Herbs - concentrated nutrition

 
                                                    Mint and nasturtiun flowers ; edible and nutritious.

                                                    Mint and nasturtiun flowers ; edible and nutritious.

 

If you're going to grow one thing then grow herbs.

Herbs are generally super-easy to get hold of (most supermarket herbs are fine once repotted), easy to grow, and super-healthy.

Herbs have delicious, powerful flavours for a reason... they are concentrated nutrition. Those powerful flavours come from, amongst other things, essential oils concentrated in the leaves. 

A little research into herbs proves what our tastebuds already know:

  •  Basil contains loads of manganese a trace element essential in keeping your bones healthy. It also helps in making sex hormones which may go someway to explaining why the Italians associate it with love.
  • Thyme contains vitamins A, B and C and has five times as much iron per weight as beef, making it an excellent herb for vegetarians.
  • Rosemary has been used time immemorial for it's benefit on memory. Now ¡science! is catching up, showing that indeed, it can help memory in alzheimer patients!
  • Mint is packed full of minerals and vitamins A and C. It is so undeniably good for your bowels that its one of the few botanicals that even pharma addicted doctors use - for I.B.S. and indigestion.

The reason all these herbs contain so much nutrition is because they have been selected precisely for this by our ancestors. Herbs are the extreme edge of food as medicine. If they got any stronger then they would start to become 'herbal medicine' and their taste less appealing.

Of course, all food is medicine so its important you grow it right. If you got the herbs from the supermarket take them out of those mean pots they're put in and re-pot in a generous one with some real soil or compost. Give them plenty of sun, water them when they're looking a bit jaded and off they go.

So in the unlikely event you haven't got any go out and get some herbs. Even better if you can plant them in your garden, or on common land near you. The mint above grows in a little patch of land where I practice a bit of guerilla gardening opposite my house. It's struggled a bit with the slugs (they also appreciate the benefit of herbs) but the rosemary plants are doing very well. These should provide herbs for many years to come. 

Rosemary is easy to grow once it's got started and is a great addition when roasting potatoes.

Rosemary is easy to grow once it's got started and is a great addition when roasting potatoes.