The Gift of Herbs and Spices Introductory Class Part 1

Welcome To the Beginners Herb Class

First I want to start with a tour which is the way I would do it if I had you come to my house and was teaching you about herbs. I have a number of short video’s to watch with some explanation going on in each one. I am going to go through the ones that I grow in Alphabetical Order along with short uses for and qualities of other common herbs. It is just a easy way to keep it organized.

Allium Family
There are many kinds of chives, some grow very low to the ground and stay quite small. The kind in this video will grow over a foot tall and tend to have rather flat leaves. There are wild onions, that we used to have at our place in Ellenburg that were round left and produced great flowers in the spring.

I only grow three varieties but there are dozens around the world and this is one of the most used herbs. I love garlic and not just for garlic bread, although that is a great thing in my life. Garlic is good in soups, salads, baked goods, roasted, and in dressing.

Elephant Garlic harvested and looking good!

Leaks are part the family as well and come in numerous varieties. They are used for salads, soups, stirfrys, and on potaotoes “I hope to grow someone of these days.

These days, onions come in many flavors and colors. I live in the Walla Walla Valley where Walla Walla Sweet Onions grow. They have been one of my favorites for years. My mother loved onions so we had lots of onions growing up. They are great in salads, soups, with potatoes, roasted, baked, on sandwiches, and with pasta. There are dozens of varieties, there are advantages to growing your own because if you have good soil the onions will taste better, be more nutrient rich, and have more minerals and vitamins.

Aloe Vera
This is one of my favorite herbs because it has so many uses. I didn’t know it existed until I was a senior in college working on my research paper. I read article after article that said people fed it to horses? I had no idea what that was for but it worked for a lot of people so I started using it for both my horses and myself. It turns out it us useful for a lot more than sunburn and burn treatment. Nutritionally it is packed with minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals and antioxidants. This has made it a super food capitalized on by large vitamin companies like Mannatech who use it as a base for many of their supplements. There are a number of other companies that capitalize on the abundance of healthy nutrients that it contains. Like most herbs it is the richest when used fresh so growing your own is a plus. The next best thing is whole gel in dark bottles. Juice still has benefits but not as many as fresh or gel. It the juice has been heated or allowed to sit in plastic bottles it may have few nutrients left. There are a lot of companies that do a great job of growing and extracting it. I have relied on Lilly of the Valley brand for years because it has given consistent product quality. I grow Aloe Vera as well and use fresh from the plants. I don’t have enough room inside to grow all I use so still buy it by the gallon and let it set in my refrigerator while I use it. There are a number of books and articles on Aloe Vera that extol not only it’s used in humans but also the use by veterinarians.
Ways to used it.
I frequently put it in smoothies because the flavor is very much like taking a medicine that doesn’t taste all that good. I have also mixed it with nut milk, coconut milk, or juice and drank it that way. I have added it to applesauce and taken it as well.

Anise Seed
Star anise is used to make that amazing flavor in anise cookies. It can also be used to flavor salads, baked goods, crackers, in smoothies, and tea.

Basil s
Cinnamon Basil
Cinnamon basil has a flavor similar to sweet basil with just a bit of kick to it. It is good for salads, soups, pizza, smoothies, and pesto.

Purple and Sweet Basil on Roof
Great basil to add to many salads, bruchetta, pesto, pasta, salsa, smoothie, pizza, or on a cucumber.

Sweet Basil
Great basil to add to many salads, bruchetta, pesto, pasta, smoothie, pizza, or on a cucumber.

Thai Basil
Great basil to add to many salads, bruchetta, pesto, pasta, smoothie, pizza, or on a cucumber.

Caraway seed is occasionally used in baking and can be used in other things as well. Medicinally it has been used for toothaches, rhematism, and eye infections.

This is frequently used for a calming tea to relax the nervous system.

I use this herb almost every week in a salsa type of salad with cabbage, peppers, onion, and tomatoes. It has become a staple for me. Cilantro is also wonderful in a number of other salads, on pizza, in smoothies, and with potatoes. Cilantro is known to help move mercury out of the tissues and brain so that body can detox it. It has a number of phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, and nutrients.

Comfrey is used for poultices and has been for a long time. It can also be used for direct bandaging, as a salve, poultice or tea on wounds. There are people that eat or use that plant for food but that is done with some cautions. It also produces pretty flowers during the summer and can be harvested and dried.

I love dill pickles and have watched other people make them. I have mostly purchased mine but love the idea that some day I will make my own. My friend Merilee harvest hers and puts it in the freezer until she is ready to make pickles then adds it to the jars with her cucumbers.

I grow the Bronze Fennel that grows six feet tall here and produces beautiful lacy leaves. It also produces a rich harvest of seeds that make great sprouts in winter. The seeds, leaves, stems and roots are all edible. The seeds, leaves, and stems made great tea. The seeds also are used in cooking, baking, and salad. The seeds are really good sprouted. This is also a great detox herb with antioxidants, and is rich in nutrients.

Garden Burnet
This is a lovely little her you could grow for the flowers alone. I love the cucumber flavored leaves in salad, soup, and on pasta.

This strong hot tasting herb adds flavor to cookies, candy, salad, soup, and tea. It is also great for nausea, and good for digestion. Ginger rates over 100,000 in the antioxidant values so is really good for the immune system. It works synergistic-ally with other herbs in Indian cooking to create even greater health benefits.

There are many varieties of this herb. Lavender has become popular for relaxation in our stressed society. Lavender flowers, leaves, and stems can all be used in salads (small amounts), soups, and as tea. There are numerous other uses for lavender including medicinal use as a

Marjoram can be used in soups, salads, on potatoes, or as a tea. There are several different varieties and each adds just a bit of a different flavor. It is frost sensitive and may not make it through the winter outside.
This website is for educational purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Please seek professional help if you have a medical issue.

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