Digestive distress is all too common among Americans. There are probably plenty of reasons for it: stress, eating on the run, eating over-processed food, eating too much or too little or the wrong foods for our body type. There are some digestive issues that are more serious, but for most of us it’s the everyday discomforts that make getting through our days just that much harder. Gas, bloating, nausea, occasional heartburn, abdominal cramps, or just feeling a bit “off”. Fortunately, there’s an herb for that! Below are some of my all-time favorite herbs for the stomach.
Plantain is an herb that has made itself so widely available to us, it practically calls out to be of use. City sidewalks, roadsides, fields, practically any place with lots of sunshine, Plantain will be there, and its uses are precious and practical.
One of Plantain’s finest uses is as a first aid herb. One of its names is “Soldier’s Wort” because of its heroism on the battlefield in the first aid capacity. The leaf is chewed or chopped up and applied wounds to stop bleeding, ease pain, protect the wound and promote tissue healing. If you ever find yourself in need of a band-aid, scan your feet for Plantain, and more likely than not it will be right there, ready to help. Read more…
It’s great to know that there are so many plants that help remove toxins from the air inside our homes. But for pet lovers, there’s always the question: what happens if my cat or dog nibbles on this? We want our homes to be as safe and welcoming to our pets as they are for us! So here is a list of plants that clear the air and are safe for cats and dogs.
Hot weather, longer days, fresh local produce, Summertime is a great time to cook. This time of year we can balance the heat of the sun with cooling and refreshing meals. I love to cook, and I love to eat, but I don’t like to fuss with fancy recipes. Especially in the summer when I could be out in the garden!
Here are a few of my favorite summer recipes
3 large cucumbers
1 can garbonzo beans
1 can pitted black olives
fresh fennel herb and bulb
oil and vinegar dressing
While this next recipe is great year ‘round, I particularly like it this time of year, since it’s an easy, one-pot meal that can simmer happily on the stove while you’re enjoying a moment in the sun. For convenience, I use a pre-made simmer sauce, usually a mild Indian spice. A taco or fajita sauce is also great. Feel free to experiment with flavors that make you happy!
1 lb boneless chicken (breasts or thighs, both are good!)
1 jar simmer sauce
4-6 small to medium yellow potatoes (you can skip these if you are reducing carbs or want to serve the chicken over rice)
3 medium zucchini squash
Note: cooking it longer will not be a problem as long as it’s covered and has plenty of liquid and room to move around in the pot. It’s great re-heated the next day, too, so go ahead and make a big batch to last!
*This recipe works equally well with fresh tuna steak!
On The Grill
We’ve been using our gas grill a fair amount already this year, and enjoying it thoroughly. In addition to grilling chicken and tuna steaks, we’ve been having a great time experimenting with grilled vegetables! Here are our favorites so far:
Sliced beets (red or golden, about ¼ inch thick)
Portabella mushroom caps
Zucchini and/or yellow summer squash
For crispy kale, spinach, or other large green leaves, baste generously in olive oil and place in the warming section of your grill while the other veggies are cooking.
If your grill doesn’t have a warming section, these can be done in the oven on baking sheets at 400F for 10-15 minutes. I wish I could be more exact, but ovens vary a great deal, and so does the water level in the leafy greens! You want them to be slightly browned and crispy.
Be sure to make lots, because these will be popular!
It seems a little strange to even call this a recipe, but this is one of the most delicious summer foods I can think of!
Fresh mozerella, sliced
Fresh, locally-grown tomato, a good beefsteak variety, sliced
Fresh whole basil leaves
Fresh cracked black pepper
Yellow dock is a go-to herb for chronic and acute skin conditions like psoriasis and acne.
Yellow dock encourages “flow”. Skin problems can often trace their source to a congested liver and sluggish system generally overwhelmed with toxins. Yellow dock encourages the production of bile and promotes bowel cleansing. It strengthens and astringes the stomach and has a mild laxative action; it gets things moving, breaks up stagnation, and thus helps flush out whatever may be causing the skin condition. Read more…