Why Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies
Growing your own herbal remedies is one of the easiest ways to begin to build your relationship with herbs in your home. When we grow a plant, care for it, tend to its needs, and then harvest that plant for medicine we practice something called reciprocity, which is the act of exchange between two entities for mutual benefit. In traditional medicine practices, reciprocity and earth/land stewardship were often an integral part of the herbal process. Much like the joy you receive from growing your own juicy tomato in the height of summer, the joy of growing your own healing herbs and crafting them into teas, salves, and more lights a spark within any gardener's eyes.
What Does it Mean To Grow Like an Herbalist?
Alongside an herbalist's tomatoes, peppers, corn, and squash you'll also find medicinals like fennel, tulsi, poppy, and more. An herbalist's garden is not only a source of food but a medicine chest to be gathered from whenever there is a need in the family. What's even better? Many of the herbs planted in an herbalist's garden not only help support the health of their loved ones but of the ecosystem of the garden as well - deepening the level of reciprocity between gardener and land.
Add These Plants To Your Garden To Grow Like an Herbalist
Want to start to learn how to grow like an herbalist? These are the plants that I always add to my garden in order to bring a dose of herbal magic to my veggies and yard.
1. Yarrow: A stellar first-aid botanical, yarrow is a plant we use for it's energetic and phytochemical properties. Plant yarrow in your garden to help protect your home's boundaries (flowers) and also to soothe minor cuts and scrapes with the leaves.
2. Catnip: A classic nervous system herb catnip can be used in so many ways. As a tea, this herb helps to calm the nerves and aid in digestion, and as a hydrosol, this herb can be used in cooling summer sprays and bug repellents. It's also a fabulous plant for IPM.
3. Basil: Cooling and moistening with a dash of spice, to me, basil is one of the most balanced herbals when it comes to centering and grounding. The flavor of basil helps to elevate any meal, and the blooms of basil are especially attractive to pollinators and other insects.
4. Borage: For courage and plant spirit energy, I'm always sure to add a little borage to the yard. The bright purple/blue blooms are some of the first to arrive in Spring, and are edible too!
5. Rosemary: A plant of the ancestors, a plant for protection, and a plant for culinary delights, rosemary deserves a place in any herbalist's garden at all times. Practical Magic had it right when they spoke the wise words to always plant rosemary near your garden gate.
Learn More About Herbal Gardening In The Herbal Path + RR Gardening Pathway Program
Falling in love with herbal gardening and want to learn more? This special topic is such an integral part of being an herbalist that it has its own section in The Herbal Path program's core curriculum. As an added bonus, students who want to dive deep into the knowledge and practice of mindful growing have the opportunity to enter the Volunteer Garden Program at the Rodgers Ranch Urban Farm as part of the The Herbal Path program. To learn more about both, click below to grab the program syllabus at the bottom of the page of The Herbal Path landing page.