Handbook of herbs and spices Volume 3 Edited by K. V. Peter CRC Press Boca Raton Boston New York Washington, DC WOODHEAD PUBLISHING LIMITED. In foods, dill is used as an herbs and spice -seed with “dill pickles” flavor. .. http ://neusihelcodi.tk 3. This book contains information obtained from authentic and highly regarded sources. Reprinted material is quoted with permission, and sources are indicated .
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Plant products that are added to food or drink to provide flavor. • Herbs: Generally herbaceous part of plant: leaves or stems, fresh or dried. • Spices: dry seeds. 1 Using Spices and Herbs. 3. In this overview of spices and herbs, I teach you how to download, store, use, and preserve them and present some mythology, medicinal. FOOD AND AGRICULTURE. ORGANIZATION OF THE. UNITED NATIONS. Herbs, spices and essential oils. Post-harvest operations in developing countries .
Bio-dynamic agriculture most often combines animal husbandry and crop production and use of compost and bio-dynamic preparations to revitalize soil and plants and subsequently animals and human beings. Sowing, cultivation and harvesting are timed according to cosmic rhythms. Over one hundred regional, national and international standards have been developed worldwide so far.
Several countries are formulating or have adopted rules and regulations on organic farming, processing and certification requirements. It is to protect consumers, producers and traders against the use of misleading or incorrect labels. It is also a trading instrument enabling producers to access markets for organic products and obtain premium prices. Moreover, it creates transparencies, as information on certified producing agencies and their products is normally available to the public directly from the package.
Before certification, a detailed inspection by a designated agency is carried out to verify that production and handling are done in accordance with the standards against which certification is done. The certification procedures make it possible to track and control the flow of products from primary and farm level to each stage of manufacturing and ultimately to the finished product for the consumer.
This is possible as certification is based on a series of systematic procedures. The farmer, the processor, the trader or whoever is handling the product signs a contract with the certification body. If there is industrial processing to be carried out, details of the processing unit, technology used in processing, sources of organic raw materials, products processed, etc. The certification body has to be convinced not only orally but also through records and registers maintained by the producer or operator.
Certification is not a one-time procedure. It is carried out continuously on the basis of ongoing monitoring and inspection of farms and processing units. Though India has a set of organic farmers and a few processing units, local certification bodies accredited to international organizations are only in the formative stage. Hence in India organic products require certification bodies established in other countries, especially in Europe. Of the over certification bodies existing globally, three agencies have opened offices in India.
Many Indian organic farmers or their associations avail assistance of these offices for inspection and certification. However, certain individual firms depend on the agencies in Europe and get the inspectors directly from there.
Normally inspection and certification costs vary depending on the nature of inspection to be carried out, but it is generally between 0. Since no chemicals are used for fertilization, control of pest and diseases, elimination of weeds and growth acceleration, some downloaders fear that the microbial population in the end products could be on the higher side than those prepared conventionally using these inputs.
As there is no opportunity for the use of chemicals in crop production, the products should be absolutely free from their residues including pesticides and fungicides. In brief, three important parameters to market organic food are the following: Quality — certified organic, which has to be proved by inspection report and certificate issued by authorized inspection and certification agency following approved standards.
Quality — microbiologically clean, based on results from recognized laboratory. Quality — absolutely residue free, authenticated with analytical data on residues from approved laboratory. In addition to the above, the product should meet fully the product specifications and all parameters relating to sanitary and phyto-sanitary conditions.
In other words, organic spices should not only be superior quality-wise in respect of inherent bio-chemical constituents, but they should also be the most safe for human consumption. The survey did not include Australia, New Zealand and other developed countries. According to the statistics published by the International Trade Centre, spices are also important organic products marketed globally Anon.
Demand for organic spices varies considerably from country to country and in the kind of spices in a particular country. However, countries such as Australia, New Zealand and some other European countries may become involved in the organic spice trade because of the increasing awareness of the safety of organic food consumption. Germany has the highest demand for various organic spices.
The world import of various organic spices together during was less than tonnes as assessed from important downloaders. Since the s, many chemical inputs for increasing agricultural production have become available both from domestic production and import. Some of the chemicals imported, particularly for plant protection, were highly dangerous to human health and they left poisonous residues in the soil after application lasting a few decades.
