• Amy Slater

The Power of Herbs

Updated: May 27


If you are looking to start a garden and truly reap the benefits of your labor, may I suggest an herb garden.


Whether it is in the ground…

Or in a raised bed…

Or used as landscape…

Or, in containers…


You get a great return on your investment! From salads to smoothies and burgers, herbs pack a big punch of flavor. But, did you also know they are packed with nutrients!!

Some of my favorite herbs include:


Lemon Balm









  • Works great in smoothies, fruit, or green salads and even as a hint of citrus flavor in chicken, pork, or fish!

  • This perennial herb grows easily in a pot. I do not recommend putting it in the ground as it quickly becomes invasive.

  • It will grow well in part to full sun, but it does best in full sun.

  • Do not fertilize lemon balm as it reduces the scent!

Medicinal benefits:

  • Improves symptoms of anxiety, nervousness, and edginess

  • Reduces the duration of cold sores

  • Improves symptoms of colic in breastfed babies

  • Improves symptoms of upset stomach, GERD/acid reflux, cramping, nausea, and vomiting

  • Improves insomnia

Mint











  • Mint works awesome in smoothies, burgers, and fruit salads.

  • Like lemon balm, mint is a perennial herb that grows easily in pots. Unless you want A LOT of mints, I would keep it in a container!

  • Plant mint in full sun and keep the soil moist. Add a thick layer of mulch, even in a container, to help retain moisture.

  • Try different varieties, including chocolate, apple, spearmint, and peppermint.

Medicinal Benefits:

  • Improves brain function

  • Improves irritable bowel syndrome

Basil














  • I put basil in EVERYTHING from fruit salads to meat marinade.

  • Basil is an annual herb that can be grown in a pot or in the ground.

  • Basil grows best in moist but well-drained soil. Mulch well to retain soil moisture.

  • Plant in full sun, antioxidant-rich at least 6-8 hours daily.

  • Make sure to pinch any flowers as soon as they appear to encourage more leaf growth.

  • Did you know that there are 35 different types of basil!?

Medicinal Benefits:

  • Basil contains antioxidant rich essential oils which are responsible for its healing benefits:

  • Antioxidant

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Cancer fighter

  • Pain and fever reducer

  • Diabetes fighter

  • Liver and blood vessel protector

  • Anti-stress solution

  • Immune booster

Rosemary













  • Use rosemary on poultry, in the beef marinade, and on fish!

  • The beloved evergreen herb that grows easily in many clients and thrives in containers.

  • It is a low maintenance herb that grows virtually pest free and is relatively drought tolerant!

  • Rosemary needs lots of sun and prefers well-drained sun drought-tolerant, low-maintenance pest-free, soil. Although, my rosemary has done very well in our southern clay soil.

  • If you are starting from scratch, I recommend buying the larger plant from the garden center as rosemary is a bit of a slow grower the first year.

  • Plant rosemary near beans, carrots, cabbage, and sage to help deter pests.

Medicinal Benefits:

  • Rosemary is most known for its powerful impact on memory.

  • Rosemary also contains a significant nutrient list, including vitamin A and C, manganese, and iron.

  • Fiber, calcium, copper, and magnesium, add to the list!

  • 100 grams of dried rosemary contain 93 calories, 12 grams of fiber, and 45% of the daily value in iron, 35% in calcium, 29% in vitamin C, and 18% in vitamin A.

Rue













  • Rue can be added to salads, egg dishes and soups. It has a pleasant musky flavor that is uniquely powerful.

  • Rue is an old-fashioned, perennial herb with known medicinal power.

  • Rue makes an excellent companion plant because of its strong smell is a repellent to many creatures, including dogs, cats and Japanese beetles.

  • It attracts some types of butterflies, and, last but not least, makes a lovely cut flower.

Medicinal Benefits:

  • Rue is one of the first garden plants cultivated for medicinal purposes.

  • Rue is also known as the “herb of grace” and is still used in magical ceremonies where practiced.

  • Rue has benefits to the skin, fighting fungal infections, improving circulation, and calming the nerves.

Other herbs growing in my garden…

I am building my new herb garden so my assortment is small right now. But, so far, in addition to the above herbs, I am also growing:

  • Parsley

  • Cilantro

  • Sage

  • Thyme

  • Mexican Oregano

  • Thai Basil

  • Chives

  • Marjoram

Growing herbs is an easy way to add flavor to your kids' food. Building young palates start young and you can easily do it with fresh herbs. Adding them to smoothies, sauces and rubs are great ways to sneak in the depth of flavor!