Yesterday I told my friend Ana that I was trying to fight my sore throat with ginger and sage. Well, even those spices’ power is limited and today I am sick again. On offer today: streptococci. Lovely. Nevertheless, I have been getting more and more into herbs and spices and the superpower that they carry lately, and I would like to share my findings with you. I will start with three of my favourites: basil, thyme and ginger.
Basil / Ocinum Basilicum (Picture source)
Basil originally grows in the Mediterranean and therefore loves warm temperatures and sunlight. I have basil plants on my balcony at the moment, and in winter they love to sit on the windowsill above the radiator. Every time I water them – and they are very thirsty – their beautiful scent rises immediately.
Basil contents the same enzymes that you also find in antiphlogistic drugs like e.g. Ibuprofen, so it has antibacterial effects! It is said to strengthen your digestive system and to soothe your nerves.
The most known and also very yummy way to consume basil is Caprese:
Take some tomatos and some mozzarella cheese and cut them into an equal number of slices. Put a slice of cheese onto each slice of tomato and stick a leaf of basil in between. You can spice it up with salt and pepper and, most importantly, sprinkle them with some good olive oil. And then: enjoy!
Thyme / Thymus vulgaris (Picture source)
Thyme also grows in the Mediterranean and loves a warm and sunny spot. It does not need as much water as basil though, it is able to grow on rather dry ground. It has a very strong and fascinating scent. Thyme is often found in cough syrup because it works mucolytically and disinfecting. It is also used for an easier digestion of oily food.
I use thyme as a spice in a lot of food: just add it to ragout, wok dishes or pasta sauce. It also gives the special something to greek salad! Just be careful with the dosage: if you use too much, it is very strong!
Ginger / Zingiber officinale (Picture source)
Oh, ginger! I think it is a miracle! Originally it comes from Asia, mainly china. I have read somewhere that it is possible to grow ginger at home but I have not tried it yet. Ginger has many, many positive effects on the body; amongst others it is antibacterial and boosts the immune system. In the kitchen it works very well with all kinds of wok dishes – just cut off a slice and chop it, then add it to your dish. I have also once cooked a very yummy ginger chicken dish!
Whenever I feel a cold coming up or try to recover from one, I drink fresh ginger tea:
Cut off a 1 cm slice of the ginger and peel it. Slice it into smaller pieces. Put the ginger into a tea egg; if you do not have one, just throw them into the tea-pot. Pour boiling water into the pot (I use 1 liter) and let it brew for about 25 minutes. I always add honey and sometimes the juice of a fresh lemon. When you drink it, you will instantly feel how it warms you up!
Now go and eat yourself healthy 🙂
Yours truly, madly, deeply!