Friday, November 19, 2010

Tis' The Season To Season

Port Orange, FL (PrBuzz) November 19th, 2010 - The holidays are around the corner folks and whether it's spaghetti sauce, parsley potatoes, or your best apple pie being served up, the spices and seasoning you choose for your recipes can be the difference between a culinary masterpiece or a flop. The art of seasoning foods is one that develops with time and experience but even the most novice cook can still achieve greatness using the following golden guidelines for adding spices to any dish. After some time and experimenting you too will be able to season your foods to the "perfect taste" with your eyes closed. Remember even the most prominent chefs make mistakes, big ones too! Don't let this discourage you though. Luckily through the years, through trial and error, a standard set of culinary guidelines has been written to help any chef put the 'just perfect" taste into any recipe.

The first thing that any good cook will understand with spices is the broad differences in strength between fresh and dried herbs. Freshly picked herbs still have their full compliment of aromatic oils within the leaves. This makes them very strong in flavor. When that same leaf is dried though some of those flavoring oils will be lost during the drying process. This will happen to any herb/spice being dried. To help minimize these losses, some companies and spice importers are opting to "freeze dry" their herbs and spices or dry them under very low heat. Freeze drying is a process where a pressure chamber is used to remove moisture. Using precisely controlled temperatures and pressures, over 95% of moisture can be eliminated. The moisture content is removed through "sublimation" (a process where a solid transforms direct into a gas and skips the liquid stage - (i.e., ice turns into vapor)). So remember fresh herbs have more flavor than dried herbs BUT there is a catch to this as we will learn in the next paragraph.

So we know that dried herbs/spices lose some of their flavor and freeze drying is by far the best way to minimize losses during drying right? So what's the catch? Well although a freshly picked leaf will contain more aromatic flavoring oils then the same dried leaf what must be remembered is that during the drying the process moisture is removed. With the removal of moisture also lost is total weight. So less weight will mean it will take say 10 dried basil leaves to equal the same weight of 1 fresh basil leaf. It could very well take 50 pounds of fresh basil to produce only about 5-10 pounds of fresh dried basil. From this we can easily conclude that the dried herb/spice will be much more potent than the fresh one even though the fresh one is stronger. What??? Huh??? Okay you are maybe a little confused but maybe not. Just remember that you will always use considerably less dried spices than fresh spices in all of your culinary creations.

With that said now we can apply some simple guidelines when adding spices and seasoning. For hot foods it is wise to add your spices towards the end of the cooking time. Many spice flavors are destroyed when exposed to high heat. For cold recipes you can safely add the spices before preparing. If you ever add too much salt to a dish use a teaspoon of sugar to mask the extra salt. For dishes that come out to spice rich add a raw peeled potato to it. The potato will help soak up some flavor and hopefully save your recipe. If that does not work you can always whip up a second batch with no spices and then simply add that to the first batch. Now for adding the spices and seasoning there are some basic rules. For recipes that serve 1-2 people use no more than 1/8th teaspoon of any dried powders and 1/4th teaspoon for chopped spices, seeds, or granules. If you are adding fresh herbs/spices then 2 teaspoons should be the maximum amount added. For larger recipes that serve 4-5 people these measurements obviously are raised. For these size recipes use no more than 1/4 teaspoon dried powders and 1/2 teaspoon chopped, seeds, or granules. For fresh herbs/spices 4 teaspoons should suffice. Remember these tips and your next recipe should be a success! We would like to take a moment to give special thanks to everyone over at Florida Herb House in Daytona Beach, Florida. They were kind enough to lend their time and contribute to this article. You can visit them online at or or call them toll free (888) 476-9414 with your questions regarding herbs, spices, and seasoning.

Green People United
Florida Herb House
Port Orange, Florida 32128

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Natural Headache Herb Remedies Unveiled

Orlando, Fl (PrBuzz) November 17, 2010 - Everyone at one time or another has experienced the pounding pain of a headache. Headaches are the single most troubling symptom around the world affecting million of people each year. Headaches can appear in all different levels of severity and duration. Genetics do play a limited role in the who gets headaches and when, but anyone is vulnerable to a headache. A migraine is a severe headache that may occur every day or as little as once per year or so. The pain of a migraine headache can be so severe that one cannot even look at a source of light. Temporary loss of vision may occur also with this type of migraine. The underlying cause of migraine headaches is still a mystery in the medical field but research does still continue to unlock the answer. For a while it was thought that there was a connection between migraine and allergies but this theory was later discounted after inconclusive results. Attempts to connect migraine headaches to the regulation of seratonin (a chemical in the brain) also proved to be a dead end for unlocking the door to the cause. To fight headache pain naturally we turned to the Florida Herb House in Daytona Beach, Florida for some expert advice and to discuss the most favorable herbs that can be used as a remedy for headache and migraine pain. For this we were happy to talk to the owner of Florida Herb House; Stephen Sharp for his herb house's best headache remedies. We quickly learned of the family of four popular herbs that, when combined together and steeped as a tea, can help diminish the pounding pain of a headache naturally and powerfully. Please consult a doctor before beginning any type of exercise or health program.

