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Herbs

Herbs come from the leafy green or flower parts pf plants.  They can be used fresh or dried and are used to flavor food.

Basil is sweet and savory, with a slightly peppery smell.  Basil is rich in essential oils like eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene and terpineol which have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It also contains beta-carotene, vitamin A & K, potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium.  It is a delicious herb that can be used in pesto sauces, thrown into salads, and used in marinara sauce. 


BASIL


Bay leaves are popular in mediterranean dishes, and usually used to flavor soups, and stews.  If eaten alone, they have a sharp bitter taste.  Always use dried bay leaves, as the fresh ones are usually california bay, a different leaf, with a strong medicine like flavor that can ruin your dish.  Dried bay leaves are a great source of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. It also contains minerals such as minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Bay leaves should be removed from your dish before eating it or serving it.


BAY LEAVES

Borage is a plant with bright blue flowers and tastes similar to a cucumber.  It has hairy leaves that are used in salads and medicinally. Borage contains high amounts of iron and calcium, as well as potassium, zinc, B and C vitamins, beta carotene and an essential fatty acids called gamma linolenic acid. Borage is calming, has anti-inflammatory properties, and is a natural sedative.  Borage can be found dried, in capsule form and liquid form.


BORAGE


Caraway seeds have a unique bitter flavor that is almost comparable to licorice. Caraway seeds are rich in dietary fiber, iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc and magnesium.  Caraway also contains many vitamins such as v​itamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, and B-complex vitamins like thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, and niacin. They can be used in baked goods such as bread, as well as a seasoning for sausage. It can also be added to salads, cabbage soups, and sauerkraut. 

CARAWAY


Catnip is a plant that has been known to calm restless sleep, relieve stress, relieve stomach discomfort and menstrual pain, and relieve anxiety.  It can be applied via the leaves, or as an essential oil, or brewed into tea.  It also an anti-inflammatory agent.  People who should avoid catnip include: pregnant women and people suffering from kidney or liver disorders. 

CATNIP

Chervil is one of the original French fine herbs, and has a mild licorice flavor, similar to basil but mild.  It can be used in diets to lower blood pressure, help with digestion, and as a very mild stimulant. It is rich in magnesium, selenium, potassium, manganese, calcium, vitamin B, C, and beta carotene. Chervil can be thrown into salads, and it also great with eggs. 

CHERVIL


Chives are a plant with a mild onion flavor.  Chives are a great substitute for onions if you do not want such a strong onion flavor. Chives are rich in potassium, iron and calcium, vitamins A and C, folate, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin.  They add taste, with virtually no calories to any meal.  They can be eaten raw or cooked, and thrown into soups, salads, and other dishes.


CHIVES

Cilantro is a unique herb that you either love or hate.  For some, it has a soapy flavor, and for others it has a fresh, citrusy taste.  Cilantro comes from the leaves of a young corriander plant .  It contains antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins, and dietary fiber.  It contains vitamins such as vitamin K, folate, potassium, manganese and choline.  Cilantro tastes great in any southwestern style meals, mexican dishes, in guacamole, and in salads.  

CILANTRO


Dill has a similar taste to caraway, but is slightly sweet and bitter. Dill contains monoterpenes such as: limonene, carvone, and anethofuran, and flavonoids like vicenin and kaempferol. It contains vitamin A and vitamin C, folate, iron, and manganese.  Dill is also rich in fiber, niacin, zinc and copper.  It is delicious in soups, salads, and mixed with greek yogurt and cucumber for a tzaziki sauce.   Dill is wonderful when paired with fish.


DILL


Epazote is a Central American herb with a strong, musky odor.  It is generally considered a medicinal herb, rather than a culinary herb.  It is added to bean recipes to counteract the flatulant effect of the beans.  The leaves used as a tea prevent gastrointestinal worm infestation.  It is a good source of folic acid.  It also contains minerals like calcium, potassium, manganese, iron, copper and zinc.  It has an odor of petroleum and mint, and should be used in small amounts.  It can be used fresh or dried.


