Category Archives: Herb

Hot Goat’s Cheese Salad with a Honey Mustard Dressing

By Karen Burns-Booth

Karen shows how the melted unctuousness of  hot goat’s cheese paired crisp, cool and perfectly dressed salad leaves makes for a divine combination.

It may seem like a cliché, but a hot goat’s cheese salad is still a favourite with me. I particularly like the combination of hot and cold – the melted unctuousness of the cheese with crisp, cool salad leaves makes for a divine combination, and a nice bit of “chèvre” is always welcome on my table, whether it be in salads, with bread and/or crackers or with fresh fruit and nuts. Continue reading Hot Goat’s Cheese Salad with a Honey Mustard Dressing


Health Benefits of Water Spinach

I bet most of us know Popeye and his very famous energy booster, the mighty spinach. When we were kids, we probably thought that it can only be found on cartoons, but wait, did you know that we have our very own type of Spinach growing here in the Philippines?

This tropical plant is the Water Spinach, with a scientific name of Ipomea Aquatica, or more commonly known here in our country as our very own “Kangkong”. You wouldn’t have any difficulties in finding this vegetable as this is popular among Filipinos, offered at a very cheap price at $0.25 per bundle (that’s about Philippine Peso: 10) over at the market or grocery supermarkets. Continue reading Health Benefits of Water Spinach

Health Benefits of ” Mint ”

Mentha (also known as Mint, from Greek míntha,Linear B  mi-ta)is a genus of plants in the family Lamiaceae (mint family).The species  are not clearly distinct and estimates of the number of species varies from 13 to 18. Hybridization between some of the species occurs naturally. Many other hybrids as well as numerous cultivars are known in cultivation.
Continue reading Health Benefits of ” Mint ”

UK garden centre grows Britain’s first black tomato

By: Yahoo UK | A Reblog | A plant nursery has become the first in Britain to grow BLACK tomatoes.
The unusual fruit, which has a jet black skin, is among the first in the world to contain anthocyanins, an antioxidant thought to have a number of health benefits.

Its unusual colour stems from pigments in the skin which develop when exposed to sunlight.

Ray Brown, 66, who runs Plant World Seeds, first came across the unusual fruit when a customer sent him a mystery package entitled ‘black tomato’.
Continue reading UK garden centre grows Britain’s first black tomato

How to Grow Herbs Indoor

herb pot mint

Gardening Indoors Can Be Done Easily

A Reblog | The Tasteful Garden | Gardening Indoors can be done easily if you have the proper conditions in your home. The key to success is having enough light for the plants to do well. West and South facing windows provide the most light. If the herbs are not getting enough light they will just stop growing and may eventually have insects or diseases attack them.


Another problem with growing indoors is humidity or lack of it. Our heating systems are primarily dry heat and the plants can suffer from lack of moisture in their leaves even though they are watered. This can be corrected by misting or washing your plant’s leaves every 2 weeks.

Most Herbs Prefer Temperatures from 65-80 Degrees

arrow green with textMost herbs prefer temperatures from 65-80 degrees and watering when the soil is dry to the touch. Never let your plants sit in a tray of water as their roots will drown. Also, make sure that the pots you use are large enough for the plant to grow for up to 6 months. Pots that are 8″ in diameter are best.

Moving Your Plants Outdoors

It is generally best to move your plants outdoors as soon as it is warm and they will really appreciate an afternoon of sunshine on warm days, just remember to bring them back indoors during the cool nights.

Preparing Perennial Herbs for Winter

In very mild winter areas nothing needs to be done except a light pruning, cutting off about a third of the plant to trim up and encourage a nice form for spring.

Cold Winter Areas

In cold winter areas, the annual herbs will die as soon as the first frost hits them. The perennials can last if they are hardy to your zone. Rosemary, Sage, Lavender and others need to be pruned (about a third) and then mulched with anything that will protect them from the cold and wet. Cover their stems and root systems with hay or leaves or pine straw to keep the freezing wind from doing damage.

Taking Cuttings of Your Plants

You can also take cuttings of your plants and root them indoors keeping them moist and in a humid environment until they are rooted and then pot them. Another option is to dig up your herbs and put them in large pots to bring indoors for the winter.


The Tasteful Garden

Re Purposed Crutches Into A Pea Trellis


A Reblog from the “Homestead Survival”  |  Thanks to Deb Mathenia for FB share  A creative reader at helpful gardener shared this amazing idea to re pupose an old unused pair of crutches instead of purchasing a trellis …. she made one.

This is a very frugal concept.

1. Dig a hole on each end on the length of the garden row.

2. Position crutch horizontally and firm in the dirt firmly around it. Use your feet to firmly pressed down around the crutch. Repeat with other crutch.

