greek herbs

The use of herbs has been well known since antiquity. The most ancient accounts in works of art and various monuments prove their use by the Sumerian and Assyrians.

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a few words about oregano...thyme..rosemary..sage

riganiOregano is one of the greatest aromatic plants. It is the herb whose unique aroma has become an essential part of our daily lives. In Mediterranean countries, as well as the rest of the world, it is considered to be one of the most important condiments. Oregano has been well known since antiquity. It was held in such high regard, that its name (ορίγανον) which is compound and is derived from the words όρος (mountain) and γάνος (bright), means 'the plant that brightens up the mountain'; a piece of jewelry.

Origanum Vulgare ssp Hirtum.

The genus Origanum is characterized by a great morphological and chemical variation. The species Origanum Vulgare is the most widespread among its relative kinds while in Greece, it is the most common and widespread of all.

Out of all the subspecies of oregano, the most unique in quality and aroma is Origanum Vulgare ssp Hirtum. Globally known with its trade name, Greek Oregano, it is considered the best in the world. Its vegetal parts and essential oils are globally used as condiments in the food industry.

Hippocrates, the father of Medicine, used oregano to treat gastralgia and various respiratory ailments as cited in Theofrastus's book "The Natural History of Plants" as well as in Dioscorides's great work " Regarding Medical Materials".

Antigonos of Karystos cites that the Pelasgae people healed their wounds by applying oregano on them.

There is a plethora of studies which account for oregano's beneficial effects on both man and the ecosystem. We will indicatively mention its potent antibacterial action against various microorganisms, its deterrent effect on fungi growth, its strong toxic effect against viruses and carcinogenic cells, its anti-oxidant properties as well as its ability to shield bees from pathogens. It is also cited as a drug against tooth decay, colics, psoriasis (scabies) and hair growth, while it also has stimulating, diuretic, and purging properties. It is also worth noting that oregano protects the soil from erosion.

 

 

Thyme is an aromatic, medicinal and honey bee feeding plant. Known from the ancient times in Mediterranean countries, it is a plant particularly productive for bee honey, whose presence adds unique characteristics in honey.
Its essential oil contains mainly thymol and it is quite known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Today is widely used in mouth wash solutions, in toothpastes and as an ingredient for cough syrup.
In cooking, it holds a special place as it can be used in a variety of different kinds, like meat, fish, marinades, sauces and many more. It can also flavor oils and salts.

Thymus Vulgaris L

In the genus Thymus, today there are over 120 species, where the 1/6 of them grows in Greece as native. The one with the widest spread is Thymus Capitatus but the kind we usually taste in food is Thymus Vulgaris (Common Thyme).

 

 

Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis L.)

An aromatic plant originated at the Mediterranean area and has known uses since antiquity. It is a great stimulant and has significant role in the bee feeding.
It is believed that helps memory, and for that reason, ancient Greek students used to wore rosemary garlands around their heads during examinations.

 

 

Sage (Salvia Officinalis L.)

Pedanius Dioscorides, that great figure of pharmacognosy, writes in his book De Materia Medica (Regarding Medical Materials) Third Book..

Helelisphacum is a much-branched somewhat long shrub, with four-square and somewhat white stalks. The leaves are similar to malicottoon, yet longer, sharper and thicker, hidden by filaments — whitish, especially odiferous and poisonous-smelling — like on outworn garments. The seed is on top of the stalks like wild horminum. It grows in rough places. A decoction of the leaves and branches (taken as a drink) is able to induce movement of the urine and the menstrual flow, is an abortifacient, and helps the strikes of the pastinaca marina. It dyes the hair black, is a wound herb and a blood-stauncher, and cleanses wild ulcers. A decoction of the leaves and branches (with wine) applied with hot cloths soothes itchiness around the genitals. Elelisphacon dissolves chilliness and coughs and is good used with rosaceum and wax ointment for all bad ulcers. Taken as a drink with white wine it cures a painful spleen and dysentery. Similarly, given to drink it cures bloodspitters, and is available for all cleansing for a woman, but the most wicked women (making a pessary of it) apply it and use it as an abortifacient. It is also called elaphoboscon, sphagnon, ciosmin, phagnon, or becion; the Egyptians call it apusi, the Romans, cosalon, and others, salvia.

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