EPAZOTE


Garlic is used all over the world in cooking because it is aromatic and tastes great.  It is well known for it's medicinal properties as well.  When you crush, chew or chop garlic, it releases a sulfuric compund called Allicin, which provides most of its health benefits.  It is nutrient dense and contains manganese, vitamins B6 and C, selenium and fiber.  Garlic supports the immune system and is considered antibacterial and antiviral.  In addition to fighting colds and flu, garlic supports cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.  The antioxidants in garlic may help prevent Alzheimer's and dementia.  It improves bone health and can help detoxify heavy metals from the body.  Most of garlic's health benefits are destroyed with cooking, so eat it raw  when you can.


GARLIC


Lavender is a beautiful fragrant herb that is used in cooking to enhance the flavor of a meal.  Using too much lavender can make your food taste flowery, like soap, so remember a little goes a long way.  Make sure you use culinary grade lavender for cooking.  You should either grind it or infuse a liquid with it.  Lavender is one of the components of herbs de provence.  It pairs well with other bold flavors like lemon and makes a nice rub for lamb or chicken.  The flower and the oil are used for medicinal purposes and helps with insomnia, restlessness, nervousness, agitation, pain relief and depression.  Lavender has a calming effect on the central nervous system.


LAVENDER


Lemongrass has long stalks with grasslike leaves.  It has a mild lemon flavor and is used a lot in Thai cooking.  It is used in curries, soups and to make tea.  Cut off the roots and top of the stem, then peel the fibrous outer layer to reveal the tender inner white layer.  This is what you chop and use in cooking.  Lemongrass is a good source of vitamins A and C, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron and potassium.  It also contains folic acid, phosphorus, calcium and manganese.


LEMONGRASS


Lemon balm is an herb that is part of the mint family.  As such, if you grow it, it can take over your garden very quickly.  It is, however,  great for attacting bees to the garden.  It has a mild lemon scent and can be used in salads, muffin mixes and as a tea.  Some people take it as a syrup to calm the nervous system.  The tea is used to calm the digestive system down.  The leaves can be chewed to freshen breath, or crushed and applied to an insect bite to reduce inflammation.


LEMON BALM


Lemon verbena is a plant with a strong, lemony scent.  Its leaves can be made into tea, or it can be infused into sugar or a liquid.  It is used a lot in sweet recipes.  When made into a simple syrup it can also be used in cocktails; it pairs well with gin.  Medicinally, it can calm nerves and aid in digestion.  It can boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.  Lemon verbena  aids in weight loss and protect your muscles when you exercise.


LEMON VERBENA


Lovage is a member of the parsley family.  It has a strong, sour taste, similar to celery with a hint of parsley and anise.  It can be eaten cooked or raw, and less is better.  Lovage can be mixed into salad, used in soup and pairs well with seafood and lamb.  Lovage is high in vitamin C and quercetin.  The root of the lovage plant is used medicinally to aid in digestion and ease joint pain and inflammation.


LOVAGE


Marjoram is popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking.  It pairs well with most roasted meats and sausages and works well in stews and soups.  Marjoram can also be drunk as a tea.  It has a sweeter, milder taste than oregano and can be used fresh or dried.  When cooking, add Marjoram towards the end of the cooking cycle to maintain its fresh taste.  Marjoram combines well with thyme and sage.  Marjoram contains both vitamins A and K and is a rich source of iron, calcium and manganese.  It has anti inflammatory properties and helps with menstrual pain and digestive issues.


MARJORAM


Mint is a versatile herb that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.  It has a sweetish menthol taste.  Mint can be rubbed on meats, like lamb, mixed into your favorite cocktail, Mojito anyone? Or made into a tea or used in ice cream.  Mint has long been used to soothe an upset stomach or alleviate a headache.  Its anti inflammatory properties make it a good choice to help combat upper respiratory issues, like congestion and cough.  Mint can be used fresh or dried, but fresh tastes so much better.  When planting in your garden, be aware that it can take over.  It is best to plant in a pot.


