Herbs---their growing habits, culinary and medicinal uses

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by tallpines, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. tallpines

    tallpines Well-Known Member

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    Please share your knowledge with us on the habits and uses of common herbs.
    I would like to keep the herbs seperated, each into their own post.

    If there are multiple posts on the same herb, I will try to combine those posts.

    If your knowledge is extensive, please consider teaching us about one per day, or one or two per week.

    Tell us if it is a perrenial, or annual,
    difficult to grow or invasive,
    storage methods,
    cautions,
    uses in cooking,
    usefulness for maintaining health,
    etc.
     
  2. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Domestic sage --- or the sage generally used for cooking --- is probably the easiest herb to grow in the universe.

    If you just throw some seeds out and keep them watered and thinned, they'll grow despite any and every possible menace. :)

    I planted a row of them at my parents' house some years ago in the worst possible soil --- they grew into beautiful large bushes which thrived where nothing else would grow (it was a raised planter made out of railroad ties which leaked any and all water put into it).

    I have about fifty small plants going now. I plan to package some and sell it up at a local store, pot others and MAYBE sell them ... and use some for wonderful smelling bushes in bare spots around the yard ... and trim the rest to bring in the house to make it smell absolutely wonderful in here!

    I don't know of any medicinal uses for it. But it's great for cooking, as I'm sure everyone knows. And it certainly does brighten up the air.



     

  3. According to a book I have.....

    It clears congestion, and soothes sore throats, tonsillitis and laryngitis. An infusion is useful as a gargle.
     
  4. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

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    Sage makes a great tea, just put a few leaves in hot water add honey and drink. Great for colds and asthma as opens chest and helps you breath better
     
  5. june02bug

    june02bug Well-Known Member

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    I've been looking up info since the swap started so I have lots of info. :D

    Rosemary
    Rosmarinus officianlis * zones 7-11 * Hardy Perennial/Tender Perennial * Planting Depth: 1/4 -1/2" * Soil Temp. for Germ.: 55-70°F * Days to Germ.: 6-10 * Plant Spacing: 4-6" * Days to Maturity: perennial * Full Sun * Moderate Water* This venerable herb of remembrance is an attractive, evergreen, upright shrub with blue flowers, and narrow, richly aromatic leaves. Extremely versatile since it can be used either fresh or dried with culinary, medicinal, ornamental and cosmetic applications. Grow indoors as a container plant, or outdoors where temperatures do not drop below 10 F. Pick fresh leaves for culinary use at anytime. Harvest leaves for drying just before onset of flowering. One of the most fragrant of herbs with many unexpected uses. A little freshly chopped rosemary is interesting with orange sections, appealing in dumplings, biscuits, preserves, and has few equals for poultry stuffings. Most notable with lamb and pork. Excellent homemade shampoos, hair and skin rinses are made with rosemary tea. Needle-like leaves. For maximum seed germination keep seed flat at 18°C (65°F). Sow indoors 10-12 weeks before last expected frost date. Transplant outdoors when danger of frost has passed. Plant in sandy, well-drained soil that has average-low fertility. During germination keep evely moist. After plant becomes established water infrequently as overwatering will harm plant. Students in Greece and Rome were known to wear rosemary behind thier eaars to help them remember thier lessons. Often used in making wreaths, potpourris, nosegays, soaps and candles. Great anitiseptic. Dried and powdered, it can be used as a dressing on wounds, and when infused in a tea rosemary becomes a refreshing mouthwash that can also heal mouth ulcers and canker sores. Essentail oil of rosemary, when used in an aromatherapy diffuser, is excelent for refreshing a sickroom and enlivening the patient. It invigorates the nervous system without stressing it and can be used to relieve headaches. Essentail oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties as well. For respiratory problems, bathing with rosemary can break up congestion. To relieve cold-related nasal and chest congestion, add rosemary to a simmerpot and inhale steam. Promotes healthy digestion and increases the production of bile. It especailly aids in the digestion of fats, which may be the reason it is traditionally the seasoning of choice for fatty meats, such as pork and lamb. It is often a component of circulatory formulas because of its strengthening effects on the veins and arteries. Rosemary is a Mediterranean plant. It likes to be watered, but it does not like wet feet. Allow to dry out between waterings. It is the perfect candidate for raised beds or pots. Easily started by stem cuttings or layering.
     
