Medicine Woman

  (Waynesville, North Carolina)
dangerous herbs, medicinal herbs, culinary herbs
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WHAT ABOUT BASIL???

 



BASILS


It may not be well known, but BASIL is part of the mint family, or family Lamiaceae


Here is an alphabetical breakdown of some of the BASILS that I'm familiar with. Any of you out there that care to add to the list, please do!


AFRICAN BLUE BASIL While not recommended for culinary uses, African blue basil is more often used as an ornamental. A properly tended plant with plenty of room to expand can easily become a grand showpiece in your late spring or early summer garden, making itself the center of conversation among your guests. In zones 9 (maybe 8A) and warmer, given the right protection, this beauty can sometimes transform itself into a cherished perennial.

Because it can mature to four feet, African blue basil works best at the back of an annual border. It's wonderful pink and purple flowers with purple stems and leaves add to its desirability. In fact, many gardeners choose this basil in place of pink- or purple-flowering sage. There’s no need to be afraid of this plants ample volume as, like most basils, it is easily trimmed back.




BUSH BASIL (Ocimum minimum) is a dwarf species. It has similar constituents and flavor to the sweet basil.




CINNAMON BASIL – The name describes it all – basil with a cinnamon flavor. As you can imagine, its strong cinnamon scent easily distinguishes it from the others. It also has a somewhat harrier leaf. This medium-sized annual grows up to 2 ½ feet tall and produces pale pink to purple flowers.

Cinnamon basil is commonly used in hot drinks and added to fruits.



DARK OPAL BASIL Dark opal resembles a glossy-leafed, burgundy-and-purple coleus with pink flowers. While this two-foot annual is great for landscapes, it can also add a hint of exotic color to culinary favorites such as Italian Caprese or spring garden salads.



GENOVESE BASIL – A well-regarded favorite among foodies, Genovese basil is considered the best basil for use in Italian recipes (pesto, tomato-basil sauce, Caprese salad, etc.) Like sweet basil, this annual has a strong clove fragrance and ranges from 12 to 24 inches in height, but is easily distinguished by its more crinkly and in-turned leaves.

Genovese basil is one of the most popular types and is often used to make pesto. In Italy, it is considered a sign of love. It is claimed that the best Genovese basil, used to make real pesto, is grown in Northern Italy near the city of Genoa.









HOLY BASIL The attractive green and purple foliage of this perennial, combined with a strong showing of pink and white flowers, make this is an ideal landscape addition. Reaching heights up to three feet with a two-foot span, this hairy-leafed plant produces a fragrant clove scent. While holy basil can be used for culinary purposes in cooked foods, its hairy leaves and woodier stems make it difficult for use as a fresh herb. Holy basil stands the best chance for returning year after year in zones 9 or warmer.

HOLY BASIL, also known as TULSI, is commonly used in Thai cuisine and teas. It is native to the Old World Tropics, and often grows as a weed. Holy basil has been used for thousands of years to heal people and is even worshiped in parts of India.



Holy basil makes a therapeutic addition to the garden! Its leaves, chopped fresh or dried, can be infused to make a sort of basil tea. It’s good for everything that ails a person, and for the sick in need, there’s absolutely no over-doing it. In cooking, it kind of acts like a multi-spice, so make sure to taste and smell it before adding it to anything, and test its taste with other things. Holy basil has licorice/anise notes, citrus/lemony notes, minty notes, and clove-like notes — and the citrus, clove, and mint notes are about equal.

LEMON BASIL Similar to the other basils, this annual grows to a height of about two feet, but complements salads, dressing and teas with a savory lemon flavor and fragrance. This basil is a bit spindlier than its other basil relatives and is characterized by a flatter, narrower leaf

Popular for its strong, lemon scent, it is most often used in dishes in Indonesia, Thailand, and Laos.




