My 5 favorite herbs and how I use them

Herbs are some of the easiest things to grow, hands down. Proof is, even I am capable of keeping them alive and thriving. Many of them will spread like weeds if you let them, popping up every spring without any effort on your part. Herbs are usually pretty tolerant when it comes to soil type and sun and shade balance.

Here are my top five favorite herbs, which I use for tea, seasoning, remedies, or all of the above.

1. Mint

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With its refreshing, invigorating smell, mint makes delicious tea that is great either hot or cold. Mint is great for colds and digestive complaints.

2. SageDSC_0711

We had a glorious sage bush at our old home, but here, my poor little sage plant took some assaults from the chickens, who insisted on digging around it and trampling it for some reason (they don’t eat it, though – it’s a bonus point for chicken keepers. Sharp-smelling herbs are about the only thing chickens find unappetizing).

Anyway, my sage plant seems to be in recovery now, and is flowering. Which makes me really happy, because sage tea is a powerful decongestant and great for sore throats.

3. Rosemary

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My rosemary is still young, but its mother plant is a big arborescent bush.

Rosemary has some potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, and I just love it in cooking. It’s divine with oven-baked fish and roast potatoes.

4. Oregano (thanks to the readers who pointed out the correct name of this herb! It’s sometimes easy to get confused when the guy at the plant nursery assures you he’s selling you something which it is, in fact, not 😁)

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This is another herb I appreciate primarily for its culinary uses. It’s great either chopped fresh or dried and crushed – thoroughly air-dried herbs will keep almost indefinitely, retaining most of their properties.

I love it in bread, chicken roast, soup, and much more.

5. Lemongrass

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I adore the way this plant looks – like a giant spiky tuft of grass. It makes delicious tea, which I love to drink while breastfeeding as, unlike mint and sage, it doesn’t negatively affect milk supply.

If you’re planning a garden, herbs are one of the best places to start. I would say that at the very least, climate permitting, you should have the trio of mint, sage, and rosemary. They are perennial, hardy, easy to grow, smell delicious, and repel insects – what’s not to love?

Author: Anna

An Orthodox Jewish wife and mother enjoying a simple life with her family and chickens, somewhere in the hills, in Israel.

10 thoughts on “My 5 favorite herbs and how I use them”

  1. Hmmm! The photo you show as hyssop is not true hyssop, Hyssopus officinalis, which has narrow, very dark green, smooth (not fuzzy!) leaves and deep blue (or sometimes pink or white) flowers. It’s a hardy perennial in my Zone 5 garden. I do use it for tea, and the bees love it. The plant you show is an oregano, with fuzzy round leaves. I suspect it is Origanum syriacum, which comes from the Middle East. It is sometimes called Lebanese Oregano, and most authorities believe it is the “ezov” mentioned in the Bible (Exodus 12:21-22) It is generally not hardy below Zone 7. Not trying to be a nit-picker, but also don’t want your readers confused. I am a tea-aholic, and you’ve picked some of my favorites!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not only have I been “blessed” with the Thumb of Death, but the critters around here seem to be very fond of some of my plants. I think I have outwitted them for the moment. I bought a pot of basil, and was looking around for a sunny spot, when I was hit by inspiration. I had a hanging planter left for last summer, so I hollowed out the soil in that and hung in up next to a basket of impatiens. It seems to be thriving so wish me luck!

    Last summer, I put a pot of papyrus in our pond and *somebody* ate it. I don’t know if the squirrels got into it or the deer, but it didn’t survive July.

    Liked by 1 person

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