Herbs have been used by various cultures around the world for longer than is known to history. These fragrant plants have been valued for thousands of years for their medicinal, culinary, and simply aromatic qualities. We do know that as early as 3000 B.C., the ancient Egyptians were studying herbs in special schools that taught the plants’ uses for cooking and symbolism. These aromatic plants have taken on significant roles in both medicine and the culinary arts from pre-historic times up until today.
In today’s world, herbs still have wide use in our lives, with some people still using them to treat conditions in traditional ways, whereas virtually everyone includes at least some of them in their cooking at one point or another. Many herbs are remarkably easy to grow indoors, and no matter how you decide to use them in your life, you can learn to grow them in your home and explore their benefits.
Even if you have shied away from growing plants in the past, herbs are a wonderful way to begin adding some extra flavors to your meals. Herbs like parsley, oregano, and basil are found in many traditional Italian dishes, while herbs such as cilantro, thyme, and mint can be found in Mexican cooking. Introducing different ingredients to your kitchen can help encourage you to try new recipes and expand your palate.
Herbs like lavender, lemon verbena, and chamomile can all make delicious teas. Rosemary is known to have anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants, which may support your immune system. Peppermint, according to a few studies, can help alleviate gastrointestinal upset (stomachaches), and this herb makes a fragrant tea with a light, fresh taste. For more ideas about which herbs you can turn into tea, take a look at the list provided at Garden Therapy.
To get started growing an herb garden, you will want to make sure you have adequate space for the garden you have in mind. It’s a good idea to start small and add on as you get more comfortable with growing plants so that you don’t quickly grow overwhelmed with managing a garden.
Herbs can be grown in pots kept on your front porch or balcony, or, if you are limited for space, you can even use very small pots that you keep on your windowsill. Growing your herbs in pots is convenient because as the weather begins to cool in the autumn, you can simply bring your plants indoors to keep the perennials (the plants that come back each year) alive.
Make sure to use a potting mixture blend rather than ordinary soil, as potting soil will help your herbs grow stronger by providing more nutrients and easily drained soil. Be sure to read the back of your seed packets to learn about watering needs for each herb. If you are transplanting plants that have already sprouted, you will want to make you repot them into an appropriately sized pot.
Once your plants begin to grow, you can have fun experimenting with tea blends and new cuisines.