Monday, November 2, 2009

Difference Saffron Stigmas And Saffron Flowers

We are proud to offer some of the finest Saffron products on the market today but some are a bit confused on our saffron products. Whenever Saffron is mentioned around cooking lingo the item being mentioned is our Saffron stigmas. Also here at and we sell Saffron flowers. The flowers also have used such as fabric dying and medicinal uses as well. Remember Saffron stigmas are the tiny thread like fibers in the center of the flower. These thread like stigmas of the Crocus sativus is a part of the Saffron flower. Saffron is the reddish-orange stigmas of a particular variety of crocus. The process of this spice is remarkable. About 200,000 dried stigmas from about 70,000 flowers are needed to produce just one pound.
Saffron is mainly bought for culinary purposes, a small pinch goes a long way, but today folks are coming back to it for herbal medicinal reasons. Saffron milk is becoming quite popular and can be bought in some local groceries today. The saffron milk is a flavorful, soothing drink that can be helpful in relieving cardia problems. To make it yourself, bring one cup of milk just to a boil, add a pinch of saffron, reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for two minutes. sweeten it with honey to taste and drink it once a day.
Be careful when purchasing saffron. It is sometimes adulterated with other spices. true saffron is expensive and has a deep orange to brownish red color. The redder the strands, the better the quality. Yellow saffron has no curative properties. Choose whole saffron threads over powder saffron. The threads have a better flavor and the curative qualities are higher. When you store saffron, store in an airtight container in a dark, cool place. Don't let it get damp or you will end up losing it all together. Don't add saffron threads directly to foods, the flavor is better distributed when the spice is first allowed to soften in a little warm water. Wait until the water takes on a yellow color and then add it to your dish. Plus use it sparingly. Adding too much can produce a bitter taste and it has been known a large dosage can make a person feel ill, and more than 1/3 oz. can be fatal.

Have A Great Day!
Try The World's Best Saffron Today!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Organic Garlic Spice - You Can Taste The Difference!