  6. june02bug

    june02bug Well-Known Member

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    Feverfew
    Tanacetum parthenium * 2-3 ft. Hardy Perennial * Planting Depth: Surface * Soil Temp. for Germ.: 70°F * Days to Germ.: 10-15 * Plant Spacing: 6"-12" * Days to Maturity: 90 * Full Sun * Moderate Water * zones 5 - 9
    This camphor-scented herb was once known as featherfew because of the plant's lacy leaves. Used medicinally since at least the early 1800s, it is said to be exceedingly effective in controlling migraine headaches, and for relief from arthritis, psoriasis and tension. Best started indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost date and transplanted when danger of frost has passed. Sow the tiny seed sparingly on the surface and tamp into the soil. Seeds need light to germinate. Can be picked as a cut flower in July and August. Also known as the "migraine" herb. This easy-to-grow herb is also valued as a decorative plant in the garden and for wreaths, potpourris, etc. A medical survey in England indicates that 1 to 4 leaves of feverfew infused in a tea or eaten in a sandwich daily reduce the number and severity of migraine attacks in some sufferers. It even has pleasant side effects including a sense of well-being, lack of tension and relief from arthritis.Approx. 0.4% parthenolide. Sometimes called pyrethrum - it is not the same plant , but it has insect repellent properties of its own, perhaps because of the spicy scent of its foliage.
     
  7. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    If you know anything about herbs, you'll know where I got my user name from. Nicholas Culpeper, one of the most famous English herbalists/physicians. I've been researching herbs for most of my life, have grown and sold them commercially, and have written several books about them (as yet unpublished). If you search for my posts here, you'll find many which give information about herbs.

    I'd just like to make a couple of points about herbs that many people may not be aware of. Of necessity, this is very brief indeed. For one thing, it's difficult to generalise with herbs, because they are so many of them - around 20,000 are known.

    First, most herbs have medicinal uses, even the most commonly-used culinary herbs. This means that they are medicines (drugs) when taken in medicinal (therapeutic) amounts. And like more conventional medications, individuals will react differently to them. A very high percentage of conventional medications are actually derived or obtained from herbs, or are synthesised copies of some components of herbs - Aspirin, for instance, comes from either Meadowsweet or White Willow bark. DO NOT assume that because it is 'natural' it is also 'safe'. Do NOT assume that because a little may be good for you, then a whole lot will be better!! Before using any herb medicinally, please check with a doctor. Some herbs can affect other conditions you have besides the one you want to treat; some are contraindicated for use in pregnancy or when breastfeeding, if you suffer from kidney problems, heart problems, blood pressure problems, diabetes or any number of other conditions. Most herbs are multi-purpose, so be careful about combining herbs with herbs. If you are taking any conventional medication, check out whether a particular herb will interact with it. This applies even to hormone medications, like the contraceptive pill (the origins of which came from Wild Yam, BTW), or cough syrups or sore-throat lozenges or headache pills. Ginseng, for instance, can interfere with the absorption of Vitamin C.

    Second, it's never a good idea to start self-diagnosing or self-treating, with herbs or any other form of medication. As with conventional medicines, the required dosage may vary from person to person. And, while you think your headache may be from tiredness or the need for glasses, it just might be a brain tumour you've got, or dangerously high blood pressure!!

    Third, it is never a good idea to give herbal medications to children without first consulting a doctor. A herbal tea is a herbal medication. (That applies to ordinary black or green tea, too!) As a broad rule of thumb, a cup of herbal tea is a daily dosage for an adult. But children need only a teaspoonful. And children often react very differently to herbs than do adults. You CAN overdose on herbs, and some have accumulative effects over time. Also never assume that because a herb is good for humans, it is also good for pets.

