Healing Plants, Traditional Foods

Adaptogenic Ginger Miso Dressing

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Time. Many of us don’t have it. Between work, running errands, family gatherings, and making moments for self-care (fingers crossed), it seems like it’s easy to spend our hard earned cash on eating out. We get it. We’ve been there.

We find the most success when we plan out our meals like our meetings. Literally, put them on the iPhone, tablet, moleskin notebook…whatever you’re into. While this might seem like yet another obligation, it doesn’t gotta be like that! Make it fun. Let yourself have a movie night if you make something for yourself. This will be easy to do anyway, because you will already have the snacks part down!

So, if you’re still following along you are probably a bit type A. Hard working folks are prone to stress, and in the worse-case-scenario — burnout. We try to avoid all that by planning out our meals and using adaptogens. By definition, adaptogens are plants that help your body adapt to stress. Usually they have an affinity toward a certain body system and can help to bring it back into balance. Adaptogens can strengthen function and therefore help the body resist physiological stressors.

We love buying more neutral tasting adaptogens like ashwagandha, shatavari, and astragalus in powdered form so that we can easily sprinkle them into our medicinal meals. Adaptogens aren’t and instant “aha” moment for stress, like nervines can be, but over two to three months time you should notice them working. If it took years of go-go-go for you to feel the effects of adrenal burn out, do yourself a favor and give adaptogens a few months time to balance you out! You won’t regret it.

These roots go well in ghee, curries, and herbal dressings like this one, below. If you’re wondering where to get these herbs, Mountain Rose Herbs is a stand-up online shop committed to selling quality herbs that are grown or collected sustainably.

A S H W A G A N D H A  (Withania somnifera)

This plant’s nickname is “Indian ginseng,” and while it’s not stimulating like ginseng can be, it does have similar medicinal effects. The root can be used for fatigue, stress, immune system support, joint pain (topically), to stabilize blood sugar and hormones and much more. The whole plant is commonly used in Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine native to India. Traditional recipes include the root (powdered) in warm milk and/or honey. To get a medicinal dose, you will need about 1-6 grams a day. This could be taken as a capsule, if that’s easier for you.

S H A T A V A R I  (Asparagus racemosus)

Shatavari is another medicinal plant that’s prized in Ayurveda, and the legend says something about this herb giving you the ability to have 100 husbands. That sounds like a lot, to us at least. We believe this lore is alluding to the plant’s affinity toward the female reproductive system. the root of the plant is used to promote reproductive health (males included), a healthy libido, hormone balance, and milk production. It also works to boost the immune system, energy levels, and to sooth the digestive system. It goes well in ghee, warm milk or as a tea with a bit off fat in it (for extraction purposes, of course). To get the highest benefit we’d do around 1-3 grams daily of the powder, or 30-60 drops of tincture 2-3x daily.

A S T R A G A L U S (Astragalus membranaceus)

This medicinal plant isn’t anything new, it’s been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (a.k.a. TCM) for thousands of years. You may have seen astragalus sold under the name “huang qi,” another common name for it. It’s used traditionally to promote immune system health, especially for those who are prone to the common cold or flu. Research suggests it may also be helpful for immune systems that have been weakened by chemotherapy or radiation. It’s commonly prepared in broths or soups, like this one. You can use about 3-4 grams throughout the day of the powder or in tincture form, as you can do with most medicinal plants.

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This adaptogenic recipe is simple and medicinal. You can use one or all of the adaptogenic powders listed above. We encourage you to use whatever plants are calling to you. It can be used in a hearty massaged-kale salad, to marinate roasted carrots or squash, or wherever you dream up!

 

P R E P  T I M E.  10 minutes

 

M A T E R I A L S.

Blender

Mason jar, to store the dressing

Spatula

 

I N G R E D I E N T S.

2/3 cup of rice vinegar

1/2 cup of olive oil

4 tbspn of sesame oil

2 tbspn of white miso

2 tbpsn of sesame seeds

2 tbsp of your adaptogen of choice

1 thumb of ginger, grated

2 tbspn honey

 

M E T H O D :

1. Add all ingredients into your blender.

2. Scrape it out with your spatula.

3. Put into your Mason or storage jar, keep refrigerated, and it should keep 1-2 weeks. It will look much more like a dressing that in the main photo here, but once refrigerated it will thicken up.

If you’re looking for more ways to dress up your salads be sure to check out our Creamy Turmeric Tahini Dressing and our Wild Weeds Pesto.

*Please note: No one herb can replace a healthy outlook on life and a diet full of whole foods. We invite you to get a consultation from an herbalist so that you can find the right herbal protocol for your unique body. We do not diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease. This has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our blog posts are meant only to inspire.

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