As our gardens are reaching the peak of their maturity lets take the time to discuss some of the wonderful herbs that might be gracing the garden with beautiful healing properties.
PARSLEY; supplies important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C & A and the amino acid, histidine which has been found to inhibit tumors, it is also an excellent source of potassium and folic acid. Parsley also contains calcium, manganese and iron. Parsley is a mild diuretic that purifies the blood and accelerates the excretion of toxins. It stimulates appetite and aids in digestion as well as metabolism. This wonderful herb can also ease bloating, stomach cramps and nausea. It has been found to relieve arthritis symptoms and when eaten regularly it can reduces heart rates and lower blood pressure. The medieval German Herbalist, Saint Hildegarde of Bingen prescribed parsley wine to improve blood circulation and help with many heart conditions. In folk medicine, parsley is recommended for women who have irregular menstrual periods and would help to ease the bloating that some women experience before their periods.
The wine was reportedly made by combining 10-12 large sprigs of parsley with 1 quart of red wine and 3 Tbsp of white wine vinegar. Bring mixture to a rolling boil and then add 6 ounces of raw honey. Strain the mixture and pour into a bottle. The ancient text said to ingest 1-2 Tbsp three times a day.
Parsley freezes well and will retain its fresh flavor and vitamins. Just wash, dry and chop the parsley leaves, then freeze them in a plastic container or zip-top plastic bag. You can then remove just the account you need for your recipes.
A wonderful summertime parsley spread can easily be made by coarsely chopping 2 bunches of parsley and adding 2 diced shallots together with 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 8 ounces of cream cheese and 2 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Gently fold in 2-4 fresh garden tomatoes that have been diced. An optional ingredient would be a small amount of finely diced jalapeno peppers to give it a little kick. This spread is great on everything from crackers and breads to celery and other vegetables of your choice.
Our next posting will cover the wonderful attributes of Oregano and will feature a recipe for Oregano Butter so check back in a few days.