Growing medicinal herbs known as a physic garden makes sense in a world where pharmaceuticals are becoming less popular or can become scarce, especially in some countries be it through war or internal political issues.
The volatile oils, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc., extracted from plants can stop illness in its track. It's like the famous saying, “ An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but with a much more packed punch than that.
Well you wouldn't be on this page if you didn't really believe that herbs are medicinal. But a note of warning! Herbs have powerful properties so please do your research before combining and using them. It's wise to be safe. (See disclaimer)
Which plants will you choose for your medicinal herb garden? This will depend on your personal needs. Herbs requiring just simple preparation are the best choice if you are just starting out, so think about the herbs that can enhance skin, nails and hair, or herbal teas for relaxation or to envigour.
I am growing medicinal herbs in my garden. I chose a selection of plants and flowers that will benefit me personally.
Catnip is one of them because it keeps the mosquitoes away. My immune system overreacts when they bite and the reaction is very bad so learning how to grow this herb served its purpose.
I combine it with neem oil, a little essential oil, and beeswax to produce a cool cream for my skin.
Another medicinal herb I have plenty of is lavender. I use it in pillows for relaxation and sleep, decoration, and for lavender body and face cream.
Catnip, is an easy herb to grow. It requires little care and does not suffer a lot from garden pests. But beware! Cats love it!
Aloe Vera is a common plant but look for Barbadensis to achieve powerful results. Good to have around for minor burns and insect bites.
Lemon balm can be the ingredient to a soothing lip salve for cold sores while you keep the bees happy and your mood light.
The Marigold (Calendula) flower is good for eczema, acne, varicose veins, and other skin problems. As a bright pretty orange/yellow flower it is easy to grow from seed and will continue to flower all through the summer
Mint is a common choice when growing medicinal herbs. There is such a variety of different cultivars. Peppermint, a favourite, is good for easing bloating which tends to be a very modern ailment. Although you can easily buy it as a tea nothing beats the freshness of newly picked leaves to make an infusion.
Chamomile is always a favourite in the herbal medicine chest. Infusing into a tea can sooth external skin problems and internal nerve and digestive problems.
Parsley tea is a refreshing drink to get rid of excess water. Water retention can be extremely uncomfortable. Parsley is a powerful diuretic that will help rid it. Don`t use if you have kidney problems or in combination if you are prescribed a diuretic by your doctor.
Lemon Verbena makes a refreshing tea that can help soothe reducing anxiety and stress. Taking it in the evening helps to induce sleep.
Coriander tea will ease indigestion and cool you down. Great for summer months.
Bergamot (bee balm) has such a pretty flower and sweet scent that bees are strongly attracted to it. But when the bees have all gone into hibernation for the winter it`s the humans who get their share of it. For colds, flues and sore throats make a bergamot infusion from the leaves and flowers
Valerian root is well
known to induce sleep. Great if you suffer from insomnia so don`t be put off by scarey bedtime stories!
Garlic is a favourite of mine. I use it to kill infections including tooth abscesses. It is a powerful antibiotic which was used during the war to spare the men from having their gun shot wounded limbs from being amputated. Powerful indeed! Stock it in a emergency survival kit if you have one.
Include Angelica when growing medicinal herbs. All parts of the plant can be used. The root is a very versatile physic herb. It has anti-inflammatory properties, can increase blood flow as well as easing coughs and colds. These are only some of the benefits of this majestic plant. Dig up the roots in the first half of its 2 year life span then cut, dry and store in a paper bag in a dry place
To make essential oils you would need to grow a substantial amount of any particular herb and then rig up a distiller or buy one which can be very costly, so the aromatherapy we are referring to is by the use of sleep pillows, pot-pourri, relaxing baths using bath bombs and massage using herbal lotions, creams or bars.
When growing medicinal herbs for these therapeutic methods. choose flowers and leaves that are strong scented for a intense aromatic effect. Lavender, rose, jasmine, honeysuckle, lilac, chamomile, lemon verbena, spearmint, peppermint, hops are just some of the strongest I can think of. They can be left in the garden planted in a quiet spot where you can sit, relax and inhale the fragrant air.
Or dry these herbs and flowers to make aromatherapy sachets for pillows to aid sleep, relieve headaches, or sooth babies.
Look for recipes to make bath bombs and relax in warm aromatic baths to enjoy the benefits of different herbs.
Make herbal creams, lotions, and lotion bars that stimulate blood flow and improve skin tone.
Find out what these herbs are good for and choose your living herbal medicine chest.
Grow Your Own Drugs by James Wong
A good book to glean great herb hints and tips. He has recipes for creams, balms, gels and even valerian root hot chocolate!
A concise Guide to Herbs by Jenny Linford.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless
Hint of Herbs is where you will get to know me a whole lot better as I busy about in my daily life. Read short snippets of herb garden related topics. Little interesting things that don`t normally find their way onto my pages.
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