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Plant a Healing Garden

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As you embrace the raw and living foods lifestyle and enjoy your gardening pursuits, why not plant a simple healing garden and use the culinary and medicinal herbs for natural health and beauty? Several herbs are quite easy to grow and use.  Plan your healing garden now so that you can purchase and start seeds indoors.  Before you know it, spring will arrive in your gardening zone and it will be time to cultivate such plants outside. 


Culinary Herbs for Health and Healing

Several popular culinary herbs serve double duty in the healing garden. Use these herbs during meal preparation, or use them for health and healing.

•    Rosemary: Rosemary has a long history of use as both a culinary and healing herb. Plant rosemary and crush the leaves for aromatherapy uses. The scent is said to relieve headaches and clear the mind.  I keep a dish of dried rosemary from the garden on my desk and enjoy the scent. You can mix it with homemade potpourri too for a fragrant tang.

•    Sage: Sage tastes great, but it can also be made into a gargle for sore throats and laryngitis. Sage has both astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.

•    Thyme: Thyme offers both culinary and antiseptic properties.


Garlic

While not an herb per se, garlic offers so many much potential both as a culinary plant and a healing plant that it belongs in every garden with suitable growing conditions. Beloved for its pungent flavor, garlic proffers health benefits for the cardiovascular system as well as antibacterial, antimicrobial properties. Purchase organic cloves to grow it at home.  One clove produces a large bulb. Garlic is a great easy-care plant too, because once you plant the bulbs, you don't need to do anything else – not even weed it, unless the weeds threaten to smother the plants.


Herbs for Beauty and Skin Care

Two other herbs to grow at home for beauty and skincare needs are lavender and calendula.

•    Lavender: Most people are familiar with lavender's beautiful purple flower spires and its strong scent. You can grow lavender from seed, or purchase plants at nursery and garden centers. Harvest the flower spires and dry them in the sun, then use in potpourri and homemade beauty preparations. Lavender also has antibacterial effects, and commercially prepared lavender oil may be use along with tea tree oil for minor skin irritations.

•    Calendula: Calendula has bright orange flowers, and the petals are harvested and used in natural beauty products. It grows easily from seeds directly sown into the garden. Harvest and solar dry the flower heads for beauty preparations or potpourri. 


All of the herbs recommended for your healing garden are fairly easy to grow, and you can obtain seeds or plants at your local garden center in the early spring.



About the Author

Jeanne Grunert is a writer and marketing consultant who moved from New York City to a 17-acre organic farm in rural Virginia. She writes about gardening, health and raw foods for many publications, and her gardening book, Get Your Hands Dirty – A Beginner's Guide to Gardening, is available from her website, http://sevenoaksconsulting.com/GetYourHandsDirty.aspx

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These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration.  The preceding information and/or products are for educational purposes only and are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. Please consult your doctor before making any changes or before starting ANY exercise or nutritional supplement program or before using this information or any product during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.


Written by:  Jeanne Grunert
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