• Sheila M. Devitt

Roots, Fruits & Warming Spices


Thanksgiving might be my favorite holiday. I love the traditional meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy, stuffing, green vegetables, and cranberry sauce. I love a day devoted to preparing good food, eating, drinking, and giving thanks.

While preparing the cranberry sauce yesterday, I was inspired to also prepare an herbal tea with a combination of berries, and clear out some old herbs from my shelves. (Some

of these jars were a little dusty!) Part of my gratitude is for the abundance of herbal medicine; using up what I have; not wasting, and not consuming more than I need.

I put the tea on to simmer, while I chopped cranberries and grated orange peel. This blend is intended to support the digestive functions of the Spleen & Stomach, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory.

(Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica, Bensky, Clavey & Stoger)

As I was preparing the cranberry to chill and set, I also set aside some of the herbal tea to make an herb jello. I have been curious to experiment with herb jellos, and this was a good opportunity! But first, the tea:

It was delicious! Warm, sweet, spicy, and soothing to a full stomach.

I didn't precisely measure the ingredients, I just eye-balled it.

It probably came out to about:

1/4 C. each: Hawthorn berries, Dogwood berries, Jujube dates

1/8 C. each: Cinnamon twigs, Licorice root, Astragalus root

(I added the Astragalus after I took the picture of the dry herbs.)

1 Qt. water

Next, I set aside a cup of tea, added a packet of gelatin, and set it in the fridge to chill. After a few hours, I had a pan of gelled tea. Some of the herb matter had settled to the bottom of the pan, so there was a layer of darker sediment. That also is edible and tasty. That's the really potent part! Don't let it go to waste.

My herbal jello experiment was a success!

I'm excited to try more herbal tea recipes this way, especially looking at recipes that utilize the specific properties of gelatin. It's good for the tendons & ligaments, and would pair well with herbs that strengthen connective tissue.

Speaking of strengthening connective tissue: this is a good metaphor for nurturing our relationships. Sitting down to share a meal together is a time-honored method. A simple cup of tea can warm the Heart, literally & metaphorically.

We enjoyed our Thanksgiving meal, followed by some herbal digestive dessert.

We enjoyed a quiet day on Friday, observing International Buy Nothing Day.

We look forward to a winter season of warmth and health,

and wish the same for you & yours.

~In Gratitude ~

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends. Thank you.

#Thanksgiving #Fall #Autumn #HerbsasFood #HerbalMedicine #SpleenStomach #JelloShots #HerbalJello

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