The most popular four herbs used for natural headache relief are Chamomile, Feverfew, Ginger, and Lavender. The most powerful way to incorporate these into your very own all natural home headache remedy is to purchase 3-4 ounces of each herb and blend them all together. You can get several dozen cups of tea from just a few ounces of loose herbs. To make the tea boil a pot of water. After the water is at a rolling boil remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of the herb mix per each ounce of water. Steep the herbs for 5-7 minutes. Flavor with sugar or honey or as desired. Use as needed for natural headache pain support. You should be able to find the herbs mentioned at your local herb or natural food store or online at such stores as or

Chamomile Flowers - Chamomile, also known as "Roman Chamomile," "Garden Chamomile," and "whig Plant" is a perennial herb that blossoms with yellow flowers during the months of June and July. This gracious plant's flowers are used frequently for tea and other culinary creations. The flowers offer several health benefits and are used by many to soothe headache pain.

Feverfew Leaf - The feverfew herb is also a perennial herb that grows along roadsides. Feverfew can be found throughout Canada and points south along the East coast as far as Maryland. The leaves of the feverfew herb are used to make infusions and health tea.

Ginger Root - The ginger herb is a perennial plant that thrives in tropical and sub-tropical regions. The unique aroma of the ginger herb distinguishes it from other herbs. The root of the plant is used as a spice and also to make tea. Ginger root contains ingredients which may help with headache and migraine pain.

Lavender Flowers - The lavender herb grows as a shrub and is native to Europe and the United States. It is known for its pleasant and relaxing aroma. The stem of the lavender herb can grow up to 2 feet high and produces grayish green leaves. Lavender blossoms from July to September with purple flowers. These flowers are in used various applications and have been shown beneficial for headaches.

A. Sherwood

Green People United

Orlando, Florida

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Natural Acne Remedies Unveiled

Just hearing the word "zit" brings an uneasy feeling to oh so many. Acne has been a bothersome skin problem similar to that of the common lawn weed - without constant care it will return. Thanks to expert research and tips from Florida Herb House, a new all natural way to combat acne is now on the press. Using a relatively inexpensive herbal recipe cited here, acne problems may be on their way out the door without the use of potentially harmful prescription medicine.

Acne is a condition where the pores of the skin become clogged and inflamed. The are basically two types of pimples that developed from acne - "whiteheads" (open pimples), and "blackheads" (closed pimples). Acne is more common in teens during puberty but can occur in later years also. Acne can cause social problems too as a result of insecurity and the risk of being embarrassed. There has been no known link between diet and/or exercise with respect to acne.

Traditional remedies for acne include "over the counter" creams and salves. Some of the problem with these products are the ingredients that can cause discomfort of the skin and have possible unpleasing side effects with little or no benefit. Also, prescription medicines can be very costly. So with that said, we are left with the best option of all - the all natural approach. Natural remedies have been a part of society for thousands of years and until the birth of the big name drug companies, things were going pretty well. But in recent years more and more people are turning their cheek to pushy doctors and choosing to battle health problems using holistic and natural methods with compelling success. Below is the recipe for an all natural acne ointment sent to us by Florida Herb House in Daytona Beach, Florida. To purchase the three herbs needed for the ointment you can visit Florida Herb House in Florida, or online at, or Please consult your doctor or health care practitioner before beginning any exercise or health program.

Herb #1 Black Walnut Leaf - The leaf of the black walnut tree has been used as an all natural cleansing wash and acne remedy by many. The black walnut tree is a woody forest tree which thrives in the Eastern United States. The bark of the tree can be identified by its dark color and very rough texture. The antibacterial and cleansing properties of the leaf have been tested over the years.

Herb #2 Echinacea Leaf - The herb echinacea has been studied extensively for hundreds of years. It is one of the most popular herbs used for its medicinal and healing properties. Commonly referred to as the "narrow-leaved purple cone flower" and "sampson root" this herbaceous plant grows well in the prairie states. Echinacea is a perennial plant with a firm stem covered with small bristles. Its purple flowers bloom from June to October. It is widely used as a blood purifier and to naturally combat acne.

Herb #3 Strawberry Leaf - The strawberry plant, while known for its delicious red fruit, is actually classified as an herb due to its herbaceous (non-woody) composition. A perennial plant and found abundantly across the Eastern United States, this hardy herb grows well along roadsides and in open fields. Each leaf of the strawberry plant is divided into 3 smaller jagged tooth leaflets. The plant blooms with small white flowers from May-June. The leaves of this wonderful herb are sold in chopped form for various skin remedies such as acne and insect bites.

