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Mediterranean Herbal Plants

Devika enjoys sharing her work with a friendly community. Writing opens the mind. I live in a foreign country learned a foreign language .

Mediterranean herbs

Walking in the wild daily has improved my knowledge about the wild herbs and the cultivated herbs.

I am not an experienced gardener, however am keen to learn more about the natural plants that are responsible for the aromas and healing properties. Cooking with such herbs makes the food tasty and shows me the differences in cooking with certain herbs.

What is the easiest to grow?

Which herbal plants would I use in my daily cooking?

Some herbs are grown in pots and others prefer growing them in the garden. The common grown herbs come to mind first.

I use Basil herb in sauces for pizzas, and for making a delicious soup. Often I dry the Basil herb and store in a tightly closed jar for using in soups, sauces and stir fries for when I need.

Some of these herbs grow in most parts of the region and no need to be concerned if it will reappear for the next season. You can grow from seed again.

I grow Rosemary, Basil, and Thyme easily. There is no hassle about it and when the weather's warmer it grows well. The commonly used herbs are grown in most parts of Europe. Basil, Oregano, Sage, Thyme and Rosemary are among the common herbs grown in the southern part of Croatia.

What herbs do you have in your kitchen cabinet?

Such herbs have originated throughout the world and found their way in our kitchen cabinets. Traditional folk medicine for example, used in Greece, Middle-eastern countries and in the north of Africa, and in Italy have become popular and just about everywhere in the world.

How do you grow and keep these herbs in your garden?

Plant Basil herb in hot weather and in good drainage soil. It prefers warm to hot weather to flourish through the warmer months like May, June and July. could even flourish in August. You can keep Basil plants indoors in a pot if you have space.

Ample water is needed for the plant. Rather keep it in a warm area. If kept in the cold weather the plant will die.

Basil is among other popular herbs and often used in Italian sauces. The flavor is sweet and this gives Basil the name, Sweet Basil.

An interesting fact is that all the species of the Basil plant originated in Asia. Basil herb is used in Indian and Thai cooking and there are more than three species. I know of three types and had no idea there are more species available until my recent research.

The healing rituals of Basil is the reason for calling it Holy Basil.

In historical times Basil is known for its ritual healing and a sweet Italian variety found along the Mediterranean by trade. When the spices were traded from Asia to Europe traveling through the silk road a lot of herbs from Asia found its way to the Mediterranean region and began growing from root.

You can transplant the Basil plants or grow in pots.

The annual herb won’t survive the cold weather which means you will need to plant new seeds every season. An easy to grow herb and used in pesto sauces. Used in salads and in flavoring cuisines.

Healing Properties

Basil herb is used for lowering stress levels and is helpful for asthma. In India Basil is helpful for Type 2 diabetes, and asthma. In Africa Basil is helpful as a heart medicine, for emotional and cardiac problems. The herbal plant is helpful for digestive issues and should be eaten in foods and in small amounts. In future studies it has a potential to fight off cancer.

Oregano

A close relative to the Basil plant has the same requirements as the Basil plant. Just like the Basil plant the Oregano prefers warmer weather and is in a variety of flavors. Originated in the Mediterranean region unlike the Basil plant originated in Asia. The different varieties of herbs are used in various traditions.

Varieties such as the Sweet Marjoram, Greek and Italian Oregano, are hybrids of Marjoram.

I learned of the Mexican Oregano which is not a true Oregano, and is commonly used in Mexican cooking.

All the above-mentioned herbs flourish in hot weather.

Rosemary grows throughout the year in Croatia. This herbal plant has small blue flowers and is used in many cuisines. Is helpful for nervousness, headaches, digestive problems and helps with women's health problems.

A common use for the Rosemary in the southern part of Croatia is to preserve pork. It enhances the flavors into the meat. We use Rosemary when barbecuing. Also the herbal plant prevents meat from spoilage.

Sage

Sage is one of useful herbs. I use it for making tea and for a mouth gargle. I don’t cook a lot with Sage herb, it is not for my taste. The Greeks and the Romans use this herb and it stemmed from there. Also used for preventing meat from spoilage as Rosemary is used.