One taste of our organic certified fresh dried garlic spices and we guarantee you too will smell and taste the difference than that of supermarket variety choices. Here at and you will find nothing but the best of the best for all your top chef herbs and culinary spices. We stock over 700 herbs and spices in our climate controlled and light controlled rooms for your cooking and diet pleasures. Take the taste challenge today! We offer several choices of organic certified and all natural garlic such as minced garlic, granulated garlic, garlic fine powder, and toasted garlic!
Garlic not only tastes great to most, it's very good for your body too. It is one of Mother Nature's most precious gift to cooks of all levels of expertise. yet it is actually a member of the lily family and a cousin to onionss, chivess, and shallotss. The edible bulb or head of garlic is composed of smaller cloves. It is a root crop, with the bulb growing underground. Garlic crops are harvested in mid-July and hung in sheds to dry before reaching their prime in late-July/early-August. There are over 300 varieties of garlic grown worldwide. American garlic, with its white, papery skin and strong flavor is one of the most common varieties. Italian and Mexican garlic, both of which have pink- to purple-colored skins, are slightly milder-flavored varieties. Elephant garlic (allium scorodoprasum), which has very large, extremely mild-flavored cloves, is not a true garlic, but a closer relative to the leek.
STORING GARLIC - Commercially, garlic is stored near 32 degrees F. However, most home refrigerators are too warm for ideal long-term storage of garlic. Instead, store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place in well-ventilated containers such as mesh bags. Storage life is 3 to 5 months under cool (60 degree F) dry, dark conditions.
PEELING GARLIC CLOVESPeeling whole cloves requires that the papery skin be removed without cutting into the clove. If the garlic is going to be chopped or sliced., the skin can be removed by pressing the clove with the flat side of a knife until the clove and skin crack. The skin can then be easily removed.
ROASTING GARLICRoasted garlic, which has become popular in recent years, is sweet to the taste and is delicious on bread or crackers as an appetizer or served as a vegetable side dish. To prepare roasted garlic, leave the head whole and cut off the tip of the head, exposing the cloves. Allow one-half to one head per person. Put the head (or heads) in a baking dish or wrap them in aluminum foil, sprinkle with olive oil or pat with butter, and season with a little salt and pepper and some fresh or dried thyme if desired. Bake at 350 degrees F until very soft and tender (about 45 minutes to 1 hour). The roasted garlic cloves can be easily squeezed from their skins and spread with a knife.
FREEZING GARLICGarlic can be frozen in a number of ways.1. Chop the garlic, wrap it tightly in a plastic freezer bag or in plastic wrap, and freeze. To use, grate or break off the amount needed.2. Freeze the garlic unpeeled and remove cloves as needed.3. Peel the cloves and puree them with oil in a blender or food processor using 2 parts oil to 1 part garlic. The puree will stay soft enough in the freezer to scrape out parts to use in sautéing. Freeze this mixture immediately - do not store it at room temperature. The combination of the low-acid garlic, the exclusion of air (by mixing with oil), and room-temperature storage can support the growth of Clostridium botulinum.
DRYING GARLIC - Dry only fresh, firm garlic cloves with no bruises. To prepare, separate and peel the cloves. Cut in half lengthwise. No additional predrying treatment is necessary. Dry at 140 degrees for 2 hours, then reduce heat to 130 degrees until completely dry or crisp. If desired, garlic salt may be made from dried garlic. Powder dried garlic by processing in a blender or food processor until fine. Add 4 parts salt to 1 part garlic powder and blend 1 to 2 seconds. If blended longer, the salt will become too fine and cake together in clumps.
STORING GARLIC IN WINE OR VINEGAR - Peeled cloves may be submerged in wine or vinegar and stored in the refrigerator. A dry white or red wine is suggested; white or wine vinegars also work well. The garlic/liquid should be kept for about 4 months in the refrigerator. Discard both the cloves and the liquid if there are signs of mold or yeast growth on the surface of the wine or vinegar. The garlic-flavored liquid and the garlic cloves may be used to flavor dishes. Do not store the garlic/liquid mixture at room temperature because it will rapidly develop mold growth.
STORING GARLIC IN OIL - Extreme care must be taken when preparing flavored oils with garlic or when storing garlic in oil. Peeled garlic cloves may be submerged in oil and stored in the freezer for several months. Do not store garlic in oil at room temperature. Garlic-in-oil mixtures stored at room temperature provide perfect conditions for producing botulism toxin (low acidity, no free oxygen in the oil, and warm temperatures). The same hazard exists for roasted garlic stored in oil. At least three outbreaks of botulism associated with garlic-in-oil mixtures have been reported in North America.
By law, commercially prepared garlic in oil has been prepared using strict guidelines and must contain citric or phosphoric acid to increase the acidity. Unfortunately, there is no easy or reliable method to acidify garlic in the home. Acidifying garlic in vinegar is a lengthy and highly variable process; a whole clove of garlic covered with vinegar can take from 3 days to more than 1 week to sufficiently acidify. As an alternative, properly dried garlic cloves may be safely added to flavor oils.

Our favorite simple to make garlic chicken recipe! A great quickie meal! Some garlic chicken recipes involve roasting a whole chicken. That's great - if you've got both the time and enough people to eat the chicken! This simple garlic chicken recipe uses chicken breast and serves two. It makes a quick and easy garlic chicken supper.

1/2 oz (15gm) Butter
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
As always, adjust garlic according to taste
2 Chicken Breasts
1/2 Pint (280 ml) Chicken Stock
Salt and Pepper
Handful fresh Parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp Natural Yoghurt

Trim the chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Melt the butter in a pan, add the olive oil. Add the chopped onions and cook gently until soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.
Add the chicken pieces to the onion and garlic mixture and brown on all sides.
Add the chicken stock, season with salt and pepper to taste and add the chopped parsley. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down to minimum and leave gently cooking - uncovered - for about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken pieces and keep warm. Turn up the heat and reduce the liquid by about half. Remove from the heat and stir in the yoghurt.
Serve the garlic chicken with mashed potato, your favourite veg and the garlicky sauce.

Thanks to all who contributed to this article!

Stephen C. Sharp

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cumin Herb - Member Of The Carrot Family!

Happy Tuesday from our Florida Herb House!

