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Medicinal plants boost immunity

Since the enforced isolation in March, friends and I are sharing what we can; our plants, seeds and produce, specifically. As a National Park City Ranger, I now feel like I’m being gifted on a daily basis. Yesterday Paul, the Chair of London National Park City foundation offered me wildflower seeds for a re-wilding exercise in a local disused alleyway, watch this space… plus Basil seedlings in due course. At The Zoom BeInspired walk On Tuesday, an online participant viewer and wildlife teacher offered us eggs from her hens (for my other family members who would appreciate them). Sunflowers and Spinach plants are also growing in exchange. Counting my blessings indeed.

Wednesday’s gift is Sage; a common Mediterranean herb, which loves a warm climate and the Corbett estate, SE6, clearly. Thanks to Yoga teacher Sara Wickert for donating bags of her fresh sage cuttings to the neighbourhood, sharing with one another is a sensible option

Healing with herbs

Sage is a wonderful herb, useful in prevention during covid-19, in addition to Vitamin C and D. Sage has been used in culinary and medicinal forms for centuries; it has many traditional uses.

Meaning: in French the name sage, means wise, to have wisdom. A sage is a person who holds the wisdom for their tribe and far beyond. This is a herb with further visioning properties, like the wise man or wise woman, in traditional medicinal cultures.

Mouthwash
Sage contains anti-viral and antimicrobial volatile oils. For this reason, I use it as a refreshing mouthwash, or even a gargle to soothe and prevent sore throats. For a gargle, take a small handful of fresh or dried leaves and add to a pan of fresh water. Simmer for at least 20 mins to allow the scent and goodness from the leaves to disperse into the water. It turns an intense, dark brown colour. Allow to cool entirely before rinsing your mouth and gargling. Spit out and repeat x 3 times. Use for throat infections.

Sage Tea
To drink as an infusion: infuse a small handful of freshly picked leaves in hot water and leave to brew for up to 10 mins or longer for a fuller flavour. The tea will be a gentle, clear green in colour. These properties are ideal for clarity of vision.

Female health

Sage also possesses cooling properties, to ladies’; balancing hormonal symptoms in the menopause and calms menstrual hot flushes, whilst allowing new priorities to develop and be supported. Females develop new needs and values. For others, cool down and refresh from the heat of the sun with a sage tea. In Turkey, at Yuva retreat centre, this is a popular beverage after working outside in the Mediterranean sunshine.

Recipe: Sage and lime Hummus

Sage and lime Hummus

Ingredients

1 cup Chickpeas (either cooked fresh, from a can/carton or Raw sprouted)

1 dsp tahini (sesame seed) sauce

3 dsp olive oil or oil of choice.

1/2 lime juiced

A few sage leaves, plus extra for garnish.
A good pinch salt / seaweed / sodium alternative

Method

Use a food processor or a hand blender to Purée the chickpeas together with the olive oil, tahini, herbs, salt and half the lime juice. Mix well until the paste is as smooth or as chunky as you wish.

Garnish with wild flowers eg. forget-me-nots and the remaining sage leaves. Serve with fresh vegetables as a salad/main course eg Quinoa or on bread or crackers.

Beverage: add the remaining lime juice to a glass water, for a refreshing drink.

Theresa Webb

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Winter warmers: seasonal recipes. Take 1 …

…Butternut squash… and produce 3 main meals

Before the leaves truly began to fall I was treating a patient for fibromyalgia. In response, she kindly invited me to visit her allotment and I found myself the proud recipient of a range of fresh organic produce: home grown watercress to garnish, apples – pickled, pulped and whole for breakfast plus a huge butternut squash, which I had a job to carry back home. I collected Amaranth seeds and picked a few apples from the tree. She had also saved me A year old bottle of fresh, sparkling apple juice.

Thus begins the task of creating as many new and interesting meals as possible with these ingredients. Utilising left over vegetables, fruit and foraged herbs and seeds, I have begun to weave magic at my mealtimes.

Here are 3 ways with these ingredients. All washed down with a natural, appletize!

  1. Spinach, Mushroom and squash Tarte. My first gluten free (pre made) puff pastry tarte! Made with a wild pesto dressing. Good served with fresh bean tips and slices of avocado.

2. Squash and watercress risotto

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3. Squash & Winter veg soup
To pre cooked potatoes and parsnips, I added chunks of squash, nigella seeds, broccoli and coconut oil into a blender with enough hot water and a lemon and ginger tea to form a creamy smooth consistency when blended. Then warmed gently for 10 mins whilst I made an avocado on rye toast. Finally, adding seasoning and pumpkin seeds for garnish. Minimal cooking of squash retains its juicy form.