The green revolution initiated by importing dwarf and fertilizer responsive wheat and rice varieties led to production programmes using various chemicals profusely in the urge to enhance productivity.
A new trend is being developed in India now to produce various crops, including spices, organically not only to protect the natural environment but also because of the need for having safe agriculture products for human consumption. Accordingly some farmers produce spices by organic methods for their own consumption and also for sale in a limited way in the local markets.
India has established a name in supplying quality organic spices to Europe and USA. A number of organic spices such as black pepper, white pepper, ginger, turmeric, clove, nutmeg and mace have been exported to USA, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland since The Society has over farmers growing various horticultural crops especially black pepper and other spices in South India.
The Society proposes to produce various other spices like vanilla, chilli, coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, etc.
A centre for research and training of vermicompost production and multiplication and distribution of bio-agents like Trichoderma has been set up for supporting farmers in organic cultivation by the Society George a.
There are a few other non-governmental organizations for promoting organic production of herbs in Nilgiri district, black pepper in Wynad district and turmeric and ginger in Phulbani district in India.
These countries produce largely organic black pepper. They have established export channels and have entered in the international market for organic spices in recent years. It should be noted that the initial growth in the organic spice sector is encouraging. Some organic food experts visualize that insufficient supply of organic spices, especially those which are required in large quantities, might become a problem in the next few years George b.
The future demand for organic spices appears to be bright. Spices are not listed in such regulations and must therefore be of organic origin. This is based on the market size of , tonnes of conventional spices at that time as reported by the International Trade Centre in their publication, Imports of Spices into Selected Markets, Boor Although the overall picture for the organic spice sector is promising, there are a number of potential risks to be borne in mind.
There could be occasional oversupply of a given spice leading to erosion of price attraction. Further, other forms or methods of environmentally friendly and sustainable agriculture are likely to result in increased competition in the future.
In addition, unfavourable press reports and scare stories on higher microbial contamination in organic foods, in general, as they are not treated with chemicals also cannot be discounted George A few issues which have to be tackled to increase organic production are worth mentioning.
They are lack of technical know-how especially on production and processing methods, poor storage and processing facilities, very little market information, insufficient financing and inadequate support from the government agencies. The high cost of certification and the elaborate records to be maintained by small spice farmers to prove their cultivation system organic are also standing in the way of spreading organic spice production.
Since demand for organic spices is growing and generally price attractive, it can be visualized that most of the problems would be solved in the near future. BOOR, B. XXVI, No. Pimpinella anisum L. Anisum vulgare Gaertn. Crantz; Carum anisum L. Krause; Pimpinella anisum var. Seeds fruits , oil Classification: Spermatophyta Subdivision: Angiospermae Class: Magnoliospida Subclass: Rosidae Order: Apiales Family: Apiaceae Genus: Pimpinella3 Anise is an annual plant that reaches an average height of 30—50 cm.
The plant is completely covered with fine hairs. The root is thin and spindle-shaped, the stem up, stalkround, grooved and branched upward see Fig. In midsummer the thin stems are topped with umbrella-shaped clusters of tiny white flowers, which are heavy enough to make the stems flop.
They turn into seedlike fruits. Anise is a cross-pollinating species and is genetically heterogeneous. The fruit is an ovoid-pearshaped schizokarp somewhat compressed at the side. The two-part fruits separate heavily. The carpophore is almost two-piece up to the base. Commercially available aniseed usually contains the whole fruits and occasionally parts of the fruitstalk see Fig. The fruits with the style-foot are 3— 5 mm long, 1. Vittae oil ducts are almost always present embedded in the fruit wall on the dorsal surface, sometimes in or directly beneath the ridges.
The fruits are downy. Their colour is greyish-green to greyish-brown. Fatty acids can be obtained by extraction, as in the case of caraway, in the remainders of oil extraction via steam distillation. Fatty oil shows excellent future potential. Successful production of anise seed for economical oil production would probably occur if the seed yields could be improved significantly, and high content of oil and essential oils and large quantity of petroselinic acids could be reached.
Methylchavicol estragole 4. Anise is primarily exported from Turkey, and also from Egypt and Spain in particular. From an industrial standpoint, the quality differences between anise seed from different origins are not significant and therefore specifications need not limit the spice to a specific country of origin.
The plant needs a hot summer to thrive and for seeds to ripen. Anise develops best in deep, rich, well-drained, sandy and calcerous soils.