    Fourth, NEVER use herbal teas as beverages. They are medicines, and should be used only to treat a specific ailment, as advised by a professional medical expert. Even the mildest herbal tea may have side-effects in some people. For instance, a cup of peppermint tea every day can cause, after time, palpitations, digestive problems, jitteriness, excessive sweating and a range of other side-effects. A single cup of lemon balm tea may give you night-sweats, and if you have a thryoid disorder (diagnosed or undiagnosed), it might make you very ill indeed.

    Fifth, if you are likely to have surgery or dental surgery, consult your doctor, anaesthetist or dentist several weeks beforehand. They will usually advise you to stop taking all herbal medications (including some vitamin supplements etc) up to 4 weeks before surgery, because so many of them have the potential to interfere with anaesthesia, or to cause excessive bleeding during and after the procedure, or cause other major problems.

    Sixth, certain herbs should be avoided altogether in pregnancy, including moderate use for cooking. A great many herbs act on the muscles of the uterus, and this can mean abortion (miscarriage), or convulsions or other problems. Parsley and pennyroyal are notorious for this (pennyroyal is just another kind of mint). Parsley and many other herbs can also cause deformities in the developing foetus. Again, a matter to discuss with your doctor.

    In short, treat herbs with the caution and the great respect they deserve. If you don't know what you're doing, then don't do it! Just to get my point(s) across, take a look at the following:

    Warnings about Garlic: Avoid large doses of garlic if suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, or if suffering from restlessness, insomnia with accompanying exhaustion, thirst and dehydration. Therapeutic use should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation. Ingesting more than 10 raw cloves per day can be toxic. Pure, undiluted juice used externally can burn sensitive skin. (Remember that garlic can be absorbed through the skin.) Garlic capsules combined with diabetes medication can cause a dangerous decrease in blood sugars. Do not use garlic if taking any of the following: Aspirin. Anticoagulants. Diabetes medications. Hypoglycaemic drugs. Antiplatelet drugs. Warfarin. Some people who are sensitive to garlic may experience heartburn and flatulence.

    Warnings about Ginger: If suffering from gallstones, or if pregnant or nursing, consult a health care professional before taking large amounts of ginger. Daily consumption of ginger root may interfere with the absorption of dietary iron and fat-soluble vitamins, as well as tetracycline derivatives, oral anticholinergics, phenothiazines, digoxin, isoniazid, pheytoin, warfarin, lincomycin, digitalis, nalidixic acid, sulfonamides, and phenothiozines or other psychoactive agents which are poorly absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. Ginger may mask the toxicity caused by aminoglycoside antibiotics such as neomycin. It may inhibit urinary excretion of alkaline drugs, such as amphetamines or quinidine.
     
  8. heelpin

    heelpin Well-Known Member

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    Well, if folks weren't scared of herbs before they certainly are now and the last time I asked a doctor about herbs, he gave me that what an idiot look and just shook his head. I know some of the better medical schools are now teaching the basics of herbs but 99.0% of allopathic doctors knows nothing about using herbs. The only thing to remember is, if you are taking the drug store poisons, leave herbs alone and if you are going to have surgery, stop all herbs at least a week prior.
    There is no need to try and learn everything about herbs in order to use them, it has already been done for you by a master herbalist.
    http://www.herbsfirst.com/NewsLetters/NewsIndex.html
     
  9. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

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    Excellent advice, Culpepper.

    I think understanding all known aspects of an herb's useage and side effects is important. Everybody should thoroughly investigate potential side effects in planning medicinal useage of herbs. Nature's drugs can be potent stuff.

    ie. I learned that red clover can cause bleeding, so I am cautious and aware.

    I don't have any "herbal" knowlegeable doctors nearby (conventional MDs, dentists wouldn't have a clue), so I rely on the volumes of resources to promote self learning.

