Sage—-Not just for Thanksgiving


Posted by admin | Posted in Sage | Posted on 30-12-2014

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Sage isn’t just for Thanksgiving . Here is more info on its many benefits.

Salvia officinalis
[SAL-vee-uh oh-fiss-ih-NAH-liss]

Names: garden sage, meadow sage, Spanish sage, Greek sage, Dalmatian sage; Salbel, Salbei, echte Salvei (German); sauge (French); salvia (Italian); Salvia (Spanish); Szalwia lekarska (Polish); Alisfakiá, Khamosfka (Greek)

Family: Labiatae

Description: small, rounded shrub with a height of 2 feet and a width of 2 feet. The flowers are violet-blue, pink or white up to 1 3/8 inches long, small, tubelike, clustered together in whorls along the stem tops. The leaves are woolly white, textured, elongated ovals 1-2½ inches. The drier the weather, the grayer the leaf color. Blooms May to June.

Cultivation: A perennial to zone 4-5. Germination is 2-3 weeks. Space 1½ to 2 feet apart. Soil temperature 60-70F. Soil should be well drained, sandy, fairly rich with some nitrogen and a pH of 6-6.5. Sow seeds 6-8 weeks before the first frost. Needs mulch when temperatures drop below 0F. Cut 6-8 inches of top growth from the plant 2 or 3 times a year (after the first growing season), then dry the bunches in thin layers. Sage leaves are heavy so drying may take from 7-10 days. Seeds difficult to germinate, root cuttings in sand or layer them. Use a light application of fish emulsion in early spring. Set traps to deter pill bugs; use bacillus thoringiensis to kill worms; spray with insecticidal soap to kill mealy bugs.

History: The generic name for sage, Salvia, comes from the Latin word meaning “to heal” or “savior” The Greeks called it elifagus which became the Greek spahkos and later, sawge in Old English. .The ancient Greeks and Romans first used sage as a meat preservative. They also believe it could enhance memory. Pliny prescribed it for snakebite, epilepsy, intestinal worms, chest ailments, and menstruation promotion. Dioscorides considered it a diuretic and menstruation promoter and recommended sage leaves as bandages for wounds. Around the 10th century, Arab physicians believe sage extended life to the point of immortality. After the Crusades, this belief showed up in Europe where the saying : “Why should a man die who grows sage in his garden?” evolved. Charlemagne ordered sage grown in the medicinal herb gardens on his imperial farms and the French called the herb toute bonne, meaning all’s well. Every country’s herbals recommended sage: an Icelandic book from the year 1000, Hildegard of Bingen, Chinese physicians, Ayurvedic physicians and John Gerard and Nicholas Culpeper. Folk healers in America used sage to treat insomnia, epilepsy, measles, seasickness and intestinal worms. The Eclectics used it primarily to treat fever and also prescribed sage poultices for arthritis and the tea as a sexual depressant. As late as the 1920s, US medical texts recommended sage tea as a gargle for sore throat and sage leaf poultices for sprains and swellings.
English herbalists believed that in the garden, this plant would prosper or wane as the owner’s business prospered or failed. It was also said that the plant grows vigorously in any garden where the wife rules the house. It was common, then, for the husband to prune the garden ruthlessly to destroy the evidence of his subservience. In France, it was displayed in cemeteries to mitigate grief.

Properties: aromatic, stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic, antiseptic, immune stimulant

Constituents: Of oil: pinene, camphene, myrcene, limonene, linalool, bornyl acetate, borneol, salviol, camphor, cineole, thujone, phellandrene

Energetics: spicy, astringent, warm

Meridians/Organs affected: lungs, stomach

Nutritional profile: one teaspoon (.7 g) ground sage has 2 calories. It provides 0.1 g protein, 0.1 g fat, 0.4 g carbohydrates, 12 mg calcium, 0.2 mg vitamin C and 41 IU vitamin A

Medicinal Uses: Sage oil has a unique property from all other healing herbs–it reduces perspiration. Several studies show sage cuts perspiration by as much as 50% with the maximum effect occurring 2 hours after ingestion. This effect explains how it developed a reputation for treating fever with profuse sweating. Salysat is a sage-based antiperspirant marketed in Germany. Sage is a drying agent for the body. Use it as a sore throat gargle and as a poultice for sores and stings. Use two teaspoons of the herb per cup of water, steep for twenty minutes and take a quarter cup four times a day. Can also be used as a gargle. It tastes warm, aromatic and somewhat pungent. Tincture: 15-40 drops, up to four times a day.
Like rosemary, sage contains powerful antioxidants, which slow spoilage supporting its traditional use as a preservative. This is due to the presence of labiatic acid and carnosic acid. British researchers have confirmed that sage inhibits the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, thus preserving the compound that seems to help prevent and treat Alzheimer’s.
Sage makes a good digestive remedy. The volatile oils have a relaxant effect on the smooth muscle of the digestive tract, while in conjunction with the bitters, they stimulate the appetite and improve digestion. Sage encourages the flow of digestive enzymes and bile, settles the stomach, relieves colic, wind, indigestion, nausea, diarrhea and colitis, liver complaints, and worms. Its antiseptic properties are helpful in infections such as gastroenteritis. Sage is a tonic to the nervous system and has been used to enhance strength and vitality.
It has a tonic effect upon the female reproductive tract and is recommended for delayed or scanty menstruation, or lack of periods, menstrual cramps and infertility. It has an estrogenic effect, excellent for menopausal problems, especially hot flashes and night sweats. It stimulates the uterus, so is useful during childbirth and to expel the placenta. It stops the flow of breast milk and it is excellent for weaning. One German study shows sage reduces blood sugar levels in diabetics who drink the infusion on an empty stomach. It also contains astringent tannins which account for its traditional use in treating canker sores, bleeding gums and sore throats. Commission E endorses using 2-3 teaspoons of dried sage leaves per cup of boiling water to make an anti-gingivitis tea. Recently published studies by a team of scientists from the Department of Microbiology and Chemotherapy at the Nippon Roche Research Center in Kamakura Japan, informed that powdered sage or sage tea helps to prevent blood clots from forming, and is quite useful in the prevention and treatment of myocardial infarction and general coronary pains.

Floral Calm Tea: 4 oz skullcap herb; 2 oz rosemary flower, leaf; 2 oz linden flower; 1 oz sage leaf; 1 oz passion flower herb. Combine 1/2 ounce of the mixture with 3 cups of boiling water in a teapot or container with a well-fitting lid. Let stand for five to fifteen minutes before straining. Drink 2 ups hot or cold as needed. (The Herbal Menopause Book)

Cyclone Cider Deluxe
¼ cup grated fresh gingerroot
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves
1/8 cup fresh sage leaves
1/8 grated fresh horseradish
4 slices fresh organic lemon
4 slices fresh organic orange
4-6 fresh peeled garlic cloves
2-4 cayenne peppers
apple cider vinegar
honey or maple syrup
Place all herbs, fruits and vegetables into a widemouthed jar. Cover with 2-3 times as much apple cider vinegar. Place plastic wrap over jar and then secure tightly with a lid. Shake daily for 2-4 weeks. Store at room temperature out of direct heat and light. Strain, squeezing all liquid possible out of the herbs. Discard herbs and rebottle the vinegar. Add honey to taste, enough o make a syrupy consistency. Take 1-2 Tbsp as needed, or add to soups, sauces, marinades and dressings.

Sage Throat Spray:
5 fresh sage leaves
8 oz distilled water
5 inch square cheese cloth
8 oz amber glass bottle with spray-top
Place sage in a small glass bowl. In a small, nonmetal pot with a tightly fitting lid, bring the distilled water to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the sage. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Place the cheese cloth in a fine-gauge sieve. Strain the infusion into the spray bottle and discard the spent herb. For swollen, inflamed throat apply the spray every 2 hours. Can be stored in refrigerator for 3 days. (The Healing Kitchen)

Homeopathic: Homeopaths use sage for night sweats, coughs, and to dry breast milk.

Flower Essence: Sage flower essence enables the Self to learn and reflect about life experience, particularly enhancing the capacity to experience deep inner peace and wisdom. This remedy addresses a natural distillation process which occurs as the healthy person ages. Drawing wisdom from life experience; reviewing and surveying one’s life process from a higher perspective.

Aromatherapy Uses:

Extraction method: steam distillation of the dried plant.

Characteristics: strong, herbal, fresh and spicy; colorless. Top note.

Energy: heating, drying; Taste: pungent, bitter,astringent

Dosha effect K V-, P+

Blends well with: bay, bergamot, geranium, ginger, lavender, melissa, myrtle, niaouli, orange, rosemary; cajeput; clary sage; eucalyptus; peppermint, pine, rose, tea tree, citrus, rosewood, citronella, pine

Toxicity: Since the oil contains up to 50% ketone, a toxic substance that causes cramps, it should not be taken orally.

