Monday, April 9, 2012

Cures You Can Grow At Home

I like plants and am one of the few cubicles at my workplace with plants in it. At home we have a veritable jungle of easy-care hanging plants. And plants can be more just pretty and freshen the air, they can also be useful as described in Organic Gardening's (OG)  9 Food Cures You Can Grow At Home.
  1. Aloe Vera is easy to grow with light and water once a week. You can break off a leaf and apply the gel that oozes out to soothe your skin from damage like sunburn.
  2. Basil - this grew like mad in pots we hung outside our window. Pull off the white flowers to keep the herb from going bitter. Can be used in cooking, pesto or "rub crushed leaves on your temples to relieve headaches. Pour boiling water over basil leaves for a pain-relieving footbath."
  3. Lavender - has a great smell and can be soothing if you have trouble sleeping. OG says, "Crush a handful of the heads and add to a bowl of boiling water to use as a steam bath for your face."
  4. Lemon Balm (keep it in pots!) Used for "healing cold sores."  Also, "rub leaves directly onto skin as a natural insect repellent or to soothe bites."
  5. Mint (also keep limited to pots).  OG says, "Sip tea made with fresh peppermint leaves to soothe stomach cramps, nausea, and flatulence." But I've also read that mint is a stomach irritant and to be avoided if you have GERD.  OG also recommends using it in a steam bath for decongestion. 
  6. Parsley - also grows well for us. Eat daily as an immune-system booster. Also good for bad breath?
  7. Rosemary - is said to lift spirits when used in a tea by people with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
  8. Sage - gargle with a sage broth for sore throat (boil 1/4 cup of leaves and let it cool)
  9. Thyme - OG recommends, "drink a tea made from lemon thyme to treat colds before bed. Warning: don’t use thyme when pregnant."
Bottom Line

The article 9 Food Cures You Can Grow At Home also has links to growing advice. I'll have to try some of the "cures" suggested. The only one I have personal experience is aloe vera applied to skin, though I've grown and used others just for cooking.

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