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Herbology: A Short History
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A Short History of Garden Herbs
Records of the use of herbs date as far back as ancient Egypt and Biblical times. The Greeks and Romans studied and wrote about herbs for their medicinal and cooking value. Even in more recent history, the early physicians used hundreds of herbs to treat a variety of ailments. Herbs were also used to mask unpleasant household odors and to enhance the taste of dull food.
The study and use of herbs continued in Europe. Medieval monasteries became centers of herbal collection and cultivation. Once again herbs were studied for their medical applications and their use in cooking. During the Renaissance, many of the "new educated" physicians, such as Nostradamous, wrote information about herbs and published these works in books known as herbals.
When the first colonists came to the New World, they brought many herbs with them. But the Colonists soon learned about valuable native herbs from the American Indians. Each new wave of immigrants arriving in America brought a new collection of herbal remedies. By the 19th century many home remedies containing herbs were patented and sold. Modern drugs replaced most of these remedies, but many still contain the ingredients derived from those orginial herbs.
Herbs typically grow in temperate regions. They are the aromatic leaves of such plants as marjoram, mint, rosemary, and thyme. Today herbs are used primarily as seasonings to flavor and enhance food. Other food seasonings are spices, such as black pepper or cinnamon, and aromatic seeds, such as dill or sesame.
You can find them in a variety of products such as soap, shampoo, powder, or cosmetics. Not to mention the hundreds of varieties of Herbal teas, made from many different herbs, which are considered by some to be healthful.
Many people still use herbs for their medicinal properties. In this day of high medical expenses, herbs and the "home remedies" are coming back in popularity. But some of those "new wonder" drugs are still refined from ingredients found in herbs.
Used in the right fashion, herbs can add greatly to your dialy life. Not just in your shampoo or lasagna, but in your daily health as well. However, not used correctly can mean sever reactions, from simple stomach discomforts, to expanded allergic reactions and yes, even death. So before you go out and began planting and harvesting your own herbal garden, make sure you know all the properties of each leaf, stalk and seed.

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