By Ellen Zimmermann
Summer is here and the garden is robust and calling to you. Here are a dozen dynamic ways to feel better while using, and enjoying, our delightful green friends.
- Grow herbs for food and medicine. Fresh, organic plants are a natural, healthful, nutritious and delicious treat for the body and the palate.
- Using herbs is far more economical than purchasing over-the-counter or prescription medicines.
- Learning to make herbal teas, tinctures, salves, liniments and soaks gives a sense of empowerment, self-confidence and competence.
- Discovering the medicinal properties of the plants helps us stay mentally alert and challenged.
- Many herbs are used to help us feel a sense of relaxation, calmness and peacefulness. We can use them to sleep more soundly and to wake refreshed.
- Being out in the garden, growing and nurturing plants, requires patience and caring. These qualities help to develop and maintain one’s emotional stability.
- Sharing plants, seeds and herbal products with others helps us feel connected to people. Plants, like people, live in communities, too.
- Learning to identify plants and how they are used gives us the ability to find plants in the wild for food and medicine while hiking or far away from civilization. Knowing how to use plants encourages us to be more self-sufficient and independent.
- Herbs can be used for creating homemade gift items for holidays, weddings and other occasions.
- Herbs can be used to dye cloth, wool, straw, etc., for other creative endeavors.
- Herbs can be used to ward off a cold, soothe a sore throat or help heal an infection—enhancing our ability to care for ourselves.
- Working with plants helps to develop a deep spiritual practice as one communes with nature. Experiencing the outside world makes us feel connected to the world we inhabit.
An Herbal Wedding Bouquet
Lavender—for devotion, undying love, luck
Ivy—for fidelity, wedded love
Pink roses—for beauty and grace
Sage—for long life
Lamb’s ears—for support
Marjoram—for blushes and joy
Mint—for warmth of feeling
Myrtle—for fidelity, everlasting love, married bliss