Almost every magazine or online resource you turn to will advocate the goodness of natural remedies or the benefits of using home grown herbs. And they are all probably right. However, my aim is not to extol the virtues of these herbs, since you probably know them by heart. I am going to tell you about the ten essential herbs you need to stock in your kitchen or plant in your herb garden.
Rosemary is an aromatic herb that is a great hit among rookie gardeners since it is so easy to grow and can thrive in virtually all kinds of weather conditions. It has needle like leaves and beautiful, dainty flowers in different colors, ranging from white and pale lavender to dark blue.
A herb garden is incomplete without mint. Choose from two different varieties of garden mint – peppermint or spearmint. These aromatic herbs make for very hardy perennials and are loved by beginners, just like Rosemary. They do well in moist soils but due to their tendency to grow vigorously and become invasive, it’s better to grow mint in containers.
Thyme is well known for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It is also a versatile culinary herb. You can grow it easily at home or buy it as an essential oil or in dried form. You can add thyme to meats, soups, stews, and eggs for a great flavor and it also helps treat sore throats and cough.
Basil has been made highly popular thanks to its extensive use in Italian cooking. It can be used in soups, salads and of course the very famous pesto pasta. Again, it can be grown at home or bought dried or in the form of essential oil.
If you are having trouble sleeping or feel too stressed out, chamomile tea is a great way to calm you down. It also does wonders for your crowning glory when used as a hair rinse. Grow it at home or buy it as an aromatherapy oil or tea.
Can you imagine cooking without garlic? I would hate to miss out on the unique flavor that garlic lends to meats – better still, if it is home grown garlic. There are endless uses for garlic outside the kitchen as well. You can have garlic capsules to boost the body’s immunity, use it as an antiseptic, or apply garlic oil externally to treat sores and swelling.
Cilantro is a staple in Southeast Asian cooking. It grows in warm soil, but during the hottest time of the day, it needs partial shade. It can be used in Mexican salsa, as a marinade for meats, or in soups, salads, and stews as well. If you are fond of Asian cooking, you can make green curry that goes really well with rice or noodles.
Typically used in Scandinavian cooking, dill pairs perfectly with pickled vegetables and fish. Both the leaves as well as the seeds of this herb are used for cooking. They flourish in hot weather, rich soil and a lot of sun. In addition, its yellow flowers and delicate leaves make for a beautiful addition to your kitchen garden.
Yet another herb you simply cannot do without in your medicine cabinet or kitchen garden. Aloe vera has a host of benefits and it is extensively used in several beauty products. It can be bought in the form of gel or liquid and it helps soothe sore or burnt skin.
Also known as Pot Marigold, calendula makes for a great companion plant. Its antiseptic, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties make it an invaluable home remedy for a variety of conditions.
Off to the market already? Or is it the nursery where you are headed? Which of these herbs are you going to bring back home with you today?
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