Thursday, February 10, 2011

In My Herb Garden

Yesterday I shared my goals for my garden and some of my seed list for this coming growing season. Jennie asked about the list of herbs I plan to start growing this year. I thought I would share with you a little bit about these herbs and why I have chosen them for my garden.

Elecampane is an herb that relaxes the lungs and helps to clear mucus. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is also known as scabwort for its ability help with skin disorders. After the plant has established itself the roots can be harvested in the fall. It is a tall perennial with bright yellow flowers.

Lovage can flavor soups with its celery flaovor. It can restore appetite and a zest for life. It also attracts beneficial insects.

Borage can be used in a cough syrup. It has a cool flavor like cucumber which can be added to salads. It is a source of gamma linolenic acid, or Omega 6 fatty acid. This plant can spread so it will have its own special spot where it can roam a bit. I am attracted to this herbs anti-inflammatory propertied

Feverfew will easily reseed itself. It can be used for headache, improve liver health and promote an healthy menstrual flow.

Motherwort is used by women during life transitions. Combined with some other herbs it contributes to a tonic that can relieve hot flashes.

Lavender is calming. I love the smell and plan to use this herb in some handmade gifts such as little pillows for aiding sleep.

Chamomille is an all round great herb. I use it to make a calming tea. I will use it as a rinse in my hair. I will pour some in a relaxing bath.

Toothache plant numbs the mouth when chewed. It can stimulate the immune system much like echinacea.

These herbs will join the yarrow, mullein, echinacea, lemon balm, mint, catnip,oregano thyme, comfrey that I transplanted last fall. I chose these plants for their medicinal properties but also because they will add some lovely color to my garden. I love plants that can do double duty.
I have multiple sclerosis and can not enjoy some of the immune boosting benefits of some of these herbs. But my family can. I am also a woman of a certain age (44) and I have noticed changes as I become fully steeped in peri-menopause, so some of these herbs will also provide some relief to some the symptoms associated with this time in my life.

Some books that I find most useful as I learn more about herbs include, The Woman's Book of Herbs by Deb Soule, the founder of Avena Botanicals. Common Herbs for Natural Health by Juliette de Baircali, The Herbal Medicine Maker's Handbook by James Green and finally a wonderfully beat up copy of the Rodale Herb Book that I found on Paperback Book Swap.


Jennifer said...

Thanks for taking the time to write a post about it! I read about borage a lot - it seems like it's also a really good companion plant for a lot of vegetables

Wendy said...

Thanks for sharing the books you find helpful. I'm trying to grow chamomile for the first time this year and borage is also on my list.

Wendy said...

Have you seen elecampane? Does it look similar to Jerusalem Artichoke?

Just asking, because I have a plant that I thought was Jerusalem artichoke (not the ones you sent to me ;), but it doesn't have the tuber root. Similar flower, grows very tall (although not as tall as the sunchokes, which were taller than my roof ;) with slightly different (more shiny and darker green) leaves.

Great list! I have many of these myself. Borage is pretty fantastic (I didn't know about its healing properties), and the bees LOVE it!

Fleecenik Farm said...

Wendy from Maine, Yes Elacampane does look alot like Jerusalem artichokes. I pondered this when I thought about where I wanted to plant it because I wouldn't want to get the mixed together.

Although some of the roots of the Artichokes can be long like runners that eventually lead to a tuber.

Both plants are a member of the sunflower family so they share similar traits.

Robj98168 said...

Out of the list I only found three that I have and still do grow- Borage, Feverfew, and Lavender. I like to snip of a Borage flower or two and just chew on it, when I am out in the garden. I have never used fever few for anything, but after reading your post I will now. Lavender is used greatly around these parts. I tried growing chamomile but that was a bust! Anyway thanks for the list and the links!