This Herb May Help a Cough, Congestion

Mullein is a common weed prominent all over the United States, often found along stretches of the highway, on the edges of forests and on the gravely sides of railroad tracks. But this plant is much more than a bit of roadside greenery, as it may assist in the recovery of several common conditions within it its fuzzy, pale green leaves and yellow rosettes. Originally used by the natives in several parts of the United States, this plant is still used because of its, beneficial effects on the respiratory system. Assisting with common ailments such as coughing, lung weakness, respiratory constriction and chest colds, the mullein plant is truly a lung healing herb.

Known as Verbascum thapsus, its Latin name, mullein is considered beneficial for the lungs because it is an expectorant. This means that the herb may help the body remove excess mucus from lungs and soothes the mucus membranes with its emollient properties. It is therefore excellent for helping with the relief of bronchitis, heavy coughing, chest colds and even asthma. Both the leaves and the flowers of the plant contain saponins, natural detergents which make a cough more productive in releasing and expelling phlegm from the walls of the lungs, and mucilage, a gelatinous substance which soothes any irritated membrane.

The herb is also a diuretic and thus can relieve urinary tract inflammation when taken through a tea. It can also be used to decrease inflammation in the bowels, helping to reduce colitis and other issues.

A Mullein Tea Recipe
Ingredients
1 ½ cups boiling water
1-2 teaspoons dried mullein leaves and/or flowers (flowers make a sweeter tea)
1 teaspoon dried spearmint (optional for flavor)
1-2 teaspoons honey (optional)

Method
Steep the mullein leaves in hot water inside a tea ball or strainer for 15 minutes. Add honey if you like a sweeter tea.

Other Ways to Use this Herb:
Mullein extract infused with olive oil has been used to reduce the inflammation of earaches, sore joints, insect bites and hemorrhoids because of its soothing properties.

Simple poultices made out of fresh, mashed mullein and flowers mixed with water can also be used to relieve, burns, boils and sores.

Notes to Know:
Native Americans and the Amish smoked the dried leaves to relax the lungs when respiratory coughing was uncontrollable, or breathing became too difficult. Often just making a smudge of the leaves would suffice.

If you decide to make your own concoctions from mullein, which is easy to do, make sure that you strain all your product through a very fine sieve to remove the hairs from the leaves. These hairs are what most people find irritating if they have allergies.

Mullein must always be heated thoroughly before being ingested due to the saponins which are rather toxic. After being heated, mullein is fine for humans.

This is for information only.  Though this herb has been used for centuries.

A study: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308991417_Assessing_the_Effectiveness_of_Mullein_on_Respiratory_Conditions_Such_as_Asthma

https://www.organicauthority.com/health/mullein-herbal-tea

Herbal Teas an Easy Way to Boost your System

We offer several herbal tea blends to help fight viruses and bacterial infections. They also can offer immune boosting support.

We are introducing the Cold Comfort herbal blend.  The ingredients in this blend are Holy Basil, ginger, rose hips, orange peel, lemon peel, lemon myrtle and lemon grass.  (We offer most of these ingredients individually too.)

Let me give you a quick overview of the possible benefits of the ingredients in this blend.

HOLY BASIL –

Studies have shown that holy basil has a wide range of health-promoting properties including:
  • Antimicrobial (including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and more)
  • Antidiarrheal.
  • Anti-oxidant.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Liver, brain and heart protective.
  • Antidiabetic.
  • Anti-pyretic (prevents itching)
  • Anti-tussive (treats cough)

Holy basil is an adaptogenic herb. Adaptogens are substances found in plants that help boost the body’s resilience in dealing with stressors. Because the effects of stress on the body play such as huge role in the aging process, adaptogens are also considered to have anti-aging properties.There is so much more on this herb to say. We want to give you the highlights here.
https://www.verywellhealth.com/holy-basil-4766587

GINGER – Ginger is among the healthiest (and most delicious) spices on the planet.

It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain. Here are 11 health benefits of ginger that are supported by scientific research, Nausea, Muscle Pain, Anti Inflammatory, Lower Blood Sugars, Chronic Indigestion, Lower Cholesterol, Cancer prevention, Improve Brain Function, and Fight Infections.
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-ginger#section11

ROSE HIPS – Did you ever wonder what is a rose hip?  Boy, I did.  It is found just below the rose petals, rose hips are small, round, and typically red or orange. The benefits – rich in antioxidants, vitamin C plays many essential roles in your immune system, including

  • stimulating the production of white blood cells called lymphocytes, which protect your body against infection
  • enhancing the function of lymphocytes
  • helping maintain your skin’s protective barrier against outside pathogens

In addition to vitamin C, rose hips contain high levels of polyphenols and vitamins A and E, all of which help strengthen and protect your immune system. Rosehip tea is high in compounds with anti-inflammatory effects, including polyphenols and galactolipids.

