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diaryofanegress

Observations of an Invisible Woman

Archive for the tag “roots and herbs”

Blacks and Health: A Natural Way to Heal #10

One of my Dill planters

One of my Dill planters

Last year, I grew absurd amounts of dill on my front porch (picture above). I toiled and toiled to the point of callouses to reap the benefits of this delicious herb. Dill, also called dillweed, is apart of a family called umbellifers. Did you know that this pungent and delicious herb is a cousin to the carrot? Parsley, parsnip and fennel are “grandparents” as well.

The common name dill comes from an Old Norse word “dilla” and means to calm or soothe.

Dill originated in Western Africa. A medicinal herb for at least 5,000 years, it was used as an aphrodisiac and in shamanism to ward off evil. Europeans discovered our herb when they raided the tomb of Amenhotep II and found him filled with this aromatic herb. Our ancestors knew of the benefits of this amazing plant and Eurasia soon followed in our footsteps. Caesar was said to eat large quantities of this herb after a large meal to soothe indigestion. Perhaps the most well-known use is this:

Dill pickle

Because of its strong flavor, dill has also been used for centuries to enhance the flavor of vegetables, meats and seafood.

Aside from gas, dill helps / prevents:

Dill relieves:

Insomnia

Asthma

Hiccups ( yes, it really works)

Dysentery

Diarrhea

Painful menstruation

Sores/ Ulcers (when grinded or pounded)

Our ancestors also used dill tea or pulverized dill as an early form of anti-septic for cuts, bruises and surgery. Aside from being delicious in fish and my soups, dill is an excellent way to get calcium.

I eat the whole thing…seeds and all!

Next article: Sage

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Blacks and Health: A Natural Way to Heal Part 8

Zingiber officinale

The first time I tasted ginger, my heart sped up and I began to sweat. Then, an incredible warmth overcame me and I felt wonderful. The power of ginger has had me hooked for decades. This spicy, delicious root is as old as time. Cousins of this root are cardamom and turmeric. I actually grated this and use it in my humidifier in the spring to combat my allergies.

Ginger, in the Caribbean and Africa, is dried and sweetened with honey/ molasses and sold as ginger “candy.” Pastries and teas are a BIG export using this aromatic plant, especially Jamaican Ginger Beer. The health benefits for this root are:

It thins the blood, preventing blood clots

Helps with nausea/ seasickness/ morning sickness

Lowers cholesterol

Painful Menstruation

Combats arthritis

Poor circulation or “colds hands and feet”

I make ginger iced tea year round. Here is my simple recipe:

Peppermint leaves

2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger

honey

lemon slices

Boil about 2-3 cups water and add ginger and peppermint leaves. Let seep for 15 minutes. Add honey and fresh lemon slices when cooled.

Next Article: Cloves

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