Scientists and nutritionists have long extolled the health benefits of herbs. In addition to being delicious additions to food, herbs can help you live a healthier life. Fresh herbs have more beneficial properties than dried herbs. They taste better as well. Unfortunately, buying fresh herbs can be quite expensive. If you want to use herbs to help you live a healthier lifestyle, you can grow your own fresh herbs at home.
Home Herb Gardens
Even if you are not known for your green thumb, you can easily grow your own herb garden. An herb garden does not need to take up a lot of space. You can grow herbs in a small plot in your backyard. If you are an apartment dweller, you can even grow herbs on your kitchen counter top. A fairly shallow container with good dirt is usually enough growing room for most herbs.
If you do decide to grow herbs indoors, you need to make sure that your plants get plenty of light and water. If you have a window that lets in a good deal of light, this might be adequate for your plants’ growth. If you do not have a large, bright window, you might want to consider buying a special light for your plants. These plant lights are affordable and make it easier for your plants to grow.
There are many herbs you can choose to grow. You can pick them based on their health benefits or their flavor. Plant herbs that you already use, or plant herbs that you want to experiment with in your cooking. Here are some basics on a few of the most common herbs.
Basil is high in antioxidants and is often used to treat stress. Just smelling a fresh basil leaf can help calm you down if you are under a great deal of pressure. A delicious way to get the health benefits of basil is to make pesto, a delicious Italian sauce made out of basil, olive oil, and pine nuts.
Rosemary is an herb used in both sweet and savory dishes. Recent studies have found that the carnosic acid found in rosemary might help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Some individuals have an allergy to rosemary oil.
Garlic is very beneficial to your health. Studies have shown that garlic can reduce your risk of heart disease. Although it is technically a member of the onion family, you can easily include it in your home herb garden. Garlic grows in most climates. If your herb garden is indoors, you can grow garlic in a deep pot. You plant garlic bulbs in the fall and harvest them in the spring. In addition to garlic’s health benefits, it is also a delicious addition to most savory dishes.
Mint is used in many homeopathic remedies. It can help alleviate a stomach ache and reduce the congestion that occurs with a cold. Mint is quite easy to grow. In fact, many home gardeners find that mint tends to take over their herb gardens. Even if you plant just a small amount of mint, be prepared to trim it back.
Coriander, also known as cilantro, is a traditional remedy for anxiety and insomnia. This herb grows to tall heights, up to twenty inches tall. You can incorporate coriander into many Mexican dishes, including salsa.
These are just a few of the many herbs you can grow at home. If you want to treat a particular health condition, research and see what herbs can help you.
Storing Fresh Herbs
Once you cut your herbs, you should use them in your cooking right away. The longer an herb clipping sits out, the more nutritive properties it loses. If you have an outdoor garden, your growing season will probably be limited by your region’s climate. To preserve herbs, buy a few spare ice cube trays. Pack each tray full of herbs and add a little water, just enough so that the herbs freeze into cubes. Freezing preserves the herbs better than drying does. Throughout the winter, pop the herb cubes out and use them in soups, sauces, and other dishes. Even though your home grown herbs have been frozen, they will still be delicious and nutritious.