Getting Started with a Herbal Medicine Garden

Long ago, before the advent of modern healthcare and medicines people were reliant on other, more primitive methods of getting better.  Some ideas, in retrospect weren’t very good ones such as drilling a hole in the head to let out bad spirits.  But some methods and routines continue to remain effective and affordable even into the present day.  

Herbs have long been a staple ingredient for medicines throughout the ages.  They’re cheap and easy to grow and effective for treating a variety of ailments.  Given the hassle it can be to get access to a doctor when needed most having a herbal remedy to hand can be a huge boon to the afflicted for those who understand it. 

Getting Started with Medicinal Herb Growing

Starting a herb garden is by the standards of many gardening projects a relatively easy undertaking which can make it an appealing first project for a garden designer.   Many herbs grow easily in the soil or in containers; indeed it is often better to move more prolific growers into containers to limit their ability to encroach upon your other plants.

Of course choosing a particular herb to grow can be daunting given that there are so many.  However many herbs have similar effects to one another and with experience a grower can learn which herbs will add to their garden and which are redundant based on what is already growing.  Some candidates for inclusion in a starter garden are:

Camomile:  Often served as Camomile tea, this popular herb has long been used as an aide to sleep, as well as to help with digestive related problems.  It is also approved by some medical authorities to help with tension, inflammation and colic. 

As a plant it is easily grown from seed, beginning to bloom in as little as six weeks from initial planting.  It does best in cooler climates as extended hot weather can cause the plant to wilt. 

Yarrow:  This sturdy plant, known to many as a weed is infact an excellent means to reduce inflammation and pain. It is also fantastic for stopping bleeding, though it is not an antiseptic and care should be taken to prevent infection when used. It is easy to grow, requiring little intervention and maintenance by the gardener except to prevent it’s expansion into unwanted areas of the garden. 

According to Homeric Legend, the hero Achilles used the plant to staunch the bleeding wounds of his soldiers during the battle of Troy.  This is reflected in the scientific name for the plant: Achillea

Peppermint:  Mints have been known and used in herbal remedies since ancient times and peppermint is an easy to grow favourite.  It is perhaps a bit too easy to grow, reaching 3ft high and quickly expanding over neighbouring plants if not kept in check. 

It works well however as a remedy for infections as it contains oils known to inhibit the growth and activity of bacteria and viruses.

Aloe Vera:  A huge favourite of the cosmetics industry, Aloe Vera has excellent properties used on skin to treat burns, wounds, allergies and even Eczema.    It is a tolerant plant that grows easily under most conditions.




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