Herbs And Health

 In Gardening, Health

I am feeling very well these days, and sleeping deeply. This struck me when I read about a woman going to a health retreat in Spain. She wrote about the numerous medications she took to try and sleep well, and failed. As for me, my leukaemia is not going away any time soon but it does not bother me. My guide is my running and it is, likewise, in a good state. However, take care as I am not a reliable guide to herbal eating. I, like you, often have absurd thoughts about what works well for me, and with no sound evidence whatsoever. Back in 2007, retired and growing lots of food, I often went overboard. As an organic gardener, I had all those flushes of seasonal food. Herbs and health were everything to me.


However, look at it logically. Because I felt well I ascribed it one year to the spinach beet. The next year, with tomatoes in huge quantities, it was the tomatoes. I have done the same with beetroot and even carrots. That said, if I am unreliable on a single plant each season, perhaps I am reliable overall. The fact is that green stuff and colourful vegetables seem to benefit the gut. It responds by sending a useful signal each morning called peristalsis; the toilet demand. At the current time, Ann and I are eating lots of spinach beet, with some gorgeous broad beans (eat those young!) and courgettes. Variously, add in shallots and the peas, and French beans and potatoes are on the way. But, is the herbs and health answer the simple salad?

Salad days

For many weeks, I have gathered the salad most days. Ann prepares it and enjoys the eating. Firstly, two sprigs of thyme and some marjoram. Nearby, I have three different mints in large pots, to keep them under control. Sprigs from two of these are added. Chives follow, firstly the typical grassy ones and then some strap leaf garlic chives. A little parsley, rocket and sage (not too much of the latter), French bean or even young pea pods. Finally, a few leaves from my nasturtium flowers and some mini Romaine lettuce. That can be ten or more different plants. Ann adds pickled beetroot when she prepares it. It’s easy to eat and always tastes slightly different according to the mix. Some cottage cheese can add even more texture and protein.

Herbs and health

Now, is it the salad that makes me feel well? For instance, we are now drinking rooibos tea before bed and that is said to help us sleep. So, we have a dozen plants, mostly what you might call herbs, to consider. Is it one of these, or all of them, or none of them? I don’t really know the answer and who does? It is, of course, a safe bet to eat as much green stuff as you can. As each of these herbs is expensive, perhaps you also have to grow them at home so you can eat small amounts every day. Whatever, I am reminded of a horse lover I used to know. He swore that when his horses ate fresh organic hay, from a cemetery I managed, their coats glistened and, more importantly, they loved eating it. There you have it, straight from the horses mouth!

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