It’s no secret that herbs are good for you. Likewise, the act of gardening comes with many health benefits — mentally, emotionally, and physically.
So why not combine the two?
An herb garden is a meaningful and natural way to introduce wellness into your life — or to reinvigorate an existing wellness routine.
Here are the top wellness benefits of having an herb garden and several ways to use your fresh herb harvests as remedies.
Herbs are some of the most nutrient-rich plants in the world. Fresh herbs specifically are some of the most effective ways to get nutrients out there. When compared ounce by ounce, herbs contain more concentrated nutritional benefits than any other leafy green. Oregano, for example, contains eight times the amount of antioxidants as spinach per ounce.
If you’re looking to get more Vitamin A, try mint! If you’re feeling Vitamin C deficient, put parsley in your salad. Fresh from the garden, your harvests will have even more nutrient density than if you buy herbs at the store.
Historically, herbs have been used medicinally in a way no other plant type has. Rosemary improves brainpower, peppermint aids in digestion, lavender eases anxiety…the list goes on.
Whether you choose to rely on fresh herbs, oils, infusions, or ointment, you’ll have everything you need on your balcony. An herb garden is a true natural bouquet of remedies.
One of the best parts of herbs is their distinct aromas. The scents of herbs help to promote a general sense of wellness — especially for your emotional and mental health. For example, the scent of rosemary stimulates your focus, while lavender’s aroma helps to destress you.
Check out our guide to an aromatherapy garden here.
Grow your herb garden indoors for maximum aromatic concentration. Maybe you put basil by your bedside, rosemary in your office, and lavender in your bathroom to create distinct effects in each room. It’s like having an oil diffuser (plus a grocery store, plus a medicine cabinet) in your home.
Skincare & Spa
Herbs as a part of a skincare or cosmetic routine is becomingly increasingly popular. Now, with a fresh herb garden on hand, you can literally create an all-natural skincare routine without leaving your home.
Herbs do the same things the chemicals in our skincare currently do (if not better), but without any of the questions of safety. Each herb acts in unique ways: mint treats acne, lavender soothes irritation, sage promotes elasticity, etc. The options of skincare are endless with an herb garden, and it costs very little.
Besides herbs’ innate de-stressing capacities, the act of growing itself does much for your emotional health. The biophilia hypothesis says that humans have an innate desire to interact with other life forms — i.e. growing is wired to make us happier!
Additionally, the act of tending to a garden has become a form of meditation for many years. Gardening can be a regular and consistent way for you to tune into your wellness and your spirit. It’s a beautiful and accessible way to unplug from the world.
Here are our favorite ways to use herb harvests in herbal remedies.
An infusion is a tea preparation, mixing plants with hot water. Let sit. You can drink it as tea or use it as a toner.
Similar to an infusion, a decoction is a mix of water and herbs but more concentrated. Add herbs and cold water to a pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 20-40 minutes and then let cool. Strain out the herbs and use them in whatever way you want!
An herbal syrup is created by adding plant parts to a sugar water or honey water mixture. They’re a perfect way to bring true nutrition to desserts or flavor to lemon and hot water.
Here you can find directions on how to create an herbal syrup.
Herbal powder is a great way to store herbs intended for medicinal or cosmetic use. Simply dry your fresh herbs and then grind up. Store in a closed container. Add to plain lotions or bath gels.
Tinctures are herbal extracts made by soaking herbs in alcohol or vinegar. Tinctures have been part of medicine to centuries. It’s a way to access the medicinal aspects of herb harvests and considered supplements to medicine.
To create an herbal ointment, simply add herb powder to an oily substance, like olive oil. This is a great way to self-treat irritation or acne.
A poultice is a paste made of herbs that is then spread on a moist cloth and applied to the body. Most typically, it’s used to relieve inflammation and promote healing. Both the herbs and the method of application (warm and wet cloth) make poultices effective.
The wellness benefits an herb garden can provide are endless. It all starts by taking time to appreciate the little things in life and expressing gratitude. So what are you waiting for? Get a herb garden and get gardening! 🙂