This list goes on and on but this should help you to see how a delicious herbal tea comprised of many different herbs that may have health benefits is easy to incorporate into your diet.  During this difficult time in our world have some of these teas on hand and take time out to nourish yourself.

Hoping we can all stay well.

 

 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/rosehip-tea#section7

 

Thyme to Boost your Immune System

Thyme is one of those herbs most of us have in our pantry.  It is a well loved herb most associated with Italian dishes.  I love the flavor of Thyme in my dishes but it also has properties that may help boost your immune system.  I know I have had my grandson use it as a gargle for red sore throat.

Getting all the vitamins your body needs every day can be challenging. Luckily, thyme is packed with vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin A. If you feel a cold coming on, thyme can help get you back in good health. Another health benefit of thyme: It’s a good source of copper, fiber, iron, and manganese.

More benefits of Thyme: 1) fungicidal properties, 2) make homemade bug repellant, 3) its antiseptic and antifungal properties, 4) often used for aromatic and therapeutic purposes because of its active substance carvacrol.

To use this for it’s benefits other than yummy in food you can make a tincture.  Watch our facebook page at:

https://www.facebook.com/CJFarmsTexas/?ref=bookmarks to see when that will be available.

Watch this video to learn how to use your culinary herbs at home to enjoy in other ways and that may be beneficial to our bodies.

Hoping these things might help us stay well.  Always let your medical professional know you are incorporating herbs and seek advise.

 

 

https://www.healthline.com/health/health-benefits-of-thyme#3

 

Build your Immune System, code Staywell

There are many things we can all do to help protect ourselves from flu, virus and general illness. It does take effort and change.  So here are a few herbs and spices that you can incorporate into your diet to boost your body.

It is very important to use the herbal intervention 3 to 5 times a day, regularly, especially until the season has passed, or you are well.

Elderberry, elderberry, elderberry – We know that the brightly pigmented berries are a source of anthocyanins, which are a type of flavonoid also found in blueberries, raspberries and bilberries. The fruit is best taken as an elderberry supplement in the early stages of seasonal challenges to support immune function.
https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/elderberry/

Raw Honey – it is good if it can be local but to fight illness the most important factor is that it is raw. Raw honey has very strong antibacterial benefits. Honey activates the immune system’s response to infection and prevents cell proliferation.
https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/infused -raw-honey/

Elderberry Honey – Now here is the titan two together!  Raw Honey infused with fresh elderberries from the Midwest of the United States.  The combination of these two immune boosters are delicious.
https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/elderberry/

Echinacea – This is a flower that most recognize but may not know it as Echinacea.  It is known as the “coneflower”. It grows commonly in many gardens and landscapes. You can purchase supplements, but we love offering fresh grown and dried echinacea by the ounce. Add it to elderflower or elderberry as an herbal tea.
https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/echinacea-roots-and-leaves/

Oregano – Oregano has enjoyed an equally long history of supporting a healthy immune response. A natural antioxidant source, Oregano contains phytochemicals that support the body’s natural resistance. Oregano’s volatile oils help support the healthy microbiome in the intestines and a healthy immune response.  My personal experience tells me this works so well. It also supports healthy digestive flora and is a natural antioxidant.
https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/oregano-greek/

Garlic – many of us use it in our foods daily.  Garlic is powerful! It’s thought to stimulate the immune system and boost the efficacy of white blood cells. If you are sick increase your intake of garlic. Make a super garlick-y soup (don’t skimp on the bone broth, either), eat a couple of raw garlic cloves, roast a garlic bulb, or pack it into a jar of honey and let it sit for a few weeks to infuse. For the garlic honey, don’t wait till your sick to make it.  Once it is made, it keeps forever.  So make it now so its ready when you need it most.
https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/spices/

Ginger – powerful antioxidants that contain anti-inflammatory.  Add it to your regular hot or cold tea and drink away.
https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/ginger/

Cold & Flu Tea – This is a staple in my house.  I typically start drinking this tea at the first inkling of a symptom (like scratching throat, sniffling or sneezing) and it truly helps my body fight off cold or flu.  At this point I am drinking two cups a day as a preventive, just trying to energize my body and strengthen my immune system.  See the ingredients here: https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/cold-flu-tea/

There are so many herbs and spices that are helpful to our health. Cinnamon, turmeric, hot peppers and so much more.  Whatever you want to choose see the website for the full catalog of what we carry.
https://www.cjfarmstexas.com/

Remember, help yourself to be prepared for any illness you may encounter; eat lots of fruit and veggies, wash your hands, stay away from big crowds and include some of the herbs and spices that add benefits to your body.

