Suppression

Herbs

Category: Food

Type

Voluntary

Introduction and description

In general use, herbs are any plants used for flavouring, food, medicine, or perfume. On this website I want to home in however, on those plants we generally recognise as culinary plants and which are often marketed as herbs:

hyssop and so on. In this context, the plants leaves are used either fresh or dried in cooking or externally and they are distinguished from spices which are usually products from another part of a plant - seeds, berries, bark, roots and fruits.

This general section enables us to list observations that are more generic concerning herbs, but the herbs themselves and their specific chemical content, as well as any observations pertinent to them can be found by following the links.

Background

The term 'Herbs', now has a different meaning to that once in use.  A herb of old was a medicine, often one that you could eat.  Thus a herb was a healing plant.  We have narrowed down the definition so much that we have lost sight of what the ancient healers were trying to achieve.

In effect their objective was to eat for health.  The principal objective was to go for the cause of the illness, but failing that a plant was used as a palliative, a means of alleviating the symptoms.  It is a sad reflection of medicine today that we have not only abandonned the idea of finding and treating the cause of illness, but have also almost entirely lost the art of eating for health.

As another sad reflection of our 'instant everything' culture, the solution to symptoms is a pill to hide the symptoms.  The pharmaceuticals of today do not heal, they hide.

All the ancient revered medical systems, for example - 

  • traditional Chinese herbal medicine TCM
  • In India, the Ayurvedic medicinal system
  • the Hippocratic (Greek) elemental healing system

are based on herbs with the wider definition.

Famous herbalists of the Western tradition include Avicenna , Galen , Paracelsus  and Culpepper. All these people used the term in its wider sense and also used food to heal, and plants as medicine.  Mrs Grieve's Herbal is still in use as a source of reference using this definition. 

Method

Herbs can be used in all sorts of ways in cooking, but in the observations you will see that they can also be used effectively in ointments.

Fresh herbs incidentally are wonderful mixed with green or white tea made with warm water.

How it works

see the observations from PubMed to see their uses and how they are perceived to work in this context.

Related observations