Herb Garden Series – Mint

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Some say that mint is a weed, and in my experience, it certainly grows like one! I wouldn’t be without it in my herb garden.

I have to tame my garden mint more than once a year, as it spreads across the flower bed that it grows next to. In the past, I’ve had mint planted in a pot and planted in the garden to keep it from taking over.

Mint has many medicinal offerings, with the most popular being a digestive aid. Drinking mint tea or eating a peppermint often settles an upset or bloated stomach and eases IBS symptoms and heartburn. It’s also a powerful antioxidant, inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungus, relieves congestion and headaches, cleanses your palate, relieves bad breath, and is calming. The essential oil from mint – menthol – is found in non-consumable products like chest rubs, lipstick, shampoo and body lotion.

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Herb Garden Series – Thyme

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Thyme’s tiny leaves certainly don’t lack in flavour. I have many types of thyme in my backyard: traditional and lemon in my herb garden, and a layer of ornamental thyme between the patio stones. They have beautiful purple flowers in early summer and serve as a lush ground cover.

I was surprised to see that my thyme grew back this year after leaving it to die last fall. It’s a perennial herb, but mine never survived more than a year as my sage has.

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More Energy Without Caffeine

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For many, the energy or kick to get going comes from a cup of coffee. For many reasons, it’s a false way to get you going long term. It’s stimulating to every part of the body; bladder, bowels, adrenals, muscles, brain and so on, which might sound good, but it is always followed by the crash. Then needing more. 

When taking coffee out of your day, expect a headache to come as you wean off of the caffeine. It will pass within three days. I’ve had clients who have shown flu-like symptoms when they’ve cut out their 4+ cups a day. Ease out of it or go cold turkey, it’s up to you. Either way, hydration is the best way to help your body work through it and feel better at the same time.

Hydration, hydration, hydration.

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Herb Garden Series – Basil

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One of my favourite herbs is basil. Have you ever had buffalo mozzarella, ripe and juicy cherry tomato, basil and balsamic vinegar piled on a cracker or piled on your fork? They’re gorgeous summer flavours that work any time of year. I wouldn’t suggest attempting to eat such a tower on a first date, but maybe a second!

Basil turns up in most Italian dishes like pesto, tomato sauce and as a pizza topping, but that’s only one type of basil: Italian large leaf. I was surprised to learn that there are more than 40 cultivars of this aromatic plant, each with its own unique taste and tang. Thai and holy basil are typically used in Thai, Vietnamese and Indian cuisine, but I add any of them to whatever I’m cooking.

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