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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.
**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.

garlicGarlic (Allium sativum) is mentioned only once in the Bible. It was held in great esteem by the ancient Egyptians.
(Numbers 11:5) “We remember the fish we ate in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic.”
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.

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.
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.

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.
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.


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.

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.
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.

**Those requesting printed information…the cost is $ 25.00, PM me for payment instructions.
**Please do not copy this or any of my material from Sage Hill without written permission from me.**
Anything I share is free to read and use for your personal benefit…Not to copy and re-distribute. Thank you~

Pumpkin history (as we know pumpkins to be) is somewhat recent compared to many other vegetables and fruits. The word pumpkin originated from the Greek word Pepõn which means large melon. The word gradually morphed by the French, English and then Americans into the word “pumpkin.” Pumpkins and squash are believed to have originated in the ancient Americas. These early pumpkins were not the traditional round orange upright Jack-O-Lantern fruit we think of today when you hear the word pumpkin. They were a crooked neck variety which stored well. Archaeologists have determined that variations of squash and pumpkins were cultivated along river and creek banks along with sunflowers and beans. This took place long before the emergence of maize (corn). After maize was introduced, ancient farmers learned to grow squash with maize and beans using the “Three Sisters” tradition.

The Three Sisters are squash, corn and beans which grow and thrive together. Corn serves as the natural trellis for the beans to grow on. The beans roots set nitrogen in the soil to nourish the corn. The bean vines help to stabilize the corn stalks on windy days. The squash plants shelter the shallow roots of the corn and shade the ground to discourage weeds and preserve moisture. Truly a symbiotic relationship. I have read where it was a common practice to bury a small fish alongside the seeds at planting to nourish the “Three Sisters.”

Today’s Pumpkins~

When we think ‘pumpkin’ what color comes to mind…for most I suspect it is the traditional orange.

All pumpkins start out green, then gradually grow into whatever color they become.

The Australian Blue (or light grey) is a smaller and flatter pumpkin, but adds beauty and charm to any collection.

There is a red pumpkin ” Rouge D’Etant” and one called Cinderella.

The tan pumpkin is what all commercial processors use. I have cooked a tan and find it much less stringy than all the others, milder in flavor also.

All pumpkins are the same color fruit inside.
All are packed with vitamin A and potassium and high in fiber.

All the odd shaped fruits such as the Monk’s Turbin, Goose neck, and many, many other varieties are not really pumpkins…instead they are either from the squash or gourd family.


Some of the pumpkins that have been grown at Sage Hill over the years are in pictures below.

This year, this season, Sage Hill will be celebrating the “Pumpkin”.

So…look forward to more of the weird, wacky, colorful, and delicious

herbs past and present

Many of you know me as a Culinary Herbalist, herb grower, gardener, and advocate for “Truth In Labeling, ” and promoter of all around better food habits for good health.

In the next few months I would like to introduce another subject dear to my heart and something I embrace and practice. (Herbs…for medicine.)

Let me qualify one thing clearly…I do not sell medicinal products, nor do I give medicinal advice.

My goal is to share information that will peak your interest and motivate you to look at all options for getting and maintaining good health. This can and should be a combination of practices. Herbal medicine, Western medicine, food choices, lifestyles, and spiritual health. Balance is what truly brings about the very best health.

From ancient times, herbs have played a vital role in the healing traditions of many cultures.
The alternative way of looking at health care, of which Herbs, past and present represent-can be just as valid today as they were 5,000 years ago.

Next post will look at Origins of Western Herbalism~ stay tuned .

Bea Rigsby-Kunz
Culinary Herbalist 

Disclaimer….Any and all herbal articles from and by Sage Hill is offered totally as educational information only. We do not intend this information to be viewed as medicinal advice for any given treatment.
Sage Hill does not sell Medicinal products nor do we give Medicinal advice.