Published Friday, July 10, 2020
Doing the right things
By Victoria Torley
Well, here we are with an upsurge in the Wuhan virus just weeks after Costa Rica got a shipment of medical supplies from China . . .
We could all use a boost in our immune system and, because of where we live, we can do the first thing that doctors suggest – eat healthy natural foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables. We hear that all the time and we also hear that herbs are very good for us too. But, which ones can we get fresh or do we need a pill?
First, the fruits and veggies. All the citrus fruits area boon to health but don’t forget papaya, guava, mango, avocado and veggies like broccoli, spinach, and red bell peppers. Shoot, all of them are good for you, and your mother probably told you so.
Then there are the herbs.
Garlic. Garlic is readily available and easy to grow. Plant it in the garden, enjoy it in your cooking. Garlic is full of antioxidants and is a known antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agent.
Turmeric. This is an easy herb to grow in Costa Rica. Like garlic, it has antiviral properties along with other health benefits. If you like the flavor of turmeric, you can add it to just about anything. Me? I buy curcumin capsules. For turmeric to be really effective, you need to ingest four tablespoons of the herb per day. I just don’t like it that much.
Ginger. We love ginger. Ginger in tea, ginger in marinade, candied ginger, all wonderful. Ginger is also full of antioxidants and is an antibacterial.
Echinacea root. Echinacea grows well in highland gardens in Costa Rica and the roots are the best part of the plant to use for an infusion although the leaves are also good for tea.
Elderberry. With this plant, it’s the flowers that are used either fresh or dried and the plant does grow in Costa Rica. Be aware that the leaves, roots, and bark are toxic so stick to the flowers for tea.
One of Metric Man’s favorites? Jalapeño peppers. They are an anti-inflammatory and doctors are now saying that lung inflammation is a problem with the Wuhan virus.
And my favorite, dark chocolate. These are stressful times and a hunk of dark chocolate has been shown to be a stress reducer. It also has antioxidant properties and is good for your cholesterol level. But dark chocolate only! None of that milk chocolate.
But – supposing you have done all the right things and still need to see a doctor?
Plant for the Week
We were just recently at CIMA in San José, one of the few places where you can get a covid-19 test and treatment (don’t worry, we were there for something else) and we found a wonderful B&B with gardens galore! This lovely amaryllis was in bloom along with dozens of other plants. So, what is my new favorite B&B? The one with gardens and a heated pool? Hotel Posada el Quijote. It overlooks San José only 5.6 kilometers from CIMA. Great rooms with balconies (and mattresses), luxurious bathrooms, and did I mention the heated pool? Call Ivan or Bjorn and tell them I sent you!
Editor's note: More information on this article or about gardening, Ms. Victoria Torley, gardener columnist, can be reached at email@example.com