Your Own Natural Drug Store: Growing Medicinal Herbs Indoors
Don’t you have that annoying scratchy feeling in your throat that means you have a cold coming on? At times like that, you probably wish that you had something in your kitchen you could use to treat it, without going all the way into town to the drug store. One great way to ensure that you do next time is to grow your own little indoor herb garden for healing home remedies. Growing herbs indoors is easy and fun, and many medicinal herbs are also ideal for cooking.
What are the best medicinal herbs to grow indoors?
Here are a few healing herbs to try!
Thyme – A Flavorful Anti-biotic
When you want to grow herbs indoors, one of the easiest and most useful choices you can go with is thyme. From cooking, you probably know that thyme goes great in tomato dishes, and has a subtle minty flavor. Thyme, as it turns out, is also an effective remedy against a variety of respiratory and digestive ailments, as well as vaginal infections like thrush. Asthmatics can benefit from the health effects of thyme as well. Because of its minty flavor, it works great as a tea on its own, or it can be mixed into mint tea for some added health benefits.
Mint – A Soothing Refresher
Mint is another herb which is helpful in cooking and which has curative properties as well. When growing medicinal herbs, you can grow mint to treat allergies, the common cold, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, as well as bug bites and skin infections. Mint is very soothing, and may also help to calm a sore throat. It is a natural decongestant thanks to the fact that it contains menthol. Mint is delicious in tea, and you can also combine it into your recipes to experience even more of its health benefits!
Chamomile – A Relaxing Remedy
Chamomile is among the best known medicinal herbs in existence, and like mint and thyme, it makes for a perfect tea. Chamomile is great for reducing stress and is very soothing for digestive illnesses, and may even relieve menstrual cramping. If you suffer from anxiety or strain as a result of your illness or simply because you are overworked or worried about something, chamomile may help you to relax, making it a wonderful herb to take before you go to bed. There is a compound in chamomile which binds to the same receptors as Valium-based anxiety medications, so there is a sound scientific principle at work here. Chamomile is also a classic remedy for a sore throat.
Oregano – A Fragrant Anti-Inflammatory
If you enjoy Italian food, you doubtless enjoy oregano as well, since it is one of the most commonly used spices in Italian cuisine. Oregano as it turns out is a wonderful anti-inflammatory herb which contains a special compound called carvacrol. This compound may act as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent in patients with arthritis, reducing symptoms and improving quality of life. Additionally, oregano contains antioxidants such as flavonoids and phenols. These can help to destroy harmful free radicals in your body before they wreak havoc on your body systems. This can slow down the effects of aging and protect your health over the years to come.
How to Grow Herbs Indoors
Now that you know some great medicinal herbs for indoor planting—all of which have additional culinary uses—you probably are ready to get started! But how do you actually grow herbs indoors? Here are some tips:
Plant the herbs in a good quality potting mix. Unlike herbs grown in the garden, indoor herbs get all their nutrition from the soil and fertilizers you feed them, so make sure to select a good one recommended for indoor use.
Make sure your herbs are getting plenty of sunlight. Most herbs need 6-8 hours of direct sunlight, so planting them near a window is a great idea. If you don’t have a great spot, you can purchase a CFL bulb to use to provide artificial light instead. More light will help your herbs grow better and taste better too!
Be sure the temperature is between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Herbs grow well in at the same temperature most people enjoy, they even like it a bit cooler at night.
Allow the soil to dry out between each time that you water (measuring about two inches down). Use pots which provide holes for drainage and saucers to catch the water that drains through.
Use a fish or seaweed-based fertilizer during heavy growing periods or when the herbs are in bloom. Check your soil mix before applying additional fertilizer, since some indoor potting mixes include fertilizer in the mix. And be sure to flush your pots out routinely with water to remove salt buildup from your fertilizer.
Don’t put your herbs too close together, and make sure they get plenty of airflow. Your herbs need room to grow and breathe. Indoor herbs typically do best when each herb is planted in its own container.
Give your plants attention and love!
Just follow these growing tips and you should have healthy happy herbs at the ready. For even more tips on growing herbs indoors, visit www.HowtoCulinaryHerbGarden.com.
Growing herbs indoors is not too much of a challenge, even if you are beginner, so long as you get started the right way and select easy medicinal herbs to grow, like oregano, chamomile, mint, and thyme. You will love using these herbs for curative and culinary purposes, and it may just be the start of a new hobby you will enjoy for years to come!