Bible Herbs – 10

Fennel2Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and Dill (Anethum graveolens) were carried to prayer meetings in Colonial times in small pouches. The seeds were used to curb the appetite. They were called “meeting seeds.”
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Fennel has an anise flavor and is good in oily fish dishes.Adds a good garnish to soups. The best being carrot, squash and potato.

I like it on baked Sweet potatos.

Fennel is a diuretic, reducing fluid retention.

It increases breast milk in nursing mothers and can ease colic in babies.
A strong infusion of the seed is a good antiseptic gargle for sore throats.
The tallest plant in the right hand corner of this photo is fennel.

Butterflies love it !

Bible Herbs – 9

CostmaryCostmary (Chrysanthemem balsamita) is also known as Bible leaf because in Colonial times a leaf served as a bookmark in Bibles and prayer books. When drowsiness set in, the sleeper treated himself to the minty leaf to stay awake~
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The word “cost” derives from costum, the Latin for a spicy oriental herb, so alecost means a spicy herb for ale, and costmary is Mary’s ( or women’s) spicy herb, as it was used to ease childbirth.

Finely chopped leaves is delicious in carrot soup, salads. game meat, poultry stuffing and fruit cakes.

Try it with melted butter on sweet green peas or new potatoes.

Medicinal: If you lay a leaf on a bee sting it will instantly stop hurting.

Bible Herbs – 8

wormwood1Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium….) is frequently mentioned in Scripture, always for its bitterness. According to legend, wormwood grew up in the trail left by the serpent’s tail as it slithered out of the Garden of Eden.
(Jeremiah 23:15) Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets: “Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and give them poisoned water to drink; for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has gone forth into all the land.”
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This herb I can get excited about, simply for the history.

It’s from the Aster family…grows all over the world, from the United States to Siberia. It flowers from June to September. It has a strong aromatic odor and is bitter to the taste.

Alcohol or water takes up its active principles.

wormwood2This yields what is known to druggist as “Absinthine”.
It is anthelmintic, tonic, and narcotic.

While it can be and is used medicinally it will irritate the stomach and dangerously increase the action of the heart and arteries. For this reason it should be diluted; 1 teaspoon to a pint of water.

Now…the real interesting part of its history that I am familiar with.
I know and love the city of New Orleans.

There is a very old house there called “The Absinth House.” Dates back to the early days of the settling of the French Quarter…1500/1600 hundreds.

This was a place that served only shots of Absinth. (Today it is a restaurant, and a very good one.)

Lots of history about people during that era having visions, and being mad…as in out of their mind.

Later as civilized thinking became the standard, the drink was outlawed and is against the law to possess it today….(well, there is the vaccine issue?)

We’ve come a long way my friends…or have we…

Bible Herbs – 7

rueRue (Ruta graveolens) has long been the symbol of sorrow and repentance, and may have been nicknamed the “herb of grace” in Christian times for the grace given by God following repentance for one’s sins. Brushes made from rue were once used to sprinkle holy water at the ceremony preceding High Mass.
(Luke 11:42) “But woe to you Pharisees! for you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.”
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According the 1918 “The Herbalist” Rue is a bitter aromatic stimulant.
Good for gas pains and colic.

During the Middle Ages, rue was hung in doorways and windows to keep evil spirits out. It was thought to protect against plague, and since people also rubbed their floors with fresh rue to keep out fleas, it probably did. Many spiritual paths have recognized the potency of rue: It apparently got the name Herb of Grace because early Christians used it as a tool for asperging during exorcisms and before performing Mass, and this herb is the only one that the Prophet Mohammed blessed. This herb was grown around Roman temples to Mars and is considered sacred to him as well as to Diana and Aradia. Sensibly enough, it is good for purifying objects made of iron, Mars’ metal, before consecrating them. Rue was sometimes called witchbane because people carried bunches to keep off witches (who must have been thick as mosquitoes in those days), and the expression “rue the day” is said to come from the practice of throwing rue at an enemy while cursing him. In the 18th and 19th centuries
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I don’t grow rue because it is very irritating to the skin and has no culinary value at all to me.

I have read two different opinions about yes it is…and no it isn’t poisonous to ingest.

I don’t advise trying it.

Bible Herbs – 6

mustard1Mustard (Brassica nigra) is described in Matthew 13:31 as “the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.”

Matthew 17:20 “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Mustard is a bit confusing to some.

mustard2When we spread mustard on a sandwich we seldom stop to think of it as being a garden green that can be cooked like turnip greens or used as salad greens.

The entire plant is useful…the flowers and leaves for cooking and for salads. The seeds for sauces and spreads.

Those who juice or go the smoothie route…don’t forget the mustard.
Green, right from the garden with a sweet apple…yummy!

Mustard greens have a peppery flavor and add spice to salads that tend to be bland.

Medicinally it is used for many things…one being inflammation and pain.

Bible Herbs – 5

hyssop1Hyssop (Sorghum vulgare) is known as the holy herb. Hyssop was used to cleanse the temples and other sacred places of the Egyptians. David mentions hyssop in Psalms 51:7. Hyssop as we know it may or may not be the hyssop mentioned by David. There is some debate since the derivation of the name hyssop is in the Greek word hussopos and the Hebrew esob, meaning simply, “holy herb.”

(Psalms 51:7) Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
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**Hyssop is not a culinary herb.**

It grows to 3 feet high and looks much like a lavender plant.

