As winter rolls in and the runny noses and chill loom, it’s time to break out the spices.
Ginger, black peppercorns, and habañero peppers are some of my favorite ways to perk up and get some energy when the weather is dark and grey.
Chemicals like capsaicin in the peppers give a natural endorphin rush, and ginger is perfect for treating any nausea from flu-like symptoms. Not to mention their ability to treat any stuffy noses!
So when the weather gets you feeling sluggish and ill, make a curry or ginger and garlic miso soup. Add some ginger slices to your tea, or put a little spicy chutney on some crackers. Warm apple cider with sticks of cinnamon and cloves is another spicy winter classic, and mint or fennel tea is always a good way to soothe any upset stomach.
If you’re curious about growing your own herbs, Horizon Herbs has a wonderful catalogue with everything you could ever want to know about herbs from Aconite to Zhi-mu.
Even if you don’t have a green thumb, this catalog is chock full of information about the medicinal, cultural, and botanical qualities of each plant. It’s a fun read, even if you don’t buy any seeds! If you do though, you’re sure to be tempted by their creative collections of plants such as the Native American Spirit Plants Collection, the Tasty Tea Collection or the China Salad Garden.
Extracts, dried spices, winter cover crops, and educational books are also available; truly a wonderful resource for anyone interested in the many properties of these botanic beauties.
Aliza Sollins is an urban homesteader in Baltimore City, MD. Her adventures in vermicomposting, canning, container gardening, knitting and other sustainability projects can be found at her blog.