Uses: Digestive system: helpful for weak or debilitated digestion, also good for diarrhea
Respiratory: strengthens the lungs and if useful for colds, flu, coughs and sore throats.
Reproductive: Promotes menstruation and is helpful for scanty periods or menstrual cramps. Eases hot flashes and sweating during menopause
Muscular System: relaxes the muscles, especially when they have been overworked as in weight-training or other strenuous sports.
Skin: Good for cuts and wounds; seems to arrest bleeding from cuts and wounds and helps the formation of scar tissue.
Emotion: Quickens the senses, strengthens the memory and tones the conscious mind. Indicated for tiredness, depression and grief

Digestive: 6 drops sage; 4 drops peppermint; 2 drops orange
Respiratory: 5 drops sage; 4 drops eucalyptus; 2 drops thyme
Reproductive: 6 drops sage; 3 drops geranium; 3 drops cypress
Emotion: 4 drops sage; 2 drops bergamot; 2 drops lime

Cosmetic Use: Sage is recommended for oily skin as a deep cleansing mask or a facial steam. It’s a tooth cleaner or works well with apricot and banana as a lip balm. It’s recommended for dry/sensitive hair; anti-dandruff; added shine and luster; color enhancer for dark and grey hair. It’s a refreshing and deodorizing footbath.

For an aftershave: Buy two bottles of plain witch hazel. Pour ½ cup liquid out of one of the bottles, and 1/4 cup crumbled sage leaves. Cap the bottle and shake it thoroughly. Let it stand for a week, pour out all the witch hazel in the second bottle, and strain the scented liquid from the first bottle into the second through a coffee filter or a clean linen handkerchief. Discard the wet sage leaves. If you prefer a stronger scent, repeat the process, adding another ¼ cup crumbled dried sage leaves to the liquid. At the end of the second week, strain the liquid back into the empty witch hazel bottle, discard the sage leaves and the empty bottle and use the liquid as an astringent aftershave.. Sage tea can be used as an after-shampoo rinse to make brunette hair shiny and smooth. To make the rinse, pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 tablespoon rubbed or ground sage. Let the mix steep for 15 minutes. Then strain the liquid through a coffee filter or a clean linen handkerchief; use after shampooing.

Rosemary-Wheat Germ Body Toner
1/2 cup water, 2 Tbsp chopped sage leaves, 2 Tbsp chopped rosemary leaves; 1/4 cup wheat germ; 1/2 cucumber (do not peel); 1/4 russet potato; 1 Tbsp alfalfa sprouts; 1 tsp lemon extract
Bring water, sage, and rosemary to a light boil; reduce heat and simmer infusion for 1/2 hour. Let cool and, in a blender, mix infusion with remaining ingredients together on medium speed for 1 minute, or until pureed. Filter solution through a paper towel or coffee filter, discarding solids. Put liquid into a small cosmetic bottle and apply to face, gently wiping with a cotton ball. Let toner absorb into skin and follow with a moisturizer. Use daily. Cover and refrigerate; discard after 3-4 days. (Blended Beauty)

Black Tea Body Masque with Almond and Peppermint
1 1/4 cups water, 2 black tea bags, 1 Tbsp chopped sage leaves; 1 Tbsp thyme leaves; 1/2 packet unflavored gelatin; 1/2 tsp honey; 1/4 tsp almond extract; 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan; immerse the tea bags, sage and thyme in it, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes; remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in gelatin, honey, and extracts. Let sit in refrigerator for 8-12 hours or until firm (it should have a gelatinous consistency). Apply to the body, smoothing mixture evenly over skin. Leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Makes 1 cup. For entire body, double the recipe. Cover and refrigerate; discard after 5 days. (Blended Beauty)

Hair Color: Make an infusion of a handful of “tops” or the dried leaves in 1 pint of boiling water and let stand for 10 minutes before straining. Massage into scalp and hair after shampooing. Let dry on and afterwards massage in a little coconut oil if the hair is dry.

Sage Stain-removing Powder
2 Tbsp fresh sage leaves; 2 Tbsp sea salt
Put the ingredients in a bowl and using a pestle or some other heavy smooth tool, crush them into a fine powder. Place the mixture in a warm oven. When it is well baked and fairly hard, remove and pulverize a second time. Store in a shallow airtight container. This cleanser rids the teeth of harmful plague and unsightly stains.

Deodorizing Herbal Foot Bath
2 Tbsp rosemary, 2 Tbsp pennyroyal, 2 Tbsp sage, 2 Tbsp angelica, 2 Tbsp juniper berries, 2 pints boiling water. Put all the ingredients in the boiling water, cover and leave to stand for one hour. Strain, bottle and refrigerate. Pour half a pint of liquid into a foot-basin partially filled with warm water. Immerse your feet in the soak for fifteen to twenty minutes. Pat dry and apply a cologne or astringent. (The Natural Beauty Book)
Sage Lip Cream: 4 tsp sweet almond oil, 1 tsp shredded beeswax, 2 tsp dried sage, 4 tsp warm rosewater, 5 drops sage oil. Put the almond oil and the beeswax together in a double boiler and simmer slowly until they have melted and mixed. Add the dried sage, stir, cover and allow to simmer for five minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to steep for two hours. Return the mixture to a low heat, strain and whip in the rosewater. Continue blending for several minutes. Remove from the heat, ad the sage oil and keep stirring until the salve thickens and cools. Pot and label.

Ritual Uses: Gender: Hot. Planet: Jupiter. Element: Earth. Part Used: herb. Basic Powers: Healing, Prosperity. Add to healing and prosperity sachets, incenses, and amulets. It absorbs negativity and misfortune. It drives away disturbances and tensions, and lifts the spirits above the mundane cares of life. Burn it to consecrate a ritual space. Carry it as an herb of protection. Use it in the ritual bath and the chalice. Herb of Jupiter. It brings wisdom, immortality and wealth. Tradition holds that those who eat sage become immortal in wisdom and in years. It is used in wish manifestation and to attract money. The Language of Flowers: domestic virtues; esteem; long life and good health

Culinary Uses:
Fresh sage has a milder flavor than dry so it can be used more extensively. In Italy, fresh sage leaves are fried whole and eaten with gnocchi, potatoes and veal dishes. Focaccia is frequently studded with fresh sage leaves. In England, fresh sage and onion stuffing is traditional with goose and chopped fresh sage is mixed with cottage cheese to spread on dark bread. Sage honey is marvelous over homemade bread and muffins. Stir chopped fresh sage into biscuit dough and add it to dumplings and scones. Lay cut branches of sage on top of hot coals to impart a sage flavor to the cooking food. Spread fresh leaves ver a pork roast before cooking. Use it to cut the richness of fatty foods such as goose, duck and oily fish. Fresh sage has a prominent lemon zest flavor that is lost when the herb is dried. Fresh sage can be frozen: place small sprigs in plastic bags and freeze. It will keep for up to two months.
Tastes good with/in: poultry stuffing mixtures with onion, rich and fatty meats such as goose and pork, sausages and other charcuterie, veal, risotto, anchovies, tomato-based sauces, salads, pickles and cheese dishes. An affinity with oregano, thyme, parsley and bay leaf.

Sage Liqueur
12-14 fresh sage leaves or 4 tsp dried or 2 tsp ground
2 whole cloves
sliced and scraped peel of one lemon
1½ cups dry white wine
1 ¼ cups vodka
1 cup sugar syrup
Lightly crush the sage leaves, add the clove and lemon peel to the white wine and vodka for 2 weeks. Strain and filter; add the sugar syrup. Mature 4-9 weeks.
Sugar Syrup
1 cup white granulated sugar and ½ cup water
Bring to a boil, and stir until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clear. Always cool before adding to alcohol mixture. (Homemade Liqueurs)

Sage Flower Pesto
2 cups sage flowers
1/4 cups walnuts, roasted
1/2 cup walnut oil
1 clove garlic, peeled
4 green onion, white part only, coarsely chopped
Process all ingredients in processor until smooth. Good on pasta or as an accompaniment to roast pork or veal.

