Monday, April 10, 2017

Immunity Boosting Herb Garden

Come winter time I begin thinking of what to plant next year.  I have discussed theme gardens before, but this time I thought I would focus on medicinal herbs.  Recent illnesses among my friends and family have made me more aware of the need to incorporate medicinal herbs into our daily life.  I admit that although I understand the medicinal properties of many plants.  I grow herbs because I enjoy the scents and flavors more than any other aspect.

So this year I decided to focus on the easiest ways to begin incorporating those medicinal properties.  Boosting or strengthening the immune system would help most people avoid chronic illness, so I decided to start there.

scale is 4 squares to 1 foot

I designed this garden based on an idea I found in the Herb Companion Magazine back in 2012 and sketched into my notes.  The Garden is round and about 4 and ½ feet in diameter with a raised center section about 2 feet in diameter located in the center.  Raising the herbs up in the center allows them to get more sunlight and to spread without crowding the plants that encircle them.

At the bottom is a diagram
of the raised center
It created a nice compact immunity boosting herb garden that you can try too!

I suggest one each of the plants listed except Echinacea which should number 3 and thyme which can number 3 to 5.

The Plants are:
E Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia or Echinacea purpurea) - This strong hardy perennial is easy to grow from seed and looks lovely when it flowers in the fall.  You can use the root to make tea or just the flowering tops both will boost natural immunity.

G Ginger (Zingiber officinale) The root is used in tea as it is both warming and anti-inflammatory and has been used effectively to help fight the flu and common cold. Not hardy in the Midwest this plant should be grown in a pot.

L Lavender – (Lavendula) - Studies have demonstrated lavender’s inherent anti-bacterial and anti-fungal disinfecting properties. It is a low growing shrub that makes a striking plant with it silver gray leaves and purple flowers.

M Mint (Mentha) - with many different species to choose from, almost all assist with illness symptoms like nausea, headaches and fever. Bushy shapes like apple mint and spearmint will look the best in this small garden, but a container may be needed to keep the mint under control.

Me Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) - The leaves and flowers have a pleasant wintergreen aroma and flavor, and are used internally for inflammation, fevers, heartburn, and peptic ulcers. Meadowsweet is a wonderful tonic for arthritis with its anti-inflammatory salicylates. A hardy perennial, it grows to 4’ tall, and 2.5’ wide. Plant in full sun or part shade.  

Mo Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)- is a short-lived herbaceous perennial, plant in full sun to part shade. Hardy to Zone 4. Plant 18-24 inches apart; grows 3 to 5’ tall. In cooler climates, it can take over and become quite weedy, so you may want to plant it where it can do its thing without stepping on anyone’s toes.

O Oregano (Origamnum vulgare) - Most known for its culinary properties, it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which make it perfect for immune system support. It is believed to have enough antibacterial effect to kill MRSA.

R Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) - A culinary wonder, this herb provides anti-inflammation, anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. And research provides ample evidence that rosemary not only improves memory, but helps fight cancer.  Not hardy below 10 degrees, this plant should be grown in a pat to bring in for the winter.

S Sage (Salvia officinalis) - An anti-fungal herb you can add this to tea and use to make sore throat treatments.  A hardy perennial it can get larger over time so as a background plant is great.

T Thyme (Thymus) - Thyme has many medicinal properties it is anti-bacterial and can be used in all of its scents including lemon.  Hardy, they are a low grower and can fill in around the base of the Echinacea.

Almost of these plants will be available on May 12 & 13, 2017 at the Plant Sale of the Garden Club of Villa Park. Pre-order of plants is available thru April 20 with order forms available on the Club website.

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