Friday, 21 November 2014

Life with insects

They say that as you get older you often feel imaginary things crawling on your skin, but it's just
some sort of nerve damage.  I feel something crawling on me every day.  I brush it away, as you do and find there actually is some tiny little beetle or flying thing on the back of my neck or climbing up my legs or arms. I suppose that is normal for the sub-tropics.

The really amazing thing is - they are all so different.  Just while writing this I've flicked off a flying ant and a tiny spider and squashed a long narrow climbing thingy. They all share my living room.

So, how many different types of insects are there?

Just in Australia, the number of insect species is estimated at 300,000.  And, scientists tell us that there are more insects yet to be discovered than we already know about.  In fact, there could be as many as 200,000 insects on the planet PER person.

Lots of creatures eat insects, so they are handy to have.  Entomophagy is the eating of insects by people.  Three thousand ethnic groups around the world include insects in their diet, including cicadas, ants, grubs and worms.  Crunchy!

I like looking at the pretty ones.

Monday, 13 October 2014

... saying please AND thank you

My grandmother lived by a list of rules that often only she understood - for example she felt saying 'please' and 'thank you' meant very different things and it was not necessary to say both for the same action. She wasn't able to explain details of the dos and don'ts but I remember she often softened requests with other words.
"Pass me that book, dear". - "Thank you".
"Please clean that up."  -  "Now, isn't that better?"

She didn't think it was necessary to say 'thank you' to someone who was being paid for what they were doing, such as delivery men or waiters, and this horrified my mother who was all about making people feel comfortable.

While working with exchange students some years ago I came across different customs regarding politeness. One student from Finland told me their language had no words for 'please' and 'thank you' - but another explained that 'kiitos' is used for both. 

A Canadian student complained that Australians overdo 'thank you'. She thought it should only be for nice things, like when receiving a gift. In her words "I handed the girl a bag of trash and she said thank you?  You don't say thank you for trash." 

In Italian the word Prego stands for please. It actually means I beg, or I pray, but in context it is used as - certainly, sorry, pardon, excuse me, you're welcome, don't mention it, no problem, it's alright.  And, when someone says 'Grazi', or thank you, the response is ... 'prego'. So many things sound romantic in Italian.

An old fashioned word, probably understood by my grandmother, is etiquette. This describes a code of behaviour expected by a particular society. Even if it was not technically accurate, etiquette demanded people at least appeared to meet a certain standard.  From the 1500s to the 1900s etiquette was a school subject in most English speaking countries and people were judged on their good manners.  Today there is an element of meaningless to some of these rituals.

One ritual is the handshake, originally a gesture of peace, because the weapon hands are held tightly. Polite language, "How do you do," "How are you?" developed to create an sense of respect and peace, even if people were talking through clenched teeth.

In English 'please' is short for 'if you please', or 'if it pleases you to do this', as does the French 'si il vous plait' and the Spanish 'por favor'.

When we ask someone to 'Pass the butter, please', we are saying - 'Pass the butter to me, even though I am not saying you must, it is a social obligation'.  Of course this can't be refused, even though it is not an order.

The English 'please' is used to add politeness to a request.  It is used at the end of a sentence, after a comma.
May I borrow your pen, please?
Could you wait for me, please?

And, 'please' is used in the phrase 'Yes, please', to confirm an offer.
Would you like more ice cream?  - Yes, please.

We also use 'please' to add a polite note to a single order or instruction, and then it comes at the beginning.
Please sit down.
Please be quite.

We do not use 'please' when giving a firm order or a list of instructions.
Stop that right now.  
Put the gun down and step away.

And 'please' is not used as a response to 'thank you'.  Other expressions are used instead.
Thank you.  -  You're welcome.
Thank you. - It was my pleasure.

We use 'thank you' when a compliment is given.    
You look lovely today.  - Thank you.
Your sponge cake was delicious.  - Thank you.

Offers can be accepted and refused with 'thank you'.
Can I get you a cold drink?  - Yes, thank you.
Will you come for a swim?  - No, thank you. I don't have time.

