ROSACEAE Rosa canina
A deciduous shrub with arched, downward-curving branches, which are armed with stout hooked prickles. The fruit consists of numerous hairy achenes enclosed in a fleshy, amphora-shaped, bright orange/red casing a.k.a. the well known rosehip.
It is an indication of how blase we can be when this lovely plant is so familiar that many people don’t stop to enjoy these roses. But that is their loss.
The plant can vary considerably in shape and form. Leaves are odd-pinnate with five to seven ovate to elliptic, serrated leaves. Petioles and midribs typically bear prickles while the sweet-scented flowers have large canopied pink or white petals.
Evidence of Dog Rose hips have been recorded in and around ancient settlements suggesting that the shrub has a long association with mankind.
The provenance of the common name – Dog Rose – is not clear. Popular belief holds that the name is a reference to the medieval Latin rosa canina, stemming from the ancient Latin (originally Greek) word cynorrhodon. The plants root was believed to be used as a herbal remedy to cure the effects of being bitten by a mad – or rabid – dog. Another theory is that the ancient Greeks may have just been denigrating the worth of Dog Rose as a garden plant by using the belittleing term ‘dog’.
The hips are the medicinally sought-after elements. Their makeup includes vitamin B complex, vitamin C, carotenes, pectin, tannins, sugars as well as malic and citric acids. The fruits contain fatty oil.
The best-known and widely used herbal remedy deriving from the plant is rosehip tea. which has mild diuretic, astringent, tonic and mildly laxative actions. Fresh hips are an outstanding source of vitamin C. Whether fresh or dried, they are beneficial for convalescents, against fatigue and colds. Rose hip tea is most effective when made by macerating the crushed hips (without the hard achenes) and not by a long boiling process.A decoction from the hips can be used as a gargle for bleeding gums and will alleviate toothache.
Fresh hips are also used for syrups, jams and tonic wine.
Dog Rose grows throughout Europe in scrub hedges and woods. It is the most common British wild rose, though less prolific in throughout Scotland.
Flowering time: June to July – N. hemisphere
The leaves and stalk of the garden radish are stiffly fuzzy. The white or pinkish blossoms contain darkish veins and are structured in a longish terminal raceme. An annual or biennial herb with a round to spindle-shaped tuberous taproot of various colorations, branched stalk and pinnately lobed, toothed foliage. The fruit is a siliqua, which is extended into a narrow seedless beak; the seeds are brown colored.
The normal Garden Radish was grown as a herbal remedy and vegetable by the classical Egyptians as well as the Greeks and Romans were aware of a number of variations. Its actual origin is confused but it is thought to be a native of western Asia. Currently it is raised in various types, the black-rooted variation being the one used for medical-related purposes. The closely related Wild Radish (R. raphanis-trurri) is a common and troublesome weed all over Britain. This is injurious to farm animals should they consume it in large quantities. The familiar name, Radish, is a corruption of the Latin term radix, meaning root and also the Romans’ name for the plant.
- The dark roots feature antiseptic qualities, vitamin supplements C and B complex and mineral salts.
- They are often consumed uncooked and unpeeled and have antiseptic, tonic, choleretic, carminative and stomachic actions.
- One can use them sliced up or grated on bread and butter, or the pressed juice alone is ingested for hepatitis and gall bladder disorders, gallstones and digestive difficulties.
- Radish is likewise known as a herbal remedy in homeopathy.
- The well known red, red and white or white radishes (R. sativus var. radicula) are less potent but make great and nutritional salad vegetables. The leaves are usually edible.
Garden Radish can be naturalised and seen growing wild from scattered garden seeds in the British Isles.
Can be grown in an indoor herb garden kit in a sunny windowsill.
Flowering time: June to August
Marshmallow – also althaea root, mallow root, mortification root, Schloss tea, sweet weed, Hock herb.
MALVACEAE Althaea officinalis
A perennial botanical herb with a yellow, branched root, elevated, vertical, leafy stems and substantial alternating, lobed and irregularly toothed foliage.
The stems and foliage are velvety. The milky white or pinkish blooms of these herb garden plants, which are inviting to bees, are lined up in uneven racemes in the leaf axils. The disc-shaped schizocarpic fruit (a capsule) splits into one-seeded nutlets (mericarps). The fruits are usually referred to as ‘cheeses’ because of their rounded structure.
Homer’s Iliad - from 2,800 years ago, contains references to marshmallow root as a healing herb.
The familiar soft candy, marshmallow, was initially flavoured with Marshmallow root.
The familiar term ‘mallow’ is a corruption of the Latin term malva for this and similar plants in the Malvaceae family (see also PL 139). Both malva and Malvaceae almost certainly originate in the Greek word malakos (= soft), a reference to the softening and healing attributes of these herbs.
