This has been the year that I have become enamored with herbs. From being used in my families cultural traditions for generations to their culinary uses and medicinal properties.
They take a simple meal and turn it into something exquisite and at the same time heal us from within and help aid our food in digestion.
Over the past few years of being involved in the “real food” movement I’ve come to realize that we often we try to pin point a certain food or a certain method of making something to help us heal our bodies from within and aid in digestion.
We jump on board and go “gung ho” for it.
Really, what we need is a whole balanced diet.
Again, I need to think back to my own family and what has kept them nourished for generations.
A diet in water, vegetables (especially dark leafy greens), whole grains, legumes, rich healthy fats, sustainable meats, seasonal fruit all with a dash of fresh or dried herbs.
Each of these things help in digestion. They all build upon the other by breaking down food and extracting nutrients, vitamins and medicinal properties.
When we’re eating a local and seasonal whole balanced diet, we should have a healthy gut flora.
In order to continue my life in a whole balanced diet, I’ve been growing more herbs at home and have recently started making herbal infused honey, herbal oils and herbal vinegars.
Herbal vinegars are very easy to make and go far beyond regular culinary uses. They can be used to soften, clear your skin or as a hair rinse.
Homemade Tarragon Vinegar
I decided to make a tarragon vinegar since I have a large pot of it growing on my patio. I’m excited to use it for bernaise sauce and in salad dressings, however, I was quite pleased to learn of some its medicinal properties.
Some of the interesting things I’ve learned about tarragon is that it promotes the production of bile by the liver which aids in digestion and helps speed the process of eliminating toxic waste in the body. It’s been known to be a mild sedative and been taken to aid in sleep and also extremely valuable in fighting intestinal worms.
After learning that, I’m going to start sprinkling tarragon leaves into my chicken feed or maybe even growing it in the backyard since it comes back stronger and larger every year.
- 1 pint mason jar
- 1 cup fresh French tarragon leaves (4-5, 5″ sprigs)
- 2 cups white wine vinegar (you can use raw apple cider)
1. Fill a pint sized mason jar halfway with freshly picked French tarragon leaves.
2. Bruise the leaves a bit to release the essential oils.
3. Fill the mason jar with white wine vinegar or raw apple cider. Make sure to mix the leaves and add more vinegar to fill.
4. Close the lid and allow to sit in cool dark place for 2-4 weeks.
That’s it! Super easy.
You can make a variety of herbal vinegars and each can be used in many different ways.
So… what’s your favorite herb and how do you use them?