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Forum » Изучение английского языка » Articles » Food Cures You Can Grow at Home
Food Cures You Can Grow at Home
mkclubДата: Ср, 03.10.12, 13:56 | Сообщение # 1
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Aloe Vera

Grow it: Plant in pots placed in full sunshine. Water well.

Use it: Break open the thick leaves and apply the gel that seeps out to your skin to soothe sunburn. “It’s 96 percent water and 4 percent active ingredients, including amino acids and enzymes that nourish damaged skin,” says pharmacist Margo Marrone, founder of The Organic Pharmacy in the United Kingdom.
 
mkclubДата: Ср, 03.10.12, 13:58 | Сообщение # 2
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Why burn a quarter-tank of gas running out to the drugstore for Pepto when you can pluck some relief from your windowsill herb garden?

Besides adding another dimension to your cooking, freshly harvested herbs can soothe dozens of common health problems, and it’s possible to grow a selection of home remedies in a couple of pots placed in a sunny spot.

Look for seedlings of these plants and herbs at any garden store, or if you’re really ambitious, buy a packet of seeds and try sprouting your own.
 
mkclubДата: Ср, 03.10.12, 14:00 | Сообщение # 3
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Basil

Grow it: This sweet, fragrant annual is ideal for growing in pots. Pull off the white flowers as soon as they appear to keep it from going to seed and your herbs from tasting bitter.

Use it: Rub crushed leaves on your temples to relieve headaches. Pour boiling water over basil leaves for a pain-relieving footbath.

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Sweet basil is a bushy annual, 1 to 2 feet high, with glossy opposite leaves and spikes of white flowers. Basil leaves are used in cooking, imparting their anise (licorice) flavor to dishes. Many cultivars are available with different nuances of taste, size, and appearance, including cultivars with cinnamon, clove, lemon, and lime overtones, as well as purple-leaved types such as ‘Dark Opal’ and ‘Rubin’. One of the most popular herbs in the garden, basil adds fine flavor to tomato dishes, salads, and pesto.

How to grow
Plant seed outdoors when frosts are over and the ground is warm, start indoors in individual pots, or buy bedding plants. If you start plants indoors, heating cables are helpful, since this is a tropical plant that doesn’t take kindly to cold. Plant in full sun, in well-drained soil enriched with compost, aged manure, or other organic materials. Space large-leaved cultivars, such as ‘Lettuce Leaf’, 1½ feet apart and small-leaved types such as ‘Spicy Globe’ 1 foot apart. Basil needs ample water. Mulch to retain moisture after the soil has warmed. Pinch plants frequently to encourage bushy growth, and pinch off flower heads regularly so plants put their energy into foliage production.

Grow a few basil plants in containers so you can bring them indoors before fall frost. Or make a second sowing outdoors in June in order to have small plants to pot up and bring indoors for winter. As frost nears, you can also cut off some end shoots of the plants in the garden and root them in water, to be potted later.

Basil can be subject to various fungal diseases, including Fusarium wilt, gray mold, and black spot, as well as damping-off in seedlings. Avoid these problems by waiting to plant outside until the soil has warmed and by not overcrowding plants. Japanese beetles may skeletonize plant leaves; control pests by hand picking.

Harvesting
Begin using the leaves as soon as the plant is large enough to spare some. Collect from the tops of the branches, cutting off several inches. Handle basil delicately so as not to bruise and blacken the leaves.

You can air-dry basil in small, loose bunches, but it keeps most flavorfully when frozen. To freeze basil, puree washed leaves in a blender or food processor, adding water as needed to make a thick but pourable puree. Pour the puree into ice-cube trays and freeze, then pop them out and store them in labeled freezer bags to use as needed in sauces, soups, and pesto. Pesto (a creamy mixture of pureed basil, garlic, grated cheese, and olive oil) will keep for a long time in the refrigerator with a layer of olive oil on top.

Uses
This widely used herb enhances the flavor of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. It is great in spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, and ratatouille. It’s also excellent for fish or meat dishes, combining well with lemon thyme, parsley, chives, or garlic. Try it in stir-fries or in vegetable casserole dishes. Fresh basil leaves are delicious in salads. Try the lemon-and lime-scented cultivars in fresh fruit salads and compotes. Basil is also a staple ingredient in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine; cultivars such as ‘Siam Queen’ give the most authentic flavor to these dishes. Basil vinegars are good for salad dressings; those made with purple basils are colorful as well as tasty.
 
mkclubДата: Ср, 03.10.12, 14:01 | Сообщение # 4
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Lavender

Grow it: This sun-loving plant needs good drainage. Use a small pot filled with gravel and a light soil.

Use it: It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Crush a handful of the heads and add to a bowl of boiling water to use as a steam bath for your face. You can also dab the oil from the flowers on blemishes, says Marrone.

...
Lavender in Containers
Plant lavender in a container made from a material that breathes, such as terra-cotta. Repot to a larger container every spring to allow the plant to reach its full blooming and growth potential.

