We can grow herbs so easily on balconies and in our gardens among our flowers. They offer so much goodness and flavour to our foods and are cheap enough to provide a sufficient level of health and wellness to even the poorest of families.
Herbs serve a range of medicinal and therapeutic purposes when prepared and cooked properly, from regulating blood pressure and reducing nausea to soothing an upset stomach.
It is no wonder why herbs are also used in aromatherapy, offering various holistic health and wellbeing benefits that work to naturally put our minds and bodies at ease.
Having served communities throughout the ages, herbs are integral when it comes to practising good nutrition and natural medicine. However, many of us overlook or have forgotten herbalism and the wide-ranging benefits it has to offer.
Learning to love herbs is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and a practice that can be taught to your children and grandchildren!
Fennel grows with little sun and water, but it can take over so bear in mind you may need to prepare more room for this.
Health: use the leaves, seeds and roots to soothe the stomach and relieve griping wind. It can also be gargled to alleviate a sore throat.
Cooking: use in moderate amounts in salads, meat, fish and vegetable dishes.
Grow ginger from root division if you are living in the Tropics. It prefers a sunny place and moderate water.
Health: many pregnant ladies use it as a tea to prevent nausea. It’s also good for travel sickness and may help in relieving pain.
Cooking: use in spicy dishes like curries as well as with cooked or fresh fruit dishes.
Lavender can be grown from cuttings – if none are available to you, you can purchase the plants from garden stores such as Bunnings. Keep in a sunny place and apply moderate water.
Health: use the flowers, leaves and the essential oil for wound healing, to calm nerves and spasms, and to stimulate bile production and blood circulation.
Cooking: lavender flowers can be used to flavour sugar and jams. Crystallised lavender flowers are also used for decorations on cakes and other desserts.
Grow mallow from seeds, giving it lots of sun with little water.
Health: mallow is useful for applying to burns, bruises, swellings and sprains. It also eases stings and bites and may help to loosen dry coughs.
Cooking: mallow plant flowers make a lovely addition to salads. Mallow roots may also be added to casseroles and stews.
Grow spearmint from seeds or runners in semi-shade with lots of water.
Health: spearmint is proven to soothe pain, relieve nausea and promote perspiration for cooling body temperature.
Cooking: add spearmint when cooking fish, lamb, vegetables and salads. It also makes a nice addition to drinks.
Rosemary grows from cuttings, placed in the sun with little water.
Health: use rosemary flowers and leaves as a tonic and herbal restorative for the nervous system. It stimulates circulation and can also aid memory loss.
Cooking: rosemary is especially good with chicken, lamb and eggs, as well as sauces, stews, pickles and vinegar.
Grow sage from seeds or cuttings in a sunny spot with a little water.
Health: sage has anti-inflammatory and astringent qualities – keep a strong sage infusion in the freezer for rapid relief from mouth and throat problems. Sage is also known to reduce night sweats, and sucking on homemade sage ice cubes can help to heal mouth ulcers.
Cooking: sage is good in savoury dishes, soups, stews and dressings.
Herbs – Homegrown Natural Medicine
As shown, herbs are cheap and simple to grow at home and offer a wide range of natural health benefits and remedies when prepared as a drink, ointment or added to our food.
The herbs listed above are just a few, so there are many more amazing herbs to discover in addition to the mental and physical benefits that each provides.
You can visit the Naturopath Online Shop to purchase organic essential oils made from lavender, rosemary and other herbs. And to read more Naturopath Masterclasses on health, natural remedies and naturopathy in general, just click on Naturopath Australia.