In English 'thank you' comes from the word 'think'. It originally meant 'In my mind I will remember what you did for me' (in order to pay you back).
The Portuguese 'obrigado' means 'much obliged' or 'I am obliged to you' or 'I am in your debt'.
The French 'merci' comes from 'mercy', as in begging for mercy because you are (symbolically) in your benefactor's power because a debtor is a criminal.
The Chinese have various ways of saying 'thank you' for a gift or a favour but not for a compliment as their desire for humility forces them to politely deflect compliments.  A forced humility can be seen in our culture at times, but is often translated as 'fishing for more compliments'.

The next stage of response is - 'You're welcome' or 'It's nothing' or 'It's my pleasure'. In French it is 'de rien' and in Spanish 'de nada'.  This is a reassurance that there is no debt, in fact it is often a credit position.

So the simple request at the dinner table can be a coded message.

"Would you pass the butter, please?"  (Pass the butter to me if it pleases you to do that as while this is not an order, it is a social obligation.)

"Certainly".   The butter is passed. (The favour is done.)

"Thank you". (I will remember that you did this for me and I am now in your debt.)

"You're welcome". (You are not in my debt as you have provided me with the opportunity of doing something that pleased me.)

But we can't write this off as being outdated because over 500 years these niceties have become signals that form part of our relationships. "Please' and 'Thank you' can still signal the difference between a requested favour and a demand for something owed.

Many people feel we should err on the side of overuse because the boundaries are vague and different values mean not saying the polite words can be misinterpreted. Others say that overuse, or incorrect use causes confusion.

Today, saying 'thank you' can be a great motivational tool - as a show of respect, appreciation and also encouragement.

We'd all agree it is very good to say "Thank you" when presented with flowers or a box of Belgium chocolates, and it doubles as a reward for the giver, and, if we have asked someone to pass us the bag of rubbish (trash), as appreciation or compensation for doing an unpleasant job, but, should we say "Thank you" when a friend repays money that has been owing for some time and causing great inconvenience? We do, but I think my grandmother would say no to that one.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

...seeing both sides

... seeing both sides.
Last week I was chatting with the girl I usually see at the supermarket checkout and found we both have birthdays in October - yay.  Also, we both enjoy reading and watching movies, both have strong opinions on a variety of things and we both have a talent for seeing more than one view of a situation. This constant balancing act can be tiring but, we agreed, it does not make us indecisive.

I don't mind 'seeing both sides of the coin,' I wouldn't feel normal if I was different - but what is this condition called?  Do I have a syndrome or a disorder?

"It's a bilateral view," someone  said. But then, "No... I think that means having a mammogram of both sides."

"You are your own discussion group," said someone else. 

Google finds some interesting comments.
"Seeing both sides of an issue only gets you halfway to your goal.   In many big companies, the unintended dysfunctional consequence of doing so is passivity and fence sitting.
But I think that comes from having too many people involved.  And, fence sitting is ambivalence, conflicting reactions or mixed feelings.  That is different.

"The best decisions come when you hold two opposing ideas in your mind at once."
But, I object to the word opposing, you can see more than one side, or more than two sides and they are not necessarily in opposition.

"The point of seeing both sides isn’t to avoid decision making.  The point is to make better decisions."  Well, yes but not always.

 And my hubby finds it annoying.   His conversations might begin with,
"Don' t interrupt me ...." or "I know you won't agree  ...."  or the big one -

"You never take my side."

"I do take your side."
"No, you  always take the other side."
"That's because you've already presented your side and when I see other sides I just offer them as alternative views.... to help."
"It doesn't help when I want to return a defective watering system, with a piece of my mind, and you say it's not their fault because the system came from China. You're always against me."
"For goodness sake, there is no for or against - just different ways of looking at it."
"Like when someone in a truck so old it's about to fall apart can't speed up, won't pull over and makes sure I can't overtake and you feel sorry for them."
"You shouted at him."
"You said maybe he was old, or sick or sad to be driving his truck for the last time but NO, it was because he had a dog in the manger attitude."
"I don't really understand what that is."  (but I planned to look it up)
"The dog is sitting on the straw in the manger so the cow can't eat it."
"Maybe the dog doesn't know that the cow wants the hay or maybe he was really tired...."

"See - now you're taking the dogs side!!!"

So, the dog in the manger is a metaphor or an idiom (a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words).  I didn't know this but apparently there are at least twenty five thousand idioms in the English language.  I wonder if there is a book.