It is a cloudy humid day with chance of rain all day here in Daytona Beach, Fl. Today we have picked Cumin as a blog topic for our spice of the month. One of our top selling herbs for the month of July is our Cumin seeds and powder. We have moved about 39 Lbs of cumin this month and climbing. We think summer brings a higher acquisition rate for cumin than in other seasons.
Cumin has been compared to that of Turmeric and Caraway for its aromatic and flavor qualities. The similarity ends there. Cumin seed is handpicked & dried before use, it grows on a delicate plant, similar to fennel. Tumeric on the other hand is a dried rhizome. The plant bears a similarity to ginger. Tumeric is boiled to intensify the yellow colour , then it is dried and powdered. Cumin is a relative of fennel and caraway but has a slightly bitter taste, and is often seen in curries and Mexican dishes, but also in some cheeses and as an herb in some digestive schnapps.
Our organic certified cumin seeds and cumin powder comes direct from premium growers in Turkey. The technical name for Cumin is Cuminum cyminum. Cuminum cyminum, Should not be confused with black cumin, the Chinese medicinal herb, or sweet cumin, better known as fennel, or caraway. Cumin is the seed of a small plant in the carrot family. Pungent, sharp, and slightly sweet, the greenish brown powder of this herb is an essential ingredient in Mexican cuisine.
Cumin is a great source for iron! Cumin seeds have traditionally been noted also as beneficial to the digestive system, and scientific research is beginning to bear out cumin's age-old reputation. Research has shown that cumin may stimulate the secretion of pancreatic enzymes, compounds necessary for proper digestion and nutrient assimilation.
Ground cumin should be kept in an air-tight container. Add to cooking in moderation; the pungency of cumin can overwhelm other flavors in a dish. Be forewarned that cumin stimulates the appetite and may increase lactation in nursing mothers.
All in all when using cumin from and remember that our herbs are pure and natural and when noted "Certified Organic" which means you get the best unrefined herbs ever. Cumin should be used in small amounts as when used excessively can overpower other herbs. Enjoy a cup of cumin and honey tea today! Below is our favorite cumin chili recipe that must be tried with our organic cumin!

1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
3 1/3 cups canned whole tomatoes with their juice (one 28-ounce can), broken up
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 1/3 cups drained and rinsed canned pinto or kidney beans (one 15-ounce can)

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to moderate. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, oregano, salt, and black pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Add the beans and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender and the chili thickened, about 5 minutes longer.

Stephen C. Sharp

Monday, May 25, 2009

Oregano - The Minty Spice?

Happy Monday Bloggers!

As many herb experts know that oregano is truly a member of the mint family one can not help to wonder why it tastes nothing like "mint". Oregano is traditionally used in hundreds of recipes especially Italian cuisine as well as a great spice for soups and sauces. You can buy the freshest dried oregano right at our "Florida Herb House" in Port Orange, FL or online at or! We would love to see you!
Oregano which comes from about 35 plants is widely cultivated in Europe as a culinary herb. Oregano is an upright perennial herb, growing to about 30 inches but can reach heights of six feet. It has square, red stems, elliptical leaves, and clusters of deep pink flowers. It thrives in chalky soils near the sea, and is gathered when in flower during the summer.
Marjoram is a woody perennial herb native to countries bordering the Mediterranean, but now widely cultivated, especially in Germany. Depending on the area of cultivation, there may be two crops per year. It grows to about twenty inches, having aromatic, light green, oval leaves and pinkish white flowers emerging from the upper leaf axils. The leaves have a mild sage-like flavour.
The oregano plants are well known food seasonings, as well as having a long history as medicinal plants. In China, they have long been used to treat fever, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Oregano was much used by the ancient Greeks, and had a more significant role in medicine than did marjoram.
The 18th century herbalist, K'Eogh described it as having a "hot, dry nature" considered good for stomach pains and the heart as well as for coughs, pleurisy, and "obstructions of the lungs and womb", and thought to be a "comfort" to the head and nerves.
In 1597, the herbalist John Gerard made an assessment of marjoram, saying that it was a remedy "against cold diseases of the brain and head" including that of toothaches. It was also thought to lower the sex drive.

Monday, March 30, 2009

All Natural Cilantro And Cilantro Powder For Your Recipes!

Happy Monday Bloggers!

From all your health nuts here at herb and spice headquarters and we welcome you to our blog. April we hope will bring more spice business in as the spring approaches and the outdoors become active again with picnics, parties, and fun filled festivals! With all these come of course what else.... Food, Food, and more Food. With food comes chefs be it beginners or the most seasoned cook out there (No Pun Intended). With cooking comes new recipes and wit new recipes comes our spices. With now over 600 specialty organic certified and natural herbs and culinary spices we are excited to welcome to our herb house our newest member Cilantro and Cilantro Powder!