MAMMOTH BASIL

Originating in Italy, mammoth basil has leaves that resemble lettuce and have jagged edges. When mature, the plant will be about 14 to 18 inches tall. The large mammoth basil leaves are often used in pesto or used whole in salads.



PERILLA, SHISHO (a basil relative) – There are a few kinds of perilla but this species, with green leaves and purple spots is perhaps the best for cooking. Used most often in Asian cuisine, Shisho has a cinnamon-lemon flavor. Perilla frutecens var “autopurpurea” (also known as a beefsteak plant) is an interesting relative that I’ve included here because of its much stronger licorice flavor that some cooks thoroughly enjoy.

Because it is often confused with coleus, it can double as ornamental basil. Even though it’s an annual, it spreads from seed.

PERILLA (a basil relative ) – Perilla frutecens var “crispa” and “autopurpurea” are also interesting relatives of basil that can be used as ornamentals. AUTOPURPUREA is almost entirely purple while CRISPA has very frilly, divided leaves. Both of these plants can take a little more shade than regular basil, but you shouldn’t expect it to develop the best flavor without more sunlight. Like its relatives, it needs plenty of growing space as it also spreads wildly from seed. Another great plant for the brown-thumbed gardener.








PURPLE RUFFLES BASIL This is a great plant to spice up the kitchen and the landscape! Perhaps the most colorful basil for landscapes, purple ruffles makes a great addition to salads and pesto. Similar in color to the dark opal, this plant is slightly smaller in stature (reaches up to 1 ½ feet) and its leaves are very frilly and ruffled. While it can handle a shadier spot in the garden, it still needs at least three hours of sunlight to mature properly. Purple ruffles gives off a combination of licorice and cinnamon scents and produces lavender and pink flowers that can also be eaten. Somewhat difficult to start from seeds, this plants works best from transplants.


RED RUBIN basil is a unique, sweet type of basil that has dark purple leaves. Its flavor is sweet like sweet basil, and is used commonly in salads and as a garnish.



SIAM QUEEN BASIL – Siam queen is a type of Thai basil that produces mint green leaves with very large flower heads – up to 6 inches across – that give off a spicy anise scent. ( it smells great!) It reaches heights up to 2 ½ feet, but it can be pinched back – and even eaten! – to restrict growth.



SPICY GLOBE

Spicy globe basil is similar to the taste of sweet basil. The main difference with this type is that is grows small, dense, and compact, at most 10 inches tall. Spicy globe basil is perfect for pots and small gardens.

You may purchase SPICY GLOBE BASIL from my store!


SWEET BASIL (Ocimum basilicum) is one of the most common and important culinary herbs in the world and is considered the king of herbs. It has been used for thousands of years in Italian dishes. Sweet basil can be used in almost any dish including meat, pizza, pasta, salad, and in sauces.


Basil and tomatoes go together; in the garden as well as in your sandwich. This is used widely in Mediterranean cuisine. Some of the most famous Italian dishes rely for their memorable flavor on this herb.


Also used as an insect repellant or fly repellant. I use equal parts of basil and sage together whenever I

start noticing flies appearing in my kitchen. I mixed the basil and sage together, ( you only need about ½ teaspoon of each) put it on a paper towel ( I've been known to turn the cover of a jar up and put some in it, you can use a small glass dish or custard cup, anything, as long as it is open) near where the flies seem to be and after a few minutes the flies go away. They don't die, so you don't need to worry about dead flies around. They just go away. I have requested that the waitress or cook in restaurants mix this and bring it to the table, when there are flies in the dining area. More than one cook has actually come out and thanked me and said they'll be using this mixture in the kitchen from then on. So,give a try. Even if the kids get in to it, it won't hurt them.





THAI BASIL, used commonly in Thai and Vietnamese cuisines, has a flavor of licorice and mint this annual is also referred to as anise or licorice basil. It reaches heights up to 24 inches and with a nearly two-foot expanse. . It has small green leaves and purple stems. Thai basil goes great with seafood, chicken, pork, and in curry sauces. stir-fried dishes. Thai basil can also be found served raw with pho, which is a soup made of noodles. In Taiwan, Thai basil can be found in the popular Three Cup Chicken dish. Thai basil is more easily found in specialty grocery stores that carry exotic or high-end fresh herbs.

