Herbs help diversify cooking and beauty

Keeping to the theme of this year’s Women’s Conference — Exploring Our Diversity — the herb session informed woman on the diverse use

Keeping to the theme of this year’s Women’s Conference — Exploring Our Diversity — the herb session informed woman on the diverse use of herbs for their everyday lives.

The session, led by Anna Chappell of Country Thyme Farms, talked to the ladies about the cooking, health, medicinal and beauty uses for herbs.

“On a personal level I’m very passionate about herbs,” said Chappell to start her presentation.

She feels some people shy away from using herbs or are intimidated by them. “There are infinite things you can do with herbs. They’re easy to use.”

Not only do they lend a delicious sometimes exotic element to cooking — “cultures all over the world use herbs,” — but they’re healthy whichever way used.

“Health is beauty,” Chappell stressed.

Rosemary can be used as a memory aid, to alert the mind and it nourishes hair. “You smell it and it awakens the mind — that’s the rosemary working,” said Chappell.

It can also be grown indoors, which is good for those to want the herb fresh throughout Alberta’s long winter months.

Thyme is good for treating respiratory ailments, as well as strengthens the immune system when brewed in tea. It also works as a skin toner and treats acne.

The potent mint herb helps with headaches, colds, flus; it sooths upset stomachs, indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. For the head it balances the scalp’s pH and stimulates hair growth.

Basil is good for oral care. When ingested in tea it gives a glowing radiance to the skin and detoxifies the liver.

Chappell, who attended Old College, has been working with herbs for years and takes hers to farmers’ markets in Red Deer.