We have been unable to get a quality cilantro spice that passes all our quality and taste tests but we have finally found one and expect it on our shelves by mid April 2009. So for those who have little or know real knowledge of this award winning spice lets talk about it!

Our good friend Branford who makes his own line of marinades, hot sauces, and barbecue sauces recently came out with a new cilantro sauce. We must say that is tasted better than it sounded and we wish Branford from BranfordsOrginals web site great success with this new creation!

Cilantro is from the parsley family but has an entirely different taste so we try not to use the two terms together much. Two terms that can be used together are corainder and cilantro. Actually the leaves from the corainder herb plant are called cilantro. The corainder plant that develop more slowly produce the leaves we harvest as cilantro. The plants that are allowed to develop longer have their seeds used as corainder seeds.

Cilantro is very popular in Mexico, Asia, and Italy as a garnish for delicious salsa, sauces for chicken and pork, and other great cuisines. Cilantro is usually added to recipes at the end to preserve its flavor.
Below is our favorite cilantro recipe!


4 pork chops, trimmed of excess fat

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped and divided

1/2 red onion, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided

2 teaspoons chili powder, divided

2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped

Heat vegetable oil in large non-stick skillet. Rub pork chops with salt and pepper. Place on hot skillet. Sear each side 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, place half of the chopped cilantro, red onions, half the cumin, half the chili powder, and salt and pepper in bottom of crockpot. Place seared pork chops on top. Place chopped tomatoes, remaining cilantro, remaining cumin, remaining chili powder, and salt and pepper on top of pork chops. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours. Serve with Spanish flavored rice and steamed broccoli.

Have A Spicy Day!


Stephen C. Sharp



Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fenugreek Seed Powder - March Herb Of The Month

Happy Thursday Bloggers!

With this crazy recession and other horrible events occurring real time we pray for all who are suffering during these very hard times. Our sales at our nutrition wholesale discount stores,, and are down but we are working extra hard to weather this nasty economical storm.

For March Fenugreek has won our approval for our best selling herb. We have moves several hundred pound of this fantastic herb off our shelves this month. For those who are focusing their attention on health and well-being as so many are during these troubled times we are here to help you with any question you may have about our 700+ herbs, spices, seaweeds, seasonings, tinctures, and more!

We believe the rise in Fenugreek sales are due in part to many people simply switching to all natural health and healing alternatives. The maple aroma and flavor of fenugreek has led to its use in many baked goods, chutneys, confections, and imitation maple syrup. For culinary purposes, seeds are ground and used in curries. Young seedlings and other portions of fresh plant material are eaten as vegetables. The plant is quite nutritious, being high in proteins, ascorbic acid, niacin, and potassium.

Fenugreek is also used as a livestock feed. Fenugreek is generally recognized as safe for human consumption as a spice or natural seasoning and as a plant extract. Fenugreek also appears to be the herb that is most often used to increase milk supply. It is an excellent galactagogue, and has been used as such for centuries. Mothers generally notice an increase in production 24-72 hours after starting the herb, but it can take two weeks for others to see a change. Dosages of 3000mg-4000mg's per day are common. One way to determine if you're taking the correct dosage is to slowly increase the amount of fenugreek until your sweat and urine begin to smell like maple syrup. If you're having problems with any side effects, discontinue use.

Fenugreek can be used either short-term to boost milk supply or long-term to augment supply and/or pumping yields. There are no studies indicating problems with long-term usage. Per Kathleen Huggins "Most mothers have found that the herb can be discontinued once milk production is stimulated to an appropriate level. Adequate production is usually maintained as long as sufficient breast stimulation and emptying continues"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Buy Coriander For Your Diet!

Hello Bloggers!

Happy Sunday to all! Go Cardinals! Anyway just a quick note on one of our very popular spices Coriander.

Did you know that Coriander was one of the first known spices to be used in the world? Yes it is one of the oldest documented spices in use today! Imagine if that little plant could talk! :-) We use Corainder in many of our recipes as well as sell lots of it in our herb store. We sell the organic Coriander powder here for $8.99 per pound. It comes packed in our reusable and resealable foil flavor savor bags.

