Organic Herbs and Spices: Applications Beyond the Kitchen

Organic Herbs and Spices: Applications Beyond the Kitchen

You are what you eat. I’m sure you already heard that one. Well, it is indeed true. In our fast-paced world, convenience often trumps nutrition and health. Luckily, the growing awareness of the connection between diet and well-being has fueled the rise of organic food. But the benefits of organic extend beyond just the produce on your plate. Organic herbs and spices are often overlooked buddies in our kitchens, but they have the potential for much more than just flavouring.

Let's delve into the fascinating world of organic herbs and spices. Discover how they can elevate your well-being in surprising ways.

Potential of Organic Herbs and Spices

  • Many organic herbs possess powerful medicinal properties. For example, ginger can alleviate nausea, while chamomile promotes relaxation and sleep. Likewise, peppermint soothes headaches, and thyme may help fight respiratory infections.
  • Organic herbs and spices can be fantastic ingredients for homemade beauty products. From rosemary's hair-stimulating properties to lavender's calming effects on the skin, experiment with all-natural solutions for a healthy, radiant glow. 
  • Essential oils can be part of your homemade beauty products. They can also transform your living space into a haven of relaxation and focus. Consider diffusing essential oils derived from specific herbs, like peppermint for alertness or lemon for a mood boost.  
  • Replace harsh chemical cleaners with the power of nature! Vinegar is a natural disinfectant while baking soda tackles tough stains. Check out some DIY cleaning hacks in our article. And don’t worry if you don’t have time to make your own eco-friendly cleaning products. We have a solution for you!
  • Organic herbs and spices can be beneficial additions to your garden beyond their culinary uses. They can act as natural deterrents to pests. For example, strong-scented herbs like mint or rosemary can repel unwanted insects. 
Organic essential oil from herbs
Photo from Canva.com

The Rich History and Cultural Significance

Herbs and spices have been part of human civilization since ancient times. They did not only flavour food but were also recognized for their medicinal properties and symbolic meanings in cultural practices worldwide. From the aromatic spices traded along the Silk Road to the sacred herbs burned in rituals, these botanical treasures have left an incredible mark on global history.

The spice trade redrew the world map and came to define our global economy.

By Martha Henriques, BBC
Spice trade world map
Photo from Canva.com

The story of spices and herbs is far richer than the pungent aroma and flavour they bring to our plates. Their journey through history is intertwined with the rise and fall of empires, the exploration of uncharted territories, and the cultural narrative of civilizations worldwide. It's a story with dark chapters, marked by the exploitation and power imbalances that came with colonialism.

Conquering the World

The fact that spices were a rare and valuable commodity in demand and desire made them one of the lucrative business trades, and those who controlled the routes to their source gained immense wealth and power. The spice trade played a crucial role in shaping the global economy, connecting different parts of the world in a web of commerce. As of today, spices and herbs are common household items found in our grocery stores. But the journey of spices and herbs was and still is far more complex than what we think.

Power of Spice

The age of exploration was marked by a scramble for control of spice-producing regions. Colonial powers like Portugal, Spain, and Britain sought to dominate trade routes and exploit the resources of these regions, often displacing local populations and disrupting traditional agricultural practices. This era casts a shadow on the history of herbs and spices, reminding us of the human cost of unrestrained greed.

The result was a lasting change to people’s diets in Europe, which became a lot less bland and monotonous. 

By Martha Henriques, BBC

Yes, without the spice trade, European cuisine wouldn't have even the familiar kick of black pepper. 

Black Pepper origins from India
Photo from Canva.com

Native to India for millennia, pepper was eventually introduced by enterprising traders. This exchange of flavours highlights the profound impact of the spice trade on the global economy.

By James Hancock, World History Encyclopedia

Countries such as India alongside Indonesia, Burma and China are at the heart of spice trade up until today.

