February 29, 2012 § 2 Comments
On returning from India, I vowed to keep my pace slow, to let that country that had saturated my thoughts and body linger into my Melbourne life. But I knew it was stolen time when a week had passed and I still felt no hairs turn grey. I needed a strategy. I decided to make sure I do the things that make me happy. I would take a photo a day, I would draw more pictures, I would write more often in a book with thick cream paper – pages that allowed my thoughts to spill out and look comfortable there, all in a row. It didn’t matter for the words meanings, just the black on cream, the repetition making the messy letters look organised, thoughtful.
My photo a day has ended up being more like 3 photos every 3 days, often at night, just before bed, when I remember. But it doesn’t seem to matter, its a small piece of time out, like that quiet moment smokers have on the veranda. I haven’t noticed any more hairs turn grey. Here are some of them.
December 17, 2010 § 5 Comments
Before arriving in Sierra Leone, a man at a spice shop in Morocco gave me a bag of rose petals. At the time I didn’t think much of my gift or of how useful they would be to me at my next destination but they smelled divine and didn’t weigh much so they went in my backpack with everything else. However it wasn’t until I was siting here in the heat of Sierra Leone nursing a runny nose, soar throat and once monthly pains in my belly that I decided to make myself a ginger tea, and on seeing the rose petals sitting on the bench I decided to chuck some of them in too. I was surprised by the velvety warm soft taste; the juxtaposition of hot ginger and cool rose on the tongue; like drinking a cup of love on a sunny day.
I decided to do a bit of research on the health benefits of rose.
Apparently roses aren’t the most romantic flower for nothing; they are said to comfort the heart and emotions. This explains a lot as I find them utterly irresistible and it is with great difficulty that I overcome the temptation to smell every one I pass. Perhaps this is accentuated by the fact that my grandparents owned a rose nursery just outside of Brussels and one of my first memories is of wandering through them with my Oma as a 4-year-old.
When I came across the less romantic properties of rose I couldn’t help thinking that this flower was designed to solve all my problems, especially whilst living in Sierra Leone. Rose clears heat and toxins from the body resulting in a cooling effect (oh sweet yes!), can benefit a sore throat and runny nose, and relieves painful periods. It also contains high levels of Vitamin C, helps the body fight against infection, helps establish healthy bacteria, helps cleans the kidneys, liver and gall bladder, helps remedy gastro, diarrhoea and dysentery, works as a laxative, helps infertility and has a positive effect on the nervous system therefore helps fatigue, insomnia and depression.
So I am thinking it was with some luck or perhaps a future insight that the man at the spice shop gave me a bag of rose petals. And when combined with the more widely known benefits of ginger – boosts the immune, and treats colds, chest infections, digestive disorders, nausea and joint pain – this has become my new super tea and what’s more it tastes so good.
The recipe for rose petal and ginger tea is simple
1cm by 1cm cube of fresh ginger peeled and sliced thinly
1 dried rose bud or a couple of rose petals
1 cup boiling water
Place all ingredients in a tall glass or fine china teacup, and let cool slightly before sipping.