See the Microscopic Wonders of Herbs, National Geographic



Plants never cease to amaze. For all our familiarity with herbs and spices, we have yet to understand the origins of the seasonings we use so frequently. Many of us for medicinal purposes! In this January 24, 2019 article (5 minute read) by National Geographic, “See the Microscopic Wonders of Herbs,” photographer-scientist Martin Oeggerli offers us a glimpse into the world of ordinary kitchen compounds to tell the tale of their evolutionary history. Oeggerli uses microscopes to reveal the intricacies behind the distinct flavours we associate with the culinary plants. The attributes that give them their unmistakable taste are in fact an arsenal against predators and harsh environments. “In each herb, then, we find a ghost of the species against which the herb protected itself.” Chemical compounds along with colour, shape, texture and flavour impact a plant’s life as much as it does ours. What protects them, protects us. We agree with Oeggerli, “In our cabinets, so much else deserves inspection… The world is full of things we have yet to examine carefully.”