+ Well Nourished | Healing Herbs to Grow

A Healing Herb Garden – why you need one.

Herbs are one of those things I could not live without in the kitchen.  They add so much flavour that they can take a plain meal and transform it into something really special.  Beyond taste, herbs, even of the culinary kind have a multitude of healing benefits.  How nice to enjoy the flavour of a herb and know it is healing and nourishing your body at the same time.

In my clinical practice, herbs were the pinnacle of my practice.  I love healing with herbs (liquid herbal extracts) because I believe they are the most restoring medicine we have.  They are also a product of nature, not a laboratory!  Most medicines, both pharmaceutical, and natural have a bit of a band-aid effect.  They fix the problem but only whilst you are taking them.

This is where herbal medicine differs.  Herbs work by truly healing and restoring the body to health and once you are well, you can withdraw treatment.  I love nothing better than treating a patient until they are well, weaning them off their herbal tonic and saying goodbye to a healthy, happy patient.  The other benefit of herbal medicine is being able to customise a treatment to suit an individual.  This eliminates the need to take a fist full of tablets.

Personally, I know that herbal medicine (and managing my stress levels) has saved me from two devastating illnesses I have suffered in my lifetime.  I was told by specialists that I would not recover from either illness.  I have recovered and I no longer take the herbs that helped me to regain my health.  I am happy to say that I am well.

Anyway, I digress.  You don’t need a lot of space to plant herbs.  A herb garden can be as big or as small as you like.  A few pots on a window sill or a section of the garden.  Think about the herbs you like to eat and grown these.  Perhaps you cook more European food so you’d plant herbs like oregano, marjoram, parsley, basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, tarragon, dill, chives and a bay leaf tree.  If Asian or Middle Eastern flavours are more to your liking, plant garden mint, Vietnamese mint, Thai basil, lemongrass, kaffir lime, ginger, turmeric and a curry leaf tree.  If you’re like me and you love it all, then I hope you have some space!

Herbs are such low care plants.  They like a good amount of sun as a general rule so choose your patch wisely.  They really take care of themselves and love to be picked regularly and roughly (great for kids).  So if you aren’t eating enough, they’ll tell you by going to seed or flowering.  If you are getting kids involved, just make sure they understand that not all plants are edible.  My son loves to pick and eat his way through our garden.  Luckily most of my plants and flowers are edible, but one day, as we walked through Bunnings, I caught him shoving petunia leaves in his mouth!  He though they were quite delicious!

If you are thinking about starting your own herb garden, save money by taking a cutting or root stock from friends (anyone nearby me is very welcome to any of my stock).  Plant it in a good soil with compost mixed through to get it going and make sure you break up the leaves on the stem.  This makes the plant work hard to survive and grow strong.  Also, make sure you plant in season.  Mint (all varieties) needs to be planted in their own containers from the start as they tend to take over.

I’m no expert gardener, but I do grow a bit of my own produce and all of my herbs (and I’m learning fast).  So I’d love to share my medicinal knowledge of herbs overcoming posts as well as how to grow your own and ways to use them in your cooking.

 

Is this something some of you would find valuable?  There’s nothing better than having a ready supply of herbs on hand, I find it so satisfying.  Please let me know what types of herbs you would like to know more about by posting a comment below.

 

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  • Lucy

    We’ve just found a new house that we’re moving into shortly. The best part… it has nice big space for a vege garden! I’m so keen to get it going and herbs are at the top of my list! x

    • How exciting. Herbs are the obvious choice and you don’t need a lot of space like many vegetables do. How many times do you go to cook a dish and need a bit of parsley or basil for example? They are so valuable in the kitchen. Start with god soil, compost and the herbs you like or cook with the most. Meanwhile I’ll put up another edible garden post soon! G x

  • Zoe

    I don’t use my herbs enough! I need to go through and take out ones I’m not fond of and replant some that I need. My favourites are thyme, lemongrass, oragano, rosemary and coriander. Unfortunately my dog has a taste for coriander too and just ate the rest of the leaves off my tree! I have trimmed it back and I’m hoping it will grow some more leaves! 😛

    • Yes, only worth having the herbs you’ll use the most and actually like. You’ll find your coriander is coming to the end of it’s season (depending upon where you live). Replace it with Basil which loves the warmer months. Dogs are amazing and just instinctually know what they need. I’d say he’e been self medicating with your coriander!! You might find inspiration to use your herbs in tomorrows post.
      G x
      PS – dogs love lemongrass and there has been some anticancer research – ie; dogs eating lemongrass to cure it. Even if they are off colour they will eat it (and spew of course) so give your dog full access to the lemongrass.

      • Sue

        My two dogs love eating the lemongrass 🙂

        • Isn’t it amazing how they just know what’s good for them? G x

  • Pip

    I love parsley, coriander, mint, rosemary and sage. When I had Butler the staffy here, he and Cricket the cat would sit side by side eating the lemon grass, so cute and good for them. They ate it to the ground.

    • Animals instinct is amazing, they know what’s good for them. G x

  • Karen

    Love your website Georgia, thankyou for sharing your wisdom….. What common herbs (brewed into tea perhaps)help irritable bowel please?

    • Thanks for your feedback Karen. I think that’s a great idea. I will post perhaps on herbs that benefit digestion and target common symptoms of digestive disorder like bloating, spasm, wind etc; Will add to my list. In the mean time, I highly recommend you read the post I wrote on digestion here and also I con’t emphasise enough the benefit of a bone broth for IBS. You’ll find more about it and how to make it here. G x

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