Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Peppermint is a most useful little herb. It grows in almost any dirt, in any lighting conditions,and is a excellent first aid treatment for burns.
Peppermint is one of the easiest plants to grow and a tiny cutting will have you a pot-full of peppermint in a short growing season. You just get a cutting ,stick in the dirt and keep dirt moist till it roots, once it roots and grows a bit,pinch off a piece and follow the original process of rooting again. In no time at all you will have a pot-full of peppermint.
I keep my live peppermint close to the kitchen. When I burn my hands or fingers I go pick a leaf or two, bruise the leaves it by rolling it around between my fingers then rub the leaves on my burn. When you combine peppermint with Aloe Vera you have the most wonderful soothing sunburn or any other kind of burn remedy one can have. Sometimes peppermint will cause a slight increase in the burning sensation for a few seconds but that momentary discomfort is well worth it, for after that it is blessed cool relief. Peppermint is primarily a cooling herb which makes it very useful in hot weather as a tea or on burns.
A small cup of Peppermint tea is a great stomach soother for many people who have indigestion or heartburn after a meal.
For those of you who do not have a green thumb or cannot keep a plant alive in winter do not worry, peppermint will come back every year if you plant it outside. If you are choosing to grow it in a pot, just put the pot of peppermint in the bathroom. It will be happy there as long as there is a little sunlight in the bathroom. If neither of these choices regarding outside or bathroom natural light is available to you then come winter pull your peppermint plant up roots and all, hang it upside down in your kitchen by a string and let it dry.Herbs are completely dry when the leaves crumble when you pinch them. How long it takes for herbs to dry depends on the humidity conditions of your house. Between two to four weeks is normally all it takes for any herb to dry. Once peppermint is dry you can cut off the roots and store it in a zip-lock baggy. Then if you get a kitchen burn you can take a few peppermint leaves add a bit of water and mush them up in a bowl with a spoon, wait a few minutes, apply peppermint juice to burn or mix the peppermint juice with Aloe then apply, either way it is a wonderful first aid for minor burns which brings wonderful relief.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Fresh Herbs Are Important !

The fresher a herb the better.
Like any other type of food you buy freshness is important.
Now for our purposes here the word "fresh" does not mean just picked and still green.
The word "fresh" means not old.
Herbs have a shelf life.
I have purchased herbs (before I learned better)that were old.
When herbs are "old" they have lost a lot of the essential oils and other things that are important for their intended use. One way to tell if you have "old herbs" is to smell them."Old" herbs have very little smell.Fresh dried herbs are very fragrant. When I dry the herbs I grow the house smells wonderful. When the herbs are completely dry and I place them in a zip lock baggie I can smell the herbs through the sealed bag.
When one is taking herbs for restoring the balance of the body or treating an ailment; you just will not get the results you are trying for with "old" herbs.
Since herbs cost money ,you do not want to waste your hard earned cash on second rate herbs that offer little, reduced or no health benefits.
If you are buying herbs in capsule form then open a capsule and smell .The herb in the capsule should have a smell that is distinct to the herb.
When ever you buy an herbal tea you should have a strong smell from the tea bags when you open the box or wrapping the teabags are in.
A simple example is fresh dried peppermint has a strong peppermint smell that you can clearly smell when you open the box. Chamomile also has a very strong wonderful smell.These two herbs are very fragrant when dried. Most herbs are. If you open a tea box and you get a very light smell from the box or baggie that herb is not that fresh. It has most likely been sitting on a shelf somewhere for a while.
If you are drinking that herb tea for health benefits and you have an "old " batch then you will not get the health benefits you are wanting.
So fresh is always better.If you need a herbal supplier for "fresh" herbal teas here is the one I use if I did not grow it myself.