Sage Crusted Lemon Sole
1 cup sage flowers, finely chopped
12 small mushrooms, finely chopped
¾ cup parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp lemon zest, finely chopped
1/3 cup bread crumbs, processed to a fine consistency
1 egg
6 Tbsp sweet (unsalted) butter, softened to room temperature
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 lemon sole fillets
Mix the flowers, mushrooms, parsley, lemon zest, crumbs, egg, butter, salt and pepper in a nonmetallic bowl. Preheat the broiler. In a heavy, cast-iron (or all metal–no plastic handles) frying pan, heat the oil until hot (not smoking). Add the fillets and cook them about 2 minutes on each side, just until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Spoon the crust mixture onto the fish. Smooth to evenly cover each fillet. Place the frying pan about 12 inches under the broiler and cook until the crust is crisp and lightly browned. Be careful not to burn it. (Edible Flowers from Garden to Palate)

Sage Stuffed Acorn Squash
6 medium acorn squash–cut in ½ and seeded
1 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 cup cornbread crumbs
½ minced onion
1 cup milk
1 egg beaten
2-3 Tbsp minced fresh sage
¼ cup olive oil (flavored if possible)
Place squash cut side down in pyrex type dish. Add about ½”-1″ water and bake at 350F for 1 hour or until tender (microwave 20-25 minutes). Cool somewhat. Scoop out squash leaving shell. Combine squash pulp and all ingredients except olive oil. Mix well. Spoon back into shell. Drizzle with oil and bake additional 15 minutes. Serves 12. Can easily be cut down. (The Herbal Connection Collection)

Aromatherapy Blends and Remedies, Franzesca Watson, Thorsons, 1995; ISBN: 0-7225-3222-9
The Best of Thymes, Marge Clark, Thyme Cookbooks, 1997; ISBN: 0-9640514-1-9
Blended Beauty, Philip B, Ten Speed Press, 1995, ISBN: 0-89815-742-0
The Charlotte Herb Guild Cooks, Cookbooks by Morris Press
The Complete Aromatherapy Handbook, Susanne Fischer-Rizzi, Sterling, 1990; ISBN: 08069-8222-5
The Complete Book of Herbs, Spices and Condiments, Carol Ann Rinzler, Facts of File, 1990, ISBN 0-8160-2008-6
The Complete Woman’s Herbal, Anne McIntyre, Henry Holt, 1994; ISBN: 0-8050-3537-0
Cooking with Flowers, Jenny Leggatt, Fawcett, 1987; ISBN: 0-449-90252-8
The Directory of Essential Oils, Wanda Sellar, C.W. Daniel, 1992; ISBN: 0-85207-239-2
A Druid’s Herbal, Ellen Evert Hopman, Destiny Books, 1995, ISBN: 0-89281-501-9
Edible Flowers from Garden to Palate, Cathy Wilkinson Barash, Fulcrum, 1993; ISBN: 1-55591-164-1
Flower Essence Repertory, Patricia Kaminski & Richard Katz, 1996; ISBN: 0-9631306-1-7
Flowers in the Kitchen, Susan Belsinger, Interweave, 1991; ISBN: 0-934026-63-7
The Green Pharmacy, James A. Duke, Rodale, 1997; ISBN: 0-87596-316-1
The Healing Herbs, Michael Castleman, Rodale, 1991, ISBN: 0-87857-934-6
The Healing Kitchen, Patricia Stapley, Macmillan, 1996; ISBN: 0-02-860394-X
The Herbal Connection Collection, Maureen Rogers & Patricia Sulick, The Herb Growing & Marketing Network, 1994
The Herbal Epicure, Carole Ottesen, Ballantine, 2001; ISBN: 0-345-43402-1
An Herbal Feast, Risa Mornis, Keats, 1998, ISBN: 0-87983-801-9
The Herbal Menopause Book, Amanda McQuade Crawford, Crossing Press, 1996; ISBN: 0-89594-799-4
Herbs for Health and Healing, Kathi Keville, Rodale, 1997; 0-87596-293-9
Herbs in the Kitchen, Carolyn Dille & Susan Belsinger, Interweave, 1992; ISBN: 0-934026-73-4
Homemade Liqueurs, Dona and Mel Meilach, Contemporary Books, 1979; ISBN: 0-8092-7582-1
The Illustrated Herb Encyclopedia, Kathi Keville, Mallard, 1991; ISBN: 0-7924-5307-7
Kitchen Herbs, Sal Gilbertie, Bantam, 1988; ISBN: 0-553-05265-9
Magical Herbalism, Scott Cunningham, Llewllyn Publications, 1982, ISBN: 0-87542-120-2
Mastering Herbalism, Paul Huson, Stein and Day, 1975; ISBN: 0-8128-1847-4
Mushrooms Love Herbs, Ruth Bass, Storey Communications, 1996; ISBN: 0-88266-933-8
The Natural Beauty Book, Anita Guyton, Thorsons, 1991; ISBN: 0-7225-2498-6
Nutritional Herbology, Mark Pedersen, Wendell W. Whitman Co, 1995; ISBN: 1-885653-03-4
Recipes from an American Herb Garden, Maggie Oster, Macmillan, 1993; ISBN: 0-02-594025-2
Sage Cottage Herb Garden Cookbook, Dorry Baird Norris, Globe Pequot, 1991; ISBN: 0-87106-239-9
Southern Herb Growing, Madalene Hill & Gwen Barclay; Shearer Publishing; 1987; ISBN: 0-940672-41-3
The Tribeca Cookbook, Mary Cleaver, Joy Simmen Hamburger and Mimi Shanley Taft, 10 Speed Press, 1994; ISBN: 0-89815-912-1

HERBALPEDIA™ is brought to you by The Herb Growing & Marketing Network, PO Box 245, Silver Spring, PA 17575-0245; 717-393-3295; FAX: 717-393-9261; email: URL: Editor: Maureen Rogers. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Material herein is derived from journals, textbooks, etc. THGMN cannot be held responsible for the validity of the information contained in any reference noted herein, for the misuse of information or any adverse effects by use of any stated material presented.

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Savory–Herb of the Year 2015


Posted by admin | Posted in Savory | Posted on 26-12-2014

Tags: , , , , , ,

Savory is the Herb of the Year for 2015.  Here’s our monograph to get you started.  But these are just the two savorys everyone knows.   There’s also Creeping Savory, Thyme-Leaved Savory, Wild Basil (from the genus Satureja), Nepitella, Spanis Oregano and Yerba Buena.  And yes, all are edible.

Satureja montana (winter)
[sa-tu-REE-ja MON-tah-nuh]

Satureja hortensis (summer)
[sa-tu-REE-ja hor-TEN-sis]

Family: Lamiaceae

Other names–Summer: Bohnenkraut (German); sariette (French); santoreggia, erba cerea (Italian); Czaber, comber, modrak (Polish)
Winter: Winterbohnenkraut; French: sarriette des montagnes; Italian: santoreggia d’inverno
Satureia hortensis and Satureia montana

Family:  Labiatae

Cultivation: Summer: The seed of the summer savory may be sown early in the spring as soon as all danger of frost is past. A dry, gravely, moderately rich soil where there is plenty of sun is the best for this herb. The seed should be sown in shallow drills of 1/2 inch in rows about 12 inches apart. The mature plants should be spaced about 6 inches; and since they grow very quickly, they may be planted at regular intervals of 3 weeks if a large quantity of the herb is desired. Keep well weeded.

Winter: Seed may be sown in the early spring in a rather poor soil that is well drained and where there is full sunshine. The herb may also be propagated from cuttings or the new growth, and since the woody stalks of the herb spread rapidly over the ground, it is best to set the cuttings at least 2 feet apart to give the plant plenty of room. To induce a full, heavy growth of new leaves, the shrub should be kept fairly well clipped. Winter savory will winterkill if the soil is rich and damp. As with many herbs, a poor, light soil gives the best results.

Light applications of fish emulsion and compost mulch for summer savory. Summer savory sometimes bothered by spider mites. Plant near beans or onions for mutual benefit. Soil pH 6.7 for winter and 6.8 for summer. Plant hardiness for winter zone 6.

Harvesting: Summer: Some of the tender young tips may be cut any time during the season. By midsummer, when the herb begins to blossom, the whole plant may be pulled up ready for drying, or only from 6-8 inches of the top growth may be cut. The stems may be tied in small bunches and hung up to dry, or spread on clean screens in a shady, airy spot until thoroughly dried. Strip the leaves from the stems and remove all small pieces of woody stems so that only the leaves are stored. Place them in small tightly covered containers. use whole leaves or crushed, as desired.

Winter: The tender young tips and leaves may be used fresh or dried as one uses summer savory or thyme. For winter use cut only the tenderest tips and flowering tops at the very beginning of the flowering season. The herb may be hung in small bunches or spread on a screen in a shady, dry spot. When the leaves are dry, remove from the stems and store them in a tightly closed container until needed.

There are two varieties of this herb, one annual and one perennial. Both come from the Mediterranean and are attractive for gardeners and cooks. They have a strong, slightly peppery taste thought by some to be reminiscent of thyme. In very early times, the Romans made a sauce of vinegar and summer savory, very much like the mint sauce of today. All beans and peas are greatly enhanced by this herb with which they have a particular affinity, and sausages, stuffings, and herb mixtures often contain savory. Winter savory, an evergreen, is a shrublike plant, growing up to 12 in with glossy, bright green leaves and pinkish flowers. The flavor is stronger, sharper and spicier than that of summer savory. The latter grows much higher, to about 18 in. and has narrow dark green leaves and lilac flowers. In Switzerland and other parts of Europe summer savory is commonly called Bohnenkraut, which means “the herb of the strong bean.” Summer and winter savory are commonly grown alongside each other.

