Maybe it is the fact it is the beginning of a new year, or perhaps it has something to do with packing away the Christmas decorations for another year. Whatever it is, I am thinking about things in a long term way, and I am trying to extend that long term for as long as possible.
I have been putting away my Christmas pressies as part of undecorating the house from the festivities and one of my presents was from my lovely hubby who bought me a book called “Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health” by Rosemary Gladstar. The boy knows me well. Perfect present, right up my street. So, in the bid for longevity of this blog, I decided I would do what I did for the month of November and plan out my blogs from here until Easter. I am also borrowing from the #NaBloWriMo methodology I employed, and I am going to base my blog posts on the contents of this very book. There will be interesting snippets to share and recipes for herbal treatments, combined with some extra research from me, and maybe the odd snippet about the rest of what is going on in my life. The one thing I will not be doing is posting every day. That nearly wiped me out entirely, and with the stuff I have planned for the rest of this year, I am not really going to have the time to write a blog every day. So, I am going to attempt to blog regularly, three times a week, but maybe not always on the same days or at the same time. 2015 is looking like it is going to be really, really busy… so my devoted readers are now on notice!
Handily enough, there is a section in the “Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health” book about herbs which help with longevity. It is interesting that the author states that herbs which help to increase life expectancy tend to be related to the Eastern style of herbal medicine. Her argument is that the Western and Native American herbal traditions were effectively stamped out due to persecution of those who were skilled in the herbal lore – be that because they were condemned by the Inquisition, or were deemed to be witches or whatever – whereas the traditions in the Orient and India were effectively handed down via oral tradition. I know that a lot of the herbal traditions of Europe have been lost, but instead of dwelling on the negative, let’s see if there are some herbs which help to extend life, or at least increase the verve and vigour for life.
My research indicates that western herbal medicine says that herbs for longevity are mostly about being a tonic. That really means that the herb is taken in small amounts and over long periods of time. It is not intended to alter or effect any symptom particularly, but rather it is meant to give long term benefits. Ideally, the tonic will nourish the mind, body and spirit… but to be honest, I will take something that can guarantee to banish the colds and coughs flying around at this time of year.
In this spirit then, here is a recipe for a Fire Cider. This is a tonic designed to “light your fires”…. judging by the ingredients, they are not kidding. No open flames around your mouth after drinking some of this stuff!! You take half a cup of chopped ginseng root, either fresh or dried, a quarter of a cup of grated ginger root, a quarter of a cup of grated horseradish, an eighth of a cup of chopped garlic and cayenne pepper to taste. You place all of these items into a glass jar, pour in enough apple cider vinegar to cover the herbs by an inch or to and then seal tightly. You need to let this mix sit for 4 weeks. After this time, strain out the herbs and sweeten with agave nectar or honey to your own taste. I would suggest a tablespoon of the mixture daily ought to be enough to put some pep in your step… but perhaps I might suggest brushing your teeth after imbibing!! Though I do understand that it makes a very nice salad dressing, so that might be another way of taking your longevity tonic!
Let me know if you have any success with the fire cider. But one health warning…. do NOT sniff the grated horseradish root… it is very, very powerful and extremely tear inducing. Great at clearing the sinuses… but… OUCH!