— AROMA IN THE AIR —
HERBS & GREENS
Amorgos is famous for its aromatic plants and herbs and the first that meet you when you arrive is their scent in the air. Where ever you go you will find herbs, some of them are endemic, and have been known since the ancient times for their remedial properties. Nowadays, their use is more limited but the locals use them in the food and herbal tea. The plants thrive in the difficult climate of the Cyclades, with its poor soil and drought. It makes them develop highly potent features. The flavors and aromas are strong and also they have high in beneficial phenols, tannins, and essential oils.
The information on this page is not to be taken as medical advice and not as an intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health concern or condition you should consult a physician.
Calendula – Calendula Officinalis
Calendula can be taken orally, but more popularly it’s applied topically. This flower has become popular in many natural health and skin care products such as lotions, shampoo… It has also been known to help with a variety of health issues, is a powerful antioxidant and is among the strongest of antiviral herbs. It helps health issues like prevent muscle spasms, start menstrual periods, and reduce fever. It is also used for treating sore throat and mouth, menstrual cramps, and stomach and duodenal ulcers.
Chamomile – Marticaria Chamomila
Chamomile has been used as a traditional medicine for thousands of years to calm anxiety, digestion woes, and insomnia. The oil might help with skin irritation and wound healing. It’s best known as an ingredient in herbal tea and also used as a flavoring in other foods and drinks.
Fennel – Foeniculum Vulgare
Fennel’s dried ripe seeds and oil are used to make medicine. It’s used for various digestive problems including heartburn, intestinal gas, bloating, loss of appetite, and colic in infants. It is also used for upper respiratory tract infections, coughs, bronchitis, cholera, backache, bedwetting, and visual problems. Some women use fennel for increasing the flow of breast milk, promoting menstruation, easing the birthing process, and increasing sex drive.
In foods and beverages, fennel is used as a flavoring agent It’s also used as a flavoring agent in certain laxatives, and as a fragrance component in soaps and cosmetics.
Lemon Balm – Melissa Officinalis
The best-known balm plant is Melissa officinalis, also called balm gentle or lemon balm. It’s used in teas, cooking and to make Melissa essential oil. Lemon balm has been prescribed by doctors since the Middle Ages as a natural remedy to improve sleep, reduce anxiety, heal wounds and promote longevity.
In foods and beverages, the extract and oil of lemon balm are used for flavoring such foods as salads, soups, sauces, and stuffing, and as a flavoring in liqueurs, wine, and fruit drinks.
Marjoram – Origanum Majorana
It is used in pharmaceutics, cooking, and perfumery. The essential oil is well-known for its ability to calm the nerves, improve circulation and protect the heart. It is also used as a natural remedy for coughs, digestion, depression, migraines, headaches and nerve pain.
It is popular in kitchens the world over where it is added to various soups, stews, meat, vegetable dishes and often served as a hot drink with malotira (ironwort).
Mint – Mentha
The amazing health benefits of mint include improved digestion, weight loss, relief from nausea, depression, fatigue, and headache. It is also used in the treatment of asthma, memory loss, and skin care problems. Mint is a popular herb and a well-known mouth freshener and the market is full of products with a distinct minty flavor such as toothpaste, chewing gums, breath fresheners, candies, teas, balms, and oils.
In Greece, it’s used in many meat and vegetarian dishes. Due to its fresh taste, the mint extract is popularly paired with chocolates, cakes, cookies, and ice creams.
Nettle – Urtica Dioica
Nettle has been used for hundreds of years to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia. Today, many people use it to treat urinary problems during the early stages of an enlarged prostate. It is also used for urinary tract infections, hay fever, or in compresses or creams for treating joint pain, sprains and strains, tendonitis, and insect bites.
In food, it’s best to use the young leaves. They can be steamed and cooked much like spinach in nettle soup or added to other soups and stews. Nettle can also be puréed and used in recipes like polenta, green smoothies, salads, and pesto. Don’t eat the leaves raw because they will still have the stinging hairs until they are dried or cooked.
