Tag: herbs

Stevia Plant

Stevia Plant

Stevia is the herbaceous plant family with more than 200 species growing in the tropical and sub-tropical America, mostly Central and South and some parts of North. Stevia plant is evergreen shrub with soft green deeply veined leaves, that contains large amounts (up to 5% in dry weight) of stevioside – a sweetener estimated to be 300 times as sweet as sugar. Stevia the sweetener is regarded as the Stevia rebaudiana, both plant and leaves, which can be grown and used with or as tea (traditionally, it was paired with the yerba mate in many parts of South America) or powdered and dried as sugar substitute. It is not too difficult to grow, and with a very sweet raw leaf.

Basil: The King Of Herbs

Basil: The King Of Herbs

One of the most popular herbs is Ocimum basilicum commonly called sweet basil. Often called the ‘king of herbs,’ basil can be grown indoors or outdoors. It originated in Asia, but now has become heavily used around the world. It is cultivated in more than 12 different varieties, some of which include Lemon Basil, Cinnamon Basil and Royal Basil. One of the most popular varieties of the basil herb is commonly referred to as Sweet Basil, because of its sweet aroma which derives from the essential oils founds in its leaves and stem. Sweet basil has inch-long, oval-pointed, dark green leaves and a clove-pepperish odour and taste. Sweet basil makes a handsome, bushy small plant, growing to a foot or more indoors. A purple-leafed variety, ‘Dark Opal’ is decorative, makes a lovely houseplant, and is equally useful in cookery. Do not let basil bloom, or it will go to seed. Instead, pinch out the plant tops and they will grow into compact little bushes.

Planting A Herb Garden Tips

Planting A Herb Garden Tips

One of the best things anyone will learn about herb gardening is how relaxing and simple growing herbs can be. Discovering all the wonderful, various herbs plants and what they do is a captivating pastime, and can be quite beneficial. You can use herbs for cooking, as medicinal aids such as topical dressings or healthy teas, or simply for decorative plants in your herb garden.


There are so many herb plants to choose from, it can be a bit daunting to the beginning herb gardener. A good source of information that you probably have is your cookbook, which often devotes a chapter or two to the uses of different herbs as flavorings and accents.

Hyssop

Hyssop

One of the oldest herbs in cultivation hyssop is an attractive evergreen shrub with brilliant blue, pink or white flowers held on a spike. Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) grows well with other scented herbs such as lavender and sage. The fresh herb from garden is commonly used in cooking. The leaves can be used to make hyssop tea which is considered a cure for bronchitis and chest complaints but the leaves are more often used in soups, salads and stews to add a bittermint flavour. It can be used for robust, rustic dishes like potato or bean soup, and it goes well with fat meat; others suggest it to spice up calf and chicken.


The flavour is strong and not universally popular. It was also used by the monks who made Chartreuse and Benedictine liqueurs and hyssop oil is used in parfumes. The plant is also attractive to bees and butterflies.

Rosemary

Rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) has been used in the home since Roman times and old herbals tell of the many properties of the plant. It is the herb of remembrance and friendship and is supposed to stimulate the mind. An evergreen shrub it can be grown easily in any container herb garden given a sheltered position for although it comes from the Mediterranean it will tolerate some degree of frost.


It flowers early in the year at the end of winter. In the kitchen it is the traditional accompaniment for roast lamb and can be used to flavour a number of other dishes.

Healing And Decorative Power Of Sage

Healing And Decorative Power Of Sage

Sages (Salvias) are a large group of plants including annual, biennials, perennials and shrubs that are found in many gardens. Some are hardy, others that come from the tropics are greenhouse plants. The common sage, Salvia officinalis, and its varieties has been the best culinary herb for centuries and was formerly used in herbal medicine to treat many diseases.


An evergreen perennial or subshrub the leaves are often dried and stored for use and it is the main ingredient in sage and onion stuffing, a traditional accompaniment for roast poultry. It is also used to flavour fish, meat and cheese dishes.