I recently found out that I can actually grow tea in my own garden. “Camellia Sinensis” or the green tea plant is a variety that is used to produce green tea, oolong tea and black tea in China, India and some parts of Southeast Asia. The plant is a native of China, but grows well in tropical and sub-tropical zones. I stumbled upon this plant when I was scouring through some medicinal plants for sale at a local garden store. Gladly, I decided to buy one healthy plant for inclusion in my container garden collection.
About three months ago, a very thoughtful neighbor gifted me with a curry leaf plant (also known as murraya koenigii or bergera koenigii). Before this, I have never seen or used the curry leaves so I got a little curious about this flavorful and aromatic plant. The first thing I learned about the curry leaves is that it is just one of the many spices used to make the curry seasoning. The curry seasoning itself is a blend of different spices that include ginger, garlic, turmeric, pepper, cinnamon and a lot of other aromatic spice herbs. Next, I also learned that I could actually substitute it for bay leaves, giving my Filipino ‘adobo’ a curry leaf-flavored twist.
I had this herb for more than a year now and I have not found any practical use for it until recently. About two weeks ago, I had a mild headache which lingered for almost 2 days. As I didn’t want to take any off-the-counter drug yet, I thought of an herbal remedy which my mother had used to treat us with when we were kids– a peppermint rub. After gathering a bunch of fresh peppermint leaves, I crushed and mixed them with some baby oil. Then I rubbed a little bit of the mixture on my forehead. In a few minutes, the headache was gone.
If I were to rank herbs in terms of my difficulty in growing them, I would say rosemary is at the top of my list. This herb originated in the mediterranean region where there are usually mild winters and hot summers. In other words, the herb thrives best in very dry conditions. Here in the tropical Philippines, where the climate can be humid (yet extremely hot) during summer months, while very wet during the rainy season, I found it a challenge at the start to grow rosemary successfully in the Philippines.
I just love the smell of this beautiful, savory herb called “sage”. This herb actually grows quite well in our tropical weather here in the Philippines. I simply sprinkled a few seeds in a medium sized pot and they all germinated successfully. Sage has an intense flavor that only a few leaves are needed to flavor the entire dish. Read More