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Edible Herbs – A Boon to Mankind

Plants are the mainstay of human survival and advancement. From time immemorial, humans have been using plants as a source of food and fuel. We are aware that photosynthesis by plants plays a major role in maintaining the level of oxygen in the atmosphere.

If all of us grow our own gardens for self-sustenance, we would be healthier and the Earth would be a greener planet.

Plants – ornamental and edible – can be grown at every home, small or big; space shouldn’t be a constraint here.

Edible plants: Prehistoric men and their predecessors survived on wild edible plants, fruits, and vegetables that grew in and around their dwellings. Domestication of plants happened much later. Over the centuries, it paved the way for growing our favourite fruits and vegetables enabling us to enjoy the fruits of our labour.

Herbs: Some of the edible plants that can be grown easily at home, indoor as well as outdoor, are edible herbs. Herbs have always been chefs’ favourites. Additionally, most of these greens are inseparable ingredients of cosmetic and health products.  Growing these at home needs no green fingers and we can derive immense pleasure, satisfaction, and benefits out of it.

Basil: This aromatic herb, laden with Vitamin K (the blood coagulant), powerful antioxidants, and many other nutrients, can be grown anywhere with no additional care. A dash of it adds flavour to any food – meat, fish, or vegetable.

Chives: This perennial, easy-to-grow culinary herb from the onion family, loaded with Vitamins C, K, foliates, and antioxidants, is low in calorie. Outdoor or indoor, Chives grows aggressively in any season.

Coriander (Cilantro): The leaves and seeds of this annual herb serve as spice and have antioxidant, anxiolytic, analgesic and many other properties. It can be grown from the stem as well as seeds.

Olives: This hardy tree can be grown as a hedge plant to add elegance to our homes and glow to our skin and eyes. Olives (green and black) have monounsaturated fat, commonly known as the “good fat,” which helps reduce blood pressure and protect the heart. Olives are rich in vitamin E which protects skin from premature aging.

Oregano: An ancient medicinal and culinary herb, oregano is a rich source of Vitamin K and antioxidants.  Anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of oregano are some of the many possible health benefits. Grow it anywhere in pots, gardens, or containers from the seeds or cuttings.

Parsley, Thyme, and many other edible herbs form part and parcel of our cooking delight as well as home remedies for many ailments. Having an uninterrupted supply of these exotic herbs at home doesn’t need expertise, just willingness.

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