Equipment for Your Herbs


Below are some tools and links to help you with Harvesting and Storing your herbs.

Articles of Interest:
Preserving Herbs
Harvesting Your Herbs
Harvesting and Drying Herbs
Poultice Recipe

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Tea Balls

              

Tea Infuser

              

Herb Drying Trays

              

Dehydrators

              

              

Distill Essential Oils

              

Grow Your Own Culinary Herbs

              

Garden Kitchen Gadgets

              



Personal Fragrance Toilette

It is a simple task to make delicately scented eau de cologne, floral waters, and oils. The water can be used for scent only or added to other herbal preparations in place of an infusion or for added fragrance. Oils can be added to the bath or used to scent the skin.

The amounts in the following recipes are for fresh herbs. If you are using dried herbs, use only half as much.


Spicy Eau De Toilette:
6 Tbsp chopped angelica leaves
6 Tbsp chopped basil
2 Bay leaves
2 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 Nutmeg, broken into small pieces
1 Tbsp cloves
three 3-inch cinnamon sticks, crushed
2 cups unscented rubbing alcohol or vodka

Place all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight-fitting cover. Let the jar sit in a warm place for several weeks, then strain and pour the eau de cologne into a sterilized bottle.

Eau De Cologne:
½ cup Lavender
¼ cup Rosemary
Peel of 1 lemon
Peel of 1 orange
½ cup orange mint
½ cup lemon balm
2 cups rose water
2 cups vodka

Place all ingredients in a large glass jar with a cover and let them steep for 8 to 10 days. Strain and pour into a sterilized bottle.

Make a fresh smelling eau de cologne by soaking fragrant herbs, spices and fresh-scented citrus in alcohol or vodka. Steeping angelica, basil and spices in alcohol or vodka produces a spicy cologne suitable for either sex. Colognes can be sweetly floral, pungently herbal or headily spicy.

Learn to Grow Your Own Herbs Here

Successful Gardening ~
Kali S. Winters


Articles of Interest:
Herbal Soap
Bath Herbs
Beauty Herbs

More on Herbal Toilette Here!

          

          

          



Vinegar ~ Herb Combinations

Herb Vinaigrette

Make Your Own At Home


Herb vinegar’s are made perfectly with red or white wine vinegar. The preferred is actual wine vinegar, not wine flavored. Both can be obtained in quantity from a wholesale grocer or restaurant supply store. Due to its mellow flavor, wine vinegar allows the full herbal bouquet to be tasted, resulting in a gourmet quality. Any vinegar can be used as long as it has at least 5% acidity, although white and cider vinegar’s have stronger flavors themselves, masking the herbal flavor.

As a general rule, white vinegar is used when color is important, such as with chive blossoms or opal basil, and red vinegar is used for strong flavors such as basil, oregano, or garlic.

Usually the most popular are vinegar’s with just one flavor, although I have found the Bouquet Garni (below—using red or white wine vinegar) to be the favorite and most versatile. The more experienced herb growers and tasters will be willing to experiment with their own unique blends. The following guide can help determine which combinations would best satisfy your own tastes and needs.

White Wine Vinegars: Marjoram, opal basil (for a light rose result), burnet (a delicate cucumber flavor), chive blossom (a lovely pink), tarragon, thyme, nasturtium (a subtle peppery flavor), rosemary, lavender, rose petal (use pink rose petals from untreated rose bushes), pinks, violet (will turn a pale lavender color), or rose geranium (tint with 4 drops red food coloring). These last six were especially popular in the Victorian era and are useful to flavor beverages and fruit salads, as well as to use externally to soothe headaches, fevers, sunburn and insect bites!

Red Wine Vinegar: Dill, sweet basil, garlic (mash 6-10 cloves and taste for strength after 24 hours), sage, fennel (if using seeds, allow 2 heaping tablespoons per quart), lovage, spearmint or peppermint, bay, thyme chive (foliage only, not blossoms) caraway (2 heaping Tablespoons when using seed), or savory.

Herb Blends for Vinegar:
Dill-chive-peppercorn
Basil-garlic
Basil-chive
Garlic-chive
For Pork: sage-caraway
For Lamb: mint-rosemary
For Beef: basil-savory
For Poultry: sage-lovage
For Fish: fennel-bay

Here are two favorite blends to try, following the herb vinegar directions and using red or white wine vinegar for either, and fresh herbs (per quart):

Bouquet Garni Vinegar:
1 cup parsley, ½ cup each of thyme, bay and rosemary

Mixed Herb Vinegar:
¾ cup each chopped basil and marjoram; ½ cup each chopped rosemary thyme and savory.

Herb Vinegar Containers: A variety of containers can be recycled for home use by saving bottles from salad dressings, wine, or bottled beverages. Attractive containers for gift samples are small glass juice bottles. Fancy, decorative bottles can be found in dinnerware and gourmet shops. For larger bottle quantities contact a local bottle manufacturer or distributor. An 8 oz bottle size seems to be preferred for herb vinegars.

Decorative Wax and Ribbon Seal: This adornment gives the delicious herb vinegars the ribbon and seal they deserve! You will need: 1 cup of paraffin (available from the grocery canning section), ¼ cup powdered cinnamon (or cloves, nutmeg, allspice, or any combination) and 4-8” of grosgrain ribbon, preferably striped (length depends on size of bottle used). Procedure: In a metal can (15 ½ oz. size is best) placed in 1“ of water in a saucepan, melt paraffin and mix in powdered spices. Melt slowly on low heat and watch carefully to avoid fire. Paraffin will ignite on direct heat.

When paraffin is liquid, remove from heat and stir. Dip the capped end of the herb vinegar bottle in the wax a few times, allowing the wax to dry a few seconds between each dip. Put the mid-point of the ribbon over the cap and push down to secure both ribbon edges to the warm and pliable wax. Holding the ribbon ends out of the wax, dip the top end of the bottle repeatedly in the hot wax until the ribbon does not show through the seal. Dry about 30 seconds between dips or the coating will not build up. If the wax is too clear, add more spices and stir. When the wax in the can starts to congeal, reheat. More wax and cinnamon may be required to keep the level at 2-3”.

Allow wax to dry completely before touching or fingerprints will be noticeable. Then tie on attractive bow and if desired, attach a card listing herbs used. Cool remaining wax in can and save for future use.

To open wax sealed vinegar, score just below cap with a knife and turn lid. Wax and ribbon will remain on the cap, but will allow the bottle to be opened and closed.

Successful Gardening ~
Kali S. Winters

Articles of Interest:
More Herbal Recipes
Oil and Vinegar
Herbal Vinegars ~ How to Make Them
Fragrant Oils

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More Vinegar Herb Combinations


         


Herbal Soap ~ Making Your Own


Making soap from scratch is an ambitious project that requires special ingredients such as lye and equipment that should be set aside for soap making only.  However, you can easily make your own herbal soap by starting with pure glycerine or castile soap and an herbal infusion. The addition of a little lanoline (available at your pharmacy) makes the soap very creamy and less drying to the skin.  If you want to give the soap even more of an herbal kick, you can also stir some of the chopped herb into the soap just before pouring it into the molds.

Rose Soap: You can increase the amounts of rose oil and coloring for a more intense rose impact if desired. In place of rose water you may want to try a combination of peppermint and rosemary; lemon balm or lemon verbena; orange mint; rose geranium; or lavender.

Ingredients:

Two 10-ounce bars of glycerine soap
½ – 1 cup rose water
1 Tbsp anhydrous lanolin
10 drops rose oil
10 drops red food coloring

Grate the soap with the grating disc of a food processor or by hand.  Combine the grated soap and ½ cup of the rose water in a glass or enamel container and melt over low heat, stirring occasionally. This may take some time; adding more rose water will speed the process, but the more liquid you add, the softer the finished soap will be.  When the soap is melted, stir in the lanolin, mixing well. Add the rose oil and the food coloring, stirring until blended. The herbal infusion may turn the soap the color of old oatmeal, but he addition of food coloring will remedy this.  Add the coloring drop by drop so that you can control the color. Remove from the heat.

Lightly oil several clean small round metal cans or a cut-off –milk carton with almond or vegetable oil.  The cans make individual soaps, the milk carton a bar that can then be cut into the sizes you want. Pour the soap into the molds, making sure there are no air bubbles. Let the soap set for a day or two before removing from the molds. At this point you can carefully cut large bars into individual cakes. Allow the soap to sit out to dry until it is quite hard.

Herbal soaps such as these of rose or a blend of rosemary and mint are easily made by melting grated castile or glycerine soap with an herbal infusion. Melt down any scraps or leftover bits with lots of water to make a gentle liquid soap to keep by the sink.

Successful Gardening ~
Kali S. Winters



Articles of Interest:
More Herbal Recipes
More Craft Ideas
Herbal Skin Lotions
Personal Fragrance Toilette
Preserving Herbs

Back to Main Articles

              

More on Herbal Soap Here!

          

More on Making Herbal Soap~



Make Lavender Wands

Fragrant Lavender Wands

Makes The Perfect Gift
Fun & Easy To Make

Lavender WandsTo capture summer’s magic fragrance in your linens and wool sweaters, make a lavender sachet utilizing the stems as well as the flowers. We like to call these lavender wands (because of the magic lavender scent inside) instead of lavender sticks or as the British call them, lavender bottles.

You will need:
Fresh blossoming lavender stems
3 to 5 yards of ¼” satin ribbon in soft pastel colors and Thread to match
Straight pins
Toothpicks
You may use velvet ribbon, which looks nice but doesn’t slide easily, and it does cost more.

To start: You want to pick 13 to 19 stems, always using an uneven number (it is easier to start with 13 and graduate up). Pick the lavender in mid to late morning when the dew is off the flowers and the sun has not yet broiled the fragrance into the wind. The stems and flowers must be used immediately; otherwise they will break.


Bending the Lavender

Step 1: Tie the blossoms securely together with thread or a sturdy rubber band.

Step 2: Hold the blossoms with your left hand with the stems upward.

Step 3: Bend the stems down, one by one, very carefully, to form a parasol or umbrella.

Step 4: Place the ribbon (the length depends on how many stems are used), satin side up, under your left thumb and hold it securely on top of the blossoms.

Making Lavender Wands

Step 5: Weave the ribbon in and out of the stems in a basket weave for 2 or 3 rows.

Step 6: Bend the stems down over the flowers. Now the ribbon will look messy. Simply take a toothpick or crocket hook and tighten the ribbon until a neatly woven effect is achieved. Don’t pull so tight that the stems stain the ribbon.

Step 7: Continue weaving the ribbon in and out until the blossoms are covered.

Step 8: When you have 4 or 5 inches of woven stems, wrap the ribbon around the stems and secure with a pin. Let dry for two weeks.

Step 9: The stems will shrink while drying. Trim the stems even. Neaten appearance with toothpick as before. Wrap remaining ribbon around stems and secure with matching thread. A bow may be tied at either or both end of the stems.

Successful Gardening ~
Kali S. Winters


Articles of Interest:
More Herbal Recipes
More Craft Ideas
Lavendar Oils
Herbing Guide

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Selection of Lavender Crafts Ideas Here~

          

Large Selection of Lavender Oils-Leaves-Soaps ~



Herbs to Drink ~ Tisanes


A tisane, or tea, is simply an infusion made by adding boiling water to the leaves or flowers of herbs. In many parts of Europe, herbal teas have been an accepted part of the standard eating habits for years. Indeed, a cup of tisane taken after a rich meal is as common as coffee is in other parts of the world. Unlike tea and coffee, however, tisanes contain neither tannin nor caffeine, both strong stimulants and are much more suitable for aiding the digestion or promoting sleep.

Prepared tisanes are available from herbal shops, homeopathic pharmacist (drugstores) and health food stores in either sachet form or loose. The ailments they are reputed to help are given here but the cures cannot be vouched for.

If you grow your own herbs, why not make your own tisanes? Tisanes may be made from fresh or dried herbs. The actual preparation is much the same as making ordinary tea, and like ordinary tea it may be drunk on its own or with the addition of milk, a slice of lemon, honey or sugar.

Method: If you are making the tisane in individual tea cups, allow one level tablespoon of fresh herbs per cup or one level teaspoon of dried herbs. Pour on the boiling water, cover the cup and leave to infuse for three to five minutes. If your are making it in a teapot, allow however many table or teaspoons required for each cup, plus one for the pot. Leave to infuse for about five minutes and pour through a strainer into the cups.

For teas made from seed, these should first be pounded in a mortar, then follow the same process as for dried herbs.

List of Medical Plants: The most common herbs, together with any generally recognized properties they may have are listed below:

Angelica:
Parts Used: Leaves
Effect: Helps headaches and exhaustion

Balm: (Melissa)
Parts Used: Leaves
Effect: Taken hot or cold, this tea is soothing and relaxing.

Basil:
Parts Used: Leaves
Effect: Taken hot or cold, this teas helps gastric upsets and colds

Bergamot:
Parts Used: Leaves
Effect: Drink alone or mixed with China (non-fermented) tea. Relaxing and sleep inducing.

Borage:
Parts Used: Leaves
Effect: Hot or cold, borage tea is an exhilarating tonic and help catarrh.

Catnip:
Parts Used: Leaves
Effect: A tonic that lessens fever and headaches.

Chamomile:
Parts Used: Flowers
Effect: Digestive and soothing, particularly useful for soar throats when it may be also used as a gargle.

Coltsfoot:
Parts Used: Flowers or Leaves
Effect: Used for catarrh and chest complaints. Contains vitamin C.

Comfrey:
Parts Used: Leaves and Dried Roots
Effect: Soothing and a digestive, helps chest complaints

Dandelion:
Parts Used: Leaves
Effect: Beneficial to liver, helps rheumatism and acts as a general tonic and blood purifier.

Dandelion:
Parts Used: Roots Dried, roasted and ground.
Effect: Used as a substitute for coffee and as a diuretic.

Elder:
Parts Used: Flowers
Effect: Delicious, sleep-inducing and good for throat infections and colds.

Horehound:
Parts Used: Leaves
Effect: Coughs and colds

Hyssop:
Parts Used: Leaves
Effect: Taken hot or cold helps coughs and colds

Juniper:
Parts Used: Berries
Effect: Antiseptic and stimulant, good for chest complaints, indigestion and nerves.

Lady’s Mantle
Parts Used: Leaves
Effect: Premenstrual and menstrual tension.

Lime:
Parts Used: Flowers
Effect: Delicious, sleep-inducing, soothing drink, good for colds and indigestion.

Lovage:
Parts Used: Leaves
Effect: More like a broth, add salt for a cleansing and refreshing drink.

Melilot:
Parts Used: Whole Plant
Effect: Wind and general tonic.

Mint: (especially Peppermint and Spearmint)
Part Used: Leaves
Effect: Taken for colds, headaches, diarrhea, heartburn, nausea and stomachache.

Nettle:
Parts Used: Leaves
Effect: General tonic and blood purifier

Parsley:
Parts Used: Leaves
Effect: General tonic and diuretic

Rosemary:
Parts Used: Leaves
Effect: Headaches and insomnia

Sage:
Parts Used: Leaves
Effect: General Tonic

Thyme:
Parts Used: Leaves
Effect: Good for coughs and sinus ailments

Vervain: (verbena)
Parts Used: Leaves and Dried Roots
Effect: Slightly bitter tisane, acts as a sedative and digestive.

Yarrow:
Parts Used: Leaves
Effect: Taken for fevers, coughs, colds and as a general tonic.

Tisanes may also be made from the seeds of fennel and caraway and the leaves of tansy, costmary and St. John’s wort.

Do not expect instant results from drinking a tisane, their benefits are cumulative.

Over 85 Recipes for Herbal Tea Remedies Here ~



Articles of Interest:
More Herbal Recipes
More Recipes Here~
List of Fresh Herbs & Their Uses
Herbal Soap ~ Making Your Own
Making Herbal Beer and Herb Wine ~Part 1
Making Homemade Herb Wine ~ Part 2
Making Herbal Teas

Learn How to Grow Your Own Herbs

Back to Main Articles


          

Large Selection of Herbal Teas For Many Uses~


Herbal Vinegars ~ How to Make Them


Herb vinegars delight both the palate and the eye and allow you to preserve the harvest in a mellow gourmet blend of flavor and herbs. These vinegars lend themselves to many uses in sauces, marinades, salad dressings, stews, and beverages, and they are as individual as their creator. The herbs enclosed in the bottle can be snipped and used through the winter months when garden herbs are dormant.

The best time to collect fresh herbs is in the morning, after the dew has dried from the foliage but before the hot sun has evaporated the essential oils from the leaves.

Basic Recipe
1 cup fresh, firmly packed herbs
3 ½ cups vinegar (5% acidity)
Yield: approximately 1 quart

Wash the herbs by swishing them gently in a basin of cool water, being careful not to bruise the leaves and prematurely releasing the oils. Remove any discolored or insect-damage leaves. (Herb stems can be used.) Pat the herbs dry or spin in a vegetable spinner to remove excess water. Allow to air-dry thoroughly because water will make the vinegar cloudy, although it will not affect the flavor.

Using a wooden spoon, pack the herbs in a dry, sterilized quart jar (due to a chemical reaction, vinegar should not come in contact with metal). Fill the jar with vinegar to within 1 inch from the top. With the wooden spoon, push down and bruise the herb leaves in the vinegar. Shake to remove any air bubbles. Cover first with plastic wrap when using a metal lid. Label and date each jar to indicate the herbs used.

Some people like to heat the vinegar to just below boiling point before pouring it over the herbs. The advantage to this is that the warmed vinegar releases the essential oils from the herbs more rapidly. The disadvantage is that some acidity will be destroyed if the vinegar becomes too warm, thereby changing its quality. Given the facts, you be the judge, but I have found that unheated vinegar saves time and yields an excellent product.

Store in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks, shaking the mixture every few days. If you’re impatient for the bouquet to develop, the jars may be put out in the sun. The warmed vinegar may become slightly cloudy. A taste test will determine the right strength for your individual needs. If the flavor is too strong, dilute with unflavored vinegar; if not “herbal” enough repeat the process with fresh herbs.

When you are satisfied with the flavor, strain through a plastic colander to remove and discard the herbs. Then strain through paper coffee filters until the paper is clean. Although it may take 4 to 5 times, this removes all herbal debris and the result is a crystal clear product.

Pour the vinegar into hot, dry bottles that have been sterilized or put through a hot wash and dry cycle of the dishwasher. Add a sprig or two of fresh, washed and dried herbs to the bottle. When using a variety of herbs in the blend include a sprig of each. (the most eye-appealing herb vinegar bottles contain many herb sprigs~) cap immediately.


