This month....

September 2017

It's a typical beginning to September - beautifully warm in the sunshine, chilly early morning & late at night. September light can be beautiful with the sun lower in the sky. A mish mash in the garden with roses still in bloom, spring blossoms making a reappearance, & some plants seemingly vanished without a trace.

When it's cold though it's cold. In a time of changes a little preparatory stoking of the fires never goes amiss. Time to start substituting all those salads with some warming foods & what better than include turmeric, ginger & garlic? Turmeric root is versatile. A fragrant pinky yellow rhizome, known as the "golden spice" it contains both curcuminoids & turmeric oil & possesses anti oxidant, anti inflammatory & anti microbial qualities. Added to stews or rice dishes with a little black pepper it imparts an earthy, spicy warmth. A good remedy for indigestion, while for sore throats drink honey & lemon with a few slices of turmeric root.

Ginger root is another warming rhizome. Also good for digestion, nausea & pain relief. It is anti inflammatory, boosts circulation & protects against colds & flu. Grated ginger root can be used in a variety of dishes, including plain steamed vegetables or juiced raw - it goes well with carrots. It can also be made into a warming tea. The anti inflammatory properties of ginger root, contained in the compound gingerol, may also help with certain cases of rheumatic & arthritic pain. Not dissimilar to turmeric it contains compounds of curcumin, capsaicin, beta carotene & caffeic acid.

Perhaps more familiar is garlic. Its anti bacterial & anti fungal properties are due to sulphur containing compounds, allicin in particular. Good to protect against colds & flu its benefits are best felt when eaten raw. Eat whole, crush in salad dressings or add to warming broths & soups. Garlic helps cleanse the digestive system, purify the blood, control high blood pressure & regulate blood sugar levels, important in cases of diabetes. The consumption of garlic is said to aid the immune system & promote anti inflammatory responses.

The good news is that when seeking to improve health, supplements are often the first port of call. These age old remedies are time tested, cheap & above all good to eat when the going gets chilly. Enjoy!

© Susan Mumford, 2017