HEALTHY HERBS

HEALTHY HERBS

Herbs can be grown in a pot or your garden. By planting your own herbs, you can easily add flavour to any dish and and improve your health at the same time.

Herbs are easy to grow, and can be grown in a pot or your garden. If you don’t have space for a separate herb garden, plant herbs in your existing flower beds or as a border. You can also grow herbs in pots on your windowsill.

Growing herbs

When planting herbs, there are some things to remember.

  • Plant your herbs close to the kitchen, or keep herb pots outside the kitchen door. This way you can get to them easily when cooking.
  • Most herbs need a good amount of sun and water, so plant them in a spot where they will get enough of both.
  • The soil needs to be well drained and fertile. If necessary, add some compost. If your herbs are in a pot, choose one that has some holes in the bottom.
  • Give your herbs enough space to grow. Find out how much they need and how high they grow, so you can put them in the right place in the garden or in a pot that’s big enough. Some herbs, such as mint, can take over so keep them in a pot, or dig a pot into the garden to contain the roots.
  • Some herbs are perennial and keep on growing year after year. Others are annual, only lasting a year. So don’t worry if your coriander turns up its toes after just a year.
  • Cut off flower heads as they appear to stop the plant from going to seed.

Herbs to have

  • Add basil to Italian dishes and salads, or used to make pesto. It is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties, and can be used topically to soothe insect bites and stings.
  • Chives are a source of vitamin C and stimulate the appetite and digestion. They are a great addition to salads, potatoes, spreads, or scrambled eggs.
  • Use coriander, also known as cilantro or dhania, in curries, soups and stews. Use the leaves fresh or use the seeds as a spice. Coriander can be used to help digestion, freshen breath and lower cholesterol.
  • Lavender can flavour desserts and sugar, and you can add the edible flowers to salads. It is fragrant, so can be used in flower arrangements or as potpourri. Lavender aids relaxation, relieves tension and helps you sleep better.
  • Mint is great for flavouring sauces and drinks. It is high in vitamins A and C and helps with indigestion, head colds or congestion, and bad breath.
  • Oregano is a good source of vitamins C and K, potassium, calcium and other minerals and it is an antioxidant. Use it in stews, pastas and stuffing, or to flavour vegetable, fish and meat dishes.
  • Parsley is very useful for bad breath and is a source of vitamins C and A. It is an antioxidant and helps with digestion. It can add flavour to egg and meat dishes and sauces.
  • Add rosemary to your beef and lamb dishes for wonderful, aromatic flavouring and with fish and sauces. Rosemary is high in vitamin A, calcium and iron, and helps with headaches, relaxes muscles and is an anti-inflammatory.
  • Use thyme to flavour soups, stews, roast vegetables meat, chicken and fish dishes. High in various vitamins and minerals it is a good antioxidant and aids digestion.

Tamlyn Vincent