Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere
And in the blink of an eye we are nearly half-way through Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. Track pants, leggings, jumpers, hoodies, blankies, quilts have all made an appearance and are here to stick around for the next 5 months. The evenings are much cooler and the mornings are no better, I just don’t want to get out of the bed! Change of seasons also brings with it sniffles and colds. Even more reason to start organizing the pantry and the backyard garden to include ingredients for quick home made remedies to help soothe when feeling a bit icky!
My topic of discussion today is herbs & Zealandia Mānuka honey! As we all know, herbs have been long used for medicinal, fragrance and culinary applications for garnishing or flavouring. Herbs are a big part of my backyard garden, I always have grown mint, thyme, parsley, oregano, sage, rosemary and basil. These are my staples. I consider myself very lucky if I manage to pick any coriander at all and avoid it seeding.
Since the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has taken hold in our communities in lockdown, eating and staying healthy is at the forefront of most people’s minds. There are simple things we all can do without breaking our bank account to stay healthy and improve our immune system. We have heard over the years that since ancient times, herbs have been used as natural treatments for various illnesses including viral infections. This is due to their concentration of potent phytochemicals such as carotenoids which have carotenes, lycopene, lutein etc., and polyphenols which include phenolic acids and flavonoids.
In the past week with kids staying home off school, we have been learning a lot of things on healthy eating. They have been eating a spoon of Zealandia Manuka Honey MGO250+ every morning. And what about herbs? You can’t eat a spoon of herbs! So, we have been making heaps of tea! We picked my favourite herbs – mint, thyme and sage. These 3 along with many other common herbs like oregano, basil, fennel, garlic, lemon balm, rosemary, echinacea, liquorice, ginger, ginseng and dandelion have very powerful anti-viral activity.
I am not a huge fan of green teas, but I do love a good fruit tea with our Zealandia Mānuka Honey. With the herbs we picked, we filled up a jug with warm water, steeped the herbs for about an hour along with a tablespoon of dried chamomile flowers with a berry fruit tea bag and 3 full spoons of Zealandia Manuka MGO100+. Strain it and serve it warm or cold.
Here are some quick facts for you –
Mint – Its leaves contain active components, including menthol and Rosmarinus acid, which have antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity.
Sage – Sage is also a member of the mint family. The antiviral properties of sage are mostly attributed to compounds called safficinolide and sage one, which are found in the leaves and stem of the plant.
Thyme – This herb also happens to be a member of the mint family! The active ingredient found in thyme is called Thymol, an antiseptic. Thyme also has strong anti-bacterial properties.
Chamomile flowers – rich in polyphenols and clinical studies are underway to learn its potential anti-anxiety properties.
Zealandia Manuka Honey MGO100+ – With a rich golden colour and sweet aroma, this honey has a unique, deep floral flavour associated with Manuka. It is an excellent everyday honey that aids in improving immunity and supports health
Zealandia Manuka Honey MGO250+ – It has a darker amber colour and stronger aroma, compared to our MGO100+. This is because it has high number of polyphenols that help with eradicating free radicals in your body. It has proven anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
It’s easy to add these powerful herbs to your diet by infusing them into teas. You get the best of both worlds, the power of the anti-viral activity from the herbs and the anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties of Zealandia Honey.
I seem to have passed on this love for herbal fruit teas on to my oldest child, not that it is a bad thing! Now time to put my feet up and to let go all the worries of the day! Cup of tea anyone?
- A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.). – DL McKay and JB Blumberg
- Pharmacological properties of Salvia officinalis and its components. – Ahmad Ghorbani and Mahdi Esmaeilizadeh