day 131 – Herbs

If I were to write a book on herbs, it would be titled: The Top 12 Easy Herbs to Grow I Cannot Live Without and Neither Should You.

There are well over forty-five types of different plants considered therapeutic.

Herbs are plants that for centuries were used for curative purposes.  The healing quality of an herb is what distinguishes it from other vegetation.

Botanists are still discovering and studying new forms every day.  That is why the rainforests and our native habitats are so important to protect.

The original clever usage of these plants was to heal and most were steeped as a tea, long ago, in order to ingest its medicinal properties.  Later on, they became invaluable to cooks in their recipes.

Primitive Man used herbs to mask odors, foul-smelling foods and watched animals ingest them first.  There are four different regions of known and documented ancient herbal activity: the Chinese, Ayurvedic/Indian, European/Egyptian and American Indian sections of the world.

Women have always been the forgotten contributors to herbal medicine. In the nineteenth century, chemists began making pharmaceuticals using different extractions and compounds of herbs.

Many physicians overlooked or dismissed the role of midwives, witches, wise women and nurses.   Many of these undocumented (even condemned to death) females contributed to modern medicine without mention.

The common foxglove plant and flower is botanically known as digitalis, which is a poison that helps with heart attacks, taken in small quantity.  An Englishwoman folk healer, who was never recognized, unearthed this huge breakthrough in the field of medicine.

I have always believed that in a past life, I was some kind of herbal healer or chemist. I love to concoct potions.   And what is gourmet cuisine if not chemistry experiments at their finest?

But I digress. My top 12 picks are:

Rosemary* Basil* Mint* Oregano* Lavender* Thyme* Sage* Cilantro* Tarragon* Chives* Nasturtiums* and Parsley

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