By Gina Kearney
The Benefits Of Growing Your Own Herbs
There is freedom in gardening, in choosing which plants we want to grow and care for.
Growing our own garden provides us with:
- Fresh herbs.
- Educational opportunities for both kids and adults.
- Reduced waste, cut only what you need!
- The opportunity to build a deep connection with the plants – how do they grow, what do they like or dislike?
Popular Spring Herbs To Plant In Your Herb Garden
Cleavers are among the first herbs to appear in the spring; despite their reputation as a weed, they are vital herbal allies with a broad range of medicinal properties.
Medicinal uses: Cleavers assists us in releasing old, stagnant energy so that we can accept the new. It has an affinity for the kidneys, lymphatic system, skin, and liver.
Growing cleavers: Cleaver seeds germinate slowly and can be sown in the spring. This plant prefers to grow in somewhat shady places with minimal sunlight in moist and well-drained soil. Its hardiness zones are 3-9.
Medicinal uses: Violet leaf is an ideal herbal ally for irritated tissues and dry coughs; its mucilaginous compounds help to soothe the mucous membranes. Its leaves are full of vitamin C and can be used in salads and soups.
Growing violet leaf: Violas are fairly easy to start from seed; it is best to start them in pots before transferring them to a garden. They should germinate within 10-14 days. They like the sun, but they don’t do well in heat, keep them in an area where they can get shade during the hottest part of the day. Their hardiness zones are 3-8.
Most often, when people mention dandelion, we think of a fluffy white plant used to make wishes, but it is much more than that! Dandelion’s leaves and flowers have provided humankind with gentle healing through the centuries.
Medicinal uses: dandelion root has been used to improve liver health by enhancing its detoxification function through an increase in bile flow. The vitamins and minerals that come from this plant ally also help cleanse the liver and blood. As a diuretic, it increases urine production, assisting your body in expelling toxins.
Did you know that dandelion roots can restore gut flora? Dandelion root contains a substance called inulin which acts like a prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in your gut.
Growing Dandelion: Dandelion should be sowed from early spring to summer. It takes about 10-14 days for germination and should be planted 6-9 inches apart. They thrive in USDA hardiness zones 3–9.
Every home should have an aloe vera plant!
Medicinal uses: Aloe vera has an affinity for the skin, use; it relieves sunburns, burns, rashes, acne, and psoriasis. Internally this plant has been used to support IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), ulcerative colitis, and diabetes.
Growing aloe vera: Aloe vera does great both indoor,s and outdoors; this plant does prefer dry climates and generally needs little attention. This plant prefers hardiness zones 10-12.
This spicy herbal ally can be used as a culinary or medicinal herb.
Medicinal uses: Have you ever had a dash of cayenne pepper and started sweating? That effect is due to capsaicin, one of the main components in cayenne. This constituent is responsible for cayenne’s sweat-inducing effect and can be used in certain cases to reduce fever. Cayenne has been traditionally used in cases of acute or chronic back and joint pain. A poultice or salve of cayenne is applied to the affected area.
Growing cayenne: Cayenne is quick to grow and should be planted in the spring. This plant thrives in USDA hardiness zones 9-11 if you plan on growing cayenne from seed sow when temperatures are above 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Echinacea, a native of Florida, is one of the most popular immune-boosting herbal allies.
Medicinal uses: Echinacea has been used for centuries by herbalists to support the immune system and is often used as an ally to ease common colds, coughs, bronchitis, upper respiratory infections, and several inflammatory conditions.
Growing echinacea: Echinacea can be planted in the spring or fall. This plant prefers partial sun, is easy to grow from seed, and needs to go through a stratification process in order to grow.
Medicinal uses: In almost all parts of the world, plantain leaves have long been used as a wound-healing remedy, most commonly used for relieving skin issues like insect bites, burns, and stings. The fresh leaves can be chewed into a poultice and applied directly to the affected area.
Growing plantain: Plantain is a great herb for beginners; it’s easy to grow and requires little care. It can grow in almost any soil, including dry soil. It’s best to start plantain indoors by seed stratification. USDA plant hardiness zones 3-9.
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