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Jun 12, 2011


Quick tips


•Put your herb garden where you can see it daily—such as near the kitchen or where you’ll walk by each day.


•Herbs are more aromatic if starved just a bit. Don’t be quick to water and don’t fertilize.


•Provide plenty of sunshine.


•Herbs demand good drainage. Plant on a slight mound, especially in areas with poor drainage. Avoid planting where water stands.


•Pick leaves just before flowering. That’s when they’re at their peak of flavor. Morning is the best time to harvest.


•Keep harvesting. Herbs are happier when constantly clipped
 
Medicinal herbsMain article: Herbalism


Plants contain phytochemicals that have effects on the body.



There may be some effects when consumed in the small levels that typify culinary "spicing", and some herbs are toxic in larger quantities. For instance, some types of herbal extract, such as the extract of St. John's-wort (Hypericum perforatum) or of kava (Piper methysticum) can be used for medical purposes to relieve depression and stress. However, large amounts of these herbs may lead to toxic overload that may involve complications, some of a serious nature, and should be used with caution. One herb-like substance, called Shilajit, may actually help lower blood glucose levels which is especially important for those suffering from diabetes. Herbs have long been used as the basis of traditional Chinese herbal medicine, with usage dating as far back as the first century CE[4] and far before.



Medicinal use of herbs in Western cultures has its roots in the Hippocratic (Greek) elemental healing system, based on a 4-fold elements healing metaphor. Famous herbalist of the Western tradition include Avicenna (Arabian), Galen (Roman), Paracelsus (German Swiss), Culpepper (English) and the botanically inclined Eclectic physicians of 19th century/early 20th century America (John Milton Scudder, Harvey Wickes Felter, John Uri Lloyd). Modern pharmaceuticals had their origins in crude herbal medicines, and to this day, many drugs are still extracted as fractionate/isolate compounds from raw herbs and then purified to meet pharmaceutical standards.



Some herbs are used not only for culinary and medicinal purposes, but also for psychoactive and/or recreational purposes; one such herb is cannabis.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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