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GardenSMART :: Healing Herbs

Healing Herbs

By Joan Casanova, Bonnie Plants
Photographs courtesy of Bonnie Plants

In most regions of the country, we're still indoors dreaming and deciding on what vegetables and herbs to grow in our spring gardens.

While deciding what to plant, you might consider adding an old-fashioned, "medicinal" herb garden to your must-have list of what to grow. A medical herb garden is perfect for containers and will benefit you in multiple ways. Traditionally, herbs add tasty flavoring to your favorite recipes, create a beautiful aesthetic, and some attract beneficial insects. You might not know that some herbs can also provide medicinal qualities, which treat common ailments.

With a trend towards a return to a more natural way of living, medicinal herbs are growing in popularity as gardeners come to recognize the breadth of benefits herbs afford. Bonnie Plants offers approximately 40 different herb varieties, ready to go, at garden retailers nationwide.  You may be surprised at some of the benefits herbs hold.

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Here are a few suggestions:

*Lavender is a popular herb to grow for many reasons. Its deep purple flowers on tall spikes and silvery gray foliage are strikingly beautiful, its intoxicating scent and calming qualities are unique, and it's quite attractive to butterflies, bees, and even hummingbirds. You can also dry lavender for crafts or bouquets and its edible flowers have a sweet flavor, which can be used in lemonade and baking.

When lavender is steeped in tea it can help provide a sense of calm and relaxation. Lavender tea is known to reduce minor pain, and when applied as a poultice to cuts and bruises, it can also function as an antiseptic.

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*Peppermint is well known as an excellent choice for soothing stomach upset, and can help promote positive digestion. The refreshing taste of peppermint tea is known to help soothe stress and tension, and ease headaches related to both. Drinking peppermint tea can improve your overall digestive system and help improve the absorption of nutrients from the foods you eat.

*Sage offers a unique scent that can transform your potpourri, but a little known fact is that sage can also help to soothe coughs and general throat irritation. Sage is known to reduce the length and the severity of colds and sinus congestion, sometimes preventing infection, and it's one of the best antiseptic herbs!

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*Rosemary is known to help boost memory, concentration and even your mood! Rosemary contains two key ingredients: rosemarinic acid and caffeic acid that are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents, and it's a natural breath sweetener.

*Lemon balm, a member of the mint family, has a fresh lemony scent, and can help sooth anxiety and nervous tension. When steeped in tea, it can help promote positive and peaceful sleeping patterns, and can help soothe and speed the healing process of cold sores.  

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*Catnip is coveted by cats, but it's loaded with plenty of healing properties for humans, too! Catnip tea is known to be a great detoxifier for the body. It's also known for relieving headaches, especially migraines. Although it drives cats crazy (in a good way), to humans it has a very relaxing effect. Catnip is also known for balancing the digestive system, provides relief from toothaches and is a great anti-inflammatory.

When spring arrives use transplants instead of starting your own herbs from seed. They'll be ready to harvest immediately, look pretty in pots and provide you with so many benefits that they're certainly worth growing! Visit for gardening information, variety information, how to grow and more on all herbs offered.

It is important to note that you should always check with your doctor regarding health issues of concern.


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