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Homesteading is a lifestyle that more and more people are embracing. It is all about being self-sufficient and living off the land.

One of the key aspects of homesteading is gardening, and growing your own herbs is an excellent way to elevate your homesteading game by adding herbalism to your list of specialties!

In this article, I will share with you the top 10 healing herbs to grow in your garden, as well as some herbalism basics for beginners, tips for self-sufficient gardening, and homemade herbal remedies and recipes.

  • The Benefits of Growing Your Own Herbs
  • Top 10 Healing Herbs to Grow in Your Garden
  • Herbalism Basics for Beginners
  • How to Use Herbs for Healing
  • Tips for Self-Sufficient Gardening
  • How to Preserve and Use Your Herbs
  • Homemade Herbal Remedies and Recipes
  • Companion Planting for Herb Gardens
  • Tools and Equipment for Herb Gardening

 

The Benefits of Growing Your Own Herbs

Growing your own herbs has many benefits. First and foremost, it is cost-effective. You can grow your own herbs for a fraction of the cost of buying them from a store. Additionally, growing your own herbs ensures that you know exactly what is in them. You can avoid pesticides and other harmful chemicals that are often used in commercial herb farming.

Growing your own herbs is also a great way to connect with nature. It is a peaceful and meditative activity that allows you to slow down and appreciate the beauty of the natural world. Finally, growing your own herbs is a sustainable practice that reduces your carbon footprint and contributes to a healthier planet.

 

Different bunches of fresh herbs on the wooden table.

Top 10 Healing Herbs to Grow in Your Garden

  1. Lavender: Lavender is a fragrant herb that is known for its calming properties. It can be used to help with anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It is also a natural antiseptic and can be used to treat minor cuts and burns.
  2. Chamomile: Chamomile is another calming herb that is often used to help with sleep and anxiety. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory and can be used to treat skin irritations and digestive issues.
  3. Echinacea: Echinacea is a powerful immune-boosting herb that can help to prevent and treat colds and flu. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory and can be used to treat skin irritations and other inflammatory conditions.
  4. Peppermint: Peppermint is a refreshing herb that can be used to help with digestive issues, headaches, and congestion. It is also a natural antiseptic and can be used to treat minor cuts and scrapes.
  5. Sage: Sage is a versatile herb that can be used to help with sore throats, digestive issues, and menopausal symptoms. It is also a natural antiseptic and can be used to treat minor cuts and wounds.
  6. Thyme: Thyme is a potent antibacterial herb that can be used to help with respiratory infections, sore throats, and digestive issues. It is also a natural antiseptic and can be used to treat minor cuts and wounds.
  7. Rosemary: Rosemary is a fragrant herb that can be used to help with memory and concentration. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory and can be used to treat joint pain and other inflammatory conditions.
  8. Calendula: Calendula is a soothing herb that can be used to help with skin irritations, minor cuts, and burns. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory and can be used to treat inflammatory conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
  9. Comfrey: Comfrey is a healing herb that can be used to help with bone and tissue injuries. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory and can be used to treat inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
  10. Lemon balm: Lemon balm is a calming herb that can be used to help with anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It is also a natural antiviral and can be used to treat cold sores and other viral infections.

I’ve decided to start a series of herbs to grow based on usage:

Herbalism Basics for Beginners

Herbalism is the practice of using plants for medicinal purposes. It is a natural and holistic approach to healing that has been used for centuries. If you are new to herbalism, there are a few basics that you should know.

First, it is important to research the herbs that you are using. Not all herbs are safe for everyone, and some herbs can interact with medications. Make sure that you know the potential side effects of any herbs that you are using.

Second, it is important to choose high-quality herbs. Look for organic herbs that have been grown without the use of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.

Finally, it is important to use herbs in the correct dosage. Too much of any herb can be harmful, so make sure that you are following recommended dosages.

 

How to Use Herbs for Healing

There are many ways to use herbs for healing. One of the most common ways is to make herbal teas. Simply steep the herbs in hot water for a few minutes, strain out the herbs, and drink the tea. You can also add honey or other sweeteners to the tea to make it more palatable.