The Dog in the Manger story comes from a Greek fable, possibly one of Aesop's, written around 600BC.  It's become a metaphor for those who prevent others from having something they themselves have no use for.  
A dog was sleeping on the hay in a manger when an ox came and tried to eat the hay. The dog barked and snapped at him and wouldn't let the ox get at his food, food that was useless to the dog. Finally the ox gave up and went away muttering, "Ah, people often grudge others what they cannot enjoy themselves.

in 1390 we find this version -
Though it be not the hound's habit to eat chaff, 
yet will he warn off an ox 
that commeth to the barn
thereof to take up any food.

in 1564 it looks like this - 
Like vnto cruell Doges liyng in a Maunger, neither eatyng the Haye theim seluse ne sufferyng the Horse to feed thereof hymself.

and a 1680 Spanish play, called The Gardener's Dog told the story this way -  A gardener sets his dog to guard his cabbages.  After the gardener's death the dog continues to forbid people access to the garden beds.  
And so we get a simile 'He's like the gardener's dog that eats no cabbage and won't let others eat either'  or  'playing the gardener's dog.'

I could retell the story as  - A market gardener loses money because his neighbours steal his cabbages before he can harvest them. One day the gardener saves a puppy that has been cruelly treated.  The gardener trains the dog to guard the cabbages and a strong bond grows between the pair. The dog is pleased he can help the gardener who saved him and the gardener is glad of the help to safeguard his meagre income.  Years pass and one day the gardener has a heart attack and dies.  The dog is grief stricken.  He fears he will be abandoned again so continues to guard the precious cabbages.  When neighbours come into the garden the dog drives them off.  Finally all the cabbages are dead and the field is empty, so the dog curls up, job well done, and goes to join his master. 
And the simile - 'As loyal as a gardeners dog. '
The metaphor - 'He's a loyal gardeners dog.' 

Or I could retell it as - A wealthy gardener , known for his mean and wicked ways, owns a large brutish dog.  The gardener grows far more produce than he can eat or sell while his neighbours starve. He trains the dog to viciously attack anyone coming into the field and the dog is so protective that when the gardener has a heart attack no one can come near to help him and he dies.  The neighbours are forced to poison the field, killing off all the produce and finally the dog. 
There must be lots of similes, metaphors and folksy advice in that.

So, next time I am sleeping on straw in a manger and a rude oxen, who arrives without notice, wants to eat my bed, I will refer him to the idiom - 'Let sleeping dogs lie' -

because the dog deserves a comfortable bed.


Saturday, 30 August 2014

with kale

Kale - hailed as a superfood and a nutritional powerhouse, kale might seem to belong in the food-fad basket but that could be because ... it is a very super food.
I first heard of kale as an ingredient for juicing but I didn't take much notice as I don't juice, preferring to chew my own food and eat the fibre. But people were talking about kale being a superfood and instead of buying a bunch I decided to grow my own, read about it, learn what I could and experiment.  Here are the results so far.

Kale in the garden adds an element of luxury and freshness

What is Kale?
Kale is a leafy vegetable, with bluish/green or purple leaves, sometimes with pretty frilled edges and the centre leaves don't form a head.  Kale is from the species Brassica oleracea so it's related to arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts - all yummy vegetables.  There are many types of kale including Curly-leaved or Scots Kale, Plain Leaved Kale, Rape Kale and Black Kale or Cavolo nero.  Some grow into huge bushes but the those that are good to eat are much closer to the ground.

This cool climate vegetable has adapted to most climates. My garden is in the sub-tropics
and I have four varieties of kale growing.  While I'm  not sure of their names they are all good in salad and stew

Where did Kale originate?
Possibly a descendant of wild cabbage kale traveled from Asia Minor to Europe with early traders.  Curly kale was known to the ancient Romans and Greeks and similar vegetables were used in Ancient China.  In the Middle Ages kale was one of the most common green vegetables eaten in Europe, helping the poor to survive long, cold winters. During World War ll families in England were encouraged to grow kale at home to provide nutrition during food shortages. Even though it is a cool climate vegetable it is now grown and eaten around the world.

How to store Kale?
As a winter hardy vegetable Kale tastes sweeter after being exposed to frost and keeps best in a cool environment.  Store it, unwashed  in an air-tight container or plastic bag in the fridge, for up to five days. Apparently it freezes well, but I've found it is happy in a glass of water on the kitchen bench for 24 hours, and as I grow it I don't need to store it longer than that.    

