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Plants that we call herbs have been used for
centuries throughout the world by indigenous
people for their distinctive aroma, medicinal
properties and culinary purposes.
The knowledge of herbs was passed on by the tribes
and people, which then spread across the continents to
far away lands.
Our Aborigines had their own bush medicine plants and
herbs as well as the South American Indians in the
Herbs and plants were an effective method for treating
illness, disease and infections.
The people who used herbs for medicinal treatments
were called either a sharman, medicine man, herbalist,
healer, the witch doctor, the old wise elder of the tribe, a
white witch, and eventually a physician and doctor.
The origin of our common culinary herbs such as thyme,
rosemary, sage, parsley, basil, oregano, and mints came
from the Mediterranean region.
Meanwhile garlic, dill and fennel came from south-
eastern Siberia, chamomile from Germany.
Over the centuries the knowledge of these herbs spread
throughout Europe, Asia and England by the Romans,
Norwegians and other European tribes moving around the
globe - discovering, invading and settling as they went.
Propagation for culinary herbs in your garden is best in
a sunny spot in fertilised, well-drained soil.
Spring and summer are the ideal times for root division,
planting seedlings, and propagation from
cuttings. Seeds can be started in pots
and then planted into the
garden in late spring
Herbs like and
need lots of
Fresh herbs in cooking improves the f
tastes delicious and it's healthy, adding
natural minerals, trace elements and
vitamins to your cuisine.
Historically, herbs were used in
cooking for healing, ridding houses and
barns of pests, for aroma and fragrance
the houses, and preserving foods.
Dried or fresh herbs such as thyme, ro
lavender was strewn across the floors, s
on, the aroma of the herb was released
to the house.
Garlic was also used to ward off evil spirits, and hung in
bunches around doorways to dry and mature.
The main constituents of herbs are the volatile oils
which contain their distinctive aroma and flavor.
Fresh herbs are rich in minerals, vitamins and trace
Medicinally, herbs were made into a tea, a decoction to
drink, made into a salv (or ointment) or a poultice and
wrapped around the wound.
The herbs that were used for their medicinal healing
purposes have been well documented providing healing
for numerous illnesses, diseases, disorders, infections and
Dr Nicholas Culpeper in the 1700's, was the old English
physician who developed his skills from the knowledge
handed down from the old 'folk medicines' learned from
other peoples settling into England centuries ago.
Fresh home grown healthy herbs add flavor and
nutrition to your salads, marinades, and cooking.
In summer a sprig of fresh mint, a slice of fresh lemon
added to a large glass of cold sparkling water makes a
refreshing drink to enjoy any time.
This article is provided by Penny McKenna for the
Highlands Garden Society.
Members and non-members are welcome to
attend the monthly meeting on Friday 21 January
2011, 7.30pm at the the Uniting Church Bowral.
asons to keep a pot of
nt on your window sill!
hether you make a
whole teapot or just a
cupful the recipe works
the same. Mint tea is a
great post meal digestive.
Prep time 5 mins plus
Cook time none
2 good sprigs of fresh
mint per person
freshly boiled water
honey to sweeten to
1. Place the sprigs of mint
in a heatproof mug or
teapot. Pour the just
boiled water over the
leaves and stir well.
2. Leave the leaves to
steep in the hot water
for 3-5 mins
depending how strong
you like your tea. Add
honey to taste and
serve. If you prefer you
can strain the tea
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