The powdered version is used often for diet drinks believe it or not. Yes you can maybe help shed a few pounds with a fresh health smoothie with Coriander. Sounds funny though I will say! Try your next veggie or fruit smoothie with a little Coriander, Cinnamon, and Green Tea! Get all your specialty herbs and spices organic and all natural at or! We would love to talk to you!

Coriander is from the carrot and parsley plant family. It is actually called Chinese Parsley to many. The seeds and leaves can be eaten but they have different tastes. Coriander is quite nutritious, being rich in Vitamin C, calcium phosphorus and beta carotene. Research carried out in the United States suggests that Coriander may be beneficial for lowering blood-cholesterol. In lab experiments carried out with diabetic mice, Coriander also showed the effect of lowering blood sugar level. Coriander even contains antibiotic substances that can prevent some forms of food poisoning.


Stephen C. Sharp

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gourmet Cooking With Allspice At The Florida Herb House

Allspice should be renamed "MoSpice" or maybe "HeavenSpice" or even "FavSpice". Of all the hundreds of wholesale herbs and spices in our huge store at www.SharpWebLabs com and the one that we sell the most of around winter and holiday season is Allspice. What is it with this spice? Everyone seems to "ahhh" and "ooooohh" when they get a good whiff of our fresh organic Allspice herb or powder. The funny thing is so many do not even know where allspice comes from or what plant it belongs to. Well here we go:

Allspice is the unripened fruit of a small evergreen tree called Pimenta Dioica. The berries are picked from the tree and sun-dried into pea-size balls with a dark, brownish-red color. Contrary to popular belief, allspice is not a blend of "all spices." It does however, have a naturally inherent sweet and spicy flavor reminiscent of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and hot pepper. The pungent spice is one of the most important ingredients of Caribbean cuisine where it's used in Jamaican jerk seasoning and soups, stews and curries. Allspice is also a common ingredient in cakes, cookies and pies as well as ketchup, pickles and sausage.

Allspice is the only spice that is grown exclusively in the Western Hemisphere. The evergreen tree that produces the allspice berries is indigenous to the rainforests of South and Central America where it grows wild. Unfortunately the wild trees were cut down to harvest the berries and few remain today. There are plantations in Mexico and parts of Central America but the finest allspice comes from Jamaica where the climate and soil are best suited to producing the aromatic berries.

Store in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place. Ground allspice stays fresh for up to six months. Whole berries last up to a year.

Allspice is worthy addition to your spice rack as it complements a wide variety of sweet to savory recipes. Try adding whole berries to chicken and pork marinades or simmering stews and pot roasts. Mix ground allspice with ground beef for more flavorful hamburgers and meatloaf, or simply add a pinch to your barbecue and tomato sauces. Allspice can also give a distinctive touch to desserts like applesauce, angel food cake and oatmeal cookies.

Substitution Tips: One teaspoon of ground allspice is equivalent to approximately five whole berries.• Use an equal amount of allspice as a substitute for cloves.• Substitute one teaspoon of allspice with 1/2 tsp cinnamon plus 1/2 tsp ground cloves OR 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves plus 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg.



Stephen C. Sharp

Starting Your Own Herb Garden - The Easy Herbs!

Happy Sunday Bloggers!

If you have had a chance to browse of huge inventory of over 500 premium and organic herbs and gourmet cooking spices at and then you must know how busy we are. For those of you wanting to try a little organic or non-organic herb growing of your own here are some helpful tip on good starter herbs by Kat Yares.

Herbs can be the easiest produce to grow organically. Like all organic gardens, an herb garden starts with good soil. Once you have achieved that, raising most herbs will be a piece of cake. Herbs can be planted outdoors in smaller spaces than a vegetable garden would take. Many herbs can also be grown in containers, which can be brought inside at the end of regular growing season for a year-round harvest.

Preparing for an herb garden is basically the same as preparing for any other type of organic garden. First, enrich the soil by adding compost or other organic nutrients. Second, choose strong seedlings or if planting by seed, thin the young plants to allow for optimum growth. Third, use mulch to control weeds. Fourth, use only organic pesticides and companion planting to deter the insect population.

Below, I’ve listed ten popular cooking herbs along with the best conditions for growing them and the best times to harvest.

