We are well aware of the rich antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and carminative properties of medicinal herbs. We also know the immense benefits of these medicinal herbs in fighting various ailments from common cold and simple burns, to cancer and depression. Hence, without doubt, herbs are the best way to keep ailments at bay, and therefore, including the right herbs in our diet becomes all the more important. But, instead of buying them from the market, why not grow them at home, as majority of these common herbs can be easily grown at home, and does not require too much effort and time.
Here are some valuable medicinal herbs that can be grown in your home garden:
To grow: Rosemary grows best in sandy soil and prefers neutral to alkaline conditions with average fertility. The herb grows best in sunshine and cannot withstand waterlogging.
Medicinal values: This medicinal herb is excellent in improving concentration, lifts your mood, a good source of iron, calcium and vitamin B6. It is highly rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory compounds, essential fatty acids, anti-allergenic, astringent and stimulant properties. It also boosts immune system and memory, regulates bowel movements, offers relief from migraines, and improves blood circulation in the body.
This herb is best used as spice. The leaves can be used as mild tea, as it is considered beneficial in fighting headache, depression, cold, gout, rheumatism, premature baldness, muscle pain, dandruff, indigestion and neuralgic condition. Rosemary oil helps in relieving pain from indigestion and menstrual cramps and is soothing on the stomach. The oil can also be applied externally on sores.
To grow: Although popular as a kitchen herb, the green leaves, seeds, and powder of seeds of coriander are all beneficial to health. Coriander can be easily grown in a pot. Coriander seeds are easy to germinate. You just need to sprinkle them on the ground and you can see seedlings in a week, and when they start germinating, ensure that they get good sunlight. Water them well too.
Medicinal value: Coriander helps in easy digestion, is excellent for anaemia, menstrual irregularities, effective in fighting skin diseases including pimples, eczema, dryness and fungal infections. Being rich in calcium, it is good in bone regrowth and durability. ‘Citronelol, a component of essential oils in coriander, is an excellent antiseptic. The healing power of the leaves keeps wounds and ulcers in the mouth from getting worse. It also protects eyes from contagious diseases. Regular consumption of coriander boosts immunity and purifies blood. In Ayurveda, coriander is often recommended for stomach related ailments.
Parsley (Ajwain / Ayamodakam)
To grow: Parsley can thrive in the sun, but the soil has to be moist. The herb prefers damp, well-drained soil and partial shade. It grows best when fed with organic fertiliser.
Medicinal value: It is a good source of volatile oils, antioxidants and flavonoids. It has many vital vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin A, apart from folic acid. The medicinal herb has immense healing powers that help you tackle flatulence and bad breath.
Parsley can be crushed and applied on bruises for quick healing. The juice is used to treat urinary tract infections, constipation, kidney stones, indigestion, jaundice, gas, colic, diabetes, asthma, cough, osteoarthritis, and high blood pressure. It is also used an aphrodisiac.
Lemon Balm (Melissa)
To grow: The herb easily grows in rich, moist and well-drained soil. It can be grown indoors too, but ensure that it gets atleast six hours of food sunlight daily. The lemony-mint fragrance of the leaves has given this name to the plant.
Medicinal value: This versatile medicinal herb helps relieve insomnia, anxiety, flatulence, wounds, and stomach upset. It also speeds up healing of cold sores. The crushed leaves of the herb act as a mosquito repellent when rubbed on to the skin. In Ayurveda, the medicinal plant, lemon balm has been traditionally used against bronchial inflammation, flatulence, headache and fever, high blood pressure, palpitations, toothache, vomiting. Tea made of leaves of the plant helps soothe menstrual cramps and relieves PMS. The volatile oils in lemon balm, is thought to relax muscles of the bladder, stomach and uterus, relieving cramps and nausea.
Sage (salvia / salvi)
To grow: Sage can be grown in well-drained, fertile soil, with enough sunlight. It can also survive well in dry, indoor air, but will need strong sunlight.
Medicinal value: In ancient times, sage was used as a fertility drug. It also has anti-hypertensive, anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Sage juice, when mixed with warm water and consumed, can cure hoarseness and bad cough, while infusion of sage leaves as tea, can help in soothing nervous system. Sage is also beneficial in treating stomach pain, gas, improves appetite, depression, treating cold sores, and excessive sweating. Sage extract stimulates hair growth too, imparting shine and lusture to your locks and preventing dandruff.
To grow: Just sow basil seeds in a warm, sunny corner of your house and provide water on a regular basis to retain moisture once the soil has warmed.
Medicinal value: Basil has hoards of health benefits and has been used in treating various illnesses since times immemorial. To point out some of the wonders of basil, this medicinal herb can help improve appetite, is excellent cure for cold and cough, corrects digestion, controls body temperature, is excellent for preventing hair loss, preventing heart diseases, kidney ailments, and diabetes. The paste of leaves of the herb can be applied to cuts and scrapes too, as it is an excellent antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Just chewing a few basil leaves daily, can cut down your visit to doctor’s clinic by half.
We have only taken a peek into few common herbs that can be grown in a home garden. You can grow more such valuable herbs if you are passionate about gardening and getting fit, and what’s more, there is no better way to unwind than growing a home garden!