Herb Garden Glossary: Meet Different Types of Herbs
There are so many types of herbs, and each one can be used for something different. It can be tricky choosing the best variety for your own particular herb garden. The most common herbs for you would be the ones that will replace some of the ones you buy in the store. There are several types of herbs and like any plant they are divided into different categories.
1. Culinary Herbs. This kind of herbs used mostly for cooking. You can use them in every single recipe. The list of culinary herbs is huge. The examples of herbs for your culinary herb garden can be dill, tarragon, basil, chives, lovage, chervil, stevia, marjoram, and many more.
2. Medicinal Herbs. Herbs have been a source of healing in the ancient civilizations and nowadays life. Today is a supplementary source to maintain the proper health of the body and well being. Most herbal remedies have no side effects or contraindications and its benefits are many. Examples of medical herbs can be echinacea that is utilized to treat infections; St. John's Wort can be used to treat depression; rosemary for headaches, valerian for insomnia relief, etc.
3. Tea Herbs. Perhaps the easiest way to use and enjoy herbs is to make herbal tea. Many herbs are used in delicious and nutritious brews and tea blends to drink. Herbal tea can be made from the leaves, flowers, seeds or even the roots of herbs. This is a matter of personal taste, but the following herbs have been brewed for ages: chamomile, lemon balm, lemon bergamot, peppermint.
4. Magical Herbs. They are used to bring about healing, love, protection and spiritual growth. Magical herbs have symbolic associations and are believed to have great powers, as told in many stories of folklore. The magical herbs were used in a number of ways, including meditation and spell casting. Examples of common magical herbs are angelica that enhances female magical power and strength, protects children; basil which is used for money and success, happy family, and peaceful home; lavender that promotes passion, romance, harmony, friendship, and cooperation with a lover.
5. Sacred Herbs. Herbs are used in many religions – such as in Christianity myrrh and frankincense which was used to honor kings. In Hinduism a form of Basil called Tulsi or Holy Basil is worshipped as a goddess for its medicinal value since the Vedic times. The shamans in Siberia also used herbs for spiritual purposes. The Cherokee Native Americans use sage and cedar to spiritually cleanse and smudge.
6. Ornamental Herbs. They are used for their fragrance and beauty. They can be used to garnish food or to decorate the house. Some Ornamental Herbs are lemon verbena, oregano, lavender and chicory.
7. Aromatic Herbs. They are great to produce scents and perfumes. Sweet majoram can be used to make perfumed soaps, sage to make scents; lavender is another great herb to make perfumes.
Other category types of herbs are according to the herb period of life.
Each type of herb has its special needs. There are four basic types of herbs:
- Perennials (herbaceous).
1. Perennial Herbs.The herbaceous herb is classified as a perennial. Perennials are the herbs that complete their cycle in more than two years. Perennials bloom during the spring and summer and then die in the fall blooming again the next season. Perennial herbs include chives, fennel, marjoram, mint, tarragon and winter savory. Perennials are marked by the ability to withstand colder temperatures and returns each spring. This type of herb needs no extra pruning; just cut them down to ground level when season end arrives.
2. Evergreen Herbs. The evergreen herb is also classified as a perennial. Unlike the herbaceous herbs, evergreen herbs require regular pruning when not are constantly harvested. Some common types of evergreen herbs include sage, rosemary, and thyme. This type of herbs should be pruned back in the early spring or fall.
3. Annual Herbs. Annuals are the herbs that grow and die in the period of one year. Annuals bloom for one season and then die. Examples of annual herbs are anise, basil, cilantro, coriander, dill, garlic and summer savory. Annual plants should be planted from seed each year and will not survive a frost. The annual herb dies back at the end of the season and need to be replanted the following year. To keep a constant crop of annual herbs, plant them every four to six week during planting season. To prevent your annual herbs from going to seed, cut off any flower buds that are present. Once the herb produces flowers the leave production usually stops.
4. Biennial Herbs. Biennials are the ones that complete their period of life in two years. Biennials grow the first season, bloom the second season and then die. Interestingly, biennial herbs produce leaves in the first year of growth and flowers and seed in the second year. Parsley, angelica, and caraway are examples of biennial herbs. These can be sown directly in the garden in late spring.