11 Herbs for Restoring Mind, Body, and Soul
Herbs are wonderful plants. They’re easy to grow. You can plant them anywhere in the garden, on a balcony, or even on the kitchen windowsill as long as they get a good dose of sunshine and water. You can use herbs for cooking, drinking, bathing, smudging, and so much more. Herbs have amazing healing properties and are ideal for restoring your mind, body, and soul.
But which herbs are best for their healing properties? And, how do you use them? Read on as I talk about eleven amazing herbs to help you regain balance in your health while rejuvenating your soul.
The basil plant has to be one of the easiest plants to grow. It does well both in pots and flower beds. This annual plant has been cultivated for over 4,000 years and has been used in both cooking and for healing many ailments. I’ve used bunches of sweet basil on hot summer days in my kitchen to keep away the flies.
Watch this video to find out how to make a poultice with herbs.
A poultice made with basil can draw out the poison from insect stings and bites. You can also place a crushed basil leaf on the area for relief. Basil tea makes a great digestive tonic and helps to quell those nausea moments. Rubbing basil leaves on your forehead can get rid of a headache. Infusing basil leaves in boiling water for 5 minutes works well as a gargle for sore throats or mouth infections.
Indigenous to Europe, caraway can be recognized by its fernlike leaves and dainty, lacey flowers. It’s been used since ancient times in both Roman and Greek cultures as a medicinal herb. The seeds are perfect for flavoring dishes with their distinctive licorice flavors. Keep caraway in your garden or on your balcony for protection against witches and use it to make a potent love potion too!
Caraway seeds are best chewed to get the most out of this plant’s digestive healing properties. The seeds will also help to sweeten your breath while relieving a gassy tummy after a rich meal. You can also make tea by pouring boiling water over a teaspoon of crushed caraway seeds.
Many kitchen pantries will have a box of chamomile tea inside them. This herb helps you to relax, calm down an overthinking mind, and help with insomnia. A compress can be made to heal wounds and soothe eczema. Place 250 ml of leaves and flowers in 570 ml of boiling water and let it stand for 20 minutes. Strain and place half a cup of the mixture on the wound, three times a day.
Soak in a bath with an infusion of chamomile flowers after spending a day in the sun. This will help to relieve any sunburn while relaxing you at the same time. You could also make a tea bag compress with an infusion of flowers to reduce inflammation of the eyes as well as relieve dark bags.
The fennel is useful both as a culinary plant and for its healing properties. You can sweeten your breath while chewing on fennel seeds and benefit from its digestive aid as well. It solves indigestion, gets rid of gas, and helps babies with colic. You can also make tea with seeds instead of chewing them.
Fennel tea made with chopped leaves and boiling water is said to assist in retaining memory and act as a tonic for general well-being. The seeds are antiseptic and an infusion of 2 teaspoons of lightly crushed seeds in a cup of boiling water will help to remove the poisons built up from a dog bite or insect stings (however, always seek medical advice when dealing with serious bites or stings.)
5. Lemon Balm
I love lemon balm and it’s often the base of most of my tinctures. A popular herb worldwide, it’s often more commonly known as the melissa. It was called the “elixir of life” by a Swiss physician and is useful in relieving melancholic feelings often associated with depression. Beekeepers swear by running the inside of a new hive with melissa leaves. Bees never leave a hive that’s been rubbed with lemon balm!
A soothing, hot tea can be made with lemon balm. It’s known for settling jangled nerves. It also combats insomnia, depression, anxiety, and stress. It helps to relieve colds and coughs. You can cool down the tea infusion and use it to ease the fear associated with insect or dog bites. You can also apply freshly bruised lemon balm leaves onto insect bites to ease the pain or make a poultice to apply directly to sores and wounds.
What would the world of herbs be without the aromatic lavender plant? Every garden should have at least one lavender bush growing in it. Lavender pillows soothe you to sleep, while a tea made with this herb will alleviate headaches, relieve stress and anxiety, and restore your exhausted soul. Water infused with lavender also makes an excellent mouthwash.
