What Are The 10 Most Aromatic Herbs Used For?

What are the most aromatic herbs

What are the 10 most aromatic herbs used for?

You may be surprised by all the different ways aromatic herbs are used.  Sure, the first uses of these herbs that may come to mind are in cooking, teas, or essential oils, but there are many other uses for these herbs.  

The herbs we will look at are all common herbs.  There may be some herbs that are more aromatic, but they are rare and some are endangered, so we will not cover those. 

There will be some debate as to what are the most aromatic herbs, but everyone should be familiar with these herbs. 

To truly appreciate the value of these herbs, one should try growing them in their garden or on a window sill.  In fact, the majority of these aromatic herbs can be grown in most gardens.

10 most aromatic herbs

  • Basil
  • Chamomile
  • Curry
  • Ginger
  • Lavender
  • Lemon Balm
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme

DISCLAIMER:

Information provided in this description is for educational purposes only.  For possible physical or mental disease treatments, please seek a trained and licensed health professional.  Enchanted Aromatics is not responsible for any adverse side effects resulting from the use of any suggestions, products, preparations, or procedures mentioned or from following historical uses of essential oils.

What makes herbs aromatic?

Plants are made up of highly volatile hydrocarbons known as essential oils.  The majority of these compounds are aromatic, some more so than others.  These volatile hydrocarbons can easily convert from a liquid to a vapor at room temperature, releasing their aromatic qualities. 

Essential oils serve many purposes for a plant including:

  • Ward off disease
  • Protect against funguses and bacteria
  • Attract pollinators
  • Defend against insects and animals
  • Make the area toxic to competing plants
  • Protect against water loss

Over thousands of years, people have learned these compounds taste good, can alter our brain chemistry, impact our emotional and mental states, and have numerous medical applications.  

Let us now take a closer look at each of these 10 aromatic herbs and their uses.

A list of the 10 most aromatic herbs and their uses

Basil

Basil is an annual herb in the mint family.  There are over 60 varieties of basil, and each has a distinctive flavor. The word “basil” is derived from the Greek sentence that means “to smell”.  

The aroma of basil is always bright and strong.    Most basil has a very fragrant, sweet smell and a peppery taste.  You can also find varieties that have a spicy, clove-like fragrance, some that smell like vanilla, citrus, cinnamon, mint, and camphor.

For this reason, basil is primarily cultivated as a culinary herb.  These qualities make basil an essential ingredient in dishes from Italy, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and throughout the world.

At least out here where I live, you can find fresh basil leaves at most grocery stores and they usually sell live basil plants.  The majority of basil leaves are large and can be somewhat delicate.  Here in our home, we have a live basil plant growing in the home every summer.  Can not get basil any fresher than that.

Some of the more common varieties of basil include:

  • Sweet basil
  • Genovese basil
  • Napoletano basil
  • Lettuce Leaf basil
  • Lemon basil
  • Holy basil
  • Christmas basil

Basil has the following uses:

Culinary – Basil contains carotene, vitamins C, B2, PP, rutin, and sugars.  For this reason and because of its wonderful versatility, many dishes throughout the world rely on basil, usually to sweeten the dish.  Basil is used in different kinds of pasta, pesto, pizzas, soups, cocktails, salads, sandwiches, sauces, salsa, glazes, oils, dressings, desserts, meats, and too many dishes to name.

Tea – The dried leaves are used to brew basil tea.  Different variations of this herb will produce different tasting teas.  The most common basil used in teas is known as sweet basil.  The tea tends to have a dense nutritional value, making it a popular tea in certain parts of the world.  

Garden – Planting basil in the garden can help deter pests.  The color of the flower can vary from white to red to purple, depending on the type of basil you are growing.  But do keep in mind that when the plant flowers, the plant will produce far less flavorful leaves. 

Essential oil – Basil essential oil is usually derived from the Ocimum basilicum plant.  This species is made up of 29 compounds.  The makeup of these compounds can change depending on the season.  Basil essential oil is good at odor elimination because it kills odor-causing bacteria and fungus.  Basil essential oil can be used to relieve stress and relieve both physical and mental exhaustion in some individuals.  

