Valerie Lull

Cilantro, Coriandrum sativum,  is a green parsley like herb that is used frequently in Mexican, Latin American, Mediterranean and Asian cooking. It is also called Chinese parsley and Coriander. Coriander is mentioned in the Bible and is an herb used by ancient peoples. Beginning cooks often mistake coriander for flat leaf parsley. Cilantro works well as an accent to spicy foods.

Cilantro has many constituents that have preventive and health promoting  properties. In some ways it is similar to dill because both the leaves and seeds are used. Coriander has dark green leaves and stems that are slightly citrus in flavor.

Cilantro is low in calories and possesses antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins and fiber. The vitamins include Vitamins B, C, A and K. Cilantro has minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron and magnesium.

Medicinal uses include antiseptic and carminative properties. Cilantro has phytochemicals like quercitin, and essential oils.These substances are traditionally used as analgesic, aphrodisiac, anti-spasmodic, deodorant, digestive, and stomachic remedies.

Cilantro is known for being a toxic metal cleanser. Chemical compounds in cilantro bind to toxic metals and escort them out of the body. Cilantro has been shown to improve sleep, cleanse fungal conditions, and have anti-anxiety properties.

Personally I love the smell of cilantro and use it in my Mexican food recipes.  Here is a recipe you may enjoy.

Cilantro-Lime Dressing

1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Clove garlic
3/4 t minced ginger root
1/4 c lime juice
1/3 c honey
2 t balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
1/4 c cilantro leaves
1/2 c olive oil

Place jalapeno pepper, garlic and ginger in a blender and blend until jalapeno and garlic are finely chopped. Add lime juice, honey, vinegar and salt. Turn on the blender and drizzle olive oil into dressing. Season to taste with salt. Serve over your favorite salad.


Be sure to check out my website at  My new book entitled “The Sweet Side of the Stinking Rose; How to use garlic to stay healthier and live longer” will hopefully be out in  June.

Valerie Lull
Ten Healthy Teas

What is a tonic?


Valerie Lull

A tonic is a beverage that stimulates, strengthens and energizes the body. Many people drink tonics daily to stay healthy and vigorous. I take lemon water as a daily tonic. I find it stimulates and refreshes my body, not to mention the healthful  properties of the drink.Tonics have been used from ancient times going back to the Babylonians and the Chinese. Early American settlers made apple-cider vinegar from crab apples.

There are many variations of healthful tonics. They range all the way from alcohol based gin or vodka tonics to herbal tonics, like sassafras or dandelion. Tonics can be applied topically, like a hair tonic, or internally in the form of an infusion or beverage. I suppose technically you could call soda pop a tonic if it stimulates or energizes you. We don’t recommend soda pop as a healthful tonic. Instead we use herbal tonics.

There seems to be a tonic recipe for everything. Some tonics are for the sinuses, the liver or to impart energy.  The British made a tonic from quinine, gin, water, sugar and lime. These items were added to quinine, used as a prophylactic, so it would be palatable. Malaria was rampant in some of the British colonies. This was the origin of the drink gin and tonic.

Tonics can be purchased over the counter in health food stores or you can make a  tonic yourself. One popular tonic involves the use of apple-cider vinegar and lemon juice diluted with water. Most people prefer warm water.  There are many variations of  this. You can add raw honey to the vinegar and lemon.  Some people use the apple-cider vinegar with just water and leave out the lemon. I use just plain lemon juice with a little club soda added to give it a zing. Many herbal teas can be used as a tonic like ginger and lemon. Using spring water or purified water is a must for a good tonic.

Like all other alternative remedies you need to consult your health care practitioner before starting the use of a tonic. Some herbs do not mix with prescription medications.



Valerie Lull

Roses are a universal symbol of love, especially red roses. They are beautiful to look at and the scent makes you feel good. Roses are often used in  cosmetics. They are also used in essential oils and aroma therapy. The rose hips are loaded with vitamin C. Today I am going to write about the health benefits of rose tea.

Rosebud tea has been used in Chinese medicine for over 5,000 years. It is sometimes called “the lady’s tea” because it has health benefits for women. Rose tea can help PMS and menstrual cramping. It also helps with emotional ups and downs.
Rose tea can be made from rosebuds, rose petals or rose hips. It clears toxins from the body and can relieve a sore throat or runny nose. It relieves fluid retention and also works as a laxative. Rose tea can help stress and fatigue and cleanses the liver promoting bile production. I was surprised to learn that rose tea contains about 50 mg of caffeine. It is less than a cup of coffee. The caffeine can boost energy and metabolism.

Rose tea is sometimes used with green tea. Both green tea and rose tea have been used for centuries for therapeutic and medicinal purposes. Together this blend contains antioxidants, vitamins, bioflavonoids, and alkaloids. Together they can boost the immune system and fight infection.

Rose tea can be used hot or iced and used with other teas to make interesting tea blends and enhance health. You can grow roses in your own yard and have a source of fresh rose petals and rose hips for tea. Rose tea is a remarkable tea and useful tool to enhance health.

Sources: 1165-rose-tea-health-benefits 269095-what-are-the-benefits-of-green-tea-with-rose/

As always, your comments and experiences with rose tea are welcome. For information about my book Ten Healthy Teas go to Amazon. Here is the link

Valerie Lull
Ten Healthy Teas

Horseradish for Respiratory Problems

Ingredients salad


Valerie Lull

Horseradish, Cochlearia armoracia, is a pungent herb that people generally love or hate, not much middle ground.  Horseradish has a real sting to it. When it is grated or crushed isothiocyanates are released. The vapors travel up your nasal cavity and into the sinuses and tingles your nose. Some people can’t stand the tingle while others love it.

