*NOTE*: not all claims regarding herbs’ effects within the body have been proven in scientific studies, rather civilizations’ and societies’ uses and records through the centuries. As always, consult a physician when altering or adding wild plants to your dietary habits.
You don’t have to ask us to highlight healing herbs twice; they’re what make Green Goo products the all-natural powerhouses they are. There are more ways to extract the medicinal properties of some herbs, though, like adding them to culinary creations.
For example, calendula has been used for thousands of years in foodstuffs, from adding color to soups and stews to teas innately brewed with strong antioxidant compounds. Though we don’t hype those benefits on our packaging, calendula is the single most-used herb by Green Goo for a multitude of reasons.
We could go on down the list of herbs useful both as topicals and as meal ingredients, but we thought we’d start off with a few easily grown this time of year, especially as your new gardens get going:
SAGE – Salvia Officinalis
You may be familiar with sage as a meat rub, poultry sprinkling, or simple spice that adds flavor to many dishes. Beyond its taste, though, there are other reasons to include sage in your cooking. Rosmarinic acid in sage is an antioxidant that scavenges for free radicals that could cause serious health problems in your body. There have also been studies confirming sage as a memory booster.
Sage is an evergreen perennial plant, meaning it will grow in your garden all year long. Allow for plenty of sunlight in well-drained soil – you won’t want it to get too wet.
Here’s a simple side dish incorporating fresh sage leaves with broccoli.
CHICKWEED – Stellaria Media
It’s good to know chickweed flowers several times a year, and only after five (5!) weeks in the ground, even if it is one of Earth’s most common weeds. It is a natural source of saponins and vitamins A & C, as well as calcium and iron.
Chickweed is also a great food for chickens, livestock, and certain caged animals as it grows green in colder months. For humans and animals alike, the herb should be consumed in moderation.
Throw chickweed in salads and you’ll barely notice it’s there while benefiting from its natural medicinal properties. Since there’s bound to be so much of it, though, we found this recipe for a Chickweed Pesto that might brighten up more plates and bowls.
PLANTAIN – Plantago Major
No, not the bananas. Just about every part of this plant is edible, with the elongated leaves a viable source of bioavailable calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin A, and some vitamin C. It has been known to provide relief as a digestive aid (like many herbs, however, prolonged consumption or consumption in large quantities may result in mild stomach pain).
It’s a pretty tough, invasive plant that grows in abundance around the world, flowering from April to November, meaning you’re bound to stumble upon it if it’s not a viable option for your garden.
We found a recipe for Plantain Leaf Crisps that’s fun from picking to mixing to snacking.
ROSEMARY – Rosmarinus Officinalis
Another evergreen perennial to have close to home, rosemary is similar to sage in that it is no stranger to the kitchen and barbeques as a favored seasoning and flavor-enhancer for certain meats. Teas with rosemary are calming, aiding in stress relief, and high in antioxidants. Use it to gargle with sore throats, too.
You won’t have any problems adding this plant to your garden, and you’ll be satisfied with the leaf yield whether you’re using a lot in meal preparations or for relaxation.
What do you know of adding spice to trail mix? Epicurious has a Coconut and Crispy Chickpea Trail Mix that features rosemary and is perfect for both the out-of-hand eater and salad- and yogurt-topper.
Those are just a few of the valuable herbs you can grow and consume on your own that also happen to be major players in Green Goo products. Do you have any culinary tales incorporating these or others? Are there any good combinations that could help combat dry skin or naturally boost your immune system? Care to share them with the class? Leave a note below in the comments and share the link with family and friends to spread the word.