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The History of Herbs; without herbal medicine, modern medicine would not be in the advanced stage. Our species has relied on plants for thousands of years – not only for nutrition but to ease ailments that develop within our minds and bodies.
The parts of an herb have helped us survive disease and pestilence and contributed to our survival for as long as humans have existed. Over time, we have learned which herbs and parts of a plant provide value to our lives and which have the potential to cause damage.
We know that our ancestors used herbal remedies because archeologists have unearthed evidence that they used plant-based treatments worldwide. What’s intriguing is that cultures on a global scale, which had no known contact with one another, all used herbal remedies in much the same way – testing and tracking what worked and what didn’t in the herbal world of treatments.
As time proved some assumptions correct, our ancestors passed the teachings about herbal treatments down through familial lineage. They also created texts to help others study and learn about the techniques used in taking a natural approach to healing.
It was from our ancestral roots that modern-day pharmaceutical companies derived their synthetic drugs today. They recreate the natural effects herbal treatments deliver to the human body, sometimes succeeding and often failing. For example, aspirin was created as a replica of the substance found in willow bark that provides a natural pain reliever.
The History of Herbs: Botanical Treatments:
Botanical treatments do not provide the same side effects that synthetic drugs do, which accounts for why many modern-day consumers are steering away from human-made compounds and concentrating on returning to their roots of herbal remedies and natural treatments. When our ancestors began cultivating plants for their use, they included herbal gardens that provided immediate access to particular plants they found soothing for their ailments, including aloe, peppermint, mustard, and more.
As the cultures began to emerge throughout the years and travelers started exploring the world, ideas were exchanged, and treatments one culture found useful were now in the hands of another culture who previously didn’t have access to such findings or even the plants themselves before the trade.
The History of Herbs; our ancestors:
Herbs were so crucial to our ancestors that they became a part of religious rituals and were highly valued. Today, not only do consumers see the significance of promoting herbal treatments, but doctors are aligning with this way of thinking as well.
Herbs have been around for centuries in many capacities. You may be aware of their ability to add new and varied tastes to your food dishes. If you’ve never been much into using them for anything else, there is another world out there where homemade medicinal remedies utilize herbs. Some of the ones you see on the following list could do double duty in the kitchen and the sick room.
The History of Herbs: Culinary Herbs as old as time:
- Basil – Most often used is sweet basil. Use it to season meats and vegetables. It has a flavor similar to cloves.
- Anise – The seeds are used for salads and baked goods. The leaves can also be used for meat and salads. It tastes like licorice.
- Chives – Have an onion flavor. They are used in salads and on vegetables.
- Dill – Known for use in making pickles, but also great for dressings. Use leaves in salads and as seasonings on fish, meat, and vegetables.
- Garlic – Chopped, minced, or as a spread, it flavors meat and vegetables.
- Oregano – Used in Italian and Mediterranean cooking. Standard on pizza, in soups, sauces, and on vegetable dishes.
- Mint – Used as a flavoring for mint sauce. Use the leaves in teas as a soother.
- Parsley – Mostly used as decoration on dinner plates. It can make a seasoning for soup and salad.
- Thyme – Found in the mix of herbs used in Italian cuisine.
- Sage – This herb is used the most around Thanksgiving and Christmas. It flavors poultry as well as stuffing and dressing.
- Savory – Found in dishes that contain eggs, soups, sauces, and green beans.
- Rosemary – Great for seasoning lamb and poultry
- Marjoram – It is found in the Italian mix of seasonings. Use it to flavor meats.
- Coriander – The seeds are used in stuffing and curries. It tastes like orange leaves. The leaves are used in Asian and Mexican cuisine.
- Chervil – Can be used as a garnish, often mixed with salad greens and in soups or omelets.
- Fennel – Used to season fish and sometimes found in sauces. You can use the leaves, seeds, and stems.
- Tarragon – This is a French herb. It is an ingredient in tartar sauce, chicken dishes, some seafood, and flavor vinegar.
- Sorrel – An acidic-tasting herb that is used in soups and sauces.
- Cilantro – Used primarily in Mexican cuisine for salsa, rice, and meats.
As Herbalist and Holistic Healer, we are using herbs in our everyday lives. Weather is in the kitchen or as medication. I hope this article has given you some insight into our healing plants, the herb.
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