    I did order a tonic for muscle and joints and used that 2-3 x/day for 2 weeks. It was very effective in reducing deep muscular contractions (post MVA related... long list of ingredients and I checked each one's effect and longterm safety), but not something I would take on an ongoing basis though the sellers wanted me to take it right on.
     
  10. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

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    Now this sounds unrealistic for THIRD degree burns!!

    "As a good example I would like to cite the case of two boys, about ten years of age, who were playing with gasoline and matches. Both of the boys' hands, up to the wrists, received third degree burns. in the Bone, Joint, ... formula section

    Third degree burns- are deep layer tissue, nerves, muscle to bone. My father had second and third degree burns, the flesh was gone. He required skin grafting.

    Use to be RN
     
  11. heelpin

    heelpin Well-Known Member

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    I know it sounds unbelievable but John Christopher was a man of the highest integerty, a very religious man with a deep compassion for his fellow man and I take him at his word. I have used the BF&C formula and can attest to its effectiveness, my elderly mother injured her shin working in her flowers (she's 86) and after trying all the drugstore aids she still had a lot of inflamation and it was starting to spread. I steeped a few of the BF&G capsules in some hot water and let it set for a few minutes, I then soaked a cloth and wrapped her leg and covered this with some plastic wrap, the next morning the redness had shrunk to about the size of a quarter, I applied a new bandage and the next day she was fine.
    One thing I'd like to say, my lack of confidence in doctors has nothing to do with nurses. I saw compassion in the nurses that worked for doctors and sometimes more knowledge, than the doctors had. I think women are more suited to be doctors than men, they have that instinct that men lack and if I'm not wrong it seems like I remember hearing on the news that more women would graduate medical school this year than men, I say Amen.
     
  12. "**Within the week** they returned to the hospital and the same doctor they had seen before examined the boy. He was amazed and told them that where the burns ** had been third degree burns in these past few days, they were now first degree burns**. "
    http://www.herbsfirst.com/NewsLetters/0798bfc1998.html

    Sorry, but those words (or claim) are Totally unbelievable based on my knowledge of 3rd degree burns and stages of tissue healing. I'm not discounting the benefit of this blend of herbs on being beneficial for bones, tissue, etc. But a red flag goes up when a claim such as the above statement re: a 3rd degree burn is made. The credibility of that person is questionable in my book. I'm not intending to discount your experience, Heelpin. :)

    What Culpepper wrote shouldn't scare people from using herbal remedies just highlight they are (nature's apothecary)drugs and as such have side effects and other effects folks need to be aware of for their own safety.

    Doctors roll their eyes when herbs are mentioned because of the haphazard manner many people consume them thinking they are safe and always better than conventional medications. That's not true. Some doctors have seen the people who have adverse reactions or longterm damage from indiscriminate useage, because the folks assumed the herbs are safe in any quantity and useage. ie. more is better
    Of course, the same happens with OTC drugs. (over the counter)

    Consumer beware.....know your herbs and useage and find somebody reputable in herbal medicines or a reputable resource. Most of the books I have say to check other resources, to learn more. Be prudent.

    I'm recovering from a three year nightmare and alternative medicine (prolotherapy) is where I found the answer to my prayers. The herbal tonic, as well as a daily MVI and a magnesium supplement and general nutritional improvements were icing on the cake. :)

    Shepmom
     
  13. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    My intention is not to scare people from using herbs, merely to give some enough of a jolt to sit up and realise that herbs are not to be mucked around with or used indiscriminately. Herbs have their place, they can be very effective when used wisely and with large dollops of common sense.

    I am fortunate to be living in a part of the world where most doctors and other medical professionals are taught about herbs, often prescribe them, have data bases on herb/drug interactions etc, and where hospitals issue booklets about herbs and vitamin supplements to prospective surgery patients with appropriate advice on their effects and when to stop them. (As a general rule, stop taking herbs and supplements at least 2 weeks before surgery, but some need to be ceased 4 weeks or more beforehand.) Even specialists are in on the act - I was recently prescribed a particular herb for a certain problem requiring specialist care as an adjunct to other more conventional treatment. He was a little surprised to learn that I was already taking it, and after discussion, he actually recommended that I increase my daily dosage! When I'm at the chemist collecting my prescriptions, I'm always given one little pamphlet or another warning me about complications of certain herbs when used with the particular drug prescribed. All this is very reassuring and helpful.

