Who were among the first to realize the value of an herb?  The Native Americans!  Whether it was used to cure a headache or an upset tummy, there were

edible herbs  Harvesting Herbs

available for every usage.  There are culinary herbs, as well.  Some of the best foods on the planet are infused with herbs.  Why not share an interest in kitchen herbs with your children?

Food for thought:  what would an apple pie be without its flavoring from herbs?  The most popular sausages are infused with natural herbs.  Most culinary herbs can be grown as a

windowsill herb

For more on windowsill herb  go here

For more on edible herbs, visit here

Window Farms are vertical-hanging, low-energy and high-producing window gardens. Created with recycled plastic bottles and a watering system in place, they are planted hydroponically (in water) with nutrient solution instead of soil.  This is how culinary herb gardens ought to be done!


An Early Discovery

In the News:  5000 years ago, the body of a man was discovered.  He had been frozen, with the arrival of the Ice Age.  But  what is significant is not the man himself.  Rather, what he was carrying with him – herbs.   The herbs were likely for medicinal purposes.

History of Herbs

Man has long used herbs; for example, herbs were used for trading.  There was a trade route between Europe and the Far East.  These journeys to the orient brought wonderful spices like ginger and cinnamon to Europe.  Sage was in demand in Asia.   The demand for herbs opened many doors to different cultures.

Originally, the main usage of an herb was health oriented .  People in pain made a remarkable discovery – certain plants made them feel better, more relaxed, or in less pain.   For example, peppermint had wide-ranging uses.  It could be used for headache, or for improved digestion.

And ginger certainly had (and still does have) a myriad of usages.  I like to utilize ginger frequently in the kitchen, for cooking.  Yet I also have used it to heal myself (i.e., herb medicinal use).  It once saved my life.

For thousands of years, herbs were the only medicines anyone knew.  And when it finally dawned on people that supernatural spirits were not the reason behind their illnesses, herbs began to enjoy an even more prominent role.

Herbal Therapy and Self Healing

I truly believe in the power of herbs.  There are many methods of preparation:  teas, tinctures, poutices, infusions, capsules, and botanical herbs (flower essences).   Additionally, there are decoctions ; this is a  liquid preparation made by boiling a medicinal plant with water, usually with 5 parts of the drug to 100 parts water.

Resources:  All Things Herbal – Herbal Definition and Origin, Herbal Therapies and preparations, Natural Cures vs. Pharmaceuticals, and Vitamin Therapy

Herbs at a Glance (from nccam.nih.gov – official government website)

Dr Weil’s Guide to Herbal Medicines (PDF)

Meal Preparation

15 out of 16 at Amazon Rate it 5.0 Stars:  Kids and Herbs

Designing the New Kitchen Garden:  An American Potager Handbook

The Herbal Kitchen:  Cooking with Fragrance and Flavor

Cooking with Herbs:  The Southern Kitchen Garden – Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs & Flowers

The Contemporary Encyclopedia of Herbs & Spices – Seasonings for the Global Kitchen

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