Herbs have been used for years to flavor our foods and heal our wounds. Their medicinal powers are a controversial topic in today's scientific society, but there are many herbalists that continue to swear by them.
Regardless why you grow them -- for culinary practices or for medicinal reasons -- herbs are hardy and easy to cultivate. This means that even if you have a black thumb, you can still reap benefits!
Here is a list of the most common household herbs, how to grow them, and how to use them.
Basil: While basil is prone to aphid attacks, a basic mixture of soap and water sprayed on your plant is a simple remedy. Basil loves sunlight and to grow outdoors. And once you harvest, it's great with tomatoes and is the main ingredient in pesto!
Cilantro: This herb is prone to mildew, so be sure to plant it in an area that gets good drainage and has sandy soil. And then use it to flavor your Central and South American cuisines.
Dill: This great herb is a perennial and can survive for several years! Chefs all across the world use dill to season fish.
Horseradish: This root was discovered during the Middle Ages, and since that time many an herbalist has used it for its antibiotic properties. Anyone who has eaten this spicy plant as a condiment knows that it is an expectorant. It can be used to clear the lungs. People also use horseradish for skin blemishes. What a useful plant!
Lavendar: Not only can it be a decorative accent, but lavendar has also been shown to soothe burns with it's anti-inflammatory properties. And though not a traditional french cooking herb, you'll find lavendar in most herbes de Provence herb blends!
Mint: This pervasive herbs spreads, so be sure to keep it contained or you'll have mint for a yard! Mint is a great addition to pitchers of summer tea, and it comes in a wide range of varieties, from lemon mint to spearmint to chocolate mint!
Oregano: Oregano has anti-fungal properties, making it great for candida infections. Use it liberally in all of your Italian dishes.
Rosemary: Rosemary potatoes are a popular dish that is good year round, with fresh and dried rosemary. And rosemary tea has been said to relieve cold symptoms!
Sage: Many new homeowners use sage to cleanse bad energy from a home. Others use it as part of their poultry seasoning.
Tarragon: This perennial herb is a nice substitue for salt. Its flavor makes a perfect pairing for vinegars and fish, and growing it is simple. A well-cared for plant can last around 3 years and should be planted in a pot or soil that is well-drained.
Thyme: This tasty herb is used to treat gastrointestinal disorders and is a natural antiseptic, but most people use it for a more savory use -- to flavor their meats, soups, and stews.
So, whether you have a small herb bed near your home, or you make a "potted" garden for inside growing, consider adding these great herbs to your list of "must grows."