Use a sterile potting mix, or try this one from V. J. Billings, owner of Mountain Valley Growers, an organic nursery in Squaw Valley, California: Mix approximately 60 percent peat moss with 40 percent perlite, with a couple of handfuls of homemade compost thrown in. If you don't add compost when you pot, you'll need to fertilize every three weeks or so with a diluted fish or seaweed emulsion.

5 steps to perfectly dried lavender

Harvest stems when you see the first couple of blossoms have opened.
Avoid mildew by harvesting on a dry, sunny day after the dew has dried but before the sun is blazing.
Cut each stem back to the first set of leaves.
Make a bundle of about 50 stems and secure it with a rubber band.
Hang them upside down in a dry, cool, place out of direct sun. They'll be ready to use in about a month.
 
mkclubДата: Ср, 03.10.12, 14:10 | Сообщение # 5
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Mint

Grow it: Use a sunken pot, because it grows vigorously.

Use it: Ideal for treating the collywobbles, which you might know as butterflies in the stomach. Sip tea made with fresh peppermint leaves to soothe stomach cramps, nausea, and flatulence. For a natural decongestant, place a fistful of mint leaves in a shallow bowl and cover with boiling water. Lean over it, drape a towel over your head, and breathe the steam.

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Mints are perennial herbs with squared, four-sided stems with opposite leaves and small lipped flowers. All parts of the plants are pungent. Most mints are rampant spreaders, forming a thick mat of spreading stolons (creeping underground stems) just under the surface of the ground. Aboveground, plants produce 2-to 3-foot upright stems. Most are hardy in Zones 3–8, but check the species you want before you buy.

The genus Mentha has many species and cultivars. Mentha × piperita, peppermint, and M. spicata, spearmint, are the most familiar. Herb gardeners can also grow M. suaveolens, the furry apple mint; M. × piperita f. citrata, orange mint, and popular chocolate mint, M. × piperita f. citrata ‘Chocolate’; M. requienii, the creeping, mosslike Corsican mint; and numerous hybrids or variegated forms.

Growing Mint
All mints prefer a cool, moist spot in partial shade but will also grow in full sun. Mint is extremely variable from seed. Instead, order plants from a reputable source, or visit a nursery to find plants whose flavor and aroma appeal to you. One plant of each cultivar you select will soon provide more than enough mint for home use—the big problem is to keep them from overrunning all neighboring plants. To avoid this, plant mints in bottomless containers that are at least 15 inches deep and sunk in the ground with one or two inches protruding above the soil surface, or plant above the ground in tubs and barrels.

Harvesting
Snip leaves or sprigs as needed. To harvest in quantity, cut stems to within an inch or so above the ground. You can make several harvests, depending on the length of the season. Hang mint in loose bunches to air dry, dry individual leaves on a tray in a food dehydrator, or freeze in self-sealing bags.

Uses
Enjoy aromatic mint teas hot or iced. Peppermint tea, a centuries-old remedy, can calm an upset stomach. Add chopped fresh leaves to lamb, rice, salads, or cooked vegetables. Corsican mint is an attractive creeper, good between paving stones or in the rock garden.
 
mkclubДата: Ср, 03.10.12, 14:17 | Сообщение # 6
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Сообщений: 458

Parsley

Grow it: Thrives in a pot in the sun as long as the soil is kept moist. Feed with organic fertilizer.

Use it: Immune-system booster. Eat one tablespoon of chopped flatleaf or curly parsley daily. Chewing parsley neutralizes mouth odors.

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Parsley
Two different forms include the familiar curly parsley and the more flavorful flat-leaved Italian version, with leaves like celery and cilantro.
Sow: Direct-sow seeds or set out six- to eight-week-old transplants about a week before the last spring frost, spacing seeds or seedlings 8 to 10 inches apart.
Grow: Tolerates full sun or partial shade.
 
mkclubДата: Ср, 03.10.12, 14:17 | Сообщение # 7
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Cilantro


The emerald leaves have a distinctive flavor that combines parsley, sage, and citrus; and its seed (coriander), which is reminiscent of citrus and spice.
Sow: Direct-sow seeds a week or two before the last spring frost and again in late summer.
Grow: Best in full sun, with some afternoon shade in hotter regions.

...

Chervil

The leaves resemble parsley in appearance and taste, with delicate overtones of anise.
Sow: Sow seeds directly into the garden about three to four weeks before the last spring frost and again in late summer; thin seedlings to 6 to 9 inches apart.
Grow: Prefers part shade.
 
mkclubДата: Ср, 03.10.12, 14:19 | Сообщение # 8
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Сообщений: 458

Rosemary

Grow it: This hardy perennial loves basking in sunshine.

Use it: Tea made from a thumb-sized piece has been known to lift spirits in people suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and hangovers. Infuse warm red wine with rosemary, cinnamon, and cloves to soothe winter colds.

...

