The Cape is transitioning into winter and I can’t remember autumn ever being so dry. It feels like Madrid and my sinuses are not liking this one bit. It didn’t take long before it was time to bring out the more serious medicinal herbs: sage.
A few notes on Sage: Please don’t use this if you are pregnant, breast-feeding or younger than 7 years old. With that said, sage is one of the best culinary herbs to aid liver function (it stimulates and regulates bile flow) as well as having anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties which is why people often cook pork with sage. In addition, it is also anti-inflammatory as most plants of the mint family are. In Ayurveda, sage and other “kapha-reducing” herbs and spices are used to relieve sinus congestion and lung diseases.
Almond Milk & Banana: This combination is especially comforting to our digestive systems. As this forms the base of our flu-fighting smoothie, you can be sure that even a runny or unstable, inflammatory tummy will be okay with it.
Orange & Lemon: The power of these fruits reside not so much in their vitamin C content, but in their astringent properties – AKA their ability to help alkalise and detox the body faster than less astringent fruits like, say, papayas and mangoes.
Turmeric: Warming and potently anti-inflammatory, turmeric is a powerful spice to keep on hand during times when our immune systems need an extra boost. This is one of nature’s top, yet gentle, antibiotics.
As a final touch, lavender and cardamom are both soothing to the digestive and nervous systems, helping us deal with the discomfort of being sick both physically and emotionally.
Adapted from The Crunchy Chronicles.
- 1-2 frozen bananas (depending on your tolerance for sweetness)
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, powdered
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger, washed but not peeled
- 3 leaves sage, fresh (see note on sage above)
- A few freshly picked lavender leaves and/or the insides of a cardamom pod
Blend all ingredients together until creamy smooth and enjoy.