Posted by Christa Knox Jun 23 2017
We’ve talked about the benefits of herbs, so now let’s talk about growing them! It’s easier than you may think. You may not have a huge backyard or a green thumb, but you can still enjoy the benefits of growing your own fresh herbs. They are versatile and contain countless nutritional benefits, but did you know that gardening has therapeutic value as well?
An herb garden is a great way to enjoy a wide variety of plants in a small space. Fresh herbs often are very hardy and grow very well in a variety of settings: in a small garden in the backyard, in pots on an outdoor patio or sunroom, or even in a window box inside the kitchen. Gardening is a great activity that the whole family can participate in. In addition to being very relaxing, studies have shown that the benefits of gardening can support the deficits post-stroke, including the reduction of pain, improvements in attention, lessening of stress, lowered agitation, and reduction of falls.
To try out your green thumb, plant the following this summer:
1. Chives: Support bone health and are high in antioxidants.
2. Rosemary: Improves mood, relieves stress, supports the immune system. Along with lavender, rosemary is linked with “an enhancement of performance for overall quality of memory.”
3. Lavender: By far my favorite plant! Lavender supports restful sleep, relaxation, lowered stress, and enhances memory. Look for a culinary variety and experiment with some new recipes!
4. Parsley: Grows very well indoors and is an excellent source of vitamins K and C as well as a host of other vitamins and minerals. It also supports liver detoxification.
5. Sage: Contains antioxidants, enhances memory, and is anti-inflammatory.
6. Oregano: Its name means “mountain joy,” and it supports your body when fighting off colds and the flu, is anti-inflammatory, and contains antioxidants and numerous vitamins and minerals.
Grab your shovel, head out into the sun and get planting!
Christa Knox, MA, MScN, is a stroke survivor and holistic nutritionist in Portland, Ore. Visit Christa's website BrainFoodForThought,com.
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