Medicinal Perennial Herbs to Start in your Garden

Medicinal Perennial Herbs to Start in your Garden

By Shannon, Posted in Garden

Starting herbs in your garden is a great way of celebrating the perks of mother nature. A contented feeling settles deep within my heart as I witness the initiation of a plant with seeds and then watch it grow into a magnificent beauty. While digging some new holes in my garden, I came up with the idea of enlightening you all with some tips on planting the perennials.

We all have been bewitched by these annual and perennial terms every time we come across them in the monographs. Frankly, these are not some funny terms to joke by, but a whole new theory resides within them and comes in handy for serious gardeners.

To make things easy on the ear, annual herbs stay alive for just one season and then die off whereas, perennial herbs tend to regrow and stay alive for at least three years or more. Some perennials have shown the pattern of living for more than a century.

Today, I will discuss 4 medicinally important perennials that you can easily start in your garden and save yourself the misery of observing synthetic therapies. 


Lemon Balm

How to Grow:

Lemon balm can be easily grown outdoors, in a container, or by the process of hydroponics. Use fertile, well-drained sandy loam or clay with a pH ranging from 6 to 7.5. Both seeds and cuttings can be used to start lemon balm. If you are using seeds, make sure that you sow them indoors at least six to eight weeks prior to the last frost.

The key to a successful yield here is moist soil. So don’t cut corners when it comes to watering lemon balm. Within 12 to 20 days, your seeds will sprout to give you a long-lived yield.

How to use:

Pour hot water on few lemon balm leaves and drink it after 5 to 10 minutes to treat cold sores, ease insomnia, reduce stress and anxiety, relieve nausea and indigestion, and enhance cognitive function.

Lemon balm leaves are easily tinctured in grain alcohol for at least 6 weeks. It is also decocted, simmered into syrup, infused with oil, and used in salve formulation to get most of its benefits.


Mint 

How to grow:

Mint is an insanely popular perennial. It is better to start mint with transplants as seeds take a bit longer. It can be grown both indoors and outdoors. Its aggressive nature can take over the whole garden so it is preferred to confine it to a container.

For indoors, mint seeds should be broadcasted at least 8 weeks before the last expected frost date. On the other hand, late spring sowing suits best for outdoor mint plants. Do not cover the seeds with soil as they require sunlight to flourish.

How to use:

Brewed into tea or tinctured with grain alcohol, mint leaves relieve indigestion, improve brain functioning, mask bad breath, ameliorate cold symptoms, and assists with irritable bowel syndrome.

Mint leaves are also infused with olive oil and added to salves for itching, muscular pain, and headache.


Thyme

How to grow:

Thyme thrives in full sun and a well-drained, neutral soil that can be chalky, loamy, or sandy. It seems a bit challenging to start thyme with seeds, so it is better to step up with cuttings and divisions. The cuttings should only be propagated when soil temperature 70°F i.e. two to three weeks before the last frost. In spring, the thyme plants can be fertilized with compost.

How to use:

Infused to make tea or tinctured for 6 weeks, thyme sprigs are good for shooing away cold symptoms, support the health of the respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract, and reduces bad cholesterol. Thyme oil alone or if added to salve can reduce inflammation of arthritic origin, relieving pain and adding glow and shine to skin and hair.


Sage

How to use:

Sage requires full sun exposure and well-drained, loamy, or sandy soil of 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit with acidic to neutral pH. It can be grown both indoors and outdoors by either seeds or small plant divisions. The seeds or cuttings must be sown up to two weeks prior to the last spring frost date.

Prune the woody stems and replace the plant every year for better reproduction of the crop.

How to use:

Fresh sage leaves are infused to make tea or tinctured to cater to oral health, normalize blood sugar level, elevates mood, improve brain functioning, enhances heart health, and supports women’s health.

Sage leaves are infused in olive oil and used singularly or added to salve to impart relaxation and balance. Sage oil helps purge toxins, relieves skin irritation, and dampens the appearance of blemishes.