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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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.

In Ancient Egypt they used aromatic plants and essential oils both for medicinal as well as aesthetic purposes. There have been various citations in the Old Testament as well. The significance of aromatic plants is evident by the fact that herbs were considered as valuable as spices, precious stones and gold. The ancient Greeks, the Romans, as well as more contemporary explorers (Christopher Colombus, Vasco Da Gama, Marco Polo) have all traded in herbs. In Ancient Greece, aromatic herbs were of great significance and value. In the Olympic Games, the winners were honored with a wreath of laurels and parsley. There are extensive references of aromatic plants in ancient texts, the most important of which being that of Hippocrates, who had classified more that 400 medicines made from aromatic plants with medicinal properties. In the prolific flora of Greece, we can encounter a great number of self-sown species (500-600 aromatic and medicinal plants). It is the ground and climatic conditions of the country (Mediterranean type climate with precipitations throughout the three seasons of the year-Autumn, Winter, Spring- and droughts followed by high temperatures in Summer) that allow for the growth of aromatic plants,which provide us with such excellent quality products. Plants used since antiquity as condiments, decoctions, and as ingredients in folk medicine such as laurel, chamomile, myrtle, anise and mastic are commonly seen in the Greek flora. However, plants that belong in the Lamiaceae family, such as oregano, savory, thyme, rosemary, dittany, lavender as well as Sideritis tea are the most frequently encountered and widely used.

*The term aromatic plants refers to plants with a characteristic scent owing to the presence of essential oils in all its parts (roots, leaves, blossoms,shoots, fruit.)

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