    The herb which gets the most warnings is St John's Wort, which interferes with almost every other herb and every other conventional medication. This is one herb which I NEVER advocate using except on the advice of and under the supervision of a medical expert, and which (although I hate the idea of more regulation!) I believe should not be available over the counter, but on prescription only.

    Don't be scared of herbs - be cautious and aware. Education is the answer.
     
  14. june02bug

    june02bug Well-Known Member

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    I agree completely with culpepper. Herbs should be used with great care.


    Purple Coneflower Echinacea
    Echinacea purpurea * 2-3 ft. * Planting Depth: 1/4"-1/2" * Soil Temp. for Germ.: 70°F * Days to Germ.: 10-14 * Plant Spacing: 12-24" * Days to Maturity: Perennial * Full Sun * Moderate Water *zones 3-10
    The easiest of the Echinaceas to grow, the rose-purple, daisy-like flowers have burnt orange centers. Blooms from July to September and makes a long-lasting cut flower. As a medicinal, it is said to stimulate growth of blood cells and enhance the immune system. Echinacea is now a household name and preparations made from it are found in every corner pharmacy. It is truly the queen of medicinal herbs because it not only helps the body fight off disease by boosting the immune system, it is one of the showiest perennial herbs in the garden. Roots are the most potent part, but leaves and seeds are also used in herbal medicines.
     
  15. june02bug

    june02bug Well-Known Member

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    Cilantro (Coriander Seed)
    Coriandrum * 18-24" Hardy Annual/Reseeding * Planting Depth: 1/4 - 1/2" * Soil Temp. for Germ.: 60-70°F * Days to Germ.: 10-14 * Plant Spacing: 6-12" * Days to Maturity: 70 * Full Sun * Moderate Water *
    Grown by many cultures for centuries. Plant grows quickly. Pull off a few leaves to use fresh whenever desired for best flavor. Fresh leaves are used in salsa and the dried seed (coriander) is an essential ingredient in East Indian cooking. Direct seed in spring when soil is warming. Likes cool weather. Do successive plantings 3-4 weeks apart for a continuous supply. Pinch off seed heads to keep productive. Fresh leaves, called cilantro, can be harvested at any time, but have more flavor before plant flowers. The spice, coriander, is the mature seed. In North America, cilantro is the name by which fresh coriander is known. Chefs use its pungent, citrusy leaves, musky roots and sweet, aromatic seeds. For thousands of years it has been appreciated for its culinary and medicinal properties in South Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Leaves provide a essentail cool, pungent contrast to spicy dishes. Seeds add a pleasing, citrus aroma and flavor to soups, pickles, bread and baked goods. Sow outdoors in a sunny location in spring after danger of frost or sow from fall to early spring in frost-free areas. Cover seeds lightly with 1/4" of soil as darkness aids in germination. Keep soil moist. To harvest seeds cut flower stalks when they begin to fade, Tie upside down to dry. Place in paper bag or over cloth to catch seeds. Also used in chili sauces, curries and exotic dishes. Repels aphids while being immune to them. Helps anise germinate but hinders seed formation in fennel. Flowers attract to bees. Many thing that the foliage and fresh seed of coriander has a disagreeable smell, but as the seeds ripen they gain a delicious fragrance which intensifies as they dry. Seeds sometimes sugar coated as a confection. Has four times more carotene than parsley, three times as much calcium, more protein, minerals, riboflavin, B1 and niacin. Oil of coriander is used medicinally to correct nausea.
     
