The old world had to grow food during the natural seasons that were common to them. Today we call it seasonal eating. And thankfully new techniques have given people the ability to achieve more in and around their home. It is very rewarding to learn to grow herbs yourself. Below I will show you 12 herbs to grow indoors in the winter.
Winter can be frustrating for some. There are fewer hours of daylight, the weather can be down in the bones cold, and you find yourself running to the grocery store for anything you need fresh. Just because it is colder, doesn’t mean you have to give up on your herb garden. Growing fresh food should be a thing you can do all year long.
Fresh herbs not only add spice to your dining table – they assist you in supporting your health in the long term. Growing an herb garden indoors supplements your food supply and is great to reconnect you with the nature that nourishes you. Here are 12 wonderful and powerfully healthy herbs to grow indoors this winter.
For some people cilantro is just a bunch of little green leaves that they don’t want on their burrito, but for the people who know and love this flavorful little plant, cilantro is a miracle herb that has massive benefits for humans, and is used for cooking and medicine in quite few different cultures. One of the best things about cilantro, is that it’s a particularly pungent herb you can use to cleanse the body of many heavy metal deposits by carrying the heavy metals through to the digestive tract. This works because the makeup of the plant specifically happens to attract heavy metals on a molecular level.
Cilantro grows with very little maintenance, and should be harvested in the late fall. The freshest cuts of this herb will always be the most effective. You can also use it to flavor an entire batch of sauce to add extra protective properties.
Tarragon is a great plant for trying to grow indoors as long as you follow a few simple rules. They are mostly roots and stalks during the fall but spring to life during the winter time. Tarragon is widely known for having a period of growth and maturing during the colder months.
If you want to give your tarragon plants an extra boost, you can simply place them in a cold spot in your home. This could be any spot where the temperature drops, or the air conditioning blows to give your plants a cool breeze. Do this for around 3 – 4 days, then take them and place them in the most well naturally lit place in your home like a sun room, patio, or window. These types of plants are also majorly partial to fertilizer that is as natural and organic as you can find. Try using liquid fertilizer for good coverage and great results.
Over the last 100 years, thyme has come to be thought of as that most valuable companion to sage and celebrated mealtime. This awesome herb can add a lot of depth and dimension to the flavor of your meals and give them the quality of taste that you are not likely to forget. Thyme is true winter plant, so it’s made to thrive in the winter time when temperatures are much lower. The cold is also a part of the natural life cycle of the thyme, so without the cold, the plant is far less likely to reach full maturity.
Thyme normally grows into a small shrub, and is has been heavily associated with medicine for hundreds of years. Some of the primary uses of such medicines was normally to aid in digestion, heart function, bronchitis, sore throat, and issues with the nervous system. Do you have thyme in your cabinet right now?
When was the last time you had rosemary? This long living perennial grows completely year-round, which makes it an amazing herb that can be enjoyed through every one of the four seasons. It takes very little to grow, and doesn’t need a whole lot of water either. Rosemary can also withstand a lot of the intense weather changes that have slowly become more common and extreme over the last few decades.
Rosemary is very inexpensive to keep alive, so you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank if you are looking to experiment and grow a large rosemary bush. This plant has some very old ancient origins where it’s oil was used to keep people from succumbing to illness. It is fantastic for digestion, and stress headaches, and general daily health maintenance.
It is nearly impossible to talk about herbs without talking about basil. Basil is one of the most widely used and popular spices in the world, and because it exists in so many varieties, nearly every culture has its own basil identity. It’s high in potassium, calcium, and vitamins like K and vitamin A. Another great attribute of basil, is that it’s known for having a positive effect on arthritis. It is extremely high in antioxidants, so you can be sure that it will do its best to keep you looking young and protect you from radiation that comes in from all sides.
In recent years, it’s been discovered that basil is also heavily antibacterial as well, so you can feel safe if you decide to create a salve or cream using basil for daily use. You can even create new mixtures of products using basil and other extracts. If you have interest in learning other uses for basil, you can try getting into the use of basil infused oil, which will give you a lot of new ways to use this delicious and tasty herb.
No light? No problem. Mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow and can survive, even thrive, with little light. Plant in potting mix and water regularly. Pinch back mint every couple of weeks. For many people, the herb mint is thought of only as a candy, but some know more about this mysterious plant. In today’s society, it’s easy to become distanced from the true origins of the things we eat and drink, but knowing the original plant that spawned these man-made flavor replacements helps people to understand why it became popular in the first place. Mint is a super strong herb, much in the same way that sage or thyme are strong-flavored and pungent. The scent of mature mint plants can travel quite a few feet when they become large.
Plants like mint can be harvested in small amounts without killing the plant as long as you leave enough of the plant to grow new branches and leave in the future. Studies have shown that ingesting and smelling freshly cut mint can help to limit depression and other emotional turbulence. Mint is a powerful herb to use to help in lifting immune functionality, and it is very antibacterial. Mint can also help you to fight fungal infections that threaten the body, and it is also high in vitamin c and iron.