THAI BASIL IS ONE OF THE BASILS THAT I AM GROWING THIS YEAR! Feel free to look in my store for dried THAI BASIL.



There are three common types of basil that are usually found in Thai cuisine.

HORAPHA,

KRAPHAO, and

MAENGLAK.

KRAPHAO IS better known as Thai holy basil while

MAENGLAK is better known as Thai lemon basil.

All three types, though similar, have different and distinct flavors when used in culinary dishes.

THAI HOLY BASIL is widely used in Indian dishes and is even worshiped and smells of cloves.

culinary uses of thai basil

Thai basil is most commonly used and found in chicken, pork, and curry dishes in Thailand and Vietnam.



WILD BASIL ( Calamintha clinopodium) is a species from northern Europe. It has a scent and flavor reminiscent of thyme.




 
 

Oregano!! umm, which one??

 

OREGANO?? WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE??


Oregano seems to be one those herbs that people don't seem to differentiate one from another when using them. For instance, when making pizza and the recipe calls for oregano, which oregano is the recipe referring to? With just about all herbs, there's more than one type of the herb. Do you wanna know the difference oregano's and what they are used for? OK, now that you're on board, here we go!



BRISTOL CROSS OREGANO has beautiful Asian looking pinkish-purple flowers and a mild oregano flavor and aroma. Bristol Cross Oregano is used in tomato based dishes, pasta, rice, sauces, and vinegars.


CRINKLE LEAF MARJORAM is a low mounding Marjoram with attractive, golden crinkled leaves.

Use this oregano in pastas, tomato sauces, meat and vegetable dishes and herbal vinegars.


GOLDEN OREGANO (Origanum vulgare “Aureum”) use in tomato dishes, rice, pasta, sauces, dressings, vinegars


GREEK OREGANO (Origanum heracleoticum ) is as essential to pizza as Mexican oregano is to chili powder. You may use the two types interchangeably but using one specifically increases the authenticity of certain dishes. MEXICAN OREGANO has a more earthy flavor with less hint of mint in the aroma. Use it for your Mexican cooking. Set them side by side and you will quickly see the difference. MEXICAN OREGANO has an abundance of what appear to be tiny flower buds and leaves while GREEK OREGANO has a more cut-leaf appearance.

Greek oregano tends to be the most savory and earthy, while Italian is milder

Greek Oregano’s flavor is hot and peppery.


Its spicy yet refreshing flavor contributes to Italian, Greek, and Spanish cuisine, as well as Mexican. Complementary spices to Oregano are Thyme, Parsley, Chives, Basil, and Chili. Oregano is delicious in bread, pasta dishes, stuffing, and of course pizza.


ITALIAN OREGANO Origanum majoricum.


A delicious culinary herb that is essential to your Italian dishes. Italian Oregano is an excellent variety with a strong spicy flavor used in Italian cooking. A native of the Mediterranean region, Italian’ Oregano – the most famous variety in the oregano family, has the nick-name “Pizza Herb.” It is perfect for Italian, Greek, Spanish and Mexican dishes

It is spicy enough to be delicious in Mexican cuisine, like salsas or chili-flavored dishes, yet mild enough to be the best Oregano variety for Italian and Greek food.



MEXICAN OREGANO ( Lippia graveolens) is used to flavor pork, fish, beans, stews, soups, tacos, salsas, tomato based sauces and as an ingredient in seasoning blends. It is even used to flavor a cheese cake and make a herbal tea called té de pais in some rural areas. Mexican Oregano's flavor is a sharp classic Oregano with citrus notes and a hint of sweetness. The bite of the volatile oils in this aromatic herb is so strong that a pinch chewed in the mouth causes a mild numbness to the tongue.


