Thanks so much to local herbologist, Josh Neideck, who came and shared his time and knowledge with us yesterday on using herbs! What a turnout! I think it was our biggest class (in numbers) yet. We just managed to squeeze everyone in and Josh managed to answer a lot of questions in between sharing his experience with us.
It has been suggested that we ask for more recipes people use for salves and other herb based remedies to post here for those who are interested.
One of the basic ways we have used a herb, is picking a leaf of plantain (English Ribwort) to stop bleeding of cuts. I've done this for a slice on my arm , and was really pleased my 10 year old son remembered this little aid when he was swimming at a dam with his mate and his mate got cut. They were nowhere near a house, so my son was able to pick some plantain and stop the bleeding before they headed back to the house. It's very effective!
Plantain is a weed at our place, this is what it looks like (above). Very distinct ribbed leaves. In our present state of drought (I know we're getting some rain, but it's still a bit dry here!), plantain is a little more sparse than in the photo.
One thing I learned last year, is that herbs are mineral and nutrient powerhouses. I was looking at the top sources of selenium (an essential mineral) and catnip was right up there after brazil nuts. Then looking further down the selenium list, were virtually all the herbs that help with lactation. Interesting.
So in an effort to get more herbs into our diet, we bought the above book, the Herbfarm Cookbook. It's from the 90's I think, but full of French inspired wholesome goodies that feature herbs. I've tried a selection of the recipes, and they're so flavoursome! We just don't realise how much flavour we forfeit when we leave herbs out of our meals.
Josh mentioned using bicarb soda as toothpaste. Tooth powder has been around for ages, and is so much safer than commercial toothpaste (have you read those labels?!)
Our tooth powder is just this one:
4 tablespoons bentonite clay
2 teaspoons naturally extracted baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons unrefined sea salt
1 ½ teaspoons clove powder, or ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons ground peppermint leaves, or 5-10 drops peppermint essential oil
Mix all ingredients in a clean glass jar.
Sprinkle a little on a wet toothbrush and brush as normal.
One to three years
So Josh had a list of health aids he suggested, not all herbs. Things like taking bicarb soda to alkalise the gut, colloidal silver as an antibacterial (we've done this, it's amazing stuff!), apple cider vinegar too.
As for herbs, he's a big fan of Feverfew (not so tasty, but great for fighting certain illnesses!). It grows quite well here, our survived the drought with little attention.
And the common culinary herbs are worth having...basil, parsley, coriander (he uses coriander seed for fresh breath), rosemary (great for the brain), sage, thyme...
So, if you have a recipe using herbs, that you'd like to share, please do so in the comments :-)
Here are a couple of opportunities you might be interested in...Jamie's Ministry of Food Mobile Kitchen is coming to Toowoomba Feb 22nd to run their 5 week cooking course.
There is space for a few more participants, and the cost has been reduced by 50%. So it's only $50 for the 5 week course! The link above will take you to the website where you can book in.
They're also looking for more volunteers "vollies" as they call them, to help set up, clean up, welcome participants and help the classes run smoothly. It's just a 2 hour commitment at the same time each week for 5 weeks. It's a great way to help out in the community, helping people learn the basic life skill of preparing their own food at home.
The mobile kitchen will be operating out of the Bailie Henderson car park, in North Toowoomba.
Coming up in March (Saturday 3rd/Sunday 4th), Dennis Angelino, of Gran Elly Orchard, is opening up his biologically organic apple farm for tours! You can head over to Thullimbah and check out what it takes to get apples from plantation to plate...without the use of toxins.
Contact Gran.Elly.Orchard@gmail.com for more info.
Hi, my name is Racheal and I write the blog for Simple Living Toowoomba. Thanks for joining us on this journey to living a simpler life and encouraging others to do the same.