Do you know that there is an extraordinary pharmacy waiting for you in your own kitchen. You probably have herbs in your cupboard right now that can keep you healthy. Herbs are not only healing foods, they are incredibly powerful to treat common ailments and they help your body digest the food you eat. Herbs are among the best and easiest plants you can grow at home. You can grow them in your backyard, on your patio or even on your windowsill. It’s cheaper than buying them and you’ll have fresh, organic herbs handy whenever you need them. People have used herbs for millenia to not only flavour their meals but to also support their overall health and wellness on a daily basis. Let’s put the magic and power of herbs back into our daily lives and explore some amazing herbs for our health.
Let’s start with Basil. The taste and smell of basil is amazing. I always add it to my salads. Do you know that basil can be used for bladder infections. It is also useful in cases of nausea and vomiting. It helps for sore throat and fevers and it makes a good mosquito repellent.
Cayenne improves digestion, heals stomach ulcers, by decreasing acid production and increasing the pH in the stomach. It helps to ease pain from arthritis. It is effective for high and low blood pressure. It is great for removing phlegm from the lungs and is wonderful for clearing the sinuses.
Fennel – here the seeds are the medicine. Fennel is great for relieving muscle spasms, like tummy cramps etc. It is also a very good cough suppressant and helps to get phlegm out of the lungs. Make a tea from the fennel, this makes a great eye wash for mild eye irritations and eye infections.
Rosemary is effective for headaches and it has a strong affinity for the gut and is useful for nausea, colic and gas. Rosemary is great for breaking fevers. It also improves memory and it stimulates hair growth. It increases the skins elasticity and it also helps for asthma.
Sage has remarkable actions on the brain and the gut. It is great for diarrhea and inflammation of the gut. It is a powerful antispasmodic and can eliminate gut spasms. It is also great for sore throats and mouth sores. Sage combined with Rosemary is effective for headaches. It is also great for memory.
Thyme is effective against head lice, body lice and scabies. Make a tincture from it or use it topically. Also useful for bronchitis and coughs. It also has powerful antiseptic properties and is useful for skin infections and fungal issues like athletes foot. You can infuse Thyme in Honey. Just add a few dried or fresh sprigs to your honey in a small jar. Let sit for about four weeks in a warm window out of direct sunlight, and you will have the most delicious and medicinal honey to add to your teas.
Ginger is a powerhouse herb. It is immune-boosting, it helps to clear out your sinuses, soothes a sore throat, it is great for the respiratory system. Ginger is wonderful for nausea and for treating fevers. Adding ginger to Cayenne is very effective in soothing sore joints and muscles.
Parsley– is soothing to the gut and is excellent for stomach upset. It increases urine output which helps to remove toxins from the blood. It is also good for bladder and kidney infections. It helps to reduce bad breath. Parsley is high in vitamin k, which is essential for maintaining bone density. The root is good for clearing kidney stones.
Origanum – is high in antioxidants that help rid your body of free radicals. It is also a powerful antibiotic. It is an effective antimicrobial agent against gram–negative and gram–positive micro organisms and may prove vital in the fight against antibiotic resistant infections.
I will end with Turmeric – this is one of my favourite spices and I have written a whole blog on the medicinal properties of turmeric https://enchantedgardennaturalhealing.co.za/blog/
Turmeric contains vitamins K and E and is rich in potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium. It is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, cholesterol lowering and has antifungal effects. Its most active compound is curcumin which has proven health benefits like the potential to prevent Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease.
Here at the Enchanted Garden we grow our own turmeric, ferment it and freeze dry it. We store it in glass bottles and grind it when we need it and offer it to our customers in capsules. In the picture below you will see in the bowl on the left is our turmeric and in the bowl on the right, is store bought turmeric.
We grow all our herbs, harvest them and freeze dry them in our freeze dryer. Once dry, they are stored in glass bottles with oxygen absorbers in a dark cupboard. When we need them, I grind them and fill the bottles in my spice rack ready to use in the kitchen. See picture below of my spice rack and larger bottles in which I store the left over herbs.
There are so many ways you can add herbs to your diet. You can simply add it to your cooking, you can make a tea, use it in refreshments, you can infuse it in vinegar, you can infuse it in olive oil or your preferred oil or you can infuse it in honey.
When you start using herbs, you quickly find out how much power you have over your own health. Herbs and spices are a gift from nature. Plants have an affinity with our bodies. They are our allies, not only enlivening the taste of our food but also working in hundreds of ways to keep our bodies healthy. Before you reach for those expensive, chemical-laden, and potentially dangerous over-the-counter drugs. With side effects that can’t be ignored. Rather reach for the herbs and spices that you already have. You will find that they actually work better. So, let’s get gardening!