eggplant2eat(5)March 11, 2010

I have never grown herbs before but would like to give them a try.... what books, sources and uses do you recommend...

Would really like to grow them for medicinal purposes but don't where to start......... My husband and I are both over 50 and have diabetes, high blood pressure and both suffer from depression.

Big thanks..........Sharon

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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

As far as books there are many. Are you looking for mainly growing or using references? Or both? Just need to know what exactly you are looking for.

I usually suggest that people go to their favorite bookstore or library and see what books appeal to them. They all are written differently and vary in appeal for people.

As far as herb gardening, gardening of any type will help you with many of your health issues - it is good exercise and it is a place of peace and relaxation that is sure to lift the spirit. I linked in an article for you. Enjoy!!


Here is a link that might be useful: Gardening For Your Health

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 4:28PM
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You'll find plenty of books in your local library - which you can read for free.

Browsing through this forum will provide lots of useful information for you. There are many posts with the word 'beginner' in their titles.

FataMorgana has given excellent advice - just start gardening! I'll add to it by suggesting that you start with a lavender plant. Make it the true English Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia or any of its derivatives - it has culinary and medicinal properties as well as smelling wonderful fresh or dried - and its aroma is very relaxing.

Take a stroll through your plant nursery (a herb nursery for preference, of course!) and don't be afraid to pick off a leaf, crush it and smell it. Choose the ones that appeal to you most, or the ones you are most likely to use. Most people opt for rosemary, basil, sage, thyme and something lemon-y - lemon verbena, lemon balm, lemon-scented geranium.

It's wonderful working in a herby scented garden! Even just walking past a scented herb, you can brush against it and the perfume wafts around you. I like to give my plants an affectionate rub with my hand as I walk past. Lovely!

If you choose herbs with flowers, that's even more cheering. Think Roses, Nasturtium, Daylily, Echinacea, Calendula - all these and many more have very pretty flowers, many are edible, all have medicinal uses. But if you're after aesthetic pleasure, flowers will do it for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: posts with 'beginner' in the title

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 5:51PM
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You have received replies from two of the most knowledgeable herb people on this forum (possibly the world) and their advice is sound.
If I were to recommend just one book for a beginner in growing herbs, it would be Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, Kowalchik and Hylton, editors. It contains information on growing, cultivating, and using herbs, as well as the different herbs' properties. The illustrations are accurate and helpful, also. It is $19.95 new, but should be available used on Amazon or Alibris. ISBN 0-87596-964-X
The main advantage of herb gardening is the relaxing, enjoyable experience you will have in your garden. Be careful using herbs medicinally--they can interact with traditional medicines and prescriptions. Don't use any without telling your doctor.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 7:46AM
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Consult "Jekka's Complete Herb Book"
From the commonly known to the more obscure, 335 different herbs are examined in detail. Fully illustrated, each herb is given its historical background, cultivation details and uses, be it medicinal, culinary or fragrance. This will surely help you!

21.86$ only at Amazon...Get it

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 9:21AM
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