Herbal recipes, teas, etc.

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by nostalgia, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. nostalgia

    nostalgia Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2003
    I noticed that alot of the posts about herbs are mostly suggestions for medicinal uses. I am also interested in herbs that can be used in different recipes like tea and other cooking recipes. Would it be possible for us to start another sticky for the purpose of posting recipes for herbal teas and what herbs are good in what dishes, etc.? If not, could we post recipes in the stickys for herbs?

    I am sure I am not the only one interested in herbs for flavorings? Maybe some might even have some potpourri and/or soaps recipes using herbs you would like to share. :)
  2. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2002
    The trouble you've got with herbs, if trouble you can call it, is that very often it's impossible to separate out 'culinary' versus 'medicinal'. Even the most common herbs used for culinary purposes (rosemary, sage, thyme etc) have medicinal uses, and some of these should not be used even in the usually small culinary amounts if you suffer from certain conditions. Lemon Balm would be one of these, if you have a thyroid condition. Pregnancy is one medical condition in which extreme caution should be used with herbs.

    I have literally thousands of recipes I've put together in my own book, specifically based on herbs. This book also includes many herbal tea recipes. But I don't usually post the tea recipes when I suspect or know that people are going to use them as beverages. To me, that would be irresponsible, because a herbal tea (ANY herbal tea!) is very definitely and indisputably a medicinal (and quite concentrated) dosage of a herb (or of several herbs). Giving a recipe for a herbal tea is exactly like writing out a prescription for a conventional drug. However, if someone says that they are suffering from X condition, and their doctor has prescribed H tea as part of the treatment regime and the enquiry is how to prepare it, then I will post it (if I have it!). I will also include my usual warnings about herbal teas and how they should be used etc - and expect the warnings to be heeded!!

    The following are recipes such as you might find in almost any cookbook, especially one devoted in particular to herbs. But to get my point across about the medicinal purposes of herbs being inseparable from the culinary ones, I've added some comments to each recipe.

    Backyard Salad
    2 cups chickweed leaves
    1 cup dandelion, rocket or chicory leaves
    1 cup parsley
    1 cup watercress
    1 cup chervil

    Combine all ingredients and pour your favourite dressing over. (This recipe would be an excellent one to use if you are doing a detox or need a diuretic. Not recommended for pregnant women. Rocket, BTW, is your Arugula.)

    Geranium Sorbet
    16 rose, lemon, peppermint or lime geranium leaves
    9 tablespoons sugar
    1 egg white, stiffly beaten
    2 cups water
    juice of 1 lemon

    Wash leaves and shake dry. Place in a saucepan with the water and sugar, bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat, cover and leave for 20 minutes. Strain and add lemon juice. Leave to cool. Pour into an ice cream tray and freeze until mixture is mushy. Remove from freezer and fold in egg white. Freeze again. Serve in glasses decorated with small geranium leaves.(This recipe might be helpful for women who have some menstrual problems. Scented geraniums are really pelargoniums, remember!)

    Sweet Cicely Fruit Pudding
    1kg raspberries or other soft fruit
    600ml cider
    125g honey (or more to taste)
    a few sprigs and seed heads of Sweet Cicely, chopped.

    Put the cider and honey in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer briskly for about 5-10 minutes, until reduced by about one third. Reduce heat and add the fruit and Sweet Cicely. Cook gently until the fruit is tender. Cover, and allow the fruit to cool, then break it up with a wooden spoon. Serve warm or cold, with buttermilk or yoghurt. (Sweet cicely is often used as a sweetener in its own right, suitable for use by diabetics. This recipe might be good for someone with a sore throat or a cold, or for those who might need some added iron in their diet, or for convalescents.)