Successful Gardening ~
Kali S. Winters

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Fragrant Oils
Basic Herb Dressing
Herbal Recipe for Kabobs on the Grill
Oil and Vinegar
Vinegar ~ Herb Combinations

Back to Main Articles

Herbal Vinegars

              

Grow Your Own Herbs

              



Making Homemade Herb Wine ~ Part 2

Herb WineHerbal wines are made from an infusion of the chosen herb often referred to as herb tea or tisane. The spent herbs must be strained out of the infusion. A remnant of net curtain or muslin can be made into a bag and the herbs placed inside. The bag is then pressed to extract the full flavor.

Learn to Make Homemade Nettle Beer in Part 1 of this series

The most welcome modern adjunct to home wine making is concentrated pure grape juice. Old recipes for herbal wines usually add dried grapes, often picturesquely described as ‘raisins of the sun’. Grape concentrate is a trouble free substitute and gives an excellent vinosity. There is an enormous variety available.



The mixture of liquids to be fermented is called the must.

Yeast: Fermentation is caused by the addition of yeast to the must. If you have been browsing through old books you will be familiar with the recommendation to float brewer’s yeast on toast in the liquid—this should be avoided at all costs. A vigorous fermentation can be obtained using dried baker’s yeast, but it is preferable to use a true wine yeast (available from home wine kit suppliers.) There are several quick-acting, general purpose yeasts which produce reliable results. To work effectively, the yeast needs to be sustained by the addition of certain salts. These are bought already mixed as a yeast nutrient (available from home wine kit suppliers). Use more or less nutrient in relation to the quantity of fruit juice you use. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as these will vary.

Yeast works best in an acid medium. Herb infusions may be low in acid. By adding the juice of lemons or oranges or crystals of citric acid this can be remedied.

Sweetener: Honey was the traditional sweetener of the herbal wine maker. In wines made with bitter herbs the dual taste of the sharp leaf or flower and the soft sweetness of honey is a gastronomic delight. Whenever you can—use honey in place of sugar to sweeten your wine. The wine is then called a Melomel.

Herbal winesEquipment: The basic equipment needed for home wine making is extremely simple and costs very little. Some of the items may already be in the home.

9 liters/2 gallons (20 pints) boiling container
9 liters/2 gallons (20 pints) plastic pail with a lid
4.5 liter/1 gallon (10 pints) fermentation and storage jars
Airlock for each fermentation jar.
A siphon tube at least 1.2m/4 ft long
Wine bottles
Corks and Corking tool
Nylon strainer—at least 15cm/6 inch in diameter
Funnel—at least 15cm/ 6 in diameter.

Do not use any equipment made of iron, steel, copper and brass as these will spoil your wine. In all wine making it is essential to keep equipment clean and sterile. The method for all the recipes given here is basically the same.

Dandelion Wine:
Pick the dandelion flowers on a warm sunny morning. Shake out any small insects. Then holding he yellow petals with one hand, twist off the calyx and stem. These are too bitter for wine and should be discarded.

Dandelion WineIngredients:
5 cups Dandelion petals
½ can *commercial grape concentrate
1 Lemon
1 Orange
1 teaspoon Citric acid
¾ cup infused tea or grape tannin
3 cups Sugar or clear Honey
Wine yeast and nutrient
Campden tablets
*/can grape concentrate refers to the size sold to make 4 ½ liters/1 gallon (10 pints) of wine.

Place everything except the dandelions and the yeast into a bucket. Make an infusion of the dandelion flowers and allow to stand for about half an hour. Strain the infusion into the bucket and stir thoroughly until all is dissolved. Allow to cool to 24 C (75F) and add yeast.

Fermentation: The bucket should be placed in a warm room for the first fermentation which should last from three to six days. This is the aerobic (in the presence of air) fermentation, nevertheless the bucket must have a lid or be fitted with a clean cloth held in place by a firm band.

As the yeast starts to work considerable bubbling and frothing occurs. The must will change to a milky color as the yeast grows. Once the fermentation gets under way the must should be transferred to a fermentation jar. This should be topped off with water and a fermentation or air lock fixed.

Keep your eye on the fermentation lock for the first few days to make sure there is always water present to maintain the trap. Evaporation may necessitate topping off daily. The temperature should be maintained at about 21 C (70F).

Fermentation will gradually decrease and after about four or five weeks the line of bubbles around the top of the container will have died completely away—if not wait another few days to make sure no gas is being given off.

Storage: Dead yeast and perhaps other solid matter (the lees) will by now have settled at the bottom of the fermentation jar. If left their unpleasant flavor may be imparted to the wine, so they should be removed.

To do this, the wine has to be siphoned into a second sterilized container with a siphon tub. Stand the wine container on a table and set the second container on the floor. This process is called racking the wine and must be done several times. The lower container should be topped with cooled boiled water if necessary, as it is preferable to have the minimum of air space remaining.

Crush one Campden tablet per 4.5 liters/1 gallon (10 pints) of wine and add before sealing the container with a solid bung or safety lock—these tablets act as a preservative and help to stop further fermentation. Store in a cool dry place.

Rack off the wine into a clean container every eight weeks or so, to remove sediment until the wine becomes clearer.

Bottling: When the wine is clear, only then is it ready to be bottled. For each 4.5 liters/1 gallon (10 pints) of wine you will need six sterilized bottles and corks. Always label your bottles. The wine should then be stored from three to six months although, like herb beer, it will improve for keeping a month or so longer if possible.

Many flowers can be used instead of dandelions. Broom, clover, coltsfoot, cowslip and roses all make delightful wine. Some flowers such as carnation, elderflower, chamomile and wallflower have a more pungent taste and should be used sparingly. No more than 0.5 liter/1 pint (2 ½ cups) flowers should be infused for each 4.5 liters/1 gallon (10 pints) wine. Any herb that makes an herb tea or tisane can be used as a basis for wine. Lemon balm, sage, rosemary, raspberry leaves, borage and comfrey are recommended. Young blackberry shoots also make a light wine. There is always lots of room for experimentation.


Articles of Interest:
Making Homemade Herbal Beer ~ Part 1
Making Herbal Teas
Garlic Uses & Dieters Green Tea
Herbs to Drink ~ Tisanes
Herbal Drinks
Herbal Tea Remedies

Back to Main Articles



Making Herbal Beer and Herb Wine ~Part 1


Wine and beer have been made in the home since time immemorial and as commercial wines become more and more expensive, interest in this ancient domestic art is reviving. Almost any fruit, vegetable or herb can be used for wine making and brewing beer—even the dregs of tea.

A number of shops sell very adequate wine making kits and equipment. Once the initial outlay has been made it is only necessary to purchase or grow the ingredients for subsequent batches as the equipment can be used over and over again.

Herb Beer
Herbal beer is a term usually applied to beers made with herbs other than hops. The hop is however a wild herb as well as being widely cultivated for beer making.

After the initial investment in equipment, the cost of making beer, especially from herbs like the common nettle, is relatively small.

Equipment:
Large pan (sufficient to contain all the weeds collected)
4.5 liter/1 gallon (10 pint) polythene or plastic fermenting vessel with a lid
(polythene or plastic bucket will suffice)
Strainer or remnant of terylene net curtain
Wooden spoons
Bucket or other larger container
Beer Bottles (cleaned and sterilized) and stoppers

The equipment should always be used spotlessly clean and if possible sterilized. (Kits for sterilizing babies’ bottles are useful for this task)

Nettle Beer
Using rubber gloves and scissors gather fresh, young green stinging nettle shoots. Take only the top two or three pairs of leaves. The quantity is not vital, but the shoots, not pressed down, should just about fill the brewing bucket. This will make approximately 4.5 liters/ 1 gallon (10 pints).

Crystal malt, hops and ale yeast (for quantity follow the manufacturer’s instructions) are obtainable from home wine and beer kit suppliers. One teaspoon of citric acid may be substituted for juice of half a lemon.

Ingredients:
Nettles
4 oz. Crystal Malt (broken)
2 lbs Malt extract
1 cup sugar
1 handful of dried hops
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ teaspoon Salt
Yeast

Simmer the washed nettles and crystal malt in a large pan for about 40 minutes.

Put malt extract, sugar, lemon juice and salt into the fermenting vessel fitted with a good lid and strain contents on to the washed nettles and crystal malt. A remnant of terylene net curtain is preferable to an open strainer. The nettle shoots should be squeezed by gloved hands, to extract the full flavor. Stir the mixture thoroughly.

Make the quantity up t o 4.5 liters/1 gallon (10 pints) with tap water.
When cool (between 18-20 C or 65-70 F), stir in yeast according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Maintain his temperature, and keep the vessel covered.

Allow fermenting for four to seven days. Remove the yeast from the top at intervals if necessary. When fermenting has finished the liquid looks clear and bubbles cease to rise. Siphon beer into another clean container.

Dissolve ¼ cup sugar in a small quantity of hot water. Add to the beer. Siphon into clean beer bottles and stopper down well. Store in a warm room for two days.

Transfer to a cool place and store for at least a month before drinking.



Articles of Interest:
More Herbal Recipes
Make Herb Wine ~ Part 2
Making Herbal Teas
Garlic Uses & Dieters Green Tea
Herbs to Drink ~ Tisanes
Herbal Drinks
Herbal Tea Remedies

Learn to Grow Your Own Nettles Here!
Kali S Winters


          

Large Selection of Stinging Nettle Products Here ~


Plants Listed by Common Names


Herbing Guide ~ Just click on the plant name for pictures of herbs medicinal uses, essential oils properties and definition. *Please check back again ~ I am in the process of providing the entire list…..Thank You~

Agrimony

Agrimonia eupatoria

Alfalfa

Medicago sativa

Angelica

Angelica archangelica

Arnica

Arnica montana

Artichoke

Cynara scolymus

Ashwagandha

Withania somnifera

Astragalus

Astragalus membranaceus

Balm

Melissa officinalis

Basil

Ocimum basilicum

Bayberry

Myrica cerifera

Bearberry

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Bergamot

Citrus bergamia

Black Cohosh

Cimicifuga racemosa

Blackberry

Rubus villosus

Bladderwrack

Focus vesiculosus

Blessed Thistle

Cnicus benedictus

Blue Cohosh

Caulophylum thalictroides

Blue Flag

Iris versicolor

Bogbean

Menyanthes trifoliate

Boneset

Eupatorium perfoliatum

Buchu

Agathosma betulina

Burdock

Arctium lappa

Calendula

Calendula officinalis

 

California Poppy

Eschscholzia californica

California Spickenard

Aralia californica

Cascara Sagrada

Rhamnus purshiana

Catnip

Nepeta cataria

Cayenne

Capsicum spp.

Celery Seed

Apium graveolens

Centaury

Centaurium umbellatum

Chamomile

Matricaria chamomilla

Chaparral

Larrea mexicana

Chaste Tree

Vitex agnus-castus

Chicory

Cichorium intybus

Chickweed

Stellaria media

Cinnamon

Cinnamomum zeylanicum

Clary Sage

Salvia sclarea

Cleavers

Galium aparine

Clove

Eugenia caryophllata

Coffee

Coffea Arabica

Coltsfoot

Tussilago farfara

Comfrey

Symphytum officinale

Coriander

Coriandrum sativum

Corn Silk

Zea mays

Couch Grass

Agropyron repens

Cramp Bark

Viburnum opulus

Cranesbill

Geranium maculatum

Cubeb

Piper cubeba

Damiana

Turnera diffusa

Dandelion

Taraxacum officinale

Devil’s Club

Oplopanax horridus

Dill

Anethum graveolens

Dong Quai

Angelica sinensis

Echinacea

Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea angustifolia

Echinacea pallida

Elder

Sambucus nigra

Elecampane

Inula Helenium

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus globulus

Eyebright

Euphrasia officinalis

False Unicorn

Chamaelirium luteum

Fennel

Foeniculum vulgare

Fenugreek

Trigonella foenum-graecum

Feverfew

Tanacetum parthenium

Frankincense

Boswellia carteri

Fringetree

Chionanthus virginica

Flaxseed

Linum usitatissimum

Garlic

Allium sativum

Gentian

Gentiana spp.

Geranium

Pelargonium graveolens

Ginger

Zingiber officinale

Ginkgo

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginseng

Panax spp.

Goat’s Rue

Galega officinalis

Golden Rod

Solidago virgauria

Golden Seal

Hydrastis canadensis

Gota Kola

Centella asiatica

Grapefruit

Citrus paradise

Gravel root

Eupatorium purpureum

Guarana

Paullina cupana

Gumweed

Grindelia spp.

Hawthorn

Crataegus spp.

Grataegus oxyacantha

Herlichrysum

Helichrysum italicum

Hops

Humulus lupulus

Horehound

Marrubium vulgare

Horsechestnut

Aesculus hippocastanum

Horseradish

Armoracia rusticana

Horsetail

Equisetum arvense

Ho shou wu

Polygonum Multiflorum

Hydrangea

Hydrangea arborescens

Hyssop

Hyssopus officinalis

Irish Moss

Chondrus crispus

Jasmine

Jasminum officinale
Jasminum grandiflorum

Kelp

Seaweed

Kola

Cola vera, C. acuminata

Lady’s Mantle

Alchemilla vulgaris

Lavender

Lavandula officinalis

Lemon

Citrus limonum

Licorice

Glycyrrhiza glabra

Linden

Tilia cordata

Lobelia

Lobelia inflata

Ma Huang

Ephedra sinica

Mandarin

Citrus reticulata

Marjoram

Origanum majorana

Marshmallow

Althaea officinalis

Meadowsweet

Filipendula urlmaria

Melilot

Melilotus officinalis

Milk Thistle

Carduus marianum
(Silybum marianum)

Motherwort

Leonurus cardiaca

Mugwort

Artemisia vulgaris

Mullein

Verbascum spp.

Mulberry

Morus spp.

Myrrh

Commiphora myrrha

Nasturtium

Tropaeolum majus

Neroli

Citrus aurantium var amara

Nettle

Urtica spp.

Oak Bark

Quercus spp.

Oat

Avena Sativa

Olive Leaf

Olea europaea

Orange

Citrus aurantium

Oregano

Origanum vulgare
Origanum Compactum

Oregon Grape

Berberis aquifolium Pursh.

Osha

Ligusticum porteri

Parsley

Petroselinum sativum

Partridge berry

Mitchella repens

Pasque Flower

Anemone pulsatilla

Pau d’ Arco

Tabebuia spp.

Passion Flower

Passiflora incarnate

Patchouli

Pogostemon patchouli

Pennyroyal

Mentha pulegium

Peppermint

Mentha piperata

Periwinkle

Vinca major
(or Vinca minor)

Pine

Chimaphila umbellate

Pipsissewa

Pinus sylvestris

Plantain

Plantago lanceolata
Plantago major

Prickly Ash

Xanthoxylum americanum

Pumpkin

Cucurbita pepo

Raspberry

Rubus spp.

Red Clover

Trifolium pratense

Rose

Rosa damascena

Rosemary

Rosmarinus officinalis

Sage

Salvia officinalis

Sandalwood

Santalum album

St. John’s Wort

Hypericum perforatum

Sarsaparilla

Smilax spp.

Sassafras

Sassafras albidum

Saw Palmetto

Serenoa serrulata

Skullcap

Scutellaria laterifolia

Sheperd’s Purse

Capsella bursa-pastoris

Siberian Ginseng

Eleutherococus senticosus

Slippery Elm

Ulmus fulva

Sorrel

Rumex spp.

Southernwood

Artemisia abrotanum

Star Anise

Illicium anisatum

Strawberry

Fragaria vesca

Suma

Pfaffia paniculata

Tea Tree

Melaleuca alternifolia

Thuja

Thuja occidentalis

Thyme

Thymus spp.

Tumeric

Curcuma longa

Usnea

Usnea spp.

Uva Ursi

(See Bearberry)

Valerian

Valeriana officinalis

Vervain

Verbena officinalis

Wild Cherry

Prunus serotina

Wild Indigo

Baptisia tinctoria

Wild Lettuce

Lactuca virosa

Wild Oat

Avena fatua

Wild Yam

Dioscorea villosa

Willow Bark

Salix spp.

Witch Hazel

Humamelis virginiana

Wormwood

Artemisia absinthium

Yarrow

Achillea millefolium

Yellow Dock

Rumex crispus

Yerba Manza

Anemopsis californica

Yerba Mate

Ilex paraguensis

Ylang Ylang

Canaga odorata

Yohimbe

Pausinystalia yohimba

Yucca

Yucca spp.

 


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Making Herbal Teas


Black and Green Tea

Tea runs a close second to coffee in popularity when it comes to hot drinks and although the problem is less serious, it also contains some caffeine and a good deal of tannin.  Black tea and green tea characterize the leaves used to create all varieties of tea. Black tea is fermented to remove some of the tannin. Like coffee, the tannin and caffeine are kept to a minimum when tea is brewed quickly with freshly boiled water.  While this may overcome the problem of the tea leaves themselves, there is still some degree of concern about the tea bag. The metals used to secure the bag are viewed as harmful by many and that innocent-looking encasement is actually a carrier of harmful dyes.

Why not use loose teas leaves? A variety of loose teas are available in your supermarket. For less than a dollar you can purchase an individual tea strainer (or you can use a small mesh juice strainer, or cheese cloth) and brew fresh tea in individual glasses or by the pot.  Buy a few kinds and you can change your tea to suit your moods.

Tea has another advantage over coffee-it’s much easier to drink it black.  For those who insist on sweetening their beverage, honey makes a much tastier tea than sugar.

Herbal Teas

Aside from the traditional tea-leaf teas, delicious teas can be prepared from herbs.  Herb teas have no caffeine and many are believed to have healing qualities. While the taste for herb tea must sometimes be acquired, as an incurable tea drinker, I can testify that the acquisition is a simple one.  Herb tea is made just like other teas, by  pouring boiling water over fresh or dry leaves (or flowers) and allowing the brew to steep for three to five minutes.  Some of the herbs that come highly recommended include basil, sage, aniseed, fennel, marjoram and mint.

Tea can be made from many different things.  One unique suggestion for making tea is from walnuts.  Inside the shell of a walnut is a woody diving membrane.  Save these pieces and add a heaping teaspoon to each cup of water, allow them to boil together for five minutes and then let the shell fragments settle to the bottom.  When the tea has cooled somewhat it is ready to drink.  Subsequent boiling makes the tea even stronger. This method works with pieces of pecan shells and the skin of almonds as well;

Instant Tea

Instant tea (particularly the iced, flavored kind) is an adulterated waste of money.  In addition to the finely ground tea leaves, which are the basis of the beverage, all the flavored brands contain either malto dextin to protect the flavor, or they derive their appeal from citric acid, artificial color and flavor, caramel color, vegetable oil and BHA (a preservative.)  Don’t be sucked in by the proud claim of “Natural Flavor” that instant tea manufacturers brandish on the label.  The flavor may be natural, but not much else is.  When this tea comes already prepared in the bottle you not only purchase these same chemicals, but you pay a lot of money for someone else to add the water.

