When it comes to herbs, many of us are comfortable with using them in the kitchen to flavor our food. But how about in the medicine cabinet? In addition to their culinary uses, herbs have amazing healing qualities that most of us are unaware of. If you use essential oils, you already may have experienced that lavender calms, peppermint relieves headaches, and lemon energizes. Maybe you’ve even used the salve from an aloe plant to heal a burn or cut. This is a great introduction to the healing power of plants, but it’s only the beginning.
This summer, venture into the world of herbs and learn how they can support your health and well-being. Grow your own apothecary - a few herbs that will support your personal health needs. First, identify what you struggle with, and learn which herbs can help. Then plant that remedy in the garden, and learn how to use it.
Here are some examples:
For brain fog: Herbs in the mint family can strengthen cognition and help you focus: lemon balm, rosemary, spearmint, and peppermint. Use these brain boosters in herbal tea or sip peppermint-infused water as you go through your day.
For digestive issues: There’s a long list of beneficial herbs for digestion and detox. Among them are calendula, yarrow, chamomile, lemon balm, bee balm, oregano, thyme, and sage. Chamomile tea is mostly known as the sleepy-time herb, but it also is anti-inflammatory, eases gas and bloating, and relaxes muscle tension. Use the flowers of this miniature daisy-like herb to make your own tea.
Improve your immunity: Elderberry, Echinacea (coneflowers), Monarda (Bee Balm), and garlic top the list of boosters for a healthy immune system. Recently, there’s been a huge interest in growing elderberry (Sambucus nigra). Use the flowers (dried) and the berries (cooked) to make tea or syrup.
Insect repellent: rosemary, lavender, yarrow, and catnip
Improve blood circulation: garlic, rosemary
Skin rashes: Calendula, lavender, comfrey
This is a mere glimpse at the list of herbs and their healing qualities. But now let’s talk about how to incorporate these herbal remedy plants into your landscape.
You can learn more about the power of herbs in numerous books and other resources. Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies by Maria Noel Groves is one that I recommend for those just beginning on this venture. The journey into the world of herbs as healer is exciting and full of wonder and could be as close as your backyard.
You can learn more about growing herbs and their healing qualities in an upcoming monthly series which begins Thursday, July 15. Learn more on our Makery page found on our website.
Hi, I'm Tracy - horticulturist, beauty-seeker, Word-lover, and blessed to be the owner of Bella Botanica. I also love to write about plants, gardening, and about my faith journey. Thanks for reading!