Not only that they enrich the flavor of your meals, spices and herbs also provide with numerous health benefits.
Here we present you 7 beneficial herbs which you can grow at home.
These herbs are excellent antioxidants and along with their anti-inflammatory properties, they can fight a number of diseases, from halitosis to Alzheimer’s. Another benefit of growing herbs at home is also a cost- effective practice, since you will no longer need to spend money on store-bought herbs and spices.
Here is some specific information on several herbs that grow well indoors:
- Cilantro – body cleanser, improves heart health, regulates blood-sugar, antioxidants, antibacterial, and antifungal.
- Chives – lowers cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
- Mint – body cleanser, stimulates weight loss and digestion, anti-cancer, antibacterial, and whitens teeth.
- Basil – antibacterial, anti-stress, efficient against colds and infections, relieves throat and mucus.
- Parsley – antibacterial, stimulates digestion, anti-inflammatory, stops bladder infection
- Ginger – stimulates digestion and cardiovascular health, anti-inflammatory, prevents cold and flu.
- Lemon balm – antibacterial, prevents colds and fevers, anti-anxiety, fights insomnia and indigestion.
Herbs do need sunlight and warmth, so your first step is to check around your home for available window ledges, countertops or shelves that get plenty of exposure to the sun. Most culinary herbs prefer at least six hours of sunlight a day. Others can thrive even in shadier conditions, but basil is the one that needs most sun.
Now choose pots that fit your location and your space. You can either use a variety of individual pots or group the plants together in a long, rectangular planter. Be creative in sizes and colors, but be careful that your pots either already have drainage holes or that you can add drainage holes. In order to stay healthy, most herbs do need to drain well. Place saucers under your pots as needed.
Here are some smart techniques you need to keep your herbs happy and healthy until you can plant outside again.
Start basil from seeds and place the pots in a south-facing window—it likes lots of sun and warmth.
Dig up a clump of chives from your garden at the end of the growing season and pot it up. Leave the pot outside until the leaves die back. In early winter, move the pot to your coolest indoor spot (such as a basement) for a few days, then finally to your brightest window.
You can start this herb from seeds or dig up a clump from your garden at the end of the season. Parsley likes full sun, but will grow slowly in an east- or west-facing window.
Ginger is ideal for indoor planting, as it doesn’t tolerate frost, direct sun or strong winds. To grow it indoors, you need a sheltered spot, filtered sunlight, warm weather, humidity, and rich, moist soil.
The easiest way to get started growing ginger root is to get a few fresh rhizomes of someone who does grow ginger, in early spring, when the plant re-shoots anyway.
Then, plant the rhizome (or root) a few inches deep in a mix of compost and potting soil. It is vital to keep it from chilly drafts, such as open doors or windows. Mist the plant in order to maintain humidity level.
You should probably wait for 10 months as the best harvest time is when the leaves have died down.
The growing of mint at home is extremely easy, you can grow them a pot of soil or even in a bottle of water. If you are a beginner, find a container with adequate drainage for healthy plant growth. As mint likes regular water, water it well after planting and place it in an area with indirect light.
You can harvest mint leaves at any size by pinching off stems. For a large harvest, wait until just before the plant blooms, when the flavor is most intense, and then cut the whole plant to just above the first or second set of leaves. During this, remove the yellowing lower leaves and promote bushier growth. Three such harvests per season are typical for mint.
Lemon balm is not much dependent on sunlight, but it can grow well with only 5 hours of direct sunlight a day. This herb needs a steady supply of water, about three times a week, but good drainage is a must.
The plant recovers quickly so you should avoid making it too wet, which will encourage root rot.
Never remove more than about 25% of the plant’s leaves at any one time in harvest time. Brown leaves can indicate numerous problems, ranging from drafty and cold air to lack water to excessive sun.
Cilantro is more dependent on water than on Sun. Namely, it thrives in a cooler temperature. Therefore, water your cilantro only when the soil is dry to the touch, which is more often in the summer months. Make sure water drains out every time you water since it is more important to water it thoroughly than frequently.
Cilantro herbs have long taproots and don’t like to be reported or disturbed. Hence, choose a free-draining potting soil for your herb.
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