June 13, 2020
In general use, herbs are plants with savory or aromatic properties that are used for flavoring and garnishing food, for medicinal purposes, or for fragrances; excluding vegetables and other plants consumed for macronutrients.
Herbs were used in prehistoric medicine. As far back as 5000 BCE, evidence that Sumerians used herbs in medicine was inscribed on cuneiform. In 162 CE, the physician Galen was known for concocting complicated herbal remedies that contained up to 100 ingredients.
Medicinal use of herbs in Western cultures has its roots in the Hippocratic (Greek) elemental healing system, based on a quaternary elemental healing metaphor.
Research studies of the essential oil showed antifungal and insect-repelling properties, including potential toxicity to mosquitos. Basil has religious significance in the Greek Orthodox Church, where it is used to sprinkle holy water.
Laurel (Bay Leaf):
In herbal medicine, aqueous extracts of bay laurel have been used as an astringent and salve for open wounds. It is also used in massage therapy and aromatherapy.
Chamomile tea is an herbal infusion made from dried flowers and hot water. Two types of chamomile used are German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).Chamomile may be used as a flavoring agent in foods and beverages, mouthwash, soaps, or cosmetics. When used as an herbal product, such as in tea or as a topical skin cream, chamomile is not likely to have significant health effects or major side effects.
Sideritis or Mountain Tea:
In Greek "sideritis" can be literally translated as "he who is made of iron". The plant was known to ancient Greeks, specifically Pedanius Dioscorides and Theophrastus. In ancient times "sideritis" was a generic reference for plants capable of healing wounds caused by iron weapons during battles. However, others hold that the name stems from the shape of the sepal, which resembles the tip of a spear. Ironwort has been traditionally used to aid digestion, strengthen the immune system and suppress common cold, the flu and other viruses, allergies and shortness of breath, sinus congestion, even pain and mild anxiety.
Marjoram is indigenous to Cyprus and southern Turkey, and was known to the Greeks and Romans as a symbol of happiness. Marjoram is used for seasoning soups, stews, dressings, sauces, and for herbal teas.
The dried and ground leaves are most often used in Greece to add flavor to Greek salad, and is usually added to the lemon-olive oil sauce that accompanies fish or meat grills and casseroles.