  16. june02bug

    june02bug Well-Known Member

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    Garlic Chives (Chinese Leeks)
    Allium tuberosum * Heirloom - Medicinal * 1-2 ft. Hardy Perennial * Planting Depth: 1/8"-1/4" * Soil Temp. for Germ.: 55-75°F * Days to Germ.: 7-15 * Plant Spacing: 10-12" * Days to Maturity: 60-90 * Full Sun * Moderate Water * white flowers * zones 3-9 * Mild garlic flavor. Other info under garden chives.


    Garden Chives
    Allium schoenoprasum * 8-12 in. tall * Hardy Perennial * Planting Depth: 3/8" * Soil Temp. for Germ.: 55-75°F * Days to Germ.: 7-14 * Plant Spacing: 10"-12" * Days to Maturity: 60-90 * Full Sun * Moderate Water * pink/purple flowers * zones 3-9
    Dense clusters of grass-like foliage are mildly onion-flavored, contain Vitamin C, some iron, and can help promote digestion. Produces 1-2 in. flowers bees love. Popular in 16th century European gardens for flavoring soups and salads, both the leaves and the 1.5" flowers add spicy flavor to cooking and they have been known to be used in Chinese medicine for kidneys, lower back and knees. Also used in stir-fry, vegetables, omlettes and cheese dishes. Direct seed in cool soil during early spring in permanent location in garden. For earlier plants, start indoors 6-8 weeks before transplanting in early spring. During germination, keep entire seedbed moist and well watered through maturity. Cut leaves from mature plants at any time. The most delicate member of the onion family. Essential kitchen herb! Palatable as it is to humans, nasty insects stay away in droves from it and neighbouring plants. Can be grown in clumps. Transplants easily. Divide clumps every 2 years. Harvest after 4" tall, clip outer leaves with scissors right back to base. Use fresh or frozen. Flavor doesn't hold well when dried. Good companion to carrots improving growth and flavor. Planted in apple orchards they are of benefit in preventing apple scab or made into chive tea may be used as a spray for apple scab or against powdery mildew on gooseberries and cucumbers.
     
  17. june02bug

    june02bug Well-Known Member

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    Chia, Tarahumara
    Salvia tiliafolia * Rare - Traditional * 4-6 ft. Tender Annual * Planting Depth: 1/2" * Soil Temp. for Germ.: 60-80°F * Days to Germ.: 7-10 * Plant Spacing: 2-4' * Days to Maturity: 110 - 120 * Full Sun * Moderate Water *
    Blue flower spikes are tall (10") and vibrant. The plant is a traditional food crop of the Chumash people indigenous to Southern California, as well as for the Tarahumara people of Mexico. Still used for long-distance running by the Tarahumarans, it is said that if the seed is mixed with water to make a gel, one tablespoon can sustain a person's energy level for 24 hours. Sow in early spring in a sunny spot in rows 2 feet apart. In Mexico, the seeds are roasted, ground, and added to water, forming a gel. Keep evenly moist during germination. Keep well watered through maturity, allowing soil surface to dry between waterings.