The best way to use these herbs is to combine all three together and crush them to a powder. About 4 ounces of each herb should be plenty for dozens of applications. After the dried leaves are finely ground, they are to be made into a topical ointment. To do this we use 1 part herbs combined with 4 parts lard. Lard is just a simple fat and can be bought at any supermarket. We then add 1 teaspoon of benzoin gum powder to preserve the fat content in the ointment. The benzoin powder can be bought at or or any reputable herb shop online. This will greatly extend the shelf life of the ointment. Some like to add cornmeal and/or petroleum jelly to the formula to change the texture and consistency. You may also elect to substitute cornmeal for the lard. We recommend against using the petroleum jelly as oily additives should be avoided when making any ointment for combating acne. Once your ointment is at the consistency and texture to your desire, find a small container to store in. Keep the ointment away from direct sunlight and heat. It is best to keep stored in your medicine cabinet properly labeled. We applied the formula once per night and them removed it in the morning. The results were impressive. A good rule of thumb is to discard the ointment -after one year.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

The World of Mushrooms - Morels to Magic

When you mention Florida Herb House many people think their exotic dried mushroom powders such as Morels, Chanterelle, Porcini, Lobster, Shiitake, Reishi and more. Chefs and food lovers around the globe flock to this little herb shop in South Daytona, Florida to pick up these hard to find gourmet mushrooms. Today we spoke with the owner of Florida Herb House, Stephen Sharp, and asked him what is the most common question asked about these great fungi. We were surprised to hear the answer. Stephen quotes, "Believe it or not, the question we hear all the time from people via email or over the phone are questions about the difference between our culinary dried mushrooms and hallucinogenic type mushrooms. Maybe they think since we sell over 15 types of mushrooms we have a knowledge of the other kind. We usually just refer people to the Internet to gather more information and also let them know that those mushrooms, whether found in the wild or not, are highly illegal in the USA."

So after being surprised about the number of times this questions is asked, we figured now would be a great time to address the topic of mushrooms. The mystery of mushrooms is an age old subject. How do some mushrooms end up being poisonous while some contain an abundance of health giving nutrients? Why will one type of mushroom make your spaghetti sauce a delight while another may send you to the emergency room? This is a question that has no definite answer but our general understanding of mushrooms over the last hundred years is deeper than ever. As of 2011, there will be over 6,000 different species of mushrooms which have been identified and named. Of these less than 1% are of the hallucinogenic type, otherwise known as the "Magic Mushroom". Be forewarned that this type of mushroom can be deadly and highly toxic to the human body.

In America there are about a dozen species of cultivated edible mushrooms. The remainder are classified as "toad stools" or poisonous mushrooms. The most deadly mushroom found in the USA is the "Amanita muscaria" or "Destroying Angel" mushroom. If you ever went for a stroll through the woods and came across a mushroom with a black cap with white spots - avoid it! It is safe to say that this is a mushroom from the deadly "Amanita muscaria" group. It is best to leave your mushroom shopping to the inside of your favorite supermarket or herb shop. Many deadly and psychedelic classes of mushrooms, during their early stages of growth, will look very much like the edible mushrooms found in stores. Never eat a wild mushroom unless it is positively identified as one of the edible varieties and even then it is best to leave it be. A great tip for identifying poisonous mushrooms is by looking under the mushroom cap for a small "skirt".

As far as hallucinogenic mushrooms which can also be very deadly and toxic the most common type is the "Fly Agaric" mushroom. As far back as the 1800's these mushrooms were used in rituals and ceremonies. This type of mushroom is illegal in the United States, and if you are caught with one of these you could end up in jail. Addiction to these mushrooms was so severe back in the 1800's that men and women actually would drink the urine from anyone who had eaten the mushroom. This made many people sick and even caused death among many due to the lack of proper medical care during those times. So why is it some types of mushrooms taste great in our soups and others can kill? Many botanists credit evolution to the science behind the chemical and cellular makeup of mushrooms. As soon as we can confidentially determine why the Truffle mushroom grows only underground, and why these types of fungi reproduce by sending spores through the air, then we will be able to unlock the mysteries which separate the poisonous hallucinogenic mushroom from our beloved edible species of mushrooms.

Florida Herb House is your home to over 20 fresh dried culinary mushrooms and mushroom powders. Make your next dish come alive with our mushrooms packed fresh to order and dried with the utmost care. Visit us online at or and type in the search word "mushroom" to browse all our great fungi! Try our "Mushroom Delight" powder which is a secret ingredient of many popular and famous chefs around the nation.

Use the coupon code "FLORIDAHERB" at checkout for 10-20% off your order! Have a great day!

K. Perry

Florida Herb House