Herbs have been used for ages for their healing properties in all systems of the body. There are numerous ways that herbs can be used including topically, as a tea, as an ethanol-based extraction known as a tincture, used in cooking or just eaten raw! There are so many fun things we can do with herbs especially when we grow them fresh right in our own backyards. Take advantage of the sunlight, the exercise and the relaxation that is involved in gardening and tending to plants all while keeping yourselves healthy this spring!
Here’s a list of the top 5 herbs you can plant at home in your own garden and their health benefits!
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) has many different actions, and tastes great too! Its main actions are that it is a gentle digestive agent as well as a nervine, which means it has calming effects, which in turn help people sleep better and feel more emotionally balanced. This herb is safe, gentle and does really well in most any climate, particularly a drier one. Lemon balm, once picked and dried, makes for a great tea to drink after dinner in order to take advantage of both its digestive and calming properties!
Lavender (Lavandula officinalis) is a very common herb with very calming properties. Most of us have seen this herb used for its wonderful scent, but it is also very relaxing and can be used in cooking, baking and of course tea drinking! It thrives in warm and sunny places with very mild winters making it a great plant to start growing in the spring.
Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is a very sacred plant in the Indian culture because of all of the ailments it has historically benefited. This plant can be used in cooking or as a tea. It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-stress actions and can be used in many organ system concerns such as lung conditions, digestive complaints or mental/emotional imbalances.
Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) has very good actions toward enhancing brain function, improving central nervous system function and supporting circulatory integrity. Studies have shown that this herb can enhance memory function, which, lets be honest, we all could use a bit of. It tastes great as a tea or even in a salad and is very easy to maintain in any sort of climate.
Spearmint (Mentha spicata) is an herb we all know about! But do we actually know about all of its benefits? Spearmint is a great antimicrobial (which is why we see it in many oral hygiene products), it has anti-inflammatory properties making it great for respiratory health, great for digestive complaints (especially nausea) and is beneficial for circulatory and heart health. To top it all of, it also has cooling energetics, making it great to add to food and drinks this spring and summer to help you stay cool and refreshed!
This list is just barely brushing the surface or the amazing herbs we have available to us. Now that you have an idea of some of the plants we can use in food and tea, do some more exploring and find out what else is out there that is safe and beneficial for you to grow on your own!
Stay healthy! Stay happy!
**Remember to talk to your healthcare practitioner if you have any conditions which you are concerned about or have questions on before taking these herbs. Be mindful of any allergies or reactions you may have to these or related herbs.**