Essential Oils (EO’s) 101

Today:

  • Essential Oils and Their Properties
    •  Anise
    • Basil
    • Bay
    • Benzoin
    • Bergamot

Anise Essential Oil (Top)

Properties: Anise essential oil is an anti-epileptic, anti-hysteric, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, aperient (relieve constipation), carminative, cordial, decongestant, digestive, expectorant, insecticide, sedative, stimulant and vermifuge (destroys or expels parasitic worms).

Health benefits: It treats rheumatism and arthritis, protect against septic, relax spasms, acts as a purgative, removes gas, warms the body, clears congestion and eases breathing, facilitates digestion, expels phlegm and catarrh, kills and repels insects, worms and lice and relieves nervous afflictions.

Basil Essential Oil (Top)

Properties: Basil essential oil is carminative, anti-spasmodic, analgesic (pain relief), antibacterial, and ophthalmic (eye).

Health benefits: It has long been used for skin care, indigestion, respiratory problems, infections, stress disorders, blood circulation issues, pain and vomiting.

 

Bay Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Bay essential oil is an antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-neuralgic (pain in the distribution of nerves), anti-spasmodic, analgesic (pain relief), astringent, cholagogue (promotes the discharge of bile), emenagogue (stimulates or increases menstrual flow), febrifuge (reduce fever), insecticide, sedative, stomachic (promoting the appetite or assisting digestion), sudorific (induces sweating) and tonic.

Health benefits: It protects against septic, inhibits microbial growth, relieves neuralgia pain, relaxes spasms, provides pain relief, increases appetite, tightens gums & muscles and helps stop hair loss.  Other applications have been for the treatment of haemorrhage, promotion of bile secretion, relief of obstructed menstruation, and reduction of fever. The essential oil also kills and repels insects, sedates inflammations and nervous afflictions, and is good for the stomach, while increasing perspiration and the elimination of excess toxins in the body.

Benzoin Essential Oil (Base)

Properties: Benzoin essential oil is an antidepressant, carminative, cordial, deodorant, disinfectant, relaxant, diuretic, expectorant, antiseptic, vulnerary (wound healing), astringent, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic and sedative.

Health benefits: It uplifts moods and fights depression, eliminates gas build-up, warms the respiratory system, reduces body odour, cures infections, relaxes, promotes urination and the subsequent removal of body toxins, strengthens gums and stops haemorrhaging, cures inflammation, improves circulation, cures arthritis, calms anxiety and relieves tension.

Bergamot Essential Oil (Top)

Properties: Bergamot essential oil is a deodorant, vulnerary (wound healing), vermifuge (destroys or expels parasitic worms), antibiotic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, sedative, analgesic (pain relief), antidepressant, disinfectant, febrifuge (reduce fever), cicatrisant (skin healing) and digestive in nature.

Health benefits: It removes body odour, relieves spasms, suppresses pain, improves mood and fights depression, heals cuts and scars and promotes efficient digestion.

 

 

Herb Garden

It’s no secret that I REALLY dislike winter so to wish it away even faster (it hasn’t even officially started yet – we are still in Autumn) , I sat down and redesigned my herb garden for in our courtyard area, so by the time Spring shows it’s beautiful face, I will be ready to rock and roll.  We have a designated triangular area which is pretty bare at the moment except for a ever thriving bay tree which is smack bang in the middle.  In hindsight, it was probably not the best place to plant it.

The only “open” piece of the triangle is the bottom, both sides are walls so no moving the herb garden to a better position; only remedy is to keep the herbs in pots and move them around.

I have tried to work around companion planting, perennial versus annual herbs and which plants want a little less sunlight and below is a rough sketch of what I have in mind.

Herb garden design

The strawberries, mint and baby tomatoes are in their own terracotta pots which stand separate to the herb garden.

What do you think?

Anchovie, Garlic and Basil Linguine

This supper which comes together in the length of time it takes your pasta to cook, is a satisfying tasty meal for when you really don’t feel like standing in the kitchen cooking, or like me, your husband is away on business and you sat behind the computer the whole day until way passed your normal dinner time.  When I make it again, I think I shall add a splash of white wine and or possibly some chopped black olives.  I may just add that to the leftovers for lunch.

Anchovie, Garlic and Basil Linguine

Ingredients

250g linguine or pasta of choice
8 anchovies
4 garlic cloves crushed
Black pepper to taste
6 basil leaves chiffonade

Method

  1. Cook the linguine according to packet instructions.
  2. Mash the anchovies including some of the oil from the bottle or tin in a pan over a medium heat.
  3. Add the garlic and pasta and stir to combine.
  4. Add the black pepper, basil and a drizzle of olive oil.

Sweet Chilli & Basil Chicken

The fresh flavours of this recipe make it a favourite for summer evenings.  You can also replace the basil with fresh coriander (cilantro) and if entertaining a larger group of people, you can cook both variations.

Sweet Chilli & Basil Chicken

 

Ingredients

350g chicken breasts
2 spring onions
15ml oil
60ml balsamic vinegar
60ml sweet chilli sauce
45ml soya sauce
125ml fresh basil leaves

Method

  1. Cut the chicken into thin slices.
  2. Cut the onions diagonally into 2cm lengths.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok and stir fry the onions for 2 minutes and set aside.
  4. Stir fry the chicken until almost cooked.
  5. Add the vinegar, sweet chilli sauce and soya sauce to the chicken and stir through until the chicken is cooked.
  6. Add the onions and basil leaves and stir through.

Serve with basmati rice.

Submitted by:  Mandy Frielinghaus, Mauritius