It has been my interest as to how helpful herbs can be. They can be planted to improve garden growth in many ways . This is often referred to as companion planting. Many herbs are used for cosmetic purposes . They can also be applied to keep pests off of pets as well as keep the bugs out of your garden. There are traditional Pioneer and Native American teas and salves to be created from herbs for health reasons . Research has indicated that ancient societies used many of the same applications . And lastly herbs improve the flavor of the foods that we cook. I am listing common and easily planted herbs and their usefulness as well as tinctures , oils and dried herbs that can be obtained at your health food store.
Please do research before consuming or applying any product as often folks have allergies that they were unaware of . Spot test applications and consume herbs sparingly at first. Ask your Doctor or one that is well versed in Holistic Medicine their opinion regarding consumption. As always keep your herbal remedies out of the hands of children.
For cosmetic applications a traditional soothing ointment for dry skin , skin rashes and insect bites is Comfrey , Chickweed, Plantain leaf and Mullein oil . All of these can be purchased at your nearby health supply store or most “super stores” . The first 3 ingredients can be grown in your back yard.
For pest control on pets ,Geranium oil and Sesame oil repels fleas and ticks . Lemongrass oil repels fleas and mosquitos. Lemongrass can be grown in your back yard to repel the fleas and mosquitos in your surroundings. In your garden , pests can be controlled by planting onions and garlic at the ends of the beds. Surround your beds with Marigolds and Zinnias to ward off other critters as well.
For your health —Basil ,Comfrey, and Pepsin are said to be good for your gut and digestion. Camomile tea also is often used for stomach aches and colic. Another digestion aid is ginger, peppermint, and fennel .
Turmeric is said to be anti-inflammatory , an anti-oxidant and often inhibits craving for sugar. Other herbs used for inflamed areas in joints are Echinacea and Golden Seal combinations . Yucca and White willow were also used by our early ancestors. Willows inner bark if cut out in small chewable chunks is an old remedy used for pain.
Valerian root as well as Hops and Skullcap are suggested to be good for nervous conditions.
Violets, often growing wild in the spring , make an excellent tea to combat allergies . Use about 1/4 cup chopped leaves and flowers and steep for 15 minutes in boiling water.
Thyme has been used as an antiseptic.
Witch Hazel is for topical application for varicose veins and hemorrhoids .
Rhubarb can be used as a laxative.
Rosemary, Dill, Thyme, Basil , Ginger, and Oregano enhance the flavors of many soups, sauces and stews. They are used for rubs and marinates on meat and fish. Onions and Garlic are used for this purpose as well.
Snip herbs when harvesting to promote reproduction. The one exception is Dill . Dill can be pulled as a plant.
Loving to Learn, Grandma Jean