If you want iced tea, brew double strength tea (and here you can add any leftover tea that has been brewed previously), add honey and lemon to taste, and server over ice.  Add the sweetening while the tea is hot to make for easier dissolving.

Tea Recipes

Bust Tea
Want a bustier look? Drink Bust Tea! Here’s a tea recipe that will give you a hearty dose of breast-enhancing herbs.

In a saucepan, pour two cups of water over one cup of fenugreek sprouts. Add a dash or two of anise, basil, caraway, dill, fennel, licorice, marjoram and lemongrass. Bring to a boil, then let cool. Add lemon juice and honey to taste. Drink one to two cups a day.

Fennel contains phytoestrogens, plant chemicals similar to the female hormone estrogen. Folklore maintains that the other herbs in this tea can also help enlarge the breasts.

A Tea for Your Liver
This is a grab-bag tea recipe made with herbs that reportedly have liver-protective benefits. Mix to taste: licorice, dandelion, chicory, turmeric and ginger. If you like, you can also add anise, caraway, celery seed, dill, clove, fennel, peppermint, rosemary and vanilla bean. You can mix up a jar of dried herbs and keep the mixture handy for whenever you want an herbal tea.

To Slow Aging:
Drink two antioxidant herb teas a day. Antioxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals, naturally occurring oxygen molecules that damage the body and are thought to play a significant role in the aging process. Most fruits and vegetables contain significant amounts of antioxidants, as do many herbs. If you’re a heavy coffee drinker, you might consider replacing two cups of coffee a day with herb tea. Good research suggests that Oregano, Rosemary, Bee balm, Lemon Balm (also know as Melissa), Peppermint, Sage, Spearmint, Savory and Thyme contain significant levels of antioxidants.

Multi-mint Antioxidant Arthritis Tea:
Rosemary and Oregano are both antioxidant mints. Add several more antioxidant herbs to these two and you get a Multi-mint Antioxidant tea. The mints are basil, bee balm, horehound, hyssop, lemon balm, marjoram, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, sage, savory, spearmint and thyme. It makes sense to top it off with a dash of ginger and turmeric.
Basil has five anti-arthritic compounds with marjoram, oregano and rosemary weighted in with a few each.

How much of each herb should you use to make this tea? Use two parts of the ingredients you like and one part of the ingredients you find less appealing. Pour boiling water over the herbs and let them steep for 10 to 20 minutes before drinking.

Anti-Arthritis Tea:
Approximately three parts dried willow bark to two parts dried licorice root and one part minced garlic. Pour boiling water over the mixture and steep for about 15 minutes. If you don’t like the taste, add lemon and /or honey, plus ginger and turmeric to taste.

My Herbal Tea Remedies eBooks contains over 85 recipes for Detox Tea, Aches and Pains Tea, Tea for Nervousness, Sleep Tea Recipe, Upset Stomach Tea, Urinary Infection Tea, and the list goes on and on!


Articles of Interest:
Preserving Herbs
Harvesting Herbs
Pressing Herbs

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Basic Herb Dressing


A basic dressing recipe can be found in almost every cookbook.  You will notice the standard proportion of oil to vinegar is 3:1. In our experimentation we have discovered that more vinegar and less oil makes a much more flavorful and less fattening dressing, so our Basic Dressing recipe goes like this:

Basic Dressing:
1/3 cup vinegar (wine or cider)
2/3 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients and shake before pouring.

More often than not, replace all or part of the vinegar with freshly squeezed lemon juice. The oil used varied: safflower or peanut oil for general use; olive oil for Italian-style meals.

From this starting point you can add a variety of herbs and other flavoring ingredients to completely change the look and taste of your dressing.  Here is a list of ideas you can employ to change the Basic Dressing to:

Garlic Dressing: mince 1 clove of garlic and add to Basic Dressing

Herb Dressing: to Basic Dressing, with or without garlic, add 1/ 4 teaspoon of dried basil, thyme, or chervil or 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs (parsley, dill). Any herb can be added or deleted to suit your taste.

Blue Cheese Dressing: beat in 3 tablespoons of crumbled Blue cheese. To make the dressing Greek, use feta cheese instead.

Cheese Dressing: gate 2 to 4 tablespoons of Parmesan or Swiss cheese into the dressing.

Creamy Dressing: make the dressing thick and creamy by mashing a hard boiled egg or egg yolk with the lemon juice or vinegar before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Indian Dressing: add 1/ 2 teaspoon of curry powder and a pinch of ginger.  Raisins can be added to this dressing, along with 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley and 1 minced clove of garlic.

Chinese Dressing: for spinach salads, bean sprouts or Chinese cabbage make a soy sauce dressing. Make the Basic Dressing with peanut oil and replace the vinegar with soy sauce.  Add 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds.



Successful Gardening ~
Kali S. Winters

Articles of Interest:
List of Dried Herbs
List of Fresh Herbs
Know Your Spices

Homemade Seasonings

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Herbs and Spices

Herb Dressing

              



Homemade Seasonings ~ Salt Substitute!


Most herbs, spices, and table wines do not contain sodium, nor cholesterol and fat; they can be used in place of salt as seasonings. You will find that flavoring substances such as black pepper, onion, green pepper, garlic, lemon juice, and vinegar complement and enhance the natural goodness of food. When using herbs and spices, use them sparingly because a little goes a long way.  However, if you use fresh rather than dried herbs, use twice the amount.

To keep a ready supply of seasonings on hand, try using a combination of herbs instead of salt in your saltshaker.  You can make your own herb shaker by combining:

½ Tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp basil
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp mace
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp sage
1 tsp savory

This will enhance the flavors of meats and vegetables in the kitchen or on the table.

Table wines are fine to use in cooking, but avoid flavoring your meats with “cooking wines” as they contain added salt.  As with herbs, a little wine goes a long way.  You can devise your own flavorful marinades by using wine, vinegar, and oil or unsalted salad dressings.  Lemon juice, vinegar, Tabasco sauce or unsalted liquid smoke are also great for adding flavor to meats, soups and vegetables.

Use onion or garlic powder, celery seed or flakes as indicated in a recipe instead of flavored salts such as onion salt, celery salt and garlic salt.

As flavor enhancers to heighten the taste of the foods, I would recommend the following low sodium alternatives:

Beef: Bay leaf, dry mustard powder, green pepper, marjoram, fresh mushrooms, nutmeg, onion, pepper, sage, thyme.

Chicken: Green pepper, lemon juice, marjoram, fresh mushrooms, paprika, parsley, poultry seasoning, sage, thyme.

Fish: Bay leaf, curry powder, dry mustard powder, green pepper, lemon juice, marjoram, fresh mushrooms, paprika.

Lamb: Curry powder, garlic, mint, pineapple, rosemary.

Pork: Apple, applesauce, garlic, onion, sage.

Veal: Apricot, bay leaf, curry powder, ginger, marjoram, rosemary.

Asparagus: Garlic, lemon juice, onion, vinegar.

Corn: green pepper, pimiento, fresh tomato.

Cucumbers: chives, dill, garlic, vinegar.

Green beans: dill, limon juice, marjoram, nutmeg, pilmiento.

Greens: onion pepper, vinegar.

Peas: green pepper, mace, onion, paprika, parsley.

Rice: chives, green pepper, onion, mushrooms, saffron.

Squash: Cinnamon, ginger, mace, nutmeg, onion.

Tomatoes: Basil, marjoram, onion, oregano.

Soups: A pinch of dry mustard powder in bean soup; a small amount of vinegar or allspice in vegetable soup; peppercorns in skin milk chowders; bay leaf and parsley in pea soup.

Kali S. Winters



Articles of Interes:
List of Fresh Herbs
List of Dried Herbs
Know Your Spices

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List of Dried Herbs & Their Uses

Herbs that are not readily available fresh, can be dried and bottled for your later convenience. While not as fresh tasting in this form, if properly prepared, the flavor and aroma can be satisfactorily retained. The potency is much greater in the dried form.

As a general guide for interchanging fresh and dried herbs allow 1/3 to ½ teaspoon of dried herbs to replace 1 tablespoon of fresh.


Basil
This dried leaf is a natural companion for tomatoes. Use it in tomato sauces, vegetable casseroles, and fresh tomato salads.

Bay Leaves
While the leaf itself is not eaten it imparts flavor and aroma to soups and tomato dishes and pickling liquors. Also recommended in fish chowders. Add one leaf to the pot when you begin cooking, remove before serving.

Chervil
The French are particularly fond of chervil, and it is one of the traditional components of “fines herbs.” It is much less common in American kitchens but is found to be one of the best flavoring ingredients for salad dressing. Use it just as you would parsley.

Chives
When fresh chives are unavailable, freeze-dried chives are the best substitute. In this form the herb retains a maximum of flavor and when added to a liquid medium dehydrates readily. Use them in any way that you would the fresh.

Marjoram
The traditional way of using marjoram is in lamb dishes. It is also good on string beans and limas and for a unique taste you might try adding some to poultry stuffing.

Oregano
The essential ingredient in all Italian dishes, so any time you want to impart Italian flavor be sure to include this herb. Also used in Greek and Mexican food.

Rosemary
Rosemary is a sweetest herb that is sold dried and resembles small spikes. Add it along with basil, oregano and marjoram to Italian dishes. It can be used in soups and stews, lamb and chicken dishes and it is great in gin drinks too.

Sage
Again, a valuable stuffing enhancer particularly favored with pork products. Steeped in hot water it is supposedly an excellent medicinal beverage for alleviating colds.

Thyme
Of “parsley sage, rosemary and” fame, this herb is associated most often with poultry.

Caring for herbs
All dried herbs should be stored in airtight containers away from heat. Most cooks keep their herb (and spice) shelf within easy reach of the stove, a handy place except that heat dissipates the flavor and quality of your seasonings. Try to have a permanent storage place in a cooler part of your kitchen.

Always buy the form of dried herb closest to the whole-leaf state, avoiding finely crushed leaves whenever possible. The crumbling of the leaves releases the essential flavoring oils; therefore it is best to crush the leaves between your fingers just before introducing them to the pot.

Successful Gardening~
Kali S Winters



Articles of Interest:
Cooking with Spices
List of Fresh Herbs
List of Medicinal Plants

Herb Garden Kits:

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List of Fresh Herbs & Their Uses

Herbs are nothing more complicated than aromatic leaves and sometimes flowers that are both edible and flavorful. To preserve the flavor and aroma they are frequently dried, but many of them are just as popular in the fresh form and far richer this way.


Celery leaves
The fresh leafy tops of celery are excellent for perking up soups and an essential ingredient in homemade chicken broth. If you have more leaves than you can use, you’ll find home drying a great money saving trick.

Soak the leaves in cold water to clean and pat dry with absorbent paper. Spread on paper (wax, parchment) and let dry slowly, exposed t o the air at room temperature until crumbly. Do not dry in direct sunlight. Store these and all of your home dried herbs in a tightly covered jar for future use.

Chives
Chives are sold as a growing plant. The plant is usually jammed into a tiny container and dies because the roots are too plentiful for the pot. You can have a long-lasing source of this herb in your kitchen if you replant it in a larger pot and continually cut the tops so your chive shoots remain upright. Chives are a member of the onion family. Although much milder, and can be used uncooked to flavor cheese dips, sauces, and spreads. Try adding chives to cottage cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise to accentuate the taste.

Dill
Fresh dill makes everything taste like spring. You probably know dill in the taste of dill pickles. Its use extends to soup (particularly potato and white bean) and salads as well. Add fresh dill and lemon to fish salads or combine the chopped herb with sour cream for a fish sauce.

Mint
Mint may be sold fresh or dried in your market. Add the leaves to yogurt for a refreshing salad. Also good in fruit mixtures and steeped in boiling water for a Mid-Eastern tea. For an instant breath refresher, chew a few mint leaves.

Parsley
Fresh parsley, often used as a garnish only to be pushed to the side of the plate, is actually a fine source of vitamin A and C and vegetable protein. It is also rich in chlorophyll to make your breath rich and sweet-both cheaper and healthier than mouthwash. Use fresh parsley to season soups, salads, stuffing’s, breadcrumb coatings and thousands of other meat and vegetable dishes. To store this herb, wash, chop and keep in a plastic bag in the freezer. When you need a spoonful, dip into the freezer stock; it thaws almost instantaneously. The dried form doesn’t compare in flavor or nutrition.

Successful Gardening~
Kali S. Winters



Articles of Interest:
Know Your Spices
Growing Basil Indoors

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Know Your Spices ~ Cooking with Spices


Spices are the dried flavoring elements produced from the buds, flower, fruit, bark and the root of the plant. Many are sold already blended as curry powder, chili powder, pumpkin pie spice, etc. Although sometimes sold in the whole form, most of them are preground before they reach the market. Unless you use a particular spice in huge quantities, buy the smallest jars available; the flavor diminishes whit age and exposure to the air. Store tightly covered in a cool, dry place as you do herbs.

When the characteristic odor of your spices and herbs is no longer pungent it is time to replace them. Most spices are unadulterated (although they may be sprayed with fumigants to prevent bug habitation at he processing plant.) any tampering should be on the label.

Some of the more common spices are discussed below. Included are seeds as well. Seeds come from the dried fruit or seed of the plant and differ from spices in that the seeds usually refer to the aromatic product of plants of temperate zones, while spices come from plants of tropical origin.

Allspice
Allspice is the product of one plant only, although its name might imply that it is a mixture of more than one spice. The flavor resembles a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. The whole form is used in pickling; when ground it adds flavor to baked goods and puddings. Try placing the powdered form in stored clothing as a moth preventive.

Caraway seed
This is the flavor so many of us associate with rye bread. These seed are delicious in sauerkraut, cooked cabbage dishes, and on potatoes. We add them to cottage cheese for flavoring dips and are also wonderful in scrambled eggs.

Cardamom
Cardamom is sold both whole and ground and is often quite costly. It is a common ingredient in Indian dishes and the Danish add the ground seeds to pastry. Chewing cardamom seeds is a good cover-up for liquor on the breath.

Cayenne
This fiery red powder from small red peppers can be used to spark anything. A pinch even helps sweet dishes. Use sparingly though, it’s very hot.

Celery Seed
Use just as you would celery leaves. When stuffing vegetables with cream cheese, mix in some celery seeds and you’ll have a more flavorful spread. A teaspoon can be added to salad dressing for a fresh flavor, particularly fruit dressings.

Chili Powder
This spice is made from chili peppers blended with other spices and can be either mild or hot. Use it in Mexican dishes and bean stew.

Cinnamon
The best way to buy cinnamon is in stick form. A 1-inch stick of cinnamon equals 1 teaspoon of ground. Use with whole sticks as stirrers or straws in hot-spiced punch, tea, coffee, and milk. Ground cinnamon, of course, goes into cakes, pies, and puddings. You needn’t save it for sweet dishes though. Add some to rice to give it an arousing aroma.

Cloves
Cloves are highly fragrant nail-shaped buds, which again are used in pickling (mostly fruits). Meat is often studded with cloves t o add flavor in roasting. Ground, it is frequently used in baking. We find cloves go especially well in dishes that include lentils.

Curry Powder
Curry powder is another spice blend and can be added to white sauce in flavor leftover meat, vegetables and eggs. Curry, however, is more than just curry powder and for most effective use of curry spices consult an Indian cookbook. Improper use of curry powder is one sure way to turn people off to Indian food, which is delicious.

Fennel
Although this spice is not among the most popular, it is mentioned because it an add variety to some of your favorite dishes by imparting a licorice-like flavor. It’s quite interesting in apple pie. Also in boiled fish dishes. Highly recommended for those who like licorice, to be brewed like tea and served as a hot drink.

Ginger
In addition to the fresh root, ginger is available dried and ground. This is a spice with a real bite, so taste your dish as you proceed. Use ground ginger in baking (for gingerbread), particularly in combination with fruit fillings.

Mustard
Dried mustard powder is the base for prepared mustards, gradually beat water into the powder to creamy consistency and you’ve made your own hot mustard. It is a favorite flavoring ingredient in salad dressing. Add ¼ teaspoon along with the other seasonings for a sharp (but favorably so) taste. Add to cheese dishes as well.

Nutmeg
When Columbus set sail for the East Indies, nutmeg was one of the spies he was searching for. Nutmeg should always be used in the ground form, alone on vegetables like cauliflower, spinach and broccoli, combined with cinnamon and berries, banana, eggnog and custard.

Paprika
Sweet red peppers are the source of this popular spice, famed more for its use in coloring rather than flavoring flood. It’s mild flavor recommends it for use in egg salad, cream cheese, and sweet corn for color contrast. Also makes tomatoes sauces redder. If fresh, paprika is an excellent source of vitamin C.

Pepper
Pepper goes with everything-in small amounts. Too much (and this is true of all “hot” spices) an damage the stomach lining, invest in a pepper mil and season meat, fish, poultry, egg and vegetable dishes with the freshly ground peppercorns before serving. Pepper that is purchased ready-ground is flat and lifeless. By the way, a lavish sprinkling of ground pepper is another moth repellent used throughout the world.

The best way to judge the right amount of seasoning is by taste. By all means, taste as you go along. A pot that has not been sampled during cooking reflects this neglect.

Discover more about Seasonings Here!

Successful Gardening!
Kali S. Winters





Fresh Homemade Seasonings


Fresh seasoning not only enhances the taste but they also add nutrients to your food. Because they are derived from plant sources, any of them are rich in vitamins and minerals. Use fresh seasonings and incorporate them into your recipes.

Garlic and Onion
The two most widely used flavoring agents are garlic and onion. Both are sold fresh and in the form of ground, dried, powder and salt. Stick with the fresh. Nothing approaches the taste of these vegetables in their original form. Chop, mince, grate or press as needed for enhancing your food: 1 clove of garlic and 1 Tablespoon of chopped or grated onion can substitute for ¼ teaspoon of the powder in a recipe.

Ginger
Fresh ginger root is being offered in many supermarkets these days and is wonderful for making pungent dishes, especially for Chinese and Indian specialties. For every ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger called for in a recipe use a 1-inch piece of the fresh ginger root chopped finely or grated. Ginger can get quite fiery, so start with a little and add more to taste. Fresh ginger grated into the dressing really perks up a fruit or vegetable salad.

Hot Peppers
In certain parts of the country hot (chili) peppers are a common supermarket commodity. Be careful when you use them. Not only are they hot to taste, but fresh chili pulp will burn the skin too. To prepare chilies for cooking:

Wash and dry the pods, skewer on a long-handled fork and toast on top of the stove, turning so they blister on all sides. When the skin is evenly blistered and puffed away from the pulp you can lay the pods on a cloth, sprinkle them lightly with water and cover them with another cloth so they steam. The skins can then be pulled away easily and the seeds and veins removed. Use all the pulp, but only a few of the seeds.

The seeds and veins are the hottest part, so take it easy. Don’t be a show-off when it comes to chili. If you put one of the seeds on your lips or tongue, be assured you will never be tempted to try it again.