How to store: fresh leaves: keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, or chop finely and freeze in ice-cube trays. Dried: these retain their flavor for a considerable time if kept in airtight containers away from light.
How to dry: for best results savory leaves should be harvested just before the plant flowers. Hang in a dark, warm, well-ventilated place.

History: Native to Europe’s Mediterranean countries. Several species of the savories were used by the Greeks and Romans for centuries, and they often blended a savory with wild thyme to flavor their soups, stuffings, meats, and game. Like so many of the herbs which the Romans took to England with them, savory became extremely popular and soon found an important place in Saxon recipes. Summer savory was one of the herbs of the famous garden of the Monastery of St. Gall and Charlemagne also grew the savories in his garden.  In Shakespeare’s time, Savory was a familiar herb, for we find it mentioned, together with the mints, marjoram and lavender, in The Winter’s Tale. In ancient days, the savories were supposed to belong to the Satyrs, hence the name Satureia. It was believed that eating savory gave the satyrs their extraordinary sexual stamina. John Josselyn, one of the early settlers in America, gives a list of plants introduced there by the English colonists to remind them of the gardens they had left behind. Winter and Summer Savory are two of those mentioned.  In the Middle Ages, a garland fashioned of savory leaves and flowers was worn as a crown or cap to revive the wearer from drowsiness.  For hundreds of years, both savories have had a reputation for regulating sex drive. Winter savory was thought to decrease sexual desire, while summer savory was said to be an aphrodisiac. Naturally, summer savory became the more popular of the two! The Egyptians used it in a popular love potion. The French sipped savory mixed with wine as a love potion. In England, savory was mixed with beeswax and used as a back massage lotion for unromantic women. Italian mothers who didn’t want their daughters to be returned after the wedding night fed the brides-to-be savory daily for a month so they would please their husbands.

Parts used: leaves: fresh and dried

Culinary Uses: Affinity with other herbs/spices: rosemary, thyme, sage, fennel, bay leaf. Tastes good with: legumes, especially lentils and white beans, cooked vegetable salads, broiled veal and pork, poultry, rabbit, soups, horseradish sauce, cucumbers, stuffings and charcuterie, goat cheese, tomato-based sauced, marinades, fish, especially trout.

Cooking tips: The flavor is biting, sweet-resinous, peppery and somewhat reminiscent of thyme. Add just before the end of the cooking cycle to preserve its flavor. Savory is useful for those on a salt-restricted diet because the leaves have a strong flavor. Use summer savory with fresh beans and winter savory with dried ones. For a more subtle savory flavor, infuse wine vinegar with fresh sprigs and use in dressings for salads containing fresh or dried beans. Add savory to stuffing mixtures for roast poultry

Savory is excellent with cabbage and Brussels sprouts. It’s wonderful with fresh corn. Soak fresh unhusked corn in lightly salted water for about 1 hour. Peel back the husks. Place a tablespoon of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, around the corn kernels along with small sprigs of summer savory. Re-cover the corn kernels with the husks and grill over medium-hot coals, turning frequently, for 10-15 minutes.  Sprinkle chopped fresh savory onto sliced tomatoes, a broiled tomato, or into a baked potato. Use it over new potatoes instead of parsley or mint. Add savory to meatballs and meat loaves. Add a sprig to chilled tomato juice, vegetable juice, or a Bloody Mary.  The French use savory in terrines and the English like it with roast duck and game. In Switzerland, savory is used with most green vegetables.
Bees love savory; savory honey is delicious on hot biscuits and muffins. Stir savory honey into baked beans, instead of brown sugar. Sprinkle chopped fresh savory over salads; add sprigs to warm vinegar and steep for a week. Use chopped fresh savory in vegetable soups or stews.  French cooks frequently incorporate sarriette or savory, into their bouquet garni or throw sprigs of it on the coals before grilling. Savory is a beloved herb among Greek cooks, who use it in their, renowned spicy beef stew, stifatho, while French chefs use it to flavor their traditional cassouletg. In, a Venice, Italians serve risi e bisi, a traditional dish of rice and peas with savory. .

Medicinal Action: Savory has aromatic and carminative properties, and though chiefly used as a culinary herb, it may be added to medicines for its aromatic and warming qualities. It was formerly deemed a sovereign remedy for the colic and a cure for flatulence, on this account, and was also considered a good expectorant. A mild tea made with a few crushed dried leaves and boiling water has a pleasant, warming effect and since savory, like rue, is reputed to sharpen the eyesight, use it also to relieve eyestrain due to overtiredness or bad lighting. It will also help to disguise the flavor of unpalatable medicine, and a few leaves added to a bottle of white wine makes a refreshing tonic. In an emergency crushed leaves of savory can be applied to bee strings to bring rapid relief. In Elizabethan times, the leaves were crushed into poultices for the treatment of colds and chest ailments like asthma. A tea of savory can be helpful for diarrhea and can also stimulate the appetite. Cherokee Indians used the herb as a snuff to cure headaches.
In Europe, it is sometimes taken by diabetics to alleviate excessive thirst.  Savory’s spicy flavor and aroma come from oil of savory, which contains carvacrol, the chief constituent of oil of thyme: cymene, which is used in lemon- and spice-flavored candy and chewing gum; lemon-scented limonene; and astringent tannins.  The old herbalist Coles ends his chapter on savory with this recipe (please tell me if you try it and it works): ‘If a Woman’s belly be swollen, as if she were with Child, when indeed she is not, savory stamped (pounded) and strained with Ale, and drunk with the powder of Jet and White Amber, and the said Herb with Hyssop and Leeks fryed with fresh Butter, and applyed to the back and belly, maketh her gaunt, and reduceth her to due proportion’, adding defiantly, ‘and it is like enough to be true’.

Energetics: spicy, slightly bitter, warm

Meridians: lung, stomach, liver

Essential Oil Uses:
EXTRACTION: essential oil by steam distillation from the whole dried herb. An oleoresin is also produced by solvent extraction
CHARACTERISTICSA colorless or pale yellow oil with a fresh, herbaceous, spicy odor.
BLENDS WELL WITH: lavender, lavandin, pine needle, oakmoss, rosemary and citrus oils
ACTIONS: anticatarhal, antiputrescent, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, astringent, bactericidal, carminative, cicatrizant, emmenagogue, expectorant, fungicidal, stimulant, vermifuge
CONSTITUTENTS: carvacrol, pinene, cymene, camphene, limonene, phellandrene and borneol

EXTRACTION: essential oil by steam distillation from the whole herb. An oleoresin is also produced by solvent extraction
CHARACTERISTICS: a colorless or pale yellow liquid with a sharp, medicinal, herbaceous odor
ACTIONS: same as for summer savory
CONSTITUENTS: mainly carvacrrol, cymene, thymol, with lesser amounts of pinenes, limonene, cineol, borneol and terineol

Not used in aromatherapy. Oils used in perfume and food products.

Nutritional profile: One teaspoon ground summer savory has 4 calories, It provides 0.1 g protein, 0.1 g fat, 1 g carbohydrates, 30 mg calcium, 0.5 mg iron and 72 IU vitamin A

Ritual Uses: An herb of Mercury and Pan; aphrodisiac. It may be used to invoke the spirt of Pan in his playful, fun-loving persona.

Savory Red Pepper Chowder
4 Tbsp butter
2 medium onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 Tbsp minced fresh savory
1 bay leaf, ground with mortar and pestle
½ cup chopped button mushrooms
4 sweet red peppers (3 cups chopped)
juice of ½ lemon
2 cups chicken broth
3 large potatoes, thinly sliced
4 cups low-fat milk
salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
In a soup pot, melt the butter and cook the onions gently until they are soft and golden, not browned. After the first 5 minutes, add the garlic, savory, and bay leaf, along with the mushrooms, chopped peppers and lemon juice. Cook another 5 minutes. Add the broth and sliced potatoes. Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the milk, stir well, and reheat. Ad salt and pepper to taste and serve, garnishing with the chopped parsley. (Peppers Love Herbs)

Green Beans with Summer Savory
2 lb fresh young green beans, trimmed
4 T unsalted butter
2 T finely chopped fresh summer savory leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the beans in a large saucepan of briskly boiling water. Add salt and continue to boil beans over high heat, uncovered for 8-10 minutes, depending on the age and freshness of the beans. They should be tender but still crisp. Drain, rinse under cold running water, drain again, and return to the saucepan. Add the butter and savory. Season with pepper to taste and a little salt if necessary. Cook for 1-2 minutes and serve hot. (The Encyclopedia of Herbs, Spices & Flavorings by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz, Dorling Kindersley 1992)

Green Bean Salad with Gruyere Cheese and Summer Savory
¼ cup thinly sliced red onions
1 lb green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/3 cup olive oil
1 ½ T red wine vinegar
1 t finely minced fresh marjoram
1/4 t black pepper
1 T finely minced fresh summer savory
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
Coarsely cut onion slices. Steam beans until crisp/tender, 3 to 5 minutes. While still hot, place in a medium-size bowl, and add all ingredients except cheese. let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or longer, mixing occasionally. When ready to serve, transfer to a serving dish, and sprinkle with cheese. (The Herb & Spice Cookbook: A Seasoning Celebration by Sheryl & Mel London , Rodale Press 1986)

