The Wonders of our Kitchen's Spice Rack
Over the years, while studying to become a master herbalist, I made some of the most wonderful discoveries as I steeped, ground and ingested various herbs and spices. One of the seven wonders in my herbal world proved to be my spice rack. I was not a very bold person when it came to using spices. I was your typical cook who used salt, pepper, garlic powder, allspice, dill weed, parsley, and paprika while she worked in the kitchen. Today, some of my recipes call for these and other spices as well. Come join me as I walk down memory lane and share some of my tried and true recipes with you.
Over time, I found that basil leaves could be of help with indigestion, fevers, colds, flu, kidney and bladder troubles, headaches, cramps, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and nervous conditions. I add one ounce of basil leaves to a pint of water and let it simmer for 20 minutes. I keep this infusion in a glass container in the refrigerator and pull it out whenever needed.
One of my favourites - Add 1 to 2 bay leaves to your next pot of soup and beans. The leaves will improve the flavor as well as help prevent gas and indigestion. Try it - you will be pleasantly surprised!
Have a bit of caraway seeds on hand? Add one ounce of crushed seeds to one pint of boiling water and steep for 20 minutes. I found that an infusion of caraway seeds helps in cases of indigestion, gas, colic, and nervous conditions. I drink 2 tablespoons of the infusion at frequent intervals until I experience relief.
That famous lyric, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme tickled my imagination one day. I did a little bit of reading, a lot of experimenting and came up with the following results.
We all know that cranberry can be of great help when it comes to urinary infections. If you have no cranberry on hand, fresh parsley can also be an excellent remedy for urinary infections. Add one ounce of fresh parsley to one pint of boiling water, steep for 20 minutes and drink throughout the day.
Have you been looking for a gargle to help with that sore throat or mouth ulceration? All it takes is a quarter of an ounce of sage added to a pint of boiling water, and steep for 20 minutes. It works wonders! Stressful day? I add garden sage to my chamomile tea. You will find that tension melts away, muscles ease up and you experience a general feeling of well-being.
Would you like an aspirin substitute in treating your headache? Add one half ounce of rosemary to 1 pint of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Drink 1/2 cup, three times daily. Use the next 1/2 cup as a rinse after shampoo - it can be very beneficial to your hair and scalp.
Last but not least, thyme. Are you experiencing a stubborn case of athlete's foot? Do you need help with skin parasites such as scabies, crabs and lice? Add four ounces of thyme to a pint of alcohol and use it as a cleansing wash. I wanted to get rid of a bad case of athlete's foot - I just sprinkled the thyme in between my toes and it worked wonders.