Lemon
Lemon juice is added to many sauces, soups, salads dressings, meat, fruit and vegetable dishes to enliven their flavor. Half of fresh lemon will serve you far better than bottled lemon juice which is rather flat tasting and preserved with chemicals.

Learn how to grow these wonderful seasonings in your own garden!

Kali S Winters



Articles of Interest:
Using Kitchen Herbs
Apply Herbs to Salads and Vegetables
Natures Herbal Recipes



List of Medicinal Plants


You don’t need a green thumb to build an herb garden. Herbs are incredibly adaptable so they require less attention than vegetable gardens. Most herbs thrive in the sun, with six to eight hours of exposure being the ideal. Herbs generally need less water than flowers or vegetables do. In fact, many need to be watered only under drought conditions.

When building an herb garden, you should start out small. First, estimate how much time you’ll want to spend gardening. (The bigger the garden, the more time it will need.) Consider the realities of the space you have to use: how much sun the garden will get, what the soil is like, which herbs will do best in your climate (the seed packet often tells you the type of soil and climate the herb will need.)

For city dwellers that lack space to cultivate, a back porch or windowsill garden is recommended. A basic herb garden might include rosemary, chamomile, peppermint lavender and feverfew. Many herbs will thrive in pots, so you are able to bring the magic of the garden indoors during the winter months. Remember these two things when growing herbs in pots: water before the soil dries out or before the leaves yellow and fall off, and use a soil that is a bit alkaline and has good drainage.

The following are eight additional herbs that stand up to the highest standards as far as clinical and laboratory studies. These herbs can effectively treat many diseases and are quite easy to grow:

Chamomile: is generally used as a tea, but its antispasmodic, anti-infective and ant-inflammatory properties are known worldwide and used in chamomile extracts, ointments and tinctures as well to treat a wide range of health problems, from indigestion to skin rashes. Chamomile is also an important ingredient in natural hair dyes for blonds.

Echinacea: stimulates the immune system, which in turn defends the body against infections, both bacterial and viral. Echinacea has a long history. The Native Americans originally used echinacea as a remedy for snakebites and skin wounds. Echinacea has now been known to help in the fight against diabetes by adjusting blood sugar levels.

Feverfew: one of the active ingredients in feverfew, parthenolide, has the ability to reduce the severity and frequency of migraine headaches. Because feverfew reduces the blood vessel spasms in the brain, it has also been known to treat nausea and vomiting as well as fevers and arthritis.

Garlic: Oh…the mighty power of garlic. No herb garden (or person) should be without especially after the high rising costs in the market place. Research shows that garlic can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and may even help heart attack survivors live longer. Garlic additionally relieves gas and aids digestion. Garlic is now being studied in tumor fighting research as well.

Ginkgo: is particularly useful for treating ailments associated by decreased blood flow to the brain. People who suffer from memory loss or confusion, especially the elderly, find that mental clarity increases by taking ginkgo. This herb improves circulation throughout the body, especially to the brain. Additionally, ginkgo helps to prevent blood clots and mood swings accompanied by anxiety and can relieve the symptoms of tinnitus (ringing in the ears), asthma, phlebitis (inflammation of a vein) and vertigo.

Lemon Balm: this herb works well to calm the nerves and to protect the body from bacterial infections. It’s also effective on insomnia and menstruation symptoms. However, lemon balm is best known to treat cold sores associated by the herpes simplex virus. Extracts, used as a cream, helps lesions heal faster and extends the time between outbreaks.

St. John’s Wort: is reputed to be an astringent, nervine and is very aromatic. Useful in coughs, colds and all lung diseases, it also is highly esteemed in the disorder of the urinary passages. The ointment is serviceable for bruises, scratches and insect bites. St. John’s wort is especially known as a treatment for depression and insomnia and now shows promise as a treatment for nervousness and anxiety.

Valerian: has an antispasmodic effect for the treatment of epilepsy. Studies show that this herb is a safe, effective alternative to prescription sleeping pills and tranquilizers. It allays pain and promotes sleep and is strongly nervine without any narcotic effects.

Discover more information on medicinal plants

Learn How to Build an Herb Garden

Successful Gardening

Kali S. Winters


Herbing Guide ~ Just click on the plant name for pictures of herbs medicinal uses, essential oils properties and definition.

Additional Articles of Interest:

Home Herb Garden Basics
Herbs for Growing
Herb Garden Plants



Pressing Herbs


Any herbs with thin leaves or petals are suitable for pressing. The pressed specimens can then be used in herbal crafts. Avoid herbs with thick, fleshy leaves and flowers and always select perfect sprigs, delicate flowers or individual leaves and petals. Snip them neatly, removing petals gently from thick flowers or cutting leaves or leaflets into small groups.

You an use a book or sheets of stiff card to press your herbs. A special flower press made up of a number of sheets of still card fixed together at the corners with butterfly screws is useful but not essential, unless you plan to do a great deal of pressed flower work. Protect books from flower dyes with sheets of whit e tissue paper. You will also need some blotting paper or absorbent paper the same size as the press or books and some heavy books or other weights if you do not have a press.

Lay the leaves and flowers on a sheet of absorbent paper, using plastic tweezers or a soft paintbrush to lift or move them and making sure they do not touch each other. Cover carefully with another sheet and place them in the press, between the sheets of card or between the pages of the book. Tighten the screws, press the card down with weights or absorbent paper; you may need to do this two or three times if the material is very moist. Leave for about six months; the longer the specimens are left, the less likely they are to fade when exposed to light.

Preserving in Oil, Vinegar or Salt

By storing herbs in oil, you not only preserve the herbs but also create wonderful fragrant oils for use in cooking or cosmetics. You can also preserve herbs in vinegar, creating aromatic herbal vinegars for use in sauces, salad dressing, pickles and chutneys (pg 16).

Large leafed herbs, such as sage, can be stored layered in a jar with course salt. They will keep for several months and impart their own flavor to the salt.

Preserving with Glycerine

Preserving plant stems in glycerine solution is suitable for some herbs, such as bay and sorrel. The technique darkens the leaves and makes them soft and pliable with lovely sheen.

Pick perfect twigs in summer when the new shoots are growing. Whisk one part glycerine with two parts very hot water until thoroughly blended and then pour the solution into a vase. Stand the twigs in the solution, making sure they reach the base of the container and leave them undisturbed for about two weeks until the tips of the leaves are brown and glossy. When they are ready, you can paint them with a varnish or spray with hair lacquer to help to preserve them. Strain the solution and use it again.

Learn to Create Your Own Backyard Herb Garden Here!

Kali S. Winters


Articles of Interest:
Harvesting and Drying Herbs
More Harvesting Herbs
Preserving Herbs



Fragrant Oils


Natural oils which encapsulate the fragrance of the flower or herb form the essence of many cosmetics.

Concentrated herbal oils can be purchased from a herbalist or chemist as there is great skill in preparing such items. However, the following instructions will enable you to create light floral oils with scented flower petals. Use a measuring cup to weight the petals.

Ingredients:
1 ¼ cups Almond Oil
2 ½ quarts Flower Petals
1 tsp Liquid Storax
1 tsp Tincture of Benzoin

Directions:
Warm the oil in the top of a double saucepan over simmering water. Add 2 cups of petals, stir, cover and leave over a low heat for 2 hours, checking regularly to ensure that the pan does not boil dry. Strain and reserve the flowers. Add another 2 cups of flowers to the oil and repeat the process until all the flowers have been used.

Pour the oil and all the flowers into a large pan, bring to a boil slowly then simmer gently for 40 minutes. Strain the oil through muslin (cheesecloth), pressing to extract all the oil form the petals. Stir in the liquid storax and tincture of benzoin to fix the fragrance, pour into bottles, seal, label and store in a dry, dark place.

For a relaxing and fragrant bath oil, mix one part homemade floral or herbal oil with three parts almond oil for an oil which will float on the water, or with Turkey red dispersing oil. Pour the oil into bottles, seal, label and store. These bath oils make excellent gifts. Only a teaspoonful is need in the bath.

To counteract the dry nature of soap, add a cupful of herbal vinegar to your bath water.

Learn to make your own natural Shampoos and Conditioners Here!

Kali S. Winters



Articles of Interest:
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Fresh & Easy Herb Gardens
Starting An Herb Garden
Personal Fragrance Toilette
Herbal Soap ~ Making Your Own

Back To: Main Articles

Herbal Cosmetics

Herbal Perfume

Herbal Bath

          

Large Selection of Fragrant Oils Here~



Herbal Sauces, Butters and Jellies


Herbs form the basis of many raw sauces as well as flavoring cooked sauces. Almost any chopped herb can be added to a basic white sauce, while a handful of blanched and chopped parsley, tarragon and watercress will completely transform an ordinary mayonnaise to serve with salads, fish, chicken or vegetables.

Pesto Sauce
This is a classic Genoise sauce used for pasta and flavoring. It freezes well. Makes about 1 ¼ cups

2/3 cups Basil leaves
6 Garlic cloves
½ cup Pine nuts
1 cup Grated Parmesan cheese
¾ cup Olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Purée the basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and a little of the oil in a food processor or use a pestle and mortar. Add the remaining oil gradually, processing or pounding until the sauce emulsifies. Season with salt and pepper.

Herb Butters
Make herb butters with chervil, lovage, parsley, mint, coriander (cilantro), basil, tarragon or blend together a selection of herbs. A little parsley and lemon juice makes garlic butter less pungent.

Chop 3 tablespoons of fresh herbs and blend them with 1 cup of unsalted butter. Roll into a cylinder on waxed paper, twist the ends and chill, or wrap in foil and freeze. Serve on frilled (broiled) meats or fish or use to top new potatoes or fresh vegetables, or to spread on crusty whole-wheat bread.

Herb Butter for Topping of Vegetables
Soften butter to room temperature. Combine with mixed dry herbs allowing ½ to 1 teaspoon of herbs per tablespoon of butter. Prepare as needed or in large amounts, whap in foil and store in refrigerator. At serving time remove 1 to 2 tablespoons of seasoned butter from the packet to place on top of each cup of hot vegetables. A pinch of nutmeg or dried mustard, a drop of hot pepper sauce or ¼ teaspoon of lemon juice can be added to each tablespoon of butter as well.

Tomato and Thyme Sauce
You can vary this basic tomato sauce by adding your favorite herbs.

Makes about 2 cups

2 tablespoons Butter
1 tablespoon Olive oil
2 Shallots, chopped
3 Garlic cloves
1 lb Tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons Tomato paste
2 tablespoons Chopped thyme
Salt and Pepper

Heat the butter and oil and fry the shallots until soft. Add the garlic, tomatoes and tomato paste. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the thyme, season with salt and pepper and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Mint Jelly
This traditional mint jelly makes a refreshing change form mint sauce to serve with roast lamb or other grilled or boiled meats. You can also make a similar jelly with parsley, thyme or tarragon.

Makes about 4 ½ lb

5 lb Cooking apples
4 ½ cups Water
4 Mint sprigs
4 ½ cups Distilled white vinegar
Granulated or preserving sugar (Stevia, a natural sugar herb)
1 ½ cups Chopped mint

Wash the apples and cut them into chunks, without paling or coring them. Place them in a saucepan with the water and mint, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 35 minutes until soft and pulpy, stirring occasionally. Add the vinegar and boil for 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into jelly bag and leave to drain overnight without pressing or the jelly will be cloudy.

Measure the juice and add 2 cups sugar for each 2 ½ cups juice. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, then boil vigorously for about 8 minutes until setting point is reached. Test for setting by cooling a spoonful of the jelly on a chilled saucer; the jelly should wrinkle when pressed. Skim, if necessary, then stir in the chopped mint, pour into sterilized jars and label.



Other Articles of Interest:
Basic Herb Dressing
Fresh & Easy Herb Gardens
Starting An Herb Garden
Herbal Vinegars ~ How to Make Them
Herbal Shampoo Recipe

Back to Main Articles

Herb Sauces

Herb Butter

Herb Jelly

          

Additional Info On Herbal Sauces



Salads and Vegetables


Use different vegetables in salads, not just salad leaves. Potato salad can be dressed with chive flavored mayonnaise; sliced beetroot is delicious topped with sour cream mixed with chopped dill. Use herb oils or vinegars for salad dressings or mayonnaise as an instant way of adding flavor and interest. Courgettes (zucchini) taste wonderful sliced in julienne strips and marinated in herb mayonnaise for several hours.

Vegetables too cry out for herb dressings, sauces or a few herbs in the cooking water to enhance the flavors. Potatoes go well with mint, chives or leeks; thyme goes well with aubergines (eggplants) courgettes (zucchini) or carrots; parsley enhances the flavor of parsnips.

A few whole herb leaves such as chervil, basil, tarragon, parsley, mint, sorrel or comfrey, give a new flavor to a green salad or you can create an unusual and colorful salad with a few crisp lettuce leaves, tomato and cucumber slices with some apple mint, sorrel, sweet cicely and marigold leaves, nasturtium flowers and violets, tossed in a herb vinaigrette dressing. Be adventurous with your combinations.

Use herb butters to garnish steamed or boiled vegetables, mixing in a little lemon juice for a sharper taste. Below is a a favorite recipe:

Herb Butter for Topping of Vegetables

Soften butter to room temperature. Combine with mixed dry herbs allowing ½ to 1 teaspoon of herbs per tablespoon of butter. Prepare as needed or in large amounts, whap in foil and store in refrigerator. At serving time remove 1 to 2 tablespoons of seasoned butter from the packet to place on top of each cup of hot vegetables. A pinch of nutmeg or dried mustard, a drop of hot pepper sauce or ¼ teaspoon of lemon juice can be added to each tablespoon of butter as well.

For an appetizing courgettes (zucchini) dish, soften a sliced onion in olive oil, then fry some sliced zucchini with a generous sprinkling of snapped chives until tend and golden.

Potatoes baked in their jacket can be made into a delicious light meal. Scoop out the potato flesh and mash it with a dab of butter, a beaten egg, some snipped chives, chopped mint or parsley and grated strong cheese. Pile the mixture back into the potato shells and cook on a hot grill until golden….

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have fresh herbs readily available at your fingertips…whether they are planted in containers inside the home or out….Holistic Herbs ~ A Guide to Herb Gardening will teach you all the tricks to start your herb garden today!

Successful Gardening
Kali S. Winters



Other Articles of Interest:
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Indoor Garden Design
Indoor Hydroponic Gardening
Vinegar ~ Herb Combinations
Herbal Vinegars ~ How to Make Them

Back To: Main Articles

Grow Your Own Culinary Herbs

              

              



Preserving Herbs


The most common way to preserve herbs is to dry them. This method is perfect for many common herbs. There are other techniques, however, which are more appropriate to particular herbs to preserve their qualities more effectively.

Drying in Trays

Drying eliminates the water in the herb but retains its essential oils. Whichever drying method you use, herbs should be dried quickly at an even temperature, out of direct sunlight. The air must be able to circulate around the herbs and it is best to keep individual herbs separate as they are drying.

To dry herbs naturally, spread the herb sprigs, roots, petals or seed heads evenly over trays lined with sheets of absorbent paper, such as newspaper. For larger leafed plants, such as lovage and comfrey, remove the leaves form the sprigs before you dry them. Leave the herbs for a week or so until completely dry, turning them regularly and replacing the paper if it absorbs too much moisture. Roots will take a little longer.

If you dry herbs regularly, it is worth making a drying frame. Stretch muslin (cheesecloth) or fine netting over a rectangular wooden frame and lay the herbs on the frame to dry. The frames can be stacked on top of on another as long as there is about 2 inches between them. Place newer herbs on top of the drier ones as the moisture will rise.

You can speed up the drying process by placing the trays or frames in a warm airing cupboard for three or four days. Alternatively, you can dry them in the plate-warming section of a cooker or at the bottom of a conventional over with the door agar, leaving the oven on its lowest setting for a few hours. If you have a traditional fuel-burning stove, you can dry the herbs in the slow oven.

One modern method is to use the microwave, which I tend to not recommend due to the uneven drying process..However, if you would like to try this method, spread out the herbs on three layers of paper towels and cover with another sheet of paper towel. The herbs will take only 2-3 minutes on high, but will be ruined if you leave them too long. Therefore it is best to microwave for 30 seconds, check and turn them over, then continue in short bursts until they are dry.

The most modern method is the dehydrator, which I tend to use most often in the winter months. You will want to remember to check your herbs frequently and rotate the trays accordingly.

Drying in Bunches

Herb flowers, such as chamomile, feverfew, lavender, sorrel or tansy, sprigs such as rosemary, sage or bay, or seed heads such as fennel, can be air-dried in bunches. Tie four or five herb sprigs loosely into a bunch by the stems and hang them upside-down in a dry, well-ventilated room where the temperature remains constant, keeping them out of direct sunlight. A spare room, dry attic or a bedroom are all suitable.

When drying herbs with large flower heads, such as chives, the flowers must rest on a wire mesh screen with the stems hanging down, as the drying stems cannot stand the weight of the flower heads. Large seed heads, such as fennel, lovage, caraway or chervil, or large herbs such as angelica, can be dried upright in empty vases.

Preparing and Storing Dried Herbs

Once the herbs are dry, they will feel crisp and papery and will snap easily between finger and thumb. Then remove the leaves from small-leafed herbs, run your fingers down the stalks and the leaves will rub off. For herbs, the larger leaves, you may need to hand-pick the leaves from the stalks then crumble them between your fingers, or place the leaves in a paper bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Another method is to rub the herbs through a fine mesh before discarding the stems.

Dried herbs must be stored in airtight containers, preferable in a dark cupboard. The containers should be labeled wiht the name of the herb and the date of preserving. Even dried herbs will not keep indefinitely so do not dry in larger quantifies than you are likely to use.

Seeds can simply be shaken off the dried flower heads then sieved or hand-picked to remove unwanted chaff. If you are storing them for planting the following season, wrap them in foil and then seal in an envelope labeled with the name of the seed, the date of collection and any other details such as the variety or flower color. Seeds for culinary use can be stored in an airtight jar, labeled with the name of the seed and date of preserving and kept in a dark cupboard.

Using Desiccants

To preserve complete flower heads for dried arrangements or to garnish potpourri, desiccants are used; these are crystals that absorb moistures from a flower while preserving its shape. The easiest to use is silica gel, which you can buy from the most craft stores. Grind it down in a food processor or with a pestle and mortar until it is as fine as caster (superfine) sugar.

Spread a layer of desiccant in the bottom of a plastic box. Arrange the flower heads on the surface and cover with desiccant gently, sprinkling it between the petals. Dry bell-shaped flowers upside down so that the bells fill with desiccant. Seal the box and leave it undisturbed for five days, during which time the silica crystals will turn from blue to pink. Brush off a little of the desiccant and if the flowers are dry and make a rustling, papery sound when moved, remove them from the box and brush them clean.

