Yarrow

Growing and Cultivating Yarrow A member of the aster family, yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is closely related to chamomile and chrysanthemums. Native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Asia, Europe and North America, this flower thrives in warm, sunny slopes, as well as meadows and roadsides. Typically, the flowers are arranged in white clusters with a hairy stem (often no more than 3 feet in height) edged with feathery, cauline leaves, but hot pink and pale purple flowers have been known to dominate entire…

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Valerian

Cultivate Valerian in Your Herb Garden for its  Medicinal Benefits Native to Europe and parts of Asia, Valerian is a perennial flowing plant with straight, hollow stems topped by an umbrella-shaped fringe of delicate pink or white flowers. Despite its elegant look, its roots, when dry, can give off an unpleasant odor. Ever since the time of ancient Greece and Rome, valerian (Valeriana officinalis) has been used as a folk remedy for a variety of ailments, such as insomnia, anxiety, nervousness and heart palpitations. Its popularity as…

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Thyme

How to Grow and Cultivate Thyme Thyme (Thymus vulgaris and others in the genus Thymus) is a perennial herb of Southern European origin. Popularly known as a Mediterranean cooking ingredient, thyme possesses a distinctive herbaceous flavor and a heady aroma that matches well with meat, cheese, and tomatoes. It is a traditional component of the Arab herb mixture za’atar, and the French herbes de Provence and bouquet garni. Aside from its role in various cuisines, thyme is also known for its medicinal uses. Oil of…

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Turmeric

How to Grow  and Cultivate Turmeric Cultivation of Turmeric If you’ve dined at an authentic Indian restaurant or have tried cooking an Indian dish, then you’ve probably come across turmeric. This powerful herb imparts a bright yellow color and a distinctive, pungent taste and aroma to food. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a plant native to South Asia that looks similar to ginger. It is an important ingredient in Indian and Asian cuisine, is an Ayurvedic medicine, and has been used as a natural dye for more…

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St John’s Wort

Growing and Cultivating St John’s Wort Named after its time of bloom – June 24, the birthday of John the Baptist – St. John’s wort has yellow flowers with distinctive oval-shaped, elongated petals, as well as a rich history of being used as medicine dating back to ancient Greece. Theorized by scientists to be native to Europe, the western United States and parts of Africa and Asia, St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) possesses impressive antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties and is thus used for a variety…

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Sage

Sage Growing and Cultivating Tips The importance of sage as a medicinal herb is apparent in its scientific name, Salvia officinalis. The word salvia was derived from salve, which means “to save” or “to heal”, and officinalis came from officina, meaning a storeroom inside a monastery where medicines and herbs were kept during ancient times. For centuries before it was classified by Linnaeus in the 1700s, the herb was extolled for purported miraculous properties. The Greeks and the Romans wrote about how it could fend…

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Spearmint

The Benefits of Adding Spearmint to Your Herb Garden Native to much of Europe and southwest Asia, spearmint (Mentha spicata) is a species of herb that is easily bruised and produces a wonderfully refreshing smell as a result. This bright green herb, also known as the garden mint or common mint, with its broad feathery-edged leaves is a favorite ingredient of all chefs for it adds a unique flavor to any imaginable dish, making it both look and taste fresh. It is used as a…

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