Growing Using Herbs

How to grow and use herbs in your daily life

Herb to improve the memory

Sage

Salvia Officinalis . This is a large genus with over 900 species, distributed throughout the world. Although Sage favours dry, stony or rocky hillsides, they can also be found in temperate and sub-tropical areas as well. Native to Spain is Salvia lavandulifolia – Spanish Sage – an evergreen, woody perennial, with pale lavender blue flowers. As an evergreen Sage can be picked all year round. Most Sages dislike the wet, and need good drainage, thriving in sunny positions.  They can be grown from seed, but cuttings are very easy, taking about 4 weeks to root in the summer. Whilst Sage can be grown in pots, it is more susceptible   to red spider mite.

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Herbs for Pets

Like humans, animals can benefit greatly from natural remedies. All animals know instinctively when and what plants to eat to ensure good health, we all know that cats and dogs eat couch -grass as a way to cleanse their intestines, without any help from us. Your garden can provide a wealth of natural medicines – dandelion, parsley, nettles and garlic among them. Add a little grated raw carrot or some thyme to help dispel worms. A daily dose of garlic, whether fresh or in tablet form (only use veterinary tablets) can greatly boost the immune system, cleanse the whole system and help repel any kind of parasite. Of course you must consult your vet, if your animal is injured or seriously ill, but even then herbs can help soothe the pain and speed up healing. If you want to know more, then Mary Broughton’s Herbal Medicine for Dogs is an excellent start.

Unsightly Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are not only unsightly, they can be painful and an indication of damage to veins.“ Varicose veins are the result of an improper selection of grandparents” according to  William Ostler a Canadian physician! And whilst varicose veins do run in families,  lifestyle can also increase the risk of varicose veins developing.  Obviously if the veins are really bad then you must consult a doctor.  

In addition to improvements to diet and regular brisk exercise, there are a number of herbs that can help . Horse Chestnuts are an old European folk remedy and their efficacy has been confirmed in a number of studies.  Horse Chestnuts are not a remedy to make at home but can be bought at health food shops as a gel, which helps to tone and strengthen veins. A massage oil can be made using 30ml of almond oil, mixed with 10 drops of Cypress and Lavender and 5 drops of Rosemary . Stroke the oil gently  into your legs with upward strokes and no pressure – up to 2-3 times a day.

Pay your taxes with herbs!

Dill - Anethum graveolensa native of southern Europe , that grows wild in cornfields of the Mediterranean as well as North and South America. Dill is an annual that produces aromatic leaves and tiny yellow/green flowers in flattened umbels. Dill prefers well drained poor soil in full sun. The seeds are best grown directly into the soil as Dill does not like being transplanted. When larger the plants can be fragile and may need to be supported. Keep Dill away from Fennel as they will cross-pollinate that then spoils the flavour of both plants. Make several sowings thought the season, so you can enjoy the aromatic leaves all summer, leaving the last crop to go to seed that can be collected and stored for up to 3 years.

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Herbal Antibiotics

There are a huge variety of herbal antibiotics that can help you nip any cold in the bud. The king of anti-cold herbs is garlic,  originating in Asia it has been used by the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians alike . One of the most medically scrutinised plants, garlic has been found to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Combined with its close cousin in the plant world, the onion,  a powerful remedy can be made. Chop an onion and a clove of garlic, put in a pan with the juice of one lemon,  a dessertspoon of honey and a mug of water and simmer gently  in a covered pan for 45 mins. Drink the mixture as hot as you can, add some cayenne pepper if you are feeling particularly chilly and you will feel toasty to your toes!

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