By Reece Carter, Mind and Body Diet Contributor
“I’d love to grow a herb garden, but I just don’t have the space,” is something I hear a lot.
But while your inner-city apartment may not offer acres of fertile earth in which to cultivate your own organic greens, I can almost guarantee that you have enough space to start a small therapeutic herb garden – on a balcony, in a courtyard, or even on a window sill. You don’t need much space at all.
The first step is to decide on your herbs. Can’t sleep? Valerian and lemon balm are a good place to start. Or perhaps your skin is being troublesome? A pot of anti-inflammatory calendula will do nicely. Feeling forgetful? Then why not fill a couple of pots with peppermint and brahmi.
It’s not hard to start your own little balcony apothecary, and grow the greenery to brew your very own home remedies. In my latest video, I show you how to do just that, with the aim of treating one common condition: stress.
Lavender, a great anti-anxiety and mood-lifting herb, is probably one of my all-time favourite herbal medicines. It lends a great flavour to desserts (honey-lavender ice cream, anyone?) or can
be easily brewed as a tea. Pick a few flowers, plus a handful from your chamomile plant and a big bunch of lemon balm, and you’ve got the perfect wind-down brew for the end of a long day.
Can’t get your hands on apple crates? No worries! There are plenty of other space-saving options. Hanging baskets don’t take up any floor space at all, so why not position a couple by a window in the kitchen, ready to pick your herbs for a fresh leaf tea? Or grab yourself an old wooden pallet and convert it into a vertical garden? Even a few brightly coloured pots will do for starters – it’s that easy!
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Reece Carter is a naturopath, herbal medicine expert, and Australia’s very own ‘herb nerd’.