Heart-warming herbs

Heart-warming herbs

As we head into deep winter, we all know it's good to keep warm and cosy. It's also important to keep things moving, and herbs can be a great help with this. Circulatory stimulants, like spices, resin-rich herbs, and those with strong essential oils and high flavonoid content come into their own.

Arteries, veins, and capillaries all work with and for the main mover - the heart. Just think of chilli, ginger, cinnamon, and rosemary. You probably feel warm already! Preparations of these and other herbs (including chestnuts) in alcohol, oil, vinegar, and tea are justly famous for warming the cockles.

Some of these herbs raise, some lower, and others regulate the blood vessels as well as the blood pressure. The marvelous ruby-red tincture of hawthorn berries in brandy - we prepared some earlier in the year - does all this, while also feeding the heart muscle itself.

As we move closer to the end of the year I'm gathering bramble leaves, nettles, plantain, and dandelion, chopping them up very small and sprinkling onto dishes for all the family, including dogs and cats. Greatly appreciated by aged horses too, mixed with grated carrot and offered on the palm.




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