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Chapter 1 – An Introduction To Herbs

Natural herbs have been in use since the dawn of time. The Chinese have been using these flavorful weeds for everything from spicing up a favorite dish to curing allergies. Native Americans used herbs to cure all ailments from toothaches to poison ivy.

The early uses of herbs were mainly dedicated to medicine. People discovered certain plants made the body feel better, become more relaxed or reduce pain. Chamomile, for example, produces a calming effect, and mint can settle an upset stomach.

With the onset of new medical practices, the use of herbs became less relied upon. In some countries, it even became illegal to practice the use of herbal medicine, as that was considered substandard. Many people who had relied on herbs for healing were accused of witchcraft.

It was not until the 1960’s and 1970’s that herbs started making a comeback. Now, people are realizing many illnesses are better treated with herbs than other medicines. In fact, when it was discovered that many prescribed medications were based on natural herb remedies, some people swore off medicines and started using only natural herbs.

Somehow, though, herbs never did leave the cook pot. Whether it was to add flavor to a cake or pie or season a pot of stew, herbs have been in the kitchen forever.

Most herbs can be grown in the household garden. People forget the value of herbs, until they try to cook without them. Herbs may be an overlooked little plant in the yard, but they are plants that can pack a punch.

In this publication, I will cover the uses of herbs in cooking, how to grow an herb garden, how to dry and store herbs and some medicinal uses of herbs. Toward the end I’ve included a table of many herbs and their types and uses, some recipes and a table of herbs and their medicinal benefits.

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