We tend to rush to the medical store each time we come down with something. But, at times, opting for remedies closer to nature might be a better bet.
Having stated that, store-bought herbs can’t be fully trusted when it comes to quality. Hence, it might be a good (and fun) idea to grow your own at home. Here are 6 that you can start off with.
1. Pot Marigold
These bright and sunny flowers have a range of health benefits that have made it an essential part of most traditional medicines. Officially known as Calendula Officinalis, the plant exhibits antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and antioxidant properties.1 Some studies state that the plant’s properties might heal cancer.2
For cuts, bruises, and infections infuse the plant’s petals with a carrier oil and apply on the affected area. Brew it into a tea for cramps and joint pain.
2. Holy Basil
Commonly found in most Indian households, the holy basil is an aromatic plant that can come in hand when you’re sick. Studies indicate that consuming holy basil tea prevents infections, alleviates stress, and protects the kidneys and liver.
Additionally, holy basil’s properties might have a positive effect on cognition.3 This plant is also a popular detoxifier, used to counteract the harmful effects of an unhealthy lifestyle.4
A popular addition to rice, dips, pasta, and curries, cilantro doesn’t just add a unique flavor to things. Studies indicate that cilantro has memory-improving and cholesterol-lowering properties. It also improves digestion.5
Research also indicates that cilantro might have anti-anxiety properties. Add the herb to your food as a garnish or blend it with leafy vegetables for a healthy pesto.6
This beautiful purple flowering plant won’t just add color and aroma to your garden. Lavender is known to improve memory, alleviate anxiety, and cure insomnia.7
Additionally, lavender could promote hair growth and treat mild depression. Infuse lavender in a carrier oil to get the most of its benefits.8
5. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is a versatile plant, with its leaves being added to smoothies, sauces, lip balms, jams, and moisturizers. And, another feather to its cap is the medicinal benefits it offers.
Foods with lemon balm improve cognitive functioning, improve mood, and alleviate stress.9 You could also infuse lemon balm in a carrier oil and apply it to a cold sore to alleviate it.10
A popular addition to juices and desserts, peppermint doesn’t just offer a minty fresh flavor. Drinking peppermint tea is believed to improve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and acid reflux.11
Steep peppermint leaves in oil for a headache-relieving solution.12 You could also chew its leaves to prevent oral infections and bad breath.13
When it comes to herbs, always be sure to check for any allergic reactions. Only use them in addition to conventional therapy, especially for serious ailments. Start off by growing 2–3 herbs. Eventually, you’ll have an entire medicinal herb garden at home.
|↑1||Arora, Disha, Anita Rani, and Anupam Sharma. “A review on phytochemistry and ethnopharmacological aspects of genus Calendula.” Pharmacognosy reviews 7, no. 14 (2013): 179.|
|↑2||Jiménez-Medina, Eva, Angel Garcia-Lora, Laura Paco, Ignacio Algarra, Antonia Collado, and Federico Garrido. “A new extract of the plant calendula officinalis produces a dual in vitroeffect: cytotoxic anti-tumor activity and lymphocyte activation.” BMC câncer 6, no. 1 (2006): 119.|
|↑3||Sampath, Suneetha, S. C. Mahapatra, M. M. Padhi, Ratna Sharma, and Anjana Talwar. “Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum Linn.) leaf extract enhances specific cognitive parameters in healthy adult volunteers: A placebo controlled study.” (2015).|
|↑4||Cohen, Marc Maurice. “Tulsi-Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons.” Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine 5, no. 4 (2014): 251.|
|↑5||Delaquis, Pascal J., Kareen Stanich, Benoit Girard, and G. Mazza. “Antimicrobial activity of individual and mixed fractions of dill, cilantro, coriander and eucalyptus essential oils.” International journal of food microbiology 74, no. 1 (2002): 101-109.|
|↑6||Mahendra, Poonam, and Shradha Bisht. “Anti-anxiety activity of Coriandrum sativum assessed using different experimental anxiety models.” Indian journal of pharmacology 43, no. 5 (2011): 574.|
|↑7||Hritcu, Lucian, Oana Cioanca, and Monica Hancianu. “Effects of lavender oil inhalation on improving scopolamine-induced spatial memory impairment in laboratory rats.” Phytomedicine 19, no. 6 (2012): 529-534.|
|↑8||Lavender. University Of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑9||Kennedy, D. O., G. Wake, S. Savelev, N. T. J. Tildesley, E. K. Perry, K. A. Wesnes, and A. B. Scholey. “Modulation of mood and cognitive performance following acute administration of single doses of Melissa officinalis (Lemon balm) with human CNS nicotinic and muscarinic receptor-binding properties.” Neuropsychopharmacology 28, no. 10 (2003): 1871.|
|↑10||Schnitzler, P., A. Schuhmacher, A. Astani, and Jürgen Reichling. “Melissa officinalis oil affects infectivity of enveloped herpesviruses.” Phytomedicine 15, no. 9 (2008): 734-740.|
|↑11||McKay, Diane L., and Jeffrey B. Blumberg. “A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.).” Phytotherapy research 20, no. 8 (2006): 619-633.|
|↑12||Peppermint Oil. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.|
|↑13||Ramesh, Gayathri, Ramesh Nagarajappa, A. S. Madhusudan, Nagarajappa Sandesh, Mehak Batra, Ashish Sharma, and Srikant Ashwin Patel. “Estimation of salivary and tongue coating pH on chewing household herbal leaves: A randomized controlled trial.” Ancient science of life 32, no. 2 (2012): 69.|