Medical – Basil is a natural muscle relaxer, and can sometimes be used to treat certain infections, diabetes, respiratory disorders, allergies, impotence, and infertility.  Basil is high in antioxidants, which can protect your body from most forms of cancer, aging, and some skin ailments.  Basil can quench fevers, rid the body of excess mucus, induce profuse sweating, relieve sore throats, help expel kidney stones, reduce cholesterol, and relieve itching from insect bites.  Basil can treat ringworm, soothe the eyes, and can be used to treat headaches. 

Personal care products – Basil contains camphor, which can help increase blood flow.  This property can help prevent hair from breaking and falling off when added to shampoos.  Basil has a compound called linalool, which is antibacterial, and antifungal, and can remove dryness and soften the skin.  for this reason, basil is sometimes added to lotions and soaps.  Also used in toothpaste and mouthwashes for these same reasons.  

Religious – Basil has been used in burial rituals and the embalming practices of ancient people.  In Jewish folklore, basil was used to strengthen a person while fasting.  In India, basil is a sacred plant associated with Vishnu and Tulasi.  Basil plays an important role in Hindu tradition because it associates holy basil with purification, protection, love, and eternal life. 

Potions & rituals – Basil has a long history in magic lore and rituals. Basil is a symbol of love. In Moldavian folklore, a young man who accepts basil from a young woman will fall in love with her.  It can also be used to repel an unwanted lover.  Basil is used in potions for love, divination, or to bring money. If you carry basil in your pocket, it can bring you money.  Sprinkled around the home, it can be used to keep evil spirits away.  

Other uses – Basil is sometimes used in perfumes and incense.  

Chamomile

Chamomile is one of the most used herbal teas on the planet.  It is estimated that over 1 million cups of chamomile tea are consumed every day.

Chamomile is part of the Aster family, which includes sunflowers, dandelions, and other daisy-like plants.

There are two types of chamomile – Matricaria chamomilla or Matricaria Recutita.  German chamomile is an annual flowering herb while Roman chamomile is a perennial groundcover.

The aroma of chamomile has been called relaxing.  The fragrance of chamomile can vary.  Wild chamomile has an herbal sweet fragrance.  Roman chamomile is sweat and heady while german chamomile has a smoky, apple-like smell. 

You can go to any grocery store or health food store and are pretty much guaranteed to find chamomile tea.

Chamomile has the following uses:

Culinary – The flower of chamomile is edible.  you can use the flower to complement a variety of dishes including cocktails, desserts, and various other dishes.  Chamomile is also used to flavor ice creams, dressings, jellies, jams, rolls, salads, and sweets such as breakfast cakes and cookies.  Various beers use chamomile as a bittering agent, similar to hops.  

Tea –  Often it is said that a hot cup of chamomile tea can cure just about anything.  Chamomile tea is well known for its calming effects.  Infusions made from chamomile have mildly sedative effects and can relax the muscles.  

Garden – Since Roman chamomile is a ground cover, it is best to plant it around your walkways and flowerbeds, but not in your actual garden.  German chamomile on the other hand can be planted alongside your vegetables.  Chamomile will easily re-seed itself, but not to the point of being considered an invasive species.

Essential oil – The active ingredient in chamomile essential oil that researchers are interested in is called chamazulene.  It is believed this chemical helps to relieve anxiety and depression and can help promote sleep.  

Medical – Traditionally, chamomile has been used to heal wounds.  Chamomile has also been used in the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.  Studies have shown a significant reduction in anxiety and depression when patients have been given an oral German chamomile extract.  Chamomile can also be used to calm the digestive tract and pain relief from menstrual cramps.  Chamomile contains coumarin, which is an anticoagulant that has blood-thinning effects.  

Personal care products – Chamomile can be found in various moisturizing products such as body lotions, creams, body washes, hand soaps, shampoos, bath bombs, bath salts, and deodorants.  Chamomile can also be found in some anti-aging products.

Religious – Ancient Egyptians used chamomile as an offering to their sun god Ra.  

Potions & rituals – Chamomile is often used in prosperity spells and is also often used in various magic rituals to attract love, happiness, peace, and banish negative energies.  A satchel of chamomile can attract good dreams.  Chamomile is commonly used in a variety of candle magic.  You can smudge using chamomile to purify a space.  Chamomile incense can be used to clear the mind and help set intention.  

Other uses are Herbal Kool-aid, popsicles, and smoothies for the kids, or us adults who are still kids at heart.  you can use chamomile as a part of a herbal sock bath.  

Curry

First, we are talking about the curry plant, not to be confused with curry, which is a powder made up of 12 spices.

