Herbal teas are best brewed for about 5 to 10 minutes in boiling water. You can add a little honey if you like. Here are some herbal teas that are good for improving digestion:
Chamomile has a calming effect on the digestive system. It relaxes and soothes the bowel muscles and is helps to ease spasms. It is perfect as a night cap before going to bed.
Ginger tea is good for tummy upsets. You can purchase it either in tea bags or use grated fresh ginger.
To make ginger tea, grate some fresh ginger root (about half a teaspoonful) into a cup and then add boiling water. Leave for at least 5 minutes to steep and then strain through a small sieve.
Peppermint tea is a fantastic anti-spasmodic. I prefer to use fresh leaves from the garden or organic tea bags (For some reason the non-organic ones have a blah taste to them).
If you are using fresh leaves from the garden, select about five to ten of the bigger ones and cut or rip them up to release more flavour. Add to the bottom of your tea cup and add boiling water. Leave for at least 5 minutes to steep and then strain through a small sieve.
Other herbal teas
- Fennel is good for flatulence
Prepared herbal teas
We have black and orange spotted bugs that have gathered in great numbers on our squash and pumpkin patch. They tend to congregate in the shade of a leaf, with three sets of differing gangs. I couldn’t tell if they were doing any damage although the plants there are struggling to produce any vegetables.
I decided to purchase the pest bible “What Garden Pest or Disease is that?” This comprehensive tome covers both organic and chemical solutions to most garden problems. As I flicked through the pages trying to find our bug, the full colour illustrations made me squeamish and unconsciously itchy.
“I think it’s an orchid beetle,” I said.
“If it’s an orchid beetle, what’s it doing on the squash?” Big M replied.
“I dunno. It’s the closest one.”
“You might have discovered a new insect. You’ll be able to get it named after you!”
“There’s already a moth in my surname.” I frowned. (An ugly brown bagworm moth).
“Yeah, but not a beetle.”
In the end I decided that perhaps they were just baby stink bugs? They were easy to remove – just hold a bottle half full of water underneath one and tap. They drop in. Although the bigger ones are a little more cluey and climb on top of each other. With a sharp tap they drop in, and with just a few swishes of the bottle and they drown quickly. I lost count of how many there were.
Update: I’ve moved to using a bucket half filled with water to remove the bugs and it still works no problems. Still a few stragglers I’ll have to get on the weekend. Kenny from Veggie Gardening Tips has confirmed them to be ‘squash bugs’.