It's been a long time coming, but I'm proud to say that I finally offer herbal tinctures as part of my naturopathic dispensary!
What's a tincture, you say?
Well, to keep it simple, when you make yourself a cup of tea, you infuse your tea leaves in water and extract the water soluble properties of the herb in about 5-10 minutes. To make a tincture, the dried herb is infused into alcohol for about 2 weeks in order to extract the fat-soluble highly concentrated medicinal compounds. This makes a tincture a much more powerful form of medicine than a tea and also allows us to control the concentrations of each herb. Tinctures also make it easier to mix herbs that share common actions; for example, we can combine herbs that support the immune system with herbs that kill bacteria and other herbs that reduce a cough, clear mucous and open the sinuses. Voila! You have a well-rounded cold and flu formula that tastes terrible, but is highly effective!
My favourite tincture these days is the one I've combined for sleep and anxiety. I don't know if it's safe to blame technology, but the blue light exposure before bed really makes it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. Plus, being available by phone 24/7 has drastically increased anxiety levels, putting everyone on edge all hours of the day and night. I have combined a few herbs into a formula that helps to reduce anxiety and calm the mind. I have patients put a few drops in their water bottles for daytime anxiety and take a regular dose in the evening before going to bed. The results have been outstanding. Tinctures really are one of the most ancient and effective natural medicines of this day and I am so excited to make them a bigger part of my practice!
I was once told that my hummus is too "garlicky". This comment inspired me to add more cloves to my mix, which inevitably perfected my hummus...and my breath. There is no such thing as too much garlic! Well, there must be an upper limit, but I'm sure your stomach will tell you when you get there.
1. Pour half the can of chickpeas into the blender with the tahini, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Blend until smooth. Add a little water if needed. You may need to stop the blender every once in a while and use a spoon to mix the contents to be sure it all gets blended.
2. Pour the rest of the chickpeas into the blender and add olive oil and any extra salt you need for your taste. Add remaining water if you would like your hummus to be thinner.
3. Empty blender contents into a container, warm up some pita bread and enjoy!
Should last at least a week if kept in the fridge, but I don't really know - mine has never lasted that long!
Dr. DeSouza shares new research and discoveries along her journey.