We want to help so here is a code to use at checkout: Staywell

 

 

 

 

Lavender Honey Cake

This Lavender Honey Cake is so delicious and simple.  Make this and make any day feel special.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp. C & J Farms Lavender Honey
1 tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp. C & J Farms dried lavender blossoms
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 8 ounce container sour cream (1 cup)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
2 tbsp powdered sugar

Bring milk to simmer in small saucepan; add honey and 1 tbsp lavender blossoms. Stir until honey dissolves. Remove from heat; cover and let steep 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour decorative 10-cup fluted pan or Bundt pan.  Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.

Strain milk mixture into another medium bowl; discard solids in strainer.  Whisk sour cream into milk mixture to blend. Using electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with milk mixture in 3 additions each, beating just until smooth.  Transfer batter to prepared pan. Get your Lavender flowers and Honey here.

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.  Cool bread in pan on rack 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

Combine powdered sugar and remaining 1/2 tsp lavender blossoms in strainer set over small bowl. Press sugar mixture through strainer, discarding large bits.  Sift strained powdered sugar mixture over bread.

or make a glaze with the powdered sugar, water infused with lavender for 20 min., let drizzle over the top of the cake

(this recipe is found on Bon Appetit, Feb 2006 and on https://www.epicurious.com.)

 

Fall Container Gardens – Hard to Find Medicinal Herbs, Let’s Plant

It is August and is now typically Texas HOT and I’m talking about gardening.  We have just put out a limited amount of beautiful medicinal herb plants to use as container gardening for this fall and winter.  I want to tell you about them.  They are beautiful for container planting, some of them are so fragrant and all of them are helpful.

First let me tell you about the few plants we have in one gallon pots.  They are already of a nice size so put into a lovely pot these are ready to make a statement now.

GYNURA SPINACH – aka longevity spinach. Research shows that it is an efficient regulator of blood sugar.  Leaves eaten in salads or cooked in dishes, may lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

This is a fast growing plant. Is vining in nature but can be cut to bush.  It is a good candidate for growing indoors as it is a tropical. It is easy to grow, just give them lots of light. You can enjoy these leaves raw or cooked. They are very high in protein.  Good for vegetarians to know.
Med - gynura spinach - Copy

WHITE CHRYSANTHEMUM TEA – I am so excited about this plant!! White Chrysanthemum Tea – Chinese Gong Ju Hua Cha, is made form the dried flowers of this plant.  Did you know all Chrysanthemum flowers are edible?  They are!

An evergreen and hardy to 0 degrees. Flowering occurs in the fall in zone 7.  The plant prefers full sun, well drained soils and frequent watering.

The flowers are steeped in hot water and a herbal tea is made.  This is highly medicinal and thought to help reduce inflammation in the body, help with eye problems like – blurred vision, spotty vision, watery eyes and maybe even help with cataracts. May help with high cholesterol, blood pressure and alleviate cold symptoms.
Med - White Chry Tea

CURRY TREE – this smells delightful!!! This is another great container tree.  In a container it will grow about 3’ in height.  It likes to be fed and pruned for a strong bushy plant  Unless you live in zone 9 or higher the container is the way to go.  It can be outside here all summer and then moved indoors for the winter.

The leaves are thick so normally always fried in oil alone before adding any other spices to the dish.  Make a pesto or use on your BBQ.  Experiment with this one.  A beautiful fragrant plant.  A conversation piece for sure.
Med - Curry Tree - Copy

TEA TREE – we are all familiar with Tea Tree Oil, well this is the tree it comes from.

The tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is a small evergreen that likes warm climates. It is attractive and fragrant, with an exotic look. The oil from the foliage of this tree is widely used.  Melaleuca tea trees attract attention in your garden, with the trunk being one of the most attractive features is the trunk, with its gorgeous, papery bark.  Living here in Texas where it is mostly warm it can be planted in the gardens.  This can also be grown in containers and is a good way to control the rapid growth of this tree. This also ensures its survival. It must have a lot of sunlight.  This is a fast-growing tree.  It takes a few years before you will see the flowers.

It is recommended you don’t plant this tree outside unless you live in a zone 8 or above. The trees need sun, sun, sun.  They will not do well in the shade. Make sure the soil drains easily. These trees like water.  You need to keep that soil a bit moist at all times.

