To continue with the herb theme I am on this month, I want to talk about calming herbs you can grow in your garden. There is no doubt that we need to focus on self care and ways to help soothe our nervous system in these current times. Herbs can help and we can grow them in our garden. Some are considered nervine herbs (herbs that help the nervous system specifically), while others are considered adaptogens. (helps manage stress and works in a way to bring balance) Most are tonic herbs, meaning they work by using them over a longer period of time for greatest benefit. *I suggest working with a local herbalist, taking an online course or reading books to gain a better understanding of herbs and their uses. This is not an extensive list, but something to get you started in your garden. I suggest growing these in containers or beds of their own.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) It’s a fast growing perennial for zones 4-9. *If you have thyroid issues, check with your health care provider. You can make a tea with both lemon balm and chamomile for a very nice soothing tea. You can also use it in the bath fresh or dried with lavender, chamomile and rose petals. (add to a muslin satchel to make a large tea bag so you don’t have to scoop out all the pieces or clog our drain.) Of course you can always run your hands over it and take a deep breath in to enjoy the scent.
Holy Basil/Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum) You can use this in tea, tincture or even make a vinegar for salads.
Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) Add to teas or make a tincture.
Lavender (Lavendula spa.) Use in a tea with lemon balm, make a lavender infused honey, (a little goes a long way.) Take in the scent, add to baths, bring bouquets inside, make your own eye pillow.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) Use its beautiful flowers for tea, add to baths, bring cut flowers in. *Some people are allergic-only use an herb if you do not have any adverse reactions to it.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Add to nut milk with cinnamon, use in teas and tinctures.
Rose (Rosa app., Rosaceae) Use as a decoction (rose hips), make a tinctures, add to baths, foot soaks, infused honey.
These are just a few herbs you can grow and use for their calming benefits.
Some books that may be of interest you to about herbs:
“The Herbal Kitchen” by Kami McBride
“Herbal Healing fo Women” by Rosemary Gladstar
“Medicinal Herbs, A Beginners Guide” also by Rosemary Gladstar
“Wild Remedies” by Rosalee de la Foret and Emily Han
“Alchemy of Herbs” by Rosalee de la Foret
“The Cook’s Herb Garden” by Jeff Cox and Marie-Pierre Moine
This is a short list to help you further your knowledge about herbs.
If you would like help in planning your herb garden you can book a coaching session with me here: Kitchen Garden Coaching