    Elderflower Syrup
    1 cup sugar
    juice of 1 lemon
    1 cup water
    8 cups elderflowers

    Make sure the flowers are young and white ? avoid any which are turning a creamy colour (they will taste and smell like cats' urine!). Boil the sugar, lemon juice and water for 10 minutes, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour the syrup over the flowers. Cover with a clean cloth and leave overnight, then strain. Bring the liquid to the boil, remove from heat immediately and bottle. Store in the fridge for several months, discarding if it begins to bubble, ferment, or if any mould appears. Take 2 tablespoons twice a day for 6-8 weeks before hayfever season, or to treat a sinus problem. Add a little to fruit dishes, especially apples and pears, or fruit salads. Delicious served over ice cream or waffles.

    Sage Pesto
    1/2 cup fresh sage leaves
    1 1/2 cups fresh parsley leaves
    2 garlic cloves
    1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts
    1/2 cup parmesan cheese
    1/2 cup olive oil

    Combine sage, parsley, garlic, cheese, and nuts in a food processor. Process to mix. With machine running, slowly add the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and process to the desired consistency. Excellent tucked under the skin of chicken breasts or mixed with pine nuts and fresh bread crumbs and stuffed into game hens. (This recipe should not be used by women who are breastfeeding - sage dries up the milk supply.)

    Rosemary Roast Lamb
    1 leg lamb
    1 clove garlic, peeled and finely sliced
    1 small bunch rosemary
    black pepper
    150ml red wine

    Make slits all over the skin of the lamb and insert a sliver of garlic in each. Lay the rosemary on the bottom of the roasting pan, put the lamb on top. Roast at 180C for about 1 hour. Pour over the wine and continue cooking for a further 1 1/4 hours, basting occasionally. Remove lamb, keep warm. Drain off fat from the pan, discard the rosemary and stir juices over high heat until it reduces slightly. Strain and serve with the lamb. (This would be a good recipe for a student just before an exam. The smell of rosemary helps the memory, and rosemary is a mild anti-depressant and a mild stimulant. It would also help the digestion, especially with the black pepper - ease those nervous pre-exam butterflies! The garlic of course is a good all-rounder and just might help prevent the student from catching a cold just before the exam. A pregnant woman would be advised to have only a small serving. If she is suffering from toxaemia, she should not have it at all. Also, anyone suffering from epilepsy or high blood pressure should be very cautious about using rosemary.)

    Parsley Soup (1)
    125g fresh chopped parsley, stems included
    30g flour
    45g butter
    1 onion
    1 stalk of celery
    1 litre stock
    pinch nutmeg
    1/2 bay leaf

    Chop parsley, including stems. Melt butter, cook onion and celery for a few minutes. Sprinkle in flour and mix well. Pour on stock and bring slowly to the boil blending smoothly, add parsley, salt, pepper, nutmeg and bay leaf. Simmer for 25 minutes. Serve as it is, or put through a blender. (Definitely NOT one for the pregnant woman!! Parsley is an abortifacient and may cause foetal abnormalities. This recipe is also quite diuretic.)

  3. nostalgia

    nostalgia Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2003
    Thank you Culpepper for the recipes and the information. Although I must admit I am a bit confused. Are you saying that there are no herbs that should be used with tea that should be drank as a beverage? Another way of putting it is, Is there any herbal tea that could be drank on a regular basis as a beverage that is considered safe for anyone?

    I have almost always been afraid of prescription medicines with good reason, and thought that using herbs instead would be a safer alternative, but I am beginning to develop a fear for them now. :confused: :eek: Maybe I will just stick to the herbal creams and salves to put on the outside of the body. :D

    Please understand I do very much appreciate your cautions. I guess I just never understood that even herbs could be dangerous untill now. I guess the truth is nothing is completely safe when it comes to putting it in our mouths. I became interested in herbs because I thought they sounded safer than "store bought drugs" but I guess it's not as simple as I thought. I appreciate you letting us know of the possible dangers involved in using herbs.

    It just makes me wonder how many babies were born with defects or not born at all because their mother ate parsley unknowingly. I supose the amount of herb consumed and how it effects a person varies from person to person but I for one wouldn't want to find out how it will effect me or my child. I believe it would be best to avoid herbs altogether when one is with child?

