For my last Gardening Tuesday post I’m going to write about the herbs I currently keep in my garden and what I do with them. There are all kinds of herbs out there – all of them have healing properties! Isn’t that amazing?! I believe plants have the cure to many diseases, and for thousands of years humankind used herbs to heal themselves. Due to the amount of time humankind has spent looking at herbs and other plants to heal us there are old folklores attached to some plants, and I find the histories of each plant that I come across fascinating.
The folklore and medicinal uses I list are cross referenced from a variety of texts on the subject – before considering ingesting any herb for health read all you can about it, ask a herablist in your area and always follow the directions for dosage.
In my garden I have the following herbs:
Oregano (hot and spicy)
Mostly used in my chili after I’ve dried it, as the fresh herb is very hot and spicy. I dry the leaves whole and only crush when I add to the chili or an Italian sauce I’m making.
Folklore: Oregano is a plant of joy – you plant this near the grave of someone you love as it banishes sadness and brings peace and joy.
Basil – Greek, Purple, and Sweet
I cook with basil – always fresh and bake it into the dish, or the sauce. Mostly used when I prepare Italian dishes, but add it to salads too.
Folklore: Basil has so much history throughout the world there is a whole bunch of folklore ranging from a herb of love to a protection herb.
Peppermint – mint family
Grown mostly for its smell in my garden, but also I make a peppermint oil for baths and feet. This peppermint is too strong to cook with, but have added sprigs to drinks.
Folklore: Companion plant – plant near other plants as a bug repellent. Not just for fresh breath, peppermint when chewed fresh is meant to relieve toothache!
Grown for my cat who likes to eat it fresh off the plant, but I dry the surplus and make cat toys filled with the dried herb. I also give surplus catnip to a friend.
Folklore: Seeing plant – used by cats, but can heal as a prepared tea for humans as a sleep aid, and contains vitamins C and E.
I mostly use parsley fresh on potatoes, salads, and for other garnishing. I use it when I make my stock from the bones of a chicken or turkey, and my mum also uses my parsley to make a parsley cream sauce for fish dishes and pies.
Folklore: Plant of rebirth, known to help with many ailments from rheumatism to kidney problems. Like peppermint, parsley is a great companion plant and can ward away bugs from beloved tomato plants!