Essential Oils 101 – Clove – Frankincense

Today:

  • Clove
  • Coriander
  • Cypress
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fennel
  • Frankincense

Clove Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Clove essential oil is antimicrobial (kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth), antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, aphrodisiac and stimulating in nature.

Health benefits: It is used in treatments related to dental care from toothaches to cavities, as well as for infections, skin care, stress, headaches, respiratory problems, earaches, indigestion, nausea, blood circulation issues, blood purification, diabetes, immune system weakness, premature ejaculation, cholera and sties.

Coriander Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Coriander essential oil is an analgesic (pain relief), aphrodisiac, antispasmodic, carminative, depurative (purifying and detoxifying), deodorant, digestive, fungicide, lipolytic (breaks down fat for weight loss), stimulant and stomachic (promoting the appetite or assisting digestion).

Health benefits: It reduces pain, increases libido, reduces spasms, eliminates excess gas, purifies the blood, decreases body odour, promotes digestion, inhibits fungal growth and infection, reduces fat by breaking it down through hydrolysis, maintains good health and tone of the stomach.

Cypress Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Cypress essential oil is an astringent, antiseptic, antispasmodic, deodorant, diuretic, haemostatic (stops bleeding), hepatic (liver), styptic, sudorific (induces sweating), vasoconstrictor, respiratory tonic and a sedative.

Health benefits: It strengthens gums and contracts muscles, protects wounds against infections, clears spasms, removes body odour, increases urination, promotes perspiration, strengthens the respiratory system and soothes inflammation.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Top)

Properties: Eucalyptus essential oil has a number of important qualities, including anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, antibacterial and stimulating.

Health benefits: It treats respiratory problems, wounds, muscle pain, mental exhaustion, dental care, skin care, diabetes, fever and intestinal germs.

Fennel Essential Oil (Middle/Top)

Properties: Fennel essential oil is an antiseptic, antispasmodic, aperitif, carminative, depurative (purifying and detoxifying), diuretic, emenagogue (stimulates or increases menstrual flow), expectorant, galactogogue (increases the flow of a mother’s milk), laxative, stimulant, stomachic (promoting the appetite or assisting digestion), splenic, tonic and a vermifuge (destroys or expels parasitic worms).

Health benefits: It protects wounds against becoming septic, clears spasms, increases appetite, removes excess gas, purifies blood, increases urination, and promotes a regulated menstrual cycle,  defends against coughs and colds, increases milk secretion, helps clear bowels and constipation, stimulates systems and is good for stomach and spleen health.

Frankincense Essential Oil (Base)

Properties: Frankincense essential oil is an antiseptic, disinfectant, astringent, carminative, cicatrisant (skin healing), cytophylactic (protects cells), digestive, diuretic, emenagogue (stimulates or increases menstrual flow), expectorant, sedative, tonic, uterine and vulnerary (wound healing).

Health benefits: It protects wounds from becoming septic, fights infections, induces contractions in gums, muscles and blood vessels, removes excess gas, heals scars, keeps cells healthy and promotes their regeneration. It promotes digestion, increases urination, regulates menstrual cycles, cures coughs and colds, soothes anxiety and inflammation and ensures good health of the uterus.

 

DISCLAIMER

Information provided is for personal information and interest only, it is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and does not offer medical advice or treatment for any condition. It is recommend you consult your doctor or aromatherapist if you are pregnant, nursing, take medication, have any health/medical conditions and want to include using essential oils.

Baked Sweet Potato with Philadelphia, Dates & Coriander

Quite frankly this is a meal all on it’s own and I have been known to enjoy it more than once for lunch and is another fabulous recipe I inherited from my sister-in-law Karin.  I am also hooked on serving these for guests and they accompany everything from a braai to a roast dinner, well I think so.  If I bake the sweet potato in the oven, I brush them with olive oil before baking but when I do them in the microwave I don’t bother.  There are no real quantities as you can stuff in as much or as little of the cheese, dates and coriander as you like.

Baked sweet potato

Baked Sweet Potato with Philadelphia, Dates & Coriander

Ingredients

Sweet potatoes
Philadelphia cream cheese cut into chunks
Dates cut into pieces
Coriander chopped

Method

  1. Baked the sweet potatoes in the oven set at 180°C until soft alternatively cook them in the microwave.
  2. Slice the sweet potato lengthwise and place all the other ingredients in the opening.

Baked Sweet potato 2

Millet and Grape Salad

I wanted to call this Millet, Grape, Coriander, Toasted Almond and Spring Onion Salad because all of the ingredients are stars but alas, it’s too long.  Millet is a great alternative to quinoa for a summer salad and is somewhat cheaper too, which is great.  If you can’t get hold of millet, couscous will be a perfect substitute.

