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Parsley

When it comes to herbs, traditions have changed, varieties have increased, but through it all, Parsley has just stayed Parsley, flat or curly leaf, nothing major and no need for change. Use it as an herb or use it as a garnish, it does not matter people still love it. Often used fresh or dried, fresh is more popular and has very easy access when purchasing it or growing it. Storing it is simple, just wrap it is a damp paper towel and place it in a baggie and store it in the fridge. Parsley is used for all kinds of sauces and salads. Parsley can pretty much be added to anything and is used often to color pestos but it is very frequently used as a garnish.


Rosemary

Rosemary is a relative to the mint family and the name is derived from its Latin origin to mean "dew of the sea." Rosemary is very common in Mediterranean cuisine and has somewhat of a bitter astringent taste to it. While that is true it compliments oily foods very nicely. A tisane can be made from the Rosemary leaves and that is also very popular when cooking.


Sage

Sage is a relative to the mint family. It is common for Sage to be ground, whole or rubbed but is generally in more of a coarse grain. Sage is grown in the United States but is also grown in Albania and Dalmatia. Sage is a very popular herb in the United States and is used quite frequently for flavoring such things s sausage, pork, lamb, and other meats, salads, pickles, cheese, and stuffing. The smell of Sage is very aromatic and distinct.


Tarragon

Tarragon is a relative to the Sunflower family and there are two different breeds of Tarragon, Russian and French. However, when you go shopping and pick up some Tarragon for your pantry or a favorite recipe it is almost guaranteed that you have just selected the dried leaves of the Tarragon plant because that is what is most often used and sold for commercial purposes.


Thyme

Thyme is a very popular and well known culinary herb. It is a very decorative plant while it is growing and is also very easy to grow as well but be prepared because bees just love Thyme. Many people use Thyme in stews, salads, meats, soups, and vegetables. Thyme is a very common household herb and is a member of the mint family. The plant is very aromatic and comes in many varieties. Thyme is a frequently used herb in many fish dishes. Oddly enough as much as honey bees love to suck the nectar from the Thyme plant is as much as other insects loathe it. Some people have been known to make a mist spray of Thyme and water and use it as a bug repellent.


Alfalfa

Alfalfa, which is a perennial herb, has a long list of dietary and medicinal uses and research has proven that Alfalfa might lower blood levels of cholesterol and glucose. Many take Alfalfa supplements orally and is has been proven safe except in a small percentage of people where it produces lupus like symptoms. In the seeds and sprouts of Alfalfa, amino acid L-canavanine is present and that is what is thought to cause this reaction. However, this is not present in the leaves of the Alfalfa. The whole leaf and the herb are what are rendered from the Alfalfa plant.


Asafoetida

Asafoetida has been also referred to as the "Food of the Gods." The main part of this plant that is used is the resin which makes up a volatile oil. The history of this herb is amazing as it was used frequently back in time by Alexander the Great for flavoring. That was back in 4 B.C. still in early times, Asafoetida was used to treat gas and the bloating associated with it. Carrying through time the resin gum is used often for vegetarian dishes that are prepared in India. Today, it is one of the main flavorings in Worcestershire sauce.


Balsam of Tolu

Balsam of Tolu is an herb that comes from a very tall tree that can be found in Columbia, Peru, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia. This herbal plant has also been called Balsam of Peru because it was originally exported primarily from Peru but that is no longer the case. The resin of this tree is what is most valuable and is retrieved in the same fashion that one collects the valuable properties from a rubber tree by tapping into it. The gummy resin that comes from the tree is then turned into balsam. Today, the main exporters of Balsam of Tolu are El Salvador, Columbia, and Venezuela.


Basil

Originally, Basil was not the most popular herb in the bunch. Actually there were some who simply hated it, mainly the ancient people. The name basil means "be fragrant" but still various cultures battled with a love hate relationship over basil. Americans and Romans loved it while Hindus plant it in their homes as a sign of happiness. On the contrary it was the Greeks who despised it most but those from India and Persia were not too fond of it either. One place that took a special liking to Basil was Italy and to this day not many people prepare a classic pasta sauce without the Basil.


Belladonna

Belladonna is not an herb that you are going to want to stock your pantry with. While it has its benefits, this is an herb that can be very dangerous and sometimes even fatal. It has some medicinal properties to it and has an interesting history but it can be very dangerous. The nickname "deadly nightshade" is a good clue of its potency. There is however a tincture that comes from this plant that is used for medicinal purposes. Belladonna is a perennial herb that is native to Europe and Asia Minor but is now grown quite often in the United States, Europe, and India. When the plant is in full bloom the plant is harvested and then dried for use.


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