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6395Re: Top 20 Herbs and Spices plus Salt

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  • Virginia Taylor
    Sep 9, 2007
      > Hey, one plant, one herb! Of course it's only one!
      > Arastorm

      Not necessarily. Nutmeg and mace come from the same tree but are
      considered two different spices.

      --Old Marian

      True- but I was thinking more in terms of "if you could only have 20 herbs...", which I extend to what would I grow?  So another way I was looking at it was- do I have to could the herbs I know I can wild-craft? Think about period herb gardens- they didn't plant plantain or wood sorrel or celandine  or the other herbs they knew were in the fields nearby. I suppose one has to think carefully about the actual question without interpreting it. Looking back at the original question, I see it says:

      > If you could have only 20 cooking herbs and spices (plus salt as the 21st item) and wanted at least half of them to be multi-use, what would you choose? 

      Does that mean the only herbs and spices available for physic would be the ones I keep for cooking? Or that, for example, valerian and coltsfoot don't count in the list because they aren't cooking spices- but I still have access to them? For cooking, I would like to include pepper and cinnamon, but for  multi-use I have to consider medicine and dyeing and  magick as well. Good food is life enhancing, but good health overrides everything. I might well give up pepper rather than never have coltsfoot available for treating colds.

      >Would you focus on spices of a particular cuisine or select a core group that works for many cuisines and maybe a few for specific cuisines? 
      Given the premise "only have 20 cooking herbs" - I'd go for what I use most in my family- which is definitely mixed cuisine, but still fairly simple (and kind of allium heavy).

      >Would you stick to herbs and spices that can be grown in your area or would you choose the world as your garden?
      Why do we only have 20? Is it because you have to produce them yourself or is it like an iron chef competition where you have to use only the given ingredients. Part of the reason I explore herbal medicinals is because I hate the thought of being dependent on the vagaries of trade. Herbal tradition says that local herbs are better for you, fresh herbs are generally more potent than stored herbs, and if you collect them yourself you have more control over the whole quality process.  

      Arastorm (over-thinking again, sigh)

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