29 Jun

Food Cures You Can Grow

ALOE VERA

Aloe Vera()

PHOTOGRAPH BY OLGA BERRIOS/FLICKR

Grow
Plant in pots placed in full sunshine. Water well.

Use
Break open the thick leaves and apply the gel that seeps out to your skin to soothe sunburn. “It’s 96 percent water and 4 percent active ingredients, including amino acids and enzymes that nourish damaged skin,” says pharmacist Margo Marrone, founder of The Organic Pharmacy in the United Kingdom.

 

BASIL

Basil()

PHOTOGRAPH BY OLIVER BACQUET/FLICKR

Grow
This sweet, fragrant annual is ideal for growing in pots. Pull off the white flowers as soon as they appear to keep it from going to seed and your herbs from tasting bitter.

Use
Rub crushed leaves on your temples to relieve headaches. Pour boiling water over basil leaves for a pain-relieving footbath.

Read more: Check out this Basil Growing Guide.

 

LAVENDER

Lavender()

PHOTOGRAPH BY ELMINIUM/FLICKR

Grow
This sun-loving plant needs good drainage. Use a small pot filled withgravel and a light soil.

Use
It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Crush a handful of the heads and add to a bowl of boiling water to use as a steam bath for your face. You can also dab the oil from the flowers on blemishes, says Marrone.

 

LEMON BALM

Lemon Balm()

PHOTOGRAPH BY QUINN DOMBROWSKI/FLICKR

Grow
Pot it, or it will colonize your garden.

Use
Use for healing and preventing cold sores. Also, rub leaves directly onto skin as a natural insect repellent or to soothe bites.

 

MINT

Mint()

PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID MCSPADDEN/FLICKR

Grow
Use a sunken pot, because it grows vigorously.

Use
Ideal for treating the collywobbles, which you might know as butterflies in the stomach. Sip tea made with fresh peppermint leaves to soothe stomach cramps, nausea, and flatulence. For a natural decongestant, place a fistful of mint leaves in a shallow bowl and cover with boiling water. Lean over it, drape a towel over your head, and breathe the steam.

Read more: Check out this Mint Growing Guide.

 

PARSLEY

Parsley()

PHOTOGRAPH BY COOKBOOKMAN17/FLICKR

Grow
Thrives in a pot in the sun as long as the soil is kept moist. Feed withorganic fertilizer.

Use
Immune-system booster. Eat one tablespoon of chopped flatleaf or curly parsley daily. Chewing parsley neutralizes mouth odors.

Read more: Check out this Parsley Growing Guide.