From Sharon’s Garden
One of the benefits of writing this newsletter is that when I am looking up recipes to match the herb, I find all sorts of things that I haven’t made for ages! Try the Rosemary balsamic vinegar and the pumpkin risotto, they are both are delicious. Rosemary is the herb for this month as it has once again proven how easy it is to keep. With all of this rain my lavender and sage plants have mostly died, but the rosemary bushes, which prefer the same conditions are looking very healthy.
My catering business is getting busier and busier with delivery areas increasing constantly. The pre-made meals are delivered, frozen and in a cooler box, once a week to your office or home. If you would like to know more please send me an email and I will also send you the menu for the week.
For the past two years I have been receiving an excellent newsletter from Maatis Marketing. Originally it was only for learning problems associated with ADD and AHD, but has expanded and now includes info for improving all learning abilities. It is well worth looking at for the info they offer. The web site is www.maatismarket.com
Have a magical month
Herb of the Month
This well known herb is native to the Mediterranean coastal areas where is grows in well drained sandy soils under a very hot sun. It is possibly one of the easiest herbs to grow, needing no care or maintenance other than the occasional pruning.
Rosemary has always been associated with a good memory and in Ancient Greece, students wore sprigs of rosemary tucked into their togas to strengthen their memories and aid concentration during exams. European brides wore it to show that they would not forget their families once they left with their husbands and also to pledge fidelity to their husbands, and in Europe it is still planted around graves in memory of loved ones. Culpeper wrote 'It helps a weak memory and quickens the senses' and in Shakespeare's Hamlet, Ophelia said 'There's rosemary….. that's for remembrance'
Traditionally it was planted around homes to ward of thieves and witches, but by the 16th century the belief developed that a healthy rosemary bush showed that the woman was in charge of the household. Consequently many bushes were ripped out of the ground by husbands who wished to prove otherwise!
It is used extensively in cooking, but only a small amount is needed otherwise it overpowers all other
flavours. Medicinally it is used as a stimulant internally and externally, as a digestive herb, for skin infections and as a decongestant
Cultivation: Rosemary is a hardy perennial that will thrive with very little care. It needs full sun and well drained, sandy soil There are many varieties with different colours, heights and growth patterns - some of which are suitable for small gardens or pots and others which need far more space.
Culinary - Use fresh or dried leaf with many meat dishes, it is renowned for its use with lamb and Greek meals. Also good with potatoes or other vegetables. Use stems as kebab sticks. Add to breads and muffins.
Cosmetic: Use as a rinse for dark hair and to encourage new growth. Stimulating skin tonic
Household: Place cut branches in a vase for a fresh aroma.
Place in linen cupboard to repel insects
Use as an antiseptic wash for kitchens and bathrooms
Burn the dried branches on the braai or fire for a lovely aroma and insect repellent
Medicinal: A circulation stimulant for muscular aches and pains. Antiseptic gargle and mouthwash. For poor digestion, gall bladder inflammation, gall stones. Improves blood circulation to the brain. Uplifting for depression and nervous exhaustion. For low blood pressure. Energizing.
Caution: Do not use in medicinal doses if you suffer from High Blood Pressure or if you are pregnant.
Uit Letitia se tuin:
Daar is GROOT konsternasie in my tuin die afgelope paar dae – die aaklige “boorwurm”!!! Ek het hulle in my Vleilelies en Clivias gekry, en kyk nou met ‘n vergrootglas na my pynappellelie, Scilla en ander bolle!! Sommige bolplante is al JARE oud en hierdie monsters kan dit in ‘n paar dae vernietig!! Dis oorlog met tandestokkies om te krap en skoene om te vermorsel! Genoeg van al die uitroeptekens, daar is baie ander plesiere – my Diospyros lycioides (Bluebush) het vir die eerste keer pragtige rooi vruggies. My Pa kom baie opgewonde en vra of ek weet ons het ‘n stamvrug in die tuin (die struik is 3 jaar terug al geplant). Daarna ‘n lang verhaal van sy kinderdae in die koppies. My grootste trots op die oomblik – my Crataegus (Hawthorn) is vol bessies. 'n GROOT dankie aan Diane Aldworth wat dit 2 jaar gelede met groot moeite van die Midlands vir my gebring het. My heel eerste tinktuur was van hierdie bessies jare terug in haar klas gemaak. Het dit gebruik as ‘n heerlike “nightcap” en as dit boonop my hart goed gedoen het was dit ‘n bonus.
