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10 Best Healing Plants You Can Grow At Home

莹723
02-08
Even if your "garden" is a few pots on a balcony or patio, growing things is good for us! Besides adding zest to our cooking, many modern drugs, such as aspirin, are derived from plants. "Over time, we've found many plants are effective for nutrition, for adding spice to foods, and also for healing us,” says vice president for botanical science at the New York Botanical Garden, Michael Balick, PhD. “There’s also a positive mental health aspect to gardening.” More and more studies show that gardening can help you deal with anxiety and depression, manage weight, and control blood pressure. Plus, who doesn't need more fresh air and sunshine, especially these days?



The great thing about most herbs is that most do just as well in pots as in ground. Some healing plants are perennial, which means they'll return year after year. In many parts of the country, even the snowy North, you'll be able to harvest the hardier herbs for much of the year. Many are easy to dry or freeze so you can use them year-round in cooking.

1.Chamomile



Roman chamomile is a low-growing perennial, while German chamomile is an annual that can become two feet tall. Chamomile likes full sun to part shade and needs well-drained soils.
How to use: Both types are used interchangeably. When the flowers begin to open, harvest them and spread out to dry. Chop the dried flowers, add about one tablespoon per cup of hot water, and steep five minutes to make a tea to aid sleep or digestion. Or place the chopped flowers in a small muslin bag with a drawstring to make a tea bag. Bonus: Use this after it cools to soothe red, puffy eyes!

2.Mint

There are hundreds of varieties of mint, with flavors varying from peppermint to chocolate. Mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow. In fact, keep it in a pot or it will take over your garden! Make sure to plant in full sun (6 hours or more direct sun per day).
How to use: Mint relaxes the smooth muscles of the GI tract, so it’s long been used for digestive issues. When you have tummy trouble or feel nauseated, make a tea for sipping. Strip about a dozen leaves (peppermint and spearmint are especially good) and steep in one cup of boiling water until it takes on a yellowish hue.

3.Rosemary

Rosemary originates in the Mediterranean, so it needs full sun and prefers sandy or rocky soil. It’s drought tolerant and perennial in warmer climates. In cold climates, pot it up and bring it indoors for the winter, giving it tons of light.
How to use: Make a hair rinse (good for oily hair) by placing one teaspoon dried rosemary or a handful of fresh rosemary in a cup of boiling water; add one tablespoon lemon juice, and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain, let the infusion cool, and pour through freshly shampooed hair. Add it to dishes such as focaccia, sauces, and roasted meats.

4.Lavender

Lavender likes full sun in well-drained soil, but make sure you choose a variety that will thrive in your zone.

How to use: Harvest the leaves and flowers just as the flower spikes begin to open, chop them up and put them in a small sachet to tuck a few under your pillow to reduce anxiety and help you sleep better. It's also delicious in baked goods such as scones!

5.Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is very easy to grow in full sun and well-drained soil. Keep it in a container so it doesn’t spread rampantly throughout the garden.
How to use: Pour one cup boiling water over five or six fresh leaves. Steep for five minutes, strain and sweeten. Drink several times a day for an upset tummy.

6.Aloe Vera

Grow aloe vera indoors in bright light. Don’t keep it too wet because it retains moisture. It doesn't mind being overcrowded in the pot, so don't worry about repotting unless you want to make new baby plants.
How to use: Aloe vera is a great topical home remedy for skin irritation because compounds in the leaves have anti-inflammatory properties. Cut off the largest outermost leaves, peel and squeeze the gel-like substance onto minor burns or poison ivy or poison oak rashes.

7.Basil

Basil needs full sun and well-drained soil. Pinch off the flowers as soon as they begin to form to encourage branching and the growth of more leaves.
How to use: Basil has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Crush a few leaves and apply to mosquito bites. Leave on for a few minutes to relieve itching. It's the star ingredient in many Mediterranean dishes including sauces, soups, and pesto. It also freezes well if you have an abundance (toss leaves in a blender with water or olive oil, blend until mostly smooth, then freeze in ice cube trays!).

8.Calendula

These pretty orange and yellow flowers, also known as French pot marigold, like full sun. It’s an annual that blooms from summer until frost, and it's not difficult to grow from seed.
How to use: Pick the flowers when they're fully opened, but not yet gone to seed. Pour one cup boiling water over two teaspoons of petals. Steep for 10 minutes, strain, and let cool. Use as a mouthwash or gargle to relieve inflammation.

9.Thyme

Thyme likes hot, dry conditions and soil that isn’t too rich. It’s incredibly easy to grow in full sun (it even tolerates some shade), and most varieties spread quickly.
How to use: Thyme’s antimicrobial activity may help relieve coughs and cold symptoms. Make a tea by pouring a cup of boiling water over a tablespoon of fresh leaves, and steep for 10 minutes. Drink several times a day. It's lovely in sauces and chicken dishes.

10.Sage

Sage needs full sun and well-drained soil. It’s a perennial in most climates.
How to use: Sage’s antimicrobial properties may relieve upper respiratory symptoms. Chop up about one teaspoon of the leaves and steep in a cup of boiling hot water for 10 minutes. Cool, and use as a gargle for sore throats. It's also delish in stuffing, chicken, and pork dishes.

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