Updated: Oct 23
Throughout my life, I’ve always found a way to grow herbs. Sometimes, it would be a standalone herb garden, other times herbs were planted in between flowers and vegetables. I’ve enjoyed growing herbs on my kitchen windowsill and once, my partner bought me a huge standing herb bed to grow these wonderful plants.
There's something magical about these aromatic plants. They can be used for healing purposes, cooking, and adding to little posies of pretty flowers. You don’t need a large space for them either. A pot or tub will suffice!
Find out why you should be growing herbs as I share seven good reasons for having a few of these plants in your garden, backyard, or on a sunny windowsill.
1. Herbs Are Easy to Grow
Herbs are seriously easy to grow so if you think you don’t have green fingers then start with these plants. They’re not fussy either as long as they get enough sunshine and water. However, there are some herbs that don’t like to be planted in the same pot or space such as fennel and mint.
Fennel can overwhelm other plants while mint is a prolific plant needing lots of water. Mint also doesn’t like to grow with rosemary, parsley, and chamomile. Once you understand which combinations don’t work well you can avoid them and still enjoy growing herbs.
2. Herbs Have Wonderful Healing Properties
I love making herbal tinctures. These herbal extracts are made by soaking bunches of herbs in pure alcohol such as vodka. You can also use vinegar as the extracting agent. I use my tinctures to heal wounds, solve an itchy skin condition, and soothe insect bites. I’ve also used them to treat fungal infections.
Herbal teas are another way of benefiting from the healing properties of herbs. Chamomile tea is a wonderful soothing drink to help you sleep and peppermint tea is great for easing sinusitis. Adding basil to your salads or making basil pesto is a great way of tapping into the antibacterial properties of this plant.
3. Herbs Make Great Smudging Wands
I often make smudging wands with either lavender, sage, or rosemary. I simply cut 9 or 10-inch lengths of the plant, bundle them together, and wrap the string around the pieces to create a wand. I then leave the bundles to dry by either hanging them up in our laundry or placing them on a drying rack.
Smudging is the ritual of burning certain sacred plants such as the abovementioned herbs. I often smudge my home or even myself, to remove any negative energies that have accumulated. Sage is one of the more popular herbs used for cleansing rituals, not only for getting rid of bad energies but for improving your intuition.
4. Herbs for Herbal Bathing
Herbal baths have been used since ancient times as a form of healing and restoring one’s constitution. Bathing with herbs is one of the simplest ways to give yourself and your body some therapeutic time. Lavender and lemon balm will help soothe you while yarrow has anti-inflammatory properties.
Boil up your choice of herbs in a pot on the stove. Let them simmer for 20 minutes before pouring them through a sieve. Add the herbal tea to your bath, lie back, and enjoy the healing soak. You could also attach a bunch of lavender to the hot tap or showerhead and benefit from the soothing aromas. Add two cups of Epsom Salts to your bathwater whenever you have an herbal bath for extra pain-reducing and muscle-relaxing properties.
5. Herbs Attract Butterflies and Bees
If you’re focusing on attracting butterflies and bees to your garden, then herbs are one of the plants you should be growing. Butterflies love the flowers of the yarrow, lavender, fennel, catnip, and chives. Bees are always found around chamomile, basil, borage, and coriander.
Butterflies and bees play essential roles in pollinating plants. But, bees also play a vital role in producing honey. Here are some more herbs you can consider growing for these busy little creatures:
Butterflies: Thyme, rosemary, oregano, and Echinacea. Butterflies are attracted to herb gardens that provide caterpillar food such as dill, rue, parsley, and mint.
Bees: Sweet basil, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, and sage.
Protecting our insects is part of being sustainably responsible so start growing your own herbs by planting seeds today.
6. Herbs for Pest Control
If you want to avoid using chemical-based pesticides in your garden consider using herbs. Some have powerful properties for deterring pests from eating your vegetables, roses, and other flowers growing in your garden. The other advantage of using herbs as pest control is that you won’t chase away butterflies, bees, and other useful insects.
Plant chives among your spring vegetables to keep away spider mites and aphids. Basil works wonders for chasing away carrot flies while borage is known to stop the tomato hornworm in its tracks before any damage is done! Catnip repels weevils, ants, the Japanese Beetle, and the Cabbage Looper.
7. Herbs for Cooking
Herbs are most commonly used in a wide range of recipes. Growing your own patch of herbs on your kitchen window sill won’t go amiss if you like to add this plant to your dishes. The following herbs will do well on a sunny windowsill:
Make sure you don’t overcrowd the herbs in the pots and don’t let them dry out. Some herbs like to have their own pots so let them have their own space if you want them to do well.
Growing herbs can be very satisfying. Herbs are also an essential addition to the healer’s toolbox so always make sure you have some growing in your garden if you’re smudging or making tinctures.
Add these delightfully tasty and aromatic plants to your salads, curries, stews, and spaghetti bolognese. And, when you’re weary after a long day’s work, take a soak in a soothing herbal bath.
This post was originally published on June 23, 2021, and updated on September 12th, 2022.