Now is the time of year that most gardeners begin planning their garden for the New Year, making tweaks and additions to their existing garden plans in order to create a garden that is bigger, better, and more beautiful than previous years. However the scent and functionality of your garden is just as important as its appearance, which is why many savvy gardeners are now choosing to dedicate a portion of their gardens to growing practical medicinal herbs. No matter how big or small your garden, it is possible to grow your own functioning medicinal herb garden: you don’t have to be a skilled gardener to grow herbs, and they are easy to grow in pots, tubs, or even window boxes for those gardeners who are really tight on space.
Here are a selection of plants that are simple to grow in your garden that can be beneficial to your health and prove just as useful as the synthetic products most of us tend to stock in our medicine cabinets:
Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)
Chamomile looks pretty in the garden, tastes mild but pleasant when utilised in teas, can be enjoyed by both adults and children alike, and has a myriad of health benefits. The main benefit of chamomile is that it has anti-inflammatory properties, meaning that it can be helpful to those individuals suffering from common ailments such as sore throats, acne, and even conjunctivitis. Chamomile is also hugely calming, because of its high calcium and magnesium content, making it beneficial for individuals of a nervous disposition or those who have experienced shock or trauma.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Many people choose to grow lavender because of its beautiful colour and scent, however what you may not realise is that lavender can provide a host of very real medicinal benefits too. Lavender works on the nervous system, providing an effective treatment for those in need of a relaxant or anti-depressant, without the side effects that conventional medications for these conditions cause. When used in oil form, lavender can also be applied directly to the skin to relieve the pain of wounds and burns too.
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)
Motherwort is a very useful herb to keep in your garden if you have women of child-bearing age within your household: it is often referred to as ‘mother’s little helper’ and its main usage is to tone the uterus. The benefits of this are that it can relieve the pain of menstruation, lessen the pain of labour as well as the afterbirth pains when a woman has a baby, and can also help to maintain emotional balance during the difficulties of menopause.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Whilst it can be very tricky to grow (and probably isn’t a good starter herb for beginners) licorice is a herb that provides a myriad of important health benefits. Licorice can provide an effective support for the endocrine system, which is essential for helping to balance the large amount of sugar found in the modern diet, and preventing us from producing too much adrenaline that we don’t need. Once grown, it is easy to turn into a delicious and enjoyable tea, and it can be used and enjoyed by individuals of any age, making it the ideal herb to grow within a family garden.
Creating teas and tinctures from the herbs you grow in your garden may well seem like hard work, however, there are huge benefits to using herbal remedies for minor ailments. Not only will they save you money (with the cost of store bought herbal medical solutions being massively inflated) they will also ensure you always have access to the medicines you need, whenever you need them. Why not try it for yourself and see whether you and your family can benefit from creating your own medicinal herb garden.
“Your medicinal garden: Ten herbs to plant this spring”, Homestead, http://
“Create a healing garden and grow your own medicinal plants”, Mother Earth News, http://www.
“Homeopathic remedies”, Rehabs.com, http://
“Home grown herbal remedies”, Health Line, http://www.healthline.
“Growing a medicinal herb garden”, Mother Earth Living, http://www.
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