Rosemary is an herb that's not just for the kitchen spice rack. You can use rosemary to make sachets for your drawers or a rinse for your hair. And rosemary oil adds a pleasant piney scent to soaps, creams, lotions, and toilet waters. Rosemary grows in shrubby clumps of branching stems covered with wonderfully fragrant, needlelike, green leaves. This herb is a half-hardy perennial that's an evergreen in Zones 8 through 9. In Zones 6 and 7, you can grow the hardy variety 'Arp', or you can grow rosemary as a container plant that's overwintered indoors. Plants can reach 5 to 6 feet tall where they're hardy outdoors; container plants reach 1 to 3 feet tall.

Growing Guide

Soil preparation: This aromatic herb grows best in well-drained, sandy, or gravelly soil and full sun.
Planting: Seedlings grow very slowly, so you'll want to buy plants and start with them for fastest results.
Spacing: Space plants 1 to 2 feet apart (if you plan to grow your rosemary as a perennial in the garden, space the plants a good 4 feet apart).

Harvesting
You can continuously harvest rosemary as long as the plants are growing. Strip the needles from the stems, then chop them before using. Rosemary also dries and freezes well. Freeze whole sprigs, and when you need some leaves, slide your thumb and index finger down a sprig, taking off as many leaves as you need.

Trivia Tidbits
In ancient Greece, students wore rosemary garlands in their hair while studying for exams because they believed rosemary would help improve their memory. In the Middle Ages, men and women placed rosemary sprigs under their pillows to ward off demons and prevent bad dreams.
 
mkclubДата: Ср, 03.10.12, 14:21 | Сообщение # 9
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Сообщений: 458

Sage

Grow it: Needs full sun and a dry sandy soil. Sage means “to be in good health.”

Use it: Gargle with a broth made from a quarter-cup of leaves (and cooled) to relieve sore throat.

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Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) is a classic example of a plant with a confusing common name. The "real" sages are members of the genus Salvia, which includes the common culinary herb Salvia officinalis. Russian sage and the salvias do share the same family (Lamiaceae), but they are quite different plants. The so-called Russian sage is native from Afghanistan to Tibet, while culinary sage originated in the Mediterranean region. Russian sage is a large, shrubby perennial with light blue flowered spires that float above the deeply toothed silvery foliage.

Culinary sage has smooth-edged, tapered leaves, and tends to not grow over 2 feet tall. It is also a celebrated kitchen herb, with strongly scented leaves that were originally used to flavor (or perhaps mask the flavor of) meats. The inedible gray-white stems and leaves of Russian sage don't have a use in the kitchen, but they add four-season interest to ornamental borders.

The foliage of both plants releases a similar, pungent scent when crushed, but I find the scent of Russian sage more reminiscent of another confusingly named but similarly scented plant: sagebrush (Artemisia).
 
mkclubДата: Ср, 03.10.12, 14:23 | Сообщение # 10
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Сообщений: 458

Thyme

Grow it: Plant in dry, light soil. Needs sun.

Use it: A powerful antioxidant as well as an antiseptic. Drink a tea made from lemon thyme to treat colds before bed. Warning: Don’t use thyme when pregnant.

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Thymus spp.
Labiatae

Description
Versatile and beautiful, thymes should have a place in every herb garden. All thymes are perennial herbs with very small leaves and tiny flowers ranging in color from white through pink to deep rose-magenta. The creeping types, such as mother-of-thyme (Thymus serpyllum), will cover bricks and stones or low walls and can tolerate a certain amount of foot traffic. T. ‘Coccineus’ is a mat-forming cultivar with showy reddish purple flowers and bronze fall foliage. The bush forms are 6 to 8 inches high and have woody, wiry stems and branches.

Common thyme (T. vulgaris) is the type of thyme most frequently used for cooking. Most thymes are very fragrant, with aromas reminiscent of coconut, orange, balsam, oregano, lime, or nutmeg. Golden lemon thyme (T. * citriodorus ‘Aureus’) has yellow-edged leaves and a strong lemon odor. Zones 4 or 5–9, depending on the species and cultivar.

How to grow
Thymes need full sun and a dry, gritty soil. Buy named cultivars as plants, or plant thyme seed outdoors in a prepared bed in fall or spring, or start your seeds in flats indoors. Bush thymes (except for variegated cultivars) often seed themselves freely, so there should be no shortage of new plants if the old ones don’t come through a hard winter. To propagate cultivars, separate rooted pieces or take cuttings. In the North, protect plants from winter damage with a covering of evergreen boughs.

Harvesting
When plants are beginning to flower, cut off the top half and hang to dry in a shady place or dry on trays in a food dehydrator. Once the leaves are thoroughly dry, strip them from the stems and store in a dark place until ready to use. You may harvest pieces from thyme plants all summer, but don’t cut them back severely in fall.

Uses
One of the essential oils in thyme is thymol, still used by pharmacists, especially in cough remedies. Thyme is antiseptic, as well as an aid to digestion. In the kitchen, thyme is a wonderful addition to pasta and pizza sauces, salad dressings, stews, stuffings, meat loaf, and soups, and is especially good with poultry, fish, and eggs.
 
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