Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Medicinal Herb Garden - The Herbs

Last time I mentioned some of the herbs to be included in the medicinal garden, we now need to look a bit deeper into why and how these herbs can be of benefit.

The herbs will be used in different ways, infusions, tinctures, infused oils and we will go into the methods of making these once the construction of the garden is underway. So in no particular order of preference or importance here are some of the perennial herbs for the garden, with the annuals and short lived perennials tackled next time.
Let’s start with Sage.

Salvia officinalis

Sage is multi-talented. Not only will sage help support us through winter coughs and colds by strengthening our immune systems, it will help calm any anxiety and nervousness. An infusion of Sage leaves used as a gargle will ease a sore throat and taken as a ‘cool’ drink rather than hot it will help to reduce menopausal hot sweats. 
Sage also helps poor memory and mental confusion – so that’s me sorted then!

Sage likes a sunny position and a light/well drained soil.

Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosemary is an uplifting wonderfully aromatic herb, which will help with headaches, exam stress and memory recall as well a cold sluggish digestion. An Infusion of the leaves in olive oil (we will make a Rosemary infused oil in a few weeks) will help aching muscles from too much cricket and an infusion in boiled water will make a refreshing, uplifting cuppa and also a scalp stimulating rinse for dark hair.

Rosemary likes to have her head in the sunshine and a sandy/well drained soil around her roots.

Thymus vulgaris

Extremely anti bacterial, anti viral, antiseptic, it’s anti everything! Great for chest infections and coughs. Infused in honey and possibly combined with Liquorice you have a fantastic cough syrup. Recent research gives evidence that Thyme will help with problem skin.

Another sun lover, Thyme likes a bit of gravely soil to sit in.

Melissa officinalis

Fresh Lemon balm tea is a real delight. Delicate and light it lifts the spirits and soothes emotional ups and downs. On a hot summers day you can add ice cubes for a cooling, refreshing drink. Lemon balm relaxes and calms the nervous system, and is especially good for anxiety that effects the digestive system and which also causes palpitations.

Lemon balm likes a good deep root run and sunshine.

Hyssopus officinalis

Hyssop is warming, relaxing and cleansing herb. It helps to clear coughs and sore throats but also the herbs bitter qualities aids digestion. A cup of Hyssop in the evening will help sweeten dreams.

Although Hyssop likes the sun she will take a little shade too.


Hypericum perforatum

St John’s wort is an incredible healing herb. The golden yellow flowering tips are used and can be made into a variety of helpful things. St John’s wort is anti viral, anti bacterial and anti haemorrhagic so great for cuts and grazes, even cold sores. Used as a tincture St John helps depression. In this garden the flowers will be used to make an infused oil which can be made into an healing ointment or a cream.

St John's wort likes a sheltered spot with lots of sunshine.

Both Lemon balm and St John’s wort will need some serious harvesting. They just love to grow and could invade and conquer!

The soil condition

Having made a start on the digging I think the soil needs a little help. This particular patch has been hidden under grass for at least the last fifteen years so needs some compost and horticultural grit digging in. This will improve the quality and drainage of the earth, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme all like a bit of good drainage, they don't like sitting in waterlogged ground.

More on the annuals and short lived perennial herbs next time.
Have you thought of making a medicinal herb garden?

Have fun


1 comment:

  1. Interesting about the exam stuff! I remember using rosemary and lemon to help my concentration while revising for finals. Obviously did the job!