Every year—every day, in fact—we learn something new. During my time working for The Herb Companion I have learned a lot. Here are 10 of the most interesting things I learned about herbs in 2010.
1. This year I discovered my new favorite herb—the ornamental Echinacea purpurea 'Pink Double Delight'. I can't get over its pink, poofy flowers. (Cutting-Edge Echinaceas, May 2010.)
2. There is no such thing as chocolate basil. After a whole year of searching, The Herb Companion has decided that this mysterious herb is merely a myth. If you have information you would like to contribute to the mystery, please email email@example.com. (Chocolate Basil: The Herb-an Myth, March 2010.)
3. Chew on a few dill seeds to allay bad breath and help digestion. (Dill, March 2010.)
Check out The Herb Companion in 2010. Did you read every issue?
4. It takes 50,000 to 75,000 blossoms and 70,000 to 200,000 dried threads to create only one pound of saffron. That's a lot of saffron flowers—No wonder it's so expensive! (The Secrets of Saffron, January 2011.)
5. You can transform pasta into a delicious dessert. A combination of flour, cocoa, chocolate, mint, eggs and water makes a chocolate-infused ravioli dough. Serve it with almond filling, raspberry sauce, hot fudge or orange zest for a tasty treat. I still haven't bought a pasta machine, but when I do I fully intend to make Chocolate Dessert Ravioli. (Homemade, Herbal Pasta Party, March 2010.)
6. 73 million Americans have high blood pressure; 30 percent may be unaware of their condition. To treat, try hawthorn, arjuna bark, garlic or green tea. (Lower Your Blood Pressure, September 2010.)
7. Although epazote is sometimes considered a weed because of its self-seeding and easy germination, it tastes delicious in chili. (Tame a Wild Weed, July 2010.)
8. Tea tree is a magical skin elixir. If you don't believe me, ask the researchers who have scientifically proven it treats acne, athlete's foot, toenail disease, gynecological conditions and dandruff. (Tea Tree Oil, January 2010.)
9. During the spring, combine young and fresh sage leaves with mint to balance its base notes. To keep it from becoming drab, combine it with lemon. (Sage, September 2010.)
10. According to a recent University of Georgia study, a diet full of antioxidant-rich herbs and spices can ward off inflammation and diabetes. (Eat to Beat Diabetes, March 2010.)