For the rest of this article, when we refer to curry, we are talking about the curry plant.

Curry (Helichrysum italicum) is a perennial evergreen subshrub known for its aromatic qualities, flavor, and its ornamental beauty.  It is often referred to as immortelle, curry bush, or Italian strawflower.  

Curry is part of the daisy family.  There are 6 subspecies of curry.

The leaves contain most of the essential oils, which give curry its aromatic qualities.  

Most people say the curry plant smells similar to curry powder but has an intensely bitter taste. 

Curry has the following uses:

Culinary –  Curry is generally considered too bitter to be edible, but curry’s young shoots and leaves are used in some Mediterranean dishes to add extra flavor to pasta, paella, rice dishes, vegetable dishes, soups, and meat dishes such as lamb and chicken. 

Curry leaves are a staple in Indian cuisine.  

Also, the English have used curry to flavor cream cheese and sandwich spreads.

Tea – Some people will make tea from curry blossoms to help treat a cold.  

Garden –  Curry requires a sunny area that is sandy and has good drainage.  Not all plants can grow near curry, but a few herbs that can tolerate curry include thyme, sage, lavender, and savory.

Essential oil – Curry essential oil can be quite expensive. If you see a curry essential oil being sold inexpensively, it is not pure curry, despite what the bottle states or it is not from the desired Helichrysum italicum.  Most of the time, curry essential oil made from Helichrysum italicum is used in the cosmetic and perfume industries.  Curry essential oil has been used to treat mild depression.  

Medical – Curry has fungicidal, antibacterial, and wound healing features thanks to compounds including linalool, alpha-terpinene, myrcene, mahanimbine, caryophyllene, murrayanol, and alpha-pinene.

Traditionally, curry has been used to clean wounds, treat snake bites, and treat urinary problems, and hemorrhoids. 

Curry can be used on the skin to treat a variety of skin problems such as eczema, bruising, and general itching. 

Curry tea has been used to relieve cold symptoms such as cough and other bronchial issues. 

Studies have shown the extract may improve heart health by lowering cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. 

Personal care products – Curry can be found in body scrubs, some hair products, face washes, soap bars, and deodorant.

Religious –  Not much history of curry leaves being used in religious practices.

Other uses – Because of its strong aroma, curry can be used to make potpourris and wreaths.

Ginger

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a tropical perennial plant that is native to Asia.  Ginger belongs to the same family as turmeric.  The rhizome (root), is the primary source of ginger spice and is full of nutrients.   

There are many varieties of ginger.  The kind you find most commonly has light brown skin and yellowish flesh.  Other varieties can have white or red flesh. 

Ginger has different uses based on one of six forms of the herb:

  • Fresh
  • Dried
  • Pickled
  • Preserved
  • Crystalized
  • Powdered

Ginger has a sharp, pungent aroma that can linger long after the rhizome has been peeled grated, chopped, or ground into powder. 

Ginger is made up of many active compounds, but the distinctive aroma of ginger mainly comes from a compound called zingiberene.  

Ginger is considered one of the healthiest spices you can have.  

Ginger has the following uses:

Culinary – Ginger can be eaten fresh, dried, and stored as a spice.  You can also create ginger tablets and capsules.  Ginger is used in many types of meat, seafood, and vegetable dishes throughout the world.  Ginger is often found in bread, preserves, and cookies.  Some beverages also include ginger such as ginger ale and some teas. 

Tea – Technically, ginger is not a tea since it does not use the leaves of the plant. 

Ginger tea has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.  It was probably first used as a means of flavoring tea.  Later, ginger tea was used to treat various ailments.  Today, you can purchase tea bags that include ginger root as an additional flavoring.

Garden –  To grow ginger in your garden, you just need to purchase a ginger rhizome from the produce section of your local supermarket.  Zone 7 or higher in the U.S. can grow ginger right in the ground.  If you live below zone 7, you will need to bring your ginger indoors during the winter.  

Essential oil – About 2 percent of ginger is essential oil.  The aroma is strong, warm, and spicy.  Ginger essential oil has been used to treat nausea, arthritis, colds, and migraine headaches.  Some people will use ginger essential oil in their diffuser for reducing stress.  

Medical –  Gingerol is a compound found in ginger that has powerful medicinal properties. 

Ginger can be highly effective for treating different forms of nausea and indigestion.  Chinese medicine will often use ginger to reduce pain for osteoarthritis and menstrual pain patients. 

