Each month has activities, experiments, stories and lore for the specific herb studied and it seems like something that's good for all the ages in our house, so we're going to look at one herb per month for 2015 and record our findings in our nature journals, on top of our regular nature studies. Since our internet service is always somewhat of a question mark, I'll post them pretty much when I can and not neccessarily in order.
We started out this week with December's herb, Cayenne pepper. This is a really interesting one! It serves as a pain reliever, muscle rub, immune system booster, and fiery cooking addition. The recipes for tea and liniment were clearly explained. I don't have a photo for the liniment but it worked better on my husband's sore back than Tiger Rub!
We tried out a couple of fun experiments: First, we got glasses of milk ready and each of the kids tried a 1/4 tsp of straight powdered cayenne. K, 22 was fine, since like me he enjoys his food at volcano temperatures! D, 7, was gulping milk down after sampling, but only rated cayenne's heat at about 5 on a scale where 10 is the hottest.
|Why yes, these are very blurry photos. It may have had something to do with the frantically chugging and panting teenager being photographed. ;)|
A few safety tips from Herbal Roots, in case you decide to study Cayenne: start small with quantities. Wear gloves and wash your hands really, really well anyway after touching Cayenne. Keep gloves nearby and never try to cool the herb's effect with water as it will make it much worse. And for goodness' sake don't sniff it unless you enjoy setting your nasal passages on fire!
Have you tried this herb out? How do you use it?