• IvyShepherd

Five herbs you should grow to boost wellbeing

The healing powers of gardening

It has been said that we are a nation of gardeners. But since the pandemic, millions more people have sought the healing powers of their gardens.

Studies have shown that gardening and being in nature can lower our blood pressure, alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety and boost our immune systems as a result. Connecting with nature can reduce feelings of anger, improve our mood and help to ground us in the present moment.

All forms of gardening can benefit our bodies, as well as our minds. Exercise releases a chemical called serotonin, which makes us feel happier. So by just being outside and spending time in our gardens, we can derive so many health benefits.

But we can also boost our self-esteem too, by feeling a sense of achievement. And nurturing and tending a garden is definitely something to be proud of.

Healing herbs If you are new to gardening or you don’t have a lot of space, then a great way to start is by growing herbs. Even if you don’t have a garden, if you only have a balcony or even just a windowsill, then this is plenty of space to get started.

Most herbs are quite hardy and fast growing and of course, have added health benefits. But they are also loved by pollinators, so all the bees will come flocking to your yard. Growing your own herbs is not only satisfying, giving you a sense of achievement, but they are also fun and easy to grow.

So here are five herbs to get you started today.

Chamomile Chamomile is best known for its calming properties, relaxing the body and helping you to sleep, but it can also benefit your digestive system too.

It is a hardy annual plant, so why not try growing it from seed in spring. It will quite happily reseed itself and it doesn’t need a lot of attention, so it is a great beginner herb. With its pretty daisy-like flower, it will fit in well with any cottage garden border.

Catmint Loved by cats, catmint can benefit us humans too by soothing tension and calming nerves.

Grown in the garden as a perennial, this means it will come back every year and because it produces an abundance of seeds, why not try collecting these to propagate more plants for your garden.

And it’s not just cats and humans, but pollinators adore it too. You will find it is covered in bees and butterflies, making your herb garden a hive of activity.

Lemon Balm Like chamomile, lemon balm is an easy herb to grow from seed that is also known for its calming properties, reducing stress and anxiety.

With it’s lovely lemon fragrance, it is a natural insect repellant. It likes to grow in rich compost that is well drained, but it will be thirsty in the summer, so keep an eye on the watering.

Lavender Everyone knows the purple, fragrant flowers of lavender. But these fragrant flowers have been used for their calming benefits for centuries. So calming in fact that it is used as a sleep aid and in aromatherapy oils. For these reasons, it is popularly grown as a herb in the garden, but it is also a cottage garden plant staple. No garden is complete without lavender.

The English types are very hardy, easy to grow and will attract a ton of pollinators to your garden, making it beneficial to us and the environment.

Valerian Similarly to lavender, Valerian is a cottage garden staple and I would not be without it in my garden. This plant is so easy to grow from seed and will very readily re-seed itself, making it very easy to propagate.

Valerian root is well known for its sleep inducing and calming properties.

 

These five herbs have wonderfully calming and relaxing benefits, not only medicinally, but also to our minds and bodies, through the act of sowing and growing them.

Our gardens can do so much for us and I believe that anyone, anywhere can start gardening. With just a packet of seeds, we can create something beautiful and beneficial, for ourselves and for nature.

I hope this has inspired you to try growing a few herbs this season. I can guarantee that you will be so pleased with the results.


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