Ginger has been shown to improve long-term blood sugar levels and reduce risk factors associated with heart disease. 

Recent studies have also shown that ginger may be good at lowering bad cholesterol.

There are ongoing studies on using ginger to reduce certain cancers such as colorectal cancer. 

Some other studies in animals show that ginger may reduce chronic inflammation in the brain which may lead to Alzheimer’s. 

Ginger can inhibit the growth of some bacteria. 

There is a lot more anecdotal evidence of even more treatments ginger may assist with.

Personal care products – Ginger is often used as a fragrance ingredient in various soaps and beauty products.  Used in some toothpaste and mouthwashes for its ability to reduce oral bacteria.

Religious – Ginger plays an important role in spiritualism for blocking and releasing negative energies. 

Potions & rituals – Ginger is often used to achieve healing, protection, and balance of the body.  You can use ginger to decrease financial problems and is used in potions to attract abundance and development.  Keep ginger in your spell pouch to increase attraction.  Chewing on ginger is said to increase confidence.  If you suffer from nightmares, place ginger under your pillow to scare away the nightmares.  If you want to banish something from your life, sprinkle ginger on that object, cigarettes as an example.  

Other uses – Ginger is sometimes used as incense to promote relaxation.  When ginger is burned as an incense, you can expect the usual strong, pungent odor with a touch of citrus or floral scents.

Lavender

Lavender is a subshrub evergreen that is a native of the Mediterranean region, but today is grown throughout the world.  Lavender is a low-growing plant that has a perennial base and herbaceous roots.  It returns each year from its rhizomes or tubers.  

There are about 450 varieties of lavender.  The two most fragrant varieties are Lavandula x intermedia (also know as Lavandin) and Lavandula angustifolia.  Lavandin is a hybrid between Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia.  For the remainder of this article, these are the two species we are referring to.  

Lavender essential oil is usually extracted from one of these two species. 

Lavender has a sweet, delicate aroma that is floral and herbal.  Lavender also has an evergreen woodsy fragrance to it.  (Keep in mind that other varieties of lavender can have vastly different aromas).

Lavender has the following uses:

Culinary – Lavender is not used in culinary dishes as much as some of the other aromatic herbs.  The strongly flavored leaves are edible.  When dried, lavender is more potent compared to fresh lavender by a ratio of about 3 to 1. When used in cooking, lavender tends to work best in dishes that are made from rich, fatty ingredients, and are savory, sweet, or fruity.  You can use lavender as a rub for your meat, or to make lavender honey.  When used in desserts, such as ice cream, use sparingly.     

Tea –  Lavender tea is made from lavender buds.  Lavender tea is known for its calming effects and its ability to reduce stress and anxiety.    Lavender tea can also reduce muscle spasms, promote digestion, and provide relief from insomnia. 

Garden – Lavender is an excellent plant to grow in your garden and will make a great companion to nearly anything you choose to grow.  Lavender plants are not long-lived and will start to decline after 10 years.  Growing the plant near the exterior of your garden can help keep the deer away.  Do keep in mind though that lavender can be toxic to your cats and dogs.  

Essential oil –  Lavender essential oil is the most used essential oil.  Lavender essential oil has powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial, sedative, calming, relaxing, and anti-depressive properties.  

Medical – Lavender is used in treating a whole range of disorders including allergies, anxiety, depression, eczema, fungal infections, insomnia, menstrual cramps, and nausea.  Lavender can be used to help heal minor burns and bug bites.  For some people, the smell of lavender can help to reduce migraines.  When used daily to treat anxiety, studies indicate lavender is comparable to taking 0.5 mg of lorazepam.

Personal care products – The sweet aroma of lavender can be found in a variety of body and bath products including lotions, massage oils, skin cleansers, creams, soaps, shampoos, deodorants, and bath salts. 

Religious – Lavender has been used in bringing about spiritual healing.  

Potions & rituals – The magical properties of lavender can vary between traditions and regions.  Lavender is used in a variety of spells including spells for love, beauty, cleansing, healing, and purifying.  Lavender is also used to inspire psychic activity and assist in dream recall. 

Perfume – Since ancient times, lavender has been used as a perfume.  Today lavender can be found in inexpensive perfumes to some of the most expensive perfumes.