Add a cupful of lavender leaves to 500 ml of honey and use it to ease a sore throat or get rid of an aggravating cough. You can also spread it on fresh scones as a healthier alternative to strawberry jam. I often make smudging sticks from lavender sprigs.
Try these lavender sachets for drawers and enjoy the natural scent in your clothing.
This creeping herb has a sweet and spicy flavor and works well in many meat dishes. It’s a symbol of happiness and is often sprinkled on tombs to wish for a peaceful departure of the deceased. Chewing on fresh marjoram will relieve a sore throat. And, the flowers can be infused to make tea for colds, cases of flu, headaches, and gastrointestinal issues.
Marjoram tea also helps to ease anxiety and stress-related conditions. Essential oils using marjoram will alleviate insomnia and tension. Add it to your bathwater to relieve you of any rheumatic pains. This is a wonderful herb to dry and add a pinch or two to scrambled eggs for a delicious breakfast meal.
This delightful herb can be found growing in profusion under any leaking tap in the garden! The plant has been used for years for its medicinal properties in treating the following conditions:
The bites of vipers and mad dogs
Gum and mouth infections
Inhaling mint and steam will help with colds and sinuses while peppermint tea can soothe digestive problems. By macerating spearmint or peppermint with almond oil, you can rub it on the temples of your head to relieve you of a bad headache. It also helps to alleviate muscular pains. Please note that pennyroyal must never be used by pregnant women.
Another herb no home should be without is the parsley plant. Most of us know that chewing sprigs of parsley after eating garlic will help to sweeten our breaths. But, there’s so much more you can use this herb for. Parsley tea alleviates stomach gas and kidney infections. Drink a cup of parsley tea every day and you could possibly prevent rheumatism.
Parsley can also be used to manage the following conditions:
Researchers are also studying the plant’s potential as a cancer fighter. Parsely grows happily in herb pots, both indoors and outdoors.
When I don’t have imphepho on hand, I use sprigs of rosemary to make my own smudging sticks for cleansing the mind, body, and soul. But, it’s also a wonderful herb for revitalizing hair loss, removing wrinkles, and treating abnormal blood pressure.
Rosemary can also be used to ease certain heart ailments, treat migraines, and control overweight issues. A tea made with rosemary will help soothe anxiety and other mental stress. And, it’s good for patients recovering from illnesses or major surgery. The Queen of Hungary, in the 14th century, made a concoction of rosemary and ethyl alcohol to treat her gout.
Sage is used by shamans worldwide for good health and in many rituals as smudge sticks. It’s known for dispersing negative or stagnant energies both in the body and in the home. It works well as an antiseptic and has antifungal properties. A sage tea soothes the nerves when you’re feeling unsettled and is also good for memory retention.
Sage and honey work well together for alleviating colds and coughs. Sage soaked in boiling water works well for easing digestive discomforts. Sage burned on fire embers keeps both insects and stale odors away! And, if you don’t have deodorant on hand, wash your underarms with a sage brew.
Herbs can be used in so many ways to restore the mind, body, and soul. Simply smelling the aromatic oils of most herbs will rejuvenate your soul while drinking a refreshing tea can alleviate many physical symptoms. When agitation sets in, some herbs can help to soothe anxiety and stress.
Have fun planting up your own herb garden and start exploring ways of using them to balance your mind, body, and soul.
A Word of Caution
It’s essential to ALWAYS speak to your doctor before self-medicating with herbs but these plants work well as a supplement to many of the more conventional treatment plans. Make sure you study the herbs well before treating yourself for any condition as some herbs are not suitable for certain health issues. Pregnant women must also be very careful when using herbs so ensure you know your herbs well before using them for any treatment option.
This post was originally published on July 27th, 2021, and updated on September 19th, 2022.
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