5 Herbs to Grow for Beginners

There are few things as gratifying as growing your own herbs. Imagine running out to snip some fresh aromatic leaves to sprinkle on your favourite curry, or grinding herbs for your skincare and sometimes even medicinally (please do so with caution, preferably after talking to your doctor or someone who is certified in the field.)

These 5 are very easy to grow and great if you are just starting your herb garden journey.

Tulsi

Aroma and taste: The leaves give off a sweet-musky herbaceous scent.

Clove-like flavour with hints of mint, spice and musk similar to that of traditional basil only much stronger.

Uses: Very popular in Ayurveda.

The leaves can be used topically as an insect repellant.

Made into a paste with honey to relieve symptoms of sore throat.

It can also be added to honey or ghee to infuse flavour and for medicinal properties.

Sunlight: Sunny areas are ideal.

Water requirement: Everyday or alternate days if it is raining/cold.

Be careful to not overwater.

Lemongrass

Aroma and taste: Aromatic citrus scent. The flavour of this citrusy herb is a unique blend of tart lemon with the brightness of mint.

Uses: Herbal tea, to flavour Asian cuisine

Sunlight: Full sun

Water requirement: Daily watering

Spearmint

Aroma and taste: Compared to pudina, spearmint has a delicate flavour and fragrance that is often described as sweet and mild menthol.

Uses: Flavour tea and desserts

Sunlight: Full sun to part shade. Protect plants from hot afternoon sun.

Water requirement: Regular watering is really the only maintenance spearmint needs. Keep the soil moist at all times.

Curry Leaves

Aroma and taste: Curry leaves have their own characteristic aroma; citrus, anise, or lemon grass. Once cooked, they impart a sharp bite and a nutty aroma.

Uses: Used to season food, especially south Indian curries.

Sunlight:  Sensitive to extreme heat but required about 4 hours of sunlight a day.

Water requirement: Moderate, the soil should be damp but not too wet.

Ajwain

Aroma and taste: The seeds have a bitter and pungent flavour, somewhat like oregano, and because of its strong aromatic essence, it is often added to curries and pickles.

Uses: Help in maintaining digestive health. They treat any kind of abdominal discomfort due to indigestion like stomach pain or burning sensation.

Sunlight: Sunny areas work well, but a partial sun and shade are preferred more.

Water requirement: Watering frequency should be maintained so that the soil never loses moisture. In summer, it requires a high amount of water as compared to winter.

There you go, hope this wasn’t too overwhelming. Keep me posted on your progress? I would LOVE to see pictures!

PS: All tips regarding usage for health/ medicinal purposes are anecdotal and based largely on personal lifestyle choices. Please consult your doctor before doing the same.

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