Other uses – It is not uncommon to find candles made with lavender It is also used in a variety of household cleaning supplies.

Lemon Balm

The lemon balm plant (Melissa officinalis) is a member of the mint family and is a perennial herb.  Lemon balm is also known as sweet Melissa, sweet balm, or balm.  In 2007, lemon balm was voted “Herb Of The Year”.

Lemon balm has a strong, but pleasant lemon smell, making it a great substitution for those who are allergic to citrus.  

Originally a native to Southern Europe, today lemon balm grows throughout the world.  

Lemon balm has the following uses:

Culinary –  Lemon balm tastes like concentrated lemon.  Because of its similarity to lemon, lemon balm can be substituted in any dish where you would use lemon.  When using lemon balm in food, both fresh and dried leaves can be used.  Drying the leaves reduces their flavor.  If the leaves are steeped too long, they can have a bitter taste and can cause headaches.  

Lemon balm works well when used in potatoes, chicken, and fish dishes.  Lemon balm can also be used in various drinks and syrups, but it will not stand up to powerful flavors.  

Lemon balm has low nutritional value, But, it is free from lactose, gluten, and sugar.  Lemon balm does contain antioxidants, which can help protect the body from free radical damage.

Tea – Lemon balm tea can be purchased in most health food stores and grocery stores.  When made as a tea, lemon balm has a gentle lemon-minty flavor.  

Garden –  Lemon balm will grow like a weed in your garden to the point that it will try to take over.   You can harvest the leaves throughout the season, and it will not affect the plant.  It is a good bee and butterfly attractor while at the same time, will help to repel many pesky bugs such as mosquitoes.  

Essential oil – Lemon balm is highly regarded in aromatherapy treatments. For many people, the aroma of lemon balm essential oil is uplifting, relaxing, and soothing.  Using lemon balm essential oil can reduce anxiety and promote better sleep.  

Medical –  Lemon balm has several active ingredients including flavonoids, terpenes, phenolic compounds, and nitrogen compounds.  As a result of having so many active compounds, lemon balm has many potential uses.

On-going studies show the potential of lemon balm to help various conditions including combating cold sores, stomach problems, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Lemon balm acts as a mild sedative and muscle relaxant.  Being a mild sedative, lemon balm may be used to help reduce anxiety.

When combined with valerian root, lemon balm has been shown to significantly improve sleep quality.  

Personal care products – Lemon balm is a good moisturizer.  As a result, lemon balm is used in soaps, shampoos, facial masks, skin cleansers, bath soaks, lotions, creams, and salves. 

Religious – Lemon balm has not played a significant role in religious circles, other than in pagan religions.   

Potions & rituals – Lemon balm is often used in spells associated with attraction, dreams, fertility, friendship, healing, health, love, peace, prophecy, and success.  Sometimes, lemon balm is hung in doorways to remove evil spirits. Lemon balm is used in rituals to invoke the goddess Diana.

Other uses – The pleasant scent of lemon balm makes it a popular ingredient in herbal pillows. 

Throughout the world, lemon balm is used as an ingredient in various herbal liqueurs such as Benedictine and Chartreuse. 

Benedictine is a closely guarded secret blend of 27 herbs and spices and is enjoyed throughout the world. It has a rich aromatic flavor with various herbaceous and floral tones.

Chartreuse has been made by the Carthusian Monks since 1737.  The instructions for distilling Chartreuse were written in a manuscript given to them by François Annibal d’Estrées in 1605.  The ingredients of Chartreuse are a closely guarded secret.  No one person knows the entire recipe.  

Peppermint

There are 24 species of mint, that belong to the Lamiaceae family, but peppermint has the highest concentration of menthol (approximately 40%).  This gives peppermint a stronger minty taste compared to any of the 24 other mints.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is a perennial hybrid between spearmint (Mentha spicata) and watermint (Mentha aquatica)

Peppermint has a more intense smell compared to other mints.  

You can use peppermint either fresh or dried.  Even when dried, peppermint keeps its powerful aroma.

Culinary -Peppermint is used extensively in the culinary world.  When recipes require a stronger mint flavor, peppermint is used. 

Peppermint is commonly used in candy, chocolate, ice cream, salads, dressings, sauces, biscuits, baked goods, and beverages.  Peppermint is the number one flavoring for candy.  It was the first flavoring added to chewing gum.

Tea –  For hundreds of years, peppermint tea has been a popular tea because of its flavoring and for its medicinal properties.  

