Saturday, April 28, 2012

9 Food Cures You Can Grow at Home - Food as Medicine


You probably know by now that my favorite quote comes from the Father of Medicine himself, Hippocrates . . . Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.

Since it's the weekend I thought I would post a few gardening tips so when I saw this post (actually reposted by Dr. Pedre) I knew you would love it as much as I do. By growing these beautiful, fragrant, delicious medicinal and culinary herbs, you can create or add to your natural medicine chest. 


Even if you don't have space for a large garden, or a sunny kitchen window sill, you can still grow these lovely herbs. Remember that terrific garden table I posted on --- you could even grown them down the center of that table.

Where ever you can start one, an herb garden is a terrific way to enjoy the summer and make it last all year long!




Food Cures You Can Grow at Home                           


Put your green thumb to work growing a first-aid kit that will keep you healthy all summer.              

By Jeff Csatari & Nikki Werner

Use parslery to neutralize mouth odors

Why burn a quarter-tank of gas running out to the drugstore for Pepto when you can pluck some relief from your windowsill herb garden?

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. 

Look for seedlings of these plants and herbs at any garden store, or if you’re really ambitious, buy a packet of seeds and try sprouting your own.

Photo: Masterfil


Aloe vera is soothing for burns

Aloe Vera

Grow it: Plant in pots placed in full sunshine. Water well.
Use it: 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.





Rub basil on your temples to soothe headaches

Basil

Grow it: This sweet, fragrant annual is ideal for growing in pots. Pull off the white flowers as soon as they appear to keep it from going to seed and your herbs from tasting bitter.
Use it: Rub crushed leaves on your temples to relieve headaches. Pour boiling water over basil leaves for a pain-relieving footbath.
Read more: Check out ourBasil Growing Guide.






Lavender has anti-inflammatory properties.

Lavender

Grow it: This sun-loving plant needs good drainage. Use a small pot filled with gravel and a light soil.
Use it: 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, says Marrone. 

Lemon balm heals and prevents cold sores.


Lemon Balm

Grow it: Pot it, or it will colonize your garden.
Use it: Use for healing and preventing cold sores. Also, rub leaves directly onto skin as a natural insect repellent or to soothe bites.





Mint is ideal for cramps and gas.

Mint

Grow it: Use a sunken pot, because it grows vigorously.
Use it: 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.

Use parslery to neutralize mouth odors


Parsely

Grow it: Thrives in a pot in the sun as long as the soil is kept moist. Feed with organic fertilizer.
Use it: Immune-system booster. Eat one tablespoon of chopped flatleaf or curly parsley daily. Chewing parsley neutralizes mouth odors.
Read more: Check out ourParsley Growing Guide.



Rosemary lifts the spirits.
Rosemary
Grow it: This hardy perennial loves basking in sunshine.

Use it: 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.

Read more: Check out ourRosemary Growing Guide.

Photo: Rob Cardillo
Sage helps soothe a soar throat


Sage

Grow itNeeds full sun and a dry sandy soil.  Sage means “to be in good health.”
Use it: Gargle with a broth made from a quarter-cup of leaves (and cooled) to relieve sore throat.
Read more: Check out ourSage Growing Guide.
Photo: Rodale

Thyme is an antioxident and antiseptic.


Thyme

Grow it: Plant in dry, light soil. Needs sun.
Use it: 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.
Read more: Check out ourThyme Growing Guide.
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I do hope this has inspired you to start your own little culinary and medicinal herb garden, and if you are a veteran gardener, now you know some new things to do with your beautiful herbs!

Here's to a fun weekend!

Dr. P


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