Tag Archives: Coriander

Giving you gut some extra help…

I am currently on industrial strength antibiotics to deal with an armpit cyst.  I know.  Glamorous, right?!  I am supposed to take 2000mg per day – but I can’t fit that in, so for the past week (and for the next week as well) I am taking 1500mg per day instead.  The cyst is responding to the antibiotics, though it isn’t completely gone, but my gut and I are not feeling very happy with all those bacteria killers flying about my system.

antibiotics

I decided to have a look around on line for some ideas to help my gut feel better during and after this course of treatment.  It appears I stumbled onto something, because there is a large amount of information out there for people who are troubled with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Disease, Colitis and all sorts of other stuff.  I have distilled the information into just four things we can use to give our gut some help.

dandelion

The first thing is dandelion.  Yes, the dandelion which throws gardeners into a froth and often brings out the homicidal tendencies in them… oh… just me then?  Actually, all parts of the dandelion are excellent digestive aids.  You can use the root, the leaves, the stalks (though be careful with them) and the flowers.  You can use them in teas, tinctures, vinegars, honey, oil or even just in a salad.  If you take some before meals you can stop heartburn.  If you take it after meals it can help with gall bladder pain and improve digestion.  Taking dandelion morning and night can alleviate gut pain and even tone your liver.

slippery elm

Next is something called Slippery Elm.  Sounds rather disgusting if you ask me, but apparently it is fabulous for assisting a digestive tract in crisis.  It is actually the bark from the slippery elm tree which is used to make the remedies (available in health food shops I understand) and it can help to restore balance to an irritated system (IBS/IBD) or a system under attack from Lupus or Crohn’s.  Even people undergoing chemotherapy with deeply distressed guts have found improvements with taking Slippery Elm.  Something to consider if you are in deep discomfort.  Apparently it acts as a counter to food poisoning, can quell acid refluxes and even helps with diarrhoea or constipation.

fennel seeds

Next are the aromatic seeds.  These are caraway, coriander, cumin, dill and fennel seeds – I have several of these hiding at the back of my pantry cupboard. Take 1 teaspoon of any of these seeds, put in a cup with boiling water and leave it to steep.  Drink it while it is still warm, sweetened or not, depending on your taste, and there you have it.  It is great for alleviating gas pains and for speeding up digestion.  It can also help to counteract the digestion effects of heavy painkillers.

yogurt

Finally, an ever present item in my house is yogurt.  Plain and unsweetened is best,  or you can make your own with real (unpasteurised) milk.  It is of great use to people with colitis and can also help gut pain, gas pain, stomach pain, nausea and even bad breath.  Also, if you have Bioactive yogurt, then you can help to recolonise the good bacteria in your gut once any antibiotics have done their stuff.  Yes… bioactive yogurt features high on my shopping list this week!

I hope, if you are in the same boat as me, with a distressed digestive tract, that these remedies might offer some relief to you.

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My extremely productive gardening weekend…

I went into this weekend with a list as long my arm of the jobs I wanted to achieve in the garden.  You know by now that I love my lists.  This one was entirely in my head, and I am here to report, between us, my husband and I totally BLITZED it.  Everything on that list, and a few jobs besides, have been done.

lists

It took a long time.  Both of us must have been in the garden for nearly 7 hours.  14 man hours later though, the place has been transformed.  We have weeded and trimmed back the herb bed, and replanted it with various new specimens with plans for additional ones.  We have weeded the bed that runs from the herb bed down to the big greenhouse.  We have planted all the plants which had been languishing slightly in our little greenhouse.  We have cleared the patch of garden which eventually will be transformed into our vegetable patch.  We have also finished the initial weeding of the long perennial border as well.  And we gave the Broom a big old haircut (because it has finished flowering and had been getting in my way when I was cutting the lawn!)

 

So, the herbs we have now in our garden are Lemon Verbena, Sage, Thyme, and French Tarragon.  This is in addition to the Rosemary, Oregano, Chives and Lavender which were already there.  I am going to get some mint (and put it in a separate pot) and parsley, Basil and Coriander and plant them too.  Plus, I found that I have seeds for Lovage, Borage, and Bergamot as well as Fennel and Dill.

old herbal

Just with those herbs, my mind is filled with potential remedies.  In my minds eye, I have a recipe for a tonic using rosemary, tarragon and red wine.  When the Lovage, Borage and Bergamot come up, I am going to make some sleep pillows with lavender along with the potential colourful addition to a jug of Pimms in the summer weather of the Borage flowers.    Then I have the chance for mint tea from the mint plants once they are established, and making homemade pesto from the Basil.  I might also use the Coriander to make a version of pesto with a slightly lighter and brighter flavour (though my husband will complain it tastes of soap)

smelling flowers

I am so pleased with the work we have done, I think today I am just going to sit back and admire it.  Actually, if I tried to garden today I am pretty sure all my joints would stop working entirely, so it is probably just as well that I take some time to smell the flowers.  After all, there is little point in working hard to make the blooms come to life if you are not going to stop and admire them once in a while.

 

A controversial herb. Do you love it or hate it?

Some people absolutely adore it, and others hate it with equal passion.  My husband thinks it tastes like soap, but I love it.  I am talking about Coriander, or Cilantro if you are in North America.

Coriander

Coriander, as I will refer to it, is an annual herb with edible leaves and seeds.  It is a very common ingredient in cooking throughout the world.  Indian, South Asian, Mediterranean and Mexican food all uses Coriander in all its forms – fresh, dried, seeds, and ground seeds.  If you are using fresh Coriander you should wash the leaves very carefully because the leaves are very fragile.  No mega fast pulses of water!

 

Once again, the herb is packed with those good old phytonutrients.  There is elenol, camphor, borneol, carvone, quercetin and others which all give protection from free radical damage.  Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that coriander can help to detoxify heavy metals from the body without side effects.  Heavy metal accumulation can cause memory loss and is indicated as a contributory factor to Alzheimer’s Disease.  

coriander all

Coriander is packed with Vitamin A, which can help to protect against lung and cavity cancers, Vitamin K whichis good for Alzheimer’s prevention again, and its Iron content is fabulous for getting over anaemia.  If you use the Coriander seeds in a tea, it is said to be great for helping with menstrual flow.  It has also been shown to stimulate insulin secretion and lower blood sugar levels.

 

The more I read, the more amazing it gets!  It lowers bad cholesterol and increases the level of good cholesterol in the body, it is very good for the digestive system and promotes liver function and bowel movements.  It is very good for the eyes.  The Antioxidants prevent eye diseases and infection and coriander is said to be an excellent treatment for conjunctivitis.  The herb also promotes a healthy nervous system, stimulates the memory and is good for skin conditions like eczema, pimples, blackheads and dry skin.

coriander pot

If all that wasn’t enough, it is anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and is fungicidal as well.  So, it is good for arthritis, can help to cure mouth ulcers (I am thinking it would make a great herbal mouthwash ingredient), fights against Salmonella and protects from food borne diseases.  It even has anthelmintic properties.  Yeah, I didn’t know what that meant either.  Apparently it means it will expel parasitic “visitors” in the body.  

 

Now, that is a herb with some powerful actions!  Personally, I just love it, and will continue to judiciously hide it in various foods I cook for my husband!