Tag Archives: medicinal

The Sweet Cicely Revival

1200px-Myrrhis_odorata_in_bloomJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

If you are a lover of kitchen or healing herbs, you have most likely heard of or read about Sweet Cicely, but have never seen it in person or grown it yourself.  The truth is that this lovely herb is rarely grown or used in America today, which is why I often refer to it as one of the “forgotten herbs”.  That being said, I think it is high time that herbalists and culinary artisans turn their attention back to this delicate beauty and return it to a place of honor in both the culinary and ornamental gardens of today.  (Feature image by Amanda Slater, Coventry, England – Sweet Cecily, CC BY-SA 2.0, edited,  https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4225926)

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Healthful Ginger for the Holidays

A spoonful of ginger.The Holiday Season is in full swing and with it comes an almost insane schedule of shopping, entertaining, special events and, of course, dining out and cooking for friends and family.  And while the holidays sure can be fun, they aren’t always so good for our health in terms of stress, lack of sleep, colds and flu and the good old-fashioned belly ache from eating way too much “good stuff”.   Luckily, the holidays are naturally festooned with some of the most potent healing herbs and spices in the world including cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger – one of my all time favorites.  Not only does ginger taste great in a dizzying array of holiday dishes, it can also make you feel better when the holidays get the best of you.

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Wild Walk: Goldenrod

goldenrodby Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Although the meadow below my house is still lush and green, I can see fall working its way into our lives.  I see it in the falling golden leaves of the black walnut trees and in the burning-red leaves of sassafras and sumac. And even though the meadow is most definitely green, it is also suddenly dotted with the purple and gold blossoms of asters and early goldenrod – plants we sometimes love to hate.

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Fenugreek: The Forgotten Herb

Fenugreek by Miles CollinsBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is an ancient herb from the Legume family of plants, Fabaceae.  It is sometimes called Foenugreek, bird’s foot, Greek hayseed or goat’s horn.  Not often seen in modern gardens, fenugreek is herb, spice, vegetable and medicinal all rolled into one tidy little plant.  Grown primarily as an arid-land crop in countries such as India, Nepal, Argentina, France and Spain, fenugreek does well in xeriscape gardens.   Because of its diverse uses, this herb deserves a much stronger presence in the kitchen, the medicine chest and the garden. Continue reading

Herbal Tea: Just Plain Good

2014 12-7 Tea (3)By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Mention the word tea, and most thoughts turn to a strong hot cup of Earl Gray or a tall glass of sweet iced pekoe. But these days tea is more than black—it is green, or herbal, or something akin to hot chocolate. Regardless of how you have thought of it in the past, one thing is certain: tea is medicinal.  And now, with the spring season swinging into early summer, many of the kitchen herbs in my garden are rapidly reaching their flowering stage.  Of course, leafy herbs are at their  peak of perfection just as the flowers begin to open, but I like to allow a few stems to bloom, as well.  The flowers of most herbs are not only flavorful when used fresh or dried, but they also can have medicinal properties themselves and are excellent additions to many herbal tea blends. Continue reading

Essential Herbs: Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm_cropBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz  –

Lemon balm is one of my favorite herbs for many reasons.  To start, it is by far one of the easiest herbs to grow and it’s beautiful to look at, as well.  I particularly like the way lemon balm attracts beneficial insects and butterflies  to my garden.  Occasionally, even the hummingbirds find it intriguing.  I am also partial to lemon balm tea, especially on a cold winter night.  It’s deep earthy lemony flavor brings back a touch of summer sunshine and its soothing and calming properties make it a valuable medicinal herb.

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