Food & HealthSurvival

10 Herbs To Grow in the Survival Garden

Survival gardeners, of course, love to grow their own food, as they should. Perhaps many of them do not realize the ease of growing their own medicines? Herbs are not difficult to grow, and many do well in containers on a porch or patio. Take a look at these 10 herbs that will improve your own survival garden!

BackdoorSurvival – For many, the time has come to plan our summer gardens.  Given the overwhelming interest in recent articles about essential oils, I decided to revisit the topic of an herbal healing garden.  My interest is a bit self-serving in that I am in the process of rethinking my own garden and while I grow an abundance of rosemary,lavender and peppermint, this year will be an ideal time to replace some tired shrubs with plants that will work for me.  Healing herbs will fit the bill quote nicely.

Herbs have been used for centuries to sooth and to heal.  According to Wikipedia:

Herbs have long been used as the basis of traditional Chinese herbal medicine, with usage dating as far back as the first century CE and before. Medicinal use of herbs in Western cultures has its roots in the Hippocratic (Greek) elemental healing system, based on a quaternary elemental healing metaphor.

With such a long history of use it makes perfect sense that you would want to include a selection of herbs in the survival garden.

Healing Herbs for the Healing Garden

Basil:  People don’t usually think of basil as a healing herb and yet traditionally, it is called the “king of herbs”.  It is used medicinally as a natural anti-inflammatory and is thought to have mild antiseptic functions. Some healing uses are for flatulence, lack off appetite, nausea and cuts and scrapes.

It is also superb on spaghetti and in pesto but then you already knew that.  Basil is an annual plant so you will have to start anew each year.

German Chamomile:  Chamomile is one of the most popular herbs in the Western world.  Its flower heads are commonly used for infusions, teas and salves.  These in turn can be used to treat indigestion, anxiety and skin inflammations.  As a tea, it serves as a mild sedative to help with sleep.

Feverfew:  This perennial is a member of the sunflower family and has been used for centuries in European folk medicine as a remedy for headaches, arthritis, and fevers. The name feverfew comes from a Latin word meaning “fever reducer.”

It’s  many uses include easing headache pains – especially migraines.  This is done by chewing on the leaves.  A tea made from the leaves and flowers is said to relieve the symptoms of arthritis.

Lemon Balm:  Lemon balm is a member of the mint family.  Considered a calming herb, it has been used as far back as the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion.  Even before the Middle Ages, lemon balm was steeped in wine to lift the spirits, help heal wounds, and treat venomous insect bites and stings.

As with many other herbs in your healing garden, lemon balm promotes relaxation and a sense of calm.

Parsley:  While not one of my favorites, there is nothing like a sprig of parsley to take away bad breath.  It is no wonder that this biennial (meaning it lives for two years) is used to decorate and garnish plates in the fanciest of restaurants.

When brewed as a tea, parsley can help supplement iron in a person’s diet, particularly for those who are anemic. Drinking parsley tea also boosts energy and overall circulation of the body, and helps battle fatigue from lack of iron.  Other uses?  Parsley tea  fights gas and flatulence in the belly, kidney infections, and bladder infections.  It can also be an effective diuretic.

The remainder of the Herb List can be found here, along with some terrific instructions on how to get started and how to make herbal teas. Good luck in the garden!

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