Published November 21, 2018
“Mother Earth’s medicine chest is full of healing herbs of incomparable worth.” – Robin Rose Bennet
Herbs are known far and wide for their many uses. People dedicate their lives to studying how to combine and concoct natural remedies using nature’s natural elements. At this time of the year, there are a few that are used more than others, especially in your holiday meals. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without the use of a few herbs here or there. As you are cooking the bird tomorrow, mixing up a drink, or sitting in a food coma, think about adding some of these herbs to your Thanksgiving feast as a little extra something.
Photo Credit: naturalfoodseries.com
Rosemary mean “dew of the sea”, in Latin coming from the Mediterranean region and is a member of the mint family, says Food Network. It’s pine and lemon scent is one of the most pungent herbs there is.1 Rosemary is great with meats like lamb, chicken, and roast beef or even dissolved in olive oil. We suggest sprinkling some on top of roasted potatoes for a hearty, fragrant side dish. With it being such a strong flavor use it very sparingly.
There are some who believe that rosemary can help improve your memory. 2 A tablespoon of freshly ground rosemary has many nutrients such as vitamin A, C, iron, and manganese. Not to mention rosemary oil has been shown to decrease the spread of E. Coli and reduce the spread of leukemia.1
Photo Credit: medium.com
This plant may be known for its ‘cooling’ effects, but there are so many other benefits to using mint in your daily life. Mint is a great source of vitamin A and helps relieve stress when inhaling its cool aroma or applied to your skin like in muscle cooling gels.
Boiling mint in tea or adding it to the Kentucky Derby favorite, mint julep drink is a great after Thanksgiving palate cleanser. Maybe, Aunt Lucille overcooked the Turkey just a bit and now you have a brick sitting in your stomach. Grab some mint or peppermint oil, because studies show that peppermint helps move things along in your digestive tract, because of its relaxing effects on your muscles. Plus it can help with that heartburn too!3
Photo Credit: West Coast Seeds.com
Eucalyptus leaves can be used for so many medicinal purposes and is one of the most recognizable scents. It can be found in many air fresheners as well as in oils and ointments. So, when you are scurrying around the house trying to clean up for company, diffuse some eucalyptus oil to freshen the air and help you breath better. Eucalyptus is also in many cold and cough medicines and antiseptics. Eucalyptus is great to help clear your sinus congestion and flu symptoms. This is one of the most versatile herbs; it is also used in dental care, reducing fevers, stain removers, and laundry detergents.
The eucalyptus plant is not good for consumption, the plant is known to be poisonous, but used in cough syrups and other medicines are safe because it’s only a tiny amount. The oil should never be ingested and if too much is consumed it cause a coma. There are more than 500 species of Eucalyptus and is native to Australia, but is also grown in Northern California.4 Eucalyptus plant oils are produced through steam distillation of the leaves.5
Fun fact! According to livestrong.com, in England in the early 19th century, hospitals would use eucalyptus oil to sterilize urinary catheters.6
This herb is most well known for being used on Thanksgiving in your stuffing or as a flavoring inside of your turkey while it cooks. Sage is a great seasoning for foods that are rich in oils and fats and is a relative to mint. It also pairs very well with dairy products. In England, they make a sage-flecked cheese called Derby and in Germany sage is put in sausages and in beer.9
Many people also burn sage to purify the air in their home and help give off positive energy. It can also help with asthma, allergies, and bronchitis. A study in 2014, proved that sage can help treat anxiety, depression, and mood disorders, not to mention it can help with a having a peaceful sleep. Overall sage, is a very calming and spiritual herb that many use in their homes all year long.10
Photo Credit: DiamondHerbs.co
This herb has some of the most fascinating and strange effects. Native to Europe, wormwood has been used to treat liver and kidney disease as well as kill intestinal parasites. But most notably, it can help cure drunkenness. Which is strange considering wormwood is the main ingredient of absinthe.7 This very strong herb can cause muscle spasms and taken too much can actually cause one to have convulsions and hallucinations, according to Livestrong.com.
The species name, absinthium, means "without sweetness."8 The leaves are often ground and used as a seasoning for a bitter taste while other parts of the plant are used to flavor certain beverages like beer and tea. It can also be used as anti-inflammatory and antidepressant as well as an overall digestive stimulant. It is used in some insecticides and can help eliminate intestinal worms. This Thanksgiving, use this odd plant as a seasoning, a laxative or use it if your family enjoys making their own beer together.
From our owner, Linda Mills, here is a tip for you garden lovers. Did you know that herbs are a type of plant that deer do not like to eat, especially garlic? So plant very pungent herbs around your garden to keep out the deer.
No matter what you do with your herbs this holiday season, we hope that you and your family have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!
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