3. Tie twine to the bottom of one crutch. Loop several times around then string the across garden row to other crutch. Repeat looping and stringing twine across to other crutch as you jump two inches with every vertical layer



For The Love Of Tea! – Health Benefits And Beyond

Reblogged from: Reaching Utopia by

tea types octagon

> Tea is the most consumed beverage in the world besides water. There is nothing better than curling up on your couch with a cup of this ancient brew. Not only is it comforting and tastes great, but it has many health benefits that are worth the drink.

People are told time and again that tea is great for your body, but why? All tea originates from the plant Camellia sinensis. This plant contains substances called flavonoids and polyphenols which contain antioxidants. The antioxidants are the important part that helps your body stay healthy. The concentrations of these antioxidants are higher in the tea plant than in fruits and vegetables. The most significant polyphenol is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

EGCG could be the markers to fight off Alzheimer’s (due to decreases in beta-amyloid plaques), Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s disease (due to rises in dopamine levels). It prevents brain cells from dying and if damaged, promotes repair. It also binds with iron and blocks pathways that cause brain deterioration. Also if you’re looking for a new inexpensive way to have glowing, fresh skin, look no more. EGCG can regenerate skin cell growth for newer skin more quickly.

We all know the four major categories of teas- green, white, black, and oolong. Have you ever wondered what makes the flavours their own if they all come from the same plant? Each tea group goes through a different process to make it its own. Green tea leaves are steamed which prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized. Black and oolong tea are fermented which makes the EGCG turn into other compounds. White tea is said to be the purest in antioxidants due to its process of being steamed to inactivate polyphenol oxidation, and then dried from new growth buds and young leaves.

pouring tea

Due to the fermentation processes, the health benefits of tea are higher in white and green teas. This is because of the less EGCG that is taken away from the oxidation process. So if you are looking to get your maximal health benefits from tea go with the green or white before a black or oolong.

Research shows that antiviral and germ killers are higher in white teas than in green teas. Although green tea helps the metabolic system by getting rid of sugars quicker and not storing them as fat. Green tea kills cancer cells and inhibits growth of cancer cells. It does this without even damaging healthy tissue. Not only does this amazing brew fight off bad cells but it also helps you with weight loss!

Tea helps in the maintenance of blood pressure and blood vessels, fighting against cardiovascular disease. It is possible the reasoning why cardiovascular disease is reduced by tea is because flavonoids decrease inflammation and cholesterol which reduces the chances of blood clot formation. There is 11 times more flavonoid intake by tea drinkers than non tea drinkers. If you drink five or more cups of tea a day you are 31% more likely not to die from cardiovascular disease.

There are some things to keep in mind the next time you brew a cup. Decaf teas have less flavonoids so try to go for the natural blends. Iced teas have more sugars so either go with the naturally hot brew or try making your own so you can limit added sugars. The more processed the tea the less polyphenols present so try to go with a more organic and natural tea. Instead of added sweeteners try throwing in a slice of lemon, or a squeeze of some citrus juice, it boosts the absorption in the GI tract. Pepper does this as well if you want to add a little spice like a chai blend.

Overall you cannot go wrong with drinking tea. Even fitting a cup a day into your life will reward you with some amazing health benefits. From renewing your skin, to fighting off cancer and degenerative diseases, tea’s natural antioxidants are helpful and tasteful. So what are you waiting for? Go and make yourself a cup!

tea glass

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Cinnamon – A Natural Medicine

A natural medicine - Cinnamon

A Reblog  |  Published by Editorial Staff of  |  The magic stick of cinnamon can have astounding effects on human health. It is believed that in ancient times cinnamon was more expensive than gold. Its name has also been mentioned in the Bible. The well known herb is actually a bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is dried and then rolled into sticks called quills. The dried cinnamon barks are also grounded to make cinnamon powder. This small tree is mostly grown in Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Egypt. Found in it is an essential oil called cinnamonaldehyde, which gives it a magnificent taste and aroma.

There are 4 varieties of this spice; out of which two are the most popular ones, Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is also known as true cinnamon; it has a sweet taste and is more expensive than Cassia cinnamon. You can find them in specialty stores. Its quills are soft enough to be grounded for coffee.

Cinnamon mostly found in North American supermarkets is Cassia cinnamon and is relatively cheap. It is dark in color and its quills are hard. It has been traditionally used in Chinese medicine and in Indian Ayurvedic medicines. Let’s find out why is it known as a natural medicine?

Cure for diabetes
Research has proved that cinnamon is beneficial for curing Type 2 Diabetes. The evidence was first revealed in the journal, “Diabetes Care” in the year 2003.