Horseradish is related to mustard, and has thick fleshy white roots. It is a member of the Brassica family which includes milder relatives like broccoli, kale and Brussel sprouts. It is native to eastern Europe and is one of the 5 bitter herbs of the Jewish passover.

On the nutritional scene horseradish is a real super-star. containing fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, enzymes, and oils. The vitamin C content is very high and boosts the immune system. Horseradish  has a constituent called sinigrin, a glucosinolate, that helps prevent cancer.

Horseradish is good for respiratory problems because it contains mustard oil. It is useful for flu, tonsillitis and urinary tract infections. A tea can be brewed that helps with the common cold, painful joints, and headache pain. Horseradish has antibiotic properties.

Horseradish can be used in several ways. The fresh grated root can be taken, or an infusion, or the fresh juice can be used or it can be made into a syrup. It is most commonly used as a condiment in cooking and can be used the same way as mustard.

Horseradish can have side effects, like irritation of the mouth, throat, nose, digestive system and urinary tract. It can cause upset stomach and diarrhea. As always, be sure to discuss using horseradish for medicinal purposes with your health care provider. Many herbs and medicines do not mix and professional guidance is necessary.

Detox with Lemons



Valerie Lull

Lemon water has been a perennial favorite for health minded people. Lemons have nutrients and vitamins and serve many functions in the body. One reason lemons are so popular is that they cleanse the body of toxins and waste.

Lemons and lemon water serve as a detox or cleanse for  the body. One way lemons cleanse is by aiding digestion. Lemon juice is similar to the digestive juices in the stomach. The lemon juice causes the liver to make more bile which keeps things moving. It  eases bloating and causes the liver to flush out toxins. Lemon juice is a mild diuretic. It helps to get rid of toxic elements in the urinary tract. Consuming lemon water is also good for your skin.

Lemon water has a reputation as a weight loss beverage. It keeps the metabolism going, but if you are drinking coffee and soda pop, the lemon water will not do much good. One recipe for weight loss is to add a little honey to the lemon water.

Lemons can be eaten straight, or juiced, or mixed with water. Some folks prefer warm water and others prefer cold. One of my favorite ways to have lemon is to  squeeze out the juice of one lemon, add a little stevia and some club soda. It gives the lemon water a bit of a zip and tastes like lemonade.

Lemonade is delicious as a drink on a hot summer day and is good for you, as long as you stay away from the sugar and make it yourself.  Some lemonade products on the market don’t have any lemons in them at all. The formulas are just chemicals from a lab. The natural fruit is so much better.

Check out my website at


Goldenseal plant


Valerie Lull

Goldenseal, hydrastis canadensis, also known as orangeroot is a herb that is Native to America, It was used extensively among early American settlers and Native Americans. The Cherokee used it for eye problems and skin diseases. The Catawbas used it for jaundice, colds and soreness of the mouth. The Kickapoo used goldenseal for irritated eyes and several tribes used it for a yellow dye.

Goldenseal is known primarily as an herbal antibiotic, and to build up the immune system. But this herb has many other uses. It is used for the common cold and respiratory tract infections, stuffy nose and hay fever.

Some folks have found goldenseal useful for digestive problems and urinary tract infections. Skin problems like rashes and skin infections, itching and eczema have been helped by goldenseal. It has been used as an eyewash for conjunctivitis and for ringing in the ears.

Cautions with this herb include refraining from use during pregnancy or breast feeding as this is unsafe for the infant and can result in brain damage. Be sure to talk with your doctor if you want to use goldenseal. It does not mix well with some medicines.

Goldenseal tea is easy to make. Pour 1 cup of hot water over 2 teaspoons of the dried herb or 5 drops of the liquid extract. Cover and steep 15 minutes. Strain and drink. Goldenseal has a strong and undesirable taste so you may want to include some peppermint or some other corrective herb to disguise the taste.

Goldenseal is on the endangered plants list. It is not recommended for wild crafting. Be sure to get your goldenseal from a reliable and ethical source.

Yarrow for High Blood Pressure



Valerie Lull

Yarrow is a perennial has been used for healing purposes for thousands of years. The Greek hero Achilles was said to have used yarrow for battle wounds. Yarrow was known to slow and stop the flow of blood. In folklore it was supposed to protect from evil spirits. The word millefoliuim means thousand leafed. The plant has clusters of pink and white flowers. The plants with the white flowers were used most often for medicinal purposes.

Besides cuts, yarrow is also used for burns and inflammation. Yarrow tea is well-known for bringing down a fever and wounds were washed cleaned with yarrow tea before bandaging. Another use for yarrow is to rub the leaves on the skin as an insect repellent. Some folks use yarrow for high blood pressure and to help  circulation as well as fight off bacteria.

There are many active constituents in yarrow. among them are lactones, flavonoids, tannins, sugars, sterols, amino acids and saponins. An infusion of the leaf, stems and flowers will speed the healing of hemorrhoids. Native Americans made a poultice from  yarrow for skin rashes. Some folks have tried to use a yarrow infusion to rinse their hair with it. to prevent baldness.

The parts of the plant that are used medicinally are the leaves, stems and blossoms.Yarrow can be used as a tea, in capsules or tablets, as an infusion, or as a tincture. An infusion is made by using 2 oz of fresh leaf, (less if dried), in a container.  Add freshly boiled water and cover. Steep 10 – 15 minutes then strain. You can drink it cold or warm, up to 3 cups a day.

Yarrow does not mix with some medications. It can cause an increase of hydrochloric acid so do not use with antacid drugs. Yarrow does not mix with blood thinning drugs like warfarin. Lithium does not mix well with yarrow either. Be sure to discuss the taking of yarrow, or any herbal preparation, with your doctor to avoid problems.

Awhile back I did a blog on   parsley. Here is a link to a great article on parsley by my friend Jen. You may find this interesting reading.