The Chive is the smallest, though one of the finest-flavoured of the Onion tribe. Mostly used as a home cuisine but has healing properties as well. The tubular leaves have a pungent and distinctive onion taste and smell, which make a wonderful addition to a range of dishes. Chives are known to have been used in China as long ago as 3000BC.
It can be used as a garnish and as a culinary herb in cooking and will bring a subtle onion flavour to mild dishes. Chopped chives can be used to sprinkle over soups, sauces, salads, chicken, potatoes, cooked vegetables and egg dishes to add flavour as well as aesthetical value to the food. Chives can also be used in the place of raw onions for a milder onion taste. Add chives at the end of the cooking process. Mix it in with cream cheese or yogurt sauces. They also make a delicious herb butter, which is wonderful on warm French bread.
Chives helps in the cleansing of blood, helps prevent colds and flu, has a tonic effect and stimulates the appetite. They contain some vitamin C and some iron.
Tarragon is an important culinary herb and an essential ingredient in Fremch cuisine. The name Tarrgon means “little dragon”, which derives its name from a time when tarragon was regarded as an effective treatment for the bites of venomous creatures and mad dogs. Tarragon leaves are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as iodine and mineral salts.
Tarragon is a useful herb with a warm faintly aniseed flavour. It can be added to anything from roast meats to poultry and fish. It will also give a little emphasis to mildly flavoured vegetables, such as artichokes and marrows. Tarragon vinegar is perfect for making a French dressing. When buying Tarrgon as a culinary herb, take care to buy French Tarragon and nor Russian Tarragon, which has less flavour and a coarser texture. All Tarragon used in Icy Herbs are guaranteed French Tarragon!
Tarragon is said to be helpful for treating all sorts of digestive disturbances from nausea to flatulence as well as rheumatism, gout and arthritis. Drink a small glass of the digestif after any meal.
Rocket is a deservedly popular culinary herb. These biennial plants are natives of Italy, but are found throughout most of Central and Mediterranean Europe, and in Britain and Russian Asia as escapes from gardens. The leaves are very acrid in taste, and in many countries, especially in Germany, they are eaten like cress in salads. In the language of flowers, the Rocket has been taken to represent deceit, since it gives out a lovely perfume in the evening, but in the daytime has none. For eating purposes, the plant should be gathered before flowering, but for medicinal use, when in flower. This herb is ever growing in popularity, is tasty, nutritious and should be regarded as a classic herb and not subject to culinary trends.
The leaves have a sharp, peppery taste and are a wonderful addition to any salad, blending well with other types of salad leaf. The Rocket is delicious even without a dressing or with just a light sprinkling of olive oil.
Rich in minerals and vitamins, rocket is known to be helpful for preventing scurvy. It is sometimes used as a tonic and a mild stimulant. It is regarded principally as antiscorbutic.
Dill is an all purpose herb and can be used in cooking and as a healing herb. Dill is frequently described as similar in flavour to caraway, aniseed and fennel, but is in fact like none of these. It has a totally unique, spicy green taste. The plant looks very like fennel, though smaller, having the same feathery leaves, which stand on sheathing foot-stalks, with linear and pointed leaflets. Unlike fennel, however, it has seldom more than one stalk and its long, spindle-shaped root is only annual.
Dill is the essential ingredient in gravadlax, the famous Scandinavian salmon dish. The herb has a sharp, sweet taste that offsets any blandness in the fish without overwhelming it. Dill leaves goes well with fish, cream or cottage cheese and cucumber. It can be used in salads, potato and beetroot, soup, vegetables, eggs and grilled meat.
Like fennel, aniseed and caraway, dill aids digestion by stimulating the flow of digestive juices. Dill helps very well to sooths a stomach and will help in preventing constipation.
Marjoram was thought to bring peace to the dead and was often planted on tombs. The Romans used the herb as a symbol of happiness and fashioned into crowning wreaths for brides and grooms.
Sweet marjoram is the best culinary herb, being both spicy and sweet but not overpoweringly so. Sweet marjoram is best added late at the cooking process. Used to flavour pasta and tomato dishes.
Marjoram has strong sedative properties and must be treated with respect. Mild teas can be helpful soporific and sedative. The herb soothes the digestive system and works as diuretic and a tonic. It can be helpful in dealing with chest complaints due to its antiseptic properties.
Ancients were well acquainted with the shrub, which had a reputation for
strengthening the memory. On this account it became the emblem of
fidelity for lovers. It holds a special position among herbs from the
symbolism attached to it. Rosemary is a herb that has many uses in the
kitchen and the home. It is indigenous to the Mediterranean region and
steeped in history and tradition.
In early times, Rosemary was freely cultivated in kitchen gardens and came to represent the dominant influence of the house mistress 'Where Rosemary flourished, the woman ruled.
Rosemary is a popular culinary herb much used in France and Italy. Its flavour has a hint of camphor that does not blend readily with other herbs so it is usually best used alone. It is much used with meat, and notably lamb and fish. Rosemary can turn a plain barbecue or pan-fried steaks into flavourful experience. It is also commonly used with breads and vinegars.
Rosemary is reputable to be good for the digestion and to help stimulate circulation, while the essential oil has antibacterial and antifungicidal properties. Rosemary tea, a delicious, reviving drink, has the bonus of being a good mouthwash for anyone suffering from bad breath.