Rosemary and Sage grow in harsh weather and can tolerate cold weather as well. The two herbal plants flourish in soil with stone. Growing Rosemary did feel hard in the beginning, but once it has started growth there is no concern for growing bigger and has serrated edges.

I planted Sage outside and never had to be concerned about its growth afterward. It just grew healthier.

Thyme

I seek the wild herbs on my daily walks and Thyme is one of the oldest herbs growing in these mountainous regions. A small green plant with small leaves and pretty white flowers. Also doesn’t mind the cold weather and enjoys the sunny weather too.

Thyme was used in the same way as the Rosemary and Sage to prevent meat from spoilage. I think Thyme is a flavorful herb for meatloaf and other ground meat recipes.

Both herbs and spices tend to liven up cuisines with aromas and intense flavors. The Mediterranean herbs are among the top herbs used in most parts of Europe and the rest of the world. Dried and stored for future use is how I use most of the herbs from my garden.

What is Za'atar?

Za'atar is a savory herb.

It has a citrus flavor and a mix of the Oregano, Marjoram, and Thyme herbs together to give you that flavor.

A most popular herb used in Israel.

You can add olive oil, vinegar to your taste and salt and dip toast bread in it, most delicious.

Coriander

Coriander, Cilantro, or Dhania, as it is so well-known, is widely used in India and in Mexico. This herb is substituted for parsley and has green leaves and flowers when grown for seeds. Some people find this herb tastes like soap and is not a herb for everyone as in all other herbs.

Laurel Tree

The Laurel bush originated in Asia and has become a popular herb in Turkey, and Greece. Grows in many areas of Croatia and is not controlled in growth. The Laurel bush also known as Bay leaves is evergreen and the Romans valued this herb for its symbol as in fame.

Fresh or dried the Laurel bush is used in cooking and was used as a braided wreath for the Greek god Apollo as a sign of victory.

The aroma is strong and has a bitter taste. Use this herb in foods, but only allow for cooking with this herb for a few minutes and discard it after cooking meals. You can use the leaves to keep fish odors and cabbage odors away from the kitchen.

Greek mountain tea

The tea grown up in the mountain as it is said and began in Greece with shepherds. They started making this tea up in the mountains while having to watch their flocks. This tea is grown in in the northern mountainous regions of Greece, Found on rocky slopes and in high altitudes of a thousand meters.

There are 150 species of this mountain tea and it is called a Sideritis plant. A similar feature to the Sage plant.

Over two thousand years ago mountain tea was used in Greece. The healing properties of this tea is to treat wounds that were caused by swords. For generations the health benefits of this tea has been in study and for both modern medicine and ancient home remedies.

It is especially used for anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties from this plant in essential oils.

All the aromatic herbs are grown in bushes in the Mediterranean regions. Some prefer mild climate and others grow throughout the year, and don’t mind the harsh weather. Others prefer sunny and warm climates and grow well from May to September.

Herbs from my garden

Basil herb

Basil herb

Rosemary

Rosemary

Sage

Sage

Sage  has small flowers

Sage has small flowers

Coriander with florets

Coriander with florets

Thyme

Thyme

Herbs and Spices

Mediterranean herbal gardens

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Devika Primić

Comments

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 25, 2021:

Mary Norton So good to read your comment and know your thoughts on herbs. I appreciate your time. Hope all is well with you. Thank you

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on May 25, 2021:

I have started this year's herbs and still have to get more. Those rosemary bushes are quite something.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 22, 2021:

FlourishAnyway Me too discovered Za'atar during my research and enjoyed writing about it.. It is what makes me want to know more about herbs. The unique herbs that I come across makes me want to write ore about herbs. Thank you

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 22, 2021:

Chitrangada Sharan Thank you for comments. My interest in herbs has increased so kind of you to stop by. I appreciate your time and feedback.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 22, 2021:

Misbah I grow as many different herbs as I can and use in my daily cooking. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts here.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 22, 2021:

Ravi Rajan Thank you very much for sharing your interest here. I appreciate your time. I try my best to grow and have the different herbs. and my interest in herbs motivates me to plant unique herbs.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 22, 2021:

Devika, I have never heard of Za'atar but I do grow several herbs myself, including basil, catnip, and oregano.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on May 22, 2021:

Hi Devika!

