Why Grow an Herb Garden?

Grow an herb garden and reap the benefits proven by recent herbal research to be effective in treating a number of common ailments.

  • Containers are a great way to grow a herb garden indoors.
    Illustration by Beverly Duncan
  • Bags of bulk herbs are sold in many health- and natural-food stores.
    Illustration by Beverly Duncan
  • "Herbal Remedy Gardens" by Dorie Byers offers easy to understand growing instructions for a multitude of medicinal herbs, along with illustrated garden plans to suit any space and health needs.
    Cover courtesy Storey Books

Herbal Remedy Gardens (Storey Books, 1999), by Master Gardener Dorie Byers, gives even beginners a chance at growing a bountiful herb garden. With more than 30 examples of garden plans for any space and the know-how to care for 25 medicinal herbs anyone can be prepared to treat and prevent specific health needs. In this excerpt from the introduction, get familiar with the many and varied benefits of growing an herb garden.

Purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Herbal Remedy Gardens.

The Importance of Herbs

Herbs were extremely important in the times before clinics or hospitals. Doctors were not available to everyone then, either, and medications as we know them today were nonexistent. The common people used plant parts for treating different ailments, 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 the results passed on by word of mouth. Printed herbals, texts which gave information on the use of herbs, for the general population were not available until the 17th century. It is interesting to me that recent herbal research has shown that many of these plants do indeed contain substances that aid in treating some of the same ailments. Our ancestors were on the right track!

Caution: Imported Herbs

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

Grow an Herb Garden and Reap the Benefits of Fresh Herbs

Many grocery stores these days carry fresh herbs, and natural food stores sell bulk dried herbs. So you are probably wondering, “Why should I bother growing my own herbs?”

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