Bend a small hook at the end of a piece of florist’s (floral) wire and push it through the flower head, pulling it back to secure it. Wind gutta-percha tape diagonally around the stem to cover the wire and store the delicate flowers upright in dry florist’s foam (Styrofoam).

Reactivate the desiccant by spreading it on a baking sheet and placing it at the bottom of a low oven until its color turns back to blue. Sieve it to remove any particles and store for future use.

Learn How to Build an Herb Garden Here

Successful Gardening!
Kali S. Winters





Potpourri Recipes

Keep potpourri in bowls topped with dried flower buds or in pretty glass jars with a lace covering, in little sachets of lace or special potpourri containers.

The simplest way to make potpourri is to dry fragrant leaves and petals until they are crisp, blend them with fixatives to absorb and preserve the scent and seal them in an airtight container for about four weeks to mature, shaking the mixture occasionally. A few drops of essential oil adds that final touch. Essential oils can also be used to liven up potpourri as the fragrance fades.


For color, use herbs such as roses, marigolds with garden flowers such as pansies, lily of the valley, orange blossom, hyacinth or cornflowers. Many herb leaves and flowers provide fragrance: bergamot, basil, bay, thyme, rosemary, lemon balm, camomile or lavender with garden flowers such as jasmine, mimosa, honeysuckle, carnation or pinks. A little spice, either cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace or citrus rind, adds sharpness and interest.

As a rough guide, mix about 3 ¾ cups of flower petals and herb leaves with 2 tablespoons of spices and 4 tablespoons of fixative. There are many fixatives you can use but ground orris root is simple and effective. This mixture will need two or three drops of essential oil. Here are some suggestions for potpourri recipes:

Recipe 1:
1 cup each Lemon verbena and lemon balm leaves
1 cup each Forsythia, marigold and camomile flowers
A few thin strips of lemon rind
¼ cup Ground orris root
A few drops of lemon verbena oil

Recipe 2:
1 cup each Thyme, rosemary and mint leaves
2 cups Lavender flowers
2 tablespoons Tansy leaves
2 tablespoons Ground cloves
¼ cup Ground Orris root
A few drops of lavender oil

Recipe 3:
1 cup Lavender flowers
2 tablespoons each Thyme and mint leaves
1 tablespoon each Ground cloves and ground caraway seeds

More Herbal Crafts

More on Natural Potpourri Here!



Successful Gardening ~
Kali S Winters
Bulk Potpourri Here!

              

              



Oil and Vinegar


By storing herbs in oil, you can preserve the herbs and create a fragrant oil at the the same time. Herbal vinegars are simple to make and an excellent way of using your garden herbs.

Herbal Oil

Herbal oils can be used for both culinary and cosmetic purposes. Most aromatic herbs are suitable; basil, tarragon, thyme and rosemary are particularly popular choices.

Half fill a sterilized bottle or jar with fresh herb leaves, then fill to the top with a good quality olive or sunflower oil. Stir the herbs to release the air bubbles, making sure that the herbs are completely covered in oil. Seal the bottle or jar and stand it on a sunny windowsill or over a radiator for two weeks, shaking daily. Strain the oil, using the herb sprigs for cooking if you wish. For a stronger flavor, add fresh herbs to the strained oil and store for a further two weeks, then stain again. Bottle the oil with a fresh herb sprig, cover and label and store in a cool, dark place.

You can make delicious mixed herb oil with a few sprigs each of tarragon and thyme, plus a clove of garlic, a dried red chili pepper and a few black peppercorns. Goats’ cheese can be marinated in this oil and used in salads of crisp lettuce and sorrel leaves.

Herbal Vinegar

White or red wine vinegar or cider vinegar can all be flavored with herbs and used in salad dressings, cooked recipes or to make cosmetics. Basil, chervil, marjoram, mint, tarragon, sage or thyme are all-suitable, as are dill sprigs or seeds. Purple sage will impart a lovely color to the vinegar and so do chive flowers. You can use combinations of herbs; equal quantities of mint, chives, basil and borage are effective.

Place about 1 cup of lightly bruised, fresh herbs in a sterilized jar. Bring 1 ¼ cups of wine or cider vinegar to a boil, pour over the herbs, seal and leave to stand on a sunny windowsill for two weeks, shaking occasionally. Strain the vinegar through muslin (cheesecloth) or paper coffee filters into another sterilized jar, add a fresh herb sprig, seal and store in a cool, dark place.

Use the following with an oil and vinegar base or with any mildly seasoned dressing. Add the herb blend sparingly at first (about 2 teaspoons per head of lettuce or greens)

Salad Herb Blend:
2 cups parsley
1 cup each tarragon, basil and thyme

For other salad taste treats, add a teaspoon of basil, savory, or marjoram to a tossed salad; or try a 1/2 tsp of all three together.

If you are a cottage cheese devotee, you can serve it often with different herbs, either as a salad by itself or whirled in your blender (with 1 or 2 Tbsp milk) to make a dip for raw vegetables or munchies.

Basic Herb Vinegar Salad Dressing:
1 cup oil, preferably olive oil
1/2 to 1 cup herb vinegar of choice
2 Tbsp dried herbs, or herbs preserved in vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste, if desired*

Combine all ingredients in a glass cruet and shake to mix before using.
*Herb vinegars enhance the flavor of salads without added salt.
DO ENJOY!



Discover How to Build an Herb Garden

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Sauces, Butters and Jellies
Natures Herbal Recipes
Vinegar ~ Herb Combinations

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More Oil and Vinegar Recipes



Herbal Skin Lotions


Herbal lotions can be used for washing, added to bath water, hair rinses or to scent water for washing clothes and laundry.

Pour boiling water over 1 cup of fragrant herbs – bergamot, lavender, lemon balm, sage, camomile, marjoram, mint, rosemary, sweet cicely or thyme – so they are just covered, simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes, let stand until cool then strain. Equal quantities of water and wine vinegar with sage and rue leaves and 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, make an unusual toilet water.

For an instant herbal bath, place a few herbs in a muslin (cheesecloth) bag with a spoonful of oatmeal to soften the water and hang the bag beneath the hot tap of the bath.

Herbal vinegars can be added to bath water, washing water, hair rinsing water or water used to wash clothes.

Camomile flowers make a delightful foam bath. Crush 4 tablespoons of dried camomile flowers and mix with 1 ¼ cups of milk and chill overnight. The moisturizing milk is then ready for use but must be stored in the refrigerator.

A tablespoon of herbal vinegar added to 2/3 cup of water or rainwater makes an excellent toner for greasy skin. For normal or dry skin, use 2/3 cup of rose water, 3 tablespoons of orange flower water and 3 tablespoons of glycerine to make a soothing skin tonic.

Mint has many cosmetic uses, including a skin toner. Infuse 2 tablespoons of chopped apple mint in 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar for a week, shaking daily, then strain the vinegar and pour on 1 ¼ cups of boiling water. Leave to cool, then bottle, seal and label. Mint also makes a refreshing facemask. Simmer 4 tablespoons of chopped mint with 4 tablespoons of water for 5 minutes then remove form the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of clear honey, 3 tablespoons of milk and 2 tablespoons of fine oatmeal. Leave to cool then apply to the face and leave for at least 15 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water.

Carrier Oils for Hair and Skin


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Gardening Gift Basket
Starting An Herb Garden
Herbal Shampoo Recipe
Herbal Crafts

Back to: Gifts from the Garden
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More Herbal Skin Lotions Here!

              

Successful Gardening ~
Kali S Winters



Herbal Drinks


Herbal tisanes have long been drank both for pleasure and for their medicinal properties. Rather than buying expensive herbal teas from health food shops, make your own herb teas, refreshing iced herbal drinks or traditional wine cups.

Wine Cups

Borage or Chive flowers, or sprigs of fresh herbs such as mint – whether fresh or frozen into ice cubes – make attractive garnishes for wine cups. Experiment with ingredients when you make your own wine cups. Start with a bottle of dry white wine and add a few tablespoons of brandy and ¼ cup of herb sugar. Float a thinly sliced orange, apple and lemon in the wine and chill for 1 hour. When you are ready to serve the cup, add a bottle of sparkling rose’ wine 4 1/2 cups of lemonade (soda) and stir well. Float some fresh apple mint sprigs and borage flowers in the wine just before serving.

You can flavor your own liqueurs to make original drinks or unusual gifts. Crush or purée 3 tablespoons of peppermint or lemon thyme leaves and add them to 2 1/2 cups of wine or brandy with a few strips of orange rind. Make a honey syrup by boiling 5 tablespoons of water with an equal quantity of clear honey until well blended. Add this to the liqueur. Cover and leave to stand for three weeks. Strain the liqueur, bottle, seal and label.

Herbal Teas

Herbal “infusions’ are made by steeping fresh or dried herbs in boiling water, “Decoctions’ are made by boiling the herbs for a few minutes before steeping. What we now call herbal teas are becoming increasingly popular and can easily be made with the leaves of sage, marjoram, borage, summer savory, thyme, rosemary, mint or lemon balm or with camomile or elder flowers.

To make herbal tea, steep 2 tablespoons of the fresh herb of your choice in 1 cup of boiling water for a few minutes then strain. You can flavor the tea with clear honey or flower honey and float a slice of orange or lemon in the cup. Herbal seed teas made from fennel, caraway or dill seeds need only 1 tablespoon of the crushed seeds but should be left to infuse for 5-10 minutes.

Iced Teas

Many herb teas, such as thyme and mint, taste excellent when flavored with clear honey and chilled. Traditional tea can also be flavored with herbs to make an aromatic and refreshing drink. Pour 2 ½ cups of strong hot tea into a jug and add two bruised sprigs of mint and the juice of half a lime. Leave to infuse for 30 minutes, then strain and chill. Sweeten with clear honey and serve with ice, mint sprigs and time slices.

For a fragrant marjoram drink, dissolve 2 tablespoons of sugar in 1 cup of water then boil for 5 minutes to a syrup. Leave it to cool then chill. Process a handful of marjoram leaves with 4 tablespoons of water and add the juice of a lemon. Stir into the syrup, cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Stir 2 cups of chilled, fizzy, mineral water and serve with borage-flower ice cubes.



Learn to grow your own herbs

Successful Gardening!
Kali S. Winters

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Herbal Crafts

Herbs are not only valuable in the kitchen, in cosmetics and medicines, they are also very beautiful and can be used, both fresh and dried, to decorate and scent your home or as charming gifts.

Fresh Herb Arrangements

Herbs can be made into decorative and fragrant arrangements either alone or with other garden flowers. Rosemary, sage, borage, feverfew, marjoram, lemon balm, thyme, chives, mint, camomile and parsley are all attractive either in leaf or in flower, while seed heads of fennel, caraway or dill add contrast and interest.

A limited color range often works best; include variety of texture as well as of leaf shape. Most containers can be used but country-style pottery looks particularly attractive, especially as informal arrangements suit herbs best. Evergreen herbs, such as sage and rosemary, make excellent foliage backgrounds for brighter flowers, especially in the winter when options for fresh arrangements are limited. Use dry florist’s foam (Styrofoam) held in place with a spike or tape, to help you shape your arrangement.

Posies of fresh herbs make delightful gifts or table decorations. Tie a few herb sprigs into a posy, sit a small doily to the center and wrap it around the back of the posy to resemble a lace frill. Finish with a pretty ribbon. A handful of posies in a basket makes a pretty and fragrant table- center decoration.


Dried Herb Arrangements

Herbs make excellent additions to your dried flower arrangements, whether you use seed heads, flower stems, leaves or grasses. Follow the same design principles as you would when creating a fresh arrangement. For dried arrangements, your choice of containers is unlimited as they do not need to be watertight and baskets really come into their own. If the materials are fragile, wire the stems or wire bunches of stems together.

Dried herbal wreaths can be made using a florist’s foam (Styrofoam) ring, available from good florists, or you can bind thick twine or straw around a circle of wire. Use dense leaves, such as bay to form a dark background then gradually build up a pattern of sprigs of lavender, rosemary, sage and other herbs. You can vary this idea by making dried arrangements on spheres of dry florist’s foam (Styrofoam).

Lavender Bottles

Traditionally used to scent linen drawers and keep away moths, lavender bottles require long stemmed lavender flowers, picked just as they come into flower. Tie together a bunch of about 20 stalks just below the flower heads, then bend the stalks up and over the flower heads and tie again above the flowers so that they are enclosed in the stalks. Trim the ends. Weave a fine ribbon in and out of the stalks to enclose the flower heads.

Scented Sachets

Sachets made of cotton lawn, tied at the top and decorated with a ribbon bow, make lovely gifts or are also nice to keep for yourself! Use 1 cup each of dried lavender flowers and dried rosemary and mix with 1 cup each of ground orris root and a few drops of oil of roses or with a few tablespoons of crushed cloves and a tablespoon of powdered fried orange rind.

Pressed Herb Crafts

Pressed herbs can be used to make bookmarks, greeting cards and pictures or even to decorate jars for gifts of homemade herbal cosmetics or preserves. Collect together all your materials before you start: a soft paintbrush, rubber-based glue, the pressed petals and leaves and the item you wish to decorate.

Sketch your design roughly then practice positioning the herbs, moving them with a paintbrush until you have a pleasing arrangement. Your designs should be simple until you have gained a little experience and confidence; try reproducing a simple flower, banquet or arrangement.

When you are happy with the design, lift the pieces and apply some glue with a cocktail stick (toothpick). If there are several layers to the design, let one layer dry before adding the next. Cover flat designs with a sheet of glass or board and weigh down with books overnight so that the herbs dry flat. Cover designs on glass or jars with adhesive film or glass, or paint with lacquer to protect them. Pressed flower pictures should be kept out ot direct sunlight so that they do not fade.



Learn to Grow Your Own Herbs At Home Here!

Kali S Winters

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Herbal Cosmetics

Originally toiletries and cosmetics were, of course, all made from local, natural ingredients. Today cosmetics abound in chemists, department stores and specialist shops. But it is very satisfying to create effective and natural cosmetics of your own. What is more, herbal preparations have many beneficial qualities in addition to their distinctive fragrances. Lavender and camomile are relaxing, comfrey regulates ageing skin, sage gives relief from aching muscles, spearmint and thyme are refreshing, rosemary and angelica are stimulating, while lovage is supposed to make you more lovable!

Herb Soaps

You can add the herbal fragrance of your choice to unperfumed castile soap by grating the soap and melting it in the top of a double saucepan over simmering water. Stir in a teaspoon of almond or vegetable oil and a teaspoon of honey and stir over the heat for 5 minutes. Stir in a few drops of essential herb oil and leave the soap to cool and harden.



Soap used to be made with tallow but you can substitute vegetable oils and make your own soap, following the recipe below. Take great care when using the caustic soda. Vary the herbs you use, add honey or oatmeal and use a variety of different shaped molds such as jelly molds, yogurt pots or baking dishes.

Ingredients:
1 ¼ cups Water
4 Tbsp Caustic Soda
3 Tbsp Sunflower Oil
5 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Herbal Oil
3 Tbsp Chopped Marjoram

Directions:
Place the water in a glass bowl, add the caustic soda and stir with a wooden spoon until it is dissolved. The soda will heat spontaneously. Set aside until lukewarm. Meanwhile, warm the oils to the same temperature. Pour the oil slowly into the soda, stirring continuously, then add the marjoram and beat until the mixture thickens and turns opaque. Pour into molds, stand on a cooling rack and leave in a warm, dry place for 24 hours until set. Remove from the molds, wrap in wax paper and leave in a col plac for 2-3 weeks to harden.

Fragrant Oils

Natural oils which encapsulate the fragrance of the flower or herb, form the essence of many cosmetics. Concentrated herbal oils must be purchased from a herbalist or chemist as there is great skill in preparing such items. However, the following instructions will enable you to create light floral oils with scented flower petals. Use a measuring cup to weight the petals.

Ingredients:
1 ¼ cups Almond Oil
2 ½ quarts Flower Petals
1 tsp Liquid Storax
1 tspTincture of benzoin

Directions:
Warm the oil in the top of a double saucepan over simmering water. Add 2 cups of petals, stir, cover and leave over a low heat for 2 hours, checking regulary to ensure that the pan does not boil dry. Strain and reserve the flowers. Add another 2 cups of flowers to the oil and repeat the process until all the flowers have been used.

Pour the oil and all the flowers into a large pan, bring to a boil slowly then simmer gently for 40 minutes. Strain the oil through muslin (Cheese Cloth), pressing to extract all the oil from the petals. Stir in the liquid storax and tincture of bonzoin to fix the fragrance, pour into bottles, seal, lable and store in dry, dark place.

For a relaxing and fragrant bath oil, mix one part homemade floral or herbal oil with three parts almond oil for an oil which will float on the water, or with Turkey red dispersing oil. Pour the oil into bottles, seal, label and store. These bath oils make excellent gifts. Only a teaspoonful is needed in the bath. To counteract the drying nature of soap add a cupful of herbal vinegar to your bath water. Brush on skin after each bath…store in a dry place.

Herbal Powders

Make small quantities of fragrant powders to brush lightly on the skin after a bath – all you need to do is grind the following ingredients together until they are very fine. Mix ¼ cup each of dried rose petals, lavender flowers and ground orris root with ¼ cup of cornflour (cornstarch).



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Herbal Shampoo Recipe

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Using Kitchen Herbs


There are lots of interesting recipes available plus many more ideas to encourage you to experiment by adding herbs to your favorite recipes.

With a little imagination, you can find all sorts of ways to use herbs in your cooking, supplementing home-grown herbs with fresh herbs from the supermarket if necessary.

Fragile herbs-parsley, chervil, tarragon, mint and basil- are all best used coarsely chopped as their leaves bruise easily. They are frequently used raw or added at the end of cooking as their flavor is lessened by heat. More robust herbs—rosemary, bay, sage and marjoram—are generally used cooked and they also dry more successfully than fragile herbs. Herbs should be chopped with a sharp knife until they are the texture you require, or they can be ground with a pestle and mortar or in a food processor to release their essential oils.

Herbs in Soups and Starters

Many plain soups can be given extra flavor with the addition of a few fresh herbs; chives or lemon balm are excellent in a potato or leek soup, sprinkle borage in a tomato soup, or add coriander (cilantro) seed to give extra spice. Parsley is often used to garnish soups but will release more flavor if it is stirred in just before serving or sprinkled in the soup. Croutons are tasty when they are fried with chopped garlic and a few chopped herbs.

Light vegetable starters will benefit from herb sauces: lemon thyme or lemon balm can be added to a white sauce made with a mixture of milk or stock to create a light, lemony sauce to coat vegetables such as broccoli. Prawn can be served on cucumber slices with a minty or chervil flavored mayonnaise, or tossed in flour spiced with ground coriander seed and fried quickly. Fish pâtés benefit from the addition of a little dill or parsley.

