Updated: Feb 25
Interested in creating your own herbal garden, but don't know where to start? Here are some quick tips from herbalist, Connie Karstens.
Begin with good quality plants. Whether your purpose for an herb garden is to incorporate more herbs in your diet or creating herbal medicines, it is highly important to have high-quality plants. You can start herbs from seed, but you can harvest sooner if you start with seedlings.
Every year, the Lamb Shoppe orders locally grown organic starter plants from Prairie Drifter Farm. This local organic farm does such an amazing job growing healthy plants. We also get starter plants from Glacial Ridge Growers and medicinal seeds from Strictly Medicinal Seeds.
Select the right location. Depending on the type of location you have available for your herbal garden, it might affect which plants you choose to grow. Make sure the location of each plant has enough sunshine as needed. As a general rule, herbs tend like light and require a minimum of four hours of sunshine a day.
Part-shade: Angelica, Agrimony, Lemon Balm, Parsley, Peppermint, Valerian
Full-sun: Basil, Borage, Calendula, Cayenne, Chamomile, Dill, Echinacea, Feverfew, Skullcap, St. John's Wort, Thyme, Yarrow
Herbs for moist areas: Angelica, Bergamot, Lemon Balm, Mint, Watercress
Herbs for gravelly soil: Lavender, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme
Easy herbs to grow: If you are a first-time herb gardener, begin with the simple basics. The easiest herbs to grow and use are mint, chamomile, lemon balm, basil, sage, thyme, parsley, rosemary, and oregano. These are all common kitchen herbs that crossover to medicinal uses as well, making them excellent dual-purpose plants.
Holy Basil (Tulsi) grows abundantly and makes a delicious and relaxing fresh tea that blends well with Lavender. If you have not tried this blend, I would highly recommend it!
Pollinator Plants: If you are looking for beautiful flowers and pollinator plants be sure to grow echinacea, anise hyssop, calendula, and lavender. Hyssop officinalis makes a nice border and is a hardy perennial. Be cautious where you plant skullcap, wild bergamot, marshmallow, St. John's wort, and yarrow as they easily can spread and take over an area.
Why Have a Herbal Medicine Garden?
There are so many health benefits from simple plants that you can grow in your backyard. Not only can you use the herbs for foods and teas, but they can easily be made into preparations such as tinctures, oils and salves. Also, you can pick and dry the herbs for later use in the winter too. Here are 4 wonderful plants and their medical properties:
Cayenne pepper is a common garden plant that is a member of the nightshade family. It produces hot fiery, red fruits used to flavor dishes, but also is used for medicinal purposes. Cayenne pepper is a famed heart tonic. It normalizes and strengthens the cardiovascular system along with being a blood pressure equalizer. It opens and strongly stimulates circulation and digestion.
A much-loved garden perennial, Lemon Balm has a lovely lemon scent and delicious taste. It is a member of the mint family and is cherished as a culinary, cosmetic, aromatherapy, and medicinal herb. Lemon Balm is superlative for anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia. It can calm and soothe a nervous stomach. Interestingly, it also can support the immune system by fighting off cold sores, shingles, and other viral infections. --And it makes a wonderful tasty tea!!
Garden Sage is a common perennial garden herb and is easy to identify with its wrinkled looking, aromatic leaves. This herb is found in nearly every kitchen cupboard, but should also be in every medicine cabinet. Sage can be used for a simple sore throat remedy. It is also a powerful remedy for regulating water balance. It is often used to prevent night sweats, hot flashes and improve/regulate hormone function for men and women.
This miraculous perennial grows in the wild but is a necessity for every medicinal garden. Only the plants with the white and pastel pink shades of flowers carry medicinal properties, not the yellow-flowered variety. Yarrow is an astounding blood regulator. It may lower blood pressure, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and internal hemorrhages. It may also lower fevers and helps with sore muscles. Yarrow has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and can immediately take the pain away from injuries. It is great to use for bruises, gushing wounds, cuts to the bone, sprained ankles, burns, and much more. Not to mention its ability to be used for insect repellent and protection against electromagnetic radiation, high-frequency energy radiation, and x-rays.
More on Garden Medicine
Are you interested in learning more about local plants that enhance health and nutrition? Order your own Garden Medicine herbal educational card sets today! This card set outlines local plants for herbal remedies. Discover just how many common plants growing in your garden can be used to enhance your well-being and how they hold amazing medicinal properties to assist the body's natural ability to heal itself.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.