Drinking peppermint tea can also help freshen your breath.  Peppermint tea is often drunk to relieve an upset stomach, bloating, and gas.  

Garden –  Peppermint requires a large amount of water and will not grow well in dry conditions.  Planting peppermint in full sun will increase the potency of its essential oils.  

Peppermint tends to spread like a weed.  To prevent peppermint from taking over your garden, you can grow it in pots.

Essential oil – Peppermint essential oil is extracted from the peppermint leaves and is used for the preparation of the peppermint extract.

The essential oil has analgesic (painkiller), local anesthetic, and counter-irritant properties.

Peppermint essential oil can be applied topically, diffused, ingested, and applied intranasally to treat a large variety of conditions.

Medical – Peppermint has many medical uses.

Peppermint is often used to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome, nausea, and a variety of other digestive issues.

Peppermint can relieve itching and muscle pain.

Peppermint has been used to relieve headaches.

Peppermint can be used to relieve symptoms of the common cold

Personal care products –  Peppermint is used extensively in toothpaste, shampoos, soaps, cleaning products, and skincare products.  

Peppermint is also used in cleaning products because of its fresh aroma.

Religious –  Peppermint got its name from Greek mythology when the god Hades was having an affair with a nymph named Minthe.  When Hade’s wife found out, she turned Minthe into a common weed.  Hades in turn altered the curse and gave Minthe a sweet calming scent to remind others of her presence.  

Ancient Hebrews used peppermint to cover the floors of their synagogues because of its pleasing and calming scent.

Potions & rituals –  Keeping peppermint in a sleep satchel can help promote prophet dreams.  Hanging peppermint in a sick room can help drive out the negative energies and promote faster healing.  Peppermint can be used to help promote mental clarity and divination.  Peppermint will sometimes be placed on alters to clear the area of negative energy.

Other uses – Peppermint has been used in tobacco products to add a menthol flavor.  Chewing gum often uses peppermint as the main ingredient.

Rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a perennial woody evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean region.  This woody herb belongs to the Lamiaceae family.

Rosemary has a warm, bitter, and astringent taste with a pine-like smell that remains even after the herb has been dried.  

The plant features beautiful colors and a sweet scent that draws birds, insects, butterflies, and people.  The plant features beautiful dainty flowers that can be blue, pink, purple, and white.

Culinary – Rosemary is used as a seasoning in a wide variety of dishes including soups, casseroles, salads, stews, roasts, etc.   It can even be included in jelly, jams, butter, bread, and drinks.

Because the leaves can be tough, you should typically mince rosemary leaves before adding them to a dish.

Because the flavoring can be overpowering, it is best to use rosemary in moderation so you do not ruin your dish.

rosemary can be infused with olive oil, vinegar, honey, and salts.

Garden –  Rosemary can grow quite large if the growing conditions are optimal.  Rosemary grows best in warm climates that have moderate humidity.  

Rosemary will reach its mature size during the second season and will start flowering at this time.

Essential oil – Rosemary essential oil is often used to improve brain function.  Rosemary essential oil accomplishes this because it helps prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, which is a chemical important for thinking, concentration, and memory. 

Rosemary essential oil has successfully been used to treat androgenetic alopecia, which is the most common cause of hair loss.  It does this by increasing blood circulation when applied to the scalp.

Rosemary essential oil can also be used as a mild pain reliever.

And finally, rosemary essential oil can be used as a mild insecticide.  

Medical – Rosemary contains compounds that are useful for improving digestion and increasing circulation, and have anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and antioxidant properties.

Rosemary is an effective treatment for some forms of baldness.  

Some other controversial uses of rosemary include combating fatigue and indigestion. 

Personal care products –  Rosemary essential oil contains beneficial substances such as phytochemicals and camphor.  These substances make rosemary a good essential oil to add to personal care products such as shampoos. soaps, and lotions.  

It is believed that rosemary can remove harmful bacteria and fungi from the skin.  It can also help lift dead skin cells from the surface of the skin.

Religious – In some religions, rosemary would be placed in the tombs of the departed.  It is believed that in the bible when the holy women returned to anoint Jesus’s body after his death, would have used rosemary.

Christians believed that the rosemary plant echoed the life of Christ, and grew for 33 years, grew to the height of man, then died.

