Angelica: The Viking Herb

Angelica comes from Northern Europe where it grows in damp areas like woodlands and alongside rivers. The Vikings are thought to have brought this herb with them to Eastern Europe. One story about how the plant got its name is that an angel supposedly visited a monk to offer angelica …

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Shiso: An Essential Japanese Herb

Shiso is considered one of Japan’s seven main flavorings, which have been in use in that nation’s cuisine for more than 300 years. Shiso started out as a Chinese medicinal herb that migrated to Japan in the eighth century. Its use was documented as a part of a medicinal formula …

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Holy Basil

Holy Basil: The Sacred Herb

Holy basil or “Tulsi” has been medicine in India for nearly 3000 years. Over this period, Indians have grown it in their gardens and temples and it is considered the most sacred plant in Hinduism. The plant plays a major role in Hindu mythology as it is supposed to be …

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Thai Basil

Thai Basil: The Taste Of Southeastern Asia

Thai basil is native to Southeast Asia, but is believed to have originated in India; however, some experts believe that it may actually have originally come from Iran. It has been cultivated on the subcontinent for approximately 5,000 years. One relative of Thai basil is called tulasi in India and …

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Lavender: A Fragrant Flower And A Tasty Herb

Lavender may have originated in the Mediterranean, the Middle East or in India. This herb was used in Ancient Egypt as is evidenced by the fact that it was found inside Tutankhamen’s tomb. In Ancient Greece, the herb we know as lavender was called nardus. It was named for the …

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Lovage: A Mediterranean Tradition

Lovage is a relative of parsley with seeds, leaves, and roots that can be used to flavor foods and treat medical conditions. It originated in Greece but its cultivation has spread throughout Europe into Asia and the United States. Lovage was widely used by both the ancient Greeks and the …

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Elderflower: The Oldest Cultivated Herb

Elder is the tree that produces both the elderflower and the elderberry. It has been in use since the Stone Age. Hippocrates and Dioscorides wrote about it, and so did Pliny. According to the superstitions of 17th century England, elder trees were able to ward off evil. In addition, a …

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Parsley: An Understated Herb

Parsley’s name comes from the Greek word “petro.” Petro means stone because parley was first discovered growing on Greece’s rocky hillsides. Greek legend stated that the herb grew up from the places where Archemorus’s blood was spilled when he was bitten by a serpent. The ancient Greeks used parsley as …

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