Black and White Bean Soup with Savory
1 lb small dried black beans
1 lb small dried white beans
12 garlic cloves, chopped
6 T olive oil
2 T minced summer savory or 1 1/2 to 2 t crumbled dried savory
6 T red wine vinegar
4 jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1 t toasted and ground cumin
Nasturtium flowers
Rinse and pick over the beans. Soak them separately overnight. Drain them and rinse well. Put the beans in separate pots and cover with 3 inches water. Simmer them for about 1 1/2 hours, or until they are very tender. Soften the garlic in the olive oil over low heat. Divide the softened garlic and oil between the beans. Add the savory to the white beans. Add the vinegar, jalapenos, and cumin the black beans. Simmer the soups for about 10 minutes. Purée each soup separately and return them to low heat for about 5 minutes. They should be rather thin; add a little water if necessary. Adjust the seasoning with salt. To serve, ladle about 1/2 cup black bean soup in each warm soup plate. Carefully ladle 1/2 white bean soup in the center of the plate. Garnish the soup with nasturtium blossoms.
(Herbs in the Kitchen by Carolyn Dille & Susan Belsinger, Interweave Press)

Savory Baked Apple Custard
2 cups milk
9 sprigs summer savory, about 6 inches long
1 T butter
3 medium sized tart cooking apples, such as Winesap, McIntosh, or Granny Smith
¼ and 1/3 cup light honey
2 T lemon juice
½ t cinnamon
¼ t freshly ground nutmeg
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
Scald the milk with 6 savory springs and let the mixture stand for 30 minutes. Generously butter 1 10-inch glass pie plate or ceramic quiche dish. Peel and core the apples and slice them thinly into a bowl. Toss them with 1/4 cup honey, the lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Remove the savory from the milk and squeeze the extra liquid from the leaves. Combine the eggs, egg yolks, and 1/3 cup honey in a bowl. Whisk the mixture until blended. In a slow, steady stream, pour the scalded milk into the egg mixture, whisking continually. Preheat the oven to 325degrees
Drain the apples, reserving the liquid. Arrange them around the bottom of the baking dish in overlapping concentric circles. Strain the custard through a fine sieve and pour it carefully over the apples. Place the baking dish in a larger dish and add hot water to a depth of half the custard dish. Bake about 35 minutes, testing with a cake tester for doneness. Remove the custard to a rack to cool. After the custard has cooled to room temperature, gently loosen the edges with a spatula. Slide a flat platter over the custard dish and invert the custard onto it. Pour the reserved apple liquid into a small saucepan and add the remaining savory sprigs. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Serve the custard at room temperature and pass the sauce separately. The custard may be made ahead and refrigerated. Allow it to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. If you refrigerate the custard, reduce the sauce while the custard is standing. (Herbs in the Kitchen by Carolyn Dille & Susan Belsinger, Interweave Press)

Apricot–Summer Savory Bread Pudding
1 loaf day-old French bread
6 extra large eggs, lightly whisked
whole milk
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 medium white onion, diced
1 ½ Tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 ½ Tbsp finely chopped summer savory
1 Tbsp orange zest
1/4 cup diced dried apricots
Remove the crust from the bread. Cut the bread into pieces to fit your baking dish. Place the bread in a medium bowl. Over the eggs, add enough milk to equal 6 cups. Whisk the egg mixture in another bowl with the salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. In a small pan over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of the butter and sauté the onion until it is soft and golden. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the parsley, summer savory, orange zest and apricot. Let the apricot mixture cool, and stir it into the egg mixture. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, combine gently, and let the bread mixture stand, refrigerated, for 60 minutes. Butter the baking dish with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Layer the bread in the dish, making sure that the apricot and onion get tucked between the layers of bread. Refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours to let the bread absorb the custard. Preheat the oven to 325F. Cover the baking dish with foil. Place the baking dish in a larger one, and add enough boiling water to reach halfway up the smaller baking dish. Bake the pudding for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake another 15 minutes to crisp the top of the pudding a bit. When the pudding is done, it will pull away from the sides of the baking dish and puff up in the middle. (My Favorite Herb)

Aromatic Pancakes
1 egg
½ cup milk, possibly more
2 Tbsp oil
1 cup sifted pastry or unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp sugar
1 large, ripe peach, finely chopped
3 tsp minced fresh savory, or 1 tsp ground
maple syrup or yogurt
Beat the egg, then add the milk and oil. Sift the flour with the baking powder and sugar into the egg mixture and stir just enough to blend. Add the chopped peach, including juice, and the savory. The batter should be easy to pour, and more milk may be added as needed. Lightly grease a griddle or electric skillet, heat, and our the batter in ¼ cup amounts to make small pancakes. Flip when bubbles circle the pancakes, and serve with maple syrup or a dollop of yogurt. (Herbal Breads)

Lemon Chicken in Savory Champagne Sauce
4 whole chicken breasts, boned and skin removed
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of 2 lemons
2 T vegetable oil
5 T chopped fresh savory
3 to 4 Italian plum tomatoes, quartered
2 T Cognac or brandy
2 T unsalted butter
4 to 6 lemon slices
1 cup nonvintage champagne
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup creme fraiche
With a sharp knife, cut chicken breasts in quarters, lengthwise. Arrange in a single layer in a large glass baking dish. In a small bowl, combine wine, lemon juice, lemon zest, oil, and 3 T savory. pour over chicken breasts. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.  Preheat oven to 375 o F. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is tender, adding tomato quarters to baking dish during last 10 minutes. meanwhile, pour Cognac in a small saucepan. Warm it and flame with a match. When the flames subside, add butter and sauté lemon slices for 2 minutes per side. Remove lemon slices and set aside.  Add champagne to saucepan and cook over high heat until reduced by half. Whisk in cream and creme fraiche. Boil to the consistency of thick cream . Add remaining 2 T chopped savory. Arrange chicken and tomatoes on individual serving plates. Spoon sauce over, then garnish with reserved lemon slices.
(Kitchen Herbs by Sal Gilbertie, 1988, Bantam Books)

Savory Potato Bread
2/3 cup lukewarm water
4 t dry yeast
3 T honey
2 cups lukewarm buttermilk
3 T oil
2/3 cup mashed potatoes
2 T minced savory or 2 t dried savory
2 t dill seed
2 cloves garlic, mined
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
5 – 5 ½ cups whole wheat flour
Combine the water, yeast and honey in a cup. Set aside for 10 minutes to proof (yeast will become foamy). In a large bowl beat together the buttermilk, oil, potatoes, savory, dill and garlic until well combined. Stir in the yeast mixture.  Add 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour and beat vigorously until well mixed. Beat in 2 cups of whole wheat flour, one at a time, until they’re well mixed. Stir in enough additional flour, suing a wooden spoon, to produce a soft, kneadable dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead vigorously for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add only enough additional flour to prevent sticking. The finished dough will remain a bit sticky. Transfer to an oiled bowl. Turn dough to coat. Cover the bowl and set in a warm place to rise. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 40 to 60 minutes.  Punch down dough and divide into two pieces. Form each piece into a loaf. Butter two 8-1/2 by 4-1/2 inch loaf pans, or coat them with equal part s of oil and liquid lecithin. Transfer dough to the pans. Cover loosely and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 40 to 60 minutes. Bake at 375o F for about 40 minutes, or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped with the fingers. (Cooking with the Healthful Herbs by Jean Rogers, Rodale Press, 1983)

Polenta with Sweet Pepper and Savory
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup very finely minced onion
1/3 cup very finely minced red sweet pepper
1 large clove garlic, very finely minced
2 Tbsp finely minced winter savory or 3 Tbsp finely minced summer savory
3½ cups stock or 1 cup milk and 2½ cups water
1 cup coarse-grind polenta
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, warm oil. Add onion and sweet pepper, cover, and cook until onion starts to soften (about 3 minutes). Add garlic and savory and cook 2 minutes. Add stock, bring to a boil, and gradually stir in polenta. Bring back to a boil, lower heat, and cook, stirring, until mixture begins to thicken (about 10 minutes). Continue cooking on low heat, stirring often and keeping mixture at very slow boil, until polenta pulls away from the sides of the pan and is thick and creamy (about 30 minutes). Add cheese (if used), remove from heat, and stir until cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper and serve at once. (Cooking from the Gourmet’s Garden).