Almal by HAoSA is hard besig met die reëlings vir die Herb Happening. Hou die pers dop en merk die 4 – 7 April in julle dagboeke, dit beloof om nog beter as die vorige byeenkoms te wees. As julle meer inligting wil hê – e-pos my asb
(adres, padaanwysing, program van sprekers, uitstallers)
Hoop julle het ‘n vrugtevolle maand (sonder wurms)
A fragrant erect, multi stemmed woody shrub with small cream flowers arranged in dense rounded heads. Lippia is hardy and requires little maintenance. It is widespread throughout Southern Africa and appears to do well in most soil types. Easy to propagated from cuttings. Prefers sunny conditions and grows relatively fast.
Also known as: Lemon bush; Koorsbossie, Lemoenbossie (Afrikaans); Inzinziniba (Xhosa); UmSuzwane, UmSwazi (Zulu)
What is in a name: Was named after the Italian traveller and natural historian, Augustin Lippi (1678 – 1701). Javanica – the plant also occurs in Java.
Medicinal uses: In combination with Wilde als (Artemesia afra), infusions are used as an effective treatment for colds, flu, bronchial and lung problems. To treat chronic coughs, asthma and pleurisy, the smoke of burning leaves and stems is inhaled. A lotion made from a weak infusion is used for skin disorders, such as heat rash, other rashes, scratches, stings, bites. A weak infusion is also taken to bring down fever associated with malaria; a stronger infusion can be used to get rid of scabies and head lice. It has been used in an ointment to relieve stiff and aching muscles. Research is being done on its effectiveness on AIDS related skin conditions.
Traditional use: The Xhosa use it for the disinfection of anthrax infected meat. It is used in cleansing ceremonies after a person has been on contact with a corpse. Used to protect meat from scavenging dogs. It was used as a protection against crocodiles when crossing rivers. A red ointment was made by the Masai, in Kenya, to decorate their bodies. They also use it in marinades which impart a delicious flavour and preserve the meat at the same time. The Tswana use infusions to treat scabies and head lice.
Other uses: A fragrant addition to pot-pourri and cupboard fresheners. Lippia branches can be placed in grain stores to repel insects (reported to have a high ipsdienone content in oil). The CSIR developed a highly effective mosquito repellent candle.
Tests prove it to repel at least 95% of mosquitoes, whilst mosquito repelling candles available on the market at the time of the tests only repels 42 %. Unfortunenatly this mosquito repelling oil is only present in two of the species (although they might look identical, they are chemically different)
Rosemary Hair Rinse
Rosemary is excellent for stimulating hair growth and conditioning hair. It will make your hair darker.
2 cups fresh rosemary
1 litre water
120ml white wine or apple cider vinegar
Boil the water and add the fresh rosemary. Boil for 2-3 minutes.
Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 4 hours.
Strain and add the vinegar, pour into clean bottles and label.
To use pour ½ cup over just washed hair. Massage into the scalp. Do not rinse off.
25 ml Infused herb oil
4 drops lippia essential oil
Warm oil and beeswax in double boiler (never boil)
Cool until luke warm
add essential oil
pour into sterilised jars
only seal when cool
Excellent for people suffering from cold sores
Aromatherapy – Lippia Javanica
Blends well with:
Angelica, benzoin cedarwood, grapefruit, mandarin, neroli, palmarosa, petitgrain, yarrow.
Spiritually – Lippia Javanica
Enlivening, very bright, strongly banishing, survivor, resilience, shifting vibration to shake off pests and attachments.
Rosemary and Garlic Balsamic Vinegar
250ml balsamic vinegar
4 garlic cloves
1 cup fresh rosemary leaves
Place the garlic and rosemary into a clean glass jar
Heat the balsamic vinegar over a low heat until it just begins to bubble.
Pour the vinegar over the herb and seal
Keep in a cool dark place for 2-4 weeks, shaking occasionally
Strain into a clean bottle.
Roast Pumpkin and Rosemary Risotto
1kg pumpkin or butternut, cubed
60ml olive oil
300g Arborio (risotto) rice
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
½ cup dry white wine
1 litre vegetable stock
150g baby spinach leaves
20g parmesan cheese
Toss the pumpkin in about half of the oil and roast for 30 – 40 minutes at 180 C until tender – keep hot
Heat the remaining oil and fry the onion until soft.
Add the garlic and rosemary and fry for another 2-3 minutes, stirring so it does not burn.
Add the rice and stir until it is coated with oil.
Add the wine and then add the stock, one cup at a time. Stir until the cup has absorbed before adding the next cup.
Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is soft.
Add the remaining ingredients and serve immediately
Lippia infused Oil / Ointment – Mosquito Repellent
fresh or dried herbs
cold pressed oil
essential oil (optional)
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