Among its various constituents are sugar, starch, an amino acid (asparagine) and pectin.
Marshmallow is a popular herbal remedy for diverse conditions and is cultivated commercially in certain countries.
The whole plant incorporates a healing action. But it has got to be without rust.
Marshmallow is regarded as the most vital mucilaginous medicinal herbs mainly because it contains a high proportion of mucilage (flowers around 20 per cent, roots near 30 per cent) and it is incorporated into branded medication and herbal preparations as an ointment, demulcent, antitussive and expectorant.
Marshmallow is employed internally for bronchitis and bronchial asthma and for indigestion and gastrointestinal difficulties.
It makes calming gargles and compresses and poultices for external application. It offers a number of cosmetic purposes too. The roots may be boiled and used like a vegetable.
Marshmallow boasts a wide-ranging distribution from western Europe to Siberia. In the British Isles, where it is native, it is commonplace in salt marshes and on banks nearby the seashore. It is now naturalized to the eastern United States and used for ornamental purposes - foliage and purple flowers.
Flowering period – Northern hemisphere: August to September.
My previous post examined the features of pots and containers for creating your indoor herb garden kits as well as appropriate kinds of herb for inclusion therein. I would at this juncture like to concentrate on several other options you might want to consider if you want to gain optimum pleasure and functionality from a new indoor herb garden.
The incentive to cultivate herbs inside the garden or house is often a productive one: not merely will the plantings
guarantee a stable supply of fresh and all-natural flavouring for cooking but, in accordance with the variations you want to grow, they will provide possibilities for an array of uses in both the remedial and make up fields. Herbs are, more importantly, among the most convenient of plants to cultivate, and they need minimal room for effective growth.
Contemplating your herb garden
You might desire to cultivate herbs for culinary requirements, for their fragrance, or for their medicinal elements. There are a great number of various herbs, hence your primary factor in planning the garden is its essential function or purposes. Some people grow them as an ornamental feature; others incorporate the plants to fulfill diverse requirements. The options are practically infinite, the eventual preference according to your preferences, on the needs you have and, to some degree, on your inventive ability.
Even though usually informal, your indoor herb garden should be planned in accordance with the height and width of container, the functionality desired and growth features as well as the plants’ needs. Aesthetic considerations are pretty much as important as practical ones, and herbs of comparable height and spread grown in sizable pots should be arranged, with the taller-growing plants (rosemary, lemon verbena) in the back of the container, and the shorter, denser bush-growth in front. Spreading and fast-growing herbs (mint, lemon bairn) should be provided individual pots to refrain from choking of other plants.
Herbs wanted frequently (parsley, sage, thyme, chives) ought to be quite easy to access and not covered up by other foliage, and annuals should be planted independently from perennials. Endeavor to create visual interest by mixing up textures and shades of foliage – paler hues of green and grey, for example, can be used to contrast with bolder greens; set feathery foliage against heavier-leafed plants. Gardening classes at online universities can also teach you how to cultivate herbs inside your home.
Being such versatile plants, herbs provide convenient options – creeping thyme may be potted in or close by a busy room where it will emit an enjoyable fragrance when brushed against. Attractive flowering herbs such as tansy, lavender, yarrow, rosemary and calendula provide lively sections of colour to a kitchen area or any other room. Lavender, thyme and scented geranium, could be located close to the front entrance, featuring a sweet-smelling welcome for friends.
Selecting The Varieties
- For flavouring and garnishes, the following baker’s dozen comprise a good choice: basil, bay leaf, caraway, chives, coriander, fennel, garlic, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, parsley, sage and thyme.
- A fragrant herb garden provides you with the constituents for fragrant sachets and potpourri. Beneficial here might be: angelica, basil, bay, bergamot, chamomile, fennel, hyssop, lavender, lemon balm, lemon thyme, lemon verbena, mint, rosemary and roses.
- The flowers and leaves of these varieties provide substances for teas and herbal drinks: bergamot, borage, chamomile, catmint, hyssop, lemon balm, lemon verbena, lovage, peppermint, rosemary and thyme.
- A medicinal herb garden might include: angelica, basil, bay, bergamot, borage, chives, comfrey, fennel, garlic, lemon balm, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme.
The alternating, briefly stalked leaves are oval, finely serrate and vivid green; they are easily distinguished from those of Cowberry. The pitcher-shaped pinkish or greenish-pink flowers with rather short turned-back lobes grow singly or in pairs in the upper leaf axils. A low deciduous subshrub with a creeping rhizome and numerous erect, leafy, branched, green and angled stems..The fruit is a globose, edible, blackish berry with a blue-grey bloom.
