8 Incredible Reasons to Eat Star Anise

Star Anise is an aromatic, liquorice- flavored spice that is widely used in Indian, Malay, Chinese, and Indonesian cuisine. As with all herbs, it is not only a culinary delight but has some powerful medicinal properties. Find it in the spice aisle of your local grocery store, preferably organic.

1. Star Anise has antibacterial, anti-viral properties and helps to fight infection. Almost all of the world’s star anise crop is used for extraction of shikimic acid, the chemical used in the synthesis of Tamiflu. Can you imagine how much safer it must be to use the unadulterated, whole food form of the medicine? This herb is indicated specifically for the flu, sinus infections and bronchial infections. Take it at the first sign of illness and each day you are ill, preferably in the tea form. See my recipe below.

2. It has compounds such as creosol and alpha-pimene that clear mucus from air passages, soothe a sore throat, and make dry, irritating coughs more productive. The Greeks used to make teas with it to help asthma and other respiratory ailments.

3. Alleviates constipation.

4. It is carminitive (relieves gas) and is good for indigestion.

5. Is helpful for PMS and menopausal symptoms, and gently encourages childbirth.

6. Supplies calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, and five B vitamins.

7. The seeds from this powerfully scented herb have been used as a tea for thousands of years to help treat bad breath.

8. Star Anise contains a compound called anethol, which has been reported to increase sex drive in women.

Here we used star anise to make a flavorful immune boosting tea with a handful of Wisconsin chaga mushroom chunks, 1 cinnamon bark stick, and 1/4 cup of elderberries in a stock pot.  If you want a no fuss, ready-to-go star anise option, check out my organic Star Anise tincture. 

Explore the many culinary applications to get the benefits of this wonderful medicine provided by nature!


Megan Normansell, CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutrition/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

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*please consult your herbalist or other health care practitioner before beginning a new herbal regimen like these.

Copyright Megan Normansell 2018 All rights reserved. 

The Most Intriguing Watermelon…

This week at my favorite farm stand- yellow watermelon! Apparently they are an heirloom variety, and twice as sweet as red watermelon. And the taste test confirmed! It does have a bit of a honey flavor.

Did you know that pink watermelon has more lycopene than tomatoes? (that’s one of the heart-healthy photochemicals).  And all watermelon is good for libido, fighting inflammation, and lowering blood pressure?

Read more about the benefits of watermelon here:  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/07/21/watermelon-nutrition.aspx



Megan Normansell, CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Herbalist/Holistic Nutrition/Wild Edibles & Medicinal Plants Guide

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more recipes and healthy living ideas!

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Copyright Megan Normansell 2019 All rights reserved. 

Lose weight, boost libido, and stop hair loss with this unique grain

Lose weight, boost libido, and stop hair loss with this rare grain

It’s arguably the world’s most nutritious grain, and most well-kept secret. Introducing the tiniest grain on earth- teff!

Native to Ethiopia, this gluten-free grain is packed with b-vitamins, fiber, protein, and minerals. It is also environmentally-friendly, requiring very little water to thrive and sprouts in just over a day. Just one pound of teff can grow an entire acre of the grain, while it takes 100 lbs or more of wheat berries to grow an acre of wheat.

Teff’s rich, nutty, molasses-like flavor makes it ideal for porridges, muffins, and cookies. Teff flour can be used in soups and gravies as a savory natural thickener. Look for it in your local health food store.

5 Health Benefits of Teff:

1. Teff is high in a resistant starch, which is a type of fiber that helps to balance blood sugar and manage diabetes. This benefit makes teff an ideal grain for weight loss, as high blood sugar levels will trigger your body to store fat. Stabilized blood sugar will help keep energy levels sustained and prevent sugar cravings.
2. Teff can help relax and soothe the muscles. Chances are you’ll find relief from restless leg, sleeping troubles, or muscle cramping if you eat teff regularly.
3. The minerals in teff can help reduce your risk of a stroke, as well as lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
4. Teff is extraordinarily high in copper, which is a vital mineral for energy production and properly functioning taste buds. Did you know that low copper levels can cause premature hair loss? Studies have found that increasing your copper intake can stop hair loss and premature greying, so eat your teff!
5. You cannot absorb copper without zinc, so of course nature always supplies a perfect balance in whole foods. The high zinc content found in teff is vital for immune system, tissue healing, and reproductive function. Low zinc levels can cause infertility in both men and women. A diet high in zinc can actually give you a great libido boost!

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