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National Herb Day (1st Saturday in May)
Check out the weird holiday National Herb Day on the 1st Saturday in May. Learn the history of National Herb Day and get ideas to celebrate.
One weird holiday on the first Saturday in May is National Herb Day. Check out the other weird May holidays!
Herbs have played an essential role in human history for thousands of years. These aromatic plants have contributed not only to our culinary experiences but also to our health and well-being.
National Herb Day is a special occasion dedicated to celebrating the rich tapestry of herbs and their influence on our lives. It’s a day to explore the multifaceted world of herbs, from their diverse culinary uses to their potent healing properties.
Join us in this journey through the captivating realm of herbs as we commemorate National Herb Day.
When Is National Herb Day?
National Herb Day is typically celebrated on the first Saturday in May each year. The date can vary slightly from year to year, so it’s a good idea to check the specific date for the current year if you plan to participate in any National Herb Day events or activities.
Here are the dates for National Herb Day for the upcoming years:
May 6, 2023
May 4, 2024
May 3, 2025
May 2, 2026
May 1, 2027
May 6, 2028
May 5, 2029
May 4, 2030
May 3, 2031
May 1, 2032
Please note that these dates are for the first Saturday in May, when National Herb Day is typically celebrated.
Who Invented National Herb Day?
National Herb Day was not invented by a single individual but rather established as an annual observance by herb enthusiasts, organizations, and herbalist communities. It serves as a day to promote the many uses and benefits of herbs, including their culinary, medicinal, and cultural significance.
Various herb-related organizations and groups around the world have embraced this observance, organizing events, workshops, and activities to celebrate herbs and their role in our lives.
While it may not have a single inventor, National Herb Day has become a valuable opportunity for herb enthusiasts and educators to share their knowledge and passion for herbs with the public.
The Healing Power of Herbs
Herbs have been used for centuries as natural remedies for various ailments. Traditional healers, often referred to as herbalists, have relied on the knowledge passed down through generations to harness the therapeutic potential of herbs. These healing practices are not limited to one region or culture; they can be found across the world.
Chinese Traditional Medicine, Ayurveda from India, Native American medicine, and European herbalism all recognize the profound influence that herbs can have on our well-being.
The Culinary Delights of Herbs
Herbs are a fundamental component of many world cuisines. The use of herbs in cooking can be traced back to ancient times. In ancient Greece, for example, the use of herbs like oregano, thyme, and bay leaves was prevalent in culinary practices.
The Roman Empire also had a rich culinary tradition that incorporated herbs, particularly with dishes like “garum,” a popular fish sauce that was flavored with herbs and spices.
The Versatility of Herbs in the Kitchen
Herbs can be used in various forms in the kitchen, each offering its unique flavor profile. Some common forms of herbs in culinary use include:
Fresh Herbs: These are the leaves, stems, or flowers of the plant, used in their natural state. Fresh basil, cilantro, and parsley are prime examples.
Dried Herbs: Drying herbs is a way to preserve their flavor for extended use. Dried rosemary, thyme, and sage are staples in many spice racks.
Ground Herbs: Some herbs are ground into powder to create seasoning blends. Ground cumin, coriander, and paprika are examples.
Herbal Oils: These are created by infusing oils with herbs like basil, rosemary, or thyme, adding depth to salad dressings, marinades, and more.
Herbal Vinegars: Vinegars infused with herbs, such as tarragon, chives, or dill, can provide a tangy, aromatic element to dishes.
Herbal Teas and Tisanes
Herbs make for soothing and aromatic teas, which are enjoyed for their flavor as well as their potential health benefits. Herbal teas, also known as tisanes, are caffeine-free and can be served hot or cold. Some popular herbal teas and their benefits include:
Chamomile Tea: Known for its calming properties, chamomile tea is often consumed to relax and promote better sleep.
Peppermint Tea: Peppermint tea can help with digestion and alleviate symptoms like bloating and indigestion.
Lavender Tea: Lavender is often brewed into tea for its soothing and stress-relieving qualities.
