A well-known and important herb, common thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a perennial subshrub and is still used in the kitchen after many centuries to flavour meat, fish and vegetable dishes, in bouquets garni. It is a charming, attractive plant for the herb container. There is a number of thymes that can be used in the kitchen including T. herba-barona, with the scent of caraway traditionally used to flavour a baron of beef, and some creeping thymes.
Thyme is a shrubby perennial with small, oval, narrow, grey-green leaves, long, woody, branched stems, and sturdy roots. This plant blooms in mid-summer and has lavender-pink flowers that occur in small clusters. The flowers attract bees and the honey produced is highly valued. The leaves are very aromatic. Leaves, stems, and flowers may all be eaten.
Also called Mountain tobacco, arnica (Arnica montana) is a much-valued perennial herb in medicine and arnica ointment is used to treat bruises, sprains, varicose veins and other conditions. It is also used in homeopathy to treat epilepsy, high blood pressure and shock. It is also used internally, because of its irritant effect on the stomach. Its action is stimulant and diuretic.
As with all medicinal herbs, it should not be used in its natural state for the plant is poisonous and toxic and can cause skin irritation. It is not a large plant ( 30-60 cm by 15 cm) and carries attractive golden-yellow daisy-like flowers, held on a long stems. It is a popular plant for growing in containers. Period of flowering is in midsummer to early fall.
Many persons hold out for the weather to become warmer prior to planting their vegetable garden. Nonetheless, there are a number of dedicated individuals who will be starting their herb gardens indoors this year. One consideration that must be made, when choosing what herbs to plant, is to be aware of which herbs grow effectively indoors. One good choice is basil.
Only a few herbs can be cultivated with success inside. This is generally either on account that there is not an adequate amount of light or the indoor temperature is not suitable for that specific plant. Basil is a great choice since it is fairly flexible when it comes to sunshine. It may not perform as well inside as outdoors but it is possible to grow.
Ginger (Family Zingiberaceae) is a perennial herb that thrives in most parts of southern Asia, Jamaica, Nigeria, and the West Indies. The plant has recently been cultivated in Florida, California, and Hawaii. Purple orchid-like flowers grow on the stalks of the wild plant. The most common part of the plant known for its multi-faceted use is the thick tuberous rhizome root that is brown on the outside but a dark yellowish amber hue on the inside.
Ginger yields an essential oil that is steam distilled from the unpeeled, dried and ground root. The scent is somewhat bitterer than the root but when used in aromatherapy the oil mixes well with sandalwood, cedar wood and patchouli, adding a woody-spicy scent to the mix.
Cilantro is the leaf of the young coriander plant, an herb in the parsley family, similar to anise. These plants produce an abundance of tasty, young leaves that you can harvest throughout the year. This species is very suitable to growing year round in a sunny windowsill or with the use of fluorescent lights. By following these easy tips, you can make sure that your plant thrives and gives you many tasty leaves for your favorite meals.
Cilantro is also known as Coriandrum sativum. Most experts recommend that you begin growing these plants from seed, as they are not good at being repotted. It is easy to start seeds. All you need to do is sprinkle them on top of your pot, and then cover them with a light layer of potting mix. This should be kept moist, and in no time you’ll have the plants sprouting through the surface.
Oregano comes from the labiate family like basil. Its natural habitat is the mountainous region around the Mediterranean Sea. The ancient Greeks and Romans introduced oregano to Europe and the Spaniards in turn brought it to the new world. It is grown for export in Mexico as Origanum mexicana Mexican oregano. Ancient Greeks used oregano as an antidote and it was used by Ancient Egyptian herbalists for medicinal purposes as well. The name oregano means ‘joy of the mountain’.
Oregano, despite of its popularity in Greece, Italy and other Mediterranean countries, was almost unknown in the US until after the World War II when soldiers brought home the “pizza taste”. Its popularity around the world rose with the popularity of Italian foods, particularly pizza.