Herbs 101 (part 1)

There are 12 categories of herbs, and a lot of information about each. While will lightly touch on all of them through out the next few posts, I will mainly be focusing on the types I want to explore further. I will be linking information sources through out this post, for those who wish to learn more.

Also it is worth mentioning that most herbs can be placed in multiple categories, depending on need.

(This post is a continuation to “Spring is Coming!”)

Pungent and Aromatic Herbs

Pungent herbs are spicy or hot, and have a strong aroma. Considered warm and drying, they help stimulate circulation, induce perspiration, and promote digestive health. However over use can cool the body, and should not be used by people who naturally run hot.

(You can find more information on pungent herbs from Whispering Earth.)

Aromatic herbs are also warming and drying, but tend to be more mild than pungent herbs. They contain volatile oils, also known as essential oils. Essential oils should only be used as a topical serum, and needs to be diluted with a carrier oil. It can also be diffused.

(The Tisserand Institute has more information on safe dilution ratios.)


Bitters come in three types:

  • Simple (non-alkaloidal)
  • Alkaloidal
  • Fragrant

Alkalaidal bitters; bitters steep in alcohol, are more potent than bitters steeped in vinegar, or simple bitters. Bitters are primarily used for digestive health. It is know to promote healthy gut bacteria. It is used as a detoxifying aid for the liver as well.

By combining bitters, with pungent and aromatic herbs, you can brew some tasty and beneficial beers. I came across this great homestead website called Walkerland, run by a couple in New Brunswick. It was exciting to learn how simple it could be to brew my own bitter beers.

My husband and I have quit a bit of experience in brewing, it was a hobby for a few years, and we still have all of our equipment. I won’t have to start from scratch, and will be deciding on my first brew soon! Charolette Wallker has some recipes that I would like to try, and it will give me a reason to get back to experimenting. I am excited to learn more on the subject. She also recommend a few books on brewing bitters I want to look into. I will keep you all posted on what I find.

I will post more on the other 7 categories of herbs in the next day or so. I want to satisfy some curiosity about bitters first, and I keep getting distracted.

Thank you all for reading! Until next time friends!