Using herbs today and tomorrow

Bernard Eats: Herbs and Spices

by Bernard-Charles

Now, I always enjoyed a good Southern brew of iced tea, but never understood why tea and herbs for that matter were so attractive. Then I read crazy stories about the effects of herbs and I’m not just talking about drug-affiliated uses either. According to Cleveland.com this past summer there was a bill presented to President Obama to outlaw both bath salts and herbal incense.

A Texas man chewed into his housemate’s dog earlier this month during an herbal incense-induced rampage. Last year in Washington, a man using bath salts shot his wife and suffocated his 5-year-old son before shooting himself. The drugs have caused some to lose sight of their own humanity, spurring horrific acts across the country, said U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a co-sponsor of the bill.

Clearly, the article continues by reemphasizing that the ingredients to make such items are synthetic and that’s exactly what we have to remember when we talk about herbs in general. I do not like synthetic manufacturing or genetic engineering when it comes to my food and you shouldn’t either. This is why a push for an organic lifestyle needs to be stressed. Anywho, this is Bernard digressing a bit.

Natural and organic herb use, I believe, is all right as long as you have proper medical advice and guidance first. (This is my see-your-doctor-before-you-believe-me disclaimer.)

Overview of the herb

Defining an herb is clearly varied across the scope of my herb research but I do like to keep my knowledge simple and not make it too complicated so I prefer you watch this video and understand what the difference is between a herb and spice. Just know that for this post I am squishing spices and herbs into one nice word: herbs.

Yumm, just talking about all these herbs makes me want a cup of tea. I’ll be back…

Great! You’re still here. We can still continue our delightful talk about herbs. Did you know that the International Herb Association already chose the herb of the year? In 2012 it was Rose and now 2013 is all about Elder. They sell neat Herb of the Year booklets of information and are great resources for your herby fetishes.

Since you have a little bit of knowledge on herbs, it is now time to share with you common herbs that you probably have interacted with over the years. You can view the various herbs by watching the slideshow. Just identifying the herbs is important, because we clearly don’t need you placing something rather bitter in place of something sweet.

Speaking of the flavors of herbs, Susan Marynowski from HolistisBird.org shares her insight on the flavors of various herbs based on the traditional flavor systems and I created this infographic to visually demonstrate what she mentions in her article.

herb flavor infographic photo

Whether your choice of flavor is sweet or salty, knowing this information now will deepen your own herbal awareness and will have you paying more attention with how you use your dash of choice. Marynowski also includes health areas that the various flavors do affect so I encourage you to read her article. If you still aren’t convinced that herbs truly are remarkable then watch this video.

Using herbs for life

Besides herbs touching our taste buds, the use of them can also have symbolic meaning to help manifest and strengthen various parts of our life whether it is for love, luck, or protection.

TipToeChick, notorious witch from YouTube, shares her herbal practice online through The Green Eyed Owl at www.thegreeneyedowl.org and has a lengthy list of herbs and their magical uses. You can create tinctures, herbal rubs, homemade lotions and soaps that incorporate the power of herbs. My mother boils some cinnamon in a pot to raise the energy of gaining more cash in her life.

Working on a metaphorical level expands the use of herbs and can change the modern reality that we currently perceive. This aligns well with the idea of law of attraction. We bring into our life what we say, do, and think to put it lightly. Herbs are plants that come from the Earth and they have many benefits associated with them whether it is for magic or not. Yet, we as a society degrade them into cold-hearted manufactured pills with artificial chemicals that can cause cancer , I feel like the human quality (magic) is stripped away. No one will be giving up their corporate business any time soon especially in the United States because we are artificially motivated to make and produce money. Still getting political, Bernard (yeesh) why not you all listen to a good friend and colleague who lives near the sea. She’s a great sage in today’s modern world.

I interviewed Lyn Thurman, Life-Teacher from My Inspiration Network and she gladly shared her wisdom on the use of herbs. “Different herbs have become associated over time with specific traits. Basil, for example, helps attract money and coriander can help you find love. If you want to add some passion to your life, share a cup of cocoa, laced with a pinch of cinnamon, with someone you’d like to know a lot better!” Thurman explains the further importance of herbs and making these ingredients more meaningful in your life. “Any herb and spice you find in your cupboard can be used to attract or repel something. Become aware of the magical properties of herbs and then you can combine the pleasures of eating with the thrill of making magic.”

It’s cold & flu season

benefits of echinacea herbal statistic graph photoPreventing yourself from getting the cold has probably been on your mind and you might not have known that this herb could help reduce your chances of contracting the cold as well as other infections. In a recent 2012 study, by Amy C. Keller from the American Botanical Council, further discovery when using Echinacea proved to be both safe and effective in helping to prevent symptoms of the common cold. The American Botanical Council released this statement in a news release:

The results showed that subjects using the Swiss echinacea extract had significantly fewer incidences of cold or flu symptoms (149 colds lasting a combined total of 672 days, while subjects in the placebo group reported 188 colds lasting 850 total days), decreased recurrence of such symptoms (65 vs. 100), respectively), less appearance of influenza-type viral infections, and had to rely less on the use of conventional over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen or ibuprofen — frequently used by the public to help reduce cold symptoms — than those persons taking the placebo preparation.

This is exciting herbal news, but like any alternative medicinal practice, it’s best to seek out a professional’s advice. You never know, you could end up being allergic to the poor herb. If you aren’t allergic and can obtain the herb than you should keep on reading.

Getting your herbs

Finally, you know more about herbs and how they can be applied in your life. Now, it’s just a matter of getting your eager hands on some. You can purchase herbs from your local grocery or nearest garden store. However, if you wanted to buy in bulk or would like to order online than you should check out the top 10 herb places across the United States compiled by yours truly. If you live outside of the USA then you would need to contact the store personally.

Belly is full now

And that’s the last sprig in the pot! You have some juicy herb knowledge and resources at your fingertips and I hope I encouraged you to expand your spice rack a bit. This is the last post for the blog series, BernardEats. It’s been an immense pleasure to write about so many different things associated with food and you can re-read your favorite BernardEats posts by hovering over the blog tab at the top of the page.

Before I go, here is one last infographic goody for you. It’s a recipe for Herb Beer! The information has been taken from Herbs from the Labyrinth.

herb beer recipe photo

7 Comments

  1. Interesting information! I’ve known about the health benefits of herbs, but I wasn’t very knowledgeable on how specific herbs can be used in a spiritual and magical sense. Good to know!

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