    Fennel Flowers and finely textured leaves are used as licorice-flavored seasoning in Italian cooking. Harvest after seeds set. Sow directly outdoors in a warm, sunny location. Fennel likes dry, sandy soil. To encourage production, remove flower stalks as they ripen. Harvest leaves and dry in a cool, airy place. Store in airtight container. Used with oily fish like mackerel, eel, and salmon to improve digestibility. Blooms attract bees and butterflys. Avoid planting near dill, coriander and angelica because these plants often cross pollinate abd therefore loose their own unique flavor. Most plants dislike fennel and it is one herb which should be planted away from the vegetable garden, since it has an inhibiting effect on bush beans, caraway, kohlrabi and tomatos. Planted away from the garden is valuable for its masses of fringed foliage. At one time the fragrant seeds, which smell and taste like licorice, were made into a tea soothing to colicky babies. Mixed with peppermint leaves it also makes a delicious tea for adults. Fennel is inhibited by the presence of coriander and will not form seed. It also dislikes wormwood. To the Celts and Anglo-Saxons, fennel's stateliness and affinity for the sun signaled its ability to impart long life, courage and virgility to it's users. It was also gathered ritually to hang above doorways for protection of the home from evil. Used in flower arrangements. Fennel tea is given to infants for it's calming and antiflatulent effects. Ayurvedic practioners recommend chewing3-6 seeds after a meal to improve digestion. Candy-coated fennel seeds were perhaps the nation's first breath fresheners. Seeds are also used in teas to hide the taste of more resinous respiratory herbs. Seeds have antipasmodic properties and may be helpful with digestive spasms. By eating fennel seeds a nursing mother can ease her babies colic. Fennel also has an affinity with the respiratory system and in the past was often used as an ingredient for homemade cough syrups. According the herbalist Steven Foster, a tea made from the leaves has been shown to produce a significant reduction in arterial blood pressure without affecting the heart or respiratory rate. Seed decocted and strained as a tea can also be used as an eyewash for sore or inflamed eyes. Because of its Mediterranean origins, fennel can tolerate drought conditions and survive in even the poorest soil. Prefers full sun. All parts of common fennel are useful: however the subspecies and varieties that are grown more specifically for certian plant parts. Common fresh fennel leaves can be finely chopped and added to fruit salads or to sweet yogurt dressings to adorn them. Added to green salads, oil-and-vinegar dressings, steamed greens, Italian and Greek sauces. The root of common fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) may be eaten raw or cooked but is not quote as tasty as the finocchio variety. Fennel is high in potassium, iron and vitamin C. One cup contains 60 percent of the RDA of vitamin A.

    Sweet Fennel
    * 3 ft tall * 18" spacing * planting depth 1/8-1/4" * days to germ 14-18 * zones 5-11 * Italian favorite. Secret ingredient of fine pizza. Adds pep to salads, soups, eggs and fish. See also fennel.

    Bronze Fennel
    * zones 5-11 * Highly decorative form of fennel with bronze-red, lacy foliage. Grown for it's beautiful copper foliage, which makes an attractive garnish that decorates the plates of the finest restaurants.. Leaves can be used like green fennel. See also fennel.
     
  18. june02bug

    june02bug Well-Known Member

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    Chamomile, German
    Matricaria recutita * Medicinal * 18-30 in. tall * Tender Perennial/Hardy Perennial (some sources say annual) * Planting Depth: Surface - do not cover * Soil Temp. for Germ.: 55-60°F * Days to Germ.: 7-14 * Plant Spacing: 6" * Days to Maturity: 70-80 * Full Sun * Moderate Water * reseeds itself *
    A delight for your eyes, taste buds, and overall well being. Its fragrant, delicate, miniature, daisy-like flowers dance on lacy foliage. Known to be used medicinally for hundreds of years, the flower buds when dried can make a wonderfully soothing tea calms the nerves, upset stomachs, promote digestion especially after heavy meals. Flowers are used fresh or dried. A companion plant, it can enhance the growth of cucumbers, cabbages, onions and most other herbs. Blooms are 1/2". Reseeding annual. Its soothing and cleansing effect also makes the tea a beneficial skin wash. Preserve by drying. After danger of frost, sow seeds in open ground well exposed. Barely cover seeds with soil; need light to germinate. When plants are 2 inches tall, thin or transplant. Harvest flowers while in full bloom and keep flowers cut back to encourage new growth. Store flowers in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. German is the most prolific producer of flowers. Contains chamazulene, which has antiallergic and anti-inflammatory properties when used in the form of tea. Tea will calm a cranky baby. Tea is used for diarrhea or scours in calves. A compress of one third each chamomile, lemon balm and chervil will cure hoof rot in animals. Flowers can be used in the dog's bed stuffing against fleas, occasionally add more to freshen up. The blossoms soaked in cold water for a day or two can be used as a spray for treating many plant diseases and to control damping off in greenhouses and cold frames.

    Water Cress * Nasturtium officinale * zones 5-9 * Best grown along streams where water is shallow and calm. Will suceed, however, in gardens or pots, provided soil is kept moist.