It is an evergreen and can grow 8 to 15 feet and does like the Texas heat.  It is cold hardy to at least 16 degrees.  It is used in products like soap, toothpaste, oils, etc. Anti-fungal/bacterial.
Med - Tea Tree

The following plants I have in 4″ pots.
HIBISCUS “ROSELLE”
Hibiscus Roselle This bushy shrub can grow 4 to 7’ tall in t he ground but is also a good candidate for container growing. Water the soil when it becomes dry to the touch. To reiterate, water only enough to make the soil moist, not wet. It is critical to use the right type of fertilizer. The fertilizer needs to be one with low phosphorus, moderate nitrogen, and high potassium. Fertilize every two to three weeks.

The calyx is harvested and steeped to make a tea.  Hibiscus Roselle tea is reported to lower blood pressure and lower your LDL cholesterol. This may be worth trying. The beautiful tea is red in color and tastes delicious.  Hibiscus tea does not contain caffeine and is reported to help you relax, making it a good drink for those that are sensitive to caffeine.

ZA’ATAR – this is a wild oregano in Israel. It is in the oregano/thyme family.  This is also called the bible hyssop. This herb can be put into a delicious olive oil to enjoy dipping a fresh crusty bread in. It can be used as an herb in many culinary dishes.  Commonly used in Mediterranean dishes with yogurt, meats and veggies.

TOOTHACHE PLANT – Acmella Oleracea – It has daisy like flowers in the summertime.  It has been used medicinally for a long time. It has been used been used for generations to manage the pain of toothaches. Both the leaves and the attractive golden flowers can be used as a natural anesthetic. Simply chew the leaves or flowers for a few seconds then you’ll experience a tingling and numbing sensation in your mouth. An infusion or tincture made from the Toothache Plant is said to promote gum and throat health due to its strong antibacterial properties. Also called Spilanthes oleracea.

This herb is a good candidate for container growing.  It gets to about 18” tall, fast grower and takes well to pruning.  It needs a lot of light but don’t overwater.  Wait until the soil is dry to the touch then water. Provides pretty yellow flowers. Enjoy this one.
Med - toothache plant - Copy

ST. JOHNS WORT – This plant is widely known as an herbal treatment for depression. Research indicates St. John’s wort is most often used as a dietary supplement for depression. People also use it as a dietary supplement for other conditions, including menopausal symptoms, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and obsessive-disorder. It is used topically for wound healing.  The flowering tops of St. John’s wort are used to prepare teas, tablets, capsules, and liquid extracts. Topical preparations are also available.  This plant likes a lot of water. Is a small shruby plant.

Easy to grow it is not too particular.  Gets to about 3’ tall and provides yellow flowers in the  summer time.
Med - St Johns - Copy

HOLY BASIL, RAMA TULSI – We have two types of Holy Basil – Rama Tulsi – True Holy Basel, held sacred by the Hindus.  Enjoy in tea, cooking, and salads. Both of the Holy Basil (Tulsi) have a delightful fragrance.  I enjoy them very much for that one benefit alone.  They have been very easy for me to grow and will be a delight to have in your indoor herb garden.

It has been used in Ayurveda medicine for generations. This variety has been found to be one of the highest in medicinal compounds; adaptogenic, antifungal, antibacterial and immune enhancing. Enjoy a tea, tincture, extract or syrup.
Med - Holy basil rama.jpg

HOLY BASIL, KRISHNA TULSI – It acts like an annual, and is even known to self-seed in temperate climates, which is quite unusual for basil.  Eat one fresh leaf daily, or pick the leaves and flowers and dry them and make the tea. Most excellent. Adaptogenic, immune enhancing, antifungal and antibacterial.

This is easiest of all Tulsi types to grow in temperate gardens and is highly aromatic. Enjoy this too in your kitchen herb garden.  Enjoy this in your kitchen garden in the winter and set out on your porch the rest of the year.  Keep the flowers cut for a bushier plant with a lot more foliage.

Come out and get these hard to find plants and have them for this fall and winter.

 

 

 

Blueberry Lavender Honey Smoothie

This is my favorite flavor combination; our lavender honey and fresh for fresh frozen blueberries.  I enjoy this often and thought you might too.

1 cup of blueberries
1/3 cup of vanilla yogurt
2 heaping teaspoons of C & J Farms Lavender Honey
1 cup of 2 % milk (use whatever your favorite milk is)
Blend and enjoy. This makes enough for one serving.