Basil - This annual plant grows to a height of about two feet. It prefers full sun and rich soil. Basil should be planted where it has some protection from strong winds. Basil can be harvested when the plant has first reached full growth. Clip leaves and stems from the top three or four inches of the plant. Using this method will allow for several harvests over the growing season.

Chives - This perennial is best grown in clumps and at maturity will reach a height of approximately 18 inches. Chives thrive in full sun and heavily nurtured soil, so extra compost and mulch is necessary. Chives should be divided every year, so plan on extra space. Chives can be harvested at any time during the season, as the tender leaves are what are most often used in cooking.

Dill - Another annual that is also best grown in clumps. Reaching a height of around 3 feet, dill should be planted where they do not shade other plants. The leaves of the dill plant can be harvested during the growing season as needed, while the fruiting umbels are harvested when the fruit is fully formed but not yet brown.

Marjoram - Marjoram is a perennial that must be grown as an annual in areas where freezing is common during the winter months. Marjoram should be started from seed in peat pots or other growing medium in late winter and transplanted as early in the spring as possible to a permanent location outside. Marjoram grows to a height of between one and two feet. Harvest when the plants begin to bloom by cutting back several inches from the flower heads. Several cuttings can be made before season’s end.

Parsley - Parsley is a biennial, but the leaves of the plant can be harvested anytime during the first season once the plant has neared maturity. Parsley is slow to germinate, and the seed should be soaked overnight before planting in a partially shaded area.

Rosemary - A perennial plant that after a few years will become an ever producing shrub, with rosemary, you must take care to choose a location where it will have plenty of room to grow. Rosemary will grow in poor soil provided it is fertilized with ample lime and full sun. Harvest after the plant has reached full growth of approximately three foot tall.

Sage - Another perennial that should be started indoors in late winter and transplanted when two to three inches tall, sage is a great choice for your organic herb garden. Outdoors sage prefers full sun and sandy soil. Harvest the leaves before the plant blooms and again at the end of the growing season. Sage should be replanted every three or four years, as older plants tend to become woody.

Savory - An annual herb that prefers full sun and rich, mostly dry, soil. Savory can be harvested at any time during the season for immediate use. For drying, savory should be harvested by cutting the top six inches of the plant after is has flowered.

Thyme - A perennial that should be started indoors and transplanted when the plants reach two to three inches. Thyme does best in full sun and sandy, sweet soil and grows to around 18 inches in height. Harvest by cutting the top six inches from the plant when it is in bloom.

Oregano - Oregano is a perennial plant that grows to around 20 inches tall. Oregano is simple to grow provided it has full sun and fairly dry soil. Harvest a few leaves for immediate use once the plant has reached near maturity. For drying, harvest at the end of the season.

Most herbs can be used either fresh or dried. Chives are the exception, as they tend to lose their flavor when allowed to dry. Fulfill all your culinary needs and medicinal herb and spice needs at our huge store and! Over 1000 natural products on sale!

Kat Y.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Got Constipation? - Try Some Basil!

Hello Blogger Friends!

Today we want to talk a very powerful and common household herb called Basil. Most people have heard of and do have Basil in their spice cabinet but did you know that Basil can help with digestion and constipation? We sell more organic Basil cooking spice than most stores around and wish to share its little known secrets with you. If you want to try our fresh basil leaf then please navigate to our main stores at or

Did you know?
In India Basil seeds were used to help with diarrhea, mucous discharges, constipation, and as a general demulcent (soothes mucous membranes). The leaves were used for indigestion and skin disorders. In traditional Thai herbalism, the plant is used for coughs, skin disorders, and intestinal problems. The seed is used as a bulk-forming laxative and diuretic.

How much basil is usually taken?
A tea can be made by steeping 1 teaspoon of basil leaves in one cup of water for ten minutes. Three cups of this tea can be drunk per day. Capsules of basil can be taken in the amount of 2.5 grams per day. The volatile oil can be taken internally in the amount of 2 to 5 drops three times per day.

Are there any side effects or interactions with basil?
Although concerns have been raised about the possible cancer-causing effects of estragole, a component found in variable amounts in basil volatile oil, small amounts of basil would not seem to pose a significant threat. However, because some herbal books suggest that estragole may be potentially carcinogenic and has been thought to stimulate uterine contractions, some herbal experts feel it may be best for pregnant or breast-feeding women to avoid use of the herb, especially the volatile oil. People with serious kidney or liver damage should not use basil volatile oil internally, as they could theoretically have trouble eliminating it from their bodies. However, use of basil as a seasoning in food is unlikely to be of concern. At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions with basil.

