20 Reasons To Grow Herbs

June 5, 2009

Chives Flower
I guess if you’re visiting this website you are thinking about or have started to grow some herbs. If you’re still not sure growing herbs is for you, here are a few good reasons that you may not have thought of yet that show how useful, fun and versatile growing herbs can be:

  • Herbs are easy to grow, suffer from few pests and diseases and are deocrative but also good to eat with many nutritional benefits!
  • Many are perennials, which come up year after year without much work from you and will supply you with many years of beauty and a variety of uses ranging from culinary to medicinal, skincare and crafts and you don’t need masses of space to grow them.
  • They create a visual and aromatic feast for your senses. Many herbs have beautiful flowers and wonderful uplifting scents.
  • You can use your garden to provide herbs which are really best fresh, e.g basil, chives, marjoram, rosemary, tarragon and thyme, borage, salad burnet, chervil, coriander, scented geraniums, lemon balm, lemon verbena, nasturtiums, savory, sorrel and violets.
  • Save money by growing your own culinary herbs and use them to create mouth-watering dishes for you and your family.
  • Free herb plants. Once your herbs are established you will be able to propagate your own herbs for your garden or to give away or sell.
  • Herbs will attract wildlife: bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects. This means that they can be used for companion planting in your vegetable garden to boost yields, attract beneficial insects and deter pests.
  • You can grow your own herbal first aid kit. You could make your own tinctures, infusions, decoctions and salves. Just a few herbs will help you treat yourself for minor ailments, e.g. bites/stings – just rub plantain leaf or basil leaves onto your skin. Gargle with sage tea when you have a sore throat or rinse your mouth with sage tea when you have a mouth ulcer. Sip some fennel or peppermint tea to aid digestion. If you want to make a few remedies, I can recommend the Herbal Medicine Making Kit supplied by Learning Herbs. You can read more about it or purchase it  here or watch this 3 minute video of someone making the salve from the kit here.
  • You can make your own skincare products: you’ll be able to make your own infused oils for use in ointments, creams or make your own hair rinses.
  • A number of herbs aid digestion e.g. fennel tea, peppermint tea. Chewing on fennel seeds can help reduce appetite if you are trying to lose weight.
  • Herbs enhance your health e.g. garlic for the immune system and a heart protector. Lavender, lemon balm or chamomile can help calm or aid sleep when drunk in tea.
  • Make your own herbal teas with fresh or dried herbs that you’ve grown.
  • Use herbs for your pets to help treat minor ailments.
  • Fresh lemon balm leaves make a wonderfully calming tea.
  • If you are a cat owner, they’ll love catnip and valerian planted in your garden.
  • Make your own herb jellies, vinegars and oils.
  • Create your own potpourri.
  • Plant beautiful and useful herb containers for you and your friends and family.
  • Use cut herb plants or flowers for flower arrangements in the home.
  • Relieve stress by gardening; it is a fantastically relaxing and grounding activity.

What have I missed? What’s your favourite uses for herbs/what brings you the most joy?

This blog post is intended to inform and entertain. You should not use herbs in place of your normal medical care or take them with current prescriptions or medicines without first obtaining professional advice by consulting a trained medical practitioner or qualified herbalist. Herbs should not be taken whilst pregnant or breastfeeding without checking with your medical practitioner first.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Valeri 06.05.09 at 1:44 pm

Herbs are ACE and I think you have covered every reason for growing them. Reading books like Cadfael got me into seriously growing herbs before then it had just been the obligatory mint, parsley and chives! Now it’s everything I can find! Val

Valeri’s last blog post..Size Matters!

2 maddles 06.05.09 at 1:50 pm

Thank you Valerie, good to know someone else is as keen as me!

Thanks for the blotanical fave too, must get back to using that more often.

3 joey 06.06.09 at 4:29 am

A lovely chive photo. Can’t live without herbs (never could … never will :)

4 K Dilley 06.17.09 at 10:38 pm

I love your list! I love making tinctures and knowing exactly where my medicine comes from and who prepares it (me). Learning to use herbs is so empowering and I love that your blog is helping people learn more about them. Thank you!

K Dilley’s last blog post..beekeeping in the castro, sf

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