Stifatho (Greek Beef Stew)
½ cups best quality olive oil plus 3 T
3 lb lean rump roast, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1½ lb small boiling onions with papery skin removed
4-6 cloves garlic, shopped
2 cups dry red wine
1 6-oz can tomato paste
4 Tbsp Mediterranean marinade vinegar or oregano chile garlic vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
½ tsp whole allspice, freshly ground
1 tsp whole coriander seeds, freshly ground
1-2 3-inch sticks cinnamon
2 Tbsp chopped fresh savory
1 2-inch sprig rosemary
1 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
salt to taste
½ cup walnut pieces (optional)
8 oz feta cheese cut into ½ inch cubes (Optional)
Heat ½ cup olive oil in a 10-inch skillet. Brown the meat in batches and set aside. Discard remaining oil and wipe skillet clean. Add 3 Tbsp olive oil to pan and heat; sauté onions until gently browned on the outside (shake the pan frequently). Remove onions with a slotted spoon. Set aside. Briefly sauté the garlic in the remaining oil; do not brown! In a large stewpot over medium heat, dissolve the tomato paste in the wine and vinegar, add the sugar and garlic. Grind the spices in a spice grinder and add to the pot, along with the cinnamon sticks. Add the meat, savory, rosemary, oregano, and bay; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Add salt and onions and simmer another 30 minutes until meat is tender. Add the walnuts and feta the last 5 minutes of cooking. Add 2 tsp freshly chopped savory and allow stew to sit covered a few minutes before serving. Serves 6-8. (The Herb Garden Cookbook by Lucinda Hutson)

Swordfish with Winter Savory
4 swordfish steak, 1 inch thick
1/3 cup milk
¼ cup all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup capers
2 Tbsp winter savory flowers
Dip swordfish in milk, dredge in flour. Brush with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sauté I a preheated skillet until golden, turning once. Remove swordfish from pan and keep warm. Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and butter to skillet over a low heat. When butter is melted add capers and winter savory flowers. Cover skillet for 3-4 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Remove lid and whisk sauce briefly. Pour over fish and serve immediately. (Edible Flowers from Garden to Palate)

Quinoa Barley Salad
1 ½ cup water, stock, or vegetable juice
¼ cup bulgur
1 ½ cups water, stock or vegetable juice
1/3 cup barley
1/3 cup quinoa
2/3 cup water, stock, or vegetable juice
1 small red onion, diced
1 Tbsp finely snipped chives
1 Tbsp thyme leaves
1 cup olive oil
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup sherry vinegar
¼ cup savory leaves
salt and pepper
To prepare the bulgur, bring the water to a boil, and add the bulgur. Let stand until all the water is absorbed, about 20-30 minutes. To prepare the barley, bring the water to a boil, and add the barley. Cook the barley until tender about 15 minutes. To prepare the quinoa, rinse it under cold, running water, and drain. Combine the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is transparent, about 8 minutes. To prepare the dressing, combine the onion, chives, thyme, oil, cherries, vinegar, savory and a little salt and pepper. Combine the bulgur, barley, and quinoa, and toss with the dressing. (My Favorite Herb)

The Compete Book of Herbs, Spices and Condiments by Carol Ann Rinzler, Facts on File
Cooking from the Gourmet’s Garden, Coralie Castle & Robert Kourik, Cole Group, 1994, ISBN: 1-56426-563-3
Edible Flowers from Garden to Palate, Cathy Wilkinson Barash, 1993; Fulcrum Publishing; ISBN: 1-55591-164-1
Growing & Using Herbs and Spices by Milo Miloradovich, Dover
Herbal Breads, Ruth Bass, Storey Communications, 1996; ISBN: 0-88266-923-0
The Illustrated Book of Herbs by Gilda Daisley, American Nature Society Press
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Julia Lawless, 1995; Element Books; ISBN: 1-56619-990-5
More Herbs You Can Master, Carol R. Peterson, Mountain Garden Publishing, 1999, ISBN: 0-9639620-1-9
My Favorite Herb, Laurel Keser, Callawind Pub, 1999; ISBN: 1-896511-12-0
Peppers Love Herbs, Ruth Bass, 1996, Storey, ISBN: 0-88266-932-X

Companion Plants, plants, seed

HERBALPEDIA™ is brought to you by The Herb Growing & Marketing Network, PO Box 245, Silver Spring, PA 17575-0245; 717-393-3295; FAX: 717-393-9261; email: URL: Editor: Maureen Rogers. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Material herein is derived from journals, textbooks, etc. THGMN cannot be held responsible for the validity of the information contained in any reference noted herein, for the misuse of information or any adverse effects by use of any stated material presented.

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Black Mulberry


Posted by admin | Posted in Mulberry | Posted on 24-12-2014

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We seldom think of mulberries. But research shows that they help with diabetes and skin care.

Morus nigra
[MOR-russ NY-gruh]

Family: Moraceae

Names: Common Mulberry, Moral, Mulberry, Mures, Qara Tut, Tu, Tut, Tuth; Murier (French); Maulbeerbaum (German); moro, gelso (Italian); Moreas (Spanish)

Description: a small tree growing to 30 feet in height. The leaves, 2-8 inches long, are thick, dark dull green, with toothed margins. The fruits are 1 inch long, black or purple. It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The flowers are monoecious. The plant is self-fertile.

Cultivation: Prefers a warm moist but well-drained loamy soil in a sheltered sunny position. Prefers a light soil. Plants are very tolerant of atmospheric pollution. The tree is not grown on a commercial scale because the fruit is too soft and easily damaged to allow it to be transported to market, and is therefore best eaten straight from the tree. There are some named varieties. The mulberry takes many years to settle down and produce good crops of fruit, about 15 years being the norm. This is a good tree for growing grapes into. It means that the grapes are difficult to pick, but they always seem to be healthier and free from fungal diseases. Plants are late coming into leaf and also lose their leaves at the first autumn frosts though the tree in leaf casts quite a dense shade. Mulberries have brittle roots and so need to be handled with care when planting them out. Any pruning should only be carried out in the winter when the plant is fully dormant because mulberries bleed badly when cut. Ideally prune only badly placed branches and dead wood. Once considered to be a very long-lived tree, doubts are now being cast on this assumption, it is probably fairly short-lived. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
The seed germinates best if given 2 – 3 months cold stratification. Sow the seed as soon as it is ripe if possible, otherwise in February in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in the first spring, though it sometimes takes another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 – 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Plant out in spring. A good percentage take, though they sometimes fail to thrive. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, 25 – 30cm with a heel of 2 year old wood, autumn or early spring in a cold frame or a shady bed outside. Bury the cuttings to three quarters of their depth. It is said that cuttings of older wood up to 2.5 metres long can be readily made to strike. The cuttings are taken in February and planted 30cm deep in a shady sheltered position outdoors. The stem is wrapped in moss to prevent water loss by transpiration, with only the top few buds not being covered. Layering in autumn. Harvest the fruits, when ripe; bark, as needed.

History: Language of flowers: I shall not survive you. The black mulberry tree was dedicated to Minerva. The legend of how it was changed from the Chinese white mulberry into the black is told by Ovid: Pyramus and Thisbe were slain under its branches, and the fruit became dark in color through absorbing their blood.

Properties: Anthelmintic; Astringent; Homeopathy; Hypoglycaemic; Laxative; Odontalgic; Purgative.

Medicinal Uses: The mulberry has a long history of medicinal use in Chinese medicine, almost all parts of the plant are used in one way or another. The white mulberry (M. alba) is normally used, but this species has the same properties. The leaves are taken internally in the treatment of colds, influenza, eye infections and nosebleeds. The leaves are collected after the first frosts of autumn and can be used fresh but are generally dried. A tincture of the bark is used to relieve toothache. The branches are harvested in late spring or early summer and are dried for later use. The fruit has a tonic effect on kidney energy. It is used in the treatment of urinary incontinence, tinnitus, premature greying of the hair and constipation in the elderly. Its main use in herbal medicine is as a coloring and flavoring in other medicines. The root bark is used internally in the treatment of asthma, coughs, bronchitis, edema, hypertension and diabetes. The roots are harvested in the winter and dried for later use. The bark is used to expel tape worms. Extracts of the plant have antibacterial and fungicidal activity. The fruit has been used in drinks prescribed to reduce high fever, and also has been made into a cough syrup. The bark has been used to expel intestinal worms.

Homeopathy: A homeopathic remedy is made from the leaves. It is used in the treatment of diabetes.

Other Uses: A fiber used in weaving is obtained from the bark. A red-violet to dark purple dye is obtained from the fruit. A yellow-green dye is obtained from the leaves. Wood – used in joinery.

Culinary Uses: The fruit can be eaten raw, cooked or used in preserves. A delicious slightly acid flavor, it makes an excellent dessert fruit and can be eaten in quantity. The fruit is juicy and refreshing, though it must be used as soon as it is ripe (from mid-August to September) otherwise it will start to rot. The fruit falls from the tree as soon as it is fully ripe. It is best, therefore, to grow the tree in short grass to cushion the fall of the fruit but to still make it possible to find and harvest. The fruit can also be dried and ground into a powder.

