From tree to tea – meet my new friend Mel
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From tree to tea – meet my new friend Mel

For thousands of years Australian Aborigines have utilised the Broad-leaf Paperbark (Melaleuca quinquenervia) or Coastal Paperbark as a food, medicine and daily domestic item. She (‘Mel’) grows into a tall (to 25m) tree in areas of eastern Australia where there is plenty of water to keep her roots moist. These species grow northwards from Sydney…

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Food and medicine Foraging: Warragul greens & Sage

Warragul Greens loves some sunshine and thrives on moisture. You can train it up and over fences too.
Next you can see Common Sage or Salvia officinalis. ‘Officinalis’ means this is the official species used botanical/herbal medicine.
Commonly used in cooking, sage helps ensure digestive processes work well: especially to muster our bile flow to break down consumed fats/oils. You can use sage fresh or dried for later use.
In herbal medicine sage has a broad sphere of action: antimicrobial (including antiviral) taken as a tea and/or gargle/mouthwash; improving cognition and memory, reduces excess perspiration (sweating) in fevers or during menopause, reduces milk flow in weaning mothers. Commonly used in upper respiratory tract infections like sore throat and sinus issues.
For best effect and safety of any herbal medicine you must consult a Practitioner to guide you on the most appropriate dose and preparation FOR YOU . Generally sage in its basic leaf form for cooking or tea is considered a very low risk herb. Easy to grow from cuttings. Let me know if you’d like to give it a go to grow. I have plenty to share. This plant has travelled around our garden for about 25 years!

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Food and medicine Foraging Series: Warragul greens

Food Feast: Warragul Greens/New Zealand Spinach aka Tetragonia tetragonoides. Easy nutritious green to grow in your garden (likes moisture) and you can find it along the Aussie shorelines (tastes a bit saltier). High in Vit C, magnesium, phytonutrients and fibre, this food has been a favourite of Australian indigenous peoples and early European colonists and had a resurgence of interest as a Bush Tucker option easy to grow in our own gardens. The leaf is mild to the taste and soft to the palate so easily incorporated into pies, pestos, salads and salsas. It contains some oxalic acid so those with kidney issues consult with a Practitioner first if you are concerned.