Even though autumn is fast approaching, in the southern part of the U.S. an herb garden can still contain a world of culinary delights and medicinal uses. If your garden is on your kitchen shelf, the tips below can still help.
Fresh dill leaves can be used to garnish pickles, potatoes, beet soups, and fish stews. Dill can also be used to help you sleep better and ease stomach upsets.
Fresh or dried basil leaves can be enjoyed in salads, soups, vegetables, and tomato sauce (what would Italian food be without basil?). Basil is an antioxidant and antimicrobial. It can stimulate appetite and ease arthritis.
Fresh mint leaves are great with lamb, or with fruit, or in refreshing iced tea. And mint can help soothe the digestive tract.
Fresh or dried Greek Oregano leaves can be added to sauces, stews, soups, fish, lamb, pork, vegetables, butters, and vinegars. If you have respiratory problems you can use Greek oregano as an expectorant.
Fresh or dried rosemary leaves always liven up beef, lamb, fish, poultry, stuffing, soups, vegetables, and marinades. Rosemary can be used for digestive upsets and headaches.
Fresh or dried sage leaves are most wisely used in stuffings (what would Thanksgiving turkey taste like without sage?), pâté, eggs, pasta, cheeses, sauces, soups, stews, and vegetables. Sage can reduce intestinal gas. And you can gargle with it to treat a throat infection.
Adapted from “Herb Garden: The Pharmacy in Your Back Yard,” by Barbara Cook and Jolene Renfro of Crockett (Texas) as seen in Texas Farm & Home magazine, September 2014.