Growing therapeutic plants can not only provide the enrichment and joy that comes from regular gardening, their harvest can actually keep you and your family healthier this winter. Between the cold weather and the busy, stressful holiday season, your resistance drops and you become an easy target for whatever strain of flu or collection of germs is lurking. Feel better this winter and all year long with these ideas for growing a therapeutic garden.
Therapeutic Fruits and Vegetables
Citrus fruits of all types offer health benefits thanks to their antioxidant and vitamin-rich nature, but lemons are particularly beneficial. They aid the digestive system, flush toxins from the body and boost the immune system. Garlic is the equivalent king of the vegetable world, able to work a variety of health-improving magic. Garlic is packed with vitamins C, B6 and Manganese. It has been shown to boost the immune system, reducing the frequency, severity and duration of the common cold. Finally, ginger is not only a powerful antioxidant, it has more than 40 specific pharmacological benefits including antibacterial, antiviral and anti-parasitic properties.
Herbal Remedy Gardening
Lemon balm has known antiviral properties but it can also relieve stress. Likewise, lavender and rosemary are both antiviral herbs. Rosemary helps minimize sinus congestion. Mint has strong antiviral properties and both thyme and oregano are antiviral as well as antibiotic. Echinacea is well known for its ability to boost the immune system and make your cells more resistant. All of these herbs take well to container gardening and can even be grown indoors throughout the winter in a window box or tabletop planter.
Cultivating Therapeutic Teas
Tea has been used for its curative properties for centuries and has recently enjoyed a resurgence in popularity among gardeners. Chamomile is easy to grow and good for your health, effective against fevers, colds and digestive ailments. Chinese Camellia, the basis of many oolong, green and black teas, thrives in the same growing conditions as most vegetables. Its tea is a potent antibacterial agent, good also for relieving stress. Herbal tea blends that include ginger, lemon balm, mint and sage are all useful for fighting the common cold and other winter ailments.
To keep your therapeutic garden going all winter long, protect your plants in a greenhouse, on your built-in patio or other indoor location. Millcreek Gardens, serving the Salt Lake City area and surrounding communities, carries all the supplies you will need to grow yourself healthy this winter. Their experienced staff can get you set up and growing your therapeutic plants in time for the next wave of cold and flu season.