10 Unusual Herbs And Why You Should Grow Them

Every garden should have a place to grow herbs even if it is just a few pots on the windowsill. Provided you have space for herbs outdoors then here are some interesting additions you can make to your existing collection of culinary herbs. You will discover names like Sweet Cicely, Epazote and Perilla and how they can be used. This information comes from an article By Sierra Bright which I found on the Natural Living Ideas website.

There are few things better than relaxing in your own beautiful herb garden, enjoying the aroma of sage and lavender while sipping on a cup of mint tea. But why not change that up a bit? You could even find yourself sipping on a chocolate mint tea while taking in the scent of orange thyme. Rare herbs like this take the fun of an herb garden up a notch.

While herbs like parsley, basil and thyme are indispensable in the kitchen, you’ve probably already got them growing in abundance. Now it’s time to grow some more unusual herbs, herbs with exotic flavors, intrigue, and all sorts of medicinal benefits too.

1. Siberian chives

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Siberian chives are similar to ordinary chives, but they have a buttery onion flavor and mauve flowers that can not only add flavor to a salad but can beautify it too. In your herb garden, they’ll provide months of color, and the round purple flowerheads are a great way to attract both bees and butterflies, while the plant’s scented foliage deters pests.

Use the flat leaves of Siberian chives just like you would use ordinary chives. You can also slice the hollow stems and add them to soups, potato dishes, Mexican fare, and of course, salads – they’re especially gorgeous this way. Just some of the health benefits they offer including strengthening the immune system, supporting heart health, boosting bone strength and improving vision.

2. Sweet cicely

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Sweet cicely is native to the British Isles and used to be grown in kitchen gardens near the door for easy access. It’s also famously used by Carthusian monks to make the liqueur, Chartreuse. In the plague years, people used it to prevent infection. All parts of the plant can be used – it’s been used for centuries for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Sweet cicely has a similar taste to aniseed, and it also helps to reduce the acidity of other ingredients in cooking. It’s ideal for adding to something like cooked apples, as it adds a touch of sweetness which means you won’t have to use as much sugar.  You can cook the roots like you would parsnips and use them to flavor up soups and stews, and the leaves as a garnish or in salads.

This herb is especially good for the digestive system, when mixed into boiling water with a little finely chopped dinner, it creates the perfect concoction for relieving digestive issues like flatulence.

3. Toothache plant

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The toothache plant does just what it sounds like – it makes your mouth go numb when you chew the leaves to help relieve the pain of an aching tooth. It has pretty yellow and red cone-shaped flowers, and its leaves have beneficial properties that are similar to echinacea, including boosting the immune system, relieving nausea and improving digestion. Its other rather unique in its appearance in that it has oddly-shaped flowers which resemble miniature eyeballs.

Spilanthes acmella, as it’s officially known also offers antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it a good purifying herb, used for disinfecting wounds and curing ringworm infections – it’s even been used as an antiparasitic and native remedy against malaria in the tropics. The flower buds and fresh leaves can be made into a tea, chewed or steamed and eaten as salad greens.

See more at Natural Living Ideas

Feature photo: Anna

 

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