Healthy Herbs/Growing Greens at Home
Interested in growing flavorsome and health-giving herbs in your Home? Go clean and green in your own small way. There is no need for a big garden or terrace for this purpose. Only your interest and some small tips for growing healthy Herbs in your Home are mainly needed. A small balcony will do just as well. Or for that matter, even a windowsill. For herbs, no matter how exotic, are generally pretty easy to grow--as long as you provide the main requirements like sun and shade. Then why are you waiting for? Proceed further, read on and find out how to do that?
ALOE VERA: Hailed as a magic Herb. Aloe Vera plant is well known for health benefits like curing all kind of skin problems, indigestion and even diabetes. It has anti-bacterial properties which can help to prevent infection.
Growing this plant is much more rewarding. In summer, when the weather is warm, aloe vera grows faster and produces orange color flowers. To grow, you will need to plant its cutting in a potting mix of loose and sandy soil. Pick a large pot as aloe needs lots of room to grow. Place the pot in an area that gets good sunlight throughout the day. These plants are succulents which means that they can store water in their stems and leaves. Over-watering will cause the plant to rot. So, a good rule is to only water when the topsoil goes dry and the leaves start to wrinkle.
My aloe vera grows near my kitchen window, where the temperature will be constantly between 20--25C. Please keep it in mind that sudden drop in temperature may have an adverse effect on this plant.
TULSI: The holy basil--Indian herbal plant--Tulsi is a staple in Indian Homes. It has several medicinal values like curing cold & coughs, mouth ulcers. It also has anti-hypertensive and anti-bacterial properties. This Indian basil basically grows in the warm and tropical regions.
To grow, scatter seeds on a flat tray filled with any standard potting soil, covering them entirely with soil. Water gently but thoroughly and place in a sunny spot. Germination will occur within a week. When these plants reach a height of three to four inches, transplant them in a flower bed or a regular-sized pot. As for watering. remember that tulsi would rather be just a little bit dry than too wet, but don't let the soil become hard with a crust and the leaves limp. But the best part--tulsi plants self-sow and will often reward you with new plants the following spring.
As a true Indian--and also traditional Hindu--my Tulsi Plant is planted in my courtyard and I worship everyday.
The Brahmi plant is known to grow under varying soil and climate conditions. It grows exceptionally well in poorly drained soils under sub-tropical conditions. This is summer-rainy season crop. Plant cuttings in a pot or directly in your garden. f growing in garden, remember to water it well in dry weather as the roots are fairly shallow. If growing in a pot, move it to a warm, sheltered spot in winter as it is frost-prone.
I grow Brahmi in my Balcony in a pot and use this herb for my stomach disorders mainly.
LEMON GRASS: This is an aromatic herb. Lemongrass is a tall tropical grass with large striped leaves having a rough and uneven edge. It has a smoky & lemony aroma and used in aromatic Southeast Asian cooking. Herbal tea infused with lemon grass relieves nervousness, anxiety and stress. Lemongrass oil has anti-fungal properties. This herb also acts as anti-inflammatory and sedative properties. It is also used as natural mosquito repellent and natural appetite stimulant.
To grow in a container, use one-third topsoil, one-third compost and one-sixth vermiculite. Start off the seeds in a six-inch pot and move on to successively larger pots as the clump grows. It requires frequent watering and can be grown indoors and outdoors, as long as it gets adequate sun from time to time.
Even though I drink Lemon grass tea frequently and know the methods of growing this herb indoors, I have no opportunity so far to grow this great herbal plant in my home.
MINT PUDINA: Mint or Pudina (Indian herb) is a plant with dark green leaves with pleasant flavor. The entire mint plant is anti-bacterial, anti-fiber. It is widely used for cold and cough and mouth ulcers. Pudina is used as an expectorant. It is also used as flavoring agent in culinary cuisine for its exotic flavor.. This herb is native to Europe and Asia.
Pudina plants can be grown in pot or in ground. It will cover the whole ground if grown on open ground. It's better to grow in a big pot. To grow, sow the mint stems which are strong. Within a week's time fresh leaves will be formed. You can use your kitchen waste as a compost for growing this plant. Once it gets leaflets it grows faster and spreads out the roots. While growing, keep the soil moist until the plants are established. Pinch stem ends off each spring to keep plants bushy.
I like watching the growing leaves of pudina every day. I munch one or two fresh Pudina leaves daily direct from my kitchen garden and enjoy growing this plant than any other herbal plants.
STEVIA: Stevia is the herb with sweet taste. The fresh leaves have liquorice taste. This is extremely popular as a natural substitute for sugar, diabetics and dieters could do well to plant this at home. This herb again works as anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-viral, etc. Even though the history of Stevia mainly stems from Brazil & Paraguay, it originates from the northern regions of South America.
A semi-humid, sub-tropical plant, it thrives in well-drained soil as well as sandy loam but not in saline soil. Its seed germination rate is rather poor so it needs to be propagated vegetatively. As for watering, consistent moisture supply is vital for its growth so you will need to water twice or thrice a week.
I am yet to try growing this herb in my Home garden.