Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Continuation of Herbal Lesson

What a beautiful Sunday we had last weekend, following a rainy and blistery Saturday. It was nice to have some of you come in and ask about the herbs I had written about in my previous blog. Continuing with my findings in this blog I'll cover Flax, Hyssop, and Sorrel. First let me say that I am not trained in herbs what I'm posting is from researching on the internet, please don't read my writings and assume I am recommending any medicinal remedies.

Flax, Linum usitatissimum, also known as linseed. An annual herb with grey green leaves which produce sky blue flowers in the summer. After the plant has flowered you will find capsules which contain shiny, oval and flat seeds. These seeds are dried and used in various ways. Crushed, the flax seed may be mixed into breakfast cereal for the treatment of constipation. When crushed and mixed into a poultice (soft moist mass) it is known to be effective in local inflammations, such as boils, and eczema.
Now how sweet does this little flower look?

Hyssop, Hyssopus officinalis. evergreen bushy herb which can grow up to 2', square stem, linear leaves. The flower tops are used medicinally in teas. As a culinary herb it is used in broths and salads.
Look for the blooms to appear June to October, depending on your climate.
Plant in a warm area, keep moist until established then they do better with a dryer soil.

Sorrel, Rumex sanguineus.
Grown as a foliage plant due to it's unusual coloration. Plant in full sun and provide regular watering, do not overwater. The young leaves are the edible parts and you eat them as you would spinach. Cut the flower stalks off and more energy will go into producing larger foliage clumps of sword shaped leaves highlighted by red veining.

This morning I'll be picking fresh basil for tonight's dinner, and if the sorrel plants look big enough maybe pull a few leaves to add to the salad. Fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruit from your own gardens just taste so much better.

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