MINT


Nasturtium leaves have a bittersweet, peppery taste, similar to watercress.  They must be used fresh and can be thrown in salads, made into pesto and added to softened cheeses to make a dip.  They can be a bed for meat dishes or wrapped around rice for a take on dolmas.  Nasturtium contains vitamin C and may help combat viruses and colds.

NASTURTIUM


Parsley has a fresh, grassy taste and is used in a variety of types of cooking.  It can be added to salads, soups or stews, or made into a pesto.  It is also frequently used as a garnish.  Parsley is a good source of vitamins A, K ,and C as well as iron and folate.  This helps it strengthen your immunity.  It can aid in digestion and helps with urinary disorders.  It may lower cholesterol and is chewed to freshen breath.

PARSLEY


Oregano has a robust, woodsy flavor and tastes amazing when used fresh.  It is commonly added to sauces, soups and stews and made into pesto; but is can be used in whole sprigs when cooking meats or vegetables.  It can be dried and is one of the herbs in Herbes de provence.  Oregano boosts the immune system and is anti inflammatory, anti bacterial and anti fungal.  It contains Omega 3s which protect the heart and is a good source of Vitamin K, calcium, iron and manganese which helps detoxify the body.


OREGANO


Rosemary has needle like leave which have a lemony pine smell.  It is very intense. fragrant aroma.  You can place whole sprigs in the cavity of poultry or place it in the pan when roasting meat.  It can be added to sauces and soups and chopped and added to breads.  Rosemary has been said to improve memory and clarity.  It is considered an immune booster and can aid with digestive problems.  Rosemary can also be used to alleviate migraine headaches.

ROSEMARY


Sage has a musty pungeant odor, with hints of lemon, mint, cedar and eucalyptus.  Its leaves are a silvery green with a slight fuzz.  Sage is never used raw, always cooked or dried.  It is popular to use in sauces, stuffings and sausages and with fatty meats.  It's flavor is powerful, a little goes a long way.  Sage improves memory and clarity.  It is anti inflammaotry and anti bacterial.  Sage is considered an antioxidant and may have a postive impact on bone health in osteoporosis.


SAGE


Salad burnet has a light, delicate cucumber flavor that pairs well with delicate sandwiches and soups.  It also adds a nice flavor in salads and pairs well with fish.  Salad burnet is an astringent and has anti inflammatory and anti oxidant properties.  It is a good source of quercetin and is used for a variety of digestive complaints.


SALAD BURNET


Savory is an herb used in Mediterranean cooking.  It has an earthy taste, remeniscent of mint and thyme with a hint of marjoram.  It's robust flavor stands up well to roasts of pork or lamb.  It can be simmered in sauces or stuffed in sausage.  Savory is rich in calcium, magnesium, selenium and potassium.  It is a good source of vitamins A.C and B6.  It is heart healthy and anti oxidant.  Savory aids in digestion and thins mucous.


SAVORY


Sorrel has a tart, acidic, lemony flavor.  The smaller leaves can be eaten raw, the larger leaves should be cooked to reduce their bitterness.  Sorrel pairs well with fish or works well in sauces alongside a heartier meal.  Sorrel contains a high amount of oxalic acid, so it should be used in small quantities.  Sorrel is a good source of vitamin C, potassium and calcium.  It can be used as a digestive aid, may lower blood pressure and may improve eyesight.

SORREL


Tarragon is a robust herb with a sweet, anise flavor.  It is used a lot in French cooking and is a component of a bernaise sauce.  It pairs well with chicken and fish and adds a nice flavor to sauces.  It can be made into a simple syrup for a refreshing cocktail.  Tarragon is rich in phytonutrients and anti oxidants which promote health and prevent disease.  It is an excellent source of calcium, manganese and iron.  It is a good source of  vitamin A,  C and the B vitamins.


TARRAGON


Thyme is an aromatic with an earthy, woodsy flavor.  It pairs well with many other herbs and is used to season meat, vegetables, soups, stews and sauces.  Thyme is considered an immune booster and an anti oxidant.  It is rich in iron, patassium and manganese.  Thyme is considered heart healthy and may lower blood pressure.  It is also high in vitamin A and C.


THYME