August 2, 2018

by Dr. Emilie Beaulieu, ND

 

Does anyone else have this problem? You buy fresh herbs from the store and 36.5 hours later you find them wilted and droopy, mere shadows of their former glorious selves? If this sounds like you, it may be time to throw down some dirt and embark on the journey of creating your very own herb garden.

Now, it is only fair that I warn you that I do not have the greenest of thumbs – RIP all those gorgeous plants of years gone by – but I do know that many herbs are easy to grow and have wonderful health properties! 

For more information on how to cultivate a thriving herb garden, check out this link to an article written by Sue Anderson that covers everything you ever wanted to know about the successful conception of an herb garden.

https://www.thompson-morgan.com/how-to-grow-herbs

As for the health benefits of common culinary herbs, look no further! Here are just a few of the health benefits you may reap from regular consumption of fresh herbs:

Many herbs have similar properties; namely that they are antimicrobial (kill off microorganisms), they are carminative (help relieve flatulence and indigestion) and are anti spasmodic (relieve smooth muscle spasms).

However, each herb has different affinities and can impact diverse functions and body systems.

Below is an overview of the more unique characteristics of some common herbs:  

       Sage (Salvia officinalis)

  • Useful in menopausal hot flashes and helps to prevent excessive sweating

 

       Parsley (Petroselinum sativum)

  • Diuretic: increases water and salt expulsion in the urine
  • Uterine stimulant: can induce menses and labour and is therefore contraindicated in pregnancy at high doses

       Dill (Anethum graveolens)

  • Aromatic Digestive
  • Especially effective for colic in children

       Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

  • Expectorant: helps you cough up mucous

       Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis)

  • Hepatoprotective: enhances phase 2 detoxification in the liver, this is the phase that helps make toxins and drugs easier to expel from the body

       Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

  • Antifungal
  • Antibacterial
  • Antioxidant

       Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)

  • Helps relieve bloating and gas

       Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

  • Antiemetic: reduces feelings nausea and desire to vomit
  • Analgesic: when used topically on the skin helps relieve pain
  • Can aggravate acid reflux

       Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

  • Galactagogue: helps stimulate breast milk production

Using these herbs as a fresh garnish, or as an after-dinner herbal tea/digestif is a wonderful addition to any dining experience – not to mention the pride you will feel at flexing your green thumb, the long term financial savings, and the opportunity to reconnect with nature. 

To make a fresh herbal tea:

1-    Bring water to a boil and let it sit in your kettle for 5-10 minutes

2-    Place your fresh herbs (between ¼ and ½ cup) in a tea pot

3-    Gently pour hot (but no longer boiling) water over top

4-    Cover and steep for 5 minutes

5-    Enjoy!

Caution: some herbs can interact with medications and supplements, before ingesting large quantities of any herb please consult your health care provider.

 

Start your recovery TODAY!

References

References:

Bone, K. (2007) The Ultimate Herbal Compendium: A Desktop Guide for Herbal Prescribers. Queensland: Phytotherapy Press. 

Hoffmann, D. (2003) Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

The information contained in this blog post has been developed for informational purposes only. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or care. If you have a health problem, please book an appointment for consultation. Under no circumstances should you attempt self-diagnosis or treatment based on anything you have seen or read in this post.