    Like I said, I do appreciate you raising awareness about the dangers because I for one have heard how good they can be for some persons, but I never realized how dangerous they can be too if misused. This is definitely something we all need to really educate ourselves about before we use them. But I have a feeling it's like "drug store medications" there are so many different opinions, who really knows what is good for us and what isn't? :(
  4. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2003

    My motto regarding teas and food is... 'everything in moderation' and 'variety is the spice of life'.

    I drink a variety of herbal teas, primarily for taste, not medicinal uses. I consider them beverages like anything else I drink during the day. (coffee, juices, water, gatorade, etc.)

    Chamomile is my favorite since childhood. Peppermint, too. I've added high calcium tea, berry tea(from FL), green tea and various Celestial tea flavors.

    sidenote: After the MVA, I suffered from painful muscle dysfunctions. Prescription meds for muscle spasms offered some relief, but also had strong side effects. One of the muscle relaxants sent me to the ER last year with chest pressure and erratic rhythm. slow to fast

    The herbal remedies I have used have been beneficial with no adverse reactions.


    Some Resources in using culinary herbs:

    kitchen charts- seasoning for _____




    FOOD and DRINK
    Herbal tea
    Banana Rumba Tea!
    Delightful mix of Rooibos, banana bits,apple bits,hibiscus, rose-hips
    and caramel bits .Will make a great ice tea

    Oh! Berries!! : blend of hibiscus blossoms, elderberries, grapes, billberries ,citrus peels that produce a heavenly raspberry-cherry taste.

    Medicinal (Bulk)
    ie. Bilberry
    "Bilberry is related to the Huckleberry and Blueberry plants that people use to make jams and jellies. During WWII the British RAF pilots who used blueberry jam on their bread seemed to be far more successful at hitting their targets. After research was done on the use of bilberry and eye disorders, it was found to help in fatigue, reduce eye irritation, near sightedness and night-blindness. It extended the range and sharpness of vision and the adaptation to darkness by accelerating regeneration of the retina and helped to restrain the development of conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts. "
  5. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2002
    "Is there any herbal tea that could be drank on a regular basis as a beverage that is considered safe for anyone?"

    Short answer is 'NO'. And that includes ordinary black or green tea, made from Camellia sinsensis. Although I absolutely LOVE it, I limit myself to 2-3 cups per day, and my doctor is shaking his finger at me for that much, even though I drink it very, very weak! It has many beneficial medicinal uses, BUT.....

    Excessive amounts may lead to insomnia and nervousness in susceptible people. People suffering from anaemia should not drink tea in frequent or large amounts, as it may affect iron levels. Some researchers suggest that tea should not be taken while receiving chemotherapy, while pregnant or breastfeeding, or by those with heart problems, kidney disorders, stomach ulcers, and psychological disorders (particularly anxiety). Tea (particularly green tea) may interact adversely with the following medications: adenosine; beta-lactam antibiotics; benzodiazepines; Beta-blockers, propranolol and metoprolol; blood-thinning medications such as Warfarin or Aspirin; clozapine; ephedrine; lithium; Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs); Phenylpropanolamine (often contained in cough medicines).

    What Shepmom said, however, is very pertinent. 'Moderation' is one of my favourite words when it comes to herbs. However, just as I don't drink cough medicines as a beverage, nor do I drink herbal teas as beverages! Or, more accurately, in the case of black tea, I am acutely aware that I'm not doing myself any favours by using it a beverage. But I'm not dead yet, though I know I will be sooner than I should.
  6. modjadje

    modjadje Member

    Nov 11, 2002
    The Willamette Valley in Oregon
    I find this thread very interesting, and appreciate the insight you have given us, Culpeper.
    Can you tell me whether you are aware of any bad stuff about Hibiscus tea (we make it from the calyxes of Hibiscus sabdariffa, like the Egyptians and Mexicans do). The other tea of which my hubby and I drink a cupful a day is made from Pau D'Arco (aka tahibo or iperoxa (sp?) We believe that these two teas boost the immune system ... Do you have any caveats about this?

    And what about tea made from lemongrass? Another favorite of ours.

