Herbs are as old as the earth. They are a primary source of food for some wildlife (were for humans) and have incredible medicinal properties. We use them to help spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Over the past century, we seem to have drifted further away from the use of herbs in our everyday functioning, aside from adding them to dishes. Big Pharma anyone? Anyhow, to not judge, I believe it is the convenience of not having to prepare solutions and the security in knowing that what we are consuming is tried and tested safe and effective.
Herbs are very easy to grow in your home, whether you live in an apartment or ten-acre mansion, you can add some pots to your window sill easily for a fine flourish. Often though the health benefits of these everyday herbs are overlooked.
Inflammation is a painful issue suffered by too many Americans today. Weather, stress, sports injuries, old age, weight, accidents, or it's just how our body was created. Nobody needs to suffer that pain on a daily basis. The following herbs can help and are easily grown in your home:
This herb is better grown outside, the wind wafting the smell up your nostrils as you walk by, but it is not impossible to nurture indoors (especially during winter season). Store it with bright light and cool temperatures and prune often. As with all plants, the watering part can be tricky. Just stick your finger in and if it is dry on the top few layers (2in), water it ensuring good drainage.
Homegrown chili peppers are amazing and so pretty! Although perhaps not advisable if you have cats… Grow from the seed indoors, germinating and potting them, and keep in a pot with a least 6 hours of sunlight. Research which chili pepper type suits your climate to avoid disappointment. Generally, plenty of light, water till moist, feed the plant and ensure the air quality isn’t polluted.
More and more we need to digest antioxidants to fight off those free radicals that invade our systems on a frighteningly unknown level (check out our Detox Blog for further insight). Detoxing should be a daily course for everybody so here are some soft extras to help.
Yes, these can be grown indoors! In a pot with at least 6 hours of sunlight a day and never to be left to dry. Choose a dwarf variety and it can take three to four years to fruit so don’t neglect him/her after year one and you still have no berries!
This herb, otherwise known as Coriando, is a delicious ingredient to spicy dishes. It is very easy to grow indoors. Grow from the seed, plenty of morning sunlight (not so much afternoon sunlight) and don’t over-water! Cut when it has grown to keep it growing!
Indigestion is a very common ailment among Americans. Unlike the French, we have a habit of eating on the go and rushing our lunch into a 30-minute break. Mix that with high caloric take-out coffees, stress from our daily lives and not enough exercise et voilà we have issues digesting our food. The following two herbs are wonderful to help with digestion.
Don’t know what dill is? I bet you consume pickles tho! Yes, those are dill seeds inside. If you want dill seeds then let the plant grow and to seed, collecting the seeds. You can then replant these seeds to grow more. 6 hours of sunlight and don’t overwater.
My favorite is peppermint tea after my evening meal. And sometimes I do add a spoon of sweetener, like honey or agave. It is very refreshing and soothing on the digestive system. You need a lot of space for mint plants as they do like to spread and grow, about 60° temperature and to be kept moist.
Anxiety, stress, nerves, pressure, panics - do you just wish to just let it all go and relax? I know I do often! I don’t like pharmaceuticals that can put your liver into unnecessary work, and also due to their dependency factors. Go natural and here are two herbs you can grow at home to help your pocket and your nerves.
Even though it is also known as Holy Basil don’t confuse it regular basil. Tulsi is quite aromatic whereas regular basil is sweet and best served as Pesto… mmm… To grow Tulsi you need to grow it from seed in a sunny location.
Lavender is renowned for its calming properties. People often keep a little bag under their pillow to help fall asleep and I heard of women bringing it into the labor ward to help ease contractions. These plants are extremely drought tolerable so great for those lazy gardeners. Sunshine and not too much water and you will be fine. Choose a shade tolerant plant if you can.
Our liver is such an amazing organ, working silently and continuously inside us. It filters out everything we consume so it can get blocked up causing illness. Taking medication in excess and drinking alcohol are the two most obvious enemies of our liver, but they is not its only job. Our detox plan is all through the liver, so here are herbs to help your liver stay healthy and stronger for longer.
Now we can start thinking about pesto. Basil is a delicious leat that is great for pasta or salads. To grow is very easy, and you can often buy the plant whole, needing just to maintain it. Make sure your plant is well drained and cut often, with the usual 6 hours of sunlight a day.
Whenever I hear parsley I think of my Irish grandmother's mixed carrots and turnips. I hadn't realized that is actually good for optimal liver functioning! Wilting parsley does not mean the compost heap - just water for it to stand straight again. Empty the dish beneath so it doesn't swim in the water and it can survive 5 hours of sunlight/part shade. Not too bad!
It is a sure thing that memory fades the older we get. Why is it? Do we have so many memories after half a lifetime that we need to ditch the short-term to hold onto the long-term? There are of course illnesses like Alzheimer's which is certainly more severe than “where did I put my keys”. If you do have a poor memory, no matter the reason, try some of these herbs.
If you have Italian blood, or simply enjoy Italian food, you would probably eat a lot of sage melted with butter on pasta and gnocchi. Otherwise sage is a very tasty tea. Sage, like many Mediterranean herbs, are drought tolerable, need a spot in the sun and infrequent watering.
This is actually from the mint family but has a slight lemony taste, great for marinating meat, flavoring cakes, or drinking as a tea. Water regularly but only when the soil has dried out somewhat. These plants are thirsty but probably because they like sunlight and warmth. It is advised to move the pot out of doors, if you can, during the warmer days.
I haven’t mentioned feeding in any of these posts, but feeding your plant is very important. Choosing an organic fertilizer will do wonders to heighten the nutritional value of your herbs, but every two weeks or so should suffice!