Why cultivate an herb garden? – Natural health


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Medicinal plant gardens (Storey Books, 1999), by master gardener Dorie Byers, gives even beginners a chance to grow a lush herb garden. With over 30 sample garden plans for any space, and the know-how for caring for 25 herbal remedies, anyone can be prepared to treat and prevent specific health needs. In this excerpt from the introduction, familiarize yourself with the many and varied benefits of growing an herb garden.

Buy this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Medicinal plant gardens.

The importance of herbs

Herbs were extremely important before clinics or hospitals. Doctors weren’t available to everyone back then either, and drugs as we know them today were non-existent. Common people used parts of plants to treat different diseases and dried the most useful herbs to store and use during the winter months. There was little formal research other than trial and error, with results being passed on by word of mouth. Printed herbaria, texts that gave information about the use of herbs, for the general population were not available until the 17th century. It’s interesting to me that recent research on plants has shown that many of these plants do contain substances that help treat some of the same diseases. Our ancestors were on the right track!

Warning: imported herbs


Many herbs are imported from countries with less stringent purity standards. When purchasing imported dried herbs, keep in mind that they can be adulterated with a number of substances, such as pesticides, insects, and other plants.

Grow an herb garden and reap the benefits of fresh herbs

Nowadays, many grocery stores sell fresh herbs and health food stores sell dried herbs in bulk. You’re probably wondering, “Why should I bother growing my own herbs?” “

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Terri S. Tomasini