Herbs have a variety of health benefits, from improving your immunity to lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. The simplest way to use more herbs is to grow your own herb garden. When you grow herbs for your health, you may notice an improvement in both your physical and mental well-being. You will likely find benefits beyond physical health by planting and tending an herb garden.
Growing an herb garden is simple and worthwhile. Throughout the ages, people have found herbs to benefit the mind, body and soul. Throughout history there are documented accounts of herbs curing illness and injury. It’s amazing to learn about the benefits of herbs. Why not take advantage and grow herbs for your health?
In this article, you will learn:
• Which Herbs to Choose and How to Use Them
• Plant a simple herb garden to Grow Herbs for Your Health
Which Herbs to Choose and How to Use Them
Basil is a very versatile herb. Its mild flavor and delicate texture make it a great choice. It’s also simple and quick to grow in your garden. It also has many great health benefits. Basil is known to have antibacterial properties. The antibacterial properties are found in the oil of the basil leaves. Basil is also proven to have anti-inflammatory properties and cardiovascular benefits.
How to Use Basil
Basil is one of the simplest herbs to use when cooking. Its tender leaf and mild flavor make it a great addition to many dishes. The great thing about basil is that it doesn’t need to be cooked, which makes the health benefits even more accessible.
Top a bowl of pasta with fresh basil; it adds beautiful color and flavor. You can also use basil to make a fresh pesto. All you need is 2 Cups fresh basil, 2 garlic cloves, 2/3 cup Olive Oil, Salt & pepper, ¼ Cup pine nuts and Romano cheese. Pulse basil, garlic & pine nuts in food processor until chopped then add oil gradually until smooth. Season with salt, pepper and top with Romano cheese Use a nice crusty bread for dipping and voila, fresh basil at its finest.
Thyme has long been known as a natural remedy for treating respiratory issues. It’s also a great preserving agent. It’s even been said that the Egyptians used thyme to preserve their deceased. Both its anti-oxidant and anti-microbial qualities make it a great choice when deciding what herbs to grow for your health. It’s also a simple herb to use when cooking and it’s very easy to grow and maintain.
How to Use Thyme
Thyme makes a wonderful addition to pot roast, soups and Thanksgiving turkey. Here’s a simple pot roast recipe. Sear a boneless chuck roast, seasoned with salt and pepper. Make a sauce in the pan by deglazing with beef broth (1 ½ cup), Worcestershire sauce (1 Tbsp) and dry white wine (1/2 cup). Whisk in ¼ cup flour and 2 tbsp tomato paste. Then add meat and sauce to crock pot with carrots, celery, onion, garlic and 4 sprigs of fresh thyme. Cook on low for 8-9 hours.
You can also make a beautiful chicken noodle soup with leftover chicken bones and meat. Enjoy a roasted or rotisserie chicken and then boil the leftovers in water, salt and pepper, veggies, garlic and fresh thyme. Cool, skim soup and pull of chicken meat. Add chicken meat and chopped veggies back to pot with broth and bring to boil. Add fresh thyme and noodles; boil until noodles are al dente. YUM!
Rosemary is one of the most fragrant herbs you will find. The aroma reminds me of holiday gatherings with friends and family. It also has some great health benefits. Rosemary improves digestive health and stimulates the immune system. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and the fragrance itself is known to help with concentration and brain function.
How to Use Rosemary
Rosemary is a great addition to a breakfast omelet. It also makes a perfect seasoning for roasted chicken thighs with lemon with potatoes. You can add rosemary to homemade soups for a fragrant addition. It also pairs well with tomato sauces.
Mint is well-known to be a natural remedy for an upset stomach or indigestion. It’s even been proven to be an effective treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Mint oil also contains anti-bacterial properties and is known to help control asthma and allergy symptoms.
How to Use Mint
My favorite use for fresh mint leaves is a tasty Mojito. If you’re not an alcohol drinker, it’s simple to make a delicious alcohol-free version of this drink as well. Mojitos are the perfect refreshment on a hot summer day. Mint can also be added to fresh salads and lamb dishes. Here’s a quick Mojito recipe for you: 1 sprig fresh mint, 1 lime sliced, 1 tsp powdered sugar, 2 ounces white rum, 2 ounces club soda, crushed ice. Muddle fresh mint leaves, lime and powdered sugar in a glass. Add ice, rum (just eliminate rum for a great non-alcoholic Mojito) and club soda and shake to blend. Garnish with lime slice and mint leaves.
Oregano is a well-known spice that has been used around the world for ages. Like many of the other herbs discussed here, it’s known to have anti-bacterial properties. It’s also been proven to be nutrient rich providing such nutrients as vitamin K, vitamin E, iron, manganese and calcium.
How to Use Oregano
Oregano is known to be widely used in Mediterranean cooking. It makes a great topping for pizza, grilled fish and roasted vegetables. It adds a lovely flavor to tomato sauce and it can also be used to make salad dressing. Be sure to add oregano fresh or at the end of cooking to preserve the health benefits and flavor.
Plant a simple Herb Garden
Now that you know which herbs to choose and how to use them in your kitchen, let’s focus on growing an herb garden for your health. Herbs are one of the simplest things to grow. In all honesty, growing herbs is about as difficult as growing a weed in your yard! If you’ve never grown a garden of any kind, growing herbs is a great place to start.
I prefer to have my herbs right at my fingertips in the kitchen. You can plant a simple herb garden by using the Aerogarden by Aerogrow or Emily’s garden by Hydrofarm. The Aerogarden has grow lights included and is pretty much self-automated. Emily’s garden is a perfect window sill growing unit and it’s perfect for herbs. If you would like to read more of my review of these two systems, you can read my Review of Hydroponic Systems. If you prefer to grow outdoors, you can make a very basic herb garden by tilling up a small area in your yard, adding fresh garden soil and planting your herbs or seeds. If you’re interested in learning more about soil gardening, you can review some of my blog posts here: Organic Soil Gardening.
Herbs grow quickly and take very little maintenance. Growing indoors is nice because you can grow year-round and don’t have to worry about pests or the elements. It’s also nice to have fresh plants in your home and the aromatic fragrance of fresh herbs is soothing and refreshing. With all the benefits of herbs and the delicious uses for them, why not start using them today? Grow herbs for your health starting today and stay healthy, happy and well.
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