The thousand seeds weight of the part-fruits amounts to 1. Ripe-fruits seeds germinate relatively quickly. The germination time is 14 days. Long storage quickly reduces germination vigour: Planting begins when the soil in the beds is warmed. The planting is carried out in spring or autumn depending on the areas it is cultivated. The plant develops slowly after germination and for the following few weeks it is necessary to control weeds closely.
It is recommended to apply fertilizers at a rate of 80— kg K2O and 50—75 kg P2O5 per hectare. With nitrogen, it is important to be careful, since excessive nitrogen fertilization results in luxuriant vegetative growth with reduced yields, and increased vulnerability to lodging. The small white flowers bloom in midsummer, and seed maturity usually occurs one month after pollination, when the oil content in the dried fruits is about 2. Anise seeds are harvested between from the end of July to the beginning of September, depending on the cultivation areas.
The flowers attract parasitic wasps. Various authors have reported that vapours of essential oils extracted from anise were found to be toxic to two greenhouse pests, viz. The most significant importing countries of anise oil are the USA and France.
Russia, Spain and Poland are among the largest producers of anise oil. There is no distillation of anise oil and no production of anethole in many of the countries which cultivate the crop.
The process of steam distillation is the most widely accepted process for the production of essential oils on a large scale. A still is charged with plant material to be processed. A condensation process turns this vapour-mix into a liquid form of water and essential oil. The essential oil floats on top of the water and is separated off. Oleoresin anise is a yellowish-green to orange-brown fluid oleoresin.
The presence of a large quantity of fixed oil in this product limits its shelf-life and the addition of a permitted antioxidant is advised. The highest average maximum use levels for anise oil are about 0. At the same time additional decomposition products are formed.
With the influence of daylight, trans-anethole is transformed into its more toxic isomer cisanethole. Moisture content of the seeds or humidity of the storage atmosphere is the most important parameter to be considered in preserving the desired properties of anise. At high moisture levels deteriorative reactions and off-flavours are inevitable in addition to the increased rate of loss of volatile oil by diffusion.
Oxidation reactions are responsible for the loss of oil during storage by converting the components mostly to acids and aldehydes. Also, daylight catalyzes oxidative reactions and increases the rate of deterioration. Extreme variations in the moisture content of the storage atmosphere favour oil evaporation and particularly oxidation. This contradicts most research that irradiation does not change the chemical properties of a spice when treated.
It is possible that it does, in limited cases, change the flavour balance of essential oils. Bendini et al. The microwave treatment of aniseeds did not modify the hydrocarbon profile with respect to the untreated samples.
In contrast, -irradiation gave rise to a series of unsaturated hydrocarbons of which C In most cases, when these products were quantified, their amounts increased with the dose of radiation. The essential oil of anise extracted from -irradiated and microwaved fruits exhibit antioxidant properties.
Essential oil extracted from the -irradiated fruits are more effective as antioxidants than those produced from microwaved fruits. While the entire plant is fragrant, it is the fruit of anise, commercially called aniseed, that has been highly valued since antiquity. Aniseed is one of the oldest spices used widely for flavouring curries, breads, soups, baked goods such as German springerle, and Italian biscotti, sweets e.
Anisette combines anise, coriander and fennel seeds in sweet vodka. Anise and anise oils are used in Italian sausage, pepperoni, pizza topping and other processed meat items. Anise is an essential component of Italian anise cake and cookies.
All parts of the plant can be used in the kitchen. The flowers and the leaves can be added to fruit salads. Freshly-chopped leaves also enhance dips, cheese spreads, vegetables, or green salads. Mixed into stews and soups, the stem and roots of anise give just a hint of licorice. It is also used to mask undesirable odours in drug and cosmetic products. The oil is used for production of anethole and sometimes as sensitizer for bleaching colours in photography.
Anethole is structurally related to the catecholamines adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine. The antibacterial activities of the essential oil distilled from Pimpinella anisum against Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Escherichia coli and Corynebacterium ovis were evaluated.
Against S. Against C. In a study of the volatile oil from aniseed, significant antifungal activity against members of the genera Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Fusarium and Penicillium was recorded at concentrations of ppm, the active constituent having been identified as anethole.
Anethole has been reported to be mutagenic in Ames Salmonella reversion assay. Anethole, anisaldehyde and myristicin in aniseed , along with d-carvone present in P.
