So, we already addressed what holistic health means, and the start of my own medicinal herb garden. Now I’d like to address exactly why I choose to grow my own herbs whenever I can, instead of just purchasing herbs from other sources. Right up front, my hope is to plant a seed (pardon the pun) in everyone who reads this. I want people to be curious. I want them to research, question and evaluate. I want them to want to do this, too!
So, what are my reasons?
The most obvious reason – at least to me – is that if I grow my own herbs, it will save me money. I’m a very frugal person, so I always think about the cost. If I can do it myself and save money, it’s an automatic no-brainer in my book. If I grow my herbs myself, I also have the obvious added benefit of knowing that they’ve been grown organically, harvested at just the right time, dried (if needed) correctly, and that my tinctures or tea blends have been prepared correctly. It gives me peace of mind.
Another benefit is that there is a big sustainability advantage. We’ve all seen the push for eat local/buy local. What about the sustainability of our medicine? Even natural medicine has a carbon footprint – an environmental impact. Growing, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, packaging, shipping… it’s a really not an incredibly environmentally conscious industry, if we’re really being honest.
It’s also a pretty vulnerable situation to be in, having to rely on entire supply chains for your healthcare needs. Any breakdown in the system – from farmer to retailer – negates all of the benefits you might be able to glean from the product if it is suddenly unavailable to you. In that regard, growing your own medicinal herbs – or any food product, for that matter – is really empowering.
“But gardening is hard… and dirty.” Yep. It sure is. However, I find connecting with nature to be a really powerfully healing practice in it’s own right. Nurturing those plants and watching them grow is inspiring. It’s so, so gratifying. Being outside in the sun, hearing the birds and feeling the wind is peaceful.
For those out there that are just sure that they have a black thumb: Nature is forgiving. Plants can take a lot of abuse, and still power through and thrive. Their own survival mechanisms help to ensure our success! The symbiotic relationship there is pretty amazing, if I do say so myself! Don’t sell yourself short – and don’t sell short nature, either. Dig in!
What about you? Do you grow any herbs? Why did you choose the ones you did? If you don’t grow any, why not? Would you like to? Which ones would you like to grow first?