Growing Your Own Basil:
Basil is a simple plant to grow, its only major requirements being full sun and frequent water. Its attractive scent and flavor has made it the most useful herb in my summer kitchen. Although most varieties are grown for their culinary uses, several varieties have compact habits or purple foliage and are useful as ornamental plants, too. Most garden centers sell transplants of basil (typically the Italian varieties bred for culinary use) in the spring. But to get the most interesting varieties, I start mine from seed indoors, four to six weeks before I plan to transplant them into the garden. I sprinkle the seeds on the surface of a soil less medium in small flats or seed-starting pans and cover them with plastic wrap. I keep the flats warm but out of direct sun. When the first seed sprouts, I remove the plastic and place the flat either in direct light or 2 to 3 inches below grow lights. Since basil seedlings cannot tolerate over watering, I don't water them the first day after removing the plastic, and I'm careful to allow the growing medium to almost dry out between watering's.

As the plants grow, feed them with a liquid fertilizer once a week. When the seedlings have developed their first set of true leaves, usually two to three weeks after germination, I transplant them into 2- or 2-1/2-inch pots. Two to three weeks later, I begin hardening off the plants, which means putting them outside during the day when temperatures are warmest to get them used to outdoor temperatures and weather. Eventually I will leave them outside overnight, but only when I'm sure there won't be any frost. Try some fresh organic BASIL LEAF today on sale at our super herb store or! Have a healthy day!

Kelly Oliver

Monday, January 19, 2009

Chia Seeds - Not Just For Chia Pets!

Hi Bloggers!

Well we have some extra time on this beautiful Monday so here are some extra blogs for your reading enjoyment. When people ask us at trade shows "Where Is The Chia Pet That Goes With The Chia Seeds?". Once we here that we know we have a bit of work to do passing on the wealth of knowledge on the many healthy ways that our naturally grown chia seeds can contribute to ones nutritional intake and well-being.

Our Chia Seeds which can be purchased in bulk at or are packed in our reusable foil bags for ease of use and maximum shelf life. What is a Chia Plant you ask? Chia and Sage are both from the Mint (Lamiaceae to be specific) family".

"Chia" is the Mayan word for endurance and strength. According to chia seed lore, Apache warriors would tie a bag of chia seeds to their belts to sustain them on the warpath. Aztec warriors, it is said, were sustained by chia seeds during their conquests. Chia seeds were so important to the Aztecs that they were accepted as legal tender. And they were a staple for Indians of the southwest, who depended on them, particularly on long treks to the west coast to trade with California tribes. Chia seeds when eaten supply your body which energy rich nutrients.

Chia seeds are high in, easily digestible protein, essential fatty acids, omega fatty acids, vitamins, soluble fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. Chia seeds have much in common with flax seeds, which have a deserved reputation as a super food. If you run down a comparative chart, you see a back and forth, with chia higher in some nutrients, flax higher in others. The clear advantage I see for chia seeds is that their natural antioxidants make them stable, whereas flax quickly becomes rancid.Like flax, chia seeds are highly hydrophilic, with the ability to hold about twelve times as much water as their own weight.

Chia contains the usual Vitamin C, ferulates and Vitamin E but the real secret is the Cinnamic acids that guard the omega-3 oils from oxidation. This is why chia is a stable product for years! With no gluten, virtually no sodium, nor reported allergic reactions, grown without pesticides or toxicants. Chia has a high energy to weight ratio (more than wheat, corn, rice or oats) that makes it a favorite choice of long distance runners and other athletics .

The Chia Diet? The gel-forming property of chia seed tends to slow digestion and sustain balanced blood sugar levels, which can be helpful in preventing or controlling diabetes. Whole, water-soaked chia seeds can be easily digested and absorbed. This results in rapid transport of chia nutrients to the tissues for use by the cells. Chia also facilitates the growth and regeneration of tissue during pregnancy and lactation, and aids the regeneration of muscles for conditioning athletes and bodybuilders. For the dieter, this means feeling full with no more peaks and valleys in blood sugar levels. Chia is an excellent supplier of fiber also!

