I think everybody would agree, fresh herbs and spices add a lovely smell and flavour to our meals. Fresh herbs also add vitamins like A, C and K to our food and they are packed with antioxidants.
And not only that, by adding flavour with the herbs, we can cut back on the salt!
But here’s a thought … have you ever considered adding some herbs to your dog’s food?
Fresh herbs are able to promote better health and wellness for you AND your dog! So, why not try it?
Most of the herbs are easy to grow. You don’t even need to have a garden or back yard, you can simply grow them on your inside window sill just like I do with some of mine.
Only my sage, lavender, rosemary and marjoram are now grown outside because they have flourished quite a bit over the year’s 😊
Here are some ideas for ways you can introduce the health and wellness benefits of fresh herbs into yours and your dog’s life!
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
One of my all-time favourites! I love to place a few whole leaves on my avocado & hummus toast and happily munch on it. Or I chop it up with some sun dried tomatoes and spread that on toast… but back to the dogs …lol!
Basil has antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties, and is full of vitamins and minerals.
Basil also helps with digestion, and in the dry form you can find this herb in many digestive teas to relieve stomach spasms.
How to make basil oil:
* Bunch of basil
* 1l sweet almond oil or olive oil
In the mortar, crush basil leaves, and when they start to release their aroma start adding the oil. Then put the oil with the leaves into a clean jar or a bottle with a lid, and add the rest of the oil. Close the jar and leave it for two weeks, occasionally shaking the content. Then you can use the oil to flavour your meal, your dog’s dinner, and you can even use it for massaging your tired sore muscles.
Did you know basil is associated with immortality? And apparently, it can make a person more attractive and even help to find love…
Well… try and let me know 😊
Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis)
This lovely herb is high in iron, calcium, and Vitamin B6, and has also been shown to act as an antioxidant.
Rosemary supports circulation, calms the mind, and relaxes internal tension. It can also help with some types of migraines.
If you enjoy gardening, you will find rosemary very useful here too. With dry rosemary, you can make a spray that can be used as a preventative care against mould, caterpillars, whiteflies, and the potato beetle.
How to make rosemary extract:
* 220g of dry crushed rosemary
* 700ml of 50% alcohol (if you can’t get this, vodka will do)
* 10-15 ml liquid soap
Pour alcohol over rosemary and leave it to infuse for two days. After two days, sieve it and add the liquid soap. Add about 130ml of the extract into 1 litre of water. With this amount of extract, you can make 6-7 litres of spray.
Personally, I haven’t tried it yet, as I didn’t do much gardening last year. But I will definitely try it this year.
Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)
I am a big fan of ginger tea, especially now in winter. When I can feel the cold is coming, it’s the first thing I do … make a ginger tea.
Ginger root is anti-inflammatory, and also has antibacterial properties. It helps aid in the absorption of food, and boosts the digestive system. It is also a great way to treat motion sickness because it helps to soothe nausea. Some pet owners even give it to their pets to help boost circulation. It can either be served finely chopped or dried and ground.
How to make ginger tea:
* 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
* 1 cup boiling water
* Sometimes I add a bit of cinnamon and/or cardamom
* Lemon and/or honey or agave syrup for flavour, if the tea is too spicy for you
Boil the water and then add it to the cup with grated ginger. Steep the tea, covered, for at least 5 minutes. Strain and discard ginger and serve warm. Finally, add lemon, honey, agave syrup … if you like.