The Benefits of Common Culinary Herbs: Homemade Herbes de Provence
I don’t know about you, but we go through our little jar of Herbes de Provence like there’s no tomorrow. I imagine we spend a small fortune re-filling the jar on a regular basis – buying in bulk definitely makes it cheaper in the long run, especially if this is one of your favourite blends.
As well as adding flavour to our foods, herbs and spices contain potent healing properties and are an invaluable addition to any meal, or enjoyed in the form of herbal teas. Did you know that even just the delicious aromas given off by herbs and spices help to prepare our body for digestion even before you’ve eaten your first bite? So, next time you sprinkle herbs on your dinner, think of that extra nutritional benefit you are getting.
There are slight variations this Herbes de Provence recipe. Savory, for example, is not a herb that is found in Denmark so we added basil instead. The recipe below fills almost 3/4 of a 1 liter mason jar. Careful not to over-do it with the lavender. Start off with a smaller amount and add to it once you’ve tasted your mix, or you might end up eating a beautifully floral lavender field with every mouthful.
12 Tbsp Thyme – antiseptic, anti-fungal, it is often used to treat throat infections, coughs and inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. Terpenoids in thyme contain anti-cancer properties.
10 Tbsp Rosemary – its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory medicinal properties have traditionally been used to treat headaches, stomach upsets and digestive disorders. It also boosts the liver, acts as a mild diuretic and the antioxidant properties help to protect us against skin aging due to sun damage.
6 Tbsp Basil – a natural anti-inflammatory, it helps in cases of inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis. It is also a powerful antioxidant, protecting our cells from damage from free radicals (responsible for cellular aging and a host of degenerative diseases.
4 Tbsp Marjoram – soothing and warming, it is often used to treat respiratory problems, nervous tension, digestive issues and painful menstruation.
3-4 Tbsp Lavender – long known for it’s calming properties, bringing relief in cases of insomnia, headaches and anxiety, it also helps treat digestive complaints.
2 Tbsp Fennel seeds – helps prevent and treat indigestion, constipation, vomiting. A nursing mother can help alleviate her baby’s colic by drinking fennel tea.
Place all the herbs in a bowl and crush them slightly with a pestle, or use the back of a spoon. Offering a little jar of homemade herbs de provence makes a lovely gift when invited for dinner at a friend’s house. Simply put it in a recycled glass jar and tie a pretty bow around it.
What’s your favourite herb and way of using it? Do you use herbs as home remedies for common ailments?