Gurdip et al. Anise oil is reported to be carminative and expectorant. The reputed lactogogic action of anise has been attributed to anethole, which exerts a competitive antagonism at dopamine receptor sites dopamine inhibits prolactin secretion , and to the action of polymerized anethole, which is structurally related to the oestrogenic compounds stilbene and stilboestrol. Anethole is also structurally related to the hallucinogenic compound myristicin. Bergapten, in combination with ultraviolet light, has been used in the treatment of psoriasis.
It can be used internally for dyspeptic complaints and externally as an inhalant for congestion of the respiratory tract. The whole, crushed, or ground crude drug can be used for infusion, and other galenical preparations; e.
Anise seed and anise oil are subjects of German official monographs; 3. The effect of the beverage extracts anise on absorption of iron was tested in tied-off intestinal segments of rats.
Chemically it is used as a precursor in the manufacture of anisaldehyde. Occurring in the essential oil of P. It is cytotoxic to rat hepatoma cells. Uses include a depigmentor, an antioxidant and a photographic reducer and developer.
Externally, the oil may be used as an ointment base for the treatment of scabies. The oil by itself will help in the control of lice and as a chest rub for bronchial complaints. The oil is often mixed with oil of Sassafras albidum for skin parasites and with that of Eucalyptus globulus as a chest rub. Although both anethole and estragole have been shown to cause hepatotoxicity in rodents, aniseed is not thought to represent a risk to human health when it is consumed in amounts normally encountered in foods.
The toxicity and cancerogenity of anethole are controversial. Anethole has two isomers trans and cis , the cis Z isomer being 15—38 times more toxic to animals than the trans E isomer. Trans-anethole will be accompanied by cis-anethole maximum 0. In case of storage without protection of daylight the forming of cis-anethole is possible. Synthetic trans-anethole contains higher quantities of toxic cis-anethole compared to natural trans-anethole and therefore it is not used in food processing.
Cases of intoxication with the volatile oil of anise are not known. It is recommended that the use of aniseed oil should be avoided in dermatitis, or any inflammatory or allergic skin conditions. Skin-prick tests with anise extracts in several cases result in positive allergic reactions.
The patient reported here demonstrated reactive skin tests and positive radio allergo sorbent test RAST to other members of the Umbelliferae including aniseed in addition to dill. Similarly Fraj et al. A skinprick test carried out with 13 spices showed positive reactions only to aniseed extract.
Contact of the concentrated oil with skin can cause irritations. Ash and acid insoluble ash should be no greater than 6. Eur, 2. Star anise Illicium verum Hook f. The profile of star anise oil is similar to that the Pimpinella oil and the two are equally acceptable and interchangeable in use. But, strictly from the flavouring viewpoint, anise oil P. Pharmacopoeiae therefore demand the specification of the plant of origin out of which the anise oil was extracted whether from aniseed, P.
This is obviously for the sake of consumer protection, since star anise oil is substantially cheaper than the oil extracted from anise. On the other hand, fruit oil of I. The provenance of an oil can be determined by detection of each of these two substances.
Star anise oil further differs from P. This may explain why star anise oil does not reach the flavour quality of aniseed oil. The latter can be detected by a change in the optical rotation. Much cheaper synthetic anetholes are also available but some carry a risk of toxicity, which precludes their use in food and drinks.
All Pharmacopoeiae recommend checking physical properties like specific gravity, refractive index, optical rotation and temperature of solidification in order to get hints about the purity of anise oil. Table 5.
The specifications of the limits as mentioned in the Pharmacopoeiae vary slightly. Anise oil has to be dissolvable in 1. Crushed fruits that are moistened with a potassium hydroxide solution should not smell like mouse urine coniine. Adulteration with parsley or dill fruits can be detected readily by their smaller size and missing hairs. Aniseed is used extensively as a spice and is listed by the Council of Europe as a natural source of food flavouring category N2.
Anise seed and anise oil are subject to different pharmacopoeial Monographs: Anise oil is covered by: Homeopathic guidance includes: Pimpinella anisum, ethanol. Decoctum hom. HAB1, Anisum hom. HAB 34, Anisum hom. Auflage, Stuttgart, Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, A handbook for practice on a scientific basis translated from the second German edition, edited by Max Wichtl , Stuttgart, Medpharm Scientific Publishers, Agric Biol Chem, , 51, —3.
