I love the perennial herbs that are in my garden, and this time of year I start wondering what I can add to my flower beds. Because I’ve taken a few herbalism classes, I like to consider plants that have medicinal value as well.
One of the most popular herbal class topics is relaxation and stress relief. Is it any wonder? There are a host of nervines that are easy to grow, beautiful, and perfect to make into a relaxing tea. Here are some plants to consider for your garden this year:
- Rosemary is great for cooking as well as an aromatic addition to bouquets.
- Lavender is probably my favorite. The lavender herb is often called “the workhorse of herbs” and is highly effective in lifting moods, reducing anxiety and irritability and helping bouts of insomnia. Lavender keeps on working to act as an anti-bacterial to balance hormones and balance your immune system. Sometimes when I’m heading out the door I pick a few sprigs and put them in my car. It’s a natural air freshener! You can brew lavender in tea or place in a diffuser to relax you at bedtime.
- Licorice Root actually has a natural hormone that can relieve stress. It’s a great substitute for cortisone and can also help your adrenal glands and your power to balance blood sugar levels. I also like to make it into a tea and although it takes a bit of getting used to, it’s quite tasty.
- Another great way to relieve stress with a tea is to grow the herb, Passion Flower. It’s a very mild sedative which may help you get a good night’s sleep and is also used for anxiety and depression.
- Verbena Hastata (Blue Vervain) has been used since ancient times to cleanse the liver, balance hormones in women and reduce cravings for sugar. It can calm your nervous system and relieve stress for those who especially feel it in the neck and head areas. I tried this at one of my herbal classes and it really works!
- I was excited to see that the wood betony I planted last year actually came up. It has been used since ancient times for anxiety and tension. Wood Betony helps you focus on what’s important and get on with your life.
Just a note, some herbs don’t mix well with prescription medications, so before you brew up herbs for medicinal purposes, do the proper research to find out how they may interact with anything you’re taking.
Be sure that you don’t ADD stress when planning your garden! Keep things manageable. The great thing about many of these herbs is they are easy to grow and can be grown in containers. Plus, just the act of being outside and watching them grow can be a stress reliever.
What are you planting this year?