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Herbal Trivia!

Herbs are rich in history, usage, and folklore. We are constantly intrigued and amazed by all of the interesting ways that they have been utilized throughout time.  We thought that it would be fun to share some of these unique facts with you in the form of a little herbal trivia. We guarantee that everyone will learn a little something.  Have fun, and we wish you the best of luck!

1. Which spice is harvested from the stamens of a beautiful purple crocus?

2. What spice, according to Malaysian folklore, had the power to protect against crocodiles?

3. Some common French names for what plant are “Pissenlit” and “Dent-de-lion”?

4. What herb was once utilized as an antidote for poisoned arrows? Today, it is used to thicken culinary dishes and in body care preparations.

5. The essential oil distilled from what spice is used by Fishermen to disguise their scent when fishing?

6. Which North American herb was named for the gold color of its rhizome?

7. Which plant produces sweetly perfumed flowers, but has roots that smell like “old socks”? Another interesting fact about this plant is that cats love it, sometimes even more so than Catnip!

8. Valium was not named after Valerian, but Aspirin was named after this plant. What is it?

9. Which herb, used in a famous type of liqueur, has been credited for the birth of the Impressionist art movement?

10. This herb was once believed to be eaten by serpents to improve their eyesight, making it easier to attack their victims. What herb is it?

11. Which herb has notoriously stinky fruit?

12. The Aztecs made hot chocolate using powdered Cacao beans, and which spice?

13. Which herb has used in the medieval ages by monks to keep away impure thoughts?

14. In Beatrix Potter’s Tales of Peter Rabbit, what herbal tea does Peter’s mother give him to drink once that he returns from the cabbage patch?

15. Said to ward off evil, protect our homes, shrink warts, remove parasites, relief pain and chase colds away, this plant is sometimes referred to as the “Stinking Rose”. What is it?

16. What herb gets its name from the Sanskrit word for “horn root”?

17. Do you know how Paprika and Chili peppers are related?

18. Which herb will produce a deep red color when the fresh flowers are infused in oil?

19. Which herb was once used in the Hebrew temples during ritual cleansings of lepers?

20. Which herb was regarded as a symbol of immortality by the Greeks and Romans?

Trivia Answers:

1. Saffron, Crocus sativus.

2. Turmeric, Curcuma longa.

3. Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale.

4. Arrowroot, Maranta arundinacea.

5. Anise Seed, Pimpinella anisum.

6. Goldenseal, Hydrastis canadensis.

7. Valerian, Valeriana officinalis.

8. Aspirea ulmeria, now changed by botanists to Filipendula Ulmaria, and commonly called Meadowsweet.

9. Wormwood, Artemisia absinthium, used in Absinthe.

10. Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare.

11. Gingko, Ginkgo biloba.

12. Chili peppers, Capsicum annuum.

13. Vitex berry, Vitex agnus-castus, also known as Monk's Berry or Monk's Pepper.

14. Chamomile, Matricaria recutita.

15. Garlic, Allium sativum.

16. Ginger, Zingiber officinale.

17. They both come from the Capsicum plant and share the same Latin name: Capsicum annuum.

18. St. John's Wort, Hypericum perforatum.

19. Hyssop, Hyssopus officinalis.

20. Tansy, Tanacetum vulgare.

We hope that you enjoyed our herbal trivia. Please feel free to post a comment letting us know how well you fared.  Or, post your own herbal trivia facts and tidbits.  We would love to hear them!

~ irene


Written by Irene on December 17, 2010

Irene, Customer Experience Director, supervises the daily operations of all our customer-facing activities at Mountain Rose Herbs. She also serves on the board of directors for Eugene-based nonprofit Cascadia Wildlands, protecting our precious outdoors. When she isn’t ensuring your experience aligns with the goals and mission of our company, she can be found taking care of her adorable twin boys, crafting her own line of body care products, and even harvesting wild plants and gardening.