Krieger Publishing Company, Essential Oils and Oleoresins: Food Chemicals Codex, 4th ed. Singh and A. Family — Lauraceae.
Because of the similarity in the leaves, several other trees are also variously known as: West Indian bay tree Pimenta racemosa , Cherry laurel Prunus laurocerasus , Portugal laurel Prunus lusitanica , Laurel of the southern states Prunus caroliniana , the Laurel or Mountain laurel of California Umbellularia californica. However, the leaves of true L.
The flavouring properties of L. In biblical times, the bay was symbolic of wealth and wickedness, and in the classical world heroes and victors were decorated with a laurel wreath. In addition to being a very well known culinary herb, the leaves and fruits of L. Infusions or decoctions made from these materials have diaphoretic and carminative effects and also serve as a general gastric secretion stimulant.
Laurel oil or butter obtained from the fruits berries of L. It also finds application in veterinary medicine Anon. The smooth bark may be olive green or of reddish hue. The luxurious, evergreen leaves are alternate with short stalks, lanceolate or lanceolate oblong, acuminate, 5—8 cm or longer and 3—4 cm wide, coriaceous, pellucid-punctate, and with revolute, entire wavy margins; the upper surface is glabrous and shiny, olive green to brown and the lower surface is dull olive to brown with a prominant rib and veins.
The flowers are small, yellow in colour, unisexual and appear in clusters. The dried fruits are drupaceous, ovoid, about 15 mm long and 10 mm wide. The outer surface is glabrous, shining, nearly black and is coarsely wrinkled owing to the shrinkage of the narrow succulent region beneath the epidermis. The remains of the style appear as a small point at the apex and a small scar at the base marks the point of attachment of the fruit to the thalamus.
The endocarp is thin and woody and the testa is adherent to its inner surface. The entire pericarp is about 0. The kernel of the seed consists of two large plano-convex cotyledons and small superior radicle; it is brownish-yellow, starchy and oleaginous, with an aromatic odour and aromatic and bitter taste Bailey ; Wallis ; Francesco and Francesco The cross-section of the leaf shows epidermal cells with thick cuticle; the epidermal cells in surface view are sinous, pitted and thick walled.
The lower epidermal walls are more curvilinear and distinctly beaded. The stomata are present only on the lower surface, singly or in pairs. The mesophyll of the leaf is distinctly represented by two layers of parenchymatous palisade cells and a region of spongy parenchyma containing scattered spheroidal oil reservoirs, fibro-vascular and collenchymatous tissues.
The leaf has characteristic fragrance when crushed and its taste is bitter and aromatic Wallis ; Bagchi and Srivastava From a well ripened wood, cuttings of about 7. The rooted cuttings are placed in small pots containing fairly rich sandy loam with good drainage, and then can be put in a hot bed, with gentle bottom heat where they will make a good strong growth.
Ligneous, subapical stem cuttings of bay laurel have a higher rooting percentage than herbaceous apical cuttings, probably due to water deficit in the latter, moisture sufficiency may be critical due to the very long rooting period of four to five months Raviv b.
Rapid and efficient rooting of L. After that, they may be planted in nursery beds with rich sandy soil and good drainage. In one growing season, the plants may attain a height of 1 to 1. At the end of the growing season and long before the cold season the young plants together with their stakes are kept in well lit and ventilated sheds, and temperature is kept just above freezing.
These plants are kept in close rows and watered once or twice a week. The plants are taken out during the spring season and either potted or plunged in nursery. The rich peaty soil with plenty of water and congenial moist atmosphere near the sea coast are favourable conditions for fast and luxriant growth Bailey It also grows well under the partly shaded conditions in gardens or orchards.
The leaves of L. The leaves contain an essential oil of aromatic, spicy odour and flavour which can be isolated by steam distillation. The oil is a valuable adjunct in the flavouring of all kinds of food products, particularly meats, sausages, canned soups, baked goods, confectionery, etc.
The oil replaces the dried leaves to great advantage because it can be dosed more exactly and therefore gives more uniform results than the dried leaves Guenther The separated fat is the Olecum lauri expressum of commerce. The pure fat is of dull green colour, granular and has an aromatic odour. The expressed oil is used in stimulating liniments and in veterinary practice Wallis The West Indian bay oil or bay leaf oil is distilled from the leaves of the tree of Pimenta racemosa, which is found on the various islands of the West Indies, but most particularly in Dominica.
