09 May 10 Great Plants to Start Your Apothecary Garden
Since the beginning of time, humans have kept useful plants close at hand. Growing herbs and flowers for flavour, health, and wellness are universal. So, what’s good to grow? And once you’ve got plants growing, how can you use them?
Herbs can be grown anywhere that there is soil, sunlight, and water. Whether you have a field, yard, or container garden, there are plants to fit your space and enhance your life. Even a tiny pot on a windowsill can be easily sown with seeds or filled with leafy starter plants.
Our Top 10 Favorite Plants for Your Apothecary Garden
- Calendula (Pot Marigold) – This flower has bright orange daisy-shaped flowers. The petals can be used to colour and flavour foods, similar to saffron. Calendula is said to boost the immune system and soothe inflammation.
- Lemon Balm – As part of the mint family, this plant has a distinctive hint of citrus. It makes a beautiful tea to boost your mood while reducing anxiety and stress levels. Lemon balm is also said to ease pain, aid digestion, and calm nausea.
- Chamomile – This plant features small white flowers and is a common ingredient in calming teas and topicals. Chamomile is said to reduce inflammation and has been linked to lower blood sugar levels and aid in cancer prevention.
- Echinacea – High in antioxidants, Echinacea flowers are used in a multitude of products aimed at reducing anxiety, inflammation, and even the common cold.
- Mint – Peppermint is a common flavouring and scent in all kinds of products, from teas to toothpaste. It can help relieve indigestion, headaches, and anxiety.
- Rose – Besides their beautiful fragrance and colour, Roses are high in antioxidants and make great additions to cooking, cosmetics, and teas. Meanwhile, Rosehips (their small red fruits) make great jellies, sauces, and teas that are high in vitamin C and said to have anti-aging effects.
- Thyme – This fragrant herb is another antioxidant powerhouse. Thyme can be used to flavour food or can be brewed into a tea to soothe digestion, calm congestion, and battle inflammation.
- Rosemary – When added to cooking or used in teas and cosmetics, the scent of Rosemary alone can improve a person’s mood and concentration. Plus, it’s been linked with eye and brain health.
- Lavender – Recognized for its calm healing properties, Lavender acts as a wonderful ingredient for teas, flavouring food, and cosmetics.
- Tulsi (Holy Basil) – The leaves of Holy Basil are said to be a tonic for the mind, body, and soul. Tulsi tea in particular is recognized as an aid for everything from stress to tissue damage.
How To Use Your Healing Herbs & Flowers
Herbs (the green leafy stuff) and spices (roots, stems, seeds, flowers, or bark) come from a variety of plants and can be used in many forms. The part of the plant you use and its preparation depends on what you want to use the herbs for.
As always, please note that although many herbal solutions are considered mild, you should always consult an expert for possible interactions and side effects with prescription medications before use.
- Use fresh or dried for flavouring
- As a garnish for salads or meals
- Infuse into oils & vinegar
- Preserve in jellies & salsas
- As a medicinal element
- As a mood booster
- Infuse into essential oils for topical treatments & aromatherapy
- Brew into a tea
- Add to tinctures for fast absorption
- Use in beauty products to add fragrance, cleansing, & toning qualities
- Use to perfume shampoo & soap
Medicinal Tea Blends
A great way to begin your herbal experience is with a tea blend. You can simply collect fresh or dried plant material, wash it well, and steep it in boiled water for 5-10mins. Then, add honey, sugar, or maple syrup to sweeten to your liking.
Try one of the following recipes, or follow your senses to create your very own blend. Herbal teas are a fantastic way to gift yourself and others a soothing treat.