In medieval times, brides and their guests would wear and carry rosemary as a token of love and virtue

Potions & rituals –  Rosemary is one of the most important herbs used in magical rituals.  It is best known for cleansing and purifying.  

Smudge sticks can be made from Rosemary and Juniper together to drive the staleness from a home after a long and lingering illness.

By taking a bath in rosemary, worries can be removed.

Rosemary can be used to cleanse ritualistic objects such as wands and crystals.

Other uses – You can make rosemary wreaths that welcome your guests with their aromatic smells.  You can also make miniature Christmas trees with rosemary.  You can also use rosemary in a dryer sachet to give your clothes a fresh smell.  

Sage

Sage (Salvia officinalis) and other related sages are perennial evergreen herbs that are a member of the mint family.  There are around 22 different types of sage.

Sage has a strong herbal aroma and earthy flavor.  Sage can also have a minty, peppery taste with a touch of lemon and camphor. 

Depending on where in the world you live and the type of sage, sage can go by many different names including:

 

  • Black Sage
  • Blue Sage
  • Common Sage
  • Crimson Sage
  • Garden Sage
  • Hummingbird Sage

  • Kitchen Sage
  • Purple Sage
  • Scarlet Sage
  • Texas Sage
  • Thistle Sage
  • White Sage

Sage is often confused with several Wormwoods, including Sagebrush, Rocky Mountain Sage, and Silver Sage.  These other “Sages” are far too bitter to use for culinary purposes.  But these sages do have many medicinal properties of their own, which we are not discussing in this article.

Sage has the following uses:

Culinary – Common sage is rich in vitamins and antioxidant compounds.  Since sage has a strong flavor and aroma, it can be added early in the cooking process.  

Keep in mind that dried sage has a more pronounced flavor compared to fresh sage.

Use sage to add herbaceous tastes to sauces, pasta, sausage fillings, turkey stuffing, chicken, vegetables, butter, meat marinades, pastries, and bread. 

If you wish to mellow the flavor of sage, you can fry the sage first.  To add its full power to a dish, crumble the sage up and add it to the dish at the last moment.

Tea –  Made from sage leaves, sage tea is a common fragrant tea you can find in most grocery stores.  The tea will have a slightly minty, but bitter taste.  To tone down the bitterness, some people will blend other ingredients in such as ginger, or even a slice of lemon.  

Garden –  Sage can grow well in containers.  If planted from seed, sage can take up to three years to mature. 

Sage requires sandy, loamy, well-drained soil.  Sage will be the happiest when grown in medium to full sun.  If you live in a hot humid location, sage will not grow very well and will probably be an annual instead of a perennial.    

Essential oil –  Sage essential oil has a spicy, herb-like scent.  When used in a diffuser, sage may help relieve symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression in some people.  

Medical – Sage has over 160 compounds that have beneficial health benefits.  Some of these compounds include caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, rosmarinic acid, ellagic acid, and rutin. 

Traditionally, sage has been used to lower blood sugar, but there is not enough evidence to recommend sage as a diabetes treatment.  

Fresh sage has also been used to treat diarrhea.  

There is also anecdotal evidence that sage tea has a variety of health benefits including its ability to reduce hot flashes, night sweats, and excessing perspiration associated with menopause.

The antibacterial and antifungal properties found in sage may help with oral hygiene.  

Studies have found that drinking 1 cup of sage tea twice a day can lower both total cholesterol and bad cholesterol, and raise good cholesterol.   

Sage has compounds in it that may support better brain function. 

Personal care products – Sage can be found in many beauty products designed to improve skin and hair.  this includes body creams, lotions, moisturizers, body soaps, and many shampoos. 

Religious – For many religions and cultures, burning sage has been an important part of spiritual purification rituals for thousands of years.    

Potions & rituals – Sage is used for spiritual purification, cleansing negative energy, aiding meditation, improving mental clarity, and empowering spiritual tools.  

Sage can be used as part of a ritual to contact spirits or to exorcise evil spirits.  Shamans will use it to exorcise evil spirits and to invite “good” spirits.  

Burning smudge sticks made of sage can be used to help cleanse an area of negative energy. 

Other uses – Incense sticks and incense cones made from sage are very popular.  

Thyme

Thyme originated throughout the Mediterranean but is now found throughout the world.  Thyme is a low-growing hardy perennial that has an intense but pleasant, herbaceous aroma. 