The Turkish bay oil or laurel leaf oil is distilled from the leaves of L. The sources of the bulk culinary bay leaves are Turkey and the Balkan countries, and in small quantities from France. The annual production level of the genuine L. The reported values of physico-chemical constants and chemical constituents identified are provided in Table 6. The studies carried out so far on the bay oil indicate the influence of geographical origin of variety and harvest season on the chemical composition.
The chemical composition of the flower essential oil is quite different from other parts of the plant, namely leaves, stem bark and stem wood Fiorini et al. The earlier studies were mostly carried out by chemical methods Nigam et al. The chemical structure of some of the important constituents are provided in Figure 6. The presence of 1,8 cineole in appreciable amounts makes the oil of bay leaves an important perfumery item Pruidze Recent studies have shown that it has the following functional properties: The essential oil of L.
The L. The hypoglycaemic activity of bay leaf extracts has also been reported Ashaeva et al. Bay leaves potentiated the action of insulin in glucose metabolism Khan et al. Table 6. Geographical origin of the resource material Plant part and its essential oil content Physical characteristic s determined Chemical constituent s identified Reference s 1.
NA Fruits nD30 1. Leaves d 2. Idzhevanskii, Armenia, Noemberyamskii, Armenia NA pinene, cineole, lauric acid, alcohols and sesquiterpenes cineole NA Nigam et al. Acid value 5. Geographical origin of the resource material Plant part and its essential oil content Physical characteristic s determined Chemical constituent s identified Reference s 7.
Czechoslovakia Leaves NA 9. Kazakistan Shoot, 0. Greece Leaves, 1. Italy NA NA India Petroleum ether extract of fruits NA Toulouse, France Flowers, 0. The possible antiulcerogenic activity of L. In acute toxicity studies, the aqueous extract was found safe with LD50 compared to oil LD50 at 0. Bay has also been reported as having a number of other properties. The methanolic extract from the leaves of L. The bioassay-guided separation resulted in the isolation of costunolide, dehydrocostus lactone, and santamarine as the active constituents.
In addition, the retardation of gastric emptying seemed to be partially involved in the preventive effects Matsuda et al. The effects of aqueous extracts of leaves and flowers of L.
Results obtained have shown a degree of toxicity on the embryos starting at a concentration of ppm. The flower extract appeared to be more effective. Cephalic and shell malformations were found in embryos treated with both leaf 50 ppm and flower 25 ppm extracts. The LD90 value on adult snails was estimated as ppm for flower extract and ppm for leaf extract Rey and Kawano Cockroach repellant activity has also been found in bay leaves Verma and Meloan The antioxidant properties of bay have been discussed by Lagouri and Bouskou However, sporadic reports have indicated that bay leaves may cause allergic contact dermatitis Asakawa et al.
Certain bay leaf samples of Mexican origin had been detected to be infested with gastrointestinal disease causing Clostridium perfringens spores 6. J Ethnopharmacol, 58 1 , 9— Phytochemistry, 31, Arch Dermatol Rec, 6 , Farmatisya, 33, 49— Academic Press, London, — Vol II.
The Macmillan Company, New York, pp. Arch Dermatol Res, 3 , — Collection Czech Chem Commun, 30, — CA Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 12, 91—3. Newsweek Book, New York, p.
J Nat Prod, 55, Contact Dermatitis, 24 1 , 40—4. Leaves and stems of Laurus nobilis. Promst, 1—32 CA Biol Trace Elem Res. Food Flavors: Generation, Analysis and Process Influence. Charalambous G. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp.
Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, 22, 77—8. Bioorg Med Chem Lett, 9 18 , — Indian Perfumer, 2 1 , Parfumerie and Kosmetic, 73, —9.
Phytochemistry, 24, Arch Inst Pasteur Madagascar, 56 1 , — Essence of Laurus nobilis. Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants, 2, — Acta Hortic, , 35— Hassadels, Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz, 82 suppl. Containers dont offer the natural drainage found in the garden, so pot- ted plants need to be accommodated with a healthy water supply as well as extremely well-draining soil.
Potting soil is specifically created to be the perfect medium for growing plants in containers, and theres no ground soil included.
