The more natural your food that you eat the better it is for your health. When you cook your meal using prepackaged box or canned foods, there is really no nutritional value. Also considering the food has been processed, and doing so leaves little to none of the original nutrients.
Whole fresh food on the hand, prepared by nature to meet your body’s nutritional needs, is a lot better choice. You receive more vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients for optimum, if not better health, including better energy levels, weight management, and disease prevention, like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Plant foods are the best sources of vital nutrition, and the more you eat the higher your chances of ageing gracefully, as they say.
Herbs are part of the plant food choices. They can provide a number of health benefits, as they are used for medicinal purposes, while adding natural flavors to a variety of prepared dishes, including desserts for those with a sweet tooth.
If you love gardening, and if you don’t have a plot of land, maybe you like having potted plants on your patio or balcony, or even a sunny window that can accommodate potted plants, then you could possibly grow your own.
Just think of the Italian dishes you can make with the fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme you would be harvesting from your garden or potted herbs.
Or the peppermint tea you can make for when you have an up-set stomach or the basil to add to your pitcher of watermelon juice or sliced tomatoes.
Herbs are really easy to grow and as we mentioned are dense in nutrients. More commonly grown herbs include basil, sage, thyme, mint, and rosemary. But let’s talk about some other herbs that you might already have in the garden, or buy as a tea when you’re not feeling well.
Healthy Herbs You Can Grow In Your Garden
Echinacea also referred to as a “Purple Coneflower,” grows from 1-2 feet tall. It was used in ancient cultures as a way of reducing the symptoms of viral infections due to a cold or the flu, and other infectious illness.
It is also available at your local co-op or Whole Foods Market as a tea, supplement form or as a tincture. If you have this herb or flower in your garden, you can make a tea with the plant parts whenever you feel a cold coming on.
Echinacea contains antioxidants called phenols which help to regulate certain enzymes and human cell receptors in the human body. The herb also has alkylamides, and this compound directly affects the immune system when confronted with invading infectious bacteria.
Cilantro has become a popular herb to grow in home gardens. The herb is also commonly recognized as leaf-coriander in Asia and quite similar to dill in culinary terms, as the leaves and seeds are used in many culinary dishes, such as in the Mediterranean and Latin American countries.
The herb bolsters many plant derived chemical compounds that are used as disease preventing and health-promoting properties. It also contains minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.
Potassium is an important for cell and body fluids that help control the heart rate and blood pressure. Iron is needed for red blood cell production, and manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
The American diet lacks the very essential mineral magnesium that has many uses in the body, from sleeping well, digestion, elimination, muscle and bone health just to mention a few.
It is also rich vitamins, which include folate, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-A, and vitamin-C, which are essential for optimum health.
This plant has white daisy-like flowers and is best grown near the house where you have ready access to it. The flowers are used for their health benefits including the management of colic, indigestion, skin irritations, inflammation, and anxiety.
It can be infused as tea using the plants leaves, stems, and roots or worked into a salve that can be directly applied to the skin to relieve irritations, as the plant has natural anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties, and helps in clearing up skin irritations like eczema, acne, and allergies.
In medical studies chamomile tea was noted to raise urine levels of glycine, a compound that calms muscle spasm.
What a great plant to have around after working in the garden all afternoon. Make a tea in the evening and your muscles are relaxed.
This plant is best grown in flower gardens because they produce nice yellow daisy-like flowers with yellow-green leaves that resemble those of chamomile, for which it sometimes is confused. The herb plant is also known as Midsummer Daisy, and Wild Chamomile.
Both the leaves and flowers of this plant or herb can be brewed into a tea or chewed directly for the relief of various kinds of uncomfortable symptoms, like:
- Headaches or migraines,
- Pain due to arthritis
- Inflammatory conditions
- Insect bites
- Menstrual disorders
- Muscle spasms
It can also be made into a salve so that it can be directly applied to skin irritations.
This plant or herb produces lovely purple flowers, you may have seen it, and referred to as French Lavender.
Lavender is used as an essential oil for aromatherapy. The aroma or the smell of lavender is relaxing and calming to the mind and body.
It is also used as a natural pain reliever, and it can be prepared as a tea, or directly applied as a salve to bruises and cuts on the skin, to help relieve pain and inflammation of these affected areas, and also works as a natural antiseptic when applied to affected areas of the skin.
An Herb Garden Year After Year
There are several benefits to having these herbs as well as others we did not refer too. Those that produce flowers are a beautiful display for the garden. Many are perennials, meaning they come back year after year to give you the health benefits you need.
Others are annuals, like basil and the cilantro we mentioned. They can be reseeded by allowing the plant to go to seed. Just remove the flowers after the petals have faded, alone the seeds to dry and put them into a labeled envelope and date it.
The following season you will have new seeds to start your annul herb garden to once again reap its health benefits and culinary flavors.
You know the best part of growing your own herbs, is you can pick them fresh as you need them, and you are assured they are grown in organic soil without the use of pesticides.
An added benefit to using culinary herbs from your garden is you can feel doubly joyful, for not only preparing your own whole food fresh meal, but you also grew the herbs in your garden.
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