Apart from enriching the flavor of your meals, spices and herbs also provide you with numerous health benefits. This article will present 7 beneficial herbs which some of the easiest ones to grow at home.
These herbs are abundant in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that can fight a number of diseases, from halitosis to Alzheimer’s. Despite their healing properties, growing herbs at home is also a cost- effective practice, since you will no longer need to spend money on store-bought herbs and spices.
Here are these 7 beneficial herbs and some of their medicinal properties:
Ginger – stimulates digestion and cardiovascular health, anti-inflammatory, prevents cold and flu
Lemon balm – antibacterial, prevents colds and fevers, anti-anxiety, fights insomnia and indigestion,
Parsley – antibacterial, stimulates digestion, anti-inflammatory, stops bladder infection
Basil – antibacterial, anti-stress, efficient against colds and infections, relieves throat and mucus
Chives – lowers cholesterol and blood pressure levels
Mint – body cleanser, stimulates weight loss and digestion, anti-cancer, antibacterial, and whitens teeth
Cilantro – body cleanser, improves heart health, regulates blood-sugar, antioxidants, antibacterial, antifungal,
As all plants depend on the sun to produce chlorophyll, it’s important to provide all these herbs some sunlight. Others can thrive even in shadier conditions, but basil is the one that needs most sun.
However, even though their need for sunlight differs, they all ask for a proper planter, so you will need to get a planter that holds water but drains properly.
Ginger is ideal for indoor planting, as it doesn’t tolerate frost, direct sun or strong winds. To grow it indoors, you need a sheltered spot, filtered sunlight, warm weather, humidity, and rich, moist soil.
The easiest way to get started growing ginger root is to get a few fresh rhizomes of someone who does grow ginger, in early spring, when the plant re-shoots anyway.
Then, plant the rhizome (or root) a few inches deep in a mix of compost and potting soil. It is vital to keep it from chilly drafts, such as open doors or windows. Mist the plant in order to maintain humidity level.
You should probably wait for 10 months, as the best harvest time is when the leaves have died down.
Lemon balm is not much dependent on sunlight, but it can grow well with only 5 hours of direct sunlight a day. This herb needs a steady supply of water, about three times a week, but good drainage is a must.
The plant recovers quickly from a wilt, so you should avoid making it too wet, which will encourage root rot.
Never remove more than about 25% of the plant’s leaves at any one time in harvest time. Brown leaves can indicate numerous problems, ranging from drafty and cold air to lack of water to excessive sun.
Parsley is a herb abundant in vitamin A, C and iron. Parsley thrives in ordinary soil with a substantial amount of sunlight, approximately 6-8 hours of sunlight a day, so it is one of the easiest sweet herbs to grow. Turn the pot every few days to prevent the herb from leaning toward the sun.
The best soil for parsley is the one supplied with humus, preferably from decaying leguminous (beans, peas, clover, alfalfa and others) crops. It is not water-tolerable, but it can easily be avoided with a sunny spot.
Note that improper pot drainage can be an issue, so if you notice the herb’s leaves become dry, do the following trick: put the planter on some pebbles to make sure water drains onto them. They will hold heat well, but if combined with water, they can also create humidity, vital for parsley to thrive. Due to the steam and humidity from cooking, growing parsley in the kitchen can be really effective.
If you have enough light, basil is one of the easier herbs to grow indoors. This herb is a true sun-lover, give it four hours of light a day, and it will thrive. Plant it in well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. Also, make sure pots provide adequate drainage, as it is not water-tolerant.
In order to grow basil indoors, you need fertilizing, pruning, keeping insects away and watering Growing basil from seeds will take longer, so if you start with a starter plant, you will cultivate it sooner.
If it’s provided with the right conditions, your chives can grow all year long, and it will offer a handy and easy way to season your food and brighten your space. Cultivating chives from seed can be irritating as well as time-consuming for beginners, since the sprouts take a long time to grow into a plant.
Water the herb when the soil is dry to the touch on the top. Spread the seeds in a 6-inch clay pot filled with pre-moistened well-draining potting soil. Cover with a ¼ inch of the pre-moistened soil and place in a sunny spot.
It would be very effective if you moisten the seeds occasionally with a mist of water until they start sprouting.
The growing of mint at home is extremely easy, you can grow them a pot of soil or even in a bottle of water. If you are a beginner, find a container with adequate drainage for healthy plant growth. As mint likes regular water, water it well after planting and place it in an area with indirect light.
You can harvest mint leaves at any size by pinching off stems. For a large harvest, wait until just before the plant blooms, when the flavor is most intense, and then cut the whole plant to just above the first or second set of leaves. During this, remove the yellowing lower leaves and promote bushier growth. Three such harvests per season are typical for mint.
Cilantro is more dependent on water than sun. Namely, it thrives in a cooler temperature. Therefore, water your cilantro only when the soil is dry to the touch, which is more often in the summer months. Make sure water drains out every time you water, since it is more important to water it thoroughly, than frequently.
Cilantro herbs have long taproots and don’t like to be reported or disturbed. Hence, choose a free-draining potting soil for your herb.