A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants, Arnold & Connie Krochmal, Times Books, 1984; ISBN: 0-8129-6336-9
Herbal Delights, Mrs. C.F. Leyel, Gramercy Publishing, 1986; ISBN: 0-517-62515-6
Plants for a Future Database

HERBALPEDIA™ is brought to you by The Herb Growing & Marketing Network, PO Box 245, Silver Spring, PA 17575-0245; 717-393-3295; FAX: 717-393-9261; email: URL: Editor: Maureen Rogers. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Material herein is derived from journals, textbooks, etc. THGMN cannot be held responsible for the validity of the information contained in any reference noted herein, for the misuse of information or any adverse effects by use of any stated material presented.

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Turmeric….the ultimate medicine


Posted by admin | Posted in Turmeric | Posted on 16-12-2014

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Here’s Herbalpedia’s monograph of Turmeric.  Everything you want to know.    For more info on Herbalpedia, visit www.herbalpedia.con

A pinch of turmeric a day can keep memory loss away..



Curcuma longa
[KER-koo-muh LONG-uh]

Pharmaceutical Name: Rhizoma Curcumae

Family: Zingiberaceae

Names: Indian saffron; Indian Yellow Root; curcuma, Safran des Indes, Terre-mérite, Souchet des Indes (French); Kurkuma, Curcuma, Indischer Safran, Gelbwurz, Gelbwurzel (German); Curcuma (Italian); Ukon (Japanese); Arishina (Kannada); Romiet (khmer); Khi min khun (Laotian); Kunyit basah (Malay); Huva (Malayalam); Halede (Marathi); Gurkemeie (Norwegian); Zard-choobag (Pahlawi); Zarchoba (Pashto); Klacze kurkumy (Polish); Açafrão da India, Curcuma (Portuguese); Haldi (Punjabi); Zholty imbir (Russian); Haridra, Marmarii (Sanskrit); Kaha (Singhalese); Haldi (Hindi); curcuma, Azafrán arabe (Spanish); Manjano (Swahili); gurkmeja (Swedish); wong geung, Yu chin, Yu jin, Jiang huang (Chinese); kunjit, kunyit, Daun kunyit-leaves (Indonesian); kamin (Thai); Gurkemeje (Danish); Geelwortel, Kurkuma (Dutch); kanghwang (Korean); kyoo (Japanese); Ird (Amharic); Kurkum (Arabic); Halodhi (Assami); Halud (Bengali); Hsanwen, Sa nwin, Sanae (Burmese); Harilik kurkuma (Estonian); Keltajuuri (Finnish); Halad, Saldar (Gujrati); Kurkuma, Sárga gyömbérgyökér (Hungrian); Túrmerik (Icelandic); Dilaw (Tagalog); Manjal (Tamil); Pasupu (Telugu); Kha min (Thai); Zerde¬çal (Turkish); Haladi (Urdu); Cu nghe (fresh), Bot nghe (dried and ground) (Vietnamese)

Description: Tender perennial native to India, Chine, the East Indies. Grows to 2 feet high. Has a multi-rhizomatous rootstock each of which is cylindrical and varies in size from 2 to 3 in. tapering at each end. Large, fragrant, ovoid roots, with deep orange flesh, send up large lance-shaped leaves in tufts. Clusters of pale yellow flowers in dense spikes appear from late spring to midsummer.

Cultivation: Grows in rich loamy soil in humid conditions. It is propagated by small pieces of root planted 4 in deep and 12 in apart. To harvest: the whole clump of the rhizome is lifted carefully to prevent any damage, and the fingers are broken off from the larger rhizomes. The turmeric is boiled or steamed, then dried. The outer skin is removed and the rough brown fingers become orange-yellow and waxy to the touch. About 180,000 tons of cured turmeric are produced in India annually of which 92% is consumed within the country.

History: In some languages, the names of turmeric just mean “yellow root”. English (turmeric) derives from the French terre-mérite meaning “meritorious earth” probably because ground turmeric resembles mineral pigments (ocher). Turmeric was used in Biblical times as a perfume as well as a spice. The earliest record of turmeric comes from an ancient Assyrian herbal in about 600 BC. Some say it came into use in the West through the sun-worshippers of Persia when their supply of saffron ran out.
Turmeric held a place of honor in India’s traditional Ayurvedic medicine. A symbol of prosperity, it was considered a cleansing herb for the whole body. Medically, it was used as a digestive aid and treatment for fever, infections, dysentery, arthritis, and jaundice and other liver problems. In Hindu ceremony it represents fertility. Turmeric boiled with milk and drunk last thing before going to bed is considered to be the best medicine for an irritating dry cough.
Traditional Chinese physicians also used turmeric to treat liver and gallbladder problems, stop bleeding, and treat chest congestion and menstrual discomforts.  In the 1870s, chemists discovered turmeric’s orange-yellow root powder turned reddish brown when exposed to alkaline chemicals This discovery led to the development of “turmeric paper,” thin strips of tissue brushed with a decoction of turmeric, then dried. During the late 19th century, turmeric paper was used in laboratories around the world to test for alkalinity. Eventually, it was replaced by litmus paper. In the Middles Ages it was called “Indian or Eastern saffron”.
The shepherds of Nepal cook their rice in turmeric. Before they set out to herd their sheep high in the mountains, they daub the turmeric paste upon the chakra between their eyebrows. It is believed that this will provide blessings, success and protection when driving their sheep on long, perilous journeys through the mountain path.
In Indonesia, rice dyed with turmeric has traditionally formed part of the wedding ritual feast, and it was the custom for the bride and groom to tinge their arms with the coloring also. In the same country, it was traditionally smeared on the abdomen of women after childbirth and applied as an ointment to the cut cord of the baby, both for healing and as a protection against evil spirits.
In India they say that the external application of turmeric suppresses the unwelcome growth of hair on female skin. In parts of Asia turmeric water is used as a cosmetic, to lend a golden glow to the complexion. It was once widely used as a body paint. In India, they also believe that sometimes tree spirits leave their homes and enter into human beings, in which case they have to be exorcised. The exorcist detects the presence of the spirit by lighting a piece of turmeric root, because no ghost can stand the smell of burnt turmeric.

Nutritional profile. One teaspoon ground turmeric has 8 calories. It provides 0.2 g protein, 0.2 g fat, 1.4 g carbohydrates, 4 mg calcium, 0.9 mg iron and 0.6 mg vitamin C

Constituents: mainly turmerone (60%), with ar-tumerone, artlantones, zingiberene, cineol, borneol, sabinene, and phellandrene

Properties: cholagogue, choleretic, emmenagogue, aromatic stimulant, alterative, analgesic, astringent, antiseptic

Energetics: spicy, bitter, warm

Meridians/Organs Affected: heart, liver, lung

Medicinal Uses: Turmeric is a choleretic, an agent that stimulates the liver to increase its production of bile. This yellow brown or green fluid helps emulsify fats in your duodenum and increases peristalsis, the rhythmic contractions that move food through your gastrointestinal tract.
Turmeric is also a cholagogue, an agent that stimulates the gallbladder and biliary duct to discharge bile and increases your body’s excretion of cholesterol. Turmeric is useful for preventing and treating gallstones, according to Commission E. In one study, mice with experimentally induced gallstones were placed on special feed containing a modest amount of curcumin, and within five weeks their gallstone volume had dropped 45%. After ten weeks they had 80% fewer gallstones than untreated mice. Choleretics and cholagogues are ordinarily beneficial for healthy people but may pose some problems for people with gallbladder or liver disease. Some other choleretic herbs are ginger, oregano and peppermint.
The fleshy tuber-like rhizome is used. It contains a volatile oil and a water-soluble yellow pigment. Its usefulness as a gallbladder remedy in the narrower sense has been demonstrated. The cholagogue and choleretic action is quite powerful, and recent investigations have shown it to be primarily due to the yellow pigment. The drug is prescribed as a tea or infusion: Curcuma rhizome, chopped….Add 1 tablespoonful to a glass of water and boil briefly. 3 glasses per day. Curcuma infusion DRF: curcuma rhizome infusion 6.0/180.0 and Peppermint water to make 200.0…..1 tablespoonful three times daily.
A daily dose of ¼ tsp of turmeric strengthens the body’s immune defenses in as little as one week. The credit goes to turmeric’s antioxidants, which stimulate immune cells to divide rapidly during viral attacks.
The people of Java call this plant temoe lavak. In India and other Asian countries it has a long tradition as a popular remedy for jaundice and liver disease. There is no doubt that it can be effective, particularly where bile flow needs to be thoroughly stimulated, but it is doubtful if it achieves more than our native drugs, and indeed unlikely, as it is not always indicated. Above all it lacks spasmolytic and carminative properties. The yellow pigment has a marked irritant effect on the gastric mucosa, so that caution in indicated where there is a tendency to hyperacidity or where there is simple irritable stomach.
To treat minor wounds, wash them with soap and water, then sprinkle on some powdered herb and bandage. For an infusion to help aid digestion and possibly help promote heart health, use 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder per cup of warm milk. Drink up to 3 cups a day. These infusions may also offer a measure of protection to the liver and help ease the inflammation of arthritis. Turmeric tastes pleasantly aromatic, but in large amounts, it becomes somewhat bitter.
Turmeric regulates the menses, relieves menstrual pains and helps reduce uterine tumors. Used externally or internally, turmeric promotes healing in cases of trauma or injury. In India, it’s a traditional ulcer treatment and in animal studies it’s been shown to stimulate the stomach lining to produce more protective mucus.
In Chinese medicine, turmeric invigorates the blood and unblocks menstruation; for chest or abdominal pain, amenorrhea, or dysmenorrhea due to blood stasis caused by cold from deficiency. Also used for pain and swelling due to trauma. It promotes the movement of qi and alleviates pain; for epigastric and abdominal pain due to stagnant qi. It expels wind and promotes the movement of blood; for wind-dampness painful obstruction with blood stasis, especially in the shoulders. Contraindicated in cases of blood deficiency without stagnant qi or blood stasis.
Research shows: Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It has an even stronger action than hydrocortisone, according to research studies conducted between 1971 and 1991.
When applied to the skin and exposed to sunlight, turmeric is strongly antibacterial. Curcumin is the constituent responsible for this action. Curcumin is also more strongly antioxidant than vitamin E. In lab and animal studies, it’s been shown to protect LDL cholesterol from being “oxidized. In India, in 1992, researchers gave ten healthy volunteers a half a gram of turmeric a day for seven days. That’s an amount you might get in your diet if it includes curry. They measured the level of oxidative by-products of blood cholesterol. After a week, it fell 33%. Blood cholesterol fell, too, by 12%. Turmeric can also dilate blood vessels, so it may lower blood pressure as it’s done in animal studies. Research is also being done with HIV.
Turmeric may be a valuable preventive remedy for those at risk of developing cancer.

