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Healing herbs to grow

A herb garden is not only a place of beauty, it's also a medicine chest, holding remedies to many ailments. Until the 17th Century, herbs were the principal ingredients of medicinal practice, but since then they've been replaced by synthetic products. However some countries, such as India and China, still widely use herbs as medicine.

Many minor ailments can be alleviated using common garden herbs. However, if you're ill or have a known condition, do not self- medicate – go to a qualified herbalist or your GP to be treated.

Discover the healing properties of common culinary herbs in your garden.


Chamomile

Chamomile

A tea can be brewed from the flowers and used to ease insomnia. An antispasmodic herb, chamomile is also good for nervous stomach upsets when used in moderation.

Fennel

Fennel

When you're suffering wind or stomach cramps, a cup of fennel seed tea can ease the pain. Put one teaspoon of seed in a cup, pour over boiling water, let it stand, then strain before drinking. Chew fennel seeds after a rich meal to freshen breath and settle the stomach.

Feverfew

Feverfew

Eat two fresh leaves at the onset of a migraine. Eat them with bread, because they taste quite bitter.

French tarragon

French tarragon

The aniseed-flavoured leaves stimulate digestion and help the body to break down fatty foods that are high in cholesterol.

Garlic

Garlic

When eaten regularly, garlic can lower blood fat levels, including cholesterol, and reduce the chances of getting blood clots.

Hyssop

Hyssop

A tea made from hyssop leaves is an excellent tonic if you have a cough or cold, as it's a gentle decongestant and expectorant. However, avoid it if you're pregnant.

Peppermint

Peppermint

Try a cup of peppermint tea the next time you have indigestion or feel bloated after a meal. Put a handful of fresh or dried leaves into a mug, pour over boiling water, and allow it to stand for five minutes. Put a lid over the top to stop the steam dissipating the essential oils.

Rosemary

Rosemary

Tea made from fresh rosemary leaves helps stimulate the memory and clear a hangover. Drink in moderation, as too much can be harmful.

Lavender

Lavender

Not only is lavender a tonic for the nervous system, it's also a calming sedative. Add a few drops of lavender oil or a handful of lavender flowers to a bath, or make a bath bag. Wrap lavender sprigs in a piece of muslin, tie it up and hang it under a running tap.

Lemon balm

Lemon balm

A mild antidepressant, a restorative for the nervous system and a mild sedative, lemon balm can be enjoyed as a tea.

California poppy

Californian poppy

When dried, the bright orange-yellow flowers can be made into a calming tea, which, like chamomile, can help combat insomnia.




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Talkback: Healing herbs to grow
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bulgaria 24/11/2011 at 15:27

very good to read about and try out

cybergarden 24/11/2011 at 15:27

I have rosemary growing wildly in my backyard. I also have lavender and spearmint growing in my garden.

kaycurtis 24/11/2011 at 15:27

great comments from people that know, the wonders of these herbs.

kaycurtis 24/11/2011 at 15:27

enjoy anything about herbs, really loved watching Chelsea on the TV thinking about it I saw more than if I actually went. congratulations to Jekka.

leggygirl47 24/11/2011 at 15:28

When you say "make tea" with herbs...how? would love to use my own herbs for medicinal purposes as well as decorative!

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