Friday, November 16, 2012

Spice and Herbal Garden

After spending two weeks tasting spices in Sri Lanka I've been looking forward to this next destination the most: a spice and herbal garden. We visited the Highland spice and herbal garden enroute to Kandy.

Seeing how the spices are grown was fascinating and something I'll always remember when cooking with dried spices. Our wonderful guide Mahesh is a Herbalist and filled the tour with herbal remedy recipes and even massages. Tours are free, you're invited to buy spices and Ayurvedic herbal remedies at the end.

Mahesh our brilliant guide who kindly let me use his photo

Welcome drink - ginger, cardamom, vanilla extract tea

Here's some of what we saw, with a little of Mahesh's advice:

Lemongrass. Soothes mosquito bites (as I soon found out)

Green pepper (Dried in the sun to make black pepper)

Turmeric root. Also used to colour monks' robes in Sri Lanka. 

Cloves. Eases tooth aches.

Aloe vera

Cocoa tree

Vanilla with pure vanilla extract 

Mahesh then brought us to his 'spice school' where he showed us the dried spices and tonics. I even had a lemongrass lotion massage for my mosquito bites. And it worked!

Some of our purchases. After all those curries I just about resisted his slimming tonic.

I'll end with his advice for us 'young people':

1. Always care for your back
2. Don't eat too many acidic things (may cause eczema)
3. Your health is your wealth
4. Laughing is better than any medicine

Thank you Mahesh, I loved every minute of it. 
Our next stop is the cultural capital of Sri Lanka, Kandy and the Temple Of The Tooth. With a sweet name like that how could you resist? 

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