Return to Humane Practices

The widespread availability of spices nowadays comes at a cost. Even now, the industry isn’t without struggle, especially with unsustainable agricultural practices. Deforestation to make way for large-scale spice plantations threatens the delicate ecosystems where many species thrive. Moreover, monoculture practices can be harmful to the soil. This is due to the growth of a single spice over vast areas, which can deplete the soil of essential nutrients and harm biodiversity. These practices can also lead to a reliance on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, raising concerns about long-term environmental impact.

Thankfully, a shift towards a more sustainable future is on the way. The movement towards organic and responsible farming offers a chance to rewrite this narrative. By prioritizing sustainable practices and fair trade principles, we can ensure that the cultivation of herbs and spices, as well as many other food sources, benefits both the environment and the communities that have nurtured these plants for generations. This approach allows us to enjoy the flavours we love while protecting the delicate ecosystems that produce them.

Go Organic

The cultivation of organic herbs and spices is without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This method not only preserves the natural integrity of the plants but also ensures that they are free from harmful residues. 

Studies demonstrate the positive impacts of organic farming on biodiversity in Europe.

Unlike conventional agriculture, which relies heavily on chemical inputs and monoculture, organic farming promotes biodiversity, soil health, and water conservation. Techniques such as crop rotation, composting, and natural pest management minimize environmental impact while supporting long-term agricultural viability.

Organic farming vs chemical farming
Photo from Canva.com

Besides the environmental benefits, organic foods are highly beneficial to our bodies. According to the European Environmental Agency, the consumption and exposure to pesticides are linked to chronic illnesses such as cancer, respiratory problems, heart as well as neurological diseases. The synthetic cultivation of our food, herbs, and spices is not only harming our bodies, but it is often less nutritious. In light of this, opting for organic might be a way to safeguard your health from the potential harms of conventional farming practices while benefiting the biodiversity and the plants themselves. 

Moreover, spices and herbs on its own have many beneficial health properties. They are beneficial in boosting our immune systems, reducing various illnesses, reducing blood clotting, lowering cholesterol and more. Adding it to our daily meals, supports our overall health.

Sonnentor: Your Buddy for Organic Lifestyle

Several companies have emerged as leaders in the production and distribution of organic herbs and spices, prioritizing quality, sustainability, and fair trade practices. For instance, Sonnentor, founded in 1988 in Austria, has become renowned for its organic products as well as eco-friendly packaging. Beyond its products, SONNENTOR champions the Economy of the common good, prioritizing environmental responsibility, public welfare and ethical business practices.

100% organic farming, packaging without plastic, palm oil-free products, CO2-neutral economies and direct trade with organic farmers make SONNENTOR a role model for other companies.

organic herbal tea

 

  

Dive into the forest tea from SONNENTOR. This forest-inspired tea blend, with blackberry leaves, cowslips, and spruce needles, it's like a stroll through nature in a cup.

 

 

organic spices

 

Fish & Chicks Grill Seasoning from Sonnentor designed for poultry and fish, combines a subtle spiciness with full-bodied fruitiness, making it a versatile addition to your kitchen.

The blend includes organic black pepper, lemon peel, lemon granules, thyme, lemongrass, ground ginger, and lemon essential oil, ensuring a natural and flavourful kick without any added sugar or salt.

 

And much more… head over to Green Cloud Nine, and we will support your organic journey. 

Organic Lifestyle

Organic farming isn't just a method; it's a philosophy rooted in respect for nature and the preservation of biodiversity. Across the globe, from family-owned farms in Austria to cooperative fields in developing nations, organic farmers uphold centuries-old traditions while embracing modern techniques to cultivate herbs and spices without synthetic chemicals or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Embrace the journey into the world of organic herbs and spices, where flavour, health, and sustainability converge harmoniously.


Bibiana

Article by Bibiana Eva Bartschova. I am an impact-driven researcher from Czech Republic. My passion for circular economy led me to Green Cloud Nine. Join me on this exciting journey and explore the world through the lens of organic lifestyle.

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Article also published in our founder's blog: My Shade of Green