Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Herbs



I'm slowly adding herbs to my yard. This pot houses rosemary, lavender, and nasturtium. 

I love using lavender in my soaps and lotions. Lavender oil aids in decreasing stress and depression, decreases headaches and helps fight insomnia. It is also antiseptic and anti-fungal which makes it good for skin ailments such as eczema, acne, and minor cuts and burns.

Rosemary had phyto-chemical properties to prevent disease and promote health. Used in shampoo it can fight dandruff and stimulates hair growth. From LIVESTRONG
"Drinking rosemary tea is a good way to receive a variety of vitamins. Rosemary leaves are high in the following: beta-carotene/Vitamin A, thiamin/Vitamin B1, riboflavin/Vitamin B2, niacin/Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, biotin, pantothenic acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K."



Nasturtium is new to me but is an edible plant that is high in Vitamin C and it's peppery tasting leaves are a great addition to a salad.  


Stevia, Lemon Balm and Chocolate Mint
I've read that after harvesting and drying stevia, it can be ground into a powder and used as a sweetener. My plan is to use it in tea and in smoothies. Stevia provides the sweet without the calories. Stevia helps lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, reduce inflammation, as well as being anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and anti-viral.

Lemon balm is a favorite essential oil that I buy to use in soaps. The scent of lemon is so refreshing and energizing. NCSU horticulture specialist, Jeanine Davis, states: 
"Uses - Lemon balm, with its delicate lemon scent and flavor, is valued as a culinary, cosmetic and medicinal herb. Fresh sprigs are used to top drinks and as garnishes on salads and main dishes. Fresh or dried leaves make a refreshing tea, either iced or hot. Dried leaves are used as an ingredient in many pot-pourris and the oil is used in perfume. Used throughout history as a medicinal herb, lemon balm has mild sedative properties and has been used to relieve gas, reduce fever, and increase perspiration. The volatile oil contains citral, citronellal, eugenol acetate and geraniol. Both oil and hot water extracts of the leaves have been shown to possess strong antibacterial and antiviral qualities. "

Chocolate Mint.....does there even need to be anything of value in this? Really, with a name like that I don't need a list of benefits to convince me to have a cup of chocolate mint tea. :) Mint tea is good for aiding digestion (and has less calories then an after dinner mint). It can also help with menstrual cramps, stomach cramps, nausea and colic. I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter I kept mint chocolate chip ice cream stocked in the freezer to help me with my queasy tummy. Tea would have been a better choice.
Chamomile
Chamomile is well know as a "bedtime tea" as it is calming and induces sleep. However there are many more benefits to chamomile. Chamomile tea is a gentle pain reliever, aids in digestion, and eases morning sickness and menstrual cramps (hmm...sounds very similar to mint). Compresses can be used for earaches, itchy skin and itchy eyes (just make sure it's cool enough). Chamomile can also be used to lighten hair color.


Note: Since I took these pictures in May my herbs have grown a bunch! Later this week I will post current pictures and share a few recipes. :)

Hearth & Soul Hop

2 comments:

  1. This is such an interesting post with lots of great ideas. I love using herbs holistically and have a small kitchen herb garden as well. Camomile tea is one of my favourites. Your herb garden looks beautiful. Thank you for sharing this post with the Hearth and Soul hop.

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