Why not think of planting herbs in your own garden, backyard, terrace or patio or even on your window sills?
In the present scenario of booming real estate, gardens or yards are disappearing and diminishing in importance. People are on the look for flats and apartments and the concept of having some soil and nursery of one’s own is nearly extinct.
Let me give a brief insight into the prospect of having a herbal garden within a small area, be it your balcony or indoors. Herbs are hassle free and easy to grow! And they are worth the effort.
All parts of herbs are used either as medicines or for flavour or aroma.
There are annual, biennial and perennial herbs. The annual herbs come up only during a particular season and need to be replanted every year. Perennial herbs are usually grown throughout the year. Biennial herbs die every second year and have to be planted again.
Herbalism or Botanical Medicine is quite popular in India, China and in Greek and Roman cultures predominantly. In India, the use of herbs is mentioned as early as in Kama Sutra (yet to read). However, herbal remedies are ever growing in popularity in every nook and corner of the world. If not for medicines, some have beautiful flowers and a sweet and tantalising scent that pervades the entire premises.
The Garden Site
It’s quite easy to grow some herbs in your garden. They need good drainage and will grow in neutral to alkaline soil. Some herbs are sun lovers and can be planted in the soil or kept in a pot or container where they can get enough sun. The smaller herbs can be grown in containers. Even Aloe Vera grows well in a pot or container. It prefers a dry and sunny climate with a great drainage because 95% of it is water. And the best part is that they need very less of water.
Clay pots with good drainage holes are the preferred containers for herbs. These pots or jars can be easily taken indoors during winter. But remember, plants growing in containers dry out faster than that ones growing in the ground. However, any excess of water can cause the roots to rot!
Care of the Herbal Garden
The herb garden will need regular watering and weeding depending upon the weather. Different plants will need varying measures of water. Plants in containers will need more of watering.
Prune the herbs once a month to keep them good-looking and healthy. Normally, they do not need any fertiliser and if needed a liquid fertiliser would do the job. For a healthy life, perennial herbs will need to be divided every year or two.
Some Common Herbs for a Home Garden
The large number uses of the Aloe plant include the treatment of skin diseases, sun burn, healing of the wounds etc. It is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and moisturising. If ingested, it can reduce the blood sugar level, obesity, cure digestive diseases, heart burn and so on.
Though used a seasoning in Indian cuisine curry leaves are a good source of Vitamin A and Calcium and are beneficial to the skin.
Ginger is great for rheumatism, arthritis, abdominal issues, vomiting and cough.
Mint grows throughout the year and gives relief from rheumatism, headache and IBS.
A great blood purifier and detoxifier, neem is also a cure for a variety of skin problems.
In cooking it gets along with non-vegetarian dishes and sauces. As herb-oil it has refreshing qualities while it is also said to aid memory and concentration. Rosemary can treat burns and other wounds, rheumatoid arthritis and colds.
Fresh Thyme is used in salad dressings, dried leaves in pot pouris and the essential oil in deodorants. It also aids the treatment of ailments like epilepsy to melancholy. It is a perennial herb.
The most common herb found in India, Tulsi or Holy Basil, is a great healer capable of bringing down fever, relieving sore throat and cold, infections of the mouth, and cures heart disease, respiratory problems, skin disease and eye problems.
Turmeric is great for vision, increases lactation, controls diabetes, offers relief from rheumatism, skin problems and cough.
All these make great additions to your herbal garden and enhance the health of your family. Having an herbal garden guarantees fresh, aromatic meals and great health!
-Aparna K V
Disclaimer: The statements here are suggestions and we do not offer any medical advice. You should always consult your doctor or any qualified medical practitioner before buying any of our products.