How does Kale taste?
Kale needs some help in the flavour department, especially when boiled or steamed, and even raw it's best when combined with other strong flavours. Personally I like kale shredded over salmon on toast. 

The best kale tip was given to me by a friend who heard it on a TV show - cut off the stalk as that is where the bitterness lives.
You do get used to the taste and the texture is good. Cooked kale can be very filling.

What is so good about Kale?
Kale is called a nutritional powerhouse because it contains;
VITAMIN A - good for skin and eye sight, works to prevent lung cancer and mouth cancer.
VITAMIN C - strengthens the immune system and boosts metabolism better than oranges.
VITAMIN K - for antioxidants that prevent coronary artery disease and protect against some cancers, promotes normal blood clotting and bone health.
CALCIUM -  all dark leafy vegetables are rich in calcium to strengthen bones and improve their density.
IRON -  more iron than beef. Iron helps with liver function, cell growth and transporting oxygen around the body.
FIBRE -  that works to eliminate waste and clean the body of toxins, lower cholesterol levels (especially when steamed) and reduce the risk of heart disease.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY properties - the omega 3 fatty acids in kale help to treat arthritis, joint pain, disorders of the immune system and asthma.
ANTI CANCER properties - Isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from glucosinolates in kale can lower the risk of common cancers in the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate.
Kale is also a good source of vitamin B1,  B2 and B6, vitamin E, copper, manganese, potassium, magnesium,  phosphorus, protein, folate, and niacin.

How to buy Kale.
Kale leaves should be firm to touch and attractive, with a good colour - no brown or yellow on the leaves. Do not buy kale if it is limp or warm, it should be refrigerated. 

When picking kale choose the smaller tender leaves for a milder flavour.
Where possible use organic kale. Green leafy vegetables hold onto pesticide residue more than other vegetables and we don't need to eat that.

Freshly picked kale - even under the hot sun it is firm and crisp

Any bad news about Kale?
Low functioning thyroid -  limit your intake of cruciferous vegetables if you have a low functioning thyroid, and take thyroxin tablets, as cruciferous vegetables are believed to slow down the thyroid.  But don't miss out on the nutrition found in kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts, you can have up to one cup of shredded kale or half a cup of cooked kale four of five times a week and balance it by also eating iodine rich foods including eggs, kelp, seafood, Himalayan crystal salt, turkey breast, dried prunes, plain yoghurt, cheddar cheese, green beans, bananas and strawberries.  If the thyroid is healthy or has been removed you can happily eat up to 2 cups a day.
Medication - while vitamin K is good for us, it can interfere with anticoagulants like Warfarin.  Avoid kale, other green leafy vegetables and some vitamin supplements if you are on this medication. Check with your doctor about other medications.
Oxalates - kale contains oxalates which could interfere with the absorption of calcium. You can still eat kale but be sure to chew it very well and avoid eating foods rich in calcium at the same time as kale. 

If you have untreated kidney and gall bladder problems, check with the doctor before eating large amounts of kale.

It may not have a heart but kale is a bright green crunchy vitamin boost

What is the best way to eat Kale?
Raw kale with breakfast
RAW in a salad or sandwich. The smallest new leaves are milder in flavour for those new to kale. Wash and dry the leaves, bunch them up and cut into thin slices. The bitterness goes well with strong flavours so combine with foods like capsicum, tomato and pepper, sesame seeds, lime juice or lemon infused oil, strong salty cheese, olives and garlic dressing.  I like it with lemon basil and nasturtium leaves as seasoning alongside hard boiled eggs and sun dried tomato.

JUICING is another way to have kale raw, as a smoothie with yoghurt and berries, or as a base to a green juice, or with carrots and celery and other veggies and herbs. 

A kale and banana smoothie makes a good breakfast or with other fruit as an afternoon snack.

COOKED in stew, soup or pasta sauce, kale is a hearty leaf that doesn't fall apart or lose texture like silver beet or spinach, when cooked for a while.  
Chop the kale into strips or chunks and drop into the pot of soup or stew about 15 minutes before serving.  

Add kale to a stir fry but cut finely and use only the very small leaves or it will not cook enough and the bitterness can overpower other flavours.