Ginger Tea: Ginger tea is believed to aid in digestion and reduce nausea, making it a common choice for those with upset stomachs.
Echinacea Tea: Echinacea tea is considered an immune system booster, particularly during cold and flu seasons.
Gardening with Herbs
Whether you have a spacious garden or a few pots on a balcony, growing herbs at home can be a rewarding experience. Herbs are relatively easy to grow and can thrive in various environments. Some popular herbs for home gardening include:
Basil: Basil is a popular herb that can be grown in pots or garden beds. It’s perfect for making fresh pesto, adding to salads, or garnishing pizza.
Mint: Mint is known for its rapid growth, so it’s best to plant it in containers to prevent it from taking over your garden. It’s a versatile herb, excellent for making mint tea, adding to cocktails, or using in salads.
Rosemary: Rosemary is a fragrant herb that grows well in pots or in the ground. It’s fantastic for seasoning roasted meats and vegetables.
Parsley: Parsley is a versatile herb that can be used as a garnish, in salads, or to add flavor to a variety of dishes. It’s easily grown in containers.
Cilantro: Cilantro is a staple in many world cuisines, and it can be grown in containers or garden beds. It’s great for adding a fresh, citrusy flavor to salsas, curries, and more.
The Art of Herbal Medicine
Herbal medicine, also known as phytotherapy, has a long history in human health and healing. Practitioners of herbal medicine use plants and plant extracts to treat various health conditions. Here are some key aspects of herbal medicine:
Herbal Remedies: Herbalists create remedies using specific plants or plant parts. These remedies can take the form of tinctures, teas, capsules, salves, or poultices, depending on the ailment and the plant’s properties.
Holistic Approach: Herbal medicine often takes a holistic approach to health, considering not only the specific ailment but also the individual’s overall well-being. This approach is in line with the belief that a healthy body is more resilient against illness.
Traditional Knowledge: Herbal medicine often draws from traditional knowledge passed down through generations. Indigenous cultures, in particular, have a wealth of herbal remedies that have been used for centuries.
Safety and Regulation: While herbal medicine can be highly effective, it’s essential to use it responsibly. Herbal remedies should be used with caution, and consulting with a healthcare professional is advisable, especially when used in combination with other medications.
National Herb Day Today
Today, National Herb Day is celebrated in various ways, from herb-themed festivals and farmers’ markets to educational workshops on herb cultivation and usage. The day serves as a reminder of the importance of herbs in our lives, from their culinary use to their potential health benefits. It’s an occasion to explore the rich tradition of herbal medicine and the diverse world of herbs in both practical and therapeutic contexts.
As we celebrate National Herb Day, it’s a perfect time to appreciate the beauty and versatility of herbs. Whether you’re sipping a cup of soothing chamomile tea, adding fresh basil to your pasta, or tending to a pot of rosemary on your windowsill, take a moment to savor the remarkable gifts of nature that herbs provide. Whether used for flavor, fragrance, or wellness, herbs enrich our lives in countless ways, and National Herb Day is an opportunity to honor their contributions to our health, culture, and cuisine.
Ideas for National Herb Day
Here are some ideas on you can celebrate National Herb Day, as well as learn more about the wide variety of herbs and their uses in our everyday lives.
If you prefer to source some of your food a little closer to home, you might be surprised to find out that no matter where you live, there is an abundance of edible greenery free for the picking. On National Herb Day, here are five easy ways to start urban foraging in your neighborhood today.
Basil is one of the hardiest and easiest to grow herbs for the summer garden. On National Herb Day, learn all about how to prune basil to get the biggest harvest in the neighborhood! Whether in a container or in your actual garden, basil can produce an amazing harvest with just one plant.
While it’s nice to have a well-stocked spice cabinet, some common herbs are better to use fresh than dried. For National Herb Day, let’s have a look at fresh basil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme and see what they can do for your plant-based dishes. You’ll find plenty of links to recipes here, too.
