Very early on, wild herbs were discovered to be a good flavoring ingredient. All kitchen herbs have a strong and pleasant scent. They are not only a pleasant accessory to recipes, but enrich food with vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, essential oil. To preserve these nutrients, it’s necessary to observe the following guidelines when using herbs:
- They should be as fresh as possible.
- They are at their best if chopped before use.
- Fresh herbs should be added at the end of the cooking time, rather than being cooked with the other ingredients.
- Fresh herbs should be sprinkled over, or stirred into the finished dish.
- Fresh herbs wilt very quickly. If the herbs are not for immediate use, they can be stored in plastic wrap and kept to the refrigerator, or placed upright with their stalks in the water.
In contrast to fresh herbs, dried ones keep very well in airtight jars until next crop. Dried herbs should be added 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, so that they release their flavor.
You can make teas from dried herbs like:
4 tsps (20g) to 5 cups (1 l water- put the ta in the pot, pour over boiling water, and leave to brew for 5-10 minutes.
Or from fresh herbs like:
1 cup leaves to 5 cups (1 l) water- put the tea in the pot, pour over boiling water, and leave to brew for 3-5 minutes.
But what about medicinal wild herbs?
Many kitchen herbs are also used in folk medicine as plants with healing properties. The majority of them can be made into tea. The most popular are:
Basil appetizing, calming, soothes stomach cramps, wind and gastritis.
Savory energizing; prevents wind, flu coughs, and intestinal infections
Borage soothes fever, increases sweating, prevents coughs and inflammation.
Dill (from the boiled seeds) diuretic, relaxing, calming, soothes digestion problems and colic.
Cilantro (also from the seeds which are known as coriander) calming, strengthens the stomach, soothes indigestion and stomach upsets.
Oregano and Marjoram expectorant, prevent asthma, added to the bath can soothe nerves.
Parsley stimulates the digestions, prevent gall bladder, kidney and liver complaints; soothes menstrual problems; used externally it has healing effects on the skin.
Peppermint eases cramps, calming, soothes diarrhea, nausea and colic.
Rosemary stimulating, strengthens the stomach; prevents cold, migraines, externally used it eases rheumatism.
Sage strengthens the nerves, relieves pain, prevents excessive sweating, gargling with sage can prevent mouth and throat infections.
Thyme energizing, strengthens stomach and intestines, soothes whooping cough, bronchitis and asthma.
Hyssop appetizing, soothes lung diseases and strengthens weak stomachs.