This study was conducted by US department of Agriculture, on 60 participants from Pakistan with type 2 Diabetes. Each participant was given 1 mg of cinnamon for 40 days. It was evident from the research that the blood sugar level, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol was significantly reduced. The beneficial after effects of the cinnamon persisted for 20 days even after stopping its use.

However it is highly recommended that patients taking prescribed medicines for cholesterol should not substitute them with cinnamon supplements.

Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties
Preliminary lab research and animal studies helped to find the antifungal and antibacterial properties of Cinnamon. This amazing spice helps to fight Candid albicans, a fungus that is known to cause yeast infection. The bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, is also curable with the help of cinnamon, responsible for causing stomach ulcers.

Cinnamon bark and esential oil

Some doctors claim that memory and performance of certain mental tasks can be improved just by smelling cinnamon

arrow green with textCinnamon as an anti-inflammatory spice
Today the growing problem is increased intake of processed, fatty and fried foods that cause inflammation of internal organs and tissues, and further cause heart diseases. In a book called “Natural Health, Natural Medicine”, Andrew Weil claims cinnamon to be beneficial for decreasing inflammation of the artery walls that causes atherosclerosis and other heart diseases.

Rich source of Minerals and Dietary fibers
Cinnamon contains essential minerals such as manganese, iron and calcium. The perfect combination of fiber and calcium has proven to protect the colon cells from getting damaged by removing bile; as a result it prevents colon cancer.

Cures Constipation
The dietary fibers found in cinnamon have also been found helpful in curing IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and constipation.

Improves Memory
Quiet unbelievable, but true! Some doctors claim that memory and performance of certain mental tasks can be improved just by smelling cinnamon. It is also beneficial in curing Alzheimer’s disease. Migraine and headaches can also be relieved with the use of cinnamon.

Cures Cough
Cinnamon has been used in Chinese medicine for a long time. It is a natural remedy for common cold and coughs. You can treat your sore throat by drinking a cup of cinnamon tea. Take a cup of water and add a cinnamon stick to it, bring it to a boil and remove the stick. Use this tea twice a day you will feel better within 3 days; otherwise consult a doctor.

For cough take a teaspoon of warm honey with a pinch of cinnamon powder in it. It will cure your cough in a few days.

Relieves Toothache
An easy home remedy for toothache lies in cinnamon. Make a paste of 5 teaspoon honey with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and apply it to your aching teeth 2 to 3 times in a day. You can store this paste at room temperature in a container.

How can you use cinnamon?
Cinnamon can be added to a number of foods and cereals in powdered form. A small stick can be added to give flavor to the soups. Even an herbal tea made out of cinnamon can be taken once a day.

Cinnamon is also available in the form of capsules which helps in its consumption process.


9 Spices With Super-Healing Powers

By: Megan Kempston, staff writer  <||>  Have you checked your spice rack lately? Spices and herbs can do a lot more than add pizzazz to your cooking — they can also promote heart health, fight cancer, reduce inflammation, and more. Here are nine super spices and herbs that are good for you and taste good, too.


Cinnamon is a nutritional powerhouse, with antioxidant properties that keep cells safe from oxidative stress and dangerous free radicals. Antioxidants help fight such diseases as cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and Parkinson’s.

What’s more, cinnamon is a powerful weapon against cardiovascular problems. Cinnamon helps the hormone insulin work better, which reduces blood sugar levels. That’s great news for the one in ten North Americans with type 2 diabetes and the millions more with prediabetes. Keeping blood sugar low can help treat diabetes or even stop it before it starts.

Cinnamon may also help prevent Alzheimer’s. A study in 2011 found that an extract from cinnamon bark inhibited the formation of amyloid plaques in mice with Alzheimer’s. It even helped restore cognitive levels and correct movement problems in the animals.

How much: Cinnamon’s health benefits make it worth adding to your daily diet — and cinnamon’s sweet, warming flavor makes it easy. Aim for a quarter to half a teaspoon most days of the week.

Serving suggestions: Sprinkle a little on fresh fruit, a steaming bowl of oatmeal, or a scoop of peanut butter, or add to fish, chicken, or lamb dishes — especially with cumin and chili powder — for a Middle Eastern slant on your normal fare. No time to cook? Sprinkle some cinnamon on your morning coffee or tea for a nice antioxidant boost.

Tip: You know that stuff in your cinnamon jar? It’s probably cassia, not cinnamon. True cinnamon, often labeled “Ceylon cinnamon,” has higher levels of antioxidants, so seek it out if you can.


If you associate “sage” with wisdom, you’re not far off — the spice has been shown to help with memory and mood. A study in 2005 gave essential sage oil to healthy young volunteers and found that participants tended to remember things better and feel both more alert and calmer after taking sage.

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