Another way to use herbs is to make tinctures. Tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts that are made by soaking the herbs in alcohol or vinegar. Tinctures can be taken orally or applied topically.

Herbs can also be used in poultices and salves. A poultice is a soft, moist mass of herbs that is applied directly to the skin to help with inflammation and pain. A salve is a thick, oily mixture of herbs and other ingredients that is applied topically to help with skin irritations and other conditions.

 

Tips for Self-Sufficient Gardening

If you want to be truly self-sufficient, it is important to learn how to grow your own food. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Start small. Don’t try to grow too much too quickly. Start with a few herbs and vegetables and gradually add more as you become more experienced.
  2. Choose the right location. Make sure that your garden is in a sunny location with good soil and good drainage.
  3. Use companion planting. Companion planting is the practice of planting certain plants together to help them grow better. For example, planting marigolds with tomatoes can help to repel pests.
  4. Use natural pest control methods. Avoid using pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Instead, use natural methods like companion planting and crop rotation to keep pests at bay.
  5. Learn to preserve your harvest. Learn how to can, freeze, and dehydrate your herbs and vegetables so that you can enjoy them throughout the year.

 

How to Preserve and Use Your Herbs

Preserving your herbs is an important part of self-sufficient gardening. Here are a few ways to preserve your herbs:

  1. Drying: Drying is the most common way to preserve herbs. Simply hang your herbs upside down in a warm, dry place until they are completely dry. Once they are dry, store them in an airtight container.
  2. Freezing: Freezing is another way to preserve herbs. Simply chop your herbs and place them in ice cube trays with a little bit of water. Once the cubes are frozen, store them in a freezer bag.
  3. Canning: Canning is a great way to preserve herbs in sauces and soups. Simply chop your herbs and add them to your favorite recipe. Then, can the recipe according to standard canning procedures.

 

Homemade Herbal Remedies and Recipes

Making your own herbal remedies and recipes is a great way to take your homesteading game to the next level. Here are a few recipes to get you started:

  1. Lavender salve: Melt 1/2 cup of coconut oil and 1/4 cup of beeswax in a double boiler. Once melted, add 10 drops of lavender essential oil and stir well. Pour the mixture into a jar and allow it to cool.
  2. Chamomile tea: Steep 1 tablespoon of dried chamomile flowers in 1 cup of hot water for 5 minutes. Strain out the flowers and enjoy.
  3. Echinacea tincture: Fill a jar with fresh echinacea flowers and cover them with vodka. Allow the mixture to sit for 4-6 weeks, shaking it daily. Once the mixture is ready, strain out the flowers and store the tincture in a dark glass bottle.

 

Companion Planting for Herb Gardens

Companion planting is a great way to maximize the yield of your herb garden. Here are a few companion planting tips:

  1. Plant basil with tomatoes to help repel pests.
  2. Plant cilantro with beans to help fix nitrogen in the soil.
  3. Plant dill with cabbage to help repel cabbage worms.
  4. Plant mint with broccoli to help repel pests.
  5. Plant thyme with eggplant to help repel eggplant beetles.

 

Tools and Equipment for Herb Gardening

If you want to be a successful herb gardener, you will need a few tools and pieces of equipment. Here are a few essential items:

  1. Gardening gloves: Gardening gloves will protect your hands from thorns and other hazards.
  2. Pruning shears: Pruning shears are essential for cutting back herbs and keeping them healthy.
  3. Watering can: A watering can will help you to water your herbs without damaging the delicate leaves.
  4. Soil test kit: A soil test kit will help you to determine the pH and nutrient levels in your soil.
  5. Garden fork: A garden fork is essential for turning over the soil and aerating it.

 

Conclusion and Next Steps for Your Homesteading Journey

Growing your own herbs is a great way to elevate your homesteading game. By following the tips and techniques in this article, you can learn how to grow, preserve, and use herbs for healing. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced gardener, there is always more to learn. So, start small, experiment, and enjoy the many benefits of self-sufficient gardening.

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