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Herbs and Their Uses – The Culinary and Medicinal Properties of Plants

Though herbs were once considered to the leafy parts of plants medicinal with medicinal values, they are wide in variety and any medicinal plant without woody stems or roots constitute a herb. Their uses are many, ranging from healing ailments to seasoning foods.

Herbs and their UsesPHOTO BY FLICKR.COM/SHAZBOT/

Herbs and their Uses - Therapeutic and Flavorful Attributes

Flowers, leaves, barks, and roots of medicinal plants have therapeutic values, and most of them are known to cure a range of health issues. Certain products made from herbal plants, like gums, metabolites, latex, and resins, have medicinal properties. Many herbs and their uses have been figured out through extensive researches, and at present most of these herbs are available in the form of pills, powders, tablets, creams, oils etc.  The herbs can be consumed directly, or can be used with dishes or can be consumed as beverages. For example, tea can be flavored with ginger, lavender etc to extract their medicinal benefits and to heal various ailments. Internet is a great source to learn of the herbs and their uses.  A few of the famous herbs include thyme, lavender, basil, parsley, oregano, arrowroot, mint, Irish moss, dill seed, etc.Some herbs are toxic, if consumed in larger quantities. In some countries, certain herbs are considered sacred. The herbs and their uses are not limited to just consuming them directly. They can be dried and stored for future use.

List of Herbs - an Interminable Database

The list of herbs is endless, and most of them have great healing effects and therapeutic values. Lemon balm, ginger, garlic, elder, lavender, rosemary, thyme, red clover, yarrow, cleavers, couch grass, chickweed, angelica, dandelion etc are a few of the names of herbs that can be pointed out from the big list of herbs. Lemon balm is great for stomach spasms and digestive problems. Elder is a remedy for bronchitis, cold and cough. While garlic has anti microbial properties and is ideal for cardiovascular treatments, ginger is a great remedy for diarrhea, motion sickness and vomiting. Thyme has anti bacterial properties, and chickweed cures irritation and rashes. Rheumatism and cystitis can be cured using couch grass, wherein dandelion cures kidney stones. Red clover has rejuvenative properties, and lavender is a great stress reliever and great for stomach disorders. In addition to these medicinal properties, certain herbs can be used to season food like how spices are used.

Cooking Herbs - Those with Culinary Properties

Certain herbs are used for cooking, either in the fresh form or dried form. They flavor the dishes, reduce the salt levels and add extra taste to the dishes. Many of these herbs contain anti oxidants that protect the body against several diseases. These cooking herbs can make any ordinary dish special. A few of the cooking herbs used are ginger, clover, lavender, fennel, oregano, parsley, mint, rosemary, thyme, garlic, sage etc. These culinary herbs can be container grown or in soil beds in the garden. Majority of the cooking herbs have aromatic leaves, and the harvesting of the leaves delay flowering in these plants. Cutting the stalks will promote bushy growth of the plants.Photo Source : flickr.com/shazbot/

Written by Katherine Murphy

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