Planting and incorporating healing herbs is such a large part of what led me to organic gardening in the first place. Today, it is simply a staple in my spring and summer routine, and something I look forward to planning every year.
I don't grow all of the herbs and vegetables that I use due to the complex nature of some of them, and, let's face it, I am all about simplifying these days. An easy fix for this is to visit the farm down the street that is literally a stone's throw away, and purchase from the family that does grow those things.
Since I am right in the middle of garden prep here in Pennsylvania, I thought I would take time to share why having a very simple organic garden works for my family's healthy eating preferences and also my budget! Supporting my neighbor's plant farm also has its benefits, right?
First, why incorporate healing herbs, roots and plants into your regimen?
- Digestion is a big factor for me. I have food intolerances, particularly where processed food is concerned, so going back to the basics has served me well.
- The only way I have been able to heal my body is to research and try to grow new things. Now I know what my body needs, and if it comes from nutrient-rich soil that is free of pesticides, I feel better about eating it.
- Energy levels thrive when you have the proper balance of foods and nutrients in general. I have benefited tremendously in terms of energy alone.
- Detoxing with herbs is better than anything you can buy on a supermarket shelf. The liver is a sponge for so many toxins, that something as simple as milk thistle and dandelion can make a great tonic.
So, what should you grow (or buy) and why?
- Ginger - for digestion. I juice it, cook with it and additional to teas and soaps. It feels like an anti-inflammatory tonic and we all suffer from inflammation in some form or another.
- Cucumber and celery - juice it and add it to salads -- great for hydration purposes.
- Aloe - I grow it on my counter in a pot to use for burns, skin wounds and to add it to my blender with water for digestion.
- Chamomile - it comes up in my garden on its own now as a perennial and I use it in teas and products for my skin.
- Echinacea & Thyme - I like to prime for cold and flu season with this in a tea, but it also just looks pretty in my garden.
- Fennel - This is a great plant to use for digestion in general. I eat it raw in salads and use it in stir-fries. It will come up again and again on its own once you plant it.
- If you can grow Meyer lemons in your sunroom or outdoors (climate permitting), do it! I use lemons in my water every single day. You can also make salad dressings with it (add to some olive oil and use a dash of sea salt) or squeeze it in teas.
- Wheat Grass - great in green drinks and perfect for a digestive aid that just makes me feel more balanced.
- Bokchoy, collard greens and kohlrabi also go into veggie dishes and salads all summer long because of their nutrient-dense goodness.
- Try some natural detox with a broth of dandelion, astragalus and nettles with garlic and shiitake mushrooms (I happen to live in the mushroom capital of the world, but you can take a foraging class for this one!)
I could go on, and likely will in another post or as an email to my list where I share tips and tricks from my own wellness practices and research. If you want to hear more like this, find out how I incorporate my green practice into skincare, and get some freebies, head here: