From the Herb Basket – 21

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Some tips for using dried herbs and ways to re-purpose apple peels and citrus rind…

Here’s a recipe that may help reduce arthritis inflammation.

Multi-Mint Antioxidant Tea

1/8 teaspoon each- dried sweet Italian basil, lemon balm, peppermint, spearmint and orange mint. Combine the herbs in a tea pot. Pour ten ounces of boiling water over the herbs. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. You can drink up to four cups each day. Add a fresh lemon slice and a little honey to sweeten. It will help with mild inflammation of the joints.

Now You know…Both the Mayans and Aztecs once used cocoa beans as a form of currency. In this instance, money actually did grow on trees.

Don’t know which is up when planting garlic cloves, plant the cloves pointy side up. Plant sideways if in doubt.

It’s been said among gardeners, in order for parsley to grow and flourish in the garden, it must go the devil three times and back- or foul language must be used thrice when planting the seeds.

Instead of reaching for a few Tums or Rolaids after dinner, try a cup of lemon basil tea to aid digestion and expel gas. Steep a teaspoon of the dried leaves in a cup of boiling water for about 5 minutes. Strain out the herb and drink while hot.

Fragrant Scented Waters…

Here is a wonderful idea for using citrus and apple peelings before adding them to the compost bin. Use a large crock pot for this recipe. Fill the crock pot 2/3 full with water. Add apple peelings, citrus rinds of orange grapefruit, tangerine and lemon. Toss in a few cinnamon sticks, 10 whole cloves, and a tablespoon of vanilla extract. Place the lid on the crock pot and simmer on low for 24 hours or longer. This will sweeten musty rooms when windows and doors cannot be opened during cold weather. Remove the peels and spices and add them to the compost bin or bucket. Pour the sweetly scented water into the kitchen sink to freshen the drain.

Fresh herbs are best for flavoring foods, but dried ones are best for most teas and tinctures. To dry herbs, hang them upside down in a warm, but shady area. Direct sunlight will fade the leaves as they dry, so you’ll want to avoid this. The ideal temperature for drying herbs is between 85 and 100 degrees. A small fan blowing away from the hanging herbs will increase air circulation.

A Tale from Greek Mythology…

Long ago and far away, two strangers walking through Asia Minor were snubbed by villagers, who offered them neither food nor drink. As evening came, Philemon and Baucis, an elderly couple, prepared an evening meal and invited the strangers inside their humble home. Before the food was served, they rubbed fresh mint leaves on the table to clean and freshen it. A meal of bread, cheese, goats milk and fresh figs was served to the strangers. They gave the strangers the larger portions of the bread and cheese, and urged the strangers to eat and drink their fill.  The old couple showed the strangers to their own bedroom and insisted they stay for the night. In the morning, when Philemon and Baucis awoke they could not believe their eyes ! Gone was the humble home, it had been replaced by a beautiful temple filled with gold and precious jewels.  The strangers turned out to be the gods Zeus and Hermes in disguise. They had richly rewarded the elderly couple for their hospitality. Mint throughout the ages has a become a symbol of prosperity. For many have entertained the gods unaware.

Blessed Be, sweet ones in this  Ostara  season.

~ Meadow Walker

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