Making an herb garden may be considered a sort of “right-of-passage” for anyone looking for a homeopathic approach to living. Luckily, it takes only a small amount of space and time to get started with an herbal garden that can serve a multitude of purposes. Some herbs are more labor intensive than others, but this list should give you some insights as to what healing powers each has to offer.
Nowadays, basil isn’t really thought of as a healing herb, yet traditionally it has been dubbed “the king of herbs.” Basil has natural anti-inflammatory properties and has been said to have mild antiseptic uses. It can also be used to help with appetite, nausea, and as a topical ointment on skin lesions. Better yet, if you’re a fan of Italian food you’re in for a treat. Add basil to almost any Italian dish for a boost of flavor, or on warm days, throw it in your mojito!
Chamomile is a staple herb in the Western world. Ever drink a relaxing night-time tea? If you look at the back of your tea box, chances are you will find chamomile prominently listed among the ingredients. The heads of the chamomile flower are used for treating indigestion, anxiety, and skin inflammation. The flowery taste makes for a great addition to home-brew tea and will provide serenity at the end of a stressful day.
Peppermint has been used medicinally for thousands of years to soothe & treat symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and several related digestive issues. The menthol contained within the plant are commonly used to flavor many types of foods and fragrances. Peppermint is extremely prolific, growing in any type of sun as long as moisture is present. These quickly multiplying plants are best kept in pots, as they can quickly consume the rest of your herb garden.
This fragrant plant is most widely known for it’s calming effect both on the mind and body. Commonly used in herbal teas, lavender can promote a sense well-being and can do wonders to alleviate stress. Lavender has also been used to treat various gastrointestinal issues and as an antiseptic when applied to cuts or wounds.
Although the cannabis plant has been used for thousands of years, it seems that we are just now beginning to understand it’s medicinal use in an empirical way. Cannabis can be used to treat symptoms of arthritis, chronic pain, glaucoma, appetite loss, epilepsy, sleep apnea, and many other chronic illnesses. Many of this plant’s properties help in daily life and can provide comfort through the aging process.
Growing cannabis is more difficult than any of the other herbs on this list, but the plant also yields the most medicinal benefits. As long as you have a legal means to grow this plant, you can take advantage of the wide array of uses for the herb. Cooking with cannabis can also be a challenge, but with a little research and proper technique, the possibilities are endless.
Photo Credit: Suzette