I don't have a green thumb. Over the past few years, I've managed to kill a few potted basil and other herbs. When my son is old enough to understand, I want the both of us to know how to grow the simplest plants that's packed with vitamins and other nutrients.
This one is a known galactagogue. I take this in powder and capsule form to increase my milk supply. This grows EVERYWHERE and it's very easy to take care of. I like adding this in soups and stews and the powdered moringa is also great in my cup of Joe.
Here it is in my unhealthy-but-instant-soup from a packet:
Rich in vitamins A, C, E, iron, and good cholesterol
Rich source of calcium and protein. Even better than milk!
Its vitamin C content is: 1 oz. of malunggay leaves = 7 oranges
Analgesic (relieves pain)
Also: I plan on making baby/kid appropriate fritters/nuggets with malunggay leaves in the future.
2. Alugbati/Ceylon Spinach/Malabar Nightshade (COOL NAME I KNOW)
In the Philippines, this plant grows almost EVERYWHERE. I see these crawlies dotting someone's front lawn despite the suburban nature of the area. This one's a safe laxative for pregnant/lactating women. I've made this twice and it's actually pretty tasty combined with coconut milk. Ginataang Alugbati, if you will.
I sauteed some garlic in coconut oil, added some shredded ginger, added cubed green papaya, and splashed some freshly squeezed coconut milk. Lastly, added the alugbati because it's quite slimy and I didn't want the finished product to be like slimy coconut milk. Et voila, a dish that dear husband liked! A twist on this dish is a small sprinkling of instant sinigang mix (cheating, I know) and you have a Lebanese-inspired dish! Season with patis/salt and pepper.
As a side note: this vegetable, like the kangkong, is a tropical spinach and could be added to any dish that requires spinach. Just take note of its slimy texture so it's not that great when added to vegetable shakes/juices.
Quick facts: the fruits are used as natural rouges/lipstick by many women and it's also a great natural dye substitute! When I make my own lipbalm, I may have to score some alugbati fruit. Health benefits:
Good source of folate
Good source of fiber
Good source of vitamins A, C, and B complex
Low calorie source of calcium, iron, and magnesium
Pansit-pansitan is another low-maintenance plant and it also grows EVERYWHERE. My husband used to weed this out of his mini garden thinking that it's just some random plant. Apparently, this is great for arthritis!
Some people consume this as a tea to relieve arthritic aches and pains. They make a decoction by boiling the leaves in hot water, but, I'd rather consume it fresh and raw.
Here is my recipe for Shiny Bush Salad:
-Splenda (Optional, but I added one packet in mine)
-A dash of water
Rinse the leaves. Combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil (about a teaspoon will do), salt, pepper, and a dash of water. Soak the leaves in your balsamic vinegar dressing for about ten minutes. Toast your chopped garlic in oil. Then crush some peanuts (we used the raw ones that you buy at the palengke). Sprinkle the garlic and peanuts on top of the alugbati-balsamic mixture. Enjoy!
Note: make enough dressing so that the leaves will be soaked! Don't make too much though as this will overpower the crunch-factor of the pansit-pansitan!
Analgesic (again, a great pain reliever)
A poultice made from pansit-pansitan cures skin problems like pimples and boils
These three plants are a great addition to anyone's garden due to the fact that these plants don't need to be fussed over. Not to mention that these plants are excellent survival food that any pinay prepper would definitely need in her arsenal.
Cliche or not, having a baby opened my eyes to a lot of things, like, that lip balm I always buy? Too expensive. And my favorite soap? Too strong for my baby's nose (and not to mention his sensitive, eczema-prone skin).
Above photo made with the help of Polyvore
In the bid to be more eco-friendly, save money, and be more self-sustainable, I have convinced myself (80%) to give up commercial beauty/hygiene products and make my own ones when my stash of soap, shampoo, deodorant, et cetera, runs out. It's a scary prospect, to be sure. Especially since the summer heat is starting to creep in and the thought of a non-commercial deodorant scares the living daylights out of me.
Here are the products I will make in the future:
Stay tuned for the recipes!
Here's a quick tip: stock up on coconut oil, cornstarch or arrowroot powder (uraro), and essential oils. Am currently on the lookout for cheap suppliers, especially for arrowroot powder. If you know where to buy these ingredients for cheap, do email me please or leave your comments.