Friday, July 27, 2012

How little things grow...

two dav old chicks

Two months ago three fluffy Araucana chicks hatched for us. How they grow so fast! Here they are now with their surrogate mum, a Japanese bantam. They are about to overtake her in size.

pullets and mum

Friday, July 6, 2012

Winter Warmer: Hot Licorice & Peppermint Tea

tea on table

Cuddle up on the couch on a cold winters day with a good book and this warming tea...

Licorice tea is made from the powdered root of Glycyrrizha glabra, the licorice plant. It was once used to flavour the sweet by the same name that most us left in the bottom of the lolly bag uneaten. The actual licorice in the chewy licorice lolly has now been replaced by other flavouring agents. Which seems a shame because I think more kids would gobble it up if the real stuff was still in use. It has a sweet warming taste that is just right for winter, a far cry from the dreaded licorice sweets. I like to freshen mine up with a few sprigs of freshly picked native peppermint leaves stirred into the brew. The native peppermint has a cleaner smoother effect than the common peppermint. This tea is a nice caffiene free alternative to hot chocolate.

Place 1 - 2 teaspoons of licorice root powder (or licorice tea bag) into your favourite mug. Pour over boiling water and stir in a few sprigs of native peppermint (or the usual peppermint works just fine too). Enjoy!

Licorice has a range of valuable health benefits. Its antibacterial and antifungal actions recommend it for sore throats and coughs. It is used medicinally to provide adrenal support for those with low blood pressure. Avoid use if you have high blood pressure. 

Try your local supermarket for licorice tea bags or it is available in powdered form from Herb Cottage. Ask your local nursery for a native peppermint plant to grow in your garden. It likes a moist semi shaded position like most other mints.

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