Vaccinium is the ancient designation for this and related plants. The specific epithet refers to the leaves, which are similar to those of Myrtle (Myrtus communis). The derivation of the ‘bil’ and ‘whortle’ in the traditional names is unknown; ‘blae’ means blue-black.
Often associated with improvement of night sight, bilberries are cited in a popular story of World War II RAF pilots eating bilberry jam to sharpen vision for night missions. However, a contemporary study by the U.S. Navy found no such benefit and origins of the RAF story cannot be established.
Although the effect of bilberry on night vision is unproven, laboratory research in rats have provided preliminary evidence that bilberry consumption may inhibit or reverse eye conditions such as macular degeneration.
- The sweet fruits, which are rich in vitamins, have long been a popular food. They have also been a traditional treatment for diarrhoea.
- The leaves of non-flowering twigs and the fruits are used medicinally. The constituents of the leaves include tannins, organic acids, a glycoside (arbutin) and plant insulins. These substances give the leaves astringent, antiseptic, diuretic and weak hypoglycaemic properties; they are used in an infusion for gastritis, enteritis, and diarrhoea.
- Dried berries are chewed to control diarrhoea.
- They are also incorporated in natural herbal tea mixtures with an antisclerotic action. It is advisable not to take this infusion in strong doses or over a long period of time.
- The ripe berries are used fresh or dried. They comprise of sugars, pectin, organic acids, tannins, mineral salts, vitamins B and C and organic pigments (anthocyanins).
- Wine and an alcoholic extract from the berries also provide a costive action.
- The pressed liquid from the berries and conserves are good for mouth and throat infections.
- The wholesome berries can be enjoyed raw or stewed and made into pies.
Albeit bilberries are indigenous to Europe and grow on humus-rich acidic damp soils in heaths, woods and on moors, they are present in very acidic, nutrient-poor soils throughout the temperate and subarctic regions of the globe. One attribute of bilberries is that they produce single or paired berries on the bush rather than clusters, as the blueberry does.
Flowering time April to June (Northern hemisphere)
Garlic is a perennial herb with a bulb which is split into segments (Known as cloves), basal linear leaves and an erect stalk terminated by an umbel with numerous small bulbils between the purplish-white flowers. The flower cluster is encircled by a sheath (spathe) of papery bracts. The fruit is a capsule with black seeds; the seeds do not ripen in cultivated plants.
Surrounded by myth and legend, garlic is truly one of the oldest herbs, believed to have originated in Central Asia. It was used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans to give vitality and stamina and it is still one of the world’s most useful culinary and medicinal plants.
Garlic has long been planted as a crucial vegetable, seasoning and medicinal herb.
Garlic’s name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon term garleac, from gar (= a spear) and leac (= a leek), supposedly meaning ‘a leek with cloves like spearheads’.
Garlic is a wonderful plant that played as great an role in the ancient spice trade as it does right now. Whether you like it or otherwise, there’s no escaping this useful herb.
ALWAYS CONSULT A MEDICAL EXPERT BEFORE BEGINNING A HOME TREATMENT; THE INFORMATION IN THIS ARTICLE IS IN NO WAY INTENDED TO REPLACE YOUR DOCTOR’S PROFESSIONAL ADVICE.
- Garlic is a powerful medicinal herb with extraordinary antibiotic qualities. The bulb is used medicinally, either fresh, dried or otherwise prepared. It includes essential oils and iodine.
- It is a blood tonic and has strong antiviral properties.
- If taken routinely it will remove harmful build up within the blood, kidneys and liver.
- Under medical supervision it can be used to bring down high cholesterol and ease high blood pressure.
- It is an energizing cleanser, tonic and energizer – its hypotensive and cardiovascular activitv has been well investigated as has its antiseptic and expectorant effect on the entire respiratory system.
- It is used to deal with intestinal illness, hypertension and arteriosclerosis, and it helps digestion by stimulating bile secretions.
- Externally Garlic can be applied to insect bites, boils and unbroken chilblains, but it may cause an allergic rash if used for too long.
- Garlic has certainly come of age worldwide; once regarded as a smelly European ingredient it is now in demand in many countries and for a wide variety of foods. The phenomenal popularity in the last decades of Italian cuisine is possibly the single most significant reason for the renewed superstar status of garlic
- Chewing a leaf of basil, mint, parsley or thyme helps to cleanse the breath after eating garlic.
Propagation and harvesting
Breeding and selection has yielded countless types, which are propagated by planting the cloves in rows in prepared ground.
Autumn is the right time to plant garlic. Plant individual cloves 5-7cm apart in shallow trenches in well dug, richly composted soil and full sun.
When planting garlic make certain that the pointed end faces up.