An ideal potting mix will be soft, light, and loose, so it drains freely while still nourishing the roots. It will include nutritious ingredients like bark, peat moss, lime, humus, compost, perlite, or vermiculite. Container-grown herbs will likely also need fertilizer; while garden herbs send their roots through the ground to collect nutrients and water, the roots of container herbs are confined behind walls.
Check the requirements on your herb plants to know what fertilizers are best. Starting from Seeds The easiest way to start growing herbs at home is to download young plants from a nursery or garden center. Youll usually find great variety, including some spice plants, and you can sample them before you download. But, of course, this can get costly.
The more economical and adventurous! Most seed packets sold at reliable garden centers will come with specific instructions for your chosen plant. These will cover light requirements, soil or potting mixes, and sowing tips. Its often advised to sow seeds indoors up to three months before planting out- side in the garden; this will allow the seeds time to germinate, or sprout into seed- lings, and give your growing season a head start.
Germination time is usually two to three weeks, but it can be different for every plant. If your seeds are dormant, their outer coating is hard and impermeable until the dormancy ends. In many cases, they'll need special treatment in order to break out and germinate. These treatments are called stratification and scarification.
The stratification process simulates weather conditions that the seeds experience in their native climates. Theyll remain dormant until this season runs its course; only then are they finally ready to sprout. Stratification usually involves creating a cold and moist environment to simu- late a winter spent in the ground: for example, two to three months of chilling in the refrigerator in moistened sand, peat, or even a paper towel. If stratifying can be done in the ground during the actual winter season, all the better!
This process softens the seeds hard coating and readies them for germination. Scarification involves scratching or sanding dormant seeds in order to penetrate their outer coating. Soaking seeds is another easy method for triggering germination; many seeds require soaking in water overnight before theyre sown in soil.
Once seeds have successfully germinated, they can be sown in starter pots to encourage seedling development. These should contain a healthy potting mix and be treated to plenty of moisture and optimal temperatures for growth.
Conditions will vary depending on the herb, so follow your seeds instructions carefully. When the seedlings are thriving and healthy, theyre ready to be transplanted to their permanent spot in the ground or in a designated container. Some seedlings grow deep roots that dont take kindly to transplanting; these should be transplanted sooner rather than later, before their roots fully develop.
A good rule of thumb is to wait until two sets of leaves appear before transplanting. Make sure the last frost has passed and the garden soil is warm enough for your young plants.
The divided-root method works best for perennials that grow in clumps, such as chives, mint, lemon balm, oregano, and tarragon. They should be several years oldfrom three to five yearsand almost nearing the end of their life.
Simply dig up a plant with a developed clump of roots about eight inches big.
Use a garden fork, shovel, or very sharp knife to split the roots into clumps of about two inches each. Plant them back in the ground or in a nutritious potting mix in containers. Fruits, desserts, meats, curry, soups, beans, pork Mint Strong; sweet.
Varieties include peppermint and spearmint. Teas, desserts, lamb, fish, salads. Good in Thai and other Asian dishes Cumin Seeds, ground. Bold, distinctive; can overpower. Chili, tacos, stews, cabbage, beans. Toast ground or seeds Oregano Earthy. Lamb, chicken, pork, seafood, eggplant, tomato sauces; excellent with lemon: Retains good flavor when dried Curry Ground.
Mixture of numerous spices including cloves and cumin.
download high-quality. Base spice for curries; use also in tomato sauces, stews Parsley Clean bright flavor. Good with almost any savory food; all seafood, beef, chicken, potatoes, sauces, soups, salads. Fresh is better then dried Fennel Seeds, ground. Licorice-like, stronger then fresh fennel. Bread, fish, Italian dishes, sausage, tomato sauces. Toast ground or seeds to enhance flavor Rosemary Fresh, piney, pungent; easily overpowers.
Chop finely and use lightly. A must with poultry, potatoes, white beans, lamb, breads, fruit salads Ginger Fresh root, ground, candied. Pungent, spicy. Grate, mince to use in chicken, squash, sesame noodles, applesauce, chutneys, marinade. Ground and fresh have much different flavors.
Predominate in Asian cooking. Sage Almost mint-like, slightly bitter; can overpower other herbs. Use whole stems in soups, stews, remove when done. Chop whole leaves in very thin strips. Pork, veal, sausages, poultry, stuffing, sauces.