The easiest way to reap the health benefits of our natural Chia Seeds is to simply mix one tablespoon of our seeds into one cup of water. Mix well until lumps are gone and drink (Enjoy!). This can be done 2-3 times per day. Also Chia Seeds can be sprinkled on just about any dish that say sesame or poppy seeds would be used on. Create you very own Chia Recipes and start enjoying the healthy nutrients that this ancient seed offers! Chant with us "Chia 4 Meah!".
Our fresh all natural Chia Seeds come direct from growers in Mexico and are ready to ship now.


Stephen C. Sharp - Organic Certified And All Natural Herbs And Spices - Over 500 Gourmet Cooking Spices And More! - Hand Poured Natural Bees Wax Candles - Bees Wax Lip Balms

Favorite Gourmet Cooking Spices - Garlic

Hello Blogger Friends!

First from all of us at and we would like to say Happy New Year to all! We are beginning this year with an in depth look at our favorite cooking spices and what they actually do for us.

One of my all time favorite spices ever is yes Garlic. While many may say YUCK or PUUUU when they smell garlic so many simply adore the taste and health benefits of garlic that they actually cook with it more often than any other spice except salt and pepper. Others actually take a separate garlic supplement every day.

Lets take a brief look at the garlic plant and how easy it is to grow:
Garlic is grown from the individual cloves. Each clove will produce one plant with a single bulb - which may in turn contain up to twenty cloves. Growing garlic is therefore self-sustaining.
When planting garlic, choose a garden site that gets plenty of sun and where the soil is not too damp. The cloves should be planted individually, upright and about an inch (25 mm) under the surface. Plant the cloves about 4 inches (100 mm) apart. Rows should be about 18 inches (450 mm) apart. It is traditional to plant garlic on the shortest day of the year. Whether this is for symbolic or practical reasons is unclear. Garlic is a very friendly plant and grows well planted with other flowers and vegetables.

Harvesting Your Garlic Crop:
As garlic reaches maturity, the leaves will brown then die away. This is the cue that it is time to harvest your garlic crop. If you harvest too early the cloves will be very small, too late and the bulb will have split.

Proper handling of garlic after it's been picked is almost as important as looking after it whilst it's growing. It's essential that garlic is dried properly, otherwise it will rot. The bulbs are often hung up in a cool, dry place. After a week or so, take them down and brush the dirt off gently - don't wash the bulbs at this stage.

Garlic Daily Intake Suggestions:
Garlic - 500 mg in concentrated form - equivalent to 1250 mg garlic bulk or half a clove of fresh garlic. Garlic has been used by healers for over 5000 years . Numerous studies have shown that garlic decrease triglyceride level by decreasing fat absorption. It also supports healthy blood pressure. Two of garlic's major compounds - allicin and ajoene - have been found to possess powerful actions that help the body boost its immune power. A natural herb that is non toxic.

The Many Benefits Of Garlic:

Garlic And Cancer: Population studies have revealed that eating garlic regularly, along with other alliums such as onions chives and scallions, may reduce the risk of oesophageal, colon and stomach cancer. This may be due to garlic’s ability to reduce the formation of carcinogenic compounds. Garlic’s sulfur compounds such as allicin and ajeone have been found to stop the growth of various cancers in animal laboratory studies, including skin, stomach, colon, breast and oral cancer. Garlic also contains the powerful antioxidant mineral selenium, known for its anti-cancer properties.

Selenium is used by our bodies to produce glutathione peroxidase. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant. There is preliminary evidence that it may be useful in the management of some cancers, atherosclerosis, diabetes, lung disorders, noise-induced hearing loss, male infertility and to detoxify or prevent toxic build-up in the body.

Garlic for the Heart: Garlic is renowned for its abilities to lower cholesterol and blood pressure naturally and protect against heart disease and stroke. Garlic has also been found to stimulate the production of nitric oxide in blood vessels aiding their dilation, and assist the body’s ability to dissolve blood clots. The antioxidant properties of garlic can also protect against cardiovascular disease by inhibiting the oxidation of bad cholesterol which would otherwise build up in artery walls. Further, folate in garlic is known to protect the cardiovascular system.

For the best in all garlic whether it be Organic Garlic Powder, Minced Garlic, Garlic Pepper, Garlic Capsules or any specialty cooking spices please see our in stock list of over 1000 herbs and organic spices at or

Sincerely Yours,

Carol K.

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