The Middle East is a region of extreme climates including mountains and arid
deserts. It was in Assyria, (now Iraq), that edible and medicinal plants were
first brought into cultivation. The mountain uplands are the ancestral home
of the rose, Rosa damascena which was cultivated by the Persians long
before the Crusaders brought it home to Europe. The olive, fig and myrtle trees
grow in the western parts of the region, (Israel,Lebanon, Syria, and southern
Turkey. Ancient forests of pine and oak thrived here thousands of years ago
where now only remnants of the Cedars groves of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) remain under protected species status. In the dry, inland drought resistant
shrubs such as frankincense, Boswellia sacra, myrrh, (Commmiphora
myrrha), and gum arabic
provided the resins that were the first aromatics. Other important medicinal
and food plants originating in the Middle East include oats, barley, flax, sesame,
safflower, cabbages,onions, garlic,
alfalfa, grapes, almonds, and pomegranates.
Perennial Plant :
Alfalfa is not recommended as primary treatment for any condition, alfalfa is a tonic herb, one that supports health by nourishing the body. Alfalfa is of special interest to women because of its estrogenic activity....
Caraway, source of the crunchy seeds atop dark rye bread, is also one of the best carminative herbs, acting to prevent gas and bloating. Caraway is a good remedy for colds and congestion and helps to relax the muscles that cause coughing spasms....
Grape skins contain the powerful antioxidant compound resveratrol, which has
been shown in studies to protect against the effects of a high fat diet, lowering
cholesterol that could lead to heart disease....
Annual Herb :
Perhaps the most valued property of hemp (Cannabis sativa) is its percentage of essential fatty acids, which is higher than any other plant in the world. Although Cannabis sativa is illegal in the United States because of the dried leaves intoxica...
Oats have always had a reputation as a wholesome, healthy food. The grain is a rich source of complex sugars used by the body. Green oatstraw teas, oatstraw glycerin tincture, and oatmeal poultices and baths...
Perennial wildflower :
Red poppies have some folklore medicinal uses as a cough remedy, mild sedative, and non-addictive sleep aid, though not nearly as potent as the related opium poppy, Papaver somniferum....
Sesame seeds, and sesame seed oil are used for food, and skin care and have a rich tradition of medicinal use....
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** Information on the traditional uses and properties of herbs are provided on this site is for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Many traditional uses and properties of herbs have not been validated by the FDA. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs. **