 

Beef B.B.Q Soup

This time of the year I use the crock pot for a lot of my cooking.  It allows me to prepare a decent meal while carrying a busy work schedule.  This meal began a couple of days in advance.  I had cooked some beef  in the crock pot all day. (I used T bone steaks. It’s not a crime to use T bone’s in the crock pot. :).    I put the T bone’s whole in the crook pot with 1/2 of a large onion and Bentley’s Batch 5 Sweet Barbecue Sauce, half a jar or about 1 1/2 cups. (check the sauce out at this link, http://bentleysbatch5.com/products/sweet/).

The meat was tender and had a great barbecue flavor. It had been cooked in advance and saved in the refrigerator along with the cooked juices and sauce.

Now it was time for a quick soup dinner on our first cold evening of the year.

I chopped up 1/2 of large white onion, red bell pepper and1 cup of chopped carrots put in a large soup pan with some oil and let them saute’.  While this was cooking I added 1 teaspoon of Red Steak Seasoning.

red stk

Once the veggies were a bit soft I added 4 cups of beef stock and two cups of water.  I added two bay leaves and 1 14.5oz can of Diced tomatoes.  I added the meat and the juices and another 1/2 cup of Barbecue sauce.

BBQ soup 3

Then I let all of this simmer on the stove top for about one hour till all of the flavors came together.  While I was waiting I made a batch of cornbread.

We were delighted with the warm sweet flavor of this Barbecue soup.

BBQ soup 4

Added a special addition of Jalapeno Honey on the side.

Enjoy!

Chicken Nuggets, Yes but..

I have had many requests for this recipe.  It is simple, quick and delicious. This is one way to dress up dinner with C & J Farms fresh seasonings.

Ingredients:

1 package of chicken tenders (chicken pieces of your choice)
1/2 package of Panko Breadcrumbs unseasoned
2 to 3 tablespoons of C & J Farms seasoning Scarborough Fair
1 teaspoon of salt (C & J Farms has sea salt)
1/2 stick of butter
2 eggs
2 tablespoons water

Options: Parmesan Cheese, Monterrey Jack or …

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Cut the chicken into small 1 inch pieces.  Make an egg wash by whisking eggs in a bowl and add water.  Mix the Panko breadcrumbs, Scarborough Fair and salt all together.  Adjust this to taste, more or less seasoning if you like.  Option goes here if you choose, add cheese.

Dip the chicken nuggets in the egg wash then into the Panko mix.  Lay on a cookie sheet or oven safe pan. Once all of the nuggets are in the pan melt the butter.  Drizzle the butter over the chicken nuggets.  Make sure each nugget has a bit of butter.  Adjust your butter as needed.

Then pop in the oven for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.  I serve these with C & J Farms Jalapeno Honey as a dip.

I don’t measure exactly when I prepare these so adjust as you see necessary.  Sorry about that.  You can change this recipe up a lot. For a spicier nugget use our Olive Oil Dipping Blend with some Parmesan cheese.  Or our Habanero Lime with lime juice in the butter before drizzling over nuggets.  Use what you love.

When you take them out of the oven they are hot, crispy and delicious. Enjoy!

chicken nuggets

 

 

Orange Chocolate Cake

It has been on my mind for a while to bake a cake using our C & J Farms Orange Chocolate Honey.  I finally made a cake that was one of the best I have ever made. Not the prettiest but so very tasty.

Ingredient list:
2 cups all purpose flour                                                3 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt                                                             1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
3 teaspoons baking powder                                         2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk                                                                     4 tablespoons soften unsalted butter
1/2 cup orange juice                                                       1 (8 oz) package softened cream cheese
1/2 cup vegetable oil                                                      12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups heavy cream                                                 Orange Chocolate Honey

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 8 inch round cake pans with oil and flour well.

In a measuring cup, combine milk, 1/2 cup orange juice, oil, beaten eggs and 1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest. Set aside.

Sift flour, (do you know how to sift flour without a sifter? Set a small hole colander inside a larger pan and put your flour and dry ingredients into that colander.  Sift thru that. It works well.) salt, and baking powder into a large bowl. Mix in sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in milk mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Divide batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

For Orange Cream Cheese Filling: in a small bowl, beat together cream cheese, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 2 to 3 tablespoons orange marmalade.

For Chocolate Ganache: Bring cream and butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan. Remove from heat, add chocolate chips and stir until melted.

To assemble cake:

Put one layer on the plate, poke holes into the layer and drizzle Orange Chocolate Honey to seep into the cake. Then spread the Orange Cream Cheese Filling on top of that, then put a layer of chocolate ganache on top of that.

Add the other cake.  Poke holes in this cake put orange chocolate honey on this and let it seep into the holes. Then finish cake with the Chocolate Ganache refrigerate and ganache will harden.