"Tea began as a medicine..."

"Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage." - Okakura KaKuzo, The Book of Tea 1906

Nettle [Urtica dioica] "weed" of treasure

Nettle, Stinging Nettle or urtica dioica is one of our most treasured "weeds" in our garden. It is a herbaceous, perennial plant that has a wide range of medicinal uses that has been used for thousands of years . The "sting" comes from the fine hairs on the plant which act as fine needles that release irritating chemicals such as serotonin, histamine and acetylcholine. Our skin reacts through symptoms of pain, redness, itching, swelling and numbness. Once nettle is cooked, soaked in hot water or dehydrated, the stinging quality is eradicated.

Nettle is super delicious and highly nutritious when cooked or used in a variety of recipes such as teas, pestos, soups, stews, stirfries or smoothies. It is also a common treatment in our herbal apothecary which we use medicinally to alleviate a variety of ailments. The most common uses are for urinary issues, allergies, hayfever and arthritis. It is also available in tablet or capsule form from most health food stores and pharmacies.

Nettle is a safe medicinal herb when used appropriately however as with any medicinal treatments precautions must be taken before use. If you are pregnant or diabetic, you should avoid taking stinging nettle.  If you are taking prescription medications, have a medical history or have further questions we recommend speaking to your healthcare provider to determine whether stinging nettle is right for you.

My Cup of Chi and the information shared within is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your Health Care Practitioner prior to making changes to your individual health and wellness program. Copyright 2017 Chi Medicinal Farm/ My Cup of Chi.

 

 

                                                                            Wild nettle in the garden @ Chi Medicinal Farm

                                                                           Wild nettle in the garden @ Chi Medicinal Farm

Lemon Balm : Melissa Officinalis

An ancient herb used in apothecaries all over the world, Lemon Balm or Melissa Officinalis derives from Melisso-phyllon which is a Greek term meaning "bee leaf". When in bloom you will find nature's little pollinators surrounding this plant with wild abandonment. Oh, For the love of bees!

Lemon Balm belongs to the mint family and is a fast growing perennial. It self sows easily and doesn't take much fuss. It may be harvested anytime however the flavour increases right before it begins to flower and if your snip the flowers back you will get another delicious crop.

Lemon Balm has a host of medicinal uses, some of the more common treatments include anxiety, depression, nervous disorders, heartache, upset stomach, as well as having key constituents that help combat viral and bacterial infections. It also has properties that may effect the thyroid gland therefore if you have an issue with your thyroid, you should seek Dr approval before indulging in this herb.

Lemon Balm is a tasty, lemon flavoured herb that may be used as a tisane or added to your cooking, salads, soups and more. You may find that if you add it to your bath it might help to dispell negativity and calm your spirit. 

xJo

My Cup of Chi and the information shared within is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your Health Care Practitioner prior to making changes to your individual health and wellness program. Copyright 2016 Chi Medicinal Farm/ My Cup of Chi.
 

Our Kitchen Garden

We have just finished building our greenhouse and preparing the garden beds surrounding it. We had a fair few herbs that were ready to transplant from pots but we also planted some direct from seed. I've compiled a short list of our favourite herbs that I think are a must to grow in any kitchen garden. Oh the beauty of nature and her medicinal cabinet... what an absolute gift.

  1. Aloe - Soothes sunburn, eczema, psoriasis and dry, itchy skin.
  2. Anise - Eases indigestion, bloating and belching. Also protects the stomach lining from the development of ulcers.
  3. Basil - Help digestion and improve appetite.
  4. Borage - Eases PMS symptoms, skin condtions such as atopic eczema and dermatitis.
  5. Coriander - Regulates gastric secretions and releases trapped wind. Has also shown to have antimicrobial and anti parasitic properties of the gastrointestinal tract.
  6. Dill - Helps relieve indigestion and flatulence. Also inhibits the growth of harmful intestinal bacteria.
  7. Echinacea - Helps prevent colds, influenza and repiratory infections by activating the immune system and enhancing a number of disease fighting responses.
  8. Feverfew - Predominately used for the prevention of migraines. Also effective in treating fever, period pain, asthma and other inflammatory disorders.
  9. Lavender - Well known for sedative and calming effects. External use can soothe insect bites, minor skin infections and minor burns.
  10. Lemon Balm - Often used to treat nausea, gastric upset, bloating and flatulence.
  11. Oregano - Beneficial in the treatment of minor urinary, intestinal and lung infections.
  12. Peppermint - Has digestive and antispasmodic properties. Relieves sluggish digestion, bloating, flatulence and inadequate bile secretion.
  13. Rosemary - Improves concentration and memory.
  14. Sage - Helps decrease perspiration and menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flushes and night sweats.
  15. Marjoram - Helps digestive issues such as nausea, bloating, intestinal cramping, flatulence and diarrhoea.
  16. Thyme - Demonstrated to have antiseptic properties, used in gargles and mouthwashes to help soothe sore throats, gum disease and tonsillitis.

