But not that kind of herb, the NSA is out in force these days making sure the good citizens of America aren’t partaking in anything particularly fun to offset the ongoing economic misery in their lives. No, these are herbs more like oregano, coriander, sage and parsley all of which we planted on Sunday. The parsley is of the Italian version, spicy and peppery like Puccini’s love life. The sage is Berggarten which sounds a great deal more exotic than common sage, its more often used regular name. The internet claims the sage will form a 2 foot by 3 foot bush but I’ve never had a culinary sage do that. Usually, they grow to a size only slightly bigger than the pot they came in. It’s also supposed to be a perennial but I have to replant it every year.

Santo coriander is essentially more cilantro since the last two plants that went in two weeks ago have had a rough life. AS it turns out, it’s not an armadillo causing the destruction, it’s the idiot dog who apparently is the digger. I came home yesterday to a large pot of flowers having been dug up for a third time. I do not understand what he could possibly be after as his digging years were thought to be far behind him. He’s costing me quite a bit of money in replacement plants though. I sprinkled cayenne around the pot liberally just yesterday morning and even gave him an unexpected taste of it to connect the two but to no avail. According to the Humane Society, he may be bored to which I largely say tough cookies. Saying “he may be digging because he is a terrier” is like saying “he may be crazy because he is a terrier”. I’ll probably find his Kong toy today, fill it with peanut butter and hide it in the rose bush. Maybe that will keep him entertained.

Strangely, the coriander instructs me to “Research all herbs before use”. This is a particularly interesting and ominous instruction that I’m unfamiliar with on planting instructions. However, being a dutiful only child, I complied and found that the Chinese once though coriander conferred immortality. Perhaps this is why the idiot dog digs it up. He’s afraid I’m going to live forever yet not take him for any walks. In my research, WebMD tells me that coriander can be used to treat many things including hemorrhoids and worms. Upon reading that, I immediately have to wonder who was the first person to think they discovered that effect and was the coriander used as internal medicine or externally applied. Not unlike the first person who looked at a crawfish and said “Mmm, I think I’ll suck on the head of that insect looking thing”. did some ancient shaman walk around looking for things to possibly help with the butt itch?

WebMD also says that “there is one report of severe diarrhea, stomach pain, darkened skin, depression, lapse of menstruation, and dehydration in a woman who took 200 mL of a 10% coriander extract for 7 days.” I call that a possible entry into the Darwin Awards more than I do a side effect of coriander. But then, maybe she was related to the shaman.

The final plant was Greek Oregano, a mistake when I thought I had lost my oregano plant only to find it happily growing right where it always was. I thought the existing plant was marjoram so now I have more oregano than I know what to do with. Luckily, WebMD has me covered on usages for oregano as well. The oil of oregano is used apparently to treat intestinal parasites. Who knew so many backyard plants could kill worms? Upon further research into the herb, I see that oregano is from the same plant family as marjoram so maybe I do in fact have both now. Too bad neither of them prevent the dog from digging.