Herbal Folklore and Old-Fashioned Tips for Herbs

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Rosemary will give your herb garden a unique look while also adding flavor to your meals.

Natural Remedies with Herbs

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We all know that herbs make great companions in the garden and kitchen. Herbs also have a long history of being used as natural remedies—and many other more unusual uses, too! Read on …


Romans paid taxes with anise, and it was used in cough drops.

Anise seed steeped in milk is said to be a sleep-producing drink, but it is also quite likely that the warm milk alone would do the trick.


Precious to lovers in Italy and considered sacred in India. Many years ago, Italian men wore a sprig of basil to indicate their intended marriage. A cup of basil tea after dinner helps digestion. Ease a headache by drinking tomato juice blended with fresh basil. Learn to grow your own basil.


The Romans believed the herb to be an antidepressant, and ancient Celtic warriors took it for courage.


Caraway was used to scent perfumes and soaps. The Greeks used it for upset stomachs.


Eating a whole plant would cure hiccups; chervil was said to warm old and cold stomachs.


Bunches of chives hung in your home were used to drive away diseases and evil. Check out our Chive Growing Guide!


Romans made wreaths and garlands out of dill. Dill keeps witches away.


Bunches of fennel were used to drive off witches. It was used in love potions and as an appetite suppressant. Learn how to grow fennel.


It was thought to give strength and courage. Aristotle noted garlic’s use as a guard against the fear of water. It’s also been widely used against evil powers. Garlic is one of our favorite crops, too!


Chewing on a piece of the dried root will keep you awake. Lovage warms a cold stomach and helps digestion. Added to bathwater, it was believed to relieve skin problems.


The Greeks believed it could revive the spirits of anyone who inhaled it. At weddings, wreaths and garlands were made of marjoram.


It was believed to cure hiccups and counteract sea serpent stings. The Romans wore peppermint wreaths on their heads, and it was added to bathwater for its fragrance.


Used for “sour humours” that plagued old farmers. Also used for scorpion and spider bites.


Used for wreaths and funeral ceremonies. Believed to repel head lice and attract rabbits.


Rosemary in your hair will improve your memory. It will protect you from evil spirits if you put a sprig under your pillow. Grow your own rosemary!


It is thought to promote strength and longevity and is believed to cure warts. American Indians used it as a toothbrush. Anyone who has sage planted in the garden is reputed to do well in business.

Summer Savory

It was believed to be an aphrodisiac. Some thought it was a cure for deafness.


Put in shoes before long walking trips to give strength. It has been used to relieve toothache and as an antifungal.


Burning thyme gets rid of insects in your house. A bed of thyme was thought to be a home for fairies.


About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

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