We are fortunate in Bermuda to be able to grow all of the following herbs which in some cases have powerful medicinal value (Information also courtesy of Organic Gardening online magazine).
Besides adding another dimension to your cooking, freshly harvested herbs can soothe dozens of common health problems, and it’s possible to grow a selection of home remedies in a couple of pots placed in a sunny spot.
Plant in dry, light soil. Needs sun.
A powerful antioxidant as well as an antiseptic. Drink a tea made from lemon thyme to treat colds before bed. Warning: Don’t use thyme when pregnant.
Plant in full sunshine. Water well.
Break open the thick leaves and apply the gel that seeps out to your skin to soothe sunburn. “It’s 96 percent water and 4 percent active ingredients, including amino acids and enzymes that nourish damaged skin,” says pharmacist Margo Marrone, founder of The Organic Pharmacy in the United Kingdom.
This sweet, fragrant annual is ideal for growing in pots, or in the ground. Pull off the white flowers as soon as they appear to keep it from going to seed and your herbs from tasting bitter.
Rub crushed leaves on your temples to relieve headaches. Pour boiling water over basil leaves for a pain-relieving footbath. Basil makes wonderful pesto mixed with olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, cheese and salt.
This sun-loving plant needs good drainage. Use a small pot filled with gravel and a light soil. Bermuda’s sandy soil is ideal.
It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Crush a handful of the heads and add to a bowl of boiling water to use as a steam bath for your face. You can also dab the oil from the flowers on blemishes. Very effective for headaches.
Pot it, or it will colonize your garden.
Use for healing and preventing cold sores. Also, rub leaves directly onto skin as a natural insect repellent or to soothe bites. Makes a pleasant tea.
Use a sunken pot, because it grows vigorously.
Ideal for treating the collywobbles, which you might know as butterflies in the stomach. Sip tea made with fresh peppermint leaves to soothe stomach cramps, nausea, and flatulence. For a natural decongestant, place a fistful of mint leaves in a shallow bowl and cover with boiling water. Lean over it, drape a towel over your head, and breathe the steam.
Grows freely in Bermuda. Just scatter the seeds. Also can thrives in a pot as long as the soil is kept moist. Feed with organic fertiliser.
Immune-system booster. Eat one tablespoon of chopped flatleaf or curly parsley daily. Chewing parsley neutralizes mouth odors.
Needs full sun and a dry sandy soil.
Sage means “to be in good health.”
Gargle with a broth made from a quarter-cup of leaves (and cooled) to relieve sore throat.
This hardy perennial loves basking in sunshine.
Tea made from a thumb-sized piece has been known to lift spirits in people suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and hangovers. Infuse warm red wine with rosemary, cinnamon, and cloves to soothe winter colds.
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