Herb Combinations

A fresh bouquet garni takes only moments to prepare: simply tie together sprigs of thyme of parsley and a bay leaf. You can vary this traditional mixture by substituting sage or basil, rosemary, marjoram, tarragon or dill for either the parsley or thyme. Leave a length of string to tie on to the handle of the saucepan or casserole dish so that the bouquet garni can be easily removed before serving.

To make a bouquet garni with dried herbs, place spoonfuls of dried herbs in the center of a circle of muslin (cheesecloth), gather up the edges and tie them into a sachet. A few sachets of bouquet garni in an attractive box makes a useful gift.

Take equal quantities of finely chopped fresh herbs – tarragon, chives and chervil, sometimes with parsley – and add to savory dishes at the end of cooking.



Learn to Grow Your Own Herbs Here!

Kali S. Winters



Harvesting Herbs

It is important to harvest your herbs at their peak so that you can preserve the maximum of their essential fragrances and flavors. Whether your are going to use them fresh in a salad, or dry them for crafts or Culinary Purposes use. They should be at their best.

Using Fresh Herbs
Fresh herbs have only a limited life span before they begin to lose their qualities, so if you have herbs in the garden, only pick what you need when you need it. Use a sharp pair of scissors so that you do not damage the plant; most garden herbs will benefit from such regular trimming.

If you need to store fresh herbs, wash them gently, taking care not to bruise the leaves. Shake them dry, then place them in an unsealed polythene bag and keep at the bottom of the refrigerator; they will last for about a week.


M

Leaves & Flowers
When you are harvesting herbs for preserving, pick them at their most aromatic. Choose a dry day, as the herbs need to be as dry as possible when you pick them and be up early; harvest in the morning when the dew has dispersed, before the midday heat.

Leaves should be harvested just before the herb comes into flower. Snip off sprigs about 10cm/4 inches long, using sharp scissors so that you leave a clean cut and do not damage the tender stems of the plant. Flower heads should generally be harvested when the flowers have just opened and are in perfect shape; lavender flowers, however should be slightly immature.

Deal with small quantities at a time for the best results and collect only the plants that are healthy, well established and free from disease or pests. Handle the herbs carefully as they bruise easily and bruising will affect their flavor and aroma. Never leave cut herbs lying around waiting to be prepared, as they will rapidly deteriorate; deal with them as quickly as possible.

Roots and Seeds
Roots are usually lifted in autumn at the end of the growing season, when they are mature and richest in stored food. Lift the whole root with a fork, being careful not to puncture the skin. Shake off excess soil and carefully wash the roots. Cut off the top growth and fibrous rootleys then cut the root into section or slices.

Seed heads are ready for harvesting when the seeds are ripe and brown, just before the plant is ready to shed them. Check the seed heads by rubbing one between your palms; the seeds should shed easily. Put a muslin (cheesecloth) or paper bag over the seed head and secure with a twist-tie or twist of wire. Now the seed heads can be snipped off without losing any of the seeds.



Learn to Grow your Own Herbs Here!

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Kali S. Winters

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Herbal Shampoo Recipe


Use camomile for fair hair, rosemary or sage leaves or lavender flowers for dark hair and marigold petals for red hair. Eggs add protein to the shampoo and make it richer; for greasy hair, use egg whites only.

Ingredients:
7 cups Boiling water
1 cup Herbs or petals
5 Tbsp Grated Castile Soap
2 Eggs (optional)

Directions:
Pour the water over the herbs or petals, stir well, cover and leave to infuse for 2 hours. Strain into a saucepan, pressing all the moisture from the herbs. Stir in the soap and whisk in the eggs, if using, pour into bottles and label. Shake the bottle well before using and rinse thoroughly after use.

Conditioners & Rinses

The herbs suggested for shampoos for different hair colors can be used in conditions and rinses as well, or you can try peppermint or nettle leaves, elder or yarrow flowers or fennel seeds. As a scalp conditioner, mix equal quantities of almond oil and herb oil and warm them slightly. Rub the oil into the scalp, wrap a warm towel around your head and leave for 15 minutes before shampooing and rinsing. For a richer conditioner, mix a teaspoon of fragrant oil and an egg into 4 tablespoons of plain yogert and apply in the same way.

Add a few spoonfuls of herbal vinegar to the final rinsing water for healthy, shinning hair or make specific herbal hair rinses. For a lemon hair rinse for greasy hair, mix the grated rind of 2 lemons, 2 tablespoons of chopped lemon balm leaves and 2 ½ cups of water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 2 hours. Strain well then stir in the juice of 2 lemons, pour into bottles, seal and label.

Rosemary hair rinse is said to stimulate the scalp and help to prevent dandruff. Place 1 ½ cups of rosemary sprigs and 4 ¼ cups of water in a saucepan, bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes. Strain, stir in 5 tablespoons of white wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and store in an airtight jar.

Discover 50 Recipes & Techniques to Use to Make Your Own Natural Aromatherapy Shampoo & Conditioners.



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Plantain Herbs-A Medicinal Panacea


If you took a walk outside and looked down at the cracks in the driveway or sidewalks, you will find plantain herbs. Plantain can also be found naturally in lawns and gardens as well as out in the wild.

Some have dubbed plantain as a “common and noxious weed” while others proclaim it as a “miracle herb”. You would recognize the plantain by its broad leaves (sometimes referred to as “Broadleaf Plantain”) growing from its plants bottom. The leaves are ovate or egg-shaped and are found to be ribbed and jagged. The flowered stems grow up to a height of 4-10 inches with long, slender barbs of dense purple-greenish flowers. The flower contains up to 30 seeds and multiplies and disfigures lawns rapidly. It is a rough and tough perennial plant very much like the dandelion. Please take note that plantain – the starchy, banana-like fruit, is completely different and not related to the plantain “herb/weed” discussed here! See pictures of plantain here!

Plantain 2 Plantain 5 Plantain 4

Plantain Uses:

Plantain herbs have a long history of use dating way back to the 14th century. It has been coined a medicinal panacea, for plantain herbs have been known to be a “cure all” for typically every ailment. The American Indian gave plantain the name “Life Medicine” for its variety of uses. In the United States, the plant is nicknamed “Snake Grass Weed” due to its efficiency in cases of rattlesnake bites where the plantain roots juice is mixed with salt and applied locally to the wound. When any form of the leaf is applied to a bleeding surface, plantain is safe and effective for it quickly stops the blood flow and will repair tissue damage. Plantain has an astringent property that has been used for inflammation of the skin, malignant ulcers, boils, burns, insect bits, sunburns and has been used as a general pain reliever. Plantain is known to be an effective medication for an enlarged prostate, colic and is a remedy for respiratory disorders like colds, sore throats and tonsillitis. It has been known to treat bruises and broken bones.

Among the many other plantain uses, this herb is very popular as a body purifier and cleanses the body of all toxic elements. Plantain will open obstructions in the liver and spleen. It has been used as an alternative medicine for asthma, emphysema, bladder infections, bronchitis, fever, hay fever, hypertension, rheumatism and diabetes. It has been said to be effective with epilepsy, dropsy and jaundice. Additionally, plantain treats ear infections. When the juice is dropped into the ears (3-6 drops twice a day), it will ease the pain and will restore hearing loss. And get this smokers; plantain causes a natural aversion to nicotine in tobacco. It is now being used in “stop smoking products”.

Plantain roots, seeds and leaves can all be used internally and externally. They can be used as teas, washes, poultices, infused oil, lotion, cream, salves, decoctions, juice, tincture, ointment, gargle and syrup. Plantain has never been associated with any common side effects and is thought to be safe for infants and children as well. There is no information available regarding its use by pregnant or nursing mothers, although topical applications appear to be safe. The American Herbal Retailers Association has classified plantain as “able to be safely consumed when used appropriately”. However, there have been rare reported incidences by allergy sufferers having flare-ups when exposed to the plantain pollen. As with any medication, use in appropriate, moderated applications and always pay attention to your bodies needs.

Plantain Nutrition:

If the above were not enough, plantain is also an edible herb. Plantain is very high in beta-carotene, vitamin A and C (ascorbic acid), vitamin K, calcium, potassium and fiber. You will want to harvest the young, tender leaves in the spring and toss them into your salads, or steam and use plantain as a spinach alternative. The leaves have a tendency to get tough quickly, so be sure to harvest only the youngest leaves. The flowers bloom all summer long and the stalks can be eaten raw or cooked. When you harvest the seeds, you will find a nutty flavor. They can be heated and dried then added to a variety of foods or ground into flour. (The seeds tend to have a mild laxative effect, almost like psyllium, which is used in commercialized “Metamucil” so you will probably want to use it sparingly.) The fresh leaves, seeds and roots can all be brewed to make herbal tea. You can dry every part of the plantain herb for later medicinal or culinary purposes. Note: Never harvest any plants along roadways due to exhaust residue or sprayed pesticides. Remember to always harvest or purchase your herbs from a reliable source.

Recipe-Plantain:

Plantain Infusion– for internal and external use: The process of seeping the leaves, roots and/or flowers in already boiled water for a long period of time. To make Tea: This recipe all has to do with your own personal tastes. Some people like tea strong…others like it weak, according to their own personal palate. (Of course there is always honey, lemon or another sweetener available) To start experimenting with brewing your own plantain infusion, start out with 1 tablespoon of freshly; mashed/ground leaves (you can mash the herbs in a food processor) (1/2 tsp. dried) per 1-cup boiled water. You can also use a mixture of flowers and roots along with this. Remember to place it all in a tea ball or cheesecloth so you will not have the residue floating in your cup. If you have found your seeped tea to be too weak, drink it like water anyway to soothe the throat, lungs, bowels and any other internal organs along the passage way. If you are a smoker, add a bit of honey or other sweetener and drink it to stifle the nicotine cravings throughout the day. Regardless, drink this tea accordenly. Remember, this herb is a medicinal panacea!

If you have found your brewed tea to be too strong…do not throw it out. Use it as a wash by applying the tea to a cotton ball or absorbent cloth then squeeze a few drops into the ears for wax buildup and for better hearing. Better yet, place the tea absorbed cotton ball on the eyes to soothe them after a long, stressful day. This method will cure pink eye or any other eye ailment within days. If you have an open wound, rash, insect bite, sunburn or any other scar tissue present, apply the cotton ball to the effected area externally and continuously until there are no other traces of the ailment found. There have been reports of plantain fading stretch marks and scars.

Infused oil: To start experimenting: fill a pint sized container with freshly crushed plantain leaves (if you are using dried leaves-only fill the jar half full) then pour any type of vegetable oil over the top to fill the jar-leaving enough room to shake the contents. Let the jar sit in the sun and heat for at least 2 weeks. After the allotted time you will find the concoction to be a beautiful dark green color. (It gets better and more potent with age, but to an extent) Strain the mixture and then apply the oil to soften facial tissue. Use it nightly to ease wrinkles, age spots etc. You can use plantain oil on babies/young children’s skin instead of commercialized lotions or creams, (Plantain is 10% of the ingredients found in commercialized Vaseline Jelly or Vaseline Intensive care products.) to cure diaper rash, cradle cap, and diaper yeast infections.

Poultice: A pasty substance. Applied externally. After you have infused the plantain herbs and have strained the residue, you can then use the strained residue as a poultice, a paste like substance, to be applied as a more localized version of the infused form. Infusions get to the blood stream internally. A poultice is external and takes time to be absorbed through the skin tissue locally. Both have their benefits according to the treatment necessary. Apply a poultice to insect sting bites, sun and windburns or broken bones.

This is probably the best time to mention the purist form of plantain herbs: the act of chewing. In an emergency, when a person has been stung by a bee, wasp or rattlesnake, or perhaps is allergic to any of the above, you will need to insert the leaves (in more extreme cases, the flower and root as well) into your mouth and chew the substance, letting your saliva intervene with the mixture, then keep chewing to obtain a juice. You will then want to literally spit the substance upon the wound or infected area immediately. Keep applying the measure until the affected area is covered completely. Let rest, then apply additional plantain as needed when the “spit mixture” has been absorbed of moisture.

This is the most potent measure of Plantain available. Most people object to this measure because of its raw acrid taste…but it is the most potent and effective measure to administer to any infected ailment, especially in an emergency. If you have an infected, broken tooth or suffer from gingivitis, chewing a mixture of plantain parts in your mouth will cure the ailment.

Decoction: internal or external use. The process of boiling the plant material in water for 8-10 minutes. Then strain. For thrush, take 1 oz of the seeds and boil them in 1 ½ pint of water. Let the mixture boil down to 1 pint then let sit for about 20 minutes. Strain and cool. The syrup can then be mixed with sugar or honey and given to a child in tablespoon doses, 3-4 times per day. The syrup will also provide relief from coughs, congestion or sore and inflamed throats. Used as a juice, take 3 cups of fresh plantain leaves to one cup pure liquid honey. Crush the leaves in a food processor, drain then squeeze the juice using cheesecloth. Combine 1 cup of the juice with honey and simmer on the stove for about 10 minutes on low heat, stirring regularly. Let it cool then transfer to any container. Drink 1 spoonful of this nectar 3 times daily to fight fatigue, anemia or flu like symptoms.

By now you can see that plantain herbs are very useful for numerous applications. The plant’s leaves can be taken as a juice, tincture and syrup. An infusion prepared with the plantain’s seeds is also very useful in treating various disorders. Externally, the herb’s leaves may be applied as a poultice, ointment or cream, wash and gargle. And the list continues.



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Cattail Plants-The Supermarket of the Swamp


You may have noticed the cattail plant along the roadways near marshes and swamps. But, did you know that cattails are probably one of the most important wild plant foods around and definitely worth knowing about?

The uses of cattail are versatile, for every part has its purpose during different parts of the year. You can easily recognize a cattail plant. None of the look-alikes grows much more than a few feet tall, so by mid-spring, the much larger cattail becomes unmistakable. It’s easy to harvest, very tasty and provides a rich source of nutrients. A stand of cattails is as close as you will get to finding a wild supermarket for it has been dubbed: “the supermarket of the swamp” due to its variety of uses.

Cattail Shoots-The Edible Cattail!

In spring, as the cattail flower spike is developing, it can be tore off and eaten like corn on the cob. The cattail shoot has an odorless, tender, white, inner core that tastes sweet and mild. They taste like a cross between a tender zucchini and a cucumber, making it perfect to add to salads or sandwiches. If you add the cattail shoots to soup towards the end of cooking they will retain their crunchiness. They add a tasty flavor to stir-fries as well. The cattail shoot provides an excellent source of beta-carotene, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin C. It’s one of the best naturally wild vegetarian resources of protein, unsaturated fat, and it contain no calories. It also provides nutrient rich enzymes and minerals.

You can collect the cattail shoots after a period of dry weather. The ground may be a bit muddy so you will want to wait until the ground is more solid for better footing. Be sure to bring along a plastic baggie to collect the moist and sticky jelly. The jelly can be used on boils and burns later on. To increase your harvest, find a larger stand of cattails. The best yield is just before the flowers begin to develop. You will want to use both hands to separate the outer leaves from the core. After pulling the core out, peel and discard the outermost layer of leaves until you reach the edible part, which will be soft enough to pinch with your fingernail.

Cattail Leaves

In late spring when the bases of the cattail leaves are young and tender, they can be eaten raw or cooked. The raw form can be added to salads or sandwiches. The cooked form is similar to spinach but better tasting. The dried leaves can also be twisted into dolls and toy animals for children, very much like the cornhusk dolls found in the market today. Cattail leaves have been found on thatched roofs, woven into decorative baskets and rugs, and have even been used for supports for the backs of chairs.

Cattail Rhizomes

The underground lateral stems called rhizomes, can be harvested from late autumn to early spring. They are starchy, like potatoes, and are unchewable so the starch must be scraped off or sucked from the tough fibers. An alternative method of harvesting is to tear apart the rhizomes, wash and dry them, then pound the fibers to release the starch within. Then sift. The starch is very sweet and tasty, a great energy rich food source, and can be eaten raw or added as a thickening agent when cooking. The buds attached to the rhizomes, are also edible and make a tasty cooked vegetable. Get a taste of the wild food by hunting for cattail in your area.

Pollen Nutrition

Cattails are plants that have flowers with both male and female parts. The male flowers form a narrow spike at the tip of a vertical stock. The male usually withers once the pollen has been shed. The pollen can be collected and used as a flour supplement or thickener for gravy and soups. You can also eat the pollen raw, sprinkle it in yogurt; mix it up in fruit shakes, oatmeal, or salads. People have paid an outrageous amount of money to obtain the pollen from health food stores. The commercial form of the pollen is sold in capsules but does not contain the flavor, energy content, freshness, nutrition, and price value like that found in the wild. The pollen is a great protein and energy source.

During its short season, the pollen can be collected on calm summer days so that your bounty is not scattered in the wind. Take the flower heads and bend it down so you can place a large paper bag over the top. Then gently shake it. After letting the pollen settle and sifting out the debris, you can then use the pollen to add to whole grain flour for baking breads, muffins or pancakes.

Cattail Candle

After the pollen has been removed, the cattail is no longer edible. You can then dip the brown flower heads in wax and use the stem as a slowly burning candle. The smoke will drive away the insects.

Cattail Seeds

The large numbers of tiny female cattail flowers form dense cigar-like spikes on the stem just below the male spikes. When ripe, the heads disintegrate into a cottony fluff, leaving the seeds to blow in the wind. The female part must remain connected to the rest of the plant until the seeds have matured and dispersed. But beware, the plant’s airborne seeds have been known to irritate the skin and can trigger asthma.

Cattail Down

Cattails were a major staple for the American Indian. There was no need to cultivate the cattail, for the Indians found it in such great supply. They used the “down” to line moccasins, for bedding, diapers and baby powder. One Native American word for cattails meant “fruit for papoose’s bed.” The Indians also used cattails medicinally. They boiled the rootstock and used it as a diuretic for increase urination or used the jelly-like paste found between the young leaves for sores, boils, wounds, burns, scabs and inflammations. It was a major ingredient for smallpox pustules.

People today use the cattail down to stuff pillows and clothing items. Word of caution: when using the down of cattails-always use batting material to completely cover the down. The fluffy down may cause skin irritation.

Discovering cattails are always a sure sign of water. Their microorganisms have been known to improve water and soil quality. Scientist are now experimenting with the cattail to remove the poisonous elements of arsenic from drinking water. This form of filtration system may be one of the only ways to provide cheap water filtration for developing nations. How incredible is that!



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Alert: Harvesting PreCautions


Alert: Rules for Harvesting– Precautionary measures

1. Be entirely certian you know the plant your are harvesting. If necessay use several different field guides, consult a knowlegeable person and if you are still uncertain, watch it through the seasons to confirm your ID

2. Be entirely certain the area you are havesting from has not been sprayed with pesticides or has been subjected to other harmful chemicals that are not conducive to human health. Areas to be careful of are: lawns that have been treated, roadsides, golf courses, and along power lines.

