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Medicinal & Herb Gardening
#1
Most of us should be growing herbs.  We use them to enhance our food and for medicinal purposes.  It is mostly the medicinal that I personally want to start growing herbs.  Given that so much pharmaceutical medications are more toxic and poisonous every year, I am trying to get away from them as much as possible.

Who among all the gardeners are growing herbs, especially medicinal?  Show us what you are doing and what you are growing.
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#2
I am growing all kinds of things but I will mention one to get started - lemon Balm. This has the ability to increase the serotonin production in your brain. This is helpful for depression/stress.

I have been growing this for quite some time but last year I was prescribed lexapro after a scary hospitalization that almost killed me. I definitely didn't want to be on meds but agreed since I was a mess. I started doing research and discovered lemon balm can't be used with lexapro because it has the same properties. I weaned myself off the med about 2 months ago. The only thing I miss is that while on it I had no night sweats which I had for at least 5 years. Last night I made my first glass of lemon balm tea and no sweats last night. I will see what happens tonight.

I have dried a great deal of lemon balm as well as other medicinals I grow.
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#3
I tried to edit and could not from iPad. Here is a link about lemon balm http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2007/aug2...ety_01.htm
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#4
Good thread.  I grow the basics for cooking, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme as the song goes!  I grow these in tubs near the house.
I grow several different sages, including pineapple sage which makes a winderful infusion.  While in Greece working, I learnt about honey and sage infusions so grow sage officianalis, the common sage especially for this.  I have several big clumps which I treat roughly, cutting them right back to just above the old wood every autumn.  In spring they bush right out and are covered with amazing onr foot high flower spikes of deep royal purple. The bees love it as well which is. A plus. I no longer buy ornamental sage for garden bedding flowers as they have no perfume or medicinal value, i put herb sage plants in my flower beds.

I have Greek Oregano and Greek basil,both small leaved versions and highly perfumed. These are around cosmos plants in my tubs next to the kitchen. All the flowers on the sage and oregano etc must be pinched out to stop the plants getting to tall and whispy, but I can make infusions out of the flowers as well so nothing wasted. I dry the whole plant in autumn as well as snipping them all summer, and start again with the basils as annuals each year. I let one or two branches go to seed and collect the seed. The Greek oregano has been self seeding and coming back in the same spot every year.

Sage can also be layered to make new plants or rejuvenate old ones. Just gently push down a few branches to the ground and weight down with a stone, push soil around and water, then next year you will have a new plant which can be dug up and planted elsewhere.

Borage I grow purely for using the little blue or white flowers in drinks and salads.

Comfrey, well this is such a useful plant. Mine is about a metre across and comes back every year quite early, flowers purple flowers the bees like, then dies down and comes back completely again in August. The first old branches I cut off and steep in a bucket or a month until it turns into a putrid black mass, with nettles too. Then this can be used as a liquid fertilizer if you can stand the smell.
In France comfrey is called Consoude. They have a saying locally , "avec Consoude, on soude". With comfrey you can heal, or literally solder!!

It is wonderful to make into balms and ointments with marigold, takes the sting out of nettle rash if rubbed directly on your skin. I had shingles two years ago and I found it very comforting and healing to just cut off leaves of comfrey and put them next to the affected skin on my arms and midriff.

Marigolds, only the basic Calendula Officinalis, I grew for healing creams and to put in salads. Great for insect bites and heat rash.

Melissa, Lemon balm grew all over the mountains here, I have to pull it out and co post it, I make infusions as well, for no particular reason other than I like it!

Lavender, i have several different sorts but none really grow well here must be the soil Ph, so I grow in tubs. I make lavender bags with the flowers, infusions, creams, etc. my favourite herb tea, a lavender flower head and three Stevia leaves for sweetness, so simple.

Corriander, cilantro growing in a raised bed made from a broken water butt. Flowering and going to seed

<a href="http://s229.photobucket.com/user/Washy1/media/My%20garden%202%20Libellula/image_zpsf5cb93e6.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee265/Washy1/My%20garden%202%20Libellula/image_zpsf5cb93e6.jpg" border="0" alt="Corriander and mesclun mix photo image_zpsf5cb93e6.jpg"/></a>

Corriander, cilantro, i grew this for the leaves in salads and curries and fruit salad(!), and for the seeds to spice up rice. I collect my own seeds, and plant seeds in succession from February (indoors) until september.

I have probably forgotten something, these are the things I grow, there are so many other hedgerow goodies around here we are spoilt for choice. Someone else will have to add to this thread with uses and recipes etc, will out my recipes on which are minimal, later.
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#5
I am so grateful for this thread!  I am just getting serious about growing my own herbs this year.  The kids and I love teas, so why not produce our own?

I have started small with regular herbs for cooking.  For medicinal, I started with lemon balm and chamomile.  I have wild raspberry bushes growing by the creek, so we're going to use those leaves.  I have seeds I am planning to begin using for next season of echinacea and lavender.
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#6
Here is a pic of a little window box I just made up with three different types of basil.

<a href="http://s229.photobucket.com/user/Washy1/media/image_zpsfe04bc01.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee265/Washy1/image_zpsfe04bc01.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo image_zpsfe04bc01.jpg"/></a>


Outside edges are two dark red basils, lovely shocking pink flowers later but I snipped them off to allow plant to grow. Next in from them two Thai basil, slim leaves and red stems. In the middle in frobt is a greek basil with tiny leaves.  Also to new style yellow geraniums, tiny flowers.


Behind the green tub is an eartherware pot with two lavender plants just in flower.  I have other plants but as I said they don't do too well here.  I just have to wander up to the garrigue, the rough scrubby hills, to find wild lavender, rosemary and thyme.
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#7
Coriander/Cilantro = same thing, for those who don't know.  Now I have it growing for the whole purpose of detoxing my body as it has been mentioned it is a great detoxer.

How do I know when it is ready to pick?
How do I preserve it?
How do I use it medicinally for detoxing?


If no one knows for sure, I will start researching and see what I can come up with and post here.  I am hoping we can list each and every Herb we on this forum grow and then state: 

  • how we grew it

  • how to care for it

  • how to harvest it

  • how to store it

  • how to use it
  • oh and pictures!!!!

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#8
I'm so glad you're asking!  I grew cilantro this year.  LOVE it!  Now it has gone to seeding, but I don't know what to do with coriander lol.  I have never used it to cook with.
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#9
I am not fond of it as it can overwhelm your dish if you use even a smidge too much. Used a lot in Mexican and Italian foods.  I think mine might be going to seed also, though not sure yet.  Don't want to pick it yet as I don't know how to preserve it?  Seeds I will save or attempt to, so I can keep growing it. 

Thinking I might have a HUGE bottle garden next year!!!!!!!  I bet I get a real garden if I have 200 bottles all over the yard, what ya all think??
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#10
(07-11-2013, 03:34 PM)Whiteangel Wrote: I am not fond of it as it can overwhelm your dish if you use even a smidge too much. Used a lot in Mexican and Italian foods.  I think mine might be going to seed also, though not sure yet.  Don't want to pick it yet as I don't know how to preserve it?  Seeds I will save or attempt to, so I can keep growing it. 

Thinking I might have a HUGE bottle garden next year!!!!!!!  I bet I get a real garden if I have 200 bottles all over the yard, what ya all think??

Omg!  lol  Yes!  Do it do it do it do it!!!!!!!!!!  

I think I read to store coriander seeds in a jar in the fridge.  I'll have to read up on it again.
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