Grow Your Own Healing Garden
Physic (or physick) was the name given to gardens of healing plants grown by physicians and monks in ancient times and by home gardeners well into the nineteenth century. Why not plant your own healing garden with some of these herbs? By investing a little sweat and the cost of the seeds, you can grow your own ingredients for infusions, teas, and balms. Just choose a sunny spot with rich soil for your healing garden. Perennial plants will grow from season to season, while annuals must be reseeded or transplanted.
Sage is a perennial. Sage’s genus name, Salvia, means “to heal,” reflecting its early use as a medicinal (not culinary) herb.
Medicinal uses of sage: Mouth and throat inflammations.
Chamomile is an annual. Use chamomile flower heads for infusions and salves.
Medicinal uses of chamomile: Indigestion, anxiety, skin inflammations.
Basil is an annual. Harvest the young leaves of what’s called “the king of herbs” as needed.
Medicinal uses of basil: Flatulence, lack of appetite, cuts and scrapes.
Feverfew is a perennial. Use leaves and flowers for teas; chew leaves to ease headache pain.
Medicinal uses of feverfew: Headaches (including migraines), arthritis, skin conditions.
5. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is a perennial. A relative of mint, lemon balm is a versatile medicinal herb.
Medicinal uses of lemon balm: Anxiety, insomnia, wounds, herpes, insect bites, flatulence, upset stomach.
Parsley is a biennial. Like its curly cousin P. crispum, this herb is loaded with nutrients.
Medicinal uses for parsley: Flatulence, bad breath.
7. St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is a perennial. The glossy leaves and yellow flowers are this herb’s active parts.
Medicinal uses of St. John’s Wort: Mild to moderate depression. (Talk to your doctor first.)
Thyme is a perennial. The active principle in thyme, thymol, is a strong antiseptic.
Medicinal uses of thyme: Coughs, congestion, indigestion, gas.