3. Tread lightly and never pick too many plants for an area. The general rule is to only pick 1/3 of the plants in an area. Less for endangered plants. Maybe more for prolific plants like the dandelion or yellow dock.

4. Remember that these are recipes, not a field guide. The user takes full responsibility for correctly identifying, harvesing, and using these plants.



Wild Food Recipes:
Bee Pollen
Sea Kelp
Burdock Root
Yellow Dock



Natures Herbal Recipes


Herbal Vinegar Recipes

Herbal vinegars are packed with minerals and essential nutrients

To make an herbal vinegar I fill a quart jar with lightly packed herbs, then fill it with organic apple cider vinegar and cap with a plastic lid or a plastic lined metal lid. I label it, let it sit for six weeks –shaking it daily

After six weeks, I strain off the material and use this vinegar in our homemade dressing.

Favorite plants to make vinegar from:
Nettle leaves
Hawthorn Berries
Chickweek Leaves
Dandelion Leaves and Roots
Yellow Dock Root
Lamb’s Quarters
Burdock Roots
Cleavers

Herbal Salad Dressing
3 T olive oil
one T apple cider vinegar
one tsp. mustard
one tsp. miso
one clove of garlic-crushed
1 tsp. of herbs such as thyme, oregano, parsley, etc.

Mix all the ingredients together stirring until blended.



Successful Gardening!
Kali S Winters

Who else Wants to Learn More about Home Herb Gardening?
12 Bonus e-Books here for immediate download!

More Great Wild Food Recipes:
Dandelions
Chickweed
Burdock
Seaweed (Kelp)
Rose Hips

More Herb Recipes

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More Wild Food Recipes ~

          



Dandelion Herbs

I could not pass up telling you about the amazing secret life of the natural dandelion.

A Weed!

Before you start killing dandelions on your dandelion lawn, did you know that the dandelion benefits include a highly prized herb?

This lowly plant, disdained by nearly all homeowners and landscapers alike, is probably one of the most versatile healing herbs you could ever possibly find. It has been described as “a plant for which we once knew the use for but we have forgotten”.

Dandelion Herb

Dandelion Health Benefits:
Dandelions are a rich source of vitamin A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as potassium, zinc, and fair amounts of iron and manganese, which contain a higher mineral content than similar leafy greens such as spinach. One cup of dandelion leaves amounts to 112% of the daily-recommended dose of vitamin A, 32% of vitamin C, 535% of vitamin K and 218 mg potassium, 103 mg calcium, and 1.7 mg of iron. Wow!

When ingested, dandelions are also an excellent source of vitamin H, which aids in weight loss reduction. The leaves and roots of the dandelion, or the whole plant, are used fresh or dried in dandelion teas, capsules, or extracts.

Dandelion supplements are available in a variety of Natural Health Food stores. But why go for dandelion supplements when you can pluck them right from your own very yard!



Dandelion Medicinal Uses:
Dandelion mead (the flowers, roots and leaves), have been used for centuries in traditional medicine & medicinal teas. In traditional medicine, dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver detoxification.

The Native Americans were known to have used a dandelion decoction (liquid made by boiling down the herb in water ~Dandelion Tea) to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and stomach upset. They also used the natural dandelion as a diuretic and for inflammation reduction.

Chinese medical practitioners have used the dandelion tool to treat digestive disorders, appendicitis, and breast problems (such as inflammation or lack of milk flow). In Europe, herbalists incorporated it into dandelion remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

Today, dandelion roots are mainly used as an appetite stimulant, digestive aid, and for liver and gallbladder function.

The fresh root or its preparations are thought to be more potent than the dried root itself. Additionally, dandelion leaves are believed to have a diuretic effect as they increase salt and water to stimulate the excretion of urine from the kidneys. There is also evidence that this property of dandelion leaves may normalize blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Dandelion Nutrition:
Wait, that’s not all, because the natural dandelion flower is also edible. You can use the flower and leaves in salads and there are dandelion tea benefits as well.

The roasted, ground roots can be used as a caffeine-free dandelion coffee. The flower, additionally, makes a terrific jelly. And who hasn’t heard of Dandelion wine? The flower petals, along with other natural ingredients, have been used for century’s to make dandelion wine. What great stuff! And of course, so natural! Dandelion Recipes Here!

Dandelion Side Effects:
The uses of dandelion are generally considered safe. However, there have been rare incidences of upset stomach and diarrhea, and some people are allergic to the plant. People with an inflamed or infected gallbladder, or blocked bile ducts, should avoid using the natural dandelion in any form what so ever. Please experiment with a small dosage at first before ingesting and consult a herbal practitioner if any symptoms should arise.

Dandelion Art:

If this has interested you so far, forget about dandelion supplements. The next time your child plucks a batch of dandelions to present to you as their prize, why not teach them the dandelion herbs benefit, by sharing a refreshing cup of dandelion tea instead of letting the dandelions wilt in a vase upon the dining room table. “OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES” to quote an old expression.

View Dandelion Videos ~ Dandelion Tea, Using Dandelion Roots, Dandelion Coffee, Dandelion Wine, Dandelion Medicinal Purposes, Benefits of Dandelion Greens



Successful Gardening!

Kali S Winters is an author and herbalist who teaches others how to set up and maintain beautiful amazing gardens. Kali has written numerous books on herb gardening and holistic healing. Check out all 18 bonus books Here!

Here are some great Natural Dandelion Recipes including Dandelion Wine and Dandelion Coffee.

Dandelion Wine Making Supplies

        

        



Poultice Recipe

To create a healing poultice after harvesting and drying herbs from your garden, place any of the following over a pot of rapidly boiling water: a steamer, heatproof colander, a strainer or even a sieve. Then add up to 2 ounces — or ¼ cup of your herb into the container, not the water itself. Reduce the heat under the water so it just simmers. Cover the pot.

Allow the steam to penetrate through the herbs until they have wilted. This should occur within five (5) minutes. Next, spread the softened, warm herbs on cheesecloth, folding one layer of the cloth over the herb itself. Apply this directly to the affected area of the body. To help retain the heat longer, cover the poultice with a towel or even a woolen cloth.

The poultice can remain in place for at least twenty minutes. In fact, you can even leave it on overnight. But it absolutely must be covered.


If you prefer to make your pulped poultice from your fresh herb garden, place the herbs between two layers of cheesecloth thats twice the size of the affected area. Take a rolling pin – or other equally heavy round object — and finely crush the herbs. You’ll know that the herbs are sufficiently crushed when the cloth feels damp from the moisture of the herbs themselves.

If you have a food processor, you may want to place the herbs in that. If you go this route, then mix a small amount of hot water with them. Otherwise you will need to crush the herbs manually as indicated above.

After the herbs have been processed or crushed, place them on cheesecloth to retain the ” juices ” and to help hold the herbs in place. A poultice like this may also remain on the affected area overnight, if necessary.

The key to a poultices effectiveness is that you can only use this particular batch of herbs only once. Don’t try to store a used poultice and use it again. Toss it out and start all over again the following day or even several hours later.




Successful Gardening!
Kali S Winters

Learn which herbs to use in your poultice and what ailments a poultice alleviates by obtaining my e-book, “Holistic Herbs~A Guide to Herbal Gardening.”

Discover more about Home Herbal Remedies as well as Recipes for Making Herbal Teas!

Articles of Interest:
List of Medicinal Plants
List of Fresh Herbs & Their Uses
List of Dried Herbs & Their Uses
Medical Home Remedies ~ Kali’s Top 5 Healing Herbs

            



Fresh & Easy Herb Gardens


Home herb gardens have become quite popular these days, and for good reason. People are becoming more and more aware of the health benifit herbs provide as well as their practial value, purpose served, and the continued use of the herb itself. When most people think of growing garden herbs, the first thought that comes to mind is an herbs culinary purpose, but herbs are so much greater than that single purpose. Herbs are known for their pleasant aroma and beauty and their Medicinal uses as well.

One of the most popular and common herbs grown in a home herb garden is basil. “Dark Opal”, as it’s formally known, and regular green basil are beautiful additions to your backyard herb garden and often times is used as a decoration alone. Dark Opal is recognized by it’s light pink flowers and dark red leaves. Basil isn’t just an ornimental herb however, it is a great kitchen herb used to enhance tomato sauses and pastes. Additionally, Basil is an excellent mosiquito repellant when placed in containers around the backyard patio or deck.

Chives are another very popular herb. It is a very resiliant, petite looking herb that resembles a blade of grass. They are much stronger than they appear,and will grow well through any drought. Their toughness and sturdiness makes Chives a perfect addition for a home herb garden, especially if you don’t want a lot of fuss when gardening. Chives are great when used in salads, egg dishes, and many different sauces and appitizers.

Mint is also an herb that is easy to grow and is ideal for mint jelly, mint juleps, lemonade, and any other kind of fruity drink. Mint is a great addition to a home herb garden due to its unique minty smell. Two herbs that can not be excluded from anyone’s fresh herb garden are thyme and sage. Both of these herb gardening favorites are used for flavoring soups,chicken, turkey, pork, and other sausages. Sage is also grown sometimes for its beautiful blue spiked flowers.

Lavender is probably the best smelling herb of all. It’s wonderful, long lasting fragrance is often used in candles, as a perfume scent, and to improve the aroma in linen and cloths closets. The light purple flowers smell absolutely magnetic! It is also an awesome ortimental flower as well.

Other types of herbs often grown in fresh herb garden include borage (used in salads), chervil (used in egg dishes), sweet marjoram (flavors lamb, fish, salad, and soup), sesame (flavors crackers, cookies, and bread), and dill (flavors meats and used for pickling). Herb gardening allows gardeners to use herbs from their own backyard garden for Culinary, Medicinal and Ortimental delights! Herb gardening will produce much fresher herbs with more flavor than store-bought herbs, and are by far, a lot less inexpensive.



This is but a small excerpt from my latest e-Book: Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening! There you will find 12 free bonus books for your reading enjoyment.

Want over 85 Great Herbal Tea Receipes?
Free Bonus Book Here!

Successful Gardening!
Kali S Winters

Other Articles of Interest:

Herbal Diet Supplements-
Different Types of Herbal Medicine-
Culinary Herb Gardens-



Complete Herb Garden


Herbs are very useful in strengthening the body and in treating disease. However they contain active substances that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. So, they should be taken on the advice of an herbal practitioner.

Super Kelp

Super kelp (also known as “Sea kelp ” and “Sea wrack ” ) is a sea herb that is one of the best sources of natural iodine and trace elements. It is also used as the principle agent in cures for obesity. In addition, it cleans out the kidneys and stimulates the thyroid and pituitary gland to produce growth hormones.

Garlic

Garlic is a natural anti-biotic and is used to disinfect wounds, treat ear infections, cholera and typhus. This herb is anti-fungal and anti-oxidant agent and can help lower cholesterol. It may also be beneficial for risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and cancer. The excess of garlic can cause upset stomach/flatulence, occupational asthma, postoperative bleeding, bloating, bad breath, body odor, and skin irritation. People with bleeding disorders should not use garlic.

Parsley

Parsley (Petroselinum) is one of the best known, diuretic and most nutritious herbs which contain large quantities of vitamins A, B, C and minerals calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium. It’s very useful for kidney and urinary problems and water retention. Its usefulness can be judged by the saying: “if parsley is thrown into fishponds it will heal the sick fishes therein ” .

Green Tea Extract

Green tea extracts are one of the nature’s most powerful anti-oxidants. It helps prevent both heart disease and cancer by helping prevent vascular blood clotting and reducing cholesterol. It possesses antimicrobial properties that support immune-system health and protects against digestive and respiratory infections. The excess of green tea extracts may cause irritability, insomnia, heart palpitation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and loss of appetite.

Horse Chestnut

Horse chestnut supports the vessels of our circulatory system and helps strengthen capillary cells and reduce fluid breakage. It is believed to be an excellent antioxidant to prevent wrinkles. It also helps in the treatments of phlebitis, varicosity and hemorrhoids.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle has some active substances that helps maintain healthy liver function by protecting the liver from damage caused by viruses, toxins and alcohol. It is a herbal remedy for anthrax, asthma, bladder stones, cancer, catarrh, chest ailments, dropsy, fever, bleeding from the lungs or bronchia, hepatitis, rabies, jaundice, vaginal discharge, malaria, melancholy, piles, plague, pleurisy, spasms, and spleen and uterus problems. Taking excess of milk thistle may cause stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, rash or other skin reactions, joint pain, impotence, and anaphylaxis. It should not be taken in pregnancy and while nursing.

Oregano Oil

This herb has healing, antioxidant and anti-microbial properties. It is used to treat a mildly upset stomach, bronchitis, nervous tension, insect bites, rheumatism, earache, toothaches and even athletes foot. It is also useful in relieve bloating, gas, urinary tract problems, rheumatoid arthritis, swollen glands, and lack of perspiration. In addition, it is as powerful as ‘morphine’ as a pain killer.



Kali Winters is gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Check out her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening”. There you will find 12 free bonus e-books for your reading enjoyment.

Learn more about Herbal Teas?
Free Bonus Book Here!

Successful Gardening!

Other Articles of Interest:

Fresh & Easy Herb Gardens-
Starting an Herb Garden-
Stewing Herbs-
Different Types of Herbal Medicine-



Starting An Herb Garden


If you’re not the type of person who wants to spend their time managing an elaborate fruit or vegetable garden, you might consider planting and maintaining an outside herb garden. While the product itself might not seem as significant now, you’ll still enjoy the constant availability of fresh, delicious herbs to flavor your meals with. First you’ll want to choose the actual herbs for growing. You might have a difficult time doing this because of the huge scope of holistic herbs available. But the best way to choose is to do what I did; just take a look at the kitchen herbs you are already using. By planting your own fresh herb garden, you will save money compared to buying them in the grocery store; all the while having the added herbs benefits of freshness. Some of the herbs you might want to start with include rosemary, garlic, sage, basil, dill, mint, chives, and parsley among others.

When choosing a location to place your home herb garden, you should remember that the soil should have a sufficient amount of drainage. If the dirt constantly gets watered and stays completely saturated, you will never have a chance of ever growing a healthy plant. One of the best ways to fix the drainage problem is to dig a foot deep in the soil, and put a layer of crushed rocks down before replacing all the soil. This will allow all that water to escape, thus saving your plants.

When you are ready to begin planting herbs, you might be tempted to buy the more expensive plants from the store. However, with herbs it is much easier to grow them from an herbs seed rather than it is with other plants. Besides, you will save a bundle of money by sticking with seed packets. Some herbs grow at a dangerously fast rate. For example, if you plant mint in an open space then it will take over your entire garden in a matter of days. The best way to prevent this problem is to plant the more aggressive herbs in pots (with holes in the bottom to allow drainage, of course).

When it comes time to harvest the herbs you have labored so hard over, it can be fatal to your plant to harvest too much at one time. If your plant isn’t well established, it won’t be healthy enough to take any leaves at all, even if it looks like its not using them. You should wait until your plant has become well established for at least several months before taking off any leaves. This wait will definitely be worth it, because by growing unattended your plant will produce healthier herbs for years to come.

Once you’ve harvested your delicious home grown herbs, you’ll want to use them in cooking. Why else would you have grown them? Well the process first begins with drying them out. This is easily achieved by placing them on a screen for a good airing. Turn them often so they dry evenly. After they’re sufficiently dried to be used in cooking, you can consult the nearest cookbook for instructions on using them to effectively flavor any meal.

If you want to store your herbs for later usage, you should keep them in a glass container. Preferably brown so as not to let the light in. Paper or cardboard will not work, because it will absorb the taste of the herbs. During the first few days of storage, you should regularly check the container to see if any moisture has accumulated. If it has, you must remove all the herbs and re-dry them. Put layers of salt between the rows of herbs for faster absorption. If moisture is left from the first drying process, it will encourage mildew after you have stored your herbs. Nobody likes mildew.

So if you enjoy herbs or gardening, or both, then you should definitely consider setting up your own herb garden. It might require a little bit of work at first with setting it up for proper drainage and by picking which herbs you intend to grow. But after the initial preparation, it’s just a matter of watching them grow, then harvesting and drying all your favorite herbs for later use.



Check out my latest e-Book: Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening!

Want to Learn How to Start a Vegetable Garden? How about Tomato Growing?
2 Free Bonus Books Here!

Successful Gardening!
Kali S Winters

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Vegetable Garden Layout-
Fresh & Easy Herb Gardens-
Complete Herb Garden-



Culinary Herb Gardens


Anyone who has ever done any type of baking or cooking knows that the food just tastes better with seasoning. This can be as simple as adding salt and pepper, or as complicated as using a blend of spices for the perfect taste. What is surprising to some people is pepper is actually an herb.

Pepper is a berry from the Piper Nigrum plant. Black and white pepper are made from the same plant. The un-ripened berries are used for the black pepper while the red, ripe ones are used for the white pepper.

Along with the natural organic herb, pepper, many other herbs are used to create culinary masterpieces. Nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon are common varieties of herbs grown in many kitchen herb gardens. Sage, oregano and basil are three more popular culinary herbs.

As more and more plants were discovered for their pungent flavor, people started making extraordinary dishes. What would a roast beef sandwich be without horseradish? Try making a good breakfast sausage when there isn’t sage garden herbs around. Herb bread would just be plain old bread if it were not for the flavorful little buggers.

One of the most beneficial attributes to growing kitchen herbs is that herbs have no calories, have no fatty acids, no cholesterol, and generally no bad ingredients at all. They just have a unique taste that wakes the taste buds in all of us.

When using herbs for cooking, it is important to remember that a little goes a long way. Too much can actually distract you from the natural flavor of the food. The entire concept of using herbs is to highlight the natural flavors. Too much can overpower the food and result in a tossed meal.

Did you know that there is even an herb that adds the sweetness of sugar without all the calories? This is an herb known as STEVIA. Although this herb cannot be sold as a sweetener for foods, it can be used in place of sugar. One leaf has enough sweetener in it to sweeten a glass of lemonade. Imagine a hot summer day when the only thing that can cool you off is a frosty glass of ice cold tea! You can brew the tea from your backyard herb garden, pour it over the ice, add a leaf off the stevia plant and one off the lemon balm plant, and you have a wonderful sweetened glass of ice cold lemon tea! You can even use this herb in sauces, salad dressings or even your salsa instead of sugar to cut down on the calories.

Many of the meat marinades on the market get their flavoring from natural organic herbs. You can use dill with lemon balm on fish. Saffron in your rice is always a delight. Putting rosemary on a pork roast or lamb results in a mouth-watering treat. With so many different herbs on this planet, there is something for every dish you could possibly create.

