Growing Using Herbs

How to grow and use herbs in your daily life

Upset stomachs

Diarrhoea - Although not pleasant, a case of mild diarrhoea is nature’s way of your body eliminating toxins and impurities from the body. Over the centuries a number of natural herbal remedies have been proven to be effective. An infusion of Meadowsweet – available from herbal shops – drunk 2 to 3 times a day will ease the symptoms of diarrhoea. Blackberries, - contain tannins which are useful to soothe irritated and inflamed bowels – both the root and leaves , made into a tea will ease the symptoms of diarrhoea. Dried blueberries and bilberries, that are easily found in supermarkets, contain not only tannins but pectin, a soluble fibre that bulk out watery stools and soothe an irritated gut. Slowly chew about 1-2 teaspoons, up to 3 times day.

As with all medical conditions, if symptoms persist or are severe, always seek medical advice.

Remedies for Arthritis

Remedies for Arthritis Did you know that dinosaurs also suffered from arthritis!

Scientists have found evidence in a Pliosaur skeleton dating from 150 million years ago! If you are brave enough and can find some here, stinging nettles offer effective relief from arthritic pain. – the Romans were great fans ! A gentler solution is to peel and slice a 100cm piece of ginger root into a pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer until the water is dark yellow. Strain and add to a warm bath and soak in it. To increase the effect also add some Epsom salts to the water. Ginger boosts circulation and eases joint inflammation. Celery is also good for easing aching joints, particularly if caused by gout. Either eat plenty of celery or make a tea from the seeds. Arthritis is a complex condition and medical advice should always be consulted first.

Awesome Olives

Despite the gloomy forecasts of the Spanish Agriculture Minister,that the olive harvest will be poor this year, the countryside of Andalucia is alive with the sound of olive picking. Spain is the world’s largest producer of olive oil and some 75% is produced here in Andalucia. Although there is some mechanisation, most olives are still picked by hand, or the trees are beaten with sticks and the olives drop onto nets. It takes about 2,500-3000 olives to make a litre of oil ! Extra Virgin Oil is from the first pressing and is the highest grade and considered the best. The labelling of olive oil is as complicated and as jealously guarded as wine categories are.

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Rosemary - herb of fidelity

Rosmarinus officinalis a true native of the Mediterranean area. There are 2 species, Rosmarinus officinalis , the most widespread and most variable, ranging from white, through pink and purple to blue flowers. The second species is the prostrate form – R. eriocalyx. All are evergreen and hardy perennials, which prefer a well drained sunny position. Rosemary dislikes prolonged wet winters and can suffer scorching in frosts. Only ever cut back Rosemary in the spring, after the risk of frost has disappeared – not much of a problem here in Andalucía, except at altitude. Rosemary is a great plant to grow in containers, do not over water and only feed after flowering.

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Natural Hair Colourings

Although not as instant as the chemical formulations, you can buy in a bottle; there are a number of herbal hair colourings available. Most are in the form of an infusion, - pour boiling water over your chosen herb and leave overnight - use as a final rinse after your normal hair washing routine. Regular use over a period of time will have the desired effect.

To brighten blonde hair, use 25g of chamomile flowers infused in approximately 250 ml of water.  There are a number of options for dark hair a combination of sage, rosemary or walnut leaves and tea bags will all add lustre to dark hair, and can darken grey hair with regular use. Hibiscus and nasturtium flowers will give red hair lovely highlights. All these herbal rinses are very gentle on your hair, however if you colour your chemically, check first with just a small section of hair.

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