Oregano – Origanum Vulgare
Oregano is a culinary and medicinal herb from the mint family. It has been used in medicine and cooking for thousands of years. The name comes from the Greek words “oros” meaning mountain, and “ganos” meaning joy. It can be found in rocky and sunny places. It is used as an appetizer, antiseptic, sedative for toothaches and stomachache and its essential oil is widely used in perfumery.
It’s the basic aromatic plant of the Mediterranean cuisine used for roast meat and fish or sprinkled over for instance salad and feta cheese.
Rosemary – Rosmarinus Officinalis
Rosemary is a member of the mint family Rosemary is a fragrant evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean. The most interesting health benefits of rosemary include its ability to boost memory, improve mood, treat Alzheimer’s, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and protect the immune system. The herb also helps stimulate circulation, detoxify the body, protect the body from bacterial infections, prevent premature aging, and heal skin conditions.
The herb not only tastes good in culinary dishes with chicken, goat, and lamb, but it is also a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin B-6.
Sage – Salvia Officinalis
Sage has one of the longest histories of use of any culinary or medicinal herb. It’s used for digestive problems, including loss of appetite, gas, stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, and heartburn. It is also used for reducing overproduction of perspiration and saliva; and for depression, memory loss, and Alzheimer’s disease. Women use sage for painful menstrual periods, to correct excessive milk flow during nursing, and to reduce hot flashes during menopause. Sage tea is good for a sore throat and it also makes a great base for your herbal foot bath for feet that have an odor due to excessive sweating.
Sage goes well with pork, beef, duck and chicken recipes, and fatty meats in particular. In Italy, it is commonly chopped, mixed with melted butter and served stirred into pasta or gnocchi.
St. John’s Wort – Hypericum Perforatum
It is known for over 2500 years for its healing properties to the Greeks, Egyptians, Indians, Arabs, and Persians. St. John’s wort has been used in the treatment of anxiety, mild to moderate depression, stomach upset, insomnia, fluid retention, and hemorrhoids. It has also been used topically in the treatment of nerve and muscle pain, skin inflammation, skin wounds, and burns.
Thyme – Thymus Vulgaris
Thyme is an herb with culinary, medicinal and ornamental uses. It’s thought to have antifungal, antibacterial, insecticidal, and possibly antifungal properties. The flowers, leaves, and oil of thyme have been used to treat bedwetting, diarrhea, stomach ache, arthritis, colic, sore throat, cough, including whooping cough, bronchitis, flatulence, and as a diuretic, to increase urination.
Thyme is often included in seasoning blends for poultry and stuffing and also commonly used in fish sauces, season soups, sauces, and braises. It also makes a welcome addition to potatoes, rice dishes, vegetables and even fresh bread. And it pairs well with other Mediterranean herbs like oregano and marjoram.
Tilio – Tilia
This has a long history of use in European herbal tradition. It is well known as a relaxing herb for nervous tension. Since the Middle Ages, the flowers have been primarily used as a diaphoretic to promote sweating. They have also been used for its ability to improve the immune system, prevent certain forms of cancer, calm and detoxify the body, eliminate anxiety, lower inflammation, and lower blood pressure.
They make a great lettuce substitute in salads or sandwiches. The flowers can be eaten raw but more commonly are made into a tea, they are also a very popular flower for honey bees.
Verbena – Verbena Officinalis
Verbena is used for sore throats and respiratory tract diseases such as asthma and whooping cough, and for chest pain. It’ also used for depression, gallbladder pain, arthritis, gout, metabolic disorders, anemia, fever, and recovery after fever. Other uses include treatment of pain, spasms, exhaustion, nervous conditions, digestive disorders, liver and gallbladder diseases, and kidney and lower urinary tract disorders. Women use verbena for treating symptoms of menopause, irregular menstruation, and increasing milk flow if breastfeeding.