French tarragon's flavor diffuses rapidly through cooked dishes, so use it carefully. Use it fresh with fish and shellfish, turkey, chicken, game, veal and egg dishes. Use chopped leaves in salad dressings, fines herbes (see page 356), mustard, ravigote and béchamel sauces, sauce verte and mayonnaise.

Oil of tarragon is used in commercial salad dressings, beverages, confections, perfumes and mustards.

Winter tarragon [Tagetes lucida)

Camellia sinensis syn. Thea sinensis Theaceae

Tea has been the favored beverage of China for 3.000 years. W hile Western palates favored the more robust flavor of black lea. green lea has been shoun to be richer in antioxidants and is credited with a number of uses in traditional medicine.

Parts used Leaf tips, leaves, seeds

There are some 350 varieties of Camellia sinensis, and they vary considerably in form. The smooth, leathery leaves are oval, pointed and faintly scented. The small white flowers are single, with a boss of gold stamens, and are borne in the leaf axils.

Tea contains polyphenol antioxidants, the levels being higher in green tea, which has undergone minimal oxidation. An essential oil is distilled from the mature leaves, which is used both in perfumery and as a commercial flavoring. The seeds are pressed for a fixed oil that is processed to remove saponins. Other species that are used for oil production

Jiooiboi/ teas

In South Africa, ihe leaves of ihe rooibos (pronounced roy-boss) plant [Aspalathus linearis) have been brewed as a refreshing beverage for ceniuries. Now. rooibos tea is becoming a popular drink all over the world as a result of its pleasant taste, caffeine-free content and. more important ihe discovery of its remarkable aniioxidani capacity; Therefore ii may have the potential to improve general health and well-being as well as help in the trealment of many serious illnesses.

Opposite; Harvesting Camellia sinensis leaves for one of the world's most popular beverages.

include C. crapnelliana, C. oleifera, C. octapetala and C. sasanqua.

• Position Camellia sinensis is frost-hardy and requires full sun to partial shade, and a rich, moist, but well-drained soil.

• Propagation It is propagated from freshly harvested seed, and by semi-ripe wood cuttings for named varieties.

• Maintenance Maintain bushes to a height of about 3'h ft. (1 m).

• Pests and diseases There are none of significance.

• Harvesting and storing Harvest leaf tips for tea once bushes are 3 years old.

Continue reading here: Herbal medicine

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