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.
 

 

 

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.

 

Last of the Summer Harvest

This summer brought us a bumper crop and we have been preserving, drying, dehydrating, freezing as much as we can to relish this wonderful produce into the winter months. Today we were out in the wind and rain having a ball. We picked a few more buckets of tomatoes, more tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, pak choy, sun dried corn, beetroot, potatoes, milk thistle (tea anyone?), dandelion, lemon balm, arrowroot, and watermelon. What a feast! We are truly grateful.

xJo

PS If you look closely you might notice Sass making a cameo appearance.

 

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.

 

Don't have your own fresh organic tomatoes...then you can "Crowdsauce"

We are heading into Winter and our juicy, ripe tomatoes have done us proud.  From 20 precarious seedlings we have bucket loads of organic tomatoes and counting.  We planted a couple varieties again this year with the most prized being the San Marzano.

There is nothing like a fresh tomato passata made from organic ingredients. In fact my recipe is as simple as that...slow simmered tomatoes and a few pinches of Maldon salt. Bottled and preserved for later use. Perfecto!

These amazing little ruby or golden gems are packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals and provide a number of health benefits.  Of course as always try to buy organic, it really does make a difference to our bodies. 

Don't have your own organic tomatoes? How about joining CERES Fair Food in their efforts of"crowdsaucing"... They have nominated April 30 as "Crowdsaucing Day" and are encouraging people to organise public or private tomato bottling events on that day. The group has set up a website, crowdsaucing.org.au, where people can register to take part and purchase tomatoes. All proceeds go to the Ceres environment park. If you love organic gardening Ceres is another great place to visit.

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.

                                                                                       Chi Medicinal Farm Tomato Sauce

Creamy Coconut Milk

Creamy coconut milk. Yum.

Coconuts are nutrient dense and are very rich in fiber providing an array of health benefits and as an added bonus they are lactose free. They contain vitamins such as B1, B3, B5, B6, C and E, and minerals including iron, manganese, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, zinc and phosphorous. Although coconuts contain fat, it is mostly in the form of medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs) with one in particular called lauric acid. Lauric acid, once converted into monolaurin, provides antiviral and antibacterial properties that destroys a wide variety of disease causing organisms. It has also proven to positively affect the serum lipid profile in men and women. With that said, like anything, coconut should be eaten in moderation.  Due to the high levels of inulin fiber and moderately high levels of phytic acid those with Autoimmune Illness, particularly those with Coeliac, IBS or severe food intolerances, may experience side effects if eaten in excess. If you react to something, don't eat it. If you tolerate it, then enjoy every beautiful morsel.

Creamy Coconut Milk (Yields 3 cups)

2cups of shredded coconut (organic, if possible)
4cups of boiling water
2TB of maple syrup or honey
1/4 tsp sea salt

1.  Steep the shredded coconut in boiling water (5-10m).
2. Place the coconut and water into a good quality blender (I use a Vitamix) and blend on high speed for a few minutes.
3. Cool the mixture enough to handle.
4. Take a clean glass pitcher and place a cheesecloth over a sieve and place it on top. Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth/strainer. Strain the coconut liquid from the pulp.
5. May be used immediately, stored in an air tight container in the fridge for a few days or frozen for a few months. Shake or stir before use.
6. Enjoy in smoothies, dressings, baking, or whatever takes your fancy. Yum.

Oh and by the way, the leftover coconut pulp can be made it into a beautiful coconut flour.

xJo

Cuppa Lemon Water

It was a common practice for my Baba to drink a cup of lemon water on waking and then hot water with every meal.  She lived until 97 years of age.  She knew how good it was for her which she passed on to my mother and my mother passed on to me.

Simply take a half of a lemon and squeeze it into a mug/glass of water.  I don't bother straining it, that's up to you. I drink hot water with lemon in the morning and the rest of the day I will tend to drink it at room temperature.  Whatever takes your fancy. I like a strong lemony flavour, however please adjust it according to your palate.  

There are many reasons to drink a warm cuppa lemon water.  It hydrates the body, kick starts digestion, helps flush the liver, improves immunity through the assimilation of Vitamin C and Potassium and is a good replacement for caffeinated beverages. 

So a cuppa lemon water is a daily part of my routine and I notice the difference it makes to my body when I don't make it a priority ... my Baba was a wise, wise soul.

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.