    Sweet Marjoram
    * 18" tall * spacing 6" * planting depth 1/4" *days to germination 8-10 * tender perennial / annual * zones 9-11
    Velvety, grey-green, oval leaves have spicy aroma. Start harvesting when 12" tall. For best results start indoors 6-8 weeks before planting outdoors, as marjoram requires a long growing season. In warm area, may be seeded directly outdoors. Harvest leaves continually to keep plants compact and productive. Dry leaves in a warm airy place. Flavorful addition to herb vinegar, fish, vegetable dishes, soups, sauces, stuffings, stews and cream cheese. Pot up a plant and bring indoors for winter use. Rubbing with fresh leaves before roasting improves all strong meats. Adds special flavor to sausage and meatloaf. A must in German potato soup. Use plant tops to dye wool in shades of yellow, orange, brown and grey. This small, easily grown herb is probably one of the oldest herbs in use. Used extensively by the Greeks, who gave it the name, which means "joy of the mountians". Its disinfectant and preserving qualities made it an invaluable culinary herb in the Middle Ages. Beneficial effect on nearby plants, improving both growth and flavor.

    Anise * 24" tall * 12" spacing * planting depth 1/8-1/4" * days to germ 14-18 * annual * Licorice flavor and aroma. Large jagged leaves and lacy, white flowers. Provides abundant, flavorful seeds. Sow directly outdoors. For best results plant in a sunny location. Pick fresh leaves all season. Harvest seeds when they turn grey-green. Removing seed heads encourages production. Delicious in baked and confectionary goods. Enhances flavor of applesauce and fruit salad. Fresh chopped leaves are appealing in soups, stews, sauces and salads. Harvest mature seeds and stems on a dry summer day, dry in a cool place, remove seeds and store in airtight containers. Best known for flavoring liqueurs such as anisette. Aids in digestion and eases cough. Related to caraway and dill. Oil extracted from the seeds is used to make absinthe and it is used in medicine. The flower, powdered and infused with vermouth, is used for flavoring muscatel wine. Anise is antiseptic with oils of peppermint or wintergreen and is useful as an ointment ( when mixed with lard) for lice and itching from insect bites. When sown with coriander, anise seed will germinate better, grow more vigorously and form better heads.
     
  19. june02bug

    june02bug Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    724
    Joined:
    May 23, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Bouquet Dill
    Anethum graveolens * 30-36 in. * Hardy Annual/Reseeding * Planting Depth: 1/4"-1/2" * Soil Temp. for Germ.: 60-75°F * Days to Germ.: 10-14 * Plant Spacing: 10-12" * Days to Maturity: 65-70 * Full Sun/Partial Shade * Moderate Water A dwarf compact variety of dill with a lovely aroma. Attractive plant has a larger leaf than other varieties. The best dill to grow for the production of seeds. Direct seed, 1 seed per inch, in a sunny place in the garden in late spring/early summer or fall - do not sow during hot summer weather or plants will go to seed before reaching harvest size. Enrich soil with mature compost. During germination, keep entire seedbed evenly moist.

    Dill *Anethum graveolens * 40" tall * Finely cut foliage. To use the leaf as a dried herb, harvest before the plant flowers. Mature seeds can be harvested for a spice. Best known as an ingredient in dill pickles. Chopped leaves have rare affinity for sour cream and cucumbers. Finely cut foliage. For fresh use as "dillweed". Does not transplant well. Begin leaf harvest anytime after plants begin vigorous growth. When first seeds begin to darken and fall - cut entire stem and hang inside a paper bag. The bag will catch the seeds as they dry and fall. Easy to grow. Used in salads, dips, vinegars, meat, fish and vegetables. Seed used in pickles, baked goods, cheeses and vinegar. Good companion to cabbage. Does not do well by carrots and if allowed to mature will greatly reduce crop. Does well if sowed in empty spaces where early beets have been harvested and light sowings can be made with lettuce, onions or cucumbers. Honey bees like to visit dill blossoms.