It has many medicinal uses, both old and modern updates.

hyssop2Some of well known uses are for colds, coughs, and chest infections.

The flowers in your bath water are aromatic and eases the pain of rheumatism.
The green tops, cut and bruised will heal cuts promptly.

Hyssop is not recommended for those with epileptic issues or for pregnant women.

Expectorant, diaphoretic, stimulant, pectoral, carminative. The healing virtues of the plant are due to a particular volatile oil, which is stimulative, carminative and sudorific.

The infusion has an agreeable flavor and is used by herbalists in pulmonary diseases.

Bible Herbs – 4

garlicGarlic (Allium sativum) is mentioned only once in the Bible. It was held in great esteem by the ancient Egyptians.
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(Numbers 11:5) “We remember the fish we ate in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic.”
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Garlic is one of the best preventive options we have at our disposal to build a strong immune system.

Include garlic in all your meals and know that you are doing something wonderful for yours and your family’s health.

1 to 5 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped oregano
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup chopped thyme
sprinkling of pink or kosher salt
sprinkling of fresh ground black pepper
sprinkling of cayenne (optional)

Toss a desired amount into any dish from scrambled eggs to your dinner dish of stews, soups, and casseroles.

This blend is delicious mixed with a small amount of mustard,( or mayo) spread on a french roll and layered with ham or pastrami, wrapped with baking foil and steamed until hot.

Serve with hot unpasteurized Apple Cider…you’ve just had a heaping dose of immune building goodies for the day.

PS: to eliminate the odor of garlic just swish with water and baking soda…or chew a few sprigs of oregano or parsley.

Bible Herbs – 3

HERBS of the Bible~Day Four~~
Cumin (Cuminum cyminum)…. is an herb native to the upper areas of the Nile, mentioned in the Bible, along with Mint (Mentha sp.), when Jesus reproved the scribes.

cumin1(Matthew 23:23) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.”~

(Old Testament) “For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod.
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Cumin (pronounced “KYOO-min”) is a spice made from the dried seed of a plant known as Cuminum cyminum. A member of the parsley family.

Ancient Romans used cumin the way people do pepper today, as an all-purpose seasoning for nearly every food.

Cumin is well loved in Middle Eastern and Indian dishes.

cumin2Lamb, curries and yogurt are among the most popular foods that call for Cumin.
Black Cumin, while not easy to find in certain locations, imparts a milder flavor…I find it best for those foods that don’t need a strong influence.
It’s also used to flavor liqueurs and for pickling.

The seed is used in perfumery and veterinary medicine.

It’s medicinal uses are for flatulence, colic, indigestion and diarrhea.
This is my favorite blend for Indian food or any food that you wish to impart a good bite.

**Equal amounts of: cardamon, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.**
Just blend well and store in an airtight jar…I make small batches as needed for a few weeks use.

Does wonders for a basic Chili recipe.
And it spices up a cup of plain tea or hot chocolate cup.
Enjoy~

Herbs of the Bible – 2

Coriander-A Bible Herb~

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is referenced several times in the Old Testament.

(Exodus 16:31) Now the house of Israel called its name manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.
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corianderCoriander/Cilantro is fast becoming one of the most popular fresh herbs in the U.S. The foliage is called Cilantro, while the edible seed is Coriander.
( the plant looks very much like the Italian parsley plant.)But…can easily be identified by the aroma. Very pungent.

Coriander seeds were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen, dating back to around 1300 BC.

The plant was brought to Britain by the Romans; in the first century AD.

The Coriander seeds are delicious in soups and breads and is a main ingredient in a good “curry powder.”

Mix together:

1oz dried ginger
1oz coriander seed
1oz cardamon seed
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1oz turmeric powder

Grind to a fine blend with pestle and mortar/store in an air tight glass jar.

( this blend is wonderful added to sour cream for a spicy dipping bowl.)

Medicinal use:

The seeds are most potent for calming indigestion and helps digest fatty foods.

The essential oil is used in aromatherapy massage for muscular aches and stress related indigestion.

We usually have at least one Mexican meal during the holidays and this blend is a staple.

Enjoy….experiment~

For those who doubt the benefits from using herbs in the kitchen….ponder the fact….in the times we are discussing….herbs were entirely for medicine-culinary usage did not come into play until much, much later.

For example…nothing better for our system than the Warm herbs…ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, clove, etc.
Just a shake in everything you consume will pack a wallop at the end of the day.

Herbs of the Bible – 1

There are at least twelve herbs that are mentioned in the Bible.

I think the Holiday Season is a perfect time to ponder these.
herbs of the bible bible

Aloe (Aquilari agalloche) is believed to be the only tree descended to man from the Garden of Eden.

(Numbers 24:6) Like valleys that stretch afar, like gardens beside a river, like aloes that the Lord has planted, like cedar trees beside the waters.
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aloeAloe today is a major herb in the field of Natural health and medicine.

The most well know uses are the benefits in treating burns, from small mishaps to badly burned cases, sunburn, eczema, psoriasis, and any other skin inflammation.

Mixed with cucumber juice it can be used to help immune function, digestive function and conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, and Crohn’s disease.

Keeping an Aloe Vera plant in your garden or a small pot in the kitchen can be a fast and helpful remedy for small bites and scrapes from everyday activities, especially if you have small children.

It’s also great for a soft and healthy complexion.

The leaves can be broken and the gel applied directly to the skin.

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