    Thank you for your help. Delina, from Oregon
  7. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2003
    I usually only drink 1-2 cups of one type of tea. Now my coffee intake would probably receive a lecture from your MD, much more than my tea intake.

    High caffeine tolerance. Nasty habit I picked up in college and continued while nursing. The caffeine in Green tea won't stop a caffeine withdrawal headache. Too low a level.
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    "Green tea consumption of as much as 20 cups per day has not been associated with any significant side effects. In high doses, teas that contain caffeine may lead to restlessness, insomnia, and tachycardia. Decaffeinated versions of green tea and green tea extracts are available – but due to differences in caffeine extraction methods, the amounts of phenolic/catechin compounds can vary between extracts. Be sure to choose an extract that is decaffeinated as well as standardized for total polyphenol content and/or catechin concentrations. In addition, individuals taking aspirin or other anticoagulant medications (including vitamin E and ginkgo biloba) on a daily basis should be aware of the possible inhibition of platelet aggregation (blood clotting) associated with green tea (in some cases, green tea may prolong bleeding times)."
    "Value Especially beneficial to individuals at high risk for cancer (e.g. family history) or those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Also beneficial as a general protective measure and dietary "insurance" of adequate polyphenol intake. Recent data provides strong evidence that green tea may be effective in stimulating thermogenesis, increasing caloric expenditure, promoting fat oxidation and controlling body weight. Dosage Typical dosage recommendations are for 125-500mg/day – preferably of an extract standardized to at least 60% polyphenols and/or EGCG </supatoz/supplement.asp?supplementId=107> as a marker compound (this should be equivalent to 4-10 cups of brewed green tea)."
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    Chamomile tea is quite safe and effective as a "calming" tea - and there are no serious drug interactions or side effects to be concerned with (at least at the levels provided in tea preparations and most mixed supplements). The one side effect that could be possible at higher doses (several cups of tea per day) might be allergic symptoms similar to hay fever (stuffy nose, watery/itching eyes). The calming effects of chamomile tea are relatively mild, and may not be experienced by everyone. Other supplements that are "stronger" in their sedative, anti-anxiety and sleep inducing effects are valerian, melatonin and kava - each of which are relatively safe when used as directed.

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  9. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2002
    I think we've established that the uses of herbs as flavour and medicines is inseparable.

    But Nostalgia has asked for some recipes using herbs. So far, it seems I've the only respondent who has any. Perhaps Nostalgia could post some of his/her own!

    Meantime, here are a couple more - minus comments about medicinal effects (although they cannot be ignored!!).

    Baked Vegetables with Basil Butter
    6 cups mixed sliced vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, capsicum, beans, zucchini, broccoli etc)
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1/3 cup fresh basil leaves or 2 tablespoons dried basil
    2 tablespoons parsley
    pinch nutmeg

    Put vegetables through a processor until fluffy. Cut 6 pieces foil about 30cm square. Place vegetables evenly on each piece and top each with 1 1/2 tablespoons basil butter. Carefully bring up edges of foil and fold into packets securely, but leaving a little air space inside. Bake at 230 for 20 minutes until tender.

    Chervil Pancakes
    90g plain flour
    pinch salt
    1 egg
    150ml milk
    2 tablespoons chopped chervil
    oil, butter or lard for frying

    Sift flour into a bowl, make a well in the centre. Add salt and break in the egg. Whisk the egg, gradually incorporating the flour from the sides. Beat well, then leave in a cool place for about an hour. Beat in the chervil. Melt the oil, butter or lard in a frypan, and use the batter to make about 8 small, thin pancakes. Serve rolled up with cream cheese in the centre, or cut into strips and serve in a clear soup.

    Pork Chops with Cumin
    For each person:
    1 pork chop about 3cm thick
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/4 cup tomato juice
    1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
    1 dessertspoon chopped parsley
    boiling water
    salt and pepper

    Roll chops in flour and brown in oil. Remove from pan. Add to the pan the tomato juice, cumin seed and parsley. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes. Return cops to pan, add enough boiling water to just cover the chops. Stir, season to taste. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, add more water as necessary.

