Herbing Out P2 with a side of dragons

I had a sweet dose of home last Sunday thanks to the annual Boston Dragon Boat Festival (the oldest in the US! Alas, Boston has the oldest Chinatown. Who knew?) that was held by the Charles River. I got some sun, lion dancing, and front seats to watch attempts at dragon boat racing (“We’d kill ’em” to quote a crew athlete).


Dragon Boat @ Cambridge

Dragon Boat @ Home

 Bachelorette dragon boat IN Hong Kong (also the episode where she decides she doesn’t want any of the 8 guys because the guy she was supposed to marry from the previous season decided he wanted to get back with her)

So continuing on Herbstalk, other things that you get to see/do…

5. Herb Walk

This was awesome. I didn’t realize by simply walking around the parameter of a building, I could spot about 10 different plants that could help me out in life. Granted, fertilizer/pesticides/road ickyness in general may have gotten their say in how the plants are actually doing, but it’s still fascinating. Here are a few:

Chewing carrot seeds acts as a contraceptive by acting on the pituitary gland (hormone controlling part of brain).

Lily of the valley regulates blood pressure.

This is either goldenrod or primrose, and it’s great for cat allergies. This poor guy is usually mistaken to be the culprit for allergies, but it’s really ragweed, which is wind pollenated. Also awesome for SAD.

Violet leaves: bronchitis, cancer, sluggishness (tamasic nature), stimulates lymph system

Plantago major (above) and lanceolata (below). Also known as plantain (NOT like the banana kind). These guys grow anywhere people walk, giving it the charming name “white man’s footprint” (makes me wonder about the rest of us). If you rub it the oil soothes mosquito bites as it draws out poisons. Also helps dry sinuses, digestion, stomach ulcers, and can even be used to cool down injuries. I may have taken some and put it on my tweaked achilles.

Our favorite dandelion! You can use the whole plant. Roots – liver, also a diuretic. 

So I’m stopping there as the list goes on forever and it gets a bit aggressive all at once. But you can see how there are countless numbers of natural herbs and foods that can help fine tune the body and mind. My favorite part was in the end when she said we should only take 30% of the plant, allowing the rest to regrow. Try taking 30% of what you think you want at a buffet. For reals.

[[to be continued]]

Daily Nutrition Facts

I also got to taste some awesome Korean tofu 만두 (“mandoo” – Korean for dumpling). It had sweet potato noodles, carrots, chives, mushrooms, tofu, and a dash of ginger. Fabulous, vegan, and I’m hoping to replicate in my own time. (Summer Project 1: vegan Korean food! Did you hear that the owner of Kogi BBQ food truck – the LA Korean Mexican-Korean fusion food truck – is going vegetarian? Not sure if he’s just purely leaving the industry though or will attempt to change his truck. I really believe he can. Have faith in Seitan, please sir, please.)

Also adopted a Kombucha baby from my yoga friend Natalie! 

What is Kombucha? To quote Wikipedia, oh ye faithful source of englightenment:

“The kombucha culture is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, comprising Acetobacter (a genus of acetic acid bacteria) and one or more yeasts. These form a zoogleal mat. In Chinese, this microbial culture is called koubo (Chinese: 酵母; literally “yeast mother”).”

Health benefits: detoxification, cancer prevention (full of anti-oxidants), liver health promotion, treats arthritis (hyaluronic acid helps aid with preservation of cartilage), aids digestion, helps with depression,  etc. etc.

FUN FACT: Reagan drank Kombucha in 1987 when he had cancer because he heard of the health benefits. 

To make a “home”, you brew tea, stir in a cup of sugar, and cool it down to room temperature. Fill up a massive jar (1 gallon) with the mixture, water, and because I adopted my baby (a girl, I’ve decided), I get liquid from the previous home. Now the jar with my kombucha momma is chilling in my room. I’ll keep you guys updated on the progress.

And out.

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Filed under adventures, cooking, food

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