The Herball’s Guide to Botanical Drinks: Spring Tonic


‘Bright, bold and reinvigorating, this is all about plants that help to shift us out of our winter slumber, get things moving, and add a little spice and intensity to our mornings’, says Michael Isted in his new book The Herball’s Guide to Botanical Drinks, how to use the alchemy of plants to create potions to cleanse, restore, relax and revive. This recipe ‘features turmeric, the golden root so important in traditional Indian medicine and cuisine; it’s fantastic for the organs of digestion, particularly the liver and gall bladder, and for the absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins. The secondary metabolites in pepper and ginger also help us to absorb the therapeutic constituents in turmeric. Combined with antioxidant carotenoids and the high vitamin content of the carrot, as well as the added zing of the orange, this will brighten up any day.’

Serves 1

For the drink
1 organic carrot
1 unwaxed or organic orange
2.5cm (1in) fresh organic ginger root
2.5cm (1in) fresh organic turmeric root (if available)
10ml (2 tsp) Turmeric and Honey (see below)

Equipment: masticating juicer

For the Turmeric and Honey

(makes about 600ml / 1 pint / 2½ cups)
100g (3½oz) dried turmeric root, whole or powdered
15g (½oz) dried ginger root, slices or powdered
15g (½oz) black peppercorns
250ml (9fl oz / generous 1 cup) distilled water
400g (14oz / scant 1½ cups) raw honey

Equipment: muslin cloth (cheesecloth) or super bag

For the Turmeric and Honey: Put the turmeric, ginger and peppercorns in a saucepan with the distilled water. Cover and place over a low heat for 3–4 minutes (do not boil), then allow to cool, still with the lid on. Pour it all into a blender, add the honey, blend for 30 seconds, then decant into an airtight sealable jar. Seal, shake well, label and store for at least 14 days (preferably longer), shaking occasionally. Strain through muslin cloth (cheesecloth) or a super bag, pressing the solids to make sure as much of the liquid as possible is extracted, then bottle, seal and label. This will keep for at least 12 months and can be enjoyed with a splash of water, or just added to a simple orange juice.

For the drink: Wash and peel the carrot, then remove the zest from the orange and set aside. Pass the carrot, orange, one-quarter of the orange zest, the ginger and turmeric (if using) through a masticating juicer, followed by 100ml (3½fl oz / 7 tbsp) of spring water. Pour the juice into a glass with the Turmeric and Honey, stir and serve. This can also be bottled to be enjoyed on the go, or at work.

You can buy the cleansing herbs in this recipe at good quality health food shops.

You can buy The Herball’s Guide to Botanical Drinks at the Quarto online shop or on Amazon – see the link below.

More recipes from The Herball’s Guide to Botanical Drinks
The Herball’s Guide to Botanical Drinks: Barley Water
The Herball’s Guide to Botanical Drinks: Cleansing Infusion

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