    Tomato and Tarragon Muffins
    1/4 cup oil
    2 eggs
    1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
    1 diced onion
    2 tablespoons tomato paste
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    1 cup milk
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon OR 1 tablespoon dried
    1 teaspoon chilli sauce
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1 cup grated cheddar cheese
    3 cups self-raising flour
    1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, extra (optional)

    Preheat oven to 200C. Thoroughly blend all Ingredients except flour and extra cheese. Add the flour and mix until completely combined. Place in greased muffin tins. Sprinkle with extra cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes and remove from tins when slightly cooled. Makes 12. Serve with fish and salad meals.

    Split muffins and fill with the following mixture: 1/2 cup cream cheese and 2 tablespoons mayonnaise.

    Add 1/2 cup frozen cocktail prawns.

    Steak with Creamy Herb Sauce
    2 fillet steaks
    30g butter
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    1/2 cup red wine
    1 cup cream
    1 tablespoon chopped parsley
    1 tablespoon chopped chives
    1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

    Fry steaks in butter until done to taste. Remove from pan and keep warm. Pour the wine into the pan, increase heat and simmer until the wine has reduced slightly, stirring constantly. Add mustard, reduce heat, stir in well. Add cream and simmer until the sauce is thick. Stir in herbs. Serve immediately with sauce poured over steaks.
  10. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2003
    Ahhh, Culpepper I was just too lazy to type recipes when there are so many good ones at McCormick's and Penzey's website. I get the Penzey catalog and my mouth waters with their recipes.
  11. june02bug

    june02bug Well-Known Member

    May 23, 2003
    North Carolina
    From the book the herbalist's garden.

    Rosemary and rose biscotti
    1/2 cup butter
    1 cup sugar
    3 eggs
    1 drop rose geranium oil
    3 cups flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup chopped almonds, toasted
    1 teaspoon finely chopped dried rosemary leaves
    2 teaspoons finely chopped dried rose petals
    Cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Add geranium oil. Sift flour, measure, and sift again with baking powder and salt. Add to the creamed mixture and stir in the almonds, rosemary, and rose. Knead until smooth, then cut the dough in half. Make two rolls about 2 inches in diameter. Bake at 350f for 30 minutes, until firm. Slice, then toast on cookie sheets about 10 minutes.

    Dry Creek Herb Farm's clear skin tea
    1 part dried calendula flowers
    1 part dried nettle leaves
    1 part dried lavender tops
    1 part dried red clover blossoms
    1 part dried comfrey leaves
    Blend herbs. Using 1 teaspoon of herbs per cup of water, bring the water to a boil. Pour over the herbs, cover and let steep 15 minutes. Drink 2 to 4 cups dailey as needed. This tea can also be used as a wash or added to a bath. This same herb combination is excellent in a soap or salve.

    Go into the garden and see what is green and in season. Gather a combination to equal about 6 cups. Remove any hard stems. Add the greens cup by cup to a whirling food processor together with about 1 cup of parmesan cheese and about 1 cup of nuts or seeds, such as pecans, walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and pistachios. Add as much garlic as you want. Start with four cloves, taste then add to your desired potency and breath tolerance. Blend in enough olive oil to get the consistency you want - usually add anywhere between 1/2 cup and 2 cups. An oiler pesto is better as a sauce for pasta; a drier pesto is better as a spread. Store, refrigerated, in a glass jar with a tight lid. It will keep about three weeks. For long-term storage, spoon the pesto into icecube trays and freeze.
    Suggested greens for pesto include: angelica leaves (small amount), arugula, basil, chickweed, chives, cilantro, dandelion leaves, french sorrel, horseradish leaves (center stem removed), lamb's quarters, lovage leaves (small amount), mallow or marsh mallow leaves, marjoram leaves (stems removed), miner's lettuce, nettle leaves (stems removed), oregano leaves (stems removed), parsley, rosemary, spinach, thyme leaves (stems removed), violet leaves