Herbs have been used by many cultures for centuries for the purposes of cooking and healing – they are an integral part of Ayurvedic medicine, used in magical ancient Chinese concoctions and teas, and were used by Native Americans to prepare potions, salve and ointments. While the popularity of using herbs in medicines took a backseat for a few decades, it has now reached a peak period once again. Commonly used to flavor all kinds of cuisines, herbs are now being recognized in the modern world for their healing and medicinal properties.
Not all herbs can easily be cultivated or farmed, however, there are some that are fairly easy to grow in the confines of your home in cute little pots that can add that little bit extra to your decor.
One of the easiest herbs to grow is Aloe Vera. Not only does it not require too much attention, it grows really fast in almost any kind of soil. It can serve as an indoor or outdoor plant. It doesn’t require daily watering and even a small piece of it can grow into a full sized plant in a matter of weeks. This is the perfect plant for those who don’t have quite so green a thumb.
Not only is this plant easy to grow, but it also has a host of benefits and is always handy to have around the house. The gel from its leaves can help heal cuts and burns and you can even use it on your pets as it is non-toxic to cats and dogs. You can consume it as a juice every day to return suppleness to your skin as well as reduce the effects of aging.
Mint is heavily used in Indian as well as Middle Eastern food as a garnish and of course, in the form of our beloved ‘green chutney’. While most people purchase bundles of mint leaves from their local supermarkets or vegetable vendors, it is surprisingly easy to grow at home. Plant the stems leftover once you’re done plucking the leaves from a bundle and watch it grow at lightning speed. Mint does require a good amount of sunlight to make sure you place it in an area that gets a lot of suns. Watering the plant once in 2 days is enough to allow it to be healthy.
Mint grows in patches so very soon you’ll see the few stems you planted grow into a full blown mint patch. There are several benefits of having mint growing around the house; it is a mosquito and ant repellant, can be used to flavor teas and mojitos, and keeping a sprig of mint under the pillow or by the bedside can induce relaxed sleep and vivid dreams. Finally, it is a great digestive that can be added to all kinds of foods.
Most gardeners consider dandelions weeds that need to be removed from the garden, however, these often looked over plants are super handy to have in your home. There are several varieties of dandelions, some that look like tiny sunflowers; they look super cute added to floral arrangements as well. Growing dandelions is one of the easiest things to do as they don’t require much care once planted. A regular supply of water and sunlight should do the trick. One thing to watch out for – plant only as many as you want as they can get a little out of control.
Aside from their cute appearance, dandelions are power packed with benefits. Consuming dandelion root can soothe digestive problems, boost liver health, and control diabetes. Dandelion tea is rich in vitamins A, C and D, as well as zinc, iron and magnesium. It also acts as a diuretic and helps to remove excess fluid from the body thus reducing bloating.