Top 5 herbs to grow in your garden

iStock_000007120346XSmallThe following herbs are my Top 5 herbs to grow in the garden.

To meet my criteria firstly they must be easy to grow. I’m not much of a green thumb and  I have manged to keep all these 5 alive so I believe even those apartment dwellers with no balconies can get these babies growing on your window sill with a little sun, water and a bit of love.

Secondly, they have to be easy to use and versatile for medicinal and culinary use and finally they must have great therapeutic properties for everyday use.

So here they are:

Basil – This herb is high in vitamin K, Beta carotene and Potassium  and full of antioxidants It is wonderful in pesto and salads. No cooking  preserves all nutrients. The essential oil is known for focus and concentration.

Thyme – This is one of my favourites for coughs and colds due to it’s antiseptic and antispasmodic properties. Make a tea infusion with some Manuka honey for sore throats  or  in a  home made tomato pasta sauce or with meat. Also useful for indigestion.

Aloe vera – Perfect to have on hand for a burn. Just break open the cactus leaf and rub the gel on the sunburn for soothing relief and faster healing. Nb: Although Aloe vera is commercially made into juice for many other healing benefits internally, it requires the careful removal of the outer layer which is not to be ingested. So it is Not Recommended to juice your own aloe vera  for internal consumption unless you have the particular species Aloe vera Barbadensis Miller  and know how to harvest it safely.

Rosemary – is wonderful for adding to roasting vegetables and meat. Its fragrance is strong and the volatile oil is well known to improve thought, mood and memory. You can make your own rosemary salt to add to your baked vegetables by adding to a food processor with a good sea or rock salt.

Mint –Grab some fresh leaves to add to a salad. It is lovely when chopped finely in a fruit salad or a couple of leaves to make a refreshing tea infusion. This is great for bloating, indigestion and nausea.