Herbs in Italian cooking have been used since ancient times. From the aromatic basil in traditional dishes to the rosemary and oregano that Italian cooks, these fresh herbs define the flavor profiles of Italian cuisine. While many grocery stores offer these herbs in dried form, nothing compares to using fresh, vibrant herbs to create your own seasoning blends, like homemade Italian seasoning, ensuring that Italian food remains true to its rich heritage. Learn how on National Herb Day!
The thing with herbs is that they do not grow year round outside (even in zone 9) and they are not always ready at the same time complimentary vegetables are ready. For National Herb Day, learn about the several different ways to preserve herbs. You can decide how to preserve them based on how you are going to use that herb.
Loose-leaf teas and expensive organic blends of tea are all the rage, but did you know there’s a cheaper (and more fun!) alternative? Most of the popular herbs used for herbal teas (better known as tisane) are actually a breeze to grow at home. On National Herb Day, learn about homegrown herbal tea blends, which are infinitely more fresh - that means more flavor as well as better health benefits.
Herbs are much easier to grow than many houseplants. It’s really true. All you need is a sunny, warm place and containers large enough for your plants to grow. For National Herb Day, read all about the argument for herbs.
Are you looking for a natural way to freshen up your home and add some delicious flavors to your cooking for National Herb Day? Look no further than indoor herb gardening! In this blog post, we’ll explore the best-smelling herbs to grow indoors and share some tips for cultivating and using them.
Fresh herbal tea can have a fantastic impact on your health and well-being. Fresh herbs can be brewed into an uplifting hot or cold tea. An all-rounder fresh herbal tea recipe included for you to make on National Herb Day.
What to do with leftover herbs? Have you ever purchased a bunch of fresh herbs, used just a small amount in a recipe, and then had the rest go bad? For National Herb Day, here are handfuls of options for delicious ways to use up the herbs leftover in your fridge.
Thyme is a versatile herb and a must-have in the kitchen. Its subtle flavor is perfect for seasoning a wide variety of foods such as meats, stews, vegetables, soups, and salad dressing. And you you can even make thyme tea for National Herb Day. If you have ever wondered what thyme tastes like and what to do with it, read on because you will find out about this popular herb.
If you love cooking with fresh culinary herbs, you will love how easy growing herbs indoors can be on National Herb Day. There is nothing like cutting your fresh herbs to add to your recipes! Here are some favorite fresh herbs you can grow indoors in your kitchen window!
There is nothing quite like the flavor that fresh herbs add to dishes. Take your home cooking to the next level on National Herb Day with this collection of cooking herbs that you can grow right in your backyard garden.
Herbs have been used for centuries as natural remedies for various ailments and conditions. For National Herb Day, learn about one of the most common uses for herbs: to treat insect bites and stings, such as wasp stings.
Preserve your harvest by learning how to freeze mixed fresh herbs and garden greens on National Herb Day! Find out what herbs you can include, and what you should leave out, so you can stash your freezer with a nutritious and flavorful Italian-inspired herb mix that can be used in lots of recipes. This method of freezing garden herbs can be prepared in less than 30 minutes!
Fresh dill, with its delicate leaves and irresistible aroma, holds the power to transform ordinary dishes into extraordinary culinary experiences. With the proper knowledge learned on National Herb Day, you will be able to prep, store and cook dill to best preserve its flavor and texture.
Drying your herbs by dehydrating them in your air fryer is ideal because it doesn't heat up the house (like the oven does) when it's hot, especially if you don't have air conditioning. It's also a convenient way to dry herbs, as it doesn't tie up your oven. Learn how on National Herb Day!
Mint is a widely used culinary herb that’s known for its fresh perky taste in foods and drinks. It’s also known for its medicinal properties and health benefits like improved digestion, relief from nausea, and possible weight loss. For National Herb Day, learn all about mint!
Common culinary herbs also convey gentle medicine, traditionally used for purposes that range from stomach upset and headaches to colic and liver ailments. On National Herb Day, here are ten common culinary herbs - learn how to use them and their medicinal qualities.
Herbes de Provence is a very delicious herb blend that can easily be found in most pantries, and in stores too! But if you're out on National Herb Day, then perhaps you will need some herbes de Provence substitutes to make your meals and snacks!