In many traditional cultures, food is far more than mere fuel to get work done it actually represents a source of medicine, too. Just a couple centuries ago even in western culture food was used therapeutically on a regular basis, & now in the 21st century we are seeing a resurgence of that age old adage: let thy food be thy medicine & medicine be thy food (Hippocrates).
Fresh herbs have a vibrational frequency that can bring vibrance into a meal, & energy into a human. Let's look at the top 5 herbs you can start growing in your urban food garden for better health.
There are 3 main types of basil, sweet, bush & purple. The fresh aroma of a basil plant is something to be sought after & its chemistry with thyme & rosemary amongst a slow-cooked or raw dish is delectable.
5 grams of basil contains almost 30% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K, & this powerhouse herb also contains significant amounts of vitamin c, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and potassium. Unsurprisingly, basil also has antibacterial properties and contains DNA-protecting flavonoids. In India the Tulsi plant (Holy Basil) is grown regularly & mixed with honey as a therapeutic treat it can also be consumed as a tea.
Basil plants are easy to maintain indoors and out we grow perennial varieties & they replenish every summer through autumn. Snip off budding heads whenever they appear to keep your bush full.
People are used to having chamomile come in the form a tea-bag, but this beautiful, self-seeding plant lights up gardens with white & yellow flowers. These flowers can be picked & added to smoothies & salads, as well as herbal tea preparations. The flavour is cooling & has a hint of vanilla.
Chamomile can be used for
helping calm the nervous system & encourage sleep
calming muscle spasms &
as an antibacterial drink.
Plant chamomile seeds or take flowers & shake them around your garden to disperse the highly active seeds. Each year they'll spring up for 1-2 months at a time, delivering you with a powerhouse of nutrition! You can dry the flowers to be used throughout heyear simply dry them in the oven; warm your oven to 140 degrees while placing a single layer of chamomile flowers on a baking sheet. Turn off the oven and pop in your pan for 20 minutes (you don't want them to actually bake). Remove the pan, cool the flowers, and store immediately in airtight bottles or zip-lock bags, away from sunlight.
Parsley, a mediterranean herb is a chlorophyll rich nutrient powerhouse. Known typically as a powerful blood cleanser & detoxifier, parsley can be added to salads, smoothies & soups, & can be easily grown in the backyard.
Parsley is rich in many vital vitamins, including Vitamin C, B 12, K and A.
It helps flush out excess fluid from the body, thus supporting kidney function.
Regular use of parsley may help manage your blood pressure. It is high in folic acid which is good for the heart muscle.
Parsley has significant anti-inflammatory properties.
Parsley may reduce muscle stiffness and support digestion.
Studies indicate that parsley essential oil may have a role in inhibiting cancerous tumors. In fact, scientists have billed it a 'chemoprotective' food.
Plant parsley throughout your garden sometimes seeds can take 3 weeks to sprout so water them regularly. Parsley is frost tolerant & can handle the summer heat when watered. We have parsley spread throughout the garden all from one plant.
Coriander (cilantro) is a potent source of fiber, manganese, iron and magnesium. Additionally, the leaves are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and even protein! Some benefits of coriander are;
Coriander can potentially balance the ratio of HDL & LDL (& VLDL) cholesterol within the blood.
It is a digestive tonic, encouraging healthy peristalsis (bowel movements).
It may be a diabetic intervention as coriander can stimulate the secretion of insulin & assist in maintaining balanced blood sugar.
Coriander contains significant amounts of vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting & bone health.
Coriander is a potent anti-inflammatory herb.
According to Mike Adams of Natural News coriander is a potent detoxify & heavy metal cleanser, which can be beneficial when someone is exposed to toxins (in the case off a mercury filling removal).
Some interesting history resides around coriander. The ancient Chinese believed coriander bestowed immortality whilst the Egyptians stored it's seeds in their tombs. Even the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, recommended coriander as a therapeutic agent.
According to seed giant Yates the easiest way to maintain a good supply of fresh coriander is to plant seeds every few weeks from summer though until the end of autumn. Take a break over winter and begin sowing again in early spring. That way, if your coriander does go to seed, you'll have fresh plants coming on.
One of the most common herbs in the world, Rosemary is easy to grow, tastes delicious, & contains some serious medicinal qualities. Rosemary has a warm, bitter, and somewhat astringent taste that gives wonderful flavor to all manner of dishes, especially Italian cultural cuisine.
Some of the most interesting and unique health benefits of rosemary include its ability to boost memory, improve mood, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, protect the immune system, stimulate circulation, detoxify the body, protect the body from bacterial infections, prevent premature aging, and heal skin conditions. The medicinal qualities may lie in its oil, the sticky wax you may feel when you pick it fresh.
Use rosemary liberally in your meals to harness it's health benefits. Rosemary can be grown easily from a sprig. Simply pick a rosemary sprig off a health plant, plant them in some healthy soil & water regularly until fresh sprigs appear. You'll have a rosemary plant in no time.
Need some help incorporating herb growing in your organic edible garden? Give us a call today!
|Tags: Edible Plants|