Cures From Your Garden

| 5/3/2013 12:12:29 PM

The latest Grit newsletter listed a bunch of articles about home remedies and old-school medicine and it reminded me that I’ve been meaning to write an article about common garden items that have healthful benefits beyond their vitamins and minerals.  

Herb bed

Growing herbs has many advantages and takes very little space.  You can grow 16 different herbs in a 4’ x 4’ raised bed garden.  You may need to pot some plants: like mint, which is wildly invasive, but you can set the pot down into your bed if you want to keep them all in one place.


Parsley has been cultivated for 2,000 years, and was used medicinally long before that. In fact, in ancient times parsley was regarded as sacred and was used to decorate tombs.

This leafy green is not just an attractive garnish; it’s chock full of essential vitamins. Just two tablespoons of parsley provide over 150% of the daily recommended value of vitamin K.  It’s also rich in vitamins A & C, and is an important source of antioxidants.  But what it less known is that the oil which is concentrated in the leaves and roots of parsley is high in apiol and myristicin, which are natural diuretics.

A study published in the "Journal of Ethnopharmacology" in March 2002 gave rats parsley seed extract and found that this significantly increased urine flow.  This would benefit anyone fighting kidney stones.

Drinking a tea made from dried parsley leaves or root three times a day can help keep your kidneys clear.  Steep 2 grams (.07 ounces) of dried parsley in 150 ml (5.07 US fl ounces) of hot water.

Robyn Dolan
5/7/2013 9:46:16 PM

Great stuff. I would be so happy if I could get mint to stick around all season. I love mint tea. I would even give it its own 3x3 raised bed to take over. Must be my black thumb. Dave, I agree. I work as hard as I can physically, which is sometimes not much, but I find if I work hard mentally it does the trick as well. By mentally, that would be: writing, music, sewing, etc.

5/4/2013 9:13:25 PM

Hi Dave! I understand you folks are getting some really weird weather. You are sure right about the number of people being treated for depression. I like your prescription. If that doesn't take care of it completely for someone, St, John's Wort is quite effective, available without a prescription, cheap, and doesn't have the nasty side effects of the prescription meds. And when they don't need it any more they don't have to wean themselves off of it to keep from going wacko. If anyone in your house likes to cook, having an herb bed close to the kitchen door is a great thing. It's amazing how much better food tastes when fresh herbs are used as seasoning. Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Sage, Rosemary, Chives and Dill all deserve a place in your bed and are easy to grow. I dig my basil up, pot it and bring it indoors during the winter, everything else does fine in the cold as long as I put a plastic covered hoop house over it to protect them from the winter winds. Fresh herbs all winter long!

5/4/2013 2:53:20 PM

Allan, all good tips about herbs. Now all I have to do is grow some. Because of your post and other articles read, I'm thinking there could be an herb raised bed at the Urban Ranch in the near future. I'm thinking it will become an important to be able to have health remedies in the future. It's truly scary to think about what would happen if suddenly there was a shortage of medications. It's rare to find a person that's not on some kind of prescription medication. I'm always surprised to find out how many of my friends and acquaintances are on depression medicine. It tells me there's something wrong with our culture for depression to be so prevalent. My prevention for depression is to work all day hard physically and go to bed tired. In my humble opinion, that's the way our bodies do the best. Have a great day in the herb garden.

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