STEAMED OR BOILED kale does not lose texture. But, it is not the most attractive looking boiled vegetable so enjoying it cooked depends on how you serve it. 

The bitterness is reduced by steaming and the fibre is more easily available for use.

Wash under cold running water, cut into thin strips and steam or boil for 5 to 20 mins, depending on the texture preferred.  If using the stem, put that in the pot first and the green leaves five mins later. When cooked, strain out all the water and toss with salt, pepper and a little olive oil, or butter and grated parmesan cheese with a squeeze of lime juice.  Kale is versatile enough to be yummy with a fried egg breakfast or with mashed potato and steak for dinner.

Kale is not the most attractive vegetable boiled

BAKED OR FRIED kale chips are good. This is the second most popular way to serve kale. Break the leaves into bite size pieces, wash and pat dry and put into a bowl. Drizzle olive oil over the leaves and sprinkle on salt and pepper.  Toss the leaves until they are coated with oil and salt.  You could also use chilli flakes, cumin or garlic salt.  Spread in single layer on a baking sheet and put into a moderate oven for about five mins or until crisp.  

Salted kale fried in coconut oil, until brown and crisp, is very tasty with fried tomatoes and chives, another of my breakfast favourites. Make sure it browns all over, if only half cooked it's like eating the dish cloth.

Tear into pieces, fry in coconut oil with salt and serve when it has browned - delicious

How to grow Kale
Kale is grown from seed and these are available in online stores and organic nurseries. It likes soil rich in organic matter and prefers cool temperatures. Do not let the soil or seeds to dry out before germinating. Seedlings can be transplanted easily.  Kale will grow in full sun if it has plenty of water.  I found that during a very dry winter my kale stopped growing but once we had rain it burst into life.

The plant size varies with the variety planted but can grow to about half a metre high and wide. Plants should be ready to harvest in two months. Take the larger, outer leaves first, though you can nibble on the younger leaves as they grow.

I don't give information sources - my research is done on line and if you want to double check the information, or do further research, your search could find better web sites or more recent investigation results and I don't want to spoil that.


Friday, 8 August 2014

and blogging.

A blog is a personal website or web page on the www.
Blog is a word formed from WEB LOG.
A blogger writes a blog on a regular basis - or blogs on a regular basis.
A blog can be written and run by one person.

A blog can be run by or for a group.
A blog can be a muliti-author blog (MAB) with various bloggers contributing.
A blog can include photographs, diagrams and other illustrations.
A blog can include art, music and video.
A blog can educate - as an edu-blog.
A blog can inform on a particular subject.
A blog can promote discussion.
A blog can be a social network.
A blog can an on-line diary, recording personal reactions and opinions,
A blog can include links to other sites and advertising.
A blog can share recipes and patterns and run competitions.
Blog entries are called posts and appear in reverse order - most recent at the top.
Blogs are usually interactive allowing visitors to comment on posts.
Blogs around the world number over 200 million, with new blogs appearing daily.
Bloggers sometimes take time off for life.

Welcome back.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

the OTHER teas

The other teas - there are no other teas, tea can only be made from leaves of the tea bush, called Camellia Sinensis.  So what about herbal teas?  They are not tea at all.  They are infusions.  An infusion is made by pouring boiling water over the dried leaves, flowers and/or stems of herbs and sometimes chopped rhyzone or spices, and allowed to steep (sit for a while). Some herbs can be used fresh from the garden. These infusions, or decoctions are actually called tisanes - but, commonly known as herbal tea.
Herbal tea often looks like real tea. The taste is similar to real tea and easy to drink, hot, cold or iced. Herbal teas can be made from one herb or a blend of herbs for medicinal uses.  Herbal teas contain no caffeine. As many herbs promote relaxation the most common usage of a herbal tea is to de-stress.  Other uses are to aid digestion, cleanse the body, promote energy, strengthen the immune system, provide antioxidants, stimulate certain internal organs, help restful sleep and avoid catching colds, depending on which herb you use.

To get the most out of herbal tea start with fresh cold water - filtered if possible. Boil the water in a stainless steel kettle or saucepan - avoid aluminium - for a clean fresh flavour.  Use glass or a glazed ware teapot and cups. Herbal tea looks very pretty in glass. A tea strainer is necessity.