SWEET MARJORAM – (Origanum majorana)

A near relative of Oregano, Marjoram is sweeter and milder than its cousin. Marjoram blends particularly well with meats, tomato, and rice dishes, and is found in French, Italian, and Greek cooking. Try Sweet Marjoram with poultry, mushrooms, egg dishes, potatoes and herbed butters.


Besides being delicious in savory dishes, Sweet Marjoram is extolled for its soothing properties, and is often steeped into a tea to relieve headaches, tension, nausea and PMS.




TURKISH OREGANO (Origanum tyttanticum ) This one has a strong but not-too-hot flavor. It is the favorite for Mediterranean cooking

Turkish Oregano is an especially sweet, spicy, but not-too-hot variety of Origanum. Turkish Oregano is a favorite in meat dishes and pizza sauces or any Mediterranean recipe



VARIEGATED OREGANO a low mounding habit and milder flavor than most oregano's.

use in fresh salads, vegetable dishes, salsa, meat dishes .

It has a milder flavor than most Oregano, yet still very flavorful. The tender, delicately textured leaves are perfect for fresh salads and vegetable dishes. Makes a nice salsa as well.

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HERBS THAT GO WITH GAME

Here are some herbs that go well with Game. You'll notice that certain herbs such as juniper berries, onion, garlic, thyme keeps appearing, as well as spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon.  Under EXTRA  I 've included some wines, cheeses, and other items that may be of interest that you can use together with the herbs mentioned.

                     ENJOY!!

 

GAME:


DUCK:    chervil , cinnamon, coriander, cumin seeds , dill weed, fennel seeds, ginger, juniper berries, lemon zest, marjoram, paprika, rosemary, saffron, sage, tarragon, thyme, turmeric

EXTRA: sweet white wine, dry white wine, sweet sherry, brandy, cognac, oranges, raisins, yogurt


GOOSE:   aniseed, bay leaf, caraway seeds, cinnamon ,cayenne, coriander, garlic, ginger, juniper berries, lemon zest, minced meat, onion, sage, thyme

EXTRA: Madeira, dry white wine,  gin,  dry red wine, calvados, raisins, yogurt


PHEASANT:    bay leaf, cayenne, cloves, garlic, juniper berries, leeks, lemon grass, onion, black and white and green peppercorns, paprika, rosemary, sage, thyme

EXTRA: dry white wine, cognac, sweet vermouth, Glenfarclas malt whiskey, gin, oranges, dry mustard, Stilton, Roquefort


GROUSE: mushrooms, nutmeg, shallots, thyme

EXTRA: hazelnuts, muscat grapes, oranges. Madeira, muscat wine, green tea, yogurt


PARTRIDGE/ QUAIL:     bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, chilli peppers, cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, garlic, garam masala, ginger, lemon zest, mint, nutmeg, onion, parsley, ground saffron, sage, thyme

EXTRA: brandy, dry white wine, sweet wine, champagne (quails), cognac



DEER:    allspice , cardamom, ground cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cloves, chilli powder, coriander leaves, dill, garlic, ginger, juniper berries, lemon, nutmeg, onion, oregano, parsley, rosemary, star anise, thyme

EXTRA: dry white wine, Madeira, dry sherry, cognac, cider, kumquats, mushrooms, yogurt, coconut


RABBIT/HARE:    bouquet garni ( parsley, bay leaf, celery leaves, marjoram, lemon zest), cinnamon, cloves, garlic, ginger, juniper berries, nutmeg , onion, parsley, rosemary, saffron, tarragon , thyme

EXTRA: dry red wine,dry white wine, dark rum, raisins, pine nuts

WILD BOAR:   cayenne pepper, coriander leaves, cloves, cinnamon , garlic, ginger, juniper berries, lemon, onion, red chillis, rosemary, tarragon

EXTRA: dry red wine, dry white wine, cognac, Marsala ,cider vinegar, quince, pecorino cheese, raisins, pine nuts


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WHICH HERBS GO WELL WITH FISH

 

I thought that I might share with you a list of what herbs go with what type of fish. I have always found this to be helpful to know just which herbs to use with which fish. I've also included some types of wine and cheese

 

In another few days, I will have a list for meats, game, vegetables and fruits.

