Just look at the beauty in these plants – Lemon Balm and Thyme. When perusing the Farmer’s Market or local natural grocer, I seek some new options to try as well as old favorites. Having grown up and lived in the northeast, fresh herbs were not as customary to me, thus Mom would use dried herbs for soups and stews. Over the years, I’ve developed a natural ability to combine certain herbs and spices that blend well and enhance various dishes. I am now expanding my repertoire with fresh varieties and some that I’ve never met before!
Herbs and Natural Remedies #1: Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm is a delightful leaf with a faint scent of lemon. I decided to try it in salads and it tastes wonderful. Lemon Balm is traditionally known for helping with digestive issues and breath freshening, but it is also a potent anti-viral agent as well. Additionally, it is used in combination with other herbs to act as a carminative or relaxing agent.
Cooking with lemon balm lends itself to fish and poultry given its lemony flavor. It will lose flavor and scent when dried, thus using fresh is important. It is part of the mint family and can be infused into making tea as well.
Herbs and Natural Remedies #2: Thyme
Thyme, an herb known well to me for years, has many culinary and medicinal uses as well. I have used Thyme in making chicken soup, on roast pork tenderloin and tossed with roasted autumn vegetables – rutabaga, butternut squash, beets. I now use it fresh in my salads, especially when knowing that my gut needs a little assistance with detoxification.
Medicinally, Thyme has antiseptic, antifungal and antioxidant activities. The essential oil, thymol, is a rich source to assist with those who suffer from SIBO or candida. When it comes to brain health, the gut is known as the “second brain” and must be in balance or there will be imbalances in the brain as well – fogginess, slower processing etc.
Growing herbs is quite easy, whether in the garden or on the window sill. Enjoy this healing art blended with nature.