Having herbs in the kitchen is a wonderful experience for the novice cook to the master chef. With the right blend of herbs, you too can make meat rubs, soup and stew bases, or how about trying a new flavor for your morning coffee or tea.



Successful Gardening!

This is but a small excerpt from my new ebook: Holistic Herbs ~ A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening. If you would like to learn more about Holistic Herbs, Landscape and Garden design, Click Here to pick up your copy today! I’ve also included 12 free bonus books as well. Learn how to Harvest and Dry Herbs Here!

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Indoor Hydroponic Gardening-
Stewing Herbs-
Herbal Recipe for Kabobs on the Grill-



Rose Gardening Tips

Roses have received a bad wrap over the years for being difficult to grow and maintain. If you are thinking of gardening roses don’t let this rumor stop you. While rose bush gardening can prove to be challenging, once you get the hang of it, it really isn’t that bad.

When you first start gardening roses, you will have to choose what type of rose you wish to plant, and no, I’m not talking about the color. You will have to choose between bare-root, pre-packaged, or container-grown roses. Bare-root roses are sold in the winter and early spring. They should be planted as soon as the frosts are over and the ground is warm and workable. Pre-packaged roses are bare-root plants that are sold in a bag or box with something around the roots to retain moisture, such as sawdust. Container-grown roses are grown; you guessed it, in containers. They will be either budding or already in bloom when they become available in the early spring.



Gardening roses is not that much different than any other type of plant. The most important thing, as always, is good, healthy soil and a prime planting area. It doesn’t matter whether your roses are bare-root or you’re planting container roses, the planting methods are the same as any other shrub. Make sure the spot you choose has good drainage, gets plenty of sunlight, and will not overcrowd your other roses.

Before planting, any dead leaves, thinned or decayed shoots need to be cut off. Any damaged or very long roots also need to be trimmed. Soak bare-root roses in water for about 10-12 hours to restore moisture before planting. Always water the soil before planting as well. Make sure the hole you have dug is large enough for the root growth of the rose. Also it is a good idea to use compost or mulch. After all, roses like extra nutrients just like any other plant.

Roses need the same things as other plants; they are just a bit more high maintenance. One of the most important things to remember in rose gardening is that roses are heavy feeders and will need several fertilizer applications. Fertilizing should be started in early spring and discontinued in early fall. Make sure not to over-fertilize (fertilize should come with instructions) and water after each feeding. Roses require large amounts of water; a thorough watering twice a week should be enough.

Pruning rose bushes is an essential part to flower gardening. It increases blooms and encourages healthy plant growth. Different varieties of roses have different instructions for pruning, so you might want to read up on your rose types and see what is suggested.

The main thing to remember in gardening roses is to water, water, and water some more. One other thing about gardening roses is the amount of fertilizer and nutrients you will need to use, and the pruning that needs to be done to keep your roses under control and healthy. Even though rose gardening takes a little more time and roses are more work, they are one of the most unique and beautiful plants, and definitely worth the extra work.

Kali Winters is gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening” is available Here!




Learn more about the Rose Hip Recipes

Successful Gardening!
Kali S Winters

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When & How to Prune Rose Bushes-
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Large Selection of Rose Gardening Ideas & Accessories Here~



Gardening Gift Basket


There is nothing nicer than receiving a gift relating to one’s passion. If your loved one’s passion is gardening, then show your thoughtfulness by giving a gardening gift basket that will be truly appreciated.

There are so many great garden gift ideas that the only constraint is your own budget.

If your budget is small, go for a pair of cute gardening gloves, kneepads or even a shady hat. Unique plant containers (or a watering-can) filled with a small bag of potting mix, a packet of bulbs, some gloves and a small trowel or other tool will create a great gardening gift basket. Or pick up a reasonably priced gardening hand tool at any of the numerous hardware stores.

If you feel that is too ordinary, how about a subscription to home garden magazines? A tiny bit more expensive perhaps, but it will give twelve full months of delight. Garden design books are another great idea, but make sure your recipient does not already have the one you choose. Books are often heavily discounted at Christmas time, so you may get a bargain.

On the other hand, gardening pots that contain a flowering plant is always a welcomed gift. Be sure to choose a plant that is suited to your climate. Sometimes plants are sent from tropical to temperate zones and kept in artificial conditions in the store. These tropical house plants will not do well once they are taken from their natural environment. Shrub roses are hardy and attractive and grow in many climates. Tulips do best in cooler climates.

If your budget is strong, a more expensive tool may be appropriate. A pull-trolley is easier to use than a wheelbarrow and, like some electric garden tools, is still not terribly expensive. A small power garden tool such as whipper-snippers can retail for as little as $20.00. Or if your friend has a hose but not a hose reel, then that would be a more useful gift that they would truly appreciate.

Automatic lawn mowers, electric cultivators, hedge trimmers and brush cutters are in the more expensive price range and you are the only one who can decide whether that would be an appropriate gift. However, when the recipient realizes you have given a gift that complements their passion, expensive or not, it will certainly become the best gift your friend has ever received.

Kali Winter is a gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs-A Beginners Guide on Herbal Gardening” is available Here!

Want to Learn How to Make Herbal Teas?   There’s over 87 Recipes!
Free Bonus Book Here!

Successful Gardening!




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Gardeners Gloves-
Make Your Own Herbal Cosmetics
Herbal Soap ~ Making Your Own

Garden Gift Baskets
Herb Gift Baskets

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Garlic Uses & Dieters Green Tea

Many in today’s society use alternative and holistic medicine to promote a healthier lifestyle. Despite the availability of modern medical treatment methods, many are still opting for natural herbal healing to avoid side-effects and to get as much savings as possible from the treatment itself.

In most cases, alternative natural medicine vary according to their formulation and functions. Most of the ones you see in the market today are carefully formulated as herbal weight loss remedies. Some come in the form of a natural diet supplement, to give the body enough energy to last the day, as well as to build up the immune system to ward of any signs of ailments.

Herbal Advantages

Alternative medicine remedies have been proven to be safe by many doctors and medical experts today. It is formulated with 100% natural ingredients that have no side-effects in the body unless taken in large doses outside the boundaries of the prescription. Since the ingredients are mostly from animal and plants extract, they are cheaper compared to the synthetic medicines developed by pharmaceutical companies today.

One of the advantages of using alternative medicine remedies is that it promotes natural holistic healing. The fabricating products manufactured today only affect a specific part of our body or they only address one specific type of health concern. Alternative natural medicine is formulated to boost every single function in the human anatomy.

If you see that one herbal diet supplement is for weight loss, then you can be sure it will have some extra ingredients that has other functions related to weight loss — like a hunger suppressant, added vitamins, and so on. To add to your knowledge about medical home remedies, here are some examples of the most common herbal supplements.

Garlic Uses–The Most Popular

The benefit of garlic is that it is one of the most widely used potent herb for medical home remedies today. It has the most number of uses compared to other plants. Aside from being a useful kitchen spice for a great recipe, garlic can also be used to keep your heart and liver healthy. Garlic remedies are great for the common cold and offers a tasty brew when used as drinks for health purposes.

Some of the Garlic health benefits is its ability to treat heart problems. Many people use garlic as herbal vitamin supplements to treat high-blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and reduces the risk of heart attacks. Garlic is also used as an anti-bacterial agent in herbal acne remedies as well. Over all, Garlic is an exceptional herbal nutritional supplement.

Green Tea Benefit

The Green Tea plant leaves you see in the market today can actually be used as potent herbal weight loss remedies, when used correctly. Drinking green herbal tea at least twice a day can help oxidize your fat to make it easier for your body to burn. Green tea is a great natural diet supplement for people who are suffering from overweight or obesity with high cholesterol levels.

Many say that Green Tea also has a calming effect that is perfect for those who are always under the mercy of stress. Its herbs extract has the ability to get rid of nasty toxins in our body that usually causes signs of aging to appear on our face or in other parts of the body. You can either drink green tea or purchase green tea tablets.

Alternative natural medicine is used to promote a healthier body. However, keep in mind that you have to be specific with what you want from your natural herbal healing before using them to avoid complications. Just make sure that your herbal nutritional supplement is from a credible medical or pharmaceutical company, as well as following the exact prescription or dosage to ensure that you won’t be having any problems with it during and after use.

This is but a small exerpt from my latest eBook: “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide in Herbal Gardening”! If you’d like to learn more about the wonder of herbs, sign up for my free mini course to the right of the screen. Better yet, grab your copy of my ebook: Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening

Want over 85 Great Herbal Tea Reciepes?
Free Bonus Book Here!

Successful Gardening!
Kali S Winters




Other Articles of Interest:

Complete Herb Garden-
Starting an Herb Garden-
Herbal Diet Supplements-



Stewing Herbs

Strewing Herbs

The History Behind The Name

Although you may think these herbs were called as such for culinary purposes…you will be surprised by the actual reference to the name.

In the middle ages, it was customary for the wealthy English noble to religiously bathe every three weeks. However, a peasant could not afford this luxury. The excessive nature of hauling and heating water for a nice warm bath proved to be too burdensome. Pneumonia became a concern during this time, for it was believed that bathing, especially during the winter months, would lead to chills and ultimately death. This historic period in history became then known as the “age of the great unwashed”.

Needless to say, body odor became quite pungent, especially when on many a cold winter night, it was customary to sleep two – three to a bed for warmth, wrapped in many a heavy blanket. The wealthy could afford the luxury of heavy doses of perfume, however the peasants simply slept beneath cuttings from very strong-smelling plants. These plants became known as stewing herbs for they were literally strewed about on floors, outhouses and even between the sheets of the beds to perfume the peasants.


During this era of the great unwashed, there evolved unique means of scenting clothing. Women’s long, voluminous skirts trailed behind them. In castle gardens, it was not uncommon to find a thyme lawn composed of a ground-hugging mat of aromatic Thymus serphyllum. When walked upon, plants were crushed, and then skirts trailed over them to soak up any oils exuded from the foliage.

Lavender is a very well known odor-covering stewing herb. Lavender’s Latin root name means to wash, or “lavare.” We inherited this herb from the bath-loving Romans, however, by medieval times, the Romans ceased using the herb as a scent for bathing and applied it as a masking fragrance quilted into hats or other particles of clothing.

Additionally during this time it was customary to throw table scrapes and bones to the household pet, whose shaggy and unkept mane was bathed less frequently than the peasants who housed them. Soon the filth caused many disease-breeding vermin within the confines of the house. Thereafter, history encountered a second reason for stewing herbs, as a pesticide. Many of the oils from herbs could deter fleas, lice, weevil and other undesirable insects.

There are many well known herbs today that Thomas Tusser indicated in his 1557 well known book, “A Hundreth Good Points of Husbandrie” . Basil, Lemon Balm, Sweet Fennel, Germander, Hyssop, Lavender, Santolina, Marjoram, Pennyroyal, Sage, Tansy and Winter Savory are among his list of 21 stewing herbs.

One such herb, Pennyroyal, also known as fleabane or Menta Pulegium, is a pungent member of the mint family. The homes where it was grown and liberally used for strewing, had fewer incidences of the Black Death, for the plague was spread by fleabites. The plants are still used today for stuffing dog beds and doghouses to discourage these pests from taking up residence.

The planted seat was also designed to scent clothing. It was created of carved stone and appeared much like a heavy church pew. The seat was hollowed out into a cavity about 6 inches deep and into this was packed earth planted with either chamomile or thyme. When a person sat down and crushed the plants, resulting oils soaked into breeches or skirts.

At the root of our most favored aromatic plants of the modern herb garden are the fragrances used to disguise aromas of the great unwashed. It was not until the dawn of the 20th century that bathing became a frequent practice. Let us rejoice in the luxury of bathing every day, knowing we no longer have to douse ourselves in perfume or live amid a pile of wilted herbs to abide each other’s company.

This is but a small excerpt from my new ebook: Holistic Herbs ~ A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening. If you would like to learn more about the many wonders of herbs, Click Here to grab your copy today!

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Successful Gardening!
Kali S. Winters


Other Articles of Interest:

Eastern Herbal Medicine For Western Children-
Culinary Herb Gardens-
Garlic Uses & Dieters Green Tea-

        



Herbal Recipe for Kabobs on the Grill


Oh to barbecue!!

Whether you prefer charcoal or gas…it’s the age-old question. Who amongst us, whether it be male or female (especially the male) doesn’t love the flavor, aroma and all the ‘prestige’ of barbecue dining? It’s a chance to get outdoors with family and friends and to enjoy a nice cocktail or two on a lazy afternoon. It gives the women folk a break from cooking, to turn it over to the male gender…and boy do they enjoy it, and so does she!

There is something about barbecuing outdoors. I personally prefer charcoal; the flavor is unbeatable especially if you add a bit of hickory wood to the barrel of coals. No matter what type of meat or vegetables you’re grilling, hickory seasoning can turn a plain old burger into something scrumptious!

However, barbecue dining is just as much about seasoning as it is to the fire and meat. Many herb enthusiast’s who grow their own herbs, flowers and produce, do so with the intent to enhance their barbecuing experience as well. Many have found that the herbs stem of a rosemary, basil or sage bush are extremely rich in oils, perfect to use as a rub, baste or to even skewer meat. What once was just a backyard pleasure has now kicked it up a notch turning a barbecue experience into a backyard culinary delight!

If you have ever tried your hand at grilled kabob’s, you may just want to take a fresh look at shish kabobs skewers produced straight from your very own herb garden plants.

Certain herb bushes have an unusually, long straight stem. The best herbs to grow are rosemary, bay, sage, oregano and tarragon. First of all, they are basically free and second; the wood of the herbs stem contains oils of the herb, which makes it perfect to season your meat on a flavored skewer from the inside out.

When your grilled kabobs are basted with an herb brush, the leaves of the herb sprig become “bruised” when heated. This lets out the natural oils of the plant, therefore it makes it delectably charming to your meats! Essentially you are making herb oil.

You will want to be on the look out for the strong, stiff stems that have hardened enough to hold up under the weight of your BBQ kabobs. To make it easier to puncture your meat or produce, whittle the stiffer end of the herbs stem into a point. A rosemary skewer is particularly great for portabella mushrooms and fast-cooking barbecue vegetables.

If you are an avid BBQ griller or you have a special occasion in the near future, you will need to collect plenty of big sprigs to make your herb brush and shish kabob skewers. They tend to be quite rare at your local nursery or produce store, but then again, why bother searching when you can gather them up right from your very own home herb garden.

A traditional barbecue brush can be costly to replace, it you are constantly barbecuing. Why not use an herb brush you have created from your very own home herb garden instead. However, a word of warning, once you taste the difference of this method of grilling kabobs with an herb brush, your grilling experience will never taste quite the same. You will want to make a new herb brush each time you barbecue, so be sure to leave enough material in your herb garden for future pickings.

To create an herb brush, you will first need to look for stems to make 6 inch skewers or longer from a variety of herbs in order to create a handle. Attach a wire or twine to the bundled herbs stem for the handle. Make sure you have plenty of clean fresh leaves on the upper branches in order for the basting to create its full effect. After that, tie in some of the more fragile herbs like basil. A solo basil brush tends to be a bit floppy, so you will want to add a strong framework with other herbs…Besides….what better way to enhance the flavor of your meat kabobs? Along with the basil you may want to tie in a bit of chives, dill, mint, thyme or cilantro/coriander. Remember, you are going to be applying some amount of pressure to the surface of your grilled barbecue fixings, so you will want a strong herb brush.

In the turn of the growing season when BBQ grilling, why not toss some of your “turned up bushes” from your yard onto the grill to “squeeze out” the last remaining resources of your garden. What better way to get the last drop out of your hard earned labor so to enhance your barbecue dining experience and to enjoy the last bit of flavoring of your grill towards the end of the season!

If you’d like to learn more about the wonder of herbs, sign up for my free mini course. Better yet, grab your copy of my ebook: Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening Here!

Learn more about Vegetable Gardening?
Free Bonus Book Here!

Successful Gardening!
Kali S. Winters




Other Articles of Interest:

Complete Herb Garden-
Italian Herb Garden-
Harvesting and Drying Herbs-

Herb Barbecue Recipes

Grow Culinary Herbs

              



Home Herb Garden Basics


The ancient Egyptians and Chinese have long established that herbs were a necessity of life.  Herbs have also been traced and referenced back to Biblical and medieval times where documents have proven that herbs were used in various households.  With this long-standing heritage and tradition, be assured you are making the right choice to pursue your education on how to start your own home herb garden.

There are many different categories for an herbs use or purpose.  Gardeners have known an herbs benefit for many years. Herbs come in many varieties and categories like annuals, perennials, shrubs or trees.  You can plant an indoor or outdoor home herb garden.  You can start growing herbs in pots indoors or start growing garden herbs outdoors. You can plant herbs for culinary (growing kitchen herbs), Aromatic purposes (positive herbs), or even growing container herbs.  You can even grow herbs for medicinal purposes (curing herbs) as well as green tea herbs, which has a healing power in their own rights. All of this information is available to you today…in the following pages.

One popular use for herbs is to spice up a meal while cooking, also known as culinary herbs. Growing kitchen herbs can also be useful for garnishes, or to even freshen ones breath after a meal.  Culinary herbs are also known for their aromatic fragrance or some are even planted exclusively for the beauty of the flowers they produce.  They can be used fresh, dried or they can even be preserved for later use.

Home herb gardens can be grown either indoors such as a windowsill herb garden or they can be grown in a small plot in the your very own garden space. There are even home herb garden kits available for the beginner. You can start an herb garden with a small 4’ x 6’ plot in the back yard, which usually can sustain a small family of four.  Surprising enough, home herb gardens carry very few diseases or insects.  Fertilizers are really not necessary, although I have found that using Miracle Grow once a week can do wonders. As long as you properly plant the herbs according to directions, you will be able to produce a healthy, thriving herb.

As far as seasonal growing; annuals, perennials or biennials all need a well-drained soil base to grow your herbs seed in. Whether you are planting indoors or out. All herbs can be planted from an herbs seed, although not all herbs transplant well.  Herbs like dill, fennel, anise and coriander should be planted directly into your outdoor herb garden right from the get-go. Regardless, harvesting your herbs seed for next year’s growth can be a very rewarding experience. Herbs do not need a very deep root base so make sure not to cover the herbs seed too much in the soil. Rule of thumb: “The finer the seed, the shallower it should be sown”. All herbs should be planted shallow.  If you find that your soil is too hard or compact, use an organic mixture to get your soil to the right texture.

Even though there is a lot of information you need to absorb and understand about home herb gardens, the rewards are worthwhile.  Growing herbs at home is easy but only with a bit of knowledge and patience. I hope this article has given you a bit of inspiration to complete your pursuit for knowledge on you own home herb garden. Be sure to read the rest of the articles indicated to the right…. for further knowledge…order my book…

Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening”.

Learn more about Chinese Medicine?
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Successful Gardening!
Kali S Winters


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Large Selection of Herb Garden Basics Here~