 

 

Enjoy!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                FISH FRESHWATER

 

BASS     garlic, onion, marjoram, dill, orange zest, curry powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, sweet Hungarian paprika, lemon zest, ground cumin, chili powder,

 EXTRA: Madeira, dry sherry or sake,

 

 

CATFISH       oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, onion, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, curry powder, sweet paprika, white pepper, oregano, bay leaf

 EXTRA: Monterrey Jack cheese, rice wine vinegar

 

 

PANFISH (YELLOW PERCH, BLUEGILL, CRAPPIE, BULLHEAD, ROCK BASS, PUMPKINSEED) onion, garlic, ground cumin, chili powder, oregano, red pepper flakes, jalapeno, thyme, ground coriander, sweet paprika

 EXTRA: cheddar cheese

 

 

PERCH          garlic, basil, dill, tarragon, ground cumin

 EXTRA: extra dry vermouth, rice wine vinegar, grated Parmesan cheese

 

 

PICKEREL       onion, garlic, fresh cilantro, coriander, cayenne pepper, ground ginger, lemon

 EXTRA: Parmesan cheese, Monterrey Jack cheese

 

 

PIKE       marjoram, onion (including red onion),garlic, curry powder, lemon/orange peel/zest,  parsley, basil, cumin seeds, cardamom, turmeric, cayenne pepper, cilantro, fresh mint  thyme, oregano, chives

EXTRA: grated Parmesan cheese, red wine vinegar, extra dry vermouth

 

 

 

SALMON ( all Pacific salmon are born in fresh water, run to the sea and then return to their birth streams to spawn)     dill weed, fennel seed ( ground), onion, lemon zest, curry powder, tarragon, ground cumin and cumin seeds, chili powder, parsley, basil, bay leaves, garlic, whole peppercorns, ground coriander, red onion, ground turmeric, thyme

 EXTRA: Japanese rice wine, dry white wine, Madeira wine

 

 

TROUT      onion, red pepper, thyme, garlic, lemon zest, oregano, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, ground turmeric, cilantro, ground cumin, summer savory, pink peppercorns, curry powder, orange zest, shallots, Sweet Hungarian paprika

EXTRA: dry white wine or extra dry vermouth, apple cider vinegar

 

 

 

WALLEYE     onion, orange zest, lime, red pepper flakes, garlic, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper, curry powder, lemon, basil, parsley, tarragon, rosemary, sage, coriander, cilantro, Vidalia onion, tangerine

 EXTRA: grated provolone cheese, yogurt, anisette, Parmesan cheese, extra dry vermouth or dry white wine

 

WHITE BASS       onion, lime, garlic, basil, marjoram

 EXTRA: yogurt, sour cream, horseradish, good with shrimp, red wine vinegar

 

 

 

 

 

                                   SEAFOOD

 

 

BLUEFISH leeks , chives, garlic, parsley, tarragon, lemon

EXTRA: WINE: Muscadet or California Sauvignon Blanc, Parmesan cheese

 

 

CATFISH lemon zest, garlic, ginger root, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, fennel, thyme, basil, oregano, parsley, chives

EXTRA yogurt

  

EEL parsley, shallot, thyme, sorrel, chervil, tarragon, mint, sage, lemon zest

EXTRA: dry white wine

 

 

FLOUNDER shallots, lemon zest, parsley, garlic, ginger root, cumin, coriander, cayenne

EXTRA: yogurt

 

GROUPER: onion, garlic, ginger root, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, red pepper, basil