There are over 400 varieties of thyme.  The aroma and flavor can change depending on the variety of thyme that you use.  The most common type of thyme is known as common thyme (Thymus vulgaris) or garden thyme.

Some varieties of thyme are grown for culinary purposes while other types are grown as ornamentals.  But all varieties of thyme are edible.

12 of the more popular thyme varieties include:

  • Caraway Thyme
  • Common Thyme
  • Creeping Thyme (ornamental)
  • French Thyme
  • Germain Thyme
  • Golden Lemon Thyme

  • Lemon Thyme
  • Mother of Thyme (ornamental)
  • Orange Balsam Thyme
  • Orangelo Thyme
  • Summer Thyme
  • Wooly Thyme (ornamental)

Thyme has the following uses:

Culinary – Thyme is one of the most popular herbs used in cooking.  The most common varieties of thyme to use for cooking are English, German, and French thyme.

Although many people are used to using their thyme as a powder, fresh thyme is much more flavorful.  

English Thyme can be used to flavor a whole variety of food including soups, sauces, poultry, meat, fish, and stuffing. 

German Thyme is frequently used in aromatic dishes such as Bouquet Garni and cheeses, soups, sauces, meat, and eggs.

Tea – Thyme tea has a herbal flavor that is sweet and savory but with earthy undertones and a slight bitterness.  Some have described the taste as having hints of citrus peppermint, or cinnamon.  

Thyme tea may help improve digestion and could help to reduce coughing and soothe the throat.  

Garden –  Thyme can grow just about anywhere.  It is best to start your plants indoors during the early spring.  Once the weather warms up, you can plant your thyme outside.  

Thyme like lots of sunlight.  Also, thyme does not need a whole lot of water.  Only water your thyme when the soil is dry.

For the best taste, once the flowers begin to blossom, this is the time to harvest the leaves of your thyme – although the leaves can be harvested at any time.

Thyme is one of the easiest growing culinary herbs in our gardens.

Essential oil – Thyme essential oil has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.  Of all the essential oils, thyme essential oil is one of the most powerful antioxidants.

Medical – The active ingredient found in thyme is thymol, which is a powerful antioxidant.

Other important compounds found in thyme that have health benefits include:

  • Borneol
  • Camphor
  • Carvacrol
  • Cineol
  • Linalool

Thyme has been used to reduce anxiety, treat insomnia, reduce restlessness, and helps to relax the body.

Thyme can help drain congestion caused by chest and throat infections.

Thyme has been shown to inhibit some bacteria, including bacteria in the mouth.

Thyme has been used to treat ringworm, tapeworms, and hookworms.

Thyme is used in some products to heal wounds, cuts, acne, burns, rashes insect bites.

During the 15th and 17th century plagues that swept across Europe, thyme was one of the herbs used to try and stop the plague.

Thyme was used to combat the plagues that swept through Europe during the 15th through the 17th centuries

Thyme is also a natural blood thinner.  for this reason, if you are on blood thinners, you should not use thyme without a doctor’s supervision.

Personal care products – Thyme can be found in a variety of body care products such as Mouthwash, toothpaste, body washes, body lotions and creams, soap bars, body scrubs, bath salts, bubble baths, powders, and body fragrances.

Religious – The use of thyme has been well documented since the earliest writings.  Summaries and Egyptians both used thyme for ceremonial purposes and for embalming the dead.  

Potions & rituals – Thyme is mainly used in green magic – magic dealing with the energy of mother earth.

Greek and Roman soldiers would bathe in a thyme bath before going into battle to provide them with strength and courage.

 Thyme can be used to clear the body of negative energy and to help heal psychic scar tissue.  

Carrying the herb with you can help strengthen your bonds with others.

A thyme smoke wand or smudge stick can help remove negative energy from s space.   

Other uses – Thyme essential oil can help keep away some pests such as mosquitoes, lice, moths, and bed bugs.

Candles made of thyme can have a pleasant smell.

Conclusion

It is estimated that there are between 50,000 to 70,000 plant species that could be classified as an herb.  These 10 herbs are just a little sampling of what is available.

Most aromatic herbs can be extremely evocative.  There is nothing better than smelling fresh aromatic herbs.  These humble little plants have the power to turn your living space or your plain food dishes into a dramatic cacophony of tastes and smells. 

So enjoy what mother earth has provided us and savor your aromatic herbs to their fullest. 

 

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