Use one heaped teaspoon of dried herb, at least twice that if you are using chopped fresh herbs, or a commercial bag, in a teapot or jug. Add boiling water over the herb, cover with a lid and let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on which herb used and how strong you like it.  I find 5 - 7 minutes is good. The longer you leave it the stronger the taste and some herbs can become bitter. Herb teas must be strained before drinking and what is left in the strainer can go back onto the garden.

Milk is not used in herbal teas but they can be sweetened with honey or Stevia. For other flavouring add a wedge of lemon, lime or orange, slices of ginger or a few fresh leaves of lemon balm or mint. Cinnamon also adds flavour and warms the body.

Ginger tea is made by grating or finely chopping the root and using as above.  Fennel seeds can be crushed and infused in boiling water. Juniper berries must be boiled to make a tea.

Chopped leaf, crushed seeds and chopped roots of herbs and spices can be added to ordinary tea, and strained, if you don't like it straight. 

Warning: Herb teas can be made of any plant material so it is important to know what you are drinking and what effects it may have. People react differently to herbs and some herbs are fine in small amounts but can cause damage in large amounts. All herbs and many plants contain substances that may interact with medications or cause unwanted side effects. If you are not sure, don't use it.

Taking Dandelion can complicate the effects of other medications. St John's Wort should not be taken with med for high blood pressure and, as Lemon Balm stimulates the thyroid, people with thyroid problems should avoid it. Lavender or mint, can cause problems if used alone in a tea, so are best added to other teas to compliment or flavour.   Some herbs, such as Slippery Elm, Raspberry leaf, and Red Clover should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women or children. Look it up first.

We all have poisonous plants in our gardens. Before picking leaves read a few herb books or browse the tea section of a Health Food shop and read the packet instructions. Many herbs can be purchased in tea bags as well as loose leaf or dried root. If you do pick fresh herbs make sure you can identify them properly. Foxglove is very dangerous and looks a lot like comfrey.

If you hope to use herbal infusions for their medicinal properties remember it is folk medicine, that is information passed from person to person - not always tested in a laboratory.  The strength of herbs can be affected by soil type, age of the plant, time of harvest,  remedy preparation.  I feel some herbs will suit one person better that another and you won't know until you test it - but,  it is still worth trying to find a non chemical solution for many of life's problems.

Some common herbs used for infusions are;
Allspice - upset stomach and common cold.
Anise seed - digestion, fresh breath, soothe a cough.
Chamomile - soothing, calming, anti-inflammatory.
Chrysanthemum - reduce fever, good for liver.
Cinnamon - calming, good circulation, digestion.
Fennel - indigestion.
Herb Robert - immune system, tumours, cancer
Hibiscus - (flowers) sore throat, cystitis, gum disease, high blood pressure.
Ginger root - circulation, digestion, nausea, reduce anxiety, lung congestion and arthritis.
Lemongrass -  calming.
Parsley - diuretic, good for kidney function.
Peppermint - stress relief, digestion, fresh breath.
Rosehip - vitamin C for colds and coughs, tonic for liver, kidney and blood.
Rooibos - (South African Red Bush tea) antioxidants
Slippery elm - stomach cramps, gastrointestinal problems. 
St John's Wort - depression

Cold teas can be applied externally.  Many people use cucumber or cold tea bags as a compress for sore puffy eyes. Make your own using a cotton pad soaked in cooled herbal tea - camomile, calendula, parsley and rosewater all make a refreshing treatment. Lie down with the wet pad on closed eyes for 10 mins.  Do not pour the liquid into the eye and be sure to strain it well, as even a tiny piece of leaf can irritate the eye.


CONCOCTION - mixture, brew, preparation, creation, potion, blend.

INFUSION - a drink, remedy, extract prepared by soaking tea leaves or herbs in liquid, introduction of a new element or quality into something.

TEA - a hot drink made by infusing the dried crushed leaves of the tea plant in boiling water or the evergreen shrub or small tree which produces tea leaves, native to southern and eastern Asia and grown as a major cash crop.

HERBAL TEA - a drink made from the infused leaves, fruits, or flowers of plants other than tea, including coffee or cocoa.

HERBAL TINCTURE - herbs dissolved in vinegar or alcohol to be used externally as a wash or taken as a remedy.

REMEDY - treatment, cure, medicine, medication, drug, restorative - a means of counteracting or eliminating something undesirable.