EXTRA: balsamic vinegar, yogurt

 

HADDOCK onion, garlic, oregano, thyme, lemon zest, garlic, ginger root , garam masala, turmeric, cayenne

EXTRA yogurt

 

 

 MACKEREL onion, garlic, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, paprika, lemon zest

EXTRA: dry white wine

 

MUSSELS: red onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime, garlic, ground coriander, parsley, oregano

EXTRA: dry sherry, grated Parmesan

 

OCTOPUS onion, bay leaf, parsley, peppercorns, garlic, paprika, thyme

EXTRA; dry white wine

 

SEA BASS onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, parsley, thyme, lemon zest, ginger root

EXTRA: dry white wine

 

 

SHRIMP ginger root, curry powder, celery seed, basil, oregano, thyme, garlic, cayenne and red pepper flakes, parsley, lemon zest, dill

EXTRA: white wine vinegar, dry sherry, feta cheese, yogurt

 

 

SKATE onion, garlic, oregano, thyme, cayenne, parsley

EXTRA dry white wine

 

 

SQUID onion, garlic, parsley, basil, oregano

EXTRA: dry white wine, Parmesan

 

Tilapia     onion, garlic, fennel leaves and bulb, lemon zest, parsley, ginger-root, garam masala, turmeric, basil, cayenne

EXTRA: yogurt, dry white wine

 

 

 

 

 

 

FISH BROTHS, GUMBOS, SOUPS, CHOWDERS:

 

FISH BROTHS thyme, parsley, whole cloves, black peppercorns

EXTRA: dry white wine

 

 

GUMBOS: onion, garlic, jalapeno, bay leaf, fish broth, thyme, cilantro, parsley

 

 

SOUPS & CHOWDERS: basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, garlic, onion, jalapeno, curry powder, cumin

EXTRA: dry sherry, dry white wine , balsamic vinegar

 

 

 
 

PART 2: THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF USING HERBS IN OUR FOOD

GARLIC either by itself or in seasonings such as mine, helps lower cholesterol and helps prevent blood clots. Seasonings that have garlic help kill off organisms, including bacteria and viruses that cause earaches, flu and colds. Garlic can also prevent cancer.


THE MINTS are a stomach tonic that promote digestion, calm stomach muscle spasms, relieve flatulence, fights bacteria and viruses. Mint even helps reduce headache pain and boost mental alertness.


OREGANO can help unknot muscles in the digestive tract and also can lower blood pressure.


ROSEMARY is just loaded with antioxidants! Rosemary can ease asthma and other allergy symptoms.


SAGE helps fight infections, and helps alleviate symptoms of menopause, night sweats and hot flashes.


TURMERIC has anti inflammatory effects and is beneficial in relieving rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Turmeric helps to lower cholesterol and helps prevent cataracts.


So, don't be afraid of trying herbal seasonings when preparing your food! Enjoy not only a unique flavor but also added health benefits!


THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF USING HERBS IN OUR FOOD

 

GARLIC either by itself or in seasonings such as mine, helps lower cholesterol and helps prevent blood clots. Seasonings that have garlic help kill off organisms, including bacteria and viruses that cause earaches, flu and colds. Garlic can also prevent cancer.


THE MINTS are a stomach tonic that promote digestion, calm stomach muscle spasms, relieve flatulence, fights bacteria and viruses. Mint even helps reduce headache pain and boost mental alertness.


OREGANO can help unknot muscles in the digestive tract and also can lower blood pressure.


ROSEMARY is just loaded with antioxidants! Rosemary can ease asthma and other allergy symptoms.


SAGE helps fight infections, and helps alleviate symptoms of menopause, night sweats and hot flashes.


TURMERIC has anti inflammatory effects and is beneficial in relieving rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Turmeric helps to lower cholesterol and helps prevent cataracts.


So, don't be afraid of trying herbal seasonings when preparing your food! Enjoy not only a unique flavor but also added health benefits!


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