Herbalism is a accessible, inexpensive, natural, gentle, and a effective system of healing. You would be surprised how fun it is to make your own salves, tinctures, syrups, capsules, and teas because you here the herbs yourself. Begin by making simple medicines for coughs, colds, cuts, infections, and sprains.
Dig up a small plot by the back door or in you backyard, plant your favorite medicinal herbs. Make sure you know which ones are which and put distance in between them. Medicinal Herbs can also easily be woven into the tapestry of an already established garden such as Echinacea, yarrow, and Valeria. They are lovely additions to flower gardens. They provide color, scent, and beauty. Calendula, chamomile, and thyme are planted in vegetable gardens and are said to enhance the growth and vitality of their vegetable partners. Medicinal Herbs such as basil, parsley, and dill are culinary herbs and are often found in their own patch as the herb garden.
It's surprising to learn that some of our most highly prized herbal medicine is found in familiar flowering herbs such as Valerian.
" Plants utilize nutrients in the soil to become vibrant and healthy." - Homegrown Herbs by: Tammi Hartung
Some medicinal herbs are easy to grow in a simple ladder or wagon-wheel desgin and/or in raised beds are: Basil, Calendula, Cayenne, Chamomile, Chickweed, Dandelion, Echinacea, Garlic, Lavender, Lemon balm, Licorice, Oats, Peppermint, Plantain, Red clover, Rosemary, Sage, St. John's wort, Spearmint, Thyme, Yarrow. The herbs are easy to grow but they get very large and may overtake a small garden.
Plant these at the edge of the garden: Burdock, Marsh mallow, Mullein, and Valerian.
These are grown easily in containers: Basil, Calendula, Cayenne, Chamomile, Chickweed, Dandelion, Echinacea, Garlic, Ginger, Lavender, Lemon balm, Peppermint, Plantain, Red clover, Rosemary, Sage, St. John's wort, Spearmint, Thyme, Turmeric, and Yarrow.
Roots are best dug in the fall or spring. Once you have harvested your herbs, you may want to dry some to preserve them for future use.
The best drying conditions for herbs are:
~ A steady warm temperature of around 90° to 110°F.
~ Minimal Humidity: the less, the better
~Protection from direct sunlight
Many of the medicinal constituents in plants are heat sensitive, especially aromatic essential oils. Drying plants in temperatures above 110°F can cause compounds to dissipate.
Freezing is another great way to preserve medicinal herbs. Most herbs retain their medicinal properties, color, and taste when frozen. Use fresh herbs when possible.
Book: Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs A Beginners Guide
Home Medicine Garden