Looking to add more variety to your garden this summer? There are many lesser-known medicinal herbs that are easy to grow and make an attractive addition to any herb garden. Not to mention that the health benefits that come from these plants can be very useful! The following are classified as under-used herbs that should be at the top of the list for any gardening aficionado.
Known scientifically as Withania somnifera, this valuable plant has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to increase vitality, reduce stress and inflammation, and improve quality of sleep. This type of plant is known as an adaptogen, a plant that is said to help the body handle stress and maintain physiological balance. The roots of the Ashwagandha plant are typically harvested at the end of the growing season, dried, then added to food. It is also common to use the leaves and roots to make a soothing tea. The plant can be grown as an indoor or annual plant in cold climates.
Tips: A mature Ashwagandha plant is usually a small shrub that can grow to about 3 feet in height in a single growing season. It can eventually reach 6 feet over time in hotter climates. Ashwagandha can grow well in hot and dry conditions and makes red berries that can be collected and used as seeds to grow new plants.
The word Brahmi is a Sanskrit word that roughly translates to “that which gives knowledge of Brahmin, or supreme reality.” Traditionally, this plant has been used in its native India to assist with meditation, concentration, memory, and overall brain health. Modern-day research has also shown that Brahmi improves cognitive function. The plant is safe to eat and can be used as a tea or added to a fresh salad, pesto, or other dishes. It can be grown indoors and in colder climates.
Tips: The Brahmi plant is a creeping, succulent herb that only grows 6 inches tall. It is easy to care for and prefers to be under direct sunlight and in moist conditions. A healthy Brahmi plant can grow quickly, which means it can be regularly harvested to eat its branches.