Monday, May 25, 2009

6 amazing herbs you need to grow

These 6 herbs are so great not only for cooking but a boost of heatlh for your family. These are readily available in any Lowes, Home Depot, or any where that sells any type of plants. They add flavor to any dish you make, and have lots of healthy benefits. They have antioxidants and vitamins with not a drop of salt or fat. They also can protect you against cancer and heart disease.
1. Peppermint-Used in savory and sweet dishes. Peppermint's menthol's, an active terpenoid, triggers a cooling neurological sensation and inhibits tumors by stimulating detoxifying enzymes. Has vitamin A, calcium, and folate, too. Menthol breaks down the heat, so raw mint offers the most benefits. Use in salsa, or pasta. 

2. Rosemary-This plant is the most enduring out of all these. This is a beautiful plant alone even if you don't use it to cook with.  This is anti-inflammatory and anti tumor herb. Its flavonoids may help keep LDL ("bad") cholesterol from oxidizing, thereby preventing hardening of the atreries. The scent improve alertness and memory so you can also use it as a aromatherapy.  Bake into breads,  or use in marinades for chicken or lamb.

3.  Parsley-Has a wonderful peppery flavor.  Parsley has vitamin C, A and K. Also contains the phytochemical polyacetylene, which helps reduce cancer risk. Also fights bad breath, thanks to its odor-absorbing chlorophyll. Parsley can be added to just about any dish. Great with pasta, olive oil and some feta cheese.  Super easy to grow too. I would reccomend growing a flat leaf parsley, otherwise you will be getting a texture in your mouth thats not easily swollowed. 

4. Oregano-This taste great fresh or dried. This herb offers more antioxidants than any other herb as well as most fruits and veggies. Wisk into salad dressings, or put in any marinade. 

5. Basil-Has a spicy fragrance with hints of anise. It contains cancer-protective phytochemicals, which help stimulate the immune system and block  metabolic pathways linked to cancer developement. Add to your favorite sandwich, use in any italian dish, or wrap around a piece of cheese and tomato. 

6.  Cilantro-Its main aroma component, decenal, offers antibacterial effects, while cilantro's phytochemicals, including phthalides and terpenoids, provide anticancer properties. Also a blood-sugar-lowering effects which stave off or manage diabetes. Add to guacamole, or stir chopped cilantro into plain yogurt for a vegetable dip.

No matter what house we live in, we always create a kid friendly herb garden. I have the girls help me pick them out, plant them and water them. In return , they get to pick leaves whenever they want and eat them. They just love rubbing their fingers on them and smelling all the wonderful aroma's they give off. Their favorite herb (not mentioned) is lemon verbina. They pick a few leaves and put them into ice water. Its a wonderful (no sugar, no calories) drink in the summer. Everything in our herb garden and main garden is touchable. It feels good when we are doing our daily routine and they point out a plant and say "Mama, I want to touch and smell it." It shows me that they listened to me and learned. Hopefully the way we choose to live now, reflects them when they grow up. I dont want them to ever leave the house (so sad ) but when they do, I will be so proud when they show me their gardens. 

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