Lavendar, aloe vera, sage and thyme are just some of the medicinal plants we can grow at home.
Lavender has been used in perfumery and for washing for thousands of years. It is generally English Lavender that is used medicinally, because of its high oil content. Oil can be made from fresh or dried flowers. To dry, pick the flowers just after they have opened and hang them upside-down in bunches. For medicinal purposes, it's best to use the flowers, but you can use the leaves if flowers aren't available. Rub the infused oil into the temples and neck at the first sign of a headache or migraine or use it on wounds or sores to help them heal. A drink can also be made with the flowers that have been infused in water.
Aloe vera is a succulent with very fleshy thick leaves that enjoys hot, dry conditions and good drainage. Cleopatra, allegedly used Aloe vera to help keep her skin looking beautiful. To harvest the sap, cut off a section of leaf and slice it open. Rub the squeezed sap from fresh leaves onto minor burns and sunburn to aid healing or it can also be painted onto bites and stings to relieve swelling.
Sage and Thyme
Sage is a very old medicinal herb. Drink or gargle an infusion of sage for sore throats and tonsillitis. Thyme - the oil 'Thymol' found in thyme leaves is strongly antiseptic - drink an infusion or even chew fresh leaves to relieve sore throats.
Fresh chillies are rich in Vitamins A and C. Cold hands warm heart? Include lots of chillies in your diet and you will improve circulation, particularly to the hands and feet. Chillies can also aid digestion and help combat infection, so always eat plenty of them when travelling, to help keep tummy bugs away. Chillies are even thought to speed up your metabolic rate!
Historically, fennel seeds have been chewed to stave off hunger pangs and to aid weight loss. Perhaps you've eaten, but still feel unnecessarily hungry? Fennel tea made from the seeds is a great way to suppress your appetite or reduce your craving for sweets. In some cultures it's believed to be an aphrodisiac!
Because of its delicate lemon flavour, lemon balm has a wide culinary potential. It is very prolific and easily grown and fresh or dried leaves are used. It can be made into a tea and is taken to treat colds and flu. The relaxing and refreshing benefits have said to assist with migraines and depression. The flowers are filled with nectar and are highly attractive to bees, so the plant can be useful in attracting bees to assist with pollination of other plants eg vegetables.
Dried peppermint leaves are used to make a minty, refreshing tea that is highly satisfying both hot and cold. Peppermint has high menthol content and this is what is suggested, to aid in digestive problems. Peppermint generally thrives in shade and expands quickly by underground stolons. If you choose to grow peppermint, it is advisable to plant it in a container; otherwise it can rapidly take over a whole garden.
* Harvest herbs early in the morning when the oils are most concentrated
* To maximise the oil content, keep flowers and leaves intact while drying
* For the perfect soothing tea, add 2-3 tsps of freshly cut herbs to a cup of boiling water
www.oasisaustralia.com - (plants)
Lilies on Brougham