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Have you ever brushed against Rosemary or rubbed its leaves between your fingers to release its pungent and relaxing aroma? Rosemary is just one of the herbs you can easily grow in your garden or in containers to add to recipes or add sprigs to bouquets of flowers for an aromatic mood-lifter.
Herbs have been used since ancient times for medicinal purposes – especially for the treatment of depression and anxiety. Kava Kava, an herb grown mainly in the Pacific islands, is thought to be effective at relieving depression and menopausal symptoms.
Lavender is often called “the workhorse of herbs” and is considered highly effective in lifting moods, reducing anxiety and irritability and helping bouts of insomnia. Lavender also keeps on working to act as an anti-bacterial to balance hormones and balance your immune system. You can brew lavender in tea or place in a diffuser to relax you at bedtime.
Licorice Root actually has a natural hormone that can relieve stress. It’s thought to be a great substitute for cortisone and can also help your adrenal glands and your power to balance blood sugar levels. Drink it in tea form.
Another great way to relieve stress with a tea is to grow the herb, Passion Flower. This vine is a very mild sedative which may help you get a good night’s sleep. It also gently calms many body systems and is helpful for reducing anxiety and depression. Mixing it with other dried herbs such as holy basil and lemon balm will make a tasty tea that lifts your heart during those stressful times.
Verbena Hastata (Blue Vervain) has been used since ancient times to cleanse the liver, balance hormones in women (reduce PMS symptoms) and reduce sugar cravings. It can calm your nervous system and relieve stress for those who especially feel it in the neck and head areas.
If you haven’t heard of the medicinal herb, Ginseng, you have missed out! It’s a go-to-herb for anxiety, to promote energy, fight depression and help your memory. I personally can attest to the effectiveness of ginseng for increasing energy and stamina.
Are you plagued by headaches? Try the herb, Wood Betony, an herb used since ancient times for anxiety and tension. In European traditional medicine, Betony was used for treating heartburn, gastritis and sinusitis.
Some herbs don’t mix well with prescription medications, so before you run out to the garden and start picking your herbs, do the proper research and talk to your doctor to find out how they may interact with anything in your body.
An herb garden was a necessity back when over-the-counter medications weren’t available. Today, they’re making a resurgence as people search for alternatives to modern medicine.
Herbs make a great addition to any garden or container space and are usually easily grown. Most need lots of sun and water although that is not the case with all of them. Do your research on the herbs that address your particular needs, find out how they need to be prepared for you to consume (i.e. as a tea, tincture or salve) and talk to your doctor. If you still have all green lights, then let’s get started growing your own medicinal herbs!