Water your plants two or three times a week in hot weather conditions.
Your garlic is ready to harvest once the flat long leaves start to turn pale and papery. Tie the bulbs in bunches and suspend them in an airy structure to dry and develop the rich, pungent flavour that garlic is popular for.
Flowering time: July to September.(Northern Hemisphere)
- Parsley performs very well indeed when raised close to garlic and it is employed to clear the breath of garlic’s strong sulphur compounds.
- Additional excellent companion plants are beetroot, orange and lemon trees, lettuce, roses and even tomatoes.
- Grown around citrus fruit trees garlic forms an excellent barrier against caterpillars, borers and cutworms and aids in inhibiting leaf curl.
- It improves the taste of cherry tomatoes grown nearby and keep beetles and grasshoppers to a minimum.
- Do not plant garlic in near proximity to cabbages, beans, peas, strawberries or broccoli because they will not do well next to garlic.
The large, terminal showy flower heads are made up of yellow ray-florets, which are sterile, and purplish-brown, tubular disc-florets. The fruit is a slightly flattened achene, frequently streaked with white and black.
Sunflower is a large annual herb with an upright, occasionally branched hairy stem. The many leaves are sizeable and chordate, opposite below and alternate and long-stalked above.
Sunflowers were initially grown by American Indians some time before 1000 BC. It was introduced to Europe in the 16th century yet somehow failed to emerge as a major food plant until it reached Russia, where large-scale cultivation started. Today it is grown as a field crop commercially in a great many areas of the world for oil, fodder and decoration.
There are many cultivated varieties, some with flower heads up to 40 cm wide. The popular name, Sunflower, and the generic name, Helianthus (from the Greek words helios ~ sun and anthos ~ flower), were purportedly given to the plant since it tracks the sun by day, continually turning in the direction of its direct rays.
Equally as possible an explanation is that the plant was so-named simply because the flower heads with disc and ray suggest the sun’s overall look.
The leaves and flowers were once used to attend to malaria.
- In homeopathy a tincture from the seeds is employed internally to relieve constipation and externally on cuts and bruises.
- The expressed fatty oil from the seeds contains glycerides of unsaturated lino-lenic and oleic acids (around 45 per cent) and saturated palmitic and arachic acids (about 4 per cent).
- It can be used in salves, plasters and liniments for rheumatic discomfort.
- It is also frequently used in food items as a salad and margarine oil, in soaps and as a lubricant.
- The seeds can also be roasted and eaten, employed as a coffee replacement and ground up into flour.
- The dried flower heads are also made use of medicinally in some countries. They have diuretic, carminative, anti-inflammatory and antidiarrhoeal attributes.
Sunflower is a native of western North America. Flowers June to September
In early spring hollow scapes are produced. These are terminated by solitary heads of multiple yellow ligulate florets encompassed by two rows of involucral bracts, the inner onces erect, the outer ones spreading.
A perennial herb with a protracted taproot and a basal rosette of oblong entire or toothed or even strongly pinnately divided leaves.
All parts of the plant incorporate lactiferous ducts; the latex is non-poisonous.
As soon as the flowers have faded the head turns into a ball of lengthy, ribbed, spiny achenes, with a pappus of white hairs at the end of a long stem or ‘beak’.
The common designation, Dandelion, is a corruption by means of the French dent de lion (lion’s tooth) of the medieval Latin name dens leonis, after the serrated edge of the leaves.
It is one of the most useful of medicinal herbs as all portions of the plant work well and safe to use; it is thought to be among the finest herbal remedies for kidney and liver complaints.
Although the root is the most active part, the roots, flowering stems, leaves (gathered before flowering) and flowerheads are all used medicinally. The elements include things like the terpenoid bitter substances taraxacin and taraxacerin, a glycoside, sterols, amino acids, tannins, inulin (up to 25 per cent), mineral substances, rubber (caoutchouc) and provitamin A, vitamins B and C (in leaves). These ingredients give Dandelion stomachic, cholagogic, nutritive and robust diuretic properties. It is used in an infusion to invigorate the desire for food, assist digestive function, for biliary and liver disorders, dropsy, rheumatism and arthritis.
- The pressed juice from the stalks or leaves is an efficient treatment for warts.
- The fresh young leaves can be eaten uncooked as a spring salad.
- The blossoms contain carotenoids and triterpenes. They are used, boiled with sugar, for coughs.
- They can be made into an outstanding wine.
- The roots, dried out, roasted and ground, produce a caffein-free coffee alternative.
Flowering time is April to October in the Northern hemisphere and September to April in the Southern hemisphere.
Dandelion, a native of European countries, is a common weed of grassland, home gardens and waste places on nitrogen-rich soils.