Use herbs wisely. Most herbs are harmless when used in moderation however some less known herbs may have side effects and interact with conventional medicines. If you are new to herbs or not familiar with the medicinal qualities of herbs then you should seek advice from a Registered Herbalist or Health Care Practitioner for further advice.

 

My Cup of Chi and the information shared within is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your Health Care Practitioner prior to making changes to your individual health and wellness program. Copyright 2016 Chi Medicinal Farm/ My Cup of Chi.
 

 

 

Hyssop : Hyssopus Officinalis

A semi evergreen perennial that is a member of the mint family. Grows 60-90cm/2-3ft tall and is relatively behaved if you prune it back in Spring. This bushy shrub has woody stems, small, dark leafs and clusters of deep blue flowers that bloom from summer to late autumn. The aroma is clean, minty with a hint of turpentine which attracts bees in droves and repels the cabbage moth. Historically hyssop was used in sacred rituals, religious cleansing, in perfumery and commonly in culinary delights.

Infusions of hyssop are great for the treatment of cough, colds and upper respiratory infections. It will loosen phlegm, ease sore throats and soothe mucous membranes. Since hyssop is high in tannin, it is also an effective astringent. The tea or leaves can be added to a warm bath to provide soothing to the body that induces perspiration. The cooled tea may also be used as a splash on the face to relieve oily or acne prone skin.

Angelica : Angelica Archangelica

Angelica : Angelica Archangelica : Angelica Officinalis

Angelica is a biennnial or short lived perennial herb growing 1-2.5 m tall with large leaves and flat heads of greenish white flowers in spherical umbels on a tall flower stalk. Native to Northern Europe and Asia. Prefers a cool climate with a mild summer. Roots are used medicinally to treat respiratory, digestive and rheumatic ailments. The leaf and seed are used in culinary preparations such as confectionery and liqueurs.

                                                                                            Angelica  : Angelica Archangelica : Angelica Officinalis

                                                                                          Angelica : Angelica Archangelica : Angelica Officinalis

Wild Milk Thistle and Rose Petal Tea

                                                                                  Wild Milk Thistle and Rose Petal Tea

We were out harvesting the last of our summer crops before the Great Southerly Winter arrives. In amoungst our gardens we let the wild milk thistle grow. It is such a beautiful, strong plant and the medicinal properties are incredible. Yes it can get a bit unruly if you don't keep it in check but I would never refer to this valuable medicinal plant as a "weed", it has too many benefits. It is used for the treatment of many ailments, in particular of the liver and gall bladder however it is also known to improve digestion, lower cholesterol and help assist detoxification.

All parts of the milk thistle plant are edible except the spiky thorns. Great care must be taken to remove and/or strain the thorns prior to consumption. The leaves, stalks, flowers and seeds may be eaten raw, juiced, roasted, steamed, stir fried, etc which lend a unique, mellow, nutrient packed, green food. Yum!

At the back of our cafe we also have a few rose bushes that continue to bloom into the Autumn night. We use rose petals in jams, chutneys, syrups, cakes, salads, juices and of course tea. They are a powerhouse in balancing your Chi since they have a high Vitamin C content, are rich in polyphenols and a range of other antioxidants.

Now onto the Wild Milk Thistle and Rose Petal Tea...

  1. Wash, clean and de-thorn 2 cups of fresh wild milk thistle. Cut into large pieces.
  2. Rinse the rose petals.
  3. Take 3 cups of water and place in a aluminum free pot.
  4. Bring the water to the heat just before boiling point.
  5. Add the milk thistle and rose petals to the pot and steep for 5 mins.
  6. Strain through a fine sieve to ensure all thistles have been discarded.
  7. Sit back, relax and enjoy.

Jo

 

My Cup of Chi and the information shared within is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your Health Care Practitioner prior to making changes to your individual health and wellness program. Copyright 2016 Chi Medicinal Farm/ My Cup of Chi.

 

"Let food be thy medicine ..."