Excellent article about the Mediterranean herbs. I am quite well aware of your interest and knowledge of the herbal plants, and you have also given them shape in your published books. Appreciations for this article too, for the wonderful information you have provided.

Thank you for sharing.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on May 22, 2021:

Devika, this is very interesting and informative hub. I enjoyed the read. I love to grow mint and coriander in my kitchen garden. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Stay safe and healthy

Blessings and Love

Ravi Rajan from Mumbai on May 22, 2021:

Great information Devika. The herbs you have mentioned are not only great for working but also provide an enthralling fragrance throughout the day. I love SAge and thyme, they are my favorite herbs.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 22, 2021:

Hi Rozlin so kind of you to comment thank you very much. I use herbs in daily cooking and to marinate chicken. Herbs are a god's gift and so blessed to have it around my home.

Rozlin from UAE on May 21, 2021:

Hi, Devika. Your article is very informative. I use coriander, mint and oregano in my daily cooking. I love zaatar too.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 21, 2021:

Adrienne Farricelli I too have learned a lot about herbs from around the world. Thank you very much for sharing your views.

Adrienne Farricelli on May 20, 2021:

You have presented here a wonderful display of Mediterranean herbs. Growing up in Italy, I am very familiar with many of them, but there are some you have mentioned I have never hear about before. There is always something new to learn!

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 20, 2021:

Peggy Woods I am interested in unique herbs and this is my greater interest since living in Croatia. Herbs give food a different taste something one acquires and that is what makes cooking feel good. Thank you for stopping by

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 20, 2021:

Denise McGill I couldn't do without a garden. I remember I rented an apartment and not my way of life to live in an apartment. I had to get out of there. I have my own place and a garden. It is just the way I am. Having a garden is such a pleasure. I plant herbs and flowers also vegetables. Herbs for me is part of my daily cooing and is a healthy lifestyle. Mountain tea is unique and I often discover unique herbs and teas. Thank you very much for stopping by.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 20, 2021:

Dora Weithers Herbs have always been part of my daily cooking and to know more is a bonus for me. I enjoy the aromas of herbs and it is a natural way to keep healthy. Thank you

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 20, 2021:

BRENDA ARLEDGE Unique herbs and some commonly known herbs are interesting to know of and are helpful for many ailments. Thank you

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 20, 2021:

emge I have had an interest in herbs since 1997 and have researched many more other types of herbs and spices. It is a fascinating topic and so much more to learn about it. Thank you

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 20, 2021:

Hi Bill Lavender is one of the top herbs in Croatia and since living in Croatia I discovered many herbs that are used in daily menus. Rosemary is one of the best in flavoring many cuisines. I appreciate your time thank you.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 20, 2021:

Liz I discovered herbal teas while in South Africa. Living in Croatia has given me an opportunity to learn more about the Mediterranean herbs and it is an interesting research that I have going on from the books I have written and about other articles as well. Thank you very much for sharing your interest here.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 20, 2021:

Hi Devika,

Right now, I am growing basil, oregano, sage, rosemary, thyme, mint, and garlic chives in our garden, along with some tomato plants. We love using fresh herbs in our cooking.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on May 20, 2021:

I used to grow all these when I had space and a garden. Now that I'm in a small apartment I only have Basil in the window. I never heard of mountain tea before.

Blessings,

Denise

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 20, 2021:

Thanks for sharing your knowledge if the herbs. For the first time, I understand the name of the holy basil.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 20, 2021:

Very good article.

I love your pictures of basil, sage & rosemary. They all look so healthy.

I don't have any herbs just yet in the garden.

Still working on it.

Green mountain tea is probably good. I drink green tea that is decaffeinated. They say it's healthy for you.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on May 20, 2021:

Devika, nice article with lots of information.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 20, 2021:

I have grown herbs from time to time. I can say, without hesitation, that Rosemary is practically impossible to kill. lol And I love lavender, one of my all-time favorite plants.

Anyway, great article with wonderful information. I would encourage anyone interested in gardening to try their hand with herbs.

Liz Westwood from UK on May 20, 2021:

This is a fascinating article. I sometimes keep a basil plant on my kitchen window sill, so that it is easily accessible for cooking.

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