This plant has a much more important legacy than just for decoration. At one point in time, parsley was considered an important part of digestion, and it was thought by many to contain substances that would be a first line of defense against stomach issues, acid reflux, and other conditions. Places that serve food decided that it would be a polite and considerate habit to include parsley with meals to help people to digest their food and protect them from unpleasant consequences of eating certain foods.
Parsley can grow in a wide range of cold climates, withstand the winter, and keep itself alive even when the only part of the plant that is intact are the roots and a small amount of the plant peeking through the soil. Be sure to pair them properly when you are growing them. When it comes time for harvest, be sure that you don’t allow the parsley to dry out, because most of what makes it good for you is at its highest concentration while the herb still has some life to it.
Parsley likes full sun but is able to grow in an east or west facing window. Remember that in shade, water doesn’t evaporate as quickly, so check soil to ensure it has dried out between waterings.
Feed the plants every two weeks with half-strength liquid fertilizer.
Compared to many of the herbs on this list, sage is one of the more difficult herbs to cultivate. This is because it needs slightly more attention than herbs like thyme, and it adapts in very specific ways through the year. During the cold winter months, the growth of sage slows a bit, most likely to preserve energy for the harsh weather conditions. Sage is particularly in need of direct natural light, and a carefully balanced watering schedule is of paramount importance because too much or too little water will kill a sage plant.
When you use sage in your cooking, it is pretty tough and can withstand being slow cooked for long periods, which will leave it’s fragrant scent and robust flavor. Sager is also great when it’s steeped to make tea, and you can even use it to make a cough suppressant. All you need to do is place some fresh cuts of sage in boiling water for 15 – 20 minutes and strain out the vegetable matter. Let it cool enough to drink and you have something that you can use as a mouth rinse or for gargling. If you want to get extra medicinal, you can add some ginger to double up on some powerful anti-inflammatory power along with antibacterial goodness.
Have you ever heard of hyssop? Hyssop is an herb that was used heavily for ceremonial purposes in antiquity, but researchers have been studying hyssop periodically for decades. It grows fairly easily when it’s been place in a pot, so it can do well indoors and can deal with some relatively cold temperatures. That makes it the perfect herb for winter aside from it’s amazing properties as an expectorant and a way to reduce mucus thickness.
The blue flowers of the hyssop plant can be used to make infusions for relief from minor illnesses, or you can add it to tea for some throat care. Ingesting more concentrated forms of hyssop can help combat issues with breathing, as it helps with inflammation and the dilation of parts of the lungs. Hyssop also has a very useful ability to lower the blood pressure, which can be a great help to those who suffer from issues that can begin to affect the heart and circulatory system.
Most of the time when you see bay leaves, they are soaking in a pot full of water, potatoes, meats, and carrots, but Bay leaves are some of the most powerful and impressive herbs around. Bay leaves contain massive concentrations of some of the most important minerals in the body like magnesium and manganese. They are full of nutrients that can affect many systems in the body, particularly that of the circulatory system because of its extreme anti-inflammatory effects. Recent studies have proven that it can kill certain types of cancer and can even help to manage conditions like diabetes.
In the past, bay leaves were a primary source of relief for all types of respiratory issues. Adding bay leaves to your tea can pass on many of these benefits including bay leaves ability to protect heart health by give you nutrients that strengthen the cellular walls of major veins and arteries. Bay is easily added to most any meal that contains a small amount of liquid by simply dropping the leaves in the fluid for the duration of the cook time. Try that for a month, and see how much your health has improved.
If you’ve never heard of Chervil, there’s a chance that you’ve seen some mixed with chives in an omelet. This herb is another of the really powerful herbs on this list with a massive reputation for being both versatile and effective for a range of illnesses. In the past, Chervil was used to treat gout, and it’s extremely effective at reducing blood pressure. It’s very rich in the trace minerals that are important for healing like selenium, magnesium, and manganese, so finding other ways to incorporate some chervil into your diet can help improve your health over time.
Chervil also has some pretty amazing benefits for the skin. It’s great for sunburns and can act as a natural disinfectant. You can simply take some fresh chervil, and smash it into a paste that you can either apply in a poultice, to directly to scrapes, burns, and minor cuts. The natural state of chervil makes it good to use in large amounts, and because it doesn’t cause unpleasant burning sensations, it’s a good route to use when one of your children has a minor accident at play time.
This one should be pretty familiar. Lavender is one of the most popular herbs for use in teas and for fragrance. It is widely known and associated with relaxation, and anxiety relief. This plant doesn’t need very frequent watering, but the soil needs to be able to drain well enough to prevent molds and other issues. Lavender flowers around the spring and remains in bloom until summer, so it should be planted in the fall. You can also grow some smaller plants that you can keep indoors part of the day for their air clean properties.