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For Your Knowledge: Ancient Herb Gardens

2/23/2011 10:54:35 AM

Tags: Katie Priebe, Greek History, Ancient Herbs, History, Greece, Tips

K.PriebeHerbal knowledge has been passed from generation to generation. Here are just a few of the roles herbs have played throughout history.

Early herb gardens were present in Europe; herbs were gathered from the wild and then cultivated around temples for use in religious rituals.

Evidence has shown that in St. Gall, Switzerland the Benedictine monks planted an herb garden in the 10th century .

In ancient Greece, herb gardens were planted with wide pathways. This made it easier to harvest the herbs. Ancient Greek herb gardens contained plants like sage, calendula, lemon balm, mint, parsley, chives and thyme. 

Dill Herb Photo
The herb dill was considered to be a sign of wealth in ancient Greece.
Photo by Muffet/Courtesy of Flickr
 

The Greeks associated herbs with certain powers. Dill was considered to be a sign of wealth. Marjoram was known to cause dreams, and rosemary helped citizens with memory. The Greeks did not particularly like basil because they were skeptical of its powers. Parsley was used by the ancient Greeks for decorating the tombs of the deceased.

In ancient Greece, herbs were used in powders, poultices and ointments; they were used to help with cold, swelling, headache and burn symptoms.

sage photo
Sage was a common plant in ancient herb gardens.
Photo by Suttonhoo/Courtesy of
Flickr 

While maintaining an herb garden for cooking purposes was critical, it was also important for families to have an herb garden if they wanted to make aromatherapy oils and incenses. Herbs in Greece were commonly grown in raised beds.

What do you know about historical herb gardens? Let me know in the comments section.



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