medicinal herb tagged posts

Echinacea

Echinacea_purpurea

With one snowfall after another this winter in Toronto and other parts of the world it seems that many people are suffering from the flu bug going around.  This sea urchin look-a-like is one of my favourite herbs to combat the symptoms.  Traditionally it is used for wounds, burns, inflammations of the gums, toothache and sore throats, colds, coughs, mumps, measles, gonorrhoea, sinus infections, bladder infections and other illnesses.  Also, it is believed to treat snake and insect bites.  Regardless, it is a great immune system booster, wards off infections and can be taken as a laxative.  Historically, it was used by Native American Indian tribes.  All of its 9 species are native to eastern and central America.  It comes in the form of a tincture or a capsule but I prefer it as a tea with lemon and honey.  Here’s a link at which you can read about how it was named and more interesting information about echinacea http://www.cloverleaffarmherbs.com/echinacea/#sthash.pMXhVASS.dpbs

Rather than taking the flu vaccination it may be a better idea to keep a nice stock of Echinacea on hand.  Here are the findings of one of the largest ever studies done on this healing herb. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2215442/Largest-study-echinacea-finds-herbal-remedy-protect-colds.html

echinacea-echinacea-purpurea

“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” -Genesis 1:29

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Dill (Anise)

While in Romania I was introduced to a very distinctly flavoured herb…. dill.  During this frigid Toronto winter I have missed this profound taste in piping hot soup which I used to drink back in Romania. I found some interesting information about this bold tasting herb.

9641dill_flowers

Dill originated in southern Russia, the Mediterranean, and Western Africa. It has been used as a medicinal herb for at least 5,000 years. The Ancient Egyptians used dill as a soothing medicine, and it was also used in aphrodisiacs and to ward off witches. The Greeks used dill as a symbol of wealth. The Romans believed that dill brought good fortune. The Romans also used dill leaves in the wreaths they made to recognize athletes and heroes. In ancient times soldiers would apply burnt dill seeds to wounds to help them heal.Dill is mentioned in the Bible (Matthew 23:23) as an herb that was tithed. This fact means that at that time dill was already being cultivated, because only plants that were actively cultivated were used in tithing. In translating the Bible into English, the word for dill was incorrectly translated as Anise and this has been perpetuated in many English versions of the Bible.

Some of its health benefits include using it as a digestive aid to calm upset stomach, reduce acid reflux, and prevent diarrhea.  It protects against free radicals and carcinogens. It’s used as an anti-bacterial.  Steeped in hot water it can be sipped on as tea to aid with insomnia.

It would be great to test out some new recipes using this wonderful herb. Here’s a link I found to a site that has some simple yet appetizing recipes which you may enjoy….

http://vegangela.com/tag/dill/

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