Edward's Garden Center

Forty Fort, PA


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Using your Garden for Medicinal Purposes

Aromatherapy uses plant materials and aromatic plant oils, including essential oils to help with altering a person’s mood and cognitive function. They can aid people who have various ailments, from headaches to anxiety. Aromatherapists, who specialize in the practice of aromatherapy, utilise blends of therapeutic essential oils that can be issued through topical application, massage, inhalation or water immersion to stimulate a desired response.

Aromatics are made from organic compounds and were once thought to treat infections. Since then it is believed that aromatherapy impacts the brain more than our immune system. It is believed that aromatic compounds are absorbed through the olfactory system and interact with the brain’s limbic system, creating a minor and temporary change in brain chemistry.

Some of the main aromatics may be growing in your garden.

1. Rosemary: Rosemary is thought to stimulate the brain and improve mental performance.

2. Peppermint: Peppermint oils are known to relieve mental fatigue, enhance alertness and enhance memory.

3. Lemon: The uplifting aroma of lemon has been known to enhance mental clarity and reduce stress and depression.

4. Eucalyptus: The essential oil of eucalyptus is most commonly used to open the sinuses and bronchial passages. It is also used to relieve headaches and mental fatigue.

5. Lavender: One of the most widely used essential oils, lavender is uplifting and relaxing.

6. Jasmine: Jasmine is used to fight stress and anxiety and as an antidepressant.

7. Thyme: The essential oil of thyme may help improve memory and concentration. It has also been know to relax the nervous system.

8. Sandalwood: Sandalwood is often used to calm the nerves and induce relaxation. It has very spiritually warming properties.

Oils are the most common application for aromatics, but they are not the only way to benefit from these herbs and plants. Some of them can be applied topically, in the form of lotions and others are so potent that simply having them in the same room with you, will allow you to reap their benefits.

Growing plants to be used in aromatherapy can take a special hand. While many of the plants listed above are not difficult to grow, getting the most out of their aromatic properties can take special care.

For example, you will need to plan and research which plants can share the same airspace. Allelopathy occurs when a plant releases chemicals to prevent competing vegetation from growing within its area or zone. Before you plant Peppermint and Lavender together, check to make sure they are not competing for pollination by the same insects. Do your research and you will grow extremely fragrant plants.

Once you are ready to harvest your plants, you can easily make your own oils. Cut the herbs or flowers that you want to use and gather some clean jars.

How to make:

  • Gently bruise, crush, or chop the flower petals, herbs, spices or peels
  • Place them into clean dry glass jar
  • Cover them in a carrier oil (sweet almond oil, Avocado oil, Olive oil, etc.)
  • Place a lid on the jar and close
  • Place jar in a sunny spot. Swirl or shake the jar every day or so.
  • After a week or two, check the strength of your oil by removing the lid and smelling
  • If you want a stronger smell, add some new herbs and put it in the jar to sit for a while.

Enjoy your aromatherapy oils in a diffuser or in a relaxing bath! You will get double the enjoyment knowing you made it yourself 🙂

Some info for this post came from: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-Infused-Oil/step5/Massage-bath-and-scent-oils/


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Time to start your herb garden; summer is on its way!

vegetable-and-herb-garden-2011Though we know it is hard to believe with the cool spring we have been having, summer temperatures will be here soon. With summer weather comes fresh food, backyard parties and fresh lemonade. The best way so spice up your fresh salads and add flavor to those grilled burgers is to add your own fresh herbs! Herb gardens are quite simple so even an inexperienced gardener can handle one.

Start your garden with these easy-to-grow herbs and enjoy the health benefits of adding them to your favorite dishes.

Some herbs, such as Mint and Thyme, should be purchased as plants and transplanted or propagated by cuttings to ensure proper production.

It’s the perfect time of year so get started!

Edward's Garden Center has everything you need to grow an amazing herb garden!

 

Quick Tips
Let the sun shine
Of course, the perfect place for your herb garden would be within reach of your kitchen. If you are lucky enough to have six hours of sunlight a day near your kitchen, go for it. Otherwise, chose a sunnier spot. Also, make sure it is not a place that water pools after it rains.

Give ’em some space
Space the bedding plants about 18” apart to give them room to spread out and grow. Place taller herbs, like Sage and Rosemary, toward the back of the garden, and place Parsley and Cilantro at the front.

Loosen up that soil
If you’re using a container, plant herbs in a superior potting media, such as
Espoma’s Organic Potting Mix. In the garden, till or work the soil and fortify it by mixing in a rich organic plant food such as Espoma Garden-tone®. Plant early in the am or late in the afternoon to prevent transplants from wilting in the midday sun.

Dig a little deeper
Because you are starting some herbs from bedding plants and not seeds, you will need to create larger planting holes. Dig each hole to about twice the width of the root ball of the new plant.

Can we see some ID?
Add labels to each of your freshly planted herbs to make the easy to identify when cooking.

H2Oh! Water regularly
Once established, make sure your herbs get an inch of water each week throughout the growing season.

Information for this article came from Espoma.