Tis the season to think about gifts. No better gifts can be found than those given from the heart that are healthy and inexpensive but says to that person that you think they are really special!

This time of year there are a lot of people that end up in the hospital or with a housebound illness and would truly appreciate thoughtful useful gifts that is going to help them get better and keep them healthy. Those special gifts are Herb butters that can be made by anyone, even a child!

Herb butters are easy and elegant. You may add the butter to any fresh cooked vegetable for a lovely dinner dish. Try grilling ears of corn for your guests and offer them several different butters for seasoning. If you need to bring something with you to a dinner simply wrap a loaf of fresh Italian or French bread and a nice bowl of herb butter. It will always go well with whatever your hostess is having for lunch or dinner. Best of all, the herb butters are simple and inexpensive; yet they add an elegant touch to your table and palate.

At the end of this article you will find special ideas for gift baskets with these easy simple but elegant gift butters. Now down to business making those elegant butters.

Basil Butter Ingredients are: Combine ½ cup butter and ½ cup shredded leaves. Refrigerate at least 3 hours. Use on vegetables, chicken or fish. You can also use to cook scrambled eggs.

Basil: has been shown to lower blood sugar in double blind studies as well as reduces cholesterol levels. Used as a treatment of infected wounds as well…

Other basil gifts: Stalks of basil can be added to bottles of vinegar and used on salads. Use a good quality wine vinegar and allow the vinegar/Basil to steep for at least 2 weeks before using. You can do the same with a bottle of olive oil. Basil leaves can be dried and crumbled and used just like the store-bought varieties. Fresh Basil leaves can be packed into the bottom of an airtight container, covered with olive oil, and stored in the fridge for a month or 2. Don't freeze your Basil! Freezing will render it useless.

Sage Butter Ingredients are: Cream together ½ cup butter and ½ cup minced sage leaves. Refrigerate at least 3 hours. Wonderful on seafood or chicken, on fresh green beans or hot biscuits.

Sage has one of the longest histories of use as a medicinal herb. It has been employed to treat cancers and excessive perspiration and to dry up milk when a woman is no longer going to breast-feed. Based on this anti-perspiration and drying effect, sage is also used for women who are sweating due to menopause. Sage was also used, along with rosemary and thyme, to preserve a number of foods, including meats and cheeses. Also known to help clear up colds and sore throats. Women have used it to bypass menopausal symptoms for centuries. Helps prevent gingivitis (gum disease).

Cilantro Butter Ingredients are: 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled ½ cup butter, soft, ½ cup minced cilantro, 1 tsp.... lemon juice

Blanch garlic in boiling water for 10 minutes, remove, cool and peel, then mince. In small bowl cream the butter and add other ingredients. Pack into small container and refrigerate. This has many uses such as spreading on fresh warm tortillas, mini corn muffins or baguettes. Cilantro: the natural chelator that has been shown to rid the body of heavy metals and amalgam poisons from dental fillings. The herb is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are chemicals that, among other things, help prevent animal fats from turning rancid. Cilantro and coriander also contain substances that kill meat-spoiling bacteria, fungi and insect larvae. Some studies suggest that cilantro/coriander has anti-inflammatory action, suggesting it might help relieve arthritis.

Mixed Herb Butter Ingredients are: ½ cup soft butter, 1 TBS. chives, 1-TBS. parsley, 1-TBS. Tarragon, 1-TBS Chervil Chop the herbs fine, mix with butter. Place in container. This is great on most vegetables, fish or French bread. Let’s take one herb at a time. Chives: A member of the onion and garlic family that has an antibiotic effect. An antimicrobial fighter.

Parsley: For more than 2,000 years, it has been known as a medicinal herb. The ancient Greeks valued the seeds and roots of the plant for their soothing, diuretic effect on those with kidney and bladder ailments. Today parsley is still used primarily as a diuretic. In addition, it strengthens the digestive system and helps alleviate stomach and liver problems. In folk medicine, parsley is recommended for women who have irregular menstrual periods. As a diuretic, it may also ease the bloating that some women experience before their periods. In addition, parsley leaves are a good source of many vitamins and minerals - including iron, which is important for the proper formation of red blood cells, potassium and vitamin C.

Tarragon: Aromatic licorice flavor. Some believe the herb was given this name because of its supposed ability to cure the bites of venomous reptiles. Although alluded to briefly in the 13th century as a seasoning for vegetables, a sleep-inducing drug, and a breath sweetener, tarragon did not become well known until the 16th century. The Roman scholar Pliny refers to its use for preventing fatigue.

Chervil: A pleasant tasting herb with mysterious whispered medicinal properties but never quite defined.


Special Butter for Fish Ingredients are: ¼ cutter, 2 tsp.... lemon juice, dash of salt and pepper, 2 TBS. chopped fennel leaves

Combine and refrigerate. Can be used on baked fish. Other Herbs: You may use the basic mix of ½ cup-softened butter with other herbs in your garden or from the produce department. Chives make a wonderful butter that can be used on steamed or microwave summer squash, corn or muffins. Don’t forget Marjoram or Oregano for fresh Italian or French bread!

Fennel: These drought-hardy plants will grow anywhere, even in the gravel next to your driveway. The delicious seed is best harvested while still green. Is known for an antiseptic, expectorant, spasmolytic and carminative, it counter-effects the cramping caused by taking laxatives. Gentle enough for babies -- specific for treating colic and is a flavoring agent.

Herb Butter Basket Ideas! Even though butters are refrigerated you can give a fresh basket for someone recovering at home from an illness or operation, or someone returning from a trip where the refrigerator may not be stocked; a housewarming present or a special anniversary. By placing one or two herb butters, herbed vinegar or herbed olive oil, a baguette, dried pasta, colorful napkins, chocolate and even candles. Place in a nice wicker basket and you have a one of a kind, handmade gift!

Give to improve health and make someone happy at the same time!
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Lena Sanchez a retired Medical office nurse/administrator & consultant. Short bio at http://www.envirodocs.com/lenas_bio.htm is a business consultant and alternative health matters coach helping to totally round out lives http://www.envirodocs.com Editor of “Natural Environmental Health & Business Facts,” newsletter subscribe at http://www.envirodocs.com/newsletter.htm