Nuturing Your Diet with Herbs and Spices

As holistic health practitioners have known and promoted for quite some time, herbs and spices have a profoundly positive effect on your health, both physically and psychologically. Incorporating herbs and spices into your dietary habits has a multitude of benefits, from simply adding a unique, healthful taste to food to improving overall vitality of major organs and even improving cognitive function!

Sage, parsley, and rosemary have all been shown to aid digestion. Garlic has been widely known for its heart-healthy benefits, specifically for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. In addition, certain herbs, such as peppermint, lavender, and lemon balm have been providing medicinal benefits for thousands of years. Growing your own indoor herb garden is an excellent way to add herbs and spices to your culinary repertoire and to improve your household’s general health.
Indoor gardening, like its outdoor counterpart, is both physically and mentally rewarding; it is a nourishing undertaking, providing a sense of solidarity with nature. An indoor herb garden also has the economical benefit of saving you time and money, since your herbs and spices are located right in your kitchen, ready for use! Indoor herb gardens add visual attractiveness to your cooking atmosphere, provide a noticeable, beautiful fragrance, and are simple to start and maintain. Why not go ahead and get started?
Begin your indoor gardening project by purchasing seed packets at your local home improvement store or greenhouse. You will need to buy extra seedlings to ensure that you have plenty of herbs and spices that will grow, thrive, and, ultimately, become a part of your favorite recipes! Don’t spend too much extra time and money on purchasing brand new gardening pottery, since your herbs will flourish in virtually any one gallon container. The most important aspect of your container, whether new or used, is proper drainage. Layering the bottom of the container with rocks before adding soil is crucial for adequate drainage and your plant’s health. The soil you provide for your herbs will need to be fertilized on a monthly basis with an organic and pesticide-free fertilizer in order to be safe and healthy for consumption at the dinner table.
Another especially important component of your gardening maintenance will be your watering habits. Container-planted herbs should never be over-watered, as excess moisture is very harmful to the plant and leads to oxygen deprivation. Watering your herb containers once every two weeks will be sufficient to ensure an optimal environment for growth and vitality. When watering your indoor garden, give the plants just enough water to moisten the soil. If you have administered excess water to your herbs, the leaves of your plant will turn yellow. Paying attention to the amount of moisture in the soil, along with taking the colors of the leaves into account, will be a reliable measure of optimal water levels.
In addition to appropriate moisture levels, proper placement of your indoor herb garden is essential to its ability to flourish. Most herbs require placement in full to partial sunlight, so placing them in a south-facing window will work best. You will want to make sure that your herbal garden is receiving at least partial sunlight throughout the day. Fluorescent lighting can be utilized to give your indoor plants extra light if needed. As a small caveat, be sure that you understand the specific requirements for the herbs you are growing, as some herbs develop best in full shade, like cilantro.
You will discover that cultivating your own herbs and spices in the comfort of your own kitchen will be a welcome and rewarding experience. The simple act of nurturing a plant from a seedling to maturity is a naturally therapeutic process; in fact, gardening is nature’s stress-reliever. The multitude of health benefits from this undertaking will amaze you, as well as the satisfaction of cooking with the herbs and spices that you grew yourself!

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