It's summer, which can mean time for BBQ's, pool parties, hiking, and my personal favourite... gardening! After a successful first garden last summer, I decided to try my hand at a medicinal herb garden this year and I thought I'd share five of the herbs I planted that I'm most excited about.
This is such a useful herb and super easy to grow, so easy in fact, that if you're not careful, it may end up taking over your whole garden. Peppermint is a great cooling herb making it perfect for a hot summer's day. It's also a great herb to help with digestion.
This one is also in the mint family and, like the aforementioned peppermint, spreads like wildfire but that only means lots of lemon balm for delicious tea. This lemony-minty tea tastes great and can be great for calming a nervous stomach. It has also been researched for it's effectiveness in treating insomnia1.
Also known as purple cone flower, this is another special plant. Not only is it native to Canada (which makes it a great choice for helping the bees and other pollinators) but it's also an immune-modulator, which makes it a great herb to have around during cold and flu season. You can harvest in the summer and then dry the leaves and flowers so you have them on hand for tea in the fall/winter. Watch out if you have allergies to the Asteraceae or daisy family of plants though!
You're probably familiar with this one. It's quite famously known for it's relaxing, calming properties. Did you know it's also great for digestion? It's also a member of the Asteraceae family, so again watch out for allergies.
Last, but certainly not least, is marigold. This one is also a native plant and part of the Asteracea family. It's great to have in the garden because it can act as a natural way to deter pests and it's flowers are great little healers for the skin. I plan to make a wonderful hand salve with the flowers I collect this year, I'll keep you all posted on how that goes!
I could talk about healing herbs for days but I'll stop there for now. If you're interested in hearing more, come out to this month's talk on herbs you may find in a naturopath's garden.
Do you have a garden? I'd love to hear about your favourite things to plant.
Ranjbar, Maryam, et al. “Efficacy of a Combination of Melissa Officinalis L. and Nepeta Menthoides Boiss. & Buhse on Insomnia: A Triple-Blind, Randomized Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2018, doi:10.1089/acm.2017.0153.