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Many people think that herbs are just a garnish for different foods and an addition to some dishes. But there is a lot more to herbs beyond this. Herbs are used for medicinal purposes and offer many health benefits too.
This article highlights 10 useful herbs to grow, their benefits, and handy tips to grow your herbs successfully.
Basil loves to grow in sunny places, such as a rooftop garden or a sun-facing balcony. Never harvest more than two-thirds of the plant, and trim the leaves before the plant starts flowering, so that the plant focuses its energy on growing leaves rather than blooming flowers.
1. Uses of Basil in Cooking
- Chopped leaves can be added to sauces such as pasta sauce
- Add some freshly chopped basil to your avocado and tomato sandwich or wraps
- To make a delicious, yet simple canape, take a toothpick and slice it through a cherry tomato, basil leaf, and bocconcini
- To make homemade pesto, blend basil leaves, garlic, peanuts, and oil in a food processor
2. Other Uses of Basil
- Basil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and these make it a treatment for acne and other skin infections.
Mint spreads vigorously, so it is better to contain it in a pot. Growing it in a sunny place with well-drained soil promotes better flavor and you should pinch off the flower buds to retain this flavor.
Uses of Mint in Cooking
- To make salads flavorful, add some mint leaves. This is especially good when adding fruit salads with watermelon, pineapple, and orange
- Mint adds a burst of flavor to a lot of drinks, including mint juleps, mint margaritas, and mojitos
- Make an enjoyable desert by mixing dark chocolate with mint
- To counteract chili, wrap up some mint leaves in Asian-inspired dishes
Humans love the aroma of mint and other mint-flavored eatables. But did you know that mice dislike the smell of mint? It can be used to keep mice off your place by spraying mint oil or scattering crushed fresh mint leaves around the problematic area of your house if you are
Plant dill at a place safe from the wind, as it can blow over when the wind blows. Harvest the plant from time to time to prevent the plant from going to seed and plant it in a sunny place.
Uses of Dill in Cooking
- Add it to all dishes from smoked salmon to cream cheese
- Garnish your favorite fish with dill and lemon
- Dill truly enhances the flavor of creamy dips and sauces, so mix it into Greek yogurt or add it to potato salad dressing
- It makes delicious zucchini and halloumi fritters when mixed with them
Chives love to be planted in a sunny, moist, and well-drained spot of the garden. Trim and harvest the plant regularly, as otherwise it will bloom pink flowers and spread seeds around the garden.
Uses of Chives in Cooking
- Add to scrambled eggs, in quiches, or garnish on top of egg benedict
- Chop chives and add to mashed potatoes or garnish them on jacket potatoes or simple bakes potatoes with sour cream
- Make some guacamole with mashed avocado, spring onions, lime juice, and some chili, and add chives as much as you like
Coriander is a tropical herb that grows well in a humid and hot climate but cannot tolerate extreme heat. To get a continuous harvest of coriander, plant seeds with a gap of a few days in between. Trim the leaves or let the stalks grow and bear flowers and form seeds.
Uses of Coriander in Cooking
- Adds flavor to meat marinades, particularly for beef and chicken
- It is a great addition to many Thai dishes, such as Thai beef salad and fish cakes
- Makes great dips and sauces when combined with other herbs
- Add to a vegetable omelet to get a great herb flavor
- A great addition to tikka masala or Indian curries such as harissa
Let the soil where you plant rosemary dry out a bit as it doesn’t grow well in moist soil and grows best with 6 to 8 hours of sunlight every day. Harvest the plant regularly to promote bushier growth rather than leggy and tall.
Uses of Rosemary in Cooking
- Makes amazing roasted vegetables. Just coat the vegies (particularly potato wedges) in rosemary, some salt, and a little bit of oil and put them in the oven
- To add extra flavor to butter or olive oil, add some sprigs of chopped rosemary
Other Uses of Rosemary
If you grow rosemary on your porch or yard, it helps to repel mosquitoes as mosquitoes don’t like rosemary and stay away from it. Rosemary is a great way to get rid of dandruff from the hair and strengthen the hair. Just boil rosemary leaves in water and let the solution cool down. Then rinse your hair with it and wait for amazing results.
Thyme needs full sun and slightly alkaline and well-drained soil to grow well. You can grow it from seeds or from cuttings, the latter is easier and less time-consuming.
Uses of Thyme in Cooking
- Chop some fresh thyme leaves and garnish on top of a beef stew
- As a marinade for fish and other seafood, add thyme to lemon and butter when cooking them
- Just before turning the flame off for pea soups and lentils, add some freshly chopped thyme leaves
Other Uses of Thyme
Thyme contains an oil called thymol, which makes it a natural antiseptic and disinfectant. You can replace chemical household cleaners with natural one made using thyme. Boil some water and add fresh thyme leaves to it.
Mix in a light, vegetable-based soap and pour the solution into a spray bottle. You can use this homemade natural household cleaner for cleaning hard surfaces in the kitchen, bathroom, and other areas of your house.
Being a hardy herb, sage grows almost in all conditions, but the maximum growth is seen in a sunny location. The leaves retain their flavor even when the plant reaches a flowering stage.
Uses of Sage in Cooking
- Adds a great flavor to all pumpkin dishes, such as roast pumpkin, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin soup
- It makes tasty cookies and teacakes when added alongside walnuts
- Sage butter sauce is amazing with ravioli or gnocchi with parmesan cheese topping
Parsley is an adaptable herb and being a biennial herb, it produces aromatic leaves during its first years and produces seeds the next year. You can harvest leaves in the spring of the first year and harvest the parsley root in the autumn of the next year. The root is the part of the plant that is packed with the most flavor.
Uses of Parsley in Cooking
- Add a bonus flavor to baked chicken by pouring homemade parsley sauce on top of it
- To make a seafood salsa verde, combine lemon, parsley, chives, and coriander
Other Uses of Parsley
You would be amazed to know that parsley helps remove dark circles around the eyes. Since it contains vitamin C, vitamin K, chlorophyll, and other active ingredients, it helps to tighten skin and lighten the complexion. Spread some crushed parsley leaves around your eyes when you have dark circles.
One of the easiest herbs is oregano as it doesn’t need a lot of watering and can even tolerate drought, and most of the winters.
Uses of Oregano in Cooking
- When making burger patties, use oregano to season the mince
- Add butter and oregano to your beans to make them taste wonderful
- A great herb to sprinkle atop garlic bread and pizza base
Other Uses of Oregano
Oregano oil is a great treatment for inflammation and sinuses. Add some drops of oregano oil to water and drink it or place a few drops of oregano oil under the tongue when you feel that a cold is coming on.
You might think that herbs are only be used in cooking. But actually, they have many additional benefits as well, when making them great houseplants. You must grow herbs at home and find out new ways to use those herbs in cooking and your everyday routine tasks.