Millet Salad

Millet Salad

Ingredients

3 cups cooked millet
1 cup red grapes halved
1 cup coriander chopped
¼ cup red spring salad onions sliced
½ cup almonds toasted

Dressing

30ml apple cider vinegar
60ml olive oil
⅛ tsp sesame oil
1tsp honey
1 small garlic clove crushed
Salt and black pepper to taste

Method

  1. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a bowl
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad and mix through.

Un-Recipe – A bowl of pasta

I cannot remember when I last shared a un-recipe and this one couldn’t be easier.  I am starting to think I am craving so much pasta because of the running as I wasn’t that much of a pasta eater before.  I must confess to not making my own pasta for this dish, I simply opened a packet of store bought, well wouldn’t be much of an un-recipe if I had.

Bowl of pasta

Un-Recipe – Bowl of Pasta

Ingredients

Pasta of choice
Olive oil
Garlic crushed
Coriander chopped
Salt and black pepper
Cheese of choice grated

Method

  1. Boil pasta as per package instruction.
  2. Stir in a good glug of olive oil with the garlic and coriander.
  3. Season with salt and black pepper and top with cheese.

Karin’s Quinoa Salad

My lovely sister-in-law Karin introduced me to the super grain quinoa.  I know, I am far behind in trying new things.  I was also put off by how expensive it is.

Quinoa in a nutshell – it is high in protein, is a good source of dietary fibre and phosphorus and is high in magnesium, iron and calcium, so is good for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant and is also gluten-free and is easy to digest.

Karin's quinoa 2

On it’s own quinoa tastes pretty much like nothing but has a wonderful texture and put with other lovely ingredients makes a fabulous salad.  Karin adapted a couscous recipe from her favourite recipe book, The Cake the Buddha Ate. I highly recommend you make this for a lovely hot summer’s day salad.

Karin's quinoa 1

Karin’s Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

3 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup flaked almonds toasted
1 cup fresh coriander chopped chopped
1 cup tinned chickpeas – oops I forgot to put these in
1 cup red and yellow capsicum peppers chopped – I only had yellow
¼ cup dates chopped
¼ cup figs chopped
½ red onion chopped

Dressing

100ml olive oil
50ml apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp cinnamon powder
1 small garlic clover crushed
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad and mix through.

In My Kitchen – November 2013

Wow, can’t believe I just typed November which means this is our second last IMK post of the year.  It is also very exciting that there are so many new contributors to this fun monthly peek into each others kitchens.

In my kitchen…

Is a leftover piece of cheese and caramelised onion pizza which I made yesterday for lunch.

cheese onion pizza

In my kitchen…

Are some lavender sweet peas waiting to be put in a vase, as well as some pretty pink ones which I placed at our entrance hall, so not really in my kitchen and a smaller arrangement which I will put on my desk.

Sweet peas lavender

Sweet peas pink

Sweet peas vase

In my kitchen…

Is a beautiful mini viola plant which my sister-in-law Karin gave to me. 🙂

Mini viloas

In my kitchen…

Are my coriander seedlings.  These guys are ready to be potted for the herb garden so they can join the rest of the coriander and other happy herbs.

coriander seedlings

In my kitchen…

Well, technically just outside of my kitchen are 2 fig tree slips which I planted when we pruned the fig tree. I am thrilled that they are growing.  I planted a few others but don’t think they have survived.  I reckon I should have seen a leaf shoot on all the slips I planted and not just a bare twig.

fig tree slips

In my kitchen…

Are some shot glasses which I use for individual place settings when we have family and friends over for dinner.  They really work well and are considerably cheaper than mini vases.

shot glass vases

What’s in your kitchen this month?  Please remember to link back to Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial if you partake in the fun.

Angled Potted Herbs

Remember a while back we all got the awesome idea from my clever friend Des to stack pots in our gardens.  Well I just couldn’t wait for Spring so scrummaged through our spider infested shed (I was so brave all on my own – John, I know you will appreciate this fact) and found a few pots – all a bit battered but still very functional and some steel poles (hope Pete doesn’t need them for something) and set to work in my little cordoned off herb garden which I have spoken about before.  Once I saw what Des did in her garden, I was sold and changed my entire idea to follow in her foot steps.  Thanks again Des!

Potted herbs

Winter isn’t the best time for herbs but I have persevered  and at least have some spinach, lettuce (not herbs I know), oregano, rocket, thyme, parsley – moss curled and flat leaf, spring onions, dill, garlic chives and birds eye chillies.

I could supply all foodies bloggers with bay leaves from our bay tree which you can see sticking out behind the centre row of pots – it is trying to do a Jack and the Bean Stalk number and keeps getting taller and taller.  I am continually hacking away at it to keep it from taking over the herb garden.

Now I cannot wait to fill in the open spots with a few more pots and plant basil, coriander, sorrel, sage and rosemary.

Out of view in the photo are two free standing ceramic pots on either side of the herb garden.  The one pot has mint in it and the other has baby tomatoes.  There is one more ceramic bowl type pot which currently has a peppadew plant in it – I want to add some strawberries when they are in season too.

Bring on Spring! 😀

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?