love to grow kitchen herbs in our
garden. Having some planters near
the back door is a great way to
easily snip some while making meals.
Herbs are a healthy, easy way to
enhance the flavor of even the simplest
dish. Herbs also attract a lot of
beneficial pollinators to your garden.
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Herbs: Part of a Healthful Hardware Plan
If you have a fruit or vegetable garden it is simple to incorporate herbs as part of your garden menu. Most herbs are hardy and easy to grow. Herbs also do very well in windowsill boxes and other indoor garden arrangements.
For centuries the herbs we regard as "common" have actually been heralded and used by numerous cultures for their inherent health benefits. The following is a list of popular herbs and their uses.
Basil is a delicious herb often used in Italian and Asian foods. There are several varieties of basil including Holy basil, Thai basil, and Lemon basil. The herb originates from India and boasts several well known health benefits including anti-aging, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties. Basil has traditionally been used to ward off asthma, stress and diabetes. According to Jewish folklore, basil provides added strength while fasting.
Chives are a member of the onion family. This small plant is native to North America, Asia and Europe. The herb is referred to in plural because it grows in small bundles. Chives have several culinary uses, but there are also some medicinal benefits associated with the onion cousin. Chives are very similar to garlic in terms of medical properties. They are said to improve the circulatory system, lower blood pressure, and are rich in vitamins C and A.
Cumin is a flowering plant found in the east Mediterranean. It is the second most popular herb next to black pepper. Cumin is often used in Mexican cuisines, but is popular throughout Pakistan, Africa, Sri Lanka and Cuba. It is considered a traditional Chinese medicine that is classified as an antimicrobial, carminative and stimulant. Cumin also contains an exceptionally large amount of iron in it, which bodes numerous health benefits.
The herb garlic is part of the onion family. It is closely related to the chive. Garlic is used for culinary and medicinal purposes. In food, it adds a spicy flavor and is popular throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas. Garlic is also known to help prevent heart disease by warding off high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It is also said to reduce the risk of cancer. Garlic is a wonderful addition to juicing recipes as is aloe vera juice for a glass of natures best liquid vitamins .
Honeysuckle is herb often used in traditional Chinese medicine. It is said to be one of the most important herbs for clearing heat from the body and ridding it of poisons. Honeysuckle is also used as a diuretic and to sooth coughs and asthma. Aside from its medicinal properties, honeysuckle is used to craft puddings and syrup. It can also be eaten as a vegetable side dish on its own.
Horseradish is closely related to mustard. It is native to Asia and Europe and is often mixed in vinegar to make "prepared horseradish" that is eaten in various dishes including on steak. Horseradish is a great source of calcium, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. It can be used as a diuretic and is known to help kill certain bacterial strains.
Lemon balm is a herb from the mint family. It produces a lemon scent and is used to flavor ice cream and herbal teas. When crushed, lemon balm serves as an effective mosquito repellent. It also contains anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties and works as a mild sedative.
Licorice is actually the root of a bean plant associated with the bean family. The root contains a sweet flavor that can be extracted and is used to flavor kitchen cuisine and candy. Licorice has a long history and has been put to use since ancient times when it was used as a tooth powder. Today it is present in modern day cough medicines and it is used to heal peptic and mouth ulcers. In traditional Chinese medicine, licorice was used to "harmonize" the other ingredients of a formula.
Mint is a strongly-scented herb found in North America, Australia, Asia, Africa, and Europe. The herb is often served with lamb and is also found in tea and chocolates. Mint was originally used to treat chest pains and stomach aches. During the Middle Ages, people used mint to whiten their tea. Mint is also a strong diuretic and assists in digestion.
Oregano is native to the Mediterranean and Asia. It is a popular herb used in Italian and Greek dishes. Oregano combats food-born pathogens and therefore is helpful in improving health and food preservation. It is also used to sooth bad coughs and mild fevers.
Parsley is most common in American and European cooking. Parsley is used as a garnish for various dishes and is often used in vegetable or meat stews. Many restaurants serve meals with a side of parsley. When the meal is finished, the diner eats the parsley and the result is fresh breath. Parsley is said to be one of the most potent disease-fighting herbs. It can be used to treat anemia and kill bacteria.
Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region. It is high in calcium, iron, and Vitamin B6. Studies also suggest that rosemary contains carnosic acid, which shields the brain from free radicals thus lowering the risk of neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. The Queen of Hungary utilized rosemary mixed with wine to treat gout.
Thyme is a well known herb that was originally used by the ancient Egyptians to embalm the dead. During the Middle Ages, Europeans placed thyme under their pillows to encourage sleep and ward off bad dreams. Today, thyme is a basic ingredient in Greek, French, Italian, Persian, Spanish and Lebanese dishes. Thyme is also an antiseptic. In fact, it is the main active ingredient in Listerine mouthwash.
Utilizing herbs is a great way to incorporate added health bonuses to any dish. Herbs are best when used fresh instead of dried because they retain more of their nutritional value. Fresh herbs are rich in health sustaining plant nutrients called phytonutrients . The best herbs are grown at home, pesticide free, in an organic setting. Rest assured your body will say thanks to the addition of fresh herbs in your diet.