Medicinal herb garden in your windowsill (Google / Boston Green Living Examiner)

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http://www.examiner.com/x-3746-Boston-Green-Living-Examiner~y2009m3d15-Grow-a-medicinal-herb-garden-in-your-windowsill

Grow a medicinal herb garden in your windowsill

Growing a medicinal herbal tea garden on your windowsill is easier than you think. Sipping herb tea is especially rewarding using plants you have grown and harvested yourself. Using them to treat common everyday ailments is even more rewarding. Somehow growing your own medicine is like medicine in itself. Kind of like a dose of prevention, wisdom and love all wrapped up in a soothing brew. Growing an herbal tea garden is easier than you think. All you need is a sunny window, seeds, dirt and some pots and you are well on your way to enjoying the bountiful world of herbs.

The beauty of growing your own herbs is that you can harvest it as you use it or dry your own herbs for later. Considering most tea bags are the “dregs” you will feel indulgent!

Some easy herbs to grow are;

Mints- (peppermint, spearmint, chocolate mint) These are good for the stomach and helpful with irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, stomach flu and basically all stomach ailments. Mint tea is a great way to end any meal. It is also useful in soothing to colds and sore throats and a quick afternoon pick me up. Mint is extremely easy to grow and multiplies quickly! It is especially delicious in iced teas.

Borage- Is a great herb to use for calming nerves due to stress and anxiety. It is very useful for those recovering from surgery or illness as it basically boosts the adrenals. It is easy to grow in containers and the bright blue flowers are delightful to look at as well as to use in herb teas. Added to iced teas it makes a splendid addition. Borage likes full sun to partial shade.

Lavender- Lavender is more tricky to grow in containers but the effort is well worth it! Adding fresh lavender to your herb tea blends is most rewarding! This herb is wonderful for soothing the nerves. Be sure to allow adequate drainage and a deep pot. Lavender grows best when it’s let to dry out a bit between waterings.

Catnip- Catnip not only for cats! It is actually part of the mint family. It is a very useful herb for children. It’s also a gentle herb for general use and just a good all around tonic. It is great to calm nerves, soothe toothaches and teething pain, headaches and stomach cramps. Catnip is easy to grow. It likes full sun and plenty of water.

Chamomile- this herb has been used for thousands of years. It is very useful for menstrual cramps, soothing, helps with insomnia and also good for teething and colic babies! Chamomile has a slightly apple like taste and is a yummy addition to herb teas. Chamomile has small compact flowers. They are nice for attracting bees if you have containers outside (natural pollinators).

Calendula- Also known as marigolds, this herb is easy to grow in containers. The leaves and flowers are soothing for upset stomachs and vomiting and useful in treating fevers. Calendula is super easy to grow and needs basically no maintenance other than water and sun.

California poppy- has mild sedative qualities. (used for the leaves and flowers) California poppy is a great herb for pain relief. It grows well in pots and likes sunlight. It is a very forgiving herb and needs little care.

Skullcap- Useful for leaves and flowers. Skullcap is a mild analgesic and is helpful in reducing pain. It helps promote menstruation and is useful for insomnia. It is also a mild antidepressant. It is easy to grow in containers. Though it needs a bit more space. Long planter boxes are ideal.

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.