Healthy by Nature… and a challenge

smoothie

Some of you have been asking what I think of multivitamins and some of the various supplements out there. I must admit that my opinion has changed somewhat over time.

You see the more I learn the less I use supplements. Oh I used to use them quite a lot.
As time goes on, and as I learn more about what herbs are capable of (yes even the herbalist keeps learning), I discover more ways to use them and not require as many of the expensive supplements. Supplements which are increasing in numbers and varieties so much that I cannot possibly keep up with them all… not if I still want to have time to help people.

Here are 3 ways to use herbs in your daily life to nourish your body so that you get more of what you need from your food, and are less dependent on fancy pills.

Herbal infusions
Using nourishing herbs like nettles, raspberry leaf, alfalfa, wild oats, is one way to get many of the nutrients you need at a fraction of the cost.

Here’s how:
1 ounce dried herbs (approximately ½ cup for most leafy herbs). Put these into a 1 litre canning jar, then fill with hot water and seal with the lid. Let this sit over night to extract as much out of the plant material as possible. In the morning strain the contents squeezing as much as possible out of the plant material. Drink all of this infusion that day. You can reheat it if you want, or drink it cold. You can also add honey to improve the taste (I prefer it with honey, ‘cause I’m still a bit of a picky eater). Drinking this each day makes a very nutritious addition to your diet. If you have a garden some of these plants may even be freely available.

If you are going to use several different plants (and I recommend that you do) use only one per day rather than mixing them together. Although mixing them isn’t particularly harmful, I want you to get the most out of each plant, and some phytochemicals (i.e. tannins) can inhibit the absorption of certain minerals (i.e. iron)

Use more herbs in your cooking.
We’re used to herbs in tomato sauce, and other dishes, but what about using herbs in the water that you cook your rice or pasta in? I’ve been know to put nettles and shepherd’s purse (both common “weeds”) into the water that I use to cook macaroni in. Yes I make homemade macaroni and cheese (real cheddar) once in a while, and my daughter surprised me when she informed me that she liked it better WITH the weeds than without.

Many dishes can benefit nutritionally from having extra nutritious herbs thrown in. Experiment and see what works for you and your family

Smoothies
These can be a wonderful way to get extra nutrients into your diet (and your kids), not just from herbs but from fruits and vegetables too. Invest in a good blender. The ones that you typically find in the stores don’t usually last long. We used to go through one about every two years, and they didn’t do a very good job of making smooth smoothies. Now we have one with a 2 horsepower motor, and even the little seeds from raspberries and blackberries disappear into smoothness.

You can sneak things like nettles, carrots, spinach, cucumbers, basil, or others into smoothies. I’ve put mixed berries, apples, and nettles into a smoothie and found it quite delicious. Here’s one with spinach:

1 banana
1 apple
1 mango
2 to 3 inches of English cucumber
1 orange
Handful of green grapes
Handful of spinach
Pineapple juice from one can of pineapple (fresh is best though).

This makes a delicious green smoothie.

The challenge
I challenge you to use the herbal infusions every day for one week, and see what difference it makes by the end of that week. Even if you only use nettles for that week. I think you’ll notice a difference for the better.

Let us know how it goes by posting in the comments below.

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