December Newsletter 2008

Hello and welcome to Herbal Haven’s December newsletter. It’s Vanessa again, the resident herbalist, taking over the helm whilst the tender perennial staff are taking a well earned break.

I thought I would remind all of you out there about the gorgeous and delicious herbal products we have in the shop on our website. Perfect seasonal gifts for plant and herb lovers everywhere.

We have two traditional and tasty mixes to warm up your evening. The festive mulling spice has a yummy blend containing the usual suspects of cinnamon, ginger and cloves but also delicious juniper, orange and bay leaves. It comes loose in the packet with approx. three servings. Its so easy to prepare, all you need to do is take a tablespoon of the mix, with a (not too) cheap bottle of red wine and a little sugar and add these to a saucepan. Infuse them over a low heat until you can start to smell the aromas. Strain out the spices and then enjoy a glass with friends and family. You can also apply the same method but use orange juice instead, for a festive non-alcoholic hot beverage.

The other blend is the traditional Indian Chai tea. It contains ginger, cardamom, cloves, rose petals and cinnamon. This is taken as a warm spicy and sweet tea. Perfect after a cold Winters day. To make 1 cup of chai; take a tblsp of the spices and add to a saucepan of milk; add sugar to taste and normal tea (use a teabag or loose whatever you have). Infuse over a low heat. Just before the milk boils lower the heat, and carry on simmering. Do this twice more to follow the traditional Indian recipe. Strain the spices away and enjoy!

Cinnamon, ginger and cloves all have powerful effects on the digestive system. These are not only delicious hot winter drinks but can be really useful over the Christmas holidays when some of us can over indulge.Cinnamon bark is great to pep up a weak and cold digestion. It increases the appetite by rolling out your gastric juices. Ginger can relieve nausea and flatulence by calming irritability and also stimulates the circulation. Cloves, whilst having similar effects on digestion is also a powerful anaesthetic when applied to teeth.

Well, that’s it for now, I’m off to do some Christmas shopping. So thank you for taking time out to read this newsletter…

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone here at Herbal Haven.