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Herbs in Our Recipe

Herbs in Our Recipe

No country in Africa enjoys as great a diversification of geology, land forms, soils, and climate as Ethiopia. There are more than forty five vegetation types where forests, savannas, woodlands, steppes and grasslands comprise 75% of the vegetation cover. As a result, Ethiopia possesses one of the richest floras in Africa, with no less than 7,000 species. Much of this floristic wealth is reflected in the fact that Ethiopia is one of the primary centers of origin of many of the world's cultivated crops, e.g. , Wheat, Barley, Teff, Coffee, Peas, Okra, Sorghum, Millets, Lentils. The flora is 35% endemic and is an independent floristic region closely allied to the flora of tropical East Africa and Central Africa.

Ethiopian cuisine is known for its spicy recipes. Apart from the culinary use, most of the spices commonly found in Ethiopian food have medicinal role. Among the many list of ingredients used in preparation of Ethiopian food, the following main herb/spices are selected for their well-known medicinal contribution:

  1. Basil | Besobila (A):                              Mostly culinary,  medicinal for headache
  2. Black Mustard | Senafitch (A):           Culinary, medicinal for stomach ache, constipation, dysentery
  3. Black seed | Tiqur azmud (A):             Culinary uses, Medicinal: headache, stomachache
  4. Capsicum pepper | Berbere (A)        Mostly culinary, medicinal for stomach ache, antimicrobial
  5. Cinnamon | Qarafa (A)                          Culinary, medicinal for treatment of cold symptoms
  6. Coriander | Dimbelal (A)                       Mostly culinary, medicinal: stomach ache and colic
  7. Cumin | Ensilal (A)                                  Mostly culinary
  8. Fenugreek | Abish (A)                            Mostly culinary, medicinal: stomachache, antispasmodic
  9. Flaxseed | Telba (A)                               Medicinal: purgative, diuretic, laxative
  10. Garlic | Nech shinkrut (A)                     Medicinal: common cold, cough, pulmonary TB, hypertension,   asthma, toothache, diabetes, hemorrhoids
  11. Ginger | Zinjibil (A)                                 Culinary, Medicinal: stomachache, cough, fever, influenza
  12. Rue | Tenadam (A)                                 Medicinal: common cold, stomachache, influenza
  13. Turmeric | Ird (A)                                    Mostly culinary, Medicinal: used for “crying eyes”
  14. Thym | Tosegn (A)                                  It is used against cough and liver disease.