Grow Your Own Medicinal Herb Garden

Medicinal Herb Garden

Sow your seeds, water, and watch your medicinal herb garden grow!

  • Arnica ~  Used for sprains, bruises, soaks, compresses, and an ingredient for salves and oils.
  • Ashwagandha ~ Used for physical and mental exhaustion.
  • Astragalus ~ Used for its immune enhancing qualities.  Improves function of liver, lungs, and spleen.
  • Black Cohosh ~  Used for controlling the infamous “hot flashes” of menopause.
  • Borage ~ Delightful blue/purple flowers for salads, teas and desserts. Put them in ice cube trays for floral icecubes. Gladdens the heart.
  • Burdock ~ Leaves make a lovely poultice for skin damage.
  • Calendula ~ Premier healing agent in salves, tinctures or applied to external injuries.
  • California Poppy ~ Works well for calming children and adults who have sensitive constitutions.

    California Poppy

    California Poppy

  • Cayenne Pepper ~ The fruit is widely used in cooking and contains capsaicin, which can help with some pain management.
  • German Chamomile ~Perfect for gentle bedtime sedation or for treating stomachache.
  • Chickweed ~ Used daily, the herb will assist in weight reduction programs.
  • Echinacea Angustifolia ~ Beloved medicinal that is used for its immune enhancing properties.



  • Ephedra ~ A natural adrenergic stimulant to the central nervous system and a bronchodilator for treating colds and asthma.
  • Evening Primrose ~  Some women report alleviation of PMS by eating the plant and the seeds.
  • Feverfew ~ Fresh leaves are tonic to prevent migraines.
  • Hibiscus ~ The flowers are used to make tea, and are also a mild diuretic and laxative.



  • Hyssop ~ This mildly anti-viral and expectorant herb makes an excellent tea to treat the common cold.
  • Lemon Balm ~ Favorite tea herb for its aromatic & sedative uses. Mildly anti-viral.

    Lemon Balm

    Lemon Balm

  •  Licorice ~ A demulcent and expectorant, essential herbal treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, adrenal exhaustion or gastric ulcer.
  • Marshmallow ~ Enhances immune function. Makes a healing tea that is soothing to throat and urinary tract.
  • Meadowsweet ~  Anti-inflammatory and pain relieving.
  • Mullein ~ Used as tea or tincture for moistening mucous membranes. A great soothing agent for the throat, bronchia, and lungs.

    Mullein flower

    Mullein flower

  • Plantain ~ Anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. Particularly useful as a first-aid poultice and for dental infections.
  • Purslane ~ Eaten fresh as a salad herb, and is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Sage ~ The leaves are used in cooking, and tea from the leaves acts as an astringent and can help relieve itching.
  • Summer Savory ~ Widely used in cooking, and has traditionally been used to treat stomach upsets.
  • Stevia ~ 250 times sweeter than sugar. A flavoring agent, a wound healer, a treatment for hypoglycemia and a digestive aid.
  • Thyme ~ Used in cooking and for its astringent and antibiotic properties.
  • Tulsi (Holy Basil) ~ Adaptogenic, antifungal, antibacterial, immune enhancing, and of the Ayurvedic tradition.
  • Yarrow ~  Yarrow flowers are fabulous for their anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties.


You can buy certified organically grown seeds from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Happy planting!

Home-Grown Garlic


It has been said that once you taste home-grown garlic, you’ll never reach for the store-bought version again. And the good news is: it’s incredibly easy to grow your own. Just pull the biggest cloves off of the bulb, and plant in loose fertile soil with the pointy tip facing up. Fertilize and water well.

Typically, garlic should be planted in the late fall; however, it is not too late to plant your garlic cloves in April. If planting in the fall, then place the cloves in the soil about 2 inches deep – if planting in April, then place the cloves just below the surface.

Harvest your garlic in late spring or early summer, when the plants have 5 or 6 green leaves. Gently pull them out of the soil after you have pried them loose by poking a garden fork under the bulbs.Your garlic is ready to eat!

If you want to store it, then you must let your garlic cure for a few weeks. This you do by hanging the bulbs with their foliage bundled, or by spreading them out on a rack or table.

After a few weeks, trim the roots close to the bulb and trim the stalks down to about 12 inches. Gently remove the outer layer of skin off the bulb, and also any loose soil. Finally, store the bulbs in a dry, dark, and well-ventilated place.

Before you start, choose your type of garlic – there are two types; Softnecks and Hardnecks. Softnecks do better in warmer climates, and tend to make smaller, stronger flavored cloves. Hardnecks prefer a real winter, after which their stiff stem creates a beautiful mini-bulbed flower.


Grow your own garlic!

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs


Make your own Easter egg dyes from everyday fruits, vegetable, herbs, and spices. For the richest colors, soak the eggs in the dye overnight in the refrigerator. Wake up Easter morning and paint them, perhaps.


Dark Pink:  1 medium beet cut into chunks,  add to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 Tbsp. vinegar and let cool to room temperature; remove beets.

Lavender: 1 cup grape juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar.

Blue: 1/4 head of red cabbage cut into chunks, add to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 Tbsp. vinegar. Let cool to room temperature and remove cabbage.

Jade Green: The skin from 6 red onions simmered in 2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 3 tsp. white vinegar.

Faint Green-Yellow: The skin from 6 yellow apples simmered in 1-1/2 cups water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Simmer 4 oz. chopped fennel tops in 1-1/2 cups of water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.

Orange: The skin of 6 yellow onions simmered in 2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 3 tsp. white vinegar.

Faint Red-Orange: Stir 2 Tbsp. paprika into 1 cup boiling water; add 2 tsp. white vinegar.

Yellow: Rich yellow: Simmer 4 oz. chopped carrot tops in 1-1/2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Mustard-yellow: Stir 2 Tbsp. turmeric into 1 cup boiling water; add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Various shades: Steep 4 bags of chamomile or green tea in 1 cup boiling water for 5 minutes. Pale yellow: Chop 4 oz. goldenrod and simmer in 2 cups water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Faint yellow: Simmer the peels of 6 oranges in 1-1/2 cups water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. vinegar.

Brown-Gold: Simmer 2 Tbsp. dill seed in 1 cup water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.

Brown Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup strong coffee.


Dances with the Daffodils

Field of daffodils

We were going to write about the healing properties of Daffodils –  For centuries, the bulbs were made into a paste and applied to wounds as an astrigent,  as well as placed on strained sinews, stiff or painful joints, burns, and areas affected by gout – However, we then thought twice, since Daffodils also have toxic properties.
So, we’ll leave off with a nod toward the health benefits of poetry and the inspiration that Daffodils can provide…

 I wandered lonely as a Cloud
I wandered lonely as a Cloud

That floats on high o’er Vales and Hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd

A host of dancing Daffodils;

Along the Lake, beneath the trees,

Ten thousand dancing in the breeze.

The waves beside them danced, but they

Outdid the sparkling waves in glee: —

A poet could not but be gay

In such a laughing company:

I gaz’d–and gaz’d–but little thought

What wealth the shew to me had brought:

For oft when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude,

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the Daffodils.


William Wordsworth,  Poems in Two Volumes: Moods of my Mind 7 (1807)
Daffodils and famous Wordsworth poem, at The Longevity Salon