Rosemary, sage and thyme are three more herbs typically used in Israeli cooking. This is the second of a two-part series looking at the beneficial qualities of these ingredients. We’ve added an easy recipe for you to try at home. For our deep dive into basil, oregano, and parsley, click here
Want some sage advice? Eat more sage. Research published in June 2003 confirms that this herb is an outstanding memory enhancer. Cognitive tests conducted in the trials showed that a dose of sage significantly improved subjects' immediate recall.
In addition to improving memory and cognition, sage has been shown to increase alertness, calmness and feelings of contentedness. The scent of sage can significantly enhance the quality of memory.
Sage is a perennial, evergreen shrub. Fresh sage leaves are slight fuzzy and are often used decoratively for their aroma. Officially called Salvia officinalis in Latin, the name is a testament to sage’s healthful properties. In Latin salvere means, “to be saved.”
Sage’s medicinal properties lie in its oils. One property in sage, rosmarinic acid, can reduce the inflammation response and act as an effective intervention for seasonal allergies. Sage can be helpful in cold-weather months by soothing inflammatory conditions like arthritis, as well as relieving allergy symptoms when transitioning to a new season.
Sage holds strong antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal attributes, making it a go-to remedy for all kinds of ailments. It has also been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol whilst increasing HDL (good) cholesterol in the body.
Fresh thyme grows on a branch and has a pronounced herbal flavor with notes of sharp grass, wood, and floral. The lemony, earthy herb is used in Mediterranean cooking for its lovely flavor, most often in a dried form. Thyme is a powerful antioxidant and its natural anti-bacterial and anti-microbial agents are used for healing.
Its medicinal qualities include:
Rosemary grows wild all over Israel. Its evergreen shrub produces flat, pine-tree needles with deep green color on top, silver-white on the underside. Its pine-meets-floral flavor is described as pungent, lemony, or bitter. Rosemary perfumes the landscape and delights gastronomes.
Healthful properties of this herb include improved concentration, digestion, and brain aging. An extract of rosemary appears to have an insulin-like effect that can help better regulate how the body processes of glucose.
The active ingredient in rosemary, rosmarinic acid, has been proven helpful in preventing allergic responses and nasal congestion. As an added bonus, rosemary also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can reduce the severity of an asthma attack.
Rosemary is a great addition to your culinary repertoire. This refreshing simple syrup will last up to a month in the refrigerator. It works particularly well with beverages. Stir it into lemonade, flavor a cocktail, glaze a cake, or churn it into a sorbet.
Rosemary Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
¼ cup rosemary leaves
Combine water, sugar, and rosemary leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let syrup steep, about 30 minutes.
Pour syrup into a sterilized glass jar through a mesh strainer to remove rosemary leaves; let cool.
Recipe courtesy of https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/247475/rosemary-simple-syrup/
To your good health!
Israelis do indeed, love their food. Via Sabra shares our chefs’ favorite ways to enjoy the bounty and abundance the land offers. Try including more of these delicious herbs in your own diet.