Local author to release book about healing powers of herbs, spices
Local resident Cal Orey is releasing her new book, “The Healing Powers of Herbs & Spices: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Timeless Treasures” on Dec. 29.
Orey, a Tribune columnist, is known for her Healing Powers series that goes through a wide variety of different foods and their miraculous healing properties.
Women’s World Magazine chose the new book to be part of their book club — Orey also used to be the weekly nutrition and diet columnist.
Due to the pandemic, Orey says that there is a spice boom happening because people are now at home cooking and baking more often than usual. This health cookbook and travelogue combo is meant to help educate readers on “old as time” home remedies and groundbreaking discoveries through the use of spices and herbs.
Not only is the book a guide for people who love to cook and bake, but it offers a fun way to learn through legends, stories and many of Orey’s experiences derived from both childhood and present times.
“I grew up in California surrounded by beautiful nature,” Orey said. “The mountains and ocean were less than an hour’s drive from our family home — which was a landscape garden suburbia. When my mom cooked and baked in the kitchen, the fragrant seasonings took my vivid imagination to faraway lands like Italy and France, places I saw on postcards she sent to me when she traveled abroad. And that is what ignited my love for European spices and herbs – part of the Mediterranean diet, an underlying theme in my Healing Powers series.”
Orey earned her masters degree in English from San Francisco State University and has been studying health nutrition since.
In this book, Orey couples research with personal anecdotes to explore the benefits of various spices and herbs claiming that many can help with weight-loss, bolstering the immune system to stave off colds and the flu, work to defy aging and even mentions about what people used during the plague almost 1,000 years ago. In the book, she also crafted tasty home recipes for each of their uses.
One chapter of the book refers to marjoram which she claims helps with fighting illnesses, germs, viruses and is also an anti-inflammatory. In the book, Orey shares her homemade mediterranean oven-baked garlic and marjoram pizza recipe with readers.
Orey says the most fun part of the book are her stories however. One of the stories she includes is a trip to Alaska that she referred to as a “trip from hell, but fun in hindsight.”
She made the trip in search of fresh herbs, spices and fresh caught salmon, but after many prior failed attempts to get there, she realized she couldn’t find any fresh herbs in the middle of an Alaska winter.
“On the upside: I’m no longer thinking the herbal grass is greener in Alaska, a place where fresh food is not abundant year-round,” Orey said. “But dried herbs, such as the parsley, pepper, and paprika on French fries, did suffice. Drinking plenty of herbal tea made me less homesick and more welcome. Sometimes, you have to go out of your comfort zone to gain hands-on knowledge.
“Spices take us back to nostalgic times,” she added. “They bring us back to family, traveling and connecting to humanity. It keeps us connected to the places we can’t go right now.”
The book is available for preorder at https://www.kensingtonbooks.com/author/cal-orey/.
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