Aloe VeraWritten by Judi Singleton
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Because of their popularity, Aloe vera plants are available at almost every garden shop or nursery. Unless you live in area with a very mild climate, it's best to leave your Aloe plant in pot and place it near a window that gets a lot of sun. You can move pot outdoors during summer months. Aloe vera is a succulent, and as such, stores a large quantity of water within its leaves and root system. During winter months, plant will become somewhat dormant, and utilize very little moisture. During this period watering should be minimal. Allow soil to become completely dry before giving plant a cup or two of water. During summer months, soil should be completely soaked, but then be allowed to dry again before re-watering. Aloes have a shallow, spreading root system, so when it is time to repot choose a wide planter, rather than a deep one. Use a planter with a drainage hole, or provide a 1-2 inch layer of gravel in bottom of pot to ensure adequate drainage. Use a good commercial potting mix with extra perlite, granite grit, or coarse sand added. You may also use a packaged 'cacti mix' soil. Fertilize yearly, in spring with a dilute (half strength), bloom type fertilizer (10-40-10). Aloes are propagated by removing offsets which are produced around base of mature plants, when they are a couple inches tall (or larger). They may also be grown from seed.
As to claims of medicinal properties of Aloe plant, However, recent studies have taken folk uses of aloe and applied them in clinical studies. The results of these studies were impressive enough that aloe is a standard skin treatment for many burn victims. It is also recommended for its antiseptic properties for treating wounds, radiation burns, and many other afflictions of skin. It is quite likely that you will find an aloe product in your own doctor’s office, as well as your local hospital.
Studies in laboratory rats have shown that another of its uses, that of internal consumption to protect and nourish digestive system and vital organs, is not only effective, but is showing that it can actually extend life of lab rats ingesting aloe. Rats with aloe added to their diets show much less damage to vital organs at old age than do rats without it. Since many cultures around world ingest aloe regularly, this is of particular note, and thankfully studies are ongoing. When you need to use it medicinally, just remove a lower leaf from plant, slice it open, and apply gel on affected area. The magical uses of Aloe are not easily located. It is a feminine plant, and its planet is moon. Its element is water, and its powers are protection and luck. Aloe can be hung over home for good luck. Carry it with you to protect yourself against evil, or to protect yourself from clumsiness.
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Cilantro For Your HealthWritten by Judi Singleton
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6 fresh green Anaheim chiles (about ¾ pound) ¾ pound fresh tomatillos or 1-¼ cups drained canned tomatillos (about half of a 28-ounce can) 1 cup chicken broth 2 garlic cloves 1 cup packed fresh cilantro sprigs Preheat broiler. Arrange chiles on rack of a broiler pan and broil about 2 inches from heat, turning them frequently, until skins are blistered and charred, 8 to 12 minutes. (Alternatively, if using a gas stove, lay chiles on their sides on racks of burners and turn flames on high. Char chiles, turning them with tongs, until skins are blackened, 3 to 6 minutes.) Transfer chiles to a bowl and let stand, covered, until cool enough to handle. Wearing rubber gloves, peel chiles. Cut off tops and discard seeds and ribs. Remove husks from fresh tomatillos and rinse tomatillos under warm water to remove stickiness. In a saucepan, simmer tomatillos, broth, and garlic until tomatillos are tender, about 10 minutes if using fresh tomatillos and about 5 minutes if using canned. Add chiles to tomatillo mixture. Cool salsa slightly and in a blender pulse until coarsely chopped (use caution when blending hot liquids). Salsa may be made up to this point 2 days ahead and cooled, uncovered, before being chilled, covered. Bring salsa to room temperature or reheat before proceeding.
Just before serving, in blender pulse salsa with cilantro until cilantro is finely chopped (use caution when blending if salsa is heated) and season with salt. From Asia this one is wonderful: Lemon Grass Roasted Chicken A last minute basting with lemon grass and a cliantro paste gives this dish a zesty aroma and flavour. 1/2 cup finely chopped lemon grass (3 or 4 fresh stalks) 2 tbsp. finely chopped shallots 1 tbsp. minced garlic 1 tbsp. dried chile flakes 1 tbsp. soy sauce 1 tbsp. sugar 4 1/2 tsp. fish sauce 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt 1 chicken (2 to 4 lbs) 2 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
In a large glass bowl combine all but 2 tbsp. of lemon grass with shallots, garlic, chile flakes, soy sauce, sugar, fish sauce, and salt. Add chicken, turn it to coat it in marinade, and put some marinade beneath skin. Pour any excess marinade into cavity. Marinate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Bring to room temperature before cooking. Preheat oven to 350°F. Put chicken, breast side down, on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast chicken for 40 minutes. Turn it over and roast until nicely browned, 20 to 30 minutes. About ten minutes before chicken is done, combine remaining 2 tbsp lemon grass sith cilantro and vegetable oil, and baste chicken with mixture. The chicken is done when juices run clear. Let stand for 10 minutes before carving.
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