EXTRACTION METHOD: by steam distillation from the ‘cured’ rhizome – boiled, cleaned and sun-dried. An oleoresin, absolute and concrete are also produced by solvent extraction.
CHARACTERISTICS: a yellowy-orange liquid with a faint blue fluorescence and a fresh spicy-woody odor.
BLENDS WELL WITH: cananga, labdanum, elecampane, ginger, orris, cassie, clary sage, mimosa
ACTIONS; analgesic, anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, bactericidal, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, hyptensive, insecticidal, laxative, rubefacient, stimulant

Circulation, Muscles and Joints: arthritis, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism
Digestive system: anorexia, sluggish digestion, liver congestion
Other: employed in perfumery work for oriental and fantasy-type fragrances. The oleoresin is used as a flavor ingredient in some foods, mainly curries, meat products and condiments

Toxicity: Turmeric’s potential anticlotting effect might cause problems for those with clotting disorders. If you have a blood-clotting problem, discuss this herb’s effect with your physician before using medicinal preparations. Unusually large amounts of turmeric may cause stomach upset.

Other Uses: It is a substantive dye that gives bright colors on wools, basketry materials, cottons, and silks. It is also a good, clear yellow to mix with other colors when top dyeing. The use of mordants may make turmeric more fast. Put the turmeric powder in the soft water and stir well while bringing to hand-heat. Enter the clean, thoroughly wetted wool. Slowly bring the bath to simmer and simmer gently for 2 minutes, stirring lightly to move the wool about. Remove a skein and hold it to drip over the dyebath for a few moments. Rinse the wool in hot soft water and squeeze gently; then rinse in cooler water and squeeze gently again. Label the skein and hang it to dry in the shade. Continue simmering the wool still in the bath or another 2 minutes, and remove a second skein. Rinse, label, and dry as before. Simmer remaining wool in the bath for another few minutes and remove another skein, and continue as before until all the wool has been dyed. Ten minutes will give a brilliant yellow. Although turmeric needs no mordant, chrome and tin will both give interesting colors. The yellow can also be used for top-dyeing with walnut. Turmeric is a very strong, brilliant dye, but it does not last well over the years.

Culinary uses: Turmeric has a mild, slightly bitter, peppery flavor and aroma that comes from oil of turmeric, which contains peppery-scented, mint-flavored borneol; spicy eucalyptol, which smells like camphor; and zingerone, the spicy sweet flavoring in ginger. Turmeric reaches the West partly in pure form, which becomes coloring for sauces and syrups, an ingredient of some liqueurs and cheeses; and formerly also of butter an margarine. But its role in ready-made curry powder is the primary one. Turmeric is very sensitive to sunlight and should, like curry powder, be stored in darkness. Avoid using turmeric when cooking green vegetables as they will turn grey and bitter. The leaves of the turmeric plant can be dried and used to flavor ghee. The leaves can also be used to wrap foods like fish or sweets before steaming. The leaves are an important ingredient in Malay and Indonesian cooking, especially in rending, the spicy, tasty meat dish particular to these regions. They are shredded finely and added to curries and other dishes. Shredded turmeric leaves can also be used as a garnish. The leaves smell rich and sweet.

Spiced Potatoes and Carrots
1 lb potatoes, diced and parboiled
1 lb carrots, diced and parboiled
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp turmeric
1 little lemon juice
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Heat the oil and put in the cumin seeds. Stir these round for a few seconds before quickly adding the potatoes, stirring as you do so. Now add the ground coriander and turmeric and cook on a medium heat for 3 minutes or so, stirring continuously. Put in the carrots and salt at this point, and turn down the heat to low. Give the mixture a good stir and then cover and cook for 10-15 minutes. Check that the potatoes and carrots are cooked and then squeeze on some lemon juice. Served garnished with the cilantro leaves. (The Spices of Life)

Classic Indian Curry Powder
6 dried red New Mexican chiles, seeds and stems removed, or 4 small hot dried red chiles, such as piquant seeds and stems removed
¼ cup cumin seeds
¼ cup coriander seeds
2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cardamom seeds
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 Tbsp ground turmeric
1 Tbsp dried powdered curry leaves
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the chiles, cumin and coriander seeds, peppercorns, mustard and cardamom seeds, cloves, and fenugreek seeds in a baking pan and place in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes, taking care that none of the spices burn. Grind these spices in a spice mill to a fine powder. Mix the ground spices with the turmeric and the curry leaves and seal in an airtight jar. (A World of Curries, Dave Dewitt & Arthur Pais, Little Brown)

Golden New-Potato Salad
1 ¾ lbs new potatoes (about 12), scrubbed
½ tsp whole cumin seeds
2 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp yellow or brown mustard seeds
1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1½ Tbsp snipped chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 small red onion, peeled and diced
Put potatoes in a large pot, and cover them with cold water. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a high simmer, and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, but not mushy, 20-30 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Heat a dry skillet over high heat for 30 seconds. Add the cumin, turmeric, and mustard seeds, and reduce the heat to medium. Toast, shaking the pan and moving it on and off the heat as necessary to prevent scorching, until the spices are aromatic, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a spice mill, and grind into a fine powder. In a medium bowl., combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice and chives. Stir in the ground spices, and salt and pepper to taste. Put the potatoes in a large bowl, cutting any large ones in halves or quarters. Add the celery, bell pepper, onion, and dressing. Toss gently so that potatoes don’t fall apart until all the ingredients are well combined. Cover and chill for at least an hour for the flavors to combine. The salad may be made a day ahead. (Tonics)

Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica, Dan Bensky & Andrew Gamble, Eastland Press, 1993
Dyes from Plants, Seonaid Robertson, 1973, Van Nostrand Reinhold
Exotic Spices, Rosamond Richardson, Salem House, 1985
Ginger East to West, Bruce Cost, Aris, 1984
The Green Pharmacy, James A. Duke, Rodale, 1997
Herbal Medicine, Rudolf Fritz Weiss, MD, 1988
Herbs and Spices: A guide to culinary seasoning, edited by Waverley Root, 1985
The Healing Herbs, Michael Castleman, Rodale Press, 1991
The Hot and Spicy Cookbook, Sophie Hale, Quintet Publishing, 1983
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Julia Lawless, Element, 1995
The Indian Spice Kitchen, Monisha Bharadwaj, Dutton, 1997
The Complete Book of Herbs, Spices and Condiments, Carol Ann Rinzler, Facts on File, 1990
The Spices of Life, Troth Wells, Second Story Press, 1996
A Taste of Kashmir, Geeta Samtani, Merehurst Ltd, 1995
What Herb is That? , John and Rosemary Hemphill, Stackpole Books, 1997; ISBN: 0-8117-1634-1

HERBALPEDIA™ is brought to you by The Herb Growing & Marketing Network, PO Box 245, Silver Spring, PA 17575-0245; 717-393-3295; FAX: 717-393-9261; email: URL: Editor: Maureen Rogers. Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. Material herein is derived from journals, textbooks, etc. THGMN cannot be held responsible for the validity of the information contained in any reference noted herein, for the misuse of information or any adverse effects by use of any stated material presented.

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