Zlatibor Mountain (Serbia) and the surrounding area have great choices of interesting, rare and medicinal herbs. Some of them are:
- Gentiana lutea (lincura) is good for stomach problems
- Teuricium montanum (trava iva, ivica, gorski cmilj) is an antiseptic which is good for stomach and intestine diseases.
- Achillea millefolium (hajducka trava) is medicinal and good for honey
- Thymus serpyllum (majcina dusica) has a calming and salutary effect
- Centarium erythraea (kicica) improves digestion
- Symphytum officiale (gaves) is for healing wounds and bone fractures
- Sorbus aucuparia (jarebika) is a nice decorative bush or tree
- Narcissus poeticus (narcis, zelenkada) is decorative meadow flowers, and many more ...
You don’t need to live on the mountain to be able to have fresh herbs. Most people have a sunny spot on their deck or patio for a pot of homegrown herbs. Use the natural benefits of these plants by creating a kitchen garden. They look good, smell good and herbs can also do you good. Anyone with a container and a bag of soil can grow herbs. Follow these simple steps:
- Sow seeds in a seed-starting mix in early spring. After the danger of frost is past, transplant seedlings outdoors to pots (with drainage holes) filled with all-purpose potting soil.
- Plant herbs where they’ll receive 6 or more hours of full sun each day. Indoors, a south or west facing window is best.
- Allow soil to dry between waterings. Most herbs dislike wet feet.
- Before the first fall frost, bring tender perennials, such as rosemary, oregano, thyme and marjoram - indoors for the winter. Use or freeze all annual herbs such as lemon basil.
You can have herbs every season: fresh, dried and frozen.
- Fresh: Just-picked herbs offer superior flavor. Chop fresh leaves, such a parsley, chives, dill and mint as you need them. Refrigerate leftover leaves in green plastic produce bags - these allow ethylene gas (which hastens decay) to escape.
- Dried: To dry herbs with essential oils, such as lavender, sage, thyme and rosemary, hang bunches secured with rubber bands upside down in a dry place. Store dried leaves in jars for up to a year.
- Frozen: Preserve the fresh flavors of herbs, such as parsley, basil and chives for later use by freezing them in ice cube trays. Place several leaves (or a spoonful of chopped leaves) in each cell, add water and freeze. Pop out cubes as needed for recipes.
The closer herbs are to the kitchen, the more you’ll use them. There are many ways to use them, such as:
- Adding herbs to salads. They give a better taste to a salad and helps to stimulate digestion. Some of them are also good for healthy skin, hair and nails.
- Making a herbal tea. Use either a sprig of fresh leaves or 2 tsp dried herbs. Add boiled water, cover and leave to brew for 5 minutes. Strain if necessary. Try rosemary to help boost your memory and mood.
- Fragrance your home with relaxing herbal scents. The easiest way is to add herbs such as mint, for example, to flower arrangements. Stand them on a sunny windowsill as the sun helps bring essential oils to the surface of the leaves.
More about herbs and spices.