint can help respiratory issues like congestion, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Peppermint oil can be used for headaches and cramps.

Rosemary

Not only does rosemary offer a wonderful flavor when you cook with it, but it has healing properties as well. Infused into the oil can be beneficial to those who suffer arthritis and skin conditions like eczema. It is also said to promote healthy circulation.

Basil

One of my favorite herbs to grow and use! Basil is both a fabulous culinary and healing herb! Basil has long been used to help the nervous system, aid in digestion, and easing gas, colic, cramps, and indigestion.

Other herbs to keep on hand always is Anise ( Can aid in digestion and anti-flatulence). Thyme ( The infused oil can be used for acne, skin problems, and yeast infections. Elderberry (Boosting the immune system, helps lower cholesterol). Calendula ( Salves help with inflammation, muscle spasms, and healing of wounds. 

  • Are fresh herbs better? How do you store them and keep them fresh? 

In my opinion, no. I do love fresh herbs because they smell the unique, wonderful aroma, etc. But dried herbs will last longer and are easier to store. To keep fresh herbs fresh, you can do this with any herbs, by the way.

I store my herbs the most by hang-drying them, then keeping them in airtight mason jars. Always be sure to sterilize your jars and make sure 100% dry before using them. For the air-dry method, tie small bunches together ( 4 or 5) and then hang them upside down in a dark, well-ventilated area. Drying time will take 2 to 4 weeks. Your leaves should be crispy and easy to crumble. 

You can also dry them in the oven at 170 to 180 F for about 2-4 hours, depending on your oven range. To let the moisture escape, you can leave the door open. 

If you still own an ice tray, you can chop the herbs and sprinkle into ice cube trays (measure each cube the most common amount you use in cooking, for example, 1 tsp). Cover with water and freeze (can also cover with stock or olive oil). Pop them out once they’re frozen and then re-pack in bags (remove as much air as possible from the bags first). When needed for cooking, just take out a cube and toss it in the dish that’s cooking (thawing first is optional-remember to account for the extra liquid in your recipe).  

You can also freeze the herb whole or chopped. Wash and dry the herbs, then store in bags with as much air removed (you can also lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet then pack in bags when frozen). 

Last but not least, you can create a green salt herb seasoning and store in the freezer. This recipe is suitable for soups, stews, rice, beans, meats, etc. It can easily replace onions or garlic in any recipe, and you only need a little.

Recipe:

  • 2 green peppers
  • 3 large onions
  • 6 whole heads of garlic
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 1 bunch of fresh bay leaves 
  • about 1 -2 pounds of kosher salt

Remove seeds from green pepper and the white membrane. 

Peel onions and garlic.

Place everything in the food processor, but salt mix together. It’ll take time to blend together. Once blended, mix the salt in with spatula well. 

This post is a bit longer than expected (whoops) lol, so I will be breaking this up into different parts. Check back tomorrow for more tips and questions. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: